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Gray Ooze

Type: Gray Ooze
Environment: Any
Attack: Slam
Special Qualities: Split, transparent, immunity to cold and fire, acid
Organization: Solitary (at first) or puddle.
From the personal journal of Azalai Korias, Elven Wizard

9 Lharvion, 998:

Some of the creatures we encounter are not particularly dangerous, but best avoided anyway. Rust monsters devour metallic objects and are devastating against the warforged. But one of the creatures most hated by adventurers is surely the lowly gray ooze.

Oozes, slimes, and jellies are mindless, amorphous creatures that live only to eat. They secrete powerful acids to dissolve whatever they can engulf. Knowledgeable adventurers can identify an ooze’s diet by the color of its protoplasm.

Gray oozes are difficult to identify in the best of circumstances. They are nearly transparent and appear to be harmless puddles of water or moisture on the ceiling of a cave - until they attack. In the chaos of combat, it is nigh impossible to avoid being surprised by these menaces.

Today we fought our way through the sewers beneath Stormreach, searching for a merchant who had been kidnapped by kobolds. While navigating through many fiery traps and ambushes, an ooze dripped down from the ceiling onto Khovis, melting a hole clear through his armor and burning his flesh. A mass of kobolds chose that moment to attack - they may be weak, but that many Magic Missiles, Acid Splashes, and flasks of alchemist’s fire from the Kobold Shamans can add up.

The most curious thing about the fight was that the ooze completely ignored the kobolds. I’m not sure whether the kobolds have found some means to coexist with (or possibly even control) the oozes, or if gray oozes simply dislike the smell or taste of the irvhir. It’s certainly an interesting development, and I would warn anyone venturing into a kobold lair be wary of any "water" they see.

You can count yourself lucky if you've done any exploring of the dungeons of Stormreach and still failed to encounter any of these pestilences. Oozes are common within the wet and dark confines of the underworld, and the gray ooze represents one of the weaker ooze varieties found in Xen'drik. The worst part of encountering these nuisances is that one may not even notice anything unusual about these little puddles until it is too late. Without a truly superior awareness - generally found only in the most perspicacious of rogues - the creature is likely to have the advantage of surprise. And so the encounter begins with the ooze, slow-moving though it may be, with the first strike advantage.

The important thing to remember when fighting this sort of creature is preparedness. Like most threats, there are better and worse ways to deal with the menace posed by oozes. The worst way involves cutting a gray ooze up with a prized and cherished magical slashing or piercing weapon. Why? Two reasons. One, any slashing or piercing weapon may cause this ooze, like many, to split into two pieces. Sure, the two component oozes may be smaller, but they will now be attacking twice as often. Plus - and this is key - these oozes secrete an acid that not only causes more damage to you, but also has the potential to cause significant damage to your weapon, arms, or equipment. There's only so much maltreatment any such item can take before needing costly repairs. What then to do? The best course of action is to either avoid the creatures altogether and go on with the mission, or to rely on the explosive elemental attacks of a wizard, sorcerer, or cleric. Failing that, bring along a simple wooden club. Or five. The crude bludgeoning weapon won't cause the ooze to split, and if the weapon is lost to acid, well, that's probably cheaper than the repair of an enchanted blade. Indeed, if you had the chance, even switching into less valuable armor, or equipping an unenchanted shield would be for the best...

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