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De Exilio
Chapter 3 — Battle of the Twin Peaks: Part II
Kytharrah set Szordrin down in view of the two hell hounds, who simply stared at them from their steaming metal mats and sniffed. The whole area smelled of sulfur, which reminded Szordrin of hot springs he had once visited in the Underdark. One of the warhounds licked its lips hungrily.

   "Tosvin assured us that you would not attack us!" said Szordrin, pointing at the large, double door. It did not look like the dogs understood anything he had said, but they had not attacked.

   "Tosvin!" he called, but there was no answer from beyond the door.

   "Thank you, Kytharrah," Szordrin then said to the minotaur. "Good boy. Now take your grappling hook and rope from your pack and leave it here. Then go as fast as you can to get Cassiera."

   The minotaur smiled, because Szordrin had never been proud of him before. He even called him his new name!

   "Quickly! Go!"


"Knuse dem!"

   Leokas and Hakam turned to see a hairy, ten-foot tall ogre coming through the door.

   Before either could respond, a strange cloud of mist blew through the ogre and came toward them as well. It was not the elemental, but it did have a humanoid shape and perhaps horns.

   "Pin them at the door!" shouted Leokas, and he let fly three arrows. They passed through the approaching misty form and struck the ogre. Two went deep into the ogre's gut, but the other did not seem to pass through his hide armor.

   Kytharrah had just reached the ground again on his quest to get Cassiera's gutted body. He heard Leokas' cry and remembered a time when Solisar and Szordrin were looking over his things. "You should throw this whenever we need to pin someone in place," they had told him. The young minotaur had had no idea what they were talking about at the time, but it seemed to him like this might have been what they meant. So he grabbed one of the two strange bags hanging from his belt and tossed it — over Leokas and Hakam and over the gaseous form. It was a lucky throw. The round bag burst open, covering the wounded ogre in a thick goo, which immediately hardened upon exposure to the air.

   "Meg sittende fast!" shouted the ogre, as he struggled to pull himself free, but his large, warty feet were glued fast to the floor.

   So the battle was joined again. Solisar cast an unknown spell. Mythlos charged forward, and Belvin was right behind him, with a blade of fire growing out from his clenched fist. The moon elf swung his sword at the incorporeal figure. It looked like the moonblade made contact with something, as the figure twitched and began to materialize. Hakam stepped to Mythlos. "The strength of the bull be upon thee!" he said, laying a hand on the elf.

   The strength of the bull would not be enough, however. The form took full corporeal shape, revealing a hulking, blue-skinned, white-horned giant standing ten feet tall. He wore an ornate chain shirt and bore a massive sword at his back. He held his giant-sized palm forward, and a magical blast of icy cold shot forth. Leokas leaped out of the way, avoiding most of the burst, but Belvin, Hakam, and Mythlos were covered in a hoary spray of frost. Belvin wobbled about, stunned by the bitter cold. Mythlos fell flat to the ground.

   "Mythlos is down!" Leokas warned. Hakam knelt at Mythlos' side, as Solisar waved his magic wand from the southern wall, but the magic was resisted. Belvin then gave a feral yell, and a column of flame roared downward from the ceiling of the passage and scorched the oni, blackening much of his skin. It spat and reached for its greatsword. Having successfully sent positive energy into his companions body, Hakam stood quickly back to his feet, drawing his own sword. The cleric parried a powerful blow from the giant, and then Leokas stepped back into view and launched another arrow. It struck the oni in the forehead, and the magical giant fell backward to the ground with a thud.

   "Nice block, Hakam!" said Leokas, as two more arrows sailed from his bow and struck the glued ogre. It roared in pain.

   Mythlos, restored to health, stood up and took in the situation. The ogre was still struggling against the glue, and the oni lay at his feet. Suddenly, the oni twitched. Mythlos slashed at him, cutting his body wide open.

   "Are you not coming up?" Szordrin shouted down from the ledge. "The dogs are tame!" The tiefling had tied two ropes together and dangled them down. Mythlos and Belvin ran for the rope, hoping to ascend before more reinforcements could arrive, the latter healing himself as he ran.

   "Kamil! Come, my camel!" Kamil, in his shrunken form, galloped around the corner from the east where he had been hiding.

   "Bevege seg, Prompansikt!" said a voice from within the palace, and someone shoved at the stuck ogre.

   This shove helped him burst free from the glue, and two other ogres now rushed past him.

   Kytharrah giggled as he rushed over to Cassiera. "He said, Prompansikt" Then he saw Cassiera and remembered his task, ceasing his giggling. He somberly stuffed her intestines back into her belly and picked her up to cradle her body on his arm.

   "Ormur!" Solisar called from the southern wall. The magic rope slithered out of Mythlos' bag of holding and came toward the sun elf rapidly, as he moved over to join Kytharrah. "Tie me to the minotaur!" he shouted, and he grabbed unto Kytharrah's back. The friendly red beast began climbing up the wall with his magic, with Solisar securely fastened to him.

   "More are coming!" warned Leokas, as he nocked another arrow. The ogres were now twenty feet away, shaking their heavy clubs.

   From Kytharrah's back, 30 feet up the wall, Solisar sent a spell into the passageway, and a burst of glittering dust filled the area. The ogres covered their eyes.

   This was followed by a powerful shout from Hakam. "Feel order's wrath!" A three-dimensional grid of beams of blue energy filled the passage. All three ogres roared out in agony and two dropped to the ground, still. The third wobbled about just within the open doorway. Leokas struck him in the arm with an arrow, and the ogre fell with a final moan.

   Kytharrah reached Szordrin, and Solisar commanded Ormur to free him.

   "Kytharrah, go back and get Hakam. He will not be able to climb the rope without falling." The minotaur did not delay.

   "What should we do now?" the tiefling asked Solisar. "We are too short to reach the door handle, and there are no secret doors."

   "Whatever we do, stay hidden," said Solisar, dragging Szordrin away from the ledge. "Remember, that elemental is patrolling on the other side of this rift. Corellon's mercy that it has not heard the battle yet!"

   Leokas continued to stand his ground at the passage opening, arrow nocked. He saw one of the ogres get up, but he held his fire for a moment. The ogre stumbled into the wall, blinded from the glitterdust. "Hvor alle gâ?" he said.

   Then, the ogre was shoved forcefully against the wall by something or someone invisible. The ogre stumbled to the ground again and ceased moving.

   "More still!" warned Leokas. Knowing that he could not hold off an invisible foe, he rushed to the southern wall, and used his spider-climbing magic to begin ascending.

   Belvin, climbing on the rope below Mythlos, heard Leokas' latest warning, and pointed his finger at the ground, speaking a curse in Sylvan. The snow turned red like blood, the same magic the undead ice climber had used on them. If anything alive was still coming through the doors, it would have its power drained when in contact with the ground.

   Kytharrah reached Hakam, the last of the party still below, as the cleric stood just at the edge of the blood snow. Kytharrah picked him up. "Wait!" said Hakam. "It is regenerating."

   Hakam pointed at the oni mage. A stretch of intestine hanging from the monster was moving back into the creature's side.

   Up above, Szordrin and Solisar heard Hakam's statement and understood.

   "Fire?" asked Szordrin.

   "Or acid," Solisar replied.

   They each peeked around the corner. Not seeing the elemental across the rift, they both stepped out again. Solisar sent a burst of magic down at the oni's body, striking it. The intestine stopped its movement, at least momentarily. Szrodrin read from a scroll of fire, but he made a mistake while waving his arms to finish the spell.

   "The Hells! That was my most expensive scroll," he cursed, as the magic lettering vanished forever.

   Below, Hakam healed himself and ordered Ormur to tie him to the minotaur. Just as Kytharrah reached the wall, he sniffed something. He grabbed his axe. "Sneaky!" he shouted, and he swung into the air but did not connect with anything.

   "Ormur, untie me! untie me!" shouted Hakam. Then he spun around, clutching his holy symbol. "Be held!" he shouted at his invisible foe.

   Solisar heard the minotaur and glanced down. By his magic, he could clearly see the two invisible oni mages, passing through the air with their magical flight, thus avoiding the blood snow. He sent another burst of glitterdust down on them. "More oni, flying!" he warned.

   "Step aside!" said Szordrin. He rushed to the ledge, as Mythlos was pulling himself up, and readied himself. "Thric austrat!" he called out pointing at the glitter-covered form of one of the flying, invisible oni mages, just before the creature reached the ledge. Yellow bands of magic appeared and wrapped themselves around the oni's wrists and ankles, and he dropped like a rock, falling 70 feet to land directly atop his companion. Both glitter-covered oni lay still.

   Leokas and Belvin joined the others up above. "The elemental!" said Leokas, pointing across the rift.

   The creature of wind and ice had at last discovered them. It flashed from the other side like the gust of a hurricane. It flew to Kytharrah and Hakam faster than either could have anticipated, lightning flashing in its eyes in anger. It struck Kytharrah with a powerful slam, knocking the minotaur back. Hakam bravely swung into the whirlwind-like creature, shouting, "I smite thee, creature of chaos!" but it was like trying to swing into a hurricane, and his sword was nearly yanked from his hand by the force of the wind.

   "Strike!" shouted Belvin, in Sylvan, and a bolt of lightning obeyed, lighting up the elemental's form.

   Szordrin quickly took a tiny piece of parchment from his component pouch, rolled it into a cone and placed it to his lips. His voice was then heard loudly on the other side of the rift. "Come on! The patrolling guard has left its post. The path is clear."

   Shockingly, the bluff worked. The elemental was about to pummel Hakam and Kytharrah a second time, but it stopped and looked up to the north peak. Then it burst through the air and back to its post, crossing the distance in under a second.

   Kytharrah grabbed a nuzzing Kamil, as Ormur tied Hakam to the minotaur's back. "The strength of the bull be upon thee," said Hakam, and Kytharrah rushed up the wall one last time.

   Up above, Belvin was summoning a fire elemental to ensure that the three oni would not regenerate their wounds and come after them again. Mythlos had the figurine of wondrous power ready for when the elemental figured out that it had been fooled.

   "No," said Hakam, when he came over the edge with Kamil and Kytharrah. "Use it to block the door."

   "I could not reach the handle," said Szordrin.

   "Minotaur!" said Hakam. "Open it!"

   Kytharrah pulled down on the latch to the double doors. They were not locked.

   Everyone rushed through.

   The room was large and mostly empty. On the far wall was Tosvin, his insectoid body stretched out, arms and legs shackled to the wall with thick bonds of solid ice. Above his head was some sort of massive, iron cauldron. They saw a drop of clear liquid drip from a hole in the bottom. This struck Tosvin's head and sizzled like acid. The gelugon writhed in pain, an unnatural sound escaping from his throat. Then his massive compound eyes stared in their direction.

   They all heard in their minds his melodious voice. Well done, partners.
Session: 80th Game Session - Thursday, Oct 20 2016 from 7:00 PM to 10:00 PM
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