Before we begin this part of the tale, we must return to some unfinished business. Our heroes had tracked Barristan through the sacred grove and witnessed his flight into a cavern at the bottom of a natural crevasse. The cavern entrance was flanked by two gruesome gargoyles and a manticore. Thorir slid down the side of the crevasse, showing off his expert athleticism, and charged the manticore. Furious, the manticore swung at Thorir and shot spikes out of its tail at the rest of the group. Meanwhile, the gargoyles flew at Sunny and tried to prevent the others from helping their allies. Thorir kept the manticore from flight and kept stabbing it in all the right places. Sunny, Dak, and Gorstag quickly cut down one gargoyle, and the other took flight and became stone once more. With the manticore isolated, the rest of the party finished it off quickly, since the other gargoyle mostly stayed as stone. In fact, with the manticore dead (Sunny struck the killing blow, much to the annoyance of Thorir…) the gargoyle refused to fight back. Our heroes let it be and entered the cavern.
Let’s fast forward. After agreeing to Kamroth’s plan and establishing the Silver Swords, our heroes rested for the night in the Lucky Gnome. At the appointed time, Kamroth escorted them to his office via a hidden passage way. Down the hall, five average-looking guardsmen with light shields and longswords stood guard. Sunny quickly threw her shurikens, and took two of them down. Gorstag got another with a blast of fire, and Thorir charged another down. Dak finished the job with a crossbow bolt to the chest. The party prepared themselves, and entered the chamber.
Sunny immediately launched poisoned shurikens at Rolsten, Faren Markelhay, and his wife, Allande. She followed it up with more poisoned shurikens and killed Faren outright. He was an old man, though, and the real threat was Allande, whose brother, Loras, was magically absorbing half of her damage. Gorstag rushed in and used two of his most powerful spells, filling the chamber with flame. Rolsten couldn’t stand the heat, and died. Thorir rushed in and stabbed Aero Hotah, Faren’s personal bodyguard, right in the chest and knocked him to the ground. Ever the paragon of chivalry, Thorir stabbed him again for good measure. Dak stepped in and took aim. He shot Allande in the heart, and Loras died. Reloading faster than he ever had before, Dak fired a second shot and killed Allande, their biggest threat. Sunny polished off Hotah with another shuriken, and that was that. (Everyone action pointed and used daily/overpowered encounter powers. – ed.)
After scribbling some Sons of Nerath graffiti on the walls, our heroes left the massacre behind them. Now everything hinged on Kamroth. Fortunately, Kamroth pulled through. Doran Markelhay entered into the city to avenge his father’s death and hanged the leaders of the Sons. Barristan used his influence to create a schism in the remaining Sons, and began the Nentir Brotherhood, an organization dedicated to protecting the Nentir from any threat. The remaining sons were arrested and given the choice between the gallows, the mines, or the front lines. Many chose to fight, and boosted the newly formed army of the Nentir Confederation. One of those Sons was the main blacksmith in Fallcrest, so Kamroth hired Faramir to take his place. Our heroes were publicly praised by Lord Warden Doran for their efforts in stopping the Sons. After a brief period of establishing peace and prosperity in Fallcrest, Doran Markelhay led his new army towards Thunderspire to depose the holdout Mages of Saruun.
The Silver Swords were left in the hands of the other leading members, and Balthezar was given a room at the Lucky Gnome while he continued his investigation. Donal, the Knight of the Black Window, remained as well to help/watch the cambion. Abraxus accompanied the party to the Revenge, and they set off to fight Gandling in his tomb on an island out to sea. On the way, Abraxus informed the party about a few details which they did not know previously. Abraxus spoke with Thorir, and mentioned that he knew Olaf, his father. The Eldurstal family had served as Knights for generations, but Olaf chose a different path. Abraxus was glad to see that Thorir chose differently. He also warned the party about the challenges of the tomb. It was a deathtrap, designed to give Gandling, who is actually the latest in a number of cover identities of the demilich Acererak, time to recuperate. Only in his weakened state can the demilich truly be defeated.
The conversation was interrupted when the ship gave a great heave. “Kracken!!!” Captain Westly shouted. Indeed, a kracken had attacked the ship! Thorir, Sunny, and Abraxus rushed to starboard to keep the giant squid at bay, while Dak and Gorstag provided covering fire from the bow. Captain Westly struggled to keep control of the ship, and the sailors retreated to the rigging to keep from being eaten. The Kracken proved no match for our heroes, and became a healthy bit of calamari. Everyone decided it was time to go belowdecks and take a rest. The had a tomb to survive on the morrow.
What hellish horrors will our heroes face in Acererak/Gandling’s tomb? How will the SS fare without its chief leadership? Will everyone survive the coming challenges? Find out next time!