The party are cut off from chasing Khangweizhin, but know that the wall of fire won't last forever. They take what rest they can in the meantime. As the wall disperses, they venture into the castle depths, bidding their companions, Sailor-Eater, Cheeve and Zhekkt farewell.
The staircase seems to go on without end. The only sign that they are making progress is the trail of fresh blood from Khangweizhin's wounds. The staircase comes to a large archway in a wall and suddenly breaks away from it on the other side, stretching over a vast and perceivable chasm. Over their head, something shines in the torchlight. A colossal bronze serpent coils around the staircase, guiding it deeper towards the private sanctum of Yongmunguwan. The bronze serpent hums with power, occasionally discharging a cracking bolt of lightning every few moments.
The staircase ends after what seems like hours. The blood trail has long since stopped and the path has ended at a large stone door. Red-orange light and a tremendous hissing sound pour out of the cracked door. As the party approach, they feel a strong heat coming from a 15 foot glowing white wire stretched between the tongues of two bronze dragons. Just then, there is a violent crackling sound and the wire explodes into a shower of radiant sparks. Moments later, the door across the room slams shut. A crackle of electricity sparks across the tongue of the nearest dragon head, but the far one, closest to the closed door is quiet.
The door is to heavy to lift and the party search their bags for anything long enough to conduct the lightning between the dragon heads. Only a few pieces of Khangweizhin's wire survived so reatatching it is out of the question. The party briefly consider the idea of forming a human chain between the dragon heads, but reconsider soon afterwards. Kimchiwei formulates a plan, linking the dragon heads with a thin stream of compressed fog. The fog channels some of the lightning, glowing brighter than daylight, momentarilly forming a superheated plasma. The door lifts half way up, but only for a moment and closing just as the last of the party dive through it.The party find themselves in a large cavern with a river flowing through it. A nearby dock holds two boats, one old and waterlogged, looking as if it has barely maintained over centuries, the other is pristine, looking as if it was crafted recently and lavishly decorated with jade and gold leaf. Finellen's arcane sight, a skill she picked up to aid her in hunting arcanists, shows her the magical auras of each boat. The derelict boat has an aura of transmutation, while the opulent boat has an aura of illusion. Both boats seem real as the party test them, poking them and briefly stepping aboard. As they step aboard, they spy a body in the water, clearly one of the servants of old man Wei. They decide not to completely trust either boat, splitting themselves into groups of three and taking both.
They paddle as best they can while the passengers of the derelict boat are forced to continuously bail out water. Suddenly there is a slight ringing sound in the air and the opulent boat begins to disintigrate into a fine mist, depositing Hauri, Inkha and Yan into the dark, cold water. Jin Laughs at the soaked party members but his smile vanishes as Yan is yanked underwater by a massive black eel. Snapping jaws swipe at the other party members as well. Yan does not immediately resurface and Jin takes the initiative to dive in after him, showing more concern for Khangweizhin's son than the old man did. The eels are easily dispatched by a storm of blows from Hauri, Finellen and Irome.
The party pile into the derelict boat, which begins filling with water rapidly, Finellen shape shifts into a giant octopus, grabbing the boat and jetting to the end of the cavern while everyone desperately bails it out. The party leap from the boat to the ajacent dock and let out a smattering of laughter as the damage to the boat magically mends itself.
Soggy footprints lead across a lengthy bridge, the coiled bronze serpent follows to a small platform where the mouth opens to display a small light, a mirror, and an assortment of small devices such as combs, jars and knives. The door has been left open. A voice is heard through the doorway.
"Keep looking! There has to be something here! This is the dragon's private sanctum, there has to be gold somewhere. Whatever you do, just do not disturb the bones, our mistress will be here soon and these remains will make a powerful lich. Also, why is the floor so damn sticky!?"
The party sneak through the door and rush old man Wei who is standing alone in front of a colossal draconic skull. The cavern is pitch black, only the torches of he two surviving servants illuminate the ends of the unbelievably large skeleton of Yongmunguwan. Khangweizhin let's out a small shirek as the party rush him. Yan rushes past his father and clammors up the side of the dragons skull. Khangweizhin angrilly shouts at his son in draconic and Yan shouts back. Plort translates what he can.
"You stole the scroll! How dare you defy the whims of our mistress! What did it show you?"
"It showed me that you and your mistress will burn in hell with the rest of them for what you did to Kari!"
Yan dives into the eye socket of the gigantic skull followed closely by Kimchiwei. Inside the skull is a roughly 10x10 foot hollow and on a dias in the center is a fine leather sachel lined with fox fur. Kim is unable to stop Yan as he grabs the bag and snaps the latch open.
"If I can't live with my beloved Kari, then all will suffer as I do."
As Hauri finally cuts down the warlock Khangweizhin, the earth violently shakes and energy erupts from the eyes and cracks of the skull.