After a short rest following the defeat and interrogation of Snilvor in Dal Nystere, the team got ready to go in after Yissarn the undead wizard. Two sets of steel double doors were the only clear entrances to the next room. The group found no evidence of traps and picked the door further from the caged drakes to make their entrance. They also used one of the tables to make it more difficult for anyone to come from the other room through the door nearest the drakes. Given the team’s past experiences, they knew it would be wise to prevent the creatures’ release.
Given all the noise the group had been making, they decided to wait quietly for several minutes so that whoever was in the other room would not know when to expect an attack. Finally, the doors were thrown open and two animated skeletons were seen in the room, along with what appeared to be a dragon skeleton, fortunately not currently undead. One of the skeleton wore tattered robes and its hands were sparking with electricity. Eldan entered the room and immediately found himself falling into a 10ft high spike trap that rook up all the room in front of the door. There would be no easy way into this room. Suddenly a large glimmer spider dropped from the ceiling beyond the pit and shot webbing at those in the doorway, blinding and restraining Berend and making difficult terrain for the others who were just out of the blast area. Just as quickly it faded into the background from whence it came. Yissarn shot blasts of icicles and of lightning as our heroes fought back with their own ranged attacks and Eldan climbed out of the pit, fortunately with only minor wounds. However the spider appeared again directly above the team and bit Eldan, wounding him seriously with poison. Malagar reacted quickly casting darkfire to prevent the spider from becoming invisible again. He then shot an arrow deeply into the beast, causing serious damage, but just as soon as the blood began to trickle out the spider disappeared. It could not have become invisible as far as Malagar was concerned, it must have teleported. All the while Yissarn hissed hateful words aimed particularly at Lia. Clearly the lich had a great distaste for elves.
Berend grew frustrated with the ranged battle and so went to the other door, clearing the table out of the way. As the others came over to the other door Berend thought to use the opportunity to climb down into the pit and up the other side. He threw down his bedroll as cushioning, but just as he was about to climb, Eldan grunted in frustration as he failed to pick the lock. Berend returned to the others as he, Eldan, and Velos attempted to bust the door open. After a couple of failed attempts, they took the table and used it as a battering ram. Successful, the group looked to see from their new vantage point. Yissarn was ready though, and his attack pull Velos into yet another spike trap. The spider struck again, webbing the area, and two skeletons took up positions on either side of the trap, blocking the path of anyone wishing to jump diagonally into the room. Velos was seriously injured and Eldan dropped unconscious from his wounds. Berend fought a skeleton around the corner as Malagar, blinded, sought to provide first aid to Eldan. Lia, having waited at the other door in case anyone appeared trying to strike the team from behind, came to join where the fight was happening. Things weren’t looking good as both Lia and Berend took their own major damage, but finally the spider was felled by one of Lia’s lightning bolts after she found cover. The skeletons both fell soon after as Velos cast attacks safely from inside the trap, and then Yissarn was finally struck down by an arrow from Malagar (975XP).
Injured and weary, the team put the table down in the pit over the spikes to create safe passage. They took a rest, healing and raising Eldan to consciousness and health. The group found a key in Yissarn’s robes, as well as a coffer on the bookshelves containing an Eladrin-carved platinum ring, 120 gold, and 3 agates. Resting against the shelves was some interesting plate armor worn by what appeared to be a dwarf skeleton yet to be raised. It fit Berend rather well, and he sensed magic in it which would give him the ability to more readily resist dazing and stunning effects (Supporting plate armor).
Allying with the Woodsinger Elves
Lia took Yissarn’s skull and robe along with the Snilvor’s scrolls and book back to the Woodsinger camp. They were again met by Israfin who led them to Arielle. She was pleased with the defeat of both Snilvor and Yissarn, as well as the intelligence the team had brought concerning their plans (150XP), and agreed to make alliance. However, she had urgent news that the Iron Circle was making preparations to strike at the resistance in Albridge. She agreed to send 50 elves in two days, the expected time when the Iron Circle would be attacking. Moreover, she warned the group, focussing particularly on Lia, that greater powers were at work and that they must be cautious. She told them that Maloreth was still alive and had somehow tricked them both with regards to his death and the destruction of the skull.
Battle preparation in Albridge
As the group had made good time that day, and as matters were quite urgent, they got on the road around 3pm. As they had nearly arrived in the dark just before 10pm, a rider appeared. The rider slowed the horse as she recognized the party, so distinct with a halfling, elf, dwarf, human, and drow. She told them of the urgency of the situation, as Dar Gremath had received news of the Iron Circle gathering its strength to strike at Albridge and the group’s skills were in great need. So they sped up and reached Albridge as Dar met with some of the other rebellion leaders. He filled the group in on the situation and took at least some satisfaction in hearing of the elves’ offer of support. After some discussions as to what would be needed in terms of preparation, the team went to sleep to recover from the long day and to wake up early to start battle preparations.
The group woke up ready to work. Eldan had a particular spring in his step. He had gained some particularly perspective from recent events, including his near death, and was ready to face anything. He started off training some of the front line troops and those who would use some psychological warfare, intimidating the enemy. Malagar used his knowledge of nature to create barriers in the woods and in the town to make the enemy take certain paths into the city and to increase the odds of them showing up where the rebellion wanted them. Berend ran a crash course in battlefield medicine while Lia discussed historical accounts of Iron Circle tactics with the generals. Velos took note of some of the troubles keeping the rebellion leaders from operating smoothly. He used his diplomatic skills to convince them of the benefit of a particular hierarchy operating under Dar Gremath.
Eldan followed up on his psychological warfare approach in consultation with Lia and Malagar to set up decoys and subterfuges based on his knowledge of how to bluff an opponent. This worked in conjunction with Malagar’s efforts to use his knowledge of nature to set various pit, spike, snare, and other traps. All seemed to be going well, though the soldiers were somewhat restless. While some had seen battle, many had not. At lunch time, when most of the army was in the same area, Lia used her religious knowledge to lead invokations to the gods for assistance. This gave confidence to the soldiers, and Lia hoped Sehanine and the other gods were indeed listening to her prayers. Velos followed up on the improved morale, using his diplomatic way to convince certain troops to take some of the grunt jobs and bait runs to lure the enemy down certain paths.
It was mid-afternoon by this time, and mostly things were going well. Eldan saw that some of the Reedfoot halflings would be making tactical movements and could use some pointers in terms of moving more stealthily. Meanwhile Malagar, again making use of the knowledge of nature, realized that it would likely rain during the battle. He thus modified some of the battle plans and unit locations to take advantage of the knowledge. Lia tapped her knowledge of historical battles in the region to figure out how best to use the terrain, however she met with resistance on some points from the generals this time and she realized after some time that perhaps the recent discussions had only made the battle plans poorer. Meanwhile Eldan attempted to intimidate some of the slackers to get them working harder. This demoralized the slackers rather than motivating them, and that discontent affected some of the other soliders. Velos attempted to fix some of the squabbles that were now arising after a long day of preparations, but he was far less successful this time.
The rebellion had made progress this day, but the failures near the end partially undid some of the earlier efforts. The heroes were determined to make up for this when the battle finally came (625XP).