The Sun Gate
With a thump, Dervin’s feet hit the ground. The penetrating ethereal mist presses upon the Torque and a heaviness falls upon the group. A dark molelavence is reaching out and covering the land. In an instant the aura of the Torque shrinks. Grasping at the sun emblem, Dervin can feel the oppression of this place. Whatever is in the temple is feeding the darkness.
With a waver and a sudden audible “Pfumpf!”, the group is sucked back to Dagger Falls staring at the Sun Gate of Lathander’s Light. As if catching its breath, the aura of Lathander’s Blessing snaps back, now freed from the drowning oppression that surrounded it before. Straining to adjust to the sudden shift in the temporal space, a wave of nausea spills over the group. The group is standing in the middle of a wide road that leads to the steps of the once noble structure. The burned temple, facing east in honor of Lathander, rises nearly 50 feet into the air. A magnificent scintillating crystal dome adorns the center of the temple. The dome is now dull and devoid of any sign of life.
The once proud Sun Gate that welcomed pilgrims from around the Realms now lay dark and lifeless. Each coming to pay homage and lay their eyes upon the Morning Lord’s temple of Lathander’s Light. Two massive white marble pillars rise three stories over the streets below. Each pillar is carved in the likeness of a heavenly celestial each holding a bowl with outstretched arms extending to the heavens above. The decay and ruin of the darkness has turned the marble a dusty grey. Gnarled, twisted vines hang lifeless covering the once noble statues. Nearly 40 feet above, arcing between the two statues forming an arch is a 30 foot diameter stained glass image of Lathander; daybreak with streaming beams of sunlight cascading upon the land below. The glass once bright and proclaiming the glory of the Morning Lord is a dusty, broken shade of it’s former glory. Shards of glass lay at the feet of the statues. Several large fragments hang precariously from the archway above clinging to the stone facade. Your eyes are drawn to a broken shard strewn upon the roadway; one of the sun soaked hills in the glass image. A white stag can be seen proudly standing on the hill basking in the dawn’s rays. In it’s glory the image would capture and magnify the rising sun’s rays and cast them through the temple’s entrance. A series of mirrors would direct the light up and through the crystal dome illuminating the temple for miles around. This was known as the beacon of Lathander. It was known to even illuminate the night’s sky for miles around.
Stone stairs spanning the length of the entrance to the temple rise majestically to the precipice of the temple. Four rough cut stone pillars support the massive front of the temple. Two large ash doors, 20 feet tall, greet the group. The wood, one of the hardest known, stands as a testament to the strength of Lathander. It’s almost white tone accentuates the stone front. Carved into each door are reliefs of children playing, men and woman dancing, and images of spring and renewal; birds, blooming flowers, and animals with young. Spanning both doors is a relief of a man holding up an infant with the morning sun rising over his shoulder. The right door is sundered from one of it’s hinges and hangs precariously. Weeds, garbage, and debris is strewn about the top platform. Dark scorch marks climb and wrap around the edges of the white ash doors hinting at the temples dark destruction. Above the doors is an exact replica of the stained glass window of the Sun Gate except where the sun would be is round opening allowing the magnified sunlight to enter the temple spilling forth and illuminating the space. Pilgrims came for many reasons, but the fountain at the center of the temple was a holy place that was revered for it’s healing properties. It was known to promote fertility, and keep evil at bay. Moss and vines climb the walls of the temple hinting at its years of disrepair. This once proud structure lay broken before you; a mere shadow of it’s former self.
Encounter: Olive (Revenant), Belasaria Morn (Banshee), Wights x 5
Stepping out from behind one of the pillars, a shadowy figure emerges no bigger than a child. A hissing voice shatters the silence, “Well, I have to admit I am impressed. You have been a persistent group; a quality I admire. How do you like what we’ve done with the place? Darkness, decay, rot, what’s not to love. It was a hard sell for me, too, but death has a way of tying our hands. Don’t worry, our Mother has plans for you, too. The feistier the better!
Let’s face it, the tide has changed. Dagger Falls has fallen, the Morn line will soon be ended and given rebirth, and darkness will cover this land. The vampire Lords will return. And there is nothing you can do about it. The great irony is I’m here thanks to you! Your vengeance, your righteous fury, ended my pitiful existence and opened up a whole new world. For that you have my thanks. The irony is out of your vengeance birthed my vengeance of undeath…”
Stepping out of the darkness, a childlike frame emerges. Drawing back a cloak, the horror of what lies beneath is unveiled; ashen skin drawn tightly against a familiar halfling face. A black ichor gathers at the corners of glowing red eyes streaking like tears down her face. With a snarling smile the she spits, “I will now spend the remainder of my existence seeking after you, Kotono Shin.” Her eyes flare a deep searing red as she locks gazes with Kotono. In that moment, Kotono feels the soul tie between he and the undead life force of Olive.
Seeing her now, you see the horror of Olive’s existence cursed to vengeance against Kotono. Behind her emerges five humanoid figures dressed in Northspire armor. Their visage is twisted, dark, and filled with hatred. Jutting fangs line their maw as they snarl and spit. Rising above the group is an ethereal, ghostly figure of a woman whose face is grotesquely stretched in agony. He mouth is agape in a silent scream. Hanging around her neck is a massive red ruby affixed to a silver necklace. “Allow me to introduce you to Belasaria. She’s been waiting a long time for this!” With a wicked smile Olive’s red eyes flare once again as she disappears in poof of coalescing black smoke.
- After a hard fought battle, Olive’s body lay once again at their feet.
- Kotono was dealt a mortal wound as she appeared from the ether and tore him asunder. He nearly died at her hands, but for the brave efforts of his comrades.
- The group must now decide how to deal with her corpse and how best to enter the temple
We left off here…