Episode Forty-One - Treachery of Winter
Their horses cantered forward toward the city skyline beyond the winter haze. The spires of a great castle pierced the middle distance as their view far and wide collapsed upon them all. As the world beyond closed off they look down and saw the road they were riding on as it met a large road that traversed north and south. As Feil turned left and beckoned the Champions of Destiny all to her friend's home, the north road presented a great fire snake. The fire slid down what was likely the road as their horses slowed in old snow. As the horses initially rejected the thick and difficult path, they watched as the front of the fire formed into men. As their horses turned into the path and carried on, the thick haze erased the visage of the men and they were left with nothing but the faintest shimmer of yellow several hundred yards away. After a three and a half minute ride they crossed the entry path of a snowed in vineyard. As they all made the turn, they heard the voice of the Martian Manhunter in their heads. "Your presence is needed in the cosmic meeting room with urgent news from Than." Than was already sitting at the table when they arrived, he had a large cut down his arm and it had purple blood running from it. Than's armor was smashed and his face was bruised. He told them in due time and questioning: "I was attacked by the dragon you sent through the portal but fear not, I know you had nothing to do with it, it tricked even me. This creature was an impostor, it bled my arm and it caused the deterioration of the situation in Apokolips. My army has fallen, I've lost the battle on Apokolips but we've not lost the war. Entropy and the New Gods will be destroyed but we need to learn how. The clock is no longer ticking, we have the time...." When questioned about the dragon he replied, "It was no dragon, it transformed into an infernal creature sent by a New God. The agent I sent after it learned that it held ties to Neveh, a New God of Hârn. The being escaped my agent's vision but we believe that it is coming for you. You'll recognize her by her red wings, I only suggest that you request a merciful death. You'll need a kingdom to defeat her and her army." Further, "From the story you told me, I now think that Neveh lived in the marble hellscape below that bridge you crossed in Pandemonium. The tunnel from your journey, where the Githyanki died, I believe it to be an entrance to his layer. Research I've conducted suggests, based on sightings, that Neveh is a Balor. Whenever you can, if you do manage to gather that army for your once dragon, I suggest you find a way to Neveh and put him down or your problems will continue." When asked about Apokolips Than put his barehands on the table, "I lost my cloned demons, I lost good soldiers, I lost people I considered close to me. You have no idea the sacrifices I made, you have no idea what I gave. Those are now just failures of the past, I underestimated Darkseid and his parademons. We can't fight Darkseid but we can handle your problems, specifically the Balor." After he explained that his gauntlet was lost on Apokolips he discussed the Godfather Gems before the Champions decided to return to Faerûn mentally. As their minds were all restored, they were a few steps into the path at the vineyard and they saw that at the lead horse, Feil's horse, a doppelganger was standing before it. All around them humanoid figures burst up from hiding places in the snow and charged. As they charged the Champions' position they took form in the winter horrorland, a mindflayer, two dopplegangers and a group of armed thugs. After a valiant fight that injured Marlyn and Duryo, when they were struck with a lightening bolt that nearly killed them but did in fact kill three of the group's horses, one of the dopplegangers surrendered. Fearing for its life, the doppelganger dropped to its knees and admitted, "please, please. stop! I'll tell you everything I know, I'll tell the truth I swear, I swear. Okay, okay I'll tell you everything. We were hired, see, it goes real deep. I know a lot.. um where to start.. I was a Druuth under Hlaavin, I was an assassin for an Illithid hive brain but after the brain died we were given freewill once again and became the Unseen. The Unseen are an organization of shape-changer assassins and our sect are, well.. were, still willing to work with the Illithid. The Illithid, the mind flayers, they have their own agenda; ours was just coin. We're just a bunch of softshadows and hidecoins turned assassin. I'm not a bad guy deep down but those damn mind flayers are evil incarnate. A group of Illithid, one we've never see before were given our names, they said they came from the Plane of Pandemonium and they were under the service of a god named Neveh. In our research we learned that Neveh is the brother off Ilsensine, the god of Illithid. What we were told was that Neveh was angry with you for coming to his home and he sent his best demon after you. The demon's minions, the mind flayers, they wanted to hire us to kill you all since my cousin was already running a con-job on the guy who brought you here. They told us to travel northeast and that their stalker would make contact with us. No one told us that it would be some kind of abnormal fucking magical skulk born of twisted fucking magic. It called itself Lemlenson and told us that you all would be in town within the day. We asked it some questions and it told us that it had been following you since just after its birth in some town called Áthulus. It droned on about its mother and we pretended to give a shit but sark my heart that thing was complete budauldar, craziest shit I'd ever not seen. Ha. I'm just glad you killed it." Just then that same skulk pierced the doppleganger's heart with its claws and ran off to summon an ice devil whom brought along an imp. Inside its dome, the devil would summon a bone devil before taking down Kelaryn and Marlyn once again. In a valiant last stand the Champions of Destiny killed all the infernal beasts before retreating into a nearby residence containing the real Feil.
Quest of Fate Continued, Mid-Season Encounter Lemlenson's Ambush Completed
Character(s) interacted with
Battled the Unseen, a shape-changing assassin order, Mind Flayer servants of Neveh, and devils of Neveh.
Notable Party Damage: (New Noted Section)
- Arion's shield, at the left most edge, is sheered off. In the defense of Iron Maiden, the portion of shield was cleved through by Than, the Last Titan of Urgrund. Arion has a missing link of chainmail on his right shoulder from the demon attack at the Fated Crossing. His helmet has a mildly noticeable patched portion where a crack once existed from the mind flayer attack. Under his helmet he has a small scar on the left side of the top of his head where the same mind flayer sucked out his brain.
Noted Effects: Minor Scar (Head). The scar doesn't have any adverse effect. Magical healing of 6th level or higher, such as heal and regenerate, removes the scar.
- Duryo's armor is dented and warped in places about his shoulders from falling rocks in the Tomb of the Witching Hour's Sage. He also has a large scar that runs from his right collar bone down to his left nipple. The wound that created when he was carved into by a mind flayer's lightening bolt before an epic last stand.
Noted Effects: Minor Scar (Chest). The scar doesn't have any adverse effect. Magical healing of 6th level or higher, such as heal and regenerate, removes the scar.
- Grumwish was hit firmly with a strike from a barbarian axe and it left a long fine gnarl on the chainmail on his back.
- Kelaryn has two mostly faded hand-print shaped bruises on her left arm. She has a Festering Wound from the stab of a spear that she received valiantly fighting an ice devil.
Noted Effects: Festering Wound. Your hit point maximum is reduced by 1 every 24 hours the wound persists. If your hit point maximum drops to 0, you die. The wound heals if you receive magical healing. Alternatively, someone can tend to the wound and make a DC 15 Wisdom (Medicine) check once every 24 hours. After ten successes, the wound heals. (One check has been completed.)
- Marlyn's ribs were broken when she was struck by a mind flayer's lightening bolt and unsaddled from her horse. In the same battle Marlyn was also whipped in the leg by the tail of an ice devil and it sliced so deeply into her foot that it separated both tendon and bone that it needed to be cut off.
Noted Effects: Broken Ribs. This has the same effect as Internal Injury above, except that the save DC is 10. (Whenever you attempt an action in combat, you must make a DC 15 Constitution saving throw. On a failed save, you lose your action and can't use reactions until the start of your next turn. The injury heals if you receive magical healing or if you spend ten days doing nothing but resting.)
Lose a Foot or Leg. Your speed on foot is halved, and you must use a cane or crutch to move unless you have a peg leg or other prosthesis. You fall prone after using the Dash action. You have disadvantage on Dexterity checks made to balance. Magic such as the regenerate spell can restore the lost appendage.