Kalith communicates with the Salamander, learns it is weak and hungry and begins dragging the corpse of Grindyr Modrith towards the cell. Kathos grabs Grindyr’s axe and lops off the arm. Kalith feeds it to the salamander. Convinced of its loving nature, Kalith and Helga attempt to release it by breaking the flimsy lock. Before they are able to succeed, Kathos hacks off Grindyr’s other arm and attempts to feed it to the slaad. The slaad bites Kathos’ arm and impregnates her with an egg. Helga stops trying to open the lock and tends to her wounds and miraculously discovers and “takes care of” the slaad egg. While the party is distracted by the disgusting topic, Helga breaks the lock of the slaad’s cell before anyone can stop her. WIsteria and Kathos are able to keep the cell door closed despite Helga’s best efforts to help the slaad open it. Carric Nailo jams his dagger into the latch to lock the cell door once more. Kalith continues his conversation with the salamander and nearly releases it once again before realizing that it is lying and just wants to eat chosen one meat. After much hijinks and near misses, the party decides to leave the creatures be and continue on through the underground tunnels.
The rest of day 1 passes uneventfully, until that evening during first watch, a single lizardwoman wanders into the party’s camp. Kalith and Wisteria learn more of Morkandus and decide to allow her to continue and leave.
Day 2 passes uneventfully until nearing nightfall, the party comes to Morkandus’ lair.
Near the chasm, the party discovers Grindyr Modrith’s companion Tallia lying on the ground chained in place. Kalith telepathically communicates with her and learns that she is one of the Faithful. After telling her she deserves a slow painful death, Tallia attempts to convince the party to help her because she can get them through the cavern without alerting Morkandus. The party lies and tells her they will go along with her plan, but are actually just going to let her die.
The party attempts to pass through the cavern quietly while Helga stomps loudly in her armor drawing the attention of Morkandus.
Morkandus is obsessed with a crystal which shines a reddish purple glow. He seems addicted and slightly mad. He accuses the party of trying to steal it. Morkandus offers to allow the party to leave without a fight, but back the way they came. The party convinces Morkandus that they have no interest in his alddam. The party barters MINA’s body and the promise to return with crystals for safe passage.
The party is able to learn a few facts about alddam:
Helga recalls reading an entry from Dr. Northran Bridgewater’s library that the wyrms of the Deadlands somehow form the crystals in their digestive tract
Wisteria recalls one of her instructors describe something similar to alddam being used by primitive culture as a hallucinogenic
While Morkandus is showing the party his piece of alddam, Kathos is able to identify that the magical signature of the crystals is somehow similar or related to the signature of the party’s Ayr’Dwin weapons
After exiting the cavern, some of the party have reservations of allowing Morkandus to live, but are narrowly outvoted 5 to 4 to deal with him upon their return.
The party finally arrives at the deadlands and spend the first two days slogging through the silt covered lands without incident. The night of the second day, a large wyrm sneaks into the building where the party is sleeping and emerges from the ground while Kathos and Mordin are blissfully ignorant outside. The wyrm attacks and swallows Kalith. Arms of Kadar reach out from the wyrm and assault Nalia and Wisteria. The party makes short work of the wyrm, but learn that the wyrms have some sort of immunity to magic and can in some cases reflect it back towards the caster.
After several days of difficult travel, the party begins to slow down due to exhaustion. On the morning of the fourth day, the party sites a silt cloud in the distance with humanoid figures above it and wyrms in front of it. As it nears, the party sees Mer’Kesh warriors riding large centipedes herding the waste larvae. At the last minute, the Mer’Kesh see the party and attempt to divert the worms to the best of their ability. The party diverts or destroys a large swath of the larvae, but Kathos is attacked and overrun. The larvae drop her and leech three spell slots from her.
The lead Mer’Kesh introduces herself as Shesha of the Pohak-Ti tribe. She wields dual Kukris crisscrossed on her back with the hilts pointing downward. Through this interaction, the party discovers the existence of the Zahiran empire. The party accepts Shesha’s invitation to return to the Pohak-Ti encampment beyond the western edge of the wastes in the Wilds of Nathair.
Upon arriving to the encampment, the party meets with Kymara, leader and shaman to the Pohak-Ti. After exchanging information, the party retires for the day and promise to meet with Kymara again tomorrow.