DARKNESS GATHERING: INTERLUDE #8

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“THE OTHER RIPPIN’S STORY”

The "Other" Rippin
The “Other” Rippin

After the “other” Rippin and Aleena have a moment to rest, the dwarf begins his story.  “This is a fool’s quest,” he begins. His voice holds a tone of hopelessness. “The original delivery of that damned box was a mistake, and its a mistake we’ve all made seven times over.” He glances around at all of you, his hollow eyes staring through you. “We were pawns of that damned Elven god, Corellon Larethian, from the start.” He shakes his head. “I’m a soldier, not a hero.” He squints at Rippin, and nods. “You’d do well to remember that. We were never meant to save the world.”

Aleena clears her throat, breaking in for a moment. “What he’s saying is … by opposing Enoch in the town of Falstaff, we all entered into a battle of wills between the gods.” She sighs. “We literally got caught in the crossfire.” The “other” Rippin nods, and spits. “Aye, we did. Gods and dragons, don’t meddle in their affairs,” his voice lowers slightly. “It only leads to heartache.”

After a few moments, the “other” Rippin continues this tale. “I don’t know what happened in your world … your time .. whatever. But I know what happened to me and the others after we got ambushed by those Drow on the King’s road heading to Falstaff. We saw that black dragon, and got the hell out of there. But that was the point, they were herding us towards that damned city. We got into town, and went right to the Yellow Warehouse. We delivered the Box to that traitor Janine, and thought the deal was done. We had coin in hand, and everyone was happy.”

 The older Dwarf scowls. “Then the attacks came. They hit the City Guard House first. Killed everyone including my old friend, Lucian. They didn’t take anything, just slaughtered everyone inside. And the next night, it was the Tavern. A war party of twenty Drow sweeped through the place, killing everyone recklessly. We all put up a damn good fight, and killed most of them. We tracked the one that got away to the Tower. We already had heard about the odd goings on in that Tower, and the people disappearing. We figured it was time to get down to business and clear the place out.”

Aleena spoke up, adding to the story. “Enoch was a good man, but he had been dominated by a Yochlol, a powerful servant of Lolth from the Abyss. This demon was named Shuluth, and it was gathering souls for its master.  Lolth creates the Yochlols specifically to serve her, and she uses them as  spies, diplomats, guards, and enforcers. Created from captured succubi, the Yochlols are a servitor race of demons and  Lolth keeps them tightly focused on their duties. This Shuluth dominated Enoch, and used him to bring in men, women, and children to be sacrificed to Lolth to further he goals of becoming the Goddess of the Weave.”

Yochol
Yochol

Rippin nods, and begins talking again. “We cleared out the Tower. Killed Enoch and a handful of his priests. Actually, we killed Enoch more than once until we realized that we had to burn his body to stop the Yochol from bringing him back to life. Anyway, this angel calling himself “Zaphkiel, the Watcher” shows up talking all kinds of foolishness about Lolth, the Darkening, and Shuluth. He tells us that if we delved down into a forgotten temple that Falstaff was built on, kill the demon, and stop the world from going dark that Pelor will owe each of us a Boon.” Rippin shrugs. “I mean, who doesn’t want a god to owe him one, right?”

Aleena breaks in again. “The mission seemed easy enough. Get in, get out. But we misjudged the power of Shuluth and the resources available to it. We failed, but we used the Tempus Coin to travel back in time and start again.” She pauses. “It worked, just like the angel told us it would. But it had impossible side effects.”

The other Rippin gestured towards Rippin. “Copies. Each time we used the Coin, we made copies of ourselves. So every time we went into that damned dungeon and attacked the demon, we’d find our own corpses laying at our feet, or strung up on the walls, or being hacked to pieces by Drow. It was horrible. Maddening.” He shook his head, looking down.

 Aleena speaks up again. “We’ve used the coin seven times now. And we aren’t using it again. We decided to give up. The last time, we just watched the world end. The sky went dark, and the world we knew was slowly consumed by the monoliths Shuluth is using to empower Lolth. We’ve been trying to survive in this new dark world, living off of scraps, and trying to stay ahead of the Drow who are hunting us. Shuluth has a price on our heads, of course, and wants us to deliver to Lolth.”

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“But another angel showed up a few days ago. This one was named Metranon, The Lorekeeper.” Rippin smiled slightly. “He told us to head to this spot, and wait for a planar portal to open. He said that we would meet The Final Champions, and would be able to tell them our tale of failure to help them fight Shuluth, and stop that blasted demon from using the Monoliths to consume any more worlds for its mistress.”

He pauses. “Apparently, you … we … no you … you are the ones that Metranon was talking about.” Aleena nods. “We’ve failed seven times. Seven worlds have been consumed by the Darkening.” A tear runs down her cheek. “Your world will be the eighth … unless you can succeed where we have failed so many times.”

cropped-bwdd

 

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