Pinned down against the side of a strange fleshy structure by the advancing kopru, the party decided to retreat to a more defensible position. Mendel covered the other as they fled to the west, where they had seen various caves in the wall of the larger cavern. They were dogged by a pack of the larger kopru who were flying in a pincer formation. Zhedd caught two within a cloud of choking gas, and took to the air on Banshee to cover the party from above. Mendel wore them down with a few arrows before taking after the party. By means of Stefanie's haste spell, they made good time across the bonemeal-like covering of the cavern floor - until Stephanie found herself encased in a dome of stone by the kopru's magic, Ji rolling out of the way before he could be caught. The rest of the party continued their retreat and made it to the cave, where Faldak found two dead human bodies frozen in grotesque positions - one as though cleaning up the mess made by his entrails spilling out over the floor, and the other with a grossly distended belly. They showed no sign of (un)life, so the party made their stand here, although Mendel did find the distened belly hid a strange stone flask with the sigils of the immortals Khoronus and Djaea, which later resisted Dacien's attempts to analyze. What followed was a sniping battle against the korpu, relying on Dacien's dispel magic to hamper the lead korpu. as Antony and Zhedd flung fireballs at the others. Mendel sniped lightning arrows at the kopru cleric, and Faldak and Ji met the weakened kopru warriors as they landed at the cave mouth. Meanwhile, Stefanie, encased by stone, used a combination of water breathing, create water, and control water to fashion the dome into a mobile tank, and tried to move after the party before starting to dig her way out.
The kopru ranks were whittled down, and the kopru cleric left exposed and unprepared. It began to retreat, hounded by Zhedd and the fireballs, until it finally died at the edge of one of the pillar of purple flame. The party swiftly moved in to collect the fallen items the kopru carried and then retreated to a cave higher up the cavern wall where they could hide and rest up. The cavern was filled with the dried age old bone of humans that must have lain there for centuries. During their rest, they saw a band of kopru visit the strange stone plug in the cavern ceiling above the crater. After resting and preparing for an assault on the ziggurat, Zhedd visited the stone plug to analyse what the kopru were doing and found signs of them scratching the stone, but nothing else. The noise of spell casting from the strange cloaked figure left in the crater below told Zhedd he had been spotted, and he hastily retreated.
The attack on the ziggurat relied on two stages - an assault with magically conjured fire and ice, before Dacien dimension door'd the melee warriors to its peak. Mendel, Antony and Zhedd used potions of fly recovered from the korpu bodies to join Zhedd flying in to the ziggurat, as Dacien took Ji, Faldak and Stefanie into battle. They appeared atop the ziggurat, next t othe puckered, bruised sphincter-like entrance. Three large kopru waited there, worn down the the ice storm and fireballs, and were quickly dispatched by Ji and Faldak, as Stefanie conjured a blade barrier to wall of two additional korpu that were flying in from the entrance tunnel to the east. This mass of swirling barriers also tore into the sphincter, ripping it opwn and revealing a chamber beneath. Around the base of the ziggurat, naga and kopru minions gathered and tried to hamper the party's movement, but to no avail. The party regrouped on the ziggurat, and with Faldak's axe joining the blades, dove through a hole in to the centre of the ziggurat.
The walls of the interior were lined with blackened lung-type structures, and eyes swarmed to the surface of the muscular construction as the party approached. The entire fleshy mound quivered in pain, but otherwise did not react. They party found a chamber that belonged to the kopru cleric, with a large statue of Demogorgon that Mendel defiled by removing the gemstone eyes. Some of the kopru's belongings were also hidden on a large tumorous lump that had been fashioned into a grotesque couch. A trap door led to the final chamber at the ziggurat's base.
Opening this, Mendel was his by a blast of flammable acidic black goo by a strange centipede like creature that was swimming in a large pool of the same dark liquid . Also floating in the pools were several large black pearls, coated in differing amounts of crystalline growth. The trapdoor was quickly closed as the party planned their attack. Faldak was warded from acid by Dacien, and led the charge against the creature. Ji managed to tumble behind it, and with two quick blows stunned it and allowed Faldak to line up the killing blow. The pool it was in started to harden as the life left its body.
The Labourers Under the Volcano
1 hour ago