Laremmi activated the teleporter. The room shimmered and faded from Belros’s view. There was a faint popping sound as the party instantly dematerialized.
An instant later a new room appeared before them. Some sort of shrine by the look of it. A large altar stood in the center of the circular chamber. Once a holy place, it had been desecrated and then rededicated to Tiamat. At least a half dozen cultists and mages filled the room performing a dark ritual to the dragon queen.
Immediately Belros rushed from the platform toward the nearest foe. Almost effortlessly he cut the man down, barely slowing as he ran deeper into the chamber. With a flourish he spun his massive blade overhead and brought it down on the second cultist, splitting his skull in twain, splattering brains and bone in all directions.
A crazed looking mage bearing the robes and tattoos of a Red Wizard of Thay flashed out deft, spindly fingers toward Belros. The mighty fighter felt his muscles and joints stiffen. Struggle as he might, he was unable to move!
A second wizard pointed to Agatar who was still standing on the teleport circle with the rest of the party.
“Teleport!”, commanded the wizard.
Agatar, unable to fight off the magical compulsion, reached up and activated the rune. Belros watched helplessly as his companions disappeared from the room.
Blast after blast of intense magical fire slammed into Belros, scorching his flesh and knocking him to his knees. Finally, as he started to lose consciousness he glimpsed the dark wizards approaching him with evil intent in their eyes. He caught the words “Tiamat” and “sacrifice” before succumbing to the darkness.
While in Waterdeep and attending the Council, the party received a letter from a cultist named Iskander. The letter claimed that Iskander was in possession of the Blue Dragon Mask and wanted to turn the mask over to the party in exchange for their help in leaving the cult. Suspecting a trap, but unable to pass up the chance to recover another mask, the party set off for Xonthal’s Tower where Iskander claimed to be, along with other members of the cult.
The tower was over a century old. It’s enigmatic creator had long passed into legend. Somehow the Cult of the Dragon had claimed the tower and were using it as a base of operation.
The first obstacle to entering the tower was the magical hedge maze encircling it. The maze could not be bypassed by flying over it or cutting through it. It had to be successfully navigated which was no easy feat. The party faced a few challenges along the way but through strong arms and sharp minds, managed to make their way through the maze and into the tower.
Inside the tower, they found the only way to traverse its various floors was through the use of a teleport circle on each floor. Symbols on a nearby panel seemed keyed to the destinations and, when activated, teleported anyone on the circle to the associated location.
The party explored two floors with relative ease, just encountering and dispatching with a handful of cultists. However, the third floor proved to be quite different. It appeared to be a shrine rededicated for use by the cult in their worship of Tiamat. As soon as party appeared, Belros sprang from the circle toward the nearest group of cultists. He dispatched them easily. However, two Red Wizards of Thay quickly acted. The first magically paralyzed Belros with a “Hold Person” spell. The second used “Command” to command Agatar to activate the sundial symbol which teleported the rest of the party to the beginning of the hedge maze.
The remaining wizards and cultists quickly took down the paralyzed Belros while the rest of the party tried to make their way back to the tower as quickly as possible.