Nearly, two years ago The Kompanions of Kalador first heard of the vivimancer Zoran. They learned of him when Olaf the farmer came pleading for aid to the drunken barron of Hogwater. A homunculus had attacked the farmer’s family and drained them of their blood. When the farmer was cast out by his lord, our adventurers went looking to find out what was going on. This was when they met their friend and advisor, Kalador. Kalador told his new Kompanions of the intentions of Zoran; how Zoran wished to remake mortals to be more useful and better through his twisted magic of vivimancy.
While Zoran’s means were disgusting and perhaps even “evil,” however he was trustworthy and always adhered to his bargains. He was, for all his faults, an honorable man. He had made agreements with other powerful wizards in the area and always kept them. Rua, the late Great Druid, and his retired adventuring companions had killed Zoran and imprisoned his sorceress fiance in a pocket dimension twenty years before the Kompanions arrived on the scene. Zoran paid the Kompanions handsomely for recovering the painting which was the portal to the pocket dimension. Believing her love to be dead, Zaya had died of grief while trapped in the pocket realm. She did not notice her death for she had become a lich due to her long practice of necromancy and exposure to the magical radiations of the fragments of the Shadow Staff.
Zoran had provided the Kompanions with knowledge, with healing and altered the mighty Rexor by giving him an extra pair of arms and a pair of giant beetle wings by which he could fly. He provided them with protection from the forgetting spell Williglim had cast to hide herself as she slept. Though Zoran had been a very useful ally and collaborator, frequently the Kompanions said to each other, “Someday, we must deal with the danger of Zoran.” That day finally came.
The Kompanions are very cautious and devious in all their ways. Having intended to destroy Zoran for a long time, they had considered the many ways he might defend himself. The great power of the vivimancer was in his many creations and his altered minions. His personal guard was mutated with claws and fangs, arcane sight, enhanced strength, speed and other strange mutations. The other, terrifying power, was his great love Zaya the necromancer who had become a lich in her long exile from the world. Many months ago while in Nightside, the Kompanions found a wizard who specialized in potions. They purchased, at great expense, a special potion of undead control powerful enough to charm a lich. It took several months and very rare components to produce the potion but it was finally finished.
Stilgar the Chaos monk used his spy network to set up a meeting with Mirko, a Law aligned warrior who was fighting against the rule of Zoran in the city of Whitemist. Carefully avoiding detection, the party traveled to a farm outside of Whitemist where they met Mirko and some of his operatives. There they made a pact with Mirko. In exchange for Mirko and his people creating a distraction to draw off as many of Zoran’s forces as possible, they would give him a potent magic item and the alchemy fire they had produced. When the fight was over, Mirko would be left to rule Whitemist with the support and friendship of the Kompanions of Kalador. To all of this, Mirko agreed.
The Kompanions had arranged a formal visit and meeting with Zoran to discuss the threat of the Githzerai who had taken back their former fortress now that the dragon Williglim was destroyed. The Kompanions were met at the gate of Whitemist by Bragos, the commander of Zoran’s military forces, and an honor guard. There was a procession through the city to the home and laboratory of the vivimancer. The meeting was set up in a tent in the garden where the Kompanions and Kalador himself were given refreshment. The security was heavy. Four flesh golems, a dozen flying men with javelins, and the personal guard of Zoran were all in attendance.
After the refreshments were served the formal meeting began. Stilgar stood and gave an eloquent speech that went on, and on, and on. Zoran shifted in his chair, checked the sand on a timer one of his apprentices was carrying and suggested that they get to the meat of the the matters facing them. Rexor, who was carrying the potion of undead control that he had hidden in his wine skin, was about to drink the potion when one of Zoran’s guard tapped the vivimancer on his shoulder and pointed to the four armed warrior.
Zoran said, “I’ll kindly ask that you do not drink that potion. I do not know what magic is in that skin but knowing the reputation of the Kompanions, I do not trust you.” Rexor made an excuse of the heat and being tired of listening to his friend’s long speech and lifted the potion to his lips. Zaya spoke a word of command using her potent magic, but the warrior was able to shake off the spell and drank the potion anyway. When nothing apparent happened, tensions relaxed and Stilgar resumed. Not long after, a great explosion shook the city. Mirko and his men were attacking the armory of the city watch. One of the winged men came down to report to Bragos who hustled off to take charge of the fight.
Zoran by this time was agitated and angry. Rexor, using the ring of telepathy suggested to Zaya that Zoran needed to calm down and that she should use her paralyzing touch to prevent him from getting out of control. This was a strange idea to her but the power of the potion compelled her, so she used her touch and Zoran was unable to move. Rexor then told Zaya that the explosion was actually a plot by Bragos to kill her love and that she should go kill Bragos before he could lead Mirko’s forces back to the compound. Being charmed by the power of the potion, this seemed very likely to her and she teleported herself to the battle. Once the lich was safely away, the party sprang into action and attacked Zoran. Einar the Reluctant, had borrowed the ethereal plate armor that belonged to Pompous Maximous. He had been following the Kompanions in the ethereal plane and had remained undetected by Zoran and his guards. Now Einar plane shifted into the material and attacked along with the rest of the Kompanions.
The flesh golems and the guard came to the aid of their immobile and vulnerable lord. The powerful guardians were putting Stilgar into a precarious situation. Using the magic they had purchased from Tarix, Stilgar teleported himself and Zoran to Villa Vilgelum in Nightside along with two of Zoran’s guards.
Rexor, Einar the reluctant fisherman, Kalador and Akbar were in a fight for their lives with the guard, the flesh golems and two of Zoran’s apprentices. The party used the dimension door power of Kalador’s armor to teleport to the roof of Zoran’s laboratory. From there, Akbar unleashed his magic on Zoran’s mutated horrors and apprentices while Rexor, Einar and Kalador fought off the winged men and a few others who could leap onto the building.
Off in the distance Zaya was unleashing her magic in a three way battle with the forces of Mirko, and Bragos. Within a minute, she had turned Bragos to a stone statue, a swirling icy wind sprang from her bony fingers and the winged men swooping in were morphed into pigs. A massive fire elemental was reeking havoc on the neighborhood with men and mutants fighting desperately to survive in the onslaught. Mirko decided that he had held up his end of the bargain and withdrew his men. Zoran’s forces who had suffered a number of losses were fleeing as well. Zaya seeing that she had thwarted the treachery of Bragos, animated the dead around her to become zombies and began walking back to the lab.
As all this happened, Rexor had entered the lab of Zoran. The vivimancer had been working on some sort of giant iron golem. Near the golem were five tables with five different people arrayed in a star formation. The tops of skulls of the five had been surgically opened and all of them sticking into a giant jar of some viscous fluid. Their brains were exposed and all of them had begun to grow together into a single combined organ that all five shared. This and many other monstrosities were growing in vats and jars throughout the lab. Rexor smashed and destroyed the horrors before turning his attention to the lich.
Recognizing that Zaya would likely break the charm were she to return to the lab and find Zoran missing, the Kompanions went to meet her. Using the power of the potion’s charm to get close without her realizing their treachery, the party used their advantage to attack and destroy the lich before she could bring her magical powers to bare. They were able to overcome her quickly with little consequence. Zaya the necromancer was no more.
Back at Villa Vigelum in Nightside; Stilgar was concerned he wouldn’t be able to deal with the two mutant soldiers who had teleported with him and Zoran. Reluctantly, Stilgar called on the power of the hand of Ossiam to gate the demon Volok. A beautiful young man; a figure of athletic and nude physical perfection materialized as Stilgar squared off with the two mutant soldiers. The Red Monk compelled the demon to dispatch the guardsmen and paid for it with a slight loss of his charisma. Once they had been taken care of, Stilgar used his mighty fists to smash the paralyzed Zoran into oblivion. Knowing his power over life and death, Stilgar was taking no chances that Zoran could be anything but dead and had the body incinerated.
Kaladar and his Kompanions, having dispatched Zaya returned to the roof of the lab. Einar was climbing down a ladder into the building when he saw the worst of Zoran’s monstrosities. A creature easily twelve feet tall that might have once been human but now was a monstrous terror. It’s head was covered with eyes and a massive maw of teeth. Grafted onto is corpulent thick skinned body were two giant crab claws and several tentacles. Using what magic and missile weapons remained in their arsenal, the Kompanions attempted to kill the thing. Rexor unluckily fell prey to a magical power in the eyes of the monster and had was driven into a berserk rage. He charged and attacked the creature. The monster’s devastating flurry of attacks nearly did in the warrior. Einar had to descend into the creature’s lair to rescue Rexor by teleporting him back to their villa in Nightside. Still in a berserk rage, Rexor was about to attack his own friends when Stilgar knocked the incensed warrior out cold.
Kalador and Akbar remained in Whitemist in the midst of a chaotic situation. Akbar cast a couple of fireballs into Zoran’s lab to destroy his horrible monstrosities as well as the lab itself. Seeing that it would be a good idea to make a hasty escape, Kalador and Akbar quickly left the scene. Akbar decided to stay in Whitemist for the time being to help Mirko reestablish order while his friends were recovering in Nightside. Kalador was transported back to Vanessa’s Lament via the Kompanion’s pet roc. The malignant rule of Zoran and Zaya was at an end.