March 18 – At camp in the box canyon. The group discusses how they will need to initiate the plan. As they also continue to modify and tweak the plan. Over and over and over. Arturas expresses that they should not have left the electricity ring back along their journey. (Arturas) “We have less then 2 days until the castle shows up. Even if I rode hard there and back. I could not make it back in time.” (Carter) “I agree, we should not have left it back there. Maybe the wizards have some teleportation magic?” Arturas approaches the wizards tent and announces himself. He hears “Come in.” As he enters the tent. The inside is completely furnished with chairs, cushions, a table and 4 chests. Podnick is lounging on a couple of cushions drinking a glass of wine. (Arturas) “Pardon me for disturbing you. We were wondering if you have any sort of teleportation spells in your plethora of knowledge? Our group had come across a magic item a little over a day from here. We thought of no way to transport it at the time. We think we have figured a way now.” (Podnick) “Magic Item? What sort of item?” (Arturas) “A ring, a large electrified ring. None of us could touch it without getting shocked.” (Tummil) “Sounds intriguing. Pod, do we still have that teleportation scroll? (Podnick) “Yes, it is in the chest over there.” Podnick gets up. Walks to the chest and rummages around for a few minuets. He pulls out an old dusty scroll. (Podnick) “It can handle up to 8 bodies. Preferably to a familiar location. Otherwise there could be a mishap.” (Arturas) “What kind of mishap?” (Tummil) “You don’t want to know. Really, you don’t want to know.” Podnick and Arturas go outside and back over to the main group. Discussion turns to who will go retrieve the ring and who will stay. The outcome is, Arturas, Carter, Sai, Podnick and 3 horses will go. They ready the horses and are soon on their way at a very fast speed.
After the adventurers leave, Alston again sends his hawk in outward circles to look for other groups. On its 3rd outward circle it returns. It relays the images of the Heroes of Ulek and their camp. They have a small fire. There are no horses. Ulfgar does not seem to move much. There are no other groups in the area. The remaining group and the wizards discusses possible contingency plans. (Tummil) “We did have several plans before we settled on the use of the magic jar. One was if we destroyed her castle. Possibly the curse would be broken. But we assumed the castle may be too big to destroy completely. We also thought of telaporting the queen out of her bound area. You do know she is bound to the castle and cant go farther then a few miles from it?” (Maab) “We do Now.” (Solaire) “So What I suspect may work as plan A . Ulfgar’s polymorph spell to change her back to an Elf. This should limit her ghostly abilities. That is if Ulfgar really wants to transform her. He is quite mad.” (Freezeia) “My visions have shown the Druid with the elvish E carved into his cheek. His path is cloudy as to what he will do when the time comes.” (Solaire) “Plan B would be to use the magic jar on her. Plan C would be to eliminate the hoards or most of the hoards. Then take her on head on. Not sure of that option.” (Finntran) “These are not normal undead. These are magic evil undead. And besides that there are the nazgils and the wights to contend with.” (Alston) “And that makes plan D. To run ourselves back to Hochoch, as fast as we can?” The Discussion continues and the plans again change, over and over and over.
Arturas and the rest of the riding party make it back to the spot that the electricity ring is hidden. The horses are very winded. It is just before sundown. Arturas begins removing his metal armor and any other metal on him. Sai, with a grin on her face. Helps him with the straps he can not reach. Arturas then attempts to remove the boulder from on top of the sack containing the ring. His 1st attempt fails. He tries from a different angle and the boulder rolls off of the sack with no electric discharge. Everyone backs away, except Carter. Arturas opens the bag. When he sticks his hand in to touch the ring. He instinctively pulls his hand out from the shock. (Carter) “Let me try.” Carter calms himself. Reaches into the bag and grabs the ring. The shock is strong but he holds on. He removes the ring from the bag. He waves it around. No continuing shock. He puts the ring over he head and touches his neck. No shock. He lets go of the ring from around his neck. The ring hangs upon his neck with no shock. Carter walks over to a tree and places his hand on it. He can feel the electricity flow through him into the tree. He leaves a minor hand print burn mark on the tree where he touched it. Carter smiles. He wells up energy inside him and pushes his hands forward. A bolt of lightning arcs from his hands to the tree in front of him and cuts the tree in half. It falls away from the group. (Carter) “I like this.” Arturas, with a frown on his face suspected the magic item worked something like that. (Sai to Arturas) “You would probably not be able to wear your metal armor if you tried to wear that ring.” (Arturas) “You are probably right. Podnick, what do you need for us to do to be telaported back to camp?” (Podnick) “We need to be in a close 10’- circle. I will read the scroll and think about the camp. We should instantly be teleported there.” (Sai) “And nothing can go wrong?” (Podnick) “Well there is a slight chance of something going wrong. Magic never works 100% of the time the way you want it to. It ebbs and flows like the tide.” Arturas, Carter and Sai look at each other with a worried look on their faces. Arturas is only half way donning his armor when Podnick begins to read the scroll and zzzzwwwwaaaap.
Back at camp, the remaining group and the wizards are just finishing up dinner and still revising the initial and contingency plans when. Zzzzwwwwaaap. The other group appears at the mouth of the box canyon. (Podnick) With a large grin on his face. “See, nothing to worry about. Safe and sound back at camp.” Arturas realizes he was holding his breath and exhales. Carter explains to the rest of the group the rings power. Still no one attempts to touch him or gets close to him. Fearing getting shocked. Those that went on the trip have dinner and get caught up in the discussion of the possible plans of attack. After dinner, watches are set and the night passes.
March 19 – Carter is on watch at around 2 bells in the am. He hears the undead walking the road. He goes to the edge of the canyon to make sure none of them are coming close to camp. Morning arrives with Arturas and Solaire greeting the rising sun. It is a clear, warm, beautiful day. (Finntran) With his mouth full of biscuit. “Too bad this wonderful day is the last day before all hell is released.” As the expanded group eats breakfast. They decide to attempt again to persuade the Heroes of Ulek to join forces with them. Afterward several of them trek up to the plateau and approach the other groups camp. They notice 5 bed rolls out but only Corbin the fighter, Morden the wizard and Ulfgar the druid are visible in camp. Sila the female elf ranger and Ursa the female dwarf barbarian are nowhere in sight. Most of the group stays back. Arturas and Solaire walk forward. When they get to within 20’- of camp. Morden stands with his staff horizontally outstretched in his hand towards the group. Corbin puts a hand on Morden’s shoulder as he slowly walks past. He stops just outside the edge of their camp. Solaire and Arturas then slowly walk forward to within 5’- of him. (Corbin) “Good day Solaire. I do not know this new member of your group?” (Arturas) “I am Sir Arturas DeLanor – Paladin of Pelor. And you are?” (Corbin) “Corbin Hobb of Ulek. Solaire, I want to apologize. I am beginning to believe that what Ulfgar has said to us about you and the rest of your group may not be as true as he says or believes.” (Solaire) “You seemed to have been in a bad fight recently. Can I help you?” (Corbin) “We confronted the Nazgil, under the temple in the city of Curragh, South of here. We lost our horses and most of our supplies. Ulfgar took some bad hits from the Nazgil trying to defeat it. He has not been the same since. He constantly mumbles some odd words and phrases.” Solaire walks past Corbin and Morden to Ulfgar. He squats down on the balls of his feet in front of the druid. He pulls back the cowl of the cloak covering the druids face. The left side of Ulfgar’s face is grey and ashen. He is mumbling a phrase. (Ulfgar) “Han el nathra uthra spetode, doth yel dee en vey…. holly sprig, camomile, iron dust … petha ar donn, usk a doma……..” (Solaire) “Ulfgar, can you hear me?” Ulfgar breefly looks at Solaire. (Ulfgar) “Pelor.” He then goes back to mumbling. (Solaire) “How long has he been like this?” (Morden) “When we were attacked by the nazgil. Ulfgar took the brunt of the attack when it grabbed his left side of his face. We were able to fight our way out by the skin on our teeth. We have been running North since. Ulfgar has not been able to sleep. All he does is go over and over a spell. This was almost 3 days ago.” (Arturas) “He can not heal the touch of the nazgil unless he sleeps.” Solaire goes back to Ulfgar. He shakes him to semi coherently look at him. Solaire casts the spell Command Word. (Solaire) “Sleep.” Ulfgar falls into a deep sleep in his arms. Solaire lays him down on the bed roll. (Corbin) “We could not defeat the nazgil by ourselves.” (Morden) “By the way. Where is your friend, the drow?” (Solaire) “Exavier has since left the group to go home. In his words, he found no profit in this adventure. Please come join us at our camp. We are in a small canyon to the East of here. Our cook, Ted makes a great stew with fresh bread.” Corbin whistles and both Sila and Ursa come out of hiding from either side of the group. Sila has only 4 arrows left in her quiver and 1 notched in her bow. Ursa’s armor is severely damaged and torn. They all help pack up camp and make a make shift stretcher out of 2 blankets. Arturas and Corbin carry Ulfgar back to camp in the box canyon. They place Ulfgar between the tent and the stove to keep him warm. He is still in a sound sleep. Ted feeds the heroes of Ulek some stew. They eat like they have not eaten in days. Which is most likely the case.
(Alston) “So Corbin, what sort of magical power did this nazgil bring against you?” (Corbin) “Many undead, hundreds of them, and magic. Lightning bolts from his spectral hands. There was an over presence of fear all around us. We fled as we were vastly outnumbered.” (Alston) “What sort of numbers? Tens, hundreds or thousands?” (Ursa) “Tens of thousands, maybe more.” (Tummil) “That many? This may be more difficult then we thought.” (Moricai) “Fear not Tummil. Freezeia will warn us if any evil comes near.” Freezeia looks up from her book at the sound of her name. Moricai waves to her. She waves back and goes back to reading. Alston’s hawk is again circling. After 2 hours it returns and shows Alston that there are a group of dwarves approaching from the South. Some of the newly expanded group goes to greet them. 3 miles South on the road. They see 10 dwarves walking North about a mile South of where the heroes of Ulek were camped. (Maab) “Wasn’t there 2 rival clans of 5 dwarves?” (Alston) “Maybe they joined forces.” Both groups come to a stop about 10 yards apart. (Alston) “Hail friends.” (Ornik) “Who are you and what do you want?” (Alston) “We are a fellow group. Hired by the Duke to defend against the coming evil event.” (Norin) “See, I told you we were not the only 2 groups to show up. Now that reward will have to get split 3 ways.” (Maab) “Actually there are 8 groups.” (Mundas) “8 groups! That is allot less gold then I signed up for.” (Alston) “Gentleman, we have auspiciously joined 3 of the 8 rival groups together into a highly cohesive unit. Greater is the superiority in numbers. And as an incentive. My cook has a mean beef stew in the pot now at our camp. So can we count you in and join the expanding army we are compiling to defeat the evil before us?” The dwarves all huddle and discuss the proposition. Their discussion gets heated. Punctuated with a few of them punching each other. (Ornik) “What will this merger of groups cost us?” (Alston) “Nothing, you will each become a vital part of the greatest group to defeat Queen Elori and share in the for suing reward.” The dwarves again huddle to discuss. Punch each other. Discuss more. (Finntran) “It looks like they are now taking a vote. 9 hands are raised. 1 balding dwarf has his hands crossed in front of his chest.” 1 of the dwarves that had his hand raised. Punches the balding dwarf with his arms crossed in the stomach. When he doubles over. The other dwarf grabs the balding dwarfs right hand and raises it above his head. (Omnik) “It is now unanimous! We have all agreed to join your group.” (Maab) “That was odd, very odd.” (Alston) “I hope they brought some food with them. They all look like they can eat half a cow, each.” As they all walk back to camp. Introductions are made. Dwarf Clan Hammer consists of all male fighters. Ornik is the leader. Norin, Borin and Torin are 3 brothers. Mundas is the bald dwarf that was forced to raise his hand. Dwarf Clan Stone are also all male fighters. Omnan is the leader and brother to Tork. Tork is the farther of Sabin and Tabin. Furgan is a 3rd cousin twice removed on his mothers side of the family. (Tork) “I don’t really believe he is related, but we all humor him.” Alston introduces himself, Finntran, Maab, Carter and Sai. When they get back to camp. It is early evening and the smell of stew is prevalent. Everyone else in camp is introduced to the dwarves and the dwarves to them. Dinner is served. Discussion turns to what needs to be done when attacking and when attacked. (Arturas) “We need to work as a unit. Protect the group as a whole. Weapons masters and defenders in front will form up on me. Magic will form up on Moricai and follow us through. Archers will form up on Sai and take out as many of the enemy stragglers as possible. No straggling off or going off alone. We need to work with a buddy system. Everybody got their jobs. All hell is going to break loose tomorrow. We need to be brave. We need to be ready. Get a good nights rest.” Everyone nods in agreement. Sai walks over to Sila and hands her 20 arrows from the extra that were bought a few weeks ago. Sila thanks her. Watches are set for the night. Omnik, Podrick, Carter, Ursa then Solaire will be up early to catch the rising sun. The night is quiet, very quiet for a long while.
March 20 – At approximately 3 bells in the am. A strong earthquake that lasts over 4 minuets, awakens everyone from their sleep. The earthquake is so strong. It collapses all 3 tents and part of the canyon wall collapses by where the dwarves are bedded down. Once it finally subsides and everyone can stand up. Everyone in the group moves to the mouth of the canyon. Sitting about 4, maybe 5 miles away atop mount Slera is now a large glowing grey castle. There are torches and pots of fire lit all along the parapet. Giving the castle an eerie glow. (Podnick) “That is 1 very big castle.” (Freezeia) Breathing heavy. “I can feel her….I can feel her presence. She is awakening. She is deep inside the castle.” (Sai) “I can see allot of movement along the road. The undead are heading through the abandoned village for the castle.” (Solaire) “And so it begins.”