After recovering from being used as target practice by an invisible arcane caster the party set off to further explore the tunnel system. The discovered the hallway that lead to the mage’s living quarters continued onward until it stopped at a small chamber with tow doors, one wooden, the other made of stone. There were no consoles to activate so the party choose the wooden door, Virage found no traps and opened the door…only to have a cloud of poison envelop them! Virage and Sketchy were protected from the could by magical means, but the rest of the party was no so fortunate. Thankfully though no attack came and they pressed on. The fought several clockwork soldier until they reached a console that opened the stone door, as they journeyed through the tunnels again they detected the faint breeze of the sea.
Virage volunteered to go first and with Sketchy linking the parties telepathically he kept them informed of what he discovered. There was not much until he found a large cavern with a large unnatural beast of some sort, the party pooled their knowledge and based on Virage’s description they agreed that it had to be a vemerak. A beast not of this plane, it was aberration and was the source behind the earthquakes…and very perceptive. Virage suddenly had the feeling that it was looking right at him. With an unearthly scream battle was joined as the besat moved to attack Virage.
The party pulled out all the stops in order to rid Redwater of this menace. Roth channeled his gods power and charged into the room, the power denied the beast from attacking him and he struck a mighty blow. Olivia took the form of a dire hippo and charged in alongside her comrade, before the rest of the party could act the vemerak sprayed the party, save for Virage, with a blast of foul acid. Booka activated her celestial armor and took flight to fight beast, and Sketchy alternated between healing the party and providing ranged combat alongside his familiar. The beast was not going to go down without a fight and its spell resistance made the battle all the more difficult, just as it seemed the party had the advantage the beast plunged several tentacles into the ground and triggered an earthquake!
The party scattered to dodge the falling debris but Roth was not so fortunate and was buried alive beneath several boulders. Virage was struck by several tentacles and no matter how stealthily Virage moved the vemerak always knew where he was and he would be batted around by a tentacle. Booka took flight and bit the beast and channeled a powerful necronatic spell through her tusk into the beast. The beast thrashed back and forth as it entered its death roes, but Virage would not be denied and plunged his dagger into the mostly dead beast..then something unexpected happened as the beast shuddered again and suddenly the skeleton of the beast rose with the flesh sloughing off and pooling on the cavern floor. Everyone clutched their weapons but Virage told them to relax, by slaying the beast he had created an obedient skeleton that would serve him.
He explained it was due to the magic in his dagger and that the beast would not obey him until he dismissed it. The party was shocked by the revelation, none more so than Roth who finally dug himself out of the debris and was ready for round 2 against the skeleton. The party agreed for Virage to remain in control of the huge skeleton and it followed them as the followed another tunnel out of the cavern and after a short distance they arrived on the coast. The party was joyful beyond words about being above ground again, and the party wadded into the sea to wash the accumulated grime from their sojourn underground off. Virage ordered the skeleton to guard the tunnel entrance, and Sketchy sent a message to Lord Charney apprising him of the situation, he asked them to meet him in person. The party set off for the Chartered Company and handed the completed map over to Mukwan. He was very grateful and on their way out they met the trio they had rescued who again expressed their gratitude!
They set off to inform Lord Charney and met him at the Alabaster Court. They explained what they encountered in the caverns beneath the city. They could not add much about he mage they encountered, Charney bit a curse and hoped it was not Davos coming back from the dead again to cause more problems for the city. It was then that Sketchy offered to scry the mage and learn what he could. Charney asked to be kept informed as to what they discovered and invited the party to a banquet to be held in their honor that night. The [arty hurried to finish their tasks and acquire suitable attire..something Roth and Booka muttered about being an elf thing. They returned to the the Eagle’s Nest and Sketchy found a quiet room to attempt to scry the mage.
He was successful and learned his name was Negran and that he had been employed by the cult to fulfill their prophecy of doom. He was having a discussion with a robed individual, who hte party deduced was the cult leader, and Negran was very upset at the loss of his lair and his pet, as he called the recently slain vemerak. Sketchy shared the information with the rest of the party, Virage was excited because thanks to the scrying he could now impersonate the leader. They set off to acquire fancy clothing for the banquet and to report to Charney. Booka and Roth were content to add a cape to their armor along with a fancy hat while the rest of party donned nobles outfits for the evening. As they arrived at the banquet they shared their tale and mingled with the guests, Virage had an idea to provoke any allies of the cult by masquerading as Negran, and skirting the crowd. The only person who was shocked to see him was Magister Evalia, she demanded to know what he was doing here and what he had been up to. Virage tried to gather information but the magister was in no mood to talk and she was preparing to cast a spell before a disguised Olivia drew her attention to allow him to escape. She was irked to find him gone and stormed off.
Virage was not done and assumed the appearance of the cult leader. As Virage circled the crowd he noticed that three human nobles had a shocked expression on their faces. They were Lords Scray, Garrick, and Olafson. Virage thought he was on to something when Garrick called for the guards to arrest “him” and proclaimed he was the leader behind the cult. The rest of the party could take no action and the prince commanded he be turned over to the Redwatch. Virage had gone from being a guest of honor to being imprisoned. They were not worried about their comrade they knew he would be able to handle himself and this would hopefully drawn out members of the cult. Though the rest of the group now had to tell Charney and the prince that it was not the leader of the cult that was being imprisoned….a task none of them looked forward to.