Sunday, 9 Goodmonth, 1468 CY – Day 3 in the Shadowfell
After we talked with Aviella and resolved that she needed a serious intervention, and convinced her to work with us so that we could try to unpossess her, we moved back into the main room of the tower. Suddenly we were discovered and scrambled for hiding places (well, sometimes you hide, and sometimes you just sit there like you were meant to be there in all your suavity)… only to discover that we’d been discovered by an absent-minded researcher who thought we were the security guards. I guess they really do get all types of mercenaries in Sarshan’s tower.
That crisis averted, we went upstairs through a levitation lift. I wonder what kind of spells were involved in creating it! I stepped inside and felt weightless, and upon thinking about it, I found myself drifting upward to the next level. The others followed me. None of us were really expecting to find a garden. There was a black portal gate on one side that looked very familiar, like that private portal back where we entered the Shadowfell… I was tempted to investigate it more closely, but we were rudely attacked by several shadow beetles. Apparently giant beetles make great pets, or guard dogs. Maybe they really take territory seriously and only Sarshan is allowed in his private garden. Who knows. Working together, Diony, L, and Irjan all work together to kill the largest beetle. Then several swarms of smaller beetles attempt to overrun us, and I may or may not have caused a large fire in one corner. Two really hard bites from the swarm overwhelmed That Bitch and he fell unconscious. L tried to revive him but the beetles just wouldn’t let him go. A bunch of beetles crawled in under my armor and I blacked out for a time, until I realized that L was shaking me awake. Thanks to my magical cloak, I felt pretty good after that but knew that I couldn’t take many more hits. L used her other healing charm on That Bitch, and he and I double-teamed to take out the swarm that was harassing Diony (I don’t think he really appreciated all of the bug guts in his face, though). Then I gently nudged L and suggested that she investigate the portal while I went to take out the last swarm (when did the first swarm get pasted? I don’t remember that). There was a lot of back and forth, do you have any idea how many little bugs are in a swarm? That Bitch finally killed the last bug, then stomped up and down on the remains a little extra to make sure they were all gone.
We all had millions of itchy bug bites after that, and were about to see if we could make it out of there by altering the portal’s magic, when we were surrounded on all sides by soldiers from the guard towers that surround the central tower. Not only guards, but Sarshan himself. We almost smacked ourselves when we realized that we’d met Sarshan before—in the tavern back in the real world above the entrance to the Shadowfell, when we were still looking for Modra, and ended up walking through terrible alleyways trying to follow him since he was so mysterious and we wanted to ask him more questions. We had been mostly interested in leaving the tower, and now there seemed to be no chance of that. Our slight curiosity at finding out what Sarshan intended with his armies of mercenaries and weapons deals in the real world, now that is what we found out first hand. The slightly kindly looking old man laughed in our faces at our heroics and said we were wasting our time trying to save the real world. Something big is coming, although he wouldn’t say what, and he asked us to join him in destroying the real world and “be on the right side,” by which I guess he meant to imply was his side. It went against everything I had ever been taught! But thankfully, Irjan is a survivor, so he spoke up and managed to convince Sarshan that we were okay with joining him. I saw his wisdom and clamped my jaws shut, and nodded along. I don’t think Sarshan’s general was very convinced, though, and heck, I was half-wondering what we’d do next.
Thankfully, now that we were newly “recruited,” they let us go upstairs and eat a snack and bandage ourselves up a bit. We were all pretty quiet, unsure of what our new alignment might mean. Thankfully, we were saved from finding out any details or doing anything terrible by some very intense tremors. The people watching us all left once they heard that the Foundry had actually exploded. I guess Modra had been successful at doing enough damage after all. Oops. The tremors didn’t stop. I mean, there had been a few quakes in the three days we’d been in the Shadowfell, but this was serious, and the tower didn’t feel very structurally sound. With everyone leaving and seeing to the crisis, it gave us the chance we needed to go back downstairs and try to escape!
Before we were able to do so much as squint at the escape portal, Sarshan’s suspicious general came back with his two panthers. He (rightly) accuses us of trying to run away, then sicced his big cats on us. Right away he was in my face, while his beasts roughed up poor L and That Bitch. I sparred with the general and managed to push him right into Diony’s attack, but he was quickly right back in my face. One of his panther’s slashed me really hard, but thankfully That Bitch had my back. Then Diony stabbed the general in the back and he went after Diony. When he missed the elf, he instead caged Irjan in some shadows that he didn’t need to see to feel. I took the opportunity to back away and see how L was doing. She was busy hacking the portal and had begun to see how the magic was written and how she could turn off the restricted entry. But still that general wouldn’t leave me alone! I hadn’t even been the one to lie to Sarshan! Irjan finally hit the general hard, but in the meantime the panthers teamed up to subdue our dwarf. L was busy, scrambling to the top of the arch to manipulate the gems at the top of the gate, then promptly slipped and fell and became an enticing toy for the panthers. I heard her scream silenced as they knocked her out behind me. Despite the barbs and arrows from Diony and Irjan, the general still came after me. I was bleeding and sore. Let me tell you, by this point in the day we were not doing so well, having fought Modra, the guards in the library, Sarshan’s special pet beetles, and now this guy? The three of us traded jabs with the general and one of his panthers, I think the other one might have still been preoccupied with L at that point. I was just in time to see an insane shot as one of Diony’s bolts came through a narrow gap in a tree and caught the general in the temple. Then his panther grabbed me from behind with both paws and bit my head. Things went fuzzy as I fell, feeling the weight of the panther with its hot breath on my face. I couldn’t feel it anymore, and it suddenly became very dim around me. The last thing I remember seeing was Diony, wreathed in light, face grim set with That Bitch draped over one shoulder. Then the world turned around and I saw no more.
A few minutes later, I groaned and came to. We had all made it back to the Black Shrine where we entered the Shadowfell, even Saul and Reniss had somehow made it from the secret room near the Foundry. Even with a ringing in my ears I could tell that there was a lot of noise. I was too weak to move anywhere, but the portal behind us was broken and someone told me that the tower had collapsed, and that all of Umbraforge was being engulfed in flame and lava from the mountain. Poor city planning, I guess, building next to an active volcano. I was hoping that Irjan would just put the key in the main portal home. I knew things were really dire, and if anything cropped up I wasn’t optimistic about being able to survive it. I know I can be pretty melodramatic, but in all seriousness I was on death’s doorstep. And then the ghosts came out.
Sarshan’s pet shadow beetle, and multiple rot scarab swarms were killed (several scarab beetles were splattered all over Diony’s face). Also, Sarshan’s right-hand-man was defeated and killed.
- 550 XP to all players (Total: 8480).
- A gem-encrusted golden chalice (no longer filled with tangy-smelling, blood red fluid) with the etched inscription “mazel tov”, held by Irjan
- Boots of Levitation taken by L
- A crystal carving of a panther, held by Tanner
Transcripts of important interactions from the RP sessions will be posted here:
Escape from the Shadowfell
The Final Battle (of Chapter 3)