The party continued its exploration of the Magicant Mine.
Gildor scouted ahead, and saw a small group of humans coming their way. He quietly retreated back to his comrades and they quickly staged an ambush.
The ambush went without a hitch. Within moments, the humans were dead and they had captured a prisoner.
Interrogating him, they discovered that all of the so-called ‘missing’ miners were in fact part of the same cult. They appeared to be worshiping some kind of ‘fish-people.’
The cultists had discovered an ancient vault from the Age of the Varn while digging through the mine. The fish people were interested in that, and wanted to come check it out. That’s why the cultists hid in an attempt to cause the ‘missing persons’ crisis. When that didn’t work, they just killed a random townswoman in a dark ritual to scare the authorities away. Furthermore, the Divine Ones, these fish-people, were already here and were attempting to open the vault.
Without wasting time, the party moved on to find, and if possible, stop the fish-people. They had to bypass a pair of rust monsters first, which they did, before they got their first glimpse of these fish with legs and arms.
They were Kuo-Toa. And they weren’t friendly.
After a few encounters with the kuo-toa, the adventurers finally reached the sealed vault, where the Kuo-Toa Whip (the leader of the expedition force within the mines) and the last surviving cultists were trying to open the huge metal door.
A short battle ensued, of which the adventurers emerged victorious.
The Whip had a Wand of Magic Detection on his person, as well as a strange rod-like device that was apparently some sort of key for the vault’s doors.
The Door itself was engraved with the symbol of Sentinel Serpent, an ancient Mechana Guild from the Age of the Varn.
Eventually, the adventurers managed to use the key properly and opened the vault’s doors. They proceeded within the ancient edifice. It was derelict for the most part. Rusted parts of ancient automatons littered the place. However, there seemed to be nothing in their path. No active defenders. No traps. Whatever defenses this place was designed to have, they had long malfunctioned. Except for one.
In the vault’s final chamber the party came upon what must have been the Kuo-Toa’s objective. It was a relic of some kind, made of jade and shaped like a dodecahedron the size of a fist. It was suspended in the air, above a glowing magic circle. In front of it, an ancient, fully operational automaton hovered slightly above the ground.
The automaton was not openly aggressive. It spoke to them in ancient Aldanelian, a dead language that only Cid Von Hessel was slightly familiar with. He deduced that the automaton was asking who they were. Whatever answer Cid offered it, the automaton denied him entrance and seemed to warn them of violence, should the proceed further.
In the end, violence could not be avoided. To the party’s surprise, the automaton proved to not be a particularly challenging foe. However, the relic itself was beyond their reach, as the moment battle broke out, the became semi-transparent and intangible.
The party deduced that the automaton had activated a device that had partially shifted the Relic to the Ethereal Plane. Soon enough, they managed to deactivate the device, and the relic was now theirs.
They decided to head back to Ral Arolin, but they also agreed to keep the Relic’s presence a secret. Cid attuned himself with the relic, which game him certain resistances to psychic energies while he wore the relic as an amulet.
The next day, back at Arolin’s, the gave their report of the events. While at first Arolin behaved in much the same way he had the last time they talked to him—calm and professional—he begun to be more assertive, intimidating even. He spoke little of the Kuo-Toa, dismissing them as slaves who had lost their path.
He also demanded the adventurers to hand him the relic.
This surprised them. How could he know? They had kept it a secret. Arlin ordered his bodyguards to attack, and he joined the fray as well.
The nobleman and his bodyguards were no match for the adventurers though. However the encounter did have a surprise. Cid was now using magic. He claimed it was the relic which had awakened his latent sorcerer powers. Though they weren’t sure if they believed him, none of them could know he had been a warlock all along.
Within moments after Arolin’s death, his head exploded, and from within an Intellect Devourer emerged from within and attacked. Lorgar finally managed to kill it, but not before it had sapped Maia of all her mental faculties.
When the dust settled, the adventurers were in midst of a few corpses within Ral Arolin’s personal study. They would have to be quick if they wanted not be accused of Arolin’ murder…