Strahd von Zarovich wasn’t always the fastest on the uptake, but as he returned to the room looking across at Koran the Solar’s arm torn clean off and wings battered and broken a slow hint of recollection as he realised it wasn’t Vincent Von Strudel at all!
“I give you but one chance to surrender Koran” he called out placing himself in front of the dark force bubble staring though the broken doorway at the Solar edging himself forward though the flames that continued to burn everything that wasn’t already drenched in holy water.
Koran all but rolled his eyes thinking ‘Oh crap, now I have to deal with this idiot’ but his eyes were locked over Strahd’s plasmoid form at a the Mad Ultraloth glaring right back at him from within the smoke filled bead of Force that Strahd had cast earlier.
The glowing yellow eyes emerging from the gloom right behind Strahd, who continued to see the creature as his ally and minion, even as all evidence was that the Ultraloth was quite mad and just as likely to attack Strahd as aid him.
Down below Dunena was dealing with his own problems as he tried to tend to his Llama friends Bill and Ted and decide what to do next. Looking up at the very tall, wet and very narrow staircase it seemed quite a bother to go back up especially having run all the way down after being set on fire a moment earlier!
Looking around he saw multiple stairs and a mysterious doorway. He noticed wet sand underfoot and two statues to either side of the room.. but it was hard to concentrate with all the holy water sending hypnotic reflections everywhere. Pushing the door open he felt it stick for a moment then move as if on springs, revealing a pair of ornate thrones looking out onto a flooded room. Dunena didn’t much feel like swimming and so turned away, finding a different path back up.
On the landing he found the remains of Lief Lipsiege but hearing the sounds of fighting hurried back into the room.
“Dude.. I just got rid of the smell of burnt llama!” Dunena Ried called out, his words somehow carrying as the Bead of Force expired smoke billowing out to fill the room with the sickening smell of burnt flesh.
Strahd was about to make a brilliant observation when he felt something stab him right in the back.. the loud crazed chittering in his ear of the Ultraloth tried again to kill him, the attempt to behead him swinging well over what passed for a head in his plasmoid form, then wide again as the Ultraloth tried to hold it’s balance despite missing a arm and leg.
Strahd wasn’t going to hold that against it as he pulled out a Walking Stick and ignoring the creature walked into the flaming room to suddenly rush forward and ‘bop’ Koran on the head.
Koran didn’t even react, the Solar’s eyes were focused entirely on the Utraloth.
Strahd found this most offensive, for he was the BBEG and that deserved respect! Brandishing the walking stick he lashed out at the Solar in a impressive display of machismo. Unaware that he’d accidently tripped a switch in the cane causing the end to shoot a poisonous dart right into Koran’s neck!
Koran felt the poison rushing though his veins, ice cold as it froze him in place..
Unable to move Koren felt his day get even worse as reaching out to find a way to escape he sensed Tasha the witch followed by something very big and very evil enter the Chapel on the floor above them.
This would not do! Koran reached out his divine powers – the armor stands and paintings in the Hall of Faith opening their eyes to Koran as he watched Tasha walking down the hall. Behind her, the hulking figure of a Pit Fiend carrying a large ornate chair that Koran recognised as the one that controlled the Castle.
This was bad, but Koran wasn’t one to admit fear – even when the odds were against him.
Block them, Kill it.. he commanded the amour in the room.
Two drew their swords and locked their shields blocking Tasha’s way. The third stepping between her and the Pit Fiend it’s sword drawn but easily blocked as the hulking monster simply lowed it’s shoulders – the blow hitting the metal frame of the chair instead.
He expected Tasha to put up a fight, but instead watched as she cast a spell.
Koran’s vision went dark for a moment as the magic in the suit of Armor was dispelled, the other eyes watching as the witch simply poked it with a finger tipping it onto it’s back.
Furious Koran tried to grab at her with the other one but she whispered something and suddenly time shifted a moment.. Tasha was now down the hall and the Pit Fiend’s eyes grew brighter… it was if she’d stolen his moment of good fortune and given it to that monster!
UGH! Koran raged in his head, mad in the moment his eyes locked with that of the Ultraloth who like him was also gifted with true sight. The creature reading his madness responded in kind and with a lurch Koran recognised a kinship in this moment.
The mad fury of rage was one shared across race…. and in that moment the mad chittering started to have flashes of sense, the creature was speaking words in every language, all jumbled up and others so strange he had no way to understand them – something about Florida, and Alligators?
We are not the same! Koran raged, denying that moment of connection as he drew on his divine fury to burn the poison from his veins so that he might end these monsters once and for all!
“Mr Grasshopper would you like to ride the Llama?” Strahd said to the Ultraloth confused for why the monster had stopped in it’s tracks, the smoke in the room starting to clear to make it possible to see the shapes of the two Llamas and Dunena coming towards them with arms outraised.
“I have some diamonds, here let me.. " Strahd said addled as time seemed to shift as Dunena started to speak, bringing Strahd and Koran close into a hug as she started to talk about how they just needed to chill and be friends.
Words flew out of the strange man, time seemed to slow as Strahd and Dunena spoke about joining forces, Koran felt drawn in to the words.. he tried to resist but there was just something so likeable about Dunena.. something so.. friendly? So charming!
Koran did not consider himself a monster, maybe if he did he’d have been better at resisting Dunena’s spell!
Strahd and the Ultraloth however remained unaffected, the Ultraloth locking eyes with Dunena seemed to shake in rage shouting mad words as a look of recollection dawned on Dunena’s face before he launched into a long story explaining how he and some other wizards had gotten high and broken into Area 51 then they had a massive party and gone to Florida only he didn’t really want to go there but one of the guys wanted to Wrestle a Alligator and he couldn’t say no and maybe just maybe he’d drugged the Ultraloth…
Koran would have been furious but how could he, Dunena was just such a great guy, and they were the best of friends!
Strahd saw a opportunity here, sidling up to Dunena he drew the man’s eyes to his and called upon his own Vampiric Charm as he wiggled his eyebrows in a most suggestive manner.
Little did he know that Dunena wanted nothing more then to call Strahd one of his very best friends… now if only he could get the Ultraloth to chill out and everything would be fab!
Under Strahd’s command Dunena found himself reaching out to the monster again, reminding it of all the good times they had in Florida.. while tentitive he felt the creature’s fury ease just a little.. but it was unclear if his magic had worked or if the creature was simply too focused on the ever flickering shapes of the Llamas to attack… for to the Ultraloth and Koran who were blessed with Truesight the Llamas where constantly flickering between animal and human form so quickly that Koran felt sick to his stomach if he glanced at them for even a moment.
And so at last the bottom floor of Ravenloft Castle came under a kind of awkward peace, with Dunana suggesting to his new friend Koran that they go upstairs and deal with whatever was casing the bashing sound, dust and small bits of debris falling every few moments with the crashing sound of something striking the floor above.
Unable to deny his friend Koran felt that was a great idea and hurried up to find the Pit Fiend punching a hole in the floor, a quick glance at Tasha who was appeared to be measuring the rooms was enough to figure out that the monster was too big to fit down the stairs – so they had decided to dig though the floor instead!