Finally, after many days beneath the ruins of Shadowfell Keep, the party had reached their goal.
Kalarel, Scion of Shar, had nearly completed the ritual when the group attacked. His underpriest, mesmerized into leaping into the well above, was trying desperately to warn his master that your arrival was imminent. But so engrossed was Kalarel in the summoning of Shadraxil, so close was he to his ultimate goal; that he didn’t react to your presence until you’d crawled down the chains and stood in the room itself. When Kalarel had finally accepted the fact that he was going to have to stop the ritual and destroy you before he could safely proceed, only then did he order his minions to attack.
Through the theurgy of his Spidersilk Mantle, Koji had empowered himself with the ability to crawl upon the walls, even the ceiling, with the ease and speed of a spider. When the battle begain, he leapt from the ceiling, and sprang upon the wounded underpriest. The priest was standing not only before Kalarel himself, but amongst many of his skeletal minions. The courageous monk knew he had once again risked much to leap in amongst an enemy that would surround him almost immediately, but he did so without hesitation. The underpriest was a dangerous foe, having nearly killed Zekknar in their earlier encounter (in the temple above). But the underpriest had suffered grave wounds in that exchange, not least of which was the fall to this very room when Zekknar’s Hypnotism spell compelled him to leap into the well above. Surely he must be near death? The Sun Soul monk floated down from the ceiling and delivered a crushing strike to the priests throat. Kalarel’s acolyte died at his feet, suffocating behind a ruptured windpipe, writhing in pain.
The rest of the party surged forward, fighting their way towards Kalarel and the surrounded monk.
Talon roared a battle cry to Torm, and charged into the fray. Kalarel’s skeletal minions were no match for the guardian knight, and soon the short stairway leading the priests altar were littered with bones. Climbing the last steps, taking up position beside Koji, the Hand of Justice confronted Shar’s Scion.
Meanwhile, Zekknar and Thunt were fighting their way through what remained of the skeletal army, taking fire from Kalarel’s lieutenant; a Deathlock Wight. The undead necromancer waded into the pool of blood in the center of the room, and from this gruesome position he unleashed bolt after necrotic bolt of grim theurgy.
Sensing the magic circle’s evil potency, and surmising that it was the lynchpin to the ritual’s success, Zekknar brought to bear his arcane might, dispelling a fraction of the circle’s power!
Encouraged by the eladrin wizard’s insight, Talon invoked the name of his god; Torm! And the Loyal Fury answered. With each battle cry to the god of law and righteousness, it seemed as though the potency of the circle diminished more and more.
But something just doesn’t feel right. Kalarel, even in the face of your might, seems unperturbed. His disdain is unnerving. Is he holding back? Has he shown you the extent of his power? Is this a trap? Is he waiting for his undead lieutenant to enter the fray? And what of the Thing in the Portal?