The cultists stagger to the edge of the chamber, trying to get to and kill Kir and Tito.
“My friends”, Kir says with a grin on his face, “You do not understand, you have paid your pennance and have passed the test. I was sent by Shatterkeel himself to release you. Go, go and make your way in peace”.
This stops the cultists. They consider for a moment and then all splash out of the chamber and into the main current. Kir and Tito watch as each of them swim over the waterfall. However, they realise that they have lost their companions. After some consideration they attach a rope to the wall with an iron spike and carefully lower themselves down the waterfall to continue exploring the complex. They pass by the bare-chested man with the imps, but after a discussion with him decide to leave him alone.
Meanwhile, Mythoras finds himself and his two lizardfolk companions fighting waterweirds and more cultists that are able to use the weirds as mounts. Mythoras manages to kill one cultist and one weird, but both his companions are killed. At this point he sees a large amount of cultists swim into the room. Unknown to him, these are the cultists that Kir and Tito released. He ducks under the water, and thanks to his armour that allows him to breathe underwater he swims under the new cultists legs. However he is pursued by one of the water weirds, and continues to flee. But then he sees more legs in the water, and recognises the hairy feet of Tito and the motley pants of Kir. He swims to the surface, yelling to Kir and Tito to get out of the water. The all climb up the slippery walls of the cavern, but the water weird surfaces and tries to pull each of them back in. However, in surfacing, the weird is no longer invisible and the companions manage to quickly dispatch it.
Meanwhile, Layna thoroughly explores the portal chamber. She is unable to do much without the trident, Drown, and is unwilling to leave the chamber without her companions. She climbs up onto the island and waits.
Kir, Tito and Mythoras are all very injured at this stage, and very aware that the chamber they just left is full of cultists. They decide that they are in no condition to take them on, and need to find a place to rest. They head back the way they have come. However, while swimming along Mythoras notices an underwater tunnel. A quick explore reveals an empty chamber containing a small island with a coral throne on it. On the throne sits a jewel encrusted narwhal horn. Mythoras notices another underwater tunnel leading north, but is very interested in the Narwhal horn. When he picks it up, it feels as if it pulls him towards the clear, still water in the chamber. He touches the horn to the water and an image appears of another chamber in this complex, where fish-people are performing some sort of religous ceremony over an ancient and weird alter. They find that every time they touch the horn to the water another scene appears so continue watching scene after scene.
This continues until they see an image of the chamber they are in. They look down and see a small bald spot on the back of Kir’s head. “THAT’S ENOUGH”, Kir yells, kicking his foot into the water and disrupting the image, “This is obviously some sort of evil magic and I think we should stop”.
While Tito and Kir relax, Mythoras becomes curious about the underwater passage to the North. He decides to explore and finds another empty chamber. He swims in, only to be attacked by a giant crocodile. He manages to fight it off and flees out another underwater tunnel. He then returns to his companions and they decide that it is time to leave.
Meanwhile, Layna is getting worried. Something about this area had gotten to her and she felt like the was going mad. She decides that enough time has passed and her companions must have gotten delayed. She touches one of the floating globes, thinking it will take her back the way she came, but it heads off north. She decides to stay in the globe and again she disguises herself by using an illusion to change her colouration to match the water. She passes through a number of chambers including one with a hydra, but finds herself back in the entrance to this complex. She decides to wait on the stairs for a short time in case her companions come back this way.
Very soon they do, and it is a happy reunion. However most of them are very hurt. Layna is fascinated by the description of the chamber with the still waters that showed images of other chambers so they return there to recuperate and rest. While they are doing this, Layna goes through images of every chamber, learning all about what is in the complex, including an aboleth. “Ah”, she thinks, “that explains the battle with madness I had”. After she has examined every room, they change the image to that of the portal chamber, and keep watch on it while they rest.
After about 8 hours, they are feeling well rested and ready to go again when they see a globe float into the image of the portal chamber. A figure drops out as the globe completes it’s journey and they see a face that they have not seen in some time – it is Windharrow. They watch him carefully explore the chamber, and then he touches another globe and floats off to the North.
The companions quickly gather their things and rush out of the chamber attempting to beat him to the stairway, but swimming against the current and climbing the rope up the waterfall slow them down considerably. By the time they get the the stairs, he has already gone.
They climb up the stairs back to the fane of the eye. They hear voices in the cave where the lizard folk were before, so Layna decides to sneak to the entrance and examine. The surviving lizard folk have returned, and are standing around the symbol that Mythoras scratched in the floor last time they were there. But it has changed. They symbol, moves, flows and the meaning of this Draconic Prophecy embeds itself in Layna’s head.
Blood of Man
Less blood of fey
Least blood of dragon old
Princeling son had disappeared and as a slave was sold
Memory lost and home long gone and family long time vanished
Kingdom broken, mists of death, all while he was banished.
Son of kings,
Son of lords
Long lost son of Vol
When he returns the broken kingdom will once again be whole
Dead mark, mark of dead, mark of deaths defeat
When he returns the city dead will kneel down at his feet.
Layna returns to the group and discusses what they have found. They decide to leave the lizardfolk alone and continue onwards. They pass through several chambers, fighting a rust monster, harpys and an Air Elemental Myrmidon, until they find themselves in a chamber where they hear voices coming from a passage to the west.
“My lord, I have checked the portal and the chamber is currently clear. There is no sign of the mercenaries from Xandrar”. This is obviously the cultured and clear voice of Windharrow.
Hearing is difficult, so the companions move closer to try and hear better. Layna peeks round the corner and sees a stone ziggurat capped by a huge altar of black granite
standing in the middle of a large cavern. At the foot of the altar lies a bound, gagged figure with a freshly sliced throat. Fresh rivulets of blood stain the altar and trickle down the steps of the ziggurat. On all sides of the cavern, guttering flames dance atop sluggish pools of oily water. The alter is surrounded by cultists and on the ziggurat stands a large man, covered in barnacles with one arm that resembles a large metallic crab claw – obviously of Artificer make. Layna makes the guess that this must be Gar Shatterkeel. In front of him a giant crocodile rests on the floor, and on the other side of that, with his back to Layna stands Windharrow, addressing the leader of the water cult.
“Good, good”, a Shatterkeel responds to Windharrow, “I’ve made the sacrifices now, but the last part is delicate. I don’t want any bloody disturbances while I do the summoning”. Then a pause.
“But hark,” the Shatterkeel says, “what light through yonder passage breaks?” His voice rises “I SEE THE LIGHT OFF YOUR LANTERN you stupid buggers.”
Mythoras, the one carrying the lantern realises he has gotten too close, but it is too late.
“Come on then, let’s have a look at yer, yer bloody pests”, Shatterkeel calls out, “I know you are there and I’d like to have a wee chat with you all”.
The group step forward to face the leader of the water cult…