The entrance to the Ivory Labyrinth is watched, and as we appear we are assaulted by the guardian creatures, led by a marilith demon. Rui takes her out, while Babs and I finish the rest of her minions. We take a moment to get our bearings before we move on.
The Labyrinth is vast, a dungeon-like tangle of rooms and tunnels, with the walls and floor formed from countless numbers of bones of all shapes and sizes. Fortunately our tracking and survival skills have grown appreciably in the last few months,and we make steady progress. Six days of travel finds us approaching the Breathless Mountains.
These Mountains consist of winding ledges, passes, and tunnels through 25k to 45k feet tall mountains. Frigid conditions persist, and we are forced to endure the elements for sixteen days of misery. Various creatures are encountered, but the critters in this area of the realm are not a serious threat to a party of our skill. At the end of the last day, we leave the mountains and enter the next region, where we find the prison we seek.
Suspended above a caldera of black water, the Ineluctable Prison lives up to its name. Demons stand before the only visible door in the structure, awaiting our arrival. Entrance and exit will not be easy. Fortunately, we are not easily deterred. Once the demons are vanquished, we approach the hideous door, the Groaning Gate, and I proceed to disable the trap and pick the locks. We then enter the prison proper.
We quickly come to an acid-filled room being patrolled by a group of demodands, who are made quick work of by Babs. However, the rooms other inhabitant, some sort of crystal ooze, paralyzes most of our party before we can even react. I make myself invisible and work on the door locks while Rui dodges and weaves around the oozes tentacle strikes. Once the door is open, Rui and I drag our friends to the relative safety of the next room.
After wandering aimlessly through the maze of prison, a Helping Hand appears before us, appearing to beckon us forward. Hoping that Iomedae’s Herald has found a way to guide us, we follow the hand. It leads us to a halfling girl named Waxberry, who apparently was caught up in the capture of the Herald, and has been here every since. She claims to have seen Baphomet attempting to corrupt the Herald, taking his heart and giving it to the Warden. She also tells us of another prisoner, Alderpash, whom the demons appear to fear, and and we move with increased haste to find this captive, the Warden, and of course our Herald.
After discussing our options, Bob decides to use her magicks to learn more about Alderpash. She discovers that he is, in fact, an ancient Rune Lord of Thassilon, the Lord of Wrath, who had dealing with Baphomet in his elder days, which lead to his being imprisoned here for countless centuries. His status as a lich has kept him undying. Babs wishes to speak with the ancient Rune Lord, and so we continue our search for his cell. Along the way, we encounter the haunt of a crusader who tasks us with retrieving her weapon, Dawnflower’s Kiss, to help her find her rest.
Once we locate Alderpash, we discover that he is not physically imprisoned, but kept in with a Binding. He has turned himself into a lich in the intervening years, likely to prolong his existence. Although he has doubts about Atoning for his misdeeds, his centuries of imprisonment have him considering any means to end his incarceration. He agrees to Atone, and joins us in our mission to end Baphomet and free the Herald.