much training and shopping
Straight to the 6th floor of the mad mage’s tower. A few traps, Vashta Na’rada goons, and empty rooms later, stuck with 2 rooms, both showing conjuration (one’s a gate) that have no entrances.
All other floors only had strongly trapped doors, no other creatures to speak of.
The teleportation circle goes to “the heart of the dragon lands”
The gate goes to a astral demiplane of a flat topped pillar seemingly infinitely tall with no other ground (115′ × 170′). Waiting there was the mad mage, 4 huge earth elementals and 5 humanoid things of various colors with two different colored spots glowing in their chests. They all seemed adept at magic, and a few seemed only vulnerable to silver. One was immune to lightning and another to fire.
Joktar fell to a death spell, but the rest of the party prevailed.
Loot recovered (from the MM):
Kodomo found a hidden room straight down that had the return gate. Borrowing Elay’s teleportation necklace, the party made it to the gate and back to the MM’s tower.