After killing the chumpacabra the party headed up the mountain with the red rocks – but only after a nasty moment when something large and terrifying thundered down the path towards us. Just Talon, a bit late for the epic fight.
At the top of the mountain we found a) a brilliant view of most of the mountain and b) lots of remains. They seemed to have been offerings / sacrifices made by the savages to the winged monster. These included a recent body of a deformed infant. We came to the conclusion that the savages were a doomed community even before we killed them all – their inbreeding had already sealed their fate. The rock was still the unusual red colour up close and nothing grew on it, not even lichen. However, we found nothing further of interest up there.
We were stumped for a bit, since there was no sign of the serpent lady. Going back to the cove we decided we had to perform the rite on the tide stone. It didn’t need human sarifice, thankfully. Blood from each of four characters (from a cut hand) on each of the sentinel stones plus water poured onto the hollow in the central stone, from the mithral hook, worked fine. The last bit didn’t go quite as planned. Jerah contends the witch was meant to shout out "Y"’s name, but the pregnant silence after the water pouring caused Jerah to prompt, very loudly, "you were meant to say …. " And the NG cleric of Sarenrae unintentionally completed the rite.
Lots of thunder and lightning followed, certain death if anyone had stood on one of the stones. Also most of party deaf for a bit. Did the trick though, and the water in the cove fell by 20 to 30 ft. Exposed a wreck and some doors at the far end. The area was not dry, lots of pools of water. As we tried to cross one, a shark attacked. The witch slept it and it was immediately desptached, by Talon who did a coup de grace which included his back stab stuff of course. A sad end for a warrior of the seas, but very efficient of the party. We checked out the wreck, the Salty Strumpet. We were going to ignore it, but a detect magic showed up something and greed won out. The wreck had a number of tenants (craabs and the like), in particular a water mephit called Ecubus. The crabs etc. he called his crew, styling himself captain. We got to talking, and he didn’t notice Talon trying to eat one of his crab crew. Turns out a serpent creature, but with legs, went by about a week ago. Ieana of course. He also described the doors nearby as scary, having pictures of vampires on them. Nice. We got the magic item, a rope of climbing, without incident.
Reaching the doors, with the brave water mephit in tow to “help” us, we find indeed that under the seaweed there are reliefs of vampiric demons feasting on maidens. It is clearly different to the details we found in the Mother Thrunefang caves, but frustratingly we found we didn’t have the knowledge to make sense of it at all.
Through the doors and up some stairs, there is a huge chamber – always above sea level. The shape of the whole thing is a bit like the plan of a guitar. The stairs come in along the fret board. At the bottom of the guitar (far end from us) are some double doors. As the chamber expands out there are alcoves, two each side, shaped like a huge serpent’s maw. There was a bridge at right angles to us, across the widest part of the chamber and about 40 ft up. Doors at each end of the bridge. Sadly, there were four serpent folk skeletons on the bridge throwing javelins. As the Monk and Talon tried and failed to climb up pillars to them, they jumped down onto the party. A tough fight followed which we won, but at the cost of quite a lot of healing.
Examining things more closely we found: lever back near the entrance doors that closed them; the doors at the far end were of a strange kind of bronze with rivers (did I mean rivulets?) of red on them, like they were bleeding; also a trapdoor in one the of the alcoves where Jerah had bravely hidden. Needed all Talo’s strength to open this, to be met with a blast of foul, stale air from the hole below (20 ft down). Clearly there was cavern, with a floor that looked liquid and a faint rattling sound. Party decided to avoid the hole and the bleeding doors for now. The water mephit had already decided to avoid everything and had left before we closed the outer doors. We aslo found many reliefs of bats, human sacrifice and walking dead. Again, we just didn’t have the knowledge to make sense of it.
Party climbed the pillars to the bridge and opened the doors on the right – which made a very loud squealing noise. The walls in here were covered with many characters, which again we couldn’t decipher – but one, that of a fanged skull, predominated. We found some alcoves, filled with 6 skeletons. Took our time killing these due to the difficulty of fighting in 5 ft corridors. [The ready action is now also loathed, alongside grapple]. This side of the upper rooms included a further, empty chamber. All doors squeal like mad as we open them.
The party has gone back over the bridge and is now about to open the door on the other side…..