Shackled to the Age of Worms

Session 44 - Victory at Kuluth-Mar.

Suddenly, to our great surprise, we see a stranger flying toward us. He is a half elf, and hails us. In spite of the fact that he seems friendly, I am naturally suspicious – but he says he’s been sent by Tenser, exactly similarly to ourselves, and shows us a letter in Tenser’s hand as proof. In this place, to have survived thus far all alone, his powers must be substantial. I pray he is to be trusted. He says his name is Quarion, and offers to join us, and we accept with all good grace.
Still flying, we enter a short narrow passage ending in an unlocked door. We open it to a neat rectangular room filled with comfortable furniture. The walls are carved with horrendous scenes of massive worms bursting through the earth, all dominated by a huge figure with a hidden face, armed with a mixed weapon with axe, pick and mace heads.
In the room are three undead knights. I instantly feel them attack my mind, but my faith is too strong. Cirian weakens, and I help him – Traeven falls, but I raise him – and soon these creatures are banished back to the hell from which they came.
We take their weapons and armour, and then consider our next move. It seems we have searched this entire place. What next? Quarion possesses the ability to contact Tenser from a distance, and we decide that his advice will be of much value. Quarion messages, “Much knowledge gained from visions of ascension. Dracolich Dragotha had soul of Kyuss. Search complete. Spellweaver lich remains. Request advice.”
Soon the reply returns – “Knowledge is power and is what you seek. Why does lich remain?”
We answer, “Lich assisted Kyuss’s ascension. Trapped here for centuries. Lich awaits Age of Worms. Not immediately hostile. Victory uncertain. Claims no knowledge. Query lying. What now?”
“Knowledge is power. Lich has both. Trapped but for how long? Very dangerous if escapes. Assisted Kyuss because his side is chosen.”
Tenser is clear – we must fight and kill this lich.
We prepare with great care. Spells are cast to strengthen and protect us, and we fly quickly back to his room. He seems immediately aware of our hostile intent – no more gracious conversation this time. A nasty little fight ensues, but is fortunately soon over. Our new companion shows his mettle very quickly in this, his first fight with us. Indeed, had it not been for one timely intervention, when he blocks the lich from escaping, this battle may have had a very different ending. But the lich is not as tough as I had feared, and soon dies under Ezios massive blows.
Immediately the room wavers and fades. It melts away into darkness as the air fills with strange and frightening whispers. It sounds as if a hundred different voices speak in a hundred different languages, but an instant later, the voices have joined into one and the language resolves into familiar words. These words speak of the prophecies of the Age of Worms, and as they speak, visions of the prophecies coming true manifest before us, allowing us to observe the events as if we were gods looking down upon a troubled world.

The visions are violent and horrific. Legions of worm-eaten dead rise from soggy graves. An immense and demonic tree explodes into destructive life from the heart of an unfamiliar city. A burning comet lances down from the heavens to strike the earth in a tremendous, mushroom-shaped cloud of devastation. Another city, its town square wreathed in a cloud of black smoke filled with eyes, is held in the grip of shadows that move independently from their source. A cackling man attaches a clawed and withered hand to the bleeding stump of his arm, and the hand writhes into unholy life. A city built in the heart of a volcano suffers tragedy during a partial eruption that sees the collapse of its south-eastern quadrant.

As each of these scenes flash by, they are accompanied by a crushing sense of certainty—these events have already come to pass.

Yet finally, the whispering voices speak of two more prophecies, and these are accompanied by blackness. “A tripartite spirit once again becomes one, and at its advice are the mighty undone.”

And then, “On the eve of the Age of Worms, a hero of the pit shall use His fame to gift a city to the dead."

After this, there is only silence. It would seem that two prophecies have yet to be realized.
We discuss this vision, clear and identical to us all. A few things are obvious. The worm ridden dead rising from the graves are Spawn of Kyuss. The “comet” that struck the earth was actually an ancient temple called the Fane of Scales that was rumoured to have fallen from the skies two years ago, and struck a remote rural area. The hand that the unknown man was attaching to his arm is the dreaded Hand of Vecna.

We then feel the earth shake and hear a tremendous noise – something massive has crashed to the ground.

Flying back across the Worm Sea we notice that all the worms have melted into an ooze. In fact it seems that all the worms here are no longer – they have all simply melted away. Gone too is the feeling of crushing despair we felt emanating from the hole in the middle of the temple. Has all evil been banished from this place? Is this lich’s death a huge victory for our battle against the Age of Worms?

Rising back to the surface, we see the spire toppled over and smashed through the obsidian ring.

With nothing more left to achieve here, we all teleport back to Mage Point, seeking immediate audience with Tenser. He is keen to speak with us, excitedly telling us he has unearthed another lead for us to follow. He now knows where Bucknard went after his return from Kuluth-Mar. He suggests in the strongest terms that we should follow this path, and with all haste.
No rest for us my friends – our journey continues. The fate of our world rests on our unworthy shoulders. May Blerred give us strength.

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Roku

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