The Gathering of Power

Hoods undoing

DM – This the the scene as viewed by the adventurers from a tower as they fight off a gnoll assault.

In the distance you see what appears to be some kind of black flying shape. It’s hard to tell from such a distance but it appears to be a writhing cloud of black material maybe 30 or 40 feet wide. The huge ball of rippling living material moves through the air steadily closer to the tower then, almost too quick to catch a lance of yellowish green light stabs out of the trees below passing straight through the material.

Immediately the huge roiling ball loses cohesion and starts to drop to the forest floor though it appears whatever pilots the thing is still able to somewhat control the descent. Maybe halfway down another line of green light jumps up and part of the material shears away and you see a large humanoid figure fall out and plummet to the ground.
Eventually what remains of the black material settles to the ground some way distant and disappears from view into the trees.

DM – From this point on this was read to the players to the following two pieces of music

The battle for middle Eart – 4 Darkness falls

Requiem for a Dream

Though a chaos of gnolls scramble around the foot of the tower a foreboding silence settles about the scene.
You see the hillside drop away into a narrow valley and for a second you catch the glint of steel hidden in amongst the trees off to the West. You realise intuitively that the natural choke point in the forest must be where the Archmage, The Sister and Pity are to make their move.

With a leaden feeling in your stomach the scene plays out.
A tight black knot of creatures resembling ogres move into the far end of the valley but your eyes are drawn to the hooded figure at the center thin but incredibly tall.
A shudder runs through you. The air is heavy with powers waiting to be unleashed.

You remember The Sister called this ‘A roll of the dice’
You hope for all your sakes she knows this game well as the monstrous cowlled figure strides ever closer to the tower in which you wait.

The enemy reaches the center of the stage. The mighty ogres now clearly visible. Huge clubs and rusty blades clenched in knarled fists. But behind them you see walking altogether deadlier foes. Shadows maybe. Or vampires. Clawed beasts of the like you have only seen once before in a monastery many leagues from here.
A so as the play unfolds right there in the valley below you.

The Sister and the Archmage are the first to make a move stepping out into the valley.
A hand is raised and a dull thunder of hooves is heard as Waterdeep’s knights pour forth from the trees.
Hundreds of armoured riders bearing down upon the ogres. A steel shrouded wedge of Paladins at the fore.
They smash into the foe bringing them to death.
But as ogres fall, altogether darker creatures take their place.
Knights are pulled from their saddles and horses flee as claw and tooth tear flesh from bone.
A core of Paladins still stand their ground – divine powers staunching the blood and closing wounds of those fortunate enough to be close.

But you can see it simply isn’t enough.
The play their role with a grim determination but still the enemy moves forward ever closer.
Slowly you see thickening green vapor clouds form on the sides of the valley and roll down towards the enemy, searing the skin of the shadow creatures and you guess that the Sister’s hand is behind it.

The Archmage Alsarion, grasping his staff in both hands, rises into the air, blinding bolts of lightning flickering down at the steadily advancing hooded figure.
Another gesture from the wizard and the sky is torn open by flaming meteors that hurtle to earth smashing the ground and enemies alike.
Strange lashes of power flick forth from The Sister, the destructive energies sliding down the sides of protective spells Hood has wound about him.

The Sister redoubles her attacks.
Strange birdlike creatures of shimmering energy wheel around Hood, slicing the heavy magics protecting him.

The Archmage gestures and two mighty heroes of Waterdeep teleport right into Hood’s path.
A massive Barbarian, enchanted Axe rending the shadow creatures. The second figure spins forward, a blur of movement enemies dropping around him.
But Hood sees his danger and unleashes his own devastating magic.

The very air around him shudders. A terrible keening noise racks your senses as blood starts to tear itself from the living and the dead.

Blood streams from the eyes and ears of the Barbarian champion and he falls mere feet from his target.

You taste blood in your own mouths.
The Sister staggers back giving ground.
And suddenly Alsarion’s protective magics shatter and collapse.
The Archmage plummets towards the ground spinning spells at Hood as he falls.
Magical orbs and bolts slam into Hood from every direction. Tearing Arcane spells smash against him. But then an explosion of blood is torn from the mage even before his shattered body hits the ground.

Waterdeep’s greatest mage lies unmoving. The Sisters re-gathers her magic in ragged attempt to withstand Hoods awful power.
The stick-thin figure strides over the broken ground his terrible will focused solely on The Sister.
She desperate attempt to stop his advance she plasters the air in front of him with green and violet lines of force that detonate as he crosses them.
Heavy, dark-crimson energies form in Hood’s hands and move forward slowly but with an unmistakable power.
The Sister staggers back falling to the ground the terrible spells shearing away her remaining defenses.
And so Hood stands now above The Sister. Killing spells held ready.
But from your vantage high in the tower another figure appears.
A diminutive figure steps forth from the tree line close behind where Hood now stands.
A young woman clad in ancient Paladins armour. Sword in hand.
Pity finally enters the stage
She covers the ground quickly Hoods attention held on the Sister but at the last second something makes him turn. His attention locks on Sorrows Morn

Pity breaks into a run …… And Hoods responds.

Magic pours from him.
Hideous black – red stabs of fearsome power.
Rending, shattering concussions, followed by a howling scream. Fearfully loud.
For a moment driving Pity to her knees.
But somehow she moves forward head down fighting against the brutal onslaught.

Finally within a yard of Hood she raises Sorrows Morn. And you see her speak.

And for a moment the fury of spell energy ceases and Hood stands silently transfixed.

Then he tears his gaze away. Head twisting and turning as though suddenly looking for an escape. A portal flickers into existence next to him only to dissipate just as quickly as his attention is wrenched back to look at Pity.

For long seconds nothing moves. And then a Hood puts back his head and a guttural wail breaks the silence, his whole body shaking. And he kneels before her.

Reaching up she places the tip of the blade over Hoods heart.
And as you watch, with one sharp movement Pity brings that black blade down stabbing its blade in Hoods chest.

And so it ends.
And nothing moves save for the trees in the wind. And all is silent.

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