Illuvinari

Message in a Bottle (or a Battle?)
Isilay, Urui 3rd, 5055 (08/03/5055)

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Wherein a Strange package arrives for the Speaker.

Rillë hurries up to the Duchess and leans down to whisper urgently in her ear.

Eqximiye frowns for a moment and turns to Celethor saying, “Please excuse me. I will return immediately.” She follows Rillë from the room.

Just outside, an unfamiliar high elf wearing the colors of the Jawarl Avignon garrison stands, looking around curiously.

Rillë gestures importantly at the soldier, saying “Lieutenant Falasdir Korianthil.” The young man straightens as he turns toward the Duchess.

“My Lady,” he says, bowing. “I bear a message from Captain Evendell, Gorgon Battalion.”

“Greetings Lieutenant,” Eqximiye replies. “Will you give me this message?”

“Not an hour ago, a raven flew into our encampment at Jawarl. It flew right up to Sergeant Darkwood, dropped a fragment of paper and a box at her feet, squawked at her and turned into a small silver statue. The box is clearly addressed to Eqximiye Carlack, Speaker of the Eldar. The Captain considered this strange delivery, and deemed it too risky to send an unknown parcel through the arches. She also thought it appeared important, so not wanting to delay its delivery, she sent me to inform you instead.”

Eqximiye’s eyes narrow in thought. She purses her lips slightly to the left, and then nods abruptly.

“Thank you for bringing this matter to my attention. I hope you will remain long enough to take some refreshment before you return to your duty.”

He smiles and shakes his head, “Thank you, but no, I am ordered to return immediately. Either I will escort you to the Captain, should you wish to make the journey, or I will return to report to the Captain whatever message you desire.”

“In that case,” says the Duchess, “I will detain you no more than a moment.” She turns and re-enters the council chambers, Rillë at her heels.

As she enters, Morran Tel-Kittoren says to Thangil, “Sadly, only the same that ever we plan for when battling the undead. Release.””

She walks directly up to Celethor. “Forgive me, but I have just had a message arrive from Jawarl Avignon. I must depart at once.” Sarendil steps up on the side opposite Rillë, shooting the other elf an unfathomable look.

“What sort of message?” asks Celethor, holding up a hand to delay her departure.

“A silver raven, probably an enchanted figurine, had dropped a box addressed to me within the fortifications. Captain Evendell thought it too risky to bring it through, so he sent a messenger instead. I must inspect the parcel at once.”

“Very well,” replies the Warlord, “you may go.”

She nods at her cousin, and turns to leave. As Sarendil moves to follow,

Rillë says, “Wait Sarendil, one of us should stay here.”

“I agree,” Sarendil says smoothly, “one of us should stay here.” Rillë’s lips draw back in a snarl, but before he can speak, the Duchess chimes in.

“Good thinking Rillë. One of you must remain and speak for the Eldar in my absence. There will likely be decisions to be made.” Rillë pauses, uncertainty coloring his face.

“I’ll be glad to remain and represent the Eldar,” remarks Sarendil, as Rillë’s expression turns sour.

“Excellent,” says Eqxmiye.

“You’ll leave me the Rod then, right?” he asks slyly.

Eqximiye lifts one delicate eyebrow. “Nice try, Sarendil. Don’t push your luck.”

“You can’t blame me for trying, Speaker,” he adds mockingly. Celethor frowns behind him, as the drama plays out. As Eqximiye walks away, Celethor adds, “Take as many as you need to ensure your safety.”

Immediately, several members of the council rise. Y’Draesk is the first to reach her, blocking the door. Thangil and Faydrie are close on his heels, along with Erenion.

Juniper is sitting by the door, and Eqximiye notices she looks rather bored. She pauses, saying, “Juniper, would you like to come with us to Jawarl Avignon?” She hesitates, but accepts the invitation after a few moments.

The group makes the trek down into the lower levels of the palace. Finally, after passing several guard stations, they enter an empty room with a large arch at one end. Lieutenant Korianthil and a palace guard are waiting just inside the room. As the party approaches, he steps in, kisses her and turns smoothly to bow to the Duchess.

“My Lady, are you ready to leave?”

“Yes, indeed I am,” says Eqximiye, looking curiously at the blushing guard.

“Then follow me this way,” he says and walks directly under the arch, vanishing.

“Oh, by the way,” Eqximiye says to Erenion and Juniper as she trails behind him, “this is a teleportation arch.” Then she also vanishes beneath the structure.

Very shortly, the group appears many long miles to the south, where the salty scent of the ocean assaults their nostrils. The weather is significantly warmer here, but the cries of the sea birds are the same as in the capital. Lieutenant Korianthil loses no time leading them to Captain Evendell.

“Welcome, Lady Eqximiye,” declares Dývenil Evendell, standing as they enter. She extends her hands in a warm greeting that surprises Eqximiye.

“Have we met?” she asks.

“No, Lady, not until this moment have I had the honor,” replies Dývenil. “May I be introduced to your friends?”

Eqximiye makes the introductions, and there is a round of polite conversation. Finally, Dývenil says, “Well, you didn’t come all this way just to make small talk. I have a package for you.“ She pulls out a box slightly more than a foot long, approximately five inches deep and places it in the middle of her desk. Next to it, she places a torn scrap of parchment and a statue of a small, silver raven.

“Earlier today, this raven flew into the compound and dropped the parchment and box next to my Sergeant, squawked at her twice and turned into this little statue. She brought them to me immediately, and I locked them in my desk until your arrival just now. I swear to you, no-one has tampered with these items.”

“Understood, Captain,” replies Eqximiye.

Captain Dývenil leaves the party alone in her office, who immediately begin their investigations. After studying the raven for a few moments, Eqximiye announces it to be a Figurine of Wondrous Power, and sets it carefully aside.

The group turns to the parchment. There is no writing on it, and eventually they decide it has been torn off a larger document.
Finally they inspect the box. Neither the box nor the parchment emanates magic. Faydrie begins to attempt opening the box. On the inside, there is something sticky, holding the box closed. Faydrie determines it to be lead, and decides it would be foolish to force it open without knowing more.

After some debate, the party agrees that Erenion should handle the parchment, and use his abilities to try to see into the item’s past. He is successful.

“I see a shadowy figure. He…or she…is standing on a ledge in an alley of sorts. He, yes definitely he, is writing frantically on the parchment. Now he is giving the parchment and the box to the raven. The raven is flying off as flaming arrows soar past.”

Eqximiye groans, “The parchment must have been torn in flight. Damn.”
Erenion replies, “Well, let me try with the box next. Maybe it will tell us more.”

He places one hand on the box and concentrates. “A male, human, stole this from a desk. He is a rigid and unprincipled man. He is the man who sent it here with the raven.” He pauses, sighing. “Wait, there’s more. Another human male, a good man, he bought it and kept writing equipment in it, I see him clearly. “

The room goes quiet for a moment.

“What are you going to do now?” Rillë asks into the silence.

“It’s from Andros. I know it is,” mutters Y’Draesk.

Eqximiye nods at him. “Yes, I rather think it is. He was in trouble when he sent this. I hope it was worth it.” She glares at the fragment of parchment for a long moment. “I simply must know the contents of this letter.”

Thangil responds, “There is no magic that can recall the ink to the page, even if we mend the parchment itself. I fear it is lost.”

“Actually,” Eqximiye says, contradicting him with a wry smile, “there is.”

She places the paper gently on the desk. She draws breath and speaks the sharp, glittering words of a spell. When she finishes, she places one finger on the parchment and says in a crystalline voice, “I wish this paper would be made whole with the writing intact.”

A moment later, a large piece of parchment lies on the desk. It is water stained, but legible.

“E, I believe this is how they are maintaining such a tight seal on the city and control over the populace. Treat it carefully, and do not open it in an area that is not warded or sealed with lead.”

“Is that it? Is that his writing?”

Eqximiye looks around, but cannot even be sure who asked the question.

“Yes, that’s him!” she says exultantly. “Let’s get this back to the palace. Now.” The party gathers up the three items, and take their leave of Captain Evendell.

Before long, they are in a lead-lined, warded room. Carefully placing the box on the far side of the room, they summon an unseen servant to open it. The servant forces the box open. Inside the box is a severed hand, somewhat moist and stinky, and fairly fresh.

The party stares at the hand in horror and disgust.

“What the hell?” says Y’Draesk.

Erenion sighs and moves towards the hand. The others watch as he slowly reaches out to touch the hand. He closes his eyes as he reads the history of the grisly object.

“I see the good man again; he’s with the other one, the other man. They’re struggling. The other man, he’s hurting the good man.”

Erenion pushes suddenly away from the box. “He cut off the good man’s hand with an axe.” He turns away, breathing harshly. “I watched him do it.”

“Why would he cut off someone’s hand off and send it to us? That makes no sense,” says Rillë with feeling.

“I’m sure he had a reason,” says Eqximiye firmly. “I cannot imagine that he would do such a thing without a good reason.”

Slowly, the group converges on the dreadful appendage. Upon further study, they find that the ball of the hand is swollen. Eventually, this swelling is identified as a necrotic cyst, which allows the person with the ‘mother’ cyst to scry on the person carrying it at will.

“How can we determine if someone is infected?” asks Eqximiye. “Would a spell to detect undead also detect these?”

“No, I think not,” replies Erenion. “The aura of the living being will conceal it.”

“Just imagine,” grumbles Eqximiye, “an entire city under their control.”

“If only we still had our cubic gate,” says Y’Draesk.

“I have a cubic gate. What do you need?” says Erenion.

“Nah, we need our old…wait, what?!?! YOU have a cubic gate???”

“Yeah.”

“Where does it go?”

Erenion lists off the various destinations, “It goes to The Clockwork Nirvana of Mechanus, the Prime Material, the Demi-Plane of Shadow, Layer 1 of the Abyss – Pazunia, the Blessed Fields of Elysium and the Elemental Plane of Air.”

The party stares at Erenion in surprise. Then everyone begins talking at once, making plans to investigate all the destinations.

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Twilight Discourse
Very late on Anarya, Urui 2, 5055 (08/02/5055)

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This dialogue takes place the evening before the war council.


In the city of Fennas Ëar the evening of the second day of Urui, the moon rises bright, but waning, closer now to new than full. The stars paint the deep cerulean of the night sky like a shining scattering of diamonds, and the scents of the city mix with the rich bouquet of the vast and timeless forest of Lëiore. Erenion Narbelmire cannot find peace in the trances that pass for sleep among the elves. He finds his feet wandering, taking him down dim corridors of gleaming marble lit by wisps of flickering mage light. He finds rooms so layered with dust that he surmises that none have passed their way in decades. He discovers hidden gardens, lit with moonlight and communal bathing chambers of pure green jade. He moves through a library whose shelves are laden with scrolls and carefully preserved books and still his feet carry him onward. He wanders up a grand stair and through a disused hall, a pair of thrones draped in delicate white mourning lace perched atop a dais of weirwood at one end. It is here Erenion’s feet finally pause as he looks upon the seat which once served his sister, Elenariel. Where now does she lie? He finds himself wondering. The dark, unused throne room holds no answers. A soft clink of a bottle makes him turn and he sees a thin figure sitting on the floor in the darkness cast by a pillar.

“Hello, old friend,” says Celorik Carnen, Erenion’s nephew, slurring slightly.

Erenion continues to gaze at the throne, a plethora of emotions flowing through his mind. He nods once, then turns toward the voice of his old friend.

“It seems we of the old guard see fit to torture ourselves within memories that should have been lain to rest long ago. I have so many unanswered questions…it’s a bit embarrassing, really. A fellow of my age should probably be dispensing prophetic wisdom, not worrying over what was.”

Erenion sighs quietly and walks over to Celorik. For a moment, the centuries of battle and strife show in his gaze.

“I’m glad you’re here, Captain. There are dark times ahead and if I can share one last drink with a boon companion, I’ll consider it a blessing from my lord.”

There is an uncharacteristic note of fatalism in his voice, though a grin stretches across his face.

Celorik returns the old elf’s gaze far more steadily than a man as far into his cups as he should be able. His smile welcomes his old adventuring companion, his eyes showing a dark tide of swirling emotions. Though far younger than Erenion, his face is lined and expression of one deeply wounded. Without a word, he hands his old friend the bottle and gestures to the floor as if to offer a seat, his eyes drifting to the empty thrones. Reaching into a short-coat that is resting folded beside him, his hand draws forth a silver flask of a type often favored by the noblemen of the edan [men], which he uncaps and raises in silent salute – to Erenion or the thrones is unclear. The sharp scent reveals its contents to be something much stronger than wine as he takes a drink, gasping faintly afterwards as the liquor bites his throat.

OOC: Celorik was born in 4560 which makes him around 320 when Jawarl Avignon fell to Mondru IV and the United Orc tribes. Korethor Carnen (Celorik’s grandsire) died when the last ship out of Jawarl sank with all hands and the city’s final defenders lost. That would probably would have been Celorik’s prime adventuring time. His father, Dior (your sister’s husband) was chosen to be the new Duke of Fennas Ëar, largely because he was the one all the various factions disagreed on least. It was largely thought that he would be the most maleable but Elenariel was her husband’s strength and touchstone. Many say that she was the true power in Fennas Ëar.

Around 4984 was the ‘time of troubles’ amonst the elves. The human citystates had been tearing themselves apart for a decade and there was talk of King Nicolos of Keloania setting aside his crown in an effort to pacify the conflicts. It was around this time that the various factions of Eldarea, who had been without a single unified leader since the disapearance of Mortethian (Korethor’s brother) fourteen years earlier, began a series of bloody internal purges. Many elves fled Fennas Ëar, some into Lëiore, some into the human lands. After the Winter of Death in 5002, elves outside of elven lands became less welcome. Celorik took it upon himself to find as many as he could and take them to a refuse some had established in a mountain range in the far north west – what would become Amcarofarne. He had the aid of a Argothan mage (a human) and several others – some of whom are probably still alive.

Erenion accepts the bottle and takes a long swig as he sits down. His eyes flicker from the throne to Celorik and back again.

“Look at us, a pair of old drunks, lost in history.” He gestures to the throne as he takes another long pull from the bottle. “Always hated that thing. Too much responsibility….like a prison disguised as a piece of furniture. I’ll never quite understand how she was able to do it, nephew.” Erenion clears his throat and twirls the bottle in his free hand. “The humans have a saying….‘herding cats’. Getting our people to agree on ANYTHING…..I imagine it must have been a stressful exercise… Heh, listen to me ramble.” He brushes a hand in front of his face as though to clear the jumble of memories.

A wry smile slowly paints Celorik’s face at his uncle’s words. “Cats, heh, yes that was what it was like. Father being the biggest one at times.” His eyes look in the direction of the covered thrones, but are clearly seeing them as they once were, not as they are now. “I miss father dearly, but mother…” He shakes his head and his eyes focus on the now. “That wound is far deeper.” He takes another pull at his flask and inhales sharply. “Its strange, Uncle. I was dead for around two years. I experienced terrible, nightmarish things. I come back and … " He waves his free hand around as if to take in the entire palace. “Its like I came back to a different place.” He shakes his head once more. “Celethor has grown cold and hard as I would never have imagined. Celemar. Well, I find that I don’t despise this new Celemar. He’s grown softer. Its like he got everything he was after – and by that I mean power – and found he didn’t want it. Like maybe he grew a heart.” He laughs softly and drinks again.

“And an entirely new generation of heroes have come into their own.” Erenion gestures vaguely at Celorik. “Your boy has grown into a fine warrior and leader. Have you had much chance to speak with him? I see more of you in that one every day. Well….the good parts of you anyway." Erenion chuckles and drains the bottle, then looks at it mournfully. “With all of our nation’s great magic, you’d think SOMEONE would have enchanted a decent everflowing wine bottle by now. CLEARLY our people lack the proper priorities these days.”

He stands and walks over to Celorik, resting a hand on his shoulder. “As different as this place seems to be, it still needs us.” His grip tightens. “I’ll be here for you, nephew. Do not despair. The world hasn’t fallen away just yet.” Erenion tilts his head, almost as though he is listening to an unheard voice. “The children will need our strength before the end.” He intones that last line in solemn fashion.

Even Celorik’s clouded countenance clears at the mention of his son. “Yes, he has, hasn’t he?” He hauls himself unsteadily to his feet, catching hold of his uncle’s arm until his balance returns. “There used to be a way to the kitchens back there,” he says, pointing past the thrones. “I may not be the swordsman I once was, but I trust that I am still up to the challenge of raiding the wine cellar!”

At first chuckling, then softly singing, the two old companions shuffle off into the dark supporting one another.

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The Emancipation of Y'Draesk R'rgelnev
Anarya, Urui 2, 5055 (08/02/5055)

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Wherein the Duchess of Fennas Ëar entertains a newly arrived guest from the faerie courts and plots a daring attempt to free the Speaker’s Cur from the influence of a cursed magical relic.

Part I: Thorny Secrets

“Hey, got a minute? I need to talk to you.” Eqximiye looked up from the latest set of reports to see Y’Draesk standing in the doorway of her office.

“Sure,” she replied easily.

“That spell you were talking about…the one with the mental bond?”

“Rary’s Telepathic Bond, do you mean?”

“Yeah, that. Can you cast it now? I want to test it out, see how it works.”

“Drae, I’m in the middle of fifteen things, and none of them are as annoying as you.”

“Dammit, you know I wouldn’t take you away from all THIS just for laughs," he said as he waved dismissively at her office around him. Just humor me, alright?” he snapped.

Eqximiye raised her hands in surrender. “Fine, fine. If you’re going to be cranky about it…”

She stretched dramatically and rummaged in her desk, finally pulling out some pieces of eggshell. Some of the pieces appeared to be regular chicken eggshells, easily found anywhere in Fennas Ëar. The other shell fragments were green on one side and yellow on the other. Crumbling the shells together in her left hand, she began murmuring under her breath.

As usual, when Y’Draesk tried to listen to the words of the casting, they slipped through his mind, slick and smooth, with occasional sharp edges that gave him a headache. He always tried anyway, no matter how much it infuriated him. When she stopped, there was a moment of profound silence in the room.

What’s on your so-called mind? Eqximiye said, with humor. She sat back and looked at him, waiting for a response. Her lips twitched at his expression.

Cute, he replied, rolling his eyes. Are you absolutely sure no one can hear us?

Positive, came the reply. Yestamir might be able to hear us in the right circumstance, but he is not here.

He took a deep breath and thought Hey, Ashenthorn…buddy…can you hear us? There was no reply. Eqximiye cocked her head to one side and looked at him curiously. Ash? Need to talk to you too. C’mon, stop your dreaming of bleeding and burning things and talk to me. Ash? There was no response.

Does this really block him out?

Of course it does. He is a separate entity. If you wanted me to include him, you should have told me that before I cast the spell. Eqximiye rolled her eyes. Shall I cast it again?

No! He responded, slamming his hand down on her desk, alarm and dread filling his eyes. I need to be sure he can’t hear us. You must be absolutely certain. It’s important that I talk to you alone.

What’s wrong, Drae? Eqximiye leaned forward, all pretense of annoyance gone. What’s going on?

I can’t control him anymore. Y’Draesk swallowed. He hated this part, hated even thinking it to his best friend. Sometimes, he began. Then he paused, gathering his courage and facing his dread for the admission. Sometimes, I can’t control him, and he can even control me. He swallowed, choking down nausea. He closed his eyes for a moment, and concentrated on breathing. When he opened them, Eqximiye was frowning.

How much?

What?

How much control does he have? For example, can he make you kill someone? Can he control the ring without you?

There was a long pause as he avoided meeting her eyes. Yes. And yes. He pressed his lips together in a tight line. Admitting that made him angry, but not as angry as being controlled by a creature he had once considered a friend. Maybe not a friend in most ‘culturally acceptable’ ways, and certainly with limitations, but still a strange sort of friend.

You can’t remove the ring, and therefore, can’t remove his influence. Eqximiye was thinking swiftly, her eyes shifting from right to left rapidly.

Help me. His jaw tensed. He hated needing help, even from people he trusted. He despised asking for it even more.

Of course.

He must not know. He felt rising panic at the thought of Ashenthorn realizing what they were plotting, taking over his body, murdering his friends. Ash could turn the ring into a sword and run her through as they sat there. If he knew. He couldn’t bear another Tinweon, another Morlelaith reaping through his soul.

He won’t. We will never speak of this aloud. You need to come up with something to tell him about this conversation if he asks.

How will we plan this without him finding out?

We won’t.

That statement brought him up short. What do you mean?

I’ll take care of it.

Eqximiye, he snapped, he’s dangerous. Besides, I want to know what you’re planning. He’s capable of horrible things. You have no idea… what… what He, what I… His mind was somehow choking and stuttering.

Do you trust me? The question brought him up short and he looked at her. She grinned impishly at him, her eyes crackling with humor.

Of course I do, Ex. Between them, there was no other possible response.

Then trust me with this. You will be free! With a snap, he felt her end the bond. He shook his head slightly and blinked.

“Satisfied?” she asked drily. “May I please get back to these reports now?”

“All work and no play makes Eqximiye a royal pain in the ass,” he quipped back.

“Bite me, wolf boy.”

“Hah! You’d enjoy it too much, and your dearest would be oh, so jealous!”

She rolled her eyes and gestured to the door. “Out!” He went.


Eqximiye stared at the door pensively as it closed behind Y’Draesk. Her eyes narrowed and one finger tapped rhythmically against the top of her weirwood desk. She picked up the stack of papers she had been reading when Y’Draesk arrived, and continued where she left off.

Furthermore, the witness claimed the assailant was some kind of wolf man, walking on two legs, with 2 foot long claws, and poison dripping from its jaws. Its eye glowed with an unholy light. She ran while it killed the other man, the one who had attacked her.

She flipped to the next page, and then the next.

It was a werewolf! I was lucky to escape with my life! I fled while it gorged itself on another innocent bystander!

She continued flipping through several pages of ink-stained parchment, all filled with statements given to the City Watch by survivors and witnesses of a series of brutal murders that apparently occurred over the past few months. Several statements were given by the deceased.

Who killed you? I don’t know.

What killed you? A werewolf.

Why? I don’t know.

She turned impatiently to final sheet in the packet. It is written in a different hand, and signed with the stamp of an official City Watch Inspector.

This is the eleventh such corroborating report we have received. Many of those killed were criminals in their own right, and even the surviving witnesses are largely an unsavory bunch of people. However, the possibility that a werewolf is hunting unchecked in our city can no longer be ignored.

I am aware that one of your associates is familiar with the affliction of lycanthropy, and was hoping that you or he might be able to shed some light on the habits, strengths and weaknesses of the average werewolf. It is only a matter of time before the Watch comes into contact with the killer, and we must be prepared.

I remain your dutiful servant,

Inspector Austenial Silverspear

Eqximiye reached up to rub her temples. She could feel the headache, pounding lightly now against her skull. “Son of a bitch!” she cursed, feelingly.


That evening, she sat curled in a chair, her feet tucked under her, enjoying a glass of feywine with Kelroth. It was a rare occurrence that these two should have an evening to spend speaking of nothing but childhood memories and cherished dreams. After laughing together as Kelroth reminisced about a prank he and Tirmirian played on their teacher, Belroth Carnen, he grew pensive.

“What is it, Kel?”

“I was just thinking about Port Dawn.”

“What of it?”

“I was thinking of Sir Tanis again. Wondering what happened to him.” Kelroth stares glumly into his wine. “We have lost too many good men, stalwart defenders of our people. What if he lives somewhere, captured and perhaps tortured? What if he fell? It isn’t fair that he should have no burial. It isn’t fair.”

“I know you liked him.” Eqximiye said quietly, without inflection.

“You didn’t.” It wasn’t a question.

She sighed heavily. “I would rather have said that he never liked me. It’s hard to like someone determined to dislike you before you ever meet.”

Kelroth’s jaw tightened. “He had…has reason.”

“No. Telandir Ellanta has reason. Tanis Vale has none.”

“Except his friendship with Telandir Ellanta.” Kelroth said pointedly, before draining his glass. Their eyes met for a long moment.

“Point taken.” She looked away first.

“Is there any news of Surian?” asked Kelroth grimly.

She shook her head. “None of my people have heard word of him, nor had any success scrying on him.” She drained her glass and stood, looking out the tall window towards Silmerhos Bay. She refilled her glass, never taking her eyes from the horizon. Slowly, she turned and refilled Kelroth’s glass as well. For a time, they drank in companionable silence.

“Do you think he’s dead?” Kelroth asked.

“Surian? No, I don’t.” she said quietly. He gave her a hard look, but decided not to press the issue.

“What next?” she asked lightly, after a pause.

“I leave for Greycliff in the morning. Keep me appraised of any news regarding Surian or Vale. I will not rest until I know their fates. I need to get things in order there, and then I will be in touch. Celethor has a few tasks for me.”

He stood and drained his glass one final time, bowed and placed his glass on the table. “Good night, cousin.”

“Good night, Kel.”

After Kelroth left, she remained sitting in silence, looking out the window. Her thoughts turned inward, she considered the events of an evening not too long ago…


Y’Draesk was standing in her office, leaning against one wall, frowning at her.
“I have something to tell you.”

“What’s that?”

“Do you remember my friend Surian? Elrohir Surian?”

“I’m hardly likely to forget, with Kelroth breathing down my neck wanting me to locate him.
Why?”

“Well, we have a problem.”

Eqximiye frowned, and gestured for him to continue.

“You know I went to the Hoarder’s Club with a friend last night.”

“Right. A friend. Angelina?” Y’Draesk glared at her. “Not Angelina?”

“No.”

“So…a different friend, then?”

“Are you done?”

“Done? I’ve barely started, but we’ll set it aside for now. Please, do go on.”

“She said she had a surprise for me.” He paused, and Eqximiye raised her eyebrows expressively, but said nothing. “It was Surian. He sends his regards.”

There was a moment of silence, so complete it led Y’Draesk to reflect on the phrase dead silence. Then, finally, Eqximiye spoke.

“What the fuck do you mean, it was Surian?” she hissed. “What the fuck do you mean he sends his regards? What regards?”

“We kind of… sprung him at Port Dawn. There was a bit of trouble.” He paused, but Eqximiye had fallen silent once again.

“Tanis Vale almost caught him. Surian killed him and dumped his body in the bay.” She stared at him uncomprehendingly for a moment. She opened her mouth to speak, and then closed it again. She took a deep breath, and tried again.

“A bit of trouble.” She squeaked. She cleared her throat and tried again. “Drae, are you seriously telling me that you killed Sir Tanis Vale in cold blood, while freeing a man that Kelroth arrested, and dumped his remains in the bay?”

“No, no, I said Surian did it. It’s not my fault!” Her nostrils flared in response.

“Kelroth is going to go spare.” She said faintly. “Sweet Correllon, what a disaster.”

“We’re seriously screwed on this one,” Y’Draesk agreed heartily.

“We?” she asked sharply.

“Um yeah, that’s the other thing. Since I am, ahem, The Speaker’s Cur, Surian and his new friends assumed that you and I planned this together. That’s why he sends his regards.”

“What new friends?”

“Um, apparently he fled to Lëiore, where certain people are hiding him. He’s going to help them train a fighting force loyal to them. They now pledge you their support, in light of these events.” He grimaced as he said it.

“What new friends, Drae?”

“They call themselves the Arrows of Correllon.”

“Gods above and below, Kelroth is going to kill us both.” She closed her eyes. “Son of a bitch!”

Part II: Canine Conspiracies

Eqximiye hesitated before knocking on Nique’s door. From inside, she could hear the sounds of three women laughing and giggling. Then someone squealed. “HAHAHA! That tickles!”

Eqximiye smiled to herself and knocked briskly on the door.

“Who’s there?” called out Nique breathlessly.

“Eqximiye.”

“Oh! Come in if you like.”

Eqximiye opened the door and stepped into the room. Nique was lounging across several cushions and her friend the nymph, Laire. Seluna, the lillend, was partially curled on a long, low settee. She was reaching out with one wing and tickling her friends with her primaries. None of the three were dressed.

“I apologize for disturbing you,” said Eqximiye.

“Nonsense. You are our hostess. You are always welcome to join us,” replied Nique, sending her friends into fits of giggles.

“You are too kind. I confess I have come to ask for aid.”

Nique’s eyes opened wide, and she sat up quickly. “Aid? Of…of course.”

“Are you familiar with an item known as a Ring of the Valiant?”

“This is the ring that manifests various enchanted silver weapons at Y’Draesk’s command, is it not?”

“Correct.” The Speaker nodded.

“What of it?”

“I have recently become aware that Y’Draesk’s ring has been cursed. An evil spirit has invaded the ring and seeks to control his bearer.”

Laire sat up as well, crying out, “Nique, this is dreadful! You must help!” She bounced up and down on the cushions in agitation.

Nique nodded. “Of course I will help,” she said decisively, stroking Laire’s hair comfortingly. “What do you know of this evil spirit?”

“Little enough yet. It calls itself Ashenthorn, and is the spirit of a nightmare. Previously, it was bound to an Obsidian Steed statue. When the statue was destroyed, it took shelter in the ring. My hope is to banish it, allowing Y’Draesk to keep his ring, which is a useful weapon. If that fails, we may have to remove the ring by force.”

“Can he not remove the ring?” asked Selune.

“No, he is not able to remove the ring.”

“Is this curse a result of the possession?” interjected Laire.

“No. The Ring of the Valiant has always been thus.”

Nique frowned. “This requires further research. You realize that in order to remove the ring, we may have to remove the finger.”

“I am aware of that possibility. I hope to avoid it.”

“How quickly do you need answers?”

“I am not going to rush matters until I know more. I also need to enlist the aid of a cleric. I have been unable to contact Fo’wyn, so must soon travel to the Isle of the Moon to seek out Leone Ashenfell.”

“We will assist as we may. If we discover anything useful Nique will come to you,” Seluna stated firmly.

”In turn, I will keep you apprised of any new information I obtain.”

“Agreed. Until next we meet.”

Eqximiye departed, satisfied with Nique’s promise of aid. Over the next few days, she held similar discussions with Thangil, Quingle and Umbrecrom, in the hopes that their combined resources could solve Y’Draesk’s prickly problem.


Thwack, thwack, thwack, swish. Eqximiye paced up and down her small office. It was exactly three steps from the north wall to the south wall. The Speaker had recently returned from an unfruitful trip to the Isle of the Moon. Neither Fo’wyn nor Leone was in residence, and Morran Tel Kittoren was indisposed.

Thwack, thwack, thwack, swish. Thwack, thwack…

Suddenly, she stopped. She rolled her eyes at the ceiling and slapped her palm over her face in irritation. Then, she turned and swiftly exited the room. She moved hastily through the palace corridors, bypassing various councilors and functionaries, until she passed into a wide courtyard. The ground beneath her feet was covered in marble, which occasionally erupted into a low table with benches, seemingly grown rather than made. Moving around a large tree, she finally spotted her quarry.

A tall grey elven man sat at one of the marble tables, seemingly meditating. As she approached, he looked up, and carelessly brushed his multi-colored hair out of his dispirited blue eyes.

“Lady Carlack,” he said formally, rising to bow gracefully. “It is a pleasure to see you here today. Is this a chance meeting, or were you looking for me?”

She smiled in response. “Erenion, I have told you to call me Eqximiye. There is no need for such decorum.”

He shrugged in reply. “Old habits die hard, I suppose.” His gaze drifted sadly towards a splendid oak tree, straight and tall. He stopped and shook himself, returning sharply to the present. “How may I be of service to the Speaker of the Eldar?”

“Let us walk together,” Eqximiye suggested. He shrugged in response, and gallantly offered his arm. She accepted and the two began to meander through the maze of tables and greenery.

“I have come to ask a question of you,” she said simply.

“It may be that I have an answer, of sorts,” came the reply. “I have seen and done much in my years.”

“What do you know of…possession?” At the question, Erenion paused in surprise, but then continued walking.

“Of all possible topics, I confess you have surprised me.” He fell silent for a few moments, considering. When it seemed she would speak, he held up one hand, and she fell silent.

Finally, he spoke, “I know many things…and more about this topic than I would prefer. Why do you ask this? I cannot believe it mere chance.”

“Not chance,” replied Eqximiye. “Fate.” She stopped and looked at Erenion, her eyes burning through him, assessing his strength and wisdom, even as she leaned on his arm. “You see, it is for Y’Draesk that I am here.”

The two spoke for several hours, comparing magical and divine lore, and eventually found themselves seated on a marble bench at the far end of the courtyard.

“An anti-magic field should allow him to remove the ring,” postulated Erenion. “But from then on, we must contain it.”

“The cursed thing could just find its way back to him, unless we find a new wielder. Such curses are devilishly hard to break. I am by no means sure that a Banishment spell would force it out of the item. We must be certain.”

“Devilishly hard?” chuckled Erenion. “My friend, I believe you have made a joke.”

“A weak and feeble one,” sighed the lady, resting her head on one hand dejectedly. “I do not know how to bring our power to bear on Ashenthorn himself.”

“On Ashenthorn…himself…” said Erenion slowly, eyes widening. His gaze snapped to her fiercely. “Is Yestamir still in residence?”


The next day, in the latter part of the morning, Eqximiye emerged from her office. Rille, as always, was seated at a desk in the antechamber, working on various reports.

“Lady Carlack,” he said, bowing low. “Good morning to you.”

“Good morning, Rille,” she replied. “I need to know who is in the palace.”

He looked confused. “Everyone?”

“No, not everyone,” she said humorously. “Specifically, which of my friends from the Raptors and the Shards are in the palace today?”

“Ah. Of course.” Rille hesitated and then bowed again. “If I may be excused Lady, I will obtain that information for you.”

“Rille,” she called as he sped from the room, “invite them all to join me for lunch.”


Eqximiye sat at a large table, with Quingle on her left, and Y’Draesk on her right. Thangil and Umbrecrom sat further down the table, eating with gusto. Erenion wandered in an out of the room, seemingly at random, entering various conversations momentarily before drifting away again. When Nique finally arrived, she wasn’t alone. At her shoulder was a small fey…a pixie.

“Greetings! I am Juniper of the Grey,” the pixie announced, bowing grandly before Eqximiye. “Are you my Hostess?”

“Welcome to Fennas Ëar, Juniper of the Grey.” Eqximiye said formally. “Would you care for something to eat?”

“No, thank you, I have already eaten,” came the reply.

“Perhaps some wine then?”

“Yes, thank you,” said the diminutive woman. Eqximiye poured a small glass of lorien for her new guest, who began to sip it appreciatively. Juniper took the opportunity to question the elves about certain friends of her from Court.

Before the conversation could progress further, Erenion walked calmly up to the small fae saying “Oh my, look at that!” As he pointed over her shoulder with one hand, he cast Detect Evil with the other. The pixie drew herself up sharply and hissed in offense. “How dare you!” Erenion shrugged carelessly, and poured himself a glass of lorien.

“It is nothing more than I expect from a servant of such an undependable Lord,” she sneered, tossing her hair over her shoulder in disdain as she looked at Erenion. Suddenly, everyone was talking at once.

Eqximiye stiffened, saying coldly, “I beg your pardon? Are you speaking of my patron?” At the same moment, Y’Draesk leaped up in outrage, crying out “What do you mean by that?” Thangil and Umbrecrom both pushed back from the table hastily and made for the door.
Juniper blinked and quickly reassessed the temper in the room, which was considerably less friendly. Realizing she had insulted her hostess, she made a hasty apology and withdrew, to try again later.

After the pixie’s departure, Thangil and Umbrecrom slid back into the room, checking for evidence of violence. They were followed closely by Yestamir. Erenion clapped his psionic friend firmly on the shoulder and looked into his eyes. They both turned and nodded to Eqximiye. “We’re ready,” said Erenion.

Eqximiye turned to Nique, who gave her a half-hearted nod. Umbrecrom and Thangil both gave her a thumbs up sign. Quingle carefully placed his napkin on the table. “Ready,” he said simply.

“What’s going on?” said Y’Draesk with a frown. Yestamir approached the table quickly, coming around on the right side where Y’Draesk was seated. Eqximiye turned to look at him. She reached out with her right hand and laid it over his left one.

“Do you trust me?” she asked gravely. Y’Draesk’s eyes widened as Yestamir stopped in front of him, reached out psychically and invaded his mind. As he lost consciousness, he heard the whisper of a woman’s voice saying, “I wish this spell will work.”


Y’Draesk’s body seized as Yestamir’s presence burst inside his consciousness, grabbing hold of some indefinable essence inside, and twisting sharply. Less than a second later, the party appeared inside a harsh and unforgiving landscape.

They stood on the inner plane of a large thorny ring. Past the curve of the horizon was burning light, as though something large was ablaze. A voice echoed throughout the space in which they stood.

“You dare! You dare to invade me! ME?!” The very floor began to burn beneath their feet. Immediately, Erenion began casting, protecting everyone from the elements. The air grew thick with smoke, and clouds of ash began to flow towards the group from all directions. Ashenthorn was nowhere to be seen.

Umbrecrom opened his pack and poured holy water on the ground, provoking a scream of pain, as the mist coalesced around them. Several members of the group saw nebulous figures moving steadily forward through the steamy, vaporous landscape. The spellcasters took the opportunity to cast various spells of protection, as the heat intensified. The party realized that the figures in the fog were illusion, just as Yestamir realized that his body was under attack.

The combat, which was happening at the speed of thought inside the mind of the nightmare Ashenthorn, did not preclude events happening in the real world. The bodies of Yestamir, Eqximiye, Nique, Quingle, Thangil and Umbrecrom had gone slack, as their spirits did battle with the hellish fiend. Y’Draesk’s body, however, was moving. His hand was slowly raising towards Yestamir.

Inside the mindscape, the thorns began whipping back and forth, attacking people. The party members screamed and the thorns tore through their flesh. In retribution, Quingle and Eqximiye began casting spells at the ground beneath their feet, mimicking Umbrecrom’s earlier success. Sadly, these attacks did not avail them.

In desperation, Erenion cast a powerful divine spell called recall agony at the ground. Pain wracked through Ashenthorn and the beast shrieked in agony. Regrettably, so did everyone else, as they were forced to live through the destruction of its former home. As the spell ended and the group stood panting and shivering, Erenion determined it would be best if he didn’t cast that particular spell again in this environment.

At that moment, Yestamir, realizing the attempt was doomed unless they defeated the evil spirit quickly, teleported the group to the opposite side of the ring. There, Thangil spotted Ashenthorn above them. The group immediately began their attack. Ashenthorn retaliated violently, while in the real world Y’Draesk’s hand came level with Yestamir’s right eye. The ring began to change, a point starting to form outward, as the tip of a spear.

Eqximiye, seeing the fiend cried out “Lucien protocol!” Immediately, the group sprang into action. Eqximiye cast another wishing spell, and said clearly, “I wish Ashenthorn fails to resist the next spell cast against it.” Erenion quickly cast a spell to lower the creature’s natural magic resistance, if indeed it had any. Finally, Quingle cast a disintegration spell at the nightmare. Thangil continued his barrage of arrows and Umbrecrom prepared to bull rush the enemy.

Ashenthorn gathered its strength, and began casting a spell of its own. Quingle recognized the spell and immediately responded with a counter-spell. This was fortunate, as Ashenthorn’s intent was to magically flee the area, forcing the friends to take more damage from the heat and smoke as they searched for its hiding place. Since the spell failed, the devil prepared another attack.

Finally, as spells and arrows showered down on Ashenthorn, it gave a fierce and despairing cry. Yestamir, realizing their foe was destroyed, quickly grabbed hold of the group and transported them back out of the Y’Draesk’s mind and back into their own bodies.
Y’Draesk stood next to the table, trapped in an interminable moment. Realizing he could move, he looked around at his friends in shock.

“We have defeated Ashenthorn, Drae.” Eqximiye said softly. He turned wildly to look at her, and then stared down at his hand for a moment, where the Ring of the Valiant rested on his finger, the spear tip created by Ashenthorn already vanished back into the ring.

Suddenly, he shifted into his hybrid werewolf form and pushed his way out of the room. He sprinted madly through the palace yelling, “He’s gone, I’m free! Free! I’m Free!”

Back at the table, the Speaker of the Eldar poured herself a slightly larger than normal glass of lorien and toasted her co-conspirators. “Well done, everyone,” she said softly. “Many thanks to you all.”

View
Load up on guns, bring your friends
Tarion, Cerveth 30, 5055 (07/30/5055)

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Wherein we finally meet the high priest of Fenmarel Mestarine

View
Aftermath
Cerveth 26, 5055 (07/26/5055)

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As Kelroth, his nephew, Yestamir, The Speaker of the Eldar and her ‘curr’ fade from sight, taking with them the Seed of Malgaius, a tremendous sound is heard rolling out from the vast tree that is the material form of the demon lord.

A thunderous splintering roar shocks the ears of those within a few miles of the colossal trunk and seems to go on and on. Ever so slowly, the gigantic bulk of the tree shudders and cracks and tilts, debris, made deceptively small by scale and distance, appear to tumble gently from huge limbs down to crash into the ruined city below, clouds of dust roiling up from each impact. Bit by bit, the immense trunk tilts… and begins to fall. It picks up speed, branches the size of towers tearing free and falling like impossibly giant spears into the wreckage of the buildings below, the screaming of acres and acres of tortured wood drowning out all other sounds as the trunks twists and splits and crashes into the earth, exploding into deadly clouds of flying splinters and slivers, the ground rippling out for miles in a wave from the impact. Clouds of dust, leaves, and wood chips roil upwards, spreading out, yet the rumbling and crashing grows louder, echoing and rolling out over the surrounding land as the terrible forest covering it collapses, dies and crumbles to dust before the eyes of any survivors. As the dust and smoke settle to earth, blurring vision and choking the lungs, secondary crashes and the echoes of a thousand thousand shattering trees assault the senses for what seems like an eternity. When the dust clears, there is nothing left of the forest or the great tree but dust, the rubble of a ruined city and swath of devastation nearly forty miles in diameter – over five thousand square miles of lifeless land.

View
Root of Evil III - The Abysal Seed
Cerveth 26, 5055 (07/26/5055)

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Having fought their way into the depths of the demonic tree, Malgarius, our heroes have convinced the squabbling factions of the demon lord’s multiple personalities to assist them in overcoming Thingizzard’s hold on its prison. Can they trust the deposed demon lord? Can they defeat Thingizzard and destroy the growing demonic forest? Join us. Same Bat-time, same bat-channel!

The group had 20 hours –till the fiery orb reached its apex- to rest heal and prepare their spells. Fowyn converted spells to healing spells and attended those who needed healing. Kelroth took the +2 Int Ioune Stone, and Yestamir claimed the hat which was the Crown of the Temporal Juggler.

It was decided that the Combat-inclined members should be responsible for the non-Combat-inclined. The teams were:
Y’Draesk & Eqximiye
Pr’Gillis & Quingle
Umbrecrom & Yestamir
Thangil & Kelroth
Nique/Nelke & Fowyn
Cyren and Faedrie would be floaters who would assist where they were needed.

Before they rested there were spells that were cast-
Fowyn: Heroes Feast which offered immunities, protections and 15 bonus HP
Quingle: Superior Resistance (+6) to Thangil, Fowyn, Quingle, Kelroth, Nique, Umbrecrom, Y’Draesk,and Pr’Gillis.
Kelroth: Greater Luminous Armor and Contingency Spell with a Battle Magic Prerception

The group then rested for 8 hours. Upon awakening the casters began casting the magics that would protect and augment the group.

Kelroth:
See Invisible
Battle Magic Perception
Resist Energy Mass- Electricity
Stoneskin
Spell Turning
Mass Fly
Mirror Image
Fox’s Cunning
True Seeing
Bull’s Strength

Eqximiye:
Endure Elements- Cold
Greater Mage Armor
Animalistic Power
Interfaith Blessing
Battle Magic Perception
Stoneskin
Spellturning
Fowyn:
Greater Status
Moment of Precience
Undead Bane Weapon
Disrupting Weapon
Mass Resist Energy- Sonic
Foresight
Entropic Shield
Nimbus of Light
Align Weapon
2 Sheltered Vitality
Zone of Revelation
Trueseeing
Mass Death Ward
Sublime Revalry
Freedom of Movement

Quingle:
Moment of Precience
Greater Mage Armor
See Invisible
Battle Magic Perception
Resist

Nique:
Primal Instinct
Primal Speed
Resist Energy
Mass Resist- Fire
Barkskin
Energy Immunity- Acid
Tortise Shell
Linked Perception
Animal Growth
Twilight’s Luck
Owl’s Wisdom
Sheltered Vitality
Pheron’s Resolve
2 Twilight’s Luck

Faedrie:
Stoneskin

Cyren:
Insight of Good Fortune

Thangil:
Primal Hunter
Primal Instict
Primal Senses
Primal Speed
Barkskin
Protection from Energy- Acid
Arrowmind
Celestial Aspect
Silvered Claws

And the psionic people manifested some powers.

Pr’Gillis:

Force Screen
Inertial Armor
And he drank a potion Water Breathing

Yestamir:
Mind Link
6 x Power Resistance
Mind Blank
Adapt Body

There are minutes of frenetic casting. The walls to room begin to peel away as the room contracts & shrinks. There are several minutes of shuddering and shaking as the room becomes a bubble of reverse-peristalsis 120’ up the trunk of the tree. The bubble space that contained everyone conjoins with an organic chamber over 100’ wide the center of which had a pedestal on which a silvery orb within a bubble of force released energy blasts along the inside surface of the force bubble. The orb itself levitated several inches off the pedestal. Erupting from the adjacent walls, floor and ceiling long ropey tendrils extended and reached toward the burning sphere. The far side of the room had a lense with flickering images of the city that resided where the Demon tree Malgarius sprouted. The images showed a city destroyed and ravaged. On a 10’ high ledge that ran the length of the back wall there stood a Gigantic Tyrannosaurs Rex next to a floating Astral Diva bathed in a white glow. Everyone knew it was the Druid Nighthag Anachrion Thingizzard wild-shaped into an Astral Diva.

She spoke:
“ I’m so glad to know in the end it was you Aunt Gilenial who came to try to stop me and witness my final triumph. “

Closer along the side walls in front of the area where tendrils erupted were coiled 2 Night Crawlers- undead intelligent extra-dimensional wyrms. The one on the left was surrounded by 6 Dread Wraiths – undead creatures with no discernable features exzcept for their glowing red eyes.

Round 1
Cyren moved up 30 & held her action. 4 of the Wraiths approached the group, coming to a stop within 10 of people in the front rank. The first reached out at Umbrecrom & and its incorporeal arm reached through the magic shield he held before him narrowly missing touching the Barbarian’s arm. Another attempts to touch the Fist of Zuoken, Pr’Gillis and misses. Thangil is hit twice and takes damage from the unnatural chill of the spiritual damage(13) but he makes his saves. Y’Draesk takes a 5’ step and makes a full attack sequence making 2 pair of hits (56, 60) and a final hit (17) which destroyed it. Eqximiye’s Battle Magic Perception sensed a spell coming from Thingizzard- a Baleful Polymorph- which Eqximiye burns her Battle Magic Perception to try to dispel but fails. Thangil manages to make his save defeating the Druid’s spell. Kelroth senses through his Battle Magic Perception another quickened spell from the Nighthag- he recognizes the Flamestrike and using his Ring of Elemental Control of Fire he counter-spells it- the energies of the opposing Flamestrikes play out against each other in a flashing light spray. This activates his Contingency Battle Magic Perception spell. Fowyn, flying 10’ higher than where the group levitates and casts Holy Aura. The Night Crawler on the right surges from his coil toward Umbrecrom and there is a crackling in the air as Fowyns Holy Aura meets the creatures own Aura of Desecration. It snaps at Umbrecrom and misses. Pr’Gillis climbs Umbrecrom and leaps off his shoulders onto the back of the Night Crawler, after having taken a glancing bite from the creatures AoO (13). Yestamir manifests his Shadow Body power turning into an unconnected shadow hovering in the air. 4 more Dread Wraiths rush from the right and 4 more from elsewhere. Quingle cast Arcane Spell Surge, and then backs up 10’ to assure the maximum effect and casts a Shadow Illusion which mimics a Disruption Wave which is maximized by the chunk of the Plane of Shadow he carried. 8 of the Dread Wraiths were destroyed and one of the Night Crawlers caught in its effect roars and dies. The remaining Dread wraith it had summoned is released back to its netherworld existence and disappears. Nique casts Superior Magic Fang on herself and Nelke and Wild Shapes into a Dire Bear. Malachitrix does a flyby attack on a Dread Wraith but his acid spray passes through the incorporeal undead. Thangil shoots and hits with 4 arrows but most of the damage is blunted by protective Stoneskin that it has (20 40). Eqximiye casts Assay Resistance on the Astral Diva which allowed her to divine the nature of her magic protections: a curiously useless lavendar and green Ioune Stone, +1 AC, Ring of Acid Resistance, Powerful magic bracers, Cloak of Resistance, a Ring of Freedom of Movement, Trueseeing, Stoneskin, Bear’s Endurance, Cat’s Grace, AirWalk, Resist Elements Fire, Spell Resistance of at least 30%, Immune to Venom, Greater Magic Fang, and 4 Elemental Wild Shapes. Kelroth readies an action and says “Anachrion! We have found you! Come Home.” To which she laughs and says “ I am home. Tis is my Home-coming! Now die annoying pathetic worms!” Umbrecrom slips into his combative rage and charges dropping his shield and provokes an AoO from the Night Crawler he charged- and it hits him (18) and it starts a grapple with him in its maw preventing Umbrecrom from being able to do anything.

Round 2
2 more Night Crawlers from the other side of the room start to make their way through the writhing tendrils. And 3 more Dread Wraiths come through the tendrils. Cyren hits the 4th Night Crawler with a Ring of the Ram (29) which cracks some of its chitinous armor. Quingle’s Battle Magic Perception alerts him to a Dispel Magic spell Anachrion has cast and he casts a Greater Dispell to counter-spell it. Kelroths Battle Magic Perception alert him to a Quickened Entangle spell and he casts a Dispel Magic spell which dispels it. Y’Draesk hits (59, 40). The night Crawler holding Umbrecrom eats him (8). Fowyn casts Haste which will affect most of the group. Pr’Gillis blasts a maximized Lightning Bolt from his mouth (48). Yestamir manifests an Energy Bolt at the Night Crawler and penetrates its Spell Resistance but it saves and takes half damage (15). Faedrie Magic Missles a Dread Wraith & it disappears in a puff of smoke. Quingle casts True Casting and another Shadow Illusion of a Disruption Wave maximized by the chunk of the Shadow Plane and both fail their saves and are destroyed and the Dread Wraiths vanish. Anachrion, speaking in Abyssal says “Malgarius! It’s about time you did something!” There is acreaking & ripping and a section of the wall behind her reaches out and slams her T-Rex “What the hell are you doing!?” And then all the air is sucked out of the room. Various members of the group make con checks and do not pass out. Umbrecrom from within the gullet of the Night Crawler snaps the fingers of the hand wearing the Glove of Storage and his Great sword which is miniaturized and held in stasis immediately appears full sized in his hand- stabbing the gizzard of the Night Crawler (37) which causes a large enough slash through its side that Umbrecrom exits through the gash and is free, dripping the digestive juices of the Night Crawlker.

Round 3
Cyren makes her con check and rams the Night Crawler again but this time doesn’t penetrate its magic resistance. Kelroth makes his con check and Limitedly Wishes for a bubble of air around his party. Anachrion wildshapes into an Earth Elemental. Fowyn casts Dismissal on the Night Crawler but it fails to penetrate the magic resistance. The night Crawler bites Quingle (16) & grapples and holds the Sorcerer. Thangil shoots arrows and 3 hit (63) and it roars. Pr’Gillis hits it (22) Faedrie puts a Necklace of Adaption on Y’Draesk and Yestamir grabs him and Dimension Doors on to the raised area across the room. Y’Draesk makes a dex check. The T-Rex sees them and roars which causes it to loose all of its air. Y’Draesk charges Anachrion and misses her. T-Rex moves to Y’Draesk and provokes an AoO (3 -10). T-Rex hits Y’Draesk (9 –10) T-Rex tries a close quarters grapple but provokes an AoO (37–10) which breaks the grapple. Quingle thinks to Malgarius who he figures is reading all of our minds “Malgarius, I apologize for the discomfort my attack to the other creatures caused you. We need air to be able to continue to attack Anachrion to free you.” And then casts Teleport to get out of the Night Crawlers maw and then casts Orb of Electricity Maximized. The Night Crawler makes its save and dies (81). The area near Y’Draesk erupts into barbed tentacles and hits the T-Rex (3 –10). Malachitrix goes to Quingle. Nique calls a Lightning Storm on the T-Rex but it makes its save and takes no damage.Eqximiye casts Magic Missle at the T-Rex (14). Umbrecrom hustles out to past the pedestal still next to the writhing tentacles.

Round 4
Cyren holds her action, Kelroth casts Sunburst up near Anachrion but she and her animal companion saves.Kelroth tries a quickened Dispell Magic on Anachrion. Cyren runs up closer near the pedestal. Air rushes back into the room and Anachrion Wildshapes into an Astral Diva and casts Baleful Polymorph, but thanks to Battle Magic Perception is detected by Kelroth who fails to stop it. Anachrion gets through Yestamir’s magic resistance but Yestamir saves. Fowyn casts Lower Spell Resistance to which Anachrion fails her save (-15) Thangil hit the T-Rex 4 times (12 –50). Pr’Gillis Abundant Steps onto its back and blasts another maximized Lightning Bolt at it which the T-Rex manages to evade. Y’Draesk commands his Ring of the Valiant convert into a chain-whip and bellows “Ashenthorn make me proud!” and the demon-bound weapon screams at Anachrion as it hits (10 –10) and hits again (9 –10). Yestamir tries to Dominate the T-Rex but it saves. It misses Y’Draesk. Faedrie Dimension Doors opposite Anachrion. Quingle does a Ray of Enfeeblement at the T-Rex and it looses 12 strength points. Quingle then casts Battle Magic Perception. Y’Draesk gets hit by the wall (11 –32)
Anachrion in Abyssal” No1 No! No! The Psionic one!” Nique understands what she said and translates it through the Mind Link so everyone understands she’s telling Malgarius who to attack. Nique holds her action. Eqximiye flies straight over to the area by the seed and with a knowledge arcane check realizes that the energy is something like force-lightning and that it’s a defensive spell. Umbrecrom screams “Psionic Strike!” as he strikes massively at the T-Rex who takes full damage because his sword is unaffected by the Stoneskin (76). Nelke move up to Nique.

Round 5
Cyren casts a Silence between the T-Rex and Anachrion. Anachrion then turns into a Green Dragon and flies over to the seed and screams “Now!” Cyren hits with her Adamantium Rapier (7) on the AoO. Anachrion bites Kelroth (1 –10). Everyone near the seed gets hit by tentacles (including the Dragon). Kelroth (1 –10) Eqximiye (0 –10) Quingle(13) Malachitrix (11) Fowyn (12) Cyren (12). Fowyn’s Lower Resistance spell trhen goes into effect. Kelroth casts Anti-Magic Ray but misses the touch attack causing it to deflect off the force wall around the seed. Fowyn casts Destruction at the Dragon but it saves and takes damage (40) Thangil hits with an arrow (13 –10)Pr’Gillis attacks the T-Rex (61). Y’Draesk hits the T-Rex (14 –10, 12 –10, 11 –10, 25) and it drops.
Anachrion screams “Ginthrax! Ginthrax!” as it starts to shrink to merely huge in size. Faedrie flies close to Anachrion and takes 3 AoO from the tentacles (4 –10, -9, 6 –10) but misses attacking the Dragon. Yestamir manifests a Concusion Blast (29). Quingle holds his action. The temperature in the room drops to –50 degrees. Nique casts Rain of Roses ana Anachrion takes 4 wisdom damage. Speaking as Galenial Nique says “And this is why you’ll never be an Eldar. You don’t have what it takes.” Eqximiye casts Tactical Teleportation which places Umbrecrom right next to the Dragon’s side as he attacks but misses 3×. Quingle uses his Moment of Prescience and dispels a number of the magical effects Anachrion had upon herself: Shape Change, Air Walk, Trueseeing, and she changes back into a Green Hag. Nelke holds.

Round 6
Cyren moves provoking 3 AoO (10, 12, 13) but misses her attack on Anachrion. Anachrion casts Word of Recall and Quingle notes it with his Battle Magic Perception but fails to counter spell it and she vanishes in the subtle vacuous pop of air as she teleports away. Yestamir immediately uses his Divert Teleport power and psionically grabs her and diverts the destination of her Teleport right back to where she left. The tentacles attack everyone in the area. Umbrecrom (11), Cyren (14), Faedrie (0). Y’Draesk (1), Kelroth (4, -10). Fowyn readies an action, Thangil hits twice (12 –20), Kelroth readies his actionwaiting for Yestamir to Manifest the diamond that he could use as a component for a Sanctify the Wicked Exhalted Spell. Pr’Gillis runs over to hit and hits a few times (33) Faedrie hits with 2 crit (15 –10, 24 –10) and Y’Draesk hits (20 –10). Acid pours down from above but Pr’Gillis avoids it while Kelroth makes his save (26). Anachrion loose 2 more Wisdom points from the Rain of Roses. Nique calls Lightning but Anachrion saves and it doesn’t bother her. Malachitrix holds. Eqximiye readies an action. Umbrecrom hits (35) and then crits (67) cleaving her arm off. Lying in the widening pool of blood the Green Hag mumbles “Adda it’s cold…” and dies. Eqximiye immediately casts a Wish as Anachrion went to her final rest. “ I wish the seed was in my hands” and then it appeared in her hands. The tentacles lunged at her and she made her will save to exert control over the seed and Malgarius. Eqximiye secures Malgarius’ cooperation. Y’Draesk takes Anachrion and her severed arm. Despite having the cooperation of the demon tree it is decided that everyone needs to leave immediately. Umbrecrom decides the T-Rex tail would make a nice ceremonial sheath for his sword and chops off a length of the dinosaurs tail before everyone ports away.

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Root of Evil II - The Demon Tree
Elenya, Cerveth 25, 5055 (07/25/5055)

roe4.jpg

Our heroes, both the Raptors and the Shards, head out in a desperate attempt to confront the mad arch-druid calling herself Thingizzard. Can they defeat this powerful survior of the wars with the lich-kings? Can they wrest the artifact known as the Seed of Malgarius from her gnarled fingers and save the Gold Plains from the demonic forest she’s called forth? Tune in and find out!

Umbrecrom, Pr’Gillis, Thangil, Talacbar, Y’Draesk, Quingle and Kelroth have all dropped out of Cloud Walk.

Thangil and Cyren watch as a hole opens beneath Pr’Gillis and he drops downward into a chute. The opening then seals. Yestamir forms a mind link with the rest of the group. A sphincter ahead of us opens. Gut checking the Purple Worms reveal partial remains of Orcs and Trolls.

Kelroth, Cyren & Fowyn go back into Cloud Walk.

Thangil, Talacbar, Umbrecrom, Y’Draesk & Quingle, go down the corridor which bends up to 45 degrees, loops around which makes it difficult to traverse. Quingle casts fly, and everyone else is in mist form. The corridor has puddles of water, the walls are slick, and blast of wing come through the hall. Thangil and Talacbar fall & slide taking damage (22 each) but are able to extricate themselves by taking 20 with the assistance of rope. Over the course of the next 400-600 feet of tunnel the group can hear creaking, slams, gurgling and other noises. 10 minutes pass and the group comes to an opening. The air is warm and dry now, and cracks & fissures can be found in the wood. The tunnel opens into a cavernous chamber with flickering lights. The ceiling is 30’ high and in the room is a black monolith emanating shadowy light 20’ high and 15’ wide. There are large 10’ wide slactites/ stagmites in the chamber. Quingle, Eqximiye, and Kelroth make the (dc 35) spell check: the monolith is constructed from shadow essence that turns the lighting shadowy (not dark) possibly like a dimensional intrusion.

The group moves to the enterance of the room and Yestamir reads the thoughts of the tree and senses its attention which causes him to stop. He thinks its possible that Malgarius is a composite being. Umbrecrom snaps his fingers bringing his Greatsword from his Glove of storage and uses it to detect undead.

Round 2
Umbrecrom detects undead, a gigantic undead presence that may be intertwined with the monolith, and informs the rest of the group through Yestamir’s mind link.

Cyren, Kelroth, Fowyn and Fadre beging to exit the Cloud Walk spell. Y’draesk moves up to the front, Yestamir manifests a Mind Blank, Psionic. Talacbar &Thangil move up to the stalagtite opposite Y’Draesk and sees a giant worm with black chitaneous armor plates, a Nightcrawler. Yestamir, Umbrecrom, Fowyn, and Nique make Planar Knowledge checks and reveal it’s a type of Night Shade that can read and understand all forms of communication. It’s psionic, and emanates a 20’ radius Desecration aura. It is a type of extra-planar undead that is very intelligent, has energy drain and spell-like abilities. Umbrecrom wills himself into the rage state that heightens his combat prowess and moves to the front of the group. Quingle flies about Thangil. There appears to be something happening with magic- Necromatic, Conjuration, and Shadow Magic.

Round 3
Y’Draesk holds while Yestamir manifests a Time Hop and makes the magic resistance (20) but it makes its save. Umbrecrom runs into the room and near the monolith. He detects another Nightcrawler on the other side of the room. He then senses a portal forming in front of him. Nelke and Talacbar become paralyzed.

Tentacle sprout from the ground & Umbrecrom gets hit (27) as does Thangil (29) and Quingle (23). Eqximiye continues her slow emergence from the Cloud Walk. Quingle flies away from the wall and casts a Greater Dispel spell on the forming portal& stops a Nightwalker from gating in.

Round 4
Yestamir manifests another Time Hop and makes it past its spell resistance but it saves again. Fowyn still slowly emerging from the Cloud Walk spell. Thangil takes more damage from the tentacles (20) as does Talacbar (22). Umbrecrom moves. Kelroth & Nelke fail vs a Confusion spell. The Nightcrawler moves forward and attacks Y’Draesk. (Quingle and Fowyn announce incoming spell) and touches Y’Draesk and Y’Draesk fades from the plane as Yestamir tries to divert the teleport that will take Y’Draesk to deep into the Plane of Shadow.

Umbrecrom makes a Reflex save & avoids an opening pit. The room becomes a vacuum as the air gets sucked out, but Umbrecrom saves vs a suffocation save.

Eqximiye continues her gradual fade in from the Cloud Walk. Quingle tries a Disruption wave via the Shadow spell but he can’t defeat the creatures Magic resistance.

Round 5.
Cyren continues to fade in.Yestamir manifests an Ultrablast but fails to defeat its Magic Resistance. Kelroth starts babbling and singing through the mind link. Thangil draws his bow and hits the first worm with an arrow. Umbrecrom charges it gets hit with an AoO (29) and misses the gigantic worm which radiates an arua of Unholy Blight which feels like a cold cloying miasma of greasy darkness but Umbrecrom shakes it off by making a save but still takes damage (15).The second worm tries the same and Umbrecrom takes half damage (28). Slick watery sap now covers the floor.

Round 6
Yestamir manifests a concussion blast that can’t penetrate its magic resistance. Fowyn then casts Lowwer Spell Resistance on the first worm. Thangil hits it with an arrow (24). Thangil then fails his save for the vacuum check and drops. Fadre comes in & casts Lightning Bolt (37) which hits. Umbrecrom attacks with his great sword and hits twice (46, 35) and then is attacked and grappled by the first Nightcrawler taking damage (18) from its bite. The second Nightcrawler casts a Greater Dispel Magic which affects everyone but Thangil and Umbrecrom. Eqximiye’s, Telecbar’s, Nelke & Nique’s Heroes Feast are dispelled. Fadrie & Cyren’s Cloud Walk is dispelled. Fowyn’s Display Greater Status dispels. Quingle’s Detect Magic and Yestamir’s Mindblank are also dispelled. The Confusion Spell which Kelroth fell victim to was fortuitously dispelled. At this point a thick sap that made the ground difficult to travel across covered the floor. Eqximiye finally faded into corporeal presence and Wished for at least a half hour of air- the room then creaked as air rushed back in.Quingle cast an Arcane Spell Surge then cast a Disruption Missels spell on the first creature (40) which dropped it and freed Umbrecrom. Nique immediately set to the task of healing Thangil (30).

Round 7
(The difficult terrain caused people to move at 1/2 their movement rate and caused a –5 on balance checks.)
Fowyn assisted in healing the Ranger by wanding him with curative magic (56) while Cyren moved to get cover. Yestamir held his action and Kelroth cast Mass Fly allowing everyone the power of flight. Thangil shoots 2 arrows at the remaining Nightcrawler hitting it (27) and uncovers Kelroth’s staff revealing the sacred glow of its Celestial Brilliance. Fadrie casts Protection from Evil on himself. Umbrecrom downs a healing potion (19). The second Nightcrawler vomits a black infused necrotic beam of light at Fowyn but he casts Moment of Prescience to avoid the worst effects but still takes damage (27).Nique converts Protection from Energy spell and converts it into a Cure Serious she then casts on Quingle (20). Yestamir dispels his Cloud Walk and becomes material but is still flying, but there are hurricane force winds blowing again with sleet and hail showering down. The group exits the room the way it came in. Thangil looses his footing and is blown 80’ towards the other exit taking some minor non-lethal damage (5) from the buffeting. Nique is swept by the wind and slides 60’ towards the same tunnel and is buffeted (9). Kelroth is blown 110’ and covers his staff (4), Telecbar 40’ (7), Eqximiye 50’ (5) and grabs hold of Umbrecrom as he takes another potion (17). Quingle moves in front of the remaining Nightcrawler and casts a Shadow Illusion Orb of Electricity which doesn’t penetrate the creature’s magic resistance.

Round 8
Cyren holds her action, Fowyn moves to Umbrecrom and uses curative magics on him while Yestamir holds preparing to countershift any attempted Planeshift. Telecbar flies back 30’ to the group, Thangil grabs Keleroth 30’ back while Fadrie and Umbrecrom hold their actions. Kelroth once closer to the foul Nightcrawler removes the cover from his staff setting loose its Celestial Brilliance. The nightcrawler belches out a Cone of Cold at Quingle who manages to make his save taking half-damage (28). Nique sits upon Nelke as Nelke flees. The wind then comes to a stop as the temperature drops and ice begins to form. By the end of the round the temperature has dropped to –40 degrees. Everyone takes damage from the cold. The wall near Yestamir reaches out and slams him (43).

Eqximiye casts Speak with Plants and hears a babble of hundreds of voices from the tree “Kill the Intruders!” “Free!” “Destroy Intruders!” among the tumult. Eqximiye states “Please don’t attack!” which gets a barrage of responses “Kill Anachrion” “LasBrath’l” “Test the Meat!”

Eqximiye continues to converse with the voices extracting a deal that if her forces can defeat the statue the tree will give her back a warrior.

Meanwhile Quingle casts a Lowwer Spell resistance spell on the Nightcrawler which fails its save and then follows it up with a quick action casting Disintegrate which defeated its spell resistance and it again fails its save and takes damage (99).

Round 9
Cyren wands a Scorching Ray that hits and defeats its spell resistance managing to scorch it (24). Fowyn converts a Sending spell to a Cure Critical and casts it on Yestamir (39) who manifests an Energy Bolt at the undead worm and it fails its reflex save and is blasted (43). Kelroth shoots Magic Missle (20) which kills it.

The room begins to warm and the sap begins to drain. A shimmering bubble of force arises from a hole that grew in the floor. As the bubble rises the hole seals beneath it and then the bubble fades revealing Pr’Gillis. After checking the corpse of the Nightcrawler I was found to have 900 Platinum Pieces, 6000 Gold Pieces, 40 gems, an Iron Wand, a funny looking hat, orange silk, a head dress of clear crystal, and 3 magic items: a gem- a mottled scarlet and blue sphere that indications of alteration magic, a hat (psychoportation) and a wand with necromantic magic detected on it.

Umbrecrom receives 3 administrations (18, 16, 16) of healing from Fowyn, then Yestamir receives 3 (13,14,13)and Quingle receives 2 (15, 20). Eqximiye cures Fowyn (24) and Talacbar (16, 14, 21, 14). Quingle asks for a piece of the monlith and Umbrecrom sunders a bit it as big as his fist for Quingle.

Yestamir and Kelroth plan for finding Y’Draesk. Y’Draesk uses his psionic power to Planeshift the two to the grayish black expanse of the Plane of Shadow. A cool yet strange wind drifted past the Archmage and the Psion on a very, very cold plain. 40 miles away there was a dark shadow of a forest on the horizon below the black vault of the sky of shadow. Kelroth scried on Y’Draesk and sees him on a monochrome ground covered in spongy black grass busily trying to avoid a Nightstalker. Yestamir Corresponds with Y’Draesk and Kelroth Greater Teleports them to the wayward Werewolf. While giving the fighter grief about the side trip Yestamir Planeshifts back to the Prime Material Plane to a city called Drakar. Kelroth Greater Teleports the trio back to the inside of the Demon tree, Malgarius. Yestamir quips “Thank God we’re back in the belly of a Demonic tree.” The group then advances through hundreds more feet of wooden slimy corridors that twist and wind through the massive core of the tree. Eqximiye stumbles down a slope(7) and tumbles into Quingle (10). The tunnel opens into a dark chamber where there stands a 20’ statue of a gnarled Treant on a round dias made of the black stone with yellow and white swirls.

Round 1
Y’Draesk goes 5’ in as Quingle casts Arcane Spell Surge & Battle Magic Perception. Fowyn uses the Gem of True Seeing and observes that the Statue and the dias are separate pieces, and that the material of the statue was grown like bone, that the Treant was some kind of Golem. Umbrecrom steps in and tries to detect undead through the powers of his Weapon of Legacy but doesn’t sense any.Pr’Gillis moves in next to Umbrecrom. Thangil Talacbar and Cyren then move in behind Umbrecrom.

Round 2
There is a creaking then from behind the group in the tunnel. Y’Draesk moves up 30’ and Fadrie moves up and dons his ring of Invisibility. Yestamir turns into a bird & hovers by Y’Draesk. A 17’ tall Truly Horrid Umbrehulk comes out of the wall behind Nique & attacks (27). Quingle casts fly and makes his save versus Confusion when he looks at the Umbrehulk with its bizarre bug eyes. Kelroth presses against the wall and casts Mage Armour. Umbrecrom runs back past the Truly Horrid Umbrehulk that emerged from the wall to get behind it in full defensive fighting posture but still takes an AoO (28). Thangil tries to get a closer visual inspection of the statue but it is Cyren who provokes an AoO when she gets closer than 10’ but it misses her and she saves versus the Confusion when she looks at it. She readies a crossbow. The Golum moves toward Y’Draesk who makes an AoO when it gets closer that 10’ from him and hits (2- the Golem is able to shrug off the larger part of the attack). The Golem hits back (27).

Round 3
Y’Draesk changes his Ring of the Valiant into a Great Sword and hits the Golem (28) and the Golem uses a supernatural ability to Slow Y’Draesk. Umbrecrom remembers that Stone Golems are called Mage-killers and Eqximiye recalls that they are immune to magic and both share the information through the Mind-link Yestamir has been maintaining. Fadrie hold for a teleport while Nique averts her eyes & using defensive casting casts the Cerulean Symbol, but the Umbrehulk makes its save. Nelke runs and provokes an AoO (24). Eqximiye casts Tactical Teleportation which puts Fadrie behind Umbrecrom and switches Umbrecrom and Y’Draesk so that Y’Draesk was now in front of the Truly Horrid Umbrehulk behind the group. Nique moves to the entrance of the tunnel as does Eqximiye. Fadrie does a sneak attack on the Truly Horrid Umbrehulk and makes 3 hits with his Rapier of Speed (95). Yestamir withdraws. Another Truelly Horrid Umbrehulk erupts behind Pr’Gillis and hits him (19). Quingle casts with Shadow Battery an Orb of Fire and the touch attack hits and the Truly Horrid Umbrehulk fails its Will and Fortitude saves (90) which dazes it. Fowyn casts Freedom of Movement on Y’Draesk and negates the Slow. Pr’Gillis blasts a lightning bolt from his mouth but the creature makes its save (24). Umbrecrom wills himself in to the Rage and attacks the Stone Golem (69). Thangil hits with 2 arrows at the second Truly Horrid Umberhulk (26). Cyren moves and sneak attacks the same creature and hits (25). A pit then opens under Fowyn and he fails his reflex save but uses his Boots of Levitation to avoid falling in it. The Stone Golem Slows Umbrecrom and then hits Yestamir in his bird form (35).

Round 4
Y’draesk crits on the fisrt creature (67) and it dies. Nique casts healing on Nelke. Fadrie moves up next to the other Truly Horrid Umbrehulk. Eqximiye wands healing to Yestamir who uses Temporal Acceleration to move behind the Dias. The second Truly Horrid Umberhulkmisses Pr’Gillis. Quingle moves. Kelroth casts Assay Resistance on the Greater Stone Golem. Fowyn runs up to Y’Draesk & gives him the Golem Scarab. Pr’Gillis hits his creatrure (37) but it makes its save versus his touch of Golden Ice. Umbrecrom takes a 5’ step and misses with an attack at the Golem. Thangil circles around and casts Freedom of Movement on Umbrecrom. Y’Draesk saves versus the pit that opened beneath him. The Graeter Stone Golem moves toward Nique and hits. Y’Draesk moves up to the stone Treant and it makes an AoO and hits (22). Nique summons a Greater Earth Elemental. Fadrie Magic Missles the Umbrehulk (18). Eqximiye wands Umbrecrom (17) & then she backs away. Yestamir manifests an augmented Energy Bolt at the Umbrehulk and the electricity sears it (48). It misses its attack on Pr’Gillis. Quingle flies over the Treant.

Round 5
Kelroth backs up. Fowyn heals Nique(17). Pr’Gillis hits the Umbrehulk again and it saves versus his Touch of Golden Ice. Umbrecrom manages to hit the Treant (37). Cyren heals(10) Thangil shoots arrows scoring a hit and a crit (25, 31) The Golem slows the Earth Elemental and it makes 2 slams on Fadrie (61). Y’draesk hits the Golem 3 times (70). The Earth Elemental hits the Greater Stone Golem(11). Nique heals herself as she casts defensively. Fadrie Abrupt Jaunts back 10’ and takes a 5’ step. Eqximiye wands Nique (24). Yestamir Dorjes an Energy Bolt (18). Quingle holds his action as does Kelroth. Fowyn heals Fadrie (22). Pr’Gillis hits the Truly Horrid Umbrehulk 3 times (35) and drops it. Umbrecrom hits the Greater Stone Golem and smashes it (112). He then reaches down and retrieves a chunk from the head with an eye as a trophy.

Round 8
The Hallways squeeze shut and the alcove that the Truly Horrid Umbrehulk emerged from closes and the walls & floor shimmer opalescently as a Dimensional Lock secures the room. Umbrecrom climbs atop the pedastal the Treant was on.and it sinks into a pool of sap. Acidic sap falls from the ceiling. Nique sends the Earth elemental into the hole and it sinks and burns so Nique dismisses it after it takes damage (45).

Quingle analyzes the small magic stone and learns that it is a +2 Int Ioune Stone. Quingle caps the hole with a Wall of Force as Kelroth tries to Dispell the Dimensional Lock & blows the spell. There is a storm of acid raining down as everyone takes damage (Umbrecrom is immune, Pr’Gillis uses Improved Evasion as does Cyren) (40 or 20)

Round 9
Y’Draesk makes his Ring of the Valient into an Axe and hacks away at the wall removing big sections of wood which leak more acidic sap. Eqximiye says “I thought we had a deal, bastard!” and holds her action. Kelroth receives a Protection from Acid from Nique. Fadrie casts Knock but it doesn’t work. Yestamir manifests Adapt Body on himself. Quingle casts Moment of Precience and Greater Dispel and succeeds although there was no reaction. Fowyn casts a Mass cure spell (27). Kelroth holds. Pr’Gillis plays his flute. Umbrecrom wonders if by standing on the pedestal that he has killed everyone.

Round 10
The walls shimmer again.Y’Draesk scries on Thingizzard. The acid storm triples in severity and it now is up to their shins.Y’Draesk pulls out a Widdershins bag. The room fills with acid Those affected by acid take damage (32) Yestamir half. Everyone is submerged in the acid. The walls compress and then everyone is in Force Cages and the acid starts to drain. For 4 rounds everyone are forced through acid filled tunnels.

Nelke – 16hp
Nique – 43hp
Eqximiye – 16hp
Fadrie – 27hp
Yestamir – 70hp
Quingle – 74hp
Kelroth – 25hp
Fowyn – 87hp
Pr’Gillis – 109 hp
Umbrecrom – 161hp
Thangil – 135hp
Talacbar – 41hp
Malachitrix – full

There are tearing noises & faces sliding out of holes. All regard with jet black eyes. Voices speak.
“Slay Intruders”
“They performed well”
1/3 talk in Abyssal “Silence!” “Speak to the meat” “Kill it!” and the like.
30-40 heads speaking in unison “They survived the test. Smart. Use you. Destroy Anachrion! Claim the lair!”
Another third say in one voice “For mortals you’ve done well. Talk about a bargain. Deal with us. We can keep the others in check.”

Vengence Seekers, Destroyers and Conquerors. Eqximiye negotiates an uncertain truce, exacting assistance to free Malgarius and destroy Thingizzard if we help them to return to the Abyss. She secures a night of safe rest to recoup our depleted spell batteries and to heal.

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Root of Evil
Elenya, Cerveth 25, 5055 (07/25/5055)

Malgarius01.jpg

Thingizzard, aka Annakrion, daughter of Hithlorian, has implimented her own solution to the threat growing in the West. Gaining control of the arborial demon lord, Malgarius, Thingizzard has destroyed the occupied city of Dryardia by causing a gigantic, demonic tree to burst forth from the city and tower nearly a mile over the landscape. An unearthly and deadly forest now grows from the ruined town, spreading inexorably in all directions with terrible speed.

‘I wish I had my other eye.’ -Y’Draesk
‘Do they sound green: these leathery wings?’ -Nique

The assembled members of the Raptors and the Shards received the casting of Nique’s Cloud Walk and then dissipated into the wind as smudged translucent versions of themselves at speeds of 600’/ round. Twelve minutes out from their destination they saw the encroaching forest spreading from the giant demon-tree, Malgarius. There were camps of creatures within the forest that grew more concentrated as they neared the tree which now towered over 2000 feet. Orc and troll soldiers littered the ground as Harpy archers grazed the skies and congregated in the limbs of the giant arbor demon. The roots of the tree looking like the entwined tails of dragons held fast to the rock and dirt into which it was anchored. Dozens of camps of Orcs (in the hundreds) and Trolls (usually around 12) habited gaping holes within the base of the tree.

The effects of the Cloud Walk spell provided an excellent opportunity to investigate the tree while remaining largely undetected.

Toward the end of the appointed hour of investigating, Thangil had detected a very large old Green Dragon in the branches of the tree that moments later mumbled and then disappeared having cast a Greater Invisibility spell. With this he began to head down to the base of the tree gathering the rest of the group and decided enter a gaping 40’hole as they heard large leathery wings behind them advance. The air was warm and damp while the surfaces of the chamber they were in glistened with shiny moisture. Mist covered the floor. Then something tried to enter the same opening, something invisible. The tree reacted and the entrance constricted upon the dragon, holding it and then as the walls rippled toward the obstruction, worked to push it out.

Kelroth then activated his Nimbus of Light effect in the 20’ round tunnel the group was in. The inside had become musty and they became aware of puffs of wind, heavy with an earthy scent. Umbrecrom, Nique and Pr’gillis detected a seam of a closed opening.
They walked for several hundred feet and even in that short distance they found areas that they needed climbing equipment to traverse. The rhythmic pattern of the wind suggested heavily that the tree was breathing. The tunnel opened into a large dimly lit phosphorescent chamber. 30’ tall vaulted ceilings were obscured by a hovering mist at the top of the room. As the group enters the room another tunnel on the other side of the chamber closed and soon the wind is a 70 mph gust. Hurricane force winds howl through the room as the tunnel the group had come from seals behind them.

At this point some of the group materialize- because of his Boots of Levitation, Fowyn does not need to land on the floor and casts a Mass Acid Resistance spell. Kelroth, Thangil, Cyren, Eqximiye & Umbrecrom investigate the ceiling as Nique notices something move underneath the wood of the floor. The floor and ceiling then bursts open releasing 4 massive (gargantuan) Purple Worms with toothy maws & chitanous armor.

Cyren casts a Scorching Ray at the first one (46) and Fowyn casts a Flame Strike which the two that were targeted fail their saves (45). Adic sap then begins to rain down from the ceiling (R save:22) Cyren evades the deadly dollops avoiding any damage. Thangil avoids them also. Fowyn and Kelroth take acid damage (56). A Purple Worm then bites Kelroth doing lethal damage (taking the Prince to –5) but Thangil casts a cure spell that heals him (bringing him back to 18). Talacbar, Thangil’s Dire Lion companion attacks the second worm landing 2 strikes (34 &10). The first worm attacks Cyren and hits (22). The 4th worm to enter attacks Fowyn (23). Kelroth casts a Baleful Polymorph to no effect. Another worm hits Thangil (28) and succeeds on a grapple check (52).

In the second round Pr’Gillis and Y’Draesk dismiss their Cloud Walk spells. Cyren hits her target again with another Scorching Ray (32) and tries to tumble past it but it hits Cyren with an AoO (22) and succeeds at a grapple (52). The floor begins to roil and move and the rippling churning causes everyone to make a balance check (dc 25) The Purple Worms drop Cyren and Thangil. The second worm hits Thangil (20) but misses him when it whips its tail. Thangil converts his Swordbow into a Longsword and scores 3 hits (11, 20{crit} 14). Talacbar strikes with 2 claws (22). Pr’Gillis lands on the third worm and blasts a lightning bolt from his mouth, but the worm manages to save (24). The first worm hits Cyren (18) and succeeds in a grapple holding her. Y’Draesk crits with two attacks (28, 16) which include 2 weapon rending (16) and then hits with another two attacks (14, 24) and it dies. Quingle dismisses his Cloud Walkj & does a planned prone defense because the floor was still shaking. He concentrates & casts a swift action cast of Spell Surge and casts an Arc of Lightning to the first and fouth worms which fail their saves (93). Kelroth casts a Ray of Enfeeblement(-8 strength) at the first worm which doesn’t save. The third worm tries to hit Pr’Gillis’ darting twisting defense. Cyren casts another Scorching Ray on the first worm (46). Fowyn casts Deific Vengeance on the first worm but it saves but still takes damage (6). The floor then erupts into barbed tentacles that slash Thangil (30), Y’Draesk (30), Kelroth (27), and Talacbar (24). Thangil converts his sword into a bow and hits the first worm 4 times (41). Pr’Gillis releases a flurry of strikes, his hands and feet a blur with all 4 hitting (52). Talacbar climbs atop the dead worm. Cyren uses her Ring of the Ram as the worm that has here swallows her, the ram force blowing out its teeth (18). T’Draesk jumps provoking an AoO that hits (11) and he returns the attack (17). Quingle flies and uses a Scorching Ray on the fouth worm (31). Umbrecrom releases his Cloud Walk, lands and attacks one of the worms and hits (20). The 4th worm attacks Fowyn (25), grappling him and holding him fast. The third worm tries to strike Pr’Gillis.

The fourth round. Cyren crawls from within the broken scattered remains of toothy maw from the dead worm and casts curative magics upon Kelroth. The walls swat Quingle (39) as he hovers close to them avoiding the worms. Thangil shoots 4 more arrows for hits (44), Pr’Gillis lands 4 more attacks (58) and Talacbar pounces one of the worms and misses with his claws but succeeds on a bite which kills it. Y’Draesk attacks his worm and hits (19). Quingle flies away from the wall, and casts Scorching Ray (37). Umbrecrom lands a mighty strike with a Power Attack (99) and kills it.

Healing commences.

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And in this corner...
Tarion, Cerveth 6, 5055 (07/06/5055)

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A grudge match between the Speaker’s Cur, the Herald of Chaos, Y’Draesk R’rgelnev and the Viscount of Doroan, the Gray Shadow, Sir Lorick Morrius.

[This is an add-on event – to be run at the next fully attended session.]

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Cha cha cha changes
Anarya, Cerveth 20, 5055 (07/20/5055)

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The Necrotic Cradle event.

[This is an add on event – not technically an adventure.]

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