Champions of Arleum
The heroes press onward, watchful for further threats. Whilst camped, Theo and Fiona take watch. Theo spots a fell light on the horizon, an emerald glow that pulses from Doomtop. As the pulse radiates over them, he feels a powerful presence of dark magic. Fearful of what it may mean, he rouses the rest of the group and urges them to move, explaining his fears. It seems the Doomsayers are preparing for the ritual and the pulse may be some kind of “Awakening” of the dead.
As they begin travelling, Jesul spots a patrol coming after them and their shouts are heard on the wind. Reasoning they do not want to lead them directly to the Resistance hide out, they head West instead of South to throw off their pursuers.
They press onward, but in the night and with the presence of dark clouds blocking the stars Jesul attempts to lead the party forward but it is not long before they are lost. After hours of wandering, morning light rises and Jesul regains her bearing. Not far away, sands begin to shift and slowly sink downward, revealing the top of a mountain, with a cave entrance. All feel a dark presence nearby and are unsure how to proceed. Theo approached and notices the cave entrance is carved with dark sigils and runes. Fiona remembers a tale of three dark kings of Karkaan, from centuries ago. Each followed a different god but were united when the Gods gifted them powerful items of dark magic. There was a man (follower of Uthos), an Orc (Krall) and a dark elf (Milora). The items corrupted them and led to their union, which formed the Empire. The items were each sealed away in specially made dungeons so they could be reached by those who sought to regain those powers should they be lost. This seemed to be the resting place of the artefact wielded by the man that later became the emperor.
Archaleus appears to know what is buried there, and Theo presses him for information, but the pegasus is loathe to give that information stating “I fear that if I tell you what it is, you will want it.” A heated discussion begins in the party on what to do, but ultimately they decide to destroy the entrance. They lay a trap for the approaching patrol, and manage to defeat mounted scorpion warriors, imperial scouts, 2 doomsayers (which fiona shoots one after the other hatefully to initiate the battle). Kato does much of the killing, and theo rushes to protect Jesul from the Scorpion warriors that are leaping up the cliffs toward her vantage point. She kills one or two herself. Theo slays the last one by leaping onto him and riding his body down the cliff side.
One of the giant scorpions clutches Archaleus in its claws and wont let go, and its rider starts attacking Fiona in her saddle. Kato saves her by carving up the scorpions and the riders. Fiona dismounts Archaleus and threatens the remaining soldiers. They bow to her and concede she is a great warrior and pledge to serve her instead of the empire. The remaining Scorpion warrior refuses to kneel and rushes toward the cave. Kato for the first time unleashes the fury of the enchanted axe of ice that fiona gave him to use and its magic spikes toward the warrior, impaling him then encasing him in ice.
The blast the tomb shut and hide the bodies as best they can, when an army is spotted on the horizon. It appears to be a dwarf army, but not Skilgore. They wait in ambush but are spied by the leader who turns out to be Hamgore. “I am Hamgor Farthammer! King of Hammerhold and Lord of the Dwarven High Council. And I demand to know… WHERE IS MY SON!?”
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