No sooner had the last of the Shadow Demons been sent screaming back to the Abyss than Gothyl taunted the group again “All you have achieved in coming here is the release of the Herald, just as I had planned. You cannot kill me – I am immortal, so your efforts have been for naught!” The adventurers replied that killing her would be enough and challenged Gothyl to reveal herself and face them. She only laughed saying that she would in time face them directly but that she had plenty more minions to throw at them first.
Sure enough, four powerful shadows dived down from the darkness of the dome above to attack. In the distance cries of help could be heard from deep within the inner sanctum.
The fight against the shadows was brief thanks to Bolder and Hawke’s divine energy, however the undead shadows focused their attacks on the two clerics, draining much of their strength. Hawke was on the very brink of death by the end of the fight. As the last shadow was destroyed, Thorgrimm (still in his Barbarian rage) turned and attacked the elfshadow Shaeveril, severely wounding her. Despite Shaeveril’s protests and Cyrien’s appeals explaining her to be the spirit of his Moonblade, Thorgrimm pressed the attack, destroying the spirit in a burst of light.
Gothyl did not waste time sending another wave of minions against the adventurers, choosing instead to attack in person. The party heard chanting in the darkness above them, moments later a large magical cage of force formed around them, imprisoning Bolder, Hawke and Nuzool. Obsidian and Gaz-Borg managed to leap outside the confines of the glowing cage as it formed, escaping. Cyrien and Thorgrimm were well outside the barrier.
The shade launched her devastating magical assault from above, her opening salvo – powerful blasts of yellow-blue lightening, followed by a combination of powerful sheets of ice and cold and purple magic missiles. Land-bound, the adventurers were forced to pepper the shade with missiles which proved to be totally ineffective against her layers of magical protections. Descending from the darkness of the dome, Gothyl spat at the group “I grow weary of this game – time to end it!” chanting a powerful spell of death, the shade was suddenly surrounded by a chilling aura of blackness which burst outwards, covering the party. The Circle of Death sucked the life force from Bolder, Nuzool and Hawke, leaving their bodies lying like lifeless husks on the mosaic floor.
The battle was desperate as almost half the party had been killed in one deadly stroke. It was obsidian that landed the first telling blow on Gothyl. Drawing on his god’s power to smite the enemy with Vindicator, the Paladin’s greatsword tore through Gothyl’s side, her magical protections were rendered useless against the magical might of the Lathandrian weapon. The shade screamed in pain under the attack. Elminster had spoken true about the weapon’s ability to strike down creatures such as the shade.
Seeing the effect Vindicator had on the shade, the adventurers focused on using it, their most powerful weapon, to strike her down. Handing the blade of Thorgrimm, the weapon transformed instantly into a greataxe, which the dwarf launched into the air with great force, striking Gothyl and sending tendrils of shadow-stuff into the air. Gothyl was now severely wounded.
The five surviving adventurers weathered the storm of powerful spells thrown at them by Gothyl including Baleful Polymorph and Disintegrate, but were now severely taxed. It was Cyrien who recovered Vindicator from the floor first after Thorgrimm’s mighty throw. The greataxe transformed into a fine elven longsword. Taking aim, Cyrien threw the blade with unerring accuracy, tearing the shade Gothyl apart with a terrible scream! Gothyl was defeated, but not destroyed.
The group spotted a grey-misty energy flow from where Gothyl had been destroyed towards the Inner Sanctum – it was Gothyl’s spirit. Immediately the party moved south into the huge hall, perusing the spirit. Due to the darkness and insubstantialness of the spirit, it was hard to spot, however Gaz-Baog saw the spirit descending into the floor in the hall’s northeastern corner. On closer inspection, Thorgrimm determined that one large stone was thinner than the rest. Smashing the stone apart, beneath the group found a small cavity, within lay a black jewelled urn. Without hesitating, Obsidian smote the urn with Vindicator, shattering it. A massive burst of magical energy was released along with a deafening scream, which shattered the windows lining the walls. Finally Gothyl was destroyed for all time. The adventurers were victorious!
The group recovered the bodies of the fallen and set about exploring the Inner Sanctum. There they found Gothyl’s study, library, casting circle and makeshift prison. Within the cells were three beautiful women, a seamstress, performer and a noblewoman. The noblewoman wearing a ball gown was the most talkative of the three. She explained that they had been kidnapped and used by Gothyl as living vessels to possess and use as she will. Amongst Gothyl’s research was a wealth of information on the nature of life, death and undeath. It seemed as if she had indeed been trying to become mortal once again. Also amongst her scrolls was a written copy of the prophecy ‘Lord and Shadow and Flame’.
With treasure, bodies of the fallen and rescued prisoners along with them, the group activated the stone given to them by Elminster and Plane-Shifted back to Abeir-Toril, appearing at the back of the Twelve Barrels, exactly where they’d departed from.
The group had arrived home, their quest to destroy Gothyl complete. However victory had come at a high price.