Sacred Blades

The Looting of Sakkors

Before their eyes the Temple of Karsis had transformed. Now a black stone pyramid rose into the sky, growing still. A massive portal raged at the top and something huge loomed into view. Disgorged from the portal directly down onto the flat pyramid top was a gigantic tentacled, primordial monstrosity. The twenty-foot-high thing wriggled its ropelike tentacles and four more portals instantly opened, one at each corner of the pyramid. Lesser elementals of all types began to stream through. An invasion had begun.


Aftermath

The Blades took a well-deserved rest in Waterdeep following their victory. Sakkors, the flying city used by the Cult of Karsis, had been utterly destroyed when it crashed somewhere in the High Forest.

In the wake of this disaster Netheril sent a new ambassador to Waterdeep who worked quickly to distance themselves from the Cult, publicly claiming the Cult had taken the city by force (which was actually true). In their show of thanks to Waterdeep for destroying the rebel city, Netheril pledged to withdraw all the Cult-led forces from the Grey Vale region and restore peace.

In reality, losing one of their two flying citadels was a huge blow to the empire. The Sacred Blades had single-handedly given hope to thousands living in Netheril’s shadows. Netheril would be on the defensive for some time and their loss of Sakkors could have ripple effects in Sembia and other dominated lands. They could not afford to hold territory in the remote Grey Vale.

During their week of rest, reports came to the Blades of many strange happenings in the Realms, all a direct result of their actions:

-Loudwater and Llorkh were free once again – what was left of them. Both towns had been destroyed and would need to be rebuilt nearly from scratch – a task the hardy folk of the Vale were no stranger to. They would rebuild again, better than ever.

-Paladins from Elturgard reported the ruins of Darkhold acting weirder than ever…land floating apart, spellplagued demons escaping the ruined keep, strange magical effects taking hold of surrounding lands.

-Secomber was abandoned shortly after the fall of Sakkors. Citizens report the castle was ‘haunted’, though their descriptions were exactly the same as the paladins reported coming from Darkhold. Could the Secomber castle portal to Darkhold have survived and transmitted the spellplague across thousands of miles?

-Treasure-hunters initially flocked to the ruins of Sakkors. Those few who survived report the land has become a spellplagued nightmare spreading miles beyond the crash site. The city itself remains largely unlooted as a result.

-Portal magic to and from the High Forest had become unreliable. Any portals opened near Sakkors were likely to dump the traveler directly into the Elemental Chaos or worse. Travelers needed more conventional means to get around. Even Rolan’s increasing skill in planeshifting magic was unable to penetrate the chaos surrounding Sakkors.


Shattered Landscape

Rested and prepared for anything, the Blades decided to return to Sakkors and loot it dry. An entire city for the taking. They mounted on griffins and made for the High Forest, intending to pick over the ruins by air.

Miles away from the crash site, the High Forest began to look different. Trees and animals seemed somehow…changed. They saw trees with warped and twisted trunks, six-legged squirrels, two-headed birds fused together into confused flocks. As they traveled further towards Sakkors the land grew more warped. The few remaining trees moved under their own power, grabbing for prey, while no animal life stirred.

Soon the Blades came upon the fallen city. Built atop an inverted mountain peak, Sakkors had fallen straight, the bottom ‘peak’ piercing partially into the earth. Then like a top stuck in mud, it slid until one side touched the ground. The whole city lay at a slight angle. Less-sturdy buildings had collapsed and slid, while stronger construction remained standing in various states of ruin. Just outside the fallen city, a number of tent camps were established – signs of looters.

Taken aback by the warped nature of the city, the Blades landed safely on the outskirts and planned their attack. Based on their tour of the city before its fall, the Blades already had a few areas they wanted to loot. In particular: a Netherese library, the Temple of Karsis and the Manufactorum, an artifact and golem-creation workshop. Divination magic was cast and the fickle hand of fate pointed towards a looter camp as also having items of interest to the Blades.

While planning their next action the Blades were attacked by a large group of magically-altered undead. The cursed citizens of Sakkors had been altered by the chaotic energies unleashed. The undead were handily destroyed but there were doubtless more where they came from. It was time to get moving.


The Looting of Sakkors

Off they went, landing a safe distance from the looter camp before walking into visual range. Initial attempts at negotiation with the looters went foul when the leader turned out to be a cleric of Bane. The looters, already depleted by the attacks of wild beasts and undead from the ruins, soon fell to the Blades. To the victors went the spoils: powerful items recovered from the ruins.

Next the Blades flew over the ruined city to the Manufactorum. A Netherese scouting party intercepted them en-route. Sent to investigate the ruins and retrieve anything of value, they soon discovered the cause of Sakkors’ fall: the Sacred Blades. Walking past their freshly mangled corpses, the Blades entered the Manufactorum and defeated it’s golem guardians, emerging with more spoils of war.

The library was next, and as they approached they saw it covered with ice. Throughout the city they had noticed elemental incursions, even packs of demons roaming the streets and destroying anything they crossed. Within the frozen library they battled a number of ice archons, destroying most anything of value in the process.


Primordial Forces

Rolen began to piece together the puzzle of what happened in Sakkors. The ritual to create a god had been disrupted by their actions weeks earlier, infusing Elemental Chaos energy into the undertaking. Something in the ritual backfired and now the crash site was home to a massive and growing Spellplague energy and an invasion of numerous extraplanar forces. Was the Spellplague linked to the Elemental Chaos somehow?

One site remained to loot: the Temple of Karsis at the center of Sakkors. As the Blades approached, the Spellplague became far worse as they neared the city center. Elemental creatures ran amok. Before their very eyes a portal opened to the Abyss itself, deep at the bottom of the Elemental Chaos. While fighting the demons that rushed forth, the Blades noticed something growing far off in the distance. The Temple of Karsis was transforming, growing larger as it rose into a pyramid shape.

The battle raged on and Rolen struggled to close the Abyssal portals. As they fought, they saw more portals open directly above the pyramid forming in the distance. Something was about to happen over the old temple – something Not Good. With the demons defeated the Blades rushed to stop whatever horror was about to enter their world.


Space Godzilla

Before their eyes the Temple of Karsis had transformed. Now a black stone pyramid rose into the sky, growing still. A massive portal raged at the top and something huge loomed into view. Disgorged from the portal directly down onto the flat pyramid top was a gigantic tentacled, primordial monstrosity. The twenty-foot-high thing wriggled its ropelike tentacles and four more portals instantly opened, one at each corner of the pyramid. Lesser elementals of all types began to stream through. An invasion had begun.

The Harbinger

An alien voice was heard in the minds of each Blade, grating like nails on a chalkboard:

Prophecy fulfilled:

The Sanctuary shattered.

The Weave undone.

The Way opened.

I Herald my Master’s arrival.

Creation is ours once again.

The Blades attacked with no delay, rushing forward before more extraplanar invaders appeared. Just as they began to charge, the massive primordial wriggled its tentacles and teleported all of them directly next to it atop the pyramid. Tentacles reached out to grab and tear the Blades apart.

As an epic battle broke out the portal above them grew larger still…threatening to unleash something far more hideous and powerful.

The combat rushed by in a blur. Blades were stricken with madness, blasted by magic, pushed back by the abomination while elementals rushed to attack from all sides. Kriv charged in with the artifact held high, the Sacred Blade of Selune. All the while the portal above them expanded and grew wider still. In the end Kriv struck a killing blow, the blade drinking deep and absorbing the creature’s essence. It wavered and exploded in a torrent of gore as the lesser portals shut instantly.

As they stood victorious the larger portal shook unsteadily. Rolan was still unable to open a portal out, his transportation magic still blocked by the energies unleashed by the fallen city. An explosion was imminent and there was no escape. At least they would die having defended the world.

The portal grew wider, shaking until it exploded in a while light.


Lost Primes

As their vision returned the Blades found themselves safe and standing in a city.

Waterdeep?

No. Too cold, too foggy. The streets ahead of them winded uphill…and uphill…and uphill. Craning their necks and looking above, the city stretched all the way to the sky and back around behind them.

Miles above them distant torchlight could be seen piercing the fog.

A circular city.

Sigil.











Sigil

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