Shadoobie, my brains been battered

Summoning their last scraps of hope the group enters the room with the scary iron statues and spends some time investigating. They find one secret trapdoor that leads to a narrow passageway below, one smoking urn of large size and a couple of trapped chests that they plunder.
A few days pass and a door is investigated, the urn is opened and an efreet pledges his service to the bemused elf. The efreet is tasked with finding the key to the door and off it goes. Meanwhile side passages are explored and it is found that they lead back to previously explored areas of the complex.
The efreet returns and the key is used. An empty room soon reveals its secrets and the key is used to unlock a hatch that causes a mithril vault to rise from the floor. The ranger steps up to open the door and the interior is revealed to be strewn with treasures. At the far end is a low stone platform upon which rest a few scattered bones and a partial skull. As the ranger steps in to plunder the plunderables, the skull animates, and turns a baleful glare upon the hapless Bababobo – whereupon his body and equipment turn into a wispy smoke and are drawn into the skull, which then sprouts a long diamond tooth. After this dramatic event, the skull resumes its position of repose.
The efreet is sent in to do battle and suffers a similar fate and the party is looking a bit panicky. Indeed, the prophecy of the clerics is almost forgotten, but in the nick of time – the mage releases the spell of shattering that he has been faithfully carrying all these days. The skull is shattered, shattered!
The next few days alternate with bouts of looting, relief and grief. It seems that both the efreet and the ranger are trapped within the gems that adorn the skull’s upper jaw.
The group reads scraps of paper and looks at maps that have been found in all the looting and determine that the skull they offed was acting in the employ of the Rotting Man. One of the maps appears to lead to an underground complex, where the party suspects that the mysterious Rotting Man may have his lair.

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