Having defeated the grell, the party explored down the hallway that Karl had seen the grell come from the first time he’d been in the tunnel. After a couple of winding turns, the party heard approaching footsteps. As some of the characters had difficulty in keeping quiet, the footsteps approached faster as two humanoids came to investigate the noise. Karl flattened himself against the wall as a human and a halfling turned the corner at a run. Seeing the party, they attacked. Karl managed to get the drop on one the human, killing him in one strike, and the other was killed by the rest of the party.
From there, the group explored the passageway, which opened into a juncture of three doors. They found a secret door at the back of an alcove, and proceeded through it to a room where six people in robes were weaving some form of mystical energies toward an unconscious human-shaped figure in the center, whose arm ended at the elbow and from there, merged into a large lobster-claw. The paladins’ holy senses detected strong evil in the room. The party moved to attack, and a fight ensued. As each of the casters turned their attention to the party, the mystical energies weakened a little, and the tendril of black arcane energy that that caster had been controlling withered and died. The rboed figures turned out to be a mixture of arcane and divine casters, and in the fight, several exhibited a strange ability. A green slimy tentacle oozed out of the skin of their forehead and extended to attack independently of its possessor’s normal means of attack. At one point the green slime blasted out from the forehead of one of the casters and coated the party in corrosive slime, which had numbing effects, and sapped their resolve and strength of will.
As the casters seemed to be losing the fight, one of them, a dwarf who had been in the rear of the troops, picked up the unconscious figure and ran out of the room at the end farthest from the party. As soon as the last caster in the room was down, the party pursued.
At this point, the reader should recall that Chance had gone off to visit the Collegium chapterhouse in the city. While visiting with other academics, Chance shared a few of his observations from his adventures in recent weeks. One of the other scholars there, Quascon, approached him later and told him that his discoveries were interesting, but if he wanted to see something REALLY interesting, he should come with him across town. His interest piqued, Chance followed to be led through the private residence of one of the Collegium fellowes, down into the basement, and a subbasement… To a room where others were studying books and casting magics using a form of magic that Chance had reason to suspect was dangrous. Chance’s associate then said that Chance should learn from the tomes, which were brought by Gwardesh. Recognizing the name of the mentor of the goblin shaman, Chance suggested that such magics were perhaps not meant to be learned by mortal minds. At that point, a dwarf burst into the room carrying an unconscious malformed human man, shouting, “We are discovered! There’s been an attack!” Following the dwarven mage into the room, Bella stood in the doorway and saw Chance at the other end of the room. They stared at one another in surprise until Chance strode forward and said “There you are! I think we should just apologize and leave this place.”
However, once shown, one cannot be unshown. Quascon told Chance, “I’m sorry I misjudged you, Chance, but after showing you our work, I can’t let you leave.” Once again, a fight ensued, with the remaining scholars in the room coming to the defense of the man who brought Chance there. Bella rushed into the room and, using the gift of her draconic birthright, breathed a cone of frost into the assembled host, killing most of them outright. The remaining few exhibited the strange slime tendril as well, and managed to put up a fight, with the help of their master, until finally, all were defeated. The Master hysterically warned Chance that Gwardesh sees all, that he knows everything they do, and that there are things beyond his control that Gwardesh will set into motion.
At that point, Koldok started to shudder and groan, visibly troubled, his expresion one of fierce concentration. he shouted “NO!” before slashing at Priya with his sword, cutting her. Priya attempted to subdue him, but he continued to use lethal force against her. Chance and Karl then surrounded Koldok and battered at him to bring him to unconsciousness. To no avail. Not only did his wounds seem to close, his flesh also rippled and swelled as if he were growing in an irregular distribution. Quascon said “I told you! It’s too late to stop him!” Bella finally silenced Quascon forever, using magical bolts of arcane energy.
Koldok flew into a rage, slashing and hitting at all the party members, until at last they used lethal force, lest they be taken down by one of their own. Eventually, they brought him down, but his body was now deformed, and his wounds continued to close while he was unconscious, until Priya drove her sword through his chest, killing him.
The party decided they better get out of there and tell someone what happened, but Chance recalled seeing another strange creature wandering around while he was on his way in — a white spider with a pale humanoid torso. After looting the bodies, retrieving a magical rapier and a pair of armored bracers, they deicded to plan their escape.