Aryth 15, 999 YK
Zan-kyri returns, and with the party he stares into the dim room that has now been opened. The Impure Prince hovers passively above a raised platform. Conlon, Derli and Zan-kyri approach him while Zil’dejin and Xulgos hide just outside. They talk at length with the Impure Prince and find that he is split between two souls: a powerful hobgoblin mage named Drazen, and a crippled daelkyr lord “defeated” by the Dhakaani empire called Ghatax, the Prince of Shadows. Ghatax interfered with Drazen’s lich transformation ritual, combining them in one body. Both want freedom from the other; Ghatax says to find “the one who watches,” while Drazen asks for a Gatekeeper.
Meanwhile, Zil’dejin and Xulgos enter a different room and engage in combat with derros. They are beaten down, so Conlon and Zan-kyri come to their aid but the Impure Prince insists Derli stay with him. When Zan-kyri returns to check on Derli, he is unconscious (brought on by donning a ring made of Khyber shard) and displaying pulsating red markings on his metal body, last seen during his fugue state. The others investigate the opposite chamber and an adjoining one, containing a mural-laden room. Most murals are melted away, save one depicting a meteor. They also locate a false phylactery in a sarcophagus.
Conlon attends Derli while Zil’dejin takes the fake phylactery to the wall of flesh from before. The wall steals it, but he cannot proceed until he brings Xulgos back. The two of them pass into the corridor and it seals itself behind them. Conlon and Zan-kyri follow with Derli after he awakens, though first they perform a temporary procedure to hinder what they have learned is the progression of Derli’s demonic possession. The Impure Prince allows them to leave, but gives them a cleaver much like Gug’s to “give to Xorchylic.”
They are allowed access to the passage but only after Conlon agrees to “offer himself.” The wall takes him and the passage opens to Derli and Zan-kyri, but Conlon is not within. They move on to find a cavernous chamber of flesh and stone, riddled with openings that appear and disappear constantly. There is a claw in the center, pointing its ring finger upward. Ghosts and aberrations rage in a completely silent battle, mostly ambivalent to the Collective. Zil’dejin and Xulgos are climbing one wall to investigate a stone passage, which turns out to be a ruined arcane office. They take Drazen’s ritual book and notebook (slightly damaged by time) and reunite with Conlon and Zan-kyri. Derli arrives at the claw and tries to put his ring on it, but cannot remove it from his hand.
The others arrive and Xulgos manifests red markings not unlike Derli’s. Xulgos is able to take Derli’s ring but refuses to put it on, so surrenders it to Conlon, who puts it on the clawed hand. It descends, revealing a large Khyber shard. The claw and ring meld with it seamlessly, and the surrounding area collapses into a crater containing many Khyber shards. The largest stone suddenly pulses with sickly red-orange light, and Derli and Xulgos are compelled to put their hands on the hand-shaped outlines upon its surface. Derli resists, but Xulgos is drawn to it, resulting in a series of leaps and tackles to suppress him. They escape the crater and Derli is nearly drawn to it one more time by scrutinizing it before a rumble heralds the opening of an orifice in the ceiling. Tendrils descend and aberrations begin climbing upwards while the goblin ghosts try to pull them back down.
Experience Gained: 2650 XP