We see the party is still inside the temple of Glasia. The Priestess Shaerine, a beautiful woman in chains and a shackled collar around her scarred neck, agrees to show the party a way through the temple. She is intrigued by Matthias’ “theory” that the Horned Society is a farce of old men. Shaerine leads the party into a larger courtyard filled with dead bodies on the ground & reminisces about what the city of Molag used to be. Xilphiir feels a strange and intense sensation on her thigh, she looks down thinking that she has been bitten. She gasps audibly.
She blinks and sees a ceiling of spider webs. She is on her back, arms stretched out across plump pillows. A form snuggles into her shoulder. The seductive, feminine, voice of this form sounds content. Xilphiir isn’t able to make out the face of the woman yet, but sees her long hair. Xilphiir tempts her to wake up so that they may continue their activities, and goes to get a glass of wine for her bedmate. She sees there is a massive spider at rest in the doorway and the woman suggests that it join them in their play. Xilphiir pours a generous amount of wine for each of them, and the woman sits up, revealing her legendarily beautiful face. It is Eclavdra. She pulls Xil in for a kiss.
Mavari asks Xil if she is okay. Xil admits that she feels out of it, that this place has been giving her strange memories. Shaerine brings the group into another chamber. She admits that she has not used these entrances before, that they were shown to her by her predecessor, who had a complicated and special relationship with one of the Hierarchs and used the rooms for secrecy. She says that she needs a blood sacrifice to open the door. Krisztian volunteers the back of his hand. A spiral staircase materializes. Krisztian is suddenly enamored with the Priestess and follows by her side. Mavari whispers for us to shove her over and then motions to Portenta, one of the three winged women contracted to Matthias now, and tells her to move along. Portenta walks over to Mavari and Xilphiir and asks about the nature of Mavari’s relationship with her new master (Matthias). She appears to be jealous and attempts to make small threats at Mavari, who is absolutely unphased. We make our way down the stairs.
—– ** Mavari memory **—–
She is in the cargo hold with her drunken father. They argue over who actually runs the ship. She suddenly asks him what deals he has made and with who. He is reluctant to answer. He says that she doesn’t need to disrupt his business, that she could set things into motion she would never understand that would bring harm upon the family. Mavari refuses to accept this answer. He points towards a small back box amidst the rest of the cargo. Mavari asks what is inside. He replies that it’s what happens when his children fail to respect his orders. She opens the box and the disgusting aroma of decayed flesh greets her first. It takes her a moment, but she soon realizes it is a rotten piece of male anatomy. Her father says it is her brother’s, and that it was sent back to them after he disrupted business relationships that had been in place for years. She is angered at her father. She leaves him to be alone in his own bile and filth.
Xilphiir nearly bumps into Mavari on the stairs. She notices that Mavari is deep in thought and asks if she is alright. Mavari says that she wants to get out of this place as soon as possible. Xilphiir takes her hand, and directs her down the stairs quickly. Krisztian finds a trap door and opens it gently. He enters a tiny room, and aids Shaerine inside. The three bat-winged woman flutter into the room. The rest of the party squeezes in. Kristian opens a door in this room and sees a number of curiosities. He sees a stained bed that has been stripped bare, bugs and snakes writhing and burrowing into the mattress. He sees a book and reads through it quickly. He asks if the name Troica means anything to anyone. The Priestess says that Troica is a skilled captain of the guard and is surprised to find out that there was a relationship between Troica someone listed as “13.” She lets on that 13 must be the number of a person, and that it is a coincidence that there are precisely 13 hierarchs. Krisztian approaches a door.
—- *Krisztian memory*—–
He looks down at a blank book in his hands. An old man sitting across from him says that his son’s handiwork is advanced for his age and that they are prepared to aid the boy and guide him indefinitely if Krisztian is able to perform a favor. The old man says that the library has arcane pursuits beyond knowledge and that they have suppliers who have long benefited from them but have been too inquisitive. He’d like Krisztian to keep a close eye on them. He is to meet a certain Captain, appear to be there to assist her, and take action if the Captain does anything the Library would find questionable.
Krisztian opens the latch to the door. The group makes their way into a larger room. The Priestess exclaims that she knows where she is, that there is a staircase that they need to get to quickly because the room is dangerous. The sounds of combat come closer and the doors on the far side of the room shatter open, revealing three massive creatures. The creatures say that they have come to feed. Matthias tries to reason with them as Krisztian, Xil, and Mavari try to run up the stairs away from them. Krisztian sees a large and bright gate or portal. The creatures move past Matthias and rush up the stairs, badly injuring Xilphiir and Mavari. Mavari hands Xilphiir, who is bleeding out onto the stairs, a healing draught. Three more creatures enter into the main room. Krisztian calls out to the first three creatures, throws his ring at Matthias, and jumps into the gate. Matthias, Xilphiir, Mavari, the Priestess and the 3 winged women rush into the room and Mavari calls out that she has found the secret entrance. They get inside a very tiny room and begin to worry about what has happened to Krisztian. Matthias puts on Krisztian ring and tries to locate him. Shaerine says that Krisztian is probably in Hell now. Mavari is upset and shoots at one of the winged women, who easily avoid the shot. The party makes their way down the staircase and into a shallow cave.
—– *Matthias memory*—-
He is standing in front of a grave, flowers in hand. He places them on a mound of earth. Crying, he speaks to his mother. He apologizes to her, tells her that he is alone, that his father has gotten more cruel. He weeps and continues to apologize. He feels what seems to be her hand grab and squeeze his own hand. A bulge within the mound appears to rise. He sees a tuft of white hair atop a skull, and eventually sees a warped image of his mother. Her cold lips kiss him and she says that she loves him. He hears another voice behind him, which seems to be his Angel, as it reaches around his middle and hugs him close as well.
Matthias feels fingers slide over his shoulders, kneading. Mavari agrilly shoots a crossbow bolt at her. The Priestess, Shaerine, reminds Matthias that we are all working together now out of necessity.