As the party left the Spirit Talker's cavern, Neri told the children of light that the dragon she had summoned could take them to the portal in the sky. However, the heroes felt that they should first rid the land of the influence from the far realm they had sensed, and with the dragonborn and the dwarves they traveled southward toward that vile presence. Neri rode aloft on the flying dragon to survey the land ahead, and soon spied a cave in a hillside; foul, viscous liquid drained from the opening, gathering into a fetid pond. The dragonborn told the party of what she had seen, and also shared that she had sensed the sky portal nearby, surrounded by hostile guardians. The red dragon left the party to deal with these enemies alone while Neri accompanied the children of light to investigate the cave. The ground grew increasingly barren as the party neared the hill, and several party members found large worm-tracks leading toward their destination. As the group neared the hill, they spied several loathsome gricks – giant, aberrant worms with powerfully beaked maws surrounded by tentacles, creatures of the far realm. The worms carried plant matter and animal carcasses into the cave, and deep within, the children of light could sense the hostile far realm presence that had assailed them as they walked the mountains. Alec and Glace quietly moved closer, hoping to learn more of the abominations, but the gricks sensed their approach and moved to attack.
Alec and Tempest reacted first, the warlock cursing a grick while the sorcerer struck another with lightning. The wounded creatures screeched with unnatural, keening voices that were answered from within the cave, and two large forms moved in the darkness of the sludge pond as well. Undaunted, Klar charged the two gricks, but their thick hides turned the blade of his axe. Glace darted in to aid the fighter, and with the strike of his flail he teleported one grick into the oozing stream, teleporting himself on the near shore to continue his attack. Aria stepped forward, singing a heartening song to bolster her allies, while Neri stood firm next to the pool, prepared for the beasts in the muck as they neared the shore. As the gricks on land attacked Glace and Klar, more of the worms crawled from the mouth of the cave and joined the battle. Two struck Klar, while a third slithered toward Alec. The warlock summoned a cloud of inky darkness to hide himself, stepping back to launch a psychic attack on his foe. Tempest conjured a whirlwind around Klar; the mystical burst buffeted the three gricks while the fighter stood against them in the eye of the storm.
The battlefield rumbled to the sound of deafening bellows as two massive gricks emerged from the slimy pond. The first, in a frenzy of rage and hunger, struck the grick facing Glace; the avenger saw his enemy disappear down the larger worm's maw. The other behemoth rushed Neri, and only the dragonborn's quick shield-work blocked the grick's sharp beak as it sought her flesh. Aria cast a spell of unlucky magic on the giant grick as the dragonborn clove into its rubbery hide with her sword, and Ember seared the beast's tentacles with holy light. Alec cursed the beast and assailed its mind with psychic damage, slaying it. Meanwhile, Klar coaxed another of the smaller worms into axe-range with a mighty, challenging shout, and with two stout sweeps of his blade he hewed into the foes surrounding him. Glace circled around one of the gricks wounded by the fighter, striking it with his heavy flail while it was stunned by the axe-blow. Fas blasted the gricks with blades of divine light, burning the creatures and adding holy power to his allies' defenses. The group of smaller gricks dispersed before the combined attacks. One charged toward Alec, Fas, and Tempest, attacking the sorcerer who managed to evade its tentacles. A second worm sidled around Glace, who struck it once before dodging its beak. Two more of the gricks tried to scatter, but Klar's axe struck them down as they turned to flee. Tempest cast a spell on two of the worms facing the group of spell-casters, striking them with lightning and forcing them back, then shifted the magical storm he had summoned to center on Glace. Klar and Glace launched attacks on the three worms caught by the arcane whirlwind; two fell to the fighter's axe and the third dropped soon after, its head crushed by the avenger's flail. The remaining small grick charged the sorcerer, but Tempest dodged its tentacles while searing it with lightning. Klar engaged the enraged creature, chopping off tentacles while Aria wounded it with arcane song and Ember called down sacred flame on the grick, slaying it. The remaining large grick finished gulping down its smaller kin and left the oozing stream, charging the dwarf, but her armor spared her from the beast's bloody beak. Aria assailed the worm's mind with psychic damage while Fas lanced its hide with divine shards, and Neri and Glace harried the beast from opposite sides. As Glace smashed two of the tentacles seeking to grasp Neri, Alec choked the massive grick with a curse. Neri struck the beast once, batted aside a lunge with her shield, then slew her foe with a final swing of her sword.
Inside the cave, the party found piles of rotting vegetation and carcasses and a nest of grick eggs. Glace smashed most of the foul eggs, but Alec saved one for…um…you know, the narrator isn't really sure why. Maybe he'll get hungry…? Ooze dripped from the ceiling, and when Alec and Glace investigated a passage upward they discovered a stone shrine, carved with rough etchings of worms. The crude altar oozed slime. Glace smashed the shrine, satisfied when the oozing stopped, and when he described the carvings to Aria she identified them as symbols of Kyuss, known as the Devourer and the Great Wyrm. Following another passage leading downward into the earth, the party discovered several humanoids covered in slime – worshippers of Kyuss. They were gathered in a large cave, many of them chanting around a raised sinkhole while two larger foulspawn guarded an exit from the cavern.
Alec, Glace, and Tempest quietly snuck into the cave, taking positions while the rest of the heroes prepared to rush in. Glace opened the battle, leaping at one of the creatures and smiting it with his heavy flail as Alec cast spiteful glamour at another. Aria, Fas, and Ember rushed into the cavern, and Klar charged into the center of a group of the Kyuss worshippers with a mighty swing of his axe. Neri moved to engage another of the foulspawn as Glace again struck his foe, pulling it toward the edge of the cave. Aria sang an arcane song of war, wounding her opponent and weakening his defenses, while another foulspawn further in the cave found his breath choked out of him by one of Alec's curses. Fas focused his divine energies on the two larger creatures guarding the tunnel across the cavern, hurling a crystalline sphere at them that splintered into radiant blades. The foulspawn surrounding the sinkhole recovered from their surprise and took action. Two pulled large daggers made of jagged bone and attacked, moving quickly around the cave and striking multiple foes in a deadly dance. The first wounded Glace, Fas, and Tempest, but not before the avenger landed a blow of his own. Another sliced through Aria's armor, then swung at Klar who managed to dodge his blow. The spawn's momentum then carried it to Neri and Ember, but both were able to fend off the slicing dagger with their armor. Another Kyuss worshipper pulled a pair of daggers from its belt and hurled them at Klar and Aria; the first throw missed, but the blade aimed at the gnome struck true. Ember swung her weapon at the foe facing her, imbuing her blade with holy power, but the creature's slimy hide fouled her shot and it shrugged off the divine energy. Standing near the center of the cavern, Klar issued a throaty challenge at his foes, drawing them closer. He swung his axe in a full circle and two of his foes felt the blade bite. One of the foulspawn across the sinkhole cast a spell on the fighter, arcane power burrowing into Klar's mind and slowing him. Meanwhile, the two larger enemies charged into battle; one rushed Ember, missing in his haste, while the other struck Glace.
An eerie, unwholesome noise filled the cavern as the children of light paused for breath. A viscous, oozing monstrosity emerged from the sinkhole, covered in dozens of mouths that gibbered wildly, bewildering Fas, Neri, and Ember. Glace reacted by teleporting to the abomination and attacking it. His flail struck true, damaging the slimy creature, but acid sprayed from it as well, splashing onto the avenger and burning his skin. Glace again struck the beast, this time teleporting it to his right, where the monster would be harried on the other side by Klar. Aria sang an arcane song to strengthen and inspire her allies, while Alec assaulted the gibbering mouther with a curse. The monster shrugged off the warlock's spell and cast one of its own, summoning dozens of tiny mouths on Fas, Neri, and Ember that bit into their flesh.
Undaunted by the dreadful enchantment, Neri and Ember pressed their attack on the large foulspawn facing them near the cave entrance. The dragonborn swung with precision, slicing her enemy several times, while Ember struck a solid blow of steel and divine energy that burned the creature. With a roar the foulspawn struck back at the dwarf, but Neri used the diversion to quickly cut her opponent twice more. The great foulspawn staggered as Ember reflected a psychic attack from another of the creatures, the spell meant for her searing into the brute's mind instead, and with a powerful swing the dragonborn slew the creature.
In the center of the cave, the struggle with the gibbering mouther and the other foulspawn continued. Tempest, cloaked with invisibility, cast lightning at two of the creatures, and two of the spawn fell to Klar's axe. The fighter was again slowed by a psychic spell from one of the enemy spell-casters, but still attacked, wounding another foulspawn and hewing into the oozing mass facing him. Pressing the attack from the opposite side, Glace unleashed a mighty swing of his flail at the viscous slime, slaying the horror. Aria focused her attacks on the remaining warrior foulspawn, and the creature soon fell to her magic and her blade. The surviving worshippers of Kyuss continued their attacks, but without their soldiers or their foul, oozing pet, they proved no match for the children of light. Tempest rained down lightning on the creatures, Fas stunned them with divine peals of thunder, and Alec leveled powerful curses at them. As Glace and Klar slew the spell-casting foulspawn, ending the assaults on the heroes' minds, the final dagger-wielding creatures fell to arcane and divine magic.
Their foes slain, the children of light tended their wounds and searched the room. Two tunnels opened on the far side of the cavern. The larger of the two led downward, and the entire party could sense a malevolent will beneath them, deeper in the earth. A smaller opening extended outward from the cavern, and Glace felt a strange impulse to explore this smaller tunnel. As he crept down the passageway, the avenger heard movement and discovered three men, pale and slender with dark hair. They challenged Glace at first, and after learning that the worm-spawn were slain they told him that they had been separated from their people and trapped in these caves for some time. They called themselves shadar-kai, and in them Glace saw a reflection of his own character. The avenger's hair darkened and his skin paled as he led the men out into the cavern.