As the party caught their breath and assessed the frozen Malcanthet and Maggie, two ancient undead shambled into the light. They closed on Albi and tore away rents of flesh. The alchemist fell to the ground, and the dead turned their hatred toward Bandaro and Ragnok. The Varisian danced around the zombie’s clumsy attacks, while carving off its limbs, as Ragnok chopped through his foe like a lumberjack. Karik channeled Gorum’s healing energy into Albi and as the gnome stirred, the half-orc joined the fray. Maggie shook off the last of her paralysis, and sunk throwing daggers into the walking dead. Within moments, both zombies collapsed but the noise of distant grinding metal announced the arrival of more trouble. Maggie remained behind to guard the still immobile Malcanthet, while the rest of the party moved on.
Another zombie, followed by two more, ambled forward. The heroes chopped them down while pushing toward the source of the dead. They entered a large chamber filled with chains and suspended cages and a hideous figure near the back raising more undead-filled cages from pits in the floor.
Suddenly the heroes were all stunned by violent vision of a bygone stormy night when Lonjiku Kaijitsu murdered his wife. When their senses cleared, several of the group suffered an uncontrollable rage.
Bandaro and Ragnok charged around the cages and pits toward the misshapen humanoid. The monster rose to reveal an oversized goblinoid with huge cords of muscle, savage milky eyes and three mutated arms each wielding a differing blade. Bandaro dealt a wicked slash but the monstrosity retaliated with a series of chops, slashes and stabs that nearly finished the beautiful Varisian. Ragnok’s wild swings were untrue, including an unbalancing swing that caused him to crash through one of the covered pits landing him face to claw with a caged zombie. He was able to right himself and “turn” the undead with his massive blade.
Meanwhile, Karik and Albi focused on the remaining zombie which they defeated as the flying head creature returned. The aberration swooped upon Albi and dealt a grievous tearing bite but the gnome shook off the effects of the monster’s poison. Karik raced forward and crushed it with his axe casting an arcing spray of necrotic goo halfway across the chamber.
At the same time, Bandaro finished the goblinoid mutant with a series of graceful slashes. The weapons that clattered to the ground included a magical longsword, a masterfully crafted handaxe, and a silver dagger.
Maggie escorted Malcanthet away from the tunnels since the paralysis’ effects still lingered. Once the ranger was safely away, the tiefling returned to the group. The reunited heroes pressed onward down an ancient spiral stairway and found a secret passage that led to a peculiar room: a circular meditation chamber devoid of gravity with blackened walls and flashes of reddish lightning and several floating treasures. Maggie, secured by a rope, dexterously launched into the chamber and collected a scroll of burning hands, a magical wand, a wicked bestiary, and a half-drunk bottle of fine wine. Once looted, the party carefully traversed the chamber with Maggie’s help.
Then, the party suffered a second violent vision. They all witnessed the night the mass-murderer Chopper began his killing spree.
Once the scene vanished, Maggie opened a passage door into a huge underground temple of Lamashtu, the Mother of Monsters. In its middle, a 15-foot burbling pool belched out two sinspawn who charged the party. Karik moved to the fore and traded blows. One hairless beast fell but a magically summoned hound-sized spider appeared over its corpse. Karik bullrushed the other sinspawn deeper into the temple opening up the combat. The heroes surged into the room and struck down the remaining sinspawn and summoned vermin. During the fray, a bat dropped silently from the ceiling and struck Ragnok with a foul divine force that nearly dropped the tiefling. The lofted screeching of inane threats revealed the presence an inhuman invisible flying foe, obviously the source of the magical assault. Above, a self-inflicted wound caused two more sinspawn to surge from the glowing pool but its diffuse light dimmed noticeably.
A third vision struck the heroes mid-combat. The pregnant form of Nualia Tobyn, daughter of the deceased clerical leader of Sandpoint, awakes from a nightmare and finds herself bleeding. She curses the town, invokes “The Mother”, and threatens to “burn them all.”
The scene immediately faded and the flying foe materialized as a twisted demon as it spat a hideous wad of acidic phlegm that narrowly missed Ragnok’s face. While the party battled the sinspawn, the demon channeled Lamashtu’s foul energy into a fearful spell that caused Ragnok to flee the battle and race toward the antigravity room.
The battle raged on but the demon vanished again. Another giant bug appeared, but it and the sinspawn were quickly defeated. The heroes paused, catching their breath and quaffing their remaining healing draughts and infusions. After several moments without sign of threats, Bandaro, Albi and Maggie went back toward the antigravity room. Maggie caught a zing of electricity by misjudging the far portal, whereas Bandaro dramatically overshot earning a wrack of electricity through his body. Albi crossed effortlessly as though born in the weightless astral sea. Maggie and Albi rushed onward toward the sounds of fighting.
Maggie entered the chain and cage chamber to see the wobbly, lacerated form of Ragnok slump to the floor. The quasit snarled defiantly and flew through the opposite portal. Ragnok’s wounds seeped a greenish-black discharge leaving him barely conscious. Bandaro entered and the trio assessed their poisoned friend.
Meanwhile, back in the temple, Karik threw open the massive double doors at the wicked temple’s entrance. While gazing toward the antechamber’s black, marble font in a raised portico, the screeching demon darted toward him. A wave of foul magic left the half-orc shaken as the tiny foe closed, black dripping claws outstretched.