With Tichthys defeated, the party could turn their attention to trying to retrieve his section of the Rod. They secured a rope to Arion’s waist and lowered him into the deep recess where the aboleth had tossed the relic. Arian was able to not only retrieve the Rod, but he also managed to find Tichthys’ horde. Once the party knew the second piece of the Rod of Law, as well as all of the dead aboleth’s treasure, was secure, they decided to check in on the people who had been enslaved.
They arrived at the quarry chamber just in time, as the bugbears and the humans were about to break out into a brawl. The party managed to talk both sides down, and in the process, learned that the humans were all crew on the Lucky Chancellor, a ship that had wrecked upon the shore months earlier. The bugbears belonged to a tribe that practiced what they referred to as extensive Pre-Funerary Rites, where they would dedicate themselves to their dead god, revoke all rights of citizenship and assume the identities of legendary bugbear folk heroes. Why anyone would willingly do this is puzzling, but that’s bugbears for you.
As a final precaution, the party investigated the pit where the slaves were dropping off their quarried stone. The pit led down a narrow shaft for about 20 feet, then opened up into a chamber so vast that even with magical lighting, the bottom could not be seen, though rushing water could be heard. Istovahn made the “educated guess” that there were probably more aboleths down there building “some horrible city,” but that they were only aboleths, who hadn’t managed to actually openly rule anything in several ages… so, they should be safe. With no good way of investigating further, the party accepted that explanation and made the long trek back to the abandoned warrens, were Mazzel Quickblade awaited them.