Conquest of Ythalek

Continuing the Journey

The ship continued on its way toward the Forlorn Dynasty. While Cliona, and to a small extent Dexlexius, helped to bring Miku and DeClerq around, the other big men helped to bring the ship into port. As they exited the ship, they were greeted by the children of the Guan family – Xiping, Suo, and Xing – as well as Bao Sanniang. These four escorted the group to a nearby fort city, leaving them at the gate.

The group decided to investigate the town. Cliona – watched from a distance by Jeoffrey – found an old scholar to talk to on the path to the central hold while the fighters and bard went to the tavern to gather information. They were greeted by a scene of destruction and learned that someone had ransacked the tavern not long previously. After much “investigation,” the guys came to the conclusion that the candy mage had rode in and destroyed the tavern with his magical rainbows and sugar beams. They ran outside to tell the others.

While Cliona and the old scholar led the slightly inebriated group to believe that they were correct, Cliona and Jeoffrey accepted a letter to be delivered to the scholar’s apprentice in the capital. The group then were informed that the Lord of this fort was ready to meet with them

The group entered the fort to meet the Lord Liu Shan and his three guards: Zhao Yun, Xing Cai, and Ma Dai. While Jeoffrey, Dexlexius, and Wiggelsbach received news of what their tasks were in Forlorn, Cliona was busy getting Zhao Yun’s attention. When successful, the two of them found a room in the castle for the night while the rest of the group were led to their own sleeping quarters. The next morning, Alderath decided to make breakfast for the group while Dexlexius wowed the servants with tales of grandeur and raucous music. Somehow, he managed to wow one servant girl, a 15-year-old named Mei Dai Sun, to the point that she insisted on coming along. She was so wowed that she almost ate Alderath’s cooking. She was “saved” by Cliona but still decided to travel with the party.

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Travel on the Big Blue Wet Thing

Once on the ship, Dexlexius and Cliona each took to their own cabins while Wigelsbach decided to impart upon the ocean his night of drinking. When he finished, he noticed some strange smoke coming from an island known as Castaway Island. The crew told many stories of the evils of the island, but the group decided to take a lifeboat to the island to find out what the signals meant.

Once they arrived, the group found 6 trolls dancing around a fire. A pair of rough tombstones sat just north of the fire, and the group could vaguely see Hayashi tied to one of them. As they disembarked, Wigelsbach realized he recognized their language and tried to assimilate himself as their king. While this did not work, it did start a fight.

Quickly the group realized that only fire could do-in the trolls. Wigelsbach moved to the fire and grabbed a lit log, lighting several of the trolls on fire to dispatch them. However, another monster rose from the ocean: a Far Realm Abomination. This horribly ugly monster seemed to attack much quicker than what most monsters could attack and quickly moved in to stun Wigelsbach and Alderath. While Wigelsbach could get out of the stun quickly, Alderath had a bit of trouble. While he remained stunned, the abomination slapped the two melee units repeatedly with its tentacles. During this time, Jeoffrey noticed something in the edge of the woods that was not part of the trees. After a second inspection, he realized it was Miku, the apprentice cleric from Herlie.

When Alderath broke the stun, he smashed the abomination with all his might. This, coupled with an attack from Dexlexius, bloodied the monster, allowing him to stun the two front-liners again. However, this time they both recovered quickly from the stun and proceeded to beat down the solo beast. With a magic missile from Cliona, the monster finally fell.

Once the fight was over, Jeoffrey moved to Miku to awaken her and found that another person hung in the trees: DeClerq, the other ship captain. He awakened them slowly while Cliona untied Hayashi and began a ritual on the corpse sitting by the fire. She found that this corpse had been used as a conduit/reagent for the equivalent of an interplanar hijacking ritual. The abomination was using the body for the past 5 years to abduct people who were using teleportation spells and eating them. Using another ritual, Cliona found that the man turned out to be a Shadar-kai general of the Raven Queen named Carathor who had been taken from a great battle during an attempted shadow step.

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Elemental Fight
Tabletop

Once the group had rested, they were told to depart for a village that had been attacked several times recently. The Citadel had no information on what was to come or on what was doing the attacking. The group left to find what they could. Upon arrival, the group learned that the Captain of the guard knew very little other than the attacks usually came at night. They met a young boy named Theirin who was willing to help out where he could. The group made up a plan to prevent the attack that Kai was sure would come later that night.

The group waited in ambush for the attackers, and the attack came around 10pm. The attackers suddenly appeared with little warning: first some crossbowmen, followed by what looked like an overseer, and finally joined by a pair of magicians in the treeline. The attack started and the defenders looked to have the upper hand. Though the fight complicated when 5 black puddings rose from a nearby mud pit, the group took them out quickly enough to eliminate the attackers. As the last one was beaten, it turned into water and rushed into the forest.

The group immediately gave chase, leaving the town behind. They followed the sound of the rushing stream and eventually arrived at a true brook. The water rushed to the side of the brook and a huge rock rose from it. A terse conversation in a harsh screeching sound took place, followed by a painful scream and the water joined the brook. The rock monster stepped from the rock followed by a huge lava elemental from the fire. They were joined by 10 thunder and lightning elementals. The fight once again was joined and the group quickly learned to fear the smaller minions: they exploded on death. Though the fight was harsh, the group won the day in the end. However, following the fight, a debacle of a skill challenge took place and much confusion and hilarity ensued.

Upon their return to the village, the captain gave them a letter to present to the Citadel. The group rested and departed for the Citadel. Upon their return, they found that they had a day to rest before they were being sent out yet again, this time to investigate a shipwreck that apparently occurred nowhere near water. The group once again moved to investigate, arriving around midday. The shipwreck was indeed a boat in the forest, torn in half. An evil aura seemed to permeate the surrounding forest. Alric moved to the top of the boat in order to get a better vantage point and banged on the deck, yelling for whatever was inside to come out. He was surprised by a tentacle that slammed through the deck, nearly impaling him. From the ship crept a Far Realm Abomination and 6 of its thralls. While the thralls flung goo at the group, hitting Kai quite solidly once, the abomination spent its time stunning and smashing the rest of the group repeatedly. The group struggled to maintain its power, but eventually mowed down all the thralls. Once they were gone, everyone focused on the abomination. Though close, some solid crits by Sandy and others as well as magic missiles from Kai helped to finally bring the beast down.

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The Second Group
Tabletop

Nunah and Shiema had returned to the Citadel to find that another group of recruits had arrived to join the militia: Zhang Kai, the Deva and adopted younger sister of Zhang He; Celestia, the Eladrin cleric; Alric, the fighter from the streets of the Forlorn Dynasty; Sandy, the Halfling rogue; and Diabeetus, the Drow Monk. The new group were quickly set upon the task of training in the training grounds under the Drill Instructor. Their task: bloody Taigong Wang, a foreign diplomat that was in the Citadel helping the leaders of the country.

Long story short, Taigong Wang beat the group about the head and shoulders multiple times. Though the group did emerge victorious (as much as they could say they did), Taigong Wang gave the group a moderately passing grade and recommended them to the Citadel leaders. At dinner, the group finally met their commanding officers, Nunah and Shiema. Though Alric did not seem readily impressed, the rest of the group remained respectful and introduced themselves as well.

The next morning, the group split up to take care of various needs before their next task was given to them. Zhang Kai spent a long time talking with Taigong Wang in the library while Sandy and Celestia eavesdropped and Alric wandered aimlessly. Before long, Alric, Celestia, and Sandy departed for the town to finish their own errands.

Sandy and Alric spent several hours investigating taverns and talking with the seedier aspects of town. During this time, Celestia wandered to the church to gather information from the town there. While there, she noticed a disheveled man in priest robes constantly chanting a ritual over a dead fish. She was intrigued and asked around to find that the man had been there for over a week and had not slept or eaten anything since his arrival. The other priests had given him robes but had not extended any further help to him.

Celestia set about finding a way to help this man. She realized after some time that he was chanting a raise dead ritual, but he was doing so without any components. She decided to ask the church, but they were not willing to help. As she was contemplating what to do, Sandy and Alric arrived at the church and settled into the back pews. Celestia left the church to find a wizard, and after some time learned that only one true wizard resided in town: an old man who ran a “club” for “wizards”. She arrived to find him talking to Kai about various rituals. She explained the situation and the man was immediately interested, agreeing to come to the church and to bring his own components for the ritual.

Once the three arrived back at the church, they found that Alric and Sandy had gathered a large number of the homeless and more destitute of town and were smoking in the back of the church. Some betting was also going on, however the church members turned a blind eye as a much more potentially serious incident was developing. The wizard moved the man away from the fish and examined it for some time. He put out a good number of magic crystals and began to incant the spell, but stopped almost immediately. He pulled a much larger number of crystals from his pouch and started again, but again stopped very quickly. He began to pile the crystals higher and higher.

While this was going on, Alric brought a bucket of water to the side of the ritual location. The man who had started the ritual suddenly had a moment of clarity and looked at the group, insisting that a much larger amount of water was going to be needed. Without hesitation, Alric departed for a nearby tavern, bringing several of the homeless men with him. He negotiated the use of an empty vat and had the homeless men carry it back to the church. Once there, he set it up and had the many men fetching water to fill the vat.

By the time that the vat was full, the wizard was finishing an expedited version of the raise dead ritual. As the ritual completed, the fish began flopping around the altar it had been placed on. The crazy man immediately grabbed the fish and threw it in the vat. The water began to rise from the vat in a sphere. It began to spin quickly without throwing any water, and eventually it exploded, revealing a 5-foot tall fairy dressed in a blue garmet and blue hair. She turned to the crazy man, said “You are forgiven,” and the man promptly died.

While the clerics quickly moved to help the man, the fairy asked to be taken to who was in charge. While traveling, she explained her plight. She had been caught in the fisherman’s net and had been killed when he panicked and threw her. She was one of the world’s elemental fairies, separate from the Pixies and elementals both. She and her kind were at war with the invading elementals and enlisted the group’s help to eliminate this menace.

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Date Ra-- Night with Cliona

Cliona departed the tavern for a few hours, leaving Dexlexius, Wigelsbach, and Alderath to stay in the tavern drinking. When she returned, Alderath procured a number of drinks in leaded, reinforced tankards. These drinks, known as “King Behemoths,” were designed to be “one and done” drinks. Alderath, good buddy that he is, delivered 3 to Dexlexius. While the first two totally derailed his senses (he was seeing some very psychedelic images involving beholders and feathers and techno music), the third one destroyed his speech and his motor skills. At this point, Cliona returned, saw “Dexy” in that state, and decided to take care of him. After dragging him upstairs by his feet… stuff happened.

Next morning, Alderath and Max found Dexlexius removing the bindings tying him to his own bed. While he remembered little, he had this distinct feeling that Cliona tried to kill him. As the group went downstairs to find Wigelsbach still drinking modestly, Cliona again joined the group in the tavern. While she flirted somewhat with Dexlexius, she did not stay longer than a few minutes. While the group discussed the previous night, Max walked outside to investigate a loud clanging noise that had drifted in. He returned to the group and implored that they join him outside quickly.

Once outside, even Dexlexius noticed the huge tree that was now growing out of the stone beside the tavern. The iron guard near the tavern had apparently fainted upon noticing this new arrival, but the group was more interested in the tree. Although Alderath wanted to remove the tree with his ax, Dexlexius reminded him of the danger of harming nature when Cliona might be nearby. Alderath backed down and Dexlexius turned away from the tree to walk back inside. To his surprise, the tree reached its branches down to grab him. Not really to his surprise, it turned out to be Cliona. While they chatted, Wigelsbach and Jeoffrey walked toward the group, Wigs from the tavern and Jeoffrey from the library.

Cliona departed for a time when she was put off by Dexlexius, while a gold guard from the Lord’s Keep came running toward the group. The guard came with a message for Jeoffrey, but did not recognize him. Dexlexius bluffed the guard into giving him the message and the guard left happy. Dexlexius delivered the message to Jeoffrey, who read it to find that they were needed at the docks ASAP to escort a diplomat to their allied nation, the Forlorn Dynasty. Dexlexius went to find Cliona and found her chatting with Fei Pa. After a short conversation, Cliona departed, leaving Fei Pa to whisper to Dexlexius to check his pocket when he was alone on the ship.

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Tomb of Orion - Part 2

Though Dexlexius was holding the front, the stronger of the two unique undead missed slightly on his attack, allowing the party to push the monster back and gain a foothold in the room. Pushing their advantage, Alderath and Wigelsbach pushed into the room, keeping the rest of the party protected while slowly picking off the minions and depleting the unique monsters. Before long, all the undead in this room were also sent back to their rest.

A quick inspection of the room revealed a large pile of bones seemingly discarded with little care. While the party searched for anything magical (Wigelsbach found his charging headdress), Cliona did a ritual to allow her to see the last few minutes of a few of the skulls lives. She found that some of the bones belonged to half-orcs who had been sacrificed on the altar in the other room to some dark master. Other bones she found belonged to human merchants who were cut down running from some shadowed demon. The party left the room, intent to return to perform burial rights.

After another rest, the party assaulted the final room, and found it to contain a lich who appeared to be waiting for them. Battle ensued quickly, and though the lich’s minions made life slightly difficult for the party at first, they pushed into the room and dodged the lich’s massive cold spells to defeat the evil magician. As the lich died, he hissed “You shall be remembered!” With this last phrase, his body fell to dust and his clothes and belongings dropped to the floor.

Cliona jumped on the lich and dug through his remains, finding a divine stone and a ritual book with a number of rituals already inscribed. The rest of the party found a pair of jewels in the sarcophagus behind the lich and agreed that this must be the last item. They departed the room and returned to Leucothea.

Leucothea confirmed their suspicions and placed the jewels in the eye holes of the statue. The statue moved to the side, allowing the party to progress into the final room. Leucothea relaxed on the ground, nearly exhausted, and the party proceeded onward. Inside the final chamber, the group found a large cavern with water running through it. Two sandbars covered with a light layer of some sort of magical moss rose from this water.

The group pushed onto the first bar and were stopped by a flash of light. As the light receded, the party saw a pair of dark angels waiting for them. Another naga, Lieth, slithered over the back sandbar and laughed maniacally at them, spouting insults to the group and praise to her “master.” She then proceeded to slit her own throat, adding her blood to the top of the already bloody sandbar. From that blood-stained ground rose a large undead monster, the Risen King of Orion.

The party gave the Risen King no quarter as they besieged him immediately. Before the King could move, he had been feared away and dazed as well as trapped in Cliona’s witch thorns. As he pushed through the witch thorns, Dexlexius dominated him, causing him to provoke attacks from the two big melees. As the king recovered from this affliction, he was dazed and knocked prone yet again. During this time, Wigelsbach and Alderath had dispatched the two angels with Jeoffrey’s help. Using his powers of persuasion and arcane powers of his voice, Dexlexius managed to dissipate the magic that held the King in this realm, reducing him back to nothingness.

The party investigated the room and found little of use. Cliona did another ritual to ask Lieth why she did this atrocity and also who she worked for. She responded that it was for her master, Azazael. Cliona also used another ritual to discover what had happened in this cavern in the past 24 hours. She watched as humans, orcs, and half-orcs were spirited into the cavern, only to have their blood added to mounds. Their bodies were then cast off into the flowing water, disappearing beneath the rocks to the west.

Departing the cavern, the group did a quick burial rite for the bodies in the previous room. During this time, Jeoffrey convinced Leucothea to come visit the port of Herlie and the Lord of the Keep. After these tasks, the party left the tomb, destroying the entrances into the hellish place as they left.

After an overnight stay at the half-orc village (granted only for the good that the party had done for the village), the group returned to Herlie on Cliona’s new Phantom Steeds. They immediately reported to the Lord and informed him of the need to work with the half-orcs and nagas more. Cliona and Jeoffrey departed to talk with Krenal’Onar as the rest of the party departed for the tavern.

Cliona and Jeoffrey found Karl to be waiting for them. He told them of what little he and Zerase had learned of the mirror (that it did belong to someone and they would know how to make the most of it, nothing more) and showed them the mirror. He told them he had to depart on a simple mission shortly and he would be taking the little flower girl with him, but that he would return before long to give them the mirror as well as some other surprises.

Meanwhile, the rest of the group was busy drinking their cares away. Wigelsbach had ordered “3 of your finest ales, and 17 of your worst” (basically) and there was much merriment. Maximillian had apparently been in the tavern since they had left, mostly drinking. The four of them caused quite a ruckus until Cliona arrived. At that point, Max ran and hid under a table, causing Cliona to walk over and drag him out from under it. While he kicked and screamed, Cliona dragged him upstairs, leaving Dexlexius to wonder what was going on.

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The Tomb of Orion

The tomb was located far underground, accessible only by a long, winding staircase through the rock and ground. The entrance was marked only by a series of small walls, and while easily found, foretold of the ruin that was below. The party descended into the darkness, following the light at the end of the staircase.

Upon entering the tomb, the party was immediately attacked by a group of undead: shades of fallen heroes, skeletal tomb guardians, and zombie thugs. The party split, with Alderath going left and Wigelsbach going right while the casters held the middle. While the barbarians held the line, Cliona and Jeoffrey managed to pick off most of the minion enemies. Eventually, the group whittled the entire group of undead down and set them back to rest.

After the battle, the group put together that the sigil stones on either side of the large mausoleum acted as a story that explained how to unlock the tomb and allow further advancement. Jeoffrey and Cliona, with some help from Dexlexius, put the story together and got the barbarians to move the statues behind them into the correct position, unlocking the sarcophagus behind the mausoleum. After the sarcophagus was open, it revealed a dark staircase going further into the ground.

Following the hallway, the party managed to sneak into the room and surprise the group of undead that were milling about. Added to the shades this time were a pair of skeleton warriors and a three-headed undead mage known as a skull lord. While Cliona managed to prevent the skull lord from being a threat, the rest of the party laid waste to the mass of undead quickly, ending what could have been a dangerous fight with very little trouble.

After the fight, Cliona cast a ritual on one of the skulls in the altar in the center of the room and found that the half-orc scouts were being used as sacrifices in some blood ritual “for the Dark Master.” As she relayed this information and the group began investigating the statue in the rear of the room as well as the magical barriers blocking the other four hallways, a Naga by the name of Leucothea slide from the shadows and introduced herself, offering help. She said she could hold open the barriers long enough for people to move through and defeat the evil behind it, thus weakening the barriers and getting the artifacts needed to enter the final area of the tomb. The party agreed, choosing one room in particular to start their efforts.

The first two rooms proved quite easy, despite the party’s attempts to make it more difficult. In each room, Dexlexius ordered the Captain to charge into the fray, starting the battle with the party often in odd marching orders. However, the group managed to tear through a large number of shades and animated devil armors in order to find the first piece of the puzzle. The second piece was found after demolishing another group of battle armors and a pair of zombie throngs in the armory. An extended rest was taken (somewhere in there) and the party was ready for the third room. Once more, the party got in their strange marching order and prepared to assault. However, this time, Cliona fired a magical burst of energy and obliterated one of the minions, alerting everyone to the group’s presence. As the enemies turned to attack, the battle started.

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Departing Herlie and the Half-Orc Village

After some time stuck within the brambles created by Cliona, Dexlexius frees himself and, along with Alderath, makes his way to the tavern, where a guard had recently warned that a riot was about to take place. Upon arriving the two found Maximillian talking with a barbarian-ish stranger. Though somewhat intoxicated, Max and the stranger were discussing the assault on the pirate’s cove. As Dex and Alderath joined them, the story embellished from ice elementals and witches to punching somewhere between seven and eleven dragons in the face, smiting them all.

While this discussion was going on, Cliona and Jeoffrey were talking with Krenal’onar at the local church. While the mirror was currently sealed, the party needed a safe place to store the artifact until they were able to study it further. Krenal’onar (or Karl) agreed to keep the mirror in the priests’ vault within the church. As the priests have been missing for some time, no one was using the vault but him, and thus it would stay safe for as long as they needed.

After a short discussion, Dexlexius, Alderath, and the new barbarian Wigelsbach joined the group. Contrary to recent history, Cliona treated Dexlexius with a certain degree of civility and even almost flirted once or twice. However, as the craziness grew, the Lord of the Keep himself came to the church to find out what was going on. When he found the group speaking with Karl, he sighed and asked the group to carry on. Cliona agreed and kissed the Lord on the cheek and led the party out of the city.

At the campsite outside of town, the party discussed their information. Everyone agreed that the tomb to the north which more than one party member had received info about was the best place to start looking for a cure to problems with Herlie’s soil. With the sun, the party traveled further north toward the tomb. Along the way, Alderath suggested stopping at his home village. He suggested it even though he had not finished the quest he had been sent on.

Upon arriving at the half-orc village, the guards were shocked to see him arrive and ran toward the captain of the village guard as they screamed “Oh no! He chief now!” Though confused, the group entered the village, only to be greeted by more and more half-orcs screaming about how Alderath should not be in the village and would destroy the village as its chief. Eventually, the group was sent before the chief. Though the chief offered very little advice, the shaman was actually more helpful. He explained that Alderath was the chief now because of his returning a snipe. Instead of rejoicing, the village was sure that Alderath would destroy the village. Also, his father and brother were jealous, and his betrothed (second cousin) was equally angry about his return. So the shaman suggested another task: find 700 other half-orcs that could defeat him in battle but were willing to become his slaves.

While Alderath was struggling to deal with his family and friends shooing him away again, Dexlexius was working to try to make Alderath look better. Using his diplomatic skills, he persuaded several of the half-orcs to see him in a better light. Regrettably, his skills also wooed Alderath’s sister as a devoted follower. The party also met the pimpin’ panther Salem, the village’s new protector.

While Jeoffrey negotiated a trade link with Herlie, Cliona moved around the village and investigated the problems. She returned to harass Dexlexius, taking him away from the group far enough to give him a gift and flirt a bit. She stunned him with her beauty and returned to the fire to spend time with the shaman and Salem. Everyone else wandered the village. Jeoffrey managed to find a duplicate of the bracelet that he had purchased for Viki long ago in Herlie. When he returned to the fire, everyone decided they needed to leave the village behind before dark.

Once more the party camped in the woods. Cliona relayed that she had found from the hunters and other members of the village that several orcs had disappeared to the north. Several of the returning members relayed that they had seen several humanoid, shadowy figures moving with hostility through the woods toward them before they turned and ran. More and more, the group was certain that the tomb was the source of all their troubles.

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Finishing the Pirates

After a good rest, the party traveled back into the caves in an attempt to rid the seas of the elemental pirates. After interrogating the captain one last time, the party moved down the corridors and checked the now unlocked room. Inside, they found a mountain of ice in a 20X20 room. With no way of affecting it (as proven by Al’derath), the party pushed past. In the large altar room in the back, the group finally found their quarry: a large elemental mage and his minions guarded the room. The room was covered in ice and was guarded by four colossal statues of a beast known as the Colossus of Laarn. As the fight began, one of the statues began to move and joined the fight. Though the initial outlook of the fight was grim, the group was joined by five of their allies: Maximillian, Agrias, Fizzle, Shanghai, and Shatheera. While those five kept the Colossus busy, the rest of the group destroyed the elemental mage and his help, causing the Colossus to go still.

As the group departed, the room with the mountain of ice had cleared and revealed a large cage with three girls inside dressed as pirates. The group interrogated the three and found them to be the daughters of the leaders of the pirate band. They were released and taken into custody, eventually being brought before the Lord of the Keep back in Herlie. After more discussion, it was decided that the group needed to find the source of the soil corruption. Another night’s rest and the group would be ready to depart.

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Pirate's Cove

Traveling the waters yet again, the party – aided by Fei Pa – waited for the vortex to approach. Jeoffrey set up the ritual on the boat and continued the chant to maintain it. When the vortex arrived, one of the three boats disappeared without trace. However, the second boat only disappeared from the water level up – the bottom of the boat remained on the water. When the vortex arrived on the party’s boat, everyone held their breath as the boat was sucked through a wormhole complete with psychadelic colors and screaming skulls with flaming eyes.

When the party’s eyes readjusted, they were in a huge cavern. The boat was sitting in a pool of water, but there was no noticeable water exit. A wood dock was extended out to the boat and led into a cave into the rock. Inside the cave, the party could see a number of pirates, including at least one who appeared to be a captain. Dexlexius called out to the enemies to surrender, and several began to do just that. However, the bellowing voice of the captain broke their intentions, but left them slightly vulnerable. None of the guards at the entrance to the cave posed much of a threat, though, and within a few rounds, the captain stood alone, causing him to throw down his sword in surrender.

After being bound by Fei Pa and Jeoffrey, the captain (known as the Harlock) revealed to Dexlexius and the group that the elementals had taken over the pirates, and he had no love for their way of running things. He informed the group that the path to the leader of the elementals, the Wrath of Dagon, could only be opened by destroying the winter witch hiding within the cave. The party set out for the cave, investigating its pathways.

Two secret paths were found along the main corridor. The first was investigated by Dexlexius, and the only thing that he found of interest was a painting of a nude woman, which he promptly cut from its frame and pocketed. Fei Pa found the other room, but was not interested in exploring its passages. Jeoffrey investigated, only to find a room of torture and death. An iron maiden stood along one wall, coated in blood. A chest in the corner held remnants of animals and humanoids. A large pile of bones of mostly humanoids sat in another corner. Other torture devices were spread out on a table directly opposite a mirror which was determined to be an exit for a one-way portal.

While the side rooms were being investigated, Cliona and Al’derath found another locked wooden door. At Cliona’s urging, Al’derath smashed the door down to find the winter witch, two human pirates, and 6 each of fire and air elementals. Al’derath blockaded the door, but took the brunt of the damage, as each of the minions exploded on death. The witch summoned worms from the ground and bound most of the party in place, making them much easier prey for the elementals and pirates. As necrotic magics flew both directions, finally the party dispatched all but one of the elementals. However, as Al’derath and Fei Pa moved into the room to engage the enemies point blank, a spell from Cliona dropped Al’derath to the ground. Finally, Dexlexius was able to shake off the worms binding his feet, and though things look bleak, the fight continued.

Finally, a break was had once Dexlexius was able to enter the fight proper and heal Al’derath back to his feet. Though the pirates and the witch tried valiantly to put him back to the ground, their attacks seemed to go awry and miss their intended target, allowing the half-orc to stay in the mix. After a series of hard shots from Fei Pa, however, the pirates managed to drop her to the ground as well. The turn finally occurred when the female pirate was dropped to the ground and subsequently raised from the dead by Cliona. With an extra attacker on the field, it was only a matter of time before the other pirate and the witch also fell.

Though they had the advantage of time and, to a small degree surprise, the party elected to return to the ship for some much needed rest. They took the captured pirate Harlock onto the boat with them and bedded down for an extended sleep.

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