Pentatina 20, 1000 PC

Post date: Aug 03, 2009 2:41:19 AM

Just as I was getting comfortable with my followers in Tangleton, my scrying revealed that it was time for me to return to Oliveryn's side. So yesterday, I teleported back to Troll's Bridge. I arrived in the midst of my friends' planning to attend a dinner party that night - a party at House Groves. I was just happy to get another opportunity to dance and eat good food (I was away from the city, in the cold, for several weeks). If only I teleported a few minutes earlier, I would have received one of the doses of antitoxin that were passed around. They would have come in handy later!

Oh, shortly after I arrived, T'Krosh informed me that my hirelings had disappeared more than a week ago. That was most troubling to me; one of the big reasons I hired them was so that me and my friends would not have to get involved with the duergar. We have our hands full protecting Oli already! My friends were gracious enough to agree to help me investigate beneath the city, but I told them it could wait until after the ball.

There were no attacks on our trip across town to the party, which was a nice change from my last visit to this city. There were many guards present, but nobody was violent at first. The party was actually quite pleasant for awhile. The food was excellent and I had some time to dance. I think I was perhaps the only one of my friends even having fun! Everyone else was absorbed in the subtle political dealings going on. Legeand just looked like he was tired, Ms. Sky was busy caring after her horse (why did she bring it to the party if she wasn't going to eat it!), and T'Krosh just looked annoyed at everyone (as usual for him).

Maybe I should have been a bit more serious, because the next attempt on our lives occurred during the dinner - as in, while actually eating it. The food was quite poisoned, and I became deathly ill, probably because of how much I ate. Wintersky cleansed the toxins from my body before I expired, so all was well in the end. Many of the guests aside from my friends became sick, but I do not believe any of them actually died. The party continued on, and the dancing started in earnest. I was still feeling the effects of the poison though, so I decided to rest for awhile. It was very disappointing too, since I came all that distance to be there! At least Ozi and Oli started to enjoy themselves in the dancing.

Undoubtedly the use of poison was ordered by Groves. When it failed, he must have decided that more drastic steps were necessary. During the dance, a whole squad of assassins swept into the ballroom and began to attack. Predictably, the guests fled in a panic as the battle ensued. The doors became clogged up, and a few people were even trampled on in the confusion. What a disaster! The dance was going so well, too! I decided to fight fire with fire, and not in a literal sense for once. With my robe, I summoned a very large scorpion from the hells. I thought it would be poetic justice to use poison against the assassins since they were presumably responsible for my poisoning. But, to be fair, my scorching rays and fireballs during the fight probably had more of an effect. At least was very distracting to the attackers, I'm sure. Also, Mask teleported in immediately after the battle started - very suspicious.

Groves vanished behind a locked door and started screaming about something or other. However, I was more concerned with the big hell-beast that just arrived on the scene: something called a dogai. It was resistant to my fire (like all of the hell creatures), and it was mobile enough to evade my scorpion's blows as well as my resilient sphere. It even teleported around for a bit until I put that to a stop with my runestaff's powers. If any attack was successful, it was Legeand's powerful sword blows. I do not think the dogai even cared about the arrows that Wintersky rained down on it. Eventually though, our combined attacks did manage to send it back to the hells.

Unfortunately for House Groves, its leader did not survive the night. When Ozi picked the lock of the door, he found Groves dead by his own hand and Imhiakaam standing over the body. Hmm, have I written of that devil woman before? She is the consort of Isildul, the powerful lich we met before. Apparently, she was collecting Groves's soul for Asmodeus, one of  very evil deities (and a friend of Kurtulmak I believe, but that is more in T'Krosh's area of expertise).

With the party thoroughly ruined, we all gathered our things and left. We wanted to rest for a bit after the ordeal, but next on the agenda is the duergar! We should leave sometime today, or very early tomorrow.

Now this is a dance!