The group descends into the crevice, lighting their torches and preparing for danger. After about an hour of exploration, they come to a small, open area within the caves. The floor is littered with the bones of animals and humanoids. As Kratas leans down to investigate the strange, humanoid bones, they animate, leaping up to attack the group.
8 strange skeletons, each armed with a rusty longsword, attack the party. Unknown to the group, the gith are aware that the party is following them, and they left these skeletons here to guard their back. The masters of the gith used these ancient skeletons to delay any interlopers.
The fight wasn't terribly challenging, despite the fact that my dice were rolling very nicely (5 crits in the first combat for me. Fortunately for the party, the crit damage for these guys wasn't devastating). Soon, the party is wiping off bone dust and shards from their armor, and they continue on.
Afterward, they emerge into an immense cavern. Dim light from glowing crystals reveals a 200 foot ceiling. The center of the room has an enormous chasm, easily 400 feet deep and about 100 feet across. In the center, 2 stalactites rise up from the midst of the chasm, each large enough to stand on...if the party can get across.
The floor of this cavern is littered with bodies, most recently dead. As they investigate, a terrible creature rises from the bodies.
Some call them Oath Wights. When a dwarf dies without fulfilling his life focus, most believe that he is doomed to roam the world, bitter and angry at his failure. This creature was named Solaq, a slave captured by the gith, then killed as they destroyed the bridge that crossed this chasm. Now, he is a mindless abomination, an undead being that most people know as a Dwarven Banshee.
Oath Wights are nasty. Not only do they hit really hard, but they have the capability of dominating their enemies, turning them on their companions. The group swiftly surrounds the creature, and soon discover just how dangerous it is when he forces Tor Val to charge Katrie. Fortunately for her, Tor Val just wasn't rolling that well. Soon, Solaq falls, and as the party breathes a sigh of relief, it turns to horror when they notice him rise back up, at full health. The party quickly decides that the best way to get rid of this creature is to push him over the side of the chasm. Tor Val and Gundrek nail him with Disrupting Advance, forcing him to the side of the chasm. There, Katrie awaits with her Savage Rend. Solaq makes a few saving throws that prevent him from falling over the side, but inevitably, he falls as Katrie pushes him into the chasm.
Returning to the edge of the chasm, they can see the path they need to take descends into the distance on the other side. Tor Val throws a makeshift grappling hook across, and then helps the rest of the party swing over to the stalactite. Pa Mela and Gundrek slip, very nearly falling into the chasm, but with the help of Dryder and Katrie, they are pulled up, a little worse for the wear. Again, they are forced to swing across the deep chasm, this time to the opposite bank. Soon, they are all over, a little breathless, but otherwise ok.
For 2 days, they continue to descend. On the second day, they begin to hear distant drums, followed by faint chanting. Eventually, they find a large cavern, perfectly circular. The cavern decends down a path of carved stairs, and they can just make out that this is a city. The buildings are built on three descending tiers. They can barely see anything below, however, as a strange mist rolls through the streets and stairways. Below, at the bottom of the hemispherical bowl, they can just make out a green glow within the mist. The drumming and chanting is louder here, and the party realizes that there are hundreds of voices chanting, and they all sound like Gith.
As they move down the stairs, the fog gets thicker. They can see glints of electricity coursing through the fog, moving downward toward the center of the small city. Their metal weapons take on a strange, greenish glow the further they descend. A small breeze swirls the mist about them, until finally, they find themselves at the bottom of the city.
The central plaza is quite large. Spead around them are 200 some-odd gith, each of them chanting and singing in time to the incessant drum-beat coming from the center of the plaza. But the thing that catches their attention is the enormous archway in the center. Before it, four masked figures beat on large metal drums. The archway is made of metal, gleaming with a strange, green radiance. The carvings are horrific; as the party looks at it, their eyes can't seem to follow the strange, twisting structure. As they finish climbing down the stairs, the ritual reaches its climax. The drummers, with a magnificent crash, finish their percussion, and an eerie silence falls over the plaza.
This lasts but for a moment, though. As the party watches, a terrible burst of energy rips the air. A great gust of wind rushes past them toward the archway, swirling the mist from the city into a large vortex. The gith all begin to scream, heads thrown back in agony as, one by one, their life force is ripped from them, sucked into the swirling vortex. Finally, as they all fall dead, the 4 drummers before the archway stand up and remove their masks. These creatures look very similar to the gith, except that they stand taller, more noble, than the pitiful creatures they have just destroyed. Each watches the party, drawing weapons. Behind them, the air within the archway continues to swirl and churn, a green light illuminating the plaza as another form emerges from the gateway. He, too, looks similar to the gith, except this one has the obvious air of authority. He draws a two handed sword of gleaming silver and moves to attack the party.
These are Githyanki, and this group is considerably more powerful than the party. The leader, General Raskon, is an elite and his companions are Githanki Warriors and Githanki Blackweaves. One of the Blackweaves fires an eldritch bolt at Tor Val, nailing him and slowing him. Katrie rushes forward and locks down the second blackweave, and Gundrek charges one of the warriors. Kratas tries to tie up Raskon, but is unsuccessful. Pa Mela fires a Jinx Shot at Raskon, but misses. Her mystically charged arrow fires into the portal, and a low chime vibrates through the ground. The portal wavers, but stays open. Dryder tries to tie up the second warrior, hitting him hard. But the warrior retaliates by telekinetically paralyzing Dryder, who then uses his Void Soul armor (Genasi Soul Armor) to fade from the world for a round. The warrior then moves to attack Tor Val.
Tor Val, meanwhile, charges the blackweave, but soon finds himself facing the second warrior. Katrie continues to lock down the other blackweave, and Kratas, Gundrek and Pa Mela try to fight off Raskon and the other warrior. Dryder finally reappears next to the warrior who had attacked him earlier and uses Bat Aside to knock the warrior into the portal.
Suddenly, a shower of sparks erupts from the nightmarish gate. Everyone is thrown to the ground as the stone beneath their feet heaves and buckles. Brilliant green light pours out of the gate and a shrill rending sound fills the air. An instant later, everything goes dark.
This is a hell of a cliffhanger considering that it will be at least 2 weeks before we can play again. This last fight was deliberately difficult, but I was quite pleased with the results. Sadly for the party, the dice were not working well for them, and were working extremely well for me.
The day is now the 26th day of Wind, in the Season of Sun Ascending, in the Year
of Enemy's Vengeance, 190th King's Age.
Next Session: The City of Spires and An Unexpected Friend