The Heroes climbed down the blood-soaked chains into the chamber below, and descended into a nightmare. Crimson streams spilled from above and form a shallow pool of blood in the center of the chamber.
A yawning, black portal dominated the northern wall of the chamber, and something strained against the darkness within, as if it were a thin film keeping back a vicious clawed beast. A circle of blazing runes had been inscribed on the floor before the portal.
Opposite the portal, a massive statue of Orcus stood, pointing toward the darkness with a skull-capped wand. To the east, steps rose to a platform where a pit was flanked by two smaller statues of Orcus. To the west, another set of steps ascended to a 10-foot-high ledge supporting an altar of bone and several wide pillars. A human wearing a horned helm and carrying a skull-capped rod stood behind the altar. His eyes were closed, and a book rested open before him. He chanted a low, droning prayer. It was Kalarel.
As soon as Kalarel noticed the heroes, he told them that they were too late, and several skeletons as well as a wight descended on the party. They had some difficulty with Kalarel at first, and the wight and skeletons wounded both Merrick and Zakhar. Aramil, however, teamed up with Malkyr, and both wounded the wight, as did Niall, who bloodied it as Theron and the rest dealt with the skeletons. Eventually, Aramil destroyed the wight, and the heroes attacks began wearing down Kalarel. It was then, though, that he teleported next to the portal, which was slowly drawing the Heroes closer in attempt to drag them into the Shadowfell. Although the party was not then able to stop the ritual, eventually Theron slew Kalarel, wielding Aegis-Fang. As Kalarel lay dying, his body was consumed by the portal, and he was dragged screaming into the Shadowfell as an ram-skull image slowly appeared and then dissipated into the portal. With a bit more time, now that Kalarel was slain, the Heroes ended the ritual and sealed the rift.
The parties also found a note from Chief Krand of the Bloodreavers to Kalarel.
XP: 1,354 (Kalarel 700, Thing in the Portal 175, Wight 175, Skeletons 304) — 226xp each.
Treasure: +2 Elven Cloak, Horned Helm (worth 1,800 gp), +2 Magic Dagger, 981 gp.