Written from the perspective of Sasaki.
After the dragon Urishtar (needs link) fell to the ground its body started to fade away like a shadow in the sun. As the last of it’s body dissipated into shadowy smoke it left behind a piece of the Dragon Heart (needs link). This piece looked different from the metallic shards we had collected before, it was made from glass and had trapped smoke writhing around inside of it.
After inspecting it and the half of the completed heart we have Ylanna (needs link) felt that this peice did not belong with the half we already have. Arc thought that it may be part of another “dark” heart, which was a frightening possibility.
As we entered the underground tunnel which would lead us under the perimeter wall of Kopekita (needs link) Ylaana could sense that this place buzzed with residual magic from a very powerful ritual. Perhaps she thought it could of been used in part of the planear lock down ritual the Baron had used. A stone staircase hewn into the rock led us into darkness.
Furien (needs link) scouted ahead of the rest of us and quickly disappeared into the darkness of the tunnel. He appeared a few moments later after spotting two Raksha’s (sp) talking up ahead in a language he did not understand next to two lit braziers. Ylaana (needs link) shape shifted into a cat and pawed forward to listen into the conversation.
The conversation between the two Raksha’s was about their alliance with the Baron and that they did not entirly trust his motives. Apparently the Baron also has an alliance with the Formorians in the Feywild and as such they were scouting the tunnel as a potential escape route for their forces should the agreement they have with the Baron deteriorate. Before they left one of the them looking at the brazier said: “… there are things that should not be. Leave a guard here for the time being”.
Ylaana (needs link) moved closer to the two braziers flanking the tunnel after the two men leave and uses her arcanne senses to detect the familiar magic of the Far Realm (needs link) inside both braziers. After some short consideration we realise the braziers are probably trapped, possibly a trap with grapples or restrains it’s victims.
As we move forward to disarm the traps we can see three guards approaching from the other end of the tunnel coming towards the braziers, leaving the trap between us and the enemy. There were three Raksha warriors in scale armour wielding longsword and shields and another wearing fine chain and robes wielding two scimitars.
We have no chance but to advance on the enemy.
Arc moves forward to engage the four enemies the corridor is only 20foot wide so it was to our advantage if Arc could engage them first. Before Arc could get next to the lead warrior a black tendril emerges from the brazier he was nearest and wraps itself around him causing some damage. He tries to esacpe from the hold but the trap has him held too tight.
Furien charges forward and “Twin Strikes” the second warrior getting two decent strikes in.
The second brazier not restraining Arc lashes out and also grapples him.
Ylaana advances towards one of the braziers hoping to disarm the trap. After a short analysis of the trap we need to use fire or strength to overcome it. Ylaana then tries to cast a “Staggering Note” against the Raksha nearest Furien but misses.
Kalmin (the Raksha in chain wielding two scimitars) advances swinging both swords with some skill against Furien. As he is grabbed by the trap he cannot move out of the way and Kalmin scores two good hits on my friend dazing and bloodying him immediately. After plunging his swords into Furien he looks back down the tunnel from where they came and shouts: “Protectors, join us!”.
Peiter advances 20feet and casts “Remorse” on Klamin and the warrior next to Furien, dazing both with his holy power and healing Furien at the same time.
The first warrior advances to Arc’s position and swings his sword but Arc is too quick and blocks the blow with his shield.
I seize my chance and charge at full speed into the warrior engaged with Arc using a “Howling Strike” to draw first blood against him.
Arc kicks off a “Venting Breach” and strikes the adjacent warrior, his lightening hammer and thunderous powers grounds out in the tunnel striking the other two enemies in the same strike. He then uses this opening to slide into a more advantageous position where we can all reach them and after they are grouped together he teleports into the middle of them marking all three and evading the traps grapple. After all this the second warrior myself and Arc had just hit was blooded.
Furien “Twin Stike’s” the warrior he has been fighting getting a solid hit then a critical strike to the warriors chest. This fells the warrior instantly. Furien shakes off the dazing effect of Kalmin’s strike and looks for his next target.
The trap that was grabbing Arc until he teleported away lashed out at me and before I can move wraps me in a grapple doing some damage in the process.
From further down the tunnel come three Abyssal Zealots, skin flayed to the bone and chains lashed to their faces to assist Kalmin and his remaining warrior. Two engage Arc and the other against Furien.
Kalmin and two of the Zealots attack Arc but his sturdy defenses are too much for all them. The one facing Furien manages to find and opening in his defence and scores a critical hit. Furien is bloodied again and ready to drop.
Ylaana casts a “Scorching Burst” against one of the traps. A second attack will surely disable it.
One of the two remaining Raksha warrior attacks Arc and misses.
Pieter uses a “Healing Word” on Furien bringing him out of bloodied and follows up with a “Sever the Source” on Kalmin giving him a considerable vulnerability to our attacks.
Another of the warriors swings at Arc but he easily parries the blow with his hammer.
I escape from the grapple knowing I can still charge afterwards and launch a “Howling Strike” into the warrior attacking Arc. As he was already bloodied I down him easily. Siezing the opportunity to strike again I “Swift Charge” into the Zealot attacking Furien with “Howling Strike” scoring a critical hit and follow up with a Rampage strike. Even facing two mighty attacks the Zealot was still standing thanks to some magic effect on his armour. They have two runes marked on their breastplates which they can use to absorb damage.
Arc misses Kalin with a swing from his hammer but the lightening it arc’s from the hammers head grounds out into Kalin and all enemies adjacent to him. The zealots use their runes to negate the damage from Arc’s lightening.
Furien lets out an “Untamed Outburst” against the zealot he is engaged with. After landing a good strike the zealot is bloodied and dazed. Furien breaks free of the trap disabling it in the process.
The zealot I am fighting attacks furiously knocking me into bloodied but I ripsote with “Curtain of Stell”.
The other two zealots attack Arc and only gets a minor blow in.
Ylaana moves into the middle of the melee between us and the enemies at some risk to herself, shape-shifts into a bear and casts “Swarming Locusts” hitting Kalin and two of the zealots.
Kalin strikes twice at Arc missing both times. Arc’s defenses are just too much for him. He then decides to retreat from the fight bu Arc catches him with a opportunity attack and drives him back into the middle of us ensuring he cannot escape.
Pieter casts “Denunciation” on Kalin which dazes him. A “Healing Word” for myself and I am no longer in danger of falling.
I turn on Kalin who is now dazed and take him down with the “Howling Strike”. As he dies his last words are “Let it be know I gave my life for Lord Prawel”.
Arc uses his “Thunder Ram Assault” to attack the two zealots he is left fighting. He defty strikes the first one with the initial attack and the follow up blast catches both of them.
Furien uses an “Off hand Diversion” against the zealot I am fighting killing him. The then moves to flank another and hits with a “Twin Strike”.
The two remaining zealots attack Arc and Furien. The first misses Arc and the second tried to hit Furien but Arc redirects the attack onto himself taking the damage Furien would have suffered.
Ylaana casts “Staggering Note” against the bloodied zealot and hits allowing Furien a chance to get a critical strike.
Peiter casts “Sacred Flame” against the unbloodied zealot for minor damage granting Arc some extra energy.
I charge the bloodied zealot taking him down.
We all turn on the last zealot and quickly dispatch him.
After checking the bodies we find 10K gp in jewellery on the Raksha’s and on Kalin a set of prism shaped keys made from a metal exuding necrotic engergy. Ylaana thinks the keys might open a “Pain Vault”.
We continue down the tunnel until we can see beams of light cutting across the tunnel exit, a cool breeze and the scent of fresh flowers reminds me of the FeyWild.
The tunnel exists through a set of hidden bushes as we find ourselves in Kopekita. In the distance we can see the main castle behind the tops of the trees.
Ylaana uses a “Seeming” ritual to disguise the party as Eladrin peasants and then her Loadstone of the Plains to detect any planear portals nearby. The stone points towards the castle as we head out.
As we travel towards the castle we pass some local residents tending the trees, flowers and glades and nothing seems amiss to them at least. Later as we are walking down a rough path between the trees we come across a small pond with a surface like a mirror. An elderly Eladrin man sits at its edge meditating. Although he is old he skin is the texture of bark and he sways and creaks like an old tree, Arc thinks he might be a Warden.
Ylaana greets him as we walk past and he introduces himself in a heavily accented voice as “Migami”. He remarks how smelly Dwarves are almost immediately. He has seen through Ylaana’s illusion with ease, although he has not yet alerted the guards.
Arc asks him about the Raksha’s in Kopekita to which he answers: “Dark forces are moving in our city”.
Ylaana ask for his help and he asks what we are doing here. Looking him in the eye I say that we are here to “open the gates”.
Arc asks if he can help us gain entrance to the castle and Migami tell us the guards change over at dawn and dusk. Also the Raksha’s do not favour the dark as much as the daylight hours. Although the guards are not our only problem in entering the castle. It is protected by unseen spirits of the land which would alert the Baron and guards to our presence. He draws water from the pool with his hands turning it into something akin to a rope but made of luminous liquid. He wraps this water around our necks and it absorbs into our skin. Almost immediately all of us start to see small spirits and creatures that were not visible to us before.
I ask him about my personal issue with the Baron to which he ask me to come closer and learn a secret. As he moves closer to my ear he whispers: “The Princess is alive, this is something known only to the Baron and myself.”. I almost break down in tears at this point not knowing if he words are truth or fiction. I can’t allow myself to get unfocused at this point as my friends are counting on me.
After our battles with the Urishtar and the Raksha’s in the tunnel we decide it would be best to rest fully before entering the castle. We seek refuge in a tea house nearby and contemplate our next move.
Whilst we are resting Ylaana uses her arcane skills and a few rituals to learn that the head of the guard knows one of his men is missing (perhaps Kalin). She also can feel more of the magic energy which powered the Baron’s planear ritual discerning that the Baron must have used powerful artefact’s to power the ritual and that his personal power and skill is quite considerable. Perhaps even more than her own.
As we settle down to rest I allow myself to wonder if she really is alive….