Breyland’s Rest, Greyhelm
Before you begin reading, please note: Much of this may be slightly skewed, or completely out of order. At least this time I have an excuse.
I was traveling with Baron Travador, Simon, and Enderr. Du’Kratha had not back from Blackstone yet, and I felt his absence keenly. I was late to join the gather as usual, and joined up with everyone as they were attacking a cave nearby. Somehow it was discovered that one of the artifacts that Traegor seeks was in this cave. I believe the artifact was recovered, but upon exiting the cave everyone was assaulted by Dark Elves and undead who served Traegor. Tonzen was with them. Many died, but Kylou’s hat came alive and life’d everyone. I do not really remember this night at all, for the events of Saturday night are very similar and have overlapped in my memory. If anyone can write a better accounting, please send it to me.
I do know that later in the night Malshaar apparently showed up searching for those invested in the celestial circle, but I was off attending to my own business.
It was rather uneventful during the day, with few attacks.
Minotaurs came into town to challenge others in fighting contests as part of the training of their young one. Nigel agreed to duel them, which was quite humorous. It involved a lot of running in circles and casting of Magic armors. Eventually the minotaurs attacked a merchant and tried to steal something, and they were killed.
We also found a group of large Bugmen coming out of a hive near a jester pool. I was eaten by a roach-like thing trying to save Travador and Sandrine, who had also been engulfed. After all the bugs were dead we tried to stomp out their nest. Just as we finished, Dark Elves jumped out of the trees and ambushed us… in the middle of the day no less. Although many of them were killed, one was kept alive and questioned. These Dark Elves did not serve Traegor, and had left Dremora to fend for themselves. They were renegades, but were not allied with our enemies and had attacked because they sought supplies.
Sereg learned that afternoon that an Attercob Queen knew where the location of an Obleisk-Artifact was, and we needed to find it to keep it from Traegor. We organized for the trip then departed. When we arrived at the location, we were able to find a well hidden cave entrance, with obvious evidence of spiders living within. It was an open cave, very foggy, with webbing everywhere. The webs on the floor were so thick we could not walk on them without being stuck. Luckily there were spots on the floor that were free of webbing for us to jump to. The information I had indicated that the Attercob Queen was being forced to serve Traegor, so we went there with the hopes of changing her mind. Although I highly doubted she would, we were going to try. Unfortunately, her minions attacked us immediately which made “friendly discussion” impossible. As we made it across, spiders attacked us and trapped us in their webbing. The other side of the cavern was covered in thick webbing that looked like braided chords, and would hold fast to anything that touched them. Travador, Ami and I had discussed the feasibility of using Alchemic solvents to remove these strands, and teamed together to reach that side and get the job done. Unfortunately, we only had about 4 solvents. I tried to use them most effectively, but there were still many strands in the way.
After everyone was across, Simon, Sereg and I held off the spiders from the one half of the cave while everyone else fought their way through the entrance to the second part, which was full of red webbing that looked like blood had been smeared onto it. We quickly discovered that this webbing caused one’s blood to be tainted upon contact, as well as stick to it. This combination made the fighting far more deadly. Eventually everyone was through the second cave entrance, so Simon, Methios, Sereg and I joined them and cast a wall of force on the portal to keep the stray spiders out.
It was a tough fight. There were a few close calls due to the scattered fighting tactics the webbing forced upon us. The Attercob Queen was a very powerful creature, capable of throwing chaos magic and death spells. Between the Queen and the spiders dropping from the ceiling to land among us, it was a difficult battle. Eventually Lady Tryst was able to Imprison the Queen and end the fight. It amazed me that there were those with us who still wished to attempt a friendly conversation… yet, we gave her the chance. After explaining our view to her, the imprison was dropped to give her the chance to be friendly. So she threw a friendly death spell and was imprisoned again, and killed. Ender went into her mind before she was killed and verified that Traegor has taken over her mind and had total control of her.
We found a map on her body that looked as though it led directly to where we wanted it to lead, though we were still not entirely sure what we were getting ourselves into. Not knowing what we should do with the map, we tucked it away safely and left the cavern.
At some point on the return to Breyland’s Rest, Malshaar had returned, I suppose attempting to get the Map. He was chased down and killed. It is a small victory, since I am sure he has his spirit bottled like the rest of the minions. Kylou’s hat, which had become sentient again and in control of Kylou, began attacking others. I figured out the game and we were all able to dance our way past him.
After feast we gathered together for the remembrance ceremony that Sandrine had planned, to honor Breyland’s sacrifice a year ago this month. Travador, Sandrine, and Nigel had been away practicing for this for a bit, and when they came back we gathered everyone willing to participate and formed around them in a circle, standing just as we did the last time.
Travador and Sandrine sung Breyland’s harmony well, and Nigel played the guitar just as well as the wooden construct had a year ago. It was so similar to Breyland’s ceremony that I briefly feared Travador would drop dead at the end of the song. It was a very emotional ceremony for those of us who were present last year, and I could see my emotions reflected in the eyes of those around me. At the end of the ceremony, we all felt a wave of magical energy infuse us, as if Breyland was somehow still watching, still helping. We all became aware that we now had the ability to revive/renew ourselves once. Fearing the threat that would cause us to need such power, we went our separate ways to prepare for whatever the night would bring. Since we still did not know what we are supposed to do next, or how we could possibly defeat Traegor, we decided to cast a Dreamvision using an artifact which heightens ritual casting. When the formal was being cast, the Dreaming seemed to fill up the circle we were in, and then expanded to fill the rest of the building, slowly causing onlookers to fall asleep and join us. Eventually the dream energies filled the celestial circle as well. We were all shown a vision, part of which I have seen before- The battle where our forces are coming together against Traegor. All of those who have ever helped us, or who are helping us still, were present. Malyon was once again shown to be fighting on our side. We saw ourselves transformed and empowered for the battle ahead, and as we looked at each other, we saw… we felt each other’s dreams and fears. We saw far away places, a circle of stones which glowed green, red, and orange. Traegor was able to walk through these and change his powers. When he stepped through the red circle, he came out on fire, and threw that fire into his attacks. When he stepped into the green circle, the fire disappeared and he was once again a Drakeolich. We saw the Knight from Long Ago that first killed Traegor, and saw that he and Simon were somehow connected; similar to how a totem was seen being connected to a person. We also saw how we must kill Traegor, which I will not write down here. It is not safe enough.
As the hour reached midnight, we all felt a wave of energy sweep across the land, and Time stopped. The energy seemed to have originated from the direction that we saw the Obelisk on the map. Seeing this as our signal, we gathered ourselves and followed the route the map indicated to reach the Obelisk.
We arrived on the field which was the entrance to the cave at the same time as Tonzen and his minions, most of which were Death Jesters. We raced our way to the cave, and were able to reach the entrance right before they did. We knew that no matter what, we needed to do whatever we could to prevent Traegor from getting this item. Without it, he could not complete the ritual he will be casting in December. So while the rest were holding him off, Nymbus and I ran into the cave, casting a wall of force on the doorway. Nymbus touched the Obelisk and discovered its properties. It has a strong connection to Time, and allows one who touches it to sift through their memories and remember the past. It is a continuous effect that is not easily controlled. If I touched Nymbus while he was touching it, I would be able to sort through his memories at will and find whatever information I wished. The Obelisk was so heavy it would take 20 men to lift it, so moving it from its location was not an option. Seeing how badly the battle outside was going, I erected a tiny circle of power around the Obelisk, which did not even give me enough room to stand—leaving no room for Tonzen to rift inside. This left me with no option but to sit on the Obelisk, and I was under its effects for most of the battle. At first this was an interesting experience, and I was able to see many fond memories of Home with full clarity. But as the cries for help became louder… as the battle outside became quieter, it became more of a hindrance. Instead of seeing things from the past which I enjoyed, I saw things which I feared. I could not focus on what was happening in the present. The wall of force was down, Nymbus was taken down… then I was seeing him in our first meeting in Greyhelm, charging across a battlefield alone with nothing but a shield and a handful of scrolls. I do not know what happened to him. Soon the cries for help ceased. More and more I was seeing undead jesters entering the cave, like some macabre party, pacing around me. Tonzen came to glare at me now and then. Then I was at the lake at home, listening to the horror stories my brother told …then I was in Keljin, fighting Mandrake. Every memory of every undead battle I had seen drifted through my mind, overlapping the present. Then I realized that I could no longer hear battle outside. Nobody was left to fight. I was the only one left on the field alive.
Travador shambled into the room near me, his eyes held the dead look of a zombie. Next was Sandrine… Sereg… Nymbus…Kylou….Simon…. faces and faces of friends who were dying, who were living in my mind as the sight of them brought back memories. I was thinking of Travador and our first meeting years ago, how different we both were then. Sandrine, who always seemed to be more full of pain and joy than any human I knew. Kylou, who had been a dead man walking more times than I could count. Most of my friends and companions were now undead and in the room with me, yet I knew if I dropped my circle, all would truly be lost. I tried to focus on this present anguish to bring myself out of the Obelisk’s influence, but the only clear thing I could see was Tonzen holding his green orb, glaring at me, ordering my friends to step back out of my reach. I tried and tried to think of how important this was… to hold out a little bit longer and maybe….maybe help would arrive. But I could not focus. Next I remember Ma… no, Tonzen, approaching my circle and throwing destructive magic at it. I bolted, and was taken down.
I awoke kneeling in front of the Obelisk, still in pain. Tonzen had brought me there, and forced my hand onto it, his rotten one holding mine down. He was too strong to fight. Instead of the random sifting of memory I had experienced before, I now had an Undead forcing his way through my mind, seeking information. He immediately sought out the location of one of the Artifacts we had recovered; the one which protects circles from being DFM’d or rifted into. Once he had this information he killed me. I can assume he animated me, for when I came alive again I was outside on the field of battle, milling around with all the rest of the captured zombies who had risked all for Greyhelm.
Nymbus was holding me up, healing me. We both continued to pretend to be Zombies, hoping to have the chance to heal someone else. All of “the new recruits for Traegor’s Army” were herded into an area by the Death Jesters. There were quite a few faces I did not see. Travador was no longer there, nor were his belongings lying on the field. I could only hope that the reviving magics graced to us by Breyland’s song had come to use. Just as I was thinking of this, I saw one of the zombies jolt as life came back into him, and he quickly looked around and bolted off into the darkness. Sandrine was still in zombie form, and I leaned into her to try and fix that, but the Death Jester standing near us saw me. I imprisoned myself while he ran to tell the others, and then bolted away myself. I was able to dodge some death poisons, and just as he was catching up Travador, Wolf, Tryst, and a few others jumped towards me. I began shouting warnings to them that Tonzen was headed to the Guildhall after the-- and then I took a death poison in the back. Luckily I was life’d as the Jester ran back for reinforcements. We ran as fast as we could back to the celestial circle. Sereg had recovered from the fight as well, and had heard my warnings. I met him just as he was leaving the Guildhall to hide the Artifact. Seeing that another artifact had been left behind, I hid that in the fireplace, covered in logs and soot. Then the key to the mystic-locked box was given to another to hide. Even from this distance, I could hear the confusion and chaos as the adventurers one by one revived themselves using Breyland’s magic and scattered from the field of battle.
The rest of the night was filled with confusion and chaos. Tonzen brought the Obelisk with him into town chasing us, seeking the artifact. I was standing inside the circle with many others. We were in the circle because we didn’t know how to fight him, but we also acted as if we were there to protect what he was seeking so Sereg would have time to hide it. Simon was downed outside the Guild Hall, and Tonzen hung around making it difficult to save him. Kylou threw a life spell with amazing accuracy and Simon was able to get up and leave the battle. Eventually Tonzen rifted into the circle, and I recognized everyone out and we scattered. Lady Tryst and I teamed up using the new elemental curse spell against Tonzen, and were able chase him away and severely weaken his minions, for a little while.
A lot of people ran off into the woods, some sneaking back around to help friends who had been dropped. Doubtless there were many small acts of bravery and heroism that night, but I have only my view to tell. Most of the fighting centered on the guildhall, as Tonzen still wanted to get into the Mystic-locked treasure box and was seeking someone invested into the circle. At one point Tonzen had dropped me and animated me, then had me escort him as he asked others for someone invested into the circle. If I had been alive, I would have found that quite humorous. At some point during this I was able to use my revive/renew ability, one of the last to do so I believe. Tonzen had recently downed and scattered many people, and I was forced to leave Ami, Arquen, and Anno behind in the guild hall as he entered. Travador had disappeared, and Simon was gone too. Enderr and I snuck our way through the woods around the guildhall, and were able to come back around the back. Anno and Arquen were lying as if dead on the floor, and Ami was nowhere to be seen. As I started to heal Anno and Arquen, I discovered that they were both alive and well, pretending to be dead. Ami was hiding in the closet and came out to join us. We headed outside and spotted the Obelisk that Traegor had carried here, unattended. Kylou offered to set up a circle of power, but since Kylou still had more life spells available, Ami and Enderr stayed in the circle with the Obelisk guarding it much as I had done seemingly hours ago. Out of nowhere many of the “lost” adventurers came back, and Tonzen came back as well, without any of his Jester helpers. We rallied together and were able to take him down, still holding the green orb. Somebody foolishly touched it and died, but luckily there was one life spell left. Tonzen’s body did not crumble or dissipate, and we were not sure what to do with it. Fearing he would revive at any moment, we took him to the celestial circle and I began identification. Every now and then the hand holding the orb would twitch and move on its own. Not wanting Tonzen to revive inside the circle, we took him back outside. Kylou’s Hat had the idea to use the Obelisk to seek through Tonzen’s memories for information we could use. I wasn’t so willing to have that sort of experience again, nor was I willing to listen to the suggestions of a hat. First Kylou and Nymbus held Tonzen to the monument, and then I reluctantly joined them. Luckily so, for they had not been present at many gathers and did not know what information to seek. Through this and the identification, we learned that Tonzen is a Green Dragon Knight sealed within the body of a Death Master, created by Traegor. He undertook this willingly, and lives because the green orb is bound to his spirit.
Just as we were getting somewhere, believing that we may have saved this Obelisk from Traegor’s grasp, green mist poured out of the Orb and surrounded us. When I looked up, I was staring into the maw of the Drakeolich.
Traegor revived Tonzen, picked up the Obelisk, and rifted away. And we could do nothing but watch.
After the danger had passed and showed no sign of returning, we spent some time counting our friends and looking for bodies. Once everyone was accounted for, we all gratefully sought our beds, and through sheer exhaustion were able to sleep.