The archer’s name is Malad. He’s willing to cut us in on the payoff for getting the dragon’s eye to the Black Fist. We agree just to shut him up. Feegle jots down the details of the “agreement” in his journal. I wonder if that will come back to haunt us?
Malad leads us to the button room. The button room looks out over some kind of containment chamber for the tomb of one Lord Ceross, who was apparently an extremely powerful necromancer, and is now just extremely toxic waste. The bad vibe I’ve sensed throughout this complex is centered here. So is an opposing vibe I can’t quantify. I knew I should have paid more attention in wizard school.
Looking at the journal scraps we’ve collected (or that have been delivered to us by the mice), it looks like there is a connection between the five murals painted on the walls, and the icons on the nine buttons. Press the right buttons and you release the complex from lockdown. Press the wrong buttons and purple bolts of death fry you to powder. I hope we pressed the right ones. You’ll have to figure which those are by yourselves. I’m not doing this stuff free of charge.
A bunch of doors in the complex that were formerly hidden by massive steel plates have been revealed. We jump through the one that happens to be open, and Escher walks into a Gelatinous Cube. Imagine a huge see-through stomach sitting there in front of you. Now imagine seeing one of your friends being digested in it. Bad picture. Now add a lurking, but mobile pool of grey ooze. Finally throw a lizard-chicken into the mix. This particular lizard-chicken can turn you to stone. I close the door on the lizard-chicken. Too many variables. Gaaki and Escher are taking turns being digested, but they’re also doing a good job of ‘whacking the cube’. Hmmm. That could be a useful euphemism. Once the cube and the ooze are done, we listen at the door. It’s pretty quiet. That’s because statues are pretty quiet. We left Malad in the hallway (or he snuck off when he saw the cube!) and now he’s dead. Stone dead.
We can hear rumbling in the distance. We’ve guessed it’s the “beast” mentioned in one of the journal fragments. The “beast” is a pretty poor description for what we meet next. Take apart all your worst nightmare beasts and randomly glue the bits back together. Then stick a flaming barb up it’s ass. The only thing worse than the “beast” was that giant lizard that broke the patio in front of the temple and plunged us into the river to start this whole debacle. It grabs Gaaki. It beats Gaaki nearly senseless. Gaaki escapes. It tries to grab Escher. Sir Daniel heals Gaaki. Repeat for what seems like an hour. We finally drop the thing, and nearly drop ourselves from exhaustion. Somehow, unbelievable as it may seem, I don’t think this is the worst thing we’ll find down here. We have less than three days before the dragon is due to hatch. We need to be there when it does.