018. Kazzen part 2

 

Toggaf attempts to infiltrate the mind of Kazzen using Phantasmal Force, but Kazzen does not fall into the trap.  Toggaf casts Web, but if fails to ensare Kazzen.  Kazzen casts Slow on the party and then Massmorph, to turn the trees into soldiers, druids and archers.  The party is surrounded by almost 20 additional foes, and their movements sluggish.

The party, in its slowed state, tries desperately to find an effective attack.  The melee damage-dealers can do little but nickel and dime the 18 foes.  Meanwhile, Toggaf digs in his pack (slowly) for a scroll.  D'understanding looks ponderously through the skylight to the azure blue sky.  D'understanding starts praying for rain.

Kazzen see's the party's feeble attempts, and taunts them.  "You think you know Corvus' power?  You have seen nothing yet!"  He pulls out a vial of blood and pours a drop on the cube, which glows in a dark cobalt light.  Then, he attaches the cube to his staff, and stabs the staff into the ground.  A wave of dark energy washes over the ground, killing the grass on the floor and doing damage to everyone else in the room.  

This display just angers the party even more.  At this point, Toggaf is able to read from his Scroll of Lightning Bolt and kill half of the room and do significant damage to Kazzen.  D'understanding looks at the sky, darkening.  His eyes turn white and he prays, harder, to the nature gods to deliver a storm....

The surviving clan of Kazzen turn their attention to the druid, trying to break his concentration.  Still, still, the clouds continue to build...

The slow spell dissapates, but Kazzen is not done.  He raises his hands at the Druid, knowing what he must do, and casts Magic Missile at D'understanding, doing significant damge.  Still, his concentration holds.  The smell of rain fills the room, and the hairs start to stand on the back of everyone's neck.

Kazzen pauses to look up at the storm cloud, as a bolt of lightning strikes down and seemingly vaporizes the evil wizard.  When the party searches the remains, all they find is his cloak, with sewn in runes that spell out "cloak of the phoenix."  The blue cube, the staff, and the body of the wizard are gone.

They kneel to inspect the sapling.  D'understanding sacrifices some of his own life force to the sapling to keep it alive.  They dig it out of the ground and keep it watered.  That night, camping in Presto's Tower for the last time, Barlo has nightmares of a Great Black God rising from the forest and shaking villages down with his fists.  It is a terrible dream.

The party heads out of the tower.  With D'understandings help, they find a few Sacred Elk to help protect them from wandering monsters, and they retrace their steps back out of the forest, spending another ten days trekking back through the Sacred Woods.  Finally, when they return to Triple Toss Tower, 36 days after leaving it, they find the shield of Ekrakk still going strong, and two graves -- one marked "Slim" and one marked "Grassfoot."