Part 7: Marden and Ghedrar
Most of the party decide that the best way forward is through the tunnel with the four doors in front of it. Alena heads off in the other direction to see what she can spot. The party yells back at one another telling them what they have found.
"A tunnel over here. Can't see where it leads" shouts Alena.
"There is a guy over here with a table" yells Kar.
The yelling brings the lizardmen in the back rooms after Alena and she retorts by pushing her dragon towards them.
In the other corridor a bell rings as Mardin spots Kar. The Lizardmen change direction from Alena and run towards Mardin's room.
Kar leaps at Mardin and a massive fight ensues with the dragon and Alena tailing the men and the other party members fighting with Mardin and his minions.
Throughout the battle Mardin taunts Mahin.
“Mahin. You have come to me at last. I have paid men to kill you but they never returned. This will save me any more trouble trying to find you.
"Your Snake guild is no more. After the death of Ardashir and you leaving Mahin, the Forked Tongue Crime Syndicate made their move on the rest of the guild. They fell quickly. Some kept saying that Mahin would return to reunite them but you never did. Now they are all gone or dead and here you are. You are too late Mahin. Your guild is gone. You abandoned your family and I destroyed them. And now finally I can destroy you and show the rest of the guild that it will never rise from the ashes. Let your hopes and ambitions go Mahin. It's time to die."
The fight is fast and fierce. Kar at the front with Mahin and her rapier to begin with while Arcandur casts meteors at the lizardmen filing into the room and the dragon spays acid on the men at the back. Then Mahin moves back to use her bow, Arcandur starts casting shatter and firebolts decimating the lizardmen around them. One or two men manage to get hits on Kar and then Mardin's knife nicks Mahin's arm. It burns.
The fight is soon over as Arcandur commands Mardin to sit on his couch, not talk and not move until Mahin says that he can.
Meanwhile Alena hears a noise coming from the ladder going back up to the Forked Tongue's headquarters. She heads over to take a look and sees the bodies of lizard men falling through the trapdoor. She shimmies up the ladder and comes face to face with a man, dressed as an assassin with glowing red eyes. She quickly retreats down the ladder. Two of the men follow her as she shouts to the others.
Arcandur quickly grabs the map off the table, with a bag of coins and a bag of gems. The others rush in to see what is happening.
A vortex appears and within is the Lich, Ghedrar. Kar immediately throws two daggers at him but they disappear in the swirl of the vortex.
“Thank you for ridding me of these pesky thieves. Their lizard blood turned out to be able to resist my control. Like those fools who consider themselves the faithful of Set but did not like the thought of me returning. I suppose they did not want to lose their power to a more formidable follower. I can understand that, even as I see how foolish it is - avoiding the inevitable. The assassins, though, have been my puppets for some time now.
"Rise." And with that word all of the corpses around the room start to stand.
“I am Ghedrar. You may have heard of me. Some 1000 years ago I built myself a significant empire centered in this very city. It expanded across Dhar Mesh and Thule. I controlled this land for five hundred years until the Atlanteans wrested it from my grasp. That was some five hundred years ago now. My bodies were lost in the battle but I retreated into the city. I was trapped and eventually my body decayed but my mind did not. It has taken time to... reinstate my power. Six months ago a force... a ... power came to this world. To the south. I can feel it now. Building. Growing. I have used it. Syphoned from it. And now I am solid. More whole than I have been for ages past.
“Now hand over the map. You have proven yourselves resourceful. Perhaps I will make you a part of this great kingdom I am going to recreate.”
Arcandur steps forward, jumps down into the arena and points through the creature and to the zombies that are starting to surround Alena. Speaking an arcane incantation a massive bolt of lightening streaks across the room striking the Lich who seems to suddenly become insubstantial and incinerating the walking corpses behind Alena.
Alena does not hold back. She leaps into the hole and starts slashing at the Lich. Her blades pass straight through him. He turns to look at her an eyes glowing in annoyance as he glances down at the burnt hole in his robes. He then walks straight through her. As he does she commands her dragon to attack the undead that are rising.
The Lich stops. Looks around inquisitively. Points at a wall behind which the dragon is and Alena feels her connection with it disappear. It suddenly roars in pain and then stops. Then the now rotting half dead dragon bowls down the corridor towards Kar and Mahin.
"Give me the map." Says the Ghedrar too Arcandur.
Arcandur summons his cat behind the Lich but does not reply.
The assassins move down into the arena to back up their master and Alena launches herself at them.
Kar smashes the dragon with his fists and Mahin launches an arrow shattering its skull. It falls to the ground unmoving.
Ghedrar has had enough of this mortal. He becomes corporeal to finish this worthless insect. Arcandur and his cat pounce. The wizard casts and the cat leaps past the Lich's skull touching it ever so lightly that he barely notices. He raises his hand ready to snuff out this caster's life... but his spell fails to work. Arcandur smiles at him.
"Gah! I will get that map!" Screams the creature as it becomes incorporeal again. "This is not over!"
And with that the vortex reappears and he disappears into it. The assassins collapse with the remaining undead. The Lich is gone.