Chapter LI: The Fall of Zehir
The eve before the battle was met with cautious optimism. They had their armies. The Warmaster, Titus Garibaldi, had returned. Banesworn, Rankans, and Hawkmasks stood together. And a new army approached from the east. Their leaders entered the camp and approached the heroes, “I see a number of wyvern’s on the horizon. The way I hear it, rangers are a dragon’s bane.” Titus was dumbfounded, “Gaelen..how?--” “Pov, the Hawk. I am Gaelen’s brother, come to honor his pact with you. Our leader wishes to speak.” An older man lifted his hood, “I am no longer a mere kittykat. My mongoose rangers are prepared to finish this war.” Prince Kafen Theron, heir to the Rankan Empire stood before them. Titus was renewed with confidence, “We welcome your aid, old friend.”

Aase was not as confident as his companions. He slipped into the forest to commune for a time. Iceclaw and Lairleaf approached to speak, “I owe you an apology, earthfriend. I believed you were no better than the monsters you fight. You have proved me wrong time and again, and I thank you for that insight. My brethren will fight for you in this battle.” Aase shook his head at Iceclaw’s promise, “No, my brother. You may fight alongside me, but you do not follow me.”

All was well until Janus' arrival. His lust for vengeance was palpable. He could sense in Dawn the glow of Pelor, “You. You took it from me. You betrayed me!” Dawn shook his head, “I am sorry you feel—“ “YOU KNOW NOTHING OF WHAT I FEEL! Each of you have betrayed me. Aase called me friend, then labeled me a thief, only to hand you the power that you craved—“

“ENOUGH”, Tristan stepped out of the tent, wielding Achra, “Janus, your whining is not welcome here!” “Brother. You, most of all, betrayed me. You killed our…my mother and did nothing to atone for it. You said nothing when the truth was revealed. I tire of this talk. I am the path to victory. You are pebbles in my way. Dispater! Let us end this!” Dispater appeared, sending leagues of fiendish warriors to attack the army. Njoror rushed from the portal, “Aase! Fight me!”

Janus acted with deft precision, locking down Tristan, drawing Titus into fire, and ultimately felling Dawn, “Bow to me, or Dawn dies. I am vengeance!” Tristan saw in Titus the doubt that nearly took him, “No! Titus, do not give in!” He leapt forward, slicing the ring from Titus’ finger. Titus gasped in agony, “Thank you…old friend..I never told you that…” Exodus plunged into Dawn’s chest, drawing the light from his body, “You should have bowed. I have succeeded!” A flash of light blinded Janus, and before him stood Raylos, Ohderik, and Sarah

Raylos
No, Janus, you have not succeeded. I failed. I failed to be there for you. Failed to raise you up and give you the life you deserved. Your path is my greatest failure…my legacy.


Ohderik
I failed to be the father you needed. I was too frought with lust to be honest with you. I trained you in a lie and set you on this path. I failed you. You are my guilt.


Sarah
My boy. I sought, in you, vengeance. I failed to protect you and nurture your love. You never knew kindness or love. You only knew my vengeance. You are my greatest sorrow.


“No! You’re wrong… You are all wrong! I am vengeance! I am the scion! I will…”, Janus looked at Dawn’s lifeless body, “No…. this was never my goal… Dispater, I must think. Finish this, and then seek me out.”

Aase continued to struggle with Njoror while Tristan fought Dispater. He retreated to a nearby river crossing, hoping Njoror’s weight might send him down-river. Titus lay dying on the ground. He reached for his old sword, “Sol… you think you have enough in you to save that kid? I should have died many years ago. Thanks to you, I saw my wife once more. That was more than any man should hope for.” “You were a worthy celebrant, Titus. It was an honor to serve you.” The sword drew Titus’ soul from his body and poured it into Dawn’s corpse. The monk drew in breath. He could hear the sound of battle. Hobart spoke softly, “Get up. I will see you in a moment. This was never your time.” “Get your sorry ass up and help, Dawn!” He could hear Tristan loud and clear.

Dawn sprang into action, assaulting Dispater with a flurry of blows. In a moment, it was over. Dispater made a desperate strike that was easily deflected by the monk, “You deserve so much more than death, but you’re not worth the effort.” With that, dawn crushed the Lord of Deceit’s throat beneath his boot. He then rushed to aid Aase against Njoror on the bridge.

“Raaaugh!!”, Njoror bellowed, “I shall kill you like I did your bitch of a woman! Say hello to Aggrona for me!” Aase’s eyes narrowed. This was no time for tears, no time for sorrow. The behemoth had to die. An assault of strikes left Njoror stunned for a volley from Dawn. With Dispater dead, Njoror was weakened… The final strike sent him over the bridge and into the river.

It was over, for now. Melerra rushed through an open portal to see her husband’s body. Tallyn and Kafen entered from the main camp to see the slaughter, “We suffered heavy losses, but the devils were defeated.” Tristan turned to Tallyn, “Prepare the troops. We march now.”

-=-=-=-


The armies met on the plains of battle. Thothamon offered them the chance to surrender and leave for the North. “Not this time. It ends here. Skather dies, or we die; nothing less.” The heroes nodded at Dawn’s grim words, “If you wish to avoid needless death, we’ll challenge Skather and his champions to a duel. Winner takes all.” Skather appeared, all too suddenly, “I accept your offer, Monk.”

The heroes united against Skather, Thothamon, and his Ssarpacala. Hobart arrived to aid in the battle, “She has an interest in the outcome. Tristan broke the lines of fate, thus she has asked me to intervene and aid you.”


Hobart struck true against Thothamon, watching him bleed out on the battlefield. Aase and Melerra dominated the Yuan-ti, while Tristan and Dawn struck telling blows against Skather. Skather, however, was a formidable enemy. Between his spells and Thothamon’s power, Dawn fell, Is this it? Is this where I die, Kalnor?

Kalnor
It is possible. You have done much. Some might say too much. Death does not mean you failed. No one expected more of you than you gave.


No, that’s not true. Anthony believed we would succeed; he gave his life for it. Aase believed we would succeed; he gave me the tear to do so. Tristan believed we would succeed; he lost everything but his convictions. Even Janus, for a brief moment, believed we would succeed; that is why he asked me to take his place. No. Failure is not an option; not here, not today.

Kalnor
Then get up.


“Get up, Dawn! We’re almost through!”, he could hear Aase’s words. Lightning struck his chest, Huh…even Bane thinks I have a chance…

Dawn stood, “Let’s dance.”

Tristan struck true with Achra, plunging the blade into Skather’s chest, “You fool. You have no idea what you’ve done.” Skather laughed, and then unleashed his true form, a mountain of snakes creating a beast of unspeakable horror.

Hobart watched Thothamon. His eyes began to wander, “It’s time, Thothamon. Follow the spirits. Go home.” Life escaped Thothamon with his last breath. His body hit the ground, never to move again.

All turned their attention to the vassal of Zehir. Each took a flank and began hacking through the endless mass of snakes. Tristan screamed in defiance and clambered atop the pile, “You die here and now!” Lightning struck his blade before he sundered the face of Skather.


Skather lay destroyed. The power of Zehir was fading. Was it possible? Did they actually succeed? Without Zehir’s dominance, the yuan-ti lost their lust for battle. With a nod from Thariss, the yuan-ti began their long journey home.

The Raven Queen was almost sated. Only one more immortal remained. Dawn turned to go home, “I promised I would release the power. Can I do so where it all started?” Hobart shook his head, saddened, “I am sorry, but she demands the line of immortals ends here.” His blade dove deep into Dawn's chest, releasing the pact with Pelor.

As he lay dying, he had one request, "Tristan...Take me home."

Quote: Dusk
[color=”cyan”]
You are home, my brother. Our fate was sealed the moment we were born. With Skather defeated, we can return to the sky. You as protector of the Sun, scion of Pelor. Me as protector of the Moon, guardian of Selune.[/color]



Aase picked up Dawn's body and began walking east. Iceclaw moved beside him, "This is not a burden you will face alone. Allow me to carry our savior for a time." Aase tried to smile, “I welcome your company, my friend. By the way, where was Bastigen in all of this?” The wolf chuckled and shrugged, “She sleeps through winter.”

Melerra looked down at the lifeless body of Thothamon; Wizard; Blue Star Adept. Though dead, his thoughts lingered....A way into the Quorum laid only a few leagues to the south.

Tallyn addressed Tristan, "There are more battles to fight, Champion. You seek an empire; we are the blades you will carve it with." "And you will do it with me at your side", Dierdre, no longer a devil nodded to him, "I believe it is time you let down your guard and kissed me."

Hobart smiled. Had he known all along that he was destined to kill Dusk, he probably wouldn't have apologized.
Viewable by: Public
3 comments

3 Comments

Champions til the end

What a journey. I'm still tired from that night. Thank you all. It was an absolute blast and an honor to run this game for you guys. I can only hope we have as much success with our continuing games.

Again, thank you, Chris, Cory, Todd, Shane, Drew, Sam, and Gabe.

Thanks to Nikole, Amanda, and Jessica for actually letting us out for Monday nights.

Thanks to everone who followed and read along with us.

I'm going to go have a drink and relax.
Great game through and through. We all had realistic "touchable" characters that delt with more than just monsters or demons. these characters where the embodiement of emotions cast into roles. Each character was tested moraly and spiritualy, making this one of the better games ive played in.

Sad to see it end, but at the same time it did have a good ending. Chirs, sorry you couldnt make it bud, but i think i honored Hobart in combat. Didnt miss any attack with him the entire night. When Dusten said Hobart ended Thothomon, it was entirely true. He was locked down and destroyed by Hobart. Again sucks you couldnt be there, but the post tells the story!

good gaming to ya all!
Excerpt from a report from Gran-Dirth to Ranke:

...and it read thus:
'He who was born in the fading light will walk a long and difficult path. He will fight and sacrifice and bleed, but he will lead the light. His reward lies above, shinning down upon all.'

I must advise termination of this subject.
High Master Kalvink


Sad to see it end, but glad to see it end so well. I am seeing a pattern with how all my characters end up though.... >.>