Off to find our friends
attacked by assassins again
but turned the tables
“Regarding your friends, I may be able to offer some assistance. Githyanki have many talents, some of which make it very difficult to keep secrets from them. As their representative in the court I have been privy to a secret or two. One of these has to do with the King’s hidden dungeon, the place he keeps the special prisoners. I know where the entrance to this dungeon is hidden … I could take you there.”
Bram leads the party through the banquet hall, down the stairs, pass the bodies of the slain cyclops guards and dead githyanki warriors, through the double doors, and into the entry foyer. Bram turns his attention to the east wall, the same wall which held the doors to the banquet room; there he begins tapping the wall lightly until he finds a secret latch and releases a hidden slide revealing an darkened eastbound passage.
Bram nods knowingly, and moves aside allowing the heroes to move forward. As they do Bram excuses himself advising that he would retire to back to the sleeping hall. Quickly, quietly the heroes start moving down the hall, but Chen hangs back to guard the entry to the passage.
As others move down the stairs and wait in the center of the hall, Bingus creeps forward further still, (still in his doctor’s disguise) to ply to doors at the hall’s terminus with his magic.
Suddenly Chen hears soft footfalls within the entry hall. Whoever approaches does so quietly, clearly trying to conceal themselves. Three figures clad in heavy, robes, one red, one blue, and one a dirty white, all glare determinedly and seeing Chen they brandish weapons. Two of them, clearly githyanki, carry silver longswords. Chen catches a glimpse of chainmail during their rapid, graceful movements, the third appears to be human … he has wavy dark hair, an odd tight moustache, and dark, unblinking eyes, a red dot set in the center of his forehead like a 3rd eye. The taller of the two githyanki glares hard, and a wave of force crushes into Chen like a pile-driver throwing him backwards through the air and down the stairs.
As Chen crashes, Shaden turns on his heel and leaps up the stairs racing after the attackers, but he finds his way barred by the human. The human, Pennel, holds his hands high, open, empty, but suddenly, red crystal daggers appear within his palms, the crystal daggers radiate with crimsoned light. He lowers one hand moving it behind his back and raising the other high, he points the dagger’s point at Shaden releasing ribbons of light that wrap and bind the half-orc dragging him towards the human assassin. Pennel slashes Shaden viciously with the second dagger before tossing Shaden backwards effortlessly. Only as he crashes into the ground does Shaden notice a pair of skulking shapes deep in the shadows at the far side of the chamber, hidden within the hall’s western alcove. The monsters come forward, creatures with bodies fused of vaguely humanoid and serpentine forms. Purple scales cover their bodies and their long tails. Their tails are tipped with spines that lash whistling through the air. The closest of these creatures wraps itself around Shaden, it’s coils tightening heavy upon him.
The other heroes, save Maxyzne, follow more carefully, but with equal urgency. Most climb the stairs cautiously. Maxyzne charges and she is immediately grabbed with another wave of telekinetic force. The smaller female githyanki, yells in the common tongue, “Denied!”
Maxyzne sides across the floor, up the wall and finally finds herself pinned against the ceiling. The githyanki, Arzoa, a high ranking gith assassin, reaches out with her mind gripping both half-orcs, digging deep to the primal core of their brains, and assuming control she begin shutting down their bodies … killing them from the inside-out. Maxyzne falls from the ceiling, and curls into a fetal ball.
The doctor and Lucian hold their positions at entry, preparing to aid Shaden, but when they see two Shadens wrestling, indistinguishable from each other they are unable to immediately identify their foe and they begin to look to the others. Suddenly Bingus recognizes Telicanthus, the infamous merchant from Sayre; then Chen leaps past them but again Telicanthus slams the monk with telekinetic bolts that hurl him across the room where the second purplespawn nightmare falls upon him.
“Did you expect to attack me with impunity or to forget you so soon? Did you expect the death of Governor Torrance to satisfy me? Trust that I have not forgotten. Your survival serves only to fire my passions, your bodies will be the instruments upon which I will give life to my vengeance.”
The doctor whispers, “Hold them as long as possible I will see to the prisoners.” In answer Lucian unleashes an acidic blast upon Telicanthus’s bodyguard Pennel.
On the outskirts of the battle within the entry hall two intriguing melees carry on as a pair of purplespawned nightmares try to kill Shaden and Chen. The dragonspawn are savage monsters, the issue of arcanely corrupted dragon eggs, tainted by the blood of other creatures. These particular purplespawn were both sentient killers, plagued by a compulsion to murder. The monster’s could take on the form of their victims giving the monster’s a psychic edge in battle as most people found it difficult to attack themselves; likewise it was nearly impossible for their victim’s allies to tell their friend from foe.
Fortunately Maxyzne didn’t care as she attacked the nearest Shaden guessing correctly, still the real Shaden collapsed unconscious and Strider was fast upon him rendering aid. Gripped by Maxyzne, the monster shifts form taking on that of Maxyzne and it stings her repeatedly with the poisoned spines on it‘s tail.
Chen frees himself and moves away slashing at all his enemies within the chamber, attacking repeatedly with the advantage of distance granted by his Greatspear of Myradroon. Lightning races up and down the lengthy weapon as it arced about the chamber advertising the weapon’s serious intent. Unable to mimic or mask the weapon by illusion the purplespawn attacking Chen stands exposed long enough for Lucian to target the monster with another attack, circling the dragonspawn in a halo of molten metal temporarily traps it. Then Telicanthus once again sends Chen flying across the chamber and down the stairs by force of mental power.
The gith assassin, Arzoa takes to air flying after the monk pursuing him and landing a short distance beyond the monk. Chen falls between the monk and the doctor. Bingus, had already managed to unlock the hall doors revealing a smallish prison with three additional cells. Ssarina and Bairdyn had been crammed into one of the cells and there were others imprisoned within the other two cells, but there was no time to investigate further as Arzoa reached outward to crush her foes focusing her will and purpose to their deaths. Immediately both Chen and Bingus recoiled in pain and collapsed where they were. For a second time she yells, “Denied!”
Aided by Strider, Shaden rises and takes the fight back to Pennel overwhelming Telicanthus’s attendant with the fierceness of his attack, and before Shaden is done, Pennel’s head topples from his shoulders. Responding to Strider’s rescue, the dragonspawn that had dropped Shaden refocuses it’s attack upon the knight. Soon there are two Striders wrestling upon the floor of the hall. Lucian blasts the trapped dragonspawn again finally killing it, and then suddenly he is ripped down the stairs as if grabbed by an invisible giant, pulled by Arzoa’a telekinetic force.
Struggling to find footing among the dead bodies and the blood splattered floor Shaden moves to aid Strider but hesitates unable to identify one from the other … until suddenly the true knight falls revealing the attacker. Like a beast, Shaden is on the dragonspawn determined to finish the monster that had already dropped him once. Immediately the monster disguises itself in Shaden’s skin. Telicanthus looks on, but not even he can tell one Shaden from the other, so without hesitation he targets both with the hammering blows of his telekinesis.
In the hall below, Arzoa presses her attack, blasting all her enemies, Lucian, Bingus and Chen are all struck with overwhelming waves of mental power. She never allows them to gain their feet, and never allows them a moments respite. But pain was nothing new to Chen, having recently endured the chaos phage of the slaad, and he had gained his skills through harsh training at the hands of his cruel master, Lu Fang. These things had taught him how to focus through pain, thus he found it easy to reach within the folds of his robe to withdraw his two golden lions. Chen had taken the magical figurines from the hunter Gilgathorn after the Brigade had defeated the hunter in battle. Figurines in hand, Chen filled them with the power of his own Ki, his positive force, forged of inner belief, faith, and confidence, Chen own unified purpose, which caused the figurines to grow and manifest as the great, golden fearless beasts they were. As one the lions leap upon Arzoa.
With the lion’s attacks distracting Arzoa. Bingus regains stands and attacks Arzoa giving her pause. Then Chen joins the attack and with the lions they soon gain the upper hand against her which allows Lucian to gain his footing and return to the main hall to help Shaden. As Lucian arrives he stands witness to the carnage … Maxyzne, Strider, Pennel, and the two purplespawn nightmares had already fallen; two Shadens, both covered in blood were wrestling upon the floor, and Telicanthus stood over them attacking both. Lucian rushes to attack the glass smith, missing in his haste but having drawn the githyanki‘s attention Telicanthus commands, “Rise Pennel and serve your master once more!" Pennel’s headless corpse stands drawing crystal daggers from the sky once more and sends a half dozen crimson ribbons of light dancing over Lucian, the light immobilizing the sorcerer with scintillating pain as the true Shaden severs the dragonspawn’s spine.
With Lucian pinned, Telicanthus refocuses on Shaden, but as he prepares to attack Chen appears at the top of the stairs yelling, “We must strike him together now!”
In an amazing, yet unseen demonstration of psychic power, Telicanthus pulls Shaden’s invisible silver cord of life, a thing well understood by the githyanki. The cord a smooth, very long, very bright, elastic-like cable made of light, about an inch wide, sparkled to Telicanthus, like a tinsel on a tree. Every mortal had one, Telicanthus snatched the cord attached to Shaden’s physical body, the cord seen only by Telicanthus’s mind’s eye, and pulled the cord to himself instantly attaching the cord to his own. Unknowing Chen attacked, as his blade bit into Telicanthus, the injury manifests equally as a fresh wound upon Shaden. “Attack me at your friend’s peril!” calls out the githyanki. Telicanthus smiled as he saw the new concern on Chen’s face.
“Hit him again, do not hold back!” orders Shaden.
In answer, Lucian takes his time to focus carefully before launching his arcanely summoned acid orb at Telicanthus. This time he strikes true and the orb bursts upon Telicanthus sending pain rippling through both the githyanki and the half-orc. Chen spins swinging his greatspear in a figure-8 pattern slicing Pennel’s animated corpse in-two and cutting Telicanthus deep across the mid-section, disemboweling the githyanki, simultaneously Shaden falls. Telicanthus remains standing for a moment, gurgles on his own blood, then he falls face-first upon the floor. Without delay, Chen leaps over the githyanki’s body and rushes to Shaden’s side and asks Lucian, “Where is the doctor?”
Lucian responds, “He yet lives, but he fell during or fight with the other githyanki. I left him in the hall below with Bairdyn and Ssarina … They have suffered as well, but we have found them.”