At the Chamber of Eyes, the party didn’t get much further than the front door before all hell broke loose.
Apavan sense the prescense of magic upon the door, but misinterpreted its nature. Suspecting a harmless dweomer, and reached for the door latch, and a magical trap detonated. The trap sprayed acid from two nearby statues, and alerted the guards just inside the door.
The Chamer of Eyes wasn’t a very large complex, and before long the sounds of a raging battle at the entrance to their stronghold pretty much brought the entire Bloodreaver Clan to the fight.
A massive battle erupted between the party and the Bloodreaver Clan. When the dust settled, the Bloodreavers had been destroyed! If nothing else was resolved, if none of the remaining villagers were recovered, at least the people of Winterhaven had been avenged against the Bloodreaver Clan.
Among the dead: two duergar. Even more interesting, one of the duergar had a note detailed the purchase of the Winterhaven residents as slaves to be used by the duergar in their fortress, a place called the Horned Hold. The note was signed by a duergar calling himself Murkelmor Grimmerzhul. Presumably the leader of the duergar within the Horned Hold.
But the note also speaks of an ally of the duergar. An ally that the duergar found distasteful, but powerful enough to allow him to purchase a few of the slaves from them. This handful of slaves was brought to this persons hideout within the catacombs, but for what purpose? Thankfully, the dead duergar had a map from Murkelmor, detailing where this “powerful ally” was holed up, so that the duergar could make delivery of the slaves.
They also found an interest artifact. A metal sphere that Apavan named “The Sphere of Tzaruum’ze”. The sphere was and is able to record words spoken in its presence, to be played back at a later time. The owner, now long dead, turned out to be the minotaur priest that may have been (indirectly) responsible for the fall of Saruun Khel. It even described his discovery of this very temple, and the fateful events that ended a civilation. These were his words from the sphere:
…We are the pinnacle of the world’s civilizations! Saruun Khel’s greatness is unmatched and no one can stand against us! Praise to the Horned King – for he is the true Lord and master of our achievements.
…our explorations of the Thunderspire Mountain’s twisting passages and silent chambers have taken us deep into the bowls of the world. There, at the roots of the mountain, we came upon vast caverns. In the shadow filled chambers we found a crude, forsaken altar to some forgotten god of the black depths. A civilization lost in the dark, forgotten by mortals and with hope abandoned.
…I called out to the Horned King to learn more about this forgotten civilization. My divinations revealed that the deep caverns of Thunderspire were sacred to an ancient entity named Torog. It calls itself the Patient One. A horrible creature of eyes and mouths that waits in the darkness. We were about to leave the site when I was overcome with a strange urge to honor this forgotten entity, regardless of its insignificance compared to our sacred lord Baphomet, Prince of Beasts.
…My minotaur brothers begged me to see reason, but I was compelled to face the carving of twisted mouths and I spoke a silent prayer. Little did I expect to have my pray answered – and what an answer! Dark whispers of power unimaginable, promises of a new path for my people. It was Torog himself that spoke to me. Spoke to me in a voice of torment and blood. My soul was ripped asunder by that voice, and reborn. The voice made a request: the creation of this temple in his likeness. And then the voice promised blood. Blood and shadow.
…I, Tzaruum’ze, the High Priest of Saruun Khel have been expelled. Charged with blasphemy and branded heretic by the Throne of Bones. But I will not succumb. My dark master promises me another path – a path of Shadow and Blood. I will do his bidding, take my loyal servants and build a shrine for my Master. We shall call it the Palace of Zaamdul. There will I start the construction of the Bronze Singers that are the epitome of my Masters genius. How beautiful the Song of Breaking will be – how pure and true to the promise of Blood and Shadow.