Machines and Madness

Session 24

Fort Kaius was built near Karrlakton on the Cyran border, so it now looms dangerously close to the dead grey mists of the Mournlands. When the party travels there, they find that Soriel has laid many traps for them, and left minions to weaken them before they can confront him under the fort. In each of three towers of the fortress the party is forced to pay a terrible price to gain a portion of the key to the lower chamber: in the first, Trilla gives of her blood, leaving her pale and weak; in the next Syl’Mayeth sacrifices his magic, leaving him drained of power. The last tower promises to demand the highest toll: your life itself. Without a thought, Quill steps forward to sacrifice himself, but the group will not allow him to. As Osbourne and Trilla bar his approach to the sacrificial throne, Lomé bolts past him and settles it for herself. In a display of fell magic, Lome’s soul is wrenched from her body, leaving a lifeless husk behind. Quill stays to protect Lome’s remains, while the rest of the party heads on to confront Soriel.
The vampire’s trail stretches under the border into the Mournlands, and the party is forced to follow it to an old battlefield where the dead still rest as though newly fallen. Surrounded by the gloom of death and magic, the party springs their trap on Soriel: eager to claim Mordain’s Schema he seizes the enchanted duplicate and is engulfed in a tower of silver fire. His lurking minions –several vampire spawn and a massive Carcass Crab –once free of his mental control go berserk and attack the party, while they grab the unconscious Tamsin and beat a fighting retreat back into the fort. Osbourne, lagging behind the rest of the party, sees Soriel fall free of the silver fire and hit the ground, mortal again, and dying once more. Recognizing that his enemy still stirs, but not that he is no longer an undead creature, the halfling finishes him off. With his dying breath, a repentant Soriel pushes his own Schema into Osbourne’s hand and begs Trilla’s forgiveness. The oblivious but triumphant Halfling runs to catch up with his allies, and Trilla herds him back into the tunnel to Fort Kaius. Looking over her shoulder, Trilla sees a huge, winged figure swoop in and land on the battlefield, unsure what this means, but unable to linger any longer, the young woman flees with her allies.
Lome, freed from Soriel’s magical trap by his death, awakens to find a concerned and agitated Quill standing guard over her. The hulking warforged is relieved to see that she lives and the two hurry to rejoin their comrades. Lome is haunted however, by a vision she experienced from within the void: three women, one young and fair, one wizened and matronly, and the last ancient and twisted, towering over her, discussing a “gift” which they were placing in her care. Unsure what her dream means, Lome is left to ponder the mystery as the party returns to Malthus’s estate to recover.



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