Rollo and the Keystone Gate

Last week, the party battled their nemesis in his mountain fortress before a mysterious gateway of massive Bridge Stones. The gateway appeared to be blocked by a powerful barrier, and as the fight went on, the party soon learned why.

Having plane shifted the magma dragon away, Amari’s Armada leaped into action against Rollo Seaspell. Roobius summoned a winter storm to fill the tower, dousing the power of the fire sorcerer but unintentionally making it nearly impossible to see.

Zinmyn and Randdall took care of the Draconian guards in the tower, although the invisible gnome lost the glowing sword borrowed from Naxos in one of their petrified bodies. Outside, an army of Draconians charged toward the battle but Azara summoned an armored celestial archer of Athena to fight them off and Randdall sealed the door with the magical wall given to them by the Dathos family.

Cleverly avoiding Zinmyn and Keela with an illusion, Mishra dispelled the sleet storm as Rollo asked for aid from a hidden ally: the green dragon Gilkass was hiding somewhere in the tower. Granting the request, the sly “Giver of Gifts” used a Gate spell to return the magma dragon to the air above the tower where it unleashed a torrent of fire onto the party below. With his own Gate, Amari summoned their old friend Tiffany and the crotchety being was able to shield the bard from the blast while the rest of the party survived thanks to their prepared fire resistance.

As Rollo teleported around the battlefield in flashes of arcane flame, slashing at the heroes with his fire scimitar and whip, he seemed to focus on Azara Nightstar more than the rest. With the tides turning against them, Randdall used a scroll to create an illusory white dragon which distracted the magma dragon, drawing it high up into the air. Amari cast mind control spells on the pirate sorcerer, slowly draining his resistance while Keela, Azara, and Thetis cut and blasted away his health.

Meanwhile, a tense counterspell battle barely saved Randdall from disintegration by Mishra just before Zinmyn deftly knocked the wizard’s Bridge Stone from her grasp. Enraged by the invisible assailant, Mishra unleashed a cone of frost over the rogue, breaking her concentration.

At Amari’s request, Tiffany took apart the structure supporting the archway of Bridge Stones, but the magic of the stones themselves maintained its shape. Rollo taunted Azara, trying to grab her god-given hammer, but was unsuccessful. Severely wounded, the fire sorcerer suddenly received a message from the hidden green dragon and teleported himself to the top of the tower’s stair. As he turned back, he held aloft the Sword of Apollo that Gilkass had liberated from the stone statue while the others were occupied.

At this the party began to realize their peril, and Keela unleashed an explosion of energy bolts that should have ended their enemy’s life, but left Rollo untouched thanks to a magical shield he had recently conjured. Triumphant, the sorcerer teleported down to the gateway, said that it had taken him far too long, and stabbed one god’s weapon into another god’s barrier within the arch.

A deafening crack sounded throughout the tower as the seal of Hades was broken and a gateway opened to the realm of the dead. A gray landscape stretched outward, trampled by a tremendous horde of devils surrounding a single blackened tree: the prison of Hecate. The devils waited patiently on the field for the return of their queen. Beyond the tree and the army floated the legions of Hades. At first they seemed to be a further threat, but it soon became clear that they were waiting for a command to assault the devils. High above their ranks were many dark spirits including Thetis’ father Thractis and Azara’s lost brother Kirian. Tension stilled the air.

As Hecate began to speak, her words were cut off by insults coming from within the tower. Standing at the doorway were the former Returners: the Yuan-Ti Mulena Ruenwith, the now-mortal Gustavar, the arcane scholar Regnault, and the planar adept Brack Desourier.

Mulena cried out a challenge to the goddess, “Always so full of yourself. You bitch. I fight for one person only, myself!”

Gustavar sneered, “A lifetime ago, I once fought against the domination of the church, and I find that I still have quite a distaste for gods.”

Determined, Brack joined in, saying, “I gave up and r-ran once, but these p-people taught me t-that you can’t a-always run.”

Regnault chimed in, “We may have caused harm to this world, but with the right mindset, I believe we can still fix it.”

What does this reunion mean? Can our heroes stop the return of the evil goddess? What doom will befall? Find out the answers to these questions in the only place possible, Dungeons and Dogs!

Published by Payton Swick

Vegan. Digital craftsman. Tea explorer. Avid learner of things. Writes code @automattic.

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