Shadows over Aethon

The 'Wrath' of Malareth (Chapter 3)

I am told that between my minor head injury (caused by a fall into the pit mentioned earlier), the need to prepare my most powerful spell (for the upcoming assault on this lair’s master), and my overall need to avoid pressing on with the company in the short term, our group of adventurers found themselves caught as the unwitting pieces in an unusual game of chess, among other things.

Instead, I will proceed to continue this story where I had rejoined the group. Our party decided to investigate rummaging sounds from yet another room whereupon we found yet more goblins, these two helping themselves to the contents of various crates lining the walls. They were none too pleased to welcome us, and another melee ensued. They were quickly joined by a third goblin, but proved to be outmatched in the end. Unfortunately, the odds were evened for them with the arrival of a monstrous bugbear companion. Wielding a terrible greataxe, he managed to badly injure me and hurt my companions until at last we were joined by Aurelia who, fresh into the fight, was successful in routing the bugbear away from the room. He was finally killed by yet another new companion, the infiltrator of this lair’s cult, a fellow we came to know as Reiks Hammerhand. After destroying his skeletal ‘companions’ we gathered from Reiks what knowledge we could about this place’s dread master, the villain known as Malareth, and prepared to engage him in a final battle.

Malareth had nothing but contempt for our band, and sent his three skeleton guardians and a horrifying hulking zombie to deal with us. We had planned a trap involving a brazier and flaming oil courtesy of Sav, but this plan met with mixed success. Tor and the paladin Utumno lead the fight and were injured the heaviest, but managed to recover as we pressed on to put Malareth’s servants down once and for all. The large zombie proved much more difficult as I had to recollect how to destroy these resilient re-animations permanently. As we began to turn the tables, Malareth was suddenly no longer amused and decided to give us his worst. However, in my many years, I do not think we had been so fortunate to have so many things go so wrong for an adversary. His mightiest foulcraft did little more than cause minor irritation. Worse still for him, I launched my most potent attack, the Dragonfang Bolt, which caused a spectacular amount of damage and left him badly injured. He was then killed by my companions, leaving Tor without a foe to interrogate. We searched the room thoroughly; I recovered Malareth’s staff, while others took various items for themselves.

All in all, we were fortunate this day…although I very much hope our company realizes that it will not always be as easy down the line.

-Lorne

Lorne Hightower (Tom Lapcharoen)

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