In the wee hours, after the flames had been quenched by the thunderstorm brought by Hiraevun, Serenio snuck up the stone stairs of the ruins revealed by the burning of the Nightshade. She found a storage room full of exploded glass containers, boxes of scrap metal, several skulls of common and strange animals, tubs of salt crystals and other minerals, a jar of copper pennies, and tucked away in an eastern nook, untouched by the fire, several hundred sheets of unused parchment. Bored by this, she took none of it and stuck her head through the burnt doorway to the west. The floorboards beyond had been ruined by the fire and the structural integrity of the remnants of the room were clearly compromised: fifteen or so feet from where she stood, the floor had collapsed, revealing the dirty pillars of a stone foundation, charred and choked with fire-dust.
After sunrise, another festering worm broke through from the sewers, along Candlewick Way between Candlewick’s End and the Joyous Slaker. The worm was defeated and retreated to the sewers, although Jaxson (a polytheistic paladin serving the ideals of both Nana and Hector), Ichi, and Eleusis fled in fear as it expelled an uncanny and foul shriek of retreat. Alena hurled a piece of debris at it as it retreated, which smacked into wet chitin plates and slid down the worm’s side.
After attempting to enter the sewers through the first worm hole and finding that too difficult, the party used a rope to lower themselves into the grid underlying the city at the freshly-burrowed hole on Candlewick Way. Once in the sewers, the group headed northeast, attempting to navigate their way towards Nana’s sacred grove, but became confused when they ran into some shoddily-constructed walls that had clearly been placed more recently than the original structure. After an attempt to break through these barriers, they turned back and returned to their point of ingress, then traveled southeast.
The eastern corridor immediately south of the point of ingress seemed suspicious to Serenio, and the party hesitated, noticing a fractured plate of glass shoved into an alcove about eight feet up the wall, just east of the intersection. The paladin Jaxson threw a piece of debris in an attempt to shatter the plate; the missile fell short, but did not fail to trigger a sonic alarm trap, which shattered the plate of glass. Glass fragments rained to the ground, but the group stood clear of this shrapnel, safe in the intersection and western corridor.
Moving through the broken glass, they discovered a wall carved with grotesque faces blocking any progress to the east. Eleusis was curious about the carvings, and although she could not identify anything familiar about their style, she did notice that the largest one, about eye-level to her, had blue quartz stones inset into it as eyes. When the priestess touched the face, it screamed a tirade of accusations and called for help, then fell silent. The face’s fearful cry was followed immediately by a bellowing voice somewhere in the corridor behind them: “Kill them all!” Prepared for some horrible onslaught, the five turned to face whatever opponents approached, but were confronted with nothing. Settling their nerves, then, they directed their attention back to the wall. An alcove was noticed some fifteen feet up. Several attempts were made to climb the structure, using the carved faces as hand- and footholds. More screaming accusations and insults issued from these carvings, and every attempt at climbing the wall ended in the climber either slipping or being startled backwards. After some consideration, the group organized itself into a living ladder, and the half-elf Alena stood on top, peering into the alcove. Scattered in the shallow space were some two dozen silver denari, a disappointment after the group’s efforts. Sensing another trap, the group hesitated to take the coins, and before any action could be taken, a contingent of goblin guards arrived on the scene.
The goblin threat was neutralized as Alena charmed the biggest of the three filthy humanoids. Incredibly, this goblin spoke a fractured rendition of Semnassin common. Gazing affectionately at Alena, Vee (one of three; its companions both being named Vee as well), agreed to lead them to an entrance to the area behind the grotesque wall.
The group was led to the south and then east, where another contingent of goblin guards waited. Recognizing that a fight was nearly inevitable at this point, Alena led her charmed friend back up the corridor and distracted him while the others struggled against five goblins. Four were killed, some of which suffered various states of dismemberment, while the fifth goblin fled through a previously concealed door in a northern wall. Learning from Vee that this led “home”, the group decided they were currently too weak to confront an entire lair of the little goblin fiends, and turned back the way they came.
Another fractured conversation with Vee revealed that he and the other goblins pointedly avoided an area east of their lair. Alena asked if he could show them the way to this area, which he agreed to do only after being promised a few shiny coins from Jaxson and Ichi. After he led them to some stairs by a waterfall of sewage, he refused to go any further, although the bribes he had received and his fondness for Alena were enough to keep him near the stairway, waiting for the group. After feeling some incorporeal thing brush by, Jaxson concentrated to detect evil, which he felt leaking powerfully from the corridor at the top of the stairs. Likewise, Ichi cast detect magic, but wasn’t able to sense anything out of the ordinary.
At the top of the stairs, the party was confronted with a corridor of hanging corpses, an exact image from Eleusis’s recent nightmare vision. Pushing their way beyond this carnage, they came to a large grotto filled with smashed wooden furniture and other signs of struggle. Eleusis recognized worked limestone columns of crude animistic carvings as totems typical to Moorlock tribes.
Once again detecting for evil and sweeping the area for magic, Jaxson and Ichi sensed strong presences of both coming from a couple of areas across the stream of sewage. A crude wooden bridge stood on the northeastern edge of the grotto, which the group crossed cautiously. Evil streamed from a dark corridor directly eastward, while the lure of magic pulled the group to the southeast. Here, they encountered a rune-covered door, closed against them, with no handle. The priestesses studied the runes, which were in some ancient foreign script, and noticed that here and there the door was marked with astrological sigils. A pale green moon, representing Meerhu , shimmered briefly as the two pored over the symbols. As the group was wondering about this puzzling phenomena, a disturbing series of chuckles echoed off the walls of the corridor directly east of the bridge.
Instantly and foolishly, Eleusis left the door to peer around the corner. She saw what was coming: a pair of clawed hands of burning coal-like skin scraped across her face in quick succession, followed by a lurid visage which shot forward in an attempt to bite. Her wounds bleeding and steaming, she retreated quickly. Jaxson and Ichi moved forward to face the creature, which seemed to be some sort of fiery demon composed of magma and pitch. From the rear, Serenio sent arrows at this searing adversary while Alena threw her dagger at it. The demon landed a punishing blow on Ichi’s shoulder before being driven back by a powerful blow from Jaxson. It collapsed into oozing magma, and as it slithered its way down the corridor, Ichi hurled holy water after it. On contact, the holy water sizzled and steamed, causing fragments of the fleeing demonic lava flow to harden and break off. The remnants of the creature found several fissures to squeeze through.
In a mostly bare lair at the end of the corridor, the party found the severed body parts taken from the murdered people of Dampbricks: ears, fingertips, stolen bones. Oddly, hidden in a cache in one corner were three gems and a stowage of Thulian nickels. Gathering up this treasure, the group of Dampbricks adventurers egressed to the worm hole that they had entered through, and Alena left charmed Vee to pine after her in his sewer, although she did promise to return to visit him soon.