Having returned to the party, Valbin and Nogrite inform the others of the hidden passage behind the waterfall. Horfire is eager to explore the hidden passage. He finds himself drawn to the passage. Deciding it best to tell Balgor and negotiate for ‘the intrest of the tribe’, they proceed back to the mess hall and discuss the situation with Balgor. Moving away from the passage seems to irritate and become very aggravated. As their clreaing actions of the first tow rooms was successful with little loss to the tribe, Balgor agrees to allow them to scout and clear the hidden tunnel. With this news, Horfire seems to calm as they decide to bed down in the hall leading to the waterfall.
Now having an opportunity for a full rest the party settles in for a day’s rest before they proceed into unknown territory. After tending wounds and setting up camp, they decide to take the opportunity to check their new found inventory (and old) for magic items.
Pulling out items they are curious about and arranging them in front of everyone, the spell reveals the types of magics and which items have enchantments.
Of the 4 potions: 2 are of the transmutation circle, one of the illusion circle and the last of the evocation. One of the rings is of the transmutation circle.
Oryn takes the silver ring that he found back and decides to put it on to attune with it. His first impressions are images of free falling.
Taking rotating watches the party rests up for their next journey. Horfire is finally able to sleep a much needed sleep. Waking, the next thing the party prepares themselves. Packing and discussion of plans, they proceed to the flooded chamber. Taking the lead, Nogriet vaults up to the tunnel mouth. However, forgetting his pole arm strapped to his back, he finds himself stuck at the mouth of the tunnel, hanging for a moment until he descends back to the pool The party resumes down the tunnel after a brief repacking. They proceed through the tunnel finding it turning and then opening into a lager cavern. The cavern walls appear to be lined with the fluorescing moss providing a dim light. COntinuing on to another tunnel at the far end, they find a natural staircase that they descend to find a larger cavern with several barrels containing shackles, manacles and several man-catchers.
Nogrite decides to take a set of shackles and a man-catcher and adds them to his inventory.
The party then investigates the descending staircase out of the room. Oryn sneaks down the stairs to investigate and discovers a large man made room: tilled floors worked stone walls and numerous torch sconces. On the opposite wall, he can see a steel bar door to what appears to be a cage or jail cell. To the right of that door, a matching door can also be seen near the corner. The opposite direction reveals a hallway and beyond that the room opens up further away.
The rest of the party joins Orynn at the base of the stairs and proceeds to investigate the room. Raylenn notices two faintly glowing eyes within the cage staring at the party. She proceeds to investigates and discovers a cooshee bitch, near starved and crouched in the corner of the cell.
Approaching the cell, the cooshee withdrawals back deeper into the cell towards a pile of litter heaped in the centre of the back wall. Once close enough, Raelynn can now see that the two cage doors belong to the same cell.
The cooshee holds its position in a very defensive posture. It looks to be in very poor health and emaciated. Raelynn cautiously offers some rations to the hungry forest dog.
Cautiously reassuring the cooshee, Orynn moves to the other cell door and begins picking the lock. The cooshee position itself to view both doors and reluctantly takes the rations. Once the door is open, Raelynn moves into the cell all the while talking with the cooshee bitch in a very slow and calculated manner presenting more food. Orynn, although curious, holds himself outside the cage to give Raelynn the best chance of befriending the animal.
Meanwhile, the rest of the party disperses in a defensive arc at the entrance to the hallway to examine the rest of the area.
After some time, the cooshee seems to trust Raelynn. However, a quick twitching ear turned towards the hallway, the cooshee takes an aggressive defensive posture. Bearing teeth, looking towards the hallway mouth and moving towards the pile of bedding, she moves some aside and picks up a pup. Quickly moving towards Raelynn, the bitch pushes the small bundle into her hands.
Ears pointing, the bitch trots out the door and goes to the hallway in front of the party members. Suddenly she bolts through down the hall head long towards the bend in the hall faster than any domesticated dog. The bitch quickly covers the ground passing distancing herself from the party. Barely able to react, the rest of the party watches as the cooshee runs headlong towards a pair of double doors around a bend in the hallway.
Just as the doors open, she leaps through and hamstrings a robed figure knocking him prone and leaving a large wound. A yell from the room announces “it’s free! It’s escaped!” After knocking down the first cultist, the cooshee continues forward into the centre of the room.
The chamber opens with the double doors in the corner. To the right a staircase wraps around the room ending at a platform above to the left. Within the chamber are a number of cultists: 4 at the door, 4 more descending the stairs and a cult fanatic standing on a central raised dais.
The cultists draw scimitars to defend themselves from the cooshee. Meanwhile the the party moves forward to engage.
Moving down the hall, they see it branches to the left (likely opening up to the other wing of the room in mirror image) and to the right which leads to the double doors. At the intersection, they find an alter with a sacrifice spread eagle and eviscerated; another cooshee. The party then advance to the double doors and engage the cultists. By which point the 4 on the stairs have also moved to the doorway.
Bunched at the door way, the cultists numbers give little tactical advantage. Gribdunk and Orynn take the front rank, Nogritte takes the second. Raelynn and Horfire hold back slightly giving ranged support. Valbin, doing his best not to desecrate the body further, climbs upon the small alter at the intersection to give him some height to fire his crossbow while using his bardic skills to bolster the party moral.
The cultists fall like cordwood to Nogrites slashes, others fall to longbow and crossbow bolt fire with eldrich blasts leaving charred wounds as they collapse to the ground. Orrynn takes takes extensive damage but deals more damage than he takes. The companions clear the doorway and advance to the alter, but not before the cult fanatic finishes the cooshee, cutting her throat with his dagger.
As they knock the last cultist unconscious, the party advances on the cult fanatic and dispatch him quickly as he had already been wounded fighting off the cooshee.
The companions quickly check the room to ensure it has been cleared. Orynn takes note the door at the top of the staircase is closed. The main floor appears to be secured. The binding the prisoner and moving the bodies to the side of the room, they strip the bodies of their robes, amulets, scimitars. The fanatic had an especially ornate amulet and dagger. Horfire takes a set of robes and amulet (pewter) as well as the fanatics amulet (platinum) and dagger (ornate ritual). Valbin takes special care to move the cooshee bitch to the side away from the cultists and put her in a dignified position for her final rest.
Meanwhile, Gribdunk and Nogrite wake and interrogate the remaining cultist. The cultist periodically snickers, his eyes flashing wildly. A madness seems to be upon this one. The answers seem inconsistent and Horfire notices one in particular likely lie: when asked who they worship here, the cultist replied ‘Demogorgon: the sibilant beast!’. However, later as Horfire examined the room he examined 5 humanoid sized statues at the points. Upon pedestals, a crouching figure is replicated on each: winged, beastial with sharp features. Comparing the statures with the iconography on the amulets, he recognizes it from his research. The demon depicted is not Demogorgon, but rather Fraz-Urbluu: Prince of Deception.
The questioning continues with indeterminate results. The party cannot be sure of the answers given, and many are open ended answers. He claims there are no others. That they serve Lord Zyphme. He answers other questions with questions and others with open ended answers. Reaching his limit, Horfire takes the sacrificial dagger and cuts the throat of the prisoner. The party has mixed feelings on this, but decide to settle in for a rest.
They take time to explore this floor further. The other hallway indeed goes to the other wing of the main cells. A 90 degree L shaped room with matching cells, but it does not reveal any new options. The investigation of the alter reveals a pentagram with 5 large bowls at the points. Within the bowls are the dead bodies of cooshee puppies. Their blood spilled into the pentagram’s recessed lines. A 6th pedastal holds a large bowl of blood. HOrfire locates a small alcove in the back of the alter with a variety of incense and other ceremonial materials.
The smaller alter in the hallway intersection reveals that the sacrificed dog was a male. (the blood in the large bowl suspected to have been collected from the smaller alter from a drain spout). Raelynn finds a fine silver chain around the neck of the male and the female cooshee. The emblem on the chain matching, she suspects this is the breeder’s mark of the two adults.
Having taken time to secure their area they decide to settle in for a short rest. During this time, they continue to examine the room and debate continuing up the stairs. Having found what they could, the companions ascend the staircase.
Reaching the top, they find the door is not locked. Cautiously opening the door way, they find a long straight hallway. At it’s end, it opens into a large room with a glowing pillar of pale blue light. The light appears to come from another small raised dais, perhaps 10’ in diameter. 4 columns also emit a pale blue light. Within the central column of light stands a robed figure arms spread to its sides and facing to the right.
Raelynn choses to anounce their presence saying ‘Hello?!? Lord Zyphme?’ Advancing cautiously, the figure turns it’s head looks at them and turns back. Deciding that their best choice at this point is a frontal assault, Nogrite charges forward, but is not able to reach the alter in his fist dash. Raelynn and Valbin launch a volley at the figure. The arrow lands true, but the bolt flies past with no effect. The others take up positions to assist. After the first round of combat, the figure turns to face them. It’s only word: “Leave”. Some of the party realize that this was not spoken, but heard within their head…a disturbing mystery of sorts.
The party continues the assault with little visible effect. Nogrite lands several mighty blows, arrows and bolts impact, but the figure barely reacts. The figure pulls back it’s hood revealing a leathery head with tentacles surrounding the area where it’s mouth should be. A mind flayer! In a nonchalant voice it asks “Why won’t you leave? I have more pressing matters to attend.” and releases an arc of lightning from his fingers at the party damaging some. Nogrite tries another tactic: a pull trip with his glaive. Attempting to sweep the legs, Nogrite swings, but as he makes contact the figure does not fall, but rather pivots midair.
Hanging in midair, the mind flayer casts a spell. Nogrite barely notices a subtle shimmer before him. The others launch another series of attacks, but all seem to deflect off of the surface in front of Nogrite. Before he can attack again, Zyphme sends a psychic scream of ‘LEAVE NOW!’, shaking the party to the core while some collapse to the ground. Raelynn in particular is left a heap on the floor drooling and mumbling incoherently.
Sensing they have little chance of defeating this foe, the party withdrawls defensively back to the large summoning circle chamber closing the door behind them. Battered, the companions are weary and settle in for a long rest to rejuvenate. Gribdunk healing Raelynn as best he can with prayers.
Horfire takes time to setup a ritual to summon a familiar taking advantage of the ceremonial materials he found at the alter. Orynn and Valbin continue to explore the room and investigate closer.
End Scene Day 6