As the party stood nervously by the banquet table, a set of grand doors at the opposite end of the room opened to reveal a large group of finely-dressed vampires. As the vampires sat at the table, the wary party was invited to sit, watching as solid food was brought to each of their places. Edular, being Edular, announced that he was the leader of the Seekers, and that he had been sent to liberate Grazit’s son. Nonplussed, Vlad declined to cooperate as he was under the orders of Loth to keep his prisoner secure. Edular continued to press the issue, but Vlad simply dismissed the conversation and turned to the rest of the group. Cautiously, Damhsa asked Vlad if he knew of Wyreth, to which he nodded. Looking at her, he said that they would speak after the meal in private.
After a long meal that consisted of the party members ensuring that they were not eating anyone they knew, they joined Vlad in his study. There, he told them that even though he served Loth, he was opposed to her siding with the Queen of Chaos. Vlad feared that if she were to take power once more, the world would be turned upside down. Even though he could not help them directly, and did not know the location of the temple, he would be willing to send the party in the right direction. He told them of Erilion, a wizard who became a lich in an attempt to find eternal life. His attempts angered Orcus, who took him down to Thanatos and had him put in a device. Over many centuries, Erilion became one with Thanatos and had evolved into an oracle of sorts. If the party could traverse the Valley of the Cypt Things, they could find Erilion and ask him to locate the Undying Temple.
After the long talk, Vlad had Serena take the group to the basement, where he had a portal that would take the party back to Thanatos. Beginning to hate the sight of portals, they marched through it and emerged in Thanatos in a muddy area with warm geysers. Looking about, they noticed a chasm flying above them. Any hope of leaving without a battle ended when Akuma was hit with a ray of enfeeblement.
Working together, the party was able to cut down the chasme without losing any members. After a quick break to heal and restore Akuma, they set out once more to find Lacrimosa, the city which may house the oracle. However, they did not get far before encountering a gorismo which demanded that they throw down their weapons. Apparently, the creature did not know that those words translated into “please kill me,” because it only caused the party to rush into battle.
The fight was long and perilous, as the gorismo hurled boulders at the party members and stomped on the muddy ground, causing it to shake and crack. With a savage blow, the gorismo killed Elias’s animal companion, devastating the druid and infuriating the party. Attacking in a flurry of slashes and eldritch blasts, they weakened the creature until a final ice breath from Umma Gumma felled him.
Exhausted, the party quickly moved on towards the north, closer to the mountains and on firmer ground. Scouting ahead, Damhsa spotted some odd scarecrows perched on rocky outcroppings. Umma Gumma, having seen such items, explained that dustmen used them as decoys for less intelligent demons. With a wave of his hand, Umma Gumma detected conjuration magic a short distance away. Looking about cautiously, several party members noticed a shimmer to the air, which the determined to be an entrance into an extra-dimensional space.
Calling out, they finally convinced one of the occupants to parlay. It took some cajoling, but once it was determined that Elias could create food and water, the magical door opened to the exhausted party, allowing them, hopefully, a safe place to rest for the night.