Way of the Wicked
36 - Ara Mathra
Chapter 35: Ara Mathra
We rested for the evening and bolstered our courage before attempting the holy flames in the morning. Dunn, Tylus, Raiju, and myself carried the glass casket into the flames and the case melted before the fiery onslaught but as soon as the bones of Iomedea touched them they were instantly extinguished. We rushed in and attacked Ara Mathra calling on Grumblejack to rush up in support.
The great angel was both a fearsome foe and a gentle creature at the same time. He lashed out with powerful words that repeatedly sent my allies and me to the ground writhing in pain but he also told us that he prayed for our souls and wept for our fate.
Eventually we managed to surround the angel and do enough damage to him quickly that his powerful healing spells were unable to prevent his death. Even as he faded from the hall his peaceful voice warned us that the Oracle had told him that all our victories would be swept away by the son. I dismissed this at the time and perhaps it is best that I did. Who can say?
With Ara Mathra defeated we extinguished the final of the three Holy Flames of the Cathedral of Aroden Made Manifest and destroyed any chance for more priests of that dead god to rise. It was the beginning of the real death of Aroden. A death not invisible but one that the people could understand and mourn. A death that was final enough to move onto the realities of life, the realities of rule, the reality of Asmodeus.
We stayed in the Temple for a couple of days to rest up and then headed down to the massive safe built by Saint Angelo. We convinced the guardians that we were worshippers of Aroden and Tylus used the proper words to open the steel doors. Inside we found a chalice, a mirror, and a dark sword which Dunn took for his own use.
We then headed into the valley and encountered one last fight. A massive storm giant astride a Roc flew down upon us with a flock of a hundred winged companions. The flock attacked the city of Sanctum while we battled the giant.
The beast proved to be a tough foe his massive swipes sending Dunn quickly to the ground wherein I had to heal him again and again. Eventually we put enough damage on him to put him down and then it was a matter of dispatching the giant birds. Finally the Vale was ours. Even as we celebrated our victory great Asmodeus spoke to us from the infernal region and asked we grant him the dead giant. We agreed and by his great power he warped the flock of winged beasts in Hippogriffs to serve as our mounts.
With all secure we returned to Sanctum to enjoy the spoils of our victory. We assumed we had two months to enjoy the pleasures the conquered city had to offer but in this we were mistaken.