The party fall through the whirlpool of fire…
…and land in a heap in a plain stone room, which is hot; a dry, strength-sapping heat. A set of stairs leads up to a blank wall, and there is nothing else to be seen; but dwarves spot the secret door and pivot it open: a blast of heat hits them in the face, and the door opens to reveal a ledge overlooking a river of lava. Across the river, some fifty feet or so, is another ledge, a tunnel leading off it.
There seems no obvious way across, but the lion-headed sage, who has now introduce himself as Ferrella, has a suggestion: he has the ability to polymorph other; and Sinnba-Vek reveals that he can cancel it with a dispel magic. They choose Corvin to be polymorphed, into a young red dragon with large enough wings to carry one person at a time across the lava flow; sadly, he is unable to speak, but is no longer the weakened and fragile thief he was.
Using his newfound strength and power of flight, Corvin carries Idni over first, who stands guard at the tunnel; then he takes Sinnba-Vek, Halmary, Zarkov, Ferrella and Ungrid over; he elects to remain in his dragon form and follows the party as they enter the hot tunnel, with wisps of steam issuing out of cracks along the walls. They explore side tunnels, rooms behind heavy stone doors, and find disused rooms; up one tunnel is a set of stairs leading to a ledge that opens out into the open air: up on the ledge is a nest of a giant eagle and its brood of chicks. Idni sneaks up and spots them, hurrying back before the birds attack. They send Corvin up, and he tests his breath weapon and lets loose a cone of deadly flame, which incinerates the chicks and burns the eagle, which then falls to Corvin’s new dragon teeth and claws.
In the burnt remnants of the nest they find a hexagon-shaped ruby! Another of the keys that believe they need.
Further exploration reveals a secret door, and a set of steep stairs leading down. They reach the second landing, and trigger a trap: the stairs shift, turning into a steep ramp; and oil oozes out of the joints, making it a slippery, steep ramp, and sends Halmary and Ferrella tumbling down the ramp, while the rest cling on, but only for a moment; Ungrid, Idni and Sinnba-Vek try to stand, but they too tumble down; and for a minute Zarkov and dragon Corvin manage to stay put, but as they try to move, Corvin slips and before he can right himself he rolls down, straight into Zarkov, and they both tumble…
…and everyone hits a pool of water and suddenly find themselves underwater; just before their lanterns are washed out, they spy a tunnel ahead, steps leading up. They discard heavy equipment and struggle up the steps, out of the water and find themselves in a corridor made of pink coral!
They take turns nipping back into the cold salty water to retrieve their items, and start to explore, finding empty rooms, and then a secret door. Opening it, they are confronted with a creature with the body of a lobster and the head of a squid, chained to the wall by a manacle around its neck. A voice calls out to them, in their minds: “Help me. Free me.”
End of Session
Kills: 1 giant eagle, 12 eagle chicks.
Level-Up: Zarkov finally reaches level 5!
Gains: 1 hexagon-ruby.