Session 12/07

Twenty Ninth of Flamerule, 1374 DR

The party then took shelter in the entrance to the temple as tornado-like weather raged outside. Sometime during this respite, a heavily cloaked man in dark leather armor appeared at the temple door looking for shelter. He identified himself as Silas of Velprintilar, and claimed to be tracking someone through the Yuirwood. After going back into the temple to retrieve the moonstone (a minor enchanted item used to open a door in the temple) and the remains of Hyralst Gymelin (the ghost-priest), the party rested in the temple entrance and it stormed through the night.

The cleric had equally turbulent dreams; visions of raging black storms enveloping the landscape and casting everything into shadow. A great vortex of darkness welled up from an unfamiliar port city to sweep across the land, and everything blazed with blue fire before going black. From the void there came the faint sound of a heartbeat. As the sound grew, with each pulse red light spread through the darkness in a network of vein-like energy. As red light illuminated the landscape with its web of energy, a single golden eye pierced the dark like the sun.

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Helios was rudely awakened by a wolf licking his face and the laughter of an oddly dressed elven female. Oz introduced her as Handeera Greenhaven, his half-sister. She informed the party that the elf maiden that Oz is searching for (Duladora Trameldor) was last seen near a stone circle, an infamously cursed stone circle, in the south eastern end of the Yuirwood. Silas asked if anyone else was seen near the circle and incidently there was and they matched the description of the man he was tailing. Oz handed-off the spectral panther cub the Handeera so she could take it to Relkath's Foot for training. Then, with their new information, the party headed toward the cursed stone circle. After a few encounters along the way, they found the ancient menhir but failed to find either Duladora or Silas's mark. They decided to spend the night there since the circle did give off a mild magical aura. They wanted to see if anything would happen at night… and it did.


Sixth of Eleasias, 1374 DR

They awoke in another stone circle, much like the first but it was seated on a small rocky island surrounded by a turbulent sea under a twilight sky. Across that sea, not far away, stood four glowing crystal towers, each on their own small rocky islands and lit like beacons at their apex. A crystal bridge led from the stone circle to the first tower. However, seated on this bridge was a huge skeletal sea serpent. It wasn't moving at all, and after some trepidation, the party determined it was just a skeleton and not a skeleton. Silas took point to check for traps, and the party moved to the first room of the first tower. They found the scattered remains of skeletons and zombies, and dead orcs and hobgoblins. This large room also contained the statue of a noble looking elven woman with her arms extended in greeting. The walls floor and ceiling of the entire room (and every room encountered thus far) were made of thick, opaque, glowing crystal (every room with glowing walls is lit as-if by a torch).Through an open doorway to the east Oz spotted a sleeping Owlbear in a small room. They tried to set-up a coup de grace on the sleeping beast but took too long and it woke up and attacked them. Luckily they bottle-necked it in the doorway and made short work of it. the next room (to the east) held a few zombies and skeletons. The party tore right through them. The room after that contained a fine crytsal fountain in which a dead hobgoblin was floating. A bloody smear led to one of the doors on the eastern wall (the northern door). Upon inspecting this room they found the remains of a dead thing (maybe hobgoblin) with its flesh partially flayed from its body. Armor and clothes were piled at one corner of the room, and when Oz went to inspect them and a flailing mass of flesh erupted from the pile, smacked Oz a good one and proceeded to attack Percival mercilessly. It wrapped around the knight and began to constrict. The party began to hack away at it as it slowly strangled Percival. Silas took a poorly aimed shot and accidentally hit the knight (doing more damage than the skin monster, lol). They eventually dispatched the Forsaken Shell and moved on the the south eastern door in the previous room (after some healing. mostly for Percival). This room contained a stairway leading up. On the next level they found a large room with a high ceiling devoid of light. When they entered a trio of orc archers from a balcony yelled down to them to "Hurry! The door below us! Before more come!", and as the party rushed to the door three shadows emerged from the floor and attacked. Luckily, Helios was quick with the turning, and the party made it to the doorway, which led to another stairwell. The group climbed the stair and came face-to-face with the orcs. The orcs told the PCs (in broken common) that they should come and see Thraka, their leader. After some hesitance the group agreed. One of the orcs led the group through a few more rooms of the tower, (where more orcs and hobgoblins were camping) across another crystal bridge, and into the second tower (to the east). There they found a veritable orc and hobgoblin army and their leader, Thraka.

Thraka told them that they need to find the portal key in the tower to the far west. It is the only way to make the stone circle operate in both directions (right now its one-way; IN). He told the PCs that there are many undead and that he and his group couldn't accomplish it, they had lost too many already. Thraka seemd nervous, and Helios (having sensed motive) determined he was also lying about something. Helios also spotted the form of a large spider hiding in one of the doorways. Seeing as how the group was sorely outnumbered, they agreed to retrieve the key for Thraka (if only to use it themselves). After resting back in the first tower with a few hobgoblins, and a late night attack from a wraith and a few shadows, they made their way to the western tower. The bridge from the first tower led to a bridge nexus where three of the crystal bridges met at different heights. The nexus was basically a small tower supported by the three bridges it connected. The party encountered a single orc zombie therein that almost took Percival's arm off (almost a critical hit). After dispatching the zombie, they moved on to the western tower.

Here is where the 'annoying' factor shot throught the roof (haha). The first room they entered greeted them with a fireball and three skeletons. The party handled the skeletons easily enough but they kept getting pummeled by magical fire from some unseen source. This continued for a few rounds, they then decided to open the western door of this room. Upon entering this dimly lit room the walls lit-up with a dizzying display of lights and a elven dirge started playing out of nowhere. While Silas and Oz tried to deal with the Flameskull in the last room (Silas had finally spotted it), Helios Percival and Aenin searched the large musical room. As Helios inspected the altar in the center of the room, a Wight popped-up from behind it and clawed at him (almost draining a level). Aenin and Percival dispatched the Wight as Silas and Oz ran into the room and shut the door. The Flameskull was proving a difficult adversary. Everyone decided to make a break for the southern door in the previous room (since their current room had no other doors). They ran past the Flameskull and into the next room, which contained a stairway leading down. The chilly room at the bottom of the stairs contained several glass tables and smelled faintly of death, but was otherwise empty. There was a door in the southern wall and an open doorway in the northern wall. The party chose the latter and made their way into a hallway with one arm leading straight ahead (one door on the left, one door on the right, and one at the end) and one arm leading to the right (one door at the end). They choose the first doorway on the left and found a large hemispherical chamber with several wheeled glass tables an unlit furnace and two apparently empty vats. However, Helios spotted something moving in one of the vats. Taking his cue from Helios, Percival advanced toward the vat, and triggered a magical trap. He stopped cold, two feet from the vat, completely paralyzed. Then, to the chagrin of Silas, he started emitting a cloud of noxious gas, that made Silas vomit and retch for many rounds to come. A few large feindish looking scorpions moved toward the party then, appearing from behind the vats. Meanwhile, Oz was still in the hallway (for whatever reason) when he was assaulted by an all too familiar fiery beam. The Flameskull had followed. Oz then ran into the room with everyone else and shut the door. Silas, failing another save, succumbed to an overpowering sense of fear. He promptly ran to the door and opened it with the intent to flee, letting in the Flameskull in the process. The figue in the vat then made himself known and proceeded to bite the paralized Percival right in the jugular (almost a coup de grace). He then began to pummel the group (Helios in particular) with magic missiles as the Flameskull did the same at a safe distance 20' up near the ceiling. The group finally dispatched the Deathlock (the guy in the vat) ending the fear for Silas. All that remained were the scorpions, which were dispatched easily, and that oh so annoying Flameskull, which continued to blast magic missles and firey rays at the party. Percival, having shaken the paralysis, weighed his options and decided to try and jump up on one of the vats and swat the skull down with his hammer. It sounded like a decent plan, and because of the everpresent lighter gravity of this strange place it would have been easier than normal. However, when you roll a 1 on your balance check no amount of bonuses can help. Percival promptly slipped and fell, landing on his head and knocking himself out. So the knight lay there, unconscious and bleeding (from the bite to the jugular), with 40-some HP left. The Flameskull cackled maniacly and blasted him with a couple fire beams for good measure. Helios made a break for the hallway (having taken the brunt of the magic missile shoot-out) and the skull made a move to follow. Oz, finally drawing a bead on the Flameskull, popped a couple arrows through its empty eye sockets, taking it down. So ended the epic annoyance that was the FLAMESKULL.

After some healing (mostly for Helios and Percival) the party moved down the hall to the next door. This room cantained elaborate embalming apparati. Silas noticed that amongst the canopic jars arranged on a shelf, one was missing (a small detail to come into play later).

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