Monday, August 20, 2012

The Shard - Part 3 - The Evil

When the Palace of Bones finally lay silent and this third incarnation of Karavakos lay dead, you see a red, almost congealed mist seep into the pyramid floor.

The pyramid jolts and then you hear a triumphant laughter, but not with your ears, you hear it with your mind.  It is powerful, violent and intrusive...assaulting and violating.  You know that Karavakos has assimilated the remainder of his life force...and this piece was the most powerful of the three.  This was the face of his evil.  It lacked any semblance of care, compassion or concern, and now it has rejoined the source.

Shortly afterward, the pyramid begins to give off an audible hum, as if it is straining to hold itself together.  Now that it's primary prisoner has regained the full use of his faculties, how much longer can the pyramid remain shut?  How much longer will Karavakos be contained?  Not much longer, you are certain.

Prior to trying to sleep, you tend your wounds and talk about the recent events.  You are joined by Kallak, Dalin and Ragnar.  You decide that the 3 of them will go and prepare the various "good" residents in the pyramid, for whenever the door opens, if ever, haste must be made to exit by all those that wish their freedom.  These 3 will work to get any stragglers prepared.  Who knows what will happen to those that remain behind?

Xylina shares her concerns about her sister and the strange illness that is plaguing her.  She has never seen anything like it before...her sister is very tired, sluggish and only wants to sleep.    Strange for a dryad since they sleep so little.  This condition saps her strength leaving her weakened.  Her skin has begun to darken and brown...almost like a tree that is slowly dying.

Xyphos sit in a corner, polishing her maul that she calls Even Hand and talking to it in a low voice.  Of all of you, she seems to have the worst time sleeping...there is more than an ancient tiefling lord rattling around in her skull, but you are grateful for her strong hammer and hope she can hold it together, at least until you are free.

Vyrellis tells stories of her and Karavakos, back when he was good.  She seems to have gotten lost in her memories.  You see sadness and longing for a time that will never come again and a love that still lingers through all the ages and hurt and pain.

As you all lay down for rest, you find only restless sleep between the hum of the pyramid pressing against your ears, and the dreams of constant, maniacal laughter that creeps into your mind.  You see visions of Karavakos, working tirelessly at his studies.  He is close to freedom...he knows it and so do you.  Behind him, you see many faces...all blank, unconcerned faces with empty eyes.   Upon a second glance, they all have the SAME face.  How can this be?  There must be 20 of them?  You hear Karavakos talking, and you hear low, almost inaudible whisper from an unseen source.  You can only make out the words "betrayer", "his sword", "secrets".

This is the calm before the storm and there is a silent tension and an understanding that...not all of you will see tomorrow night.  You awaken, much the same as when you drifted off to sleep...tired, battered and bruised, but your freedom awaits...

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