25th of Kythorn (continued)
On their way back from the Necrotic Cradle, the Fortune’s Favored are both frustrated and relieved to find that the tunnels have shifted during their previous battle, blocking their path to the surface, but also blocking the Babau horde’s pursuit. They find another tunnel that leads to another part of the Black Catacombs where they come across a badly injured Trumpet Archon. The Archon tells them her name is Benelisa and that she has been trapped in the Catacombs for the demons’ amusement since before the fall of Narfell. She asks that the four heroes retrieve her trumpet and help free her from her imprisonment. She tells them that her trumpet is kept in the tomb of Zerakiel the Forgotten, a long-dead wizard-king of Narfell.
The heroes quietly enter a courtyard outside of Zerakiel’s tomb and try to find a way to open the tomb without alerting the scores of Babau demons that patrol the catacombs. Balthus finds some inscriptions on a large demonic statue in the courtyard, but reads the wrong part first and is blasted with bolts of negative energy. Shaffer, enraged by his friend’s injury, attacks the statue and summarily cleaves it in twain. A loud bell rings out, the metal gate that leads out of the courtyard magically shuts itself and the tomb opens. Cold mist seeps out the crypt and the hideous lich-form of Zerakiel the Forgotten emerges from the darkness. A deadly battle erupts in the crypt, but the Fortune’s Favored manage to destroy the lich… for the time being.
With a spell of Detect Magic (courtesy of Saladin’s newly acquired Sorceror levels), the heroes track down the Archon’s trumpet and free it from its secret compartment (Shaffer smashed it open). Saladin reads a magical inscription that has been engraved into another statue inside the tomb, but makes the same mistake as Balthus and gets blasted with negative energy. Shaffer reacts by slicing the second statue into dust as well. Unfortunately, the blow destroys the statue and unleashes a torrent of eldritch energy that starts to engulf the tomb. The heroes beat a hasty retreat and Shaffer smashed the iron gates with Balthus’ sword.
The heroes make a beeline for Benelisa’s holding cell and return her trumpet to her. She uses the Trumpet to blast away the wards that held her in place and then uses it to help Balthus overcome the teleportation wards set around the Temple. The heroes teleport out of the Temple and emerge in a peaceful glen, about two days’ ride away from Heliogabalus. Benelisa’s condition improves drastically in the sun and fresh air and she offers the heroes her thanks.
She cures Shaffer’s Constitution drain, purifies everyone of the taint they had acquired from the Rawlinswood and the Temple, explains Methiel’s condition (he’s becoming a vampire and his soul is lost in the Abyss) and gives them a trumpet that allows them to summon her once should they need her.