Last week on the Thursday game...
The building before the party on the fourth tier is not like anything else they have seen before. Seemingly carved whole from an impossibly large piece of marble-esque stone, it superficially resembles a temple, but one that is not built according to any architectural or religious principles that the adventurers are familiar with.
After destroying the two galeb duhr guarding the entrance, the party decides to investigate the two strange blue fires flanking the main doors. Acting on a hunch, Trinity decides to speak to the fires in Primordial... and to her surprise, they reply, albeit with some sass and sarcasm. The ranger learns that although the fire elementals are sworn to destroy anyone who touches the doors, they have no real interest in doing so, and are only really sworn to letter of their contract. If the party doesn't touch the doors, they won't have to be destroyed.
With the help of Bo, Borock grabs one of the galeb duhr corpses and flings it at the doors, causing it to swing open and giving them just enough time to run through (or, in the case of Trinity and Robert respectively, Etherealness and Misty Step through). True to their contract, the fire elementals incinerate the galeb duhr's corpse and reduce it to a fine powder, but otherwise leave the rest of the party untouched.
The adventurers now find themselves in a large room that, if the building were a temple, would serve as its main hall. Despite the supernatural chill outside, a stream still flows through the middle of the hall, and the sounds in the chamber feel strangely muted, almost as if the harmonics of the room was slightly off. At the end of the room, behind an archaic sacrificial altar, are massive two stone legs, sliced off at the knees by an impossibly sharp and long blade. Judging by the size of the legs, Bo estimates that if the statue was still whole, it would probably reach up to at least 120ft.
Borock and Mordai both decide to leap across the small stream, but when it came to Bo's turn, he decided to walk across the bridge instead. This proved to be a fatal mistake for, the moment he stepped onto the bridge, the waters of the stream immediately roared and rose into a wall that nearly touched the ceiling. Bo managed to leap across to join Borock and Mordai, but this left Trinity and Robert stranded on the other side of the room.
Unfortunately, they would not remain alone for long. Within moments, kuo-toa - lead by a damp-smelling priest of some sort - swim out from the wall of water and begin assaulting the two of them. Completely separated from the rest of the party, there was little that they could do to hold off the fishy assault, and both of them fell within moments.
One side of the room cleared, the fishmen swim through the wall and begin attacking the other three members of the party, but they proved to be much more difficult to kill. A raging Borock cuts down the kuo-toa archpriest in mere seconds, and the rest of the party make short work of the remaining whips who have not yet fled in terror.
Despite the death of the archpriest, the wall of water remains exactly where it was, and the party decide to investigate the next chamber. If the first room was the temple's main hall, then this would be the inner sanctum, although it resembled nothing like the inner sanctums that Bo was used to. The main feature of the chamber was a large pool that was softly glowing, and when Bo peers down into the murky depths of the pool, he sees the rest of the massive statue: that of a regal-looking elf, crowned in tarnished gold, proudly holding aloft a sword that was at least 30ft long.
Lacking options, Borock decides to dive into the pool, and as he does, the surface of the pool reaches up to welcome him, reaching through his nose and mouth to fill his lungs. The dragonborn struggles, expecting to drown, but despite now functionally breathing murky pond water, he remains not only alive, but actually quite comfortable.
Invisible currents guide Borock gently down to the chest of the statue, where he sees a large gemstone - about as large as he - set in a massive pendant. The stone shines with a light of a colour that he has never seen before, and a gentle, alien-feeling curiosity brushes the edges of his mind. A thought forms: what manner of creature is Borock, and what is he doing here?
The Viscount of Northreach tries his best to explain their quest - to retrieve a spell that would somehow allow them to end the rule of Titania - but the thing (whatever it is) does not seem interested. When Borock mentions Eldereth, however, the waters around him grow dark, and Borock winces from the edges of the thing's wrath. A memory grows in Borock's mind: that of a shadow, wreathed in darkness and fire, entering this most sacred of places. It was that shadow that dared cut the statue in half and, after dripping three drops of its profane blood into this once-holy pool, commanded its kuo-toa minions to move the statue into this pool.
Although the thing is powerful, it is nonetheless bound to the jewel within the pendant, and it will not allow anyone to further deface its statue. If a suitable host can be found for it - and the host must be suitable; nothing less than an emperor or a king will do - it can be brought out of the pool and thus restored to its proper place.
By this time, Mordai was growing increasingly worried, and with Borock not emerging, he decides to dive into the pool. Incensed by the tiefling's demonic heritage, the thing in the pool was about to crush Mordai when it explained that it was on the same quest that Borock was on: and, after all, if its cause was just, what did it matter what blood flowed in its veins? This gave the creature pause, which was all the time Mordai needed to sell a plan to it.
Help the three of them recover their strength, the rogue says, and he will find a way to bring the creature a suitable host. The thing agrees, and after Mordai surfaces to drag Bo down into the water, in the blink of an eye all three adventurers find themselves fully healed. Delighted, Bo swims back up to the surface and dispels the magic animating the wall of water, before then using two Healing Words to bring Robert and Trinity back to their feet.
Once the two have crossed the stream, Mordai wastes no time in unceremoniously shoving Robert into the pool before diving in after him. He introduces Robert as the former King of Wands, once the commander of ten thousand sidhe and the master of yet more fey. Perhaps he would be a suitable host?
Carefully, like one may stretch apart a housefly's wings for examination, the thing in the pool stretches out Robert's soul and examines the six holes in the fabric of his self. Three heartbeats pass before it releases its grip on Robert's soul, almost as if with a tinge of regret. He cannot house me, the thing says into the minds of Mordai and Robert.
"What about the child?," Robert asks.
Almost before the thought could leave his mind, the child opens its mouth as if to cry, but there is no sound. Frozen in mid-scream, light streams out of the child's eyes, ears, nose and mouth as all the power within the pool is pulled out of the pendant and poured into the child. By the time the light fades, there is no more life within the pool... and the water that they have been so effortlessly breathing all this while has reverted to nothing more than just simple, ordinary water.
Swimming desperately for the surface, Mordai makes it halfway up the water column before realising that Robert and the child is nowhere to be found. Cursing, he tries to swim back down to save them, but the effort proved too much for him; the water in his lungs slowly choke him, and he blacks out.
Noticing that the light in the pool has gone out, Borock realises that something is wrong and dives straight down to save them. Diving past Mordai, he goes first for Robert and the baby, then dives back down again to rescue his comrade in arms. By this time, however, Mordai had drowned, and it takes another Healing Word from Bo before he is brought back to his feet, coughing and sputtering stale pond water from his lungs.