Elbor awakes in complete darkness. Reaching for his pack, he finds that he is covered in a slimy substance, restricting his movement. In the distance, a menacing voice approaches, in terrifying sing-song.
The party, exhausted from their battle with the defilers of the underground temple, make camp. Cuicatl gathers a large source of protein, cockroaches, which some of the party are too squeamish to stomach. Rune and Cuicatl take the first shift of watch while the others rest. Rune and Aravashnial continue their squabbling and exchange theories of what lies in the Underdark. During the second shift, Chiemeka and Brian play Stones. During the third shift, Rex and Windjammer play a game of Tug of War, and cuddle Anivia, considerably improving her disposition.
As the party presses forward, they find an opening in the cave face across the lake opposite the rear of the desecrated temple. Rickety boats are docked nearby, and the party hesitantly fit two to a boat, and Chiemeka and the Corgyns swim across. Cuicatl entrusts rowing to Anivia, who is noticeably thankful to be of assistance and not just a burden on the group. Before the boats can make it across, they fill with water, and Rune demands that Aravashnial help rowing. Instead, he casts levitate on a rope thrown to the other boats, and the party makes it across the lake.
Coming into an open cavern, the party sees a disheveled dwarf harvesting maggots from the corpses of spiders and other dwarves, packing a cart drawn by two large domesticated cockroaches. The party sees Elbor sneak to chuck a chemical bomb at the dwarf, and large tentacle creatures descend from the ceiling, attacking the party. As the dwarf begins an incantation and begins to levitate off the ground, Aravashnial counters the spell, speaking the words backward and immediately dispelling the magic. As the party engages the chokers, Xiang knocks the dwarf out in a single strike.
The threats dispatched, the cockroach wagon is loaded with the dwarf prisoner, and the party continues on. They find stonework doors wrenched open, and the bodies of dwarven guards are strewn around. Entering the doors, the party sees a large cavern with a stone tower in the center, collapsed from the cave-ins. Shadowy figures are seen digging bodies out of the rubble.
Telchar, who had wandered off, experiences a vision of Torag and finds a hidden chamber underneath the lake on which the temple is built. Here, he takes a hammer from the altar, and, without finding Chiemeka‘s note for him, rejoins the party. The figures in the cavern are underdwellers, who have lived under the city’s surface for generations. Aravashnial is excited and begins to speak of theories and conspiracies that now can be proven. While annoyed by this, the party acknowledges that much could be connected about the state of the Underdark and how the demons were able to attack the city. The underdwellers introduce themselves as Lon, Dyra, and Krell. They are on their way to return to the great city of Neatholum, and invite the party to join them after a pyre is built to put to rest the many fallen throughout the cavern.
Chiemeka takes a moment to scan the group, and notices that Selma has vanished. She is visibly shaken by losing track of her ward, but the party carries on. Coming across a large chasm that the underdwellers’ shoddy bridge had once spanned before the “earthquakes”, the party lowers the injured members with rope while the others climb down, and back up again. A few members fall and come away with cuts and bruises. Brian‘s healing emanates to everyone in the room, and the dwarven defiler, who is revealed to be Milorn, wakes up. It is clear that Milorn has absolutely lost his sanity, but as the group could not condone killing him or setting him free, his hands are bound and he is brought along. When asked if he wanted to help the party defeat Vhane, his excitement became maniacal. As he laughed and rolled on the ground, subconsciously casting ghost-sounds of epic battle, Windjammer rolled on the ground with him… because that’s what puppies do.
Coming to a collapsed corridor, Lon explains that the only entrance to Neatholum would be through the lair of what he calls a “Spore-Cougher”, which Cuicatl identifies as a Bassetdrone. The party cautiously enters the chamber, only to find the fungus creature dead, with two paladins of Iomedae contorted in a heap, their swords plunged into the shroom’s base. As Chiemeka and Telchar approach to put the paladins at rest and give their last rites, it is obvious that these are impostors. They are carrying glaives, poison, and an icon of a bull’s head with gemstone eyes, which Xiang Identifies as the symbol of Baphomet, the same demonic god that the dwarven priests of the temple of Torag turned to when they abandoned hope.
The party shamelessly loots the impostor paladins, and Chiemeka beheads them in rage. Aravashnial demands their heads be brought to the surface, in the hopes that proof the conspiracy and corruption within ranks of crusaders could be exposed.
The party continues on, and comes to the doors to Neatholum. They are greeted with suspicion, even with Lon vouching for them, and are escorted to the elder of the city, Chief Sull.