Travel to Langtland
Strings and Blayloch took the camels and guards down the road to Langtland, ready for trouble. Their mysterious guide took Saedenn, Kaedo, and Crazy Bear (along with Ari and her handmaidens) and the Prince of Dust along a secret path through the mountains. The path led up a hidden ravine to a secret way into Langtland.
After getting bathed and trimmed and clad in new clothes, they went to see the king. The king was very pleased to see his son again, and the Prince of Dust related the tale of their journey and the dragonslaying.
The king offered them a great reward, in the Northron tradition: a chance for glory.
The Prince of Dust would lead an army back to Hellad Tower, and the adventurers would accompany them. When they encountered an army, the Northron warriors would fight. When they encountered monsters, they would be slain by the adventurers.
After their audience with the king, they feasted, and Kaedo escalated the feast to a tremendous celebration that bolstered them for the troubles to come.
Afterwards Saedenn slipped off with Kaedo, the books from Hellad tower, and some Northron guards. He was led to where the arcane underground hangs out, and he met with a powerful wizard who traded his books for the Spring Grimore.
The next morning, they went to the armory. Kaedo got a set of Langtland plate, and Crazy Bear experimented to see what would happen if he transformed from human to bear form while in plate. It was extremely messy and ruined a set of plate, inflicting fairly grave injuries on the tough were-bear. Oh well! He got artisans started on his bear-sized plate.
Saedenn checked in with Ari, who promised to be fine while they were gone, then they joined the Prince of Dust. They rode down the center of the city, and met with 200 tough cavalry skirmishers, veteran elite all, who rode out under the Prince’s banner to much cheering.
The Road to the Tower
They did not encounter much resistance on the road, as a significant force. However, they saw scouts, who doubtless reported their approach to the Black Warlocks.
At one point the undead erupted up from the roadway in the middle of the cavalry. The heroes watched with interest as the Northron riders stomped them down.
Then, they heard the hydra, and saw the ambush set for them. A Black Warlock sneered at them, then battle was joined. The cavalry fought the undead with the Prince, and the adventurers attacked the hydra. After a tense battle, they managed to bring it down, and Kaedo challenged the Black Warlock to single combat. The Warlock agreed, they battled, and Kaedo crushed the Black Warlock down then beheaded him! The Black Warlock’s mount fled, but Saedenn burned it in half with acid.
After a brief rest, they continued towards the tower.
The Assault on Hellad Tower
They arrived to find battle lines drawn. Two Black Warlocks held a mass of blurbeasts in check, and a line of tough ogres in full plate armor stood before a seemingly endless mass of animated remains, punctuated by flickering phantoms.
No quarter was asked or given as the cavalry charge raced into the ogres, and past them. Meanwhile, the heroes rushed the blurbeasts, crashing into impossibly strange combat. Saedenn swathed the Black Warlocks in acid fog, intensified to impossible levels, and they died shrieking.
Then the warriors scattered on Saedenn’s command; as the blurbeasts slammed and chipped at his stony skin, he gushed acid fog around himself, burning the blurbeasts to death no matter how clever their displacement fields. He intensified the fog enough to burn himself, but he walked out steely-eyed, bloody, and victorious.
The warriors barreled into the vast melee of the battle, flinging shattered remains to the side. Kaedo slew an ogre as he leaped into the fray, and he and Crazy Bear knocked apart knots of remains menacing downed Northron warriors.
With a roar, the ogre chieftain slew with impunity, only lightly blooded by the Northron’s best efforts. Kaedo and Crazy Bear attacked the massive monster, and brought him down. With that, the last of the Black Warlock force was broken, and the Northron easily mopped up the staggering and directionless undead that remained.
As they rested and healed, soldiers explored under the tower, finding most of the horror show had been brought out to the field of battle.
Meanwhile, four veteran riders swore fealty to Kaedo, who led a revel to celebrate the battle.
They returned to Langtland, fending off the occasional probing attack with no problem. They sent riders ahead, who notified the city, and they arrived in a parade. The King of Dust welcomed them with an honoring speech on the portico, then they were cleaned up and escorted in for a feast. The king rewarded them richly with coin, fine daggers, perfumes, and jewelry.
They had a busy week in Langtland. Kaedo gained one of Ari’s handmaidens as a follower. Crazy Bear hired a mechanic, Johan, by paying off his gambling debts. He started practicing lock picking, and he got custom bear barding. Saedenn growled at anyone who interrupted his study time with his new book, stolen from the secret mystic lore of Ulverland.
Then, with Kaedo’s new followers, and Ari and her handmaidens, they traveled back to the oasis. When they returned, they were celebrated and feasted, with the Khan’s gratitude for returning Ari.
The Khan gave Saedenn, Kaedo, and Crazy Bear platinum tokens that gave them the Khan’s permission to go into the Lottery Dungeon at will!