From the Journals of Alexi and Quinn Goldenscale
War Journal – The Prodigal Son Returns…
Lord Quinn Golden-Scale during the Defence of Palanthas
I continued to watch the rear door of the inn from behind some barrels next to a shadowed eve until the door opened a crack to reveal a cloaked figure looking out. Eventually the figure makes its way to the decaying devil before studying it. I could tell the figure was male and very familiar to me, but I am not sure who it actually is.
The figure then checked the stables and sees that the trap meant for Alexi has not been triggered before climbing up to the loft. On the way back down the ladder I manage to glimpse the figures face. It is ukan! Oh to kill him now or take him prisoner… but that choice is taken from me.
Eventually it looks like Lukan is going to make his way back to the inn but he stops as a guard patrol walks past the other end of the alley followed by a Knight! The Knight (of House Arkan) turns and rides down the alley before stopping and dismounting. I see Lukan doing something with his hands and then the Knight walks over to the stable, enters and starts to talk to Lukan! Is this another traitor?!?!?!
As I cannot hear what they are saying, I use my phase step ability and appear on the other side of the stable wall without making a sound. Here I listen to the conversation and it is not good.
• The traitor knight says ‘With Day and his friends in charge the city has held’.
• Lukan says he is not finished at the cemetery.
• ‘Go back and wait’ says Arkan. Arkan has a master and expects Lukan to ‘do as you are told’.
• Lukan says ‘I will bring out the Hag’.
• ‘My master wants the spectre – pray he does not change the deal any further’. Lukan says ‘I will just have to finish faster’.
• ‘What about the temple’ says Lukan – ‘The dwarves and the dragon will not leave’.
• As Arkan goes to leave Lukan says ‘You cannot go out there like that – you have to change’. The knight is suddenly gone and an old woman with a sack appears instead – this must mean Arkan is alive (or hurt) I hope.
The Sword of Justice is vibrating with power in my hands, but I choose not to attack as there might be more I can learn and I cannot give away my presence just yet. After the ‘old woman’ leaves, Lukan then goes back into the inn a few minutes later and I hear the ‘Magical’ words from the other side of the inn door.
Once the area is clear I make sure my disguise is set and head towards to the mage shop. I look in through the window of the shop and see there is someone else in the store talking to the owner and at the same time Tiny (has been promoted to SGT) rides past leading a troop of guards and Knights! I also see watching from the other side of the road the ‘old woman’ and the ‘look’ she gives Tiny is full of hatred. She then notices that I a ‘city watch’ member is watching her and then turns and leaves.
Inside the Mage Shop I can see that the haggling continues between the shop owner and the customer and then I see a BRONZE dragon (adult) flying overhead.
I go inside the shop and knock the adventurer out as he was showing no respect to the ‘guard’ I am supposed to be. I say to the owner that I am here to pick up some items belonging to a mutual friend. The owner shows me to a room and I reveal my true self and he has a fit! I even have to close his mouth for him. He then transports us to a secret location where he has his items of worth and gives me the books Alexi had left behind by placing them into the sack Alexi gave me. He promises to keep the fact I am ‘alive’ a secret and fills me in on the city.
• The Golden General is in charge of the defences.
• All the defences I put in place worked.
• The good dragons arrived a few weeks ago (which is different to what I remember).
• He says that the dwarves and knights are still at the temple.
I decide to leave and thank him for his help before heading towards the Temple District. On the way I see patrols and the people of the city moving around with some urgency but always keeping the roadways clear for the movement of troops. Eventually I arrive at the temple and can see people standing around in a circle with the Temple of Paladine in the middle of it all. With the sun in my eyes I make my way to the front of the line and get told that I cannot come any closer.
Looking around I eventually see what all the fuss is about – on the roof of the temple is Chrome and behind him is an Adult GOLD Dragon and I just ‘know’ it is Nessie! I decide that now is the time to reveal my presence and at the same time boost the morale of the city. I begin to sing the ‘Song of Paladine’ in a loud voice and soon the people around the temple are also singing, with me and what is later referred to as the ‘Choir to Paladine’. It is a most beautiful thing.
The door to the temple opens and out steps Captain Harko and he is like ‘What the fuck’ is going on and the Gold Dragon is looking down at me as the song hits its crescendo. At this point I call upon Paladine and a beam of heavenly light engulfs the area as I remove the Hat of Disguise and Lord Quinn steps forth from the light. There is silence at first and then shouts and grasps of awe as the people realise ‘Quinn’ has returned and a chant of ‘Quinn’ and words like ‘Back from the Dead’ start as a whisper and then spread like wildfire throughout the gathering.
The Gold Dragon (Nessie) lands next to me and this moment is one of the happiest moments of my life so far. Nessie and I are finally reunited, so Evil beware! Harko on the other hand has fainted from the shock of seeing me ‘alive’ and once he is awake he puts it off as ‘he slipped’ and fell.
We head inside the temple (Nessie sets herself down in front of the main doors) while the crowd continues to chant my name and give praise to Paladine. Inside the temple is Karnak (at the altar) and he heads over to me and says welcome back and gives Harko a look of ‘told you so’. Seems Karnak always believed I would return and Harko grudgingly acknowledges this.
Karnak and Harko fill me in some more on what has been happening and I explain that there is more going on here. They are shocked at this and then ask then to explain how I was hurt (died). They say I did battle against the evil champion and had won the fight and let the creature live and turned my back briefly and was then ‘stabbed’ by some ungodly weapon of evil. I was struck down and then grabbed by my brother and not seen again until now. I say that Alexi and another saved me, but at great personal cost to Alexi. I did not elaborate on that anymore at this point but ask for a map of the city to be brought forth at once.
Looking around I can see that the temple is set up like a triage and people have been sleeping here. I ask about the creature and the pair explain that the creature has been trying to escape the temple each night, almost succeeding on a few occasions, but the combined might of the Dwarves and Knights have forced it back into the crypt. Lukan explained to them that the seal is weakening and he does not know why – I know why – he wants it out as do the devils or whatever ally it is they call ‘The Master’.
I say Lukan is the real traitor but they must keep this a secret for now. Caleb is busy at the infirmary as there are a large number of wounded. The pair talk more and about what has been happening, but in reality I am only half listening as I too have come to realise the following:-
• I am not the ‘young novice knight’ anymore. My knowledge of what Emperor Quinn went through is still fresh in my mind.
• I can sense that Harko and Karnak have noticed a change in me.
• I wonder how long I can keep up the premise that I am still ‘innocent’.
I ask Karnak and Harko again to not mention anything about Lukan – (I am not sure what must be done there) but something will have to be done. The map is on its way by I can sense that it is time to go down into the crypt and see what is going on for myself. Karnak and Harko say they will show me what has been happening.
As I walk down the stairs I draw the Sword of Justice and suddenly I am viewing the world in black and white (a wraith world like in LOTR). The doors are white with shades of black all over the walls as we walk down the corridor. Otherwise all is grey but as we get closer to the crypt I can see that the blackness is sweeping through everything and it is coming from the crypt itself.
The Seal of Paladine is grey and now has no white at all and I can see a ley line coming from it, a black inky line. I ask Karnak what he sees, but he does not see what I can; none of the corruption is visibly to his eyes. He can see the door and it is damaged, but not the ley line. All I say is that every test just makes us stronger. I say we must bless this area and I call forth the power of Paladine and the oily substance, the Skin of Evil (SoE) squeals as the power hits it causing the creature to bounces off the far wall of the crypt.
The fight starts and I slice the ley line from wherever it is attached to as the SoE breaks down into 4 and Karnak is hit and falls but I attack the two in front of us and then use the Halo to psychically attack the original version of the SoE. The attack works but I link to the SoE and receive images of Lukan, Lukan, Lukan, Lukan and another Lukan all talking. The SoE is LUKAN. The last vision I have is of a cemetery with Lukan talking to who I believe is the HAG!
Number three of the SoE I kill with the Beam of Divine Light and stab the fourth SoE with the Sword of Justice and it dies. The battle continues as SoE 2 casts a mist in front of it but I can still see where SoE 1 is as the ley line goes straight to it as it is trying to reattach it to something. It is then that Nessie arrives in human form (female) with Harko. Nessie is very beautiful.
I break the ley line once more and create a barrier – Karnak inspires and heals as Nessie creates armour for herself. SoE 2 then returns to the first SoE. I push the Divine Barrier straight backwards and trap the Skin of Evil between the barrier and the crypt wall. Nessie has almost worked out where the ley line is coming from \ to (though I believe it is the inn where Lukan is). Karnak has no clue on the seal as I make the realisation that the Skin of Evil is taking on further damage as I have it pinned.
The SoE tries something ‘epic’ but fails… I phase charge, succeed, hit it, and hit it once more. At the same time I get a vision of another ‘me’ attacking a Demon Lord and phase stepping multiple times to kill it in epic awesomeness!
Karnak charges and hits the SoE as Nessie finishes with the ley line and says she knows where the ley line is going and at this point I have another vision. In this vision I am watching 4 or 5 Lukan’s in a group with a spell of some kind being cast on one of the Lukan’s and then he changes into the Skin of Evil. Lukan from Gold Quinn hands a pendant to this Lukan and the Skin of Evil appears.
I then get a ‘time stop’ moment and attack the Skin of Evil once more and ‘Lukan’ dies and I take the Blood Stone Pendant in my hand. As I look at the seal, Karnak and Nessie see the Blood Stone Pendant glow and then there is a flash and I disappear and reappear elsewhere.
When I arrive I get the feeling the place I am in is between worlds. A cloaked figure approaches and explains that this ‘Gateway’ is a location where he can do his work un-impeded and unobserved but the other ‘gods’. He laughs and says my companions think I am with the elven witch and are trying to break the seal – this is not good!
Why am I here? I ask and my host explains that he wanted to ‘discuss’ what is happening as I am a ‘Nexus’. I reply that I know because my actions can change the course of history. I will protect the NOTE from all others – he has no interest with the NOTE – not touched – I am the important one. Provide help and assistance is given if I ask otherwise I will not attain my goals.
My soul is mine and important – I say you are Hiddukel. He nods. What is this form of help? The NOTE is the one time when wizards do not have their power – the NOTE is one time where those that search can find the entrance to the bastion. What I don’t know is that the NOTE is another way that the people can find an entrance to the place where souls are stored before they continue on to the afterlife. I am starting to understand that there are plots within plots with the many groups that are heading towards the NOTE, as well as the Gods themselves. One or more of the groups on the NOTE wants to bring back the dead back OR FEED on the souls themselves to make them able to take on the Gods. This cannot be allowed to happen. Hiddukel says very few know of this but someone or some group has found out what can be accomplished on the NOTE and will attempt to go for the Soul Cage.
Hiddukel says that regardless of our positions, the NOTE must not be allowed to open the way to the Soul Cage or there will be ‘Hell on Krynn’ – no one should get to Bastion either. I say that Chaos has a hand in this and add “I refused Chaos’s deal so he has resorted to another method to get his way”. Hiddukel is surprised by this as he did not know of the bargain.
Hiddukel says he will give me information about the NOTE to stop people entering the Bastion as the easiest way to enter the Soul Cage is through it on the NOTE. This is the one time it is very, very easy to do so. What do you want in return? Nothing says Hiddukel. He just wants to see ‘right’ overcome ‘wrong’. No one must enter the Bastion and then no one can enter the Soul Cage.
Why do you offer this to me? Hiddukel says that Alexi draws too much attention from the Gods and there are many of my brethren that will try and stop me. I say I believe it was Chemosh that struck me down (he smiles at that) and that the Bloodstone Pendant is a communication device and a deal was struck with Lukan.
Hiddukel says not so – it was not really a ‘thing’ or a deal.
I say Lukan has always had his own goals.
The pendant also has some protection and he will talk to me again before the NOTE depending on what happens. I then add before leaving that a much ‘darker’ version of myself might have accepted this bargain and I again surprise Hiddukel. Black Quinn did work for Hiddukel.
And then I am back in the room just in time to see a massive explosion and the Elf Witch is flung backwards, as is Karnak, Harko, Tiny and Nessie. Sadly Nessie is hurt!!! I turn and look as Alexi has appeared and then charge the Elf Witch, hitting her twice. The battle is furious but in the end thanks to some magical ‘draining’ Alexi is doing we kill the Elf Witch as Alexi loses consciousness. In the end all that is left of the Elf Witch is a husk. The Elf Witch is truly dead and Lukan’s plan for her has been foiled!
I also believe that is was Hiddukel that helped let the Elf Witch go on purpose as it was a test and also because he needed a mess cleaned up. In the aftermath I also sense that the Blessed Blade of Mishakal and Paladine has more ‘favour’ with the Gods of Light when I call upon the Power of Paladine than the Sword of Justice. I get Harko and Karnak to get a box to put the remains of the Elf Witch in. Finally the Temple of Paladine in Palanthas is free from the taint of evil.
I talk to Nessie about what has happened and I mention ‘time being changed’ but she does not know of what I speak. Seems wherever her training was done it was outside the events of the Time Fractures. She can see that I have changed – stronger and very sure in my command and faith in Paladine.
As I get upstairs I am told that the General’s personal guard has arrived and that I will greet the people outside the Temple. Nessie will stay inside for now and not join me at the meeting. I talk briefly to Alexi as I am greeted by the cheers of the people and say a carriage will be needed for the Wizard.
Things are progressing quickly and I will mention to Alexi about the Skin of Evil actually being a corrupted version of Lukan and that the real Lukan is hiding at the inn where the devils killed the gnomes. Plus that the Elf Witch’s remains are in a box.
On the way to the White Tower I start to feel a tingling in the back of my mind.. I realise that someone (probably me) is being scryed. I tell Justarius and the others all attempt to sense it. Nothing… I ask them to wait while I trace the source and discover some brown cloaked figures in the dining room of the tower. They are the ones scrying us!!! I turn to Justarius and explain what I have seen, and he looks shocked. None of them know who that is….
I decide we should continue to the White tower, hopefully we can lose them.
We reach the ante chamber and prepare to enter the passage that leads to the White tower. Justarius warns us to be silent and to hurry! We run through and unfortunately Frank as he runs across, stumbles on his noise robes and hits a vase on a pedestal, knocking it over and causing an amplified echo through the tower… Dammit. I order them to move up the stairs and turn to be rear guard. Not several moments later who creatures appear from the way we came. They seem to be made of smoke and they have dual hand crossbows.
They are quick and attack before I can react. Luckily, they both miss because it looks like the bolts are tipped with something (almost surely disastrous for wizards). Hoping that they are some necrotic/devil/demon type creature, I use my radiant power to blind them. I then proceed to withdraw up the staircase and order one of the Red robes to cover the passage with anti-invisibility spells. One of them step forwards and pulls golden dust from a bag and sprinkles it down the passage blocking the stairway. I then drop another area of radiant energy in front of it, ensuring we will see them if they come up the passage. Nothing. Looks like they have not followed. With that I seal the door at the top of the staircase and seal it with an arcane lock.
Within the White tower, we proceed up checking rooms as we go along. We can’t find any white robes. Oh no… Are we too late?!?! I head towards the white robe common room and as I approach the door I instantly feel something is wrong! I reach out with my magical senses and I feel there are bodies inside but something is very strange. I order the others back and Mage hand the door open. The stench of death and decay is evident. One of the mages push forward (he’s a life/death specialist). He puts his hand out and he describes that this is the most horrendous thing he has ever seen. It is powerful and I turn and notice he has started to get a nose bleed. I immediately stop him and get him to sit down, and he explains that something has drained their life force,
Deciding that we don’t really have the time I start to draw the necrotic power out of the room, gathering it into a ball of arcane energy. The others look on in amazement and I thankfully can control it. It’s at this point I realise there is an active ley-line coming from the room. I link with the ley-line and can sense another person at the end. I tell the others and warn them we are in a struggle. Luckily, he was ill prepared for me leeching the power that I manage to locate him. He’s a level above. I order the others to go and get him while I keep him chained to the ley-line. I draw the remaining power from the room and head inside. I instantly recognise a snuffbox in the centre of the room is the item doing this. I call Montague in and ask him what to do. (They are trying to break through the protections on the door). After quickly checking Montague tells me to flood the item with power. Overloading the item will break the ley-line and send a feedback loop back to the caster. Bringing my power to bear I generate the feedback loop and are successful in incapacitating the caster. I back out leaving Montague and ________ (Life Force Dude) in the common room and head upstairs in the room where the caster is hiding. They wizards had almost broken through and I throw my power at the door blasting it in. Heading into the room we find a wizard, corrupted by necrotic power (formerly a White Robe).
I hand him over to the other red robes and head back to the common room. Montague has secured the snuff box and I can now look fully around the room. There are nine white robe ‘corpses’ in the room, the twin brothers from the White Council are here… I ask _______ about the bodies and he tells me that he believes their life force has been drained out of them (technically the life force could be returned to them and they would be normal but we must keep their bodies in stasis. I ask him to head up to room where the caster was and see if he can sense where the life force has gone.
I ask Justarius to follow me up to Par-Salian’s room.
We arrive and Justarius steps forward and attempts to gain entry, he turns and says it is warded (by Par-Salian himself).
I attempt to drain the arcane power around the ward but I am rebuffed. This is the first time I’ve met resistance. Realizing I won’t be able to drain the ward I decide the only other quick option is to flood it with power and absorb the explosion. I ask Justarius to step back and I draw power to myself and channel it into the ward. When the ward is about to reach critical mass, I alter the flow slightly so that the explosion will come out instead of getting pushed in. The explosion happens and I use my powers to warp the explosion around me. It blasts out behind me. The blast dissipates and I get Justarius to come with me. He looks at me kind of awe inspiring and I tell him that if we had more time I wouldn’t have to be so crude. We both enter and immediately see that Par-Salian has been affected by the same attack as those in the common room. It unfortunately looks like he was affected by this horrible magic first! I walk over to the handle that Par-Salian has too summon all White Robes in the tower, and activate it telling them to come to the common room.
I leave Justarius to look over Par-Salian’s things and I head back. I encounter ______ (life force Wizard) and he explains he knows the Life-force energy has been stored somewhere in the tower, perhaps in a phylactery (probably multiple ones). I tell him to head to the tower floor as we have another victim. He gives me a look and I nod. (Won’t be able to keep this secret for long, but we still have a chance to restore them).
As I head out of the room I encounter a white robe. An 8th rank white robe who looks to be the only one to be unharmed. He’s freaked out but I take the time and explain to him what’s going on. I ask him to go and aid the other red robes until summoned.
Heading back upstairs I find Justarius now sitting in Par-Salian’s chair. He explains that Par-Salian seemed to be studying some type of banishment spell for a demon. I’ve already sensed devil magic so I’m not sure exactly what he was working on.
We decide to leave the tower. We will take the wizards here and the bodies of the white robes with us to Palanthas. There we will offer the city the aid of the wizards in return for the aid of the knights (With wizard hunters in the tower it seems the most logical even though repugnant to let knights into the tower).
With Justarius’ help (casting the spell) I send the message to all the wizards in the tower notifying that the tower is under threat and that we are evacuating. I ask if any wizards can get out to make way to Palanthas.
With the message sent we get all the bodies and people to the White Robe common room. Justarius asks me to go first and speak to _______ (Mage shop owner). I teleport out and arrive in the back room of the Mage Shop and announce myself to Bob. He is of course shocked by my appearance but he handles it well. I let him know that the other wizards will be coming here, and after asking he seems confident he can handle it.
I enquiry about Quinn and he admits to him being here. I then learn after having to intimidate him that Quinn investigated the Inn and discovered that Lukan was there…. (getting angry), the gnomes are dead (getting angrier), there was a magical trap meant for me (pissed off), Quinn left Lukan there (Nuclear Detonation).
I thank him and proceed outside heading down the street (determined). Arriving at the Inn I can sense a protective barrier around it, I don’t even hesitate before launching a bombardment on the Inn. The barrier holds the initial blast but eventually succumbs. With the barrier shattered I sense a ley-line heading out of the inn. I connect to it and send a feedback loop through both ways. The inn explodes as well as the other end of the ley-line (the graveyard).
I fly up above the wreckage and I see Lukan getting up out of the ruins. I launch a hold person at him which holds him while I once again bombard him with spells. He is wounded but unfortunately free. He attempts to escape (by transforming into a bird) but I can sense his magical stench from a mile away. I manage to knock him out of the sky and land in the warehouse district. He’s hiding himself but I can still sense him. I feel him cast a spell and suddenly the area is surrounded by plants. But not normal plants. These have been corrupted. It’s expanding out, effectively screening himself.
I attempt to burn away the plants but they seem to be alive and dampen my spells. In frustration, I reach out and I feel time fracture around me. I sense an immediately counter-force and I realise that Lukan himself has also activated a time fracture. Not wanting to create anymore havoc I bring my force to bear and I manage to thwart him and push him out of the fracture. Around me portals open and several demons step through. There are three smaller more agile ones, and two giant ones. Sensing that they are here for Lukan that this is still more dangerous. I bring my force to bear on the two giant demons and I push them back through the fractures. I yell out to the leader that they must leave and they can have Lukan. He stares at me with hatred but I will not flinch. He eventually acquiesces and the three of them fly off after Lukan (he launches some spell from his wand that takes Lukan directly in the back).
I proceed after them and arrive to find the leader demon draining Lukan of his soul while knights surround them attempting to keep the populace away. I see overhead dragons preparing to dive to attack but I warn them off (in draconic) and they back off. Arriving at the (now) crater I find Tiny leading the men preparing to attack the demons. I order them off and they move away (I think more because they don’t know what’s going on). The demon drops the (now) husk of Lukan’s body and looks around. Our eyes meet and he decides to not cause trouble. I escort them back to the portals and close them behind them.
The plants (without Lukan) have wilted away and the people are slowing dispersing. I head back to the crater and Tiny is in shock. I put him out of his misery and explain that I am Alexi. Amusingly he seems to accept it well (at least better than others). He starts treating me like an old man (and immediately I am upset) but eventually I realise that this body isn’t 17 years old anymore… I ask him to arrange transport to take us to the temple of Paladine. It seems he doesn’t know Quinn is back so it looks like Quinn hasn’t announced himself yet.
Tiny gets a carriage and he takes me to the temple. Arriving I discover a large mass of people surrounding the temple. Dragons are laying on the roof of the temple! We are unable to get through the mass of people, so I set off some harmless sparks and people move out of my way. I proceed up to the temple but am stopped by a dwarf. He seems rude until I tell him to get Captain Harko and let him know that Alexi Goldenscale is here. His face goes white and he races inside. I don’t even wait for them to come back and walk through the door. The dwarf is still trying to explain to Harko when I arrive. Harko recognizes me faster than anyone else and then promptly faints…
Asking one of the others in the temple where is everyone and they explain that Quinn and Karnak went down to check on the seal. From the injuries, I can assume something is going wrong. I wait for Tiny to wake Harko up and then I get both to follow me down into the base of the temple. Arriving down I discover that Karnak and a young woman (who I realise is Nessie) attempting to break the seal…. WTF are they doing. I order them to stop and they are both startled but unfortunately Karnak continues one more hit and the seal cracks underneath them…. The fools…
A mist starts coming out of the ground and I order them all back. Unfortunately, I have no time to attempt to reactivate the seal before an elf witch appears. The others engage her while I attempt to trap her. I realise she has additional power from somewhere. I sense a recently activate ley-line that has seen been broken. She’s been supplied power from somewhere. I start to drain the excess power from her while the others keep up the pressure. Eventually Quinn appears (suddenly like a teleport) and engages her as well. I’ve managed to siphon the excess power from her and I use it to weaken her. The battle continues and Quinn finally manages to finish her off. As I’m just about to tell them that she will be incredibly hard to kill I feel a wave of exhaustion coming over me. (I collapse)
I awake later to discover that Quinn used the Mishakal sword to properly kill the elf witch.
While the others are still checking over the room I head back upstairs with Tiny’s help and he helps me into a chair. It’s at this point that Chrome comes in and saunters over to me. I’m just about to greet him when he places part of his body over me. I realise he’s attempting to keep me from leaving… I’m about to get frustrated by the pain when Tiny comes over and kicks Chrome off me. I notice Chrome turn out give a huff and then move away. Something passes between Chrome and Tiny and I am intrigued. I think I see a potential relationship forming. I ask Tiny to bring the carriage around and that I would like him to accompany me to the hospital where Miles is being held.