PCs: Red, Aldwin, Dust, Eddings, Grey and yours truly: Naal.
The expedition had the aim of ganking Tzaran up in his keep atop the Jub Jubs, since most of his forces seem committed to the war effort. We were briefed by the Jub Jub scouts about how to approach this fortification and were warned that flight would be met with the island defenses in the form of a warning issued in Common, Celestial, Infernal and Abyssal, then if disregarded those aloft would be struck blind and deaf for at least an hour. We set out following the path noted to us, the first day of the march up the mountain fairly uneventful.
On the second day, after picking up the camp and bursting the bubble of magical force protecting us we began to feel the effects of the biting cold from the greater altitude. We also were almost ambushed by a landshark, two blood giants, and some kind of skeletal aberration with a penchant of tossing tendrils at people. Oh, and a huge Gorgon. The bloody giants were perched atop a bridge leading toward the tunnel we would use to reach the keep proper, and began lobbing rocks the size of people at us, with little effect. The landshark took about 10 seconds to go down between myself and Aldwin. Next followed the charging Gorgon, which spewed it’s petrifying breath on us with no effect. Come the monstrosity, it lasted about the same as the previous one as we took to flank it, with Grey knocking it’s lights out continuously.
Seemingly fuming, the two giants jumped down from their perch and began making their way into the fray. Once more Aldwin and myself stopped the onslaught with out armored bodies, while Dust kept shooting down some annoying hawks which kept getting in the way of Grey’s natural climbing inclinations to avoid the worst of the melee. Upon coming into the melee, the giants began unleashing their magics, conjuring piercing blobs of blood to pierce the guts of the paladin and myself. Twice we endured this treatment, as their lances kept finding my shield or Aldwin’s great-sword. The aberration with a gloppy inclinations was undone in the onslaught of further blood magics, before we finished off the last giant. The way up the summit was clear.
Atop the mountain, we found a gravely battered keep, with crumpled walls. Grey didn’t waited one second before climbing one with a rope of mine and hooking it up atop it, causing the previously concealed defenders to perform their job: Archers, a couple of warlocks, cultists and even a war construct. I immediately followed in the wake of the Monk up the wall to give the defenders further targets. As arrows bounced off my plate, the activated construct bounced over structures like a child would a little fence, to meet me in the fray. By then I had already made myself all but impossible to hit with my illusory magic, enough to have Aldwin line up the perfect hit on it’s back which all but crippled the walking suit of armor towering above us. Meanwhile Grey was cruising the rampant and towers yeeting archers off them to their demise, while Red, Dust and Eddings battled with the spellcasters, which were the last ones to fall. After inspecting our surroundings the only intact structure was a temple complex that seemed to have been built into the stone of the mountain, the keep seemingly done to protect it. On we marched.
Inside the temple, we found devious magical traps that unleashed darts made of force, arrows activated by pressure plates, envenomed darts corridors, Blood Elementals, Blood Oozes, more cultists, and loot. Oh so much loot. I’m talking 20 pounds of gold sculpted in the likelihood of dragons, guarded by permanent darkness spells and set up in a way as to provoke a spiked wall to impale the idiot that would retrieve it. Red gingerly used his devil eyes to command his mage hand to tie a rope around the sculpture and we fished it out. We kept on descending, beating every opposition we faced, while Dust, Aldwin and myself made sure we would step on any traps. Finally we came to the bottom of the pit dug up into the earth.
We were met with another war construct, this one wearing the dismembered cadavers of it’s previous victims on it’s spined armor like it was a fashion statement, two blood oozes, and the head warlock of this complex. No, it wasn’t Tzaran: a red-bearded man with enormous pull on his patron, and giant bloody ax. The construct went down first, then the oozes, and finally we faced against the bearded bodyguard of the man we had come to slay. Bloodied and battered, literally drenched in the red stuff on account of the creatures we had vanquished, we had to wrestle the Warlock to the ground to have any hope of bypassing the shadowy shroud around his body, fueled by necrotic magic. Eddings singlehandedly destroyed his shroud by entering into the melee, surrounded by his frozen magical armor, which violently exploded with each blow he took. I flanked the warlock with Aldwin so as to permit the Paladin and Dust to get their precious hits in. Then, after what seemed an eternity, Grey punched his head in.
Our price? Another golden draconic sculpture, the opening of the doors which laid beneath, and the chance to see Tzaran escape with his bloody lord via portal while the temple complex collapse on itself. – We escaped using the same device they used, which transported us a day away from the Dwarven City State, according to my navigation instruments. We have them in the run, gentlemen. There’s still hope for White Moon Cove.