Greyhawk: Gem of the Flanaess

Part Four - Chapter Twelve: Assault on the Chaotic Faction

It was early in the morning of Freeday, the 14th day of Planting, in the Common Year of 581, when the Company of the Green Dragon defeated the clerics of Boccob in the pyramids just outside the Power Tower in the ruins of Castle Greyhawk. The high priest, Bern Hengdal, was dead, as was one of the lesser priests, Hordred Nalrim. But the remaining three clerics, Empiri Chalemede, Dormian Fargeth and Garlin Krul, had all surrendered. It was now time for the band to decide what to do with them, at least for the time being.

The three clerics claimed they had no quarrel with the band and that they had only been following the orders of their leader when they had taken part in the ambush against the band. In fact, they insisted that ever since the band had brought it to their attention that their leader had been lying to them for many years about the true identity of the wizards who lived and worked in the dungeons below, they were more disappointed and upset with their leader than they were with the band. They claimed that they only followed Bern Hengdal’s orders out of a sense of loyalty to him, but they were not at all bothered by the fact that he was now dead. They were however, saddened by the fact that Hordred Nalrim was also dead, whom they felt did nothing to deserve such a fate and expressed a desire to bring him back from the dead.

The clerics admitted that their main motivation and desire, however, was to continue their studies in magic in the ruins of the Power Tower, regardless of who controlled the ruins and they offered to serve the band in any way they could. But some members of the band, Brom in particular, worried that they could not be trusted, feeling that the clerics’ willingness to serve them so soon after their leader’s death only made them appear disloyal. Nevertheless, despite being bound and stripped of all magic items, weapons and holy symbols, the clerics offered what information they had about the wizards and the ruins, and freely answered any questions put to them. As a result, the band learned some helpful information about the wizards, though there was much the clerics claimed they did not know. The band also took the time then to search the pyramids and to note anything of interest.

Among the things found in the pyramids was a vast and very valuable library on sagely studies, the teachings of Boccob, and other notes and letters of knowledge. The band took nothing from the library at this time, but they did gather up any magic items they found. They also learned from the clerics how to operate the magic circle located in the first pyramid, and, assuming the clerics were telling the truth, realized just how powerful the magic circle was.

Once the band gathered what information they wanted to from the clerics, for the time being, the band then locked them away in the same prison cells where Diamond had once been held captive in the lower dungeons of the War Tower. Choosing to decide the ultimate fate of the three clerics at a later time, presumably once the wizards of the Power Tower were defeated, the band then turned to other matters.

While they were very unsure about the clerics of Boccob, the band felt quite differently about the wizard Eleena, whom they had recently rescued from the dungeons of the Power Tower. They felt she would make a very valuable ally or even henchman and they wanted to make a trade with her concerning her magical portable hole. The rest of the band convinced Zeke to strike a deal with Eleena: they would resurrect her brother Dorthonodand, in exchange for the portable hole. She agreed to the deal and, soon after, the portable hole became the property of the band, just as the rod of resurrection was, but carried by Brom, who seemed to be the most capable member of the band at avoiding energy-type attacks. Unfortunately, they could not yet resurrect Dorthonodand, since the rod of resurrection only worked once a day. So that would have to wait until 24 hours had passed after the rod was used on Diamond. Diamond, in fact, was still suffering from the effects of his recent resurrection and was in need of a restoration spell.

It was about 5 o’clock in the morning when the band returned to their quarters in the dungeons of the War Tower, at which time Tadwin cast a Mage’s Private Sanctum spell to prevent anyone from scrying on them. At about 6 o’clock, the band settled down to rest and awoke again at about 2 in the afternoon. They then prepared for another foray into the dungeons of the Power Tower. Diamond cast a restoration spell on himself. The band then consumed another hero’s feast and by 5 o’clock the band was making their way back to the Power Tower. This time they simply walked there, through the elves’ fortress and into the first floor.

The band then followed their usual procedure of doubling their spells at the meeting table, and praying to a statue of Boccob to receive an extra spell. The statue also told them that the wizards who lived below were not aware of the secret passage the band had found, which connected the Power Tower to the War Tower. So this could be used to the band’s advantage. Following this, the band had their weapons blessed at the altar of Boccob.

When the band reached the third dungeon level, Tadwin cast a dimension door spell, taking everyone to a cave in the chaotic section near the tunnel leading down to the fourth dungeon level. But before moving on, Tadwin cast an arcane eye spell and was able to scout out a large portion of the chaotic section, all the way down to the sixth dungeon level, due to the fact that the chaotic section had very few doors that could hinder it. As a result, Tadwin was able to get a very good idea of the forces that lived in the area, which consisted almost entirely of trolls and bugbears.

Once Tadwin had gone as far as he could with his arcane eye, the band cast a few preparatory spells and readied their weapons. Then they headed down the tunnel with Brom leading the way invisibly. When the band reached the bottom of the stairs, they came to a large cavern where ten trolls had been sparring with one another. Brom tried to sneak past them, but the trolls picked up his scent and immediately began searching about. The rest of the band came charging in at this point and a massive battle then ensued.

Corvyn, of course, waded into the midst of the trolls with his giant-slayer greatsword and caused a good deal of harm to the monsters. But despite his great skill and the benefits of his sword and his ring of vampiric regeneration, Corvyn often found himself on the verge of catastrophe. The trolls were all powerful barbarians which flew into such a rage that not even fire and acid could entirely prevent their regenerative abilities from functioning. In fact, were it not for his great skill and magic items, Corvyn surely would have been torn apart.

And he was not the only one to risk life and limb during the battle. Others too occasionally found themselves in a dire predicament, usually from the trolls’ heightened abilities to rip and rend with their claws and fangs. But in every case, each member of the band somehow managed to survive and recover.

Although the battle was a tough one, and at times a very dangerous one, the band was able to stay one step ahead of the trolls and maintain control of the battle, though just barely. Due to the trolls’ uncanny awareness, Brom had some difficulty trying to get in sneak attacks on the trolls and often had to rely on glitterdust spells to blind the trolls. The rest of the band, meanwhile, threw an occasional attack spell at the trolls or some other helpful spell to aid their companions.

When the battle began to wind down a bit, a group of six bugbears and one more troll joined in the battle as reinforcements. The bugbears were not as tough as the trolls but they were very skilled in the use of two weapons and appeared to possess the abilities of rangers. In the end, however, they too were eventually killed by the band.

When the battle was finally over, the band healed up their wounds, searched the bodies of their foes, and continued on through the caves. In the next cave, the band fought and killed two more trolls who appeared to be guarding an altar with a painting behind it, which resembled the wizard Ussisemeel. These two trolls had a ring of protection and a pair of boots of speed to aid them, which the band took, of course. Afterwards, they made sure to deface the painting of the wizard.

Moving on to the next cave, which lay at the bottom of a downward sloping tunnel, the band was ambushed by six more bugbears which had been hiding in a dark alcove near the top of the passageway. These bugbears were equipped with arrows of slaying and one of them struck Corvyn and would have killed him had he been any less tough than he is. Another of these arrows struck Zeke, but he managed to dodge enough to avoid taking as much damage from it.

Zeke then cast a fly spell on Corvyn so he could fly up and attack the bugbears, while the rest of the band focused primarily on eight more bugbears that were approaching from the cave just ahead. Several fireballs, including a couple from Diamond’s necklace of fireballs, killed or badly wounded most of the approaching bugbears, and whatever remained were easily taken down afterwards.

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