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Campaign 1 Session 25 - A Mother’s Hate

Posted: 30 October 2022 (reading time: 4 minutes; 820 words)

Recap by Joel Hermann

Waking from their well-earned rest, Asgardey∂a exit their lodge and immediately see Hellryn and her host of Shadar-Kai warriors. She explains that her forces will portal to the edges of Belmunt and take care of the undead roaming the city while Asgardey∂a head to the great hall, where Aegnagryd is believed to be holed up, cut off from her accursed benefactors.

As she speaks Graklak and a company of orcs approaches and indicates that they would like to join the assault which Hellryn doesn’t seem to mind. After a short moment to ask each other, “Are we really ready to do this?” Asgardey∂a step through the portal into the ruins of Belmunt.

II

The scene in Belmunt is one out of deepest, darkest nightmares. A once thriving town, everything has been reduced to ruins and fouled. The former inhabitants shamble around as undead shells, with no purpose but hatred of the living. The Shadar-Kai and orcs get to work ridding the town of their presence. Their styles differ, but they are effective in clearing a path towards Belmunt’s great hall.

Asgardey∂a hurry forward and find themselves at the entrance to the hall near the town’s center, surprisingly intact given the destruction they witnessed raining down on the city not so very long ago. Unable to decide which of two openings to enter, the question becomes moot as they are attacked just after Belnirith sends an arcane eye through the northernmost opening to scout.

A horror of bone finds its way close to Vyshka and nearly fells her, as Greunthrn and Laguza, once again in her giant form, rally to protect her and attack the monstrosity. Belnirith attacks the creature, but she is preoccupied with the presence of what was once her mother, inside the hall on the second story, glaring down at the melee. A voice in Belnirith’s head whispers, “It’s not too late. Leave these pathetic fools and join me!”

III

Vyshka manages to banish the fiend, but almost immediately one of the four beholder zombies that have been moving into position to target the group blasts her with a ray from one of its eyes, tearing into her, leaving Vyshka unconscious and bleeding out. This allows the bone horror to return to the battle sooner than expected.

Laguza moves to protect her comrade’s body, heedless of her own safety. Greunthrn manages to bring Vyshka back to consciousness with a healing word, as his self-preservation instincts keep him flitting in and out less visible corners.

Even in her severely weakened state, Vyshka manages to bless Laguza’s weapon, before she moves to a sheltered corner herself, trying to catch her breath after her brush with death. Imbued with additional power, Laguza fells the bone creature before it can lay its claws on Vyshka again.

Belnirith moves through the west entrance to the hall, ready to meet the threat of the beholder zombies. She comes face to face with the hollowed-out horror that was once her mother, perched on the partial second floor on the west side of the hall.

“You disappoint me!” once-Aegnagryd screams.

Belnirith responds by launching a lightning bolt at two of the beholder zombies, and then launching herself into the sky on her wings.

On the other side of the hall, Laguza rushes two of the rotting eyes and carves them both in two, after Greunthrn softens them up by putting a few arrows through them. A third eye falls to Belnirith’s magic.

Belnirith looks down on her what was her mother and sees fear in the creature’s eyes.

IV

“I can take it from here,” a creepy but somehow sympathetic voice says. Unexpectedly, a new figure enters the hall. The 12-feet tall devil, Glasya, strides into the room as if no battle were taking place. Crossing the floor with purpose, she finds Aegnagryd hiding behind a shelf and grabs her.

“All this because you were trying to meet me?" Glasya says, almost taunting. “Well…here I am.”

With that, she shoves her hand into Aegnagryd’s abdomen and extracts a noxious, worm-like creature from her core, then crushes the abomination in her hand. She releases the body which crumples to the ground, leaving only a tiny, silver coin-like token in Glasya’s hand, which she tosses briefly than puts into a pouch.

Belnirith and all of Asgardey∂a are stunned by this turn of events. Belnirith has the temerity to ask one of the most powerful devils in all of existence what of her mother’s soul? Glasya explains that she made a deal with Hellryn: the daughter of the Raven Queen would tell Glasya where to find Ængnagryd and Glasya could take her eldritch powers and crush her lich-like existence, but that whatever might have been left of her soul would journey to the Shadowfell.

And with that, Glasya disappears to wherever her dark purposes led next. Leaving Asgardey∂a to wonder, what lay in their future now?

TO BE CONCLUDED…

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