dark sun, dark times

To catch a defiler

After resting in the hidden room the party emerges cautiously. Proceeding through the northern corridor, the enter a large rectangular room. In the corners of the room burn four brazer almost identical to the two they encountered at the entrance of the temple. Three robed men guard two large doors to the north. On their chests is a symbol that resembles a cracked keystone, although this symbol likely holds significance for the these men, for the party its meaning is unclear.

Across the room lie the recently deceased bodies of six Eladrin, presumably the original party sent to stop the source of the arcane energy. The robed men threaten the heroes, and the heroes respond with violence. As the battle begins, one of the men uses the life essence of a dying ally to animate the Eladrin corpses, and they attack. While still engaged with the undead horde, Brandis feels a compulsion seize him, and he immediately breaks from the battle and runs through the northern doors.

Soon after, the remaining heroes subdue the last of the Eladrin undead and chase after Brandis. Past a set of doors and up short flight of stairs they enter a large octagonal room. Brandis stands in the center of the room on a large dais with his back to the heroes. At each corner of the dais stand statues similar to the one found earlier in the hidden chamber. They are holding large spears in both hands, and appear poised to strike. In front of each of these statues, is a small alter, and chained to each alter is a ragged looking human in tattered clothing. As the heroes enter the room the slaves tug against their chains yelling, “Save us!”, “please save us, you must!” and "He will kill us!” Without a word Brandis makes a small motion with his hand, and the slave’s voices cease. Their eyes widen in surprise, and they grab at their throats in confusion.

Brandis then slowly bends down and picks something up off the temple floor before turning towards the heroes. In his left hand he cradles a great helm, in the right his now familiar orb. As he turns you glimpse the crumpled body of a man in front of him. His robes stained with blood. Finally, he turns towards the party and callously mocks each in turn. He then flings his orb away carelessly, and it shatters as it crashes into the hard stone floor. Smiling he dawns the strange helm and his eyes begin to glow with a eerie green luster.

The battle the ensues is a lengthy one, the helm has granted Brandis new abilities, along with enhancement to his old powers. As the heroes move within melee range the image of Brandis is replaced with a terrifying visage of a long forgotten God. Each time Brandis is near death he is able to magically manipulate the stones statues, killing a retrained slave and using defiling magic to feed off their life force. When he does so he also weaves a powerful illusion that draws from the memory of a random hero. The illusions are so powerful that allies fight allies until they are able to break the illusion.

Brandis is able to use this sinister trick three times before the heroes can free the forth slave, and spare his life. After a harrowing battle, Brandis finally begins to feel the effects of the battle, and unable to kill the last slave is brought to his knees by Cenet’s spear. As his life fades the helm cracks and shatters with a force that triggers a cave in. The heroes are able to narrowly escape the temple along with the slave, but fail to recover Brandis’ body.

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