Nidor, a world given life by titans

Iridescent Grotto

Eager to seek more power in the upcoming battle with Lamashtu’s forces the companions decide to seek out the last remaining treasure of the Blue Lotus. This leads them off the coast of Ziggarat about a mile out to a serene underwater cavern. Battling some denizens of the ocean to gain entrance, the party enters into the lost Temple of Besmara, a much different place of worship than the current modern Cathedral. Here the forces of the Blue Lotus ruled, a powerful group of pirates and brigands brought together by the strength of the chaotic deity. Moving through the temple they discovering lost artifacts of Lady Aquaeous, the first cleric of Besmara. Dante discovers a first draft of Besmara’s holy texts which foretells doom for the city of Ziggarat. They battle evils from below the mantle’s crust in the form of Crag Man, brutal thugs who kill and pillage in glory of Ayzrul known as the Fossilized King.

Walking among the remains of the Blue Lotus’s forces, bits of armor and armaments left behind in a rush, the companions begin to fall against each other in discord; Pipsqueak in particular. The temple’s worship was driven by a very complex aquatic system of music known as the Handel, generated by a flowing curtain of blessed waters to pass through exotic instruments. The waters have become foul, drenched in brine and salt causing the once inspiring musics to become painful and bitter. Some equipment is rescued however; a suit of full plate armor, a mysterious sheath, and a portable smithery.

The party finds a second area! Seemingly entwined with the Temple another chamber is hidden to the west. Breaking into it, the party finds themselves inside the remains of a collosal sea creature. It appears to be the remains of another nightwave, but a positive energy version. The companions are beset by salt drakes from the cavernous ceiling above and begin battle. The companions prove themselves to be better warriors and defeat all by one of the salt drakes. The remaining drake is the leader, an alpha among his species with the appetite for combat. The party convinces the drake that his path to reincarnation as a true dragon lies in the world above, namely in the upcoming battle with Lamashtu.

Climbing above the Rising Annex, the party comes into the Ark of Wealth, the highest floor of the Temple of Besmara. Here resides the fortune of the Blue Lotus and her crew, as well as the music instrument that drives worship in the temple below; the Handel. Suspended above the large open cavern is a planar opening to the elemental plane of Water, seeded with the holy waters of Besmara. It is seething with chaos but docile as it is under control of the solaric dragon, Rezlara. The elderly brine dragon stands above the party, greedy for the wealth of magic and coin they bring on their person. She desires to add their treasure to her hoard and defeat them the same way she did the Blue Lotus so many centuries ago. The Handel lies in ruin around them, Relzara’s salt laden breath weapon having ruined it long ago. This caused the water passing through it to be out of tune and in turn drove the Blue Lotus’s crew mad.

The companions battle Rezlara and 2 dwarven arcanists, mercs of Rezlara. After heated battle of sword and spell and the fall of Soul the paladin, the party is able to strike a killing below on the great dragon. The holy book that Dante discovered below in the temple, the original Testament of Besmara, flashes with a solar light and the party experiences a vision of Ziggarat under siege by Lamashtu’s forces. Coming from the vision, the party gives the tome to Lady Aqueous who appears in the Antechambers of Song within the temple and pledges her loyalty to the party. The figurehead of the Seawraith appears as well and becomes a mobile ship (which can form a ship’s body from a large body of water) that follows the party around. Lady Aqueous returns to the Cathedral of Besmara with the holy book, the 3rd and final treasure of the Blue Lotus. Soul is brought back to life with the solemn information that his goddess Sarenrae is mute, her vocal chords missing.

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Ziggarat Defense Council, preparing for siege

Soul tithes 27k to the church. Soul spends gold to buy enough BP to build an Exotic Artisan shop for Abe attached to brewery.

A few days after freeing the Ajari District and cleaning up the plantation, the companions are set upon with requests to discuss the defense of the city. The leaders of the various guilds and militias of the city wish to meet at night.

The party obtains enough good will and financing after rescuing the Ajari Plantation to construct the following buildings which have :

Items highlighted were choosen

Any 2 of the following, each deployed to Inlet+Beguile, Pearl Garrison, the Proper, or Bay of Life
INLET+BEGUILE Bardic College – 3 rounds of every combat, gain inspire heroism (must be declared at beginning of round). Rounds do not need to be spend consectively.
Foreign Quarter – 1/combat, reroll any failed save.
Guildhall – 1/combat, treat your character level as 4 levels higher for any activated ability
THE PROPER Military Academy – all movement speeds increased by 10ft, +2 initative, fast healing 5

Any 2 of the following which gets deployed to every area in the city

Hospitals – Any time you receiving healing that is not a cantrip, fast healing, or regeneration, heal an extra +2d6
Museums – Preserve the culture of Ziggarat and it’s peoples against the encroaching hordes
Caster Towers – At the beginning of every combat, call down 10 magic missiles divide amongst any number of targets. This ignores spell resistance and functions in any anti magic field.

The following representatives gather at the plantation throughout the looming dusk. The city’s weather has gotten worse, and flooding has started to occur along the coast. Relm’s Blessing is maintaining with it’s powerful abjuration magics but the rest of the city is moving inland and building seawalls. It is under this slowly building chaos that the city’s defense council takes place.

From the north assaulting the Bay of Life will come the adaro and Dude Bros.
From the west assaulting the Inlet and Beguile will come the Daughter of Lamashtu and her demonic forces.
From the east assaulting the Proper will come the fallen paladins of Sarenrae.
From the south there is silence. A bleary red glow hangs in the air like a sunset that won’t quite leave. The sky seems inflamed and swollen yet nothing has emerged. Lainadan states he will turn his divination techniques to this area in the upcoming days.

Runas Deep – speaks for half elves and Jim Jum elves
Captain Insali – speaks for the rest of the Yccona refugees
Alexandra Hera – speaks for Opalescent Guard
Claddath and Kenth – speaks for the Rovers
Hazzier – speaks for the general public, those without religious conviction
Father Agni – speaks for Besmara and the merchant districts not controlled by the Rovers
Aganon Hera – speaks for Sarenrae and the Pelagic Way
Kalani – speaks for Makai Brotherhood
Uron – speaks for order of Eccelsia
Vesz – speaks drow and dwarven nomads
Vekel Gully – speaks for the Pearl Garrison
Lainadan – watches from the comfort of Eccelsia via numerous divination techniques. He does not hide this, and states he is doing it to make a recording of the events.

Main points of contention – protecting the half elves or let them go? Should the city try to evacuate into the wastelands? Should the city try to evacuate to the plane of shadow? EVACUATE TO BOTH, TRY TO SPLIT UP SO ONE SECTION CAN CARRY ON THE CITY’S LEGACY Who should be the first line of defense on with front (beach head MAKAI vs wasteland gates BARBARIANS BARDS vs Pearl Garrison OPALESCENT’ GUARD vs Bay of Life YI TU, rovers city wide, clerics everywhere except the proper, Pelagic Way will defend the waters)

BEGIN TRAPPING MAJOR ARTERIES OF THE CITY, PRIMARY FOCUS TO SLOW DOWN ASSAULT.

WEAPON FOCUS GHOST TOUCH WEAPONS FOR BARBARIANS TO BATTLE THE FALLEN PALADINS.

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Jolanera, Nightwing queen of the Isle of Terror

The companions battle their way into the Ajari Plantation. Searching it’s rooms, the party battles hordes of vicious animals, necrotic oozes, and delves into the lineage of the Ajari tengu family. Moving to the 2nd floor the party encounters Ehrimun, a ghoul’d necromancer. He is defeated and the party discovers a foul creature, Jolanera, has been whispering into his ear to get him to bring her magical items from every corner of the city. She has been pretending to be the spirit of Ehrimun’s former master, the missing wizardress Lilyana.

Despite Dante falling in battle, the party champions against the undead creature with the help of Ajari. He appears from the Cosmic Fire to help cleanse his home. Dante is brought back gaining new found power from the mysterious Beowulf in the Cosmic Fire.

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Freeing the Ajari District

After a plea from the city’s leaders to seek a neutral place to discuss defense plans for the upcoming demonic invasion, the companions decide to call on their deed of ownership of the Ajari Plantation; a large home within the Ajari District that has fallen into evil hands over the past years. They successfully chase off a band of tengu brigands that loiter outside the plantation. Fighting their way in against beheaded; severed heads risen into undeath, the companions find themselves in what appears to be a necromancer’s laboratory.

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Readying for war, the Companions speaks with the city

In a feat of training and martial prowess, Dante communes and attains great power at the hands of Beowulf, a mysterious outsider hailing from the Positive Energy Plane. The protector of Ziggarat’s waters, Beowulf gives Dante the breath of positive energy which he can now use to power his elemental fists. He tasks Dante with further protecting the waters of the city. Before this, Dante engages in friendly sparring with Kalani in the Sanctum of Gaia, one of the three building that houses the Brotherhood of the Yi-Tu.

Sol and the companions finalize their building and construction of the Lusty Paladin, a group sponsored tavern that serves to relaxes all citizens of the city. Here they meet several new faces; Na’eroth Shinder the mistress of the establishment, Jodocus Silver a young former paladin to Sarenrae that appears telling the companions of a chilling tale outside the city. The grand opening also serves to allow the companions to finally meet the dwarves of the Hinterlands. They dwell within the shadowlands on the west coast of the city. A meeting is planned at the Ajari District between the city’s leaders once the area is recovered.

Pipsqueak completes her work with Juno, discovering her cosmic bloodline allows her to slip into the future during her dreams, bringing back the study of new spells and experience of future events. She is able to teach the young girl how to control her metamagic.

Sol speaks with Obol at the Tower of Istima to discover more about the dark Lantern Wielder’s wereabouts.

Haloren defends the life of a half elf against further tengu Blackfinger agents within the Cathedral of Besmara whilst visiting his friend Alexandra.

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Aftermath of the battle at the Bay of Life

After an excruciating battle under the ocean’s surface within the belly of the dragonship, the companions are victorious against the forces of Mulla. The dragonship itself makes one last attempt at destroying the bay; it’s elemental spirit in such distraught and pain that it’s draconic breath tears the ship in half before making landfall. Alexandra Hera is horribly wounded shielding Haloren and the rest of the companions are pitted and scarred from the acidic windfall. The apparition of the daughter of Lamashtu, this time without mistake that of a colossal black dragon, appears within the thunderhead that came with the enemy fleet. She again demands all living half elves be brought to the Marinas else the city face great calamity within a week’s time. Her dragon fear permeates the citizens of the city; her voice is female but strong carrying a thick tropical accent.

In the following days, the companions make their final decisions how best to spend their time. Half elves begin to fear for their lives from their own neighbors as those they called friends begin to turn on them in the street. Through his silvered tongue, Haloren is able to dismiss the dragon fear in all regions except Oboro with a few well placed half-truths. The Lusty Tavern opens her doors to patrons for the first time. Dante establishes his own monk discipline known as the Brotherhood of Yi Tu which has attracted some other worldly attention.

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Defending the Bay of Life

Dante is approached by Kalani; the Bay of Life is under attack! Journeying to the north of the city (without Eilora, who has stayed behind with her order to finish translated the Shadow Map) Dante and the companions investigated one of the main fisheries to find it has been poisoned by an evil Adaro druid and sea hags. After a pitched battle, they are able to defeat the foes with little damage to the fishery. Exiting the cave, they are awed to see a large scale battle being waged along the Bay; demonic evils on wing carrying the monks of the Makai to their death in the ocean nearby. Kalani assists the companions in getting to a nearby dragonship, the main point of attack by Lamashtu’s forces. Shrouding by a black thundercloud, the dragonship commanded by a thunder giant begins launching explosive rounds at the shore.

With the help of the undine, the party is flown to the ship and begins battle with the head adaro priestess, Mulla. Her forces consist of the drowned dead and shadow owb mercenaries.

Elsewhere in the city, Eilora and a strange band of mercs are attempting to close a massive planar portal near the Tower of Ishtma.

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The Makai Brotherhood, Ecclesia, finishing the Shadow Map, and the Oboro Whetstones

Back to Ziggarat proper, the party splits up amongst the city. Dante ventures back to his home of training, the Makai Brotherhood. He finds that the higher order of monks have been slain months ago by the adaro and his former order is now ruled by a young half elf female monk named Kalani. Dante determines to find his own order representing his knowledge of the earth and ancient dwarven peoples.

The party also ventures back to the Mussel and finds Survayas has completed (with the help of the Rovers) the Shadow Map to the best of her abilities. One of the seven conduits within the city needs cleansing, and the party delves into the conduit finding malnourished fey and creatures inside. They are defeated in heated combat. The party finds a vile trap, represented by Obol statues, that seemed to lure and capture creatures into this pocket of the plane of Shadow. They destroy the trap.

Eilora and Pipsqueak go to the wizard’s order of Ecclesia, meeting several of the upper echelon. Eilora drops the map of Shadows off with her teacher Bellethiel who promises to finish the planar bindings between the conduits. Pipsqueak extracts a promise from Fayla, the halfling master of Procurus: if Pipsqueak can help Juno survive her newly awakened sorceress bloodline, Pipsqueak will be made an honorary member of Procurus. Also, Eilora is given permission to being shopping with the platinum slates within a few days.

The party also creates a meeting between the drow and dwarven nomads which results in a drawn out battle. Someone has sealed the building the nomads were to meet within (staggered with the party, so that the nomad groups would NOT see each other). The party discovers a seal of a lost Ecclesian sect that Eilora cannot identify. They intercept the battle and manage to broker a deal with both sides to help raise the power of Ziggarat’s magic arms and armor. As part of the deal, Dante is tasked to protect the dwarven histories and Sol is tasked to defend the drow histories.

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Saint Naris, The Heart of Darkness, and the fall of the Cult of the Red Rain. And a surprise dinner.

The party comes to the bottom after what seems to be forever. The same handle is present to allow the cart to be pulled back up and as they turn they see the heart of tomb. Barely developed karumzek begin crawling along the floor and ceiling, harassing the party but causing no real damage. They split out of dozens and dozens webbed cocoons made of the skulls and rib cages of their victims. Bodies that have been dumped down here as sacrifice to Lamashtu cover any remains of what was once a unique wonder amongst the stars. Forged here, with the breath of Beral and blacksmithing traditions of the dwarves were weapons never seen by those of modern times. Broken and rip in twain is the last legacy of these ancient dwarves. The forge itself is sheathed in a thick glass cylinder. Made of stained glass, what was once the forge now houses a beating darkness. The glass mural once displayed the ancient gods these dwarves worshipped. With the beating darkness, over eons, the glass has become warped, displaying Saint Naris in place of those once worshipped. The glass begins to slowly spin and it’s movement combined with thumping darkness slowly drips the voice of the deceased villain in Draconic only:

“Your end meets you here adventurers. The majesty of my goddess Lamashtu and her daughter will spread onto the shores of the city above before the moon’s cycle ends. The end of my species in the flesh means just the beginning of their servitude to our queen! The abyssal swarm will rip the breath from your warm mouths and drink to beyond fill of your spilled blood. Lay down your arms and sorcery before me now, and I might find mercy within my queen’s heart to spare you a most tortoreous death!!!”

The heart of darkness throbs, await the answer of the gathered warriors.

“Then may your soul twist and tear against the majesty of my queen. Let the red rain of her daughter’s breath turn your city to ash! Know that today due to your ignorance, the age of Lamashtu has begun!!!”

The companions battle hordes of evil spawned from the heart of darkness. They beat back countless karumzek’s as well, each wave twisted with a new power given to them from generations of living within this tomb. As each wave of Saint Naris is defeated (undead that bleed through the glass, the history of Saint Naris as he rose to power) the glass surrounded the heart falters and the companions are able to inflict wounds directly upon it.
However, twice the heart pulls the glass back around it after an incredible explosion of necrotic revenge causing great calamity to the bodies and minds of the heroes.

Immediately after the defeat of the last wave, Dainholdt sacrifices himself to take full on the blast from the heart, his body and equipment vaporizing but absorbing much of the fall out.. The party wearily begins to exist the tomb, finding that Vaan and his wolf companion Raju are nowhere to be found, seemingly dragged off into Kurmugia. Unable to re-open whatever gate was given foul birth to steal away their friend, the heroes continue upwards through the Hallway of Bones using the mummified hands of Saint Naris to unlock the giant earth elemental scale.

The fiendish lantern wielder is nowhere to be seen! Dainholdt is his prey and the lantern wielder has left to seek his spirit elsewhere. As the party nears the entrance of the above ground tomb, the ground beneath heaves with a rotten lurch and they are expelled from the tomb entrance into a deep night, rolling with hot salted rains and green thunder. The taste and smell of acidic corrosion is heavy in the air as the shards of the grand stained glass sheets rise from the entrance of the tomb.

Unified as a tornado of undeath and pure evil around the talisman that gives it existence, the true form of Saint Naris entombs Pipsqueak and speaks to the companions:

“You were given a choice worm. I would have allowed you to pass from this life with a minimum of pain and suffering. Now that you have greatly displeased my goddess and forced me into your wretched city I will visit a multitude of horrors onto you and the soft underbelly of this city. I will scrape and tear at their veins until they burst and then bathe in the torrent of blood that spews from their wounds.”

The superheated and heavy wind that pours from the coast of the city spills against the graveyard, filling the lungs of all those present with salted humidity that carries an acidic hint. Saint Naris seems to be infused and empowered by it, an echoing drone of pleasure can be heard.

“The daughter of Lamashuta approaches…. her breath flows through the ocean’s winds. I will have to leave some of your city alive so that her hosts can feed and fuck when they arrive. Struggle more, as it makes your kind taste more sweet. ”

Saint Naris animated host begin to tear the Pipsqueak apart. The animated tombstones are shattered by a power channel energy and Aganon lands heavily next to the player; the shinning hot symbol of Saranea at his grasp. Above his hippogriff Razorwing erupts in a war cry above. Dropping from other smaller hippogriffs a small platoon of clerics drop amongst the party throwing sunlight spells as they land. Aganon declares:

“Saranea lends her disciples to defend Ziggarat’s people. Let us send this foul creation to meet his demise!”

The heroes then wage holy war against the ruler of the Cult of the Red Rain. His rampaging form is joined by mudlords spawned from the tengu graves surrounding the party, as well as undead abominations ejected from a Brood; a mass grave of orphaned and destitute tengu that had no family. Most of these mortals in life were of the foulest of the foul; child murderers and rapists. Employed by the Blackfinger cult, agents of Norgorber in the form of tengu also join the battle. Haloren recognizes one as the tengu he freed from Colonel Alexandria Hera’s custody and quickly takes off in pursuit of him. The 2nd, a dragon disciple cloaked in the power of the daughter of Lamashtu flings spells from afar and harasses the summons Eilora has drafted to even the battle.

In a final strike against Saint Naris, both Dante and Soul stand firm to defeat him. He calls on the daughter of Lamashtu, begging her for strength:

“Avenge your cult, daughter of Lamashtu, bring down doom and despair on the backs of these warm blooded beasts of burden. Curse you… Curse you bipedal spawn! You have stolen from me the chance to witness her arrival..Wait… I feel her presence …. Give me power to rend the flesh from their bones!!!”

The air around Saint Naris seems to glisten with a reddish hue and the acidic tinge of the air becomes nearly unbearable. In grand draconic, spoken from a lush feminine tongue, deep in tone. It’s frightful presence will strike the lowest level clerics and cause them to flee.

“Naris, you have served my lineage faithfully for centuries. Yet now, in your twilight years, you have allowed the mammals to breed and make an afront to our queen. Here is the last taste of power you’ll receive from me and it is only to serve as a warning to the warm bloods; when the moon cycle ends I will arrive at your city to demand every half elf within your walls and borders. Bring them to the shores of the city and the rest of you will be given reprieve. Witness your fate should you choose to ignore this demand”

A downspout forms above Saint Naris and pours into him the reddish tinting acidic air. The clouds above him move down heavily in the form of dragonkind, composed of blackened turmoil and the most terrible of nature’s wrath. The chest of the apparition inflates as the balls of electricity that form it’s eyes sweep across the party, taking time to note each one and seeming to scry deep within their souls. The maw cracks open, a zigzaging bolt of electricity creating sharpened teeth from the water vapors. The chest of the storm constricts suddenly and the consolidated acid ejects downward with hideous force. The speed of it’s breath shatters sound and air, causing the salt droplets of the storm to burst into tiny blasts of heated vapor. Saint Naris’s remaining cohesive warsworn body bloats and fills with the acidic breath, bulging and breaking like the dam of an overfilled lake. His serpentine shrieks of pain can be heard for miles as the acid disintegrates every bit of glass and stone it touches. A secondary spray will hit anything within 30’ of Naris for ¼ damage of black dragon wyrm. A brilliant fire rises up from the spot where Saint Naris met his end, ripping upwards through the storm cloud and dissolving the apparition. The orbs of lightning forming the eyes are the last thing to disappear, and close into the slits like that of a dragon, glaring at the talisman. The talisman remains after form of Saint Naris dissipates, slowly spinning and leviating a few feet off the ground.

Pipsqueak recovers the talisman, as it yearns only for her touch and becomes upset to anyone else. The effigy around the brood dies down but doesn’t dissipate completely. Aganon states he will stay with some other clerics to investigate.

The companions rest. Haloren brings the end of the slain tengu arcane thief to Hera and wins her companionship for dinner.

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The Serpentfolk Queen and finding a lost hero

Leading away from the party’s initial entrance to the Pit of Shells is the final leg of this dungeon. The exit takes a sharp descent and a couple of sets of richety ladders lead down, with enough stability to support the degenerate serpentfolk. The silence of the underground will swallow the party whole as the world around them seems to melt away. Slime, mildew, and various bulbs of bodily fluids pop and sizzle in the muck of the cavern walls. About 140 feet of climbing later and the companions reach the entrance to the Hall of Drink

Hall of Drink – the party will drop into the back end of the dwarven temple’s mead hall, about 120 feet long with each side being 50 feet in diameter. It is a room shaped like a dumbell, with the party situated at the south end. The dwarven remains are few and far between, what still exists of their kind are twigs that were stone pillars, great outstretching tables that have long since snapped and rotted under the weight of evil that surrounds it. In this den Lamashtu holds absolute domain. Broken flagons are painted with her seal, the torn remains of victims of all shapes and sizes are strewn about the dank stretches of the room. Pillars of pustalance and decay seem erected on purpose to cover any dwarven remenant of their presence here. The ley light of the temple’s presence only stretches 40 feet across the initial room and fades from there, shallowed whole by the presence ahead. Investigating the party will find what appears to be large river, undulating across what appears to be a demonic garden. The party will notice indented orifices, mating spots of the senior serpentfolk. Any attempt to attack will awaken the Serpentfolk Queen. The two remaining clerics of Lamashtu are already aware of the party’s presence and will attack as soon as one comes within 10 feet of the middle of the Hall.

In pitched combat, the companions defeat the serpentfolk queen, a dual head monstrosity tethered to the uterian channel that carves across the garden. The two elder serpentfolk clerics also fall, and are immediately reduced to ash. Dainholdt is saddened, as he will not be able to user their hands to unlock the door above.

After defeating the serpentfolk queen, the party may continue forward through the unhallowed garden. They will come quickly to the true entrance of the Tomb of Saint Naris. Designed exactly as the mausoleum above ground, this entrance has no need to hide amongst the living or withdraw away from the burning sun. It is a glorious site to Lamashtu, fully adorned in her most grandiose of designs. The blackened stone has been twisted to resemble a hooded snake, atop the head of the stone entrance are the three eyes of Lamashtu, creating an unbreakable barrier of lashing evil. This barrier will whip out at any of the party getting too close, causing intense despair and gut wrenching pain. Knowledge Religion reveals that only the touch of one uncorrupted by greed, who lives a path of absolution, can shatter this barrier.

Investigating around the entrance (which is about 30 feet in length and must lead downward) will reveal yet more inky blackness surrounding the party. Knowledge Planes and spellcraft will reveal an opening to the Abyss, hidden from naked sight of mortals. It resembles more a black lake painting the ground ahead and once the eyes of the party adjust to notice it, the fainting lapping of it’s waters can be heard, the coolness of the air comes from here. This is faint touch of the realm of Kurnugia, Lamashtu’s layer of the Abyss. Shining 3 lights of any kind will draw forth a spirit from the blackened realm, the dwarf who founded this tower; Brak. He appears a wispy most transparent version of his living form; a charismatic if unassuming dwarf, clad in but a simple pearl hued robe. His voice carries strength with humility, a patience of eons waiting for the warriors who might destroy this seeded evil within his people’s home.

“I have not seen… not felt a light upon my face for so long. Time’s maw has stretched out before me, swallowing those I called brothers and family, turning their bones into dust while I languished in these waters unable to change my peoples fate. When we fell to this world from our skies, our mettle was tested again and again against the Demon Queen’s forces. Repeatedly we repelled her demons, but only to have our fortress sink deeper into the earth, weighed down by Lamashtu’s new births of evil. The stone and the cave, once our ally, turned against us and split our tower into pieces. Her forces dragged us down like the tunnel spider does it’s prey; slowly but inevitably.”

The apparition begins to free itself from the slow tide of Kurnugia, his holy steps burning away the toxic liquids into warm vapors. He moves with purpose around the tomb entrance as if drawn to his final task in this life.

“We felt the end would come from suffocation, that Lamashtu would see leave us to choke on our own used breath. It was against the most heated of battles that we notice an intelligence behind her hordes. Until then we had relied on her throngs of demons being their own worst enemies.”

There is a shudder to the spirit as he reaches out to touch the unholy barrier, his calloused and gnarled hand causing duress to the seething chaos. It lashes through his form; ineffectual to stopping the spirit’s touch. The chaotic nature of the barrier makes this all but impossible.

“On black wings it emerged, a she beast of breathtaking beauty and stunning power. It was this ancient daughter of Lamashtu that led the demons now; flanked by newly adorned clerics. Serpent and man, knitted together in a mockery of our mortal form. They commanded the demonic hordes and reigned them into submission. The winged destroyer flew even within these cavern walls; her red acidic breath corroding flesh and stone and metal and bone alike, rendering it all into fine dust. I watched dwarven battle clerics, their lips torn from their faces by claw and teeth, their hearts shorn from their ribs by the foulest of magics. They choked out their prayers to our dying god as their bodies collapsed under bloat and filth.”

Brak finds his weak spot, a hair’s breath of split between the weave of evil blocking the Tomb’s entrance and let’s loose a stunning fist. The weight of his voice changes drastically from wraith to wrath and in ancient dwarvish he howls, smashing the barrier with such rapid blows that white sparks split the air and cavern dust falls from the cave sky above. The ground splits below him and around the tomb, sinking it a foot on the left side. The three eyes atop the serpentine building crack; the barrier now lashes out in despiration, a gurgling hiss like a snake being choked can be heard all around. A buried set of lay lines, the last vestige of the dead god Beral’s power, sears upwards into Brak’s airy form now revealed from his attacks.

Brak turns and looks to the party, his eyes connecting with each one. They are brilliant, the iris’s burst the brilliant yellow of the sun and the party feels heat within their souls well up replenishing some of their strength. What was once incorporeal, tainted and besmirched by Kurnugia’s midnight waters now appears solid, flesh reborn as steel and honor. Knowledge Religion reveals Brak has been reborn an archon without attachment to any of the current divinities from the energy within the lay lines however it’s power is short, meant to only fuel a lone warrior’s last strike.

“The eldest of the serpentfolk, Naris, attacked and conquered our strongest position. Our forge, once kept white hot by my god’s gaze, lies beneath this barrier. You will fine it subverted, my people’s greatest gift used to fuel Lamashtu and her daughter’s designs. Avenge my dwarven brothers and sisters, see that their sacrifice was not in vain and that Saint Naris is cleansed from earth and sky forever!!!”

The archon release his last flurry against the barrier. Mind shattering light fills the cavern, it’s holy heat chasing the waters of Kurnugia away from it’s makeshift shore. The cavern is lit from tip to tip; the twisted garden burned in the fire of righteousness. The strips of dwarven spirits that were part of the cancerous flow along the surfaces of the rock are boiled to oblivion. The last sight than anyone’s eye can discern is the archon shattering the barrier. It’s release knocks the party flat and a dozen feet away from the impact zone, deafening and staggering the entire group. Once they rise to their feet and look about, dim light hangs in the air and the entire area is purified. The waters of Kurnugia are gone, leaving but baked cracked sand in it’s wake. The barrier has been vaporized, a fine mist of Lamashtu’s power disappearing from view. Behind it is a stone wall within the serpent head entrance, cracked and smoking. A close inspection will reveal the shaft of a weapon and pulling it out will bring the entire tomb entrance to dust and grant the party Brak’s last gift, the warhammer known as Testament.

With the mauseloum in dust and the area cleansed (Kurnugia has disppeared) Vaan helps lower the party via long cart used to send sacrifices down to Saint Naris. Lowered and entering into the real tomb, the party comes face to face with the disfigured forges of the forgotten dwarven people. Here lies the blackened heart of Saint Naris; nestled in the largest forge and protected by thick stained glass his voice booms out, demanding surrender by the companions. They refused and the heart begins to beat with apparitions of Saint Naris attacking the party.

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