Greyhawk: Gem of the Flanaess

Part Three - Chapter Thirteen: The Precipitous Resolution of One Chronical and the Curious Commencement of Another

It was on Earthday, the 6th day of Coldeven, in the Common Year of 581, when Zeke summoned the efreeti, Kallian, and had him grant a wish allowing the Company of the Green Dragon to discover the location of Rohnam.

On the following morning, that of Freeday the 7th, the band made their preparations and, after much discussion, Diamond cast a commune spell so the band could gather further information. With this spell, the band narrowed down the location of Rohnam to the dining hall in the northeast half of the third underground level of the War Tower and learned that Andrade was in the nearby chapel. In addition to this, they also learned that a warding spell placed in the area would prevent the band from using invisibility, but that neither of these areas was protected from a specific spell that would prevent teleportation from working. Armed with this knowledge, the band prepared themselves with spells and potions, and within a few minutes they were ready to go.

The band then gathered around Tadwin and he teleported everyone into the dining hall next to the leader’s table. When they arrived, most of the band saw only duergar in the hall. But Diamond, with his true seeing spell, quickly identified Rohnam in the altered form of a duergar sitting right next to them. Before anyone else could react, Brom and Corvyn attacked him, while Corvyn followed through with his sword, severely wounding a couple of duergar seated nearby. In an astounding whirl of flashing blades, Rohnam was suddenly dead before he even had the chance to speak.

Many of the duergar in the hall cried out in alarm and reached for weapons or turned invisible. But Corvyn grabbed the body of Rohnam, and in the next instant, Tadwin used a dimension door spell to transport the band to the entrance way of the nearby chapel. There they found that the chapel had been repaired, refurnished and rededicated to Nerull. In the chapel were several more duergar, including Gaerdar, Kaelegg, Thromdig and Bralldur, whom the band was all familiar with. And nearby, behind the altar at the far end, was Andrade Mirrius.

Once again, upon quickly assessing the new situation, the band was the first to act. And once more, Tadwin grabbed Corvyn and Brom and used a dimension door spell to transport the three of them right up to the altar and within striking distance of Andrade. With the band’s two best melee attackers now flanking the priest of Nerull, the scene from mere moments before in the dining hall was virtually repeated in the chapel. To the shock and horror of all those who had only two weeks before allied themselves with the deadly and powerful cleric, he was suddenly falling to the floor dead, never having gotten a chance to cast even a single spell.

With little else they could do, having been firmly convinced by Rohnam that the band would eventually turn on them and kill them all, the duergar did what they could to inflict harm upon the band. But it was, for the most part, a futile attempt. Gaerdar’s spells proved ineffective against the band and most of the other duergar could not touch the band with their weapons before being cut down by the band’s blades and spells.

The duergar, however, were not alone in this battle. While many more of them rushed into the chapel and others of them turned invisible and tried to flee, they were soon joined by another group of allies that the band had almost forgotten about and were not expecting. These were the swordwraiths who guarded the upper floors of the ruins. Apparently having been convinced by the powerful cleric of the god of undead to join with them in their cause, the swordwraiths, with their magical greatswords and full plate armor, and their ability to drain the strength of their enemies with every hit of their blades, came charging towards the band a few at a time. But, while the swordwraiths had once posed a serious and perhaps unbeatable threat to the band, they were now no longer as great a challenge to them, and they too began to fall under the band’s weapons and a series of energy bursts from Diamond.

Still, the duergar had one more ally that, individually, was easily more powerful than any of them. This was the human vampire, Crimloc, whom the band had left undisturbed and trapped inside his tomb on the 8th level. Clearly, having been released, and most likely allied with Andrade just as the swordwraiths had been, he snuck into the chapel in gaseous form, and suddenly materialized in the middle of the battle. There, he turned in the direction of Corvyn and tried to dominate him, unaware that Corvyn was protected from such attacks by a spell.

Although the vampire was also a capable warrior in his own rights, he did not possess a magical weapon and armor like Corvyn did. Nor did his ability to drain energy prove to be very effective when he struggled to get past Corvyn’s defenses. So, not even Crimloc lasted very long against the band’s powerful fighter. When he too was vanquished, his form became gaseous, as was normal for all vampires, and he slowly drifted back in the direction of the 8th level where his tomb lay.

At this point, all of the major threats within the dungeon of the Tower of War had been defeated. But there were still a few swordwraiths left to destroy along with those duergar who chose to make their last stand sooner rather than later. A couple of the duergar rode upon giant spiders called steeders. These spiders could not spin webs, but they excreted a very sticky substance that could aid them in grappling opponents and even allow them to walk on ceilings.

Once the band had defeated all who currently stood in their way, they immediately headed in the direction of the 8th level. Along the way, they encountered bands of derro who tried to use their sound burst abilities to harm the band. But the band had used spells to protect them from sonic damage. So the derro’s sound bursts proved to be ineffective against the band – at least directly.

However, when the band reached the 6th level of the dungeon, the derro there used their sound bursts to cause cave-ins, which of course, the band was not protected from. This proved to be a much more effective way to attack the band, and it did cause them some significant injuries and slowed down their progress considerably. Nevertheless, the band still had the means to deal with this obstacle and plenty of healing magic left to deal with any wounds. So, in the end, it only delayed the inevitable.

Eventually, the band reached the 8th level and located the tomb of the vampire Crimloc. Once there, Zeke threw several fireballs into the room, until the band was convinced he had destroyed the thornslinger plants that guarded the chamber. The band then located the entrance to the burial chamber inside the now scorched and smoking mound of earth. There they found Crimloc’s coffin, and inside it, Crimloc himself. Unable to defend himself, it was a simple matter for the band to drive a wooden stake threw his chest and cut off his head, which they then tossed into the nearby river of lava.

From this point on, the band did a systematic sweep throughout the dungeon, clearing out every level of every derro and duergar, and anything else that might pose a threat to them, their henchmen, or any hirelings they might hire. As there were still almost than a hundred and fifty derro inside the dungeon when the band first arrived on this day, and there were many places in which to hide, it took quite some time to do a thorough cleansing. In fact, the band was unable to complete it in one day. But since they were not pressed for time, the band spent much of the next week doing a methodical search through the dungeon.

At the same time, they took care of other matters they felt needed to be dealt with, such as destroying all the statues of Nerull and desecrating any chapels dedicated to him. They were also able to look into the duergar complex in between the 4th and 5th levels, to which they had previously not been allowed access. Inside the complex, in addition to more quarters, a large kitchen and a pantry, they found another chapel dedicated to Nerull, a smithy, and a large treasure room stocked with many items of gold. At the back of this chamber were eight steeder eggs.

By the end of Waterday, the 12th day of Coldeven, the Company of the Green Dragon was satisfied that they had completely eliminated all threats within the dungeon of the Tower of War and had dealt with any issues there that needed to be addressed. So that evening, the band paid a visit to a place called the Barge Inn, located in the River Quarter of Greyhawk, where they hoped to find an old acquaintance of theirs – their old bandmate and friend, Kelgor. Despite Kelgor’s decision to leave the band more than three months before, it was the band’s hope, now that the duergar had been eliminated, that they could work out a deal with the dwarven cleric and convince him to rejoin them by gathering a band of dwarves that they could hire on to help them with the mines in the dungeon of the Tower of War.

Although Kelgor was rumored to spend much of his time traveling about in the nearby hills, it was known that he would occasionally return to Greyhawk and visit with his dwarven friends at the popular hangout for dwarves. So it was perhaps a good sign when the band just happened to find him that night at the Barge Inn. And fortunately, Kelgor’s temper had cooled just a bit over the previous three months and he was willing to listen to the band’s proposal. His attitude improved considerably when he learned of the duergar’s demise – and so began the negotiations.

Meanwhile, on the following morning, that of Earthday, the 13th day of Coldeven, after many weeks and possibly months of trying to convince their masters to give them the opportunity, the band’s original group of henchmen, Nikki, Ashba, Jamis and Thiege, plus Diamond’s henchman Trizzac, set out on their own to the ruins of Castle Greyhawk. Their objective was to begin the explorations of the Tower of Magic, also known as the Power Tower.

So, following the three hour walk from the city to the ruins, and the always nerve-wracking trek over the first bridge, the group made their way around the Tower of Zagig and over the second bridge to the Power Tower. Once there, in addition to the ruined tower, of which only the first level above-ground remained intact, the group saw the two pyramids to the southwest and the wooden fortress to the northeast. In front of them stood the two massive doors that were the main entrance into the tower. In front of it, a two-level wooden platform rested atop two stone walls. On the platform were two ballistae manned by elves.

Another elf, who introduced himself as Eroth, greeted the band and when they told him they wished to explore the ruins, he seemed quite pleased. Eroth then explained to the band about their fee of one third of all magic items taken from the tower or the choice of playing their game of chance, which could win the band a staff of power. The band agreed to the terms and Eroth directed them to the finely crafted elven fortress. There they met the elven wizard Nimlith who again explained the elves’ terms and cast a couple of spells to detect for magic and extra-dimensional spaces.

Once this was done, the band was led into the elven fortress, through a kitchen and a hallway, and into a room with another ballista manned by a few more elves. Here, despite telling the band there was little to be concerned about, the elves seemed to tense up a bit before opening another set of doors in the side of the tower. When they did open the doors, everyone was surprised as a huge ettin stepped out to attack. Both the band and the elves did what they could to attack back, including firing the ballista, but it was the elven wizard who did most of the damage with a powerful lightning bolt that finally dropped the ettin.

With the ettin down, the elves urged the band to quickly move through the doors into the tower, while the elves hurriedly closed the doors behind them. Fortunately, nothing more appeared to threaten the band at this time.

Once inside the tower, the band of henchmen began exploring about. In the first few rooms, they found no traps or monsters to greet them. Nor did they find any treasure as it appeared that these areas had been picked clean long ago by previous explorers. They did, however, discover some interesting features in a couple of the rooms.

The first of these rooms contained a large table made of purple marble laced with gold swirls and the walls seemed to be coated with purple soot containing flecks of gold. When Trizzac stared at the table for a bit, the gold swirls appeared to move, and suddenly Trizzac sensed that he had lost one of his few spells. However, when Ashba stared at the table, all of her currently memorized spells were suddenly doubled.

It was suggested then that everyone sit down at the table, and when they did, a gold symbol of an eye in a star appeared above the table’s center, which some members of the group recognized as resembling the symbol of Boccob. Perhaps, they surmised, this was actually the symbol of Zagig. A purple vapor issued from the eye which then formed into a purple sphere with gold markings on it. At the same time, the nearby fireplace lit up with purple flames spouting golden flecks, while four illusory purple and gold guardians stepped from the fireplace and onto the hearth. The purple sphere, which appeared to represent Oerth, began rotating as ancient runes danced across its surface, perhaps listing statistics on the various places shown on the globe. The band observed this for a bit. But being unable to clearly decipher the runes, they eventually got up from the table, at which point everything returned to its original state.

In another nearby room, the band found a railed dais. After some intense scrutinizing of the dais, the image of a crown materialized on one of the edges. Try as they might, the band could not pick it up as it had no physical form. But as they stared at it, the image became brighter until it finally burst forth an intense light, causing everyone to be momentarily blinded, especially Trizzac who was particularly vulnerable to bright lights. When their sight gradually returned, the image was gone. The band could only make a guess that it had something to do with a set of powerful artifacts, known as the Regalia of Might, which was once rumored to be kept in the castle.
Part Three - Chapter Twelve: The Hunt for the Black Bard and the Patriarch of Nerull

It was about midday, on Sunday, the 16th day of Readying, in the Common Year of 581, when the Company of the Green Dragon defeated the Cult of the Shriven Sickle. Unfortunately, both Rohnam and Andrade Mirrius managed to get away, at least for the time being.

Realizing that they could still be nearby, the band began an immediate search of the cult’s hideout. Beyond the black curtains, which hung behind the altar in the chapel, the band found a door. It opened into a room that initially appeared to be guarded by two men. But when these guards made no movements and did not react to the band’s sudden presence, the band realized that the guards were only illusions. This was confirmed by Diamond who still had a true seeing spell in effect.

There were two doors in this room. The band chose the one on the right. It led to another guard room with three more possible illusionary guards. One of them, however was dressed and armed differently, and when Diamond looked closely at him, he saw that this one, unlike the other two, was not an illusion. When Diamond pointed this out, the man immediately began to beg for mercy. The band, of course, disarmed him and under threat of violence, questioned him.

He told the band that he was the cult’s jailor, that there were three prisoners in the very next room, and that the quarters of the cult’s leaders could be found in the opposite direction. When the band opened the door to the next room, they found three prison cells, but they all appeared to be empty. That is until the band heard the voices of the cell’s occupants. The band then realized that an illusion of some kind had been placed on the room which made the cells only appear to be empty.

Tadwin came to the conclusion that a powerful illusion called a screen had been placed over much of the cult’s hideout. The spell’s main purpose was to trick any attempts to scry on an area with divination spells, but it was also effective against direct observation.

The band rescued the three prisoners, all of whom were wealthy merchants being held for ransom, and locked the jailor in one of the cells. They then turned back and headed in the opposite direction, hoping they might still be able to find Rohnam and Andrade. Keeping Diamond near the front of the band so he could identify any illusions, the band passed through a storage room, where illusionary crates and boxes helped to hide a secret door, and entered a hallway lined with doors and guarded by illusionary guards.

The first door on the left was a privy and the first door on the right was a study, but the remaining five doors turned out to be quarters, all of which were locked and some of which were trapped. While Brom was busy checking these doors and unlocking them, Zeke decided to summon the efreeti, Kallian, and have him search as well, hoping it would speed up the search. Kallian, being able to travel ethereally, disappeared and soon afterwards returned stating that he had found Rohnam nearby, but that he and Andrade had then teleported away.

From the looks of it, it appeared as if the two of them had teleported from the chapel into this area, where they quickly moved through some of the rooms grabbing certain valuables, then teleported away once again, this time out of the cult’s hideout and to who knew where. Realizing that the two were now probably far away, and out of the band’s reach, they began to take more time searching each of the quarters.

Judging from the various traps, furnishings, personal possessions and other tell-tale signs, it was fairly easy to determine to whom each of the rooms had previously belonged. Some had been rummaged through already, while others still had valuables to be collected. The first five rooms were those of Rohnam, Imogen, Grotnek, Jamir and Garyne.

At the end of the hall, was another secret door. But it appeared to be protected by another symbol spell. On the off chance that any attempt to identify it might set it off, Brom covered it up while the rest of the band waited at the other end of the hall. But despite his precautions, when Brom stepped through the secret door, the symbol above it apparently activated, though fortunately, Brom managed to resist its effects. Beyond the secret door, Brom saw a short passageway which ended at a room that was occupied by a statue which the band suspected might be an iron golem.

Not wishing to take the chance, and preferring to hold off for at least an hour to let the activated symbol expire, the band decided to search the other areas of the cult’s hideout. Returning to the chapel, they searched the side rooms where the guards and the lesser priests had been quartered, then moved on to another guard room, another privy, the dinning room, kitchen, pantry, and finally, the quarters of Grimtorr and Grolg. By the time they were done in these areas an hour had passed.

However, when they returned to the room that they suspected was guarded by an iron golem, it turned out instead to have been only another illusion. Beyond it were two doors that led to the quarters of Xanthi and Andrade. Both were magically trapped and locked, but Brom was able to deal with these obstacles. Inside these rooms, which were much more lavishly furnished (not to mention more gruesome and macabre), it was obvious that certain valuables had been hastily searched for and, no doubt, snatched up.

But there were also some things of value left behind, including what appeared to be a magic pendant that Xanthi could not wear due to the fact that she was already wearing a magic necklace. Later examination by Tadwin however, revealed it to be a cursed necklace of strangulation which would have led to an almost inescapable death had anyone placed it around his neck.

Beyond Xanthi’s room and behind a secret door, was another room with a permanent magic circle etched into the floor, most likely where Xanthi had summoned the daemon that the band had fought earlier. Beyond Andrade’s spacious quarters was a secret vault. But anything of value that had once been inside it was now gone.

With the hideout of the Cult of the Shriven Sickle thoroughly searched, the band grabbed the captured jailor and led the rescued merchants out of the lair and back to the streets of the city. The merchants then promised to reward the band for their rescue and went their separate ways, while the band escorted the jailor to the Citadel. At the Citadel, the band turned the cultist over to the City Watch and went to speak with Constable Fanshen. They told her all that had occurred at the cult’s hideout, and confirmed the fact that Andrade Mirrius was indeed the cult’s leader. But they warned her that the hideout was still not yet safe for the City Watch to enter.

Before dealing with that however, the band wanted to see if they could track down Rohnam and Andrade by visiting any buildings within the city that the two were known to frequent. Constable Fanshen did not know if Andrade had a regular home within the city, other than the hideout, but she wanted to accompany the band to the Pit to help question anyone there who might know more about Andrade and the cult.

At the Pit, Fanshen and the band questioned Pietain Morvannis, the manager of the Pit and Andrade’s number one man at the gladiatorial arena. But after speaking with him, it sounded as if Andrade kept his personal life very separate from his business at the Pit, and although he was aware of certain peculiarities about Andrade and his morbid fascination with death, it appeared as though Pietain knew nothing about the cult of Nerull. They spoke with a few of the gladiators as well, including their champion wrestler, Rashif Iqbal, and did a thorough search through Andrade’s office, which did not contain much in the way useful information, nor was it reportedly visited very often by Andrade. Nothing they found and no one they spoke to at the Pit seemed to offer any promising leads and no one could even say with any certainty that Andrade had a regular home in the city.

Eventually the band and Constable Fanshen made their way to the Green Dragon Inn. But there again, they could not come up with any useful information on where the two might have fled to. So, for the time being, they called off the search and decided instead to have Tadwin try to scry on them every day to see if that would produce any results.

In the meantime, the band led some of the City Watch into the sewers and to the cult’s hideout where they made sure everything was relatively safe. Then they turned the hideout over to the City Watch, allowing them to properly dispose of the bodies. According to Constable Fanshen, she also intended to have a wizard seal up both of the secret doors with walls of stone so that the hideout could not easily be used by anyone, or anything, else.

With no clues to go on and nothing more to do as far as the search for Rohnam and Andrade was concerned, the band took some time off to study and train, while they waited to see if anything came up. All the while, they tried to keep their guard up and do what they could to counter the damage that Rohnam had done to the band’s reputation.

To this end, the band made sure to check with any friends and acquaintances they had, to see if any of them were under the influence of any charms or mental control, even double checking some of them. Anyone found to be magically influenced in anyway were remedied. Zeke, meanwhile, used his undeniable charisma to dispel any malicious rumors about the band.

Three days after the defeat of the cult, on Waterday, the 19th day of Readying, Tadwin finally managed to locate Rohnam with a scrying spell – or so he thought. Using the spell, he could see both Rohnam and Andrade apparently resting on the side of a road under a shade tree. The surrounding terrain was unfamiliar, but Tadwin took the time to study it carefully enough to be able to teleport to it with a reasonable chance of success. Then he gathered the rest of the band as quickly as he could, which actually took some time since some of them were busy training in Greyhawk.

An hour or so later, after the band was fairly well prepared with magic, Tadwin teleported them to the location where he had seen Rohnam and Andrade. But there was no sign of them, nor could they find any evidence that the two had been there recently, such as footprints. Brom flew up invisibly and spotted a city far to the northwest next to a large river. So he flew off in that direction to scout around while the others looked around nearby. Quite some time was spent searching.

Eventually the four companions on the ground began to follow the road to the northwest and, after some time, came into contact with a scouting party of orcs who had started to track them. Instead of attacking each other, the band managed to intimidate the orcs enough to gather some information from them. They claimed to be part of the Blood Sucker tribe whose army was not far away, and they told the band that the nearby city was Molag, the capital city of the Horned Society. They also had seen nothing that resembled Rohnam and Andrade.

Sometime later, Brom returned to the band with much the same information and no news of Rohnam and Andrade. By now, Tadwin began to suspect that Andrade had used another screen spell to conceal their true location and that their trip to the Horned Society had been nothing but a wild goose chase. So, with some frustration, the band teleported back to Greyhawk. They decided instead to give up on the search for Rohnam and Andrade for the time being and just wait a few weeks until they could ask the efreeti, Kallian, to grant them a wish.

In the meantime, the band took some time off, did some training and studying, and tended to other personal matters. During this time, the band also began looking into buying a new building in the Artisan’s Quarter where they could open up a new pawn shop. And, at some point, Tadwin and Zeke paid another visit to the castle ruins, this time to speak with the elves at the Power Tower about seeing what magic items the priest’s and wizards might have to sell.

As on their first visit to the Power Tower, they spoke to the elven ranger Ruith, who took them to see the captain archer, Dhoelath, and the elven diviner, Nimlith. They, in turn, took them to the pyramids on the other side of the Power Tower, where they were soon greeted by one of the clerics of Boccob, whose name was Dormian. Dormian told them what magic items the wizard’s below currently had for sale and set up an appointment for them to return on the following day, just like they had done on the band’s first visit. Unlike on their first visit, however, Tadwin and Zeke actually showed up on the following day and kept their appointment.

Dormian met with them again just outside the pyramids and instructed them to follow him and walk through the pyramid wall. After doing so, the two were led from a short and narrow passageway into a stairwell that zig-zagged downwards about 50’ and ended at a wide hall. From there, the band was led down the hall, which also zig-zagged a bit, and through a locked door into a room with a door to the right. Past this door was another set of stairs which descended in a spiral another 25’ through a 15’ wide shaft with a hand rail set along the stairs. At the bottom was a short passageway that ended in a set of three circular alcoves, each of which contained an image of a grasping hand above a wooden disk with a curved line, all surrounded by a circle of runes. Tadwin and Zeke recognized the wooden disk as the symbol for Fharlanghn, the god of travel. Just to the right of the alcoves was a door and it was through this door that the two were led.

Beyond this door was a small library and as soon as the door was opened, a cozy fire burst to life in the room’s fireplace. In the center of the room, was a table and along one wall sat a desk and a chair. Dormian instructed the two to wait in this room while he went and retrieved one of the wizards. While they waited, Tadwin and Zeke browsed through the books on the shelves and saw that they contained, among other things, a very large selection of first level arcane spells.

After a while, Dormian returned with a companion who introduced himself as Leomund. Appearing much as one would expect for a famous arch-mage and member of the Ring of Five, with long white hair and beard, wearing blue robes and a conical hat decorated with stars, Tadwin and Zeke were, however, a bit surprised at how physically fit he seemed to be for someone of such advanced age. He seemed to be a pleasant enough fellow though, and had no problem with accepting items made of gold as part of the payment for the bracers of armor that Zeke bought from him. But as soon as the business was concluded, Leomund seemed eager to return to his business, whatever that might have been, and he quickly left. Dormian then escorted Tadwin and Zeke back to the surface and they soon after returned home.

Just over two weeks after the band’s fruitless excursion into the Horned Society, on Earthday, the 6th day of Coldeven, exactly a month after the last time they had Kallian grant them a wish, Zeke summoned the efreeti again. He then wished for Tadwin know precisely where Rohnam was currently located. Kallian told Tadwin then that Rohnam was on the 3rd underground level of the War Tower in the ruins of Castle Greyhawk. The band complained that his answer was not very precise but by then the efreeti had already disappeared.

Still, it was precise enough for the band to narrow it down further with more divination spells. But, perhaps more importantly, it meant that Rohnam, and quite likely, Andrade, had made some kind of alliance with the duergar and possibly the derro. And who could tell what other nefarious plans these two had come up with?
Part Three - Chapter Eleven: The Cult of the Shriven Sickle

It was on the night of Starday, the 15th day of Readying, in the Common Year of 581, when the Company of the Green Dragon first encountered the Cult of the Shriven Sickle. Two members of the cult, Jamir Rellstar, and their old enemy Imogen Gellet, were captured, a third member, Garyne the Shroudrender, was killed, and two more members, Xanthi Lamman and Grotnek Utrekknis, managed to escape.

While the band was detecting for magic on those who had not escaped, the City Watch arrived and began questioning the band. Diamond had by this time revived the paladin, Redshir, well enough for him to heal his own injuries, and he vouched for the band’s explanation of recent events. It was also partly because of Redshir that the band was not able to claim any of their enemies’ possessions. The City Watch arrested Jamir and Imogen, had the body of Garyne removed, and requested the band to accompany them back to the Citadel. The band agreed, of course, as they too wanted to question the two prisoners. But they also wanted to put in a request for the cult members’ magic items as a reward for their capture.

A short while later, sometime after midnight, the band was allowed to question Imogen and Jamir using spells like detect thoughts, to help with the interrogation. Although, the two prisoners were uncooperative, Tadwin was able to learn a good deal from them by reading their thoughts. The two most important bits of information he was able to gather were that the cult’s hideout was in a secret area under the Wizard’s School and that the cult’s leader was apparently Andrade Mirrius, owner of the Pit and who, according to the beliefs of the two prisoners, was a very powerful cleric of Nerull.

While the band was at the Citadel, they began to hear reports coming in from the City Watch that a riot had been started somewhere in Old Town and that a building had been set on fire. The band had a bad feeling about this but apparently did not think they could do anything about it or, for some reason, did not care to, as none of them really made much of an effort to go and investigate the matter.

Brom, however, wanted to fly out to Old Town to try and spread a rumor that the band had been arrested, in order to make the cult believe they would not be a threat to them anytime soon. So he decided to pass by the area where the fire and the riot was taking place, just to have a look. As usual, Brom had remained invisible throughout the interrogation to hide his unusual appearance from everyone. So no one saw him leaving the Citadel about an hour later.

As Brom passed over the area where the fire was, he saw that it was indeed the band’s pawnshop, as they had feared. It also looked to be a total loss as the City Watch had difficulty even reaching the fire due to the huge mob of people gathered around the area chanting slogans against the Company of the Green Dragon and interfering with the City Watch’s efforts. As Brom flew closer, he saw that there was one individual who was leading the chants and working the crowd up into a frenzy. It was, of course, Rohnam and he was using his talents to incite the riot among his increasingly large fan base, which by now numbered in the thousands.

For a moment, Brom considered attacking Rohnam. But Rohnam, it appeared, saw a few wizards and priests headed towards him and decided it was time for him to leave. Having achieved his apparent objective of further turning the citizens of Greyhawk against the band, Rohnam then teleported away.

With Rohnam now nowhere to be found, Brom continued his flight towards the slum quarter where he eventually spotted his old friend, Dodger, from the Beggar’s Union. After landing, Brom used an extract to alter his shape to that of his former self before acquiring his wings and made himself visible. He then approached Dodger and offered to pay him to spread the rumor that the band had been arrested. Dodger agreed to do it, but something in his demeanor made Brom suspect that Dodger was about to double-cross him. It then occurred to Brom that Rohnam had probably gotten to Dodger with his malicious spite spell. So Brom changed his mind.

A short while later, Brom was spying on Dodger when he overheard him telling other members of the Beggar’s Union that Brom was trying to pay him to spread a false rumor. It seemed that once again, Rohnam had caused further trouble for the band. Over the past few weeks now, the band’s fame within the city had taken a severe beating and it was clear that the band needed to put a stop to it before things really got out of hand.

Brom decided then to find another member of the Beggar’s Union. He spotted his old friend Nancy, but was afraid that Rohnam might have gotten to her as well. So instead, he tracked down one of the boy’s that Dodger had been talking to earlier, and approached him, this time disguised as Dodger. Hoping he could pull off an impression of Dodger well enough to fool the boy, he told him that he had been mistaken a short while before and that the Company of the Green Dragon had indeed been arrested. The boy, apparently convinced by Brom’s portrayal of Dodger, promised to go and spread the word. Hoping this would do the trick and fool the cult into believing they were not in any immediate danger from the band, Brom flew back to the Citadel and rejoined his companions. That night, the band convinced the City Watch to let them rest in a cell of their own inside the Prison Block.

Since it was such a late night on the previous night, and since the band did not get a great night’s sleep, the band slept late the next day, which was Sunday, the 16th day of Readying. When they did finally arise, they went and spoke with Derider Fanshen and told her of their plans to find and attack the secret lair of the Cult of the Shriven Sickle.

Having learned from their interrogations the general location of the lair, the band proceeded to the sewer entrance nearest to the wizard school and began their search. Brom scouted up ahead and soon spotted a group of dwarves who were members of the Sewer Rats, a special group within the Sewerman’s and Streetcleaners’ Union that was comprised of some of the meanest and toughest dwarves and gnomes in the city. Brom noticed that there were also what appeared to be a few zombies among them as well and when Brom approached them, the dwarves tried to conceal the nature of their undead companions and warned Brom about the dangers of the sewers, saying that he probably shouldn’t be there. Brom assured them that he would be okay and returned to the group, who by this time had located a nearby secret door using one of Tadwin’s spells.

Once past the secret door, the band followed a passageway to the west and eventually located another secret door and a passageway that headed north. After a short bit, Brom discovered a magical glyph that he was able to render harmless. Beyond that was a door at the end of the passageway and a magical symbol above it. Brom also disabled it and the band took a moment to prepare themselves.

Beyond the door, the band found a room occupied by a dozen ghouls. The band easily fought their way through the ghouls, but the ghouls made sure to make enough noise to alert the rest of the lair and ruin any further chances of surprising the cult. On the opposite side of the room were two doors. The band opened the one to the right which appeared to reveal an antechamber of some kind with black robes hung on pegs to the left and a pair of double doors to the right. Sensing that the double doors would lead them more towards the heart of the lair, the band headed for them once Brom had disabled another magical trap.

Opening these doors revealed a large chapel, clearly dedicated to Nerull. A row of four columns on each side of the room led to a raised dais upon which rested a black and rust-colored altar. Behind it was a large black curtain decorated with a symbol of Nerull and behind each row of columns stood three doors. As was the case with the rest of the lair, the chapel was lit by wall sconces, which also lit the current occupants of the room – six guards who now approached the band with weapons held ready.

A great battle then took place as more and more enemies began to arrive a few at a time. The band quickly discovered that fire spells were useless here as it appeared that a magical ward was protecting all those who were worshipers of Nerull. While some members of the band battled those inside the chapel, six more guards arrived through another door in the antechamber. At the same time, they were attacked from the rear by two more foes who were familiar to them – the half-orc priest Grimtorr and his troll companion Grolg.

Inside the chapel, a dozen more guards arrived from beyond the side doors, along with half a dozen clerics of Nerull. Then an unholy daemon of some kind with the skull of a horse, the rotting wings of a carrion bird and cracked hooves for feet, suddenly appeared in front of the altar. It raised a huge bow up, fired an arrow at Brom and struck him, infecting him with some sort of nasty disease. While the band was able to kill most of the other enemies with little difficulty, the daemon was something that greatly concerned them. So Tadwin threw up a wall of force which would block the next arrow it fired. Meanwhile, the rest of cult’s members arrived through the black curtain on the far side of the wall of force. Though some were invisible, the band was still able to see them thanks to spells they had cast on themselves.

They were the half-orc Grotnek, the high priestess Xanthi and her body guard flesh golem, Rohnam, and Andrade Mirrius, the cult’s patriarch. Because they all arrived on the far side of the wall of force, these latest arrivals were not able to enter the combat immediately. So instead they cast numerous preparatory spells on themselves while they waited for the wall of force to come down. The band, in the meantime, eliminated all the other foes they could get to, which was most of them, including Grimtorr and Grolg.

But as they were doing so, the daemon disappeared and soon after emerged from a room on the near side of the wall of force. It then breathed out a large cloud of corpse-bloated, biting black flies that caught several members of the band in it. This caused a fair amount of damage to the band and forced most of them to retreat. Corvyn, however, decided to move up instead and attack the daemon. Unfortunately, he had a poorly timed fumble with his sword and while he was trying to recover, the daemon struck him with a harm spell, instantly killing him.

Due to the cloud of flies, the rest of the band did not see clearly what had happened to Corvyn. But they saw him fall and they knew he was in danger if not already dead. They managed to destroy the flies with a fireball and soon after that they killed the daemon, while Diamond used the rod of resurrection to bring Corvyn back to life.

Soon the band had no more enemies in sight except those who awaited beyond the wall of force. Among them was Grotnek who got into a taunting contest with Corvyn while they waited for the wall to go away. But when the wall did expire, Grotnek was slow to react and both Corvyn and Brom got to attack him first and came very close to killing him. At the same time, rather than using a dimensional anchor spell on Rohnam, as the band had planned to do, Tadwin created yet another wall of force, this time singling out only Rohnam and Andrade, and leaving Grotnek, Xanthi and her flesh golem on the near side where the band could attack them.

This decision by Tadwin once again prevented Rohnam and Andrade from attacking the band, and potentially causing them much harm, but as the band would eventually discover, it would also come back to haunt them in other ways. Still, with Grotnek now badly wounded, he had little choice but to try and retreat to where Xanthi could heal him. And he almost made it.

But just before Xanthi was about to cast a healing spell on him, he was struck by a magic missile spell and went down. Xanthi and her flesh golem joined him in death soon afterwards, leaving only Rohnam and Andrade, who could do little but watch from the opposite side of the wall of force as their allies were killed one by one.

The band took a few moments then to heal themselves and get ready to face the last two members of the cult, hoping they would still be there when Tadwin dismissed the wall. But clearly, Rohnam and Andrade were not foolish enough to try and take on all five members of the Company of the Green Dragon by themselves. Even if the two were well protected and enhanced by their own spells, and despite the fact that Andrade was a very powerful and dangerous cleric, the risk was simply too high, and Andrade had not gotten this far by taking such unnecessary risks. So, before Tadwin was able to dismiss the wall of force, Andrade dismissed a blade barrier that had surrounded him, as Rohnam stepped over to teleport the two of them out of the chapel and to some place more safe.
Part Three - Chapter Ten: A New Threat Emerges

It was on the afternoon of Sunday, the 9th day of Readying, in the Common Year of 581, when the Company of the Green Dragon defeated the ogre magi of the War Tower and destroyed the Temple of Nerull. With the band now exhausted and the spellcasters running low on spells, they decided it was time to leave. Tadwin cast a teleport spell and took everyone back to the house in Greyhawk, which had been left unattended since the betrayal of Rohnam. From there, the band immediately returned to Prism Keep through the portal which lay in the sewers under the house. That evening, the band celebrated their victory as they told their henchmen and servants the tale of the great battle. It was also on this night, that Diamond was invited to become an official member of the Company of the Green Dragon, to which he gladly accepted.

The next morning, that of Moonday, the 10th day of Readying, after memorizing his spells, Tadwin cast several remove curse spells on himself until he finally succeeded in removing the curse caused by his staff. Then he, along with Zeke, Corvyn and Diamond paid a visit to Greyhawk, while Brom stayed behind at the keep. Brom had given Tadwin a list of magical items and alchemical formulas he wished to purchase, so Tadwin and company went in search of these things. As had been the case for some time now, Brom did not feel comfortable trying to deal with these matters himself, for fear of how people might react to his wings which were far too big to conceal without appropriate magic.

As Tadwin and company made their way around the city, visiting various shops, most of which they were quite familiar with, they soon took notice of the fact that most of the shopkeepers, gave the band odd stares and dirty looks or appeared hesitant to deal with them. After a few such episodes, Zeke asked one of the shopkeepers what the problem was. The shopkeeper was obviously nervous and tried to act as though nothing was wrong. But after some convincing from Zeke, the shopkeeper eventually told him that some ugly rumors had been going around the town concerning the band.

Concerned about these rumors, the band decided to stop by the Green Dragon Inn for lunch and see if their old friend Ricard Damaris, the proprietor of the inn, could shed some light on the source of these rumors. But, much to the band’s surprise and dismay, Ricard politely refused to serve them, suggesting that the band go and speak with the City Constable, Derider Fanshen who had apparently been asking questions about them and was looking for them. Wishing to get to the bottom of this, they decided to follow Ricard’s advice, but wanted to go and retrieve Brom from the keep before doing so. However, as they were headed back to the house, upon reaching the Black Gate, which they had passed through earlier that morning without any trouble, they were detained by the city watch.

Not wanting to cause any trouble, the band agreed to be escorted to the Grand Citadel without Brom, so they could speak with the Constable. A short while later, in the office of Derider Fanshen, the Constable told them she had heard some disturbing rumors. So the band agreed to answer some questions while Derider interrogated them one at a time.

First she spoke with Zeke, whom she knew to be the most morally sound of the group. Then she spoke with Tadwin, who, according to reports, was the most morally questionable. For both interrogations, Derider told them she would be casting a detect magic spell and a zone of truth spell. Both Zeke and Tadwin failed to resist the zone of truth spell and it did not take long before Derider learned that most of the rumors about the band were true; namely that Tadwin and Brom had murdered two men in the house they now claimed as theirs, that the band had made an alliance with the duergar in the ruins of Castle Greyhawk, and that, until recently, Tadwin was a worshiper of Nerull. These were all serious offenses as far as the City of Greyhawk was concerned and easily could have led to a sentence of hard labor for life or for Tadwin and Brom, a death sentence. Tadwin, of course, tried to spin everything in the best light possible, saying he had been forced into doing these things, while both of them pointed out how they had recently destroyed a temple of Nerull.

Nevertheless, Derider was being extremely generous when she then offered to make a deal with the band, saying she would be willing to forget all past crimes of the band (at least those she was aware of), if the band would, in turn, focus their efforts on solving the latest dilemma that had been plaguing the city in the past few months.

During the interrogations, Derider had asked both Zeke and Tadwin if they had ever heard of the Cult of the Shriven Sickle. Both had answered truthfully that they had not. So Derider told them what she knew or suspected about the group. They were a secret cult of Nerull worshipers operating illegally within the city and bent on causing all manner of chaos and disruption to the city and, in particular, organizations within the city which fought against the forces of evil. More specifically, their goals were to slay members of the Knights of Holy Shielding who had fled their overrun homes in the Shieldlands, slay priests of good faiths such as those of Pelor, Heironeous, and Rao, disgrace and dishonor people of power within the city, disrupt trade within the city, conduct espionage and do whatever they could to increase their own power. Their crimes consisted of murder, kidnapping, blackmail, and theft, just to name a few. There were even reports that they were responsible for the brutal slaying of workers in the docks, which led to rumors of vampires in the area, which in turn, threatened to cripple the river trade.

This cult was a serious threat to the city and all attempts by the City Watch to find the cult and stop them had, so far, been unsuccessful. With few alternatives open to her, since other adventuring groups in the city were either unavailable or not powerful enough, Derider turned to the Company of the Green Dragon for assistance. The band, of course, agreed to Derider’s proposition, knowing that to decline the offer would mean becoming enemies of the City of Greyhawk. Once the deal was agreed upon, Derider let the band go, but warned them about breaking any more laws, stating they would need a warrant from her or a Deputy Constable before entering any businesses or private property uninvited.

After leaving the Citadel, the band resumed their errands and gathered what magic items and alchemical formulas they could find that were on Brom’s list. This took the remainder of the day and when they were done they returned to Prism Keep and announced to Brom all that had occurred. That evening the band put their heads together and discussed ideas on how they might try to track down the Cult of the Shriven Sickle.

The next morning, on Godsday the 11th of Readying, Diamond cast some divination spells and learned that some of their earliest ideas would not likely produce any results, as these had already been investigated by the City Watch.

It appeared then that the band would have to resort to questioning possible witnesses to the cults’ various crimes in order to drum up a few leads. According to the information supplied by Derider Fanshen, the most recent act that was likely committed by the cult took place four days before, when a member of the Knights of Holy Shielding disappeared. So the band, with Brom coming along invisibly, returned to Greyhawk and located the House of the Knights of Holy Shielding in the High Quarter. There they spoke with the group’s leader, a paladin by the name of Valderesse Sharn.

She took a liking to Zeke, but clearly did not care much for the other members of the band, especially Tadwin. She told Zeke all she knew about the disappearance of Geret Thorning, the latest apparent victim of the cult, who was last seen at the Wheel of Gold Gambling House. She and the other knights had already investigated the disappearance and learned that the last person who is known to have seen him was a fellow Shieldlander by the name of Jamir Rellstar. Tadwin was familiar with Jamir as he was a well-liked wizard who frequented the Wizard’s Guild and the finer gambling halls of the city. It was a well-known tale that Jamir had been captured and tortured by the Horned Society before arriving in Greyhawk the previous year, and there were many who would vouch for Jamir’s good character, including Valderesse Sharn, who had no suspicions about him.

With what appeared to be a dead end, the band then visited several temples in the city and Diamond made sure to make a donation at the Temple of Boccob. Unfortunately, the band found no useful information at any of the temples either.

That afternoon, Tadwin paid a visit to the Wizard’s Guild and bought a copy of the spell dimensional anchor, believing it would come in handy if the band should ever have the opportunity to confront Rohnam, whom they felt certain had a hand in spreading the rumors about the band. While there, Tadwin came upon Jamir and made sure to point him out to Brom, as they were not entirely convinced that Jamir was completely innocent in the disappearance of Geret Thorning. Brom, still remaining invisible, later followed Jamir to the Wheel of Gold Gambling House. The rest of the band, meanwhile, went to the Gold Digger Tavern in the Thieves’ Quarter where they hoped to find another member of the Knights of Holy Shielding, a large fighter by the name of Artur Jakartai, who often visited the dwarven hangout.

As hoped, the band did find Artur at the tavern and he and Corvyn soon found themselves bonding as they drank ale and discussed nothing in particular, with the possible exception of what Artur could tell the band about the disappearance of Geret Thorning – which was practically nothing they had not already heard. Eventually, the band realized that Artur would likely be of little use to them. So the band called it a night and returned to the keep.

Brom, on the other hand, was able to learn something curious about Jamir. After watching him all evening and well into the night, Brom discovered that Artur was very skilled at any games of chance that required a certain amount of bluffing. But, perhaps more importantly, When Brom secretly followed Jamir from the gambling house and into Clerkberg, he saw Jamir step into a dark alleyway and mysteriously vanish. After a thorough search in the area, Brom was convinced that Jamir had not used a secret door, but instead used some magical means of transporting himself to some other location. This, of course, was curious behavior for someone who supposedly had nothing to hide. With nothing more to go on, Brom also returned to the keep and informed his companions of what he had seen.

On Waterday, the 12th, everyone but Tadwin returned to the city and did further investigating. Tadwin, on the other hand, stayed behind to learn the dimensional anchor spell. While passing by the Low Market, Corvyn saw an old friend, a dwarven blacksmith by the name of Grumm. Grumm gave Corvyn a dirty look which prompted Corvyn to find out why. Grumm was clearly upset with Corvyn for some unknown reason and before long the two began insulting one another and almost got into a scuffle. But Zeke cast a detect magic spell on him and quickly realized that Grumm was under some kind of spell. So Zeke dispelled the enchantment and when he did so, Grumm’s attitude suddenly changed and he apologized to Corvyn, saying he did not know what had come over him.

It occurred to the band then that perhaps someone had been going around the city, someone like Rohnam, and had been casting some kind of spell on friends of the band in an effort to spread the malicious rumors and cause trouble for the band. With this thought in mind, the band decided to visit some of their friends in order to further test this theory and remove any unwanted enchantments they might discover. Their first stop was Corvyn’s old trainer, Strayfer, but they detected no spell on him.

Next, they visited some of Zeke’s friends. They started with Daerok, who was a Sergeant in the City Watch and one of Zeke’s most trusted older friends. As soon as Daerok saw him, he ordered some of the City Watch to arrest Zeke, despite having already been cleared by Constable Fanshen. Corvyn stepped in and did what he could to hold off the guards while Zeke cast another detect magic. As expected, Zeke detected an enchantment on Daerok, so he dispelled it as well. When he did, Daerok also changed his attitude and ordered the guards to stand down. Zeke then explained to him what had occurred, and informed him that the band suspected that Rohnam was responsible for this.

Afterwards, the band visited his surrogate father Vangredd, who was also a cleric at the Temple of Boccob. Vangredd did not have any enchantment on him, but he told the band of an unusual encounter with a halfling whom Vangredd suspected tried to cast a spell on him. To the band, this sounded like it may have been Rohnam making use of his ring of alteration. Finally, the band visited the market place where the old mysterious Baklunish fortune-teller, Maerrida could be found. As was often the case, she seemed to be expecting Zeke but was also very cryptic with her responses. Though she did not appear to have any spell on her, she warned Zeke, as she almost always did, of danger and troubles to come. She mentioned something about possessions and property being in jeopardy. So the band immediately headed over to the pawnshop. Fortunately, at this time, they found nothing amiss with the pawnshop, which still remained closed.

Later in the day, Tadwin took a break from his studies to visit the Wizard’s Guild so he could stock up on a few spell components. On his way there, he met with the rest of the band who told him what they had learned so far this day. So, a short while later, while at the Guild, Tadwin was not taken entirely by surprise when he witnessed his friend Connor at the Guild talking to other wizards there and spreading potentially harmful rumors about him. But instead of trying to stop Connor or attempting to counter the rumors, Tadwin let him continue, thinking and rather enjoying the idea that these rumors might make people fear him. In fact, Tadwin’s only course of action in the matter was to visit the drow librarian, Jawal Severnain, and ask him about a spell that Rohnam could cast in order to cause such an effect. Eventually, he discovered a spell called “malicious spite” that fit the description, but chose, in the end, not to buy a copy of it.

That evening, the band devised a plan to try and learn more about Jamir Rellstar, still convinced he was somehow involved with the Cult of the Shriven Sickle. Diamond used an illusion to disguise himself as a wealthy noble and visited the Wheel of Gold Gambling House while Zeke and Brom hid outside. Corvyn and Tadwin, meanwhile, hid by the alley where Jamir had disappeared the night before. As hoped, Jamir likewise paid a visit to the gambling house, and when he left, Diamond, Zeke and Brom followed him. Once again, Jamir made his way to the neighborhood of the Wizard’s School and once again he disappeared mysteriously. But this time it was in the midst of a small grove of trees rather than the alley, and Brom was close enough to see that Jamir had used a silent means to vanish as if using a dimension door which was possibly activated by tapping his boots together.

The next day, Earthday, the 13th, the band was so certain that Jamir was involved with the cult that they came up with a plan to try and catch Jamir in the act of attacking or kidnapping a victim. With this idea in mind, they then visited the House of the Knights of Holy Shielding and asked for a volunteer who would be willing to act as bait. Somewhat doubtful of the outcome and yet eager to put an end to the cult, a paladin by the name of Redshir volunteered to assist the band. But it would have to wait until that evening. So, in the meantime, the band tended to other matters.

A short while later, they visited the pawnshop, and this time they found that it had been vandalized. Windows were smashed in, some merchandise had been stolen, and graffiti was written on the walls saying things like “Nerull Worshipers” and “Murderers”. Zeke used a few cantrips to repair the damage and clean up the graffiti.

That evening, the band put their plan into action. Zeke and Diamond disguised as wealthy nobles and visited the Wheel of Gold Gambling House where they watched, from a distance, Redshir, who also appeared at the gambling house. Corvyn, Tadwin and Brom, meanwhile, hid outside and waited. Unfortunately, Jamir never showed up that evening. So the band eventually gave up and returned to the keep.

On the following day, Freeday, the 14th, the band’s only objective was to try their plan again, hoping for better results. So they did not returned to the city until that evening. When they did return, they set themselves up in the same positions as on the previous night. But, once again, Jamir did not make an appearance.

The next morning, Starday the 15th day of Readying, Diamond cast a divination spell to see if it would be worth the effort to try their plan a third time. The answer he received indicated that on this night, they would likely have better results. So again, that evening, the band returned to the Wheel of Gold Gambling House, using the same tactics as on the previous two nights. This time, Jamir finally appeared.

As planned, Redshir made sure to make himself noticed by Jamir, and as hoped, Jamir soon struck up a conversation with him. Eventually, as the evening wore on, the luck of the two men ran out at the gambling tables, or possibly in the case of Jamir, he allowed himself to lose out. Whatever the case, shortly before midnight, Jamir invited Redshir to join him at the Silver Dragon Inn, where Jamir promised him they would find a more interesting time. When the two men left, the Company of the Green Dragon followed.

A short while later, when the two men drew near to the Silver Dragon, Jamir told Redshir that he wanted to show him something at the side of building. When Redshir hesitated to accompany him, Jamir lightly grabbed Redshir by the arm in an effort to encourage him and when he did, the band made their move to attack. Tadwin hit Jamir with a dimensional anchor spell, thereby assuring he could not escape with magic. The rest of the band then ran up. As they did so, several others came out from behind a corner and attacked Redshir.

One was a middle-aged woman with long flowing black hair and a terrifying, homicidal look on her face. Dressed in full plate armor and wielding a sickle, the band realized she had to be a member of the Cult of the Shriven Sickle and later on confirmed that she was known as Xanthi Lamman, High Priestess of Nerull. Next to her was a fearsome looking bearded man, tall and hulking of stature, also dressed in plate armor and wielding a sickle. He was called Garyne the Shroudrender. And finally, there was a huge, muscular half-orc dressed in plate armor like his companions, but wielding a greatsword. Grotnek Urtekknis he was called.

While it was clear that the three newcomers intended to do harm to Redshir, and thus they were obvious targets for the band, it was not so clear that Jamir meant to do him any harm – at least not at first. So the band focused their efforts on the three newcomers while, at the same time, trying to subdue Jamir.

When Corvyn entered the battle, he was quickly met by the half-orc, Grotnek who, unexpectedly tore into Corvyn, showing he was easily as strong and skilled as Corvyn, if not more so. Then Corvyn was attacked from behind by an invisible assailant who remained invisible. Already Corvyn was badly wounded and it quickly became obvious that Corvyn could not survive much longer being flanked by these two attackers.

Jamir, meanwhile, did eventually attack the band, so the band attacked back in kind. Zeke hit the invisible attacker with a glitterdust spell, revealing the attacker to be a woman. Then Tadwin threw up a wall of force between Corvyn and Grotnek, which prevented Grotnek from attacking Corvyn. The wall of force also cut Jamir and the invisible woman off from their allies. So these two became the focus of the band’s attacks and they were soon taken down. Unfortunately, the wall of force left Redshir on the wrong side. So Grotnek turned and attacked him, quickly dropping the paladin.

It did not appear, however, that the cult expected to face such opposition and they apparently had no desire for a prolonged battle. Seeing that things were not going well for them, they soon were looking for a means of escape. Garyne gulped down a potion of fly, unaware of the fact that he would not be able to escape. Moments later, he was blasted out of the sky by a fireball from Tadwin, and his body was retrieved by an invisible Brom who flew after him. Xanthi, however, did manage to escape with Grotnek when she grabbed the half-orc and cast a word of recall spell.

Although Garyne was killed, the band managed to take Jamir and the invisible woman alive but unconscious. It was only then that the band realized who the invisible woman was. It was none other than their old enemy Imogen Gellet, formerly a barmaid at the Green Dragon Inn and the sole surviving member of the Shapechangers. The band was thrilled to have finally apprehended her. They also managed to get to Redshir in time and keep him from dying.

With the danger now past, they cast a detect magic spell and were in the process of grabbing magic items when the City Watch arrived.
Part Three - Chapter Nine: The Fall of the Temple of Nerull

It was on the afternoon of Sunday, the 9th day of Readying, in the Common Year of 581, when the Company of the Green Dragon began their second assault on the Temple of Nerull. Half a minute into the battle, the first of the five remaining ogre magi was already dead and it appeared early on as if this battle would turn out quite favorably for the band.

Still there were a few surprises, such as when tentacles suddenly sprung out from the roof of a black, tar-like hut near the body of the ogre mage that had just been killed. Appearing much like those of a black tentacles spell, these tentacles tried to grab a hold of Corvyn, but he was able to fight them off.

Seeing the first of their comrades falling before the combined attacks of the band, and realizing that their offensive spells were having little if any effect on the band, the ogre magi apparently decided to change their battle strategy and take a more defensive approach. Having taken very little time to make preparations before entering the battle, the ogre magi tried to fall back and cast more defensive and combat spells on themselves and their forces.

They started off by ordering their troops to gather in groups so the ogre magi could cast spells on them to protect them from fire, knowing that the band relied heavily on fire spells, which were a weakness of the trolls. Once they had protected their forces from fire, the ogre magi then intended to surround themselves with their forces while they continued to cast combat spells on themselves. It appeared as if the ogre magi were convinced that their best chance for victory was to possibly sacrifice their own forces in order to better prepare themselves. Perhaps then, by the time the band had cut through the surrounding forces and reached the ogre magi, the band would be running low on spells and would be easier for the ogre magi to defeat.

The band, however, had ideas of their own, which was to gang up on the ogre magi and take one down at a time. When the ogre magi turned invisible and tried to fly towards their forces, Brom and Corvyn, both of whom could fly and see invisible objects, flew after the nearest ogre mage and attacked him from flanking positions. The ogre mage was forced to stop and defend himself. In desperation, the ogre mage tried unsuccessfully to cast a spell. Then, when he tried to retreat, Brom and Corvyn landed the killing blows, which included a burst of fire. The ogre mage was sent hurtling down into a patch of web that had been created earlier which then caught on fire.

Zeke, Tadwin and Diamond, meanwhile, focused on attacking the other forces. When the ogre mage hit the web, Tadwin used his staff and summoned a fire elemental to land on top of the ogre mage and make sure he was dead. Diamond then cast a confusion spell on one group of enemies, causing two giant trolls and a two-headed troll to become confused. When one of the other ogre magi then arrived at the group to cast the fire protection spell, one of the giant trolls attacked him. The confusion spell continued to cause disruption and havoc among that group of trolls, sometimes forcing even those who were not confused to fight against those that were. As a result, these trolls were ineffective defenders of the ogre mage who sought their protection. Brom and Corvyn had killed the last ogre mage so quickly that this one had little time to cast defensive spells. So he too was killed fairly quickly.

Only the last two ogre magi had sufficient time to cast enough spells on themselves to make worthy opponents of the band. But by the time Brom and Corvyn were headed towards the first of these, the ogre magi’s defenders had been considerably weakened by the band’s spell casters. Tadwin had cast a chain lightning spell that devastated the first group, killing all of the ogre archers, which had been focusing their attacks on him, and badly wounding the rest. Diamond had also been doing his part with flamestrike spells, only half of which were fire-based and therefore only partially protected from by the trolls. Zeke, meanwhile, focused on the last ogre mage and his group of defenders. Realizing that they were all protected from fire, Zeke launched a seemingly endless barrage of fireballs at the group until he was able to exhaust the spell that protected them.

When Corvyn and Brom arrived at the third ogre mage, the ogre mage quickly flew to the ground, keeping a nearby building at his back to prevent his two assailants from taking up flanking positions. Going to the ground, also encouraged Brom to land as well, since his natural means of flight was very taxing and therefore limited.

This fact, however, played into the hands of the ogre mage, since it was only while he had an opponent on the ground that the ogre mage could hope to pull off his next intended move. As soon as he found an opening, the ogre mage used his sickle to trip Brom, a maneuver that the ogre mage was quite practiced at. So skilled was he in this, in fact, that it left Brom in a very awkward position, allowing both the ogre mage and his nearest allies the opportunity for a series of much easier attacks on Brom while he was lying prone on the ground. Because of this, Brom found himself in a rare and precarious situation. Fortunately, he was able to recover from this and regain his feet, though it proved to be costly in terms of stamina.

Nevertheless, it was one of the few instances in the battle where the ogre magi were able to deal the band an unexpected setback. Soon after Brom resumed his fighting stance, he and Corvyn were able to drop the 8th ogre mage. And knowing he was protected from fire, they made sure he would not be regaining consciousness any time soon. Then they moved on to the ninth and final ogre mage.

By this time, Zeke had thrown enough fireballs at the ogre mage and his group of trolls and giants that their protection from fire spell had been used up and they were now taking damage from the fire. Because of this, the trolls and giants began dispersing away from the ogre mage, leaving him unprotected. Some of the trolls and ogres were then killed by further mass damage spells, while others ran for cover. One fomorian giant and a two-headed troll, even tried to hide among the myconids, knowing that if they were attacked by mass damage spells the myconids would be forced to enter the battle and use their powerful spore attacks on the band, which could be overwhelming. But the band was wise enough to not to use such spells and instead limited their attacks to those that would affect only the giant and the troll.

The last of the ogre magi, meanwhile, seeing that his allies had fled away from him, no doubt realized the hopelessness of the situation and very likely began looking for a means of escape. But the band saw this as well and some of them began moving to cut off any escape route. So, left with little choice, the ogre mage cast a slay living spell and, in an act of desperation, flew up towards Zeke to try and hit him with the spell. But he missed. Moments later, Brom and Corvyn were flanking him and quickly wearing him down.

In a final act of defiance, the ogre mage reached out and managed to hit Brom with the slay living spell, hoping he could at least take one of the band members with him. Brom, however, managed to resist the spell and took only minimal damage from it, though it still brought him dangerously close to his demise due to previous injuries he was still suffering from. Nevertheless, it would prove to be the last thing that the ogre mage would do before he too would join his brethren in death. Only moments later, the last of the trolls and ogres were killed as well.

When the battle was over, Tadwin informed the band that they would still have to kill the fire elemental he had summoned, knowing it would turn on him when he released control of it. Killing the fire elemental was easy enough, and when it was done, the band took the time to heal up their injuries and search the bodies of the ogre magi for any magic items. They also searched the huts of the ogre magi, making sure to avoid the black tentacles that sprang from the roofs of each of the huts.

Zeke then took the time to speak with the elder myconid via their communication spores and assured him that the band intended no harm to the myconids. An agreement was soon reached, allowing the myconids to live in peace there in the cave.

With this done, the band searched the other buildings in the cave, which were unused barracks, kitchens and store rooms, intended to be used by the army that was supposed to have come from the underdark in the planned invasion on Greyhawk.

Finally, the band turned their attention to the great pyramid at the center of the cave – the temple of Nerull. As before, the band entered through the one opening where the black-red flames issued from. Some members of the band suffered minor burns from the flames as they passed through them, despite the spells that protected them from fire. And once inside the temple, they were again attacked by the two powerful spectres that resided there. Death ward spells protected the band from the worst of the spectres’ attacks however, and it was not long before the band had defeated them.

Still, the band believed that the spectres were not permanently defeated and that eventually they would return. For it had been hinted at in a divination spell that destroying the spirits of the temple would also destroy the temple. But clearly the temple had not been destroyed.

Diamond suggested that resurrection spells cast on the spectres would probably destroy the spectres, and thus the temple. But the divination spell had also mentioned that there was another way to destroy the temple. According to the spell, a mighty blow from a good man of faith at the heart of the temple could destroy it as well, and as an added benefit, he would be greatly rewarded. Seeing this as a better option, the band decided to try this second method first.

Searching about in the temple, the band found a small chamber with a rust-red bone altar that seemed to pour forth an evil aura of death and foreboding. It seemed logical that this was the so-called heart of the temple. And since Zeke appeared to be the only “good man of faith” in the group, the band believed it was up to him to do the task. But Zeke was not particularly strong and there was some question as to whether or not he could deal a mighty blow to the altar. Perhaps, the band thought, the use of a magical weapon would be sufficient. So, with this hope in mind, Zeke took a swing at the alter with one and then another magic weapon. But none of them seemed to have any effect.

Taking inventory of the band’s various weapons then, the band found that their most powerfully enchanted weapon was one of Brom’s daggers. Again there was some doubt about whether or not a dagger would work and Brom was afraid that his dagger would be damaged. But the rest of the band talked him into it. So Brom handed his dagger over to Zeke. Zeke took the dagger and with both hands brought it down onto the altar with all his strength. To everyone’s surprise, the dagger was buried in the altar up to the hilt! When Zeke tugged on the dagger to extract it, the dagger snapped and fell apart. Almost instantly, Zeke then felt a surge of power go through him. At the same time the temple began to shake, while dust and pebbles fell from the ceiling. Then the ground rumbled with a tremendous sound that seemed to come from deep within the earth. It felt as if the stairs leading into the underdark beneath the pyramid had just collapsed!

Suddenly the band realized that the temple was crumbling and that they had to get out before it caved in on them. Quickly the band turned and fled out of the temple through the entrance way where the black-red flames had just been extinguished. As soon as the band emerged from the temple, the pyramid split in two and the giant statue of Nerull above came crashing down in a thunderous roar.

All around was covered in a giant cloud of dust and debris as a sound wave of destruction echoed throughout the huge cavern. When at last, the sound faded away and the dust began to settle, all that remained was a ruined mound of stone with a massive crack down the center and the bizarre remnants of a gigantic skeletal figure lying in a heap.

Unfortunately, Brom’s dagger was also destroyed. But the rest of the band offered to help replace it. On the other hand, the temple was likewise destroyed and the ogre magi were defeated, leaving no one within the ruins of the Tower of War who could realistically challenge the band. In addition to this, a major threat to the city of Greyhawk had, once and for all, been eliminated.

On a more personal note for certain members of the band, Zeke was rewarded, perhaps by Boccob himself, with an unexpected pool of knowledge and insight, while Tadwin came to the realization that his days of being a cleric of Nerull were over. Surely, Nerull would never forgive Tadwin for what he took part in on this day and other followers of Nerull would only see him as a traitor and an enemy. It appeared the time had come for Tadwin to seek the guidance of another, perhaps more appropriate, deity.

With thoughts like these on their minds, the band made one last search through the ruins of the temple for anything of value not yet recovered. Then they gathered up what they had collected and prepared to return to the city. Despite what they had accomplished, there were still issues to be dealt with.

There were the derro, for example, who were almost certainly quite upset with the band, feeling as though they had been betrayed. Then there were the duergar, who although they would be glad to hear of the defeat of the ogre magi, would also be upset to learn that the temple was destroyed along with the means of passage back to the underdark. And finally, there was Rohnam, Grimtorr and Grog who had betrayed the band. They could still pose a problem for the band, and the band felt they needed to exact some revenge upon them.
Part Three - Chapter Eight: The Enemy Among Us

It was on the afternoon of Earthday, the 6th day of Readying, in the Common Year of 581, when the Company of the Green Dragon began their assault on the Temple of Nerull. Just under 2 minutes into the battle, things were looking good for the band, especially considering the fact that a traitor was in their midst and had been for almost two months. But things did not stay good for much longer.

As the battle continued, Brom was able to kill the only remaining fomorian giant on top of the pyramid, thus allowing Corvyn to remove the weapon cord from his wrist, place his broken giant-bane sword in its scabbard, draw his flaming longsword and quaff a potion of fly, all of which delayed him from reentering the battle for some time. Meanwhile, Diamond’s troll skeletons entered the cave, followed by the derro which began blasting the nearest trolls and giants with their sound burst spells. Brom flew off to begin attacking another group of monsters, while Tadwin harassed others with a glitterdust spell and Diamond cast a holy smite spell.

It was at about this point when the tide of the battle quickly turned against the Company of the Green Dragon. The four remaining ogre magi had turned invisible and the ogre archers had taken down all of Tadwin’s mirror images and were beginning to hit him. Then suddenly, three of the ogre magi appeared around Tadwin as they struck him with three slay living spells. Tadwin managed to survive the first two somehow, but the third one was just too much and he died. While Tadwin’s body slowly drifted towards the ground, since he was no longer in control of his fly spell, the others anxiously awaited the arrival of Zeke who carried the rod of resurrection.

By this time, some members of the band were beginning to notice that the derro were only arriving from one set of stairs, even though the 160 derro that had joined them were sent down both sets of stairs. No one knew why. Fortunately, Zeke did not wait for the 80 derro in front of him to move into the cave. Using his winged boots, he flew over the heads of the derro and was soon followed by Rohnam who had downed a potion of fly. When Zeke entered the cavern and assessed the situation, he knew what had to be done and began searching for the rod of resurrection.

Rohnam likewise assessed the situation and immediately began to act upon a plan he had devised over the previous two weeks or so. He produced a scroll and flew near Zeke, telling him he had something that would help. He then cast a spell from the scroll and a greenish beam flew from Rohnam’s hand and struck Zeke. Zeke felt no affect from the spell, whatever it was intended to do, nor could he figure out what spell Rohnam had cast.

But with more pressing matters on his mind, Zeke did not give it much further thought and continued looking for the rod of resurrection. Due to the malevolent spirits that forever harassed him, it always took Zeke just a little bit longer to find anything in his backpack. Once he found the rod however, he flew over Diamond who was already near Tadwin’s body. Zeke intended to drop the rod near Diamond and let him resurrect Tadwin. Unfortunately, Zeke’s malevolent spirits may have also hindered him in this as the rod took an odd bounce and rolled away from Diamond after he dropped it.

Diamond then had to move, in order to retrieve the rod. But he was dangerously close to a giant troll and badly wounded. He could not turn his back on the giant troll knowing full well that the giant troll could easily drop him if he did. So Diamond waited to see if the nearby derro and troll skeletons could finish off the giant troll, which was likewise badly wounded. Unfortunately, they could not quite take the troll down. So Diamond tried to cast a spell defensively, but failed in the attempt.

This, however, allowed one of the ogre magi the opportunity to fly down and grab the rod of resurrection before Diamond could get to it. Whether the ogre mage knew what the rod was or not is uncertain. But what was certain was that Tadwin was not going to be resurrected anytime soon. To make matters worse, the giant troll then attacked Diamond, striking him with a mortal blow. And, as if this were not enough, it had now become obvious to Diamond who the band’s traitor was.

Diamond had known for quite some time that there was a traitor in the band. He just didn’t know who it was. Therefore he could not reveal this knowledge to anyone. He was new to the group, not even an official member of the band at this point, so he did not know who he could trust. If he had to guess, he probably would have picked Tadwin as the traitor, considering certain rumors he had heard about the wizard.

But he would have been wrong. A week or so before the battle, Diamond had cast a divination spell asking for general advice on the battle. He received another cryptic response that said, “When the betrayer reveals his game, your only hope may be the prince of flame.” Diamond now understood that the traitor had been Rohnam, for even at this moment, Rohnam had retreated back into the stairwell, where he cast another spell from a scroll that appeared to create a wall of force, which would block off any escape from the cavern. This was apparent, because the derro who still had yet to enter the cave were now prevented from doing so by some invisible barrier. It also made sense now that the other group of derro had never arrived. Most likely they too had encountered something blocking the stairwell.

All of this now became painfully clear to Diamond in his great wisdom – but it was all much too late. Though he did not know what spell Rohnam had cast on Zeke, he was certain it was not good and would probably prevent Zeke, and thus the band, from escaping the cave. Diamond realized then that it was probably true – the band’s only hope was to call upon the prince of flame, the efreeti named Kallian. And so with his dying breath, Diamond called out to Zeke, telling him they had been betrayed and imploring him to call upon the efreeti.

Zeke heard Diamond, but at first did not realize the seriousness of the situation. It soon dawned on him though. Two of his allies were now dead. More than half the derro had failed to arrive. Some of the derro appeared to be blocked by an invisible barrier. Rohnam had cast some mysterious spell on him and then disappeared. Grimtorr and Grolg were nowhere to be seen. The situation most certainly did not feel right and who knew what was going to happen next?

Going on the assumption that Diamond knew something that he did not, Zeke decided to follow his advice and use his ring to summon the efreeti. Knowing that the efreeti could grant him a wish, he began thinking of what he might wish for. Having been advised to be very careful in asking the efreeti to grant wishes and not wanting to ask for too much, when Kallian did arrive, he asked for Kallian to transport him and his companions, with all of their possessions, including the rod of resurrection, back to the band’s pawn shop. As always, Kallian nodded and said, “Your wish is my command.”

As some scholars may be aware, efreeti are notorious for twisting wishes around in such a way that, while the wish is granted, in a matter of speaking, it is usually not in the manner that the recipient of the wish had intended. Thus it was rather fortunate that the efreeti merely deposited everyone in a jumbled ball inside the band’s very crowded vault in their pawn shop, where they had to wait on someone in the shop to let them out. As hoped, Zeke arrived at the shop, as did Brom and Corvyn and the bodies of Tadwin and Diamond, along with their traveling possessions, including the rod of resurrection. But so did many of the band’s other possessions which had been stored at Prism Keep and which later had to be sorted out.

Once emerging from the vault however, the band’s first priority was to resurrect Tadwin. Diamond had to wait for the following day since the rod of resurrection could only be used once a day. With Tadwin back, the band then discussed what had occurred and it quickly became clear that if Rohnam had betrayed them, he could pose a serious threat to their security. So the band closed the shop and sent all their employees home until further notice. Then the band grabbed all their most valuable possessions, including any magic items for sale and headed for their house. At the house they noted that Rohnam’s henchman Sarina was gone as were all of her possessions. The band advised all of their henchmen who normally stayed at the house to go with them, and everyone returned to Prism Keep except Brom. Zeke gave his gate key to Brom so he could return on his own.

Brom then moved through the streets of the Slum Quarter invisibly for a bit, looking for trusted members of the Beggar’s Union, so he could hire a few to gather any information on the whereabouts of Rohnam. Doing so, however, meant that, for the first time, he had to reveal to these beggar’s his altered appearance, including his new wings. Then he returned to the pawn shop and waited on the roof to see if Rohnam would make an appearance. By ten o’clock, he had seen no sign of Rohnam. So Brom returned to Prism Keep. There, the band spent a few days training and devising yet another plan to attack the ogre magi. Concerned that the gateway to Greyhawk was no longer safe to travel through, the band began making more visits to the towns and villages that lay below Prism Keep for all their needs. During this time, Diamond was resurrected and the diminished health of both his and Tadwin’s was restored.

Three days after fleeing the castle ruins, the band was ready, on Sunday, the 9th day of Readying, to return for their 12th expedition into the Tower of War. This time, Tadwin felt he would be capable of teleporting all five of them, including Diamond, into the ogre magi’s cavern. And it was hoped that without a spy among them, the battle against the ogre magi would go much differently than their first one. In an attempt to further take them by surprise, the band waited until later in the day to make their attack and, as before, used a false vision spell to prevent the ogre magi from scying on them.

When the band was ready and had cast their preparatory spells and drank their potions, they stepped through the gateway into the sewers of Greyhawk. From there, after confirming with an augury spell, they immediately teleported into the ogre magi’s cavern on top of the pyramid. As hoped, the ogre magi were completely surprised by the band’s sudden arrival, and right from the start, the band took control of the battle by quickly killing the two fomorian giants on guard duty there. From there, the band started at the rear of the cavern and began taking down the trolls and giants. The five remaining ogre magi had all been inside their huts and only managed to cast a couple of defensive spells before they felt compelled to enter the battle. As a result, they were not as heavily protected and easier to strike.

Zeke and Tadwin then worked to separate and divide the enemy forces by use of a web spell and a wall of force. Then the band, all of which had some means of flying, worked on killing everything caught between the webs and the wall of force. Only half a minute into the battle, the first of the five ogre magi was killed just outside the entrance to his hut. It looked at this point as if this battle would turn out much differently than the last battle.
Part Three - Chapter Seven: Assault on the Temple of Nerull

It was on the morning of Moonday, the 3rd day of Readying, in the Common Year of 581, when the Company of the Green Dragon defeated the salamanders and the other creatures of fire in the dungeons of the War Tower in the ruins of Castle Greyhawk. After gathering the treasure in the salamanders’ lair, they returned to the city and then went on to Prism Keep, where they divided up the spoils of victory, while Grimtorr and Grolg stayed behind once again at the old dwarven fortress.

Back at Prism Keep, while under the protection of a false vision spell, the band formulated plans on how to attack the ogre magi in the bottom level of the War Tower. Then, on two separate occasions, over the next two days, a few of the band members made return trips to the city, where they bought several chests full of ordinary weapons. Tadwin then shrunk the chests full of weapons with item spells so they could be easily carried, after which he teleported them back to the dungeons of the War Tower. Once in the dungeons, they stored the chests full of weapons in a remote location. Then Tadwin cast arcane eye spells inside the ogre magi’s cave and looked around. On both occasions, it became clear that the ordinarily invisible eye was easily seen by the cave’s inhabitants, thus confirming the rumors that invisibility did not function there except perhaps for the ogre magi. The arcane eye was dispelled fairly quickly by the ogre magi. So Tadwin did not get much time to look around. But at least he was able to get a rough idea of the layout and a few other details.

Diamond also accompanied Tadwin to the ruins and while there he located and animated the skeletons of seven trolls to be used in the upcoming battle. Meanwhile, back in the city, Zeke paid a visit to the Wizard’s Guild where he hoped to purchase a pair of boots of teleportation that he knew had been for sale there. Unfortunately, he was disappointed to learn that someone had already bought the boots. So instead, Zeke bought a scroll with a dimension door spell on it.

It was on the morning, of Earthday then, the 6th day of Readying, when the band, including their new ally Diamond, and again under the cover of a false vision spell, returned for their eleventh expedition into the ruins of Castle Greyhawk.

After meeting up with Grimtorr and Grolg at the entrance to the War Tower, the band descended to the duergar complex, but told them only that they planned to attack the ogre magi without giving any details. They then made their way to the eighth level where they met with Errod who was still in the process of trying to assume control of all the derro. Zeke spoke to Errod and made a proposal, telling him that if the derro wanted to gain control of the mines, they would need to help the band in the attack on the ogre magi. In return, the band offered to give them all the weapons they had recently brought to the ruins, to make them more effective warriors, and assured Errod that the band would take care of the ogre magi, so they could not use their spells or the fireball launching device that was attached to the temple.

Zeke was able to convince Errod and some of his followers. But Errod told Zeke that he might not be able to convince a lot of the other derro to join them. So he suggested that Zeke make a speech before the derro and use his considerable skill at diplomacy to try and persuade them. Errod would send the word out among the derro to meet in two hours at the gladiatorial arena, hoping to get as many derro as possible to attend. Zeke agreed to the plan, and since Diamond’s false vision spell lasted for 12 hours, there was little concern that the ogre magi could learn about the attack or the band’s plans. Unknown to the band however, was the fact that there was a traitor amongst them, who was constantly keeping the ogre magi updated on the band’s actions through message spells and other means. Nor was the band aware that the ogre magi where using their innate abilities to take gaseous form and turn invisible in order to directly observe the band in person.

Two hours later, the vast majority of the derro were gathered in the arena. The entire arena fell under the protection of the false vision spell, but it made no difference, because, unknown to all, a few of the ogre magi were also in attendance. Zeke, nevertheless, made a great speech and managed to convince the vast majority of the derro to join them in the battle. What was still left to be done at this point though, was for the band to decide how they would begin the attack on the ogre magi. Several plans were proposed, but most of them were found to be flawed when discussed openly. As a result, the plan that they finally agreed upon was a very last minute suggestion, and this fact turned out to have a much greater impact than the band could have suspected, since the ogre magi had very little time to make adjustments.

Once the plan was agreed upon, the band led the derro into the ninth level along with Grimtorr, Grolg and Diamond’s troll skeletons which Diamond temporarily put under Zeke’s command. Only Tadwin, Brom, Corvyn and Diamond would be making the initial assault. The others, meanwhile, would stay at the top of the stairs leading to the bottom level, where they would wait for a message from the first four, telling them it was time to descend and attack. Though the band could not have known it, splitting the forces up in this way, also worked to the disadvantage of the ogre magi and their spy, who were forced to make alterations to their plans.

The band then took the time to cast numerous spells and quaff several potions that would help protect them and aid them in combat. When they were ready, Tadwin cast a dimension door spell and transported himself, Brom, Corvyn and Diamond to an archery station positioned just above the platform where the stairs opened up into the bottom level of the dungeon. There the band took six elite ogres with composite longbows by surprise and quickly killed them. Then they descended a set of stairs that led into a tunnel which passed under the platform and into the cave. Unfortunately, they also set off a magical trap inside the tunnel that caused Diamond to experience an uninterrupted pain throughout his body for the next hour.

By the time the time the band emerged in the cave, the ogre magi and all their forces were ready and waiting for them. The huge cavern was easily 200 feet in diameter and about 140 feet high. In the center of the cavern rested an incredible pyramid structure. It had an adamantite plate foundation. The sides ran up steeply to a statue which stood at its top like some god-like guardian of the cavern. The 80 foot high statue of Nerull held a red-veined sablewood staff tipped with a sickle blade in its right hand and a giant 10 foot skull in its left hand. At the base of the pyramid was a 10 wide notch which spouted forth a sickening black-red flame. Surrounding the pyramid were nine large huts which appeared to be made of oozing tar. A few stone buildings lay off to the northwest and a giant adamantite U-shaped hook was embedded in the ceiling above the statue. All about the cavern, the ogre magi’s forces were positioned and consisted of 9 two-headed trolls, 9 giant trolls, 6 fomorian giants, 6 more elite ogres, and 9 huge troll skeletons large enough to carry chairs in their rib cages for the ogre magi to ride around in. Behind the pyramid, more than 50 myconids had gathered in fields of brightly-colored mosses and mushrooms in an effort to remain out of the battle.

The ogre magi themselves were nowhere to be seen, but it could be assumed they were invisible and flying high above. Still, even those who could detect invisible objects did not see them, so they could not be sure of anything. But rather than battle the forces in front of them, the band members each instead ran straight towards the black-red flames that shot out of the base of the pyramid. Grimtorr had told them that these flames were partially illusionary and that in order to enter the pyramid, they would need to pass through them. It was hoped that the band’s protection spells would protect them from any harm they might otherwise take. It was also hoped that a haste spell cast earlier by Rohnam would help them reach the pyramid quicker. But by this point, the band had realized that the haste spell did not appear to be having any affect.

Still, much to the ogre magi’s frustration, each of the band members made it to the pyramid before the ogre magi or their forces could react. Despite knowing the flames were partially illusionary, and despite their protection spells, most of the four suffered some burns as they passed through the flames, most likely due to the fact that the pyramid was itself of artifact status. Brom was the only one to suffer no damage, as he had apparently passed the test mentioned by Grimtorr and he was now supposedly immune to the flames.

Just inside the flames, the band found a ladder leading up and a doorway. They opened the door and entered a small chamber on the opposite side of which was a curtain. Just beyond the curtain was a hexagonal-shaped room with a magic circle etched into the floor. Four sides of the room were decorated with scintillating curtains that portrayed four thrones, each occupied by ogre magi. Beside each curtain was a torch held by a troll-like hand. Resting on the floor, just outside the magic circle, were five empty gold candle sconces. Above the magic circle was a circular hole of equal size in the ceiling that partially revealed a chamber above where flames shot out from four directions and almost touched in the center above the hole. While standing back and gazing slightly upwards, the upper portion of an ogre magi seated in a throne could be seen in the room above. It appeared as if the images on the curtains were exact reflections of the thrones and the ogre magi seated above each of the curtains. The band eventually looked beyond the two curtains to the sides, but found only empty passageways.

Before any of them had time to do anything more, they were suddenly attacked by two powerful spectres that emerged from the walls. The band battled these spectres and was fortunate to avoid being hit by any of them, thanks largely to illusionary protection spells they had cast previously. Soon they were able to force the spectres to retreat. But when they did, the four ogre magi in the room above jumped down, and as they did, jets of flame shot up from four of the empty candle sconces nearby. One of the ogre magi had a shield with a covering on it. This one jumped in front of Corvyn and said to him, “Meet your death” as he tore the cover from the shield. As Corvyn glanced at the shield, which had a mirror on the front, he saw a reflection of himself. This reflection emerged from the mirror and before Corvyn could fathom what was happening, he was suddenly battling an exact duplicate of himself!

By this point, those ogre magi that were outside the pyramid were trying to enter the pyramid. But their spellcasting ability was, at first, hindered by a silence spell cast by Diamond. Then they were completely blocked from entering by a wall of force that Tadwin created. It was hoped that the band could then focus solely on killing the four ogre magi inside the pyramid. But this hope quickly turned to despair when the band found that they seemed to be unable to affect the ogre magi. It appeared they were completely immune to both spells and weapons and they were very difficult to strike. Fortunately, they were able to slowly defeat the duplicate of Corvyn and they somehow managed to avoid taking the worst of the attacks from the ogre magi. But without any means of affecting the ogre magi, some members of the band began to question the wisdom of attacking the ogre magi and started seriously thinking of trying to make a retreat.

Then Tadwin recalled a cryptic riddle that Diamond had received from a divination spell that said, “The fire that protects is the fire that destroys.” He then remembered how the fire shot up from the candle sconces when the ogre magi jumped down. So he told Corvyn to use the fire in the sconces against them. Corvyn then batted at one of the sconces on the floor with his sword so that its flame turned toward the ogre magi nearby. To his delight and amazement, when the fire struck the ogre magi, it suddenly burst into flames! With this critical revelation, the band then used each of the remaining sconces to quickly destroy the other ogre magi. Within moments, the battle had gone from one of despair and anxiety to one of hope and elation!

With four of the nine ogre magi now dead, the band began to believe they could win this fight. They quickly healed up any injuries and readied themselves. Then Tadwin dismissed the wall of force, which was about to expire anyway, and they attacked the next ogre magi who had been waiting just outside the wall of force. Taking this ogre magi by surprise, they quickly dropped him. The remaining ogre magi retreated, preferring to battle out in the open rather than in a confined hallway. Brom then hit the downed ogre magi with a flame, thinking this would keep it from regenerating and permanently kill it, since its wounds were clearly fatal. Unfortunately, in his haste, Brom failed to notice that the flame had no effect on the ogre magi.

The band then headed out of the pyramid. Tadwin used a fly spell to fly up and out while the others climbed the ladder. On top of the pyramid were two fomorian giants that were manning a catapult. Brom and Corvyn attacked these two and killed one of them, but not before one of the giants tried and almost succeeded in destroying Corvyn’s giant-bane sword, after Corvyn had already damaged it. Tadwin, meanwhile, cast a message spell, informing Zeke that it was now time to bring the derro downstairs and attack, since the ogre magi could no longer operate the fireball launching device. Then he cast a black tentacles spell near one corner of the pyramid, which effectively served to block and impede many of the trolls and giant-kin from approaching the entrance. Diamond, on the other hand, retreated back down the ladder and passed through the black-red flame issuing from the pyramid, where he intended to resume control of his troll skeletons as they entered the cave.
Part Three - Chapter Six: Out of the City and Into the Fire

It was on the morning of Waterday, the 12th day of Fireseek, in the Common Year of 581, when the Company of the Green Dragon made their return to the city following their tenth expedition into the ruins of Castle Greyhawk. Because the half-orc, Grimtorr, and the troll, Grolg, did not want to attempt entering the city of Greyhawk, and because they felt they could not trust either the duergar or the derro, they made all appearances to the duergar and the derro as if they were leaving the castle ruins, but instead chose to make a temporary home for themselves in the old dwarven fortress just outside the ruins of the War Tower.

Everyone else accompanied the band back to the city, including the band’s henchmen, plus Diamond and Trizzac, and the two women the band had rescued on the eighth level, Elegeena and Ulaka. When they neared the city, Brom turned invisible and flew back to the house in the Old City. Diamond and Trizzac accepted the band’s invitation to stay with them at Prism Keep. So Rohnam loaned his ring of alteration to Trizzac long enough to make sure that he would not have any trouble entering the city due to the fact that he was a drow. Elegeena and Ulaka then parted ways with the band and went in search of an inn, while everyone else proceeded to the house in the Old City. From this point on, the band took two weeks off to do some training, deal with personal matters, and prepare for their upcoming battle with the ogre magi.

While some of the band immediately returned to Prism Keep, others stopped by the pawn shop to see how things were going there. At the pawn shop, the store manager, Emery, informed them that he had sold a few magic items while they were gone, but also said that two days before, he and the other employees had been threatened and harassed by a band of thugs. Because of this, Emery was forced to call upon certain favors that various locals and other authorities owed to the band, thanks to the band’s influence, in order to convince the thugs to leave them alone. As a result, the band currently had no more influence to use in order to avoid any further troubles in the future.

So Emery suggested that some members of the band should consider setting aside some of their time during their two weeks off, to try and gather more influence. The band agreed, but most of them wanted to focus first on doing some training and worry about acquiring influence later on.

Over the next few days then, most members of the band spent the majority of their days training with various trainers on a number of skills, while spending a couple of hours each day on gathering treasure from the ruins. This they did by having Tadwin teleport himself and the stronger members of the band to and from the ruins, carrying as much treasure as they could on each return trip. It took three days to get it all. For the two thrones made of gold, the band simply had the derro melt them down and divide them up into more easily transported chunks of gold.

During this time, Corvyn also managed to break the chain holding the gauntlets of ogre power in place, though it took considerable effort and time, made a lot of noise, and completely ruined more than a dozen blades and axes. Once he had freed the gauntlets, the derro were able to heat the chain enough to more easily remove the rest of it. Once all of the treasure had been hauled back to the city, the band then spent an evening dividing it up between them.

Over the next several days and for the remainder of the two weeks, certain issues concerning the pawn shop would come up and either the band or Emery would have to deal with them. For example, soon after the band’s return to the city, a band of hoodlums threatened the shop. This time, Emery managed to intimidate the hoodlums and they were caught by the Nightwatchmen and arrested, which, in turn, helped the band regain some influence.

On that same day, the pawnshop was visited by Devin Halfhock, the owner of a nearby competing pawnshop and the main front for the black market and the Thieves’ Guild. Devin was upset about having lost some of his business to the band’s pawnshop and made a veiled threat against the band. This could have potentially hurt the pawnshop’s business or the band’s influence, due to malicious rumors being spread. But that evening, Brom was able to counter this by providing information on natural poisons to certain interested individuals. Then, on the following day, after hearing about Devin’s visit to the pawnshop, Zeke went and spoke with Devin, managing to sooth his anger and temporarily end any rivalry.

A few days later, however, despite the protection money paid to the Thieves’ Guild, the pawnshop was burglarized, though fortunately what the criminals stole was not worth a great deal. Later, that same day, Emery caught a shoplifter in the act. A few days after that, Devin Halfhock was once again making veiled threats against the band’s pawnshop, and once again, Brom used his knowledge of natural poisons to quell any harmful rumors, while Zeke had a talk with Devin in an attempt to end the rivalry.

Over the last few days of the two week period, the shop experienced a particularly slow day, for no particular reason, and on that same day, Emery caught another shoplifter in the act. The next day, it was discovered that the pawnshop was infested with rats. But Tadwin was able to solve the problem the following day with a cloudkill spell, though this of course, left numerous dead rats in the walls which would eventually begin to smell.

While all of this was going on at the pawnshop, each of the band’s members was also involved with other sorts of business. Tadwin, for example, spent five days during one week, doing some substitute teaching at the school of wizardry as a favor to one of the teachers there who needed some time off. In return, Tadwin gained a considerable amount of influence from the school for future use. Zeke likewise earned some clout when he spent three days in diplomatic discussions with various people of influence within the city.

All through the two weeks, spells and alchemical formulas were purchased and studied, magic items were bought and put up for sale, and new skills were learned or improved upon. During this time, however, it appeared that the band’s enemies were also doing some preparing as well, for each of the band members would occasionally sense a kind of tingling sensation at various times of the day, sometimes more than once a day, which, as they were well aware, could be an indication that the ogre magi had failed in an attempt to scry upon them.

Finally, after fifteen days of training, studying and preparing, plus two Freedays of rest and leisure, the band was ready to make their return to the ruins of Castle Greyhawk. So it was on the morning of Moonday, the 3rd day of Readying, when the band made their eleventh expedition into the Tower of War.

Following the long walk from the city, this time leaving their henchmen behind, the band met up with Grimtorr and Grolg at the dwarven fortress just outside the War Tower. Then they made their way down to the duergar complex. After telling the duergar a bit of their plan, the duergar assisted them in getting down to the ninth level of the dungeon. Along the way, the band saw that the duergar had repaired the lift between levels 5 and 6, and between levels 7 and 8. Then they discovered that all the surviving derro from level 9 were now living on level 8.

A new leader among the derro, known as Errod, had emerged and had gathered many of the derro as followers. The band spoke to Errod and he informed them that within a few days after the band’s most recent departure from the dungeon, they were attacked by the salamanders. Dozens of derro had been killed and they were forced to retreat. They had since kept the drawbridge on level 8 up in the hopes that it would keep the salamanders at bay. But the salamanders never ventured on to the 8th level. As a result, no mining had been done on the 9th level since then, but they managed to repair the lift between levels 8 and 9, and they cleared out the stairwell between levels 7 and 8. Errod told the band that they were attempting to form a new derro society and after speaking with other prominent derro, they decided to offer the band 30,000 gold pieces worth of golden objects if the band could successfully remove the salamanders and the ogre magi, after which the derro would take control of the mines.

After discussing the proposal among themselves for a bit, Zeke told Errod, having recently learned how to speak undercommon, that they agreed with their terms. Though in reality, the feeling among the band was that at some point, the band would eventually betray them and break their agreement. With the derro at least temporarily satisfied, the band then turned their attention to the salamanders.

The band had the derro lower them on the lift to the 9th level, where they could immediately enter the salamanders’ area. Each of them, including Grimtorr and Grolg, was provided with some form of magical protection from fire, using spells, rings and other means. Then Brom scouted the area out invisibly for a bit. The band had considered trying to see if they could make some kind of alliance with the salamanders, but it was eventually decided that any kind of agreement with the salamanders would be difficult to obtain, not to mention unreliable if at all possible. So the band instead prepared to attack.

When they were ready, Brom started things off with a sneak attack and the rest of the band quickly rushed in. Tadwin created a magical floating disc that served as a sort of bridge, allowing most members of the band and their allies to cross over the stream of lava that flowed through the caves. Only Diamond had any difficulty with this, as he tripped and nearly fell into the lava. But for the most part, the battle was fairly one-sided, and the band was able to wade through the numerous salamanders that came charging at them. In addition to the nearly two dozen salamanders, there were also four magma mephits that the band and their allies defeated. Even Grolg the troll, took advantage of his protection from fire, and thoroughly enjoyed pummeling the creatures of fire.

Once all the salamanders that came at them were dead, the band moved on to other caves further in where they battled more than a dozen hellhounds, a fire elemental and the four remaining salamanders who guarded their treasure. By this point, some of the protection from fire spells were beginning to fail, and the band and their allies suffered some injuries. But as before, they eventually prevailed and all of the fire creatures were killed. This includes eight fire snakes that were hiding inside fire pits.

With all of the fire creatures defeated, the band gathered up all the treasure, which included a large pile of golden objects and a metal bin full of gems. Afterwards, the band explored the few remaining caves and found what appeared to be a magical gateway most likely leading to the elemental plane of fire. Below it was a thirty foot long trough made of brass that was filled with large rubies. The band, of course, gathered the rubies as well. But when the last ruby was taken from the trough, the portal of fire suddenly collapsed and exploded, sending out a blast of fire which most of the band was fortunately still protected from. When the smoke cleared, the gateway was gone. So the band and their allies took the treasure and returned to the duergar complex.
Part Three - Chapter Five: A Joining of Forces

It was about 7 pm on the 11th day of Fireseek, in the Common Year of 581, when the Company of the Green Dragon released two prisoners found on the ninth level of the War Tower in the ruins of Castle Greyhawk. One of the prisoners was a derro, but the second was a drow named Trizzac who offered to assist the band in any way he could.

After the band spoke with Trizzac a bit and came to an agreement with him, Brom suddenly noticed a ring on a finger of one of the fallen half-orc priests that they had not noticed before. It was a brass ring set with a diamond-shaped amethyst. As Brom bent down to remove the ring, the band heard an unfamiliar voice coming from within the shadows of one of the cells. “I believe that ring belongs to me,” it said.

The band, of course, turned in the direction of the voice and saw a man emerging from the shadows. Dressed only in a pair of dirty underpants, much like the other prisoners, the thin and grimy young man had a shaggy and unkempt head of red hair and a scruffy beard. Apparently the man had remained quietly hidden in the shadows while he listened to the band’s conversation with the drow and made his observations. He introduced himself as Diamond, an experienced cleric of Boccob who also dabbled a bit in arcane magic, and when pressed further, he told the band that his background was of no consequence and refused to reveal his true name.

The band’s response to the stranger was initially cold and unfriendly due to his presumptuous claim. But Diamond was able to convince the band that the ring was, at the very least, once in his possession, by accurately describing it. And as much as Trizzac had been able to persuade the band that he could be of use to them, Diamond confidently assured the band that his assistance could be of much greater value. He immediately demonstrated this by healing some of the band’s injuries. Having now proven to the band his potential, the stranger then went on to claim that a pair of magical boots, also worn by the half-orc, was his as well and asked if they would let him use a magical shield, which he fully admitted did not belong to him.

With the band now willing to give him a try at proving his worth to them, Diamond explained to the band how he had found himself locked up in a prison cell, conceding the fact that he had made a mistake while attempting to collect some of the treasure in the ruins for himself, having previously heard rumors of the famous Company of the Green Dragon and their exploits within the ruins of Castle Greyhawk. Although Trizzac did not understand the common tongue, and therefore could not follow along with the conversation, he did seem to be quite familiar with Diamond, having been locked up in a cell near him for a few weeks. It quickly became apparent to the band that Trizzac was on very friendly terms with Diamond and, in fact, even appeared to look up to and admire the human, despite the fact that the drow was so much older.

With two new allies now joining them, the band then moved on and looked behind a curtain in the adjacent room where they found a door leading to an octagon-shaped room. There they found a strange symbol carved in the floor around a statue of Nerull. To either side of it, were large stone blocks resting against the wall, and along another wall sat a gold chest. Rohnam’s headband of intuition indicated that it would not be advisable to cross over the symbol in the floor without some sort of precaution. So the band avoided it and the statue. But they did take the gold chest, which was magical and appeared to contain an extra-dimensional space.

From there, the band did some back-tracking and inspected any obvious doors they had not already opened. In the process they found an unoccupied meeting room and two locked storage rooms containing fungus, roots, mushrooms, ale, beer and water. It was about 8 pm then, when Brom spent an hour brewing up another mutagen while the rest of the band took a breather and kept watch.

Afterwards, when they were ready, the band made their way into the mines to look for any remaining enemy forces. Soon they encountered 2 more two-headed trolls and a giant troll, causing a ferocious battle to break out. Before long, 4 fomorian giants and the last of the half-orc priests came at them from the rear and joined in on the battle. Although the band was by this time running low on spells, they managed to make the most of what they had left and eventually defeated their enemies without losing one of their own or any of their allies. Once the battle was over, the band tended to any injuries and began exploring the rest of the mines.

Along the way they informed any derro they encountered that they were now free, to which the derro responded by gleefully running towards the feasthall where a raucous celebration soon commenced. The band, meanwhile, continued to explore the mines and by 10 pm they were done. Having looked beyond every obvious door on the ninth level at this point, Tadwin then cast a spell to detect for secret doors and the band retraced their steps through the entire level, finding several secret and concealed doors along the way.

The last secret door they found was in the octagon-shaped room with the statue of Nerull. So it was from there that they began exploring beyond the secret doors. This first secret door was accessed through a lid in one of the large stone blocks and it lead to a set of stairs going down about 10 feet. At the bottom of the stairs were a short hallway and two doors. The first of these doors opened on to a set of stairs that went up about 10 feet. At the top of these stairs, in addition to a couple more doors, were 4 cages along one side of a hall. Inside the cages were an acid pocked troll, 4 maimed derro, a black-cloaked figure, and a stone box.

Curious about the cloaked figure, the band approached him first and discovered that he was yet another half-orc priest of Nerull who went by the name of Grimtorr. According to Grimtorr, he had gotten into a dispute with the other priests of Nerull and had been imprisoned by them as punishment. Because of this, Grimtorr claimed to be eager for revenge on the other priests and offered to aid the band in defeating them. He appeared to be somewhat disappointed then when the band informed him that all the other priests were already dead. So Grimtorr offered to help the band defeat the ogre magi, saying he would tell them everything he knew about the ogre magi and the huge cave below where they lived. As proof of this, Grimtorr told the band about some of the ogre magi’s defenses and the forces they commanded. But when asked how to enter the pyramid temple, Grimtorr told the band he would withhold this information until he could be certain the band would set him free.

The band conferred in private for a bit before reaching a decision and Rohnam cast a detect thoughts spell to try and read Grimtorr’s thoughts. Unfortunately, Rohnam’s spell did not appear to work on the half-orc. But, despite this, the band felt that Grimtorr had been very forthcoming with them and agreed he could be a valuable source of information and ally. So they released him.

The band also asked Grimtorr if he thought he could keep the troll under control and make him an ally as well, since it was very evident that the troll had been tortured by the priests. Grimtorr assured the band that they could count on the troll to do as he was commanded. So the troll, whose name was Grolg, was also freed, as were the 4 maimed derro. The stone box in the last cage contained all of Grimtorr’s equipment. So he was allowed to retrieve these things and don his armor. The band also loaned Grimtorr a magical scythe they had acquired earlier.

When they were ready, the band with their new allies, continued on. From there, they came upon a nearby torture chamber and the private quarters of several of the priests. No occupants were found in any of these rooms, save for 9 derro skeletons which the band easily destroyed. All of these rooms were searched for anything of value. Lastly, the band found a small room with a pool of hot water that the priests used as a hot tub.

When the band was done exploring the priests’ private chambers, at about 11:30 pm, they moved on to the feasthall where the derro continued their celebration. Beyond a secret door there they found a huge secret pantry filled with food and drink, enough to feed a small army. From there, the band went to the lift room and beyond a couple of secret doors there, the band discovered another river of lava. This one was smaller than the one on the eighth level and subsequently the tunnel was not as hot. As before, Brom scouted out a portion of these tunnels invisibly and Tadwin viewed the rest with an arcane eye spell. While doing so, they found that the area was inhabited by dozens of fiery snakelike creatures known as salamanders. In addition to this was a large collection of treasure and what appeared to be a fiery portal of some kind, perhaps even a gateway leading to the elemental plane of fire.

Not wishing to deal with all of this just yet, the band moved on to the last doorway they had not yet ventured through, which was actually a concealed door at the back of one of the mine tunnels. However, when they opened it, they came face to face with several salamanders and were forced to battle them. More salamanders soon entered the room and joined in on the fight. All together, the band killed nine salamanders before the remaining salamanders retreated back into their lair. By now the band had very few spells left, so they too decided it was time to retreat.

It was about 12:30 am when the band finally made it back to the duergar complex on the fourth level. The band was tired and spent at this point. So they chose to rest there for the night, rather than try to make it back to the city at such a late hour. Their plan now was to take a little time off to better prepare themselves for the battle against the ogre magi. During this time, they also wanted to collect all the treasure they had won so far and take it back to the city. This would be a bit of task requiring more than one trip, as they had amassed a lot of treasure at this point, including a few very nice magic items.

One such item, Tadwin activated by accident when he went to rub a smudge from a brass ring set with a very large ruby. After rubbing it, an efreeti suddenly appeared in a puff of smoke and said, “I am Kallian, at your service. What does the master desire?” Tadwin thought it over for a moment, but rather say something that might lead to trouble, he simply said, “Nothing at this time,” and the efreeti disappeared.
Part Three - Chapter Four: Assault on the Mines of Nerull

At about 3 am, on Godsday the 11th day of Fireseek, in the Common Year of 581, the Company of the Green Dragon had just released the four umber hulks they had found on the ninth level of the War Tower in the ruins of Castle Greyhawk, when they turned their attention to the mine tunnels. From the main chamber, they followed the tunnel leading to the southeast which went for a good ways but eventually came to an end in a large unoccupied cave that appeared to be mined out. So the band turned around and headed back.

Along the way, however, Corvyn found a small, uncut gemstone lying on the floor and bent over to pick it up. When he did, three strange looking monsters rose up out of the floor in the midst of the band. These short and squat creatures, known as xorn, each had three arms, three legs, three eyes and a large mouth, and they appeared to be upset that Corvyn had picked up the gemstone, so they attacked. The band fought back, of course, and Brom soon discovered that, due to the positioning of their arms and eyes, they could not be flanked. But eventually the band was able to kill all three, and once they were dead, the band, going on the hunch that these strange creatures regarded the gemstone as a source of food, cut all three open and discovered several more gemstones in their bellies.

Once they were done with this, the band moved on to the next mine tunnel which branched off to the northeast, where Tadwin had seen a guard station previously with his arcane eye. When they got near the guard station, Brom turned invisible and scouted ahead while the rest of the band stayed back. But, much to Brom’s surprise, some of the two-headed trolls there seemed to be able to smell Brom as he got close, though they could not pin-point his exact position. This caused the four two-headed trolls to be more alert than the band had hoped for, and they began to advance towards the band unexpectedly. Nevertheless, Brom was still able to get his usual sneak attacks in, while Zeke and Tadwin unleashed their fireball spells and Corvyn cut the trolls down with his sword.

Soon, a great battle was underway and because of the tremendous noise caused by all the fireballs and such, it grew even more massive. Before long, the battle was joined by 2 more two-headed trolls, 2 giant trolls, and 2 fomorian giants, all of which came from the northern tunnel. Tadwin was able to slow them down with a low wall of force, which allowed him and Zeke to hit them with more fireballs. Then 4 more giant trolls appeared from the south cutting off any escape route. Zeke managed to slow them down a bit with a web spell. But by this point, though some of the original two-headed trolls were down and some had been destroyed, the band had become so preoccupied by the newly-arriving foes that they could not find the time to finish off the trolls that were down. Once again, Rohnam was spending much of his time healing up injuries and it did not take long before the band found themselves running low on spells and with too many enemies to handle.

So eventually, the band decided it was time for them to make a more desperate retreat. Getting the okay from Brom to leave him behind, because he could not take everyone with him, Tadwin cast a dimension door spell and took all but Brom back to the fifth level of the dungeon where the band’s henchmen had been waiting. Brom, meanwhile, used his invisibility and some of his potions to try and finish off some of the trolls that had been taken down. But it was not long before he decided it was too risky to continue, realizing that with a couple of unlucky swings from the giant trolls’ greatclubs, he could easily be killed. So he too fled through the clearing in the web and gradually made his way back upstairs to the fourth level, and to the duergar complex, where everyone else had gathered by this time.

Taking advantage of the guest quarters provided by Gaerdar and the rest of the gray dwarves, the band spent the next fourteen hours healing, resting and preparing for their next foray into the ninth level. While they were with the duergar, the band made sure to let it be known that the duergar should leave alone any gold or other treasure left behind by the band, assuring the duergar that they would return to collect their well-earned rewards. It was about six o’clock in the evening then, when the band began their descent back to the ninth level. This time, the remaining half-orc priests appeared to be expecting the band’s return, and using what forces and resources they had left to them, they made a concerted effort to try and defend the ninth level.

Their first line of defense was a glyph of warding placed on the second secret door leading into the huge dining hall. Brom discovered it before it caused anyone any harm. But when the band opened the door, there were 4 two-headed trolls there in the dining hall to meet them. But rather than charge at the band, as the band had expected them to do, three of the four trolls opened nearby doors and called out a warning, thereby alerting the rest of the level. Then they did what they could to defend the dining hall while they waited on reinforcements.

The band meanwhile was hesitant to charge in and attack, hoping they could draw the trolls towards them instead. As a result, the battle got off to a slow start, and eventually more enemy forces began to arrive, including more giant trolls and fomorian giants. In addition to these, were two half-orc clerics, both of whom had managed to cast a few spells on themselves before entering the battle. They started off by making things difficult for the band with silence spells and hold person spells. But the band countered these with a web spell and a wall of force that bisected the room and cut off half of the enemy forces. This was followed by more fireballs, and although the forces of Nerull occasionally made some effective attacks on the band, the band gradually began to wear down and destroy their enemies. Both of the half-orc priests were forced to retreat at some point and one of the fomorian giants was seriously wounded and fled from the battle. But all other foes of the band were killed.

When it became clear that the band had their enemies in retreat, some of them charged in after one of the half-orc priests, only to discover that the half-orc had been prepared for melee combat and fought back surprisingly well with a magical scythe. And though it was unclear at the time how the priest was able to do so, he also caused negative energy to pass through his weapon, which caused even further injury to his assailants. Nevertheless, the half-orc priest inevitably succumbed to the combined attacks of the band and soon fell to the floor dead, at which point, the band paused to tend to their wounds and to search the bodies of the fallen.

Once this was done, the band took the time to look inside the nearby room where they had first encountered two-headed trolls. At the back of this room was a door that the band had not investigated yet. Not only was this door locked, but it was also stuck and had to be forced open. Beyond it was a room taken up almost entirely by a large brass bed. Graffiti was scrawled all over the walls in some foreign language.

Tadwin had to use a spell from a scroll in order to read the writing on the walls. They turned out to be threats and insults against various inhabitants of the dungeon, written apparently by the efreeti which the band had already killed. From this, it became obvious that the efreeti had somehow been imprisoned in this dungeon for quite some time and forced to work against his will.

Turning from this room, the band decided to investigate the doorways through which the half-orc priests had fled. One doorway led to a zig-zag hallway that ended at a door. Another doorway led into a two-tiered room where about two dozen exhausted and nervous derro were resting. None of the derro wished to put up a fight, so the band let them be. At one end of this room was another door, and beyond it was a hallway that connected to the zig-zag hallway and then continued on around a bend.

At the end of this hallway was a large room where a high bench, two high tables and some stumps sat before a fireplace. Upon the mantel were several derro heads, perhaps once belonging to those of unruly slaves. It appeared this was the living area of the fomorian giants. There were seven doors in the room, six of which led to the individual sleeping quarters of giants and were occupied by beds that took up the entire rooms. However, none of these rooms contained any giants.

The seventh door led to a short hallway and a T-intersection. To the southwest was another door and to the northeast the hallway led into a dining room furnished with a rust red bone table and several chairs. An unfinished meal of some kind sat on the table. Turning back to the door at the T-intersection, the band entered what appeared to be a small temple that reeked of evil emanating from a bone altar. A sacrificial table and several huge stumps lay at the center of the room, while a rust red curtain was draped behind the altar.

Soon after the band entered the room, the curtain was flung aside and out stepped two fomorian giants emerging from a nearby room. Behind them were two more half-orc priests, one of which was the priest who had escaped earlier and was now fully healed. He also wielded a scythe while the second priest carried a steel shield and brandished a sickle in his other hand.

As before, the priests used silence and hold person spells to try and hinder the band. But when Corvyn and the giants blocked the doorway, the priest with the sickle and shield tried to tumble past them and attack. He was quickly cut down however and the giants fell soon afterwards. When the band moved in to attack the final priest, he too was found to be prepared for melee combat and like his earlier companion, he wielded a magical scythe and was able to channel negative energy through it to cause additional harm. But like the other priests before him, he also was doomed to fall before the Company of the Green Dragon.

When the battle was over, the band tended to any injuries and examined the fallen foes for any items of value. Among the valuables found on the priests were 20 black jaspers that Zeke refused to touch as they seemed to be permeated with evil. The same could be said about the curtain which no one cared to touch. A quick check of the prison cells at the back of the adjacent room revealed two prisoners, both of which the band released using a set of keys found on one of the priests. One of the prisoners was a derro who did not speak much but who was clearly glad to be released. The other was a drow who spoke only in undercommon.

The drow introduced himself to Tadwin, giving the name of Trizzac, and claimed to be a businessman of sorts, with connections to various merchants of weapons and other items in the underdark. He told Tadwin that he had made a deal with the ogre magi for weapons, but when something went wrong with the deal, he was imprisoned. It was shortly after that when the war between Nerull and Vaprak broke out and he had been imprisoned ever since. But he assured Tadwin that he could be of some assistance to the band.

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