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Apr 13 2012

Chronicles of Netheril, March 24th, 2012

The Shadowfell – Outside the Mine of Azkiamor

The presence of undead was no coincidence; it was immediately apparent that they were after the Book of Vile Darkness (The Book). They had killed the bog hags because they stood in the way of getting to Ilikan.

Even after we showed up to defend Ilikan and Nalla, the undead treated us as nothing more than a minor nuisance; concentrating most of their efforts on Ilikan. They kept trying to isolate him so that their leader, a lich, could grab the book and teleport away.

For that reason Ash kept him busy while the rest of the team eliminated the zombie horde as quickly as possible. After that they concentrated on taking out the vampire lords before grouping up on the lich.

Once all the undead had been taken care of, we entered the mine.

Inside the Mine of Azkiamor

Once inside the mine we started exploring our surroundings and we realized that it had been abandoned for quite some time.

It didn’t take us long to find Krikus; but once he spotted us he sounded the alarm and in short order¬†we were surrounded by a veritable army of derros and their two ogre enforcers. And in the distance down a long dark tunnel, we could see an ilithid approaching.

As was to be expected, the mind flayer was running the show. Even Krikus was following its orders. Obviously he had been forced by the mind flayer to steal House Treyvan’s money as a way of luring us to this remote region so that it could take The Book.

Since Krikus was a victim in all this, our first move was to knock him out. He was a civilian {minion}, so it was quite easy. Now he’d be out of our way, and the chances of his getting killed were significantly lower.

Next came the derros. They weren’t particularly powerful, but due to their sheer numbers, it took some effort to get rid of them all.

After that, things got complicated. The advantage of being surrounded by a mass of derros was that the ogres couldn’t get close enough to land a hit. Once the derros were gone, that was no longer the case. Also, at this point, the mind flayer decided to step in and take an active role in the fight.

Since its attacks were designed to incapacitate us or hinder our ability to fight, the mind flayer became out main target. But every time we tried to attack it, it would teleport and switch positions with one of the ogres. While this tactic would draw out the fight and protect the mind flayer, it also meant that the ogres would die more quickly because they were taking the hits directed at the mind flayer, as well as the hits meant for them.

Once we figure out the mind flayer’s tactics, we switched to a purely offensive strategy. We concentrated all our offensive efforts on the mind flayer, knowing that we’d simultaneously hurt the ogres, keep them moving around and off balance. Once they were dead, the mind flayer wasn’t difficult to deal with.

Inside the Mine of Azkiamor – Aftermath

With the monsters all dead, and the mine empty of anything of value, all that was left was to return to House Treyvan with Krikus and the crystal ball.

But things weren’t in fact that simple.

There was something “off” about Ilikan; we had all noticed it almost right away after meeting back up with him when we had first arrived at the mine. Being a Goliath Barbarian, Ilikan had always enjoyed the rush of battle, but during the fight with the undead, he had seemed to enjoy it a little too much.

His new axe, which appeared to have been formed by merging The Book with his regular axe, emitted a foul aura of maliciousness. At one point during the fight Ilikan harnessed that power, and used it to lash out at our enemies. {Used an item power.} Almost instantly, we felt a wave of corruption wash over us.

Later, during the fight inside the cave, Ilikan looked as if he was enjoying all the carnage and destruction. There were definite signs of a growing bloodlust. Again, he called upon the power of The Book, and again we felt a wave of corruption wash over us. But this time, the sensation wasn’t as bad. The corruption was just as strong as before, we just didn’t feel as much of a need to resist it as we had the first time.

Somehow, each time he used the power of The Book, Ilikan wasn’t the only one being corrupted; we were as well.

The final straw came after we had defeated the mind flayer and his forces. Krikus had survived the battle. We could take him into our custody and bring him and the crystal ball back to House Treyvan. Instead Ilikan chopped off Krikus’, for use as a trophy, and exited the mine as if nothing unusual had happened.

Something would have to be done, and soon. Before exiting the mine, we came up with a plan of action. After returning to House Treyvan, the next phase in our quest would be to return to Loudwater. Once there we would enlist Curuvar’s aid. We could easily trap Ilikan in the cage in our hideout, but it would require some very powerful enchantments to prevent him from breaking through the bars.

With Ilikan imprisoned, we could then concentrate on finding a way to destroy The Book and reverse the corruption.