Realm Runners

CHAPTER TWENTY ONE: Something Wicked

The party barges into the Inner Sanctum with weapons drawn to find the demonic gnoll Maldrick Scarmaker working to finish his ritual upon a raised section of the sanctum. The final two Winterhaven slaves stand in a trance-like state within a glowing cylinder of light. Maldrick is joined by a Barlgura, a large Minotaur Bonecrusher Skeleton, and three more Carnage Demons. There are also four strange cauldrons emitting a blackened mist.

The party works together attacking the carnage demons and Aces attempts to hold off the Barlgura and Skeleton, though she is unable to do so for long and is eventually knocked unconscious by the Barlgura’s swinging fists. The Maven casts her healing word upon the mul and brings her back to consciousness, Megilwath spins his blades left and right slicing through each and every enemy. Krushi and Mentathenis make their way up onto the platform and attack from the high ground, moving towards the ritual circle. Krushi tosses Mentathenis her fan and he uses it to blow one of the slaves out of the deadly ritual. Krushi then uses a bit of lightning thrust to propel herself through the ritual circle to tackle the second slave out the other side.

Megilwath finishes off the carnage demons along with The Maven, and Aces continues her assault on the Barlgura and Skeleton. Eventually they fall, and the group focuses their fire on Maldrick. The Maven gets in a lucky slice with her songblade and nearly severs the gnolls head from it’s body. Blood sprays and the corpse falls to the floor.

Upon the gnoll’s body they find an Elven Cloak +2, a bundle of letters to and from Paldemar and a silver key.

They leave the Well of Demons, with the Winterhaven slaves and meet Terrlen at his camp nearby. He has cooked up some cave slugs for when the party returns. After they have had their fill of the toasty treat, Terrlen packs up camp and begins to lead them back to the Hall.

On their way back he stops the adventurers due to a large crevice that recently opened in their path. Terrlen deducts that it was probably ripped open by the Toril shake that happened earlier. Everyone can sense something beckoning them towards the dark hole. Krushi decides it best to investigate and against Aces’ wishes, and after Terrlen ties off the rope to a rocky outcropping, she begins her descent, before she dissapears from view Mentathenis casts light on her head. 250 feet down, she reaches the bottom of the rope they sent over the edge and calls up to the others to join her while she goes about securing the line further down to continue.

When the others rejoin Krushi, they continue their descent another 30 feet to see the bottom open into a cavern. The cavern glows a greenish blue and an uncountable number of lost souls swim about and drift past the heroes. Megilwath, despite the pulling in his gut, feels that nothing can come of this but bad, and decides to climb back up to Terrlen and the others. Aces borrows the Safefall Amulet from Krushi and jumps down into the cavern to see it lead into a constructed shrine of some sort emitting a yellowish glow. Aces calls up to The Maven to go after Megilwath in case she, Krushi and Mentathenis need backup. Krushi and Mentathenis join Aces on the floor an start to move towards the glowing shrine. As they approach, they can see three large angelic statues surrounding what appears to be a raises dias. upon the dias, a sword, suspended, and spinning slowly end on end. The fourth angelic statue has been destroyed by a collapse in the ceiling, leaving a hole in what would otherwise be it’s magical barrier of radiant energy.

When the three reach the center of the room, the souls start moving to attack them. More and more spin into the plane to attempt to stop their movement towards the blade, warning the party that it is dangerous. Megilwath and The Maven jump into the room to support their friends against the aggressive souls. Krushi enters into the vault and can see 8 panels of reliefs around the walls of the room. Before throwing her cloak over the sword she examines the panels.

The first relief depicts a great sun surrounded by worshipping celestials.

The second, a sword held by a single celestial larger than those he is surrounded by. The sword appears to emanate light, bathing all onlookers.

The third, thousands of celestials reigning fire upon the demons and arch devils. The large celestial with the lighted blade leads them into battle.

The fourth, the celestial is kneeling before a huge black figure of a man with horns, it’s eyes are inset with ruby.

The fifth, the sword again, held by the same celestial though now shrouded in shadow, the blade is blackened and no longer shining.

The sixth, thousands of demons swarm the celestials. The large shadow celestial with the blackened blade leads them.

The seventh, the shadow celestial falling from the skies, along with other angelic figures and demons alike, his wings tattered, the blackened sword now removed from his hand.

The eighth, six blackened swords surround the shadow celestial, forming a ring, beyond that a second ring of six angelic figures hold sentry.

Megilwath spots a few fresh corpses upon the rocky floor, they are the bodies of four humans and a dwarf with a tarnished silver crown. He grabs the crown and Krushi removes the sword from the dias, giving it to Aces, who sticks it into the bag of holding. Even while within the bag they can still hear it’s call.

Pushing their way back through the souls and fighting them off, they leave the Soul Vault. After hearing what Krushi has to say about what she saw upon the walls, Mentathenis, hesitant to jump to conclusions, recounts tales of a powerful weapon of the celestials, the Blade of the Seraphim, was forged of light. When it’s keeper fell to darkness, the blade followed, becoming the embodiment of evil and death. It became the Wraith Blade. Megilwath, remembers hearing stories in the tavern of Evereth about the gods and their armies at war with each other. Fire and chaos raining from the skies, it’s catalyst, some item of tremendous ability. Even Aces, during her time in the arenas of Tyr had heard bedtime stories about gods of another world. Amaunator and his angelic general Urziel. A weapon gifted by the god and forged on the surface of the sun. Could this really be the legendary corrupted Blade of the Seraphim?

The party climbs back up the way they came to meet with Terrlen and head back to the Seven Pillared Hall.

Upon returning to the Hall, Brugg is quick to approach them, and though happy at first to see Aces, he is perturbed by something. The whispers of the Wraith Blade extend even through space and time, and though Brugg knows not what it is, he is lured in by it’s power. The party assures the confused Ogre that they have nothing that powerful on their persons. The Ogre reluctantly let’s them pass, eyeing them as they split up. Aces to the Halfmoon Inn, Terrlen heads toward the temple of hidden light, and Megilwath, Mentathenis, Krushi and The Maven to Gendar’s with the crown.

When they enter Gendar’s curious shop, the drow hops up and greets them in his sour tone, and asks if they were successful in locating the crown of Thain Cardanas. Megilwath pulls it out of his bag and hands it to the dark elf. Gendar thanks them and pays them 500 gld for their troubles. Suddenly he pulls a dagger from it’s sheath and flings it right passed Megilwath’s head, narrowly missing. It slams into the wall just over Krushi and a tiny, split-open black spider falls on Megilwath’s shoulder.

Gendar comes out and brushes it off Megilwath onto the counter. He remarks “Looks like our people are searching for something. It’s time for me to leave.” He quickly begins packing his things.

Mentathenis uses mage hand to flip the spider over and The Maven notices a small symbol on it’s belly. It appears to to an intricate design of two dark elves back to back a web spans the distance between them. Mentathenis recognizes the symbol as that of House Hun’viir, the drow family that his father Kallorel and Trysta fought against and lost a friend to. They ask Gendar where he will go and he tells them he is heading to the surface. Megilwath points out that it is unwelcoming for a drow on the surface and Gendar says he will take his chances with a few racist humans over a noble drow house paying a visit anywhere near him.

Aces enters the Halfmoon Inn and is greeted by Rendil who is already offering the mul woman ale. eager to hear more stories of their heroic deeds. Surina, also present in the tavern, stands and is drawn towards Aces. She too can feel the pull of the Wraith Blade from within the bag of holding. Aces shrugs her off and the others enter to join their friend. Krushi and Mentathenis explain that they forgot to cut the tails of the Gnolls for the woman, but brough Maldrick Scarmaker’s head instead. She seems happy enough and offers them 250 gold for a fine trophy of their endeavors.

They relax for the rest of the night with Aces being taught how to cook a mean Kruthik Egg meal and Krushi munching on the Halfmoon trail mix. When it’s time, they head up to their free rooms above the tavern and take rest for the night.

The next morning during a light breakfast, again on Erra and Rendil’s gratitude, Terrlen enters holding the hand of a wobbly goblin. Aces’ eyes widen when she realizes that it’s Modreg, recently returned to life! She runs up to hug the somewhat delirious goblin and looks to Terrlen who explains that he paid for the little guy’s resurrection with his own gold, and he hopes his gift to Aces and the party makes up for his failing in protection. She says it more than does so, and she wants very much to help the man become cured of his Lycanthropy. He pauses for a moment and replies that he isn’t so sure he wants to be cured anymore as he is starting to get the hang of the transformation and keep his wits about him in werewolf form. Aces vows to find out any way she can to help him handle and gain more control. Terrlen thanks her and asks that it would be a pleasure to continue to help the heroes in anyway he can.



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