The group instead decided to head north to Vineshade to see what they could find about Gundobad Oldbuck and/or the Viper-Circle Mirror. As they were getting close to what they thought was Vineshade they saw several farms that had been destroyed by something huge. A path of destruction went northeast and away from the city. They turned a corner in the road and saw a good sized city/town. The front gate was open and they could see a large crowd gathered in the town square. A man in clerical robes was standing on a dais trying to calm the crowd. They picked up their pace so they could hear what the man was saying. As they got closer Mason recognized the robes the man was wearing were those of a high ranking member of the church, a bishop or archbishop.
“Our town is in grave danger. As you know, some farms have already been destroyed and luckily with only a minimal number of injuries and death. The evil black magician, Nathaire, whom we drove out of Vineshade, has begun his revenge. (Nathaire specialized in necromancy - magic involving the dead.) He has taken great numbers of bodies and created a golem-like colossus. The colossus towers one hundred feet tall. It uses an entire tree for a club. Only magical weapons can harm it. We do not have any magic weapons. Our only defense are our walls which this creature will surely quickly batter down.
The crowd began to panic once more.
A citizen dressed in green and brown robes steps up to the podium and asks for silence. He tells the crowd that he thinks he knows a way that the colossus can be defeated. His is Gundobad Oldbuck. (Nameless started to listen more intently.)
Before he saw the error of his ways, he was one of Nathaire’s pupils. Gundobad no longer practices magic, since it is a forbidden art. But he does remember the formula to a black powder which, when blown into the face of the colossus, should return it to its natural state, a dead body. Gundobad He himself is not a warrior, so a group of adventurous volunteers to get the black powder into the face of the colossus.
The group steps forward and says we may be able to help. The archbishop and Gundobad thank the strangers for their willingness to help those they do not know. The archbishop also says you will be rewarded for your assistance.
Gundobad says we must hurry. We must go to Nathaire’s old tower. I am sure all of the ingredients that are needed will be there.
He mixed up the black powder and then gave them the following instructions. I have created 6 bags of the powder. You will need to hit the colossus at least 5 times for the powder to be effective. And yes, it needs to be in its face. I am not sure how you will get up to its face. Our city walls are high enough that they could work. Mason and Nameless said well we both have wings. They talked once more about using or not using magic. Several of the group, magic was all they had use. They came up with a plan. Nameless and Mason would fly to the face. While Mason distracted the creature, Nameless would attempt to throw the powder into its face. Meanwhile, Schmoogle, Grundy, Stumbleduck and Kregerath would attack from below using melee weapons. Cerridwen borrowed a crossbow to fire. As they were leaving, Gundobad said you are helping my town. I am willing to give you my most prized possession - The Viper Circled Mirror once the deed has been done.
They set out. The creature was not difficult to see. It towered above the tree and it sent vibrations well ahead. Mason and Nameless took to the air and engaged as quickly as they could. Mason saw a basket on the back of the neck of the creature. It looked like a man was smooshed into the creature, perhaps even controlling it. That must be Nathaire. Nameless flew towards the head and when he was around 10ft away, he threw the first batch. The powder hit squarely in the face. Everyone could see that it had an effect on it. Schmoogle, Grundy, Stumbleduck all attacked with their weapons but it did not seem to take damage. Cerridwen crossbow bolts did nothing as well. Kregerath turned Invisible and then used his Rope of Climbing to get a lock around one of the giant’s wrists. He pulled himself up into the air and attempted to climb the beast’s leg. He stumbled a bit but held on and then tumbled forward. He made a few attacks that did not harm the thing. Then he waited until Nameless had thrown all of the powder.
Nameless cast Time Stop. He then cast Haste to give him more actions for the next 4 rounds. He threw the 4 remaining bags of powder. They all hit squarely. All could see that the creature was not as powerful as it had been. The group attacked with all of their weapons hitting hard. Soon the creature began to totter and it fell backwards onto the ground. The many bodies that had made up the colossus were now scattered around the crash site. The man that had been one with the creature was now dead laying beneath the basket that once held him. They searched his body. He only had tattered robes on.
Gundobad and the archbishop came out of the city followed closely by the townsfolk. They were cheering and thank the group for their brave deed. Gundobad gave then the Viper Circled Mirror. The archbishop said that the town would give them 10,000gp as as reward and they would have free room and board for the next 30 days. Plus, they would throw a feast in their honor this very afternoon. They group thanked them and they all went to eat and drink and rest up before heading out. They decided to go to Perigrin to see about the Ring of Eibon. They had one name Lamorac Wanderfoot that may or may not know about the ring. At least it was a start. The decided to get ponies and horses to make the trip easier to Perigrin.
It was late afternoon and they were just outside of the city of Perigrin when the sky all around the town turned red. In the air they saw a red comet seemingly headed straight for them, no the town. As it approached, it suddenly vanished but the sky stayed red. As they came into town, they saw signs of a battle near what looks to be an Abbey. There were several bodies at the base of the building. They rushed to see if they could help any of them. Most were very badly injured by claws and/or bites. One of the halfling raised his head and thanked them for coming to their aid. They had been tracking the Beast of Perigrin which had first appeared when the red comet had appeared over their city. The people of Perigrin felt they were cursed since the red sky, the comet nor the beast were seen anywhere else in Anadia. The halfling introduced himself: I am Lamorac Wanderfoot. And I can see you are anxious to help. The Beast was last seen climbing the Abbey and going in one of the windows on the top floor. If you encounter it, see if you can retrieve the ring it took from me. It is a family heirloom and I would like to have it back if possible.
While all of this was going on, Kregerath had sneaked up to the Abbey’s front door, picked the lock and had made his way upstairs. He had seen several bodies on the bottom floor of the Abbey but none as he made his way up. He came to another closed door. He knocked and a man answered who is there? Give me a moment. A halfling, who Kregerath thought might be the Abbot opened the door. The Abbot introduced himself as Abbot Theophile. He then asked what Kregerath needed. Kregerath said I am noble of this world and I am here in search of land to call my own. The Abbot said are you a member of the church? Kregerath said he was. Come, the abbot said. Let us sit at my desk and discuss scripture. You see, even if you are member of the church, you are not in the hierarchy so even if though it may be within your rights to claim land, it is going to be difficult for you to actually receive any. That is until you have gained ranks within the church.
Kregerath could hear the rest of the group coming up the stairs. The Abbot started pacing and moving closer and closer to the open window that had various shades of red coming into it. The Abbot welcomed his new guests but the pacing did not stop. He then crossed into the red light and the transformation was instant. The Beast is surrounded by a swirling, shadowy red mist. Inside the blood-red mist, a black semi-serpentine form can barely be distinguished. The serpentine beast has a large flat snakish head with sharp serrated teeth, arms and a serpent’s tail instead of legs. Its arms end in ebony talons. On one finger is a ring