Borderland of Adventure #68: An Ending…

At the end of last session, we left our heroes in dire straits. Trapped in Tessarael’s tomb by the undying one herself the party were low on resources. As they waited for their enemy to descend the stairs, they frantically used what healing magic remained to them. Sounds of more spellcasting (and cackling) drifted down the stairs from above as Tessarael also prepared for the final battle.

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However, before she could descend the stairs another, more guttural voice was raised in spellcasting. An explosion and screams quickly followed as a fierce magical duel erupted on the upper level! Wondering what the hell was going on, Tzaran bravely crept up the stairs. In the corridor, he saw Tessarael engaged in a magical battle with a familiar foe – the gnoll sorcerer that had almost slain the party several days ago! The gnoll was trapped in a waving field of black tentacles, which were slowly crushing the life out of it. In response it tried repeatedly to hurl magic at Tessarael and although it managed to get the odd spell off the tentacles eventually crushed it to death. In the meantime, Tessarael had spotted Tzaran and battered him with magic missiles forcing the druid to retreat for more healing.

Realising their gnoll foe had unwittingly provided them with an opportunity for escape, the party surged forth into the upper level. Now outnumbered, the tables were turned on Tessarael. She lashed the party with an unholy black miasma and struck Klar with a terrible curse. All was to no avail, though, and even a magical slow effect was not enough to stop her being surrounded. Not yet out of magic she fought on injuring several of the party with her unholy magics. However, eventually weight of numbers told on her and Tzaran’s snake companion dealt the final, mortal blow.

Exhausted by their efforts and saddened by the loss of their brave companion, Montagu, the party retreated to the first tower they explored to rest and recuperate. While they did so, Gorarian spent some time examining the Grail of Ashenyar. This proved to be time well spent as he eventually remembered ancient church stories that told of some of its considerable powers.

The next day, thought inevitably turned to escape now the party possessed the platinum control rods necessary to operate the portals leading to and from the demiplane. Unfortunately, the portal they arrived through seemed to be only one way and so an exploration of the final tower proved necessary.

The tower was mainly unoccupied. They party entered the edifice without incident using the control rods to bypass the arcane wards protecting the place. Reaching the upper floor they eventually found the portal chamber, but before they could operate the portal a monstrous construct crafted from hardened glass emerged from a cavity in the floor and attacked. Gerald’s adamantine arrows proved a great boon against the creature, but even so Klar and Tzaran were both badly injured before it was destroyed.

With the plane’s final guardian no more the party lost no time in activating the portal with the control rods and fleeing back to Oerth. The portal dumped them back in the cellar of Fangwood Keep in the very room they left so long ago. Before leaving the cellars they took the time to destroy the portal so that no other explorers could get trapped in the Night Realm (and so that nothing else could escape as several of the party were worried about Tessarael’s title – “the undying one”).

With this task final complete, they rested for a week in the abandoned halls of Fangwood Keep before beginning their long trek to Dekspoint…

Creighton is the publisher at Raging Swan Press and the designer of the award winning adventure Madness at Gardmore Abbey. He has designed many critically acclaimed modules such as Retribution and Shadowed Keep on the Borderlands and worked with Wizards of the Coast, Paizo, Expeditious Retreat Press, Rite Publishing and Kobold Press.

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