When we last left our heroes, they had defeated a harpy and fought some gargoyles to a standstill (stone actually) as they ascended the stairs to the second level of the Pyramid. Leaving the gargoyles to do their thing in the pit between the trapped stairs, they ventured onward, a bit hastily into the next area.
At the top of the staircase, there was a hallway lined with grotesque demon head’s that appeared to be stone. Upon nearing them, they animated, biting at everything around them, and several abberant beastmen attacked the party. Some used the wall heads to teleport behind the players, while some caused melee attacks to reflect off onto others. The players came out on top, exhausted and spent, ready to rest for whatever passes for night.
GM Transition point
Suddenly a gargoyle from the previous room burst forth from the closed doors! Before any of them could respond, Ryun’Leh destroyed the gargoyle from behind in dramatic fashion. Reintroducing himself to the party (and meeting Karter and Thorvar for the first time) he explained that he had made it back to his mountain monastery, reequipped himself and headed back out into the world to locate the party again. He tracked them into the forest, and found himself stuck in the Pyramid as the party was. It was a rather simple matter to find his way to them, as they had killed everything on the way.
(The party gained 730 exp for this and the previous encounter at this point)
As they settle down to rest for an extended period, Mindantis resizes the Darkleaf Armor +2 for Tryn’s small frame.
(Extended rest for all but Setra and partial for Mindantis)
During the rest, each of the party’s arcane practitioners become aware of an arcane disturbance to the southwest of their current position.
Karter’s bardic training prevented this effect from disturbing his sleep much aside from awaking with a very odd feeling.
Mindantis had a fitful trance, haunted by bizarre images and feeling the curse placed upon him by his brother’s infernal pact flare up and grip him tighter. With some help from Fy, he attempted to ward himself against further encroachment of the curse’s effect. They were partially successful but it takes a measure of concentration and mental energy to maintain the ward. Thus, his combat abilities are diminished, and he is no longer able to prepare his spells each day. (Daily powers do not renew)
Setra, who’s control of the arcane energies she wields is tempered by a dark pact with infernal beings, was losing control. As the rest progressed, she was more and more overwhelmed by the distorting effect and eventually lost control of her powers entirely. Her infernal pact was warped and twisted so that rather than draw arcane energies from the infernal realms, it was drawing the infernal realm and it’s power into her body itself.
When Karter went to check on her after they had all finished their rest, he noticed the first sign of trouble. Setra’s eyes had gone red, as if made of polished ruby, burning from within with an internal fire. She rose as if pulled by puppet strings and spoke with the voice of the infernal realm that was poring into her. Karter was able to determine that something had gone wrong with her pact, and with Mindantis’ help, managed to push the energies overwhelming her body and mind deep deep inside her head, to the point where she could regain full use of her body and speak normally again. This process had stripped her of all but the faintest hint of her arcane abilities, and left her dazed, exhausted, and scared.
Not wanting to bring Setra into combat, Thorvar ‘offered’ to stay behind and guard (and monitor) her. The rest of the party moved to investigate the hidden door they had found in the room they had slept in. It lead to an unassuming chamber with a gate at the far end, a hooded figure in stone relief on either side of the gate. Upon reaching the gate, the doors in it opened on their own. As each member of the party moved through the gate, they heard a whispered thought in their head telling them that another member of the party had been cursed. Eventually, it was determined that the gate would only curse those that revealed this secret information, but also curse the one who was claimed to be cursed. After being cursed himself, Mindantis went through the gate, and did not say (or do, or look at) anything, especially not to Karter (who he had been told was cursed). After some time had elapsed, they determined the Nature of the curse, and that they had to pass some kind of test for the other two doors in the room on the other side of the gate before the final door would open and allow them to proceed further.
Upon returning to the room they had left Setra and Thorvar in, they discovered Thorvar looking confused and struggling to hold Setra down as she writhed and clutched at her head. A check of the barriers they had placed in her mind revealed a cascade failure was occurring and would soon expand outward from her body. The group hastily departed the room, and soon heard the noise of the breach event occurring. They returned to the room to find a perfectly spherical piece of the room missing. Beds, walls, floor and ceiling all removed from this plane by the planar inversion that had enveloped and consumed the space where Setra had been. No signs of her remained within this plane of existence.
Karter said a quick Prayer to Avandra for Setra’s fate, and the group moved on to attempt to figure out the mystery of the remaining two gates.