Rexor, Stilgar and Einar had retreated several miles from the earthwork wall after their attempt to slow down the Shadow Lord’s army. As they sat waiting for for Rexor’s ioun stone to heal his wounds, an imp became visible. It had been invisible. It had not teleported. It held up a sheet of parchment and a pouch. Then the imp set the objects on the ground, made a obscene gesture and teleported away.
The Kompanions picked up the pouch and found a quickly sketched and crude drawing.
It was not signed or marked in any way. The Kompanions pondered this development. After a little while, Stilgar and Rexor decided they would make another go at destroying the tower. Stilgar would create a distraction and Rexor would fly in and try the key on the tower. When Rexor had gotten close to the tower in the border ethereal, an alarm had gone off and four demons showed up to defend it. The Kompanions had learned by speaking with the spirit of the general they had already killed, there was distrust and selfishness among the officers of Shadow Lord’s army. Maybe the key and the drawing was some of that.
Stilgar infiltrated the camp by climbing the wall of the gorge. He quietly passed through the camp and grabbed some lantern oil from a supply tent. Finding some hobbled donkey’s wearing blankets against the cold, he cut the hobbles, doused the blankets with oil and set them a light. The terrified and suffering animals shrieked and thrashed around the compact camp setting other tents and gear on fire as they went. While it wasn’t a raging inferno, it caused enough of a distraction to draw the attention of the soldiers standing watch. Stilgar snuck back to the command tent to see if anyone was there. It was empty. As the ruckus out in the camp was going on, he grabbed as many documents as he could carry.
As the fire had grabbed the attention of the camp, Einar activated his boots of levitation and Rexor towed the reluctant henchman up and over the wall. They quietly entered the camp and arrived at the tower undetected. Einar pulled out the key and put it into the lock. He turned it and the door came unlocked. No alarms sounded and no demons appeared. They inspected the tower and found there was no one inside. Up to the third floor, they found a large cut onyx, glowing with magical power set onto a base of black stone. Rexor took up his rod of lordly might and smashed the stone. There was loud popping sound, the smell of smoke and brimstone and a growling noise from outside of the tower. A few seconds later they heard sound of the metal plates that protected the exterior of the tower being ripped off and thrown. Deciding this was the time to get out, Einar and Rexor found the trap door to the roof of the tower and made a quick exit. Four of the gorilla headed demons were furiously ripping the tower apart. The Kompanions withdrew and returned back to Castle Fuligin.
Once Akbar was finished with this side of the portal, the Kompanions decided they would create more mayhem. According to the documents they found, they had killed a general named Uday. He was one of the five most powerful servants of the Shadow Lord. One of the others was coming to take over and would be there within days. The new general was Zayid and he was bringing several of his own acolytes along. Another general, Yazeed, the most powerful of the wizards who served the Shadow Lord would eventually be taking over the invasion but was off dealing with barbarians.
The Kompanions prepared to rain fire down on the camp. Akbar caste haste and invisibility on his friends, and then fly and a prismatic sphere to protect himself. Now in full view but several hundred feet away from the camp, Akbar launched a devastating meteor swarm on the earth berm protecting the camp. The crossbowmen lining the wall were swept away. He began summoning the most powerful monsters available to attack the camp. As he did so, Zayid cast his own fly and prismatic sphere spells. Three warriors in armor with wicked looking swords drank potions and began flying toward Akbar. Two of Zayid’s acolytes drew wands. Zayid cast ice storm, dispelling the first layer of Akbar’s protections and catching the invisible Rexor in the area of effect. One acolyte blasted Akbar’s sphere with a lightening bolt from his wand, removing another layer. The other hit it with a magic missile spell, removing yet another. Akbar had cast monster summoning several times but the creatures would not be arriving for ten minutes or more. Zayid had summoned a pair of air elementals with his staff. Facing three capable wizards and several powerful warriors with magic weapons, protections and potions at hand, the Kompanions decided it was time to retreat.
Akbar activated his ring of dimension door and made the jump 360 feet away. The hasted Rexor was able to fly as fast as the elementals preventing them from catching up. Einar and Stilgar, invisible on the carpet, had started their retreat before the others and were some distance ahead but would never be able to outfly the air elementals. Akbar stopped and summoned an air elemental himself in order to slow those summoned by Zayid. It engaged with one while the other physically attacked Akbar. With several layers of the prismatic sphere still active, the elemental was destroyed. The other elementals fought as the Kompanions withdrew, regrouped and teleported home to Vanessa’s Lament.
Back at their keep, the emissaries of New Kaldonia had convinced the various rulers of the west to gather together to meet. Several petty warlords were enjoying the hospitality of the Lament’s steward. Hildi had sent one of her warband. The dwarves were represented by an important master of the smelting guild. The town of Smudge had sent a letter regretting their inability to participate in the coming war but eagerness to sell the Kompanions any gear or supplies needed. Mirko, lord of Whitemist had come with his entourage, which surprised the Kompanions. The druids, who the Kompanions had thought mostly dead, sent an esteemed member of their order.
The meeting was convened with Kalador sitting at the head in all his splendor. The Kompanions told the gathering what they knew about the immortal demi-god known among them as the Shadow Lord. Akbar presented the body of general Uday and compelled it to speak with the power of necromancy. The documents Stilgar had stolen told them that an invasion force of 50,000 men was being funneled through the pass and into the west. If they did not stand together the Shadow Lord would over come them. The Kompanions did not believe that the west could stand against so many. What would have to be done was that they would have to slay the Shadow Lord while the army of Kaladonia with support from everyone else held the pass long enough for the Kompanions to travel over the mountains and destroy the Shadow Lord himself.
The dwarves and the druids were in full agreement with this plan. The rest agreed, in principle, but they all wanted something from the Kompanions. Agreements. Compacts. Payment. Tributes. Acknowledgements of sovereignty. This was going to require patience and great effort on the part of the Kalador and his Kompanions.