Agents of the Prime

Session 18

The children of light boarded the canoes and paddled in the direction of the greatest power they could sense. Soon they spotted a shore lined with partially burned trees. The party landed, noticing that the soil in the area was hard-packed and marked with large, clawed footprints burned into the earth. Glace and Demarung searched the clearing and determined that a battle had taken place, and at least one of the combatants had been a dragon.

A sense of power still beckoned the heroes inland. The group walked toward a ridge of hills they could see over the trees, and as the forest thinned they saw a column of prismatic light shining up into the sky. As they drew nearer, they discovered the source of the beacon – a tower of volcanic rock, shaped like a massive dragon's claw reaching upward from the surrounding hills. The multi-colored beam seemed to emanate from the center of the building, and dragons rested in the palm of the tower's claw. A stone wall surrounded the citadel, manned by dragonborn of various colors who watched the children of light approach. Aten hailed the guards in the draconic tongue and proclaimed himself a son of Io. The guards expressed disbelief, and challenged him to give them a sign of his lineage and power. The paladin spat fire into the air, then told the listening warriors of his battles and exploits. One of the dragonborn, unconvinced, called three dragons from the tower that descended and alit in front of the party. The guard challenged Aten, saying that a true son of Io should show his mastery over dragons. The paladin felt this power rise within him, and commanded the dragons to obey him. All three bowed before Aten. Several winged dragonborn descended from their bulwark, and the guards and dragons carried the children of light into the fortress.

Inside the keep stood several outbuildings, a courtyard, training grounds, and housing for both dragons and dragonborn. The dark iron tower dominated the fortress. Aten asked about the structure and was told that there were no known entrances, and nobody in the garrison had ever been inside. Aten sensed the great power within, fueling the multi-hued beam of light. A guard told him that Io himself had created the great tower and charged the dragons and dragonborn with guarding it. They knew of the race of humans, who dwelt on the far side of this world, but had no direct contact with them. The discussion turned to the signs of battle the children of light had noted in this world. The heroes learned that Io's children fought powerful forces for mastery of this world, forces they described as corrupt elementals. One of these lived in a place called the Pit of Fire, and appeared as a monstrous pillar of flame with multiple claws and a head in the shape of a skull. The monster was allied with a mysterious being the dragonborn called the spawn of black of death. The other power the children of light had sensed was a creature Erek-hus had created from several captured dragons, corrupted and reformed, with several heads growing on a single dragon-like body. This hydra guarded a portal, and the dragon-folk believed the doorway led to the place of Io's imprisonment. Emissaries of Erek-hus had visited the claw tower, demanding the obeisance of Io's children, but the dragons and dragonborn had refused and driven off the corrupt elementals.

The children of light decided to assault the elementals living in the Pit of Fire. A dozen dragonborn warriors volunteered to accompany them into battle, and the party set off toward the pit with their new allies. As they neared their destination, the wilderness grew increasingly bleak. Smoke grew thicker, and the verdant forest gave way to charred stumps and blackened earth. Eventually, the group reached a large pit with an earthen path leading into its depths. In the center of the pit raged an immolith – the corrupted fire elemental the dragons had fought. Around the edges of the great hollow lurked several other creatures, including undead monsters with large, bony claws and flying, vulture-like beings known as vrocks. The party realized they faced not simple elementals, but demonic forces. Undaunted, they attacked.

Aten led the charge against the immolith. The elemental lashed out at his attacker with a curse that seared the paladin's body and mind, slowing him. Seeing her ally's affliction, Ember summoned astral currents to free the dragonborn from his spell and allow her companions to move quickly over the scorching earth. Demarung charged the fiery monster and surged into a primal frenzy, slashing his foe before taking on the bestial features and grace of a great panther. Glace sensed that the immolith was a creature of undeath and fired a brilliant ray of radiant power at it, compelling it forward while the avenger summoned a spectral ally from the Shadowfell to aid him in battle. As Aria chanted and peered into the future to inspire her companions, another foe appeared. The smooth-skinned, dark form of a bodak materialized behind Fas and smashed into the invoker with its fists. The eladrin realized he faced an undead foe of indescribable evil as dark energy from his assailant deadened his flesh and weakened him. Fas vanished and reappeared dozens of feet away, conjuring a sphere of radiant power. The invoker threw it at the inky humanoid, searing the undead with divine energy and slowing him. The immolith's other allies sprang into action as well. The clawed creatures lumbered across the pit toward the heroes, while the vrocks took to the air. One swooped at Demarung, who blocked the attack with his shield, but the other slashed Fas with its talons as it flew past.

As the multitude of demonic foes gathered, Aten renewed his attack on the immolith. He drew upon his own life force and dealt a mighty blow to the fiery elemental, then spat an explosive ball of flame at the approaching boneclaws. The immoleth lashed out with one of its many clawed hands, grasping Ember and pulling her toward its fiery body. Demarung reacted by forcing the demon away from its prey, though its long reach enabled it to keep the cleric held fast. Ember summoned her strength, broke her enemy's grasp, and seared the immolith and nearby bodak with a blast of divine energy. Demarung quickly darted toward the inky undead and slashed it, leaving an open wound that dripped ichor. Sensing the being's weakness, Glace struck at it with his icy flail and teleported the undead next to the immolith. He then appeared next to the death spawn and attacked again, landing another blow. Though grievously wounded, the bodak strode forward and cast a baleful gaze at Fas. The invoker dropped to the ground, his mind and body deadened, and Aria rushed to heal the fallen invoker. Meanwhile, the boneclaws advanced on the party only to feel Ember's divine aura burn their undead flesh. Undeterred, they spread out and attacked Aten and the cleric. The paladin's armor blocked the deathly claws, but Ember sidestepped one attack only to feel another's claws rend her flesh. The vrocks continued their assault from the air. Both screeched with unholy voices, stunning Glace, Demarung, Aten, and Ember. The immolith reached out and grabbed the motionless avenger, but before it could further injure him, Fas spoke four divine verses of doom, dazing the immolith and its allies. The dragonborn warriors leapt into the fray, surrounding the shocked, fiery demon and harrying it from all sides. Three blasted the immolith with frosty breath and its corrupt flames died as it fell.

The tide of battle began to turn with the fall of the immolith. The bodak, wounded and dazed, vanished from sight as it attempted to survive.  Glace, Aten, and Ember unleashed attack after attack of radiant power, searing the undead flesh around them. Demarung knocked the boneclaws to the ground with a mighty thundersmash while Aria sang an arcane spell that impeded the enemies' use of their demonic powers. Fas summoned a stream of brilliant fire that burned the bodak's invisible form into ash. The vrocks and boneclaws continued to fight on, but with the two greater demons slain, the battle was soon over. The children of light and their dragonborn allies stood victorious.

Comments

Cory

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