Month 18 - Day 17

Lucas opens the door and is assaulted with the smells and sounds of a popular tavern. He glances around the room before stepping in and spots his quarry, John Rossi, sitting at a large table in the back corner of the room. He moves deliberately to the table leaving the door to swing slightly on its hinges from the gentle breeze blowing in from the north. As he sits at the table with his back to a wall he is greeted by a serving girl who places a mug of ale and trencher piled with bread and a thick stew of meat and vegetables.

Slowly the rest of the Champions filled the empty chairs at the table. The serving girl seemed to already know what everyone wanted to drink and eat. After eating their fill the group discussed what each member had been up to for the last six months. Lily had become the leader of house Surrinak. Petros had become the general for the Golden Knights. John… Azrael… Lucas whispered, “I have been outside the veil.” In that split second it seemed all time stopped as the Champions of the Oak all turned toward Lucas. “You did what?” Someone asked. Then Petros mentioned that we might want to speak in a more private location. John assured us that this area was secure and private. We all looked around the room and began to notice that nearly everyone in the room was watching out for us; they were working for John.

“Lucas, how did you get through the Veil?” Lily exclaimed. Lucas explained that after killing the Lich he had found some notes that detailed a possible hole in the Veil near a place called Rainbow Falls in the Headwater Hills. He goes on to describe some of the twisted creatures he saw there and his treacherous one thousand foot climb. The river was fairly wide and deep and he described a whirlpool that had formed in the close to the middle. “It felt like I was drawn to this place and I felt an urge to enter the Whirlpool,” Lucas continues.

“After drinking a Potion that allowed me to breath water, I swam to the Whirlpool and let it pull me under the surface to the ‘Other Side’,” Lucas closed his eyes and began to shake as if chilled to the bone. “On the other side there was no sun or moon, just perpetual twilight. There were creatures there that looked to be the creation of some twisted mind. One looked to be two upper torsos of a humanoid fused together with a head on either ‘shoulder’ and walked on four hands. I killed everything I came across. The animals there were just as twisted as the other abominations, but were still close enough to normal that I could tell a deer from a wolf. My survival skills were tested to their limits in this place and I do not ever want to go back there. There is an evil there that I had to fight, it took the form of each and everyone I know and is or was close to me. It fought me with your skill Petros and your magic Lily and your cunning John. I just managed to slay it before it could kill me and I almost failed.”

“Lucas, wait, you went through the Veil and you had the Shards with you?” Lily pointed out. Lucas was unsure what the significance of that was, but he answered with a “yes”. At that time a messenger entered the tavern looking very nervous and approached the Champions. “Please do not kill me,” he said with a shaky voice, “I bear a message from Tagen.” Tagen wished to meet with the Champions of the Oak to talk about a sort of truce. After the messenger left we agreed to discuss it in the morning and John stated that he had commissioned a play for the Champions to watch. Lucas was not interested in a play and headed out of town to sleep in the camp he had set up for Bird and himself. Bird meets him excitedly with a couple of fish she had freshly caught. With a smile Lucas prepared and cooked the fish for dinner and they spent the night in the comfort of the out doors.
In the morning before the sun rose Lucas told Bird that there was some other things that had to be discussed with the Champions before he could bring her into the group and he would be back this evening. He made his way back to the tavern to wait for the group to assemble. He was not the first to get there, John meet him at the door with a sly grin and a quip about having a distraction or something. Lucas just smiled at him. Soon the rest of the group filled the same table and were discussing Tagen and what he wanted. The Champions came to the decision they would at least meet Tagen. His terms were that he would have sanctuary while he was here. Terms that could not be fully fulfilled, but the Champions did not know that at the time.

In the early evening when there was a loud crack of what sounded like thunder close to the tavern. The Champions sprang into action expecting Tagen to not hold to his bargain. Tagan was walking down the middle of the street causing a panic in the city. Lucas watched as a group of city guard charged in and were all lifted off the ground, disrobed and then dropped into the river by the magic Tagen controlled. After Discussing with Tagen many different points of morality it was decided that there must be some type of truce so that the enemy at hand, Loki, could be dealt with.

About that time the doors to the tavern flew open and a group of Luminous order barged in demanding that Tagen come with them. Of course Tagen did not like this and proceeded to use his magic to protect himself and ultimately to leave unharmed. Then the Order turned on the Champions and demanded that John and Lucas disarm themselves and submit to their custody. Lucas thought, “why just John and I?” and bounded upstairs determined not to be apprehended. He would not be caged he dove out of a second story window and disappeared into the night. He would be back to help his friends, but he could not do that while being held captive.

Lily found Lucas with her magic later that night and explained that as a noble she had some sway in local government, but we had to leave Freeport. That was fine by Lucas. He gave directions to Bird who to find where they were and he told her to follow him in a few hours. He headed back into town with as much stealth as he could muster. After making it back to the Tavern the Champions decided that they needed to attack Nahmbrak. Shortly after the decision was made, Bird walked into the tavern. Lucas introduced her to everyone and informed them that he would like to have her join the Champions. He explained that she was instrumental in killing the Lich and would be an asset to the group. With that The Champions set off to confront Nahmbrak.

As the Teleport spell finishes the group is looking over a vast field littered with strange humanoid figures “growing” out of the ground. There is an army of giants and other assorted creatures barring the path to the hobgoblins fortress. As the group surveyed the area a rift began to open next to them and out stepped a large elf. He turned to the group and said he would take care of the army and took off at a blinding rate of speed. As he ran two shimmering blades appeared in his hands and he began to cut wide paths through the army.

The Champions moved in on the Fortress and was accosted by a number of devils and Zombies. Azrael, with the power of his god, decimated the zombies while Bird, Lucas, and Petros started dropping the devils. John and Lily used the power of invisiblity to hide and attack from didtance. There were some flying female devils that used some sort of blight magic to wound the group. Soon Lily became visible again and several bearded devils teleported around her and began to attack, but John was ready for them as was Lily. She used a dimension door gift and was no longer surrounded by the devils and John used a gift to place an area of writhing grabbing tentacles to pin the devils. Lucas noticed a shimmering blur of something invisible and fired several times into it dropping it, a hellcat. Bird was surrounded by many devils but they could not hit her, as was Petros. John found his way to stand next to Lucas and used the gift of flight on him. Now Lucas could close the didtance to the Female devils and did so to their chagrin and they fell. There then was an awful scream from Azrael that was cut short as the remaining Hellcat decapitated him. With renewed effort the Champions destroyed the last of the foe before them, but stood in shock afterward with the loss of their companion.



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