Servants of the Shard

Guardians of Arete: Session Twenty Something

The Final Ritual

Leto Schreyer: It has been my experience, that there are 2 different fields of magic all around us. There is the arcane arts, magic that stems from either the raw talent of a sorcerer who finds that they have the gift inside there blood, powering there spells; or from the wizard side ½ of this equation from which constant study is the key for mastering the arcane. For sorcerers, they can feel the blood flow with every ounce of energy they can muster. The raw talent is almost apparent to the naked eye. There drive comes from there heritage ends up being the driving force behind everything. Wizards are more study and rote. A new spell book is a most incredible find when dungeon crawling. For them, the power comes from practice and being able to use what they have learned to harness. The arcane path for someone who is a novice is a long and hard one. Practice consumes every part of there day to day life. Without it, they can never become all they are meant to be.

Then there are the divine casters who, more often than not need to pray from the raw and pure magic form there particular God. A cleric or a paladin almost seems to glow with the radiant power of there God. They are the divine walking among us. The very word of there God made manifest. Being powered by the magical essence of there God is heartwarming to say the least. It can be said by some that every time a divine spell caster is casting, they almost glow from the inside out. There very ability coming forth to do what ever bidding they may desire.

Druids on the other hand, get there power from the very nature itself. We have the very essence of flowing purity that comes from every form of matter and form. It is a most pleasing feeling to behold a druid in spell casting form. Very few get to experience it. It’s as if nature itself becomes alive in the very space you are standing even though there are no trees and bushes around to be seen.

When any caster loses there ability to use either the arcane or divine paths through whatever means can be traumatic at best. Most of the caster in the world, and I dare say 99.8% of them, only walk one path of magic. Then there is me; Treading both the arcane and divine paths. Skirting both worlds of power, never favoring one over the other. The Valas moon came to pass over the dark and dank skies of Ptolus today. The very moment that it came into view, it was as if the some snuffed out all the magic that Praemal had to offer. The very tides that ebb and flow where no longer there to enlighten us. For the first time I can remember, my magic was not there for me. I felt the connection to all that I have worked for gone. But only for an instant.

There was something that we did not expect to happen. The moment the Valas Moon came around, the shard shot a huge bolt of light out from the castle. I, as well as my compatriots, were surrounded with purple light stemming from the shard itself. The shard seemed to send its energy to us and power our weapons, our magic items as well as anything that requires magic that we called ours. We attempted to see if purchasing more items would help us more but it did not.

This had a great deal of other side effects as it were as well. The inverted pyramid was now visible floating over Ptolus. The flying apartment towers the were over the Nobles Quarter came crashing down killing all who were inside it as well as anyone unable to get away from the ensuing wreckage when it came plummeting down.

We sent a few notes to Kyra and Jevicca letting them know what we knew about the phenomenon. Since Orion had seen this all in a different timeline, he was able to let us know a few things that would be forthcoming. This apparently was one of them.

We received a note from Folketan, the Harrow Elf that we had helped from the chaos cults. He informed us about what he knew about the final ritual. He told us about how Wuntod kidnapped 3 arcanists from the insane asylum for magic users. He informed us about the 4 runechildren that were to be sacrificed during the ritual as well as a King of the Wild enslaved and sacrificed.

Without delay, we headed over to the Temple of the 53 Gods of Chance. Entered and found what looked like some clergy gathering up the belongings of the church before the barbarians stormed the gates of the city. One of them came over and we informed him that we here for a ritual that was being held here. He said he had no clue what we were talking about. Then the High Priestess came over and the same thing happened. She had no idea what we were talking about. The clergy man that originally came over walked away and watched us intently. Nadiera being who she is, said he was not telling the truth. He then pulled out a Rod that was able to signal the other below the temple. He then starting to die from magical asphyxiation. There was nothing we could do. After trying to answer the questions of the Priestess of what was going on here, she finally was willing to help us look for a secret passage that no one knew she had.

Nadiera was walking along one of the walls when she found a illusory wall. It mimicked the one we had found previously in the machine building. We told her to get out of the temple so if anyone escaped, she or her priests would not be hurt. She obliged and we went into the depths of temple to try to find Wuntod and his band of chaos cultists.

As we descend, we find our first obstacle that we must face. A Vrock. An evil demon that is damn tough. We almost had an experience with one when we were delving. It was a statue, and almost due to my incompetence caused it to come to life. It took a little bit but we were able to defeat it.

As we traverse further and deeper inside the lair, we see the stone has changed slightly here. It is gray with what appears to be pink crystal flocked all through it. A closer examination reveals it to be abyssal stone. Able to channel energies for the ritual is our thinking.

Through the rest of the lair, we find empty room after empty room. Since they were able to alert everyone to our presence, this comes as no shock to us. Though they have to be here somewhere. And they were at that.

We enter what ends up being the ritual room. Wuntod is standing on a black hand at the top of the dais. There are so many combatants in here it is unbelievable. There is a litorian, a shadow form and cat woman all on the top of the dais with Wuntod. Not far off there also is an ogre. At the altar, there are 4 priestess’s that are chanting, writhing around and cutting themselves with what will reveal to be ritual blades. Among the various other levels of the room, are about 24 other meager combatants. Some of them large and beefy. We fight hard and fast. But it does take a while for us to get through. Nadiera ends up putting herself right in the fray. Now, given her ability to dodge attacks, I still had my doubts. As there was no way for me to get to her. Otto fights bravely and true. Orion does what he does best. Spell after spell.

We discover in the process that there are vessels that hold 3 wizards in stasis. There energy is being funneled out. We also discover that the alter has 4 rune bearer children inside of it. We break the alter and they begin to float upwards.

Wuntod ends up getting down towards us and does a great deal of damage. Ysobel was able to break the last breath of a god crystal which was able to kill everyone in the room. Or at least most everyone. We were able to get the rest.

Upon reaching the top of the dais, we find cells behind the main wall. Inside we find none other than the King if the barbarians. Which would explain why they were sacking Ptolus. After explaining what had happened, we were able to get him back to his army thanks to some teleport scrolls that we had found. Once back at his camp, he thanks us for saving his life. He also agrees that there will be no further hostilities towards the city. He five our entire party Scimitars of the barbarian. An elegant looking sword.

As they begin to leave, we head back to the city and the Commissar meets us just outside the gate. We are escorted back inside where we are questioned fully. The other part of the party tool the rune bearers to Brother Fabitor as well as the wizards from the asylum. We also learn that one of the children is the son of the head of the Balacazar Crime Syndicate. So that should prove interesting to see what happens there. Once the questioning is over, we are invited to dine with the Holy Emperor as well as the Commissar himself.

After being released, we head back to Pythoness house and begin party preparations. We decide to invite all of our friends. Bryan the fate weaver, Kyra, Jevicca, Brother Fabitor and a few others. Food and drink will be had by all. We sent an invitation for Andach, The Hierophant on the Clasthimus Isle to join as well, but he never showed. Instead, a missive from his assistant Hennam showed. It was short. Andach had been slain by the demon in the dark reliquary. There was no hope of reincarnation. I have been asked to go at my earliest connivance.

He was gone. The sadness began to fill my soul and every part of my being. The only other one like me that I knew of, and he was gone. I can only assume that when the Valas moon appeared, it suppressed the warding stone as well as the protections of the isle. I had to leave the party. I was not able to control emotions at that point.

I went upstairs to the garden balcony. I found a spot in the center. I prayed and sat for about an hour before returning back down. At first light, I will go and find out what happened. I am becoming very angry. Everything that I hold dear seems to be threatened at every turn. The Dark Reliquary and all who live there shall pay for this deed. I promise that. The harnesses of the naturist and arcane bonds shall come loose and all my fury shall be realized for all who get in my way. Andach, shall be avenged.

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