We leave the cave and follow the valley edge around to the next cave. At first, we almost missed it because it was hidden behind some bushes, but Rusty’s keen eye manages to find it. Okay, so maybe it had nothing to do with anyone’s ‘keen-i-ness’; this hole stank. The stench was overpowering. It reeked of death and decay. None of us made any efforts to hide our disappointment as Rusty stepped into the cave, forcing us to follow. Immediately we are faced with a decision of right or left. We can see bones and rotting corpses strewn all over the ground in both directions. We head toward the right. It goes in that direction for about 20 feet, then curves left. 10 feet up, the hall opens up into a water filled cavern. It’s not a huge cavern and the water appears to only be a foot or two deep, if that. There are some white-lined fish darting through the water. Toward the back of the pool, something shiny reflects in the light. The walls in the cavern were sheen and when I looked up toward the ceiling, it appeared to be, well, almost moving. Salvath pushed his way toward the front of the group, then just stood there, staring toward the shining object in the pool. Much to our amazement, the object begins to levitate up out of the water and move toward us. I could see now that it was a jewel encrusted goblet. Even from here, I could tell this thing was worth a fortune. Suddenly a clear, gelatinous gob falls from the ceiling onto the goblet, another one onto the floor near it. The goblet falls back into the water. Salvath jumps back from the shock, but Deathadder is right there to engage the slimy thing in battle. As the fight begins, another blob falls from the ceiling and lands at my feet. Salvath freezes the pool of water, essentially trapping the blob that had fallen in under the ice. Rusty and Allbright attack one of the oozes and manage to kill it. Rauli attacks the one that landed by me and eventually, it dies as well. Deathadder goes after the one that had been frozen. Because of its incapacity to move, the slime monster is an easy target and Deathadder quickly makes slime juice out of it. He smashes through the ice and grabs hold of the goblet. I can see there are more slimes throbbing along the ceiling, so we quickly back out of cavern opening and out of their attack range. Heading back in the other direction, we quickly ascertain there are no additional threats until we reach the end of the cave on the other side. Standing there, amid the dead, is a great owlbear. I’ve only heard of these creatures in stories, and what I’ve heard is that they are dangerous animals with a thirst for blood. We are slightly surprised at this creature’s presence here and Deathadder makes a wild swing with his sword, completely missing the owlbear. Rauli tumbles into the room in an attempt to get behind the beast. The owlbear swings angrily at the somersaulting elf, knocking him off toward the cave wall. Albright chants some words I don’t understand and suddenly the owlbear turns and tries to flee. Unfortunately there is nowhere for him to go. Salvath shoots missiles out of his hands. When they hit the frightened owlbear, it is apparent they cause him pain. The monster turns to face us. I raise my crossbow to fire, my eyes meeting his. The look of fear in his face is almost enough to make me put my bow down. I wanted to take him into my arms and sooth his nerves, to tell him it would be alright. But I knew that if he hadn’t been under Albright’s spell, he would rip me to shreds and feed on my entrails. With resolve, I raise the bow and pull the trigger, the bolt sinking into the beasts arm. We continue to attack, moving in closer to the owlbear while he screamed in anger, pain and frustration. Darlah steps forward and with a forceful voice commands the beast to lie down. To all our amazement, it does. We continue to beat on him during his attempts to get back up, but Deathadder makes a final blow and the thing falls back down, no longer breathing. I say a silent prayer, still shaken after seeing the vulnerability in its eyes while we attacked. The rest of the group searched the cave, and found a bone tube. Inside was a scroll that our clerics recognized as a protection from undead spell. I really hope we don’t have to use that anytime soon. Before leaving this cave, the group decides to return to the pool of water for a quick check. We notice that the ceiling still appears to be moving, but unusually enough, it seems to be moving as a whole unit. Our realization hits that there is only one slime left in the cavern, but that it takes up the entire width and length of the ceiling. Our party finally makes a rational decision when it decides to turn and leave.