Paul Vilbig as Shaden “Leech” Liixe
Derek Romano as Cade “Blindsight” Haarkoth
Greg Mann as Khulvos Hooftorn
Michael Graziano as Daegys Sahii
Christine Scott as T’Saira Behntrilo
Vincent Pecoraro as Amducias Basara
If we were going to get to the Soothsayer, we were going to have our work cut out for us. Standing at the door of the Soothsayer’s Tower was a massive fiendish ogre flanked by over a dozen armed Legion soldiers. Above, through the stained-glass window on the top floor of the ten-story tower, we could easily make out the silhouette of the Arcadaemon we saw earlier in the busy streets, when we last saw Borgamat. Between the Arcadaemon, the fiendish ogre, and the platoon of Cambion and Blood Fiends, I could not fathom a way into that tower without our party suffering significant and unacceptable losses…
As we stood in the shadows of an alleyway overlooking the tower grounds, the sharp-eyed fiendish ogre noticed Leech, who was taking too close a look and left himself vulnerable to detection. Though we were seen, the ogre had no reason yet to consider us a threat, and so he sent five of his soldiers to chase our party away. As the lead Cambion approached, he warned us in a thick Glyphian accent, “Here there! Clear out, ay? This Legion business. You ‘eard me, neh? Scram!”
- It soon became apparent that there would be no way of talking our way past these soldiers. As they began to try physically removing us from the street, I took it upon myself to escalate this situation into a violent brawl. Normally, I would have backed down and left to think of an alternative to violence, but I have to admit there was something quite cathartic in this show of force. Perhaps my time spent with Crossel had a stronger effect on me than I at first realized.
- Unfortunately, despite how strong we have become since we first banded together in the Cauldron, the Legion’s soldiers were very well trained and quite coordinated. After the fiendish ogre sent more of his troops to assist in expelling us from the streets, Cade used his mystical abilities to manipulate the light pulsating from the glowing orb atop the Soothsayer’s Tower, pulling all the visible light from the area and forcing it to our backs, where we made a careful retreat. As we rounded a corner, Cade returned the light to where it belonged, blacking the area where we hid, a narrow alleyway leading to the footings of an ancient building site that never got past the foundation stages. In the dark, our pursuers could no longer track our movements, and they gave up the chase.
- We thanked Cade for his quick thinking and started to catch our breaths when we noticed a stir in the dark of the alleyway. Just as we were prepared for another encounter with the Legion, Leech recognized Colin Martok among the shadowed figures. It was the odd minstrel, Amducias Basara, and his band of musicians.
- After briefly explaining the situation, Amducias expressed a desire to help us out. He proposed using his rhythm guitarist’s natural talents to lure the Legion soldiers into a trap. His rhythm guitarist, a red-skinned devil named Valgus Flare, demonstrated his abilities with a magical fiddle that forced an audience to unwaveringly focus on the movements of his bow against the strings. Something about the music emanating from the fiddle psychically engaged the audience’s desire to comply with the player’s simple physical commands.
- There were a lot of ideas thrown out about how to go about gaining access to the Soothsayer, and in the course of our discussions (which in some cases came close to bickering over tiny details and glory-hungry hang-ups), we nearly neglected to notice a nearby pair of helpless banshrae being accosted by three barbazu devils. In fact, by the time we broke away from our conversation over the details of our planned ambush, one of the poor banshrae was stricken down. Leech was at first the only one to leap to the banshrae’s aid, sinking a lethal strike to the chest of the nearest barbezu. Daegys followed close behind, hoping to reach the remaining banshrae and shield her with his body, but as he neared her, to his surprise, the fallen banshrae was still alive, even if only barely so.
- Daegys called out to me, knowing as he did that I was capable of using my ki to heal the wounded banshrae. He grabbed the fallen creature, an insectlike fey humanoid with slender features and long, sharp fingers, and threw her toward me. As I caught her, I lowered her limp body to the ground behind me, shielding her with my body, and began to channel my inner spiritual energy, my ki, into her body. I watched as her wounds sutured themselves and her large, blue eyes flashed to life. I turned to look back at the rest of our party’s progress, and I was pleased with the results to say the least.
- Unlike our last encounter with the Legion in front of the Soothsayer’s Tower, these bearded devils were absolutely no match for us. Cade sunk a magical arrow so deeply into one of the barbazu devils’ foreheads that the back of its skull practically exploded. T’Saira summoned her huge psionic hands into existence and used one to shield the other banshrae from harm while the other punched a devil directly toward Amducias, who smashed his darksteel pick down so hard on his guitar strings that he left a thick curved scratch in the pick guard (where it joined dozens of other, similar gashes, grooves, and scuffs). The sound created by this chord, which Amducias later described as the “red note” caused the devil stumbling toward him to fall to its knees, clutch its ears, and fall dead, blood flowing from its ears, nose, mouth and eyes. The attack literally blew his mind.
- Not known for their social graces, the banshrae collected themselves and made a hasty escape, but as they left, we got a brief look of recognition, and perhaps respect, from one of them. It was possible that, yet again, we made strange new allies in this even stranger, hostile city. After collecting our wits, we resolved to avoid such distracting bickering and focus on achieving our goal. Our plan was simple:
- Daegys would use his mudpit ability to create a massive zone of sinking mud that spanned the width of this alleyway. Meanwhile, Valgus Flare would go with Leech back to the Soothsayer’s Tower, using his magic fiddle to lure as many of them as possible toward the ambush.
- The band, minus Valgus, of course, would set up on the other side of the mud pit, accentuated by a light show created by Cade to take attention away from the mud pit.
- I would lie in wait, hidden in the shadows created by Cade, with an uprooted flagpole held horizontally at my chest. When the time came, I would use the flagpole and make the strongest charge I could muster to push any hesitant enemies into the mud pit.
- T’saira would be poised to create her psionic net on a massive scale, dropping the net onto the Legion forces as they entered the Mud Pit.
- Using his newfound aptitude for ice-based abilities, Daegys would freeze the mud into permafrost, trapping the Legion soldiers inside, and leaving them sitting ducks for Leech’s strike, a series of thrusts and slashes with his darksteel sword against the vulnerable, helpless Legion forces.
Our plan was executed with absolute precision by everyone involved, and it was an amazing success. As we returned to the Soothsayer’s Tower, we found that only the fiendish ogre was left in the tower’s shadow, with the silhouette of the arcadaemon still visible in the window (and apparently still oblivious as to what was happening in the streets of his city). We were confident, especially considering our recent successes and our overwhelming numerical superiority, that we could walk right over this ogre and gain access to the Soothsayer’s Tower with relative ease.
We Were Wrong
Our battle against the fiendish ogre, against this single foe, would prove to be one of the most grueling and dangerous we had faced since we fought the remorhaz. Even with our new friends Amducias and his band, and even though we outnumbered our foe, we learned a great lesson of humility in the pains and scars we would carry forward from this epic struggle. One thing I took from this battle was a respect for how dangerous even an individual fiend can be, and how overwhelming our overall goals here in Infernia seemed to be once I took that fact into consideration…
- At first, we decided to use our numbers to overwhelm him, crowding the fiendish ogre from every angle. Those who were closest to him, myself included, paid for this tactic when he unleashed a burst of hellfire that threw us thirty feet into the air, then channeled a blast of hellfire from the end of his massive flametouched mace.
- Changing tactics, we began to make hit-and-run strikes, but these too proved only marginally effective, as the fiendish ogre was quite skilled in countering our strikes and imposing massive penalties upon anyone he could reach.
- By the time we whittled away at him enough to see blood flow from a few of his wounds, every one of us was in a state of rattled weariness and physical unease. More than one of our party considered fleeing once again, but Daegys came up with a fantastic strategy that turned the tide back in our favor.
- Daegys got a running start and slid along the ground toward the fiendish ogre. He then disappeared beneath the ground at the ogre’s feet, using his unique elemnish gifts with manipulating the element of earth. He rose up behind the ogre and leapt into the air, creating a gust of wind to propel him up onto the creature’s shoulders, where he dug his remaining two explosive arrows into the ogre’s eyes and ignited the fuses.
- The explosion destroyed the ogre’s eyes, but it was so strong, so seemingly immune to pain, that it continued to put up quite an impressive fight. After another few strikes at the creature, Cade stumbled upon the answer.
- “Hey, guys,” Cade said, “He can’t see us, so why don’t we just leave him out here and go into the tower?” Of course, he was right. We had gotten so hung up on defeating the ogre that we neglected to realize that we had already won. He still stood and breathed, but if we left his reach, he could no longer do us harm.
As we cautiously snuck away from the ogre, careful to give him no indication as to our whereabouts, we entered the Soothsayer’s Tower at last. Within the structure, we discovered that the entire tower was hollow, like a silo, with bookshelves reaching upward, lined with a spiralling iron staircase up through the ten stories to a transparent glass cieling, the floor of the penthouse level, where the Soothsayer and the Arcadaemon could be seen above, embroiled in a passionate argument…
Hell of an Entrance
We began to carefully ascend the stairs toward the rooftop, each of us unsure of what we were going to do when we were eventually face-to-face with the arcadaemon. Then, the tower shook as the fiendish ogre we left outside began uprooting trees, igniting them with hellfire, and hurling them into the walls of the tower in an effort to scare us out. We tried to hide, but the Arcadaemon saw us, and as we were about seven stories up already, it was too late for any of us to do anything about it…
- Suddenly, the stained glass rooftop above shattered inward, and the arcadaemon looked up in utter surprise. It was Borgamat, who smashed through the glass floor of the tower’s penthouse, driving the arcadaemon down, down, ten stories down to the hard stone floor. As he landed, the tower trembled and shards of glass fell from the shattered cieling and floor above our heads, forcing us to protect ourselves from the shrapnel. Thousands of books were shaken off their shelves, filling the bottom of the tower as Borgamat continued his fantastic attack.
- As the arcadaemon struggled to get up, Borgamat sunk the blade of his scythe so far into the demon’s skull that the blade embedded in the stone floor beneath. The scythe was a Weapon of Legend since being reforged with the great hammer Thundersong, and was also empowered with the energies of the God of Death himself. The attack, the fall, and the energy released from the weapon combined to kill the arcadaemon in one, incredible, once-in-a-lifetime assault. Everyone in the tower was absolutely in awe of what we had just witnessed. As much as Laurence had proven to be an instrument of justice in this world that desperately needed it, Borgamat had just demonstrated that the wholly unquestionable power of Death was immutable even in Infernia.
- Just then, we noticed that the Soothsayer was hanging perilously from the edge of the shattered glass floor above. I leapt to take hold of her, but I could not leap far enough, and even though I caught her, I was simply carrying her down seven stories to what would certainly hurt, and might actually kill, us both.
- Thank the Gods for Cackle, who during his time spent with Borgamat had learned to carry someone with him when he “blinks” from one place to another. He saved the Soothsayer about thirty feet from the ground, and then he saved me just as I could feel the fabric of my waist sash touching the hard stone floor below.
- Just when the silence had finally returned to the tower, the fiendish ogre stormed in and tackled Borgamat, whose scythe was still embedded in the stone tower floor. Determined to finish this fight, we descended on the bloodied ogre and saved Borgamat from his blind wrath.
- In the aftermath of this battle, we could hear the approach of the Legion, coming to investigate the fires and chaos surrounding the tower, no doubt. Not wanting to be discovered at the scene of an arcadaemon’s murder, we quickly collected what we could from his possessions, gathered the unconscious Soothsayer, and limped weakly back toward the rendezvous point in D’hakla’sz, also known as “Scarytown.”
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Chapter 1: The Dreamers in… Hellbound
Chapter 2: The Dreamers in… Life In The Cauldron
Chapter 3: The Dreamers in… The Waking Nightmare
Chapter 4: The Dreamers
Chapter 5: The Dreamers in… Escaping The Cauldron
Chapter 6: The Dreamers in… Wrath of the Beholder
Chapter 7: The Dreamers in… Hounds of Hell
Chapter 8: The Dreamers in… Hideous Laughter
Chapter 9: The Dreamers in… The Tomb of Caenus Graymane
Chapter 10: The Dreamers in… Allure of the Wispwaters
Chapter 11: The Dreamers in… Goodbye, Impy
Chapter 12: The Dreamers in… Sole Survivor
Chapter 13: The Dreamers in… The Iron Fist
Chapter 14: The Dreamers in… Battle at the Ancient Wall
Chapter 15: The Dreamers in… The Long, Hard Road
Chapter 16: The Dreamers in… Hunted
Chapter 17: The Dreamers in… On Fields of Ancient Dead
Chapter 18: The Dreamers in… The Woods of Woe
Chapter 19: The Dreamers in… Divine Intervention
Chapter 20: The Dreamers in… The Standing Stones
Chapter 21: The Dreamers in… Cherished Memories
Chapter 22: The Dreamers in… Hero of the Night Sword
Chapter 23: The Dreamers in… Well of Slivered Souls
Chapter 24: The Dreamers in… Dreams of a Lost World
Chapter 25: The Dreamers in… What Might Have Been (Part 1 of 2)
Chapter 26: The Dreamers in… What Might Have Been (Part 2 of 2)
Chapter 27: The Dreamers in… Shimekiri Sankatte (Part 1 of 2)
Chapter 28: The Dreamers in… Shimekiri Sankatte (Part 2 of 2)
Chapter 29: The Dreamers in… A Long Black Day
Chapter 30: The Dreamers in… No Justice In Hell
Chapter 31: The Dreamers in… The Soothsayer’s Tower
Chapter 32: The Dreamers in… Harrowing Revelations