With Kalarel now dead the party needed to figure out what to do about all to still alive the rift. The feeling of the presence of evil that has pervaded them for the last week or so has not yet dissipated, so there is obviously some work yet to be done.
As Kalarel lay dead in front of the rift a tentacle arm slung out and started to scoot his dead body toward the pulsing black wall. Krstic grabbed the corpse and carried him several steps away, hoping to prevent a post-death escape for the evil cleric. The black mass of the rift went from a pulsing and flowing wall of evil to a swirling teeming mass, picking up speed as the mass began to swirl ever harder. A blast of evil magic turned the body of Kalarel into a worthless husk and in another second the blackness seemed to roll into itself and with a deafening quiet disappeared completely.
Akta had started toward the altar to grab the book from which Kalarel had been reading, but the book burst into flames before he could reach it. The bluish runes in front of the rift started to pop and sizzle and then blinked out. The quiet resumed, and the dark sense of foreboding began to lighten, to seemingly drift away, and then it was gone.
The party took the opportunity to inspect the remainder of the room. The four floor grates had a 60 foot pit beneath them that ended with a pool of water below. Akta moved to the east corner of the room to inspect the two smaller Orcus statues and found an open pit between them that also went down 60 feet to a pool of water below. Akta then broke us as much of the statues as he could and dumped the fragments into the pit.
Eldred inspected the altar, but all that was left of the Kalarel’s book were charred cinders. Further inspection revealed a +2 dagger and 1400 GP hidden in the altar. Oester said he could make good use of the dagger so Eldred passed it to him.
Maive inspected the rugs that were strewn about the room. They each had a symbol of Orcus on them (apparently you can get them at Lands End under the customer logo section) so she drug each of them over to the pit and dumped them in.
Bogar, Krstic, and Jenneth inspected the remains of Kalarel. He had no magic on him, and his withered husk of a body wouldn’t provide much evidence, so Jenneth opted to keep Kalarel’s defunct rod as booty.
The other bodies revealed no magic, and no further secrets were found in the room. Before leaving the party decided to pool their strength to see if they could possibly pull down the larger statue of Orcus. Ropes were attached and brawn was applied and it was touch and go for a few moments, but the statue finally teetered and then crashed to the floor. The parts of the statue that were able to be moved were also dumped into the pit.
With nothing left to do here, the party decided to take a short rest, discuss what else to do in the dungeon, and then made plans to go back up to the cathedral. The chains were still slippery with blood, so two party members volunteered to shinny up first and drop ropes to ensure the rest of that party made it up safely.
Once up to the cathedral the party could see nothing had changed, but before moving on Krstic and Jenneth each found two hand-carryable slivers of the glowing blue light column to slip into their packs. Back through the zombie room, carefully past the still active traps in the statue room, and finally into the room north of the statue room.
A hallway led west from this room to a set of closed doors about 30 feet down the hall. Oester inspected the door and detected that it was unlocked, but it appeared to be stuck. A simple application of brute force burst the door open, revealing another 20-30 feet of hallway that then turned to the south. Moving ahead and looking south revealed another 40 feet of hallway leading to another door.
Affixed to the door was a very old piece of parchment with the word “closed” written on it. This door was also unlocked but stuck, so once again brute force was required to bust through. A smaller darkened hallway led ahead, with a T branching off maybe 20 feet ahead. There was a smell of death in the air, and the party also observed the floor seemed to be unnaturally clean and dust free for not having been used for several hundred years.
As the party reached the intersection ahead Maive sensed the presence of something sitting in a alcove ahead of the party, something large and pulsing, but able to maintain it’s stealth in the semi-darkened room – a Gelatinous Cube. Krstic and Bogar stepped forward to do battle, but the Cube showed no fear and promptly stepped up and engulfed Krstic. Krstic was able to extract himself, but only after taking some acid damage.
Bogar was the next to be engulfed, but fortunately for the party the Cubs was never able to engulf both Krstic and Bogar at the same time. This allowed the remainder of the party to fire away at range and avoid damage. The cube was soon reduced to a puddle to sizzling acid.
The party moved down the hall to the right and into a room that featured several large sarcophagi on the east wall and a door on the west wall. While suspecting an attack from the direction of the sarcophagi at any moment the party scooted over to the door and Oester opened it - Boom! - the sarcophagi burst open to reveal four foul Corruption Corpses.
Oester moved to engage the chect he spied in the room while the rest of the party moved to fight of the corpses. The corpses were tough customers and appeared to have powers that somehow aided each other, but the fire-power of the party soon wore them down until they were all killed. As the party looked around the room they saw:
1 Gelatinous Cubs
4 Corruption Corpses
In the chest Oester found several pieces of jewelry that from the names inscribed upon them that they must have belonged to the children of Sir Keegan himself, no doubt sent here to hide during the rage of the mad lord. There was also a magical amulet, that appeared to provide some amount of enhancement to defenses. Akta claimed the Safewing Amulet. Each member of the party earned 155 XP for the encounter.
With the belief that every room in the keep has been mapped and the danger has been thwarted, the party decided it was time to return to Winterhaven. Their exit from the keep was not interrupted, their horses remained where they had been left earlier in the day, and the ride back to town was uneventful as well.
The residents of Winterhaven were elated to see their heroes and a long celebration ensued. In the morning the party still needs to find Parle Cranewing, but that's in the morning - now it is time to celebrate.
Scorecard: The characters leveled up to Level 3 with 2565 XP, and each party member has earned 1170 XP since (3735 total). 3750 is required to reach Level 4 (Level 5 = 5500), so next week's encounter will put everyone over the top. The party has also accumulated 1526 GP and 920 GP in Gems and Jewelry, along with a few magic items that have already been distributed.