Previously, on Phoenix Rising…
… The back wall had many shelves and some of the shelves had those strange vial-like objects on them – probably two to three dozen of them. And all of them had a sickly greenish glow to them … She addressed the party as the door opened up, “Ah, you finally found your way here. Arrealla sends her regards. Too bad you won’t live to meet her.” And the battle began.…
Zerak’s black tentacles didn’t seem to do much this time. The human fighter that was trapped by them easily broke out of them and advanced into the fight. But he did not last long against Zola. Then she went on to attack one of the graveknights that was stuck in the tentacles. The undead abomination posed quite a challenge for her but eventually she was victorious against it. Asphodel went after the second graveknight in the room and quickly went into an uncontrollable rage. Even so, it lasted against her for a few rounds.
In the meantime the wights that were working on the dead bodies in this room had advanced and were attacking Blackwell and Kel. They too soon fell from the onslaught of the two heroes. And Jobi and Zerak gave lots of support with healing and summoning spells.
But when the high level cleric started throwing her spells around, mainly targeting Zola and Asphodel, the extra healing was sorely needed for them. She cast several destruction spells as well as harm spells at the pair doing sometimes immense damage to them in a single round. She also bolstered her undead minions with negative energy channeling and had help from a couple more spell casters as the battle continued.
First, an invisible attacker plagued the likes of Blackwell, Jobi, Kel, and Zerak for some time. He was using spells such as slay living, inflict critical wounds, and channeling negative energy as well. Finally they had become quite sick and tired of this person so Kel cast invisibility purge to find the culprit. Then Zerak used a deep slumber hex on him to put him down till the end of the battle.
Another spellcaster came up from behind them and first blasted Jobi with three scorching rays – which really only amounted in getting her attention and alerting the party to his presence. Then he switched to fireballs and other damaging spells but Kel and Jobi concentrated on him and brought him to the point that he teleported away – not to be seen again, at least for now. It took our heroes nearly all their strength to finally bring down the evil cleric in charge down in this hell hole of a basement. And then it took both Jobi and Zola to help calm down Asphodel to the point that she wouldn’t start tearing into her friends.
Shortly after the battle was over, Zola went still and stiff and had another waking vision. Once it was over in a couple minutes she did not share the whole vision with everyone but only said that she had to kill Arrealla and that Arrealla was her older half-sister.
Once everyone settled out of the combat, they started healing and taking stock of the surroundings. They saw that they still had nearly two dozen living captives to deal with. They were all chained to the far north wall, naked, malnourished and badly beaten. Some of the party then went to work unlocking their manacles, and doing basic first aid as well as giving them small amounts of healing magic. Others in the party went and gathered all the magical items they could find strewn about and upon the dead. They also turned their attention to the small vials with the greenish-bluish mists in them, nearly a hundred of them on the shelves. It took some time but they thought they were holding the life essences of those that had these vials viciously slammed into their chests. They broke one and saw some of the liquid inside seep into the stone floor as well as the mist travel through to another plane of existence, but unable to determine exactly where. SO they packed all of them up to take with them so they could get another opinion from one or more of the churches in Neverwinter of what to do with the vials.
Meanwhile, Zola had seen the Afterlife Machine in the southern part of the room and stated to destroy it. At first she sued her fists only to find out that it really hurt and wasn’t getting her anywhere except toward the goal of broken hands. So she borrowed Asphodel’s large axe and struck at it with all her might until the thing was nothing more than broken remains.
They also talked about what they were going to do about the graveknights’s armor. They couldn’t just leave it here because the creatures would reform in just one to ten days from now. So they discussed it and decided that dropping them into a volcano was the only immediately expedient thing to do to hopefully ensure their total destruction. So Asphodel gathered up the suits of armor and teleported above the nearest volcano and dropped them into the fiery depths and then teleported back to the rest of the group.
Once they were finished down here, they led the ex-prisoners out to the main floor and double checked to see what had gone on outside. They were pleasantly surprised to see the guard they had let live sitting at a small fire and eating a freshly cooked rabbit. All the other combatants out here were either gone or dead. When asked, the man said that he owed them at least the courtesy of taking care of the rest of the evilness outside the castle in exchange for them sparing his life. This moved Asphodel enough to give the man back his sword that they did not allow him to take earlier. The man also accepted the charge of making sure the prisoners got to the nearest town unharmed. He had just accepted the task when Zola added that she would give him 5,000 gold to do this for them. He gladly accepted and then set about getting more food out of the castle for the people there.
They all slept the night and rested till the next day when our heroes took their leave of the man and the ex-prisoners. They then teleported back to Asphodel’s castle courtyard and promptly started the people in the courtyard. But once this was overcome, it did not take long for Asphodel’s cohort, Donamira, to come rushing out and tell the group that a messenger had been sent from Lord Neverember himself about having them come to Neverwinter as soon as was possible. And they had to make sure that Kel was with them.
So our heroes set out to Neverwinter to see what Lord Neverember was needing from them this time. When they arrived at the estate, they were escorted in to see him. With him were a number of other people in foreign regalia but Kel immediately recognized who was there with Neverember. It was an entourage from her family, the Crownsilvers. The one speaking with Neverember was her uncle, Knight Commander Rudigar. He was a stern man normally but he looked especially perturbed to Kel. Once their presence was announced, Neverember was delighted to see them and said as much.
Rudigar stiffly walked towards Kel and addressed her most formally – almost chillingly one could say. He gave her a small, but respectful bow and was obviously not happy to be here taking care of this matter,
“Princess Keladry. Here is a message from your mother. Read it and give me your answer forthwith.” He handed her a sealed envelope which Kel slowly took and opened. The she read the letter and said, “Well it looks like I have to go speak with mother.”
With that we leave you till next week…