Moving further into the cave, the Heroes of Hope continue on, seeking a treasure chest, and a companion that Archibald lost contact with a few days ago.
Melnor leads the way, checking for any traps that may have been set.
They enter a large area, and battle Flail Snails, who they make short work of.
They let Arcibald lead them, and they eventually get to an area he is unfamiliar with. The rocky outcropping moves to a higher elevation, and they use their ropes to attempt to climb the rocks. Several attempts are made to get Meldox up onto the ledge, before finally he succeeds. Each person attempts the climb, some successful, and some not. There is some discussion as to whether they should drag the body of Donna up the ledge as well, and it is decided that they don’t want to leave Sebastian and Aliyah behind in danger. So after many attempts, they get everyone up on the rocks.
Meldox, being the first one up onto the second rocky mound, he notices the entire area covered in a slimy, slippery substance. Many blood grubs are circling this pit. The group is both very cautious and fearful at the same time, as the pit leads down to a hole. Tying Meldox to a rope, they lower him into the slimy pit carefully. He sees a large mouth at the bottom of the pit, with a creature in it who posesses a row of large, razor sharp teeth. He also confirms that there is a treasure chest beside the creature, very near the mouth. Perrin tells the cave splunkers he has a suspicion that that is the treasure chest their frineds were carrying back. He also tells them his opinion that he disagrees about the decision to obtain this treasure, and that he thinks it is way too dangerous, and it is a suicide mission. When Meldox is attacked by one of the blood grubs, he quickly kills it, but not before losing his footing, and slipping down closer into the center of the pit. A long tongue quickly rockets out of the creature of the mouth, and swings its flail-like tongue at Meldox at the same time. The group panics, and quickly pulls Meldox back to safety.
They discuss the situation, and attempt to come up with a plan. They come up with a scheme to try and get a rope to the other side of the ridge, another outcropping of rocks about 80 to 100 feet on the other side. From there, they can perhaps lower someone into the pit, and try to airlift the treasure chest. The tongue is also a problem, but the group agrees that it may be too difficult to cut the organ while it is taking swings at them.
While the group discusses strategies, Perrin hears some talking from the other side of the pit. He yells out a hello, and then the talking falls silent. Melnor(?) suggests that wasn’t exactly the brightest move, as now they have alerted the people across the pit of their presence. Perrin argues that it might’ve been the missing treasure hunter, and he would have liked to know whether they were ok.
The group finally decides that the best course of action is to lower Meldox into the pit, and get him to grab the treasure chest while they all pull him out. As they prepare to lower Meldox into the pit, Melnor the halfling rogue grows impatient with the group, and decides to go for the treasure himself. venturing out onto the slime covered surface, he manages to avoid losing his balance. But suddenly, 6 people, dressed in black and grey, and most likely either Scarab bandits or members of Black Dragon, emerge from the other side of the pit, and seeing Melnor, begin shooting arrows at him. Several of the arrows pierce Melnor, and immediately, he hits his Ring of Vigor, restoring 10 HP to himself. But Melnor cannot keep his balance, and loses his footing at the edge of the first 10 foot drop into the pit, then freefalls to the second level. He continues to tumble closer to the gaping jowl of the pit monster, who resembles a large blood grub. With an unearthly roar, the hideous creature spits out more blood grubs, and they immediately move towards Melnor. Panicing, the group gives the rope some slack, and Meldox, the heavily armored dwarf, steps out into the slime, attempting to rescue his little friend. Melnor runs towards his allies and attempts to climb the first wall, just as the archers from the other side shoot their second volley of arrows. Meldox jumps down from the first ledge, but before he can reach his friend, the arrows pierce him again, sending him careening closer to the open mouth of the creature. Melnor miraculously regains his balance, but is beset upon by blood grubs, who knock the small halfling, and making him lose balance once again. As Melnor loses conciousness, his last thought is whether he should use his spell of feather falling, to delay him slipping into the mouth, but decides against it, as it would be more painful if he fell slowly into the mouth, and get chewed into tiny pieces while his remains floated in.
Seeing his doomed friend eventually disappear into the creature’s jowl, Meldox yells to his allies to pull him out. Meldox scrambles back to the group. The group is horrified at what just happened, and after some discussion, decide to abandon the situation, as this mission is just too dangerous.
They head back to the entrance of the cave, and their sadness and shock is replaced by a collective sign of relief as they finally, once again, see sunshine and the sands of the Acridian Expanse.