Ishmael's clever ruse, Nyx's leap of faith, Palaena caught in the middle!
After continuing on their path for several hours, the party notices that the caverns are starting to look unnaturally altered and not by dwarven methodology. Everfel also informs the party that their rescued comatose dwarf is named Oldag, a friend that helped Everfel in the past.
At one point the party is forced to abandon their mining cart as they come up to a point where a 50 ft wide section of the rail is missing. After looking around the party realizes that it must have been one large creature indeed that was able to carve such a path through the rock. However with Nyx’s ingenuity, they are able to convert the cart to a bridge and cross. The party quickly learns it is difficult and exhausting to walk down the rail on foot, but they manage.
Eventually the party makes camp at what looks like one of the most outlying dwarven way stations. Most of the buildings are mere rubble, but the party does manage to find a defensible location to take a long rest.
During the first watch Ishmael notices a lone lizardfolk approaching. As he starts to wake up the group, the lizardfolks charges in with a posse of fire spitting snakes, anacondas, and a giant centipede. During the ensuing battle, Palaena not only learns how to be a tank, but also notices that the lizardfolk is definitely not acting of his own free will, which is later confirmed when Everfel eviscerates him with a crossbow bolt. A large grub then tears apart the lizardfolk’s body from within and begins to grow as it munches away at the unfortunate lizardfolk’s corpse. Not be outdone by Everfel, Ishmael lets loose everything he has on the nearly dead giant centipede, thereby leading to a massive burst of puss/blood/flesh in the area.
The party then finishes their rest and checks the comatose dwarf Oldag for possible signs of grub infestation and while Nyx is definitely suspicious/hopeful?, she does not have the necessary tools (especially after Ishmael takes away Nyx’s favorite power drill) or location to thoroughly examine the dwarf.
After a few hours of walking the party notices more and more signs of centipedal infestation including a curiously bio-luminescent ooze covering the caverns and occasional bands of bipedal centipedes with dwarven/humanoid drones walking down below. Finally the group sees a large flat area ahead that looks like it was at some point in the beginning stages of being converted into a dwarven mining city. However based on the growing signs of centipedal infestation, the party quickly realizes that it must be the central hive of the centipedes. Ishmael and Everfel go on ahead to investigate where they find and murder an innocent centipede guy. In order to escape they hide under the body and walk it out of town. While some of the bipedal centipedes give the “spastic centipede” a look, the two make it back to a disturbed party. Things only get worse as Nyx gleefully jumps into the centipede’s corpse to fulfill her current obsession of making centipede scale armor. The party begrudgingly realizes that it would help them get through the Centipede’s hive if they were covered in the smell of these creatures, that is all except a haughty Palaena. Thankfully Nyx solves that problem too as she pokes her head out of the corpse and tosses a wad of guts at Palaena’s face.
Palaena’s fists crackle with divine rage – this will surely end well…