We entered the room with skeletons lining the walls on benches. They appeared to have no visible causes of death. The bones were in tact, and there were two doors. The western door had heavy foot traffic. The eastern door had none. The eastern door ended up being a target practice room for spears with a door to the north and a doorway in the far corner. We left that room and headed back to the western door. That was the place where the intense psionic activity was coming from. I’ve been waiting for this place since we arrived at these ruins.
The next room was another brazier room with tapestries lining the walls. Luckily, it wasn’t lined with dart traps. We all buffed up and entered the next room as I handed Alara one of my dragon glyphs. Rabdao followed shortly after when he was done summoning his angel form. The room was lined with doorways, but our main concern was in the next room.
Lai turned us all invisible and we entered the final dark room. A minotaur stood up and charged us from the edge of the room. I noticed some crawling beetles and a lizard on the ceiling, which seemed odd. The charging Minotaur simply charged the doorway and gored Rabdao with his horn. That’s when a woman appeared. Alara through the dragon glyph behind the minotaur and I created another one in the area. After the minotaur took damage, the woman through it a potion that he drank upon retreating. It healed him and his eyes began to glow red as he looked more fierce.
The fight continued and suddenly, the air rippled with energy and half of our group was stunned in place, myself included. During my stunned minute, all I could do was watch the fight around me. Baulder got mind controlled and was attacking us. He hit me pretty hard. Isto lost control of the mask and attacked Kai. Amben shot at him with an arrow for that. Lai was standing still, apparently fighting mentally with Isto’s mask. My constructs helped kill the last of the enemies and then were sent off of the plane by the lizard. The lizard was a psion in hiding. I couldn’t turn my head to see what happened as the lizard went across the ceiling out of my vision, but I could still feel what was going on. It was like everything around me was crystal clear without needing to see anything directly.
The next thing I saw was that the lizard had turned into a Mind Flayer. This mind flayer had wanted my brains for days now and almost had them. It tried to eat my brain, but luckily my shielding protected me from his grasp while I was stunned the first attempt. Had I not created those shields, I would have been dead. All I could do was watch helplessly as the struggle went on. Rabdao was summoning birds and a dire bat. The dire bat fell victim to the Mind Flayer’s mind control. Better it than one of us.
Baulder quit swinging at me and turned to Rabdao as Rabdao casted something. Suddenly, Baulder could do nothing but chase Rabdao. The attacks were vicious. All this time, Rabdao’s birds were pecking at the Mind Flayer as it floated above me, distracting it from taking my brain. Rabdao was dodging Baulder’s attacks, getting hit here and there… this would not last long. The Mind Flayer had me in his sights again. He levitated down to my skull again and managed to latch on. I could feel the suction on my cowl as he prepared to tear through it to reach my brain in a few seconds. Still under the stun effect, I knew the end was near.
I could sense party member after party member try to pry him off of my head from all directions. They were unable to hit him, let alone, pry away his long, facial tentacles. I could see his psionic skin that he wore glimmer different colors of the spectrum in the light. The thin layer made an opening at his mouth. This piece of psionic art was going to be the last thing I noticed.
Suddenly, after a long, drawn out minute of being helplessly stunned, the effect ended, and I was free to act. I focused hard and casted defensively even as my forehead was being grappled. I had an ace up my sleeve. I will thank my mother for teaching me to ALWAYS be prepared. Upon finishing my thought, I looked it in the eye and winked. When my eye opened from the wink, 30 seconds had passed WITHOUT me in the time stream. My newest power that I learned worked like a charm.
When I returned, there was a grim scene. Baulder was crying, blaming himself incoherently and I saw why. Rabdao was dead. Baulder had completely destroyed his body. In retrospect, that sound that I heard when my head was covered was probably Baulder doing what he does best, while still under the Flayer’s control. Immediately, I thanked my group and said a short prayer for Rabdao as I created a few things. Simultaneously, I created a body cast to hold his body together and a stretcher so that two people could transport Rabdao’s body with the dignity he deserved.
During the creation, I reflected on Rabdao’s heroism and valor. He sacrificed himself so that nobody else would be killed by Baulder. He knew what would happen to Baulder’s target. Upon finishing the stretcher, I looked upward, removed my cowl, and rubbed my head, thanking Rabdao, wherever he was, silently vowing to bring him back. I was already beginning to miss his long winded sentences and charming banter. I didn’t even get the chance to learn how to charm the ladies the way he does. It was too soon for him. I wiped a tear for my fallen comrade that I barely knew who had earned a place of deep respect in my heart.
Lai piped up and said that he thinks he knows how to save him somehow and I immediately had a vision…
… I was a Mind Flayer, trying to gather information from the last living enemy after a fight. I knew that he was afraid of Mind Flayers, so I wrapped my tentacles around his face as I telepathically told him to tell me what he knows or I’d suck out his brain, one memory at a time. His mouth finally opened, so I removed the tentacle covering his mouth to hear him speak…