The Crimson Blades continue their exploration of the Sunken Queen. There are no stairs leading up to the next level. Instead, there is a large vertical shaft that appears to be accessible primarily through flight.
Zandu, now gnoll-shaped again, sprouts dragon wings and flies up to latch grappling hooks to the lip of the shaft. As he reaches the top of the shaft, his blindsense picks up the presence of creatures lurking nearby. He reacts immediately by enlarging to huge size.
The others rush up top, either flying themselves, climbing up Zandu’s back, or using the ropes and grappling hooks. Water-Egan splashes up to the next level in elemental form. The adventurers find themselves in a large hall tiled on floor, wall and ceiling with polished rose-colored marble slats. Weaving in and out of the walls, climbing from the floor to the ceiling above, are dozens of thin crystal tubes. Passages lead off to the left and right, while across the hall another shaft leads up to the next level.
The Crimson Blades come under immediate attack from five armored erinyes, each wielding flaming tridents in place of bows. Three of the fallen angels emerge at the far end of the hall, while one each awaits in the chambers to either side.
Rather than charge the party with their weapons, instead the erinyes throw their tridents at the adventurers, causing savage injuries. Then to the adventurers’ shock the polearms rise up and return to their mistresses’ hands.
Huge-sized Zandu brings out his enormous glaive to attack the erinyes at the far end of the hall. While he holds down the center, the rest of the Crimson Blades split up. Ashla, Water-Egan, Laori , and eventually Arlynn go right while Nox, Flint, Irabeth, and Kyra go left.
Wrath of the Erinyes
Furious fighting takes place in both the left and right rooms. On the right hand side, the erinyes gang up on Ashla while Water-Egan, Arlynn and Laori try to relieve her. Eventually, Ashla is so grievously wounded that she hovers between life and death, receiving visions from Pharasma.
Over on the left hand side, the erinyes are fairly successful at keeping their distance and making use of the their returning tridents to inflict terrible wounds on the party. A ranged duel takes place between Flint and one erinyes, while Nox and Irabeth try to close the distance on the others.
Zandu continues to use his glaive to keep the center chamber clear, and drives it into the left room to try to strike some erinyes there.
A Rare Gift
After savaging the party extensively, one by one the erinyes begin to fall. The adventurers regroup and close in on the last remaining erinyes. Nox discovers he has a special talent for tackling flying women, but it is not enough to prevent the fallen angel from fleeing to the lower levels of the pyramid.
After Egan makes a brief attempt to give chase, the party scours the area for treasure and then prepares to venture upstairs into the final floor of the Sunken Queen where Queen Ileosa awaits them.