Finaly a lull in the battle for this fortress, im so pumped right now I can take on the whole place by myself laying siege to this fortress though keeping the structure intact may be of use to AMNs efforts in a knowingly pointless war (according to lord vampire ruthford uncle guy) how can a woman (lestra) be so spitefull as to plung a nation into war? In any case im glad to see Kale on the horse I purchased for him shadow fax I think he is calling it. I dont think he knows how to ride very well as he asked for me to aid him and he was riding the oposite way of the fortress going from treeline to treeline. I followed wondering if he had known or found something that I had not. In any case the lull was due to the masive wooden gates banded in iron that lead to the inside of the fortress, kale and (insert ranger name) atempted to open the gates to no avail. Our vamperic “Friend” went up to and hefted the doors open just enough for arrows to start flying into and more missiles to come out, kale and ranger are our ranged tallents alternating between opoing out and shooting and covering again, i think the vampire got bored of the hiding and opend the doors fully, doing so she took some damage to the chest but proceeded to head straight in. Im not a stranger to grusom things, actualy come to think of it yes i am, the worst thing ive ever seen thus far was our half orc companion slice 3 guys in half in one swing, that however was nothing to what i was currently seeing. The vampire jumped at a guy tackling him to the floor and biting deep into the kneck of a human the human did atempt to break free but the vampire held firm, not without some vicious tearing occuring at the kneck of the human so much blood so slow a death, i found that pity had beset me but was nothing to the high of the looming that was currently not allowing me to sit still. the ranger dispatched another human and i was able to stab one in a vital reagion of his mid section. Kale proceded to another room, i couldnt miss him realy he was carying a very large shield even for a human sized person clanking around he shuffled to the door, when he went in the clanking stopped, my considerations for aiding him in the sure to be a tough fight left my overly ambitious and slightly hyper mind when the room went dark and blood started to come from the darkness. At that I was left with choices, i had 2 doors and a bend at the end of the hall. my lack of thinking now that im thinking about is is always funny to me but thats where the fun is usualy. In this instance i opened another door of three that were in the new section of hallway 4 robed humans were in a room that was like a library. They turned to face me 4 humans vs me and ratchet, no problem i just step back out and close the door facing them one maby 2 at a time and stabing them on the way through the door, at this point 8 figures came out of the room and the one i took a stab at vanished when the blade came in touch with it. I know about illusion magic it was a class in the academy but was dismissed when i was supposed to create an illusion of fire and burned the professor when he came to inspect the supposadly heatless fire. blades swung at me in the masses in sheer panic i ran but not before tosing a torch that i had caused to smoke vicously, the smoke poured fromt he torch i was expecting it to stop at some point but it continued to grow and thicken my first time using this particular spell. I rounded the corner looking as i went and warning of the enemys that were now covered by smoke. i think the ranger was looking in barrels, checking for boobytraps no doubt, the vampire was now chewing on another human who came through a far door and the darkness who i can only assume was kale was growing moving into the hallway swollowing the door, not a single shout, scream or warning came from the darkness. reading a low lvl spell and the ranger at my side we were ready to hit anything that came through the smoke. I never claimed to be a perfect tactican, sure i can do direct destruction and mass confusion many times confusing myself in the process to the point of sheer panic. however the door that was unoccupied by any member of the party also unchecked opened and just so happen to be directly to our backs and effectivly cut us off fromt he other 2 in our party, for a second i worried then became slightly less considering they were cutting off the ranger and i from a woman that was chewing on the kneck of her enemys and a cleric that liked smearing blood on runes and cutting hamstrings probably the only time ive seen him happy, well if happy is screams in pain and his smile is a upside down smirk, then yes he was happy. i took comfort in this cut off arangement, till the missiles arrows and blades started comming at us. our ranger is a straping human in nice kept leather armor and seems to be well knowlagabe in archery, however he seems to miss, alot, he missed 2 shots and hit another in the forhead making him double backwards from the impact the vampire lept on the other while i once again stabed deep into something vital. the ranger continued to look at more barrels and the vampire rushed ahead i may have heard growling coming from her but i wasnt sure perhaps she was heading into attack dogs in the next room or her enemys were giant barbarians riding fiendish red dragons. I rusned into the room fast as i could( thinking on this now it was a horrible idea what would i do against giant barbarians riding fiendish red dragons) once i got there i saw what was growling, the vampire took an arrow to the arm and a pair of magic missiles to the chest she turned to look at me with a deep glow of rage, anger and hunger, the later of which i was very worried about. i cast a quick cantrip at the farthest enemy while running back out of the room into the hallway around the bend and to the far door of the 3 i had discovered before. the ranger stayed close to to me as he was hurting prety bad at this point, i think he had an arrow in his knee along with another in his sholder… and hip, some obvious impact wounds from magic missiles were scattered around his chest back and torso but there he stood looking into more barrels the far door after picking the lock with an acid orb housed prisoners of the fortress. i realy dislike slave owners, theres no cence in it. honest work is honest pay for an honest living, granted i had no want for honest work or an honest living i wanted adventure, to have fun. i fed the prisoners and started out of the fortress leading them to the entrance, the rangers poking around in barrels bore fruit when he found 3 barrels of rations i passed them out to each newly freed prisoner and took some for myself, after leading them to the main hall i told them where our farm house was and instructed them not to open any doors and to camp out till we returned to aid them further. i followed the sounds of battle which lead me outside a door beyond wich was a minimum of the vampire and the ranger the darkness vaugly emited from a open door next to the one i was facing. unlike the other room this room was filled with screams and confusion, upon looking further blood poured from the darkness then a head rolled twoards me, im not staying here i thought to myself and proceded into the main room, the vampire was partialy surounded the mages were pushing spells at point blank range directly into the face of the vampire, quick assesment showed 6 around her and 5 more at the far end of the room along with one uniqe female elf on a raised portion of the room, was that who we were here for or was she a victim like thoes in the prison, while i pondered this debating on who to target the female elf turned into 5 elfes. Ok, i thought to myself, she hasent hurt anyone yet the ranger could have been hit with the human bandits. the answer came to me in a almost blinding show of fire infact it was not a mental thought so much as a manifestation of a spell i know quite well, the 5 elves were in perfect sync creating 10 rays of fire hitting the vampire, i know she was tough but could she have survived this? not wasting more time i hurlled a torch at the threat using magic to make the torch produce vast amounts of smoke. the vampire was hurt, no longer lusting and burns across her body, i needed to provide a distraction to let her recover just for a second. that was what i was thinking when i used my last ounce of minor energys to burn the guys around the vampire but also engulfing the vampire, they all died, the vampire was hurt more but wouldnt take more damage from them, i hurlled a scortchign ray of my own at the elf who continued her assault it hit not as hard as the ones she was producing but you could see the fight leave her eyes. she proceded to talk, this act supprised me, the bandit kings LTs would not ahve surrendered, hell the other we had to beat into submission then the cleric had to mind controll the guy then he proceded to bite and thrash till i drugged him. this elf was giving up, was it just bad timeing that she made her move for escape showing her power when the vampire barged in and i attacked, the answer was clear when i asked her for terms, she took the mancels and went outside not before making the vampire start to dance, i assume of course she made the vampire dance perhaps it was some vampiric ritual to dance after a blood lust. meanwhile she went outside and sat on the grass the sun was up now, it was a nice day not a coud in the sky. My mind was still restless from all the magic my body was commanding trying to slow my mind and keep from pacing aswell as talking slow it was allot to concentrate on. please put the mancles on my party my try to kill you, i said that as the cleric came out, for a instant everything was pitch black then the blackness faded the elf had cast a spell that negated his black aura and she proceded to put the mancles on. I passed on my gratetude happily and proceded to the cart on our way there was a huge explosion the fortress had started to colaps on itself and a gasious form floated fromt eh fortress to the wagon drifting inside the vents im sure making its way to the coffin inside. after watching the site kale had his sword out and had hold of her, he swung his sword down at her, thinking he was trying to kill her, a beaten unarmed elf possibly not even a LT of the bandit kings. I asked kale to stop, no responce he rarely responded even if he did i was probably something of the lines, “Shadow something something Darkeness something protects something death” i blasted away summinging my last scorching ray i hit him with astounding force, he was on the ground, the elf was crying now on her knees and cradeling her fingers, he had broken her fingers. He was atempting to disable her not kill her, Damn it!! ok things to do my mind was on fire with worry and chaos,., gota check on party members in explosion (ranger and shade) check on cleric stop the bleeding. stop the elf from crying. while i was prioritizing a deep roar came in the distance dragons? or jsut the returning patrol? priority stop the cleric from dieing, i dont want another death on my hands, simply done patching him up i sent the dog to fetch the other dog shade and the ranger who wasnt bleeding. at that point the elf muttered something and tryed to move her fingers, i went over to make her feel better then she said words i realized was a spell in the middle fo the spell i hit her with the flat of my blade she finished the spell prior to blade impact and i started a shuffle, laughing at myself to no one around me i stoped after a few seconds quickly loaded everyone on the cart and sped off. “well” thought to myself “Guess she was the bad guy” comming off my casting high i went to the cart, i appologised to kale for hitting him rather hard and to the vampire for leaving her to dance off unatended and to the ranger for leaving him chasing the elf. With the rest of the trip un hindered and everyone healing up slowly i saw the estate on the horizon, refuge i thought. it would be nice to get a good nights rest after this fiasco. with a smile on my face and the sun in the air another fun adventure.