Two sessions combined because I’m just that lazy.
After defeating the two groups outside the emerald shrine, the party was faced with a decision. Aroon advised using the shrine to enter Shearphorus, whereas Gwinni’s spell indicated that the most direct physical route was up the side of the spire… about two thousand feet straight up. After some deliberation the decision was made to try going up, and after about 5 minutes of laborious climbing, the party found themselves at the opening to the spire. The opening of the natural rock chimney was guarded by four of the flying automatons the party had previously faced, as well as four similarly-sized automatons of an unfamiliar design. While the party probably could have been victorious, it was decided that fighting in the air was less than ideal, so they took the path of discretion and slowly wound down to the emerald shrine again.
Investigation revealed that the shrine was nothing more than a shallow cave with a portal inside, and they had no way of determining the portal’s destination. Deirdre possessed an amulet of communication, so the party used the Box of Allies to summon a helpful compatriot, who was given one of the communication crystals and sent through the portal. He died, very quickly. The crystal was returned to the amulet with a thought, and from its pitted surface the party was able to guess that the “oh god, it burns” and “I’m drowning” comments meant a lake of acid. Very astute.
Gwinni, Gorefang, and Masin were first through the portal, and found themselves in pitch black, raging winds, and in Gwinni’s and Gorefang’s cases, falling into a lake of acid. Others in the party soon followed, and hilarity ensued as the portal scattered individuals throughout the cavern that was filled with churning, frothing acid. Thankfully, Gwinni had the forethought to place a resist energy spell on the party members, so very little damage was actually suffered. A hole in the ceiling 10-ft. wide was discovered, and through some stone shaping was expanded into a plug large enough even for Valouge’s poke-mount to fly up.
On the upper level, the party found themselves in a much larger cavern, strewn with many bones. They barely had a chance to breathe when four figures rose from the bones, two zombies obviously animated from the half-dragon satyrs defeated outside, and two mohrgs controlling them. The battle was short but fierce, with the mohrgs landing several blows that ultimately proved ineffectual. The zombies were useless.
After the last remains were tossed down into the lake of acid, exploration of this cavern began in earnest. The cavern was larger than the last, and careful probing revealed four magical stasis traps, designed to capture and hold their victims for some unknown purpose. The thief was able to make short work of the traps, and after much searching the only other feature in the room was discovered to be a plug, 20 feet across, of solid vegetation in the ceiling. Between Valouge and Deirdre, a 5-ft. hole was punched through the 6-inch thick plant matter, and the bard cast invisibility on himself before flying upwards. He emerged through the hole to find himself facing an undead green dragon halfway across the chamber.
...and that’s the cliffhanger upon which we ended. Fun, no?