Episode 27: The Search for the Phylactery/Tying up loose ends: Part 1

Drink this !!!

In this penultimate adventure to the final battle, the party look for the phylactery in order to destroy it while tying up a number of loose ends. However, the party must first deal with some old villains who have bones to pick with them…

Playing in this episode were:
-Mike (me), the evil dungeon master of the world Lorr
-John, playing Lord Farfal Kerreh, a chaotic good human cleric of Pelor
-Kyle, playing Kai Relin, a neutral human ranger
-Alistair, playing Sir Stelian Soul-eater, a neutral Vryloka Vampire Stalker

Chapter 1: The conflict in the library
With the bomb under the table and a enemy with several of their own men in the library, Farfal was unsure what next steps to take alone without hurting his family. However, this situation was made both easier and worse when a hooded man from behind Larker revealed himself to be Vi-Nuk-Sa, the Shadar-Kai assassin who developed an insane resolve to kill Farfal after failing to many years ago. Sure enough, he threatened Cryce to let him deal with it and not him, but then to Farfal’s surprise Novak appeared from behind Vi-Nuk-Sa, and warned him to let go of his boss before he put a handbow bolt in his back. Sure enough, this was the final straw and the fight broke out among the 3 different groups. Cryce and his hired thugs, Vi-Nuk-Sa and two infamous assassins he hired and the party and their allies. During the combat Novak managed to get Farfal’s family and the civilians out safely, and by some quick maneuvering bu Farfal, the bomb also went off managing to kill all their enemies in the building besides Vi-Nuk-Sa. They defeated him, and then surprisingly offered him a deal: if he was to hunt down Strom and bring the party his head, he could finally have the one-on-one fight with Farfal he desperately wanted. Vi-Nuk-Sa agreed, and with that left the group to their own devices.

Chapter 2: Important Explantions
The party then demanded Novak explain himself, who they believed to be dead at Strom’s hands. Novak then admitted a surprising truth, that he was in fact none other than Loneth Darkshade, the only other legendary hero who’s actions were a mystery. He told them that during the final fight he left the Lich’s main lair room to plan a more daring assault, but was locked out of the room. With no other option, Loneth left the tomb and left Ustrad Sunbrand to deal with Zaggaroth. Accordingly Ustrad saw him as a traitor, and for many years Loneth felt ashamed of his actions. When he knew that Farfal was looking for a spy ring to be formed, he decided to aid him the best way he could in order to gain the redemption he needs. Now all he wishes to do is serve Farfal futher and moreover to the bitter end. Farfal allowed him to do this, and with this new companion in toe the party proceeded to find out where the phylactery was. They unlocked a safe in a secret chamber of the library using the key, but found out that it had been tampered with beforehand and realized this was likely the work of the final necromancer Malidon Skulldrain. The book inside told the party that a place called the Plaza of Orpheus would contain the knowledge the party needed to find Zaggaroth’s phylactery, the plaza being a place where the elves stored knowledge that they could share with the Empire. The Plaza lay inside the Oakenbold forest, the place the party had liberated long ago from the hands of the Gnoll-king.

Chapter 3: Dealing with the final necromancer
Gathering Baryonx for the adventure, they left for the forest on horseback straight away, and when they reached there paid a visit to the town of Wood-block, meeting with their old friend Arnlock once more. He explained to them that the undead had recently seized control of the forest and that they were afraid of being overrun. As such, Farfal told them to go to evacuate to Jaderstone and they would deal with their business here. Arnlock thanked them, and gave them useful directions to find the plaza. Sue enough when they did, it was an invisible white hut with golden gems in it’s design, and entering into it led to a long stone staircase going down, at the bottom leading out into a room where they found a long steel scepter with a red gem in the centre. This was the scepter of power, and as soon as the party took it, they found themselves yanked towards the direction of the phylactery’s location. When they returned to the surface and out the hut, they found themselves surrounded by undead and Malidon Skull-drain, who told them to give him the scepter so that he could take the phylactery to Zaggaroth and gain prestige from his dark master, in exchange for their lives for the time being. The party refused outright and attacked, and despite the deadliness of the Boneclaw that Malidon has summoned, tore through the undead group like paper. Malidon too met a horrific end when Farfal dominated him and made him commit suicide by drinking a vial of Necrolight poison, his inside rotted away until he was nothing more than an empty shell. After looting the corpses, the group then followed the scepter to where it was leading them to-to their surprise none other place then there first ever dungeon: Spell-edge.

Chapter 4: Self-fulfilling prophecies
Outside the dungeon, the party found a message spelt in the body parts of dead treasure looters which said “FOOLS, TURN AWAY LEST YOU SUFFER THE WRATH OF HARAGASH”. Undeterred, they moved forward through the familiar dungeon, which only altered in terms of what they encountered. This included animated statues that caused the party to weaken when hit by them, as well as a deadly group of harpies which the party took as pets after defeating them. As well as this, they also found a terrifying mosaic which told the story of Spell-edge so far, and furthermore predicted the deaths of the party. They also found a cabinet of mixed potions, which effects varied from tasting like strawberry to causing eternal bleedings, the ones the party hadn’t yet drunk proving to be useful later on. The final room of dungeon was the old teleporter room, and in there was a beautiful elven women armed with a longbow and small grey creatures known as Quicklings. She was manipulating the portal for her own device, although what exactly was unclear. The party quickly fought her and found out she was Haragash, and moreover that she was not in fact an elf but a creature known as a dusk-hag, a powerful monster from the Feywild which had prophetic abilities. After beating her, they found out she planned to open a portal to the Feywild in order to bolster her forces so that she could join with Zaggaroth, and that many monsters like her would be doing this to, believing in Zaggaroth’s ability to create a new world order. Before slaying her, she offered important words of prophecy to them: “It is no use slaying the Lord of Undeath if the living and the dead become one !” With that, she was killed and brought back because of Farfal’s servitude in death power, and the group then immediately forced her to teleport herself and some of the harpies back to Jaderstone for use later on, as an undead dusk-hag could be a useful tool. They then allowed the scepter of power to go into the centre of the teleporter circle, which caused it to flash many different colours before finally emanating a blue and red color. This would no doubt be the place they were looking for the phylactery, and as such as the entire party jumped in they felt the words “WORLD-EDGE” flash in their mind, knowing full-well they were now going to the most infamous and secret of all the elven covens, perhaps not only finding the phylactery to destroy but also some answers to certain questions which had been there from the very beginning of the campaign.

Chapter 5: A terrible secret
Moving through the ancient dungeon, they found themselves confronted by many ruined paths and hallways, all long-abandoned and greatly suffering from the effects of time. The party directly sensed a strong and highly powerful magical presence here, as well as a slight magical presence from the Elemental Chaos, although this was yet to be explained. They finally found a room filled with cobwebs after crawling through a naturally-formed tunnel, and surprisingly enough this room was filled with giant spiders, including the large and very deadly White-Thorn spiders, which were able to channel lighting attacks due to their exposure to magic over a period of time. The party managed to defeat their deadly foes, and then searched the room. As it so happened, this room was the last place in which Jaegar Grimmsword’s men had made their attack against the elven covens, and the room was filled with ancient skeletons clad in rusted armour and donning rusted weapons. Searching through the remains, they found some loot as well as a high important document which read:
Captain Jaegar Grimmsword,
Despite being well aware of your religious beliefs, we still need you to carry out the task. We have reports of what you and your followers have done, the drinking of blood from innocent peasants and the strange rites and rituals to the evil devil god. We simply do not care. Having spoken to my liege, we established that you must slaughter the elven covens, all 6 of them, to prevent any evil sorcerers like Vastormix rising again to such power. Leave none alive, bring back their magical artefacts and do what you will with the corpses, be it burning or sacrifice.
Lord Redgar Alain of Maplefield

With this bombshell, the party realized that the High Lord should perhaps not be trusted, and would prepare to overthrow him if needs be before the final battle with Zaggaroth. They kept the letter in order to garner supporters to their side, then pressed onward on their more important task: stopping Zaggaroth from ever rising again by destroying the phylactery…

Another great session, and this is essentially the penultimate adventure. After this, the party will be engaging in the fight they’ve been waiting for throughout the campaign, so as always stay tuned, and if your getting the same epic final-episodes feel we all are then you can only imagine what it’s actually like for the players of the game !
Until then, Happy Gaming !
-Mike, DM



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