Losing no time in identifying Scramge’s treasure, the party split up loot, rested and prepared spells. Scramge’s mirror, a Mirror of Doors, opened planar gateways to multiple locations, though the abyssal word he uttered before disappearing was keyed to a specific cavern. They whispered the word and entered the portal.
Trash and refuse covered much. Holy symbols to Orcus and crude pictures of suffering abounded. A foul odor permeated this level and an oppressive force caused Az and Aribon to feel as if they might retch. The demon prince’s power filled the air like heavy poison. Only minutes passed before they tripped an arcane alarm that echoed in the cavern. Scuffling was heard in the distance.
Wading through sludge, they met a talkative, semi-intelligent otyugh. Trading rations with it, the creature brought back magic items of power from the slough. Leaving it behind, they next encountered a small tribe of ogres, clumsily putting on armor. Blasted with spell and weapon, only one ogre remained. He promised to show the party to the “temple” and take them to Zehn, the lord of the level. Az and Morgrimm prevented the ogre from unleashing a portcullis/black pudding trap and forced him to move on.
They found the temple entrance and the living quarters of the debased priests. They avoided opening wooden chests and headed to a hallway door where a glyph of warding blasted the room. Beyond the hall was a set of double doors rimed with frost and depictions of demons cavorting with mortals Caution avoided the Feeblemind trap and the doors opened onto a scene of horror: the illusion of ice melted away as Hendel saw through it, instead revealing an area wreathed in flame. Above a lava pit, Zehn, high-priest of Orcus greeted and congratulated them. Without listening to poison words, the heroes attacked.
Zehn and his priests revealed themselves to be juju zombies. The magma pit spouted flames but did not harm the undead. Scramge was in the room, covered in illusion and invisibility and launched lightning bolts and phantasmal killer spells, screaming curses about his stolen spellbook. Zehn screamed, “Nadroj!” and an arcane spectre flanked the party from behind, raining black tentacles and lightning bolts. A fiery dragon, ten-feet long, emerged from the lava pool. Tucker shouted a warning about the magma dragon.
Tucker and Hendel used blasting spells as well as black tentacles and stinking cloud to hold off evil. Morgrimm used see invisibility to find Scramge. The arrogant rakshasa stood in front of the party, pelting them with spells. When Tucker cast glitter dust on the creature, it knew its folly as Az, Morgrimm, Rocknut and Hiso surrounded it. The juju zombies channeled energy into the middle of the party after the magma dragon breathed a torrent of flame. Hendel and Tucker used levitate and fly to escape the carnage but still faced Nadroj from behind. Requiem continued to summon and direct his eidolon.
As Morgrimm slew the dragon and the zombie acolytes fell, Zehn began to panic. Aribon struggled to heal so many of his fallen comrades, but in the end the tide turned. Zehn ran from his perch and into a summoning circle. Two vrock demons erupted in a sulfurous clatter. The vulture demons attacked the fighters but could not withstand Morgrimm, Az and Rocknut’s combined strength. Hiso squared off against Zehn and avoided the priest’s slay living spell. Zehn went down under ax and tooth. The vrocks fell, screaming in piles ash and smoke. Only the spectre, Nadroj, remained. Seeing Rocknut flying towards it, the spectre flew across the room to blast Hendel with magic missiles. The wizard dropped, scorched and dead before Rocknut could destroy Nadroj. The spectre dissipated, chuckling and laughing as it went, “the Master will bring me back.”
In a secret chamber, treasure was piled high. Yet Hendel’s soul seemed gone forever. The party mourned their comrade and began planning their escape from Rappan Athuk. Aribon pledged fealty to Requiem and promised to rid Golarion of the taint of Orcus.