Post date: Mar 24, 2011 2:32:15 AM

Dodecitina 23, 1000 PC

Our heroes find little advice at The Dome of "The Billiken," but they do find solace and assurance that a good night's rest is afforded them before the chaos of the upcoming days.

The chaos does not wait. The next morning, Cedarcleaver and his clan overfly Troll's Bridge on the way to meet the approaching legions in a bid to keep the Emperor away from the city.

Feeling the need to keep Cedarcleaver from laying into Ran's army, Oliveryn uses a new found power to retrieve the Orb of Green Dragonkind from the tomb where it was secured by Aifos. His plan succeeds in attracting the great wyrm back to Troll's Bridge and right into the midst of the Heroes of Redemption.

Incensed by the use of the orb by the bard, Cedarcleaver cracks the orb in his fury to destroy it. Wintersky believes the spirit of Vertigriis is ready to be released from his imprisonment, but with Cedarcleaver primed to be possessed is immobilized by the orb's magic and Wintersky attempt to send the mythic dragon's spirit on its way.

Vetrigriis attempts to take over Cedarcleaver, but is foiled by Sparta freeing his mortal enemy from the restraints of the orb.

With all of the heroes concentrating on killing the dragon's body, Wintersky makes a second attempt to force the passing of Vertigriis. She succeeds, but at the price of trapping Cedarcleaver's spirit within the orb and nearly killing everyone else as the ancient dragon's spirit explodes.

Acting quickly, the survivors, along with the returning Aifos, bring back the fallen from the brink of death. The chastised Oliveryn wanders away while the rest ponder the healed orb.

A second time this day the sky darkens.

The group waits for the priest to respond, looking about the massive temple. It is filled with cityfolk that had escaped the devils, demons and vampires.

Meliomonee is tended to by the acolyte near by who looks concernedly at the various wounds of the others from where he kneels.

Sparta: How badly are you hurt, Legeand. I think Dale has all of her healing available.

Luanes stands next to the acolyte, watching.

Legeand walks back and forth in slow pacing.

The acolyte skillfully deals with Meliomonee's cuts, bumps and bruises as professionally as he can manage, given his patient.

Luanes: Rest, mother. Father will be here soon.

Belrus Kanglis: You seek advice that in my giving might change what must be, but I can say that halflings always end up having a good effect on the outcome of epic they not?

Sparta: Aye, we try to anyway.

Belrus Kanglis smiles, "You all look like you have been worn thin and could use some rest. I think you can spare a few hours now that Faerie is no longer making a mess of things."

Sparta: But Zodyu seems to have stacked things in his favor this time.

Wintersky looks around this holy place, comparing it to others.

The temple is open and has many natural features despite being a massive building.

Sparta: We were on our way back to Armee's Avengers and thought we could spare a moment for your advice.

Belrus Kanglis: Zodyu has a great deal of opposition, but He does have and use power in His measure.

Legeand: As good as rest is, we have a large fate in our hands and every hour is another we waste.

Celesta: It is a waste if we do not survive until the end of all of this because we are exhausted, Legeand.

Wintersky looks appraisingly at Belrus Kanglis.

Wintersky: Seeing, knowing, shaping, unfolding tis the way.

Belrus Kanglis: I will risk divulging too much by saying this much. You have plenty of time for a good night's rest.

Sparta: Is that all you'll say? From what I remember of my catechism, "The Billiken" does not actively oppose Zodyu, but is the God of the Way Things Ought To Be. All I ask is whether these events are the way things ought to be?

Belrus Kanglis smirks, "So far, so good."

Belrus Kanglis: We are not terribly fond of Zodyu as he wrested a great deal of power from us when he ascended.

Belrus Kanglis: But, yes, we will neither help nor hinder what ought to be.

Sparta sighs and looks to Wintersky and Celesta.

Wintersky: Sparta we can do this.

Legeand: Or we have time to get it right at least.

Celesta smiles at Legeand and nods to Sparta.

Wintersky: Time enough to do something.

Sparta: Well, I won't say no to a little rest, but our time is short.

Sparta: And for all our talents, I don't see what we can do to stand against the gods.

Belrus Kanglis: You are welcome to take your rest here or continue to The Fortress of Armee. Both are quite safe.

Luanes: We will need to rest if we are to stand any chance at all.

The exhaustion of the group slowly sinks in after the time warping effect of Faerie and the break-neck pace of the last several days.

Wintersky: Oh, I'm tired let us rest here.

Dale: Legeand, let me tend to your wounds.

T'Krosh: It has been a long, long day.

Dale casts cure critical wounds upon Legeand.

Dale: Is anybody else injured?

Wintersky: I am fine.

Celesta looks around for an area that will accommodate the group.

Dale: Before we rest, Belrus, is your well full? I can replenish it if needed.

Belrus Kanglis: The well...It could use a fill.

Nyza eyes Dale suspiciously.

Dale whispers to Nyza, "Don't worry, I won't spill any of it."

Luanes: I am fine, thank you.

Dale: Perhaps your acolyte could show the way, if he has finished tending to Meliomonee.

Celesta points up to a balcony, "That looks like a good place. Is it available...and accessible, Magister Kanglis?"

Luanes walks away from her resting mother and up to Wintersky, embracing her warmly.

Wintersky hugs back.

Wintersky: I am glad your mother is well.

Luanes: Thank you, my sister...

Luanes: And my deepest gratitude to all of you.

Celesta bows to Luanes.

Celesta: We are a team...a family even.

Luanes nods, smiling brightly and happier than anyone has ever seen her.

Legeand: Bonds stronger than blood.

Wintersky: Choosen blood.

Wintersky: Now we must rest if we are to save everyones' mother here.

Luanes: Agreed.

Belrus Kanglis: The heroic family may take the stairs up to that balcony.

Belrus Kanglis motions to another acolyte to lead the group up the stairs.

Wintersky leads the way and beds down.

Along their procession, several of the cityfolk thank them as they pass.

Sparta: Thank you, Belrus. There may soon come a time when you will need to choose to let Zodyu steal more power.

Belrus Kanglis: Don't I know it.

Luanes follows, finds a room, does her nightly prayers and goes to bed.

Sparta: Good night then, and thank you for your sanctuary.

Nyza responds to some of the thankful citizens.

Nyza: We appreciate it, but our job is not yet over! The city is still in danger and you all must be wary of the remaining evils here.

A pleasant calm descends upon the group on the balcony and all sleep, of those who sleep, soundly and long.

Everyone is more rested when they finally rise than any can remember.

However, the peace is not to be lasting as a earth-shaking roar echos across the city interrupting breakfast.

Wintersky: I think I hear our summons.

A vast shadow passes over the city, darkening the translucent light of the sun streaming through the dome.

Sparta: Always at breakfast.

Legeand: Well then start eating ealier...might save your meal.

Celesta giggles, "Eating breakfast is the most powerful magic Sparta casts...Summon Trouble."

Luanes rises and strides outside to investigate.

Panic breaks out among the crowds throughout the temple.

Wintersky heads outside to investigate.

Three other shadows quickly follow accompanied by more roars.

Luanes looks for the source of the roars and shadows.

Sparta grabs an apple from the table and follows the others outside as he tightens down the buckles on his armor.

Struggling to get to the streets outside the temple, those investigating see distant winged shapes flying west towards "The City."

Sparta: Who is it this time Luanes? Dragons?

Luanes: Visaria only knows.

Luanes: I will go find out.

Luanes lifts into the air to get a better view.

A streak of rainbow hues suddenly crosses the sky in the opposite direction and continues passed the city entering Tanglewood to the east.

Upon rising into the air, Luanes finds the First Wing gathering after being scattered by the roaring creatures.

Pegasus Rider: It was dragons, Lady Ilrya! Four green dragons!

Wintersky tries to find Raceslightening.

Luanes: Where are they now?

Nyza: Ahh, what are they doing here!

Wintersky's mount appears as if from nowhere.

Elenia casts Rainbow Pattern to distract the panicking folk.

Pegasus Rider: Flying towards the Emperor's Army.

Luanes: All right. Are you following?

Wintersky mounts up.

Elenia's distraction allows the heroes to exit the temple without further impedence.

Pegasus Rider: Upon your command, we will.

Luanes: Very well! Follow! My friends and I will meet you there!

Legeand: Will as much due haste as some of us on foot can get.

Luanes can see that the dragons are coming under attack from the Emperor's forces.

The rainbow streaks back from Tanglewood and lands atop Schloss Tanglewood.

Wintersky looks about trying to determine if the dragons are a distraction for something else.

Wintersky is struck by a spiritual roar from the vicinity of the castle the rainbow streak landed on.

Luanes: Aid the emperor!

Wintersky readies Blessed Black.

Sparta: Nyza, can you get us close to the dragons?

Wintersky: What is happening at the Castle, Luanes!?

The spiritual presence seems familiar to Wintersky.

Luanes speeds back down to the ground.

Wintersky: Something is going on there too.

Nyza: If you think it is a good idea. Flight or teleportation, pick.

Luanes: There are four green dragons.

Wintersky: Spiritus?

Luanes sees a glowing point of green light just above the castle as she descends.

Wintersky: No, but draconic.

Wintersky: Is it a distraction?

Wintersky: Aifos?

Luanes: I do not know.

Luanes: But the Emperor seems to be handling it.

Wintersky: No, but just as old.

Luanes: I sent the First Wing to assist.

Wintersky points at the castle, "Something is going on that way."

Wintersky: Lord Tangle or what is his name?

A distant roar reverberates back to the city from the west and shortly Cedarcleaver is diving towards the castle.

Wintersky: Vertigriis!

Wintersky: The dragon trapped in the orb!

Wintersky: Oh, Spirits! Someone is using the dragon orb!

T'Krosh scowls.

Wintersky wheels RacesLightning and heads toward the spiritual presence.

Cedarcleaver (in Draconic): You will not have control over me, bard!

Legeand: Then it is settled. We stop that orb user.

Nyza: It cannot be Oli... He would not do something so stupid.

Wintersky: This way! SnowShadow with me!

Sparta: Are you so certain? Who else knows where it was hidden?

Celesta: Aifos?

Wintersky: Aifos would not use it!

Celesta: But did I hear the Draconic word for bard?

Sparta: True, but he's no bard and this younger Aifos wasn't there when his older self hid it.

Nyza: You heard right.

Celesta: Very true. If it is Oli, he is in big trouble.

Sparta: No use arguing about it, Nyza. Can you get us there?

Luanes: Instead of speculation, let us go find out and stop this person.

Sparta: I think a teleport is in order.

Nyza: Yes, and in a hurry. Grab my... uh, grab T'Krosh's hand.

Celesta: Half with me and half with Nyza.

Sparta and Dale grab their animals, then take T'krosh's hands.

Nyza forms a human chain with T'Krosh and her half of the party.

Luanes grabs Celesta's hand.

Legeand grabs onto someone hurriedly.

Just as the teleport is about to take effect, Cedarcleave plows into the castle.

The orb and its wielder are sent sailing off the castle and into the fields north of the castle where the dragon quickly follows.

Celesta: Nyza! The field!

Nyza nods.

Wintersky teleports to with SnowShadow, Elenia, RacesLightning and Elenia's mount to where she feels Vertigriis.


T'Krosh prepares to cast destruction on the dragon as soon as it is in range.

The dragon dives in with a roar, stomping on the small glowing orb.

Green tendrils of magical energy begin to rise from Cedarcleaver's claw where he landed on the orb.

Wintersky (unfazed): Cedarcleaver! Tone down the fear effects and we will help you destroy the orb.

Nyza believes the dragon has cracked the orb.

Wintersky: You are a dragon that can see the truth of what I say.

Wintersky: Nyza! The orb! Disintergrate it!

Nyza: Gladly! That orb is as foul to kobolds as it is to dragons!

Wintersky: Who else can help!?

Nyza casting arcane spellsurge and limited wish, "I wish it would just disintegrate!"

Legeand: Unless HE wishes to use it himself.

Wintersky: It is bane to all drgonkind. It is enslaving.

Legeand: Be that as it may, but control over his fellow dragons.

The gray beam strikes Cedarcleaver's claw, damaging many of its scales.

Wintersky: Cedarcleaver spread your talons a bit so we can help.

Cedarcleaver looks up as if he had not noticed the heroes' presence.

Wintersky: If dragons could destroy them without help thy would be gone already.

Nyza flies past the dragon after the limited effect of the wish.

Sparta: CedarCleaver, we will destroy the orb if you let us.

Cedarcleaver begins a massive inhale.

Sparta casts resist acid on himself and shares with Ringo.

Wintersky: Cedarcleaver, you would spurn our help in this task?

Sparta: We are not here to fight you.

T'Krosh: He seems quite capable by himself.

Sparta holds his ground.

Wintersky: If they were easy to destroy, they would be gone.

Wintersky: I have made a solemn oath to Vertigriis to free him.

Legeand: Holds his ground, waiting on the hero spell from Luanes.

Wintersky dismounts and walks forward under the dragon and casts miracle, "Spirits hear my call release the bonds that hold Vertigris enslaved. Free him that he might pass to the spirit realm.

SnowShadow moves behind the dragon as Nyza, but in the opposite direction.

Wintersky: You know that there are few that would help destroy the orbs. Most would think of the power they could wield. I will destroy them all.

The tendrils intertwine around Cedarcleaver forming a lattice of energy about him.

Dale casts protection from acid on herself and shares it with Ferocious.

Dale: Cedarcleaver, I will help the others destroy the orb. Step back and let us try.

Luanes casts Lionheart on Legeand.

Cedarcleaver begins to rear, but seem constrained by the energy.

Legeand is now immune to fear.

Celesta casts assay spell resistance and prepares an attack spell while moving back.

Elenia dismounts as her mount bolts.

Cedarcleaver eyes his wings and the lattice of energy with concern.

Elenia casts telepathic bond including all within range including Cedarcleaver if he is willing.

Elenia: Cedarcleaver?

Elenia: CedarCleaver? Can you hear our intentions.

Cedarcleaver ignores Elenia's prying and begins testing the lattice's limits.

Wintersky watches the spirit realm too.

Wintersky sees an even bigger dragon spirit superimposed over Cedarcleaver.

Wintersky: Vertigriis? Is that you?

T'Krosh tries to destroy the great wyrm with a single spell, but it is only minimally effective causing the great wyrm damage.

Cedarcleaver struggles against the magical lattice and the draconic spirit surrounding him.

The spirit begins entering Cedarcleaver.

Wintersky sees Vertegriis has a malevolent expression as he begins to take over Cedarcleaver.

Wintersky: Do not kill Cedarcleaver. He will be sucked in. I need to send Vertigriis on.

Nyza: Are you sure you can do that?

Wintersky: I think it will take another miracle.

Nyza: No kidding.

Vertigriis eyes Wintersky and shakes his head slightly.

Wintersky: You must go.

Nyza begins casting a spell summon a group of lantern archons.

Wintersky suddenly realizes that the body of Cedarcleaver needs to be destroyed as soon as possible or Vertigriis will live again to take revenge.

Wintersky: Vertigriis is taking over CedarCleaver! We will have to kill him.

Wintersky: I am going to try to sing them both on.

Sparta: Cedarcleaver, let me help you. This spell may free you from the orb!

Sparta rides Ringo up to the nearest part of the dragon that he can touch and casts freedom of movement.

Cedarcleaver's wings suddenly jerk into the air, free.

Legeand: So are we killing him or freeing him?

Legeand: Because if I am going to start hitting, it is going to be hard to stop.

Wintersky: Kill him.

Sparta: I can't believe I'm saying this. Are you sure?

Legeand: Then let us get chop, chop, chopping!

Legeand runs up to the dragon, attacking with great slashing swings.

Wintersky uses moment of prescience and casts miracle to send Vertigriis on. She starts chanting the exorcism and death passage ceremony.

Wintersky: Keep fighting him, Cedarcleaver.

The tendrils of magic disappate into a chilling cloud of death and at the same time Cedarcleaver goes limp and collapses with an earth-shattering crash.

Dale: Is that it? Are they dead?

Wintersky: Does CedarCleaver yet live?

T'Krosh, Ringo, RacesLightning, Dale, Ferocious and Elenia all fall unconscious.

Sparta: Dale!

Everyone else is chilled to the bone with necromatic drain.

Vertigriis gives a deafening roar that only Wintersky can hear.

Wintersky collapses into the fetal position next to the orb, shivering.

The orb glows again with an internal greenish light.

Luanes runs to Wintersky, intent on seeing to her and then to Dale.

Oliveryn stumbles over from where he fell several yards behind where the dragon landed, "Not so smart, I guess."

Sparta: Oli, I should kill you where you stand.

Legeand flies into a frenzy.

Luanes risks getting hit to cast a spell on Legeand.

Luanes casts resurgence.

Legeand collapses exhausted only a moment later.

Oliveryn raises his hands, "I know, I know."

A drakkensteed flies in mounted by Aifos.

Aifos: What in The Hell's was that Lord Oliveryn?

Legeand: Lord Idiot trying out an Ord of Dragonkind.

Luanes checks on Wintersky.

Nyza: Trying to destroy it. Weren't you Oli?

Aifos looks around, "Are they all dead?"

Legeand: Dead or dying, hurry up.

Nyza walks over to T'Krosh and lays a healing touch on him.

Aifos runs to the closest dying person and channels arcane energy through his unicorn horn.

Luanes finds Wintersky to be in shock.

Celesta wanders into the midst of the group, staring at the orb.

Celesta points at the orb, "I think Cedarcleaver is in there now."

Luanes: She is in shock

Luanes: Celesta, could you stand here with Wintersky while I check on Dale?

Celesta distractedly nods, "Yes, Luanes."

Sparta casts a cure spell on Ringo to stabilize him and then runs to Dale's side.

Luanes makes her way over to Dale and assesses her injuries.

Aifos sees to RacesLightning and then Ferocious.

Wintersky shivers and curls tighter into herself.

Aifos: I think they'll all be alright. Let us see about Wintersky.

Sparta: Dale, Dale, are you ok?

Aifos gives Oliveryn a quick, dark glance before returning to the Teton shaman.

Dale groans as Luanes's ministrations bring her around.

Oliveryn stands looking guilty for a moment before wandering away.

Nyza: Wintersky's injury looks different.

Luanes lays hands on Dale to help her recover.

Nyza: Like she is afraid maybe?

Various Teton spirits gather around Wintersky and begin chanting, bringing her back to her senses.

Dale: Oh my, that feels better.

Dale: Thank you, Luanes.

Dale: What happened?

Wintersky chants with the spirits no one else can see.

Luanes: I think the dragon is now encased within the sphere.

Celesta: Wintersky?

Wintersky: Ummmm Ummmm Ummmmm.

Celesta: The crack in the orb healed when the cloud disappated.

Wintersky: Celesta.

Dale: If Miss 'Sky will last till morning, I can heal her.

Celesta: Are you alright, Wintersky?

Wintersky: Did the dragon go on?

Luanes walks back to Wintersky, glancing around to see if there are any others who need healing.

Wintersky: Not sure yet.

Wintersky: I think so, maybe.

Sparta fusses over Dale.

People and animals get back to their feet.

Sparta: It was bad enough when I lost Ringo. You need to be more careful. I'd be lost without you.

Legeand: Well, let us not leave this in Oli's hands again if this is how he thinks of using it.

Wintersky looks at the orb.

At that moment the sky darkens.