Situated in a remote part of the isle, the illithid’s tower soars 150 feet in the air. Though high, it is not particularly pretty. The windows, which are at least forty feet up, are made of dark glass. The structure emanates a forbidden atmosphere; it is clear that the illithid does not want to be disturbed. A group of Shi’quos guards passes, and though they seem somewhat curious, they continue on their path.
Jharrath circles the structure and then decides on a part near the back of the tower, away from curious eyes. He focuses and releases his spell at the tower’s stones. A section of the wall suddenly seems to disappear, big enough to let one person pass. Darkness greets them.
Lilith, empowered by her faith in the Spider Queen, casts a blessing on her siblings and herself. A sea-blue nimbus of light blossoms momentarily about their heads and shoulders, strengthening their resolve. The wizard complements this with a mage armor spell.
Javelin in hand, Alvra cautiously enters the tower. It is dark, moist and quiet inside, and the ceiling looms twenty feet over them. The drow follow the wall and see a winding stair at the end of the corridor. Halfway through, Phaedra feels a pressure on her head, as do the wizard and cleric, but they manage to shake off the effect. Apart from a strange feeling of temporary disorientation, they’re fine.
Alvra on the other hand, suddenly finds himself in another room. The others are nowhere to be seen. Long silver strands adorn the ceiling in a web-like construction, the walls covered in arcane symbols. When he feels the urge to walk down the stairs, he resists and stops at the top, listening carefully.
With his brother missing, the wizard deploys his wand of detect magic and senses a large pulse of magic, high up in the tower. He also discovers several weaker, moving auras. The Xaniqos climb the first flight of stairs, which opens up in a big room. There they are greeted by an umber hulk.
The scout takes out her spiked chain and climbs the wall of the staircase, while Jharrath hurriedly summons three elementals. Just when the earth creatures engage the umber hulk in a melee fight, a second insect rushes at the cleric. Its massive claw tears at Lilith’s armor, and the force of the hit rebounds through the tower.
Alvra – alerted – descends towards the sounds of battle, while Phaedra arrives at the next floor. Furniture, wood, clothes, shelves, a dissected carcass of a griffin, arcane diagrams, scrolls and many other things. A large map with markings covers the wall of the room.
That is Erelhei-Cinlu, and I suspect the markings locate nodes.
the wizard says, his eyes gleaming.
Rushing up the stairs, the cleric glances into the room, and then continues upwards, together with her sister. They arrive at yet another landing of a round room. In the middle is a bronze statue, ten by fifteen feet. It has an abstract form with protrusive points. Behind the statue, a black portal opens, and a big nasty octopus head appears. They have found the mind flayer. Or more accurate, it has found them!