Recouping after our encounter with the half-dozen bone drinkers, our impending rest was interrupted by the wanderings of Lucas Parmentier. The ranger barely cracked open the nearby room, but it unleashed a torrent of foul and prepared magic. Our old and recurring foe the Lich stood in wait, along with several hobgoblin cohorts. Lucas was drastically weakened when he confronted them but managed to retreat as the rest of us moved to counterattack.
Icabod, Patros and Lelandra held the Lich at bay in the doorway as his undead minions slipped through their blockade. I dispatched several of them with the righteous glory of my God, while John Rossi handled the other. Eventually the Lich moved into the room with us, but was soon overwhelmed. He possessed great magic, and prepared to cast all manner of dark incantations. Rather than risk the safety of the Champions, against my better judgement I heedlesly harkened upon the Morninglord to raze the abomination to dust. As it would later seem, this was in the Lich’s best interest as it could once again relay its findings and live to fight another day. Lesson learned; undead filth must be destroyed – but there are opportune moments and means to do so.
On we continued into the unholy, corrupted church. An evil cleric led a small battalion of warrior hobgoblins against us, and our own warrior met them steel to steel. I did my best to counter his magic with my own, but unfortunately I would seem the lesser in this regard. Lelandra and Rossi made their way into the chapel and eventually slew him – but not before an even greater foe burst from the walls.
Out charged an ice demon, summoned from the darkest depths of the Abyss. While the Morninglord grants the light to cleanse the mortal realm through me, it was no use against such evil. I had little use in the conflict save protecting my allies from its frightful presence and healing their wounds. Lily, or should I say Robert, proved much more effective. She and Lucas damaged it considerably. I was stretched in my aid between distant comrades, and sadly as I moved from the chapel I heard the shrill shout of Lucas as the demon tore him in twain.
The remainder of the Champions rallied together to surround the demon, wearing on it slowly. Just when the battle seemed to be in our favor, the accursed beast reared back and slashed its bloody claws across the beautiful faces of Lelandra. Lelandra, my fair Zhu, lied dead. As I stared in disbelief, John Rossi dealt the final magical blow and destroyed the creature.
We had no time to regain our strength, as next the lord of the keep – the Vampire of whom we had been informed – stepped forth into the chapel. He claimed to be Lucas’ father and enticed the noble ranger to join his evil cause. Lucas answered with an arrow shot, which while well-aimed was easily deflected by the nimble Vampire. All rushed to fight the creature but, as with the Shadow Monks of Elirhondas, the creature proved a master of unarmed combat. He easily dodged and redirected attacks, tumbling between our ranks with vile haste. I prepared one of my most powerful spells to transport us all out of the area in cast the conflict spiraled out of control, but the Champions fought on.
The Vampire ran into the adjacent vault where I could not see, but could hear Rossi’s voice. He read from a scroll of powerful disintegration, and from the howl of the Vampire I could discern it had worked. After that I saw a bright light emenate from the room and heard a woman’s voice speak to Lucas, followed be the Vampire’s – though less bestial than before. I could not hear what they said, but soon the aura of darkness lifted. The dust and cobwebs that lined the chapel were replaced by blooming flowers and flittering glow bugs. Whatever happened in that room cleansed the entire keep. I felt honored to be a part of the encounter, but could not help but be disappointed I could not witness the devil’s destruction myself.
The keep was ours. The war against Nahmbrak and his minions, however, marched ever on.
8th Cleric of the Inner Flame of Power