Chapter 136 – “Where we go from there... is a choice I leave to you."

When we wake in the morning, we once more grab the dirty map that we have, and laying it out on the ground, check our options. The conversation soon turns to deciding exactly which one of the dangerous places we are going to go to next, and this is a typical scene to describe it.

“Where are we going today?“

There is a dramatic pause, and a sibilant voice utters “.....the Isle of shadows.”

“Robbie, we need your theatrics as much as we need another quest that will be the doom of us all. Isn’t the Isle of Shadows the place where they suck the life out of you?”

“Well, Yes.”

“Oh. Can’t we go somewhere else?”

With no-one coming up with any better plans, we get our gear together, cast any spells that we may need, and Wind-Walk back to the spot on the coast, before heading east to the Isle of Shadows.

We push on through the mist and the blackness that can only be penetrated with Blind-Sight and pass the rocky ‘beach’ area that glistened and emanates evil. Soon Beard and Agador wave us down as we are approach the ruined buildings where the pair were attacked the day before.

As we group together we are suddenly attacked by four humanoid creatures seemingly made of pure darkness emerging from the shadows and quickly moving amongst us. Agador has three attack him and is luckily not touched by the insubstantial claws, while a low swipe from one of the undead hits Beard in the back.

We start to spread out and spells are cast, Beard casting a Negative energy protection on himself, which can have the added effect of harming the Shadows that attack us. Robbie Magic Missiles the closest Shadow to it, the points of light making small smoking holes in the dark Shadow’s shape. This is quickly followed by another barrage of five missiles, which all slam into the upper body, and with a shriek the Shadow dissipates and is gone. Agador takes a step forward and sideways and slips in between the planes, becoming incorporeal, and attacks the first of the creatures on its own plane, slashing out with his sword.

Beard manages to strike one despite its Shadow form and then five more join the fray. Two good hits from me pass harmlessly through a shadow, and Robbie continues his barrage of missiles. Another drops, and I finally hit one, while one attacking Beard is killed by the flashback of negative energy protection.  Another few successful strikes from my club kill the one before me, and soon there is just one left on the Falcon, who then blasts it out of the sky with Lightning.

We continue onwards, and have now spent over an hour on the island, and if anything it’s become even more cold and oppressive. Even Terry Thomas Lord of the Dance is getting cold jollies and comments that our plan of wandering the island shrouded by spells that should have made us undetectable did not work very well, or as he eloquently put it, “...Our invisibility worked like fat Americans walking around Brixton...”

We pass by dilapidated pillars on flagstones, with no other standing stones to indicate what once the building was when ghostly figures attack, warriors in broken and rusted chain mail move as one to touch all the party except for me. Wraiths are abound, and deadly dangerous they are too as we all prepare for battle!

Beard is swarmed by Wraiths, and manages to overcome the damaging draining effect, while Robbie is touched badly, screaming in pain at the life experiences flowing from him. I move up and help Beard by Castigating the group surrounding him, damaging all with my Holy words and religious prayer. Beard moves to heal the damage taken by Robbie, and I get swarmed by four Wraiths who took offence to my rendition of ‘Morning has Broken’, and so I Holy Word all the Wraiths surrounding me, and Beard continues to heal Robbie.

Agador aptly takes the form of a ghost once more and attacks the undead surrounding him with vigour. My Holy Word has seemingly done nothing but deafen the wraiths and prevent them from hearing more of my sermons, and attacking, I once again pass through their incorporeal bodies with both my strikes.

Robbie blasts the hell out of one with Magic Missile killing the first, leaving only six more. I am hit again, but my protection spells hold, and I retaliate, swinging and hitting with two solid blows, sending one of the Wraiths screaming back to the void. Robbie, totally like a machine gun, blasts another dead, Agador moves and attacks one, and with a dismissive wave casts Magic Missile too blast another one.

Beard hits another, and Robbie continues his magic Missile bombing run and blasts another dead - it looks like the Falcon took the advice of ‘load up on Magic Missile’ quite literally. I finally hit another of the Wraiths in front of me that I had kept swinging through, but he still stands. Robbie Lightning Bolts the one in front of me, and when Agador kills the one he faced while Ghost-Formed, none remain.

Not a minute had passed in the battle just raged, and as we catch our breath, we listen out for changes in the wind, or undue movement in the shadows and mist, but all is quiet. We press on, searching deeper into the island, while listening to Robbie softly moaning about everything from undead goo left on his boots to the fell weather, and how he wants to go home.

Another hour passes as we wander, and the cold continues to affect Robbie badly. We have been on the island for four hrs now, and all of us are feeling the weather effects, though none quite as bad as the Falcon yet. Ruins and broken paving suddenly loom out of the fog before us, and we search and prepare in case of any fog bound attackers. When none come after we have scouted the area, we find a staircase descending into the black ground. Agador mentions that perhaps we could mark the ceiling so we can come back to the area later, which is clever, and Robbie flies up to the ceiling and wedges an arrow of light in between the stalactites.

I cast a spell of Negative Plane Protection and we move down the stairs...