Having tried and failed to find a different route into the heart of the Talos citadel, the Augment Scouting TURF Reserve Operations team decided to continue scouting the dangerous underground entrance. I had stumbled on this route awhile back with a different group but it remains largely unexplored.
Other than spying new (or previously unnoticed) tower along the trail, the trek in was uneventful. We found our marker: a large cog near the edge of the ravine. Over the edge and roughly fifty feet down is the remains of a loading dock where supplies were probably hoisted up by crane. The cliff face is climbable, but we opted for the safety of a rope.
Below, the loading dock leads to a large cavern containing the subterranean entrance to the Talos Citadel. We rested outside this beautiful bit of dwarven architecture before venturing forth. The first feature you’ll see if you follow in our footsteps is a pit of lava crossed by several mine cart tracks. Previous scouts have reported encountering wyverns in this area, but it was blessedly empty for us… save for a hidden pseudodragon that Panzer spotted. It was clinging to the underside of the trestles. The two spoke telepathically for a bit before we proceeded. The path through this area is a descending clockwise spiral. When you enter from the West, your exit will be near the south east corner.
Down, down we went… into the belly of the beast. After another quarter mile of twisting tunnels, the cavern opened up into a vast cathedral like space. The flooring looked like neglected tile and the walls lay beyond the reach of our torches. From the inky darkness stepped a pair of drow women. Panzer was ahead of our main force and the drow silently beckoned to him. As the party shouted warnings and Panzer’s attention waivered, the duo transformed. Hideous warped forms now flanked our infernal wizard and violence erupted.
With ever staccato beat of my heart, another monster leapt out at us. Many-limbed caricatures of life surrounded Vahn and I. Naal, Oogway, and Panzer were tied up with the web-spitting not-drow. Chemist and his army of skeletons provided fire support where needed as the battle shifted this way and that.
I wasn’t worried… until: from the darkness walked a huge satyr-like form. It pointed at Naal and the fighter winked out of existence. We were each already engaged with at least two other denizens and the Satry-beast waded through the chaos, unafraid. I quickly lost sight of Panzer as he sunk below the fray. Oogway was left very alone at the front. Chemist and his army were working to keep our line of retreat open. And Vahn and I held the center, but not for long.
Satry-beast reached us. He bellowed up into the void. Vahn and I stood stunned by the awesome display. Something hit me and the darkness closed in from all sides.
I was out.
Suddenly and comfortably numb.
Panzer’s voice called me back.
I woke into my nightmare. I crawled to Vahn and grabbed his foot, casting dimension door and getting us away. I looked up and saw our hellish wizard.
With us out of the center, the enemy was now surrounded. Slowly the tide turned back in our favor. Conveniently, Naal reappeared and he was still relatively fresh. The rest of us were quite bloody. Oogway still held the front but with Naal’s help, the front soon became the old center. As if he’d been waiting for this exact scenario, Chemist began unleashing his best magics. Giant waves of water crashed against Satyr-beast from out of thin air and dropped the creature. Our frontline flanked it and began hacking away. Chemist’s army took aim and let loose volley after volley. The rest of us cheered from the sidelines.
We mopped up the remaining monsters, stole a horn from Satyr-beast, and beat feet out of there. The darkness had begun to stir again and we were in no shape to see what it held for us. Though, during a short breather in our tactical withdrawal, Chemist was able to send an arcane eye back to check it out.
The Satyr-beast hadn’t been alone, and his brethren were breeding both cockatrice and basilisks.