The 3rd floor down on the Temple of Elemental Evil has been warped by aberrant magic, making navigation difficult. Zigfried, the resident aberration expert, helps to navigate by attempting to make the way towards the center.
The first stop is a room taken over by Mind Flayers, including the one who previously tried to fry Gurias. He offers Zigfried the chance to have the parasitic proto-Mind Flayer in his brain take over and make him into a full fledged Mind Flayer, in exchange for being able to consume Gurias in flames (who would then be able to be resurrected.) Eventually after some debate- and protest from Gurias- Zigfried decides against the offer. Gurias lays into the Mind Flayer with a Grand Total, who is then finished by a Hammer of Fate from Mielka. The Thoon Hulk and Intellect Devourers try to finish the job but are also defeated.
Zigfried loses his way before the party comes across a room full of 8 Beholders. One of them is the Beholder that they freed previously, but grown up. He explains (mentally) that this is a meeting to determine the hierarchy of Beholders amongst the Temple. By manipulating the Beholders into sensing weakness, and praying upon their vanity, the party is able to have the Beholders blast each other into nothing, leaving the last Beholder standing their ally Kenneth. Kenneth says he wasn’t raised like other Beholders, and merely wants to cook and manage his criminal empire. He uses his powers to direct the portal so everyone can move on.
Zigfried once again gets lost, until finally arriving at the center of the Temple: a shrine to Tiamat, containing statues to the five chromatic dragons and Tiamat herself. One set of runes is channeling demonic power from below, the other is containing something. The something is freed: it is Samyaza, the Deva from Bael’s past that helped the party travel into the dream world. Freeing him also activates the guardian: a Hydra of Tiamat. However, they figure out that by channeling the appropriate energy into the statues, they draw energy from the guardian, but also make it stronger.
Light engages the Hydra head on to distract it so it can’t move onto the party members who can’t take the same amount of damage the Hyrdra puts out. The 5 heads, then 6, then 7, and finally 8 continue to lash out at the Revenant as he continues to try and hold it off while the statues are disabled. Mystical energy continues to lash out at it, as Light strikes at the creature from all sides.
Finally, Light curses the Tiamat proxy so that the wounds it deals out will also affect itself. In one final blaze, the 8 heads lash out to tear at the Revenant and destroy the nuisance once and for all so it can move onto juicier targets. Light, the Warlock who was once a Tiefling, who serves the Raven Queen with all his heart, does not retreat and does not fear his doom, if he can just strike one final blow and defeat the creature. It charges him, and he charges it. The resulting flash blinds everyone else in the room. When the smoke clears… the creature still stands, and Light has been torn apart. It hungrily moves onto Mielka as its next target. As the beast’s 8 heads loom over the Dwarf, Zigfried cries out at the loss of his friend and channels psychic energy into the last statue, blowing apart the Hydra at the last moment.
Samyaza explains several points of note:
- He was captured because he’s one of the only creatures who knows the path to the Deep Astral, where the Chained God is imprisoned, and where the only weapon that can stop him is scattered.
- When the Chained God was originally trapped, the Gods united against him. This time, however, some Gods seem to not be unanimous- Tiamat is on his side now, and at least one other God.
- Trapped on the next level down is Zuggtmoy, Demon Princess of Decay, Entropy, Mold, and Slime. She was the consort of the Chained God, until she was imprisoned in the Temple. She is gaining energy as long as she is trapped, and will soon be released onto the world with full power- she must be stopped as soon as possible, or else the Chained God will be freed even sooner.
- She channels the powers of the Four Princes of Elemental Evil in his prison, and so Samyaza recommends mustering as many forces as you can in order to stop her and the Elemental Evils, as well as the angels of the Chained God.
The party decides that they must rest up before the assault begins, so they return to the ship to recharge overnight. Unfortunately, the forces of evil seem to be moving quick, and several more seals break. A massive battle awaits below that will decide the fate of many. With the loss of Light, a cost has already been paid… will anyone else pay the ultimate price before the battle is ended?
Final Machination Levels
- Air: Advanced 4
- Earth: Advanced 4
- Fire: Advanced 4
- Water: Advanced 5 (done)
- Temple: 4 Seals Broken