The party gets back into Urling and after getting a bit more info about the Barbarians they manage to find a Hathran who can teleport the party to the Rashemen defenses at the border. A guard captain who has obviously not heard about the heroes, but is even so set down as ‘just a captain’, can tell the party only little about the barbarians.
Eventually the party takes a white flag and goes to the barbarian camp. They are met by Rofnor of the White Eagle Tribe and get a first impression of these barbarians, who unlike Ulik Brightvolk have a real tribal feel to them. It is a cold day in early spring, but still most of these barbarians wear little, letting their strong muscles roll in front of the party, who suddenly feel very small and weak, even with their shiny armor.
Gil convinces Rofnor to get the current leader of the tribes, a barbarian named Kongari of the Grey Reindeer Tribe. It takes a while for him to arrive, in which there is a very uncomfortable silence. Eventually the big chief arrives and it is directly apparent that this guy is dangerous and different. He moves without making a sound and almost seems to vanish in the natural surroundings. He also carries a dangerously looking very strong composite longbow, and no melee weapons whatsoever.
The party doesn’t really know what to say, but eventually they manage to taunt the leader enough to get him to accept a duel, even though it is against all barbarian customs. As the leader nobody goes against him and the duel starts with him and 2 of his barbarians against the three party members.
In this combat the barbarian leader shows himself to very dangerous with his bow, nearly killing Tal at the start of the combat with a single shot (3 arrows). While Gil once again becomes dangerously large (enlarge potion) and starts downing the sturdy, but petty, barbarians, Tal creates a wall that prevents ranged attacks. The combat almost turns out in a stale mate as Kongari disappears with a bluff and a hide and waits for the wall of air to disperse, but while going around and taunting the party he bumps into the invisible Gene mid-sentence. Gene inflicts some sneak attack damage and Gil joins the fray, leaving Tal to his wizard buisness. Even though Kongari is cornered he manages to ghost step away and inflicts some pretty nasty damage on Gene, also hitting a Frightful Attack, making Gene shaken with fear for the rest of the combat, not to mention almost killing the poor rogue. The combat goes on with a ghost stepping and inflicting some damage. Tal’s glitterdust does nothing since the ghost step also makes Kongari ethereal, but eventually Kongari is out of ghost steps and that makes him vulnurable to Gil’s spiked chain tactics. After this the combat doesn’t take long and finishes with knocking Kongari unconscious.
The party loots Kongari, but are warned by a barbarian elder/shaman to not take the vile bow. Tal argues to test it to learn more, but is eventually convinced to not do it here, amongst the barbarians, but instead in a save place in Urling. Then a strong barbarian, Voglar of the Frost Rabbits Tribe, approaches the party. He says that in accepting this duel Kongari has done something unprecedented, leaving the barbarian tribes without a ruler. Voglar is afraid this will turn into bloody clan wars but promises to do his best to see a minimum of bloodshed over this incident. He also thanks the party in name of all the barbarians for ending the rule of Kongari and the party is thanked with a sign of respect from all the barbarians in the circle, which leaves them speechless.
Eventually the party say goodbye to the barbarians and, after informing the guard captain about the barbarian retreat, teleport back to Urling.
Bow of Dark Regret
Back in Urling the Eldest thanks the party and gives them their final reward. She says that now that this is settled the party deserves a rest.
Next the party goes to Teresa Sweetrose, to ask her help with the bow. On her idea they go to a specially warded summoning room, where Tal takes off all his equipment and grabs the bow.
It seems like nothing is wrong with Tal and he identifies the bow as a +5 unholy composite longbow. They already know it’s more than that and decide to go to Castor Black to ask him to find out more about the bow. Since Tal appears to be out of teleport, Teresa teleports in front of the Vremyonni village, saying that she is not permitted to go in. The party goes onward to the house of Castor and they are invited in with tea as before. After some stories the subject goes to the bow and Castor asks to see the bow. It appears that Tal is unable to let the bow go. He doesn’t want to drop it, but remove curse does not help. Tal convinces the party that it’s nothing bad and does the bow around his shoulders, saying that the week that Castor needs to fully identify the artefact is too long anyway. The party agrees, but they ask Tal to go to Lady Yhelbruna for confirmation that Tal is really not possessed or anything similar.
Lady Yhelbruna is quick to determine a lie of Tal and after some more words Tal drops his act and wants to leave. But the Eldest is quicker and places a forcecage around Tal and then teleports in with the party. Gil quickly knocks Tal, or whoever possess Tal, unconscious and they take the bow away. It is left with the Eldest.
Since it is already supper time Gil invites Tal and Gene to join him at his house. They eat and drink to their hart’s content and Gene uses some special glue to glue his friend’s boots together, over which they have a good laugh. As Gil once again falls over they hear a knock on the door.
The unexpected visitor is Minas and Sofia Astar, who is the new intelligence officer of the Shadowmasters. That also connects what Minas came for: he tells the party that Dark has gone missing, together with his Black Ops and he warns the party to look over their shoulder, although he can’t help them track down the Master of Shadows.
After thanking Minas, the party goes back to their drinks, but they are less cheerful and more alert. Gene abandons his plan to glue the boots once again for the night and they go to sleep in their armor and with weapons closeby.
In the night they are attacked by 4 Black Ops, who almost kill Tal in the first round of combat. Luckily the alarm spell they placed prevented a surprise round, which probably saved Tal. Tal uses Timestop to heal himself and cast Righteous Might, which destroys part of Gil’s house in the process of enlarging Tal. Gene fights against his sole attacker, but cannot really hit the invisible attacker. In the next room Gil dodges the first attacks of his assailant and then tumbles out of bed to throw his hammock over the invisible attacker, clearly outlining him.
In the next rounds Tal barely manages to stay alive, let alone do something useful and eventually uses dimension door to save himself. Gene has some trouble against the invisible attackers and uses his own invisibility to even the chances a bit, which doesn’t really help. In the meanwhile Gil manages to quickly disable his attacker with some well-landed fists, stunning him first and knocking him unconscious after.
Eventually Tal comes back and casts a glitterdust that affects all 3 remaining assasins, and blinds 2 of them. Since they are powned they use their own dimension door spells to flee in shame.
But the combat is not over, because at that point Dark enters. He steps in unafraid and with him a solid fog starts forming. He fights unhampered within the mist and does some massive damage with his greatclub. Again Tal can only start healing himself, while Gil and Gene have a very hard time hitting the former intelligence officer. The party is saved by witches appearing, investigating the noise. Dark turns to them: “Ah that’s my ticket to leave. I’ll be back!” And disappears within the mist.
At the end of combat Tal is missing an eye and an arm (two times at -10). But without moaning about the pain he just buys a scroll of regeneration and undo’s the damage.
The rest of the night the party sleeps with little rest, in the ruins of the former guest room, close together in case of a next attack. Eventually Dark does indeed come again and this time the party escape to the roof in the first turn, better prepared for the combat. Still the fog envelops them, and still Dark is very effective especially against Tal, using power attack to knock him unconscious in the first turn. While Gene uses his potion to heal Tal, Gil attacks Dark and manages to inflict some harm. The remainder of the combat Tal pretends he is dead and eventually lets himself slide off the room to have some time to prepare himself better. Dark has some trouble with Gil’s high AC, especially since he himself needs to use Combat Expertise to get a similar AC and not get hit. Eventually he tires of it and drops his combat expertise, at which point Tal comes to the rescue with a Gust of Wind that disperses some of the fog. After one more turn of dodging and some hits from Dark, Tal finally reaches the limit of his patience, goes up to the roof and launches a meteor swarm at Dark, which barely finishes Dark and destroy’s what’s left of Gil’s house.
After the combat the party is cautious with the Greatclub that Dark used. But still curious they decide to drain Dark of his spells and then cure him just enough to let him speak. Dark introduces himself as Ferneer Waters, an important officer to Lauzoril, who has now failed. It appears that Ferneer Waters was known in Thay as Ferneer of the Ashen Waters, a known assassin and important agent of Lauzoril. He turns into pleading when the party are to take the greatclub from him: he asks that he is not destroyed or left rotting somewhere, but all in vain. The party removes the greatclub and with it Ferneer, recovering the old Dark, who thanks them heartily. After the party is convinced that it is really the old Dark come back, Dark turns around and disappears in the shadows, back to the Black Ops and eventually to Minas Defrout.
The next morning Nythra comes running and misses a step upon seeing what is left of Gil’s house. She is sorry for Gil and tries to cheer him up and only afterwards asks the party to go with her, since she has found an important lead on the Durthan. The party, eager to go after the Durthan accepts her teleport...
and end up in a prepared Durthan prison.
The Grand Attack
- Lady Yhelbruna: (Cleric 6/Wizard 12/Hathran 10) The strongest of the Witches of Rashemen. She is old and is not very strong or vital any more, but she does have some very powerful spell-casting abilities.
- Volas Dyervolk: (Barbarian 1/Fighter 2/Samurai 17) The Iron Lord and leader of Rashemen. He is far younger than the witches he is fighting with, but he is experienced in the arts of war and is a powerful warrior.
- Blackhide: The most powerful druid of Rashemen and known to all common folk. She is a living legend and has powerful spellcasting abilities and can easily transform from willow wisp to pit fiend.
The combat is inside Urlingwood and is against two of the most powerful zulkir of Thay: Aznar Thrul and Nervon. While Aznar throws some horridly powerful evocation spells at the heroes, Nervon continually adds to his army of conjured demons. The combat is long and enduring, with some very near deaths, but eventually the hero’s of Rashemen manage to kill Aznar and Nervon only barely escapes.
end of session 6
Rewards: 7.000 XP (level up), 60.000 GP, Treasure: leather +5, amulet of natural armor +4, ring of protection +2, ring of freedom of movement, gloves of dex +4, gaunglets of str +6, elven cloak of displacement (20% blur, +4 hide, +4 m.silent), cloak of resistance +4, bracers of armor +6, ring of protection +3, (Greatclub of Ashen Waters, Bow of Dark Regret)
- Kongari of the Grey Reindeer Tribe bumps into the invisible Gene Parmesan in the middle of his taunt.
- Tal Rasha’s recollection of his posession by the Bow of Dark Regret: “He underestimated the Eldest. It was clear he never met her before ;)”
- Gene Parmesan’s prank of gluing together his friends’ shoes.
- Tal Rasha’s destruction of the guest room in Gil’s house by casting righteous might.
- Gilgul Neshamot’s genius action of tumbling his hammock over his invisible assailant, stunning him and knocking him unconscious without any further trouble whatsover.
- Tal Rasha succesfully pretends he is dead against Ferneer Waters
- Tal Rasha gets impatient (once again) and unleashes a meteor swarm at what’s left of Gil’s house. It does finish Ferneer (Dark), but it leaves little more than ruins of the beautiful house.