A long, long tunnel led our heroes an incredible distance into the limestone, strange markings along the walls making it look as though something had made this hole by chewing and clawing its way free. Instead of a warren, the party emerged into a cavernous cathedral, complete with exquisite architectural touches. Surely this place would hold a wealth of ancient knowledge and treasure. But when they found what remained of the cathedral’s library, all the writings had been literally devoured by strange, shriveled zombies that skittered across the walls like spiders! These disgusting fiends leaped to gorge themselves on the many books the party had looted from Gumulgra’s hut, but our heroes managed to fend them off, slicing and blasting until the bones stopped moving.
The library was a total loss, but a secret door on the back wall led into some kind of hidden laboratory. Veren picked open a chest therein and found a mask with no holes or marking aside from some filigree swirls. After a quick inspection by Rodnee confirming the blank metal oval’s magical nature, Veren slid it onto his face and found he could see everything nearby, even in utter darkness, and could sense movements along the ground out to 50 yards. He also found the mask would not come off. Like, at all. And beyond 50 yards he could see and sense nothing; this was a minor inconvenience for a marksman, to say the least. So much for Rodnee’s inspection.
This ancient cathedral still held more unpleasant surprises for the party. A lower room housed strange flying creatures of stone that tried to shock them unconscious while tomb spider swarms strived to boil their blood. Power from that room’s puzzle activated an obstacle course of leaping and climbing between rotating platforms and banners over 200 feet above the unyielding stone floor. A combination of Starkad’s stellar climbing skills and teamwork from the whole party got them to the final platform, where the magical Treatise on Skyswimming awaited, granting its bearer short-term flight a limited number of times. And at long last, when Partyocalypse emerged out the other side of the underground passage, they found a smoky, scorching caldera miles across, its floor littered with glass beads. In the distance, the horizon sparkled mysteriously. They set forth to—wait, what’s that feeling? The plane of fire? This place is connected to the plain of fire?! Fuck that, we out!