Exhausted, the not-Forgotten stepped through the archway into the light. They and their incarnations were unprepared for the sight that awaited them on the other side. The large black iron artifact floating above a dais was only one of the odd aspects of the room. The eight dwarves, also floating, sitting in a rough circle around the artifact, their beards reaching the floor, nails following close behind, were also not “business as usual”. Thanks to years of dungeoneering however, the walls covered in intricate, metal-inlaid, runes and the crazy Cyricist, bloody dagger in hand and dwarf number nine at her feet with her coterie of summoned devils were more in-line with their expectations. Still, even these staples were somewhat odd. The devils were milling in a pack in a corner of the room seemingly trying to melt into the walls while the dwarves seemed unfazed by their comrade’s death.
The cultist seemed to not have noticed the party’s entrance and was addressing the dwarven swamis, “… even your own people have forgotten you. Face it, you’re relics and the keyshard will be mine. Stop delaying the inevitable and we’ll make your deaths quick. It’s better than what my lord probably has in mind for you.”
The dwarves remained impassive, but a united group of voices filled the room, “Young fool. Moradin provides. Even now, a group of heroes approaches and, with your pets declawed, your failure is at hand.”
Immediately, the heroes sprang forward, the Healer/Rashek and Autumn/Summer charging the cleric. Bound by whatever infernal magic had summoned them, the devils tried to interpose themselves between the adventurers and the Cyricist, but it soon became apparent that something was preventing their attacks from piercing skin.
Out of breath and having somehow disentangled herself from the fight, the Guardian’s mother snapped at her succubus servant, “Get me out of here! Now!” With obvious reluctance, the creature spoke aloud in its infernal tongue and touched the cleric.
“Nooo!” screamed Autumn/Summer as her nemesis faded away and the Fey/Wizard blew the offending creature apart.
“Don’t worry about it love,” said the Guardian/Stavros.
“Thank you warriors,” intoned the disembodied voices, “but if the madwoman spoke true, this is likely only the beginning and only a matter of time before Cyric’s servants take this keyshard.”
The Fey/Wizard smiled and made appeasing gestures with her hands, “Fear not, revered elder, although the Dragon Coast is nominally out of our jurisdiction, I’m sure I can convince my superiors to set up a permanent guard in the old holds above. We’ll also try to start talks with nearby dwarven clans to see if we could actually just restore the halls to their original purpose.”
Even as the conversation continued, the scene around the Forgotten, including their assumed personas, melted away.
To be continued…