As they passed the threshold into Onthorirfel’s stronghold, a wave of sickness passed over the heroes. Blightful energy suffused them utterly, paling their skin and lowering their bodies’ ability to stave off necrotic magics. Saint Komè’s blessings and Jett the Incinerator’s mask shielded them from the effect to an extent, but it was clear to the group that undead foes would have a serious advantage against them here.
Even so, there was nothing for them to do but press their luck by moving onward. As they came to the end of a short hallway, a door opened up into a mid-sized chamber strewn with pits, the roof extending some thirty feet above their heads. A huge chain golem awaited them, restlessly snapping its lash-like appendages back and forth. With it were two man-shaped clouds of grey smoke that Blank the Many identified as ritual-born killers, likely created by the lich himself using rare magical processes.
Jett laid into the golem, but its long reach made it nearly impossible for him to keep it from striking his friends. Ionen, Io Reborn was soon cast into a pit by a mighty sweep of the golem’s arms. The ritual-born, sensing the swordmage’s distraction, circled around him and made a beeline for Blank.
While Komè tried to remedy the situation, a flaming skull ascended from a pit at the far side of the room and immediately began lighting up the darkness with storms of flame and glowing yellow rays of heat. Sir Erdanen, brandishing the Sword of Kas, called down spells of baleful light and eldritch power, intent on slaying it before any other foe.
With a gust of desert wind, Ionen rose up to rejoin the battle, though not from the same pit he’d fallen into (he’d found a system of tunnels that connected them). From his new position near the ceiling, he cast storms of elemental power down upon his melee-oriented opponents. With Blank’s helpful telekinetic repositioning and the support of the others, the guardians soon shattered under the powerful onslaught.
The battle was won, but it had frustrated Jett. He was tired of risking his life to defend a cleric who never actually fought anything, and openly questioned the kalashtar’s worth to the party. Finding his normal assurances rebuffed, Komè did something unexpectedly drastic: he invited Jett and the others to continue without him. At first, the others were flabbergasted; how could he simply quit after coming this far with them? But the saint explained that he was merely trying to prove a point – and that he would rejoin them after the next battle. Jett suddenly loathed the idea of leaving the most skilled healer behind, but was unable to articulate his thoughts to win the argument. In the end, his temper mastered him – he screamed in frustration, defaced one of the walls with his weapon, and stomped to the next room.