Shieldbashers

The God of Death

Arrival in Letherna

You step through the portal into a world of war. Fires burn all across the plataus of Letherna, scorching the gray skies in black clouds of sooty ash. The corpses of both demons and the servants of the Raven Queen litter the ground in front of you. Overhead, two dark angels of the Raven Queen rip into three winged balors. Lightning cracks and the head of one of the angels tumbles to the ground splattering blood of liquid silver. Then the group is lost in the dark clouds overhead.

As you travel up the hills of Letherna to the Raven Queen’s citadel of Zvomarana, you walk past dozens, hundreds of dead angels and demons. You step over severed arms still clutching hilts of gold and platinum. Ahead of you, you see smoke rising from the upper reaches of the Raven Queen’s most holy of temples.

The Demonic Host

As you reach the courtyard you see large pools, once filled with the cool soothing waters of the afterlife, now filled with the black tainted blood of demons mixed with immortals. The gateway to Zvomarana lies ahead. From its shadows slithers Shonruvvu, the Keybearer, six arms wielding sharpened runed scimitars. High up on the gateway, two fat blue demons grin and giggle at you, bellies writhing with screaming faces and clawing hands. X large and powerful demons, massive clawed hands from their broad shoulders and smaller claws growing from their chests step from the east and west.

The God of Death

The splintered doors of Zvomarana open before you to a scene from your worst nightmare.

Upon the dias in front of you kneels Orcus over the body of the Raven Queen. His shard of the Abyss lies plunged into her breast. You see only the faintest breath on her lips. Orcus looks up from her prone body to you.

Four servants of the Raven Queen have been impaled on huge barbed spikes. Splashes of blood draw out dark sigils on the floor underneath them. Each of the four seems enveloped in strange elemental auras. One is encased in ice, one has skin like stone, one is enveloped in fire, and one is swirling in gusts of air.

“Welcome to the rebirth of the God of Death, Shieldbashers. The threads of a half million years come down to this single moment. Soon you too shall be reborn into the most powerful of my servants. Come.”

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Pulling the Crystal

Note: Rosa chose to draw the crystal from the Raven Queen’s breast.

As your hand touches the crystal, you feel your very existence begin to crumble. It takes every ounce of your will to hold on and draw the crystal from the breast of the Raven Queen. You feel your heart disintegrate and your internal organs turn to dust. As the poisoned shard leaves her body, you see her take in a great gasp of air. Her eyes meet yours. It is the last thing you ever see.

The Death of Orcus

“Time to end this,” says Orcus. The green eyes of his wand glow brightly, signalling the death of the next creature touched. He touches the wand to Envy. Envy falls to the ground but something deep within her stirs, the Harbinger of Doom within her will not fall so easily. Orcus turns to face his next victim when Envy stands, draws her vorpal glaive back, and beheads Orcus, the Prince of Undeath.

The pyramid of shadows

Deep in the emptiness of the Far Realm, a torn and tormented soul screams across all space and time. Once it knew mortality, once it had touched immortality. Once it had been something but now it was nothing. Yet it still held on, still touched that distant pinpoint of light that once it had called light. For untold millions of years it stretched across time.

Until she pulled it in.

In the vastness of the Far Realm floats a pyramid of pure blackness, a pyramid with no seams and no entryway. Within it, an entity reaches out and touches the screaming soul. It grasps it and pulls it in. Though insane with the boundlessness of infinity, it formed once again into the mortal being it once was. It opened its eyes and beheld the beautiful Eladrin.

“Welcome back, Rosa. My name is Vyrellis and you and your companions saved my life.” She smiles at you. “Now we’re even.”

The Demon Queen

With the calm of battle behind you, you step out from the noxious air of the Raven Queen’s temple to the steps leading to her courtyard. You feel the weight of years of battle on your shoulders. You dream of the beds that call to you in your safehouse below the Three Wishes, floating in the Elemental Chaos. You dream of further adventures, dream of retirement, dream of serving the Gods directly that you once served in mortality.

Yet none of these will find you this day. With the wounding (death?) of the Raven Queen, a great opportunity has made itself clear and the first of many beings steps forward to claim it.

Off on the horizon, at the base of Letherna, a massive metal spike pierces the holy ground. Another pierces the ground further up the hills, smashing an ancient mausoleum to bits. Another and another. The first one pulls up, arches over, and pierces the ground once again. Your eyes follow it up to the great metal body of the Chaos Ship of the Queen of Spiders.

Your vision pulls out, the distance rushes past, and you see the beautiful and powerful body of Lolth herself standing on the upper deck of her massive spider-shaped ship.

It would seem the Demon Queen has left her web, and her target is the throne of Death.

Your weariness begins to twist and boil turning into a great surge as your hand falls to the hilt of your weapon and you once again leap into war.

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