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With the powerful cleric defeated, the group began to explore the remainder of the evil lairs first floor. In the southwest, a large, strange shaft leading twenty feet up and eighty feet down was found. In the center hanging from a chain was a plate with a metallic carving of shriveled heart. After using gaseous form to investigate, Zelem determined it likely that this would fall if disturbed, and using Panics fire elemental the party tripped the trap. It slammed down, the heart passing through a hole in the giant pistons center, and began to slowly reset. This gave the opportunity to grab the heart, and the group continued on. Back at the gas filled room, Zelem believed that by swapping the heart with the coins they would prove useful later on. Zelem nimbly swapped them out, but as the group was pondering the strange room, Panic happened to notice that hanging from the ceiling was another plate, containing another heart, shriveled and formed of stone. The group took it and continued to the northeast where another strange contraption was found. A lattice of beams protected another of these shriveled hearts, this time made of a different metal, which sat upon a stone slab on a wooden pedestal. Morrigan, using her scythe, swiped the pedestal away but the strange heart simply floated in place. From below Morrigan deduced she could grab the heart without touching the beams of light, so Morrigan reached up and tried to grab at it. Unfortunately it seemed this was protected by a mysterious trap, and Morrigans hand melted off as she recoiled in pain. Using fel magic, the group watched in horror as Morrigan took the dead paladin from her bag of holding, ripped his shriveled hand off and attached it to where her own hand once was. Her undead body perfectly took to it, which began to revitalize the new appendage. With a bit more investigating of the room and floor, another heart component was found in the debris from the pedastel, having been scattered against the wall. With two in their possession and a third back on the pedestal, the group made their way to the southeast. Here a mysterious mirrored room was found, Morrigan entered fearlessly but the next door had a trap! A chain lightning spell richocheted and pelted Morrigan numerous times before being discharged out the door, heavily damaging the vampiric elf. The way opened, the next room contained a cryptography puzzle to open the safe, which Zelem quickly deduced. A fourth heart component was found, as well as a grizzly note (sidebar) detailing Siebkrons sinister plans. With a bit more exploration a few mundane rooms were found before finding the way forward. A human chest cavity with four holders barred the way, and after carefully retrieving the heart from the poison room, the group placed the heart components in their respective holders and the way forward was revealed. After crossing the trap laden pit, the group ascended to the second level where an ash-gray skinned man stood on the balcony waiting for them. He issued a final warning before blasting Pink with a devastating disintegration spell, and retreated further into his lair. Three invisible trolls assaulted the group as well as Gileans remaining cultists, but the fire from Panics elemental and Morrigans death hound did massive damage as the group rapidly dispatched them. Continuing on, Gileans personal chambers were found followed by another gruesome sight. An Efreeti with Azer servants were shoveling corpses into smelters, forming Soul Ingots which powered the infernal drill into the Plane of Shadow. Not wanting to fight a possibly powerful Genie, the group decided to destroy Gilean and hopefully release it from his command. Finally in the last room, an enormous drill was burrowing into the Shadow Plane. The shadowy man had departed through the portal, and the final battle awaits our heroes!
Hecate who has transformed her servant into a fearsome creature of darkness, a unique form of Vampire. Upon return to Saltmarsh she has now reclaimed her position and is one of only two noble families in charge of the port city. Morrigan has formed the Akadian Pact and an alliance of towns in the Plains of Mayfurrow.
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