The battle rages on with Tel managing to dodge around the worst of the incoming fire-power from the party as Joe and Rick continue to try and free themselves from the pillars of stone.
Tel throws out a disease afflicting Eric with a severe lack of strength as another charge from the Ring of the Ram smashes through his form.
Finally, Nennah finishes off the Water Elemental shape with a Blight spell destroying the elemental and giving Tel a serious knock to his health as well as Joe finally wiggles free from the pillar.
Tarn blasts a chunk from Tel’s shield and leg with his gun before, despite the strength issues, Eric still does considerable damage with his Great Axe.
As Tel goes to launch a Cone of Cold and many of the party, Therren opposes it with the remaining fire energy left over from the Fire Storm and a fine, warm mist suffuses the area.
Nennah steps up again with a Hold Person spell, freezing the injured druid in place as Tarn smacks him over the head with the but of his gun, knocking him out cold. Ethia then smashes the pillar pinning Rick and he lands with a cat’s grace on the floor below.
The party breath a sigh of relief and Ethia immediately snaps the Anti-Magic cuffs onto Tel. The party investigate the new room to the rear and find only a small hovel where Tel has been existing but nothing of value.
Tel is taken back out to Root and Ben and tied up in Root’s lower branches for safekeeping. The Elysium is now patrolling the area around the mountain-top.
The gang decide to rest and recuperate here for a while. Nennah cures Eric’s disease. Some discussion occurs between Rick and Tarn with Rick revealing that he’s had some adventuring experience with Goblins and Kobolds etc. He also mentions he’s had some small dealings with Devils and Mind Flayers before now Apparently Devils like contracts, but he hasn’t signed any. He intimates that he’s a rich thrill seeker type of adventurer. Tarn can’t seem to find any deceit in his words but he also thinks that Rick is the person that gave him the book and quietly reveals as much to the rest of the party. Ethia and Nennah also have some misgivings about Rick but can’t really put their finger on anything. Some of Ethia’s (and Rick’s) experiences in the prison cell are discussed to bring the party up to speed.
Meanwhile, unbeknownst to the party, a swarm of Cranium Rats has crawled up the stairs to observe them.
As the talk continues, moments after a comment is made about trusting Tarn, he suddenly smashes his large fist into Ethia’s head. As tarn goes nuts and begins to attack the party, Therren jumps back and fireballs him catching Rick in the blast (although he nimbly avoids the worst of it).
Ethia quickly conjures two spiders which Web Tarn into place. he’s able to get his hands free but can’t move from the spot. Eric smacks him several times with the flat of his axe. Tarns aims a massive gunshot at Nennah but his shouted warning to duck and her size allow her to duck the shot completely.
Therren is taken by a sudden fear and dimension doors back to the cave entrance thanks to a Command from the Cranium Rats.
As Nennah stumbles back into the hole in the floor she lands among a number of Cranium Rats. Joe gets a hit in with the flat of his sword and the pain of the cumulative damage on Tarn disrupts the mind control the rats have over him.
Joe now fires a siege arrow down at the rats. Nennah disappears begind her shield as an explosion of fire blows past her!
Now with many injured or dead the rats become less of a threat and Ethia and her spiders kill several more before Nennah completes the mop up with her trusty mace.
As Therren returns he uses Detect Magic on the area he sees all others due to thier various magic items but Rick’s is essentially a black hole to that sense.
Nennah now casts Light on rat and throws it down the tunnel while Ethia casts detect traps on the path ahead.
With nothing found the party head on down the hole with the Giant Spiders in the lead.
After about a hundred feet the 45 degree sloped steps end an the tunnel turns into a 10 foot diameter vertical shaft. The two spiders carry Tarn and Joe down, Rick and Nennah fly down on Ethiagle while Therren uses the spider staff’s climb ability and helps Eric down as he jams javelins into the wall as he goes.
As Therren uses the staff he suddely finds himself in a white room where he meets his cooler self. They talk for a short time and Cool-Therren suggests that Real-Therren should be less heroic and use his necromancy skills more – two words “Zombie Mindflayer”! When the “vision” ends it seems like no time has passed for Therren.
The party reach near the bottom, there is a grate just visible down below an rushing water can be heard. A ledge gives access to a door which should lead to Tel’s old quarters. After unsuccessful attempts from Joe and Tarn, Eric kicks the door in.