With little trouble, the party made it to the ruins that they suspected represented the dungeon of the Fire Opal. They were wary of the numerous slim statues outside in the clearing, but they didn’t react at all. Through some crumbled and broken walls, they looked into the building and saw more statues of common and everyday day people. Lyaevel notices someone walking around and sneaks in through one of the openings and notices a figure with horns and a tail walking around. Lyaevel calls out for them to identify themselves, which they do as Xune. She says that she is looking for a hag and she’d been sent there by someone she trusted. She asked the same of Lyaevel and he explained that they were investigating rumors that cultists of Orcus were there.
Hearing a scream, everybody inside rushes out to find that Hellion had been grabbed by three of the now-animated statues and turned to stone himself. The statues then turned their attention to the party members coming out of the temple and attacked. In the middle of a fight a swarm of lizards abruptly appeared and began to fight alongside the party, tearing apart one of the statues. Xune blasts a statue to pieces and then Lyaevel calls forth argent rain of Bahamut and melts several more. Graven attempts to blast several more apart, but his attack failed to make a sufficient impact to destroy the statues he was aiming for. The statues clumsily tried to strike back and grab Jarveth, but the party steadily destroyed statue after statue with little difficulty.
Battle completed, they examine the statue of Hellion and determine that only magical intervention will restore him to normal. The swarm of lizards, reassembled into a Wilden named Hemlock, suggested that he might be able to perform a ritual that could serve that purpose. He and Lyaevel went off into the surrounding woods to gather materials as Graven, Jarveth, and Xune returned inside to investigate the ruins further.
Xune notices that the statues inside, all seeming to be monks of some sort, can swivel at the base. With some experimentation, they turn two of the statues around and eventually reveal a secret passage, a dark pit in the center of the temple. The air smells stale and old and a ladder leads down into the pit. Those remaining at the temple decide to wait for Lyaevel and Hemlock, who are still searching for the herbs, leaves, and other materials Hemlock is searching for.
Hemlock creates his salve and applies it to Hellion, returning him back to normal. Shocked and shaken by the experience of being a living statue, able to see and hear around him but unable to move, Hellion flees the scene and leaves the party to their fate. The party presses onward, descending into the secret passage and finding an antechamber with two doors, one each to the east and west. Upon opening the eastern door, they found several corpses. To their surprise they were gnoll corpses and Graven determined that they were at least several weeks old. At which point the gnolls stirred themselves and moved to the attack…