From the diaries of Isyadora.

The next notebook is crisp at the edges and looks like it has been struck through with lightning. The writing is rushed, and messy. It almost seems like the author is shifting personalities.

They found themselves in the middle of a dark world. Faded screams could be heard from all directions. While finding themselves through the darkness and gloom, rounding the corner were two ragged humans, scarred and bleeding. Behind them, two drooling ghouls.  The party took them out with little effort. The humans ran off with no mention of a thank-you.

Trudging onwards through the grim city, they rounded the corner to find an army of death knights, riding back horses and wielding flaming blue swords. A bolt of lighting took out all but the ringleader, who powered forwards, heading straight for the paladin. He may as well not have had a chance to hit, because the damage was shrugged off as soon his body fell from his horse. The dual swords were plundered, and the party sauntered onwards.

In the middle of what could be a beautiful courtyard, stood the only source of light or color in what seemed to be a forgotten land. It shimmered with prismatic color. The party contemplated how to enter the safe haven. A rock to the forcefield disintegrated – so it seemed brute force was not the answer. Although that was an answer the paladin liked. Recognizing the prismatic coloring from the spells she had stolen from the Vampire Mansion, the wizard decided to attempt the wardrobe change spell. She had only gushed about it for the whole carriage ride back from the mansion, as if it were more important than the zombie horde and the vampire mission. Castormax’s Wardrobe Change, she said it was named. She threatened to dress the warforged in a clown costume if he whinged one more time.

Once she cast the spell, her outfit changed. And an elven man appeared, with shimmering white robes and a curious look on his face.

He allowed them entry into the tower and led them to a waiting room. They were then greeted by a much more dazzling elven man, clearly older and wiser, and dressed in flowing robes that shimmered with prismatic colour. “Castormax” the Rogue guessed.

After a rest, they met the ancient elven wizard again for breakfast. Invisible servants brought food to buffet tables crowded with elves dressed in the same uniform as the one that had brought them inside. Castormax listened to their tale with amusement and offered to help them on their journey. He offered them armour, trinkets, potions, and aided the party’s wizard with identifying their collection of magical objects. A spellbook was also gifted to the wizard.

Later that day, another elven man appeared, tailed by a large force of muscled elves. He was much larger and dressed in plate armour, with two giant swords attached to his back. The ranger could not help but stare in awe. He was introduced as Castormax’s brother, Odovuor back from an outing in the shadowfell to secure the area and decimate any evil creatures. The group were quick to decide that on their next outing, Odovuor and his troops should accompany them.

They set out the next morning for the graveyard, where they were told the herald was likely to be, if he was in the shadowfell at all. It was always a graveyard. And it barely seemed like morning, with the gloom that seeped in as soon as they left the safety of Castormax’s tower.

Odovuor led them through the decaying city, through ghouls and death knights, until they got to a large barn. Not far from sight was a long bridge, which he said led to the graveyard they were searching for. The reason they stopped at the barn, it seemed, was that a large gathering of ghouls, abominations, and other monstrosities had settled here. Or was being made here. Unclear. In any case, everyone had caught on to the fact that they should be being quiet. Everyone except Pheny. The barn full of monsters expressed their appreciation by lumbering towards the group with growls and howls.

The rogue slipped into the shadows and disappeared. The paladin joined Odovuor at the front line, ready to taunt the biggest and baddest into attempting a hit on him. The hunter picked out a lucky target for his mark. Pheny laughed with glee and ran past the paladin, flipping and twirling his cape. The wizard readied a lightning bolt.

Approaching the bridge, the group could see the grey gloom darken to nightfall on the other side. Even the army of elven soldiers seemed a bit nervous but they followed Odovuor onwards without hesitation. About halfway through, Pheny, who had been trotting beside Esemere and Isyadora, trying to impress his favourite wizard with more stories, jumped on Izzy and they tumbled out of the way of a lightning strike that left the bridge scarred. The conversation for the next half of the walk across the bridge was centered on how freaky that was, and how badly it could’ve ended for the wizard, and how possible it was that Pheny could secretly do magic this whole time, and just wanted to rescue his crush.

Once the group had entered the graveyard, they could now see a large mausoleum on the far side. In front of it, stood a raised platform with stone pillars, and a pit of blue fire built into the middle. Two cloaked figures stood beside it, chanting. Unfortunately, once again, the group did not have the benefit of surprise. A group of monsters had approached the barrier where the darkness began, and was gaining on the group from behind. In front of them, the chanting stopped, and The Herald of Ash appeared in the fire. Odovuor nodded at the paladin, (it seemed he designated him the leader of the group… as they got along talking about destinies and cool armour) and led his army back toward the bridge to hold off the monsters. One of the cloaked figures had now summoned a tiny army of diseased rodents and pests that were scampering, looking for ankles to bite. A giant abomination was summoned by the other. 

Finally using his initiative (after extensive bullying for not using ‘turn undead’ when faced by the zombie horde), the Cleric cast Spirit Guardians. A warm glow surrounded the group, and misshapen celestials flew above. The paladin wanted a rematch with The Herald, to show him he had taken his sword and would beat him with it. The rogue was taunting one cloaked wizard, while Pheny and the monk took on the abomination. The hunter marked the Herald, and dealt damage from afar, beside the wizard and cleric. When one cloaked wizard got off a fireball, and the other paralyzed Pheny, Isyadora struck them down in retaliation with a bloody fireball of her own. The battle was raging smoothly, until the Paladin did an especially devastating radiant attack. The Herald pointed at him, and Azrael Grimm disappeared. With focused attacks, the group had The Herald surrounded- although it had the hunter close to death. Esemere jumped from the shadows and plunged her rapier into The Herald. The rest of the heroes stared as his soul was sucked into the rapier … (cue end of episode credits).

Stay tuned.. same Elf time, same Elf channel…..

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