The party decides to rest for an hour for Pascal to regain his spells. He uses Restoration to remove the negative effects of the undead attack. Fatima questions Ilio about the history of the Stars’ Children and whether they can work together for a common purpose. Ilio replies that he does not judge them for being members and simply asks that they co-operate to thwart the efforts of the Children of Zepha.
The group resumes their exploration of the palace complex. Pascal enters a long hallway, rather casually looking for traps. On the floor is a faded mosaic depicting various plants, animals and people. Among the animals are fire bats and several dragon lizards that seem to be pursuing the people. As he observes the art, Pascal fails to notice a peculiar stone in the floor and inadvertently steps on it. It sets off a deafening sound. Most of the group recovers within a few minutes, but Fatima is temporally deafened. Pascal estimates that it will be a few hours before she regains her hearing.
At the western end of the hallway is a set of iron double doors, each with the intertwined, dragon lizards that the group observed previously among the ruined city. Io uses her magical gloves to see beyond the doors. She sees a circular, domed hall with a nearly 20 foot wide pit in its centre. Pascal unlocks the doors and the group enters the room. They find a matching pair of doors on the east side of the hall. Dim light, that has found its way through cracks in the dome, falls onto the pit. The darkness from the pit seems to swallow the light.
Cornelius places an Alarm spell on the mouth of the pit. He flies up to the domed ceiling, peering through one of the cracks. He notices something flying around far above. Then, suddenly, it flies quickly away. Cornelius does not feel that it is the dragon. Io suggests that Cornelius fly down the pit of darkness. He declines the offer, but instead suggests that he cast Fly on her. She agrees and flies slowly down the pit. Even Io’s Darkvision cannot penetrate the blackness. As she descends, the wall of the pit and the air itself grow increasingly colder. About 300’ down, Io feels a gooey substance on the walls and heads back up to report her findings. The substance on her glove is a lightly glowing yellow-green slime. It seems to be causing her glove to smoke lightly. She quickly scrapes the slime off.
Fatima casts Prying Eyes and sends out 14 flying sensors to search ahead for living creatures, undead creatures, and a way out of the ruins. The party continues exploring beyond the double doors.
Along another hallway, they find a sort of embalming room. In the room’s centre, is a long metal table, with oiled strips of cloth and bits of dried flesh on its surface. To its right, is a smaller table that holds a huge collection of glass vials, filled with various liquids and salves. Near the north wall, a figure is squatting, apparently cleaning dried flesh form the floor. As she turns toward the group, they see that it is a pale-skinned Labreyan woman. She is frightened by the party and backs away.
The woman calls herself Nanihi. Ilio reassures her that they will not harm her and that they are simply looking for a man named Sohrab. She does not recognize the name. She says that she lives here in the ruins with 200 or so of her people. A man who calls himself Arbo came here several months ago. He used undead servants to force her people to look for artifacts that he said were buried in the ruins. Arbo commanded her to clean this room, whcih he uses for “experiments”. She is frightened that Arbo will return and punish her for speaking with them. She says that they are in danger from him as well. The group recalls that “Arbo” is an alias sometimes used by Sohrab.
Something about her story does not sit right with Io. She tires to intimidate Nanihi into telling the truth. The woman does not appear to react to Io’s words but makes for the exit, offering to take them to her people. Pascal attempts to restrain her in a grapple. As he does this, he can feel that her skin is not normal – it is rotting! Nanihi, an undead creature, turns the tables on Pascal and grapples him. Fatima uses Telekinesis to pin the creature and Io deacpitates it with her spear. The group takes the glass vials and some small surgical tools hanging on the wall.
They explore further down the hall to find a prison cell. Inside is an emaciated man chained to the wall. Pascal finds that he is suffering from hunger and thirst and is weakened beyond even that. After they heal and feed him, the has enough strength to give his name – Gere Raimo. He says that he was “rescued” from the Marquis Farileau‘s dungeons in Baste by a man in grey robes. The man brought him here to keep him imprisoned and to take bits of his flesh every few days. He doesn’t know how long he has been here. He was being fed by the undead creatures, but he felt himself getting weak. Every few days or so, the man would return with a skin of some foul-tasting liquid. The substance seemed to make him feel better for a time. Then he began to feel weak again, only to be given the liquid again. Raimo vows revenge against the Marquis and this grey-robed man.
From his story, Cornelius deduces that he is suffering from exposure to raw star metal that is present in the surroundings. Fatima figures out that the cell door has raw star metal in it. She speculates that Sohrab might be testing cures for the exposure on Raimo.
In a nearby room they find a pack and bedroll. The pack contains some dried meat, a map, and notebook. Cornelius carefully reads the book, but triggers a Sepia Snake Sigil. With a huge amount of heroic effort, he overcomes the effects. Cornelius says that he needs to sit and have a cup of tea after the ordeal. The group agrees to rest for a time. Fatima reads the notebook and finds several interesting passages, written in Lettanni. During this time, several of her “eyes” return. They seem to have found more creatures, living and undead, among the ruins.