Following our escape from the Craterian ball, we swiftly returned to the dragon. Our success pleased her immensely. As a reward for our service to her, she gave the party a magical winged helm called the Casque of Tactics. We allotted this piece of equipment to our cleric, Fey.
The dragon seemed content to peruse the scroll we had given her alone, but we decided she should know about the strange events of the party. At first she ignored us, completely engrossed in her document, until we described the tentacles of glowing doom that exploded out of the messenger from Albold Hill.
After a little questioning on the dragon’s part, we revealed the scroll that the mysterious key had led to. The dragon recognized it as a tome from the Labyrinth of Truths in Minauros, one of the Nine Hells. Working together, the dragon and our party removed the magical seals binding the scroll. Surprisingly, it was written in Common. This proved that the conspiracy in Elogotha reached far deeper and darker than any of us, the dragon included, had initially perceived.
Deciding to finally leave the dragon to go over her book in peace, we returned to the surface of Elogotha. To our surprise, a city-wide evacuation was underway. Titus, who was experienced in military evacuations, perceived that this had some sort of martial source.
We came across a small Craterian patrol of two low ranking soldiers in a chariot pulled by a single gray horse. We ambushed the soldiers and swiftly dispatched of them. Sophia claimed a crossbow and bolts from the corpses, and the party decided to use their armband ranks to infiltrate the city and find the resistance.
Titus, who had already proven himself to be skilled with words and manipulations, took on the captain’s band Sophia had previously worn from the first encounter of the adventure. Sophia and Ardan each donned the low rank bands of the men we had just killed. At this point, the party split up for strategic purposes. Titus and Sophia would loosely bind Elka and Fey, claiming them to be criminals who had murdered the soldiers the whole party had actually taken down, and escort them through the city. Ardan and Ilyich would follow stealthily on the roofs, keeping an eye out and ready to provide support for the rest of the party if our plan went astray.
A good thing too, for when we reached the first Craterian checkpoint, things went astray indeed. Within seconds a drow woman arrived with strange, gigantic spiders. Seeing Fey, she started screaming, “That’s her! I found her!” Though it seemed Fey would be lost at best and our cover would be blown at worst, quick thinking Titus snapped, “These criminals killed my men, they are MY prisoners. If you want to take them somewhere, I am coming with.” Unable to find an argument to his fierce confidence, the drow allowed Titus and Sophia to accompany her, but unfortunately also brought with her five Craterian soldiers and a frightening blond soldier with a beautiful fullblade.
All in the party save Sophia (who was busy drooling over the shining blue fullblade) contemplated when to spring a surprise attack on the Craterians when Ilyich’s sousaphone decided for us. Light glinted off its enormous bell and alerted our enemies. A vicious skirmish ensued.
It started well with Fey felling the drow with cold efficiency and Sophia making a devastating critical hit against the fullblade wielder, but soon things took a turn for the worse. Indeed, it seemed the Craterians would even win: Fey was wounded, Ilyich and Sophia were bloodied, and Titus had fallen unconscious from one of the massive spider’s poisonous bites. Luckily, Ilyich and Fey’s healing powers managed to revive and steady the party. Titus and Sophia teamed up against the blond fullblade wielding woman. When she fell, the tide of the battle turned.
The party worked together to take out their enemies one at a time. Ilyich and Titus attacked the spiders as Elka and Fey took on the humans. Sophia picked up the blond fighter’s fullblade, and, full of glee at such a fantastic new weapon, skipped from enemy to enemy, blissfully singing, “I’m going to cut your HEADS off!” Which, of course, she easily did. All the while, Ardan provided vital sniper cover from a nearby roof.
Soon only two Craterian crossbowmen remained out of the once formidable party. Terrified by the powerful magic wielders and lethal sniper who directly opposed them—much less the giant, blond, and now blood-soaked maniac who, while prancing like a demented demon child had ripped apart their comrades before their very eyes—wisely decided to turn tail and run.
Now our party needs to decide whether to pursue the crossbowmen before they can alert other Craterians or to attempt to find shelter or the resistance swiftly before any more enemies can overtake us.