Recoving from the fight with Leonir, Drugan and Grom knock down several Phagestone bars so they can rejoin the others. Investigating the room off the newly opened hallway they find dusty shelves that are mostly empty besides a few sacks. Heading past the pool of acid Jasper explores the tunnel for a way out. Lyra as a rhinoceros is unable to successfully navigate the narrow passage and gets mildly burned by the acid. After progressing thirty or so feet they notice that the Phagestone becomes normal worked stone. A bit past that they encounter a thick wooden door banded with black iron. Black iron spikes are driven in along the sides, holding it in place. Mira and Oath investigate the door for any signs of magic, but don’t find any. Debating about whether to turn back or see what’s on the other side, they finally decide to pry open the door and seal it behind them. Seeing spiderwebs and decomposed corpses dressed in similar garb to the occupants of the tower, they press on.
Entering what appears to be a crypt the party notices ancient detailed stonework carved in the shape of vines and flowing vegetation. While the others are exploring the chambers and its contents, Mira notices some faint blue forms arguing. One seems to want to dispose of the party while the other points out that one is sworn to the green and another is sworn to Sylvanus. A third pale blue figure steps out of a pillar and asks Mira what their purpose is. Is the party friend or foe? The figure introduces herself as Jeanna Lightsworn and after a brief conversation, Mira and her reach an agreement. The party may rest within the crypt chambers as long as they don’t take or damage any of the remains. Settling in to bandage their wounds and recover, the party finds spots to rest.
Lyra reverts from her rhinoceros form after the unload the prisoner in the corner. After everyone settles in she spends some time practicing Tycelle’vaerir’cy’ravora’s lessons.
Grom hears a voice in his head as Windshear compliments him on his bravery and describes the exploits of his first owner Ogrim the Ironfist, leader of Thane Grendek’s helljumpers. Suggests that Grom gives it a try.
Drugan spends some time focusing on and attuning to Hazecrushers. As he does, his skin starts to take on a sky blue hue.
As Oath settles in to focusing on the iron rod, it initially resists his attempts to understand it. Frustrated he settles into a meditative state on the cusp of sleep, when he finds himself in a cold black void. A single, giant glowing orange orb is in front of him. A harsh gravely voice speaks to him: “Ah, the sins of the father pass to the son. We shall offer you a pact as well. A bit of your power for a bit of ours.”. Oath tries to drop the rod, but it’s stuck to his hands. Oath then asks for time to think about the deal, but the voice cautions that its patience is limited. Oath asks for the entity’s name, to which he hears a discordant and painful sound and is knocked out of the void and finds himself falling over in the crypt again. Shaken from the ordeal, Oath seeks out Drugan for his advice. Drugan councils that he would always put himself in harms way to protect those he cares about and that maybe Oath should consider it in the future.
Everyone settles in for the evening in their own way.
After having the night to sleep on it, Oath decides to ask Mira to help remove the amulet. As Mira focuses her divine energy into the Amulet of Susception and casts Remove Curse the amulet pulls free from Oath’s flesh and his skin returns to normal.
Lyra feeling a bit guilty provides the prisoner with food and water after he ask. He pushes his hood back as he awkwardly eats with bound hands. She realizes that he’s an elf of a similar age to her, maybe even a bit younger. Lyra can see that the prisoner has diseased skin running from his collar up his neck. He tells Lyra that he was initially from Vale, but that in the course of his exploration he encountered some sort of disease or curse. He hid it from his family for as long as possible, but inevitably it was consuming his body. Desperate and running out of options he made a pact with a powerful entity. In exchange for keeping him alive, he did research to aid those in the tower. Unlike them he was not a true believer. Lyra cast Lesser Restoration on the elf, to little affect as something seems to swallow the magic. Lyra grabs Mira to get her opinion. Mira senses that there may be several effects causing the contagion.
Oath wanders over with Keishara to see what Lyra and Mira are up to, when they are stopped in their tracks as they recognize the elven prisoner as their father, Kailu. The others retreat to give them some room. Oath, his sister and his father have a serious conversation about what’s transpired. Oath asks his father for his help in defeating Nerull, but Kailu informs him that it would go against his pact and that the best course of action would be to leave him bound somewhere. Oath asks his father to meet them in Farlel when this is done. Kailu wishes his son and daughter luck in whatever comes next and hopes to seem them again.
Meanwhile the others debate how to proceed. The ghost of Jeanna Lightsworn reappears and offers them a potential solution in that her or one of the others could possess the prisoner. Additionally she informs the party of a path that leads down to a cavern below where dark magic is being worked.
The Stair Down
Grom leads the way down several corridors before reaching a winding stairs the hugs the wall of an enormous cavern. Slowly and steady the party makes their way to the floor of the floor of the subterranean chamber. On the way down they see a flickering orange and red glow from closer to the center of the chamber. Reaching the bottom Drugan points out that there were an odd number of stairs which is a bad omen.
The party makes their way towards the glow. Approaching it they see a large Phagestone platform. In the center is a large glowing orb of arcane energy. Five crystals on pillars are connected to the orb with strands of arcane power. Chained to the crystals with eldritch bindings are townsfolk and villagers. As the party quicks sets their preparations in motion, they see one of the crystals flare with eldritch energy and a villager crumples to the ground. Mira quickly casts Mirror Image and Lyra summons panthers with Conjure Animals. The other members ready their weapons…