Savage Tide

Chapter 12: Prince of Demons

Assault on Gaping Maw

20th Ready’ing, CY 614: Farshore

Aely, Byrker, Kaywen, Kevrey, and Styvesandt took a few weeks to get themselves ready. They spent time gearing up, getting new magic items and improving upon their old ones. Kaywen spent time in intensive study, trying to learn new and better spells. When they felt they were about as good as they were going to get they called for a meeting of their Abyssal allies. . . . . . . .

10th Coldeven, CY 614: The River Styx

After some delicate negotiations, the meeting was set for a place the lesser of all evils, on the Sea Wyvern on the River Styx. Charon was most pleased with this choice and attended in person, as did Gwynharwyf, accompanied by Celeste. Iggwilv and her four arcanaloth apprentices attended via astral projection. Malcanthet, reluctant at first, sent a Radiant sister via astral projection. Orcus sent a proxy – rotten, shambling, blood stained cadaver known as Xerivar.

The main part of the discussion/negotiation centered around the role of each ally. Iggwilv explained that there were five portal points around Gaping Maw. While Charon’s Fleet of 5,000 marraenoloths would enter the Brine Flats and run interference, it was up to the others to decide upon entry points. Gwynharwyf preferred the flanks so he would send in the Tourbillon Gale Host in from the Blood Run gate and Celeste would come in from the Oldclot Cove portal with the Starry Night Host. Orcus would supply four legions. He favored a head on approach so volunteered to enter the Lemoriax potal. That left it up to the Heroes to choose between the Jungle and the Beach entry point. When Iggwilv announced that she had discovered that fortress of Wat Dagon contained a master pearl which could and would set off all of those which had already been spread around Greyhawk, they decided that the Beach way would be the closest to this goal.

10th Coldeven, CY 614: Beach Portal, Gaping Maw

Aely, Byrker, Kaywen, Kevrey, and Styvesandt, accompanied by an eladrin force supplied by Gwynharwyf entered through the Beach portal. They found the area to be well defended by a dug in force of demons. The eladrin offered to run point thereby allowing the Heroes to head directly for Wat Dagon. Since Kaywen had supplied the Five with phantom steeds, it seemed the way to go. Aely had also summoned a number of water elementals which she set into the nearby waters. They had no sooner hit the water when they found themselves in a massive fight with the Ixitxachitl that guarded the shore. Oh, well, As the FIVE moved westward along the beach they received a sending from Iggwilv herself. “Lemoriax portal compromised. Orcus’ legions shut out. Arendagrost is present. If fixed we can salvage the attack.”

Aely, Byrker, Kaywen, Kevrey, and Styvesandt teleported to the Lemoriax portal site. What they found astounded them. There was a field of busted stumps, trees looked burnt or melted or frozen. Black blood and gore and bile were splattered across mounds of dead fiends and other horrors. In the center of it all stood a sinister totem, 10’ tall and carved of demonic visages. As they got closed to this pole Kaywen realized that many, if not all, of the protective spells he had cast were not working. At about this time a huge beast rose up from below the surface. It had a trio of maws with vaguely fiendish heads, each with a gigantic mouth of rotting teeth and rows of fangs. Its body was little more than a tangle of whirling tentacles each large enough to crush the life out of a person. It was also at this time that each realized his magic items were no longer functioning. As the beast began a furious attack, Kaywen backed off to do some studying of the situation. As the battle raged, with the party finding it quite fruitless to attack this thing, he came to understanding the situation. The totem was an item of negation of magic. The Heroes moved to the edge of the area to try to lure the beast, Arendagrost, out. But it knew its place and only reached out to attack. Even though they could get in the occasional swipe, it seemed to heal just as quickly.

The totem would have to be destroyed or removed. When arrows barely nicked it, and nothing else seemed to damage it, Kaywen asked the others to be a distraction while he moved around its line of vision. First, he summoned an earth elemental, outside of the area. Handing it one end of a rope and telling it to ‘stay,’ he then snuck in from the side making his way to the totem. Arendagrost caught sight of this but Byrker’s knightly power kept it near him. Kaywen got the rope around the pole and commanded the elemental to ‘pull,’ only to have the rope snap! At this point Styvesandt suggested they all charge the pole hoping to topple it. Byrker volunteered to keep the beast at bay, even though it could mean his demise. Kaywen grabbed the tied end of the rope, Aely, Kevrey and Styvesdandt charged the pole . . . . and all pretty much bounced off. Meanwhile Byrker was beyond death, staying on his feet only through magic means. He then entered the area to block the beast’s way. The other four took another shot at the pole. This time their combined efforts were successful and the totem fell uselessly to the ground.

For the next bit the five of them took on Arendagrost, now actually doing some real damage to him, while he did his best to hurt them. But with the pole down, the portal could be opened. It was not long before Orcus’ IX Exsanguinos legion entered and help finish off Arendagrost.

The FIVE wanted to head for Wat Dagon but the Skull King, Quah-Nomag, told them that Lemoriax itself was protected by a powerful interdiction zone and aksed them to accompany his legions to the edge of this zone as their skills would be of use. Seeing no real choice here, Aely, Byrker, Kaywen, Kevrey, and Styvesandt agreed.

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