As we return to action, our Heroes find themselves in a dilapidated town in the Netherlands. They are lying prone due to a great sonic wind created by Terminus (All except Jeric who rolled a saving throw). Nasty Terminus. Big Boss Terminus. Lets get it on!
Terminus, enormous, his body covered in spikes, a visor covering his face, and a large club strapped to his back runs aggressively towards the Heroes all business and screaming, “WORGRAVE!!!!!!!!! I have new orders… Now I just have to bring back a piece of you!” Roll for initiative.
Taran asks, “How does this bastard keep finding you?”
Quavos uses his turn to lift Ax saving him an action… Thanks pal!!! Ax jumps to it and casts STARFALL (3d12 dmg). Terminus has spell resistance and it minimalizes the blow but the deed is done. Terminus takes a licking but keeps on ticking. Santos casts MOONBOLT and then employs his rarely used feat, DIVINE JUSTICE.
The boys have gained Terminus’ attention. “Cleric: Darkness sends Its regards.” Terminus tears off a piece of wall from the nearest building and throws it at Santos. Terminus is cranky.
Eloric buffs himself with ARCANE SPELL. Back to Terminus who turns his attention to Jeric, “I’ve learned a few things since last time we met,” and takes after him with his club. Jeric dodges as best he can but takes some damage. With his third strike Terminus drops his club! Quavos chimes in, “Is that what you’ve learned? ‘Cause I ain’t impressed!” But Terminus uses his next action to pick up his club. “I’ll show you what I’ve learned!” He takes after Jeric again with his club. Poor Jeric.
Jeric casts ENERVATION; 1d4 negative level to Terminus! He loses 2 levels! Cesa casts DIMENSION DOOR on herself moving out of Terminus’ range. Taran also moves away.
Round 2. Santos casts HEALING CIRCLE. 5 charges to the Heroes in a 30ft radius (everyone but Jeric who has flown up into the air to avoid Terminus). Cure Critical. Cure Serious. Cure Moderate. Cure Light. Cure 5HP. Such a great helper, that Santos. He then moves towards Terminus and uses SACRED PURIFICATION. Terminus, gaining an attack of opportunity, uses his club, swatting at Santos.
Eloric Jor uses a swift action and casts FLY. Then, once in the air, casts DISINITIGRATE!!!!! Yea crazy old dude!!! From up in the air we see his old dangly balls in all their glory. He uses the spell to draw a penis on Terminus’ chest. Huh-huh-huh. Alera from behind the wall, “Is that Dick Butt?” It is m’lady. It is.
“I’m a little tea pot short and stout… this is my handle this is my spout.”
Jeric casts ENERVATION again. Alera casts CAT’S GRACE.
Back to Terminus… Now minus 5 levels, goes after Santos. Terminus is rolling his dice like a little bitch and misses three times, dropping his club yet again. Seriously? It was funny, now it’s just sad. He then uses his move action to pick up his club. He uses his second turn to try again. Miss. Miss. Miss. At least he doesn’t drop his club this time. Frustrated, Terminus shouts, “You Fleas, You Ticks, You Vermin!!”
Santos, in his most dickish tone, “It seems the Darkness should have sent a different messenger.” Oh Snap.
Taran adopts his new stance CLAW AT THE MOON. Leaping into the air and slices down at Terminus. He does damage but Terminus’ armored, spiked skin hurts him doing small damage to the Samurai. Terminus has natural defense to melee fighters
Ashmore’s turn. He charges Terminus using STAGGERING STRIKE. Critical. Terminus takes a smack to the nards.
Terminus’ turn. Again he goes for Santos. Drops his club again. Sheeesh. He uses his action to pick it again. Taran and Ash take an attack of opportunity. Hit and hit. Minor damage. Ax tries STARFALL again. They miss their mark. Shitty rolls. Great waste of a sixth level spell Greg.
Next round. Ax again with FIREBALL. Hit. Pops to Jeric. Jeric heals himself with Santos’ spell. Then casts ENERVATION. Again. We love this spell! Dude is now minus 9 levels. Dropping him to his knees. Ash spares him no love and attacks him. Julienned Terminus. Terminus is damaged and seems defeated… We know how this goes. He stands and roars and the spikes on his body shoot off defensively doing damage to all in his immediate proximity. “Let’s keep going then!!” Terminus stands and it now seems like he’s fully healed. Terminus Two, electric boogaloo.
Santos casts DIVINE RETRIBUTION. Terminus realizes the spell is being cast and tries to interrupt with his big god damned club. Concentration check. Fail. Spell is interrupted.
Eloric casts ACID STORM, no resistance!!! Heavy damage. As it is a swift action he tries again. This time Terminus prevails and only takes half damage.
Terminus’ turn. Covered in acid. He’s tripping. Taran gets an attack of opportunity. He rolls a 2. Miss. Terminus attacks Santos. “Worgrave, watch as I kill your friend in your place.” Eloric, from above, “Are you gonna hit him this time?” Miss. Miss. Crit. Hit. Shit is about to suck. Santos is beaten to unconsciousness. -8 HP. Time for ultimate white token. Light has chosen to save a soul, it is not his time to go. White token gone. Yuck.
Ax FIREBALL again. “My Friend!!!!!” Nice hit. Terminus is on fire. “Why won’t you stay dead!!!???”
Taran. Mountain Hammer. KI-AI SMITE!! Cutting into Terminus’ hamstring. Terminus falls to the ground and seems defeated. As he lays dying, Terminus growls and suddenly stands, shaking all the ash off his body. His muscles grow larger and he snarls. “Let’s finish this” Terminus part trois!!!
Taran attacks again. Hit, Crit, Hit. While Taran does damage, Terminus seems to heal himself immediately.
Terminus’ turn. “Worgrave, if you’re still a coward then I will do what was asked of my by the Darkness.” He goes after poor Santos. Again. Hit. Hit. Miss. Terminus then returns to ripping apart the buildings and throwing them. This time at Jeric. Miss. Miss. Miss. Oh good Jesus. Ax FIREBALL. Yea! Santos next. Melee attack with his mace!!! Using a red chip! Double Crit! Feat of SUCK MY TAINT!!!! Santos sounding very un-Santos like now (he’s being played by Dan now btw) Terminus is slain. “Next time Worgrave you will have the honor and the courage to… agh.” Then the familiar obsidian shell begins to form around him. 4000 xp to our Heroes!!!
Break while we call in Lunch.
Santos heals the gang. And coughs. “Ahem, is everybody facing me, do I have your attention? Gentlemen and lady, I feel as though as I have lost my way from where we all started to where we are today. Having faced this enemy and received the deadly bashing that I did. I feel I need to refocus. I feel I should only use my skills to rebuff and heal you only. I will make you the tanks. While I sit back and heal you.”
“How noble, we’ll all take the beatings while you stay back. Thank you, Lightbearer,” sneers Alera.
Fine, fine. You’ll heal us.
What’s next? Do we continue? This is the first time that Ax, Eloric and Ash have all seen Terminus. How does this thing keep finding us? What is he after? Why Jeric? He keeps mentioning the Darkness. He’s doing the Darkness bidding? He mentioned that he always only needed a piece of Jeric but now he seems to desire to KILL Jeric.
Jeric informs the group why Terminus is after him. General Talara is after him. He’s the Vladimir Putin of Shar. Taran is after the General too. In fact he’s at the top of his list.
Jeric, “From what we understand this is not the last we’ll see of Terminus. He always seems to find us but we have our new companions to thank.” They all look at Eloric Jor. He is making tea singing a song. Ashmore cleans his blades off on Eloric’s robe as he dances. Why are these two so weird?
Alera asks again, “What is next Heroes? It seems we have a few options.” We can use magic to teleport but we’re not strong enough or have enough magic. We can sail the coastline. Which will be dangerous. OR we can walk. It will take longer but will be safer. Eloric rambles, we can get travel assistance once we get to Magehelm?
As there is no concept of time in the realm it is always hard to discern night from day. Rest is hard to find. Ax reminds the team that they have had two battles with no rest. We should stop and rest to regain our spells. Jeric wants to forge ahead. This area is cursed. The Everspout is still affecting all of us, especially the divine spell casters. Fortitude check again. All pass, save for Alera. She is fatigued and unable to continue. Jeric carries her. True love.
Who knows the way? Our Heroes make camp after three hours travel. There is nothing. No landscape. No town. They make camp and take watch. Jeric suggests we rest for 12 hours to maximize rest. Eloric casts ALARM and ROPE TRICK.
Jeremy then interrupts the session to show Al the trailer for Trainspotting. We all have a giggle.
Fortitude check again. Alera fails again, takes damage. She’s unconscious. Everyone ogles/stares at her while she’s out. Why is everyone so gross? Fortitude again… Taran fails, as well as Jeric and Alera. Again.
Jeric and Ax take watch. Ax reveals his terrible insecurity since he feels betrayed by both his father figure whom he never met as well as his mother figure Madolyne Elias who he now knows betrayed him. Taran and Ash rock paper scissor while on watch. Ash wins. Eloric and Santos take watch, Santos asks how to best address the group and requests to invoke the DM secret. Eloric, “Uhhhhhhhhh… Just ask??”
The group decides to ask, “Who are the Final Members of the Pantheon?” DM responds: It remains TBD HOWEVER, Furnok is a member, Crolin Orcslayer is NOT slated to be a god, neither is Aramil. Cathist might be, depending on what Sigfried wants to do. Sigfried will NOT be a God. The remainder will be selected by the Essence. We are all ELIGIBLE. Depending on how long we continue on our paths. There will be 12 total as the old Gods continue to leave. Which is why there is chaos in the land as all other Gods jockey for position.
The group leaves the rope and sets off. Over the wind a low sad droning sound is heard. It is despair personified. Alera and Ash are drawn to the sound. Unable to stop themselves they wander, specifically toward it. Jeric tries to stop Alera, “Where are you going?” She says, “Don’t you hear it? We have to see what is causing the sadness.” “God, her hormones.” Seriously though, what a misogynist. Jeric tries to cast DISPELL MAGIC. He casts successfully but the enchantment is still not broken. Ax attempts HOLD PERSON on Ash but fails. They reluctantly decide to follow. As they walk, the landscape begins to change. Fortitude again. Ax is staggered -2. Ash is fatigued -4. Alera exhausted at -6. Jeric begins to carry her again.
Santos reminds the team that they are wandering off the path. But to no avail; Alera and Ash cannot be stopped. The terrain turns more and more swamp-like. As they continue the song gets louder and louder. The Everspout has affected this place. The vegetation is sickly green with veins. There is no sunlight and no water. What makes this life grow? Eventually they end up in a clearing. In the middle is a large, black, limbless tree. A kitten can be heard off to the right. It sounds terrified as it is being engulfed by a strange nasty vine. Eloric Jor in an attempt to save the cat fires his wand of MAGIC MISSLE at the vine. He blasts the vine and sets the kitten free. It runs towards the group and as that happens the vegetation comes to life. And it doesn’t seem nice. Roll for initiative.
Eloric casts GREATER INVISIBILITY. Santos casts RIGHTEOUS WRATH OF THE FAITHFULL. Jeric rolls a one. Sweet. His chain falls into the water. Eloric casts HALT which requires no turn and he stops Alera in her tracks, her feet stuck to the ground. The goofy old bastard does a lovely little dance. The tree goes after Ash and a living column of water moves towards him. It is the most terrifying thing that Ash can image. His hair turns shock white. And he dies. PHANTASMAL KILLER. A vine emerges from the ground and begins slowly dragging his corpse away. Ed uses a white token to reroll. 11 for a total of 18. Still dead. Al offers him HIS white token. Ed rolls a 2. Yep. 2. Still dead. Deader than dead.
Taran rolls a strength check to see if he can pull Ash out of the grasp of the tree in order to bring him to Santos. DM Jon narrowly beats him in a strength roll. Taran slashes at the vine. Miss and miss.
The vines move forward and attack at Ax. Miss then hit. Ax is grappled and constricted by the vine as it wraps itself around his throat. The other vine attacks Taran miss, miss. Taran parries the vines resisting their attacks. Ax, restricted by the vine cannot cast a spell yet uses his DRACONIC BREATH ability to fight the limb around his throat. He spits pure Hell fire onto the vine. It damages it but barely and as the vine tightens its grasp Ax must throw a fortitude save. Ax is alive but being choked to death.
The tree attacks Alera. Again with PHANTASMAL KILLER. Her greatest fears realized, she envisions Jeric murdering her with her own dagger. But Al rolls a nat 20!!!! Still she is damaged by the tree. She doubles over in agony unable to breathe as the fear paralyzes her.
Next round. Eloric Jor attempts HALT again but the spell back-fires and he halts himself. Another vine grabs Santos and, similarly to Ax, grasps his neck thus preventing any casting. Jeric is also constricted. Taran takes a hit from the vine but he manages to escape. He uses CLAW AT THE MOON. Hit with his katana. Rolls a one and loses his katana. Hit with his short sword. Damage abounds to the limb.
Eloric casts EVARD’S BLACK TENTACLES. Some crazy tentacle on tentacle action here. Eloric manages to grapple all the tentacle vines and attacks them as well. Ax attempts to TELEPORT but even with his concentration buff he fails. Ed gives Greg a blue token to add to his roll. He barely hits it. As he struggles for breath, Ax’s eyes roll back into his head and as he fears death BAMPF he teleports to Eloric leaving an empty branch, a cloud of smoke and a lingering sulfuric smell.
Santos, seeing Ax’s success, teleports as well and moves himself out of harm’s way of the vine. He manages to free the kitten from the vine and the nearest vine takes an attack of opportunity on him but misses. The kitten flees to safety.
Jeric uses his turn to break free from the vines. It totally sucks not being able to cast spells when you can’t speak. So he does it the old fashioned way. Grapple. Jeric turns to help Alera using DIMENSION DOOR to move her away but she is still controlled. He moves her to safety but she runs back towards the danger.
Next round. Jeric casts FLY. He flies again to retrieve Alera. Eloric again uses EVARD’S BLACK TENTACLES doing more damage. Taran attacks again doing damage with 6 hits.
Ax casts STARFALL. 3d12 for 15 bolts. Super damage. Artillery death from above. Bursts of damage all around. The big tree takes over and attacks again with PHANTASMAL KILLER. Her worst fears realized. Alera dies in Jerics arms. More vines come up from the ground. As the mounds of vines attack, Taran takes damage but they do not manage to grab him. At this point, the body of Ash is almost completely under the ground.
The black tree begins to ooze dark gas out of its leaves and the group begins to be enveloped by the muck. Ax casts STARFALL again. He rolls a nat 100!!! This spell is amazing. 9d12. The mounds/vines take damage. The tree takes damage as well. It moans and bellows in pain and the dark gas is illuminated as the stars explode around it.
Eloric casts DAYLIGHT. Santos casts SUNBURST attacking the tree doing great damage. Jeric, still in the air, casts STONE PISTON but it does not work. He does manage to get the corpse of Alera out of the way.
New round. Ax again with STARFALL. GOD THIS SPELL MAKES MY DICK HARD!! Eloric casts ACID STORM. How much can this damn tree take??? Eloric levies FIRESTORM on the tree. Kissing his new kitty on the head, he starts to speak “jibba jabba” as a wave of roaring flames lights from his hand and begins to engulf the tree. The tree HOWLS. It conflagrates (Jon’s word) and a loud awful moan rips into the air. The plants around it seem to calm as the large black tree finally dies. 6,000 Exp. Eloric, Jeric and Ax all level.
But what about Ash? Eloric uses PRESTIDIGITATION to play Amazing Grace on the bag pipes as he mourns the death of his friend Sir Quavos Ashmore. Who is underground.
As the smoke clears, Jeric flies to Santos and Santos revives Alera with RAISE DEAD. With a gasp, Alera lifts herself. “Stay away from me!!!” she screams, looking at Jeric. Her hair is streaked white from the shock of fear. “Why did you do that? You buried my knife in my gut.” “Why would I do that? Don’t you know me enough by now?” responds Jeric. Roll a charisma check. “It was the tree. I heard it moaning,” and Alera begins to understand. Jeric grasps Alera, holding her tight. Alera, heaving in tears, for the first time in years lets herself show emotion. She’s been through a lot since joining the group.
Santos goes towards the spot the Ash was pulled under. The team finds his body but it is badly burned. His white hair is gone. The flesh is charred. Santos once again casts RAISE DEAD. But there is resistance. Why? Santos kneels over the corpse. He closes his eyes and then slowly begins to speak, “The soul is unwilling.” Santos looks to the team, “He said he is at peace and does not wish to return. “ “Also,” Santos continues, “he says to warn you Eloric: Somebody is coming for you.”
Eloric kneels by his friend’s body and begins to speak arcane words. Slowly, out of the ground, bricks arise to form a makeshift tomb engulfing the pair. After a tense pause the old wizard walks through the bricks. Solemnly he says to the group, “We should go.”
Santos, taxed from casting RAISE DEAD, requests a moment to rest. But this place is not safe. Santos instead casts DETECT MAGIC in an attempt to find Jeric’s chain, which they do. As well as a few other items. In total, they find four scrolls, a small well-made Buckler and a longsword. All seem to have magical properties. For the scrolls, they are FLAME ARROW, LIGHTNING BOLT, LEOMUND’S TINY HUT and FREEDOM OF MOVEMENT. Eloric takes Tiny Hut and Flame Arrow as well as Lightning bolt since Ax already knows them. Jeric takes the sword. Santos takes the buckler. Ax takes Freedom…
Eloric asks, “May I hold the kitten?” He begins to pet the new friend, “I’m going to call him Ash. Because he hated cats.” Eloric’s first cat does not seem to be thrilled to have another feline taking his master’s attention.
With that, the team decides that rather than go deeper into the swamp, they go back from where they came. Once they arrive at their spot Ax uses his Rod of Alertness to stand guard while they rest. Finally sleep.
Rested but weary from losing their companion they set out on foot. They walk a ways and find an area with a cave. Santos feels compelled and drawn toward the cave. Something uncontrollable is calling him. Here we go again! “Where are we going?” Alera asks. “Into the cave,” Replied Santos. “Why?” Alera asks, she’s had enough. Jeric chimes in, “I trust him.” “Fine,” Alera concedes, “Then lead the way.” The cave is initially dim but there is a light towards the back. Santos sets ahead as if by instinct and there begin the sounds of metal clanging. It sounds as is if it were armor. As they turn a corner they cannot believe their eyes. Angels. Perfect beings emitting light. Large and impending, the Angels draw their weapons as if in protection but from the looks of it, they’ve already been through hell. A battle of sorts. Armor faded, wounds, broken wings.
“Who are these creatures?” Santos wonders. He begins to speak to the embattled Angels asking, “Who is in charge?” The largest of the angles steps forward and draws his sword. It lights in flames. This Angel is a big, enormous bitch. The largest of them all. He is a little over seven feet tall and at least 250 pounds. As the Angel opens its mouth to speak, celestial noises of bells and chimes are the only thing heard. Eloric, surprisingly, seems to understand this language. This kooky old dude is the best. The Angel asks in an accusing tone, “You speak the common tongue of man! What are you doing here?” Santos, taking them in, “We mean you no harm. You seem injured. Do you need assistance?” The Angel is weary, “Who are you?” “I am Santos Lightsworn.” The Angel seems shocked. As he stares at Santos, he is reeling. “Santos Lightsworn?! You are the Beacon! The Prophesy has been revealed!” The Angel suddenly kneels. Santos is taken aback, “Rise, Angel. We are equals,” implores Santos. “No! No Lightsworn, you are the Beacon… We will gladly accept the help that you offer. What can we do to be of assistance to you?” “We can use your Light.” Santos casts MASS HEAL. The large Angel smiles, his broken wings fanning out and mended. The gathering seven Angels bend their knees and broker their swords into the ground in respect.
Santos continues slowly, “Who did this to you?”
“Sit and I will tell you. I’m sure by now you know what the Prophesy foretells. You know of the Pantheon? You have helped its first crown ascend. Never will this world forget this act. There is room in the Pantheon. And it is a coveted spot. Both by the good and bad. Our masters have left it for us to defend. The obstacles are many, our enemies formidable.”
“You Worgrave you are the last in a great line. Your father is among the honored now. Worgrave, your blood spilled brings the many headed terror.”
The crew marvel at this information as Jeric stares knowingly.
“The Heroes of Crossroads City, you know their names yes? The Dark Elf Owen? Their queen, she seeks a spot in the Pantheon, do you understand?”
“Madolyne Elias?” Ax asks grimly. “You mean Elias, the Imposter?” replies the Angel. “Yes. She is our antithesis. The Spider Queen; one is the master, one is her servant. The servant is the progenitor of Cathist.” Ax sinks.
“That is whom we are sent to face and sadly we have failed on our task. Here in your plane we are hampered in this battle. We have taken many losses. What was once twenty is now seven.”
Santos offers the assistance of the group. The lead Angel continues, “The floating eyes serve an all-seeing master. Its name is Tharizdun. They seek to bring it from the Far Realm. It needs no Pantheon; it will simply take the world. The Everspout is a gate. Its proximity is our weakness. The ritual needs to be disrupted but our ability is limited. We need your help.”
“I would ask of you Beacon (and the rest of you in the Prophesy), please redeem our failure. We understand if you cannot take up this task. Know this, if your journeys elsewhere are of greater import we understand. But our duty to Light compels us to continue this task. With or without you.”
Eloric, in a perfect accent, begins to speak in the celestial tongue of the Angels. WTF! Eloric is full of surprises. The Angel bows his head as if he understands something. Then, as Eloric continues to speak, the Angel raises his finger, drops to his knee, raises his head and light emits from his eyes and mouth… He rises.
Eloric states, “We accept your task.” The Angel smiles and says through a knowing smile, “It is as expected.”
But then the Angel continues, taking a much more serious tone. “Know this: it is not just the floating eyes. There is vermin in this part of the world like nothing that you’ve seen before and that is what drove us back. It is our belief that they however are not aligned to anything and might be swayed. They are deadly.”
“Can you describe them?” asks Jeric. “Because you asked Worgrave…” The Angel then touches Jeric’s shoulders and Jeric’s mind is immediately flooded with visions of one of the other Angels being torn asunder by one of these beasts… It is horrifying and nothing he’s seen before. As the Angel removes his hand, Jeric begins to describe them to the group. “They remind me of the insect creatures we fought in Glamgish but larger and fiercer. Twice as mean and twice as big.”
Eloric, speaking in the celestial tongue, asks the Angel his name. “I am called Yi-Sun.”
Decisions need to be made. What’s next for the group? “We need to go towards the Everspout. Are we strong enough?” Ax asks “Should we raise an army?” Yi Sun speaks, one of our Angel guardians, a female, Asethsma offers her services to you. She will assist you.” Santos welcomes her. “Do you need weapons?” Asethsma only smiles at Santos, “The Light is my armor and shield. And this,” as she brandishes her flaming sword, “is my weapon.” She winks. Bad Ass.
Yi-Sun continues, “The ritual will be complete soon. There is no time to wait.” Eloric steps aside to speak with Yi-Sun. As he returns he says gravely, “We must go soon. Asesthma will lead us.”
For the sake of expediency the Heroes decide against carrying out on foot. Instead, they let Angels carry the team as far as they can. As the Angels get closer to the Everspout, they weaken and the free ride is over. “This is as far as we can carry you. The Everspout saps the light.” The group makes camp with Asesthma standing guard. “I do not need rest.”
They set camp as before but this time with their celestial guardian watching over them. However, from within the extra dimensional tent of ROPE TRICK, Eloric awakens to the sounds of his Familiar hissing… Old pet is staring at new new pet, Ash. The cat smiles a grotesque magical smile and it slowly transforms into a heaving, salivating beast similar looking to an enormous rabid baboon. 18 feet tall at least. Huge snarling jaws, rabid and menacing. It is angry and means to do damage… From within the bag they can cast no magic and they seemed trapped within… What to do?