End of Dreams

Interlude 2

Everything happened so fast.  Once you stepped through the portal into Haven, life became a whirlwind, funneling you into an inescapable destination.  The descent into the depths beneath the crystal city, feeling your options stripped away one by one with each alternate avenue disappearing behind you.

 

As you stepped into the chamber that had held the Herald captive back beyond living memory, you could almost feel the doors of your fate slam shut behind you.  There was no turning back, you were committed.

 

As the battle raged, you thought you had a chance.. Gerald held Remiel back, the power rolling off of them in their struggle almost visible as they danced their subtle dance.  Denga charged in, caught up in a battle frenzy as he engaged Darshan, or what had once been the massive Black Hand.  Vaine staggered under the combined onslaught of flame and steel, but somehow held his feet in display of inhuman resiliency.

 

But then the sword was lost.. Remiel managed to turn the tide all at once by knocking Lokdal loose from Dal’s grasp.  The blade flew, with unerring accuracy and pierced the crystal prison of the Herald that had endured so well for these past thousands of years.  As the prison collapsed, with it went any hope of victory, as the Herald walked free for the first time in uncounted centuries.  The being that it took the might of armies of ancients to imprison was free, and the world shuddered with his steps.

 

Still somehow, you managed to defy his will, as Vaine was killed before Kain could use him to fulfill whatever dark purpose he had intended.  The spirit that had animated him tore free, howling in rage as his soul was ripped from the empty shell by Gaz.  Still the effort proved less effective than hoped, when Kain reclaimed the lost soul while you stood by impotently.

 

As he sealed you in, your allies and enemies alike deserted you as Remiel and Gerald melted away into the tunnels.  The sheer power of the man was impossible, shattering your defenses and bodies like kindling.  But still he seemed vulnerable, perhaps weakened by his long imprisonment, and terribly unbalanced.  You made attempt after attempt to penetrate his tricks, his deceptions, and his defenses, but succeeded only in angering him.

 

As he took to the air, and the flames began to engulf the room, you thought all was lost, that your deaths were at hand.  Nothing you did seemed to slow him down, and now he seemed intent on cremating you all in a mass bonfire of his all consuming will.  As the world began to burn, Gaz called you together in one last desperate attempt at escape across the veil of realities.  The world shimmered around you, as the floor fell away and you felt yourselves swallowed into the infinite darkness of the void between worlds.

 

For a moment all was peaceful, then you began to feel a pull, a tug, of the very fabric of reality resisting the speed with which you moved.  Lights and nebulas raced past, as if you were being hurled through the very stars in the sky.  You clung desperately to the magical fabric that held you together, to the power that dragged you screaming through the void, but the pull was inexorable.  One by one you were pulled free, Dal first, fell away into the night, streaking towards a glowing green light, followed quickly by Kalen, hurled into a raging storm of chaos and darkness.  Aaron and Cyrus were next to be torn away, though they managed to hold tight to each other as they were dragged into a cluster of winking lights.  The last thing they saw before their vision went dark, the shimmering spar of power, streaking through the sky, carrying their last visible comrades towards some unknown fate at the heart of the swirling chaotic void.

 

What followed was different for each person, and it is up to them what they share and do not. 

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Haven Alight

In Ravens Roost the party learns that Sangreal has grow impatient, and led a force against Haven. Aaron has gone with them hoping to help keep things under control, but an eruption of magical defenses leaves the attack force trapped between the glowing walls and the orcish hordes.

Aaron has made his way inside hoping to stop Vaine, but communication has been cut off.

Gerald was unable to learn much, but believes that Lilith the founder of the cult of Infernus didn’t actually die, but left the plane. Despite his objections the party insists that Terrant come with them to try and stop Vaine, since he has agreed to help until Vaine’s death.

The party gates to the altar of Infernus, inside the city of Haven. The party follows Vaines trail down into the depths of the city, past the keystone they had found before and into elderglass tunnels far beneath the city. Eventually they confront Vaine in a vast chamber, the centrepiece of which is a large block of crystal with a skeleton sealed inside.

A battle breaks out, during which Remiel faces off with Terrant, And the party holds off Darshan while trying to kill Vaine. The sword they found at Dreams End flies away from Dal, and peirces the block of crystal. Just as the block breaks, freeing the Herald Kain, Vaine falls under the flaming onslaught from Gaz and Kalen, and collapses into a burning heap as Gaz rips out his soul.

With the Herald free, he rips free the soul from Darhsan’s body, healing himself, then reclaims the soul that Gaz had taken, completing the process and leaving a very human looking, very unbalanced middle aged man.

But as Remiel and Terrant flee the chamber, and Kain begins to toy with the party, it’s very clear that he is far more powerful than they can deal with. When he at last tires of the game, he erupts the room into a fury of magic, expanding the fill the entire chamber.

The party falls back, and at the last second Gaz, listening to some voice only she can hear, uses some sealed power of the pendant to tear a hole through the planar fabric, hurling the party across the multiverse.

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Crystal Caverns

As they descend into the caves weird streams of distorted time wreak havoc. As they are crossing a vast beam of glass, they are attacked, and the beam gives way plunging them into the darkness below. Separated and saved by the twisting streams of flowing time, they find themselves scattered in a maze far beneath the earth.

Each sees strange sights, things from the past, the present, images of themselves or friends, things from history or perhaps the future, until finally Cyrus and Kalen find themselves in a pentagonal chamber, staring at a pedastal of light holding a strange pendant. As they lift the pendant, the walls crack, and they find themselves under attack by a swarm of crystalline spiders.

The rest of the party finds them just in time, and the group fights their way free.

Eventually the party comes to a vast chamber, with a sword embedded into a mound of crystal. As they approach the mound animates into a giant crystalline titan, the guardian of the hall. The party quickly reduces it to rubble, but before they can leave, they are stopped by Garet/Remiel, who after a long battle agrees to let them leave, as long as they promise to take the blade and go, never returning to Haven.

On leaving the caves, Gaz is assaulted by a blast of messages seemingly all jumbled together. It is deciphered that they have been in the cave for a month, and that the time distortion has delivered all of the sendings that had been in transit all at once in a hopeless jumble.

As Denga’s visions grow darker the party gates back to Ravens Roost, hoping for more information.

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The Grass Sea

The party continues east, and in a battle with land sharks manage to light the grasslands ablaze in the summer heat. Scrambling to flee further east, they are attacked by roving packs of gnolls before managing to find their way to a small outpost town, Edge, so named because it eked out a living on the edge of a seemingly endless devastated wasteland.

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Balance of Power 4

Scrambling to escape, the party stumbled into a meeting between trolls and a beholder, deep in negotiations for something. Dal was spotted scouting, and the party was dragged into a brutal combat. They then fled, fighting their way out through an army of trolls and out of the caves to the east. Karn opted to go back in, still looking for the last body of his fallen comrade.

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Balance of Power 3

The party makes its way further into the depths, getting lost, be eventually finding their way to the crossroads of the region. The water filled lair of a young black dragon. The party tried to negotiate, but eventually were forced into combat, defeating the beast and looting it’s horde, amongst which were an elven made mithril mask and vicious claw.

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Balance of Power 2

The party managed to defeat the Troglodyte leaders, retrieve the corpse of Karn’s first comrade, and escape into the dark before being surrounded by the rest of the tribe. Denga continued to be haunted by dreams, growing so strong that he actually started battling phantom attackers while awake, nearly hurling himself off a cliff.

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Balance of Power 1

Delving underground the party met with a Dwarven warrior who had been living underground for far too long. According to him he was all that was left of the previous expedition, but instead of returning to the city he had remained, trying to retrieve the remains of his comrades for proper burial. With his help, the party started to fight their way deeper into the depths, battling Troglodytes.

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A Study in Depth

The Party began dives into the ruins looking for treasure.  They turned up several unique and interesting artifacts before a run of bad luck led to a catastrophic failure in the side of the lake bed, sucking in Cyrus.  He was saved from being pulled into the Underdark only by Herculian efforts and amazing luck.

After the excitement, the party camped near the entrance to the Underdark, making plans to delve in the next day.

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The Low Road 2

During the night, Denga was again haunted by disturbing Dreams, but little attention was paid to them by anyone but Denga at the time.  The party ventured out across the valley, and was attacked by a Hydra ( the great Murk) .  While they defended themselves, eventually felling the great beast, the tribe of lizard folk who lived along the banks of the lake charged in to defend their god.  This led to their prompt obliteration by Kalen and Cyrus, whi made incredibly short work of the massing humanoids.

The tribes Shaman Slyth, was captured by Cyrus and intimidated into revealing the locations of exits from the valley, and then released.  The parts spent some time exploring, and then searching for the Hydras lair to no avail, before inquiring with the lizardfolk survivors.  The cowed lizards informed them that the great Murk lived in the city under the lake.

This peaked the curiosity of the party, who begandives into the depths of the lake aided by underwater breathing rituals, looking for signs of this city and of the hydra's lair.

When the sun was about to set, they dropped a sunrod into the chasm in the middle of the lake, revealing shards of glass embedded into the chasm walls.  And as the sun set, the light refracted off of submerged trasparent builds, revealing a sunken city sprawled across the bottom of the lake.

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