The party returned to Karst's Keep to train and gain knowledge. After resting for a week at Karstís Keep, the party headed back once again to the ancient dwarvish tunnels beneath Logmarís Tower.
Cazípar the friendly ghost led the party toward the Horned Hold.
The way led down, deep into the earth, and the temperature of the tunnels rose to an uncomfortable, stifling heat. Eventually, the party left its mounts, who were suffering in the extreme from the heat.
The party came to a long span across a river of lava. As the party approached, a strange creature descended from a protected space in the ceiling of the cavern (at least 60 feet above the floor of the tunnel). It had one large eye in the middle of its spheroid body. Around the fringe of the head were four other stalks or tentacles with smaller eyes.
It addressed the party using common Tumerian. It was obviously a creature of some intelligence. It called itself Gault and told the party that Logmar had charged Gault with guarding the bridge and not to let any pass that were not party of Logmar's operation with the gnolls, orcs, and Duergar. While Gault recognized that the party was not part of the operation, Gault said that he was bored. He made the following bargain with the party. Gault would ask the party a riddle. If they answered correctly then Gault would pretend that he had not seen them. If they answered incorrectly then he would let them pass and then harry the party at the worst possible moment until they had all died.
The riddle was some type of mathematical puzzler, and the party did reach the correct answer. Gault, true to his word, let Team Glarg pass.
A few kilometers later, the party saw a group of Duergar leading four dwarves into a side passage. When the party noticed them, the Duergar fled with the coffle of dwarves in a trot. The party heard the protesting rumble and squeal of large doors and then heard a scream.
The party arrived to find a portal carved with dwarven runes. Glog translated these as "far travel chamber." Rayne was able to work his dextrous trade on the doors and opened them without the usual key.
The party found three dwarves on a narrow strip above another lava flow. A fourth companion had fallen into the lava and was deceased by the time the party arrived. After rescuing the dwarves, the party found that the name of the cooked dwarf was "Unlucky," a fitting name indeed! The other three dwarves, Wheezy, Poxy, and Smelly, informed the party that they were being taken to the portal to receive their fill as vessels by the "great masters."
Mallan and Sola puzzled that this must be the way to the Slith burial chamber.
The party found that the bridge to the far side was very rickety, and only a few party members were able to cross including Kelmore the Dire, Rayne the Dextrous, and Sterling.
At the far end of the causeway was a large magical circle. There was some type of open portal as the party members hurriedly crossed, but it shut before they reached the far side.
As Kelmore, Rayne, and Sterling explored the room, noting a pile of skulls in one corner in addition to the circle, a large stone being (a statue, a golem, an elemental ???) appeared in the center of the circle and addressed the party asking them if they were marked with the symbol of passage. Rayne and Kelmore figured that this must be the "brand" that other hostages had talked about receiving. Indeed Wheezy, Poxy, and Smelly all had a strange symbol (that seemed to dance and crawl in the party members' eyes) emblazoned on their left hands. When it became obvious to the stoney messenger that the party members lacked the requisite mark, the messenger disappeared, and a large amoeba like creature appeared and attacked! The creature was huge, 15' in diameter.
Kelmore demonstrated his encyclopedic knowledge of Zhalindorian and outer-planar fauna by describing this creature as a Lime Jello that can only be damaged by biting it. Rayne immediately set to attacking it with his teeth. The Lime Jello lashed out with acidic pseudo-pods, causing great damage when they connected. Further, whenever party members hit the target with bladed weapons, the weapons cut off smaller blobs.
Sterling and Rayne fled, leaving Kelmore alone with the creature. Sterling was able to navigate the rickety bridge, but Rayne plummeted to a fiery, boiling death.
Perhaps the oddest thing about the encounter is that Kelmore seemed to communicate with the odd best that promptly disappeared after a few moments alone with Kelmore. Kelmore came back across the bridge bearing a large amount of treasure that had been secreted in the pile of skulls.
Sola intoned the remaining usage of reincarnation from the party's scroll, and Rayne returned none the worse for wear within twenty minutes.
The party was eager to continue to press its advantage and soon arrived within sight of the Horned Hold. A thick wall of dwarvish construction lay across the tunnel. in the middle of the wall was a portcullis of obvious, shoddy, orcish construction. Behind the portcullis, a brace of archers and orcish halbadeers stood scanning the tunnel. The party observed a large, chalk line drawn across the passage with several skeletons skewered by arrows laying nearby. Glarg concluded that this was a marker for the bowman to use as an aiming point.
The party elected to use its invisibility scroll to sneak all the way to the portcullis. Melee ensued, and it was a near thing for Team Glarg. In the end most of the party went down to rise again based on healing spells and tonics.
The party also freed a halfling named Garrett who promptly pledged himself to Team Glarg's cause.
The party recovered a magical key that allowed it to bypass the passage of death, filled with arrow slits and murder holes at the main entrance. The party also noted that there was a death mage (we hate those guys!) on the roof.
The party considered heading up the tower and bypassing the ground floor for a moment and then decided to clear out the edifice level by level. The fight on the ground floor swiftly fell in favor of the party, but then the death mage from the top level of the tower emerged and began testing the party in earnest.
Garrett and Glarg worked together to vanquish the tough foe.
The rest of the tower was cleaned out quickly and handily by our doughty gang.
The party found a teleportation circle on the roof of the hold, and the party quickly stepped through to find the inner-sanctum and the place where the marks of teleportation for the Slith mausoleum lay.
Even now the party prepares to lay waste the last remnants of Slith evil in these halls.