Moonday 3rd Sunfane yr 2534 contd.
Summary: Continue through sewers, reach Ruby Chalice lair, barge battle, 1st level, enter second level, psions, pits and a carrion golem.
As the party advances along the dank catacombs deep below Salamonis, the tunnel they follow eventually stops as a large natural cavern expands before them. About forty feet below them lies an underground river where a barge is tethered. Half a dozen cultists assisted by a handful of zombie servitors are packing up the barge and clearly preparing to leave. This must be the Ruby Chalice!
The enemy cultists are quickly overcome and the party hurries forward to find a flight of stone steps leading into an ancient complex. Gathering themselves, the party heads down the stairs to confront Sara and the Ruby Chalice.
Waiting at the foot of the stairs are more cultists, backed up by zombies and a psion lieutenant. The battle is short yet fierce, the party initially is blocked in a narrow corridor under the weight of the cultist’s ranged attacks until Mordreth invisibly gets behind them and opens up their lines for Mikhail and Dashel to exploit.
Exploring the complex, the party find strange well-like tunnels dotted throughout. Air seems to be rushing in and out of these structures at a rhythmic, almost breath-like rate making the whole dungeon appear to be breathing like a slumbering beast. The purpose of these tunnels will soon become apparent…
Descending further to the next level the party are faced with a group of cultist crossbowmen and a psion across a 15ft. deep pit filled with unimaginable horrors. The terrifying effect of this pit is enough to drive the entire party back to the previous corridor. Only Mikhail and Rosi’s wills are strong enough to see through the illusion but are forced to retreat along with the party or risk being exposed. As the party decide what to do, a Carrion Golem bursts out of hiding and flanks the party, sending Mordreth plummeting down one of the mysterious breathing tunnels. The distraction allows the psion to grasp Dashel’s mind and forces him to attack Alhena! With the party split and beset on all sides, the situation looks dire until Carlos manages to bring down the golem and Dashel shakes off the telepathic control, his sword inches from Alhena’s flesh.
Rescuing Mordreth from the pit, the party press into the room where their enemies were only to find them gone along with the illusory pit. Carlos advances into the next room and sets off a blade barrier trap.
Wounded, trapped in the catacombs and with no way to dispel or disable the magical barrier, the party are forced to sit and wait for the effect to expire and use the time to get as much rest as possible. However as each minute ticks by, the escaping Sara get further and further away…