Wir – Rhaan 18th, 998 YK
Wednesday– September 18th, 998 YK
After two days of intricate mapwork, Miklos finishes copying High Prince Rygar’s map. The final night is a long and laborious one. Error corrections and other details, combined with a long, albeit pleasant though unfortunate dinner with the High Prince, the work is completed shortly before low twelve. Prince Rygar had made a point to comment on Miklos’ superb cartography, now only if he hadn’t spoiled the comment with the news of his brother Thrakos’ release from Regalport custody.
“Friends in high places in Port Verge? My arse and my rum…” Miklos grumbles reflecting on the conversation.
As Miklos wraps up his belongings and leaves the Dragoneye, his mind wanders to more pleasant portions of the High Prince’s dinner conversations. Particularly his discussion about the nature and associations of their enigmatic employer Sur’kil.
“The Chamber? Sur’kil is an agent of the Chamber? I can still hardly believe it.” he mutters to himself gleafully.
“I wonder if we are in the annals of the Draconic Prophecy? What else could the Chamber want with us? Miklos… Miklos…” he shakes his head still lost in his private conversation. “You dolt, it’s the Dragon’s Eye, not us that is the prize. Ah well… Perhaps, though he could grant me audience with the Librarian of Io’Lokar! Wouldn’t that be wonderful?”
It’s then when Miklos notices a significant change in temperature while walking along the deserted docks towards the Swiftwind. A thick, fast moving fog rolls in off the harbor. Miklos strains to see more than a few feet in front of him. Weary of the sudden change in weather, he picks up his pace.
“This can’t be good.”
Miklos takes no more than a few short steps before his suspicions are confirmed.
“Greetings doomed one." a bone chilling dissembodied feminine voice whispers through the fog. It’s speech is old, far older than anything Miklos has heard, “The Lady Vol brings you a message little one. The marks you, and your fellow mortals, bear will only bring you a life of pain and suffering. Take comfort for now I bring death to you.”
Miklos’ spine chills as something dark looms behind him. Before he can think, his feet are already in full sprint. The fog is perilously thick, but the thought of succumbing to the creature behind him is far worse than his fear of running off the docks and into the ocean below.
“Why do you run?" scratches the phantom’s voice from behind, “The void of death is cold and hungry. Soon this will you learn.”
“Heeeeellp!!” Miklos screams and doubles his pace. His mind reeling in quick calculations measuring the distance between the Dragoneye and the Swiftwind. The math is completed.
“Nyitott ajtót most!”
A shimmering portal opens ahead of him as he leaps through, appearing on the other side several yards further down the long dock. He throws his head over his shoulder unable to see past the unnatural fog. For a brief moment the victory of escape fills his hopes, but is quickly dashed as the sounds of scratching and groaning along the sides of the dock rise from below. Desiccated hands reach out from the mist. Claws lash out at him scratching his face and tearing his clothes.
“Rape, murder, tax evasion! Somebody help me! The dead walk among the living!” Miklos yells in desperation and summons a pyrotechnic flare made feeble by the thick fog.
On the Swiftwind, Kohl stirs, the gnome’s pleas faintly heard. He grabs his axe and shield and heads down the dock, calling his allies to arms.
“What nightmare is that gully rat having tonight,” grumbles Morthos as he wearily treks to the ship’s deck.
A single street lamp hums on the dock near the ship. Kohl and the others assemble under its dim light; unable to see anything ahead of them except blurred crimson explosions from the gnome’s cantrips and fire spells.
Kohl stands at the front of the group, others widely dispersed behind him.
“I see nothing. Just the occasional glow of fire bursts, nothing more.” Kohl stoicly answers.
Then, out of the fog, battered, bloodied, and clearly frightened half to death bursts Miklos. He doesn’t stop for a second, but simply yells, “Undead! Undead! Undead!” as he races by.
A grotesque figure, cloaked in black floats down from above.
“All things die in time. Life is unnatural; it is an abomination!” she rasps.
The creature’s arms reach out through the fog and a dark necrotic mist spills forth, drawing the very life force from each of your bodies. You stumble and brace yourself, trying not to fall into the cold black water below. The creature hisses and slashes with unnaturally long claws.
You retaliate, but the wraith easily evade all attacks that you press upon it. As you fight the strange cloaked creature, you hear morbid groans and the wet stomping of footsteps further down the dock.
Taveah draws a sunrod down before the wraith, the fog surrounding it is beaten back by the searing, pure, life giving light.
Caiphys spots the first host of corpselike reinforcements. Their bodies unnaturally stitched together from the flesh of all manner of sacrifices. “More move to surround us! Kohl can you hold them back?” Caiphys calls out.
The wraith’s life leeching talons claw at Morthos. His body weakens.
“He better! Sejik I need aid!” the tiefling calls out.
Kohl disengages the wraith and steps towards the edge of the sunrod’s light, waiting only moments before more minions of the undead wraith exit the fog.
“Traveler heal my companion Morthos, his body shall be your vessel of vengeance upon this undead wretch!” healing magic leaves Sejik’s holy symbol, bathing Morthos in it’s restoring light. Wounds suffered from the wraith’s attacks begin to heal.
Morthos smiles from the rejuvinating energy and a crimson aura begins to burn around him. His flesh sears from his flesh, replaced by something demonic. The transformed Morthos roars to life, its enraged eyes focus on the wraith. The demon’s shadow animates and the infernal beast and shadow assail the wraith.
“What have I done?” Sejik gasps, looking at his holy symbol.
The wraith howls in response to the attacks and lashes out at Sejik “Your minion shall not save you priest! Your doom is now upon you.” the wraith grasps at Sejik’s chest, the aged priest feels his very heart begin to seize, his life energy quickly leaving, he falls to the ground.
Caiphys skirts past the wraith to join Kohl. He gestures at the feet of the newly arrived undead before him. Like a mystical carpet, his spell lays out before them, bathing the creatures in arcane light. The undead writhe in pain, two of them burn bathed in a shower of fire.
“By Torval’s cleansing light, I command you back undead spawn! Begone from the place of the living!” Kohl, holding his holy symbol, thrusts it out into view of the foul creatures before him, more undead incinerate.
Seconds apart from each other, a fiery arrow from and an acidic bolt hit the wraith, scoring mighty hits. Taveah and a newly emboldened Miklos smile at their own prowess as the wraith wails, interrupted in its attempt to land the killing blow upon Sejik.
The wraith angered by the renewed attacks thrashes at Morthos’ infernal form. His wounds fester instantly, with each pass of her claws. Morthos drops to one knee and his shadow dims.
Taveah fires two more arrows in quick succession, both striking their mark. Miklos releases another bolt of mystical white energy, and strikes the wraith in the chest. Magic sears its putrid creature.
Caiphys incants mystical words, red light emanates from his outstretched hands. The undead creature before him, still bathed in purifying light, ignites, its piercing howl deafens all around it. Kohl, wincing from the onslaught, moves forward to the next creature. He slams his ax down in a devastating blow, splitting flesh from collar bone down to abdomen.
Morthos steadies his fall and summons something deep within him and stands. He towers over the wraith and drives his claws into the withered body, rending flesh, damaging the wraith past its own unnatural abilities to stay in the corporeal world.
The wraith flails wildly, dark necrotic energies building wihin. The air begins to take on a sickly electrified smell as the wraith is enveloped within a dark impenetrable cloud of death. Cobalt electrical wisps dance throughout the cloud’s inky boundries. The cloud explodes. Morthos, Miklos, Taveah and Sejik are racked by its deathlike force. They fall, gasping for air but it doesn’t come. Sound and light around them dims as their minds feel the dark pull of the Keeper’s realm.
Air suddenly finds its way into their lungs. They gasp desperately as the blackness subsides. The surrounding fog retreats into the netherworld. Kohl and Caiphys quickly join them after finishing their separate battle.
The docks are quiet and the Swiftwind rocks gently atop the ocean’s subtle waves. You each once again take another welcomed breath and return to the safety of your vessel’s hull.