The session started with 2 switch characters: Eram Ekasoki and Susy Lavorne. They worked as a team to infiltrate the Durthan hideout through the sewers and while Susy distracted the Durthan guard, Eram hid and moved around. Susy managed to pick-pocket the keys during the bluff and throw them to Eram. Unfortunately for them the Durthan saw through the bluff and she cast Dominate Person on Susy before she could react. In the meanwhile Eram freed Gene Parmesan and Gilgul Neshamot, and together they attacked the Durthan, whom Gene recognized as Raine Silverleaf.
In the first round of combat Eram transformed into a Red Dragon. Gene broke off an improvised club from a nearby table, while Gil tumbled across the room to attack. Rain’s next spell was confusion, which only affected Gene. The party did some more damage through Raine’s stoneskin and in her turn Raine cast Cone of Cold that everyone dodged without taking damage (all 4 players had evasion). After this failure the combat did not last long and Raine was quickly taken out.
Gene and Gil retrieved their items and they went on to find the Supreme Mother, whom they had already heard of in the prison. After some searching in the mostly empty hide-out, they eventually came into a room where Lianne Kilarune attacked the party members.
This combat did not go well. Lianne had high AC and even though she was surrounded, she used a quickened invisibility to get out pretty much unharmed and cast a prismatic spray on the full party. This directly sent Gilgul Neshamot to another plane, almost killed and turned Gene Parmesan to stone, but luckily he was immune to poison and saved his fortitude, Susy Lavorne was killed by poison and Eram Ekasoki was sent insane. Still not giving up hope Gene Parmesan, the only one left standing, attacked Lianne and sliced through her stoneskin like butter with his adamantine shortsword. But Lianne’s counter was brutal: she cast a polar ray on the poor rogue who couldn’t dodge and took massive damage. Breathing hard Gene could only watch as Eram, utterly confused, started to attack him and punched him unconscious.
The party wakes (minus Susy) wakes up again in a room with an elderly figure bending over them. She greets the party and introduces herself as Rianne Rasha. After some confusion and some questions the party finds out that Rianne is in fact the Supreme Mother of the Durthan and that she is the sister of the Eldest of the Witches of Rashemen, Lea Yhelbruna, or actually Lea Rasha. It is explained how Rianne made a mistake in the past by resurrecting someone she cared for, but her sister did not aprove of, and how Rianne was banished from the witches along with the Rasha family name. Tal Rasha actually came across the old family name and wanted his family to return to their common family name, instead of all taking different names as was now common within the family. He did not know the full story behind the reasons of the change of name.
After the story about the Rasha name, Rianne explains briefly that she had to stop Lianne from killing the party (and that it is a shame the party couldn’t kill her). That she no longer wishes to fight with the Hathran and wants to lay down the centuries-old fight, especially since both Durthan and Hathran are severely wounded from the battle.
Then she leads the party to a big standing mirror where she casts a scry spell that reveals Fiona Danglehead resurrecting Lauzoril. The party sees that the soul gem that Szass Tam took is also present and they deduct that Fiona probably took the phylactery in the chaos of the combat. The party has time to buff up and they even receive some additional buffs from the Supreme Mother, who goes with them to prevent the enemies to escape.
Lauzoril & Fiona
The combat starts in the top room of Lauzoril’s tower. At the start it seems like Lauzoril will get the upper hand. He starts with evard’s black tentacles, but fails to grapple everyone. Next he casts icendiary cloud which hampers the movement even further and also hampers the vision. But in the end the party manages to surround Lauzoril and Fiona (who by this time has cast some nice buffs such as righteous might, unholy aura, divine power and divine favor. Gilgul Neshamot tries to grapple Fiona, but she casts a freedom of movement. In the meanwhile Lauzoril opens a gate, through which an Old Green Dragon joins the fray. While Gilgul has a lot of trouble hitting Fiona and doing effective damage through her damage reduction, Eram is doing nice damage as a Red Dragon, combining his attacks with Enervation that drains 4 levels from Fiona. In the meanwhile Gene manages to inflict some serious damage through the stoneskin of Lauzoril, which makes it necessary for Fiona to cast an heal and shield other. Lauzoril tries an imprisonment on the annoying rogue and hits the touch, but luckily Gene saves on the edge and this turns the tide. Overwhelmed by the combined party Fiona is quickly taken down and Lauzoril is soon to follow.
The party teleports back to Urling and decide to get some answers from Fiona. It is quickly apparent that Fiona is under control of the withered brown staff she is holding. Eram takes it on himself to strip and hold the staff, to immediately be possessed by Yuriath, the soul of the Black Queen of Narfell, who inhabits the staff. Yuriath introduces herself and explains how she has survived the fall of Narfell, (which was a side-effect from the Raw Magic Circle, which needed life energy for it’s blast on Raumathar, and thereby withered the whole of Narfell), in the form of a staff, and was found by Lauzoril who was then a young archeologist Red Wizard. She first took over the poor man, but by reading his memories and thoughts eventually decided to exist separate and help Lauzoril achieve his goals with her knowledge and power. Together they created the Puppeteer’s plan.
The Puppeteer’s Plan
Lauzoril’s grand plan had been to first start a war between Thesk and Rashemen. This would at the least make sure that the Shadowmasters took out some important people in Rashemen, that the leaders would be busy sorting out the mess and that the commoners of both countries would start hating and fighting each other.
Next the Raw Magic Circle should have been used to take out the major sources of power: Urling, Urlingwood and as a (now known) side-effect take out Telflamm and the surrounding area, thereby also disabling the Shadowmasters and reducing them to leaderless scum. This would eventually have made it very easy for the forces of Lauzoril and his allies: Nervon and Aznar Thrul to take over both countires and essentially the whole Unapprochable East, where only Aglarond would’ve been a future problem.
Always one to know that failure was a possibility, Lauzoril kept some of his most powerful cards in silent play: he left Ferneer Waters (as the Greatclub of Ashen Waters) to dominate Dark and disrupt the Shadowmasters intelligence department, and had the drow scout Kimanari-do-Souviorn (as the Bow of Dark Regret) rise to leadership amongst the Barbarian Tribes in the guise of Kongari of the Grey Reindeer Tribe.
When his plan with the Raw Magic Circle was disrupted he gave orders for several groups in his control to attack Urlingwood all at the same time. This would be the Black Ops, Nar Barbarians, Red Wizards and Durthan. He expected the forces to be so overwhelming on the already overwhelmed Witches of Rashemen that they would be crushed easily, even if one of his groups would not attack. A side effect from this attack would be to finally get his hands on the phylactery of Szass Tam, with which he could convince the lich to assist in the attack.
Unfortunately for Lauzoril he had not expected a visit from the lich and the party and was killed prematurely, before he could fully finish his attack plan. This caused the grand attack to become unorganized and chaotic. Even so the numbers would probably have swayed the battle in the advantage of the Red Wizards, but even that was stopped by the party members when they disabled both Ferneer Waters and Kimanari-do-Souviorn.
The resulting attack was not enough to crush Urlingwood, but it was enough for Yuriath, who had possessed Fiona Danglehead for some time now, to steal the phylactery. She used it to regain control over the soul gem that contained Lauzoril and then went on to ressurect her beloved. Unfortunately for them, shortly after the resurrection, the party came to finish their job and to free the Forgotten Realms of the Puppeteer.