Chapter 17 – Selena’s Will

Continuing their conversation with Corrina Drem, the party asks her repeatedly what her grudge is against King Arayen, but she refuses to answer. She says that she made a promise to her son to keep the secret, and if they want to know they should ask him or Arayen themselves.

Atentir makes a comment about Corrina being responsible for bringing her son, and this evil, into the world. She responds cryptically that she never said she was his natural mother. Galandil asks if Arayen is his father, and she responds “No.”

Elowisyl once again challenges her, saying that her deity could not possibly be asking them to kill so many people. He and Galandil finally cow her and she begins to cry.

Finally giving in, she agrees to help them if they will promise not to harm her son. She takes from her finger a silver ring with the crescent moons symbol on it. She gives it to Elowisyl, saying that it is one of the keys to gain access to the Gate. She does not know how to use it, however. Elowisyl asks her where the gate is, and she points upward. “It is right above us,” she says.

She explains that there is another item, held by her grandson, that is needed to gain access to the Gate. Several years ago he was killed while active as a member of the Red Tower Cult, and he was resurrected using the cult’s dark magic. He has since existed as an undead, and currently haunts the caverns of the salt mines. He is the other “gatekeeper,” and wears a silver circlet that will help them access the gate in conjunction with the ring.

Corrina breaks down in heavy sobs, and the party decides to leave her. As they exit the room they examine the bodies of the fallen troll zombies to see if they carry any interesting items, and talk amongst themselves to decide their next action. Meran reiterates that he wishes to kill Corrina, but after a moment a terrifying scream is heard from the room. Upon checking the party sees that Corrina has killed herself with a shard of the shattered mirror. The party decides to move on.

They quickly check the rest of the rooms on this floor before descending, and find that the one closest to the stairwell was some kind of laboratory. On a shelf they spy several vials of different colors. They take them all and distribute them amongst the party members.

The party goes down to the next floor and finds a kitchen, and several ghouls inside, but nothing else of interest. On the lowest floor they find several items in the guard quarters, of which is a magical axe in the false bottom of a foot locker. The axe is given to Meran. They also find a map that appears to be of the salt mines. With these items, they proceed down to the salt mines.

As they reach the salt mines, Elowisyl receives a message from Erillas. It reads:

“The King is missing — he has been nowhere to be found for the past several hours. My son has taken it upon himself to organize some of the Elf rangers and search for him in (and outside of) the city.

“I have spoken to Yeador concerning the information you related from Corrina Drem. He says that though he does not recognize the name, this is the key to the mystery of the Terrors.

“It was known that the Ch’zak (as Corrina called them) are obviously not from this dimension, but from another plane of existence. So far no sorcerer, no matter how powerful, has been able to open a gate between this plane and another for long enough to bring this many beings through, enough to create an army. The “event” that occurred in Jerech, most likely when this “Red Tower Cult” was attempting to control the nexus point in Jerech, must have caused a “tear” in dimensional space that created a permanent link.

“Most likely that tear is still there and is providing foot soldiers for the cult; it must somehow be sealed off. As far as the magic that is controlling them, Yeador is unsure how they are able to do it over such long distances. It may have something to do with the nexus points.”

He also mentions that no word has been received from the party pursuing the Terrors that broke off from the main group towards Jerech, but to assume that they are not far from the city. The army of Terrors advancing towards Tymirr has destroyed their outer defenses and is encroaching on the citadel; they must move with all haste to discover the secret of the Gate and if there is a tear in the nexus point.

The party ventures quickly towards the first cavern, and finds several ghouls and mummies. They defeat them but sustain some injuries, and rest before moving on.