The Pass of The Dead: Game Report 37

Akbar wished to study an object the Kompanions had found in the treasures liberated from the lair of the Nixthisis. It was enclosed in a dark wood box, inscribed with the blasphemous symbols of Chaos. Upon opening the box, the Kompanions discovered a metal orb with eight metal arrows protruding from it. The device was detected as magic though they didn’t need to use a spell to sort that out! It did not appear in the catalogs that Akbar possessed and such a device was not familiar to him so he would have to consult with his fiendish counselors from realms beyond. 

Akbar had been told by his patron that the Shadow Lord was sending an army through the Pass of the Dead to assault Castle Fuligin and invade the lands of the west. While Akbar was investigating their new device, Rexor, Stilgar and Einar would see what was happening in the Pass of the Dead. Akbar would teleport them near Castle Fuligin and check on them periodically with the scrying mirror so that he could teleport them home when they were ready. While the Kompanions were out scouting, emissaries to the rulers of the other cities of the west were sent out to convince the rulers that the threat of the Shadow Lord was real and they should come to a council of war to join in the fight.

The Pass of the Dead is the only path by which an army of any size could move through the mountain range separating the East and West without being wiped out by an army waiting on the other side. Even then, not more than two hundred men could pass shoulder to shoulder through the widest part of the pass. It got its name after a wizard bearing the Shadow Staff broke it in the midst of a battle with the Shadow Lord’s invading army. The Chaos energy released in the blast was infused into the valley. For many long centuries all who died there immediately arose as undead under the charge of a death knight named Mithros. General Mithros had been in command of the western army who fought in the pass the day the Shadow Staff was broken. He was slain in the blast but immediately arose, along with his officers, as a Death Knight. He and his ever growing legions of undead prevented the Shadow Lord from invading ever since. After the fragments of the staff were removed and reforged in the Temple of Bones by Akbar, the energies of Chaos had begun to fade in the valley and the potency of the Dead Legions had started to wane. The Shadow Lord sensed this and quelled the constant infighting among his generals and the wizards who governed his vast empire. Now they once again strive to bring all the world under their rule. 

The Kompanions were teleported close to the castle but not to it directly. They had brought along their flying carpet and flew it to get a look at what was going on. As they approached, it was clear that a battle was in progress. Thousands of the Shadow Lord’s men were locked in battle with the undead of the pass. In the old days, every soldier who fell would become a zombie almost as fast as they hit the ground. Even when one of the undead was destroyed, it would eventually reform, the power of Chaos was potent. Now, not many returned as zombies and only a few of Mithro’s officers remained. The dead were losing the battle. Cautious and uncertain that Mithros would view them as allies, the Kompanions slowly approached. Mithros turned to them, bowed and said, “I serve the staff.” There was a brief conversation about the situation and the Kompanions asked how they might be of assistance. Mithos pointed out a massive siege tower slowly rumbling through the pass. He said that was where the army’s general would be found and if he could be killed, they might still hold the pass for a while longer. 

Mithos called upon a servant with some magical skill who cast haste and invisibility on the Kompanions. They flew high over the battle field and swooped low to attack the figures on top of the siege tower. The tower was nearly 100 feet tall, clad with metal plates and ensorceled with various spells of warding and protection. It moved without any visible means. On its roof was a group of warriors clad in enameled plate armor, bearing crossbows as well as three wizards. Occasionally, the wizards would send a fireball or other spell into the battlefield below. The Kompanons swooped low to leap off their rug onto the tower’s roof to kill the general and his men. By some magical means, the soldiers were aware of the attack and not surprised by the sudden appearance of the Kompanions. Quickly a half dozen warriors surrounded their master. The supporting wizards spread out so that they could not all be destroyed  by area of effect spell. They were all well trained and equipped. 

Stilgar dropped down onto the platform and attacked one of the supporting wizards as Rexor made an attack on the general, also a wizard. Two of the general’s guards were able to engage the mighty Rexor as the others came on to join in the fight. Stilgar deftly avoided several magic missile attacks shouting his battle cry, “Parkour!” Rexor activated the ring of shocking grasp he had taken from the corpse of Pim and tried to use it on the wizard general but the magical protections of the man kept Rexor from delivering the charge. The rest of the warriors on top of the tower surrounded the Kompanions as Einar flew above the tower to provide a quick escape path. The guards were all quite able warriors and their blows rained down on the Kompanions.

Stilgars fists battered the first wizard and he used his acrobatic skills and uncanny speed to engage with the second wizard. Rexor continued to battle the guards, cutting some down but it was not an easy fight.

Stilgar finished off the second wizard, shrugged off a disintegration spell but had to deal with the captain of the general’s guard detail. He was a massive soldier wearing magic armor and bearing an enchanted greatsword. Rexor’s cleaved through flesh and mail. Stilgar crushed the skull of the general but was in danger of being killed himself. Quickly, he signalled to Einar that it was time go, he grabbed the corpse of the general and his staff. The blood on his hands made the staff slippery and it fell over the side of the tower as Stilgar leapt over the side of the tower and onto the flying carpet. Though he was still in good shape, Rexor thought it wise to leave the battle as well and he unfolded his wings and joined Stilgar and Einar in their flight from the siege tower back to Mithros. Not long after, the forces of the Shadow Lord began making an orderly withdrawal back out of the valley. Their strength and morale was diminished by the loss of their lord and it would be impossible to take Castle Fuligin this day. 

After some words with Mithos, the Kompanions made their way away from the battle to await their retrieval by Akbar. By and by, Akbar teleported them back to Vanessa’s Lament where they learned about other events taking place in Whitemist and some of the other cities beyond their domains. The Kompanions prepared to speak to the rulers and heroes of land, hoping that they would be able to sway them to the purpose of fighting the Shadow Lord. 

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