Long Way Down

Fifth Session

12/2/16

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  • We’re in the bottom of the mage tower, blood and chained up people.

  • As soon as we walk in, the blood springs to life, forming terrible barriers around three of the altars.

  • Imira casts Rock Armor on herself

  • Imira casts Heroic Offense on Larken

  • Parill casts Spirit Mark on one of the people chained to an altar.

  • Yannis charges forward and hits one of the chained horrors with her maul.

  • Imira can tell there is something weird about the chains, but there’s so much raw magic, she’d have to get closer. She has a feeling that everything that’s happening is being channeled through the person in the middle.

  • Ellanna charges one of the chained horrors in a blood bubble. The bubble resists, but she cuts through it. Some of the blood splashes on her and cuts her. But she definitely hit it, and hurt it.

  • This has been one of the worst days of Larken’s life. She charges over to help Ellanna, swinging and damaging the horror. She gets cut too, and the horror pulls some of the blood back in, healing it somewhat.

  • The horror by Yannis somehow produces a longsword and swings at her, but it misses.

  • The horror plagued by spirits tries to resist the spell, but fails barely.

  • The horror being attacked by Ellanna and Larken lashes out at them with magic. Their blood begins to boil in their bodies. Larken resists it, but Ellanna is somewhat incapacitated.

  • The horror not being attacked throws an arcane lance at Yannis, grazing her.

  • Imira moves forward and examines one of the chains.

  • Magic is flowing through them, it feels similar to the magical doorway she opened before. She can feel the chains go all over the place, hard to tell where they end or where they’re going, but it extends beyond this room.

  • Parill takes a few steps forward and casts Weakness on the horror fighting Yannis, but he resists it.

  • Yannis whomps her target twice, and as he falls with a horrifying scream, Yannis also falls to the ground, unconscious.

  • Ellanna puts her guard up.

  • Larken swings at her target, but the resistance of the blood bubble stops her sword before she can connect.

  • The horror plagued by spirits finally beats them off. He’s not looking so good.

  • The horror fighting Larken throws an arcane bolt at Larken, but it bounces off her shield.

  • The horror in the corner attempts to do the same thing, but it also bounces off Larken’s shield.

  • To Imira, holding the chain, Yannis feels like she’s linked to the magic now. She suggests out loud that someone should try to break the chains.

  • Imira also casts Rejuvenate on Larken, healing her some. She splits the spell so it affects Ellanna too. She shuffles closer to Yannis.

  • Parill casts Paralyze on the horror she had previously been bothering with spirits. He’s paralyzed for the rest of the encounter.

  • Yannis is still unconscious.

  • Ellanna attacks her target, cutting through the bubble and killing it. She also falls unconscious.

  • Larken swings at the chains and a ringing noise goes through the whole room. The chain flashes a familiar shade of blue and don’t break.  Seems like they’re made of lyrium.

  • Larken can tell that her friends do not seem harmed, merely peacefully asleep.

  • The chained horror in the corner throws an arcane bolt at Larken cause she’s trying to break the chains. It bounces off her shield.

  • Imira examines Yannis. This effect seems like some sort of defense mechanism. She also looks around for a keyhole, doesn’t find one.

  • Parill tries to cast Paralyze again, but fails.

  • Yannis and Ellanna feel like they’re starting to wake up.

  • Larken cuts off the dead mage’s hand. The chain comes to life and wraps around her wrist instead. Larken falls unconscious. As she falls, she glares at Imira.

  • Imira stares at Parill with a terrified expression. She goes to one of the fires on the wall. It is also connected to the magic. It seems like sort of a place marker. The pedestals are place markers too. She gets the sense that it might be a closed circuit, some kind of network or web.

  • Imira mentions all this to Parill. Parill comes over and casts Decompose on the fire brazier. As soon as it goes out, Parill falls unconscious.

  • Imira looks through the bookshelves while Parill is casting the spell, but she can’t see through her tears.

  • Larken is starting to wake up too.

  • Yannis and Ellanna wake up in a stone room they don’t recognize. They feel normal and Yannis has her maul.

  • Imira keeps looking, the notes are really old and extensive. Around the base of the tower, a force field was constructed  with lyrium. Some of the bright spots she felt were runes. Designed to keep things from coming into the tower. Magical version of an electric fence, temporary.

  • Notes on the notes are calculations trying to figure out how to amplify the power of the force field, perhaps with blood magic.  

  • Imira takes a deep breath and runs to one of the other other braziers. The remaining horror throws an arcane bolt as she passes, doing some damage.

  • Imira sees a table with a series of maps detailing the bottom-most level of the tower and the area beyond it. Cave system going down into the deep roads. One of the maps is newer, one is older, both very old. The older one has markings that make it look like a mining cave. The newer one has symbols approximately in the shape of the force field around the base of the tower.

  • Imira gets the sense that Parill has taken the place of the brazier, continuing the circuit.

  • Imira runs to the next brazier, taking some damage as she runs through the main room.

  • In this room, she find the personal journal of the Warden-Commander Felicia d’Avila. The last few entries are her realizing a Blight is about to start, scouting parties of darkspawn have been trying to get into the tower. The wardens have been fortifying the defences. Not just an isolated thing. She believes it’s her duty to keep the entrance to the deep roads sealed. She and four of her companions sacrificed themselves to keep it going.

  • Blood magic and time have corrupted this seal over the years.     

  • Imira doesn’t know what to do.

  • Imira goes back into the main room and tries to connect to the circuit with blood magic. Nothing happens for a second.

  • As soon as she connects to it, she’s in a different place.

 

—————————————————————————————

 

  • Yannis felt like she fell on the floor, and when she got up, she’s in a new place.

  • There’s a brazier she was standing on/in.

  • It kinda feels like the Fade. The ground is covered in bones and carapaces. Dead darkspawn.

  • She looks around a bit, tries to bash through a wall. It doesn’t work, but it rings, and glows blue.

  • She keeps walking, finds a glowing blue orb sitting on a pedestal. She rears back and swings her maul to hit the orb, but as soon as she does, blue lights flash and she disappears.

 

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  • Ellanna wakes up too, starts exploring with her swords drawn. The architecture makes it feel like it’s the same building. She’s grumbling to herself.

  • She comes upon a monster, that hasn’t noticed her. It doesn’t quite look like a darkspawn or a person, been down here for a long time. Chewing on bones.

  • Ellanna turns around and walks away from it. She finds a door and it opens. She keeps walking and finds the orb that Yannis hit.

  • She sheathes one of her swords and reaches out to touch it. The blue lights flash again, and she disappears.

 

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  • Imira wakes up in a strange room, with a floaty blue ghost chained to an altar, chilling.

  • She feels like she went through the chains and appeared here. The ghost rattles like it’s waking up.

  • She doesn’t talk for a while. A quiet voice, rusty with disuse, asks if she’s come to take her turn. In what? In the chain.

  • Imira tells it that the Blight is over and it can stop.

  • It doesn’t understand, there was no Blight. It’s only been a few days, did they break through?

  • Imira says that it’s been 400 years.

  • It stops and asks what year it is. She tells it, 940~.

  • No no, it’s 307, what’re you talking about.

  • To Imira, it doesn’t feel like the Fade, but it’s similar. An unreality that’s similar, but not the same.

  • She gives the ghost a history lesson. The chain is corrupted, power flowing through it that shouldn’t be there.

  • The ghost starts explaining technicalities, then stops. 600 years ago, mages here were made tranquil and forced to mine lyrium. Darkspawn kept attacking them, so they used lyrium to make something to defend them. A forcefield to push things back. Each of them took turns being part of the chain. Got to be in touch with their magic again, so it’s worth it.

  • It’s felt like a moment to him. When the weird feeling started, the darkspawn started being pulled rather than repelled.

  • Imira asks where it’s coming from, the ghost point in the direction of where the orb is beyond the walls.

  • He doesn’t know if he’s stuck here, or what would happen if he unlinked himself from the chain. Doesn’t want to know.

  • Imira says she’ll try to fix it but she has to go answer the door now.

 

———————————————————————————————

 

  • Parill wakes up in a weird room. She decomposed a braiser and now she’s standing in front of another one. It’s cracked, and Parill takes it as a sign that she should not decompose more braisers in the future.

  • She trudges through a pile of dead darkspawn. She finds a door, but it doesn’t open. She goes the other way.

  • She finds another door. It doesn’t open, so she knocks.

  • Imira hears someone knocking. She opens the door and finds Parill.

  • Parill’s happy to see her. They go exploring together, and Imira tells Parill about the ghost guy.

  • They find a monster, but turn around and leave.

  • They find another door and Parill knocks. There’s no answer, but when Parill tries the door, it opens.

  • They go back to explore further first. They find another monster and turn back.

  • Eventually they find the blue orb. It’s a link in the barrier, a rune. More powerful than the other ones. To Imira, it has the same feeling of being the source of things as the center horrifying monster in the other room did. Connecting with it will bring her closer to the real source.

  • Imira tells Parill. Parill trust her with a question mark.

  • Imira reaches for the orb and disappears. Parill follows suit.

 

—————————————————————————————————-

  • Larken wakes up in a strange room, the floor covered in dead darkspawn. She tries a door and it’s locked. She finds another door and it opens.

  • She doesn’t wants to fight with the monsters or talk to the ghost, so eventually she makes her way to the orb.

  • Larken runs her hands down her face and sighs, puts her hand on the orb, and wishes for death. She winks out of existence.

 

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  • Meanwhile, the level-1 characters have arrived at the tower that’s not a tower. See the Warden, Carver, and the creepy guy.

  • They were kinda expecting they’d be ready to move in when they got here, but the A team is gone and everyone looks stressed.

  • Corinne rushes in and asks where her girl is at. They haven't come back yet.

  • Corinne is very upset, starts yelling profanities. Mentions the Carta, quickly retracts it when the Warden asks.

  • Assara comes in and starts ranting too, but the Warden cuts her off. How did they find Corinne?

  • Corinne doesn’t know. Nathaniel gestures broadly at Corinne and she winks.

  • They don’t know what happened to the A Team.

 

———————————————————————————————

 

  • For a second, everything is dark for Yannis. She gets a feeling like there’s an open space in front of her, like the Warden’s tent, a mess. Like a backdrop, disjointed and weird.

  • By the desk, that has a map, half-eaten food, a bottle of wine..a woman is pacing behind the table.

  • Feels like Yannis is walking into a war tent. The woman is pacing and intently reading a letter.

  • Yannis says hello. The woman snaps to attention and demands Yannis’s report.

  • Yannis says “blood magic”

  • Excuse me, Warden?

  • Yannis says she’s not a Warden.

  • At some point, they high-five.

  • Yannis gives the woman a disjointed summary of what brought her here. The woman asks Yannis to help her fight the darkspawn. Holds out her hand to shake.

  • Yannis doesn’t want to disappear again. The woman says she won’t, so Yannis shakes her hand enthusiastically.

 

——————————————————————————————-

 

  • Ellanna wakes up. Looks like the inside of a laboratory. There’s a woman standing behind a large desk, grabbing stuff and quickly mixing things together. Clearly really stressed and harried and rushing through something.

  • Ellanna walks over and asks where she is.

  • She asks if Ellanna is the new recruit, a new conscript.

  • Ellanna says no, what?

  • The warden-commander brought you, right? Starts handing Ellanna stuff.

  • We’re so close but we’re running out of time, if we don’t get this done, all our time here is wasted.

  • Ellanna says okay, but i’m not who you think i am.

  • Wait, how did you get here.

  • Ellanna thinks for a bit, I don’t really know.

  • I was fighting this thing and then I wasn’t, then I woke up somewhere else

  • Were you fighting the darkspawn?

  • No. I’m not quite sure how to explain. It wasn’t a darkspawn. Ellanna explains entering the room with the sharp blood. This is beyond her pay grade.

  • This woman has a horrified look on her face. You don’t remember how you got here? I don’t remember how I got here either.

  • The backdrop of the laboratory starts to dissipate. It looks like a tower room.

  • The woman tries to walk over to the wall, but she stops, can’t move.

  • The woman points to the shelf, tells to Ellanna to take those…where? She doesn’t know. You have to save this. We were so close to finding the cure. If it stays here, it’ll die with us.

  • Ellanna goes over to the platform, there’s a massive bookshelf.

  • The woman, quietly, all we wanted was to fix it. Over and over. You have to help us fix it.

  • Ellanna asks what happened here, why can’t you leave?

  • We had to stop the darkspawn, we had no other choice.

  • The woman starts melting down a little bit and Ellanna is uncomfortable.

  • At a certain point, the woman is calm again. We can work together to fix this.

  • You want to save people, right?

  • Yeah that's kinda my job.

  • The woman holds her hand out. Together we can save people.

  • Ellanna doesn’t take her hand. But she says that sounds like a good idea.

 

—————————————————————————————————

 

  • Larken wakes up, disappointed that she exists.

  • She sees a weapon supply room. Sees a young looking guy sitting on a crate, sharpening some swords. Familiar to Larken. He’s on bitch duty.   

  • She approaches him. He looks up and smiles brightly. Fresh-faced and enthusiastic. Oh hello, are you the new recruit?

  • Larken says it’s been awhile since she’s been a new recruit.

  • He gasps and stands up and knocks some stuff over and salute her.

  • You must have come from Weishaupt right?

  • The Warden place? No.

  • He droops. You’re not the one he sent? We sent a letter for reinforcements. Not you?

  • Larken says no.

  • Then who are you? What’re you doing here?

  • I’m Larken Lavell, I’m a former templar.

  • At that, the guy is scared. He asks what year it is and Larken tells him.

  • It’s not the answer he expected and he’s confused. Wait, did it work?

  • Larken shuffles her feet. I don’t know what you were trying to do, but not.

  • What happened to Antiva?

  • It still exists.

  • Okay, okay. It was a Blight though, right? The commander wasn’t wrong?

  • There was a Blight

  • And it was worth it, right? It helped?

  • Larken cringes.

  • He’s all earnest and sparkly.

  • Larken is silent.

  • I knew it, I knew this was a good idea, I knew this would be important.

  • Larken calmly sits him down and tells him about the mage tower.

  • There was a Blight, whatever they were trying to do didn’t work. They were investigating a mage tower that was destroyed. Tells him about what they found in the bottom floor.

  • The guy says, the warden was right, but she didn’t know this would happen, we didn’t mean for this to happen. But maybe we can still fix it? Right? That’s what Wardens do, right?

  • Larken tells him of course we can fix it.

  • He was all defeated, but he perks up and holds out his hand. She hesitantly clasps his hand.

 

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  • Parill feels like she is wandering through the forests at night and she comes to a clearing. Not like a sound stage. Campfire casting a cheery glow.

  • A guy is sitting up against a tree, playing a cheerful tune on a pan flute. Parill approaches, into the fire light.

  • He stops playing and waves to her. He greets her in Elven when he sees her tattoos. Invites her to come sit by the fire.

  • She declines, she’s looking for her friend who was with her a second ago. She doesn’t see any sign of Imira.

  • Parill realizes this is definitely not a forest, it’s a marble room. When she shakes off the illusion, the elf sighs. Why did you have to do that?

  • Where’s my friend?

  • He calls her da’len. I haven’t seen anyone in hundreds of years.      

  • Well you’re not getting out enough.

  • No kidding. He waves his hand and the happy fire comes back. This is nicer, isn’t it?

  • Grass is coming back, he’s rebuilding the illusion. Wouldn’t this be a nicer place to spend eternity?

  • I feel like you’re asking the wrong elf here. I am the Elf of Death.

  • He smiles and laughs. He has the same face tattoos as Parill.

  • Oh hey you have the same tattoos!

  • Why aren’t you spending eternity with [Elf God]

  • Cause I made a promise

  • To who?

  • To a woman who thought she could change the world.

  • How’d that work out for you?

  • Considering you’re here now, I think she might have done it.

  • I don't think she did it very well considering I’m here right now.

  • What happened out there? When is it?

  • Parill tells him 9:41

  • When was the last blight?

  • Ten years ago

  • He’s a little impressed, it lasted longer than I thought it did.

  • Well that’s good, your job is done, you might as well leave

  • I would if I could, I’d have left a long time go

  • Well don’t worry, me and my friends are here and we’re going to investigate this whole tower and this isn’t going to be a weird death vortex anymore.

  • He says, what the warden didn’t understand was that the actual cost isn’t always what you think it is, of magic. Clearly now the land is paying for what they did here. The reason he came here in the first place, really, is he was the Keeper of the clan tasked with watching over this area.

  • When a warden came saying they could fix the tower, he felt obligated to help. He’s wearing the warden armor too

  • There’s nothing they could do. Leave me to my forest, or join me. The illusion is creeping in again.

  • It seems like a nice place to relax, but I got things to do and I’m not dead yet.

  • Parill goes over to some books on the wall. More research, medical books and books about lyrium and scrolls and formulas. Seems like this is part of some kind of laboratory, the work being done here.

  • Parill walks around the corner of the room and finds a book. The guy calls out to her that that’s private.

  • Parill says, he’s dead, what kind of privacy do you have?

  • I’m not dead yet, I’d be with my god

  • Fair enough. She picks it up and opens it. It’s a diary. She sets it down, returns to the main room, and sits down to read the book on lyrium.

 

———————————————————————————————

 

  • Imira had fused with the portal a bit, guides herself to the source of the power.

  • There’s a lady there. She felt Imira coming. She was sitting, but when Imira shows up on the steps, she stands up.

  • Ah, someone’s finally come.

  • You were expecting me?

  • Eh, not you. Someone.

  • Did word reach Weisshaupt?

  • Hundreds of years ago.

  • She shakes her head. If it’s been hundreds of years, it must not have made it there.

  • Imira has a sudden memory of a big pile of burned paper. The message, or not the whole message, the intended message was not sent.

  • The blight is over

  • Antiva City?

  • We were there not too long ago.

  • Good, good.

  • It’s 9:40-something

  • How many blights have there been?

  • One

  • Okay. The Wardens still exist, right?

  • Yeah, we came here with one. Well not here but the other place.

  • The lady understands, she can tell what’s going on, is detached from the illusion.

  • Why have you come now, if the Blights are over?

  • We’re trying to find a cure.

  • Fucking-son-of-a-bitch. It should’ve already been over hundreds of years ago. She’s clearly under the impression that whatever they did, they did not just to secure this place, but it was supposed to be delivered to the other wardens.

  • Was it done?

  • Yes, it was.

  • Oh. Well that didn’t happen.

  • Obviously not.

  • Imira shuffles awkwardly. We kinda need to undo the corruption that you did though

  • What corruption? We sealed the entrance, that’s all.

  • Imira tells her about the mage tower.

  • She’s horrified by what Imira is telling her. This was never her intention, this was never supposed to happen like this.

  • Well maybe we can fix it. Do you know how to fix this?

  • She gets thoughtful. She thought people were coming. This is not according to plan. The only way to stop this is you’re going to have to kill me.

  • Imira sits down on the steps and puts her head in her hands.

  • The lady tries to reassure Imira. It’s okay, she knew she was going to die, that she would have to die to fix it. That’s what Wardens do. This is not for the greater good anymore. She thought she could keep the corruption in check. Didn’t expect to have to do it for 500 years.

  • The wards themselves that they’re piggybacking on are totally innocuous and probably a good thing. The source of the problem has to be her.

  • Imira ignores her reassurances and asks where the doors go.

  • The warden lady says it wasn’t just her. It takes more power than she had to keep the ward active for as long as she did. Her best men all had to sacrifice themselves for it to work.

  • What’s going to happen to them?

  • Bitter laugh. You mean my 500 year-old lieutenants?

  • Imira tries to open one of the doors and it opens.

  • This lady is a bummer, Imira is leaving.

  • The next door opens and Imira can see inside, but can’t go inside.

  • What she sees is not what Parill sees.

  • Parill is sitting, reading.

  • At the far end of the room, a stone platform, an elf sitting on it, chained. Parill couldn’t see the chains. Wrapped around him over and over again. Something behind him, chained to him, hand around his throat.

  • Parill can’t hear her when Imira calls out.

  • Imira goes back to the lady. I can’t leave.

  • The lady says, you need to unchain your friends

  • How?

  • You either have to separate her wardens from the things they’re bound to, or you need to kill the things they’re bound to.

  • I can’t get in there

  • Go the same way you got in here.

  • Feeling my way through  it?

  • Yes.

  • Imira links with the chain. Now that she’s here, she sees something and she can follow it into the room. The talismen that was used to open the door upstairs, the elf is wearing one.

  • It’s like a padlock, holding the chains in place.

  • Imira tries her magic key on the forcefield door and she can move through it.

  • Parill sees her and says hello! Imira gives an awkward wave.

  • She takes a step toward the elf, looking at the thing he’s chained to. It’s some kind of demon.

  • When Imira walks closer, the demon holds the elf tighter, pressing its taloned hands into his throat. The elf knows it’s there.

  • When the elf sees the crest in Imira’s hands and nods toward the center room. Did she send you?

  • Kinda. Still staring at the demon.

  • The elf says, it can’t hurt you unless you give it power, but it will kill me.

  • As they’re drawing attention to it, Parill can see the demon.

  • Imira asks if there’s a way to take care of it without it hurting him.

  • You could leave, or you can stay. Only thing you can do is nothing.

  • Gestures to the nice cheerful fire. You can sit and I can play you some music and we can ignore the demon in the room.

  • The more you ignore it, the weaker it gets, and he’s really good at ignoring it.

  • To undo the binding, she has to undo the lock. He’s not going to take it off. Imira starts moving toward him and he lets her. He’s ready.

  • This isn’t your fault, we did what we had to do.

  • She apologizes anyway and he pats her.

  • When she pulls the medallion off, the room is empty, there’s nothing there.

  • She now has two glowy crests.

  • Imira walks away with tears in her eyes, back to the center room.

  • The lady looks sad, she knows. But also intensely focused.

 

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  • They head into the room with Ellanna in it. They can both pass through the doorway.

  • Ellanna is cringing back from the woman. A naked purple demon is behind the woman, with claws on her throat. This one doesn’t seem so in-control.

  • Ellanna relaxes a little, seeing familiar faces. Imira is a little dead inside, but Parill says hi.

  • The woman is wearing the pendant around her neck. While the elf had been ignoring it, this woman’s throat is bloody, she’s been fighting it. She’s being held so tightly that she can’t move.

  • Imira walks toward her. The woman is wide-eyed, panicked. The demon is grinning over her shoulder at her. You don’t want to hurt her.

  • Imira is crying. She whispers that she’s sorry as she’s reaching toward the crest. The demon can’t do anything. Imira pulls the crest off and they both disappear.

  • Imira sits on the floor with her face in her hands, trying not to sob.

  • Ellanna walks over and puts a hand on her shoulder. Whatever you did probably needed to be done. Helps her stand up. We have to keep going

  • Imira nods

  • I have complete faith in you, with her fingers crossed behind her back.

 

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  • They go to Yannis’s room. Yannis is shaking hands with a rage demon. The demon won’t let go.

  • When Yannis realizes what’s happening, she swings her maul at the demon. Does some damage.

  • The demon racks Yannis with her claws and sets her on fire.

  • Imira sees the crest on the hit of the demon’s sword. Gives Yannis a distressed look through her tears.

  • Ellanna charges the demon, doing some damage to it.

  • Parill charges it too. She manages to knock the sword away and the demon disappears.

———————————————————————————————-

 

  • Go to the last room. Larken has hold of a giant pride demon’s finger.

  • Imira runs up to it and grabs the crest off the demon’s belt. The boy and the demon poof.

  • Larken looks hurt, what did you do?

  • Ellanna says, you were shaking hands with a demon.      

  • Imira puts her face in her hands and nods.

 

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  • The lady in the center room has her eyes closed and she’s sweating bullets.

  • Yannis confronts her, on fire, are you going to try to kill me too?

  • The lady doesn’t respond to Yannis, can sense Imira. You have to kill me.

  • We all put a hand on the lady.

  • Yannis is still on fire.  

  • We wake up where we fell. The bubble in the middle goes away. The remaining smaller horrors are dead.

  • Yannis is still on fire.

  • Yannis charges the demon in the middle, tackling it to the floor. The blood puts the fire out.

  • Larken charges in and attacks it with her sword, doing a good chunk of damage.

  • Part of the demon is the lady we met, part of it is the demon, and it’s fighting with itself.

  • The demon sends out a burst of arcane power, damaging Yannis, Larken, and Imira.

  • Ellanna charges at the demon, doing some damage.

  • Imira sends two Stonefists at the demon, doing some damage.

  • Parill attempts to paralyze it, but fails.

  • Yannis gets up and whomps the demon.

  • Larken slashes at the demon again, piercing its armor.

  • The blood shield comes back for a second, then is pushed back down. The warden is on our side. More arcane energy explodes out, Yannis manages to dodge some of it.

  • Ellanna attacks the demon, finally putting it out of its misery. It had just stood up, but she knocks it down again and puts her swords through its chest.

  • The faint glow that was in the room dissipates, it goes dead silent. The blood in the markings starts to drain away.

 

——————————————————————————————-

 

  • The Warden comes running down the stairs at just that moment, with the Creeper and Assara and Finch. The Creeper guy hangs back.

  • The Warden had come to save the day, but we’d already done it. Larken is seething, covered in blood. She stomps over and throws her shield down and yells at her.

  • I had to be saved by THAT, points at Imira. THAT thing was on fire until a minute ago, pointing at Yannis.

  • Assara looks disgusted, the Warden is dismayed, she didn’t know this was going to be down here.

  • After a moment, Assara turns to the Warden and asks why the fuck she brought us here.

  • Larken calms herself down. You should hear Imira tell the story.

  • Imira shuffles over. Starts off by saying they did find a cure.  

  • The Warden is low-key happy but tries to contain herself.

  • Imira quickly recaps everything, tells about the five wardens, pulls out the crests. Can we have a funeral?

  • Assara points at the corpses, what the fuck are these.

  • The Warden takes the crests, they’d found a few more of these, the first time Nathaniel and her had been down here. Didn't know what they were. She agrees that they should honor the sacrifices of the wardens. Points at the nightmare bodies.

  • Imira fishes out the Tranquil research. The Warden tells her to keep it, tells her to report to Molly, give her that.

  • Imira explains what the room was originally intended for. The Warden nods, that makes sense.

  • They’d always gotten lost before, but we left a trail.

  • But there were barriers around.

  • Good god, she’s so sorry you had to do this.

  • The Creeper goes to the center of the room, stands over the corpse on the altar. He holds his arms over his head. All of a sudden, a burst of bright white light comes out of him and fills the room, with no warning. The light slowly dims back down. Then he nods at the Warden, walks past us all, and heads back up the stairs.

  • The Warden says, whatever they did here, you guys fixed it and you should be proud of that. Parill says woo!

  • We all head back to the surface. Weirdly, on our way back up, it doesn’t take as long. Our footsteps aren’t the way we remember. No longer feels ominous and horrifying, just feels like a tower.

  • We all fuck-off for a while.

  • Larken is aggressively playing chess against herself in the woods.

  • Ellanna is riding her horse.

  • Yannis takes a long walk.

  • It’s mid-afternoon, a couple days since we first went underground.

  • On our way up, Finch and Assara pass around snacks and water. Assara tosses Larken a wineskin, she wants something stronger but this’ll do for now.

  • The force fields over the stairs are gone, though they’ve been blocked off.

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