Our heroes started the next morning by discussing their next course of action, over a lavish breakfast. To find the torrians were their top priority, so Ardent could be restored again and be ready to fight the invasion. Obanar presented them with potions they could drink, that would give them a vision of the past and let them see the events that led to the torrians leaving Ardent.
They had been instructed to drink the potions on the grass field outside the proctor’s house in the center of Ardent. They saw that the front door to the proctors house was open and wanted to look about first. After rummaging around for some time, Caidiana’s keen eyes spotted a secret door! Hidden away in the center of the house was an office, and looking over the papers in the room suggested that the proctor was taking bribes from someone outside of Ardent. How strange! Wehn they were just about to find another piece of evidence, a trap was sprung and a demon of fury was summoned!
The battle was with the demon was taxing, and the raging fury of the demon put the little barbarian gnome to the test as it retaliated with an attack that almost put the gnome in an early grave, after Ianben had tried his best to knock the creature back to the abyss. The demon did succumb in the end, and the house was nearly destroyed in the process so they all went outside to rest and drink the magical potions Obanar had given them. As they did, a thick fog came and engulfed them all, and in the mist they could see glimpses of some vision. After some intense metal concentration, they finally saw what was, a large group of torrians gathered outside of the proctor’s house, waiting, anxious. They battled the vision to understand more, and saw Thror the proctor enter a podium outside his house and give a speech to the population of Ardent. “Friends, we have watched as Ardent slips away” he said, “as if devastated by a withering disease. Where are the champions in this, our darkest hour? Where is the guardian? Where is the seneschal? We are alone and time has come to examine our options”. They see in the vision that Thror carries a ring, with a symbol of an ancient demon cult tied to Oublivae, the demon queen of ruin and destruction. Thror continues “Argent is all but deserted, it’s champions gone. We can remain and slowly fade away as the city deterioates, or we can decide our own fate. It is time for the torrians to become masters of their own fate, and Physandros has offered us a place where we can prosper!”.
The gestures Thror are using as he speaks is recognized by Caidiana as being arcane gestures to cast an enthralling spell, a gease to compell the will of the listeners! "Let us accept this generous offer from Physandros, " Tror says, “and let us take our families, hopes and dreams and settle in the Sheltered Woods, far away from this place. Further, let us agree to the few obligations Physandros has asked of us.” The crowd cheers. The party gets a sensation of the crowd being glassy eyed and completely under the control of Thror, but there is also a dark taint in the air above Thror, something wholly unnatural and demonic.
After returning to the present and out of the magical vision, they decide to visit Obanar to ask him about this vision and the history of Argent. But, as they approach the observation deck of the Guardian Tower, they hear shouting and cursing, and Obanar enters the hall and beckons them to a room near by. The hill giants have laid siege to the city! Obanar says the defences will hold, but there are two assault groups that have breached the defenses that must be dealt with immediately. Obanar asks them again to defend Ardent while he repairs the magical defenses of the city.
The first place to counter the attacking forces is the landing platform, where a solid wooden platform has been bolted into the cliff-face to allow avian creatures to land. As they approach the 50’ tall walls they hear someone trying to beat down the gate. Using accessladders they climb the wall and look out, to see four giants and a huge bird. The bird is circling the area while the giants are working on the gate. The battle is fierce as Davven loose his arrows at the bird, but it grabs Fang and drops him to the platform, only a foot away from the edge, and certain death (it’s a 200 foot drop to the ground). Ianben learns that these giants pack a mean club, which fang also learns. They are both clubbed within inches of their lives, but some healing and luck keeps them alive and in the end, victorious.
As they defeat the intruders, a ghostly visage of Obanar appears and informs them that there is another strike force at the main gate that must be stopped.
They ruch across Argent and climb the walls again, ready for another fight. An earth archon, a hill giant and a huge lizard, a Behir, is on the approach. But that is just one small group compared to the entire army they see standing on the perimiter of the magical barrier that protects Argent. The host is comprised of giants, elementals and other beasts! But the barrier holds so far, so the strike team must be dealt with. Davven and Caidiana uses their range to attack from the wall, and Ianben and Fang jumps down. The giant carries a huge ball of dirt that it throws at the gate, and it explodes in fire and lightning, as terrible weapon! The gate holds, but is deeply scarred, and the giant lumbers on to batter the gate. The behir becomes the main focus of the group, as it is a terrible beast. Lightning fast and dealing lightning damage, it is luckily for the heroes, held at bay by Caidiana’s magic while Ianben can hack away at it.
In the end, our heroes defeated the intruders and Obanar got the defenses back up, and the army is held at bay.
Giants on the attack!
Hit of the day: Ianben took a whopping 73 hitpoints in damage from the fury demon! But then again, they met some giants with big clubs and as the party’s tank, Ianben and Fang put their healingsurges to good use!