The Scions emerge partially victorious from their battle with the young red dragon and promptly decide to explore the remaining “wing” of the Tower of Saruun. Once again, the men all trudge back to the central chamber and enter the purple-colored portal. The portal lead to a cold and sinister place—to which the party has become increasingly familiar: a dimensional pocket which touched upon the Far Realm.
A dead-end passage way greets the party when they first step through the portal, only for a secret sliding wall to be discovered. Facing them where Flamwith and Golithar, fire and earth wizards, respectively, and Mages of Saruun both. Golithar grew the rock-like arms of a stone titan and used them to similar result. The mage allowed himself to be partially surrounded so could use his deadly Earth Shock power which knocked some of the Scions prone and left others dazed (and confused). Flamwith used fiery tendrils that grew out of his fingers to reach out for distant enemies. Although the mages were very powerful, astute strategy on the part of the Scions of Saruun won the day.
Golithar was the first of the two mages to die under the combined attacks of the party. Flamwith, sensing the inevitable, fled through a door to the north. Tangarth Saruun and Minoan gave pursuit. As about half of the Scions entered the chamber, they were treated to a dreadful sight—an eye tyrant. The aberration began speaking to the party in Deep Speech, offering parley.
Minoan became offended when asking the beholder’s name. The alien creature ignored him and tried to continue the negotiation.
When asked by the minotaur barbarian what he preferred to be called, the beholder replied, “You can call me Lord.” The next exchange exacerbated the problem.
“SPEAK YOUR NAME,FOR I HAVE TOLD YOU MINE!” Minoan bellowed.
“My name is…Master!” the eye tyrant retorted.
Immediately, the tension in the room grew as Minoan became more and more upset at the officiousness and pretension of the aberrant monster.
As Minoan grew bolder, so, too, did the beholder fill with a burning rage.
“YOUR BEASTLY FRIEND IS RUINING THIS PARLEY! REMOVE HIM FROM MY SIGHT, LEST I USE MY POWER TO SLAY YOU ALL!!”
Benn Slouthestryder glanced nervously at Onyx Soulcave. It appeared to them that their minotaur friend (and fervent follower of Torog) had allowed proper sense to elude him. Tangarth regarded the situation cooly—betraying not a single emotion.
The continued bickering caused the beholder to reach his breaking point, attacking Minoan with a bite, then some kind of dominating ray from his eyestalks.
“Stay your weapons! Your friend’s insolence can be tolerated no longer! I wish to continue the parley. I ask that you subdue your friend and remove him from my sight!” the Beholder bellowed.
Benn immediately lashed out at the proud minotaur, but missed! Before anyone could act next, the dominating ray struck the minotaur immediately fled from the room. Tangarth, who had commanded his Bronze Warder to attack the tyrant appeared to be calmed by the disappearance of the bloodthirsty zealot.
“You may speak your terms, then.” Tangarth offered.
The beholder explained that the Great One, whose lair lay in the door leading from his chamber, cast a power spell called a geas on him. This geas bound the monster to forever guard the Great One’s private sanctum. All the beholder needed was a party to slay him, thereby ending the geas and allowing the creature to escape. In exchange for slaying the Great One, the beholder promised to leave the party and allow them to rest and pass through his lair—unmolested. In addition, the monster imparted knowledge of the Great One to the heroes: the Great One was actually a being composed of the original three wizards who rediscovered the Thunderspire Labyrinth and the Seven Pillared Hall. The Mages of Saruun had discovered the secrets of the Bronze Warders and the amulets used to control them. The greedy wizards saw an opportunity to both promote trade with Underdark races and increase their coffers by setting up the highly-controlled outpost in the Seven-Pillared Hall.
As the wizards conacted and dealt with increasingly diverse races of cultures of Underdark denizens, their magical power increased greatly. Some even delved too deep—becoming lost, being captured by hostile, alien creatures and cultures. It was some of this ancient, forbidden knowledge that allowed the founders to transcend natural death and live in a state mirroring undeath. To that end, a phylactery was built and stored somehwere in the drow city of Erelhei-Cinlue to protect the Mages of Saruun from their enemies in closer proximity to Thunderspire Mountain.
The Scions agreed and then returned to the entry chamber for a much needed rest. Minoan returned from beyond the portal, anger at Benn still fresh on his mind.
The next day, the party followed labyrinthine passages and finally ended up in a large chamber. In this large chamber, a withered and twisted looking humanoid held court for several foulspawn beserkers. This was the so-called Great One. Also of note, a small orb where the very air itself appeared to be bunched and compressed marked an area of instability in the fabric of reality, itself.
Minoan was the first one to trigger the hazard—which exploded when he go close, dealing significant damage to the minotaur barbarian. The Great One launched terrifyingly powerful attacks that utilized the warped energy of the Far Realm to inflict damage and confusion on the Scions.
The Foulspawn beserkers charged the party and, in short order, defeated. The Great One fought alone and although he kept dealing blow after blow to the party, it was a battle of attrition. Upon being bloodied, the spirit of the Great One fled the corporeal form of the leader of the Mages of Saruun, undoubtedly on it’s way to the Great One’s phylactery somewhere inside Erelhei-Cinlu, the city of the drow.