Moonday, Readying 24, 553 CY (51 AN)
The battle continues as the kobolds and zombies begin to encroach on Gerald and Nortle. However, as the fungus-riddled ogre charges around the corner, prompting Lyo and Sol to retreat to the mouth of the cave, Dominic raises his holy symbol and prays to Ioun, driving the ogre back as it flees from his holy power. Most of the zombies disintegrate, and the sole remaining fungus zombie is quickly defeated by the combined onslaught of Gerald and Nortle. Lyo gives chase after the zombified ogre as it flees.
As Gerald and Nortle begin driving the kobolds back, Lyo rushes past a greenish puffball stationed at the end of the hallway. It exudes a cloud of fungal spores, causing Lyo to cough as he realizes that he doesn’t feel quite right. He announces to the others that something is wrong as he turns his attention from the fleeing fungal ogre to the puffball, hacking at it with his swords and infesting it with his spores. It flings spores at him in turn, which he handily resists.
As the fight turns against the kobolds, the travelers all hear noise down the hall, and Lyo glimpses several figures as they emerge from deeper inside the caverns. Four more fungus-covered ogres stagger into the cavern, as do three humanoids — some flavor of dragonfolk with black scales, two wear armor and carry swords and crossbows while the third wears a cloak covered in moss and bracket fungi while carrying a staff. Once he fully emerges, he speaks words of power and dispels Lyo’s spike growth, warning him that this invasion will “mean war.” As the kobolds now have room to maneuver, they and the ogre zombies begin to surge toward Gerald and Nortle. As Lyo finally carves the puffball apart, he begins retreating back the way he came, prompting the draconic fungal druid to call him a coward
Gerald and Nortle continue to fight back-to-back, with Nortle attempting to hold off the kobolds and encroaching zombies to prevent Gerald from being overrun. Gerald grabs one of the kobolds and tosses him in the water, prompting the school of fish to swarm him and swiftly skeletonize the poor creature. Dominic invokes confusion upon those present, sending most of the zombies and kobolds near the water — and even one of the draconic warriors — into a stupor. Nortle is starting to get tired, and both Dominic and Gerald advise him to withdraw, but the cloaked draconic druid intercedes before Nortle can retreat. Stepping forward, he intones a spell that siphons moisture out of Nortle, prompting him to fall unconscious. Gerald, seeing how the situation is starting to turn against them, continues to fight off kobolds while he grabs Nortle, activates the thrusters on his armor, and begins flying over the small pool of water. One of the ogre zombies makes a leap for him as he flies away, attempting to grab him, but the ogre misses and falls in the water, prompting the school of ravenous fish to begin biting into his flesh. As he does so, Lyo invokes a tidal wave, washing the school of fish into the greater cavern and knocking down several of the zombies as well as some of the other warriors.
However, a cloud of spores coalesces around Gerald as he flies, and it is large enough to also affect Dominic who loses his concentration on the confusion spell. The draconic druid also invokes the same moisture-stealing spell on Gerald, who manages to stay conscious but is terribly dehydrated. As he lands, he deposits Nortle on the ground but is still coughing from the cloud of spores as the edges of his vision go fuzzy and he starts to get dizzy. The ogre zombie who fell in the water lunges for the opposite bank, hammering on Nortle although he appears unable to get through the tortle’s shell.
With Nortle down and Gerald fighting to stay awake in the spore cloud, the four travelers consider their retreat options as the fight grows more desperate…