The Empyrean Age

A Grain of Sand on the Beach Part Five


With the Abomination of Sin in front of them – the Nameless charged in various directions. Around this dimension of fire and glass rock – souls of the dead teemed around them. Buried in the ground… floating in vast canyons on either side of this battlefield…the dead called to them – begging for mercy and respite from this beast as they tried to crown someone unworthy.

Around the battle field were three cauldrons of boiling color. Etched on their large shapes, runes describing what they did. After evaluating them, Cerulean and Halifax were able to find out that each of these Cauldrons restored something to them. Be it lost blood, arcane energies or replenish their energy. Each could only be used once by each person…but there was hope.

Using their speed against Sin, our Heroes continued to Battle as those hurt such as Gorgol and Blok replenished their reserves. The beast’s rage was infinite…its power unflinching as it tore through the defensive line – drawing blood with nearly every strike. Its malevolence unrivaled…it pressed the attack on each of our heroes, challenging them to stand their ground.

Gorgol – recharged – turned back to fight the monster and was surprised as Sin caught him unawares. The creature striking him so hard that he was literally knocked off the battlefield into the great canyon of the abyss where he lost consciousness as the souls of the fallen began to claw at him. Seeing this – Aegis disengaged from the Battle and jumped in after Gorgol, hoping to save him.

Turning back on the few heroes left, Sin nearly killed Halifax and Cerulean with his lightning fast claws and swallowed Jaelin. Blok, recharged as well from one of the Cauldrons leapt into battle – unleashing his strongest attacks against the mad monster while Cerulean continued to soften him with Arcane blasts of magic. Chali climbed atop Sin’s back and started to strike at its spine, biting deep with her dhampyric abilities, but constantly slapped away like a gnat. As hope seemed to fade, Jaelin begin to boil in the monsters stomach, Halifax on one knee – exhausted – Cerulean nearly tapped out of her arcane energies, Block connected with his battleaxe and cut deeply into the beast’s stomach. Tearing muscle and sinew he pulled his blade up spilling out its contents – including Jaelin on the ground. Howling in pain, Sin dropped to its claws and knees as Blok embedded his axe deep into its skull – killing the monster.

As he did so – the dimension began to shake…the world became darker…this pocket reality was starting to fold in on itself. The souls of the fallen were fleeing…free of the magics that bound it here. Moving toward the gateway – our Heroes saw Aegis as he climbed back over the lip of the canyon holding Gorgol…the giant unconscious goliath in one arm. Helping him up the last bit – they team began to move towards the door as Cerulean and Halifax noticed under the glassy rock, gold teemed to be freed. All of the treasure of the fallen heroes must have been consumed. Eager to earn their keep – they began to dig for it, assuring themselves that 20 feet from the doorway was close enough to try and gather some wealth.

After realizing the effort would take too long Cerulean stood and told Halifax they needed to go as the world would collapse in seconds. But clearly enraptured by Sin’s final trap the Dwarf had fallen prey to the sin of Greed – unable to tear himself away. After an unsuccessful attempt to remove him by force, Cerulean went through the passageway alone. Halifax busting through the black rock saw gold teaming in the molten lava. Surely he could scoop some out with his hands protected. He shoved his hands into the white hot magma and was rewarded by it being merely warm versus scalding. But as he felt for the gold he could not grasp a thing. The gold kept slipping from his grasp. Panicked he tried to remove his hand…realizing this was a trap – but the rock slid and closed around his hand, cooling over leaving him stuck up to his forearm in this realm.

It then landed upon him his folly. This world was moments away from destruction and he would go with it unless he freed his arm. Resolved that his hand was lost – he rose his hammer and brought it down with all his fury on his arm over and over again while the rock beneath him began to crumble and splinter – lava splashing on his body searing his skin…the world began to spin as if water leaving a basin drain. It was near the end and yet the ground held him fast. He took the hammer to his bloodied arm once more and tore the muscle away from the ground. The magma vomited at him as he ran for the door as it slowly began to fade. His arm sizzled and screamed as he jumped through, it closing a mere second afterwards. In the throne room again Halifax saw his arm…the wound already healed…a stump where his hand and wrist used to be and on the meatcap…gold coated his skin…a reminder of his sins.

Moments later the doorway of light returned to along sliver and then burst to reveal a reconstituted Roland…though different. His hair golden yellow and his clothing all white, he seemed an idealized version of his former self. The transformative powers of the Ritual being too much for him though caused him to pass out.

Around this time, the Guards of White Sands began to burst through the doors. They were her to kill the intruders or die trying. Moving into position to protect the unconscious Roland, the Nameless stood their ground prepared to fight these soldiers of the Vale. Gorgol, the hot head that he can be sometimes, started to talk of charging them first. Aegis tried to keep him calmed, but it was obvious – it was only a matter of time before this battle would result in a few of their number dying.

Cerulean thinking quickly grabbed a healing potion and forced it down Roland’s throat. His eyes reacted immediately as he was forced awake. Looking around at his friends as they were about to be run through by scores of White Sands Guards – he understood. Simply uttering the word “stop” caused the soldiers to freeze in place. His will was paramount to anyone’s orders. If he willed these people to live, they would. The soldiers understanding…almost as robots…stayed frozen in place, muscles tense as they held uncomfortable positions. Telling them to “stand at ease” the soldiers took formal ranks as Roland stepped to the Crown of Light. Placing it on his head – the heat from its power began to burn his flesh and all at once it lit up – a halo of light as the ancient power of the dwarves flowed through him. His birthright realized…he sat upon the throne and called for the war.

The throne chamber walls shimmered as they began to show various places and maps on the various walls in his view. The southern wall showed him the battle from his commanders point of view, which gave him a sense of omniscience as this information was shown to observers as an almost eagle eyed representation of the battle. To his west – a map of the Vale that drew closer and closer to the battle at Thusgedon, the Rebellion’s time table was wrong – the war had been fought for nearly two weeks. The Armies of Over Citadel, Church of Xaphan, Mercenaries and White Sands were able to move far faster than anyone could have predicted and had slammed against the shores of the Mountain a mere 3 days after the Nameless had left. To his east – all the reports with the White Sands imprint began to filter down…it was if he was downloading all of this information to his brain – which consequently he was. The rebellion was nearly quashed. They now were outnumbered 10 to 1 and would surely fall before night.

Focusing all of his thought – Roland sent out his will to the massive army of White Sands. The Rebels are our allies, protect them and destroy the armies of Xaphan and the Over Citadel. Take prisoners if you are able, and offer quarter to those who surrender but stop this war now. In a matter of hours, the tide had turned. Without the massive support lines of White Sands, the Mages of Over Citadel were overrun by soldiers. The Church of Xaphan mostly being a support line with armies made of Mercenaries broke quickly and scattered to the winds. Without the Generals of White Sands to tie them together…this corrupt alliance splintered into “every man for himself”.

And with that – the war – which in later times would be called the War of Revelations, was over. Roland was the King of Four Thrones, Wearer of the Crown of Light and Leader of the Vale and its Peoples. The Nameless were given the title Champions of the Crown and considered honored guests of the land – something of folklore. The Church of Xaphan was outlawed as documents came to light that it had engineered this entire uprising and perversion of the laws and bloodline for the last hundred years. The now “Cult of Xaphan” was scattered as its temples were destroyed and wealth redistributed between the King and his people’s.

And with that – this tale of adventure comes to a close. The Champions of the Crown stayed for a few days to celebrate the inauguration but then parted ways – each to their respective paths and destinies. That is…until Six Months Later.



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