The Story So Far…
Goldengrass the 25th, 1845
Flight from Riveon
The party was trying to devise a plan. They considered using the slave girl Shianna as bait to catch Illnath off guard. Svarnos considered his spells and thought that if they used rope trick the majority of the party would be able to hide in the bedroom itself (albeit in a dimensional pocket). Two could conceal themselves under the bed and the illusionist and his guards could be ambushed. Immediately, the group began to see holes in this plan. First, Shianna was bound to Illnath by a charm person spell and thus was still loyal to him. Second, nervous as she was, it did not seem she was up to the task of pretending that there wasn’t a throng of adventurers hiding in the room with her.
It was now that Svarnos remembered something that shattered the plan completely. When looking through the eyes of his familiar he had seen Illnath and recalled how the illusionist’s eyes had glowed with faint blue light. Svarnos, having learned the magical arts on the Wizard’s Isle, remembered how some of the more powerful mages would permanently affix a spell called arcane sight to their vision causing their eyes to shimmer with a bluish glow. The spell would allow them to see the radiating aura that magic spells gave off. If Illnath had this spell upon him would he be able to see the aura of the rope trick spell? The party thought it was likely and did not want to risk finding out the hard way.
As the party was trying to come up with another plan they heard some one calling out and opening doors in the hallway outside the bedroom. The door to bedroom was opened but the heroes were ready and they tackled the man that entered. It was a young pale skinned man with long black hair and red-brown robes. Shianna cried out for them not to hurt him, as he was Illnath’s apprentice Ovgen (and she had seen what had happened to the goblin servant earlier). The grim bunch of soot-covered adventurers terrified the apprentice. He nervously explained how Illnath brought him to Riveon so that he could have an assistant and someone to pass his knowledge on to. He did not realize how evil Illnath was and saw it as a great opportunity to learn more phantasmal magic. When he was brought to the citadel however he found it over run with orcs and other foul creatures all under the influence of Illnath. Ovgen became more of slave and prisoner than an apprentice although the illusionist did instruct him in some magic.
From Ovgen, the party learned that the flying beast called “Margor” that was housed in the top dome of the High Tower was in fact a terrifying manticore. This creature was Illnath’s pet and the illusionist used him to strike terror into the hearts of the orcs and keep them under control. Many orcs had been fed to the beast over the years. The beast was also used in the Arena that was located on the east side of the city. Illnath entertained himself by watching captured prisoners futilely fight for their lives against the powerful manticore and his elite half-orc guards in the Arena.
Ovgen was only in the High Tower once before and he said that it housed strange protective magic. The apprentice said he would be willing to help the party if they promised to take him with them when they left as he felt it was the only way he would ever escape the citadel.
The party decided to trust the apprentice and try to use him as bait to ambush the illusionist. Ovgen told them that he was soon to be meeting Illnath in the library and that they could launch their ambush there. Ovgen would safely lead them to the library past the guards of the castle. So they set off after telling after hiding the body of the goblin under the bed and telling Shianna that she was to stay in the room where they could return for her.
They approached the door to the guardhouse and Ovgen told them to wait while he distracted the guards so that the party could pass unseen. The apprentice entered the room and began to speak to the guards in orcish. It was then that the party was betrayed. Eldan the ranger, who understands orcish, drew his sword and told the others that Ovgen was telling the guards to attack the intruders out in the hallway.
The orcs rushed out and fell upon the heroes. The party returned the offensive and was able to kill the orcs quickly. Svarnos ran past the fray to try to get to Ovgen. He saw the apprentice escaping down a stairwell and tried to cast a sleep spell upon him but it was resisted. Ovgen escaped screaming for Illnath and making for the throne room.
The adventurers knew they were in dire straits and decided to flee back to the ruined chapel and down the long tunnel to the Curthor Crypt. Before the doors to the chapel Eldan laid down some pepper to disrupt their scent trail if the orcs tried to track them down with wargs. As they closed the trap door leading to the tunnel a great inhuman bellow could be heard echoing throughout the castle.
It was a nightmare race to flee the citadel. In the graveyard outside the tomb Fionnula turned a bunch of ravening ghouls. Once out of the graveyard the city streets were no safer. Patrols of orcs, ogres, goblins, and wargs had to be avoided. Thrice the party had to battle a group of monsters as the horns and howling reverberated through the city. Reaching the rent in the north wall of the city flights of arrows clattered about them with some almost finding their mark.
The party fled westward between the rocks of the Broken Lands with the sounds of pursuit behind them. They ran until they were exhausted and night had fallen. They knew that it was unlikely that they had escaped pursuit but they had to rest. Svarnos used rope trick to hide whom he could but two would have to stay outside. Lono and Fionnula remained outside and hid atop a pillar of rock hopefully out of reach and sight of any creature that should wander by.
However, soon three-spear bearing goblin warg rider discovered them. A desperate battle ensued. Lono used his sling from atop the rock and some of the warriors tried to slide down the rope to engage the monsters. Gjord, Martijn, and Galifynakus all were injured because they hit the ground hard. Eventually the monsters were defeated but many in the party were wounded almost unto death. And the night was not yet over.