There was a moment of tension that seemed to stretch for far too long after I heard the cry from the pit in the middle of the area we were in. I had a sense that I should get out of the room I was in and I immediately ran towards the center area, where Nod had been coordinating the rest of us. We were joined by Suldren and the dragonborn cleric as well. From down in the pit came a shadowy bat-like creature. It began flying around and swiping at us as while a spiked sphere of black force began rolling around the center chamber we were in. The bat-like creature seemed to have a sense of where the sphere was, and was able to use that to maneuver out into the corridor to evade us. Then he befuddled Suldren’s mind and lured him out into the corridor. Summoning up everything I had, I managed to rush out, grab him, and haul him out of the sphere’s path just in time. I had a feeling he really didn’t want to get that close to the sphere.
Eventually, after we managed a few hits on the thing, I managed to cloud its mind, and use its own tactic against it. I forced it out into the hallway into the path of the sphere. It unfortunately survived its encounter with the spiked sphere and fled into the chamber housing the exit door. The rest of the group charged ahead, save Nod, who stayed back to light the way. I myself got distracted by the trap that was in the hallway. I knew what it was, and I knew that I knew. I just couldn’t think of it at the time. I lost myself in thought, thinking on what the trap was. Finally! I knew that I knew it. I rounded the corner in time to see the others finishing off the creature, and the door had opened. We stepped through and were greeted by a voice congratulating us for proving ourselves worthy to lead the troops of Orcus. The shambling bodies of Vuden, Talmud, Kun-We, and Ninaren were before us. Ninaren was not someone we expected to see again, and immediately I saw a gleam in Nod’s eyes at the promise of tormenting his fallen enemy. We ordered the bodies, which were devoid of the souls that once lived in them, to follow us out of the wretched place.
We reached the portal that would take us back to our world, only there was one big problem; the portal wasn’t open! After we had just enough time for that to sink in we were greeted by a familiar individual who was not at all familiar looking. Kalarel had risen in the form of a powerful undead servant of Orcus. Kalarel’s first move was to reduce Linny to a quivering pile on the ground. Remembering bits of reading I had done when I was younger, I knew that if the tether that linked Kalarel to the mortal world were severed, his invulnerability would end. I began a holy ritual to sever the link, meanwhile Nod began supplementing my incantations with arcane power and the rest of the group chose the more direct approach. Kalarel began summoning zombies and vampires to fight along with him. Two appeared next to Nod and I teleported to unleash a burst of energy from the Feywild, destroying them in the process. With my ritual complete, bolstered by Nod’s magic, we reduced Kalarel’s power greatly. It did not take long for all of us to destroy him for good… I hope.
We made it back to our world and rested in one of the upper levels of the keep. The dead bodies of our allies and Ninaren needed to be carried; they were no longer animated by the foul magic of Orcus. Somehow though, Kun-We regained consciousness. I am still not sure how, but I was too intent on leaving as soon as possible to give it much thought. As we headed back towards Winterhaven we found the town surrounded by hordes of undead. Deftly avoiding their notice, we snuck into the town undetected. Lord Winthrop informed us of what we already knew was a desperate situation. It was time to act, we did not have long before it would be dark.
Just outside the town walls we battled a group of undead that were hiding amongst the bodies of the fallen. Their attacks seemed to drain away our stamina. Despite their attempts at hiding amongst the fallen bodies, we were able to pick them out and eliminate them. Eventually, we were able to dispose of all the undead threatening the town.
With the final threats eliminated Lord Winthrop gave us our due reward. Satisfied with it, and not really wanting to spend any more time in Winterhaven, I decided not to press the issue. We now find ourselves on our way back to Linny’s ritualist acquaintance. Hopefully she can restore our friends’ lives. Hopefully all we’ve done is enough to prove our worthiness to Captain Blacktooth. I’ve been thinking that our motley group needs a name. We should do that before joining Blacktooth’s crew. I’ll have to speak with the others.