They decided to check everything over one more time and see if there was anything else they needed to take with them. Then they would rest before heading back to the Black Temple. They hoped this would be the last time.
Mattwise had returned to the room and was ready to go when they were. Flynrich wished them luck and said they would need to be prepared for anything but he knew that they were the only ones that could take care of this. If they failed, it may be awhile before someone else could take their place and attempt to stop the leaking of arcane magicks. “Good luck we are all counting on you.”
Flynrich opened the Screen again and they stepped through near the entrance to the Black Temple. The temple was much the same as the last time they were there almost 3 weeks before. They did not encounter any hostiles as they made they way down to the Black Cyst.
Nameless cast Wall of Fire around the walls with the heat part focused on the wall to try and keep the walls warm. Nameless also gave Stumbleduck, Susan and Gilbee an elemental gem each. Schmugle would use his flame-tongue greatsword to keep any fires going if they happened to go out. He would guard Nameless and Mason while they performed the ritual. Susan had oil and wood to keep the fires going if need be. She also would guard Nameless and Mason. Gilbee will go Summer eladrin mode just so he would look on fire. Stumbleduck would also guard Nameless and Mason.
Nameless laid out the chains around the Black Cyst. Mason cast Ceremony which took an hour. He focused on the Atonement portion of it. When Mason was finished, Nameless began the ritual to Wrap the Chain. It would take 10 minutes to complete the ritual.
Nameless had been chanting about 1 minute when the first wave of Shadow Demons appeared both inside the Wall of Fire and on the outside. They looked like the same creatures they had fought near the entrance to the room with the black trees and with different color fruit. They were led by a slightly larger shadow demon that was the same color green of the statue they have found on the second floor of the Temple. The shadow demons attacked trying to focus on Nameless. Stumbleduck cast Guiding Bolt taking out a shadow demon. Susan attacked the closest shadow demons with her rapiers taking out two. Nameless was able to use a sorcery point to cast Chain Lightning taking out 4 more shadow demons. Mattwise attacked three of the shadow demons that had appeared behind Nameless. Taking them out, he moved to protect the group’s rear flank. (I do not remember what Mason did that first round. I am sure he cast Spirit Guardians in the 2nd round.) Gilbee attacked with Kindess taking out a few more. They estimated that there were 20 “lesser” shadow demons, lesser only because of the stronger green shadow demon. The lesser ones still hit hard doing both necrotic damage and removing Strength from their targets. Gilbee had his reduced to 3 after only a few hits. Gilbee moved away dropping the elemental gem behind him, which summoned an earth elemental.
Both types of shadow demons attempted to displace individuals in hopes of possessing someone. They seemed to focus on spellcasters with Stumbleduck being a regular target of this attack.
Mason cast Spirit Guardians and that turned the tide of the fight. He was able to remove the majority of the lesser demons leaving only the green shadow demon which had waded into the middle of the group. It was doing acid damage on top of the necrotic damage the lesser demons were doing. They focused their attacks on the green shadow demon and soon it fell.
In addition to the shadow demons attacks, a necrotic wave washed through the room at regular intervals causing damage to everyone. Nameless was able to maintain concentration on the ritual even while taking regular damage.
3 more waves of shadow demons attacked them. Each had 20 lesser shadow demons led by a different color greater shadow demon. The colors matched the statues from the second floor of the Temple and were encountered in the following order:
Red Blue Black
With Mason concentrating on Spirit Guardians that would take out most of the lesser demons almost as soon as they appeared. The greater ones would not last too much longer with the group being able to focus on them since they had no other targets. The Red one added Fire damage to its attacks and the Blue one added Lightning damage.
The Black shadow demon was the same deep dark black they had seen not only on the statue but through out the temple. Was the temple itself trying to stop the ritual?
The Black shadow demon was larger than the other greater shadow demons and it hit harder as well. It was doing Cold damage as well as necrotic damage. The first thing it did was cast Disintegrate on the earth elemental. They got the group’s attention. It was also harder for them to hit and it was dealing out lots of damage. Mason cast Banishment and the Black Shadow Demon disappeared. Mason said we have 1 minute before it returns. Mason and Stumbleduck cast high level healing spells to heal the group. Susan moved into a flanking position to make sure she would get sneak attack damage on it. Gilbee who had taken the bulk of the damage from it moved to where he could cast eldritch blast without being hit. Nameless thought of casting Forcecage where the shadow demon would return to but he was not sure he would able to keep concentration on the ritual as well as maintaining the force cage. Nameless knew they were getting close to the end of the ritual and he did not want to start over, possibly starting the waves of shadow demons over again.
The Black Shadow Demon reappeared and they hit it as hard as they could. It took longer to defeat than the other ones and as it collapsed it let loose a final wave of necrotic energy and was gone. Nameless felt his concentration on the ritual was beginning to slip. He was not sure that he would be able to complete it. With no more shadow demons Mason was able to assist him and Nameless finished the ritual. The chains connected around the Black Cyst and gave a loud click when the third chain connected with the first chain.
The room was suddenly quiet. It was then that they realized that the Black Cyst had been humming the entire time and it had stopped once the chain had been replaced.
There seemed to be a weight lifted from the room with the Black Cyst and it was not as cold even when Nameless dropped the Wall of Fire.
They were checking to make sure the chain was secure when Mason, Nameless and Stumbleduck began to see residual arcane magicks in the room that were not from any of them. Mason and Nameless had fought Nezznar enough time to recognize that he was the one that had left these remnants. Mason remembered a conversation he had had with Flynrich about using residual arcane magicks to try and locate where a caster may have been. Nameless took out the Screen and they asked Flynrich about this technique. Flynrich said he would return. He came back with a small bucket and shovel and asked them to use Detect Magic to find the residual magicks and them scoop them into the bucket to bring back to the Bibliomagicii.
As they were getting ready to leave they also noticed a Rod of Reversal on the floor. They picked it up and put it in one of their bags of holding.
They gathered all they could find and then used the Screen to go back to Flynrich who was already working on things. He explained what he was doing (sort of a cross between GPS and scrying) and soon Nameless, Mason and Stumbleduck were assisting him in his research. Gilbee and Mattwise were drinking tea, Susan and Schmugle were resting. It took several hours of on and off experimentation and research but they were able to find coordinates. Flynrich said we need to go back and do these over again to make sure we got it correct.
They got the exact same coordinates as before.
They decided to eat and rest and then tomorrow they would set out to take the fight to Nezznar.