Dark Tide Rising

Session Fourteen

The steps in the warehouse lead to what appears to be an abandoned excavation site. The adventurers find some equipment that must have been used to dig the tunnels, but it looks as if it has been untouched for many years. As the group begins to explore the site, they discover several ancient columns. In most instances, only a portion of each column is visible. However, they eventually find a large chamber in which an entire column has been unearthed. As it turns out, they are near the top of the structure, even though they have descended quite some distance underground. Torc (maybe) notes that the stonework is thousands of years old. He also remarks that the stone is not a type found anywhere in this part of the world. A scaffolding allows them to climb down to the bottom of the chamber and continue deeper into the network of tunnels. At this point, the party is nearly a hundred feet below sea level.

The adventurers pass through several more excavated pockets. In addition to the columns, they also see portions of massive statues. In one chamber, in which the bases of several columns have been uncovered, the party is attacked by bizarre creatures made of little more than eyes and mouths. Beyond this chamber the group finds a portion of the main structure that has been revealed. The surface is angled slightly. They follow a tunnel that runs parallel to the wall and eventually reach a large ornate door. There is also a large sculpture depicting a group of unusual sea creatures. Fortunately, Torc determines that there are several magical traps on both the door and the sculpture before anyone tries to enter the structure. He is able to safely disarm them and manages to open the door.

The interior of the structure is quite well preserved. After exploring some of the corridors, the adventurers surmise that they are inside of a pyramid. More traps guard the halls and doors, but Torc is able to deal with them. After only a short time, the party finds stairs leading to an upper level. They find a heavily warded door and manage to open it. Beyond the door is a small room. The far wall of the room has been almost completely destroyed. Peering through the massive hole, it becomes apparent that the center of the pyramid is comprised entirely of a single massive chamber. It is also apparent that whatever destroyed the wall came from that direction.

The central chamber is completely dark, and the adventurers cannot determine its size. All they know is that they are near the top. They decide to lower a rope and descend. By the time the party reaches the floor their lights are not strong enough to illuminate the walls. Near where the party touches down, there is a circular pool of inky black water. Before the group has time to investigate, they discover that they are not alone. Two people emerge from the darkness at the edge of the room. One is Randall the harbormaster, and much to Torc’s dismay, the other is Katarina. The adventurers attempt to talk to Randall, but several fish-men burst from the pool, and a fight ensues. Randall’s legs and lower body transform into tentacles and he begins slinging spells at the party. Katarina, as it turns out, also has an impressive array of magical skills and she begins aiding Randall in the fight. During the skirmish, Raban surprises everybody by telekinetically flinging an opponent across the room. As the battle wanes, and it becomes obvious that he is going to lose, Randall utters an ominous warning and slits his own throat. After Randall’s death, Katarina ceases her attacks on the party. It is agreed that Randall must have been controlling her mind somehow.

After exploring the periphery of the central chamber, the party decides to find out what is at the bottom of the pool. Water breathing spells are cast and they dive in. The narrow shaft descends for quite some distance, and eventually opens out into another open area. Like the chamber above, the party’s lights are not bright enough to light the entire space. They pick a direction and start to swim. Eventually the group reaches a wall. By following the wall they are able to determine that they are in a gargantuan underwater vault. The vault is cylindrical in shape and along the circumference several massive statues have been carved into the rock. The statues are of humanoid figures with fish-like heads, but they do not appear to be the same type of creatures as the fish-men that have been plaguing Belle Mare. As the party makes a circuit of the vault, they come to a section of the wall which gives way to a curtain of pure darkness. Bran attempts to stick his head into the darkness, and is immediately pulled through. On the other side of the barrier, Bran finds himself still under water. However, his body is suddenly being crushed by tremendous pressure. Bran is able to pass back through the barrier before being killed, and reports his findings to the rest of the group. The party decides that they have had enough excitement for one day, and they return to Belle Mare.



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