The Shackled City

Skullrot

The Inmates

2 Goodmonth, 592 CY (Continued)

After they patched their hurt and waited out the effects of the weakening necromantic effect, the Silver Phoenixes ascended the stairs that provided the sole exit from the entry chamber. The steely adventurers heard the volume of the fiendish howling increase from above, in the very heart of the Asylum. As he crested the top step, he could see the room sat at the base of a wide shaft that soared up into the darkness. Balconies with iron railings were visible above, lining the walls of the upper levels.

The room was occupied by a singular creature, though his girth struck an imposing figure in the gloom. The bloated bipedal creature appeared for all the worlds like a six-armed kelubar, and they heard a discordant contralto voice emanating from the mad fiend. As the others came up from behind Deg, they all took in the strange sight, sound, and horrid stench of the demodand waddling around the room apparently trying to quell the screams of the incarcerated fiends trapped within Skullrot with his Abyssal song.

“What madness is this?
What madness indeed!
Endless torment, dark despair,
Caged in bone, can’t be freed!
All the tales end the same:
See you screaming,
Twisting, dreaming,
Dreaming you never came!

Despite its apparent distraction, the six-armed fiend was all too aware of the adventurers, and as they leapt into action, it cast a vicious spell with which they were all too familiar: acid fog. Even so, the caustic mist was soon disintegrated and Jarvyk moved forward to engage with the demodand. It stood its ground scant seconds, its actions limited by Deg’s stinging shot. More spells it flung, dueling briefly with Greyjek since Ashton had been overcome by the wretched stench of the demodand’s chamber. It seemed to realize quickly that it was overmatched and took wing, ascending the shaft and quickly flying out of sight.

Rather than give chase, the adventurers moved to the nearest door, and after Deg cleared it of traps and locks, passed through it. The walls of the wide hallway beyond each held three doors with iron bars forming a viewing window. Each cell contained a single occupant chained to the floor. The nature of the inmates varied greatly: a spined hamatula, a massive shator, and even an astral deva, it’s wings and green skin stained with all manner of filth. Each of the prisoners lashed out sporadically or sat in quiet madness, depending on the moment. The adventurers considered what to do about these wretched souls for a few moments before deciding they had nothing to do with their intended task and left them to fate.

Crossing the hall, the Silver Phoenixes discovered a hideous laboratory, the walls of which were lined by six large glass vats filled with red fluid. Floating within the fluid of each vat was the corpse of a naked human, each of which had had its face peeled off. Human brains and vital organs floated in glass canisters on bone shelves above the vats, and a table consisting of patchwork flesh canvas stretched over a bone frame dominated the middle of the room. Bone flanges fitted with hooks protruded from the table and stretched between the hooks were the missing faces of each of the victims in the vats.

Also, there were two flesh golems, but they were handily dispatched. So quickly were the constructs ended that Greyjek sent his astral constructs into the next chamber where so they could battle the chasme demon that lurked within. Despite the mesmerizing droning noise produced by the fly demon’s wings, the Silver Phoenixes swiftly put this warden to the sword as well. Bransen suggested that the group was going about their search for Adimarchus the wrong way, and the adventurers stopped to discuss different approaches they might take.


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