Vita est ludus
The thin line between fantasy and reality...













The City of the Spider Queen - Day 10 - Irae's Sending

Uktar 7, 1372 DR (Midnight) Deep Wastes: Lake of Shadows to Glouroth's Chasm

At midnight, Veracity and Brianna sit in the dark, silently.

With a pop, two gigantic demons appear.

About fifteen feet from Veracity, a broad, muscular demon, about fifteen feet tall, looms. It has four arms, two ending in clawed hands, and two in powerful pincers. Its dog-like head is horned and it grins, displaying a mouthful of vicious fangs. Its deep violet eyes gaze at Veracity with a penetrating stare. A shifting group of mirror images surround the glabezru.

About fifteen feet from Brianna looms an even taller demon. Twenty feet tall, it bears an an ugly distorted boar's head with fierce tusks and beady glaring eyes. The grotesquely fat body has apelike arms and a tiny pair of feathered wings sprouts from its back. The nalfeshnee has a nimbus of rainbow colored lights playing around its body and it looks at Brianna with malevolence, licking its chops in anticipation.

Veracity gasps and quickly stands. Running towards Igor, she draws the Sword of Kas. "Up, up!" she calls, kicking the unconscious rogue. Glancing back at the glabezru she quickly conjures a spell and wheels around, seeming to be moving faster.

The glabezru glares at her. "Stun!" it says in Abyssal. Veracity shudders, but resists the compulsion.

Igor opens his eyes. Looking over at the demon, he leaps to his feet. As he does so, the creature leans over and snaps at him with a pincer, but misses. Igor runs up next to it, drawing his greatsword as he moves.

With a flash, the nimbus of light surrounding the Nelfashnee bursts forth, bathing Veracity, Brianna, and Igor in foul coruscation. Brianna and Veracity shake their heads and shake off the effects, but Igor stands dazed, as visions of his worst fears course through his mind. The Nelfashnee looks over at Veracity and attacks her mind. With great strength of will, she resists.

Brianna panics. She runs over to wake up Tebryn and Kress. "Wake up!" she calls. "Wake up!"

Hazen hears Brianna and stands up. He sidles to the left, near the glabezru, drawing his dagger as he goes. Tebryn stands up. He mutters an arcane phrase and wiggles his fingers. He gazes intently at the nalfeshnee, but it ignores his evil eye. Veracity utters a short phrase and attempts to afflict the glabezru, similarly to no effect. Yol stands up and assesses the situation. She incants, and a rush of black motes wash over the two demons, to no apparent effect. The glabezru grabs the dazed Igor in one of its pincers. It squeezes hard, damaging and holding him. Although it fails to also grab him with the other pincer, it rakes him with both of its claws and also gives him a nasty bite. Igor pulls himself out of his daze and wiggles ineffectually, attempting to pull himself out of the demon's grasp. Another nimbus of colored lights starts to circle the Nelfashnee. Brianna kicks the sleeping Kress, and starts to sing, a slight quaver in her voice.

Hazen flies up to the glabezru, opposite from where it is holding Igor. The demon grabs him with its other pincer, damaging him, but failing to hold him. Hazen stabs one of the mirror images and it disappears with an audible pop. Tebryn turns his evil gaze onto the glabezru. Like the other demon, this one shrugs off the baneful effect. Tebryn shrugs, and mutters an arcane phrase. Five bolts of force streak from his hand. Three of them destroy images of the glabezru, one fizzles, but one strikes home. Veracity mutters, and conjures six illusory images of her own. Yol sends three missiles of force at the glabezru. One destroys an image, one fizzles ineffectually, and one strikes its foul body. The glabezru crushes Igor again. "Ouch!" says the rogue. "I have to get free!" He struggles and actually manages to escape. Kress finally awakens and stands up. He moves towards the Nelfashnee, drawing his long sword as he moves. The Nelfashnee's nimbus bursts, dazing Igor, yet again, and also Kress. Brianna draws her dagger and edges closer to the Nelfashnee, continuing to sing.

Hazen stabs repeatedly at the glabezru. He misses twice, but succeeds in destroying its last mirror image, as well as striking the creature itself. Tebryn gazes again at the glabezru. As before, it ignores the baleful effect. He curses, and conjures another spell at it, attempting to hold it in place, but it completely resists the magic. Veracity runs up next to Igor. As she approaches, it attempts to grab her, but misses. She makes a wild stab at it with the Sword of Kas, but that misses, too. The glabezru attempts to create some sort of magical effect, but both Hazen and Veracity strike it with their weapons and disrupt its concentration. Igor again shrugs free of his daze and repeatedly slashes the glabezru, felling it. As it dies, its body disappears. Veracity arches her eyebrows. "Summoned!" she comments. The nalfeshnee gazes at Igor and attacks his mind. Unlike his earlier attempt against Veracity, this one succeeds, and Igor stands still, slack-jawed. Brianna stands near the twenty foot tall demon holding her dagger and looking up at it. Her song wavers, and she backs up.

The courageous Hazen flies up near the nalfeshnee, dagger in hand. He hovers out of its reach while gazing at it appraisingly. Tebryn casts his baleful gaze on the large demon yet again, succeeding in sickening it this time. He smiles and, holding forth his staff of wizardry, summons a leonal, Yellowmane, behind the huge demon. Yellowmane immediately swipes his claws twice at his foe and bites at him. Unfortunately, only one claw hits home. Veracity looks up at the towering demon and nods. She drops her Lifestealer, pulls out her Godstone, and sends a thin black ray to strike the nalfeshnee. It shrivels a bit. Yol pulls out a scroll and reads a spell from it. Yet another thin black ray strikes the demon and it shrivels even more. The nalfeshnee glares and concentrates, to no obvious effect.

Hazen approaches the demon. As he draws near, it bites him, damaging him slightly. He strikes it powerfully with his dagger, hitting a vital spot. Tebryn summons a second leonal, Loudroar, next to Igor. It immediately charges the nalfeshnee and leaps. It claws and rakes the demon powerfully, damaging it three times.

Tebryn stares at his summoned creature with consternation. "I wanted it to heal Igor," he comments. "Instead, it joined the fray." Veracity nods. "Perhaps you needed to tell it what to do. Can you speak with it." Tebryn frowns and shakes his head. "I don't speak Celestial."

Meanwhile, Yellowmane also attacks the demon, clawing and biting at it, but failing to injure it. Veracity smiles and invokes her artifact yet again, sending another black ray at the evil creature. Again, the creature seems to shrink into itself. Yol smiles and incants. The bolts of force shoot from her fingers and fizzle against the demon. She scowls.

The nalfeshnee looks around in consternation and attempts to teleport away. As it invokes its spell, Yellowmane claws it and the Hazen stabs it with his dagger. The foul creature falls.

Tebryn raises his eyebrows and nods. "Ah ha! Called," he comments. "Whatcha mean, Mr. T?" asks Hazen. Tebryn waves his hand dismissively. "Later." He frowns. "I need to talk to my creatures."

Brianna comes up to him and smiles. "I'll grant you the gift of tongues, Tebryn," she says. "Don't resist my spell." Tebryn nods. Brianna sings, and the dark elf nods and smiles. He turns to his summoned helpers. "Heal that man," he says to Yellowmane, pointing to Igor. "He has been feebleminded." Yellowmane nods. "As you command." Tebryn turns to Loudroar. "Heal that wretch, as well," he says, pointing to Hazen. Loudroar nods and does exactly that.

His minions turn to him and look at him expectantly. "Thank you," he says. "What are your names?" Each leonal in turn identifies himself. "Thanks again, Yellowmane, Loudroar. I need your service no more today. You may go." They smile and nod graciously before staring at the drow with furrowed brow. They look at each other, shrug, and vanish.

Tebryn yawns and stretches. "One last chore. I need to recharge my staff. Cast charm monster at me, sister." Veracity smiles and complies. Her brother absorbs the spell into his staff of wizardry and smiles.

"OK, Tebryn," says Hazen. "Explain what you meant."

Tebryn gestures at the fallen demon. "Its body is still here. That meant that it was called, rather than summoned. When you summon a creature, as I did with those leonals, should it die, its body will vanish. In fact, it doesn't really die; it's still alive on its home plane." He gestures to where the glabezru had stood. "That other demon must have been summoned. Probably, by the nalfeshnee. But somebody called this demon onto this plane. That's difficult and expensive, because you need to convince the creature to ally with you, either through bargaining or threats. If a called creature dies on this plane, it's really dead: it will not simply reappear at home." Tebryn chuckles. "We have a powerful enemy. I think we can guess who called the demon to afflict us."

All look at each other and nod slowly. Hazen yawns. "Back to sleep for me!" Everybody but Veracity and Brianna returns to his bedroll and lies down as the two women resume their watch. No further adventures befall the party that night.

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Copyright © 2004 by Brianna Sollandry <brianna at hambo dot com> Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu
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