So this week in the Anduwin Chronicles

Sivaras is alone on the plinth. She spends time investigating, and reviewing her spellbook before a loud echoing sound is heard. Something appears to be falling. She rests and transforms into a bear, before climbing down from the plinth the 200ft down to water below. Above, a figure steps into a dark chamber. Not seeing anything he takes a swig of a vial and begins to glow. He starts to move into the chamber and comes to another stone door. He begins to investigate the door for possible inscriptions. He sees a corse in a state of long decayed resting. The figure takes time to brew another vial before drinking it and then touching the symbols he previously couldn’t understand. The symbols swirl and move into a form he understands, making claims of “praise” and “this is where it shall rest”. He finds a dagger with jewels and takes it before following an unknown route. He heads towards a room of scrolls, dusty and automatically makes his way to a cupboard, and turns a hidden handle to reveal a secret compartment containing a spell scroll of conjugation magic. He takes it, and moves out of the room into a chamber containing a plinth. He immediately spots a cave bear climbing downwards. He calls out to the bear, and eventually Sivaras responds and begins to climb to the plinth. Sivaras drops her bear form and the pair begin a stilted and heavily one sided interaction when the man introduces himself as Ebeneeser Goode and says he is place because it is here, and he is searching for things. He finds Sivaras immediately rude, and she finds him abrupt.

Meanwhile, Granuelle, 428, Brant and Journee begin their fight with Croxium. The Earthbreaker twists his trident and manages to hurl Granuelle’s warhammer across the room. 428 interspaces himself between the Earthbreaker and Brant, before moving towards him and swinging his great pace while raging. The axe collides and cleaves off flint, shale and stone. Brant wraps a coil of copper wire around his finger, and points at 428 whispering a message “this is a great warrior, formidable weapon, use none lethal damage”. Journee instructs his magical rope to lassoe itself around the glowing crystal and then pulls the crystal back to him, and starts fleeing down the stairs. The Earthbreaker rapidly turns his head at seeing the crystal move. He pulls out a chalice or gobelt, as a ball of flaming energy forms around the chalice. The stone walls shake, and the dust and earth seem to be drawn towards him. He slams the chalice into the ground and walls shatter outwards from the chalice. The stairwell walls begin to cave in. Journee is pinned under a collapsing wall. Brant cartwheels out of the way but stays upright avoiding most of the damage. The stonework begins to melt into lava around the room. 428 and Granuelle fall down a story through the melted floor. Croxium also falls. The lava continues to melt and erode away the other floors. The fighter and the barbarian take a considerable hit. 428 raging reduces the hit, and Granuelle absorb elements. Granuelle grabs the Earthbreaker’s trident in an attempt to disarm him, but he holds firm. She head butts the Earthbreaker and the blow connects with a fiery burst. In retaliation, Croxium grabs Granuelle and throws her from the stone ledge into more lava on the floor further below. She grabs out and saves herself from the lava, but does land on the floor below.

The rock 428 and Croxium are stood on begins to list in the lava. Seeing Granuelle thrown off 428 chooses to throw he Earthbreaker from the safety of the Goliath tries but the Earthbreaker stands firm, and glares at 428, taunting “is that the best you have?”. Taunted, 428 tried to push him again, but Croxium anticipates this, and holds his place, rebounding the Goliath once more. 428 tries to leap out of the lava and back up to the main floor. In doing do, Croxium lashes out with his trident and hits critically. The trident itself doesn’t do much damage, but a necromatic force pulses through 428’s veins. In response he barbarian sparks out lightning into the Earthbreaker. He completes his move and pulls himself up to the original floor. Brant draws on his arcane powers and heals himself before jumping from the edge and tying to jump onto Croxium. He flips in the air, and misses the Earthbreaker but does land on the stone rather than the lava. The halfling tries again to cling onto him, and imposes himself between the Earthbreaker and any attacks from Granuelle or 428. Brant says “you are my friend, you’re better than this. Fight it!”

From within the stairwell collapse, Journee tries to stop the stone from crushing him. He is pinned, and spends time hauling his leg free he takes a hold of the crystal which has now stopped glowing. He crawls his way out of a hole, and immediately sees Brant clinging onto the Earthbreaker, whilst lava continues to melt away the building and various floors. Seeing this, he slips back slightly and attempts to hide himself. Hanging onto the edge, the half orc Granuelle activates her orb or elements and absorbs an investiture of Air. She flies up and unleashes a wind blast at the Earthbreaker. Both he and Brant survive the blast but are enrapt in a cube of wind.

The Earthbreaker disarms himself of the halfling casually keeping him on he stone ledge. Croxium then hurls his trident towards the hidden dwarf he spotted poking out. The trident strikes home, and as it does, Brant says “you’re better than this” to put off the Earthbreaker and manages to reduce the damage of the blow. 428 leaps from the upper floor and slams his storm axe into the Earthbreaker, using gravity to assist the downward swing of his weapon. Lightning sparks from him and he lands right before Croxium. Brant charges towards the Earthbreaker, moving through 428’s space, and tries again to break Croxium’s attacks. He shouts “stop this, if I have to die to stop this I will. You always protected me. I let you go last time because it’s what you needed to do. I’m not letting you do this time because this is not the real you”.

Thunder cracks and a humanoid form teleports in. Those present when they met him recognise this to be the Sultan. He is wearing split armour and battle hardened plating, and wielding a long staff with a twisted orb in the middle. He slams his staff into the ground and a bubbling shockwave expands outward in a sphere, slowing time. The humanoids seem unaffected but objects, the building and lava are slowed down. The building remnants also begin to fall slower. Seeing this, Journee chooses to climb up to the top floor and smashes a window. Granuelle flies down and flanks the Earthbreaker with 428 swinging her warhammer down. Brant cries out “don’t do this” to put off Granuelle, but she still strikes true, and then again. She draws up her reserves of adrenaline and surges two more swings. In retaliation Croxium tries to swing at the barbarian but goes wide. He uses a legendary action to place hims palm against 428’s chest. He Goliath’s chest begins to tighten. The hand pulls on the barbarian’s spine and draws this firmly against his ribs, breaking his back and immediately knocking 428 unconscious. Brant says “please don’t do this, this is my friend, if you kill him I will never forgive you” and casts a healing word on 428. Brant continues with “ive travelled with you, I know you. This isn’t you! Please come back to me. I thought you’d died before”. The sultan extends healing magic across Brant, Granuelle and 428 as green light from his hands breaks into three and a beam hits each of them. “We do not have time, he is coming” says the sultan sternly.

Looking out the smashed window, Journee sees the gardens approximately 150ft down. Using his gloved hand he pockets the crystal. Journee instructs his magical rope to tie itself around 428 before leaping out the window and rappelling put the window. 428 screams out in pain as the rope ties around his waist. 428’s back freaks and he is tugged toward the window slightly. Granuelle flies around to 428 and pours a potion of flying into the barbarian. He begins to fly upwards with his paralysed legs flailing in the wind whirling around Granuelle. Rising into the air, 428 avoids another attack from the Earthbreaker. The barbarian rages and attempts to disarm he Earthbreaker of the chalice. He swings his axe to bat the item out of Croxium’s grasp. He axe connects and the goblet is thrown from Croxium’s hand and straight away 428 catches it. He feels as though his hand is being eroded away and in the pain, he instinctively throws the cup upwards and away. As soon as the Earthbreaker releases his grip on the chalice he seems to weaken and partially slump. The Goliath tries to knock out the Earthbreaker with the flat of his axe.

Brant instructs Granuelle, 428 and Journee to leave, as dealing with Croxium is his duty. He promises to stay with Croxium until the end, this time. He looks at 428 and casts a healing word. The sultan takes out a small cloth and picks up the chalice with care. Journee continues to rappel down the building. He looks in a window and seeing a stairwell, he smashes through and lands three floors down. He clicks his fingers, and the rope unties itself. Granuelle swings to trip Croxium, and knocks him prone, with Brant laid on his chest. Granuelle says it’s time to go, and goes to pick up the bard. He clings onto Croxium and resists the pull as the half orc elevates directly upwards and towards the smashed window. On the floor, the Earthbreaker appear broke and starts to seize and froth at the mouth. 428 lets his rage drop. He flies down and tries to pick up Croxium and Brant saying “let’s go”. The group fly after Granuelle.

A sonic boom sounds, and wind swirls around the flying party as time begins to resume normal speed, the lava is cooled by wind and some other dark force. The building, once falling outward is blown the other way by the sonic boom. Journee is again thrown against stonework. Before the party’s airforce is a blackened skinned Greyborn with deep red eyes, suspended in the air. He draws out a hilt, and then separates the hilts into two. As he does so he draws them apart and thunderous and lightning energy form the blades. He casts a spell causing a thunderous boom against the group. Everyone is displaced by 10ft. 428 lets go of the Croxium and Brant pairing who begin to fall, no longer magically flying. The Greyborn before us is the emperor. He flies down to Croxium, and speaks in Dawnish, causing wounds to appear on Croxium’s form. The emperor brings down his lightning blade to end the life of the Earthbreaker. Brant leaps in the way of the weapon, and is struck instead. The sword impales Brant and he falls unconscious from pain. Noticing this, the sultan transforms himself into his true form, of a bronze dragon with some patches of grey. The dragon smashes himself into the emperor and the two hurl through the walls of he building, and 100ft away into another building which crumbles at the immense impact. Journee feels the building shudder, and ties on his magical rope, and goes back out the window, and makes it down onto the roof of another building.

With the threats temporarily having left, Granuelle flies down and pours a healing potion into the unconscious Brant. She then grabs the halfling and lifts him, as she flies away. As they leave, Croxium grabs hold of Brant and pulls him in and whispers his final words before lifelessly his arm loosens his grip on Brant. 428 attempt ps to grab Croxium’s body and the group flies out as the building collapses around them. Looking upwards the party sees fading orange patches, which they assume is the now broken shield over Bukka. On the opposite side of the building, Journee heads towards the mossilium as a possible meeting point. As they arrive and meet up as one party, 428 places the body of Croxium over one of the coffins, before his potion of flying ends. Brant demands the void urn containing the Greyborn. He has no concern for the Greyborn, but he wants the urn. 428 floats down to another area alone, and kills the Greyborn in the urn. He brings the empty urn to Brant, who searches him for magical items which may cause the urn to explode as it did on he Orion. On inspection, Brant sees an old wound on Croxium’s body which appears to have reopened. As well as several tattoos and scars over his body. Brant feels that the trident is not Anduwin and that it is sadpfe to be put into the urn with the Earthbreaker’s body. Brant keeps the urn on his person. As the flying potion fades, the party discusses where they should go to next, having seen that Quel Ce La Mon is seemingly under further attack, Granuelle suggests using their bouncing box- to teleport away. They talk about trying to take Croxium’s body to Vespard, where he is one of the city’s heroes. Granuelle asks the box to take the party to Vespard, and the instantly teleport, and find themselves on a sandy beach, which Brant recognises as the coast of Oskiliath.

And that’s where we left off.