"Three miles deep, by seventeen northeast, by two miles west. That's where Tharsella said we would find her alleged oracle." Fiddry remarked.
"This cavern alone could be a mile or more across, and a hundred feet floor to ceiling. It could be anywhere in here Fiddry." Loren remarked, peering as far into the darkness as her vision would permit.
Murnon moved ahead, trying to portray confidence while shuddering slightly beneath his heavy armor. "Hope we find this thing and get what we want soon. I feel mighty uncomfortable, like something is watching."
That's when Rejjet screamed and their gnome guide Underfoot fell unconscious.
A great, moist thing, dark and warty brushed among the group physically, and something worse. Their minds reeled as if assaulted by the unknowable intruding on each person's sense of being.
Fiddry couldn't move as if frozen, paralyzed in his tracks. "RUN!" his mind yelled, nearly drowned out by the babbling cascading within his head in eons of lost languages. Ideas, flashed in warped, unreal imagery, through Loren's eyes. She cried tears of blood and covered them with her hands as if pleading for the agony of sight to end. And end it did as her vision left her. Murnon, writhing about upon the floor of the cavern was screaming about the worms he felt sure were devouring him from within.
It seemed like hours before their nausea passed, and they could make even the slightest sense of what had transpired. All felt as if some part of their essence had been taken from them or violated horribly. None of them dared speak of the things lingering in their minds. It would be a week before they began to guess at what the oracle meant, and longer before they gained an inkling about their role in the prophesy.
New Monster: The Graven Tongue
The Graven Tongue is thought to be an ancient flesh construct left behind by foul beings beyond understanding, though it may in truth really be a tasting organ protruding into this reality from a being beyond the world.
The tongue is a flesh construct 135 feet long and varies in thickness from 1 foot at the tip to 90 feet at the base with tendrils like veins stretching further from the base and into the cavern ceiling. It has a mottled coloration including tones of purple, black, ochre, blood red, and flesh, with indecipherable runes carved into the slimy surface. A spell that allows understanding some of the runes will cause those reading them to suffer additional damage (half with save) and a level of fatigue.
The Graven Tongue hangs down from ceiling, reaching out to "taste" creatures passing within its sensory range, detecting them by their life or mental essence. Anyone touched directly by the appendage suffers a level of fatigue in addition to the other affects. In the process of tasting creatures, they are slammed with incredible volumes of information, most of which they cannot possibly comprehend initially, but gradually some information may become clear enough to be acted upon, rightly or wrongly.
Encountering the Graven Tongue causes a one time amount of physical damage appropriate for a moderate challenge to the party. Creatures are also afflicted with at least one condition determined randomly. For one hour after encountering the Graven Tongue, all creatures have the poisoned condition.
Random Condition Table (roll a D20)
1 - Blinded
2 - Charmed (DM should determine the meaning of this for their plot)
3 - Deafened
4 - Frightened
5 - Grappled (the tongue spends a round enjoying some flavor, creature suffers extra damage)
6 - Incapacitated
7 - Invisible - (creature is straddling the line between worlds for one round)
8 - Paralyzed
9 - Petrified (creature is merged with the nature of another plane, turned to an element or combination useful for the plot)
10 - Poisoned
11 - Prone
12 - Restrained (the beyond holds fast to the creature, as if studying it, for one round)
13 - Stunned
14 - Unconscious
15 - Roll twice combining conditions if possible
16 - Roll twice combining conditions if possible
17 - Roll until determining a condition, creature takes extra 2d6 mental damage
18 - Roll until determining a condition, creature takes extra 2d8 mental damage
19 - Roll until determining two conditions, combining them if possible, and creature takes extra 2d4 mental damage
20 - Roll three times for conditions, combine them if possible, conditions persist until magically cured (restoration?)
The Graven Tongue does not engage in actual combat. If damaged by attacks causing a total of 25 points, it withdraws from the world on the following round.