18th of Alborath to 4th of Exregulan
Year 333 of The Dark
Needrik as Swatulu Taki, barbarian, ranger and earth mage
Setho as Malygos Onyxian, direct descendant of Skylurk Fei
Gary as Kellan Warfang, Baaaaar barian!
Glen as Azule von Trunt, dead or living… you decide!
- Kellan catches up to Azule and Taki in Desiderata and decide to continue to Mt. Evercrest which is due north of Tyrus somewhere – I guess you can’t miss it.
- They fight giant scorpions and dire lions and cave bears — oh my! (no cave bears, actually)
- Eventually, thanks to all the time that Azule and Taki spent doing research on Vitriolis Vyle last session, Malygos Onyxian rides up to the party and demands an explanation for what happened to him in Sangria. What happened you ask?
Well, let me tell you….
Exactly 28 days ago…
- Malygos awakens in his armor during Brightening and is accosted by two silver dragon riders in the livery of New Iparia. They land and ask him a few questions regarding the Counterweight of Iparia. Malygos concedes that he did in fact take it and decides to make his case to the magistrate of Sangria.
- Malygos is ‘escorted’ (this involves being hogtied, gagged, blindfolded and having all your gear taken) to the Magistrate of Sangria, a human called ‘Your Honor’.
- Malygos makes his case to the magistrate but he will hear none of it. Malygos’ argument is this: “True, I took the Counterweight from you, but you have no idea of its legacy or its destiny. I have transformed this artifact into something that can save this world, you use it as a means to save one city. The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.”
- The magistrate’s counterargument: “How are we to know if you speak the truth if you are a known thief? How do we know if this Counterweight can do what you say it can do? This could be a clever ruse. Even though my priests detect no lie in you, I have learned that untruths can be spoken by those who are ignorant, deluded or insane. You have broken a treaty that we have held dear these two and a half centuries and your explanation is an admission of your guilt. You shall hang immediately until dead within the walls of this city to show the ultimate fate accrued to a thief and a traitor.”
- Malygos ascends the scaffold, to hang with another malcontent. A crowd awaits below, a dozen guards, a couple of young silver dragons look on.
- After the proclamation of death read by the priest of Io, Malygos casts a spell which causes some of the guards and citizens to rebel.
- In the confusion, Malygos casts painful clouds of darkness into the guards and sends the priest falling off the scaffold.
- He then mentally controls one of the silver dragons to rescue him and she does. The other silver dragon is incensed at this betrayal and chases after the dragon calling after her.
- A cinematic air chase through the skies of Sangria ensues as the chasing dragon breathes jets of cold at the prisoner and Malygos firing back with searing darkness only to learn that the dragons are vulnerable to fire.
- Past the city walls, the dragon holding Malygos drops him lightly on the sand. The priest of Skylurk immediately injures her with a slay living spell. The other dragon lands nearby and breathes paralyzing gas at Malygos.
- Malygos’ luck holds as he shrugs off the gas. An epic battle begins between the dragons and Malygos. Just as Malygos slays the last young dragon. A formation of adult silver dragons and their experienced riders vault over the walls of Sangria to approach the convict.
- Malygos, battered and bleeding, melds into the nearby rock formations and they lose him after an hour’s search.
- In the darkening that follows, Malygos leaves the rocks and goes out in search of his former party…
- En route, Malygos visits Jandria Astrakhal in Thraxx-Arkana and asks for some assistance since he lost all of his gear in Sangria. Jandria breaks out her stash and helps him out as best as she can.
- Malygos is incensed at what happened to him and demands that Thraxx-Arkana go to war with them immediately in a conflagration of flame and dust!! But Jandria tries to calm him down. “We learned our lesson after the Desiderata War of Annihilation. We won’t go to war again unless our very nation’s survival is threatened.” Malygos retorts, “Well, what do you think The Dark is? A joke? All Sangria cares about is itself, they say fuck Crucibal. Well I say, fuck them. Did you know they made a treaty with Orcus? You believe that? Taking away their forcefield was what they deserved.” Jandria said she would try to get the Council to send some delegates to Sangria and ask for the Counterweight for the good of Crucibal, but if that fails, it will up to the Magisterium to decide."
- Malygos rides on into the east…
And that’s what happened to Malygos.
- Malygos makes it clear to the party that this betrayal has been noted and that he is finding it near impossible to journey with a party that despises him.
- Taki brings it in point-blank: “I have always believed in justice, honor and the defense of the innocent. I have always had issues with your philosophy, you know that, I’ve made no secret of it. I had nothing to do with what happened to you in New Iparia, but I must admit that your attitude needs to change concerning your beliefs out here in the open. I don’t know what to do to be quite honest. Every time I adventure with you in that armor, seeing the spells you cast, I feel like I’m trading in my soul.”
- Kellan and Azule reiterated their moral issue with leaving a city defenseless.
- Malygos repeated his argument made to the magistrate of Sangria and added this: “Has it ever occurred to you folks that we need ALL the gods released to banish The Dark Firmament?”
- The rest of the party objected saying that this was news to them. Kellan asked, “How do you know this to be true?” Malygos responded, “Skylurk himself told me.”
- Then Taki and the others made the case that Skylurk is an evil god and has a vested interest in being released before the others. What’s to say that he’s lying in an effort to get released sooner.
- Malygos waved off the naysayers, “Look, I have to do what I have to do to save my deity. If I have to do it without you. I will.”
- On that somber note, the party remained silent and continued on to Mount Evercrest.
- After fighting off a gang of hill giants armed with boulders in the foothills, they make it to a dwarven settlement in the Northern Mountains called Kor-Khamath. There they resupply and learn that it’s not a fun place. The place is constantly pinging to the sound of hammers and the forge. Apparently, they trade weapons with the Tyrus Empire and with Evercrest. They have seen Kzinti on chromatic dragons over their town. They have also seen them on occasion in merchant airships. After Azule nearly starts an incident with one of the dwarves, Taki and the others quickly move on through the valleys and canyons of the Northern Mountains toward Evercrest.
- En route, they notice a despoiled caravan of weaponry and a formation of manticores overhead looking for human meat. Luckily, no one in the party is human.
- A few days later, the party encounters a treant guarding the road to Mt. Evercrest. He informs the party that a small army of demons just raided the place a fortnight ago. The treant escorts them to the city limits and then returns to the surrounding woods.
- Within the marble and gold city of the Sanctuary of Evercrest, they meet Theodoric, the warmaster of the haven. He explains the situation, “We were attacked a fortnight ago by a vampire and his whore companion. They led a small army of demons through a mystic gate that opened right there near the fountain. (He points at it). It disappeared only two nights ago. I had our paladins stand vigil near that gate for almost two weeks. Nothing else came through and no one was foolish enough to enter it. One of my men remembers an acolyte spilling the blood of one of our priests on that very site just before the gate opened up. They must have sent in a spy to complete the necessary lynchpins for their ritual. In any case, we were not prepared. We lost many. Luckily, our high priest, Linnaeus, is still with us, healing the wounded and curing the diseases they brought with them. We had to slay some of our dead since they emerged as vampire spawn. Damn, this was a terrible business. A terrible business!”
- Theodoric then escorts the party to meet Linnaeus at the Apollonian Acropolis. He is a simple human in white and gold robes. He wears an amulet and a pair of gold bracers. “Greetings, pilgrims. As you can see we are unable to help with your requests at this time. We are still trying to repair the damage left by the evil spawn of Orcus who swept through here last fortnight. I think it is time for us to ask you for help. Can you help us to heal our sick and wounded? Or perhaps help to reconstruct the fallen homes and buildings of our haven?”
- The party is eager to help (though Linnaeus loses his cool when he sees Malygos on an undead steed. Malygos repairs to the outer edge of the city) and they learn that the demon army is moving toward the lair of Vitriolis Vyle. They also learn that Apollo is here! In the grotto above the Acropolis… sleeping. They also find out that they have a teleportation disk but it doesn’t work anymore, not since The Dark. A Sunshard may be able to power it temporarily, however.
- The party gets to work helping out the haven, but while doing so they try to come up with a plan of what to do next…