Our cast of characters…
Dracon, human initiate of Obad Hai & Beastmaster of the Wegwier;
Kalik, halfling initiate of Avoreen;
Kendradell, female half-elf bard & initiate of Lydia;
Marcus, half-elf initiate of Heironeous;
Milik, halfling sorcerer;
Murray, human wizard;
Nikolai, Suloise human initiate of Lendor;
Sabian, gnome thief;
Tarqualan, high elf mystic (Vesve Forest)
After discovering the secret doors to what they presumed was Drelzna’s lair, the group began forging ahead, first reaching what had once been a guard post and then a hall leading to the various private chambers of the dignitaries that had once dwelled here. In that hall, they were met by a half dozen wraiths, two of which were quickly blasted back to the spirit plane by Dracon and Tarqualan, but the rest engaged the party in melee and soon had Dracon, Kalik, and Sabian vastly weakened. In the end, however, the party was victorious and set about exploring the private chambers beyond.
Relying on Marcus’ ability to detect evil, they soon stood in a chamber off the main bedrooms, dominated by an enormous obsidian tub. As they attempted to pit their strength in moving this massive work of art, Dracon and Tarqualan were suddenly struck dumb, and moments later a mist began to rise out of the drain of the tub, forming into the naked and very angry Drelzna. The battle that followed was furious but short, and ended with Drelzna being forced to return to mist and flee back down the drain, which the party first stoppered, then poured oil down and set aflame.
Finally beginning to feel the effects of so prolonged a combat, the general consensus was to flee the scene forthwith, the bodies of Lucian and Shallane deemed unrecoverable (Lucian having been last seen sinking beneath the flagstones and Shallane’s fate completely unknown). A final raid on the library was commenced, with 120 volumes stuffed into the magical bag they’d recovered earlier in the caverns being deemed enough… a short jog down the hallway led them to a door that both Mirella’s sword and Sabian’s crystal skull said contained the gate that would permit their escape.
After Sabian’s unsuccessful lock picking attempt was rewarded by a poison needle, Marcus elected to simply bash down the door; while successful, his momentum carried him across the room and through the gate (with the door) to land unseen on the far side. When the rest of the group joined him, they found him at the mercy of a pair of guards wearing the livery of the Voorman; it seemed that the gate from Iggwilv’s caverns led directly to the Voorman’s castle in Schwartzenbruin!
After explaining themselves to the guards and to Nerek Festil, the court sorcerer, the party were hailed as heroes, as Mirella’s final act of passage there had been to close the gate that linked Iggwilv’s stronghold and the Voorman’s castle. A feast was held in their honor, and later that week (after Marcus had determined that no armorer in the city had sufficient wealth to buy Drelzna’s gold-chased armor), Marcus made a gift f the armor to Franz, Voorman of Perrenland. In response to their ‘generosity’, Marcus and his companions were awarded the title to a small keep on the northern borders called Kaverknoll.
As midsummer approached, several members of the group found it necessary to travel south in order to attend services in the varied cults (it seems that Midsummer’s Eve is a popular High Holy Day) while others traveled back into the mountains to recover their horses as well as Dracon’s wolf familiar who had been left behind to guard them. While journeying back upriver, Kendradell had the occasion to tell Marcus all she knew concerning the legends that surrounded the crystal skull Sabian possessed (most of which was pretty awful) which caused the skull to now include Marcus and Kendradell among Sabian’s enemies (one of the principal powers of the skull was that it would inform it’s master of the names and current locations of anyone who sought to do him harm – in the skull’s estimation, anyone who sought to separate them meant them both harm). Hearing that his erstwhile allies now meant to do him harm, he left one night under cover of darkness, likely never to return.
Before he’d left, however, he’d drawn an accurate map of how to reach the ruined temple of Tharizdun. The reformed party soon set out on the trail, and after two days travel soon met up with a patrol of two ogres and a mountain giant set to guard the approach to the temple. Upon spotting them, Marcus led out a bloodcurdling battle cry and charged to the attack, which focused everyone’s attention on the battle before them, causing the sudden appearance of hobgoblin archers among the trees to come as a total (and unpleasant) surprise.
Murray, who’d already launched a spell at one of the ogres earlier in the round received the attention of half the archers, and quickly went down in a hail of arrows. Kendradell, her mountain lion, Tarqualan and Nikolai also received arrows, but to much less effect. In short order, the giant and both ogres fell before a combination of Marcus’ ax, Nikolai’s temporal spirits, and spells from both Dracon and Tarqualan.
As Kalik rushed forward to deliver the coup de grace to the giant, a commotion on the hillside revealed itself to be a centaur battling the hobgoblins, and between his assault and the attentions of the group, soon had the hobgoblins either slain or fleeing for their lives….
And so ends another evening…