We backtracked to the scrying room to observe the lower level of the Inner Sanctum before descending the stairs. Before making it back to the scrying room there was an encounter with a Storm Spirit and Madness Spirit. The madness spirit drained some of the Stonechild’s mental power, whilst the storm elemental hit the party with a couple of lighting bolts. After relatively minor injuries, Thwibble and Chun teamed up well as usual and slammed the storm spirit out of existence while Glim cast a spell on the madness spirit to turn it’s own madness on itself, literally scaring it to death.
Bannock scryed on the level below and observed a large dragon head resting in the water with lightning crackling from a single horn to a stone slab. There was movement in the water around the head. Further observation revealed a Hollow One chanting by an altar inside a room that resembled the rib cage of a gigantic beast.
The party then descended past the arch of the moon and down a spiraling staircase until it opened up into a huge water filled cavern with the skull resting in the water.
There were 2 rooms on either side of the staircase that appeared to be lounging areas for warrior men and priestess women. These rooms were decoys trapped with planar touched green slime. Whilst Raa was trying to recover a hookah and hash box the outer worldly green slime dropped down and landed all over him. After some of his flesh being eaten away, Lyle as usual using the blessings of Inokka healed him of his wounds. Geralt, being a construct, was unafraid of the slime went into the room and collected the hookah. Raa, hoping to gain some kind of benefit, tried to smoke some of the hash through the hookah only to his horror for the slime to be in the hookah and entering his very lungs, screaming and writhing; Lyle quickly intervened using Cure Disease magic to drive out the slime.
Proceeding on to the bottom of the stairs, Bannock cast Arcane Eye and scouted two exits. The southern passage led to a room befitting priestesses and a translucent figure weeping large globules was observed. The northern room was partially scouted before the spell expired and revealed an armory of ancient weapons. A mysterious glow emanated from a pool in one corner of this room..all the characters gave each other a knowing look..this had to be it. This had to be Filth Slayer!
We decided to investigate the northern room and came to a cavern with a great pool of water. Sounds of water swooshing and some kind of sea monster-like vocal sounds could be heard softly at the other end. The party tried to skirt the edges of the water quietly and softly..however the demon touched water serpents with their supernatural senses could no doubt easily sense our moving and came leaping out of the water to attack us.
The monsters started biting and wrestling characters in their mouths and Sai was able to get quite a few shurikens into the beasts. In the commotion Glim cast a Blade barrier around the edges of the water hoping to cut the serpents off from the rest of the party, but alas, Sai got stuck on the other side of the wall of blades with one of the serpents and was nearly killed. However, the creatures grapple tactics were unable to overcome the stalwart dwarves and stonechild and were defeated.
Upon investigating the armory, Bannock suspected the glow to be the infamous Filth Slayer. Chun reached into the pool and recovered a bright, white glowing rod. The rod then transformed itself into a magnificent Waraxe, and Chun instantly knew the full capabilities of this weapon. A holy weapon crafted to slay evil in all it’s forms..especially demons, undead, incorporeal beings and abominations!
Next, with Bannock suspecting that the weeping woman was in fact a Marilith demon, he consulted his crystal ball of Augury (attuned to the All Mother) and asked if the woman would defend Tiamat. The prophesy confirmed his suspicion with a vision of beautiful dwarrowfolk dancing girls waving about 5 different colored silks and a 6 armed spider descending from the ceiling to kill the dwarves.
With this knowledge, The Crushers entered the priestess sanctum to kill the Demon. As we were going to enter the room, Raa’s senses went wild suspecting magical protection and warned us not to go in. The rogue quickly conferring with the Lyle was able to realize that we had to symbolically wash ourselves in the basin room before entering with buffed magical power-ups. The Rogue’s quick thinking and alertness saved us all from getting a powerful curse which could have turned the tide of the battle.
With the party buffed up, stronger and swifter, Thwibble and Chun bravely charged in first to face the 6 armed Marilith demon. First, Bannock cunningly hit her with a dimensional anchor spell to eliminate the filthy demon’s teleporting around tactics.
With Chun at the front he got surrounded by the blob demons. They didn’t seem like much of a threat except they had the ability to drain wisdom with only a simple touch. Sensing Chun was in serious trouble from the little critters, Glim blasted out a big cone of flame burning up all the little critters in the room at the front, also lightly wounding the demon but unfortunately searing Chun as well, not too badly however Chun was not at full health.
Twibble managed to land a few hefty blows on the Demond true to his style with 3 critical hits from Skull Cruncher over the next few rounds. As him and Chun were in the front room alone with her she cast a blade barrier to impede the rest of the party’s approach as well split off the party. Glim ended up on the side with Thwibble and Chung, and all except Geralt dodged the blades who got smashed up badly and had to stay back the rest of the combat.
While the rest of the party fought the blobs, Lyle was frantically running around healing people and apologizing, keeping them alive. Glim then dispelled the blade barrier allowing the party to connect again which allowed the stonechild through to the font to back up his father.
The Marilith seriously wounded Thwibble, and then Chun sliced her badly several times with Filth Slayer weakening her severely. In her desperate rage at the dwarf focus all her attack on Chun and fell the seemingly unstoppable Dwarven hero. Fortunately the blessing of Inokka through an amulet of revivify saved him rendering Chun only unconscious for a few seconds instead of dead. Glim then blew a large burning hole through her chest with a critical hit from an orb of fire.
ENTERING THE DRAGON
After killing her, we returned to the main chamber with all the water and dispatched the remaining 3 chaos serpents who were bound to guard the giant dragon skull. We approached it when Raa detected some protections/traps on it. Bannock disabled a Symbol of Harm with Erase, then opened the giant (Blue Dragon) skull with a Knock scroll.
Our Party entered the skull and descended further down the gullet of a long dead, dragon. Passageways to the left and right led upwards towards the base of the neck. Clum scouted these passageways and we determined they were filled with material components for resurrecting the material body of the evil dragon god here on Orb. One passageway led to a skull with green crystals and religious artifacts while another had white colored objects.
Passing through the neck, we came across a large obsidian heart shaped rock with what looked like another Filth Slayer embedded in it. Bannock consulted the torc Tulsa about what we should do. The entity within revealed its true nature as a borderline evil intelligence, intent on knowledge at all costs by telling us to remove the glowing rod. Chun did so and immediately acid spewed forth, splashing some on him. He quickly replaced the weapon and we moved on. Knowing we were reaching our goal we all buffed ourselves and descended into the bowels of of the dragon, all with the constant reminders from Lyle about the vision of an anti-magic field in place defending the aspect.
ASPECT OF TIAMAT
Finally we saw what was shown in the scrying.. The Hollow One, protecting his aspect of Tiamat in the bowel of the beast. Tiamat, knowing her aspect’s defeat was coming attempted to bargain her way out by offering to spare Dwarrowhame her wrath. We ignored the beast with Chun calling for the party to attack. Bannock tried to block her snake spawn with a wall of force unsuccessfully, the Hollow One Mage had an anti-magic shell in place blocked this. The rest of the party tried to charge through but were blocked by an anti life shell also! (Lyle was thinking at this point "I FUCKING TOLD YOU SO!!)
We all just stood around for a few seconds, unsure of what to do, all the while our buffs were timing down to expire. Then Geralt, being essentially a non-living construct, stepped straight through the field and to the hollow ones surprise was struck at but the metal man.
Chun then called upon Orthwald, the Lammasu Golden Protector for aid. He Dimension Doored himself and Chun behind the aspect of Tiamat which allowed the two to distract the dragon while to rest of the party attacked. Unfortunately, Chun got entangled by the snakes there. Glim pulled out a Wu-Jen scroll of Greater Teleport and attempted to read it and Teleport himself, Thwib and Cliff over the other side of the fields and was unsuccessful, but fortunately didn’t waste the scroll and was to try again the next round.
Probably knowing our arrival to the other side was immanent and spurned on by impatience and a sense of irrational revenge, the Hollow One dropped its own defense to try and kill Glim by using its serpent allies Magic Missiles to pop each of Glim’s mirror images and then use its own Disintegrate spell on the wiley warmage. As any good Gnome, whom always has a trick up his sleeve, cast a Greater Mirror Image as a swift interrupt to thwart the Hollow Ones declared Disintegrate spell. Yet somehow, the Hollow One mysteriously managed to change his ray attack into a Feeblemind spell.. Fortunately, the God of Fate doesn’t look kindly upon inconsistencies in the laws of Magic and thus granted Glim the saving throw he needed. (lol chem)(GM’s ruling on Magic Missle eliminating Mirror Images was not accepted but later proven correct hence Feeblemind magic followed)
Geralt then put the nuisance in his place with a well aimed slice from Malign, Chun and Orthwald kept the Dragon Queen busy, Lyle kept the troops alive, Thwibble and Cliff smashed and crunched the Demond and this was followed by another of Glim’s customary fiery death blasts to all but seal the end of Tiamat’s plans at re-birth..with Thwibble landing the final “Skull Crunching” blow.
With Tiamat’s aspect defeated, she left this plane with a nasty gift. 5 glowing beads of each of the energy types which were delayed blast energy fireballs. We mostly dodged the first one while we all leapt out the way of the following 4.
Left behind was the last altar, with a large diamond, 5 colored jewels representing each of Tiamat’s heads and a Ring of Wishes.. With only 2 remaining. Lyle cast the resurrection spell with the diamond, and holy water to reverse the original sacrifice and return the female Dwarf Drugdir back to life. Glim grabbed the ring as the whole corpse then proceeded to collapse in on itself. He wished us all back to Dwarrowhame and we were gone from the Ziggurat for good.
We arrived back in our home city, only to find that several 10 day had passed instead of the 4 we presumed we had been gone for, for our warehouse had been broken into and sacked!
But that’s another adventure…