Thursday, February 7, 2013

EPISODE 74: Queen of Lies, Part VI: Alvolenz’s Disaster! The Destruction of Ul-Drakkan

Augustar 5, YE 754

Outside the fortress, the few remaining human mercs and the liberated ragtag slave ‘army’, led by Jaren Thor, battle disorganized clusters of Vrama’s drow and bugbear troops.

The elves, led by Zaetra Stallinash, are being chased around the fungus fields by the chaositech hydra. They provide little help to the battle, other than keeping the hydra occupied. The hydra sometimes manages to grab an elf, chew him up, and spit him out as nothing more than a bloody mess. How long can they last?

Within the central tower of Ul-Drakkan itself, the Rosegate Company presses towards its goal: a showdown with the drow leader -- High Priestess of Gorgoth-lol, Alvolenz Vrama.


It appears that Savinian has died, killed by the chaos monster. Dziga attempts to disengage a series of traps and locks on one of the doors in the hallway where they were attacked by the chaos monster. Vatex and Emeris keep watch by the doorway. Dziga has trouble with these complex contraptions.

Two squads of drow males rush up the stairs, led by two elite males and a gadgeteer decked out in elaborate power armor with a nasty looking chainsaw-like gadget as a weapon. “Protect the High Priestess!!!” they yell as they pile into the corridor.

Dziga drops one of them with an arrow as they advance. Emeris quickly absorbs the soul of another. Vatex effortlessly hacks through the others, leaving the lieutentants and the gadgeteer splattered with gore.

Dziga tumbles through the crowd and flips over the gadgeteer, who awkwardly shifts trying to face him. Dziga hits repeatedly, going through the weak points in the impressive power armor. The gadgeteer swings the chainsaw but Dziga easily dodges. Another pair of deadly strikes puts down that foe. The rogue and the elf then slay the two lieutenants swiftly.

Dziga then opens the door, and they discover a treasure vault containing several huge adamantine chests. These chests contain the bulk of the fortresses’ wealth in coins, as well as various magic items. One chest also contains an artifact they are seeking from the Calethon Temple -- the Arrows of Righteousness!

With this, the trio continues onward. Next, they face Alvolenz’s elite assassins. All six of them are endowed with greater invisibility as a blessing from their goddess, and wield arcane magic as well as dual thinblades.

All three can sense the distortion in the air that suggests invisible creatures in the room. Vatex activates the See Invisibility function on his chaositech visor. He points out their position for the others -- Dziga uses a dispel scroll, revealing two; Emeris casts Shadows Fade on the others, revealing two more. Using wraithstrike, invisibility, displacement, and vampiric strikes, the assassins are tricky are are grindy opponents. Ultimately the elite drow outmatched. They quickly heal up, and head up to Alvolenz’s chamber.


It is like a massive penthouse suite that takes up the entire top floor of the central tower. There is a massive glass table covered in crystal accessories. It is held up by a lumpy gray humanoid shaped thing, that is actually a clay golem.

The High Priestess welcomes them, believing they represent nothing more than a test of her faith to Gorgoth-lol. She is confident in her power. Having heard the battle below, she empowered herself with no fewer than a dozen defensive spells. Her power-up suite includes haste, energy protection, divine power, shield of faith, stoneskin, and more!

Alvolenz is not alone. With her are her two most trusted protectors: Myr the Venomhearted and Zarafay Darkur. These two female drow, wearing no armor and carrying no weapons, have fiendish features, like horns, yellow-eyes, and scaly patches on their skin. These two who share special connections to the power of the Abyssal realms. They are rare mortals who serve as conduits to the Lower Planes.

Dziga disappears into shadow and begins rushing towards Zarafay. Arcane power flares around Myr and intense heat flashes around the group, boiling their blood, but they resist having their brains baked. Zarafay hits Vatex with a fleshshiver spell, but the elf resists and begins to rush at Myr. Emeris draws upon shadow power and attempts to dismantle Alvolenz’s power-up suite. Nearly half of her spells are deactivated -- a huge benefit in this battle!

In response, Alvolenz reactivates one of those defensive spells... and ALSO casts a chain lightning spell at the shade and the moon elf! Electricity jolts them. This reveals Alvolenz’s greatest power: she is somehow able to cast both a divine spell and an arcane spell at the same time!

Dziga continues moving through shadows. Vatex gets hit by a bolt of black negative energy blasted from Myr’s hands. Nearly a third of his lifeforce is destroyed! Zarafay, unable to see Dziga, continues advancing, scanning the room, trying to spot the rogue before he gets sneak attacked to death. Unable to spot him, he instead conjures up a swirling mass of black tentacles underneath Vatex, which grapple the weakened elf.

Emeris teleports towards the center of the room, getting close to launch another shadow mystery at Alvolenz. He positions himself by the big glass table -- the clay golem suddenly stands up, tossing the glass table aside with with a crash of crystal dinnerware. Emeris braces for the attack, but instead the clay golem rips open its own chest, unleashing a swarm of fiendish spiders called an arachnemass! The swarm surrounds Emeris, delivering thousands of burning bites. Mustering his concentration, he ignores the swarm and conjures a curtain of shadow to trap Alvolenz.

Alvolenz is no stranger to shadow magic, and correctly identifies this mystery. She uses divine magic to establish elemental resistance to cold, and simply walks through it with no damage. She then casts a wicked bolt of orange and black energy at Emeris -- a baleful polymorph spell that will deal with this troublesome shadowcaster. Emeris’ spell resistance blocks the attack. Alvolenz stares in disbelief! How can these foes be so powerful? Has the fickle, devious Gorgoth-lol abandoned her? No... it can’t be! she thinks. She has come too far to be stopped now! She will prevail!

Vatex, despite being weakened by negative energy, fights his way clear of the black tentacles. Myr and Zarafay continue blasting him with dark magic. Zarafay walks right by the hidden Dziga, who bursts from shadows behind the fiendish drow. With his shadow companion flanking, he uses Gozu Vrow and Asura stab for vital points. Zarafay howls and blood spills.

Vatex explodes into action when he gets into melee with Myr. The Sword of Aqaa screams to shed chaotic blood. Myr would have died then, but Vatex’s ability to fight was badly affected by the enervation bolt. Dark power swirls around Myr’s fist, and she attempts to kill him with a slay living spell. Miraculously, Vatex’s displacement cloak shifts him at the perfect moment.

Myr is forced to backpedal as the elf’s twin swords strike again and again. She uses her dark gaze power and it is resisted. She splashes him with demonic arcane acid which burns flesh holes in his face but still he presses forward. She opens her mouth and black gas spills out, sapping his lifeforce further. He is reduced to merely half his normal level of strength. If not for his heroism potion consumed earlier, he’d be even worse. But that will not stop him!

Emeris retreats from the arachnemass, conjuring a line of blackfire behind him. The mindless swarm surges through the freezing flames, and it sheds millions of dead tiny fiend-spiders. Still it comes at him.

Alvolenz attacks the group with divine fire and arcane lightning. Dziga and his shadow alternately strike Zarafay, and the fiendish drow knows her time is short. She makes a desperate gamble, attempting a death spell against Dziga... but he resists and steps inside the drow’s defenses. Gozu Vrow plunges into her chest and she dies.

Vatex unleashes the fucking fury of a pissed off elf! Blood sprays as his blades strike home again and again. Myr goes down. He hits her a few more times for good measure.

Emeris bolsters his power with shadow magic, and hits the arachnemass with a shadow laser to destroy it.

Now there is only Alvolenz. Despite her fear that her time is up, she is defiant to the end!

The three companions close in on her from all sides. She hurls fireballs and lightning bolts at Dziga but the rogue simply dodges them entirely. She blasts a cone of cold energy at Vatex but he simply accepts the hit and closes in. She tries to slow their advance with magic but they resist.

Emeris hits her with an umbral blast, slowing her. She cannot flee. She can only fight now.

Dziga gets into melee first. Asura stabs into Alvolenz’s abdomen, and the vicious dagger in turn makes Dziga suffer for his attack. She retaliates with a Harm spell and Dziga nearly goes down. She skillfully pulls off her second spell -- nothing more than a magic missile. Even so, it is -- embarrassingly enough -- sufficient to drop Dziga into unconsciousness.

Emeris and Vatex assault the High Priestess. The Shadowgeist Reaver strikes and drains her diminishing lifeforce. A final blow is struck by Vatex with the Sword of Aqaa that decapitates her dramatically. VICTORY!!!


They force feed Dziga a potion and he gets up.

Searching the massive chamber, the Rosegate Company discovers a tortured elf slave named Kisandir. They also discover a mini-portal that goes to a creepy demiplanar abode.

Within this abode is a zaug, a lesser Galchutt entity. Dziga cannot even look at the hideous thing without puking all over the place. It asks Dziga what is his name. When he refuses to answer, it becomes threatening so he complies, trying to avoid a confrontation. He says his name. It says, “No -- what is your OTHER name?”

Screw these mind games! they think. “Don’t know what you’re talking about, dude,” Dziga tells it.

The zaug replies, “So then... you will die!!!”

They are forced to battle against it. Vatex collapses, puking everywhere when he sees the thing. Its horrid appearance is too unbearable. Only Emeris’ great willpower allows him to look upon it without absolute horror.

The zaug fights with chaos magic and acidic bile that spews from its open guts. It gets its strength totally raped by shadow and Shadowgeist Reaver. Level drain causes it to succumb to the daze effect of the Reaver. As it is stunlocked, Dziga’s resists further fits of heaving, and despite being deeply shaken by its horrific appearance, he rushes up and stabs it to death.


Emeris takes the corpse of Alvolenz and tosses it out the window. When spreads quickly among the Vrama drow that their leader is dead. Everyone either begins fleeing into the Underdark, some taking a chance to loot stuff before they do. The human mercs and the slave army get free hacks on fleeing drow and bugbears.

The Rosegate Company regroups with their forces and destroys the chaositech hydra.

They then proceed to systematically start clearing out the rest of the fortress. The only ones who remain are the priestesses in the Gorgoth-lol Temple. They submit to be executed. They say the Spider Queen has spoken to them, and their purpose has been fulfilled, and She is pleased. So they are happy to die. Their words are somewhat haunting however... how could the Spider Queen be PLEASED with this mess? Oh well.

Theron Thelonia is found alive in the temple, which means all the prisoners from the surface have been recovered. They also find the Challice of Reeds and the SIlver Circlet, meaning they have successfully recovered the Temple of Calethon’s artifacts.

In a hidden chaositech labratory, the companions recover Shilukar’s prized item -- the Godspike. They also find 40 chaos storage cubes, which are used to create and recharge chaositech items. They keep five of these to sell or keep for later, and use the remaining 35 to set up what are basically demolition charges in the base of Ul-Drakkan’s central tower. After thoroughly greyhawking the fortress, the surface forces leave. When the chaos storage cubes are detonated, it causes the central tower to collapse -- which in turn causes a chain reaction that causes the entire cavern to collapse. Ul-Drakkan is utterly destroyed.

The Rosegate Company has so greatly fucked up House Vrama that it can never again be made whole...

...and yet they leave several powerful enemies in their wake, who will vow revenge. This includes: the twin drow doctors, Trivon and Thalestris Llaron; the drow vampire Zachaen and his elite squad; Varchi Vrama, head of Vrama’s gadgeteer division; and, worst of all, Vrama’s greatest warrior, Tzzird Nedru’od. Surely they will seek revenge!

But for now they don’t have to worry about that. Instead, they can haul their massive amount of loot back to town and consider what to do next.