Before we moved on, the Satyr told us a bit about himself. “As I said before, my name is Zethrendall. You can call me Zeth for short. I am the last surviving member of the Alliance of Ephates….the youngest of twelve. My comrades have fallen while hunting Esmarelda the Enchanted. Do you know of her?”. We all looked at each other questioningly for a moment, then shrugged in disappointment. He continued, “She is the queen of the Blood Mountain Argonauts. She has a black raven familiar named Ezmas, and we believe she is currently hiding in Mhandalore. Her magic must be uncovered and stopped for we fear she is part of a bigger plot against the city.” He also told us of a Yuan-ti Abomination nearby and an ancient guardian Dark Creeper monster; both of which had killed some of his kin. My insight told me that Zeth was genuine and he wasn’t lying to us. We told him a brief version of our situation and he answered that we’d have to kill the abomination to get out of the sewers to the dig site. Rico immediately gathered all the info he could about the abom and his surroundings from Zeth and devised a plan. We would gather all our oil,alchemist’s fire, and thunderstones into a barrel and make a surprise attack on the abomination by throwing it on him, simultaneously setting him ablaze and disorienting the massive amounts of large bats that Zeth said surrounded him in the cave. The plan was almost foolproof. Unfortunately the one we chose to throw the barrel happened to be a fool.Qualen moved silently into the cavern to try and locate the Yuan-ti Abomination. She made a slight noise that caused a few bats to start flying around but it wasn’t very loud and nothing else had yet detected her. Brute, who stood at the entrance to the cavern holding the super bang barrel, got spooked from hearing those bats take flight and hurled the barrel full strength into the darkness. It exploded in a massive ball of fire, sound, and light….and did damage to ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! Two things it did do however were; make all the bats in the entire cavern go completely crazy, and light up the entire area where we were sitting ducks to the Abom as well as the multiple giant bats that had now appeared. Brute had thrown the barrel in the opposite direction of the target. NO Brute!! NO! Bad Orc!! The giant bats began to swoop down and attempt to grab us up. One grabbed web and tried to fly off but I stunned it with a soundblast spell and it dropped him. I didnt think before I cast it though. The spell also hit Web and combined with the fall damage he took from the height, he was almost dead when he hit the ground. I ran for web with a heal but the abom dropped him with an arrow from a nice looking bow before I could get half way to him. When I finally got to Web the Yuan-ti turned his bow on me and took me from the conscious world before I could heal him. As my sight blacked out I knew we were finished because I wouldn’t be able to heal anyone if I was dead. As I lay there unconscious and dying in a dream state, I heard the voice of my God say in my head “Not yet my son, I shall meet you in person much later.” Suddenly I awoke to Zeth standing over me and smiling. “Welcome back!” he said. Thank the gods! He had neglected to mention that he could heal! As I looked around I noticed that the battle had turned around while I was sleeping on the job. Only one big bat remained and the Abomination was about to die. We quickly finished the fight and then searched the area. Zeth found his equipment he had lost before and lots of other treasure and gear that we split up accordingly. We took five then moved on. Soon we came to a hallway that opened into a small room. I happened to be at the back of the line so I didn’t see it in time to warn anyone. No one else could see but I could…A small line of arcane energy through physical space that my friends were currently walking through. I called out to them “Guys, that looks like an illusion of some kind up there, lookout!”. As I spoke arrows flew into the people at the front of the group. As each enemy attacked us they became visible afterwards, an invisibility trap! The last enemy to show itself was a blue scaled dragonmage…A kind of draconic humanoid. He was very resistent to our weapons. Father had told me of creatures that could resist certain types of elemental damage or damage from unenchanted weapons, so I cast a magic weapon spell on Harlows blade, while Zeth also produced something magical to use. They still had trouble hitting the dragonkin, but once they did, the damage was there. We dispatched that group relatively easy. Afterwards, we looted the corpses, took another five, then moved on. The next battles would not prove to be so easy. We finally arrived at the dig site, and in the Main Artifact Chamber no less! Thermon was there fighting for his life and failing. Several goblins and hobgoblins were scattered around the room, as well as a large troll with a steel gauntlet for a hand, two very large Ophidians, and another of the dragonkin mages we’d encountered earlier. The troll had a big beautiful sword locked in the gauntlet and was heading our way with it. Rico amazed us all by jumping at the troll and somehow disarming the sword from his steel hand. It immediately flew towards Thermon while at the same time speaking to us all telepathically. It’s words rang out in our minds “My name is Ithayord. You all must help Thermon and myself defeat this horde. Try to disrupt the mage while luring the troll near the Artifact in the center of the room!”. So everyone immediately spread out and started following the swords commands. Between the troll, goblin arrows, and a mysterious undead orb that was floating around killing people, I had my hands completely full trying to heal everyone. Zeth made for the mage so I had no heal help from him. I was finally able to turn the undead orb, and enchant Morovans bow while the sword did the same to Heather’s so they could hit the mage who was in a trance casting some kind of powerful spell. By this time corpses were starting to animate from his casting, including Negras! Luckily, before he could complete the spell everyone, including Thermon and the Ithayord, was able to break his concentration, and then finally kill him. After the dragonmage fell the sword was able to banish the remaining enemies which were few by this point. The giant steel gauntlet dropped to the ground at the feet of harlow, who had just gotten an incredible bullrush on the troll before it vanished. After the battle we brought Thermon up to speed on our betrayal and the note from Patric. He told us that by saving him just now we might have saved Mhandalore. We would be heroes if we lived through this day. He didn’t have time to explain it entirely but there are more than one of these artifact dig sites, and if even one of them falls to the ritual that these mages are doing then the whole of Mhandalore could fall. As he explained this, the sword floated up near the Artifact and joined with it for a moment. There was a fantastic light. We didn’t really understand what it was doing, but we had never seen anything like it and were completely in awe of it. Afterwards the sword returned to Thermon. He then used it to remove the Ophidian curse from Harlow and Morovan who had recently been infected. But unfortunately it was unable to remove the goblin fear effects. Thermon didnt waste any time, after a five minute break he said firmly, “Come on everyone…we haven’t much time” When we came up out of the digsite we did not find the sweet fresh air and bright sunlight of Mhandalore that we were hoping for. In fact the contrary; the sky was dark with a blanket of pitch black, almost magical clouds and the air stank of burning buildings and human flesh. Bodies littered the ground and screams of agony and death could be heard in the distance. We maintained our composure but there was no doubt about it….our morale was shaken to see our glorious homeland desecrated like this. First a sense of fear and dread came over us, then as we saw a troop of goblins approaching from the south, that fear was replaced by anger and a mighty thirst for vengeance. We all instantly fired on the goblins, killing all but 2 of them. They turned and ran but not quickly enough…Qualen critically hit one with a dagger to the head and Heather put two arrows right in the back of the other. We came to a fork in the road at Feriona’s house which for some reason was not burning and Thermon said “We must part ways, at least for now. There are others whom safety I must see to 1st, but we will meet again. Make your way east and help whoever you can on the way. If the North District is lost then make your way to the Vosa University, I’ll be along shortly after. Zeth, I shall have need of you for this task if you would accompany me?”, to which Zeth replied, “Of course”. They both bowed to us and then headed off to the south as we saw a very large contingent of trolls and goblins approaching from the west. We hurried to the east in Phalanx formation. What we saw before us was a battlefield that made the carnage in the sewers seem like a light scuffle. People layed dead and dying all over the place with goblinkin and ophidians scattered everywhere. About 350ft to the east we could see a group of townspeople trying to make a stand with a good number of warriors protecting them against some trolls. Among the protectors were Astero Fett, Feriona, Morgan, and several other talented fighters we hadn’t seen before. Heather put two arrows into the troll that was attacking Astero from over 110 yards away. When they saw where the arrows had come from all the citizens cheered at us, and the protectors breathed a sigh of relief. But we still had to get to them. 110 yards feels like an eternity away when people are dying and they need your help… I knew that by the time I got to them to help half of them would be dead. We maintained phalanx at the start of battle but soon we noticed the massive wave of enemies coming from the west and had to break formation and run. Right when all seemed lost something else we’d never seen occurred. As the troops from the west finally got in range to kill some of us, a massive bronze dragon flew out of a cloud of smoke to the south and zapped a troll with its lightning breath. Then he layed waste to twelve or more goblins with some kind of blast wave spell that amazed us all. As we stood there in shock from seeing a dragon for the 1st time he called out to us, “My name is Terrathon, I’m a friend of Thermon’s and I’m here to help!”. He was quite large with shiny Mithril barding over his chest and he stood in dragon form on his hind legs with a large spear about three times the size of a Mhando spear. Harlow, Heather, and Morovan stayed back to help Terrathon while the rest rushed to Astero and the others. Again the battle turned for the worse. The three trolls and many goblins and ophidians finally wore the dragon down as well as Harlow, while the rest of us to the east killed endless mobs from all directions except the west. Right in time to save the day Thermon, Zeth, Atwela, and a group of young clerics appeared from the south and the sentient sword Ithayord was able to cast Resurrection on the dragon. Then Terrathon killed the rest of the enemies from the west, grabbed Harlow, healed him, and flew towards Thermon. And as Atwela and her young apprentices arrived to where we were protecting the townspeople, suddenly I wasnt overcome with dying people, these children had strong healing powers for their age. When this battle finally came to an end there was so much carnage strewn about the area that it is a permanent memory burned in my mind….Ill never be able to forget it. We all regrouped, healed up, and took a small break while briefing Astero and the others on everything. When we finished Astero ordered us to continue on to Patric for the antidote, and then meet up at the Vosa University. I can only hope that Patric thinks us to be dead in the sewers so that maybe we can have a chance at surprise.