- Rana activates the sending stone and receives a message from Belendithas. The city is in the process of being cleansed, as the knights of the Platinum Dragon have arrived.(1) However, the high priest also found out after consulting texts (probably from the ruins’ library) that Kel’rorn’s crown is likely hidden inside the ruins. The texts talk about “two angled monolithic temples”. Looking at the two pyramid-like buildings with the black scar behind them, it seems the party is at the right place.(2)
- The party decides to check out Mal’fir’s temple, which stands on an island surrounded by lava. A small city surrounds the temple (in a u-shape, as the group finds out later), and rocky spikes shoot out along the border of the island, pointing inwards in the direction of the temple. A pulsing red light shines on top of the lower pyramid-like building, but the party cannot discern its origin. A bridge appears to be the only way onto the island, and so this is the way the party takes. As they stealth ahead, a wailing noise sounds out from the island.
- Duergar patrol atop some of the city’s buildings, and the party notices that there are more guards high up on the temple.
- The party decides to walk straight through the city, but before the group can even make its way into it, they are stopped by five man who turn out to be Twilight Sentinels. Unlike the half-elven Sentinel in Dendros, these seem to be much more approachable, although most of them look war-worn. After inquiring about the party’s presence in the Underdark, their leader introduces himself as Dawnkeeper Phantom (greatsword, 60s). His men are the Purifiers Thorne, Knave, Wraith, and Silver, who appear to be in their 30s and 40s.
Highlight: Lilli makes fun of the Sentinels’ names.
- Dawnkeeper Phantom and the other Sentinels have been in the Underdark for several months trying to find and kill Kel’rorn in his current form. Furthermore, it was long since known to the Sentinels that the crown of the god of chaos is hidden in Mal’fin’s temple – just like the party, the Sentinels want to explore the temple. The two groups decide to work together: the Sentinel provide a distraction in the city, while the others enter the temple.
- Luckily, Verrin and the others are not discovered as they approach the temple, and soon they hear fighting noises in the distance behind them: the Sentinels seem to carry out their part of the plan. Inside the temple, the party comes across three paths. One is leading straight up to a circular platform, does not connect to it though, and metal bars prevent anyone from stepping up to the end of the path. On the circular platform stands a throne.
About twenty feet ahead of the first path’s end, a doorway leads off the main path on each side. The party takes the path to the right.
- Room by room, the party explores the temple, killing every duergar they meet in the process: Verrin kicks in the door, deals the first blow, and if anything is still standing afterwards, the others join the fight. Rinse, repeat.
Highlights: Lilli throws all duergar weapons into fire places and lava pits to render them useless; Rana makes a duergar fall backwards over a cauldron with her repellent eldtrich blast and kills him with the additional scalding damage.
- In the room with the two duergar chef, Keena (in bear form) finds edible goods, some of which bear the symbol of Dendros. Rana wonders if there is connection between this find and the weird tunnels in the basement at the Hero & Flagon.
- The duergar’s eyes, usually milky white, are now black, but the color reverts soon after they die. Rana is reminded of a) how the eyes of the druid, Ta’lareg’s former party member, glossed over in the same fashion during the tribunal meeting at Talonvale when the cultists’ star-shaped amulet was broken, and b) what Belendithas said about Kel’rorn harvesting souls.
- Eventually, the party ends up on the circular platform. The thrown standing in the middle looks exactly like the one that used to stand in the entrance cavern of the ruins which then sank into the ground. Keena finds many arcane symbols on the throne, but is unable to understand their meaning.
- The last room the party enters is a torture chamber. The only path left to take at this point is a flight of stairs right next to the chamber. It leads upwards and into an area from where the five heard commotion earlier…
1 Cruice Trannyth, High Templar of the Platinum Knights, member of the Talonvale Council, belongs to the same order.
2 Ta’lareg, played by the DM, tells the party members that, after everything he learned so far, Zythaeryn mot likely Kel’rorn, and that the god of chaos was not only released on his plane when his previous party stumbled upon cultists, but actually crossed over to Nandoras.