Silt Striders of Balic

The Fall of Andropinis

Crashing through the front gates, the heroes riding the phoenix clambered through a hole and tossed the few guards who’d been at that post to their deaths, moving quickly to find and engage Andropinis. They found themselves in a maze, caught up in the labyrinth of corridors and traps that the Eladrin who built it had established. Though Andropinis had greatly altered the interior to match his specifications, the structure retained its unwelcoming atmosphere and navigating it proved to be a laborious chore. Using all their skills and working as a team, they eventually found their way to Andropinis’ elite guards who’d staged an ambush on an outdoor courtyard. His archers were dangerous, but they were quickly dispatched by Althaea and the group was able to eliminate his final guardians and breach his innermost defenses.

Finding him in his throne room, they are faced with another ambush as well as Andropinis himself, High Praetor Tovis, and the traitorous Leon Strassam. Over the course of the battle Leon flees his post and control of the citadel is lost, causing it to tip and bob and knock people off their feet. Strassam eventually rejoins the fight though he proves an inept combatant and is slain quickly along with Tovis. As Andropinis realizes he’s surrounded and losing, he plays his trump card and reveals the reassembled debris of the Kamatur Monument, installed in to this room for exactly this purpose. The party’s efforts to defeat him prove insufficient, and he begins calling the ghosts of the Gray for the same nefarious purposes as Abernil Maddock.

The summoning calls a different spirit, which turns out to be the spirit of Vorelixen, who’s need for vengeance manifested her as a ghostly hag; a queen of such creatures, and with her anger and arcane power the group is able to shatter the circle of protection generated by the monument and overcome Andropinis’ defenses. In his final moments, the beast within him takes over, and his body twists and morphs in to that of an enormous red dragon. The act of doing so obliterates the structure of the room, and while Gorye is agile enough to dodge the explosion of flesh and muscle the rest of the group including Vorelixen are swept on to a wing membrane as the creature takes off in to the sky.

It takes them some time to dispatch the beast as it tries to shake them off and enters a blood frenzy, but eventually its mammoth heart stops beating and they crash in to the sands outside of the Grove where Granger waits with a shovel, whistling at how lousy his next burial will be.

Meanwhile, Gorye finds herself unable to wrest complete control of the Nyrrandahl before its torrents of arcane flame defile and obliterate the city of Balic. In her desperation, she steers the craft as hard as she can in to the silt sands and it crashes beneath them, sparing the city but killing her in the process.

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Kowal

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