Corellday, Marantus 3, 1018 A.G. – Seaport of Flotsam, Arantus
So, one thing I forgot to mention in my last post was that during our travel back here from the Vortex, we took time to upgrade some of our equipment.
As we were approaching shore, a couple of things happened. First our hideous hover hats fell apart, disintegrating. Second, the lifeboat also started to tear and spring leaks. But most importantly, we felt and actually saw, a dismal feeling in the air, almost as if we were back in the Shadowfell once again. There are wisps of smoke in the air, with burning fumes and the odor of decay everywhere. Plus a foreboding sense of something else. Ungus realizes we are going to have an even more difficult time with our healing powers and Groa surmises that parts of the Shadowfell are already leaking into Arantus. But still there is something more going on here. Ah, it’s waste energy from the Eldritch Engine at Thunderspire. At this point, since we have been away, it has spread continent-wide and beginning to seep into the other continents. As Rampart is pulling the sinking boat ashore, Gabbe contacts Groa. The connection and Gabbe’s voice is weak. She tells Groa that something is wrong at her pool; she senses things have happened up above. As she fades away into sleep, she tells Groa she cannot bring us to her right now. Also as we are pulling into shore, we spot the Percheron heading out to sea. Groa hails Captain Kaseem and he takes a moment to tell us to “leave while you can, this place is bad, seek the safety of the Elemental Chaos, there is no hope for your world! Goodbye!” Well, I say good riddance.
As we are disembarking from the shredded lifeboat and wading the last few feet to shore, I notice all my companions momentarily shimmer. They tell me their respective gods have granted them new levels of power and strength. Looking around, we see smoldering fires, destroyed buildings and small rifts in the earth. Worse, we don’t see anyone – the place is eerily quiet for a once bustling seaport.
Kuiperia leads the way checking out some of the village huts with Morthwyl helping out. What they find is truly sickening. Seems like the villagers have turned into Zombies and have been killing and eating the Frost Giants we sent there. Some of the Frost Giants are also turning into Zombies. There are rotting human and Frost Giant corpses scattered around the village. Out in the common area we are horrified to see one of the teenage girl Frost Giants being ripped apart. She was hideously screaming but it stopped as she died before we could act. There are 6 Zombie villagers chomping on her. I am so incensed at the outrage that I fire a volley of arrows, bursting over the group, quickly killing 5 out of the 6 then Kuiperia kills the last one. Knowing there have to be many more based on the village’s population, we look around as we hear growling coming from the outskirts. Sure enough, here come a dozen more PLUS 3 Frost Giant Zombies.
This combat starts out crazy and then goes downhill from there! We start attacking and killing Z’s only to find them being resurrected – albeit in a weaker state, but still to have to kill everyone twice – what a pain. The first time this happened, we heard a voice – at once familiar and dreaded – call out “Rise my children” as we see a winged beast with a lion head fly from inland. Riding the Manticore is a black cowled figure that Kuiperia instantly recognizes, followed by Ungus and me. Yes indeed, it is his lowly Lordship himself, Paldemar Vhennyk. Oh, what is he doing here! He tries to psych me out as he taunts me, so I make him my quarry and go after him. I blind him but am disgusted that he only suffers half of the damage he normally would. He’s insubstantial! No! So the battle goes on and on. At one point Kuiperia is surrounded by Zombies so I use my new teleportation power to summon her to my side. But now we are separated from the others and there are effectively two battles going on. But we power on, killing and then re-killing Zombies. We are grateful they don’t rejuvenate a third time. One thing of note is Groa’s new power that we nickname “Thundercage”. She creates a zone and blesses an ally. If an enemy attacks the ally, all enemies inside the zone are attacked by her power. Pretty cool. But Vhennyk also creates a zone of blindness that is not cool. At one point all of us except Morthwyl get blinded. Also during the battle Gabbe calls out to Groa telling her she will be ready to bring us in a minute or so but we must all be submerged in water. Groa thanks her for the info but tells her we are a little busy at the moment. The battle continues on both fronts as the Zombies die and come back and then die again. Meanwhile the pukeface Vhennyk rides around on the Manticore attacking and bloodying Kuiperia and me. Shifting my quarry from Vhennyk to his mount, I bloody and immobilize it. Meanwhile Ungus heals and strengthens Morthwyl and Groa. I have teleported myself and Kuiperia to an abandoned fishing boat on the shore. Kuiperia gets in the boat with me and hides and heals herself. But the Zombies come after me, bloodying me. Then Vhennyk dismounts from the wounded Manticore and floats over our heads. I manage to immobilize him as we exchange “pleasantries” and he blasts both of us. Kuiperia helps with her crossbow but he keeps shrugging off half of all our damage. Ungus keeps healing Groa and Morthwyl as a group of 6 Zombies surround me. They knock me unconscious but I go down with a fight, punching them with the butt end of my greatbow, killing one. Gabbe calls out again that she is now ready to bring us even if we are not in the water. She says she will go unconscious herself but she can do it. Groa says “Hold on.” We are still scattered in the middle of a battle and are torn between making an escape or continue fighting. Ultimately we do both. We have to wait for Groa to get within range of all us. In the meantime Kuiperia has called Rampart to come to her so we can take him with us. Ungus moves closer to Vhennyk and dismisses him to the other plane. We know that is temporary but it buys us a little time. Ungus heals Kuiperia and me but shortly thereafter both of us are knocked unconscious once again by the Zombies. Morthwyl is still attacking the other area of Zombies, as Ungus kills the Manticore and heals Kuiperia and me again just as “his lowship” reappears . . . (TO BE CONTINUED)