11 Transformation 509
As Rilka and Surm make ready to return to the University and then return to the Ysarian complex, they are approached by a harried young half-elf woman asking for Mõrvar. In the course of the conversation, it is revealed that her name is Ariana Oland and she is a member of “The Brotherhood (she’s going to have to speak to Morvar about the name)” and that it’s important that she speak with him. Surm indicates that he is not here in Kalimsport, but that they would be seeing him very soon. So she convinces them to pass on her information.
Another member of the Brotherhood, named Liran Rimsey, a chandler (or candle-maker), has not been at work in several days. He was supposed to attend a meeting of the Brotherhood at The Torn Grimoire, a tavern on the east side of Kalimsport, but he did not show. His wife says that he has not come home, either.
Ariana thanks them for passing on the information. They have notified the City Watch, but watches are not investigative organizations—they just keep the peace. And, they probably aren’t going to help a half-elf anyway (at least, according Ariana). She also indicates that Mõrvar can come to the Torn Grimoire to find her if he needs more information.
Rilka and Surm return from Kalimsport with Kortash and Burask in tow. When they return, the soldiers of the Crimson Cord are holding a line at the entrance to the mine side-by-side with Doranthanel’s mercenaries.
The two half-orc brothers are regaled with welcomes from their comrades-in-arms while Surm and Rilka update Mõrvar on the news they received from Ariana Oland, his Brotherhood recruit, concerning the missing Liran Rimsey. Mõrvar decides that he needs to go to Kalimsport and deal with this situation quickly. So he convinces Surm to teleport with him back to the city with his horse and the crystal ball they acquired in the Tomb of Secrets. The two brothers teleport to Kalimsport, though Surm returns after an hour having purchased more teleport scrolls.
The remaining Cord members (Rilka, Surm, and Savaric), along with Kortash and Burask, descend back into the mine and return to the Ysarian complex.
They decided to take another route this time, going through one of the locked doors near the entrance. As per usual, Savaric is checking for traps and signs of secret passages while Rilka takes up Mõrvar’s usual role of casting detect magic along the way. After Surm unlocks the door with the make-shift key they found on the duergar, Savaric opens the door.
The walls of the room beyond are filled with veins of crystal. There is also a cloaked figure—an illithid—apparently feeding on a duergar. They attack and soon dispatch the strange aberration. Surm collects its strange, serrated sword. From here, they move on to an adjacent room.
This room is dominated by a large pool of crimson liquid ringed by bricks of the strange soft metal they’ve encountered on the doors of the complex. When they enter the room, the liquid rises and reveals itself to be a sentient blob!
After a hard-won battle, in which Surm figures out that cold will do the most harm to the creature, and that it can be contained by a wall of force, the blob is defeated—but not without cost. Rilka, who was struck by the bizarre creature, had her life-force drained severely.
The party backtracks a bit and tries a different door. This door opens into a small room containing another illithid! Surm quickly shuts the door and the group has a conference on what to do next. They decided to head into the room—and find that another illithid has joined the first!
After a brief battle, the party dispatches the foul creatures—though they are stumped as to where the other illithid came from. Finally, Surm figures out that the northern wall of the room is an illusion, hiding a doorway into another room. He struggles with getting the others to realize this and finally just dispels it.
The secret doorway opens into a room containing a statue, standing about 8’ high and 5’ wide. It is comprised of odd, disconcerting, curves and angles. Staring at the piece too long almost makes one nauseous. There is another arched doorway leading to another room beyond.
The room beyond is empty, but does have two doors leading out of it. Surm unlocks the locked northern door and reveals an empty room, though it does contain three more doors to traverse. They take one of the northern doors and it leads to a short corridor, ending in a locked door. They decide to try the other northern door.
This one leads to a room with a portcullis to the north, a door to the south, and three illithids conferring together in the middle of the room.
In the course of the battle with the creatures, Kortash is blinded by the powers of the mind flayers. Rilka, however, when the battle is done, is able to cure him of his malady.