The Coalition's War

The Lower Caverns
The walls themselves betray the party as they descend into the earth.

Leaving the Solace Bole, the group somehow got turned around and returned to the entrance, where they fought death giants that Ionen swore vengeance against for their ancestors’ part in the Dawn War. The giants drained them of much of their vitality, but were ultimately unable to best them. The party debated a long time on how they’d manage to go in a circle, and how best to avoid getting lost again, eventually settling on a combination of the Hand of Fate and Whispers of The Edifice rituals. They discovered that the walls themselves shifted whenever they reached a dead end or stalled for too long, making further rest stops unwise.

The Hand pointed the way to a statuary decorated with magnificent (and expensive) tapestries, depicting vast cities and vistas, as well as the maps of long-dead empires. The statues themselves displayed the forms of several figures, engraved with names familiar to the group, including Sarissa, Mornujhar (both in a dragonborn and black dragon form, oddly), Onthorirfel, Arantor, and a strange angel named Niuria, who bore a striking resemblance to Rachaela. The art was guarded by a trio of cambions and a pair of nothics, favored pets of Vecna cultists. After slaying the devilkin and rendering the nothics powerless with another Word of Peace, they stowed the stuff in Komè’s giant chest and moved on. Blank stole a brazier.

Next was a room filled with sulfur cones and three undead, including one of Vecna’s Abhorrent Reapers. They were beat into the ground after some minor difficulties, and the Champions hotfooted it out of the room, glad to be rid of the smell.

Finally, they made it to the lowest chamber, only to be stopped by Bahlik Gur, leader of Arantor’s death giants. He was greatly intimidated by Ionen, fully believing him to be the reincarnated slayer of Erek-Hus, but fought the group anyway. He and his men lost rather quickly, but not without giving them some grief.

Wandering into the enormous cavern, none of the heroes could see Arantor, and so turned on all their light sources and flew around in Komè’s new cloud chariot, following the sound of skeletal wings. A raspy, conniving voice cursed their intrusion, and before the party could react, Jett turned his blade on the party, rocking the chariot with a burst of force energy. As Erdanen snapped him out of it, the psychic presence moved to Ionen, who unleashed a blast of fire upon the group.

Finally, the dragon came into view and Erdanen hit it with a light spell. Now that Arantor had lost the ability to hide in the darkness, the group immediately split up to minimize their chances of being caught in friendly fire, but the Heart of Darkness punished them for their loyalty to each other, slowing their movements. Divided and unable to support each other, Arantor wreaked havoc on the Champions until he was challenged by Erdanen. Unable to ignore the radiant rebukes that lashed his bones whenever he turned his back on the bard, he concentrated many blows onto him, the worst of which were absorbed by his shield. While he was distracted, Blank managed to regain control of the situation, but only after succumbing to the influence of her darker half. She psychically forced Arantor to leave himself open to attack, allowing Erdanen and Jett to strike. Erdanen’s songblade struck true, and his yell of triumph inspired the others to unleash a combined attack which felled the dracolich.

But they were not done. The dragon’s corpse cracked open, and the skeleton of a smaller silver dragon burst free – the Heart of Darkness. Infuriated by the interruption of the darklord’s punishment, it swore revenge on the Champions, but Ionen’s arcane fury revealed itself in full and he tore the Heart to pieces.

Upon its death, an illusory wall at the back of the cavern faded from view, revealing the dragon’s hoard. Most of the treasure was simple to divide amongst themselves, but at the bottom of the pile lay the Sword of Kas. Komè reached for it, but Jett threw his sword into the ground at the cleric’s feet, stopping him up short. After a heated debate, it was agreed that Erdanen would take the sword, wrapped in a magic cloak so as to hopefully prevent any kind of mental control the relic might possess.

Right on cue, Kas himself appeared. He gave a slow, sarcastic applause and congratulated the heroes on defeating Arantor without even attempting to disrupt the Heart’s control over him. He demanded that the bard hand his sword over, to honor the bargain made in the graveyard.

Kas didn’t seem interested in traveling to Vaerothim, and made no real attempt to reassure them that he would keep his promise. Erdanen strongly advised against trusting someone called “The Betrayer,” but no one else saw any other option – they were exhausted and bruised from the battle with the darklord, and spent of their mightiest spells – there was no realistic way they could defeat someone as powerful as Kas. Erdanen smiled, saying, “We don’t need to beat him. We just need to get by him!”

Ionen, immediately picking up on his ally’s meaning, summoned a gust of wind that sent them soaring over Kas’ head, while the vampire lord looked on in angered frustration. As he drew his weapon to give chase, Jett summoned a blast of fire, invoking the power of Ruin Silme Megil to seal him into a demiplane. He hurried to rejoin his allies as Erdanen thrust the sword into the portal. Eldritch power unfathomable twisted up the blade and into his arm, coaxing a scream of pain from him as the gate wrenched open.

Kas’s howl of fury echoed through the dimensions, but the swordmage’s spell held fast, keeping the Betrayer locked for another precious few seconds. Komè and Ionen hurried through the portal while Erdanen kept it open, but Jett refused to leave his old friend behind him. Blank, in all her practicality, mentally shoved the genasi into the portal and dove in after.

At that moment, the binding on Kas failed, and murderous eyes turned to the lone bard, inches away from escape. “NOOOOOOOO!” shrieked Kas.

In spite of his agony, Erdanen chuckled. “Sayonara, bitch,” he quipped as he moon-walked through the portal.

Interlude: Blank's Childhood
The Chorus of Truth reveals the horror behind Blank's dual selves.

While inside, the group discussed what they’d learned. The concept of betrayal was woven into the very essence of Monadhan around them – to be the target of traitorous acts stung worse here than anywhere else in the Planes. Every attack they’d committed against each other out of error or compulsion by their opponents created a wound far more grievous than expected, while rewarding the betrayer with a mystical boon of stamina or accuracy. In addition, whenever one among them was struck with a particularly lethal blow (not necessarily originating from friendly fire), they unwillingly blurted out some detail of a betrayal they’d committed in the past.

Komè had repeated his earlier admission to Amyria: that he was once known as the Indigo Fox, deadly assassin and scourge of the Vale.

Jett had rationalized the death of Bugug, saying that if he hadn’t cut the line when he had, everyone would have been in danger.

Blank, cryptically, said only “Mommy, look what I can do!”

And in true form, Erdanen had hysterically admitted to placing Jett’s hand in a bowl of warm water long ago – Ziggy was innocent of the crime.

Ionen had steered clear of injury, and whatever betrayals buried in his past remained a mystery.

As they readied to sleep, Erdanen gathered his allies around him, expressing a wish to play them a song he’d learned. As the notes poured forth from his lilting songblade, he accompanied with sorrowful lyrics, expressing hopelessness at the lack of honesty found in the world, expressing a wish for a friend who held truthfulness above all else. The tone was sad but hopeful, and it comforted his fellows, knowing they were trapped in the darkness of the Shadowfell until their quest was completed.

Blank smiled, with the slightest hint of worry in her dull red eyes. She wore a smile as she said, “What a lovely song, Erdanen.”

He inclined his head in thanks, but there was no mirth or gratitude on his face. “I sang it with someone in mind,” he replied, launching into a cruel rhyme:

  • “There once was a tiefling who lied;
  • When asked of herself, she’d just hide
  • Behind cute turns of phrase
  • And flattering praise
  • Till all trust we had for her died.
  • But the bard, he saw through her illusion
  • Though his fellows were spent to confusion.
  • Orphaned as a lassy,
  • She never wept like the genasi -
  • The friendship we’d had was delusion.
  • So the bard set a trap diabolical;
  • Before her hidden scheme came full circle.
  • With the music he’d sing,
  • He’d prove himself social King,
  • And yank her lying hairs out by the follicle.”

As he finished the last line, he stood, staring directly into Blank’s smug, unflinching expression. “Now tell me the truth: just what is it about you that makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end? I can’t be sure if you’re lying or not about your past, but what you said earlier about your parents dying… you didn’t shed a tear! And that blurted confession you gave has something to do with it, doesn’t it?”

Feigning aggravation, she turned up her nose and claimed, “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

Blank had honed her skill with crafting falsehoods out of necessity during her life in the Citadel Mercane, but something about the half-elf’s words made her stumble and stammer over each new fib. Komè, a master of reading others, caught on immediately.

As the two of them pressed her, she began to get more and more nervous, until her personality changed abruptly, and she grinned evilly. She gleefully admitted to murdering her own mother and father after being treated worse than livestock her entire childhood – how she’d had her birth name taken away after they’d realize she’d never amount to anything, much less become the resurrector of Bael Turath, the long-lost tiefling empire. For her worthlessness, she was insulted by her mother and beaten by her father, until one day her consciousness fractured. A darker reflection of her own psyche was brought to the surface, quietly bearing the abuses that would have shattered the former, innocent Blank.

In time, the split began to awaken dormant psionic powers, the first of which allowed her dark side to manifest a physical body while she slept. When it grew strong enough, it compelled her father to beat her mother to death, only relenting once her corpse became unrecognizable. As her father wept over his beloved, she crushed his skull telekinetically.

Her hateful expression melted, giving way to soul-shattering tears. For years, she explained, her young mind remained ignorant of its twin. The sins it committed at night kept her alive, but at a terrible price to the people around her. It was years before she discovered the truth, and once she defeated her inner monster, she gained access to its unsettling memories. To escape her crimes, she made her way to the Astral Sea, and wound up in Scaramandar’s service.

While she was now the dominant personality, her other half occasionally got the better of her. She could even summon it in physical form, as she had during the battle with Trethix. She admitted that her other half had warned the woman of their intent, purposefully making it so that Komè’s diplomatic approach would be impossible. Now that she had the Hourglass that she had sought, she elected to continue with the Champions, hoping to gain the experience necessary to control her darkness.

Erdanen and Jett were unnerved, and Ionen was indifferent. Komè was supportive, however, noting that she’d been instrumental in their success both in Tu’narath and here in Monadhan. The group resolved to keep her around, but sleep with one eye open from that point on.

Into the Darkness
The domain of Betrayal awaits... what horrors have befallen Jett there?

Beyond the angel’s portal lay a mist-covered jungle. As the Champions set off to explore it, they heard a voice in the distance, whispering to them over the buzz of insects and the rustling of wind through vine-covered branches:

“Inner conflict can defeat a soldier more quickly than an army.”

“What good is his blade without his breath?”

“Your friend’s very thoughts are stained with guilt.”

“A single fear can unleash a torrent of nightmares.”

“Any fool who would die for honor is better off dead.”

“His headstone is the last page in the book of his life.”

Erdanen demanded that the speaker show himself, but only laughter was heard. Just a few paces ahead, the party came upon a clearing and saw Jett, waist-deep in quicksand. Wracked with fear and grief, he pleaded with his friends to turn back, but they would not be kept away. They approached to help, but something stood in their way…

Komè saw it as Vecna himself, cackling madly.

Blank saw it as a small army of doppelgangers.

Erdanen saw it as an unmarked tombstone, his body half-buried beneath it.

Ionen saw it as Erek-Hus – the ancient primodial that slew his original incarnation.

After recovering from the initial shock, the Champions realized the creature was the manifestation of a quori spirit, a nightmare who fed off the fears of thinking beings. They summoned their courage and fought it, though it changed form many times during the course of the battle. Komè managed to free Jett from the quicksand with a well-timed prayer of summoning, and Erdanen reminded the swordmage of how much of a hero he truly was; he could never escape what he’d done to Bugug, but he had the rest of his life to better himself and learn from his past mistake. Blank aided him by saying that she, too, had lost her parents at an early age – she knew much of Jett’s hurt, and how it was easy to blame himself, but just because bad things had happened to him didn’t mean he had to give up.

Rededicating himself to his blade, his friends, and his god, Jett helped his fellows destroy the monstrosity for good, and eagerly volunteered to accompany them on their quest to find Tiamat’s ritualist.

While sharpening their swords on a heroslayer hydra (and learning that hyrdra heads may very well have the power to regenerate), Ionen carelessly struck Komè with a blast of energy, inflicting a wound far more grievous than intended. It bled with unnatural speed, and as it did so, the dragonborn felt revitalized.

After dispatching the creature, they arrived in a shantytown full of dejected, rag-wearing peasants – every one of them a traitor to their kingdom or kin. Seeking information, the group happened upon a dragonborn named Shiv, who grudgingly told them to see Sarissa the seer.

Sarissa’s hut was easily found, but the old halfling refused to give them the information they sought without a price – 100 gold per question. None of the Champions were pleased with her, but they paid the cost anyway. She said the only way out of Monadhan was to get the key of the dominion – the Sword of Kas. She also said it was guarded by the darklord, Arantor, a name which Erdanen and Ionen recognized from an old ghost story. Suddenly, a disfigured woman appeared outside the hut, asking for the seer.

The moment she laid eyes on the heroes, the woman bared a set of fangs, and was joined by a handful of similar creatures – vampires! They sought to slay Sarissa for consorting with outsiders, but Blank valiantly blocked the path of the would-be assassins until they could be destroyed. Sarissa refunded their money and more, telling them that Kas, their leader, could be found in the graveyard outside town at midnight.

On their way out of the shantytown, the heroes were ambushed by another group of vampires, this one led by Gwenth, a lieutenant of Kas’. Her gaze caused them to erupt into violence against each other, but all too soon they shook free from her power and turned their attacks on her. Wilting under their assault and heavily outnumbered, Gwenth turned and ran, but Blank followed her. Gwenth tried to hide in the grimy river that flowed through the town, but the psion daintily plucked her from the water with her psionic gifts and ended her with a thought.

Instead of Kas, the party came upon another lieutenant: Rolain. Komè convinced him not to waste time on fighting, as all he wanted was to speak with his master. He went to bring Kas the message, but the smell of living flesh lured a loathsome Desecration to the surface before Rolain returned. Though impossibly large, it fell easily.

Upon explaining their situation, Kas was intrigued. The sword had not been in his possession for some time, and he was eager to reclaim it. Kas agreed to call off his servants, if the newcomers could return his sword to him. In addition, he would personally lead them to Vaerothim, the demiplane where Mornujhar hid with the ritualist.

Komè agreed to the bargain, and Kas explained that the ritualist was actually a lich named Onthorirfel, who had been sealed in Monadhan for some time for betraying Vecna. With Tiamat’s help, though, he’d found a way to escape, and had even managed to turn Monadhan from his prison into a near-impassable obstacle barring the way to his new home.

Jett and Erdanen recognized the name. This was the same ritualist who had aided Sarshan in destroying the village of Talar more than a year ago, before the formation of the Platinum Shield Coalition!

Rolain brought them to the caverns, where they fought a naga, a troll, and a small group of cambions in a chamber housing an underground river. Further in, they found a strange chamber filled with floating platforms, guarded by a void lich and his ghostly slaves. Jett fell from the platforms and nearly broke his leg, and the group decided that fleeing was the best option.

Finally, they came upon a torture chamber filled with rakshasas and their trained gray render. Blank matched their leader with manipulative magic, while Jett squared off against the hulking render. As they fought, blood spilled from the wounds of Champion and rakshasa alike flowed into a strange channel in the ground that gave off an unearthly power. It flowed towards a strange mosaic at the southern end of the room, but was stopped by Ionen’s flaming breath when he decided he’d rather not see the obvious trap’s effect. Komè, after watching Jett’s arm nearly torn off by the rampaging beast, calmed it with a power word of Peace. Contented, it went back to sleep in its cage, and the rakshasas proved powerless without its aid. The blood, however, flowed southward as the channel was renewed by the fighting. In desperation, Ionen threw his weight into Jett, throwing him clear and putting himself squarely in the line of the trap’s fire. The mosaic changed into a hellish landscape with cavorting demons, but nothing else happened.

Licking their wounds, the party decided it would be imprudent to proceed further without rest, so Komè opened the way to his Solace Bole.

Chapter 13: Betrayal at Monadhan
The Champions receive news of Jett, and descend into darkness following a rumor.

Following the festival days, Sir Erdanen Torrance announced his candidacy for mayor of Sayre. Rather than put forth the normal efforts of campaigning, including the customary debates, public events, or even announcing his platform, the bard simply held a concert, where he played a special song he’d composed – the Anthem of Unity. Even those who did not attend heard his music, amplified by the Battlefield Elocution ritual so as to be heard even on the outskirts of town. He put all his charm and persuasive magic into the performance, and come election day, Erdanen won by an unheard-of unanimous vote. Even his rival politicians voted for him!

But before he could settle into his new job, Amyria called him, Komè, Ionen, and Blank. Her missive simply stated that there was a messenger awaiting them.

After assembling at City Hall, Amyria and Bejam introduced them to the newcomer: an angel by the name of Rachaela. She greeted them with bright eyes, but kept her formless face obscured by a hood. Her wings shined with radiant energy, and the design on the prayer stole draped across her shoulders identified her as an agent of Kord – god of strength, and Jett’s patron deity.

She informed them that she had come bearing news of the missing genasi – the guilt he felt as a result of Bugug’s death had drawn him into a domain of dread in the Shadowfell, a demiplane where great betrayers go to meet their punishment: Monadhan. Rachaela pleaded with them to rescue him from the realm – he had done much to please Kord, and losing such an icon of strength would be a great loss both to the world he protected and the god he faithfully advocated through his deeds in the war.

Interjecting into the discussion, Ionen believed he had related news. He believed this undertaking signified that the Champions were not yet finished with their journey, especially since they had never learned what Tiamat had been planning by starting the war in the first place. He claimed that he had read in the stars that the true destruction was only beginning, and that this would be the dragon gods’ final spat – perhaps giving him the chance to finally assume his rightful place and fulfill the prophecy of Io’s rebirth.

While none of the assembled put too much stock in Io’s perception of his own destiny, Amyria at least was very concerned with finding out just what Tiamat was up to. Rachaela advised that if the group could find Jett, they should be well-equipped enough to handle an additional task… Beyond Monadhan lay a separate demiplane, where a ritualist in Tiamat’s employ hid, working on some unknown plot, perhaps to salvage Tiamat’s schemes. He was guarded by the black exarch, Mornujhar.

Erdanen leaped at the chance to head a rescue team, and Komè eagerly accepted the quest to give aid to a former friend and simultaneously uncover Tiamat’s plot. Ionen could not resist the chance to knock Tiamat down a peg for her misbehavior in the past years, and Blank elected to tag along seemingly out of the simple pursuit of excitement. After handing off his mayoral duties to a bewildered Mr. Paradox, Erdanen and the other Champions were ready to make the journey to the Shadowfell through the portal Rachaela had prepared.

She gave them one last warning: Monadhan was created as a prison for betrayers and turncoats, and they would not be able to leave it by the simple use of rituals. Once there, they would have to find their own way to escape it, as well as find the one path that would lead them to Mornujhar and the ritualist. Fully embracing this risk, they marched through the portal undeterred.

Interlude: End of the War
Sayre celebrates, and Amyria thanks her Champions.

Upon their triumphant return from Tu’narath, the Champions informed Amyria of their numerous accomplishments. She had only expected them to find a new ally when she sent them to the Citadel Mercane – to hear that they had ended the war entirely was almost too much to believe! However, by the day’s end, Gith’s people were in contact with her, drawing up the official treaties that would end all hostilities for the next thousand years.

Amyria immediately passed on the good news to the Coalition’s council members, who were overjoyed to hear that their lands and people were finally safe. They moved to dissolve their wartime alliance, but the deva stayed their hands. She asked them to consider all that they had accomplished while united under a common banner, and to imagine what their combined resources could accomplish now that there was no enemy to threaten them. The assembled leaders chafed at the idea of keeping their nations bent to a central power. They thanked Amyria for all she had done, and even the more stubborn members present admitted that the relatively bloodless end to the war was due entirely to her oft-disputed leadership. But now that the threat had passed, shouldn’t they be allowed to rule their own realms as they chose?

Amyria had no desire in her heart to bend the council members to her will, ruling over them like a tyrant. And so, after repeating her desire to see the nations of the Platinum Shield Coalition continue to work together to achieve great things, she declared she would step down as council leader after finalizing the githyanki treaties, leaving the council members as equals.

By her order, Sayre became the center of a grand festival to celebrate the end of the war. She declared a day of mourning for those who made the ultimate sacrifice to ensure the life and liberty of all those who dwelled in the mortal realm. Grave markers were erected on a rocky outcropping of the mountains north of the town, where the tombstones would watch forever over the land they had saved. Names were carved in what seemed like endless lists across the stone: Bugug, Ea, Divian Torrance, Bram Ironfell, Gallia, High Priest Durkik, Kalad, Sokaris, and Ziggy were given places of honor among the thousands of names from the battles at Overlook, Sherrbyr, Garaitha’s Anvil, and elsewhere.

This day of grieving was followed by a week of feasting, parades, and thanksgiving – the streets were filled with music and parades, and even the lowliest beggar ate like a king. The names of the Champions were cheered from every tavern and stall, and no one paid a cent for the festivities. Much of it was given freely by the thankful merchants, and everything else was funded by the eccentric Fariex.

As the festivities drew to a close, Amyria summoned all the remaining Champions to their meeting place at the city hall to personally thank them for their efforts.

To the mysterious Anton, she gave a curt nod and a brief expression of gratitude for his help in capturing the Fane of Chaniir and rescuing Jett from Sangwyr’s minions. However, she also made it plain that his presence often hindered diplomatic efforts, and his vermin seemed prone to alienating the other Champions. The druid never smiled as he accepted her lackluster gratitude and left the room, off to continue his vigil over the Feywild.

Although Bressal Steelhoof was absent, she let it be known that he was invaluable in the defense of Overlook, but her concern for his character was profound. Since the death of Gallia, he had known no peace, and abandoned the Coalition in the middle of the war. In the weeks before his departure, his temperament had grown dark, and he had made it obvious that he had renounced Kord for Bane. This forsaking of his patron had deeply disappointed her, and she hoped he had found himself again while away from the battlefield.

Bugug’s death at Garaitha’s Anvil was sudden and shocking to everyone. Since his unexpected recruitment from the ranks of Cachlain’s slaves, he had been a tireless opponent of the githyanki, deployed in several missions and felling countless foes. His death was tragic and unnecessary, but in times of war, such is the fate of many good soldiers. His mind was never keen, but his heart was determined and his sword arms were strong. He would be missed.

When Ea had been lost to the depths of the sea of Nefelus, many Champions felt responsible for her death. She was a staunch upholder of order, who gave her life to see the civilizations of the world preserved. She was perhaps, too bold – while she wielded the raw power of Erathis’ indignant fury, she was a delicate creature, and no match for Chillreaver in close quarters. No god could ask for a more devoted follower, and there was no doubt in Amyria’s mind that she had a high place awaiting her in the Hereafter.

Guts’ part in the Coalition’s War had been small, but vital. Only through him could the gap between the mortal world and the githzerai have been bridged, and he remained constantly supportive of Amyria and her goals in the face of his elders. During the attack on Garaitha’s Anvil, he was a member of the strike team that hunted down Kada’ne, managing to defeat him and liberate his crystal key. Being an avenger, his liberal views on divine punishment did not always mesh with Amyria’s own beliefs, but his sense of racial duty to challenge the githyanki was invaluable to the cause. She impressed upon him that his heroic presence would be needed in the near future – battle prowess like his would earn respect among their former enemies, and with the help of Odos, perhaps the blood feud between the gith peoples could someday be healed.

Astonishingly, Keyleth Starfletcher walked into the room. None present had ever expected her to return, but she seemed oddly curious of what their paladin had to say of her. Amyria congratulated Keyleth for her part in destroying the Bitter Glass, but still could not forgive her for the catastrophic faux pas she had committed by drawing her weapon on Telicanthus far too early. The resulting melee put several important political figures at risk, and had things gone ill all of her work ingratiating herself with the political minds in Sayre would have shattered in an instant, and the Coalition might never have been formed. She did not regret her decision to leave Keyleth out of future missions, but only because she did not have the luxury of affording the risk the impulsive elf represented. For what it was worth, Amyria apologized for how she had treated the young archer, and hoped that she was wrong about her worth as a Champion. As Keyleth left, Amyria asked her to give the same message to Lucas.

It was Erdanen who gave thanks to Mr. Paradox for everything he’d done; between piloting the ship, enchanting new gear for the Champions, and helping out on missions, he’d proved himself an irreplaceable asset during the war. However, the bard’s heart was saddened by the child’s involvement in such conflict. He and Amyria agreed that now that Gith was on the throne, he should take a few years to enjoy the rest of his childhood, spending it in the safety of Sayre with his foster father, Gepetto. Erdanen told the changeling boy that he was the little brother he never had, and his home would always be open to him.

Sokaris had also perished at Garaitha’s Anvil, but everyone knew he was only going to meet a fate he had postponed. The dragonborn had never lived in fear of death, and his deeds during the war must have earned him high favor with the Raven Queen. Amyria marveled at his ability to turn the harsher facets of reality into positive forces of change, and his ability to redeem even the darkest of hearts to serve the higher cause.

Still grieving over his uncle’s untimely demise, Thoradin Ironfell was not present. But all who stayed listened to their leader describe his many exploits, both heroic and unusual. Few, if any, of his fellows matched his steadfast heart; even though he worshipped no god, his commitment to justice, order, and kin could be taken as the purest inspiration for any paladin. Amyria sincerely hoped that he would go on to become influential in Overlook, and lead it into the new age of peace.

Zan-kyri’s powers were instrumental in storming Zetch’r’r’s fortress, and if it weren’t for him, Komè would have been lost at sea, and Bejam may never have joined the Coalition. His goal to become as worthy a warrior as Jett was certainly fulfilled, but Amyria voiced her concern that the genasi’s impulsive nature was his greatest downfall. His lack of foresight endangered himself and his allies on numerous occasions, and he would do well to learn from his past mistakes. Even so, she was proud of him for all he had accomplished. Zan bowed deeply, and mentioned that although his reason for journeying beyond the walls of the City of Brass was done, he would never forget the friends he’d made in the Mortal World.

Lastly, Amyria gave thanks to her chosen favorites, starting with Komè. The kalashtar cleric had accomplished more with words and patience than many of his peers had with the mightiest of attacks, and for his espousal of peace, he had been blessed into Sainthood by an angel of Ioun. This marked him as wise beyond measure, and the deva was deeply ingratiated for all he had done. No one (save perhaps Amyria herself) was more devout in their belief that peace could reign once more in both the Astral Sea and the world, and few took the handful of failures suffered by the Coalition so personally. Though he often seemed detached, it was plain to the scrutinizing eye that his heart and soul went into every mission, and he never gave up hope. Amyria asked him to remain with her for a time in Sayre as she contemplated what she would do next.

Jett was still missing, but the fiery passion he brought to the Coalition had never gone out. Those he called true friends were never safer than when they were under his watch, and those he called enemy knew no respite from his fury. He was the textbook example of an indefatigable warrior, able to cut through legions, soak up the most harmful of magics without batting an eye, and swim through rivers of fire without so much as pausing for breath. The growth he’d shown over the months of battle had endeared him to everyone, and Amyria hoped that he would not define himself by his latest mistake.

If Jett was the heart of the Coalition and Komè was its mind, then Erdanen was its spirit. His propensity for levity kept his allies going even in the darkest of times, and his lofty ideals made him well-trusted by Amyria. His upbeat demeanor earned him many friends within the Coalition’s ranks, and his unique mastery over the arcane made him indispensable in the war. Amyria suggested that he take up his father’s place as mayor, now that she would no longer lead the Coalition from the heart of Sayre – but Erdanen pointed out that he was no longer a noble. With her last official act as leader of the Platinum Shield Coalition, she pulled forth her platinum sword and knighted the bard, dubbing him Sir Erdanen Torrance.

As for the two newcomers, Ionen and Blank, Amyria could not be sure of their true worth. She had heard all of their exploits, and was indebted to them for their unexpected help in the sudden end to the war. She hoped to get to know them much better now that the fighting had stopped, and had a feeling they were destined for great things…

The Red Exarch
To return Gith to the throne, the heroes must brave the Chromatic Bastion.

After the debate concluded, the Champions rested for a time in the hidden rooms of the Morningstar Inn, where they would be safe from the probing eyes of the now-constant patrols of Zetch’r’r’s kill squads. As they made ready to leave, they caught sight of a strange collection of arcanists gathering in the square outside the inn. It seemed they were casting a communication ritual of some kind.

Unable to disrupt the ritual without calling attention to the inn (and therefore endangering Gith), the five were forced to wait until the mages cleared out. Upon the spell’s completion, a larger-than-life image of the Emperor was called into being, towering over his minions. He called for the unconditional surrender of the Coalition members in his city, or at least for their traitorous abettors to cease sheltering them. To demonstrate his resolve to expunge his city of the outsiders, he made an example out of a traitor he’d already found: Bram Ironfell. As the Champions watched helplessly, Bram was led into the perimeter of the image, where he tearfully apologized to his nephew Thoradin before being impaled on Zetch’r’r’s sword and fed to a huge red dragon.

Legion snickered. He’d been well aware of how close they came to rescuing the poor dwarf before the rest of the group simply forgot him, and bringing the failure to Komè’s attention was endlessly amusing. Ionen denounced the kalashtar as a failure and a hypocrite, but was silenced as the cleric roared in frustration and ordered that the group focus on the task at hand: bringing the fight to Zetch’r’r.

Gith revealed her plan: she would rally the githyanki in the city who were not loyal to the Emperor and stage a violent coup. With her forces scattered throughout the city and able to commandeer numerous astral ships, the pawn of Tiamat would have no choice but to dispatch all the forces at his command to quell the uprising. Without reinforcements, they would surely fail, but the Chromatic Bastion (the Emperor’s fortress) would be largely unguarded, open to attack by the Champions. If they could remove him from the throne, the outcome of the battle would no longer matter, as Tu’narath would still be free from his rule.

And so, the Champions set forth, easily making their way to the front door of the Bastion with no opposition while the patrols dealt with the Separatists. It resembled an overlarge cathedral, complete with intricate windows of stained glass surrounding the doors of solid iron. In the entry room waited a single obstacle to their further progress: a floating, black, gem-studded spine. Zan-kyri correctly identified it as a demilich, created using the remains of Vlaakith. Its power was vast, and were it not for Zan’s ability to turn his lightning spells to radiant energy, the battle would have been far more difficult. Despite its disadvantage, in the moment before its defeat it was able to capture the soul of Legion, which it stored in an amethyst soul gem.

With good reason, the Champions were less than shaken up about the loss, and continued on.

In the next chamber, two young red dragons crouched at the far end of twin pools of burning naptha, the heat so oppressive that it blurred the vision of everyone but Blank and Ionen. Ever scheming to apply his elemental prowess in new ways, Ionen summoned a storm of frozen energy to quench the fires, returning the room to a normal temperature. After that, one of the dragons was quickly vanquished, while the other submitted to Ionen’s overbearing presence. It revealed the location of the throne room – behind a statue in the next room – before fleeing.

Continuing on, the Champions were ambushed upon opening the next door, and by none other than Do’kan. He and his companions – a kryizoth fire mage and a pair of ghostly sentries – put up a valiant resistance, but in the end were bested by the Champions’ superior firepower. Blank convinced the lieutenant that a second Coalition team had infiltrated the fortress at the same time, and that the Emperor was already dead. Robbed of his purpose for fighting, Do’kan threw down his true silver longsword and quit the fortress to throw in with Gith.

The statue they’d been warned of was warded against nongithyanki, but Komè and Zan-kyri still bore the whitefire marks given by Bejam, and had no trouble moving it out of the way. As they entered the Emperor’s chambers (a small three-story tower with the ceiling open to the sky), they heard him arguing with someone: the huge dragon they had seen devour Bram. It introduced itself as Vraxanault, the red exarch of Tiamat.

Zetch’r’r materialized through a teleportation platform, dealing an impossibly deadly blow to Zan-kyri before the genasi could react. Seconds later, Zan lay dying on the floor, his robes alight from the dragon’s fire. Komè returned him to vigor with a word of healing, while Ionen pummeled Vraxanault with piercing cold magic, and Blank forced the two uneasy allies to attack each other. Dazed and battered, Zetch’r’r fell to the onslaught all too soon, forcing Vraxanault to accept that he was now battling alone against a superior force, and with no reward for victory. He fled the tower while Komè cursed his luck – now he would never be able to recover Bram’s body to return him to life.

Still, the battle was over, and the future of Tu’narath was secured. As they prepared to leave by the way they’d came in, the Sacrifice appeared above the tower. Erdanen and Mr. Paradox had arrived too late to join the attack, but the ride (and the food they’d brought) was none the less appreciated. Ionen and Blank made their introductions, and the ship changed course to visit the red dragon caves at the south end of the city. There, Gith presented the scepter of Ephelomon liberated from the Emperor’s corpse, and shattered it.

“Children of Ephelomon, I release you from the pact,” she said. The dragons seemed angered, but understanding. They took their leave peacefully, but warned her that they were returning to Tiamat, and would be enemies henceforth. As the wyrms vacated the city for the first time since its founding, Gith thanked the heroes for all they had done, and bade them give her best wishes to Amyria. The Coalition’s War was over.

The City of Death
The Champions fight through the streets of their enemy's home, searching for the unlikeliest of allies.

Komè’s demeanor was soured by the pointless death of Trethix, but the others consoled him with the fact that it was now possible to move forward with their plans. Reluctantly, he used the residuum gifted by Scaramandar to open the way to Tu’narath with a casting of the Linked Portal ritual.

In the space of a breath, they found themselves in an alleyway in the Market District of the City of Death. Legion shook with anticipatory glee as he felt himself enter the presence of the dead god, whom he referred to as Amaan. Zan-kyri quailed at the realization that he stood on the corpse of a deity, but was soon distracted as a number of dragonborn rounded the corner towards them.

Apparently, the coordinates that Scaramandar had given them were not as secure as Blank had hoped. One of Zetch’r’r’s kill squads had arrived to deal with them, led by a githyanki dread knight and an undead blackweaver. Swiftly, they closed on the party on both sides of the alley, but the Champions were ready. Komè warded off the dragonborn reavers’ triple flails with powerful words of peace, while Zan used a strange crown to change his lightning magic into radiant energy, which he used to unravel the blackweaver. Legion scuttled up the wall, far out of the reach of the enemies, and rained eldritch havoc on his cursed foes.

Stumbling free of the ambush with the kill squad dead at their feet, the Champions wandered into a central square of the district, where a robed dragonborn approached them after seeing Komè’s standard. He introduced himself as Ionen, and claimed he was destined to inherit the power of Io, father of the sibling dragon gods. The group was wary of this stranger – for any dragonborn in Tu’narath had to be working for Tiamat. Ionen freely admitted that he was, but only to further his own goals. He had been following the Coalition’s progress in the war for some time now, and came to the realization that the quickest end to this power struggle between Bahamut and his sister would be to help the Champions end the war itself. Ionen summarized by saying that any quarreling between the two deities was undesirable to him – if either of them were to be slain, it would make it impossible for him to reclaim Io’s power from them.

Before the party could agree to trust him, seven angels descended from above the rooftops, blocking off three sides of the square. Down the fourth lumbered a great blue dragonborn, easily a dozen feet or more in height, and carrying a gigantic falchion that crackled with electricity. Ionen ordered him to leave, but the bluespawn merely snorted an insult in the draconic tongue, and intoned that it had grown tired of Ionen’s heretical views. It had worked with him long in the city, but now it seemed happy to execute this traitor.

The battle was extremely brief, with Zan and Blank dispersing the angels readily. The bluespawn launched Ionen around the square with awesome blows, but as his allies were slain and his wounds becoming more numerous, Ionen managed to convince him that victory was impossible. “Go and tell the others of my power,” he said. “And that Tiamat will lose this war.”

Having shown up even Legion in destructive arcane power, and proven his allegiance by allowing the divine servants of Tiamat to be killed in his presence, the group was convinced to let Ionen come along, if only for the moment. A crowd had gathered to watch the battle (at a distance), and the sorcerer had the means to offer them temporary shelter from further kill squads until they could determine their next move. He led them to an abandoned home, former property of a githyanki sergeant slain during one of the many battles on the Mortal World. It was more tightly locked than he remembered, but Zan used a teleportation trick to get inside from the second floor. There they slept, safe from the githyanki patrols while Legion kept watch alongside Blank’s dream form.

After consulting with Ionen, the Champions’ goals became clearer. Bram Ironfell was likely taken to one of the githyanki battle platforms orbiting the city: the Fortress of Three Sorrows. To get there, they’d need to commandeer an astral craft, and the simplest way to accomplish that was to get in touch with the Separatists, rumored to be based in the Morningstar Inn. So, timing their sprint to slip through a pair of patrols, they managed to make their way across the district, where they met the acquaintance of Gharvag. He informed them that he could had no such power to authorize an alliance between them, not with their leader in Zetch’r’r’s custody. The Champions were frustrated to be sure – they had come so far, only to be denied the one goal which Amyria herself had tasked them with.

“It cannot be helped,” assured Gharvag. “Our leader is Vlaakith herself, and our forces will obey no one else.”

Vlaakith? How? The Lich Queen had been dead for a quarter-century! Eagerly, the Champions asked Gharvag to explain how she could be back. He corrected himself: he was speaking of a new Vlaakith; the 158th of her line. Still, it seemed incredible – the 157th had suffered no heirs in her paranoia that she would be usurped. This new Vlaakith was not named so because of her heritage, but because she knew things about githyanki history that only the original Vlaakith I could know. Because of this (and the fact that Zetch’r’r had abandoned the Eternal Crusade and so was unfit to lead), the Separatists had rallied around her… but without her they were uncoordinated rebels with no good replacement to put on the throne.

As it happened, Vlaakith was also being kept at Three Sorrows, so the heroes decided to kill two birds with one stone and headed out as soon as Gharvag could get them an astral skiff. They landed in the fortress’ hangar unchallenged, and in true Coalition fashion, blitzed their way through the unprepared defenders until they reached the room where Vlaakith was held.

Rather than face more githyanki guards, the Champions found themselves face to face with a pair of barbed devils, an archangel of Tiamat, and most unexpectedly of all: Dispater. The Iron Duke, Lord of the Second – an archdevil of terrible repute and prowess. What was a being so powerful doing here of all places?

Zan rushed forward, his impulsiveness getting the better of him as a fragment of the Gates of Hell slammed shut behind him. Without his friends to help him, he was quickly cut down, left to bleed out on the floor. The gates did not stand for long, however, and as soon as they descended, Legion, Komè, and Ionen surged through the doorway. The kalashtar set to reviving the foolish young genasi, while Legion and Ionen fought fire with fire (literally). Blank stood back from the action, littering the room with reality-distorting psionic explosions and throwing the devils into decorative piles. Dispater seemed more than capable of matching them blow for blow, until Legion proved his better. By using a little-known spell that drew on a pact Dispater often made with mortal warlocks, Legion was able to completely catch the archdevil off his guard and critcally wound him with his own power. His bodyguards defeated and the angel wounded, Dispater attempted to flee, but didn’t make it far before being killed. His body disintegrated into darkness – it was only his shadow.

Vlaakith thanked them for saving her, but Komè refused to release her from her bonds until she answered his questions. She revealed that she was not in fact, the Lich Queen, but Gith reborn. As part of the githyanki’s original pact with Tiamat, Gith had agreed to be a prisoner in Hell in exchange for the service of the red dragons, provided that Tiamat would never attempt to interfere with the Eternal Crusade. Now, with Zetch’r’r ignoring the Crusade to focus on the war against the Coalition, the original pact was broken, and she was free to return to Tu’narath, where she’d been attempting to lead her people out of bondage for the second time.

Satisfied with her story, the Champions left. One floor above, Bram sat in his cell, forgotten.

Back at the Morningstar Inn, Gith used her influence to call a meeting of githyanki nonloyalists, and gave the Champions the opportunity to win them over to their cause. With inspiring words by Komè and an amusing (but believable) sob story by Blank, the leaders unanimously voted to form an alliance with the Platinum Shield Coalition. In gratitude, Gith promised that if she were to gain the throne, she would institute a thousand years of peace between her people and the Mortal World, and begin more diplomatic relations with their lost kin, the githzerai.

The Citadel Mercane
Blank guides the heroes to the Citadel to meet the Separatists.

After balking at Blank’s mysterious dream form, the Champions used a teleportation circle, arriving just outside of the Citadel Mercane. They found themselves at the base of a crimson mountain, at the beginning of a series of switchback footpaths leading up the slope, ending at a giant cleft in the rock. Blank – in a colorful, evocative tone – identified the locale as Blood Mountain, and that the Citadel was built inside of it.

The four (or perhaps five, if the tiefling counted twice) of them set to trudging up the arduous path, and after passing a mound of stone adorned with scraggly, leafless trees, three figures came into view. The first was a strange, blue-skinned male dressed in robes, cowering at the sight of two fearsome four-armed savages. As a native of the area, Blank immediately identified them as blood fiends – vicious abominations who used terror as well as their claws to obtain their meals.

But they were hardly a match for the Champions. With their new ally’s help, the party quickly trounced them, and the frightened bystander only suffered a single scratch, which Komé mended. He introduced himself as Mayhem, and immediately offered his services to help the heroes navigate the oft-confusing Citadel.

The inside of the mountain was a unique sight – the entire thing seemed hollowed out, the walls lined with giant red crystals stabbing outward. Mercantile stalls, booths, platforms, even entire buildings orbited in the air around a miniature planetoid in the center of the mountain, on which were built several large buildings.

Suddenly, a chorus of screams rang out as a large demon broke free from its display cage – exotic goods, indeed! It smashed around for awhile, while the Champions attempted to placate it, and eventually a team of maruts arrived to wrangle the thing back into its cage. With the threat eliminated, a woman calling herself Trethix arrived to thank them for their efforts in keeping the peace, and rewarded them with a small bag of platinum coins.

Blank urged the Champions to press onward to see her employer, Scaramandar, who could be found at Night, one of two taverns adjoining the largest inn in the community, the Dreaming Spire. They found the cambion surrounded by a harem of comely mortals, and he dismissed them quickly to offer a wide-armed welcome. Komè inquired as to the motivation behind his hospitality – not only was he loaning them Blank, but also giving them free board at the Dreaming Spire – but he was not forthcoming. He merely stated that it would be beneficial for him to make friends with such influential individuals. Unable to pry him any further, they asked for the whereabouts of their contacts in the Separatists, and were directed to the bartender in Day, Night’s sister tavern.

“Good luck,” he offered, smirking. “I have a feeling we’ll be seeing each other again very soon indeed…”

The bartender hadn’t seen their githyanki contacts, though he had seen Bram Ironfell pass through, who left behind a package for the Champions. Upon taking it to their room, they discovered it was a fail-safe message he’d left, advising them that since his mission had failed, the only way to contact the Separatists would be to journey to Tu’narath itself.

Scaramandar’s last words left the Champions highly suspicious of his involvement on the matter, but Blank claimed ignorance of any foul play on his part. Mayhem, upon having Bram described to him, informed them all that he’d seen the dwarf captured by a creature resembling a huge blue dragonborn, accompanied by a half-dozen or so dark angels bearing Tiamat’s symbol. They slew his githyanki associates, but for some reason, the maruts who patrolled the Citadel never showed up to stop them.

Lacking further leads, the party returned to Scaramandar to consult his knowledge on the matter. Komé, refusing to take chances, asked Legion to cover them stealthily from a hidden vantage point. The grinning merchant said he knew nothing of their contact’s fate, but he did have a way for them to get to Tu’narath if only they would do him a favor – kill Trethix.

The party argued for some time over what to do next. Legion and Blank opted for the assassination option, while Zan-kyri and Komé held out hope that a less morally reprehensible option would present itself given time. In the end, the two do-gooders were placated by gathering the opinions of the Citadel’s inhabitants, who pretty much agreed that Trethix was responsible for the deaths of the previous rulers, and likely deserved whatever fate was in store for her, whether by their hand or not.

Still, Komé persisted in attempting a diplomatic approach, and met Trethix by the entrance to the Inner Sphere with his friends’ weapons sheathed. Trethix seemed livid at the fact that they seemed to know where she would be, and had dared to approach her with any weapons at all at the one point in her day where she was most vulnerable. She claimed that she was warned about them, and refused to listen to reason, ordering her marut guardians to attack.

Blank did away with many of her guards, while Zan-kyri hopped into the middle of the Sphere’s sealed portal, giggling as the lightning from its wards danced harmlessly across his skin. The battle went on for some time, and reinforcements started to pour out of the seal, until finally Legion blew Trethix’s head off with a well-placed Eldritch Blast. As he scooped up her head, everyone made a break for safety, leaving Legion to be pummeled with greatswords. Under the rain of steel, he clambered onto Trethix’s levitating palanquin, and took off into the sky before the maruts could manage to knock him out.

Battered and feeling guilty for being forced to kill a woman they didn’t even know, the party reconvened on the outside of Blood Mountain. There, they met Scaramandar, who rewarded them with a small box of residuum and the sigil sequence to an isolated spot in Tu’narath. To Blank, he also awarded a strange hourglass, and released her from his service.

Chapter 12, A Tyranny of Souls
Amyria finds new allies to bring the end of the War closer than ever before.

After witnessing the death of Bugug, Jett reversed his sword, his hands shaking as he prepared to take his own life in atonement. Erdanen Torrance rushed across the deck of the Sacrifice, slapping the swordmage in the face and knocking the blade away. “We all make mistakes,” the bard said, gripping his friend by the shoulders and forcing him to make eye contact. “But you can’t just end your story like that. I won’t let you.”

When asked for a casualty report, Guts and Erdanen chose to hide the truth from their superiors, claiming that the enemy vessel had crashed on its own and Bugug was just to slow to escape from it. Guts searched the wreckage for remains, but the bugbear’s destruction proved to be to complete for magical resurrection. Erdanen gave the crystal key to Haryssus, who suggested that the wisest course of action would be to use it to destroy the Well of Worlds so it could never fall back under githyanki control.

Before this plan could be enacted, however, Bram Ironfell stepped forward, requesting that he use the Well’s Sovereign Gate in a one-way trip before it closed forever. He wanted to repay the Coalition for taking him in, even after betraying them in Chapter 10, Throne of the Stone-skinned King. He claimed that by exploiting the previous contacts he made among the githyanki, he could explore Tu’narath long enough to locate the Separatists, a sect of githyanki with no notions of loyalty to Emperor Zetch’r’r, whom the Champions had become acquainted with in the Fane of Chaniir.

It was a risky plan – few, if any, nongithyanki were allowed in Tu’narath. Even with his established reputation as a willing spy for their war efforts, he would be under constant scrutiny due to their xenophobia. Bram’s nephew, Thoradin Ironfell, begged his uncle to take him along for his own safety, but the older dwarf would have none of it. He forbid Thoradin from following him, claiming that he would have to go alone to reclaim the honor he had cost his clan, not to mention that the githyanki were under no illusions that Bram’s nephew was an ally to them. The Champions agreed, and Bram left, alone.

The Champions rested for a time in Sayre, taking lodging in the River Jewel or Telicanthus’ liberated manse. Jett faded from the public eye, while Erdanen went with Mr. Paradox to make repairs and modifications to the damaged Sacrifice, currently moored in the now-captured astral shipyard, Garaitha’s Anvil.

After a time, Amyria called forward three Champions for a new task: negotiating an alliance with the Separatists. Apparently, Bram had been successful in reaching out to them, and they had sent an envoy to meet with the Coalition’s leader to set up a meeting on neutral ground – an astral trade center known as the Citadel Mercane. Komè, Zan-kyri, and Legion (but mostly the first two) would be in charge of negotiating the terms of the alliance. They would be guided to the Citadel by Blank, a tiefling psion whose services were generously provided by a local merchant known as Scramandar.

Battle for the Key, part 2

Pushed to their limit, the party knew they would have to rely on the special restorative potions they discovered back in the Well of Worlds. Imbibing just a small flask of it would refresh the drinker as though he’d slept a full night – but there were only three to go around, as Komé had kept his. Jett, having taken the brunt of the enemies’ attacks, drank his potion, but the other two opted to save theirs until the Cev’ren was in sight.

And of course, the ship was just around the corner… and defended by two githyanki cadres behind a tall barricade of well-placed crates. Guts was the first to rush into the fray, but he was knocked silly by a fusillade of psychic shots from the githyanki archers. Jett followed shortly after, teleporting behind the barricade before erupting in fiery and necrotic bursts, wiping out several corsair cutters all at once. The shipmaster who led them retaliated, and with the aid of four archers, managed to put Jett in a tight spot. Guts tried to help, but was waylaid by a gish warmaster calling for his blood – the githzerai’s oaths would not let him abandon his foe.

By the time Bugug finally climbed the ladder to the platform, more than half the enemy lay dead, but those that remained were doing a more than passable job of wearing down Guts and Jett. Seeing Jett’s predicament, he leaped over the crates and cut down all four archers in as many seconds. Without even waiting for a word of thanks, he then turned around to set his sights on the gish.

Meanwhile, Erdanen had been busy cleaning up the rest of the corsair cutters, but he managed to find his friends just in time to revitalize them with his majestic words. With all four of them working in concert, the two cadre leaders soon fell, but not before the Cev’ren cast off, heading for the gate high above.

Conveniently, Mr. Paradox chose this moment to reveal himself – Bejam had sent him and the Sacrifice in the event that a ship was needed to end the fight. All four clambered aboard as the child prodigy wheeled the vessel skyward in search of Kada’ne and his key. Bugug drank his potion, while Erdanen gave up his to Guts. When the Sacrifice finally caught up to the Cev’ren, the Champions secured three of their mooring lines to the enemy ship to keep it from escaping.

As Kada’ne drew his blade and ordered his men to bring him the heads of the interlopers, Erdanen drew forth his songblade and split the sky with a heroic theme he’d composed for the Coalition. Emboldened by these notes, each of his friends seemed to grow stronger with each opponent who fell before them – and by the time they managed to corner Kada’ne, they were unstoppable!

In a fit of rage, Jett smashed the controls to the Cev’ren, causing it to begin a death spiral. Erdanen and Guts scrambled to cut the lines connecting it to their own ship, while Jett jumped off the dying vessel and burnt the last line after he was across.

All three looked on in horror as the ships lurched away from each other, creating an impossible gap with Bugug still stranded on the Cev’ren. Jett cried out as he realized he’d doomed his ally, while Bugug jumped, falling far short of his goal. The poor bugbear fell a hundred feet onto solid stone and survived, only to watch the ship crash right on top of him.


I'm sorry, but we no longer support this web browser. Please upgrade your browser or install Chrome or Firefox to enjoy the full functionality of this site.