The hideous creature roars causing rats to scuttle back into the safety of the room behind the rotting door. It lunges for Denig who earnestly entreats Cloch for protection. His prayers are heard and a wall of shimmering air issues from the very rock hindering the Umaia’s attack as it tries to rend the stone-skinned Dunlending limb from limb.
Meanwhile, Dagaard presses and attack from the side and scores some effective hits with his two-handed weapon. That is until he has become an annoyance and the Umaia swots at him causing a light wound and forcing the dwarf to stagger back.
With the monster so closely engaged, it difficult to Fulton and Aerandir to engage with missile weapons. They take their chance with bow and dagger but both are wide of the mark. Aerandir seeks an alternative exit for both himself and Denig (split as the party is) but to no avail. The exit into the toom beyond is barred by fixed bars embedded in the surrounding floor. Then misfortune strikes. Denig is rendered unconscious by a blow and the wall of air fails. Seeing his companion at risk, Dagaard leaps in to press an attack and protect his fallen comrade.
With the fortunate blessing of Cloch, Denig awakens and is protected by a wall of water drawn for the surrounding stones. The force of its churning mass again blunts the attacks of the hideous demon. Dagaard finds it difficult to hit his mark but it is Aerandir who scores a fortunate hit and the Umaia dissipates in an oily cloud of noxious gas.
While Denig prays for healing for Dagaard’s minor wounds the rats begin to emerge from the room but are quickly discouraged by oil from Dagaard’s pack. The party press on with their exploration; returning to the locked door by the stairs and, after some quick work by Fulton, to the rooms beyond.
Denig finds another trap and disarms it with some ease allowing the party passage through to the next room, which itself is uninteresting apart from leading onwards. The corridor beyond leads to two doors but while checking for traps Denig also notices that the wall to one side has curious features. They quickly check the doors. One leads to a changing room, a number of street robes are piled neatly on benches. Above the other door is an inscription which says
Leave the light
Dive the depths
Meet your god
Beyond the door is a pool. The pool itself is deep and full of brackish sea water but the party spy a passageway and beyond it what appears to be the light of another room.
Leaving the pool grotto for a moment, they party turn their attention to the wall outside. The wall itself is old and slick with slime but it only takes Denig ten minutes to discover a hidden entrance undisturbed for may years. Soon the door is opened to reveal a small alcove in which a statue of a Gwingil (Sin. Mermaid). At the foot of it is a small inscription.
Walk right through me
Never see me
Always need me
Kiss me and release me
It takes some false starts before Denig reasons that the riddle is about air and takes the plunge and kisses the lips of the Gwingil. A sudden gush of liquid enters his mouth and pours down his throat. Within moments, the healer is choking and unable to breathe. Taking this as a sign that he can now only breathe underwater he races to the pool and plunges straight in.
Within the pool of water, Denig discovers he has failed to think through or safely check the real depth of the pool as his stone-skinned body begins to sink. Then suddenly, he begins to sink faster as he is grabbed from behind by strong arms.
On the surface, Aerandir observes Denig being grabbed by a Gwingil and races to the statue to receive a gift of potion before abandoning his bow and racing to the Dunlending’s aid. Fulton is not far behind his crew mate in diving into the pool. However, Dagaard with his race’s fear of water and the sea refuses to enter.
The battle beneath the water is not going well. Denig suffers some damage from the Gwingil’s bite and finds himself unable to escape from the grapple. The arrival of Aerandir forces the Gwingil to release her captive who then continues to sink into the depths. Aerandir and the Gwingil dance through the water neither being able to cause and significant damage.
In desperation, Denig prays for a way to stay afloat and is granted the ability to walk on water. At the surface, he is forced to stand on the water and bend over to put his head back into the water to breathe granting him a bird’s-eye view of the battle below where Fulton ineffectually tries to stab the guardian of the pool.
Swift and agile in the water the Gwingil proves a tricky adversery and injured and stunned in one class Aerandir makes for the tunnel through to the next room. It is with this distraction that Fulton makes a miraculous strike and given a moment of freedom he too makes for the tunnel. At the surface, Denig also sees the opportunity and with a croak to Dagaard to follow releases the ability to walk on water and in a controlled fall aims for the tunnel.
As Denig’s stone form arrows towards the tunnel he realises he has misjudged the angle and he is doomed to miss. With one desperate lunge he grabs at the edge and through a herculean effort pulls himself into the tunnel. Only now he becomes aware that he is now reliant on the air in his lungs. With what feels like an explosion in his chest, he crawls through the tunnel to the room beyond.
The sodden heroes pull themselves out of a pool in a torch lit room. Two exits are available one guarded by a door and the other through and archway. Both have inscriptions written over them in what would appear to be a corrupted form of Adunaic.
The archway has a symbol similar to the medallions recovered off of the cult members and says:
walk-on land are
more than fools.
Above the wooden door the inscription says:
must bow before me.
The lightly armed party decide to take the open corridor, while cautiously checking for traps. They soon arrive at a longer corridor on which are several doorways and one set of double doors decorated in blue and green stone and mosaics of undersea creatures.