Warning: This work has been rated 18+ for language, violence, and mature content.
"Open up! Market Police!" A loud banging on the heavy wooden doors alerted the heroes to a new threat. They opened the doors to a curious gathering of guardsmen and peasant onlookers. Among the crowd was a boisterous and kind woman, Olivia. She immediately healed one of the party members and offered her tavern as a place of refuge. The captain of the guard was suspicious of them, but seemed content to question the remaining surviving cult member. The party were led through a cave marketplace, busy and loud. The stall tenders and customers alike gawked at them. Olivia introduced the party to her husband, Brado Podar. He seemed less than enthusiastic about a group of strangers in his bar, but agreed to help out. In the corner of the bar, a quiet woman read alone. She stayed after close as well, and slept in a bedroll. That night, the adventurers took turns sleeping, first checking with the woman to make sure no trouble was afoot. She ignored them, and Tharok noticed that she whispered mysteriously to herself before falling asleep.
The following morning, Olivia and Prado told the adventurers what they knew about the cultists. They had moved in about a month ago, and they were unruly neighbors. They caused the earth to tremble, and did not talk to another of the market inhabitants. The only time they were seen was when they walked through the marketplace to visit The Lord. Who was he? Only the ruler of the entire cave. Olivia spoke with fear about him.
After examining the market and finding only useless trinkets for sale, Olivia taught the party members how to truly buy goods in the market. With the wooden token Syllar found at the cave entrance, they purchased a pair of spectacles that allowed them to see into clear into Hod, the third plane of existence. Using the glasses, Meizaphir and Bolt saw the body of the demon they thought they'd killed. He was dead still, and his eyes were closed, so they thought he could be dead or asleep. They also saw Brado's true form: a beast with an orange-black striped tail, cat ears and claws.
When confronting him with this truth, he hushed them and promised to help them out of the cave in exchange for secrecy. They agreed, and after the tavern closed, they huddled around him.
"Alright, get ready." Brado said.
He placed his palms on their shoulders and breathed an incantation. Suddenly they Brado was gone. And so was the tavern!
Darkness surrounded them, but with a clever spell from Meizaphir everyone could see for miles. They were in a massive circular room, hundreds of feet tall and hundreds of feet wide. In the center, a hunched form squatted on the ground. Through the glasses, they could see a blue sphere enclosing the body. Bolt poked it once...twice...thrice, and each time the sphere changed colors. At last, it disappeared and the hunched figure rose up, a gigantic gooey-wispy elemental of some kind.
"Already?" he mumbled, and then swung at Bolt.
The heroes fought a fierce battle, punctuated by two critical strike from Bolt. In the end, the beast was too stupid to realize it couldn't chase them down, and it was cut down to a gooey mess.
Suddenly, the walls began to close in on them, the ground cracked and split and a thunderous sound rumbled everywhere. The room was closing in on them faster than a Balor!