From the journal of Perion de la Foret
Why would we need a break before finishing the tomb, dwarf? We’re heroes. We cannot rest until we clear the den.
That logic did not ring true to the rest of the party, mind you, but “search the room before we leave” did, and we found a a direct line to call a specific spot in the 9 hells, in the form of a magic circle to speak into, and a statue to hear from. This was too curious to for any of us to ignore, and too dangerous a tool to leave unmolested. Our party spent a long while debating about what to do with it, and we had several good ideas, but in the end realized we had no idea HOW to make it work, and I suspected any form of tampering would alert whatever was on the other end. This did not dissuade me, but the question of our party surviving did. Thus, in the end, we left it. Fortunately, the very next room provided a way to get someone with more expertise to the circle in short order.
We found a quixotic skeletal Naga, named Zel Gionn, who insisted she was immortal, despite already being dead. She had apparently been summoned to guard a portal to and from “anywhere we can imagine” in this temple hundreds of years ago, and “lived” to serve the empire of Bael Turath, insisting their fall was but a minor setback, and that the southern planes would rise again. Clearly she was beyond reason, but polite and loyal. We played to her vanities and let her spin her tale & tell all she knew on how the portal works. We inquired as to her job here, talked about her goals and our aspirations, and soon realized we both wanted The Throne of Anguish, even if we were at cross purposes in the end. We joked and threatened and offered her a job if she would defect and tell us where it was, but Zel Gionn kept loyal to her old employer. She might have made a good friend, if she weren’t our enemy.
We ended our pleasantries and got down to business. Arandur opened the festivities with his holy powers, and she unsettled us all with a clacking of her bones. Three other skeletons appeared from the corner crypts and attacked, and we had a hard time making any headway. While they distracted the party, I focused the gaze of Corellon upon the Naga and kept the pressure on her. While her defenses were impeccable, my divine sanction was resistless. The Naga burned up the remnants of her body trying to fight us, and once she fell and her bones scattered across the floor of the catacombs the portal that she was guarding was revealed, a floating circular band of crackling blue energy inside of which mists swirled and then parted in a stormy cycle offering clairvoyant views of several scenes:
Baron Varsod chanting over a dark tome – He stops after a few seconds and turns toward the portal. He looks directly at the party and starts to approach reaching his hands out as if to grab onto you. “Your blood will be used to sanctify the temple once again and I will see you damned to Nessus for all eternity!”
…then clouds form within the portal and in a moment again reveal…
The Tyrrn city guards rallying – Tieflings in dark horned uniforms grabbing up curved barbed swords and crossbows, rallying and mounting horses with cries of anger, “Yes, it’s true! There are graverobbers in the old ruined temple east of the river! They have desecrated our holy site! They’ll pay with their blood!”
…then cloudy again and when it parts…
Duergar tormenting dwarves and humans – The groans and cries of the slaves echo through a the tunnel as they are taunted by their captors and marched out into a large vaulted cavern.
“Oh yes, you wretched skeegs, you’ll help us dig for it.”
“If you’re the one who finds the the throne maybe we’ll kill you quickly! Ha ha ha!”
“Move! It’s into the Deeps for you!”
As they emerge into the immense underground cavern a huge tower comes into sight dominating the view through the portal. The structure seems impossibly high and looks to be fashioned from a deep blue tinged granite and the walls themselves flicked with a solid coating of red flames as if the granite itself is steadily burning to illuminate the immense cave surrounding it. Other towers and intricate multistory buildings are carved up the walls of the cave and bring, glowing hot lava runs can be seen behind the tower sliding down the walls along intricate channels and bubbling a sulfurous steam that you can almost smell through the portal.
…the picture dims away and then refocuses showing…
A reverent dragonborn warrior kneeling before an altar – He is clad in blue tinged plate armor that shines coldly in the flickering light of his offering candles. The paladin reaches down to his side for an offering for his god. He produces a large ram’s horn adorned with gold ornamentation…