Chapter 6

The party arrived in Armweta, a garrison town, more of a fort than anything, whose only purposes were defending Scion and the Ventian Sea region from raiders, and acting as a trade post between the Venetians, and the Northern Kingdoms. Immediately upon arrival they were greeted by a familiar face, Captain Jim, one of Lord Kelmin’s men from the city of Belast, the only man who had survived accompanying them when they went to confront Zero. He showed them the sights of the city, which really consisted of not much more than the barracks, the walls, the communal mess, and the dungeons. The dungeons at that time were housing merely a single prisoner, a formidable looking Shadar-Kai who did nothing more than stand in the middle of his cell and gaze outward, according to Jim he hadn’t eaten since they had captured him, more than a moon and a half ago. After spending a bit more time gathering provisions for the road ahead, they set out to the northeast, into the Carhadarac Desert. Ex-Captain Jim elected to acompany them on their journey. As they had been traveling through the Venetian Region they had heard tale of a wondrous city, known as the City of Paradise, according to legend it was a city of such splendor that none who have entered have ever returned, for they are so mesmerized by its grandeur. The more practical members of the group took this as a cautionary tale, and hoped it to be merely that. However, less than two weeks into the desert their rose upon the horizon a city-scape of towering spires and majestic archways. The group stopped to see if they could come to a decision whether or not to enter the city. Unfortunately, before they could even begin to come to a comunal decision Kat had already made up her mind and was running off toward the city. They went following her into the seemingly deserted city, when they entered the gateway they were attacked by a party of Illithids. The mindflayers used their fearsome psionic powers to bring the hereos to their knees. Roberts, thankfully was able to resist the initial onslaught (due to the presence of the strange voice in his head, which aided him greatly in resisting the mindflayers’ assault), he rushed the nearest mindflayer, stabbing wickedly with his sword, the grotesque squid-like beast parried him with ease, and drove him into the ground with its mental powers, Roberts was able to get off one final scathing attack, and notice Kat’s absence, before the world went dark. The Mindflayers took the group as their slaves, they sent Oris, due to his nimble and dextrous hands, to serve the Central Brain. He sat mindlessly all day, massaging the Brain, his only ambition, its happiness. The others were sent to the quarry to cut and smash stones for construction. Had they been present in their own minds they would have noticed the other slaves, and the daily pattern of the mindflayers selecting individuals, and hualing them away, never to be seen again. Even when Jim was taken to be Mindflayer meat, none noticed. Again thanks to the alien prescence in his mind, Roberts was successfully able to regain control of his own mind, he set about helping to free the others from their own mental traps. Finally he had everyone in the quarry free. By the time he had completed this task however, Oris had been chosen for consumption. Luckily for him however, some commotion drew the Illithids’ minds from their meal, and he was able to escape, unfortunately for him however, he was still compelled to assist the Brain, and so he did little with his newfound momentary freedom. Roberts however seized the opportunity to mount an escape attempt. Leading the others, and those slaves they had freed, their first goal was the armoury. They came to it with little difficulty, and once again equipped themselves with their wordly possessions. Roberts then set about his second goal, finding Jim, Oris, and Kat. Z teleported himself to the Central Brain room in an attempt to disrupt the Illithids even further. After a few skirmishes with still indoctrinated slaves Roberts found himself at the main entrance, and there they all witnessed a stunning sight. They looked on as a lone Shadar-Kai, seemingly unhindered by the Mindflayers’ psionic blasts, cut his way through hordes of the squids and their slave fodder. Upon spotting them the Shadar-Kai “Go, I shall hold them, get out!” Roberts however, refused to leave without the others. “I shall find them, go now!” the Shadar-Kai promised. Their was little more the Dread Pirate or any of them could do, so they beat a hasty retreat outside the city. Meanwhile in the Brain room, Oris found himself again, before he could begin to assist the others however he was confronted by another of the ugly things. “Where do you think you’re going? Tend the Brain!” it ordered him, and then it did a most peculiar thing, the Illithid winked at him, Oris nearly dismissed it as a trick of the eye, that is until he recalled Kat, their Doppleganger friend, he then merely nodded and went back to the brain. Before any of the other Illithids could react, Kat reverted to her natural form and launched herself into the brain with reckless abandon. This immediately brought a cry of distress from the hideous thing and mindflayers began flocking to the room. It was at that moment that Z appeared, while Oris began to assist Kat in destroying the brain, Z found himself hardpressed, holding off a pair of Illithids, one a guard the other a psionic mage. “Z, get us out of here!” Came Oris’ cry, and Z, abandoning any defense against the mindflayers, began his teleportation ritual. Kat however came to his rescue, leaping from the hacked mess that was the Brain she went toe to toe with the two mindflayers. It was a difficult fight, and ended badly. While she had been able to disembowel the guard the psionicist had broken her mental defenses, and begun boring into her head, intent on devouring her brains. By this time, Oris had already teleported away, and only Z remained in the room, though there was an army of mindflayers bearing down on him, he ended his ritual and severed the tentacles of the monster, then stabbing it in its ugly face, spewing blood and brain juices everywhere. Just as more of the fiends were arriving, Z completed his ritual and teleported Kat and himself to join the others, just outside the city…



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