Scanning the room, Oath sees a covered mound in the corner. Pulling back the sheet he discovers one of the gorilla-like demons has been dissected. The hooded figure shouts to not mess with his experiments. Jasper relieves the hooded figure of anything that looks useful, including a component pouch, a dagger and a rod made of metal. Drugan knocks the figure out, leverages him onto Lyra’s rhinoceros form and ties him in place. Oath sense magic in the rod. Mira leaves the Spike Growth in place to cover their back as they finish searching the area. Grom hears a scratching noise at the door. Kicking it open he discovers a small mechanical cat. Inside the room the find a writing table and implements along one wall, which Lyra promptly destroys. Along the other wall they find bookshelves lined with tomes and various nicknacks. In the corner is a cot.
Exiting the study by the opposite door, they find themselves back in the hallway. Grom moves on ahead an spots a robed cultist, who proceeds to flee. Grom chases him down and slays him. Before he dies he tells Grom that Krethe leads them. Meanwhile, Drugan kicks down a door, finding a room stocked with a jumble of weapon and armor. Continuing down the hallway checking doors, Drugan finds a room of cells filled with townsfolk from Port Trellec. Ruxley recognizes several as mercenaries from various companies in Port Trellec, including her dragonborn friend Sora. They mention the gear they found in the room. As they are gearing up, Sora offers her services to deal with those in the tower. The other mercenaries agree to escort the civilians out of the tower following the party’s instructions.
Proceeding down the hall Drugan, Grom, Lyra and Mira move to open the remaining doors. Lyra and Mira find a guardroom filled with cots, footlockers and a table surrounded by four stools. Lyra smashes some of the contents just for good measure. Drugan and Grom discover a room stacked with bodies in various states of decomposition. Between the two doors in a pile of fresher bodies, while further back are older more decomposed bodies. While Grom notices the room has a low-level enchantment similar to Gentle Repose, it is obviously the source of the stench on this floor. Grom says a small prayer for the deceased before closing the door. Lyra notices one more door at the end of the hall. Knocking it open a wave of oppression and despair emanates out from the room. It is a shrine of sorts, tainted in evil and despair.
Oath wants to follow the corridor that leads past the laboratory and see where it leads. They follow the winding corridor for several minutes before they hear voices down a side corridor. Jasper sneaks forward to investigate. He sees three robed figures. One is concentrating as they work some sort of magic, while the other two lift a body from a cart and press it against the wall. Jasper watches in horror as the wall consumes the body and a grinding cracking sound is heard as the corridor expands. Jasper reports back to the others what he saw. The party quickly decides to deal with the robed figures to stop their work. Jasper and Lyra make quick work of the robed figures. Jasper tries to press a body against the wall but nothing happens. The party assumes that the cultist was working some magic to grow the Phagestone.
Heading back to the main corridor, Drugan and Lyra notice a change in the air flow and find a stairway leading down to the next level.
Heading down a hall the party encounters a cross hallway. Drugan decides they should continue straight. Partway through crossing the hallway the hear a yell and see thirty armed men plus hellhounds rushing towards them. Oath thinking quickly casts Shatter collapsing the hallway. The party decides to head away from the guards.
Rushing down the hallway the party makes it several hundred feet before seeing the hulking form of Leonir and the pale form of Sinala ahead of them. With them is a lithe figure with a bow and several guards. Reacting first, Sinala touches the wall and a ripple passes down the corridor from her hand. With a creaking sound Phagestone bars extend from the floor and ceiling dividing the party, while on each side the walls open to reveal other corridors. Grom moves to engage Leonir. Oath casts another Shatter above Sinala causing the ceiling to splinter and crack. Leonir reacts by drinking a potion that causes him to grow in size then holds the ceiling up by brute strength. Jasper uses Flicker to blink through both sets of stone bars. Drugan grapples and attempts to shove Leonir prone. As he falls part of the ceiling crumbles on the guards. The archer fires ineffectively. Sinala casts Hypnotic Pattern snaring Grom with the dancing swirls of lights. Mira casts Sacred Flame on Sinala. Jasper stabs ineffectively at the fallen Leonir. Drugan struggles free for the enemy on top of him. From one of the newly opened corridors, a huge hulking gorilla-like demon rushes out of the darkness slamming Mira with two meaty fists. Lyra attempts to gore the demon knocking it down. Mira reeling from the blow gathers her strength and swings Conviction with all her might. As she does divine light gathers around the head of the mace and explodes as she hits the demon. Drugan and Grom slug it out with Leonir. Sinala and the archer Dimension Door away as the rest of the ceiling collapses crushing the remaining guard. Oath casts Lightning Bolt at a group of hellhounds and guards running up behind them. As he does an ooze slithers up and engulfs Oath in its acid form. With Jaspers help Drugan and Grom finally defeat Leonir driving him to his knees. With the help of Lyra, Oath struggles free of the ooze and drives it back. Mira finishes off the demon as her maces partially shatters its physical form. Licking their wounds, the party prepares for what’s next…