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Recap 9 (May 11, 2002)

Attack of the Trolls

We spend some time with the centaurs, recovering from our wounds and being treated to a series of feasts. The centaurs are forest people in the truest sense, and I have nothing but respect for them. We learned much from each other in those days. Eventually it was time for us to move on, so we said our farewells, promising to meet again.

Trolls attacked us at night, in the cold rain. It was very bad. We could only see them when the lightening flashed, and the water made it hard to light them on fire. Leento used his Faerie Fire spell, hoping to make the trolls visible in the dark, but it actually fooled the dumb beasts into thinking they were on fire. A few ran away, and more came back later. At one point, one showed up in the middle of the camp, even though we had watches posted. It managed to badly injure most of the party before we were even fully awake. I'm not sure how that happened. Trolls are very dangerous creatures and we will have to be extremely careful when we approach Yerraterra.

Sidetracked Again

After a lot of travelling, (and tavern-hopping, where Chyekk, Malouf, and myself had, er, a few drinks. Actually, I don't remember much about those times, except I'm pretty sure the bartenders were taking advantage of the barbarian and dwarf's naivety by watering down their drinks. I say this because they drank just as much as I did and didn't seem to get nearly as drunk.) we arrived in Roesh, where we finally paid off our debt to the Temple Of Tyr. I took a minute to reflect on Raistlin, a fellow Lukan who had been rather fond of before his death and resurrection... changed him. The other members of our party were convinced that Raistlin had betrayed us, but I wasn't so sure.

We stopped off in a tavern for one more decent meal before we headed to Malta Forest. The tavern was filled with townspeople, farmers, and off duty guards. A bard was singing, and the food smelled good, and I got ready to settle down for another chance to prove I could hold my mead. As soon as we got in, though, Arkospixi, who's always acted a little suspiciously, pardoned herself and headed off to meet with a shady looking man sitting in the corner. A few minutes later, an off-duty Knight Of Phantar, who had been very obviously trying to not look like he was looking at us, headed out of the tavern. I waited a few minutes, and then followed him.

When I caught up with him, he was already on his way back, escorting a distinguished-looking old man, probably a former Knight himself, and a young woman with brown hair (kinda cute) wearing the blue cloak and broach of an apprentice Guild Mage. We'd been having problems with the Mage's Guild ever since Snow joined our group, so I was wary. I stopped them and demanded to know who they were and what they wanted. The guard pointed me out as one of "them" and the older man introduced himself and the apprentice mage. He was Teranon and the woman was Andrya. Teranon was our friend Retameron's father, and Andrya was the apprentice of Halia, who was Retameron's wife and also a good friend of ours. The Knight was Sir Gandred.

After negotiating a meeting place (I wanted to do it in the tavern because I was still suspicious of the Mage's Guild connection), I agreed to allow the three to come into the tavern and make their appeal for our party to meet them tomorrow in Teranon's war bunk. We entered the tavern to find Chyekk singing drunkenly with a group of dwarves, Lashtal sitting over by the bard, and Malouf sitting in the corner, gnawing on a ham bone, but eventually I got everyone together and we listened to Teranon's appeal. He spoke quietly, apparently not wanting anyone else in the tavern to hear, but he told us that his son Retameron and his wife Halia had disappeared. He would not go into details in the tavern. We agreed to meet with him tomorrow to hear more.

After Teranon left, we got into a heated debate on what we should do. Our goal, to cleanse Malta Forest of Yerraterra and his trolls, had been continually delayed as we dealt with the enslavement of Malouf's tribe, Chyekk's geas and the orc mines (and an excursion into the frog-people's cavern), and the centaur war. On the other hand, Retameron and Halia were fairly good friends of ours and we did not want to abandon them. We agreed we would go to help them, but we weren't happy about how fate conspired to keep us from our task.

Retameron And Halia's Tower

The first thing we discovered was that Retameron and Halia's disappeance was related to the wizard Skarda, who had also been responsible for enslaving Malouf's tribe and causing the centaur war. Perhaps once Skarda was dealt with we would find fewer interruptions.

Teranon told us the following:

  • Skarda has clashed several times with Retameron and Halia with no clear victor.
  • No one knows where Skarda came from. Some suspect he came from the distant kingdoms of the north, which Lord Phantar has no contact with.
  • Some time ago, Retameron noticed a minion of Skarda’s in Roesh, and followed him to a house in the city. Inside were Skarda and several of his lieutenants.
  • Retameron left, and returned with Halia and several Knights and some guild magicians. They attacked, killed some of Skarda’s allies. But all of the magic released in the battle caused the house to collapse. In the confusion, Skarda’s people escaped.
  • From the wreckage, the Knights found plans that suggested Skarda was planning an invasion of Roesh. However, the Knights have no knowledge of any armies in the vicinity, and we don’t believe our intelligence is wrong on this matter.
  • Also in the wreckage, Halia discovered a mirror that was emanating magic. Andrya said that Halia believed the mirror to be a Life Trapping, which was a fairly powerful item that would pull a person that looked into it into the mirror.
  • Recently, another enemy of Retameron, a slaver named Achnu, escaped from prison and was loose in the city, and boasting that he was going to kill Retameron. It was believed that Halia hung the mirror on their bedroom door as a precaution against Achnu sneaking in and attempting to assassinate them. That night, we heard screaming from Retameron & Halia’s tower. They are now missing. All the servants had been murdered. Knights were sent in, and half were killed by a strange creatures that looke like a ragged, beastly humanoid with a wild mane of hair and sharp teeth. The rest had their strength drained from them.
  • Teranon said "Lord Phantar and some of his elite Knights are... away on an expedition. Our regular knights have proven ineffective against the... menace within the tower. You have a reputation in this city. When Sir Gandred recognized you from Retameron's stories, he came and got me. Will you help? I can offer you 2,000 gold pieces as your reward."
Snow claimed that she had encountered one of these creatures before, in Skarda's tower prior to the centaur war. It had also drained her strength before she killed it. I didn't think it was the same thing. I couldn't believe that Snow had managed to kill something by herself that an entire regiment of Knights of Phantar couldn't handle. Chyekk seemed to have an idea what the creature was, and requested that some Priests of Tyr were sent with us into Retameron and Halia's tower. Teranon agreed, and summoned two priests, named Cargy and Ruffe.

Snow seperated from the party, scaling the tower wall and entering through a window on the top floor. The rest of us went in the front door. We explored that tower, room-to-room, and found nothing, except busted furniture and the remains of the servants and soldiers, whose bodies had been sucked dry of life and converted into dried husks. There was a piece of broken mirror glass in each room, and at first we thought it was the magic mirror, but we soon encountered more glass than could have possibly made up one mirror. We figured that the creature, whatever it was, was able to travel from one mirror piece to another, so whenever we found a piece, we smashed it. We ran into a few creatures that escaped from Halia's lab, and at one point had a scare when a hairy looking humanoid that vaguely matched the description of the monster jumped at us, but it turned out it was only a rock baboon.

Chyekk was going into each room alone to smash a mirrors, and suddenly, as he went into one of the last few, the door slammed behind him. We heard the sounds of a fight, but were having a lot of trouble busting the door open. When we finally got in, Chyekk was fighting a creature that looked exactly like what Snow and Teranon had described. It was clawing ferociously at Chyekk. His armor was the only thing keeping him from getting rent apart. He was swinging at the thing with all his might and it was barely registering. The priests attempted to repel it with Tyr's power, but it had no effect. Then we all moved in and attacked it, but not before the creature got one good swipe in at Chyekk and scored a hit. Chyekk staggered, visibly weakened. I can tell you that while i was hitting that thing for all i was worth, i don't think i was hurting it that much at all. The priests seemed to be having better luck with their maces.

Eventually Snow met up with us and reported that the top floors were the same as what we were seeing, and also said that it looked like the mirror, which had been hanging on the bedroom door, was gone. We decided that there was nothing more for us to do.


We left the tower and reported back to Teranon's war bunk, where we told them what had happened. The priests tried to cure Chyekk, but they didn't have any luck with any of the soldiers and weren't doing any better with him. In the meantime, Teranon thanked us for our help, and even though we hadn't found his son and daughter-in-law, we had at least killed the creature and, with the mirror pieces being broken, made it much safer for a thourough investigation. He gave us the promised 2,000 gold pieces, though i wasn't sure i felt right about taking it.

We left Teranon, and were walking through the streets, feeling demoralized (especially Chyekk) but ready to leave town and head to Malta Wood, when Malouf suddenly turned to us and started stammering "My... my b-brother!", and then ran off. The rest of the party ran off after him, but i didn't. I was sick of it. One thing after another. It was getting pointless. In fact, this whole series of side-quests would never have happened if we hadn't gotten mixed up with that oaf Malouf and gone trekking the entire breadth of the country to free his tribe of female worshippers. Well, I was tired of it. Let the rest of the group go catch the crazy barbarian and settle him down. I was going off for a drink. I found a nicer pub that had some tables on the street, and I sat down.

After a while, though, I started to get worried. How hard was it to catch the crazy man and calm him down? They should have been back by now. I got up and began following their tracks down a series of narrow allies. Soon I heard the sound of battle up ahead and I started moving faster. I got to an alley, and saw trouble: we were being attacked by an efficient looking group:

  • A duo of men wearing black platemail armour, one wearing an extravagent helmet and wielding a greatsword, the other holding a mace, worked as a pair, the priest casting defensive spells and healing the warrior as necessary. The two were engaged with Chyekk and Leento's bear Ursa.
  • An elven woman wearing green clothing and leather armor, and brandishing a large polearm was fighting Malouf, keeping him away from another warrior, a man wearing armor that didn't quite fit him.
  • On a rooftop stood a wizard in flowing robes who was throwing down fire and magic wherever it was needed. Leento and Lashtal had already been badly weakened by his attacks. I realized this was the wizard we fought when we first met Malouf and his tribe. He was the one who disappeared during the fight, leaving even his clothing behind.
  • Snow was completely occupied fighting another monk. The two of them were moving their arms and legs so quickly it was impossible to tell exactly what was happening. At one point Snow attempted to break away from the fight to deal with the wizard on the building, but was the other monk wouldn't allow it.
  • Arkospixi was sprawled out on the ground, her throat slit.
I barely had time to get a few crossbow shots off at the monk (who snatched them right out of the air, all while still fighting Snow!), when another wizard appeared on a rooftop. This one was laughing maniacally, and then he shouted “Enough! Look here, fools, and see your DOOM!”. He unveiled a large mirror, and Leento, Lasthal, and Malouf disappeared. Soon Snow was defeated, and it was just Chyekk, myself, and Ursa fighting off the remaining members of their group. I had been badly injured in a sneak attack by another group member, an assassin named Sylthe who I thought we had killed back at Skarda's slave pit in the Hessiac Mountains. Eventually we were all overpowered.

Through The Looking Glass

I woke up to the sound of Arkospixi screaming. We were all chained up against the walls of a prison cell, stripped of all our possessions, and Sylthe was twisting a dagger into the elven thief's armpit. The the wizard who had been holding the mirror, who I now recognized as Skarda, stood in the doorway and said, "Well, I hope you are honored. I don’t normally waste so much effort on ants like you, but you caused me enough problems in Hessiac that it seemed worth the time.” After he left, the man in the black plate and the helmet, who Skarda referred to as Karzda, bowed in our direction and said "You fought well.". A few minutes later, a warped looking individual, possibly a half-ogre, or possibly just a large dimwit, came in, splashed me with a bucket of rotten fish and sewer water, and punched me in the face. As I hung there, stunned, the idiot shouted, says “Now you belong here. Huhuhuhuh!”

Immediately after our captors left, Arkospixi slipped out of her chains. A second later, Snow was out of hers and the two of them were opening the doors and unlocking our chains. It is at times like these I am glad to have people of their unique abilities on our side. If we were a team of only warriors, we would still be in prison. As we were freeing ourselves, another prisoner, a man named Ashgarth, introduced himself as the leader of a slave rebellion in this world. What world? Well, apparently we had been sucked into a different dimension, ruled by Skarda. Ashgarth said that Skarda commanded 500 soldiers and had about 3,000 slaves. Ashgarth had organized a small resistance force of 100 slaves, but they weren't very effective, and Ashgarth wanted our help.

Originally I had thought that Chyekk and Malouf were in a different cell; I now realized that they were not with us.

We snuck through the dungeon, and Arkospixi was able to dispatch a few patrolling guards. I've always been impressed with Chyekk's ability to knock an ogre clear across the room, but the stealthy way that Arkospixi can drop an opponent in a single, silent stab is... disturbing.

As we were leaving the dungeon, we found both Retameron and Halia in cells. We freed them, and Retameron and myself both wore the prison guard armor. Then we burst into the guardroom, and fought the idiot prison keeper and several guards. Our equipment was in the room, so we grabbed our stuff, and i removed the guard's armor and put my own back on. We also took as much of Chyekk and Malouf's stuff as we could carry. Ashgarth said that our friends were likely at the arena, and that we had better hurry there.

When we left the dungeon, I was stunned. The world we were in was apparently a giant cube, with the walls, floors, and ceiling made out of mirror. It was very disorienting. But we didn't have time to stop and consider it. Several guards were coming towards us. Ashgarth led us across the mirrored floor, into a makeshift "town" of slaves. Once we were in the crowd, the guards could not find us, and Ashgarth took us to the arena.

Looking down into the arena floor, we saw Chyekk and Malouf, and a badly abused Manticore. Malouf was fighting the beast with the scattered weapons spread across the floor. Chyekk, apparently still rattled from his diminished strength and his recent defeat, was just standing there in a daze. While the rest of us were trying to decide what to do, Snow took off, jumping into the arena to help Malouf. Her system of honor is admirable but also completely impractical. Thinking quickly, I tried to salvage the situation while a number of guards entered the arena after Snow. Suddenly I realized my mistake: I had taken off the guard armor, and now I couldn't pass myself off as one. Retameron still could, though, and I urged him to enter the arena and help Snow. Nonetheless it looked hopeless.

Then, a group of perhaps 15 slaves entered the arena, screaming and shouting. They began attacking the guards. The guards turned to face them, and Malouf and Snow ran off, Malouf picking up and carrying Chyekk. Then the Manticore turned and attacked the guards as well. Ashgarth shouted for us to follow, and so we were not able to see the end of the fight. I don't know what happened to the slaves, or to Retameron.

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