After a cautious rest in the guard barracks, the party head beneath the Maggot Throne and find a strange but quiet and quite peaceful garden. Its summoned rast guardians defeated and the watchful statues broken, the garden provides a faster recovery and almonds with healing magic.
The only exit from the garden aside from the way the party came is a strange cage-like structure with carved faces screaming in torment and terran runes. When activated by terran speech, the floor of the cage reshaped itself into another spiraling stair, leading further down into the depths of the earth. Karrd insisted on going first down this dark stair, only signalling the others to follow when he found a vast treasure chamber at the stairs terminous, only a line of Ignan characters warning of devouring to cast doubt on the fabulous hoarde.
When Grace stepped off the last stair and made to touch the treasure, it was revealed to her to be only an illusion, and the water it had disguised was covered in an acidic slime that began immediately to eat into her flesh. Several ghosts rose from oubliette-like tombs and menaced the party who gradually pierced the chamber’s illusion as they fought for their lives against the incorporeal remains of slain genies.
A deadly game of stepping stones later, Zorov, Xeneph, Karrd, Grace, Avery, Oberron and Grant found themselves in the entrance of a large sandy-floored room with a crystaline tentacled statue and a strange old man seated against the near wall, eyeing the statue with marked unease. Kadam Rasha, as he identified himself warned that the frozen monstrosity would wake and attack if any ventured too far into the room or if he, Rasha tried to leave. Oberron stepped first into its grasp and the group quickly found themselves fending off the animated sand kraken’s dangerous tentacled attacks.
Past the defeated guardian, the group found a single tomb of a gnoll priestess. Within her sarcophagus, Grace found a strange satisfaction at the discovery of a mysterious scroll bearing only a single rune. Before the party could do much more, a shining woman in golden armor bearing a sword appeared blocking the exit and demanded that Zorov Denante be given over to her. She had finally found him without the dragon’s minion watching over him and said she needed his blood to destroy a powerful demon called Golgatha as per a prophesy. Grant surprised her with the information that Denante had a daughter and with Karrd and Oberron at least threatening to stand in her way, Zorov’s demand that she leave was followed. She didn’t wish to spill any blood but that required to fulfull the prophesy.