Rexor, Stilgar and Einar spent a few days relaxing at the villa in Nightside. Meanwhile, Akbar helped the Kompanions co-conspirator, Mirko, get a handle on Whitemist and sweep away any opposition to his rule. They spent the better part of a week together seeking out and destroying the last remnants of Zoran’s soldiery and assistants who were putting up a fight. Any vivimancers remaining in Whitemist had gone to ground. However, in all the chaos of these fights, an aquatic monster that Zoran had been carefully growing over the months escaped its enclosure on the shores of Whitemist and fled into the deeps of the great lake. Soon, it became hungry and started smashing ships and eating sailors. A victorious Akbar returned to Vanessa’s Lament to enjoy a bit of a respite before his friends returned from their adventures in Nightside.
Rexor and Stilgar returned to Vanessa’s Lament and exchanged the tales of their adventures with Akbar. After looking to the affairs of their burgeoning city, the Kompanions decide that they will utilize their tele-portal to Zoran’s old lab in the strange and mutated mushroom forest. Knowing that Zoran had survived a previous “death” via a clone grown by his apprentices, the Kompanions were taking no chances that such a clone could be left behind. The Kompanions found that their tele-portal was not working. Akbar determined that the problem was on the other side of the portal and that they would have to travel overland to the lab to find out what was going on.
The party loaded up a pair of rocs and took the week long journey to Zoran’s lab in the forest. Being careful to avoid the mushroom forest due to its ability to take down flying creatures, the party landed on the mud flats nearby and traveled the rest of the way by foot. Akbar polymorphed himself into a large carrion bird and flew off to investigate.
As he arrived, they found that the buildings had been broken by several extremely large plant creatures and the former apprentices and servants of Zoran had been enslaved. The men, myriad fungi growing from their heads, stared blankly as they carried lab equipment to the northeast. A sentient plant creature, shaped like a green brain with a giant eyeball at its center and tentacle like vines dangling from the central mass was levitating along side the men as they carried their burdens. Silently, it guided them to an unknown destination. Akbar followed them for a while and returned to the party to describe what he had found.
The Kompanions wanted to use the lab as a forward base to fight against the githzerai who seemed intent on reestablishing their former fortress. Deciding that they needed to deal with the massive root plants grinding up the lab structure, they went on the attack. The plants were proved to be tough but were no match for the flaming sword of Rexor. The party moved on following the trail of the floating green brain and its fungi zombies. As they camped, a party of small green hunters with stone tipped spears moved past in the dark but were no threat.
The next day the party traveled deeper into the forest of giant mushrooms. The caps had over grown so much since they had last been here that the forest floor was now without any vegetation but the ‘shrooms. After nearly a full day of travel, the party came across a fortified village of mushroom men and other Chaos mutated plant creatures, likely Zoran’s experiments gone awry.
In an uncharacteristic fashion, the Kompanions decided to parley with the creatures, hoping to find an ally against the capable githzerai. At the center of the village was a large open air structure supported by massive timbers and a roof of plant material layered over a framework of vines. At its center was a horrifying fungal growth of fibrous tendrils, slimy squamous formations and tentacles. Sitting in a chair before it, was a Shroom dressed in a robe and long cape. The Shroom communicated with the party via telepathy.
The Shroom was pleased to learn that the Kompanions had killed Zoran though wished it had been there to see it. The party learned that the massive fungus before which they stood was the god of the mushroom men, a being which, roughly translated, could be called a Demonspore. It was currently taking its nourishment from a pile of decaying animal corpses and plant matter. The Shroom said it would allow the Kompanions to use the portal at Zoran’s former lab and join them in their fight against the githzerai if they the Kompanions made a sacrifice of corpses to the Demonspore. The party considered this briefly and agreed.
Moving off to the east, the party wished to reconnoiter the ruins of small outpost they suspected the githzerai might have reoccupied. Akbar sent an invisible stalker ahead to scout out the outpost and tell him what was there. The githzerai indeed had a small group of soldiers there, though they were not particularly wary. The party approached the outpost and waited for cover of darkness. Akbar summoned another invisible stalker and had it attack those githzerai that were sleeping. When the rest of their squad was awakened, Akbar used a death spell to wipe out the remainder. The Kompanions looted the corpses and used Akbar’s magic to speak with the dead. They learned that there were about 30 more githzerai, and a number of slaves at the old fortress working to rebuild it. The reason the githzerai were there was to gather resources. Satisfied, Akbar animated the corpses as zombies and the party marched back to village of the mushroom men.
Arriving at the village, the party presented the animated corpses of the githzerai to the Demonspore as tribute. Akbar dispelled his magic and the corpses dropped to the ground and were piled up as offerings to the loathsome fungus god. Happily accepting the gifts, the mushroom men aligned themselves with Kompanions. Having completed their objectives, the party returned back to the lab with the intention of repairing the tele-portal. After a focused study of the portal and its construction, Akbar determined that he could repair it. Rexor and Stilgar returned to the mud flats to have the rocs and Einar fly home while Akbar fixed the portal.
After stripping to his loin cloth, Akbar drew arcane runes all over his body and prepared to work on the portal. After several days of chanting, carving, and moving rocks around; he got the portal working again and determined the secrets of its construction. He would be able to create such portals from scratch in the future. The Kompanions felt satisfied with their work and headed back through the portal and returned to Vanessa’s Lament.
*maps made using Hex Kit