Artur rejoined the party--now secure in the knowledge that no cultists lurked in the complex. Thus reunited the party decided to explore the narrow natural passageway at the northern end of the processional.
Of course, plans went awry when Silvertongue spotted bunkbeds down one of the other corridors. The party shifted westwards and found (and then looted) a dormitory of sorts. Some minor treasures--including various odious objects--were recovered.
Having searched one room, the party then decided to head further west to explore what lay beyond the intriguing chain curtains warding two other narrow passages. Bursting through both at the same time, the heroes discovered a sumptuous bed chamber. A double bed and two chests stood against the far wall. Both chests were locked, and seemed safe to open. Luther failed to pick the lock of the first chest. Moving onto the second trap, the intrepid ranger set off a devastating fire trap. A massive explosion filled the room--badly injuring Colzo, Luther and Artur, and setting the bed on fire. While Colzo doused the flames Artur gave what little healing he had left to his fellows. Hell'en rushed to assist her friends and used the last of her healing magic on the singed warriors.
Things seemed grim, but treasure clearly lay at hand. Horsa used his last two powerful spells to open both chests. Gold and silver coins filled one while the other contained three foul items: a silver skull, a serrated sacrificial blade and a black book--the Tomb of the Sibilant Terror.
Now, however, the party needed to rest. They retraced their steps with the plan of resting in the secret cellar before confronting the remaining cultists. Artur, however, became worried the cultists would discover the characters' actions and flee. Thus, the party immediately set out to arrest the butcher and his accomplices. Hell'en and Luther stayed behind in the cellar to block the cultists' subterranean escape while the balance of the party advanced on the shop.
Getting to the shop, the heroes suddenly remembered the two apprentices selling meat outside and Luther's suspicions they were lookouts. As one of the innocent apprentices/cultists turned to enter the shop Colzo shouted, "Stop" and then killed him with a magic missile before knocking the other unconscious with the flat of his blade. As the many bystanders started screaming and fleeing, the party barged into the shop. Artur hurled his axe at Kaleva, badly injuring him. In return the butcher called on powerful magic to fill the shop with a swirling cloud of insubstantial skulls. The ghostly skulls bit and worried at Artur, Horsa and an innocent bystander in the wrong place at the wrong time. The bystander collapsed, her body literally ripped apart. Artur--grievously wounded from his struggle in the dark fane--also fell. Moment later, Dennan burst into the shop and rushed headlong into the skull cloud. The skulls bit and tore at him and--more importantly--slowed him down. As the young barbarian leapt onto the shop's countertop, things once again seemed grim...