E064: The Epic Conclusion

It should have been obvious during the final fight with Tharizdun.  As the mad god thrashed around in the formless void, smashing The Red Order around with screams and paying back all the pain they dealt with insane psychic ripostes, all that mattered was keeping Ralvereon alive.


Lenwe hung back with his bow, covering the legendary general while Kawaii, Arthur and Akra got stuck into the adversary.  Shibboleth maintained the divine blessings of Bahamut, healing those in the midst of the fray but always sure to keep Ralvereon conscious, his tactics holding them together.


Tharizdun's elemental form proved resistant to Akra's sorceries, but the technique that he and Arthur had picked up at the White Lotus Academy proved useful, as if designed for this very instance - for every psychic riposte Tharizdun mustered, the arcanists struck back, prompting huge swathes of damage to erupt across both the protoplasm of the god and the bodies of the swordmage and sorcerer.  Yet still, their mortal forms wracked and wrecked, Ralvereon's inspiration kept them together.


Kawaii, mostly kept spinning in space by Tharizdun's maddening distortion of her senses, finally struck one of her trademark decisive blows, sending the deity spinning off-balance itself.  But that was where Tharizdun found the party's measure, teleporting his vast bulk across the gulf to strike down Ralvereon, the other adventurers one by one collapsing without access to his unyielding tactics.  Lenwe remained conscious, but Arthur, having taken so many hits in place of his comrades, died there and then, releasing the dragon king Timaeus into the conflict.


Dragon king and mad god duelled while Lenwe revived Ralvereon with a potion, slowly the other members picking themselves up, thanking Ralvereon for having kept them going for so long already.


Under the renewed assault Tharizdun had wilted, but even in defeat stood triumphant, knowing that a cyst would form around him again, and he would have another chance to remake reality once his followers grew strong once again, in a time long after these current adventurers had died.  The gods themselves could not end him!


Lenwe had saved a special batch of radiant arrows and released them all at once, overwhelming Tharizdun with their divine energy as Bahamut had instructed.  Everything had faded to white...


Bahamut had congratulated them upon their return to the world, promising them places almost as the gods' equals, able to recreate the world in a less extreme fashion than that which Tharizdun promised.


Now, wearing the scaled crown of Arkhosia upon a troubled brow, Shibboleth saw where it had all gone wrong.  Ralvereon, already calling himself the Lord of Murder, had become essential to The Red Order's triumph, and Timaeus had been unworthy of the distrust that had earned him a mark of justice.


The creature that had been Arthur had gone on to confront his brother dragon kings, offering them a chance to join humanity as he had, and dealing harshly with those that refused.  He also contributed to the rebuilding of Vermillion, a beacon for heroism.


Lenwe continued to serve as the Chosen of Sehanine, largely withdrawing from the public affairs of the world so beloved by the other members of The Order, going on to serve as an unseen protector of the Nentir Vale, where it all began.


Akra cast aside his mortal form, realising his true fate as Io reborn, aiding Timaeus in taking down their brothers and serving as an inspiration for the Dragonborn peoples to unite as one.


Ralvereon, legendary general, took the Demonweb Pits for his own domain, truly cementing his position as Lord of Murder and ruler of the gnoll people.  As well as serving as a staging ground for his conquests, it was also the base of operations for the conspiracy to deny the gods their victory.


Kawaii was his partner in this, organising gnolls into elite death squads she personally trained.  With them at her disposal, she and Ralvereon worked with sympathisers around the world and the primal spirits to reinforce the barriers that kept the gods apart from the world they so cared for.  


The hypocrisy of their actions was clear to Shibboleth.  Melora, the god to whom Kawaii was so devoted, was spared from this deportation.  Even now she served as a dark force in the wild places of the world, a deity with no peers to hold her in line.  


Shibboleth had only taken the throne of Arkhosia at the people's insistence, as someone had to champion civilisation in this brave new world.  With Neo-Arkhosia as a rallying point, the warring tribes of Tiamat and Bahamut united, the Dragonborn and kobolds could restore the world to the glory that humanity had squandered.


Tymbarque, so long a festering source of corruption, was wiped from the map, no stone left upon stone and the ground salted.  Its people were free to enter the Arkhosian Empire unburdened by the legacy of Nerath and its myriad cults.


The warforged were welcomed as free citizens, and those lost souls that Tharizdun had made mention of re-purposed into their ranks.  All the species of the world were likewise invited into Arkhosia, from the dying race of gnomes to the forgiven tieflings.


All save the gnolls, dedicated to their dark masters and their vile agenda!


The world had been saved from obliteration, but it was still far from safe...




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