The Forsaken are bleeding and down, but not out. Having just narrowly vanquished the Sons of Everard, the ambulatory members of the Forsaken revive and remediate those who are unconscious and bleeding out. As soon as Grimnok is on his feet, he returns to the morning ritual and completes it while time remains. After that, the group licks their wounds and rests before the final ritual.
After months of tedium punctuated by several near-disasters, the time has finally come to divest themselves of their prisoner and complete the ritual to summon Vetri-Kali, Plague Lord. Tim marches the haggard and beaten “Lord” Valin to stand before the Forsaken. Though there is still defiance in his eyes, it is clear Valin knows his end is near. What Valin may not have known is that his very own Holy Avenger is to be part of the ritual. Amadeus holds the Avenarian blade gingerly as he chants unholy rites and curses, his magic coruscating around the blade as Karamaka’s blessings begin to take hold. As the ritual nears its end, Valin’s own blade is plunged into him, his blood soaking the shining silvery sword, turning the blade black as red energy now courses around the newly christened Unholy Reaver. With Valin’s death and the dusk ritual complete, Vetri-Kali’s return to Arre is assured. As if to punctuate this fact, another column of green energy shoots forth from the horn, announcing to all that the plague lord approaches.
The Forsaken spend their time as midnight approaches going over their plan to deal with the demon lord. In a surprisingly democratic process, Picket is chosen as the sole negotiator and voice of the Forsaken when addressing Vetri-Kali. As midnight tolls, a vast and alien presence is felt as black shadows begin to coalesce in the sanctum. With a deafening crash, the Silver Seal which had trapped Vetri-Kali all those many years ago shatters violently, sending metallic shards in all directions. The Forsaken are scratched and wounded, but remain strong and upright as Vetri-Kali partially materialises in the Horn. (as Dave for full description) He speaks as if intoning a ritual of his own, and asks if we have his three eyes. Picket offers him the Eye of Vigilance, and asks that in return Vetri-Kali vow not to harm us or our followers. He agrees, and takes the eye, inserting it into one of his empty sockets. Next, Picket offers the Eye of Hatred, and in return, asks for the Tears of Achlys. Vetri-Kali seems surprised by this, but pleased that we wish to help spread his greatest gift to the mortal realm. We assure him that it will be used to destroy many mortals, but at a time and place of our choosing. He agrees, and inserts the second eye into his skull. Finally, Picket offers the Eye of Withering, and in return, asks for 20 vials which, when used, grant full and total immunity to the Tears in perpetuity. Vetri-Kali considers, but impatiently agrees as he inserts his final eye.
With this, his power is felt more strongly in the Horn as his full might is now made manifest in his stronghold. At this point, he asks us for worthy sacrifices to slake his thirst for blood. However, The Forsaken have been a bit busy with the constant sieges, earthquakes, and attempts to infiltrate the Horn, and seem to be fresh out of sacrifices. Vetri-Kali is displeased by this, despite us telling him how many tasty Elves live just outside the Horn and are ripe for slaughtering. He begins opening portals into demonic realms where his minions can be seen milling and waiting to enter Arre. The Forsaken take this as their cue to leave, especially as Vetri-Kali reminds them that his hordes made no promise not to harm them. Taking one last look around the Horn, the Forsaken use their teleport ring and scroll to safely (we have a teleport master after all) everyone to the Underdark where we can gather our thoughts and plan what to do next. As we fade out, we see more portals opening as demons begin to spill into the Horn. All things considered, the negotiations with Vetri-Kali went as well as could be expected, and the Forsaken enjoy a moment of well-deserved victory.
Most of the Forsaken baptise themselves in the Immunity potion at this point (Pretor excepted). It turns out to be foul-smelling in the extreme, and covers us in a disgusting sludge. We also attempt to contact The Baron to offer him his agreed-upon immunity potions, but he is still unreachable. We then send to Gurmadden and he give us this month’s password to get into Mantol Derrith (thermaright). We enter the trade-city, assuring the guards that we intend to head straight-away to an inn to get cleaned up. We do so, and although the inn-keep charges us an exorbitant rate for baths and rooms, we are in a hurry and not in the mood to argue. After bathing and resting, we break Thorn’s seal, and Tiadora appears. She asks to inspect the Tears, and we grudgingly hand them over. She seems somewhat surprised that we got them, and says she will return after speaking with Thorn. Soon thereafter, she appears again, and hands us a letter and a bag of gems. She bids us read the letter to ascertain our next move, and says that Thorn is pleased with us. Reading the letter, we learn that we are to travel to Huntsfield, where we will meet an ally and gather ourselves for a month. Tiadora bids us not to tarry, as Thorn is on a tight-schedule. She then departs, her undead hips swaying sensually as she takes her leave.
In spite of her instruction for haste, the Forsaken decide to rest for a bit in the inn, identifying and divvying up the latest loot. They make plans to head to Hunstfield, using friendly cities along the way as teleport points. Tim and Grim will stay in Mantol Derrith until we have ascertained the lay of the land and can safely send for them. A major chapter comes to a close as the Forsaken triumph against their greatest challenge yet. But there is no rest for the wicked, and the Lake States shall soon suffer as the Tears of Achlys are unleashed upon them. Once more, they shall cower and quiver in fear as they learn that The Forsaken are among them...
The adventures of the party as recorded by the Chronicler
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