Neth 3, 4714 – Neth 12, 4714
After ensuring everyone was healed and ready, the party pushed in past the door, opening to a chamber, the line of water leading to a pool circled by kneeling forms, with a grisly altar to the side. Two alcoves sat near the door, one a true alcove while the other led to a stair blocked by debris.
At the end of the chamber, Vordakai with a giant, blood-red ruby glowing in his eye socket, regarded them from his throne of bones.
“So you have defeated my ceustodaemon’s” he rasps in a deep voice that seems to speak in all languages and none. “You are tenacious mortals, I’ll give you that. It is no wonder you have attracted such powerful enemies. If only you knew…but it is of no consequence, they will one day know my wrath just as you will today. Spare yourselves unimaginable agony and submit. One way or another, you will serve Vordakai.”
Upon seeing the group would not be cowed, the party moved in to face the lich.
“Are you so eager to perish mortals? Very well, I will oblige your foolish whims,” he intoned as the party advanced.
The ancient creature hit hard, and many of Eiji’s, Alex’s and Gregor’s counterstrikes were nearly ineffective. Varelyn attempted to slow the lich with an Obsidian Flow and an Illusory Wall spells, but this created difficulties for her allies, making the ground harder to traverse, and hiding their enemy behind a wall that did not to affect him.
After briefly engaging Gregor and Eiji, the lich started casting a spell. Varelyn, unsuccessfully attempted to counter the magic, and the spell washed over the party. It seemed to have little effect, until Eiji turned and viciously cut down Gregor in cold blood. Thus ended the life of the first regent of Sellenmar.
Confused, the party scattered as Eiji regains his sense and trades blows with the lich, finally driving him off into a dimesion door. Before he escaped, Vordakai managed to drain away much of the samurai’s strength.
Taking advantage of the lull in the battle, the party explores the room. In a back room, rows upon rows of jars are found. Identified as soul jars, Gregor’s brother Kolya is found healthy and alive, if a bit confused when his jar is shattered. As well, the surly brew master of Varnhold, Jasin Blusk and 2 younger girls were freed in this room.
The rest of the party explored around the lich’s throne, finding a large amount of treasure, including Eiji’s lost Naginata, which he recovered in favor for the loaned longsword. Seeing his arrows having little effect, Alex takes up an unidentified flail from the pile as Kolya reclaims his fallen brother’s axe. Meanwhile, Neilus packed a few heavy tomes from the lich’s piles as Varelyn looks at other books. Soon after, the lich, fully regenerated, reappears, and the battle is renewed.
“My patience with you wears thin mortals. Your lives are at an end!” the murderous warlord roars.
Alex finds his new weapon to work better on the lich, while Eiji is able to attack from further back with his favored weapon. Kolya moves in, using axe and spell, eventually simply casting magic seeing the effect it is having. The lich casts a few spells, blinding Alex for one. As the lich moves to start using it’s dangerous touch attacks again, Eiji summons up a hidden reserve of strength, cursing Vordakai name before splitting the lich in three pieces with a stunning display of expert swordsmanship.
The lich’s body turns to dust, all but the red gem used as his eye. Varelyn picked up the gem to inspect it, but then was overcome with the urge to gouge out one of her own eyes. Fortunately, she is saved by Eiji and the gem is knocked free. After this incident, the party decides to carefully store it in a box for transport. While the rest of the party started to reclaim the treasure and jars, Neilus wandered back to retrieve Xamanthe. They could be heard returning to the door outside Vordakai’s chambers, but after a mysterious yelp, the pair vanishes. Concerned, the party starts working it’s way back, taking the three freed citizens of Varnhold with them. Taking a small detour, the party returns to the hidden room with the carving of an eye on the wall. Using the edge of his cloak, Eiji places the gem in the wall, the room filled with a blinding light, as they find themselves back in the room of the inverted eye.
Varelyn casts a Scrying spell on Xamanthe, and sees the pair walking through a snowy mountain landscape, shivering, but making good time. After some discussion, the party decides to rest another night in the island crypt, the casters preparing uses of Dimension Door and Fly to transport the party back outside and over the lake, in preparation for an icy journey home. Once ashore,the remaining group members find themselves surrounded by cold, blowing snow.
With no other means, the party starts the long trek back, stopping to hunt occasionally, staving off starvation before the approach the slightly warmer grasslands. They quickly discover that their mounts are gone. Another days march brings them to the edge of the centaur camp, the sounds of merriment within. While suspecting the reason for the celebration, the party cautiously enters, hoping to find out if Neilis and Xamanthe were within.