Spoiler alert: if you plan to play The Evils of Illmire, don’t read this!
Now that the give remaining Fishmen have fled (even if only briefly, who knows?) the party weigh up their options. All but Evalore the magic- user are battered, one more blow will kill them and they are barely able to walk. There is hesitation as the options are weighed up: flee the underwater grottoes and risk being attacked, try to rest (not very likely here as they are all cold and wet) or explore the remaining cavern and see if there is anything that will swing things in their favour.
Evalore takes matters into his own hands and explores ahead finding the final cavern. A room with seven stones, each with a symbol from the tablet found earlier. Five of the stones are on the walls, one on the floor and one on the ceiling. The magic-user presses the stone that matches the first symbol on the tablet… a loud booming note is heard. After fetching the rest of the party, he presses the stones in sequence from the tablet with each sounding a different note. Eleven notes in the whole grotto shakes and the water they climbed out of to reach the cavern explodes as though from some great pressure on the other side. Evalore presses on with determination until the full sequence of 14 notes have been played and a panel opens in the back of the room revealing a further pearl, this one yellow.
Returning to the chamber with the two altars (each with a divot in the centre), there is a great debate over how to mix the light from the pearls. Purple is really bad, and there is a suspicion that one of the other two combos will be bad, but there is only one way to find out. The blue and yellow pearls are dropped into the divots and the rune on the wall is illuminated in green light. Then a gas starts to pour out of concealed pipes in the walls; the party all suffer, and Gravik comes close to death, but the stout dwarf manages to cling on.
Hoping the final combination of the red and yellow pearl will reveal something useful, Evalore places the pearls and is startled as a panel quickly opens with flame pouring out; but it it brief and causes no harm, and beyond lies a stunning amulet of a trilobite set onto a gold plate hung from a gold necklace. Without hesitation Evalore takes and wears the amulet but there is no obvious effect.
Now all options are exhausted the party decide they have to leave the grottoes. At the entrance they encounter the five Fishmen, but with Evalore displaying the amulet the strange beasts just stand and stare, and move to follow when the party head away. Above is a great dark shape blocking out much of the daylight, perhaps a couple of 100 feet long, but it seems to have no interest is such small morsels on the lake bed.
The party finally fall on the floor, in desperate need of rest. It seems the Fishmen were following them out of the lake, but instead five people, three women and two men, stumble from the lake, naked and confused. Their language is alien, but they are able to gesture that a powerful being in a nearby tower turned them into Fishmen. In a stunned silence the PCs realise their joyous slaughter of Fishmen was murder of these cursed folk; Gravik asks “are we the bad guys?”. With that the strange folk wander off and our adventurers decide to head back to Gribblet Village, home of the Froglings.
After some assistance to reach the tree houses the party are allowed to rest and recuperate; this is very much needed. Rubi-groak is amazed by their story and once more asks if they have thought of visiting Yorivar the Druid in the Webbed Hollows (south east of their current location). Once healed the party consider this while travelling around the Misty Lake to the Logger Camp to speak to Rigdorf, for they have dealt with the Fishmen as he asked. Rigdorf is a man of honour and keeps to his side of the bargain, promising 12 lumber jacks to help with their problem in Illmire; he warns though, that these women and men are not warriors, and says that no innocents should be killed. If the people of Illmire have had their minds poisoned by a cult it is not their fault. Knowing his people are now safe from the Fishmen threat, a problem for that has plagued them for decades, he hands his axe to Anistor and walks away from the clearing. As he does so Rigdorf’s body start to turn to dust and is blown away on the wind; at least now he is free of this curse and blessing of an unnatural life span.
Determining now to seek the aid of Yorivar before tackling the problem at Illmire the adventurers head back to Gribblet Village to plan for their expedition to the Webbed Hollows.