We knew that this expedition was going to be deadly, be even we underestimated the danger of claiming an Elder Shard. The seven of us Tohil, Karash, Kurl, Eddings, Red, Cynder, and myself set out from Ruined Oak last week on a nice day with easy traveling. We traveled to the The Swollen Tooth Inn where a kobold, after a little bribing, told us how to travel over the frozen mountains. Apparently a few days to the north, about where the northern road currently ends, is a small mountain that is passable during the summer months. We thanked them and set out for the mountain. Our journey was overwhelming uneventful as we camped the night at the mountains peak. In the morning some horror attacked us from under the snow but it was little trouble to deal with. The next few days we traveled down the mountain and skirted around a large mountain of black stone with almost no life in sight. Until we saw our destination a void of magical darkness wrapping around a mountain.
We decided to camp the night outside of the darkness for a final rest before we fought the horror waiting for us. During the night a strange encounter happened between Karash (who possessed an Elder Shard) and a forgetful old man claiming to be Nilmir until a horrific sound work everyone else up causing the man to disappear. In the morning we were stalling before entering the magical darkness and in desperation to move onward Karash ripped out his last eye to receive a gift of magical vision that could pierce the darkness. Now with Karash, Red, and my faithful companion Ral being able to see through the darkness we felt comfortable moving forward. And that darkness was horrifying. We felt creatures on all sides and where even once ambushed by a pack of them that disappeared into smoke when killed.
After some time we reached a tunnel with 2 large sets of doors, seemingly acting as an airlock to keep the darkness out. Beyond was a tunnel of acid with only a few stones precariously placed as a path. I am not ashamed to admit that I am not the most athletic person in the world so I received help teleporting over. All of the other flew, hopped, teleported, or floated to get over the acid without a scratch. Beyond was a small antechamber with a hallway leading to a door. I checked for traps and found nothing besides a thin wall and beyond the door was a room with what seemed like a pit of spikes in the middle. As we began to search the next room while Tohil decided to smash the thin wall I found, causing a small trickle of acid to leak through their wall. Eventually their actions to try and plug up the wall leading for the wall to collapse from loss of structural stability. Leading to everyone to rush into the next room with hast, springing the trap. It is hard to explain so I will include a picture bellow.
Beyond we did some exploring leading us to find little except for a barely alive Drow that I befriended, though he could not provide any concrete information beside what direction ‘the Physician’ came from. We eventually decided on a path and went forward. I ended up locked out of the room they entered so I can’t tell you with certainty what happened but when the door was finally unlocked ‘the Physician’ room was directly ahead.
As we entered a common event in the coming fight happened, we were struck with a Circle of Death. But ‘the Physician’… Nilmir was directly in front of us. Within moments Karash rushed forward to kill Nilmir but was almost instantly pulled into the abyss never to be seen from again and leaving his Elder Shard behind. The fight progressed with no deaths and we killed Nilmir. As Nilmir crumbled to dust the walls to the room vanished and we were in a much larger room with the real Nilmir and 5 magical pulsing crystals. I was quickly put on the edge of death while the others were crossing the acid trying to reach Nilmir and the crystals. Laying in a puddle of my own blood I cast spells for as long as I could before one of the crystals knocked me out with a magical bolt.
It was some time before I was awakened and the state of the battle field was chaos. One party member was dead. Cynder was a pile of ash. Tohil seem to have resorted to his animal instincts. And everyone living was in critical condition all while Nilmir the Dream Eater… I still don’t know how I know their tile… seemed only lightly wounded. Seconds after I saw this a writhing wall of darkness sprung between me and Kurl who had his arms outstretched to heal me. I used my only scroll of mist step to position myself to shoot beyond the wall as everyone alive began to unload everything they had left on Nilmir. Well except for Tohil who was attacking whatever hurt him last.
The next phase of the battle was a quick bloodbath. As Nilmir managed to kill the 2 people next to him before we finally put him in his grave, dropping an elder shard. We drew lots (actually Eddings drew for Tohil who was still dumb) and decided that I would get Nilmir’s Elder Shard and Tohil would get Karash’s Elder Shard. That moment is hard to explain as my body seemed to be ripping itself apart as I in essence had two patrons vying for control over my soul and that feeling is not gone to this day. After regaining a semblance of control we placed all of our diseased friends that we could find into Cynder’s bag of holding and searched for the way out with four tablets that we found in the chamber. As we placed the tablets in some slots we found earlier I retrieved the drow survivor. The door that ended up opening was not to an exit but to a treasure hold with more valuables that I have ever seen in my life. We grabbed as much as we could before the vault became unstable and a cabinet opened up with a floating cube with various symbols. Eddings pressed the symbols resembling rolling hills as we were suddenly sucked into and out of many portals as we were flung across the island. From there we wandered for days until we eventually found a road.
And that is the end of our horrific journey. I will rest for some time as we sort out all the consequences.
- Uzza, Rated #1 Lawyer on Katashaka for the past 2 years