Rand finds the Cambrian reeks with a strong aura of evil. “Keep your hands up. Come forward”
He introduces himself as Mutasoffen. He is lightly armored, chain shirt, magical baubles, sword on hip, vials and potions.
Sensing they may need more strength, Fraas sends for Zinn who soon thereafter swiftly teleports outside and makes her way down to the grinder chamber.
Mutasoffen was forced to labor in this place. “What is this thing?” “The grinder.” “What does it grind?” “Typically objects, sometimes people when it need lubrication. Reagents, crystalline powders. The giants find it very amusing.” Rand orders him to turn it off. He struggles to pull up the lever, popping a tendon and unable to comply with all his strength.
Rand attempts to diplomatically convince the alchemist demon to disarm himself. Korrak uses her intimidation to speed up the process.
Mutasoffen’s job is to construct an elixir. His master is on the other side of the rift, an abyssal realm, the rasping rifts, a gateway between the planes. He says he’s expecting someone to return in six days. “The dragon statue up front is built to honor our father. A golem, an alarm, shouts very loud, will attack anyone near it. It’s mostly there to alert if anyone would enter.”
Korrak, offended with Mutasoffen’s casual tone, grasps him and shakes him compliant. He mutters about his task, to make use of the crystallized tears of Orborus, the essence of which awakens nearly impossible to understand power. He mentions that the four succubi are his assistants, the 3 surviving are likely eavesdropping from his lab. He claims there are 5 other than him here: the 3 succubi; his employer, a Lamia (she), body of a human, anaconda at the waist; the fifth is Minagho, the bosses’ lackey, with the body of a holy warrior by some magic he doesn’t understand.
The group has him chart out a map of the chamber. When asked more about the tears, he points to the storeroom and says that the tears make him nauseated to touch. He tells the group that this is the largest rift, that this place is important. The stone of this mote plus orborus tears are used to manufacture the walls. The abjuration is making the wall stronger physically. “The stuff that gods are made of”.
Mutasoffen compels us to kill his assistants before they alert others. They tie him up and leave him before moving forward, stripping him of his gear and gems. Sentinel and Rand turn off the machine, the grinding halts. Voices from the rift start speaking, murmurs like unformed thoughts.
They enter the prep room and he into the storage room, strewn with a wide variety of magical reagents. Next, into the laboratory, a vaulted room with purple smoke miasma spilling from glass cauldron, a sludgy material, glass tubes that snake away from it to eight different vials. Fraas notices the chunks of crystal look like the heart of the mote material.
Down the hallway, they can hear scrawling in the next room. Opening the door to the antechamber, they hear “who is it?” Rand proceeds down the hall, the door is barred from the outside. The door looks old, lock looks new. “Help me out and we’ll defeat our captors!”
Korrak suspects they’ve been duped by Mutasoffen. Korrak rushes, raging, down the exit and coup de graces Mutasoffen, her sword inserts into his neck, and with her sword being substantially bigger than the Cambrian’s neck, a wet sploosh of blood, spurty neck. Fraas hears and smirks.
Fraas uses his wind to move the flammable purple gas toward the exit by the prep room to prevent any unwanted explosions. Shah, Zinn and Sentinel head down the hall, while Deagha and Fraas remain in the lab. Sentinel unbars the door. Rand opens the door
Inside they find a battleworn human, wearing shiny fullplate, adorned with an unrecognizable religious symbol, scratched out. The armor is well-worn, and has clearly been through a lot of battles. The woman has scars, short dark hair. A sword hang over the mantle in the room. Acomfortable bed, writing desk, drawers, quills, antique armoire.
“Arms up. what’s your name?” … “Elin”
Rand quickly says, “we don’t know if we can trust you yet, but we must leave now”. On her table is a spellbook missing a cover. They gather it and the papers as well as her sword. Fraas opens the armoire. Its shelves have been ripped apart, inside a withered husk version of Elin. Nimbly, the creature revealed as Minagho posing as Elin steps back begin casting a dominate spell at Zinn.
Sentinel tries to grapple, but Minagho slips his grasp. Korrak arrives back in the room and strikes hard, but Minagho resists most of the attack. Notice that Minagho has no problem warding off flanking attacks. Zinn hears a voice in her head and teleports.
Rand recalls this mode of possession and determines Minagho is a Lilitu Demon. She can create husks by killing creatures, that act like a phylactery. Fraas casts break enchantment on the husk body, it lurches forward, bleeding near death. Minagho’s true form is now revealed. Eyeless, horned, tailed, studded leather armor.
Rand moves, smites and attacks, but it glints off her armor. Minagho starts casting a spell defensively and teleports out of existence.
Sentinel rushes back out to the grinder room where he finds only Mutasoffen’s headless corpse. Deagha heals Elin. His summoned dire tiger pops into existence without an enemy to bite. Elin manages to speak, “where am I?”
Zinnaeris reapparates back in the room, defensively, “I’m me I’m me!” She declares that she had been ordered to teleport to Thoko’s chamber, remove Lord Garland’s ring and smash it. Lord Garland then appeared in dragon form and spoke, “Thank you, I have business to attend to”.
Stunned by this news, the group makes haste to get back to town. Fraas mage hands some tear fragments into a vial. They collect the papers from Minagho’s chamber, dossiers for the adventurers. Elin offers the sword as a gift to Rand.
As they make their way out, Fraas lures out the purple cloud to enshroud the grinder and lights a flint. Loud explosion! Clank! Just as they are leaving, Sentinel thinks he hears a quiet hissing sound in the distance.
It is a beautiful day outside. Eight giant eagles appear.
They proceed to ride them back to Griffton. Just over the town wall they spy a huge giant fixing roofs, a small boy on her shoulder.
They quickly gather up town principles, Durri, Archibald, The Beck, Jackmerius. Archibald is agape at the sight of Elin. They ask The Beck to prepare the town for evacuation drills.
Meanwhile at Archibald’s, Elin recants her story. She was taken captive in some sort of iron prison, very hot. They, her bestial orc captors, would take her blood for some purpose, as if she was just a chicken with eggs to collect. Luckily, one day the door to her cell was left open and she escaped. Somehow she managed to survive, wandered through many planes found the sword, and slew someone to get armor. She survived hunting as she could, but was eventually captured. She remembers dying and then remembers being in the room where we recovered her. She remembers the black tower, deep within the earth, filled with long passageways. She looks wounded, sallow, pale, but not aged. Also, something about Rand seems very familiar to her.
Rand tells Elin about Sieffre’s current whereabouts and promises her to check on him tomorrow in the scrying pool.
To preempt the morning, the adventurers alone go to the pool to scry Sieffre. He appears in a asleep on a blanket, as part of a small encampment in the Heart chamber. Tools scattered around, Gaston on watch. Fraas sends Gaston a message through the scry that Elin is safe and back in town. When Sieffre arrives in town he shows his nervous joy, but doesn’t want to wake Elin while she sleeps.
Everyone but Korrak (who goes to the ship) heads back to Archibald’s to drink
Timmy and the Beck approach in the morning. “we may have another issue. we’ve received a message, there’s an orc in the pavilion outside of town that wants to speak with you”