Episode summary Edit
After destroying The Mistress's eggs, Black and Little One return to the rest of the party with some black studded leather armour found on a corpse in the lower cave. After a break for Draven to identify the armour and Daggerface's aura to heal everybody back to half hitpoints, the party rests and Black uses break enchantment to remove one Doom charge from each member (except Angel, who never had any due to making all her saves against the visions). After eight hours' rest, they have been inside Mount Pillar for nine hours.
Black recasts Find the Path and the party follow its directions through the door Little One broke last episode and find that triggering the rune on the lower bridge had opened the second door that had been behind it, the water having been cut off upstream to leave a metal grate across the shaft. Past the second door is a four-way intersection of incredibly regular tunnels, possibly created with magic, and the party take a left, only to discover than the tunnels also head up and down as well as left, right forward and backwards. Maze dimension count: 3.
After a few more turns, Find the Path suddenly cuts out. Black takes a step back, and he regains the spell. It tells him to go forward, and when he does the spell winks out again. Eventually, Daggerface realises that the stone is different and the party realise that they have crossed over from the Shadowfel to the Fadelands. Maze dimension count: 4. Draven attempts to cast Locate Creature, but cannot detect Zaheer, implying that he is not in the Fadelands. Stepping back into the Shadowfel, Draven tries again and finds the direction Zaheer is in (left and shallowly down), meaning that he is within 400+40/level feet.
The party search semi-blindly yet systematically through the Fadelands portion of the maze. Eventually, Angel notices some strange lichen and realises that they are in the Feywild. Unable to find a path that heads in the direction of Zaheer, Little One simply tries to smash through a wall and, when that fails, the floor. After that too fails, Draven suggests that the party attempt to map the current floor and Angel goes off to scout, only to trigger a poison arrow trap and take 9 points of dexterity damage. Now knowing to search for traps, Angel finds and disarms several more but eventually runs into a much better hidden trap and fails to spot it, although she dodges the arrows as the trap contains fewer arrows than the norm.
Realising that the sudden appearance of traps must mean that they're nearing their goal, the party push on and after half an hour have manaed to map a third of the floor, only to find that there's no way to access the rest of it without making use of the vertical shafts. Loathe to do so, Little One instead smashes through a wall and after a minute the party return to the Shadowfel, allowing Black access to Find the Path and Draven access to Locate Creature. With these, they realise that they need to go up a level, but in doing so trigger a classic "giant stone falls from the ceiling" trap. Angek is separated from the party for a few minutes until Little One digs through it.
No longer willing to take any backtalk from a glorified hedge maze, Little One smashes through the next wall that dares to impede him. The walls do not take kindly to this, and a few minutes later smash back. Or rather, the giant earth elementals that were inside the walls do. In the course of the battle Mora is almost killed, but survives due to an intervention by Black, who saves her with Close Wounds and then picks her up to keep her out of range of the elementals' Tremor Sense ability. They share a moment. It's very romantic.
Continuing onward, Find the Path eventually leads them to a narrower tunnel, which leads to a set of steps across a chasm. At the base of the staircase is a large space containing what appears to be a cathedral to Pelor. Both Find the Path and Locate Creature indicate that they should enter the cathedral, but before they can they are sucked into another vision.
In this vision, the lich sits in a boat on an ocean in the Shadowfel, awaiting a giant worm creature. Just before it surfaces to eat him, he flies into the air and after a few mnutes of dodging its tentacles he drops a locked box containing his phylactery (the key he'd used to free himself from Ralph's chains) into its gullet. The lich then casts a "travelling spell" to "become one with the shadow".