Jeff was late. He went to Boulder. But don't worry, it's a prime number.
Night has fallen again, and we feel well rested and ready again.
Alissa lights her lantern, and we venture out of the tower. There's only two doors we haven't really gotten a good look at yet, and we check one of them.
It looks like there was living quarters in this one long ago, but the furniture looks like it was hacked apart, and the room stinks with rot.
Through a door, stairs lead down, and but first we notice a nearby chamber.
This chamber is even more wet and moldy, and is filled with random refuse. Giant centipedes burst out of the debris and attack us.
They bite and bite but we kill them.
We return to the stairs, and descend into the depths of the bowels of the keep.
The sound of dripping water echoes in the cavern walls. Unlit sconces are laid out on the walls at regular intervals. Near the stairs is a pool of strange colored water.
We decide to follow the muddy bullywug foot prints into a southeastern passage.
The mud reeks, and walking is difficult. The muddy room leads down into another room, which seems to to be less muddy, but the ramp in is slippery, and I soon find myself slipping as we head into the room.
Scarcely as I have landed at the bottom of the ramp, swarms of centipedes emerge from nowhere and attack us.
They bite and swarm us. Luke shatters the room, in a rush of sound, killing some of the swarm. I find the swarm too much to deal with, so I misty step back up the stairs where I can better deal with them.
Finally, we kill them, but it seems we've all taken nasty bites.
Shale heals us, and we clean up a bit before heading deeper into the cavern system.
We come upon a large cavern with a lake in the center. The ceiling arches overhead, and the pool floor drops off into inky darkness. The sound of croaking frogs echoes all around.
A path leads a little ways towards the middle of the lake, and a very large frog is sitting on it, staring at us.
We decide to calmly avoid the frog, and head towards one of the two paths along the outside of the lake, but it croaks and jumps into the water.
We run for it. The sound of croaking frogs erupts behind us as millions of frogs leap out onto the shore of the lake behind us. As soon as we make it to the far passage, they seem to being unwilling to follow us further, but we can see crimson green, it's a solid color they say bullfrog eyes staring at us.
The passage leads into another passage with knee-high mist flowing down it. We can see where the mist drops into a cliff beyond, and we head up towards the mist's source, which appears to be a large room.
At the center of the room, is a circle engraved in the floor. It seems mystical, as well as the source of the mist, but we do not know its purpose.
Adjacent to this room is another room, which seems to be a shrine of some sort. There are carvings in the walls and scatter across the entire room, as well as another passage way, which leads to yet another room.
This final room is empty except for a mud covered table, a reading chair, and a small chest. Alissa inspects the chest, and announces that we should leave the room while she works.
We hastily leave the room.
Alissa comes to get us, and says the trap is disarmed, but there was nothing in the chest. We're not certain if we believe her, although we enter the room we do notice several carefully laid out strange pots that she unearthed out who knows where.
The table has several papers on the table, which with the add of a spell, Alissa reads. It's crude bullywug poetry, written by the late Pharblex. Some nonsense about the reflections of a tadpole. There's also some religious texts, and it seems this was his personal meditation chamber, where he spent some time trying to improve his crude script.
We go back to the drop off where the mist was falling off and discover a crude hand crank allows passage up and down. We follow the passage and discover it just leads back to the entrance to the stairs that led to the cavern system.
We retrace some of our steps, and discover that the other direction around the lake leads to a giant pool filled with tadpoles.
Perhaps we should leave without alarming the menacing frogs too much.
So, finally we return back to the stairs yet again, and we notice the pool at the entrance leads under a rock underhang, so we take a look.
The water burns slightly as we slosh through the water, and it leads to a small room with a pile of sparkling gems.
We rush towards them, and a ooze erupts from the water behind us, splashing us with acid. We kill it, and Luke collects the gems.
We return to the entrance, and pick up our gear which we had left at the side of the pool. Shale's longsword has been ruined by the ooze, so she switches to her battle axe.
We return back to the main courtyard. There's very few places we haven't inspected, so we return to where the lizardmen operated forge is. Only now, the lizardmen have evacuated, and the forge has gone cold.
A door leads upstairs, to a comfortably furnished sitting room, with two doors.
Behind the first door is a surprisingly lavish room filled with very fine furniture. A writing desk dominates the room, and smaller tables are stacked with papers that seem to be inventory lists and various other reports. Two onyx carvings of dragons flank the door.
Alissa rifles through some papers and finds a particularly important looking document written in draconic. Shale reads it, and it seems to reference where the material from the warehouse came from.
It came from the portal in the basement. And it gives a keyword to activate the portal. "Draezir."
Perhaps now that we know how to activate it, we should check this portal out, but first we investigate the other room.
This room is an elegant sleeping chamber. On one side of the room is a set of wardrobes, with a depiction of a dragon on it. Alissa discovers that there is a trap in the wardrobe's door, so she disarms it. Inside are some very large purple robes, for someone Cyanwrath's size at least, but they bear the name Ramirez, the leader of the dragon cult, and something about a black dragon mask.
The wardrobe has a hidden door hidden in the back, which leads into a bare room with only the wall having been painted with the image of a five headed dragon rising from a volcano.
We do also find in the sleeping chamber a small statue of a black dragon perched on a pile of treasure, made from actual scales and precious stones. It seems incredibly fragile, and also highly valuable.
We carefully stuff it into a lockbox, carefully padding it.
With our business at the keep taken care of, we return to the underground caverns. Shale speaks the word at the portal, and we are blinded by a flash of light...