The stairs to the top floor of the Gate were hard, the weight of the battles weighed heavy on The Party. After three solid fights, a short rest was in order followed by the ascension to the top floor. While Anatolius has sensed the presence of gold on the floor above them, none of them expected what they saw.
A monstrous storm rested over the Gate, and had cleared the entire roof off. A smaller, more condense version of the storm rested above a throne of bones. Clearly, this was a sentient being of great power. And before him stood a giant, with a hammer and shield of solid ice, crackling with the power of lightning and the storm. A crackle of lightning bolted down from the sky, and as if in response the giant slammed his hammer onto the floor.
Addressing The Party, the Storm spoke. “Children of Athos, you stand before a power much greater than your own. I am he, the embodiment of storms and the sky. Created when Athos’ universe was born and finally free to flex my powers once again. I am ancient and undeniable, I shall retake what was once mine. I am the The Oncoming Storm, and I am above all mortals. My Champion Joritah will destroy you.”
A great battle ensure next, with the Champion Joritah standing strongly against a group of four demigods. But eventually, he could not hold up. “Please master, slay these creatures!” He begged his master on his knees, and before the killing blow could be delivered a bolt of lightning came down from the storm and turned Joritah into a pile of dust. A rumble of thunder mixed with laughter came from the Storm. “A show of power unseen since the battle of Nox and Athos! I should have known based on your clear lineage to the Creator. Very well then, having defeated my champion I offer you two options. You face me in battle, ending with your bodies turned to ash and left to scatter across the winds. Or, considering you have killed my past two Heralds, one of you takes his place as Thunder, my Champion and the Herald of the Storm.”
This left the party with a difficult choice. To sacrifice freedom and gain power? Or to face destruction at the hands of this creature. Perhaps had they been better rested a fight would be more viable, but as the circumstances were it would have been quite difficult. After much debate, the Storm blew a gust of wind over the dust remains of his past Champion. In the remains laid a crackling blue ring. “Place the ring on your finger to accept my offer.” The party continued to debate, and a worried Simon Bloom stepped forward and looked down, picking up the ring.