There is so much to write, I am not sure all is clear in my head but I must note the recent events before they are lost forever.
A large group of us have decided to attempt to close the portal for good. Not wishing to sacrifice myself in the manner of Asgrim and as Parabellum could not give any details of what Asgrim was actually doning at the time we decided to try asking the Striped Mage. Leaving Enonia under the scrutiny of the alert guards we headed North. I hailed the Mage and he contacted me after I asked for help to close the portal. He did want to know how I knew about it and was skeptical until I mentioned the Master, at that point he told me to come back when we found the portal, no offer of immediate help!
We headed to the monastery and immediately saw it had been desecrated by the chaotic three fingered lot, there were burning red candles and obscene graffiti everywhere. Not much we could do but I think Alana did write some ‘anti’ graffiti! We headed to the crevasse, stopping by the fountain of the Light on the way. Curiously we found this burnt mass (it may have been human at some point) in the doorway. We removed it from the room and headed on. Reaching the river without event we found the rafts and headed on. We made it to the beach and mushroom field and started to explore. Coming across a small tunnel we disturbed some undead and the ensuing battle was interesting with ghould, skeletons and a rather stinky something. Good prevailed over Evil and eventually we had the place to ourselves (I think). As we explored more we discovered the source of the skeletons, an underground graveyard. Mazlor asked that we return the bones back to the graves, so after some sorting and digging we were done..
We reached a dead end in a tunnel, curiously it had a large stone block in front of it, with what looked like dried blood at the bottom and underneath. After some debate we decided to move. After Kjeld broke his pole trying to lift it we decided to push. An Elf spirit suddenly rose,thanked us for freeing her and then disappeared, we suspected she had become the somewhat smelly one. Underneath were some rotted silks and to Kee’s delight a clean looking long sword, with a dragon as the handle, spread wings forming the guard. Further exploration revealed the mines that had delivered the stone used to build the Monastery. This was it so we headed back to the rafts. We headed to the opening opposite the one we entered the cavern by and followed the river, suddenly we came upon a whirlpool and everyone thought we had found the portal. Suddenly Irem said this was not the portal and we should turn back, he offered no explanation and insisted this was not the portal. None of us wanted to enter anyway so we tuned back. We went to the dock by the cliff and suspected this lead to the columned room reached by the winding (sturge infested) stairway, we were right.
We headed to the ‘garden’ area and yes we heard the scampering of feet above us after we ran tothe tunnel. Jorann had this wonderful idea that the two of us should run out into the open, he would shield me and I put them to sleep. I know he and his God have vowed to protect Mages, but still…. Despite my doubts we went with his plan, mainly because he suddenly grabbed me and dragged me outside. Fortunately his plan worked, I escaped unscathed and he looked liked a pin cushion – ha! We moved on and came across a structure by the path, of course someone decided to open the door, this spiked beast rushed us and suddenly it was mayhem, once again Good triumphed. Beyond the structure was this fountain with a flowing back ooze, suddenly Kjeld rushed forward shouting something unintelligible and smashed it to pieces, no real answer to that. As this was a dead end we went into the structure and found a descending stairway, of course we went down. We found ourselves in the middle of an intersection, not wanting to open up more cans of worms we decided now would be a good time to loot the library. Unfortunately we opened the door with some difficulty and found it destroyed, something had exploded from the middle, Jorann was convinced there was still something of value to be found, but after extensive searching all we found was pulp.
By consensus now was the time to head back, we returned to the rafts and exited the monastery by the crevasse (no sturge this way). On our way back we noticed smoke to the West we went to investigate and then Dargellan noticed we were missing Irem and there were tracks heading West. We followed them and cresting the rise ahead we came upon a strange site, Irem was fighting Irem! Long story short one was held the other wasn’t, as we negotiated with this one several people came over the hill and clearly they were not coming to invite us for dinner. The ensuing battle was hectic. The ‘free’ Irem was running around insisting he was the real one and looking for a weapon, tow of the approaching party were magic user, druids or clerics I guess as I could not counter their spells. One cast a spell spell that caused use to attack someone other than him, Kee bravely through herself in front of my Magic Missile to save one of our party. I have to say this was a brave and actually very graceful move, she launched herself into the air, took the hit, rolled into the ground and came to her feet with her dragon sword in hand ready to cut swathes through the enemy. Eventually all that remained were the party (with free Irem), held Irem and a druid held by Kjeld. The held Irem was moving and suddenly he disappeared then above us cloud of gas was floating in the air. In the confusion the druid escaped and rand into the burning building, he was gone.
We regouped and Irem explained how he had gone to a meeting with the dark stranger and then the next thing he knew was locked in a strange building. He escaped by setting light to it and as he was running away was beset by his doppelganger. As we headed back to Enonia Irem said he thinks it would be a good idea if he went into the Kingdom for a while, Enonia was not a good place for him anymore. We paid our tax without bitterness, it seemed irrelevant under the circumstances.. Irem said he had some affairs to close out before he left ans so with heavy hearts we said our goodbyes. For a thief Irem had many good qualities, not that I would tell him that, maybe our paths will cross again.
So many strange things happening, based upon Irem’s explanation it seems Chaos is here in Enonia. Yinvax has been shunted off to the stockade and I don’t trust the new guy… maybe he is the problem.
Given that ‘Irem’ was not Irem and I am sure that the goblin we interrogated mentioned a whirlpool where you went through, came back and were improved I think we may have found the portal. I must see the Striped Mage as soon as I can, maybe I should ask him to recharge the wand, he doesn’t seem too friendly but surely that is a trivial matter for him.