Returning once more to the base of Mount Bubi driven by Ser Marcel‘s and Gabriel’s zeal to rescue the children come what may, and against the wise council of Thorne, the party once more began the trek back to the dread Chogma Temple.
Upon returning to the mount, the first indication of something strange was that the troll’s body expected to have been thrown to the base was no where to be found. Once back into the complex of worked tunnels, a transformed Chogma priest attacked the party and was quickly put down by the righteousness of Ser Marcel’s quest. Regaining entrance to the Temple itself met no resistance, and it appeared some huge insect had been rampaging about and slaying many giant ants.
Descending the shaft the party was lead to by Azholt‘s final interrogation with the aid of Olis’s climbing prowess, the party found the way directly to the heart of the Chogma ritual chamber guarded only by a monstrous yellow spider. Their ritual had been begun with only the five missing children, having used some work of blasphemous magic to warp the three remaining ratmen into some grotesque simulacrum of human children.
With the timely aid of St Luljeta, and the martial prowess of Ser Marcel’s men, four of the children were freed and fled before the final step of the ritual was complete. Sadly one village child was sacrificed along with two of the transformed ratfolk. With the escape path blocked by the great gold spider, Ser Marcel’s men were forced to fight a pitch battle with little hope of escape. The fell powers of Byakulose easily shook off Gretta‘s and Thorne’s attempt to subdue her will, and the ritual was still successful in opening a portal to some hell-spawn plane.
As providence would have it, the ritual was not done properly and the efforts of Ser Marcel’s men had done it’s damage. Instead of bringing Black Chogga to the aid of the Chomga, the enraged god merely crushed the gold spider and the high priestess of the Chogma before withdrawing back through the portal.
The weary but victorious company escorted the four rescued children back to Winnownog after determining the portal was likely to fade in time, and recovering what remained of the defeated Chogma’s belongings.