The party fights waves of undead in the sewers of Pellak. Sigorna encounters a mysterious figure from her past.
After dark, Goodmonth 4 - 5, 591 CY
Present: Kiffan, Strymir, Celene, Rae, Telo’Mir
After helping civilians flee into the sewers and getting separated from Sigorna, the party catches its breath and plans the next steps in a city sealed by Evard's dark magics and overrun with the undead. Shar Neheli, the Suloise priestess of Zilchus they had met during their investigation of the stolen unity totems, provides quick healing.
Baron Nanjari asks the adventurers to press on and clear a path through the sewers to the southwestern watchtower. That tower typically houses some of the city watch's griffins. If any remain there, then the party will have a quicker option to get from there to the Temple of Kord -- assuming they can avoid the giant skeletal dragon that's patrolling the airspace.
The party begins making their way through the sewer complex, fighting zombies and shambling undead mounds, working to seal portcullises as they go so that the path to the tower won't be overrun with the hundreds or perhaps even thousands of undead who have risen from the crypts beneath the city.
The Aryas fight near each other, with Celene making good use of thorn whips, moonbeam spells, and her razor-sharp scimitar. Rae, on the other hand, is reckless and off her game, shaken and concerned about the missing Sigorna.
After the initial encounter with the creatures, the party slows their pace, allowing Kiffan to stealth and scout ahead.
Encountering another pack of undead and the shambling undead mounds, Telo'Mir armors up with Mage Armor and shackles the mound with a Slow spell. Strymir unleashes Shatters and Thunderwaves. However, the cleric is taking a severe amount of damage and is in rough shape. Rae drops, unconscious.
Strymir yells, “Dudes, we gotta get the fuck out of here!”
Nevertheless, the party manages to take down the last of this wave of creatures. Exploring, they find a few forgotten treasures in various side rooms. KIffan also finds the exit they're looking for. Unfortunately, it's on the other side of another pack of undead and near several more unlocked portcullis gates.
We revisit Sigorna as she races through the sewer tunnels, trailing the remaining wounded soldier she had found, with one having already fallen behind and into the teeth and claws of the zombie horde. So far she and the remaining soldier have stayed ahead of the monsters, but as they come to an intersection, an unexpected new pack approaches from the side. Forced to choose between survival and benevolence, Sigorna opts for the one that might let her see Rae again. She leaves the soldier behind and locks a gate behind her to hold off the zombies.
Unfortunately, she then finds even more approaching from the other end of the tunnel. She is cut off, with no means of escape. Except...
The wheels of Sigorna's mind turn in that particular way that hers do, and she recalls the mysterious key of shadow that she and Rae stole from their heist in Ket. She looks back at the gate she'd just closed. She has a key. She has a keyhole. Why not?
She slides the shadow key into the gate's lock, and turns in -- and a door of shadow appears in its place. Without hesitation, she steps through.
She finds herself in a dark manor house filled with drab colors and long shadows. The blue-grey flames burning in the fireplace are the only signs of color here in this other place, a place that Sigorna does not know and which somehow feels familiar. Nor is this the only change -- Sigorna's mind is different here. Clearer. Less haunted. Here, she remembers the girl she was long ago, in her home city, when she went for a walk and stepped through a similar door to shadow. She has not felt this way in a very long time.
She soon meats a dark figure seated by the fire: tall, gaunt, their face hidden behind a dark wooden mask. Sigorna realizes knows this figure, though she does not name him. She remembers, "You found me once, didn't you? In this place? And we had adventures? I remember there was a shadow dragon."
"There was indeed," the figure confirms, the laughter audible in his tone even behind the unshifting features of the mask. He explains that, many years ago, she had wound up here, in the Shadowfell. He found her and helped her, but not until she had already faced many dangers and bore the brunt of those experiences.
“I found you and fixed what I could," the masked figure says, "but you were very broken, my dear.”
Curious, he asks how she came to return. She explains what she remembers, and he asks to see the key of shadow. He is most intrigued by this artifact. He tells her that he will return her and that she won't remember this meeting, but that he wants her to continue on the path she is on now, and to bring him any other examples of the substance the shadow key is made from -- if she can find any.
Sigorna asks if he can return her to Rae.
Again, she can't see the smile that the mask conceals, but she can feel it.
"Don't worry, my dear. I know just where to put you."
With that, her vision clouds, and she is returned to the real world -- facing a locked gate standing between her and a horde of ravenous undead. At first, Sigorna thinks she is in the same place, but then she hears a woman clear her voice.
Turning slowly, she finds herself facing a beautiful, dark-haired Baklunish woman dressed in the shredded, filthy, bloody remains of a fine gown. She wields a hand crossbow, leveled at Sigorna's face. The woman speaks:
"That's some trick, appearing like that. Why don't you stand very still and tell me just who the hell you are?"