Chapter 7 - Epilogue.   Posted by Castle Keeper.Group: 0
Castle Keeper
 GM, 612 posts
Thu 28 Feb 2019
at 23:44
Chapter 7 - Epilogue
Please post what happens to your PCs after defeating the Temple of Pain.
Stachys
 player, 52 posts
 Half Orc All Monk
Sat 2 Mar 2019
at 22:38
Chapter 7 - Epilogue
"Tell me again pawpaw.  Tell me again!" The little boy bounced excitedly, and stared up at the fireplace.  Looking above the mantle at the trident hanging there.

"It was a long dark night." The old man began, lifting the wee child up onto his lap as he sat in a comfortable chair next to the embers.  "There were children missing, and we were there trying to find them.  This night, we had found a magic portal, like a hole that went right into the sea.  Water came splashing out, and with it, what seemed like a dozen giant sharks, they were ferocious, with razor sharp teeth.  And do you know what was riding on top?" Stachys asks, stroking his graying beard.

"The fish king!" the little voice cried.

He nodded, and patted the youth's head.  "That's right, a king among fishes.  He was a mighty fishman, strong and fierce.  He had a golden crown, and a magic trident."  He takes a sip from his mug.  "Dreya was there, she was a friend of animals, and she tried to talk to the some of the sharks, but they were mean, and hungry.   The fish king threw his trident at me, but I was too quick.   I twisted and ran, jumping for him and his shark, and I stole his trident from his hands."  Stachys smiled proudly.  "Oh he was so mad.  Our wizard cast a spell at him, but Tetra min was almost unstoppable.  We battled the sharks, and the water kept flooding like a mighty river.   I tried to break his weapon, but it was powerful magic, so I kept it from him, making him angrier and angrier.   My friends and I battled on.  I stabbed on of the sharks, and lightning flew from that trident, like on a stormy night."

"And then Tetra min fell, right?"  the boy continues.

"Yes, the water in his helmet was like poison to him.   He fell from his shark and the water carried him away." Stachys continues.  "I killed his shark, and everyone started trying to figure out how to stop the world from flooding."

"But he wasn't dead, was he?" The boy nods excitedly.

"No, he wasn't dead yet.  He was very powerful.  Cole managed to shatter his helmet and nearly took his head clean off, but the fishking swam away like a coward.  The water was getting deep, and we tried to find a place for it to go, when suddenly Tetramin was swimming back towards the portal.   There was no time to waste, for if the fish king got back to the portal, all would have been lost.  I dropped the trident, and running along and leaping off the walls, I grapped for Tetra min, and we tumbled back under water.  I struck him as a hard as I could, and we made sure this time, he was dead for sure."   He says, clenching his old fist slowly.  "Glooploop, Elwood and Anthony managed to perform the ritual to close off the portal, and stop the water.  They saved the world you know."

"Saved the world from the fishmen, didn't they pawpaw."  He smiles proudly.

"Yes, saved the world.   I kept the trident, it is a powerful weapon, and maybe someday, you'll be big enough to use it."  He says, ruffing up the little one's hair.

"Then I can save the world too!"  He exclaims, trying to right his hair again.

"Yes, you can save the world too.   Now, go find your mother, it's time for bed.  I am old and its getting late."  Stachys says, letting the boy down.  It seemed so long ago, and though there were certainly adventures after, he never forgot how the world was kept from drowning.
Cole Hiller
 player, 226 posts
Sun 3 Mar 2019
at 19:15
Chapter 7 - Epilogue
The simple rat-ta-tat of knuckles tapping against wood sounded, loud and crisp, even amongst the chatter and din wafting up from the tavern patrons below.  Cole lowered his hand and clasped it with his other in front of him, then unclasped his hands, letting them rest at his sides.

“Coming,” The muffled voice replied from the other side of the door.

Cole waited, still uncertain what brought him here.  The journey to his next destination would be long, several days walk at least, and he still had provisions to acquire.  There was some gear that needed mending as well, maps to chart…he really should get a jump start on all of it now…but still, when he woke up this morning he had found himself making his way to this Inn, to this door.

Metal snapped and clicked, and the door opened.

"Sir, Col—“ Dreya started.  "I mean, JUST Cole.  Yes.  Just Cole.  I...I did not expect you, Sir, Hill— JUST Cole.”  The druid sent him a smile before looking about her room, her brows diving in puzzlement.  “Uh, I have a chair,” she stated, turning her gaze to the rustic chair tucked away in the corner of the room.

Cole couldn’t help but chuckle.  “It’s a very fine chair, Dreya.”

For a moment, her brows dove in confusion, and her gaze darted from the chair to him.  “Oh!” she exclaimed, a sheepish look turning her cheeks red.  Snapping her arm out, she pointed to the chair.  “You can sit on my chair!  I mean…would you like to sit, Sir Hill—  I mean would you like to come in, Cole?”

A grin plastered on his face, Cole nodded, taking a few steps across the threshold.  “I’ll stand if that’s alright.  I won’t take too much more of your time this morning.  I just stopped by to…” he paused.  Why had he stopped here?  “I wanted to see how you were doing after the ordeal with the priests.”

It was not so very long ago that their party had battled Tetra Min and all those bizarre shark people.  Cole still remembered slogging through all that water and cursing Tetra Min and his uncanny ability to hang on to the barest thread of life.  It was a harrowing experience fraught with danger, blood, and sweat.  But, it was all worth it to save those orphans.  Even if it had only been for one orphan or a million, one more young life saved was a worthy deed.  No child should ever have their life taken from them before they’ve had the chance to live it.

Unconsciously, Cole’s right hand sought out the hilt of Vera and an old sorrow clutched around his heart like a vice.

“I am much, how you say…much happy,” Dreya answered, offering a brilliant smile.  “Tetra Min was very bad.”

“And will you be fine, Dreya?”

The question seemed to puzzle her.  “Fine?”

“Now that the group has disbanded,” Cole stated.  “Will you be fine?” Those words sent the slight woman’s brow to furrow.  Silently he waited for her answer, but none ever came. “What will you do?” he prompted.

Sadness colored her expression.  “Do?  I’ll…I will keep moving,” she answered quietly, her hand trailing down to the edges of her cloak, her fingers fidgeting with the folds of the fabric.  “Good I’ll be…  Yes, good.”

I’ll be well. The druid’s awkward speech was endearing.  But, Cole also knew it was a source of discomfort and shame for her.  She was an enigma...so fragile and vulnerable.  So strong and determined.  She was a bundle of contradictions wrapped up in the guise of a striking and mysterious woman.

“I’m glad.” The natural conclusion of their conversation had come to its end.  Hadn’t it?  There was so much he had yet to do this morning.  Wasn’t there?  Yes.  He should leave.  It was only proper.  “Farewell, Dreya.”

A smile flitted across her lips.  “Farewell, just Cole.”

The corner of Cole’s mouth snaked into a grin before he turned on his heel and left the room, but just as his foot crossed the threshold, his hand shot out to grip the doorframe.  Pivoting, he turned back to face her.  “Dreya…if you…if you would like a traveling companion…the invitation is always open.”  And there it was.  The real reason he was here.

“Uhh…” A cascade of undistinguishable emotions danced across her features, and her hand quickly made its way to the strange collar that hung securely around her neck. “I-uh, I don’t know…thanks to you for offer, but…”

It was the wall.  The wall he had come to know so well.  Her defenses were up.  It was so clear to him.  How could it not be?  For many years he had thrown up the very same wall.  Pushing others away.  Choosing the safety of solitude over the pain of letting someone in…

“No need to answer now,”
Cole said.  “Just think about it.  I know this area pretty well.  I could be your guide.  Wherever you need to get to…whatever you’re running from—”

Dreya’s face blanched white.

Bingo.  For a while he had suspected the druid was running from something.  It pained him to know that there was evil out there terrorizing her, and it sickened him to be reminded of the horrors that roamed this world.  “I can help you.”  Lightly, Cole’s thumb brushed across the cold metal of Vera’s hilt.  “If you’ll let me.”

“I’m not running—”


“I’ll be at the crossroads by noontime.  Give it some thought, Dreya.”


With a quick bow of his head, Cole turned and exited the room before making his way down the hallway to the stairs.  Sneaking a glance over his shoulder, he caught sight of the druid still standing in her open doorway, one hand holding the frame as she stared blankly down at the floor, the other hand resting at the collar on her neck.

Cole turned his head forward and continued to take the stairs two at a time.  He had much to do.  Whether or not she took him up on his offer would not change anything.  This chapter of his life was complete.  It was a fun diversion from the daily grind.  With fond memories, he would look back on this wonderful group of misfits for many years to come.  They had accomplished some great things during their brief time together.

Upon reaching the tavern’s main floor, he maneuvered his way past the early risers happily eating their flat cakes and sipping their coffee to the large double doors at the entrance.  Pulling them open, he stepped outside and was greeted by the rays of the morning sun.  They beat down warmly on him.  The air was cool with the hint of fresh baked goods lingering on the breeze.  The street hustled and bustled with passersby busily going about their tasks.  It was a beautiful day, and he looked forward to what it would bring.

This message was last edited by the player at 23:51, Sun 03 Mar.

Elwood
 player, 413 posts
 Human Cleric, 4th Level
Sat 9 Mar 2019
at 02:25
Chapter 7 - Epilogue
Elwood dove around the corner just as the fireballs flew past him.

"YOU'LL PAY FOR THIS, PRIEST!" the demon bellowed.

Scrambling down the hallway, Elwood found a small room, closed the door, and murmured an incantation.  He would be safe and hidden for the moment.  He sat down and started rummaging through his pack.  He found some of Sister Inez Marie's ointment and applied it to his wounds.  Most healing potions and salves caused an intense burning sensation as they do their healing, but the ointment he gets from Sister Inez Marie produces a warm glow.  "I need to pay her more for this stuff."  Too bad it couldn't heal his aching joints or shortness of breath; he was just getting too old to be running around like this.

One more time, he's in a dungeon below a Temple of Pain.  How long has he been doing this?  Years? Decades?  He remembered the first time, back when he was young.  Anthony, Cole, Dreya, Seline, Stachys, and himself thought they had finished the job.  But the cult was wide spread, and over time more temples would arise, luring innocents in through their front doors with their false promises, all while performing sickening and despicable rituals below.  And each time, Elwood's temple would send him to investigate and shut it down.

"SHOW YOURSELF, PRIEST!   YOU CAN'T HIDE FROM ME FOREVER!"

As the demon shouted  up and down the hallway, Elwood thought back to those days.  "I wonder where my old friends are now?  We were a good team, but I guess we all had our own paths to follow.  I could use them right now."  Truth be told, after their adventure into the Temple of Pain, Elwood became more and more of a zealot, and they probably tired of him.  "When this is done - if I survive - I should try to find them, reconnect, and try to make amends."  Too much self-righteousness. Too much wine.  A lot to atone for.

"YOU'RE ALL ALONE!  EVERYONE ELSE HAS ABANDONED YOU!"

That was the plan.  Once the party rescued the prisoners and recovered the artifact, Elwood ordered the team back to the local Flyspamon temple with their charges.  In turn, Elwood would delve deeper and deeper beneath the temple, leading the dungeon denizens away to allow the others to escape, and all the while searching for this demon, the true power behind the cult. The church provided him with good men and women on this mission, but they were too green to face this.  He recalled the anger in Sonja's eyes when he told her to lead the rest out while Elwood would stay behind.  "I didn't come here just to run away like a dog with my tail between my legs!" Elwood returned her glare. He held her in high regard, having proven herself to be brave and resourceful over these past few missions, but she had only been out of the seminary for a few years, and Elwood had seen too many of his comrades die.  "Your duty is to protect the innocent.  Plus it's imperative that this artifact gets back safely to the High Priestess.  If that doesn't happen, all is for naught."  She stood firm "Then you should lead us back, not stay behind and get yourself killed."  No. The Demon was here.  This needs to end, now.  "You have your orders.  Lead the others and the artifact back to safety.  I have my own orders to follow."  This wasn't necessarily true.  The High Priestess would have his head if she knew what he was up to, but there was no way he was going to withdraw now.

"YOU ARE KNOWN TO ME, ELWOOD THE BLUE, PRIEST OF FLYSPAMON! YOU HAVE BEEN AN IRRITANT TO ME FOR TOO LONG!"

Elwood smiled.  "You are known to me too, Azantyl Kalunth nez Dynacht" he murmured to himself.  It took years to decipher everything, but every time a Temple of Pain was dispensed with, Elwood would gather all scrolls and writings he could find.  He made personal visits to anyone mentioned in any writings for "inquiries".  "Call it what they really were," he admonished himself, "they were inquisitions."  Yet more to atone for.  Eventually he and the sages at the Flyspamon temple figured out the real evil behind everything, even discovering the Demon's true name.  With this knowledge, he made preparations. Elwood took out a cloth and cleaned off Margon's mace and sprinkled holy water over it. Over the years he had the mace magically enchanted, imbuing it with his own essence. Recently he had an additional enchantment placed upon it.  He could see the runes delicately inscribed in the mace's head - runes that spelled out a particular demonic name.  This would be the last time he would yield this weapon.  He'll return it to the church when he's done.  He hoped it would be given to Sonja, but that's not for him to decide.

"YOUR WORTHLESS AND WEAK GOD CAN'T PROTECT YOU!"

Elwood had sought out items of protection too; an amulet, a ring, a cloak. Besides, he was no wet-behind-the-ears-acolyte.  He had been a cleric for close to thirty years; only the High Priestess and a handful of others in this region were more powerful.  As powerful as Azantyl was, Elwood definitely would be able to bloody the Demon's nose.  He softly incanted a spell, and he could feel Flyspamon's blessing and protection flow into him.  He then brought out two potions and a scroll.  He needed to be precise about this.  First the violet potion, then the green potion, then finally read the scroll.  He hoped the sages were right, and that this, and his faith, would be enough.  Otherwise, it would be a very, very short battle.

All preparation done, Elwood silently said a prayer.  Not a spell nor an incantation.  Just a simple, humble prayer.

Elwood rose up, adjusted his helm and shield, then kicked the door open

"DEMON! I'M A PRIEST OF FLYSPAMON, AND THROUGH HIS DIVINE GRACE AND POWER, YOU'LL BE BANISHED TO THE ABYSS WHERE YOU BELONG!"

This message was last edited by the player at 02:34, Sat 09 Mar.

Castle Keeper
 GM, 613 posts
Tue 12 Mar 2019
at 22:36
Chapter 7 - Epilogue
Daaaamn!  You guys are great.