8 – 15 Lamashan 4712
Using his in-depth knowledge of Thassilonian history, the elf wizard Gedryr deduced that the riddle involved Sorshen, Runelord of Lust, the Lady, and Karzoug, Runelord of Greed, who appeared to be making an offering, the Lie.
WhenKellfrid embraced the two statues, a golden mist formed in the empty alcove, and steeling themselves for whatever lies ahead, our heroes walked into the mist. They then found themselves in another chamber, higher in the Lady’s Light. A seven walled, heptagonal chamber, its stone polished to a reflective sheen. Red metal doors sat in the walls, two five foot wide mosaics of a coiled serpent were set slightly offset from the rooms’ center in the floor.
As the group was getting their bearing, bursting forth through one of the red doors came a woman warrior, clad is gleaming platemail, brandishing a sword and steel shield with the Rune of Lust emblazoned upon it.
“Who are you, fools??” she shouted, “Sorshen’s latest pawns? Her newest play things? Come to finally kill me after she tired of controlling my mind?!? At least she doesn’t force my warriors to shed my blood. Come, fools, let me welcome you to this cursed place with all you deserve! If I fall, tell your bitch mistress, Sorshen, that Oriana, Commander of the Gray Maidens, Defender of the True Queen of Korvosa, died well, and with my sword in my hand!!!!!”
Kellfrid Yngvildrsdottir, ready for a challenge at any time, stepped forward, and announced, “I am Kellfrid Yngvildsdottir!!!” But, before things escalated, Searos Woodsoul stepped forward in FODM, and began to smooth Oriana’s feathers.
It seems Oriana has been made a prisoner since she refused to kill the half-orc witch, Maroux, and during that time, she’s begun to question this “Sorshen.”
With Searos and the group filling in some blanks for the Gray Maiden, she suddenly saw clearly that she’s been duped, and hungers for revenge.
Formulating a plan, and utilizing the resources at the group’s disposal to combat this false Sorshen, Ashamintallu’s, greatest strength, mind control and compulsion. Also, they agreed to let Searos take the lead, and call out “Sorshen” for what she truly is, the demon-spawn, Ashamintallu.
Ready, the group then followed Oriana’s instructions on how to activate the next teleportation device, then, when a shimmering curtain of golden magic appeared, they entered. Ready for combat.
Arriving at their destination, the private boudoir for Ashamintallu. who seemed less than surprised to see the motley crew appear in her presence, the group prepared for action.
“Sorshen” spoke honeyed words, “Ah…Oriana, my love, this is an unexpected treat. And you’ve brought me new supplicants? Welcome, you’ve arrived just in time; my latest plaything seems to have lost her allure when she lost her life.” She motions to a dead woman hanging from the ceiling.
“Perhaps one of you could pleasure me a bit longer? Which of you think you could pleasure Sorshen, Runelord of Lust? You, perhaps, half breed. You look as though you could satisfy. The dwarf and that…is that man or a woman? Either way, both are so foul, they disturb me. And you, elf, you can watch. You look like you like to observe or play the submissive.”
“Anyway, Oriana…since you returned, is this an indication that you’ve had a change of heart from our last conversation? Are you ready to bring me that filthy witch’s head? Please go now, and take those two hairy beasts with you. And you two…come closer, and undress…”
Itching for a fight, our heroes and their new ally held fast, while Searos confronted the demon using her true name. Ashamintallu attempted to laugh off this confrontation, but her mind began to rebel. As Searos and his comrades continued the verbal confrontation, Ashamintallu’s mind finally broke and, shrieking with the horror of realization, she reverted to her true, alu-demon form.
And, it was on.
Flying high above, Ashamintallu began to cast Charm and Confusion spells on the group, hoping to dominate them, taking them out of the fight. But, our heroes prepared properly and were able to repel these attacks.
Well, most of our heroes.
Gedryr, the elf wizard, succumbed to a Confusion spell as was left a babbling, self-mutilating, comrade harming shell of the wizard he is.
Spells and arrows flew as Ashamintallu maintained her aerial superiority over the group. Fireballs from the demon tore into the group, while Gurion and Oriana’s arrows landed true, with Kellfrid positioning herself for Icicle strikes when the demon flew past.
The fight was a brutal slog of attrition, with the demon seizing the advantage when her Phantasmal Killer spell felled Kellfrid.
With their fighter dead, the group, except for Gedryr, who was busy being a cutter, rallied to each other, the specter of their death close at hand. But, soon, Ashaminatllu ran out of spells, and thinking she had softened up the group enough, landed to cut a path through them with her magical guisarme.
A few strokes from this guisarme seemed to spell doom for our heroes, but Searos kept them alive channeling Erastil’s healing power when death seemed imminent. Haughty and full of villainous confidence, Ashamintallu began to move blindly, thinking of the kill, and not her surroundings.
It was then that her luck wore off.
Striding in to unleash death, Ashamintallu placed herself between the Gray Maiden, Oriana, and the dwarf ranger, Gurion, whose brutal Stealth Attack caught the demon unaware and now, trapped between Sea, Gurion’s hammer, and Oriana’s magical longsword, Ashamintallu was soon laid low.
With Ashamintallu dead, and the wizard finally regaining his mind, the group hurried to Kellfrid. Trying to heal the Ulfen Shield Maiden proved fruitless, and again, the second time in two days, our heroes mourned a fallen comrade.
But, there was no time to grieve, as the search for the Shard must continue. Finding a teleportation device to Ashamintallu’s treasure room, the group found what they’ve searched for, a triangular shard of red metal: the Shard of Lust.
Claiming their prize, and cleaning out the rest of the treasure, the group then set to work attending to their fallen dead. Rhondal, a lover of the sexual pleasures, they placed in Sorshen’s bed, is a position violating the corpse of Ashamintallu.
The three remaining Heroes smiled at the memory of their comrade, and thought Rhondal would want to be laid to rest this way.
And then the Shield Maiden was placed in a boat with her arms and armor, which was set adrift then fired. A proper funeral for an Ulfen warrior.
Sorrow washed over Gurion as he watched his longtime friend’s body consumed by the flames; the dreams of the adventures they planned to share, now gone, drifting away like the smoke from the fire.
After resting for the night, the group, with Oriana, left the Lady’s Light.
Passing through the boggard village, the chieftain, Daghop, is thrilled to see his “mighty warriors” return, although not thrilled to see a Gray Maiden. Wishing the group well, but not offering them an opportunity to stay, the group left the boggards behind.
Trudging again through the swamp, the air cooler than their previous trek, the group decided to touch base with the troglodytes to confirm their trade agreement with them. As they approached, Gedryr and Searos heard a bombastic, familiar voice. It belonged to Jasper Kandamerus who, confusing the directions, began to walk to the Cape when he was supposed to meet the group.
At any rate, he learned from Maroux the witch that the group had passed through already, following, he found the troglodytes adrift, in need of leadership and guidance. The kind of leadership and guidance Groteus and his herald could provide.
The troglodytes, revived under Jasper’s guidance, are excited work with “man-folk” to gather herbs and excited for what tomorrow will bring for their clan. Well, as excited for tomorrow as worshippers of Groteus, who believe the end of the world is at hand, can be.
But, alas, all’s well that ends well.
Spending the night with the troglodytes (outside, in their tent), the group pushed on early the next morning, the sound of Jasper’s preaching echoing from the caves, they headed to Maroux’s. Finding Maroux in need of Kelpie’s Hair, Gurion and Oriana, headed to the shipwreck to gather more while Searos and Gedryr rubbed Maroux’s trick hip.
Another night was spent with Maroux who told the group who to get back to Magnimar if they didn’t want to wait two weeks for the boat.
So off they went, passing four grueling days in the swamp. On the fifth, they saw the Yondabakari River and the road to Magnimar.