So our heroes ventured into the mines, accompanied by the four mages and their Defenders, to find the source of the disappearances. Tacoma and the air mage scouted ahead. They found the spot where the tunnel had originally been sealed off. An opening had been formed in it with magic. The air mage headed back to inform the others, while Tacoma waited there. However, while he waited, a wall of darkness rushed out and engulfed him.
The others were similarly engulfed as the darkness rapidly advanced down the tunnel. As they were engulfed they felt agonizing pain, as though something was trying to rip their bodies apart. Thankfully, it lasted only a moment, leaving them in darkness.
Our heroes found themselves in a world made entirely of shadows. The darkness making a solid floor and walls. As they recovered from the shock, they noticed two figures approaching. They were two of the Defenders that the mages had brought with them. However, they advanced with swords drawn in an awkward shuffling gait. As they approached it was clear that their skin had been ripped off. They were dead and doomed, our heroes were forced to destroyed the former Defenders.
The party proceeded through the shadow tunnels and eventually arrived at a large cavern. In the center of the cavern stood a massive creature. Humanoid and darker than the shadows that surrounded it, it was easily 18 feet tall, but thin and emaciated. Around its wrists, ankles, and neck were silvery shackles attached to glowing chains. The chains led to 5 small crystals placed in a pentagon around the creature. One of the chains, attached to its left arm, lay broken and dull and the chain attached to its right arm was noticeably dimmer than the other three.
Standing in front of the creature were three large hounds, their fur a black and their eyes burning red. Two vanished immediately upon the party’s arrival. The third stayed long enough to growl at them, but also vanished.
The party, wary of engaging the creature, instead began a conversation with it. They learned that it had been sealed away long, long ago by mages, which the creature refer to as ‘meddlers’. It also told them that another mage had come by recently and broken one of the seals which bound it their. Rather than being appreciative, the creature was angry that the mage had not broken all of its bindings. The creature gladly agreed to help hunt down and destroy this mage, if the party would only destroy the remaining bindings. It also explained that the hell hounds were “not (its) friends. They are your friends.” It claimed that if it were not for the hounds, they would be dead.
The creature agreed to release the party provided they freed it. After long discussions it agreed to send one of the party members back to prove that it could free them. Tacoma was chosen to go back. He arrived safely and proceeded to send a message to the Academy. Back in the shadows, the others were left to wonder if Tacoma was truly safe. All they saw was Tacoma get wrapped in shadows and disappear. With only the creature’s assurances that Tacoma was safe, the others were wary of doing anything further. As they delayed, the creature became increasingly impatient, demanding that they destroy the binding crystals. To appease the creature without actually freeing it, they told it that they needed more help. Despite its assurance that they were capable, it agreed to send another one of them back. This time Lord Rheoban was sent. He met up with Tacoma and together they began to plan how to get the others out.
The next day they received a reply from Grand Magus Alain. It was short, telling them that the Academy was researching the creature and that they were not to release it under any circumstances. Lord Rheoban and Tacoma went to the Lord Muciel and the captain of the guard to get get additional troops to help kill the creature. They were given 8 Defenders and 2 House Lajana Guards. They also convinced the local mage healer to accompany them. Together they returned to the cavern and waited for the monster to bring them back to its realm.
After some waiting, the reinforcements were engulfed in shadows. Lord Rheoban and Tacoma found themselves in front of the demon with Lord Felix, Kane and Rayn. The mage, Defenders, and guards were no where to be found. The demon had consumed them, strengthening itself. It summoned more undead, including the former earth mage, clad in stone armor, and demanded that our heroes break the crystals. With no other options, our heroes attacked the demon and its undead. The undead, a mixture of Defenders and commoners, surrounded and attacked the heroes. The demon defended itself with a mixture of defensive and healing spells. It also summoned up more undead. As the heroes continued to hurt it, the demon consumed the soul of the earth mage to heal itself. It then summoned the fire mage, but was quickly forced to consume him as well. Finally, the demon was so badly injured that it could no longer maintain the shadow realm. The walls wavered and collapsed, sending the party back to the material realm.