Session 44 Summary

May 29th, 2010

Heroes: Prometheus, Rufus, Lysandros, Donner, Dashiell, Rhinox, and Thorgan. Mariska showed up a little later.

Game Date: Niledain, Evernight 8, AD1017

The Fate Seekers have decided enough is enough, this King has done too much damage to this land and they cannot let him do more damage to the people. Lysandros has learned he holds the Spear of Varkis, Blood Oath, and has worked out his dreams. He is now determined to end this King's life for the atrocities he has committed. The King wants to make the people of Mentiel into some sort of brood colony or hive mind and the Fate Seekers have vowed to stop him.

Going through the side entrance with a little from Lord Alder, the Fate Seekers made into the King's Keep without any problems. They found the King where they thought he would be but he escaped while they were fighting his guards. Lord Alder finally made it into the Keep with a successful siege. After a brief discussion from Lord Alder and some help from his troops, the Fate Seekers head out after the King. They chased him to his Suite in the Manor and have stopped for a much needed rest.

Rested… Somewhat

During a brief rest the Fate Seekers found a pair of rugs that helped them heal up and get some of their strength back. Once they were ready, and after Thorgan and Prometheus caught back up to the party, they were off after the King once more. The door leading to the King's Sanctum was locked and barred but four of the Seekers put their shoulders to it and broke it down. Beyond the door was a short set of stone steps leading up.

The stairs led to a large storage room with stacks of crates, boxes, and barrels scattered about the room. There were isles and pathways leading through the storage and the heroes made their way through to the doorway on the other side of the room. The door was found open and another set of stairs spiraled upward. The group was getting ever closer to their quarry, but was they ready?

The Library

The second level of the Sanctum was converted into a large library and study. The oval room was lined with bookshelves 15 feet high. Ladders were played around the room to get to the higher shelves of books. A simple scan around the room found numerous books on the Planes and the topic of the Mind. There was no time for anything more than that; the room was occupied by more of the hideous aberrant servants of the King. Lysandros identified the powerful Grell Philosopher as a much greater threat than the typical grells the group has fought in the past.

Thorgan, Rufus, Rhinox, and Dashiell moved in to engage the mutated humanoids while the giant grell put a psychic field in front of the door to cloud the mind of anyone still in the area. Donner moved in and headed for the giant grell since it appeared to be the biggest threat, or simply the biggest creature in the room. Lysandros opened by pinning the giant grell so it couldn’t get any closer. He then moved in to attack from second rank, supporting everyone he could with his tactics and leadership skills. Prometheus and Mariska shook off the daze and continued to attack from range. They learned that staying in the field did them no more harm.

The battle was not as long as they thought it was, but it was tiring and confusing. The creatures had abilities that left the heroes in a daze but the Fate Seekers fought through everything the creatures through at them. Donner engaged the horrid grell and it was the first victim of the battle. Thorgan, Rufus, and Rhinox were on the other side of the study keeping the four armed creatures busy. Dashiell and Lysandros were somewhere in the middle, Dashiell handling the little creatures and lending support with the grell and Lysandros was lending support against everything around him. Prometheus moved into the chamber a bit but that is all that was needed since all the mutants things were well within reach of his sorcerer’s magic. Eventually the giant grell fell after releasing its last bit of magic in desperation and the rest of the mutations followed.

The King at Last!

The Fate Seekers knew they had to hurry and find the King, but they realized they were in no condition to fight him once they did. The group retreated back to the King’s Suite where the two magical rugs were to recuperate. Mariska caught up with them there. That was the best they could do. They had to save everything they had for the fight with the King, and they had no time to rest. The time had come. The Seekers moved back up through the Sanctum and met the King in his private chamber at the top.

The ritual chamber for Ehlooz Laetozk was an oddity in itself. The huge chamber was just about empty save for a large, highly decorative mirror standing in the center of the ritual circle dominating the floor of the room. There were other ornamental displays but there was no other furniture in the chamber. Dashiell and Lysandros realized the magic circle in the room was far beyond even the King’s advisor. The King had to be getting help from an outside source.

When the Fate Seekers entered the chamber, the King noticed immediately. He cried out, ”You cannot stop us! The ritual is already complete! The people of Mentiel will be as one; one mind!” The King rushed to the other end of the room opposite the Fate Seekers and gathered up an ornamental sword from a display stand. It immediately came alive with rippling energy, imbued with psychic energy. The hearts of the heroes sank when they heard the news. All this could be for nothing if they cannot save the people. Dashiell scanned the circle and the items around the room and learned that the ritual was in fact not complete. There was still a chance.

The heroes moved into the chamber and picked their target. As the group moved forward ghosts and other spirits began appearing through the walls. Each one stops just inside the room, standing along the walls of the chamber. Even ghosts of children move in through the legs of the adult ghosts to watch what is about to happen. Seeing the mirror with a surface of moving clouds, it became a possible target as well. Prometheus moved in and began the fight with a magic bolt to the King, but his halfling curiosity got him into more trouble than he bargained for. He decided to peer into the mirror to see what was in there. What he saw was pure madness that his mind could not comprehend. Just a glimpse of it nearly drove him insane. He dropped back, his mind trying to find its way back through the madness maze running through his head. One thing he did accomplish, he showed the rest of his allies the mirror was dangerous too; possibly more so than the King.

The King fought like an unskilled berserker. He defended himself against the Fate Seekers but he swung the sword about haphazardly, hitting whatever was in range of his reckless assault. It was clear that King Raus had lost his skills he learned as a soldier. It was unclear whether this made him more dangerous than before. His mad stare gave the heroes pause. Some of them had to question whether this was a good idea at all. One hero knew all-to-well what needed to be done. His determination moved him forward as he targeted the King with attack after attack. Lysandros knew this King had to die and his reign of terror had to end.

The fight continued as the King rushed forward heedless of the danger. The mirror proved to be harder to destroy than the group first anticipated. Rufus, Thorgan, and Rhinox thought the real danger was the mirror and focused their attention on it; while the rest of the group focused on the King. Mariska moved into the room to help with her mighty crossbow, trying hard to stay out of the magic circle. The adventurers attacked the mirror with hammer and sword and the mirror would not chip. There was also some sort of distortion around the mirror causing the attackers to miscalculate their attacks. Rufus finally decided to help the others and attack the King. Thorgan kept screaming, “The Mirror, focus on the mirror! Destroy the mirror first!” Finally Rufus was able to corner the King and his hammer struck true. The crunch and crack of the King’s skull was all the proof they needed that the King had finally breathed his last.

A strange, high-pitched voice; terrible to the ears and repeated with mind-aching telepathy, cried out; //”This is not over. He was simply a pawn, now he will be my vessel!” That is when a burst of rippling, chaotic energy burst from the mirror and entered the King’s lifeless body. The energy mutated the King into something similar to the other deformed creatures the Fate Seekers have been fighting. The King’s eyes popped out of his head and moved about on stalks from his eye sockets. His forearms split and grew into four extended tentacles from his elbows. Whatever was in the mirror was now in the King’s body, or at least controlling it. The fight was renewed and this new Chaos Thrall was even more powerful and harder to kill than the King.

The strange distortion effect that was limited to the mirror was now stronger; it spread to nearly the entire room. Also, the affect was centered on the creature instead of the mirror itself. The creature used psychic energy as a weapon bombarding the adventurers’ mind with chaotic energy. It waded into the crowd of heroes and its tentacle arms lashed out like whips against every Fate Seeker in range. The mirror was also still active, sending out pulses of chaotic energy that dazed and confused the heroes. With the distortion around the creature, the Fate Seekers were having a hard time pinning him down to actually hit him. Mariska actually moved out of the room and shot through the doorway. She learned that it was the only place the field from the mirror would not affect her.

The ghosts standing around the room, Dashiell noticed some of them were wearing uniforms and markings of the Varkis family. This is what they have been waiting for; blood, vengeance. The Fate Seekers became weapons of the dead family, the Varkis family; and these Varkis did not let their weapons break. Rufus was in trouble. He was tired and weak, and the rug downstairs sapped some of his life. He was pale but he fought on, vowing to fight to the end. Rufus was about to fall, Thorgan summoned all the divine might he could and bathed the group in his healing power. Rufus had nothing left, his strength was gone. An unexpected surprise caught the attention of the entire group. One of the Varkis spirits rushed forward sacrificing its own spirit to grant Rufus the strength he needed to continue. That was when the group learned the spirits were there to help, not just watch. Whenever a Fate Seeker was too fatigued to continue, a spirit granted them strength.

The turning point was the mirror. It finally began to give under the constant assault from the heroes. Eventually it shattered, but it still wasn’t done being a menace. The shards from the mirror flew everywhere and they were infused with chaotic energy. Any of the heroes that were struck by the glass shards lost control of their own mind. Friends became enemies and enemies were forgotten. Rufus, Lysandros, Donner, Rhinox, and Thorgan turned against each other and their friends. It was the last ditch effort of the creature from the mirror for shortly after that, Mariska shot a bolt straight between the eyestalks of the Chaos Thrall and it fell dead… for the final time.

The King was dead, the mirror was shattered, the creature was destroyed, and the Ritual of Bonding was stopped; but it wasn’t over for the Fate Seekers. All but Dashiell and Mariska were crazed and attacking everyone near them. Only Dashiell and Mariska had each other as allies. The adventurers tried to fight it but the chaos in their minds was just too strong. Once the creature had fallen Mariska rushed forward to help Dashiell with their friends. Rhinox had fallen in the free-for-all and was dying; but was he still crazy? The two heroes fought through the attacks of the others trying to help their allies snap out of this insanity.

Finally, one by one the Fate Seekers fought through their ailment with the help of Dashiell and Mariska. Unfortunately, it left their mind damaged. The pain in their heads was excruciating and it threatened to kill them even though they were able to defeat the madness. The madness was nearly overwhelming, nearly. Whatever experiences those heroes went through in their crazy stupor, it too had passed.

The Aftermath

The Fate Seekers were battered, bruised, and some on the verge of falling over from exhaustion, but they were not beaten. They stood fast against incredible odds, impossible tasks, and life-threatening ordeals, but they came out on top like heroes do. They saved the people of Eluren, even Mentiel, from a disaster worse than death. Not to mention what could have happened to the rest of Eridus if this Overmind had been able to gain this foothold, with an entire nation of foot soldiers.

From the King’s study the group learned of some disturbing things. There was a place far removed from the current Planes of existence. Those educated in religion knew there was nothing beyond the Astral Sea and the Dominions of the Gods. How could there be? The Astral Sea goes on forever. For Dashiell and the rest of the Fate Seekers, this was no longer true. What was this strange place called the Far Realm? Some writings suggest it is the birthplace of all aberrant creatures. These same writings also explain that aberrants are created when chaotic energy escapes from the Far Realm into the Natural world and infects the inhabitants here. It is written that this Realm was so chaotic, so alien to the Planes, that no man or woman can look upon it without going insane. Even a glimpse of this place can change a person forever.

The study also had information on the humanoid creatures. They were called Foulspawn; mutated creations of the Far Realm. Those creatures the Fate Seekers fought and killed, they were people at one time. The King had mentioned something about there being more powerful beings out there than the gods. Is this possible? The Chaos Lords are described as the Overminds, or the Gods of the Far Realm. If they are more powerful than the gods, what will stop them if they ever truly break through the barrier into this Realm? Will the gods even try?

The heroes, adventurers, the Fate Seekers have finally learned their destiny that brought them together all those months ago when an army of goblins were allowed into Skulldrop Fort. They stopped the goblins from uniting. They stopped an invading force from gaining a foothold on Eridus. They even stopped a terrible new threat from being born into the Planes. Now they know, all that led to this point, this time. Was their fate, their destiny all along to kill the King? Or was this simply a stepping stone into a much greater destiny?

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