The battle against the Talon tribe convinced the party that they should press so as to cut off the head of the snake as it were. Miria unexpectedly told the party that she must spend the coming day in commune with her divine patron so as to prepare for the coming battles. She swore to the party that she would catch up with them soon. As she was making her goodbys two figures on horseback and one flying on a broom approached their camp. It was Redge leading Oolog and Alcher to join their comrades. Redge explained that he found hte pair lost on the plain and lead them here. Seeing the signs of battle around the area Redge tossed a large pack to Lane. “YHere, something to help.” Redge remarked as he departed. Lane was overcome by curiousity and opened the pack to finding it brimming with potions. Alcher quickly identified them as a variety of healing potions. The party waved in thanks as Redge vanished into the countryside. The party decided to press on towards the Flat top mountain, though they would sorely miss the oracle’s healing but thanks to the unexpected generosity of Redge the should be all right until her return. They had also dispatched the last Talon war party they encountered and they were confident in their ability to dispatch any other forces.
After a hard day of traveling the party was still quite a distance from their destination and decided to setup camp for the night. The party agreed on a watch and rested from their day of traveling. Alcher took the first watch and nothing of interest took place, he roused Lane from her sleep and wished her a safe watch before collapsing into a deep slumber. Lane quickly put in her armor and found a somewhat comfortable spot to keep a nearly perfect view of the camp and surrounding area. She smirked at the thought of some members of the Talon tribe discovering the opulent lodgings of King Ike, it should be a relatively easy task due to characteristics and while they were dumbfounded by that her comrades would easily dispatch their confused enemies. Truly no living humanoid would not be impressed by their lodgings, alas not all their foes were of the living variety.
It was near the end of her watch when Lane caught sight of them, at first she thought they were another Talon war party but as she studied them more she realized that they were all undead. A large group of undead were making their way towards the camp, they didn’t walk as much as scurried as they sniffed the air life blood hounds. There was a solitary armored figure behind them barking out orders that she could not hear and the undead host seemed to follow them. Lane had no time to be subtle she broke from cover and ran for the pavilion to warn her comrades of the coming battle. The party scrambled for their weapons they would not have time to done their armor, save for Ike who had an enchantment woven into his armor to make it easier to don. Alcher quaffed a potion and prepared to mount his broom to provide some aerial bombardment, Gerran cast a spell to provide some protection as he was sans armor. Oolog grabbed his axe and quaffed the contents of his magical stein before joining the fray.
The battle was long and brutal, team melee clashed with the large group of undead that some members of the party realized where vampire spawn. Somewhere on the fringes of combat there was an invisible caster aiding the undead by weakening individual members of the party and then bombarding the entire party with a fireball spell. Team clothy were locked in their own struggle with a group of wraiths that divided. Alcher had attempted to hover above the battle but the flight spell powering his broom was dispelled and he landed on top of the pavilion which was slowly bursting into flame. He still defiantly threw potent explosives at the wraiths. Herran had unleashed a Daylight spell that while illuminated the area did not cause the undead any discomfort. He let loose another blast of arcane energies at the wraiths that hounded him inside the burning pavilion.
Oolog laid a vicious blow into the armored figure commanding the spawn when suddenly he was attacked from behind by Ike. The dwarf barely was able to stand after being struck by his comrade. Ike suddenly appeared to awake from a dream as he stared at his wounded comrade while a sickening laugh emerged from their armored foe. Ike and Oolog watch dumbfounded as their foe placed his hand to his chest and healed the wounds inflicted upon him. Lane immediately recognized what they were facing, he was a blackguard, a serant of fell powers much like Lane was a servant of righteous powers. The three fighters engaged the blackguard in a vicious battle while spells from the invisible caster rained down upon them. The party sorely missed Mira’s healing powers as they each suffered grievous wounds. Somehow the party stayed fighting until the last of the vampire spawn were slain and the blackguard finally fell, only to watch as his body transformed into a vapor and rose into the night sky. Their foe had been a vampire. Gerran and Alcher had not been idle and had slain one wraith while the other fled their wrath. The party frantically searched for the spell caster that had so vexed them, Ike and Oolog combined their skills and thought they had located their foe. Only to watch as she reappeared near the vapor and cast a teleport spell. The party cursed the luck of their foes and frantically scrambled to save as much of the pavilion as they could, but it was to late. There was no way to prevent the spread of the flames and it was all they cold do to save their horses and gear.
The angry and wounded party assessed their situation, the lich had powerful servants and knew they were coming for him. Ike in a moment of clarity suggested that the party rest during the day and travel during the night so as to avoid another ambush. The party was amazed at such an insightful observation from Ike and hastily agreed, dawn was only a few hours away so they prepared to stay where they were at and wait for Mira before setting off. The awoke the next morning to see a group of horsemen approaching and they were easily identified as members of the Talon Clan. The party quickly mounted their own horses and rode out to meet them.
Their leader rode out to meet the party and identified himself as Cloudwalker of the Talon Clan and that he had been sent to take care of them. The party quickly realized that there was something that he wasn’t telling the party. A successful parlay later the party learned that a year ago a mage arrived and things changed. The clan became more aggressive and started using strange magics in battle. Other strangers arrived who were allied with the mage and there was something different about them. He and his outriders had been sent to deal with a threat that the strangers were not able to defeat. The party tried to explain that they had traveled to this land to deal with the mage. Cloudwalker raised his hand stopping the party from speaking further.
“I know of what you speak and I can not aid you. He holds our families hostage in our own stronghold. If we fail to being battle to you their lives are forfeit and I will not cause the death of our clan. Should you flee we will be force to chase after you, it is a shame that the horses on the left flank are very tired and need to drink. If my prey was to know that then they might take advantage of it.” That said he returned to his forces.
The party was confused for a moment, none more so then Ike. Lane quickly took charge of the party and lead them in a desperate charge past the left flank of the outriders. She glanced back to see them slowly trotting after them. There was a chance if they kept to their pace they could the outriders in the hills they would be able to finish their task.
“What just happened?” Ike asked.
“He just gave us permission to go kill the lich and save his people!” Lane yelled back.
“Oh I am glad you speak his language because I could have sworn he threatened to kill us!” Ike replied.