The party has now reached Mountainroot Temple and fought the Slystone Dwarves and the sirens in a room which is actually 1,000 square metres in size. I'm mentioning this in passing because the idea is that the Slystone Dwarves (actually a kind of malevolent gnome) herd PCs in the direction of the sirens who sing and screech, but the sheer size of the Chamber of Doors and the apparent laziness of the sirens made this unlikely. In the end, the sirens had to come down off their perches only to find that Power and Plot were music critics.
Anm. Yes, yes, I know the creatures are harpies. I now have a theory that one of the WotC kobolds got "harpy" and "harp" confused and conflated them with sirens. In fact, "harpy" is derived from a Greek verb meaning "snatch, carry off" and the creatures are, according to my copy of the intermediate Liddell and Scott, personifications of whirlwinds and hurricanes. The etymology of "siren", on the other hand, is uncertain. My American Heritage Dictionary of Indo-European roots suggests that it might come from the IE root *twer- "grasp, hold; hard", but thinks that's unlikely.
I had one of the Slystone Dwarves get charmed into spilling the beans about the presence of the fey in Mountainroot Temple and out of curiosity, because I wanted to know more about Cachlain, the Stone-Skinned King, I was having a look through Throne of the Stone-Skinned King.
As I said in a previous entry, the kobolds sometimes don't think carefully enough about what they write, and poor old Virizan does get some dumb lines to say:
“You have destroyed my human guise! Still, I have four more forms that can defeat you easily!”
If that's the case, why didn't he use one of them? (Also, why not send out the heavy artillery against PCs sooner to ensure their defeat?)
“None of Tiamat’s exarchs falls easily!”
But that implies that they've been defeated at least after a hard fight.
“I have no illusions that I am the strongest of Tiamat’s exarchs. Even if you defeat me, you can’t stop us all!”
But even if Virizan is the strongest, short of the rest of the exarchs banding together, the party is going to defeat them as well under similar circumstances.
Anyway, back in Mountainroot Temple, the company is going to walk into the fight in the Grand Cathedral even although they probably should leave that till later. Although this fight is a threesome, it's not going to be an easy battle because of the numbers involved and because of the size of the arena, which is around 56m long and 36m wide.
After that, the adventurers could easily blunder into Hethralga's sights, or even more easily into the room to the north of the cathedral, where Zithiruun has established his camp. Either way, I'm seeing more long, hard, grindy battles which will have me champing at the bit for the party to get the Incunabula Prisca (I explained about the change of title in a previous entry) and restore the Caretaker to sanity so that they can return to Overlook and deal with the general once and for all.
Appendix: Birthday Presents for Kobolds
If you know one of the kobolds who toils away for the WotC and you're at a loss what to give them for their birthday, I'd recommend a good thesaurus to prevent the annoying overuse of the words "roil" and "atop". Seriously.