The lizardfolk cleaves Scylien twice with the sure strokes of an experienced warrior. A second lizardfolk leaps from behind a bookshelf and looses a barrage of Magic Missiles into Scylien. She reels under the assault, brought from near perfect health to death’s door in an eye blink.
Jager rushes forward to help. Jenna and Fixit also move within view of the fight, but do not enter the fray. The lizardfolk warrior again slices Scylien, and she falls to the floor unconscious.
Then the amulet wearing lizardfolk arrives and recognizes the attackers. He shouts their names in Draconic and issues stern orders. Warily, Nastin and Hulshon stand down and watch Jager for signs of aggression. Scylien receives some welcome healing. The situation cools enough for an appraisal of everyone’s condition.
Mila has not rejoined the Band after the battle. Concerned comrades backtrack down the hallway and soon find her, physically sound, yet unresponsive. They first assume that she has entered a mental battle against the Dreamseeker. Yet, unlike Scylien’s earlier experience, Mila’s body does not convulse under mental blows.
Mila does not regain her senses. Her body must be led through the remaining exploration of Tarass Shar Orn.
The lizardfolk with the amulet speaks in halting common, introducing himself as the scholar Zzhastor Brune. He explains that his people, the Harlass Orn, have no powerful martial traditions. Whenever threatened, they would descend underground to sleep away decades or centuries until it was safe to return above.
The Harlass Orn last sought slumber to avoid conquest by the Dhakaani Empire. The Dhakaani assault was sudden, and the Harlass Orn had little time to gather supplies or even save a majority of their people. Thus, the long sleep began in a dark mood that spilled into dreams. These nightmares intertwined with such intensity that they birthed the Dreamseeker, a psychic creature that has stalked the dreams of the Harlass Orn. Many have died, and lay desiccated upon the sleeping couches.
Nastin and Hulshon doubted they had actually awoken, and attacked Scylien because they thought she was the Dreamseeker. This implies that the sleep induced by the golden draught will soon expire for the remaining Harlass Orn. The other sleepers should revive within the next couple of years, as the doses do not give each person exactly the same result.
Brune is stunned to learn that thousands of years have passed. He speculates that the reign of the Dreamseeker may have distorted the effects of the golden liquid.
The Band continues the exploration of Tarass Shar Orn, trailed by the solemn lizardfolk. Another curving stairway leads to the third and final level, and more rooms filled with sleeping couches. Soon, the Band discovers the mummified remains of Jheamast. He rests in a small room with a single couch, hands folded across his chest and gripping the hilt of a gleaming rapier. A circlet inset with a large Dragonshard rests on his head.
Jager takes the sword, while Scylien removes the circlet. Jenna hangs back near the stairway and hears the faint scrape of metal on the second level. She alerts Jager, who identifies the sounds as armor or weapons. The shifter carefully moves up the stairs and attempts to draw out the intruders with shouts, but has no success. These potential foes are cautious and disciplined.
The Band works out a plan. Jenna casts Spider Climb on Jager, who walks along the ceiling all the way back to the first level. He finds at least eight fighting men behind barricades in the first level hallway.
Now Fixit casts Invisibility upon everyone. He also casts Silence upon himself, which has a sufficient radius to mask the entire Band. Jenna rides along with Jager in snake form. Jager approaches the stairway to the first level, then stops when his sensitive nose detects the scent of acid. He suspects an Acid Cloud. Protections against acid are applied, but the cloud soon dissipates.
Jager walks along the ceiling and passes the first barricade. The rest of the Band hangs back inside the Silence. Before Jager reaches the second barricade, a feminine voice cries out from the shadows ahead: Jenna’s undead mother!
“There she is! Fire!” Somehow Jenna’s mother has detected her invisible daughter.
A ball of flame blossoms around Jager and Jenna. Still invisible, Jager rushes forward towards Jenna’s mother, who hovers above the lift with two female companions. Jenna shifts to bird form and flies off Jager. One of the women beside Jenna’s mother conjures a wall of flame across the hallway.
Jager bursts through the flame and drops from the ceiling to attack the Wizard. He hurts her, but the other woman, presumably a Cleric, quickly heals her. Jenna follows and continues up the lift shaft towards the surface. Since she is invisible, Jager does not realize she has passed. This becomes important when Jenna’s mother speaks the Draconic phrase that activates the lift. The two members of the Band who speak Draconic, Mila and Scylien, are not available to stop it.
Jager jumps off the platform as it rises to seal the shaft, trapping Jenna with her mother.
Meanwhile, the rest of the Band engages the fighting men at the barricades. The Silence has ended and almost everyone has become visible. Azereen does heavy damage with a lightning bolt, then is surrounded by foes. He holds his own long enough for Jager and Scylien to enter the battle, while Fixit, still invisible, aids his comrades with healing and other supportive spells.
Jenna and the Wizard trade spells. Although the Wizard is physically much weaker, Jenna cannot put the woman down. Every time Jenna harms the Wizard, the Cleric provides healing. Jenna’s mother only watches and gives orders. Finally, Jenna summons a dire boar and drops it upon the lift. The boar crushes the Wizard, though not before a final Magic Missile sends Jenna into unconsciousness. Jenna’s mother and the Cleric grab Jenna, and then escape into the swamp.
Scylien brings down the lift and ferries the Band to the surface. Jager searches by sight and by smell, but finds no trace of Jenna or her captors. He suspects that they have flown away.
Jager raises his eyes to the sky and shouts, “Jenna!”