Several days passed as Buppido sat silent in the third boat, every so often shouting that Hemeth was using them. These taunts were often followed by racial epithets from Hemeth, a slap from Wolfe, and more epithets from Buppido alone in his boat.
“You kidding us?” Wolfe growled. “The little freak’s off his rocker, collects body parts and whatnot, but he’s not harmed us.”
Nitsuj played with the hair doll in his pocket, knit out of Wolfe’s locks, and grit his teeth. “Yea? Well maybe we should at least cut his boat free. Leave ”/characters/buppido" class=“wiki-content-link”>Buppido behind."
As they argued, barbed tentacles descended from the dark cavern above. They wrapped around Corinne, paralyzing her as the venom coursed through her veins. Wolfe turned at her scream, and ducked before another curtain of slimy tentacles caught him, and others began to pull Nashua out of the boat.
Beads of white light shot from Nashua’s fingertips. A horrid scream pierced his ears, the beaked maw of the grell screeching in his face. The twins were in the other boat with Derendil, ripping at the grell attempting to steal Corinne away. Several tentacles ripped away as it tore free, and heaved Corinne up into the ceiling above, heading toward its lair.
Nitsuj and Jimjar fired their crossbows in the direction of her scream. Thirty feet above, the bolts pierced the brain-like matter of the aberration’s body, and it fell. Coming to her wits all too late, Corinne smacked the side of the boat and fell in the water. The twins were thrown into the water from the impact.
The first boat had Wolfe smacking the hovering monster in the beak. The tentacles were grabbing at him as quickly as he could break free, and the creature was taking bites out of him. Nashua as well was deflecting the blows from his own assailant, the beak ripping apart his clothing, his glowing magic barely keeping the thing’s tentacles off of him.
Already in blood rage, Derendil leapt from his boat and onto the first. He lunged at the grell as his own impact tossed everyone into the water. Very quickly, Hemeth, Nashua, and Wolfe realized that the water was turning shallow. Stalagmites like stone teeth were at their feet, and the boats were taking the brunt of it. The current was becoming more rapid and if they didn’t do something quickly they would be dashed upon the rocks.
Nitsuj shouted, but nobody could hear his warning. The first boat was veering off course and straight over a waterfall.
Corinne clawed her way into the boat. Her ferret, Veilan, balancing precariously in her mop of hair. She reached over to the other side to help the twins back into the boat as the small craft were getting knocked around by the hidden dangers below.
The first two boats were yanked over the hidden waterfall. The twins fell into the pool far below, along with Derendil who was dashed against the sharp rocks at the base. Hanging on for dear life was Corrinne, Jimjar, Wolfe, Hemeth, Nashua, and Nitsuj.
They looked above, witnessing a look of maniacle glee in the white pupil-less eyes of Buppido. His boat had gotten snagged on the rock teeth above. He pulled out his dagger and shouted to his comrades below.
“All of you were a gift of sacrifice to me!” he shouted enthusiastically. “Worthy sacrifices to me, Diinkarazan!” He began to saw at the rope connecting his boat to the others, taking delight in the horror of the group.
“But ”/characters/buppido" class=“wiki-content-link”>Buppido," shouted Wolfe. “We’re buddies, remember?!”
Buppido stopped, and snorted, “You will be remembered above all others, my friend. You served me well.”
He cut the rope.
“Bup-piece-of-shit!” screamed Nitsuj when he reached the surface of the pool. He was taking in their situation.
“That’s the second time I’ve hear him say ‘Diinkarazan’,” said Nashua, paddling just enough to stay afloat. The ground was coming together.
It took her several moments, but Corinne pieced it together from her study of archaic religions. “He thinks he’s the derro god of madness and murder,” she said. “He supposed to be imprisoned in the Abyss.”
The water was clear enough for Nitsuj to warn everyone to start swimming. A group of demon rays, three smaller and one larger vampiric, were circling toward them from the dark depths below.
Jimjar was pulled below briefly by two of the creatures nipping at him. Derendil flew into even more severe bloodlust as the vampiric one nearly swallowed his leg. Wolfe and the quaggoth were wrestling it, giving everyone time to escape.
“Heal ”/characters/derendil" class=“wiki-content-link”>Derendil, Veilan," Corinne ordered her ferret and let the little weasel swim on his own toward their allies.
Nitsuj sunk several crossbow bolts in the alpha and those around them. One was down and he turned his attention to the fight Wolfe and Prince Derendil were keeping alive. A firebolt shot out from the shore, scorching one near him, and more magic missiles obliterating another. The ferret swam by, caring just as little as spirit ferrets do.
As Derendil held the vampiric demon ray above the water, two more bolts sang through the air and embedded themselves right behind its eye. The monster’s tough hide kept it alive, just barely, until Wolfe ceased the moment and hammered the bolts through its head with the green flaming demonic mace.
The final one retreated from Jimjar, hurt badly, when Nashua decided no survivors were the best kind of survivors. Several more magic missiles darted from his fingertips and finished it off sixty feet below the water’s surface.
Everyone swam to the edge of the pool and saw the faint glow of the cavern. For miles they could see nothing but waterfalls, the waters tinged cyan in dim magical light. The immense cavern was beautiful, and undoubtedly dangerous. Just like the rest of the Underdark.
At least for now they had a reprieve.
Recognizing all too late that Buppido believes himself to be Diinkarazan, the derro god of madness and murder!
His judicious use of magic missile felled more than one foe, and his mage armor saved his life on more than one occasion.
Taking down a grell about to steal Corinne away with a volley of bolts. He saved her life in the knick of time!
Defending Prince Derendil, his only real friend in the group of allies, by hammering one of Nitsuj’s bolts through the head of a vampiric demon ray.