The battle was hard fought and at no time was the outcome a foregone conclusion. What exactly had happened to both Ana and Fauntleroy was not adequately explained, but I had other concerns at the moment. The party had somehow acquired before my arriving a splendid artifact. A unique item called the Ashen Crown that allowed me, with time, to conduct a ritual to bring Wandra back from the death that was so wrongly inflicted upon her by the demons that were desecrating the order’s headquarters.
Finishing our rest and being properly restored we started our inspection of the facility. After finding some private quarters we found another of the large obsidian lizard statures in a room with several doors. Oddly these doors were all locked, except to me and my medallion that I had since my arrival at the Academy. Our first door we entered brought me into a room filled with smoky, dark mirrors. Upon entering a ghost of an elderly member of the order, dressed in full plate appeared. He announced that he had watched over me since finding me on the field of battle and presenting him to the magic academy to start my education.
As surprising as this was, it was even more surprising when he announced that I was the new leader of the Order of Research and it was my responsibility to move it forward in the current age. To that end he presented me with the items of my station. A staff of great power and robes fit for an arch mage. My first decision that the ghost presented to me as head of the order. I could right one of two major wrongs in the past that had significant impact on the balance between the good/evil or take the full mantle as leader of the order and wake my new lieutenants and there charge of knights.
I informed the party of what was happening and discussed the pros and cons of either fixing the Dark Night that sent Fauntleroy and the nation he served into the darkness haunted by the undead or going to Numenor to prevent the king from releasing the daemon armies and setting himself up as an empire of a twisted mind. The debate was short, with me listening to the wise council of my peers. Concerns were discussed of inadvertent consequences of meddling in the time that has passed. In the end, the decision was mine and mine alone. The greater evil, from my prospective, was the demon plague that corrupted Numenor and threatened the modern world. That would be where we strike.
To prepare us, the ghost presented tools that we could use to satisfy our mission. These included the Family blade from House Fauntleroy, LightBringer, as well as the ancient banner of the same. In addition a Gem Bow for Taresha that had a string of braided unicorn hair. An armor of exotic Crysteel mesh that fitted well to Lihi, and a strange, mystical orb that called (or screamed) to our friend Zakiti. It was the first time our hard friend showed significant emotion since our first meeting. Also the mighty Avenger, a doubl-bladed bastard sword for Ana. Finally, the mace. Although I had my doubts do to the malevolence that it projected, Wandra took it for her own as it seemed to be attuned to her needs for a new implement.
With the party ready we gave the ghost our decision on saving Neumenor. Our task it seemed was to prevent Morganna from completing her spell as she stood in her casting circle, protected by her son Mordred. At that point we appeared in a corps of trees with the fog dissipating around us. A plan of action was quickly developed. I cast Arcane Gate to provide an entrance into the main pavilion undetected. At that point the rest of the party advanced into the tent.
Morganna was within the power circle conducting her ritual. In addition to Mordred, three of his elite guards were present. Lihi was able to cast a spell to push Morgaine out of the circle and knock her to the ground. However this seemed to upset her more than anything as she cast Prismatic Spray on the party, rendering all of them Dazed except for Zakiti. It was then that I moved into the tent and cast Dispel Magic on the power circle, removing any chance of Morganna from competing the ritual.
While the party fought to recover from being dazed (a fight that Lord Fauntleroy never won), Zakiti and I continued to send damage toward Morganna. With Wandra’s recovery her ability to turn Ana into a demonic beast was triggered. As disconcerting as it is to see her transformed, it was welcome to have this demon on our side. Wandra also cursed Mordred and one of his guards to place blows on his own mother.
At this point the doors of the tent opened, but instead of fresh troops entering the battle, two tall figures stood and watched. Ana taunted one, the Nazgûl Dwar. I did not think it wise, but then Ana gets turned into a daemon on a regular basis and that doesn’t seem wise to me either, especially for a Paladin. The other was a great of a man dressed in dark plate with a full great sword. They watched, but, luckily did not interfere.
Ana the daemon begin swinging and brought down destruction on Morganna who vanished from the tent. At that time we began our withdrawal. I exited the arcane gate, only to be ambushed by four lowly troops of Morganna. The party continued our extraction, with Chauncey, dragging poor Lord Fauntleroy. Once clear we were teleported back to the Order’s keep.
At once we could something was wrong, especially for Wandra. I was not sure what we had accomplished so we headed back to the outside world to see what, if anything had happened. Wandra began to become more and more withdrawn from the party until we meet the mysterious man at the keep’s entrance. To me he looked like a brother to Wandra’s husband, but there seemed to be some discussion on split bodies. At last Wandra confessed that she had lost her connection to her husband. The stranger announced that he never existed, because there was no need to create him with Numenor never falling. Then Mistress Wandra exclaimed that he had to exist because she was bearing his child.
To say the least, I was confused. I only hope that we did not do more damage than good by trying to reset the balance.
Put down by my hand, your most humble and obedient servant,
Serge D’Amours – Master of the Order of Research
OK… I’m sure I missed stuff so feel free to fill in and clean up the whole Baby Daddy drama!