Athos: The Return

Session LXXVII: House of my Father
Chapter 77: House of my Father

The swift rolling flakes of white snowflakes sped like rotary blades across the stone chamber. A stinging cold, blustering against the walls, sped forth unseen from the harshest reaches of frigid Stygia. Conjured by the eternal will of Athos, the snowmen raced along the ice with ease spinning their claws into each demigod, leaving frost bitten flesh and chilled armor that rattled the bones.

High above reined Anatolius. In the center, a massive creature of crimson ice, bleeding wildly and commanding his minions through a harsh and repeating guttural roar.



The reverberating icicles crashed down from the ceiling returning the Demigods to their plane and their first encounter within the First Dungeon. A cold entry, save for Anatolius, whose fire, an Azure aftermath emblazoned black from its essence proved again the might of spirit fuel. This unlimited power gave to Anatolius a great key to many doors. Like the platinum adornments of the dungeon.

Known by an old name, Kor-dò-Rahm, or The-Place-Beyond-the-Rahm, hidden atop Rahm, a holy mountain. Below ran the rivers in the Aequos where emerald laden fords now transmuted leaden from the alchemy poisoning the whole of the land. Inaccessible to civilization in the days of High Athos and now, the refuge proved less difficult than expected.

The Ancient steps, hewn from the rock of the mountain and shaved smooth through perilous and tedious centuries by the old Monks of the Holy doors. So spoke, in honour of the Athos’ promise for ‘Praise beyond Life’ made in the earliest days to the Dwarves, the 2nd Chieftain of the Dwarven people founded the Monastery to continue to build a Temple. Though in several centuries it became clear the Dwarven chieftains, ever more splintered and decentralised failed to send the money and labour required to build the temple. The doors, the final and most consistently planned from the days of the 2nd Chieftain left unmade. The King in Aequos, who ruled from a diplomat’s loft in Naxos, said that the temple would stay open so the wind could keep the dust off the alter. So forth come Athos.

Emblazoned by such ill regard to his promise, Athos came to the capitol in a torrent of fury. Brought forth, the Right hand of Athos forged a 1st great Platinum door in the Air in its form. Then came the left and a second door flashed into existence. Then upon them Athos carved a prophesy.

The great unhinged spectacle of creation atop scenes of Athosian life descending into evermore grand scenes of a dual fate. From the power of Athos came beauty and glory, then pouring down upon men the beating sun at the right and the crescent moon on the left. Two scenes. One of glory and the unyielding strength of progress. Men in fields poured love into their works and art and beauty hailed a glorious day to come again and again. Then to the left. That scene of everlasting night familiar now to us all. Such horrors are known and their effigy now is not as shocking as on that day. Then, flashing into the ether, the Event over Naxos ended with a violent earthquake, ruining a great deal of the City and rippling far across the continent. That night, the Monastery monks whom, coming from their beds at the rumbling violence of the earth and stars appearing to fall from the sky, were astonished as the sky lit up with the brightness of the doors, now fixed onto the temple. Though the doors proved locked and immobile. As they would stay but to the children of Athos, even now.

The next day, the King of Aequos drank hemlock in a public square and died.

Now, in such a fury, the Red Frost struck out. A whirlwind of blistering energy struck Oberon and left his body to clank onto the ice and skid gently along the ground. Quickly, the heat and health to return the Pixie leader proved immediate. Uruhua, rushing quickly, revived the Demigod, whose light erupted and shattered the ice quickly enough. Damaging though the fight remained, the black flames poured onto the Frost beast weakened its constitution. Shaking off continual barrages and with fierce and blind rage threw itself against Simon’s walls and crawling forth on cracked pine. Scratching and blasting, its presence struck greater chills. Its bestial roars poured forth evermore as it clawed forth, weakening each demigod and summoning evermore frosts to battle.

Quickly, Simon called out:

“Illusory! C4 through AE4!”

In a Thick haze a tall barrier erupted from the ground and at once the battle opened once more. At the other end, a mirror of haze. Here, target practice.

Roaring headlong at the haze, Red Frost called out and began to scratch wildly.

Lifting his right hand, Anatolius marked the frost slamming itself against the wall mercilessly. Then, he stretched out his left. A sphere of energy quickly whipped up and then sparked flames black as the night sky. Then, force. Anatolius, gently bending his thumbs, as his father once had in a time before his, fed the flame until in a fraction of time the sphere exploded its borders into a maelstrom of heat and grew into a great size before it reached the ground and launched forward like a cannon shot with a loud crack.

Passing through the wall, it struck the Frost, who raged as the pressure spun with friction against the thickly packed snow until speeding through the beast and settling in the cavity of its chest.

Crying now wildly, the beast wept a thick bleeding slush where it fell and ripped at its heart, soon flailing across the ice, leaving itself behind as it crashed haphazardly against the ice.





Finally, after failing to scratch out the now rapidly extinguishing flame, soaked by blood, oozing and boiling like magma. The stench caused the demigods to gag. Stepping quickly and unhindered by such horrible sights, the demigods proceeded. They had seen both sides of the Platinum Gate in their long Eras.

The ice melted quickly and fizzled from the humid atmosphere left from battle. The room was quiet, but the dungeons called forth.

Session LXXVI: Our Dinner with the Planesbeing
Session 76: Our Dinner with the Planesbeing

An excerpt from the journal of a very dramatic Simon Bloom

The Rippling Earth crumbles beneath Anatolius’ sword. The last of The Forces of Athos for us to meet with the shortest rapport. The dust and smoke rise above the diamond slide and though rocks cover the hall that was once The Rippling Earth’s cage, I can see the pebbles that hold his soul take their last trip down that slide. Everyone celebrates a much needed victory after our defeat at the hands of Nox, but I don’t have time to celebrate. I rush over to the pebbles and scoop them up before The Planesbeing can enter. I died for what feels like the second time in my life and I’m not going to accept any regrets, even if that means taking advantage of The Planesbeing.

He appears in the room through one of his own portals. “Thank you, children of Athos…Simon what are you doing?”

“Getting insurance.” I say as I drop the pebbles into my bag of holding. The Planesbeing rips through the air right next to me. “The deal was kill The Rippling Earth, I don’t have to hand his soul over to you.”

“What would you do with his soul, Simon Bloom?”

I’m sure I could do a lot with his soul; the Storm gave me power, The Planesbeing gave me portals, who knows what advantage The Rippling Earth could give me. But I don’t say that, strength isn’t what I want.

“The question is, what would you do with your brothers’ souls…Planesy?” I say dragging out the pet-name The Rippling Earth gave his brother. I want to see him wince, just once.

“I did promise my reasons to you, this is only fair. After I took the presence of The Oncoming Storm from you Simon, his Herald, where his soul lay dormant, and after I take The Rippling Earth’s soul from his stones…I will ascend.”

Longing draped over the surface of his face for a fraction of a second; maybe I imagined it. Maybe I wanted to see emotion on that mug of his so bad that I shaped his face in my mind and saw only what I wanted. “I don’t care about your ascension, and I don’t care about Big Stormy’s soul, which you took from me without asking.”

“Are you not grateful that I saved your body, Simon Bloom?”

“Well yeah sure, bu-” I said, interrupted.

“Then the soul of The Oncoming Storm is a fair trade.”

That sick bastard. I grit my teeth and get to the point. “I want insurance, Planesbeing. You can have the Storm’s soul, but the soul of the Rippling Earth will cost you.” My faithful grin returns to me. “I’d say one soul of The Forces of Athos should cost you one favor. I want one favor from you asked at anytime.”

“I have conditions: your favor cannot involve calling for me to fight any of the children of Athos, that includes Nox, and that your favor will not put my life at risk.”

A glance is all I need from the rest of the party, we were never going to use his power to help us fight, but having a safe exit back here in a pinch was worth giving the Planesbeing what he wanted. I offered my hand to The Planesbeing.

“Deal.” I said, our hands met and I could feel the agreement legitimized within me. I fished out The Rippling Earth’s pebbles and handed them to The Planesbeing. The second he touched those pebbles a change surged through him. Still the offputting silhouette of the Planesbeing, textured by a purple expanse of what I can only describe as a violet night sky, but now storm clouds raged from his body. Cracks of lightning ripping through the cosmos. Crags of stone and earth protruded from his shadowy figure, once a two dimensional visage now revealed its complexity with shadows and inconsistencies. And where his plain mug once existed, where I once believed to see longing, a mask awakened onto his face. Muscles contorted as his lips, nose, eyes, and brow found belonging and individuality.

“Thank you, Simon.” he said as a cacophony of emotions swam through his face. Not a single one of them was longing. “I am no longer The Planesbeing, now I am Lord Primordial!” he shook his face, “I am The Planesbeing.” He shook his mask, “I am not the Planesbeing.” He shook his face one more time. “I have never been able to do that before.”

“Do what?” Uruhua asked

“Lie.” Said the Lord Primordial.

A realization came onto me. If he is no longer The Plansebeing, is the agreement still legitimate? Did I just release him by giving him exactly what he wanted? “Do we still have a deal, LORD PRIMORDIAL!” I tried to hold in my worry. Lord Primordial turned to me, his mask looked hurt.

“Of course Simon, I have no intention of breaking our trust.” He said. I sighed. He can’t seem to control his emotions enough to lie to me, at least not yet.

“Hmph, good, but I’m not going to sit around calling you Lord Primordial all the time. From now on I’ll call you LP.” My comment didn’t seem to bother him at all. Maybe he even enjoyed the nickname. This definitely wasn’t the same being we freed from the storm’s prison and I don’t know if that’s a good or a bad thing.

We moved on from the presence of LP, we had more important things to discuss. Anatolius informed us about Nekolaj being alive and his presence at The First Dungeon. Our old training ground created for the demigods to be a dungeon which would change every time someone entered it. The difficulty of the monsters, traps, and bosses would alter accordingly to the strength of those inside. After the destruction of Sysitar I forgot about it. All those hours of training there, testing ourselves to be Athos’ chosen child was just waste. But now that seemed like our destination.

“Might I interject? I know of two portals to the Heavens. One exists in the First Dungeon and the other is at the center of Sysitar, but I can feel a great power guarding it.” LP said.

“What’s that going to cost us?” Asked Uruhua?

Again LP looked hurt. “Nothing, Uruhua. I wish to see this through as much as I can. It doesn’t benefit me for Nox’s plan’s to come to fruition. I’m on your side.” His sincerity is off putting. We chose the First Dungeon. If the power guarding the other portal to the Heavens was Nox then we wanted to avoid him at all costs. LP opened a portal not far from the First Dungeon’s steps. No cost, no deals or favors, he took us there out of his own desires. His freedom was certainly helpful, but who knows how it would change the world.

“So LP, what now? What are your plans for freedom?” I asked him. He made eye contact, too much eye contact. He smiled widely, too widely. This was definitely more unsettling.

“I will create my own universe, my own plane. It will be in my glory and for no one else. And most importantly it will be because I desire it.” He said as a portal ripped around him and snapped shut like a bolt of lightning. The sound of thunder rang through the Realm of Athos or so it seemed from where we stood. “He gets that from the Storm.” I said. No one laughed, but I snickered about it to myself all the way up the steps to the First Dungeon.

Sysitar looked no different then when we last visited a few hours ago, but it had been over 3000 years since we all stood in front of the First Dungeon. The door and dark gray walls built into the side of mountain shrouded in shadow looked unaged. A pair of tattered banners held perfectly still on either side of the door; Nox’s symbol, the eclipse was adorned into the fabric. A momento from before from before the destruction of Sysitar or the Pixie race, before the War of Failed Succession and the Second Age, and before the Eclipse that ravaged that age.

Once Nox was our brother; the best of us, chosen by Athos. The world cheered for him while we sat jealously to the sidelines. Now we are the only ones capable of pulling him back from the edge of the victory he has sought over 3000 years. Vinsanthius The Shimmering Blade 1st Child of Athos, Vondal Kildrak The Shield of Athos 44th Child of Athos, Valenae The Siren 91st Child of Athos, Oberon The Light of Athos 110th Child of Athos, Uruhua The Heartbleeder 146th Child of Athos, Anatolius The Azure Inferno 66th Child of Athos, and I, Simon Bloom The Labyrinth 19th Child of Athos, Demigod Pirate, The Prisoner in the Library, The Herald of the Storm, and the Storm that Walks are all that stands between Nox’s desires and the Realm of Athos.

We walked into the First Dungeon without a word to each other. Nekolaj and Behemoth: Kid mode had been waiting for us. Nekolaj grinned menacingly, “See you at the end.” he said. Before we knew it he ad Behemoth: Kid mode had already started running out of the massive chamber the Dungeon had created. Before we could chase after them the temperature dropped and the elaborate illusions of the First Dungeon grew out of nothingness.

“Go, don’t let them get away! I get the feeling this room will be easy for me.” Anatolius said as his flames rose. The brutal heat he gave off was a comfort as the temperature continued to drop and snow formed on the dungeon floor. Vinsanthius, Valenae, and Vondal knew he meant them and they ran after Nekolaj. The Dungeon’s first challenge roared into existence before 4 Demigods who were going to save the world.

Session LXXIV: Last Chance
Chapter 74: Last Chance

Field Notes, Entry #38,980

They came to Sysitar. I’m not sure how, but I suspect they’ve found the way into heaven. It still amazes me how resourceful they can be. Shocking what the power of the Urns can do. Stepping through the portal, I turn around my statue and see them. Beginning their trek into Sysitar, Uruhua holds the Lance of Mortality. For the first time, I see it with my own eyes. It was one thing to look into the Urn and see the weapon forged, another to see the final result. A strange metal, unlike one I’ve ever seen before. The symbol of the Urns wraps around it over and over again, enhancing the power within the weapon and binding it to its wielder. I’ve imagined destroying our father with this thousands of times over. For a moment I imagine an Uruhua who would’ve handed it to me. But she has been long gone.

“Leaving so soon?” I make my presence known. Shock, followed by anger on their faces. And fear. When I felt them coming to Sysitar, I decided this is the last chance for them to join me. I’m responsible for leading them to the Urns, for giving them this power. I deserve their gratitude. It would not hurt to gain more allies here for my new world. “What are you doing here?” My twin Anatolius barked at me. A stupid question. “What are you doing here?” I echo his question back at him. “We’re here to stop you.” Oberon spoke. I respond with a soft chuckle. “I’m not worried about you, but I want my Lance. Hand it over. And consider joining the winning side.” This request puts Oberon into a rage. “Oh yeah, sure. We came all this way to simply hand you the Lance of Mortality. No fucking way you son of a bitch. You should be worried about us, we’re going to put an end to you.” Talking to him was going nowhere. I should have known that Oberon would be the most true to Athos, blind to our father’s flaws. “Truly Oberon, in some ways it is you I fear the greatest. I worry your bias will sway the rest of you to make a poor decision.” A curious look appeared on their faces. I have once chance to sway them, now is the time.

“You can join me. Lay down your arms, hand over the Lance and stand by my side.” I give them a fair offer, no punishment for past deeds or words. They have played their role in my plan more than they have disrupted it, my ranks could accept them. Yet I was met with laughter. “Sure, we came here to join you asshole.” Again Oberon mocks me. I hold back my rage at the overzealous pixie. “Why would we ever join you?” Simon asks now. The wisest of them may be the most open minded. “My victory is imminent. Not only will I be triumphant, but I deserve to win.” Passion fills my voice. “Athos was weak, a fool.” My insult cuts Oberon. “How dare you insult our father? He created life, the world, and he chose you to be his successor! He made a mistake, he chose you. How dare you? How dare you insult our Father Athos?” I grit my teeth, confident. “Athos may have created the world, but what did he do with it? Nothing! All of mankind waited on Sysitar for his commands. Nothing changed, nothing evolved because Athos was the only driving force. I brought life to the rest of Athos’ world, forced them to leave the safety of this island, forced them to grow.” They don’t look convinced, ignoring the truth because it comes from me. “He is weak, you know it! He didn’t deserve to rule! Everything that exists now is because of my actions.” They’re not convinced. They still don’t see. “And you deserve to rule? All this chaos, all this destruction? Is this how the world looks under your order?” Uruhua asks. Why won’t they understand? “This is only the part I must play for now. Unite people through chaos. Once the world is mine…” Oberon cuts me off. “This world will never be yours.” He draws his mace with as much menace as a pixie can. I watch as each of my brothers and sisters beside him make the same mistake. Uruhua points my Lance at me. It seems they’ve made their choice. “Very well. If you won’t stand beside me in the new world, you’ll die protecting the old.”

Immediately, I can feel the Urn of Power flowing between all of us. Their strength is my strength, but I have mastered it where they are still learning. Alone, I would crush any single one of them. Even together, they don’t stand a chance against me. Uruhua’s telepathy lets them communicate without words, surely a strong advantage in most battles. But they forget that we are linked, and every thought they share is shared with me as well. I strike first, cutting through my twin Anatolius, blood gushing out from him. For a moment, I think that this battle will be over too soon, demigods falling like grain to the sickle. Until I feel Uruhua strike me from behind with the Lance of Mortality. The metal is cold, twisting and wrenching. I can feel it struggling to destroy me. I wheeze at the first strike, and brace for each subsequent one during the battle. I can hardly wait to strike down Athos with this weapon. It seems that true immortality does come with a price. We clash, with Anatolius and Uruhua struggling to follow my teleportations and Oberon & Simon Bloom causing havoc against my plans. Anatolius lands a lucky blow, knocking scales from my flawless armor. I rain down pain on all of them, but Oberon heals as quickly as I destroy. I remember the Light of Athos being useful in a fight, but with the power of the Urns he is nearly unstoppable. Until I drop him to the ground with a well placed Death Bolt. “I’ve had enough of you, Athosian.” With Oberon unconscious, I take hold on Anatolius’ mind and command him to hand me the Lance. I see fear and hate in his eyes as he is forced to comply, and their chances against me drop to nothing. Holding the Lance, I can feel it sync with me, a weapon for a god to destroy his father. A few minutes go by, and while Oberon is able to get back to his feet and keep his allies alive, I am destroying them. Glee consumes me, total victory is within view. After all these years… I hear them thinking about fleeing. That’s not an option, they failed to join me and now death is their only escape. I won’t allow them to join Athos in the final battle to come.

Suddenly, a change. The world around me gets hazy, and I can only hear Anatolius’ voice in my mind, whispering. Images flash in my head. My goals. My dreams. My plan. The First Dungeon, safely guarded by Nekolaj. Then Athos, falling against me and my Lance. Then, I’m snapped back to reality. “Hand the Lance to the tiny one, Nox.” His demand is absurd, what makes him think I’ll follow his wishes? I move to land a fist on his chin, but move in slow motion. I can’t strike him, the Lance of Mortality falls from my grasp. Oberon picks it up and places it within his bag, far from me. Anatolius’ spell ends on me, and I realize what I’ve done. A cry escapes my lips, “Nooooo!” I had the Lance in my hands, nothing could stop me. Now Anatolius has played my own trick back on me. The time for toying with them ends, and as my blows strike harder I can hear them planning to escape to keep the Lance from me. Simon Bloom finds the portal that I came through, and they prepare to run for it. Simon calls out to Vinsanthius, Uruhua, and Vondal urging them to run from the ship to the unopened portal. I will not allow them to escape. “You have plagued me for too long Simon.” I teleport behind him, and blast his life force from his body. The protective spells around him end, his body becomes visible and solid, and his shields around him disappear. He falls unconscious, and I gather my strength. “There will be no escape. Now, you die.” My sword plunges through his chest, and I feel an echo of pain from Uruhua. Immediately following comes a psychic blast, my world goes black.

I open my eyes, the world swimming around me. Damn! A mistake I shouldn’t have made twice. In my rage I had forgotten. Looking around, it seems I was one of the last to awaken. The portal is open, and only Anatolius and Uruhua remain, the Lance in Anatolius’ hand. He jumps through the portal, and I swipe at Uruhua. The halfling takes the blow in stride, rushes through the portal and it closes behind her. If they thought that would be enough to escape me, they were wrong. I follow, re-opening the portal and chase. I step through to a mountain, cold wind blowing against us. Another portal opens in the distance. Simon is dead now, I felt him die. Who among them can open a gate between planes besides The Labyrinth? I will discover soon enough once I catch them. They disappear into a portal ahead, closing it for me to reopen. Next, a dark cave with only the light of their third portal for me to follow. I’m catching up, but I still cannot see who is leading them. This next portal leads me to a desert. I’m closer. Another portal brings us under the sea, then into the open sky. I see them falling through the air, a strange purple humanoid leading them. Who is this ally? The creature opens a portal midair, holding it open from the other side to let the demigods through. Uruhua’s ankle is in my reach, and I stretch but miss as she disappears into the portal. I try to re-open the rift, but nothing is there as I continue to fall. I teleport to give it a second pass, then a third, a fourth, a fifth. The rift that was once there is gone. I can sense the Lance still, in another plane. But it’s location keeps moving, I can’t track it. “They couldn’t have made it to the Heavens already, could they?” A question to no one, with no answer. My timeline is running tighter. This was their last chance to join me. Next time we meet, I’ll kill them all. It seems I’ll have to handle this final step without the Lance, for now.

Session LXXIII: A Slow Ride Through the Fog(hat)
Chapter 73: A Slow Ride

From the personal diaries and journals of Lenore Uruhua, the Heartbleeder

The brow of the ship cut through the choppy waters near the coast of Sysitar. We could start to see the rocky shore near morning, though our destination, an ancient village harbor, remained undetectable against the muted colours of the craggy backdrop. It wasn’t until midday when we realized that the morning mists had yet to dissipate, and had actually thickened as we approached the coast line.

It was sudden, a thunderhead of black fog rolling across the frothy whitecaps, sucking up light and sound as it approached, enveloping us in an inky darkness that all but blocked out the sun. I watched by brother Anatolious sliding down the mizzenmast, his sword in hand and a glow with blue fire, as the dark fog seemed to suck the very light from the flames. Simon was just next to me, and as I looked up to his face, I could see him mouth the words: “Vile magics!” as he readied his own weapon and prepared his arcane energy for battle, but I could not hear him, the fog was so thick.

Our ship was soon engulfed in the inky blackness, and though we were still being tossed about by increasingly choppy seas, I would swear upon the Light of my Father that we were adrift in the pitch black well of space. The moments stretched into eons, waiting, watching, ready for an ambush. In seconds that seemed to stretch into hours, tendrils of fog crept over the sides, and began to pool at our feet. From these noxious pools, forms began to emerge; dread golems of pure fog, shedding gaseous ichor took heavy steps towards us, searching for the warmth in our blood, seeking to take us beneath the waves as corpses.

The creatures were wicked, and fought like so many gladiators I have faced: the assault was without reserve, they kept nothing back, and feared no reprisal. Though easy, one might think, it would be to take advantage of a combatant with no defensive mind, it took complete concentration to avoid their onslaught. In my haste to try and cut them down, I was struck to my core by a viscous tendril of dark fog. I was cut so deep, I felt my very soul slipping free of my mortal flesh. It is only by grace of my most faithful brother Oberon that I lived to transcribe these events. He raised my spirits and my stamina, and returned me to the fight.

It unfolded in bitter seconds that seemed to drag on into hours, but at last the final specter succumbed to our steel and spells. We patched our sails and tightened the rigging, and made the last few hours of headway into the ruined harbor before us.
We did the best we could with the rotted and decrepit docks, and stuck the ship fast by anchor before Oberon, Anatolious, Simon, and myself went ashore. The dark sand crunched in ominous ways as we approached that blasphemous idol of my fallen sibling, Nox; a massive obsidian statue erected in his visage. We took inventory of persons and affects, and as we prepared to begin our trek to the fortress of my most diseased brother, he himself emerged from the shadows of his tainted effigy.

Session LXXII: Joy and Sorrow
Chapter 72: Joy and Sorrow

The waves bashed the ash planks of the Rathkarian Bladerunner, whose black sales flapped and shuttered with the power of the wind blowing west along the Corvasian causeway. The shipping lane, typically aflow with the southern trade were bare of vessels. Occasional planks, bloated corpses and feasting sharks were examined from far off but rumour bore more eggs than truth. Soon the men were speaking of ill curses and travel slowed.

In the halls of Oberon the tiny demigod sat atop a gently lit lantern, warmed against the molten wax. The proud entry of Anatolius signaled the meeting would begin without hesitancy. The dance begun, Simon briskly demanded,

“We should sale west to Harker and the Isle of Bloom. Rally and go forward.”




So on.

Anatolius flicked his fingers and the flame around Oberon flashed a sickly iridescent black then mellowed into cool blue. Perspiration an impedance and ultimately another nuisance, the meeting broke and the ship sailed west amongst a hot sun and open sea.

The dawn broke after two weeks and one day of sailing the Causeway. Stock was depleted and only by rationing the collective culinary magics remaining did the crew avoid desperate scurvy. Two lads and a gentleman soldier writing in a small handbook missed a harsh squall which blew the ship’s said off rope, sending the two on the sail and the poor gentleman overboard. The boys survived, but the soldier’s back was shattered and he drowned face down in the waves, where he remained. An heir, another said, some great soldier in Alara, an exile once from the Sovereign himself. Another, Anatolius remarked, remarkable in feat and courage and unequivocally doomed from inception. A song yet to be written, Simon suggested, but no bard in sight.

The Twin Towers of Magdalena, holding off in the distance stood raised, with a spiked wreath upon the Southernmost entrance to the Carreon Bay and to the west, the port and the Citadel.

Gunshot rang out and struck portside the lead ship, bearing the flag of Titan’s Hold, An Icy Castle wreathed in gold. Stepping upon the prow then, Anatolius raised his voice high to the stars and struck down upon the tower a thunderous reply in no way equal to such pitiful shot. So Anatolius lectured as the ships gracefully approached shore. The impeccable wrath struck deep into the hearts of the soldati magnificari of the Carreonean guard, high in authority and power within the kingdom who stood now upright in organized fashion awaiting the disembarkment of their harasser, the Azure Inferno approached them and inspected silently from his first step onto shore the party of 30 veteran archers, pikeman, and canoneers.

Finally stopping at the Leader of the Regiment, denoted by his blue sash equally to his pitiful shaking.

Anatolius stopped and starred at the top of the man’s clanking helmet until he looked up and met eyes before turning and in a pitched and broken shout exclaimed for the two nearby men to lower the gate. Then turned and ran.

The celebration was extraordinary. The pink ballroom of the art d’exotique d’Carreon, fringed in pearl and gold twinkled in elegance Riccard had not seen for nearly 400 years. The silver polished and drink fine. It was an emptying as much as it was a joyous moment. Their lives remained lively and their power looked consolidated. The weapon, away now, made its presence felt. Excstatic revelry and delight at the highest levels.

And yet Anatolius felt unwell for this.

Riccard, who had made the mortal mistake in Anatolius’ mind. To mingle in the affairs of the Athosian peoples as a ruler. Hippocrite and mongrel, Riccard had hurled at him in Anatolius’ Defamation Hearing after the war. The War trials exclaimed Anatolius, as Stadtholder of the Emirate of the Isla De Corvaca, legalized the authoritative rulership of Demigods over Athosian races in a controlled manner if they so sought such power legally and within the rules of the Conclave. Anatolius, feeling it a second betrayal after the war, never let it sit well.

Filled with their feasting the well-dressed citizens and lords of court retired slowly and the demigods began to fall into a gentle rest. Anatolius sat high above the joy and the counting and looked west, towards Sysitar, and something unsettling in his stomach. His head ached and he sought sleep in the ship cabin as the dawn gently crept over the city, soon to be abandoned to the wilder ambitions of the Athosian peoples.

Harker greeted us with an impassioned swig of Moonale and Sea-salted Whisky that tasted more like brine than a whisky ought to. The pirate, chiefly responsible for the slow redevelopment of the Causeway in which no man, woman, child or knick knack, hay-copper, or clean sock was spared. The king of the sea stood tall and ambitous. Made to live many beyond a hundred years, his time was to be long. In Simon’s eyes, the blue eyed sailor from the South seas was the ultimate culmination of his enterprise. Happiness and a family. To the remainder of the Demigods, clearly it was also his recklessness.

“I will join you, again on the seas with such a class of men and fighters. It will be a reaving holiday with the finest adventurers a man has or will ever know. In all these thousand years I have nor will I ever know such as you again. It is a gift to learn from your strengths. Uruhua, the bold and a sailor amongst all others. Simon, my forefather, the skill of cunning and manhood, truly, I am emboldened by you. Oberon, the light of the lord Athos is without parallel. In these trying times of Religion it is reassuring to the faith of men that you remain as you are in the stories. And Anatolius, though your wrath does not escape me, I honour your combat and strength. Your skill as a leader and warrior are certain and I learn much. Someday we shall find our fun together, I think in future stories. But now, let me come. I yearn for greater purpose.”

“No,” Simon spoke with pride, “if you come you will die. It is certain. Stay, be well. Reduce your reaving. You must embark on greater things too. You rule from this crowning bungalow made of sand and stone. The Sea is your true house, your ship your citadel. Be well and keep your people in your heart and your crewmates to your soul.”

Then it was Oberon then who spoke.

“It is now for us to break ties as well and make this decision. Now we head west to Sysitar. To the place that was assumed. To the heart of the matter and the center of Nox. To do such an exploration, we must trim the party.”

Uruhua motioned to Anatolius, Simon, Oberon, Vinsanthius, Vondal, and Valynae.

Spirit fuel.

The Ties that bind.

We go, we go together. Into the deeper darkness.

Looming in the distance were the mountains of the Eastern Naxosian plains. Their beauty is gone now. Shrouded by smog and burning. Ancient magic gone awry and made inhospitable. I recall a beach once near hear, marked by the peak of Athos Redemptrox passed in the early morning. Perhaps here? No, there was coral, and a tropic. Atolls out where now there are rough seas. I will never see that place ever again.

A squall from the east and there it loomed like a bird of doom. Amorphous black fog, Trembling and cracking with the screams and contorted bodies hurled forward from the shore rapidly; the Foegue. Hovering souls, fused together by the power of the Reckoning and trapped in Sysitar. In fright, the helmsman jumped into the black waters. Massive manta rays, like cows to grass slowly devoured him as he drowned below the waves.

Now upon the ship, we readied ourselves for a battle. A foe of our ultimate creation, if only we had stopped him then, not now. Our powers had laid the board upon which the game played. We the pieces, absent the hands.

That was how we began our long entry onto Sysitar.

-Anatolius, From long ago

Session LXXI: Fireballs Blazing
Session 71: Fireballs Blazing

An excerpt from the Spirit Fuel Symbol covered journal of Simon Bloom

I spent a lot of my 3000 years exploring the Realm of Athos but there are still surprises everywhere, like a hidden cave leading from the Mountain’s of Brimmir to the continent of Cisplatina. Sure it’s a long 14 day walk, but that gave me plenty of time to wonder about what I’ll do when we’re done with saving the world. Leading a ship probably isn’t for me anymore, but I’ve just got to see what the world has to offer from a new point of view. I’ll start with this Lance of Mortality. From what I can uncover about it the type of metal it is made up of is the portion that is actually lethal to Immortals. Something about it is “poisonous” to an Immortal body. It is covered from blade to hilt in the symbol of Spirit Fuel and that is where it gets it’s power from. It doesn’t even have a lot of Spirit Fuel in it, the symbols connect the lance to the greater force of Spirit Fuel instead of caging energy in. I started carving the same symbol all over my Architect’s Staff. I have been trying to power up this magical artifact with Spirit Fuel for some time but it appears I was going about it the wrong way. Anatolius followed suit.

It took 10 days of delicate carving before our weapons had the uniform pattern of Spirit Fuel. When we were done we could feel an obvious difference, it was as if a giant force had latched onto my staff. The Architect’s Staff has had a rich history even before I wielded it. I’m ashamed to have been the cause of it’s original destruction when the Rust Demon dismantled it; even though we had it reconstructed the blueprints designed into it were in ruin. Now at least I can put a new worthwhile message on here. A secret about the world will forever be a part of this staff, guiding its wielders to a hidden truth.

Still something bothers me; the Plainsbeing said the Lance would “punish” anyone who uses it on someone unworthy, someone that is not at the level of immortality as Nox or Athos. I hope it is the metal of the Lance that punishes the user and not the symbols, if so I may have just made my staff and Anatolius’ sword worthless…Oh well I’ll get my answer when we get in a fight!

Finally we exited the 14 day long cave and ventured onto the soil of Cisplatina and felt the sun for the first time since we ventured into the mountains of Brimmir. On the outside of the cave though there was a note, it said “Come to Shinari. Signed Rathaka.” The Deva who gave Araris to us only after he killed him. The creator of the Deva killing blade currently in Anatolius’ possession. Out of the frying pan and into the fire as the saying goes.

Compared to the inter-continental cave it took us no time to get to Shinari. The town wasn’t abandoned, but there was no one to around either. Everyone was hiding from Rathaka and the three ships that he had at port. I’m sure they could see our little force of over 100 demigods heading their way as well, which would send anyone running. You could smell the coming conflict in the air; no one wanted a fight but we stank all the same. That smell guided us to the docks, Rathaka standing in the open with a salesman’s smile. Behind him were the three ships we could see from the town and next to him stood the Rashaka Majinn. Last time we saw Majinn was a the Conclave trapped in the mirror Anatolius had been forced to imprison him in. Rathaka must have freed him before the Conclave was destroyed.

“HELLO, MY FRIENDS!” Rathaka started.
“What do you want, Rathaka? We all said in unison.

“No time for familiarities I see. I’ll get to it then. Give me the lance and I’ll give you these three ships to sail off this continent together.” His composure was shaken, and Majinn looked worse. Before Anatolius could only imprison him, but today we have a blade capable of killing a Deva or Rashaka.

“What would you do with it?” Asked Uruhua

Rathaka looked her in the eyes and only hers. Majinn wouldn’t look at any of us. All it would take was one glare at Anatolius and it would be over. Even the rest of the demigods could feel it, Anatolius was ready for a fight, he wouldn’t let Majinn get away and he was taking those ships for himself.

“I can become immortal with that lance. This world is in a dangerous state and I just want to ensure my own life, that’s all. What do you say?” Rathaka said. That conversation could have gone back and forth for a while, but we all knew how this was ending. We weren’t going to hand over the lance and we weren’t letting Majinn walk away again.

“I’ve heard enough, I’m going in Fireballs blazing. What about the rest of you?” Said Anatolius as the flames rose from the palm of his hands.

“Fireballs blazing!” I said and for the first time with my newly powered staff I prepared a spell.

I stopped paying attention to anything Rathaka said, he opened some portal and a beholder flew out. One final desperate trump card for a deva that was out of options. I barely noticed it. My staff worked perfectly, Anatolius’ sword worked perfectly, Uruhua’s lance hurt her pretty bad for attacking someone “unworthy” just as the Planesbeing said. Thankfully she never gave her original spear away and switched mid battle. The battle was over before we knew it, we were too powerful now and still getting stronger. Rathaka was the last one standing, all his defenses destroyed and all his trump cards used up. We couldn’t destroy him with our Deva killing blade like with Majinn because he created that blade, but we could still take his life and he would be reborn with all his memories lost. A consolation prize, not what we wanted, but Rathaka was never really an evil guy, just a selfish one.

With his defeat there was nothing left but for us to board our newly acquired ship and see the state of the world.

Session LXIX: Unearthed
Chapter 69: Unearthed

From the scholarly text “On The Coming of the Third Age”

The Gates of Dis stood closed as they had for centuries. Anatolius looked at them and smirked, “Not yet” he thought. Now armed with the Lance of Mortality, and reunited with their brethren, the Spirit Fueled demigods led the slow march back to the surface. Although there was much joy, sadness still weighed on them. Random’s body had been found, Nox’s assassin. And the question still hung over their heads, “What now?”

The tunnels back to the surface were as dark as ever, but a few days of travel proved fruitless at first. Until an echo in the dark. “Hold up, wait here while we investigate. We will signal when the way is clear.” Uruhua commanded those behind here, with Valane and Vondal left to guard the weakened. A slow, cautious advance brought them to a fork in the tunnel.

“I’ll check the right path, listen for my call.” Uruhua took the first few steps. Oberon warned her, “Be wary, these sound like Underdark Cutters. They lay eggs in their victims and raise the corpses as wrackspawn. In hordes, even we should be frightened.” Uruhua nodded, and moved forward. A stack of corpses laid around the corner, and within moments cutters began to rush out from the walls. Uruhua whipped out here spear, and began running.

“Move forward, take the other fork! I’ll wall them off.” Simon’s staff glowed, and soon a wall of ice closed off the wrackspawn and their cutters. Their screams echoed throughout the chamber, and slowly cracks began to form in Simon’s frozen wall. “Let’s move!” The left fork beckoned, and the four demigods rushed towards it.

Cutters burst from the cave walls further down, rushing to another stockpile of bodies that they had gathered. Rushing forward, the demigods moved to stop them from raising more of the walking dead. But it seemed the cutters were not alone with their wrackspawn, as a xixecal wormed itself forward from the tunnels. An icy worm, made almost of slush, threatened the party. And while the foes put forth a strong fight, ultimately the demigods were successful once again. With the tunnels cleared, the demigods were brought forward and the last legs of the journey were completed. Drrummerrt beckoned.

Soon, the light of the dwarven capitol shined on them. As they marched forward, a stout dwarf in military attire strode forward. “Aye, there you are! We was wondering when you’d be returning. And it seems you’ve multiplied!” The demigods nodded, happy to see the city once more. Now, filled with life Drrummerrt lacked the emptiness it had when they last visited. “Tell us, good dwarf. What news?” A grin sprouted from his face, “The news is good, victory! The blasphemous Church of Athos Dominus has been crushed, and we now make preparations to annihilate the next foes on our shores. But King Onyxheart will surely want to see you straight away. Follow me.”

Session LXVII: The Man in the Leather Masque
Chapter 67: The Man in the Leather Masque

The mouth of the cave loomed just ahead. Gentle drops of water fell from long stalagmites, leaving crystal puddles beneath the feet of the demigods. So deep beneath the earth, Anatolius thought, perhaps it is the very Oceans themselves above. At the end of the tunnel, a feint flicker of light but far worse, bleeding out form the cavern, a droning, oscillating frequency. Once at the gaping entrance to the wider chamber within, the musical automation effectively ceased.

“Strange,” Simon said, “We’ve entered the field of someth-“

“That.” Pointed Oberon.

Within the Chamber, the eminence of the Urn of Frailty spun in an infinite vortex falling in upon its swirling black core, contained only by a translucent veil, like a thin shade. The pressure of the spiral pulsated. With each throb, the arteries of the Urn could be felt in the room. They reached out and branched their capillaries deep into the upper wings of the circular annex.

With the falcon’s narrow vision, Anatolius arched his long view and cast it upwards. The heart of the urn vacuumed not from any morsel or known source of magic purer than this. Near eighty demigods, dozens of deva, and several Titans lined the wing. Emaciated and covered in filth. So deep in the moist earth, the fungus reached high around them, like great rose bushes, poisonous thorns, Black millipedes and swarming Glow beetles bred amongst the forest birthing in the warmest places. The wounds and open sores bled both pus and the rankest spawn of the under-Earth. And still the Urn siphoned from them, sipping gently the last dribble of sweet life.

“We must free them now!” Oberon flew high and came to the first. Lighting his beacon, the Morning Star shone warm light and melted away the corruption. Smiling, their brother Cogidubnus whispered.

“We never lost hope. The prophecies are written and shattered. We are made and unmade in the image of God, Athos Vater saffet mij, and unto you he has done more. Athos be praised.” Then passing into sleep, Cogidubnus rested his eyes peacefully.

Rushing, Oberon began to unchain him. Calling to his siblings still below, he shouted “Hurry, help me!”

Then a loud breach of the plan echoed in the chamber from Skyros, lost within a mound of mushroom caps unseen, “HE’S STILL HERE!”

Then, an instant of reflecting light, there hovered behind the urn a glow. Shimmering into existence came a pale man in a robe like fish scales. It shone like metals and sent out blinding, resplendent rays as though through refined diamond. His eyes were hollow and the horror indicated the preconceived knowledge that this rescue would not be easy.

Simon spoke through the psychic void, “Assassin, I feel him too. It’s a tra-“

“Take them.” Spoke the Dragon. His tongue split in two and slithered between his teeth. Uncontrollable excitement indicated far more disability than previously noted. We are unwelcome. A second moment later, it sucked its tongue back within the bounds of its jaws before gritting its teeth into a smile. As a shop keep shows wares, the creature waved at the sacrifices before the altar. Then, speaking again, “I want you to take them, please, and go. This, this is the cavern of the Urn of Frailty. It feasts. But they were put here, not I who did this. Surely you will take them to avoid, such, inconvenience.”

Simon asked first, “And you are?”

“Avantador, the Diamond Dragon of Athos, I am the crystalline father of the greatest spawn to burrow throughout this earth. The diamond ruins of my progenitors run through this entire world. I have seen the dawn and the twilight within this cavern in my dreams from start to finish. Time holds me nothing. Take them and be gone. The wheel must spin.”

“I would rather take your body as stock and barrel. A fine jeweler above might enjoy your mantle.” Anatolius readied his hands. No dragon, diamond, gold, tin, or glass would stop them. The wheel had been broken and all the rules of Athos, made to keep man from the secrets of existence, were thrown out. The raging fires of the earth heated and pressurized the demigods into action and at the cost of stability, the gaskets had flooded with steam and the locks burst. Now was the time of War and the dream of peace still far off.

Communicating his feelings to the demigods, the issue was decided.

“So, will you take this offer and flee?” Avantador asked.

“First,” spoke Uruhua, “will you help us to deactivate this Urn? Can we find a way to free the world from this and fulfill your duty?”

“Certainly not. Nox shall bring the long night of Athos. It was ordained. We follow his will. We are not to kill you in the name of Athos, but this artifact is my charge.”

Then, in a sound of falling glass, the dragon’s limbs burst forth like shards of exploding stars, resplendent and glorious. In a great roar, his battle cry proclaimed,

“And Athos’ Will is the Truth.”

Before the Dragon, now in its final form, a black puff of smoke released the assassin into the fold. Daring and dashing blade work pushed back Uruhua who replied, poking with her long spear against the tumbling gymnastics of the Assassin. Too flexible, sickeningly formless and slithering like a worm around the polearm, the dance continued whilst the dragon reared and let loose a white beam of energy, neither fire nor quite liquid, it melted like magma against the rock and washed away. Magic armor alone hardly kept Anatolius from feeling some unexpected heat.

Simon raised a thick wall of ice, expertly segregating the battle.

“I have you now.” Cried Anatolius and in a blazing onslaught of void strokes he began to paint the assassin with deep strokes, pausing briefly to fire incredible blasts at the dragon. Avantador reared after the first and leveled into Anatolius and Uruhua. Restored by Oberon, high above, the Assassin was quickly repelled again. But the dragon, preparing a great burst of its radiant magma, was interrupted by a massive strike at its throat. Well placed, the eldritch bolt of deep azure flames struck the monster, blasting off a huge chunk of rock. Reflecting the light of the urn in a colorful mélange of rainbow, the pieces were sent wide and fell into dust as they hit the solid ground.

Reduced, the Assassin turned to flee, but a wall, thick and enflamed guarded the entrance. A sudden thrust like the sting of a wasp and the assassin looked down to see the sizzling skewer of Anatolius driven through him. One gasp and he too crumpled to the floor. Dead at last.

As the diamonds had fallen into dust, so too the assassin fell into sand. Laid open, organs of various decay spilled out onto the ground and dirt blew gently in spirals, dancing in circles to the hypnotic melody of the Urn. An odd phenomenon. Uruhua reached down as Anatolius looked away at the diamonds and sand mixing in the ever churning spirals, growing and morphing around them. The leather mask peeled back with difficulty, taking out suture, skin, and flesh. Though it was suspected, it was quickly known that below that mask was the visage of the old jokester. Random, the Wanderer, had been found again.

Collecting him into a small container, Oberon, having come down for the revelation, said the prayers of Athosian rest and then turned to begin the task of freeing the remaining Demigods and Deva feeding the Urn.

The spiral on the ground grew around them, regardless of effort or truth or power or even time itself, it collected all the ruins of battle slowly and quietly in an unbroken wheel. The demigods, and the Earth above, continued on.

Session LXVI: One Aboleth’s Pit is a Another Demigod’s Battlefield
Chapter 66: One Aboleth’s Pit is a Another Demigod’s Battlefield

An excerpt from the journal of Simon “No Aim” Bloom

I never feel ready. We came knowing the Big Urn would be here. We spent several months getting here with it as our destination, but now that I can see it I just don’t know what to do. Not touch it I guess. That never ends well. These thoughts ran through my mind, it probably ran through all of our minds which is why we didn’t check for traps.

The floor collapsed under us, only Uruhua reacted quickly enough. Oberon zipped down, his body flattening out into a controlled fall. Anatolius rummaged through his pack looking for his feather fall boots. Oberon caught him and glided to a safe stop. The boots never even made it out of the bag. I’m sure Anatolius heard my snickers as I slowed closer to the ground.

“Feather Fall is best prepared Before you fall, Anatolius.” I said

We had fallen 60 feet, into a pit dimly lit by mushroom spores. In front of me stood a grotesque Aboleth. (Do Aboleths stand? Do their goops of tentacles and slime count as legs and feet in relation to the ground?) In front of Anatolius and Oberon, a Beholder. (which was definietly flooting) In front of Uruhua was the Assassin. He had been waiting for us to fall into this trap and we did not disappoint.

“Uruhua, get down here! The Assassin will follow one way or another.” Anatolius said. Uruhua teleported behind the Beholder. Our first target was set and flanked. I was fine with this decision; beholders and I have a bad history and getting my baggage out of the way seemed like a good place to start. Two horrific monsters and one sneaking, teleporting demigod killer was what stood between us and the Big Urn. My normally creepy grin grew wider, I could tell the others were the same. Anatolius drew his sword, the pit brightened by the blue sparks; “GO WILD!” he called.

This was not like wading through an army of eels in a tight cave, or defending our siblings from giant tunnel snakes, this was a battle between legends. Beams and blue fire flashed. Some faced mental assaults and others assaults on the mind. Radiant zones and fire walls covered the ground. The Assassin snuck blows and transformed what blood was spilt into dangerous larvae. The mushrooms were both our only light source and a grim trap as their spores poisoned whomever came near. What was once a pit was now a battlefield.

The Beholder went down quickly, but the Aboleth turned out to be harder to snag. It could weaken our minds and force our strongest attacks onto each other. While Anatolius and Uruhua floated in the air, suspended by my own reverse gravity spell the Aboleth had forced me to use, I grew frustrated. I mean not a single one of my attacks had hit! Sure I could transform the space around us to my whim, but what was the point. I opened my magical third eye and released an ever changing reality onto the Aboleth.

My mind was split as so many of my spells flew around in a frenzy, but it felt nice to let loose. We all took our fair share of hits, but none of us got knocked down. We fought as a real team, prepared and in sync. The Aboleth fell and with no more monsters to distract us with the Assassin vanished and ran away. The demigods came to the top of the pit. Tired and out of their element they came to help us whatever way they could. We warned them that the Assassin was here and to keep a sharp eye out for him. Next time we’ll corner him, fight him properly, and remove his mask. I felt confident, we felt confident. We were a trusting party again for the first time I can remember since The Oncoming Storm.

Session LXV: Underdark, Into Shadow
Chapter 65: Underdark, Into Shadow

From the scholarly text “On The Coming of the Third Age”

The Underdark is a place of strange beings. Very few accounts accurately depict the creatures that dwell within. According to the dwarves, most can be scared off so long as you travel in a large group, generally fifty dwarves or more. To defeat one of these creatures requires the most stalwart and brave. The demigods, it seems, fall into this category.

Although there are creatures stronger in sheer power, the Tunnel Snakes are generally considered the rulers of the Underdark. Their ability to practically swim through the earth along with their enormous size makes them one of the most formidable of all the Underdark beings. In all of dwarven history, there are but four accounts of Tunnel Snakes being killed – with only one of those kills confirmed. On this day, the 1st of Selenth, the demigods took on two. The Party were the main combatants, while their dwarven guide Gafree and their fellow demigods stood to the side. Although the remaining demigods attempted to join in the battle, after several arrows and blows clattered against the thick skin of the Tunnel Snakes, they decided to step back. However, their siblings imbued with Spirit Fuel had more success. The snakes’ deadly acid breath took a toll, but ultimately the demigods were able to overcome the monstrous, dual-headed creatures and lay two of these creatures to rest. Anatolius’ famous azure flame engulfed the two creatures and burned them from the inside out, forever ending the age-old beasts. Snakes defeated, the demigods could continue onward.

A few more hours following Simon Bloom’s spirit fuel compass lead the demigods to a strange gate. A massive doorway, standing nearly two hundred feet high with naught but a few flickering torches to illuminate it. Anatolius, having dreamt of this gateway for years – recognized it immediately. “We stand at the Gates of Dis. Entrance to the Nine Hells” and with a murmur, “my future domain.” The compass flew out of Simon Blooms hand to smack into the door, but stopped midair a few feet shy of it. As close as possible to the Urn, it took the demigods but a few moments to discern that the Urn must lay in another realm. Simon searched, and found that indeed a rift to another portal existed. A loud cough by Gafree, followed by his last words. “Worry not about me. I see your face. There is an evil energy here – but I can bear it.” Simon nodded, and opened the portal.

Once all of the demigods had come forward through the portal, it was clear where they were. The Realm of Dark Shadows – a realm of pure destruction and devastation. The demigods each and all felt the heavy weight of an Urn here – pulling slowly their life force from them. Only Gafree and the spirit fueled demigods felt differently. Those demigods felt the pull, but like the current while standing ankle-deep in the ocean. Gafree, felt much different. Within a few moments – his life force was pulled out from him, sucked into the Urn. The demigods around him saw the middle age dwarf age into an old man, and then and old skeleton. The Great Urns are not a place for mortals.

Before the demigods, at the end of a long tunnel a pale blue glow shines. A massive Urn, with dozens of men and women chained to the walls around them. The Sixth Urn stands ready.


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