Afternoon on the 23rd day of Barrakas.
When the session opened the party was surrounded by the Necroficer Scarabs. The Scarabs were spilling out of the corners where they had apparently been lying in wait for the party to arrive. The creatures quickly moved to cover the two sets of doors that comprised the only exits from the room.
Gaius opened the battle with a couple of blasts of arcane power into one of the corners of the room where a pile of Scarabs was still built up. The spread of arcane energy seemed to have a strong effect on the creatures, but did not completely deter them. The creatures advanced from all sides shrinking the clear space that the party was standing on, and at one point several thousand of the creatures moved as a single unit, and formed a 25 foot long sword blade, that immediately fell over onto Gaius, Thorn, and Chomper. Gaius teleported away, but Thorn and Chomper took a hit from the massive blade as it fell. When the blade struck the ground though, it immediately fell apart into it’s constituent Scarabs, and they scrambled back into the greater mass.
After the Sword, and the Scarab swarms movement, Corvus noticed that there was far too much coordination from the constructs for the creatures to be acting as individuals, and that their must be some kind of centralized brain controlling their actions.
Thorn acted next, and moved towards the edge of the swarm to lash out with his Zulaat; as he moved, Chomper followed behind. The swarm reacted to their movements, by jumping out at them, and attempting to burrow into their flesh. Thorn slapped as many of them away from Chomper as he went; this would become a recurring theme for Thorn, as he used his pet to draw the Scarabs into his range.
Corvus attacked the swarm as well, and dropped his Punishing Eye construct onto the ground near him, so it could add its firepower into the party’s.
Armigero stepped forward, and summoned forth the magical power contained in his Mordenkrad to blast a whole section of the swarm at once. The blow destroyed a whole swath of them, and stunned many of them.
Gaius blasted away at the swarm again, hoping to create some havoc in the swarm. The swarm skittered forward some more, reducing the clear space down to just a few square feet, leaving the majority of the party standing in the swarm. The swarm responded to Gaius’s attacks by forming the Sword again, and dropping it on the party. It appeared that it had a few other tricks as well. A pack of Scarabs formed into a large pile, and slid out underneath the party, and formed into a bed of spikes that sprang up off the ground, impaling several of the party member’s legs. The swarm also formed a pair of arms and grabbed Gaius’s legs, holding him in place.
This time though the party was ready, and they were watching as the swarm committed each action. Thorn and Corvus were able to point out two masses of Scarabs that had formed hard ball-like structures. They were in two of the corners of the room, and one appeared to be responsible for the Sword, and the other for the Spikes.
The party immediately concentrated their attacks on the two control nodes. Thorn threw a series of blows at the Sword node, smashing it to pieces. Armigero, and Corvus teamed up on the Spike node, and shattered it as well. Gaius again took some general shots at the boiling mass of Scarabs, but since his feet were still held in place, and he was now standing in the swarm, the creatures rushed up his legs, and began to burrow into his flesh.
The party began to feel confident with the two nodes down, until the mass responded by partially reforming those nodes. It also formed a new pair of arms, and grabbed Corvus. The dread of seeing the nodes reform was mitigated slightly, when Corvus and Thorn spotted the node that was doing the healing, and the node responsible for the grabbing arms as well.
Each of the four corners of the room held a node responsible for the major actions of the node, and the party decided to concentrate their attacks on the healing node. The combined onslaught was more than enough to smash the healing node to pieces, and the party destroyed the Sword node again for good measure.
With the understanding of how the swarm worked, it was only a few moments later before the party destroyed the remaining two nodes, and the swarm lost its ability to coordinate its actions. From that point of the battle forward, it was just a matter of smashing the disoriented swarm.
Before the last few Scarabs were scrabbling into holes in the edges of the room, and under the doors. The team looked around the room, and the moment at least three of them were looking at either set of doors, they opened. The doors leading back to the elevator opened revealing a tired Uther who apparently had run from his last meditation session to rejoin the team.
The doors that previously concealed Mr Jacobs, and his ally the Paladin Genero, opened to reveal a small room. The party entered and discovered a stone pedestal with a pair of stone rests that obviously held some kind of large object, but were now empty. In either corner of the room the party could see what looked like a bolt of lightning caught halfway between the floor and the ceiling, like vertical rips in the air.
Corvus studied the bolts for a few moments, and recognized them as the arcane debris from a pair of very powerful teleportation effects. The are under the library must have been warded against teleportation, and as a result, the effects that ripped through the wards were now leaving a lingering portal to both of their locations. A few moment of concentrated viewing showed the briefest glimpses of the locations on the other side of the portals. One showed glimpses of a room in some building, and the other showed a view of a jungle.
The party recalled having seen carvings earlier that showed the party in a jungle setting. Corvus reached deeply into his memory, and recalled the scene with such clarity, that he remembered seeing the Paladin Genero in a clearing surrounded by the members of the party, with Genero holding some kind of large staff. Deciding to embrace their destiny the party leapt through the portal leading to the jungle, and found themselves atop a massive giant-built pyramid surrounded by an endless sea of jungle. Breaking up the monotony of the jungle’s green were the tops of ruined stone buildings of similar design to that which they stood upon. Corvus recognized the area from one of his archaeological digs, and told the party that they were in Xen’drik; a whole continent away from where they just were.
The party scanned around the horizon, but Mr Jacobs and Genero were nowhere to be found. Thorn thought to go to the bottom of the pyramid, and start looking for tracks, but as the party made their way down, they realized they were being watched. Multiple creatures were watching them from the jungles trees, and as they looked the jungle became still and silent. Armigero started moving towards the pyramid base, and as he did the party crept slowly from behind as well.
Once Armigero set foot on the earth below, a Dark Elf stepped out of the jungle. It spoke first. Speaking in Giant, which only Corvus understood, the dark elf asked if the party was The Coterie. Corvus and the Dark Elf first assured that the two factions would not be attacking each other, and then Corvus explained that he did not know who this Coterie was. The Dark Elf then said that the Coterie are those who will directly oppose The Adversary. Corvus and the party had heard The Librarian refer to Mr Jacobs as The Adversary before, and asked the Dark Elf if Jacobs had come by this area. The Dark Elf told them that he did not, but The Adversaries Minion had. The Dark Elf then described Paladin Genero. The team asked to be taken to Genero, but the Dark Elf explained that Genero had a significant lead, and would make it to the temple before them. He also told them that Genero would find allies in the temple when he got there, and the party appeared to be physically exhausted by their ordeal so far. The Elf then offered to take the party to see the wiseman of his village.
Several hours later, the party found themselves in the Dark Elf village. It was built into the remains of a Xen’drik Empire slave quarters. The dark elves fed the party, and while they finished eating an old dark elf told them what they understood of the legends surrounding the team.
According to the wise man the party were known as The Coterie in the legends. The Coterie were those members of The Nine, that would specifically oppose The Adversary. At this point in the stories the forces of The Adversary were trying to take an object known as The Keystone into the Khyber Temple nearby, and with it they would be able to unlock a Ley Line of power that would then extend back to Khorvaire, and reveal The Nine Seals. With the Seals revealed, then the Nine Eyes of Fate would unlock the Seals, and the Silver Flame would be killed. Armigero did not react well to stories of his god being killed, and was visibly disturbed by the discussion. The only thing the party had going for them was the timeline for these events. Genero apparently could not open the Ley Line as soon as he got there, instead he would have to wait until an appointed moment before he could crack the lock. The party had two days to stop Genero, and recover the Keystone, or the Nine Seals would be revealed. At the wiseman’s urging the party rested, and took the opportunity to prepare, for a Temple to Khyber would be a demon filled hell hole, and could not lightly be entered.
As the party discussed their further plans, they asked the wiseman if he could check them for Scarab Sickness, as it turned out, all of the party members that fought the swarm were infected, and with Corvus’s help the wiseman cleansed the party of their infection. The wiseman also told them that they were avatars of Fate, and as such they could tap that power to render themselves immune to the Scarab Sickness. The wiseman performed a ritual on each of them that involved ritual scarification connecting to the Mark of Fate that each of them bore upon their chests. After the ritual Corvus sat down to make some arcane items of power to further strengthen the party. Each of the others took rest, and prepared for the coming battle.
As the session closed Thorn noticed that Chomper had encased himself in a massive chrysalis, and feared what new form his friend would bear when he hatched.
Night on the 23rd day of Barrakas.