Today was a turning point in my life, I sold myself into bondage to the Striped Mage for a few meagre spells.
The week had been promising, a group of us had searched for an entrance to the Inn to thwart the Orcs. Mazlor, Sal, Alana, Grel, Ja’Kar, Fergus, Balto and I walked through the woods in the rain and thunder to the clearing by the Inn. Using locate object Mazlor found a place we might enter, unfortunately it was close to the palisade. By observing the Orc patrols and waiting until dark we managed to gain entrance, while entrance may not have been the most elegant we all survived with nothing but a little battered pride.
We were distracted by a pool of clear water that had some selective healing properties allowing several Stirge to sneak up on us. Fortunately we managed to beat them off and heal our injuries, Clerics are wonderful companions. Our explorations continued, a couple of badgers proved annoying and there was a nervous time while Mazlor dropped into a coma after trying to speak to a corpse. Fortunately there was no lasting impact.
As we explored we found three potential entrances through the Inn into the camp, all were walled off but a good shove should clear the way. Continuing the exploration we came across a very old Kobold, who was definitely a few rations short of a meal, looking after a rat farm. He was harmless enough and provided a path out of of the labyrinth into the woods, a better way back in than the one we found.
We returned to the Enonia to report our findings to Yinivax but he had left with forces to free the Kings men. We found ourselves in front of the Marshall. We explained our findings and he formulated a plan of attack but needed some time to raise the forces. Reynald’s men were needed and we were dispatched with a letter to bring him back from the monastery.
Arriving we learnt that they had cleared the first level but were having difficulty with a headless creature. Given that it would take the Marshall some time to raise the forces we decided to stay and help with the headless creature. This is where my troubles began. I decided to see if the Striped Mage could help us, maybe give me some scrolls to help with the Orcs.
I called him and the next thing I know I am in a strange room with him. The room is somewhat chaotic, I soon realized why, he has no apprentice. Welcoming me he assumes I want to be his apprentice, we get over this misunderstanding and begin to discuss the affairs of the world. He tells me his previous apprentice Ro is responsible for opening the portal but is not strong enough to keep it open for a long time, the question is whether it is long enough to end the world? He tells me Ro is below and to close the portal he must be killed. As we discuss the state of affairs I learn the disturbing news that there are factions within my people who want to bring war with the humans, they think the conclave will not find the homeland and we should take what we can.
I steer the conversation back to the immediate problems of the Orcs to the East, The Striped Mage dismisses them, they are not the problem it is the portal and the Dark Forces coming through. Ro is struggling to keep the portal open but he may keep it open long enough. Nevertheless I asked for help, some scrolls to help with our plan to attack from inside and outside the Inn simultaneously. He asked what I had to offer in return, nothing right now was the answer.Unfortunately he saw things differently, he offered me the spells for the right to put a modified Geas spell on me compelling me to kill Ro and close the portal. What is a girl to do? Based upon what I know, this portal has to be closed or we all die, this way I get a few scrolls and perhaps a mentor with a vested interest in helping me, maybe even keeping me alive. Still, it does not sit well knowing you have little choice in what you do.