The Rise of Felskein [Completed]


First Post
I was Suniel's player, but no worries, do what you feel is best because that is what is important. I would describe more about Suniel's past but probably not all that important, better to keep an air of mystery. Just lots of horrific things done by and done to him, we did leave a lot ambigous with him.

I think this next paragraph I typed like 4 times, and just decided to write this run on sentence instead, never sure on how much info to give about our characters and this is a story by Iron Sky not me.

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Iron Sky

Procedurally Generated
I'm with steeldragons on this, elves don't appear to age in general D&D mythos, more internal changes than external - his Suniel is pretty much exactly as I envisioned him.

Iron Sky

Procedurally Generated
Session 31, Part 8

“So, wait, these locath seem to be saying that we're their rulers too,” Kormak said, turning to Bail.

Bail motioned for the workers to get back to rebuilding the dock they were working on. “So, we own Port and Landspear Lake now?”

“I guess, I don't speak fish that well or they don't speak Common that well, one of the two. Why don't you talk to them?”

Bail sighed and glanced over at the Turtle. “I wish Suniel would finish rebuilding Keeper already. He's much better at this diplomating stuff than I am.”

“Or maybe if Harold was here...” Kormak said with a grin.

Bail gave him a long, flat look then dusted off his hands and went to speak with the locath bobbing in the bay.

“So, the dwarf says that we're your kings now... or something.”

The locath nodded furiously. “Underdakul rule Locath. Underkakul die. Nakral rule Locath. Nakral die. You rule Locath.”

“Well, let's hope we don't continue on in that particular legacy,” Kormak said. “There's a definite pattern there.”

“What do our new rulers ask of us?”

Kormak and Bail stared at each other for a few seconds, then turned back to the locath at the same time.

“I want a pony and a toy ship and-”

“Trade with Port, open up shipping. If there's any of the Freehold settlements out there in the Steamport area, don't harass them. Guide them through storms, help them find their way. Port needs all the help it can get right now.”

The locath nodded rapidly and disappeared under the water.

“I liked my list better, but yours had a certain lordly ring to it. Maybe you're getting the hang of this.”

Bail grunted and turned to see Suniel and Keeper standing behind them.

“I see Keeper is back in one piece,” Bail said with a nod to Suniel.

“Any word from Harold while I was... indisposed?” Suniel said, returning Bail's nod.

“No, he's probably gone back to the Crystal Towers,” Kormak said. “See if he can't let the Ashen Towers steal back what's left of the Skyland.”

“I'll check. Let's head back where there's less distractions,” Suniel said. He pulled out the doorknob, planted it firmly in the air, turned it, pulled, and stepped through the doorway into the near pandemonium of the Black Coach House.

They followed him through the courtyard, through the main doors, and into the Library. Suniel pulled out several books and a handful of strange crystals. A few minutes later, the crystals were laid out in an array on a table, the books sitting open nearby for easy reference.

Suniel waved his hands over the crystals, murmured under his breath for a minute, then stared intently at the table in silence for several seconds. When he spoke again, his lips barely moved and Bail could only barely hear what the wizard was saying.

“What have you gotten into, are you safe?”

Bail and Kormak looked around, as though expecting someone to appear and reply. Keeper just shook his head. “Sending.”

“Oh, sending.” Kormak said with a nod. “That makes total sense then... what?”

Suniel sighed. “Harold hasn't been able to retrieve the True Stone, I think we need to go there to help.”

Bail snorted. “Need to? Aren't there more of them around here that Keeper can find?”

Surprisingly, Keeper nodded in agreement. “With the Omni-Seeking Stone that you brought back from the Fae Wood, I can detect all the True Stones on Felskein.”

“Harold might know where this one is though,” Suniel said. “And, more importantly, he probably knows who or what has it. We go there first.”

There was quiet authority in Suniel's words as he glanced between them.

Bail grumbled, Keeper nodded, and Kormak threw in his own vote of “what the hell.”

“Hold hands with the person next to you,” Suniel said.

“What if I don't have a person, I just have a metal man that thinks he's a-” Kormak was only partially through whatever he was going to say when Suniel closed his eyes, said a word, and they were no longer in the Coach House.
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Iron Sky

Procedurally Generated
Not an update, at least not yet. I'm aiming for a minimum of 1 a week and I'll see if I can get a few more than that in over the next couple weeks.

I do however, have a mini-story hour I'm posting here that you can read in the meantime.

Iron Sky

Procedurally Generated
Session 31, Part 9

Kormak blinked rapidly, sniffed repeatedly, and sneezed. He wiped his eyes and looked around the small, dusty room they stood in. It looked like the nicest room in an upscale inn but with a couple years of dust on everything.

And Harold in the corner with a bow aimed at them.

“Hi Harold, I see not much has changed,” Kormak said.

Bail growled, reaching for his weapon.

“Stop it everyone,” Suniel said, stepping between them. “Harold, it's us, put your bow away.”

Harold stared at them with wild eyes for several seconds then lowered the bow slowly.

“What's going on here?” Suniel said. “What happened to the Stone, the Skyland?”

“Why are you dressed like some sort of rich man's guard. I remember you with more stuff too,” Kormak added.

“I'm working on recovering everything right now,” Harold growled. “And keep your voices down. There's invisible assassins everywhere, they could be listening right now!”

Kormak blinked at that and looked around. “Invisible assassins stole the Stone, the Skyland, and your stuff?”

“Yes!” Harold hissed. “I've burned down the officer's barracks and have a maid in my pocket that's going to help me bring Hadral down. With you here, I can speed up my plan.”

Bail raised his hands. “Stop. Do we know where the Stone and the Skyland are?”

“I know where my things are, we just have to get the key Hadral has on a necklace around her neck, then use it in a door to go to the extra-dimensional place where she's hidden my weapons and armor.”

Kormak exchanged a worried look with Bail. “Did you get hit in the head at some point?”

“Yes! That's why I need my things, so I can avenge myself on these Black City savages and show them why you don't betray the Crystal Towers!”

“So, we're supposed to help you kill some lady, defeat her army of invisible assassins – with the help of a maid, of course – so that you can get vengeance? Will this help us find the True Stone?” Kormak said.

“Once we've taken out Hadral, we can track down the Skyland and the True Stone. Then we can head to the Red City – they say it's further west and they're at war with the Black City. Maybe they are the allies I need for the Crystal Towers.” Harolds eyes had a mad, fanatical gleam to them that Kormak found disturbing and, by the looks on Bail and Suniel's faces, he wasn't alone in the sentiment.

“Harold, I know the Crystal Towers is important to you, but we're almost out of time. There's reports of Iron Sky attacking all across Felskein and-” Suniel began.

“I don't care about Iron Sky!” Harold shouted. “Without the Crystal Towers, this continent isn't worth saving! Don't you see that? If the Crystal Towers falls, let Iron Sky have it for all I care!”

There was a strained moment of silence.

“Let's at least get out of here where we can plan something out without fear of anyone overhearing us,” Suniel said. “I have a plan to get the True Stones we need, an ancient spell that will help us track down all the others on Felskein. Let's go back to Port, we can always come back here later.”

He nodded to Bail and Kormak as he held his hand out to Bail. Bail took it and Kormak's hand as Suniel reached out and put a hand on Harold's shoulder. Suniel murmured the words to a familiar spell as Harold shouted, “no, my plans here!”

A second later they were back in the Coach House, Suniel's hand outstretched into the open space where Harold should have been.

Suniel shook his head. “Harold slapped my hand off his shoulder at the last second. Looks like we'll have to implement my plan on our own. I just need a day to rest and finish researching the spell.”

“Good riddance,” Bail grumbled.

Kormak realized with a start that he had something appropriate to the situation in his pocket. He pulled out a carving No Tongue had given him a couple days ago that he'd forgotten about since, setting it on the table between them.

The carving was of the three of them standing around a table, holding hands, Suniel's hand outstretched as though reaching for someone that wasn't there.

Just then No Tongue himself walked in and the three of them turned to stare at the goblin.

No Tongue's eyes widened as they looked at him and he grinned as he looked back. “Maaaaasssteeer,” he said in a long sing-song note. He did a little spastic dance, bowed, then turned and walked out of the room.

“We live in interesting times,” Bail said.

Kormak and Suniel nodded their agreement then dispersed to make their preparations.
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Iron Sky

Procedurally Generated
Session 31, Part 10

Harold paced back and forth, waiting for Sarah to return. Suniel and the others had made enough noise that he'd been worried that they'd blown his plans. It had been hours since they had gone and no invisible assassins had attacked, so he figured he probably hadn't been compromised.

It was getting dark outside and Harold was about to go looking for Sarah when the door opened. Harold reached for his weapons but relaxed when he saw it was just Sarah. She smiled at him almost shyly and set a basket full of food on the table, then turned to him, her eyes bright.

“I brought you some food, it was the least I could do. I know you have an important mission here, but... do you think you could take me with you when you leave?”

Harold summoned up a smile. “Of course, of course. First I just need you to- damn!”

Sarah's chest exploded in a fountain of blood as two blades passed through it from behind. A split-second later, Harold stepped up a level, appearing in another suite, but this one containing three surprised palace guards. They leveled their weapons and fired on reflex and Harold just barely dived to the side in time. He scrambled to his feet, pulled the nearest door open and ran out into a long hallway. Shouted orders and heavy footsteps came from all directions.

Three steps further down the hall and a guardsman appeared in the hallway just in front of him. Harold shoved the barrel of the man's rifle aside just as it fired and ran the man through with his stolen blade. As the man crumpled to the floor shouts rang out from down the hall in each direction.

Harold stepped away, ending up standing in a familiar porcelain tub. He shuddered and moved to the door. From the sound of it, several more guards were moving quickly down the hallway outside, doors slamming open as they searched other rooms.

Harold cursed and stepped again, dropping to a knee and reaching out his free hand to stabilize himself on the roof of the factory. Even from the distance, he could see the Palace was swarming with soldiers, but it was guards he couldn't see that really worried him.

I'll have to wait until that dies down to try again, Harold thought. He watched the palace for a few more minutes in disgust, then stepped deeper into the building he was in. Minutes later he was curled up in a dingy closet, squeezed into a corner amidst mops, brooms, toolboxes, and stacks of buckets. From the look of it, it had been a while since anyone else had been there and no one would expect to find Harold there.

He huddled in the dark and brooded, planning vengeance and murder on Hadral and everyone in her employ...
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Iron Sky

Procedurally Generated
Session 31, Part 11

High Druid Anderlan, we have not spoken in many years, but I must know how the homeland fares.

Suniel Au, is that you after all these years? The One Tree fares not well. Two flying islands full of mechanical beings have reached the edge of the forest and are destroying every living thing they find. We do battle, but they are closing on the One Tree. What they plan to do once they reach the tree is unknown, but I fear the worst.

Which is?

That they will destroy the Tree.


It is worse than you know. The roots of the One Tree run beneath Endless Sands around the entire world. If it is destroyed, the Grimwythe will be free again...

Hold them as long as you can Anderlan, I have recovered much of my old magic and I may have the strength save Felskein. I trust you still have the Nature Stone?

I do, we will use it tomorrow against the constructs, see if we can slow them.

Whatever you do, keep it safe. And keep Iron Sky from the Wood Henge whatever the cost.

We will do what we can Suniel.

Farewell old friend.

Suniel's eyes opened.

“So, did you take a nap or were you talking to the earth tree?” Kormak said.

“I got through to Anderlan. We don't have much time.”

Bail nodded. “So, you say we can find the rest of the True Stones of Felskein. How?”

"I have relearned an ancient spell of seeking and recovered enough of the power I had before Thessalock stripped it from me to cast it. With the help of Keeper and his Omni Seeking Stone, I have located them all. We have three, the Silver Shard we retrieved from beneath the Crystal Towers, the Purity Stone that Harold took from the Beholder in the Endemore Ruins, and the Waterstone we took from Nakral. High Druid Anderlan has the Nature Stone at the One Tree. If what Velea told us is correct, we need only one more to activate the Crystal Tower's Defenses.”

“And you know where the last one is?”

Suniel nodded.

“Deep within the Ravak Glacier far to the west is the Frozen Diamond. I have located an ice cave within a mile of the Frozen Diamond, we can use the powers of our other Stones to blast our way to it.”

“That makes sense,” Kormak said. “So what do we do with them after that?”

“Then we take them to the henges and activate the Crystal Towers Defenses... and hope that they are everything we pray they are or Iron Sky will overrun Felskein... or even worse.”

“What's worse than Iron Sky overrunning the continent?” Kormak said.

“Remember the reflecting pool on the Skyland?” The others nodded gravely. “Grimwythe is worse – and if what High Druid Anderlan is afraid of comes to pass, Iron Sky will be the lesser of our worries...”
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Iron Sky

Procedurally Generated
Session 31, Part 12

“We'll have to do this quick, I have the feeling that the Undercouncil would try to stop us if they knew what we were about to do. Knowing dragons, they likely still cling to the idea that they can keep Felskein hidden away for themselves,” Bail said.

Kormak stared at him. “Not to sound like Harold or anything, but I thought you were from the Undercouncil. Isn't your mother Gilderalin?”

“She is, but I never said I was a member of the Undercouncil,” Bail said, returning Kormak's gaze flatly.

“You just never bothered to correct us when we assumed you were,” Suniel said, a hint of a smile playing about his lips. “Who exactly do you serve?”

Bail paused for a moment, trying to decide how much to tell them. After several long moments, he sighed. “You might call it the Overcouncil. I serve the Great Silver, the lord of those in exile from the Undercouncil.”

There was a pause as that sank in. “And what is your purpose?” Suniel said, watching Bail intently.

“As I said when I first met you, my goal is to keep an eye on you, to be sure that your succeeded in your mission.”

“We have a mission?” Kormak said, his eyes wide. “Why did no one ever tell me?”

Bail ignored him. “Suniel, when do we go to this Ravak Glacier to retrieve the Frozen Diamond.”

“As soon as you all are ready,” Suniel said softly. “We near the end of things, one way or another, so prepare yourselves.”

“Got everything I need right here,” Kormak said, pulling back his sleeves and flexing the corded muscles of his arms.

“I too carry everything that I require,” Bail said. “Probably best not to tell Meepo I'm leaving lest he worry himself to death.”

“I carry all that I need within,” Keeper said. Bail looked up as the construct stepped to join them at the table. Bail had forgotten he was even there.

Suniel nodded and extended his hand to Keeper. Once they were all touching, he intoned a short burst of spell words and the Couch House Library was gone...
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Just wanted to add my voice to the chorus of praise for this story. I found it a couple of weeks ago and have been gradually reading through. I've really enjoyed it - geat story and great characters.

Keep up the good work!

Iron Sky

Procedurally Generated
Session 31, Part 13

<Thanks for the comments HalfOrc, glad to hear people are still enjoying it!>

“Whew,” Kormak said, wiping his brow and grinning at Suniel and Bail. “Never knew blasting ice with magic could be so much fun.”

Suniel nodded, lowering the Silver Shard, its surface still rippling with energy. “It can be... addictive.”

Bail grunted and squinted into the jagged hole they had just blasted through the glacier. “Do you suppose we've reached the Frozen Stone yet?”

Suniel murmured and made a quick series of gestures, then stared ahead of them for several minutes. “The way is clear, though we'll have to climb through that first.” He pointed to the broken jumble of sharp-edge, wet-slick, shattered ice that stretched before them for a mile or more.

“Best get started then,” Kormak said, handing the Purity Stone back to Suniel. “Let's get this whole thing over with.”


Bail yawned and stretched, raking up his coin-bed and stuffing the coins in his bag. Suniel was shivering in his blankets and Kormak was rubbing his arms and jumping around to get warm. Keeper sat against the wall, frost riming his features.

“Finally awake I see,” the dwarf said, glaring at Bail. “Have a good night's sleep?”

Bail shrugged. “As good as any.”

Suniel's eyes slowly opened and he sat up, blankets still pulled close. He smiled wryly. “Next time I suggest we rest for the night in the center of a glacier...”

“Well, at least you're all rested and ready for our big day,” Kormak said. Bail tossed the dwarf the Lightning Stone and took the Frozen Stone for himself.

Suniel put his things away and produced the Waterstone from his robes with his good hand, coughing as he did so.

“How do you hide that big thing in those little robes,” Kormak said. “Wait, let me guess, some wizard's tricks?”

“Same way Harold kept all those weapons in his quiver,” Bail said.

Suniel nodded. “The enchantments are similar. Anyway, at each of the places you end up, stay inside the henge, it'll be safe there even if it isn't around you, at least once you place your Stone in the henge, so put it there as soon as possible. I'll be back to get you as soon as I can.”

“Which will be what? Minutes? Hours? Days?” Kormak said, watching the sparks fall from the Lightning Stone every time he tapped it.

“Probably tomorrow before I'll be able to cast the spells to return. Be patient, I will be back.” The elf took a deep breath. “Brace yourselves, we're about to activate the Machinery of the Continent and activate the Crystal Towers Defenses. From there, I doubt there is anyone living who knows what will happen next.”

“There are several,” Keeper said quietly as he stood, the frost that covered him snapping and crunching as he moved. “Though technically one of them is not living.”

They all turned to Keeper, waiting for more. There was none.

“And?” Kormak said.

The construct shook his head. “Now is not the time. Soon.”

“You have any idea what it's talking about Suniel?” Kormak said.

The elf shook his head. “No. I'm sure he'll tell us when the time is right.”

Suniel walked over to Bail and looked the half-dragon in the eye. “Ready?”

Bail nodded, holding the Frozen Stone close. Suniel murmured and brushed a hand across Bail's shoulder and in an instant the half-dragon was gone.
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Iron Sky

Procedurally Generated
Session 31, Part 14

Kormak vanished, as Bail had a moment before, and Suniel turned to Keeper. The construct regarded him with flickering eyes.

“I'm going to hold onto you tightly because we're going to be sinking.”

“Placing the Waterstone in the Azure Henge?”

Suniel nodded, not bothering to ask Keeper how he knew. “Give me a moment, I'll need some wardings to protect me from the environment we'll be in.”

A few minutes later, he took a deep breath, grabbed onto Keeper's arm, and took them to the depths.

He hadn't anticipated the absolute darkness. The pressure of the crushing depths, the lack of air, yes. He created a glowing sphere of light in his palm and saw that he and Keeper were sinking at a decent pace, judging by the tiny particulates drifting up around them.

“Keep your eye out for the – there it is!”

The henge was right below them, rising from a jutting spur of rock arcing over a watery abyss. He pulled out the Waterstone and used its power to guide them to the henge. The Stone fit exactly into the pedestal and the standing crystalline stones of the henge began to pulse with radiant, pale blue light. Suniel almost fell as a protective bubble formed around the henge, pushing the water back and leaving him standing on the damp bedrock. Around the henge the water was swirling more and more violently, a churning maelstrom of surging waters.

Above them the waters began to swirl into a whirlpool whose walls were so fast and massive that he saw a circle of daylight high above, surrounded by what must have been thousands of feet of water.

There was no to marvel, however. He touched Keeper's shoulder.

Dark clouds scudded across a plain studded with massive, nearly-transparent crystals jutting into the sky. Moonlight caught in the crystals and made them shine like liquid silver. Keeper pointed behind Suniel.

He turned to look and saw the Crystal Henge, each crystal in it perfectly formed and exactly the same height as all the others. As the Truestone of Light settled into its creche, the crystals began to glow, first just the henge then spreading to the immense crystals that surrounded them, each glowing with an ever-brighter golden light. It was almost blinding and growing more intense by the second. Suniel covered his eyes and touched Keeper's arm.

The tumult of battle flashed over the trees, distant shouts and screams and echoing booms shaking the very ground. Two brown specks floated in the skies, miles away but drawing closer even as they watched, flashing against the blue skies and sending dozens of piercing beams of energy cutting down into the burning forest.

Behind them was the mile-wide trunk of the One Tree, its branches high above stretching towards the horizons. Before them stood a familiar figure, his long hair and beard flecked with moss and twigs, behind him the dark petrified trunks of the Woodhenge, sparkling and gleaming. Suniel took High Druid Anderlan's hand in his good one, the delight at seeing his old friend again far overshadowed by the doom that drew close.

“You are ready?”

Anderlan nodded. “The Woodstone was placed just before you arrived.”

“Then that is five. I do not know how I can collect both of my companions, however. They are at two of the Henges and I am too worn to retrieve them.”

The druid gestured towards the Woodhenge. “Use it then. If five of them are active, then you can use them to travel to any of the other active Henges. That is how you can retrieve your companions.”

Suniel embraced Anderlan and stepped towards the Henge. “Hold them Anderlan, whatever it takes. Now that the Crystal Towers Defenses are active, we just need to figure out how to use them and we'll drive Iron Sky away.”

“We'll do what we can then. Just hurry, we cannot hold them for much longer.”

Suniel was almost to the Woodhenge when Anderlan called to him. Suniel stopped and turned.

“The Silver spoke to me, He will meet you at your last destination.”

“The Silver? Where is our last destination?”

Suniel was too late. Anderlan had already transformed into a massive eagle and launched into the skies with a piercing shriek, flying hard towards the smoke and rumble of the distant battle.

“We head to the Spire of Direction that sits in the center of the Radianus Sink. The Silver, the last Elarim. They are the same. He will meet us there.”

Suniel turned to Keeper and stared, wishing for the hundredth time that the construct had expressions that he could read.

“How do you know all this? The Nexus?”

Keeper shook his head. “It was He who arranged that you might find me, that we might stand at this very point after millennium of waiting and planning, that you might undo the sins of your fathers and make the world right. It was no accident that it was you who activated me and you that I serve."

Keeper glanced at the distant battle then turned back to Suniel. "Let us get the others quickly and head to the Spire, for time is short and Bahamut awaits us there.”
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First Post
I'm going to finally chime in here. :)

I've really enjoyed reading through this, and both eagerly anticipate the end and dread it, for I know I won't be reading any new happenings.

Thanks for posting this, IronSky!

And Steeldragons, awesome stuff!

Iron Sky

Procedurally Generated
Thanks for the art and the comments. I'm hoping to get another post or two up in the next week or so. I'm guessing we're within 10 posts of completion, most likely less than that, but I'm hedging my bets. :)

Iron Sky

Procedurally Generated
Session 31, Part 15

The Spire of Direction was a silversteel tower about twenty feet in diameter and three stories tall, sitting on a tiny grassy island in the middle of the Radianus Sink. The others had gone up the ramp inside to look around the upper level while Kormak relaxed a bit before who-knew-what was coming.

In the distance to the north, the Fae Wood was just barely visible, the occasional glint of sunlight reflecting off of something nestled within the black fringe of the forest. The other horizons were pure, sparkling blue as far as the eye could see.

Kormak leaned back against the warm silversteel of the Spire, the soft grass waving slightly in a cool breeze coming in of the Sink. It was hard to believe that elsewhere in Felskein, dozens of battles, large and small, were being fought against an implacable foe that might not stop until it had killed everything that stood between it and... what? Its endless quest to destroy the dormant Grimwythe? Had the Keeper that ran Iron Sky decided on some other plan? Conquest of Felskein and the Thousand Skylands? Something else more inscrutable?

A shadow passed overhead and he glanced up, then reflexively leapt away as something massive landed on the island with enough force that the ground shook. The biggest dragon he had ever seen was wrapped around the tower, one massive forearm resting on the top of the Spire, its tail following the curve of the island like a sea wall. Its scales shone like silversteel... Kormak looked closer. Exactly like silversteel. It's luminous white eyes shone as it stared down at him, somehow radiating immense power, sadness, and gentleness all at once.

Suniel and Bail walked out of the tower, Keeper close behind. Bail and Keeper dropped to a knee instantly and Suniel followed a moment later.

“You have done well, all of you,” Bahamut said, his voice echoing in spite of the softness of the dragon's voice. “Keeper, all is in readiness?”

Keeper nodded. “Five Stones have been set and I activated the Crystal Towers defenses. Soon the Interface will be active.”

“Excellent. I will be brief then, for we have little time.” The dragon shifted slightly, his massive tail wrapping protectively around them. “The Undercouncil is gathering to the East, on the edge of the Radianus Sink. They will be coming here to try to stop you for they still believe that they somehow will retain Felskein for themselves. Draconic arrogance knows no bounds, though in a way that could be said to be my fault since I was among those who created them. They were our first Child Race and we made them too much like ourselves. I will do what I can to stop them, but there are dozens of them and I have forbidden any others of the Overcouncil to aid me.”

Bail started to speak, but Bahamut raised a clawed finger to silence him. “All of the Overcouncil. When your work is done here, the Overcouncil will be needed to help rebuild. Listen closely, for here is what you must do...”
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Iron Sky

Procedurally Generated
Session 31, Part 16

“All the True Stones? What do you mean all?”

“There are around a thousand,” Bahamut said. “The Grimwythe will not rest – especially if the Tree that keeps them locked away is destroyed by Iron Sky - until all of them are returned to the land.”

“How will we do that? Don't the Skylands need them to keep flying?” Kormak said. “Won't the people on those Skylands want to keep theirs?”

Bahamut nodded and tapped the top of the Spire of Direction. “You have this, Keeper, and the Crystal Towers Defenses to convince them.”

“I'm not sure they'll be convinced. After all, Harold's people have lived on and around the Crystal Towers for centuries and they don't seem to know anything about them.”

“They'll learn soon enough, but that doesn't matter at the moment. You must Raise Felskein to join them, merge the Skylands to the continent, and land them together in the Endless Sands. You must do this quickly, for when the One Tree dies, the Grimwythe will come quickly for the Stones and you must return the Stones before they do or many will die in the process.”

“So, what is the Grimwythe?” Kormak said. “We've heard how bad it is, even saw... well... something in the pool on Velea's Skyland when we first visited it, but what is it?”

Bahamut glanced up at the sky and was still for a long moment. “Long ago, we found ourselves the lonely rulers of this world, a world verdant and green with vast oceans of crystal-blue waters. But we were alone. We made the first of the races to share our world, but in our ignorance made them as slaves rather than children and to make them we stole the essence of the world itself, siphoned it away into Stones of vast power. But the world was made by something older even than we, grown around an immense Seed of silversteel that our distant, primitive ancestors stared at in wonder as we roamed the land with stone clubs, wondering at our own origins. The Seed created the force we named the Grimwythe, to reclaim the power that we stole from the Seed of the World.

“We fled our problem, used the power of the Stones to lift Felskien into the skies. The other continents weren't so lucky, shattering into a thousand pieces as our stolen elemental magics ripped them from the bosom of the world. Still the Grimwythe reached for us, to the very skies. We created Iron Sky in an attempt to battle the guardians of the Seed that would take our precious True Stones from us and doom us to slavery or destruction at our slave-children's hands. Iron Sky failed us. Our children overthrew us, starting with the most powerful, the ones we made in our own image – the dragons. One by one we were hunted down despite our power, until only I remained and survived, to go into hiding and plan for a day... this day... when the world would be set to right."

Bahamut looked to the horizon. “And now they gather to finish what they started.”

Enormous silver wings unfurled, blotting out the sun like the sails on a massive ship. “I trust in you know as I have trusted in you this whole time. Let Felskein Rise from the Endless Sands, unite the Skylands, and return the True Stones to the Grimwythe. Only then will our children find the peace they deserved.”

Bail knelt at Bahamut's feet and the Elarim patted the half-dragon on the head. “You have served me well. Serve my children once I am gone.”

The gust of wind as Bahamut launched into the air nearly knocked all of them down. They stood and watched for a moment as the last Elarim flew into the west, where dragons circled like a flock of hungry crows. They did not wait for the battle between the last of the creators and the first of the created to begin, but instead turned to follow Keeper into the tower, to finish what they had started and begin the end.
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Iron Sky

Procedurally Generated
Session 31, Part 17

The others stood along the wall as Keeper walked to what looked like an unadorned silversteel column that rose to mid-chest height and ended in a domed top. Keeper placed his hands upon it and his eyes sparked and flashed. Kormak kept waiting for a splash of pyrotechnical magics to explode in the room, but instead, a small dot of white light appeared. Again, there was a sense of anticlimax as the dot expanded with painful slowness, taking several minutes for Kormak to even recognize it as Felskein – and he never would have recognized it if he hadn't seen the stone model on Velea's Skyland.

This model, however, was made of light, somehow acquiring the illusion of depth as it expanded. Minutes later, the room was filled with the spread of Felskein and the spray of thousands of tiny Skylands spread out through the space above their heads. Two Skylands were visible by the One Tree and dozens of others were closing in all around the continent.

“Those would be Iron Sky I'm assuming,” Bail said, pointing at the closest ones.

Keeper released the column and nodded. “Most of them are, but where you want your attention is here.”

The construct pointed at the Crystal Towers, held off the side of the continent on their fragment of land by the seemingly-tiny Span. As Keeper pointed, the Crystal Towers seemed to enlarge for closer viewing, until the individual facets of the massive crystals atop each of the towers could be seen. The crystals were spinning faster and faster and glowing with their own inner light.

“So the Crystal Tower Defenses are the towers themselves?” Bail said, rubbing his chin. “I suppose you'd need something that big to protect a continent.”

Keeper nodded again. “They are nearly active, shall I begin removing the Iron Sky threat?”

“Remove the what?” Kormak said.

“You can control it from here?” Suniel said softly, squinting at the Skylands near the One Tree.

“Like this,” Keeper said. He stuck the tip of his finger in the glowing light atop the largest of the Crystal Towers and traced a line from it to one of the two Skylands Suniel was looking at. The room flared, nearly blinding Kormak. When his vision returned, only one Skyland remained. “Shall I continue?”

Suniel, Bail, and Kormak could only stare at each other in wonder at the immense display of power Keeper has so casually demonstrated. He just destroyed a flying island with a motion of his arm. How many of those Iron Sky constructs were just destroyed? He could destroy a kingdom with a flick of his wrist, Kormak thought. He could see similar thoughts moving behind Bail and Suniel's eyes.

Finally, Suniel cleared his throat. “If they must be destroyed, then there is no time to waste. Continue Keeper.”

Another line traced from the Crystal Towers destroyed the second and the construct turned to the other Skylands that formed a loose slowly-constricting ring around the continent. After being half-blinded by the destruction of a several more, Kormak covered his eyes and found the ramp that led down by feel. “Carry on with the colossal destruction, I'm going to smell some flowers and get some fresh air."

Suniel stayed behind, but when Kormak stepped out onto the grass and the cool breeze coming in off the Radianus Sink, Bail was a step behind him. They stared out across the water for several seconds in silence before Bail spoke.

“It's hard to believe, hard to imagine what's going on in there,” the half-dragon said. “Well, I guess it's actually going on out... there...”

He was gesturing in the rough direction of the Crystal Towers when the sky flashed white. A minute later, a rumbling boom rolled past them, setting the ground beneath their feet trembling. “What was that?” Kormak said, dumbfounded.

“I think that was Keeper destroying another Skyland,” Bail said. A few minutes later, his theory was confirmed by another flash and long-delayed rumble.

“I wonder where all that power comes from?” Kormak wondered aloud. “It would take a hundred True Stones, maybe a thousand to generate enough power for one of those blasts.”

“Must be the Machinery of the Continent that Keeper mentioned before - remember feeling it in the walls and the floor below the Crystal Tower when we were going after the Lightning Stone? It was almost as if the continent was alive.”

“Um... does the tower here look a bit... reddish?” Kormak said, pointing at the outside wall of the Spire. Bail tilted his head from side to side as if trying to guage. Kormak placed his hand on the silversteel. The metal was hot, almost uncomfortably so. “Guess whatever's making it happen, it's producing a lot of heat. Hope Suniel isn't getting cooked.”

He stepped inside to check, but the silversteel inside seemed fine, maybe even a bit chilly. There was another flash outside and Bail came in blinking and almost walked into the wall. “I think Keeper just shot one on the other side of Felskien. A beam of light just flashed through the sky... at least, that's all I can see right now, just red with a glowing strip of white in it.”

“Might be safer inside,” Kormak said, leading the half-blind Bail back up the ramp to the control room. “Any hopefully they're just about out of Skylands to destroy by now.”
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Level Up: Advanced 5th Edition Starter Box

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