Day 1, Month 9, 3 After the Night of Fire (ANoF)
Devron Sharpis, Barm Vaks, Teela Goran, and Maila Arette suddenly find themselves in a dark and devastated forest, surrounded by corpses and the remains of a tower. Searching for their missing companions, Kiarra and Torvu, they are unable to find them anywhere nearby. As the characters wander the devastated area somewhat baffled and confused, Teela and Maila piece together the evidence that they are in a mental landscape of some sort, created by the mind of Halad Demolak. The Necromancer appears before them, congratulating them on their reasoning, and says that they are in a form of mental battle with him for control of the crystal sphere, and the fate of themselves and their friends as well.
In the waking world, Kiarra Foxten and Torvu Peng come to realise that their companions have somehow entered into a form of mental combat with the mind of the Necromancer, presumably in the multi-faceted, orange hued stone. Torvu tells Teela that he believes they have to let the bodies of their fellow characters be, as no one can intervene in this mental struggle. Andar Phaldern tells the two of them that he does not believe that their friends can win - the spirit of Halad Demolak is just too established, and too strong, for them to take on.
In the dreamscape world of the sphere, Devron, Barm, and Teela attempt to convince the mad Necromancer that he should face oblivion, as is the normal course of all such things, Teela making a most persuasive argument, but the Necromancer doesn't buy it, saying that he likes what he is and he intends to conquer the entire valley around the tower and then extend his influence further afield. The player characters are horrified by this, as it means that Wilkerson Dale could easily fall to the Necromancer if they are unable to stop him. Halad Demolak tells the characters that if they fail to defeat him inside the dreamscape, their corporeal bodies will become zombies under his influence and control. Before the party can react, Halad Demolak vanishes, and several of the corpses in the area begin to animate, moving towards the player characters in a gruesome parody of life.
Back in the waking world, Torvu and Kiarra, along with Andar, make their way out of the observatory as they hear some noises. Several of the free orcs and goblins are making their way towards the observatory, and Andar demands to know what they want. The lead goblin tells the Sorceror that they have come to demand the release of their fellow orcs and goblins from the power of the tower. Andar tells them that it is not he who is responsible for the matter, but the goblin does not believe him. In a rage, the goblin attacks!
The battle in the dreamscape against the corpses brought to life by the Necromancer goes poorly for Devron, Barm, and Teela. The Necromancer is able to bring increasingly larger number of the dead to attack them, and Devron finally tells the others to run for the tower itself. He believes they can defend themselves better there, and perhaps they will find the mad spellcaster there. The player characters disengage from their undead attackers, and make for the tower, reaching its relative safety unimpeded. There, they find the tower is occupied - by a lady and her husband, Baron Halad Demolak!
Before the goblin can strike Andar down, Kiarra intervenes and blocks the blow. She forces the goblin back with her weapon, and tells the goblin that they are *all* in danger. As if on cue, the sounds of several of the undead servants in the tower begin to approach the player characters. Torvu says that they cannot let the creatures make it into the observatory; if they do, whatever hope they have may be lost. Andar says that he may be able to use some of his sorcery to help them here, and he spells up a defensive wall between himself and the player characters and the goblins and orcs and their undead attackers. However, the spell does not appearto succeed, and Andar goes down unconscious, as the undead servants and defenders move in to the attack.
In the dreamscape, Lady Strella Demolak demands to know who the player characters are, and what they are doing in her home. Taken somewhat aback at the situation, it is Teela who speaks first, telling Lady Strella that they have come to aid the Baron and his retainers in their time of peril. When Strella demands to know what peril they are in, Teela explains that the tower is in danger of imminent attack from the forces of darkness. Baron Halad laughs at this, but then Teela and Devron realise that this is a memory of Halad Demolak's, and that it may well bear the key to saving the player characters and their friends in the real world.
In the waking world, Kiarra and Torvu fight on against the undead attackers, with the help of the orcs and goblins who have fought off the influence of the tower, and are holding their own. They manage to force the undead back, and Torvu senses that the tide is turning. He feels that the undead forces are fighting hesitantly, as if the controlling force is weakening or that its attention is being diverted somehow. Even so, the group is gradually forced back to the observatory chamber, where they have lain out Andar Phaldern.
In the dreamscape, Teela and Maila make Strella see that things are not what they seem, and that her husband is not the man that he says he is. Baron Demolak has several of his retainers move in to attack the characters, who are prepared to defend themselves, but Strella says this is not the way that it should be, and Demolak sees the error of his ways. The dreamscape returns to a more fuzzy shaped brownish area that resolves itself into a small study chamber. Demolak looks at them, and says that he realizes now that he's been influenced by his own dark, Necromantic ways, and that combined with what occurred during the Night of Fire, he is ready to make peace. He wants to go to his "just reward", but Teela says that she is not sure that this can happen, though at that moment, the room fades away and the characters wake to find themselves back in their bodies.
Kiarra and Torvu are pleased to see that Barm, Devron, Teela, and Maila are all right, and even more pleased as all the undead corpses collapse to the ground, and those under the mental control of the tower recover their senses. The characters check out the plinth and crystal in the observatory, and Teela and Maila declare it to be inert. When the orcs and goblins join them, the characters explain the full state of what has been going on in the tower. The orcs are inclined to kill the recovered Andar Phaldern, blaming him for what has happened to them and the various humans and goblins in the tower's vicinity. The player characters are able to prevent this, as Andar says that he is willing to help them shore up the tower, and make it a home for those who wish to live in the area.
Gathering their wits about them, the player characters proceed to set some order up in the tower with the various personnel, Torvu and Kiarra organizing matters and making some sense out of the disorder. They are pleased to find that a good third of the settlers from Wilkerson Dale who came to Stor's End still live, if in a somewhat emaciated state. The orcs and goblins of Stor's End declare that they are willing to help the humans settle the area, and that there will be traffic between Stor's End and those who choose to dwell in the area of the tower.
The player characters decide to stay at the tower for another week, to help sort matters out, organise some form of defense, and arrange for the supplies and foodstuffs of the tower to be distributed to those who currently require them. Maila decides that she wants to travel back to the village of Wilkerson Dale and work with the player characters when they are ready to leave, but she tells them that first she has a personal matter to take care of that she would really like their assistance on...
I really haven't been able to do the sequence with Lady Strella and Baron Demolak justice here in the write-up, but it was an inspired sequence with the player characters doing their best to convince both Strella and Demolak about the "error of his ways", but it was the love of Strella that made him see what he had done was wrong, although the players found the whole resolution to the business somewhat "trite" (Kathy's words). The players all agreed that the scenario ended on a good note, that they are intrigued about what Maila needs help with, but that it was time to take a break from Desolation and play something else.
Again, sorry for the delay in the write-up of this session of the game. It just hasn't been a priority, I'm afraid. It's up here now for all to read, so I hope everyone enjoyed it.