After moving through the Slaughtergarde Temple, defeating most of its denizens, the group sees that a number of evil characters are coming together under one roof so to speak. A group of drow, an army of gnolls, the insurgent Surrinaks and a demon named Kuthrakka are all linked together in what looks like a conspiracy to overrun the Valley of Obelisks. At the end of exploring the temple the party has defeated a fiendish spider and is now contemplating the meaning of some cryptic messages from a demonic oracle.
Grigori wipes the spider goop from his sword as he turns to face his companions. He addresses them his usual stoic militaristic tone. “I must speak to the Eladrin High Council at once. They must be made aware of what his happening with Vaathwood to properly defend themselves. There are too few Grigori left to defend our homeland alone. The council will need to make plans to compensate. The council may also know of this scepter the Oracle speaks of.”
Justinian – So… You guys think the demonbane sword and the sword of Gorumnus are one and the same? It might explain why the Imp wanted it….
Grigori – Maybe. We have to find the demonbane sword first! Hap daintily kicks aside a spider carcass with the edge of his toe, an uncharacteristic squeamish look on his face. “Well, let’s not forget the crown. I think we oughtta take a look at this gate over there – I wonder if that’s the “doorway to our home” that activates once the last obelisk falls. After all I need to know where to meet my army when it shows up, har har!”
Hap catches a glimpse of Justinian’s face and explodes, “I’m just kidding, sheesh! Jealous much? Here, I dub thee my first lieutenant, leader of the Melora’s Screaming Spider Squad. Say… guess we’ll have to find you some new squadmates!”
“And what the heck is a grigori, anyway? There more than one of ya?”
Continuing to sharpen his sword, Grigori answers in his stoic militaristic tone; “The Grigori were once one hundred strong. The Eladrin High Council realized that our peoples hold in the fey world was weakening and that we would be forced to return to the Vaathwood. After our departure from the Vaathwood, the forest was overrun by dark creatures. I wonder now if it was because of there search for this scepter. No matter, the High Council knew that re-taking our homeland would not be an easy task. One hundred of the strongest Eladrin maidens agreed to become impregnated by the Fey Spirit Shilvar’ri, the most powerful spirit of the fey world. They gave birth to the Grigori. We were trained to be the perfect soldiers for one purpose, to take back the Vaathwood. Outnumbered one hundred to one, my brethren and I took back the forest with superior tactics and skill. Only four of us remained. Today, two Grigori stand guard over the Eladrin High Council and two are out on missions given by the Council. Someday I will join my brothers and sisters with a glorious death in battle.”
Justinian – Are you sure the Fey Spirit wasn’t named “Hef”? because I’m sure I heard another version of this story (with the names being slightly different) told to me by Hef one night in a tavern about him and 100 Eladrin maidens, but I thought he was exaggerating at the time.
Grigori – Anger sweeps across Grigori’s face. “You heckle my heritage?! You’re tongue has gotten you into trouble before Cleric. Lessons you have obviously not learned from. One day your God will grow tiresome of your disrespect and no longer protect you. You will end up face down in blood soaked mud.”
A calming compassion radiates from Justinian’s eyes towards Grigori. “My friend, the greatest gift the goddess gives us is that of laughter and joy. By taking ourselves too seriously we become like Ellistan, and destroy ourselves from within like a cancer of our soul. Forgive my poor attempt at a little humor to ease the tension that this foul place has put upon us, but in a time of great danger and war such as we are facing, we are nothing without our ability to find light in the darkness. Your heritage is impressive and something I truly honor now that you have shared it with us. But note that even the mightiest armor is useless if a warrior such as yourself can be brought down by something so tiny as a passing jest of an ally.”
Grigori sees wisdom in Justinian’s words and nods in acceptance of his apology. “My tongue may have been too sharp, Justinian. But the only light that will pierce this darkness is the shimmer of a blade and the point of a spear. Laughter and Joy are fleeting, victory lasts forever.”
Hap – “Y’know what I hear also takes forever – satisfyin’ Eladrin women. That’s why I never believed that story about the 100 and all. Not only can Hef not count past his toes, but I’ll bet an ogre’s codpiece he woulda got bored after the first dozen or so. I bet he just heard that Silvari spirit thingie legend and got jealous ‘n decided to steal it.”
“Anyways, if I remember my geography, Sumberton ain’t a big detour from Vaathwood anyway, so it ain’t like we have to choose one or the other. Grig, surely you can agree we gotta update all the squabbling yahoos in Sumberton so they know to defend that damn obelisk better then they’ve done. Yer Vaathwood might be getting raided soon, but it will be in plenty more danger if some demon gate gets activated and the valley’s facing an invasion.”
Justinian – (On this—> “Make sure that the Demonbane sword stays entombed. If it sees the light of day the champion who carries it will be a piercing light against the new darkness.”)
I’m wondering if the Sword of Gorumnus that the imp wanted us to acquire from him so he could be freed with this same sword. It would make sense that the imp might use this sword to buy his freedom by offering it to whoever imprisoned him. Also… as there was a “betrayer” the first time around, perhaps it was with the use of this sword that the betrayal happened. I think it’s probably in that sarcophagus with the Death statue on top (guy with a scythe) in that lava guy room.
Justinian – (“Only one more obelisk must fall and then the doorway to our home beneath the mark left by the dread mountain will be free to regain its power.”)
I’m guessing that the mark is the Slaughterscar to the south. In which case there’s another section of this damnable mountain. Guh.
I think we should try to find a way to possibly block that tunnel leading to the drow area. (big fire? smoke them out? cave-in? and get back to the Luminous Order right away and report that an attack is imminent and they need to send their army to the Slaughterscar immediately. There are too many Obliesks for us to guard them all, so that seems a lost cause. Particularly with one being in the Surrinak’s castle.
Grigori thinks back to what he knows about the Screaming sorcerer and tells his companions the little bit of knowledge he can remember.
A long time ago the Screaming Sorcerer was a constant threat to the Vaathwood and the forest of Althaea. He was human but allied with the drow. He led drow raids against the Eladrin and Elves for nearly 100 years from the underdark. A group of adventurers that included a grigori and an elven paladin defeated the Screaming Sorcerer and freed a great clan of dwarves from his enslavement.
Justinian turns to Grigori, “Hey Grigori – the dwarves OWE you guys. I’m sure you can ‘call in a favor’ to stop those Drow from regaining the Screaming Sorcerer’s equipment!”