THROUGH THE PORTAL
Make with the Maelstrommy description, either fire all the way or foresty blending into fire.
WHAT LIES BENEATH
The characters emerge in a large round room the size of Granite’s throne room. They are surrounded by six sorcerors channelling firey energy to keep the portal open. Each appears to be sucking the energy from a chained, writhing salamander. The sorcerors don’t notice the characters unless attacked.
If Arken is here, he now appears a little taller with eyes and hair of living flame, and armour hewn from obsidian. If Ailsa is here, her leaves are crinkling and burning and her trunk charring. She will want to leave but be determined to stay.
Walls are made of dark basalt; look like lava tunnels though some rare rooms have been made artificially. Further on, some bridges over freely flowing lava.
In a small room down the corridors, the party are intercepted by guards that look much like Arken’s new form. Killed guards turn to ash after a while.
At this point the characters diverged massively from the plan. They hid off to one side of the main corridor in one of many twisty lava-formed branching corridors, and hollowed out a room for themselves to hide in. They recruited the help of two Atar servants, named Ika and Oktar. Those two were sent off to find equipment, returning with swords, armour, clothes and skin-staining powder that might make the characters pass for Earthborn guards or mercenaries. Dan and Ailsa are too distinctive to be disguised. There is a rumour that soldiers around here (the far outskirts of the great city) refer to Lord Granite as a traitor.
Note to players: please carry on diverging massively from the plan. It is what makes a game worth running. :)
Arken, male Earthborn Ftr3: HP 20 Init +5; Spd 30 ft.; AC 14; Attack +6 melee +6 ranged; SV Fort +5, Ref +4, Will +2; Str 16, Dex 18, Con 14, Int 8, Wis 15, Cha 11.
Skills and feats: Hide +4, Jump +8, Listen +2, Move Silently +4, Ride +9, Spot +2; Dodge, Power Attack.
Short spear: Atkbonus 9, Dmg 1d6 19-20x2
Ailsa, female Forestborn Drd3/Sor2: HP 17 16 Init +0 AC 10 Fort +3 Ref +1 Will +8 Spd 30 ft Attack bonus +3 melee, or +3 ranged Str 10, Dex 10, Con 11, Int 10, Wis 14, Cha 14
Druid Spells Per Day: 4/3/2 Sorcerer Spells Known (6/5): 0th – Detect Magic, Detect Poison, Mage Hand, Message, Ray of Frost. 1st – Charm Person, Obscuring Mist.
Tangling vines: Atkbonus 6, Dmg 1d6+2 per, 20x2
Earthborn Guard (Sword/Spear), Ftr3 Init: Esqui 20 G1 Ezek 19 G2 Dan 11 Ailsa 9 G3 G4 Arken 8 Gavil 8 G5 G6 HP 22 14 5 0 HP 22 19 13 12 8 5 2 -3 HP 18 16 12 4 2 0 HP 18 13 5 11 0 HP 14 10 7 6 5 0 HP 14 3 1 -13 Init +5; Spd 30 ft.; AC 14; Attack +6 melee, or +6 ranged; SV Fort +5, Ref +4, Will +2; Str 16, Dex 18, Con 14, Int 8, Wis 15, Cha 11. Skills and feats: Hide +4, Jump +8, Listen +2, Move Silently +4, Ride +9, Spot +2; Dodge, Power Attack.
Short sword: Atkbonus 9, Dmg 1d6 19-20×2 Spear: Atkbonus 9, Dmg 1d8 20×3