Siberys Seven: Heroes of Eberron

SEGMENT 016
“Iron Orc Gang”

Returning to the hallway the soldiers and Captain Donnerson lead the way away from the Dire Rat infested area. They round a corner and find a door that has been forced open. Cautiously they proceed through the door. Their torches giving little light through the doorway. Most of the adventurers pass through the doorway without thought except for Mania whom pauses. Allowing the light to dwindle he uses his darkvision to look over the door. If he knows anything he doesn’t share it as he then grimly returns to the group.

The group has stopped staring ahead as he walks up to Leeya whom still has her wand of magic Missiles out. Aura notes his return. "Something is coming our way.” Whispers Leeya.

And as if on cue they hear a sudden rush as zombiefied orcs rush them from a dark exit. The soldiers squeeze together allowing no room through their tower shields. It stops the orcs in their tracks. Leeya fires off a round of missiles even as they reach the wall. Mania smirks. “At least I think I know where we are in Undersharn. That is the Iron Door Gang orcs. We must be near the Iron Door Stairway (42)and on the third level.”

Not caring in the least, about Mania’s description or Donnerson’s wall tactics, Bora, Vander and Incarnum breach the wall and plow into the six undead gang members. Bora kills one as she steps through with her falchion. One orc strikes a soldier and levels him into a dying heap with the single blow of his axe. Dura watches knowing she must hurry to save him and steps up to shield the man.

Leeya lets out her wand again which strikes multiple targets. Most of which drop with smoldering holes in them. Mania gives a sarcastic silent clap at the well struck magical blast. Bora takes out the last one by cleaving it in two (max dam). Dura goes to work on the injured man.

Leeya turns and the tip of her still glowing wand is raised to Mania’s face. “WHAT IS YOUR PROBLEM?!?”

“My talents are not very useful against… well zombies.”

“Then why are you here?” she says in anger.

He says nothing but thinks solemnly about it as Aura looks on.
 

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SEGMENT 017
“Surrounded”

Mania’s attention snaps into focus as he hears something coming up from behind the group. “More coming from behind.”

“And from the front.” says one soldier

A dozen or so undead stumble into the limited light given by the soldier’s torches. More can be seen coming through yet another entrance to this room.

“How many are down here?!?” Captain Donnerson says out loud to himself in a failed attempt to not show his fear. “We are surrounded!”

“Then we fight.” Says Vander waving his Falchion slowly side to side trying to determine where the most powerful force is coming from.

Leeya opens up the battle with her wand once more. These creatures take the bolts of energy and remain standing. “Aw Crap”, comments Mania as he sees the holes in the advancing creature, I knew that girl. We….. aw crap.” He readies himself for the group coming from behind. Aura moves next to him as they flank the doorway hoping to use the frame for partial shielding and to bottleneck this group.

The zombie-like creatures and soldiers trade blows even as the rest of the group moves up.

Uncertain of how effective the magic missiles will be, Leeya puts away her wand and pulls out some spell components. A soldier goes down by a terrible slam that nearly knocks the shield away. Dura tries to reach him but finds the battle is keeping her from being able to do anything. The second group of undead officially ht the group. The third is coming into Mania’s darkvision. “Are you ready?” Aura merely nods.

A ball of fire erupts within the second mass of undead. Leeya waves her arms about and the ball rolls over and over one zombie burning it. “Hold the line!” screams the Captain as the adventurers begin to finally dismantle a few creatures. Dura, frustrated by it all, grabs her medallion and concentrates on it. Reaching deep inside for the power of her belief, she opens her eyes and raises the medallion in her arm and shouts loud and clear- “Begone!” and several zombies fall back and crumble.

More undead take their place.

Captain Donnerson pulls back one of his downed men before the new zombies press forward. The heroes hack and slash into the advancement while the soldiers try to contain them with their crowd control shields and tactics. Taking a deep breath, Dura meditates once more and commands the undead to “Begone!” and more fall back and / or topple over.

Meanwhile, Mania and Aura continue to hold back the third group of undead. They are just barely holding them outside of the room as they try to force their way through the ten-foot wide opening. Mania’s weapons are poorly suited for the job on hand. One of the zombies gets a vicious hit in on the paladin but she shrugs it off to hold the horde back. She knows that if Mania and herself fail, the others will most likely also fall, as they will be completely surrounded from all sides with no exit. Then it happens- a zombie gets past them!

Bora screams out in rage as two beams of light streak out of the darkness of a hallway and strike her. Now with a new focus, she shifts her attacks towards that hallway. Another series of magic missiles escape the darkness and strike at her. Now with four smoking injuries she pushes through the horde and charges foolishly into the dark. Donnerson screams out for her to return but stops in mid sentence as he notes that Mania and Aura are beginning to become overwhelmed. “We need reinforcements! In the rear!”

Incarnum revolves around and stalks towards the threat and Vander finishes off another zombie before rushing over. Leeya’s magical flaming sphere covers their retreat, as it burns more undead in its path. The whole time Leeya is watching Bora as she charges away. She sees a thick blanket of webbing suddenly appear and grow at the entrance of the hallway where the magical attacks came from.

She commands the sphere towards the hallway burning down undead as it goes. Bora, knowing these are not normal webs curses and allows the fire to remove the webbing. Risking being burnt she then charges ahead and finds… nothing. “That twice damned mage is pissing me off!” she says aloud to herself with loathing and anger.

She turns and returns to the main group hoping to help them by destroying more undead. At this point, half of the group is either down or aiding downed persons. The others are cutting up the last of the undead.

“We can’t take this much longer. At least not my men. We need to find the source and quickly.” Says Donnerson grimly.
 

SEGMENT 018
“Glyder Freetime”

Glyder Freetime (43) was running late for class again. Professor Graves (44) would certainly punish him this time. It was his third time this month he was late. It wasn’t his fault he envisioned in his mind. His parent’s asked him to watch over their shop since there was rumors of a riot in the Morgrave University (45) area, which was close to Cassan Bridge (46) where the store was.

As he neared the University Glyder saw a mass of fellow students looking over the rails of a bridge overlooking the areas below the school. Getting onto his tiptoe-toes (he is a Gnome) he could see dozens of soldiers and what looked like clerics of the Silver Flame (47) gathering below. Maybe there was a riot but why the Clerics then?

“What happened?” he asks another gnome that shared one of his history classes. “I have heard of a drug raid and also something about zombies. I figure it is the Flame starting up trouble to bolster its numbers in Sharn.” She replies.

He takes one last peek then moves on. A new vision- late because of arrested zombies against the Silver Flame. Nahhhhh…. Undead in Sharn. The professor would never believe it.

As the school’s magical bell rings 10 times marking the beginning of classes he walks quickly by a statue in the park. Another gnome whom looks like a possible House Sivis carrier lightens up when Glyder walks by.

“Hoowie! Are you Glyder Freetime?!?” he calls out as he steps away from the statue towards Glyder.

“….yes….” Glyder says quickly wondering why a House Sivis courier would be waiting for him at the Statue. “What can I do for you?”

“This scroll has been in our office for two years now. The delivery instructions were Glyder Freetime, Morgrave University by the statue in the School Park at exactly the chime of the 10th bell. Also said you would be in a hurry but needn’t worry… What do you think it is?” The curious and nosy Gnome asks.

“I don’t know.” He turns the scroll around to look at the writing on the outside. His jaw hangs wide open.

“What is it? I hope its not bad news.” Says the carrier.

“This…. This is my…..” Confused, Glyder looks at the other gnome again. “Who sent this again?”

“I don’t know. It was placed in our office’s care two years ago.” His eyes wild and excited. Obviously, there was something very special about the writing that he missed.

“This is…. Well it’s MY hand writing.”
 

SEGMENT 019
“The Silver Flame”

Sir David Sensor Williamson the third (47) was not impressed by what he had seen in Sharn thus far. As a senior officer of the Silver Flame’s Nighthunter (48) division he was called on to investigate and aid in any way he could the undead incursion that was taking place in Sharn. Early reports suggested the undead were recently created and unleashed from the sewers below ground or at least in the lowest levels of the towers.

He always tried to avoid Sharn. He had many bad memories here including the deaths of his entire squad of nighthunters against vampires about twenty years ago. Some of those people he cared for greatly. Now however, he was second in command of the division and had returned. The officers tried to contain the undead but had little luck. There were reports of adventurers aiding are the containment and search of the cause. Necromancers. Bad group.

Looking at a list of people involved, he paused at one name. “Elderich?” he says to himself. A bored aid says, “Yes. Dura . Kim Elderich’s grand daughter I believe. She and several others are below ground now. They have a local helping them. Strange chap. Well liked by the ladies I hear.”

“Men like that deserve to be in the sewers. Very well. Let’s see what else the locals have done.” The two gleam as their polished full plate armor reflects the breaking light of the day.

A woman dressed in black leather wearing a hood and dark colored glasses stops them as they enter the epic center. “May I see your identification gentlemen?” Her psionic mind is already washing over their surface thoughts. Before even opening their packets she knows they are Williamson and Drossen (49) of the Night Hunters. She returns their Ids without a second thought. “My associate will be here shortly to help you with your observations. If you require additional information merely ask him.” And she turns and leaves.

Before Williamson can make a rude comment a youngman with dark hair seems to appear out of no where. “I am here to aid you in any way I can.”

“I wish to see where this started. We have on record something similar to this “green mist” that created undead like conditions in our recent archives. (See Creation Schema- Starvos Island around Seg 170) (50) We have never found a proper cure once the magical disease has turned one into an undead but with further research here, we may find the cure.”

“I will push for any fundraising required to do that Flame.” Says a deep but merry voice behind them. The three of them turn. No introduction is required but gives one anyway. “My name is Kim Elderich. I want to help.”

“Sir! Sir! Then you are the one I want to speak to!” calls out a quiet and somewhat frantic voice. The four of them turn again. A frail looking gnome with dark wavy hair and sideburns rushes to them. He has a scroll in his hand and several security officers appear to be chasing him down.

“I have this for you and I would like some answers myself. My name is Glyder Freetime.”
 

SEGMENT 020
“Not All Danger is Undead”

“Umph!” grunts the soldier as he forces open the old door. Peering in from the doorway, the man looks in and after seeing no obvious danger, he moves into the hallway. The other soldiers, Donnerson and the adventurers file out from the spiral stairway. The hallway goes to the right and left. They go left and find a body of a young man dressed for going out for the night. Dura looks over his body suggests he was trampled to death. Moving past him they find an exit going up. Donnerson knows this ladder system. If they climbed it would bring them within two blocks of Adventurer’s Home.

Going back they pass over the body and stairway until they reach a small room with a table, some chairs and stacked boxes and barrels. “That ladder system is often used by city utility workers. This is one of their storage rooms. Looking first at the cards left on the table, Mania checks out the room. He goes to the barrels and moves them away from the wall. “What are you looking for?” asks Donnerson.

“The floor has scratches on it but the barrels have dust and cobwebs. Scratches are new. I suspect there is a secret door here somewhere.” And with that he looks over his shoulder and gives a mischievous smile to Leeya and pushes on the wall. An audible click is heard and the crate that held everything slides out revealing a small hole in the wall. Aura steps up to cover him as he goes to enter the new exposed doorway. “Relax, there is nothing to worry abaaaaaaa!” yells the rogue as the floor gives way throwing him and the paladin into a new dark area below.

Mania hits the ground below with a dulled thud as there is water here also. The paladin falls next and barely misses falling on him.

“Damned trap door!” (52) Sputters Mania as he begins to peer around into the utter darkness. Aura is unsteady as she stands up. The fall has struck her senseless. “Do you hear something?” she asks.

“Shhhhh. Yeah. In the corner… beyond those pillars…..”

“You can see?” She asks.

“Yes and now shut up and pick up your blade. That noise sounds like… either a strange language or… (together they say it- ) a spell!”

Even as the paladin stands up and prepares for a battle a glowing spear materializes next to her and threatens to attack. “Spiritual Spear!” she exclaims.
Mania moves ahead in the water. Something is behind the pillars and…. the sarcophagus? Aura calls out as the spear strikes her. A sudden burst of light from behind Mania startles him and reveals the creature they face to be a large snake or snake – like creature. Mania asks if Aura is all right but refuses to look back away from the creature that is using the pillars and other objects as shielding walls from his possible attacks.

Having used her Lay on Hands, Aura now drives away the magical weapon.

Above her, she can hear the others far above calling out about a rope and a sudden burst of light from below. Aura wonders how much longer she can hide her secret from them as she looks down at where the spear had punched through a seam in her armor.

Mania tries to dodge multiple beams of light that suddenly arc from behind the pillar as the creature moves about. The beams strike him as they follow his unnaturally quick movement. “Damned magic” he grumbles.

Aura charges forward splashing through the dark. Mania decides enough is enough and rushes around the pillar and stabs out and luckily hits the creature. Neither hears Vander curse as he is now climbing down a rope commenting on how he is missing the fight. Bora urges him on as she swings over the edge and begins to slide down after him.

Aura is chased and stabbed at again by the magical weapon. A small glow appears for a split moment as the spear hits her. Mania misses the creature as the creature tries to bite him. It also misses. Aura surprises the creature and hits it hard with her weapon.

Vander drops and side steps to clear space for Bora. “Where the they?” he snarls under his breath. The splashing and sounds of combat are echoing within the chamber. Bora drops with a loud splash behind him and also looks for them. Dura slides over the edge to climb the rope and falls! She catches the rope before falling the entire way. She hopes no one saw that.

Knowing the time to flee is upon her, the serpent creature slithers onto the stone coffin and out of the water looking to escape. Between her climbing and watching for Mania, the Paladin strikes her again. The spear stabs at her again and the blunt side strikes her.

Dura tries to point out where to go as her dark vision (blurred by the overhead light) as she slides down. Vander goes to the wrong corner. Bora charges up and strikes! The creature hisses and drops off the stonework into the water.

Bora looks down at it. “Naga” (53) and spits on it.

Mania looks over to Aura. “Are you alright?”

“I am fine.”

Mania notes the damage to her armor and how some sort of under lying body skin is covering up the damage under the armor. It resembles the color of her eyes.

Searching the water covered room they find a hole in the corner in the direction the Naga was attempting to flee. Very little else is here.

“Comon’ we have to find that source of the green mist.” Advises Leeya.
 

SEGMENT 021
“Large Monstrous Spiders and Aura’s Secret Revealed?”

Continuing on the survivors of Donnerson’s city guard and the adventurers come onto a large locked door. After a few minutes of searching, Mania locates a lever and opens the door. It leads to a long hallway thick with webs. Carefully they go through the webbing and this leads to a huge room also thick with webs. As they go in they discover it has several monstrously large spiders (54) also. The spiders attack immediately.

Leeya starts with her magic missile wand. Vander strikes at a charging spider. One spider bites Bora while the others continue to move in. The others move up and fan out. Donnerson covers Leeya. The spiders do poorly against the adventurers.

From here there are many doorways leading out. Deciding to speed things up, the group split up enough to look briefly into each exit.

Mania and Aura go to the furthermost exit. Mania notes that Aura seems disappointed he tagged along.

“Everything okay?” he asks her.

“I am… fine.”

“Sure? You took some hits with that Naga.”

“Weary. I am merely tired. There have been some tough battles.”

Mania watches her and can not read her well. Her helmet blocks much of her face. Her strange almost glowing eyes are difficult to look at. “It is me isn’t it?” He asks.

“No.”

“You don’t trust me.”

Aura sighs and leans against a wall. “You are….. an enigma to me. You are not like them. You are different.”

“Like them? The group?”

“No. Like most undead.” She says as she turns and stares directly at him scrutinizing his every movement and reaction.

Mania remains silent. What can he say. Feeling a bit on the defensive- “…and you? What was with that bright flash of light when you were stabbed?”

“Magic effect. It was nothing.”

Mania stares at her frowning. “I’ve seen most magical protection spells used on armor. This was different. The light…. Shot out of the hole made.”

Silence

“Look….. if don’t want to talk that is fine but don’t be all preachy with me if you are also holding back secrets.” He turns his back to her, patiently and with hope , he waits for an answer.

“I….. I do not know who I am. I am …. Not human.”

“oh reeeeal-ly. I never would have guessed.” He says sarcastically as he turns. He quickly regrets it. Aura is sagging against the wall, her shoulders shaking. She appears to be crying. “Hey…. I…. It’s okay. Really. It’ll be okay.” He comes over to her feeling her pain and her need.

He holds her for a split moment before she suddenly stiffens up. “Enough! I am not a weak woman. I….. stand back. I need to heal myself and I do not know what it will do to you.” She pulls on her leather and metal plated glove revealing a green swirling delicate hand (55) . “Please….go.”

Mania stares at the hand for a moment. “Is it…. Alive?”

“In a sense. The monks gave it to me. Now please…. Go. This may hurt you and I can see now…. That you don’t deserve that.”

Frowning again in agitation but knowing he will lose any confidence he has gained from her if he persists he turns. “I’ll be just outside.” And he leaves.

She holds up her green hand before her face. She reaches down to a wounded area and the green surrounding the area melts back revealing a bright glow. The green peels back from her hand also adding to the glow. She touching the wound and meditates for a moment. The wound is sealed and the green skin melts back into place covering her body completely (except for her eyes) which glow gently. This too fades away and she stands up.

This is the time she has ever revealed her secret, no matter how small the amount of it, to a person before. And the person is no even human himself. He is not truly undead either. He is ….something else. Maybe the advice of coming to Sharn was correct. Maybe the oracle was true with other things also. Maybe there is…. Another… an opposite……
 
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SEGMENT 022
“Disaster”

After regrouping, they find nothing within the rooms that connect to the spider room. There remains one last door. The door is covered with webs and large enough to allow three horses through side by side.

“Allow me.” Mania says as he walks to it. He scraps off much of the web and inspects it for traps. Finding nothing, He and Vander pull at it, as it begins to open Mania’s eyes shoot wide open! Close it! Close it! However there are weights and counter weights he missed that as designed to aid opening the large and heavy door and it swings open easily with the two pulling on it.

Thick green mist sweeps and spills into the room and immediately covers the entire party!

They have been exposed to the zombie creating gas!

Aura, a paladin, yells for everyone to hold their breaths and retreat. The warforged stands there feeling helpless. He doesn’t breathe but can not do anything for the others. Donnerson’s surviving guardsmen drop to their knees coughing. Donnerson is next as the adventurers attempt to move away.

Mania, Aura and Incarnum remain upright. They are immune to disease or do not breathe. They are safe. As and after thought before passing out Donnerson realizes he should have hired Warforged to do this dangerous mission.

Aura and Incarnum go to everyone whom in on their knees or passed out. Mania looks at the scene. A look of frustration then anger crosses his face. He turns his back on the group and charges into the thick mist.

The mist is so thick that even his supernatural sight has difficulty seeing. The door leads to a short hallway, which he goes through. It leads to a drainage room. Gates sit at each end, one down, one missing several bars. In the center- three pots of fluid that the vapors seem to emit from. He rushes back to the guards and strips them of anything they had planned on using to destroy the source and goes in. Aura watches but concentrates on the group.

Studying what he has, he decides to place everything within the room next to the pots and steps away. He lights a torch and tosses it into the room and hurries out. There is a fiery explosion of green and black that destroys the fluid and the gas in the immediate area seems to dissolve and rain. The rain flows down the gutters and deeper into the sewers of Sharn.

Mania was thrown into the wall and groans as he feels his shoulder pop back into place and an arm realign itself before mending. He feels very bad. He feels… hungry.

Before him, most everyone is beginning to sit up. Looks of horror and acknowledgement on their faces. They have been exposed to the mist.

They will die or worse become undead.
 

SEGMENT 23
“A Joint Effort to Save Them All”

“Any word from my Granddaughter?” Asks the concerned dwarf.

“No sir. Perhaps Lady Nadia could…” begins the dark lantern agent but is cut off quickly by Elderich.

“NO. I mean no thankyou. I am sure they are okay.” Answers Kim Elderich. He is well aware of Nadia’s psionic abilities and doesn’t want her getting involved in his affairs when he is so close (56). No, he will find answers elsewhere.

Earlier, a strange gnome named Glyder Freetime came to him. He held a scroll dated two years ago that was given to him this morning. It had a list of ingredients and people to gather. The ingredients were not inexpensive and the people to be contacted were not the easiest to reach. In truth, except for Breland’s government, Kim Elderich may have been the only one with the resources and will to do so. 100,000 gold had been used already and now the gathering of specific people was nearly complete. There were members of the Dark Lanterns, The Trust (57), Silver Flame and specific doctors and professors. When asked, Glyder had no idea what this was about but Elderich noted the lie in his eyes. He knew more than he knew. It didn’t matter. His granddaughter was caught up in this event. He was going to see it through.

Then he was going to Xen’drik to retrieve the Creation Schema.

The strangest person and hardest to bring about was a member of House Ghallanda. Siedon d’Ghallanda (58) This Dragonmarked member of the house of hospitality was in the Shadow marches (59) exploring an area said to have a magical tree. Even stranger, the instructions specifically said for him to bring back a few leaves from the tree. It took several favors with House Ghallanda and House Orien to get him here and as quickly as we did.

They were in a lab looking at the scroll given me and hard at work. The Silver Flame was casting various blessing spells on the workers themselves. It was very unorthodox. Then it was done. Then came the House Lyrandar (60). They were to create a rainstorm that was centralized to the area of the mists and drown out the mists.

The rain was just beginning. This must mean they have finished the formula. “Where is she?!?” he grumbles out loud.

Then he hears a commotion. Looking there are people rushing to a grate leading down. “Get the Silver Flame NOW !!!” he commands and three separate runners leave him to locate the clerics.

As he arrives there are several guardsmen men on the ground. They are curled up and not looking good. Their skin is pale with patches of yellow. They were exposed to the mists!

Slowly the members come up. Leeya, her eyes are yellow and her hair wiry, Vander, gasping for air and not doing well. Bora, also with yellow skin, insists on the others to be seen first. Dura is next and seems fine (passed). Donnerson finally comes up. He is obviously infected. His skin is pale, his eyes yellow and he stares at the hands that help him up.

There is no sign of Mania.

The Silver Flame members begin their enchantments on the survivors. Some of them, especially Donnerson, look to be in pain. He requires being held down. Shortly all is calm. The rain still falling. It is a driving rain, designed to wash away the horrors that were set onto the city of Sharn.

Hundreds were infected and killed in the past few days. Innocent people.

“You should go and talk to her.”

“Huh? Oh you Glyder. And just what are you talking about our mystery man.?” Kim looks at the gnome trying to figure him out. Looking at him, the gnome seems… older and more mature somehow…

“She loves you and wants your acceptance. Go to her …. Tell her you care.” And with that the Gnome turns and walks away to Kim’s right heading deeper into the city.

Kim ponders this for a moment. There is something about that gnome that he both likes and distrusts. He looks up and far away, on the other side of the adventurers he can see Glyder watching within the crowd. “How….” Kim begins to wonder how he got that far to his left when Nadia approaches him.

“There is something to him. A secret.” She answers after habitually scanning his mind for thoughts.

“Out of my head Mindbender!” shouts the dwarf as he raises his mental shields. “I want to see my granddaughter now and no assassin spy mindbender is going to stop me.” And thus he storms off very quickly away from her. She watches him with renewed interest.
 
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SEGMENT 24
“Aftermath”

One day has passed.

The six adventurers rest under the watchful eye of the halflings of Jorasco and the Silver Flame. Donnerson and his men are given a leave of absence as well. Though not treated as city heroes they also are given recognition for doing their jobs so well. A moment of silence has been ordered for the dead and grieving by King Boranel (61). Not wishing to miss an opportunity for recognition and a reason to throw a large party Celyria ir’ Tain (62) has begun setting up a party for the heroes of Sharn. Strangely enough, Kim Elderich has become very quiet during this time. Most would expect him to try to steal some of the spotlight but has not.

Epilogue one: Elderich Family

Dura is caught day dreaming when there is a knock at her door. She refuses to answer it as there have already been three reporters and several florists that day already. No, instead she is day dreaming about the recent events. The undead. The foe behind it. Her new friends.

So caught up in her inner thought, she doesn’t hear the click of a key in the lock. The opens and closes quietly and it is only when a ring covered pudgy hand softly touches her arm. “AHHHH!” She exclaims.

“Hello gran’ daughter. I did not mean to startle you.” Kim Elderich walks to a chair near by and stares at, as if deciding if it was safe to sit in it or if it may present some sort of unseen danger. “You have been busy.”

“Yes Gran’ Kim. It has. What brings you here?”

“I own this apartment. Do I need a reason to come to it?”

“No. I’m just….. This isn’t like you. Is there something wrong? Do you need help?”

He sighs and sits down gently allowing his wide bulk to slowly sink into the Aundairian made chair. “Hmmmm Comfortable.”

Dura watches him, her eyes begging for him to get on with it. Though she knows he loves her, he has always been distant. He was always too busy with his schemes of grandness to ever take time to see her…. Unless he needed her help. “What brings you to Sharn then?”

“I…. Nothing much. I am merely traveling about looking into my various projects and other activities I fund.”

“Anything interesting?”

He fidgets briefly like a child caught his hand in the cookie jar then smiles. “My Kyber Crawler is almost complete. I am looking for a crew to act as guards to the professors that I have employed to travel within it.”

Here we go she thinks to herself. He wants her to go and watch over his project while he does something of more interest to him.

“I unexpectedly bumped into an old friend of mine. She was attacked by the diseased people but another group protected her. I have asked them to go. They agreed.”

“That is wonderful gran’ Kim. But you didn’t come here to tell me that.”

“No. I did not,” He looks at the plants from Talenta Plains including the cacti from the Blade Desert he bought just for this apartment, “.…. may not see you again. At least for a long time.”

Dura listens. He has a habit of not being in touch for months at a time. She remains patient for him to say whatever he believes he needs to.

In a rush and with a brightness in his eyes that startles her Kim quickly says, “ I am on something big! Possibly the biggest thing I have ever researched and sought to attain.”

“Tell me more. Is there danger involved?”

“Danger…. Yes. Many groups seek the same items and I fear look to misuse the artifacts. I have a group seeking it now. They will need to go to Xen’drik. I…I will be going to Xen’drik also to join them.” He waddles his large frame to the edge of the chair and holds out his arms in a pleading manner. “There is so much I want to tell you. So much I must tell you. But so little time.”

“Then begin with the most important.”

“I would like you to travel back to our ancestral home. I want you…. To know more about your family…. Your clan… your history.”

Silence

“I know enough already. We are it. We are the last of the Elderich family.”

Kim can not look at her in the eye suddenly. A forlorn look washes over his face. “Please promise me you will go.”

She thinks about it. She thinks about the new unwanted fame she has in Sharn. “Very well gran’ Kim. I’ll go.”

A wide broad smile crosses his face. His eyes sparkle more than the ruby earring he wears. He gets up and begins to leave. With his hand on the latch to leave he stops and pauses. He thinks about what the strange gnome said to him. “There is something else I need to say. Something more important than even that. No matter what I have done in the past, present or even in the future… I… I love you Granddaughter. You made me proud yesterday.” That said he abruptly leaves.

Dura stares at the door and wonders what has brought this on. What has he gotten himself into now and what awaits her in the Mror Holds.

Epilogue Two: Mania’s Curse

The sewer is quiet.

The undead are destroyed. The living are hiding. And the others…. Are also staying out of harms way.

Mania is tired. He has been burned, stabbed, crushed, poisoned and many other things in the past few days. He is hungry.

In the past he has fed mainly on vermin. Rats mostly. Occasionally a street worker or the such. But now he wants to feed. He left the group mainly because his urges were becoming stronger. He …. Was ashamed of this. He has never wished he were normal more than now. But of course if he was normal he could not have destroyed the mist creating the undead horde.

He searches for a specific secret passageway. One used by the slavers of Darguun. He hates them and has decided to feed on some goblinoids.

But then what?

Epilogue Three: The evil behind it all

The dark figure gazes at his crystal globe. His black hands and fingernails play over the smooth surface of the glass globe looking at half- vampire as he hunts down a fleeing hobgoblin. The images twist and churn an apartment appears. The mage is here. She is talking to a dark clad man. They seem to be fighting then stop and hold each other. She is crying and sobs onto his chest. The look on his face is dark and filled with anger.

“So much confusion. So much Chaos. It is a shame they do not work for me. I know not how they came up with a means to neutralize my magics so quickly but it provides excellent entertainment. The rare sweet emotions….. the uncertainty… the mayhem.”

The completely black thin and gaunt figure leans back into his chair. An eerie smile crosses his face. New plans and schemes cross his mind. Many of them involve these seven heroes.
 

SEGMENT 25
“Celebration”

The flying coaches slowly rise from the Central Bridge region of Sharn and rise towards Skyway a large floating island where the rich of the rich live to look down on the rest of Sharn. People shout for joy and appreciation as the parade progresses. Within the several cars are politicians, city workers, nobles and Dragonhouse members looking to bask in the glory of victory. Within decorated cars are the royal coaches surrounded by law enforcing Sky Mages (63) Also are cars with Donnerson and some of his men and finally the six adventurers that have been played up as the heroes of the city.

From down below, a seventh figure watches them. Still shaken from giving into his baser needs, Mania waves and smiles along with the crowd. His thoughts are his and his alone.

They spiral around Morgrave University going under some bridges and over others. Magical lights and effects are given off in signs of gratitude. Then finally the parade shoots up to Skyway. They level out over the southern section referred to as Azur and travel north to the section referred to as Brilliant. The Tain Manor is the final destination. Royalty and the rich of several nations have already arrived to greet the heroes and watch the spectacle. Some hope to enter the “Heroes Ball” even though it is an invite only dance and celebration.

Hovering above the world, the hero’s car awaits its turn to disembark. From here, they can see all of Sharn’s tower tops and the Dagger river. Sail ships are anchored off shore in the Hilt. It seems like the entire world is celebrating. So why are the heroes so glum?

Vander watches the griffin hover with a guard on its back. He wonders if the creature understands any of this. Bora looks out and sees a flying mage whom smiles at her and waves. He tries to mouth something to her. I…. Love….. then some of the Sky Mages arrive to pull him aside and back to the mainland below. She smiles and thinks how this is nothing like her home within the narrow valleys of the Demon Wastes. Leeya is smiling ear to ear. She enjoys the attention, the glamour and the regalness the events. But those close to her know she is in deep thought. Aura is aware of it and knows what troubles her. Her husband returned from a mission for the state. He was not happy with her actions. She is uncertain what to do or even if she is expected to do anything. But anything is better than this display she is expected to go along with. Both she and Vander refused to give up their armor. They merely had it cleaned and shined. Dura absent-mindedly waves to the ground as the air coach begins to lower itself. Her grandfather has never been so…. Open to her. What prodded him into talking to her? Why was it so important for him to speak to her. Why go home? And Incarnum.… No discernable emotion can be seen behind his glass eyes and metal face. He watches and absorbs it all. The whole time wondering how mankind has made it so far in life.

They finally reach the red carpet where the ships are disembarking. The Tain Manor is large with shifting images of past events magically portrayed on stain glass. Everything here speaks of power and wealth. Even the earth for the potted plants was rumored to have been flown in from the Talenta Plains. The pots are from primitive tribesmen of dark skin (64) that live in Xen’drik. As rehearsed, each person waits until the elf calls out a name with a quick and wondrous depiction of his or her role in the Undead Epidemic. Mania is left out.

The six of them slowly walk down the carpet to a gauntlet of people. Each hold out their hands to shake and give a quick word of thanks. The people are ambassadors, Dragonmarked house leaders and politicians that were not invited to the party.

As they enter the main building they walk down a hallway with portraits of past Tain family leaders. Each of the half-elves looks regal and all-powerful and confident. Incarnum wishes to study each painting and read the blurb below giving the proper name and notable deeds. After his third one Vander and Bora take him by each arm and lead him down to double doors. Leeya takes a deep breath and forces a smile on her face. The others try but can not pull it off. None of them consider themselves to be heroes. They went about the sewers like children and nearly got themselves killed. Mania saved them. He and Kim Elderich’s money and influence.

They can just hear a caller on the other side giving new descriptions of the heroes and their deeds. Then the doors creak open and a thunderous roar of approval and cheers come rushing out. The caller motions for them to step into the ballroom. Hundreds of people, all the most respected and richest within Sharn and Breland are there wearing their best dresses and suits. A live band of elven musicians play a marching tune. Halflings from Ghallanda prepare food and drinks with little notice. A large table has been set up where the Tain family would normally sit. Instead, they are standing and also applauding the arrival of the heroes.

The heroes arrive at the table and turn and wait for the final guests. Royalty.

The King has not come but his son has as well as some wards. He is applauded also but nearly as much as the six adventurers.

Discreetly, Celyria ir’Tain places a magical leaf into her mouth. After letting it dissolve into her mouth and onto her tongue she waves for silence. It comes slowly. Then with a magically boosted and commanding voice she welcomes one and all. Most will forget what she had to say by the next day but will remember how charmingly wonderful and poetic it was. Then she herself sits and all begin to murmur amongst themselves. Vander nearly backhands a halfling that thought he could move his helmet from the table. He doesn’t even ask Aura for her helmet that she still insists on wearing. The halflings are especially uncertain at what to do for the warforged. He doesn’t eat nor drink. He has no concept of comfort beyond not taking damage. They decide to merely smile at him and concentrate on the others.

The food consists of the best from the countries of Breland, Aundair and Karrnath. The Dragonmarked house of entertainment- House Phiarlan (65) provides a show that even brings a smile to Vander. This show ends and there is time for mingling and dancing while the next show prepares to give its performance. As expected, many are drawn to the table of Tain to speak with the family and the heroes. Guards allow some but few to approach the table.

When they do they are introduced. A tall woman of possible elven blood and a tall elf approach the table. They are introduced as Mistress Muy (66) and Major Tunnard Gray (67). They are polite and gracious to the heroes but Aura is still bothered by them. She senses something is incorrect, unnatural about them. Risking insult, she speaks up.

“Major. For an elf you seem to have a very Karrnathian name. It is most unusual.”

The elf turns slowly in a way that is intimidating. “I was found as a baby by a Karrnathi adventurer within the jungles of Xen’drik. I take no offense at taking his name when I knew not what my birth name was.” He explains how he should be going, there are others to see and excuses himself. The woman he travels with also excuses herself.

“Who was THAT?!?” Dura also laughs out loud at their ridiculous manner.

“If I may, that was Major Tunnard Gray. He is very rich and well set from his sales of dragonshards from Xen’drik. The woman I have seen a few times. I hear she is… promiscuous.” A halfling server meekly adds.

“Good thing Mania did not come then.” Adds Bora thinking on how she had seen him eyeing the young women at the tavern several nights ago when their lives were much simpler.

Another few persons of nobility introduce themselves to the heroes including Vurry d’Cannith (68) whom is quite curious about the crystal nodes that protrude from Incarnum’s outer shell. He asks more questions than the warforged feels comfortable with. He himself is uncertain at how he came to be. Finally the music stops and the dancers and various people return to their seats. Celyria once more speaks up magically. She introduces the next entertainment. There is a hushed excitement throughout the crowd. The heroes look at each other in bewilderment. They have never heard of the Muse of Moonshadow (69). Hearing also the word Valenar (70) they expect an elf to arrive. They could not be any more wrong.

The doors open and out comes a brightly colored woman. She appears to be part snake, part bird and part elf. The scales and feathers have a blue-green glitter or sheen to them. Her skin has an exotic copper tone color to it, which also seems to shine or glow gently. She wears little to cover her chest and body but carries a golden harp. Her large wings gently flap keeping most of her body off of the marbled floor as her tail topped off with feathers hypnotically slithers to and fro. Magical balls of light follow her across the floor as the rest of the lights dim within the ballroom. She stops about thirty feet from the table of the Tain and honored guests. Then she begins to sing.

The song is magical. Celyria has a tear fall from her smiling face. The song comes to an end and she bows. There is an applause that may rival the one given the heroes then it becomes quiet once. The Lillend bard clears her throat quietly and begins to strum the harp once more as she begins her new song. I can not ever capture its magic, some say there is magic intertwined within the song that makes it this way; this is roughly what it had to say.



Six heroes and one came to Sharn, each with their own mysteries and riddles to be solved. These seven came together to enjoy the things the great city of Sharn has to offer. When the great city was threatened they answered the call. They battled the unnatural ones and stopped the False one from victory. These seven saved all, they saved nobility, they saved the poor, they saved the innocent and they saved the less than innocent. They saved the Great City.

Who are these seven. A mage with a fascination for things terrible. A barbarian seeking the evil of her home outside of her home. A cleric seeking truth of her god and her family. A warrior whom is noble but never far from evil and the danger it brings, a paladin whom outshines all other paladins and seeks the past, present and future, a creature not dead nor alive that lives life rather than succumb to it, a warforged that brings the outside world to the inside.

Who are these heroes? Who are these seven? They are the Siberys Seven.



She finishes and seems to sag a bit. There is little doubt that magic was at work here. She did more than sing praise to the adventurers. She came to touch and know each of them, including the secret and hidden member. She seemed to hint at knowing things about each of them. Things unknown or denied by each of them. The things that are either missing or broken within each of them.

It is a full five seconds from when she finishes the song before there is a weak clap of hands then as if awakening everyone, a thunderous roar begins that ultimately could be heard outside of the great hall.

And this folks and readers, is how the Siberys Seven were formed, not in tavern after all, but through a song that shown a kindred between them, and may have begone a bond.

It is now after midnight and the ball is beginning to breakup. The older people are first to go. Then certain political leaders and ambassadors. Eventually the heroes begin to leave. They discuss much and try to decide where to go next. Dura mentions her need to return home. All but Leeya agree. Her husband has returned from work afar and she wishes to spend time with him. There are soft giggles at the interpretation of these words.

She is dropped off first. She waves goodbye then faces the ground for a long 5 seconds then turns to enter the tower where her apartment is. From a balcony two towers away a lone figure clad in black watches. His thoughts deep and secret.

The others arrive at the Elderich penthouse and they go inside. They too are watched. The man dressed in crimson and silver clings to wall under a bridge. Crimson Silver watches. The guardian of Sharn has renewed hope for the city. He then seemly drops out of sight, gone.
 

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