The scent of fire, smoke, and death surrounded the Inglorious Ingrates all around as they sat atop the walls of the Red Furn looking upon the mass of hobgoblins and goliaths summoned by the avatar of war. They had faced down several generals from the invaders in order to reduce the leadership and moral, but there was an intangible connection that somehow pushed the conquerors to continue their onslaught. The next challenge to face the weary companions was a monstrously large and bloodthirsty Vrock diving from the skies onto the wall. The demon bird struck a surprising quick slash against Arkon, but more importantly, the vrock plucked poor Sakura from the wall and dropped her over the side of the 2,000 foot hall wall. All the companions could do was watch in horror as Sakura hurtled to her demise amongst the thousands of dead already at the bottom. However, the spirit of Sakura could be laid to rest, for her cruel fate motivated the party enough to land several fatal strikes against the demon to kill it. Despite the vrock being barely cold, the Ingrates were called off to an area of rest because intelligence had been able to locate the Avatar of War, and the adventurers would need every ounce of the energy to take down the avatar and his lackeys.
No sooner had the Ingrates finished their recuperation, they were magically transported to the top of the extremely high floating terrain, and at the center of this final battleground stood the Bride of War, two Flesh Golems, and the Avatar of War who turned out to be Arkon’s father. While the party had hardened their hearts to take on this imposing threat, they did not expect to see Avery’s doppelganger father grappled by the Avatar, and the menacing villain exclaimed, “Surrender now for him to live, but resist me and he will perish like all the rest!” Avery was able to gleam into her father’s eyes to see he was ready for the ultimate sacrifice if it meant the tyranny of war could be ended, so with gritted teeth and teary-eyes, Avery unleashed an incredibly strong wave of magic energy directed at the villains. With equally fast reactions, the party witnessed the Bride of War seemingly absorbed the spell into a warhammer that was embroidered with the iconology of Falinora. This was only one of many surprises the forces of evil had up their sleeve, for the Ingrates hit with might and magic with sometimes little to no reaction from their foes. The Bride proved to be a formidable spellcaster who was able to channel dark divine energy against the heroes to knock several members unconscious, and War possessed equally daunting raw strength that dwarfed the likes of Arkon.
Though at the cast of a die, fate seemed to turn in favor of the Ingrates one moment after the other. The flesh golems accompanying the Bride and Avatar were waylaid to give the party breathing room when dealing with the dastardly due, but by-far the most important turning point in the struggle came from the unlikely actions of the pirate bard, Idris. Seeing the immense power the warhammer gave the Bride, Idris magically enhanced his abilities, struck the weapon out of her grasps, and caught it before it tumbled to the distant earth. Exactly at the same moment as he caught the item, Idris spoke with two entities. The first entity was an angelic form bathed in blinding light and warm energy that promised to help Idris and his companions, but the other was a dark, horned form surrounded by shadows enticing the bard with power to achieve his desires. Though tempted by the selfish power, Idris embraced the angelic form, and the choice materialized in angelic wings surrounding Idris in the midst of the heated battle. The Bride was shocked and horrified by this turn of events, and Idris capitalized on the moment by smashing a resounding and radiant blow against the evil spellcaster’s temple, knocking her out.
Seeing his bride finished by the warhammer that was their one hope, War enlarged himself to the size of a war-elephant, and he began to blindingly strike out against the battered Ingrates. War almost succeeded in flinging Dacyria off the slide of the floating island, but it was the critical melee strikes of Arkon, Avery, and Idris that was able to finish the nefarious goliath. After the avatar relinquished control over the goliath ruler, Arkon was able to hear the last words of his father desperately apologizing for this mistake, and before anymore could be said, the king was succumbed to the eternal silence of death. The heroes breathed a sigh of relief as the immediate battle came to a close, but in the back of their mind, they knew the other avatars of Famine, Pestilence, and Death roamed the material plane. However, the battle-scarred Inglorious Ingrates shared the unquenchable light of hope that they would live another day to fight off their forces as well….
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