Continuing from the previous session, it is still the 8th Day of Flocktime and the party is down one barbarian. They decided to take the time to carefully search the area for the elemental power gem(s). (DM Note: this was the first session after I instituted new house rules regarding the timing of searches, and this resulted in more random monster rolls while the party was doing this). Athan managed to find a couple of ochre jellies (or they found him) while searching around. The jellies immediately began attacking him, hitting him with blobs of acidic jelly that burned his flesh. As he screamed in pain, the rest of the party rushed in to help, attacking the jellies with everything they had. Athan started using Magic Missile to hit the jelly that was starting to crawl onto his body. It was having an affect, but he was still getting hit multiple times every round. When he was down to only a couple of hit points, Luapan asked if needed healing, but Athan proudly answered "no, I'm okay, I got this" before getting hit twice more, taking him to -13 damage.
The rest of the party managed to kill the jellies before they made a complete meal of their former party member, but he was otherwise beyond saving. They placed his body in the portable hole, along with statue-Pontus, in case they should be able to find a way to bring him back - though the clerics knew that would be nearly impossible to do for an elf. And so the tragic story of Athan came to an end.
As the party was finishing up their fight with the jellies, a strangely robed man with a shaved head appeared before them, swinging a glaive-guisarm. After the fight, he introduced himself as Shan-Ju, a Disciple of Zuoken who found himself unfortunately trapped in this strange place after botched attempt at planar travel. He had been here for a few weeks, staying out of sight, looking for a way out. He was watching the party for some time, seeing if they were people he could trust, and decided to reveal himself when he realized they were good people. The party accused him of not helping their friend, but he insisted he did try. To prove his trustworthiness, he would reveal to them everything he knew about this place. He started by drawing a map, and pointing out where the worsts dangers were. He also led them to a place he determined would be safe for rest.
The party, severely wounded and out of spells, knew they had to rest somewhere in this inhospitable place, so they followed the monk down a tunnel and into an alcove where the the natural dangers of falling rocks, etc., did not seem to be severe. The party setup watches and got some very limited sleep. They were attacked in the middle of the night by Xaern's - strange rock creatures that eat metal weapons and absorb their magic. The party managed not to lose any gear, but the encounter prevented them from getting a full rest. The next morning (assuming it was morning), Sarril recognized that they needed to find these gems quickly, as every minute spent in this place was wearing the party down, and they already lost two members already. He had the brilliant idea to use a Potion of Treasure Finding that he had recovered from portable hole in Senshock's quarters. Using the potion, he was able to determine the direction of treasure, which appeared to be in a large cavern to the south, according to the map that Shan-Ju drew for them. He hoped the gems they were looking for would be there.
Taking the most direct route, Sarril, Jarrus, Luapan and Shan-Ju came to the cavern where they were immediately attacked by Chaggrin Grues - nasty creatures from the elemental plane earth that stick their claws in their victims and rip them apart. The grues gained a surprise round by rising up out of the earth to attack the party. Some party members got claws stuck in them, taking auto-damage every round. There were five grues and four party members, ensuring that everyone got at least one set of claws, with some taking two sets. It was all Luapan and Sarril could do to keep healing everyone while Jarrus and Shan-Ju fought them off. It was another very near TPK, but the party managed to survive. Everyone was near death, healing spells were mostly used up, but everyone was still breathing.
Sarril found the treasure pile and, using Detect Magic, tried to quickly find the gem he was looking for. He found it in the form of a garnet, and as soon as he touched it, he disappeared, leaving Jarrus, Luapan and Shan-Ju alone in the cavern on approximately the morning of the 9th Day of Flocktime - at least for those back on Oerth.