Mindful fighting


Phaedra is hit by the mind flayer’s psionic blast, which she manages to repel. It still feels nasty though. Eight lizard-like creatures swarm from the statue and head towards the scout. The beasts resemble two-legged lizards with long, flexible tails. Having no neck, their massive mouths with three mandibles are attached directly to their bodies. The ethereal marauders utter an irritating whining sound.


With her crossbow at ready, the scout ducks behind the statue. The others arrive at the landing too and see their sister surrounded by muzzles with legs, but before they can jump into action, another psionic blast hits the room. Lilith and her wizard brother are safe, but two marauders are not that fortunate. They freeze, while the others disappear. Phaedra tumbles past them and casts a spell, so she – and only she – is able to see these ethereal creatures.

Alvra, having passed a living room on his way down, finally finds his siblings again. He almost bumps into the wizard on the stairs. The fighter continues towards the opening and sees a mind flayer, the drow sisters and two open mouths.

A sizzling fireball whizzes towards the illithid. The statue and part of the wall are blackened, but the mind flayer isn’t bothered at all. When the cleric launches a flame strike, the octopus head vanishes, only to reappear behind Jharrath. The wizard feels a presence next to him and uses his boots to teleport. Now he ends up in the room with the silver strands. Like his brother before, Jharrath passes a room with an ice sphere of crystal clear light on his way down. A large, unearthly beast with spikes is caught in the middle of it. As he watches, a flash of ice cold light shoots towards the dark elf. Fortunately it misses. The wizard realizes a demon or devil is trapped in there. He continues downwards on the staircase, back to the other drow.

The marauders attack the scout, who lashes out with her spiked chain, killing one of the beasts. Alvra is attacked as well, and puts his sword to good use. Lilith clubs a marauder to death, when she feels slithery tentacles on her head. They try to get a hold, but can’t get a grip. The cleric tastes the mind flayer’s frustration.


Phaedra and Alvra notice what is happening to their sister. Another marauder bites the dust, killed by Phaedra, and returns to the ethereal planes. Alvra charges the mind flayer and scores a hit with his sword. A filthy, purple substance oozes from the illithid’s body and a yell resounds in their heads. Again and again the drow slashes at the humanoid, aided by Lilith. The mind flayer focuses all his mental energy in a mind blast. The cleric is not affected, but Alvra is stunned. The last marauder also attacks Lilith, but only manages to add another scratch to her armor. Phaedra tries to advance on the illithid, but her brother stands in her way. Her spiked chain kills the last yapping muzzle. With a mighty swing of her flail, the enraged cleric kills the mind flayer.

Eight pearls are embedded in the statue, and when Phaedra pries them out, the statue becomes dull. There is no gem though. After a while, Alvra has recovered enough from the psionic blast to search the mind flayer’s repulsing corpse. He finds some gems, but not the right one either.

There are more rooms upstairs: a living room, a room with an ice creature and one with strange strands of webs. Perhaps the item we seek is there.

The drow resume their journey to the top of the tower.

Inside the tower


Situated in a remote part of the isle, the illithid’s tower soars 150 feet in the air. Though high, it is not particularly pretty. The windows, which are at least forty feet up, are made of dark glass. The structure emanates a forbidden atmosphere; it is clear that the illithid does not want to be disturbed. A group of Shi’quos guards passes, and though they seem somewhat curious, they continue on their path.


Jharrath circles the structure and then decides on a part near the back of the tower, away from curious eyes. He focuses and releases his spell at the tower’s stones. A section of the wall suddenly seems to disappear, big enough to let one person pass. Darkness greets them.

Lilith, empowered by her faith in the Spider Queen, casts a blessing on her siblings and herself. A sea-blue nimbus of light blossoms momentarily about their heads and shoulders, strengthening their resolve. The wizard complements this with a mage armor spell.

Javelin in hand, Alvra cautiously enters the tower. It is dark, moist and quiet inside, and the ceiling looms twenty feet over them. The drow follow the wall and see a winding stair at the end of the corridor. Halfway through, Phaedra feels a pressure on her head, as do the wizard and cleric, but they manage to shake off the effect. Apart from a strange feeling of temporary disorientation, they’re fine.

Alvra on the other hand, suddenly finds himself in another room. The others are nowhere to be seen. Long silver strands adorn the ceiling in a web-like construction, the walls covered in arcane symbols. When he feels the urge to walk down the stairs, he resists and stops at the top, listening carefully.

With his brother missing, the wizard deploys his wand of detect magic and senses a large pulse of magic, high up in the tower. He also discovers several weaker, moving auras. The Xaniqos climb the first flight of stairs, which opens up in a big room. There they are greeted by an umber hulk.


The scout takes out her spiked chain and climbs the wall of the staircase, while Jharrath hurriedly summons three elementals. Just when the earth creatures engage the umber hulk in a melee fight, a second insect rushes at the cleric. Its massive claw tears at Lilith’s armor, and the force of the hit rebounds through the tower.

Alvra – alerted – descends towards the sounds of battle, while Phaedra arrives at the next floor. Furniture, wood, clothes, shelves, a dissected carcass of a griffin, arcane diagrams, scrolls and many other things. A large map with markings covers the wall of the room.

That is Erelhei-Cinlu, and I suspect the markings locate nodes.

the wizard says, his eyes gleaming.

Rushing up the stairs, the cleric glances into the room, and then continues upwards, together with her sister. They arrive at yet another landing of a round room. In the middle is a bronze statue, ten by fifteen feet. It has an abstract form with protrusive points. Behind the statue, a black portal opens, and a big nasty octopus head appears. They have found the mind flayer. Or more accurate, it has found them!