Wealday, 25 Gozran, 4734
The Rune Wardens have gathered around the Runeforge pool and have begun imbuing their weapons with the properties of enchantment and illusion magic. Just as the last runes finish etching themselves on the blade of Iomedae’s Wrath, they are confronted by a 20-foot tall animated statue of Runelord Karzoug.
Lea charges the statue, calling upon her goddess’ blessing to protect her. As she does so, she feels something strange and watches as her blade seems warp and swell until it takes the form of a giant silver dildo. Karzoug is baffled by this and Lea worries that it is a side effect of the Runeforge. The sword still works like a sword, though and cuts into the stone as if it were flesh.
Marcus, having cast see invisibility earlier, spies the white dragon Freezemaw creeping out of the entrance to the Halls of Wrath and watching the battle with great interest. Marcus whispers a warning to Amelia, then moves away and summons up eight identical mirror images.
Amelia uses her glibness to call out to the dragon and insist that it was the Runelord of Greed who stole its treasure hoard. She urges it to join them in fighting the dragon, and makes a case so persuasive she almost convinces herself.
Despite the power of their Runeforged weapons, Lea and Astrid are taking a tremendous beating from the smirking Karzoug statue. The stone giant also afflicts all nine Marcuses with a slow effect. Zavian, having buffed the party, dips Sunspark into the Runeforge pool.
The white dragon, still invisible, flies out with a roar (knocking the Alaznist statue to the floor). Freezemaw attacks the Karzoug statue, demanding that it return its treasure. A big chunk of stone is torn from the huge golem’s shoulder.
Astrid takes advantage of the distraction to dash up the side of the statue, hack off its arms, and then remove the head. Karzoug sputters some last threats before his stone visage shatters on the ground. The invisible dragon presses on into the Vault of Greed, howling for its lost treasure.
Amelia and Marcus dip their weapons in the pool, while Lea’s sword returns to it normal state. Many dick jokes are made. Noting that the pool still has some lingering energy left, Zavian has Marcus help him lower his wings into its churning waters. His senses are assaulted by the magic within, but when his wings are withdrawn they are inscribed with runes. Marcus notes that the runes are different for each weapon, speaking to the bearer’s particular sins or virtues.
The party spies two warriors of Wrath peering out at them from behind the ruined Alaznist statue. Marcus addresses them in Wrath-inflected Thassilonian. The adventurers convey that they are here trying to thwart Karzoug’s return and that the dragon is an enemy of theirs as well.
Marcus also tells them that Alaznist has spoken to him and promised to make him a ragesmith once he destroys Karzoug. The Wrath Warriors are unsure what to make of this, but promise to convey it to Highlady Athroxis, who may permit Marcus an audience.
The party then follows the dragon into the Vault of Greed. They find the jeweled metal door that had thwarted Marcus’ prying eyes, but which was merely a trapped decay for the secret entrance into the Vault, which the dragon has torn through.
The true entrance is warded by a shimmering green mist that Marcus realizes will transform those of weak fortitude into something else and teleport them away. Zavian uses dispel magic to temporarily remove the mist’s danger.
In the chamber beyond, they encounter several mephits in a bubbling fountain. After winning the creatures’ trust, they learn that the fountains in the Vault are all connected and fed by a tiny portal to the Plane of Water. There is also a much larger pool in the complex “made of magic.” The Vault is ruled by a “mean silver man” who has killed at least a dozen of the mephits. The creatures warn that the green mist transforms people into goldfish and teleports them into pools.
Following the dragon’s trail, they come to another chamber with a fountain that features a large statue of a robed male wizard. As Zavian approaches to inspect it, the statue reveals itself to be a stone golem. The adventurers fight it and Zavian ultimately brings it down, but one after another its three identical siblings arrive in the chamber to fight and be destroyed.
After Astrid cuts down the last one, they investigate the fountain and see goldfish swimming in it. They debate whether to turn them back into who or what they were, but decide to leave them for now.
Following the dragon’s trail, they find a hallway with several side chambers full of raw goods—lumber, iron, cotton, etc. Marcus determines that the rooms are enchanted so that anyone within can cast fabricate at will, but any items created will revert back to their base materials if removed. Sort of practice rooms for transmuters.
They pass through another identical fountain chamber with goldfish, only this one has no statue. From there, they step into some sort of research chamber that the invisible dragon is in the process of tearing up. It surprised a “mithral mage” here, but the wizard dimension doored away.
Freezemaw questions how the adventurers knew the mage had taken its hoard, but Amelia is just barely able to talk him down. She assures him that the mage must simply be deeper in the complex. The dragon then smashes through another set of doors and starts talking to someone else.
That “someone” is a huge boar-like creature known as a nalfeshnee demon. The fiend claims it is bound to guard this chamber, but simply wishes to be released back to the Abyss. It promises them a great reward if they can free it, but the Rune Wardens recognize that its promises are empty.
In the ensuring fight, Lea discovers that her smite has lost some its protective power, another sign of Iomedae’s displeasure. After the paladin and Astrid take their swings, it is Marcus who finally cuts the pig fiend’s belly open.
Freezemaw presses impatiently onward, leading them to a large room with a big shimmering, writhing pool of silver liquid. Above it floats the mithral mage, who looks like a hairless human man with skin made of silver. He doesn’t look happy to see them.