A portal opened right in the throne room; orcs began to pour from it. As combat was joined, two dark shapes emerged and closed on the twins where the nanny was trying to herd them to safety. The poor woman tried to protect the children but she was disemboweled immediately. Zoey and Erich were snatched by one of the demon-things; Artemus and Alexander fared somewhat better in avoiding the other’s attempt to grab them. Gorlyn seemingly acted instinctively and surrounded the first creature with a wall of force preventing its escape with the twins. I prepared to launch myself across the room though I despaired of reaching either of the creatures in time. Fortunately Myriel reacted. She laid a hand each on Saraiya and myself and uttered some arcane phrase; I suddenly found myself standing before the wall of force surrounding the first monster with Saraiya facing the other.
Gorlyn apparently was looking for just such an action as he dropped the wall of force as I began my swing. I felt the impact run up my arm as Ayellan cleaved through the creature’s abdomen. Smoking, black ichor spewed from the wound as the creature dropped the twins and howled in pain. They scurried to safety as I blocked the monster’s return attack with my shield. To my surprise, it shouted words to me in its own foul language, the only word that I recognized being my own name! Battle was truly joined then and I felt a cold anger grip me: this monster had threatened my family and I felt a rage coupled with a certain calmness as I calculated each sword-swing to do the most damage…I’ve been in many combats in the past but I’ve never felt the need to punish my adversary as I felt in that fight. It was only a matter of time before the creature went down under my relentless attacks.
Fortunately, Saraiya was having the same success with the other monster. As it fell to her feet, a strange, dark humanoid stepped from the portal, looked around, and, after dropping a piece of parchment to the floor, retreated back through the portal seeming to draw it behind him as he went. As the portal closed, there was a sense of befuddlement on the part of the remaining orcs as they realized their retreat was cut off. They proved easy prey to our attacks after that.
As quiet fell on the throne room, I suggested to Oskar that he find out how the magical barriers on the room had been breached. He was ahead of me though and had already dispatched a runner to the college of magic. Unfortunately all that was found was a dead enchanter and a missing apprentice. Apparently we’d been betrayed.
The dropped parchment left us with more questions though it did give us a name (real or made up, who knows?). One Belzar indicated he’d (?) been hired to carry out the attack and offered to meet with us to share information if we’d travel to the northwest corner of nir’Duin to meet with him. It could be a trap but I’m of a mind to go and see what the SOB has to say.
I must ask Myriel if she recognized what the creature yelled at me when I attacked it…