Chapter 133 – Who you gonna call? Crypt Abusers!

We use Agador as a diving rod and search the room for more goodies, but find nothing. We then head back to the altar where we found the book, and approach the door that Gilenth was frozen at and nearly killed. One of the two doors is open slightly, and Beard pushes it open to reveal a corridor that is very dusty and looks long disused, with openings off to each side. I stay with the Altar and give out an ignored warning regarding tomb raiding, as the rest scramble off that magical gleam of ‘treasure’ in their eyes.

Beard and Agador quickly check through all the tombs, removing anything of value and then putting the lids carefully back. All are dead clerics it seems, but on the last coffer, they find an ebony staff on a wizard looking (different robes) skeleton.  Holy symbols are left behind, left untouched in their owner’s hands and soon they get to the final niche and tomb.

Agador and his elemental open the door, while the rest of them utilise a crystal ball to scry on him in safety round the corner. Then Agador finally utilizes some of his vast Intelligence as he also disappears round the corner to peer at the elemental as it opens the door. The Elemental smashes the door down, and is duly blasted with deathly cold air. The other door has more small spaced niches, but all are empty except the last, which contains a skeleton covered in a robe and gems and a multicoloured robe.

Beard wants to clear the area with a broom so that he can erase his footprints, and any traces of him being there, while Robbie also having a fit of conscious, settles on whacking his cloak around.

Everyone returns back to the altar, and we start to sink spell levels into the altar, but find that myself and Beard cannot access our lower level spells.....oh dear.

As we leave the altar room, Beard is shot in the buttocks and Robbie points out that a note is wrapped round it. Quickly looking about, the more observant party members spot a dark leather clad Elf, hooded, just before he back fades out of sight, seemingly into the cracks of the wall.

As Beard unrolls the parchment, Robbie dutifully begins to recite “Dearest Beard, I cannot continue feeling this way about you...” despite standing ten feet away from Beard and having no clue at what the note actually contains.

After a withering glance from Beard, Robbie falls as silent as anyone can hope for, and Beard begins to give the rest of us a brief synopsis. Apparently the note is from the Illithids, who wants us to be friends, and to attack the crown wearer together as allies.

New day, I cast Planar Ally to find out my misdemeanour, in which Beard is taken over by Gorm’s agent, and resplendent with burning eyes and silver beard tells me why I have sinned. Apparently, as I knew full well that the other doors where linked to the Gnomes temple, and did nothing to stop the defilers of the caskets. Merely refusing to help participate was just not good enough.

To start on the path of forgiveness, I need to let the Gnomes know what we have done, else the Planar will not come back to tell me what I need to do next in my forgiveness quest.

Beard then communes with his God, and an avatar appears from the broken parts of the statue and tells Beard he has done wrong, and that he is only alive as he has done some good deeds already, else the Gnomish God Jimmy Smooth-Hands would have sent an avatar to deal with him and his companions, and no amount of intervention on our any of our Deities behalf would have spared our lives.

And so a Sending is sent to Carmaren – “An error of judgement has occurred, can we meet at the usual spot.” And we prepare ourselves for the humbling that we most definitely require. Windwalking back to the familiar corridor junction, we wait for Carmaren, who arrives sometime the next evening.

Camaren greets us warmly, but her expression changes as we explain just what our definition of a ‘error of judgement actually means. Robbie tries to defuse the situation with “.....cheer up, we nearly, I mean neatly put everything back, and my, aren’t these nice cakes!” and fails as Carmaren gives him a withering stare. Robbie knows when not to continue – well actually he doesn’t, but he wisely chooses this time to pass on any rebuke, and wanders off to the back of the party, no more words forthcoming from him.

Carmaren is really not happy, and I may have underplayed this unhappiness just a tad as she follows up this assumption of her mood with a statement of intent that will “…see us dead the next time we pass.” She takes a book we found then walks off without telling us to put the stuff back. Not good, not good at all…

We silently leave, and we head back to the pie area, deciding that we may as well check out the author of Beards note. Once there Robbie gets the flag out he made earlier from a bed sheet, and with no weapons drawn, we move down the corridor until we see movement.

The movement and shapes quickly are identified as a massive Giant flanked by two Illithids, with many more smaller giants in the background.

We open our meeting of two opposing forces by saying “We are here to talk to the one who speaks with arrows…” and are lead silently down tunnels until we hit a large cavern that has a circle of ruins and collapsed pillars. Tents and pavilions have been set up, and in the centre are two figures of Illithids, more important looking than the ones that escorted us here.

As we pass through the tunnels and cavern, we count more than 20 Illithids around the room and at least a dozen of the larger Giants, all fully armoured and hefting metal mauls. Both of the centre most Illithids are in chainmail, and it is obvious that one is a Fighter of some kind, with the other sporting insignia and Holy symbols of a Cleric.

The Cleric has beads of perspiration on his facial tentacles’ and it looks like he is possibly maintaining a spell of sorts, but I cannot work it out at present.  Trying to perhaps force him to reveal this, I start to speak.
“You are Iphsizeen? I do hope you are trust worthy as my God indicates, as I have already disappointed him greatly today.” He then goes onto say that his Lady is also upset, and bad things are happening that are starting to ripple effect in their realms. These ripples are being caused by renegades of Illithid and other races, and that Iphsizeen is worried about the kidnappings as Illithids have also gone missing, along with other Underdark creatures as well.

Giant fish creatures called Aboleth have been sacrificing Magic users of all races, and are very evil and highly intelligent. I interject at this point, stating the obvious that Illithids also fall under the ‘evil and Intelligent’ category, but this is ignored as he continues. Apparently the Aboleth dominate and charm all to bend to their will, and are Masters of illusion to boot.

They have raised a sunken city and constructed five special towers, each of which are being charged with the energy they get from sacrificing spell casters. The towers are aligned to magical schools and its possible that the towers have spells amplified to that school. Once that power has completed to the five towers, the domination effect on the subjects within the city will be amplified to be able to take over huge areas covering hundreds of miles.

The crowned Priest betrayed the assembled group in a manner that is not touched upon, and the Illithid continues by saying that once he was swayed by the Aboleth, they gave him the crown and its secrets, and promptly grassed everyone else up. So, the plan is a simple one, take the city, and destroy the towers. Piece of urine.

Apparently there are also a party of Devils in the city in an area called The Guest Quarters just in case a city full of dominating fish people that even illithids are afraid of wasn’t enough of a challenge.

He then gives us a map, and its pretty much doom and gloom all around, as most of everything is marked ‘Beware’ and don’t go here....