In dire bear form, the druid gained an acute sense of smell. Another bear had certainly laired in this cave, but there was another stench wafting from within that he could not identify. Barovar tossed a small gray stone into orbit around his head. It looked like a tiny torch, but did not give off any heat. The half-elf could not see in the dark like the dwarves and his eidolon could.
The group quietly and carefully entered the mouth of the cave, which soon forked left, right and straight into the side of the mountain at a slight downward slope. The left fork was searched and concluded to be an empty dead end. As the group worked their way back to the intersection, the strange scent became stronger. Strange green, glowing eyes on a large lizard creature rounded the turn. Its thick body sprouted eight legs. As it hissed, the foul breath washed over the group. Andie charged, claws and teeth tearing at the scaled flesh of the beast. The creatures eyes narrowed, and the lions movements slowed as his flesh turned to stone, spreading from the front to the back until it was completely stone like a sculptor’s life-like lion in an action pose. “No!” screamed Barovar. The half-elf swiftly cast a spell, summoning a hound archon, a celestial guardian, to their aid.
The dire bear shook its great head as he neared the beast, trying to force the foul stench from his nostrils as it slashed and bit at the lizard. The paladin, unable to get past the big dire bear, and the swings of the greatsword-wielding hound archon, loaded his crossbow with a finely-made arrow, and sent it flying.
The beast snapped its jaws, but was unable to defend itself from the skilled heroes, and it crashed to the cavern floor, blood slowly spilling from its wounds.
“Aha!” proclaimed the half-elf as he watched the blood drip, “Good druid, slash the beast’s throat, and hold up its hindquarters.” The druid thought he understood what the half-elf had in mind, and did as requested. The half-elf started to scoop up the blood with both hands cupped, and started painting the stone eidolon thickly with the warm liquid.
The paladin looked around the rest of the cavern, not wanting to watch this strange blood-painting ritual. He pushed a white piece of stone with his armored toe, and cocked his head as he looked at the shape. It looked like part of a hand, as if a statue had been broken. “Oh, no,” he breathed out. He looked at a few more bits of stone to confirm his fears.
The fresh blood of a basilisk can reverse the deadly flesh to stone gaze of a victim. Apparently the same still holds true for a greater basilisk. As the last spots of stone were covered in cooling blood, the eidolon’s flesh slowly returned. “Yuelral’s blessing!” proclaimed Barovar as he wrapped the lion-creature in a hug. The lion nuzzled his head against Barovar, and replied, “Praise Yuelral my friend”.
“Rhogar. Take a look at this,” Aldeen sadly mourned, as he handed over a few of the “rocks” he found on the cave floor. The dwarf came to the same conclusion as he turned the pieces over in the light from the half-elf’s ioun torch. “I guess we know what happened to at least one of Bloom’s missing groups… and the poor bear that claimed this cave as its home.”