- PROLOGUE -
Rolling back the clock a bit, we see that Brian is by his master’s side as he is dying in the Cathedral of Saint Clydwell. One of the blind monks of his order heals a sickly girl carried by a paladin, who then leaves. As Brian‘s master begins to slip away and, rather than ascending peacefully as is common of the head of his order, he begins to scream horribly and grabs Brian’s hand, saying, “The darkness is coming! Khorramzadeh approaches!” As he dies, Brian is sent into shock.
Back in the plaza, after getting through the Gate of Water into Kenabres, we see that Rex and Windjammer have gone to get a room at Wench’s. Rex, being the noblest of Corgyn bloodlines, gets a room on credit despite the tavern being full. Rex keeps the fact that he hasn’t a penny to his name to himself. They go on to Blackwing Library, and are directed to speak with Ashus Striegher after her speech tomorrow on Armasse Day.
- ARMASSE DAY! -
The events leading up to Armasse Day have all passed, and we see Chiemeka constantly forcing Chinweuba to have fun, but he is rather distracted by the Vorlesh note Chi and Selma brought back from Khanduras. He has just finished translating it, and has uncovered that the note is referring to an ancient name for the wardstone of Kenabres, and the breaking of it.
Rune is still heartbroken by Aravashnial rejecting his majestic form, and hardly notices the women flocking around and dropping wreaths over his head.Lieutenant Nalti winks at Xiang, suggesting they meet up again later for more INCREDIBLY SEXY TIMES. Telchar is surrounded by children who tug at his beard as he eats two massive legs of meat, and he suppresses his urge to kill them.
Selma, in her frilly noble’s dress and holding a giant teddy bear, is approached by by a man out of the crowd who whispers he has not heard the phrase “Dawnwalker” (which she had shouted drunkenly in Wench’s the day before) in a long while. Selma, surprised, pulls out her mask and asks if he can read what she scrawled along it. The man shows surprise and recognition of the language, then smiles, telling her it would be best not to show that in this city. Selma insists it goes on her face.
He laughs and introduces himself as Beltran Ravenken. He gives her a card with his address on it, telling her to come by his manor after Armasse Day ends. Selma, having never seen a street address before, cannot understand the card, and so he draws a map to his manor from their location on it as well.
Hulrun Shappok approaches the stage around the plaza to give a speech, when a bright red light, a second sun from the west, rises.
And the world was broken.
You can remember now, all too clearly, what happened. Memories flood back, painful and real. The hatred, the terror, the destruction you witnessed will haunt your nightmares for the rest of your life: Black Armasse. It all happened minutes ago, but it feels like years. You remember the festival, pennants waving against the clear blue sky, the jostling of the sky, the laughter, the music, the smell of pies, and the taste of cider.
Armasse Day officially began at noon, with the blessing of the festival by Lord Hulrun himself, prelate of Kenabres. The crowd gathered in Clydwell Plaza quieted as the aged inquisitor took the stage, clad in shining, resplendent armor. He cleared his throat, but just as he was about to speak, a bright light shone from the west, as if the sun were rising from the wrong direction. Hulrun’s shadow fell huge and distorted across the cathedral’s facade.
A moment later, the sound of a thunderous explosion ripped through the air and earth, along with a violent tremor. To the west, The Kite had vanished. In its place, a brilliant plume of red fire, lightning, and smoke erupted into the heavens. A moment later, a powerful roar accompanied a welcome sight rising from the crowd—Kenabres’s greatest guardian, the ancient silver dragon Terendelev, took flight.
Above, another form appeared, as nightmarish as the dragon was breathtaking. A humanoid shape three times the size of any man, with skin coated in fire and lightning, gripped a flaming sword and whip. Khorramzadeh, the Storm King of the Worldwound, had come to Kenabres! As the ground continued to shake, ripping deep pits and disgorging demons into the streets, the dragon and the balor lord clashed above. A nearby bell tower rang a warning to the rest of the city, only to be toppled as a demonic worm erupted underneath the streets consuming the tower in its giant maw, scattering fallen stone across the plaza.
Grabbing her brother, Chiemeka shoves him into the hands of Quednys, in a flash he teleports away with a dozen others as Rex and Windjammer placed themselves between the approaching demons and the screaming cityfolk. The wizard Aravashnial falls, the crack of the balor’s whip catches him across the face. As his limp body slumps towards a yawning crevasse, Rune grabs his cloak and pulls him back from the pit. Lt. Nalti falls to the claws of a hulking demonic abomination. The demons fury is distracted as Xiang and Elibor attack it from behind. The Abyssal fiend laughs cruelly as it sweeps them both into a wrenched open pit in the cobblestone streets. A trio of fiends and their gnashing teeth nearly descend on a bunch of screaming children before they are distracted by stones thrown by a defiant Brian and Selma. It turns its attention to them giving the children time to escape.
Suddenly, the fight between the demon lord and the dragon abruptly ended after a few harrowing moments. The balor cut deep into Terendelev’s body, swooping down to strike the dragon and arresting her charge. A few more blows, and the titanic duo spiraled downward toward the crowd. The sight of the dragon smashing into the facade of the Cathedral of St. Clydwell is one no witness would ever forget.
At that moment, a titanic demon erupted at the far end of the plaza, reducing several buildings to ruins as it smashed into this world. The rift it created shot across the plaza, and this time there was no escape—it opened below your feet, angling away into darkness. Even as you fell, the dragon noticed your plight. Though she saw death standing over her in the form of the balor, she seized this final chance to save a few more souls.
After she uttered a few arcane words and stretched out a bleeding talon, you felt her magic take hold of you, slowing your plummet into the darkness as if you were feathers falling into a pit. Yet the fall remained as inexorable, and as you drifted downward into the depths, the last thing you saw was the Storm King standing before the ancient silver dragon, his sword lashing out and cleaving full through her neck. As her severed head fell, the rift above you slammed shut, and the blue sky of the world was gone.
- THE CAVERN -
Brian slowly wakes to see an old elf in the middle of the cavern, shouting “Light!” over and over as his staff pulses brightly over and throughout the cavern. By the pulsing light, Brian could see others darting around, checking for survivors. Brian casts his own light spell on a rock and begins to heal the wounded.
Telchar has been awake for some time, and has managed to stabilize many of those that survived the fall. Rune awakes to see the elf casting Light over and over, and realizes it is Aravashnial. Again in his majestic centaur form, Rune rushes over to him and sees that his eyes are gone and the wounds cauterized. He is blinded.
Aravashnial shouts, “Who’s there?” and yells that for some reason his spells won’t work and that it’s so dark in here. Rune explains that they fell into a pit during the fight, and that Aravashnial was blinded. That his eyes are gone. Aravashnial begins to weep.
For SOME reason, Rune’s dejection from earlier in the day is also gone!
Windjammer and Rex awaken, and Windjammer casts detect magic. He sees an overflow from many of the people in the cavern and then notices the dragon scales littering the ground. He collects them, but their magic aura slowly fades.
Rune is a jerk and begins arguing with Aravashnial, telling him that maybe if he SUMMONED something he could share its senses. Aravashnial is very indignant about the whole thing. Rune suggests Aravashnial could ride on his splendorous centaur back instead, andAravashnial moodily summons a giant rat to share senses with, which he just as quickly dismisses.
The members of the party that can cast Light begin passing out lit rocks to everyone (except Selma, who casts light only for herself). It seems that only the party survived the fall, and Aravashnial. Xiang finds a body that looks like Lt. Nalti, and grieves, only to discover that the corpse is, in fact, of someone else.
However, the search does find one other survivor, with her leg pinned under a rock! Rune recognizes her as the woman who had moved into Elibor‘s house (Irabeth Tirabade’s wife, Anivia), and they manage to get her out. Brian miscasts his Heal, and while some of her wounds are healed, she still cannot walk.
Telchar goes to inspect the cavern they are in, and Selma and Chi follow him. They find the husks of two giant and long-dead spiders, their legs broken in strange places and holes dug into them. Telchar inspects the hole and finds they are full of giant maggots and flying insects.
- Initiative! -
The party cuts through the maggots, and after a bit of struggling, takes down the flying insects!
Upon closer inspection, the spiders seem to have been carved out by someone specifically for breeding those maggots.
The party, having faced its first encounter, decides to check its supplies. Turns out, they have almost no food! The cavern seems too high to see the top, and there is no light from above. Selma summons an eagle which she casts light on to try and reach it, but she and Rune discover summons have a limited range when they are not your Eidolon.
- THE MARCH -
The party arranges itself into a marching line, Selma climbing onto Rune’s shoulders, and Brian onto his back. Aravashnial refuses to join them until Chi talks it through with him, and he decides they could use someone of his experience with them.
Not far into the cavern tunnel, the party comes upon a discarded pack on a crevasse. Selma and Rune both summon eagles to fetch it, and Selma is Greatly Offended by the way Rune summons his. However, the eagles cannot lift the pack, and Chi ties around her waist and climbs to get it. However, giant roaches begin to crawl up out of the dark!
- Initiative! -
The party manages to fight off the roaches, and Chi almost falls during battle! However, Windjammer andRex keep a firm grip on the rope and save her. Chi retrieves the pack and climbs to safety. Selma greatly offends her eagle summon with one of her commands, and both eagles leave the plane in a huff.
The party arranges itself again, and soon comes upon another crevasse which they need to cross. Telchar, with his hidden Dwarven jumping technique, manages it easily, while the rest of the party ties ropes to each other, and help each other across.
The party reforms its line, and Selma begins to argue with Rune about how he is summoning incorrectly, that his technique does not fit with what she’s learned. Rune tries to open her mind to different cultures and the possibility that there are many ways of summoning, but Selma was not having any of that hippie bullshit. He was doing it WRONG.
The next opening they come across is a 40 foot chasm, made by a giant worm that was part of the attack. Telchar suspects it was from the Underdark, but Aravashnial scoffs that they have checked and there are no openings to the Underdark beneath Kenabres. He insists that the worm that created this rift is from the Worldwound. The party shimmies its way along the edge, until they make it across. On the other side there is a massive dwarven door, which Telchar sees has the names of the great dwarven cities inscribed upon it, as well as the sigil of the Deep Delvers, the dwarven order run bythe man he has been sent to kill.
The doors have been wrenched open so forcefully they are bent off their hinges.
Behind the door is a great unfinished hallway, empty but with stone homes built into its sides. Past the hallway is a temple built over an underground lake, accessible by a single path. The party goes to inspect the homes and finds they are filled with corpses lying in their beds. Scrawled on the walls, is writing that says Vhane betrayed them, that the way is shut. Windjammer notices the rooms were looted some time before they arrived. In one of the houses, the party finds a makeshift shrine with 18 names on it. Only two of them are not crossed off, Khade and Millorn. Sixteen candles have burned down around the shrine.
The stench of death precedes the party as they approach the temple. They find it is a one-room structure, with a single figure standing in front of it. It is a priest of Torag, who turns and enters the temple. Telchar rushes after him and the party follows, throwing up their defenses.
There are people lining the pews, all dead. The priest stands alone at the front, next to a defaced altar of Torag. Telchar speaks with the fallen priest, asking what happened. These dwarves were of the Deep Delvers, the priest explains. Staunton Vhane picked them because they were uncorruptable, and then he sealed them in. Then, he opened the doors to beneath, let something from the Underdark in. There is no escape, the priest says.
Telchar says he is a walls foreman. He might find a way out where others have not.
The corpses rise.
- Initiative! -
Telchar battles with the fallen priest! Rex and Windjammer protect themselves from evil and are safe for a time, but in their attacks become vulrable! Rex manages to tie one up and light it on fire!Brian goes on a healing frenzy, shouting nonsense in Celestial (which sounds SUSPICIOUSLY like Hebre- ehem, Sarkorite).
Xiang discovers fists are his greatest weapon as a monk, but when the fight turns bad, he hightails it out of the temple and to safety.
Rune is a Sexy Shoeless God of War and practically murders everything as most of the party struggles. His good nature seems to disappear into a savage animal instinct he has not shown before.
Finally, Telchar lands the final blow on the fallen priest, and the party cleans up the remaining zombies. The party discovers the priest caused the dwarves here to turn from Torag and spread undeath among them. Xiang seems to have knowledge of this Baphomet in whose name the priest defiled the temple. The priest is identified as Khade, one of the last survivors of the Deep Delvers.
- END OF GAME SESSION -