After resting in the Sanctum, the party considered their next move. With the Father of Worms’ blood, they could get into the Ineluctable Prison. Despite the beating they had taken before, the party’s best route to the prison was still the shortcut through the Father of Worm’s home. Fortunately, the passage would be much easier without the need to fight him. The party shot through the lair with Wind Walk before the Father of Worms even knew they were there. On the other side of the secret passage, the infinite Labyrinth opened up into a vast mountainous expanse.
The bizarre Ineluctable Prison was like nothing the mortal world had ever seen. A great sphere covered in long spikes was suspended in midair by great chains attached to the mountains. The only entrance was a miles long and rickety wooden bridge leading to a little door. The barbs swiveled with a mind of their own. A fiendish bird flew a bit too close and was immediately struck from the sky by launched darts. This was what the party must invade to rescue Iomedae’s Herald.
They set out across the bridge as Wase lead the way. From the bird’s example, the party knew they couldn’t fly in. Poonisher found this particularly irksome. The barbs ominously twisted to point at the party, but did not fire. After the long walk, the party arrived at the door. Smoking skull-carvings representing Baphomet loomed above, and twin pools of water bubbled at the sides. The door itself was a strange haze, with no sign of what might lie beyond. When Wase approached, the pools exploded into activity. Two half-demon great cyclops burst out and attacked him ferociously with their spears.
At almost the moment the cyclopes moved, Poonisher opened fire and tagged one with his arrows. The massive spears nearly slew Wase in a few blows, but the paladin’s mythic powers and unstoppable will kept him standing. The wounded cyclops’ began to bleed, and the dinosaurs pounced at the scent. Tane conjured a Forcecage around the unhurt cyclops. Immediately, bars of magical power snapped up and trapped the cyclops. The two cyclops tried casting spells that caused some injuries, but it wasn’t enough. The wounded cyclops went down in a flurry of claws and arrows, and the caged cyclops was finished off by Poonisher a moment later.
The party hesitated a bit as they healed and geared up to go inside the haze-door. Before entering, Bendak stashed Swoop in Tane’s Sanctum with Fee. The two familiars would be safer there, and could be retrieved when needed. Tane recast his escape contingency and Wase headed through the door first. As soon as he touched it, he was pulled through. One by one, the rest of the party entered.
Inside was a stinking chamber. After a short landing, a 300-foot bridge went across a pool of acid, and two cages hung in the air. The ceiling went up 500 feet before ending in a Baphomet pentagram. Each cage held an ominous giant devil skeleton. Tane identified them as pit fiends, among the mightest devils in all existence. Demons often conflict with devils, due to their very different views on order and chaos. Bendak telepathically contacted Arueshalae and asked her to tell Gith about the skeletons. A few moments later, she reported back that the necromancer was extremely excited to hear about them and would very much like the skeletons recovered please and thank you very much.
The party began to cross the bridge. Before they could get more than a few steps, colossal oozing pseudopods lashed out from the acid pool. Poonisher shot it a few times, but was then paralyzed when the pseudopods struck him. The creature retreated into the acid after attacking, and the party immediately began preparing in the few moments before the next attack. Tane began scanning the room and preparing for a good moment to cast a spell. Wase and five summoned T. rexes stood by the side of the pool, waiting for their chance to strike. Poonisher freed himself with his powers and looked into the acid. With amazing perception, he saw the creature. It was a crystal ooze.
Most such creatures are a minor hazard found in lakes, rather like crocodiles, but this one seemed to have been twisted by the Abyss into something much larger and far more powerful. Wase attempted to Smite the ooze, but could not. The ooze wasn’t evil, just hungry. The ooze began striking again. Tane warded the party against acid, greatly reducing the pool’s threat. The ooze itself remained dangerous, battling through arrow and blade and bite. The door on the other side of the room opened up and two winged creatures with two swords each entered. In moments, they struck down a tyrannosaurus.
Unfortunately for the new creatures, they were both evil and not sitting in an inaccessible acid pool. Wase picked them off alongside one of the angry tyrannosaurs. The ooze struck Tane hard with one of its many tendrils, and Tane’s contingency tried to teleport him out. Rather than reaching an exterior safehouse, his teleport spell was only able to reach the inside of the Ineluctable Prison’s door. Bendak then had an idea, and began barking orders to his dinosaurs. Reaching to the bottom of the pool, Bendak called up a geyser.
The entire house-sized ooze was launched 60 feet into the air, wobbling and thrashing about. The tyrannosaurs snapped their jaws, and one landed a last fatal blow. However, there was now an ooze the size of a house falling from above. Most of the party managed to get out of the way, but the tyrannosaurs and Bendak were knocked into the lake as the bridge was broken. Thanks to Tane’s magic, Bendak was fine and quickly floated out of the acid. The tyrannosaurs were unsummoned before the lake could hurt them too much, and then the party decided to rest. Fortunately Tane’s Sanctum was still accessible, so the group still had one safe area.