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May 17 2012

Chronicles of Netheril, May 12th, 2012

The Shadowfell – House of Black Lanterns

The next day, after selling off our acquired loot, we took a look at our map of the local area to plan our next move. On the way to the Ogre King’s fortress of Kazzak’tul was a location called “The Veil”. There was a notation on the map that said it was a Touchstone site. Since our visit of another such site had resulted in our acquiring some powers, we decided visit this one as well. Anything obtained there could potentially aid us in defeating the Ogre King.

We spoke to the owner of the House of Black Lanterns and asked if he would take us to our destination. He was willing to help, but he did not want to go to The Veil. He also did not want to go to a place as dangerous as the fortress of Kazzak’tul in the Darkreach Mountains. Instead he offered to take us to the village of Fellwroth, a settlement that was located just outside the mountain range. It was situated very close to the Frozen Path; the main road through the mountains, that also happened to lead to Kazzak’tul.

We took him up on his offer, and the House suddenly appeared near Fellwroth. Since we did not know very much about either of our next destinations, the owner suggested we might find the information we needed in the local tavern.

Fellwroth Village – The Tavern

In the tavern we ordered drinks and asked the bartender if he knew of anyone who could give us more information about The Veil. At the mention of the name, one of the patrons made some disparaging remarks implying that we were too weak and pathetic to go to The Veil. As a way of putting him back in his place, Eramus lit up one of his stogies and blew a smoke ring at the man’s face.

In response, all the patrons in the tavern decided to attack us. We found ourselves in an all out bar brawl. And, had there been spectators, the fight would have been a bewildering sight.

Most of the second floor was open space and overlooked the main room of the tavern. Some of the patrons were lobbing powerful spells at us from the relative safety of the second floor balconies. Dirty Pig directed a powerful gust of cold wind at them and managed to knock one of them over the railing. Rather than fall to the ground, the patron managed to grab on to the chandelier.

Some renovations were being done to the floor of the tavern and as a result there was a deep open pit beneath the chandelier. Voulge used his shoulder cannon to sever the rope holding the chandelier aloft. The whole thing, hanging patron included, came crashing down into the pit. The patron eventually managed to free himself from the debris, but his injuries were so severe that he surrendered.

Meanwhile, Drake power-leaped {item power or class power??} up to the second floor and grabbed the second spellcaster. He jumped off the second floor, and power-bombed her into the ground. Surprisingly she survived, but a follow up blow finished her.

From that point on, the whole thing devolved into a game of teleportation tag. Nonetheless, Ash, Eramus and Nalla were able to land some good solid blows on the ground floor patrons, and Dirty Pig kept the third spellcaster busy.

In a matter of less than 30 seconds, we had eliminated half of the patrons attacking us. At this point their leader, the man who had insulted us, called for his gang to surrender; which we happily accepted.

Having been defeated, he told us everything we wanted to know. He directed us to Morda, a priestess at the temple of the Raven Queen. She had knowledge of the Veil, and could also show us the way up the Frozen Path to Kazzak’tul.

Fellwroth Village – Temple of the Raven Queen

No sooner had the gang leader finished giving us his information that one of the villagers burst into the tavern in an absolute panic. A horde of zombies was overrunning the town. All he could add before being killed by one of the zombies following him was that they were coming from the temple.

Our next destination was quite obvious; but it took us a great deal of effort to get there. {Since the horde of zombies was essentially endless, our DM ran it as a skill challenge rather than a combat encounter. It required 12 successes before 3 failures. Ash used the powers of the Lesser Testament of Vraer and of the Soulsword to gain 3 automatic successes.}

Once at the temple, we noticed that the entire grounds (including a cemetery) were covered in a white haze that was emanating from the temple itself. The haze, as we found out later, had a deleterious effect on our ability to heal.

Before we could reach the temple, we had to go through the cemetery. As we approached its entrance, a horde of ghouls{minions} clawed its way out of the graves. Alerted by the noise outside, a group of powerful undead creatures inside the temple approached the windows to see what was happening.

Because of their large numbers, and the fact that they could immobilize us with a single touch, there was a very real danger that the ghouls could overwhelm us. Voulge therefore cast a rune that rendered a large part of the cemetery almost impassable; slowing any enemy that entered its zone of influence down to a crawl.

The plan was to take out all the ghouls using simple attacks, and then entering the temple and going all out on the stronger undead inside. But we discarded that plan when, after having defeated most of the ghouls, another horde’s worth of them came out of the ground. It also didn’t help that the undead creatures inside the temple were attacking us with blasts of necrotic energy, while remaining safe behind the temple walls.

We had to get to the temple as quickly as possible.

To that effect, Ash exploited an opening in the ghoulish lines, and charged the temple. Rather than head towards the door, he went for the nearest window and jumped and smashed his way through into the temple. He then proceeded in attacking the undead creatures with great fury. He was outnumbered 6 to 1, but having completely surprised his enemy, he was able to do a lot of damage in a very short time.

Following Ash’s example, Drake, and then the rest of the team rushed to the temple as quickly as they could.