In the White Shadows

Chapter IV: Session V - Old Heroes and New Friends

Let's Kill the Latter

The party hopped aboard Mori’s boat as it pulled away, the building collapsing behind them. After dusting himself off, So’Khra looked at the oarsmen confused. “I thought you said I’d know what I was looking for? It felt that way and now there’s a pile of rubble and I have nothing to show for it.” Mori didn’t respond, but his eyes flitted down to the crumpled robes in Symon’s arms.

So’Khra ripped off the sheet and gazed upon Slatine’s face, which was growing colder by the moment. The party quickly revived the wizard, who chortled back to consciousness. As he regained his breath, Behrtogg asked Mori where they were headed now. “Only one place to go from here. The Dead City.” In the distance, the goliath glimpsed a skyward white tower.

Slatine looked relieved upon seeing So’Khra. Ah my son, you found the clues to bring you here. After much conversing about how the dead should remain dead, the party learned from the wizard that the Dead City is the final destination for those who died honorably. Those of less repute (like the axe murderer they just saw) were condemned to a more savage place. A trip down the river was an honor of valor.

However, the liche they just destroyed, among others, had upset that balance, luring noble spirits into traps along the riverbanks and consuming them for energy. Slatine had struck out to end this practice, but managed to get trapped in the liche’s clutches. He was glad the party found his breadcrumbs and brought him out of that hell.

For many hours, Slatine and So’Khra conversed in private, as the boat streamed downriver. The elder wizard filled the younger in on much of his lost memory and confirmed the details of his family. Importantly, So’Khra asked why he couldn’t go with his family to the sky. “Because someone has to bring the Primal Elves home, my son.” Brains exploded Remember the prophecy, four heroes must rally against the Armies of Seven…

With that, the boat pulled ashore. A disparate city of motley architecture sat before them. Huts dotted alleyways between cathedrals, which abutted thatch cottages. “What am I seeking?” So’Khra asked Slatine. “Why haven’t we found a way back from this dreamscape?” The wizard shrugged and invited his charge home for supper. As the party walked through the city streets, they marveled at everyone’s tranquility. Slatine informed them that the strange architecture is because all live in the abode in which they are most at home. With that, they approached a small tower. Inside was Slatine’s family, each of whom died long before So’Khra met the man. It was lovely, and So’Khra could tell the man was at peace. He clearly wasn’t supposed to take the man back to Kildengaard…

Eventually, the party bid their farewells and struck out into the city. Unsure where they were headed, they meandered to and fro, eventually turning onto a street cornered by two large stone huts. To their amazement and joy, a hobgoblin and hulking goliath were locked in a wrestling bout. Many kind words were shared with the heroes old friends, Lo-Kagg and Drezen. The heroes were pleased to see the men had made it down the river with honor.

Unfortunately though, the old companions had little insight to offer. They spoke for a while about the town and what could help them fight Swiften, but nothing seemed obvious. The only relative occurrence — a benign one at that — was that a half-orc recently arrived in town. This wasn’t particularly unusual, as many half-orcs had died honorably and inhabited the city. However, this half-orc had a penchant for leadership, and had rallied his fellow half-orcs who usually just demanded that drinking the blood of the innocent should not automatically disqualify one from the City — after all, how could one properly worship Gruumsh without drinking innocent blood? While the City was still skeptical, they hadn’t seen the likes of this half-orc before, who had gained quite a following on the idea that something was not quite right here. Wasn’t there more to life than just going about one’s day? While this seemed utterly unimportant to their greater objective, the party shrugged, said tearful goodbyes, and stepped out to look for this half-orc.

Soon they found a large tent, and the sound of grunting voices within. They parted the flaps and walked in. IN the middle of an impassioned speech, the half-orc at the front of the crowd paused, glancing at the intruders. When So’Khra exclaimed that there was indeed somewhere else to be, Drarth cleared the room.

At first he was skeptical, demanding that the party explain who they were and just what they were doing here. They discussed how Drarth last remembered fighting alongside his Iron Brotherhood in the Blackwood, then found himself here in the Dead City. The party gathered that his unrest might be from his soul splitting from his body — the sign of a Revenant. They wondered if the man’s physical shape remained in Kildengaard. They got the feeling the fourth hero’s soul stood before them — they would need to find him in the Blackwood and reunite his soul…

As So’Khra listened to Drarth tell his story, he had a sinking feeling. Last time they were in the dreamscape, he created a doorway back to reality. But only after devouring the corruption in that plane…he gulped with realization that only one thing had stood out as unusual in this city. Was stamping out that corruption the way home from here? Dude, he said, we many need to help you kill yourself…

Obviously, that didn’t go well. Eventually the party agreed that stuffing the half-orc into a bag of holding may do the trick. After all, he wouldn’t technically be in the Dreamscape anymore. The half-orc reluctantly agreed to climb inside the bag of a strange wizard.

With that, sure enough, So’Khra opened a door and the party found themselves tunneling through a tunnel of blue light, likely transcending time and space. Unfortunately, the journey didn’t go as planned, and the heroes found themselves in a brilliant white square room. They were under attack! Chillborn zombies and undead warriors descended upon them, likely trying to return them back to the nether realm. At first caught inside the bag, Drarth took the brunt of the monsters’ aggression, but his blades soon found their rhythm. As the party dispatched the beasts, they found themselves again tunneling through blue spheres.

At last they burst out into the Forest of Forgotten Heroes and the stone circle. In their hand chirped the gold beacon. It seemed to point towards the Witherspines and the Blackwood…

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