The heroes look among themselves, all nervous to touch Ironfang after what happened to Layna (they assume). However the monolith is bulging. Something inside is trying to get out. Something huge.
Faith decides to summon her ‘centipede’ familiar in it’s true form and Hope, the Quasit, appears. Mythoras is uneasy about an alliance with such a creature, but watches to see what will happen.
Faith instructs Hope to take Ironfang, and use it to strike the monolith. The Quasit grabs the weapon, then starts to fly towards the monolith. Then it stops, looks at Faith, looks at the rest of the heroes, looks at Ironfang and then flees at top speed towards the exit.
Morythas is quick on the uptake though, and stops the quasit with the well aimed throw of a spear that goes right through the Quasit’s back and out it’s torso.
Back to square one. The monolith is stretching, and seems at breaking point. The ground is shaking. The noise of grating rock is overwhelming. Faith decides that this is no time to be nervous and runs up, grabbing Ironfang, and runs towards the monolith.
But suddenly she is aware that unless she takes the time to truly understand this weapon and attune to it, she will not be able to stop whatever is trying to come out. She needs to take Ironfang from this place, now.
Throwing off the suggestion in her mind, she leaps up and strikes the monolith with a mighty blow. Immediately, the monolith shatters, scattering rock and Kyber Crystal all over the chamber. The ground shakes and the chamber starts collapsing. The heroes run, escaping from the chamber just as it collapses completely, showing them with dust and rock fragments.
Kir and Kleris are both still disguised as Earth cultists, so they lead the group as they run back through the passages, passing other cultists running towards the chamber and bluffing their way through. They have done it. They have destroyed the earth portal and lived to tell the tale.
They limp back up to the Fane of the Eye where they find a quiet spot to rest. After a sleep and some recovery time they discuss what they need to do next and it is obvious that they need to travel to where the fire portal is and destroy it before Imix is summoned.
They find the area with the minotaurs and after a nasty battle defeat them. They find themselves in front of a floating stone platform in what appears to be the middle of a long pit. Far below they see a large chamber filled with lava. Above the chute ascends out of sight.
Layna summons a new familiar – this time an invisible ‘owl’, which she sends down the chute. It flies down and relays passages filled with lava, humans, a fire giant and a red dragon. It then flies into a room where a human female is talking with fire cultists. The human is holding Tinder – the elemental weapon of fire.
Despite the owl being invisible, the human appears to be immediately aware of it. She points at the owl and immediately the connection is broken. Layna details what was seen to the group and they decide to hide in wait for anything that comes up from the lava chamber. They are fairly confident that they have lost the element of surprise.
They wait a long time, then the platform descends. When it ascends again, the human is standing on it. Mythoras and Tito, from their hidden positions, recognise this human immediately. It is Mae Chen, their old companion from when they snuck into the black dragons lair, and the one that they assume had stolen an elemental key from the dragon.
Mae Chen looks around briefly, and seeing nothing out of place mutters ‘Ember’. The platform ascends with her on it. Some time passes, and with nothing else happening, the group strike a small gong near where the platform stops. The platform descends to them, they mutter ‘Ember’ and the platform goes up carrying them to a new location.
They find themselves in a large domed chamber where azers and salamanders work at lava fuelled forges, watched over by a Genasi and several fire cultists. The Genasi notices them entering but ignores them. However when the cultists see them, one of them exclaims “that must be them. Kill them and our mistress will reward us”. They move in to attack.
As the cultists attack the heroes, the Azers and Salamanders break away from their forges and begin attacking the Genasi. The heroes are able to defeat the cultists without too much hassle, although one escapes by jumping into the lava flow and swimming away, but are unwilling to take on the Genasi. They decide that the battle that is going on is none of their business and head north, climbing some stairs and leaving the chamber and it’s ongoing battle behind.
The head up a wide corridor, ignoring some passages to the side, till they get to a point where they see some fire cultists and hobgoblins guarding a passage on the other side. They are seen and a fight ensues, the kerfuffle attracting the attention of ogres, more hobgobins, more cultists and some spellcasters. The heroes narrowly win the battle, then find a secret passage into a dwarvish tomb. They hide there and rest and recuperate.