Mooncrash

Episode 47 - Back to Belltower
A Journey Concluded, An Old Friend Imperiled

Game Date: Autumn 89 – 94, 338 F.I.
Starting Point: Gullsport
Player Characters Present: Althoren Zencaré, Chogaruk, Lord Vaca L’oy Dakursa, Zanna

Departing Gullion’s capital with a gnomish cook in tow, The Distressed Damsel makes its final approach to Belltower and The Nameless Company is treated to the long-awaited sight of the town they departed nearly three months prior.

First things first once they touch down on the shores, the adventurers rush to reunite with Professor Kajetan and render their official report to their elderly patron. No sooner have they regaled him of their adventures on Palune, however, than the geriatric professor, some overcome with shock, suffers a cardiac arrest and collapses.

As Kajetan is transferred to the capable hands of the Collegium’s healers, The Nameless Company concludes their business with their loyal Three Seas Shipping vessel, says their farewell to many of its passengers and crewmen and enjoys a wild carousal with their halfling friends at The Hare’s Hair, a local tavern in Belltower’s Dockside District. The following morning, they’re summoned back to the Collegium with dire news; Kajetan’s not recovering.

Tasked with locating all the necessary herbs and ingredients to rescue their beloved dwarven patron, the heroes scour the town and surrounding countryside, searching high and low for willowsash, vipersbreath and bitterbark, only to learn that the only known sample of the latter is currently held by Gnish Humanfriend, commonly believed to be Koboldia née Gorzibadd’s new overlord. Hastening across the Ironshod Hills on phantom steeds, The Nameless Company rushes to confront the kobold and recover the vital herbs to save Kajetan.

On the way, the party is assaulted by a trio of powerful beasts, quickly ascertained to be lycanthropic shifters, certainly in the service of Vix, Vaca’s hated rival, and makes quick work of several, only to discover them to be mere children. Managing to spare the final shifter’s life, they discover that Vix has been poisoning the minds of the Silverback Coven against Vaca and poisoning their bodies with her foul lycanthropy. Stashing the poor shifter girl in a familiar hiding spot high on a cliff, The Nameless Company rushes onward to Koboldia and their pressing errand.

They gallop down the hill on their phantom steeds and prepare to assail the town’s main gates, once so impregnable to their amateur adventuring selves.

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Episode 46 - The Queen's Table
A Feast Enjoyed, A Murder Averted

Game Date: Autumn 75 – 88, 338 F.I.
Starting Point: Greenapple
Player Characters Present: Althoren Zencaré, Chogaruk, Lord Vaca L’oy Dakursa, Zanna

Sailing thirteen days southward from Greenapple, The Distressed Damsel rounds the either appropriately or inappropriately named peninsula of Edocco’s Cock and re-enters the Scarlet Sea once more. Now in the home stretch towards Belltower, The Nameless Company makes a pitstop in the town of Gullsport, capital of Gullion, to collect the ten thousand golden dragon reward for Captain Gavielle’s severed head.

Wading through the messes of sea gulls in throng around the town at any given moment, the heroes venture out to the Castle Adrift, across the mechanized causeway and make the acquaintance of Lord Chamberlain Aelfirth, a man with suffering from a voluminous lung, and, shortly thereafter, the Queen Kerige herself, who promptly invited them to dinner that evening.

After being suitably gussied up for dinner with royalty, they were ushered into the Queen’s private dining hall and shown their seats. That evening, their dinner guests included, besides the Queen and the Lord Chamberlain, Solemn Narro, a visiting priestess of the Xato Marun, and Tyristys, brass dragon and late mayor of Gorzibadd. The food, cooked by the Queen’s long-suffering gnomish cook Lixabette, is served and the adventurers chow down.

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After gossiping with the rumormonger Queen, Zanna is surprised to discover that her pastry is, in fact, poisoned with an herbal toxin known as yellowhelm, a substance lethal to dragons. Quickly ascertaining that someone attempted to poison the brass dragon, the heroes, offered a substantial bonus to their previous reward were immediately on the case.

Interrogating each of the suspects, The Nameless Company learnt that Lixabette, the gnomish cook, was coerced into poisoning one of the tarts by Solemn Narro, the unflappable priestess, and told to blame the crime on the Lord Chamberlain. As a member of the Xato Marun, Narro, it was supposed, bears some grievance against non-golden dragons ruling nations and didn’t wish for Tyristys to succeed to the throne of Gullion. Discovering a small sample of yellowhelm in the priestess’ belongings, they were able to convict and imprison her.

In the dungeons below the Castle Adrift, Solemn Narro finally broke character and swore that now, not only did Arkhon Ptolomos, Protector of the Realm, harbor hatred for them, but her secretive order of the Xato Marun did as well. This warning sternly delivered, The Nameless Company departs Gullion, making for Belltower, with wary glances over their shoulders.

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Episode 45 - The Battle for Greenapple
A Siege Broken, A Timeline Altered

Game Date: Autumn 72, 101 F.I. – Autumn 75, 338 F.I.
Starting Point: Greenapple (View Map)
Player Characters Present: Bendeth Zencaré, Chuchann, Captain Miraj, Lady Somara

The Band of Five, their plan hatched, exit the Greengate Keep via the secret passage and steal away across the countryside, making for Ngusu’s command tent. After a few close calls, the less-than-stealthy adventurers manage to avoid the notice and axes of the Fivefinger Brand and cut a path directly into Ngusu’s tent. Spotting smoking braziers, captive behemoths, human slaves and the Halfbreed himself, the heroes and their squad of retainers leap into battle, swords drawn.

While the garrison grunts contend themselves against the scytheclaw behemoths, Bendeth rescues the captive slaves, Captain Miraj and Lady Somara square off against the warband’s orcish generals, it’s Chuchann who takes the fight directly to Ngusu himself and the one who suffers the most as a direct result. The more the half-orc chieftain is harmed, the more powerful he becomes and, as the behemoths free themselves from their cages, the tide seems to slowly turn against the adventurers. Soon as his lackeys fall, however, Ngusu’s swiftly surrounded and beaten and, with the help of an overturned brazier by Bendeth, the adventurers make good their escape, with the chieftain’s severed head in tow.

Once returned to the keep, the Band of Five finds the defense in dire straits. Much of the garrison is slain, orcs overrun the parapets and the flail-wielding ogre is mere minutes away from battering down the Greengate and ushering the entire warband in after him. The adventurers quickly take command of the gate’s defense and hasten to turn the tide of the battle against the orcish hordes.

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While Captain Miraj and Lady Somara seek to clear the orcish occupation of the Keep’s western wall, Bendeth and Chuchann hurry up the keep’s primary tower, hoping to weaken the horde’s morale with the brandishing of Ngusu’s severed head and punish the ogre with arcane missiles, respectively. Working together, the warlord and the paladin work hard to penetrate the orcish ranks, succeeding in shoving down two ladders and vanquishing an entire battalion. Once he arrives on the opposite parapet, one sweep of Chuchann’s mighty axe fells an entire squad of Fivefinger brutes. At one point, Bendeth is nearly toppled from atop the tower by an ambitious orc, only to be rescued by a thrown dagger from Osley Riverrock.

It’s characteristically Captain Miraj whose thrown stone delivers the final blow that slays the ogre and delivers the final blow to the orc’s morale in the same instant, suddenly scattering them from the walls and fleeing back towards their ships. Surging forward, the Greengate defenders drive the remaining enemy forces off their fortress walls and victory is summarily declared.

No sooner has this happy news been announced, however, than the adventurers are recalled to their own time, where they’re greeted with the sad tidings that, during the ten-day excursion into the past, Typhoenos Viomarkh, their dragonborn companion, succumbed to his illness and perished. Wrapping up his body, the Company prepares to give him proper funeral rites, as they pass through the suddenly prosperous and unruined town of Greenapple.

Disposing of the warden’s remains in the traditional Palunite fashion – casting his body to sea within a full barrel of wine – the Nameless Company boards The Distressed Damsel and departs away southward, contemplating what other changes to history their victory may have sparked.

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Episode 44 - Party Politics
Adventurers Past and Present Merged

Game Date: Autumn 65, 338 F.I. – Autumn 72, 101 F.I.
Starting Location: Greenapple (View Map)
Player Characters Present: Althoren Zencaré, Chogaruk, Lord Vaca L’oy Dakursa, Zanna

On the next level of the Greengate Tower, The Nameless Company literally stumbled into a quintet of stealthily hidden gelatinous cubes, perfectly positioned within the chambers five alcoves. After a harrowing engagement when the heroes were continuously engulfed within the ooze’s caustic depths, despite all their attempts to extricate themselves. Through superior positioning by Zanna and a few savage blows from Chogaruk and Zencaré, the cubes were splattered and vanquished.

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On the top level of the Greengate Tower, The Nameless Company next encountered the living quarters and remains of Bendeth Zencaré, the Band of Five’s fifth member. After receiving a cryptic message from the eladrin’s skeleton, searching the chamber revealed the wizard’s bygone diary and a perusal of same revealed an even more startling revelation – Bendeth Zencaré is the son of Chwaer, an elven maid and Althoren Zencaré, conceived the night of her sister’s wedding in 557 A.E. After reading of his son’s exploits in life, he discovers his ancient artifact, the Wand of Impenetrable Illusions, hidden within the room’s mirror.

Holding all five of the Band of Five artifacts, The Nameless Company experiences something incredible; within the blink of an eye, they’re transported two hundred years into the past and, what’s more, into the bodies of their Band of Five counterparts. Chogaruk becomes Chuchann, Vaca becomes Lady Somara, Zanna becomes Captain Miraj, Typhoenos becomes Osley Riverrock and Zencaré inhabits the body of his long dead son, Bendeth. Before they’ve much time to contemplate this sudden temporal shift, they realize that, marshaling outside the window is a massive army of orcs – the Fivefinger Brand, come to sack and burn the Greengate Keep, as they did in 101 F.I.

Rushing to the fortress’ defense, the Band of Five concocts a plan to change history, to defeat the warband and save the reputation of the legendary adventuring company. Planning to strike daringly forward and attack the war chieftan, Ngusu the Halfbreed, from his command tent at the rear of the army, they hope to behead the army and prevent the cunning tactician from employing the tactic they discovered, two hundred years from now, would breach the wall. Leaving the Keep in the best defense they can, the Band of Five prepares for its assault but is unprepared, perhaps, for the consequences of a significantly altered history.

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Episode 43 - The Wizard of Greenapple

Game Date: Autumn 54 – 65, 338 F.I.
Starting Point: Stonesthrow Pass (View Map)
Player Characters Present: Althoren Zencaré, Chogaruk, Lord Vaca L’oy Dakursa,Typhoenos Viomarkh Zanna

After three days spent repairing the damage The Distressed Damsel accrued while crossing the Stonesthrow Pass, The Nameless Company sails further south, on their quest to Gullion and eventually Belltower, their port of call. With Vaca administering to Typhoenos’ rampant scale rot, the adventurers journey southward across the Stale Sea is uneventful until, within sight of the ruined town of Greenapple, the Company’s four Band of Five artifacts (the Dragonshield of Radiance, the Blade of Infinite Shapes, the Chain of Command and the Pelt of the Owlbear King) all begin to simultaneously vibrate.

Dropping onto shore to investigate, the heroes stroll through the ruined streets of Greenapple, review its ancient history and become intrigued with the mystery surrounding the Band’s fifth member – an eladrin wizard calling himself Bendeth Zencaré. Examining the remains of the orcish siege upon the Greengate Keep, The Nameless Company eventually finds its way into the Greengate Tower, only to discover evidence to suggest that they may not, in fact, be the only adventuring party within the tower.

Indeed not for, after bypassing the corpse of a slain troll, a few triggered pendulum blade traps and a brief encounter with a mimic disguised as a chest, The Nameless Company comes face-to-face with The Reclaimed Company, also seeking the artifact at the top of the Greengate Tower. After a tense negotiation, during which the adventurers pooled much of their resources, The Nameless Company managed to bribe the Reclaimed Company into relinquishing the treasure awaiting above to the heroes and decamped from the dungeon.

Once their rivals had departed, The Nameless Company solved a perplexing puzzle that involved arranging lifelike statues of themselves atop various pedestals according to their ages. This done, they continued to climb the tower, their interest in the tower’s mysterious wizardly patron all the more piqued.

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Episode 42 - Stormfront
The Clouds Burst

Game Date: Autumn 52 – 54, 338 F.I.
Starting Point: Bulmer’s Folly (See Map)
Player Characters Present: Chogaruk, Lord Vaca L’oy Dakursa, Typhoenos Viomarkh

Two days sail eastward from Bulmer’s Folly brings The Distressed Damsel to Stonesthrow Pass, the gateway between the Emerald Sea and the eastern Stale Sea. Exactly as the ship begins to cross the pass, however, an unexpected storm, carrying primal portents, materializes in the sky above the Damsel and immediately pours its rage down upon the crew, adventurers included, below.

Tapping into his primal font, Typhoenos discerns that, as he suspected, Kallularuv, his former patron, is the guilty party, jealous and enraged at the dragonborn pirate for his recent converstion to the faith of Palune. After several attempts to struggle through the storm, several failed attempts to mollify the raging storm spirit and several halflings are pulled over the deck by raging swells, Typhoenos, despairing, throws himself at the mercy of the Lord of the Churning Crush, hoping to appease Kallularuv and purchase safe passage for The Distressed Damsel.

The heroic Vaca, however, leaps into the surf to rescue her self-sacrificing companion and Typhoenos is convinced to remain aboard the caravel, within the Company and among the living. With a new lease on life, the dragonborn spurs the Damsel onward and Kallularuv’s wrath returns once more, stronger than ever.

With Zencaré high in the crow’s nest, The Nameless Company attempts to guide their storm-wracked vessel across the final stretch of the Emerald Sea, through whirlpools, sunken wrecks risen to dash themselves against the ship and even the assailings of a powerful lightning elemental, constructed of driftwood and arcing electricity. Through strength, skill and determination, however, The Nameless Company manages to negotiate Kallularuv’s fierce tempest and reach the clearer, calmer waters of the Stale Sea beyond.

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Episode 41 - An Early Autumn
Return to Qairn

Game Date: Autumn 47 – 52, 338 F.I.
Starting Point: Maz Qyne (View Map)
Player Characters Present: Althoren Zencaré, Chogaruk, Lord Vaca L’oy Dakursa, Typhoenos Viomarkh, Zanna

After a brief parley with Ûbolya, in which the heroes unsuccessfully attempt to convince her and her warforged lackeys that it was Palune’s divine intervention that returned them to the surface of Qairn, battle is almost instantaneously joined.

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During the battle, Zanna plans a strategy to maximize the adventurers’ effectiveness. Chogaruk leaps onto Ûbolya’s Tenser’s Floating Disc and nearly slays her outright, were it not for the timely intervention of one of her warforged. Vaca hurls barrels full of weapons across the gap to better arm the Damsel’s defenders. Typhoenos rushes to the halfling’s defense, steering the ship fully about so that he might clamber ashore and provide the warforged someone their own size to contend with. Zencaré is the first and only member of The Nameless Company to physically harm Ûbolya, professedly for the first time in her life, causing her to rapidly flee the chamber atop her floating disc.

The battle concluded, The Nameless Company licks their wounds and prepares to depart the portico, on a southeasterly quest for Belltower. As they sail eastward, Zencaré continues his study of Vencel’s documents, Typhoenos discovers his scale rot has returned with a vengeance and Ferberk, their trusty dwarven page, reports that they’re approaching an island in the Emerald Sea which, according to the Scriptoscope™, bore one instance of the dusk lettering. Overtaken by curiosity, the heroes agree to approach and investigate the island of Bulmer’s Sentinel.

Careful to avoid drawing the ire of the nearby community of hill giants, the adventurers explore the beach and the forests on the island and discover, much to their surprise, a marooned gnome, calling himself Yinsel and evidently, the former captain of the Oferet. Quite insane, Yinsel confesses to be the person responsible for the dusk lettering scrawled across Chogaruk and Vaca’s arms, having cast a ritual to send two lost souls after Gavielle to exact vengeance upon her. Agreeing to take the babbling gnome off the ship, they depart Bulmer’s Sentinenl and continue their journey to Belltower.

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Episode 40 - Palune, Part IV: Boughs of Black
The Fall of an Immortal Tyrant

Game Date: Durek 52, 338 F.I.
Starting Point: Tsoj, City of Eyes (Huntsman’s Monolith)
Player Characters Present: Althoren Zencaré, Chogaruk, Lord Vaca L’oy Dakursa, Typhoenos Viomarkh, Zanna

Transported to the grassy plains of Palune, The Nameless Company must contend with a pair of rampaging bilgesnipe and the teleportation circle summoned whenever their antlers lock together. While some of the party members suffer superficial injuries from failing to properly time their attempts, each and every one of the adventurers managed to negotiate the antlers and activate the teleportation circle within.

The next chamber. within the Monolith of the Flayer, our heroes were horrified to discover, was none other than the Vizier’s slave pens. Here, separated by a portcullis, he kept a smattering of dusk elves and dusk gnomes captives, but a large quantity of chitine, mindless jabbering abominations created through some foul process from their dusken counterparts. Promising to protect the slaves, the adventurers agree to throw the portcullis open and slay the population of chitine the Flayer keeps and make short work of the creatures. Activating the next circle, the Company teleports onward.

In the next chamber, sitting huddled around a fireplace and knitting incessantly, The Nameless Company encounters Min the Deathless, First Fomorian and Pharaoh of All The Known World – a withered husk of a creature, stooped with the pressure of maintaining countless magical effects, barely aware of their presence and seemingly, immune to all harm.

An intense discussion breaks out, the adventurers debating for many long minutes the best methods they could employ to slay the catatonic fomorian until, after much debate and several failed attempts to harm Min with spells and weapons, Chogaruk wields the slaying stone against the Pharaoh. In his death throes, the wizened creature’s thousands of spells fail and his corpse is reverted back to its original greatness. In so doing, the slaying stone is instantly powderized and the name “Min” is forever etched, by necrotic magic, into the palm of Chogaruk’s hand.

Using the massive teleportation circle inscribed onto the floor, the adventurers transport themselves onto the deck of The Saiaron, only to discover the craft currently falling straight down what once was the city’s waterclimb and prevent themselves from dying in the crash. Rescuing an intact dinghy from wreckage and throwing Cavvalas a piece of driftwood, the heroes row away, watching the destruction they wreaked upon Tsoj from a distance as all the city’s towers and statues crumble to dust.

Arriving back at The Distressed Damsel, the company is reunited with the halfling crew as well as Lunoré, Zencaré’s daughter, once again possessed by the power of Palune. In parley with the Moonmask, they learn the trickster god’s perspective of events, receive his congratulations and, incidentally, his plans to fornicate with Oslé. Once the conference is over, however, Typhoenos is converted, Zencaré’s curse is lifted and the Damsel is returned, instantaneously, to Qairn.

Stepping back onto the deck, the adventurers are dismayed to discover, however, a party of ironforged awaiting them, led by their vile inventor, Ûbolya of House Topaz.

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Episode 39 - Palune, Part III: Leaves in Lavender
Into the Monoliths

Game Date: Durek 52, 338 F.I.
Starting Point: Tsoj
Player Characters Present: Althoren Zencaré, Chogaruk, Lord Vaca L’oy Dakursa, Zanna

Interrogating a hapless cyclops captive that survived the battle atop the tomb of the Qakezar Dynasty, The Nameless Company receive a primer on the teleportation circles that interlink the six Monoliths that encircle the city of Tsoj. Convincing Kamal, their eager captive, to hold off the agents of the Flayer’s personal Axi, the heroes rest, recuperate and prepare to plow forward into the Monoliths, seeking the fastest possible route to the chambers of the Pharaoh.

Teleporting onto the lowest level of the Flayer’s Monolith, the heroes encounter a massive pile of fetid garbage, waste products and rotting corpses. Digging through the refuse to locate the teleportation circle that would lead them into the next Monolith, the heroes unwittingly uncover a massive, garbage-munching abomination that attacks them with spiked tendrils and filthy fangs. While the adventurers do manage to defeat the creature, both Typhoenos and Vaca are infected with a virulent case of filth fever once the combat is completed.

Arriving within the third level of the Muralist’s Monolith, The Nameless Company is confoundingly confronted with Arkhon Ptolomos Phyrenos and a squadron of Truarkh soldiers. After battling them atop their Phyreni colosseum for several moments, the scene shifts to a grassy knoll amid the Glasgwair, where they battle Belo and her bewitched elven raiders. Finally, the illusion shifts to Gorzibadd and the heroes face off against Hujat, Umakk and his goblin lackeys before, with their leader defeated, the room transforms once again into a plain storage chamber.

Lastly, the adventurers arrive within the second level of the Flayer’s Monolith, where they encounter a confusing trap involving pressure plates, large spikes and gravitational polarity. After several failed attempts to locate the switch that would open the teleportation circle, it’s Vaca’s supreme dungeoneering knowledge that locates the necessary switch and, organizing their movements, allows them to teleport out of the Flayer’s Monolith and into their next challenge.

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Episode 38 - Palune, Part II: Kiss the Shore
Arrival at Tsoj, City of Eyes

Game Date: Durek 52 – 53, 338 F.I.
Starting Point: Setting Sea
Player Characters Present: Althoren Zencaré, Lord Vaca L’oy Dakursa, Typhoenos Viomarkh, Zanna

Cavvalas, former Captain of The Saiaron, is an immensely obese cyclops, a sly opportunist and a willing accomplice in The Nameless Company’s attempts to assassinate Min the Deathless, Pharaoh of Palune. In exchange for her life, she agrees to grant the heroes passage into Tsoj, the capital city of the Mandate of Twilight, where the Pharaoh and his Five Viziers rule over the entire continent of New Xupta. Using her contacts, she’s able to arrange a meet with several members of the Flayer’s Axi, or personal army, from whom the adventurers can discover the location of a teleportation circle that will grant them access inside the Monoliths that house both Vizier and Pharaoh.

Conversing with the chained up slaves, the heroes learn there are two separate fronts of freed gnomes and dusk elves that currently struggle against the Mandate; far to the south is the Hullmender, a magical shipwright responsible for creating the Oferet and other enchanted ships that ply the seas. To the east, on the mainland, is the Forest that Walks, a guerilla army of tree-riding insurgents who raid and maraud the edges of the Mandate’s power. Deciding instead to infiltrate the city of Tsoj, the heroes enlist the help of the Oferet’s former crew and sail to the City of Eyes.

Passing the incredible gatekeepers and rising up the waterclimb into the floating city of Tsoj, the heroes discover a massive metropolis beyond opulence, where every hundred foot statue, every towering ziggurat and every expansive mausoleum has been constructed on the backs of Palu and Neblin slaves. Docking within the city’s Iris, the heroes disguise themselves as dusk elves and gnomes, some somewhat deformed with the hopes of attracting the eye of the Flayer, the most perverse of the Viziers, and depart for their rendezvous.

Meeting within the shadow of an under-construction statue, initial contact with the Scales of the Crocodile, the Flayer’s personal guard, goes awry and combat swiftly breaks out. Due to carless swings on the part of the cyclops and some ingenuity from Vaca, the kneeling statue partially crumbles, burying everyone beneath in rubble and effectively defeating both Axi agents.

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Interrogating one of the Scales, The Nameless Company are led to the tomb of the Qakezar Dynasty high atop a massive ziggurat within the Tsoj’s necropolis and the secret headquarters for the Scales of the Crocodile and entry point into the Flayer’s monolith. When Zencaré’s attempts to parlay go awry, combat erupts on the mausoleum floor. Zanna and Chogaruk hold the main front line of the battle against an Axi agent and her host of skeletal slaves, Typhoenos leaps from tomb to tomb to engage two Axi agents and their own undead entourages, Zencaré sneaks about the chamber, attempting to avoid the ire of the lead cyclops while Vaca leaps high onto a nearby balcony, to harass and harry one of the cyclopean bone collectors, using necrotic magic to animate the heroes very bones against them.

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Once Yosria, leader of the Scales, falls, however, a powerful display of threat from Typhoenos wraps the entire combat succinctly up and forces the surrender of the remaining Axi soldiers. With the key in hand, the adventurers prepare to delve within the Flayer’s Monolith and hopefully soon, the Pharaoh’s own.

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