Post date: Dec 15, 2010 7:17:54 PM

Dodecitina 18, 1000 PC

Our heroes leave The Cathedral in Wintersky's wake after her refusal to play The Grotesque's game. They speak with the distracted ghost of Zenda, who floats high above the square.

Her distraction seems to be two-fold. She is watching Legeand, who had wandered off after The Avengers, battle a balor on the bridge and also playing with a ghostly ring on her left ring finger, notices by Sparta and Zenda denies when asked about it.

Wintersky tries to determine some spiritual out for Zenda's predicament, which the ghost seems oblivious to when the balor's death throes prompts the group to action.

As the group tracks down the frenzying Legeand and the demons he is slaying, Manitowoc telepathically chats with Sparta about this ring, which is suspiciously absent from the Mantyson's family history.

The mental conversation is put on hold as the group find Legeand is about to face another balor...two balors as the first summons another.  Thoroughly prepared for brutal battle, the balors are quickly dispatched. One dismissed by Elenia, but not before Ringo's apparent loss, which causes Sparta to abandon his attacks. The other is cut down by Legeand and Wintersky with help from her spirit companion and magic.

The balor's death throes cannot be avoided and StormClouds, Wintersky Teton Paint Horse, is slain in the blast, while others in its radius are grievously injured. All limp into Wintersky's reach and she employs her most powerful healing to ensure their survival.

Elenia, distraught with Sparta's despair, draws every bit of her power to pull Ringo back from death.

After catching their collective breath, the group returns to discussing how the help Zenda, Manitowoc and Sparta revealing the existence of a ring Zenda wore during life, but all memory of which has been lost to time. Maybe this ring holds some significance or means of averting the cataclysm.

The heroes present wander out into the square where Wintersky speaks with a distracted Zenda.

Wintersky: Uh? Big shinny fighter...where is Legeand?

Celesta looking a little perturbed, "That was not how I was hoping that would go."

Sparta: Me either.

Zenda points towards where the bridge would be, "That one is known to you, correct?"

Sparta: Is there another way to summon Zodyu?

Wintersky: Zodhu is playing games and making a grab for power...I would not care, except he wants me to provide the catalyst by murder.

Zenda looks down at Sparta, "Why would you want to go doing that?"

Sparta: Hello, Nana.

Nyza chimes in, "Because so many people will die if we do not."

Sparta: We need Zodyu's permission for Emperor Ran to enter Troll's Bridge.

Zenda tilts her head, wearing a comical expression of confusion.

A terrific explosion can be heard from the direction of the bridge.

Legeand just killed a balor single-handedly.

Wintersky: Zenda, does the shiny figher need help?

Zenda: Uh, whatever he was fighting just blew up.

Nyza: So, he is fighting?

Celesta: Was it wielding a sword and a whip, Zenda?

Zenda: As a matter of fact, yes.

Sparta notices Zenda's ghost twirling a ghostly ring on her left ring finger.

Dale: Is that Sezdelishae?

Celesta: No, that sounds like a balor...literally. They blow up when they are slain.

Sparta: Nana? What's that ring on your finger?

Zenda pulls her hands apart and places them on the dulcimer in playing position.

Dale: Oh dear, do you think Legeand was hurt?

Zenda: Ring? What ring?

Zenda: He probably is not feeling his best. He is picking himself up off the ground.

Nyza is too stunned for words. She starts flying in the direction of the blast.

Zenda: Hmmm, now he is frantically looking around all wild-eyed.

Sparta: I'm sorry, Nana, you were whirling a ring just now. I don't remember any mention of it in the family history.

Wintersky whistles for Stormclouds.

Dale: Nyza, wait for me. I'll help too.

Celesta: Ah, take your time. He is probably still in a frenzy.

Dale climbs aboard Ferocious who leaps to a run to keep up with the flying kobold.

Dale: That's what I'm worried about. He'll destroy the rest of the city before he tires.

Nyza pauses briefly.

Nyza: Frenzy? You are right, he probably IS okay.

Manitowoc pipes up in Sparta's head, "She did have a ring."

Nyza: But we cannot wait for long.

Sparta: Grandpa, do you know what it did? Can she help us summon Zodyu?

Wintersky leaps to Stormclouds back.

Dale: Lead the way, Nyza. I'll follow you.

Zenda turns and scowls, "That is not good."

Nyza: Right.

Nyza turns to T'Krosh.

Nyza: You go first.

Sparta: Nana?

Elenia mounts up also.

Manitowoc says, "She had a magnificent ring. Not magical though as far as I could tell."

Zenda waves her hand as if shushing a child as she continues the look to the west.

Wintersky: I think we better go help.

Sparta looks to his departing friends, then at Celesta.

Zenda: Oh, that was a good hit. He does not need too much help.

Celesta: What are you seeing, Zenda?

Sparta: Perhaps Miss 'Sky is right. We should follow the others.

Wintersky rides off after the others.

Sparta reluctantly mounts Ringo.

Elenia: Come on Sparta, Celesta,

Zenda: Lots of demons, but that shiny fellow is swatting them down like flies.

Elenia rides towards the battle.

Sparta looks at Zenda, then to the west, trying to see Legeand through the buildings.

Celesta: Demons?! We better go. They are heading into the castle district.

Sparta: We'll be back, Nana.

Celesta frantically casts spells as the others move off and then teleports.

Sparta spurs Ringo to follow behind the others.

Manitowoc (in Sparta's head): You do not know about the ring?

Sparta: No, Grandpa. I can't remember it being mentioned in any of the family stories.

Manitowoc (in Sparta's head): Hmmm.

Sparta: As they depart the square, Sparta ventures to speak aloud to his grandpa. If anyone can hear him, he probably sounds a little crazy.

Wintersky slows enough to cast a couple spells.

Sparta: What do you remember?

Manitowoc (in Sparta's head): It was very big and had a tendency to fall off. She was always playing with it.

Our heroes try and follow the progression of the demons' movement as they sweep from south to north, avoiding Zenda's demense.

Legeand leaves a trail of demon ichor as he wades through the weak ones and Nyza guides the rest from above.

Sparta and Dale each cast Barkskin upon themselves and their animal companions as they go.

Finally, the group comes into sight of Legeand as he hacks away at demons.

Unfortunately, another balor trails the lesser demons, approaching Legeand with obvious bloodlust.

Nyza casts Arcane Spellsurge and Mirror Image on herself while T'Krosh casts Freedom of Movement, Visage of the Deity, Divine Power and Righteous Might on himself.

The balor sees the other approaching heroes and slows his pace and makes a reaching gesture at his side.

Dale casts Summon Natures Ally VII and summons 5 xorns.

Dale changes to her mammoth wildshape.

Rays, beams, flashes and blasts begin to light up the area far behind the balor as the flickering figure of The White Witch can be seen floating above the river preventing further demons from supporting the balor.

Wintersky casts Mass Resist Fire on all.

The balor completes his gesture and a second balor materializes at its side.

Sparta: Oh look, he brought a friend.

Nyza: No problem.

The original balor drops a firestorm down on Legeand as the other advances towards the group.

Nyza fires off an opening salvo of fire spells.

Nyza casts Lingering Flames and a Searing Fireball, engulfing the demon in flames.

Wintersky draws Blessed Balack and fires a salvo of arrows, piercing the demon viciously.

The demon looks bewildered and glares back at his summoner.

SnowShadow heads to pounce the original balor.

Dale calls a Firestorm down upon the farther demon.

Dale and Ferocious move a little closer.

The xorns charge straight at the nearer demon.

Legeand charges the closest demon slashes it.

Elenia casts Dismissal on the closest demon after moving into range.

The demon looks alarmed for a moment, but then shakes off Elenia's spell.

Sparta rides Ringo along side the xorns and fires his bow at the nearer demon, hitting it solidly.

T'Krosh strides closer to the demon and drops a Destruction spell on it, but it does not have the expected devastating effect.

Another explosion puncuates the battle to the south.

The original balor flails at Legeand.

The balor hits Legeand twice with its sword and once with the whip, but Legeand breaks free of the whip.

Wintersky: Legeand! Are you hurt badly?

Legeand looks close to death, if not past; looking upon the gaze of death himself.

The second balor drops a fire storm on the grouped creatures.

Dale the Mammoth trumpets, "Hold on, Legeand. I'm coming to save you."

Four of the xorns and Ringo are torched.

Nyza retreats while casting more destructive spells.

Nyza casts Searing Fireball and Lingering Flames again, this time only the fireball having any effect.

Wintersky casts Phantom Bear then rides toward Legeand.

SnowShadow pounces upon the original balor, tearing into it.

Dale in mammoth form, comes running to help Legeand.

Dale: Ferocious, you better go back by Nyza.

Legeand lets loose a flurry of flashing sword strikes, slicing deeply into the balor.

Elenia desparately tries one more Dismissal on the closest balor before it explodes.

The demon falls through a chasm that suddenly forms below its feet and disappears.

Sparta: Nooo!

Sparta: I wanted to kill him.

Elenia: Sorry, Sparta.

T'Krosh is visibly relieved.

Sparta: Ringo? Come on, boy.

Sparta breaks down and cries into his friends burnt fur.

Sparta: Not again!

Manitowoc: Sparta! There's one left!

T'Krosh: Not now!

Sparta: What difference does it make, Grandpa?

Sparta: Ringo's dead. We can't stop Nana's cataclysm.

Sparta: This whole city is cursed.

Manitowoc: Can't say I disagree with that last statement.

T'Krosh aims an Empowered Flame Strike at the remaining Balor while trying to ignore Sparta's lamentations.

The spells fizzles over the demon.

The remaining balor points at Legeand and a wave of resonance shakes him.

Legeand's fury continues to drive his tattered body on, resisting the spell's effects.

Nyza continues firing Fireballs from long range, but the never materialize on the remaining demon.

Wintersky moves forward a step and casts Mass Heal upon the group around the balor.

SnowShadow continues to shred and Phantom Bear tries to find a vulnerable spot.

SnowShadow's bite and first claw rip out the guts of the demon and it explodes in a blinding flash, knocking everyone to the ground within a longbow's short range.

Celesta flies in, "Damn! I could not get quite close enough."

Nyza shouts something back, but is too far away to make her voice heard.

StormClouds falls. SnowShadows begins to limp slowly towards Wintersky. Legeand collapses.

Wintersky: All those still living gather around. I will do another mass heal.

Wintersky moves to Legeand, Dale and SnowShadow. Bear goes away.

Nyza and T'Krosh catch up with the others.

Wintersky heals the living.

Sparta continues to weep over Ringo's corpse.

Ringo stirs.

Wintersky then heads back to StormClouds looking for the spirit of the mighty steed.

Sparta: Ringo?

Wintersky: Crying, she looks to see if his Teton has come for him.

Sparta tries to tell if Ringo is really still among the living.

A Teton warrior spirit walks up from behind Wintersky and pats her on the shoulder, then mounts StormClouds and rides into the beyond.

Ringo licks Sparta.

Sparta: Boy! you're back! Are you hurt?

Sparta casts Cure Serious Wounds on Ringo.

Ringo lies there, still a bit stunned.

Wintersky cries, "Thank you, warrior. Take care of him."

Sparta holds Ringo tight and continues to cry, now with tears of joy.

Wintersky joins Sparta, "I am so glad he is all right."

Elenia sits down hard, shaking from the effort expended in her last spell.

Sparta looks up at Wintersky.

Sparta: I don't know what happened.

Sparta: One minute he was gone, but then he came back.

Wintersky: Ask Elenia.

Sparta: Elenia? You brought him back?

Wintersky: A miracle to be sure.

Sparta: Aye, I thought I'd lost him forever this time.

Elenia: I do not know. It was heart-breaking and I just did...something.

Sparta: How can I ever thank you, Elenia?

Elenia smiles.

Sparta: Ringo, I think adventuring is too dangerous for you.

Sparta: When we get back home to Tangleton, I think it is time for you to settle down and start raising a family.

Ringo barks.

Celesta: I think this will discourage the demons. Sezdelishae has fled.

Legeand coughing and sheathing his sword as he scowls, "I would hope it did something. It was not easy."

Dale: I don't suppose she fled back to the Abyss where she belongs?

Celesta: Provided the demons stay away, that only leaves vampires...and figuring out how to keep a ghost from releasing a the next ten days.

Sparta: Just before we left, Nana was playing with a ring on her finger.

Manitowoc says in Sparta's head, "You don't recall the ring in the family stories?"

Legeand: What kind of ring?

Wintersky wanders back to StormCloud's body. She strokes the silky mane then gently cuts a lock and places it in her medicine bag.

Sparta: Grandpa remembers it, but doesn't think it is magic.

Manitowoc: It wasn't.

Sparta: It was a big ring, one she's had a long time.

Manitowoc: It was always falling off.

Nyza: Did you see on what finger she wore it on?

Manitowoc: Her left ring finger, of course.

Sparta: Her wedding ring?

Manitowoc: Of a fashion.

Sparta: But, you gave the ring to her?

Manitowoc: No, she always had it.

Sparta: You're speaking in riddles, Grandpa.

Manitowoc: It was so big and nice and important to her, we just agreed that it was the right ring for her to have.

Sparta: She wore the ring upon her finger, a ring that was too large for her hand.

Sparta: It was so important that she brought it with her into the afterlife.

Manitowoc: Well, that was the strange part. We got it re-sized and it would still fall off.

Sparta strains his memory for some recollection of her ring.

Manitowoc says in Sparta's head, "Don't sprain anything."

Celesta: So, she would have been buried with this ring, no?

Sparta: Unless she lost it in the battle with the orcs, when she fell in The Smoking Pipe's cellar.

Manitowoc: I do not know. I never got back to see her before she died.

Sparta: Nana's grandson Hurley was the last of the Mantyson's to see her alive.

Manitowoc: She was long buried before I got trapped in this blade.

Sparta: She had the ring in Walton, before you met. Do you know if she brought it with her from Rebelton?

Manitowoc: I assumed she brought it from Rebelton.

Sparta: I wonder. Could the ring be part of the focus that keeps her here, like her dulicmer?

Celesta: Could the ring be in the dulcimer?

Sparta: It's been nearly a thousand years since she died. Assuming she took the ring with her. It was most likely buried with her, in the old cemetery.

Celesta: The demons are gone and the undead do not stay there, so maybe a look is worth our trouble?

Sparta: It's across the bridge, where we found Nyza's kobold friends hiding.

Elenia: I think we should call it a day and get some rest. As Lady Artural said, we have ten days.