Sneaking up on the Eye of the Deep and its Devil Ray followers (Ixitxachitl) proved a wise and beneficial choice. The party got a number of licks in on the Beholder and cut off the two groups separating them with the benefit of surprise. As the Beholder rose up out of its hiding spot in the bowels of the sunken ship’s hold, it became apparent that this would be a huge test for The Knights of Goldenhawk Tower. Eye Beams shot out in all directions with deadly accuracy. Fiery beams of hot radiant energy seared the flesh. Sleep rays struck those they hit unconscious. Flesh to Stone rays sought to turn the characters into statues and of course the death ray sought to slay them out right.
Everyone fought bravely, focusing their attacks on the beholder while Sir Praxis and Tyberious kept the devil rays trapped in the other half of the ship. Quill found quickly that the Eye of The Deep was resistant to his attacks which cause a dazing, blinded, or stunned effect. The beholder was not susceptible to the effects but they did limit its attacks. When the creature was stunned it was only able to attack once with its eye stalks instead of twice on its turn. When it was blinded it was unable to use its central eye which could bathe multiple targets in a field that prevented the use of daily and encounter attack powers. Most of those had been spent already during the long war of Myth Nantar, but the encounter powers were key. Everyone took the opportunity to use them up quickly while the creature was blinded so they would not lose them. At the start of each character’s turn, a random eye stalk fired at them.
The devil rays managed to eventually get around Tyberious and Praxis and began to harry Shan Val and Dorian. Quill and Shan Val both made some attacks against the devil rays that teleported the creatures adjacent to the beholder and forced them to attack it against their will. The attacks were quite successful and hurt the beholder causing all the enemies to fly into a blood rage.
Quill was hit with a death ray but he managed to make the save against the ongoing 2d20 damage. Dorian was hit with a petrification ray at first being slowed. After his failed save he became immobilized. Then just before he had to make a save or become petrified, Sir Praxis rode Tyberious to Dorian’s side and valiantly put his hand on Dorian’s arm. By the power of Torm, Praxis pulled the petrification affliction into his own body, saving Dorian. Quagmire was then struck with a death ray. He was not as lucky as Quill with his saves and took the 2d20 ongoing damage. Luckily, the potion of regeneration he quaffed was keeping him alive and bolstering his hit points. Praxis now had to save against the petrification effect but with a big bonus. It was not enough, he failed his save. Praxis used a power to reroll the save again with a bonus but failed yet again. Praxis felt his hand tighten and become unmovable as the effect ran its way up his arm. He grabbed his arm and slowed the petrification effect for a moment but then it moved beyond his grasp and overcame his entire body. The statue of Sir Praxis Morgrave fell from his noble steed to land with a thud on the deck of the sunken warship.
Just then as if things could not get any worse, Quagmire failed his final save against the death ray and death overcame him. Even his regenerating effect from his potion could not save him. His lifeless corpse floated gently down into a small grotto of rocks. Dorian screamed in fury putting his inescapable dirge upon the Eye of the Deep and unleashing some powerful attacks with combat advantage. In response, the beholder hit Dorian with a sleep ray and he fell unconscious.
Despite the fall of his master, Tyberious fought bravely on but was surrounded by the devil rays. Shan Val and Quill looked at each other in horror as Praxis stony form lay on the deck of the ship and Quagmire’s corpse floated in silent repose at the bottom of the sea. Could this be the end?
Just then a magical portal opened above the head of the Eye of the Deep. A short humanoid figure leaped through the portal swinging his hammer in wide deadly arcs. It was Redbeard who had been watching the party fight in the war of Myth Nantar though the scrying chamber in Baba Yaga’s Dancing Hut. When he saw that the group was in serious danger he created a magical gate and leaped through to come to their aid. Redbeard swung his mighty hammer, Thorkal The Ogrebreaker to smash The Eye of the Deep for over 100 points of damage.
Redbeard’s sudden appearance got the attention of the Beholder and bolstered the morale of The Knights of Goldenhawk Tower but will it be enough to win the day?