Bear Claws

74. Bag of Thunder

Characters: Thera, Alton, Izera, Glamor, Murook, Thornside, Jak, Xaladin, Roland, Althaea, Kira
Level: 30
Location: Tytherion, the Plane of Endless Night in the Caverns of Fiery Splendor
NPCs: Mary, Jalissa/Bahamut, Tiamat

Bahamut explains that Tiamat will have to be kept in her physical form if she is to be killed. The plan is to venture into her realm, kill her and then merge with Bahamut using the Hellhammer. Amyria turns into a sword of Dragonslaying and Jalissa gives Thornside the Arrow of Fate which is now the Arrow of Tiamat Slaying.

The Bear Claws meet up with James and Moradin one last time and equip themselves for the fight ahead. Then they pass through a portal into the heart of Tiamat’s realm. They venture forward into the caverns and make their way through the wasted volcanic darkness.

Partway through the caves Jak sees Gorthastron, the demon that he made a deal with. The demon wants to claim his price. Jake offers him a list and the demon wants the souls, not the list. He offers to take something else in exchange. The memory of your friends, your faith in your god. Jak beheads him.

Shortly after that Alton sees his mother, she is in the caves with Kas, she is his servant — almost an exarch. She tells them that Kas wants to make a deal with them. Kas has recently slain Vecna and claimed godhood as the god of betrayal. He offers the Bear Claws to give them something that will help in their quest in exchange for an open favor that he can ask for in the future.

Thornside makes the deal as long as Kas is sure to phrase his future request in a way that makes it sound morally palatable to him. Kas gives him the Cloak of the Phoenix.

Dhallia, Alton’s mother, tells him she recognizes the wood of his staff. It came from the tree that she planted to cover up her first betrayal. She won’t tell him what it was but she explains that it has made his staff more powerful. Alton, in disgust tosses the staff at her feet and she shrugs and picks it up.

Her and Kas depart into the shadows.

The Bear Claws find the chamber of Tiamat has a 650 foot geyser of lava keeping a platform of stone aloft overhead. They can hear Tiamat’s voices up there and decide that it would be better to bring the platform down than to climb up there. Jak throws his golden shovel at the base of the lava geyser while Xaladin strikes at it with a gale of wind. The geyser shifts just slightly off angle and the platform flips and falls, crashing to the bottom of the cavern where it falls over and jams on top of the geyser.

Tiamat and two large dragons fly down in a rage and the Bear Claws leap to the battle. Tiamat starts by filling the place with her chromatic breath and the fight is on. Things start to look bleak for the Bear Claws as Tiamat blasts them and tears at them with all her fury. Just when things are looking dark Thornside tossed in his bag of holding in which he had prepared over one million gold pices worth of alchemical explosives. The explosion blasted her back against the wall and destroyed her, ripping her apart.

Bahamut and Mary came by portal and tried to use the hammer on the mists of Tiamat’s essence. Nothing happened and Mary stepped into the mists breathing them in. She took on the essence of Tiamat and then Jalissa struck her with the hammer. The two of them merged forming IO once again.

Thornside, traumatized and maybe a little broken from the experience of killing a god simply walked away. His friends never saw him again but a legend arose of a crazed archer wandering the planes, keeping the gods in check if they tried to get out of line or meddle too much in mortal affairs.

Xaladin, having bonded with The Heart of What Was Lost returned to the feywild where he joined the Summer Court and became one of their most powerful fey.

Jak ascended to godhood and became the god of charity, self worth and dapperness.

Roland’s visions stopped the instant that Tiamat died. A rift in space opened before him and he stepped through where he became one with the Chaos and is now a part of the universe.

Murook set her sights to bettering the image of half-orcs and formed a group of half-orc do-gooders who helped people out and sought to improve the image of half-orcs in the world. The leader of the group would always be The Murook and take on the personality and physical traits of the original leader.

Alton disappeared. As far as anyone knows. Stories are often told of the halfling chef who shows up at inns and wayhouses and teaches the cooks there new recipes and techniques. The quality of food in the world improves everywhere and, often it is said by orphans on the street that you can only get so hungry before the angel will show up and provide them some food. Nobody knows who he is but legend says that sometimes he can be seen, walking with his dragon in the distance at sunset.

Mary and Jalissa become the god the dragons. IO. In time they learn to control their form and find that they can split themselves into both forms at once (Mary and Jalissa). The two of them have a long, bloody war ahead of them as they try to tame the chromatic dragons and win over the metallic ones. Together they are the god of dragons, separate Jalissa holds powers over justice and peace while Mary holds powers over hunger and longing.

The world is different place now. Many of the magical items that once seemed to decorate every bandits horde began to fade, to lose their magic and fall to ruin. The fey and numinous begin to fade away and their influence is no longer felt on the world. The shadows also lose their darkness.

The Time of Heroes is ended.


73. Day of the Tentacle

Characters: Thera, Alton, Izera, Glamor, Murook
Level: 29
Location: The Hellforge
NPCs: Mary

The Daughters of IO stole one of the trucks that the flesh carvers use to haul the newly formed demons to the Hellhammer. They drove it to a giant spine rising up two hundred feet out of the fleshy ground.

Thera drove the truck in through the front doors while the rest of them sliced their way into the back of the building. Thera found herself surrounded by flesh carvers and immediately began to attack.

One of the flesh carvers held the Hellhammer and Thera wrestled away. The others burst in through the back wall and laid about them at the demons within.

They found the demons a tough challenge and one by one they began to drop to the demon attacks. Thera’s arm turned into a demon tentacle and she swung about with the Hellhammer and found herself fused to the different demons as she struck them with it.

They eventually killed the demons, separated Thera from them and revived everybody. They took the Hellhammer and escaped out the back where Mary had a truck waiting for them. As they sped away they could see pursuers closing in on them.


72. If the fall doesn't kill you...
...maybe we will.

Characters: Roland, Jak, Thornside, Alton, Jalissa, Thera, Izera, Althaea
Level: 28
Location: Celestia, The Abyss
NPCs: Mary, Emil, Pattie, Moradin, Kord, Dakranad

The Bear Claws explained to Moradin and Kord that they were trying to bring back Bahamut, not make themselves gods. They believed the Bear Claws but promised to be watching them.

Dakranad, the scholarly dragon and his githyanki companion decided to stay behind and accompany the Bear Claws. They tried to steal the Arrow of Fate and Amyria but ended up taking Roland and Amyria instead and flying away toward the Bridge of al-Sihal. The Bear Claws gave chase and Roland did his best to make the dragon uncomfortable.

The Fillia Ursa delivered the Bear Claws to the bridge just in time to see an angel appear in front of Dakranad and refuse him entry into the mists, stating that only the Essence of a god may enter.

The Bear Claws rushed forward and made quick work of the dragon, throwing the githyanki off the bridge.

The angel told them that either Jak or Jalissa could enter the mists. Jalissa took the Arrow of Fate from Roland and walked inside. Moments later Bahamut came back out but when he took human shape again it was the form of Jalissa that he took.

Meanwhile the Daughters of IO were making plans to go into the Abyss and get the Hellhammer from the Hellforge. Mary explained to them that the Hellhammer could be used to reforge Tiamat and Bahamut into IO. This would end the eternal war between the siblings.

In order to get there they would have to pass through three other layers of the Abyss. The first was the layer of the Chained God — a sphere of vacuum and nothingness with a chained god in the center. Izera worked quickly to open another portal and they tumbled through into the Domain of Storms where they battled a living storm while Izera opened another portal. The third was the domain of Baphomet — god of minotaurs — and was a large maze. They eventually found their way to each other and stepped through the portal again into the Hellforge, nightmare landscape where demonic crafters formed demons from living portions of the ground and sent them off to be given life by the Hellforge.

Mary pointed off in the distance to a giant spine rising up out of the landscape. “The Hellhammer is there. I can feel it.”


71. We're Sorry the Convention is Cancelled... your refund before you go.

Characters: Roland, Jak, Thornside, Murook, Alton, Kyra, Jalissa, Thera, Izera, Althaea, Xaladin, Glamor
Level: 27
Location: Hestavar
NPCs: Mary, Emil, Pattie, Guionne, Amyria, Irfelujhar

Alton, Thera and Glamor flee from the ‘convention’ as soon as the angels turn to look at the dropped bell. Kyra, Althaea and Roland stick around for a time and manage to barely convince the angels that this is necessary to resurrect Bahamut. The lead angel agrees to meet with Pelor and try to curb his anger.

Meanwhile the other group convinces the cleric of Ioun that they will be returning the books in two weeks time if he lets them go. He agrees and silences the alarm.

They flee to their ship and sail into the storm where they face a storm titan who is imprisoned there they slay it and the Arrow of Fate drops into the ocean. Jak and Murook dive after it and the storm collapses, tipping the ship over and dumping everyone out. They all wash up on a sandy beach in the storm where they see Guionne, standing proudly over them. He picks up the Arrow of Fate where it washed up beside them and pronounces gladly that he has finally gotten it for his Lord Asmodeus.

Then the devil freezes and Irfelujhar steps out from behind him. He has just rematerialized near his phylactery and is upset that the Bear Claws are here because now they know about his phylactery.

He controls the devils and attacks the Bear Claws. They kill all their assailants and finish off Irfelujhar again.

They right their ship and pick up the other group before fleeing Hestavar into the Astral Sea, ships from the Bright City making sail behind them. The Filia Ursa is a githyanki cruiser and quickly outruns them.

Mary tells the group that she wants to go to the Abyss to seek the Hellhammer, she would like Alton to come along because she expects there to be a lot of demons. Murook asks to join them as well. She wants to fight something.

Jalissa and Kyra stay behind to help resurrect Bahamut.

Before they leave Althaea tells them what she knows about what they need to do. The Bridge of al-Sihal holds the mists of creation, a person who holds the Essence of Bahamut and carries the Arrow of Fate across the Bridge will be consumed to reform Bahamut. She also knows that using it to change Roland back will also destroy the Arrow.

Emil admits that Pattie is expecting, it’s their third time because she’s miscarried twice before, they think because she is a dragon.

When they get close to Celestia a storm surrounds the ship and Moradin and Kord appear on deck. Moradin seems upset with them and behind them flies in an Adamantine dragon carrying a githyanki. They alight and the dragon takes the form of a scholarly gentleman. The githyanki angrily points at the Bear Claws and says, “That’s the ones who did this to me. They have a weapon to make us mortal and they’re conspiring to throw down the gods.”


70. Jak was Hear
the dapper god of librarians

Characters: Roland, Jak, Thornside, Murook, Alton, Kyra, Jalissa, Thera, Izera, Althaea
Level: 25
Location: Hestavar
NPCs: Mary, Emil, Pattie, Guionne

The Bear Claws dock the Fillia Ursa at the docks in Hestavar, leaving Amyria on board. On their way through the city they meet Mary who show them the way to the Swan Tower. She mentions that she found information about a weapon called the Hellhammer, made from one of the shards of the axe of Erek-Hus. It was said that it could combine two souls into one and could be found in the Abyss.

In the library the librarian tells them that the books about gods can be found on the 13th floor. Once up there they meet a devil named Guionne who tries to be helpful in finding the information they seek. They also find the Daughters of IO doing their own research. They determine that the Arrow of Fate is hidden behind four seals that each of the gods created.

The Dawnbell of Pelor, The Methion Market of Erathis, the Library of Ioun and the Storm of Asmodeus.

Knowing that the city will react quickly to any threat they decide to split up to take on the different seals.

One group determines that the library doesn’t need to be destroyed, just broken. They decide to try breaking it by disrupting the portal system that is bringing all the books to this place from their home libraries on all the other planes. Jak, Murook and Thornside set up a distraction by wreaking havoc and playing Marvel heroes in the library while Jalissa and Izera transfer the library portal system back to their mansion in Sayre. When they do the books disappear and alarms begin to sound.

On the other side of the city the other group takes the alarms as their cue. The seal of Erathis is tied to the citizens that use the marketplace. In order to destroy the marketplace without killing anybody, they decide to get everybody out. At the alarm they convince the market guards to head toward the library to help out. Then Althaea casts an illusion to summon a legion of specters and Roland begins to shout to clear the market. People run away in a panic and the Bear Claws start to break the seal.

The seal animates a dwarf from it’s own tiles to defend itself and they blast it with fireballs and stab it with spears until it breaks apart and the entire earthberg cracks and splits.

They then fly — with Thera and Mary running behind — to the Dawnbell Bastion where they find a complex of three towers full of angels. Alton takes on his angelic form and tells them that he is the leader of the angel board of directors calling an angel convention.

Althaea and Kyra fly up to the Dawnbell and trick the angels up there to go down for the ‘convention’ as well. Then they freeze and bell to make it more brittle and then melt the hanger it is on so it drops and shatters at the bottom of the tower.

All the angels gathered in the room turn to look as the Dawnbell of Pelor shatters with a resounding ring.


69. Sleeping in a Croissant
a buttery pillow of comfort

Characters: Roland, Jak, Thornside, Xaladin, Murook, Alton, Kyra, Jalissa, Thera, Glamor, Izera
Level: 24
Location: The Mantled Citadel, Hestavar
NPCs: Mornujhar, Irfelujhar, Mary, Emil, Pattie

The Bear Claws rushed into the library and attacked. Jak rushed across the room, the mosaic of Tiamat raised a head and blasted him with a breath weapon. He sliced into the beholder and stabbed it with his spear. The beholder and Mornujhar struck back. Murook also jumped into the fray and slashed with her axe. The beholder teleported Thornside into the middle of the battle and scared Xaladin into running away. Alton unleashed fire. Thornside shot his bow at all his enemies. Roland shot fireworks at the enemies. In the middle of the battle a vampire grabbed Roland from behind and bit his neck. Kas demanded his sword. His vampire minions punched through the ceiling, clawing and scrabbling at the stone prying it away from the cliff face. The building began to separate from the cliff.

Roland teleported away and Kas leaped on Jak, taking the sword from his back and striking at those nearby. He flew away, taking his vampires with him. Irfelujhar told them that he had been working on summoning Bahamut in mortal form and the final component he needed to complete the ritual was the sword of Kas in the demiplane of the ritual. When the Bear Claws Nate red the realm, the ritual completed and Bahamut found himself in the presence of Tiamat and mortal. She killed him.

Some of the Bear Claws are upset by this and they finish him off, burning his body to ash.

Just as they do the library falls away from the building. Everyone leaps to safety but Jak misses and falls to the ground. From down there, looking up he can see a huge swarm of dragons approaching, angel metallic dragons. Then the gods themselves come, led by Moradin and Kord they begin to tear the place apart, reaping their vengeance on the demiplane.

High above them the Bear Claws can see the familiar lines of the Fillia Ursa and Emil waving to them from the rail.

They climb and fly as they can up to their ship and flee from the destruction behind them, not before Thornside turns a powerful dragon into a Githyanki using a specially prepared arrow with a vial of chaos powered water.

Pattie and Amyria are on the ship and both have been crying. Amyria explains that indeed Bahamut is dead but there is an artifact, the Arrow of Fate, that might be able to bring him back if they act quickly.

Jalissa, with the Daughters of IO in the astral city of Hestavar has a vision where she sees IO killed and two Dragonborn find one of his scales.

Roland has the same visions and sees the Dragonborn transform the scale into the head of a huge arrow he transfers his soul into the arrow. The gods war over the arrow until Pilot, Erathis, Ioun and Asmodeus make a pact to hide it away behind four seals in the city of Hestavar.

After two days of sailing across the astral sea the Bear Claws arrive at the Bright City.


68. Wings of Love
Heart of Fire

Characters: Roland, Jak, Thornside, Xaladin, Murook, Alton
Level: 23
Location: Vaerothim, The Forest of Twisted Souls, The Mantled Citadel
NPCs: Ana, Alain, The Autumnfalls, Xaladar, Kalad, Bahamut, Mornujhar, Irfelujhar

The Bear Claws find themselves in the Forest of Twisted Souls in the demiplane of Vaerothim. As they move through the creepy forest they encounter shadows of people they knew who have died.

Ana guarding the way, Alain high up in a tree, Thornside’s parents looking for him, Xaladar pursued by orcs, Kalad warning them about the forest. They meet an undead dryad who asks them to free her from the demiplane by taking a cutting from her tree. She tells them that the dead they see are of actually dead people but are merely shadows of them.

At the entrance to the Mantled Citadel they see an old man, his head bowed, a canary flitting about his gray hood before he fades to mist like the rest of the dead they have seen.

Inside the Citadel they explore the traps and rooms of the tower, working their way up through the inside. When they finally reach the top they find a huge library with a mosaic of Tiamat on the floor. The shelves are nearly empty and a dragonborn, a lich and a beholder are quickly shoving the last of the books into a bag.

The lich speaks to them, “I’d like to thank y’all for your help in bringing the Sword of Kas to me. It was the last component I needed to complete my ritual.”

Murook charges.


67. The Care Bear Claws
We care about tasty pastries.

Characters: Roland, Jak, Thornside, Xaladin, Murook, Alton
Level: 22
Location: Monadhan, The Domain of Betrayal
NPCs: Dahllia Greenhill, Kas the Betrayer, Arantor

Alton wants to go back to speak with his mother. She insists that what she did was the best choice she could make at the time. It saved Alton’s life. Alton explains to her that her actions mean that he has no more life to go to, the farm, the inn, it’s all gone.

She acknowledges that he is right but she insists she would do it again.

Alton is too angry to keep speaking with her and leaves. She gives Roland a box and asks him to give it to Alton when he has cooled down.

The Bear Claws traipse across the jungle toward the cave entrance that Kas told them about. On the way they discuss alternate ways to traverse the jungle that may or may not be easier/more interesting/faster.

They enter the cave and follow a path down into the earth. Down there they find a rushing waterfall. A troll charges from the waterfall and shouts a riddle at them — the answer to which is obviously ‘river.’

Looking forlorn the troll slinks back into the waterfall. Jak and Thornside make conversation with him and teach him a few more riddles before they continue past.

The next room leads them to a tall cliff, a deep ravine and another cliff with fake handholds. Using a combination of their magic items and skills they make it across then follow another passage only to come to a dead end.

On turning back they find themselves entering a torture chamber rather than the cavern of cliffs. They free a prisoner who is tied to a rack and doors of stone slam over the exits. They understand that the only way to open the doors again is to fill the T-shaped channel in the floor with blood. Jak, Xaladin and Murook each cut themselves and drain some blood into the channel to open the doors.

The prisoner, calling himself Macaebus, says that he went to visit the seer and ate some of her stew. When he woke up he was tied up on the rack in that room. He thinks she sold him to Rolain (who is really Kas) so that he could get past the room in case he needed to.

The Bear Claws continued on and found a room full of statues. In the center is a great silver dragon in a rampant pose. Around the room are six other statues. They are, Irfelujhar — a skeletal creature holding a giant hour glass, Mornujhar — a black dragonborn exarch of Tiamat, Dhallia — Alton’s mother, Guionne — a devil wearing spectacles, Amyria — carved in a pose of great agony, Niuria Angel of Secrets — this looks just like Rachaela only with Vecna’s hand on her chest instead of Kord’s.

The Bear Claws assume this means that Rachaela tricked them somehow and wonder what the statues mean.

As they continue down through the caves they find themselves in a huge cavern so vast they can not see the ends of it. In the distance they can see the glint of light reflecting off of something faintly. As they venture across the cavern a voice speaks above them, taunting them. The voice tells them that nobody leaves the Domain of Betrayal because everybody who is there deserves to be there.

When Jak tries to continue towards the sword and giant skeletal dragon lunges forward out of the gloom and yells at him. The dragon’s tail smashes the ground and the Bear Claws plunge into a rushing underground river. They attack when Jak starts by teleporting next to the dragon and attacking it brutally. The dragon flies up into the air after swiping at him with it’s claws and teeth. The others move around and blast away at the dragon until it lands near Murook who nearly removes its head.

As the dragon falls to the ground it murmurs, “Imrissa, revenge me, forgive me.” A smaller, skeletal dragon begins to claw it’s way from the rib cage of the larger dragon and whispers to Murook as she emerges. Roland takes control of the dragon’s mind and forces her to claw at her father’s body until the other Bear Claws succeed in killing her as well.

They make their way over to the pile of treasure that Arantor has stashed and find the Sword of Kas among the riches. There is also a portal that shows blurring gray trees in half-light.

Kas appears, surrounded by over a hundred vampires. He demands the sword and wants it now, not after the Bear Claws go through the portal. “I expected betrayal, so I brought one of my own.”

As the vampires leap toward them the Bear Claws grab hold of the sword and step through the portal. On the other side they see a forest that is twisted and sickened by magic the trees themselves in a state of undeath. A bell-like gong sounds around them and a voice says, “Finally.”


66. You Killed Alton!!?
No, the demon...

Characters: James, Roland, Thera, Jak, Izera, Althaea, Thornside, Kira, Xaladin, Glamor, Murook
Level: 21
Location: The Abyss
NPCs: Emil, Pattie, Mary, Dahllia Greenhill, Ponocrates, Kas the Betrayer

Thornside sneaks into a village on the edge of the Abyss to see if he can find a way home while the rest of the Bear Claws set up a camp on the plateau where they landed after their battle with Malthazard. He finds directions to a demon who can create a demon gate for them at a discounted price and then he sabotages the legs of the village that keep it from plunging into the Abyss.

In the morning he tells the rest of the Bear Claws what he has found and they go to talk to the demon. Jak convinces the demon that he is a demon and the others are his slaves. He agrees, after some agonizing, to pay the demon 10 souls for the demon gate. The demon says they can pay him later. They can owe him.

Once back in Sayre they try to settle into their new roles as supremely powerful beings while while dealing with accusations of Quelenna who, as after her transformation into a githyanki, has started to show signs of age. She blames the Bear Claws and wants them banished.

The rest of the Coalition has mostly broken up in this time of peace and the Bear Claws settle in to learn more about who they are and what they have become.

One day while they are eating dinner an angel calls at their mansion. She introduces herself as Rachaela, angel of Kord and she has a quest for them. She explains that Mornujhar, the black exarch of Tiamat, has secreted away a powerful lich ritualist. This lich ritualist has been working on a ritual for over a thousand years. She doesn’t know what the ritual is but she knows the location now and wants the Bear Claws to go and stop it.

Mornujhar has created a demiplane called the Vaerothim that can only be reached by traveling through Monadhan, the Domain of Betrayal which lies deep inside the Shadowfell. The Domain of Betrayal, once reached can not be left unless one holds the key — which is the item of greatest betrayal at any given time.

Rachaela wants the Bear Claws to travel to Monadhan, find the key, go to Vaerothim and stop the ritual from taking place.

As a sign of good will she blesses the armor of most of them and introduces them to a new savage looking half-orc woman named Murook, a valiant follower of Kord.

The Bear Claws depart for Monadhan and find themselves in a stifling jungle of oppressive heat and hazy light. The trail leads them into a valley where a wooden fort squats atop a small rise in the swampy jungle. Around the fort is a shanty town and they quickly learn that the denizens, when they die, blurt out their greatest betrayal with their last breath. The speak with a few of the denizens but find most of what they say filled with lies and half-truths and blatant manipulations.

They do get one clue, that they should visit the seer on the other side of the shanty town. As they make their way there they come across Ponocrates, Roland’s old mentor, who has just been beaten to death. They hear him say something about Roland before he dies. Xaladin performs the Speak with Dead ritual and Roland asks him what that was about. Ponocrates says that he sacrificed a student to a Primordial to grant Roland his sorcerous powers.

Roland takes one of his fingers to ask Alton raise him from death later.

At the seer’s hut they find a halfling woman who looks just like Alton. She reveals that she is Alton’s mother and she made a deal with Malthazard when Alton was sick as an infant. She told him he could destroy the entire village is Alton lived. Malthazard destroyed the village years later to make Alton think he had done it.

The seer, whose name is Dahllia Greenhill, explains that the Domain of Betrayal is controlled by Arantor, a silver dragon and that the key to leaving the realm is the sword of Kas the Betrayer.

She also tells them that Rolain, the vampire, sometimes goes to visit Arantor in his caves and can be found in the graveyard at midnight.

She also tries to poison them while they are talking to her. It doesn’t work on every body and they tie her up and put her to sleep before leaving.

In the graveyard, Thornside sneaks in to have a look around when the mists coalesce into a vampire right in front of him. The vampire turns out to be Rolain who is actually Kas the Betrayer. He wants his sword back but isn’t strong enough to get it. He tells the Bear Claws he will tell them how to defeat Arantor if they will give him the sword when they get it.

After some debate the Bear Claws agree to this arrangement.


65. As Old and as True as the Sky

Characters: James, Roland, Thera, Alton, Jak, Izera, Althaea, Jalissa, Thornside, Kira, Xaladin, Glamor
Level: 20
Location: The Abyss
NPCs: Emil, Pattie, Mary, Pug, Quick, Malthazard

Gith offers the Bear Claws and Daughters of IO the gift of their astral skiff — the newly rechristened Filia Ursa as well as the entirety of the Vraxanault’s horde. After this she offers them a portal back home and they accept.

Something goes wrong with the portal when they step through and they hear a voice that says, “got them.”

When they stop out of the portal they are in a different place than they ever expected to be. James, Jak, Jalissa, Glamor, Roland, Thera and Mary find themselves in a cube shaped place where gravity shifts and changes and and each surface offers a new danger. Pug and Quick are there with an assortment of devils to try and convince Jak and James to join their side. Their arguments are specious at best and the thinnest of justifications for the evils that they have willingly wrought upon the world. Claiming that they are saving the planes from another Dawn War with their atrocities.

Jak isn’t buying it and neither is James. They attack and the fight quickly shifts and changes as the gravity in the room randomly changes flinging people around. It ends when James slays Quick and Jak lops off the head of his older brother.

Everything freezes in that instant and a creature appears to Roland claiming to be Shakti of the Reigar and tells him he has been chosen to inherit the mysteries and knowledge of his race. Roland is now a Lord of Chaos and the Reigar tells him that the room they are in plunging into the infinite Abyss and that he will make it fall on the Plane of a Thousand Portals.

At that instant the room strikes a floating rocky mesa high above a hideous plane of red wheat and pink trees with a mottled purple sky.

James hears the ringing of a hammer on an anvil and ventures into a cave where he meets Moradin who gives him the Incanabulum Primeval and tells him he has been Chosen. “You can read it now, James, though it may take several lifetimes.” He is now a Chosen of Moradin.

Jak hears the distant chanting of minotaurs praying to him and telling stories of his deeds. Referring to him as “The Dapper One.” Jak is now a Demigod.

Glamor speaks to her Primordial patron who informs her that he is actually her daughter and she is part Primordial. She is an Emergent Primordial.

Thera feels her body becoming stronger and more powerful and knows that she is far stronger than normal mortals could ever expect to be. She is now an Eternal Defender.

Meanwhile Alton, Izera, Althaea, Thornside, Kira, Xaladin, Emil and Pattie find themselves on a plane of fire standing on small floating bergs of earth that surround a much larger island streaked with flame. Standing in the middle of the island is Malthazard the demon who taunts them. “Alton, I always knew you and I would be back together… and you brought snacks. I love it when a plan comes together.”

Malthazard also talks to Thornside’s armor and asks the demon bound inside for aid. Rauthoros tells Malthazard that he is still not free but he is strong enough to control Thornside’s movements.

The characters leap into the fray to fight the demon and Malthazard seems immune to their attacks his body healing every time they hurt him. He taunts them by telling them that he can’t hurt in the Abyss and none of them know his true name.

He also taunts Alton by telling his friends that Alton murdered his entire village just make a deal with the demon. “And you don’t even know the role your mother played in all of it.”

Alton and Izera and Kira fly around Malthazard keeping him confused and disoriented until he becomes frustrated and turns to Emil, commanding him to kill himself.

“If you want me dead, then you’ll have to kill me,” Emil says and leaps for Malthazard, an Eldritch Blast gathering on the end of his hammer. Pattie sprouts wings and darts through the air after him, her body shifting into a silver dragon as she screams Emil’s name and tries to stop him. She is too late and Malthazard stabs his sword through Emil’s middle then flicks him off and onto the ground. “As you wish little fool.” Then he catches Pattie by the throat with one of his hands while two of his others grab her wings and snap them. He tosses her aside.

The Bear Claws renew their attacks, angry and devastated. Alton materializes on Malthazard’s head and tries to freeze him while Althaea summons a freezing hand and the others pound and stab at him.

Emil spits out blood and shouts a string of syllables that make everybody who hears it feel like they are losing their grip on sanity. Malthazard freezes at the sound and all the wounds they have inflicted on him suddenly reopen and he turns and begins to pound on Emil’s face with his huge fists. Thornside, unable to control his movements shoots Emil in the throat.

Alton drives a silvery spike through Malthazard as Althaea chants the name that Emil shouted. The demon dies and Thornside’s armor goes dormant in an effort to go unnoticed.

Pattie cries out for Alton to save Emil, he’s dead.

Alton picks him up and prays to Avandra. She appears before him, talking with Mary and tells him there is a price. She will heal Emil but Alton can no longer be her follower. He is now an Exalted Angel and his power is his own. Avandra thinks he will one day be her equal.

She tells Mary that she is the Avatar of IO, bearer of the divine spark of that dead god.

Alton returns to the rest of the group. Althaea and Xaladin release the demon from Thornside’s armor and Thornside takes it off for the first time in years before he stows Malthazard’s weapons in his bag of holding. Althaea opens a portal to the Plane of the Thousand Portals and Alton quickly takes them safely through the portal and to the ground.

Kira sees Pattie in her dragon form and feels her own dragon wings on her back and briefly changes into the shape of a large dragon. She quickly changes back but she knows that taking on that shape is part of who she is now. She is a Draconic Incarnation.

Althaea finds a scroll slightly buried in the plane and finds that it is the Scroll of Knowledge and contains enough information to keep her busy for centuries. She is a Sage of Ages.

Izera realizes that her study of the martial arts and focus of her githzerai mind have given her the ability to do any of the things that she sees her companions doing. She is no an Eternal Seeker.

Jalissa and Thornside see an old man approaching them with seven golden canaries flitting about his head. He blesses Jalissa and tells her, “You are now my Vessel in the world. You carry a portion of me inside you, anywhere you go.”

To Thornside he offers a gift of some new armor and a torque. Then he tells Thornside that Xaladar was acting under the orders of Tiamat when he killed Thornside’s parents. He calls Thornside Godslayer after giving him this information.

Xaladin meets a primal spirit that calls him Sovereign and enters into him, giving him the ability to control his shape. He is now a Sovereign Beast.



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