Last week on the Tuesday game...
As the teleportation mists fade, the party find themselves in the woods a few days away from Blackgate, capital city of Lacio and home to the Grand Temple of Krubivax. At the first tavern they come upon, the party asks for directions and immediately get saddled with Sera, a young girl who seems bored with her life, the city, and the world in general.
In the Grand Temple, the party discover that the vile damage they have sustained in the previous battle against Rasinth can only be healed in a consecrated place. As they rest up, they speak to the Grandmaster and learn that a strange silence seems to blanket the ruined city in the shadow of Mt Amarath. Nobody quite knows for sure what causes the silence, but most travellers avoid the place like the plague.
With Sera leading the way, the party make for the mountain and, after about ten days, eventually arrive at the gates of Amarath. The air around the ruined city feels heavier, almost as if it were pregnant with quiet meaning and intent, and all sounds, even those that the party make, feel dampened and muted. Combined with the city's alien architecture and the reputation it has amongst travellers, the party feel uncomfortable but eventually step into the place.
As they walk the streets, Gabriel notices that the grain in the stone around them seems to spell out something in Elvish. With the aid of Comprehend Languages, Alistair touches the stone and hears a fleeting snatch of music that is both harmonic and discordant at the same time.
The city appears to be divided into smaller subsections, and in an adjacent subsection they come across a small square, paved with stone that is obviously different from the buildings around them, with a spiral inscription in Abyssal (very similar to the one on Alistair's sceptre) burnt into the stones: "let it be known to all that this is an evil place, and that all who value their lives and sanity should leave this place at once. This is the prison of the demon Ashotel, and as long as the four sentinels remain standing, he shall remain imprisoned here until the end of time."
The four sentinels appear to be the four buildings located to the north, south, east and west of the square, but no matter how hard the party tried, the doors to the buildings remained sealed. With no other way forward, the party decides to leave this mystery for another time and go further into Amarath.
The next subsection they uncover appears to be the largest and (while it was still alive) busiest part of the city. However, instead of a building or marketplace in the centre of the city, they find an open-air amphitheatre instead. Alistair steps onto the podium and discovers that the black wand chained to the podium by a thin silvery metal seems to drain magic from any spell channelled into it. The chain seems indestructible, and attacking it seems to only trigger a thunderwave of some sort. When Alistair sings the snatch of song from before from the podium, however, they hear four doors simultaneously slam open a short distance away in the adjacent subsection.
With the paladin leading the way, the party hurry back to Amarath's prison and see, as they suspected, that the doors to the sentinels have opened. In each building they discover a person - still alive - strung up by their feet over what appears to be a sacrificial trough of some sort. A steady trickle of blood drips from the victim's neck into the trough, but blood seems to be evaporating from the trough at the same rate.
Out of a perverse desire to face and possibly slay the demon, the paladin heals the victims and stops the bleeding, but Alistair is close enough behind him that he manages to bleed them again before the blood completely dries up in the trough. The two of them argue for a while, and eventually the party agree to not risk freeing the demon. By now, however, night has fallen, and the party decide to camp under the stars in the Leomund's Tiny Hut that Alistair conjures next to the amphitheatre.