12 Kuthona, 4713 – Iobaria, Artrosa
Waking refreshed, the party decides to return to the temple and investigate the two condtructed doors which led from the room rather than explore another unknown passage. When they get back to the temple, they check the southern door first. It leads down a long and meandering hallway which has several twists and turns before emptying into a large chamber. The door is several feet off the ground and a rickety wooden staircase leads to the main floor. Hunter spies the room’s occupants; two frost giants and a rather beautiful and very pregnant young woman, and tries to sneak up to them to listen to their conversation. Although trying to be stealthy, again, Ingvar’s armor proves too heavy for the staircase and causes it to creak loudly which alerts the room’s occupants and they turn to attack.
As the giants launch their spear attacks and rush forward, the young woman disappears. During the conflict she pops in and out as she tries to use a weakness attack on several party members with some success. However, in spite of the surprise nature of her attacks, the party is able to defeat the giants and kill the woman who is revealed to be a fat misshapen green hag in disguise. While searching the bodies and the room, the party discovers a strange cookbook which has several odd recipes in it. It is given to Alabaster to study to see if there is any information of value to the group.
With no exit in the room they climb back up to the temple to check out the last door. It leads to what appears to be a mausoleum of some kind with ten doors and ten statues. After some searching the party deduces that the sign above each door corresponds to the name engraved at the base of a statue. There is a brief disagreement between party members as some believe that breaking into the tombs to take items is nothing more than tomb robbing and others make the case that what if the keys they seek are in one of the tombs, or even some item which will help in searching for Baba Yaga. A compromise is reached to ask Jadrenka’s permission to search the tombs.
Finding a corridor on the other side of the room, they follow it up some stairs and realize they are back in the “Maiden” statue when they find a table and a small bowl of maiden statues in various poses. Continuing onward they discover a door they had not discovered the first time they passed through. Opening the door they find some more andrazku demons and coming down the corridor forward appears to be blocked by a frost giant. Using surprise, the heroes quickly dispatch the monsters. Rather than wander aimlessly, they decide to follow their steps to get back to the room where they left Jadrenka and Marislova.
Arriving back in the bedroom, they ask Jadrenka about the message from the bottle. She does indeed confirm that she has the key they seek, but will only turn it over once they have the second key. They PCs also seek her permission to explore the tombs. She initially disagrees as she does not think it wise to disturb the former Wardens. Aiwendil assures her that they will not disturb any of the corpses nor will break a seal on any door. She studies the druid for a moment then agrees, but warns him that any disturbance will bring dire consequences. He nods in understanding.
With her agreement, the party double backs through the coven room and grotto to take the stairs to the mausoleum. Once they arrive back in the mausoleum chamber, Aiwendil transforms into an earth elemental and is able to meld through the stone to investigate each sealed tomb. Not finding anything of any real value in their search for Baba Yaga, he is able to recover two magical swords which he gives to Ingvar and Hunter.
Having fully realized that the three statues are linked through transportation, they discuss the need of fully investigating all rooms and passages in the two statues they have mapped before delving fully into the “Crone”. Since they know of one unexplored passage in the next room over, which is the Temple of Mestama where they fought the witchfire, they all agree to finish exploring the “Mother” and then retrace to the Maiden to complete that one.
This corridor turns out to be a long straight passage that slopes upward until they come into a massive chamber. Near the entrance, Alabaster discovers a rune etched in the floor and determines that it is part of some sort of binding spell. Further inspection finds several cocoons hanging from the ceiling and a broken one on the floor which contains the desiccated corpse of an andrazku demon. They also find a massive spider-type creature, a bebilith, feasting on another corpse.
The party attacks but almost immediately regrets it as the creature is able to withstand much of the party’s magics and attacks. This is a long drawn out fight and the bebilith gets in several damaging hits on several characters which forces Vadoma to absorb a large amount of damage from her healing connection with the group members. Eventually, Hunter, Svala and Ingvar connect with critical hits and are able to kill off the fiendish spider. The party uses several of their potions and Vadoma channels to heal the group.