Monday, October 9, 2017

Vanifer Burns Out - Princes of the Apocaverse - Session Twenty-Six




The Chapters and Cast of the Ballad

Within the bard's summoned shelter;
Time was taken to examine the haul;
In their place south of the smelter;
Though they had not time to see all.

A leopard fur choker with a cat's essence;
Two crossbows of minor enchantment;
A serpent within a wooden convalescence;
A dragonscale mask toward Torm bent.

Also a ring fashioned by the Gith;
A broom of charred wood and fiery symbols;
And a living quiver forged by no blacksmith;
Before then with Aengus mind came cymbals.

Slipping out of Leomund's Tiny Hut;
They found a massive fiery chasm;
And standing upon the far strut;
A woman with skin the color of plasm.

"Infidels and intruders in this sacred place;
You have come to your doom!"
Her voice filled loudly the burning space;
Echoing with a mighty boom.

Further north the voice carried to new ears;
The Rosethorn Knight Talindra had arrived;
With a cadre of scouts, druids, and other peers;
From the tracks her party's trail were derived.

And then came the southern call to wrath;
Upon Emris, her stalwart companion;
Past the barriers she blazed a path;
Her fellows engaging the troop hobgoblin.

Following the trail past obsidian pillars;
She turned south and saw an active forge;
Continuing in their labor unawares;
As the clanging drowned out the surge.

Down below, Fennle stepped like the wind;
Leaping the chasm and landing beyond;
Creating a disc with which Vanifer had to fend;
Of blazing solar force from within her spawned.

Aengus stepped out and moved to a wall;
Noticing the chasm lacked heat;
And scattering pebbles that did not fall;
His clever eyes the illusion did beat.

"You're a clever man," Vanifer slyly noted;
Magic drifting off her sorcerous tongue;
Slipping into minds with venom coated;
But the rogue's mind free swung.

"Sorry I prefer not to be tied down to a lady;
Lest there be silken ribbons involved;"
Declared the master of disguise most shady;
As Vanifer snarled and on her heel revolved.

Beside Marle a section of wall sprung open;
Disgorging hobgoblins into the field;
Pouring out on the flank now broken;
Clashed were the blades they did wield.

A captain of the hobgoblins slipped past;
The tiefling bard scouring his side;
As he swung his greatsword at last;
Cleaving into Elivia with militant pride.

Marle turned her attention on the squad;
Swinging Shandrilar's Song in ringing chord;
Unleashing a wave of thunder unflawed;
Leaving the hobgoblins tossed and floored.

Two figures of towering flame swept out;
Coming from a door of scarlet with runes engraved;
One catching the monk with a burning clout;
And the other moving to the rogue with speed enraged.

Elivia circled about her opponent;
Keeping him at bay as she came to see the fire;
Calling down the might of a divine component;
Setting fear in the heart of the pyre.

Then she turned her ire on the hobgoblin;
Summoning a hand of Mystra's might;
To grant her attacker a spiritual problem;
Slamming him with injury not slight.

Talindra paused as she turned south;
Watching a great efreet driving a slave;
Back turned to her and working his mouth;
To shouting at an azer in manner grave.

The clack of hooves rang on the stone;
Striking underneath the ring of steel hammer;
Just in time to be gored to the bone;
The efreet finally noticed the new clamor.

Talindra rained strikes down on with her blade;
Striking with the force of her fey power;
And then with her shield sending him to wade;
In the flowing lava falling in a magma shower.

The slaves all roused at this display;
Turning on the other guards about them;
Behind Talindra came the Encalve;
Sweeping about the room they did come.

Fennle took the time to put out the flame;
Before leaping over the elemental;
Giving chase to the source of much blame;
Vanifer the Prophet of Imix's kennel.

More hobgoblins spilled out into the room;
Walking over the illusion of deep blazes;
Over the heroes they now did loom;
Firing arrows they aimed for bloody wages.

The arrows failed to land with any strike;
But one arrow was snatched out of the air;
And returned to the sender as a spike;
Into his shoulder and out of Fennle's hair.

Aengus then maneuvered away;
Escaping the man of towering heat;
And casting a greasy sway;
Under the hobgoblins very feet.

Vanifer vanished into a form of mist outwards;
Darting away from Fennle's grasp;
And turned to speak honeyed words;
Bringing the Sun Soul into her clasp.

The door shut by Marle was shoved into;
As Marle tested her strength against theirs;
Holding against them strong and true;
They were left trapped within their lairs.

The hobgoblin captain swept forward again;
Lashing his blade against the busy tiefling;
But the spiritual hand interfered just then;
And left his attack that of a weakling.

Marle formed a plan of definite risk;
Stepping away from the door;
To come by Elivia's side in a whisk;
And then looked past towards the floor.

By a peel of thunder the hobgoblins were thrown;
Shandrilar's Song cracking against stone;
Sending the minions into a pile of many broken bone;
Leaving the captain to stand almost alone.

Then the fire elemental touched by Mystra's might;
Fled away to leap out of the fight;
Before the other followed the monk of light;
Against Vanifer's wishes and to her fright.

Yet the vile prophet's charm did hold;
As a beast of three heads appeared in the hall;
Charging forward as a sorceress of scars bold;
Advanced as well to protect Vanifer from all.

Elivia then slammed Mystra's fist into the captain;
Before it faded and poured out a host of angels;
Leaving the captain a seared corpse hollow and thin;
After their blades struck him from many angles.

Elivia then strode north at a swift pace;
Angles tearing aside hobgoblins as she walked;
Following to catch up to the last of fire's face;
Though most hobgoblins in pursuit balked.

Firing arrows against the priest and assassin;
The hobgoblins struck Aengus with one dart;
But most slipped and slid again and again;
Struggling hard to follow up their strong start.

Now long missed did Lohn make her appearance;
The pixie appearing in Vanifer's hair;
Stabbing with abandon and much vengeance;
And earning the pixie a deadly glare.

Focusing on the efreet struggling with the lava;
Elivia turned her attention to his trouble;
Slamming him once, twice and thrice with drama;
Sending over the falls buried in burning bubble.

Weighed down by lava, the efreeti could not fly;
And in a fit of anger and pique;
The efreet left the Prime and thought to craft a lie;
To conceal this failure most bleak.

Then to the south the chimera swept into view;
Then Ignatia of many scars in flame was wreathed;
While Fennle called upon her discipline true;
To fight off the magic in which her mind was sheathed.

She advanced with anger to Vanifer's side;
Managing one blow at the sorceress's body;
Seeking to give the prophet a stunning ride;
But the vile pawn of Imix remained sturdy.

Aengus turned crossbows against those standing;
As they sought to pursue the persistent Fennle;
Aiming to aid their mistress whose life was ending;
Though his bolt caught the edge of the tunnel.

Vanifer stepped through the mists away from foes;
To the side of the chimera with a smile;
Until she saw Talindra and druids raining blows;
And lifted a ring of fire to preserve her bile.

Then she dove through the fire;
For it touched her not at all;
And hoped to make of the pyre;
An obstacle upon which enemies fall.

The last fire elemental struck out;
Striking the monk once again;
Once more upon her fire did sprout;
And worked to burn her life thin.

A survivng hobgoblin, injuries distinct;
Struck out at Marle with a desperate swing;
But came nowhere close to making the bard extinct;
Breathing heavily as he accomplished nothing.

The bard turned to him and in manner most grave;
Advised him that he was already done and gone;
Though he may have proven himself most brave;
He should save the effort of his useless brawn.

The force of the bard's word struck into his brain;
Sparking an aneurysm that made a bloody show;
The hobgoblin collapsing as his life did drain;
Following that insult and most telling blow.

Then Marle swept up and joined Elivia and Aengus;
Flying over the illusory chasm;
She came into the scene without much of a fuss;
And released a little more sarcasm.

Elivia tapped into the power of the new choker;
Sprouting a bit of fur and cat-like features;
Giving her a burst of speed to sweep forward;
Stopping briefly at the sight of the many creatures.

Lohn then used the Guantlets of Tyche to fire a dart;
Striking Vanifer from behind most sharp;
The tiefling prophet's rage flamed into a start;
But the pixie evaded the rebuke's harp.

In her rage and pain most dire;
Vanifer's mind lost hold of the fire;
The circular wall of evil pyre;
Collapsing to nothing, it did expire.

Behind Talindra one of the druids stopped cold;
Dropping her gear and roaring loudly;
A lycanthropic curse taking newfound hold;
Gariena raged most badly.

Distracted a moment by this change;
Talindra was distracted from other things;
The chimera charged into range;
And unleashed a breath of fire that stings.

Then Ignatia unleashed a blast of fire;
Failing to catch either Fennle or Lohn;
Who nimbly dodged out of the mire;
Though Elivia was seared and left alone.

The host of angels at her side faded away;
As the blast struck her around the shield;
Searing her skin and leaving her to stay;
Removing a second spell from the field.

Fennle leapt forward between the mages;
Striking Ignatia with an attack most solid;
Though Vanifer pushed past the stages;
Keeping her senses against being clotted.

The remaining hobgoblins fell one by one;
Dying to Aengus and Marle on blade and bolt;
Only one skipping past to miss the fun;
Because he did not stop at the first jolt.

Vanifer dropped a field of hellish darkness;
Blocking sight as she fled down the hall;
Though Fennle managed her escape to tarnish;
Though still she did not fall.

The last fire elemental turned to Elivia;
Her cat-like features fading as the magic passed;
It swung out and failed to landed the hand of Mystra;
Unaware of what it had just tasked.

Elivia once again called on Mystra's authority;
And filled the elemental with holy terror;
Passing by it as a hobgoblin fired poorly;
She pushed deeper into the temple lair.

Lohn pursued Vanifer through the dark;
Passing within the bereft Gariena's view;
And seeing to where the prophet did hark;
Unwilling to let the villain stew.

Talindra circled back to give Emris a running start;
Slamming into the chimera with a glancing blow;
Before raining her sword to bring it hurt;
She tried to push back down the stairs below.

The chimera returned the violent favor;
With a barrage all of its own;
Talindra protected Emris with her labor;
But her own blood fell to the stone.

Ignatia, her head shaken and stunned;
Stumbled about incapable and dumb;
As the heroes took the luck for their fund;
Everything turning under their thumb.

Fennle left the stunned sorceress behind;
And flew after the mistress of the cult;
Manticore quills with poison now lined;
She threw them with great result.

Vanifer seized up and choked in fury;
With protests that she was not finished;
But her words were not heard by the jury;
And into ash her body extinguished.

Elivia fixed eyes on Ignatia narrowed thin;
And strode forward casting a blight;
Rotting her body from without and within;
Before summoning a hand of Mystra's might.

Lohn then looked at the remains of Vanifer;
Then slipped back to strike into the beast;
The cursed druid did see the pixie flicker;
As she sliced into the chimera unleashed.

Marle and Aengus caught up with the others;
After the hobgoblins were removed as factors;
And saw Ignatia panicked with a spray of colors;
Shmmering over the field of many actors.

Yet only the chimera was vulnerable to the spell;
And the act triggered the rage of Gariena the were;
Who launched herself forward to brave fires fell;
And slaughter Ingatia who failed to be aware.

The Chimera then fell to a barrage of blows;
Leaving a werewolf to deal with now;
And Talindra's words calming and slow;
Brought Gariena's control to her brow.

Above the salamanders and azer enslaved;
Began to turn against each other now;
But Elivia's words their rage did waved;
With Talindra's support ended the row.

The salamanders left to seek the plane of fire;
But the azer agreed to help man the forges;
And take the fight against the elemental liar;
That still lay below in deep gorges.

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