Session 6

June 21st, 2012 § 0 comments

Special thanks go to Jesse H. for writing this fantastic recap of our Clayfinder (Pathfinder) session.

The curtain rose on a grisly scene.  Runebeard had just chopped Lord Searyn into two bloody halves.  Without missing a beat, Kasyc tore aside the curtain separating the party from their kidnapped companions while the Prince channelled a blast of healing energy from Takeo into the rest of the heroes.  As one, the group moved into the horrific chamber inside the zenith of the inverted pyramid.  The mysterious robed human stood before a large machine, his back to the party.  His voice chanted deep and low in a language that was foreign to everyone and full of deadly import.  Lining the room in two rows where pedestals union which magical barriers encased victims.  A red flow of life-force energy streamed from the top of each of the magical barriers.  Each stream traveled up into the air until they met into one grand transit of life force energy that crossed through the air and converged just above the machine at the far end of the chamber.  At the convergence point, a sword levitated ominously above the machine, absorbing all of the life force.

A quick inspection showed that the victims trapped in the first few of the magical barriers had been turned to ghostly specters of their former selves.  Unfortunately, the final two magical barriers contained Little Paw and Silas, their own life forces streaming into the main flow of energy.

Kasyc and Qunso wasted no time in rushing headlong to confront the human mage with their swords.  Qunso struck first, an act that served to only anger the mage.  His evil chanting intensified and he turned to face Qunso.  Disturbing black tentacles emerged from under his cloak and smacked Qunso hard in the face, breaking his albinose and knocking loose some teeth.  Qunso staggered backwards from the blow as the mage, seeing his enemies approaching, raised his hands.  Immediately Carix and Runebeard were overcome with fear and ran from the room in a panic.  Meanwhile, Kasyc swung his blade and landed a hit against the soul-feeding machine itself.  He was shocked and disgusted to find that the machine seemed to be an odd mix of metal and organic material, and his hit caused the ominous construct to bleed.

From out of no where, four skeletons materialized near the magical soul barriers and surrounded Pitwick and the Prince.  The Prince strode forward into the middle of the room amidst cries from Pitwick of “Where are you going?!” and “Don’t leave me alone with these!”  Once in the center of the room, Prince Derrik said a prayer to Takeo and a ring of holy fire radiated out from him with a shockwave that destroyed all of the skeletons and set part of the evil machine on fire. Additionally, the blast of flame caused four of the six magical barriers to shatter.  The two that remained housed the two trapped companions.

“What are we hitting?! What are we hitting?!” shouted Kasyc.

“The magical barriers!” shouted Pitwick, and with that, Kasyc turned his blade to the soul container trapping Silas while Brother set to raking his claws across the barrier holding Little Paw.  The evil mage again held his hands aloft and, this time, Brother took off running from the room in fear.  The rest of the party, however, turned their attention to the magical barriers and it wasn’t long before both were shattered and both heroes freed.

Unfortunately, turning their attention to the barriers gave the mage time to finish his incantations.  Blood rose up out of the creepy machine in a fount of disgusting evil and flowed into the sword.  The mage turned to the heroes, threatened them with annihilation, and with a flourish, revealed his eight black wings.  These wings, the telltale sign of a fallen seraphim, caused the heroes to freeze in fear as they took in the scene before them.  Immediately, however, a chunk of the ceiling caved in behind them, and a streak of holy retribution shot into the chamber in the form of a white, eight-winged seraphim.

“Your time has come, Toumas!” shouted the seraphim.  As the heroes watched, there was a mighty struggle between light and dark seraphim.  Amidst the struggle, the group realized that the seraphim of light was actually Quatra, Qunso’s father who had sent them down into the bowels of the pyramid originally.  Qunso was armed with the black blade which had so recently been in Kasyc’s possession and with a vanquishing war cry, the black blade came down on Toumas’ head, cleaving it in twain.

All was silent.  Quatra slumped to the ground and was caught by his son.  Through tears, tender words were shared, but it wasn’t long before Quatra passed away from his wounds.  As he passed, his body faded into a twinkle of holy lights.  In contrast, Toumas’ corrupt form crumbled to dust and then blew away into nothingness.

“Wait,” said Kasyc.  “Your father was a seraphim?  Are you part seraphim?”

Qunso simply wept, unable to answer and unable to even begin to comprehend the consequences.  As they caught their breath and licked their wounds, Prince Derrik gathered everyone near and, once more with a prayer to Takeo, healed their wounds with a radiating burst of positive, healing energy.

Carix stated that he knew of a way to create a second void, one which would cancel out the voidsphere that kept them prisoner at the bottom of the Great Hole.  With help from the Prince, the Ambassador set to work creating his counter magic with the sword which had so recently been collecting the life-force of their companions.  While the foreigners bent their will to the sword, the rest of the companions set to searching the recesses of the chamber.  A suit of armor was found.  More importantly, conversations were had.  The group was at the nexus between myth and reality, facing Toumas who had been but a legend previously.  The implications of this were a large topic of conversation for Little Paw and Kasyc, and Pitwick joined in with the mix while Qunso kept to himself and grieved the loss of his father.  Silas continued the fruitless search for more treasure.

After three hours of intense concentration, Carix announced that he had dispelled the voidsphere and that they were free to return to the surface. The group gathered their wits, gathered their belongings, then gathered the survivors and headed back on foot through the pyramid.  As they reached the front portal that lead to the outside of the pyramid, they were greeted with a very different sight than that which had been their welcome to the strange double temple.  Sunlight streamed down from above and the dark purple of the voidsphere was truly gone.  Also gone were the thousands upon thousands of bones which had littered the ground.  Instead, they found a ground of fertile earth and sprouting plants, a sight that greatly pleased Little Paw.  Most importantly, however, a crowd was advancing towards the group from across the plain.

The advancing group consisted of two distinct clans.  The first group was clearly from Qunso’s village.  Clad in the traditional garb of the village people (no, not THOSE Village People), the group was led by Crix and Qunso saw many familiar faces among the group.  More surprising, however, were those of the second group.  They were clad in shiny silver armor and all carrying halberds that matched the Prince’s.

“We should hide the sword,” said Kasyc quickly.

“We could wrap it and tuck it into one of the Brother’s saddle packs,” Little Paw suggested.  The group agreed that this was a good idea, and it was quickly done.

When the group was close enough to make conversation, the Prince raised a hand and offered a hearty “Well met” to the man at the front of the crowd.  He was tall and handsome.  His armor gleamed in the streaming sunlight and was emblazoned with holy heraldry.  To his right was a woman in similar armor, a woman the Prince recognized.  Crix ran up to Qunso.

“You’re alive!” he shouted.  “It’s so good to see you!”

Qunso stared at his tribe member in disbelief. He seemed older, visibly aged from the last time they had stood together.

“Of course I’m still alive.”

“But… You were gone so long, we all thought you had died.”  The heroes were confused and passed bewildered looks between themselves.

“Wait,” Qunso addressed Crix urgently. “How many stones have you passed since we left?”

A sudden disgusted burst of ews and “what are you talking abouts” spread across the companions.

“What?” Qunso shrugged. “It’s a tradition in our tribe. Once a year, on the same day, everyone in the village eats a stone and then … Passes it.  It’s a yearly rite of … passage.”

There was an awkward silence. “Anyway,” continued the albino, “how many stones have you passed?”

“Five, it has been five years since you left the village.”  There were gasps and murmurs of surprise from the heroes.

“And who are these people?” Qunso asked at length, indicating the group of armored strangers at their side.

“After you had been gone so long, the Prince’s people who remained assumed all had been lost and left to return home.  A year later, many more of them arrived.  They showed us how to build stronger buildings and fortify our beach.  They built shelters and lived among us and we grew from a small village to a town.”

“You have all done well,” beamed the tall armored man at the front of the group.

“And just who are you?” asked a skeptical Kasyc.

“My name is Takeo.”

With that, the Prince dropped to his knees.Tears immediately began to stream down his cheeks and a string of rambling praise tumbled from his lips.  Takeo smiled a warm smile and raised his cleric up by the shoulders.

“No, no, son. You have done well.  You have succeeded where I was not able to go.  You should be commended.”

Kasyc and Qunso shared a skeptical look.  “Wait a minute,” Kasyc smirked.  “You’re a god?”

“I am a seraphim,” Takeo replied.  “My father is [father’s name I can’t remember.  Carellon?].  I am his son.”

“So you’re not a god.”  Kasyc was unconvinced.

Neither was Silas.  “I don’t buy it.  Why would a god come down here and instantly start praising such an inexperienced boy?”

“Do you question the Lord Takeo’s motives?” the Prince snapped.  “Have you not seen his glory?  Have you not felt the benefit of his divine presence? How dare you question His Holiness!”

“Well, no. I mean, we’ve certainly all benefited from his healing energies, for sure.  And don’t stop doing that.  That’s great,” Kasyc said quickly.  “It’s just, why here?  Why now?  And how come no one else has ever heard of you?”

“There are many questions and it is a long walk back to the town.  All of your questions will be answered, but we should return.  Do you have the sword?”

“Yes, my Lord.”  And with that, the Prince instantly set to retrieving the sword for Takeo.  Kasyc, Silas, and Little Paw all snapped to action in an attempt to prevent the Prince from revealing the blade.  But when she blocked his path, Little Paw looked Prince Derrik in the eye, then looked to Takeo, and sensed that all of the Seraphim’s motives were true and pure.  She stepped aside from the Prince’s way.

“You’re going to do this?” Kasyc asked the Prince, but there was no response.

“You’re going to let him do this?” he asked Little Paw.  “You’re going to let this happen?”

“I believe him,” was all that she said and she crossed her arms.

Quickly, the Prince uncovered the blade and, with it resting on both of his upturned palms, Prince Derrik presented the artifact to Takeo, Lord of the Seraphim.

“Thank you, my child.  You have done well.”

“And what will you do with the sword?” asked Kasyc.

“I and Lady Claudia, ” Takeo said, indicating the beautiful lady at his side, “will return it to Xander.”

“Uh-huh.  And who, now, is Xander?”

“Xander is not a who.  It is a place.  It is the home of the Seraphim.  It is the home of [his father’s name again] and the Sword of [something important that I’ve forgotten] will be returned to him there.”

“So … so, wait!” little Pitwick piped up.  “You’re a seraphim?  Show us your wings!”

“So be it.”  And with that, Takeo, Lady Claudia, and all of the armored escorts with them spread forth their white pairs of wings. Pitwick clapped gleefully.

“Now!” he turned to the Prince. “Now show us your wings!”  The Prince simply stared at the seraphim in blissful wonder, tears in his eyes and a smile spread across his face.

“Now we must hurry back to the town,” Takeo said calmly, as they all lowered their wings.  “Once we have revealed our true forms, evil from every side will be drawn to our location.  You and your town are in grave danger.  We must return.”

“Well, you could have mentioned that before you did it,” grumbled Silas.

With that, the group set off on foot for the distant village-come-town.  Though they had survived the trials of the double pyramid, more questions had been asked than answers found as the curtain came down for the evening…

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