An Empress Betrayed, Episode 8 (Conclusion)

“Quickly! After the perpetrator! We will call a meeting of the council immidiately! Do not let the fiend escape! And be sure to bring her back alive!” The companions turn to chase the traitor. “Which way did she go?” Afton wonders aloud. Delsior groans. “That way,” he points. “Into the teleportation chamber…”

This week, we hear the stunning conclusion of this adventure. We start with the heroes witnessing the re-animation of the Empress. As she blinks and draws in her first breath, her eyes fix on Kaylee, the Elven Wizard. “It was YOU who threw that death ray spell at me! But you cannot kill me so easily, for I AM THE GODDESS MELORA! AND I HAVE COME IN TO THE WORLD OF MEN TO MEDDLE IN YOUR AFFAIRS!” And with that, a blinding light begins to shine from her body as she floats upward. “THIS LAND MUST BE RULED FAIRLY BY A COUNCIL, WHERE ALL RACES HAVE EQUAL VOICE! FAREWELL…” She continues floating up, growing more insubstantial. “DO NOT REVEAL THE SECRET THAT I WAS THE EMPRESS, OR FACE MY CURSE. AND DO NOT KILL MY ATTACKER, INSTEAD, MAKE HER SEE THE ERROR OF HER WAYS…” And with that, she disappears into the sky.

The heroes make a grab for the Elven Wizard. Poof. Kaylee blinks out and reappears on the other side of the room. She turns and runs into the teleportation chamber. The PCs persue, but the rest of the council stays. As the heroes enter the chamber with the magic circle, its glow is fading, as though someone just stepped through it. “Hurry! If we go now, we will be teleported to the same place that Kaylee went!” Afton cries.

“But where is that place? And is it safe? What if its on the other side of the world? How will we get back?” Valcora asks.

“Does it matter?” Delsior says, and steps onto the circle and disappears. Valcora and Afton follow.

The party finds themselves in a forest clearing. There, they see Kaylee, who is pulling a rusty box from the ground. She opens it, revealing three cards. “You’ll never catch me!” She cries. Tossing once of the cards onto the ground, she speaks words of magic. Six skeletons appear around her. She then turns to run.

The party rushes the skeletons. A lightning spell from Afton targets Kaylee, but the Wizard simply hold up her hand, and deflects the bolt onto one of her minions. It explodes. Delsior fires and arrow at the traitor. Again, she holds up her palm, and the arrow bounces toward one of the minions. (DM note: Kaylee has a power which allows her to deflect any incoming attack toward any adjacent ally, twice per encounter. She also casts Re-Animate on one of the slain minions.)

On the next turn, Kaylee summons and steps through a magic portal. The PCs make short work of the skeleton minions and follow her. Now they find themselves in a sewer. Across a river of sludge they see Kaylee, headed for another glowing portal. “Still after me? This should slow you down!” She tosses a second card to the ground, and two hellhounds appear. She then runs through the portal and escapes.

The party defeats the hellhounds from afar, not wanting to get close. They fire arrows and cast spells from their side of the river, keeping their distance. (DM note: the hounds have a charge ability that knocks an enemy prone, then they have an immediate reaction attack when an enemy tries to stand that knocks them prone again, then they have a damage bonus to attacks versus enemies who are prone!!!)

Now the PCs face the following decision. Take the time to find a bridge and walk around the river of sludge, or jump right in to in and head straight for the portal. The opt for the latter. Each PC that enters the sludge takes 5 points of acid damage. Valcora, with her plate mail armor, arrives at the portal one turn after Delsior and Afton.

In this third room, The PCs find Kaylee amid giant statues underground. She tosses her final card to the ground, and summons six giant leeches all around her. Then she uses a teleportation power that allows her to trade places with an enemy. That enemy is Afton. Now Afton is surrounded on all sides by six leeches, and Delsior is the only one who stands between Kaylee and her escape through the portal. Luckily, he hits with a spell and dazes her, giving the PCs another round to try to grab her. Just in time, Valcora steps through the portal. The ensuing battle is a long one. Afton gets bit several times and goes down to 5 Hit Points, but uses Delsior’s healing aura. She uses a close burst 1 power and kills most of the leeches in one shot. Delsior and Valcora keep pushing Kaylee away from the portal. And after everyone has used all their daily and encounter powers, Valcora finally Intimidates Kaylee into surrender. The entire party had about 15 Hit Points collectively by this point…

Join us next week as we meet one more time, and have a unique story twist as well as one more short battle to conclude this adventure! This will be the last time this group meets for the year, as life will get busy with a new baby coming. However, we may start this adventure in December from where we left off. There is still some unfinished business for the party. Will Afton accept an invitation to join the Council of Tenn, among all the distrust of Elves in the land? And will Valcora accept the position of First Lieutenant in General Guren’s Army? And will Delsior finally learn “Every Rose Has Its Thorn” on his lute???

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