After travelling for less than half an hour, an air tunnel suddenly appeared. Stepping through were the following individuals:
Vintalle Finfirin was an Elven priest of the Seldarine from Alquandola, the capital city of the Realm of the Sun Elves in northern Quistom. He had been sent to Shemar as an ambassador and had recently travelled to New Greyhawk to lead a trade delegation.
Elyn Aldran was an Elven Holy Warrior of the Seldarine also from Alquandola. He had accompanied an Elven trade delegation to Shemar and New Greyhawk, and was serving as an Honor Guard.
Shrall Teeno was a monk of Apollo from the Golden Gauntlet Monastery in the mountain town of Candlekeep. He had come to New Greyhawk to negotiate for supplies for his Monastery.
Orius Hasquill was an earth elementalist of La Mirada del Sur. Originally from Lake Port on the northern shores of Lake Royale in the Wildlands of Shemar, he was splitting his time between working for the Wizard Tower and local mining companies.
Verleto Rustar was a military musician (bard) for the Platinum Legion.
Mori Haruhisa, samurai and abjuror of the Party of the Pendant also stepped through the air tunnel. He quickly took on a command position with the group. Apparently, the Japanese warrior/wizard had just returned to Pendant Estate from Middle Earth. He was informed by a desperate Governor of Pendant Estate, Kilur of the Northern Realms, of the whispering wind spell he had just received from New Greyhawk. Haruhisa departed immediately to see if he could help. He arrived in the town just in time to learn what was happening and then to travel through the air tunnel created by La Mirada del Sur.
Intelligence was quickly exchanged between the two groups and particularly between the Chancellor and Orius Hasquill of La Mirada del Sur. Bella the assassin and Drago the ranger indicated that they wished to continue with the group to finish the mission. Arak the Priest of the Gods of War and Magic passed his holy symbol, with the divination power to be drawn to the caverns, to the group. The three exhausted and wounded adventurers then passed through the air tunnel to New Greyhawk.
Time was now of the essence. Evening was approaching and by midnight tonight, if not prevented, the foretold event would happen. There were only six hours remaining until midnight when New Greyhawk would be destroyed. While the adventuring groups felt they were close, they still did not know the source of the threat or what form it would take.
As the group prepared to move on, Verleto the musician sang tales of legendary Party of the Pendant members to embolden his comrades. Spirits were raised!
Suddenly a large warband of Black Mountain Boys appeared on the ridge to the left of the Party. The Chieftain and the Shaman (the same one the previous group had encountered but had escaped) were leading the band. At first, it appeared all was lost. The shaman was able to assault the group with balls of green energy. Orc archers rained down upon the group. The samurai used his magical powers of blink to begin moving toward the Chieftain and the Shaman. He beheaded the Chieftain with one swing of his katana! Meanwhile, Orius the earth elementalist brilliantly used a spell to carve a set of stairs in front of him and directly to the shaman on the ridge! Prayers were offered up to the Seldarine by the priest Vintalle and his holy warrior Elyn. While “the golden boy” Shrall battled orcs going up the ridge, the bard Veleto sang songs to boost his group. The young ranger, Drago, had clearly gained confidence in his battle from his previous encounters because he was now dropping orc after orc with his arrows while his wolf aided his efforts. And as always, Bella of the Dripping Talisman was nowhere…until she suddenly appeared at the perfect instant to assassinate orcs.
When Mori Haruhisa managed to penetrate the shaman’s shield, he cut its head off again with one swing of his katana. The Black Mountain Boy Tribe itself, had now been decapitated! The orcs were searched and on the shaman was found a red mask with black web markings. Orius quickly identified it as a drow item—a spider mask. If worn, it would allow the wearer to see perfectly in all forms of darkness, see with infravision, travel through webs, command spiders, and climb walls and overhands.
There was no time to spare. The party moved forward along the trench line being guided by the holy symbol of the Gods of War and Magic. Within 20 minutes, they came to the entrance to a cave. Drago the ranger indicated that this was the entrance to a Chimera lair, surely the same beast that had recently been slain.
A torch was lit and the group of 8 entered the tunnel. Bella was able to convince Orius to give her the spider mask and she quickly scaled the ceiling and moved ahead of the group.
Approximately 150’ along the tunnel Bella discerned that it entered a cave. With the spider mask she was able to spot 6 drow levitating near the high cave ceiling in globes of darkness and armed with crossbow pistols. The room looked like it had recently been converted into a base. There were tables, benches, furs to sleep upon, and other such items to barrack the drow. Suddenly “the golden boy” came running into the room! The battle was on. When the drow warriors saw the elven priest and holy warrior enter the chamber, they turned on them with vengeance! Haruhisa entered and was confronted by a drow wearing elaborate armour, clearly the leader of the group. Every time that the samurai hit the drow commander, he simply vanished into thin air! But as the remainder of the group entered the warriors’ chamber, the drow were outnumbered and slain.
With no time to waste, the group quickly reformed and moved through the cave and along the tunnel.
Bella the assassin once again took the lead with the spider mask and scurried along the ceiling. Mori Haruhisa led the rest of the group.
Approximately 60’ ahead the tunnel curved around and opened into a larger cavern. This was the lair of the Chimera which the drow had obviously negotiated for takeover. It had now been transformed into the chamber of a drow wizard and she, along with the commander Haruhisa had already encountered, were defending the chamber. The entrance to the room was marked by poles upon which were impaled human children recently sacrificed to Lolth the Spider Queen.
A bed chamber had been set up to the left and an altar to the Goddess further along the all. But what dominated the room was an elaborate magical ritual set up. An open book sat on a stone dias, flanked by candles. In front of the dias was a glowing purple magical orb on a golden stand. In front of it was a pentagram and in its center a strange copper mechanical device with moving rotating pieces!
In front of the dais and book was a drow wizard. She stood watching the party enter the chamber. Yet she had a look of confidence on her face. The drow warrior in elaborate armour stepped forward and took up a defensive stance, his vicious looking blade spiraling in front of him.
The drow wizard began casting spells at the party. It was clear that although she was aware of the group’s presence, she had not been preparing. Instead, she was in the middle of the magical ritual that was about to destroy New Greyhawk. Her first spell filled the tunnel that the group was running through with sticky spider webs. While Bella was able to scamper through them with her spider mask, the remainder of the group was held fast. With prayers and spells, the party was able to remove the spider webs but the wizard followed with a series of mass death spells. Most of the group was felled, except for Mori (who flew at the drow commander) and Bella who crawled into a dark corner of the chamber. Vintalle the elven priest staggered and fell into the room, and began casting prayers against his hated enemy from the ground. But Shrall Teeno, the golden monk, was felled…and killed.
The battle against the drow wizard seemed to last forever but in reality it was only a matter of minutes. Haruhisa killed the drow commander but he was knocked to the ground in front of the wizard. She unloaded her spell storing on the fallen samurai. A ray of negation destroyed any and all protection he had versus disintegration and sure enough, she followed up with a spell susceptibility and then a disintegration spell! Mori Haruhisa would have been disintegrated if not a invulnerability spell protecting himself. Suddenly, the ever dangerous Bella threw a dagger that stuck deep into the throat of the drow necromancer. Looking stunned, she dropped to her knees and onto the stone floor. She was dead.
The band began to shout and cheer. Although they had lost the monk, all the others were alive. New Greyhawk had been spared with only a handful of hours to spare. The group set to searching the chamber and ensuring that the death of the drow (obviously the so-called “hooded man” described by the orcs) would halt the destruction of the town.
Haruhisa and Orius, as the magic users in the group, spent several hours studying whatever magical ritual the necromancer had been undertaking. Meanwhile, led by Vintalle the elven priest, the others took down the bodies of the sacrificed and gave them proper burial. The body of “the golden boy” was prepared to be returned to New Greyhawk. Haruhisa and Orius were able to discern the following:
A Drow wizard of Wa’q Orbb “The Spider Tower” (Thesstra Kislek, level 15) had somehow discovered a scroll. It contains a spell that has the power to contain, harness, and then manipulate a massive area of magical energy. The objective was to use the magical power in La Mirada del Sur against itself to create a magical explosion that would destroy all of New Greyhawk. To succeed, the scroll must be read in an elaborate ritual, for one hour, every six hours without fail, for 9 days. The wizard had come to the New Greyhawk area along with her entourage (7 Drow warriors). She set up base 9 miles north of town in a cave complex. She negotiated protection with the local orc tribe (Black Mountain Boys) in exchange for a spider mask. She also negotiated use of the cave complex, as well as protection, from a chimera. The reason for attacking New Greyhawk–Thesstra was seeking to gain membership in Sorcere, the most powerful Drow Wizard Tower. She intended to use the destruction of New Greyhawk as an event worthy of allowing her entry.
With information gained, the dead buried, and the cavern complex searched, Mori Haruhisa cast a teleport spell that took them all back to New Greyhawk. They went immediately to Castle Baervan to provide a complete report.
In the days that followed, La Mirada del Sur learned that it was The Seers (of Shemar, who dwell atop the mountain to the south of New Greyhawk) that “saw” the destruction of New Greyhawk coming. The Seers sent visions (dreams) to the town authorities in an effort to warn them of the impending doom.