Time to play catch up. Condensed version from the Jan 29th game, the party met with Eletha and Zira, a commanding officer in Skarda's forces that believed the mirror realm's time is coming to an end and wants to make sure the slaves are not killed when it collapses on itself. Telling our adventurers what she knows of Skarda's impending invasion, plans are made to try and escape the both Hell and the mirror realm.
After several small skirmishes involving guards and hell hounds the party makes it to the portal and gains the password from Zira. Making sure the slaves are also making their way out, the party sees the death throes of the mirror plane as gate towers, walls, and even Skarda's palace collapses from the continued violent earthquakes that continue to shake the area. Oh, and did we mention that whatever source the plane's water comes from, it has begun filling the realm as well.
The party pushes their way through the remaining soldiers while disguised as part of the mercenaries employed by Skarda and escape the small mirror world.
Feb 13th, 2018
Jumping through the portal, our brave adventurers find themselves in some sort of small palatial estate, facing both Skarda and the bizarre Mirror Fiend that appeared when the party was subjected to the mirror the first time. Recognizing Bob, Skarda screams to those soldiers nearby to attack and kill them while he vanishes in a puff of smoke. While the soldiers didn't seem too thrilled at facing the brazen adventurers that had already caused their lord quite a headache, knowing that they were backed up by the bizarre creature with the large baboonish face, they courageously pressed the attack.
Ray was quick on the draw, and with some deft spell-work managed to cast grease under the feet of several of the guards which caused a few to slip and fall and other struggled to move within the area (this effect provided a very comedic effect throughout this first battle).
Bob quickly reacted to the presence of the Mirror Fiend and pounded it with a brutal blow from his great sword (unfortunately a non-magical version provided by Zira) that did effectively bruise the demonic creature's hide. The Mirror Fiend quickly magicked itself so that it appeared offset from its actual location, which vexxed both Bob and Ahnold as they concentrated on it over the guards. While Bob's attacks were savage, his sword kept missing the mark because of that arcane trickery. The Mirror Fiend on the other hand, had no problems shredding Bob and Ahnold. Ahnold decided to focus on the guards behind him in the grease over the demon because of this inability to effectively strike it. At one point Bob fled up the stairwell next to him to try and recover a bit from his wounds.
And lets not forget Ray (the Original) and Pimkin (a.k.a Ray Jr. Senior) who disguised himself as a little old man, but one of the guards wasn't buying it. Ray continued to use his magics both against guards and the Mirror Fiend while Ray Jr. Senior tried to feign death by falling to the ground. One of the guards fell for it while another did not, but between Ray and Pimkin both of the guards facing them were eventually dispatched.
Unfortunately Ahnold and Bob did not fare so well against the demon creature and as stated Bob temporarily fled to try and recover a bit before rejoining the fray. During this time, Eletha appeared out of the mirror and tried to assist Ahnold against the Mirror Fiend, only to be thrown back into the mirror by the creature. Alas, even with the gentle stoned giant's spiritual connection, Ahnold could not withstand the Mirror Fiend's wicked claws and bite attacks and fell from the gruesome wounds. The Mirror Fiend, emboldened by the warrior's cowardice and slaying of the orread priest cast Mirror Image on himself to further his own defenses against the remaining opponents, especially after Ray Jr. Senior hit him with a couple homemade shuriken. Ray let loose with several fireballs which seemed effective against the creature, but it's inherent resistance seemed to deflect the flame from a few of the fireballs.
Bob did come back down the stairs and made his way to the other side of the stairwell and called for Ahnold to join him, but the staunch war priest choose to stay and deal with those guards behind him (leading to his death unfortunately). Eletha appeared back from the mirror and made her way to Bob and the others, and calling forth the power of Illsyndul, managed to spread her healing faith to them but it was too little too late for poor Ahnold.
Knowing he was of little use against the demon in an open fight, Ray Jr. Senior made his way out of the mansion and tried to slip back in through one of the offices in a attempt to sneak in behind the demon. And just as the elusive halfling ("Kender") opened the door to try and backstap the demon, Eletha let loose a Holy Smite which damaged both the halfling ninja and the Mirror Fiend. Choosing to escape back to the mirror, the demon whisked out of existence, leaving the party to deal with the death of their dear comrade.
As Bob went out the front door to survey the situation, a call from above got his attention as one of Skarda's men leaned out a shattered window, letting others nearby know that the duke was surrounded in the ball room on the second floor. Gathering their remaining strength, the party quickly took what they could from the fallen guards nearby and flew up the stairs to try and help (?) the Grand Duke Stephan Karameikos from Skarda's mercenaries.
Encountering a small group of guards upon reaching the 2nd floor, between Ray Jr. Senior's antics, Ray's charming personality, and Bob's great sword they quickly dispatched that small contingent and make way to the ballroom beyond.