As the party debated on the best course of action, Darius took to the air with the aid of a Fly spell, pursuing the man in the rowboat, while Tomokk commandeered a leaky dinghy to go after the man by sea. Darius attempted to stay hidden from the man, but was foiled when his shadow drifted across the man’s boat, who then immediately turned his boat around and began heading back to shore. Darius descended to attack the man with a Magic Missile, but was instead greeted with a quick Fireball from the robed man – angered, Darius responded with a Fireball of his own, obliterating the man and his rowboat completely.
Darius fished a few pieces of the dead mage out of the water, then returned to shore to cast his Create Treasure Map spell, which indicated two locations of known valuables – the island he had been heading towards, and a location not far away in the city of Lutus. The party decided to investigate the land-bound location first, arriving at a mostly-collapsed tower. Darius and Kael worked together to defeat the Arcane Lock on the door, and entered to find a mostly empty room in great disrepair. Fortunately, Kael found a secret door which led into a small dungeon beneath the tower. Surviving multiple traps, the party eventually arrived at a long L-shaped hallway covered with enchanted mirrors which blinded people who looked into them – Hazerath tried to cross the room blindfolded, but was nearly killed by a dangerous pit-trap specifically designed to counter typical dungeon-crawling safety measures. Reasoning that the entire hallway must be trapped to kill blindfolded intruders, Darius tried to fly across the room with Shadow Killerson McDeath on his back while averting his eyes from the mirrors, but happened to glance at one accidentally and was blinded by magical force. Crashing into the wall at the midpoint of the hall, Darius commanded “Shadow” to run down the hallway blind to reach the lever to turn off the traps. Although he was nearly killed by the dangerous devices, the young assassin managed to survive, deactivating the traps and allowing the party to reach the end of the hall.
Hazerath, not possessing any spells to cure Darius’s blindness, suggested the party forge ahead, opening the heavily trapped door after Kael and “Shadow” had disarmed it. Inside, the party saw a wizard’s laboratory, as well as a guardian gorgon. Although they inflicted heavy damage upon it in the opening round, the gorgon survived long enough to breathe its petrifying gas upon the party, turning Darius, Hazerath, and Droverson to stone.
After defeating the monster, Kael and “Shadow” searched the room, locating many magic items as well as a Bag of Holding. Placing the petrified members in the bag, the three remaining party members began a long journey on foot back to Primus, hoping to find magical aid for their stricken companions. Fighting off more giant snakes and surviving another snow flurry, the party made their way south – however, Kael repeatedly caught glimpses of someone or something following them throughout the journey. After fleeing from several centipede swarms, the party returned to Primus and enlisted the help of Julius Jackalseye and Tarterus Jones to free the afflicted members from their stony paralysis. Hazerath was also able to cure Darius’s blindness as well.
Taking a few days in the city to recuperate, Tomokk and Hazerath searched for more information on Taxx Murgen, while Darius discovered that another massive tidal wave had destroyed Lutus and severely damaged Deck not long after the party had left – implying that whatever had been occurring on the island, the party had failed to stop it. Meanwhile, ""Shadow" disappeared for several days, and Droverson consulted with Tarterus Jones to learn several important clues about the real dangers threatening Sor’drim. The lights of the candles in The College of the Arcane Order were guttering as Droverson pored over moldering tomes, with critical clues mysteriously missing from their pages…