Kathy - Vochma
Micah - Cardhu
Mark - Corlis
Ben - Drew
Liz - Quera
Joe - Moth
Josh - Playing Misha
The party, rested and recovered from their trip to Toon-Land to rescue "Santa Claus", met at Cardhu's place for a round of ale and some discussion of what was going to happen next. We also examined the items received from the mysterious "Santa Claus" as rewards for rescuing him. Each party member received a useful gift, ranging from healing salves to a magical wand. After marveling at the various gifts and the aptness of the giver, we turned our minds to the future.
While Moth, Cardhu and Corlis discussed various options, Vochma opened the strange bag she received as a gift. Out popped a pair of rabbits, carrying a gold bar. They quickly made their way off the porch of Cardhu's and into the surrounding woods, being pursued by Drew (who had his eye on the gold bar no doubt). The rest of us continued our discussion, eventually deciding to spend the rest of the day scouting towards the Chaos altar.
As we prepared to set off, we noticed Drew was not back from his rabbit hunting. The party set off to find him, wondering to ourselves just why it was the wisest member of the party ended up in the most trouble. A quick scan of the surrounding area revealed that Drew was headed towards the site of the summoner's hut, so we directed our course towards it. When we arrived in the clearing, we were surprised (well, not that surprised) to find Drew hanging unconscious from a nearby tree. Corlis advanced to free him from the tree's grasp, but as he crossed the clearing a glowing doorway appeared in the side of the tree and a minotaur stepped out, surprising everyone. It was GAR! As the party stood befuddled, Gar cast a pair of spells, one entangling Moth and Cardhu in wildly growing grasses and vines, the second summoning a huge lynx, then retreated back through the magical doorway in the tree. As he left, Corlis shook off his confusion long enough to scare off the lynx. Moth and Cardhu worked themselves free of the entangling growth, and Quera freed Drew from the tree's grasp.
Before we returned to town, we noted the charred corpses of the two rabbits, still holding on to a slightly melted gold bar.
We returned to town only long enough to gather a few supplies, then we set off into the woods to the south-west. As soon as we stepped into the shadows of the trees, we knew something was wrong. A chill aura of fear permeated the woods, and darkness seemed to cling to each root and branch. Nevertheless, we made our way to the site of the Chaos altar, hoping we weren't too late.
As we reached the altar, we noted more of the greenish slime creeping around through the underbrush and debris of the forest floor. After some debate, Cardhu decided to take a look at the altar from the shadow plane. Everyone save Moth elected to go along for the ride. A poor choice as it turns out, as Cardhu's mysterious shadow amulet broke as we arrived on the shadow plane! After a brief battle with some puny shadows, and a few efforts to affect the altar from the shadow plane, we decided to head towards Kernan (as best we could estimate).
Meanwhile, Moth was facing troubles of his own. The slimes were attacking, and he was in trouble. Fortunately, Slarth caught up with him about this time, and together they made their way back to Kernan. Moth met with the Duke, and told him that the rest of the group was lost in the shadow realm. The Duke was, needless to say, unhappy. He was more unhappy because he had received a communication from Gar, who threatened to grow the evil in the forest unless Moth returned an item to him. Moth explained the situation to the Duke, and they decided to return to the woods, accompanied by Herernavi, the next day.
Back in the shadow plane, the rest of the party had encountered a group of heavily armed humanoids, who identified themselves as 'githyanki'. They ordered us to fall in with them, and after some debate we did so. Further conversation revealed they were taking us to the Queen's emissary, who was attempting to open some sort of portal from the plane of shadow to another place. We traveled for what seemed to be at least a day before we reached the site of the portal, where we encountered a purple robed figure guarding the way. The Brothers of Balance again!
The next morning, Moth, the Duke, Walwyn and Herernavi set of towards the woods. As they entered the fringe area, Herernavi discovered that much of the evil that we felt was actually illusion, though Moth was reluctant to agree. After reaching the altar, the group debates what might be done. They come to the conclusion that summoning an elemental of fire to burn out the corrupt area of the woods while Walwyn removes the consecration of the site would destroy the altar. They retreat back to Kernan to plan for their assault.
Meanwhile at the portal, serious debate ensued between the guardian of the portal (who disturbingly knew Corlis's name), the githyanki, who thought the guardian in purple robes was a royal emissary, and the party, who knew the thing was probably pure evil and an agent of Mung. The foul thing claimed that a single sacrifice would open the portal, though it would not reveal the destination. After much debate, Corlis grew impatient and attacked the creature. The githyanki moved to stop the fight, but Misha played upon their own indecision and convinced them to let the two, Corlis and robed guardian duel it out. It was a long fight, with many blows given and received. The creature was exceedingly difficult to hit, and each blow it struck sundered armor and flesh alike. The party grew more nervous, and Corlis started to stagger as he swung Ichon. Finally, barely able to keep his feet, Corlis dealt a mighty blow to the creature's midsection, spilling its bowels on the ground before the portal.
As the creature lay there, it said "One more sacrifice ", then died. As its last breath was released, the portal glowed, then opened
The party has (not including items distributed):
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