55 Summer, 2979
Middle Quarter, Iso’Farsh
Lord Agdread sat down on a nearby rock and took off his helm. He winced as he set it down on the ground. It has been some time since he had lost a fight and he wasn’t sure what he was feeling. His own master would not be pleased that he lost the silver dragon to the meddlesome adventurers. He closed his eyes and leaned back against the wall.
No, he was sure that was not the last time he would see those adventurers. Next time, he would be cautious and deliver the word of Winter to them. Let the Great Wyrm decide their fight in their afterlife. For now, however, he had to concentrate on the here and now. His spy had reported that the group had made their way into Somnium mansion, no doubt after the remaining two orbs. He was confident in Acerium and Ith’kak’s loyalty but not their ability. Surely, if they could best him, they would not stand a chance.
Yes, they would perish but in doing so, he could use the group to further his goals. Now was the time for patience. When the storm of winter was at its peak at the group was blinded, he would strike.
The cushani held up the emerald that was nearly the size of his own hand and give a big feline grin. He held up the gem to look through it. “Not flawless but pretty,” he said before stowing it away. He then made his way over to the rest of the group as they took a break. “Everyone up for moving on?”
The group collectively nodded and gathered up their things. They checked out the surrounding doors but found only empty rooms and broken furniture. The mansion was most likely a very beautiful home before the war. Now, it was a shadow of its former self due to looters and monsters. The group approached the last set of double doors and slowly opened it.
The room appeared to be a large study with lots of built in bookcases, plush seating, and two fireplaces. Four pillars of white marble dominated the center of the room. The room was dark as they entered save for a single light source at the far side of the room. A mind flayer was standing before one of the dream orbs that was sitting on a simple pedestal. Just above the orb was a portal that shed a soft light in the mind flayer’s immediate area. Surrounding the mind flayer were four spirits floating just off the ground. The spirits appeared to be human and had a look of agony on their faces.
As the group entered into the room, the light from Pen spread over the room and alerted the mind flayer to the group’s presence. It screeched something to the spirits around it and the fight began. Three of the spirits around the mind flayer moved to intercept the group. One of the spirits began to change, its apparent age advancing rapidly until a skin-covered skeleton was looking at them. Its fingers elongated to nearly two feet in length. It began to try and grab anyone that it could so it could drain their life force.
The next two spirits moved and joined together to form a towering spirit with a deformed, deathly appearance. It then held out a hand and took hold of Chaus’ soul and pulled it into its spiritual body and began to feast.
Meanwhile, Kang and Pen moved forward to take down the mind flayer. As Kang made his first swing, the mind flayer mentally moved one of the spirits in the way of Kang’s fist, disrupting the attack. The mind flayer than snaked around and took hold of Pen and began to bore into the warlord’s brain. Pen was not able to hold out for long and a few moments later, became enthralled to the mind flayer. With its new slave, the mind flayer turned its attention to Kang.
Vincent and Shan worked together to take down the devourers. It was slow work but they were eventually able to destroy them and save Chaus’ life. Soon, only the mind flayer was left and even though it had the warlord as its thrall, it was not able to fend off the adventurers and was defeated.
With the creatures dead, the group recovered the dream orb where they heard another message from Jaxon, this one about the invasion of the necromancers into Iso’Latarin. The necromancer army was led by a disciple of Lord Razel. A Nullmandor by the name of Excalon. The dream mentioned that the mages were attempting to create a ritual that would pull all the people of Iso’Latarin into Avangard as a fall back plan. There was also mention that one of the council members by the name of Vanessa Iso’Varsh had committed suicide. Jaxon, however, was firmly set that she did not do such an act but was instead assassinated.
Pleased that they had found another clue as to what happened involving the mages, the group decided to press on further. They made their way down a series of hallways until the reach the great Somnium library.
The library was large and filled with many bookcases, though some had fallen over time. Books and parchment were all over the floor of the room. This room was also dark save for another light source at the center of the room. A single human male was standing before a portal that was projected from another dream orb like the mind flayer was, though this portal the group could see. The other side of the portal was a city of white with towering spires. Pen and SOL both immediately could recognize the ancient mage architecture.
As Pen’s light flooded the room, the human turned to look at the group. With a wave of his hand he closed the portal and held the orb close to him. The venerable human stood with the support of his staff dressed in tattered clothing of white and purple. His white beard was matted from years of neglect. When he finally spoke, it came out as a gruff and deep voice, “Did Agdread send you?”
The group looked at one another in confusion. Pen quickly answered, “Yes…we are here for the orb.”
The old man narrowed his eyes at Pen. “You lie! You will not take the orb from me. You fools! You cannot understand the power! Feel its embrace! Allow it to…flow through you!” the old man cried out with insanity laced words. “Flee from this place. You cannot have it. It’s mine!”
SOL then snapped his fingers as he finally remembered who the old man was. “Master Acerium. Master of shadowmancy and chronomancy,” he blurted out just as a field of energy enveloped the old mage who then began to cast a spell. The mage moved impossibly fast as he warped time around him. He moved with blazing speed as he launched magic missiles, cones of cold, and blasts of shadow magic at the group.
Unprepared for the sheer speed of the attack, the group was caught in the entryway grouped together. The destructive force immediately put the adventurers on the defensive and forced them to react rather than take the offensive like they were used to. Slowly but surely the group was able to advance on Acerium, mainly thanks to SOL’s constant volley of magic at the mage. When they destroyed the arcane shield around the old mage, they were able to beat him down and defeat him.
Exhausted, the group took a rest in the library and looked over the dream orb they had recovered. Activating this one, they viewed another dream from Jaxon. This one appeared to be near the end of the war when the necromancers had swept through most of Iso’Latarin. Several more council members had been slain, including the creator of the backup ritual. Jaxon had ordered that the Eye of Quelanar be moved from the capital to Iso’Farsh so that remaining council members could enact the ritual in time.
XP per Player: 2,517
Treasure Found: Ring of Fireblazing, 70pp, Jaxon’s Dream Orb (Invasion & Escape)