Darkness and dripping blood surrounded the heroes, Kali, Inna, Elif, and Liam, as they climbed down the slippery chains into the demon pit in the Keep on the Shadowfell as Bardun stayed behind to clense the dark Cathedral above, lay the sacrifices to rest, and fight of the returning vampire flesh rippers. It had been nearly two months since they set forth fighting the Bloodreaver hobgoblins, Irontooth and Balgron the Fat, Ninaran the traitor, and various threats to aid the town of Winterhaven. Crimson streams of blood spilled over them as they descended into a twisting nightmare and pooled into the center of the chamber. They landed in its middle, ankle deep in coagulated blood, surrounded by the smell of copper and decay.
Echoing whispers of a hundred grim voices filled the chamber, beckoning them into the yawning black portal dominating the northern wall of the chamber. Straining from within the darkness, wisps of shadows forming hands and faces reached outwards from the portal, trying to force their ways into the land of the living. It was here, a human clad in heavy armor and carrying a skull-capped rod, Kalarel, stood chanting,
“O Prince of the Undead, Master of Decay, Bane of Life, we thrive in your shadow. Deliver unto us eternal life, and fill the world with blood and shadows, O thou Lord of Misery!”
The heroes fought with all their might, taking blow after blow from Kalarels necrotic magic. His skeleton guardians surged forward attacking each of the heroes, knocking Kali unconscious. Elif dove from the chains pile driving a skeleton to the ground. A shriek filled the chasm as a wight raised the skeleton back to life. The battle raged on, and it was Liam who charged and killed the wight, ending the resurrection of the skeletal guardians. Liam held off Kalarel as Kali, who regained her consciousness, fought her way to the dark alter to reverse the ritual. She fell once more to be saved by Elif, who took on Kalarel before the cult leader warped to the blazing runes in front of the evil portal where Inna had been lured by the whispers from beyond. It was then that he grasped the small gnomish wizard, laughing hysterically, and tossed her through the veil of the portal. She hadn’t even had time to scream as her small frame was engulfed by the dark tendrils and faces to be seen no more. Kali continued reversing the ritual despite Inna being trapped inside and succeeded in overcoming the dark magic.
The remaining heroes cornered Kalarel where he stood, still praising the Demon Lord Orcus and fighting alone in his name. Beaten and bloodied he fought until the rift was about to blink out for the last time when a large claw burst through the shadows seizing him. His cries of delight and terror filled the room as he was pulled into the portal he created and the rift had been sealed once more.
When all seemed calm and safe a surge of power emanating from Kalarel’s skull-capped wand threw the heroes across the chasm. With the dark power of Kalarel lost the statue of Orcus crumbled, and the chamber began to collapse. Standing in the center of the blast appeared a dark hooded figure grasping the skulled wand… As the dust settle from the blast Bardun slid down the blood drenched chains. There they gathered in front of the hooded figure and his skull capped scepter with little time to spare in the collapsing void around them.