Slowly wending their way out of the hideous catacombs, the heroes decided that leaving and recouping their battered and cursed frames might be the best course of action. They stumbled through the darkness of the ghoul warrens before finding themselves back within the Moathouse, where they successfully made their way unhindered now through the largely abandoned temple. As they left, the warlock examined the strange magical fluxes all around them and realized that the very air itself was being charged with fell energy. He suggested the erratic weather patterns around this cursed place were due to a shadow landscape; dire energy from the plane of shadow was seeping through the cracks of reality, giving the Moathouse a more sinister and deadly air to it.
While putting distance between them and the fallen temple, they came across a narrow valley, which they cautiously forded. However, while eyeing the narrows above, they failed to note two earthen, crab-like creatures barrelling down the hill in the midst of a sudden and crashing avalanche. A wave of rock and stone buried the hexblade, cleric and the psychic warrior under crushing earth and rubble! The warlock sprang into action and a chilling fog clouded the valley, leaving the avalanchers to crash around blindly. The cleric called upon his faith and found himself whisked out of the rock and delivered to safety, some 50 feet down the path. The psion lashed out with a crippling mental blast, stunning one of the beasts severely. Between his mental assaults and the warlock’s crackling blasts – accidentally clipping his clerical ally – the beasts fell and they rescued their buried allies. The psychic warrior sliced open one of the beasts and discovered jewels within the digestive tracts, then made a campsite in a nearby cave, at the mouth of a dried-out river basin.
During the night watch, something flew low overhead and the warlock heard rock clattering from a nearby hill. He slowly woke the rest of the group up and they spent some time investigating, but were unable to discover what it could be. The warlock climbed a nearby rocky cliff and saw some flashes of a mysterious light, that quickly vanished. He unfortunately had no idea what form of magic this was, and neither did the rest of the party. With that, they all took back to resting and the night passed uneventfully, on the chill winds of the Greypeak Mountains.
That next morning, they woke up hacking rust-coloured phlegm and with terrible sores upon their bodies. The cleric deduced that their time in the ghoul warrens had taken its toll, and the group decided to stay put while he used his prayers to heal their disease and bodies. Perhaps good timing, as there was a terrible thunderstorm out, washing most of the roads into grey mud. The day was spent resting and mending, under the ministrations of the cleric, while the group discussed what their next move at the Moathouse would be.
Returning to the forsaken place – it still had a pallor of shadow causing biting winds and the air to reek and leave one gasping, if not careful. They made their way through the mostly abandoned catacomb, with the strange floor that only could be seen with the Torch of Revealing; it was a strange, clear rock that was like earthen glass – the cleric recalled that it was perhaps a unique variant of the glassteel spell, but tuned to rock instead. He then used a spell to deform the clear rock and foul air burst up from the dank hole in the ground, enveloping them in a thick, evil fog! Within the fog a formless man hissed and screeched and slashed invisibly at the group, staying well within the swirling mist. They, the mist departed as the creature exploded into a massive whirlwind, lifting all within the room into it, except the hexblade. They fought bravely, but couldn’t harm it. The hexblade positioned his dark companion near the centre of the storm, and then himself leapt into the winds, teeth clenched in hopes of cursing the enraged air elemental. The windstorm flickered and hissed and the hexblade new his curse was successful! Yelling of his success, the cleric then readied a dismissal spell, now all but unavoidable by the magically crippled air elemental. This spell caused the form of whirling air to shake and scream before finally roiling back into nothing but eddies of dust, as the elemental was banished back to it’s plane…or at least close enough. With that, they found various sky-coloured gems wrapped in a feathered cloak within the chest. They also found a wand and a scroll each laiden with air or sky magic. The cleric tended their wounds as they discussed their next course of action.