The Sinister Six

#56 - The Eater of Gods, part 2
"Well, that's what I'd do, so that's what he'll do!"

Teleporting to Sixmeet with Nightstalker, the party met Skywalker once again. The elven mage seemed subdued but confident, apparently quite busy since their last meeting securing his hold on Villia. Soulcrusher predictably reacted with hostility and paranoia right from the beginning, stating that “These jerks killed Skinwalker, and we’re probably next! We should kill them immediately!” As usual, The Rattler was always keen on the idea of killing the party, but Nightstalker and The Namer wanted to hear the party’s side of the story. After explaining the events that occurred in Skinwalker’s lair…

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#55 - The Eater of Gods, part 1
"They'll never look for me there!"

After a quick return to Quellen’dair to rest and heal, the party continued on to Chain to resume their search for Soelma Nilaenish. Darius disguised himself as a fictional person to go out carousing, but to his shock was quickly recognized, despite never having been in the place before. The party became suspicious and began to investigate. Meanwhile, Glorim Redrock cast several divination spells and a Commune spell, discovering that Soelma was apparently taking refuge in an extra-dimensional space somewhere in Kul‘s vast underground caverns, far from any city or town. Deciding that Chain was a dead end, the party Teleported back to Taxx Murgen’s stronghold, intending to take Calabrand from the renegade vampire by force. However, when they arrived, they discovered that the fortress had been decimated and all of the vampire’s guards killed by fire and electricity, as well as a volley of arrows and sword wounds. Kael examined the tracks and determined that the carnage had been done by a group of five medium humanoids, one heavily armored. A search of the stronghold found that all valuables had been looted, and that Taxx seemed nowhere around. However, a thorough search by Jeryk turned up a secret room deep under the stronghold, reachable only by traveling through a tiny twisty passage navigable only by mist. Inside the room, the party found a battered coffin which contained Taxx’s headless corpse, impaled by a stake with the words “Payback’s a bitch – Love, Tomokk” carved on it. Calabrand was nowhere to be found.
_Teleporting to Nighthold with Taxx’s body, the party returned to Nightstalker but was shocked when he asked why they had reutrned so soon, indicating they had been there a week ago with Taxx’s head. Darius became enraptured by the vampire’s gaze and Nightstalker quickly learned all that had transpired, seeming filled with glee as he learned of Skinwalker’s demise and his replacement by Skywalker. Dismissing the party, he announced that there would be a very interesting meeting at Sixmeet the next day…

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#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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#53 - The Hidden Hand, part 2
"We're gonna need a bigger boat."

Following instructions from Mytus, the party journeyed to the ruins of Lutus and found Mytus’s vessel, concealed by an illusion. Although entering and piloting the ship proved difficult at first, Droverson quickly mastered the controls, and the party made their way to the island off the coast where they had seen the mysterious mage’s boat heading during the events of Best Served Cold, part 3. Investigating, they found traces of a large campsite and a ritual summoning circle, indicating that some form of magic had been executed here. However, the place was empty now.

Reboarding the vessel, Droverson took the ship beneath the waves to search for more outposts of the Cult. As the ship made its way through the clear water, the party slowly became aware that the landscape beneath them appeared to describe strange contours and features. Eventually, the horrible truth dawned on everyone – The Leviathan was a tremendously titanic creature which made up the very crust of the seafloor, easily hundreds of miles in size if not thousands. Spotting a stone spire underwater which had a few lights on it, the group brought the ship alongside it and prepared to venture out, as Glorim cast spells of Water Breathing and Freedom of Movement on everyone.

Venturing into the darkness of the spire, the party encountered several sahuagin neophytes, who appeared to be scrubbing or engraving the inner walls of the spire for some reason. Although the group was able to easily dispatch most of the fish-men, one managed to escape and flee deeper into the spire. Most of the party gave chase, while Jeryk stayed behind to investigate the rest of the first floor. On the level below, the party found themselves fighting off large sharks and spellcasting sahuagin adepts, but enemies were quickly devastated by the skull-shrouded arrows from Kael’s weapon, as he unleashed the power of the Deathbow against his enemies. Droverson and Darius rocked their foes with spells as well, and Jeryk made skirmishing attacks intermittently while Glorim blasted the fish-men with negative energy.

After the opposition had been defeated, Kael, Droverson, and Darius returned to the first floor to investigate the chests and treasure there, while Glorim descended to the third floor alone. Droverson, waiting on the second floor, eventually became concerned when he heard no sign from Glorim, and descended to the third floor while the others continued to gather treasure on the top floor.

As Droverson entered the third floor, he saw Glorim locked in mortal combat with some invisible force, which later turned out to be a waterveiled assassin. The two fought with their opponent for several seconds, but the creature fled as the rest of the party arrived. As the still-invisible creature jetted away in the direction of a large, glowing red altar, the spire was suddenly rocked by tremors as a massive earthquake struck the sea-floor – the Leviathan was stirring in its sleep. As a horrendous noise from above signaled to the party that their vessel had been destroyed, Droverson teleported everyone back to Primus. After informing Mytus of their findings, the sage promised to further research their disturbing results. Examining their options, the group decided to return to Quellen’dair and speak with Skywalker

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#52 - The Hidden Hand, part 1
"Oh, and just so you know..."

After performing research and creating more items, the party returned for another meeting with Skywalker, who informed them that his djinni minions had found evidence that Enshaddon had teleported directly into Villia, and that Taxx Murgen was holed up in a small castle near the borders of Pax and Gulark. However, before the party could follow up, the elven mage informed the party that he had a critical task for them. Apparently the current leader of the mage’s guild was abusing his position, and Skywalker wanted the party to bring his behavior to the people’s attention so he could be removed – but the current guild leader had bought the loyalty of most of the important leaders of the city, and thus couldn’t be removed normally. Droverson and Darius quickly took action, enacting one of their old “gags” from their days as “legitimate businessmen” in Chain to trick a guard into believing that the Archmage had been replaced by an impostor and was being held captive in his room. The guards quickly rushed in to rescue the Archmage and discovered the ledger, and the Archmage was swiftly ousted from office. Shortly thereafter, the mages voted to elect Skywalker to become the new Archmage, to his surprise (or so he said).

Departing from Quellen’dair, the party made their way to Taxx Murgen’s castle, where they attempted to bargain with the renegade vampire for Calabrand. At first, Taxx seemed wary but amenable, stating he would trade the legendary sword for two Sun Blades with protective gauntlets. However, Kael Varda made an offhand remark that Tomokk Bloodfist had been resurrected, which caused the vampire to go into a cold rage. Grating out that he would make no deals with the party until Tomokk was dead, Taxx expelled the party from the castle. Meanwhile, an unseen Jeryk explored the castle, discovering several locked areas as well as an extensive ventilation system.

Teleporting to Primus, the group had a meeting with Mytus the Sage, where they informed him of their discovery of Quellen’dair and their latest adventures. Mytus, in turn, informed the party that he had been investigating the Cult of the Leviathan, and had uncovered evidence that they maintained temples or sites of some kind underwater off the northern coast of Pax. Furthermore, Mytus had come into possession of a magical vessel which could allow the party to travel underwater and explore these sites. Additionally, Kael made a deal with The Namer to borrow Ath-Cullen to use as a weapon against the Elder Evils, and lent his original bow to Julius Jackalseye. Debating their options, the party began planning for an underwater adventure…

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#51 - The Kul Conspiracy, part 5
"Pots and pans! POTS AND PANS!"

After a brief period of deliberation, the party decided to gather more information about the mysterious village. Kael scouted the perimeter of the settlement, searching for tracks leading away, while Jeryk infiltrated the buildings looking for clues to the whereabouts of the elven lumberjacks. Rejoining the group, they discussed what they had found; no tracks left the village, and Jeryk reported more strange findings such as people buying buckets to use as helmets and being unable to draw water from the well due to sheer stupidity. Concluding that further investigation was needed, the group decided to enter under the protection of Droverson’s Invisibility Sphere spell, while Jeryk continued searching house-to-house. Finding a building full of pots and pans, Jeryk attempted to make a distraction. Two of the villagers came to investigate, saying almost unintelligibly “I hear noises, I HEAR NOISES!”. Jeryk was undetected and the villagers went back to what they were doing, but Jeryk decided to further use the kitchenware as distractions. Tying several pots and pans together with twine from his pack, he disguised himself to appear as one of the villagers and started walking the clanking contraption as if it were a dog. Approaching a new set of villagers, he told them that it was their turn to walk the pets. The villagers looked at him with complete lack of comprehension, then one began to speak, saying “Pots and pans? Pots and pans. Pots and pans! POTS AND PANS!”, eventually rising to a scream. At the climax of his absurd reaction, the villager’s head burst from his body revealing the head was attached to an insect-like creature known as a Mockery Drone. While the rest of the group moved invisibly into the center of the settlement, Jeryk was forced into single combat, striking and darting into the shadows to avoid being hit. When he struck the creature, however, he was damaged by its chitinous barbs and was eventually caught out in the open. Seeing Jeryk’s situation, the group decided to intervene, and left the cover of the Invisibility Sphere as devestating spells were unleashed by Darius and Droverson. Glorim, casting a Righteous Might spell, grew to immense size and mercilessly smashed his way into another group of villagers, revealing that they too were Mockery Drones. During the combat, Kael was able to identify two of them as the elven lumberjacks they were sent to retrieve, but they too had been converted into the insect-creatures and attacked the party mindlessly, resulting in their deaths. Soon, all the visible drones were killed and the party stood in the center of the village, contemplating their next move.

After a short period of deliberation, the party decided to clear out the surrounding houses of further drones. After an abortive attempt at leading a trio of drones into an ambush, things became a bit chaotic and one of the houses was set aflame during a pitched battle on a stairwell. Drawn by the fires, two more drones emerged from another house and were defeated in the town square. Searching the buildings, the party recovered a few magical items, including a powerfully-enchanted bastard sword that Jeryk decided to keep for the time being.

Having cleared all the residential buildings, the party turned toward the town hall – Jeryk decided to perform some reconnaissance while the rest of the group covered the building’s two doors. However, after several minutes went by without any sign of his return, the group cast a few spells and entered the building to find an empty ground floor. However, an unnatural darkness was obscuring half of the building, which Droverson promptly eliminated with a Greater Dispel Magic. Glorim charged down the newly-revealed stairs and began smashing his way into several more drones, quickly spotting Jeryk locked in mortal combat with a Mockery Monarch, which was attempting to devour the dark elf from below. The group quickly moved to attack, and defeated the Monarch and its three drone guardians after a brief pitched battle. Gathering up the creature’s loot, the party teleported back to Quellen’dair.

After selling their loot, the group went back to Skywalker‘s mage tower and informed him of their success at their mission. After collecting their promised reward, the group spent a short while conversing with the elven archmage – agreeing that their goals seemed aligned, Skywalker promised to have his djinni minions search for the party’s hidden enemies. Droverson used his Alter Self spell to take the appearances of Taxx Murgen, Enshaddon, Soelma Nilaenish, and a living version of Edwin Tolstoff so that the djinni would know who to look for. Skywalker sent his minions out to look, and promised to get back to the party in a few days with another task. Satisfied, the group dispersed throughout the city to purchase items and do research…

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#50 - The Kul Conspiracy, part 4
"You want me to teleport a half-mile straight up?"

Arriving in Scrape, the group quickly sought out Milton’s residence. After Jeryk warned Milton that others would be arriving, the group made their way inside, discovering that Milton was having some difficulty with a local crime syndicate called “The Green Stones”, and promised to investigate. However, on their way out, they noticed a secret door in a nearby empty room, and discovered that the Milton they had been speaking to was an impostor – a werewolf with one green eye and one blue eye. Following him through the sewers, they ambushed the fake Milton and his two allies (a human and a cambion) and defeated them all. Glorim used a Speak with Dead spell to interrogate the corpse of the werewolf, but found little useful information.

After having Milton assist in crafting some items, Droverson contacted Mytus the Sage, asking if he could assist with Teleport coordinates to Glorim’s town of Stonehollow. Mytus did indeed have coordinates to the location, but also asked Droverson to investigate another set of coordinates not far away, but very high up – nearly a half-mile above the ground. Deferring that until later, the group teleported to Stonehollow.

Although there was some initial tension when the dwarves discovered that Jeryk was a dark elf, the group eventually managed to successfully open diplomatic negotiation with the dwarves. Glorim was escorted to a meeting with the Pillars of Stonehollow, while the group was escorted to Glorim’s family estate (although the guards treated them less than respectfully). While Glorim worked together with Stonewarden Mithralvein to uncover deeper secrets about the Elder Evils in the dwarves’ archives, Jeryk learned more about the dwarves’ culture from Glorim’s uncles Beardgar and Beardbeard (dwarves have many words for beard). During his research, Glorim discovered that the dwarves had previously worked very closely with a group of powerful elven magic-users to stand against the Elder Evils in the distant past.

Droverson, investigating Mytus’ mystery coordinates, Teleported to the appropriate spot and found himself standing in the entryway of a beautiful floating city, populated entirely by elves. Learning that the city was known as Quellen’dair, the group were quickly escorted to a curious mage who had standing orders to bring outsiders to him. The party was at first apprehensive, but the mage surprisingly turned out to be quite friendly and sensible. The elf, who gave his name as Skywalker and appeared to have signs of air genasi heritage, listened to the party’s stories and told a few of his own, relating that he had visited some of the surface lands in disguise and was interested in learning more of them. Skywalker granted the party permission to perform more research in the elves’ libraries, which proved to be near-limitless and contain dozens of pieces of crucial information, including a great deal of detailed knowledge about Calabrand and Father Llymic. Aftewards, Skywalker presented the party with a task – if they could discover the fate of some missing lumberjacks, he would pay them a sum of gold, as a way to build trust between the two of them in hopes of working together in the future. Agreeing to the task, the party Teleported down to the surface and began reconnoitering the area where the lumberjacks had disappeared. Kael and Jeryk quickly located a small woodlands community where all the residents seemed to be behaving strangely – attempting to chop down trees with the wrong side of an axe, taking empty buckets away from the well, and so on. Falling back, the party regrouped, trying to decide their next move…

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#49 - The Kul Conspiracy, part 3
"Now, kiss and make up"

Safely back in Nighthold, the party sold their loot from recent adventures and began looking into ways to improve their equipment. However, before they could get much done, Droverson send a taunting message to The Rattler, hinting at an alliance with Kimach. Suddenly, Droverson was contacted by Nightstalker, demanding that everyone go to his keep immediately. Upon arriving, Nightstalker teleported the entire group back to Sixmeet for another conclave.

The situation quickly became clear – the Rattler had informed the rest of The Sinister Six about Droverson’s statement, and now they were forced to deal with the situation. Citing that knowledge of Kimach was far too dangerous to be let out in the open, the Rattler immediately initiated a motion to have Droverson and everyone else in the party killed. Soulcrusher agreed instantly, and after some deliberation, Skinwalker was also forced to concede the necessity. Nightstalker and The Namer voted against the motion, however, and the final decision fell to The Keeper. Pensive, the lich-queen advised the party to tell her their story, and listened to Droverson’s tale intently. Finally, after a team effort of Diplomacy, the Keeper finally decided to spare the party for now, reasoning that their knowledge might prove helpful in turning aside the more dire threats of the cataclysmic phenomena.

As the party began relating the series of events that had occurred since the last Sixmeet, strange behaviors were observed on all sides – Soulcrusher ceased ranting and stared intently at Glorim, while Skinwalker behaved oddly, even for him, during a line of questioning related to the cambions making movements throughout Sor’drim. Even Nightstalker and The Namer seemed intent on concealing certain things, although the Rattler was refreshingly hostile as usual. Towards the end of the meeting, however, Droverson managed to make headway in making peace with the hateful lich, apologizing for his behavior and securing the freedom to return to Gulark on the condition that he notify The Rattler before entering or leaving the domain by any means.

Drained, the party returned to Nighthold and held a private meeting with Nightstalker, after which he advised them to make a journey to Glorim’s homeland, reasoning that the dwarf city might have ancient records which could contain vital information about the current state of affairs. Before setting off, however, the group decided to make a side trip to Scrape, to visit an aquaintance of Jeryk’s – a halfling named Milton

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#48 - The Kul Conspiracy, part 2
"What, Betrayal-o'clock already?"

Although the party was nervous about missing their prospective rendezvous with Nightstalker, they decided that it was important to respond to Soelma Nilaenish’s request. Teleporting to the border between The Darklands and Kul, the party defeated a trio of Dark Naga before meeting Soelma once again. Stating that she had located the lair of her foe Janwulf the Soulbiter, she Teleported the group to a cave deep inside Kul, and joined them as they entered the stronghold of their foe.

The party quickly met their first unexpected challenge – a large cave which contained a permanent Antimagic Field. Upon entering the field, Jeryk suddenly changed form, his skin becoming pitch-black and his hair becoming white. However, the mysterious adventurer seemed unconcerned, brushing it off as “just a magical effect” and moving on with hardly a backward glance. Although the party was slightly surprised, they quickly recovered and moved through the cave. Glorim Redrock quizzed Jeryk about whether his village had been above-ground, and seemed satisfied with his answer. Shortly after the cave, the group encountered a huge wooden gate guarded by two ogres, which they quickly dispatched – Jeryk swiftly opened the gates from the other side and the group pressed on.

After defeating a trio of whitespawn berserkers, the party came to another door, behind which they could hear many creatures clamoring. Cautioning the party to let her do the talking, Soelma cast a Voice of the Dragon spell and opened the door to reveal a huge cavern, full of many types of savage humanoids. Approaching a huge dais where a large frost giant, two gnoll sorcerers, two orc adepts, and a goblin conjurer sat on thrones, Soelma began speaking to the assembly in the Giant tongue, which none of the party spoke. Darius quickly cast a stilled and silent Comprehend Languages, but missed the first few sentences of Soelma’s speech – however, the rest of her speech was straightforward enough, talking about “a new time of enlightenment” and “the end of the reign of false leaders”. Eventually, the elven archmage advised the party that they should get up on the dais and destroy the frost giant and his companions, stating that the giant was Janwulf the Soulbiter, the foe she had come here to destroy. While Soelma kept the assembled horde enthralled with her words and spells, the party engaged in a vicious arena-style battle with their enemies, with many explosions and deadly spells being exchanged. Throughout the combat, Janwulf kept yelling insults and imprecations at Soelma, seeming furious at her behavior. After a long and harrowing battle, the group managed to slay the giant and all of his lieutenants – Soelma cautioned the party to leave most of the items where they lay, but allowed them to take Janwulf’s possessions.

Making their way back through the caves to the exit, Soelma called Darius and Droverson to her side, engaging them in conversation. When they reached the antimagic cave, Soelma stepped out first, and quickly cast a Quickened Wall of Force behind her before either of the other two mages could stop her, sealing them inside the cave. As Darius narrowed his eyes in anger, Soelma explained that she had used the party as her hired dupes, taking Janwulf’s followers as her own to enact a ritual with The Zoretha Scrolls to destroy the world. Laughing, she informed the two mages that she was going to seal them inside the antimagic cave, leaving them to die, as well as revealing that the rest of the party was already dead!

Looking behind them, Droverson and Darius saw the sprawled corpses of their companions behind them, baffled – until Shadow Killerson McDeath became visible next to Soelma with a grim expression. Droverson quickly deduced that the assassin had silently taken out their companions under the cover of a formidable array of spells while Soelma distracted them in the tunnel. Bidding the two mages farewell, Soelma collapsed the entrances and exits of the cave – but not before informing them that full payment for their services was hidden behind a rock in the cave. As they were sealed inside, the two mages blindly stared into the dark in disbelief…however, a soft glow slowly became visible, revealing a large satchel in a corner of the cave.

Inspecting the satchel, Droverson identified the source of the glow as an alchemical paste. Inside was the 100,000 gold pieces as Soelma had promised (to which Darius replied, ‘Hey, lots of people tried to kill us – she’s the only one that didn’t also try to stiff us!’) Along with the money was a piece of paper which initially appeared blank, but after a few moments invisible ink began to appear on the paper. Darius, reading the message, announced to Droverson that Shadow Killerson McDeath had actually merely drugged their companions unconscious instead of killing them – a fact Soelma probably did not know. Darius further revealed that during their last night in Nighthold, Shadow had appeared in his hotel room and demanded all his money – although Darius had initially been taken aback, he eventually agreed to trust the mysterious assassin, giving him 20,000 gold. In return, Shadow had apparently tricked Soelma into thinking that all of the others were dead, as well as leaving behind a set of shovels for the two mages to dig their way out of the cave (shovels he labeled “Most Expensive Shovels Ever”).

After rousing their unconscious companions, the group began to use the shovels to dig their way out, hoping they would make it before they ran out of air. Thanks to Glorim’s experience with mining and tunnels, they were able to find a natural lava tube and dig their way to it – however, upon escaping from the anti-magic cave, they discovered that the tunnel was full of faerzress magical radiation that infected the party. Concerned about its potential effects, the group decided to try to rest and wait for the radiation to dissipate – however, they were constantly beset by monsters, including gray oozes, swarm-shifter mummies, and wandering ghosts that prevented them from recuperating. Finally deciding to risk the dangers of teleporting while irradiated, the group used Droverson’s Teleport spell to escape back to Nighthold, but they were uncertain what their next move would be. How far did Soelma’s plan go? They would have to find out the hard way…

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#47 - The Kul Conspiracy, part 1
"Is it time to run away yet?"

After spending a week in Lucre resting and improving their items, Droverson contacted Skinwalker and informed him of the events at the Vanguard temple. Successfully convincing the shape-shifting madman that the yuan-ti at the temple had been his enemies, Droverson set Skinwalker on a collision course with the demon that had driven them out of the temple. The next day, Droverson received another message from Skinwalker demanding that the group return to Villia and assist him in destroying the creature. The group obediently returned to Ivan’s druid grove and accompanied Skinwalker to the ruined temple, where they set up an ambush for the creature.

Glorim Redrock began to bash his axe and shield together to draw the creature to them. Upon its arrival, he identified it as a golothoma, an incredibly powerful demon of which only nine were said to exist – highly resistant to physical attacks and most forms of energy. The party began to blast the creature with spells, but its ravenous shadow quickly proved deadly to Glorim and badly wounded Jeryk as well. However, thanks to a concentrated salvo of fire and lightning spells, the party was eventually able to bring the creature down. Droverson used a scroll of Raise Dead to revive Glorim, and the group finished exploring the temple – it seemed that the snake-men had meticulously cleaned out most of what was valuable, but the group was able to find some discarded weapons and armor. Deciding that they needed to return to Nighthold, the group took their leave – Skinwalker seemed intent on hunting down the remaining Vanguard.

Back in The Darklands, the group was told that Nightstalker wished to meet with them when he returned from the field. However, while they were waiting, Darius engaged in a mysterious deal with Shadow Killerson McDeath and Droverson received an urgent and demanding series of messages from Soelma Nilaenish. The future clearly held interesting events…

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