Athos: The Return

Session XXIII: On the Road Again

Chapter 23: On the Road Again

Excerpt from “Random: An Autobiography”

I could just skip ahead to the battle at the stronghold, you know. I wasn’t even invited on this part of the adventure. To be fair, being turned to stone for what amounts to several months really puts things in perspective and I needed the time off. I’m sure Simon felt the same way, even if this time it was much shorter. I needed the time off, and I’m thankful for it. After all, if I hadn’t stayed at the stronghold I would’ve missed everything that happened while they were gone. Marik and I had quite an interesting adventure on our own. But back to the point.

I slowly began to feel my body loosen, the rock turning back into skin. This was my only chance, and I had to strike swiftly and true. As soon as I felt I could move, I let off my most powerful blow, attempting to give me a fair shot at taking out whoever it was who had taken my body. Unfortunately, I struck true on my brother Simon. With him were Harker, Anatolius, Oberon, and Valenae. I hadn’t seen Valenae, the Siren in quite some time. It must’ve been at least fifteen years, more like eighteen judging on the way these Urns have been distorting time. She looked different. Stronger and like less of a loner. Happier too.

“Oh shit. Sorry about that!” Realizing my mistake, I apologized quickly to my brother. Seeing that no serious damage had been done, we rejoiced. It had been quite a long while since I had been able to move, or seen my brothers. The last time I saw them I was falling into the mud, watching our valiant group fall to monsters long believed to be lost to time. We quickly exchanged laughs and hugs, then I filled them in on everything I knew. I could only remember a few moments where I was removed from stone form in a room that seemed to be pure blackness. I assumed that I was merely blinded from being turned to stone, and that I was being saved. Instead, a strange High-Elf voice commanded me to pose, as if I were some doll a young girl would play with. (Side note : You can find a licensed Random-The Wanderer figurine at any reputable toymaker in the Realm of Athos. Not for children under the ages of 12) He forced me to move into a position he deemed “heroic.” At the last moment before I was blasted into stone form once again, I puffed out my cheeks and crossed my eyes. No one tells Random what to do.

After filling in The Party on what I knew, they began to resuscitate our brothers Marik and Zaebos who has also fallen under a condition similar to mine. It seemed that we all had been used to show on display by some unknown man known as The Collector. The party had stolen us back in the night, and after much time they were able to bring us back to the world of the moving. They then filled me in on everything I had missed since I had been gone. Vinsanthius accusing us of destroying The Conclave? A stronghold under our names in the works? The death of several, if not nearly all of the demigods? Another Urn? Things were not looking good. And when awoken, our brother Marik had only more negatives to add.

Unlike myself, Marik was more hesitant to attack the second he awoke. He too exchanged hugs and the like with our siblings and was filled in on what had occurred, but he had also seen many things we had not. By this point, I had already pulled out my pipe but I still remember the details of his story. It seemed that Vinsanthius had called yet another emergency meeting of The Conclave, this one to discuss the return of our father, Athos. When arriving at our home, the sons and daughters of Athos gathered to discuss this incredible message. But according to Marik, before anything could happen a single boom echoed from outside the chamber’s walls. A frightened [[Deva] ran into the chamber, shouting to all those gathered, “The first wall has been bypassed and the second is under attack!” Ul-Nagor stood and left to activate the defenses of The Conclave. Several other demigods also stood, and Elander commanded everyone to prepare themselves for battle. During the fight, Marik turned to stone when shot from behind by a Beholder.

Zaebos was risen next, and gave a story identical to the one given by Marik. However, unlike Marik he had no direct ties to any of us more than those under Vinsanthius who were out to kill us. After much deliberation, he decided to seek out Vinsanthius, hopefully to convince him that his decision to kill us was a poor one. He left, and we had no choice but to hope he would be safe and maybe even convince Vinsanthius of our innocence. We could only hope for the best.

With Uruhua off with Vondal fighting in the gladiatorial battles and Marik not powered by Spirit Fuel, it fell to me to defend our rising home. The rest of the party headed north, to Sovereign’s Port to see what they could learn of the goings about in the world as well as see if the Spirit Fuel source that Simon sensed there was indeed another Urn. They left through the mountain pass hoping to make it to the city before the Day of Flowers festival. Little did they know that they would be missing the better story. But I’ll share their experience first.

They rode out into the mountains, a well-traveled road that occasionally has disturbances due to the mountain path. As they met the start of the mountain path, they noticed it seemed to be less traveled than usual. The first day’s travel was luckily met without any disturbance, but the second day was less than simple. A usually simple stop at a pitstop along the road turned quite sour for the party. What was expected was a nice cup of mead and a warm meal, but what was found instead… Death and destruction. The inn laid in ruins, and while attempting to pass by unseen a trap caught the party unawares and they were attacked by creatures more powerful than even things they had seen on Sysitar. An ancient Winter Witch and her five minions emerged from the snowbanks, two wizards, two slashers and a giant. A vicious battle ensued, with the party covered in blood by the end and nearing the finish of their resources. As the final slasher fell, he looked at Anatolius in pure confusion. His Elven tongue’s last words, “What are you? We’ve waited for millennia to emerge after the death of the demigods. We are ancient and we are powerful! What could you possibly be?” Walking in stride with his blade in his hand, his fury tangible, Anatolius grabbed the slasher by the throat. “Shut up and die.”



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