|Dunstan falls to the blade of Maarth, drow assassin.|
15/10/1482: Sir Jorah Blackthorn briefs Lirael, Dunstan & Pealias at Northwood Manor - the Southwood Goblins are encroaching on Rensard Manor and Valeris' southern dominions. Many fear an attack, some families have abandoned the area. A dove arrives from the Stronghold of the Nine with a message from Ranger Captain Quen Harrowleaf - something has been killing the Rangers watching over the Endless Caverns; five have been lost in three days. The first three had their faces eaten away, the killer was driven off before the last two could be mutilated.
Lirael & co ride west, reaching the Stronghold of the Nine a little before dusk to find the Rangers tense and worried. Harrowleaf is grateful for aid. Lirael sets a trap that evening where a drow footprint was spotted by the last killings, but the slayer does not fall into it; everyone rises weary the next day.
16/10/1482: Lirael picks up the killer's trail by hand/claw markings on the walls, and tracks it into the Caverns to the dragons' graveyard. A figure appears atop the skull of Graxx Rekax - Maarth, Phaervorul Matron-Mother Urlvrain's assassin, lost in the fighting and now a red-eyed ghoul thing.
As the heroes debate what to do, a dozen more ghouls sneak up on them and attack. Maarth, no longer a silent automaton, cackles about Orcus' power, and proves a deadly foe as he slits the throat of fallen Dunstan. But at last Pealias puts him down; Lirael shoots the last ghoul as it flees and the heroes are victorious. Pealias carries Dunstan's body back to Greywood Manor where they take a boat over the Grayflow and head upstream to Brownstone and the Temple of the Green Regent. Halvath calls back Dunstan's soul from the halls of Moradin; Dunstan feels the All-Father's hand on his shoulder, he is let him go with an admonition to restore Ammarindar.
12 abyssal ghoul hungerers: 500x12=6000
Maarth, drow ghoul assassin: 5600
Level 18 minor quest: End threat to Rangers of the Nine: +500
Total: 4366 + 114,545 = 118911 XP
Need 119,000 for 19th level
Pealias/Anaveth Roleplay Bonus: +100 = 119011
LEVEL 19 Reached
143,000 for Level 20
Dunstan is at -1 on d20 rolls until he has reached three milestones or taken three extended rests.