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         Copyright © Randy Bowers. All rights reserved.


 

Campaign Excerpt: Assault on the Palace of Adadsi.

Having assaulted the palace of Adadsi from below, defeating the Red Witch with great difficulty, the surviving members of the party retreated to contemplate the situation and gather their resources for a frontal attack.

Although slain by the Red Witch, Kukalmak found himself suddenly in the depths of the Gray Cabal, naked and lain upon a stone table. Moments later he discovered that his body had been cloned and that Valrisha, a Proloriate of the Gray Cabal, backed by one of its shadowy guild masters. Anjuli, also slain, had vanished whole and was no-where to be found, yet the heroes knew that she would appear a day later at a flame nearest to her death. Walks the Walls, likewise killed by the Red Witch, had been buried under a mountain of debris, but his spirit was safely secured in the Phoenix Egg; later arising in a pyre of flame and finding himself within the palace proper along with much of the partyís slain memberís equipment. He gathered what he could and fled.

Meanwhile, Maximilian and Seonaid returned to the Four Pillars to prepare for a direct attack against the palace. Two teams were devised. Seonaid, Eyidon, Ruth, and Sameera of the Path of Yodha, would join with Kivsatra and a troop of skarn warriors to attack the rear of the palace. Maximilian would enter from over the wall along with Thanos the Archivist and Rishaab, his mute companion, and proceed through the sinkhole that had collapsed during the battle with the Red Witch, accessing the Palace from below ground.

Moments before the attack began, the first rays of dawn spread across the palace, pouring through its windows and upon the treasures that had been recovered from the bodies of the dead in the battle against the Red Witch. Among them, the Phoenix Egg which held Walks-the-Walls spirit. In a burst of flames he was reborn before the startled gazes of guards who had been set to watch over the treasure. Mistaken for a genie, Walkís bluffed long enough to recover his possessions and flee into the front yard of the palace just as the attack was beginning.

Once in the palace, as the battle began, Seonaid ran around to the front of the palace, where she encountered Kukalmak. He had heard the sounds of battle beginning and snuck in under the guise of one of Adadsiís guards. Seonaid found him as he dispensed with the disguise. Together, the three of them forced their way into the grand feasting hall of the palace.

Soldiers there tried and failed to hold the party back, their crossbows and swords ineffective against such prowess. Bursting through and into the ballroom, stronger opposition was just mustering. A handful of pale eunuchs, accompanied by soldiers pressed the attack. The skirmish went on for a while, more soldiers arriving each passing second until Seonaid charged into fresh attackers from the feasting hall and Kukalmak sealed off the main entryway to the ballroom behind her.

While Seonaid battled wizards, soldiers, and a sturdy captain-at-arms, Walks-the-Walls dispensed with the remaining soldiers in the ballroom, giving them a moment to search for the secret way into Prince Adadsiís private chambers. Meanwhile, Max and his two companions swiftly scaled the walls of the palace grounds and descended down through the yawning pit. A pretty, blond wizardress there had only moments to fling lightning against Max and cry out, ďhalt!Ē before his dagger had found its deadly mark in her chest. They proceeded the rest of the way without trouble, climbing up a secret staircase and passing through a secret door into the kitchens. Max, somewhat familiar with the palace, quickly led them through the main wing and towards the ballroom, pausing only briefly to deal with defenders of the palace along the way. They burst into the ballroom from its side entrance.

While swarms of summoned insects and the warriors of the party held off small groups of attackers, Walks-the-Walls and Rishaab found and opened up the secret passage into Adadsiís private chambers. Entering within, Walks-the-Walls briefly glanced about, looking at the tiny five-by-five foot chamber with a paneled door leading out, its single knob tempting the hand to touch it. He grasped it, feeling a burning sensation briefly on the palm of his hand, then collapsed to the floor, slain as a foul magic poured down upon him. Rishaab, who waited just behind Walks-the-Walls was also struck down by the magic. Then its potency seemed to be reduced enough that no further casualty occurred.

While Max and Thanos examined the fallen heroes, Kukalmak revealed the spent magical Symbol painted on the roof of the trapped passageway. Seonaid brought her axe to bear on the trapped door, smashing through it and leading the party into Adadsiís quarters.