“I don’t think these are kytons!”
To absolutely no one’s surprise, the sinspawn and the qlippoths hadn’t been the last enemies on that particular level of the catacombs. Exploring further, the party had come across what they thought were two kytons torturing a tall, naked man strapped to a table. The creatures certainly looked like kytons: pale, lean, scar-covered women adorned in barbed chains. Remembering their fight with the kytons in the laboratory beneath Kaer Maga, the party had prepared for a slashing, physical fight. What they got instead was magic: a Confusion spell caused Scratchy to mistake poor Fleabait for an enemy and begin firing arrows into him. A touch from one of the women caused Milacent to stagger back as horrifying visions filled her head. The hill giant’s club passed harmlessly through one of the women’s incorporeal bodies, as it soon became clear that only magical weapons could harm them. Helanda had such a weapon, and closed with one of the women to strike. The not-kyton reached out to touch her, and gruesome images of torture and pain filled the former Grey Maiden’s head.
“Bitch,” Helanda replied with a smirk, “I was betrayed by my sisters and tortured near to death by the sea hag Daefu. You’ll have to do better than that.” And then she drove her sword through the creature’s throat.
With that the tide quickly turned. Theodora healed Fleabait of the damage he had taken. Zelcor discovered that magic missiles affected the strange women just fine, and unleashed a torrent into the two of them. Milacent recovered from the visions and began slashing with the spine flail. Soon the two creatures were no more, their forms dissipated into the ether. The party was just about to inspect the prisoner when another door flung open. In it stood a smallish, hideous man dressed in a violet robe and a patchy tartan cloak. His left eye was a narrow, deep blue fissure while his right was bulging and pale. “Fools!” he exclaimed in a chirpy voice, “Now I will kill you all!”
The little man began to exude channeled blasts of energy, but they were weak, and soon he was being slashed at by Milacent. He had cast a Fly spell on himself before the fight, so he couldn’t be tripped, and as he was hurt more and more he attempted to fly out of reach, up to the ceiling. The hill giant, of course, had no trouble reaching him. “Don’t hurt him too much!” Theodora shouted, “We want to be able to question him!” Unfortunately, the giant was not practiced in the art of non-lethal subdual, and soon the new arrival was little more than a mangled lump sticking to the giant’s club. Theodora sighed and began the gruesome task of sifting through the remains for treasure. There she found something that disturbed her very much: a holy symbol of Nethys.
The party collected up the dead cleric’s remains and freed the prisoner, bringing both of them up to Casamir in the lighthouse. Casamir confirmed that the abbey’s cleric of Nethys had been a small, ugly man named Zolerim, who vaguely resembled the bloody lump of flesh presented to him. The prisoner he confirmed was Gein Kafog, formerly the abbey’s cleric of Zon-Kuthon. Healing spells repaired his broken body, but his mind was in a shattered state. The only information they could get from him was, “Zolerim has gone over to the enemy.” The party decided to leave him in the care of Casamir and return to the catacombs.
Past the rooms where Kafog had been held, they found a partially completed torture chamber/alchemical lab, presumably for his future benefit. Exploring further, they found a room filled with old empty crates, folded sacks, and upturned clay vases of various shapes and sizes. In the corner of this room, however, three strange jars containing coils of blue mist sat invitingly on a table, radiating necromantic magic.
“Um, let’s not touch those for now,” Scratchy admonished.
That brought them to the next door, one which felt suspiciously hot, and behind which they could hear a constant clanging sound. Everyone got into position, and then Zelcor cast his spell to open the door. Beyond it, they saw a crimson-skinned giant standing in a pit of flame. “Go away!” she pointed at them and shouted.
And Zelcor closed the door.
The party looked at each other, and then decided that this was not going to end peacefully. Theodora and Zelcor cast fire resistance spells on everyone, and they opened the door once again. The giant (which they later determined was actually an efreeti) began to react, but was interrupted by a cone of frozen air sweeping into the room. Milacent and Helanda followed it, slashing and stabbing at whatever survived the onslaught of magical cold. The efreeti was accompanied by fire salamanders and elementals, all of whom tried to roast the intruders, but the fire resistance magic held, and soon everything in the room was dead. Milacent surveyed the room; it was clearly a smithy of some sort, and the fire pit the efreeti had been standing in held a forge in its center. Theodora, protected from the flames, waded into it to see what was there, and found the source of the clanging: the efreeti had been crafting a suit of magical full plate armor, which now sat unfinished in the center of the flames.
“What!!??” Zelcor exclaimed, “We shoulda waited for the clanging to stop! No, wait. We shoulda come in, asked her when she was going to be finished, waited that long, and then attacked!”
“You’re weird, Zelcor,” Theodora replied.