Return of the Long Night
Volume II – The Land of Xa’ar
|Chapter 5: Of Fire & Ice||6052 Fall, Buryen 42 – Melyen 44 (HARP)|
The Demon’s Sword
Knowing that the demon has fled back to his lair up north, you decide to pursue him and wrest the sword that he wielded and which you know he stole so long ago. Returning to the Pinnacle Roof of the Tower, you search for the possible location of the demon.
Huan senses that that the sword is near and to the North East. From your maps, you believe a good place to start searching might be the isles to the north and north east. However the distance is too far for you to fly or swim….
Summoning the Navigator (and hoping that he responds), you await on the roof of this ancient Tower. Eventually the air splits, and out steps the foppish and flamboyant Navigator who brought you to these strange and magical isles only a few days earlier.
“I see you have been busy”, he says as he looks around this mystical roof. “Find anything interesting?”
Moulin dismisses his query with a grunt and an “under his breath” “wouldn’t you like to know” comment. “We need transport back to Rapata – now!”, demands Moulin. Despite his disappointment, the Navigator opens a portal with the use of his magic compass (in the shape of a wind chime) and beckons you enter.
In the wink of an eye, you again stand before the abode of Valaan Mahrindi, the Navigator watching you closely as he leans against the doorway. Ignoring him, you rush to demand entry and to see the mystical Seer.
After many hours and much discussion, Valaan leans back – too tired and with too many thoughts to question you further. He suggests that you rest for a few days whilst he makes enquiries, and promptly stands up and takes his leave. All of the party like the idea, so it’s off to the pub for some rest and beer….
For almost a week you see no sign of Valaan, or if you do it is only glimpses as he rushes from his library and out the door. At one stage, you notice 3 strange men in deep discussion with him in hushed voices, and as they glance towards you, you feel a shiver run down your collective spines.
Finally one morning, Valaan rushes in as you are eating a hearty breakfast and he simply says “Come with me.”. So you follow him into his study, where books and scrolls litter every foreseeable surface.
“There is much I have found and much i do not know still”, he stays excitedly. “I have even sought out advice from the Loremasters on some of what you have told me, and I have sent off requests for more information from The Library at Nomikos.”
“In any case, here is what little I have found out about these swords you tell me about.”. He pauses, looking worried, before he goes on. “This demon and the other sword he held is interesting and I believe it is these Absence Blades as you suspected. I have tracked down his lair, well really his tower, to an island north of the isles you have explored so far. Getting there will be no problem – surviving to get home of less certainty.”
“What concerns me more”, he continues before you can interrupt to ask for more details, “is something that I came across, whilst looking through ancient tales. There are rumours, really folk lore, that talk of the end of the world. They refer to some evil curse or worse, some evil deed, that create a hole in the world, a gaping wound that allowed the very essence of the world to escape.”
“I know not what this is, or really where it was reported to be. However, there was a reference to the ‘lair of the white lion’, whatever that is, and a warning that the wound may close, but the means of opening it, and draining the essence of life from this planet, does exist.”
“Now why do I mention this? Well without a doubt, these Absence Blades are part of this, for they say that their power is the only thing that can close the hole and seal the wound.”
Pondering the meaning of this, you decide that the first step must be to track down this demon and take the The Unheat Sword from him. Whilst you do this, Valaan promises to look more into what the prophecy might be.
Valaan believes that the Demon is too powerful for you, and given your encounter earlier with him, you believe this to be true. He suggests that the only way to wrest the sword from him is to capture him, in some demonic circle, and demand the sword in exchange for his release. This presents risks, for to do this you need to set up a trap somewhere he does not expect it, and then trigger it and draw him in.
“We know the sword I have and his sword are linked, and he came when I first drew it out of the scabbard”, says Huan Hung, “could we not use this as a way to draw him to the trap?”. Seemingly this may be the only means to wrest the sword from the Demon, so Valaan promises to bring you the details and means for such a ritual.
Now where to trigger the trap? Discussion leads to the conclusion that the best place to trap him would be in his own tower, which you believe you can get to, so plans are made for the journey. Two days later Valaan returns with the necessary Ritual for Demonic Capture and you agree to set off the very next day.
Again, Valaan graciously arranges for a Navigator to take you to the isle of Ayig Jatarshaang (which he tells you means “Caves of Icefire” and is very suitable a place for a cold fire demon).
As the Navigator departs, promising to return within 1 day, you stare about this desolate frozen landscape. Snow and ice cover everything and in the sea around you floats small pieces of ice. The wind howls and there is no sign of life anywhere, except for a single, solitary tower of ice-covered stone that juts out from this barren landscape.
Trekking the mile to the tower, you almost fall prey to both the environment as well as strange, abnormal denizens of this frozen Isle. Massive snow cats and demons, with white fur and pale eyes ambush you, yet you prevail using your powers of Fire and spell, as well as the strength of The Uncold Sword.
As you near the solitary tower you note its ancient design and construction which has now fallen to ruin. The roof, or what is left of it, would have once been magnificent but now it remains a wreck hanging on by a few rotting joists. The walls, covered in icy and cracked, are falling down in parts, and entry is through one of many openings, including the rusted, metal double doors that hang asunder.
Quickly getting ready, you rush into the tower and make your way through the rubble, snow and ice, until you climb a small staircase, slippery and broken in parts. Your goal, the only remaining room on what might have been the third floor (there are no higher floors, as the upper levels have collapsed). This chamber, once mighty and regal, now resembles a cave, with rocks, stalagmites and rubble everywhere and a single massive throne carved out of ice. No decorations or ornaments rest within this empty room.
Quickly drawing the necessary pentagram, as described in the Ritual for Demonic Capture, you sprinkle the salt and cover it with snow flakes, hoping it is therefore hidden from the demon Raathmaauriig. Once ready, Huan steps into the pentagram (carefully) and everyone else hides as best as they can. He draws out the The Unhcold Sword and within minutes you feel the air swirl as a demonic presence ascends the stairs into the room.
Roaring with anger, Raathmaauriig draws The Unheat Sword and rushes towards Huan Hung, ignoring everything else, and in his haste crosses clearly into the pentagram. Huan Hung blocks one blow, and as the two swords touch, flame and frost blow off. He quickly then rolls out of the symbol, using his acrobatics to do so without disturbing the carefully prepared pentagram.
As Raathmaauriig moves towards his foe, he suddenly stops, looks around and roars with anger. Taking in the others in the room and the reality of the trap he angrily walked into, he casts spells of ice and snow, bolts of frost and balls of intense freezing. However, after a few moments he realises that his plight is lost, as you fight back with your own fire and missiles, safe from his devastating reach.
The battle is over and after some discussion you agree to release the demon from this trap after he gives you the sword. Reluctantly he does so, and you show him how to break the circle and tell him to summon one of his minions to let him out. He roars at the betrayal, but you have the moments you need to summon your navigator and escape with your prize.
Having vanquished the demon, you gloat over the might weapon that you have now achieved – The Unheat Sword was worthy of the risks that you undertook. You know it is a mighty weapon, but its role in this other evil is more pressing…
Trevor gloats over this new weapon, Gollum notices a scabbard to the side of the room. Ornate and with frosted grey laen, ingrained with fine kregora filaments, it obviously belongs to The Unheat Sword. Dutifully he gives it to Trevor, who tries to sheathe the sword but finds that it does not easily fit. After some time, he finds a small piece of parchment, perhaps made from some animal hide, which had been forced into the scabbard. How long it had been there he cannot tell, and on examination, he finds some writing, in faded ink.
I have therefore taken to finding the Cold Sword that Yaalc, the fool, has hidden. With it, and with this Absence of Cold which I have in this sword of Heat, I can finally confront the Order and destroy the Orb whilst it lays dormant.
There is much time, yet I fear time plays tricks with those of my kind, and I will fall before I can destroy the Orb – a cruel and malicious thing that seeks doom for all. Orb of Death, or more likely, Orb of Unlife – for that is its real nature – what a horrible device. How those of the Order of the White Lion could worship such I can not imagine….
With this knowledge and now perhaps a clue to the evil that Valaan Mahrindi had researched, you summon the Navigator and flee this isle of death and snow.
|Huan Hung Loh||5||Human/Lugrok (Orc)||Monk||Nick|
|Gollum||5||Human (Gnome)/Loar (Elf)||Cleric||Brent|
|Trevor||5||Human/Elf (Loar)||Warrior Mage||Chris|
|Avalon Elthanus||5||Elf/Human (Orc)||Cleric||Brad|
|Special Item Found||Owner||Location Found|
|The Unheat Sword and scabbard||Trevor – Chris||Tower of Raathmaauriig|
|Currency||Party Total||| Each:||Platinum||Gold||Silver||Copper|
|Special NPC Encountered||Race||Status||Notes|
|Raathmaauriig||Demonic, Cold Fire||Alive but trapped||Used Ritual for Demonic Capture|
Next Chapter 5d: The Absence of Life