The Frost Potion – Page 32


. . . and nearly into a puddle of Black Slime. Dancing back from the wildly lashing pseudopods of the Black Slime, Perilous Jack thanks his lucky stars for the near miss. The Black Slimes are the most dangerous of their gelatinous kin, as they are acidic enough to destroy flesh in seconds and are capable of dissolving even metal and stone. Indeed, the very steel blocks on which the Slime slithers are deeply etched with the creature’s lubricant waste. Jack forcibly restrains himself from slashing at the Slime’s flailing pseudopods with his Long Sword – for even the fine steel of his blade is vulnerable to the Slime’s acid – and instead dances nimbly aside, keeping an eye on the FloatSteel platform above.

Moments later, his attention is rewarded; a shaggy bull’s head, the horns still dripping with blood, pokes over the edge of the platform – the survivor of the Darkling Kine’s battle. Jack braces himself, feints again, and steps aside as the Darkling Bull plunges over the edge of the platform – and into the same puddle of Black Slime so narrowly avoided by Perilous Jack. The Slime flings several pseudopods over the bull’s body as it struggles to free itself, dragging it more tightly into the sticky, acidic puddle. In moments, the screaming and flailing have subsided, and only a steaming half-skeletal corpse remains of the bull. Several other Black Slimes emerge from the darkness, intent on the smell of blood. They ignore Perilous Jack and join their fellow in the feast.

With the Darkling Kine dead and the Slimes distracted, Perilous Jack turns his attention to the other feature of the room he has recently discovered – several gleaming steel treasure chests, formerly guarded by Black Slimes.

Inside he discovers strange brass tokens, circular and etched with curious designs – series of lines of varying thickness, carved with such precise width and straightness it seems impossible to believe the work was done by mortal hands. There are hundreds of them, of at least a dozen different sizes and configurations of markings. Jack judges they must be coins of some kind, although of what race or Aeon he cannot guess. He takes one of each for a trophy – they seem to have no other value – slips them in the Pouch of Ghrul, and abandons the strange treasure trove. The exit to the room lies near the ceiling, just beyond the platform where the Black Slimes dissolve the body of the bull. Jack takes the long way around, finally leaping gingerly over the gradually liquefying body. The Black Slimes extend a handful of inquisitive eyestalks in his direction, but evince no interest. They have plenty to eat.

Add the Brass Tokens to the Pouch of Ghrul and turn to 11.