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Greyhawk exile: Letter to dearest brother

 
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glen



Joined: 05 Mar 2008
Posts: 219
Location: Hamilton

PostPosted: Tue Jul 08, 2008 8:32 pm    Post subject: Greyhawk exile: Letter to dearest brother Reply with quote

14th Day of Flocktime
Whispering Cairn
Close to the ruins of Diamond Lake

Dear beloved brother Jolan

I know you're in exile, so I'm writing this letter to record what has happened to your little brother Ragnor and I since your unjustified departure from Greyhawk.

I helped teach you to read, so don't give me that staunch half-orc barbarian rubbish about paper only being useful during calls of nature. Real orcs use their sharpest weapons - it makes them angrier and their weapons nastier.

Why am I writing to you and not to my beloved mentor, Allustan? Well, it's because Allustan is missing, presumed dead, but more about that soon.

After your trial I spent the time productively in the Academy of Magic. I wrote three spells into my spellbooks, including Darkvision. The Tenser books had a bibliography (that's a list of other books), so I found the spell quicker than normal. I intend to permanence Darkvision on myself so while I may not currently have the body of an orc, I will at least have the eyes of an orc again. I have that Enlarge Person spell too, just waiting for you to come back so I can Permanence it on you!

Ragnor wasted no time in finding your replacement. Some barbarian friend of his from up north, called Churt. I caught Ragnor "lending" some of your stuff to Churt, and made clear my displeasure. The next thing you know, Ragnor will be letting him wear your spiked armour!

I returned the Necroturgon of Chill Touch at Smenk's inn, with a note that it belonged to Filge. I can't see me using it, and we lose nothing by returning it to its rightful owner.

I also donated all my Championship bet winnings to the Temple of Pelor, for the dependents of those who died from K'yuss infestation. It felt good to give them 2,000 gp.

I also purchased wand material for a Wand of Protection from Evil and a Wand of Shield. I noticed that Paterus, the Mage of Exchange, had a yellow/orange headband on display. I asked if it was a Headband of Intellect, and Paterus confirmed that it was. I just have to have it! It will allow me to cast more spells, including an extra one of my highest level. If you don't mind, I'll borrow any of the money you have while you're in exile. I promise to pay you back!

You know that 1,100 gp I paid out for my Haversack at the arena, the gold was stolen by Loris Raknian? The new Arena management consider themselves a separate entity, and one not bound to honour any debts incurred by Loris Raknian. What an evil man. What an evil management.

We have to travel to Diamond Lake to visit my mentor Allustan, and while there I plan to make a short trip into the swamp to find that lizardfolk statue. Then I will break the enchantment on it. If Ragnor helps me with the scrying, I can teleport to it and make it only an overnight trip (Rope Trick is such a handy spell in these cases). I can teleport anywhere within 1,000 miles, and take three people with me. But I have to be careful, as there are numerous little magical areas where teleportation can be tricky, and at the Academy of Magic I heard tales of evil wizards, witches, warlocks and even liches and the like setting
teleport traps.

Writing in the Darkvision delayed our departure from Greyhawk to Diamond Lake by a day, and that might mean it was my most costly spell to date. For when we arrived in Diamond Lake, we found utter devastation.

A black dragon had destroyed the town, starting with Allustan's house. Survivors told us the creature was specifically searching for my beloved mentor, and that at the time of the attack, he was at Whispering Cairn.

We made haste to the Cairn, pausing only to examine the rubble of our former hovel. We've lost the divine scrolls of Silence and Spiritual Weapon that I was hoping to give to Tobias. Not to mention my scroll organisers and the wand quiver I had ordered from Greyhawk - and all my spare clubs, daggers, staves and crossbows. I bet the 20 flasks of oil and 20 sunrods went up with a bang. I hope it gave the black dragon a fright.

We were mentally prepared for attacking a dragon, but even so the creature still surprised us attacking from the air, seemingly from nowhere. Its acid breath bathed Corvan in corrosive fluid.

As it flew off, I hit the evil creature with two Empowered Fireballs, which seemed to hurt it. Ragnor also struck it with hail and ice.

The second attack caught me and Churt, but Corvan's Shield Other on me and my False Life protected me from grevious harm. The dragon was close enough to suffer a double Maximised Scorching Ray from me (I estimate that it was worth about two of your trident thrusts).

Our normally effective arrow attacks didn't even scratch the black dragon.

The dragon didn't return after my awesome Scorching Rays, which was fortunate as the fumes from it's breath weakened me greatly. It was only through the blessings of Pelor that I was able to stand again and present myself with backpack.

We hurriedly entered the Whispering Cairn, and noted it had suffered the attentions of a black dragon. We found a former blocked passageway clear of rubble. At the end of the tunnel was a glossy black surface resembling a heavily lacquered door with a raised sphere in the center, like the boss in the center of a shield. The whole thing rippled with Conjuration magic - probably a teleport portal to somewhere.

Corvan volunteered to go through - and was immediately clawed. Churt dragged Corvan out, then entered himself and struggled with the creature. We couldn't see anything so I cast Light on a stone and tossed it into the portal, but it was absorbed without trace.

I miss you already, brother! I'm sure you would have been brave enough to take Churt's place!

Your elder brother


Anlan Evant
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glen



Joined: 05 Mar 2008
Posts: 219
Location: Hamilton

PostPosted: Sun Jul 13, 2008 5:27 pm    Post subject: Letter to dearest brother #2 dungeon crawl Reply with quote

14th Day of Flocktime
Whispering Cairn
Close to the ruins of Diamond Lake

Dear beloved brother Jolan

Churt stepped into the portal, and with much hissing and growling (the former from the inhabitant, the latter from Churt) he dragged the struggling creature from the portal. I think you will like Churt when you meet him. On command his armour extrudes spikes and blades, and he also seems to like a good hug once in a while.

I identified the creature as an Abyssal Ghoul. Fortunately it didn't seem to possess any paralysis powers like a normal ghoul, and now that it was out in the open we quickly finished it off.

Through the portal we entered a large rectangular room filled with loud, screaming noise, and smoke along its length. We could barely hear each other speak, and I knew spellcasting with a verbal component would be difficult.

Various smoke clouds tried to attack us by some sort of suffocation, although they were vulnerable to our magic weapons. I cast Wall of Fire around us and vapourised the creatures, which seemed to be some sort of demonic-looking creature with large bat wings, clawed tendrils and nasty teeth.. I had never considered that Wall of Fire would be so effective as an offensive spell. However, the creatures were clearly not demons, as we know demons are not badly affected by fire.

Past the noisy room was a large chamber with a 40' ceiling, pillars, some spiky areas of the floor which formed various barricades, and the walls had runes on them.

We soon discovered the purpose of the spiky barricades - at one spot on the floor, a strong wind blew, obviously hoping to throw some luckless adventurer onto the spikes. Sheridan moved around the room, checking for traps.

Will tapped me on the shoulder and mentioned that the runes on the wall meant "Glorious Icosiol" and "Incomparable Army" and describe the Battle of Pesh - clearly a Wind Duke's tomb. I asked him how he comprehended the runes and he pointed to a brand new shiny circlet on his forehead, a gift from his family. Nice, but I'd prefer a Headband of Intellect.

The areas in front of the three doors from the temple chamber were trapped, but we could easily open the doors with a crowbar and slip past the pressure plates on the floor. We entered a corridor, leading to a crossroads and a stone humanoid statue 8' tall on a 4' pedestal, wielding a shiny metal sword and holding a balance. A normal sword in his hands, but a Greatsword in an ordinary human's hands. The statue seemed to represent Good and Law.

We passed the statue and turned down the right corridor, which led to a large room with an internal balcony. A large black sphere was surrounded by four violet-lighted chandeliers which burst into light as we entered. The floor was black tiled and sound muted, absorbed from every surface. I'm pretty sure the sphere wasn't a Sphere of Annihilation, but a war standard of Bwimb - an ally of the Wolf Spider. This was probably a trophy room, with a captured standard. The walls displayed frescoes of battles.

A pair of double doors from the balcony of the trophy room opened into a long, narrow rectangular chamber with a chair in each corner, six small locked boxes and an urn of some obvious importance.

Sheridan made quick work of the locks on the boxes. Inside the first was a Wand of Eagle's Splendor: not sure how useful I will find this. The other boxes included, in order, three clay tablets carved with elemental glyphs, scraps of scrolls, gem-encrusted silk clothes crumbled to dust and a wicker basket with a matching set of platinum earrings, a ring and a necklace.

I expect we will be able to salvage the gems from the disintegrated clothing.

Your elder brother


Anlan Evant
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glen



Joined: 05 Mar 2008
Posts: 219
Location: Hamilton

PostPosted: Sun Jul 20, 2008 4:49 pm    Post subject: Letter to dearest brother #3 Elf has left the building Reply with quote

14-15th Day of Flocktime
Whispering Cairn
Close to the ruins of Diamond Lake

Dear beloved brother Jolan

The urn was dark red and decorated with gold paint, sealed at the top with some sort of waxy clay. Will and I wanted to open the urn, the others retreated out of the room. True seekers of knowledge do not shirk from the unknown.

Will touched the urn and a mighty ghost-like claw struck him across the chest and face. It seemed that his very life drained away in that short moment, leaving him pale and shaking. But he resumed his tough guy persona quickly, declaring that the urn was an Urn of Death! And that it should be broken, but not by him!

Churt, being the uncouth, semi-house trained barbarian that he is, was happy to oblige. I left the room, as mindless vandalism is symptomatic of orkdom and you know how I hate being reminded of the less positive traits of our mutual heritage.

The urn emitted a chiming sound as Churt struck it, once, then twice, shattering the empty urn. The chime built up to a horrendous noise, overcoming even the muteness of the room containing the captured standard of Bwimb.

As the sound faded away, the doors below opened and a Huge Fire Elemental entered the room. Accompanying the Fire Elemental was a large snake with a humanoid torso. It greeted us warmly, claiming it was the Earl of Colchester, Antireus Redpike. The Fire Elemental was called Smoughed.

Fortunately we are a peaceful group of adventurers, because it turned out that the Earl had been bound to the tomb millenia ago by the Wind Dukes to act as caretaker. At least I think so: the Earl wasn't very clear about his role. As we left the room, all of us except for Corvan were Deafened and Slowed by a loud shout of "Leave" in Celestial. I think the Earl was testing us. Fortunately the effects wore off after a short while.

Over the next few hours, we learnt a bit about the Earl, the tomb and that Allustan must have avoided attracting the attention of the Earl and got down to the lower levels. The Earl warned us of an electricity trap and guardians on either side of the entry chamber to the lower levels. He was particularly vague about what was down there. He didn't want to accompany us, happy in his room of hot coals, and at first wanted us to leave the tomb but eventually agreed we could continue exploring as long as we didn't break or steal anything.

The Earl and Corvan played many games of dice which bored the rest of us, but I took to sneaking looks inside my new Tenser books to pass the time.

Just before bedtime Corvan asked the Earl to view the diorama in the spiky barricade room. The Earl obliged and Corvan got to see "Glorious Icosiol" fight battles and make some deal with a large metal man. Corvan was sorely affected by the gas that was released during the display, and could barely walk afterwards.

We were feeling tired afterwards and the Earl bade us to sleep in the dead-end corridor directly from the statute. We still maintained a watch but nothing happened during the night.

The following morning Ragnor was most upset: Sheridan had set off on his own an hour before we got up, and Ragnor wanted to depart immediately to find him. Well, some people must have breakfast and learn their spells before a hard day's adventuring, so an immediate search and rescue mission for the wayward elf was not an option.

The way to the lower levels was through the other set of doors in the captured standard room - the other doors leading off from the diorama just led to traps, according to the Earl.

We entered a large chamber with pillars and an immense number of sticky cobwebs. We moved down straight ahead to the stairs leading up - no exploring off side routes. Ragnor tried to explore to the left but I physically restrained him by virtue of being the eldest brother.

Through the double doors at the top of the stairs was another room with a single pair of footprints through the dust. Directly opposite the doors were four statues of Wind Dukes, glistening gold and sparkling blue gems for eyes. Ragnor tracked the footprints as human - Allustan made it through but where was Sheridan?

Ragnor went back to the cobweb room and started exploring the far corners. Suddenly a huge spider fell out of the shadows, grabbed Ragnor with its mandibles, and vanished.

I had lost another brother! Corvan activated his Shield of Blinding and the room was bathed in bright light. I was about to clear the cobwebs with my newest Firebrand spell when the spider suddenly appeared again sans Ragnor and spoke, in a gravelly voice, offering us the safe return of our friends for an act of service.

Flycatcher, the name the spider favoured, although it also liked Black Leg and Corner Weaver, explained that it had been tortured or something by an intelligent ghoul called Moreto, whose title was Marquis of the River. I offered Flycatcher a counteroffer: if Moreto was an undead creature, we would bring Flycatcher it's head, in exchange for the safe return of Ragnor and Sheridan. However, we needed Ragnor to complete the mission successfully, so as a sign of good faith, Ragnor's return was required, as we only had Flycatcher's word that he would keep his side of the bargain.

Flycatcher vanished and shortly afterwards returned with Ragnor wrapped in spider silk.

My clever negotiations saved my brother! As for the elf, I am more concerned about Allustan. We'll track Allustan down first, then worry about Moreto.

Your elder brother


Anlan Evant
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glen



Joined: 05 Mar 2008
Posts: 219
Location: Hamilton

PostPosted: Tue Sep 16, 2008 9:29 am    Post subject: Letter to dearest brother #4 Let's go the wrong way Reply with quote

15th Day of Flocktime
Whispering Cairn
Close to the ruins of Diamond Lake

Dear beloved brother Jolan

There followed an argument about whether we should continue to track Allustan down, whom I feared had come to grief somewhere deep inside the tomb, or march away to cut off the head of Moreto, the Marquis of the River. Much that I dislike undead, I preferred to finish our original quest rather than be distracted by a minor side show.

Unfortunately Ragnor turned traitor on me and wanted to rescue that half-wit Sheridan, who, I might remind you, was entirely responsible for his own predicament. I felt a few more days in a hungry spider's lair might finally teach him the benefits of staying in earshot and eyesight of the party.

So we went through the doors on the left, and entered a large underground chamber with a river of red liquid crossed by a rickety stone bridge to a secure looking door.

Close to the bridge was a creature with many arms and legs eating granite boulders. I identified the creature as a Xorn. Some sort of earth outsider that never suffers from indigestion.

The creature opened discussion by plainly stating it felt responsible for the immediate area and we should go away. Corvan led the diplomatic mission and eventually the xorn agreed to our safe passage over the river for a measly sum of 600 gold pieces, with half contribution from Will. After the negotiations concluded, several other xorn emerged suddenly from the ground without a ripple and shared the precious metal. They ate the gold.

We clearly went the wrong way here, so I'm going to summarise what happened because it was really boring and pointless. I said many times we should simply go the other way but the others didn't want to admit I was right. Eventually, as usual, I had to facilitate matters through my powerful magic. It's not easy being a wizard.

The secure looking door on the other side of the bloody river - just coloured silt by the way - was a complex door with many locks and dials et al covered in magical glyphs of death and pain and decoys. And there were five of them, one after the other, leading to a solid wall. Ragnor turned himself into a rat to discover this. The doors led nowhere.

So Ragnor had the bright idea of reconnoitering the river - upstream and downstream. He took ages exploring upstream, and I told him off for spending so long away - we thought something had happened to him.

While Ragnor was describing the waterfall and narrow ledge which lay downstream, Will decided to cross the bridge for some reason. He fell in the water and was swept away.

I cast Fly on myself and lifted the hapless half-elf to safety. Then someone said I should airlift everyone down the river to the ledge. Since I didn't want to waste my spell completely, I complied. Next time I will cast Fly on someone else and let them do the heavy lifting.

The ledge was small but solidly carved into rock. There was an odd 5' alcove at the back which clearly led to a secret door, although we couldn't find the way to open it without the help of Will's Detect Secret Doors.

Inside was a chamber containing statues of Wind Dukes holding model miniature buildings. I recognised the miniatures: we have recovered similar ones in the Whispering Cairn. There was a passageway north into a room filled with red ice.

Corvan, Tobias and Will entered the statue chamber, and a portcullis fell down across the secret door entranceway, keeping Churt, Ragnor and myself on the ledge outside. Inside the chamber, the three were engaged in combat against one of the statues. Fearing other statues might animate and kill our companions, I requested one of my strong companions to lift up the portcullis. Churt complied and Ragnor and I rushed in.

Ordinary weapons seemed to have little effect on the statue but a Searing Light from Tobias and a Scorching Ray from myself did damage. It zapped Corvan and Will with a black ray of crackling negative energy - just like the blobby demon under Loris Raknian's mansion! Ragnor drew his great sword.

The statue suddenly vanished, but it was invisibility not teleport. I cast See Invisibility and shouted it's location to everyone in the room. Churt made good use of his trident. In the heat of the battle, he reminded me so much of you, my beloved brother, that I called him by your name! I miss you so much.

Ragnor's eyes glowed red, as did his sword, and he swung and dealt Corvan two grevious blows! It was clear the sword was having some sort of negative effect on Ragnor. I could have played it safe, cast Greater Invisibility on myself, and easily delivered a touch of Remove Curse, but I didn't think anyone would survive another attack from my berserker brother, so I bravely stepped in front of him, avoided a wild swing, and Removed Curse. Ragnor blinked, then sheathed the great sword. We need to speak about this sword, brother! It's not one we want to keep around!

While I was dealing with Ragnor the others dealt with the statue. We realised it was not a statue but a construct of some sort - I identified it as an Inevitable, a construct whose sole aim is to enforce the natural laws of the universe. Clearly it was guarding the tomb. I managed to recover a few scraps of metal from it's body after it's broken remains glowed and vanished in bright light.

Your eldest brother


Anlan Evant
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glen



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PostPosted: Sat Sep 20, 2008 11:10 am    Post subject: Letter to dearest brother #5 Ice, ice, baby Reply with quote

15th Day of Flocktime
Whispering Cairn
Close to the ruins of Diamond Lake

Dear beloved brother Jolan

We investigated the door leading from the statue chamber first. It was a small room covered with murals depicting Wind Dukes recruiting elemental creatures and leading them into battle. The central mural seemed to depict the Wind Dukes engaged in conversation with a larger version of elemental.

Having ensured that nothing would sneak up on us from behind, Corvan and Ragnor entered the ice chamber. Thanks to their darkvision they could see some ice-like creature embedded in the far wall, although they were disconcerted to see a similar entity immediately to their left! Corvan didn't seem worried about the cold and Ragnor had that Resist Energy glow about him that told me he didn't mind either!

This ice golem immediately animated and attacked Corvan and Ragnor at the best possible moment - when they were right in front of it. Like all golems, it smashed my friend and brother with powerful blows, but with the added joy of a shower of frozen, sharp shards of ice affecting the immediate area. Fortunately the two brave adventurers were able to retreat back into our chamber. Ragnor and Tobias unleashed Flame Strikes which did significant damage to the ice golem. I was still trying to identify whether the creature was a construct or an outsider. If the latter I could Dismiss the outsider immediately, but the etched arcane runes on it's icy skin led me to identify the creature as the aforementioned ice golem.

There were a lot of people in the way so I didn't see how the first ice golem was destroyed, but a second ice golem tried to attack through the narrow entranceway, causing Corvan to retreat to the other end of the statue chamber. Another Flame Strike from Tobias and a Maximised Empowered Scorching Ray from me reduced the creature to a puddle of water.

The entire long corridor was ice-covered to a depth of several feet, strangely cold, and it seemed that in the middle was the source of the water. There was a door to the right at the end which lead into a small chamber with a slush-filled pool. Corvan put his hand in it and seemed remarkably cheery afterwards. Ragnor, monkey see, monkey do, did the same, and seemed remarkably depressed afterwards. We hardly noticed the difference.

We then descended into the depths, abseiling adjacent to the waterfall. Thanks to our Bag of Holding, Ring of Feather Fall and Rope of Climbing we all arrived safely on ledges near where the water flows through into a large cavern below us. It's noisy and like standing in the rain, but magic rules!

Your eldest brother


Anlan Evant
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glen



Joined: 05 Mar 2008
Posts: 219
Location: Hamilton

PostPosted: Sat Oct 18, 2008 3:11 pm    Post subject: Letter to dearest brother #6 Blood is thicker than water Reply with quote

15-16th Day of Flocktime
Whispering Cairn
Close to the ruins of Diamond Lake

Dear beloved brother Jolan

So there we were, standing at the bottom of a tremendous waterfall, soaking wet, shouting at one another to make ourselves heard.

Will volunteered to scout further, and with various ropes around his waist he slipped down the hole with a lantern and returned quickly. The hole led to a dark pool with white things swimming in it. There was no way to continue without a swim. In the dark.

Since we swim about as well as we climb, we decided to ascend and rest until morning, where I would cast Fly on everyone. However, as we reached the statue chamber ledge someone spied a alcove across the river. I think it was a collective decision that it would be more productive to explore the alcove first tomorrow morning.

As we were retiring for the night, I took the opportunity to Remove Curse on Ragnor, in case he was operating under such a malady, but it seems his depression is normal. If only you were here Jolan: you could probably snap him out of his blues by putting sand down his pants or centipedes in his boots. I cast an Extended False Life on myself, giving a little vitality boost for tomorrow.

During the night while Churt was on watch, we were attacked.

I awoke to my companions rallying to attack, so I cast Extended Haste to aid them in battle! Through the door I could see Will firing arrows against a gigantic bloody blob that writhed and twisted, blocking the entire doorway. Churt and Corvan were engaged in combat and it struck Ragnor with a pseudopod which drew blood. Tobias seemed to be keeping it at bay with the might of Pelor. I hate oozes so. I cast Sculpted Empowered Fireball through the door in a line and destroyed the creature.

Another bloody blob had broken through the ice in the other corridor, but more arrows, turning and a Wall of Fire turned inwards made short work of the foul creature.


16th Day of Flocktime

We decided Churt was the best person to have Fly cast upon him. As he was ferrying everyone across the river, Will opened the secret door. It opened outwards which was odd.

A narrow 5' passageway led from the secret door then doglegged at some stairs leading to a door. As Will approached the bend, there was a loud click from a pressure plate in the floor. I ran forward to stand on the stairs. The strange narrow passage design and odd orientation of the secret door suddenly clicked in my mind - it was a water trap to flush intruders out! I shouted a warning to my companions.

Corvan and Will ran forward to join me on the stairs: too crowded, Will opened the door. I did not see where Churt, Ragnor or Tobias went. There was a sound of rushing water and the stairs were sealed off from the passageway by a metal door.

The door opened up into a circular chamber, the centre of which held a crackling 10' globe of electricity surrounding a bedraggled Allustan! Yes, we had found my mentor! I choked back the tears as his plight became clear to me. A mighty iron spike from a stone base descended from the ceiling to barely pierce the globe. Allustan did not seem to be aware of his surroundings.

Corvan and Will ran into the chamber towards the opposite door and were zapped by lightning from the spike. I zapped the stone base with Lightning Bolt which seemed to temporarily reduce the charge. Will did his Resist Energy mumble and I think both of them received protection.

I briefly considered using my Wand of Shatter on the stone but the Wand is not powerful enough. Corvan and Will opened the far door and gestured that the area beyond was safe.

I took a deep breath and ran across the room, tripping slightly and receiving a full electric shock from the spike. I shouted in pain as my False Life protection left me. Skidding to a stop, I ran through the open doorway.

Into a strangely familiar room with double doors to the left and a single pair of footprints through the dust. Directly opposite the doors were four statues of Wind Dukes, glistening gold and sparkling blue gems for eyes...

Your eldest brother


Anlan Evant
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glen



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Location: Hamilton

PostPosted: Fri Oct 24, 2008 8:48 pm    Post subject: Letter to dearest brother #7 Mission accomplished! Reply with quote

16th Day of Flocktime
Whispering Cairn
Close to the ruins of Diamond Lake

Dear beloved brother Jolan

You know, it is amazing how often I am right. I possess such a powerful intellect, such insightful knowledge that I don't know why the others in the party simply bow down and demand I lead the group. But then I wouldn't have the time to study my spells. I guess I shall have to let Corvan continue in his role.

The door I had indicated we should go through the previous day led directly to my mentor, Allustan Neff. If we had gone through it like I had asked, we wouldn't have had to get so wet, or play around in the waterfall. Next time I will just open the door. My magic will protect me.

I sat down to study Dispel Magic and Lightning Bolt from my spellbooks. Corvan and Will discussed the likelihood of the gold bejewelled statues being trapped. They concluded the probability was high, so left the statues alone while the party was split.

Ragnor appeared in the doorway opposite, where the stairs were, and I saw Churt and Tobias behind him. I told Ragnor to wait, as I was learning Dispel Magic to disable the electricity trap. Ragnor then proceeded to cast Dispel Magic and got lucky again. The globe of force enclosing Allustan vanished and the electrical charge dispersed.

I was fumbling with my spellbooks as I scrambled to come to Allustan's side, and the others bet me to it. Ragnor provided a little bit of healing, and Tobias seemed to bring my beloved mentor back to full strength. We left the electricity room and gathered in the statue room to hear Allustan's story. We saw the electricity room restore itself before the door closed.

In summary, Allustan had found the portal we had discovered in the first level of the Whispering Cairn. At some point he was attacked by the black dragon, and was pleased to hear that I had almost defeated the creature by myself. He was somewhat distressed to hear that Diamond Lake, including his home, had been destroyed by the wyrm.

Allustan was in no hurry to leave the tomb, and said that he considered everything we had explored so far was merely a front, and that the real tomb of Icosiol was still before us. The tomb should have plenty of magic to help us defeat the black dragon.

I insisted that we rest for the remainder of the day, but we should also send some members to scout the bottom of the waterfall so we are better prepared for our descent tomorrow. I cast Extended Fly on Churt and Will, plus a Darkvision for him, and Ragnor became a dire bat.

The three were gone for less than a quarter hour when they returned, bloodied and battered. Ragnor was unharmed, but Churt and Will had obviously encountered some difficulties. The white things in the pool were fairly harmless blind crabs but there were at least six Wind Warriors guarding the exit waterfall from the pool.

We'll see how the Wind Warriors fare against the might of Allustan Neff and Anlan Evant tomorrow.

Your eldest brother


Anlan Evant
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 02, 2008 5:03 pm    Post subject: #8 Some people just don't like brussel sprouts Reply with quote

17th Day of Flocktime
Whispering Cairn
Close to the ruins of Diamond Lake
OR
Tomb of Icosiol
Rift Canyon in the Shield Lands

Dear beloved brother Jolan

There's a bit of uncertainty as to where we actually are: I explain below, so read on.

Suffice to say, we defeated the Wind Warriors through a mixture of overwhelming magical force combined with tenacious pursuit plus cautious valor.

I supplied Churt with two Lighted stones to illuminate the Wind Warriors so we could attack them from afar. Equipping everyone with Fly, and Tobias, Will and myself with Darkvision was quite a task, and Allustan had to assist with an additional Fly spell. Finally I made Churt Invisible so he could fly to the Wind Warriors position and illuminate them all.

He achieved this important task, but they retreated before Ragnor and Tobias's Flame Strike and my devastating Firebrand. I was a bit disappointed with my first casting of this spell. I suspect the presence of water reduced it's initial force, and the Wind Warriors flew off, avoiding secondary damage as the water boiled and steamed from the power of my magic.

Churt pursued the guardians relentlessly, helpfully shouting valuable tactical information as we descended enmass down the underground river. The Wind Warriors sought to ambush us, but forewarned by our invisible fairy godmother, we were prepared for their counterattack.

Still, I was left facing a Wind Warrior wielding two longswords who proceeded to strike me and Tobias. I launched a salvo of five Magic Missiles at it, and Allustan hit with four - he might have been holding back, but in the end I got impatient with the creature and finding a good opportunity, launched a Sculpted Empowered Fireball in a line and destroyed three of the Wind Warriors at once.

Ragnor, doing his best to emulate his lost friend Sheridan, flew past all of us on his own and was attacked by the sixth Wind Warrior, whom I destroyed with an Empowered Magic Missile salvo.

Churt destroyed his Wind Warrior opponent with relative ease, reminding me so much of you my dear brother, then Churt and Tobias assisted Corvan in defeating Corvan's Wind Warrior.

We descended down the river chute to an area aptly named the Star Chamber from the crystals embedded in the cavernous roof. Here we met the Marquis of the River, Moreto, who revealed we may not be in the Whispering Cairn anymore.

Will engaged Moreto in stimulating conversation: Moreto was concerned about Will's obvious undead prejudices. I tried to explain the situation by using the example of brussel sprouts, but I think my attempts at diplomacy fell flat.

Your eldest brother


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 07, 2008 11:16 pm    Post subject: D&D: Letter to dearest brother #9 Open Sesame! Reply with quote

17th Day of Flocktime
Whispering Cairn
Close to the ruins of Diamond Lake
OR
Tomb of Icosiol
Rift Canyon in the Shield Lands

Dear beloved brother Jolan

Will doesn't like brussel sprouts, so he shot Moreto with an arrow. Simultaneously, three Mohrg emerged from the river, where they had clearly been hiding, and attacked.

I cast an Empowered Maximised Magic Missile salvo at Moreto, but he was protected by a Globe of Invulnerability.

Tobias scared one of the mohrg off, which was subsequently finished off by Allustan and Ragnor. Will demonstrated his fantastic prowess with his bow, hitting Moreto with 3 of 4 arrows and taking him down!

Churt raged and broke the grapple of his friendly mohrg, then stabbed it deeply in the chest with his trident.

While Tobias was trying to defeat Corvan's mohrg, Moreto rose as a spectre and struck our valiant cleric of Pelor, draining him of some life energy. Corvan smashed his mohrg to bits and Will dispatched Churt's with 2 out of 3 arrows.

The spectral Moreto avoided attacks from Corvan and Tobias by simply passing through them, and attacked his nemesis Will - who was bravely trying to attract Moreto's attention from the cleric. Tobias was able to strike Moreto on a second attack, and I got Moreto with two magic missiles from my wand. Churt and Corvan's attacks passed through the spectre harmlessly - but Will stepped back and calmly put an arrow into Moreto's ghostly figure - and with a cry of anguish the incorporeal Moreto was no more.

Will ran up immediately to loot Moreto's corpse, while Corvan picked up the Seal of Law which the recently destroyed Moreto had shown us - apparently the centre of the dispute between him and Flycatcher. Two Djinni appeared beside Corvan the instant he touched the Seal. I welcomed them warmly, saying "Greetings, Guardians of Law, how may we assist you?"

They reacted to my attempt at diplomacy by punching Corvan with their fists! Tobias ran forward and struck the nearest one with his mace, and I cast Scorching Ray on the same one, which dissolved into nothingness.

The remaining djinni transformed itself into a whirlwind, catching Churt, Ragnor and Tobias in its path. While it carried the hapless three around I diligently zapped it with my Wand of Magic Missiles, three times! Churt finally managed to throw himself out, and Corvan, in a tactically questionable move, threw an alchemist's fire into the whirlwind. The fire burst destroyed the whirlwind and deposited our wind-worn and fire-scorched cleric in the river.

The Seal had three icons that Allustan recognised - that of the great battle at Pesh, another representing the forces of Law, and Icosiol's personal rune. It was obviously something that opened a door. We searched the Star Chamber, but without water breathing we could go no further. One wonders what Moreto did down here to pass the time.

Allustan and I identified Moreto's possessions, through magic or experienced eye. His gear included:

Cloak of the Bat (Corvan)
Greatsword + 2 (Ragnor)
Lantern (still to be identified, in Ragnor's haversack)
Potion of Inflict Moderate Wounds (Tobias)
Ring of Protection + 2 (Corvan, who gave Will his Ring of Protection + 1)
Wand of Enervation (Anlan)
Wand of Halt Undead (Anlan)

Moreto also had some books in his possession, written in Abyssal. Will could read these books, no doubt thanks to his fancy headband. He made passing mention of an undead dragon, Dragotha, who would usher in an era of writhing decay. We won't ask Will to read us any bedtime stories.

We rested for the day, as I was out of spells.

18th Day of Flocktime
Whispering Cairn
Close to the ruins of Diamond Lake
OR
Tomb of Icosiol
Rift Canyon in the Shield Lands

After Allustan and I cast Fly on various individuals, Corvan tried out his Cloak of the Bat - it worked beautifully and he vanished into the darkness, transformed into a tiny bat. We ascended behind him, carrying light sources, which he had to fly ahead of in order to stay in bat form.

At the place where the Wind Warriors made their final stand, Corvan had stopped, exclaiming that he had found a doorway. He reverted to human form and placed the Seal of Law onto a spot on the wall. A passageway opened up...

Your eldest brother


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 16, 2008 9:57 am    Post subject: Letter #10 Catching the spider in his own web Reply with quote

18th Day of Flocktime
Tomb of Icosiol
Rift Canyon in the Shield Lands

Dear beloved brother Jolan

I have discussed our location with Allustan, and he agrees that we are actually located in the Tomb of Icosiol, in the notorious Rift Canyon of the Shield Lands.

The passageway led up a 100' of stairs and opened up into a chamber with 50' high metal doors. The metal looked pristine and freshly forged. They made me think of Shrink Item, but I didn't have the spell today.

They had many inscriptions warding off the forces of Chaos, and Will identified three as Aaqa, Icosiol and Pesh.

We opened the doors into a chamber 80' deep, about 100' feet long and a good 60' wide, descending into glowing blue fog, and seven columns rising from the darkness, each progressively higher than the other. The fourth-most distant column was spinning, the fifth seemed covered with tar, and the sixth was lightly coloured.

Everyone seemed afraid to venture forth, so I volunteered to jump onto the columns. My Fly spell was still active, but I thought it would be dispelled upon crossing the pit, and I didn't want to rely upon it. I was feeling particularly confident, as I had cast a Maximised False Life on myself that morning, although I hope to get in the routine of a Maximised Extended False Life every night before bedtime once I am experienced enough to combine the two metamagic enhancements together.

In any case I was surprised upon jumping onto the second column - two Huge Air Elementals rose up out of the pit and proceeded to pound me with their winds. If I had not had the Maximised False Life, my body might have ended up at the bottom of the pit. I turned Invisible while avoiding their blows, and fled back to the stairs.

Churt and Corvan engaged one Air Elemental, and seemed unable to hurt it. Ragnor, Tobias and Allustan fought the other with spells. I tried Dismissal on it, but it had no effect.

Tobias was quickly felled by the Air Elemental, and Allustan stepped forward, touched his unconscious body, and Dimension Doored down the stairs. I cast a Maximised Magic Missile, and retreated with the others. Corvan and Churt were the last to retreat, and the doors slammed closed.

We had a hurried healing session then departed immediately to the upper chambers before our Fly spells ran out.

We had a brief discussion with the Earl of Colchester, Antireus Redpike, who wanted to know what we had fought in the lower chambers. We only mentioned Moreto, and everyone seemed aware that talking about the defeat of the Wind Warriors might be considered a gross social faux pas by the Earl. The Earl could give us no information about Flycatcher, and seemed to think the presence of Flycatcher was beneficial. Even after I pointed out that Flycatcher seems to have the form of a spider, and one of the greatest enemies of the Wind Dukes was Miska the Wolf-Spider.

19th Day of Flocktime
Tomb of Icosiol
Rift Canyon in the Shield Lands

The next day I ate the last of my trail rations - it's been 9 days since our departure from Greyhawk and while I had only bought 7 days of rations, I did have my salami sticks to extend my fare. Clerics can create food: I wonder what the bounty of Pelor tastes like.

We discussed our plan of negotiation for Flycatcher. Tobias would pray for the Dimensional Anchor spell, which is a great spell that I am looking forward to writing into my spellbook some time. Immediately upon Flycatcher's handing over of Sheridan, Tobias would cast the Anchor on the spider, preventing him from shifting out of the room. Then we would attack Flycatcher. We are no-one's messenger boy, and we do not take kindly to having any of our members kidnapped, even if they are annoying elves.

We turned up in Flycatcher's chamber, and Corvan illuminated the room with the bright light of Pelor's blessing. We called out to Flycatcher, but the spider did not appear.

Flycatcher eventually shifted in down the corridor, and complained in its gravelly voice that it was too bright. Corvan extinguished the Daylight immediately.

Flycatcher appeared in the web chamber, with the web silk wrapped body of Sheridan. We noticed particular attention had been placed around the mouth area. We wanted Flycatcher to prove that Sheridan was still alive, and Flycatcher seemed reluctant to do this, as it would mean removing Sheridan's gag. I felt a pang of empathy for the creature.

Ragnor swapped the live Sheridan for the dead head of Moreto. Our deal was concluded, and everyone's word had been kept.

Tobias cast his Dimensional Anchor and Flycatcher was covered with a shimmering emerald field. Flycatcher rasped "Treachery!" and bit Ragnor while attacking with claws. The enormous spider picked up Sheridan who continued to babble nonsense.

Ragnor and Tobias released Flame Strikes at Flycatcher, but also hurt Sheridan in the process! Not the act of a friend or a cleric of Pelor! I followed up with a Subdual Firebrand and Sheridan fell silent. This is how you handle fire when one of your companions is in the way!

Corvan, Churt and Will attacked with their greatest efforts. I had enough time to cast a Maximised Magic Missile and then Flycatcher collapsed on top of Sheridan. Will executed a coup de grace and the battle was won!

Your eldest brother


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 22, 2008 1:18 pm    Post subject: Letter to dearest brother #11 dread the dread wraith Reply with quote

19th Day of Flocktime
Tomb of Icosiol
Rift Canyon in the Shield Lands

Dear beloved brother Jolan

Every now and again I experience a sharp stabbing abdominal pain, and I also have ... Ragnor's problem. You know, the noisy problem that induces great hilarity. I asked Ragnor to Remove Disease but that didn't work. So I tried Remove Curse and that didn't work. The problem makes it a bit awkward to walk, and the pain affects my concentration a little.

We opened the last remaining door from the web chamber. This was in the direction that the Earl of Colchester warned us contained undead guardians.

The room was small, only 15' square. It was clearly a shrine of some sorts: there was magic armour on a stand opposite the door, and a painted door on the right wall. The painted door emitted the palpable sense of a great evil undead creature. We know all this because I cast Detect Magic, the paladin Detected Evil and Tobias cast Detect Undead.

After much discussion on what to do about it, the paladin announced he stood against all evil and stepped forward into the room.

Almost immediately, a large black incorporeal figure swept out of the painted doorway, through the room and vanished into the left wall, clawing Corvan on the way past, leaving him pale and sickly.

There followed much concern amongst the party as we were progressively ambushed from different directions by the Dread Wraith. Churt was clawed, I was clawed and suffered greatly as my health left me. But each time it appeared those with quick reactions and sureness of strength were able to hurt it. I managed to cast three salvoes of Maximised Empowered Magic Missiles.

In the end we retreated back out to the large web chamber to better defend ourselves. The Dread Wraith appeared, and my last Magic Missile salvo and Will's singly accurate arrow destroyed the creature.

The armour had arcane runes on it and I quickly identified it as a set of Banded Mail of greater than normal protection [+2] with electricity resistance. We bade the cleric to wear it for added protection to our most valued healer in the party.

Oh, and just when I thought Sheridan could not get annoying enough: the little prat is now able to dimension door. I don't know whether he developed this ability through being bitten by Flycatcher, or whether he managed to swipe something from Flycatcher's lair, but it is entirely irritating. I've told him demons and devils do a similar thing and if he ever jumps into existence behind me, I will launch a Disintegrate without looking.

That left the Air Elementals to deal with although we had no Fly spells to reach the chamber. Allustan expressed some concern about his brother, so we decided to return to the Whispering Cairn.

We arrived through the portal without incident, but soon discovered the black dragon was encamped out the front and regularly scouring the entranceway with its foetid acid breath. Sheridan volunteered to slip past with his new-found ability and find food and news from whatever remained of Diamond Lake.

He did so surprisingly quickly and we now have enough food for another five days. The dragon seems to spend most of it's time here, but returns to Diamond Lake for feeding. The hapless citizens have retreated into the mines for safety. Lanod Nuff, Allustan's brother, is missing, presumed dead in his mansion.

We all agreed we needed to kill the dragon once we were sufficiently prepared the following morning. This was too much for my beloved mentor, Allustan, who said he must find out what had happened to his brother. We bade him farewell and my mentor Dimension Doored out of the Cairn back to the dubious safety of Diamond Lake.

Now we plan.

Your eldest brother


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 30, 2008 10:17 am    Post subject: Letter #12 Dragotha take you all - but not today Reply with quote

20th Day of Flocktime
Whispering Cairn
Close to the ruins of Diamond Lake

Dear beloved brother Jolan

A Heal from Tobias, our devoted cleric of Pelor, failed to remove the affliction which plagues me. After a medical discussion with our good healer, I concluded that the source may be arcane in origin. I may have to seek a greater mage than myself for assistance. I'll try Dispel Magic after we deal with the dragon, because I think I would rather face another Apostle of Kyuss than discuss with the great Archmage Tensor why I am farting more than usual.

Our discussion on how to deal with the dragon went on into the night and for some of the early morning of the 20th too. The key issue was to ensure the dragon stayed on the ground long enough for us to kill it. What would encourage the dragon to stay on the ground longer than absolutely necessary? The same reason it has been guarding the entrance to the cairn for the past six days: Allustan

That morning, Churt cast Shield from his Ring of Spell Storing, I cast Disguise Self into it, and Churt Disguised himself as Allustan. He still had Bull's Strength in the ring as backup.

Corvan and Churt-Allustan draped some bloody rags around themselves, and staggered out the entranceway while the rest of us watched and waited.

It didn't take long: the dragon was above the entrance on the cliff face. It wanted to eat Churt-Allustan: "the wizard is mine".

The dragon breathed its acid breath with foul noisome fumes upon the two apparently helpless adventurers, but they were completely unharmed thanks to Tobias judicious casting of Resist Acid Energy. Tobias and I had such protection too, the others had less powerful protection than the blessings of Pelor.

Then we launched our ambush. I Dimension Doored to one side of Corvan and Churt-Allustan, Sheridan did the same on the other side with Ragnor, Tobias and Will.

For some inexplicable reason, I started to quiver and shake with fear upon seeing the dragon. I had fought off the creature before - singlehandedly! Even with the blessings of Pelor in the form of a Remove Fear from Tobias that morning, I was frightened!

The dragon dropped down from the cliff face and attacked Churt-Allustan with bite, claws, wings and tail. Churt-Allustan nearly fell, but stabbed out with his trident disguised as a dagger. His attacks did not seem that effective.

I overcome my fear, but I regret to inform you my dearest brother that my close-range Maximised Empowered Scorching Rays were not as effective this time. The dragon had Mage Armour up and I had no Dispel Magic to counter it. I think I only struck it once out of six devastating rays.

Sheridan and Will were scoring strikes with arrows, Corvan seemed to have some success with his sword, but it was Ragnor's and Tobias's Flaming Strikes which sorely afflicted the beast. It cursed us, saying "Dragotha take you all!", and surrounded by Ragnor's totally ineffective summoned Dire Bats, it launched itself into flight.

The dragon breathed acid in an en passant attack against Ragnor, Sheridan, Tobias and Will. I struck it with a Maximised Empowered Fireball - sorry Dire Bats. Before it was out of range I'm pleased to say that it was Ragnor that hit it with another Flaming Strike and dropped it, moments before another Fireball from me.

By a small miracle, Will's horse was still in the vicinity, I assume the rest of them have been eaten or driven away. We hitched the dragon corpse to the horse and dragged the body back to what was left of Diamond Lake. We received a hero's welcome. I wish you could have been there too, middle brother. I miss you.

Your eldest brother


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 07, 2008 5:29 pm    Post subject: Letter to dearest brother Clean up of Diamond Lake Reply with quote

20th Day of Flocktime
Ruins of Diamond Lake

Dear beloved brother Jolan

I wrote the last part of my previous letter assuming we could drag the dragon's body all the way back to Diamond Lake. This just wasn't possible. Instead we cut off the head for the tavern, Ragnor got some choice bits of hide for making dragonhide armour (apparently some fashion statement popular amongst druids), I got some hide to do a spellbook, enough blood for plenty of Rary's Mnemonic Enhancer spells, and a claw for a paperweight.

The rest of the day was spent in Diamond Lake finding out what had happened to whom and helping out where we could. Ragnor departed to resurrect the head druid. With Allustan's permission, I salvaged what I could of his house with Unseen Servants from the wand I have. I had to encourage some scavengers to find other pickings first though, but I had six Fireballs memorised from our fight with the dragon. I could only find his dragon chess set and the Talisman of the Sphere I had kept at his place. The black dragon seemed to have given Allustan's house special attention.

I spent the 21st using various utility spells such as Prestigidation, Unseen Servant, Fly, Shrink Item and Walls of Stone helping out the reconstruction of Diamond Lake. The forge and garrison require a lot of stone repairs.

Tobias did a Speak with Dead on the dragon's head. I was fascinated by the entire procedure. Tobias also needed help in what questions to ask, which I happily provided:

Who sent you?
I did

Why did you want to kill Allustan?
Those who meddle in the affairs of dragons find themselves crunchy and tasty

Where is Dragotha?
In his lair

Where is Dragotha's lair?
To the north

What does Dragotha want with K'yuss?
Revenge upon Tiamat

The answers explain why dragons are involved with K'yuss and his spawn, but I can see we will have to practise more on using this spell.

We were planning to return to the Cairn and deal with the Air Elementals on the 22nd but various things intervened, notwithstanding the great amount of work still to do around Diamond Lake. The day was not wasted as I was able to Permanence Darkvision on myself and Tobias. Oh, it is great to be able to see in the dark again. I can study my spellbooks all night long like I did at the Academy if I want to.

I'm feeling much worse than before, I think I've caught something really bad. It's getting harder to walk and everyone thinks I'm grumpier than normal.

On the 23rd we set off to deal with the Air Elementals. Thanks to Sheridan we bypassed the entirety of the Earl's realm, and thanks to my Fly spells, we now stand before the great metal doors again.

Your eldest brother


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 14, 2008 5:24 pm    Post subject: Letter to dearest brother #14 a demon set aside for us Reply with quote

23rd Day of Flocktime
Tomb of Icosiol
Rift Canyon in the Shield Lands

Dear beloved brother Jolan

We opened the massive metal doors, Hasted and otherwise ready for combat. Ragnor sent through a Summoned Arrrowhawk which flew close to the ceiling, enough to reveal it was electrified. Will let loose a random flurry of arrows into the glowing fog.

Will's arrows caused some reaction, and we spotted an Air Elemental on approach. A Banishment from Tobias, and Dismissal from myself had no effect on it.

More arrows from Sheridan and Will followed, and an Empowered Maximised Fireball from me revealed the second Air Elemental lurking in the room.

The first Air Elemental approached, and Churt managed to stab in three times before he and Corvan were sucked up into a huge whirlwind.

Then, a success: Tobias called upon his reserves and the bright glory of Pelor, and Banished the second Air Elemental from this plane of existence. The first Air Elemental spat our Churt and Corvan, clearly expecting them to fall to their deaths into the abyss below, but of course they had their powerful Fly spells still active.

Unfortunately the Air Elemental whirlwind sucked up myself and Tobias, and as I was swirling around getting dizzy, I saw Ragnor attacking it with his club. I succeeded in casting Magic Missile while being buffeted around.

Then Sheridan did something extremely brave. I was most impressed, but I'm not telling him that. He leapt into the whirlwind, grabbed me, and Dimension Doored out to safety.

In the end, it was Tobias again who defeated the second Air Elemental, burning it away with Searing Lights.

The secret of the pillars was quickly revealed. The funny coloured pillar had a slot in the top for the Seal of Law, and once Corvan and Sheridan had placed the Seal within, the pillar started to rise. Ten feet from the electrified roof, Corvan and Sheridan continued to levitate by themselves, Churt joined them. They vanished into the ceiling.

Shortly afterwards Sheridan Dimension Doored back, stating breathlessly - and with remarkable economy of words - that there was a demon, and we needed to come quickly.

We entered a chamber with a high ceiling, containing a marble sarcophagus, which was clearly a tomb celebrating the glorious death of Icosiol. Churt and Corvan were up against half a dozen demons, but I recognised the Mirror Image spell: just one demon, carrying a longsword, with eyes looking out from all over it, the same eyes releasing nasty beams of light.

I dispatched the last Mirror Image with my Chain Lightning, but my most powerful spell failed to penetrate the demon's defenses. Churt was hurting, but was Healed in combat by Tobias, while Corvan briefly retreated to lay hands upon himself.

It does not bode well, that in the short space of time while our two best fighters were engaged in combat with the demon, they have to be healed. And the demon does not have a scratch upon it.

Oh woe, brother, where is your strong arm now that we need it?

Your eldest brother


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