The 1st of Tarsakh
I’ve never really written a journal before, but the more time I spend on this island, the more I see a need to document my experiences and knowledge for those that come after me.
With that in mind, I think I shall begin by documenting the Cave of Spores.
It has been a few weeks since the investigation began, so my memory of the specifics of some things may be a bit fuzzy. Should clarification be needed, then seek out Maw’Ron, or Zed as they have been there since the beginning. Tamwyn would also be a reliable source. He has been quite helpful in investigating the tunnel system.
The cave was first discovered during construction of the roads north west of White Moon Cove. One of the workers reported a sinkhole not far from the road. As might be expected for a sinkhole, the surrounding area is a bit unstable. Sturdy enough to support only one person at a time. Thankfully, in the surrounding area are sufficient anchors for ropes to be setup to aid in descent.
At about 60 feet to the cavern floor, the sinkhole is not overly difficult to enter, but light sources are a must. While darkvision is an asset, the ability to see colour within the tunnel system could save your life.
As might be guessed by my naming it, The Cave of Spores, there are quite a bit of fungi within. The larger the fungi the more you should worry. During our first expedition into the cave we discovered the larger pinkish, purplish fungi will lash out with tentacles when agitated. Depending on how agitated it can make several strikes within a second or two. It can be quite a terrifying sight. However, upon our second expedition we discovered that these fungi seem to keep to themselves until sufficiently agitated. If you keep calm and give them space they will generally leave you alone. Though the third trip revealed the most interesting trait. The fungi are capable of detaching themselves from the walls and moving around.
The second expedition was the most horrifying, it revealed the deadly nature of the spores the fungi, or at the very least the floating creatures that appear to look like a being referred to as a Beholder, can kill a healthy person within one half day or less. And worse, the disease is highly contagious and seems to breed more of these floating spore creatures.
It’s also worth noting that we discovered a different type of fungi that will react to torch light and begin shrieking. As confrontations had already begun I cannot say if this shrieking would cause the other fungi to become agitated and lash out. Though I assume it is safe to say that would be the case. Magical sources of light that can be quickly snuffed out would be preferred for travel within the caves.
Before our third trip, I took the time to investigate other things on this island. During one such expedition we came across a half dozen or more dead Elk. Upon closer inspection these Elk seemed to be infected with the same spore based disease that we discovered in the cave. This suggests that the spores are leaving the cavern and infecting the surrounding area, or their are other entrances to similar tunnel systems in the area. We will need to investigate further to confirm.
The third, and most recent, trip to the cave taught us the most. As mentioned above, it is when we learnt of the fungi’s ability to move around. Further we enountered a discovered other creatures that seem to be made of fungus. One such creature was a swarm of bats. Looking a bit grotesque due to being formed by fungus, they were, like their fungal cousins, not hostile if left unprovoked.
We should have paid more attention to the bats fear of the pond within the cave though. We had already assumed the water would not be safe to enter and had planned around that. Tamwyn had pleaded with his patron for the ability to climb walls like a spider and brought sufficient rope and other provisions so that we could create cross the pond without entering the water. Though a Giant Crocodile that lived there foiled our plans when the first member of our party tried to cross.
Now, a Giant Crocodile is no push over. But their powerful jaws are either a little exaggerated or this particular crocodile was a weakling as I was able to escape it’s grasp quite handily. Though it’s teeth did cut me up a little.
Anyways, The other fungal creature we encountered, though it’s debatable that it is actually a creature and not some freak occurence of fungal growth…. that grew the same way twice, looked like some form of devilish creature or maybe a gargoyle. Either way they did not seem to react to our presence at all.
Now the only other notable sightings within the cave were the squid like creature that looked exactly like a stalactite until it drops onto your head and attempts to eat you. It is also capable of summoning magical darkness that light cannot penetrate.
Likewise the cave was also home to other creatures that looked like stalactites. These ones, however, dropped gleefully from the cielling and exploded into a pool of blood when they hit the ground. I am unsure of what would have happened should they hit you.
I wonder if that is what happened to Zed. Some sort of parasitic ooze took control of him and made him flee from us. I fear it would have made him stay within the cave to rot had we not removed the parasite from his body. Though he seems to still be affected by the experience, unsurprisingly so. He described it as being locked within his own mind, watching as the parasite controlled his every action.
I intend to return to the cave soon to learn as much as I can about the fungi that lives within. Maybe I’ll bring a ten foot pole next time and prod the fungal statues.