Rabbitt's Basement: Rise of Vecna

Chapter 8: Mt. Nex [5]
Episode V

The End

Dark Halls

With 3/4 rooms complete, the group felt a powerful urge to just get the dungeon over with and get out of this mountain. The group completed the Dungeon and moved on. They lost Sarin and Lynn during a final confrontation with Kas. The sword was transformed into Sanctuary, whom is now being carried by Nixero.

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Chapter 8: Mt. Nex [4]
Episode IV

East and South Wings

Hats, Chests, and Rust

After a decent rest in the heart of the dungeon, the PCs decided it was time to move double time. Who knew exactly what this dungeon was doing to them or the sword. They gathered their things and moved to the northern door. It was locked, so they simply went to the eastern doors. They stepped through after checking for any traps.

After stepping through the door, they felt a huge sense of dread as chills ran down their spines. They saw the man in red laughing. He was standing in front of the corpse of a beholder split into two. He vanished before any of them had a chance to do or say anything. This caused the PCs to re-think their theory on how the sword and Kas worked. They let that simmer in the back of their mind while they moved on to the next room.

Upon entering this room, they discovered 3 chests, a door leading out, and 4 keys. Above the chests there was something written. " Gamble wisely, and you leave this room a wealthy person. Gamble poorly and you won’t leave at all. Don’t gamble and you will leave, but not wealthy." With this information, Faust said there was only one thing to do. He immediately picked up a key and began telling the group of a story about why he was sometimes referred to as “the worst gambler in the Dolastrads” and instantly stuck it into a chest and turned it.

against all odds, his key just so happened to work the chest, giving him access to gold. The rest of the group fumbled about with theories and odds, but eventually they were able to unlock all but one of the chests and get the door open. Some of the group wished they had stayed inside the room with the chests however. In this next room they found 7 rust monsters, 3 huge skeletons wielding stone hammers, and 2 ogre zombies. What a sight to behold. The group charged forward, slamming the enemies attack after attack.

At the end of it all, they managed to defeat all of the creatures with very little amounts of damage. Sagemon and Sarin both had armor pieces rust away, but it was only in their shoulders. After looking over their damages the group decided it was time to move on. Before stepping into the next door, the group tried to determine if the door was trapped. They discovered someone had placed an arcane trap on it. Shemuel decided it would be a great idea to deactivate the trap using his spear. Everyone else stood back from the door, and shemuel tossed his spear into the door squarely. Before he could say ouch, a bolt of lightning burst out from the door in a tremendous display of power. It went right through his armor, damaging him deeply and sending him flying back against the far wall. He stood with his armor still smoking.

The Broken Tusk

The party waited until Shemuel’s armor cooled off before moving on tot he next room. After entering the next portion, it was clear to the party that there would be no battle here, unless it was a battle of wits. The hall before them had red tiles that glowed with immense power. The group tossed something onto the tile and it was engulfed with flame, so their only logical conclusion was to smash the floor. Faust volunteered for the job, seeing as he had the most experience at destroying things, especially floors (they were his specialty) He stepped up to the first tile and tuck out his beloved minotaur tusk, which had never actually served him any good before, but it was his and it had some very little sentimental value. He slammed it on the first tile with all his might and destroyed the tile, removing what ever magic might have been living there in wait. He was very content with himself and his work with that tile. He moved up tot he next tile and slammed his tusk on it as he did the last one. There was a loud crack, and the room fell silent.

Nixero approached Faust, placing his hand on his shoulder and asked if were okay. He was not okay. In his hands he held what pieces remained of his beloved tusk, his eyes looking off into the distant darkness, wondering why life had taken him down this path of emotional destruction. His whole life was being re-evaluated inside of his mind as the only thing he truly cared for was laying broken in his hands. Nixero lead Faust over to a corner of the room and sat him down and tried to comfort him the best he could while the rest of the party tried to smash the tiles. It took them a little while, but eventually they managed to make it past the hall and into the next room, with Faust very slowly trudging behind them.

The Samurai

In this next room they found only a single samurai. On his side he carried a very large Daikatana in a Saya. He spoke tot hem when they came into his room. He told them he would like an honorable fight, and if they won, he would give them the gem they were seeking. Shemuel stepped forward and agreed to this honorable battle one on one. The Samurai unsheathed his weapon, and the battle began. The rest of the group waited on the sideline for the battle to end, but just in case Shemuel needed help, they all readied an action with a spell.

Eventually Shemuel tried to cast a spell on the Samurai to help aid himself in battle, but the spell took no effect and the Samurai laughed. The rest of the group decided it was time to let loose their spells, but none of them hit the swordsman. It wasn’t because they missed, it seemed as though this man had some sort of spell barrier, which was not good at all. The battle continued, and Shemuel insisted no one help him. After hours of sword fighting, the Samurai finally gave up and bowed before Shemuel. He then left, leaving a bag of magic beans on the floor.

The End of the Eastern Wing

After defeating the Samurai and retrieving his beans, the group found a slot in which they inserted Graveyard once again. Doing so revealed a small treasure hidden behind a wall tile, and sent Shemuel into the consciousness of some astral being. This time it was not a child, but that of a teenager. It worked just as before; Shemuel asked it a few questions and then in return it asked him a couple and sent Shemuel on his way. Every encounter with this being kept causing Shemuel to become more and more confused about his own goal and where he should be heading. Either way, they retrieved one more portal stone and decided to head back to the main room for a rest.

After having a good sleep, the group was now ready for another wing, however they woke to Shemuel holding his head with agony on his face. He told them about his crazy nightmares and visions he had when he was sleeping. He felt ill and weak, but he was willing to continue on to the next wing of the dungeon.

The Southern Wing

Magical Portals

The door was unlocked so the group moved through the door. When the doors closed behind them, it then morphed into one single iron door. Where the key hole once was, was now a diamond shaped hole, fit for something that looked similar to a d8. Inside this room there was a chest on the floor, and a sign above the chest. The sign read “You might need these”, and inside the chest they found a bag of 20 d8’s. They were slightly puzzled, but they soon realized what they must do. They sat on the floor and began to spin them around like tops. Then they got up and slotted one inside the door lock. As they did, the die appeared to roll. A random number appeared, and then the door opened, but it was not where they had left last time.

Eventually they defeated a few rooms with some crazy monk guys from the astral plane and moved on, spending their dice as they moved from room to room, sometimes back tracking. Eventually they managed to make it to a room where they met someone really powerful. A Vampire. They asked him some questions and learned a few things, but not much. Then Nixero decided to launch an attack.

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Chapter 8: Mt. Nex [3]
Episode III

West Wing

Mind Flayers

After defeating the Dracolich, the party decided to take a short rest and heal up. It isn’t every day that you face an undead dragon. The rest of the group still wanted to rest awhile, but Nixero, Shemuel, Sarin, and Faust decided it was time to move along. The four of them packed their things and headed into the next room. As the group entered, they each felt something tugging on their mind. Sarin and Shemuel both fell unconscious on to the floor immediately, but Nixero and Faust were able to shake off the effects of whatever just happened.

Shemuel woke and found himself back home. He was at his farm, and his wife was standing in the doorway beckoning him. He thought this was a dream of some kind, but the longer he stayed and the more he felt happiness from seeing his wife again…the more it felt real. Eventually, he was consumed by the dream, and it became his new reality. For almost an entire year he lived here in this world. He did nothing but be with his wife for an entire year, what more could a man ask for? Then, one day, he found himself outside his home watching it burn. His heart sank and he felt ultimate dread. He remembered now. This happened before somewhere, and he knew that he would find a corpse in the fire.

Faust and Nixero were now engaged in one of the most fearsome battles they had yet faced. They were battling a Mind Flayer. Both Nixero and Faust had taken quite a bit of damage at this point, but so had the mind flayer. Suddenly, the flayer cast a spell on Faust, causing him to become paralyzed. Faust could do nothing but watch as his comrade battled this thing head on. It wasn’t looking good for Nixero. The blood dripping from his head was getting into his eyes and he had a hard time making out where the flayer was even standing. At one point, Nixero attacked way off point, and the flayer grabbed Nixero’s sword and swallowed it whole. Feeling unprotected and desperate, Nixero drew Graveyard from the Scabbard.

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Shemuel had ventured into his house and retrieved the corpse of his wife as he had done once before. His heart broke and he was left with nothing…again. Suddenly he felt that something was wrong. He couldn’t place it, but something was off, it wasn’t how it should have been remembered. Then suddenly, the corpse began to move. He dropped it on to the ground and his wife suddenly had life flowing through her veins once again. Shemuel’s heart was taking so much stress from the constant ups and downs. She stood and drew two daggers from her cloak. Confused, Shemuel put his shield up and blocked her attacks. He made no offense maneuver against her save for shoving her with his shield. Out of the blue, her arms became tentacles, and Shemuel knew for certain that this had to be a dream or a spell of some kind. He ran towards the thing, mace out and ready to kill.

Shemuel woke in the corner of the room. He sat up and saw Nixero putting away Graveyard with a mind flayer standing in front of him. Suddenly the mind flayer’s body broke off into four pieces as if some thing had slashed an X into his body. His body fell to the ground, and then Nixero dropped to his knees, exhausted from the use of Graveyard. Faust fell tot he ground with cramps in his legs from being paralyzed for so long. They looked over at each other and then to Sarin, who was laying on the ground slowly being covered in Ice. Without hesitating, Shemuel ran over to Sarin and used the flayer’s lingering influence to allow himself into her unconscious mind. Nixero and Faust followed shortly after.

After entering the dream, they found Sarin inside of the Red Manor. Everything was engulfed in fire. There were multiple instances of Sarin inside the manor however, and it was difficult to tell which one would be the real one, or at least the one in charge. Suddenly the group saw Ignis walk into the room as an ice wizard. He starting to cast ice spells on the manor, slowly engulfing it into a wintery grave. Faust gave a speech to Sarin, explaining to her that Ignis was her enemy and she was more than he could have ever been. It seemed to have worked somewhat, as 3 instances of Sarin disappeared, but that was not enough. \

Nixero gathered his courage, for he knew now it was his time. He grabbed the nearest Sarin and he held her in his arms. He spoke to her in a voice true and sure. He told her of all the happiness she gave him, even if they were just traveling along the road together. He told her of all the times she had made him laugh. It was just a job and a mission when he first started out on this journey, but now it was more than that. He wanted to spend more time with her, go on more adventures. He confessed his love for her, and in that instant, everyone woke up. They were back in the dungeon once again. Nixero had saved Sarin with love, and they instantaneously started kissing each other with passion that none could comprehend.

Tentacle Monsters

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After traveling through a trapped hall of psychic force, the group made it to a room with a pool of water in the center. Standing at the floor of the pool, were two large tentacle monsters, ready to be fed. The group moved in for their attack. Nixero felt the lingering effects of wielding Graveyard, and used an energy surge to cast an ice spell at one of the ropers. It created an ice blast so strong, that it encased it with ice and shattered the block along with the roper into a hundred pieces. Everyone including Nixero had surprise written on their faces.

They battled the second roper for what seemed like ages. It used its tentacles to snatch them off their feet and dangle them in the air. Suddenly Faust got fed up with the whole thing and decided to use telekinesis. He shoved it to the wall, splattering it everywhere. With the enemies dead, they decided to look around the room. In the corner of the room, they found a slit in the wall, just big enough for Graveyard to fit into. Around the slit were 12 white stones glowing in a circle. Above the circle was written “Courage is all it takes for man to overcome certain destruction”

Nixero thought it would be a god idea to find out anymore information he could about the sword, so he decided to insert the sword and turn it like a key. As he did, a small opening appeared on the wall next to him revealing a small leather pouch. At the same time, Nixero’s conscious mind went somewhere different. He found himself in a forest walking along a path with a small child. The child seemed very wise however, and told Nixero that he may ask 3 questions. Once Nixero had asked his questions, he was suddenly tackled to the ground by Shemuel (whom saw Nixero was no longer himself).

Nixero gathered himself and told the party about the information he had received. The party then decided it was Nixero’s time to give up the sword. They all agreed that he seemed a little too friendly with the sword, and that probably wasn’t goof for any one. It took some convincing on everyone’s part to get Nixero to hand over the sword to Shemuel, who had made some poor decisions in the past, but he allowed it. He gave Shemuel some words of advice as he handed it over, and proved to everyone that he had not succumbed to the will of the sword. Then, Shemuel was knocked unconscious and taken to the field where he would speak to Bloodthirst/Graveyard

The sword and Shemuel spoke, but they were not friendly words. The sword told Shemuel that it would destroy him if he ever tried to destroy the sword before every last bit of Vecna’s power and influence was erased from the material plane. Shemuel told the sword point blank that he planned on destroying the sword form the beginning, and his thought process had not changed. The sword then sent Shemuel back to consciousness, and immediately resumed its attempts to take the wielder over. Shemuel shrugged the attempts off with the help of the Scabbard. The group then divided the treasure among them and decided it was time to get moving.

T-t-tim the P-pegasus

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Before entering the next room, the rest of the party finally caught back up with them. The four of them caught them up on what they missed (including a lot of XP). They then proceeded to enter the next room. After entering, they were surprised to see a Pegasus standing on the other end of the room. He greeted the characters as they crossed a bridge spanning over a chasm in the floor. He told them that they needed to be rewarded for making this far in the dungeon. Hesitant of taking handouts from anything in Mt. Nex, the party proceeded with as much caution as a party of this caliber could muster.

They approached the Pegasus and tried to speak with it. Apparently the Pegasus had a name, and a stutter. He called himself T-t-tim. He told them about the wonders that he could reward them with, seeing as he was a pegasus and all. As the party approached the pegasus exclaimed “fools!” and ran towards them to attack.

They battled Tim, but it was not a very long battle. A Pegasus does not have a very good build for combat. However, as Tim started to fall to the ground when he was defeated, something terrible happened that the party could not have foreseen. Tim morphed into a Beholder! A beholder can wipe a party of unprepared adventurers, or more if they aren’t strong enough. Luckily the party was strong, but they would be in for a fight for sure this time.

They began the battle, but right from the beginning it looked grim for our heroes. They attacked the beast and maneuvered around its anti-magic field and attacked with precision and tactics. Most of the magic users were rendered completely useless due to the cone, but they helped in every way they could. Just at a critical moment, Faust decided he wanted nothing more to do with this being and left the room. The rest of the party stood their ground and kept slamming it with all they had. The beholder was using its eye ray abilities and targeted most of his attacks against Shemuel, the bearer of Graveyard.

They party fought long and hard, taking just as much damage as they were dealing. The creature was tough and the party was not going to give up, not here and definitely not now. They had sacrificed so much to be here in Mt. Nex, to end the mystery behind the bluesword, and to avenge members of their friends and family. The dug deep and found the courage within them to keep fighting the losing battle which they started. Suddenly something very unexpected happened. The beholder gurgled and fell onto the ground. All of its eyes rolled back into its stalks and head. The flesh on the creature sagged, and it was no more. In its place was a white gem, the same size as a socket on the portal the group first inspected before going into one of the wings.

What Next?

The group has finished with the west wing of floor 2, but what else could be lurking behind the corner? Can there be anything worse than a mind flayer, beholder, and a dracolich all in the same corridor? Find out next time!

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Chapter 8: Mt. Nex [2]
Episode II

Floor 1

Useless Statues

After finishing the climb of Mt. Nex, the PCs decided to take a short rest at the entrance way. While they were resting, Shemuel, Nixero, and Sagemon were discussing the sword and what it could be capable of. They still had no set conclusion on what they would do to the sword once they reached the bottom of the dungeon, but they did agree that no one would attune to it until they figured out more about it. Shemuel still seemed to have some distrust in Nixero, and Sagemon didn’t trust the sword in either case, but they carried on.

The group picked their things up and moved into the first room of the dungeon. In this room, there were 8 statues, and an iron door leading to the next room. The air felt charged with arcane energy here, most likely caused by the statues, but the group decided to touch them anyway. They touched the first two, both of them resembling the hand of Vecna carved out of stone. The hands instantly grabbed on tot he arms of our adventurers. Arawn struggled to get his free, seeing as he has swords and a bow, but Sagemon seemed to be chipping away at the base of the statue grabbing him with his warhammer.

Eventually, with the help of their friends, they were able to escape the grasp of the hands. Arawn decided to mend the statues to make it seem as if no one had tampered with them. They then immediately decided to touch one of the eye statues. It came to life just as the previous one did, and started to attack the party. They then proceeded to kill this one as well, and finally decided that the statues had no real significance to them by bringing them to life, so they opened the door heading to the next room.

Chimeras of Doom

The party walked in the next room and saw two, not one but two, huge chimeras. These chimeras weren’t ordinary chimeras. They were fused with the undead head of a dracolich, a displacer beast, and hellhound. They group walked in, completely destroyed them, and walked out the door leading to the next room.

Rolling Rock

After going through a puzzle room that wasn’t very hard, but was somehow impossible to figure out, the PCs ended up in a long hallway that spiraled down further and further into the mountain. The corners were rounded at each corner, and the ceiling was arched…how strange. They started walking down the passageway, when suddenly someone stepped on a pressure plate and caused a mechanism to open the ceiling behind them and drop a massive boulder the size of the hall way.

The group immediately started running and was immediately cut in half by the bolder out maneuvering three party members. Shemuel and Sarin were both run over by the bolder, while Sagemon was somehow able to avoid getting crushed, but he was still cut off from the rest of the group. Nixero, Nulaf, Marduk, Faust, and Arawn were all able to out run the bolder, however they decided they would try and destroy the bolder before it made it to the end of the passage and blocked the exit.

Though they tried almost everything in their power (including shooting themselves with their own crossbow bolts) but they could not stop the rolling mass of rock. They used magic, force, and throwing items under it to slow it down. In the end they gave up and just let it roll with them until they got to the exit, where they would deal with getting people through the rubble. They ended up just using their shields to dig their way through.

Floor 2

The Portal Room

The exit lead them down a spiral stairway and into a strange room. Inside the room was a deactivated portal of some kind. They did not try to determine where the portal would take them if it was activated, but they decided that they would need to activate it in order to proceed. Around the portal was a small wall of sorts. In the four “Corners” of the circular wall, there were insets that looked as though something were to be inserted. Around those four holes was something written, each hole different. The PCs took note of this and decided to come back later.

Westward

There were four sets of double doors leading out of the room. The group decided to go westward first, just to see what they were up against. As they walked in, they noticed a pile of bones laying in the corner; the bones were giving off some kind of fear aura. When the group finally made it all inside the room, the bones started to rattle and shake, taking on the form of a dragon in undead form. It was a dracolich.

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They were up against a very powerful enemy, but luckily for them, time was on their side for once. It appeared that since so much time had gone by, the bones on this dracolich were brittle and the magic it once had was now dampened by time. They made their stand, not a single one falling under the fear of the dragon. It was hard battle, but as with any battle, the PCs won. They defeated the monster and recovered a key leading to the next room further westward.

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Chapter 8: Mt. Nex [1]
Episode I

Beginning of the End

The Scabbard

The PCs returned from their journey to the Tanglewood forest and were ready to move on to more important matters. They had a very short time to wait in Silverspire, but any time used for waiting was time wasted. The group decided they would try to use this time to find out more information on the Sword they had been carrying the entire trip across the continent. So the group slept on it, hoping tomorrow would bring them closer to understanding the true nature of their quest.

During the night, the two holy men of the group were sent visions from their gods, or at least they think. Both of them had dreams about Graveyard. It puzzled them, so they decided to tell the group to see what they could make of it. The group had some ideas, but nothing they were willing to accept as concrete enough to change their mind about their mission. They decided to get a third party perspective on their dream, so they headed over to thew cleric of the town named Harkin.

Harkin was in the middle of a sermon, and the PCs were polite enough to stand aside and wait for him to finish. After his group had disbanded, the PCs approached him, hoping he would have some wisdom to shine on the dreams or the sword in general. Sagemon and Shemuel explained the dreams to him in very fine detail, but the cleric was only able to tell them theories he himself was creating at the time. There was no new information gained from their dreams except puzzling aggravation.

The party then asked Harken if he would be able to tell them anything about the sword in general. He told them that he would have to either hold the sword or touch it in order to feel what the sword feels. The group was more than willing to let him touch the sword, after frightening him with all the stories of what happened to people who touched it in the past of course. He gathered his courage up and used his divine sense on the sword. He found something that the others could not. He told them that the sword felt confused, as if it were in a state of chaos. He could tell them nothing else that they didn’t already know, so the group moved on.

On their way out of the temple, they were hailed by Tasith. She greeted them and introduced them to her friend. Everyone in the group was taken back by the beauty of her friend, Jin Glowstaff, wizard of radiance. She explained to them about her mission in Ft, Brehenine dealing with the study of radiance on the skin of undead. Marduk somehow managed to make her smile, so she handed him a note so he could find her if he ever went to Ft. Brehenine. The wizards then went on their way and the PCs went on theirs.

Before going any further, Faust decided he needed to give a speech. He floated up about 15 feet into the air and hovered over to the middle of the town so that all 25 people that were attracted tot he attention could hear him. He made a fascinating speech about how the gods were doing nothing for anyone else, but all the gods had agendas and everything they did was to accomplish another goal of theirs. If they were so merciful and kind, then they would give powers and healing for free and not force people to do things for them. Long story short, Faust made it known that he did not trust the gods and no one else should either.

After that speech, the group decided to call it a day and rest up for the journey to come. Sarin decided to go and help Ignis the Red finish the Scabbard so the group could get out of the city as fast as possible. The next day, the group woke to find Nixero in his room caressing the sword and calling it his baby honeyboo. They managed to shake him out of it, but they were still just a little freaked out about that imagery. The group donned their armor and headed out to see Ignis. To their surprise he was already standing outside the castle waiting for them. In his hands, he was holding the scabbard in all its glory, and a small chest.

Before handing over the scabbard, Ignis decided to warn them of a couple of side effects the scabbard might have on them. As he was running through them, Nixero heard something about the scabbard attracting all magic missile spells, so he instantly cast the ice missile spell he had learned. All three missiles flew and hit Ignis in the face. Ignis’ hair ignited with flame and he hate he had for Nixero grew ten fold. The very soul of Ignis wished for the complete and utter destruction of this creature that stood before him, but he held his tongue and his hand, for he was one of the carriers of the sword. He dropped the scabbard on the ground, and told them they might need some potions of mundane magic in order to help the scabbard operate correctly. He sold them some bottles and tossed them on the ground at their feet. Nixero grabbed them and crept away into the background with Sarin.

The group then decided on how they were going to go up the mountain and who was going to hold the sword. Someone suggested they pass the sword around and take turns. Ignis added in “Yeah sure, might as well pass Sarin around too while you’re at it.” Sarin immediately tried casting many fireball spells at him, however he used counter spell every time. The group decided the time was now if they were going to leave, so they asked Ignis to make the portal. He waved his arm in the air an made a rift in the air, leading to the base of Mt. Nex. The group entered the portal and started on the end of their mission.

The Sword

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After reaching the base of the mountain, Nixero decided to inspect the scabbard before making the climb to the peak. Through study and help from his arcane friends, he realized that the scabbard is acting as a filter rather than something to contain Graveyard, and through this filter, he might be able to speak with the entity that is Graveyard. The group was very skeptical about the idea, but what’s the worst that could happen? Nixero summoned his courage and sat on the ground cross legged, resting the sword on his lap. He went into a trance, leaving his body far behind in the material plane.

He found himself in a very strange place. He believed he was indeed inside the sword…but who could really tell? He found himself standing in a small grassy patch. All around him were bodies piled on bodies of human soldiers. The sky was dark and red, although the position of the sun would suggest it would be noon. In front of him was a very large bat like creature. Nixero introduced and asked the creature if he was the keeper of the sword or if he was Graveyard himself. The creature was very confused, and could not even tell Nixero his name.

Nixero continued to gather information from the sword the best he could, but with the sword in its current form, there was almost nothing he could discern from the insane blabbering other than the sword did not know what its purpose was. The bat continued to repeat “I cannot die, my mission is not complete” and “I was created to destroy…something”. Later in the conversation, Nixero managed to learn that the sword needs souls in order to restore itself to full power once more. By counting the bodies, he determined that he had already consumed 4,984 souls. On that note, Nixero left the trance and told his party all that he had learned.

The party was split on whether or not they should actually give this necrotic sword any souls, but in the end, Marduk gave him a couple of wolf souls. Nixero went into trance with the sword again to see if anything had changed or to see if the sword remembered anything. When he got there, he noticed immediately that the appearance of the bat had changed. At the end of his wings he was beginning to form hands of a human. He spoke to Graveyard and asked him what he knew now. Graveyard told him that he was created to destroy one thing – Vecna. Once it had completed its mission, it claimed that it would not care about continuing on. Nixero promised the sword that he would help the sword achieve its goal, even if the party would not.

Nixero came out of the trance and explained to everyone about what he had discussed with Graveyard. They agreed to start their climb and see if getting closer to the Dungeon would jog the memory of the sword anymore. They gathered their gear and strapped themselves in, forming a chain of climbers. It would be at least a four day journey up the mountain.

The Climb

The climb was a long and tedious one. The rocks and ledges were sharp, the wind was cold and unforgiving, and the mountain itself seemed out to get them by raining rocks on their heads often. They fought a few beasts on the way up; Manticores, skeletons, and gargoyles were encountered. No creature was as deadly as the climb itself it seemed. Marduk took the most damage, breaking his nose over 15 times during the climb, and by the end of it he had to be carried by Nulaf. It was not fun, but they did manage to get to the top.

During the climb up, Nixero realized that the sword was not trying to control him. He thought this was very strange, seeing as it was always trying to control people before. He took note of that and would address it later.

The Gates

Once they reached the top, they sighed with relief, but they were also chilled to the bone by the sight of a double iron door set into the mountain. On them were two scenes; One scene depicted thousands of souls being absorbed into a humanoid shape with a gaping mouth, while the other was an army of undead standing before a humanoid figure with his arms raised as if he were commanding them. The group tried to open the door but it seemed stuck. An arcana check revealed that there was a security spell on the door. After fumbling around a bit, someone said all hail vecna, and they heard the most disturbing thing they could imagine. A booming voice came to their minds, followed by thousands of screaming souls in agony as the doors slowly opened. (Make sure sound is up, then press play to hear the entrance to Mt. Nex)

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Chapter 7: Playing with Death [4]
Episode IV

Ring of the Wild

Parties, Mysterious Wizards, and Tummy Rubs

After defeating each other in the grasslands over handling graveyard, the PC’s were ready to continue their wait for Ignis the Red to make their scabbard. Who knows aht kind of crazy things they could get into while they wait.

They stayed in Silverspire for less than half a day, and already they were improving things (for a change). Arawn learned a new spell that he decided to test out on the farming fields. After spending over eight hours in the dirt, he managed to nearly triple the next harvest. While this was happening, Nixero was planning and deciding how many troops he would be able to send from the north. 25 seemed like a reasonable number, and besides, that’s how many he sent in the past to Silverspire. They were happy to see Silversprie rebuilding and growing once more.

Later that day, the group was approached by a mysterious woman dressed in green. She introduced herself as Tasith, wizard of all things acid. (Tasith Acidstaff) She asked them to go on a mission to kill her previous apprentice. He had disobeyed the laws of the order of the hand, and by doing so, he had condemned himself to death. The party decided to think it over, and plan a party for the evening.

The party went really smoothly, no one got hurt or summoned any demons or portals, and no one was trying to murder people with Graveyard. It was as if Graveyard was giving the group time off for a change to enjoy themselves for just one night. Marduk did end up trying to hit on Tasith, but as usual, his methods were just too complicated for a normal person to appreciate. Because of Arawn’s spell, the grass in the area was really thick and very comfortable, so they decided to sleep on the grass in the protection of their home.

The next morning, everyone woke up on the grass except for Arawn, and decided to seek out the wizard immediately to tell her their answers. Arawn woke up beside his Queen, Quinitali, in his king size bed. He smiled at Quinitali and rubbed her tummy and told she had a larger than usual tummy and that he liked it. She immediately became angry with hi for telling her this. He then went on saying that her stomach was a bit firmer or slightly more rounded and that it was a good thing. Again, Quinitali disapproved of this. He was trying to figure out a way to let her know she was pregnant, but couldn’t come up with the words to tell her that she was pregnant. He kept going on this spiral of doom until eventually he just blurted out “you’re pregnant and I think it’s awesome!” She was taken back by what he said and they had a discussion on how he would know this and not her. Turns out Ignis the Red had informed Arawn that he had been sensing another body within Quinitali beginning to grow.

Later that morning, Arawn met with the rest of the group to talk to Tasith about killing her past apprentice. She told them that the reward for killing him would be the ring that he stole from her and any treasure that he has hoarded away in his keep. They made sure that he was a bad bad man in needing of a good killing, and through a series of questions, they determined just that. They agreed to take on the mission. Tasith opened a portal for them leading to the Tanglewood Forest, somewhere in the eastern portion. They stepped through one by one, wondering if this portal would send them through time like all the ohter ones have done before.

Xandor Glasstaff

After stepping through the portal, it would seem they did not travel through time as they had expected they would. Instead they were exactly where they were meant to be. After looking around for a few minutes, they moved westward, pinging detect magic to find the location of Xandor. Luckily, he wasn’t trying to mask his location. Eventually they came across a tower that appeared to be made for an observatory.

They walked up and checked the area for traps before proceeding through the door by the stealthy hands of Arawn. The first room seemed like a normal house. There were two stairways; one leading to the basement and the other leading upstairs. Sitting in the corner there was a piano, and through a doorway there was a kitchen. Arawn took a look at the piano. He noticed there were 5 keys that looked to be played slightly more than all the others. Since this was a wizard’s house, there was bound to be a secret button or lever, so he played all 5 keys at once to see what would happen. After doping so, the stairs behind them that lead to the basement shifted. They now lead to the east instead of the west. Arawn was very proud of himself.

They traveled downstairs to see what he would have kept so hidden. (probably a sex dungeon full of dildos thought Faust) After reaching the bottom of the stairs, they found a hall leading up to a wooden door with teeth and claw marks all over it. Upon further inspection of the door, it would appear that the marks were made by a human of some sort. Shemuel heeded no caution and instead kicked open the door leading to the next room. Inside they found 8 massive Dire Wolves. Shemuel soon regretted bursting in the door.

At first the group tried to talk to the wolves, because they are intelligent creatures with the ability to speak. The group could not persuade the wolves to allow them to pass to murder Xandor, so instead they had to kill the wolves. Battle began with a massive ice explosion from Nixero, knocking most down to about half health. That didn’t mater much, the wolves still dealt a great amount of damage. The battle went on for about five rounds before they finally killed the last wolf.

After defeating the wolves, the group moved on to the next room (but not before setting off a shock trap). The next room seemed pretty useless. It was a broken laboratory that hadn’t been used in almost six months. Nothing if use here, so the group continued to the next room, which just so happened to be a storage room. In which they also found nothing.

Continuing to the next room, they saw a strange sight. They saw a man wearing just trousers crawling around with two dire wolves. He stood up and faced them with a hunger in his eyes that looked like his primal urges had taken over. Arawn immediately shot an arrow into his shoulder and started combat. He fought very strangely for training as a wizard. He fought with his fists and hurled people across the room using his power from the ring.

The battle went fairly quickly after Arawn summoned eight wolves to join in on the fight. the eight wolves destroyed Glasstaff in less than one round. After his death, he had his wolves scare off the two dire wolves that were there with Xandor. He then dispersed his wolves and Nulaf took the Ring of the Wild.

After the death of Xandor, they looted his little keep and found what treasures he had. A few pieces of runestones and some silver. They then went back out of the keep and through the portal that remained open for them. Again they did not get sent through time, but instead were safely taken to Silverspire, where Tasith was waiting on them. They showed her the ring and she smiled and thanked them. All that was truly left for the group to do now was wait until Ignis had completed his scabbard.

What Next?

Now the PCs have one more magic item to help them on their journey to Mt. Nex, but will they make it through the dungeon before they murder themselves? Find out soon…

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Chapter 7: PLaying with Death [3]
Episode III

Random Adventures

Going Shopping

It was another peaceful day in Gaia. A dragon was destroying a city, the Silver Syndicate were barely pieced together by a single cause, and there was a time overlap causing two versions of Graveyard to exist at the same time. Our adventurers were last seen talking to Ignis the Red and seeing about maybe getting a teleport to the Citadel of Clouds. Ignis seemed like he would do it for them, however they would need to cough up some magical power for him to absorb. They gave him some fire elemetnals so he could use their power instead of tapping into the elemental plane of fire.

After accepting the payment, he created a small portal that would send them directly into the Citadel of Clouds. Everyone stepped through except Shemuel and Sarin who stayed behind to look after Graveyard. Once they stepped through, they found themselves on the 4 layer of the city. They went to the nearest general goods shop they could find, and went inside.

Inside the shop, they found one of the least helpful and grotesque shop keepers they had ever come across. He was a middle aged man with a very large beer belly. He had a t-shirt stained with alcohol that didn’t quite fit him all the way, revealing the stubby bottom of his stomach. He offered the party doughnuts every time hey tried to buy something, and constantly changed the prices, both up and down. Eventually, the party just bough the potions he had for sale and left. Marduk did actually buy a doughnut and later found out it was a grog doughnut.

The group went to the next shop, where they could actually find some useful items to shop for. Inside, they found man who called himself Rockwill Blackstaff. Once Nixero started buying climber’s gear, he started asking questions. He made Nixero feel very uneasy, along with the rest of the group. They hurriedly bough the rest of their things, including potions, and made they way out of the store as fast as possible. They agreed that he may have something to do with an order of magi possibly, and that maybe Ignis the Red was a part of the group. Meanwhile, Marduk was at the magic shop buying himself an upgraded staff.

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When the group traveled outside the shop, they saw Shemuel outside waiting for them. He greeted them with the biggest smile he could, but it was not enough to stop the sudden anger that coursed through everyone standing there at the time. Nixero shouted at him for leaving Sarin there all alone with Graveyard, followed by Ignis telling him it was a very bad idea to leave her alone with powerful objects. The group decided it was suddenly time to return to Sarin and see if she was alright.

Sarin…Oh NO!

After rushing back to where they had left Shemuel in charge of watching over Graveyard, they proved one of their greatest fears true. Sarin was wielding the sword, and had no control of her own actions. The group very quickly mustered up the courage it took to kill one of their own for the sake of humanity, but Nixero was willing to risk his own life to talk Sarin down. He stepped up to her and began to rant on about being a hero and what it truly meant. He reminded her of all the great times they had together. Eventually, he was able to break through to her and get her to put down the sword.

When she dropped the sword and fell unconscious, the sword did not stop. It continued to pulsate with power, and the one nearest it was compelled to pick it up. Shemuel tried to resist the urge, but it overcame him. He wielded the sword, but the rest of the group helped him out by attacking his sword hand sot hat he would drop the blade. Eventually he did, and fell unconscious as well. This horrific chain continued until the sword had dropped almost the entire party, and then the sword ceased being active.

The party was hit hard with the fact that the sword was no laughing matter and needed to be taken care of at once. The party helped each other up and brushed off the effects of the necromancy pulsing through their veins. They made their next goal the base of Mt. Nex. Everything but Graveyard would have to wait until after the world wasn’t under immediate threat.

What Next?

After a shocking display of power, Graveyard has become more and more aggressive. The party’s next side track may end the world. Who knows? Maybe the Syndicate was always meant to bring about the destruction of the people?

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Chapter 7: Playing with Death [2]
Episode II

Paradoxes

Time Travel, Fate, and Morals

We left our hot blooded adventurers in Blackfang cave. Having just defeated Blackfang and Rocloe, the party was divided as to what the Syndicate should stand for and what rules the group should abide by while together. Most of the group found killing Rocloe for the greater good was the correct course of action, however, the divine members (also Faust) felt there should have been a better path to take. This is where the Syndicates stands as of now, arguing about the future of the Syndicate with a pile of dragon treasure resting in the corner.

Eventually, the group made a list of rules that everyone had to follow, or at least while they traveled together. With these new rules, the group felt they could get along better, and get the sword destroyed (which Shemuel now carried because of the incident with Faust.) With morality out of the way for now, the group wandered over to the pile of treasure and sifted through it. In it, they found lot’s of gold and items worth gold. In addition to that, they found a couple of mundane magical items, and a couple of interesting ones. They found a Thasador weapon called Crusher, and the stop watch of Ouroboros.

Upon further inspection of the stop watch, the group discovered that the clock had the ability to change time. It originally had 10 years on it, and had 5 left. This made them realize that whoever had possession of this watch was the one who sent them hurtling through the future 5 years. Now that the Syndicate had time travel capability, an entire new can of worms was opened up. The debated over and over again about how they thought time travel would work, and what events needed to remain unchanged. Faust didn’t really care what happened, he just wanted to nail his past self in the ass, for whatever reason.

If the party did anything in the past to cause their past selves to not travel to Blackfang cave, then everything would be erased back to the point the group made the alternate decision. Also, if they did anything to Rocloe that made her not send the party forward in time, the same result would occur. It was a big risk for the group to take, but they needed those 5 years back, and hopefully they could change Rocloe’s mind about setting the plague loose on the town of Silverspire.

Finally, the group made a decision. Before they could do anything however, they had to battle a flaming demon that appeared out of a portal that suddenly spawned in the middle of the cave. It didn’t take much time to defeat her, but she was still potent enough to knock Shemuel unconscious (who was carrying the sword at the time)

Backwards

The group walked outside the cave and held up their clock. With a few spoken arcane words, the clock activated. They time warped to a magical surge back in time 5 years ago. It was exactly one month before their past selves would go in the portal Death created and travel 5 years into the future. However, at the current moment, the when was irrelevant. Blackfang was destroying the city of Tinsler, which was exactly where they were. They ran as fast as they could out of the town. Shemuel wanted to stay behind and help the people screaming in pain, but he could not. If they interfered with the whole situation, so many things could change in the future.

They left what would soon be renamed as Tinsler ruins. After they left, all of them remembered seeing something very strange. It was a man with a dark red cowboy hat covering his face, dressed with a large black cloak over what appeared to be a dressy looking vest. He was 60ft away from them from what they can remember, and he was casually walking through the ruins with the dragon attacking overhead. They only remember seeing a glimpse of him as they turn to run out of the city.

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regardless of what they did or did not see, they now had to figure out how to find Rocloe. They pulled out heir maps and began calculating how long each path would take. Meanwhile, Sarin used her fire crystal to teleport to Ignis. The group could not find any simple solutions. They had no way of telling where Rocloe would be or where she would go. Meanwhile, Shemuel was sweating trying to resist the anger emanating from the sword. Suddenly Ignis and Sarin appeared out of a fiery portal.

Ignis greeted them and asked what the group needed help with. Nixero explained that they were from the future and they needed to find a way to talk to Rocloe. Ignis shook his head. Ignis said he would be able to help, but he would need all the elemental golem stones in order to perform the magic needed to make a few more portals. Nixero and Shemuel gladly handed it over to him. He grew bright red and opened yet another portal. He stepped through and out he threw teen Rocloe. She was scared and small and defenseless. As she passed through the portal, Shemuel felt the surge trigger the sword. He could not hold back its power.

Shemuel stood and drew the sword. Everyone immediately grabbed Rocloe and took her away to protect her, while Nulaf tried to talk to Shemuel and calm him down. Shemuel almost swung at the barbarians neck, but luckily, he was able to overcome its power at the last second. He threw the sword on the ground and put his head in hands. Meanwhile, the rest of the group talked to Rocloe.

They explained to her that she could seek revenge, but she should not include anyone else in her battle with the Syndicate (hinting at her to not make the spell plague) She told them she understood, and Ignis threw her back through the portal. Ignis told everyone good luck on their adventure, and that Sarin was now a single woman. He also told Arawn that his wife is pregnant. He then stepped through the portal, returning to Silverspire. What good this would do, they would find out in a month’s time, but for now, they needed to act as though it had worked.

What Next?

Now there were two sets of the group walking around. Yes this means 4 Marduk souls. At this point, the party has decided to work their way up Mt. Nex at least, or scout the area, but they definitely were not going to destroy the sword until their future selves were sent into the future. How long could they wait though? The sword was now very active, and apparently demons were very interested in it.

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Chapter 7: Playing with Death [1]
Episode I

Blackfang Mountain

Finishing up in the Citadel

Before the group set out to complete Death’s task, they wanted to make sure everything was done in the Citadel. Faust pulled out his list of things to do. To his surprise he had crossed everything off of his list except for retrieving the shard of Vaelentor’s Soul. He got a little excited at the very thought of having the soul shard of his older brother, whom he despised and hated since they left him as a child. So he decided that was going to happen today, he was going to retrieve the soul shard from Vaelentor’s old partner, and keep it for himself (or maybe give it to Zargon).

The group traveled to layer four, where Vaelentor told them they needed to look for a house with a red top. They eventually found it with little effort, even though all the houses had red tops on them. They knocked on the door and explained the situation to the old man. They were going to take the soul shard that was keeping him alive, and they would resurrect him from the dead. He immediately shut the door on them. They knocked once again, and he opened the door. Before anyone could say anything else, Nixero stabbed him in the throat, ending his life right there.

As soon as his body hit the floor, Arawn jumped at the opportunity to try his skills at surgery, even though there was a surgeon standing right beside him named Shemuel. Arawn performed a vicious surgery with two small swords, eventually finding his way to the shard. Once it was visible, Shemuel reached in and grabbed from its resting place. The man was still dead, but this was just a small problem. Nixero called out to the skies, and within three seconds, a bolt of lightning came from one of the clouds from above, striking the ground by Nixero. Sagemon was there, and seeing the dead body, he immediately used Kord’s power and revived him.

The group left him and his family a few gifts for their trouble, and went on their way. Faust was very intrigued by this piece of soul, and wondered if maybe Zargon would also be interested. Faust summoned Zeek and had a short conversation with him. He out him on speaker so everyone could hear what was said. Zeek said he would ask Zargon if he was interested in it and what he would give Faust for it. Faust was satisfied, so they left the Citadel of Clouds, in search of a portal opened by death.

The Entrance

Arawn lead the group to the lake that Death showed him in his dream. It seemed like a normal lake, except somewhere underneath the surface, something was radiating with arcane energy. Arawn decided to jump in and have a look. He swam to the bottom of the lake and saw a double set of golden doors. He pushed them open, revealing a swirling energy pool appearing as water. He swam through to the other side, everyone else following him through, one after another.

On the other side, they were greeted by a very long hallway made from marble and brimstone. It had to be some sort of dimension travel, or portal Death set up. Could he not just teleport them there? They didn’t understand what exactly was going on, but they didn’t like it. It took them 5min to reach the other side of this long hallway, walking carefully in case there were any traps. Of course there weren’t any traps, and they reached another set of golden double doors. Arawn had everyone else go in front of him, and he pulled up the rear. Once through, they appeared to have traveled to Tinsler Ruins.

They immediately felt like something was wrong here. The ones that had once gone to the Red Wizard Manor felt the exact same sensation now as they did then. Time has moved for everyone else in the material plane…but was it forward? Backward? How long? Arawn immediately grabbed his Death stone and went to see Death. Death told him about a deal that was made with him for two very unique souls. With these souls, he was to give a certain person power and slow the Syndicate for five years. Arawn’s heart sank. What could a spell plague do in five years? What had become of his precious Silverspire and wife? He returned and informed the rest of the group about their misfortune. Regardless, it seemed they still had a duty to perform. They needed to kill Blackfang to save Arawn.

Behind them was the entire city of Tinsler in complete ruins. In front was the cave called Blackfang Cave, where the beast was rumored to live on its massive pile of treasure and debris from the cities it has conquered. The group walked into the cave, seeing as there was nothing of use to them in a destroyed city. Inside they found even more ruins of the city. Rotten timber, whole huts, more charred bodies, and rubble everywhere. Arawn and Shemuel spotted a curious man digging through the rubble towards the western portion of the entrance. They called out to him and he approached without any problems.

They asked him some questions and he explained to them about why he was here in the cave. He was here looking for a medallion that his father once had owned before the city was turned into ruins. The man thought maybe the medallion might have some sort of magical property, but if not, it would still be a great sentimental artifact. They allowed him to tag along, seeing no real danger or threat to the party.

Hordes of Un-nevermind

They entered the door at the end of the cavern and moved on tot he next room. Inside this room was a horrific sight. It was a massive pile of bones on the ground almost three feet deep. Faust waded into the center of the room and tried to tap into the arcane magic that was here. Immediately after trying, a horde of over 35 skeletons rose out of the pile and surrounded Faust. The group rand forward and started their hacking and slashing. They were picking of the skeletons one by one. Finally Sagemon stepped forward. He raised his staff and said “Be gone minions of Necromancy!” Then every skeleton in the room exploded at the same time.

Faust nodded in Sagemon’s direction, and they all moved to the next room. In this room it seemed as if there was a puzzle because of the writings on a pedestal. Marduk walked over to the pedestal, and solved the puzzle immediately. The doors opened, but then 30 more skeletons appeared and attacked the group. Very shortly, however, Sagemon cast another spell and eliminated them instantaneously. His kill count for the day was 40 and he had only been in two rooms. The group all gave Sagemon a high five, and moved on.

After winding down as long hallway full of twists and turns, they eventually came to a set of double doors. They opened it up immediately and charged in. This room was a fairly straight forward room. Kill the giant zombie thing that spews acid everywhere and move on. That’s exactly what they did, and with ease. They destroyed the zombie, and felt pretty good. They were on a roll, killing tons of undead things and solving puzzles.

This next room however, would stunt the characters in health. It was a puzzle room, which activated as soon as the barbarian stumbled through the doorway and touched the puzzle. The group took close to 20 real time minutes and 200 damage to complete this puzzle, but eventually they figured it out.

The Return of Rocloe

The door to the next room was now unlocked, so they ventured through. Inside they found a very lavish bedroom. King size bed lined with gold. A chest and dresser made out of elder tree. In the corner of the room stood someone they did not think they would ever see again. Rocloe. (see Rocloe and [[Chapter 3: Silver Syndicate Awakens 6 | Chapter 3: Silver Syndicate Awakens 6]] for more information). She told them to follow her into the next room so they could finish what they started in years past.

The group followed her into the next room which appeared to be a very large cavern. There, the group tried to talk to her (mostly Faust) and get her to understand that vengeance will gain her nothing but emptiness. She would hear none of it, and exclaimed “Blackfang, let’s go!” As she said this, the rogue that been following the party and doing nothing to help, suddenly transformed into a Shadow Dragon. Battle commenced, with everyone pulling their blows against Rocloe, who now transformed into a large red dragon.

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The battle raged on. The Shadow dragon, although a formidable opponent, was the first to fall. When he did, Death appeared and took his soul to his dimension to finish him off for good. This ended the curse resting on Arawn’s shoulders, finally giving him relief. Seeing how this might affect Rocloe’s resolve, Faust decided to try diplomacy once again. He gave a very convincing speech about Revenge and the duties of life and death and how she had become a great warrior. She fell to her knees and explained everything tot he group. She was the one who made the deal with Death to trap the Syndicate for 5 years to give her time to train and prepare for this fight. She was the one who started the Scale Plague in Silverspire, just to get back at them. She also explained that the only way to remove the curse of the plague was for her soul to be released.

Death of the Syndicate?

Faust shook his head, knowing what was going to happen next, but he wanted to pretend he didn’t. He told Rocloe that she was free to go and do as she pleased, but she would have the Syndicate’s full support in anything she needed or ever wanted. Arawn, Sarin, Nixero, Marduk, and Nulaf all wanted her dead to save Silverspire. Faust, Shemuel, and Sagemon all desired for her to be saved until they could find some sort of alternative to killing her. They argued for a minute, but things very quickly got violent. Before anything happened, Arawn and Shemuel grabbed the stone and traveled to see Death.

As they entered the realm, they saw Death dealing the final blow tot he spirit of blackfang. Shemuel and Arawn both asked if there was another way to stop the scale plague besides killing Rocloe. Of course he told them there was always a way, but everything has a cost. If they were to make another deal with Death, they would be able to save both Rocloe and Silverspire. Shemuel opened his mouth to take the deal, but Arawn quickly teleported them out of the realm and back to the material plane. Shemuel was very angry, but what could he do?

Nixero walked up and was about to behead her, when suddenly Nulaf jumped in the way of his sword…for no reason other than he wanted Arawn to do the finishing blow. However, this made the Paladin, Cleric, and Warlock all realize the rest of the party was now going to try and kill Rocloe. Seeing a moment of opportunity, Arawn fired an arrow at Rocloe, but Marduk, confused at the time, knocked it out of the air with his magic missile.

Marduk suddenly had a change of heart and desired for the safety of Silverspire. He cast a spell at Rocloe, to which Sagemon and Faust both jumped in the way of. Shemuel decided to go over and guard Arawn to be sure he wouldn’t hit her with an arrow. Nulaf decided to throw his weapons at Rocloe, but Faust unsheathed Graveyard, and knocked his weapons out of the air. Faust boomed his voice, tapping into Graveyard’s power. He boomed “She will live!” and a bright blue flame started in his eyes. Out from the end of the sword, a huge blue ball of eldritch energy formed. He released it at the party, most of them dodging the blow but still taking significant damage. In the process however…he annihilated Rocloe into powder. He then dropped the sword and fell unconscious…

Death appeared and took the soul of Rocloe. Rocloe’s end had finally come. Her vengeance was put to rest. Her soul and her mother’s soul would forever be in Death’s Domain…What does this mean for the Syndicate?

What Next?

With the destruction of Rocloe, and the use of Graveyard against the party, who knows what will become of the Syndicate and the bluesword of destruction. Will the use of the sword attract more demons to their location? Will the group ever trust Faust to hold the sword again? IS THERE EVEN A GROUP ANY MORE? Find out next time!

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Chapter 6: Citadel of Clouds [3]
Episode III

The Collapse?

Dealing with the Vampire

After establishing that the vampire known as Falena was a prisoner here in the city, the group needed to decide what they were going to do. If she were to give up on life one day and die, then the entire city would crumble to the ground, along with everyone in it. If she didn’t die, then she would be stuck here as a slave of power for all eternity. Neither option sounded right for our noble group of mercenaries.

They went to a couple of their contacts, asking for different advice. They sought out Death and Vaelentor as their first two options. Death basically told them to seek out Vaelentor and told them not to bother him with such pesky things. After that, they decided it would be a great idea to go and see Vaelentor. Vaelentor was a very welcoming individual, or at least he appeared that way. They asked him if there was a way to remove her energy and put it into some sort of crystal or artifact. He told them there could be a way, but it would also remove her power, or at least the part of her that has that specific power. They agreed and bought a soul remover and an extra soul.

The Mages

With a way to make the vampire whole again and to retrieve her power, they now had to convince the other side of the agreement to agree with the plan. They traveled to the gate that lead to Layer 5, where the gravity wizards were located. As they approached the gate, a knight walked up and greeted them. Well everyone except Marduk who walked up and touched the energy field surrounding the entrance into the layer. As he did he was shocked and he flew back nearly 50ft. The Party claimed that they were there to see the wizards with urgent business about a certain vampire and how the city might fall to the ground. The knight told the group to hold on, and proceeded to walk into the force field like david copperfield. After about 5min, he came back and agreed to escort the group into the lair of the wizards.

Once there, the group saw an interesting sight. There were three young wizards surrounding a ball of powerful energy on the ground. Two of them were using beams of magic against it while the third one was laying on his back waiting his turn to come round. The group starting speaking to this wizard seeing how the others were a little busy. They told him their plan and he basically told them to go fuck themselves with their plan of bullshit. After that, an alarm went off and he took the place of a different wizard.

This new wizard, named Chips, actually liked the plan they had created. He also explained that the orb they were using to channel the power was called a Great Ioun Stone of Absorption, and it was keeping all the wizards young and practically immortal. He told them that the other two wizards will die when they replace the Ioun stone with something else, because they were old as dirt, while he would only be 70. He agreed to help with the condition of the Ioun Stone being destroyed immediately after the switch was made or during the process.

The Plan

With the agreement of Chips and the soul sucker from Vaelentor, it was now possible to get the power from the vampire and end this tragedy, or at least they hoped. They made their way back to the lair of Falena. Once their they basically told her they had to kill her in order to get this whole thing to work. She didn’t exactly like that idea very much, so combat started.

It was a very powerful battle between the vampire and her saviors. She grappled them mostly and tried to bite them as much as possible, but she mostly got Sarin and Nixero because they were the closest. The PCs did end up winning, being sure not to destroy her head in the process of killing her.

Once dead, they placed the soul sucker on her chest and it absorbed her vampire spirit inside of it, making it a very prized artifact to have. It contained the blood of a demon that happened to have the ability to control gravity. This crystal was going to hold the Citadel of Clouds up in the sky. The group then placed the new soul into Falena’s body, and placed her on a nice comfortable patch of grass. Then they high tailed it over to the wizard’s lair.

Once there, the wizard Chips, used all of his might (and some of Nixero’s) and shot out a beam of high energy towards the Ioun stone. He destroyed it into a million pieces and also turned the other wizards into dust due to old age. Afterwards, his body grew old, but into dust like the other wizards. Instead he became a 70 year old wizard who was very weak. As thanks to the adventurers, he took them back to his house (it was more like a small mansion) to receive their gold and other rewards. He took them in and lead them to his vault of treasures. Inside they found a massive amounts of coins and a few crystals. Along with that, they also found tapestries of chromatic dragons worth quite a deal over 50GP. However, all this gold was not enough for Marduk. He insisted on their being something hidden here inside the vault, so he started looking around very intently. Chips assured Marduk there was nothing left in the Vault, but that didn’t stop the greed of Marduk.

While looking around the room, he must have triggered some sort of long ancient magic stored up in the room. Marduk suddenly found a piece of wall tile not entirely corporeal. He fell through the tile and it sealed up behind him. He was stuck and unsure of what to do next. Suddenly the small room he was now in became extremely hot. He started to take some damage, but was still very calm, so he beat on the tile and asked his companions for some assistance. Arawn immediately came over to help but somehow ended up trapping himself inside the small room with Marduk, also burning. Everyone else immediately tried to break whatever curse or spell was going on. Eventually they did manage to exult enough magic force to destroy whatever barrier was blocking the exit for Marduk and Arawn.

Side Quests!

After receiving their massive amount of pay, they went on to see if anyone else in the town needed help before they left this place in the dust and headed to the dragon they needed to kill for Death. While walking around, they did find a woman laying on the ground bleeding out from what looked to be a stab wound, and the citizens kept walking around her or ignoring her pleas for help. Not to worry though, the Silver Syndicate is here to save the damsel in distress! Shemuel ran over to her side and immediately healed her to the best of his ability, when all of the sudden Arawn thrust his Death Dagger into her chest, ending her life. Shemuel looked up in disbelief. Arawn pointed to his shiny medallion of thought reading and explained that she was going to blow everyone up with a fireball spell. Shemuel shook his head and was extremely disappointed.

The other side quest the group found had to do with Frei Burd.
frei_burd.jpg

Frei Burd wanted him and his crew to get into layer 7 to party like the big boys yo. Marduk eventually took hi and his crew up to layer 7 only to be arrested, but not before Nixero tripped him and Arawn punched him in the face and pulled a dagger on the 16 year old defenseless popped collar boy. The pic and the spelling of his name should tell you enough about how he acted.

What Next?

With the city saved, there was one thing the party really needed to get done. That was stop the curse that was taking control of Arawn. Death’s Champion Curse. In order to do this, Arawn needed to slay the dragon known as Darkfang, who resided in a mountain to the east of Mt. Nex. It was said that this was a beast that Death himself was eluded by. Can the group of misfit adventurers actually defeat this Darkfang? Find out next time!

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