Proceeding onward, the group explores the room beyond the library and after slaying a devil, proceeds onward into a great banquet hall, whose tables are filled to near-collapse with wonderfully prepared foodstuffs of every possible sort. Therein, they make the acquaintance of the last surviving party member of the group that has penetrated the rings ahead of our heroes. The person in question is a female human bard. The bard is terrified and thoroughly over the entire idea of penetrating the inner circle. When the paladin and cleric of Torm swear they will protect her, but that she must help the party complete their mission – she reluctantly agrees to journey with the group and provide suitable battle music and inspiring chants.
She shares all that she knows about that which lies ahead – giving the group access to the third circle by means of hidden levers in the various chambers that they have visited so far. She warns of an automaton guardian that will require a set of colors in order to allow the group to pass safely. Suitably alarmed, the group members are all on their best behavior as they unlock the doors that allow passage into the inner ring of the vault and confront the steel menace. Although the colors are acceptable, the group is warned about the importance of the correct order.
They journey beyond and immediately encounter a crazed dwarf and his undead companion. A hastily erected wall of ice provides time and space to avoid that particular encounter, but it is noted that the unlikely duo are positioned right in front of an ornately carved door frame that closely resembles the ones that allow entrance to the next ring. It seems likely that a return to this location is in order at some point. The group views this as their ultimate goal and sets about investigating to try and determine the correct order of colors that will allow entrance to the vault.
The next chamber gives an encounter with a xorn and its evil dwarf henchmen. The xorn tries to confound the party by turning swaths of the cavern floor into mud, but a swift fireball and a quick-thinking party that deploys hay bales and folding boats atop the treacherous floor manages to slay the dwarves and force the xorn to retreat from combat. Pausing only to draw breath, the group members prepare to move onward…
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