So this week in the Anduwin Chronicles…..
In the sewer, Lexter continues to work on Karl, to relieve the paralysis. Brant and Granuelle discuss what to do, as three of their team have somehow passed through the barrier, and neither Granuelle or Brant have access to these kinds of magic. Unsure what to do, Granuelle says to Brant, “do you trust me?”, then picks up Brant, and throws him at full strength at the barrier, to try and break through. She marks him with a ring of finding so she can find him no matter where he ends up. She hurls the halfling, who strikes the barrier, being struck by lightning and thrown across the chamber again. Seeing this didn’t work, Granuelle offers him a healing potion. She asks if he felt anything different touching the barrier this time, compared to his last attempt. Realising their limited options, they wait for Karl to recover. As he does, he stands and dusts himself down. He shares he thinks that the symbols ask for “Pure”. He shares where he came from, Silver is considered pure, so he reaches he mace through the barrier to try to reach the transmutation stone. As he passes the mace through, lightning strike it, and is conducted up his arm, and the weapon begins to melt. Having learnt his lesson, he is able to dodge the lightning, and avoids a secondary paralysis. Karl then tries to approach things more intelligently, and realises there is a high level of celestial influence over the area, and investigates the barrier closer. He steps closer and says “Pure” in the celestial language. As he does so, the stone moves forward and through the barrier. He picks this up, and the stone illuminates into a dial of light above the stone, with an array of symbols. He instructs everyone else to get behind him, and then chooses to move the stone and its light through the barrier, trying to use the light to break the barrier. In doing so, he is shocked by lightning again. Realising this is not how to operate this device. Granuelle then suggest a Karl hold the light arch of symbols so that it matches symbol of Pure on the wall. A faint click is heard, all the symbols spin and change. The barrier remains, so Karl turns the stone the other way. The symbols spin back, and another click is heard. He continues to do this. In each turn, the speed of the lights and clicks increases, but Karl isn’t able to keep up with it. He hands it over to Brant, and asks for the nimble halfling to spin the stone. Brant is able to keep up better than Karl, and the barrier grows thinner with each spin, but then clicks back to be solid once more. Karl approaches Granuelle and bets that Brant can’t before winning the 5gold piece gamble. The stone is passed to Granuelle to try, and Karl also makes a bet with Brant against Granuelle being able to do this, but she too is unsuccessful.
Lexter begins to organise the guards who accompanied the group, and calls for the most dexterous to try their hand on the stone. The first fails dramatically, before a solider with a scared triangle on his forehead approaches. This solider identifies himself as Queem, who then somehow manages to manipulate the light symbols, at the right speed and the barrier is dropped, almost too easily. Karl loudly shouts “we loosened it up for you”. With the barrier down, they can see the brick wall beyond that Patch, Abraxos and Kavan had stepped through. Granuelle orders Karl to try to walk through the wall, and as he steps forward, Brant leads a foot out, and trips the paladin over. As he falls, he stumbles and passes through, finding himself on the other side of the wall. Karl lights a torch and surveys the dark area on the otherside of the wall. Brant is the next to walk through, followed by the Lady Granuelle, who charges through at full pace. Brant leans through the wall, and calls the guards to walk through the wall, and they do so. They can hear running water to the right. They begin to run down the tunnel for a period of time. Karl notices there are three sets of footsteps on the floor, but before they arrived there were four people to have come through. Karl warns Granuelle and Brant to be on their guard. They continue to a cliff edge and see the running water flowing off the cavern, until it is beyond sight and sound. Granuelle casts a fireball down to see how deep it goes, but it goes far beyond vision.
Farandril sees, from his void, a small light falling down. Almost a shooting star flying through his vision, but he cannot tell distance.
Granuelle, Brant and Karl continue to follow the footsteps, with Karl leading the way with his torch, Brant in the middle and Granuelle as the rear guard. Karl is wary of the drop and the height, after his experience earlier falling from the blimp. He is slow, but as he grows confidence he picks up the pace slightly.
Kavan and Abraxos further down the path, see a chamber with a font, and two people seemingly struggling in the distance. They run full speed. And see Farandril drowning Patch. The cat is unable to shake off assault. They continue to charge closer to the fray. Kavan rushes, and mid run teleports closer and closer, to be within 30 feet of the clone Farandril and the pool. He reaches out a hand, and a shadowing palm reaches to Farandril gripping him, and chills the clone. As the spell takes effect, the clone takes damage, but in the void, the real Farandril also takes the damage. Patch, unable to cast spells (or lose his air) and cannot reach his sword. The cat tries to claw at the clone, but cannot get purchase. Abraxos charges forward, and begins to close the gap, now level with Kavan. Seeing the threat, the clone Farandril casts spirit guardians, calling forth divine owls. However as this is not the true Farandril, the guardians take the form of wraiths. He makes them target the solider and the samurai to allow him to focus fully on drowning the cat. The cleric warns that he cannot he stopped now, as it’s too late. Behind the font, the dust swirls, and a light wind passes through. A figure appears, resembling a very old elf, with some orcish blood. He stands forward with a vacant face, dark robes and long white hair. He holds his hands out, but takes no other action. Farandril’s magic fails and his wraiths fade, but a shield is conjured around the clone. The true Farandril feels his own magical energy being drained by the clone.
Abraxos notices the figure, and gets a feeling from him, using his intuition and realises this figure is very much in charge of this situation, whatever this ritual may be. Kavan looks around and spots various weights, and scales and in conjunction with Patch’s warning sof balance makes sense that this is a temple of Balance, usually worshiped by orcs or goblins, and seen as a cult with sinister undertones. The solider, reaches out, and casts a puppet spell over the clone of Farandril. The puppet is forced to move towards Kavan, who steps around him, and then attempts to shove the clone towards Abraxos. He shove is weak but effective, as the solider positions himself between Patch and the clone. Patch is released, and able to drag himself out of the pool. He coughs and is disoriented, and his vision slowly returns to him, and he recalls a series of visions and flashes he saw in the pool. Abraxos charges Farandril as hard as he can, and knocks him to the ground, and begins to restrain the Templar clone with rope, but the bonds do not hold, and the grapple is broken.
Patch reviews his visions. He saw a massive set of doors closing. Flash. An island in a storm, and an ginormous tsunami approaching. Flash. A young boy in bed, waking with another man over him holding a dagger over him. Flash. The Andromeda crashed in water, but newer, and three specks of light moving away from the ship in the air.
The figure, barefoot steps into the pool, towards Patch. He does not appear threatened by the party of the events. The real Farandril calls out in the void, asking for the enemy to reveal itself, and feels a large being moving around him in the magical darkness. Kavan reaches the water and helps Patch up. The cat reaches out, realising that this isn’t the real Farandril, he casts a spell to damage Farandril, spiking into his mind, to try and find the real Farandril. But the Templar resists the location effect, and manages to only take half the psychic damage. Abraxos surveys the fight and the swings at Farandril to drop him, and stop the fight. He moves between the clone and the pair of Kavan and Patch. The clone then evaluates his goals. To get all these foes into the pool. It swings a warhammer at the samurai and strikes into his breastplate, winding the knight, and then again. The second nearly misses by a dark divine light pulls the warhammer into the armour with more force.
At this point, the robed elf figure reaches out a hand, and says he has “so much to show you” to Patch. He is offered any knowledge he could want, just by taking this figures hand. Kavan then continues to try and lead Patch to the way out. He then comands another shadowy touch, but this touches only the shield of faith. Patch then hurls a sacred radiant flame at the clone. The clone opens his mouth and swallows the attack without any difficulty or damage. Patch moves with Kavan and nearer to Abraxos he warns his friend that they need to escape. The samurai swings again and misses. The Templar retaliates and manages to his Abraxos, but not with his full force. Kavan phases slightly out of reality, and appears behind the clone, and successfully disarms Farandril. The robed figure becomes smoke, and flies across the room. He appears right in front of Patch, and puts out a hand, saying “you can’t leave”. At that moment, the clone of Farandril seems to crumple and twist. It looks like he is struggling to keep the blood in his veins. He explodes, and black ichor drenches over us all. As the clone explodes, the true Farandril appears in the spot where the clone had stood. The true cleric turns and casts guiding bolt at the robed figure, the bolt flies wide, but Farandril steers the bolt with his hand, curving its trajectory, and bringing it into hit figure. As the bolt hits, the figure explodes into a white mist, and the reappears at the altar, over the font. Patch hurls a radiant ball of fire at the robed figure, but misses as the figure gingerly and delicately steps to the side.
Karl, Granuelle and Brant have continued their approach and make their way to the battle scene. Granuelle says she will cover their exist. Abraxos shares he will join the rear guard, and tell all others to flee. The ground begins to rumble, and a scrabbling and large claws are heard. Then larger claws digging into the rock and sound to be approaching. Farandril begins to smash the font with his warhammer, whilst we say we all need to get out of here. A small crack appears in the altar. The figure warns that he cannot be harmed here, and we all belong to him now.
Loud screams are heard, in fear, battle and panic from the soldiers and guards behind. They are fighting each other and biting, mindlessly, in a shroud of rage and pain. Looking at the men, a smoke seems to be encompassing them, and forcing them to become twisted. Lexter calls out st the figure, yelling “Tarn, we had a deal. Karl if safe. Karl stays alive”. Brant then casts a guiding bolt against the smoke, to try and save the soldiers and guards from whatever mind altering effect is happening. Karl rushes into the smoke to try and save anyone from the smoke. He grabs a standard barer, who thinks he is being attacked, and fires a crossbow at the paladin, but Karl is able to get the guard out of the fight. Granuelle unleashes a gust of strong wind, to move the smoke, or get the people off the walkway so they can escape.
Abraxos tries to call out, mentally, to the voice of the Chalice for assistance. “Please, we need your help. We shouldn’t be here, help me get them all safe, and away from here”. He is able to speak truthfully and openly to the Chalice. The wind pushes three quarters of the soldiers over the edge, and blows the smoke open, before it reforms. The wind keeps acting of the smoke, and the remaining soldiers, who are all now mindless beings.
Brant steps up, and jumps into the baptismal pool, to see what this is about. He recognises the scales and wonders if there is a link to the Night Watcher and his symbolism of balance and scales. As he steps in, he asks “whats this all about”. As soon as he finishes his question, he feels something begin to pull him under he water. A seemingly invisible force under the water starts to hold him under the water, drowning slowly.
Farandril speaks to the figure and challenges him to face him, before standing with his sheild and warhammer on the cliff edge, surrounded by his divine owls. The figure known as Tarn steps next to Farandril and then jumps off the cliff into the darkness. The sconces dim and flicker out. Tremors start the grow again. The whole cavern shakes in magical darkness. Patch changes his weapon into a trident and clicks his boots of speed. He charges to the pool to rescue the bard, it isn’t strong enough to free him, but manages to resist being held in place himself. He stays under the water to try again. Kavan conjures his own magical darkness. Seeing Tarn leap off the cliff, Lexter (having shown his hand and his betrayal) moves to the edge to see what is happening. But with the several layers of magical darkness soon, we cannot see anything. The darkness fills the room, overpowering Kavan’s darkness, and leaving even this solider blinded.
“Lexter, What have you done!” Demands Karl. Lexter says he made a deal with a devil, and wants to be on our side again, after he was also betrayed by the darkness and this devil. Karl asks what is down the pit. Lexter says he made a deal with Tarn Lesoto, but he doesn’t know who or what he is.
Underwater, Brant remains stuck under the water, even with Patch’s help. He feels this force thump his chest, and some of his breath is expelled. Patch isn’t able to help Brant, but continues to resist the force pulling him down as well.
Karl is enraged by Lexter’s betrayal. Using his divine sense he can detect the celestial, and fey outlines of creatures. He beards Lexter’s voice, and senses Lexter’s outline, and charges into the professor. He says, “may be we should continue this conversation with Tarn” and rushes him, to push him over the edge. Kavan, has a way of seeing, using Detect Magic, and slightly sees the items on Karl, moving towards the place where Lexter stands. The paladin charges and collides with Lexter and the two tumble off the edge into further darkness. In the tumble, Lexter peers down, and his eyes pale in abject and absolute fear. Two huge red eyes sit in the darkness, growing large as the pair approach. Lexter begins to get his flying broom out of his pack, and shaking, he lets go of it. Karl tries to grab Lexter and the broom, pushing them together, and trying to make sure Lexter will be able to fly out of here. The paladin drains his sword and points himself towards the eyes, falling. He sees a storm of electricity and smoke, and a small floating figure in the centre, behind the eyes. Diving now, the paladin tries to attack the being. The storm lashes out and attacks him first, stinging at him, and pulling his life fro, his body. The beast strikes and Karl is knocked unconscious, losing the grip on his sword, and continuing his fall into endless nothingness and his seemingly inevitable death, falling sliced into peice.
Brant struggles to escape the invisible force. Patch, using his magical speed, begins to twirl his trident to disrupt the water and the forces holding Brant down. The trident whirls and the forces no longer try to hold onto Patch, and the water starts to vibrate, hopefully helping Brant to free himself.
Kavan focuses his own magical darkness and tries to merge it with the magical darkness of the chamber, and is able to see as though there were dim lights, having successfully combined the spells. Kavan tells the party that Karl jumped off the cliff with Lexter. Granuelle says that he died as he lived- falling. We feel the foe with the giant red eyes, and the storm getting closer. Kavan shares what he can see, and instructs Granuelle where to aim her wind, to push the rest of the twisted soldiers off the cliff.
In the dark void, Karl’s falling ends softly, as his ox seems to catch his unconscious form and lifts him upwards to safety. Back underwater, Brant struggles and is forced to let go of the last breath of air. However, Patch manages to reach the bard, and pull him free from the hold. The pair rocket upwards from the pool, to the surface. Kavan calls out to the group “it’s this way” and the cat puts Brant on his shoulder before running again to rejoin the group.
The eyes reach us, and begin to instill us all with fear and dread. Brant begins to sing a countercharm, to protect us all from fear. We all manage to resist the rear, thanks to Brant’s inspiring music, but Brant himself tremors with fear. We are all, individually shown imagery of our own worth fears. Kavan and Patch fear death, for their own reasons. Farandril fears failure of his order. Abraxos feels failing and letting his family down. Granuelle is terrified of losing Amelie, at her own hand. And Brant is afraid of being forced to be an unknown nobody and living the normal, humdrum life with no one knowing anything about him. The visions flash in our minds, over and over and over again, until we are exhausted by the experience. As Brant was so fearful before the vision, he is worth effected, and genuinely believes this is still happening around him. Now withered, and weak, the glowing eyes fade slightly. The figure in the centre floats forward and steps toward, approaching Farandril, who had goaded the being initially. The figure is not the body of Tarn Lesoto. We see it as a little girl. She is small, and has runes up both her arms. Her eyes are solid black. With no whites at all. She speaks without moving her mouth, and speaks directly into Farandril’s mind. Offering a deal to the Templar, telling him not to cower away, because the party wanted to see her/it. Farandril is able to see the girl slightly through the darkness, but no one else can make out any shapes through the continuing darkness. Farandril asks the girl what she seeks, and the girl replies that she only seeks “freedoms”. She has been awoken from her slumber, and she yearns for freedoms. She states she could kill us all instantly, slowly, and painfully, or immediately. She offers to let us all go, for just one thing. She says that one companion carries an item that was stolen from her long ago while she slept. The wants this item, and will take it willingly, or rip it from Granuelle’s corpse. The challice all this time has been screaming into Abraxos’ mind, and becoming heavier and heavier in Granuelle’s pack.
As this conversation with Farandril happens, there are simultaneous conversations with everyone else, directly into our minds. To each of us, it feels as though she is stood before us, and in multiple places. She asks those with divine wings how old they are, and how much they remember, as well as who they follow. It’s Abraxos and Farandril who feel these questions. Abraxos looks around for Granuelle and her back, and the girl follows, goading he samurai to collect the chalice for the girl. He tells her the chalice isn’t for anyone not worth the sixes power. She tells the six are uncle, aunts, and mum and dad. He threatens to get the cup, or else have everyone killed. He reaches Granuelle, and takes the cup. Praying loudly to the chalice, to please get us out of here. Pleading with the chalice, and begging it to save his friends, the chalice’s weight makes it almost impossible to lift, but he sits and prays. The girl gets more and more frustrated and demands to know what Abraxos is doing. He keeps praying, and she rushes the samurai. Her face distorting into one of evil and torment. As she rushes, the chalice twists and turns into an odd lump of metal. Granuelle also twists, them everyone else is twisting, and we move to be out of the chamber, and find ourselves falling. Some of us manage to avoid the girl’s charge before we teleport. As we are ripped from this dimension, Granuelle realises she is still carrying the transmutation stone from before. As we appear outside and are falling, the stone explodes in a radiant flash.
Falling, the chalice is in free fall away from us. Karl is unconscious on Ollie. Patch stops his free fall, and goes into a sky dive to catch the chalice, as we see we are falling high above the Ozmit Sea (based on he tropical climate and our altitude to see land masses). Ollie remains flying, and Abraxos touches Karl to pass on divine healing, and Karl rouses. Brant makes his way over, in the fall to Ollie to save himself on the flying ox. Karl commands Ollie to get the chalice. Meanwhile, not hearing this, due to the roaring wind, Patch throws his trident and spears the chalice, before conjuring his trident back to his hand. The party is still falling, with Ollie carrying Karl, Granuelle and Brant. He then collects Kavan. Abraxos, Patch and Farandril continue to fall. Granuelle asks Patch for the chalice, but they are not in range to pass it over. Because of Patch’ss dive he is closest to the water and a collision. He chucks the trident upwards into Abraxos’s hands. Abraxos misses catching the chalice. Kavan leaps from Ollie, tying a rope to the ox and aiming to rescue the cat. Reaching the cat, Kavan grabs hold and teleports Kavan and Patch as high as possible, and they find themselves back above the ox, and are held in place by the rope. Farandril tries to position himself between Abraxos and the sea. Patch calls his trident back to him, but in doing so the chalice is losened and restarts it’s fall. Granuelle casts a magic missile at the chalice, aiming to hit the bottom of the chalice to beat it towards her, upwards and closer. Ollie is struggling under the weight of carrying so many people, so Karl commands the ox to pull up. Farandril has grabbed hold of Abraxos and is continuous casting “spare the dying” to try and save the samurai. Abraxos whispers “I’m sorry Eric” as he hits the water. The pair hit the water, trying to be pencil shaped and reduce the impact as much as possible. The fall is catastrophic. Farandril’s back cracks and he dies instantly from the crash. Abraxos is knocked unconscious, but begins to sink from his heavy metal armour. Farandril’s last spell on Abraxos keeps him alive, but he remains sinking.
And that’s where we left off.