Second Darkness

Fleshcrafters, Alchemy, and Taz’s Revenge

In which we learn more of Taz's past, and help him avenge an old wrong

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Just time for a quick update, as we are in the midst of ongoing battle here in Celwynvian. Once we had returned to the camp, Eviana gave us time to recover before assigning us take the Alchemy Lab, a building on the northeast side of the city. There, the drow were manufacturing their fearsome crossbow bolts, which unleashed fire, acid, or poison upon contact. The loss of this strategic target would greatly reduce the effectiveness of the drow legions, and we were excited to be give the assignment.

Before we set off, I spent a few hours amongst the men of the elven legion, learning more about the people we were serving with, as well as about our leadership. Unfortunately, Shalelu was still out on maneuvers, and so I was unable to continue my pursuit of her affections, but my time with the troops will be well spent if we ever have to rely upon their help on the field of battle.

One interesting note on our mission. The lab forces were commanded by a drow named Ilverae Parastric, their head alchemist, and her name was not unknown to our party. Apparently, Ilverae was the creature who had captured, enslaved, and tortured Taz’s parents, experimenting on them with the drow’s Fleshwarping techniques. Although they eventual escaped, a rare feat among the drow slaves, this experimentation lead to deformities in their children, and Taz was of course born with his third eye and bat-like wings. Suffice it to say that Taz was extra motivated to pursue our current target.

We chose to skirt the edges of the city on our way to the Alchemy Lab, to avoid any unnecessary confrontations along the current battle lines. We did, however run into one adversary. We were attacked by a treant, likely an ancient guardian of the city, now crazed beyond reason. Likely, the loss of the city by the elves led to the creature’s mental state, and we were forced to put it down.

We are also pretty sure that the rogue dragon Razorhorn passed over us at one point. The beast was difficult to make out, and did not make landfall, so we were not able to get a closer look. We will need to be on the lookout in the future, and maintain our stealth as often as possible, since a surprise attack by such a beast could prove devastating.

Once at the lab, we were forced to fight the guardians, two creatures called driders – half drow and half giant spider, and apparently the result of this Fleshwarping we have now heard about. We combated their invisibility with our own magicks, and then Taz and I bypassed the chemical seepage on the ground to bring the fight directly to Ilverae, while Zee and Chuffy dealt with the troglodytes on the outer ranks. Ilvarae’s magical prowess was considerable, and after Confusing Taz and taking to the sky, she would likely have escaped if not for Zee’s well-timed Charm spell, which allowed us to bring the confrontation to a mostly peaceful end.

Using the powerful mind-magic, Zee was able to convince Ilvarae to return to the camp with us, after revealing a great amount of information about the drow. This intelligence will no doubt prove invaluable to our continued efforts to understand and defeat these creatures, and so we decided to hand her over to the elves for continued interrogation. She was not pleased by our plan, and unfortunately we were forced to cut her down when she tried to escape her new captives. Too quick an end, according to Taz, but a necessary route.

While scouting ahead on the way back to camp, I discovered a lone elven warrior lying wounded on the edge of the city. I helped Rodrick, as his name turned out to be, to return to his people, and it was a good thing I did, for he had important intelligence for Eviana. It turns out that a group of the Shin’Rakorath, including their leader Kaerishiel, are currently pinned down in the city, under siege by heavy weapons and needing immediate assistance. We of course agreed to set out at once, as even though Kaerishiel has been less that friendly to us, his loss, and that of his troops, would greatly set back the morale of the elven army. And so, after taking a quick moment to pen this narrative, we are setting out for his position. May the Lady of Fate guide our way!

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