The afternoon of 15 Erastus, 4708
Lost in the Dark
After looting the bodies of the decapitated vampires (including acquiring a crystal doorknob), Arlynn, Flint, and Kyra debate pursuing the gaseous forms of the savage vampires and stake them in their crypts. However, they conclude that the wiser course is to try to link back up with the rest of the party.
Arlynn suffered wounds during the savage vampire attack, but when she channels the healing grace of her goddess, the divine energy remains within her but does not close her injuries. Potions likewise prove ineffective. The paladin suspects it has something to with the aura of evil that suffuses the vault.
With this disturbing discovery, they continue their strategy of taking the first left at every intersection. To ward off vampire attacks, Arlynn casts daylight on Flint’s bow. After traveling for a short while, they hear the sound of a woman screaming, followed by cursing in Common. After listening to make sure the screams are genuine, they race towards the sound.
The River Runs Red
They arrive at a large, richly decorated chamber that appears to be some kind of lounge, with gilded chairs, tables, and sofas—and a surging river of blood running down its center. On the other side of the stream is a flamboyantly-dressed half-elf woman trapped in a cage made of bones. She is being menaced by a towering creature made of bones. In the shadows of back of the room lurk two more figures, one stout and blocky and the other strange but sensual.
Flint recognizes the half-elf as his longtime friend Sheira Astorian. He tells Arlynn that she is a capable fighter if they can release her. Invisible Kyra moves in to try to help her escape while Arlynn and Flint move up.
As they bring more light into the room, they get a better look at the figures in the back of the room. One of them is some sort of construct made of gilded steel, with a shield in each arm. It is standing beside the other figure, which has the body of a voluptuous woman with bright red skin, but arms and legs that end in twisted claws and a head like a creature from nightmares.
Flint shoots her with an arrow, which causes the amulet around her neck to glow a blue-green color, the same as the glow that suddenly comes from the chassis of the shield construct. They realize the one is mystically shielding the other.
Flint tells Sheira that they’re going to save her, while she berates him for abandoning her in the vault. The bone creature, meanwhile, walks over and picks up the bone cage, while the half-elf frantically jabs at the cage bars with her rapier.
The nightmare woman pulls a lever on the altar and a loud grinding noise fills the room as the floor tile ripple and change elevation, causing the river of blood to shift course. Arlynn and Flint both managed to leap over it. They get a glimpse at the spiked grating which awaits anyone who gets swept away in the river.
A bloody suit of armor that had been caught in the river’s previous course is now exposed to open air. The armor fills with blood and rises up to threaten the adventurers. Arlynn recognizes it as a rare type of undead called a blood knight.
Sheira, meanwhile, stabs at the cage again with her rapier and the adventurers realize she has been stabbing at weak points at the joints of the cage, causing it to clatter apart. Rather than try to snare the half-elf again, the bone creature reaches up and rip bones from its body to hurl at Arlynn, where they erect themselves into another cage.
The blood knight closes in on Arlynn, who faces off against it with assistance from Sheira.
The nightmare woman takes to the air, floating over the battlefield to spit acid at the adventurers. Flint fills her full of arrows, overwhelming her connection to the shield construct, which explodes while its mistress plummets to the ground
Kyra leaps up onto the control altar and pulls a few levers. The river changes course again, swinging across the room to splash Arlynn with poisoned blood while Flint and Sheira leap out of the way. However, the river sweeps aside the bone construct and the blood knight.
The construct is pinned to the grate, while the blood knight climbs out of the river, where Arlynn and Flint put it down. Once the bone construct is destroyed as well, the adventurers and Sheira sit down on some of the eerily elegant furniture.
Double Double, Toil and Trouble
Arlynn notices that Sheira is suffering from a bleeding wound on her side. The paladin tries to treat it with her wand, but healing magic continues to have no effect, so Arlynn instead field dresses the injury to halt the bleeding.
Sheira accuses Flint of leaving her and their other friends to die in the Vault. The story that emerges is that “Flint,” in the company of a blond half-elf woman named Clairian Arrowsong, convinced his friends Damon, Rodrick, Sheira, and her brother Timmett to venture into the vault to steal Amprei’s medallion.
“Flint” hoped to stop Amprei from conducting a dangerous ritual with the medallion, and instead use it to grant powerful magic to the young nobles. “Flint” had a wayfinder with a gem like the one from the nightmare woman’s amulet, which pointed the way towards the medallion.
The young nobles made their way into the vault, figuring out how to avoid being split up by the teleport circles, but on the way they were ambushed by an enormous snake-like creature. Sheira didn’t get a good look at it—her brother Timmett did and turned to stone. She thinks the creature took Damon and doesn’t know what happened to Rodrick. She does know that “Flint” and his new half-elf friend ran and left them during the attack.
Flint calmly explains that that there are evil identical duplicates of him running around as part of a plot to discredit his family. Sheira is surprisingly skeptical of this story, but has no choice but to stick with the three of them. She asks them to help rescue her brother and the others, but they convince her that their first task is to reunite with the rest of their party.
With that, they take the first left, the opposite direction that Sheira was running from.
The Chamber of the Naughty Mushrooms
Traveling the halls, they come across a large chamber full of enormous mushrooms, overseen by a giant statue of a woman holding an unlit torch, at whose feet lies a luxurious four-poster bed.
Once everyone has entered the chamber, both the exit and entrance vanish and the mushrooms start to glow. The mushroom spores initially prove to have an exciting, aphrodisiac effect on the four of them as they trek across the chamber looking for an exit.
Soon, however, the spores start to charm them into wanting to remain in the room. Arlynn prove immune to this effect, but one by one the others start to succumb.
Fighting against the shrooms and their own hormones, they note scorchmarks on the walls below the level of the statue’s torch. They conclude that lighting the torch might burn out the mushrooms. Arlynn flies the increasingly delirious Sheira and Kyra up to safety, but it is up to the shroom-addled Flint to climb the statue and ignite the torch by hand. Arlynn, immune to the more debilitating charm effects, has to cheer him on to keep the fighter focused on the task.
Meanwhile, in the room below the mushrooms glow brighter and brighter as a haze of golden spores rises upwards. Flint lights the torch in time to ignite the spores, rocking the room with an explosion.
Arlynn and Flint are buffeted by the blast, but hold their place. Kyra and Sheira are knocked loose, however. Flint manages to grab the halfling as she tumbles by, while Sheira lands on the four-poster bed—which had somehow escaped the fire unscathed. The blaze has also left two hidden doors outlined with fire.
Still half-addled by the spores, the quartet enjoys a laugh over surviving the trap.
The Lady of Lust
Following the leftmost hidden door, the quartet arrives in a strange garden with an illusion of a starfield overhead with a glowing well in the center. Doors ring the garden, but the one that looks like it has seen the most use lies across the garden.
As the four of them move forward, a figure rises from the glowing well, languidly stretching. She is a darkly beautiful woman whose face has appeared throughout the vault, most recently on the torch-bearing statue. She claims to be Sorshen and welcomes them to her garden, which she urges them to enjoy as long as they like. Arlynn suspects she is some kind of undead, but there is a strangeness to her that they can’t place.
They warily insist that they need to find their friends and ask for her help in reaching them. Sorshen offers to trade the information to them in exchange for a chance to inspect the “smidgen.” They instead offer her the nightmare woman’s necklace, which she eagerly accepts. She tells them that their friends are nearby, approaching the Gallery.
They ask for directions and she tells them that they can travel anywhere in her vault if they have the will and the proper tools. Kyra and Flint immediately begin trying the crystal doorknob they’d scavenged on each of the doors in the chamber which have no knobs. Unfortunately, each time Kyra keeps failing.
Arlynn and Sheira ask Sorshen about the whereabouts of Flint’s friends, but the Runelord again asks for a moment with Kyra, as she’d never seen her kind before. They ask if any harm will come to the halfling and Sorshen insists that the “smidgen” will be returned in one piece. The party decides that sounds too “rapey” and instead offers to trade Amprei’s medallion for information about Flint’s other friends. Sorshen agrees to the deal.
On the last door without a doorknob, Kyra finds the way out. The quartet makes a rapid exit, emerging with the knob into a grand hallway near an open, glowing entrance. The hear a commotion to their right and see the rest of the party squeezing through a narrow passageway into the hall.