As the group descended the spiral staircase – Coryn lit the torches along the wall with a cantrip.
They found a wine cellar that had been desecrated by foul offal, and a secret door that led into catacombs – which Dulkas could tell were of dwarven construction, and older than the temple above it.
In shallow alcoves were shelves of ancient human remains. Winding passages led to dwarven sarcophagus’s which had been emptied of their occupants.
At the end of the central passage was an alcove that had its shelving shattered. The skeletal remains that had rested there lay trampled in the dust.
A quick twist of a torch sconce and a hidden door slid open to reveal a natural cavern. In the middle was a small body of water, with stalagmites all around. The harsh rhythmic sound of metal on stone sounded ahead – and dim torchlight could be seen.
It was a strange scene. Several dwarven skeletons worked with pick-axes on a slab of stone on a platform. As they crept forward, a massive bugbear skullreaver rushed at them, as a hobgoblin warlock ducked behind a pillar of stone, firing hexes at them.
When they were closer to the stone slab, they could see that goblin arms were fused with rock and reaching out. Pick axe blows had knocked off fingers from these macabre limbs. In some areas, an eerie blue light shone through holes in the slab.
The fight was intense, with Glawen nearly taking a fatal blow and Dulkas resorting to using one of his enchanted stones.
In the end they cornered and pinned the hobgoblin warlock with two arrows through his forearms. Bronwyn was able to coerce information out of him and they discovered that a human priest had led them to open a portal from the Shadowlands into Istarnia.
A ritual was being conducted at that very moment to taint the portal to their foul purpose.
When the hobgoblin saw that the group meant to kill him, he uttered arcane words and erupted in flame.