Saelah examines the Drow woman and finds her unconscious and wounded. The numerous injuries suggest a recent battle, an observation bolstered by the well-used sword and bow that lay near her. Saelah determines that she will live, but he has no healing powers to accelerate her recovery.
Saelah stands by the locked door, peering out the small window. Soon he hears many footsteps approaching. “Jager!” he calls out, and the Shifter’s face appears on the other side of the transparent crystal.
The Band of the Nine Towers backtracked until they arrived at the original cell in which they were imprisoned. Although the cell is now locked, Fixit picks it with ease. The Warforged then heals Scylien with a wand while the rest of the Band decides how to deal with the newcomer.
Jager remains suspicious and ornery. Saelah mentions that Dorian Orsova and Zzhastor Brune sent him to aid the Band, yet still retains his own suspicions of Jager. The Elf apparently forgot or ignored Dorian’s admonishment about trying to get along with the Band. Perhaps out of necessity, Jager and Saelah accept a wary alliance, since both need a method of escape from the tunnel complex.
The Band needs rest. The spider constructs had drained them of significant powers, abilities, and arcane resources.
Fixit, Mila, and Saelah guard the hallway, while the rest settle down in the cell. Not more than half an hour passes before constructs appear in the hallway to attack those on guard. None of those resting wants to leave the cell, concerned that crossing the threshold will trigger further attacks. Once the constructs are destroyed, everyone enters the cell for a rest.
Another hour pases before more constructs appear on the walls and attack, one for each person. Cleverly, the Band exits the cell and closes the door on the constructs, saving another costly battle. Jager urges they now move quickly; delay only invites another attack.
The Band organizes a march and reaches the gated area where Scylien had vanished. Aided by Scylien’s Bardic Song, Jager expends a monumental effort to break the gate separating them from the next section of corridors. Jager appeared determined to either defeat the gate or get a hernia, whichever came first.
Just past the gate, Jager’s Everbright Shield winks out. In fact, no arcane spells or powers will function. Jager backtracks and determines the effect is isolated to a particular area, but he is unsure the extent of the region.
There are now two possible directions: a branching corridor off to the right, or continuing straight ahead, where the corridor ends at a gated opening about ten feet above the floor.
Saelah moves forward, ready for traps. About ten feet from the gate, the floor beneath him vanishes, revealing a twenty foot deep pit lined with spikes. Simultaneously, a powerful wind blows from above, forcing Saelah into the spikes.
Exceptional acrobatic skill saves Saelah from serious harm. Jager throws down a rope and pulls him up. The wind still blows. The Band decides to investigate the branching corridor before trying the pit again. Perhaps a deactivation mechanism will be found.
The branching corridor leads to a number of short, curved corridors and a series of tiny rooms. Some of the rooms contain objects of no obvious utility, other rooms are empty. The Band picks up a small silver wheel, an amulet, a wand, and a staff. All those items are found to be magical when removed from the anti-magic area. However, the staff is also evil, and so Mila destroys it.
Then the Band risks a good rest. The hours pass, and soon enough everyone returns to full strength. There is speculation that the anti-magic effect may deter the constructs.
Through a careful combination of climbing skill and ropes, the Band manages to cross the pit. Jager again wrenches the gate free, and the Band continues into a new section of corridors. These are longer corridors arranged in parallel, with shorter cross corridors. There are few rooms compared to the size of the space. The corridor immediately past the gate seems to be the main passage, for it ends at a very solid steel door almost two hundred feet ahead.
Mila senses Jenna straight ahead and to the left. Rather than attempt opening the steel door, the Band takes an easier route down a left branching corridor. They explore a number of rooms.
One room holds the desiccated corpse of a small dinosaur. Another contains a live animal with some sort of metal exoskeleton; it charges the door when Mila looks inside but cannot escape. A surprising find is a large alchemical laboratory. Finally, Mila enters a room containing an anti-magic field and recovers two interesting objects: a small wand and a crystal sphere. As Mila exits the room and leaves the anti-magic area, both objects explode, severely injuring several people but killing no one.
Everyone agrees the steel door now seems a better choice. Jager notices that the floor beneath the door is chipped in several places. He wedges the end of his Masterwork shovel beneath the door, and with the help of two comrades, leans down on the handle. The door slowly rises, grinding against its track. The door remains raised when Jager releases pressure on the shovel.
The door has traveled a couple feet, and the end of the shovel handle bumps the floor. Jager looks past the door. The corridor proceeds straight, with at least two or three branches. About sixty feet away, standing in the middle of the tunnel, a pale Halfling grins at him.
“Hello, Jager,” says Jenna’s mother, “I’m not going anywhere. Why don’t you join me.”