Chapter 7: Eye of the Shadow Rift
Blue Sky 30 – 31
Our Heroes delve deeper into the ruins of the Dragon Spire, confronted with constructs, traps, and a ravening undead horde before entering into the final chamber, at last finding the missing scholar and his captor. Unfortunately the scholar had been reduced to no arms and only a single leg, the other foot held high in triumph by the pale gaunt teifling screeching out his devotion to the Dead Lord Vecna. With foot in hand and a ghastly green glow from his left eye socket, the tiefling vanished before their eyes, leaving the party to face against the growing green rift and the monstrous skeletal guardians. Amidst the chaos of driving back the guardians, Roxy the scholar apprentice read aloud the scroll that Sir Hektor claimed would finally close the rift. Time was fast disappearing for the vision of the Dread Lord was fast filling the rift, the details of his torn flesh becoming clearer with every moment. As Roxy spoke prepared to read the final syllables, the Vecna devotee reappeared at her side and unleashed a barrage of spells, crowing that it would be he, Klarion Witch Chylde who would ascend to godhood as the Right Hand of his Master! Unfortunately for him there was a hidden defender (Peck) who ambushed the warlock. The party dispatched the last of the Guardians and closed in on the Rift assisted Witch Chylde, nearly at the point of his defeat. With a final curse and promise on his lips, Witch Chylde threw himself into the rift as it closed one last time.
The party retreated to the shrine with Sir Hektor while the Scholar Sentarim recovers. Upon the news that the Rift has been closed at last, he will thank them and ask for one last boon if they might – to return the blade of the Empire he bore for so long back to the Emperor who now reigned. With that, Hektor will turn and walk to the corridor, the carved figures of his family cradled gently in this arm, until about three steps from the end of the room his armor clatters to the ground, empty at last or personality and purpose. There are at least three items that show as magical from the empty shell of armor that could be retrieved. Otherwise, it is there to be disposed of. The other two armor’s stand idle at the doorway to the shrine.
The party tended to the Scholar’s wounds as best they could before returning him to his people back at Kal Eisen. Awaiting them was the greater surprise of Darl Rikkerson and his adventuring party (The Orc Kill Crew) being hailed as heroes in a recent battle against the Hobgoblin Maces of Herka. Almost as surprising was the promotion of the embittered elven scout Corwin to Wandering Knight of the Gauntlets of Justice (Corwin was equally surprised).
Questions still remained – where to go from here, and more importantly, what to do with the ruins of the Dragon Spire?