With a glyph key to the Temples of Extraction in hand, the adventurers could finally start making real progress towards reaching the Phylactery Vault. Stepping through the black gate of the gate house they entered the Temples of Anguish.
A series of chambers guarded by Red Wizards awaited the adventurers. In each a three-step stone dais set with four pillars held an unconscious humanoid suspended in a roiling field of golden light. The Red Wizards and their minions were easily dispatched and it was soon discovered the humanoid figures suspended above the dais’s were the Chosen of various gods. In one room the adventurers freed an old friend, Curran Corvalan, a halfling from Daggerford and Chosen of Tymora.
After a few brief battles the Temples of Extraction had been cleared and the Chosen freed or destroyed. Now all that was left was to re-tune a black gate to enter the Phylactery Vault and destroy Szass Tam’s lich servants.
The adventurers didn’t hesitate and entered the Phylactery Vault at once. They found themselves in a vast four-sided pyramidal space. It’s floor was roughly-hewn of white marble set with low circular pedestals of the same material. At the three corners of the floor stood sepulchers of white marble, each a three-sided pyramid reflecting the shape of the vault. Engraved into each sepulcher’s double doors was a four-armed gargoyle. A pool of dark liquid churned on the center of the floor.
The adventurers quickly deduced that the lich’s phylacteries most likely laid protected inside the sepulchers. Carefully making their way to the first sepulcher they tied a rope to the double door. After Anon Nautalius deftly picked the lock they stood at a distance and pulled the rope. Instantly the gargoyles on both doors of the sepulcher sprung to life and attacked. Prepared the adventurers quickly dispatched the magical creatures and entered the sepulcher.
It’s walls hummed with arcane power, and on its stone shelves were set leather cases, amulets, daggers, scroll tubes, unholy symbols, and other ornate objects. These were the phylacteries of Szass Tam’s lichs the adventurers had sought. With great difficulty the wizards and clerics focused on the arcane energy of the sepulcher and destroyed its protective powers. The various items on the sepulchers shelves burst into flames and turned to dust! Victory seemed at hand, but trouble brewed in the dark pool outside the sepulcher.
Fountains of shadowy energy burst from the dark pools and formed an inky vortex in the open air at the vault’s center. A gleaming black humanoid skull flew out of the vortex. It’s ruby eyes and diamond teeth glowed with an evil radiance. It was an aspect of Kazit Gul, creator of the Doomvault, and it would stop at nothing to protect the remaining phylacteries.
Half the adventures set out to the remaining sepulchers while the others engaged the evil skull of Kazit Gul. As Anon Nautalius, Stasi, and Fizbin Fizzlebottom, fought there way through more gargoyles into the remaining sepulchers, the others quickly learned Kazit Gul was not to be trifled with. A lightning bolt cast by Lynd of Pregen appeared to do nothing but amuse the lich’s skull, and other attacks seemed to have almost no effect either.
The battle raged fiercely, but soon the first casualty would fall (or lifelessly float in midair as it would be). Fizbin Fizzlebottom cast fly upon the paladin Parsimony in hopes of gaining an advantage. With his new found flight, Parsimony bravely flew at the skull of Kazit Gul. The ruby eyes of the skull affixed themselves on Parsimony, and the paladin felt his soul ripped from his body. His now lifeless corpse floated above the ground as his soul was sucked into a diamond tooth of the skull.
As Parsimony bravely sacrificed himself, his fellow adventures continued to destroy the phylacteries in the remaining sepulchers. Other’s continued to fling fireballs, spells, and weapons at the lich’s skull. Although the skull of Kazit Gul appeared to be damaged his resistance to the adventurers attacks was like nothing they had encountered before. Soon both Stasi and Anon Nautalius fell to the Kazit Gul’s gaze as well. Their fellow adventurers watched in horror as their bodies, along with Parsimony’s decayed at an astonishing rate until nothing but ash was left.
Finally the last sepulcher and the phylacteries withing was destroyed. The adventurers looked towards the skull of Kazit Gul in hopes it too would be destoyed, but to their dismay it remained. All seemed lost until, fellow adventures on another side of the Phylactery Vault’s four sides raced in to assist.
With their combined strength, the remaining adventurers dealt the final blow to Kazit Gul’s skull. Cracks formed along the skull and suddenly it burst into flames and turned to ash. It’s eight jeweled teeth fell to the ground. With victory finally at hand the adventures reflected on what had transpired. Lynd of Pregen quickly gathered the diamond teeth containing her departed companions souls.
With the phylacteries destroyed and Szass Tam’s power greatly diminished, Syranna stayed true to her word and teleported the remaining adventurers back to the Sword Coast. Reginald Carnelian found himself standing in a beautiful meadow under a morning sky. The wild flowers of spring were in full bloom, and in the distance he could see the majestic figure of a great stallion grazing in the lush fields. Hope filled his soul as he looked upon his long lost horse. For a second all seemed right in the world. A deep and vile roar shattered the tranquil moment. In the distance Reginald stared in horror as Baazka rose from a hill beyond his horse and gazed hungrily upon the delicious looking equine snack.