Eleint 15 – Day 95
The party wakes in Goldenfields, and start with a morning Heroes Feast breakfast. Emboldened by their successful defense the day prior, two dozen of the paladins and clerics ready themselves to cut a path for the party.
While there is much conversation on how best to deploy the volunteer army, it is eventually decided to strike both above- and underground, sandwiching the forces of the Fire Cult, and distracting them for the party.
The head paladin of this contingent guides the party to the ransacked armory, where the group equipped themselves for the fight ahead. Once prepared, everyone gathers in the central gardens where two clerics use two ancient scrolls to send the two groups to their two separate destinations.
Walking for a few hours, the party and their dozen guards eventually stomp their way into the Temple of Eternal Flame, where Varis annihilates a Flame Myrmidon that stood as an early warning guard. From here, the group split up.
The party descended through the Temple, following the sunken skeletal footprints deeper into the crust of Toril. Riding a brass disk elevator, they enter a system of caverns filled with lava. The heat here becomes intense, with everyone starting to feel the onset of exhaustion.
Finding a few guards (fire giant and razerblast), they keep going cutting down anything that gets in their way. Seemingly stuck, the party ring a gong that summons a lava Roper. Thinking quickly, the party sign the symbol of the Fire Cult and eventually feed the Roper the corpse of the Fire Giant.
Continuing their search, the party finds a secret door that leads to the inner sanctum. Here they dispatch a few more cultists, find Vanifer’s room of lewdness and a courtesan’s room (an efreeti).
The next chamber, however, holds the fight they were delving for. in a titanic chamber filled with lava, whose temperature exceeded anything they had experienced thus far, the group watch as holding Tinderstrike aloft, Vanifer finishes the ritual to summon the Eternal Flame Imix to the prime material plane.
Imix, by far the largest threat, was not alone. Surrounding the area were a number of elementals, Vanifer with Tinderstrike, Elizar Dryflagon, and Baron Von Murik in the skeletal ‘flesh’.
The battle began with the speedy Imix and Vanifer, each working to burst down the clumped up group or cut off routes of escape in this hellish, oversized oven.
As the battle wore on, each party member focused down various targets. Mors plunged the druid Elizar into lava as Varis banished nearly every elemental (save Imix). Kaelith would go on to deal heavy damage to Vanifer, as Savatarrius would eventually take the killing blow on her.
Even for their exemplary fighting, the party began to lose their druid. The onslaught, with no immediate hope of reinforcements, began to wear on the party. In a moment that separated the choice to flee and the choice to rally on, the party recalled what would destroy the portal, Tinderstrike, and Imix. The weapon in Vanifer’s grasp was the key to victory.
The party rallied, focusing Vanifer until she succumbed to Sava’s blade. Her nude corpse landing on the ground, as the Baron seized the elemental relic. Enraged by the betrayal, Imix slammed into the skeleton for critical damage (Imix had been rolling very well), and Mors held the revenant in place with an Immovable Rod. With the last of his strength, Mors disarmed the molten skeleton and began moving Tinderstrike closer to the portal of flame.
It was Kaelith who stepped forward to finish the fight with the Baron, with a massive hit on the fiendish soul. In finishing Von Murik with the rapier gifted to him by the High Priestesses of the Raven Queen, the soul of the fiend was trapped within the gem of the rapier.
The fight climaxed with Savattarius flying the blade into the orb of fire, with the fury of Imix only able to watch as it happened… and as he himself disappeared.
The fight won, the party healed the guts out of Varis (who had again fallen, and was but one save from death).
The group would meet again with the folks of the bastion Goldenfields and celebrate their victory. The Harpers would intrude one morning and give the good word that all elemental cults had been disbanded. Though the elemental weapon Windvane still exists, the portal to air has been collapsed. Aerisi Kalinoth, Prophet of Air, turned herself in. The cults in pieces. The war had been won.
The adventurers likely spent a few more days together before disbanding and going their own separate ways. Though this chapter closes, they each have much more to write.
Mors would go on his own path of balancing the scales, hunting down the remnants of the cults to clear his own list. Finding them attempting to settle into cities, hide in the woods and wilderness, and in some cases rebuilding in the dwarven halls in the Dessarin Valley, Mors was very successful.
Even as he whittled away at the hash marks on his scythe (some fading on their own), he would serve as master and overseer of his own Monastery, build in the beautifully regrowing forest of Yartar, by a pristine pond of clear blue water. As the Monastery grew, he took on a single apprentice to shape her own ways – the young servant’s daughter Adelaide Gladham, when she came of age. Together, they learned and practiced Mors’s teachings and art of combat.
As the years would melt away, and the number of the scythe slowly vanish, Mors would stumble across an elderly man with a paladin’s sword in the mass graveyard of Mors’s own monastery. When confronted, the man simply said that Balance for Balance’s sake is not the way, and the Order of the Aster did what they needed. While Mors would allow the man to live, there would come a day the man would not show up, and two hash marks became one.
Mors, in his older years, would learn the horrific truth that his old monastery was responsible for the release of the fiend Baron Von Murik from the caves in which he was imprisoned, with the goal of coaxing balance back into a world laden with Good.
Savattaris would return back to Durnatel. Always in the hearts and family of the Mathias House, even as the Lady Thyra would soon come to pass on, Sava knew he would always be welcome and cared for.
But while Savattarius had nearly everything he wanted in a life of luxury, there was no denying they his heart longed for something… And that something would eventually come to meet him. Sailing across the Trackless Sea, a sweetheart of Sava’s childhood and early years arrived to greet him. While only intending on a brief stay, the connection they had forged years earlier reignited, and together they settled down together. Along with a surprise she had brought from the lands of Returned Abeir: a young, black furred tabaxi daughter.
Living the quite (but refined) life, with occasional holidays to Grein Iron and many touring opportunities, Sava would never again take on the mantle of an adventurer. And as the years wore on, there would come a day when Sava would take off his amulet, and while handing it to his daughter would say, “The man that follows me – he will protect you. Treat him well…”
Varis makes his first trip to his new land in the High Forest, acquired by his deal with the Mathias House. Here he would create his own druid Circle, one that allowed interaction with the mechanical. As his experience grew, and his time as an Archdruid drew on, he would eventually come to experiment with the same energies that empower him: the positive plane of energy.
For all of his experiments and interest in maintaining this, he would never uncover the secret that brought him new life, though he may come close. The Grove of his circle, however, would become the most marvelous and wonderous of druidic groves, with the application of energy and machine to the living nature a seeming contradiction but one that compliments in a strange, symbiotic way.
While not a huge fan, even the Elves would leave Varis with his land as time wears thin, and Varis would draw many new acolytes as word of this fantastic place spreads.
Kaelith never expected much from this second life. While flesh and blood once more, his service and path of redemption in the eyes of the Raven Queen would be his every waking moment. Living for centuries, Kaelith would become the Vanguard of Death, ensuring those who would cheat the Raven Queen would not succeed. With scores of Justice delivered over his years, even Kaelith is not above the laws of the world.
When the world began whispering “even you” into his ear, he retired to the ancient forest temple of the Raven Queen, where the high priestesses would look upon this ancient elf and watch as he faded peacefully from the realm, the cloak dropping to the ground in a silent explosion of black feathers.
For Kaelith, after these many centuries, he finally is greeted by the Ivory Mask of the Raven Queen, and she speaks to him for the first time since his horrific journey.
She speaks softly, but with conviction…
“You are forgiven, my angel.”
Kaelith looks down as his now ivory skin feels strong and pearlescent, yet ebony wings unfurl, as a new Angel of the Raven Queen is born.