Neth 2, 4714
As Vordakai departed the chamber, his ceustodaemons moved in to attack the party. One cast Hold Person on Alex, while another moved in to cut down the helpless elf, but not before Varelyn was able to confound the daemon with an Illusory Wall. Neilus pinned down the other two with a well placed Ice Storm as Gregor and Eiji moved in to deal with them hand-to-hand. After a relatively brief battle, all three ceustodaemons were slain, leaving the party to explore the room.
Up in the gallery, the party found a mostly empty room, aside from a door leading deeper into the complex. Neilus, cast detect magic in the direction of the door, and sensed an overwhelming auras of divination and conjuration somewhere beyond. Upon this revelation, he ended the spell early, warned the party and quickly moved to depart viat the stairs leading back down to the feasthall. Deciding to leave the door for now, the rest of the party followed him eventually exiting the feast hall and preparing to enter through the door emblazoned with the supplicants and Charon.
Beyond, they found a long hall with burial alcoves spaced evenly along the walls, empty and appearing to be recently disturbed. At the end of the long hall, the room turned sharply to the left into a shorter hall of alcoves. At the end of this short hallway, the group discovered a recently dead, decomposing body of a human male lying in a corner. After a cautious approach, a cursory search of the body revealed that it belonged to none other than Willas Gunderson, the penner of the journal found back in Varnhold. He had apparantly died in battle, as evidenced by the gaping axe wounds in his chest. While searching the body, a distant whisper echoed through the chamber, gradually growing in volume, until the disembodied voice screeched “IT WAS MY FAULT!! IT WAS ALL MY FAULT!”. At that moment, a shade rose from Gunderson’s corpse and sprang to attack. Eiji took a hard hit that seemed to drain a portion of his lifeforce, but after several good shots of Gregor’s Searing Light and other magic, the shade disappeared, it’s ghastly message delivered, insinuating that Gunderson had done something to draw the ire of Vordakai upon the citizens of Varnhold.
Neth 3, 4714
The party retreated from Gundarsson’s crypt and took a rest before returning back to the unexplored gallery door and the overwhelming magic beyond. Girding themselves in protective magic and proceeding through the gallery door, they followed the passageway into an octagonal chamber vaulting to over twenty feet high. The ceiling was composed of multiple slabs of opaque, white crystal fitted together to form a dome in the distinctive shape of an inverted eye, it’s gaze focused into the room below. The walls of the chamber were covered with arcane symbols, stylized line art, and images of cyclopes. A twenty foot diameter circle was incised inot the stone floor directly beneath the eye-shaped dome. Skirting the edge of the circle the party discovered a door leading deeper into the tomb but not before noticing a single, raven’s feather tucked into a corner of the octagonal chamber. Neilis confirmed that the source of the overwhelming magical auras was the room itself, it’s function remaining unknown. At this news Xamanthe departed the group, fearing to take one more step forward. “I will wait for you in the gallery” she said with a lingering gaze directed at Gregor.
Proceeding through the door leading outside the octagonal room, the group traversed a short staircase leading down into a chamber dominated by a large fountain of sulfurous water, a small trickle running under a large set of bronze doors on an adjacent wall. As the party investigated the room, an enormous, fiendish water elemental rose from the pool, to menace the heroes. A concentrated effort from the group felled the creature, flooding the room briefly as the water elemental fell apart. Working on a time limit with their magics, the party prepared themselves for what lay beyond the door.