Session 28

  • From each of the six small corridors which splintered from the great hall came mummified tomb guardians, their ghastly maw’s open with horrific hollow screams, moving in relentless awkward jerking strides towards their fearful prey
  • The mere presence of the ancient guards put the group on edge and It was only when Kagero stepped forward and raised her weapon in defiance with a rallying roar that they shake themselves out of the paralysing emotion. Orsk, Eben and Ali, with supporting fire from Naraaku make a circle in one corner of the room close to the Altar, protecting the veil mages and more vulnerable members of the party and waiting for the attack to begin.
  • The guardians came in strong and as they raked and hacked at the group, the wounds they inflicted festered and bubbled, a foul smell of rot hanging in the air wherever they moved. Eben seemed to be affected the most, but his great constitution and bull headed stamina enabled him to fight through the debilitating pain.
  • Solzak moved around the back of the altar and immediately triggered the turban head which started to scream as had the other before him. Firing a volley of bolts had little effect as the invasive screams of terror reverberated through Solzak’s mind. Within a few moments of aimed fire though the head fell silent once more, riddled with bolts and its jaw sagging from a tiny sinew
  • Looking at the books on the altar Sokzak was able to decipher that one was an ancient book of house Vordan and the other, a tome of necromancy!
  • The house vordan book was a chronicle of the final days of the house in Kalidnay, and detailed that the then leader Horgus-Le supplied Thakok-an with the reagents for a terrible ritual, such was its power that Horgus and the vordon merchants knew they must leave Kalidnay lest they be caught in a terrible doom. It then moves on to describe his suspicions that Laylon-ka, a once trusted agent, was secretly a member of the veiled alliance. This subterfuge had angered him greatly and so it was his intention to ensure that Laylon remain in Kalidnay the evening of their departure and that she would face whatever fate lay in store. The pages afterwards were blank
  • The second book detailed several rituals, including the one that had transformed Laylon-Ka into the ‘Kaisharga’ she is now, a creature similar to a lich but without the protection (or vulnerability) of a phylactery. Solzak took the books and returned to the fight,
  • Ali was close to the altar desperately fighting one of the guardians back. She screamed for assistance and Eben came to her aid, he could tell she was badly wounded but a nod from her said that she was not about to abandon those she now considered friends
  • Then, as if things could not get any worse the sound of several sets of heavy armoured footsteps echoed down the hall as the whole chamber filled with a sinister female laughter, immediately a sinking feeling was felt throughout as all knew who this would be and dreaded to say the name, Laylon-ka
  • A ghoulish light permeated the gloom and illuminated the gaunt features of Ka. Her skin drawn thinly over her skull she was however still recognisably human, but only just, as her eyes glowed with an inhuman greenish flare that scanned the gloom and a thin smile cracked across her face. Surrounding her, six armoured wraiths, the same dark figures that the group had seen in Artan-Ak a couple of nights ago, searching for the orb
  • She congratulated the group for breaking in, but that this was as far as they would go. More steps could then be heard, much slower and more deliberate, as coming into view was porgo the mul and his group of cowards who had evaded them earlier.
  • Laylon-ka had caught them earlier and now had them under her necromantic spell! Their eyes had rolled back into their sockets and their mouths drooled as they were no longer fully in control of their bodies. Porgo drew his sword as the others readied their weapons. Now i think I am going to enjoy this! enthused Ka
  • Meanwhile between the combined efforts of the group two of the mummies had gone down and not come up again much to the relief of all who fought. Thinking quickly Solzak called Narissa over and showed her the book of Laylon-Ka’s rituals hoping that she would find something in there that could reverse the enchantments on Porgo and his doomed followers
  • As luck would have it narissa quickly located the ritual and targeted Porgo, hoping his stubborn mullish mind would help him resist the enchantment and return to ‘relative’ normality
  • The power of the enchantment was great but narissa managed to break it and Porgo immediately whirled round in horror as he was now surrounded not only by his companions but by the wraiths. He cursed and shouted to his companions to snap out of it and rejoin his side, swinging his mighty blade around his head as a warning to them to keep back
  • Quickly narissa attempted another but as a tomb guardian closed in she was saved from being struck down by the intervening hammer of Orsk
  • meanwhile the others were still bravely fought back the tomb guardians as one more fell to their combined efforts. They were all taking heavy damage but Kagero hissed and screamed at the group to fight harder than they ever could have fought before, inspiring them all to not give up
  • Then naraaku noticed something peculiar about the back wall, there seemed to be some kind of outline in the stone, a narrow hairline crack in the shape of a door! He shouted to Solzak who nervously approached, fearing another devilish trap. For a moment they considered what could be on the other side? Escape, a trap, or worse more horrors from the spellbook of Ka. They decided instead for now they would fight on but, as they were being pushed further and further into the corner it might become their only hope of escape.
  • Porgo had slipped past the wights but was followed by his companions, struck by arrows from the elf and magical blasts from his giggling partner
  • Narissa targeted his halfling companion next, and as he was brought to his senses he took one look at the chaos before him and scurried into the darkness at the rear of the chamber, curses rang out from both Porgo and Narissa
  • Yakala, breaking past the tomb guardians to get close to porgo, called out to any semblance of sense in him. Join us now or you will perish alone, at least together we might stand a chance to defeat this evil.
  • Something inside Porgo, perhaps it was seeing the vacant stare on his beloveds face, changed and then for once in a humbled tone he said yes, and dodging another missile screamed to bring his companions back
  • narissa stepped forward and, chanting more necromantic words from the book and pointing directly at Gheena (Porgo’s magic using companion), she screamed and fell to the floor almost immediately and porgo ran to her side, just in time to stop the downward killing thrust of a wight
  • Laylon-Ka had been watching proceedings with great glee, giggling to herself and clapping mockingly. Now she grew more serious and motioned to her guards, take them! The wraiths moved forward, slipping past Porgo and towards the more vulnerable of the companions.
  • Then a squeal came from behind Ka, as out of the darkness leapt a small furry creature, clearly the halfling was not as cowardly as was thought! Ka screamed as the creature tried to stab her in the neck. The fought for a few moments before Ka managed to throw him off and he scurried back into the shadows
  • Ali rushed forward in defence of Narissa but was met by two of the tomb guardians, Eben had been pulled away by what was happening on the other side of the battlefield and Ali was suddenly very alone and very vulnerable. She fought valiantly and bravely but the tomb guardians were too ruthless and in a couple of well placed strikes she screamed and fell to the ground, precious life blood seeping into the floor. The defiled earth responding by drinking deeply, ebbing her life away even faster. Then, from the shadows came a ghostly figure, a wraith. Kagero, seeing her fellow warlord fall called the companions to arms, but as they rushed to save Ali the wraith knelt down beside her, and with one outstretched bone hand touched her face. For a moment her body contorted, twisted in pain, resisting the power of the wraith, but she was too weak, and the life force was drawn from her in moments leaving her but a lifeless shell.
  • For a moment the group stood around in shock, as if an eon would pass until the next second, Narissa screamed and Eben, Orsk and Kagero despaired that they could do nothing.
  • A look of focus and determination swept across Solzaks face, this must end now! Sweeping his desert robes around him and sheathing his weapon he confidently strode forth, the wraith’s and tomb guardians paying him little mind, as if they knew what he was thinking
  • He called to Laylon-ka with much venom and confidence at the same time, he would bargain with her. Ka seemed pleasantly surprised as the silver tongued assassin pleaded their case, his words soothing her ire for a moment and she seemed remarkably human for someone who had lost that trait many years ago. There was something she saw in his speech though that enticed her, enough to pull back her minions for a moment and listen more intently. They saw in her a bitterness and desire for revenge against house Vordon who, it seems were the reason that she was now stuck in the shadowfell. Ka would not let her prey escape so easily but saw worth in their abilities, at least until she grew tired of them. A pact was made, Solzak and the companions would kill the living descendants of horgus-le, the original head of house vordon. They would have 5 ‘moons’ in which to complete this task, roughly 5 months, but that athas has twin moons could mean this came sooner than they would like. She has no idea herself who is the descendants, only that she will empower Solzak with the ability to ‘seek out the blood’. This made them all shudder but by this point they had sealed their fate.
  • The companions also desired the other obsidian orb. Ka seemed to indicate that she had no use for it and was unusually calm about the idea of its destruction.
  • Ka was amenable to the terms and asked who amongst them would be making the journey for she could not transport them all. The companions looked at one another and then looked across at porgo and his party, nursing their wounds and bruised pride. Take them, Solzak quickly replied as silent worried faces huddled in the background
  • a cruel smile cracked across the ancient stretched lips of ka as she weaved her hands and spoke in arcane tongues. Long sinewy tentacles rose from the feet of porgo and his companions and in moments they were pulled under. narissa cupped her face in her hands and wept for their loss, but it was too late now for remorse as the deal was done
  • They were led to the back of the hall where the altar and the hideous laughing heads once stood and Ka waved her hand in front of the door uttering a small incantation, then a part of the wall slid back into a recess and moved away to reveal a short dusty passage. As they left the room they could see the wraiths slowly retreating back up the stairs,their numbers now increased as they tried to avoid the horrified gaze of Ali, who was now one of them
  • The passage led into a small room, full of scrolls, urns of spell components and tablets with all manner of horrific enchantments etched upon them. They were joined by Tybia and Rex who had been waiting outside. Naraaku and Solzak exchanged glances, and shook their heads knowing they were so close to discovering this earlier. At the far end of the room, resting on a clawed pedestal was the obsidian orb, ever so slightly larger than the one they currently had. Ka motioned to it and eyed Orsk closely and with a strange curiosity as he placed it carefully into his pack. Yakala stepped forward and motioned to gambala and tybia. Ka began casting a spell and as yakala held tybias hand and touched gambala’s forehead, created a psionic conduit through which tybias memory could be accessed and the location of the portal back to athas found.
  • There came a great white light and the three were locked in a grand convergence. The room around them seemed to swirl and mix into a myriad of colours and for a moment they felt an experience as if they were falling. Then all of a sudden with a thump, they landed on soft sand, the warmth immediately washing over them as they realised they were back home…

Session 28

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