Infernal Ascendant


After a night of frivolity, the Eldritch Blades were jarringly awakened by an alarm. Voices were screaming: “Battlemages of ”/campaign/infernal-ascendant/wikis/complexica" class=“wiki-page-link”>Complexica are attacking!" The group was rushed out of their roomand sent to the barracks, where everyone was gathering in the time of emergency.
Following the crowds, the Eldritch Blades arrived in the barracks, which were filled with a bustling, terrified crowd. At last, Usyrus Vlackabar arrived, and assured everyone that it was only a drill and that they were to report to breakfast later that morning as planned.
Before breakfast, they payed a visit to the forge once more, but the smith was too busy to help them. When a nervous servant insisted that they hurry to the Great Hall for dining, they did so. During the meal, they met with the cook, who, after some questioning, grew teary and told them about his brother, a man of Complexica who he begged for the heroes to protect in the coming battle. They agreed, and told the man to put a scarf outside his door to remind them not to attack his house.
After the meal, they group retired to their room before the coming training session at the Tournament Field. In the barracks stood a familiar kobold – their servant from the first day, the one whom they had thought dead. The kobold, named Zilgar, explained eagerly that the blood they had seen was not his, but his masters, who he slew right after he began to yell. Zilgar also explained that the paladin the Blades had hidden in the room was still safe. They instructed the paladin, named Leofric, to remain in the room, and Zilgar, having proven to be loyal to the Eldritch Blades, was ordered to gather any other kobolds who did not truly serve The Infernal and bring them to the room that night.
Time was nigh for the Eldritch Blades to leave for training, so they departed their sanctum. Commander Valastrix was waiting for them, and they arrived late while he was instructing a group of kobolds in tactics. Upon seeing the war general, resplendent in his mail and a look of determination on his face, Quarion began to fell sorry for his rudeness the passed day. He began to apologize profusely, and the Commander embraced him as a brother in arms. The thought of killing the old dragonborn became increasingly grim.
Valastrix then told the Eldritch Blades that he wished to challenge their prowess in a command role, and revealed that they would have an important role in the Battle for Complexica. In training that day, the adventurers were to command a detachment of kobolds against a treant! The heroes welcomed that challenge, a love of strategy especially keen in Medrash and Lexor Narmolanya. Quarion and Drakorgamort were exceptionally effective in exciting the warriors as well, so as the dragonborn planned attackes and formations, the mage and the seeker proclaimed speeches of great inspiration to bolster their kobolds.
Once the treant was heavily weakened, the kobolds lead a wild charge, destroying the foe with gusto. Commander Valastrix was most pleased.
For lunch, the Eldritch Blades enjoyed a feast of roast boar by the hundredweight, and then prepared for the council of war.
Usyrus Vlackabar headed up the council, with Arcaelus Trektoploicz, Commander Valastrix, and the kobold archmage as his closest advisers. Behind them was a large army of kobolds, flanked on all sides by a dragonborn guard. The Eldritch Blades were given seats at the head of the council as well, but they were not there to plot the downfall of Complexica. They planned to use Drakorgamort‘s skill with plants and the poison they were given the day before to poison many of the dragonborn guards, securing a more easy escape.
Quarion attempted to deceive the crowds with a light spell, but his magic was absorbed by an amulet around the archmage’s neck! The archmage’s enchantments only allowed a select few to cast spells in the council!
Fortunately, the archmage trusted Arcaelus Trektoploicz. He knew what the Blades wanted, and cast a quick invisibility spell on Drakorgamort, who slipped into the bathroom to sow his seeds of death. The other adventurers explained that their wiled friend was having a difficult bowel movement, so nobody grew suspicious with his absence.
Drakorgamort created a network of thorny vines underneath the hall with the power of his nature staff, and he poisoned the thorns with the deadly brew Arcaelus Trektoploicz gave to them. The vines found cracks in the flagstones, and snaked up into the council room, pricking the guards with their fatal thorns.
Meanwhile, the others listened to the war plans.
Tomorrow night, the army would march overland to the city of Complexica. However, there was a second force that was hidden in the dwarven halls established by ancient inhabitants of Mythall.
This second force, through a secret route, would burst into the Xixizars’ beloved streets and form an anvil to Usyrus Vlackabar‘s hammer.
Usyrus Vlackabar also explained that it was the Eldritch Blades who he wanted to lead that hidden force.
The council concluded, and, as they went off to their mandatory torture duty, the adventurers’ could feel momentous change in the air.
They were pleasantly surprised to find that the torture hut was left unguarded, and so they did not have to harm the woman who was supposed to be their next victim. There was only a note from the warden, scrawled in a sloppy hand:
Try not to kill this one.
Killing the woman was the furthest thing from their mind, especially once she told them that she was a friend of Bertha Trektopolicz, who was the mother of Dr. Quinn Trektopolicz and Herbert Trektopolicz! They took her back to their room hurriedly, before anyone noticed.
They opened the door…
Zilgar stood proud at the center of a room filled with a kobold army! A room was too humble a term – nay, it was a battle- hall! Arcaelus Trektoploicz had magically enlarged the room to fit all of the allies. Commander Valastrix stepped out from a shadowed corner, and when he admitted that he, too had a part to play in this mighty force, Quarion could embrace him as a true comrade.
Red Horn was thrilled to see his favorite prostitute was rescued as well.
Even the archmage showed up – bound and gagged! Valastrix admitted to capturing the fiend himself, but had saved the honor of killing him to the Eldritch Blades’ own wizard – Quarion ALderbough himself!
He looked his hated foe in the eyes, and watched the life leave them as, with vengeful joy, plunged his jeweled longswords into the kobold’s thin frame. He died instantly.
The servants of Uk and Ku were ready to wage war of their own. Bursting from the bonds of bitter captivity charged the vanguard of hope! They made right for the enemy’s heart, Fangspire Keep’s Great Hall. Usyrus Vlackabar had plagued them since that fateful tavern visit in Lourwa, and the time of his doom was finally at hand!

Fangspire Keep

The Man From Council spoke.
“Welcome to Fangspire Keep, Eldritch Blades. I go by many names and faces, this being but one of them.” He proceeded to explain that he was in fact the doppelganger Usyrus Vlackabar, and it was he that stole the Scroll of Fire. He was also the one who betrayed Lourwa, while in the form of Erik Oaken Hull, and the one who trained the mage in Stonefist Barrow to conjure The Infernal.
Usyrus Vlackabar then required for the Eldritch Blades to swear a blood oath to The Infernal. The group was torn, and Red Horn and Lexor Narmolanya were tempted by the offer. The others remained true to their ideals.
Despite the conflicted judgement, none of them signed in their own blood. Lexor Narmolanya had kept some of the blood of foes he had killed, and dispersed it among the group so that they could cheat on the oath and remain free to choose later. Usyrus Vlackabar either did not notice or did not care, and he showed the Blades to their chambers. They received an opulent stateroom to reward their loyalty to The Infernal, and were given free reign of the grounds until the next morning, when their rigorous schedule would begin. The Eldritch Blades were to attend several classes and activities to train them to fight on the side of The Infernal in the Battle for Complexica. In 3 days, Vlackabar’s forces would march on Complexica, and there were preparations to be made.
Quarion spent the night planning, and, after breakfast the next morning, shared his plans with Drakorgamort and Medrash, as he did not trust the other two. Despite this, Lexor Narmolanya managed to eaves-drop undetected.
Quarion planned to use his prestidigitation ability to make illusory copies of Medrash and Drakorgamort so that they could spy on Usyrus Vlackabar and try to locate the Heart of the Colossus as well as find an escape plan. Quarion also used his magic to turn the two invisible, so that they may spy more effectively.
The first class they attended was in the barracks, where they were issued basic iron armor and shortswords to practice with. Quarion instantly got into an argument with the instructor, a dragonborn called Commander Valastrix. He managed to insult the warrior’s honor to the degree that a duel broke out!
Quarion fought valiantly for one so heavily outmatched, but he surrendered when he discovered that he could not use his magic in the tournament field. The group proceeded to lunch, having been ingloriously dismissed, and met back up with their clandestine companions. They learned that Usyrus Vlackabar carried the phoenix ash with him at all times in an amulet. At this time, Lexor Narmolanya shared the plan with Red Horn, and both assured Quarion that his distrust was unfounded and that all were loyal to the same goal – defeating The Infernal.
The next lesson to be had was magical instruction, where Quarion instantly managed to insult the kobold instructor. The annoyed instructor used the eladrin as an example in the alteration lesson, and allowed the group to vote on whether or not they should turn Quarion into a frog. When Lexor Narmolanya, against everyone else, voted yes, Quarion became a toad. In an offhand way, the instructor mentioned that being a toad prevented Quarion from sustaining magical spells, and then, after giving a brief lecture on alteration, undid the spell on Quarion.
They moved on to History of The Infernal class,which was taught by Arcaelus Trektoploicz. Quarion couldn’t help but bully this instructor a bit as well, but when they noticed him mutter “Uk forgive me” after reciting a prayer to The Infernal, the Blades realized that he was on their side. They invited him to come to their room later, to talk.
It was then that the kobold wizard and Commander Valastrix entered the room, carrying with them the real Medrash and Drakorgamort!!! The ruse was discovered!
Fortunately, the Eldritch Blades cooked up a story in which they were merely Quarion‘s illusory bodyguards, caused by his paranoia. The instructors were dubious, but, when Quarion managed to make one disappear (using a spell) with a wave of his hand, they were convinced, although remained suspicious. Arcaelus Trektoploicz continued with the lesson, and the other instructors left.
At dinner, it was Red Horn’s turn to make a scene. He challenged Usyrus Vlackabar to a drinking contest, which persisted for many rounds until ending in a draw, with both of them passing out. During the contest, however, Lexor Narmolanya managed to steal the locket with the phoenix ash from the drunk doppelganger!
He kept this a secret, however, and, after dinner, they all proceeded to the torture chambers to fulfill their task as torturers.
Once more, [:quarion]]‘s skill with illusion proved handy. They acted as though they were torturing the victim, wile not actually hurting him. Quarion’s illusions, however, made the supervisor think they were actually injuring the victim – a human paladin of Bahumat. In order to rescue the man, they pretended to kill him and throw the body into the sea, For this, the wizard of the group used more illusions, and the real body, made invisible, was taked to the stateroom once Lexor Narmolanya knocked him unconscious.
Back at the room, they met with Arcaelus Trektoploicz once more. The paladin was put on a bed and left there until he woke up.
It was then that Lexor Narmolanya revealed that he had retrieved the Heart of the Colossus. Quarion‘s enmity with the ranger exploded when Lexor Narmolanya said that he wished to hold on to the dust himself for safety. A fight broke out, but, with the help of Arcaelus, along with the other adventurers, it was decided that the safest place for the phoenix dust was hidden in a chink in Lexor Narmolanya’s dire wolf’s tooth.
For the rest of the night, Quarion perfected his plan. Meanwhile, Red Horn ordered for some prostitutes to be brought in, and then had violent sex with a dragonborn female for an impressive amount of time.

Mt. Storm

A great mountain wreathed in storm clouds and spewing ash stood before the Eldritch Blades. Within this mountain rested the Heart of the Colossus – the phoenix ashes that they crossed desert and wood alike to reach. Before entering, they reluctantly left their dragons outside, as they would not fit.
Upon entering an opening to the mountain’s caves, they found a room littered with the corpses of hellhounds. The obvious path forward was blocked, and despite Red-Horn“s best efforts, the rubble would not budge. However, upon further searching, the group found a second pathway hidden by loose gravel. The passageway was blocked by 5 sentient doors, each demanding payment. The first four required to cripple one adventurer’s arm or leg to pass on, but the last demanded payment is items and wealth.
With injured bodies and purses, they carried on to the next room. They were met by spear wielding salamanders, who defended their king, who wore a mighty ruby crown and sat on a throne. The salamanders attacked instantly to defend their territory, and battle erupted. The tree foes were dispatched rather quickly, and looted of their riches. Most impressive was the crown, which ”/campaign/infernal-ascendant/wikis/Drakorgamort/new" class=“create-wiki-page-link”>Drakorgamort claimed.
As he did so, the throne swung around, revealing the text: “Crown bearer, show me your fire.”
Medrash attempted to use his fiery breath, but to no avail. It was then that the wilden crown bearer himself called upon his primordial power to smite the throne with elemental spirits of fire.
The passage continued on, ending at a ledge overlooking a pool of lava. Standing by the ledge was an elderly man, who revealed that only by defeating him could they pass. With that, his flesh melted away, revealing a demonic mage of great power. The Eldritch Blades felt confident, as the foe was weakened easily, but then he conjured the magma below to armor him. With a mighty sweep of his staff, the mage cast Quarion into the pit, and the battle took a deadly turn.
The Blades fought desperately, hoping to save their friend, and in a fury of blows, they slew the mage before Quarion hit the pools of magma below. The group took the mage’s winged boots, and used them to rescue Quarion. Then, using the winged boots, one brave hero flew across the lava to a platform on the other side, where a lever was to be found. Pulling this lever extended a bridge across the lava, and they forayed on.
The next room was prefaced by a door, which they quickly opened. As it swung open, it sprayed the group with a poison to blind them. Only Quarion avoided the poison, and saw the danges of the room.
The pace was a maze of lava rivers, with a beholder sitting at its heart. A pair of winged boots was in the corner. Quarion had to lead his forces into battle, directing the others on how to combat the beholder without falling in lava. He also directed Medrash to the winged boots.
Slowly the poison began to wear off, and, senses returned, they were no longer helpless to the heinous eye rays of the beholder. They slew it wrathfully, and Medrash claimed the boots. He and Drakorgamort, the other bearer of winged boots, flew up to a ledge below the beholder’s maze, where two levers were found. They pulled them in unison, and stairs descended so that the others could follow them.
Beyond the levers, the path continued on until they reached a peculiar chamber filled with a red fog. The floor was covered in a sticky fungus that hindered their movement. Lexor Narmolanya gathered some of the fungus in vials after discovering that it was harmless.
Meanwhile, Quarion researched the properties of the fog. He learned that it was highly explosive, and shared this with the group.
No sooner did he utter the word “explosive” did Drakorgamort shot a flaming arrow right into it!!!!!!
The fog detonated violently, killing all fungus in the room and leaving the party with extremely severe burns. Most heavily injured was Quarion, who would have died if not for the help of Medrash.
This would not stop them, however, and the next chamber held the next pair of boots, which Red-Horn donned. Then, the tree adventurers with boots flew up to a ledge with three levers, and, pulling them, extended stairs for the others to proceed. However, Medrash‘s lever broke, and, although the stairs descended, the passage to the next room, which was a boulder that the levers slid away, was stuck. Thinking quickly, Red-Horn used the Axe of the Dwarvish Lords and transformed it into a lever handle, affixed it to the lever, and opened the passage.
Undaunted by the burns, they proceeded on, entering a large chamber. The ceiling was cracked, and the glow of magma seeped through it. Statues of fire archons lined the halls, and in the center sat an enormous statue of an archon lord.
As the Blades approached, the ceiling split, and lava splashed on the largest statue. Instantly, it sprung to life! It named the adventurers intruders, and attacked!
The archon wielded a mighty scimitar, and used it with deadly potential. Throughout the battle, more and more lava fell from the ceiling, making the battlefield hazardous. The fight was difficult enough, and then the archon announced that, if he died, the room would flood with lava! Between blows, the Eldritch Blades launched into full negotiation, each member providing arguments. At last, the mighty warrior conceded, seeing the error of his ways. When he allowed the group to pass, he saluted them as friends and worthy adversaries, and gifted them with his pair of winged boots.
The next chamber passed directly through another magma vein of the volcano, and the path ended in another cliff! Four chests stood at the edge of the cliff. One had a log, one had a potion of immortality, one had an enchanted sword, and one held a mighty spell tome. Quarion, with his talent as a spellstorm mage, divined that the room was a puzzle left by the archon himself.
Then, Red-Horn grabbed to log, and all other chests combusted!
FOOL – they branded him, but Lexor Narmolanya saw his wisdom. The log was enchanted, and could change in size and shape. They transformed the log into a bridge, and crossed the lava merrily, finding winged boots at the other side. Now, all five adventurers had a pair of their own.
Five levers stood between them and the Heart of the Colossus. As they pulled, they heard a voice – “Infernal be praised! We have found it!”
The Eldritch Blades pulled the levers and entered the next room – the main magma chamber of the volcano. Below them was a cavernous pit full of magma, and above them was a floating island. They could barely make out a coffin in the shape of a phoenix on said island.
However, the air was swarmed with harpies.
Quarion, Drakorgamort, and Lexor Narmolanya fought from the ledge, but Red-Horn and Medrash took to the air, smashing through lines of harpies to reach the phoenix dust.
While Quarion fired spells, Lexor Narmolanya and Drakorgamort used the fungus to their advantage. Once Lexor threw the fungus onto the foes, Drakorgamort used his nature staff to bind it to the harpies’ wings, thus making them fall into the magma.
Once the way was clearer, the others flew up to join the paladin and the warlord on the island. Red Horn had transformed the Axe of the Dwarvish Lords into a mortar, and held back lines of harpies with scatter shots while Medrash slashed violently with his sword.
The coffin, too, had five levers on it, so they fought on to defend the small island until Quarion, last to arrive, had reached the coffin.
Straining as one, hoping as one, the five pulled.
The coffin slid open.
And poison billowed out.
They fell unconscious, and, upon awaking, saw a somewhat familiar face staring them down.
The Man From Council.

Hearthstone Manor

Back to back, the Eldritch Bladesdrew their weapons. Screeching in from the heavens at that moment came two dragonborn, riding on black dragons. The foul steeds shot acid at the sphinx, who fell dead instantly! Surrounded and without allies, the adventurers prepared for a difficult fight.
Koblods fell in droves at the might of Lexor Narmolanya‘s twin katars. Meanwhile, Quarion and Drakorgamort joined their powers to conjure a storm. Channeling its lightning through his swords, the wizard smote kobolds with the raw might of a storm!
Red Horn focused his attention on the skies, and commandeered one of the dragons for himself after earning its loyalty. Drakorgamort followed suit, using his nature staff to gain mastery of the other dragon.
Many kobolds were dead, and the enemy was routed! Medrash engaged the dragonborn in single combat, and, as he slew one, realized that they were once guards in his hometown of Macurash. Showing mercy, he spared the other dragonborn, who fled to Trektoplika to become an herbalist.
Night began to fall, and, after looting the remains, the party chose to journey on, seeking Hearthstone Manor, the house that they had purchased at The Party. The dragon riders, Red Horn and Drakorgamort, went ahead on their steeds, and the others trailed behind on the forest paths.
Through the night, they traveled, and as dawn broke, the riders arrived at their new home. By noon, the rest of the party arrived.
Greeting them at the manor was the Trektopolicz Family! Bertha Trektopolicz cooked a feast in celebration, and many celebrated long into the night! Quarion trained for many hours in the alchemist’s lab with Herbert Trektopolicz, and Red Horn spent some time in the forge with Aggro Trektopolicz. Medrash and Lexor Narmolanya were content to spar, and Drakorgamort took a stroll in the garden with Dr. Quinn Trektopolicz.
However, the next morning, a meeting of great seriousness was held in the arena. The Trektopolicz Family described the corrupt steward of Complexica, Nolfavrell the Black. They explained that the Blades had to make haste to [[Mt. Storm]], a volcano whose magma chamber held the phoenix ashes that would form the heart of The Colossus! Understanding the urgency, the Eldritch Blades set out, with the greatest danger they had yet faced ahead of them!

Trials of the Forestkeeper

The Blades spent the morning training and trading at the forge before setting across the desert. A dwarven vanguard accompanied them as far as the Quil’s Stroke Wood – the final barrier between them and Complexica!
They entered the wood, and soon came upon a clearing, where a sphinx and a blue dragon were in vicious combat! Drakorgamort, with his staff, held down the dragon, allowing the sphinx to make the finishing blow. Then, the sphinx approached the group, and demanded that, if they were to pass the forest, they would have to pass his trials. He first demanded that they hand over their weapons.
Reluctantly, the Blades, Medrash last of all, agreed to this. The sphinx then gave each weapon to a different owner before leading them into a cave. The Eldritch Blades were more than a bit flummoxed, even more so when spiders jumped out from behind rocks, forcing them to fight with each others’ weapons!
Fortunately, having fought alongside each other for so long, they were able to slay the foes, impressing the sphinx. But the sphinx had more in store, if they would meet him at the Ghastly Glade.
The adventurers were given a map with a series of paths to the Glade on it, and they had 20 seconds with the map to process them all! The map was taken away all to soon, and, after great deliberation, they settled on a path.
They traveled until the sun began to set, when they came upon a camp. Stealthily, they observed the camp until they decided they could be trusted, and then showed themselves. The huters at the camp offered for the adventurers to stay the night, which they gladly accepted, unwilling to brave the forest at night.
When they awoke, they were tied up in the center of camp, surrounded by the hunters – in werewolf form! They had been betrayed, and, enraged, fought their way out of the camp. The next leg of their journey would take them to the river Stormblood.
The crossing that was on their chosen path was incredibly hazardous. The current was swift, and a jagged boulder stuck up from it. Making a rash decision, Medrash and Drakorgamort jumped for the boulder. Drakorgamort Reached it, and managed to jump to the other bank, but Medrash was not as lucky. He slipped, and fell straight to the bottom of the river!
Meanwhile, Quarionused his Arcane Gate to teleport the rest of the group to the other side of the river. Medrash was rescued with a rope.
Around early afternoon, they came to a hut that had recently been set ablaze. They rushed inside and found an elderly gnome couple, who, after a moment of hysteria, were able to tell the Eldritch Blades that they had been attacked by kobolds, who had run off in the direction of the Ghastly Glade! The adventuring party, after disassembling the hut (with the gnome’s permission), made haste towards the Glade, gnomes riding in the cart.
They arrived in the Ghastly Glade, seemingly before the kobolds. The sphinx was there, who, after making snide remarks over their poor choice of path, prepared to start the next test.
It was then that kobolds jumped out of the trees, surrounding them!

The Mountain in the Sky

Zizzlehoff provisioned the group for their journey, and presented his pair of matched longswords to Quarion before seeing the Eldritch Blades off on their next adventure. Before they could fins the next part of the Colossus, they had to cross the desert that surrounded Trektoplika.
For several days and nights they traveled, and the dangers of the desert wore on them. Quicksand, dehydration, and sandstorms were a constant threat.
But on they journeyed, until they came upon a wall in their path. The wall’s gate was the only way forward, and it was guarded by a troop of halfling bandits who demanded toll. The Eldritch Blades attempted to barter with the gatekeepers, but as they did so, the real danger slithered into being.
A great maw rose from the sand, instantly consuming the bandit leader. Tentacles rose from the sand around them, and Drakorgamort identified the beast as a “silt horror.” They fought bravely, trying to preserve the lives of the halflings as they fought off monstrous tentacles. The combat raged for many hours, but, finally, the blinded and bloodied behemoth fell.
As it died, it released a cloud of toxic vapors, and the group fell unconscious…

They awoke to a familiar voice. It was Wally, the old dwarf from Lourwa! He told them that he had given up fighting to become a healer, and it was he who nursed them back to health. He also explained that they were in a camp lead by Jorik Stonefist, father of Helga and Olga Stonefist!
Feeling refreshed, the Blades set off for Jorik’s tent. Jorik recieved them warmly, but he grew grimmer when his daughters’ fate was explained. He became determined for them to have the best dwarven funeral he could conceive – a burial at Stonefist Barrow!
Although Stonefist Barrow was once the burial ground for all of the Clan Stonefist, it was since overrun by a psychotic druid of The Infernal, and its halls are now cursed. The Blades did not back down from this challenge, however.
They set off for the barrow the next morning, before the first rays of dawn could be seen. Before they entered, they were greeted with the spirits of Wally‘s dead companions, who blessed them all.
Inside the barrow, they were ambushed at once by spiders in a room laden with their crystalline webs. The dwarves, who could not commit violence on the sacred ground, were of little help, but the Eldritch Blades quickly slew the beasts.
As they delved deeper, they came to a room of coffins, with a white carpet stretching to a high chair. In the chair sat an emaciated corpse. As they approached, they saw that a portion of the carpet had been dyed with blood, and a dead dwarf, carrying flowers, was sprawled on it.
The corpse looked up at the adventurers, and spoke:
“I know why you have come here. I can give you what you seek. For. A. Price.”
The group tried diplomacy with the guardian, but, when Quarion saw that it wasn’t working, he conjured sheets of blue fire to intimidate it. The corpse struck back with vicious mental warfare, but the wizard resisted, and, finally, the guardian submitted. His chair turned about, revealing a stairwell.
The stairs lead to a small study. There was a desk, on which sat a book surrounded by a field of distortion. There was also a bookshelf, on which tomes concerning knowledge of The Infernal were found.
Quarion approached the book on the desk, and touching it, was instantly muted! He had to speak telepathically with the others. However, the distortion was gone, and the others read the book. They learned that, in this very barrow, the man who had called forth The Infernal committed his ritual.
Through a trapdoor, they continued deeper into the barrow. In the room, there were several dwarven statues, and three large coffins at the front. The floor was covered in blood, forming elaborate designs and the repeated symbol of The Infernal. Rising from the large coffin was the conjurer himself, along with several faceless specters. There was great slashing of weapons and casting of incantations as the Eldritch Blades did battle with the profane spirits.
When it seemed that they were laid to rest, Red Horn discovered an indent in the bottom of the coffin. He fit his axe into it, and a passage opened. A stair lead to the top of the barrow, where the first rays of dawn could be seen peaking over the horizon. Two matched coffins were there, as well.
Helga and Olga were set in the coffins, and Jorik said his piece. Several members of the Eldritch Blades also spoke, and that was when the air began to shimmer.
Descending from the heavens was a golden staircase, and it lead to a mountain in the sky. The spirits of the dead shopkeepers rose from their coffins, ascended the stair, and went into the mountain.
The journey back was made in silence.

Fall of Malturzuum

All turned on Medrash in rage, as he was not in his right mind. The only way to stop his attacking was to subdue him, and he was overcome by the combined strength of his companions. The treat dealt with, the group investigated the room further to discover a door. On the door was carved the face of a demon, who declared:
p. “I stand on one leg, with my heart in my head? Who am I?
p. Intuitively, Quarion responded with the correct answer: cabbage. The door swung open, and a room lined with racks of scrolls was uncovered. Quarion found the ledger that recorded all that was kept in the room, and used his arcane skills to find which scrolls in particular would be of use to the group. Zizzlehoff‘s neice was nearly as skilled as him, and the group found scrolls to cure all of their ills. Red Horn’s Faceless Horror curse was removed, and Drakorgamort was restored to full strength. A scroll was even found for Medrash, which temporarily shielded his mind from that of The Infernal. They would need their full strength, for the tower loomed just ahead. All eggs lie broken, and there was rebellion to finish!
p. With the use of his nature staff, Drakorgamort weakened the doors to the tower, and a vengeful Red Horn bashed them in. The warlord found himself surrounded by Kobold Dragonshields. The [[Eldritch BladesMedrash | Eldritch Blades]] were outnumbered, but had never since let that stop them.
p. The entryway was won by the might of Red Horn‘s axes, and the rest of the party flooded in. Quarion secured the lift system to get to the next floor, and, after slaying the remaining foes, the other Blades followed him.
p. On the next floor, they were met with a fearsome manticore, who was restrained by more kobolds. They attempted reasoning with it, but soon discovered that there was no reasoning with a manticore. In hopes of setting it on its captors, Quarion tried to free the beast, but they had to slay it all the same (or they would be its dinner).
p. The lift mechanism was broken for the remainder of the tower, so they risked climbing a ladder
up the exterior walls of the tower. They gained entry to the next floor through a hole in the walls, but, during their climb, were bombarded with boulders from catapults, blasts of dragonfire, and the wrathful mental attacks of The Infernal himself. In fact, they were close to death as they approached the front lines of battle – and the return of an old foe.
p. In the center of the room was a barricade, with Trektopolicz warlocks on the defensive. They were besieged by a force of kobold slingers and dragonshields, which was lead by three dragonborn lieutenants. One of them was the very same that Medrash had decieved in the past. This time, he was wiser, and, enraged at his past foolishness, attacked the paladin on sight.
p. At the command of the Eldritch Blades, many of the warlocks went to the top of the tower to assist Zizzlehoff combat Commander Malthurzuum. The remaining three assisted Quarion in dispatching the slingers with their combined magical attacks. Red Horn was attacked by the force of dragonshields, and Lexor Narmolanya fought off the other two dragonborn while Medrash squared off with his old foe.
p. They won the room, and, after dispatching the lieutenant with gusto, continued on. Next was the Archmage’s room, which had been converted into a medical room. Herbert Trektopolicz frantically tried to heal the injured. They were the warlocks from the previous room that the group had sent up, byt their robes were torn and drenched in blood and gore. The Eldritch Blades volunteered to help, when they heard Zizzlehoff cry out in agony. The roof shook as Commander Malthurzuum landed, roaring with triumph. Herbert Trektopolicz, confident in his abilities, rushed the Blades up the stair to aid their friend and mentor.
p. The roof of the tower was strewn with rubble. Zizzlehoff, bleeding profusely, was fending off the great dragon’s claw attacks with his staff, when a blow caught him unexpectedly in the chest. Lexor Narmolanya acted at onec, healing the old wizard with a potion. The group of six faced down the dragon, and the air was charged.
p. The rebels struck first. Drakorgamort, his power augmented by the Archmage, conjured trees with his nature staff, binding Commander Malthurzuum to the ground. Conjuring all of his arcane might, Quarion used his mage hand spell to toss Medrash, Lexor Narmolanya, and Red Horn onto the red dragon’s back. The battle for the tower had begun. Despite all of the Commander’s efforts, he could not shake the three Blades from his back. Quarion and Drakorgamort held strong when the dragon bombarded them with his fiery breath. They suffered grievous wounds, but would pay any price to ensure that their companions kill the terrible Malthurzuum. At last, after being hammered by constant arrows, spells, slashes, and jabs, the Commander began to fade. Calling on the power of Bahumat, his patron god, Medrash smote the beast’s crimson skull with his holy sword.
p. Indeed, the city was saved! There was much cause for celebration, but nary the time. The Infernal was slowly clawing out of the depths in the Roiling Sea, and the second piece of the Colossus’ location was known to the enemy. The group needed to move at once – through a desert of unknown dangers…

Egg Breaking

The Eldritch Blades crusaded on, drawing ever closer to Trektoplika‘s great tower and the lurk of Commander Malthurzuum. First, they stopped at the house of an alchemist, where Drakorgamort brought a werewolf to a gruesome end while his companions slew the Bugbear archers lying in wait behind a fallen boulder.
After Quarion bravely fought through the wards on a door ahead, they reached the alchemist’s lair. When The alchemist refused to give them the egg and pleaded that they not take it by force, Quarion, invisible, sneaked over to the egg and broke it.
At that moment, the oni that was bound to the alchemist’s body was released, killing the poor man in the process. They defeated this foe with heavy hearts, as an innocent man had died. Before moving on, they decided to sample some of the alchemist’s potions. Drakorgamort was lucky, and gained a iron skin, but Quarion‘s gamble did not pay off. He was transmuted into a flea.
Next, they continued on to the home of the historian that accompanied them. In this building, the egg was kept in a simple chest, with five locks. Red Horn opened one, and the minotaur’s face literally melted off. He became hostile to everything around him, so Lexor Narmolanya was forced to subdue him with icy breath. Then, Drakorgamort foolishly opened the remaining four locks. One of these cursed him with lycanthropy, and the others left him severely weakened. However, the egg was secured, and they proceeded to the final egg.
The final egg was kept at the home of Zizzlehoff’s niece. They entered the room to find her dead in a pool of her own blood, surrounded by slain orcs. In her hand was held the final egg. Lexor Narmolanya was prepared to destroy it, when Medrash protested. Then Medrash, when his fellow dragonborn would not yield, attacked, wresting the egg away from Lexor Narmolanya. The two began to fight, while Drakorgamort readied his bow. With a skilled sho, he broke the final egg.
Then, Medrash went berserk, the hot blood of The Infernal coursing in his veins. He attacked more viciously than before. Quarion, desperate for peace made a prayer to Uk, who granted him back his normal form. As his eladrin body materialized, he cried, “By the grace of the true gods, I doth return!”
Meanwhile, Red Horn began to thaw…

Chaos Risen

The Eldritch Blades slay the blue dragon with the help of a trebuchet brought in by more of the Trektopolicz Dragonguard. Red Horn was shot from it at the dragon with much devastation. It was Drakorgamort, however, who delivered the final strike, wielding a dwarven cannon from the Axe of the Dwarvish Lords.
After this battle, the Dragonguard depart from the group, saying that they must deal with the problems at the port and to accompany the Eldritch Blades any further would only hinder them. Thus, they pareted ways, the Blades continuing on to Olde Town, where the next egg could be found.
At Olde town, they encountered an old historian desperately guarding the Statue of Schmibblegibbon from an oncoming horde of kobolds and bugbears. The Blades rush in in aid, Red Horn throwing himself into the fray heroically to protect the historian. The foes were eventually slain, and the historian took the group into a museum. There, Drakorgamort got some armor (finally) and a scroll was obtained to summon the statue into life.
Red Horn called forth the great mage himself, who quickly crushed the egg. At that very moment, a great rumble occurred. The clouds darkened overhead, and the sea began to heave and roil. From the depths of a maelstrom, out stretched the very claw of The Infernal itself!
Schmibblegibbon rushed off to combat the new foe, and the quest for the eggs grew more frantic. Only four eggs remained – all in the homes of very powerful aristocrats near the central tower. They had to act quickly, but stealthily, as the could not be seen!
They chose to start with the house of a wealthy merchant. The building was dark, and the sounds of eating came from a dark corner. Drakorgamort‘s keen eyes discovered that the room was filled with bewitched merchandise. A rug, for example, was very fond of Red Horn. By interacting with the items, they learned that the room was inhabited by two hags.
Tension began to grow within the group, meanwhile. Red Horn challenged Medrash to a duel. Right before blows were exchanged, the hags attacked. The Blades, an alliance again, defeated the foes quickly. But past animosity was not forgotten.
The two combatants chose to fight without weapons, but fight they did, and viciously so. The dark whisperings of The Infernal had taken hold of all save the strong mind of Quarion, who tried in vain to prevent the fighting.
Then, from a closet in the back of the shop, out burst Lexor Narmolanya! Medrash, distrustful, attacked him on sight. Then, Drakorgamort began shooting arrows at Medrash! Utter chaos had erupted!
At last, Quarion made the group see reason, catching their attention with his prestidigitation.
Long negotiations occurred after that, but the fighting had died down. Finally, it was decided that, due to Medrash’s “relation” to The Infernal (they are both draconic) he would remain tied up and handcuffed for everyone’s safety. He would be transported in the cart.

General Medrash

At the forum, Medrash once again assumed his charade as a general of The Infernal. The rest of the Blades acted as his prisoners, and the Dragonguard hid. The tourist prisoners, a family of aristocrats from the far off kingdom of Bailiwick, were guarded by wolves controlled by two Dragonborn lieutenants. The perimeter was guarded by the flameskulls dispatched earlier.
Medrash convinced one of the generals to get to the Olde Town District, where Medrash had heard that the forces of the The Infernal were having trouble. After that, battle ensued with the remaining lieutenant, who accused Medrash, correctly, of treason. They did fierce battle, during which the flameskulls, confused, exploded, injuring both combatants.
Medrash eventually won, letting the injured foe escape. Then, the tourists were freed, but they later got into a fatal struggle with the defeated lieuteneant, in which both parties died due to a spectacular spell cast by the eldest of the family.
Next, the group made for Olde Town, where the next egg lurked. But, before they made it to the western part of the city, they found the other Dragonguard camp, also embattled with a mighty adult dragon – this one blue and far more powerful – Commander Guulthu’um!


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