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.
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 | Chapter 3: Silver Syndicate Awakens ]] 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.
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?
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!