At the end of last session, we left our heroes battling several incorporeal undead. The party were well-prepared for such foes and lashed them repeatedly with bursts of positive energy. Before long, the creatures—belatedly identified as a spectre and four wraiths—were destroyed.
After a brief rest and a quick search, during which Narfu found a rather interesting manual pertaining to exercise, the party moved on. Cortana detected evil through one of the doors leading out the room and discovered a faint source of evil, which seemed to be stirring and slowing growing.
The door was kicked in and Cortana pounced, destroying with one mighty blow a dusty skeleton sitting in a chair that seemed to be slowly re-animating! Another brief search revealed some interest titbits—it seemed it was possible the skeleton may have once been one of the undying sages of Eox, but the truth of the matter was impossible to discern; its ancient knowledge lost forever under Cortana’s righteous assault.
No matter, the party pushed on and discovered a large hall. To the left, another large hall was guarded by a dozen or so headless skeletons. To the right, stood a set of double doors. Heedless of subtlety an stealth Ariquis struck, hurling two lightning bolts into the skeletons. Not surprisingly, this annihilated the skeletons. However—sadly—this cacophony of destructive magic alerted the undead beasts lurking beyond the unopened double doors.
Four cairn wights wielding wickedly curved swords along with a much larger brute wight burst forth and assailed the party. The wights moved quickly, but the party’s divine energy moved quicker! Before the wights could close to melee, they were lashed with several bursts of positive energy.
Just as the party thought they had matters in hand, however, a headless rider burst forth from the hall beyond the double doors. Riding a flying horse, the warrior hurtled toward the party. This was the Black Rider. In a moment, it had summoned the very stuff of the Abyss into the hall. Many of the party were weakened by this turn of events, while Karelia and Narfu were banished from the Dark Forest entirely!
Now depleted, the party fought on. The cairn wights fell quickly, but the headless rider proved a harder proposition. Skilled in battle and heavily armoured, he seemed all but impervious to the party’s weapons. With one blow, his axe—wreathed in the dark malevolence of pure evil—almost slew Cortana and things seemed grim. Grooble was forced to use some of his most powerful magics to keep the paladin alive—who quickly returned to Thaladan’s side to continue the battle.
However, it was then Narfu and Karelia returned to the fight (they had cleverly used the Black Menhir to return to the Dark Forest and a dimension door to reach the keep swiftly). Narfu charged the Dark Rider and in the ensuing fight struck the undead monstrosity a mighty blow! By now, the Rider’s horse was dead and the warrior surrounded. A grease spell on his axe from Ariquis and repeated lashings of positive energy proved too much for it and eventually it fell—destroyed.
Elated at their victory, the party did not rest on their laurels. Quickly determining to search the rest of the keep they found a strange room. At the rear of the chamber stood a horrific pillar. Three angelic beings were chained to the pillar by strange metal tentacles emerging from their eyes. Above the pillar hovered a shard of metal that looked very much like that which they sought.
As the heroes discussed what to do, Ariquis flew up to the shard and grabbed it. As he did so, the three imprisoned angelic beings began to scream and the dim twilight of the Dark Forest noticeably deepened. At the same time, the whole demi-plane began to violently shake. Fearing the entire place was about to collapse, Grooble called his friends together and quickly cast plane shift. Suddenly, the party were elsewhere…