After smashing through the two-pupil eye the cultists were worshipping, the party made its way further down into the depths of Khyber. The passageways became less like stone and more like spongy flesh. They came across some more dolgrims, huddled around a pool of viscous red and purple liquid—the blood of Khyber. The dolgrims were swiftly dispatched, and the party was able to rest in the glow of Khyber’s blood, rejuvenating them completely. They even bottled some of it, using two of Buckskin’s empty flasks.
In the next chamber, the darkness grew more oppressive, causing even the brightest sunrod to dim to a small spark. The heroes fought a large creature of darkness, insubstantial and deadly, and had quite a battle with it. Unit 314 was engulfed by the creatures dark embrace and nearly perished, but the heroes eventually managed to defeat it, with special mention for Kritos’ psychic attacks.
Venturing forth, the cavern became increasingly more flesh-like, and as the party encountered another group of dolgrims, this time led by a dolgaunt, they rushed in with abandon. This proved foolish, as the cavern floor had hungry mouths ready to snap at their feet. Buckskin and Kritos stayed in back launching arrows and eldritch energy while the rest of the party mixed it up in melee. Once all of the mouths, the battle became futile for the misshapen creatures.
Finally the heroes found what they were looking for, the Sheriff of Blackroot, Toraash’Dorrm, another dolgaunt, holding Doria Veledaar hostage, and several cultists lay within the inner sanctum. Toraash was no longer wounded, and wore a breastplate crafted of raw muscle, studded with over a dozen blinking eyes. Trying to talk their way into having Doria released, Brand tried to offer their halfling archer in trade, but Toraash didn’t seem to like that idea. Unit 314 rushed in and laid waste to several of the cultists with a mighty, psionically-powered blow, but was unable to free Doria from the dolgaunt’s tentacled grip. The dolgaunt executed Doria and the battle was joined. Almehym in particular dealt some vicious stabbings to their enemies. The cultists had reinforcements, however, and midway through the fight more of them entered the chamber from the furthest depths of the cavern. Eventually, the cultists were slain, and Toraash’s disturbing armor crawled off of him onto the floor. Almehym decided it was a good idea to pick it up and wear it, and the alien voice within commanded him to “Show me what this world has to offer.”
The final chamber of the caverns held several coffins lined with pulsing Khyber shards, with villagers trapped within. A crystal outcropping in the center of the room seemed to be corrupting the souls of those trapped in the coffins, warping their minds and making them fanatical zealots of Belashyrra, the Lord of Eyes. The heroes managed to smash and manipulate the controls of the machine until it was destroyed, unleashing a wave of harmful energy upon them all.
The few villagers who had been saved, including Doria’s parents and brother, were very grateful to the party. Doria’s brother told the group of Doria’s investigation into where the dragonmark energy of Aric Blacktree might have been sent to, and agreed to lead them to the site.