Lady Vaermina Magnusson, famed dilettante, Philanthropist, Necromancer… has fallen…
Even before the Companions of Westcrown stopped her insidious plots the heavens foretold her doom. A powerful man, one of pure heart and purpose had ridden bravely to face her. Such was the might of the battle that the night sky was torn asunder, a bright beam of golden, holy light shredded the blackness, a pillar of hope seen for many miles. The companions were still a day out when they saw the beam at night, not knowing that all the while a lone champion faced the worst of the darkness Vaermina had at her disposal in the City of Canals. After nearly half an hour of being a blazing beacon in the sky, the light suddenly faltered and collapsed. Joelle, watching the light from the group’s campfire, felt the night close in around her like an unwelcome stranger, cold, intruding… She slept fitfully when her watch was over, certain something terrible had happened.
Elsewhere, a lone gypsy had seen the man, advising him of the dangers he faced, but was not able to sway nor delay his departure for the city. She drew three cards from her tarot deck, the Lion, showing a great hero, then the hanged man, seeing that he would face a great struggle. She pulled another to try to determine the fate, but two cards stuck together, the ten of swords and the death card, the ten of swords indicating the man would die, while the death card indicated he would undergo a great change. The next day, the man was gone, his holy light snuffed out in the night, as she was pulled out of her home and caged like a beast in cold iron by a milling group of undead under the command of an armored man who said nothing. The cage was carried slowly out of her swamp, back to the road to the city.
The Companions moved purposefully towards town, encountering the odd procession of skeletons, finding them to be rather powerful, not collapsing easily under their blows. Joelle quickly found herself surrounded by the undead, taking hits even through her enchanted armor. The silent man took advantage of her dilemma and charged, striking a powerful blow before one of Boran’s arrows took him in the neck, destroying an odd collar he wore, black arcane energies sparking off the now useless device. The fight quickly finished and the man remained unconscious, but without his helmet knocked askew, Boran realized he recognized the man.
Xander, or a shell of his former self. His hair had gone white, and what was visible of his skin was covered with a myriad of scars. Dev, investigated the device, and quickly realized it was a control collar of sorts, having been ensorcelled with many enchantments for domination of the psyche.
When Xander awoke, they continued on and found themselves led by the lady of mysteries to the cemetery, away from the manor house they thought contained Lady Vilhelm. Within they found the bones of many a thousand if not more undead. Torn, rotting flesh lay strewn as if a sharp force of nature ripped it’s way through, and in the center, atop a small hillock, at the feet of a cracked statue of a celestial they found a dull, cold iron blade. Dev detected minor magicks within it, and they passed it around to see, but when Joelle grasped the handle, it flared a brilliant gold color. A warm presence in her mind told her, “I am Amoracchius. Prepare yourself, your foe approaches.”
Almost in response to the drawing of the Sword of Faith, a form grew visible in the sky, a large, burning skeletal dragon bearing a rider swooped in as the Companions scattered to avoid Dragon’s Breath. Joelle leapt onto Caelius’ back as he leapt into the sky, but the foe, filled with dark energies was the faster, lowering a lance and piercing her breastplate easily, striking a mortal blow. The paladin was filled with holy energy, keeping her from falling as the dragon swooped past, the lance broken and the rider jumped off, landing beside her.
The Companions worked in unison, fighting the two powerful opponents. Paladin and the undead champion, a former paladin of Iomedae traded blows. Again Joelle was dealt a mortal blow, the dark knight’s frostbrand carving a deep, cruel line through her torso, but the gods refused to let her die, gasping, her eyes once again opened before she fell. Sybilla, the witch tried fighting the burning dragon in her dragon form, but was nearly slain, and lay on the ground feigning death until it turned on Xander, lashing out repeatedly at the armored fighter. She stood, offering what aid she could, exhausting her complement of spells, striving vainly, with Joelle, to keep him standing as he was struck unconscious repeatedly by the dragon. Boran, seeing his arrows do nothing to either foe, charged, drawing the Sunblade, swinging it at the dark knight, clanging it off his dirty armor, which still hinted at it’s former glory. Joelle staggered, the fight taking it’s toll on her, unable to bring herself back once more if she were to be slain again, striking at the skeleton’s side with Amoracchius, giving Boran an opening to slide the Sunblade through his chest, the two swords meant for slaying undead’s combined strength overwhelmed Vaermina’s newest and mightiest champion, light pouring through every crack and joint in the armor, leaving the skeleton within dust. Ironically it was the witch’s tiny psuedodragon familiar which finished off the burning dragon skeleton, hitting it with the pure magic of healing, disrupting the negative energies sustaining it. The dragon exploded in a fiery release of energies… once again knocking Xander out.