Deciding that discretion is the better part of valor, the party gathered the treasure and gnomes and left Elessarwa’s torture chamber.
Once out of the tunnel, the party parted ways with the gnomes. They return to the Dripstone Inn. Es Sarch is seated in his stone chair. As you approach he asks, “How fare you on the tasks I set you? Are they complete?”
When the party indicated that they had completed their tasks, Es Sarch clapped his emaciated hands and provided congratulations.
The information broker continued to speak, “You have more than my gratitude for completing the tasks I set you; I also have answers for you. First, I have discovered that Fadheela lairs in the Necromancer’s Spike, as unlikely a haven as I could have imagined. But our fair Fadheela possesses resources that extend beyond Pedestal. She found a way to bypass the zone of decay that surrounds the column’s entry. And now I know that way too.”
“To enter the Necromancer’s Spike, one of you must carry this token. It will save you from the destructive magic protecting the first room within. Take care, however, for the ring suppresses the deathly effects of that chamber for only a minute or so.”
At this point he handed a ring carved of obsidian on which a skull was inscribed.
“Unfortunately, undead decay in the chamber even if they carry the ring, so I have been unable to learn anything else of the Vanguard of Sertous other than that the group’s arrival is recent here in the Great Grotto. I suspect this mysterious faction has found a convenient entry point into the Underdark, somewhere within the Necromancer’s Spike. Fadheela, as an associate of the Assissin’s Guild of Pedestal, is a perfect agent.”
“House Dusklorn has claimed the Spike. You’ll face soldiers at its entryway but not within. Unlike you and, ostensibly, this Fadhella, they have no way to get past the magic that protects the first room.”
“If you gain entry and survive, I hope you return and tell me all you learn. I can make it worth your while.”
True to his word, Es Sarch paid the party 150 GP for the extra mushrooms delivered from Rikaryon’s Isle.