Players Absent: None
After a nights rest outside of the Crypt, and the appearance of the Crypt Guardian, we headed towards the brothers stronghold to settle things. Oddly, the gates are open when we arrive, and the place is eerily quiet. We meet Faldor outside of the gate and proceeded in, thankfully our horses seem to have been kept in good condition.
As I already noted the place was very quiet, the courtyard seemed abandoned so we eventually made our way inside to the main audience chamber where we were initially greeted by Lymen and Hodor. As we were standing there trying to decide what to do, the door in the West wall opens and an older Lyman popped back out! We immediately began questioning him about what had happened, though he feigned ignorance and suggested that Hodor had left that morning to pick feed the horses, he even offered us food! While talking with him Mok detected traces of Illusion based magic, but before we were able to make good use of this knowledge, Lymen decided he needed to track the “impostors” down with his crystal ball and left us. We stood waiting for a minute or so before deciding to pursue after Lymen but as Mok walked through the door some sort of creature appeared between him and us, immediately hitting Mok with a Power Word: Blind spell. After several seconds of scuffling with the creature (it was extraplanar for sure, likely a Grey Slaad), in which it managed to hit a good chunk of us with a Flame Strike, we managed to chase the nasty thing off.
After initially believing there to be no immediate cure to Mok’s condition, I remembered that I had an Elixer of Health stored on me from an adventure of old, which seemed to do the trick. We continued exploring, with our fearless Rogue leading the way, we past several pictures of the brothers with various backdrops and even one with a Drow! Eventually, in what was likely Hodors room, we ran into a suit of living Chainmail, which had apparently had someone named Betty stored in it. The armor, being unable to actively go anywhere itself was interested in finding someone who had great battles under their belt (presumably because they were a likely candidate to find other battles), in which it initially decided Gevus was suitable. The armor was a little tight on Gevus and after he rid himself of it (much to Betty’s displeasure) Mok ended up with the armor, and as usual he went on about being a Mighty Wizard. I admit, it was rather amusing to see Mok hobbling around in Chainmail, it’s not often you get to see a Half-Orc look uncomfortable in armor, I think he’s been having some issues casting spells too. There was some also some guards who looked to be asleep, but we were all too busy trying figure out when Lymen went to pay them much mind… Well, in retrospect, we probably should have realized something was wrong with them, that they were dead or something.
As we continue through we find a room with a spiral staircase and then a room with a man hanging up against the wall and an unconscious girl. After “I” healed the girl and Mok healed the man we tried to ask them what had happened to them. The girl started babbling that we were there to hurt them some more or some such nonsense, I really did try to convince her otherwise at first, but after listening to go on for a minute I couldn’t help but make a joke. Well, she didn’t like that too much, and completely missed the humor when I told her that I would indeed hang her up against the wall. Some people are a little too serious sometimes. Either way, we eventually found out that they were servants and that, generally speaking, Lyman and Hodor had usually treated them well. We found out that the brothers had both disappeared and that the Grey Slaad we had fought had killed those poor sleeping guards we saw, and had put the Servant Girl and her father in their current conditions. The father and his daughter then left, still completely in with the idea that we were really just there to hurt them again. People are strange.
We continued on and found was was probably Lymens room. There were several books present, a bed (and other standard bedroom equipment). Lymen, Mystra curse him, had a pretty near idea to use magic to make his bed, I might have to work out how to do that. Other than many books (and a very displeased Gevus) we found several documents, between Lyman and a few different people who had been paying Frederick for something indicated in the letter as to the South (someone with the initials M.N.), something about a fellow named Frederick who was apparently their prisoner, a note on supplies, and a map of the area, where we noticed some Ruins to the South. Looking around in Lymens room lead to two secret doors, one going South and the other West.
The door to the south took us into what appeared to be some sort of alchemist/magical lab, unfortunately most of the materials and equipment were smashed beyond repair. We find a chest with some gems and magical dagger, and a couple magic scrolls.
The other door, to the West, lead to another broken lab, with nothing left to scavenge (there was a crystal ball that was damaged too, what a shame!). We continued on through this secret door and found a pentagram on the ground, which seemed to be ready to summon some evil monstrosity. We had two choices, let it go and hope neither owner nor passerby tripped it, or try and disrupt it, possibly unleashing the thing ourselves. We decided for the latter and much to our luck (HAH, RIGHT!) we summoned some Mystra-Be-Damned Evil Demon (likely a Bodak). The blasted thing almost killed Gevus once, had a hide tougher than most, and seemed completely immune to electric magic (I really dislike demons), but we finally brought the dreaded thing down.
We eventually headed back to the initial spiral staircase we saw, near where we found the girl and her father, after some exploration we found a man who called himself Frederick, a court wizard from Kormire, who was apparently friends with the Great Eleminster. We also found this note that after spending way more time trying to figure it out, we realized it was just a name, a name to some extraplanar being that was likely very unpleasant. Frederick was apparently stuck in the room we found him in with some sort of force magic. Eventually we decided to use a Scroll of Dispel Magic (one of the Scrolls we found from Lymen) and we managed to get rid of the door. After we free him, Frederick thanks us and we discuss with him Lymens plans, he mentions that Lymen might be making towards some ruins, and that he himself would pursue Lymen once he was properly prepared. We tried to convince him to just join us now, as we were about to go track down the brother, but to no avail. With that he headed off.
With no other major clues, Lymen no where to be found, and signs pointing towards the Ruins we started making our way in that direction ourselves.
We set up camp and watches throughout the first night. During the night we were greeted again by the White Wolf, which then transformed into a women (who was rather pretty in my mind) with black hair, a white dress, and, and…. wings, yeah, she had wings, clearly this was no ordinary Mystic Crypt Guardian Shapeshifter. She goes on to tell us that since Lymen would be receiving outside help, she was going to give us information to keep the scales balanced (I really hate it when the gods play dice, who do they think they are leaving are lives up to chance!), as she was a servant of a god.
She goes on to inform us that Kargon was/is an ancient Anti-Paladin who served Bane (things just kept getting more lovely). Apparently a group of fellows, Abbot George, Frederick, Tree the Treant, Koro, Pendrick the Shadow Gnome, and a Brass Dragon all had banded together to stop Kargon. Of these, only Abbot George was known to survive (which was obviously wrong considering how many of these blokes we met in the blasted crypt). They had managed to bind Kargon the first time using the Sceptor of Containment (which we mostly knew already). In addition the Sword and Shield that Nikor had acquired were once the property of Kargon, and apparently could be used by to great effect (why hadn’t we taken these from Nikor yet?).
The Wolf/Lady also told us that the other scroll of Lymens we had could be used in a similar effect to a Planar Ally spell, though it could possibly be used to dismiss a creature as well. With that she turned back into a wolf and left us.
The next day we continued on our journey, eventually finding tracks. Around mid-afternoon (give or take) we saw a figure off in the distance, who was moving at a decent clip, and seemed to be trying to avoid notice. As we got closer it became apparent that our quarry was none other than Pender the Shadow Gnome. He was initially not very pleased to see us, I guess he had eventually came back to where he had left us at the crypt, unable to find Abbot George. Even better, the ruins we were heading to was apparently the a temple that Abbot George had constructed.
We also found out that Pender, unable to find Abbot George, had decided to go home to the Shadow Plane, I guess the temple used to have a way for Pender to cross planes within it. We decide to travel with Pender since we were going in to the same place.
During the remaining travel Mok drilled Pender on various issues/facets concerning the Plane of Shadow, I learned a lot myself. We also got a first hand account from Pender about the fight against Kargon (at least what he could remember). The fight sounded like it had been a brutal one, with lots of explosions and at least one attempt to initially contain Kargon with magic (which failed). Unfortunately, Pender had been knocked unconscious during the fight so he did not see how exactly the fight concluded, other than hearing they had successfully used the Scepter to contain Kargon.
Eventually we made it to the Temple, which was actually a Temple of Selune as we found out. Upon arriving it was clear someone was already there, as a horse was settled outside eating grass (Lyman perhaps). Pender showed us the path we needed to take and then took his leave to find the portal to the Shadow Plane. We then took the tunnel he pointed out to us which lead us into the mountain face.
After traveling through the tunnel for a while we found the ruins of a temple in a big crater within the mountain, at the other side of the crater we were able to see a big set of double doors, which reentered the mountain, they looked particularly ominous given all that had occurred. Before opening the doors we prepared for combat. Mok then heaved the doors open and inside we saw a massive room.
At first glance it was plain that a massive pentagram (another summoning circle) had been drawn in the room, at the opposite end of the room stood Lyman in the middle of some sort of incantation, which was causing a whirlwind to appear inside of the circle, beside him stood some sort of planar horror. Before Lyman could notice us Faldor took into action entering the room and letting an arrow fly which found its mark into the sneaky wizard causing the incantation to falter, stating our presence, and thoroughly angering him.
A lot happened after that, Gevus started into the room after Lyman, before anyone else could act, Lyman managed to hit Mok and I with a Slow spell and the creature that was already in the room made its way over to us and started attacking. After that I’m not entirely sure what happened, Gevus managed a hit against Lyman who responded by Disintegrating poor Gevus and then eating some more arrows from Faldor. The rest of us tried combating the monstrosity before Faldor pulled out the scroll of Planar Ally and managed to unchain the beast, causing it to lose interest in us.
As we approached Lyman to make him pay for Gevus a portal opened behind him and a man named Micarlin popped out and took the Scepter from Lyman and fled into the portal, with Lyman angrily following after. We just managed to collect the dust from Gevus (in hopes of getting a Resurrection cast) along with his gear before we too fled into the portal, as the mountain was collapsing, and were transported into the Plane of Shadows ourselves.
Scroll of Dispel Magic (14th Level) → Tilla
1) → Dresden
6x gems (2000 GP each) → Party Treasure