After the events of friends in high places, the group is found in dire straights. Ionia and Orbaz are left standing after the brutal encounter with Father Jacobson and his shadow beasts. Whiskers fell to the overwhelming Float billowing through the room and Trinso succumbed to the dark magics after heroically fortifying the Sorceress and Paladin for the finishing blow. They both are unconscious, sailing through the ocean of their dark visions.
From out of nowhere, Cambraeia somersaults to the heroes. She had beenassisting the group with an unseen shadow beast; keeping it occupied the entire time. She also falls comatose, as she is overly sensitive to the Float.
Both Ionia and Orbaz turn to notice that the remaining vagrants that had attended the Dark Sermon have been begun a twisted transformation. Their limbs crack and bend, contorting in unnatural ways. At least two dozen in numbers, for now they seem preoccupied with their metamorphosis. Ionia gathers her helpless comrades and tends as best as she can to them. They stabilize, but seem to be caught in the black net of their float dreams as a bellowing screech echoes through the rough stonework of the dark halls.
Orbaz tries to topple a giant brazier to put the burning coals between the creatures and the group; to no effect. The creaking cultists begin shuffling towards them as he attempts to desperately bar the giant doors. As he does so, a blazing flash tears through the doors, coming to rest in the center of the of the room. The light is truly intense; burning through the residual float clouds and driving all the demented creatures to flee back to any shadow. The glare lessens and they are able to discern a large, crystalline owl who beholds Orbaz intently.
He locks eyes with the great, majestic beast and in that moment is spirited away. He gains a wonderful vision of being jettisoned from the cliff over the city and finally being given a long, yearned for freedom; a release from imprisonment. Orbaz’s heart erupts with exhilaration as he soars high over the City of Mist. He basks in the sunlight for a bit before the sense of time shifts. Soon he finds himself flying through The Fallows, an all too familiar sight of the Church of the Awoken God, now surrounded by the horrific sight of hundreds of cloaked figures. Blasting through their ranks, he dives through the entrance and winds through the twisting halls as his vision blurs to whiteness.
Orbaz rubs his eyes as he finds himself again before the crystalline owl. “Sylear..?” he mumbles, finally understanding. Bringing forth a crumpet from Whisker’s heavy stock, he extends it forward in offering but she only nips at it playfully. Orbaz then lays his open hand on the head of the magical beast and senses how deeply her release of pure energy had taxed her. Drawing back his hand slightly, she seems to alter herself; after a moment she is in his hand and returned to the form of the stone wrought statuette. With care, he placed the warm figurine in his pack.
With the monstrosities lingering in the shadows, Orbaz and Ionia take the opportunity to fall back with their friends in tow, delving deeper into the lair. Upon a brief examination of a large shrine, they continue downward into a hidden passageway. They ponder the strange physical anomalies occurring around them; as they walk down the passage the path in front of them seems to twist and distort unbelievably. A torch ahead on the ceiling above may be inexplicably be on the wall when they walk to it.
Far above the chiming bells of Keep of Saint Duncan ring out in a wave of revitalization. The unconscious party members come to, feeling freshened and invigorated. They advance into the depths, aware of the creeping Awakened magics registering on Orbaz’s Spectrum Goggles.
Immediately upon entering the the complex, they hear a pair of voices speaking in dwarven. Upon investigation, the group find the dwarves that had gone missing in nearby cells, McKlenick and Denrick. They have an unrealistic assessment of the passage of time since their capture; Ionia cleverly attempts to take note of the current passing of time with her spells. Trinso stands guard over the nearby door while they search the area.
They also come across a clever young man by the name of Fulminus Tryanith, who claims to be a prisoner as well. Accepting a crumpet from Whiskers, Fulminus promptly torches it in his hand and devours the ash left in it’s wake. The wizard certainly has a strangeness about him, but for now the group decides to bring him along. Fulminus and the dwarves warn of a nightmarish abomination they simply call ‘The Jailer’, who watches over these decrepit prison.
Searching the rest of the cells only reveal butchered remains of almost unidentifiable origin. As far as they can tell, they seem to be more vagabonds and drifters of abject poverty; the throwaways of the City of Mist. As Orbaz recites the last rites for the poor souls, Whiskers peeks over his shoulder for anything he might deem useful in this dreadful place. The heroes move forward, searching ahead for clues while being mindful of hidden dangers.
Continuing on into a large chamber with a bonfire centering it, the group notice that the area branches out several different passageways. Realizing with horror the fire is actually a pile of burning bodies, they decide not to linger.
Upon encountering a hallway of grim cells placed along the floor, the group stops to probe further. The jail cell seems as mundane as the rest of the rooms, with one exception. When looking through the grates along the floor, the group sees that the pail and the straw bedding are attached to the wall. Cambreia acrobatically leaps down into the first floor cell, only to be surprised when the gravity seems to rotate around; landing her painfully on her head.
The group continue to consider the bizarre incidents. Suddenly, there is a horrendous wail from further down the hall. Looking around the corner, Orbaz notices the sconces on the walls dimming; then extinguishing altogether. With a rush, the dwarves jump into a cell with Cambreia, urging the rest to do the same and avert their eyes.
Whiskers and Orbaz fall into a seperate cell; Trinso and Ionia do as well. Fulminus, in one of the other rooms, bars the door and jumps into his own cell.
Orbaz notices Whiskers fiddling with one of his home-brewed phosphorous grenades and jumps on top of him, smothering the mousling and covering their eyes. Ionia and Trinso hide away, using a mirror to reflect an image of the passageway back to them. They see a hideous amalgamation of flesh dragging a vicious cleaver and nefarious chains in it’s wake. With it’s massive girth, it was hard to tell from their vantage point in the cell how the gravity was effecting it. As it passes, a cruel eye in it’s flesh turns it’s gaze towards the mirror; they turn it away just in time.
After it’s passing, the group shakily re-convenes. Orbaz grimly conveys to Ionia that according to his timepiece, almost 12 hours have passed since their arrival…
The group continue on, encountering a strange series of hallways that seem to connect the passages impossibly together. Ionia and Trinso discover a furnace room when suddenly Orbaz is assailed by screeching, hellbent cadavers. The group cut them down and delayed only long enough to see that the fallen foes had made a nest out of the ravaged bodies of Mist City’s peasantry.
The group press on and after a brief discussion on the best route, decide to turn their attention on the great hulking beast’s lair. They find a large, multi-layered arena with a bottomless chasm in the very center, with the massive jailer guarding over their only way out.
The Jailer grappled continuously with the heroes, attempting to pull them into his great girth while with a great lashing out of his chains, mindless zombies fell to the floor. The heroes attacked from many sides and proved capable to the challenge and slayed the lumbering abomination.
With the sound of the monsters scraping at the door behind them, they had no choice but to continue forward.
The hall ahead twists in impossible contours and begin smoothing out into smooth walls of the deepest black. It ends in a plain, wooden door that opens to a small circular room. Centering the room is a single man sitting vigil with strange tattoos covering his torso and an all too familiar band of cloth over his eyes. He divulges little else other than stating that he is the prison; that he has always been here.
Ionia, sensing this being’s deranged sense of duty, bluffs that prisoners have escaped from his watch. Stirring a crisis of it’s existance, the warden arms himself with a vicious looking zweihander. The heroes, who had been crowding into the small chamber, now find themselves in a huge expanse with ever-changing platforms.
The cryptic tattoos convulse and split open revealing several wicked eyes all over his body. They turn their gaze to the group and battle is joined.