The heroes traveled farther into the volcano. Fumes in the passageways began giving them headaches, making it nearly impossible to gain additional rest this deep in the mountain. After some time of traveling through dark caves and tunnels, the temperature gradually rising until they began sweating, the party came to another cave. This one, however, contained fiery guardians. Two large magma abominations were joined by a pair of fiery skeletons and a number of small snake-like creatures made of flame. Rough natural stairs on either side of the cave descended into a central pit, in which the abominations stood. The skeletons and abominations all looked on the party with glittering eyes, enchanted gems used by Valzad in their construction. The party raced into action. Amethyst dealt with the fire-spitting snake minions while the other heroes engaged the skeletons and magma abominations. the skeleton’s fiery auras did a great deal of damage to the grouped-up heroes who stayed on the upper platform. After being damaged by powerful blows from the abomination, Durzo, on fire, jump into the pit and hid. His ongoing damage rendered him unconscious. He failed two death saving throws before Lorgrim was able to find him and provide first aid. The party defeated the creatures, and took the enchanted gems from their remains as treasure.
Deeper in the tunnels of the Firepeak, the party came to another cavers with a central pool of lava. In the pool were two fire elementals, while creatures of living flame armed with swords and clad in plate armor moved around the periphery. The heroes were faced with multiple tactical challenges that made the encounter difficult. The fire elementals damaged all adjacent enemies when they were hit by attacks, and the Fire Archons could pull enemies, drawing them through the lava squares. Gradually, the heroes were able to defeat the creatures, but only after sustaining a great deal of fire damage.
Finally, the party made it to the center of the Firepeak. The tunnel opened into a large cavern, the center of the volcano. The heroes could make out patches of sky above them through rising smoke coming up from the pit of lava below. The sides of the volcano were rough, ledges and crevices formed in the rocky walls. A bridge of stone extended over the lava, through the fumes of the Firepeak to a large block of stone rising from the lava. Beneath the bridge, fire elementals circled like sharks, waiting for someone to plunge into the lava. Molten rock bubbled from the stone like a spring, running in a fiery river down its side. A pair of altars flanked the small lake of fire. Behind it sat a dais on which a glass and metal case held the sparkling silver orb shaped something like an acorn, the Winterseed. Between the party and their prize were a number of creatures, made of bone and fire, some with wings, other with long, vicious claws. One creature near the altars, a zombie-like creatures in robes with icy blue eyes wielding a scepter of bone, seemed to be in command, directing the other creatures.
The party charged across the bridge. A pair of flying fire creatures attempted to push Lorgrim over the side, but his dwarven steadfastness prevented him from being moved. Once across the bridge, the party set to work. Durzo slid between the soldiers and threw the priest over the side of the stone block, dealing a great deal of damage and taking the leader out of the fight for a couple of rounds while he climbed back up. Naven used his high degree of control to keep the other creatures from positioning themselves where they could push any of the heroes from the block, and Amethyst used her Punishing Eye power to significantly increase the party’s damage output. Lorgrim waded into the lava to destroy the last of the creatures with his high damage output. The party was, at that point, spent of all their daily powers and healing surges. Naven took hold of Feliara, the winterseed, which took the form of a rapier. Feliara appeard from the Winterseed, granting each member of the party two healing surges. Not long after that, the draconic, skeletal form of Valzad plummeted through the billowing fumes and landed on the large block of stone with the party, transforming into a skeletal Tiefling. he berated the party for destroying his servants and attempting to steal the Winterseed. Durzo was quick to talk some smack of his own. The session ended as the party contemplated fighting Valzad or attempting to retreat from the Firepeak.