They tossed the bodies of the two Githyanki Zombie Knights into the small room with the ice-cold mirror. Their red-orc warrior stumbled over a corpse and touched the icy glass. In a flash he was gone and the mirror became a plain mirror. [GM:the player couldn’t make it and this was a convenient way to get him out of the game for a session].
The other two Zombies had fled because of Abraham’s Turning. They would be on the way back already and our heroes were worried that they might raise the alarm and return with reinforcements.
Following tracks down the corridor (in slimy mucus that thinly coats the floor) they followed into a vast chamber with a high-vaulted ceiling. The floor was littered with over a 100 corpses – humans, elves, giithyanki, dwarves, a couple of gith (hippo-men), goblins, orcs and others. Because of the strange time-flow effects of this region (that stop them getting hungry or healing naturally) they couldn’t tell how long the corpses had been dead.
Hanging above them was the corpse of a Starwhal, suspended from the ceiling by four massive chains. The Starwhal was clearly long dead too.
The low-level whispering and sense of being watched seemed much worse in here and Deckard couldn’t shake the creepy feeling – the dead were watching him and commenting on his short-comings.
Above it all they could hear a distant echo of whale song – mournful sighs and howls.
On the far side of the chamber was another one of the organic doors, but this one appeared to be dead and decayed (one of the Zombie Doors they had been told about by General Zetch’rr).
There were grime-covered huge stained glass windows. Mulan scratched a bit clean to peer out and found they were indeed in a floating palace (shaped roughly like a heart) – circling over a city – perhaps half a mile below, filled with twinkling lights. The city was built onto the titanic corpse of a roughly-humanoid creature, mostly around a jagged crater in its chest where the heart had been ripped out. Mulan jumped away from the window when a red dragon swooped by! It didn’t appear to have noticed her.
Mulan climbed a black pillar (like a warped stalactite that reached to the floor) and jumped onto the top of the Starwhal – she hid there waiting for the returning zombies to come back through the undead door.
Deckard hid behind another pillar, also covering the door and Clayton stood in the middle of the room below the whale to draw the zombies to him. Abraham and Diabalo the Beholder, remained in the corridor outside.
Suddenly the undead door snapped open and the two undead Githyanki were there – readied arrows flew at them, some hitting deeply, others clanging off their heavy armour. The two creatures ran at Clayton.
Diabalo, clearly a young and inexperienced beholder, tried a sleep ray first and then a ray of necrotic damage (which seemed to heal it) and finally blasted one with a petrification ray, slowly starting to transform it to stone.
Clayton fought bravely, with his rapier but was out-matched by the two monsters, despite lightning rebuking them when they hit him, and then a wrathful storm surrounding them when he hit [GM: the wrath of the storm let him do max damage]. Under the punishing blows, he collapsed and the zombies moved on to Deckard and towards the beholder.
Abraham used his Heal spell to restore Clayton [GM:70 hit points in one go!]. One of the zombies succumbed to the petrification. Mulan felt safe on top of the suspended whale until the zombie seemed to concentrate for a moment and then levitated up there!
Finally they managed to destroy it.
Abe then used his Awakened Mind ability to mind-link with the starwhal corpse.
It was undead but it believed itself to be alive and plagued by horrible nightmares (glimpses of its real situation). It seemed to be a “Paladin” of its species, on a noble quest. It had been ambushed by the Githyanki and finally defeated by the Queen herself. It believed it was flying through space on an endless voyage. In this room bodies would be piled up for months, then the doors to the south were opened and a horde of ghoulish naked githyanki undead flood out and devour them.
When Abe tried to explain that to the Starwhal that it was now undead and the “flying through space” was a dream, it seemed to panic and suddenly the entire palace jolted as it seemed about to fall from the sky! Clayton warned the inquisitor not to continue – somehow, the Starwhal was “flying” the palace/heart – they made plans to try releasing it from its endless torment when they had completed their task here.
Abraham had to summon his undead Skeletal Warriors so they could open the southern door.
Living minds could not command it to open.
The chamber beyond seemed to be a tunnel of stretched skin, a strong but flexible membrane on floor, walls and ceiling. All around them, pressing in against the skin were the ghouls! They could be heard moaning and seen writhing, trying to break through as Mulan went across the awkwardly tilting floor. The Skeletal Warriors walked across, not drawing as much attention as the living and opened the door at the far end. Within this “meditation” chamber for Queen Vlaakith, the sounds of the hungry ghouls blocks out the whispers of the tormented spirits trapped everywhere else.
The chamber beyond was a short hexagonal hallway. One walll held a large living Door, marked with a Symbol of Pain (deduced by Mulan’s detect magic spell). Diablo suggested he could neutralise the symbol with his anti-magic ray, but that would also negate the magic of the door.
At the other end of the hall it opened up into another vast chamber, this one holding a terracota army of 156 statues of Githyanki surrounding a central sarcophagus.
Further investigation of the hallway discovered a secret door in one of the walls. Working together, Deckard and Mulan managed to get it open.__
The secret door led to a small chamber, floor covered in white bones and an obsidian Sarcophagus The Glyph on the tomb nearly killed Mulan and half-killed Deckard too as they tried to disarm it. It went off casting a maximised BLIGHT spell. Clayton and Abe managed to revive Mulan.
Inside the sarcophagus was a regal-looking male Githyanki clad in golden helm, breastplate and bracers shaped like coiled dragons. The helm had a jagged triangle of dull grey metal stuck into it – like a torn-off quarter of a square, 18” across.
Abe used speak with dead…
Where is the phylactery ? In an empty room
Where is the room? Through the ceiling
What does the phylactery look like – don’t know – “I’m only the keeper of one of the four parts to the key”
Where are the other parts of the key? Where the statues gaze upon Gith, Within the Eternal Voyager, Where the Devil is Tormented.
They decide the “Eternal Voyager” must be the dead star-whale. Deckard climbed inside the Starwhal (through the rear entrance!) and squirmed along the twisting passage into the inner stomach. There he was attacked by another Zombie Knight who chased him out through the gullet and mouth. There was treasure inside there but he didn’t have time to examine it.
Mulan had to dangle upside down from the horn to see into the mouth to shoot the zombie. Deckard leapt away from the Knight and she trapezed him onto the horn’s tip. Then the knight tried to stamp on her fingers to shake her off the horn.
Clayton and Abe shot it and then Diablo finished it off with his petrification ray and Mulan pushed the statue off with one finger so it shattered on the floor below.
Inside the belly of the whale they will find various treasures including a second triangle of dull-grey metal.