As we rocketed along underneath the continent, the storms of the Maelstrom rose up with unusual fury. Though we hurtled along as fast as our rockets could take us, we did not spy the draconic Thrymspaker until we came within sight of the Chain. It arrived at about the same time that we did. Rather than engage us, it dove down along the Chain, forcing us to do likewise. When we caught up with it again, we had all reached a speed Oli called “terminal velocity”.
Oli sought to ensnare it using a grappling bolt, but the winds took it wide of the mark. Gareth’s attempt to take the fight to it was frustrated by his flying board getting away from him. Two chunks of the maelstrom animated and tried to electrocute us. I hurled mine into the vortex and rode it down to the fleeing dragon and yanked it back towards the Stormcrow. The fight was now truly joined.
It was a difficult battle, but the dragon and its elementals were not able to best us, for the enemy was holding back its true strength. At the last, when we had battered it to near the end of its life, Kong Meng channeled irresistable flames upon all of them. The dragon exploded with incendiary bone shards and projected a Balor down the chain to the end of my sight. The Balor then hurled its shard into the depths. A massive shockwave roiled upwards to knock us around. Soon after, the Last Chain repeated the tug, break, and rise we had witnessed after Gareth shattered the mount point of the second to last Chain.
Buffeted by the storm, we followed the remnant of the Chain upward to escape the abyssal Maelstrom. We contacted Oathsworn Command to apprise them of the situation, though they had already been aware of the basic facts due to the rise of the continent at the breaking of the Chain. As we hurled along we were somewhat surprised to see the Maelstrom retreat downward, as thought something was gathering itself. Its retreat eventually revealed the outline of the blasted surface of what had been our world before the Arcana Wars rendered it uninhabitable. It was now only populated by the twisted abominations of the Maelstrom.
Gareth was struck down by his curse. Horrible agonies were inflicted upon him for failing to accomplish his task of defending the Last Chain. Oli could provide no relief for him, so she struck him unconscious.
On the horizon we saw stars falling downwards, to be met by a rising storm. As we began to make out the outline of massive forms girding themselves for battle, the presence of the Raven Queen filled the cabin and warned us that the Gods themselves were coming to fight the mad God, Tharizdun, though we would each still a part to play. For they would hold Tharizdun’s attention while we attended to a critical matter.
I was overcome by a vision from Erathis. My vision was of a great and terrible swirling storm with a single unblinking Eye of Chaos at its center. I could feel its terrible universe destroying malice and that it would be my purpose to somehow destroy it.
After I awoke, I learned that both Terhali and Gareth has experienced divine visions. Though theirs were different from my own. Terhali had seen a wizened old man with a curved staff, similar to a sheperd’s crook, but at the end of it was a single eye. Gareth had seen a terrible huge and fleshy creature with many tentacles.
As we discussed these visions, Kong Meng recalled a legend he had studied of three things: The Sorcerer, The Seer, and the Sycophant. Each representing stages of Tharizdun’s life. As he was, as he is, and as he will be. We deduced that the old man was akin to his original form as a god, the storm as he is now, and the aberrant abomination as he will be. There was also an implication that these Avatars should be destroyed in an order. The process would cut him off from one of the two universes. If we severed the link from the past first, then he would be trapped in the other world. If we severed the link to the future first, he would be trapped in our world. Given what mischief has been up when already trapped in our world, we determined it would be best to trap him in the other world. We also had the feeling that our destruction of these Avatars would weaken Tharizdun so that the Gods could prevail against him to cast him away.
After about a day’s voyage we returned to Vergence. The hardening preparations that had been made had allowed it to withstand the Breaking of the Last Chain with minimal damage. Though it was quite crowded as they gathered all who could fit within its protective dome. We reunited with Raiden and learned that the Adamantine Canopic Jar had stopped buzzing and calling demons. We opened it, after a small incendiary blast we found it only contained some ashy crystalline residue. Further study of it led to believe that its connection to Tharizdun might make it usable within a summoning circle to call the Sorcerer’s form before us. Perhaps the remnants of the Krag would be a suitable place for such a ritual.
- Deacon Novius Carnifex Vergilius