Threats of Madness
The cavern ahead is black as deep shadow, and if it weren’t for this strange gift of seeing halos around the alien star-mask creatures, the only indication something is in front of you might be the slow, slimy, squelching sound of the tar-mask creatures still oblivious to you and crawling down the tunnel behind.
In the distance, the unmistakable glow of two huge creatures seems clear, and another humanoid figure is further in the distance. Whatever they are… they don’t seem to be aware of you, yet…
The heroes hear the distinctive sound of another wave of psychic energy from the other end of the cavern, and images flood their brains faster than they can block them out. Horrible, terrifying, agonizing images that make nightmares pale by comparison. Their past, their present, even their futures – madness, horror, insanity – an assault no shield can block and no sword can parry.
The golden glow of the Phoenix still apparent in their vision, and their quarry ahead shows despite the darkness of the cavern.
Gallydyn launches a light effect into the middle of the chamber, and then the creatures become visible, the horrible detail meeting the heroes’ gaze. The huge creatures in the distance are massive, gluttonous dragon-like beasts, bloated, and coiled inward, their eyes appear to have been gouged out, and atop each, a massive, pulsing brain-like creature, its tendrils winding down over the pathetic dragon’s body, pressing into its flesh. Their cries echo in the chamber, and the agony manifests in the heroes’ minds, a palpable concussion from each of them.
A strange Matron joined the fray, setting off an alarm inviting others to the battle.
Gallydyn channels the power of the Black Dragon, covering one of the dragons in acid, it screams in agony.
Fastion begins his battle chant, slow and steady, and focusing on the power given him, blasts forward with arcs of lightning towards the enemies.
The bloated dragons, controlled by Star-mask brains, flailed blindly at the heroes, their screeches echoing in the chamber.
Felling the last of them, they allowed the last of the Star-mask eggs to wander down the tunnel to the meteors waiting beyond.
A Strange Interaction
Silent and non-threatening, it pauses and the heroes realize it is watching them… they think.
Fastion, peering with time-magic-attuned eyes, feels strongly that the sphere ‘reacted’ poorly to his dissuading his companions from interacting with it… but it was hard to be sure.
Reluctant to interact further, the heroes do notice a sort of intelligence, though very alien.
The sphere tries to follow them and is easily warded away, and eventually, Ereveron‘s curiosity gets the better of him
Touching the globe, it glows brightly and some of the most peaceful and pleasant memories of Ereveron‘s life wash over him like it was happening to him again – a dinner invitation by The Elf Queen herself – a discussion on Ereveron‘s purpose – the contentment is a welcome relief in this awful place.
Retrieving his hand, Ereveron walks with the heroes back up the tunnel, allowing the globe to follow, but he feels… different slightly.
The Synaptic Span
Arriving in a huge room, the heroes see strange ‘synapses ‘-like walkways spanning a massive cavern, many alien and threatening creatures busy like bees.
Lightning-like energy crackles across the walkways, and three Matrons are busy in the distance, the heroes’ presence not yet discovered.
Until the next time!