After trying, yet failing, to help people suffering from various issues with polymorphism, Aegon and his Troupe return to Gavin’s quest. Lathander has asked that he hunt for the murderer, Bassilius, and bring him to justice.
14 Kythorn 1368
After camping near High Hedge, we pack our things and get ready to move. We are barely on our way when we encounter more skeletons.
I am hit by their dagger as we close in on them.
They put up a decent fight against Dorn and Braegar, but they are easily destroyed by the dwarf and the half-orc.
I was moving my characters very carefully during this fight. I really didn’t want to anger those bears…
It is daytime by the time we return to the Red Canyons. I prepare my Mage Armor.
We explore for a while when we are approached by an obviously frightened man.
Dorn: Calm down. What is this madness of which you speak?
Kissiq: I have been a rural merchant all my life and am thereby no stranger to poultry of any shade or color… But there be a fiendish hen to the east that, when I picked her up, spoke to me in a voice most human. Either I am in the chill grips of the deepest fever or that chicken be possessed by a spirit from the very depths of the ninth and final hell!
He leaves us quickly, and Dorn starts laughing. I would see the funny side myself, if it weren’t for Melicamp’s fate.
A nearby sign warns us there are wolves in the area.
The sign proves to be a prophecy, as we come across a dread wolf further south.
Dorn distracts it as Braegar decapitates it.
Braegar wipes the blood from his blade and we continue searching the area. We come across a curious halfling.
Dorn: Yes, we’re adventurers, why should you care?
Trungle: That’s good then! You see, I am an adventurer of sorts, of course, I’m not very fond of battle. I like to pilfer objects from ruins and monstrous lairs, and try my best to avoid getting hurt. Anyway, I have a few items that might interest you. Would you perhaps be interested?
Dorn: Well, lets have a look at what ye have!
Trungle: Surely, just let me know if you see anything that you like!
He sells a few weapons, potions, and a magical ring. We don’t need any supplies right now, so we bid him farewell.
A storm starts brewing as we continue our search. Thunder rolls across the skies. Through the rain a young boy approaches us.
Dorn: I’ve never heard of a funny spook before… Why are they so funny?
Footy: Bassilus keeps on tellin’ these stories about how happy he was as a kid, but all of the spooks just kinda moan and mumble and stuff, like they’re not really listening. That’s what my brother Johnny used to do before he disappeared, mumble like that when he weren’t really listening… You stay here. I’m gonna go tell my friend Netty ’bout this place. She’ll think it’s really funny, what with her daddy gone and all.
The boy is uncautious, but he has let us know we are close to our prey. Dorn seems to be enjoying the hunt.
We move slowly toward a stone circle and find a man surrounded by the undead.
Gavin: This could only be the madman Bassilus.
Bassilus: Oh, don’t hesitate on my account! Some of the others may not have heard them.
Finch: This is definitely one of the creepier things I have documented!
Bassilus: Hold your peace then, though I remember a time back at Zentil Keep when you would sooner die than be quiet. You… would sooner… um… I’ll wait till you feel like telling them yourself, I don’t remember the old days so well.
Braegar: What horror is this, Aegon? He made himself a family of undead?
Bassilus: Weeell, brother. We are waiting!
Gavin: I fear High Morningmaster Ormlyr was right. He is clearly insance. But maybe he can be saved.
Aegon: You there, what is the meaning of this…?
Bassilus: Who dares interrupt while I speak with my family? I’ll have your heads if you’re here to harm the… no! It can’t be! Is that you father? It cannot be otherwise, you haven’t changed a bit in all these years!
Aegon: Uhm, yes, son, it certainly has been a long time. How are you doing, my boy?
Bassilus: About as well as can be expected I guess. It has been difficult but I’ve got most of the family back together. Some did not seem to recognize me at first, but I helped them recall.
Gavin: May his god have mercy upon him, he is mad.
Aegon: No matter. I’ve not seen you since, um, Zhentil Keep. Thank the gods we all got out safely.
Bassilus: Yes, though it was frightening for a time because I thought I was the only one of us that survived. I thought I was the only one who… the only one. You lie. YOU LIE! You cannot be my father because he died when I left the… when I…
Aegon: It’s not I who lies, but you to yourself! You rob others of THEIR loved ones to replace those you betrayed long ago!
Bassilus: No! They lived, all of them! I saved them and they live! I… I ran. Dead… all dead. It isn’t true! It cannot be… You lie! You will die for slighting my memory!
Gavin: I suppose this could have ended no other way.
Bassilus: Yes! Now hold still!
He raises a war hammer and shield. We get to doing what we do best.
Gavin Commands Bassilus to fall unconscious. Around him his undead “family” collapses into mounds of bone and rotting flesh.
Finch Blesses us as Dorn and Braegar approach a sleeping Bassilus.
Bassilus wakes up and starts to defend himself, but Gavin Dooms him.
Bassilus is almost dead, but he manages to Heal himself with his ungodly powers.
He calls on Cyric and a Physical Mirror of his form appears.
I destroy it with a Chromatic Orb.
Bassilus attempts to keep casting, but Braegar distracts him with a blow from his Ghoul Slayer.
I hit him with a Magic Missile.
Bassilus summons a Glyph of Warding which kills Braegar and nearly kills Dorn. Finch and Gavin rush in to heal Dorn.
I hit him with another Chromatic Orb as Dorn continues to cut into him, but the necromancer summons a Sanctuary and disappears.
We hear him heal himself, and charge back into the fight. Bassilus manages to Hold Dorn.
I attempt to charm Bassilus with my Ring of Human Influence, but he resists.
Emily summons some weasels to try and distract him. He counters with a spell to make my magic unpredictable.
I Curse Bassilus. He Holds Emily.
I summon some gibberlings and the Weave is kind to me, bringing a small army of them forth.
The Weave chose to give Bassilus his own gibberlings, so the small creatures tear into each other. I put as many of Bassilus’ gibberlings as I can to Sleep.
I try a Chromatic Orb and the Weave prevents it.
Bassilus’ curses have made my connection to the Weave unstable. I keep pushing, and manage to hit him with another Magic Missile.
Bassilus summons a Spiritual Hammer and hurls it at me.
Finch and I retreat to heal, leaving Bassilus to deal with the gibberlings.
I summon my own Spiritual Hammer.
Dorn is badly hurt, but Bassilus’ Hold wears off and he is able to fight back.
Bassilus knocks Dorn unconscious and turns his attacks toward me.
I am badly hurt, but Dorn gives me an opportunity to flee.
Gavin takes a heavy blow from Bassilus’ hammer, but Dorn manages to tear him apart.
The remaining gibberling is easily taken care of.
I was expecting this fight to be tougher than usual since I have Sword Coast Strategems installed, but I was not expecting Glyphs of Warding in people’s faces, hold spells, and wild surges. I was almost lulled into a false sense of security until he cast his first healing spell, and I realised this wasn’t going to be so easy.
What was that? I have seen death many times since I left the Keep. I thought I was getting used to it. But that was… That was something else. I thought it harsh that Gavin had been tasked to kill him, but I understand now. Whatever this was, “murderer” was an understatement.
We go to healing ourselves, while Dorn collects Braegar’s corpse. We should be able to raise him at the temple. Emily has learned a lot from this fight.
She gets improved saves, THAC0 and 10 extra hit points.
Dorn collects the holy symbol from the corpse of Bassilus.
He was wearing a normal suit of chain mail and carrying a shield, but his war hammer is enchanted in a way we can’t identify. Tucked in his belt we find an enchanted sling. Finch replaces her plain sling with it.
We fill the Bag of Holding with the weapons that were carried by the undead. We need to get back to the temple now so we can rest.
15 Kythorn 1368
Thankfully, our journey to the temple is uneventful. Kelddath is happy to see that we have Bassilus’ holy symbol. He gives us 5000 gold as a reward. I haven’t seen this much gold since I left the Keep!
We spend 200 of that raising Braegar. He is grumpy as usual when he comes around, and insists on returning to the Thunderhammer Smithy despite his wounds.
Without Braegar we need to fill out our ranks again, so we go to the Burning Wizard to find a white rose.
Aegon: Pretty much. Why do you ask?
Rose: Seems like an exciting life, ya know. Places to see, things to discover, songs to learn. I’d like that.
Aegon: Aren’t you an adventurer yourself? You were about to travel when I met you, right?
Rose: Well, not really. I was travelling from town to town, and I had to leave Beregost for a while. I’m quite the traveller, but I had no adventures so far.
Aegon: I don’t mind why you’re on the road, but as long as you pull your weight you’re welcome.
Rose: Sounds fine to me. I’ll do my part and have my share!
Rose: Even if I’d prefer to only have my share.
Oh, don’t worry, I’ll help!
Since we are in town, we pay a visit to Braegar and Taerom at the smithy to check our equipment.
Rose: Could you forge something for me?
Braegar: Pah. Good dwarven crafting takes months, if not years! Most importantly, it takes better materials than you can get in this dump.
But… I guess, I could look at your weapons and reinforce them a little, so they won’t crumble away in your hands.
What shall it be?
We don’t have anything we need to reinforce. We talk to Taerom, and he is able to help us identify Bassilus’ war hammer. It is a Hammer of Corrosion. It’s not the kindest of weapons, but it should be useful in combat so I hang it from my belt.
We are a warrior down, so we get Dorn a new suit of armour. He hands his plate mail down to Finch.
We also get him a Helm of Charm Protection to help protect him from enchanters.
Rose has the idea to ask Taerom more about the helmet.
Rose: Would you mind looking at this helm for me? It grants me immunity from magics of influence but I was hoping you could enhance the protection it gives.
Taerom Fuiruim: Ah, yes, a Helm of Charm Protection, is it? Of quality smithing, too. You say you are looking to have it provide you more protection? That is possible, but I would need several more items to do so. A Ring of Princes, an opal, and, 5,000 gold pieces to shoulder the costs. What do you say?
Rose: Sounds like a worthwhile offer, but I must reconsider, for now.
We decide to stay at the Jovial Juggler before we return to the road. During the night, Dorn asks to talk.
Aegon: Aye, what is it?
Dorn: Regarding my mission, I have a lead on one of my former companions, the necromancer Kryll. She was seen east of the Nashkel Mines, but I know nothing more specific. I found a woman who knew where I could find Kryll, but she did not respond well to my interrogation.
Aegon: Where is she now?
Dorn: Taris, as she is called, is somewhere in Nashkel. She was searching for her husband, or something like that. I do not commit such trivialities to memory.
Aegon: I’ll keep her in mind.
In the morning we discuss our next move. Gavin wants to return to the stone circle to see if there is anything left behind by Bassilus. We were in bad shape, so we never searched the area properly – there could still be undead “family members” wandering the area.
Dorn agrees to go there first, and then we will return to Nashkel once more.
16 Kythorn 1368
We reach the Red Canyons and prepare for any fights that may come our way.
It isn’t long before we encounter another dread wolf.
It hurts Dorn, but Emily plants a crossbow bolt in its skull.
While we are distracted by the wolf, we get ambushed by a group of hobgoblins.
Aegon: Time to die, you ugly knobgoblins.
Zargal: You very stupid for city folk. You die screaming. ZARGAL STRONGEST ONE THERE IS!
Finch Commands one of the bandits to sleep, before preparing a Bless.
Gavin Dooms Zargal.
Dorn drinks a Potion of Regeneration and charges the hobgoblins.
I Hold Zargal, but the remaining hobgoblin resists Rose’s Charm.
Gavin summons some Magical Stones and Emily sends some weasels out to distract the hobgoblins.
Dorn cuts one of the bandits down.
He tears the other hobgoblin apart.
Then we pummel the strongest one there is to death.
Gavin has learned a lesson or two from this fight.
He gets increased saves and hit points.
Zargal has some coins, gems and healing potions on him. He also carries a magical short sword. Perhaps that’s why he though himself the strongest there is? We’ll have to identify it later to find out.
His friends carried bows and some coins, but nothing of real interest. We move on, as Emily’s weasels return to nature.
We come across another hobgoblin bandit, that Dorn quickly butchers.
Maybe he got separated from Zorgal. He certainly wasn’t as strong. He isn’t the only bandit remaining. We find another, who sinks a poisonous arrow into Gavin.
Luckily he has an Antidote that he takes while Dorn deals with the bandit.
We heal up and keep exploring. Eventually we find what we feared, a man being harassed by skeletons.
As we engage the skeletons, the man feels it necessary to tell us how important he is.
He must take his messenger job seriously. We deal with the skeletons, covering the messenger’s retreat.
We search the area a little longer but don’t find anything else. Gavin is satisfied that the area is clear of undead, so we agree to move on. We plan our route to Nashkel, to find Taris and yet another necromancer to kill.