The Bane of Tamaril

The Bane of Tamaril, Part One, Continued

The ruins of Flagstep Keep offered little to the eyes of our heroes. Little more than a few walls and a dilapidated tower, the ruins held a deeper secret. Before the heroes could enter the Keep, a man came running from the ruins. He was beaten and bloody, wearing only rags. The heroes noticed that the man had a shaven head, leading rise to the speculation that this might be the ‘Egg-Man’ the serpent orcs referred to. Upon questioning the man, they discover that he is Emola Shal, a wizard. He tells the heroes that he had passed himself off as a god to the creatures in the dungeons of the Keep to rule over them. When they discovered the truth, the monsters turned on him. He only managed to escape, and now needs the heroes help. He asks for the use of a magic item, that he might siphon just a bit of magic to recharge his powers and get home. Emola Shal siphoned a charge from Lokken’s Wand of Expeditious Retreat and teleported home. Before doing so, he gives the heroes the location of his tower, and tells them that he will help them on their quest if he can.

As Emola Shal disappears, Markham notices a snake slithering into the ruins of the Keep. The heroes enter the ruined tower and discover a tunnel leading into the dungeons. After exploring the rather unremarkable passageway, the heroes notice another rough cut hole leading to a deeper passage. They also notice the mark of a local bandit gang. Once in the tunnels, the heroes discover a passage that ends abruptly in a rough hewn wall. After several tries, Myev closes her eyes, laughs to Yevla, and steps through the illusory wall. The others follow her example. They party is now in a passage with clean, worked walls. Torches burn every few feet, and music can be heard from one room. Creeping down the hallway, Lokken and Markham discover that the noisy room is in fact a mess hall for the bandits. Monstrous humanoids all, they wonder what to do. Myev realizes that she can easily infiltrate the mess hall by simple virtue of the fact that she is herself a half orc. Myev learns that the bandit gang is now controlled by a cult of an ancient serpent god, and the main temple is at the end of the hall. Exploring this temple, the party comes face to face with Ssethai, a demonic serpent woman and her serpentmen attendants. After a confrontation, the party learns that the Artifact they came to seek has already been taken—by Emola Shal himself…

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