- The group is lost
- More dreams from the gods
- An ancient temple is found
- Maloreth and the skull!
- Return to the 7-Pillar-Hall
On their return from the Horned Hold, the group became lost. Narata decided to go his own way and only Malagar followed. The rest went just a short distance and stopped in a wider section of the Labyrinth to wait to see if Narata and Malagar would return. They eventually did, and Malagar explained that they likely had gotten lost because some of the walls were Living Stone.
During a rest, several members of the group dreamed again of the gods. They warned of Maloreth, the skull, and the Temple of Bones which is near. They also explained that Maloreth was not working with Kas/Vannyk. The second artifact is a book that together with the skull could destoy the world. The third artifact, which is in the Labyrinth, is the Sun Sword, which could be used to kill Kas and Vecna, having been used to kill Vecna during his life. The Sun Sword is being sought after by miners somewhere in the Labyrinth.
The group continued on for a bit when Malagar noticed the smoke from their torch rising higher than usual. The group stopped and upon further inspection found that there was an opening in the roof of the cave. They ascended and found themselves in a ruined temple.
In the first room were several wraiths, as well as a gelatinous cube. The cube might have been a native, but the wraiths may well have been placed here by someone as a defense. The group brought up the freed slaves and told them to wait as they continued on. This might be the place that the gods mentioned that held one of the artifacts.
While crossing a bridge, the bridge collapsed over a large stream. Sabin, Malagar, and Narata, were able to get back up with some assistance. On the other side, Lia used Hold Portal to prevent anything from surprising them from behind while they went down a spiral staircase. Malagar went to scout down the stairs, but Narata decided to follow him rather than wait with the rest. He knocked on the door and was met with magical attacks. Hearing the battle, the rest of the group hurried down the stairs to see what was happening. There in the room was a Lich, one that spat and cursed Lia when it saw her. The Lich was the undead form of Maloreth, and upon a table was a box eerily similar to the one that had held the necromantic skull Lia had once before taken from him. During the battle Narata unexpectedly opened the box. He looked into it and froze. Malagar, seeing the strange reaction, closed the box wtihout looking, and Narata shook himself free of the effect and fought on.
While Maloreth was powerful, he was no match alone for the entire team. Once his bones were destroyed though, no one could find a phylactery. Undoubtedly the lich would return again at some point. Lia, Arioch, and Reeyith took to studying the box to see if it itself was magical or had any mechanisms related to holding the artifact. However, in just holding the box something called out to them and Lia felt compelled to open the box. All 3 stared lovingly at the skull contained therein. Malagar took it from them with a bag and once again closed it. He asked Narata for his bag of holding and tossed it in. Reeyith, Arioch, Narata, and Lia all wanted the box and the skull back, but shortly an argument ensued about who should hold onto it. Some might have been successfully fighting the urge to see the skull again, but it was not clear whom that was.
Lia tossed the ring of invisibility to Malagar and requested his amulet of health in turn to help her resist the effects of the skull. She suggested he use it and hide from them to keep the skull safe. Arioch accused Lia of wanting the box and coming up with a way to get it back. Sabin, unaffected, tried to help Malagar figure out what to do, at first offering to take it, but then realizing that there was no reason he should be trusted with that and so withdrew the suggestion. Finally, Malagar activated the ring and ran from the room. Everyone else eventually left, figuring it was time to rest and then return to the 7-Pillar-Hall.