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Recap 43 Supplemental: Tips on Fighting Lich Kings

September 10, 2011

The Return of Lieralyn and Klute

While the others are finishing up the fight with the trolls, Brecaryn feels someone trying to contact her through the mirror. When she opens the portal to the mirror world, Leento appears with Klute, Lieralyn, and a very large friend. Klute has apparently replaced his pet peryton with a dinosaur named Bessie.

Leento: I want everyone to know that this elf right here is a hero. She helped to save the world.

Group: *pfft* Like we've never done that before.

Leento: (ignoring them, he continues in a long-suffering tone) This guy....he insisted on bringing a friend.
(looks around) Where are we? What is this place? This is not a good place. It shouldn't be here. You need to fix this and restore the natural order. I must go, but I can tell you that the source of the spoilage is near.
(turns to Klute and Lieralyn) And you two - don't forget that you aren't to tell anyone about our mission.

With that, Leento disappears back into the mirror dimension.

As they near the clock tower, three trolls appear and start creating a diversion. While they have the group's attention, three more appear from another direction and attempt to take the mirror. A scuffle ensues with the mirror changing hands several times before the group routs the trolls once again. Bessie is a big help, chomping on trolls and tossing them like rag dolls.

Who's Tougher - An Itchy Tiger or a Drunk Butterfly?

Finally getting to the clock tower, they discover the interior is a mass of gears. A narrow set of steps winds up to the top. Like the exterior walls, the ground floor is made of gold while the flooring on the other levels is iron.

Oliver starts studying all the levers and gears, interested in how the clock itself works. Brecaryn speculates that the two levers are actually brakes. Disengaging them would allow the tower to be moved. Flerm, Alana, and Lieralyn are especially interested when they hear this bit of news. If it can be moved, it can be put into the mirror. Malouf, Snow, and Brecaryn decide to investigate the rest of the tower, leaving Oliver and the others on the first floor.

Upon reaching the second floor, they are stopped by a voice speaking out in a foreign language. Snow recognizes it as her native tongue.

Voice (in Candonese): Let the Drunken Butterfly approach alone.

Snow: (turning to the others) Stay here.

Although they don't like the idea of Snow meeting this unknown person alone, they respect her request. Malouf whispers to Snow to say "claustrophobic" if she finds herself coerced in any way.

Reaching the top of the tower, Snow sees a middle-aged Candonian man. His manner of dress suggests he is a monk.

Monk: You carry yourself as if you are the Master of the North Winds.

Snow: What of it?

Monk: You have no right to that title for I am the Master of the North Winds.

Snow: Is it to be a challenge, then? Very well.

The two engage in battle. Disturbed by the sounds of fighting, Malouf starts up the stairs, calling to Snow. She tells him not to interfere. Still concerned, but trusting Snow, Malouf continues up the stairs, but at a slower pace. Josy overhears and rushes up the stairs, intending to help Snow. As she catches up to Malouf, he prevents her from going further, reassuring her that Snow will be fine. He hopes.

In reality, the battle is going badly for Snow. She had suffered quite a few injuries during the skirmishes with the trolls and is feeling the effects of them quite keenly now. Taking advantage of a misstep, the monk quickly pins her face down on the ground, preparing to land the winning blow.

Before he can do this, Snow swings her leg back in a scorpion kick, hitting the monk in the back. He staggers forward, allowing Snow to regain her footing and land a few kicks. He lunges at her, looking desperate. Just barely managing to dodge his touch, Snow is finally able to knock him out.

Hearing the cessation of fighting, Malouf runs up the stairs carrying Josy.

Malouf: I never doubted you would win.
(thrusting his arms forward) Here's Josy.

Meanwhile, Oliver asks Flerm to help him with the two levers on the first floor.

Alana: You know, I got in trouble last time when I pulled a lever. I'm just saying...

Oliver and Flerm look at each other, shrug, and brace themselves as they each grab a lever and pull. Nothing happens.

Flerm: Hey, Lieralyn!

Lieralyn: (not even looking in his direction) No!

So the two give up for the moment.

By the time Snow's fight is over, Brecaryn and Oliver have finished poking and prodding at everything in the tower. The others follow to find out what's going on. Seeing the unconscious monk on the ground, Alana suggests tying him up. Snow vetoes that, so Alana suggests killing him instead. Snow definitely vetoes that. Thwarted, Alana leaves to see if there's anything in the tower she'd like to take.

While they wait for the monk to regain consciousness, Brecaryn and Oliver fill them in on what they've discovered. Brecaryn found many neatly stacked sacks of grain, writing implements, and tools around the tower. It is quite evident the monk has been living here for some time. Oliver has discovered that a gear is missing and without it, the clock can't function.

When the monk awakens, Snow questions him. His name is He Who Walks the Dangerous Path. He chose this place for his hermitage. Finding after some time that he missed having disciples, he subdued the trolls and made them his followers. He has a mask that allows him to communicate with the troll queen from a distance. At first, he used the trolls to raid caravans for supplies. After he obtained the dragon's eggs, he was able to force her to bring what he needed.

He believes the clock tower is the cause of the spoilage but has never personally experienced anything sinister while living here. However, the temple always gave him a sense of foreboding so he avoided entering that building. As far as the missing gear goes, it has been missing since he arrived many years ago, and he has no idea where it might be.

He tells Snow that he intends to move on to a location closer to civilization so that he won't have to resort to such dishonorable methods to obtain supplies. Before leaving, he gives Snow the mask, saying the trolls are now hers to command, and apologizes to her for using his trolls to make sure Snow was weakened before they fought.

From the tower window, Snow observes that contrary to his statement, when he leaves the town, he heads west towards the empty desert instead of a more populated area. She is not surprised at his deception given his dishonorable conduct up to this point.

Alana: (looking over Snow's shoulder) Told you we should have killed him.

Haunted Temple

Entering the temple, the group gets a feeling that reminds them of their encounters with the undead. The pungent smell of mildew emanates from the wet temple walls. Following a set of stairs down to a lower level, Josy, Malouf, Flerm, and Snow find a room flooded by murky water. They can see what must be the remains of a wall partitioning the lower level into rooms. In a corner is a book resting atop a rotting desk. Inspecting the desk and its contents, they find a scarab pin and an amulet.

Brecaryn is called to identify these items. Halfway into the room, a ghostly figure appears and begins moving towards her. The last time the party encountered ghosts, a few of them ended up prematurely aged. Brecaryn quickly backs away from him.

Malouf: Halt, apparition!

He stops, looks at Malouf, and heads towards him instead. Josy quickly steps in front of Malouf, brandishing her holy symbol. The ghost disappears. Thinking it could be Balingal, the group has Josy revoke the turning. When he reappears, Josy orders him to stop. The ghost opens his mouth to speak, but only garbled noises come out, as if his words have been slowed to the point of incomprehension. Eventually, the ghost finds the right speed so they can understand him and confirms that in life he was Balingal.

After cautioning the ghost to only use initials, thus avoiding the use of the Oblivion King's real name, Balingal explains what occurred so long ago.

Balingal: [Dar as-Sabtah] became the one you know as the Oblivion King. He keeps his phylactery near him, but I do not know anything more specific than that. You must search it out in order to destroy him. The source of the spoilage is beneath the clock tower. To move it, you will need the missing gear. [as-Sabtah] is the one who removed it, so it is likely the gear has been hidden in his house in the village. I feel my time is growing short. If you have more questions, ask them quickly.

Snow: How do we defeat him?

Balingal: Play on his foibles - pride and an inability to find an equal amongst the villagers. Remember, liches cannot act on sacred ground.

Thanking Balingal for his help, they step back to allow Josy to release his spirit. Once the ritual is complete, Balingal's ghost disappears and the sense of foreboding is gone.

Brecaryn is now able to take the time to examine the things the others found. The scarab will protect the wearer once from having their life force drained by an undead creature. The amulet is an Amulet of Holy Resolve. It increases a cleric's ability to turn the undead. Josy puts the amulet on and places the scarab pin in her pouch.

Vain Does Something and All the Girls Scream

Leaving the temple, they find Alana and Lieralyn cajoling Klute into letting them use Bessie as a ladder so they can get a better look at the statues in front of the temple. Klute looks relieved when he sees the others coming out of the temple.

At as-Sabtah's house, Vain suddenly tears through a wall and runs inside. By the time the party catches up to him, all they see are the results of Vain's actions. Standing around the room are white statues that resemble Vain. All of their faces have been punched through. Through another hole in the wall they find Vain standing in front of an open, but empty box. What did Vain take?

Snow stops everyone from entering the room except Brecaryn so that she can examine the items in as-Sabtah's lab first. In his lab, they find gems, a journal, a Wand of Magick Missile, a Glass Steel spell, and the missing gear. According to the journal, there was a charred piece of wood (believed to be a part of Vain) in the box and now Vain has recovered it. Where he put it is still a mystery.

Leaving as-Sabtah's house, Alana insists on investigating the house in the southwest corner of the village. The group gives in and waits as she completes her search. As she reaches for the door handle, a snake strikes out, biting her. Alana falls unconscious from the snake's venom. Malouf sighs, running over to kill the snake and neutralize the poison.

Finally back at the clock tower, Oliver puts the gear in, winds the clock, and sets the time.

Josy, Snow, Klute, and Brecaryn wait outside while Malouf and Lieralyn disengage the brakes. Bessie pushes the tower with her massive head. Screams fill the air immediately as the tower is moved to reveal a pit.

Below are the fused faces of young women screaming in agony. This was the result of the Council's so-called cleansing rituals.

Horrified, Josy immediately begins performing a consecration ritual. Brecaryn calls Puff to return the dragon's eggs. She warns the dragon that with the source of the spoilage destroyed, the swamp may disappear. Puff doesn't appear overly concerned and flies away with her clutch.

When the ritual is completed, the faces are gone, but there's no visible change to the landscape. Everyone's just happy that the screaming has stopped.

A Bargain is Struck

That night, as they get ready to sleep, Snow pulls Lieralyn aside.

Snow: Lieralyn, your attitude of late has been disappointing. You've been putting your own desires ahead of what's best for the group. You are more interested in your own personal gain than in what's fair to all. For instance, you wanted to deny Klute his fair share of the treasures we found

Lieralyn: Well, why shouldn't we get it all? He's not really one of us.

Snow: Klute has helped our group many times. He doesn't need to stay with us, yet he does. How many times has he aided you in battle? Why, when you already have so much, would you begrudge him his share? You were not always this petty. I know you are better than this.

Lieralyn: (pouting) Fine. But why can't you ever take our side when we want something? You're always agreeing with Brecaryn. Why can't we take the clock tower?

Snow: I have voiced no objections to taking the clock tower. I will make a bargain with you. If you will adjust your behavior, I will speak to Brecaryn about taking the tower.

Flerm: (overhearing) Hey, wait a minute.

Snow: This doesn't concern you. It is between Lieralyn and me.

Lieralyn: Yeah!

Snow: Well? Do we have an agreement?

Lieralyn: Fine.

After Lieralyn walks away, Snow hears a voice. It is the troll queen contacting her through the mask. The trolls have spotted a caravan of Zhentils travelling nearby. These are the people He Who Walks the Dangerous Path would often order them to raid. Snow tells them to keep an eye on the caravan, but not to approach. The troll queen is slightly confused by the change in orders, but complies.

Why It's Good to Make Friends

In the morning, young trolls arrive to do forms with Snow. They seem eager to learn something new and are surprisingly graceful for trolls. Afterwards, they bow and leave.

Snow tells the troll queen to continue their surveillance of the camped Zhentils. Two hours later, the Motley Crew reaches the trolls and start to move out into the desert towards the Zhentils. The sun is suddenly blacked out, shrouding them in night. The Oblivion King approaches riding Gloiterwome. Several undead appear.

Time for reinforcements. Brecaryn calls Puff. Snow gestures to the trolls to attack the undead while sending a message to the troll queen to send more trolls. Using the whistle Narasimha taught them, she calls to the sphinx, as well.

Brecaryn: (to Gloiterwome) You've come to challenge me?

Gloiterwome: You are an imposter and do not speak to Us.

Thinking to tweak the lich king's overweening pride and possibly push him into a rash action, Snow taunts him.

Snow: You must truly fear us to come all this way with an army such as this.

Oblivion King: Did you think you could go to my hometown and undo the first spell that brought me glory, and I would not know?

Snow: *snort*

The battle begins. The trolls, realizing they cannot harm the mummies, move on to attack the skeletons. Malouf's soul-sucking axe appears to be especially effective against the undead creatures, and Josy rushes around wielding her holy symbol.

The odds appear to be against the Crew, though. Bessie rushes at the Oblivion King, crashing into an invisible barrier and disintegrating on contact. Gloiterwome severely injures Oliver and Snow with her cold breath, and they fall to the ground.

The Oblivion King waves his hands, casting a pall of fear over the group. Alana and Lieralyn are unable to shake it off and are overcome with fright. Two vampires take advantage of their weakened state, biting them and draining some of their life force, putting them in the vampires' thrall. Before they can do anything further, Josy thrusts her holy symbol at the vampires, forcing them to flee.

Alana no longer feels any fear. In fact, she feels better than ever. She pulls one of her magick arrows out of her quiver, dipping it in snake poison before nocking it and confidently shooting a vampire directly in the heart. She surveys the battlefield for her next target.

Sadly, anyone observing Alana would see that she is actually just standing there, unmoving.

Suddenly, Narasimha swoops in from above, grasping a vampire in his mighty jaws, easily flinging the creature miles away. A blast of acid hits the protective shield above Gloiterwome. It's Puff! Her acid breath slowly dissolves the magickal barrier.

Once she breaks through, Puff attacks Gloiterwome. The Oblivion King floats to the ground, seemingly unconcerned.

Narasimha: (as he plows into Gloiterwome) So, Jubjub, you require my help once again.

Puff: Fool. (acid blasts Gloiterwome) I have been renamed by the Queen. I am now...Puff.

Using the incantation she learned from Beeblebrox, Brecaryn orders Vain to destroy the dracolich. Vain flies at Gloiterwome, going through her skull before picking her up and flinging her to the ground. The bones shatter. Gloiterwome screams as her physical body is destroyed. Vain turns to Brecaryn and grins. Brecaryn nods uncomfortably back at him.

Hearing a war cry, everyone looks over to see warriors running towards the fight. At first, the group is unsure for which side the Zhentils will fight. When they convene on the undead, there's a collective inaudible sigh of relief.

Brecaryn launches a fireball at the lich, but he catches it easily. Compressing the fireball, he tosses it towards Puff and Narasimha. They are both thrown back from the explosion. Narasimha quickly recovers and attacks the Oblivion King. The lich stops him in midair, and the sphinx finds himself thrown once again.

Still unconcerned, the Oblivion King casts a spell producing giant, electrified hands that sweep down on Josy. As he tries to pick her up, Josy is enveloped by a glow, and easily slides out of the hands, landing behind him. Yondalla has protected her.

While the Oblivion King is still stunned by this unexpected event, Klute runs up and throws something from his pouch. Three fairies appear with the sound of a harp and flutter around the lich, throwing him off-balance. Puff returns to hit him with her acid breath. The lich looks to be somewhat injured.

The Oblivion King is not so unconcerned anymore.

Oblivion King: It might be time for a strategic withdrawal.
(to Brecaryn) You have many allies. You have seen my power. They will all die.

With this last threat, he disappears and the remaining undead collapse.

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Tags: Alana, Balingal, Bessie, Brecaryn, Flerm, Gloiterwome, He Who Walks the Dangerous Path, Josy, Klute, Leento, Lieralyn, Malouf, Narasimha the Sphinx, Oblivion King, Oliver, Puff, Snow, Vain, Zhentils

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