I am Gardain Glimmerstone, a faithful servant of Dumathoin, Dwarven God of mining, underground exploration, and caretaker of the dead. I was sent on the Nexus Expedition to act as a healer. Our mission was simple. We were to enter a planar gateway, and to secure resources in a newly discovered domain. We had done this sort of mission several times before. We made landing in Nexus with an Expeditionary Force of 4000 souls. We attempted to the secure the city and within a day’s time the majority of our Company was wiped out. Now, those of us who remain struggle to survive in this odd, unfamiliar landscape. We continued to follow orders, exploring the domain and securing resources. After a year’s time, the planar gateway was scheduled to reopen and return us home.
ψ NEXUS EXPEDITION, THE MINES, ONE WEEK UNTIL EXTRACTION
- Gardain Glimmerstone: Dwarf Priest
- Fanrael Malwesal: Elf Mage
- Krell: Human Barbarian
- Thoven Serpenthelm: Human Ranger
- Eilora Arroway: Human Druid
- Aeranthalus: Elf Ranger
- Falion: Human Paladin
- Dray: Dwarf Assassin
I awoke early and began my prayers to Dumathoin. Afterwards, I ate some of my rations along with some of the dried meat and fruits were had gathered during the mission. I talked with the Company about our next move. The majority wished to take action against the Vampire Lord and his undead legion. I was not against this idea as I did not enjoy the idea of aligning with those creatures in the first place. However, one must do what one must do to survive.
Krell asked me to look at one of his plunders from the pillar mine room. It was a large blue diamond. It was nearly perfect, although it seemed to have a unique flaw within its core. Staring deeper, I saw that it glowed with a dim blue light. Suddenly, I could feel the hairs on my neck stand on end. This gem held Charming magic. Luckily, my Dwarven Logic allowed me to resist it’s allure. I told Krell that it was magical and dangerous. He grunted, and grabbed the gem from my hand. I attempted to react by swatting the diamond from the Human’s grip but failed. I explained my suspicions about the gem to Dray. The blue light seemed too much like the light from the tower that turned our Company into cyrstal. This was no coincidence. It was somehow linked.
I turned my thoughts to the planning at hand. We sent word to Thoven and Fanrael to join us for the raid into the Vampire’s Lair. Falion and Eilora would remain with a small detachment to secure the Ant Farm. The six of us gathered in a small circle. Thoven would lead the Ship’s Labor Golems through the Skull Gate Golem using the Amulet given to us by the Vampire. Meanwhile, the rest of us would Teleport into the chamber and take the undead by surprise. We would call on the Fire Elemental to slay the Skull Gate Golem. Thoven and the Golems would arrive from the other side of the conflict, hopefully helping to flank the enemy. With any luck, we would destroy the Vampire. With its demise, we hoped the army would be defeated as well.
I called on Dumathoin’s divine might to Death Ward Krell, Dray, and Aeranthalus. Fanrael cast magical spells to make us Invisible, and then Teleported us into the Vampire’s Lair. At that point, Fanrael triggered his spell to make us move with complete Silence. Everyone slipped into vantage points, selecting targets. When time was of the essence, I rushed forward towards the dias where the Vampire sat on his throne. My actions broke the spells of Silence and Invisibility as I raised my Hammer in one hand, and my holy symbol in the other, crying out to Dumathoin, condemning the vile creatures before me. I hoped that my prayers would be answered, Turning the Undead from me.
The Vampire cried out in anger at our betrayal. He was not Turned, but the Death Knight, Dread Wight, and Lich were affected by the sudden revelation of Dumathoin’s wrath. The Lich and Wight fled, while the Death Knight retreated into the gathered legion of Skeletons and Zombies. I stood my ground as my companions launched their attacks. Thankfully, Fanrael’s magic was able to hold the Vampire enthralled for a moment with Telekinesis. I watched from the corner of my eye as Krell leapt out of hiding and his eyes flared a brilliant blue color. Suddenly, somehow, he took control of a large percentage of the undead legion. Skeletons and Zombies fell on each other with rusty blades and tearing claws. They dog-piled the Death Knight, crushing them in their massive wake.
Thoven was there, at the back of the chamber, raining arrows into the bodies of the undead. The Golems were smashing a path through the Zombies and Skeletons. My attention was drawn back to the Vampire when I heard Krell scream.
Krell lunged forward, smashing his massive maul into the Vampire’s body again and again. The barbarian was in a rage, snarling andf grunting like a beast. Blood smeared his body. Although I was momentarily dazed by Krell’s actions, I had sense enough to raise my shield and move out of the way as Dray charged in on his Ant Mount. Like a Human knight on a horse, he raised his lance towards the Vampire. The creature was too fast though, and managed to avoid the crushing blow by turning into a swirling mist. I saw the mist float towards the ceiling, and raised my holy symbol again. Searing radiant light shot from my gem as I called out to my God. I watched as the light burned though the mist, consuming the vampire. I watched, and the creature evaporated before my eyes.
I turned to see that my comrades had defeated the Death Knight. Dray sliced the creature’s hand from its body, causing its monstrous sword to fall to the ground.With that, the battle was over. With their masters defeated, the lesser undead stood still. They had no further commands to follow.
It seemed, at least for the time being, we had won the day. We were alive. Our enemies were defeated.
We had tasted the ecstasy of betrayal.