Previously, the heroes had made their way past the lizardfolk guards atop the sunken ziggurat and started to explore the interior. They found a small network of corridors, staircases and chambers, each seemingly dedicated to the pastoral care of the Senhadrim which once roamed its halls during the Age of Fear.
Second Day, Third Ride, Autumn Red, 1262
(Silvermoon in low sanction. Bloodmoon is waxing. Darkmoon is waxing.)
After having examined the battle between the assassins of the Dark Queen and the lizardfolk, the heroes continued to explore the quarters, finding themselves at the foot of a long hallway, lined on each side with large statues of winged warriors. The statues, which the heroes had seen dotted throughout the chambers, worried the heroes as it created natural chokepoints and perfect ambush sites.
Cautiously, Luca decided to join James by proceeding ahead, tapping the tiles he was intending to step on with the butt end of his staff. Eventually, after passing about halfway through the hallway, he noticed that right between two statues the tiles had been loosened and looked quite treacherous. Luca attempted to jump over the tiles but misjudged his jump, only to slip and dislodge the tiles, revealing a wide pit lined with sharp, metal stakes at the bottom.
While Luca tumbled down into the pit, injuring himself as he fell, James jumped across the pit and was on his guard. Quentin ended up tumbling into the pit as well, while two assassins materialised on the far side of the pit. One engaged James, while the other loomed over the pit, only to be pulled into the pit by Quentin, who had used Róisín’s ability to produce a thorny whip to lash out.
The assassins proved a significant opposition, with their ability to ambush, their lightning fast attacks and the deadly daggers they drew. James felt the sting of one of the daggers and the venom that lit his nerves on fire, but eventually the heroes managed to slay one of the assassins while the other assassin got away.
The heroes went into careful pursuit, only to find that at the end of the hall ended in another staircase corridor which eventually lead even further down into the ziggurat. At the bottom of the staircase they found a large room, spiralling down, with each of the three terraced levels being lined with clay urns, filled with sand, with the embalmed head of a lizardfolk warrior sticking out of it. Likely they were interred here as a sign of great honour.
On the lowest level there was a portal set into the back wall, elaborately carved and made from a different stone than the rest of the halls. In front of it lay a discarded, conical statue, much like the one found in the catacombs underneath Lynnecombe, as well as the statue that lady Asha carried with her. It was made from the same type of stone as the portal, and in the top there was a slot in which they found a dull, cloudy, orange crystal, which looked a lot like the lyrium crystals they had found months ago. In the portal itself there was a hole that fit the statue perfectly. The heroes surmised that it was a key which needed to be powered by a lyrium crystal.
The heroes retreated, while Luca used his magic to conjure up a spectral hand which placed a fresh lyrium crystal inside the hole atop the key, and placed the key inside the hole in the portal. With a loud, stone-on-stone grating noise, the door inside the portal sank away into the ground and revealed a chamber beyond. James noted that the assassin which had made his escape definitely would not have had the opportunity to get through the portal without the heroes hearing it, meaning that he must still be hiding somewhere.
Besides that, once the door opened up, each of the embalmed lizardfolk inside the urns stirred and came alive, slowly freeing themselves from their resting places…