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After coming together from happenstance and fighting to defeat an evil necromancer and close a portal to the Shadowfell, your heroes traveled to an under-mountain ruin, the Thunderspire Labyrinth, in efforts to rescue villagers kidnapped from a nearby barony. You tracked them via the city, the Seven-Pillared Hall. In this place, with assistance (and resistance) from the various civilized and monstrous residents, you found the hobgoblin cult that kidnapped the villagers (which you destroyed), the duergar slavers that traded for them (which you destroyed), and finally the gnoll demon-worshipers that were preparing to sacrifice them in a dark ritual (which trapped you in an evil shrine).

And…we left off playing about here. You had collected several dark artifacts of an ancient minotaur cult of Baphomet, and were trying to find the last one inside their maze-like temple. As your heroes progressed on from that point, you found the last artifact and placed them in their receptacles to unlock the door to the heart of the shrine, which unlatched the door, but also released a great self-rolling sphere of energy, threatening to crush you…and a demon-enslaved dragon! The massive door took almost a minute to heave open, while you drove back the the beast and dodged the erratically moving magic boulder.

Through the narrow opening, you came upon a grim scene: lit by two smoky, coal-filled braizers, a dozen filty, softly chuckling gnolls stood chanting over the prostrate forms of the villagers you were sent to rescue. They were led by the vile Scarmaker, who had use a dark rite to take on demonic claws, a tail, and tattered, leathery wings. Behind him, you saw a the shadowy form of a gigantic, bull-headed demon! …frozen in stone, petrified an age ago by Ttoridar’s ancestors, with the great axe Kakran du Marikesh still embedded in its forehead. Outnumbered and facing horrible evil, your little band of good charged the hyena-beasts.

The battle was bloody for both sides, with Ttoridar almost falling to filth-tainted swords as he waded in to claim his clan’s axe and Hadari being cursed by the demon acolyte. The heroes regrouped as more gnolls fell, and soon faced off against only Scarmaker. The vile cult leader fought hard, but was soon down to one cowardly last resort: he freed Ttoridar’s axe from the petrified demon, and broke the binding spells. A wave of energy knocked everyone backward, and the Goristo demon awoke, still enraged as the moment it was petrified, the great gash in its head leaking brimstone smoke and fumes and an acidic red ichor.
You fought the beast to near your last ounce of strength. The halls of the dead minotaur cult shook with its pounding footsteps and fists…and one final thud as it fell, dead, finishing the job Ttoridar’s ancestors started so long ago. But, Scarmaker had slipped out during the chaos, taking the axe with him. Ttoridar, glowering with his own rage, stormed out after him, Hadari following.

(And so, our story is caught up (along with the last email). I’ll email again later with some choices for where we’ll go next!)

Email - Summary of Thunderspire

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