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Distressing Damsel

Theren is raised and the BUSA search on.

Back in the Feywild, the BUSA found themselves in a large clearing. It appeared featureless, except for a pair of stone obelisks along its western side. They were simple pillars of black marble, without writings or symbols. The adventures took a moment to take in the features that lay out side the clearing. There were oddly shaped buildings among the trees and tall grass and a river to the east with another stone obelisk jutting from the water. Thick trees lined the opposite side of the river but a marble building culd be seen beyond those trees. They could hear the water falling over the side of the cliff to the south of the building they had emerged from.

A number of stone cairns stood in the grass but they were overshadowed by the strangely shaped buildings. The buildings appeared constructed primarily of randowmly sized stones that had been roughly mortared together into uneven walls. It took them a moment to realize that the rocks that made up the buildings were probably taken from the cairns. Hundreds of graves had been destroyed to construct these structures.

North of the clearing the BUSA found a defensible position between two of the curved buildings and Nim set up his ritual to raise Theren from the dead while Rudy and Uthrid stood guard. During the ritual Nim had a vision: The passages around him were made of rough-hewn rock, apparently dug directly through the earth. The floor was worn smooth. Along the walls farther ahead of him, a series of images were once painted, but they had largely worn away; he could make out, at most, a few vaguely humanoid figures. There was a sense of emptiness around him – the peculiar feeling that whatever life and magic once flowed through the place was long gone. Then in the blink of an eye, he found himself once more back in the Feywild tending to his ritual.

Theren, suddenly found himself within a desolate wasteland. Dust blew around his feet and swirled about a number of broken statues made of chipped and pitted marble. The sky above was black and empty of stars, and the air brushed his skin with a chill that was as much emotional as physical, bringing him a sense of unrelenting loss. He did not know how long he stood there. Time did not matter but then the scene was gone, replaced by the face of Nim and the sounds of the Feywild.

After Theren was raised, Nim rested. When they all were refreshed they searched around. There was a trail that led north between a building and trees which bordered the river. There was an old and worn wood bridge that crossed the river to the marble building and further up the trail was a door leading into one of the buildings. Beyond that building was the impassable mountain face. The mountain was loose shale and hundreds of feet above the mountains disappeared into a mist which lay across the range. The adventurers decided to cross the bridge and check out the marble building.

On the other side of the bridge the path led to a door in the marble structure, which might have once been a shrine. Uthrid opened the door. The walls, ceiling and floor of the structure was covered in strange runes whose twisting shapes poked unpleasantly at Uthrid’s mind. In addition, the chamber’s inner walls curved at odd angles and ended in columns. They served no architectural purpose, but appeared to be part of the runic pattern itself. To the north beyond these walls, a dim light flickered and swayed, as though something was moving before an open flame. A faint whimpering emerged from beyond the peculiar walls. As they entered, Theren noticed a beetle dart across the floor. Uthrid advance toward the sound of the whimpering.

A flaming bronze brazier hung on a chain from the ceiling in the northern section of the building. Propelled by unseen magic, the brazier slowly revolved around a large stone sundial, casting a shadow that moved steadily from one hour to the next. Sundial Uthrid, Rudy and Theren mostly ignored the brazier and sundial for the moment and continued toward the whimpering but Nim was curious and took a closer look. The brazier’s revolution remained constant, causing the shadow to shift from one number to the next at intervals of 1 minute; at that pace, a full “day” passed every 24 minutes.

At the corner of two of the peculiar walls, a huddled figure stared at Uthrid, Rudy and Theren with frightened eyes. Elesdri She appeared to be eladrin, but as covered as she was in dirt and dried blood, they couldn’t be certain. She reached out imploringly, revealing a pair of rusted manacles chaining her to the wall, and began sobbing in broken Elven.

“Oh, gods! Strangers, you must help me! They’ve already sacrificed my family, and I’m to be next! Oh, please, help me…”

“Who holds you captive?” asked Theren.

Despite the sincerity in her voice, Rudy thought she was deceiving them, though about what precisely was unclear. With a simple gesture the eladrin’s manacles popped off and a pacifying burst emanated from her, testing the Will of the adventurers. They were stunned and the eladrin’s body burst into a swarm of scarabs while another scarab swarmed emerged from the wall near Nim. The adventures gradually shook off the stunning effect from the swarms pacifying burst and tried to fight back as the swarm embraced them and they were bitten by the horrible scarabs. There was a sense of intelligent in the manner with which the swarm attacked and they realized they were facing a magical fey beast known as a lamia. The other swarm was venomous but lacked the intelligence of the lamia.

The attacks from most of the BUSA were not as effective as they would have been against a normal, solid foe. The swarms were able to resist half the damage from melee and ranged attacks. Nim’s first few attacks were off target but he finally hit the venomous swarm with an area attack and delivered massive damage. Meanwhile, Uthrid was bloodied by the lamia and nearly out of his most powerful attacks. The lamia was alternating between a devouring swarm attack which effected multiple targets and an accursed flurry which targeted one opponent but allowed her to heal. After the venomous scarab swarb was destroyed, the lamia stunned the party with another pacifying burst. As they shook themselves free of the stunned effect, Uthrid suggested a retreat to Rudy. The lamia was still not bloodied and the BUSA were depleted of many of their powers. They ran for the door Theren and Rudy made it first and Uthrid carried the still stunned Nim utside to momentary safety.

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