The group was back in Westgate from the temple, following their close call with statuary. They restocked on alchemical supplies, healing potions, and bandoliers.
Also, it was decided that a separate group would go to the upcoming Gathering, traveling with Mirror the Pymlion oracle. Xaxe, Shopik, Zim, Friday, Davaros, Carbatkin, and one of his guards, so that the council can stay and guide the colony, while the adventurers can continue their forays into the temple.
Upon returning to the temple, the group discovered subtle differences in the doors at the main entrance. Upon opening those doors, they were set upon by many tentacles, far too large for any common creature of the sea.
The groping appendages grabbed most of the party and tried to drag them within, but the group fought back, trying to wriggle free, and severing the tentacles, which were emerging from a portal to some place beyond this reality. It is rumored that Adapa traveled there seeking enlightenment, but returned only with madness. The group decided to put off that trip until later.
The group found more passages, some with the concave grooves like they had seen elsewhere, as if made for transporting small, rounded boulders, or some sort of liquid. The group decided to follow a non-grooved passage, leading to a room with three doors. The doorways were labeled “peace,” “wrath,” and “negotiation.”
They went through the “peace” door, finding a long hallway with cushioned floors and soft filament-covered walls. The hall turned gently, but increasingly, to the left, and declined even more gently. At the end of the hall, more than a quarter of a mile long, was a soft slide/climb down into a round room with a pedestal in the middle, holding only a seat cushion. It turned out to be magical, and would restrain anyone sitting upon it.
The cushion was taken by Moccan for further research, and upon picking it up, those in the room felt it moving upward with the walls and roof squeezing inward, and the angle of the hallway changed accordingly. Then Arturian searched the room, especially the pedestal, finding a mechanism allowing movement of the room. Adding weight to the pedestal caused the room to sink, with the roof lifting away and the walls tilting out.
The room seemed to come to an almost stop, then continued much further downward, eventually coming to a rest on a mine floor. There were many small, milky corundum crystals still in the earth and stone floor. There was no visible ceiling or walls from this point.
Rebecca headed west, eventually finding a mined wall full of larger and purer stones. Traveling around the wall, the crystal quality declined elsewhere in the massive cavern, and several grooved passages leading upward were found. at the base of these grooved passages were many broken pieces of crystal.
In the rough middle of the massive cavern was found seven rainbow-colored translucent pillars made of the same corundum found in the walls, set into a circle, and tilted slightly outward as they rise up out of sight above. Each pillar has grooves facing its neighboring pillar, and one facing outward. After much searching, several devices made of corundum were found in, or near, several of the grooves.
After some research, the devices were manipulated to travel within a groove up the pillar it is on, and out of sight and reach. So, Rebecca flew upward for more exploration, finding a crystal latticework connecting the pillars roughly 25 feet up, repeated every 30 feet. At 80 feet are flying buttress-like structures made of lattice. The pillars angled back toward each other above the buttresses. And at roughly 150 feet up, just shy of where the pillars came back together, a jutting shelf of cave approaches the pillars.
Upon the shelf was a frightening, red-skinned humanoid creature with far too many knife-like teeth whose macabre smile preceded an aerial combat, With Rebecca getting range support from the ground by the others. Then there was much falling.
On the ground, the creature did not fair well, and was ready to be finished off by Rebecca. Then she made the unfortunate choice to stand before striking, taking a fatal blow from the creature in response. The rest of the group were not able to respond in the few seconds that followed before the catfolk’s dying words.