The group continue through the water temple, but it appears that they have been spotted, as ogres come from one direction, and trolls from the other with the party trapped in the middle in a corridor. The party win the battle fairly easily, and continue on. They round a corner and see a hunched and evil looking old woman standing on a bridge.
She salutes them and says, “Well done, well done. You are obviously powerful heroes indeed. Would you send someone to parlay? I mean you no harm, and I believe we have mutually beneficial goals”.
The group discuss for a moment, and then decide to send Morythas to negotiate. He climbs onto the bridge and faces the old woman. “Who are you, old woman, and what do you want?” he demands.
“Well met, young dragonborn. I see you have the fire of the righteous within you. I know your mission and I would help you succeed. Gar Shatterkeel has the weapon you seek and has descended to the fane of the elemental eye. I fear that your activities have spurred the cults into action. Even in the temple of fire, changes have occured. Vanifer herself has been murdered and another called Mae-Chen has taken ownership of Tinderstrike.”
Morythas is stunned, Mae-Chen was Aimn-Lu’s companion who went missing so long ago, in the lair of the black dragon, Thoss Fyurnen, in the swamps to the south of Xandrar.
“But my worries are about Shatterkeel”, the old lady continues, “I am worried that he is planning to use the weapon, Drown, to summon Olhydra from the planes of water. I would not have this occur”.
“What is this to you, old woman? Why would you not follow the goals of your cult and your leader?” demands Mythoras.
“Shatterkeel has been my leader”, the old woman responds, “but if he is summoning Olhydra, he must be stopped. If Olhydra is summoned to the world I would suffer. I am a creature of the water, and I would be Olhydra’s slave. I would be the slave to no-one. Let me help you. I will lead you through the temple safely and take you to the stairway that leads to the fane. Bring me the weapon, Drown, and I will take command of the cult. I have no interest in your surface world, so you would not hear from me again.”
“Let me consult with my companions”. Mythoras responds, and returns to the group to discuss. They talk and decide to follow the old lady, “But there is no way she is getting the trident” , Layna says.
The old lady leads them through a large complex, past thugs and lizard-folk. All the inhabitants stand back and watch them pass as the old lady is with them. They pass into a temple where a large water symbol is made out of driftwood at the back. They continue through the complex and into a room with an insect-like demon guards stairs going downwards.
“Now, heed me well” says the old woman, “I will not descend the stairs to the fane with you. When you return, you will find me and return the trident, Drown, to me. To pass by the guardian you must know the answers to the questions it asks. What do you serve? The answer should be Olhydra, the Princess of Evil Water, or water. What are you? The answer is I am nothing. What lies below? The correct answer is the Fane of the Eye or the Elder Elemental Eye.”
The party descend the stairs. At the bottom they find a chamber with a waterfall filling a large pool that then feeds a torrent leading to the north. Kir is nearly grabbed by water elementals in the pool but manages to jump back out of their reach. They decide that, since they are still injured, it is a good time to stop for a rest. They go back halfway up the stairs and attend to their wounds and take a quick break.
When they return to the pool, they decide to follow the path of the water, guessing that Gar Shatterkeel would be following the water also. They pass a narrow passage to the west which Kir sneaks down to check. The others see that the torrent ends in another drop with a waterfall falling into a pool far below. However there are also stairs leading down towards the pool.
Meanwhile Kir progresses up the narrow passage and finds himself peering into a rank chamber filled with Lizardfolk. One of the Lizardfolk is orating to the others. “My peoplesss. Too long have we been overlooked by the softbellies, and this Ssshatterkeel proves himsself no better. I sshould be leading the followerss of water. I ssay we take the trident for ourssselvessss.” This followed by hisses of agreement from the other Lizardfolk.
Kir returns to the party and explains the situation and comes up with an idea. “Perhaps if Mythoras disguises himself as the emissary of that black dragon you found in the swamp they might join forces with us. After all, it had Lizardfolk followers”.
“And how do suggest I disguise myself?” responds Mythoras.
“I have black facepaint in my disguise kit,” explains Kir excitedly, “if we paint you black, you will look just like a black dragonborn. The perfect emmisary to a black dragon”.
“I find that deeply offensive,” growls Mythoras, bronze scales glinting in the torchlight, “I look nothing like a black dragonborn. I have no horns, my snout is the wrong shape, my eyes are the wrong colour. Do you think all dragonborn look the same?”
Eventually the rest of the group convince Mythoras to try. Then Kir enters the lizardborn chamber, boldly proclaiming the arrival of the emmisary of the black dragon, Thoss Fyurnen.
“My name is Mythoras,” roars Mythoras, “Thoss Fyernen has sent me, as the soft bellied humans proven unworthy of the mantle they hold. Come with me and we will wrest the weapon from the weak and worthless hands of Gar Shatterkeel.”
“Thoss Fyurnen?”, says the leader of the lizardfolk, “The black dragon of the sssswamp and the god of our kin? Come my people, this is the sssign we have been waiting for. Lead usss, emissssary, lead uss to glory.”
“Then come now, delay no further,” roars Mythoras. He runs out of the room, runs up the tunnel and dives over the edge of the drop into the pool far below. The lizardfolk leap behind him, hissing in excitement."
The rest of the party are not quite so caught up in the moment, and carefully descend the stairs instead.
The lizardfolk emerge from the water in the pool, followed by Mythoras who swims towards the stairs where he can stand and view the room. Where the stairs meet the water’s surface, an iron post juts at an angle, and a flat boat is tied to it. Tunnels to the northeast
and northwest channel the water from the pool. Above the pool, a seven-foot-diameter globe of water hovers in midair.
“What isss thisss?” shrieks the leader of the lizardfolk, pointing at Mythoras, “Trickinesss and treachery, you are no emisssary.” The lizardfolk move in, surrounding Mythoras and attacking him.
At this point the rest of the party emerge from under the waterfall and see Mythoras, his black makeup partially gone and his bronze scales shining through. The wash he gave himself by diving into the pool did not do his disguise any favours.
They move to defend Mythoras, but one of the lizardfolk casts a spell and the entire stairway sprouts sharp spikes, making it impassible. Instead they focus their missile fire on the leader of the lizard folk, while Mythoras also attacks him.
The leader falls quickly, and Mythoras roars “I HAVE KILLED YOUR LEADER. SUBMIT TO ME. YOU NOW BELONG TO ME.” Two of the lizardfolk drop their weapons and kneel in submission, but the other lizardfolk dive into the water and swim away. The stairway clears and the rest of the party are able to descend.
Upon questioning the remaining lizardfolk on where Gar Shatterkeel might be, they find that these underlings have no idea – they have never been down in this area. Now the party don’t know which way to go and a debate ensues. However Layna is fascinated by the floating globe of water. She decides to touch it with the end of her rapier and is immediately enveloped. The globe starts moving out towards the north-east passage.
Layna is surprised to find that she can breathe and move freely so she decides to see where the globe takes her. The others scramble to follow, Mythoras and his followers diving into the water and swimming along behind, and Tito and Kir quickly jumping on the flat boat untying it and rowing.
As the globe progresses, Layna decides to cast an illusion on herself, changing her coloration to match the water and becoming almost invisible within the globe. The globe travels along, passing a small ledge and then plunging down a waterfall 40 feet befoer continuing.
Mythoras and his followers also dive down, becoming momentarily trapped because of the strong currents, but because Mythoras can breathe under water (due to his magical armour) this is a minor inconvenience. While underwater he notices an underwater passage leading off to the west. The lizardfolk cannot breathe underwater but can hold their breath a very long time. They continue to follow Layna.
However Tito and Kir decide not to risk the barge over a 40 ft drop and land at the ledge. They see that the ledge follows the wall into a cavern, where a wrought-iron cage dangles
from a rope lashed to a stalactite. Three-fourths of the cage hangs submerged in the pool that fills the middle of the cavern. A dozen humanoids pack the cage, elemental water’s symbol raised in a scar on every brow. Tired hands grasp at the bars as the captives struggle to press their mouths above the water. Among the mass of wrestling forms, some lay still, floating face down inside the cage.
When they see the group, someone cries out “Help us, please let us out before we die.” Another voice gasps, “quiet you weak fool. This is our penance and our price. Those who survive this trial will become powerful.”
Kir decides to ignore the second speaker and picks the lock on the cage. Water cultists spill out of the cage. They stagger onto the ledges and take a moment, gasping and spluttering. Several bodies remain in the cage, floating. Then one of the cultists looks at Kir and Tito and says, “kill them. Kill these intruders”. The cultists move in to attack.
Meanwhile Layna’s globe floats onwards followed by Mythoras and his followers. Every time Mythoras senses danger he swims underwater so that he cannot be seen by enemies on the surface. In doing so he sees more passages underwater leading to the west.
Layna passes a passageway off to the side from where she can feel cold radiating, down it she sees brittle crust of ice on the water surrounds a central isle upon which crouches a
pale-skinned, bare-chested man wearing an eyepatch. He is surrounded by seven cackling, prancing, imp-like creatures made of ice. But the globe moves on…
It then enters a large cavern where a stone hut sits on top of a small stony island in the middle of a cavern. A man stands on the island and watches the globe pass with a confused expression on his face. Then the globe plunges down another waterfall.
Mythoras sees the man on the island and dives under to swim the length of the cavern underwater, but suddenly he is grabbed by an unseen creature….
Layna finds herself in another large watery chamber, but this one is different. An island rises from a lake at the epicenter of three roaring waterfalls. Flutes of rose, ivory, and lavender coral fringe the island. Above the island floats a gigantic, shimmering globe of water. Smaller globes of water emerge from it, drift outward, and hover in the air a few feet above the surface of the lake.
She looks at the globe and realises that she has found the water portal. But she is alone, her campanions left behind throughout the complex and they do not have the trident, Drown, which they need to close the portal….