Return of the Long Night
Volume I – Phoenix Rising
|Chapter 3: Visions||Sometime early in Third Era (HARP – RoleMaster converted characters)|
Attack on the Vault of the Sea-Drake Helm
Your experiences in the realm that lies at the heart of The White Wood were most interest and had shocked you more than you can tell. Your time in Norek, however, had given you some perspective and now you were curious as to what you had to retrieve from that other-worldly place.
The Seer Luarto Shang still seemed pleased with your success there. His sudden disappearance when you travelled to Norek seems not to have mattered, as he gathers you together and bundles you into a large room of your Inn. He seems pleased, as he pulls the device out, fiddles with it in ways you cannot discern.
“I checked and yes… this is exactly what I needed”, he says with glee. “This marvel of times long gone will prove, one way or the other whether YOU are the people that I have sought, or not”.
Sought, you questioned. What people had he sought? However, little time did you have to consider, for he turned the device towards you, triggered it and suddenly the ground seemed to open and swallow you whole. “Now I learn the truth – took me some time to find out how to use this, but now you cannot hide from me.”
Memories of events arose through your minds – events that you knew you had never experienced. Images, scents and sounds from a forest glade, feelings as claws of bone rip through your flesh, pictures and emotions as a rider emerges from the darkness, to repel (no – not repel, but almost dispel) the presence of such evil.
However, you feel that these were not yourselves… you remember names, different names… you feel different bodies, shapes, forms, races and even gender. Yet these experiences were yours.. you cannot deny that, but the foreignness and the familiarity play as conflicting thoughts in your minds.
Then the scene changes – yet again… now you stand, again in different bodies, different people – yet you know who you are… Drulle, Avalon, B’rak, Ravena, Kundee, Lerandur… familiar names, yet not the names of who you now stand as.
And stand you do – in front of a massive hillside, with the night sky above you, brightly lit by a comet, flaring a red, blood-like tail. You know why you stand here – your duty to protect the vault of a great secret, an item of yore that must not fall into enemy hands.
But no, there is more, for this item is not just ancient, it is powerful beyond the understand of what you have ever thought of. An ancient helm, one built to mould nations and keep safe the people who look to Kings for protection. A helm, shaped by the hands of ancient sages and smiths, build to resemble a lizard… no, a sea-drake. It lies safe inside what is an impregnable vault, yet you know instinctively that it is not safe.
Suddenly the ground shakes, and you know why you were ordered by your captain (though you could not remember him, nor your own real names) to follow as he runs to form a cordon around the vault. Immense dread forms over you, as shapes of the dead appear in the distance, gleaming read under the light of the distant comet.
A great sunder rent in the earth allows these vile beings of Unlife – undead and pure malicious evil, there can be no doubt – to rise. There presence is of such pure darkness, more than just death, that your ability to breathe, yet alone move, is denied to you.
A single being steps forward out of the darkness, in robes and a mask that betrays pure hatred – hatred of life, disgust at the living and a desire to end existence to all things. A priest of some ancient cult, or perhaps a messenger of these beings, you cannot tell. His presence is so strong, that soldiers fall to their knees, asking for death to be swift and merciful.
Yet the memories you hold close, of times and places distant, allow you to understand what this is. You have fought (though these hands have never held the weapon) such creatures before, and you have lost and won. Now, however, you choices are clear, and there is no alternative but to win, as allowing this evil to gain the helm is beyond imagine.
So you fight, and you see many of your companions and fellow soldiers fall….
You see your commander takes his final gasp, as his heart is ripped from his beating chest….
You see death fall and death move, all the while as the red gleam shadows down on you….
And yet, you triumph – unknowningly how, you final stop and stare around you at the carnage, the dozens of bodies, all tore asunder.
Only 7 of you remain… 7 you know, yet not recognise. You cannot remember the battle, no one remembers slaying or even injuring the evil Priest, yet his presence is gone and there is no sign, nor remains of any of the Unlife. The ground, littered with blood and guts, lies bathed in red light and red liquid.
But the Helm is safe… the vault secured.
After some rest, some of you decide to see what the goal of such an attack was, what is behind the doors so magically locked. So one of your survivors makes an attempt to open the vault, but neither strength of arm or skill of hand, is able to do so. Eventually, the traps and protection leads to stopping this futile activity, but not before some serious electricity burns and charges have been received.
|Wan Hung Lo||12||Human||Monk||Nick|
|Ravena||12||Human/Elf||Warrior 6/Mage 6||Brent|
|K’undee||12||Elf (Sylvan)||Rogue 6/Ranger 4/Thief 2||David|
|Drulle||12||Human||Fighter 8/Harper 2/Thief 2||Chris|
|Grimmer De’ La’ Mangus||12||Gnome||Cleric||Brad|
Next Chapter 3b: The Battle for the Shadow World