Excerpt from “My Adventures – The Life of Theros Vitalstatistix, vol.3”
Something disgusting dropped on Barney from above. The top of the stairs were just in sight when a large black mass descended and proceeded to cover the erstwhile barbarian in ooze, while it burnt…cut…something the ex-drunk.
The top of the stairs revealed little better for Theros and his party. Two horrific humanoid figures, masses of bones and skulls tied together with slick ropes of sinew greeted everybody. These massive behemoths stood guard over the stair entrance, and their forms shrouded a human sized figure, cloaked and hooded near the back of the tower room.
There are no sure things in this life, and Theros was not overly keen to make a large assumption simply because the shape was humanoid and wearing robes of some kind, but the instant he saw it casting spells, he sent him mind into overdrive, furiously trying to work out what this creature might be, but alas, nothing sprung to mind immediately.
Theros concentrated on moving around he edge of the tower, avoiding both of the bone golems and ooze thingy that was currently trying to dissolve Barney. His first thoughts would normally have been attack, but this situation was looking bad, and he instead turned his thoughts towards ensuring his party would survive the first few seconds of combat, and hopefully be able to turn everything around.
His voice rang out, loud, clear and inspiring. He inched further round the wall of the tower, shrinking himself into his now favoured form of a kobold, trying to seem as little threat as possible. Thankfully, his mirror images were still up if he drew attention to himself.
He had picked up a statue of a griffin from the Time Lords not long ago, but had not found a moment to use it. This seemed like the best time, so he threw the statue across the room and spoke the command word and watched in satisfaction when it changed shape. He bid it charge the humanoid behind the golems, reasoning that this might be the only enemy in the room with actual intelligence, and stopping that might aid in stopping the others if they were reliant on its commands.
The griffin charged…and made no impact. The creature was clearly powerfully protected. Hopefully the griffin would serve as a distraction instead then.
Theros cast the haste spell, allowing the party to move and fight faster, but the creature at the back, possibly recognising the threat posed by opposition spell casters, lowered a cloudkill on the party. Theros coughed, but moved out of the affected area as fast as his new speed would allow him.
Nugg seemed to find special reserves and flung summoned creature after summoned creature at everything evil in the room, while Ashe seemed to glow…with a slightly pink light?…and spoke with Desna’s voice. The Avatar was back again!
Theros had told Arlen that his magics were unlikely to harm the bone golems, so the mage wisely left them to Barney, who had violently dealt with the ooze trying to digest him (the man can get digested, even outside a stomach! It’s a phenomenal ability) and was in the process of doing the same to one of the golems, and Gene, Nugg’s large wolf, who was keeping the other golem at bay.
Arlen focused his magics on the robed creature at the back, but was having very little luck.
Theros tried to keep an eye on his party members, but when Barney tore through his latest opponent and charged directly at the cloaked figure, the young bard sacrificed his tentative combat plans and dived towards the berserker and frantically channeled Desna to ensure the man didn’t fall prey to the casters evil touch.
How the tower still stood following that epic combat, Theros never worked out. Huge beasts sprung from Nuggs essence, griffons tore around, a large wolf stomped around, two huge golems tried to destroy all around them and spells were flying everywhere.
The piles of bones, ooze and cloaked man were all that was left when the dust settled, and Theros genuinely struggled to recall the last moments of the battle, it was that hectic.
“Thank Desna we’re all alright!”
There was more at play here, so Theros pulled the hood back on the robed figure and studied it carefully, recalling any lore he might have heard. One thing kept coming back to him. Phylactery. This must be a lich!
“We have to find this things phylactery! It will keep coming back unless we destroy that as well.”
The small matter of not knowing what this would be made the task harder, but they looked through the tower, top to bottom, even going as far as having Ashe try to locate the unfamiliar object from dragon back, all to no avail.
Theros led the group back to Line. It seemed the only option as they still needed to work out if there was more to do. No rest for the weary.
The arrival at Line was met with silence. Nobody was around. The doors and windows were all shut. The wind whistled through with nothing to impede it.
Except one man. Nugg had mentioned a druid he talked with last time he was in Line. This was the same man, but now horribly disfigured, parts of his body putrescent and rotting, his moans echoing through the lonely air.
He was able to talk and he described his battle to save Line. He lost a battle against what turned out to be the same caster Theros and his band defeated, and came away looking like he was half dead, and felt incredibly awful. And for some reason, he felt a strange pull leading him towards the tower.
It too several days, but the group managed to finally work out that the druid was the phylatery! Theros had never heard of such a thing, but thankfully, through a wide combination of magics and patience, the man was freed from the foul effects.
That done, it was time to continue the fight against Porthos!