Chapter 18 - Ghost Of Madness

At the edge of the giant cavern, they found the tunnel through which they had entered. A short while later and they found the partially submerged temple that they had passed through before; the place where they had met the ghost that had tried to convince them to destroy Tlaloc's Tear. The ghost had manifested again, but it was not the only occupant of the temple.

"Irgzid!" Liame called out to the Troglodyte who had accompanied them to Golismorga.

"You mussst dessstroy the ssstone head," Irgzid pleaded, "Free the trapped ssspiritsss."

"That's not for us to do. It's Olman business," Viselys noted.

"Then free me, at least," the ghost requested - or maybe demanded.

Viselys was still uncertain that this spirit was what it claimed to be - a manifestation of all those who had died here since Tlaloc's Tear was deployed. Skeptically, he asked, "How?"

"Do you see that glyph inscribed on that stalactite in the middle of the ceiling? It is a magical symbol that keeps me bound to this room, put there by the kopru as some kind of perverse game."

"Something seem's fishy here," Saris whispered to Viselys.

Viselys nodded in agreement. He caught Urol's eye, then glanced up at the glyph in a silent question.

"It's an aboleth glyph of extension, but it's written upside-down," Urol whispered, "Maybe that inverts its purpose? If so, I can only guess that it would serve to … suppress? I don't know anything about ghosts, but I suppose it could be telling the truth; that this glyph is keeping it trapped here."

Viselys looked to Duxsil for his input. Duxsil just shrugged and said, "One way to find out," and he blasted the stalactite with a spell.

With the destruction of the glyph, everyone felt a mental pull trying to force them to take control of them. Most were able to fight it, but Saris turned and brutally attacked Urol. At this point, Irgzid charged the group, too. Liame took Irgzid out quickly with magic missiles. Viselys dove on Saris, pulling him off of Urol. Meanwhile, Duxsil took a moment to reevaluate the situation and had a realization - the 'spirit' was nothing of the kind; it was an illusion cast by ….

…an aboleth trapped in the room, now freed from the suppression magic of the glyph. He made his observations known to the others and they all turned their attentions on the now-revealed fish-like creature. It had apparently been counting on being able to dominate more of them and, with limited mobility, it was very vulnerable. They made surprisingly short work of the beast.

"Like shooting fish in a barrel," Duxsil joked.

They regrouped and continued the long trek back to the surface.

Continue to Chapter 19...

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