As we recovered from the close TPK we found ourselves in front of the temple of our cleric Cormyn’s goddess and we received the worst welcome ever.
She was not impressed at all, and that was because of the decision our cleric made a while back to not kill the mind flayer who helped us towards the magical library.
As soon as we entered, we felt the hard steel beneath our feet and the smell of iron and blood. As we move forward and reached a chamber, a wave of rusted metal started rising and Belwar and Draekhill were caught in it. We were slammed against the walls constantly taking damage. Cormyn our cleric who managed to escaped launched to our help but before he managed that a dark figure grasps him by the throat.
Note: The next part was written by our DM and our cleric, very well written I would say. This part was done over email to showcase the story of what had happened. I figured it would be nice to give them credit.
The figure squeezes and his breath leaves him as well. The figure begins to enlarge, first the size of an ogre, then a giant. Almost gingerly, it raises the doll-like Cormyn and presses him slowly onto one of the pillar spikes. Cormyn manages a sharp intake of breath as the dirty metal—inch by agonizing inch—punches a hole through his armor and lung before bursting out of his chest in front. The figure withdraws, leaving him dangling like a puppet with his strings cut. He looks down to see his blood running down his torso and legs, dripping onto the floor. He barely registers his companions being slowly engulfed by the waves of metal.
Cormyn lifts his head weakly to look his goddess in the eyes as she contemplates his convulsing form. She is fury and battle personified, even standing still—a whirlwind of explosive energy and battlerage. He can only look at her right eye, but behind the rust red is a sea of endless conquest.
“You are not worthy of Archeron,” she says, “you will die on that spike, your life blood spilled for others to forget.”
She turns back to her throne, “Any last words?”
Cormyn was ashamed of his Goddess’ wrath, and his faith required he accept her punishment as just. But his desire to serve her demanded he speak. Through blood, and fighting for air, he said “My Lady, why would I deliver you the small pleasure of a dead Illithid, when instead there is the greater feast of a war among gods? We have seen signs, and even seen with our own eyes, Demon Lords walking Faerun’s surface. Such challenges to fight, and facing which to call your name! We had to press on, and look what we faced after! A battle…. a battle must be measured against the face of the war. The wretched Mind Flayers must suffer, but how much more strength could I bring against them after defeating the monsters in our way?” His strength spent, and already exhausted from facing the Beholder, Cormyn awaited his Lady’s judgement.
Duerra turns back you[Cormyn], her hand pressing against the spike in your chest. The metal groans as it bends, grating against your armor and ribs. A clear snap can be heard over the din of the crashing metal, then the collapsed form of duergar as it hits the ground with a resounding thud. Immediately the waves of metal subside, leaving the battered forms of Draekhill and Belwar lying in pools of liquid rust and iron slivers. A weak cough brings up metal shavings and blood. The floor greedily drinks it up.
Your eyes flutter open to see the huge goddess looking down at you, beautiful face lined with scars of battle. “Mind flayers receive no quarter.”
Her form rapidly shrinks down to the size of a small ogre as she picks up the dropped mace. A half-hearted blow across the chin reverberates through your head and you feel teeth and jaw crack. “Your love of combat is weak.”
*CLANG* as the mace slams down, crushing armor and ribs on the other side of the spike. A gout of blood leaves your lips. “You talk when you should kill.”
*CRUNCH* as the last swing sends you flying into the wall, a dark stain smeared as your body slumps to the floor. Your mind does not register the heavy booted feet approach until the spike is forcefully pulled from your back, dragging through bone and tissue. You hear a dull clatter as the spike is dropped beside you.
“Return here without blood worthy of my name and you will suffer a thousand indignities before I let your soul rot.”
Duerra turns you over not too gently and lightly kisses your forehead. At that moment, you wish she had left you on the spike and pulled. Crippling pain tears through your body as muscles and bone re-form, your blood boils as it refills your shattered form, and you spend an eternity suffocating as your lungs refuse to draw air.
When you can finally cough, the blood you expect is made of rusted metal liquid instead. You weakly get up to your knees. Duerra looks down at you from her throne, mace in one hand, still dripping with your old blood. “Take the spike—to remind you of this day.”
As she waves her hand and you feel your form being shunted to another dimension, one last whisper comes to your mind…
“Convert one of your friends to my worship or the metal in your blood will kill you all.”
And this is where I will end for today. Stay tuned for what comes next as it will surely be the climax of the story.
Until then, game on at tabletop day!