The adventurers were stuck between a rock and a hard place, though not all of them were aware of it yet. An undead army of ghouls commanded by Deddumlir, the perversion of their old friend Weddumlir, pursued them through the TEMPLE OF WANJO, catching up to them in the LIBRARY. While Meldor Ironforge the Dwarf Wizard, an invisible Davroar Hollysword the Cleric of the Mad God Moriarty, Nikolas the brass Dragonborn Fighter, Nellson Williams the red Tiefling Artificer with a robotic left arm and his steel defender gorilla Cupcake, Shelby the Rakshasa Sorcerer disguised as a human librarian, and Kudac the Half-Orc Cleric of Baldnoggin had escaped into the WAR’TODE TUNNELS, Lightfingers the Elf Rogue, Nathan Garney the Human Cleric of Everly, Pigsnot the Elf Fighter, Acindor the Human Fighter, , Eondul the Human Wizard, and Dumplin Ages the Halfling Barbarian and her death dogs were forced to mount a running defense against an onslaught of ghouls in the LIBRARY. A bottleneck had formed at the door to the LIBRARY’s STORAGE ROOM, which sported a tunnel at its rear to the WAR’TODE TUNNELS, Davroar Hollysword the Cleric of the Mad God Moriarty, quite invisible, made his way through that same LIBRARY, into the STORAGE ROOM and the tunnel dug into the back of that room, and into the WAR’TODE TUNNELS.
Only Davroar, Meldor and Nikolas presently knew that CAERULEUM’s WATER PORTAL to FARRAGO lay within reach, but was guarded by a most inconvenient WAR’TODE ENCAMPMENT.
Out of the Frying Pan
Headed back toward the STORAGE ROOM to urge his comrades onward, Kudac suddenly found himself stepping into a bright light which deposited him into the LIBRARY near Lightfingers. Looking behind him, Kudac frowned, spotting the Tale of Acindor, a magical book he dearly wished to be rid of. Had he just stepped out of the book somehow? He thought he saw a a small version of the bookwyrm he knew to be the goddess Canon slip into its pages.
A ghoul leapt over Lightfinger’s prone and paralyzed body to attack the half-orc cleric. Kudace swung his mace at the nearest one, killing it instantly. Seeing more coming toward them, Kudac said a hasty prayer to Baldnoggin, who once more reminded him that the TEMPLE OF WANJO had become a god trap and that he could not directly intervene.
Eondul made his way toward the STORAGE ROOM door but he was too far away to reach it.
Acindor glancecd down at Dumplin Ages, who was blithely painting one of her death dog’s toe nails. Urging her to get a move on, he readied himself in the STORAGE ROOM to guard their retreat. Dumplin Ages realized that the others were upset with her, so she decided to hop atop one of her death dogs and ride it into the WAR’TODE TUNNELS, though she regretted that the dog’s toenails would have to be repainted. Pigsnot too beat a hasty retreat out of the LIBRARY into the WAR’TODE TUNNELS.
Nathan Garney cast healing word on Lightfingers to heal his wounds. Kudac dodged a slashing claw attack from the ghoul, then hit it with his mace hard enough to knock its fangs out of its head. As it died, Kudacnoticed that the LIBRARY was on fire and the flames were moving toward them. He picked up Lightfinger’s still-paralyzed body to save him. Two ghouls lunged for Lightfingers. The first missed but the other bit down hard on the thief’s backside, latching on like a pitbull. Kudac attempted to dislodge the ghoul unsuccessfully but was forced to concentrate on keeping ahead of the flames.
Eondul considered the plight of his comrades and decided not to waste his magic. Between the fire and the ghouls, there was simply no time to waste. He would’ve left the thief’s dead weight behind to distract the ghouls. Instead, he continued his retreat from the LIBRARY and made his way into the WAR’TODE TUNNELS. As he passed through the STORAGE ROOM, he spotted a conspicuous ring lying on the floor. Something about it made him wary, though he could sense the artifact’s power. While he was too suspicious of the ring to pick it up himself, he thought of the perfect guinea pig.
“Hey, there’s something shiny on the floor here!” he shouted.
Dumplin Ages poked her head around the corner. “Shiny?”
Eondul pointed to the ring.
Grinning ear to ear, she sent a death dog to fetch it. Eondul hid a smile as she took it from the dog’s mouth to examine it.
Seeing the flames approach, Acindor finally retreated into the WAR’TODE TUNNELS.
Nathan Garney cast turn undead, causing three of the ghouls to flee. Fortunately, this included the one who’d latched onto Lightfingers. Freed of the ghoul’s added weight, Kudac doubled his efforts to reach safety. Lightfinger’s paralysis wore off, making things easier still.
Even so, ghouls continued to rush out of the walls of flames. A flaming ghoul met its end by Kudac’s mace. Lightfingers dispatched a ghoul with his sword. As it flailed backward in its death throes, it slashed the throat of the ghoul behind it. As they passed through the STORAGE ROOM doors, Lightfingers slammed the door shut and drew a hammer and piton from his pack. He drove the piton into the floor to block the door from opening just in time to hear the satisfying sound of ghoul bodies slamming into it impotently.
Into the Fire
As Meldor and Nikolas brought their comrades up to speed about the WAR’TODE ENCAMPMENT nearby, they quietly crept to a ledge overlooking a vast subterranean cavern. Even before they reached the overlook, they could hear a multitude of voices from a large settlement. The WAR’TODE ENCAMPMENT was laid out before them, a hodgepodge array of tents, watch fires and prisoner cages on a sprawling beach.
They even spotted a cage that looked like it contained a small dragon. The froggish War’tode soldiers were everywhere, but were especially concentrated around a set of ornate double doors leading back into the TEMPLE OF WANJO and atop a high ledge at the east end of the cavern which sported both the WATER PORTAL they were oathbound to open and the throne of the Big Big Boss Gilderwart. There were much larger frog-men guarding their Big Big Boss. Acindor recognized the creatures as fr’ogres. He also recognized a certain half goblin wearing the uniform of the Sisterhood of Shettebrek. They’d met her in battle with the Fearless in the PEACOCK ISLAND DOCKYARDS. She’d escaped at the end of the battle, but what was she doing here?
It was obvious from the position of the cages near the pier that the War’todes intended to sacrifice the prisoners, numbering almost fifty, in order to summon War’t in order to demonstrate that Gilderwart was the true leader of the War’todes. Most of the adventurers knew that the traditional Staff of Summoning had been lost during the Upheavel when the First Star fell in accordance with the Starkiller Prophecy, devastating much of the TIDELANDS around the TEMPLE OF WANJO. The Staff of Summoning was used to summon the War’tode god War’t to eat sacrifices and prisoners while conferring safety on whomever the weilder of the Staff deemed loyal to him. A War’tode Civil War between the Big Boss of Gighole Keep and Gilderwart resulted in the latter self-proclaimed Big Big Boss and his minions being forced over the edge of a cenote known as the WAR’TMAW. Gilderwart and his cohorts had washed up on the subterranean beach the adventurers were now surveying. Apparently, Gilderwart hadn’t yet given up his dreams of War’tode dominance. Unfortunately, even if he did manage to summon War’t with his mad plan, he would be unable to prevent his god from eating his own forces!
From their current position, the adventurers could see that there seemed to be no good way down from the ledge itself. A wide latrine ditch had been dug below them. Honestly, they could smell it well before they spotted it. The mess tent was pitched nearby. While it was large enough to break their fall, it was too far to risk the leap. Nikolas mentioned the tunnel off to their east that wound down to the ground level of the beach the WAR’TODE ENCAMPMENT stood upon, but it was very close to the TEMPLE doors the War’todes guarded. Once they were spotted, they’d be in a running battle they might not be able to win.
In hushed whispers, they discussed what top do next. Shelby offered to teleport whomever wished to join him to the top of the PORTAL LEDGE. Dumplin Ages and her death dogs, Meldor Ironforge, Nathan Garney, Pigsnot, and Acindor agreed to be teleported. Eondul agreed to be teleported to the ground to open the TEMPLE doors. It was quite obvious from the pounding on the doors that something was trying to break through. Logically, they deduced that the army of the dead they’d just narrowly escaped had made its way from there from the TEMPLE PRISONS via the EXAMINATION ROOM, CRYPT OF THE OLD GUARD and HALL OF POISON DARTS. They intended to use the undead army as a massive distraction. Nikolas, Kudac and Nellson opted to take the tunnel to the ground floor, intending to free the dragon and the prisoners.
Acting quickly, Shelby teleported Eondul to a position near the TEMPLE doors behind a fr’ogre. For the moment, he was invisible and undetected.
As they others got into a group to be mass teleported to the PORTAL LEDGE, Acindor was knocked off the ledge. He fell twenty feet into the latrine ditch. His fall splashed sewage on some nearby War’todes, attracting their immediate attention. One of the frog people attacked Acindor on sight, whacking the fighter with his wooden club. Acindor’s symbiotic sword formed on his arm, but not in time to parry the blow.The other followed Acindor’s trajectory and, seeing the adventurers assembled on the ledge, cried a warning to the camp.
A few seconds later, every eye in the camp was on them.
Thinking quickly, Shelby cast a minor illusion to make it appear as if he were holding the staff of summoning.
Seeing the the coveted staff, the Big Big Boss Gilderwart stood to his feet and cried, “Hold! He brings us the staff! The one who brings me the staff of summoning shall have eternal life and the favor of War’t shall shine upon him all his days!”
This was not the reaction Shelby had been hoping for.
Realizing that they definitely needed that distraction now, Eondul cast knock on the TEMPLE doors. The doors were flung open and to everyone’s surprise, a zombie tyrannosaurus burst into the WAR’TODE ENCAMPMENT!
Unfortunately for Eondul, his invisibility dissipated the second he cast knock, making him visible. His presence drew the attention of nearby fro’gre. Fortunately, the fr’ogre quickly decided the zombie t-rex was the bigger threat and turned his attention back to TEMPLE doors.
Deciding that the t-rex was more than they bargained for, Pigsnot drew his longbow and shot an arrow at it, but missed in his haste.
Fight for the Portal Platform
Shelby teleported Dumplin Ages and her death dogs, Meldor, Pigsnot, Nathan, Lightfingers and himself to the back of the PORTAL LEDGE.
Nathan cast bless on the party to prepare them for the fight.
Deciding that the PORTAL PLATFORM was now too crowded, the Sister of Shettebrek fired an arrow and teleported herself down to the shoreline atop the cage the baby dragon was imprisoned in.
Meldor cast thunderwave and knocked one of the fr’ogres down the stone stairs that led up to the PORTAL PLATFORM. The spell also knocked another off its feet.
As it rose again, Lightfinger attempted to stab a fr’ogre, but his daggers bounced harmlessly off its rubbery hide. The fr’ogre took a wild swing at him, but Lightfingers deftly dodged aside. The fr’ogre lost its balance and again fell prone at his feet. Pigsnot instantly fell upon the prone fr’ogre with his blade, causing it to bellow in pain.
Dumplin sicced her death dogs on the fr’ogre who lay directly in front of the Water Portal. Three of the death dog heads managed to get a grip on the fr’ogre. The fr’ogre felt poison entering its bloodstream as the two-headed canines savaged it.
Shelby cast cloud kill, centering it upon the Big Big Boss. Though their foes became obscured within the poisonous yellow-green fog which quickly spread from Gilderwart’s throne, they could hear cries of pain as the poison began affecting them.
Nathan Garney cast sacred flame at the closest prone fr’ogre to prevent it from rising.
Meldor cast shape water and caused the underground lake to sweep up onto the beach in a sudden tsunami, sweeping a few War’tode guards and the half-goblin Sister of Shettebrek along in its course and then sweeping them back into the lake.
Lightfingers continued to harass the prone fr’ogre in front of him and immediately found himself being attacked by a War’tode for his efforts. Another rushed at Nathan, but the human cleric dodged aside. Nathan attempted to take a swipe at his attacker, but the War’tode leapt back out of the cleric’s range. One of the fr’ogres shot out its tongue to grab Lightfingers, but the thief managed to dive out of its path.
The War’todes and fr’ogres within Shelby’s poisonous cloud continued to suffer the effects of his foul magic. They were unable to escape because they couldn’t see well enough to avoid falling off the platform and dared not rush out of the cloud as they so dearly wished to!
Pigsnot attacked a fr’ogre but his weapons bounced off the creature’s rubbery skin. The monster took a distracted swipe at him, but missed, being leery of the death dogs. Dumplin’s death dogs continued to attack the fr’ogres as the halfling barbarian moved toward the portal.
Shelby dissipated his expanding cloud kill spell, lest it harm himself and the rest of the party on the PORTAL PLATFORM. He instead cast psychic lance on a nearby fr’ogre. The creature wailed in agony as it grabbed its head, unable to think about anything but the pain. The incapacitated creature
While Meldore Ironforge cast scorching ray at one of the fr’ogres, Nathan Garney cast guardian of faith, producing a spectral guardian near the top of the stairs, hoping to provide a deterrent against any enemies coming up the stairs.
Lightfingers attacked the incapicitated fr’ogre, hurting the bloodied creature badly.
Freeing the Dragon
Meanwhile, Nikolas, Nellson and Kudac made their way down to the beach via the eastern tunnel, intent on freeing the prisoners and especially the imprisoned dragon.
Acindor wrenched himself out of the latrine, trying to ignore the stench and the sights it afforded. He took a swipe at a nearby War’tode with his symbiotic sword arm. He slipped in the sewage and missed but his foe was too distracted by the t-rex to take advantage of the slip.
Nikolas burst onto the beach and made his way toward Acindor. Swinging his weapon at a War’tode, he removed its head from its shoulders. The head went sailing and hit Acindor in the face, adding blood to the sewage coating him. Immediately afterward, Acindor found himself being attacked by a peeper War’tode. He dodged the smaller creature’s weapon and took a swing to ward it away.
Acindor slogged out of the cesspool and took a swig of a healing potion, being careful to wipe the sewage off the top. Feeling invigorated, he impaled the peeper who’d been harassing him on the point of his arm sword.
Nikolas continued his advance into the ENCAMPMENT, taking out another War’tode who strayed into his path. Kudac and Nellson kept pace behind him. Nellson put down another War’tode as it rushed them. Cupcake picked up another War’tode and tossed it into one of its fellows.
The zombie t-rex stomped a War’tode flat and bit another in half. The fr’ogre beside Eondul turned to flee the monster’s wrath and spotted Eondul again. Eondul found himself on the receiving end of the fr’ogres War’thammer. The blow nearly crushed the wizard’s rib cage in. Spitting blood, Eondul cast a flight spell to put some distance between himself and his attacker.
Nikolas moved closer to the prisoner cages, killing a War’tode with his longsword. The slain creature fell back against his buddy, knocking the weapon from the other War’tode’s hands. Enraged, the weaponless War’tode nonetheless threw himself at the dragonborn, beating his fists ineffectually against his armor. Nikolas tried to shake him but the frenzied creature proved too intense to easily remove.
The z-rex leapt up in the air and snapped at Eondul, who was flying too close to the undead dinosaur’s bite level. Luckkily, it missed, though it stomped a War’tode flat when it landed. Roaring in outrage, the z-rex coughed up one of the zombies in its stomach. Behind it, a zombie ogre and a couple of ghouls rushed out of the TEMPLE doors, slaying the other War’todes guarding it.
Eondul decided to get away from the z-rex. He flew over to the imprisoned dragon and cast knock. The door to the dragon’s cage flew open. The dragon was unlike any he’d ever seen or heard of. It didn’t appear to be a dragon of color, nor chromatic or even crystalline. He was sure this type had even been described in lore before. It had a neck frill and eyes that changed color constantly.
The dragon immediately belched and then bit him. The smell was almost worse than the pain. The dragon’s eyes danced with amusement.
Kudac chopped off the head of the crazed War’tode beating its fists against Nikolas’ chest. Nikolas managed to step back enough to keep from being harmed himself by the swing. Nikolas ran toward the freed dragon, realizing that Eondul had (ahem) bit off more than he could chew.
“Why are you eating my friend?” he asked in Draconic.
The dragon scoffed. “Because I’m hungry.”
“Then why not eat the War’todes who imprisoned you?”
“They taste fishy.” Even so, it agreed to let Eondul live. “Now what?” the dragon asked, expectantly.
Nells moved closer to the z-rex and took a shot at the fr’ogre near it, scoring a hit. Cupcake pounded a prone War’tode into the sand, killing it. Acindor circled around the back of the mess tent, hoping to find a path to the PORTAL PLATFORM that didn’t involve wading into the undead.
Nomad the Warforged Sorcerer woke up. He vividly recalled his last thought as Talrus the Tiefling Bard and Warlock as he succumbed to the froghemoth’s digestive juices. All thought of the froghemoth were immediately dispelled as he realized he was mere inches away from teeth as tall as the gates to the Citty of Mages. His terror vanished into adoration and celebration and the entity before him drew back to reveal itself to be the Mad God Moriarty.
Nomad barely suppressed a fanboy squeal. Moriarty had been his hero for as long as he could remember!
“No-chance, I admire the level of chaos you managed to stir up in your encounter with that frog cleric and its abomination,” Moriarty said, “so I’m giving you the chance to dedicate yourself to my service.”
Nomad readily agreed.
“I’m going to send you into the thick of things and I have only one desire of you: Create as much chaos as you can. To aid you in this task, I offer you this.”
A small metal item appeared in Nomad’s hand. “It’s a lockpick. It will only work once, but you will definitely need it where I’m sending you.”
Before Nomad could ask any more questions or for an autograph, he found himself in a prisoner cage near the waters of an underground lake. Peering through the bars, it was clear he was in some kind of WAR’TODE ENCAMPMENT. His cage was one of many in two stacked rows of cages he could see out the front of his cell. The cages were full. A lone War’tode guarded this row but his attention was transfixed on something beyond them. Something that roared. Something big.
Acting quickly, he used the lockpick to exit the cage. Stepping out of the cage broke the War’tode’s line of sight. The guard nocked an arrow and sent it sailing. The missile bounced off Nomad’s metal body harmlessly. The War’tode peed himself.
Nomad cast Tasha’s caustic brew in a 30 foot line, hitting all of the locks in one row of cages. He was careful to also aim it at the dragon’s cage. He was successful in opening only one cage.
A human female fighter stepped out. “Thank you, metal man,” she said. “Now haste! We must free the other prisoners!”
He shrugged. “Why should I do that?”
“Because look around: they’re in danger,” she said.
“What is more important to you if not the lives of these prisoners?” she asked, not bothering to hide her exasperation.
“Oh, I just want to brew some chaos,” Nomad said.
“Then let them free!” she said. “The War’todes will never know what hit them. Trust me. A prison break is the only thing that could make this situation we’re in more chaotic than it is!”
He considered her words and then shrugged. “Okay.”
Nomad took a few steps back and cautioned her to get out of the way. He again used Tasha’s caustic brew to attempt to break the locks on a line of prisoner cells. The line of acid freed another five prisoners.
The Glory of Moriarty
At this moment, Davroar Hollysword broke his invisiblity spell and prayed to the Mad God Moriarty, casting the Glory of Moriarty upon the battlefield. Everyone in the WAR’TODE ENCAMPMENT, including those on the PORTAL PLATFORM felt a wave of confusion as reality warped around them from the chaotic energies unleashed by the spell. All of them saw Moriarty smile. Heard him laugh.
Almost everyone found themselves teleported to somewhere new, switching places with some other person or creature in the WAR’TODE ENCAMPMENT. The switch was so disorienting that for the first few seconds, only the mindless undead found the wherewithal to act.
Encampment of Chaos
Down at the prisoner cages, Nomad watched as the zombie ogre used his warclub to bash in the skull of another recently released prisoner. He was disappointed at the loss but nothing could dampen his exhilaration for he recognized the hand of the Mad God Moriarty in this act. And it was glorious!
Nellson found himself lying prone near the lake’s edge. Spotting a ghoul approaching, he scrambled to his feet. Fortunately, the ghoul’s target was a War’tode, who perished with a wail of surprise and despair.
Eondul watched the chaos unfold from where he’d stood beside the dragon’s cage. Neither he nor the dragon had moved. Eondul’s instinct was to fly straight up and hopefully out of danger. He was surpised when the dragon joined him, hovering beside him in midair. Were they friends now? Or was the monster just keeping track of its emergency rations? The dragon’s bite still hurt horribly.
Pigsnot found himself inside one of the prisoner cages. To his dismay, he found that he was locked inside! He shook the bars impotently then shouldered the door as hard as he could. It didn’t budge. Did anyone even know where he was?
Kudac was about to behead another War’tode when the chaos of Davroar’s spell resulted in a massive shell game. Robbed of his target, he saw that Meldor had materialized nearby surrounded by a trio of War’todes. Kudac wasted no time. Rushing at the nearest of Meldor’s foes, he dispatched it easily.
Nikolas attacked the other two War’todes near Meldor. He skewered both of them with his longsword and tossed them aside. Relieved of his adversaries, Meldor noted that the Water Portal was opening. Uttering a spell, he took flight and headed back toward the PORTAL PLATFORM.
Cupcake found the fr’ogre incapacitated by Shelby’s psychic lance and pummeled it. Nells made his way to his steel defender and took a shot at the fr’ogre Cuopcake was attacking.
Nomad was blessed to witness the glory of Moriarty, but he was a bit miffed to be out-chaosed by another follower of the Mad God. Casting about for a suitable target for his anger, he cast hunger of hadar on the incapacitated fr’ogre that Nells and Cupcake were trying to finish off.
The spell opened a gateway to the ether of the Elderwyld. A 20-foot-radius sphere of blackness and bitter cold formed, centered on the incapacitated fr’orge. Those within this void and in the area immediately surrounding it heard an unnerving cacophony of soft whispers and slurping noises but they could see nothing. Cupcake, both death dog, a ghoul, two War’todes and the fr’ogre found themselves completely blinded. Intense cold ended the existence of the ghoul and the War’todes as milky, otherwordly tentacles rub against it.
Finding himself in the mess tent between a War’tode and a fr’ogre. The fr’ogre had its back to him, so he whipped out a dagger and dispatched the War’tode before it could sound an alarm. Dashing to the War’tode as it fell, he guided it gently to the floor so its fall wouldn’t alert the fr’ogre to his presence. He exited the tent with haste.
The Sister of Shettebrek found herself high atop the ledge the adventurers had first surveyed the WAR’TODE ENCAMPMENT from. The chaos was so perfect that she wasn’t able to sort out a target, but it didn’t take the half-goblin assassin long to adjust to the new battlefield. She fired an arrow at Kudac, but whether by accident or instinct, he stepped aside. As he attempted to trace the arrow back to its source, Kudac took a blow from a War’tode, forcing him to keep his attention on the ground level.
Meanwhile, a fr’ogre killed one of the freed prisoners, while the zombie ogre took out another. The fr’ogre within the hunger of Hadar flailed about in his final agonies and then died. The rest of the fr’ogres surrounded the Big Big Boss Gilderwart, rallying at the base of the hewn stone stairwell to the PORTAL PLATFORM, preparing to retake the PLATFORM.
And the glory of Moriarty continued to reign on the beach of the underground lake.
The Portal Platform
Atop the PORTAL PLATFORM, the z-rex wasted no time. It snatched up one of the recently released prisoners in its jaws. Acindor, Nathan Garney, Shelby, Dumplin Ages and Davroar Hollysword, now the only members of the party on the PORTAL PLATFORM, watched as the poor victim’s legs sailed over the ledge with dawning horror that they would likely be next! It was only dumb luck that the ghoul that appeared in front of Nathan Garney was facing away from him. It immediately attacked a fr’ogre who was far enough away to take the ghoul up by its muscular neck and hurl it from the PLATFORM.
Dumplin Ages was confused by and alarmed by the changes atop the PORTAL PLATFORM. Her death dogs were nowhere to be seen and there was a zombie tyrannosaur eating people! Realizing that an open portal represented her best chance of escape from the zombie t-rex, she examined the base of the portal and found a spot where the star sapphire might fit perfectly. As she placed the gemstone in the setting, the portal began to hum and runes around its perimeter began to glow faintly. Grinning triumphantly, she called her death dogs while she waited for the portal to open. The two-headed dogs savaged two War’todes as they made their way through the ENCAMPMENT.
Acindor noticed Davroar had materialized near the PORTAL. His friend had been acting strangely since he appeared in the EXAMINATION ROOM of the TEMPLE OF WANJO. They hadn’t seen him since they’d left the RELIQUARY in Obscurus’ MANSION. Since they couldn’t be sure of his intentions, Acindor decided that he was needed to keep the portal from being closed. Just as he was about to dash to the portal, he heard a voice behind him.
Acindor turned around. To his shock, he found himself looking at his wife, Melissa the Human Fighter. Rather, it was the wife of the man whose husk he’d been using since B.O.B. gave him this body.
“I thought you were dead!” Melissa said, her words partly accusing. “You died! I saw you die.”
“We don’t have time for this, Melissa,” Acindor said, well aware of the z-rex they shared the PLATFORM with. “We need to get to the portal. We have to protect Dumplin.”
“No!” Melissa shouted. “No, we need to talk about this. How are you here? Is this even you? I saw you die! I’m not going anywhere with you until I hear a good explanation.”
Acindor didn’t try to hide his frustration. “There’s a zombie t-rex behind me, the Water Portal is about to open, a fr’ogre to my left.. Just help me, please!”
She glanced at the t-rex. “Fine. I’ll do it for our children, but we will talk about this.”
She followed him as he dashed behind the the tyrannosaur, ducked beneath its tail to stand beside the portal. Acindor could help but note that he was standing directly beneath the t-rex’s butt. He tried not to imagine what it might be like if the monster relieved itself just now. What exactly would a zombie dinosaur crap out?
Shelby decided that the t-rex needed to go. He opened a dimensional door beside him and opened another directly above the dinosaur. Stepping through, he fell onto the zombie dinosaur’s back and touched it with his staff, banishing it. With the dinosaur gone, the rakshasa fell roughly the rest of the way to the ground, but at least now a major obstacle had been removed. Well, for a minute anyway.
A nearby War’tode, who’d been readying himself to attack the rakshasa before he used the dimensional doors. He sniffed and whined a little when Shelby reappeared further away in the place where the t-rex had been. His big hero moment had been robbed form him.
Nathan Garney cast sacred flame on the last remaining fr’ogre on the PLATFORM.
Davroar attacked the fr’ogre with sacred flame. Unable to reach Davroar, it attacked the nearest foe, which happened to be Melissa. She deftly dodged its clumsily swing and even somersaulted out of the reach of a War’tode who tried to capitalize on the fr’ogre’s attack.
A War’tode attempted to attack Nathan Garney but Melissa dispatched it.
The Vengeance of Kroakatoa
High atop another ledge directly across from the PORTAL PLATFORM, a figure appeared. “Behold!” a voice shouted in a magically amplified voice for all to hear.
Nomad’s head snapped around at the sound of the voice, whom he recognized instantly from his former life as Talrus as Snizzle the Cleric of Kroakatoa.
“Behold,” Snizzle continued, “the true power of the true god, Kroakatoa! For the Avatar of Kroakatoa has come to you at last to destroy the infidels of the false god War’t! Repent! For the hour of your judgment is here!” The drunken War’tode cleric waved his hand toward the western edge of the lake’s edge, where a froghemoth was wading toward the shore.
Nomad decided that as much as he wanted revenge on Snizzle, he wanted no part of the froghemoth. Digesting in its stomach once was more than enough! He immediately began plotting his path toward the portal.