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The Ritual - A Report by Strife Manshredder

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7 Grusaba, 8972 Ta

Source: Strife Manshredder

(Again, written in the slightly wobbly hand of an acolyte who has been press-ganged into scribing for Strifey on threat of indeterminate bad stuff happening if they don't...)

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Sir!

I have to report that the Mission to the Haunted Hills was success based on both primary and secondary objective, largely due to me using my Dark Temple Leadership Training to drive the ███████████ █████ ██ auxiliaries I was supplied with to efforts even their own guilds would be amazed to hear. Assigning ████████ █████ to the mission was of great use - I shall report more on ███ later.

When I arrived at the Outpost, the party were in "negotiation" with a couple of R10 Vampire Lords who were bringing us information to support out mission. Given the fact that they were not attacking, were tough bastards and we had more important things to use our resources on, we listened, on suffrance. Windwalker got himself hypnotised and invited the bastards in - █████. We will need to get that outpost re-sanctified as a priority. I made it clear that no matter how much they asked, the Protectorate was not in the habit of feeding its members to Vampires to get information.  They had already fed off Ursus and Windwalker while beguiled (only a little each time -and not the full gory vampires kiss as far as I could tell, although I would get both the body and Aspirant Ursus checked out thoroughly). █████ then disobeyed a direct order not to feed the vampires any more and was snacked on a second time, for more, as far as I could tell, useless "information". At this point I made severe threats to anyone else feeding the bastards, and we moved everyone away and ignored them until they got bored and left.

The next day we powered up and headed for the border. █ ███████ ██ ███ ███ ███████ ████ █████ ██████ ███ ██████ ██ █████ ███████ "████-████" (███████) ██ ████ ██ ██████ █████ ██████ ████ ██ ███ ███ ███. ██ ████ ██ █████ ██████████████.

We walked our way through a few simple undead, and rescued a peasant who had been stupidly gathering herbs inside the border and had been boshed by 2 gargoyles. I told him to f off back to his village and not cross the border again as he wouldn't be so lucky next time.

Increasingly more nails groups of undead (skeley warriors, curse spirits, ghouls, zombies, shadows) and then broken ones were destroyed, along with a necromancer or 2 just before getting to the liche's base.  In spite of being ordered loudly to wait carefully beforehand, the ██████ ███████ and █████ rushed in to see the "dark spirit thing" and all got a Harm for their trouble. At this point I was meditating so couldn’t do a lot about it. By the time I was back, the spirit (a Spirit of harming I suspect) had been jobbed by Sweetpea and we were assessing the next room, a weird linked up creature thing with a warrior, priest and mage part – sort of 1 brain split over 3 bodies. Weird shit for sure. Once we had the warrior part under control I could get close to the mage and priesty parts and due to my own protections and those very effectively provided earlier by Sorceror Valeth I was able to job both pieces with little help.

We then fought our way through the barracks, during which █ ███ ███ █ █ █ █  “████-████” █████ ██ ███ ███ ██████ ██ █████ █████ ██ ████ ███████ ██. ██ ███ ██ █████ █████ ██ ████. ███. We had some “tea of comtemplation” and planned our next move. Two fings to note at this point – the tea of comteplation made power come back REELY fast, like 5 or 6 times faster, when you had a nap after drinking a cup. Also, my meditations take only 20 minutes now, and I haven’t had any training to do that.  I suggest we need to stock some of that in the canteen, and make sure everyone drinks a cup, even if they hate tea. I brought one back in case we need a sample for the herbalists, but as I understand it we can buy it off of dem foren knobs in the emerald empire anyway.  Second fing, der was a lot of Stygians workin for der Litche in der base, muttering shit like der Baron ad gone soft or summat.

First stop, der portal. Once we jobbed the magical defences, Windwalker had a chat with it, so we was able to ambush der incoming necros. Dey went down pretty quick. Hur hur hur.

Den der Ritual itself. I didn’t see a lot of it due to the ritualist takin offense at me interruptin his casting, so he dropped a bones to dust on me. Bugger that hurts. For a second or so anyway, den I blacked out. Wen I came to, (I unnerstand Ursus had a total heal potion or summat) I feared the stygian scout, and gave the ritualist a damn good kickin. Then his scout too. Won’t fekkin do THAT shit to me again. We disrupted the ritual by kickin over the skulls, then I nicked the casting mat, then ordered Ursus to  powersteal the remaining power out of the ritual circle. Worked dead well too, shut it down nicely.

We wuz a bit low on resources, so after a rest we headed for the jail to see if dere were any prisoners we could meld or powersteal from. Der jailor was a kickass powered up reaper. Ripped off Yarps(?) arm I fink, den kicked us around before using some weird sanctuary item. Den he did some sort of quick cast bollocks and used the disruption to break through and make a run for it. We chased him around a lot but we woz in his hood an he got some help. Der Butcher joined him as a reinforcement and kicked off an chopped off my arm. Wiv 2 of the toughest frontline out we withdrew, but we ███████ ██ ██████ █ ████ ██████ ██ ███ █████ ██ ██████ █████. ████ ████ ███ ██ █████████ ██ █████████ ████ █████ ███ ███ █████ ██ ██ ████ ██ █████ ███ ████ ██████ ██ ██████ ███ █████ ████ ███████. ██ ███ █ ███, ███ ██ ██ ████ ███ ██ █ ██████ ████████ ██ ███ ██ ███ ██ ███ █████ █████. On this Dark Temple led mission, a High Priest of the Divine Light was rescued from the Liche's base. Although he died of unknown causes in his sleep during the mission (we suspect due to some form of soul linkage with his jailor), his body has been returned safely to the Temple of the Divine Light for them to treat as they wish. Then all the others ganged up on the reaper while I took the Butcher single handedly. Coz I iz nails, and knowz how to use my powers. Chop off my fekkin arm would he? The Devourer will eat well off that bastard.

In der fight, I must wiv regret report that Windwalker of the ShuShiny Tribe was perm killed by der reaper or one of is mates. He was an effective ally, ███ ██████ ████ ████ █ ███ ███ ██ ███ ██████ ███.  His remains have been returned wiv respect, and once dey have been checked for undead bollecks I have given him my word he will be returned to his tribe with full honours. Umm..more on dis later.

Durin der fight de Jailer had also summoned the librarian. The librarian didn’t fight at all, fekkin wuss, just did some weird arse white face thing then ran for it.  He ported out to “get reinforcements”, which we rekon meant the Litche himself.

Reckonin we wuz in big trouble, we quickly █████ searched the rest of the base, getting the hourglass needed for the portl to get us to the liches phylactery area and some other stuff including a bag which made stuff non-detectable. Nice. We hid the hourglass in it. There was also lots of scrolls ██████ acquired from the library which I have brought here first for our scribes and experts to work on before you pass them on. Three especially are very interesting – one on der nature of the phylactery, one about der haunted hills, and one about undead or the sea of lost souls or litches or summat. Dey is already wiv der temple archivists. I warned dem dey has clever wards on dem but dey just flash yer eyes so we need to get someone who doesn’t get blinded to take a look.  We den retreated to der guardroom expectin to be attacked by reinforcements. We set guards through the night and got what rest we could…but no attack came, straight away anyway. Der Goodly High Priest died in his sleep..some sort of bond shit with the reaper jailor we reckon. ██ ███ █ ██████ ████████ █████ ██ ██████. Heh.

Next morning, wonderin what had happened I headed back to der portal room to scout it owt while the squogres got their shit together. Dere was windwalker’s spirit, guardin the portal and stopping reinforcements comin through. Service beyond death. Fekkin respect, although also fekkin weird an unnatural. He was helpin us out, holdin on to dis world before goin to his happy huntin grounds. Dis was wen I gayv my word on returning his corpse to iz tribe. Dependein on how fast they could travel, we might have been overrun by reinforecments if not fer him. So yeah, respect.

Der squogres were all for maykin a run ferrit, but I pointed out dat der phylactery was still in der pocket dimension cos we had the hourglass, and dis mite be der last chance we had ter give der Heroes a chance at jobbin the bastard lich. And then I gave them all sorts of threatenin and leadery shit. Sweetpea and Ursus fell in (Ursus was wiv me straight away ov course), and the rest sort of muttered that there was time for one last good mosh..and they couldn’t let me get Sweetpea killed, how their mum would never forgve them, all that bollocks. Important thing is they came.

We went into a pocket dimension. Jobbed the undead minions and the nails undead guardian, and got the teapdrop phylactery, an put it in der bag of hidin. Den we withdrew in good order. Well, me an Ursus did ennyway, der Squogres were ████ █████ ██████..  The phylactery disinstrgated when we took it over the border, which I fink means success. It wuz bound to der haunted hills or summat. Ennyway, we succeeed, both mission objectives, wiv only 2 deaths (one of der squogres bought it at some point too, not permanently..) and even hauled █ ██████ ████████ good high priest back to his temple. █████ ██ ███ ████ ██████!!! How lovely.

AS Ordered, I did my best ██ ████ ████████ █████ from ██████ ███ ██████ ██. ██ ██ █ █████ ███████ ███ █████ ██████ ██ █████, ████ ███ ████ ██ ███ ████, ███ ██ █████ ██████ ██████ ███ ████ ██ ████ ██ ████ █████ ████ ███ ████ █████ ███████████ ████ ███ ██████ ████.  ██ ███ █ ██████ ██ ██████ ████ ████ ██████ ████, ████ ██████ ██████, ██ ██ █████ ██ █████ ███ ███████ ██ █ █ █ █ █ █  (█ ████ █████ ██ ███ ██████ ██ █████ ██ ███ █ ██████ █████ ███████ ████ █████ ██ ███ ██ ██ █████ █████ ████ ███ ████████ ███ ██████ ████████) ███ ████ ██ ███ ████ ██ ███ █ ██████ ███ █████ ███████ ██ ████ █████████ ███ █ █ █ █ (██ ███ █████ ███████ █████ ██████…).  ██████, ██████, ███, ████ ███ ████, ███ ███████ ████ ██ █████ ████ ██.  █████████ ██ ██ ████ ████████ ███ █ ███ ███ ████ █ ████ ███████ ████.

Awaitin my next assignment.

Priest Strife Manshredder.