Ier

To Things Past

It begins in the vault of the gods. After the party decides to go back in time to retrieve the orb, [[:Daraketh Gilrasha]] opens a gate to Markoth’s weapon. The party enters scales the pyramid, and prepares to travel back to the time before Draemmar fell. As they approach the portal the Being from Beyond the Wall emerges once again. It is pleased that they have returned with the keys to time travel, and it bids them to enter. When the party asks why the Being is helping them like this, they are shocked and disgusted by two revelations. First, the portal back in time is through the doorway where the Being currently resides, making their journey all the more riskier. Second, going through will cause a rip in reality somewhere in the plane, allowing the Being to invade Ier. After a few minutes of deliberation, they decide to choose what seems the lesser of two evils. They enter the portal.

They emerge in a dark room, deep underground. They realize after a few moments that the portal had been moved in the two years since the Battle of Draemmar. The only other feature in the small room is a black sphere of energy, a Sphere of Annihilation. After a few apprehensive moments of believing it to be the room’s guardian, they realize it is actually a tool for burrowing out, and they command it to fly upwards. After a few reassuring seconds, it suddenly veered off course, plunging into the wall of it’s tunnel, out of sight. Realizing that it was the sentient variety, the party immediately drew arms and prepared to teleport away. It barreled out of the wall, narrowly avoided by Alton. Moments later, they teleport away, arriving at the floating fortress-island of Draemmar after a brief rest on Akborya.

When they arrive, they land on one of the small pieces of rock orbiting Draemmar, just in time to watch the battle’s beginning. The fleet of Alammar approached from east, almost specks on the horizon. The party decided that the best way to complete their objective would be to split into three groups. The first, consisting of Vyse, Thallion, and Tharivol, would teleport into Draemmar’s centeral cavern, causing rampent destruction and distracting it’s forces. Vlaeran would move to the hangers of Draemmar’s fleet, destroying as much of it as possible before they could launch, making Alammar’s victory that much easier. Finally, Alton would sneak below, find the orb, and escape with it.

Immediately, they sprang into action. After sensing Draemmar for wards, they found that a region just above the bottom was filled with powerful dimensional barriers. Believing this to be the orb’s location, Alton teleported in one floor above, finding himself in a wide, dark tunnel. He immediately, with all care and stealth, began to explore this maze, moving downwards whenever an opportunity presented itself. Finally reaching a level crossroads, he discovered a pair of green lights moving in the darkness. These two points of light rose as the dragonic body of a Quan-Tira flared into view, sickly green light poring from beneath it’s black armor plates. It’s eyes pulsed, and a plane of light swept the tunnel, against all odds revealing Alton. Alton fled, dodging blasts of green light, ducking in and out of intersections, before finally outflanking his pursuer. They both dashed down different tunnels, intent on the same goal: the orb.

Meanwhile, with a flash of light, the party emerged within Draemmar. Within the central cavern, Vyse appeared, floating amidst the towers and warrens within. With a sweep of his arms, he rained fire and meteors in all directions, blowing down swaths of the city. As the armies of the crystal banes appeared to defend, Tharivol and Thallion held off entire streets single handedly, scattering charge after charge. Meanwhile, Vlaeran appeared in one of Draemmar’s hangers. With a few well placed spells, he destroyed the docking equipment, sending several airships, dozens of gliders, and hundreds of gobliniod pilots screaming to their deaths. As he prepared to move to the next hanger, another battle raged below.

Alton’s descent continued. Twice he was almost discovered, but each time he carefully evaded it’s search. Finally, he reached his goal. The tunnel, which had been ramping downwards for a while, emerged into the top of a vast, round room. The outside of the room was covered in massive circular doors, closed shut over openings like his. In the middle of this cavern was a massive machine, pyramidal, ending in four huge, claw like structures. Hovering between these claws was the orb, feeding streams of orange energy into the machine. Hovering over the orb, was the dragon. Alton pondered a way to retrieve his prize.

Meanwhile, the destruction above continued. Knowing the fierce battle that raged in the skys above Draemmar, the party did everything they could to stall it’s armies and destroy it from the inside. As the battle raged on, the Emerald Bane, two years younger, swept down on a flying, demonic steed, and yelled “Enemies! How did you get in here? And where is the Bowman? WHERE IS THE BOWMAN?” He hovered for a few moments, until a look of joy crossed his face. As he realized his eventual victory over Devis as inheritor of the God Weapon’s power, he cackled maddly until the party shot down his mount. As it’s death spasms sent him careening away from the behind a building, they hear him yell once more “I win!”

Below, Alton moved in, flying down the room towards his goal. Where the vast stretchs of open air would have made hiding impossible for a mere mortal, they gave him room to maneuver, something the stone walls of the tunnels made impossible. The dragon swept the room with planes of green light, but Alton ducked away. As he swooped towards the giant machines, the Quan-Tira swept again, finding nothing. Alton leaped, snatched the orb from within the bands of orange lightning. Find the orb gone, but having no way of locating Alton, the dragon shrieked and flew to the only open door, the one Alton came in through. Guarding the only door to the outside, Alton desperately tried to open another door, finding it guarded by a spirit who was unwilling to let him through. He tries to reason with the spirit and tires to disable the contraption holding the door, but nothing works. As the dragon sweeps the room again, he realizes there is only one way out of the room.

Minutes later, the party, two years younger, turns a corner and find themselves face to face with their older selves. Both Vyses suffer blinding head pain, and the younger once collapses to the ground. This pain closely matched the one Vyse felt whenever he strayed too close the the artifacts of the Being Beyond the Wall. Disturbed, the younger party pull Vyse to safety, and flee, heading upwards towards the control room. The current party, knowing how much more time Draemmar has, finish their work and prepare to exit.

Making up his mind, Alton few directly at the only opening available: past the dragon. It sees him, roaring ferociously as he flies past it through the tunnel. Behind him, it pursues, breathing vile blasts of energy down the tunnel at him. One strikes Alton, wounding him, but he manages to turn a corner before the beast can breath again. Up he dashes, through the labyrinth of tunnels until he finally no longer feels the binds of the wards. He reaches out to his heaven, and is suddenly gone, his mission accomplished.

A few minutes later, the younger party stands victorious over the bodies of the commanders of Draemmar. Vyse sends a fireball into the carefully aligned crystals and spirit phylacteries that control Draemmar. This overloads the engine, which no longer has it’s orb to focus it’s vast magical energy. Draemmar, with a flash and a roar, explodes.

The party reconvenes on a rock floating above the burning, sinking husk of Draemmar. Alton reveals that he has the orb, and that it is safe on his home plane. The fleet below turns to fly back to Alammar. From the burning wreckage of Draemmar glides outline of a massive black and green dragon, turned in pursuit of the fleet. They immediately spring into action, harming it with spells to keep it from healing it’s burns before striking it down with hand and chainsaw.

With all threats destroyed and the timeline intact, the party ponders their next course of action. Should they return to their time or stay, and use these two years. And if the later, what would they do with their time? The annulus has yet to be completed, and whether or not it is used to activate last hope, it would be an artifact of unmatched power. Meryo is still bound in the Raezune, and there is still time to thwart his escape. But could the timeline survive so drastic a change? The party would have to be subtle to ensure that Ier survives so great an alteration. And in the party’s own time, there remain many unresolved questions. What of the loyalties of Lance? Zulthalia’s army gathering on Boros. The rip the Being made in reality? Emerald’s plans? The Hand on Valenheim and Chotan? Turgalis? Other players or options still undiscovered? There are many ways this story could still go, and the life or death of Ier is still uncertain.

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Kolbeckenstein

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