We returned to the Dawnward Outpost via Word of Recall. I imagine a good number of your forces will shortly be doing the same. It would seem that the power of Saatvik's goddess, Sarasvati, is undiminished by being invoked here in the Underworld. I'll take these moments, while my companions get the Disintegration Needles out of their spines, to draft a quick written report for your return.
I admit I was pleased to hear that the cadre of inner-surfacers that I had helped so many months ago had returned to the Dawnward Outpost to assist us in Operation Silver. Sadly, the logistics of planning the operation kept me quite busy in the leadup to mobilization and I did not have the time to reaquaint myself with them. As we marched, however, it became clear that their wizard [[:xedris-somabhakta | Xedris]], though he would doubtless be incredibly useful as part of the surgical insertion team, would perhaps be better utilized as a mobilization node for our undead military assets. A bit of last minute calculation resulted in me joining the surgical insertion team in his stead.
Once the signal was given, Panja utilized his magic to make us living wind and we moved rapidly through the ruined depths beneath the Breach looking for the dawnward node. Soon the broken walls became covered in sheets of pulsating flesh and it became ever more apparent that we were on the right path. As our chronometers indicated the time to strike was nigh, we attempted to approach the node chamber by stealth, with a certain degree of success.
At first it appeared that we might be in the wrong place. Only three illithids and thrice-that in grimlocks loitered in the chamber. It became apparent, though, that these limited numbers were due entirely to the concerted push made by our tens of thousands of martial compatriots diverting the node network's resources away. The plan was working! We initiated our assault.
The Elder Node arose from a pit filled with brackish mucus and began to summon additional resources, but it was clearly pressed on multiple fronts throughout the whorl and could only bring three illithids in every dozen seconds or so. Even then, the initial counterattack was nearly the doom of us. Our entire strike force except for myself and Panja fell reeling from concerted mind-blasts.
Fortunately, the power of Yama filled me, and that power reflected onto those of my companions who stood near, and they were able to shake off the effects before their brains could be extracted. The fight was tough, and there was a moment when we dearly wished that Xedris was here after all when the Elder Node raised a wall of force to attempt to stymie our progress, but we were ultimately able to destroy it, not before it managed to divert a number of local resources elsewhere to the network. I hope the other two assault forces were not unduly harmed by our lapse.
It pleases me to report that none of my companions fell unconscious, dead, or under the effects of ceremorphosis. The disintegration needles were not needed. Better to have them and not need them than vice versa though.
Should there be a need for detailed debriefing, I will be available. I returned samples of all slain illithids for identification and resurrection to the temple of Yama.