Days 18 - 21
Yellow brick road

It takes two days to return to Karaburun, where the party receives a heroes’ welcome as the populace recognizes they have rescued Oremis. They are joined by Ithamar, Bion, and Ezar. After a day of rest, they travel another day to find Virva’s father, who lives near Apala. Albir is able to quickly restore everyone to full faculties. Oremis wants to see the bey of Apala, so the party goes there the next morning. There are many happy reunions in Apala, but Loka is thrown violently into prison.

The pit has been sealed, but it remains a weak point in the barrier between planes of existence.

Oremis plans to go to Illyria with Ezar, who must go there to seek redemption.

Day 17, continued
Highway to hell

Demons patrolling the walls and flying above stay out of the way as our heroes approach the keep. Entering the main building of the keep, they find Arzu waiting on a dias with an altar in the former dining hall. She is in the form of Oremis but doesn’t attempt to disguise her voice. She invites everyone over for friendly conversation and introduces the necromancer Loka, cleric of Graz’zt, former cleric of Bahamut, who led the attempt to retake the citadel from the demons.

Arzu invites the heroes to give up and be friends, insisting that Bahamut has abandoned Izmir and that the shining paladins forfeited control to Graz’zt. She makes no headway with our heroes, who attack her, challenging her for control of the land in the name of the gods of good. A desperate battle ensues in which several of our heroes are afflicted by Arzu’s wisdom-draining poison. When she finds herself near death and unable to escape, Arzu teleports away.

Loka is struck down to his knees and begs for his life, pressing our heroes to climb the tower and prevent Arzu from killing the prisoner. The entire company rushes to the top of the tower and manages to strike down the demon for good before she lands a fatal blow on the imprisoned Oremis. Immediately, the building begins to shake, and the company must flee for their lives as the rift collapses. All of the remaining demons dive through or are destroyed in the disaster.

With an inert Oremis and repentant Loka in tow, our heroes depart with haste to return to Karaburun.

Day 17
This little light of mine

Before leaving the temple ruins, our heroes find some healing potions and a scroll of magic circle against evil. The rain continues, and it becomes apparent that an unusual storm circles the rift to the underworld.

They arrive at the Citadel of Kadesh around dusk, tethering the horses at a safe distance. Three ghouls near the front entrance attack as they approach. Virva quickly shatters them with the holy light of Pelor, but one, out of range, runs away. The ground begins shifting strangely, and dozens of skeletons emerge from the mud. While a remnant of their human spirits cries out for help, they attack. Virva directs the power of sun to defeat the undead en masse, releasing the slain soldiers to their fate in the afterlife.

Our heroes climb up the wall of the citadel and force their way through the guardhouse, where the runaway ghoul jumps out to bite Sayen. After killing the ghoul, Virva examines Sayen’s bite and determines that she is at risk of ghoul fever if it is not removed the next day.

Continuing along the citadel wall, the party observes a number of quasits flying around the keep and larger unidentifiable figures patrolling its walls.

Day 16, first watch
Greeting scarred

During Sayen’s watch, a bulezau confronts the tired travelers. He claims he was summoned by the master of the Citadel of Kadesh to stop them from reaching it. With his oversized ranseur and vicious claw attacks, the sixteen foot demon nearly defeats the party before Adllal finishes him off.

Days 15 and 16
Plain madness

Our heroes travel through the Canavar Plains. On the second day of the journey, they fight off ten gnolls riding on dire boars and make camp in a ruined temple of Pelor on a rainy night.

Days 12 - 14

The party travels up the river to a point near Karaburun. Ithamar and Ezar split off as the rest proceed on horses and stock up on supplies.

Day 11, continued
Tigers in the trees; relatives in the river

All set out through the forest and are beset by a group of three tigers, unnaturally attacking together. After two are struck down, a woman emerges from her hiding place and yells, “Stop!” The third tiger lopes off, and the elven druid Glenna introduces herself, asking everyone to leave. It turns out there are demons still in pursuit. Glenna leads the way to a resting place, then to a meeting point by the river, where she says someone will meet the party. She disappears into the woods, leaving the suspicious heroes to wonder what is coming.

Soon, Virva yells, “Papa!” as she sees her father Albir float up on his barge. He brings three others:Bion, Ilkin’s son; Nicostratus, the town elder from Demir; and Mim, a powerful foreign wizard. Bion offers a chest full of cold iron weapons to assist the heroes, and Mim places magical enchantments on the best of the other equipment. Mim insists that Phaedrus should accompany him back to Khoth as an apprentice. They go their own way, and the rest float downriver into the deepening night.

Morning, Day 11
Pained paladin

Ezar is finally convinced to tell his story and join the cause, in his own way. After an emotional release, he describes a citadel in the middle of the plains that stopped communicating. A large force of paladins of the Shining Order investigated but were completely overcome by demonic forces that had emerged from a deep pit to overwhelm the citadel. Oremis and his guards were replaced by demonic doubles, but Ezar believes Oremis may still be alive somewhere. Ezar himself, to his deep shame, was stunned and unable to act during the fight, being left for dead.

Ezar and Ithamar plan to head for the nearest large city to the southwest, and the rest of the party will head for the plains.

Day 10
A cleric walks into a bar(-lgura)

Virva attempts to inspire Ezar to action. Phaedrus and Virva begin researching the weakness of Arzu, and the party is invited by Ithamar to stay at the Apala Temple of Pelor until they are ready to depart. Adllal, returning from target practice, barely makes it back through the host of Oremis‘s guards that have showed up in town. Regrouping over an evening meal at the temple, our heroes run to the windows as they hear a sudden cessation of Ithamar’s evening homily in the Apala Marketplace. Ithamar is nowhere to be seen, and Oremis and his guards surround the temple with torches. Virva encourages the temple residents to hide in their quarters, and the heroes plan to make a stand on the stairs.

However, as they run, they see the bloody body of Ithamar sprawled in front of the fountain. Virva runs to his side, closely followed by Adllal, and they are promptly attacked by a formidable bar-lgura demon emerging from invisibility. Sayen joins the fray, while Phaedrus and Noot seek a higher vantage point. Another bar-lgura emerges upstairs. Ezar emerges fully armed from his room and finds Phaedrus barring the door against a ferocious attack. Ezar points out that the guards are likely to burn the building if their demon ploy doesn’t work, so we would be wise to escape. Our heroes fight off the demons long enough to gather outside and make a run for their horses. The demons follow until the horses cross the river. After trekking through the woods for a while, covering their tracks, our heroes make uncomfortable camp.

Day 9, Continued
It's my party, and I'll fight if I want to

Noot nails a rooftop attacker with a crossbow bolt, and Adllal runs inside the building to catch the purse snatcher. Virva addresses the half-orc after he shakes off Sayen‘s Daze spell, convincing him to cease hostilities. Our heroes then freely pursue the young miscreant up to the top of a tower, where they find him unconscious, put to sleep by the wizard Phaedrus as a trespasser. A question raised by his workshop reveals that Phaedrus is aware of and opposed to recent swells in local demon activity, and he is easily persuaded to join our cause. When he awakens, the boy tells us that this is a bad day to storm the Blue Troll, it being Ceren’s birthday.

Unswayed, our heroes stick to their plan to remove Ezar from the Blue Troll, even if violence is necessary, and even if a celebration is interrupted. Phaedrus casts a deceptive spell to startle anyone lurking in the back of the Troll, and Noot and Virva break down the door. Caught by a trap, Virva slips down a staircase, and the rest of the party follow more carefully. Peeking in the door to the tavern below reveals a festive party in progress. Virva boldly announces her presence, and Ceren orders her flunkies to kill her. Inspired by Sayen’s music, our heroes storm the thieves’ guild. Noot heads straight for Ceren, fueled by the rivalry of their families. The last thieves standing surrender as Ceren runs through a secret door and down some stairs.

As Adllal and Virva guard the prisoners and heal the wounded, the others follow the giddy birthday girl to a dead end in the wine cellar. Noot reaches her first and declares the purpose of the intrusion. Ceren sheathes her sword and negotiates terms of Ezar’s release with Pheadrus’s promise of wondrous items. Sayen magically restores the cake and other festive decorations, leaving Ceren pleased to resume her party. Our heroes are invited to stay and delight Ceren by making her cohorts miserably scared and uncomfortable. Virva takes Ezar to the temple of Pelor for restoration and healing. His addiction to alcohol and self-destructive way of life have taken a serious toll on him, and his fallen state as an ex-paladin has left him in despair.


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