As the adventurers were standing outside the bar, resting from the battle with Lividius, a wave of demonic power washed over them. Berrian was driven mad with fear, screaming a blood curdling scream and then running round and round trying to evade that which surrounded him, the omnipresent blanket of cold, hard fear. Suddenly, the entire party swooned, feeling the sting of the terrible wave’s mighty curse. In a moment, the wave had passed. Some of the party members sat up, beginning to recover; some, not so much. Berrian had vanished. Alphazar was transforming from his usual plant-like self, into something different, leaner, more human-like, pale skinned, with red eyes and black hair. His clothes had changed into a black cloak and black robes. His hands grew scales half way up his forearm and his fingers grew claws, his demeanor changed too as even during the transformation, a cold beauty seemed to take hold of his features.
Moments later, Berrian appeared, or at least, a being purporting to be Berrian appeared. Only this version of Berrian had coruscating lines of silvery energy etched across his now purple face and hands. His hair was gone and in its place were small glowing crystalline silver spikes. On the whole, he was a sight to behold.
Orin and Xaelin reacted quickly and strongly to the strange appearances, grabbing for the changed beings before them. Retrieving some chairs from the bar and some rope, the party tied down the “Alphazar” and “Berrian” captives to parley safely.
Berrian was quickly able to explain his circumstance as he knew it, he was here, then he was in the elemental plane then he was back here with his body and raiment changed into a stormborn genasi elemental. His powers and spells were augmented as well, otherwise, he was much the same old Berrian, or so he claimed. Xaelin and Orin were willing to give the guy a break and released him on his own recognizance. Alphazar however, was a bit more problematic.
Alphazar was back from hell where he had been bounced by none other than the Raven Queen herself. His secret pact with her remains hidden. She sent him back in a form more suited to her plans and more capable in several key ways. However, it’s not like Alphazar could just tell the truth on this matter, so he didn’t. Unfortunately, through his rebirth his former life was a distant memory. He managed to successfully bluff his way through the conversation that started with both Xaelin and Orin wanting to kill him; only to be caught in a lie when the conversation turned to letting him go. In a last ditch effort to curry their favor, he blurted out that he had been changed into a vampire, and that settled it. Instead of freeing him or killing him, the lads decided to carry him off to see the Druids to consult them regarding what to do with Alphazar.
Before heading north to the Druid’s Grove, the party headed over to the castle for a good night’s rest. En route, they came upon a heretofore unnoticed cave from which a horde of Abyssal Demons was exiting. The Demons red-black carapaces glittered in the waning light, and they came on in a variety of shapes and sizes. Some were large bipedal creatures with forelimbs of sharp crystal; others were close to the ground with sharp mandibles. One was a huge monstrous thing that towered over the scene before it. The little ones (Hounds) came on first, followed by the smaller bipeds (Soldiers) and the larger sized scuttlers (Beasts). Two powerful bipeds (Knights) brought up the rearguard. Last to appear, exiting the cave after the battle began was a huge Demon Bender.
As the party fought the Demons, a Dwarf came upon them and joined in the fray. The Dwarf, Flashflood, had come down from Hammerfast to visit his cousin, Kellar, in the Harkenwold and to travel the Nentir Vale visiting lordlings here and there to sell them on the benefits of vacationing in the new Mountain Villa Estates outside Hammerfast. Upon hearing that the Defenders of the Harkenwold were still in town and headed for the keep, he had pursued with all haste. Now, he saw the Defenders facing off against these demons. Knowing the demons would be bad for business, he offered what aid and assistance he could and plunged headlong into the battle. Unfortunately, one of the Demon Knights nearly sliced him in two. The party patched him up and helped him back to his feet. Within a remarkably short amount of time, he was fully recovered with little more than a pale scar to show that anything had happened. The party offered to take him with them back to the castle, which he enthusiastically accepted, looking forward to the possibility of speaking with the Baron of Harkenwold about the Villas. As they walked he gave the party his sales pitch, emphasizing the natural hot pools and lovely dwarven ladies “with their rugged beauty and handsome beards” who tend to the guests in the Villas.
During the battle, Alphazar turned into a swarm of bats, loosed his bonds and headed straight for the nearest demons. He squared off with the giant Bender, which he ended up destroying in close combat. Much to Xaelin’s chagrin as he had his eyes set on bagging the big boy.
The party fought aggressively against the demons and brought them all down in a few short rounds of bloody combat.
However, the party did not get away unscathed. After the battle they returned to the castle for a well-deserved night’s rest. But, not all was well. By the next morning, several members of the party had broken out with a pox and were feeling lousy – stuffed noses, headaches, body aches, lethargy and horrible pustules on face, neck, and hands. Specifically: Orin, Kriv, Berrian, Alphazar, Xaelin and Flashflood were so afflicted. Reef seemed to be the only one unaffected.
259 xp each