Silt Striders of Balic

Allabar

Insidious agents of the Far Realm have infiltrated the minds of Athas’ finest remaining arcanists, and under the cover of their evil alien patron begin casting tethering rituals allowing Allabar to find purchase among the dunes of the realm. Charging in from all sides are the last resistance of the world, heroes from throughout the realm coming to defend their homeland in this final desperate push. Above them, streaking towards their foe is the Dragon of Tyr, who is captained by the rituals of Thorin Bloodstone and is gripped with white knuckles by Samm, Althaea, and Vorelixen.

As the creature finds itself weighted by Allabar’s own gravity, it rights itself tossing its riders to and fro like ragdolls. Laughing maniacally, seeing his final plans come to fruition, is Thorin Bloodstone. Possessing the mind of his failure offspring, he hurtles to the victory he planned out centuries ago.

As Samm desperately tries to find a solid bit of flesh to plan his Boarding Boots so he might teleport, and as Vorelixen summons her devilish minions and transmutes in to whirling sandstorms, and as Althaea fey steps in to the updrafts of the Dragon’s flight, the beast begins to obliterate huge swathes of the surface with necrotic flames and ripping gales of ashen wind from its great wings. Eventually, they come face to face with none other than Mara of Urik, atop her most powerful minion in the form of a city-sized Beholder. In an instant, a flash of one of its great eyes turns the membrane of the Dragon’s wing to stone, causing it to crash in to the terrain and fling its riders, including Thorin, to the fleshy army below.

In this time, Rikard is desperately plumbing the depths of Thorin’s mind searching for anything that would reveal how to defeat both the Dragon and the Far Realm and stop his father’s deranged doomsday plot. Fighting for control of his body, Thorin finds his victory denied to him as Rikard’s will overpowers him. (DM Note: Rikard was the first and only character to have achieved an infinite number, as a 30th level pyreen knows every language and his Insight checks have a +1 for each language he knows. Thorin never had a chance.) As the herd of Far Realm creatures descends on the heroes, their greatest powers are unleashed. The curse of Vorelixen and Althaea’s teleporting prowess destroy literal thousands of creatures as Rikard and Samm force Mara to dismount, engaging them in a final deadly combat. Though Mara is undeniably powerful, She Which Bleeds is revealed to be a bit of a fraud when she is not only pinned by glaive and vine, but driven deep in to the acidic pores of Allabar. Samm dives in to hold her down by her neck as she drowns and dissolves at the same time.

Below, the armies clash with the ritualists who suddenly find themselves without a direct liaison with the Star above. Though they fight bravely, a number of great heroes are dispatched in the fighting including Tomm, whose final act of martyrdom is to save the life of his new deity in the form of Samm.

In the end, it was the spells of Vintner the Cosmic who, with the aid of the group above in killing She Which Bleeds and the group below in killing the ritualists, was able to use his maddening star charts to find the one point in history where this desperate group wins, which involves the forming of a single black hole absorbing Allabar itself. He gives up all his mightiest of arcane powers to manifest as this black hole, absorbing Allabar and dispelling it in the final seconds before Athas could also be swallowed.

The heroes would go their separate ways after that, some never seen by mortal eyes ever again. Their influence however would be felt across the realm in hundreds of different ways for many years to come.

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Kowal

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