Journey to Fate’s doorstep: the path leads to a cave

A two hundred fifty feet by two hundred fifty feet tidal wave erupts from the watery draconic mouth and washes everyone away, except for Royce, who manages to be the last one out of the shipwreck. Royce glances up and sees the gigantic draconic mouth attached to a body now forming out of the churning water; he also sees his party, including Talina and the sea worms, pushed fifty feet away behind an immense tidal wave.

Royce swims out of the shipwreck and begins casting offensively at the Leviathan elemental, being mindful of anything following him out of the shipwreck. Everyone else is pummeled by the tidal wave force as it pushes them another hundred feet; some attempt to swim through it but are not strong enough to withstand its power. Eventually the sea worms can’t take the constant pummeling and collapse. Naismith attempts to swim up the wall in hopes he can crest it while Mordrock uses his magic staff to create vines that extend from the staff, through the tidal wave and toward the Leviathan, successfully grappling it. Talina casts Control Water to form a pocket around herself and Mordrock, enabling them to swim through the wave.

The Leviathan elemental is strong and wild, lashing out at everyone in its reach. At one hundred fifty feet out, the tidal wave begins to lose steam; Nong and Naismith finally manage to crest it and swim toward the party. When Nong is in range, he uses the wand to unleash a fury of skeletons that descend upon the elemental. Eventually, the Leviathan cannot withstand the multitude of attacks and spells cast upon it, that it dissolves and flees.

The party regroups to assess the situation. Royce and Naismith focus on opening the metal box; except it is rusted shut requiring brute strength over nimble fingers. Royce manages to pull it open, finding inside several gems and a horn of blasting.

The party continues their journey forward, following the images in their mind as best as they can given the unfamiliar environment. Each night they take a long rest in the Ethereal plane inside a mighty temple dedicated to Tempus; except for Nong who inhabits Daern’s instant fortress further away. During the first night, Nong senses someone near; when he opens his eyes, he sees staring down at him the red demonic face he has met before. The red face attached to a demonic body and bat wings, looks down and whispers in abyssal, “It’s time for you to come home Nong Sung Roc, even though you are feeding the master quite well these days.” Nong quietly reaches for the wand as he remains silent staring back at the fiend.

Inside the temple, Mordrock on watch, sees the being hovering over Nong and stirs the others to wake, as he gets up and runs toward the instant fortress; by the time he arrives, the being is gone.
“Who or what was that Nong?”
“Someone we met in Fort Morninglord.”
“What did he say to you?”
“Nonsense. When I reached for the wand to kill him, he disappeared.”
When the others arrive, Mordrock describes what he saw and everyone stares at Nong for a response; Nong shrugs, rolls over and returns to sleep.

Two days later they see ahead of them an entrance to a large cave, five hundred feet away. They swim closer and see four water-shaped beings standing guard around the entrance. The Drow’s Bane confirm the images in their minds resemble this cave which persuades them to get closer. Talina suddenly halts the group,
“Those look like myrmidons, elemental guardians,” as she squints her eyes to get a closer look at them.
“They are wearing the symbol of…Olhydra, the evil princess of water elementals. This is not good,” she says.
“We have no business with Olhydra or her minions, we just need to parley and be escorted through the cave,” replies Royce.
Talina looks at him, “I hope you are correct, Royce, that it will be that easy.”

The Drow’s Bane make a plan: Nong, Naismith and Talina will sneak up above the cave entrance and conduct reconnaissance, while Royce and Mordrock swim directly toward the cave entrance to parley. When the four myrmidons notice Royce and Mordrock, they swim toward the clerics and form a line blocking them. “We come to parley, we do not mean harm,” says Royce.

Two of the myrmidons break off and swim back into the cave. Moments later, Nong, Naismith and Talina above the cave entrance, see four huge shark heads emerge, along with a marid and the two myrmidons. Talina’s eyes grow wide as she sees the huge sharks swim toward Royce and Mordrock.

Naismith takes advantage of the situation and successfully sneaks into the cave, remaining hidden amongst the ceiling. The cave is immense and its walls are covered in glowing crystal that illuminate the cave. Some sea elves mine the crystal walls while others, carrying bags full of crystal, swim toward corridors in the back. In the middle, stands a platform with a stone chair on top of it.

Royce and Mordrock wait for the marid to approach them while the four huge sharks surround the clerics; their toothy maws just ten feet away on all sides. Royce, who already casted Tongues on himself, greets the marid, “Well met, we are seeking an escort through your cave. We do not mean harm and come in peace.”
The marid stops in front of Royce, looks him up and down, and says, “this mine is property of Olhydra, the elemental princess of this domain. You cannot pass through her property, ” proclaims the marid.
“We come in peace,” responds Mordrock.
“Yes, we carry a great burdon, the wand of Orcus, and we must destroy it, to rid the multiverse of its evil. Through that cave is what leads us to complete our mission,” says Royce, “here, let us offer you things as payment,” as he takes out the Horn of blasting, the Horseshoes of speed, and Qualfeather’s Feather Token and hands them to the marid.

The marid receives the gifts delightfully and spends a moment to examine them; it realizes each gift is highly valuable. Unfortunately, Royce’s deliverance of the deal proved flat to the marid. It looks at the four huge sharks, then the four myrmidons and back at the two humanoids, before responding,
“Be gone from here, I don’t want to see your faces ever again!” then turns and begins swimming back toward the cave. Royce and Mordrock watch as the marid retreats with their belongings without accepting their deal. Royce scowls, unsheathes his sword and attacks!

The marid pays no attention to the squabble behind it nor does it see Naismith’s surprise attack. The rogue is quick to slash deep into the marid, spilling blood everywhere. The marid, so startled, turns invisible and attempts to flee into the cave, but as soon as he moves a thunderous sound erupts from his space, causing more damage to itself. Sea elves begin to scream, dropping their tools and fleeing toward the corridors. Naismith swims into the cave and yells out in common, “Free Yourselves!”

Nong can see the invisible marid swimming quite fast in retreat. Unable to catch up to it, he pulls out the wand of Orcus, points it at the marid and commands in abyssal. Instantly, the marid freezes in mid-swim, collapses, and dissolves into water; leaving only its clothes and the party’s magic items behind.

Outside, Royce and Mordrock are encumbered by swarms of shark bites and myrmidon trident swipes. Naismith casts Faerie Fire on the group lighting up several sharks, myrmidons and Mordrock too. With Mordrock shining brightly, the sharks instinctively continue to attack the bright bleeding object, biting off chunks after chunks of Mordrock’s body, until he falls. Naismith is able to restore him to life briefly, but Mordrock succumbs to further shark bites, tearing the dwarf apart from limb to limb.

The party eventually defeats the sharks and myrmidons at the cost of one of their own. The party spends time opening shark stomachs and collecting Mordrock pieces and lays them in a pile. Royce counts the limbs and body parts and feels enough is there for him to cast Raise Dead. The spell takes effect, sealing wounds and restitching arms and legs until the body of Mordrock lay whole again in front of them. Naismith is ready to cover his head with the Cap of Waterbreathing once the spell completes. As Mordrock opens his eyes, he takes in breath and looks around, quite weak and frail from the horrifying experience.

The party smiles as they look down on their revived comrade. “Help him up,” says Royce as the party embraces their companion and swims toward the cave entrance.