Tales of the Shattered Land

Session 9 - Light and Shadow

In the following morning, a priest came to the adventures saying the king had summoned them. The party took some minutes to make themselves suitable to the royal presence. Led to the throne room, King Damian IV was standing, wearing his golden ornamented armor and holding his sword. High patent military were present, as well as Kelemvor's archbishops.

The king first thanked the three of them for bringing the vampire presence in the kingdom to his attention, but then asked why Lord Babak was being accused of being the Master Vampire. To solve the case, Damian called the noble to his presence, and explained the situation. Babak obviously refuted and laughed on the accusation, then the king asked him to step in the sunlight, to which the lord obliged.

For a moment that seemed like an eternity, the air was still as if everyone in the room was holding their breath. The Count stepped into the light and… nothing happened. The king sighed and apologized for the inconvenience, as Nozdormu did for his mistake. As the lord dismissed the apologies, de dragonkin noticed a faint, scornful grin on his face. Orum was not convinced and asked the lord to make a cut in his hand, for it is known that vampires have a powerful regeneration power. Babak did it, despite the king's protest, and showed everyone his bleeding hand. The king once again apologized for the troubles caused and warned the adventures against making such severe accusations without proper evidence.

On the way back to Kelemvor's temple, one of the archbishops advised the group to keep a low profile if it was their intention to stay in the capital, since making such a commotion had put them under observation. The adventurers didn't really worry about that.

As they reentered the temple, Nozdormu noticed a big raven landing on the god's statue. Their sights crossed each other and the paladin felt himself being drawn to the bird's dark eyes. Suddenly, after a flash, he was seeing the capital from far above, in the sky. Another flash and he was again in the streets, looking people pass by. One more flash and he was near the castle walls, in a space between Pelor's and Kelemvor's statues. Then he was moved through a soldier on patrol and the wall behind him, being now in a dark corridor going down a long stairway. The flash moved him once again, and he was now in a poorly lit room, with indiscernible images on the walls, and a pedestal with a black-hilted golden sword in the center. One last flash and he was back into the temple, the crow gone, and his companions giving him curious looks. Nozdormu explained his vision, and after gathering some quite unhelpful information with an archbishop, they set off to investigate.

When they arrived at the section of the inner wall which the paladin had seen, they inspected it, and Nozdormu found a slightly loose block engraved with a worn out rune. They figured it would draw a lot of attention to open a secret passage on the walls in the middle of the day, so they waited until after sunset. Returning to the same point at night, the blocks moved and rearranged to allow their passage into the secret stairway. Had Chiva's been a little more attentive, she would have noticed that they also crossed a magic portal, what would explain the millennial work found in the wall stones of the corridor by Orum.

They climbed down the stairway, eventually leaving the narrow corridor, that opened into a large chamber, as the stairway widened as it approached the floor. The dim blue lights that illuminated the room allowed them to see three passageways: A huge double door across the chamber, and two stone doors, without handles or keyholes, one on each lateral wall. Above the great doors there was an image of Kelemvor and Pelor raising hands showing their palms to each other, and the doors themselves bare two round holes. These doors were locked and immovable. The other two doors had above themselves antagonic images: Pelor creating light from within a black hole and Kelemvor suppressing the shine of a star. Upon approaching Kelemvor's passage, the stone door lifted itself out of the way, revealing an empty room with another door across it. As they entered the chamber, spears emerged from the walls and floor, wounding Chivas and Nozdormu. The dwarf was able to avoid the trap, wandering further into the room. He noticed new openings on the walls just in time to lay on the floor and evade the bare flames that bursted out of them, but the heat still burned his skin. With no time to react, he just planted his face on the floor to protect it from the darts fired from the wall in front of him. Luckily, he just got one dart on his buttocks, while Nozdormu's plate armor protected him and Chivas from further damage. As soon as the trap chain ended, the paladin healed the enchantress, since she got it worse from the spears. They then walked to the next door.

This door too had no handle, nor locks, but it did have inscriptions and a circular hole in it. Along the first quadrant of the circle, a phrase lit up: "I'm yours since birth, but you can give me to others. You may need me to live, but if I'm stolen, you will not die." Without a second thought, Orum uttered "The heart." and a fourth of the circle slid from the door into the hole, showing a glowing rune for "heart". Then another phrase was lit: "My hands take facts. My head utters veredicts." After pondering for a while, Nozdormu tried an answer: "A scale?", and again a second fourth of the circle slid into place. The next riddle read like this: "I cannot be seen, cannot be felt, cannot be heard, cannot be smelt. I lie behind stars and under hills, And empty holes I fill. I come first and follow after, I end life and kill laughter." After a while, they realized the answer was "darkness" and one more piece fell into place, lighting up the last riddle: "I kill dreams and save souls. I free distressed hearts and imprison the evil ones." They spent a long while on this one. Trying different answers without success they started to consider giving up. But then the paladin said "No! We must find out the truth behind the vampires, we cannot allow that scum to roam free through the kingdom." And the last piece fell into place bearing a shining rune that meant "truth". The door finally opened, revealing a smaller chamber with a pedestal in the middle, bearing a perfectly round stone, which shone like there was a raging fire inside it. Wary because of the previous traps, they cautiously advanced to the pedestal, looking out for possible triggers, but they reached it undisturbed. The dragonkin took the orb and they returned to the main chamber.

Upon the opening of Pelor's door, they saw very dark room, in which the only light sources were two dim flames that sided the door across the room. They didn't find any sign of traps so they walked in the room, when suddenly Orum was stinged in the shoulder and felt terrible pain, as venom consumed a bit his flesh. After this attack, out of thin air, an Imp revealed itself, swishing its stinger. The paladin and the druid also noticed something moving in the dark and prepared for battle. Four shadows emerged from the darkness and reached to the adventurers, draining their energy and their strength (quite literally, actually), even though Nozdormu's Divine Smite destroyed one before it could even attack. Orum summoned a Moonbeam and disposed of two other shadows and then moved it to destroy the one that had been attacking his scaly companion. Chivas had been focusing on the Imp, and after Nozdormu hit him with a heavy blow, she froze it completely, making it shatter as soon as it fell to the floor. With a click, they heard the next door unlocking.

After resting for an hour or so to mend their wounds, the group advanced to the next chamber, much bigger than the last one, but not quite as big as the main chamber. The door fell back into place after they passed, and the body of a dead warrior, bearing a longsword and a badly damaged plate armor started moving, followed by the appearance of two ghouls, rising from the ground. Even though the creatures seemed menacing and terrifying, they were slow, and barely damaged the experienced fighters, whom gutted, dissolved and torn apart each one of them. The fight ended and they proceeded to the pedestal at the back of the chamber, that bare another perfectly round jewel, this one containing moving darkness, looking like a black hole.

Back to the main chamber, Nozdormu did the honors and placed the two orbs into the slots on the great doors. After a moment, the orbs shattered, releasing their contents, that moved and danced around each other, just to finally unite in a mutating sphere of light and shadows, floating in the space between the hands of the two gods in the image above the doors. Slowly and with a loud sound, the stone doors opened, revealing the chamber the Death's Paladin saw in the last part of his vision. The engravings on the walls told the story about the creation of the sacred sword that rested before them, apparently created in a joined effort of both Pelor and Kelemvor so the mortals would be able to drive away a terrible menace. The black hilt of the sword was just that: black. As it was made of the void itself. The blade, though, shone brightly, emanating a comfortable warmness. Nozdormu pulled the sword from its resting place and a burst of light pierced through the adventurers, dispelling Orum semi-bestial form, vanishing his fur and fangs, as well as revealing Chivas true Doppelganger form. Surprised by the truth, the dwarf and the dragonborn prepared to fight Chivas, who insisted to mean no harm to them (and was nervously trying to return to her common form). After the shock passed, they concluded that there was no need to be hostile to her. Admiring his new acquired sacred sword, the paladin noticed the engravings in the blade, written in a long forgotten language, that now, somehow, he understood. "Truth, Balance and Justice" were the words bore by the sword. Deep within, he already knew the name of the sword. He was now the wielder of Refulgent Shadow.

 

Party XP – 3000 (1000XP each)

 

Loot: 

Refulgent Shadow (Longsword 1)  > Melee Slashing Magic Radiant Damage - 1d8/1d10  2; +1d8 vs Demons/Celestials; Forced Judgment (2 charges, 3 days cooldown) > Adds 1d6 to damage roll.

 

Skills – Nozdormu learned the Ancient Language.

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