The heroes encounter a secret door in a sewer beneath Vanis, and choose to investigate. Inside, they find several figures in dark robes, and find themselves attacked! Their assailants shout out something about the ‘resurrection of their lord’, and then attack the party with a dark, twisted magic. During the fight, when it becomes clear that the party outmatches them, the cultists attempt to buy time for one of their number to escape, presumably to warn their allies. Valeria’s quick sword work prevents that from happening, however.
After the battle, the party investigates the corpses of their dispatched foes. Two of their number are covered from head to toe in soot, or ash. It is to pervasive to be anything other than intentional… but none of them know exactly what it means. But Garm recalls that several such Ash Men were present when he was attacked in his throne. In addition, one of their number worse a strange, skull shaped mask.
The secret room they had stumbled upon seems to be an outpost for a secretive cult… and documents within that outpost reveal the cult is behind the arrival of the “cybork”, Biggok to this plane. It appears that they intentionally placed him here, hoping that he would rally the orcs, and lead them on a campaign of slaughter.
Further investigation of the area reveals that an otherwise unremarkable door is actually a portal to the Infinite Stairway… a strange, extra-dimensional space that connects all realities. It seems that the Cultists used this gateway to transfer supplies back and forth.