Pierce the Blackveil

Summary

The party has crossed the Great Northern Mountains and is descending into the dark elf forest known as the Blackveil. At the foot of the pass, they find a narrow point in the pass has been fortified; a small stone gatehouse with a crude abatis of trees and rubble stretches across the pass. They can see moredhel guards on the roof behind the battlements. Greywind uses his Pixie Dust spell to turn everyone invisible. Aldur approaches the building and uses Audible Glamer to threaten the guards with a loud, booming voice while Rhiann, Hiro and Chunorris prepare to fire their bows. Giric sneaks up to the wall and prepares to climb over. More guards come on the roof trying to see what is going on and Greywind uses his Pendant of Augmentation to supercharge a spell and strikes the guards with Call Lightning. The guards are slain and the wood roof catches fire and falls into the building. Giric climbs over the abatis and attacks the first two guards that come out the back of the gatehouse. The rest of the party except Adolphus, who is guarding the horses, climbs over the barrier and they defeat the reast of the guards. Rhiann goes back and helps Adolphus lead the horses around through a gap in the wall Greywind made with another lightning bolt.

The party regroups behind the gatehouse and Greywind cancels the invisibility. Moments later, a Fireball spell streaks out from the woods and strikes the party. The horses are slain and Aldur is knocked out while the rest of the party takes heavy damage. Another group of moredhel charge from the woods, accompanied by a skeletal spellcaster. Adolphus heals Aldur and the party attacks the new enemies. Giric hits the skeleton with crossbow bolts and is hit by Magic Missile in return. Aldur tries to cast Entangle but is wounded, Greywind casts Wall of Fire in a circle around the skeleton and it begins to burn. Adolphus continues to heal party members, and Giric passes Rhiann a Potion of Healing. Greywind drops his next lightning bolt on the skeleton and blasts it. The party kills the rest of the moredhel, they fought savagely with no worries about defense. Greywind and Adolphus continue healing the party, then the dead moredhel begin rising as zombies! Adolphus turns the first two, but they are only turned, not destroyed as he would expect zombies to be. The party attacks the first two, then the remaining dark elves reanimate. Adolphus chants a new spell, then releases it, calling on Lims-Kragma. The casting stuns some of the party, but the dark elf zombies are destroyed. The Wall of Fire has ended, they approach the roasted remains of the skeleton wizard. Adolphus casts Speak with Dead and the skull rises in the air. The party has assumed its a lich. Adolphus asks it his four questions. What is your name? It replies Varadgrim, he is one of the dead eledhel necromancers whose body was stolen from its tomb prison. Why are you here? My master sent me to ambush you. Who is your master? The Grey One. And finally, where is your lich talisman? The skull replies I am not a lich and sinks down again. Adolphus repeats the undead destroying chant and destroys the skeleton.
The party needs to regroup again and figure out what to do. They have lost their horses and many supplies, the enemy was waiting for them and knew they were coming, is there a traitor in the eledhel council? Greywind casts Commune with Nature and finds the moredhel camp, they ransack it for horses, arrows, bedrolls and rations, then head away from the battle site. Later, Adolphus explains that the skeleton was not a lich; the old eledhel had bound their spirits to their corpses when they were buried. The enemy necromancer, the "Grey One" must have reanimated the corpse as a skeleton and Varadgrim's spirit simply possessed his old body. The party remembers a grey cloak wearing wizard had led the warbands that chased them in the north and drove them into the abandoned gnomish mines to escape.
The party strikes out into the woods, following animal trails and making their way through the sparse northern forest and travel for three days without issue. Then they are attacked by a pair of giant carnivorous moths whose silver and black wings flash in hypnotizing patterns.
The eventually arrive at the wall and find a good camp site. The wall is not what they expect: its only 20 feet tall, but is made in a circle miles across, encompassing an area the size of a town. Greywind changes into an eagle and flies up to it and sees a magic wall of force extends upward from the wall as high as he can see. The eagle is attacked by a small dragon like creture and Greywind flees back to camp. Giric and Chunorris kill the creature with arrows and bolts. Greywind returns to his normal form and uses Commune with Nature and discovers a small camp near a breach in the wall about three miles to the east. They move closer and Giric and Chunorris attempt to approach stealthily, but they are attacked by a moredhel patrol which they defeat. Adolphus takes the head of one of the slain elves and casts Speak with Dead on it. They learn the leader is gone and decide to try approach the camp. Giric and Chunorris move in and they see a camp of moredhel tents and dark elves around a campfire, plus another, larger more finely made tent. There is also a visible crack in the wall and a gap in the forcewall above the cracked section. They return and let the rest of the party know what they've seen. They decide to infiltrate the camp and examine the tent. Greywind casts Stalk on them to make them stealthier and they are able to enter the tent unseen.They find what appears to be a tent full of elven or human crafted items, a finely made longbow and arrows in particular. There are also maps and charts. They steal the bow and arrows and charts and return to the rest of the party. With the intelligence they have gathered, it is time to get out. Adolphus wants to return to Elvandar and let the elves know the defenses have been breached. The party decides to take a different route back over the mountains, avoiding the pass they came over.
The trip to the pass and the crossing is uneventful, except for an attack by a giant, centipede-like beast. When they return to the southern side of the mountains, they travel east until they find the main road back to the elven city. They decide to rest up and go to the inn. They are met by the elf Sawdell, who gave them some of the maps and advice. He has been very curious about their journey. He has the innkeeper bring them dinner and wine and asks them how things went. Most of the party do not like the wine and set it aside, but Adolphus and Aldur drink their share. Something bothers Giric and he uses his ESP to tap the feelings of the people around him. When he looks at Sawdell, he feels anger, impatience and vengeance, at odds with Sawdell's pleasant demeanor. When they go upstairs, they are concerned and check on Aldur and Adolphus. Both have passed out and seem to be dying; the wine must have been poisoned! Greywind casts Neutralize Poison on Aldur, bringing him around, but before he can cure Adolphus, they are attacked by moredhel!! Two moredhel swordsman attack while another pair fire arrows from the hallway. One of them strikes a comrade by mistake and that elf falls dead; the arrows are poisoned as well! Greywind begins his second cure spell, but just as he is finished, he is struck by an arrow. Feeling the effects of the poison begin, he decides to save Adolphus instead of himself. Greywind's spell cures Adolphus, but the druid passes out. The party attacks the remaining dark elves and slay them, then begin looking for a way out. Giric and Rhiann open the window and tie off a rope, preparing to go out. Then they all feel cold and a white mist appears in the hallway and Greywind passes out. Blood is oozing from his skin and being absorbed by the cloud. Four shadows appear at the stairs and attack the party, Adolphus destroys them. Aldur and Adolphus grab Greywind and pull him out of the cloud and towards the back stairs. Four more shadows appear and Adolphus destroys them and then flees down the steps with the bard and druid. Rhiann and Giric go out the window and down the rope and Hiro and Chunorris charge down the stairs into the common room. When Aldur gets outside, he uses his powerful voice to call for help and alert the town guard.
The common room is silent, all the elves who were in the room are dead, slumped over in their seats. They begin to search and head towards the kitchen. Cold hands from an invisible attacker grab Chunorris from behind and drain him of his health. The ranger and samurai run out the side door, but Hiro turns invisible with his ring and sidesteps to wait beside the door. Chunorris heads to the rear of the inn, Rhiann and Giric come around the other way and they meet at the back door with the priests and bard. They turn to look for the samurai and hear his battle cry, then the scream of a terribly wounded elf; the voice sounds like Sawdell's. There is silence, then Hiro stalks around the corner of the building, wiping blood from his sword, complaining that Sawdell dishonorably teleported away before he could finish his revenge.
The town guard responds to the attack, but Sawdell is gone. The next day the party leaves and hastens to the capital where they again meet the Queen, her consort, Spellweaver Tathar and general Orboron. They tell their tale and that they believe Sawdell is responsible; the maps and charts are copies of the secret ones Tathar had and the bow taken from the tent is believed to be his. They ask what can be done, can the wall be repaired? Tathar does not know, they did not come up with the magic of the wall, it was given to them by a human wizard. They are again surprised that a human was responsible for the wall, Tathar says he is the greatest wizard ever, the party will have to ask him if the wall can be repaired. Again the party is shocked again, Tathar explains that he believes that wizard is still alive, thousands of years later, he is supposed to live on an island in the Bitter Sea called Sorceror's Isle. Giric and Chunorris have heard of it, it is said to be haunted, no one has ever landed there and returned alive. Tathar tells them they must go there and ask the wizard's help…

Quotes and Smart Remarks
The party is travelling under heavy rain, which Jim comments should hide them from the enemy:
Kevin "Evil things hate the rain; I saw The Wizard of Oz"

The samurai is invisible, but was hit by a moredhel with two natural 20's in a row:
Kevin "We need to teach the samurai some evasive maneuvers"

After a Fireball spell hits the party and kills their horses and destroys a lot of their supplies, including the archers' arrows, JoAnne is trying to figure out if they can find the right kind of bird to get feathers from:
Michael "I can turn into a bird and you can pluck me"

The druid turns into a bird to scout the wall and is chased by some kind of miniature dragon which the ranger and monk kill:
Kevin "I don't want a zombie dragon bird coming after us later"
Michael "Those are not the friendly skies"

The party takes a wounded dark elf prisoner and is debating interrogation vs coup de grace:
Kevin "We can't kill him after we interrogate him"
JoAnne "No, as funny as it sounds, we have to kill him before we interrogate him"
So the npc priest of the goddess of death takes the elf's severed head with him to do Speak with Dead
JoAnne "Ew!"

The ranger and monk are trying to sneak up on the enemy camp and doing poorly, Kevin rolled a 100:
Kevin "I think we should go back, because we are not rolling well"

The party is ambushed by a remorhaz:
Jim "A giant centipede bursts out of…"
Kevin "The druid?"

Lee "Necromantical superhappy fun time"

The invisible necromancer attacks the ranger from behind with Vampiric Touch:
Lee "Oh no, its not the wetwilly, its the necrowilly!"