Tales of the Adventurers

Session 5 - Splitting the party

The Adventurers questioned the bard, who said his name was Tallis. How long had he been there? 437 years was his best guess. He had seen many travellers pass through the wall and fight Lord Tengrave and his minions. Arix was particularly interested in the wizards who had survived. The paladin believed that the surest way of returning to the Prime plane was through arcane means. Tallis remembered five wizards during his time at the wall. Two had proceeded further into the valley, one had followed the wall hoping for another exit, and two had gone back through the hole in the wall. One of the latter wizards Tallis recalled as being a dwarf with a crystal as a focus, although that was well over 200 years ago. After some discussion, the Adventurers decided to follow the path the dwarf took.

They filed back out through the hole in the wall. Arix, Kuruk and Felix led, with Lia, Thornton and Caris following. As they passed through, the mists again swirled up and surrounded them. When the view cleared, Arix, Kuruk and Felix found themselves still in the dark and gray forest of the Shadowfell. Lia, Thornton and Caris, however, were nowhere to be seen.

The three went back to find Tallis. He was still sitting by the wall, but could give them no advice on what had caused the mist to come up nor where the other three members of the party might be. Not sure of who or what they could trust, the Adventurers decided to bring Tallis with them, through the wall, and back to whatever was the Shadowfell version of Leila's mansion. Tallis agreed, even providing a couple of healing spells to help the party, although he did say that healing was the extent of his arcane ability.

Along the way, Arix related his knowledge of the Shadowfell. It was a negiative image of the Prime Material Plane. What existed there would have some sort of counterpart here, although what form that would take was not always known. They reached the river. It was now a great ditch, which looked as if water had not run through it in some time. Up ahead they saw the mansion, looking roughly the same, but much more rundown, with chipped stonework and great vines covering the outside.

Moving cautiously inside, they saw six stone statues in the dining room, arranged in a haphazard manner and not resembling traditional statue poses. Arix remembered back to a story he had been told about stone angels which moved when they were not observed, and believed that these could be the same. Kuruk approached the first and swung his maul, breaking off a huge chunk of the shoulder and arm. His second blow took off the head. He then proceeded to break the heads of the other five statues. When it was finished, it seemed that they had just been statues after all.

The Adventurers went up the stairs to the Master's bedroom. Arix thought that he might find something in the place where he had found the magic sword in Leila's house. But the room was ram-shackled, as if it had not been touched in a long time. They moved on to the Lady's bedroom. This room was cleaner and more tidy. First in the door, Felix saw a woman sitting in the far corner, wearing a faded blue robe with the hood up. She spoke to the group, although she never raised her head to look at them. Kuruk immediately thought of his childhood stories, and cautioned the group not to look at her. The woman agreed that it would be best if they did not see her, thus confirming that she was a Medusa.

Her name was Endora, and she told the Adventurers that she had seen the dwarf wizard whom they were searching for. She led them to the kitchen, where they found his statue, along with several others. What had happened to his arcane focus, Endora could not say. She did did know of a way to escape the Shadowfell, but she would expect something in return. At the other end of the valley was a tower. In the tower lived a necromancer. Endora said that the necromancer had stolen her lover, and that she wanted him returned to her. When asked if the "him" refered to the lover or the necromancer, Endora replied "They are one in the same." She also asked The Adventurers to bring back a certain number of stones of certain colors, as well as warning them to avoid other stones of certain other colors. As a final word, she warned them not to go over the mountain.

The Adventurers, accompanied still by Tallis, headed back into the valley. At the dry ditch they were set upon by two swiftly moving humanoids with hairless bodies, clawed fingers, and long forked tongues. Although it was still only mid-morning, they had been working hard already that day, and the fight was more difficult than it should have been. After casting one more healing spell at Kuruk, Tallis took the opportunity to disappear. Arix ended up slaying one of the ghouls, while Kuruk picked up the second and body-slammed him to the ground. The ghoul was finally slain, and the Adventurers continued on their way.

They were disappointed to not find Tallis at the hole in the wall. The bard had disappeared. There was not time to search for him, however, as the journey to the necromancer's tower would take most of the day. The Adventurers proceeded deeper into the forest.

They spoke freely, paying little heed to the possible dangers around them. Arix asked to borrow Tallis' flute, and sought to play the only song he knew, "Hot Cross Buns." To everyone's surprise, they heard a deep and hollow reply, as if someone/something were trying to mimic the song. They came to a clearing, where they saw three black horse-like beasts. They looked emaciated, all skin and bones, and each had a long black horn on its forehead. The beasts seemed interested in the Adventurers as well, and approached cautiously. Arix used his horseman training to try to bring one within touching range. Just as it seemed he might succeed, something flew out from the brush and struck the horse, which released a cloud of darkness which surrounded the small clearing. The Adventurers heard the sound of hooves as the horse-like creatures galloped away.

A small humanoid appeared out of the brush. He was wrapped in rags; several layers of rags, it seemed. He was wrapped so completely that the only features which could be seen were a large nose, and two yellow eyes. He also stank worse than anything The Adventurers could have imagined. Himself he named Gert. He called the animals Shadhavar, and told Arix that they would have killed the paladin had he not intervened. He knew some bit of the Shadowfell, and offered his services. They could all rest at Gert's home tonight, and then he would lead them to the tower the next day. The Adventurers declined his services, and decided to continue on their way.

Again they proceeded without much caution. Felix played the flute, while Kuruk pulled out his set of bagpipes and played a seperate tune. Suddenly Gert appeared at Felix's side. Where he had come from no one knew. He stabbed at Felix with a short sword, catching him with a serious blow to the stomach. Gert then spun and made a stab at Kuruk. The three Adventurers attacked back, but were unable to penetrate the little man's thick layers of rags. With a maniacal laugh, Gert teleported away. Kuruk saw Gert reappear in the forest, but was unable to reach him before the mists swallowed him up.

Darkness was beginning to fall. The mists were closing in. There was a madman out to get them. And they had not reached the Necromancer's Tower. Felix had been severely wounded. And they had no idea of the fate of Lia, Thornton and the Princess.

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ScottPowell

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