When we left off the group had confronted a cloaked figure associated with necromancers. Ellenoria had unconvincingly tried to gain his confidence using Andel's unconscious body stating she was trying to use a raise undead spell. After being pushed out of the way she called for Marv to be a little more persuasive. Annilis stepped into the figure's path and had been thrown back over 100 feet.
Today the encounter continued. Just as this took place, the wizard suddenly appeared between the cloaked figure and Marv. The cloaked figure seemed to be interested in this sudden appearance and asked if the wizard had come from The Void. Since Joking is crazy he didn't answer directly but was kind, sorta, but not really entirely sure he did. The cloaked figure referred to the wizard as brother and invited us back to the black house. The others in the group were asked about what we wanted. After some chatting Ellenoria explained we had tried to free some Void Creatures in a dungeon we came across. We were asked the name of what we tried to free, but we only knew the numbers. There was mention of She Who Burrows and the cloaked figure said they were looking for her.
We were left to reconvene at the black house in a few hours. The Solarian, Gaius Dermious, was contacted via the Noitacinummoc stone to and given an update about a group interested in Void Creatures. We asked about She Who Burrows but Gaius did had never known their names. We suspect She Who Burrows might be the missing creature IX.
A cover story was needed. Clearly they thought the wizard was one of them. So it was decided to have everyone pretend Joking was our leader, and we were anxiety groupies who hated the world and wanted chaos, death, and destruction. After getting to Kobold's up to speed we hung outside the black house, Ellenoria played and sang some punk rock while Marv (who is 7' tall) and Sparky (2' tall) danced in a circle pit.
When the cloaked figures returned we were invited inside. The key to get in was like a sheet of paper but sometimes appeared in multiple dimensions—it was clearly magical. Unlike the outside, the inside was not painted black. There was the smell of sweet rotting. It was run down like any abandon building and had nothing inside. The group was shown to a parlor and served cookies and tea. Ellenoria was able to watch closely enough to tell the otherwise identical figures apart from they movements. A lot of magic was detected in the house. There was a strong protection spell guarding the place from outside entry, and a lot of magic we could not identify. However, there was defiantly something building up in power.
After refreshments which only some of the group ate we were lead to a basement, and then a sub-basement. Other cloaked figures were making bricks and the sub-basement looked to be something they constructed themselves. It seemed to be centered directly under the house and contained a circle of seating around a center alter. As we entered so did several other cloaked figures, 10 in all. All looked the same and only be watching their movements could one be distinguished from the other.
The group was asked if we wanted to join with the cloaked character's group. Anytime the group was asked about anything, Ellenoria started ranting about how the world was just full of conformist pigs that all worshiped stupid gods, and that chaos and death was the only thing everyone deserved. This seemed convincing enough for them and Andel agreed to be the first to be initiated.
The ritual began and Andel began to levitate partly over an open pit. The cloaked figured removed their hoods to revel they only had half a head. On the top just above the mouth their head was gone and there was a black flame. It seemed obvious that Andel was about to loss half her head in this initiation process and it was time to take action. Protesting began and the cloaked figures said a sacrifice of part of yourself was required to become part of their group. Ellenoria said that was stupid conformist garbage. Battle commenced.
Greatly outnumbered by magic users far more powerful than ourselves was not exactly what we had in mind. However we decided to concentrate our efforts on their leader—the one running the ritual. Their attacks were powerful and magic in nature. Annalis made a beautiful critical role and bloodied the leader within the first couple rounds of the battle. The enemies, other the other hand, rolled terribly. In the first round one fumbled and fell over for a two rounds. And the next round one critical fumbled and knocked themselves out for the remainder of the battle. Marv ended up killing the leader but taking a huge amount of damage in the process. Ellenoria sang songs of battle and healing, but one was knocked unconscious before the battle was complete. After the leader and two others had been killed the remaining figures fled. We had won, but something was charging up in the pit by the alter.