Morthos Entry 8
Mother and Father
We did it! We closed the Shadowrift and saved Winterhaven! I must say that this adventuring stuff is really tough and dangerous. I don’t know if I have the heart to go on but I know that I must now, for the sake of the whole region. Who else is going to stand up and fight evil?
From where I left off in my last letter, we had encountered another group of hobgoblins along with a shaman. They tried to rush us but we quickly formed a defensive line and held them back as the others shot them done with ranged weapons. I felt kind of bad actually but also an acknowledgment that even though they had to know they were going to die, they died for their cause, even if it is misguided.
Moving further along, we came upon another room that had a portcullis trap at its entrance which we found rather odd. We moved into the room and looked around to find several doors and a table and a few loose items. Then one of the doors opened and a hobgoblin stepped into the room, rather surprised to see us and us him. Naturally the whole thing disintegrated into a fight with several more coming out of the other doors. The fight was a brief one with consisted of a hobgoblin with a spear fighting us from on top of the table and Syler hiding underneath it.
With the fight done we all decided to take a rest at the table, pushing dead hobgoblins out of the way and using one of their shirts to wipe the blood off the table. a quick search of the rooms found a good sum of gold and a magical sword which Syler immediately took. We also found some red wine of decent vintage. I have yet to try it but I’m looking forward to it. The last thing we found were invasion plans for Winterhaven. Apparently the cultists had hoped to invade with about a score of hobgoblins and several hundred undead minions. I doubt Winterhaven could have held against such a massive force.
The next room we came upon was a storage room that had several more hobgoblins that we quickly took care of. They presented a decent display of tactics and cover however once we pushed into the room, their use of cover disappeared. From this room we had finally arrived at the cathedral where we found the lead lackey of the head cultist, a human with the tattoo of a ram’s skull over his face. That had to hurt. He declared that we were too late to stop the ritual and then sent his minions after us.
The cathedral was a sickening place, filled with the gross images dedicated to Orcus as well as rivers of blood that flowed to a central grate in the room. Once again we moved with precision, keeping close together except for Tolis-Va who moved along the side of the room to get a better flank position against the ram head cultist. Tolis-Va hunted him down with uncanny precision, striking him down early in the fight with his arrows with enough force that the cultist’s parting shot of green necrotic energy missing Balasar wide right. The other creatures put a decent fight against us but eventually fell. I don’t know what they were but I can only imagine that they were tied to Orcus somehow. Poor things.
Now that the room had been cleared, the only way to go was down through the central grate that all of the blood was going down. There were chains leading down about fifty feet or so and we had to climb down to where the Rift was. All of us made it down except Etholin who slipped and fell into a pool of blood at the bottom. As we collected ourselves, we found ourselves in the ritual chamber complete with a huge rift to the shadow realm and a huge monster trying to get through. To the far side was Kalarel, our main target who laughed at us just like the people did your stories dad. Three undead creatures that stood like guards moved and attacked.
The fight was epic in my eyes. Balasar moved off to deal with one of the undead that was attacking us from the far side of the room, opposite of Kalarel. They played tag in and around a statue with the undead pushing the dragonborn back with magic only to watch the paladin rush him and hit him. Hard. Tolis-Va decided he was going to take on Kalarel with his bow, moving off to the flank like he normally does and shooting arrows. Etholin, Syler and myself took care of the two undead brutes that stood between us and the cultist. We managed to drop the creatures with ease and then moved on to help Tolis-Va with Kalarel.
Just as we were getting closer, Kalarel decided he was done getting shot at by Tolis-Va and teleported closer to the rift and the monster. Tolis-Va stayed where he was, shooting arrow after arrow at the guy while the rest of us rushed to try and close in. Syler was the first to close in on him, trading blow for blow until Kalarel lowered his shoulders and rammed into Syler, pushing him to the edge of the rift. He then stood up straight and turned to face the rest of us. It was then that the horror of what could be, happened. A large clawed hand reached out, grabbed Syler and pulled him into the rift. I know he was a bloodthirsty little guy but he was on our side and fighting for the right cause. Balasar I think took it the hardest. It was at that point that he had finally defeated the undead minion on the far side of the room and rushed to face Kalarel head on.
The rest of us, minus Tolis-Va who kept shooting arrows, closed in on the cultist and beat him into submission. When Kalarel dropped to his knees in defeat, the large clawed hand came forth and grabbed the cleric and yanked him inside the rift, screaming the whole way. The rift than began to close but just before it did, Syler’s body was spit back out and dumped on the floor. We all stood in wonder, awe and sorrow as we had just saved Winterhaven but had lost a companion.
I’m not sure what will happen now. I imagine you will get most of these letters together and have been reading them back to back. After we go to Winterhaven, we may come back your way. It depends on where the road leads from here. Take care and I will see you soon.
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