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Session 131 - A Party's End

posted Aug 25, 2017, 10:09 AM by Will McCain   [ updated Aug 25, 2017, 10:24 AM ]
Team Knox arrived at their last challenge. Hands that were patting the wizard's back for his clutch save earlier now moved to chins in contemplation of their new puzzle. It was a bare room with four torches lit, and some script barely legible on the far door. Elistra carefully made her way down and found a riddle: you must create that which is so fragile, to utter it's name would break it. Quick-witted as ever, she immediately deduced the answer and returned to her team, bidding them to produce what they needed: silence.

In the stillness, they could still hear the gasping of the flames on each torch, so they each took position by one and extinguished them quietly. When all was finally still, silent, and dark, they felt the room shift. Around them, they could hear (and feel) tiles of the floor falling away. At the same time, they saw the imprints of four hands begin to glow on the exit door. Knox tried to fly, but found his magic suppressed by a powerful Anti-Magic Field. They steeled themselves and began to carefully make their way towards the door while trying not to fall off their precarious paths. Qip was the first to stumble, but as he held himself on the edge of the remaining tile, he felt an illusion disperse from his mind and felt the original, unmolested floor beneath him. Again! Another false danger, just like the last room! He tried to call out his realization to his friends, but, like before, they could not believe without overcoming the spell themselves. He first helped McGraenge to see the illusion for what it was, then Knox. Elistra was more hesitant, but at Qip's rather unexpected urging to throw herself into his arms, she took the chance and also saw through the magic. With a wink, Qip reluctantly let her go and they made their way to join the others at the exit.

The lights returned, the anti-magic field lifted, and their foes began to fade into view. Horror fell upon Elistra to see the reanimated forms of the fallen Champions of the Realm taking positions on the opposite side of the room. No. This was too cruel. A hand upon her shoulder startled her out of her disbelief. Meeting Qip's solemn gaze, the Druid reminded her that they were in a place of illusion, and she should not hold back from fighting mere figments meant to unnerve her. She breathed deeply, nodded at the Akari, and slowly drew her blade. The others did was preparation they could, and battle was joined.

The figments won initiative on them, and Volfeng the Half-Orc Cleric read a scroll of Time Stop. When the jar magic passed, the party saw that he had summoned a huge fiend to fight them, as well. Stonewall the Dwarven Abjurer cast Fly on Brushfire the Elven Fighter, who took the air in order to attack Knox. Trusting Knox to do to Brushfire what he had done to the Jub Jub Bird, McGraenge laid a withering salvo of fire into Volfeng. Elistra attacked the devil, who took appreciable damage despite his damage reduction. Qip shifted into a Dire Tiger in preparation to join McGraenge's assault on Volfeng, while Knox attempted a spell on Brushfire. The fiend, however, attacked during his casting, and he lost the spell. 

The false Champions continued their assault, and the party felt themselves waver, even as Volfeng fell to McGraenge, Qip, and Floofs. Knox was barely clinging to life from Brushfire's attacks. Qip saw the wizard's dire condition and cast a targeted Greater Dispel on Brushfire, removing the magic that gave her flight and resistance to magic. Finally, the bloodied Knox was able to cast Maze on the fighter, removing her from the fight. For a time.

Now left with the fiend and Stonewall, the part was still hurting. McGraenge and Elistra peppered him with shot and arrow, which mostly served to whittle away at his Mirror Images. Qip decided to try another Great Dispel, and succeeded in unsummoning the fiend and removing some of Stonewall's defenses. Panting but not yielding, the group finally felled the wizard, who faded away like Volfeng. Now with some time to breathe, Qip used Heal to remove the grievous wounds from Knox and McGraenge and Knox granted Elistra the benefit of Greater Invisibility. As everyone else took position, Qip healed himself a bit and poured as much buffing magic as he could into himself and Floofs. When Brushfire reappeared, she proved a formidable opponent on her own. She once more wore away at McGraenge and Qip, but Elistra carried the day. She forced herself to look at the likeness of her former friend as her invisible blade delivered the final blow. 

As the elven woman faded away, her face grew serene as the challenge she represented was overcome. Its purpose complete, the figment passed gently into the ether. Sheathing her sword, Elistra could only hope that the true souls of her friends knew such peace. And that one day, she would find it herself.
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