Following the instructions of the Angel of Secrets, the party found the Vault of the Dawn War, an ancient buried chamber guarded by guardians of the Old Gods to protect weapons of power. Four pillars surrounded a statue holding a sword and wearing a suit of magical armor. The party soon discovered hand-prints on each of the pillars – one each for Fausto, Mika, Rosa, and Argeli. Yet the chamber itself hadn’t been entered for many hundreds of thousands of years.
As the party opened the energy vault, the remaining angel offered himself to their swords. They had protected the vault for half a million years – waiting for the Shieldbashers themselves to come.
The room was secretly a map-room with carvings of the following:
An elf woman holding a bow firing an arrow into the heart of a balor.
A male dwarf in golden armor holding aloft a craghammer of blinding light on a mound surrounded by terrible undead.
A dark elf in surrounded in shadow piercing through a beast with a dagger as black as night.
A battle commander raising a long sword of the finest mithral commanding legions against an army of devils.
A woman bathed in fire holding aloft a dagger burning with its own red flame.
A woman in silver and black scale armor cleaving and stabbing through twisted faceless abominations beyond the mortal mind’s comprehension with a glaive of red and black steel.
A dragonborn standing atop the hewn corpse of an ancient and twisted red dragon, a white and silver blade in hand.
In one section of the mural, you see a figure of black and red stone standing above mountains of charred rock and forests of scorched ash. Corpses of hundreds of thousands lay at his feet as the faceless beast moves on.
On the opposite side, you see a mural of six figures standing and looking down at a burial mound.
All around the murals are intricate sigils and patterns, twisting from one figure to the next.
NEW MAJOR QUEST: Uncover the secrets of the Prophecy of the Shieldbashers. It would seem both Orcus’s forces and the Gods of old knew about the coming of the Shieldbashers even five hundred thousand years ago. How can this be so?
NEW MAJOR QUEST: Recover the Shieldbasher Legacy Weapons. The Old Gods left seven powerful weapons, one for each of the Shieldbashers to recover. The vaults of these weapons are hidden within Death’s Reach, though they may not be reachable for some time (begins at level 24).
The party soon left the chamber, leaving the remaining angel to his own days, and began their journey across the Desert of Ash. Powerful forces and weapons reduced this land to ash and molten rock. So powerful was this magic that the very land underfoot radiated heat. This radiation soon made some of the Shieldbashers sick as they crossed.
Within the desert dunes, the party faced another lesser member of the Ashen Covenant, a wizard named Kellimor who had with him a Black Star host of crushers and soldiers.
As the battle raged, it was soon interrupted by the rising of a huge and ancient beast, the Worm of Ages. The massive worm crushed and began to devour all of those around. The Shieldbashers beat it to a bloodied state and soon found ways to ride the massive beast. We left our companions riding across the Desert of Ash on the back of the massive Worm of Ages as they approach the Gate of Nerull where Shonruvvu, the mistress of portals awaits.