Though the battle looked somewhat grim for the Big Damn Heroes… the table was soon turned on the shadar-kai witch and her dark creeper allies. Clarissa bounded to the floor and back to the top of the wagon with the caged shadow hound, preventing the dark creepers or the shadar-kai witch from releasing the second hound.
Skardreg shook off the shadowed curse cast upon him by the witch and with the aid of Ravavyr and Longbeard, battered two the creepers into submission and left to bleed out. Francis and Clarissa hounded the witch, and after the creepers were taken care of… Longbeard joined the fray, sending the shadar-kai spellcaster fleeing into an adjoining room.
She ran towards a free-standing arch in the center of white marbled room, one corner of the room partially collapsed. “Claws of shadow! Defend me!” she cried out. Dark shapes began to appear along the walls, as if fading shadows were darkening in reverse. The shadar-kai witch took a familiar key from her robes and activated the portal in the center of the white marbled room.
The heroes charged in after the witch, Longbeard leading the way. He quickly knocked the heavily wounded witch unconscious with his overwhelming “power of seduction”. Skardreg leapt through the original portal, seeking to discover its destination, hoping his allies would follow, though it closed very shortly after. They weren’t able to follow… and they very nearly left him behind as they charged through a gauntlet of life draining wraiths to leap through portal opened by the witch.
Francis, Ravavyr, and Longbeard were the first to flee the wraiths through the portal, leaving Wired and Clarissa back in the other room. Wired was quickly beset upon by numerous wraiths and caught within the maddening whispers of a particularly violent wraith leading the pack. Clarissa decided to take her chances and nimbly threaded her way through the pack of wraiths and tumbled through the portal to join the others.
Despite the wraiths surrounding him and the maddening whispers in his mind, Wired was able to flee and meet up with Skardreg, who was returning from the warehouse in Overlook that the portal had taken him to. Skardreg rallied the shaken Wired from his fearful stupor and together they waited to see what the wraiths would do. The half-orc’s sunrod seemed to drive the wraiths back from the door, but the dim glow of the portal showed they were merely waiting in ambush for them.
Wired realized the astral guardian he had summoned was still waiting for him to command it and sent it into the room to clear a path with the powerful radiant aura it emanated. This so angered several of the wraiths that they broke through wards holding them within the portal room and struck at the deva cleric. His innate protection against the dark energy of the Shadowfell kept him safe as he ran through the gauntlet of wraiths, followed by Skardreg.
Once through the portal, the room was black obsidian and the corner that had collapsed was entirely open to the outside world, though the scene before the Big Damn Heroes was rather disconcerting. An active volcano poured magma down the side towards a large encampment the size of a small town. The feel of the world was off to all but the shadow-born thief, Clarissa, whose kindred had once traveled the dark mirror of the mortal realms, the Shadowfell.
After much discussion with the witch, Ravavyr ended the shadar-kai’s life with a single thrust of a dagger through the heart. The heroes began debating which course to take from here.