The Sinister Six

#54 - The Hidden Hand, part 3

"Well, that's his ass."

After arriving in the elven city of Quellen’dair, the party reconvened with Skywalker. After informing him of their adventures under the sea and the true nature of The Leviathan, they asked him if his magic had managed to locate any of their “persons of interest”. Skywalker replied that he had gained knowledge that Enshaddon had been spotted in Villia and was still located there. Teleporting to Ivan‘s druid grove, Skywalker cast a Commune spell to determine Enshaddon’s exact position, then Teleported everyone into an alley in Rennel. The party quickly located a secret door which led to a hidden base under the city. A pair of werewolf guards was quickly dispatched by the party, but one of them managed to raise the alarm before being subdued (and quickly executed by Darius). Bursting through the large steel doors into a grand entryway, the party fought a pitched battle with several spell-runed werewolves, including a War Hulk Wolfman. Most of the defenders were quickly dispatched as the party was assisted by Skywalker’s powerful spells, but a handful fled deeper into the complex.

As the party gave chase, they began to encounter stronger resistance, including yuan-ti psions and cambion elite squadrons which included several spellcasters and an assassin. After a bloodbath in what appeared to be a lavish set of guest quarters, one of the psions fled into a room with only a tiny exit, seemingly vanishing. Droverson investigated and determined that the only way to proceed further into the dungeon was an intricate maze sized for small creatures (such as wolves). Using a Mass Reduce Person spell, the party entered the maze – Kael quickly tracked the recent passage of several werewolves, while Jeryk disarmed a few traps before they could harm the party. Emerging into another room just as they returned to full size, the party quickly ambushed and killed the recuperating psion.

Hearing voices on the other side of a door, the party investigated and came upon Skinwalker, talking to a strange acquatic creature in a tank of water, which the party quickly deduced to be Enshaddon. Bursting into the room, Kael quickly destroyed Enshaddon’s tank, forcing him to take human form. Darius tried to negotiate with Skinwalker to stay out of the conflict, but he reluctantly admitted that he would now be forced to kill the party to protect Enshaddon, lest he be killed in return by someone he called “The Master”. He began casting powerful spells and shifting into strange forms as he attacked.

Enshaddon, under heavy fire from the party, was dealt grievous wounds and spent great effort casting powerful healing magics to keep himself alive. Meanwhile, Skinwalker showered the party with lightning and quickly picked up Kael, clearly intending to devour him. Suddenly, Droverson cast a spell to transpose himself with Kael, freeing the ranger to pummel Skinwalker with punishing arrows from the Deathbow. Meanwhile, Darius continued to blast Enshaddon, who ran out of spells and surrendered, promising to stay out of the fight. The party concentrated all their fire on Skinwalker, who proved tremendously resistant to attacks and damage, fighting on even after taking deadly wounds and continuing to shift into ever more powerful forms while raking at his foes with claws and poisoned sting. Finally, after a protracted battle, the were-mage’s stamina finally failed, and he collapsed unconscious.

Although their foe was down, the party quickly discovered that his unconscious body kept regenerating, and it seemed Skinwalker would soon be up and attacking once more. The party began to loot their foe, hoping at least to reduce his power for their next encounter, but Skywalker cried out in triumph upon seeing a scroll of Wish upon Skinwalker’s body. Taking the scroll and casting the spell, the elven mage usurped Skinwalker’s role as ruler of Villia, turning Skinwalker’s corpse into dust and slaying him once and for all. The party turned to Enshaddon, intending to slay him as well, but the priest quickly revealed that if he died or took off his ring of black stone, The Leviathan would wake and end the world – Glorim Redrock’s magics quickly revealed this to be true. Interrogating the cleric, the group learned that Enshaddon actually served a mysterious figure known as “the Master”, who matched the description of Julius Jackalseye exactly. Furthermore, Enshaddon seemed to believe that Julius was the true power in Pax and that The Namer was a decoy. The party agreed to let him live after stripping him of most of his items, and left him with Skywalker in Villia…

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Arafain

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