In which Vestra leads the party against aberrations…
Estoth and the villagers gathered around the central meeting grounds and invited us to join them. It seemed the only shifters left were the very young and the very old. Estoth confirmed this. “As I told you, many have died in our village because of the attacks of the Many-Eyed Ones. They are not native to this Plane. Simply speaking, they should not be here.” He began drawing in the sand. “In our previous searches, we believe the Many-Eyed Ones are coming from a rift in this valley here.”
We all looked at each other. BRND spoke first, “How far away is the ravine?”
Estoth replied, “About a quarter day’s journey from here.”
BRND nodded. “Then we will travel with you, eliminate these aberrations, and save your village.”
We got ready to depart. Cragbeard decided he would stay behind to defend the villagers in case a Beholder escaped us and came toward the village.
As the rest of us traveled toward the ravine, Tryn pulled me aside and whispered to me. “Amark, The Archmage, it seems he was very powerful.” I nodded and waited for her to say more. “Powerful enough to expel the elemental from Balekeep 10,000 years ago. And his powers have only increased since then, creating his own space in his own Plane.”
Again I nodded. I noticed that we had become separate from the rest of the group. “Tryn, what is it you are trying to say? Is it the same thing I’ve been thinking myself? That he’s been so generous asking nothing in return? Except to fight off those undead enemies of his?”
Tryn shook her head. “Allara, Niva, and BRND all trust him completely. Maybe I am wrong.” She looked ahead at BRND’s back. BRND looked back and smiled at Tryn. “It just seems that if Amark is so powerful and trustworthy, he could have sent us directly back to the Material Plane, right?”
I nodded. “Perhaps. I am not knowlegeble in the ways of magic. But yes, I suspect there is some motive behind our random walk amongst the Planes. Some task we can accomplish for Amark The Archmage while we use the Fey Node and find our way home.”
By then we had reached the ravine. Estoth pointed, “There is a cave at the end of this ravine. My fighter companions believed this was the only entrance – and only exit.” The only plan seemed to be a direct approach. We nodded and began our descent.
Upon entering the cave, we did our best to be quiet in hopes of surprising the beholders inside. But loose rock made that impossible. Well, impossible for everyone but Tryn. I swear, that Halfling must walk on air.
We came to a place where the tunnel opened into a large khavit.
We could see three Beholders facing toward our approach. I could hear a sharp intake of breath from Allara, Niva, and BRND. I shrugged, and tried to be motivational, “These are not the largest Beholders I’ve ever fought.” Tryn threw a dagger toward one, but even she seemed shaky and the dagger fell short.
Estoth looked at me for a plan. I gave a rousing battle cry and charged toward the Beholder furthest away. “Big eyes will not scare us. We will defeat you. Ut an ar dem abgesehen kan per kan per kan, vas em bi!"
BRND, Estoth, and Tryn teamed up against the other two while Allara and Niva sent ranged attacks toward all the Beholders.
The battle was long. Three beholders each with one large eye, a large mouth with long sharp teeth, and 10 eyestalks each with a different eye ray to attack. Thudul, they were small. It was chaotic and difficult to keep track of everything in the battle. I stayed focused on the beholder I was fighting. At various points, I was weakened, immobilized, hit, slowed…But my battleaxe was true. I severed a few eyestalks, and finally the Beholder went down.
As I looked toward the end of the khavit, I could see that the others were doing well with their battles. They seemed weary, Tryn looked especially worse for wear. But the Beholders were beaten.