Shields of the Vale

Death's Reach

The Shields try a diplomatic solution to gain what they need

The Shields made ready to sneak into the Shadowfell. They began acquiring some potions to help them in their upcoming struggles.

Berradin went upstairs in Tumbata’s palace to meet the guest that waited for him. The ex-Hag, Rhianna, waited in his bed, under the covers, for Berradin to climb in. She wouldn’t answer Berradin’s questions unless he climbed into bed with her. Berradin grew bored and went back to the other Shields.

The Shields transported to the Feywild as a stop-over and Shanna tried to convince the Eldest not to leave the universe. The Eldest was adamant that the Eladrin would survive the oncoming storm by moving their city elsewhere. The Shields bid them farewell and moved to the Prime Material Plane.

The Shields appeared near the remains of the Chaos Scar. They were greeted by their flying ship which had on board Jonas, Grik and Halva. The Shields asked Halva about her ancestry and discussed what that could mean for her.

The Shields, using Saran’s knowledge of the Shadowfell, appeared well away from the Citadel of Finality among the mournful dead, those who had not moved on due to past actions or agreements. The dead were lost in themselves and did not notice the Shields moving among them through the mists.

The Shields made their way to the Castle that was the entryway to Death’s Reach. A hump-backed man let them in to see his master, the guardian of the Reach. The Shields were invited to sup with Baron Strahd Von Barovich, the newly appointed guardian of Death’s Door, who also had the distinction of being the first Vampire.

When Strahd was asked to let them through he quickly acquiesced, muttering that he had been set up for death by the Raven Queen. The Hump-back guided the Shields through the maze-like corridors of the keep to a simple exit door. The door opened onto a golden “rope” bridge that travelled into nothingness. A pocket universe lay ahead of the Shields.

Saran stepped onto the bridge which then broke from her touch. She began to drift into the void as Shanna fired a rope-arrow that snagged the bridge which allowed Nesh to drag it back to the door. The Shields realised that the bridge was made of life-force and that Shanna’s undead form would fracture the bridge. Saran was most displeased with the Hump-back for not warning her of this. The hump-back went away and did not return. Nesh hoisted her above his head and followed the others into the void.

The Shields came out of the mist at the lip of a giant crater. Obsidian-coloured soil and rock lead downwards tot he center of the crater where a large granite plinth stood, perhaps 200’ across, that was covered in an obscuring dome. The Shields could make out giant skeletal forms inside the crater and noticed the constant shifting of soil along the crater walls.

Suspecting a Primordial trap, Dinnan leapt atop his ebony fly and attempted to fly into the crater. Vast, god-formed, anti-magical energies rippled around him destroying the fly and leaving Dinnan to drift to the ground with his ring of feather falling. The Shields realised that all their magical items were at risk in the anti-magic crater and so removed all magical items.

Stripped of magical weapons and defences the Shields carefully travelled down the crater walls, avoiding the areas where loose rocks were shifting. They arrived unharmed at the Plinth and investigated the shell. It would be harmless to non-magic users but could very likley sever the connection between a mage and his arcane sources. Berradin decided to stay outside.

The Shields entered the dome but as Victoria went through the Dome switchef off allowing Berradin to accompany the others. At the center of the plinth was a granite coffin-shaped object. The stone coffin was covered in Supernal Runes and had the markings of all the Compact Gods upon it. When Victoria touched the slab the coffin lid opened up, inside were 11 god-forged weapons. The Shields grabbed them up and exited the plinth. They warily made their way up the crater as the pit started to fall apart on itself. The Primordials had killed each other long ago and were no threat to the Shields after all.

The Shields made their way back upon the rope bridge and were greeted by Strahd. He let them back into the castle and had a heated discussion with the Shields. Finally, Strahd called the Raven Queen to them, knowing that somehow that would ruin her plans.

A swarm of Ravens flew into the Castle and swirled together to take on the form of the Raven Queen. She was quite upset with Strahd. He crowed about evading her assassin and knew that he had affected the Raven Queen’s goals. Saran and Berradin both stabbed him and he retreated to a respectable distance.

The Raven Queen disappointedly asked for the God-Forged weapons back. Saran tried to teleport out with them but was prevented by the Raven Queen. The Raven Queen was preparing to take them back by force when Fllea offered to be their new Guardian. The Raven Queen was stunned by his audacious move, and yet it just might work. She made Flea promise to be their guardian and protector and then whispered something in his ear that even Shanna could not hear. She bade the Shields farewell and left.

Flea, taking his new role seriously, asked for all the god-forged weapons to be in his possession until they were ready to use them. Shanna opened a door back to the material plane and met up with Jonas, Grik etc. again.

Getting into hell was the next step. To reach hell they would need to have a sacrifice or some other method of breaching the 9 Hells’ wards. Halva used some of her blood to open the gate to hell, Asmodeus’s blood-line would not be denied.

The Shields arrived in an entrance hall and were met by Asmodeus. He was aware of what they wanted and told them that only he or one of his bloodline could use the rod to close the portal to Tharizdun. He offered to do it in exchange for the Shields protection while there and also if any Shields were to fall he would have them as his guest for 10 years.
Berradin managed to haggle with Asmodeus and changed the deal to 10 years :).

Now they must face the horror of a mad god with the power to destroy all life.

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Gehrigan

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