After a short rest, the heroes continue exploring the basements of the Sacred Stone Monastery. They find no more enemies, but down one passage, thick with the scent of rotten meat, they find cells filled with corpses. Layna remembers seeing these cells when she was fleeing. There is no helping these prisoners now.
They also find a partially collapsed tunnel. Layna sends her owl familiar down the tunnel and finds that it leads outside through a hidden cave. They then go down the long winding staircase to the temple.
However, when they get to the stone bridge they find that the bridge has been destroyed. Rubble from the bridge is at the bottom of the chasm and the supporting struts are hanging empty into the air. They decide that they must continue, so Layna uses her mage hand spell to take a rope and grapnel up and attach it to the other side of the crevasse 30 ft up. Layna then swings over the other side. However as soon as she lands on the other ledge she sees that the passage ahead is full of cultists and Black Earth guards who start shooting at her. They then move aside revealing a bullette who charges. Kir jumps over and throws the rope back, has time to stab a guard and then climbs off the ledge, clinging onto the wall above the crevasse. Layna dodges into the entry room, avoiding the Bullette’s attack. Tito then grabs the rope, swings over, and lands just in time for the Bullette to leap onto him, biting and scratching him. He attempts to throw the rope back to Mythoras, but Mythoras does not manage to catch it.
Suddenly a stone wall appears behind Mythoras, trapping him, and gargoyles detach themselves from around the chasm, fly over and start clawing and biting him. Meanwhile Tito manages to crawl underneath and behind the Bullette and into the reception area.
Kir, clinging onto the wall, hears the sound of chanting above the noise of battle and realises that somebody is casting a spell from a secret opening opposite Mythoras. He climbs over and stabs his sword into the opening, injuring a genasi, but he is too late to stop the spell being cast. Kir watches as Mythoras transforms from a Dragonborn warrior to a small frog. However the stone wall trapping Mythoras disappears. The gargoyles appear to have no interest in attacking a frog so return to their perches.
Back in the entry room, Layna and Tito are fighting for their lives, taking down many cultists and guards, but more and more enemies come crowding in, including Duergar, Black Earth Priests and more guards and cultists. The Bullette also continues in its endevours to tear them apart.
Realising that they are once again overmatched, Layna and Tito decide to retreat. Tito runs back to the ledge and launches himself over to the rope. After a few swings he builds up momentum and manages to launch himself back to the other side with Mythoras. He throws the rope back to Layna who then throws it back to Kir. As they run, Kir grabs the frog. They head back to the monastery and out into the hills where they return (again) to the hiding spot they found the first time they ran. After a short time Mythoras transforms back into a Dragonborn.
Again they have been defeated, but this time they decide that they must continue. They realise that the earth temple had known they were coming, and which direction they were coming from and had prepared their best defenses. They decide to try coming in from a different angle. They head back through the hills over two days to the mine they found a month ago which led to the earth temple.
They follow down the passage and find themselves back in the ogre guard room. This confirms to them that some sort of teleportation effect is in effect in these temples making the distances below ground seem different to those above ground. The guard room is empty and cold, and they wander through the temple through empty rooms and passages. The only inhabitant they find is a Dao who has no interest in interacting with them.
Eventually they find themselves in a sumptuous chamber, filled with beautiful tapestries and exquisitely carved statues and overlooking another chasm. Then they realise that one of the statues is the goblin Hug-Hug that they had previously rescued, and other statues are prisoners of the earth temple that they had also rescued. They are in the chamber of the Medusae, Marlos Urnrayle.
A shadow detaches itself from the wall, and speaks in the minds of the heroes, "WHO ARE YOU, WHY DO YOU ENTER THIS PLACE’.
“Um,” says Kir, “We were sent to talk to Marlos”
“THEN YOU WILL NEED TO TRAVEL DOWN TO THE FANE. MARLOS HAS DESCENDED EARLY. HE GOES TO SUMMON OUR MASTER OGREMOCH.”
“Ogremoch?”, says Kir, “Why is he doing that?”
“MARLOS NEVER INTENDED TO SUMMON OUR MASTER,” the shadow states, “BUT HE FEELS WITH THE TEMPLE UNDER ATTACK HE HAS NO OTHER CHOICE IF OUR MISSION IS TO SUCCEED”.
“Shit”, says Layna to Kir, “I think he’s saying that the summoning is happening because of us”
“WHO ARE YOU”, says the shadow, “YOU ARE NOT FOLLOWERS OF EARTH. YOU MUST LEAVE THIS PLACE”.
Mythoras steps from the doorway where he has been listening, brandishing his symbol of Bahamut, “You are the one that must leave, creature of darkness. Flee this place, never to return”. With that a holy fire erupts from Mythoras, revealing the shadow as a demon made of darkness. The demon’s face turns to dismay and the creature flees, walking directly through statues and walls as it escapes.
However, this interaction has caught the attention of others. A door to the north opens and a priest appears. At the same time a figure is seen standing on the other side of the chasm, he chants and the earth around the heroes erupts. Shouting is also heard to the south as guards begin running into the chamber.
Attacked from three directions, with no obvious exit, the heroes are scared that they may not prevail, but manage to kill both priests and the guards. However they are unable to stop the escape of one guard who runs off into the complex shouting, “The Intruders! They are here, in Marlos’ room! Help! Help!”….