Way of the Wicked
25 - Vetra-Kali Released
Chapter 24: Vetra-Kali Released!
The defeat of the mud thing left us with few allies but we had no choice but continue on with the ceremonies each morning, dusk, and midnight. It was during the midnight ritual on day 219 that the next interruption occurred.
A group of bizarre hounds suddenly appeared in the upper sanctum as I was performing the ceremony and made a dash directly for the altar. The creatures swallowed the Eyes of Vetra-Kali and began to bathe the statue in a strange green light. We dispatched the creatures quickly after that although I suspect their activity was designed to pervert the ceremony to summon some other demonic entity from Beyond the Veil.
The battle with the hounds cost us many of our potions and Frohike retired to the laboratory to create more. This left The Alchemical Golem along with Hexor, Vexor and a Wraithspawn guarding the third floor. This may have well saved the life of the little gnome.
That very day Hexor sounded his horn and Vexor appeared on the fourth floor looking panicked. He told us that the silver dragon had arrived, killed his brother, and destroyed Artephius. We gathered at the stairwell and awaited its arrival.
It charged up without hesitation, nearly killed Grumblejack, and badly wounded the lightning elemental that guarded the entrance. We surrounded the terrible creature and, thanks to the Vision Juice inspired advice Asmodeus gave to Frohike, Tylus reigned fire bombs down upon it. It had time for only one more furious flurry of attacks and then died! We had done it but at a terrible cost. Artephius was destroyed beyond repair and one of our most able guards, Hexor, was gone.
Another day passed and it was finally dawn of the last day of our seven month ordeal. Vexor spotted a group of four warriors entering the Horn of Abbadon and we rushed to meet them.
A battle ensued and Dunn led the charge although the leader of the group Sir Richard Thomasson Jeggare and his allies sent the Oath Breaker to the floor unconscious. A difficult battle ensued and I had to heal Dunn and Tylus both of whom were nearly killed in the flurry of blades. Vexor met his end but with Grumblejack’s mighty sword paving the way we eventually prevailed. During the fight Cardinal Thrune apparently contacted several members of the Knot and commanded that Sir Richard must be allowed to live. I did not fully understand the import of this command for many months.
It turned out those with Sir Richard, Brother Carthus Donnegin, Erik Varning, and a third fellow seemed to be relatives of those slain at Tower Jeggare all those months ago. Sir Richard knew of The Master and of the Knots having boasted of slaying the Erebian Knot.
We managed to subdue Sir Richard and put him in a cell. Then we waited until the time for the final ceremony arrived. We fetched out Sir Valin Darian and placed him on the alter while our few remaining allies gathered around. I performed the last ritual and Vetra-Kali broke through the silver seal in his horrendous glory.
We exchanged the Three Eyes for our lives, the Tears of Aklys, and a promise that the creature would attack the Cathedral of Aroden Made Manifest.
We then gathered our belongings and forever left that terrible place although it will remain in my memory until the day I die. One does not easily remove the stain of such deeds from one’s soul.
- Innocent Sister Marta Dian whose heart I used to summon a demon.
- A simple soldier who was doing his job. Hallock Amon hacked to death.
- Bianca DeVallya a beautiful young woman whose brain was bastardized and used for Unholy purposes by Frohike and his monstrous Alchemical Golem.
- The butchering of Fineas Greenhold and his band who I suspect in another life could have been my close friends.
- Heroic and loyal Sir Valin whose noble ways I once followed myself.
- Brother Carthus Donnegan whose brother I caused to be burned to death and who then I killed.
- Ryan Varning who I watched hacked to pieces by Bugbears simply because his presence was an obstacle to my goals. Then his brother Eric. Sometimes, late at night, I weep for their mother.
No, those seven months may have ended a long time ago but they live on in my heart and always shall.
We gathered the unconscious Sir Richard and left the Horn. We broke our clay tablet and Tiadora appeared almost immediately. She congratulated us on a job well done and took charge of Sir Richard. She told us to make our way to Ghastenhall and turn over the Tears of Aklys to an ally in that city.
I was not sad to be gone of the Horn.