Before the adventurers can breach the lower level, Siduri hears a voice calling from outside. It is one of the Temple acolytes with an urgent message. Siduri leaves the party to investigate as the rest proceed into the subbasement.
They are greeted with a most unwelcome sight. A long u-shaped table dominates the room. The table is covered in lab equipment and the black powder they found on the mob. The powder is being derrived from Kernig Root, which Acacia has unwittingly been bringing into the city by the wagon load. Awaiting them is Taurion (aka Goeben). Behind him is an arcane ballista facing the staircase while in front is a mechanical golem with large hammer hands. The party makes no attempt to talk to the minotaur, but Gilgamesh and Krivv cover their mouths to avoid accidentally inhaling the dust. Acacia moves into the room and fires at the ballista, shouting furiously at Taurion as she does. Zariastra also fires at the ballista and destroys it before it can act. Taurion advances on Acacia and hits her hard enough to nearly kill her. She is saved by Gilgamesh who advances behind Taurion. Krivv dodges the flailing arms of the golem which tries to knock black powder in his face before it moves around the room to attack Acacia. The battle becomes a series of strikes and shifts. Zariastra chaos bolt ricochets everywhere and hits everything. Acacia shifts onto the worktable and nimbly manoeuvres across the room. Gilgamesh makes a graceful leap onto the table and is subsequently knocked prone by the golem. Krivv kills the Golem with a whirling blow and Taurion falls under Acacia’s arrows (the first time she wilfully disabled an enemy instead of killing him—a now standing order from Gilgamesh).
Acacia and Zariastra cover their faces and search the room while Krivv ties up the prisoner and Gilgamesh shoves the unprocessed kernig root into his bag of holding. Acacia finds a false floor and searches Taurion’s body for a key (she also finds 10 platinum pieces) and discovers another locked chest with more money and containers of black powder. Gilgamesh places everything in the bag of holding while she examines the rest of the room. Krivv spends some time trying to figure out how the lab equipment works, but can’t figure it out. Acacia finds an account book that will have to be studied at a later date.
The earth trembles and another earthquake hits Urkesh. As the building begins to shake apart, the floor below the party vanishes and they fall. Acacia and Krivv land on their feet but the rest of them tumble to the floor, a cloud of powdered kernig root covering them, but their facial covers protect them from its effects. Taurion lies dying and Acacia reluctantly heals him. Her treatment is so effective that he comes out swinging and Krivv has to knock him out again. The ceiling begins to shift so Gilgamesh props a piece of the fallen table towards the ceiling to reinforce it. The party will need to dig their way out. As they start to dig towards where they believe the exit to be, the earth shakes again and a warm glow begins to emanate from a ring Gilgamesh wears and envelopes the adventurers.
|Suddenly, they find themselves somewhere else. They stand on the hill of Urkesh, though there is no city in sight. Instead a series of stone monoliths ring a table where three minotaurs are chanting. Each wears a familiar key emblazoned with the words BLIND, BURY and BIND. The ground is littered with the corpses of demons and minotaurs. Acacia notices that her perspective is off and looks at her companions to see they now inhabit the bodies of minotaur from an age gone by. A single driving purpose enters everyone’s mind. They must protect the chanters from the demons. The warriors set up a defence against the hordes, casting spells to obscure the area. Esteru (Acacia) fires at the large demon that enters the clearing, dazing it and knocking it prone in one round. The minions surround but fall easily.|
The party finds itself back in the tunnels, the latest quake having cleared most of one passageway. Zariastra and Gilgamesh decide to finish Zariastra’s mission, while krivv wants to return to House Katar to make his report and Acacia drags Taurion through the streets, heading towards Ishkibal before (she plans) to take him to Arzan to face punishment.