We scuttle up the cliff face like insects before the Spider Climb potion wears off and into a nook of boulders overlooking the fortress. From here we can make out the clamour of restless camps, distant guttural voices, the percussion of hurled stones and the occasional clash of steel.
We hatch a new plan to infiltrate Jorgenfist and immediately set to action. Using the wand we found in the Wyvern’s den, Mahd casts Airwalk on us all as we drink the other potions we brought for the task- Invisibility.
Leaving Wynter and Thera behind, both agitated at the separation, we take to the air unseen.
It’s a curious sensation, walking along an invisible walkway that changes orientation at will.
We pass over one of the camps, noisy enough that we don’t need to sneak and over the fortress wall.
Giant sentries pace below on the enormous ramparts with piles of boulders at the ready.
The plan was to head for the tower, but that changes we take in Jorgenfist in it’s entirety. Lit by moonlight we can see a number of enormous wooden barracks and all the usual sundries you’d expect to see (if scaled up some 10 times) the towering monolith… but something unexpected too!
At the centre of the fortress gapes an enormous and ominous pit. Broken earth falls away into the pitch black depths but a walkway leads down too. We each are immediately struck by it’s possible importance. That, not the tower is surely where Mokmorian’s lair is…
After a whispered discussion we change direction towards the pit. We get within a few metres, staring unnervingly into the depths. Hundreds of feet below it is lined with bodies and carrion and slithering things in the dark.
A charnel pit.
I think we’ve made a mistake…
We quickly reconsider our options but Mahd is strangely silent.
A sudden panic comes over me, I reach out, invisible, groping blindly for Mahd, but she ’s gone!
What happened to her!?
Perhaps she wondered off?
No, it can only be trouble…
Did she come up against some sort of magical barrier?
Was some equally unseen sentry attracted to her power?
The invisibility potions will run out soon, so we have precious few options left to us.
I fumble our last invisibility potion to Athene who is the only one with any chance of finding her.
Leaving Athene to a near impossible task I backtrack to the tower. No windows, platform or doors above the ground level- another roadblock.
I descend and tuck myself as best as possible into a shadowy nook where the tower meets wall… and just in time as my invisibility potion where’s off.
I don’t think I’ve ever felt so vulnerable.
Then a strange scream from above, back towards the gatehouse.
I look desperately around for bad company before I Airwalk (now fully visible) up the face of the tower to get a better look… and see only horror…
There, suspended in mid air, a now visible Mahd is blundering along in a sort of daze behind a scrawny winged crone, warbling a terrible hypnotic tune- Banshee!
Hovering against the tower edge I can see Mahd flailing against an invisible assailant- Athene!
But the Inquisitor cannot budge the elf and she shoves the unseen obstruction aside. The Banshee looks back for a moment but is not alerted to our presence.
I’m high enough above the wall, that with the ambient noise from the camps, if I’m careful, I won’t be heard by the sentries below.
Securing redemption I knock an arrow.
Still no further sign of Athene.
Three shafts loose, two hit the creature, kicking up feathers with a screech.
But not a screech of pain though, a call for help!
Two more banshees appear from the monolith and dart towards the action.
But they haven’t seen me yet.
I’ll never take them all out quietly with my meager skill as an archer…
Yet can I risk a melee in open site like that at the gates of Jorgenfist?
And how much longer with the Airwalk spell last?
Then Athene makes the decision for me.
She appears, great sword flashing in the moonlight and attacks the Harpies.
The singer continues her crooning, Mahd still in her thrall and all three turn on the defenseless wizard!
We might lose our only chance to penetrate the defenses of Jorgenifst, but better us together on the same side of the wall, whichever side that is!
I sprint across open air on silent hoping my clanking armour will go unnoticed below.
Mahd is being torn apart.
Athene is trying to beat as I step up with Redemption and slay the singer outright…
As the two halves topple bloodily to the ground, I look desperately at Mahd for recognition… But despite the end of the song, she still stands stupefied!
The Banshees continue to claw and thresh.
We slash counter.
Mahd jolts awake, looks around and with a word teleports away through a a portal.
Athene slays the second which plummets to the ground in a wide circle and a with a scream masked by the winds.
The third declares that she must warn her master and with a beats of her wings, soars back towards the keep.
Athen and I race after her but she’s so fast!
Hurtling along the invisible ramp we find ourselves standing above the castle wall again, out of ear shot of the sentries.
The Harpy is already at the door of the dark tower fumbling at the latch.
That’s when Mahd steps through portal nearby and summons her tentacle trap!
The Harpy howls, clawing at the door.
We’ll need to be quick before her screams alert the watch!
Athene fires an arrow pinning a wing to the ground.
I sprint down through the the air, pause like a pendulum above the flapping monster and pin her to the ground with a flaming Redemption.
She whimpers, and stills.
I can feel myself getting heavier.
The potion can have only moments left.
All visible and feeling thoroughly naked we all descend to the tower door, push it open and tumble in, dragging the Harpy with us.
How we didn’t alert anyone I’ll never know. The gods were indeed watching over us tonight…
The tower is not what I expected.
The reason it had no doors or windows is that it is a shell. A vast hollow tower and cold as ice.
On the floor is a trap door which opens only to darkness.
Obviously the Harpy’s destination.
Pulling out ropes and pitons we rappel down.
One by one with we drop into a vast crypt.
It is the shape of a cardinal star, strange, frost covered coffins nestled into each point and we are not alone…
There, stands a tall bandaged figure, faintly glowing green with a menacing, luminescent light… Mokmorian? No, this figure is, or was once a human male… Now A Mummy!