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Chapter Four: The Eye of the Beholder

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1 Chapter Four: The Eye of the Beholder on Man 22 dec 2008 - 21:27


When Magnus entered the perimeter he scouted around him trying to sense where the dangers might lie. ~This is not good.....~ he thought to himself.

The faceless thief moved in front of the group, and from within his mask a voice could be heard, reminding you of nightmares best forgotten “Stay here and wait for my signal” his mask caught the reflection of a nearby torch as he turned around and continued through the double doors guarded by the armoured trolls. Curiously they realised that he never put any weapons on the walls, and still somehow he was allowed in by the trolls.
As he entered the new room alone, he saw a large corridor illuminated by torches all the way to yet another door, this time a single bronze door with the image of an Eye, facing the party, carved into it. His hand didn’t even touch the magical door, it simply shone with a bright golden light, and the next second it became transparent, showing the beginning of a huge stone bridge in the middle of a giant cave complex. He stepped onto the bridge, confident that he was in the right place. His feet touched the weary ground of the new path. The bridge ran all the way to a colossal central stalagmite, wherein a sort of elevator awaited. He looked sideways, and to him it seemed the whole cave was empty except for the bridge and the stalagmite. He could not see the bottom, or the ceiling. Nonetheless he walked towards the elevator. When he reached the strange device he contacted the party with a mental trick and ordered them on their way. Then he turned towards the lift and slowly touched his mask with a gloved hand.
~ You can hear me, the Thief the Cambion, the Drow and the Duergar are with me. The halfling cannot be killed, not without my information retrieved. The others are...expandable~ - his thoughts was somewhat linked to the illithid's, as he grinned with malice waiting for the party to get to the lift.

Sorn followed the faceless thief’s mental order, his piwafwi wrapped around his figure completely, though the cowl was pulled back, cause he cared not who recognised his drow heritage. None would care within the Night Below, and if they did, it would not matter. The two trolls allowed him to enter, and soon Sorn’s silent footsteps crossed the threshold of the magical door. He felt the effects of the magic wash over his natural resilience to it. As he continued along, looking about the cavern from his vantage point on top of the stone bridge his mind raced a mile a minute
~ There appears to be a lot that the Eye Tyrant keeps from those he deals with. I will have to rectify that once I return to the Yath. None shall ever have an advantage over those of the Masked Lord. ~

Back at the double doors the rest of the party set after the faceless thief.
Tehnars eyes sharpened at the more present and clearer danger, than the accursed halls of Halaster, as he passed the evil trolls. It seemed like he was ready to jump at them, and he was fingering something in his pocket. The darkness in the room seemed hungry and he stepped through the double doors.

Magnus caught up with Garfeh and the rest of the Bright Skulls and whispered to them: "Look, I'm about to teleport out of here any moment now. My nerves are on the edge of breaking. Will you come with me?" He scanned the area for unwanted listeners, and continued in a trembling voice.
"I think I can bring us back to the surface, but not before I know more about where we are now. Otherwise we could end up 1.000 feet below the sea...", Magnus sighed.
"So keep yer eyes and ears open and if ye find out anything I'll get us out of here."

"The minute anything happens, get us the hell out of the tower and the city." The little halfling replied with an accompanying nod.

-" I'm with ye as always, just say when an' I'll be there.” Bouron whispered to his friend. Looking around at the others in the group a shiver suddenly ran down Bourons back, but he quickly shook the feeling off and continued forward, following Magnus and the others, just in time to see Alaith emerge from the shadows.

-"Glad to see you could make it through the door without attacking the trolls " Alaith said walking up to Magnus with a friendly smile on his thin elven lips. It seemed as if he was not bothered by the surrounding pressure of the immense darkness. "And if we are leaving, any idea where we'll go?" Alaith continued whispering into Magnus’s ear while looking back at the trolls guarding the doors.

Orome observed the party, noticing their edginess. His thoughts locked on to the groups minds, transferring his thoughts to them telepathically. "This is getting intense. There is a lot of mental communication going on here that I can't tap into, so something is getting planned here. I think we may need a backup plan of our own. When it happens the thief will be out of the way and the drow will be..." -He stopped in mid-sentence as he realiseed that something was poking at his thoughts. Quickly he aborted the mental contact, just as they reached sight of the bridge.

Raulen had been silent, but wary as he looked about occasionally, taking in the sights, straining to hear a loud whisper now and again.
Following the group, being careful not to hover too close, but not too far, the Cambion Sorcerer with the azure glowing eyes simply observed everything, meeting the eyes of anyone who cared to meet his gaze.
It was almost as if he was anticipating something, and all the current moments were transitory... little meaning until the goal was reached.
His belt was still attached, and any weapons he had been seen carrying before seemed to be gone, now. Occasionally his eyes, when he glanced upwards, seemed to register alarm, but as he shook off the nervousness he simply regarded the group members with a rather aloof eye. As the group stepped onto the bridge, Raulen advanced in front of them, hovering to a halt when he reached the lift. He then awaited the next step to admittance to Xanathar and answers to the riddle of the Shadow Thieves murder.

The faceless one observed the group approach the lift and with a wicked smile on his hidden lips he locked gazes with Garfeh "Thief" he said out loud, disturbing more than one conversation. "Where is your contact located in this place". The little halfling didn’t answer him straight away, and he turned around mumbling something under his breath. He then waited until everyone was inside the large lift, then rang a large bell on top of the lift. Suddenly a cage sprang up around them and chains began pulling them upwards. Everyone wondered what kind of creatures lurked up there, just waiting for them, waiting to taste their blood.
They were inside an empty stalagmite, and it seemed the topmost part of it was composed by a darkness greater than the one in the Underdark. As they moved through the dark ward, the masked figure whispered words of greetings, for he knew the keen senses of the bat-kin who were waiting to devour the newcomers in a second. The weird race of the Underdark understood his words and simply rounded the deck, checking their passer-by’s one by one, with their blind eyes. After the blind guardians, the lift reached its end, in the middle of an oval room. The shaft clicked and a sound of stability echoed through the grand hall. As the cage-like sides of the elevator suddenly fell to the ground, the group started to move out of it.
This whole chamber was what the Faceless One had been expecting. An uncanny greatness and power could be smelled in the very air, for it was also embedded with raw magic. The round gallery hosted benches on the corner-less sides, stuffed with velvet-like seats of pure silk. The benches ran half way round the hall, for the last part of the circle hosted a massive rounded door, from where the Beholder came...
Xanathar was fairly larger than the usual beholder of his power. His central eye, unblinking and glowing with the anti-magic properties of his kin looked at everyone, and a primal fear ran through the viewers of such abomination. The gap that was his mouth was a dark and sharp hole of emptiness and despair. The tentacle-like eyes spun around his massive rounded body, predicting every single movement of everyone and everything around him. And so he spoke with a voice of sheer power that promised death to anyone who dared to disobey:
"I've been waiting for a whole night, Faceless One."
The thief bowed down in recognition, waiting for the echo of the beholders voice to subside.
- "We ran into some problems, great Xanathar." - he eyed the Beholder under his mask.
-"What you want I do not know thief, but I presume you will pay me well." - he licked his mold lips, looking around the party. "You have brought a great amount of slaves this time..."
So that was the plan... that was why the Faceless One so insisted in having the group with him, he could finally find his answer with the beholder king, and enslave the worthless Bright Skulls in the way.
In an instant, the Beholder blinked his one central eye, and guards stormed around the oval room. The Faceless One became ethereal, and his only concerns were - "Save the drow, the cambion and the duergar, as I have told, the rest is yours, them and their items."

Sidst rettet af Rune Man 28 sep 2009 - 17:39, rettet i alt 2 gange

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2 Re: Chapter Four: The Eye of the Beholder on Man 22 dec 2008 - 21:27


Orome's abilities kicked in as the faceless thief sprung his trap. Shouting "You worthless dog" at faceless he neatly punched straight through the nearest guard’s chest and continued in a circle with his foot removing the head from another guard. His eyes glowed with innate power and he looked hard at the third guard near him. The guards head exploded in a shower blood and the lifeless body toppled to the ground. "Do we fight or run?" he yelled at the Bright Skulls, the area near them free of guards for the next few moments.

Xanathar flew high in the gallery, as he commanded his battalions against the slaves he would soon have... what a delicious visage that was, he always liked when the Faceless Thief brought preys to test his militia.
He widened his eyes, and a shower of anti-magic rays’ stroke the mind of Orome, depriving him of all his magical possessions. Even though the monk was far from harmless without any magical means to help him, he was hard pressed against Xanathars’ wizards on top of the domed ceiling, when they started to summon incarnations against him.He fought bravely... but soon a stream of green light slammed into his back and the monk coul feel the paralysing properties of the enchantments running deep into his limbs and brain.
The enchantments slowed down Orome and he collapsed on the floor, the magic radiating off his body as the beholder focused his attack on The Bright Skulls.

Alaith, stood perfectly still, watching as the events unfolded. Suddenly with a Flick of his wrists two daggers appear out of nowhere into his hands. Running over to Orome, he sliced outwards to the sides, cutting the throats of two guards, blood sprayed wildly as they collapsed, dead before they hit the ground.

"Magnus, now! Before it stops your spells!"
Garfeh head butted one of the guards in the crotch, causing him to howl in pain and drop his sword. With a quick motion he scooped the blade up and heaved it to Bouron. Reaching into his pack he grabbed something and threw it to the ground in front of the guards. With a loud bang the sphere exploded, releasing three pronged metal bits. The guards in front of him stepped on them and promptly fall to the ground, their feet bleeding profusely.

Freed from the debilitating effects of the spells Orome groaned and sat up. The pain throbbing in his head, all his thoughts formed into a single word. "Theif!!" he roared at the top of his voice, his eyes again blazing with power. Focusing his energy again he directed the lethal mental power at the ethereal form of the masked man. The smoke-like image jerked violently as Oromes mental abilities surged through the thief’s incorporeal body.

Finding a nice corner to watch the action, Tavork grinned viciously. ~ How much fun this is turning out to be. ~
Seeing that the "Skulls" are gaining an upper hand in the battle, he thought he might even the odds a bit. Going into an intricate spell he started barking out horrid sounds more at home in the pits of hell than in the mortal realms.
With a quick movement of his hand he completed the evil spell. A hideous yellow glow, emanating of foul and wicked power surrounded the duergar.
Charging into the fray, he lunged at Magnus' feet and tripped him, sending him sprawling on the cavern floor. Rolling with the momentum, he leaped back to his feet only to face off with Bouron.
"I don't see ye yapping too much now ye bloody stinking carcas. Come face me and meet yer better. Time to bury ye as ye should have been last time ye died."
With a sharp bark of a command, the duergar grew until he was the size of the warrior facing him. A cackle of glee came spewing out of his gapping maw.

As Xanathar - The Beholder's laughter echoed in the hall, it sounded like a hellish fiend possessing all souls around him. The huge monster chanted some sort of spell-like ability, and one of his lesser eyes turned to glare at the elf Tehnar. His paralyzing ray hit the elf in mid-chest, as the Beholder
once more laughed in ecstasy.

The fasceless thief, was enjoying seeing the fight from the safety of the Astral plane, where no forms of physical emanations could reach him... when something far from physical stroke him. It was the powerful mind blast of Orome crossing the planes in a second, reaching the thief, filling him with awesome pain. Orome's lethal attack was somewhat halted by the differences of the planes, but nonetheless painful and almost killed the masked one, as he lost his ground and fled into Deep ethereal, into places not even Oromes’ deadly thoughts could pierce.
He was wounded and several minutes went by before his ears stopped bleeding, and he contained the haemorrhage inside his brain with an extra-healing potion. He was glad, after all, and in a matter of time, he would visit the Halfling, and punish him for his past and for what he knew...

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3 Re: Chapter Four: The Eye of the Beholder on Man 22 dec 2008 - 21:28


Raulen shuddered as the anti-magic ray washed over him is, but he weathered it the best he could. He knew some of his lesser enchantments had likely broken, but he prayed his artifacts were still in order.
When the announcement of slavery for the Bright Skulls was made, he arched an eyebrow, and stepped to the near wall, watching the progression of events. While not approving of such blatant betrayal, he knew this was coming eventually, and the conflict would sort out the strong from the weak. But none of them seemed weak, though.
Even the halfling had disabled some guards, and the monk had displayed incredible alacrity in dispatching his opponents. And worse, he realised now the monk to be a wary foe... a psionic of no small power. As Faceless fleed, and Tavork grew, Raulen narrowed his eyes and summoned a contingency or four from his ring.
His skin hardened to rock, and a glowing green translucent globe surrounded him. As he walked past a suddenly frozen world, as if Time had stopped, he walked up to Orome and tapped his shoulder, whispering "Cease to resist, there is no escape this deep in the lair. Flee the captors at a later time. The defences here will slay ye."
Then the world snapped back to real-time, and he cast a shield to reflect spells and spell-like abilities back upon their casters.

Magnus conjured magical whispers to the members of the Bright Skulls and after a little hesitation also to Raulen and Orome.
"Come near me. I'll teleport us out. This risk is great, but we cannot survive this".
Then his magical fire rained death on the enemies with exploding Fireballs even caused the Beholder to blink.

Fending off blows from all directions, Alaith finally managed to make enough space for him to help Orome stand up. “Follow me!” he shouted at the monk as he ran over to Magnus' side, plunging his dagger into the eye of a smaller beholder along the way.

Staring at the enormous dwarf standing in front of him, Bouron suddenly heard Magnus's order. Instead of running straight to Magnus side he again locked stares with the evil dwarf "Now is not such a good time hellspawn" he said smiling. With a quick movement he send his newly acquired sword flying true towards Tavorks neck. The mighty dwarf, even though his size had reduced his speed, easily brushed the flying sword aside with his hammer. Grudgingly he realised that he did exactly what Bouron wanted him to do, as soon as he sees the fighter standing besides Magnus, smiling and waving at him. "May we meet again dwarf" he said as Magnus's spell started taking effect.

"Not so fast" - a brainwash reminded Magnus that casting a spells wouldn't be so easy. The Illithid was concealed somewhere in the room, but he invaded Magnus mind and started to attack him with blasts of psionic powers, searching of spell-memories to erase. Flashes and dizziness made the young sorcerer almost lose his balance and somewhat his concentration... as his spellcasting was interrupted again and again

"Come back here maggot and grovel before yer betters," Tavork spits out at Bouron. "Yer just like a surfacer, go cower behind yer mage but it will end in my victory none the less. Figured ye for a coward and now I have it confirmed." again the evil cackle and the duergar's eyes flashed a sickly yellow.
Though he was spouting off at the fighter, he knew that the odds of attacking the group without any support would be suicide, and slowly he backs out of the main fight to let the Beholders minion's finish off the group.

Magnus’ mind began to slip under the mental attack and the sorcerer miscast his teleport. In a bright flash of light it fizzled and his brain started to reach terminal pressure.

The tentacular-faced monster twisted its facade, when it found no memory of spells under the sorcerer's brain. He tracked Magnus' memory, but found nothing but a vortex of power. Almost losing his balance and concentration, the illithid still managed to disrupt the sorcerer's casting with a stunning mind blast, but he seemed very confused, his mind suddenly disconnecting from the surge of psionics...

Suddenly the mental powers withdrew from the sorcerer's plagued mind. He regained consciousness and found himself surrounded by stunned friends and an altered mind....
Still quite dizzy he tried to recast the teleport.

"Magnus, noo" Orome shouted "they have wards here that prevent you doing a teleport, we have to get away." He looked around frantically. “through the wall!” He pointed his finger and a section of wall exploded outwards in a shower of stone and dust. "Through there" he yelled avoiding a sword thrust to the guts. He tumbled away from another attack but was a fraction to late as a sword slices through his arm. Orome rolled through the hole in the wall into an adjacent chamber. a door on the far side opened and more guards came through.

Alaith charged through the newly made door, seeing a guard coming straight for him he barely ducked under a slice towards his neck. But taking advantage he thrust his dagger into the gap in the guards’ armour just under the left armpit, causing a deep cut into the lung.

Another guard grabbed at Garfehs’ shoulder, almost spinning the little fellow around. Eyes narrowing as he could see the escape so close, Garfeh practically jumped on the guards instead, causing him to fall to the ground in pain. As he ran after the rest of the group he reached into his pack once more, this time the sphere thrown exploded into a cloud of thick, grey smoke obscuring the area behind him.

Seeing Magnus’s condition and his inability to defend himself against the enemy’s swords, Bouron stepped in front of his mage friend just as a guard came running. In a quick side-step and a wild swing with his muscled arm, Bouron gained a new sword while killing an enemy. " Come this way Mag" he shouted at the mage when he saw Magnus regaining consciousness.

Tehnar stood there like a statue affected by the paralysing effect, but a sudden glow could be seen in his eyes. Spell wisps formed about him, and arcane lights whirled around him. The spell was formed and suddenly Tehnar was free to move about. With a snap of the fingers a staff formed in his hands.
"Through the wall", he yelled to the others while standing atop the ruins of the once mighty wall.
As the beholder turned to the elf with its magic nullifying power, Tehnar smiled and cast a simple yet powerfull spell. A circle of white light formed around Tehnar and when the antimagic field came into contact with it, it didn’t wink out but instead fought the antimageic field, light blazing all around.
"Hurry", he said, looking worried for the power of the Beholder was great indeed.

"Surrender!" - The Elder Orb cried, enraged by the escapees. He yelled at the guards, trolls and ogres from the underworld, armed with dark spears and fine obsidian armors. The whole dome was engulfed by the Beholder's wrath, as he spun around the ceiling, shooting his bolts and magics in all directions. - "I want them!"
The hole made by the powerful monk met the adjacent hallway. There was a corridor filled with tapestries and some art objects over the walls. In the end of the art gallery, there was a large marble stairway, arching downwards. The stairway was guarded by two lion golems, who seemed to move and taunt the party as they drew near. Behind them, more Trolls, this time the elite two-headed ones, lead the attack towards the group.
The Beholder saw the fighter Bouron, and quickly flashed his tentacle-like eyes towards him, bolts of lightning met the warrior's chest.
The illithid that was hidden, suddenly appeared in the middle of the art gallery, before the lions. His mental suggestion hypnosis was almost too tempting - "Drop your weapons and resist no more..."

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4 Re: Chapter Four: The Eye of the Beholder on Man 22 dec 2008 - 21:29


The hypnosis washed over everyone but Orome resisted easier than the others. Taking the full brunt he allowed the others to continue their valiant fight back. Orome’s eyes narrowed "This one is mine" he hissed. Fortifying his will he stood mentally toe to toe with the mindflayer. The battle of wills was furious, mental powers met head on, the effects cascading through the room. Oromes nose began to bleed and he slumped to one knee as the ilithid forced its full power to bear upon him. Raising a hand to his head he cried out in pain and stretched out his hand and flicked his wrist, a dagge spun out and cought the illithid in the shoulder, breaking its mental hold. Freed from the mental onslaught Orome lashed back with a mindbolt, shredding through the ilithids mind defences and scrambling its thoughts. The ilithid screamed in pain and its monstrous eyes rolled up and it collapsed unconscious. Orome struggled to stand "Can't take much more than that" he panted still grimacing from the mental beating he had gotten.

Alaith leaped upon the body of the Illithid, and cut it's throat violently, causing blood to gurgle out of it's mouth and neck. Looked up at Orome "Just in case" he said with a wink.

Severely damaged by the violent lightning ball but still standing, Bouron followed the rest of the party through the hole in the wall, while fending off the lesser guards still coming at them. Now holding two swords, the fighter was becoming more and more deadly.

Garfeh turned to the companions with a fell look in his eyes.
"Magnus, burn them all please."

"Throught the hole"; Tehnar yelled, " you can deal with the minions more easily there without the Beholder."
Tehnar concentrated greatly on resisting the elder orbs magic nullifying powers. The circle of light about him decreased in diametar as the mindflayers psionic blast took effect and then the light circle winked out. Tehnar grunted as the antimagic field hit him, the lack of magic was obviously hurting him. He grabbed his staff with both hands and rushed below the beholder, and out of the reach of his antimagic field.
"Run", he yelled to the Bright skulls.

While fending off the oncoming guards Bouron shouted out to his friends "What shall we do with the trolls, an' lions?! Hey Mag, can't you do somethin' , I'm getting a bit tired of these darned guards" he said while cutting down one guard and dazing another with a powerful punch.

Leaping from the dead Illithid Alaith fought his way to Bourons side. Forcing his dagger through the neck of the dazed guard Alaith used the guard as a shield as he charged through the guards coming for him and Bouron.

Inside the beholders chamber Tehnars was facing the eye orb. "Now Xanthar, we can talk or we can die. Here I have a nice staff, yet it can be quite deadly." Tehnar began stuttering," Caaaan you n..n..not feel the power thrum..m..mming inside it. It would be quite unfortunate for it to break, unfortt..t..une for all who are close enough. Yes..s.. Now why don’t you call off your guards s..so there will be no more accidents. An..n..nd no sudden moves, p..please, we wouldn’t want it..t..t to break, now."

With a roar, the flying orb-like monster leaped towards the threatening elf, not even believing in a word he said. The Beholder pointed it’s deadly petrifying eyes towards Tehnar and shot his bolts as fast as it could.
Meanwhile, the golem lions started racing towards Bouron and Alaith. They both jumped at the same instant, their huge paws embracing their victims, making it hard for the two adventurers to withstand the weight of their attacker's bodies. The lions trid to pin the warriors, bringing them to the ground so they could devour their flesh easily.
The Trolls on the broken passage came, meeting Magnus, Garfeh and the others. They pushed their swords with rage, clearing a path for them. They rushed towards the party with the fury of their kin, prepared to accept death, or capture the rebels.
A very loud noise was suddenly heard coming from the stairs. It was a mage covered in black rags. He was preparing to cast a powerful dweomer that would unleash a streak of lightning over his enemies.

Now it seemed there was nay hope left for the Bright Skulls... trapped inside the Beholder's Guild, it seemed they fought bravely enough while they could.... wounded and tired, they saw the threat would not end unless they surrendered to slavery.

As the beholder moved it’s eyestalks, Tehnar gulped, uttered a single arcane word and broke the staff. A brilliant white light emerged from the staff quickly expanding and swallowing everyone within 50 ft.

Magnus tossed a fireball amidst the scattering green burning lumps in every direction. With tremendous force Magnus was lifted off his feet and thrown through the hole in the wall hitting his head there.
Darkness overwhelmed him as he loot his consciousness.

Raulen had been watching, carefully, the group flee and fight the warriors, his mind seemingly in some sort of flux. Somehow, his brain had entered a dual-existence, of present and past, coalescing into a future of unknowns... and now there was a mage’s threatening retributive strike directly underneath the beholder Xanathar.
As the Weave warped and changed within Raulen, he doubled in nausea and pain... his eyesight unreliable, even his sense of touch phasing and uncertain. As he fell to one knee, his spells slipped his control, altering and fluxing beyond recognition.
There was a brief negative flash, as he ... of all things... ROARED... his eyes shone like pools of darkness, black batlike wings sprouted from his back, seven-foot tail emerged behind him, horns sprouted from his scalp....
And then he was gone, a smell of brimstone in his wake.

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5 Re: Chapter Four: The Eye of the Beholder on Man 22 dec 2008 - 21:30


Overwhelmed by the agility of the stone lions, Bouron barely got his swords ready. There was a loud roar as the lion took Bouron down. Then the two bodies laid still a moment, and people standing close could see why. A black sword had emerged from the lions back, and as Bouron pushed it aside to get up, you could see him draw the wicked drow sword from the lions dead body. Dazed and confused , Bouron took a moment to collect himself.....

Barely conscious as well, Orome looked in horror as the staff broke, summoning the last of his energies he opened a portal below him with his mind and fell into it as the blast washed over where he was before.

Slowly Magnus opened his eyes and uneasily tried to stand up.
He looked through the hole in the wall to the main room and started laughing and laughing......

The other lion was tearing apart the dead guard Alaith used as a shield, when suddenly it got more ferocious and you could see a dagger in its left eye, blood spurting from the wound. The *shield* was nearly broken now and Alaith called out "Bouron! do somethin, quick."

Hearing Alaiths call for help, the big fighter rushed forward towards the lion. The big beast was too caught up in it's hunger for elf flesh, and it didn't notice as Bouron lifted his black blade for a strike. As he hit the lion, almost splitting it in two pieces, he suddenly jerked violently as lightning scorched him.

Magnus looked at all the death and destruction and a warm feeling flowed through him. He kept laughing and suddenly feelt right at home amidst the blood and gore. He shook his
head but the feeling didn’t go away.

Garfeh fired his crossbow between the flaming trolls and into the mage’s throat, blood showering the front of his rags as he sputterd the last syllables of the spell, causing it to fizzle.
"LET'S GO!!" Garfeh bellowed. "Magnus shut up and run!, the rest of you too."

Magnus stopped laughing and looked at the halfling, apparently quite irritated. He mumbled some words and Garfeh's hole body shook with pain as the halfling stumbled away from the sorcerer, down the tunnel. he ran without looking back. Guilt racking his body with the pain that he had left his friends behind.
Magnus grinned when the halfling ran. Then suddenly his whole world collapsed as he was hit in the head. And darkness once again claimed him.
The confused sorcerer collapsed into the strong grip of Bouron.
The big fighter slung Magnu’s body up onto his shoulder and started away after Garfeh. "Come on guys!" He yelled, begging the rest of them to follow.

Sorn was not surprised by the tone and commands that the Faceless Thief made, concerning the party as well as himself.
Nor was he surprised when the party was attacked, yet his presense went noticed, but untouched. Sorn used this to his advantage as he took a step back, staying out of the way of the group, watching the spells flow back and forth from the doomed party, to the Elder Orb, and it's terrifying eyestalks.

As the beholder reeled from the damage a portal opened behind it and Orome stepped out. "My turn" he said as he punched the beholder straight in the central eye. A scream rang out from the beholder and everyone turned to look, shock and fear on their faces. Another gateway opened and Orome stepped through it before the beholder could react. Appearing in the room with the party he spotted Garfeh running. "Garfeh get back here." He gestured with his hand to the others as a swirling portal opened behind him "This will only stay open a moment, if you are coming I am leaving now. My debt to you is repaid." With that Orome stepped through the portal and vanished.

Alaith helped Bouron walk for only a fraction of a second, then he sprinted towards the portal and vanished from view as he entered the portal.

Piercing an onrushing guard with his black sword, and running towards the portal Bouron shouted to Garfeh "Come on mister Garfeh, there isn't much time!" with that he jumped trough the swirling portal with Magnus's body over his strong shoulders.

Little legs pumping Garfeh sprinted towards the closing portal. With a burst of speed he threw himself through the portal, and away from the danger.

A sudden burst of pain flowed through the group as they entered the portal’s threshold. They spun in the darkness, disorientated and lost. Suddenly a white light appeared and rushed towards them at breath taking speed. The light enveloped them and suddenly they emerged into clean fresh air. Looking around they discovered that they had emerged in alleyway near the poor quarter in Waterdeep. Orome was already checking the entrance to the alleway. He turned round and smiled "Sorry this was the best I could do at such short notice. What happened to him?" he said pointing at the unconscious figure of Magnu’s.

Garfeh shrugged.
"He aparently thought it would be a good idea to try to kill me."
Reaching into his pack Garfeh pulled out a gag and rope. In a few seconds he had Magnus trussed up.
"Sorry Mag, but it's for your own good, until we can find someone to help you."

Back in the ruins of the beholder’s fortress the duergar shook his head at the devastion around him. This didn't quite turn out as expected.
Shaking his head he turned to Faceless. "Well now what oh fearless leader. Anywhere else ye going to make us trapse too?"

A laughter echoed in the middle of the destruction, as the Faceless One materialized in front of the dead Beholder.
As his body assumed its physical form, the Thief nodded at Tavork and simply waved his hands, as the remaining guards rushed inside the decaying chamber.
"Ah, Bright Skulls. You served me well indeed." - the masked thief exhaled, in triumph. The guards that entered the room were different from the ones that battled the party. He looked at the dead elf underneath his feet, and looked at Raulen. He saw a use for a Banshee, in the dark side of his thoughts, and he laughed once more.
The guards, humans in black mails, quickly removed the debris, clearing out the area for the Thief and his allies. And then, the inner parts of the Tower gathered the other guild members, all coming to see the destruction.
He rapidly made Sorn, Raulen and Tavork join him over the semi-destroyed platform of the lift, as the whole guild looked up at them, waiting for an explanation.
"Behold my power, and bow before your new master." - the Faceless One exclaimed on top of his lungs, scary glowing eyes pierced deep the faces that stared back at him. With his hands, he pulled the dead corpse of the Beholder down the lift gap, so that all the guild members could witness their new master.
And all bowed down at him.

Sorn walked casually up to the side of the lift and watched the spectacle as Faceless proclaimed himself the new master of this domain.
With a chuckle he nodde in approvement and looked at the Faceless Thief, "Very well done. An impressive show..."

Magnus slowly opened his eyes and then shut them quickly again, the bright light hurting them more than a bit.
He said: "Mpff..pfff...mmmfff", and then realized he was cuffed and bound.
Again he opened his eyes and saw he was lying in some sort of ally and because he was able to see the sky they shouldn't be in Menzo anymore.
"How's this possible", he thought. "I must go back! Here I can gain no power. In the Underdark I can."
He concentrated and a very little flame started eating the rope.
When he was able to break it, Magnus casted a teleport, whispering the words until the last one,
that he shouted. The others looked back to the sorcerer and saw him disappear that very moment with a grin on his face.

"Damn he's away" Orome said "Something has happened to him down there though, I fear we haven't seen the last of Magnus." He looked around "I have a message for you from my guildmaster, Lord Chifo of the Guild of Dreamers. I have to extend my his thanks to you and he invites you to join him in his quarters. He has a suitable proposition for a band of adventurers like yourselves." Orome extended his hand out and shook everyone’s hand. He gave a small wand to Garfeh "Break this in half and a portal will open for a short time, it will take you to the guild headquarters." He smiled and waved and utilised his psionic abilities to teleport away.

Alaith fell to his knee's, panting all the while. He looked up and smiled at the group. Then he watched Orome leave and turned to Garfeh "So where shall we go next? The Guild of Dreamers sounds as good as any, and the guild master and I have met on several occasions, so no need to worry about hospitality"

"yes mister Garfeh what should we do now?" the big fighter asked with an dumb expression on his face. "It looks like we are only three survivers left. And, what happened to Magnus?" he continued, his mouth drooping more and more.

Garfeh looked at his companions earnest faces, and sorrow overwhelmed him.
"You two go to the guildmaster, find employment. I have to go. I fear that faceless thief was after me, and as long as you travel with me you are in danger. I must now travel my path alone. Good luck my friends, I will not forget you."
With a swirl of his cloak the little thief turned and left, soon disapearing into the rain drenched night, a shadow among many shadows.

"Ok, I'll go with you to this Chifo friend of yours. But only as long as it we stick together" He said to the lone elf standing in front of him. "And by the way, I need to get a new sword" he continued while looking at his black sword now showing crackles all over it's once-magic egde. Throwing the sword away he laid his hand on Alaiths back for support when the stress of the previous fight suddenly overwhelmed him.

"Don’t worry"Alaith said as if he was hiding something "I didn't let that damn thief get away without loosing something" He said holding out a plump bag of gold "Let the rouge buy you a new sword" he said with a slight chuckle. "Now let me buy you a drink, I know the perfect place, I believe it was called The Yawning Portal."

"You stole from mister Garfeh!?" he asked, surprise clearly evident in his voice. "That’s not nice Alaith, but thanks anyway, I must pay him back sometime, I think I also borrowed some money from him in skullport..." his eyes turned upwards, and you could see he was clearly trying to remember something he had surely forgotten.

"Cyrics Balls Bouron" Alaith cried out, interrupting Bourons daydreaming. "Not Garfeh the other one, the evil one. We'll talk about it over a drink of wine, my treat."

So night fell in Waterdeep, the rain cascaded down the streets and alleys as the Moon witnessed the breaking of a fellowship.
As the little halfling exited the place, only two survivors stood to carry the name that had brought fame and honour to six individuals. Six friends that met over a ruined site and endured as long as a masked Lord devised.
And here they fell. So long Bright Skulls, so long...

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