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Infiniti2000
Cherub
(11/22/03 8:08 am)
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ezSupporter
Session Twenty-Nine (Part 2/3)
(Continuing Report)
After the cloakers, we looked down the hallway towards the arena. Sure enough, that oaf Claaginred was holding a party. I wonder who was to be fighting next? I thought it possible we could continue that way, but first I suggested we take out the Water Temple bridge area. It should be a good warm-up and may provide some valuable experience against the filthy kuo-toas. It is also the primary basis for my tactical assessment.

The door was looked, as previous reports indicated, but Aldoroc and Kale smashed through it without breaking stride. I recommend liberal usage of arcane lock. A previous conversation with Arlainth suggests that Eeridik might be able to help with this. Anyway, the kuo-toan guards obviously heard the door breaking, so surprise was out of the question. Tactical combat is one thing this group does not understand. They also do not follow orders very well. I took control of the situation, but they rarely followed my direction. Bah. They are so strong, though, that Poolidib and his guards didn’t stand a chance.

The first thing Azzalin did is layer the floor with black tentacles. An impressive spell, most of the kuo-toas were held fast and pummeled unconscious. The mephits moved up and blasted one of the held fishmen with their scorching rays, while the salamanders got ready to engage. Azzalin let the spell persist for a few seconds and then dismissed it when the kuo-toas were unconscious. We then moved steadily forward, under my lead, to engage the cleric. We had, as yet, no idea if the Water Temple bolstered their position here so we were careful. I placed Azzalin, Aramil, and Verilia on guard by the door to the Stalagos, while Aldoroc, Kale and I moved bravely forward. Azzalin created a flaming sphere to block the southern door (not the one we came through, however). I suggested this to him because I realized it had the side benefit to heal the injured mephits.

Although Poolidib had some time to prepare, his defenses were no match for my prowess with the flaming shortsword. Thank you, my Lord, for the gift of that blade! It is most incredible. Oh yeah, the others also helped, but the fish-cleric fell mainly to my attacks. May Imix burn his scaly carcass in the afterlife!

A couple of interesting points in the battle, however, were that Poolidib was able to cast a spell called drown (identified by Azzalin) on Verilia. Her lungs filled up with water and she started drowning. Fortunately, Azzalin had a dispel magic prepared and got rid of the effect quickly. He also cast obscuring mist, but that was subsequently dispelled by Aramil. It is important to note the mages’ tactical use of dispelling magics. We noted a similar occurrence while watching their fight with Tessimon, so it’s safe to assume they will use similar tactics against us.

The kuo-toa had another nasty surprise, but fortunately Aramil was preparing for that and interrupted his spell with a timely magic missile. Poolidib surprisingly lasted for quite a while against all of us and seemed relatively arrogant through the battle. I found out later that he used an item called a stone salve and thus resisted most attacks. The flame from my blade and the attacks from Verilia’s flame blade got through. In the end, Poolidib’s cries for mercy were ignored

Before heading out to the Stalagos, we decided to check south. I did not think it worthwhile, but I let the adventurers continue that way, to appease their curiosity. Besides, if we ran into some Air Temple forces, I could always instigate a fight, testing their mettle further.

The area south of the Water Bridge was uninhabited. One room contained a lot of musty old storage. Verilia, the halfling druid, went in to check things out. She says she is immune to poison and therefore had little to fear in the room. As it turns out, that was a reasonable choice because the room was filled with yellow mold, a rather poisonous and very dangerous substance. The room otherwise didn’t have any valuables so Aramil cleaned her off with a prestidigitation and we pressed on.

The last room held three very odd statues. One was identified as Tulian by the cleric Shangor and Azzalin. In actuality, Azzalin had to point out the section in some book describing Tulian. She was the Queen of the Saltheart clan before they were forced out of the mines by the current inhabitants, us. I get a lot of dirty looks every time someone mentions that. Like I had anything to do with the forced removal of the dwarves! Not that I give two coppers, but I wasn’t even out of swaddling a hundred years ago!

The other two statues were a miner and a warrior. Apparently the miner symbolized the priority of the clan, and the warrior symbolized the protection and ‘battle spirit’ or some such nonsense. You’d have to talk to Shangor to get more details than that. I had the urge to tear down the statues, but I wisely held myself in check. Maybe later.

Aramil searched that room very thoroughly, and found nothing. Apparently, the gem on his forehead helps him do such things far more capably than anyone else in the party. When I yank my shortsword from his back one day, I shall take it. Anyway, the best I can make of their hushed conversation is that Shangor is searching for some diamond, called the Eye of Tulian. Supposedly pretty valuable, it was nowhere to be found. On the other hand, Poolidib had some treasures in a clamshell chest. I let the adventurers take it all as I only need take it off their dead bodies later. Come to think of it, Verilia said something similar about my flaming shortsword. Hmm, my Lord, if I could ask a favor, please let me have her when you are through?

Infiniti2000
Cherub
(11/22/03 8:12 am)
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ezSupporter
Session Twenty-Nine (Part 3/3)
(Continuing Report)
We finally get to the door exiting out into the Stalagos. On the other side of the door there is a small beach area and two large rowboats tied down. I knew there was a chuul out here guarding the boats, but I wanted to see how the adventurers handled the situation. I kept the salamanders and the mephits inside because they would be largely ineffective against the chuul.

Kale and Aldoroc went to examine the boats when the monster finally attacked. Before any could react, Aldoroc was pulled into the water and out of sight. By Imix, that beast was quick! A chuul is a fearsome beast and given an upper hand, it is incredibly deadly. Quite honestly, I thought that was the last I would see of the human. Woe is the chuul!

Kale drew his sword, running across one of the boats, and leapt into the water after the chuul to help his friend! He is either extremely brave or insane. In either case, I think he would make a fine addition to our Temple, should you be able to convert him morally.

Azzalin also moved in closer, but couldn’t see well due to the reflection off the water and the violet algae floating on top. The druid started to cast a spell. I also readied my bow, though only to make the others think I wanted to help. In truth, I was looking forward to see these adventurers taken down a peg. I was hoping to see the Stalagos run red with Aldoroc’s blood.

Kale attacked the chuul, who in turn squeezed Aldoroc painfully, who in turn escaped its claws, but failed to swim away. Fortunately for Aldoroc, Azzalin was finally able to see and levitated him out of the water. At this point, the chuul’s fate was sealed when Verilia finished her spell. She summoned three giant crocodiles! These fearsome beasts ripped the chuul to shreds. I got to see a lot of blood in the water, but most of it was the monster. Kale stayed in the water, continuing his attacks on the chuul. Apparently, Kale has a hatred for aberrations. I’m not sure how useful this information might be, but I’d think it would help to distract him in a tactical situation.

In preparation for rowing around the Stalagos to the Northern Bridge Complex, Verilia cast resist fire energy on Shangor so that the dwarf could cast water walking on the salamanders (as I mentioned earlier). The heat generated by the outsiders would certainly burn up the boats. The mephits followed along in the air.

On the way, we saw Fachish sitting out on his balcony. The fat man was wearing his ochre robes as usual. Upon seeing us, he looked frightened and ducked back into his hole. His cowardice is appalling. I don’t know why the Master of the Outer Fane keeps that pig in charge of the South Gate, let alone the Air Temple. No matter. He is merely a dead man walking until we finally are able to infiltrate their barricade.

As we approached the Fire Bridge, we saw one of the hill giants watching us. Lord Skassik, I was utterly in shock when the idiot initiated an attack and threw a stone at us! We had two salamanders with us! Clearly we were forces from the Fire Temple and yet D’Gran ordered an attack? Anyway, we found out later D’Gran didn’t actually order the attack, he just ordered the giant to attack all intruders. The giant’s concept of intruders was too loose, however.

In any case, the events that followed are worth retelling as they show some more of the adventurers’ tactics. The first stone missed widely. We kept going forward as Kale unlimbered his bow and readied to fire a few arrows at the monster. The giant just stood there, laughing, and threw another rock, this time hitting Verilia in the shoulder and almost knocking her out of the rowboat. You should have seen her little face light up in anger.

The archer then loosed his bow and three arrows found their mark, badly injuring the big giant and wiping that smile off its face. Grimacing in pain, Rau (or is it Vech?) stumbled back into the bridge complex to get help. He came back out a few moments later with a number of guards in tow. Azzalin then cast haste while Aramil dropped a fireball amongst the guards, killing three and injuring the giant even further.

Shangor continued to row in the rear boat as I continued to row the lead boat. Azzalin then cast dimension door and brought himself, Aldoroc, and Verilia to the bridge area, about fifty feet away from the giant. One of the troll fighters then appeared in the doorway, as Verilia called lightning and dropped a bolt on the troll. The troll then ducked out of sight back into the complex.

Azzalin then cast greater invisibility on Aldoroc, who proceeded to attack the giant. Hasted and invisible, the giant really didn’t stand a chance against Aldoroc. Indeed, very little would. However, we found out later that it did get one extremely lucky strike, hitting the human in the head with his greatclub, almost splitting his skull in twain. We were close enough by then for Shangor to put a spell called spike stones over the entrance (or exit) of the bridge. My lord, you must be careful of these things. They cover a great area, but are nearly invisible until you stumble upon them.

Apparently, D’Gran was amassing his troops inside the bridge complex, attempting to entice the adventurers to attack. I was very worried at this point, knowing that D’Gran could be anywhere. I did not think he would go after me on the boat, but if he killed Verilia and Azzalin it is not likely the rest of us would have survived. Aldoroc was badly hurt and Shangor and Kale would not be strong enough to take on the entire Fire Bridge. Fortunately, he had a different plan, probably due in large part to the salamanders.

Verilia and Azzalin were fishing around in their backpacks for something, until Aldoroc (still invisible) handed something to Verilia who handed it to someone else, invisible, probably D’Gran. Payment received, D’Gran let us continue to the Northern Bridge Complex and even wished us luck in the attack the Water Bridge. I feel that D’Gran may be getting overconfident. If the Water Temple falls, I think D’Gran poses a bigger threat to the Fire Temple than the Air Temple.

Tomorrow we attack Kelashein, may she burn in the abyss. When you receive this, the attack will be underway.

Your servant,

Virith Fireleaf
Commander of the Guard
Fire Temple

Edited by: Infiniti2000 at: 11/22/03 8:13 am
Infiniti2000
Cherub
(12/10/03 9:17 pm)
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ezSupporter
Session Thirty (Part 1/3)
The Night Before
Leaving the Western Bridge Complex, the adventurers row towards the Air Bridge. Verilia, still a little shaken up from the encounter with the unseen assailant, only identified as D’Gran, notices Virith scribbling on a piece of parchment. “What’s that, Virith? Writing a journal?”

“Huh? Uh, no, of course not. Why would I keep a journal?” Virith stuffs the parchment underneath her chain shirt.

Halfway to the next bridge, the group hears a buzzing sound, emanating from the center island. Virith suggests not attacking except in defense, as it would alert the Outer Fane to trouble. As they continue to row, a huge wasp buzzes into view high above the Stalagos. Strangely, the wasp has a rider, obviously a female due to the bulging breast plate. The spider eater and rider hover over the party for about five minutes before dropping lower and calling out. “What are you about?”

Kale answers, “We are from the Fire Temple. What’s it to you?”

They receive no additional response, however. Apparently, the challenge is an appropriate response as the strange guard watches for a few more minutes and then flies back behind one of the blue towers. Virith points out that there are many more like that and they fill all eight towers. In addition to the spider eaters and riders, the towers also have sorcerer commanders and the ability to toss bolts of lightning from the structures themselves, if not just from the sorcerers’ spells.

The group is relieved once they reach the Northern Bridge Complex, a home away from home. Lenny the Cook has been extremely busy in their absence. For one thing, he has fed most of the athach to the chimera. Moreover, he has figured out the locking mechanism and can totally enclose the chimera, allowing safe passage into the bridge complex from the bridge itself. Also, he has painstakingly cut off pieces of the gelatinous cube and had Summer drag them into the crater lake, so the majority of the complex itself is now clear of monster remains.

While Lenny prepares the group an early dinner, he tells them about a failed kuo-toan attack, foiled by the chimera and Summer. A few kuo-toas attempted to gain entry to the complex via the bridge access. The chimera discouraged most of them, and the two that penetrated met a dismal fate at the claws and teeth of Verilia’s animal companion. An additional force must have attempted to approach from the north entrance, but after the sound of battle no forces were encountered. Sylvan surmised that the group met a similar fate against the dire ape.

Sylvan thinks about it for a minute and then comments, “Perhaps we should eliminate that ape once and for all.”

Verilia responds, “Why? The ape isn’t hurting anyone if we just leave it alone.”

“It’s too dangerous to keep that thing around. Without you keeping it at bay, who knows what it might do.”

Kale says, “I agree that it is dangerous to keep around, but with the impending battle with the Water Temple, I suggest we leave it alone for now.”

The others grudgingly agree. Watch order is assigned and the group beds down for the night. The salamanders and mephits settle in the southern guard room, while Virith stays with the group in the main mess hall. The night is surprisingly peaceful and in the morning, they ready spells, sharpen weapons and oil their armor, and pray to their gods.

Lenny remains behind, locking himself up in the kitchen of the complex. The cook promises to have lunch ready by noon. Shangor downs a full mug of Lenny’s finest ale, belching loudly to show his approval of the drink. “Aye, lad, that’s a fine mug o’ ale, ye brew.”

Aldoroc smirks slyly, and jokes, “Hey, Shangor. An elf, a human, and a dwarf walk into a bar and order drinks. The elf notices a fly in his wine and says, ‘Bartender, please pour me another glass of wine, this drink is befouled.’ The human also notices a fly in his beer, so he flicks it out with his finger and drinks the beer anyway. The dwarf notices a fly in his ale, picks it up by the wings, and shouts, ‘Spit it out! Spit it out!’”

Verilia almost spews her morning milk out of her nose, laughing nearly uncontrollably. Shangor growls at Aldoroc, and then grins. “Aye, lad, that’s a good one.”

Laughter is the best form of medicine. Particularly when you plan to go beat someone’s brains out.

Infiniti2000
Cherub
(12/10/03 9:21 pm)
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ezSupporter
Session Thirty (Part 2/3)
The Approach
The group finally gears up, gathers up the Fire Temple outsiders, and heads down the northeastern passage to attack the Water Temple. Their trip is interrupted, however, by a single human guardsman. He sits in a chair just west of the pool, accompanied by a table with a lantern and cup of ale. His weapons lean against the chair as he sits cross-legged, fearlessly watching the group approach.

The guard introduces himself, “Welcome to the Water Temple. My name is Randy.”

Aldoroc, his battleaxe already in hand, considers just decapitating the fool, but holds his weapon in check. Sylvan instead replies, “Step aside, imbecile.”

Amazingly, the guard takes a sip of his ale. Undaunted by the powerful force arrayed in front of him, he says, “No, I don’t think so. You come to attack the Water Temple, but it is a foolish and dangerous mission. Even with those flaming lizards you cannot hope to defeat unholy Kelashein.”

Verilia says, “We killed Tessimon. Kelashein will be easy. Now get out of the way, or die yourself.”

Randy says, “Easy, there, halfling, what’s the rush?” He sips again and crosses his legs the other way. “The Great Mistress offers another deal. Join us in an attack on the Air Temple. Together we can defeat Fachish. The treasures of the South Gate can be yours.”

Almost as one, the adventurers scoff at the suggestion. Shangor says, “Aye, so ye kin double cross us again? No, lad, now ye better step aside before ye git run through.”

Once again, Randy rejects the offer. The guard puts down his cup and stands up, crossing his arms and blocking the way. Sylvan merely points at the guard and says, “Virith, kill him.” Virith walks up to the guard and, in one quick motion, draws her flaming shortsword and stabs him in the chest. The guard looks down at the sword in puzzlement. “Kelashein promised me….”

Virith loots the body and the attack force continues forward.

As expected, the rowboats are missing. Fortunately, they brought the rowboats that were taken from the Water Bridge. Once across the pool, without looking down into the water, they decide to attack the main temple area, assuming that the forces have been alerted and are already awaiting the battle.

They cautiously march into the large chamber with the huge statue. The group splits up, with half going around the left and the other half around the right, towards the chamber with the pungent, sweet and sour aroma. Suddenly, troop movement sounds from behind, scuffling boots, drawn weapons, armor clanking, and a throaty, bubbling growl. Sylvan, at the rear of the party, turns to see a horrible monster, the face of which he will remember to his dying day. The sea hag has a particularly vile appearance and growls as she moves up to Kale. She fixes him with her gaze and the archer is overcome by the evil eye and falls to the stone floor, dead.

“Look at me, mortals! Behold Gouquog’s Eye of Doom!” The sea hag cackles maniacally. Behind her troop a number of human guards and some amphibious monsters that Sylvan later identifies as skum. It is obvious that all of the other defenders are not looking at the sea hag.

Stunned at the death of their friend, Aldoroc and Shangor move into position to defend Sylvan. Aldoroc’s battleaxe takes a huge chunk out of the sea hag fighter. Sylvan drops an Evard’s black tentacles behind the combatants, snaring all of the guards and skum. One of the skum escapes before getting pummeled unconscious, and flees back into the pool area.

Meanwhile, Verilia investigates the seaweed curtain separating the smelly room from the larger chamber. Behind the curtain, a large half-fiend kuo-toa sits on a clamshell stool, smoking a hookah. His eyes gleam red, and not just from his demonic heritage. Puffing out a cloud of heady smoke towards the halfling, he mutters roughly, “Want a hit?”

Verilia is surprised and unsure what to do. Action is taken from her, however, as one of the two mephits follows her into the room and casts scorching ray on the kuo-toan demon. Verilia does not want to tangle with the large creature and leaves the mephit to the battle. The two salamanders come over to help as well, and it is quickly evident that despite the size of the fish-fiend, it is no match in melee combat against the salamanders. The fire creatures quickly tear Oomkaan apart.

Gouquog drops quickly from repeated attacks by Aldoroc and Shangor. Aramil keeps an eye out in the northern passage that disappears into darkness. Aldoroc and Virith position themselves in the entrance to the Water Temple, standing ankle deep in the briny water. Suddenly, a large skum emerges from the water and attacks Aldoroc, ripping through his chain shirt with razor sharp claws. Virith and Aldoroc fight the beast while the others prepare spells.

Aramil spots movement in the northern passage as an armored kuo-toa attempts to poke a spear into his kidney. Fortunately, his good eye sight foils the attack and the spear bounces harmlessly off the dragon disciple's shield spell. In return, he claws and bites the rogue and then sends magic missiles at her. Shangor, Verilia, and the fire mephits also join the attack. She grunts in pain and attempts to retreat down the passage, only to be killed by Sylvan’s continued barrage of magic missiles.

The skum tears chunks out of Aldoroc, but is eventually killed by the warriors. Two more emerge from the water, one after another, but their attacks are ineffectual and they are easily slaughtered by Aldoroc and Virith. During the fight Aramil tries fireball and notices that the fire has little effect on the enemies. Both Aldoroc and Virith are badly hurt, so Shangor heals the human while the Fire Temple worshipper quaffs a potion of cure light wounds.

Before the group can resume the assault, they hear a voice resound from the northern passage. It is deep and reptilian, sounding like a hiss. “Do not proceed any further. I offer you sanctuary.” The echoes reverberate down the corridor.

The party thinks about the offer, but considers it a trap and do not even respond. Instead, Shangor casts water walk on most of the group, including the salamanders and Summer. Sylvan casts fly on Aldoroc. Kale is dragged out of sight into the corner. And everyone advances onto the water, or flies above it, to engage the remaining Water Temple forces in battle. Despite the untimely death of the archer, the heroes resolutely push forward, determined to rid the world of the Water Temple. As the large temple cavern comes into view, the tiger Summer is out in front, crouching, ready to spring. The others are behind her, ready for battle, with the dragon disciple Aramil near the back, hiding from view. Indeed, the Water Temple had better beware of the crouching tiger and hidden dragon.

Infiniti2000
Cherub
(12/10/03 9:29 pm)
Reply
ezSupporter
Session Thirty (Part 3/3)
The Battle
Before the attackers get very far, they see the platform in the middle of the Water Temple cavern. On the platform are the high priestess, two kuo-toa, and Urlurg, though the monitor looks different somehow. His face is not symmetrical anymore, one eye droops lower. His teeth are sharper and protrude more from his misshapen face. His back is somewhat hunched, but the deformity does not seem to detract from his agility. While the high priestess talks, the monitor absently scratches his arm, drawing blood, only to have it heal back up again almost immediately.

Kelashein gestures grandly at her surroundings and calls out loudly to the attackers. Her voice is no longer rasping, or hissing, like it was when they first made the deal in the throne room. She speaks quite clearly and well. “Congratulations on your success against Tessimon. I’d give you a kiss, but you have other…intentions.”

Verilia says, “Are you ready to meet the same fate as Tessimon, bitch?”

“Please, let’s not dive right into hostilities here. Surely, we can strike a bargain? I have no desire to kill you all. You would be more useful to me as allies than as dead enemies.”

Sylvan responds, “You don’t seriously expect us to believe you mean us well? You’re only stalling so as to spare your own life.”

The High Priestess glares incredulously at the interlopers. “How dare you!? How dare you! You think to come here, into my Temple, and threaten me?!” Kelashein looks positively outraged. Spittle flies out of her mouth as she grips the ceremonial altar knife by the blade. Blood streams down the edge and onto the handle, but she pays it no attention, obviously familiar with pain. “I kill your like for sport! I eat the hearts of do-gooders as a daily ritual! The mighty Olhydra will strike you down for your insolence!”

Shangor shrugs away her comments and says, “Aye, lass. Bring on yer elemental whore and let’s git this show on the road.”

Virith pulls out a piece of parchment and a small red and yellow feather. She mutters a word to the feather, which turns into a small sparrow, grabs the parchment, and takes off out of the chamber towards the other side of the crater.

Verilia rides Summer into the large cavern, but a huge water elemental strikes out from beneath the surface as the mounted druid passes by. A liquid arm slams into the tigress with a jarring blow, and Verilia is unable to pull her mount out of harm’s way, though just barely. Although her companions see the attack, they do not hear it. The elemental floats within an area of silence! Unfortunately for the druid, it stays near her and keeps attacking Summer, damaging the animal badly. Verilia leaps off the tigress, walking across the water. The elemental strikes her as she moves away, but Sylvan is able to lift the tiger to the ceiling and out of harm’s way with a levitate spell. Once out of the silenced area, the druid blasts the elemental with a flame strike, calling upon the divine power of Obad-Hai. As with the skum, protection surrounds the water creature and it is only slightly injured by the divine energy.

Aldoroc moves all the way to the big platform and confronts the kuo-toa and the corrupted monitor. Protecting the entrance to the cavern, the water elemental slams the human as his travels past. Shangor casts control water, but the elemental resists the spell. Verilia starts summoning an air elemental to aid the fight, but the temple protector interrupts her casting and her spell is ruined. Following that failure, she casts call lightning and drops a bolt on the High Priestess, bypassing her sanctuary. However, Kelashein grins, totally ignoring the blast. Thanks to the intelligence gathered by Nilbool, she has spell immunity prepared against the called lightning.

The dwarven cleric casts righteous might. To get past the water elemental, Sylvan casts dimension door and brings Shangor to the platform. The elf and dwarf appear beside the crouching high priestess. Shangor immediately batters Kelashein with his holy warhammer. Meanwhile, Aldoroc battles Urlurg, with neither gaining an advantage as the other kuo-toas on the platform flank the human. Nilbool finally makes an appearance by becoming visible near the ceiling by the cave entrance and casts magic missile on Aldoroc.

The huge water elemental moves around the platform with great speed, easily reaching the other side and ferociously attacks the large dwarf, pummeling his helm into his skull. Indeed, if not for the additional health from the righteous might, Shangor could not have survived the attack. He steps away and calls upon the healing power of Moradin to fix his pounding head and alleviate the severe concussion.

Virith and the salamanders engage a number of additional kuo-toa, holding their own, until one of the fish men manages to stab the elf through the neck with its spear. Aramil polymorphs into a gold dragon and flies to the platform, leaving the Fire Temple forces to their work. The two mephits fly around the side of the platform to help Aldoroc against the kuo-toas there, who return the favor by tossing javelins. After a few volleys, the mephits have had enough and flee the chamber out into the Stalagos, staying close to the outer rim so as to avoid potential lightning bolts.

Sylvan drops another area of black tentacles all over the platform, snaring Kelashein and the remaining kuo-toa guards, but not the monitor. Aldoroc flies up to Nilbool, thinking him an easy target. After all, what wizard can handle a powerful fighter in one-on-one hand-to-hand combat? Alas, a fully prepared and protected wizard can. Aldoroc’s first attack, one he thought would connect with Nilbool’s head, actually misses. The displacement effect on the kuo-toa causes the fighter to totally misjudge his strike. Nilbool counters with a lightning bolt right to the fighter’s face, who is so surprised he fails to move out of the way.

Aramil helps out his companion by dispelling some of Nilbool’s protections, but not the mirror images. Verilia also helps by placing a faerie fire on the wizard so that he cannot disappear again. Aldoroc presses the attack, however, striking a mirror image or otherwise missing. Aldoroc’s haste is eliminated from him when the wizard uses a wand of slow. As Nilbool’s images disappear and the occasional attack from Aldoroc actually hits, the kuo-toa casts obscuring mist to further protect himself and allow an escape path. Aldoroc takes a couple more swings, but when it is apparent that Nilbool has left the area, he flies out of the cloud to help the others on the platform.

With the tentacles in effect, the High Priestess provides little resistance. An earlier dispel magic on her by Sylvan removed many of her protections, most importantly the freedom of movement. Kelashein screams out, “You can’t do this to me! The Elder Elemental Eye will not allow such violations!” Blood runs out of her nose as a tentacle bashes her in the face. Another tentacle wraps around her neck and squeezes the remaining life out of her body.

The water elemental moves back into the entrance area to fight with the remaining Fire Temple forces. It is a quick operation to kill the salamanders and get back into the fight on the platform. Shangor casts flame strike on the elemental and monitor, affecting neither greatly, and then moves to engage the kuo-toan monk and finds the fight not as easy as he would have thought, remembering the dismal performance the monk had against the salamanders in the original attack on the Fire Temple. Whatever happened to Urlurg since that battle has greatly improved his abilities. Shangor gets sandwiched between the monk and the elemental and once again has to retreat to avoid getting killed.

Summer still floats near the ceiling, where Sylvan had last left her. The elven wizard does not have the time to levitate her down to the water. Indeed, she is so badly injured that she could not survive another hit. All of the Fire Temple forces are dead or gone. Kale was killed very early in the battle by the gaze attack from the sea hag. All of the kuo-toa fighters and the normal kuo-toas are dead. Only Urlurg, Nilbool, and the water elemental are alive, though the wizard is not visible at the moment. The remaining heroes are on the platform fighting the elemental, Urlurg or looking for the wizard. All four spellcasters are nearly out of spells.

Aramil dispels the obscuring mist, but Nilbool is not there. He’s not invisible, either, unless he managed to remove the faerie fire. Finally, Nilbool appears on the platform near the dragon disciple and casts a spell. He opens his mouth, exposing sharpened teeth, and spits his tongue at Aramil. The tongue tendril hits Aramil’s leg, lashing it to the altar. Aramil grimaces in disgust at the revolting object holding him to the altar.

Nilbool then speaks to the group, “Hold! I offer truce! There is no need to continue this bloodshed. You cannot hope to win against us.”

There is more than a little bit of truth to his statement, as evidenced by the elemental chasing Aldoroc and Shangor around the platform. The monitor continues to attack as well, every few seconds healing more and more of his previous injuries.

Unfortunately for Nilbool, however, the tide turns very quickly. Instead of giving up, Sylvan tries a desperate gamble, unwilling to negotiate further with the hated Temple of All Consumption. It is either win or die trying as he throws a bead of force at the water elemental. Amazingly, Sylvan traps it with the force of the item. Aramil frees himself from the tongue tendril and casts magic missile at Nilbool, but fails to injure him due to the shield. Apparently, that is one spell that did not get dispelled. The kuo-toan wizard is not so lucky against Shangor and Aldoroc, however, who manage to finally kill him. Verilia injures the monitor with her scimitar, but the monk evaluates the situation and decides to flee instead of return the attack. He withdraws from combat and swims away to the east, out of sight.

With combat effectively over, the heroes quickly loot the bodies, pulling them out of the water and onto the platform as necessary. The water elemental remains trapped within the force bubble. No one’s interested in exploring the pools, and talk ensues on how to destroy the platform. The elemental futilely pounds on his prison, and the monitor awaits in the eastern chamber for pursuit, healing his injuries.

Siobharek 
Brother of Venom
(12/10/03 11:54 pm)
Reply
ezSupporter

Re: Session Thirty (Part 3/3)
Wow. Bum rap for Kale. Did his player then run another character? Otherwise another great write-up. Look forward to seeing more.

Siobharek
...it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.

Infiniti2000
Brother of Venom
(12/11/03 6:50 am)
Reply
ezSupporter
Re: Session Thirty (Part 3/3)
Everyone kept saying, "can't you say he made it, just this once?" because they didn't want him sitting idle for the whole night. I wouldn't do it though. I'm not going to bail them out that easily and readily. If I did it now, they would expect the same favor when Hedrack disintegrates the mage. Anyway, I offered him Virith, but he declined. And the party kept going, so he sat and watched, then played on the computer, then went home. Anyway, he (and the whole group) still seems highly motivated. They're really having fun.

PS Did you groan too loudy on the crouching tiger, hidden dragon quote? :D

PPS And thanks for still reading! Sylvan promises his update. *sigh*

Siobharek 
Brother of Venom
(12/11/03 7:03 am)
Reply
ezSupporter

Re: Session Thirty (Part 3/3)
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon... Yeah, it was a bit of a groaner, but I could hear the joke being made at the table. I miss being a player rather than always DMing...

Siobharek
...it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.

smetzger
Tolling Bell Cultist
(12/11/03 7:32 am)
Reply
Re: Session Thirty (Part 3/3)
Nice write up. I really need to start noting all the spells my group casts.

Infiniti2000
Brother of Venom
(12/11/03 7:46 am)
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ezSupporter
Re: Session Thirty (Part 3/3)
BTW, I am behind in updates (quite a bit actually). Verilia (played by my wife actually) died recently. If you want to either console her on it (not necessary) or suggest a new name, go here.

Infiniti2000
Brother of Venom
(12/13/03 12:23 pm)
Reply
ezSupporter
Session Thirty-One (Part 1/2)
The Remaining Water Temple
The Water Temple is defeated. Kelashein is dead. Nilbool is dead. Only Urlurg the corrupted monitor and the huge water elemental trapped within the bead of force are still alive. Virith and the two salamanders are also dead, but the fire mephits fled around to the crater to the Fire Temple, hugging the outer wall.

Most importantly, Kale is dead. The sea hag’s evil eye ended his life early in the battle. Verilia sighs, “At least I get to reincarnate him this time.” She looks at the elemental beating futilely on the bead of force and says, “I think we should hurry this up.”

Aldoroc flies to the west cave entrance, carrying Shangor. Verilia and Aramil quickly search the bodies and the platform. Sylvan explores the room to the north, but not to the east where the kuo-toan monk fled. As Verilia and Aramil finish piling loot, two crumpled bodies hit the platform near the dragon disciple. Aramil looks up in surprise, readying a fireball.

At the edge of the cavern, swimming in the water and leaning on the underwater grate, Vranthis grins mischievously. That’s assuming that a dragon can grin, of course. It looks more like a sneer. The two bodies are the fire mephits that fled, though it’s difficult to tell for sure since they are mangled to a bloody pulp.

Before Aramil or Verilia can attack Vranthis, the green dragon says, “I thought you might want to have those back. I don’t think any of us really want them reporting back to Tessimon. Or, is it Skassik now?” He continues to grin.

Hearing the sounds of voices, but not combat, Sylvan returns to the main chamber slowly, carrying a well-oiled black cloak and an ornate sword.

Aramil, visibly agitated by the presence of the evil dragon, growls deeply in his throat. He responds in draconic, “What is it, you want, worm?” He purposefully mispronounces the last word to sound less like wyrm. Gesturing at the water elemental, he continues, “As you can see, we have limited time for small talk before the elemental is freed.”

Vranthis uncrosses his arms and rises further above the fence, his foreclaws not even holding himself up. It is obvious that the dragon is very much at home in the water. He responds in common, “Very well. I come from the Temple of Air. High Priest Fachish wishes to offer a treaty and, well, gratitude for destroying the Water Temple. Should you need an unhindered route back to the Fire Temple, you may freely traverse through the South Gate.”

Verilia sarcastically comments, “How magnanimous of him. I don’t suppose he offers a gift?”

Vranthis responds, “Actually, my little morsel of a halfling, he does. I am to help with the destruction of the platform. Perhaps I could do this while you depart?” The green dragon draws in a deep breath.

The adventurers get the hint and without a further word, gather their equipment and leave the temple area down the passage to the west. At the pool, they decide to explore the throne room and the other areas down the northern passageway. The main guardroom, as seen before, contains a couple of tables and some chairs, two combat training manuals, and a wooden practice dummy with considerable wear. The throne room holds the pink and white coral throne, resting on a slab of green marble. There are also goblets and plates made out of coral. Flanking the throne on either side are gray marble statues of fish-headed humanoids with spears, standing about four feet tall. The sharp coral items are left alone, not being particularly valuable and likely having a tendency to rip through the bag of holding.

Before the explorers can continue further, however, they hear the footsteps of approaching humanoids from the east and further down the passage. Preparing for battle, they see an elven wizard flanked by a handful of elven warriors. Wearing dark robes, a longbow, and a longsword, the wizard introduces himself as Kadiss. The warriors keep their hands on their longswords, but do not attack.

After a brief discussion about the state of the formerly powerful Water Temple, and accompanied by the sounds of the altar room collapsing, Kadiss, the elves, and the remaining humans decide to join the heroes as mercenaries. A reasonable price is agreed upon, and Kadiss orders most of his men to guard the pool area while he takes the conquerors on a tour of the Water Temple.

Sylvan stuffs all of Kelashein’s and Nilbool’s valuables in his bag of holding while Kadiss and his warriors take any other equipment and supplies to the Northern Bridge Complex. In particular, Sylvan acquires Nilbool’s spellbook, cleverly hidden under the chest, and the diary of the High Priestess. From the diary, Sylvan finds out that Kelashein knew about the heroes and that she had planned to use them in the attack on the Fire Temple all along, and even to betray them at the end, expecting them to die at the hands of Tessimon. Kadiss asks for Nilbool’s spellbook, but Sylvan keeps it, promising to give it to Kadiss when he is done.

Infiniti2000
Brother of Venom
(12/13/03 12:27 pm)
Reply
ezSupporter
Session Thirty-One (Part 2/2)
The Return to the Big City
In the morning, Sylvan remarks to everyone that he has finished learning two new powerful spells, teleport and cone of cold. He prepares the former and teleports to Khorasan with Aldoroc, Shangor, and Lenny. He cannot take the whole party yet in one day, being able to only carry three others with him and only being able to prepare two teleport spells per day. Most of the loot is carried in Sylvan’s bag of holding and is sold once they arrive in the capital city of Karacul. Lenny gawks like a child, never having seen a city, much less the largest one in the eastern continent.

Sylvan sets up a common teleport area inside the city walls with the Silver Consortium, paying a nominal fee. Magical transportation to and from the city is tracked and frowned upon unless through official areas. The city leaders prefer to know who comes into Khorasan and who leaves. Many militocracies have similar laws and enforcement codes.

Meanwhile, Verilia, Summer, and Aramil head back to Rastor with the remaining treasure and find a welcome surprise there. Rerrid Hammersong, the dwarven priest of Moradin, has requested help from Khorasan and the Temple of Moradin has sent it. A force led by the renowned paladin Lord Jengol, who once trained under the former prince of Karacul, Prince Thrommel, arrived the previous night. More dwarves are arriving within the next week, including some more clerics and some artisans and warriors. For the moment, a fighter named Seamus leads a contingent of warriors in guarding the town itself. Evidence of their influence shows in the greatly reduced number of half-orcs in the town and the near zero number of orcs. Dwarves, maybe not drug-induced dwarves, have a very low tolerance for the orc and goblinoid races.

Rerrid informs the heroes that he has also been given even greater help, in the form of two scrolls of true resurrection and a wand of neutralize poison. The scrolls are to be given to the party for use against the Temple of All Consumption, obviously by reviving fallen comrades. One was donated by the Temple of Heironeous, and, not to be outdone, the other was donated by the Temple of Moradin. The wand, however, is to remain in Rerrid’s hands. Indeed, he has already been very busy cleaning up Rastor.

Verilia, standing up from the conversation with Rerrid and thinking about a flame strike, suggests hotly to Aramil “Now that Tal’s influence is gone, we can kill him. Let’s go.”

Rerrid, however, interrupts, “Nay, lass. Ye canna kill ‘im. We need ‘im to keep up pretenses that the operation ‘ere in Rastor still thrives. It wouldna do to let the Temple o’ all Consumption knows that its spy has been compromised.” If Verilia currently took the shape of a cat, she would twitch her tail and hiss in frustration. The elderly priest continues, “Aye, lass. I unnerstand yer anger. Rest assured that Tal has been sufficiently reprimanded for his actions.”

Verilia considers the pleasant idea that as a bear she get calmly squeeze the life out of the drug dealer. “He hasn’t been reprimanded enough. He deserves to die.”

“Perhaps, but his punishment is not fer you to decide. It falls under our laws and I expect ye to follow them while yer here. Please.”

The halfling is not pleased at having her revenge taken from her, but she nevertheless accedes to Rerrid’s wishes. She does this probably more out of respect for the absent Shangor than out of respect for Moradin or the town of Rastor, a lawless community for probably the last hundred years. “You just make sure that he and the rest of the townspeople follow those laws, or I’ll impose the justice of Obad-Hai. I assure you that Obad-Hai is not so merciful.” She sits down angrily. “What about the dwarves who followed Tal? And I thought I saw Wormspike still working at the Iron Spike?”

Rerrid says, “Thandain has been taken ta Khorasan fer atonement, or ta meet her fate at the Temple of Moradin if she is found unredeemable. The others ha’ been put ta work ‘ere and are under watch. Wormspike is an odd one, ta be sure, but he is quite a useful lad. We’re watching ‘im, ye can wager, and he seems ta follow the law.”

The druid grumbles some more, but doesn’t press the issue further. Verilia, Aramil, and Summer spend the night in Rastor. The next day they head back to the Northern Bridge Complex to meet up with Sylvan for the teleport trip to Khorasan. Kadiss informs them that only one group asked for passage across the bridge, late last night. A human warrior and two ogres carried an odd four-sided block statue to the door across the bridge. The statue was primarily black, or a really deep purple, with colored figures in bas relief on each of the four sides.

Verilia swears, recalling she had last seen that statue at the moathouse, many months ago. It was taken from under their noses and never seen again. Now, they will have to recover it from the Outer Fane, eventually. It must be that tiefling whore, may she rot in the unforgiving wastelands of the abyss.

Less than an hour later, Sylvan arrives and teleports back to the capital city with Verilia, Aramil, and a reduced Summer in tow. Kale’s body is brought to High Priest Granley of Heironeous, who uses one of the scrolls of true resurrection to bring back Kale. A flurry of selling and buying follows as the party unloads loot and buys other minor magical items. The elven wizard purchases a couple of months in the Astral Lab of the Silver Consortium. There he makes items for the other party members for a reasonable price of five hundred gold pieces per astral month. To Shangor and Aldoroc looking on, it seems as if Sylvan steps into the portal, turns around, and steps right back out again.

The heroes spend the night in the Bronze Unicorn Inn. Comfortable, the inn caters particularly well to adventurers. There is limited finery, but maximum comfort and amenities. Aldoroc, Sylvan, and Aramil share one room while Kale and Shangor share another. Verilia spends her night at the grove with her animal companion. Sylvan’s viper familiar, Ace, sleeps inside the warm pillow on Sylvan’s bed.

The comfort of the room is broken sometime past midnight as a thin rapier slips into Aldoroc’s side, barely brushing past his liver and kidney. The burly fighter chokes down the blood rising in his throat and opens his eyes to stare at his would be assassin.

The elf staring colding back at him mutters, “Stay away from the Temple of All Consumption.” He then pulls out a small black stick and breaks it. A puff of violet smoke rises from the stick and the assassin disappears, still with Aldoroc’s blood on his blade.

Aldoroc burbles loudly, reacting very slowly from the assassination. “Shangor! I need healing!”

The heroes are absolutely stunned. They knew that an assassination attempt was possible, but so accurately and so deep within such a well-protected city, it shocks them. Obviously, it is the work of the Doomdreamers, or one of their lackeys in the Outer Fane. No longer will watch not be kept and these assassins will not succeed again. Aramil even loans Aldoroc his amulet of proof against detection and location, acquired from the High Priest of the Earth Temple’s treasures.

The next night they maintain a careful watch, and sleep lightly. Even Verilia maintains a watch at the grove and has many of the druids’ animal companions keep a lookout. It is therefore even more shocking to the party when Aldoroc finds the head of one of the guards they left behind at the air bridge in his chamber pot the following morning.

Siobharek 
Brother of Venom
(12/13/03 12:34 pm)
Reply
ezSupporter

Re: Session Thirty-One (Part 2/2)
Oh, that's good. That's very good.... I really like the assassination attempt and the souvenir in the chamber pot. Kudos.

Siobharek
...it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.

Infiniti2000
Brother of Venom
(12/13/03 12:50 pm)
Reply
ezSupporter
Re: Session Thirty-One (Part 2/2)
Heh heh, thanks! Note closely that it was an elf. Victor is not an elf. This illusion carries onward and the party becomes mightily worried at the abundance of assassins. They never piece together that one assassin used disguise self. The PC's have zero chance on spot vs. disguise.

Oh well, I'm way behind (tonight is session 37). Tonight (we start 6pm EST, so you will be asleep, Siobharek ;) ) is when the OF really mobilizes and I'm making the push to get them there. Hedrack, Naquent, and Varachan are now starting to make plays in earnest against the party and/or remaining CRM forces. Stay tuned! :)

Edited by: Infiniti2000 at: 12/15/03 7:08 am
Cordo Crowfoot
Deathmantle Cultist
(12/14/03 11:43 pm)
Reply
Re: Session Thirty-One (Part 2/2)
Arg! I2K I really wish you were caught up as we are overlapping and I'm sure you have some great ideas I could steal. :(

Also did you mean session 37? And your second to last sentence is confusing. :) "are not" or "are"? H, N, and V making plays against the CRM forces?

"They were immediately and absolutely recognizable as adventurers. They were hardy and dangerous, lawless, stripped of allegiance or morality, living off their wits, stealing and killing, hiring themselves out to whoever and whatever came... They were scum who died violent deaths, hanging on to a certain cachet among the impressionable through their undeniable bravery and their occasionally impressive exploits" China Mieville, Perdido Street Station

Infiniti2000
Brother of Venom
(12/15/03 7:12 am)
Reply
ezSupporter
Re: Session Thirty-One (Part 2/2)
Sorry for the confusion and edited above. My group is going to their second attack against the FT this weekend. Last Saturday, they decided to 'clear out' the crypts. REAL nasty encounter there, particularly when I had all the undead surround the party in the surprise round (and take cover in the floor/walls), with two spectres flanking the fighter. No one died, though.

I will do my best to finish up some logs for you. :)

smetzger
Tolling Bell Cultist
(12/15/03 8:26 am)
Reply
Re: Session Thirty-One (Part 2/2)
IMC the bad guys got the four sided statue back to the OF as well.

I plan to have it instrumental in finding the champion. The four sides will slowly morph into the image of the champion at four separate stages of his life.

Infiniti2000
Brother of Venom
(12/15/03 8:53 am)
Reply
ezSupporter
Re: Session Thirty-One (Part 2/2)
VERY nice idea! IMC, they have as well, so I'll use that same idea. The statue will be in Naquent's chamber.

Infiniti2000
Brother of Venom
(1/3/04 7:05 am)
Reply
ezSupporter
Re: Session Thirty-One (Part 2/2)
Session #24 is done, way back on page 6. Sylvan finally wrote it. :)

Infiniti2000
Brother of Venom
(1/3/04 7:10 am)
Reply
ezSupporter
Session Thirty-Two (Part 1/4)
The Second Battle of the Main Gate
The morning dawns cool and clammy. A light shower in the middle of the night left moisture covering the windowsills, the walkways, and the bushes outside the inn. It marks the beginning of a miserable day, which suits the heroes well after having spent a miserable night watching for another assassination that never happened.

Aldoroc carries the chamber pot with the elf head to the innkeeper. “Here you go, Tony.” He hands the innkeeper a leather pouch filled with coins and a couple gems. “Take care of this for me, will you? Thanks.”

Sylvan finishes studying his spellbook as his comrades prepare to leave the big city. Sylvan teleports with Kale, Aldoroc, and Lenny to Hommlet. They meet with some of the town’s residents, in particular visiting with their old friend Spugnoir. Kale buys a few potions and Sylvan borrows the potion seller’s lab to make a cloak of resistance for a customer. The next day, Sylvan teleports back to Khorasan alone and brings the remaining party members to Rastor, with Verilia reducing her animal companion as usual.

They spend a day in Rastor and the following day Sylvan picks up the others from Hommlet. Lenny immediately sets to work preparing dinner for everyone, including Rerrid Hammersong, the dwarven paladin Lord Jengol, and others. He recruits a couple of helpers from the townspeople and they setup a kitchen outside the Temple to Moradin. Most importantly, Lenny has one of the dwarven smiths construct a number of kettles for the brewery and the up-and-coming master cook starts brewing some fine ale.

The night passes peacefully for the invigorated hamlet of Rastor, no longer such a wretched hive of scum and villainy. Unfortunately, it passes restlessly for the heroes, especially Aldoroc, who dreams of rapiers piercing his vital organs. In the morning, the group prepares for another assault on the insane cultists. They gather their gear, have a quick breakfast, prepare spells, and journey by foot to the main entrance on the west side of the Mt. Stalagos.

Cresting a short hill, the heroes come into view of the path up to the main entrance and, more importantly, a fight between dragons. Vranthis sits at one end of the clearing in the grass. The large green dragon, recently a member of the Air Temple, has already established contact with the party. After initially fleeing from them and then negotiating the return of a couple of his items, he met them again after the fall of the Water Temple, killing the two fire mephits and destroying the Water Temple platform.

At the other end of the cleared area sits Krystaf, the large white dragon who promised a reward for the head of Vranthis, his rival and archenemy. Six human warriors and a human cleric nervously flank Vranthis. It is obvious that blood will be shed today, it’s just a question of whose and how much.

Krystaf growls at the big green, snarling in draconic, “You have lived long enough, lizard. Today you will die and I will feast on your entrails.”

Vranthis snickers, and the sound rumbles out of his throat like a bellows. “Krystaf, you would have difficulty killing these human vermin I have as guards. Your breath weapon is so weak, you could not freeze a chicken. No wonder Chymon left you for me, she was afraid of enduring ridicule at the enclave.” Vranthis glances over at the approaching heroes. “Indeed, I’m surprised she let you live.”

The white dragon notices the glance and looks over at the heroes as well. Enraged as he was, and concentrating on the big green, he would not have detected their approach. He lets out a small shower of wispy air, like ice boiling, and grips the icy ground in his powerful claws. “Welcome, my friends. Help me as you promised and your reward will be great.”

Vranthis appears startled at this comment and growls at the adventurers, “The Temple of All Consumption is still powerful. Join with me to defeat this pest and you will have the gratitude of the Air Temple. I’m sure Fachish will have suitable reward and then we will help you have revenge against the Fire Temple!”

The heroes discuss amongst themselves which dragon to help, but are interrupted as combat erupts. The white dragon gets the jump on his opponents and launches into the air, breathing a cone of frigid air, ice, and snow at Vranthis and his guards. All of the guards except the cleric drop to the ice-covered ground, dead or unconscious. Krystaf cackles with glee until the frosty green dragon breaths acid back at the white dragon.

Verilia decides to join the combat, not deciding yet who to help, by creating a thunderstorm over the entire field with control winds. She then casts call lightning storm and drops the first of many lightning bolts into Vranthis. The little druid’s new power stuns the rest of the group. The nearly hurricane force winds buffet the dragons, forcing them to fly higher and out of the area. Strangely, the winds move upwards and keep both creatures from landing. The cleric amazingly makes his way out of the area and flees to the south, presumably back to the South Gate and the safety of the Air Temple.

The dragons lock in aerial combat a few times, with Vranthis clearly the dominant fighter. However, with the help of the heroes, Vranthis is killed before he can escape again. Krystaf is wounded and the heroes strongly consider ending his threat as well. A bargain is a bargain, though, and Shangor and Verilia demand the reward.

Despite his chaotic nature, Krystaf flies away and returns within half an hour with a leather-wrapped bundle. He drops it on the ground and then gnaws off Vranthis’s head. Clutching the head in his foreclaws, Krystaf says, “So our bargain has ended. Your help this day has been appreciated. Should you meet with Chymon, give her my love.” He then jumps into the air and flies off to the north, over the mountains.

Aramil scowls at the white, and then walks over to the bundle. Verilia and Sylvan loot the frozen bodies on the ground. Unwrapping the bundle, Aramil uncovers a gleaming two-handed sword. A masterwork adamantine blade lies engraved with runes, with a hilt of ivory and jewels. He picks it up reverently, only to drop it again reflexively as he feels the weight of the weapon draw upon is chaotic life force.

Kale, not of the same ilk as the dragon disciple, picks up the weapon instead, with no ill effect.

Hello, brave warrior. My name is Fragarach. A voice speaks into his mind. Strangely, Kale is not afraid of the contact.

Kale attempts to communicate with it as well, thinking his words. Hello, Fragarach.

Kale feels the mighty weapon probe him and all of the party for that matter. As this occurs, Fragarach imparts its findings to the archer, revealing the moral and ethical alignments of his friends, whether they are good and lawful. Only Shangor follows both paths.

The sword seems…disappointed. It telepathically communicates with the dwarven cleric, only to find that the dwarf does not wish to wield a two-handed sword. It reluctantly remains in the possession of Kale, who promises to use Fragarach in the fight against evil. Fragarach imparts all of its abilities to the ranger, including its history its work in the hands of the great Prince Thrommel, mighty paladin of Pelor, and hero of the Battle of Emridy Meadows.

Kale says, “Don’t worry, we’ll return you to the Emperor.”

The sword cries out in alarm, in common, “No! Whatever you do, don’t put me on a shelf! I’d rather be wielded in your incompetent hands than sit unused on a shelf! My place is fighting evil, so onward!”

Kale shrugs and puts Fragarach in its sheath.

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