Rise of the Demon Lord

Top of the World

- The Scions had been trapped underground for almost a week, magically summoning provisions to survive. Food and water wasn’t an issue. Useable air, though, was. Time was growing short.
- In that week, the Scions had come to a number of conclusions:

  1. Fey stepping didn’t work. It was like running headlong into a wall.
  2. Teleporting didn’t appear to work as well.
  3. There were no traps, or trap doors, which was odd for a keep built by dwarves.
  4. The body of Tathlyn’s sister Neera was no longer in the temple room.

- With the air growing a little more crunchy, Salissta sat in a trace to better study the barrier which surrounded them. After almost a full day of meditation, she came to a conclusion.
- Salissta would have to use the power of the Skull of Hamfel it to break through the barrier and teleport them to the Raven Queens temple at the Spine of the World.
- That suggestion was originally met with a resounding “Hell” and “No”.
- She revealed that she could perform a ritual that would allow her to control the power of the skull long enough to get them where they needed to go. Kalak Stormrage, her brother, had simply placed the skull on his head and arrogantly thought he could control it.
- Salissta performed the ritual, slowly passing her hand over the spikes in the skull and smoothing them to the point where the skull began to look more like a helmet. Abelarde stood in front of her the whole time, holding her attention, while Toby stood in a batter’s stance with the giant Demon-axe Dreadflame at the ready. Lucan slowly made his way around her, just in case.
- Once the skull was smooth, Salissta put it on. Her hair became flames, her eyes glowed like hot coals. She said she needed one more thing to complete the ritual.
- Ectoplasmic tentacles shot out of her body, grabbed, Lucan, and pulled him inside of her.
- Abelarde frantically gave Toby the “Off with her head” nod.
- Toby was in mid-swing when they all disappeared.
- The first thing that struck them was the cold. The air was so thin and frosty that it burned Abelarde’s lungs. The snow seemed to be melting around Toby.
- It was mid-day, more or less. The sky was a blanket of grey, but the light from the sun managed to barely make it through.
- They stood in front of a large stone tower-like structure. It was round, with many windows, and stretched about 150 feet up. About half a mile on either side was a mountain. Behind them, the snowy surface seemed to drop off.
- Salissta stood on the stairs and motioned them into the temple.
- Once inside, they were greeted by a Warforged Shepherd of the Raven Queen named Shepherd Kyriel.
- He welcomed them to the temple of the Raven Queen and mentioned that he had been told to expect them.
- Kyriel offered them something warm to eat and drink.
- He took them into a back room and ignited a small flame box. A kettle of tea had been prepared, as well as a few cooked rabbits.
- While everyone sat to eat, Abelarde requested some warmer clothes. Kyriel opened up a chest that had various items of clothing in it. They were donations from people who had come to see him before their “transition” (death – the Raven Queen is the God of Death). Kyriel would sit down with them and help calm them by giving them his Sermon of Passing, explaining how things would happen, and what was waiting for them beyond the mortal coil.
- Once everyone was eating, Kyriel offered to take the helmet and start the shattering ritual.
- Shepherd assured Salissta that it was safe to do so.
- The helmet came off and instantly reformed into the spiked skull. Lucan fell “out of her”, bounced off the table, and crashed to the floor.
- Abelarde checked his vitals. Lucan was very much alive, only unconscious.
- Salissta was weakened by the ordeal, but assured Abelarde that Lucan would awaken in an hour or so.
- Toby and Dreadflame wanted to see the skull destroyed, so he offered to accompany the Shepherd while he performed the ritual.
- About forty-five minutes later, Abelarde listened for chanting but heard only silence.
- Salissta was barely moving, Lucan was unconscious, so he walked out of the antechamber to check on things.
- Both Kyriel and Toby were suspended in mid-air, apparently being held by the drow Tathlyn, the Blood Lord.
- Beside him he had propped up the decayed body of his sister Neera.
- He held the skull in his hand, claiming the power of the skull could bring his sister back, and “the Raven Queen be damned.”
- To say such a thing in the temple of the Raven Queen was blasphemy, and Kyriel assured him there would be consequences for his actions.
- The Blood Lord put helmet on Neera. After a few moments, she sprung to life. Her hair was like smoke escaping from under the skull. Her flesh was like shadow, and more poured over her to form a robe. A banshee scream knocked everyone back.
- Neera looked at her brother and announced how weak and pathetic he was. She looked angrily at Abelarde. The expression switched to more of a loathing rage when she stared at Toby (he killed her, chopped her up, mocked the corpse. Neera was a little bitter about that).
- Neera’s arm disappeared into a small portal. She pulled out a barbed spiked cord which jammed into the back of the skull.
- She had somehow started the Shadow Engine and was absorbing the power of the dead gods (the shadow engine was the maching Illidus had been trying to reach when the Scions stopped him.)
- Salissta weakly stood in the doorway of the antechamber while Abelarde, Toby, and Kyriel engaged Neera.
- With impressive tandem teamwork, they weakened her. Toby raised Dreadflame high overhead and severed the cord from the skull, and most of Neera’s head from her body.
- The energy pumped out unchecked. Neera clutched at the spraying hose, screaming.
- Salissta looked at Toby and whispered “… the Worldbreaker.”
- She fell back into the antechamber and shut the door behind her.
- The Scions fought against the god-energy, but the dimensional tear became too much to overcome. The walls of the temple scattered like leaves, and Toby, Abelarde, and Kyriel were blown off the top of the mountain. They took a few dings but miraculously landed alive a little further down the side of the mountain.
- They watched the energy beam rip across the sky toward the western horizon. There appeared to be an explosion of some kind beyond the horizon. Clouds scattered as a massive shockwave came back at them.
- Toby quickly dragged a tree in front of them for protection just as the shockwave hit.
- They fell out of their snowy cocoon and heard a scream. Neera had found them. She flew toward them.
- There was little left of her that was solid. She had no skin, just black necrotic energy sliding over bones. The skull sat atop her own bare skull. Her bottom jaw was gone.
- The fight resumed.
- Toby stood toe to toe with her. She stabbed her hand into his chest and grabbed his soul.
- At first it felt like his insides were burning cold.
- She withdrew her hand and Toby collapsed to the ground, dead.
- Kyriel and Abelarde engaged the necrotic demon-lich, and Abelarde struck her dead.
- Kyriel blessed his burning Warhammer and shattered the skull. Abelarde checked the pieces and there was no arcane energies left in it. They had succeeded.
- Abelarde walked on top of the snow while Kyriel, carrying Toby, climbed back up the mountain to check on Lucan and Salissta.
- The place where the temple had been was now a crater. The mountain tops that had been on either side of the temple had been blown off.
- They dug through the snow and found Salissta’s body. She had cast a barrier spell over Lucan, who was still unconscious but appeared alive.
- The skies became dark and snow started to fall. The wind began to blow, cold and bitter, stabbing at Abelarde’s skin. Toby was gone. Lucan was under a protective dome but there was no way to tell when, or even if, he would ever wake up. Abelarde was trapped miles up on top of a mountain, sitting in a stone crater, and the temperatures continued to drop.
- Shepherd Kyriel sat down, cross-legged and looked at Abelarde. He began his Sermon of Passing by saying “Let me tell you how things are going to go…”

Comments

fookin’ epic

Top of the World
 

fookin’ epic

Top of the World
Davan

I'm sorry, but we no longer support this web browser. Please upgrade your browser or install Chrome or Firefox to enjoy the full functionality of this site.