The battle was hard fought and hard won, but The Knights of Goldenhawk Tower defeated the hordes of Yuan Ti and secured the main temple area. After securing the room, Quagmire and Shan Val went about bringing down the spherical green lightning field surrounding the shaft leading straight down into the darkness below the temple. During the difficult skill challenge to bring down the lightning field, Shan Val used his arcana skill with aid from Dorian while Quagmire used his skill with religion aided by Quill, Praxis, and Dorian’s bardsong. Shan Val and Dorian did quite well while Quagmire struggled a bit. With every failed check green lightning and fire ripped through Quagmire, Praxis, and Quill. With two failed checks they took some nasty damage before finally bringing it down.
With the way down now clear, the party turned their attention to the prisoners. Brynholft, the leader of the The Order of the Blue Fire was locked in a cage on one side of the room and Dalila, the spellscarred human female wizard who taught the party the secrets of casting arcane magics safely inside in the Plauguetouched lands, was in a cage on the other side of the room. Quill and Praxis each interrogated the prisoners separately.
Quill found that Brynholft’s zeal for the Spellplague had been severely dampened and the recent events of his imprisonment and almost being sacrificed by the Yuan Ti made him question his faith. In fact he even apologized to Quill and told him that he should have listened to him when he tried to convert Quill and the rest of the party to a follower of the Order.
Likewise Sir Praxis found Dalila’s story corroborated with Brynholft’s story. They were both committed to helping the party should they choose to accept their help. On the other hand they understood that it might be difficult for the party to accept them considering they led an ambush attack against them in the swamps.
The party agreed that leaving them imprisoned only to be killed if more Yuan Ti returned to the temple was not right. But they argued a bit on whether to let them join them or just let them go. Quill was still very suspicious of their true intentions and thought it would be best to just let them go. He was wary of some sort of betrayal.
Using the key found on the head Yuan Ti priests body, Quill unlocked the cages and set the two free. Using Tyberious to ferry them across the sea of poison covering the lower floor to the main entrance, Brynholft and Dalila took their leave of the party, returning to swamps. Right before he left, Brynholft thanked Quill one last time. He thanked him not only for his freedom but for opening his eyes to the mistakes he had made in choosing to embrace his Zealotry.
Having dealt with the prisoners, the party turned their attention the inky blackness of the vertical shaft before them. Quill took a sunrod and wrapped it tightly with some fabric to create a less intense dim light source. Sulee then took the sunrod in her talons and flew down the shaft carefully examining and searching as she went. She found it to go down 100 feet and then turn into a horizontal passageway 10 feet wide and 10 feet tall. She also found an alarm ward across the vertical shaft right before the horizontal tunnel was reached. Shan Val floated down in his mortar and pestle and managed to remove the alarm ward without setting it off. The everyone went down the shaft. Quagmire and Quill simply leaped down the shaft using their magic to soften their landings. Dorian rode with Shan Val on his Mortar and Pestle. Sir Praxis flew down the shaft on Tyberious.
Exploring down below they found the tunnel had been caved in but that rubble had been cleared away. The passageway also transitioned into a clearly elven architecture. Suddenly an image of a man in bright purple robes appeared before the party. He had two letters “A” and “D” monogrammed on the sleeves of his robes. He raised his hand with his palm outstretched and said, ‘Stop. Please stop immediately. If you are seeing this image it means that I have failed and the fate of Orpetarr is sealed. By my order as Arian Dane, Chief Wizard of Ormpetarr, you must leave this place and seek out help. We should not have opened the Elven Moon Goddesses temple. We have awoken something terrible that was imprisoned there. I cannot feel my Lady Mystra. She does not answer my prayers. Something is terribly wrong. The Sharn has been released. God help us all.’ With that the image of the mage faded away.
The party kept moving forward cautiously. Eventually the tunnel opened up into a circular room with four stone sarcophagi. Most of the room was a pit filled with writhing snakes. The passageway continued on the far side of the room across the pit. Sir Praxis led the way flying across the pit on Tyberious. As he flew over the pit, a shadowy creature emerged from the ceiling. A gaunt human undead creature in tattered purple robes with the distinct monogram of AD on the sleeve flew out of the ceiling and touched his skeletal hand to Praxis. The necrotic energy surged through Praxis’ shoulder and rotted his flesh away doing significant damage and making it impossible for him to be healed.
The party swept into action battling this undead creature. They found it to be quite formidable, however, using its power to not only rot away flesh, but also to cloud the minds of party members making them attack each other and become dominated. At one point a dazed Shan Val was in between Quill and Praxis. Each of them teed off on the poor warlock doing significant damage to him. Quill managed to score at least two critical hits unfortunately they were both against party members. The creature also used its horrible visage to push and slide party members towards the pit and being at risk of falling in. The worst part was that the creature was not alone, a second in tattered blue robes emerged from one of the sarcophagi to battle alongside its foul brother.
Sir Praxis used a powerful radiant attack to destroy one of the creatures only to find it return again, emerging from one of the sarcophagi whole once more. Dorian used his power to whisk one of them off to Mithrendain in order to only have to battle one at a time. Quill used his four corners attack to great effect in destroying the Purple robed creature a second time.
The party is badly hurt and the creature banished to Mithrendain has returned…