The Legend of Gethzerian

Session 9

As the team wraps up from the battle at the wall, Douven Stahl returns to them. “Well done all.” The Baron and the others are safe in the tower. Quickly, the heroes recount the tale of the battle to their mentor, who identifies the mark on the invaders armor. “The Iron Circle, a band of mercenaries. The last remnants of an ancient empire, laid low by Magroth at the height of his power. They are led by priests of Asmodeus, the Lord of the Nine Hells. They are not a cheap hire.” Together, the group makes their way around the Keep, seeing that the only damage is the Ogre-bashed wall where they had just finished their battle. The rest of the village rests in the guards barracks near the door, the safest location remaining in the Keep. As the group enters, attempting to reassure the populace, a series of screams comes from the direction of the great hall. The villagers roil to a panic. “Go, go,” screamed Douven. “I’ll keep them calm and safe. But please, please friends. That scream, it sounded like my wife.” Rushing from the room, the heroes enter the great hall. A tall Dragonborn warrior, wearing scale armor of five colors stands before them, sword in hand. Two growling Drakes crouch at his side, barely restrained by chain leashes. Two hooded figures walk before the area where the high table formerly stood, though that area lies in darkness. As soon as Magdronan enters the room, the dragonborn growls fiercely and points his sword at him. “Your false god will not help you here.” Another figure floats from the shadows. "Now, now, it wouldn’t be polite for you to destroy our guests before they see the surprise. The figure appears nearly see through. With a wave of his hands the lights around the high table flare to life, revealing Juli Stahl, Baron Stockmer, and Priestess Marla. The women seem terrified, and Baron Stockmer is bruised and bleeding. He was not taken without a fight. The hooded men drop their cloaks, revealing large human men, their bodies carved and tattooed with the all too familiar ram skull of Orcus. As the mystery figure came closer to the dragonborn, he turned towards the heroes, and lowered down his hood. The spectral apparition before the heroes was one they’d seen before they’d even entered the Keep on the Shadowfell. One that had looked down at them from the excavation site where they’d not too long ago rescued Douven Stahl. One who’s face had last been seen burning in the light of Bahamut’s justice. One they’d thought dead. Kalarel. “Suprised to see me? Orcus’ will and service does not end. Ever.” Upon seeing their foe before them, the heroes charged. The dragonborn bared his teeth, released his drakes, and charged Magdronan. Onodrim and Darmok unleashed massive blasts of energy, arcane and divine, both targeting Kalarel with eerie precision. Magdronan charged Tiamats champion, Vimak moving behind him to aid his fellow. Grak, relishing the challenge of new foes, charged the Drakes, allowing himself to be surrounded as the brutes joined in the fight. With a bit of tactical advice from John Snow, the barbarians weapons flashed and swung through enemies. The onslaught of the heroes, stronger now than last they faced Kalarel, was unstoppable, as was their fury at this invasion of their home. One by one, the enemies fell before their might. Kalarel swore to Orcus as his shadow once again passed beyond the veil of light and returned to shadow. Their foes defeated, Onodrim released the captives from their bonds. Douven rushed into the room a moment later. “I couldn’t wait a moment longer.” Rushing forward to hold Juli, he thanked the heroes profusely. “So that was Kalarel. Your beaten enemy and a Paladin of Tiamat. The Prince of Undeath and the Queen of many colors. It would seem, friends, that it is not Harkenwold that these enemies are assaulting. They’re here for you.” With the chief threat defeated, the heroes returned to Douven’s home to rest. The wards and protective spells around the property stood ward for the night, though all slept with their armor on that night. In the morning the heroes determined to leave the Barony as soon as possible, to safeguard their friends. In preperation, they set out upon various errands. Onodrim and Grak traveled to Dardun for potions, John Snow and Magdronan visited the castle blacksmith, hoping to maximize the powers of the gear they’d pulled from their fallen foes. Vimak spent the day with Douven, seeking the answers to the dangerous puzzle that faced him. Upon their return, the heroes set out immediately for the gate Onodrim had long ago used to reach this world. With many questions before them, and fewer answers, the group had decided to take the druidess Hyacinth up on her offer. The group pushed through the night, arriving at the gateway at the ordained hour, exactly as Onodrim remembered. Passing through, they were met by the verdant green of the Feywild, the bright echo of the world. In the Court of Blooms, the Eladrin welcomed their friend and his companions back to the world. The Green Lord Oran allowed the companions to pass through his lands, thought he warned them that at their next stop they would not be so graciously recieved. The reputation of the Prince of Thorns was not a gregarious one, though the party had been forewarned by his son, Albanon. Departing the next day, the party immediately noticed the change when passing between the realms. Their reception in the Court of Blooms was exactly as expected, and the Prince seemed grateful, though a bit wary, when Onodrim mentioned his sons name. Hyacinth arrived mere moments after the party, and the Prince gave her use of a small vessel with which to reach the island. Setting off immediately, the party made it to the heart of the island, and found the remains of a small village. They had not yet seen any sign of the Orcs Hyacinth warned about, but their keen sense of danger told them to be wary. Hyacinth stood by a large obelisk in the center of the square and informed the party that she would need to be protected and undisturbed until she completed the ritual that would open the obelisk, revealing the artifact inside. “No matter what happens, I must complete the ritual. I cannot fail again.” Soon, Hyacinth began to chant, and slowly, the runes on the obelisk began to glow and pulse in time with her incantations. The silence of the forest, bereft of any birds or insects was suddenly broken by Orc war cries. A dozen armed orcs rushed the camp, swarming Grak and John Snow. Before their fellows could react, a massive thundering shook the ground, and two Anklyosaurus’ rushed into the clearing, with Orc savages upon their backs. Two Triceratops quickly joined them, and a screeching call from above heralded the arrival of Pterodactyls. Two orc shamans completed the assault, their lightning calling spells raining destruction across the party, and defeating the ranged advantage of Onodrim and Darmok. The battle began poorly for the heroes,as they were overwhelmed by the onslaught of so many new and powerful foes. However, they soon began to fight back. Hyacinths chants became more frantic and the runes began to pulse wildly. “Almost done. Keep me safe!” However, her cries were covered by the scream of shock as Grak was pulled into the air by a pterodactyl, followed moments later by the beasts own screams of pain as the half-orc placed a mighty blow onto its wing, sending them both crashing to the ground. Vimak and Magdronan laid their mighty weapons upon the dinosaurs, relishing the challenge. As the tide seemed about to turn, something terrible happened. A burst of red light erupted from the obelisk, and when everyone regained their vision, in the place of Hyacinth stood a monstrous Tyranosaurus Rex. Twenty feet tall, with rows of teeth beyond count, the beast began to tear into orc and hero alike. Bloodied enemies fled from the fray, but our heroes did not. Magdronan bravely issued the divine challenge of Bahamut upon the T-Rex, whilst Onodrim and Darmok assailed it with every spell known to them. Snow maneuvered his allies into position for the end, and Vimak called down the Runes of destruction upon the beast. But it was Grak’s mighty hammer that decided the day. With a howl that rivaled the beasts own volume, the barbarian laid a blow upon the dinosaurs head that brought it to its death. Barely standing the party took stock of their situation. Bloodied, alone in hostile territory, short of spells and strength, and now missing the druidess who had been their guide, the adventure was clearly not over yet. Just then, however, a mysterious newcomer appeared on the edge of the clearing. He was dressing in white and silver robes, bore neither visible weapon or armor, nor any device, save the symbol of Bahamut around his neck. Tall and thin, his skin was a deep blue and his eyes white. Undoubtedly, this was one of the high race, servants to the gods reborn constantly to the mortal world. A Deva. He spoke in a soft, calm voice. “Greetings. My name is Galadran.”

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