Exiting the portal, we discovered that three days had elapsed. This is good news and bad news. Bad, because each day that passes on prime is another night of nightmares, chipping away at the resolve of our subjects.
Good, because it means the en of the month comes around again, and we can kingdom-build and loot the treasury.
After a day to recuperate, to grab Zutteger’s Picnic, and to take in tow Jope’s new cohort – a healer named Gruyere, we reentered the portal.
This time, we faces the treants fully buffed up – protection from lightning, resist elements, stoneskin, the works. And there were only three of them. Not only did we take them down handily, but Kalos (who rolled a 1 on his perception) completely demolished a regular tree. With a lance.
Way to go, Kalos.
The map indicated that ahead of us was a path leading to a mushroom garden. With our superlative knowledge of dungeons, we were aware that mushrooms tend to give off poison spores. Gruyere gave us all a Delay Poison. Inside a wall – which Switch blocked off with a Wall of Stone, a host of little mandrake men assembled themselves into a gargantuan Mandragora. It attacked Rainor, who was standing on the wall, and then sort of poured over the top – a Cloudkill (via Shadow Conjuration) having no effect on it.
Now, Jope had thought it would be a good idea to cast a Silence. Switch didn’t like the idea, because it interferes with spellcasting. When, oh when will the party learn that she has a dreadful grasp of tactics? The Mandragora released a scream that nauseated everyone in range, and nausea pretty much disables a character. The next few rounds saw the nauseated characters running away, unable to do anything, while the Mandragora pummelled team shiny at will.
Eventually the nausea wore off, and His Majesty strode in and trashed the thing.
Oh, and Gruyere gave everyone a Neutralize Poison. Wise move, because more than half of us were hit by its natural attacks, which would have caused confusion when the delay poison wore off.
Jope clubbed the impromptu door open, and inside the garden was a wide path of dead fungi left by the shadow cloudkill.
So. It took us about four hours to get here. Four days of outside time. I say we move forward to the next spot on our map (the tower?), take our bearings, then teleport back to the entrance of the realm and do some kingdom building. With so many citizens succumbing to nightmares, we are going to need a whole bunch of new statues.