The Unnamed Saga

Episode 32- Hazards Of The Astral Plane

When the crashing and jostling finally subsided, Lengara and Drengy surveyed the ruin all around them in uncomfortable silence.

The astral ship Oathbreaker was wrecked- split horizontally into the three component decks which now rest scattered across the, what – the esophagus of the astral leviathan. Bodies, cargo, and debris lay strewn haphazardly amongst the fleshly ground and erratic streams of bubbling caustic digestive fluids. Some eighty feet above along the top of the esophagus rest writhing tentacled protrusions and periodic flows of acidic drips. The ship’s captain was missing or dead, as was most of the crew, but somehow one angelic crewmember and three blackjaw halfling prisoners cautiously emerged from partially intact lower hatch. The air was humid and acrid, darkness rest at the edge of Drengy’s sunrod’s glow, and there was silence but for an occasional low rumble that shook the “ground” and less frequent muffled screams that emerged and ended abruptly in the distance.

The Malarite vessel had suffered much worse, having been shattered with but a few chambers intact. Up from the debris of one smashed chamber Feral and Tin emerged some distance from the deck of the parts of the Oathbreaker, both having been battered and momentarily knocked out by the ride.

Although Lengara was usually the go to member for questions arcane and impossible, he did not know where they were. Sure, he had enrolled in a class addressing the challenges of planar exploration while at university, but he infamously abandoned the coursework for a more “direct” path to arcane power – an act which got him expelled. Well, it was one of the reasons he was expelled.

“I think its a Budong, an ancient creature of the astral sea that feeds upon arcane energies – among other things,” lamented the surviving angel. “I’m not sure how long it will be before we are pushed into the stomach proper, but there none can survive.”

While Lengara glanced around trying to remember something about escaping giant space creature’s bellies, Drengy looked suspiciously at a quivering in a nearby stream of digestive acid. Casually, almost as if he did not know (or care) what his hand was doing, Drengy reached over to one of the ship’s energy ballistas and let loose an electric blast into the fluid.

The energy sparked out into the Budong’s flesh and produced an immediate reaction. The entire esophagus lurched a bit at the irritation, and bursting up from four different pools came large red green amorphous globs, digestive enzymes intent on dissolving the organics in their midst. The party knew they needed to find a way out and perhaps irritating the Budong enough to expel them was the solution. But they needed a plan, and they needed to protect McWands from injury, since Tin was still tethered by McWand’s binding collar that inflicted any injury upon McWands ten fold back upon Tin.

Tin whipped his head around to where the Oathbreaker’s priority prison cell rest. It was exposed due the rending of the craft but covered with debris and separated from the rest of the adventurers by a stream of acid. Tin immediately began running towards the cell and McWands.

Lengara, Feral, and Drengy united on the deck of ruined Oathbreaker to organize a defense and keep the monstrous enzyme blobs occupied. As Feral and Drengy began raining arrows and antler slashed into the creatures, they discovered such attacks caused the blobs to shed smaller but quite lethal mini blobs – blobs which en mass were threatening to overwhelm the heroes. Things also got worse when a spitting, shaking protuberance dislodged from the esophagus ceiling to plop down and begin spewing corrosive acid at range against the party as well as the halfling survivors, who were unceremoniously dissolved in short order.

The last angel yelled, “I know what we need” and began moving towards the ruined cargo deck near where Tin was excavating and unlocking McWand’s cell, but he was hit by lethal acid a moment later and collapsed into muck.

“Fire, I remember now! These things are weak against fire!” yelled Lengara as he shifted the necrotic attributes of an attack into the domain of flame to grievously scorch one of the creatures. He had been bamfing around the field trying to shred the half dozen mini-blobs surrounding the party, and had already been bloodied by passing attacks.

Feral tried lighting and using a torch as a weapon, but a single torch was hardly enough to win the day. And lacking a team member to coordinate attacks and provide essential healing support, the party was unquestionably reaching the very end of its stamina. First Drengy passed out from wounds, collapsing near McWand’s cell after having teleported to that area. Then Lengara was grabbed and pulled bodily into the interior of one of the blobs to be digested. Tin having secured McWands for the time being running wildly through the wrecked cargo hold before stopping, backtracking, and eyeing three barrels from the ship’s supplies. It was clearly time to go, and Tin had an idea.

“Hey Feral, got a light?” Tin yelled as he poured the oil over the side of the ship creating an expanding pool around the acid spitting blobular.

Feral toss the torch end over end into the slick before teleporting over to help extract Lengara from inside the gooey beast consuming him. In a flash Tin’s oil exploded into flame, roasting the acid spitter within, setting part of the Oathbreaker’s wreckage on fire, and creating a serious case of heart burn for the Budong. The entire esophagus spasmed and the contents were knocked forward twenty feet. Ominous rising rumblings from deeper in the creature echoed through the ground. Rumblings that were quickly escalating into a deafening roar.

Wiping slime from his face after Feral pulled the blob off of him, “Feral, it is time for us to leave,” announced Lengara as he vanished, reappearing inside McWand’s open cell. Tin arrived a moment later, his boots scorched from the expanding fire, to pour a healing elixir down Drengy’s throat and pull the sputtering archer into the barred chamber.

Feral stepped away from the remaining blob to see rushing up the esophogus a wall of tumbling rock, broken ships, and convulsing muscle. Leaping again like some wild cat he reached the edge of the cell and grabbed on as the wave overtook the crash site. The cell and its occupants spun and tumbled as McWand’s cell remained intact but was blasted free of the shattered ship. Feral roared as he held onto the exterior of the spinning airborne cell, straining with a death grip on a bar of the prison. With a startling crack, the bar in his hand snapped sending the shifter hurtling into space where he vanished into the maelstrom of crashing debris.

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