Golagoraraxx had left The Party with many questions, and few answers. Two riddles echoed in their minds. “The Stone and the Shield are separate, one is as he was in the past while the other has found inner peace.”
and a second riddle, more precise
“A heaven child will come, followers unaware of their true purpose. From three cries of help you are helpless to stop there will be eleven months, two weeks, four days, six hours, forty-two minutes, 12 seconds and he will arrive.”
The party took the first to be an indication of something concerning Vondal Kildrak, The Shield of Athos and Random, The Petrified. The second remained a mystery. Surrounded in a room of solid gold, the party’s enemies fell at the loss of a game to the death. The one known as Golagoraraxx fell, his last words echoing, “And he will bring armies.”
Anatolius lead the search of the room, taking all the gold and valuables that he could find. The total came out to an insurmountable sum of 694,830. The loot was divided evenly, and Simon Bloom led the party to the cage with the downward leading spiral staircase. Wearing the trench coat and amulet left by the fallen dragon, Uruhua pushed the amulet into the keyhole, and watched in amazement as the spiral staircase in front of them ceased to lead downwards, and begins to rise up. Higher and higher until it rose to reach the ceiling of the Labyrinth and beyond, and then the gate before them opened.
They climbed the staircase, rising steadily higher and higher. A solid golden door stood at the top of the staircase, a soft blue light emitting from the room. Spirit Fuel. Sneaking to view the room, Uruhua saw another Urn in the center of the room. Standing beside it, a man appeared to be reading something off of the Urn. Uruhua caught the last words, spoken in a clear and arrogant Elvish. “…glow of destiny.” Simon Bloom let out a soft cough, and alerted the man. With a wave of his hand, he pushed open the door from across the room, with sheer force of will. “Stay where you are, I’ve got big plans. You can’t even begin to grasp everything that I’ve got going on.” The distinct, undeniable tone of Nox. He stood up arrogantly, ignoring Anatolius’ attempts to gain knowledge. Waving his hand across the Urn, he waved at the party, and vanished. Simon Bloom felt a strange new energy inside him, but unlike his siblings he was unable to resist toying with it immediately. He began playing with the new energy, while his brother Anatolius inspected the Urn. He sensed two things, that this Urn was The Urn of Creation, and that Nox has set it to explode in only fifteen minutes. An inscription was engraved upon the Urn. Seven lines in seven different languages. After writing the inscription down, the party, with the exception of Simon, began desperately looking for a way out. With only a few minutes left, Oberon found an escape, but Simon had pushed himself to the limit, both creating a new life and knocking himself out in the process. The newly created life grabbed Simon’s unconscious body under command by Uruhua, and the party quickly followed Oberon’s discovery of Nox’s escape, and followed him to teleport away.
Outside The Labyrinth, the party regained their composure, and heard shouts in Draconic from across the island. Screams. Chasing towards where their boat and dragons were left, they came from out of the edge of the trees to see destruction before them. Nox sat on the back on his golden dragon, seen previously by the party long ago. The boat that they had brought with them was destroyed, and their dragons laid slain before them. Azulith, the blue dragon that bore Simon was barely alive. Oberon was able to stabilize him for a moment, and he breathed out three words. “Help. Help… help.” and the dragon slept for the last time. Could this be the sign mentioned in the dragon’s riddle? The party took it to be so.
With Nox gone and the party in shambles, when a woman ran from the remaining boat crying out, “Master! Come back for me!” Naturally, this was a cue the party couldn’t resist. Chasing after her, with Uruhua in the lead, the old woman had no choice but to run. She hid behind a tree, and Harker came out from the tree she had just hid behind. He tried to trick the party, but Oberon was having none of it and knew immediately that it was not truly Harker, but only an imitation done by the woman who had tricked them at the island of Nox’s inbred spawn. Anatolius struck her in the back with a perfectly aimed firebolt, knocking the woman out cold. The party reached her, and Anatolius severed one of her legs, marking the Changeling forever, and waking her up in a blaze of pain. To her credit, she immediately shifted into Nox trying to trick the party one more time to letting her escape. But she was met with a slap to the face, and her disguise fell once again. Oberon, furious now after being mistreated by his siblings, finally released his anger on this women. Grabbing her by the collar and flying upwards, he began to shout at her to reveal everything she knew. A pixie hand flashed across her face, leaving a small, but deep red handprint on her left cheek. After this blow, the woman was broken. But through only a few moments of questioning, it was clear she knew nothing useful. Oberon made a short comment, “I don’t think we’re gonna get much out of this one.” Anatolius took this as a cue, and in the middle of the woman’s next sentence, her mouth was filled with a blast of fire, and she spoke her last word.
Now stranded on an island with no clue of where to go next, the party’s next move was chaos. Among one another, fighting began to break out. Who was responsible for the lack of knowledge? Simon was accused of wasting precious resources while on his dust-induced trips, but was still unconscious and unable to defend himself. Anatolius and Oberon began to bicker. And the bickering began slow, and only grew larger and larger as Uruhua joined in. Anatolius’ decisive action of attacking Golagoraraxx without asking the party was called hasty and unnecessary. Oberon’s fury was unleashed at the party for taking advantage of him, making unnecessarily stupid decisions and depending on him to save them. Angry words were spoken, and eventually Anatolius stormed off to investigate the remaining boat. He found it to be empty, and it seemed that about four months of supplies had been used. Anatolius also took this time to test the power that Simon had used to create new life, but didn’t focus fully and stopped once he began to feel dizzy, creating a mess of blood and guts on the floor around him. Uruhua also took it upon herself to name Simon’s new life, naming him Golagoraraxx after the dragon.
Once the arguing subsided, the party decided that their best bet would to be stop at the nearby port city of Archon on Athos Terrarum‘s northern coast. A chain stopping all incoming traffic during times of emergency existed, that may very well have raised due to Nox’s recent return to the world. Uruhua assured them that her experience as a pirate had granted her ways to circumvent the chain, should need be. The party set off, and the next dawn on the ship Simon Bloom awoke. Upset to learn that his creation had already been named, he took some time to reflect, and asked himself why he had been so reckless recently. Was it really necessary to test that power to his limit, when he knew there were only a few moments to escape the Urn’s holding chamber?
After about a week’s time, they arrived at Archon’s coast. Strangely, everything seemed normal. Only a few guards at a post, as would normally be standing during a day that was open for trade. The party sailed in optimistically, and landed their boat at the port. Uruhua paid an exorbitant fee to stay for two days, and then Uruhua set out to find a ship to her specifications, and Anatolius searched for the nearest scum hole.
Anatolius and Simon Bloom entered the bar, and Anatolius set out to find information while Simon stood watch. First listening in on some regular theives, and then moving towawrds a more certain source of information. Two sketchy Elves and a hooded man and a surefire source of the goings about. After greasing the wheels of the Elves with some gold coins, Anatolius learned that it seemed most believed all the demigods were killed in a battle started between one another. Once the third party sat down and was revealed as a Tiefling, well… Anatolius was in his element. He learned that The Church of Athos Dominus was building some sort of army, growing every day. In addition, a weak rumor was being scattered that someone was finding all the living demigods. With this knowledge, Anatolius and Simon left to join Uruhua, who had picked out a specifically made ship, with speed and offensive capabilities. With their new ship and crew, the boat supplied, the party left to head to Brimir to find Vondal Kildrak and bring him back to the fight. A two week sail, and the party arrived on their brother’s homeland.
But as was so often the case, things were no longer easy, and Vondal was not where the party expected him. They came to his house, and entered. His home seemed untouched, and as if no one had visited it in over a year. After a few brief moments in the home, a knock came on the door. And someone that no one would have guessed stood outside.
They opened the front door, and standing outside in all his glory stood Vinsanthius, The Shimmering Blade with Vondal bound and gagged on his knees in front of him. To his sides stood Gabriel and Jin, as well as Ophelia and Jorah. Around the building were twenty-five crossbowmen, all bolts aimed at The Party, and then they were accused.
“These are all of our brothers and sisters that still live after your attack on our home! This unholy power that you have found does not entitle you to destroy us, and we will avenge our fallen siblings. I, Vinsanthius, leader of the remaining children of Athos hereby call you traitors! You stand accused of breaking the second and fifth laws of The Conclave. How do you plead?”
And then began the attempt to prove that the party was innocent, and the the destruction of The Conclave was not caused by them, but Nox. Several more demigods came out from the woods, Lysidia, Thanduil, Vinsanthius, Tak, Dak, Cassiel, and Araris came out to bring the total number of demigods to eleven, not including the party’s own numbers. Vinsanthius told them that these were the only remaining demigods living after the attack on their home. And the trial began, with the party telling their whole story to Vinsanthius. But accusation after accusation continued. Nekolaj‘s fingers were not enough evidence to prove their innocence, and in fact only helped the cause mentioned by Thanduil. There was a clear link between the party’s Spirit Fuel and the kind shown at The Conclave. Eventually, an offhand comment was made that snapped the tension too hard. “What are you hiding from us Vinsanthius, we must know!” And revealed to the party was Vinsanthius’ heavenly form not seen since the first day The Conclave was formed. “I have spoken to our father Athos, and he has told me of your faults. We will bring this trial to a close, and have a vote on your guilt.”
Minutes seemed like days, and every second dragged on longer and longer. Far from their weapons, the party had almost no opportunity to fight, and would be hard pressed to survive. They decided their only chance would be to hope to get to their weapons as quickly as possible. Finally, Vinsanthius came to the party, with a decision. By vote of 7-4, they had been found guilty. But they were given under a year to prove their innocence, as a final chance to be saved. After discussing the riddle given to them by the dragon, Vinsanthius chose that to be their final time. To be proven innocent, they were running out of time. Or would they instead attempt to defend, and fight back against being killed? Ten months, three weeks, two days, six hours, seven minutes, and nineteen seconds. And he will bring armies.