The Legend of Gethzerian

Session 6

End Game

The door before them gave way only with a hardy shove, the seals that held in the water trap also restricting the doors movements. The room before them was rank with the smell of death and decay. The lighting was dim, and the stone walls echoed every sound. As Onodrim attempted to scout ahead of the group, he heard an all to familiar series of moans, and the sounds of shambling feet. Zombies rushed around the corner, attempting to corral our heroes. A small stone golem also appeared, blasting the brains of the do-gooders with psionic waves, as a lean ghoul appeared, flesh dripping from his jaws. The undead fell easily before the onslaught of the heroes at first, but then were temporarily bolstered by a new foe, one all too familiar to the heroes. Bursting from the back of the chamber, Magdronan charged his allies, laying into them with sword. Curiously, the heroes noted it was not Aecris, sword of Sir Keegan, but his old sword he attacked with. Red fire burned in the Dragonborn’s eyes as he attacked Snow and Vimak. As Onodrim’s divine light laid the last of the undead to rest once more, the golem took off at high speed, flying through the doors where Magdronan had emerged. A well aimed blow was able to knock Magdronan to his feet, and Vimak shone upon him the divine light of Bahamut. The red glow faded from his eyes, and he dropped his sword. Meanwhile, Darmok explored a small passageway, barely large enough to admit the Dwarf. Inside, his armor removed and scattered and his chest bloody, lay John Snow. He was alive, but only by the smallest of margins. Dragging his comrade out, Darmok called for healing. Vimak tended Snow back to life, while Grok and Onodrim watched over Magdronan, who had no memory of attacking his friends. As Bahamuts light (and a full vial of healing potion) brought the Warlord to his feet, he turned and drew his sword, pointing it at Magdronans chest. “YOU!” he screamed, to the suprise of his friends. “Something you’d like to share with the group, traitor?” Snow recanted a tale of torture at the hands of Kalarel’s servants, including the stunning revelation that Magdronan had a magical tatoo upon his chest. Now faced with this accusation on top of attacking his comrades magdronan confessed to his friends that he bore a tatoo from his past, a mark of what he was, what he could not remember, but assuered them that he was on their side. Kalarel, it seemed had dominated his spirit and mind, disparaging the power of Bahamut. Putting this incident aside due to the urgency at hand, the group gathered their gear and stepped through the next door into a large dark cathedral. Snow and Magdronan both recognized it instantly as the room in which they were held and tortured. The golem hovered above an altar in the rooms center, fresh with blood that the group knew had recently filled John Snow’s veins. A man stood behind the altar in black robes, a rams skull tatoo on his face, and a mace in his hand. “You will all die for Lord Orcus!” he screamed. “Give us your blood” Before our heroes could react, men dressed in ancient style clothes dropped from their ceiling, with skin pale as the moon and black lifeless eyes. As they advanced, John Snow finally realized what he had been unable to whilst under their torture. “Vampires.” As Snow led his allies against the blood-suckers, Magdronan and Vimak made to apprehend the dark priest. However, he was not without magical powers of his own, and a dark creeper hid amongst the shadows, daggers appearing literally from the darkness as he attacked. As the battle titled in the heroes favor the golem attempted to fly down the central shaft, but a well timed Chaos bolt flew from Darmok’s wand, and the creature shattered in mid-air. Magdronan finally approached the priest close enough to see it was not Kalarel, but an underling, before ending his life with a swing of Aecris. The last of the vampires fell, their fangs never drinking the blood of the heroes. As they gathered around the altar, a voice came up to them through the shaft, echoing over the sound of blood flowing down the well.
“Greetings, heroes. I’d hoped you’d be joining me. Please, climb down and join me.” The voice sent a chill down Magdronan’s spine. “Thats Kalarel.” Despite taunts and suggestions from Darmok, Kalarel refused to climb up and meet them, so our heroes descended down the slippery chains into darkness. As they cleared the shaft the room below them opened into a dreadful sight. On the north wall stood a large black portal, and tendrils of necrotic energy strained against it. Kalarel stood upon an altar to the east, his shining skull helm glowing as he read from a large ritual book. Several massive skeletal warriors patrolled the edges of the room, marching around the large pool of blood in the rooms center, fed from the streams above. Onodrim was the first to slip, landing on his back in the pool, with Magdronan only a moment behind him. Grok and Vimak were able to time their jumps, landing on the edges of the pool, Snow joining them a moment later. Darmok attempted to attack from the chains, before falling himself and landing in the blood below. "I’m glad you decided to join me. Your death will unleash Lord Orcus upon this world, and no power shall stand against him. The skeletal beasts attacked first, swinging massive bone clubs and scythes. When Grok was able to destroy one with a might blow from his Kopesh, a high, chill laughter came from the dark western wall, and a Wight appeared, necrotic energy shooting from his fingers and re-assembling the skeleton. It took many more skeletons falling before our heroes discerned the range of the wight’s power, and many more before Vimak lay the final Rune of Destruction upon the abomination. Alone, Kalarel fought hard, nearly felling Onodrim and Grok. His words of torment never ceased, even as he was backed against the portal. “You can’t stop me. Its too late. Gethzerian has already been released, and soon your blood will empower my army. Lord Orcus’ army shall conquer this vale!” It was only when he shot one last insult at Magdronan that he realized his flaw. Dropping his sword to the ground, Magdronan grasped his holy symbol and stepped forward. “You’re wrong Kalarel. In the name of Bahamut, DIE!” A blast of pure radiant energy shot forth from the Paladin’s symbol, and Kalarel was pulled backwards screaming into the portal as it closed, leaving only his helm and rod upon the ground before them. Darmok read the arcane lines of the room, and was certain the portal had been sealed. Taking stock of their loot, the weary adventurers began the long trek through the keep. They felt no more of the sinister energy that had pervaded the walls as they exited the ruined grounds, though a few amongst them swore they were being watched from something above as they made their way into the woods and returned to Winterhaven. Lord Padraig hailed them as victorious, and the town feasted them, eternally grateful. “From this day forth, you shall be known as the Heroes of Winterhaven. You are always welcome here, friends.” Luckily for the group, during the celebration Onodrim had quiely approached Valthruun the Prescient for information on the name Gethzerian, and the wizard approached him with several scrolls as the group set out on their journey the next morning. “I’m afraid its quite limited. Ask your questions in Fallcrest. The town has somewhat of a history with that name. And I’m sure Douven Stahl can tell you more, when you see him again.” Setting off on loaned horses, the heroes road off down the King’s Road, retracing the steps that had brought them on this adventure, wondering what lay ahead.

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