Aizar, Sari, Okan, Cony and Dukara delved into the sunken castle of Shiro Nashi for the last time. There they met with Yusdrayl, leader of the Kobold tribe, and co-ordinated a plan of attack. The Party would sneak around the back way and take out the leadership of the goblin tribe, while the kobolds would keep the rest of the goblin tribe occupied with a distracting frontal assault.
Instead the party ended up cutting off goblin re-enforcements and taking out the hobgoblins leaders as they attempted a pincer manoeuvre. There they discovered the hobgoblin leader was wearing the equipment and signet ring of Hadia En-Hali.
After some negotiation with Yusdrayl and the rejoicing kobolds, the party divvied up the loot with their allies and secured an escort to delve into the lower level of the citadel’s complex, the heart of the outcast Nefaya’s power.
On this second level, they fought Nefaya’s experiments, encountering twig blights, needle blights, zombies and skeletons all animated by botanic necromancy. They also had an encounter with a goblin raiding party, against which Paix and Osa interceded and helped destroy. However, two of their kobold guard fell in battle. The two had followed the hunting party in through a secret passage that led through a network of cave systems. The wounded Okan retreated down this new route, along with an attendant Cony, and the re-constituted party continued on.
Approaching the Twilight grove, the centre of the Outcasts’ power, the party found Nefaya’s study and recovered many precious items, including a book apparently by Nefaya’s mentor and continued by him as a kind of journal. They also lost the last of their Kobold guard in a fight with several infested goblin blights. The strain started to show in their companions. Osa in particular seemed deeply angry at the loss of his sister, something that manifested itself as recklessness and a lack of empathy to others.
After testing at the edges of the twilight grove’s defences, the party went in for a final assault. They found Nefaya standing at the base of a blighted tree, known as the Gulthias tree. With him were the other two members of the En-Hadi expedition, Sana En-Hadi and Sir Cato, who seemed to have been made into bark-skinned thralls. Nefaya offered to “let” them submit to him as thralls. The party decided not to acquiesce to his request, instead choosing the “maul” option.
Nefaya fell to Aizar’s Lion form and a sniper-shot from Paix, ad Sari lit up the Gulthias tree with a scroll of Scorching Ray. However, in this moment of triumph, tragedy struck, as Sari was ambushed by a Needle Blight and speared in a hail of thorns, dying instantly. Osa channelled the essence of Pelor to finish Cato, Sana and the twig blights swarming Dukara and Aizar.
Gathering their loot and the bodies of the fallen, the party returned to town without incident to recuperate and await further adventure.
In addition to the unexplored paths on the first level (see post The Edge of Glory), the party did not investigate the south-western portion of the Grove level. These will be gradually explored by the Kobolds.
You guys are now in downtime – I'm still prepping that system, but for now tell me what you want to be doing, and we'll work it out. In short, you can go looking for general rumours/investigating leads on things you found or find interesting, recuperate, try to sell/buy magical/mundane gear, liquidate non-cash treasure, try to suck up to various factions/power-bases, otherwise make various nuisances of yourselves, et cetera. There'll also be a way for you to give Sari a kick-ass funeral and get experience for it.
Prominent leads to investigate:
- Whatever happened to those Nkosi creatures you parleyed with the other day?
- Is there anything to be made of that Dwarven scroll from Calcryx's hoard? Likewise Nefaya's inherited Druidic Treatise on the Cycle of Life and Death, or the tome of Draconic lineage?
Aizar: 1,735 (level 3)
Paix: 955 (level 3)
Okan: 910 (level 3)
Sari: 1,735 (level 3, deceased)