As the solars were once more retreating to the chapel to rest, sounds were again heard from the front doors. This time however they were the sounds of a heavy pounding - someone was knocking! Rushing upstairs and looking down through the broken window, Archer saw U'awaa and two of the lizard-demons waiting patiently. As he climbed down they prostrated themselves and said they had news.
Acording to U'awaa, a horde of Dragon Blooded had invaded the demon lands and were slaughtering the demons. U'awaa did also have good news however; the solars would soon receive reinforcements. Into the valley walked Mina, with her ninja style black clothing shadowing her passage and her ebony hair flowing in the wind.
As Archer conversed with U'awaa, Mina looked on - slightly skeptical at this exchange with what was clearly a demon. She asked Archer who owned this place that exerted such a tugging on her mind, and he said that it was now his. If she could open the front doors, she might enter. Investigating the doors and finding faint essence marks, she poured essence into the huge doors and they swung open to reveal the foyer, complete with dead bodies and leonines (somehow repaired, though this was not noticed at the time).
In the mean time Krod, having viewed the meeting from above, charged down the stairs - only to be struck in the back by another thrown adamantite dagger! He was now in a very bad way, but bravely ignoring the pain went to introduce himself to the new guest. As he did so, another attempted ambush was foiled when he parried the thrown blade and charged his assailant - the Valet - tearing him to pieces.
In the mean time, Archer had offered to break the Runestone and send the demons back to Malfeas - if the demons would bring him arrows. So the demons brought him several hundred bone arrows, and he broke the stone. Strangely enough, U'awaa and the demons did not disappear! They seemed confused by this, and suggested that there could be another Runestone to banish them?
With the Dragon Blooded host approaching, the solars were unwilling to rest, and Mina was encouraged to explore as quickly as possible. She quickly found the secret door in the chapel, and after a lot more investigation found the door to the Final Retreat hidden in the back stairwell.
From this point, traps were the order of the day. Mina easily dodged the blades in the initial corridor, and then the solars worked together to open the door to the butterfly room. As Archer heightened his senses in the hexagonal chamber, the door sprang shut - with Krod diving to get into the chamber. Almost immediately the red crystal butterflies took wing and approached with great menace. A storm of arrows shattered them all, and shattered them again and again as they re-formed.
Fleeing the chamber and closing the door by again using essence in the chamber and diving out, the heroes continued their exploration. They found a long, pit filled corridor and a chamber with a secret treasure trove at the rear, and were caught in flaming oil as it spewed forth from the alcove. Only Mina's quick action in blocking the nozzle saved the badly burned heroes, as Archer fell to the ground unconscious.
Two days passed.
In the mean time, Mina searched the fortress from top to bottom, finding nothing. Eventually Krod suggested checking in the pit traps, and a passage down was discovered ... which led to a hexagonal chamber with five more exits. Archer found the correct one first, but clearly wished to set off some of the other traps before advancing ... ^_^
This time, the passageway led into a room with a golden statue of the unconquered sun, and as a huge block of stone sealed off the exit it spoke, commanding them to leave and never return. Mina was able to find a secret exit in the block itself, and the heroes advanced to the place where Ozandus Pal's mumified body had found its final resting place. Treasure was there in abundance!
Returning to the fortress above, however, the solars met an awe inspiring sight - an army led by Dragon Blooded had invested the fortress, and even now some of the leaders were inspecting the front doors ...
8 XP each.