Chimes at Midnight Part Four

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Action and Adventure  |  House: Booksie Classic
The final part to our hero's journey

Submitted: April 04, 2016

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Submitted: April 04, 2016

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Chimes at Midnight

Part Four

  The door was open and people were streaming in and out of the apartment. Owsley was walking up the outdoor stairwell; he was clutching his satchel as he heard the loud music coming from the open door. He stopped for a moment and shook his head and turned around.

“Hey Owsley” Murph yelled from the doorway

  Owsley turned around and looked up at Murph “Hey”

  “Come on in, the girls want to meet you” he said

 Owsley looked down and finished walking the last few steps to the landing. He took his satchel and moved it closer to his chest as he went into the apartment.

  There were about ten people standing around in the living room and the kitchen. People were drinking beer, and Lisa was talking to Tina as they stood before the oven cooking mini pigs in a blanket. Owsley went over to the couch and sat next to Mick.

  “Do you want a beer?” Murph said

  “Sure.” He said as Murph went to the fridge.

 “So you bring everything?” Mick asked

  “Yeah, but I don’t know. It’s kind of loud” He said hesitantly

  “Hey Peachy.” Mick said

  “Yeah?” as Peachy came down the hall

  “It’s loud in here.” Mick said

  “Everybody shut the fuck up!” he yelled over everyone in the apartment.

  Everyone stood silent for a moment then Lisa said” Why?”

 “It’s too loud to play” Peachy said

  “Better?” Mick said

  Owsley sat clutching his satchel “Um yeah. Are we going to play with everybody in here?”

 “No, no, the girls are going to stay in the kitchen and be very quiet, they promised.” Peachy said emphasizing the last bit to the girls standing in the kitchen

  “Ok” Lisa said holding her hands up in a surrender posture

 She walked over and placed a tray in front of the guys. On it was an array of snacks rice crispy treats, cookies, and small mini hot dogs in biscuits.  They all got quiet a second and looked at the snacks.

  “Mine?” Murph said

  “Mine?” Mick said

 “Mine? Mine? Mine?” Everybody started to say one on top of each other as they reached over and grabbed something. Laughing, they all leaned back and enjoyed the food and drinks.

  The guys all got together in the living room; Owsley took a pillow and sat on it while he moved the coffee table so that his back was against the wall with the table sitting horizontally in front of him. He set up the Dungeon Masters screen and said” Gentleman, tonight will determine the outcome of your characters, be true to thyself “He said as he rolled dice behind the screen.

*****************************

  The men walked out of the blackened and gory room trying to find their way back to their rooms. It took them about a half hour to find the stairway that they had gone down, and then up, before they realized they were hopelessly lost. They sat at the bottom of the stairs to wait for someone to show them to their rooms.

  “I’m telling you it’s some kind of spell, to confuse us” Rowlf said

  “Or we’re idiots.” Wulfbane said

  They sat at the bottom of the stairs and waited, trying to ask elves rushing by for help on finding the rooms, without any luck. Finally, a soldier came rushing up to them, “Where have you been?” he asked

  “Here, trying to find the rooms” Rowlf said

  “Right, the walls” he said somewhat under his breath

 “What?” Nymernia asked

  “Follow me” he said going up the staircase they had just walked down

  The group got to their rooms to find all their gear and weapons had been set up in their respective areas. They geared up and took everything they could carry that was deadly.

  “Where do you think we’re going?” Fanto said

  “She said shake the heavens, so I would guess someplace deadly” Wulfbane said

  They all got together in Mamet’s room and looked at what each had brought. They had packed light hoping they would be able to provide on the go. The group stood around for about two hours before they heard a booming sound coming from down the hallway. Rowlf stuck his head out the door, and popped back into the room with his friends” She’s coming, with a bunch of people carrying stuff following her” he said

  The door flew open and with her golden gleaming armor, covered by a large cloak with a hood draped behind her. “Are you ready?” she asked

 “Yes” Mamet said

 “Is that all you’re carrying?” she said looking at them

  “What?” Mamet Said

 “Here” she motioned her men behind her to hand each one of them a bag. “My, my” Nymernia said

 “What is it?” Wulfbane asked

  “They’re bags of holding. You could put about a carts worth of things in there and it is as light as a coin purse” He said

  “Outstanding” Rowlf said his eyes going wide.

  “Here’s some essentials we will all need” the queen said. And a large group of servants came in handing provisions, weapons, and upgraded armor, for the ones that could wear it. Nymernia was given a mages cloak that shimmered with power. He took his old one and placed it into his bag.

  “Do you need any spells?” she said to Nymernia

  “What do you have?” he asked

  “She motioned again and an elfish mage handed him a list. His eyes went wide “I’ll take this one, this one, and these” he pointed to several spells he hadn’t known before and the scrolls were handed to him. “Oh my” he muttered as he looked at the spells” Thank you your grace. This is very generous” he said

  “If you survive this, we shall have paid each other back tenfold.” She said

 

They grabbed everything they needed and got their gear on and readied themselves to travel.

  “Your grace?” Rowlf said to the Dowager

  “Yes?” she said back to him

  “How will we be traveling?’ he said as everyone looked over to her to see her answer

  “I will gateway us there.” She said

  “Just like that” he said

  “Well, it’s not so simple, but yes, just like that.”

  “So where will we be gate traveling too?’ he said

  “We will be traveling to the astral planes in the dimensions of the gods. We need to travel to the lands of the Elvin god Labelas, to seek his aid. It is also the first place Sinister will go in search of the stones.”

 “So Labelas has the third stone?” Mamet said walking next to rowel

  “He knows where the third stone is, though Sinister may already be tracking that stone. The stones call to each other, and now that he has two the third will be calling out to its brothers.” She said

  “Why would he be going after Labelas, if he can find the stone without him?” Mamet said

  “No more questions. We need to move, time works differently on the astral planes. For all we know we may have already lost the fight with all our yammering here on the material plane.” She said

  “Ok, we’re ready”.  Everybody stood together with the Dowager standing in front of them.

  She stood before them looking them over and decided they were ready with a slight nod.

  “Um, shouldn’t we be taking some of your men with us? Like all of them?” Rowlf said

  “What, no. why would I waste my men, when your deaths will suffice.” She said as she started to cast a spell that formed a circle in front of her and in front of the adventures “step through” she said “I’ll be the last one.

  They travelled through the shimmering image and came out on a desert plain under a pink sky. One by one they went through, from the palace of the queen and stepped into a land that wasn’t anywhere on Faurue.

  “Where are we?” Rowlf asked

  “We are on the outskirts of Labelas land and it will take us a day or so to get there. Sorry I couldn’t get us closer, but there are wards all over the edge of his land, they prevent most people gateing in.”

  The party looked across the dry land that didn’t look like any natural color that they had seen before.

  “When is sunset? “ Mamet looked around to see where the light was coming from “Is there a sunset?

  “No sun, no days, no nights, time is different here. We may have been only gone a moment or we may have already been here for weeks. We won’t know what the condition of this land is till we move closer to Labelas citadel, come” she said as she began a brisk walk in a direction of a distant mountain peak.

The group walked for a few hours till they came upon a mountain ridge that loomed before them. The Dowager began to climb up the steep incline and the party followed her up the side of the mountain. When they approached the top they could hear the grunts and groans of a large group ahead of them.

The queen motioned for them to be quiet and Rowlf quietly cast a spell and went invisible.  The queen also quietly cast a spell on the group and they all went invisible. Even though they could not see each other they heard Fanto and Wulfbane talking quietly and giggling to each other before they heard the stern “SHH” from the Queen. After a few minutes footsteps could be seen coming back down the mountain and Rowlf spoke.

  “They is a group of Goblins and Orcs sitting around a campfire with a number of slaves chained together”

  “Okay we need to go through them, so everyone get ready.” The queen said

  The group quickly cast some spells getting ready for the fight. After a moment of they all looked at each other and went forward to fight the mob. When they reached the top of the ridge there was a flat area that had a small fire going with about twelve Goblins with a smaller group of Orcs sitting away from the campfire next to a group of chained slaves.

  The queen cast a spell at the main group of goblins, and before they even looked up, a magic missile of fire exploded into the center and blew six of them backward. The group rushed forward and attacked the orcs while Rowlf stayed back tossing arrows into anyone that seemed to be running away.

 “Make sure no one gets away “Mamet said as he went to the orcs with his mace held high

  Wulfbane, Fanto, and Nymernia were with Mamet as he fought the orcs and made quick work of them. They stopped and looked over to the goblins to see if Granny needed any help, but the whole group was lying smoldering in a pile. Mamet turned to see if they could free the slaves when they saw the small group of slaves panicking and running in circles away from their liberators.

  “Calm down” Mamet tried to say to them with his hands in the air, but one of the slaves mistook this gesture as a spell being cast and the creature ran toward Mamet and tackled him to the ground.

  “Oh crap” Nymernia said as he cast a sleep spell on the whole group as they were starting to panic even more. The spell descended over them and they all closed their eyes and collapsed where they lay. Nymernia walked over to Mamet and looked down on the sleeping kolbolt lying on top of him.

  “Good job not getting me mixed up in that spell” Mamet said muffled under the sleeping slave.

  “Nice to see the nuance appreciated” as he rolled the smelly lizard like creature off of his friend

They went around to the sleeping forms and freed the chains around their necks and wrists. They put them all in a semi-circle and propped them up.  They then went over the bodies and moved them off the side of the plateau, making sure they had no secret missives on their bodies.

  “We need to get some rest, we might as well use their campsite” Granny said

  The group agreed and made camp, putting up sleeping mats and arranging themselves around the fire the Orcs had built. Granny went to the fire and with a few words the fire grew and stayed burning even though it had no new wood.

  The slaves started to awake, and at first they were back to the scared cowering beings they had come across, but after a moment they saw they were no longer chained and relaxed a little. Two of the smaller beings ran away, partly afraid this was some kind of trick, but when the party didn’t chase after them the others came over to the queen and dropped to the ground.

  “Thank you, thank you, whoever you are” the one kolbolt said in a hissing voice

  “I am the Queen of the North and these are my companions. We are warriors for the light heading to Labelas ‘s fortress.” The Dowager said

  The group of former slaves all seemed terrified of her; partly because they had heard of her before and were suitably cowed from her reputation. The group layed back and everyone began to eat from their packs. Nymernia took a sizable portion from his bag of holding and handed it out to the slaves, and they all thanked him extensively.

  “My queen? “ Rowlf asked

  “Yes”

  “Could you tell us what the story behind Faria and Sinister is? I mean we know some of the story but could you tell us what happened?” He said taking a seat next to her. The entire group got quiet and ate hoping she would tell the story.

  “Faria and the high king of the mighty Eagle Empire were deeply in love. Nobody knew who she was at the time, even though I had my suspicions that she was more then she was telling me. I had tried to find out more, but every time I asked or investigated, I found subtle roadblocks placed in my way. Anyway, time past and she came unannounced to my kingdom in the North. She was pregnant you see, something very against the rules of her kind. It was at that moment my patron deity the eleven god Labelas came and made known to me who she was and what that meant for her and the high king. The powers that define the gods, forbade creating demigods you see, so the baby was to be killed, but the goddess wouldn’t allow that. So an arrangement was made to have the child given to the Labelas upon its birth.”

  “Sinister must have been unhappy with that arrangement.” Mamet said

  “At the time, all this was done without his knowledge. At first he went to me distraught over his love leaving him. But sworn to secrecy, I was unable to tell him the truth. I wanted to, but I had been made privy to the pact of the gods and was unable to say anything. Unfortunately, a powerful god of the Vampires, Kanchelsis, went to him and told him the truth. He let him think he was being played for a fool, and what’s more; his child was being taken away from him. “

  “His anger must have been fierce” Nymernia said

  “Yes, in the best of times his wraith could be severe. In this case, he demanded to see all of us. He wanted the baby, he wanted Faria back, and he wanted me to apologize. I did of course, but the gods don’t listen to the demands of mortals, so after a few days of trying to calm him, they just said they would do what they felt was best, and if he knew what was good for him, he would stay out of the affairs of the highest beings.”

  “This was how it was for a while, I had hoped it was settled, but the baby was born, a beautiful girl named Celestial. The king was allowed to visit her for a short time, and told that when she was grown she would decide whether or not he could be a part of her life. He, seeing his daughter, future queen, and powerful being, taken away from him, made him furious .He demanded that he be able to raise her in his lands. Faria and Labelas told him to go and forcibly sent him back. This was beginning of the wars of the Eagle Empire. The High eagle empire went to war against Faria and her entire corner of the world. He destroyed all her temples and all peoples that worshiped her, this war destroyed many lands including his own empire. Finally he tried to attack my peoples and the god Labella’s clerics as well. Unified by several monarchs we marched on the king and snuffed out the high eagle empire, but the king escaped. Little did we know that that devil that he had spoken to him had been whispering in his ear, slowly turning him into a an agent of evil”

“He was gone for many years and the people of his empire were absorbed into other lands and his name forgotten. He was not dead though, he was made immortal, into an evil being of hate. Searching out any people and temples of Faria in search of his daughter, he also wanted payback for what had been done to all he had that was taken from him.”

  “Where is his daughter?” Fanto asked

  “Hidden away, she knows she is the daughter of Sinister, but his evil is so foul that godly beings feel revulsion when they are near him. So she stays far away.”

  The group layed down in their sleeping mats and tried to get some rest “does the sun ever set here?’ Mamet asked

  “Not generally, the days travel at different speeds in different planes. We won’t know what the time is like on our plane till we get back. I wouldn’t count on the sun setting here” The Queen said

  “We should set a guard shift” Wulfbane said

  “Not necessary. I’ll set a magic bubble around us, that if anyone approaches it will tell us.” The Queen said. This satisfied the group and they all lay down next to the fire. Wulfbane and Fanto went a little ways off and stayed together.

 After a few hours sleep Mamet awoke and went to the still burning fire. He opened some rations and quietly ate breakfast. He looked over to the group and could see that they were still sleeping, except for Nymernia. He got up, rolled up his mat, put it in his bag of holding, and sat next to Mamet warming his hands “So, do we have a plan?” Nymernia asked

  “Follow her” Mamet said pointing to the sleeping form of the Queen

  “Sir’ssssss” The lead kolbolt said to Mamet

  They both turned to look at the slimy lizard like creature “Yes?” Nymernia said

  “Most of the people I was with ran away while you sssslept.” He said

  “You creatures are free to go, you don’t have to stay. You can leave as well”

  “Thanksss you, thankss you” he said with a hissss carrying on with his elongated lizard tongue.

  “No thanks necessary” Mamet said

  “You have been very kind, so kind in fact I wish to help you” He said looking at the fire as he sat next to them and warmed his hands by the fire

  “Help us how?” Nymernia asked

  “I heard you talking last night, if you would forgives me for eavesdropping”

  “And?”

  “This Sssinister, we saw him” he said

 “What? When?” Mamet said

  “It was couple of days ago”

  “Get everyone up” Mamet said to Nymernia

  Nymernia roused the party and soon everyone was by the fire eating breakfast and putting all the sleeping gear away.

” Did it even get dark little?” Rowlf said

  “It doesn’t getsss dark here, above the ground that isss” the kolbolt said

  “Never mind that, little one tell us all what you were saying before” Mamet said

  “Well this Sssinister Lord, we saw him “

  “When?’ the queen said

 “Three days ago, I think. My days and nights are all confused here. We were with the Orcs and we joined a big group of all manner of beings. They were travelling to the citadel of the lord of this land. Dragonsss flew, and demonss of all sort. Plus a group, a large group of the dead.”

  “How big was this group?” Nymernia said

  “It was an army, my lord”

  “Three days, but we saw him just two days ago” Rowlf said

  “He could be at one plane from months and only hours would pass here, then weeks would pass on Faurue. Time is complicated little one” the Queen said

  “But if he was leading an army of the dead, then he may have the third stone. Did you see any stones on Sinister?” Mamet said

  “Yes, he was wearing a necklace of three massive stones. They glowed like the sun as he flew above us all.” The kolbolt said

  “Why did your group leave them?” Nymernia said

  “The Orcs, they wanted to sell us, not get us killed with no profit. So after the second day we all ssslinked away” the kolbolt said

“You are a brave, and we thank you for your information. You have been a great help to us” the Queen said as he smiled and went down on his knees and lowered his head.

 ” Is there anything we can do for you?” she said

  “You have freed me, that isss enough” he said

  “We can give you food, and some weapons if you will take them.” Fanto said. And they gave him some basic gear, a bow, and set of arrows as he thanked them again as he scampered away.

  “If he has the stones then we are in trouble.” Rowlf said

  “Yes, he said he had an army, god I hope that was an exaggeration” Fanto said

  “It wasn’t” Granny said” ever since we got here, I felt as if something was wrong. If he had the stones he went to the gates of Hades and feasted on the souls of the dead. He would gorge himself till he was powerful beyond measure and then he would seek out Labelas and Faria.”

  “Just to find his daughter?” Nymernia said

 “Yes, find her and turn her, I would imagine” The Queen said

  “We are doomed then.” Rowlf said sitting at the feet of the Dowager

  “No, not yet, have hoped little one. We shall endeavor to preserve.” She said “May the goddess Faria come to my aid.” She said bowing her head in prayer.  A bright light flashed, and the goddess stood before them.

  “It’s about time.” Faria said” You are a stubborn women” she said walking up to the party

  “I didn’t want your help, but I have no choice. So yes, I broke the oath and asked you to come” The Queen said

  “My lady “the entire group dropped to their knees

  “None of that, we have to go, Sinister is laying siege to Labelas citadel as we speak” Faria said

  “How bad is it?” The Queen asked

 “Beyond your worst imagining, he has summoned an army of the dammed and the dead to take this corner of the astral plane. And he will take it, unless we move quickly” And the group grabbed their gear and followed Faria down the edge of the ridge.

  As they traveled toward a distant scraggly mountaintop that Granny pointed out was the fortress of the god Labelas, they came across many enemies. They fought demons, a dragon, and a small army of orcs, goblins, and trolls. The power of the group matched with Faria and the Queen of the North was awe-inspiring. Faria herself swatted a mighty red dragon out of the sky and when a demon jumped in the middle of the group striking Mamet , Nymernia , and Wulfbane (all  near death), the queen stood between them simultaneously  healing them and striking it down with its own fire magic it tried to use against the party. It was the most impressive magic they had ever been a witness too, and they were humbled to be near it.

  After at time, a time unknown to the group for it seemed like days, they reached the edge of the citadel. It was a vast series of towers and walls, with three hills rising from the center. It had what seemed to be forests inside the walls growing on the edge of the hills, and waterfalls flowing in impossible angles. It looked amazing and beautiful all at once, but this was before Sinister’s army had ravaged the area and the fortress.

  The main walls were decimated, and flattened, smoke rose from all corners of the small city that was the home to the god Labelas. He had brought elves from all over Faerun to help him, even some of the queen’s army was here, seemingly they had been here for days fighting, but that wasn’t all that Labelas had brought. There where dragons of good alliment, and Pegasus being ridden by elfish warriors, and magic users. Battles were being fought at all corners of the citadel.

  “I can see that the battles rage everywhere across his home, but where is Sinister?” The Queen asked

  “I will find him, stay here.” Faria said as she formed a circle and walked through the vertical hole it created.

  The group stood in awe of the battle before them “My gods, if I live to a thousand, I’ll never see the like again “Nymernia said to Mamet

 “I have traveled across the lands of the earth, now I travel across the lands of the heavens, and I’m sure this is as cruel a wonder I shall ever see as well.” Mamet said

  A bright light flashed in from of the party and the goddess stepped out in front of the group. “I found Labelas. He’s trapped on the highest hill on a set of battlements. He is making his last stand against Sinister himself.”

  “We need to get up there.” The queen said

  “I can get us close” The goddess said

  She waved her arms again and another circle appeared before her “Be careful, there are enemies on the other side of this” she said as they all took out their weapons and went through the portal.

  As the group appeared at the bottom of one of the three hills with battlements on the top, they landed between a group of skeletal archers, and lich magicians casting spells all around them. Explosions tore at the ground around them as they saw elves and dwarves, and herds of unicorns rushing forwards to impale the enemy in front of them. Wulfbane and Fanto flew themselves into combat as Nymernia cast magic missiles at the lead lich wizard. He was knocked back with the force of the magic, but turned and sneered at Nymernia as he prepared a spell of his own. Mamet at that moment finished his prayer that opened a column of sunlight down on the lich and it screamed in agony as it burned to ash.

 “That prayer just get’s handier and handier.” Nymernia said to Mamet

  “Up the tower my friend, I can feel the fighting up there is godlike in power” Mamet said as the group pushed through an open doorway that had a wide staircase that led upwards.

  Together they stood just below a huge opening at the top of the staircase. They could hear explosions and a low growl coming from the top of the tower. . The party looked at each other, all the mortal members had a bit of fear in their eyes, but the Dowager and the Goddess looked back at everyone.

  “This is it.” Faria said “I will aid as much as possible, and we will be victorious” she turned and walked up the final steps with granny behind her and the party marching behind them.

  At the top they saw a three headed dog holding a Pegasus in one mouth and live elfish warrior in another, swigging it back and forth. The third head turned to the group coming up the staircase and growled loudly. Sinister was standing over the god Labelas with his hands wrapped around his neck “WHERE IS MY DAUGHTER!” He screamed into his face

 “Nowhere will you find her.” Faria said calmly

 Sinister whipped his head back to the party coming up the stairs arranging themselves in a row. “Oh this is rich, haven’t I killed you people before?’ he said mockingly

  “You took us by surprise, as you can see, we have friends helping us this time “Mamet said as everyone looked at each other and nodded. Wulfbane and Fanto grabbed each other’s hand and squeezed.

  “I get the puppy” Wulfbane said

They all flew into attacking the people in front of them. Sinister let go of Labelas and began to move his hands as we weaved a spell. The goddess and the queen both cast a spell as he was trying to cast his and it met in the middle. Nymernia launched a fiery magic missile, one after another that just bounced off of him. Mamet closed his eyes and said a prayer that surrounded all the party members and gave them protection before he cast a curse on Sinister that just melted away as it hit him. Wulfbane and Fanto went to Cerberus and the dogs three heads all stared at him as he held his axe over his head, and Fanto drew her two Katanas and went alongside Wulfbane. Rowlf drew his bow and took out a few choice magical arrows and shot them at the vampire and one hit him n the shoulder, the only one of the group to strike a hit on Sinister in the beginning.

  “Hah, got ya” He said laughing

  Sinister didn’t think it was funny and shot a beam of darkness from his fingertips right at Rowlf, but he jumped back down the staircase and it missed him by millimeters. He then turned to Faria “Oh my love, good of you to come. Saves me the trouble of finding you later”

“This has been a long time in coming” She said as she began throwing spells at him that knocked him back. He cast a spell that created a globe around him that protected him from outside spells. Granny, Nymernia, Faria, and Mamet took it as an opportunity to cast protective spells on each other.

  Wulfbane looked at the center head of Cerberus and brought his axe down where its head had been a moment before, but the dog had pulled back and grabbed the end of the axe head lifting Wulfbane up in the air. He began thrashing Wulfbane back and forth, but he wouldn’t let go of the axe. Fanto took running start and vaulted over the heads of the dog and landed on its back. She raised her swords and plunged them into the left sided dogs’ neck and that head yelped in pain as it reached back trying to grab her in its mouth. “Got ya, you ugly bitch” she yelled

  Cerberus let go of Wulfbane axe and all three heads tried to bite at Fanto as she held on to her Katanas.

  “Let go!” Wulfbane yelled to her, but she had a determined look on her face as she pushed with all her might to dig the two swords deeper into the dog’s neck. The left head froze for a moment and went limp. 

  The two other heads went crazy with fury and rolled over on its back laying on top of Fanto and then rolling over again. The pressure of the demigod’s body on her forced her to let go. The right headed beast turned to her stunned body lying on the ground and grabbed it in its jaws as and bit down on her body. It tossed it back in forth in its mouth as her body went from screaming to silent as her back snapped from the thrashing animal.  Cerberus pinned her with its paws and tore into her chest as she screamed “Wulfbane!” then fell silent as it threw parts of her around.

 “NO!!” Wulfbane screamed “FANTO”!” He bellowed as he raised his axe and jumped in the air bringing it down on the head of the dog that held her in its jaws. The axe sliced into its ear then its eye, and the dog released her body and growled at Wulfbane as he dislodged his axe from the face of the dog. He seethed in anger, he saw red, his berserker rage was exploding out of his control and he began swinging and striking at the beasts two heads as they snapped and bit at him, always a half-second behind his furious movements.

  Mamet finished a prayer that created a swarm of insect to attack sinister the moment his globe of protection dropped. The bugs stopped before they could get to him by a wind that he blew out of his mouth.

 “ You will have to do better than that” he said laughing as he shot a spell from his hands that struck Mamet center chested and knocked him down , almost killing him with the powerful spell. The goddess touched Mamet on the head restoring his health, as Nymernia and Granny shot spells at the vampire knocking him back again. Rowlf shot another group of arrows hitting him again with little damage, but still getting his attention as Mamet shook his head, and prepared another prayer.

  Sinister picked up Labelas and held him close to his chest as a shield whispering in his ear, as Rowlf couldn’t get a clear shot. Rolf said a quick spell and disappeared in a flash, while Granny and the Goddess shot spells at the vampire again, trying to stay away from Labelas.

  The vampire slammed Labelas down on the ground putting his foot on his chest “Watch what I can do to a god, my love, but don’t worry you will be next “he said as he began the same incantation he had done to the party in the temple. Nymernia, Faria, and the Dowager all poured magic at him, distracting him from his killing blow to Labelas. He angrily turned to them “Fine, then you first” he said as he was finishing the incitation towards the assembled in front of him.

  Nymernia cast a mirror self spell and four different versions of himself appeared around Sinister. They all tossed magic and lights in his face till he held his hands to his eyes to shield himself from the brightness. Nymernia reached down and picked Labelas over his shoulder and began carrying him away.

“What the?” Sinister cursed as he cast an acid arrow spell in the direction of the god. Nymernia appeared caring Labelas and was no longer multiple people. They both went down the staircase out of sight of the party fighting on the tower.

Granny threw spells at Sinister as Faria went down the staircase to help Labelas .Mamet was able to land a Doom prayer that lowered Sinister’s ability to fight off the magic being cast at him, but with his limited prayer abilities compared to the vampire, it didn’t lower them much. Still Sinister was occupied with the group hitting him near continuously.

  Faria was at the base of the staircase with Nymernia and Labelas. She held his hand and closed her eyes as she glowed with ethereal light that was so bright the magic user had to shield his eyes. Labelas immediately sat up and an inner light glowed behind his eyes as well.

  “That feels good” Labelas said

  “What did he do to you?” Faria asked

  “He held me down and fed off of me, sucking the life-force of my divinity right into his blackness. He wanted to question me about the girl, and then he had made a deal with that vial devil Kanchelsis to toss me to him. I had hoped you were coming. “He said to the goddess “

  “And to you old one” he turned to Nymernia “You will be rewarded for saving me” Nymernia blushed “We’re not done yet” the wizard said bashfully

 “Quite right” Labelas said “If you would take my hand” he said to Faria and they both grabbed each other’s hand and walked up the staircase.

  Wulfbane was a fury of blows, moving and striking, he had been bitten in each of his arms plus on his leg but none if seemed to matter to him.

  The dog’s center head snapped at his arm.

  Wulfbane dodged, and then struck his axe into its ear, taking off a chunk.

  The twenty foot dog then hit him with its paw and Wulfbane was knocked back, and blood came streaming down his leg, but he didn’t even notice as he struck back. Dodge, snap, nip then swing, it was like watching a furious dance.

He was striking the head on the right, dodging the lead head. He moved and swung around to the right head and lifting his axe buried it deep into the neck of the right head. This last blow was so strong that it almost loped it off completely. The lead dog Howled with pain and rage as the it swung around and looked at Wulfbane ,face to face, growling as drool oozed out of its mouth, as Wulfbane stared back in its eyes ,axe held high, and growled back.

  Faria and Labelas came up the staircase and stood next to Nymernia, Mamet and the Dowager “If you two are going to do anything now would be the time” The Queen said

  “Right” Labelas said and the god and goddess both glowed a bright clear light that flew out of their eyes and mouths slamming into each member of the party filling them with magic and health, bringing all their abilities up to par with the gods themselves.

  “Whoa” Mamet said

  ““My, on my” Nymernia said

  “That feels like I’m five hundred years younger” the Dowager said as they all looked at each other

  They all flew into a combination of spells and prayers, with arrows flying over their shoulders towards Sinister; he at first was able to take the attacks but began to fall back. First a step, then a few more, then a fireball hit him and exploded all around him causing him noticeable burns, and serious damage for the first time. He whistled a high pitch screech and a black bat appeared above him and tried to land on the top of the battlements, but Faria shot a magic missile of fire right into the face of the flying beast and it collapsed down the side of the tower, trailing flames.

  Sinister dropped down into a protective ball, Mamet took out his mace and ran up to him and ferociously began pummeling on the weakened vampire. Sinister jumped out of the crouched position throwing Mamet back, and yelled” I’m not defeated you little worms!” He yelled a scream that was not formed on this Plane or any other, and with it the three stones around his chest glowed a bright light, and he inhaled a deep breath. On that breath, from all corners of the Planes of the dead, souls screaming, could be seen flowing into his mouth. Like a black river of ghosts, they went past his lips into his body and he began to grow with a darkness that blotted out the light in front of his form.

  He closed his lips brimming with darkness and power” So you see, I am the devourer of souls. I have become death incarnate, and after I have gorged on all the souls that ever were, I shall feast on the souls of the gods themselves” He said smiling through sharp blackened teeth.

  The group began their onslaught anew, starting with Mamet slamming his mace in the distended stomach that was Sinister's most prominent feature after the feast. The weapon didn’t even strike him, just stopped before contact, freezing Mamet in place. Sinister then brought both hands down on top of him, breaking his back and throwing him backward.

  “Mamet!” Nymernia screamed as he and Granny threw more spells at the vampire but the spells died as soon as they hit him. Sinister walked over to Faria and Labelas “You two are very strong, I will devour you first” As he grabbed Faria and put his head down to bite into her neck. Labelas grabbed him by the arm and with all the power he had left threw Sinister back.

Labelas lifted the goddess up “We must retreat” she said to everyone

  Sinister was sitting and reached his hands on the ground and pushed himself up “Run? There is no place to run. Not as long as I have this.” He said putting his hands-on his chest to feel the necklace of three stones. But they were gone.

  “What?” he said angrily as a glimmering light of the stones could be seen, first bouncing away toward the staircase. The vampire flashed a dispel magic spell in the direction of the stones and Rowlf appeared wearing the necklace around his neck “Lose something, ugly?” he said

 The Group smiled and they all saw their chance as spells flew into Sinister knocking him back. For first time he had a look of uncertainty, then terror was shown on his face. Rowlf handed the necklace over to the goddess.” Thank you.” She said to the grinning thief as she put the necklace with the tri-colored stones around her neck.

  “Cerberus” The one head left alive on the demigod looked up from its fight with Wulfbane. “Kill” she said pointing to Sinister. The huge dog, with two lifeless heads flopping, ran over to Sinister and pounced on top of the vampire. It grabbed him in his mouth and shredded the creature known as Sinister into pieces. And as it finished ripping into its chest black shapes that had been ingested by the foul creature escaped into the air, rising up and over the battlements. The released souls turned to look at the goddess with a look of gratitude before rising away back to Hades.

A large portion of the demons and foul creatures that were under his command began to run away, and creatures of the dead, skeletons , liches and all manners of undead either left or collapsed no longer being animated by the vampire. A mist rose from the pieces of meat that used to be Sinister and went on the wind, away to a safe place where Sinister had his place of respite back on Faerun.

  “Is he still living?’ Mamet asked the Goddess

  “Yes, a form of him is still alive. At least till I go to his tomb and drive a stake in his final form. That will cause his final and permanent death.” She said

  “Do you know where he keeps his coffin?’ Mamet asked

  “Yes, the stones will take me right to its former owners place, and I’ll finish this. Also, you gentleman will be pleased to know your souls are no longer cursed. When he died this time, it lifted all bonds held on to your bodies. We will travel to his resting place kill his form and I’ll resurrect your bodies and place everything where it should be.” She said

  Wulfbane falling down from exhaustion from his berserker rage sat on the ground cradling the body of Fanto. “Mistress, is there anything you could do for her?’ he said tears streaming down his face

  “Yes” she said as a light bright and holy shown through her fingers and enveloped the corpse of Fanto and it reassembled itself from the parts that were ripped apart and her face shown from the light, and she looked up to see Wulfbane crying face cradling her.” Thank you mistress, thank you” he said holding her close kissing her face, and seeing her laugh “Get off me, you big lummox” she said grinning.

 Labelas stood on his battlements and made his voice heard throughout his plane of existence” All is how it should be, All that is gone, I’ll will bring back. Come forward to receive your reward, my mighty army of the light”

  As he began to glow an ethereal light, Faria stood next to him and a light joined his and  shot out among the army that had defended the gods , people were brought back to life, wounded were healed and the gathered host of creatures cheered in triumph as they saw a victory unseen in any of their lifetimes.

  The goddess healed the party members and turned to the Dowager” I can get you home if you wish, or you could travel with us” she said to the elder woman

  “I’ll go home, I have my vengeance. I’ll try to repair some of the damage Sinister did to my family. I might call upon your help on that one” She said

  “As you wish, you may talk to me anytime. “ The goddess said

“What of the Stones?” Nymernia said

 “I haven’t decided. I may just destroy them, but then again that may leave Cerberus able to be controlled through other means. Someone may have to be their guardian. I will have to think on this” she said picking them up from her chest and holding them in her hands.

The group was healed from their wounds one last time, and given a rejuvenation spell to give themselves vigor. Labelas turned to the group “Everyone will be my guest for tonight; I am having my world repaired as we speak and you will be able to rest and join us for a legendry feast tomorrow.”

  Granny began to laugh as she walked down the staircase “ You kids have fun, and gentlemen” she turned to the party” If you ever need my aid” she gave them a wink and as she reached the bottom of the staircase a circle formed in front of her and she stepped through and was gone.

  The next week was a blur of parties and food and wine unimagined in any of the group’s life. They had music, entertainers, fireworks fun, and solemn respects for the fallen that couldn’t be resurrected. Faria had appeared d with their bodies on the second day and resurrected them with their souls intact. Fanto seemed to be disappointed with the hair on Wulfbane head, but he wasn’t.

************************************

  The group all sat in the living room, silent as Owsley started to put away the DM’s screen and papers.

 “Man that was epic.” Murph said

  “Who’s this girl Fanto?” Mick’s girlfriend said

  “She was a fake character; she and Wulfbane had a thing.”

 “A thing?”

 “It wasn’t real”

 “Um-huh” she said

  Owsley got up and said “Well my friends, I hope you enjoyed the tale. There was some laughs, some tears, but in the end you fine gentlemen prevailed. If you wish for another adventure, Murph has my number. I have many different adventures to be had; all you need to do is ask.”

  “I defiantly want to do that again.” Murph said as the rest of the guys nodded “That was awesome” and “great game “was heard from all the guys as he walked towards the door.

  “Can the girls play?” Tina asked

 Owsley stopped before the door and turned” A character and willingness to open the imagination are all that are needed, but be warned I will give no quarter to the fairer sex, death may await you” he said as he went out the door

  The group went to talking about the night and everybody seemed tired and ready to go home.”Your friend is a little strange” Lisa said

  “Yeah, isn’t it great” Murph said


© Copyright 2017 James Simokat. All rights reserved.

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