Threads of Invasion

Just as well I brought the anti freeze

We woke up in magic shroud at top of cliff another cliff – a Fortress. Mikel was much improved and even better less annoying after Dar and I looked after him

The mountains seemed to be line after line of cliffs. There were lights coming from next cliff playing across the front of it.

At the bottom of the cliff was what looked like a fortress entrance so Into the double door we went. There was a large courtyard with areas running off in all directions. Across the courtyard then we see a large corpse – the eyes flicker and it gets up then two creepy dark things glided across the ground one trying to hit me – missing.

Battle commenced, the creatures were moved all around, but were clumped by our tactics, they had plenty of cold attacks, and the seagull fluttering around. A massive blast killing the biggest bad guy but then we found out that the smaller ones were the truly tough guys.

Healing from mikel very useful and finally we killed the last one.

A further 3 walls with open doors but nothing in them THEN at last something different. This wall has no towers – another door but not ajar.

It was a large room with steps going to the domed building AND A death night knight!!! says Enter and You die!

Well reader you can guess what happened next…… I charged… then 7 new creatures came from their icy tombs – not really a challenge ;-).
Two dropped easily but …….

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More Portals. More Cold.

Each Portal we travel through is leading to more and more hilarious consequences. It gets colder and colder with each jump too. Still, mustn’t rest. Must push on…

This latest Portal we leapt thru, chasing Malachi’s minions, seems to have taken us to the Frostfell. Marooned on an iceberg, a chilly stone’s throw from the bottom of a cliff separating us from solid ground – and more bad guys.

We sent Dar climbing up towards a vent in the cliff face. Each of the party were attuned to the Amulet of Lhazaar for quick escape. Dar made it to the vent, tho not without conflict. He avoided the chasme demon (essentially a giant fly) sent to pry him loose, but it was a simple archer that sent him tumbling. Luckily he caught himself before plummeting to his icy cold death and was able to haul himself into the vents and create a route gate from there to the top of the escarpment.

Between ourselves, the rest of the party sent the demon and his archer fellows scurrying, and we made haste topside, engaging them in battle before they could escape and bring other forces down upon us.

The combat on the clifftop saw Dar and Yuriel unconscious for much of it – and with Naiveran and Klang lagging behind, this left Whiskey and myself to conduct a sort of rear-guard action whilst attempting to resuscitate our comrades. Eventually the tide was turned and the foes defeated.

It was time to gather some intelligence. Whilst Yurial studied the lights in the sky and I took infusions from all, Whiskey’s rather odd arcane talents were put to good use consulting an Oracle. It turns out that Malachi seeks to free his ancestor Volarn – probably in the next few days. Seems Yurial and Whiskey have studied this character and his people before. Volarn was a Priest of the Kaorti. It was around 500 years ago when he built a device that opened a Portal to the Far Realm – Xoriat. This, of course, should be impossible, but the seals protecting us from the Far Realms are aging. It appears the Tear of Vvaraak may have been created in this attempt – which may explain why Malachi needs it. Maybe something to do with the lights…

After this short rest – just so we could catch our breath, mind – we continued our pursuit. Only we didn’t. The combined wisdom of the party has us resting overnight. Sure we have a magical snow cave and have similarly obscured our tracks – but they’re getting away!

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We’ll be back…
honest.

As soon as we emerged from the depths of Shathrax’s lair it was clear that things were not good. Mobs of angry Adakmi citizens were milling about in the square – some looking rather aberrant-like with protruding eyes, sagging features or other mottled skin. Either the missing Tear was exerting its malign power over the town, or we had been transported to Levin.

Before we had a chance to talk with the altered locals our attention was drawn to the Gatekeeper Lodge where Doria ‘The Explorier’ Veledaar was staying. The door had been blown open, there was commotion inside and a gang of aberrations stood guard outside. There was a brief interchange with their leader, a female Tiefling distorted by Xoriat corruption – then battle was joined!!

In less than 30 seconds battle was over. They were dead and we were all alive – although Whiskey had a couple of close calls with only Mikel and his waving porcelain cat keeping him on this side of Dolurrh.

Abandoning the people we’d rescued from Shathrax we rushed into the Lodge. Doria lay on the floor, horribly corrupted and dying. A flickering portal illuminated room. Doria indicated that she had somehow acquired (summed?) the Tear and attempted to cleanse it – alas it had corrupted her. Then goons of Malachi had arrived, stolen the Tear and gone through the portal.

With the portal failing and on the verge of flickering out, low on resources we nevertheless leapt through, ready for a desperate battle! We found… some trees. Ok, there were some ruined walls and some odd mist – but basically a few trees. Feeling a little guilty about leaving Adakmi in the grips of an aberration riot we followed the trail of the minions of Malachi. A few hours later, something happened…

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Lair of the Master-Mind

Naivarin hurried after the cowardly Dark Ones to ensure that weren’t simply circling for an ambush. As he disappeared Klang stomped out of the darkness “What’d I miss?”.

Questioning our somewhat ally Gerith, we determined that the other secret door led back into the sewers. Deciding to avoid any unnecessary distractions, we headed straight for the supposed lair of the mastermind mind-flayer Shathrax. We descended to a room with an undulating floor containing four black basalt statues – three orcs and a human, all heavily armed. Of more immediate temptation to the party of adventurers a seething pile of skin, mouths, eyeballs and saliva loitered in the room. Giving in to said temptation, Mikel promptly shot it and, not to be outdone, Klang charged it. After spewing vomitous bile over Klang again and again (and again) we dispatched the hapless squelcher.

Moving swiftly onward we opened a door into a large sewer-room, perhaps the headquarters. A narrow bridge spanned a pool of vile sewage. Stepped tiers led to a strange internal wall covered with moving pictures, in front of it a large lead bowl. Foulspawn dwelt in the room, two fibrous fanged grunts wielding two-handed blades and a blubbery abomination with a bone staff.

Seizing the initiative Mikel charged across the narrow bridge and secured the way forward. Klang advanced and a foul mind flayer stepped from behind the screen. Psychic assaults washed over the party. A chuul, some sort of squid-lobster monstrosity, rose from the waters and attacked Mikel brutally, only to be subdued into slumber by Yuri’s magic. In the throes of the melee Klang drew all of the opposing abominations into range of his lethal dance. The opportunity perfect, Whiskey unleashed the mysterious Face of Death upon the foul scum, rendering many of them completely helpless against the warforged’s blades. Will they be so easily overcome…

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Into the Bones of Adakmi

All of the pieces of the murder mystery are starting to fit together. Finding that ingenious secret door in Adakmi’s town square at the base of a statue was a real breakthrough!

We descended the ancient Darkani stairs, walking amongst the very bones of this town. After a small, damp anti-chamber we emerged into a larger vault, bordered by pillars and arches. Small candles welcomed us and cast shadows across the space.

Keeping a sharp eye out for traps or other hidden dangers, we weren’t entirely surprised by the ambush. Dark-skinned humanoids who were able to wrap the very shadows to their bidding leaped out and battle was joined.

Gerith, our new “ally” did not involve himself in the combat except to call out to our enemies a warning: “Simos, be careful, they’re powerful”. And so it proved. Defeating them and their rapier/dagger attacks which drip with poison that immobolises and stuns. Simos escaped through another portable portal but we captured the other two, forcing them to open one of the secret doors in the room.

Within this new room were four statues (which astoundingly were actually statues), and four further foulspawn, a mystic (fleshless, with a skin moustache!), a mangler (similar to one we had faced before with bone throwing daggers), and two berserkers. The mystic had a habit of teleporting members of our party to other dimensions during the fight.

Very little treasure was discovered after they were dispatched, though one of the statues had a scroll made of bark with druidic script. Must find a comprehend languages ritual.

Our defeated enemies from earlier had scrapered during the battle, but we did gather from them the existence of another secret door, and information regarding the rest of the complex. The obvious exit from the main chamber leads to the experiment room, where supposedly these abominations are created and a branch on that corridor leads also to Shathrax’s chamber itself.

From our earlier questioning, we discovered that Simos is the recruiter of the mercenaries for Shathrax. Looks like we’ll stumble upon them both when we descend deeper. Still, curious about the other secret door – we really should destroy or cure as many of the abominations as we can, to protect to good citizens of Adakmi. The experimental chamber will wait, I suppose…

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Well Well Well

The portal was sort of boring – we went back from whence we came – the streets of Adakmi.

A little capturing later we had a plan.

Yep here we go again. Making friends with the locals, getting attacked meeting strange new beasties. We look at the statue in the middle of town (a little obvious I thought) and use the…. secret door. Not rocket science but then apparently the obvious is frowned on. Advice seemed to be that this was the way. DIrect to the heart of the matter without side attacks from various mutants – or so we hoped.

Down we went, the kids on the street had told me not to go below – but well you know…..

So the team went down – then more faffing around in a room with a connecting corridor – with noise coming from it….. faffing – hell lets just do something.

I move strategically into the room (I think its called a charge). Big big fight followed…. fell down…. got back up….killed more bad guys. Sort of interesting bad guys though – you could even say nice guys in a mercenary sort of way….. did not like that invisibility stuff though.

Anyway long story short – i suspect more going down coming up.

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Disappearing People and Exploding People in Adakmi

Adakmi is a funny wee town… I’ve never seen so many people die or disappear or explode in such a little town, in such a short space of time. I think perhaps it goes back to my issue with human names, no music in them, and not enough syllables, it makes it easier for those mentally disturbed monsters to congregate. I mean most of them can’t say words of more than two syllables… Can you imagine a monster saying lets shamble on over to Shae loralyndar. in the high ranges at the top of the river falling… by the time they got that out they’d have forgotten what they were talking about. However “lets hurt people in Adakmi.” is short enough that they remember.

Anyway this time we’re wandering around town and surprise, surprise, everyone is exploding or disappearing. So in a particularly unimaginative way the towns people decide to blame us… this rabble marched on us… So we scare them and they run away.

We wander around town and find out that Cylus was killed three weeks ago by a mindflayer.. yukkkkkkk. Then we visit Cretus’ tower… is it a tower when there is only one floor? Still it had a wizard. so? And we find something, and then a portal opens. Party time.

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Into the Forest
Dar,

After the Grell (flying brains with tentacles, no not MindFlayers) attacked the nice little town (Adakmi? human names are so difficult, no music in them and not enough syllables) in the middle of no-where, me and the others who put the Grell down decided to see if we could find where they came from. I mean you can’t leave people to look after themselves, Brindol proved that.

Something truly horrific is happening the forest, it feels like the forest is dying, a chaos infestation of some sort. According to the locals we met (an orc tribe with tendencies more to the natural rather than the brutal) it is emanating from that tower or somewhere close to it.

The people I met in Adakmi seem like good sorts, heroes in their own right from what I can gather, I guess I should believe them after all the Brindol story sounds quite fanciful, regardless though they’re stalwart fighters… They have strange ideas about how Healers work.

They’re also going to Shae Loralyndar, which is great. If they end up being as decent as they seem, then they’ll be great at my sister’s wedding… anything to take the focus of me. It is hard to believe it has been over a decade since I was there last… and that was before the day of mourning.

I hope Father has calmed down a little. He never did like that I was an Elf. Though out in the wider world it would appear that being an elf is something of an advantage, much lower mortality rates than Eladrin. If other Eladrin are like Naivaran then I am quite surprised the rest of world still exists when there are killing machines like that around… Still my brothers are Eladrin and the only thing I can imagine them killing is a bottle of wine.

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Attack of the brains

The winds of fate brought together three strands of the Draconic Prophecy in Adakmi – two of the Heroes of Brindol, two of the Company of the Dragon Prophet and a lonely mage far from his watery homeland. The five were enjoying a drink while swapping stories of high adventure and watching the pilgrims who had gathered to pay respect to an ancient Gatekeeper hero, when the town square was invaded by gigantic flying brains with tentacles and beaks.
Leaping into action, the five engaged the abominations with bow, blade and spell. The unlikely foes proved tough adversaries, employing blasts of mental energy, paralysing tentacles and vicious bites. Several pilgrims fell to the creatures before they were dispatched.

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Flying through the air with the greatest of ease

Having recovered with the help of my team mates we finished off the undead apes. Whiskey seemed to lose a little focus though and our new friend started sticking needles in me – you can’t fathom these fleshies! The needles seemed to heal me and have various other effects – I think I prefer Whiskey’s methods. He’s a funny chap reminding me of the Makers.

After finishing off the Apes we were faced with double closed doors. There was a bit of faffing around I something to do with listening and checking and finally we did the obvious and opened it. Inside were yet more undead who met us at the door. These were tough hitting creatures with all sorts of gooey poison attacks – not nice!

There was also some magic attacks coming from within the room so I decided to have a good look around while dealing with the beasties. No surprise there was a sneaky snake creature hiding behind a column. Once spotted the creature fled to a metal contraption hanging from the ceiling.

It was time to act. If I wasn’t fast our more magically inclined members might finish the snake off and ruin the fun. I did a running leap, swung up and climbed the remaining gap -- that surprised it! THEN after a good hit from me the creature was attacked by my party and fell down….. apparently climbing is easier than falling is all that need be said.

The rest of the fight was a good stouch with plenty of work by the whole party, the minotaur is very impressive, nearly as good as me at holding the line. And yes more needles.

After using most of our powers right down to my last healing it was time for a wee lie down.

After closing the door we rested. We apparently missed two search parties but could not find them. Now there seems multiple options as to where to go – still no idea where this ceremony is.

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