Chadarnook’s voice exploded through his head violently, causing him to nearly jerk fully off of his knees and pulling him out his hibernation. The voice rang through his being telling him he had failed. Telling him that a ray of light had landed and taken hold, that his minions hadn’t noticed! On and on he was chastised, each scream felt like his head was exploding… and then finally silence.
He had been commanded to deal with the intruders. Especially the one bringing the spark of light. Some god of light most likely, there was no shortage of them after all. He stretched and yawned, how long had he been out? He wasn’t sure, he let himself flow into the darkness and it consumed him. He flowed through the streets of the city. Seeing his dark minions marching and patrolling. How had they missed it? The light was easy to find, the entirety of the harbor was nearly covered in its glow. How had this happened? It was strong, and the light was fierce. When he tried to ooze into the pier and down into the shipyard the light pierced him and caused him pain. He had felt this before, but how was it possible. That god was dead. It had to be another. He lingered near the water listening. After several hours, he had learned several things. The light was coming to meet him on the morrow, the princess was still alive, and they had ended the reign of the Black Iron King. Lastly, the God with whom his battle would be, was named Paul. A rather dull name for a god he thought… but his light shone bright.
He exhaled and the darkness spat him out into his body. The battle would be fierce, he could not feel the presence of The Black One anymore, but the power he had been gifted with was still available. He stretched again and stood. He walked to the desecrated altar and lifted his mighty hammer off of it, tracing the runes of anguish with his fingers. He smiled as the pain shot through his body. He put the weapon back on the altar, and knelt down again and started to chant, smiling… anticipating the challenge.
On the Wave Drake, Bootjack was pulled from his sleep momentarily. He had dreamed of being pulled into a river of darkness, sinking so fast that there was no hope of recovery. Then the light surrounded him and pulled him through the blackness. He wiped the sweat from his brow, and rolled over back to sleep. The dream forgotten.
The party waited several days after their encounter with the king. They wanted to see if the patrols of skeletons stopped. They found that if anything the patrols had intensified, but they still steered clear of the docks. The party decided that they would explore the temple like building that was in the northern central area of the city. The party asked the Griselda for any information that she thought would be useful. She didn’t have much to tell them other than she had gone to the temple often as a young girl for various ceremonies and festivals, but that as she had gotten older that it was used less and less. She mentioned that the temple was the same as the symbol that Bootjack wore, when the party asked her if it was Paul, she simply stated that it was a different name, but she couldn’t remember it.
The party set off, the temple was a little farther away than the Black Iron Tower had been. The city was overrun with vines and plantlife, they moved what they could as they travelled The party headed North on the first tier until they found a large ramp/stair upwards, Unsure if they would have another chance to get up before hitting the edge of the city they ascended to the second tier. On the second tier a large patrol of skeletons was “searching” some of the ramshackle wooden structures that had been constructed on the curve of the tier overlooking the tier below. The party decided stealth was the way to proceed and began to sneak across the road. Everyone but Bootjack and Wulfhelm were across, Wulfhelm started to cross but stumbled into the street making a good deal of noise. About half of the patrol detected this and assaulted the party. The other half stayed searching the decrepit wooden hut. Bootjack sent his spiritual weapon to destroy the few pillars holding the building up, and the rest of the party entered combat. The wooden building came tumbling down onto the skeletons crushing them. The party then dealt with the rest of them in short order.
The party headed north again until they were nearly underneath of the temple. They sent Wulf to scout ahead and he returned after several minutes saying that there were at least 100 skeletons surrounding the Temple, also that all the vines and vegetation within 500 feet or so of the temple and withered and died. He did note that it looked like a part of the wall had crumbled and had sealed off a portion of the Temple from the Skeletons, and that they might be able to enter that way. The party decided to head west on the second tier until they found a stair up. They managed to avoid any skeleton patrols and headed back north to the area they thought they could sneak in.
Wulf dropped down first followed by Hannik, Bootjack, and Blake. Immediately they felt the air thicken and felt a dread, the sun seemed to fall behind the clouds even though it was still high above them. They were in a small alcove created by the debris. After some searching it became clear that there was no easy way in, just as their hope was running out, Blake decided he would try to transmute the wall. He transmuted a large section of the wall into wood, which the party quickly hacked out. They spent a good amount of time repeating this process until the hole was large enough to climb through.
After entering the Temple they found themselves in a small room covered in tattered white garments. There was a door which they slid open. They found that the door was designed to look like the wall on the other side. The place must have been elaborate and beautiful at some point, but it had been desecrated and corrupted. Showers of dried blood, who knew how old, covered the walls. Runes had been written in some sort of black ink or paint and the statue of the god of this temple had been destroyed. There was a large stair leading up curving up the northern wall of the Temple and the party decided to ascend it.
As they entered the second level, they could see that the ceiling was far above and was the dome shape they had seen from the outside. The room had a large alter on the East side and kneeling before this altar was a large man robed in black. The alter was covered in black, and there were large black runes on the floor. The man grabbed a large 2 handed mace off of the altar turned and offered a wicked grin his teeth filed to points, before exclaiming “I am ”/wikis/dark-priest-nedukah" class=“wiki-page-link”> Nedukah and I will be your doom. His face was pale and withered, his eyes black and sunken. Who dares bring light into our darkness, who is the priest? Bootjack didn’t respond as he didn’t think of himself as a priest or cleric of Paul… just a sucker getting abused by someone stronger than him. The Dark Priest smiled wickedly and said he planned to enjoy the challenge. He stamped his mace on the ground, and 4 of the large runes immediately started to glow a fiery red. Several skeletons rose from the piles of bones around the edges of the room and charged in.
The party attacked, Hannik and Wulf started attacking a skeleton trying to take it out fast, but for some reason they found that their attacks were doing very little if any damage to the skeleton. Blake and Bootjack attacked the Dark Priest Nedukah. Their attacks having very little effect on him. After skirmishing for a few moments Nedukah mocked Bootjack. See the power my god affords me! He cast a dark spell that filled the air with a purple and black miasma. Hannik and Wulf were caught in this but Bootjack had moved to check one of the runes that glowed on the floor. The cloud caused massive pain to Hannik and Wulf, nearly crumpling them to the ground. They both were unable to move as the priest allowed the cloud to flow over them.
Bootjack stamped out one of the runes, and Nedukah cursed at him mockingly. Wulf noticed that his hits were doing more damage to the skeleton Hannik and he were fighting. At this point the party started to snuff out the runes one by one, until they were doing full damage to Nedukah and the skeletons. The dark cloud continued to damage Hannik causing him to black out, with Wulfhelm barely managing to get out of it. Blake Griffin fired a spell at the dark priest and caused him to lose his concentration causing the miasma to dissipate. Wulf dove in to the fray attacking Nedukah with all he had, Bootjack ran to Hannik hands glowing with light, pulling him back from the edge of the abyss. Nedukah fire another dark spell at Blake causing him to fall. He sneered at Bootjack, how weak his god was. That this was true power.
Bootjack heard a voice in his head, “ask for help and it shall come, you just have to ask” He ignored it and fought on. Hannik re-engaging Nedukah cut deeply into the dark priests side causing him to curse in pain. He swung his large two handed mace and crushed Wulfhelm under its weight, gravely injuring him but not killing him. Again Bootjack heard the voice, but again ignored it. Racing over to Blake and layed hands on him. Blake had expended all by the most minor amounts of his magical power, as had Bootjack. The dark priest seemed to be weakening but not as fast as they were. The voice again sounded in Bootjacks head and he exasperatedly acknowledged it. He shouted out for Paul to aid him. A bright light shot forth and flowed over the dark priest. His companions felt strength return to them, and attacked Nedukah with all they had, Hannik landing the finishing blow, decapitating the man, hood and all. The party exhausted collapsed collectively, and Bootjack blacked out. They felt the darkness lift from the area, and they spent some time that night cleaning up what they could of the desecration before falling asleep without a watch due to exhaustion.
They stayed the night and when they awoke the next morning, a They found an ancient tome which Bootjack recognized as the teachings of Paul but somewhat different and much older, they decided against taking the dark priest’s giant mace and armor, there was a staff that they picked up though. All of the skeletons that had been outside were gone, and it felt like the sun was shining a bit brighter.
Bootjack finally awoke and couldn’t clearly remember the events of the previous night. They began to head home and decided they needed to find a wagon to pile debris and vines etc into it. The party found a cart that seemed serviceable and spent the day travelling back to the dock gathering vines and clearing vegetation. With no signs of any undead. Upon arriving back at Camp, The others celebrated their return and they prepared a large meal from a deer like creature Slash had caught while hunting, and clams that Kendrick had fished out of the water near the dock, and drank Bootjacks hooch that he had begun brewing a while back. It was a good night.