It’s pronounced Flumph. (The Lost Jewels of Alcanse #7)
We continue to be puzzled by this doorway+mirror figures conundrum, but eventually Bardalph gets the notion that maaaaaaybe we can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar, as my old non-adventuring granny (and def not the elven one) used to say. So Bardalph flipped the script and invited his mirror image into OUR side, and for whatever reason, that actually worked! The “room” beyond the doorway disappeared, but the glowing circle now sports a jaunty arrow pointing southwest.
There’s nothing the immediate vicinity, so at first light, we struck out marching southwest, until we found a cave entrance sort of hidden in the side of a hill. Caves=Loot, as everyone knows. So we went in. Specifically, Svela sort of snuck in first, and the others followed. After a short passage, two choices await us: a left-hand fork that looks not super used, and a right-hand fork that has a little wooden door set in the tunnel. Interesting! We knock politely on the door, and hear scurrying on the other side. We open the door, because honestly did anyone expect us not to? We found a recently-vacated guard room and a longer tunnel beyond….which leads to…a very large cavern filled with cranky frogmen!! They are NOT accepting visitors at this time, and we wisely skedaddled our way back outside, where we hid in some trees until the frogmen stopped celebrating their "victory" and went back inside.
After camping in the woods for the night, we snuck back in the next day. Now there are two frog sentries in the main passage, but Zyro’s quick sleeping spell made them easy to drag outside, where Rolfe put them to sleep permanently. Which, like, fine, I guess? Seems like overkill. Literally.
Anyway, we now explored the lefthand tunnel, which leads to a…whirlpool? Yup, it’s a whirlpool. Nothing else. No other passages or doors. Just a lot of water. Remember when Bardalph got that ring of water walking? Totally useful in this situation. He walked over and saw that the whirlpool seemed to drain into some other cavern below. We managed to fall in and get pushed into another cavern’s whirlpool without injury. Rad. Oh. And something’s GLOWING.
Yep, there’s glowing and little cheerful, friendly voices in our heads that beckon us closer, which is basically an invitation to get whacked. But we talk with the voices, which belong to these floating…things…that are honestly not unlike that big scary eyeball monster we fought a while ago. Except they are mostly pink, and it’s hard to be scary when you’re pink. They offer to tell us the safe way to go in exchange for…feeding off us? Well, actually just Zyro, and they only want to run their tentacles on his head, which is quite odd but ultimately harmless. Then they tell us to take the right-hand path to find the black diamond, and also it’s not safe! Thanks, weirdos. (They state that they are the Flumph.)
We proceed down the path and soon discover another cavern! It’s very dark, which is a problem for Bardalph (who lacks darkvision), especially since there’s something creepy down here—a large, cube-shaped, jellylike thing. Ew!! It starts heading toward Svela, so she hurls a bead from her fireball necklace. Jelly doesn’t like fire. It still wants to attack us though, so let the battle begin. We perform various feats of derring-do, both magical and stabby. And we win the day! In the debris of the cavern, we find a box that holds a back diamond looking thing! (Also the skulls and bones of former visitors, but mostly, diamond!). We bid farewell to the Flumph, promising to visit again one day, and return to the surface world, unattacked by frogs at any point.
So it looks like we can head back to Alcanse with the second jewel. I feel like we should be charging Ryland more for our services.