The Sinister Six

#11 - Meetings with Monsters, part 2

As the party debated how best to spend their time before Nightstalker’s summons, Kael traveled to the administrative headquarters of the Darklands Army and requested documents pertaining to a mission in his past. Although most parts of the document were heavily redacted, Kael was able to determine the identity of his dead wizard archnemesis, Roscoe Jenkins. Kael tried to memorize as much information as he could about the wizard, including his known allies and next of kin – however, he noticed that all of the wizard’s relatives seemed to be dead, with all but one being killed on the night of Kael’s raid. Contemplative, Kael returned to The Crooked Hasp to join the rest of the group with the exception of Tomokk, who was training with Hartock and Tierad.

While the group gambled, drank, and shared ideas, Darius was suddenly called out to by a woman in the tavern. Turning, he recognized his old employer Vanessa Mackelroy, who offered the group employment escorting her to perform archeological research at Freesite. After a short debate, the group decided that it would take too long to escort her, but decided to see if they could assist her by finding someone else to aid her. Although much of Nighthold was damaged from the recent fighting, they were able to locate Dorn, who had become a competent adventurer in the meantime, and offer him the job. Although he showed some trepidation at the prospect of visiting Freesite due to rumors of traps laid by the previous inhabitants, his indecision vanished when Vanessa offered him a sizable amount of gold for his aid. As the two of them began leaving to make preparations for their departure, the group was yet again attacked by The Mysterious Man.

Attacking with surprise from a nearby rooftop, the Mysterious Man hit Kael and Darius with a devastating volley of arrows, nearly killing both of them. Vanessa summoned up a cloud of obscuring mist, concealing herself and Dorn, and Darius took refuge in the cloud after being healed by Hazerath, while Droverson blasted the Mysterious Man with a series of vicious lightning bolts. Although he had perfect shots at both Droverson and Hazerath, the Mysterious Man ignored them, climbing down from his perch and readying an arrow which shortly took Kael in the face when he poked his head around a corner, dropping him to the ground unconscious and dying. As the Mysterious Man closed in for the kill, he was knocked unconscious by more damaging spells from the mages. Hazerath quickly healed Kael, who manacled and stabilized the Mysterious Man. Aware by now that slaying their captive would be counterproductive, the group instead asked Vanessa to cast dispel magic on their recumbent foe.

As the archivist’s spell went off, the Mysterious Man’s form began to tatter and fray, revealing the ghost of the dead wizard Roscoe Jenkins. No longer unconscious now that his shadow assassin shell had been destroyed, Roscoe began gathering his power for a final battle, but Kael staggered near and asked the ghost what he wanted. The ghost revealed that his entire family had been killed by Kael, and that he sought not only revenge, but a reckoning – that Kael feel the weight of the loss caused by his actions. Although the ghost’s wrath appeared to be mounting, he was suddenly distracted by Hazerath’s question of whether he would instead accept the return to life of his loved ones. Although at first the wizard demanded the return of all his relatives, Darius pointed out that this was unrealistic, which the ghost appeared to accept. At last, the undead wizard decided to demand the return to life of his grandson Caladorn, an innocent killed by Kael during a chaotic battle, within seven days. Hazerath tried to wrest a statement of confirmation from the ghost, but the spectre became agitated, howling “BRING BACK MY GRANDSON!” The awesome power of the undead mage’s emotion withered and chilled Hazerath and Kael, and sent several people fleeing in supernatural panic. When the party was able to look again, Roscoe had disappeared.

Shaken, the party began debating how best to accomplish their task, and were dismayed when they discovered that Caladorn’s grave was likely in Roscoe’s fortress, hundreds of miles away. They were further depressed to learn that there was no one in Nighthold capable of casting Resurrection, the spell needed to return the boy to life. They visited Kellux Antigua, asking for aid, but the only thing she could promise was to send a squad out to recover the boy’s corpse. In the meantime, she had another task for the party – the removal of Light-Lord Durett, whom Nightstalker had decided had outlived his sufferance.

Making contact with one of the surviving agents of The Liberating Army, the group managed to arrange to be taken to the Light-Lord’s hiding place. Carted to a mysterious cave south of Nighthold, the group met with Durett, who had been wounded by Taxx Murgen’s cursed spear and was now afflicted with a wasting sickness. The group arranged to transport the Light-Lord over the border into Gulark, but this was a ruse – after splitting up into two groups, the main team killed two guards while Hazerath unleashed the powers of evil against the Light-Lord and his bodyguards.

To his dismay, however, the Light-Lord threw off his bloodstained blanket and rose to the fight, and his bodyguards were strong of will and resisted Hazerath’s energy attack. The group quickly came to his rescue, but discovered that Durett, even in his weakened state, was incredibly tough to defeat, with nearly impenetrable armor and parrying skill as well as the ability to heal himself repeatedly. Hazerath used a wand of silence to stop the Light-Lord’s spellcasting temporarily, but his attacks were still heavily damaging and only spells from Darius and Droverson were having much effect. Although badly hurt, the Light-Lord cornered the two spellcasters and began landing heavy attacks. Just as he was about to teleport away using a Cape of the Mountebank, Kael landed a lucky shot which pierced the paladin’s skull, killing him instantly. One more light was extinguished in The Darklands as the group clutched their wounds….

Comments

Lucky shot? That was all skill baby!!!!!!!!

 

Two natural 20s in a row is the definition of luck ;)

 

I was channeling my inner Halfling.

Arafain

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