20 Ollarune, 998 YK
The brave adventurers follow the trail of the mist beast to a mysterious apartment, heavily seeped in eldritch energies. Slowly and quietly entering the building, they see goblin guardians roaming the hall.
“What should we do?” Ash whispers to his companions.
“I don’t know. What do you think?” Leonora replies.
Legion looks about, his hand slowly lowering to his blade.
“Would you stop that!” Algernon whispers harshly. He smiles, filled with confidence. “Don’t worry. Stay close to me. I know exactly what to do.”
The group slowly inches forward. “Stay close!” Algernon whispers. They inched closer to the goblin guardians. “Do exactly what I say.” They inch closer. “Stay close. Steady. Ready..!”
A noise breaks the silence. Before anybody can take the chance to observe Legion deftly trip on a rug, Algernon shouts, “Get them!” A blast of lightning shoots across the room, charring a goblin. Legion runs forward, engaging the other goblin, blade in hand.
Down the hall, a door opens. A gruff, sinister half-orc, responding to the commotion, looks out into the greater hall. He draws his weapon and charges forward, shouting over the din: “Our base is under attack!” Soon, the entire group is caught in the maelstrom as two cat women emerge from the nearby room. The battle proceeds, fierce and bloody. Legion and Lenora give chase around the corner while Ash and Algernon continue the fight by the entryway. Blade and claw clash as thunderous magical energy crackles across the chamber.
After brief moments, the battle ends in triumph. Ash, returning to humanoid form, takes a deep breath. “I love the smell of victory.”
“It smells like… like…”
Legion pulls his sword from a freshly slain carcass.
“Like victory. Yeah, that’s right. Victory!” Ash smiles, proudly.
Legion sheaths his sword. “We must hurry.”
With only a short moments rest, the party proceeds up stairs to the purported source of the arcane power. As they enter, the air reeks of magic and power. A strange, mutated beast works feverishly at the controls of some peculiar contraption. “More! I need more! Quickly! MORE POWER!”
Two men run about the room, working at eldritch devices in the four corners of the chamber, a panicked look on their face. “We’re exceeding the tolerance! We need to shut it down.”
The monstrous creature turns its tentacled maw towards one of them. “MORE!” It cackles in delight as energy dances about the room.
The heroes slowly ascend the stairs to the top, glancing around the room. Ash looks at the machines. “This doesn’t look good, guys.”
Leonora ponders the machines for a moment. “Whatever they’re meant to do, it seems as if they are feeding back. It’s like…”
”... they’re primed to explode,” Algernon finishes.
Legion looks sternly at the mutant beast. “I see only one obvious solution.” He draws his blade out, readying it as magical energy charges through it.
Algernon nods. “I agree. This clearly calls for a certain amount of linguistic legerdemain.” He steps forward, making his presence known to the chamber.
“Yes, umm, hello. I am Algernon Moncrief D’Lyrandar, representative of House Lyrandar. I politely ask that you immediately return to whatever dimension, plane, or associated parallel world that you may come from, respectfully. Otherwise my comrades may be forced to dispatch you.”
The mutant beast turns to Algernon. “You dare to address… me?” It hisses. “I shall destroy you and feast on your flesh, trembling little man! Prepare to meet oblivion!”
The two servants about the room, consumed with fear, charge forward, half in defense of their work and half in fear.
Legion sighs. “Not what I meant,” as he charges the beast head on, his sword cloaked in winter’s touch. As he does, Ash runs to the eldritch mechanisms, attempting to disarm them as battle ensues and energy jumps across the room.
Algernon, disappointed, continues. “Perhaps you misunderstood my last request as I may have wrapped it too carefully with charm and flair. You have been given a single chance to retreat at this time. If you do not, we will most assuredly destroy you. So, I invite you to decide.”
As the words pass his lips, a bolt of unstable energy rockets across the chamber, barely missing Leonora. The two servant men, witness to the terrifying consequences of their actions, quickly turn and flee down the stairs. The beast shakes its head, hissing. “Fools! You know not what you have done! This world shall all be swallowed into darkness!”
Legion engages the beast, fighting off its tentacled maw with his blade and quick footing. Ash, successful in disarming one of the eldritch batteries, quickly turns to the other three as Leonora provides cover fire. Algernon turns his talents to the destruction of the mutant beast.
The battle rages on, with Ash carefully disarming the arcane apparatus as the rest of the team fights off the tentacled monstrosity. Finally, just as Ash successfully deactivates the last of the machines, Legion strikes the monster with a fierce blow as Algernon suffuses the beast with thunderous energy.
“Noooooooooo!” it shrieks as it falls. Algernon runs to the beast, kicking it strongly in the chest.
“Tell us, monster! What are you doing here? What was your purpose?”
The tentacled monster shakes its head. “I will tell you nothing, pathetic worm.”
Legion shakes his head, stepping forward.
“Nothing! I will tell you nothing!” it hisses again.
As it continues to writhe on the floor, the glint of steel flashes across the chamber. With a quick motion, Legion sheaths his blade as the monster’s head rolls away from its body.
Algernon, with a look of surprise, looks up at Legion. “That was unnecessary, wasn’t it?”
Legion shakes his head. “No.”
Upon investigating the remains of the Eldritch Machine, Leonora comes to the conclusion that the machine’s purpose was indeed nothing else than a massive, destructive, build-up of arcane energy that would of resulted in an explosion devastating enough to destroy Dalannan Tower, if not several towers surrounding it as well. Upon searching the rest of the townhome after the battle the group finds little clue as to the identity or purpose of the group responsible for the machine, until Ash’s keen senses discern what might be a clue: a scrap of paper with a mysterious heraldic crest of a Beholder and the word “Tarkanan” on one side, and a cryptic note on the other:
23 Ollarune. 3rd Midday Watch. Crow’s Nest. Send Garet.
As the group continued searching the apartment, a contingent of the Sharn watch arrived.
“What is going on here?” the Watch Sergeant asked.
“It appears we’ve just saved the city from a devastating explosion,” Algernon replied. “We deactivated a machine upstairs after fighting off it’s guardians,” Algernon explained, gesturing to the dispatched bodies lying around the apartment.
“Check it out,” the Watch Sergeant dispatched two subordinates to investigate. Looking around at the bodies the Sergeant muttered, “Red Jackals! What is this filth doing in the city!” Addressing the heroes the Sergeant inquired, “Why don’t you tell me everything that happened here. Start at the beginning.”
As the heroes relate their tale, the Watch Sergeant jots down notes as the other members of the watch search the apartment. “Hmmm, your story seems to check out, but I’m sure my captain will want to ask more questions. Why don’t you let me know where you’ll be staying, so we can contact you if necessary?” After brief debate, the heroes decide that it might be a good idea to lay low, and Ash suggests that they can find rooms at the inn where he is staying on the other side of town…