- The party learns that the refugees were attacked while they were gone
- Flying cavalry appeared and disappeared in a cloud of smoke, killing the elven rangers with surprise attacks
- While Thomas asks Fierna for details, Prince Wayal and JouJou fly in from the North bearing the unconscous body of one of the cavalrymen
- Thomas suggests torturing him for information, but Newton insists on less violent means
- Imperious offers magical divination, but remains quiet about his means
- Thomas and Newton argue with him further about his secrets and the nature of his contract, but in the end, nothing is resolved
- Imperious takes the prisoner away from the camp and gives Prince Wayal some querstions to ask while Imperious uses detect thoughts
- Much to Imperious’ surprise, Wayal immediately begins torturing the prisoner as an aid to the interrogation
- Some of the questions about the cavalry and their tactics are answered before Newton arrives and stops the torture
- Imperious proposes diplomacy with the leader of the batallion, believing they can come to some arrangement
- He uses sending to contact the commander, Schrivendil Redfang, and demands a parlay, threatening to kill the remaining batallion if she refuses
- The commander responds angrily, seemingly in defiance of the request
- Imperious assures the others she’ll show, though
- As night falls, the encampment prepares for yet another assault
- As expected, they are attacked. Thomas recognizes the cloud of smoke as a nightmare, transporting the attackers through the ethereal plane
- Newton and Ursum rush to assist, but the attackers vanish before being fully defeated
- Thomas rushes to another large concentration of refugees, guessing they’ll be attacked next
- He’s correct, and the party (sans Imperious) manages to engage the attackers.
- Aulara manages to capture the half-fiend leader before she can escape
- Newton hurries to help some of the injured refugees, but stops himself when he realizes his astral bodak may kill more than he can save.
- He watches sadly as the few healers among the refugees do what they can to stabalize the dying.
- All told, over 50 of the innocent refugees die in the onslaught, infuriating Thomas.
- The next day, Imperious attempts to call four ghaele, knowing they will be a formidable fighting force in the event of combat
- With help from Cyrus, he prepares four magic circles, dimensional anchors, and other wards to keep the eldarin captive
- He also surrounds his work area with a large stone wall to prevent potentially disasterous disruption
- Each casting of planar binding fails to call the ghaele, though, as each one resists the initial call.
- Frustrated, Imperious falls back on his single available casting of lesser planar binding to call upon a bralani eldarin.
- Finally, this lesser outsider answers his call and accepts his proposal: assist and protect him during negotiations to save the refugees
- Cyrus casts another sending at Imperious’s request, moving the agreed upon meeting location, in order to avoid any ambush Commander Schrivendil may have prepared.
- He also mentions her captured half-fiend sister and uses her has furhter leverage
- Once again, Schrivendil responds defiantly
- Nonetheless, Impeious, Thomas, Newton, Urusm , and the bralani teleport to the new meeting location
- Ursum and Thomas find hiding places, while the others remain visible
- After about half an hour, two constructs and three half-fiends suddenly appear via teleport
- They do not speak, so Imperious steps forward and introduces himself
- As he does so, though, everyone present realizes these beings are actually illusions.
- Ursum notices the distinct visible distortion caused by invisibility far above them.
- Before Imperious can respond, a bone devil emerges flying above them and casts dimensional anchor on him.
- Ursum and Thomas respond with attacks, but do little to harm the creature. The bralani sets up a wind wall, hoping to stop any ranged attacks
- A flying construct also emerges and attacks the bralani with ray of enfeeblement
- Newton banishes the bone devil expertly, and Imperious casts glitterdust, revealing the two invisible creatures near the construct.
- The fight is on!
After the Summoning Wars
Counterstrike by the Half-Fiends