The Party decided. Patron of Shadow’s offer was the quickest way towards progress. Even if his end of the bargain would take some time, clearing the caves would be a quick task. How hard could it be?
Entering the caves was straightforward. A quick boat ride and a climb, made easy by Carric’s magic, was all that was needed, in addition to the Patron’s info.
Inside the jutting cliffs was a huge cavern, converted with wooden scaffolding to a storage area. The Party would later learn that this area was allegedly used as a haven by smugglers and other outlaws in the past, but was now fallen out of use due to monsters and tunnel collapses. The Party found both. Huge, monstrous carrion eaters ambushed them, severely injuring Dulkan and wounding Carric. But as soon as it had begun, it was over and the creatures lay slain.
After clearing the beast’s lairs, Carric discovered a large wooden door that seemed to have been sealed with heavy chain, now curiously un-sealed. As they needed to know what the area was, the Party broke down the door and continued on the tunnel. They found evidence that someone had broken through the sealed doors, now re-sealing them behind them.
Below they found a dungeon, carved with Quirion’s and Sithrakh’s iconography. The dungeon’s doors had also been well-sealed with thick iron doors, now almost rusted shut. The dungeon was as curious as it was worrisome, with ancient coffins and weaponry brought in from somewhere else. Moisture and seawater was everywhere, and the ankle-deep layer of water constantly streamed ever downwards.
At the bottom of the dungeon they found an impressive chamber whose walls were covered in falling water. Inside a group of Sahuagin were working to open an ornate, sealed door. Apparently the Sahuagin knew the Party’s reputation, for the Sahuagin Baron was extremely nervous. The Party gleaned that the sea devils were searching for a treasure, knowledge specifically.
Before the Party could finish the negotiations, the Sahuagin managed to open the door and began rushing in. Althea, invisible and wearing the silencing boots, used her family longsword to jam the door open, allowing the Party to follow in pursuit. The Baron escaped inside, only to emerge back momentarily back, zeroing in on Carric. He struck the sorcerer unconscious and grasped a curious prize: Carric’s skewered doll. Desperate, the Baron removed the pins even as Borel cut him down with the Mountain Carver.
Borel grasped the doll and heard a voice inside his head, offering immortality in exchange for him removing the final pin. As Carric was unable to protest, Borel took the offer. In the chamber that the Sahuagin opened, something stirred. An undead wizard of great power was freed. He teleported through the door that the Party hastily shut to observe them, granting Borel his actual prize: His continued life. Then it teleported away, leaving the Party aghast in the dark.