After rescuing Archmage Elenia Fyzkik from the predations of her own magical ambitions, the party received a number of small gifts from her, and a request to clear out the Shadow Demon left behind by the necromancer who invaded her home. She explained that her experience in the crystal had drained most of her magic, keeping her alive, but forcing her to slowly draw magic back from her standing enchantments. As she mentioned this, the lights flickered slightly, and the group watched her withdraw magic from a pair of her animated suits of armor, noticeably regaining color in her face and the appearance of health. While she would not be able to assist them in the coming fight, she did mention a number of weakness and abilities Shadow Demons oft possessed; they hated daylight, and could pass through solid objects, including people.
Thus warned, the group readied their spells and shouldered their weapons Heading over to the magically darkened space they had bypassed earlier, they prepared themselves for combat. Xarrai the Blaze pulled out the Driftglobe, and with the command words “Aziz, Daylight!” the glass sphere become a hovering sun next to him, dispersing the darkness revealing not one, but two, Shadow Demons, shrieking in pain from the sudden light and cowering inside the rings of the summoning circle set into the floor.
Faelar the Windwalker enhanced the Driftglobe with a Major Image, causing a dozen Driftglobes to appear around the demons, hiding the true source of sunlight and causing them further distress. Seer’ke’shin cast haste on the paladin, and thus enhanced, Vahn rushed forward and smote one of the fiends with divine energy, causing it massive damage, while Asade called upon her druidic magic to rain down moonlight, transforming one of the illusory Driftglobes into a miniature moon.
Assaulted by this barrage of attacks, the first Shadow Demon was soon defeated, throwing a last defiant comment back at the party as it faded from the material plane. “It does not matter! You simply return us to the Mistress and we will tell her of all we have seen!”
The second Shadow Demon seemed to care slightly more about being “sent back” and chose to flee, flying away from the druid’s moonbeams, through the illusory Driftglobes and into a nearby wall. The party, cursing, gave chase. Vahn’s enhanced speed allowing him to pound through the hallways with dazzling swiftness toward the exit while the rest of the party followed. The Driftglobe, alas, could not keep up, and as it tried to follow Xarrai the Blaze in a straight line, it bumped into a wall and sleepily fell to the ground, deactivating. Faelar chose to remain in the room, in case of the demon’s return.
Eventually the party caught up to it near the exit, where Vahn and a pair of constructs blocked its escape, and the adventurer’s tore it apart. It, too, disappeared with a parting comment. “We will return for you…”
Mildly discomfited, but victorious, the group returned to the bar. Xarrai, rushing ahead, had shots prepared for the party, which he set alight with a touch, and that a begrudging Fwar greatly enjoyed. As they continued to mix drinks the mephit became much friendlier, and he rang a bell via a nearby cord to call his mistress back to the main floor of the tower.
Explaining that the demons had been destroyed, they also mentioned the mysterious “Mistress” to Elenia. Elenia ran to the summoning circle and began to investigate, searching for the demons’ true names used in the summoning. With Keshin’s assistance, they eventually found two names; V’lash and Tehbinaar. Looking worried, Elenia conveyed that these two demons were known informants for a more powerful demon, a yochlol, a “handmaiden of Lolth” associated with the Drow. If the Drow and the Empire were seeking an alliance…she feared for the future. Elenia even offered to release Vahn from his vow, thinking it too dangerous, which, of course, he refused.
The party continued to drink and eat stir-fry cooked by the now gloriously tipsy steam mephit, and discussed their next course of action. Vahn took the strange item gifted to him by the Archmage and walked to a corner to focus on it for its eventual use. Keshin, fascinated, stayed nearby to watch.
As Vahn considered the item, he was granted visions of a powerful storm, of lightning within the clouds and the inexorable rolling of thunder. Considering a number of his weapons, items, and armor, the blueprints for how to apply the item unfolded in his mind, and he realized that what Elenia said was true; whatever he chose to place this on…the power of the storm would be released. He chose his hammer. Setting the ever-whirling cube of gears onto the haft of his hammer, just below the head, the group watch it unfold into a sort of mechanical arm. A number of gears at the end of this arm began to spin madly and with the sound of shrieking metal cut into the head of the hammer, hollowing it out inside and cutting a decorative pattern on the surface. Once finished, the arm pulled itself inside and began to reform into the cube, which then began to spin. Faster and faster, blue sparks began to fly within the head of the hammer and a noticeable hum and vibration emanated from it continuously. Vahn felt the power thrumming through it, and knew that his hammer had been greatly enhanced.
Setting it aside and taking a seat at the bar, the party talked freely as the alcohol flowed. Waiting for the pause in the conversation, Asade eventually asked to see Vahn’s new weapon. Handing it over, Vahn sobered himself up with a healing touch. Asade asked him what he saw. “The power of the storm.” She asked if he considered this power a good thing, to which he replied that it was, of course if it helped him destroy him enemies. Asade cautioned him that it was easy to become lost within the power of the storm, and that to stay true to his course he should also remember where he came from. Using her druidic magic, she raised an image of the mountainrange of his home on the wooden haft of the hammer, forming a grip shaped like Oathshome peak. Taking back his hammer, Vahn quietly considered the implications of his new tool, and noticed that the storm within it felt…more focused. Not calmer, but less resistant to his direction and he moved the weapon about.
During this time, Elenia asked to speak with both Faelar and Ke’shin privately. Faelar was gone for quite some time, returning briefly to retrieve his notes. During his brief return, Vahn gave him a knowing wink and a grin. During Ke’shin absence, a loud crash was heard, but the group felt it best to leave wizards’ business to wizards, and continued to drink and socialize.
After Ke’shin’s return, Faelar unscrewed the bottom of his parchment case and presented the group with an enameled pin, a circle containing the visage of a broken road. He explained that he was part of a secret society known as the Wishful Wanderers, who work as vigilantes against injustice. He related that one of his personal goals was to find the Elves, and upon hearing this, Ke’shin brought forth pictures of the creatures he saw during his time in the Char. As he expounded on the dangers and transient nature of the Char, Asade noticed drawings in his notes that matched the pictures in her book of lizards, and posited that she might find such creatures near these weird, feral elves in the Char.
Ke’shin brought up his former order, The Way, wondering if they’d become the Wishful Wanderers, but the name was unfamiliar to the rest of the party. However, this prompted Xarrai who did recognize the name, to explain that the Empire had eradicated the group and that it was touted as one of the great victories of the Empire over ‘terrorists.’ He also revealed that his father and grandfather had had a hand in it and distinguished themselves, as soldiers of the Imperium. He explained that while he had cut ties with his family and had a deep hatred of the Empire, his father WAS the Head Inquisitor at Fort Parnak, and that his family maintained a position of importance within Imperial Society.
After assuring Xarrai that he had their trust and respect, the companions reviewed their assorted goals, and the ways they might achieve them. Asade wished to return to her home Grove and determine why the Guldin Falls area had been without a druid for so long. Both Ke’shin and Vahn had an interest both in pursuing this weapon of Hoar, and Vahn additionally had sworn to track down Prulekai and take vengeance upon him. They noted that finding the merchant caravan that had traveled north might be a good first step. Faelar wished to find the Elves, and in the process Asade might find these giant lizards she was looking for; both Ke’shin and Xarrai, too, had an interest in exploring the Char. Fwar the steam mephit also revealed that he’d managed to take a scrap of the necromancer’s clothing, and Ke’shin thought that there might be a mage in the Arcanum who could use it to scry Prulekai’s location.
The group decided to regroup in Guldin Falls and then travel North, visiting the trading spots on the route to Valderin’s Gate to search for the merchant caravan, Asade’s Grove of Howling Shadows, and then, eventually to Valderin’s Gate. From there, they’d use the information gained to plan their next move.