The next morning we arose early and broke fast together, when a young lad came bounding up the docks to our gangway to report that there had been another murder. Swallowing gulps of tea or coffee and stuffing our faces with the last of the meal, we followed the lad into town. Sure enough, it was another woman carved viciously from gizzard to groin. Suulin and I searched for clues on the scene while the others looked more closely with astral sight. We spied a grey cloaked figure that tried to evade us as soon as the being noticed we had spied them, and without hesitation Suulin and I set off on foot to track her through town. Skram saw our sudden impetuous departure and followed quickly behind us to keep us from getting into a bad situation, while Urgral and Vridich used their talents and pursued their own train of sorts with Stilicho in tow.
They say all roads lead to Thera, and it certainly proved true this morning, fpor both groups of the Unchained arrived at a meeting point in the ruins following their own leads. Here was a group of waiting greycloaks, who quickly cut the clothing off the newcomer Vridich and company were following, and put a grey robe on her. Stilicho rushed forward to save her, but the group leader stepped forward to interpose himself and answer Stitcho’s challenges. Suddenly the man’s voice ceased and a new, unearthly voice came forth to warn us off and brag of the pending doom on the little town of Haven. Then they all turned and rushed off into the ruins.
The exploration of the Parlainth ruins while in pursuit of the young woman and her cult fellows led us deeper into the city, and ended in a hole in the earth. Investigation showed this to be a break- through in the ceiling of an underground passage. We went down into the passage below and found an underground tunnel system leading deeper into the Parlainth underground. I was on my guard, but my fellow Unchained boldly pressed into the passages, so I simply trailed them until called forth to be useful. When they found a set of six doors along the walls, three to a side, they called me up to them to see if I could find any traps on the doors. The first door held no traps, and I distinctly heard loud chewing sounds from within. They pressed in and found two ghouls devouring corpses, a short melee did them both ghouls in, and we continued down the hall, finding three tortured captives in one room: a windling female child, a dwarven female and an obsidiman. After releasing them, the dwarven female showed us a secret passage that she and her party of adventurers had followed. After checking the other four rooms, we followed the secret passage into a series of passages and wonders.
We eventually found a passage out which exited into what had to be another world, with a green sun and a seemingly endless expanse of water ahead of us as we stood on a beach. We found a room that spoke of the battle between some ancient Theran wizard and a horror they named the Abomination. We found four fountains of the elements, and when I stood in the one for fire I got a serious singe, I can tell you that! Then I was led north by feeling to a room, a library, filled with ancient texts of all kinds, and the instruction as to how the ancient wizard prepared to battle the horror. He first bathed in each of the fountains, in a specific order, then went off to battle. We thought he had failed, as the area was long dead and deserted. However, we felt we were on the path to his ancient nemesis.
So we determined to do battle in his stead, and each bathed in the fountains, then became healed of the damage therein sustained in a wondrous room if healing filled with sparkling lights of a dust-like substance. Then it was off to find the horror, and behind a secret passage we found an obscured way that led to a chamber wherein worship of a disturbing kind was being held. The bloated form of the Abomination was ahead of us down a short, narrow passage, and we had one round to take it in the back.
I went to the right, with Urgral on my left beside me and Skram to his left, with Stilicho rounding out the four primary fighters of the Unchained. Vridich stayed behind the wall of his friends and wove his magics, while Suulin skittered around the wall of our steel to engage and harry the cultists who knelt before the horror. Our exultation in finding the being exposed in the rear quickly turned to dismay, as all our well-aimed strikes bounced off its hide, as though it was a boulder. Upon closer inspection, we could also now see a human figure inside the bulbous form of the horror, writhing around and apparently still alive! As the Abomination turned to face us, Urgral said he thought that might be Malgim Mortaka. In no time at all, the cultists were upon Suulin, and came also against our party’s flanks, two against myself and three against Stilicho. In a brilliant flash of inspiration, Suulin called out aloud “Malgim Mortaka” to the figure inside the horror, supposing it to be the ancient Theran mage, and he immediately responded by beginning actions anew inside the horror.
From my position behind the Abomination, I could not see the effects this horror had on Stilicho, and it was just as well, for it was not a pleasant scene. The horror took over Stilicho’s mind and ordered him to attack us, but he steadfastly refused and each round of battle saw the price he paid for his heroic resistance, as blood poured from his eyes, nose, mouth and ears. But with Skram and Urgral both pounding away on the horror, the damage started to add up as they both went on an aggressive attack standing. I laid out one of the bloody cultists, and another stepped into his place, and I took pity on the female who faced me, using the flat of my blade instead of the edge. Floranuus was surely with me, for once I had realized I could not damage the horror, I had turned to engage the cultists and keep them from getting through to my friends.
All at once, a cry went up from our line, that a large group of cadaver men had just entered the chamber and were headed for the fight. The again, in a surprise to us all, a heavy blow from Skram’s hammer burst the Abomination asunder, like a bag of old, rotten meat. The cadaver men immediately collapsed as one with the source of animation gone, and the cultists ceased their attacks and dropped their daggers. I at once saw the form of the Theran mage now open to the air again, and went to him to try to administer comfort and aid to him. His body was horribly burned from the effects of the horror’s stomach acid, but he whispered out to me in a course voice, “Is the Abomination dead?” I held him and replied in Theran, “Yes, it is surely dead, mighty one.” Then I tried to get a healing potion down his throat to help save him, but it mostly was spluttered out of his mouth and he breathed his last. I did not want to allow one so brave and stalwart to perish if I could prevent it, so I carried him back to the room of healing, and while his body was somewhat repaired, his spirit did not return, in spite of prayers to Floranuss. I determined that I would see to a proper funeral pyre for him if I could.
By this time, my friends had Stilicho back on his feet, seemingly none the worse for wear, and we used the former cultists to help us gather up all the booty and books to take back to Haven with us. In one last effort to make sure there was nothing left behind, Urgral advanced into a long room with red and silver checkered tiles on the floor, and a pile of treasure lying at the other end. In short, it was a trapped floor with damage meted out to the being walking and stepping on trapped tiles, but it also dispensed bags with 20 silver in each one not so trapped. The total was at 4,000 silver pieces. With our booty in tow, we headed back to Haven to announce the end of the threat from this particular horror, and hoped that no others would venture out from that sick world we had found in the temple.