Silt Striders of Balic

The Sorcerer Kings

Throughout the land, in the final hour of Athas’ death knell, the world has summoned all of its heroes to make a final, desperate push against the might of the Far Realm and its frighteningly close Star of Madness. The bravest of souls anchored by the likes of Praetor Moon, Priscilla, Tomm, Kik’Oda, Vintner, Randall Sapesh, the Tourna sisters, the Githzerai of the Library, and many more charge upon the encroaching horde which disembarks from the Star like a spelljammer ship of old.

Having been traveling through cracks and tears in the planes for years, Vorelixen and Althaea find the journey to Ur-Draxa to be short indeed. Arriving before their allies, they find themselves in a race to the Dragon of Tyr’s sleeping chambers against the likes of Hamanu, Dregoth, and Ared, who seek to raise the dragon in an effort of mutually assured destruction. They arrive seconds before the sorcerer kings, and are able to pick strategic locations to begin their tense (and very quiet!) negotiation. As Althaea pleads with Hamanu and Ared to stop this madness, Vorelixen decides that she likes Hamanu’s plan more than the alternative and is actually opposed to Althaea’s opinion. They’re interrupted when Hamanu’s amulet somewhat noisily transmits the sounds of combat on the volcano’s surface.

Above, the soldiers of Hamanu are assailed by a source of devastation mounted atop a pheonix. Rikard’s primal magics rip the surface of the volcano apart, covering the soldiers in lashing vines and nettles. They bring all their weapons to bare on this new threat, including Dregoth’s magics raising dead soldiers as undead horrors and even Urikite elites riding giant flies with magic pikes. The chaos atop the volcano is so severe that the molten core of it begins to roil and shake threatening to explode. In an instant, Rikard wheels the phoenix in to the cave system and rushes through its triggered traps and dangerous environment to the central chamber where the others argue.

Argument turns to a physical confrontation, though the dragon’s slumber below keeps their fighting quiet. Fists, not blades, lash out as efforts are made to halt the ritual. Rikard arrives, tilting the scales in favor of Althaea who until this time has been fey stepping throughout the room to undo all the damage Ared’s contributions have been causing.

After observing for a time, Dregoth cuts all sound from the room with a Silence ritual. He taunts them telepathically, wrenching their minds and raising dead soldiers with frightening haste and power. The death of the Raven Queen has strengthened his hold on the realm of the dead, and even with Hamanu and Ared on their side Dregoth is insurmountable while he holds this power.

As he is about to land the finishing blow, his power wavers. Armies of ghosts pour in to the chambers from all directions as an armored figure with a skull mask descends the tunnels in to the room itself. Samm draws his radiant glaive, flexing his newfound power over death by easily overpowering Dregoth’s claim. Standing in a circle around the chamber like observers of a street brawl, the ghosts under Samm’s command are holding the torches of war as he descends on Dregoth like a man possessed. His allies find their strength returning, and are able to dispatch Dregoth and purge his threat for good. In the midst of the fighting however, Hamanu has continued to try to enact the ritual. In a desperate act, Rikard blasts him over the edge and he falls hundreds of feet in to the sleeping chamber of the giant dragon. The dragon, risen from simple noise and not from the destructive ritual, crushes Hamanu under a taloned claw and threatens to destroy Ur-Draxa and everybody within it.

The crown speaks to Rikard, telling him that now is the time. He places it on his head, but is unable to get the crown to operate being unfamiliar with the command word. With little hesitation, he casts the Ancestral Memories ritual and allows Thorin Bloodstone to take over his body. Grinning, Thorin whispers the command word just as the dragon comes crashing through the catwalk.

Above, the dragon hurtles towards the Star of Madness like a meteor with Thorin Bloodstone cackling madly atop its head. Desperately gripping rocky protrusions from the beast’s hide are Samm, Althaea, and Vorelixen in the hopes thy can find some way to stop this madman and end the threat of the Star once and for all.

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Kowal

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