Harken's Heroes

Kingdom of the Ghouls Part 1 and 2

The End draws near.

After resting the party was greeted by the Son of Skeeter. The warrior led them to Arshaka’s private collection of weapons and armor. Once they gathered the best gear they could find, they met with the crystal being one last time. Arshaka informed them that a secret cult of Orcus was operating out of Sigil’s temple to Sehanine. The cult was guarding a secret portal to Orcus’ home plane. Before sending them on their way, Arshaka provided them with a crystal shard from his own being for when “they needed help the most”.

The adventurers made their way to the temple and after some discussion about which service they wanted to attend, Mot led them inside. A priest was leading a service inside the moonlit temple.

Mot, being used the services of Sehanine, noticed the some of the worshipers weren’t what they appeared. Fortunately followers of the moon goddess had a system in place to warn each other when danger is nearby. With the rallying cry of “pah-kaw, pah-kaw, chica chica chica”, Mot notified her fellow parishioners it was time to flee the temple. The priest leading the service tried to convince them otherwise, but with a resounding battle cry, Mot attacked him.

Ganassi unleashed attacks on a number of the ghoul like members of the congregation, easily destroying them. The Zealot of Doresein, an evil creature disguised as a priest of Sehanine, started attacking the party’s minds.

While they were distracted, they didn’t notice the large moon like light above them was actually a giant flaming skull. It descended into the fray and launched a ball of fire at the group. After they recovered from their initial surprise, the party made quick work of the undead creature.

Turning their attention to the Zealot of Doresein, the adventurers cut him down for the desecration of Sehanine’s temple. Appropriately, Mot landed the final blow.

Ganassi quickly used his arcane powers to discern that using the water in the small cistern at the front of the temple would activate the teleportation circle hidden in a nearby alcove.

Teleporting further into the temple, the heroes encountered a ghostly reaper, requesting them to pay fealty to “Death’s true master”. As the creature waited for an answer, it dealt necrotic damage to most of the party. Unwilling to lie about where their loyalties lay (except Glurp), the party used their skills to break through the wards trapping them in the room.

Coming to a split in the hallway, the party decided to send Glurp and Scarab toward the sounds of prisoners to check on them. After several close calls, the two sneaky characters manage to get close enough to coup de gras two sleeping guards. The party freed the prisoners and herded them into the room they suspected contained a large group of enemies enjoying a party.

Surprised by the sudden appearance of their supposedly secured prisoners, the ghoulish humans didn’t notice Harken’s Heroes preparing to attack. Using the powers of teleportation, the melee fighters of the party ‘bamfed’ in front of the crowd of prisoners and jumped into the fray. Ganassi made short work of the minions and the heroes quickly piled damage on the rest of the ghoulish humans. Mot played a song that allowed all of her allies to sprout cherub wings and fly, allowing them to take tactical advantage against their enemies. Glurp had a difficult fight, until Scarab came to his rescue against one of the toughest fleshgluttons. The rest of the party had little difficulty cleaning up the other enemies.

Once they were healed up, the group descended some stairs into a dimly lit chamber. A portal to Orcus’ realm, the White Kingdom, was defended by more fleshgluttons and some other followers of Doresein. The ranged fighters of the group laid into the heroes while a fleshglutton tried to eat Bosephus. Harken’s Heroes managed to turn the tables, D’kar saving BFG and Ganassi attacking the evil magic user. As the battle went one, one of the decaying angels fled through the portal, promising to warn its master of the approaching adventurers.

After eliminating the final enemies, the group jumped through the portal into a realm of nightmares. Bone dust covered the entire moonlit landscape, and large chasms filled with frenzied ghouls dotted the plain before them. As they looked on in horror, a horn blast from an obsidian castle drew their attention as a massive gate swung open and an army of creatures poured out.

The crystal shard provided by Arshaka began blinking and unsure of how they could proceed without help, D’kar activated it. Suddenly massive portals to other worlds opened and an army of allies entered the fray. The dragonborn barbarians and minotaur fighters of Phyrexia, Bronze Warders from Thunderspire, and archers and wizards from Astrazalian. The mighty Phyrexian airship roared overhead and kept the flying ghouls at bay, while Harken’s Heroes took up positions among the various troops and charged the enemy. All of the good work they had done in their adventures came back at the time they most needed it.

The army of ghouls, Phyrexian constructs, evil mages, and skeletal archers met the army of the heroes around one of the deep feeding chasms, splitting the battle into two fronts.

Alphonse Glimguardian, recovered from his ordeal at the hands of Orcus’ followers, joined the attack with his brother by his side. The dragonborn barbarians and eladrin mages made quick work of the Phyrexian Reavers and Paincrafter mages. The other front had a slower start, but finally managed to break through the enemy lines and take out the deadly skeleton archers. With the enemy routed, the party left the clean up to Alphonse, while they pressed on toward the Obsidian Castle of Doresein.

As they approached a giant bridge made of bone and sinew stretching out over a sea of black blood, a massive knight stepped out to meet them. Scarab’s finger began to glow and the party knew they were facing the Blade of the Exarch. Ganassi used his magical powers to dominate the large creature, before two flying ghouls swooped in to attack. While the rest of the party engaged them, D’kar called upon the power of Bahamut to abjure the deathknight. After the wizard used the massive armored creature to swat one of the ghouls, D’kar continued his attack to knock the beast down. Magical obelisks protecting the bridge fired devastating necrotic beams into the party, but D’kar used his divine power to protect them and absorb most of the damage. The party continued to press their advantage, with Ganassi using the deathknight’s own attacks against it.

Though the massive creature managed to free itself from the wizard’s spell eventually, it was too little too late. Attacks poured out from the party members and Ganassi quickly managed to disable the obelisk’s magic. Once all of their adversaries were defeated, the bridge settled back into place and the party headed across, into the looming entrance of the Obsidian Castle.

The adventurer’s were surprised to find the castle empty and easily traversed it’s halls and horrible rooms of torture. The final door they arrive at was a small wooden door, surprisingly out of place. After talking Glurp into opening it, they discover a large shrine to Orcus, numerous statues ringing the room. Beneath each statue was a door and above each statue was a brightly glowing magic symbol. The statue’s each held a large crystal in slightly different positions. A slightly raised circular platform was in the middle of the room. The party tested various methods of getting out the correct door, taking a little damage along the way. Mot and Bosephus managed to figure things out after some trial and error (and spinning around on the platform) and the party exited out the same door they came in, arriving in a different place. As they were leaving the room, the final name on Scarab’s finger began to glow.

The party approached a massive room, greeted by a chorus of horrible moans and wails. Once they entered it, they discovered that the floor was one massive pit of ghouls, packed in so tightly that they couldn’t move more than their arms and ravenous mouths. Shriveled undead mages were perched on columns around the room, while a massive dais stood in the center. A balor and a ghoul wearing a cloak of human flesh stood waiting for them, before a massive statue of Orcus. The ghoul introduced himself as Doresein, Exarch of Orcus, and promised to end the heroes.

D’kar used the power of Bahamut to teleport the party across the pit of ghouls to the dais and to strengthen the party. Ganassi used a powerful prismatic spray to cause massive damage to Doresein and the balor. D’kar followed it up with several burning attacks on the Ghoul King. Bosephus used the blessings of Pelor to remove Doresein’s curses from some of the party members, before directing radiant damage against the creature. Mot sang songs of triumph to urge her allies to victory, preparing them to do massive damage on their next attacks, before turning invisible to all the enemies.

The Lich vestiges hovering around the edges of the room launched orbs of fire and necrotic power at the majority of the party, but only dealt minimal damage. Ganassi turned his sights to the Balor and used a massive force to pin it to the ground, before using a volley of arcane missiles to destroy a number of liches. Scarab used his poison breath to poison the Balor and Doresein, before D’kar called upon the might of Bahamut to adjure the undead horror. He followed up by charging the creature to draw his attention away from the rest of the party. Doresein used his grotesque staff to nearly knock D’kar into the trench full of ghouls, before teleporting back to his throne.

Bosephus followed up with another devastating divine attack, before the Balor attempted to behead half the party. His try fell short of the party’s epic defenses. In response, Ganassi banished it to an inter-planar space, allowing the party to concentrate their efforts fully on Doresein. After a few more attacks from the party, the Ghoul King attempted to drive D’kar into the raging ghouls again, but came up just short, as the Paladin scrambled to maintain a handhold at the edge of the dais.

Bosephus used his powers of healing to top off the most injured party members, before using turn undead to burn Doresein, his horde of ghoul followers, one of the lich vestiges, and Scarab (but only a little). Ganassi and Scarab combined together to kill Doresein and then the undead assassin shoved him into the pit of ghouls.

As the final name on Scarab’s finger dimmed, he was enveloped in a column of dark light and felt the power of the Raven Queen course through him. As soon as it started he felt a sharp pain and the power was immediately cut off from him. Worried about what was happening to the Goddess of Death, the party quickly looted Doresein’s treasure horde, finally recovering the Mirror of Souls in the process. The fully restored mirror, first discovered in the Keep on the Shadowfell, was magically linked to Orcus. Using his command of time and space, Ganassi was able to open a portal that should lead the party to the demon lord.

What awaits them on the other side? Will they be in time to save the Raven Queen?

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