Silt Striders of Balic

The Grand Cleric Eiber Schance

The group has become irate with Eiber’s off-again on-again betrayals, and patience has been running thin. When the cleric’s notes are deciphered fully using the group’s various rituals, they decide to march right in the front door in spite of the obvious nature of a trap being laid out by their old friend.

Arriving at the structure in the letter, they find it packed with elite guards wearing fine winter gear, some of which are manning an enormous ballista atop the building. They discuss their options once they actually get there, and wind up half-attempting a sneaky entry only to be relieved when it falls apart and they’re able to just cut up the guards. The ballista proves to be a difficult combatant as it is a sentient creature, and requires the attention of Vorelixen to neutralize by quite literally filling it with self doubt.

Entering the building, they find the interior strangely quiet and begin looking for clues. They find a few traps, easily thwarted, and begin looting Eiber’s supply of tomes and destroying his guardsmen’s supply of shoes by throwing them in to the fire. What they discover is that Eiber has been playing both the Raven Queen and this poison deity, with the aid of a different power that is known to be demonic in nature but is otherwise obscured.

Eventually they come upon Eiber drinking a glass of wine in one of his chambers, ignoring them as they enter. When they do, they find this layout is an illusion and they have entered in to a pocket plane Eiber controls in the Abyss. They battle him and his demonic coterie for a time, until Eiber’s vigor fails him and he cashes in his pact with his dark master. At once, the pocket plane is absorbed back in to the domain of Demogorgon and the demon prince assaults the group, primarily to claim the head of “that devil bitch” Vorelixen.

The fight is bloody and strenuous, and though Althaea is trying to convince Demogorgon they have the same enemies, the group is forced to dispatch him, leaving his layer of the Abyss masterless. An argument breaks out immediately after, as the group is aware that unless this layer is claimed by one of Demogorgon’s killers and defended it will be absorbed by one of the other demon princes. With much deliberation, the group eventually convinces Althaea to take on the responsibility and she lays claim to it.

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Kowal

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