Leading away from the party’s initial entrance to the Pit of Shells is the final leg of this dungeon. The exit takes a sharp descent and a couple of sets of richety ladders lead down, with enough stability to support the degenerate serpentfolk. The silence of the underground will swallow the party whole as the world around them seems to melt away. Slime, mildew, and various bulbs of bodily fluids pop and sizzle in the muck of the cavern walls. About 140 feet of climbing later and the companions reach the entrance to the Hall of Drink
Hall of Drink – the party will drop into the back end of the dwarven temple’s mead hall, about 120 feet long with each side being 50 feet in diameter. It is a room shaped like a dumbell, with the party situated at the south end. The dwarven remains are few and far between, what still exists of their kind are twigs that were stone pillars, great outstretching tables that have long since snapped and rotted under the weight of evil that surrounds it. In this den Lamashtu holds absolute domain. Broken flagons are painted with her seal, the torn remains of victims of all shapes and sizes are strewn about the dank stretches of the room. Pillars of pustalance and decay seem erected on purpose to cover any dwarven remenant of their presence here. The ley light of the temple’s presence only stretches 40 feet across the initial room and fades from there, shallowed whole by the presence ahead. Investigating the party will find what appears to be large river, undulating across what appears to be a demonic garden. The party will notice indented orifices, mating spots of the senior serpentfolk. Any attempt to attack will awaken the Serpentfolk Queen. The two remaining clerics of Lamashtu are already aware of the party’s presence and will attack as soon as one comes within 10 feet of the middle of the Hall.
In pitched combat, the companions defeat the serpentfolk queen, a dual head monstrosity tethered to the uterian channel that carves across the garden. The two elder serpentfolk clerics also fall, and are immediately reduced to ash. Dainholdt is saddened, as he will not be able to user their hands to unlock the door above.
After defeating the serpentfolk queen, the party may continue forward through the unhallowed garden. They will come quickly to the true entrance of the Tomb of Saint Naris. Designed exactly as the mausoleum above ground, this entrance has no need to hide amongst the living or withdraw away from the burning sun. It is a glorious site to Lamashtu, fully adorned in her most grandiose of designs. The blackened stone has been twisted to resemble a hooded snake, atop the head of the stone entrance are the three eyes of Lamashtu, creating an unbreakable barrier of lashing evil. This barrier will whip out at any of the party getting too close, causing intense despair and gut wrenching pain. Knowledge Religion reveals that only the touch of one uncorrupted by greed, who lives a path of absolution, can shatter this barrier.
Investigating around the entrance (which is about 30 feet in length and must lead downward) will reveal yet more inky blackness surrounding the party. Knowledge Planes and spellcraft will reveal an opening to the Abyss, hidden from naked sight of mortals. It resembles more a black lake painting the ground ahead and once the eyes of the party adjust to notice it, the fainting lapping of it’s waters can be heard, the coolness of the air comes from here. This is faint touch of the realm of Kurnugia, Lamashtu’s layer of the Abyss. Shining 3 lights of any kind will draw forth a spirit from the blackened realm, the dwarf who founded this tower; Brak. He appears a wispy most transparent version of his living form; a charismatic if unassuming dwarf, clad in but a simple pearl hued robe. His voice carries strength with humility, a patience of eons waiting for the warriors who might destroy this seeded evil within his people’s home.
“I have not seen… not felt a light upon my face for so long. Time’s maw has stretched out before me, swallowing those I called brothers and family, turning their bones into dust while I languished in these waters unable to change my peoples fate. When we fell to this world from our skies, our mettle was tested again and again against the Demon Queen’s forces. Repeatedly we repelled her demons, but only to have our fortress sink deeper into the earth, weighed down by Lamashtu’s new births of evil. The stone and the cave, once our ally, turned against us and split our tower into pieces. Her forces dragged us down like the tunnel spider does it’s prey; slowly but inevitably.”
The apparition begins to free itself from the slow tide of Kurnugia, his holy steps burning away the toxic liquids into warm vapors. He moves with purpose around the tomb entrance as if drawn to his final task in this life.
“We felt the end would come from suffocation, that Lamashtu would see leave us to choke on our own used breath. It was against the most heated of battles that we notice an intelligence behind her hordes. Until then we had relied on her throngs of demons being their own worst enemies.”
There is a shudder to the spirit as he reaches out to touch the unholy barrier, his calloused and gnarled hand causing duress to the seething chaos. It lashes through his form; ineffectual to stopping the spirit’s touch. The chaotic nature of the barrier makes this all but impossible.
“On black wings it emerged, a she beast of breathtaking beauty and stunning power. It was this ancient daughter of Lamashtu that led the demons now; flanked by newly adorned clerics. Serpent and man, knitted together in a mockery of our mortal form. They commanded the demonic hordes and reigned them into submission. The winged destroyer flew even within these cavern walls; her red acidic breath corroding flesh and stone and metal and bone alike, rendering it all into fine dust. I watched dwarven battle clerics, their lips torn from their faces by claw and teeth, their hearts shorn from their ribs by the foulest of magics. They choked out their prayers to our dying god as their bodies collapsed under bloat and filth.”
Brak finds his weak spot, a hair’s breath of split between the weave of evil blocking the Tomb’s entrance and let’s loose a stunning fist. The weight of his voice changes drastically from wraith to wrath and in ancient dwarvish he howls, smashing the barrier with such rapid blows that white sparks split the air and cavern dust falls from the cave sky above. The ground splits below him and around the tomb, sinking it a foot on the left side. The three eyes atop the serpentine building crack; the barrier now lashes out in despiration, a gurgling hiss like a snake being choked can be heard all around. A buried set of lay lines, the last vestige of the dead god Beral’s power, sears upwards into Brak’s airy form now revealed from his attacks.
Brak turns and looks to the party, his eyes connecting with each one. They are brilliant, the iris’s burst the brilliant yellow of the sun and the party feels heat within their souls well up replenishing some of their strength. What was once incorporeal, tainted and besmirched by Kurnugia’s midnight waters now appears solid, flesh reborn as steel and honor. Knowledge Religion reveals Brak has been reborn an archon without attachment to any of the current divinities from the energy within the lay lines however it’s power is short, meant to only fuel a lone warrior’s last strike.
“The eldest of the serpentfolk, Naris, attacked and conquered our strongest position. Our forge, once kept white hot by my god’s gaze, lies beneath this barrier. You will fine it subverted, my people’s greatest gift used to fuel Lamashtu and her daughter’s designs. Avenge my dwarven brothers and sisters, see that their sacrifice was not in vain and that Saint Naris is cleansed from earth and sky forever!!!”
The archon release his last flurry against the barrier. Mind shattering light fills the cavern, it’s holy heat chasing the waters of Kurnugia away from it’s makeshift shore. The cavern is lit from tip to tip; the twisted garden burned in the fire of righteousness. The strips of dwarven spirits that were part of the cancerous flow along the surfaces of the rock are boiled to oblivion. The last sight than anyone’s eye can discern is the archon shattering the barrier. It’s release knocks the party flat and a dozen feet away from the impact zone, deafening and staggering the entire group. Once they rise to their feet and look about, dim light hangs in the air and the entire area is purified. The waters of Kurnugia are gone, leaving but baked cracked sand in it’s wake. The barrier has been vaporized, a fine mist of Lamashtu’s power disappearing from view. Behind it is a stone wall within the serpent head entrance, cracked and smoking. A close inspection will reveal the shaft of a weapon and pulling it out will bring the entire tomb entrance to dust and grant the party Brak’s last gift, the warhammer known as Testament.
With the mauseloum in dust and the area cleansed (Kurnugia has disppeared) Vaan helps lower the party via long cart used to send sacrifices down to Saint Naris. Lowered and entering into the real tomb, the party comes face to face with the disfigured forges of the forgotten dwarven people. Here lies the blackened heart of Saint Naris; nestled in the largest forge and protected by thick stained glass his voice booms out, demanding surrender by the companions. They refused and the heart begins to beat with apparitions of Saint Naris attacking the party.