The companions leave Constance to her grief in the great hall of the Arcanum Severatum, venturing out to investigate the building more. On’ogg finds the remains of several charred corpses strewn about in one hall; there might have been six in all. Though they were none more than charred bones, he found that they seemed to have met their fate within the last two days and did so while attempting to move a large trunk.
Being still intact, he drew it forth to his companions. Within they found a stash of several powerful artifacts and magical items. After distributing them to one another, they continued their investigation.
Sayer climbed a large statue on the far end of the hall. Turning his attention to an open book that the statue held aloft some twenty feet high, he noticed it to be some crude map, depicting the main continents of the known world. Three swirling lines crossed over the map from three far corners, each converging on a circular island in the middle.
Three bronzen rings dominate the device. Through the use of magic detection, each seems to associate itself with an essence of arcane powers; positive energy, negative energy & the neutral energy in between.
The companions find the ceiling covered by an elaborate mural of the night sky, complete with accurate depictions of constellations. They find a plate in the upper hemisphere of the globe, where the three rings nearly converge. The plate is triangular, made of the near convergence of the lines.
Akasha is surprised to see that she can read the unfamiliar writing on the plate. It seemed to give information on three supreme essences of the magic realms; Solinari, goddess of positive arcanum, Nuitari goddess of neutral arcanum and Nuitari, god of negative arcanum.
They are described as three siblings. Though they seem to be diametrically opposed in there energies, there is no sign of conflict, as is typical in depictions of astral figures of good versus evil. While Akasha narrates the scriptures, the rest of the group attempts to discern the puzzle.
Eventually they shine a light through the small eye in the middle of the plate. It sends a beacon through the chamber, between a heavy bookcase into a crystal pylon at the top of a statue, where it refracted up to the mural above.
The mural reveals visual depictions of the three twins. The group ponders this some time then continues on.
They find several chambers along a hallway in the eastern wing. Sayer and Elbanor investigate further, walking into the darkness. Ogg, Akasha and the Hand watch as they are enveloped into the darkness. The next moment, the room shows no trace of their passing.
Elbanor and Sayer find themselves on a large wooden platform with a spotlight shining down on them from above. They are set upon by a figure dressed in the caricature of a noble knight. The knight responds to them, beseeching their help in vanquishing some great evil in the land. With quick thinking, they respond in affirmation, and ‘gallop’ off into the darkness.
Meanwhile, Ogg is deeply troubled by the disappearance. The Hand senses a strange flow of magical energy swirling in a vast whirlpool. From their present location, they seemed to be at the edge. The strife between the two come to a head and they have a short spat, where they part ways for a short time.
Sayer and Elbanor seem to find themselves in a gawdy play of sorts, during which they slay a spooky tentacle creature. The applause of the audience fades slightly until they find themselves in a well furnished office of sorts. They hear a series of meows and purring noises.
They notice a pneumatic tube that still seemed operational. Writing a brief message to their colleagues, they send the note through the vacuum. After a minute or so a note in the form of a paper triangle soars out of the tube and around the room in gentle circles. Unfolding the paper, they find a crude depiction of a somewhat lewd nature.
Perplexed, they continue out of the room. Within the first step they find themselves hurtling sideways, with the laws of nature bent on itself. Just barely holding to the edge of the door frame, they grip tightly above the chasm of the hallway pit.
Ogg and the Hand eventually come back together, deciding it best to press forward as a group. Though Akasha seems to prefer staying in the form of a cat, they persuade her to attempt to send a message by magical means to the separate party members.
They continue on, finding a set of steps leading to the levels below. Experiencing their own imbalance of gravitational discord. With varying degrees of expertise, they descend to a hall laden with what seems to be an extravagant feast set on a long table. While Akasha and the Hand dine a bit while Ogg resists the temptation of the delicious looking food.
He notices a yelling coming from the chambers without, and with swift motion charges the door with a long piece of table. It slams through the doorway, just barely catching a falling Sayer and Elbanor, who had just fell off of the ledge in the room adjoining.
Though Elbanor ricochets off the table and onto a large statue protruding from the wall below, they eventually recover and come together. Using a length of rope to scale down the rest of the chamber, they find themselves in a large chamber with a dark sorcerer sat upon a resplendent throne of sorts.
The figure stands at their approach, dismissing his seat with a flick of the wrist. He wore black robes the color of midnight. They flowed down onto the ground around him and seemed to be constantly buffeted around by a furious wind emanating from himself. Long swathes of black linens wrap most of the exposed areas of the dark wizard. A single fiery eye and an hideously grinning mouth was all that could be seen of the face beneath the cloth.
He beckons them forward; seemingly interested to see the faces of those who would dare disturb him in his realm. “Ah … it is you who have disrupted my work. I shall make your deaths TERRIBLE!”
Moments later they are in combat. He seems a highly potent spell caster, blasting them with crackling lightning. “How can you hope to defy such power..? Is it not easier to give in to the madness?!!”
Several mirror images of himself shield him from the initial attacks. As each illusion is shattered, it splatters with a sickly splatter against one of the walls, the viscous fluid glowing ominously. After a moment the liquefied remains of the images seem to change their structure and a strange scene is displayed, as if through a window in the wall. From these newly derived portals flow a group of small black creatures with hateful glowing eyes.
With Sayer and Ogg thoroughly engaged and taking the brunt of this dark caster’s focus, Elbanor and the Hand plunge headlong into the portal with Akasha in tow. “If you seek to shoulder this burden .. YOU SHALL HAVE IT!”
They find themselves in a circular room with rough hewn stone walls and a round catwalk coming around the expanse. From three points in this walkway there are small bridges to a central platform, where who they recognize to be a much younger Nozzalthorp Frayfeather a middle aged wizard are arguing. They seem to not pay the intruders any heed, but there are several guards standing at attention around the room which turn and his horribly at the newcomers.
Outside, with Sayer dealt with and Ogg being overwhelmed by the critters, he throws a strange wall of force around himself and begins the incantations of a powerful spell. “The stars align; FEAR THEIR PORTENT!”
A cataclysmic crash blasts the chamber from above. It seems as if the dark wizard is calling down the fires from the sky above to obliterate the trespassers. “You shall pay for your invasion into my city!”
Within the portal, the Hand, Elbanor and Akasha fight their way toward the central platform. The gnome and the wizard seem to be at odds as to the discharge of the Surge Needle, a device that they had apparently build to tap into the ley line. The wizard, who they surmised to be a young Madrygos, seemed incredulous that Frayfeather would try to halt their long work so close to it’s completion.
Outside two more ruinous meteors blast through the building from the heavens, exposing this dungeon chamber to the hideous laughter of the insane magus. Sayer has fallen and Ogg stands alone against the deadly foe.
Within, the others charge the central platform, having dispatched the shadowy guards. As they reach the scene a bubble seems to pop and they are expelled from the memory. As they do so the wall of force drops from around the dark wizard, his eye turned to the black sky, a fiery red orb in it’s reflection.
The heroes brace for impact, running from the hole in the ceiling but ultimately are wrecked outright by the carnage. Ogg and Elbanor especially are severely injured.
There is only a pile of fine ash remaining of the black sorcerer, who they discover to be Madrygos himself, turned by some horrible black magic into one of the Black Guard. Among the ashes they find a curious bracer of powerful arcane energy. The Hand slips it on her wrist, as the group hobbles to out of the chambers. The streets were deathly calm as they descended back into the relative safety of the sewers and staggered back to the Black Star.