The Death Gate found themselves in Orgoth’s Tower, facing Zed’rath’s older brother, Kelnozz. “Ah, little brother it has been too long." “But not long enough,” Zed retorted. Kelnozz blamed his younger brother for his current state. After his disgrace at Zed’s hands, their mother had him tortured and his grandmother had him turned into a vampire so that he could be more useful. Kelnozz then threatened to kill Zed and raise him as a zombie.
While the brothers were dialoguing, Gromel threw a spear, which bit deeply into the Vampire Lord’s shoulder, but it healed as he pulled it out. He then dominated Zed and started attacking the rest of the group for a short while. The tide of battle began to turn against him, so he turned into mist and fled the battle. Out on the roof, he ran to surround himself with his vampire buddies. At the same time an Elven Avenger came running up the twisting stairs and stepped in front of the breech in the wall. He told us to run, to save our lives, but Shaika stepped forward and immolated a huge group of the vampiric minions with what she thought would be her last shot. The rest of us were emboldened by this and continued the battle… except for Petril and Grom who heeded the strangers warning. As the gnome headed down the stairs, he shared a look with the Avenger, which Vistra noticed. The Avenger dashed forward and slammed his warpick “straight to the heart” in Kelnozz’s chest, and then killed some more minions as he pulled it out. A very impressive attack. The dwarf charged into the midst of battle, but was then made into a snack for the Vampire Lord. The Avenger muttered about Vistra’s stupidity, but she told him to kiss her calves. A powerful blow from Zed knocked his brother prone and the Avenger smashed his head, finishing his existence. The Dwarf heard Kelnozz whisper that he “was finally free, but now things would only get worse for Zed….” The rest of the minions were quickly finished and Grom and Petril made it to the bottom of the tower before they noticed that we weren’t with them.
After the battle, the Avenger wondered aloud “if we were insane or really good at what we do?” The rogue mused that “there was such a fine line between the two.” As the Drow approached the Avenger, he noticed that he wore the trappings in support of 2 gods, the Raven Queen and Erathis (Civilization). The rogue also noticed that he had red eyes and fangs, a Dhampire. The group thanked the stranger for his timely assistance and then asked his name. Reluctantly he told them that his name was Tha’Ahel, which Zed recognized meant “True Sadness/Sorrow” in Elven. Vistra wanted to know how he and our Cleric knew each other. He admitted that he and Petril were both part of a small order which had been charged with dealing with the vampire problem in Riatavin. He admitted that their order was aware of our charge, and shared a knowing look with Zed.
After burning the bodies and finally joining up with their companions, the group left Orgoth’s Tower, returning to Riatavin. As they were travelling, Tha’ahel explained that they’d learned that Zed’rath was the whole reason that the vampires were attacking Riatavin. Originally, Kelnozz had been sent West, to Harkenvold to find his brother, but when he saw the mess there, Lolth forseeing the destruction of that city, sent him to Erlkazar instead. There, Kelnozz allied himself with the Night Barony and started attacking Riatavin, in the hopes of drawing his brother to him for revenge… which worked. As the group asked more questions of him, Tha’ahel explained that he and Petril worked for the the Special Order of Erathis based out of Impiltur. The Special Order usually fought demons in Impiltur, but the group that Tha’ahel and Petril were part of were sent to Riatavin to fight the Night Barony. He also explained that he had been the mist that we passed through on the way to Orgoth’s Tower (silently watching and taking his measure of us)and that he had been the one making the bodies in the tower “disappear”, fully destroying them so that there was no chance of them being turned.
While they’d been travelling on horseback, Shaika had been sucked into studying the Tome of Alcaister, mostly ignoring the conversations around her. The magic in the book seemed to call to her against all reason. While reading, suddenly, a deep thrumming resounded around her and she was enveloped in flames. The catgirl tried to scream in agony, but no sound would come out. Grom noticed the wizard stiffen in pain as the flames surrounded her, but then just as quickly, her body went limp and she fell from her horse, snuffing out the flames. The group rounded and ran to her side. Shaika’s eyes were still open in terror but there was nothing “physically” wrong with her. Petril did everything he could to heal her, but she was hale and whole. Secretly, Grom searched for her spirit in the Shadowfell, but it had not left her body yet. The best that the group could guess was that the arcane knowledge had been too much for her mind to handle and she was now in a coma. They tied Shaika to her horse, making her as comfortable as possible and then returned to Riatavin with all haste. Along the way, the gnome rode up next to the Avenger and quietly suggested that they should take the wizard to the Shadow House to see the Hermit. Overhearing this, Zed joined the group and asked what they knew. They explained that the Hermit had been a head in their Order for years and years, but that he’d suddenly left one day and put himself into “self-exile.” He was a master of the mind and the spiritual plane so if anyone could help Shaika it would be him. Petril admitted that no one knew where to find him, though many guessed he lived somewhere in the Giant’s Run Mountains. Being his usual secretive self, Tha’ahel mentioned that he did know of one person who might be able to find the Hermit… Kuri
Exhausted from over 48 hours with no sleep, the group returned to the inn while Tha’ahel went to locate the mysterious Kuri. In his room, Grom found a scroll wrapped in a black band, which was obviously from the Raven Queen. Since he was alone, he felt safe to open and read it. It was written by the hand of Vancrull the Bleak, the Sorrowsworn whom he had met in the cemetary in Harkenvold, who had brought Grom into the Raven Watch. The scroll described that many Warforged now served the Raven Queen as he did, but recently some of them had become corrupted. The scroll told Grom that he was expected to travel to Westgate to stop the corrupted Warforged and to find out how they had become corrupted.