Severing the Soul Tie
Kotono coughs, breaking the silence as the group stares blankly at the sunken, broken body of Olive. Sam strains to balance the weight of Kotono as he slouches forward arm draped over his shoulder while painfully grasping his side. Laying Kotono down, Sam exchanges a concerned look with Dervin. Erupting in another coughing fit, Kotono looks at his hand now covered in blood. “Be still, friend…” Kotono looks up weakly at the sound of Dervins voice as he crouches at his side. Sam, kneeling on the ground and cradling Kotono’s head in his lap, blurts frantically, “He took a blow no man could survive…” Dervin’s stern gaze quickly silences Sam, as he slowly shakes his head signaling “now is not the time”. With his voice trailing off, Sam’s look of concern slowly turns to panic as he looks helplessly at Kotono. Looking back to Kotono, a gentle smile spreads across Dervin’s face. A soft glow spills forth from the Torque bathing the immediate area in light. Bowing his head, Dervin prayerfully seeks guidance amidst the darkness of their present circumstances.
Peering past the veil of the material plane Dervin beholds Kotono’s soul. What should be a glimmering light is dulled by something. There is a pale shroud of shadow that has been pulled over Kotono’s soul. It is slowly tightening about his life force and It is repelling all attempts to heal. “I believe that he’s been cursed by Olive…or what remains her.” Glancing back at her body, Dervin continues,”I’ve seen this before after men have faced undead.” Memories from his home following the attack upon his village flood his memories. Men plagued by nightmares unable to sleep or find sustenance in food nearly went insane. For weeks after, a sickness fell upon the people and only left through the prayerful intervention of the community. It did not leave willingly and some were affected more deeply than others.
Each member of the group could feel the alien nature of this landscape. It pressed upon each of them in different ways. Soon after battle ended, Tarak could see flits of shadow just on the edges of his perception. Doh’rian looked curiously at Tarak and he could see beads of sweat upon his brow. His skin was ashen as if overcome by sickness.
Each member of the group made a sanity check based upon their Sanity score (the average of their Charisma, Constitution, and Wisdom). Tarak failed and experienced a point of exhaustion
The group began a skill challenge to release the curse from Kotono.
- Dervin started by casting light upon his face
- Dor’hian placed a mixture of tribal herbs upon his wounds and called upon his ancestors to aid him.
- Sam spoke words of encouragement
- Tarak could see shimmer of a shadow around Kotono’s body – he placed his shield between Kotono and this force
- Waylan placed his Luck Dagger in Kotono’s hand, “I think you need this more than I do right now.”
- Dervin, seeing they were holding the evil at bay, but not gaining any ground called upon the power of Lathander channeling his divinity through the torque
- The pale over Kotono’s soul now shrinks back revealing a shadow creature seething with malice and disdain for life.
With the shadow loosened and seeing an opening, Dervin cast protection from evil effectively sealing Kotono’s soul.
Aid from Above
Descending from the heavens a beam of light enveloped the group bursting upon Kotono’s’ body and filling the area with a blinding sunlight. As their eyes adjusted a winged human man stands before them. His features, beautiful, almost feminine, are flawless and perfectly chiseled without a hint of hair on his face or body. Streaming beams of light project from his eyes with a blinding light bursting around his body. His wings, broad, wide and made of pure light, gently curl behind his back . Standing before them now is a man, bare chested, with flowing blonde hair, holding a golden rod in his right hand. A soft glow surrounds his visage. “I don’t have much time…” His voice is melodic and commanding. “This place is hostile to light and goodness. What lies within must be destroyed.” Pointing to the temple he continues, “The Morning Lord has heard you and he will be with you.” Stretching out his arms, he extends a simple, jeweled scepter over the group. A soft wave of light bathes the group. Warmth flows through their bodies. Kotono’s wounds immediately close and their spirits are invigorated like they just experienced a long rest; fully healed and rested. In a burst of radiance, the gloom closes in upon the group again.
The Inner Sanctum
Looking toward the temple the massive wooden doors are slightly ajar beckoning them inward
Upon entering the Sanctum the group sees the following features:
- A vaulted Cathedral ceiling sprawls with a sunken main floor
- An ornate railing lines an entrance platform with wide arching stairs descend a full story below to both the north and south.
- Marble pillars line both the north and south side of the worship space
- The centerpiece of the space and focal point is a three tiered marble fountain that is dark and inert. It stands directly under the scintillating crystal dome.
- At the far west end of the space is an identical representation of the Sun Gate with a shattered marble alter sundered between the two statues.
- Two hallways exit the space, one to the north and one to the left.
- Mirrors are positioned throughout the space designed to light up the space, magical sconces, and ultimately the scintillating dome.
Dervin, calling on the power of the Torque of Lathander, thrust his hands upward. With a flash, a beam of light streams from the torque enveloping the nearest mirror. In an instant the space is lit up as if the morning sun was spilling over the hills of Daggerdale. Magical sconces ignite and the scintillating dome bursts into a dazzling array of color and light. Screams and shrieks fill the space and howls can be heard from outside the front doors.
With the space now illuminated, the decay, disrepair, and brokenness of the space is apparent. Once elegant floor tiles are covered in dirt, shattered, and greyed by age. The fountain is the most striking example; grey, inert, with a sludge seeping from its wide bottom bowl. Encircling the fountains base is a dark, crusted ooze.
As the group takes a closer inspection of the fountain, chips and broken ornamenture mark the surface, but the ornate beauty can now be seen. Each tier of the fountain is carved in the image of flower petals with the top tier an image of three petals unfolding. Carved on the base of fountain, in three parts, is a relief of Creation. It is titled, “Bringing light into the Darkness” There are three missing pieces in the shape of a sun, a moon, and an infant.
It is here where we will pick up next time…