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Jan 15 2013

Chronicles of Netheril, January 12th, 2013

Following the Mysterious Tracks – The Vale

The next morning we continued following the tracks until they led us to a vale that was bathed in fog and gloom.

Through the mist, in the distance, we could just make out a large castle from a strange multi-coloured material. We were too far away to identify what the material was; but we could tell that it was emitting a strange and eerie glow. That the castle’s outline bore a striking resemblance to Stormkeep was a pretty good indicator that Lamorak Tanthul was responsible for the recently created hordes of zombies and that we had found his base of operations.

As we approached the raised drawbridge that led to the castle’s gatehouse we were ambushed by three powerful wizards; some of Lamorak’s highest ranking lieutenants. Each of them specialised in a particular branch of wizardry and combined their abilities to keep us off balance.

Eramus and Ash concentrated their efforts on a single wizard, while Dirty Pig and Voulge kept the other wizards busy. Once the first wizard was dead, their tag team strategy fell apart. Eramus and Ash moved on to the second wizard Voulge and Dirty Pig took out the third.

When the last wizard died, the drawbridge was lowered and the castle’s main gate rose.

The Putrid Castle

Once we crossed the bridged and reached the castle’s outer wall we were finally able to determine what it was made of. Rather than being constructed from some exotic building material as we thought, it was built out of corpses; thousands upon thousands of them. They were all packed tightly together, standing at attention; and every layer stood upon the shoulders of the one beneath it. It was a truly horrifying sight. And the faint eerie glow from before was now much brighter and permeated every body in such a way that it was most likely what was controlling them and holding them in place.

We entered the gatehouse and crossed through the outer wall into the castle’s courtyard. It was guarded by a zombie battalion that was being led by Nopheus’ dead wife Amanda. Normally they wouldn’t pose a threat to us, but these zombies were different; they were dread zombies. That meant that even if you’d put them down, they would keep getting back up until their bodies were too damaged to hold together. {If you kill them, they will get back up on their next turn. They only do this once.}

Once we defeated the zombie battalion we entered the castle’s main keep to confront Lamorak Tanthul. The Lich-Lord was sitting on a throne in a far corner, but otherwise the keep was empty. When he spotted us he summoned a horde of dread zombies to get in our way. Some of them even formed a defensive wall to prevent us from reaching the throne room.

Reaching Lamorak would prove to be almost as difficult as fighting him. The gauntlet of dread zombies was overwhelming. To help deal with them, Dirty Pig conjured a massive blizzard whose powerful buffeting winds knocked them down. He was then able to bypass the defensive wall by teleporting into the throne room.

With the zombies distracted by the blizzard, Ash was able to make his way to the defensive wall and take it down by calling upon the power of Kelemvor; although since Kelemvor didn’t exist yet it was actually Jergal’s power. With the wall no longer in the way, Eramus and Ash were now able to enter the throne room and help Dirty Pig fight Lamorak.

Voulge stayed near the main entrance to prevent a group of zombies that had been summoned in the courtyard from entering the keep. They were far enough away that he should have been able the take them all out before they reached the entrance. In the end it proved futile because as we eventually discovered, unlike the other dread zombies that would eventually stay down, the zombies that Lamorak had summoned kept getting back up over and over again.

Eventually, when we had pounded on him enough, Lamorak lost his focus for a moment {became bloodied} and the castle began collapsing.

The Decaying Battlefield – Lamorak’s Second Wind

Once we had dug ourselves out of the giant pile of corpses we discovered that the whole castle had collapsed and that the fog covering the vale was gone. In the distance, a group of zombies were carrying a large glowing sphere; it was the mythallar Lamorak had used to travel back in time. And somewhat closer to use, a group of zombies was assembling itself into a pyramidal siege machine with Lamorak’s throne perched on top.

While all this was happening Lamorak, who was close by, was regaining his focus and reassembling his troops. Now that he didn’t need them to form his castle, he had a much larger number of zombies at his disposal. We were now surrounded by a veritable swarm, and as before they just would not stay down.

And while Ash and Eramus were able to slowly make their way over to Lamorak, Dirty Pig and Voulge were pinned down under a mass of moving corpses. And to make matters worse, the survivor from the frontier town had showed up. Only now he had become a powerful undead creature and was attacking Dirty Pig. {Ash and Eramus were close enough to attack Lamorak, but were too busy hacking through zombies to do any real damage against him. Voulge’s turn in the initiative order was after the zombies, so even though they were being knocked down by Dirty Pig’s blizzard they were getting back up and attacking Voulge before he could escape. It wasn’t until he used his hover jets that he was able to do anything beyond heal himself. And while Dirty Pig’s turn came before the zombies’, the survivor kept incapacitating him, so he couldn’t take advantage of his own blizzard to escape.}

After what seemed like an eternity of futile fighting Karsus appeared to us in a vision. He told us to prepare ourselves to witness a truly wondrous sight as he was about to become a god.

Apparently we had delayed Lamorak long enough for Karsus to perform his Avatar spell. But as was expected Karsus did not survive and the Weave was broken. In that moment when all magic was disrupted Lamorak’s mythallar was destabilized. It shattered, and with it Lamorak’s hold on his undead army; they crumbled to dust and ash before our eyes.

The destruction of his mythallar had weakened Lamorak, and without his undead army to defend him, we vanquished him short order.

Upon the Lich-Lord’s destruction, Jergal, or one of his aspects at least, appeared before us. He seemed aware that we were from the future and that our purpose in coming back had been accomplished because he told us that it was now time to return to our time. With a wave of his hand we found ourselves back in Spellgard. The ruined one.