I gave the Marshal that wolfskin stool I took from the orc chief’s tent. He gravely but respectfully accepted it, telling me that it would be the official seat of the fort’s new commander. I appreciated the symmetry and rough justice of having the stool of chaos become the stool of law. And I was glad he treated me like any other person in his command – I’m a little tired of everyone subtly checking their purses and counting their rings as I go by. I don’t steal from my friends and allies. I’m not stupid.
Anyhow, we headed back to Enonia in triumph – all except Ja’Kar, who slipped away to the temple his group is building. But he rejoined us not too much later. On the 10th day of summer, a new adventuring party forms. Grel is away, tending to the flock of Tangadorin, but in his place is Joran, another paladin devoted to the same faith – and the person who provided so many helpful maps. Belaldur, Fergus, and Mazlor and his apprentice Sally are with us as we drink with Pyria.
Pyria has been sent back to us by the Striped Mage, and tells us that the time has come to close the portal. We need to throw the acolyte Roh into the portal he has opened. And Joran and Mazlor grimly tell us of the nightmares they and the Marshal have suffered – dreams of encroaching chaos, twisted red goblyns, the damned. So we make plans to go to the ruined monastery of St. Eggyx, where we should get some help from the guardsmen left there by Sir Reynald. Several of us chip in some gold to purchase holy water and healing potions.
When we reach the monastery, we see the camp outside it abandoned. The only sign of life is an owl, that seeks to suborn Belaldur. Mazlor, though, holds his holy symbol up to the owl, who dissolves into a red slime that drips to the ground, burning away the grass as it soaks into the ground. The resulting black circle reminds me that there is supposed to be another dead zone, that looks burned but within whose bounds nothing will grow. I am upset, but I hide it pretty well. Still, this is worse than even the forest-clearing the orcs had done.
We make our way into the ruins. Just inside, we find the bodies of several men and chaos goblyns. Where the goblyns touch the humans, the humans are melting! We lay out the humans apart from the goblyns, Mazlor and Sally saying a few words. I burn the slime away, but when I try to burn a goblyn, it makes a greasy, vile cloud of heavy smoke. We move on, aided by maps from Mazlor and Joran, but we still get a bit lost. Eventually we make our way down some magically suspended ropes to the next level.
We almost immediately engage a group of chaos goblyns. They were preparing an ambush, but we’d come up too fast. It’s a hard battle, made worse by the arrival of reinforcements led by a goblyn shaman. But we prevail, and heal up. At the far end of the chamber, we find a dozen or so goblyns of the normal sort – except they are very passive. Most of the party wants to kill them, but Ja’Kar and I insist on taking them back to the surface. On our way back, we meet the ghost of one of the guardsmen. I give him my wineskin and he vanishes.
While we are gone, Belaldur blunders into an ambush. We get back to find him stunned and gasping on the floor. I climb to the opening in the ceiling he’d tried to get through and throw a Molotov cocktail in. That sets off a chain reaction of exploding chaos goblyns, covering me in guts and goo. Ja’Kar cleans me off. I’m really starting to like Ja’Kar. He also seems free of prejudice.
We continue to an underground river, fighting off dark mantles and piercers along the way. We hear cries for help from across the river, so we make rope bridge and go to the other side. We see some human guardsmen in cages, with goblyns between us, so we kill the goblyns and free the humans.
Many more humans and goblyns have been changed into chaos beasts by the goblyn shaman. We need to stop him, so I sneak down passageway to scout thing out. I find chaos humans and chaos goblyns blocking our way to the next chamber, but we surprise them. The battle noise draws reinforcements, though, and we hear more approaching. Luckily, we dispatch these new foes, mostly through another chain reaction of exploding goblyns.
The penultimate battle against the shaman and his final forces does not cover me in glory. His spell of fear drives half the party, including me, away, but Pyria, Mazlor, Ja’Kar, and Joran slaughter the enemies. We go on into a the next room to discover a chaos shrine. I find the shaman had been wearing a flexible glass armor that fits me and does not impede my movements.
We get ready to explore further, but hear an odd chirping that Mazlor says comes from machines with rays of death. So we head out, feeling we are being watched, even violated. Joran summons the powers of Tangadorin, and we feel better. Outside, the goblyns are still dazed and confused.