Adventure 21 Synopsis
23rd of Barrakas (3,100xp)
Valten appeared to be in the minority with his firm held belief that Mirand’s ritual book needed to be returned to the university but he at least help to convince everyone that they needed to remove themselves from the multiple hordes of the undead standing rank and file nearby. The group pressed back toward their entry point only to be met with a surprising sight, Malen Torr stood above them on the balcony they so recently leapt down from and he was not alone. Seven men stood with him, one a formidable looking Kalashtar, between two of the men an unmoving form was propped up for all to see. It was Kanarr, and it look as if he had paid dearly for his betrayal of Malen.
Malen cleared his throat and started a slow mocking clap. He praised the adventurers on defeating his undead beholder, named Kransis apparently, and for finding the book. He then stated that he expected them to hand it over. He laid out his threat, either hand over the book or he would utter the command phrase that effectively loosed the myriad of undead present on the city ofSharn. He followed up explaining that the undead would be free of all command and unable to be brought back under any command. He ended his tirade with the tossing of the “traitor” Kanarr down off the balcony to the group below.
There were a few attempts to talk Malen out of his course of action, Valten attempted to bluff the man into thinking that the university was already aware of Malen’s treachery, to which Malen countered that he intended to be long gone from the city before any kind of response could occur with or without the book. Diplomatic reasoning didn’t help either and a shot fired by Gerrick at the Ambassador resulted in a psionic flare from somewhere in Malen’s group that protected the then laughing man.
It seemed a choice had to be made, Malen was desperate to get the book and the men of Folly’s Investigation were unwilling to part with it. At this point Gerrick opened fire at the entire group on the balcony and chaos ensued. Malen’s group ran though three of its members fell to Gerrick’s pistols, but not before Malen shouted the command words that woke the slumbering creatures.
With that a desperate struggle to survive the incredible press of zombies and skeletons began. Gerrick followed his attack on the fleeing group by attempting to maneuver through the horde to get to the balcony escape route. Lyca, calling upon his sense of underground structures, pinpointed that a number of the side exits the undead would soon use appeared unstable and began helping to direct cave ins with the help of Valten. Krint and Markas began a direct attack on the creatures in order to push them away from the group and to rescue the apparently unconscious Kanarr. When Gerrick reached the balcony he discovered that Malen’s group had caved in their exit as well, so he turned and began a focused fire on some key areas of assault.
Fortunately for the group these monstrous enemies were not utterly mindless, because of the expert crafting of Karn necromancers, and the undead warriors decided to flee rather than fully assault the difficult foes, and though Lyca and Valten did their best to have cave ins fall directly on fleeing undead an estimated half of the horde escaped into Khyber’s Gate. A quick conversation was had regarding their next move. They wanted to pursue Malen, but there was no way around the fact that the currently roaming undead were at least in part a result of their own decisions. It was decided Gerrick, Lyca, and Kanarr would be heading after the fleeing Malen while Markas, Valten, and Krint would attempt to somehow stem the tide of the undead.
Malen’s pursuers decided to clear the cave in at the balcony exit to head after their foe while the others took off through one of the side exits. As soon as Lyca cleared the last of the barrier they headed to the surface following the fleeing ambassador’s tracks until they came to the surface of Khyber’s Gate. It seemed once Malen had arrived there he must have taken some form of airship because the trail ended and markings seemed to indicate a parked vehicle. A realization sunk in that here in Khyber’s Gate there would not be any Sky Coaches so they rushed to the nearest known exit from the steamy depths and hailed the first coach they saw.
Meanwhile, the team tasked with chasing Malen’s released minions found that the exit they chose became less and less like a natural cavern and appeared to branch into some old ruins that lead to the outside this made the chase easier. Regrettably this must have made it even easier for any fleeing foe as well. When they breached the surface their hearts sank as they discovered it led directly into a shanty town nearby. An attack was already well underway.
Lyca and Gerrick quizzed Kanarr as to where he thought Malen might have gone, and the guard stated that Malen would have either headed to the embassy to hole up or to his estate to pack for a hasty retreat. They assumed Malen was more likely to leave Sharn as there was just too much evidence out there that could eventually get back to him so they headed to the Karn Ambassador’s estate. When they arrived they saw a landing pad with a small personal airship docked, they decided to leap from the coach and down to the pad. Kanarr stated he was going to make haste to the Karrnath embassy to inform the other, more politically minded, ambassador Lady Syra ir’Talann. They went to work disabling Malen’s aircraft and ducked inside his home.
Back in Khyber’s Gate Krint, Valten, and Markas waded into battle with a number of attacking monsters and drew their attention away from the impoverished citizens of the shanty town. Above them in the lavish Mithral Towers District Gerrick and Lyca had just launched their attack on Malen, who until Lyca leapt on his head from the above ledge was busy ushering his men to pack boxes faster. Their respective fights had begun.
The fight against the undead went well; Valten used an enormous blast of energy to initially take down a sizeable number of the weaker breed of zombie while Markas and Krint headed directly into the fray. Krint kept his enemies close and allowed Markas to work their flanks. Only one enemy escaped Krint’s directive fighting techniques and it headed for Valten. Using his innate wild magiks Valten created a formidable defense against the oncoming foe but ended up defeating the Zombie before it could meet in melee with the sorcerer.
Battlebetween Malen’s forces and Lyca and Gerrick did not fair nearly as well. Lyca and Gerrick took heavy blows early and frequently. They took a few down but if not for Lyca’s druidic Good Berries and use of other healing implements their doom would have been ensured early. Malen took flight at the first opportunity leaving three soldiers and his Kalashtar psionic to hold off the attacks of the two investigators. Eventually Lyca found an opening though and with his increased speed from shifting into wolf form he made up for the head start Malen had. Only two enemies remained to make chase after Lyca, but Lyca had speed on his side. Gerrick had fallen unconscious but somehow his body dug deep and he awoke groggily and shambled up the stairs after the fleeing men and Lyca.
Soon Markas fell the last of the undead, and though they had a breath looked around to see that other creatures had moved on from this area and into the night. It was readily apparent that they would need to do some quick and inventive thinking if they were to form a strategy to take on the many enemies that were left.
Lyca blasted through the door a bloodied wolfish monster and rushed onto the airship landing pad. He saw Malen staring in disbelief at the ruined airship. Lyca growled at Malen to stop and quickly closed the distance between them. He demanded that Malen force his men to stand down when they appeared and Malen finally, reluctantly raised his hands in defeat. When the Kalashtar and last soldier came through the door the sight before them was a defeated Malen being tied up, they soon followed his surrender and Lyca bound their hands and feet. Lyca was finishing his binding on the last soldier and was ready to ask what had happened to Gerrick when the Changeling stumbled through the door and blindly fired a pistol at the first enemy he saw, the Kalashtar. There was no way to avoid the attack and the Psion took a head shot collapsing to the ground. Lyca screamed in protest, informing Gerrick that they had surrendered and Gerrick lowered his weapon stating that the Kalashtar was “an asshole anyway”. To this Malen stated “Yes, the closest friend I had in this world was “an asshole”! You sir have killed he who was closest to me, and you had better do the same to me because this execution will not be forgotten”! Gerrick paused and then as if to say “okay” raised his pistol again. Fear flashed across Malen’s face and Lyca leapt to stop his comrade from the murderous shot but it was too late, Malen’s head snapped back from the shot and he too lay dead.
Lyca was beside himself with disbelief, fury, and confusion but never got the chance to speak his mind as a myriad of airships descended on the platform and Kanarr stepped out of the first with a woman in tow. She was Lady Ambassador Syra ir’Talann, the second ambassador for Karrnath in the city, and the scene she saw before her was gruesome. To her it appeared that two men had been tied up post surrender and then brutally executed. She ordered both Lyca and Gerrick arrested and were it not for the one living soldier vouching for Lyca’s fair dealings in the situation they both would have. However, Gerrick was taken into custody. They shackled his wrists with the very manacles that had been brought for Malen.