After exploring the ground level of the giants’ ruin, the party made their way up the western set of stairs leading up. There they found a squad of soldiers with a large mechanical contraption at the door. After a brief scuffle, the party was able to use the great winch themselves to force open the ancient, and stuck, door. Unfortunately, it was holding back a torrent of water that immediately swept the party back down the staircase with a crashing. Most were able to roll out of the stream, but Varele the barbarian and Muroni the cleric were swept cleanly off the edge of the level to be sent flying fifty feet to the ground below. The fall would have surely killed the more fragile cleric, but Varele was able to catch her and break the fall with her own body. Walter quickly flew down to aid the elves and escort them back up to the party.
After the initial wave of water, there was simply a constant stream pouring out of the dark passage. Wading inside, they found a large ziggurat and two portals, through which a current of water seemed to flow from and into. Before they could investigate the portal too closely, they all felt a clammy sensation, and a tightness in their chests. They struggled to breathe, as though they were submerged in the two feet of water, and a pale, swollen form appeared from the darkness behind them. Some ancient, undead, drowned elf attacked the party, its unnatural aura sending Zrill and Muroni gasping for breath as they fell into the water. The party had to lift them to safely while fighting back the undead creature before they were all safe from drowing again.
Once they had their peace, they were able to more closely inspect the ziggurat. Though they had experience with languages and glyphs, and even guides to the ancient scripts of the ancient Xen’drik civilizations, they were not able to decipher the three large glyphs that covered the top portion of the ziggurat. Taking note of what they found, the party returned to the first floor to continue their search for the Emerald Claw and the schemas.