Exploring the rest of the cave, the companions soon found themselves in a large chamber dominated on one end by a churning pool of water that led out to the sea. The chamber was filled with more of the mysterious statues. Near the pool, another altar to Dagon had been constructed from stone. Three demonic looking sea creatures moved to attack and a large multi-tentacled creature rose from the surface, apparently the source of the strange calls that had driven many to their deaths.
The party soon defeated the creatures, including the aspect of Dagon. Out to sea a cry of rage and fury could be heard but soon faded to nothingness.
The group investigated the cavern and found a cache of treasure under the altar. Included in the treasure was a strange wooden box lined with black velvet. In the box was a twelve sided, copper colored, metal dodecahedron about the size of a human head. Immeral lifted the artifact out of the box and immediately long metallic tentacles formed out of the object and implanted into the sides of the wizard’s head. Immeral’s mouth and eyes glowed with arcane magic and an image was projected into the air of a floating skull with gems in its eye sockets. The projection identified itself as the demi-lich Acererak.
Acererak explained that the Dodecahedron was now tuned to the companions and that they would be randomly imprisoned in the device or set free entirely at the whims of the evil demi-lich. What his true purpose was, the group could not ascertain but it was quite clear that Acererak was completely mad.
The party left the cave and returned to town. There, they found that the citizens had set fire to the town and then drowned themselves in the sea. They also noticed a black decrepit looking ship sailing into the harbor.
The merchants met with the party, each with an offer to entice the party to travel with them. Terza Goldleaf offered them employment with the Goldleaf Consortium. She claimed that the Consortium paid very well and had extra-planar connections. Mathias Creel offered to take the party to Diyun, The Hanging City. He claimed that his organization specialized in researching powerful wizards.
Meanwhile Balasar went down to the docks to investigate the ship. He found that the lines and sails appeared to be worked by invisible hands. The only crew to be found was a large minotaur in sailing garb. As Balasar approached the minotaur seemed to know him and called him by name. He told Balasar that they would set sail in an hour and to get his gear stowed aboard. Seeing Balasar’s confusion, the minotaur introduced himself as Morribael and explained that he was getting his timelines messed up. He offers them a job as the ship’s acquisition specialists. He says that their responsibility would be to recover powerful artifacts for the ship’s captain, Graz Vorkane. Their payment would be permission to keep whatever other treasures they might recover on their journeys.
Discussing their options, the party decided to sign up with Morribael and soon boarded the black ship, Wraithwind. Once underway, Morribael explained that the ship was actually capable of sailing between planes by sailing along the Astral Sea. The ship transformed into a beautiful vessel as the sea faded away into blackness and stars.