Day Three of The Seige Of Varya
Morning came, and with that coming the senses of the heroes were touched by the light and smells of the living world. The mist had begun to seep out of the Well shortly before their return, Dreth’Kar, using his exceptional magic, made a plug out of a tree trunk and petrified it before blocking the Well with its presence, the excess magic mist he blew away with his magic.
The grey robes had come once more, as they promised, this time it was the elders who had come to judge the Heroes actions. Tempers rose in storms and The Anointed One’s voice leapt out in anger, verbally accusing the Grey Robes of not helping protect the city, when in fact they were regulating the protectors to ensure it was safe from itself.
Some few chose to disassociate from the angry lizard, watching as he grabbed at his dagger, asking to be judged separately from him. As it turns out they were to be judged on their own merits and downfalls in the defence of the city. All of them were accused of not apprehending the fugitive known as Oso Roshi, few spoke up saying that they were not aware she was a fugitive.
She had after all told them her story… as it were. After being dragged from the city unconscious she had found herself in the den of the Psycomancers, a captive waiting for who knows what. The next thing she recalled was that the door was unlocked and she was free to walk out of the cell.
Her story was relayed and the painful mind probes confirmed that the heroes knew no more, they were innocent of letting her run free as they didn’t know she had escaped. Thus some few were charged with bringing her back should she be seen again.
Still the Anointed One ranted at one of the Elders, accusing them of raping people’s minds and the dagger swinging wildly. As he attacked them, they attacked him, Dreth’Kar’s mind exploded in pain. An intervention came and they came to an agreement, he would aid the city and never return.
As the sun continued its journey over the land the Sorcerer returned, Granasil had information for them on how to halt their return to the Hopewastes. They would need the blood of a God and the blood of a progenitor of a mortal race. In doing so they would raise Annihilation to become a full divine being and therefore inflict the rules of the pantheon upon him.
They had both already, the blood of Varya which had been used to anoint his priests ensuring they followed the rightful protector, and they had not only the first Null Elf but the first Monkeyman… all three however were not suitable for the ritual. It seemed that both needed components were where they no longer wished to go. It would be a simple case of waiting until the evening and returning the plane where all mortal souls can be found.
Throughout the day they sought more essence of Varya and another of the Ritualists for his blood. As Sammeth had passed on, the requirement for a peasant was lacking, recruited from the city another was found, some of the heroes took him and in front of the entrance was now a field of fire traps.
After navigating the traps Dreth’Kar waited for the peasant to enter the shrine, and upon touching the statue of Varya he was filled with Annihilations power and he disintegrated, this left the heroes in a state of worry, for the peasant believed that he followed the true Varya, the God of Protection. His faith had been twisted and it had cost his life whilst trying to aid the Champions of Varya.
As the Knights of the Orders, Hope and Mektar said final words for the lost soul the Anointed One, the heroic Ritualist and the currently sane Bard travelled on, seeking to sneak upon a Ritualist of The Eternal Night, stealth would aid them more than force for this particular task. So the three intrepid mortals moved through the under growth of the forest, coming upon the shrine where two Hopeslayers resided.
Within the shrine faint voices could be heard, the three outside quickly conferred and a plan was concocted, in short order the two necromancers were paralysed and then petrified. The one needed that would help raise the protection was separated. The other and the remnants of the shrine were taken to the Fire Trap field where both, after the petrification was removed, were thrown in. Flames roared high up the cliffs on both sides of the area, heat rolled over everyone nearby causing the heroes to sweat in moments, and as another wave rolled over them it dried them out.
Whilst some of the heroes stood and acquired the components to keep the city safe, another contingent had made its way into the Void. A place of nothing. Dark and foreboding. A place that most assume has no ground, no atmosphere, no population, they’d be wrong. For from that nothing came everything, it is nothing and everything at the same time. Just as Anti Magic is Magic. The Void is a paradox, which is why any who are sent there by magic means return confused, how can a place that should have no magic be assessable by magic? A complete inconsistency to the nature of the world as it is known.
What happened to the valiant heroes who braved the Void? Demonic creatures assaulted them; creatures which have no place and belong everywhere attacked them as they sought to remove something which had been there forever and never.
Arthur, brave Knight of Firin, who had compiled several pages of the fabled Book of the Dead within his own mind finally found the page that existed nowhere. With that page and the others he had already he alone had the knowledge of how to defeat the General, his insurmountable power was too much for a hundred heroes, and with this knowledge he would fall to a handful.
Before another peasant was recruited the fort was assaulted by more undead creatures, led by The Mouth of Annihilation. The battle was fierce, with many of the heroes being taken out of action. Yet the blade which would cut in to such a creature was passed around and eventually he faded from the fort once more. Realising that they would be attacked time and time again, slowly breaking their will and reducing their power they took a peon in to the wilds and retrieved the needed reagent. The ritual was enacted once more, with Warryn standing guard to keep the masses of undead away from the area. In Sammeths place stood Flynn, the ritual was completed with alacrity and dedication before the hordes overwhelmed the mighty Diamond Elf.
Upon their return to the fort they gathered and begun to plan for the generals’ defeat, safely behind the protected walls they prepared for his confrontation. With nary ten minutes to spare Annihilation came to visit the fort. His appearance caused the heroes to scatter, insults flung toward the walking God in efforts to distract him and keep the god chasing them.
He rarely left the confines of the fort, with one of his excursions the heroes almost fooled him and got him to enter the nearby shed, the heroes jumped over the trench surrounding the fort in another attempt to halt the walking gods’ destructive rampage.
They ran, they dodged and they evaded, yet some chose to stand in the way choosing more honourable ways to distract and keep their companions safe. Weapons, shields and limbs were removed from existence.
And so, as with the previous evenings, the sun had set. This time, however, moving to the Hope Wastes was welcomed as Annihilation could not follow them; Marcus had fallen to Annihilations power in defence of the others, as all good Knights do.
Upon their arrival the Yeetas met them, three who walked toward the Heroes and attempted to destroy their very existence. Between them the Heroes split the triad of hostile beings, scattering to the four corners of the fort.
One was surrounded by half a dozen heroes who could not harm such a creature. Another stood on the hillside with the Null Elf watching the fort as he slowly convinced it to be a Yeeta instead of a Yeetas. The third stood within the fort and reached over to grasp the neck of Dreth’Kar.
That was his final living moment. That was the moment when the Yeetas removed him from existence, the moment when the Path had almost been ended completely. This was the end of The Anointed One of The Sentinels of the First Age.
As Dreth’Kar, The Anointed One of The Sentinels of the Cosmic Path, passed from the mortal world The Path passed on its crown to Monkey Lan Panama, formerly The Seeker.
As the heroes recovered from their ordeal a purple demon entered the fort, dubious but seeing that he had no evil intent toward them they spoke, he gave them information regarding the first blood of a race. The nearest they knew of was Terandrill Coshwood, an air elf who had been killed, raised as a vampire and was once more dead. Warryn would say he deserved it for being what he was, even if it was his brother.
Whilst some of the heroes toyed with the undead Coshwood, Shifty, whose name should have raised concern on its own, teleported away with Oso Roshi. The claim was that she was going to gain power, she happily left her companions, those that had helped keep her alive, those that worked together to keep each other alive, to whatever the night would bring.
With a stake that was taken from a trader in Varya he was stabbed, this stake brought life to any undead creature that was willing. A cost was involved to the one who staked the dead creature. Marcus’ spirit chose this burden and so Terandrill Coshwood was once more alive, or at least he was no longer a vampire, he was still dead… just not undead. That was the first part of the final ritual; success was coming closer, as was the General of Annihilation.
Within the Hopewastes the newly proclaimed leader of The Sentinels met one of the toughest challenges the Path would lay before him, see the death of many other Heroes and then Velmaneth or call upon the Path to aid him… his payment? His life.
As everyone knows The Sentinels are chosen to help defend the world of Velmaneth, to lead the world to its destiny. Therefore as hordes of undead stormed the gates of the fort which housed the Heroes, Monkey was imbued with power of all previous Anointed Ones.
The power of Laythander, Eremines’ First High Priest, Jasdu, her successor and The End, Adreana of the Air Elves, Lophiatus the second son of a mighty power, Kalist Silverfire the Hopebringer and Dreth’Kar the Balancer had permeated the Monkey. Unstoppable in his might, without the Sentinels the Heroes would have fallen and darkness taken over Varya.
The fight would last long in to the night, with nigh on infinite power The Anointed One showed the forces of death what it was to be a true Sentinel. What it was that others before him had done and would continue to do.
As the General and his vassals of power entered the fort Monkey jumped into action, calling on the power from the past he protected the Heroes who would fight so valiantly against the evil. His staff a blur in the night it struck creatures, shattering the weaker ones in a single blow.
The armour of the Knights rebounded with brief words of power from the Haran of the Telefret, ensuring their lives would not be given up. The fallen were administered restorative magic from the powerful Shaman of the Tribes, keeping the wounded on the better side of life.
As the Vassals of Power begun to fall the General gained in strength, one such Vassal exploded in such power that the heavens opened and lightening of such quantity rained from the skies, never before had such an event occurred where so much would come, the might of Gerethanax rose his head and using the power from the earth channelled the lightening to him.
Bolts of static struck the brave diamond elf again and again in such succession that no one doubted his bravery to accept such punishment, from a variety of places the Heroes banded together, protections flew around the Paladin, giving him vital seconds to call upon his Lords might for more protection.
And still the battles raged, The Celestial Emperors Sword cut through the waves of walking dead, his Host, the dutiful Celebrant of Lenamo accepting that the sword was his survival at this moment. The peasant charging down and bravely facing off a Hopeslayer who controlled the dead, and using a borrowed blade cutting through his defences straight to his very soul.
The Vassals of Power destroyed, the General once more unstoppable with the power at his finger tips saw the battle reach new heights. Three rings taken from the three Vassals were brought to the Ritual Circle. There the creature born of the Anti Magic that dwelled within the Hopewastes’ Jewel begun the rite to see the destruction of the rings, for with their ending the General could not channel his power and his death would be final.
So the magic gathered, turning the circle into a hurricane of power which swept away the more conventional magics, as the circle began to glow and the time was right Leofric, guided by Solace, struck the rings.
As the rings were shattered the General also shattered and his forces fell the power waned, it was then that Kan Slarr arrived. Angry at the intrusion of the evil into his realm and pleased that there were some fighting it he spoke at length to the Heroes… until The Path claimed the life of its newly appointed leader in payment.
Here, Kan Slarr proved his compassion for those who defended his realm and not only destroyed his staff but gave his life to ensure that Monkey, The Anointed One of The Sentinels of the Cosmic Path, would not be dead and allow him to continue the fight to remove those who did this to both lands.
With such a sacrifice often comes great clarity. The Monkey had been touched by the minds and power of all the previous Anointed Ones, he had seen where the Path had been. He saw its end come close on numerous occasions, yet it was always saved, always had a Sentinel there to halt the End.
With such an insight he knew a change to the order would come, one that would ensure the strength of the world once more.
As Monkey Lan Panama was revived from death, as were The Sentinels. As Monkey Lan Panama awoke to look at the world with new perspective, so did The Sentinels.
Dreth’Kar was the last of The Anointed Ones of The Sentinels of The First Age. Monkey Lan Panama steps forward and leads them into their Second Age.
Yet Kan Slarr was not quite dead, the heroes carried him into the Ritual Circle and spoke their words, the first Vampires last send off. As the words came to a close the participants were ready to scatter him to the four winds, this part he didn’t agree with and the God of the deadlands sat up and told them he was fine. The real sacrifice had been his staff; a great artefact of power, the backlash had caused him to collapse, nothing more.
He thanked the heroes, several of them offered him their blood in thanks for saving their companions, others asked for favours. He granted one such to Marcus of Hope, allowing him to return to the living lands to ensure the completion of their plan against Annihilation.
As he was a God and he knew of what they required he gifted them with some of his blood. The second and final part needed to stop Annihilation. Smiling Kan Slarr moved to leave the fort; his last words were heard by few… “I’ll see you tomorrow, at about midday.” Curiously they had no intention in returning, so they knew when the final confrontation would occur, and when they needed to have the ritual ready for.
Mungo, the mighty shaman, the last of his tribe, could feel that something bad was in the air still. Something which disturbed the spirits of even this land. Flynn, his more educated side communicated with the heroes and they moved out, a ritual of magnificent power was in progress. The heroes snuck to the edges, seeing nothing but a black barrier around the ritual circle they could do little else but listen. And listen they did, Shifty spoke and summoned a being in to the world, one which was ancient and should not have been, it seems that as the heroes could not see in those within could not see out.
After the one known as Oso Roshi proclaimed to give her soul to the demon, and that she would devour innocent souls for her new master the heroes moved to break in to the circle. Unable to do so Kel, Haran of the Telerfret, proclaimed that Oso was no longer part of her tribe.
Outcast and alone the demonic children stood within the sanctuary of their circle, the heroes quick to realise they could not break in left, leaving a watcher. Leofric, one devoid of essence stayed and watched, as he had no power they would not sense him. Upon his return he reported that after the demon had cursed them to the high heavens and teleported away with his newly acquired ‘pet’.
Incensed the heroes gathered the trappings to summon the traitorous Oso Roshi. They had a circle, they decorated it with candles. They had her true name, they needed to sacrifice something, and preferably something that was hers… and if they new her current location they would be successful without a doubt.
As luck would have it she had left her clothing and bedding, hair was found and confirmed as hers by scent and from asking higher powers. Many objected to summoning a demon, and arguments were made as to why they should summon her. The Anointed One, still exhausted from his ordeal, argued for talking to her first. As they asked the higher powers to gift their answer as to where she was they received a dark response, she was nearby feasting on an innocent.
Enraged the heroes took up their arms, Doki Rinsei aiming to protect the lives of the innocent, Marcus Constantine seeking the end of another demon, Solace seeking the end of an injustice, Serus Flynn leading the ritual as was his place and Warryn Mason, their unassailable rock.
She appeared when they called, she couldn’t resist, the power they had used was more than she could resist. At her arrival Doki shot out of his sheath and stunned the unaware woman, Marcus ascertained what she was and proclaimed her demon spawn. Her death was quick, judged as an enemy of the living.
That, however, wasn’t the end. The demon which had taken residence had lost its host, it came out of the human, claws swinging for throats and seeking blood in retaliation for the loss of its latest tool. Yet those within the circle acted swiftly and the demon had not expected such force to be used against it. Screaming in pain it attacked, it had no way to leave the circle without the death of those within, so it continued its relentless and pitiful attacks until it had fallen beneath the blades too.
The final day of the siege would be trying… Annihilation would not want to be bound to the rules of the Pantheon. In safety for another night they rested. With dreams of survival and death following them all night.