Dawn of the Duskwalkers II: The Fire Within

Moriaris of Future-Past

The Fire Within: Episode 04


Aghast at the altered version of Duskalon they find themselves in, and distressed by the sudden absence of their King Xavdak, the remaining party members walk from the Banquet Hall. As they walk down the halls of the Dragonkeep they notice large, detailed portraits of on the wall of Nemus and the Master, as well as a giant mural of the army of Moriaris rushing against the Elves with Tiamut circling in the background.

Finally the party comes to the throne room, which now contains three lavish and opulent seats. The Master sits on the largest throne in the center- at his right sits Nemus, and to his left is an empty seat, presumably for Waleak. When the Master and Nemus see Waleak they address him warmly,

“Welcome back, Kingslayer! We are glad to have you with us.” Waleak, not wanting to appear suspicious, plays along with their apparent view of him, “Thank you Master, it is good to be back.” Esme follows Waleak’s lead and also pays her respects, “My master,” she says, bowing. The Master and Nemus smile in approval. “My lady,” says Nemus. “And who is this dwarf?” Asks the Master motioning to Reg. “This dwarf will be extremely helpful for us in a new alliance I am seeking to make with the dwarven kingdoms.” Waleak replies. “Ah good, good.” Says the Master, clearly with something else on his mind. “…Waleak, I have something for you; a gift!”

The Master claps his hands, and two guards bring out two female elves; Xavdak’s mother and his wife Ravalyn. The Master tells Waleak that they kept them alive, to ease the Duskalon population and prevent any further revolt. He asks Waleak, “We may still kill them anyway… What do you think we should do with them?” Waleak asserts that if keeps the people placid, then the women should be left alive. “Very well, Kingslayer.” Replies the Master.

“Esme, you may be of some help to your Father. He is currently downstairs helping to re-write Duskwalker archives.” Upon the realization that in this world, her Father Garto is alive Esme’s eyes well up with tears, “Yes, I will go to help my Father.” Waleak declares that he and Reg will accompany her, and they leave the throne room to go down to the archives. On their way down, Esme is flooded with emotions, realizing that the man she is about to meet may not very well be the same Garto that raised her, but a different, perhaps evil echo of her Father… Once in the actual archive room, Esme sees her Father at a table at the end of the room and runs to hug him. She notices however, that also standing over the table is another, different Waleak (who from here on out shall be referred to as “Faux-leak” for practical purposes) examining and helping to re-write Duskwalker family histories. Seeing this startling anomaly, Esme uses a sending spell to tell Waleak what she is seeing, and he quickly hides in the corner. Reg wanders over to a dwarf helping out in the archives to see what information he can gather. Between the two of them, Reg and Esme ascertain that in this world, Tiamut was indeed successful and Moriaris is attempting to re-write history to persuade the people that the Duskwalkers were ultimately responsible for the desolation of Duskalon.

In a desperate attempt to get Garto alone and away from Faux-leak, Esme tells her father that she has personal, family business that she wants to share privately with him. Garto insists that anything that can be said, can be said comfortably in front of Faux-leak. Esme smiles at her Father and brings her hands to her stomach, saying, “But Papi, I want to tell you my exciting news privately!” Garto smiles widely and takes Esme aside excitedly. Esme tells Garto, “Papi, you’ve seen the way Nemus and I look at each other and well, I’m… pregnant. I’m pregnant with Nemus’ child; with Garto Jr! And while I know we are working so hard to re-write history, I feel my child- your grandchild, has a right to know… What really happened to Xavdak?” Garto looks confusedly at Esme, and replies, “I’m sorry my daughter… Who is Xavdak?” Esme is distraught, but changes the subject quickly and ends her conversation with Garto.

Waleak, Reg, and Esme continue to pour over scrolls and books as quickly as they can to find any information on Xavdak, the mirror, or the Knight’s Jewel. While they are doing this, a contained fire is lit in the archives for the purpose of destroying any original (true) information on the Duskwalker family. When the party reconvenes they find that in this world Faux-leak has killed both Aiden and Xavdak’s father. Tiamust decimated Duskalon, and the Master, Nemus, and Faux-leak are currently in the process of rebuilding it.

Eventually, they come to the eastern section of the archival room which holds relics rather than books. As they walk through the room they hear the voice of Xavdak screaming in pain, although only the party seems to notice this. The party walks up to an older female elf who is the apparent “librarian keeper” of the Duskwalker family relics. She doesn’t take kindly to Waleak (thinking that he is the same Faux-leak who helped destroy her kingdom), but directs them to the Knight’s Jewel anyway. Waleak attempts to find what the she-elf described and finds an ornate box with the symbol of the gatekeeper on it. He opens the box to see a dazzling jewel, and within that jewel he sees the face of Xavdak- bloodied and weak.

Reg notes that that this jewel seems to acting in a similar way to the Elgato jars. Esme goes into a deep trance, casting, “Legend Lore” on the box to see how they might be able to use this jewel to get back to their own world and timeline. While she is doing this, Waleak inspects the room for any relic, secret, or piece of information he could use to know if he could stop Xavdak from taking such violent action again (OUT OF STORY NOTE:::Barnes rolled a natural 20 on his perception check for this, but since Schwandt wasn’t able to be with us for this session, we decided that Schwandt should get to tell Barnes what “secret” or “relic” Waleak would find:::END OUT OF STORY NOTE).

When Esme comes to, she informs Reg and Waleak that there have been great battles over this Jewel, and for centuries it was, “held by only one hand.” The it spent 1,000 years in a jar, and then eventually the Duskwalkers found it. Esme tells them the phrase that was turning over and over in her mind as she held it was, “Stare into the reflection and you will obtain what you see.” The party goes back to ask the female elf librarian where they might find a mirror fitting the description of the one they came in through. She is confused by Waleak’s ignorance (again, thinking he is Faux-leak) but states that the mirror is in the throne room. After some discussion the party decides to attempt to find anything they can on the elemental re-alignment, as they only have a limited time to access the Duskwalker archives. Together, they find that the Hodgkins family had a lot to do with the last elemental re-alignment 10,000 years ago. Presently, the world is exactly one year away from another total alignment.The party takes note of this information and make their way to the throne room.

Hiding out of site behind a door, the party discusses how best to access the mirror. Esme peaks around the corner to see that the mirror is indeed in the throne room, but so are The Master, Nemis, a noble-looking Dwarf, Garto, and Faux-leak. Together Reg, Esme, and Waleak come up with a plan- Esme is to create a diversion while Reg and Waleak make a beeline for the mirror. Although everyone is a little nervous, they decide to go through with it. Esme enters the throne room and bows to the Master, then walks up closer to the thrones themselves. “Today is a joyous day; it may not be what I had planned on, but nonetheless it is wonderful, for me, and for Moriaris. At first I wasn’t sure, but now I know…Nemus, it is with great confidence that I can say, I am carrying your child!”

At this, the room evolves into an cacophonous uproar- everyone rushes Nemus and Esme to congratulate them. While the crowd remain distracted Waleak and Reg get to the mirror, and quickly Waleak uses wand of paralysis on Nemus, Master, and Faux-leak. Reg holds up the jewel to the mirror when suddenly Nemus uses his power to yank the jewel from Reg’s hand and it skims across the floor. Nemus then bellows loudly at the excited crowd, “EVERYBODY LEAVE!!” Indeed, the crowd scatters, leaving the party with Nemus, Master, and Faux-leak. The party engages in battle with them. The Master and Nemus prove to be significant foes for the party. Waleak takes severe damage from the Master and Nemus does a number on Esme, nearly knocking her unconscious. When Reg throws himself between Nemus and Esme, she is able to scoop up the jewel off the floor and run to the mirror. She she points the jewel to the mirror, Xavdak’s bloodied and beaten reflection appears, and the mirror begins to crack, and without warning, Esme gets sucked back in. Reg also makes his way to the mirror, also getting sucked in through it. Waleak and the Master engage in a brutal fight, but Waleak is finally able to get to the mirror. As he runs through he hits the mirror as hard is he can to try to seal the portal. The mirror crumbles, but does not shatter, and at the last minute, the Master and Nemus gets sucked into the mirror as well.

The party awakens in desert of Deeplight, still without Xavdak. In front of them, they see The Master (of the other timeline) disappear into the sand. Esme uses her spell, “Cure Mass Wounds” to recover the health of Waleak and herself. Upon further inspection the party sees that they are back at the giant’s camp, but the original ritual area is now blocked off. Waleak looks into the jewel to see if Xavdak’s reflection is still there. The jewel begins to elevate a bit and spin in Waleak’s hand, in stops suddenly, pointing at a very specific tent. The party sneaks up to the tent.

Reg peaks through the tent flaps and sees Xavdak beaten and tied to a stake. The master is also in the tent, cleaning blood off himself. After some discussion, the party comes up with yet another plan- this one perhaps even riskier than their last… Waleak casts darkness on the tent, and Esme casts invisibility on Xavdak and the rest of the party members. In the confusion, Reg cuts Xavdak free and Waleak catches his body. Reg makes sure to grab all of Xavdak’s belongings. The party steps out of the tent to find themselves face to face with Nemus and the Master.

The Master puts his hand on Waleak and says, “We will let you go if you want to. You can take Xavdak and wander the endless desert. But if you stay here, as our prisoners, you will at least have food and a place to sleep.” Waleak initially hesitates, and Nemus says, “Why stand by the elf who destroyed everything you stood for?” Waleak defends Xavdak, saying that while his actions were terrible, Xavdak is still his king and his friend. The party agrees that they are already trapped, and agree to go with the Master and Nemus. They are led to an empty space in the sand, out of which a large cage appears. The party, including Xavdak now, enter the cage and stand.



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