Having finished their lunch in the raided record room, the party readies to get moving. Benquil hears a sound in the hall and throws his firesilk cloak of invisibility over himself and gives silent pursuit. He sees the door to the classroom closed and heads that way. As he eases it open he hears the door opposite close. He starts running, hitting the door hard to continue pursuit. As he hits the door, he yells for the others to pursue. He sees a drow figure running away from him down the hall.
Leo is ridiculous fast with his innate Nekolyn speed, levels in agility, and haste tattoo. He overtakes Benquil just as the drow bursts through a door and turns right, toward downward stairs. At the top of the stairs, Leo catches a glimpse of a cloak at the bottom. He leaps down the stairs, landing and looking right down the only hall. Seeing no sign of the drow, he shouts for Benquil to search for secrets and continues down the hall, down long stairs curving gently right and a 12′ wide hall continuing the arc.
The hall widens a little and Leo sees what looks like a statue with a cloth draped over it. He tears the cloth off and throws it back at the chain wrapped bronze figure. A 10′ wide metal door separates the first statue from a second, this one uncovered, and Leo slaps it as he passes, confirming it’s a statue. A full half circle from the top of the long stairs, Leo reaches a door. He stops to check it, finding it locked, but rolling extremely well on a See Sign check knows the dust in front of it is disturbed more often than in other places and that the locks and handles on the door have been replaced since original construction (something like a 10th or 20th as old).
Deciding he should have caught his quarry by now, he returns the way he came and meets the others, Lamila now catching Benquil, at the large door. They determine that the statue Leo uncovered is one depicting Brimahil but wrapped in chains. The other is of Lolith, looking compassionate and holding a key that looks the match for the lock on Brimahil’s statue. On the massive metal door is a fresco of Lolith, lovingly examining a monstrosity in one hand while her other is balled in a fist, tentacles and bile oozing out of it. The lock on the door is huge, they can see mechanisms inside extending 4 inches deep and spanning at least a circle of 1 foot diameter.
Benquil briefly prays to Brimahil and feels no need to destroy, cover, or steal her statue. He attempts to teleport through the doors and is spit back outside the doors. So rejected, the continue down the curving hall in search of entrances to the room inside the curve (now all invisible and tethered with their invisible rope). As they go, they see another door with a new lock, a pair of double doors, a door they find to be unlocked, and another they find to be locked, all on the outer side of the curving hall. Having gone a full circle to where the stairs descended to this level, they come to more descending stairs and go down.
Leo sees that the last step of the flight appears to be trapped and points it out. They all skip the step. A few steps later, Leo notices another line of suspicious tiles (the temple is mostly hewn from solid stone, but imperfections are filled by tiles, these tiles form a near perfect line). When both of these traps are pointed, Benquil can still barely see them with his infrared vision, they’re very well hidden traps to the eye of a drow in the dark.
The dust in the curving hall on this level is inches thick in places, presumably undisturbed for some time and accumulated down here after being swept or blown from upper levels. Proceeding another half circle (leaving deep tracks in the dust) they come to another descending flight of stairs. At the bottom of the stairs, a door, 15′ across and just as tall, blocks the way. It is crudely made of solid adamantite with crossbars barring it closed made of the same metal. Chains lock the crossbars in place with heavy locks. Leo and Lamila can see text on the door that they can’t read and Benquil’s infrared can’t discern. Benquil casts a light and sees, written in the sort of ancient elvish his dad taught him growing up:
“Though driven by Lolith to deeper delve, her temple to complete,
The smokey terror here exhumed did make of drow its meat.
Had not the hero Tavruv Madriz given his life to it’s protection,
These doors never had been closed to the smokey death’s rejection.”
Both Benquil and his father make abysmal rolls on Arcane Knowledge to determine why something about the poem seems familiar to Benquil.
Lamila and Benquil debate a little whether to open the door, Benquil apparently not keen to teleport through this one. Leo wanders away to go explore and Lamila and Benquil start searching the deep piles of dust on this level for keys to the many locks.
Meanwhile, Leo explores the corridor behind the unlocked door they found two levels above. It opens on a corridor with a door and a descending stair. He finds the door locked and moves toward the stairs, triggering a trip wire that causes an alarm to sound in the room beside him and down the stairs. He quickly gets out of the corridor, hiding beside the entrance in the main hall, cloaked in invisibility, shuffling the dust at his feet to make it look as undisturbed as possible.
Drow fill the alarmed corridor, searching for him. They come to the open door and look out. Then, a drow looking like the one they pursued down here, comes down the hall, reprimanding them in drow (which Leo doesn’t understand) and ushering them back through the door before closing it. Leo again descends to tell the others what he has seen. As he arrives, they use a key found in the dust after almost 15 minutes of searching to unlock one of the four locks on the draw bars. Leo tells them he found drow in the temple and they steel themselves to go investigate.