Waking up on this day was quite unsettling. As i opened my eyes and focused on the figure ahead of me, I notice the man was Crane, my fellow brother in the crusade for the Legendary swords of Oceron. His posture was that of a wizard who had just finished casting a most intensive spell. Had he gained the proficiency to great magic? And at what cost for he was in nothing but a robe of magic resistance and his girdle. "Brother what happened!? And where in the heavens did all your clothing go?" I asked Crane in a worrisome tone. "Everyone is Fine Kreldren , move into the other room with the rest so I may cast stone to flesh on our comrade Hargon", he replied and ignored the question about the lack of clothing. Our weeks of travel together has formed us into a band of heroes in the search of the swords, a quest given to us by Telemachus Minion of Kor, and it has led us in the right direction. I come to find out that we had slain the mummified medusa. Next time I won't stand so close to the front during the opening of a sarcophagus for I was turned to stone and left in this dungeon of infernal worshipers whilst my surviving comrades Raethes, Regginald, Calib, and Crane set out to find a way to release Hargon and myself from the effects of the Medusa's gaze. Having found a way to rescue us we voted on the next course of action, rest and return or continue exploring this place. Having retrieved one of the swords of legend from its guardian I was convinced we could rest and return to explore once more. Our comrades decided we should continue and explore as they were fully ready to carry on. Raethes is a paladin of Katharia and his armor protects well. Regginald is a fighter of Kor and can bring down a large ogre in one hit. Crane is our wizard the only wizard I know who can turn stone to flesh in style. Calib is our woodsman archer but can wield a dual bladed sword with grace. Hargon is a Cleric of Gratius and is not afraid to smite the evil out of many a foe. I have sworn to follow the teachings of my Lady Agrea, and although I follow a strict ethical path towards enlightenment, I find myself in the midst of a bloody and most dangerous journey.
My comrades explained the events after the medusa turned Hargon and myself into stone, Telemachus was summoned for aid, but all he could provide was information. One most troubling to me, Heather was compromised, and in league with Destinada lady of the night. I only summoned Heather to briefly aid my comrades, but the place of infernal worship was too evil, and upon seeing a cloak we had taken from an evil cleric in the dungeon below, she put it on, and the day became the night. Heather was not called by name, nor was she requested personally but I myself uttered the prayer that brought her to this world. I feel responsible yet powerless. Telemachus also explained about the swords to my brothers, if I recall these are the details below.
- Rudens spike (original sword, will lead us to the next sword needed, good vs undead also glows when near some)- found in Oceron. Sword obtained
- Doktari's claw (points to the nearest shapeshifter)- found in the world beyond the portal in the standing stones. Sword obtained.
- Roth's cleaver (an angelic diva named Zuriel appeared to our troop once in search for the blade)- found in an alternate continent on Oceron
- Allvocron's tooth - can be found by traveling the 4 elemental planes
- ???- is on an alternate world/ alternate universe
- ???- is alternate plane/ alternate universe
- ???- can be found in the lower planes
My comrades ventured to Sumberton and found no way to restore us, they ventured to barrows edge, to no avail. Their last hope was to either venture months across the desert to an unknown city, or venture back to Oceron through the portal at the standing stones and ask the witch Agreezee for help. Luckily Agreezee was capable of producing the scrolls needed. Crane set us free, and I made sure to thank him for his help. I now know what it felt like the time I brought him back to life after and ogre ran him down, in his own way he brought me back to life as well. Ah and the reasoning behind the apparent nakedness of my brother Crane was that we did not want to risk any spell mishap upon reading the scroll. He risked it twice for us and asked nothing in return. A true friend.
Together we conversed over the corpse of the medusa underneath the ruins near Sumberton, little did we know that the black elephant hide on the wall above her sarcophagus was beginning to reform and transmute into some sort of liquid, a curious sight to behold, clearly evil however as a large black spider emerged from within, one with more legs than a normal spider has.
As usual the beast stood no chance against the might of my hero comrades. Regginald was left with spider legs stuck to his head after he took a giant swing at the arachnid whose origins, I could only assume are from a dark and foreboding place. As soon as it made its death curls another figure emerged from the dark portal, a skeleton with a robe and a raspy voice speaking. "Who will come serve my master?", the skeleton asked as it was met with blades and club." You won't make it back to report to you master.", proclaimed Raethese. Hargon and Regginald took the initial 1st swings, and Raethese flew into position, as Hargon lost his stance and fell part way into the portal. " Gods blessed! I told you not to go in!", I screamed as I saw my friend seemingly take the plunge towards oblivion. Calib and I grabbed a leg, and with Raethese help pulled him out, just after dispatching the skeleton with ease.
Hargon emerged frosted from the waist up and with deep wounds. He could recall only darkness and a sharp coldness. At this point we waited for more enemies to emerge, Ruden's spike remained glowing, but nothing came. Crane explained that the gate way could lead to many evil places such as Tartarus. We decided to Continue clearing out the wicked cultists dungeon, leaving behind the opened portal to the dark place, and entering a room with 2 sarcophagi and 5 or so chests.
The chest's locks would not open with knock spell, there was magic detected upon 4 of them, so we figured they were trapped. Allowing Raethese to conduct the investigation in the room on his own while the team stayed nearby at the hallway, he triggered the trap by jiggling the lock on one of the chests. However, these were no chests, but sentient constructs that only resembled treasure chests. Our doorway fight method was flawed in this instance as chests closed in fast upon Raethese. Regginald had an opening to move in but got surrounded by the constructs. These things moved like oysters under the sea, animated by magic I assume and made to clamp down on my brothers with their large iron teeth. They had they reflexive ability to snap their jaws and clamp down on any would be attacker with alarming speed. Calib tried to help but got clasped in one of the chests teeth, it bit down on him hard until Raethese and Regginald managed to sunder they remainder of these constructs of doom. We licked our wounds once again and proceeded to the battle plan strategy for the opening of this undead resting place. Names were given here, of regal sounding people from a time long past, I recalled the surname on one of them only to be Starmere , had we not come across a similar tomb before in our journeys? So many dark tunnels and evil forces have we come across, everything so far is wicked, or corrupted in some way, save for a few in this world. My comrades hold a no tolerance policy towards anything that even radiates evil, yet I still try to parley and offer surrender when able. Someday this will work, and the lands across all planes will be at peace, at least it is my hopes.
The opening of the 1st sarcophagus surprised the lot of us as a huge, winged bat creature flew out. Hargon channeled his divine energies to prostrate the evil causing it to flee. we attempted to give chase but returned to the chest to find a vampire, it was struck so hard that it turned to mist. Unsure of when it would come back for its beheading, we proceeded to the next sarcophagus. This one was of a female. A large bat flew out once again upon the opening of this chest, and the female undead also emerged, only to be cut down in an instant. My vision became blurry as my comrades collected the items of use from her grave. I recalled what Telemachus told my friends that Heather, the holy minion of lady Agrea who had aided us many times, had switched allegiances. I must make things right, but these interplanar entities are so powerful how could I stand a chance? Perhaps M'lady Agrea has already given me the tools to figure this out on my own. Through the promise of peace for our loved ones and safety in our home world through collective aid towards one another.
* * * *
The day continued as my vision cleared and I was able to focus on the new landscape we had been instantly transported to. Desert sand as far as the eye could see. There was no sun, yet it was bright as day. the heat could be sensed but not felt. Telemachus and many I could not identify were present. Reggie, Raethes, Hargon, and Calib were here as well, I did not see brother Crane. I felt restored as if fully rested, could this be a dream? Telemachus dawned magnificent dark full plate armor, a change from his previous outfit. The man looked...diffrent but I would never question his intentions as he has helped my party a number of times before. He had given me the Crest of Bravery. He had told us about the sacred quest for the swords and even offered us further help by allowing us each a chance to call upon his instant aid. His knowledge of the swords is invaluable. Finally, since Lord Kor has blessed me with a boon on this quest, I do tend to side with Telemachus even though he brought bad news about my dearest friend Heather.
"You have been brought here to the paraelemental plane of air on a matter of great importance and with massive impact on interplanar politics. I have cast endure elements upon everyone and we must make ready for battle. A Fire giant Lord has obtained one of the swords and converges upon us with a massive army.", Telemachus spoke to all the attendees. We quickly made introductions to the other adventuring group that was summoned near us. Their attending minion apparently also introducing them to the arena. These adventures seemed rugged and seriously just trying to get by like us, had the world they lived in been as harsh as the ones we have been in?? What kind of land did they travel from, and what faiths intertwine with mine? We met with Myasmar, Vermere, Sully, Gamzun and Kal. Fharlanghn the god of travels was mentioned to have made the journey possible. These were eccentric fellows, and our combined abilities would be needed. The minion next to Telemachus that addressed Kals group of adventures also noticed the mace of Harmonia and motioned towards it. "The Firestar of Delmere!", she declared as Rathese mentioned its brilliance. Had i knows better this minion would have knowledge of this mace and probably could have been inquired further.
"To me for arms and armor!", announced Telemachus as a line formed to receive the boons. I myself wanted to ask for a better shield. Full plate was handed out like warm stew on a cold day yet when it was my turn Telemachus stated that I had no sponsorship, and that Heather is now Destinadas puppet due to her having hold of the Cloak of the Night. He mentioned that Ishtish took the cloak and now Lord Kor has the cloak. he bellowed a snarky laugh after telling me. If I'm not mistaken this cloak holds power amongst the minions and deities. Heather is now unreachable and the only one capable of standing against Destinda would be Lady Agrea. The information struck me hard, but I heard the voice of a soothing female, it was Lady Agrea telling me that she hears me and is still with me. Why would Telemachus lie? for the greater good I hope... I must see to it the sword gets released from the hands of evil. Having been denied the shield I faced the battlefield and could finally see the advancing Hoard. There had to be at least a thousand figures advancing from afar, still we had about an hour to prepare.
A couple of strangers also suddenly appeared. they seemed to be allies as Kals team recognized one as their own. Our introductions quickly turned into an investigation due to our Raethese's inquisitorial views. He came upon her with the speed of a hawk, and Regginald also came to back him up. This person had been identified as dead but now is here. I vouched for this stranger as we could use every man or woman at our side, redemption would be given if they worked for it. The woman radiated evil, and Uncharacteristically of Raethese , he did not execute her on the spot, he only said, "Fine, but I'm keeping my eye on you!". This was progress for my friends as the minute we entered existence we have faced evil after evil, all mostly unredeemable. Treacherous thieving and lying evils of which there was said to be no end to unless the swords broke the chains on St Silarus in Oceron.
The hoard approached as we discussed our intentions and plans, our strengths and weaknesses, every minute that past, another line of orcs on the horizon, then soon we could see minotaurs. The hoard grew much closer and Telemachus announced in a shout," More reinforcements behind us!". Thats when I noticed the line of archers and sentry man on each side of us and more behind us.This would be a mighty clash my dwarven eyes could only guess, but it had to of been at least a thousand orcs alone. Perhaps for every hundred orcs there were 3 dozen minotaurs. Our forces seemed to rival theirs, and we were nearly ready.
30 minutes before the big clash long term protections were cast and our plan was to simply wait for them until they get in range. This strategy would help us do our short-term spells quickly. Suddenly about this time a helpful genie appeared. "Hello, my name is Kaleeb", he gestured politely as the hoard grew closer. "Are you here to help us in this grand battle?", I looked at this Kaleeb questioningly. "Oh, I have many things that could help.", the man-genie said. Was this man a merchant from here? I could only do what I had been wanting to do for weeks and ask for a usage of the spell last breath. Looking over at the coming army, other figures began getting identified and announced of their location and details. Hill giants joined the battle, a Beholder was spotted. the sand began to kick up from the massive hoard and the dust from it all began to form a cyclone encompassing a large swath of area could this be an obstacle of the land now? or is it a friendly storm. am I dreaming up something that's not there? the distance is so far and the amount of death at hand unfathomable. Could the fate of the world, or all worlds be at connected to this fight and all battles regarding the swords? And what in the heavens is a beholder? Our intel so far stated that has anti-magic field and ray attacks, so I lined up some death wards to cast alongside the other protection spells already casted. Its rays can turn a person to stone, so I also asked the genie Kaleeb for a Stone salve. He happily produced these items right as the final engagement began.
2 minutes before the clash we gathered for the final round of beneficial spells, I had saved my Mass Aid spell, and Vermere prepared a Haste spell for a few of us. At this time Telemachus began calling in Minions to aid us." Velarious I am in in battle!", he shouted at the heavens, and appeared the minion of Kor Velarious. This man had recognized my group before as worthy of Kor's boons, and we had made a promise to him to be good and to do good. " I will aid you brother", Velarious spoke to Telemachus. "Terrion I am in battle!", Telemachus continued as he called out another minion. "I call upon Saint Crempes! I am in battle! ", Telemachus Summoned the lordly Saint Crempes Cameron, the man who once helped me save a friend from death due to the fowl mauling of a manticore, my brother was only trying to conduct night watch he did not deserve such a fate. Saint Crempes also once assisted in the casting of a commune spell and is one of the strongest minions we know of. The hoard of monsters approached closer still and now began to go from a steady march to an all-out running dash towards the grandest of battles this world has ever known. If this were to be our final stand it will all be over in a couple of minutes, the allied archers had already let loose a volley of arrows, hitting their adjacent foes, and we would also see foot soldiers clashing with the hoard of orcs and minotaurs. They had advanced ahead of our troop, but as soon as they came in sight we advanced slowly.
The Crest of Bravery was activated just before Kal broke formation with a leaping attack enhanced by the ring of jumping found in the dungeon of infernal worshipers. He laid waste easily to the orc but was quickly met by 3 more. We soon found ourselves in the midst of a conflict so large that the sounds of clashing and metal clanging together could be heard loudly on all sides. A line of Orcs was tumbling down upon us, our clerics coordinated their Devotion to protection divine magics and encompassed our allies in most sacred armor blessings just as we met with our foes. Vermere saw an opening and decided to slow and break their ranks by summoning a toxic mist huge enough to envelop, confuse and break their forces in half, Regginald broke to the right towards a hill giant that was slowly moving to flank around the mist. I myself was preparing to move ahead with Regginald while the rest of the group moved to the orcs and minotaurs who had started to break past the left flank. Arrows shot from Calib were amplified by Telemachus and instantly split in 2 as they whizzed past him landing their marks. Gamzun called out, " More fire-based area spells!" The revived evil lady seeking repentance in battle summoned spheres of flame and launched them at out foes.
An ally black panther had taken position near Regginald as more orcs and minotaurs emerged. At a distance the large forces began to clash as well. The volley of arrows by our allies hundreds of feet near our sides had taken out a large contingent of orcs. While the sentry men collided with their section of orcs and minotaurs. The beholder began to do battle as well, I was surprised to find that it had been overrun by Telemachus' reinforcements. Even further beyond my view the massive cyclone had changed course and enveloped a wide area containing many of the orc hoard's left flank.
Suddenly Telemachus grabbed my shoulder and said," Stay with me". I wasn't sure what this was about as Regginald took a severe blow from the giant, and my friends on the other side began to take hits. The cleric of Ferlangen activated his Sacred boost, for a chance at a perfect heal for all, why would Telemachus need me at such a dire time? The female voice spoke to me in my mind once again, " Who is holding you? What is going on?". I spoke softly and said," Telemachus is holding me, even though I am with him" Within the mindscape I thought to myself a response to my Lady Agrea,"Telemachus has summoned us to the paraelemental plane of air along with St Crempes and Velarious and many others. A fire Giant has hold of one of the swords and we are do do battle with its massive army." I received no response. Saint Crempes quickly stepped in and promptly kicked Telemachus off and declared, " Unhand him!". Telemachus fell to the floor and swiftly got up drawing his blade giving a Retort, "Dick! This is for the blades!". Raethese answered the call to peace,"We could deal with the politics later, for now we are in battle together!". " Friends first, politics later." I mentioned as I moved towards Regginald to heal him with the boosted ability blessed by Fharlanghn.
Seconds later, orcs waves begun losing their vast numbers, and out came the wave of giants, led by the fire giant lord. a lone minotaur broke past our ranks and attempted to waylay Saint Crempes, only to be met with a swipe of his hands, which severed the minotaurs bottom half. It fell motion less on the ground as the weight of its own bulk brought it down after. I witnessed another attack by a minion, the battle was too blurry I could not make out who did it, but with another wave of the hand all in front of him fell, like a swift wind of justice slamming down on its foes. Telemachus beckoned me to call my Lady for aid, I initially refused but the situation became dire and with the final seconds of battle at hand I had to reconsider. With most of the hoard now dead and only the fire giant surviving, I had no choice but to provide aid to my comrades, calling for her glorious name she appeared in all her beauty and splendor, Lady Agrea herself, came to us in our greatest time of need. Her presence instantly healing all allies to their fullest potential. The Crazed fire Giant lord, stricken with anger, and contempt towards man, driven to insanity by its quest for the sword, was pacified with a single touch of her Ladyship's grace. Could this mark the end? Is peace obtained? I rushed over to Gamzun in hopes to make it in time to save him from the clutches of death, he met an unfortunate end against this army. The scroll from Kaleeb would prove useful indeed. Kaleeb did face the wrath of the Fire giant but was able to avoid destruction.
Telemachus then insisted Raethese bring forth Katharia to finish this battle, Raethese refused, and the battle continued, though the mad fire giant lord was temporarily held, he must have had a good argument striking at Lady Agrea's sense of non-violence, for she must have let loose her grip. He did not want to yield but was ultimately defeated. Telemachus in an act that mystifies me took the sword, while the fire giant lord was whisked away by some sort of evil minion. Telemachus then himself disappeared with the blade leaving with a shout towards Raethese," Stubborn Oaf!"
With the battle at an end the war would press on in another world perhaps. We have been recognized as a whole by Lady Agrea, but leave off with more questions than we started. What is the Cloak of the Night? Did Telemachus turn evil? Or is his thirst for battle misunderstood. Looking towards Saint Crempes , he seemed disturbed by the usage of acid mist, could this be deemed an evil spell? nonetheless the war was at a brief period of rest, the battle finished, and my friends still alive. Although there were casualties on both sides we formed bonds between realms, which were forged with blood and tears. Perhaps peace can only be attained after traversing the most treacherous of roads, perhaps the life given to us will be filled with these obstacles and temptations, but we must not falter for the forces of evil will travel to the ends of the known planes and back just to promote their decadent evil ways. So, we must each be prepared to do our part for our family for our friends for the fate of all that exists and will ever exist. Praise be to Lady Agrea , may her love reach us all.
The hosts have gathered, legions eye barbarians across a barren field, the generals stab daggers into their maps, the WAR QUEST has arrived.
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