Adventurer's Beware

26 Eleint (continued) – A Long Day of Questionable Decisions

The discovery of Ragnolin Dourstone’s missing corpse gave cause for the group to want to be away from the mines. The party carefully exited the entrance shaft and entered the grounds filled with dirt mounds and remaining decomposing ankheg husks. Rhogar and Cosima took point and the group travelled the same route they took before. Rhogar and Cosima both spotted movement ahead in the brush as the group approached a crest in the trail. The dragonborn shot a heavy crossbow bolt indiscriminately which triggered a flurry of action. Four large orcs barely visible in the brush sent a flight of arrows at the group, but none scored a hit. Carden and Gromm started to slip into the brush to flank when Dyan’ette immediately reacted and hurled a fireball into the brush to the party member’s surprise. The brush, the leaves upon the trees, and seen and unseen orcs were incinerated to clear the crest of any obscurement. The surrounding foliage erupted as orcs charged the group with an assortment of deadly weapons. Gromm cast invisibility on Carden and then retreated to the group as the orcs pursued him. Ben Hadad and Dyan’ette exchanged spells with at least two orc casters; one wielding a large staff with a bear skull. Darkness dropped on the crest and melee ensued as Rhogar, Cosima, Carden, Gromm, and Tamnai were pressed from the viciousness of the orcs. The largest orc caster approached and called forth demonic spirit guardians that sapped the party’s life force as they wisped through them. Carden fell in battle only to be magically healed quickly by Tamnai who then cast a similar spirit spell to bring forth angelic beings of light to equally injure the orcs. The tide of battle turned in the party’s favor after Rhogar’s smites and Ben Hadad’s scorching rays dropped the largest orcs. Unfortunately, Carden entered the spirits of light around Tamnai only to be dropped from their radiance. Carden was again healed and the other party members healed and decided to take a short rest a few miles down the trail toward the mining camp.

As noon approached, the group broke their short rest and returned to the trail. Tamnai and Dyan’ette turned as they heard the feint sound of armor approaching. As the group turned to see a figure approaching, horror crossed their face as they realized the corpse of Ragnolin Dourstone approached. The corpse pointed to Tamnai and wailed in anger as he continued to approach. The group responded with force and engaged the dead dwarf with ferocity. Rhogar used his holy smite empowered by Bahamat to grievously injure the foul creature. Dyan’ette warned that fire and radiance should be used, less the revenant would resist their strikes. Cosima’s greatsword proved less than effective as much of the damage was resisted. The revenant called for Tamnai, Carden, and Dyan’ette’s deaths as it used its fists to strike. Carden barely resisted its debilitating glare, but did not avoid a thunderous fist to his chest that almost shattered his sternum. The party consolidated fire, radiant strikes, and persistence to drop the undead horror. Unnerved, the party quickly decided to burn the corpse to ashes. They rested yet again while they waited for the corpse to burn to ashes.

Trying to place as much distance from the mines as possible, the party passed the mining camp to head out of the foothills. A couple of hours before dusk as they rounded their final bend through the hills, a voice from the ledges above called out “a slight test of your resilience is in order”. Rhogar spotted a dark-skinned man duck behind some rocks above when a thick poisonous gas coalesced around the group causing serious damage to every member. Depleted from previous encounters, the group panicked somewhat and scampered from the cloud in different directions. Carden and Gromm succumbed to the poison and only survived because Tamnai and Cosima pulled them from the deadly cloud as it wafted away slowly over the nearby drop. Rhogar charged ahead and out of sight seeking vengeance for Sharash and the recent attack. Tamnai followed him while Carden, revived again, scampered up the ledge to where the attack likely originated. Ben-Hadad followed Carden through a misty step and the others started running after Tamnai. Chaos continued as the party was split and unable to communicate well. Ben Hadad and Carden witnessed two figures some 110ft away mounting horses. Simultaneously, Rhogar spotted the group and screamed a challenge in defiance. The two assailants turned and started to ride away when Ben Hadad blasted the robed figures horse from beneath her. Still intent on leaving, the male offered the female his hand and she mounted behind him. The party decided to repeat the attack on the last horse and caused both to tumble into the grassy ground. Irritated and confident in their abilities, both gained their footing and turned back toward the scattered and weakened party.

A huge fireball erupted at the summit engulfing Ben Hadad and Carden as Rhogar still made his way up the path thinking other enemy may be at the top. Unable to coordinate a plan due to their distance from each other, the group scurried about to find each other as a sickly yellow cloud choked the path further splitting the group from consolidating. The next few minutes were pure chaos. Rhogar leaped from the ledge to clear the cloud only to land short and submit to its magic which left him kneeling and vomiting uncontrollably. The cloud blocked Ben Hadad’s site and Carden rushed down the path to hurl his elemental gem in hopes to change the tide of battle to the party’s favor. The large earth elemental burst from the earth and wailed on the Untherite fighter, now pressed to focus on the new foe. The crushing of rock and clanking of blades was joined by another eruption of rock leaving the two elemental titans battering each other. Alas, the cloud diminished with the summoning of the elemental and the party mounted a resistance in the path. They believed the female caster to have shape changed into the elemental. Unfortunately, their gathering revealed the truth as she had summoned the elemental and stepped beyond their site to the north. She hurled another furious fireball in their midst dropping some and injuring the rest. Dyan’ette called forth a sleep spell in hopes to finish the battle and unbeknownst actually fell the caster and caused her elemental to go berserk. Seeing this, the Untherite warrior worked his way around Carden’s elemental placing it between him and the free-willed elemental and the party. He awoke the caster as he desperately defending against the large elemental. Tamnai now reached a ledge to overlook the battle only to see many of her friends dying. The Untherite warrior fell, then Rhogar and Cosima attempted a final rush to reach the caster. Another fireball erupted destroying Carden’s elemental and downing both Rhogar and Cosima in its flames. Those party members still standing quickly shifted their efforts to simply save as many members as possible. Dyan’ette stabilized Gromm, though without training and full understanding of medical skills. Tamnai released her last few spells to fill the fallen with Sune’s blessing of health. Carden used his warlock powers to stabilize others. Dyan’ette disappeared from view as the group retreated. Cosima carried Gromm to safety. Carden dragged Ben Hadad behind a boulder and Tamnai watched in horror hoping that the caster would not reappear. As all hid, Carden creeped to the edge to see Rhogar’s body lying next to the fallen Untherite. A steady lift of his chest gave Carden hope and then the rogue witnessed the paladin’s shield rise and start walking away as if an unseen opponent was taking a trophy. The rogue decided a shield was a small price to pay for the life of his friend and he held his actions. After a few minutes passed, the conscious survivors gathered and ventured forth to Rhogar to revive him. Exhausted and frustrated, the group looted the Untherite Warrior and took his body to the summit where they could rest and recover from the longest day in their memories.

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