Wednesday, October 14th, 758, Willowmourn, Amaans, Ustalav.
Katarzyna returns to the Willowmourn Palace with Kestra, a Banshee Caliban.
Jean-Baptiste returns to the Willowmourn Palace in a carriage with Lydia and an elf.
Vilkurr returns to the Palace from his travels with his squire.
Kendra returns to the Palace with Ashira, a fey.
Ostovach returns to the Palace with his sister.
Katarzyna tries to find Kendra, but returns to the room to make sure Kestra is okay.
They are summoned to the dining room. Jean-Baptiste tells them his account of the attack two days prior, with Flendelene and the shadowy undead who was once Abner.
Lucinean Galdana greets them, and asks Kendra about her mission. Kendra tells him that Ashira is present at the palace. Katarzyna gives Galdana the report from Marcus and that 40 Caliban, mainly Brutes, are committed to the cause. He also asks Vilkurr about his successes. Maryn asks after Marcus. Jean-Baptiste also gives Galdana a report from a man named Richard. Ostovach says that he has gathered a force of hobbits and halflings, with Grewin’s help.
Coming through the window, a shape darts in, but it is only Kendra’s pseudodragon.
Galdana tells them that there is an army of undead at the border, on the western half of the Gorcha Pass. He wants them to gather more allies to help hold them at Gorcha Pass. He mentions Malleus, an ancient vampire, who the Whispering Way is trying to get help from. He wants them to speak with Rhakis Szadro, in the hopes that the werewolves will ally with them. He also wants them to speak with the vampires of Caliphas. He also wants them to take a missive to Prince Aduard Ordranti. He also tells them that the nation of Canterwall and Tamrivena need to be apprised of the situation. He also asks if there is a chance that they could speak with Dissayn. He wants Katarzyna, Kendra and Jean-Baptiste to speak with Prince Ordranti and Luvick Siervage in Caliphas.
Jean-Baptiste takes Cassandra aside and tells her that he can help her remember things about the Whispering Way if she will submit to some kind of interrogation. Gregore will take Vilkurr and Ostovach to see Rhakis Szadro.
Galdana clears the room, and everyone leaves except himself, Malachi, Kendra, Biddreog, Jean-Baptiste, Katarzyna, and Raziel. He wants Katarzyna to Teleport to Lepidstadt, and bring Judge Daramid back with her, for a meeting of Esoteric Order of the Palatine Eye.
Meanwhile, Kendra is trying to identify a book, with the help of a creature with the shape of a fox. She gives her name as Lachala, She says she is from Nirvana. Bh’oggax is the name of the Dark Tapestry creature that Kendra contacts to learn about the book. The creature tells her that it is a Manual of War, and that it is for a warrior. She asks about ways to exit Ravenloft. It tells her that one of the portals that leads away from Ravenloft is in Lamordia, and another is in the Shadow Rift. He says that they could make a change on such a grand scale that the darkness spews them out of its mouth. Malachi enters and speaks with Lachala.
Katarzyna Teleports to Lepidstadt with Jean-Baptiste. They arrive in the townhouse, in the upstairs hallway. They speak with the guard that Kendra had hired. They make their way to Judge Daramid’s house. They are shown into Judge Daramid’s drawing room by the butler. He brings them tea and crumpets. They await the judge, who joins them presently. Katarzyna apprises her of the situation. She agrees to return with them. She makes arrangements with Malcolm to let everyone know that she will be gone for a while. They all return to Willowmourn, and they rejoin the others.
Galdana and Kendra take a short drive to Kavapesta. They take a ferry across the river. They meet with Galdana’s manservent Henri and make arrangments for the night’s meeting of the Eye. They are joined later by Jean-Baptiste, Katarzyna and Judge Daramid.
Galdana urges each of them to issue a challenge, and Jean-Baptiste and Kendra are enthusiastic about the idea, and Katarzyna agrees after a little more urging.
Galdana acts as Kendra’s Malakim for her duel. Kendra also agrees to act as Katarzyna’s Malakim for her duel. Kendra’s duel will entail either reading the other person’s aura, historical knowledge, and creature summoning. Jean-Baptiste’s challenge will be a choice of alchemy, gunsmithing, or planar knowledge. Katarzyna’s challenge will involve historical knowledge, magical knowledge and linguistic knowledge. Judge Embreth agrees to act as Jean-Baptiste’s Malakim. Jean-Baptiste decides to go for two challenges.
They all change into their robes for the night’s meeting. They are brought to a butcher shop, and once inside, they’re shown through the meat locker, and a disused section of the city sewer. They wend their way through the city, for several hundred meters away from their original location.
They arrive at the site of the meeting, and give their Palatine Eye names. They are shown into the main chamber. They go through about 20 minutes of rituals. The leader tells Galdana/Rahotep to address the assembly. He mentions the Whispering Way and Adivion Adressant. They notice that Daramid has now reached the rank of Cherubim. They all advance one rank, and Kendra ascends to the Second Throne. Kendra/Amsarsatarta becomes an Authority. Katarzyna/Meshkenet becomes a Principal. Jean-Baptiste/Sebek-hu becomes an Archangel. And this is before their challenges.
Kendra stands up and issues the challenge for Katarzyna. The hapless Authority, Hetmus stands and is recognized. Daramid calls out Sebek-hu as a challenger. He challenges Menetho. Galdana issues the challenges Basa in the name of Amsarsatarta. Basa chooses Sebek-hu as her Malakim and he accepts.
The challenges begin. The Malakim for Hetmus approaches Kendra, and tells her that Hetmus will accept the challenge for Knowledge Arcane. The first challenge is Katarzyna’s. She wins her challenge, making her an Authority, Hetmus grudgingly gives her his scarab, and regards her darkly as he moves back to the Third Throne. Jean-Baptiste and Menetho perform their alchemy challenge, and Jean-Baptiste wins handily, becoming a Principal. Kendra also wins her challenge, and gains the Virtue rank.
Jean-Baptiste looks at Judge Daramid, and he names Kendra as his Malakim. He wants to challenge a second person. The girl he challenges, Delilah, asks Katarzyna to be her Malakim. Katarzyna tries to help the girl, but she loses badly to Jean-Baptiste. Katarzyna also tries to smooth things over with Hetmus, but is unable to make much of an impression. Kendra is much more successful chatting up Basa/Felicity. They socialize with the others of the Order at the end of the meeting, and finally make their way back to the estate.
Daramid and Galdana say that they’re going to put out the word to the other chapter houses to get the best minds on the matter of battling the Whispering Way.
There are Pharasman priests at the boathouse who wheedle and whine at Galdana for a bit. Katarzyna appears with Raziel to sort of intimidate the Pharasman priests, and they are duly cowed. Katarzyna does not really address the Kavapesta Pharasman clergy, but they are well aware of Katarzyna and her standing with Pharasma.
Jean-Baptiste tells Katarzyna about his experience with the Dream Journal of the Pallid Seer, and how it saved him in the fight against Flendelene. It parallels Katarzyna’s own experience with the tome. As they arrive at Willowmourn Manor, they are greeted by the fey generals, General Sybilla and Ashira. Jean-Baptiste also introduces Katarzyna to Ashira.
They all retire to their quarters. Jean-Baptiste is greeted by Lydia, who awakens when he returns.
Thursday, October 15th, 758, Willowmourn, Amaans, Ustalav.
In the morning, they see Galdana’s mother, Claudia, who greets them at breakfast. She thanks them for all the help they’re giving.
They are discussing what they are going to do. Jean-Baptiste, Kendra, and Katarzyna are going to Caliphas to speak with Prince Aduard Ordranti and Luvick Siervage. In the hallway, they see Adamar Farel. He says he is there to spar with Claudia Galdana. She arrives shortly thereafter, in her armor ready to spar with him.
Katarzyna approaches Kestra, who is speaking with Galdana. They hear a window shatter. They discover that General Sybilla accidentally threw a dagger. They have a brief conversation with Grewin, he is melancholy because of what happened to Flendelene.
Lydia comes down to show Jean-Baptiste a book. It has an entry on Tar-Baphon, which he shares with Katarzyna.
Galdana says that the fact that the army is on Galdana’s doorstep tells them that they haven’t found a way to achieve the awakening of Tar Baphon without Galdana. Jean-Baptiste seems convinced that Galdana is the phylactery for Tar Baphon, but Kendra tells him she doesn’t think so.
Jean-Baptiste, Kendra and Katarzyna teleport to the environs of Dissayn’s domain. They are met by her minions, who lead them to the Garden of Lead. They take the same precautions against inhaling the noxious fumes. They parley with Dissayn and manage to convince her to lend her aid. She will not risk herself, but she does pledge the aid of her ’menagerie’. She has magma oozes, adamantine golems, and other creatures. He gives her two wands that he has had on his person. They are the wands of Control Undead and Create Undead. She promises them that if they can convince Luvick to take the field, she will also take the field against Malleus.
They take their leave, and teleport to Caliphas. They arrive at the Haraday Theater, and then head into the city to seek an audience with Prince Aduard Ordranti. They make their way to the palace directly and present their missives from Galdana. They speak with his steward. They are served tea, wine, whiskey and various cheeses. They wait for a while until the prince deigns to speak with them.
They are joined by Marakis Vashalt, the investigator. She is rude to them, but Katarzyna is unfailingly nice in spite of the rudeness. They are brought to another room, and they see Diauden and the Royal Accuser, Herald Lackmore. They speak with them about the forces arrayed against the undead army gathered at Ghorcha Pass.
Jean-Baptiste gives Herald Lackmore the missive for the Eye. He reads through the letter. They see Larsa as they make their way to the Prince’s receiving room. They speak with the Prince, who is receptive to their plea. He tells them about a couple of books, ‘Hunter’s Moon’ and ‘Feast of the Nosferatu’, and it’s rumored that they are the stories of Elsan Kindler. They are taken to another antechamber while the prince deliberates with his advisors. When they return, the prince agrees to help. They are given notes that imbue them status and authority under the auspices of the Prince.
Later that night, they make their way to Lady Evgenya, and from there they proceed to Luvick Siervage’s audience chamber. They see a regal-looking vampire woman come in, and Evgenya introduces her as The Countess. They give Luvick the same pitch they gave Dissayn, tailored for his own interests, of course. Luvick promises 500 vampires, under the command of the Countess. The Countess agrees to go with them as Luvick’s representative. She agrees to meet them in an hour at the conservatory.
They return to see the prince, and he is joined by Lord General Hawthorne. Prince Aduard Ordranti agrees to lead 5,000 troops from Caliphas, and all the other counties of Ustalav will be sending troops as well.
They return to the conservatory, and they take the Countess to parley with Dissayn. The Countess parleys on behalf of Luvic Siervage, an they come to an agreement. If Luvick Siervage agrees to take the field directly against Malleus, Dissayn will as well, and the hope is that with their combined efforts, Malleus will be destroyed, dealing a significant blow to Adivion’s forces.
Friday, October 16th, 758, Willowmourn, Amaans, Ustalav.
In the wee hours of the morning, they return to Willowmourn with Countess Siervage. They introduce the Countess to Galdana and explain the troop movements of the vampires, Dissayn’s minions, and Prince Ordranti’s forces. Marcus arrives in Willowmourn just as they adjourn. Vilkurr is introduced to Countess Siervage. Gregor Lupin joins them, and General Sybilla is also present. She says she is a ‘leanan sídh’, a type of fey not common in Ustalav. Katarzyna introduces her to Jean-Baptiste.
They receive news that the town of Ruwido in Virlych has fallen to the hordes of undead under control of the Whispering Way. They see people come in wearing garb of the Order of the Palatine Eye. Felicity is among them, also known as Basa.
At dinner, a guard presents Azra, a survivor of the battle of Ruwido. She is a cleric of Desna, and is wearing a holy symbol. She is seated near Jean-Baptiste and Vilkurr. She writes on a pad. Jean-Baptiste has heard of Desna, and Azra is pleased that he is familiar with the faith. They learn from Azra that Ruwido was mainly populated with Caliban. Azra tells Jean-Baptiste that she often pretends to be Pharasman, since the faith of Desna is not widely appreciated.
Later during dinner, General Hawthorne arrives. Vilkurr doesn’t know who he is, but his squire identifies him. Talk turns to the list of forces gathered. Ostovach arrives with his sister Diona, who is introduced to the people she doesn’t know.
Saturday, October 17th, 758, Willowmourn, Amaans, Ustalav.
Galdana, Daramid and another high-ranking Palatine Eye member speak with the group early in the morning. They bring a list for them to recruit Palatine Eye people from all over Ustalav. They go to Tamrivena first, grabbing some books and as well as the people on their list. Katarzyna, Kendra and Gregore all go. They notice that Tamrivena is relatively empty, having already sent a lot of people to Amaans. Among the people they are bringing back is Irwin Caraphon, Palatine Eye name Ramontoka, one of the nine Seraphs of the Esoteric Order of the Palatine Eye.
Katarzyna uses a total of 12 Teleport spells, and she brings Gregore on three of her trips, and Kendra on two of them, so they can Teleport back with more people. They bring a lot of people to Willowmourn this way.
The next trip is to Caliphas, where they pick up Abraun Chalest and Edjureous Modd. They also pick up Lacramoria. She is hesitant at first, but when Katarzyna explains the multilateral forces assembled at Willowmourn, she is much less anxious about anti-Vistani bias. Edjureus Modd is quite rude to Katarzyna before she teleports him and Lacramoria and Abraun Chalest back to Willowmourn. Katarzyna just ignores Modd, since he has always been rude and dismissive toward her.
Sunday, October 18th, 758, Willowmourn, Amaans, Ustalav.
The next morning, Katarzyna learns that Vilkurr, Ostovach, Azra and Selene went to Castle Rialla, and on toward Ruwido for reconnaissance. There was talk that Vilkurr struck down a giant with one swing of his weapon.
In the morning, Irwin Caraphon/Ramontoka introduces himself to Jean-Baptiste. He realizes that Caraphon is one of the nine Seraphs of the Order. Irwin tells Jean-Baptiste that he knew Inspector Farren. They also talk about the realms outside of Ravenloft. Later, Jean-Baptiste seeks out Abraun Chalest, and they catch up.
Amid all the talks, they hear grumblings about people training with Cassandra being unhappy that they are continually bested by her.
Lucinean Galdana gives Katarzyna another list of Palatine Eye members to fetch. Lacramoria already proves helpful, using her abilities to help Katarzyna see the places that she hasn’t personally been to before, so she can Teleport to those locations.
Corvischoir, in Varno, is Katarzyna’s first stop. Gregore and Kendra again accompany Katarzyna. The city seems very sparsely populated. They make their way to the city administration building to find the first person on their list, Imokhai. The man they talk to tells them that Imokhai hadn’t reported for work that morning, and so they are guided to the woman’s home. They find her and her servants dead. They visit the other names on their list, and find everyone dead in the next three houses they visit. Gregore is disgusted with Katarzyna’s cold, clinical detachment as she surveys the scenes of torture. They do find one man, Thomas, alive. He is scared, but he is eager to get out of Corvischoir.
They teleport back to Willowmourn, where they discover that the fey forces have been hit. They also learn that Grewin was among the fey, recuperating with them. When Jean-Baptiste questions the wounded survivor of the fey massacre, he says they were attacked by shadows and “nuckelavee”, which is a demon fey with horse-like features.
General Sybilla uses Dimension Door to get herself, Ashira, Gregore, Jean-Baptiste, Kendra and Katarzyna closer and closer to the area of fey woods, which gets misty and smokey as they penetrate the interior. They pass the bodies of several dead fey as they get closer to the area. Katarzyna dispassionately examines the bodies, trying to determine cause of death. They see three grotesque centaur-like creatures come out of the mists, and Katarzyna hits them with an Undeath To Death spell, which destroys two of them outright. Gregore shoots a column of flame at the remaining one. Kendra shoots it, knocking a leg out from under it. General Sybilla and Ashira both attack it as well. Jean-Baptiste manages to score the final hit on the remaining creature.
They investigate the area. General Sybilla is tearful as she tells them that she knew the creatures who attacked them in life, before they were turned into the undead creatures. They were cervitaurs. They find more bodies, including someone in black robes, with the jaw missing, obviously a Whispering Way acolyte. They hear the sounds of battle up ahead, and run toward it.
They push in, and they see Grewin fighting. There are six of the creatures. Queen Wibbnera is also fighting. Katarzyna throws a lighting bolt at one of the nuckelavees. It charges at Katarzyna, spewing her with acid. Gregore runs in and pulses, healing a flagging Myphina and several of the other fey who were looking close to death. The creature attacks Katarzyna again, doing a lot of damage. She casts Horrid Wilting for the first time, targeting both the nuckelavees, killing the one near her and Jean-Baptiste, and severely wounding the other. The living one screams in pain, and whirls around to face them, screaming threats in Sylvan. Katarzyna returns the insult, and Jean-Baptiste kills it before it can attack either of them. Katarzyna sees some fey who are not faring well against the zombie centaur, so she fires off a Magic Missile and yells at the creature.
At that moment, the shadowy form of Abner attacks Jean-Baptiste, doing massive damage. Gregore calls Abner’s name, and hits him with a spell of searing light. Ashira attacks the same zombie centaur that Katarzyna just attacked. General Sybilla attacks Abner, but does almost no damage. Abner continues to attack Jean-Baptiste, but Katarzyna hits him with two Magic Missiles in quick succession, causing Abner to howl in pain. Gregore casts a spell, and everyone is given all sorts of healing properties. Jean-Baptiste makes several unsuccessful attacks against Abner, and finally in frustration channels positive energy to do enormous damage to Abner. Abner attacks Jean-Baptiste again, and wounds him seriously. He then goes after Kendra. Gregore goes to Jean-Baptiste and restores him to full health.
Katarzyna continues to shoot Magic Missiles at Abner, and then Kendra shoots him with a bullet imbued with ghost touch properties. He screams, but implores her to go with him, to be with him forever. His form starts to dissipate. His last words are ‘my love’ as he dies the final death.
They hear Queen Wibbnera and General Sybilla arguing. Jean-Baptiste, with a little help from Katarzyna, manage to convince General Sybilla of the wisdom of staying steadfast with Galdana’s cause.
There is a great deal of sadness among the fey. Queen Wibbnera hands each of them a small strand of grass with small flowers. The bracelet marks each of them as a friend of the fey. She gives encouraging words to General Sybilla.
They make their way back to Willowmourn. When they arrive, they speak with Galdana, and he shows them a note from Vilkurr.The note says there are 15,000 undead headed their way.
Katarzyna, Galdana, Jean-Baptiste, Gregore and Kendra teleport to Castle Zurrod. They speak with Vilkurr, Lydia Riala, Sylvia Riala, and the butler Hanse. Galdana speaks with Katarzyna alone at the end of this conversation. He tells her of Galdana’s Folly, the library that he built in Kavapesta. He gifts it to Katarzyna, as her reward and her responsibility, much in the way he gifted Zurrod Keep to Vilkurr.
Tuesday, October 20th, 758, Zurrod Keep, Amaans, Ustalav
Kendra, Ostovach, Vilkurr, Katarzyna, Selene, Azra and Jean-Baptiste are at Zurrod Keep. Cassandra, Gregore, Jominda, Lydia, Embreth all arrive early. Before giving her the day’s list of people to find and bring back, Galdana and Daramid talk to Katarzyna about being ‘battlefield promoted’ to a higher rank, so that lower-ranked members of the forces will obey her directives without deliberation. She accepts the promotion without comment.
They go to Carrion Hill, and find that two of the six people on their list were murdered. Herald McMann, a dwarf, is the highest ranking of the ones present, he is a Cherubim. A woman named Lisle, a warrior, is also among the surviving Palatine Eye members.
The next stop is Castle Ordranto in Ordranto. Herald McMann goes with them to smooth the way. The guards are startled at their arrival, but Herald McMann helps out in that regard. A skinny, disheveled human arrives, Count Muralt. Herald speaks to him in Akiri.
It’s evening by the time they return to Willowmourn, without the count but with the others that they came to get. They get a report that there had been another attack.
Lacramoria rushes in to let them know that a large force is assaulting the troops at Tamrivena. Katarzyna brings Cassandra, Lisle, Herald McMann/Ratuhaman and Dragos to Zurrod Keep. Kendra, Vilkurr and Jean-Baptiste are already there. They two groups meet and discuss the approaching undead forces. Vilkurr sends out riders to warn the villagers at Stonydown.
They all sit down to dinner and Jean-Baptiste, Katarzyna, and Lisle discuss the planet Earth, specifically Norway, where Lisle is from, and the various science marvels in the year 2218, including The Web, an information resource that spans the entire plane. They also discuss the fact that magic and science tend to destroy each other in a given plane, with one inevitably winning out over the other on most Prime Material planes. They hear raucous celebrations coming from outside the keep, and Dragos cheers them from the window.
Wednesday, October 21, 758, Zurrod Keep, Amaans, Ustalav
The next day, Gregore presents them with scrolls of overland flight and potions of invisibility to undead. Jean-Baptiste and Herald McMann go scouting for the undead forces. Stephan asks Vilkurr to allow Dragos and Kendra to start vetting the leaders of the garrison to make sure there are no Whispering Way agents among them.
Through Raziel, Katarzyna relays to Kendra, Vilkurr and Dragos questions from Jean-Baptiste and Herald McMann. They discover that the force is comprised of about a thousand undead, led by a draugr lord. Dragos knows a good deal about the draugr, relaying questions and information to Jean-Baptiste and Herald through Raziel and Katarzyna.
Late in the evening, Katarzyna Teleports to Raziel’s location, and grabs Jean-Baptiste and Herald McMann and Teleports them all to Stonydown. Then Katarzyna and Raziel Teleport to Willowmourn. She returns to Zurrod Keep at Galdana’s behest after reporting to him.
Thursday, October 22, 758, Environs of Zurrod Keep, Amaans, Ustalav
Katarzyna has Raziel fly reconnaissance to make sure there are no other forces converging, since Stepan warns her that the main force might be a distraction. They march toward the location they expect to engage the enemy.
Friday, October 23, 758, Battlefield outside of Zurrod Keep, Amaans, Ustalav, and Karcau, Ustalav
In the early hours of the morning, Ostovach tells them that he has made contact with the enemy. They fight the draugr lord and his minions, with the help of Gregore Lupin’s werewolf forces, Selene’s dragoons, and the Zurrod pikemen. The archers remained behind at Zurrod Keep.
They attack the draugr lord, Kharstoff, and destroy him and his nightmare steed very quickly. The battle elsewhere goes well also. Ostovach and Kendra’s legions take out the hordes of undead with seeming ease, aided by Selene’s dragoons. When Kendra examines Kharstoff’s items, she discovers that he was noted for having killed a linorm. His sword is known as Wingbreaker. It is a dragon’s bane weapon. Kendra actually manages to contact the spirit of Kharstoff himself, who is glad to be free of his undeath, and cooperative with Kendra’s questions. He gives her all sorts of information about his items. His bow is known as The Hunstman, which will help the weilder locate and capture quarry. He also has a cloak of magic resistance. His headband is made from the bone of the linorm, and it makes the wearer more alluring and commanding. He had slain a fjord linorm. The hide armor is made from the linorm’s hide, and protects the wearer from cold. During this time, Jean-Baptiste orders the soldiers to gather as many bones as they can from the battlefield, so he can make an alchemical compound that will destroy mindless undead.
Katarzyna Teleports everyone to Stonydown, then goes to Willowmourn to speak with Galdana about what had happened.
Stonydown: Jean-Baptiste and Kendra coordinate with the forces in the village, then return to Zurrod Keep.
Zurrod Keep: Vilkurr rides from Stonydown back to Zurrod Keep. He greets Sylvia and Lydia, and Vilkurr, Lisle, Cassandra and Sylvia have luncheon together. Gregore arrives and tells Vilkurr that he has been summoned to Willowmourn.
Galdana Manor: There is hustle and bustle at Galdana’s manor as Katarzyna returns, and Malachi and Galdana destroyed the assassin with Malachi retaining his dog form. Katarzyna gives her report to Galdana, who then sends her to Karcau to find a woman named Sothkhons. Daramid teaches Katarzyna some Words of Power before she leaves. Sothkons is a tall, ebon-skinned woman, very regal looking. She is from the Verduous Lands, south of Sri Raji, near the Plateau, in what is known as the Wild Lands. She is powerful, pragmatic, and matter-of-fact. She is one of the nine Seraphim.
Gregore, Ostovach and Katarzyna teleport to Karcau in the early afternoon. They teleport to the grounds of the Lady Sothkon’s estate. Katarzyna speaks an Akiri greeting, and the gates open to allow her through. A golem guard questions her, and she is let into the estate. Another golem starts to question her as she enters the manor, but the lady N’Kiru/Sothkons speaks with Katarzyna directly. Her servant Andrej brings her bags. While the Lady N’Kiru gathers her things, Andrej serves brandy to Katarzyna and her companions. They make small talk as they Lady N’Kiru gathers her things, and then Gregore teleports them all back to Willowmourn. As they are making the shift through the magical portals, Katarzyna muses absently that it had been so long since she had been back to her hometown, and odd that she didn’t see any of it.
Embreth and N’Kiru greet each other warmly. Edjureus Modd nods curtly. Katarzyna doesn’t sense a great deal of amity or respect between Edjureus and N’Kiru. Lucinean says hello to N’Kiru then warmly greets Andrej. Woodhouse, N’Kiru’s clockwork familiar and Raziel fly up to the rafters, where they regard each other curiously. Ashira, the fey, is also in the rafters, though she doesn’t pay much attention to the two birds. Katarzyna returns to her rooms at the Willowmourn manor.
Vilkurr returns to Willowmourn with Gregore and Cassandra. Jominda joins them at dinner. Jominda and Katarzyna have a rather awkward conversation. Jominda muses how much they’ve all changed since they started ‘adventuring’. Jominda, like Gregore, is dismayed at the change in Katarzyna’s demeanor since their time in Ravengro and Lepidstadt. She remarks that when it’s all over, the group will probably scatter to the ends of Ustalav. She says Katarzyna will probably build a ‘castle in the sky’ and leave them all.
Katarzyna retires after speaking with Galdana. She also speaks briefly with Marcus on her way to her rooms. She also sees a light in the library, where she finds Lydia engrossed in research on Tar Baphon.
Lucinean Galdana has a digestif with Vilkurr, and grills him about Lydia and Sylvia Riala, but Vilkurr assure him that the women are not exerting undue influence upon himself.
Saturday, October 24, 758, Willowmourn, Amaans, Ustalav
The next morning, they all meet for breakfast. Katarzyna, Cassandra, Gregore and Vilkurr are being sent north to deal with the forces threatening Tamrivena, Ostovach is being sent east with Azra. Embreth and N’Kiru come in, and two of N’Kiru’s golems attend them. N’Kiru offers Katarzyna numerous spell scrolls. She also gives her wands of Fireball and Burning Hands.
Jean-Baptiste and Kendra arrive, and are quickly brought up to speed. They all teleport to the environs of Marion Leigh. They talk with a ferry man, who is loathe to take them across the river, so Katarzyna uses Dimension Door to get them across. Raziel gives her reconaissance information. Gregore casts Angelic Aspect, and flies to engage the enemy. Jean-Baptiste uses his Dragon’s Breath to destroy a large group of them in one shot. Katarzyna sets off an Undeath to Death and destroys a huge swath of undead. Gregore, Jean-Baptiste and Vilkurr fly above the crowd of skeletons and destroy vast numbers of them with each attack, and Katarzyna fires off Fireballs and Undeath to Death spells from behind a wall of Reverse Gravity that keeps the encroaching hordes of undead from reaching her. The battle is over in about a minute. The ferryman is agape as he witnesses the carnage all around the group. Jean-Baptiste and Gregore see that the battle on the other side of Marian Leigh is going poorly, so they fly over to that front. Gregore grabs Katarzyna and Vilkurr grabs Cassandra, and they all fly over.
Katarzyna and Raziel try to find areas to make strategic attacks or distractions to help sway the battle. Raziel spots the command area of the enemy camp. Gregore tries to help using his abilities, and Kendra, Cassandra, Vilkurr and Jean-Baptiste all fan out and do what they can to help. Katarzyna sends Raziel to tell Jean-Baptiste about the command post. Jean-Baptiste mutters that the creature directing the enemy camp resembles a necrophidias.
They all converge at the tower where the people of Marian Leigh are directing the battle. One of the women at the top of the tower, the mage Akane, says that the creature is a gasha-dokurou from Rokushima Taiyoo. Bolindiel is the dwarven general of the forces at Marian Leigh who are attacking the creature.
They decide to teleport into the midst of the forces. Vilkurr attacks the gasha-dokurou, and Gregore casts a Flame Strike. Gregore also casts a Blade Barrier, followed by Katarzyna’s Undeath To Death, which destroys all the wights. The gasha-dokurou then attacks Katarzyna and Kendra with its breath weapon, while Vilkurr dangles from its jaws. The gasha-dokurou swallows Vilkurr, but Vilkurr does a tremendous amount of damage to it from inside the creature’s rib cage, killing the creature.
They continue the fight, destroying the armies of undead attacking. Katarzyna uses two areas of Hungry Darkness to channel the remaining undead into a small area. There are more powerful wights attacking the dwarves on the left flank, so Katarzyna and Kendra focus their efforts there. They throw spells for a few minutes, doing massive damage with Fireballs and similar spells, and Katarzyna teleports herself, Jean-Baptiste, and Kendra back to the tower. They participate in the now-dwindling battle until the last of the enemy forces are defeated.
The general’s name is Harris Lionel. He asks that the heroes who made the difference go among the troops of Marian Leigh and bolster their flagging morale. The garrison of Marian Leigh lost 700 footmen, 100 horsemen, 10 archers, and 110 dwarven defenders. The mage Akane is the leading mage in the fight, and she is from Rokushima Taiyoo. Katarzyna spends some time asking her about the land and its history.
Sunday, October 25, 758, Marian Leigh, Canterwall, Ustalav
They spend the day helping the town of Marian Leigh clean up the aftermath of the previous day’s battle. In the early afternoon, they gather and teleport back to Willowmourn. There is a lot going on in the Galdana manor. Katarzyna notices that Lydia is not present in the war council, nor is Hawthorne or the representatives of the Caliban forces.
No one can find Lydia, and it appears that she went in search of a Steward of Tar Baphon before he became the Whispering Tyrant. She was obviously trying to retrace his steps. With Jean-Baptiste’s help, as well as input from Kendra and Diona Ostovach, they discover that the steward, Yenice, was unfailingly loyal to Tar Baphon. Lydia had discovered a small village in Versex, Vauntil, that may be the location of Yenice’s stronghold. Daramid tells them that N’Kiru and Jalene went with Lydia. When Katarzyna mentions Yenice to Kendra, she tells Katarzyna that Yenice had been blessed by Tar Baphon with lichdom. This is news to Katarzyna, since none of the books in the library mention this. Daramid is concerned when she hears that N’Kiru and Lydia might be facing a lich. She returns to the books to look for anything that can help.
Katarzyna tries to find Lacramoria, but can’t. They discover that she may have gone with N’Kiru, Jalene and Lydia. Daramid finds evidence that they may have all gone to an estate just north of Vauntil.
At that moment, they see Grewin knocking on the window. There is a tree, which had not been there before. They ask Grewin to escort Donia Ostovach to Vilkurr Keep.
Katarzyna, Cassandra, Kendra, Gregore, Vilkurr and Jean-Baptiste teleport to the road north of Vauntil. They use the information from Daramid to try to find the estate. The estate is called Saint Laurent. They talk to a farmhand named Samuel, who tries to warn them away. Raziel tells Katarzyna that he has found a golem nearby, and they rush over to where he indicates.
They see one of N’Kiru’s automatons on the beach, and Katarzyna sees a glint on a small islet out in the water. She Dimension Doors over to the rock, and inspects what looks to be an ordinary short sword. Jean-Baptiste spots movement in the water, and yells out for Katarzyna to return to the beach, so she pops back over. It is then that she sees the movement in the water. Jean-Baptiste flies back down to the beach. Kendra sends her third eye to look into the water, and she sees a chuul down in the water. She scouts the area with her third eye, seeing a lair filled with decomposing bodies. She also finds a chamber with pillars and corpses. Through her scouting of the complex, Kendra finds the unconscious form of N’Kiru.
They hear Lydia calling out, and she runs over to them and tells them that N’Kiru had been attacked by the leviathan before she could react. Lydia is distraught, but tells them that Lacramoria and Jalene are safe at the inn at Vauntil. They decide to teleport down to where Kendra saw N’Kiru, and release her from the manacles, then teleport down to the chuul’s cave. Katarzyna uses Reverse Gravity to discombobulate the creature. It manages to catch itself before going very far, but it does have to spend a little time gathering itself. Vilkurr and Cassandra roll up and attack the chuul, and Cassandra breaks its leg. Katarzyna casts Boneshatter on it, and the creature suffers the full effect of the spell, writhing in pain and exhausted. Kendra casts Parchment Swarm, and also does an incredible amount of damage. They continue to pummel the creature, and Jean-Baptiste manages to sink his rapier into one of the creature’s lungs, causing the creature to fall almost into unconsciousness. Jean-Baptiste finishes the creature off, after it tells him that the lich is ‘through the chimney’.
They press on through the complex, investigating the other chambers. They find a chamber of darkness. It calls to them, offering them arcane secrets. They manage to avoid its temptations and boasts.
They then investigate the ‘chimney’ that the chuul had spoken of. Jean-Baptiste and Cassandra fly up the chimney, then scramble up the corkscrew turns. Jean-Baptiste finds a secret door at the end of the cavern. The door is unlocked. There is a natural-looking cavern with grooves in the floor. Kendra’s third eye ability is tapped out, so Katarzyna sends Raziel to scout around. Raziel sets off a trap in one of the rooms, and some creatures come out, which Katarzyna recognizes as psurlons, creatures of the astral plane. Psurlons have a robust society with dozens of castes. He also sees an imp, which goes invisible. Jean-Baptiste prepares a concoction which allows him to see invisible creatures, and when the imp comes into the cavern, Katarzyna hits the area with a Glitterdust spell, clearly revealing the creature to everyone. Cassandra kicks the imp into the wall, where it collapses into a heap, stunned. Vilkurr runs up and smacks it with his mace, which seems to kill it. Gregore sprinkles holy water on it, and it starts to burn.
When the imp is killed, they hear Yenice, and he reaffirms his allegiance as the Steward to Tar Baphon. He sends his minions after them, and they dispatch the two psurlons quickly. Then they face Deathbringer, a chuul, the most powerful minion of Yenice. They kill Deathbringer, then Raziel directs them toward where Yenice is. Cassandra is the first to arrive, and Yenice targets her with a Disintigrate spell, but just barely misses her. She pummels him, then her allies arrive. They all pile on Yenice, and despite Katarzyna’s attempt to counterspell, he lets off a spell that outright kills both Katarzyna and Cassandra. He is himself killed only seconds later, but too late to save the two women.
Gregore tries to bring Katarzyna back to life with Breath of Life, but it doesn’t work. He regards the others grimly as he informs them that Yenice used death magic, and because of that neither woman can be brought back with Gregore’s usual magical means, only with a Resurrection spell.
After a few moments, the inert form of Katarzyna gasps back to life. The others are taken aback at her appearance. Katarzyna was always unusual looking in her natural Caliban form, but now she is even more unusual. Her skin has taken on a slight lavender hue, and her eyes bear the mark of Pharasma, where previously they were the featurely silver orbs she had since their communion with Halla at the Stairs of the Moon. Moments later, Raziel sputters back to life, then flies over to Cassandra, and regurgitates something into her throat. Cassandra sputters back to life as well, but is not nearly as sanguine as Katarzyna about her reawakening. Katarzyna appears to be in a trance, though she seems unharmed.
Jean-Baptiste, Kendra, and Gregore take stock of the items left in Yenice’s lair. They then gather up their things and leave, heading back to their home base with Cassandra and the somnolent Katarzyna in tow.
Tuesday, October 27th, 758, Zurrod Keep, Amaans, Ustalav
It is less than two days after the fight with Yenice. In the interim, Prince Ordranti has taken over Vilkurr’s rooms in Zurrod Keep. Vilkurr has been moved to guest quarters. Jean-Baptiste and Lydia are staying in Willowmourn. Lucinean Galdana and Kendra are at Zurrod Keep. Gregore and Jominda are at Willowmourn. Katarzyna is at Willowmourn, but she has been in a trance state since her reawakening.
They learn that Countess Siervage and Dissayn, with Luvick’s help, defeated Malleus. Luvick was ‘killed’, so he has returned to his refuge in Caliphas to heal. Vilkurr urged the vampires to fight the ghosts in the woods, and they made short work of the lesser undead.
The time of the the battle is at hand. Katarzyna awakens, and she joins the others up on the castle walls. Prince Ordranti is down on the field already, but Lucinean Galdana is directing the forces from the castle. He sees a group of undead giants approaching the forces, and asks the group to take care of it. Katarzyna Teleports them to the field, and Vilkurr immediately takes to the air using his Angelic Aspect. Gregore does a Holy Word. 18 of the giants immediately start to disintegrate. Katarzyna starts to attack them with Undeath To Death, taking out 8 of them. Jean-Baptiste goes up and hits one. Kendra sends out her Firesnake. Gregore infuses them all with the aura of Ezra as the horde of giant zombies close in on him.
They see the undead forces amassing catapults to assault Zurrod Keep. Katarzyna, Jean-Baptiste and Vilkurr break off to address the new threat, while Gregore, Kendra and Cassandra, remain to fight the giant zombies. Katarzyna takes out the signal core coordinating the catapults and the trebuchets being assembled behind the line of catapults, then destroys several catapults, while Jean-Baptiste moves to engage a new threat flying toward them. Vilkurr also does his best to keep the catapults at bay. As Jean-Baptiste is getting ready to tangle with the flying threat, he sees a 50-ft tall undead creature lumbering toward the fight. Katarzyna continues to destroy the catapults as Vilkurr flies around. The giant creature is met in combat by a tower of whirling blades. A rune on the creatures shoulder explodes, and kills a bunch of mounted knights that had ridden up to meet it. Jean-Baptiste casts a spell, Detonate, that throws a blast of cold at the witch who seems to be controlling the giant, damaging himself in the process. She trades attacks with him, but he scores a devastating hit when he knocks her staff out of her hand. Katarzyna hits her with Resonating Word just as Jean-Baptiste grapples her, and tries to force her toward the ground. The witch yields, so Jean-Baptiste takes her back to the tower, and Vilkurr goes with him. Katarzyna destroys all the trebuchets, then she goes to find the staff the witch dropped, which harms her greatly, so Katarzyna destroys the staff with two Fireball spells. She then Teleports back to where the other battle is still raging.
Jean-Baptiste takes the witch down to the dungeons in Vilkurr Keep, with Dragos playing ‘bad cop’ to Jean-Baptiste’s ‘good cop’. Dragos is brutal in his interrogation of the witch, casting Inflict Pain on her as Jean-Baptiste asks her about the forces on the field. She tells them that this force is the major army of the Whispering Way. She insists that Adivion is destined to lead them all to greatness. She speaks of Zeller, who is apparently a cleric who raises the dead.
Vilkurr and Katarzyna return to the battlefield. They arrive just in time to see Gregore hit three times in rapid succession by the 50-ft giant, and Gregore falls out of the sky and cuts a furrow into the earth as he lands. And while Gregore is still alive, he looks VERY beat up. Vilkurr engages with the creature, and Katarzyna hits it with a couple of Lightning Bolts. Vilkurr lands a few good hits, and after Gregore quickly heals himself from the massive hit he took, he flies in and touches the creature with a radiant energy attack. The giant falls to the ground, and Vilkurr spies movement inside the giant’s skull. He runs in and finds a ragged wizard trying to catch his breath. Vilkurr makes sure it is his last breath.
In the aftermath of the battle, they take stock of the losses and surviving forces. A group of Pharasman priests tend to the dead, to make sure that they don’t return as undead. Prince Ordranti is also rather beaten up, but survives. He gestures for the main retinue to meet in another area. Everyone is deferential to the prince, but Katarzyna is distracted, and does not bow or don her usual disguise. Afterward, Jean-Baptiste goes down to the battlefield with Vilkurr, while Katarzyna returns to her library to check on Lydia, Lacramoria and Jominda. They are very relieved to see Katarzyna, who gives them a rundown of everyone, and how they fared in the wake of the battle. Jominda and Lydia are very relieved that Gregore and Jean-Baptiste have survived.
Jean-Baptiste runs into a few people he knows, and speaks with them about their losses. He is also met by Father Grimburrow, who asks after the other Lanterns In The Mist.
Kendra uses magic to contact Katarzyna, and she returns to Zurrod Keep with Lydia, Lacramoria, and Jominda in tow. Rhakis Szadro is also there, and he greets them all warmly. They then set about the process of distributing all of the items they’ve recovered from the various creatures they’ve defeated recently.
Wednesday, October 28, 758, Zurrod Keep, Amaans, Ustalav
Katarzyna asks Lacramoria to help locate Azra, so she can send the Broom of Flying to her so she can get out of Virlych. Once she has a fix on her location, Katarzyna sends the broom to Azra.
The entire group attends the service to honor the dead who have fallen in battle.
Thursday, October 29, 758, Zurrod Keep, Amaans, Ustalav.
Grewin and the fairies arrive at Zurrod Keep. Later, a rider arrives. The guards tell Vilkurr that the rider is Ostovach. A messenger frantically raps on the door where Kendra, Katarzyna and Jean-Baptiste are. He tells them that Vilkurr needs them at the front gate, so Katarzyna Teleports down there. A moment later, Kendra and Jean-Baptiste do the same. They discover to their dismay that though the rider is indeed their friend Ostovach, he is now a Revenant. To all outward appearances, he still looks human, but if he removes his gloves, his fingertips are exposed bone. They have a tense conversation, but ultimately conclude that Ostovach isn’t completely compromised mentally by his unfortunate metamorphosis.
Diona rushes to greet him, and they have a bittersweet reunion. Everyone does their best to hide Ostovach’s changed status from Diona. Ostovach asks Jean-Baptiste and Lydia to take care of Diona once he’s gone. He tells Katarzyna that she wasn’t chosen because she has a tendency to treat people like pets. Katarzyna is unruffled by this insult, seeing the truth in it.
They convene the leaders, and Ostovach tells them that 30,000 more troops are heading their way. Prince Ordranti tells them that the Lanterns need to go and ‘cut the head off’, meaning they need to kill Adivion in his tower. Katarzyna agrees. They all realize that this is a desperate gamble, and that the fate of everyone is riding on their efforts. Lingering looks are exchanged all around as the weight of the situation settles upon them.
Jean-Baptiste goes to say a private farewell to Lydia. Gregore and Jominda go off to have a last few moments together as well, as do Kendra and Lucinean. Vilkurr leaves to say his goodbyes and gives instructions to his staff in the keep. Evantually only Katarzyna remains in the room, having chosen to simply wait for the others to return.
Jominda and Grewin come to say goodbye to Katarzyna and try to draw some kind of emotion out of her. Katarzyna is dispassionate and somewhat aloof, but they part on good terms.
After an hour or so, the group gets onto the magical airborne barge that Gregore creates using a spell. The group consists of Gregore, Jean-Baptiste, Kendra, Vilkurr, Ostavach, Selene, Cassandra and Katarzyna. Shortly after they board the barge, Gregore sets the barge down near Wilhelmina, so Ostovach can dismiss her spirit and let her rest.
They return to the barge and continue on their way. Katarzyna beds down to sleep, while the others look over the terrain. They see a group of refugees carrying equipment, a couple of people struggling, and they see one of them kill the other. They decide not to intervene.
The group flies for two days. They kill Marrowgarth, an undead red dragon on Friday, the 30th of October. On Saturday, they banish three lightning elementals, or rather Gregore does. On Sunday, November 1st, they see a small group of about 8 people being killed by trees. They are too far away to do anything about it. Shortly thereafter, they spot Azra, who arrives with Katarzyna’s broom just as they see the looming dark clouds that shroud the necropolis of Adorak.
Sunday, November 1st, 758, Adorak, Virlych, Ustalav
They cautiously make their way to Adorak, the ruined town that encircles the towering Gallowspire, still shrouded by dark and noxious clouds. They pick their way through the treacherous areas of the ruined city, including the ring road which is made of skulls where cobblestones would be. They find the slain dragon Marrowgarth’s hoard. They also rescue Lacramoria’s clan, and Selene and Azra escort them to safety. Katarzyna reclaims the broom and uses it to maintain her distance from the treacherous pavement. They see hordes of undead passing by in the streets, and Raziel bids the group to wait. He tells Katarzyna that Pharasma will be sending them some help.
From the relative shelter of Marrowgarth’s lair, Jean-Baptiste, Vilkurr, Kendra, Ostovach, Gregore, Katarzyna and Cassandra discuss how to find Adivion. As if summoned, Adivion appears before them, boastful and threatening. Katarzyna tries to get him to surrender using logic, but he simply ignores her. Jean-Baptiste also speaks with his ‘coercive’ talent, but Adivion just chuckles. At that moment, Adivion is riddled with crossbow bolts, and his body collapses into a heap of snow. Clearly he was inhabiting the form of some other vessel. The source of the crossbow bolts is Dragos von Caver, Herald McMann, and Lisle. This is clearly the help that Raziel had spoken of.
They make their way toward the Gallowspire itself, and the hordes of undead silenty part to allow them to pass, then shuffle in behind. At the gates of the tower itself, they see two very tall undead guards standing at the doors. They roll up on the two sentinels, and Katarzyna immediately takes one out of the fight with a Reverse Gravity spell. The other one attacks Dragos. Vilkurr destroys one of them, and Katarzyna finishes off the other one, who had tried to Curse her. After this, they try to open the doors. Vilkurr touches the door, and is harmed by the door’s properties. They look at the door, and Jean-Baptiste decides to cast a spell of Vampiric Touch to open the door, and it opens.
They entire the Gallowspire. There is all sorts of undeath inside the tower. Cassandra tells them that there are six angelic beings that they will have to get through. They see the corpses of six angelic beings, and their celestial blood. Raziel tells Katarzyna that there is something else in the room. Kendra looks with her True Seeing and sees a creature floating in the air, moving toward her. Gregore manages to dismiss the creature, a nightwalker nightshade. They manage to get Herald, Lisle and Cassandra back, as they had all fled from the creature’s fear spell. They are embarrassed at their seeming cowardice, but Katarzyna explains that is merely a magical effect, and not something they should be ashamed of.
Vilkurr finds a celestial sword, and they decide to pull the angelic beings off the spires upon which they are impaled. Herald and Lisle continue this task as the others continue toward the top of the tower. They find a room with swinging axe heads and a giant spider. Vilkurr rushes in and attacks the creature, and Ostovach, Dragos and Jean-Baptiste go in as well. They chip away at it until Ostovach kills it with a devastating attack. Kendra tells them that it is a creature known as a spider of Leng, a magical beast from another plane. Vilkurr has clearly been affected by some aspect of the creature’s attack, and Jean-Baptiste hits him with a Restoration.
They continue upward from the spider’s lair, and they ascend outside of the tower in the cold rain. There are braziers with fire at the edges of the tower’s corner, which come to life and start attacking the group. They manage to corral them into a small area, and Gregore manages to dismiss them all. He tells them that the creatures were elder fire elementals.
They now ascend the bone stairs that cling to the exposed core of the top of the Gallowspire. Katarzyna continues to ride her broom, hovering over the precarious stairway and fingering her ring of Feather Fall absently. They notice that the spirits are crowding in closer as they ascend the stairs. Some of them hear distant screams, that seem to be getting louder, and Jean-Baptiste lets them know that there is a manifestation of a haunt. Thinking quickly, Gregore and Jean-Baptiste dismiss the banshees that start to coalesce using their haunt siphons.
As they climb, the stairs start to fall away, and Vilkurr starts to fall, but is quickly caught by Jean-Baptiste. Everyone else has to jump the 10-foot span created by the fallen steps. Gregore puts on his ring of Feather Fall before he jumps, and he stumbles and falls. His Angelic Aspect is in effect when he rejoins the party. They are carefully making their way up, but Herald is killed when undead creatures attack them, throwing meathooks on chains. His body is cleaved in half, and his remains are chained to the wall in a gruesome warning to the others of what could soon befall them.
The reach the top section of the Gallowspire, and a voice says “you go no further”. An enormous batlike undead creature flies toward them. They all pile on, and after Katarzyna hits it with a Boneshatter, it tries to escape, but Dragos and Jean-Baptiste manage to kill as it flees. They continue on up the bone stairs, but they are all flying when the stairs fall flat, so none of them are affected when it happens.
They finally arrive at the top of the Gallowspire. There, they see Adivion, who has transformed into a powerful undead. He is furious, and lashes out at Katarzyna and attacks them all with a Chain Lightning spell. Everyone attacks Adivion at once, and he manages to sweep Cassandra off the top of the tower. Jean-Baptiste runs down to save her, and flies her back up to the top of the tower. Dragos manages to land several good hits on Adivion. Adivion also pushes Lisle off the edge of the tower. He also throws his whip at Gregore, slicing his leg to the bone. Gregore throws a Heal spell at him. Finally Ostovach gets his second hand around Adivion’s throat. As he does so, he is intoning a litany of Adivion’s evil deeds. Adivion tries to cast a spell that fizzles when Katarzyna counterspells it. As Ostovach chokes Adivion, everyone sees images that flash among the arcing lightning at the top of the tower. They see images of his atrocities, and of all the times he was enraged by the Lanterns thwarting his schemes. They all continue their vicious attacks.
Gregore pulls out a scroll, and reads off the spell. The spell’s energy rolls out toward Adivion. A beam of energy hits Adivion, as Ostovach continues to hold on to his throat. The images in the air become even more chaotic as Adivion screams. They see the murder of Professor Lorrimor, the murders of children, the corruption of Abner, and a wave of psychic energy sweeps across the top of the Gallowspire. They hear a large cracking sound, and then the body of Adivion burns away to nothingness.
Katarzyna turns to Ostovach. He says “it is done” and Katarzyna solemnly bids him farewell as he quietly burns away to ash.
Everyone else sees parts of the top of the tower start to collapse inward, and the broken remnants reveal a stairway running down the center of the Gallowspire. They spend a few minutes gathering themselves. They then begin their descent, as careful on this interior stairway as they had been on the exterior stairway. They eventually realize that they’ve gone below the level of the ground outside, and into a subterranean complex. It takes a long time to reach the bottom of the stairs.
They eventually come to a room beyond some broken doors. It is a room, with a bier and a pedestal. Upon the bier lies the body of a man, though it is not fully formed. They quickly realize that it is the physical body of Tar Baphon, being regenerated by his phylactery. The form is inert, so they cast about to see what else they can find in the room that might halt the process. There is a chest that has magical auras, and when Jean-Baptiste touches it, he feels the chest drain his lifeforce. They remember that they have the strange magical keys from Yenice, the Steward of Tar Baphon, and Jean-Baptiste uses them to try to open the lock. It has three stages, but Jean-Baptiste successfully opens it. He checks the chest for traps, and finds an explosive rune that he successfully disables.
The group starts going through the chest and pulling out the items and categorizing them. Katarzyna focuses on the most powerful magical aura, a puzzle box. After a few moments, she opens it, and discovers that the puzzle box has another puzzle box inside it, which grows in size as she removes it. She solves this puzzle box also, discovers that this box contains a small velvet bag, and inside that, a tiny shriveled heart. Everyone stops their sorting and counting when she draws the heart out to show them. They all know what it must be, and their eyes drift over to the strange body on the bier.
Jean-Baptiste hits the tiny heart with a dagger, and it makes the body on the bier shudder. Vilkurr decides to hit it with the Raven’s Head mace, and it seems to get bigger, much to their alarm. They hit it with a mundane, non-magical dagger again and again. The body on the bier continues to shudder as they repeatedly strike the heart. There are waves of strange eldritch energy that buffet them as they try to destroy the heart. Finally Vilkurr hits it one final time, and the body on the bier shudders one last time, then falls to dust, as dark mist pours out of the space occupied by the body.
Gregore, Lisle and Dragos all fall unconscious as soon as the body dissipates. Katarzyna rushes over to Gregore, and tries to rouse him, but he won’t wake up. Dragos and Lisle are quickly awakened. Katarzyna calls out to Raziel, but he quickly rushes out of the room and up the stairs, so Katarzyna gets on the flying broom and zooms up the stairs after him. Dragos, Jean-Baptiste and Kendra also rush to the top of the tower.
They all arrive at the top of the tower within moments, and to their astonishment they notice that the storm has broken, the dark clouds surrounding the Gallowspire have dissipated. Their astonishment turns to wonder when they realize that the very stars in the sky are different. The implications of this, to those who have spent endless hours researching the nature of Ravenloft, are clear, but for the moment, everyone just looks at each other in disbelief.
As they ponder this impossible wonder, a spiral of purple energy comes down from the sky, and a skeletal figure steps down. Jean-Baptiste asks “is that Pharasma?” and she answers “No, I am a pyschopomp of Pharasma.” They feel very calm in her presence. She reaches into the dust that was Ostovach, and lifts his spirit away. Katarzyna sees some people dressed in colorful garb who are gathered in the street below the tower. They all see large winged women alight on the tower, and the face of Pharasma forms among them. She then agrees to grant them each a boon.
She grants both Vilkurr and Gregore new purpose as followers of Pharasma, now that they are no longer in Ezra’s domain. Jean-Baptiste asks for a way home. Pharasma tells them that the green disk, the Well of Stars, can send Jean-Baptiste back home.
Katarzyna uses her wish to restore Ostovach to life. Pharasma also grants boons to Jean-Baptiste and Kendra. Kendra asks to speak with her deceased father, and they have a brief and emotional reunion with the spirit of Professor Petros Lorrimor. Before she leaves, Pharasma lays her hand on Katarzyna’s head, then departs.
Monday, November 2, 758, Adorak, Virlych, Ustalav
The dawn of November 2nd finds them contemplating their future in a very different Ustalav. A short while after sunrise, they hear a pop sound, and see three individuals come out of a portal. There is an older man with a long grey beard, a woman in gold, and a towering figure in full plate armor. The grey-bearded man introduces himself as Toff Ornelos, and Jean-Baptiste speaks with him. He is the headmaster of the Academy of Magic in Horvosa. Kendra knows that Horvosa is a city of legend from before Ustalav became part of Ravenloft. They discover that where Ustalav had been, a vast area of Mist had been. They discover that they are in a place called the Inner Sea.
In the distance, they see Sicnavier, the massive undead dragon mount of Tar Baphon. It looks at them, and then flies away. A task for another day, it seems. They shake off their confusion and wonder at the new state of affairs in Ustalav, and remember that the battle still rages elsewhere.
Katarzyna Teleports herself, Ostovach, Vilkurr, Jean-Baptiste, and Kendra back to Zurrod Keep, where they see a lot of damage to the war room. Kendra immediately goes to help Judge Daramid, while Katarzyna, and Vilkurr head over to a hole in the wll of the war room. In the sky above the throngs of fighting men, they see Prince Ordranti on his gryphon steed fighting a necromancer. Katarzyna starts flying toward the combat, and sees Vilkurr get hit with a massive bolt, so she Teleports back to get Gregore. Vilkurr continues to fly toward the necromancer, who focuses his efforts on him.
Katarzyna Teleports back with Gregore, and casts Undeath to Death centered on the Prince. He had just killed the necromancer, so the spirit attacking him is destroyed, leaving him free. Gregore and Vilkurr rush to his aid. He then rushes off to survey the battlefield. Katarzyna flies back to see how Kendra is faring inside the keep. Kendra uses her crystal ball to scry on Lucinean Galdana, and she and Katarzyna Teleport to where he is. Kendra and Lucinean have a joyful reunion. Katarzyna speaks with Malachi about his restored ability to return to his home plane.
Jean-Baptiste, Vilkurr, and Gregore continue to do what they can to clean up in the aftermath of the battle. Katarzyna returns to Kavapesta to inform Jominda, Lacramoria and Lydia of their success. She brings them all back to Zurrod Keep.
Eventually everyone is all gathered together again with Prince Ordranti, who is still dealing with a debilitating arm wound. Jean-Baptiste fills him in on the new situation with Ustalav. There are several poignant losses, including Samuels, General Sybilla, Gregore Lupin, Merin, and Lady Lisbet Donaphair. They inform the others of the death of Herald McMann. As they are touring the battlefield with Prince Ordranti, Kendra and Katarzyna spot Tresselblade. They speak briefly, promising to catch up soon. They review most of the area affected by the battles.
Gregore returns to the Vistani refugees and resumes the piloting of the barge back to Amaans. Katarzyna stays with Jominda to protect her, in case any lingering Whispering Way agents try to assassinate her, as they did in Kavapesta (an attempt that was foiled by Lydia). Kendra and Lucinean Galdana embrace passionately. Jean-Baptiste speaks with Malachi, who tells him that if he ever makes it to Mount Celestia, to look him up. Vilkurr rekindles his romance with Sylvia.
Tuesday, November 3, 758, Zurrod Keep, Amaans, Ustalav
In the morning, Malachi bids them all farewell. He tells Vilkurr that he has found a mavonic deva’s blade. He says the magic of the blade is stronger on the outer planes. It is a relatively weak magic item, but Vilkurr wielding it made it more powerful. He gives Vilkurr his own blade in exchange for the deva’s blade, so he can return it to his owner. He then gives them a nod, and returns to Mercuria on Mount Celestia. Lachalla also bids them farewell, and returns to her home plane, Bytopia. There is unending work cleaning up the aftermath of the battles and tending to the wounded and dead.
Wednesday, November 4, 758, Zurrod Keep, Amaans, Ustalav
Gregore returns with the barge and the refugees, and Lacramoria is overjoyed to be reunited with her family. They discover that the total loss of life for the entire battle was about 11,000 people.
That night, Sylvia is all aflutter, putting together a special something for the evening for the group and the prince. Lucinean and Kendra cement their dedication to pursuing a relationship. Jean-Baptiste and Lydia also make a stronger commitment to each other, and to traveling to other realms. Lydia Rialla decides to go with Katarzyna to Kavapesta to help her with the library.
That evening, Prince Ordranti joins them for dinner. Lucinean tells them that he misses having Malachi around. Vilkurr and Katarzyna go to bow as the Prince enters, but he waves them to refrain, that they are all companions. He tells Jean-Baptiste that he wants him to be the chief of a new office, to root out and destroy the remnants of the Whispering Way. He tells Lucinean that he is now the steward of Virlych, as well as Amaans. Vilkurr is of course the steward of Zurrod Keep. The rest of the night is spent in somewhat subdued revelry. Gregore and Jominda only stay for a short time. Katarzyna returns to her library.
Thursday, November 5, 758, Zurrod Keep, Amaans, Ustalav
The next morning, they are all summoned to the makeshift throne room. It seems to be an official occasion, and everyone of note is assembled in the still damaged room. Pages announce the arrival of Jean-Baptiste and the others, and a hush falls over the room. The prince is in his armor, and he calls them all forward. He says that the nation of Ustalav can never repay the sacrifices that the group has made to protect the realm.
He calls Vilkurr forward first, and he steps forward, and kneels. He is knighted as High Protector of the Principality of Ustalav.
He calls Jean-Baptiste forward next. He is knighted Sir Jean-Baptiste Harrow, High Protector of the Kingdom.
He then calls Dragos, Gregore, Ostovach, and Katarzyna. They are also given the distinction of knights of the realm.
Kendra is called last. She is knighted as a High Protector, like Jean-Baptiste. Prince Ordranti also names posthumously Professor Petros Lorrimor as a High Protector. He then knights Cassandra, Liesl, Selene, Grewin and a bunch of others who distinguished themselves in the battle, but none of those are named High Protector.
They are all also given parcels of land in Caliphas,10 acres each, in prime wine country. Jean-Baptiste believes they should pool their lands together and form a winery. Everyone seems receptive to the idea. The celebration of their knighting ceremony is brief, as everyone assembled has pressing business to attend to in the days to come.
Later that day, the divide up all the items they’ve accumulated over the course of their adventures. Ostovach floats the idea of using some of their coin to cast a Resurrection spell on Evgenya. Everyone is intrigued by the idea.
N’Kiru gifts each of them with a small disk, inlaid with a large gem. Pressing the gem will cause the other disks to open, over any distance, and they can use the gems to communicate with one another. Jean-Baptiste decides to call them ‘calling stones’. Each stone is a different color. Jean-Baptiste’s is red, Gregore’s is brown, Katarzyna’s is turquoise, Kendra’s is yellow, Ostovach’s is green, Dragos’ is black, Vilkurr’s is grey, Cassandra’s is white. Judge Daramid’s also has a stone, hers is orange. Jean-Baptiste asks if he can get two more stones, for Liesl and Grewin. Liesl will get a purple stone, and Grewin will get a magenta stone.
That night, Ostovach goes to where Evgenya is stationed in the Keep, and asks her to return with him to speak with the other Lanterns. She tells them that she does want to return to life. She says they will have to kill all her minions. She, Katarzyna and Jean-Baptiste go to the cellar where her minions are gathered, and Katarzyna kills most of them in her first use of an Undeath to Death spell. Jean-Baptiste uses a Dragon Breath to destroy the remaining living and undead thralls, but one manages to flee, falling to Vilkurr’s sword. Gregore tells them after all her minions are dead, that they will have to kill Evgenya, then Resurrect her. Evgenya starts to panic, then Jean-Baptiste drives a stake into her heart. She screams, and Katarzyna and Vilkurr, who are holding her arms, are drained of some life force. Gregore then cuts her head off, and they take her corpse to her coffin. He then removes the stake, and burns her corpse to ash with a spell. Once she is completely destroyed, he casts Resurrection on her. After a few moments, her body reforms, and she is alive. Evgengya is overcome with emotion, as Katarzyna, Jean-Baptiste, and Lydia sit with her as she greets her first sunrise in over 800 years.
The following morning, November 6th, the envoy arrives from Horvosa. Lacramoria and her family decide to head south.