The Kompanions returned to their keep at Vanessa’s Lament with their company of soldiers and servants carrying the massive haul of books from Arfaleo’s library. Akbar spent a few weeks identifying the party’s new acquisitions and recharging spent wands. One of the items was the great sword the party looted from the sarcophagus of the Chatelain’s champion in Hablok. Akbar learned that the sword was cursed and was the cause of Stilgar’s sudden ornithophobia. Removing the curse might not be as simple as casting a simple spell.
Stilgar consulted with his master of spies to get up to date on the news and rumors of their realm. Pim had disappeared from Whitemist leaving a power vacuum in the Warrens. His gang had started fighting amongst themselves for control and the other gangs were taking advantage of the situation to add to their own territory and incomes.
Hilda of Hablok had sent agents to Silverside to hire masons and engineers. The Dwarf master armorers of Anvil had delivered the adamantium weapons and armor to Vanessa’s Lament. The Dwarves had installed a burgomaster and allowed the trade center of Smudge its own autonomy. This was with the understanding that there would be no further trouble… or else.
The Kompanions had news from their troops guarding a magic portal on the site of Zoran’s old lab, amid the vast mushroom forest. The animal population in the area had disappeared along with the rest of the vegetation. Where there was once a diverse forest was now only giant mushrooms. Stilgar’s spies had also told him that a large contingent of myconids led by a shroom wizard had met with Mirko in Whitemist and taken away a large tribute from the city on the shores of White Lake. Stilgar, Akbar and Einar decided it might be best if they looked into these reports and went to visit their allies, the mushroom men and their god.
What they found disturbed the Kompanions. The formerly small village was becoming a burgeoning city of mushroom men. The small palisade had been replaced by substantial earth work. The mushroom god had grown from the size of a venerable oak to a towering monstrosity two hundred feet tall. The giant mushrooms had grown even taller and now blotted out the sun and allowed nothing but fungus to grow on the former forest floor. Thousands of mushroom men were at work improving the defenses, hauling trees, dead animals and plant matter to the pile of decaying organic on which their god fed. A large number of dried fish from White Lake were notable in that pile.
Stilgar, Akbar and Einar bowed to the mushroom god’s servant and traded news. The Githzerai had returned to old fortress in greater numbers but they had been defeated by the army of the mushroom men and the corpses were fed to the great god in sacrifice. This was a pleasing bit of news for the Kompanions but all else they saw was concerning. The shrooms asked if the Kompanions had brought a gift for the shroom god. The Kompanions apologized profusely for their oversight and said they would return in several days with an offering of human corpses as they had brought before when battling the Githzerai along side the mushroom man warriors.
This gave Stilgar an idea. Bowing low and taking their leave, the Kompanions returned to Vanessa’s Lament and put their soldiers and servants to work. The Shadow Staff, a powerful artifact carried by Akbar gives him the ability to animate and control one hundred zombies and skeletons. The Kompanions had hired an expert alchemist to use Pim’s formulas to create vast quantities of “alchemist fire” a viscous sticky and highly flammable liquid they had used to great effect in many of their adventures. In heavily guarded and highly secure area outside the city, they had large bulk storage vessels of the dangerous fluid.
The Kompanions had their servants and soldiers begin filling every available jar with alchemist fire and sealing them with beeswax. Each jar was placed into the abdominal cavity of a zombie or skeleton and secured in place. The subterfuge was complete when the undead were outfitted with one of the tabards worn by the garrison of Vanessa’s Lament, embroidered with the glorious image of Kalador. Working around the clock, the exhausted company of soldiers and servants managed to complete the job in three days time. They were given a considerable financial award and great favor by the Kompanions which lessened the grumbling about the arduous and gruesome task.
Akbar marched the undead army through the portal and on, to the city of the mushroom men. The shrooms greeted them excitedly knowing that their great god would enjoy the feast to come and grow ever more powerful. The zombies and skeletons were marched to the city center and onto the great earthwork where the mushroom god sat absorbing the pile of organic material around it. The shrooms insisted that the Kompanions come close to their god and show proper respect by approaching their deity with downturned eyes and kneeling. The Kompanions balked but eventually agreed when the zombies had gotten close to the god itself. As they approached, the Kompanions felt their minds probed by a powerful telepathic force and cloud of spores puffed at them as they came near. They shrugged off the effects of the spores and the mental probe but their ambush was revealed to the god. The god called to its followers to kill the Kompanions and destroy the zombies.
It was too late. Akbar sent ninety zombies, all carrying jars of a highly flammable liquid in their bodies, to smash themselves against the body of the mushroom god. The creature’s primary powers being psychic and not physical, had no defense against the mindless undead. As the undead were delivering their deadly payloads, Akbar sent a fireball from a wand he was carrying into the mass of zombies. A massive flash of flame engulfed the doomed god as the alchemist fire was ignited. Stilgar used his powerful martial skills to smash the shroom wizard into paste before it could bring its magic to bear. Spore-zombies, humans who had been infected with spores of the god and bent to its will attacked the party as well as the shroom soldiers.
Knowing their danger, the Kompanions used their flying carpet to gain altitude and avoid the shrooms. Akbar cast invisibility to hide the party as Stilgar shielded him from crossbow bolts and spears. Einar flew the party away from scene as the shroom god was incinerated and collapsed to the ground, setting fire to other structures in the city.
Safely away from the chaos, Akbar conjured a fire elemental to rampage through the city and destroy as many of the fleeing mushroom men as possible. Having accomplished their task, the Kompanions returned to Vanessa’s Lament feeling very pleased with themselves.