The Mage of the Vale

All was not well, however. As they were celebrating, the Geoffite forces were assailed with a shower of arrows from the Valley Elves of the Mage of the Vale. Duke Owen could not spare forces to deal with the Mage, but the matter did not end there. The Archmage Drawmij of the Circle of Eight approached the Scourge of the Underdark. He pointed out that Jaran Krimeeah was a member of the Ring of Five, the conclave of wizards that the Scourge had run afoul of before. He offered to assist the heroes in striking back against Krimeeah, wishing to see his long feud with the wizard come to an end. Although aware that the archmage had his own personal reasons for wishing to see Krimeeah destroyed, they knew they needed all the help they could get against a Ring member. Drawmij granted them a special rod that had a variant of his Instant Summons spell that would instantly teleport the mage to them when broken. That way, Drawmij would not draw Krimeeah’s attention by his presence in his valley, but it was a way around the scrying-resistant mists surrounding the vale. Drawmij’s only stipulation was that Krimeeah’s lieutenant, the drow wizardess Tyslin San, not be harmed.

Taking the rod, the Scourge penetrated the Vale of the Mage. They encountered and defeated an extremely vast array of traps and magical illusions, overcame patrols of the mage’s gnomes and infamous Valley Elves until they reached the Office of the First Protector, Tyslin San. The dark elf immediately went to engage them, and hit them with all the spells at her command. While proficient, she would not normally have been so difficult to defeat; however each member of the Scourge remembered Drawmij’s terse warning about causing her harm, and so were forced to try to capture her through non-violent means, making them less efficient. Soon enough, they managed to subdue her, but this only caused the appearance of the Black One himself! Furious at the attempted invasion of his land so soon after a previous attempt, Krimeeah set out to annihilate the now battle-weary Scourge. Barely fending him off, Tempus finally broke the rod given to him by Drawmij. The archmage appeared with a scroll in hand, given to him by the now-deceased Tenser long ago. Chanting the words on the scroll, Drawmij intended to blast Krimeeah out of existence with Tenser’s famous Telling Blow true dweomer. As he neared completion of the spell, a now recovered Tyslin San flew to her master’s side, hoping her magic resistance would defeat the spell.

The magic blasted forward, completely engulfing the pair with more destructive energy than they had ever felt before. Krimeeah’s magical defenses managed to save his life, though he was paraplegic at best. San was dead, never having a chance of surviving the spell. Horrified at what he had done, Drawmij raced to her side, desperately looking for some way to undo the damage he had done. He angrily turned on Tempus, demanding that he bring her back. The mighty priest tried to resurrect the drow, but she had been too horribly destroyed; he could not bring her back.

Driven almost mad with grief, Drawmij angrily turned on the heroes, attempting to use his magic to force them into compliance. Tiemel leapt at the archmage, blades whirling about him, whittling away his protective magic. A full-scale melee was about to ensue when Tempus broke things up and tried to calm Drawmij down. Eventually, the Circle member regained his sense and turned coldly upon the form of Jaran Krimeeah. The Black One was helpless before Drawmij, but remained defiant. Drawmij told him that rather than kill him, he would leave him alive, bent up somewhere with his broken body where he would have to live out the remainder of his days without the affections of San… much as he himself had done all this time. Grier stepped forward, angry at the inhumane way in which Drawmij was dealing with their foe. The archmage warned the paladin not to interfere, and teleported away with his quarry. Grier had to reluctantly let him go, realizing there was nothing he could do to stop him. He was even more unsatisfied when, after thoroughly investigating and interrogating Krimeeah’s troops, discovered they had never left their valley…

Author: Eric

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