What About Blob

What About Blob

Xuvats awoke to the gentle patter of rain. They lay pooled in the bottom of the crater created by their landing, a thin film of water building up on their membrane. This sensation was …  acceptable. Being unfamiliar with this planet and its resources, Xuvats thought it prudent to collect and store some of the rainwater in its contractile vacuole. In the crater beneath and around its membrane, Xuvats found the smashed remnants of its vessel and collected a piece, about the size of a qusp, and stored that in a vacuole as well. They would need its data when the time came to grow a new chrysalis.

Xuvats climbed out of the hole to analyze its surroundings and found itself in an open clearing surrounded by forest. In the center of the clearing stood several large stones that were carved out and stacked in a peculiar pattern, which they approached to study more closely.

There were 23 stones in all, 20 upright stones of varying heights, a few of which were toppled by time or circumstance. Additionally, there were 3 capstones, one of which had fallen; taking a supporting column with it. The upright stones were arranged from smallest to tallest in a large arc ending at the capstone assembly. Xuvats travelled the length of the marked arc and estimated that the structure was used to map the trajectory of the moons over a year. They approached the collapsed capstone to examine the extent of the damage and its potential cause. Several cubits away Xuvats found a tree stump with several axe marks on it where the tree had been cut, intentionally to topple the capstone and render the sight useless.

 Without warning a giant weasel pounced narrowly missing Xuvats. Instinctively Xuvats responded by violently extending a pseudopod, heavily wounding the beast to frighten it off. Instead, the weasel pounced again and bit into the alien's translucent hide. The pain lit up Xuvats' nucleus and it lashed out with rage, this time forming its pseudopod into a thick axe-like blade and separating the weasel's head from its body.

The alien amoeba then slumped over the creature's severed head to absorb into its membrane to be cataloged and Indexed later; then continued south.

The field descended a steep slope as Xuvats found roughly 60 steps cut into the ground and edged with half-buried tree trunks.  As Xuvats descended them, they acknowledged that chutes of grass grew up between large, flat obsidian stones, that plated the hillside like armour. At the bottom of the stairs, a flat-topped archway opened into the Hillside, outside of which the Plasmoid found the remains of several animals.

Passing through the sixty-cubits wide archway into the darkness, Xuvats continued for about fifteen cubits before coming to another passage that opened to the left. They followed the ten cubits' wide corridor another twenty cubits before they became aware of a slight breeze coming through the stone walls on their left. On inspecting the area Xuvats found there was a hidden entrance there with a glowing symbol etched into the stone door that resembled a flame. Xuvats extended a pseudopod out and began to slip through the narrow gap under the entrance and was assaulted with a burst of flames descending from the ceiling. Singed and undulating in pain they finally squeezed under the door into the adjacent room.

This new room was about ten cubits square but the east wall had collapsed into a pile of onyx brick and soil, giving the room a more triangular shape. There were two doors on the west wall and a flying beast circling the room, occasionally landing to sift through the debris. Identifying a new scent, the beast wandered over to Xuvats and began sniffing. The plasmoid, not detecting a threat, took the time to analyze the creature and its mannerisms before slowly moving toward the doors.

The first door was a simple wooden one and slipping a pseudopod under it Xuvats could see stairs leading down. The far door was barred, beyond which, they found a short stool next to a small table that held a single unlit lantern. The passage then continued about twenty-five cubits and opened into a large room with a large stone statue of a humanoid figure at the far end. The statue stood on a round base about which circled a moat of fire whose flames engulfed the figure to the waist.

Another flying beast circled this room and, on seeing the amoebic Xuvats, it squawked. In response to the noise the flames around the statue diminished and a cone of flames shot from an orifice on its face out to twenty-five cubits. The flying beast barely avoided being scorched. Presumably, it blamed Xuvats for this, as it dove for the globulous form on the floor. Seeing this incoming creature, the alien lunged forward with a needle-sharp pseudopod, but the flying beast dodged the incoming attack and landed on Xuvats. It thrust its proboscis down at them but Xuvats retracted that area of its membrane, creating a hole, and the beast struck only the dirt floor. Swiftly Xuvats slammed the opening closed, crushing the creature's head, Then absorbed the corpse for cataloging and indexing.

The room contained three more doors along the wall the alien amoeba had entered and another opposite them, alone in the middle of the wall. Xuvats extrapolated that the first door to their right had a ninety percent chance of connecting to the passage where they had been burned from above. The next two along that wall also had high probabilities of corridors beyond them, so the alien chose the solitary door first, as it was most likely to open to another room. 

Unable to squeeze under this door, they bashed against it a few times until there was a hole large enough to pour themselves through. The room on the other side was a sixty-cubit cube and Xuvats became immediately aware of two figures, one opposite them and the other to their right, near the wall. In the center of the room stood a large statue of a golden ring made of intertwined serpents, each eating the tail of the one in front of them. Broken coloured glass littered the floor about the statue and Xuvats extrapolated that it had once formed a coloured window in the center of the ring. 

Neogi Hatchlings

The tiny creature to the right moved toward Xuvats on long spindly legs. As it did, the creature probed for Xuvats' mind. "No, Thank you," Xuvats responded out loud. Without hesitation, they thrust out a pseudopod about the length and shape of a javelin and skewered the creature. Xuvats again absorbed the creature for indexing but sensing some type of toxin within the beast they extracted the poison into a small vacuole for analysis.

The larger, stationary creature on the opposite side of the room slowly approached on 2 hairy legs. It carried a large metal plate that it held in front of itself for protection. With the other hand, it wiped its tearing eyes with the back of its hairy hand. 

"What in the heavens are you?" The creature spoke aloud, drawing a long-bladed weapon. "Are you another servant of the Forsaken Tower?" Xuvats transformed themselves into a blue, translucent reflection of the creature, mimicking it down to the armour, but without fur.

"In the heavens, I am called Xuvats, of Thoth MM9," Xuvats replied, recognizing the language of the Celestials. "What is the Forsaken Tower? How did it come to be forsaken? Who are its servants? Why are you looking for them?" They waited for a response but the biped simply stood there mouth agape. "This means of communication is not ideal, may I communicate telepathically?"

"NO!" The hairy biped replied, sternly. "That bloody Neogi Hatchling has had me under a spell for 2 days! No more telepathy, thank you." The bipedal creature stepped in a slow circle around Xuvats, examining them. "You're sentient? What manner of creature are you"

"I am a Plasmoid from the Syntaria Carratoid Zone. What manner of creature are you?" Xuvats replied

"Bugbear, from Healey. Do you eat?" The bugbear responded its stomach growling almost as if on command.

"I can consume most forms of organic matter." Bugbear-Xuvats held out a hand and the partially digested head of a giant weasel floated to the palm. "Would you like this?"

"N-no, thank you," The bugbear covered its nose from the stench, and Xuvats reabsorbed the Weasel's head. The bugbear looked around, located its pack strewn across the corner of the room and began rummaging for any remaining rations, which they devoured immediately.

As she ate, they questioned each other. Xuvats learned that Rondell was a 205-year-old paladin who had spent her entire life hunting servants of the forsaken tower in the hopes of reclaiming a sacred holy relic that had been taken. She had heard a rumour that had led her here, only to be ensnared by the Neogi Hatchling to be used as amusement until Xuvats had shown up.

Rondell learned that Xuvats was exploring and cataloging this planet and its inhabitants for the knowledge of the Greater Collective. "May I join you on your exploration, Rondell? " Explaining how invaluable the experience would be to study bugbear behaviour directly.

After a brief rest, they decided to continue deeper into the maze. The door to the left of the entrance Xuvats had broken through was open to stairs leading down and they chose to save that journey until they had cleared this floor. The next door, Working clockwise, was a simple wooden door that opened into an empty triangular room barely five cubits across. 

"There is undead evil here," Rondell said slowly moving about the room as she drew her sword. "There!" 

Xuvats lashed out in the direction the paladin pointed but caught only air. As if mimicking Xuvats, A pseudopod of darkness shot out at the alien, causing Xuvats to recoil in pain. At the point of impact, Xuvats could feel the membrane necroes.

Rondell stabbed at it as it recoiled but also missed the malleable darkness. It lashed back in return but the paladin was able to deflect the blow with her shield. Xuvats, still in bugbear form, sliced through the shadow with an axe-shaped arm. As the shadow tried to retreat, Rondell stabbed into it with her sword and it dissipated into smoke. The room immediately brightened revealing a floor littered with Coins and gems.

 Seeing the bugbear begin to pick up the coins, Xuvats asked. "Are these shiny metal disks important? Are they the servants of the forsaken tower?" 

"No, these coins are what we trade for supplies and equipment." She explained.

"So they are important, I will assist you!" Xuvats relaxed into a puddle on the floor and Rondell had to take a few steps back to avoid stepping in them. A moment later they reshaped into a vaguely humanoid form with a belly full of coins and gems. Rondell watched in amazement as the plasmoid shifted and tumbled the objects around inside themselves and then lowered 4 neatly stacked piles of coins, sorted according to their metal.


 Back in the square room, the two proceeded to the next door to find it locked. The paladin asked if Xuvats could slip under the door but the space was too small. 

"Are you able to pick the lock?" She asked when that failed.

"Please explain 'pick the lock'?" 

Natural 20 - Slight of hand / lockpicking check

Rondell explained how a lock and a key worked, in principle, and then explained that the 'picking' was the act of opening the lock without the key. "How intriguing," Xuvats replied, placing a hand over the lock. "I would like to try lockpicking!" Before she could respond Rondell heard the door latch click and the door swung open. She looked at Xuvats, mouth agape. "The mechanics of this lock seem quite rudimentary."

In the center of the room, they found a skeleton standing with a sword drawn and a sealed envelope in their free hand. Xuvats also noticed a tiny creature clinging to the ceiling. As they approach the skeleton it backed away from them keeping them just out of arms reach. Until the bugbear reached out with her long arms and Smashed away half its ribcage with her sword. 

 Xuvats reached out to snatch the envelope but the skeleton dodged and the alien broke the arm off at the elbow; sending it clattering across the floor, letter in hand. The skeleton retaliated toward Rondell with its sword but being off balance from losing an appendage the swing went wide.

 Disturbed by the noise, the bat hanging in the corner flew down and landed on Rondell's back but was unable to bite through her chainmail. She reached back to try and grab the rodent, scaring it into the air where she took the opportunity to swing while it was in flight and sent it lifeless to the floor. 

Xuvats reached out to a pseudopod, grabbed the skeleton by the ankle, and then slid inside its armour, assuming the shape of a humanoid once again; restraining the skeleton inside of its membrane. They stood there for a moment, a translucent blue humanoid with a visible skeleton, then Xuvats made a motion, similar to a bodybuilder flexing, and separated all of the bones from each other. They then walked over to the envelope, sloughing off a trail of bones and armour as they went.  

They retrieved the envelope from the rubble & debris-strewn floor to find it sealed with a wax sigil. Rondell pointed out that the sigil was a ring of snakes, like the statue in the previous room, but this ring had a thin spiral that wound from the outer edge of the ring to the center. She used a dagger to open the envelope without breaking the seal and inside they find written three words written in Celestial.




 "What in the fuck does that mean?" Rondell asked, holding the letter up for Xuvats to examine. 

"Invite means 'to encourage another to join …" Xuvats began to explain, but the paladin cut them off.

"It was a rhetorical question." 

Looking around this room they found a total of seven doors, three of which lead back the way they had come. There were two more doors directly opposite those, on the north wall, and the last two were opposite each other on the east and west walls. They began with the door on the east wall, which they found locked. Xuvats attempted to pick the lock but were unsuccessful.  Rondell used her shortsword to mark the door with an X and they moved on to the next one on the right. As they crossed the floor, The paladin noticed an unusual pattern in the obsidian brickwork in a part of the north wall, and on investigating found a hidden door. it opened to a passage that extended forty cubits before ending at a 'T' junction, with the option to go east or west. Both east and west passages lead to stairs leading down to the next level. They felt it best to return to the last room and continue clearing the other doors so that they would not be surprised from behind once they descended to the next level.

 The next door they inspected was a large stone door with no handle and no locks. Instead, the door had a single gem set into it. After about fifteen minutes of the puzzle eluding them, Xuvats noticed the torchlight that lit the room gleaming off of the paladin's scale mail was creating tiny spotlights on the obsidian stone walls. "May I see your weapon?" The alien asked. Rondell drew the sword and immediately understood what the Xuvats' idea was. She held the sword up to reflect the torchlight off the steel illuminating the gem in the door.

Dust Mephit

The gem began to glow and then the door opened to a room of about forty cubits square. In the room was a flying creature in a cloud of dust hovering over a young Dwarf laying unconscious on the floor. Rondell rushed to put herself between the Mephit and the Dwarf, swinging her sword as she ran, but the elemental easily dodged the attack.

 Xuvats, seeing this also moved in, helping to corner the creature. With an axe-shaped pseudopod, Xuvats carved through the mephit with a cloud of dust. Wounded, the Dust Mephit retreated to the corner and released a torrent of dirt & fine particulate to blind them both but the bugbear was able to shield their eyes in time and Xuvats was without eyes.

Rondell took another swing while the elemental thought they were blinded and drove her sword deep into the creature. It began to flail wildly and Xuvats put it down with a final blow. 

"Get Back!" Rondell shouted, ducking behind her shield. The mephit exploded into a cloud of dust that completely coated the Xuvats membrane, making the plasmoid unable to interpret photonic energy and rendering them essentially blind. While they attempted to absorb and process the dust, Rondell checked on the Dwarf but she had unfortunately not survived.

 The door at the back of the room opened into a westbound passage that itself opened into the passage with the 'T' intersection and they ended up circling to the room where they'd found the envelope once more.

The next door, still working its way clockwise, held another puzzling lock with a similar gem. The same tactic, however, was not successful on this door. Searching around the room, Xuvats found another, similar gem in a fake door embedded in the adjacent wall. Rodell noticed that the gem from the first door projected a small red dot onto the opposite wall and together they were able to reflect the light from one gem to the next to open their door.

The room was fifty cubit square and contained the remains of a creature the paladin called a 'Maw Demon,' though the way the fiend was smashed into a fine pulp almost caused Rondell to vomit at the sight of it. On the north and east walls were additional doors. They opened the north door to the sound of gears grinding and the floor suddenly dropped out from under them. Both explorers were able to move away before they fell the fifteen cubits to the bottom of the pit.  

They crossed over the pit trap into a circular room. The room was fifteen cubits across and held only some old, mostly broken furniture and the occasional rat here and there. They moved toward a door to their right but as they did three rats collected there, in front of the door. Then a rat ran up to Xuvats and sunk its teeth into the ooze's membrane. The Plasmoid slumped over the creature, to absorb the live rat, but it began flailing wildly in its vacuole, clawing and scratching at Xuvats from inside. Suddenly rats came at the alien from all sides, biting and clawing at its outer membrane, though not causing much damage.

 Rondell tried to swat a few rats off the blob, but they seemed to sense her attacks before she could land them. Then two rats turned and attacked her, but were unable to get through the chainmail armour or her thick fur.

Cranium Rats

Xuvats ejected the flailing rat within them with such force that it exploded into a bloody mess against the wall and dropped to the floor with a weak pat. The other rats continued their assault,  causing Xuvats genuine harm. But as they killed off the rats one at a time they began getting easier to catch until the last one was finally destroyed. It was then that Rondell noticed that the rat's brains were exposed, as though the cap of the skull had been removed.

"Is it not supposed to be exposed?" Xuvats asked.

"Fucking no!" The Bugbear replied. "I've heard rumours, though,  about rats that can talk to each other  … telepathically." She continued, "That they're made that way, to act as spies!"

"Spies for whom, and what purpose?" Xuvats asked, getting only a shrug in response.


 Ronell watched Xuvats absorb one of the dead rats through its outer membrane. As it passed through Xuvats' ectoplasmic layer and into the endoplasm a vacuole formed around it. That Vacuole quickly filled with fluid that began to dissolve the rat, forming bubbles of different colours all over it. Those would float up and collect together into larger bubbles, of different types. Some of those would then be broken down further, and some would be stored in vacuoles in various quantities. These appeared to be distributed throughout its body, in such a way that they were unnoticeable in passing but on inspection appeared as fine particulate. The whole process takes 1 solar day, Xuvats explained.

"That's … incredible." The Bugbear stated.

"Thank you! This rodent's metabolism functions in a similar, yet slightly less efficient manner." While this was happening Xuvats also began to reabsorb some of the damaged parts of its outer membrane and similarly processed them. Rondell examined one of the scars, it wasn't deep enough to breach the membrane and so it simply looked like someone had scraped a fork over gelatin.

"Does that hurt?" 

"Oh Yes!" Xuvats replied. 

"I wonder … " the Bugbear reached out with a clawed hand and held it just above one of the slashes in Xuvats' membrane. Her hand began to glow from the palm as she said a prayer.

"How curious!" Xuvats exclaimed. "I am unfamiliar with the Celestial Vaeros, but his dual lattice cross-polymerization technique is extraordinary! Do you know Celestial Kevin? I met him in the Dorado Territory during the Nargalos Putrefaction.

"The What-now?!" Rondell removed her hand to see that the scar was gone. "Did that hurt any less?"

"Oh no! That was significantly more painful." Xuvats replied. Rondell apologized but the alien rebutted it. "On the contrary, it was painful in precise correlation to its expediency." She stared blankly at Xuvats. "It hurt, but not for very long." The alien clarified.

They arrived at the far door in the circular room, taking the time to inspect it for traps. The door opened to a narrow passage that widened via an archway to an adjacent passage after ten cubits. To the north, the passage ended after ten cubits; to the south, the passage widened to 20 cubits and continued to an intersection lined with miscellaneous detritus and rubble. Xuvats stepped into a pile of rubble and absorbed its contents for analysis by breaking it down into its base components and cataloging its molecular makeup. They had already begun digesting the journal when Rondell noticed it suspended inside Xuvats' Bugbear form. 

"Umm, What's That?" She asked.

"It appears to be pulp parchment, bound in animal carcass …" Xuvats began, before being interrupted.

"May I see it?" Rondell asked, stopping in the corridor. Xuvats passed over the book, which was only slightly dissolved around the edges. Though neither of them could read the language, the notes appeared to be journal entries, as they were dated, though in an unknown format. Rondell found that the entries suddenly stopped in mid-sentence and further, that another had begun vandalizing the journal with mocking pictures of spears pointed towards words or phrases, and drawings of pigs, penises, and turds.

 They found a door that lead back to the room where they'd found the skeleton and an opposing eastern branching corridor. As they moved down the eastern corridor they could hear the buzzing of insects. The corridor ended in a pentagonal room covered in hatchling nodules and swarming insects.  As soon as the insects began to bite Rondell 'noped' back the way they had come, explaining how she hated flying insects as she swatted dead any that followed.

They went back to the south corridor which held a door to a room Xuvats had labelled as Room 5. The corridor then proceeded west for 40 cubits and turned south again, bringing them back around to the 2nd room, with the flaming statue. Having spent the entire day exploring this level, they decided to retire to Room 3, where they had met, to set up camp for the night. 

During the evening Rondell told a story of a guard, someone she'd known, that had betrayed their faith and stolen a relic of power. She explained that it was her responsibility to recover the relic. "The scrolls foretell of a coming cataclysm and so I must recover our only defence against it."

"Indeed," Xuvats agreed. "I was among the Thrall of Thara VS when The Cleansing Rains fell and you wanted to be beneath the Slab of Luminosity on that day, let me tell you."  The remainder of the night was uneventful. Having just come from cosmic hibernation and not needing sleep for the next one thousand cycles, Xuvats kept watch.

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