Ascension of the Wizard-King

SESSION 1

Gulsun Gul
, the chieftain of the Dragon Lords tribe, had called together emissaries from all the free peoples of the land. With the host assembled he called upon them to join in an assault against the Wizard-King. 

Gul brought forth Timeth Uhl, a haggard and emaciated human who had escaped from the slave camps of the Wizard-King at Oman-Tarr. Timeth reported that his village had been attacked by the servants of the Wizard-King and everyone had been taken into slavery, some being used as sacrifices or in terrible experiments and many toiling in the mines. For the Wizard-King was digging deep into the hills of Oman-Tarr, which was once a sacred site for the Serpent Dominion. And beneath those hills he had found ancient and terrible secrets. 

The Wizard-King, Timeth reported, possessed great magical power without the use of demons. He could fly, bend the wills of men, cause his foes to fall into a deep slumber, summon lightning and fire from his hands, and many other horrible secrets. But this was not enough - he sought to use the secrets beneath the mounds of OIman-Tarr to Ascend and make himself as one of the Icons.

Thus it was that Gulsun Gul called upon the free peoples of the land to strike now, while there was still a sliver of hope. Some agreed, some tribes thought this folly and departed.

In his tent Gulsun and the leaders of the tribes worked on a plan for battle. Damin the Cursed surveyed the assembled chieftains, looking for signs of treason or deceit and he found it in Jorash and Nardoth, two brothers of the Northlander tribes.  Laila, Daughter of the Shadow, urged stealth and cunning over a direct assault. As the Wizard-King's forces were more than triple the assembled army of the free peoples this suggestion was favored.  The largest body of the army would make directly for Oman-Tarr to draw the Wizard-King's attention. A group of Northlanders from the Frost Range and Silver Mountains would come up the Midland Sea in their longboats and make an assault from that direction. And Laila would lead a small group directly onto Oman-Tarr to try to free the slaves and strike directly against the Wizard-King.

Meanwhile, out in the camps the armies feasted and reveled before marching to war. Sinclair and his bound demon Virius sought to bring chaos and dissent into the ranks. Virius possessed the body of Marduk, an arrogant youth of the Dragon Lords. Virius marched into Gulsun's tent, which caused some strife as Marduk had recently challenged the chieftain for rule of the tribe, and he had failed. 

After the war moot broke Laila and Thessaly set out to find Damin and Virius, having recognized the taint of demonkin in both of them. Damin had gone to the camp of the Northlanders, who sat apart from the others full of derision and scorn. Here Damin sought to incite the group to anger and violence by inflaming their passions.  One of the Northlanders, Ohrn by name, was particularly moved and began shouting invectives against the Dragonkin. 

It was at that moment that Thessaly came to the fire circle and attacked Ohrn. Their brief but violent struggle ended when Thessaly's demon Grothmarr spewed acid across Ohrn's face, sending the Northman reeling into the night.

Seeking more information on the camps at Oman-Tarr, Sinclair and Virius sought out Timeth but found his tent empty. A search of the camp revealed no sign of the escaped slave.  Suspicions settled into the minds of the demon-kin - were they being led into a trap?

Before dawn the foursome set off on foot. They must arrive at Oman-Tarr before the main body of the army. Along the way they passed near to Sinclair's village, and he persuaded the group to let him stop by for some quick vengeance. But instead he found the village deserted for many months. The only body he found was one of the Wizard-King's soldiers, and he took the armor and helmet in case they could be of use later.

SESSION 2

The group followed the Tempest River northward, toward Oman-Taar. Along the way they stumbled across the unconscious body of Thimdriatorin Inviollas, a Thrut (Lizardman) champion from the Fangs. Thimdriatorin had set out with a band of thirty able warriors, to rescue his kin who had been kidnapped by the Wizard-King.  The warriors had all been killed by the Wizard-King's twisted and mutated human army, but Thimdriatorin somehow escaped and washed up on the banks of the Tempest, possibly aided by his demon-sword Tizambricuakiar. As he shared the group's wishes to bring down the Wizard-King, he decided to join them for a time.

They traveled by night keeping the plateau of Oman-Taar just at the edge of sight. The rim of the plateau was lined with signal fires. They did not approach by the path that Timeth had suggested, because they were not sure they could trust him, but instead moved through the night to come to a more remote path.

At the base of the steep pass up the side of the plateau they found a guard encampment. Damin's preternatural senses told him that a dozen men were there, although some slept, and that they kept some wolves. The men were mutated and hideous, like some sort of man/ape hybrid. Damin strode into the campsite and began speaking to the guards, telling them of Gulsun Gul's armies and saying he wished to join the Wizard-King's army.

But this was simply a distraction! While Damin spoke, Thimdriatorin scaled the cliff face and positioned himself behind a massive boulder. Laila and Thessaly crept silently into the camp behind the soldiers, Shade dimmed the light of the fire and Virius moved into one of the tents to possess a new host.  The boulder fell, crushing many of the soldiers and the knives of Laila and Thessaly struck true.  Damin fed his demon Zaal the souls of two of the soldiers, turning them into mindless beasts.  Soon all the guards and wolves had fallen, although Damin tamed one of the wolves, which the group named "Scrappy."

Having feasted on the essence of the guard leader, Zaal shared some visions and knowledge from the soldier's mind. The Wizard-King's ascension ritual would happen at noon, a scant few hours away.  A vast city of the Serpent Dominion had been uncovered beneath the plateau and the secrets found there allowed the Wizard-King to draw magical power from the roots of the world itself.

Donning guard uniforms and cloaks, the group made their way up the trail and onto Oman-Taar. They made for the closest of the slave pens and freed the slaves in order to cause a distraction. But their true objective was the tower of the Wizard-King - a massive black structure built of bones suspended in a tar-like substance. As they drew closer the group noted that the bones inside the walls turned and rotated, like gears in a macabre clockwork.

The entry to the tower was unguarded but upon entering the group found complete darkness within. Shade brought forth light and they saw the withered form of the Wizard-King sitting on a raised throne. He taunted the group claiming that they had delivered to him exactly what he needed - demons to power his ascension engine! He would now become the God of Death! The demons began to weaken, their essence being drawn off into the very walls of the tower. The walls moved, sealing off the entryway, and three large men stepped from behind the throne - the Northlanders Joresh, Nareth and Ohrn.

A fierce battle ensued. Damin rushed the throne and attempted to force horrific images into the Wizard-King's mind, and Sinclair used his demon-gifted powers to pin the Wizard-King where he sat. The others engaged the Northlanders. Nareth brutally cut down Scrappy. Thessaly and her demon Grothmarr settled their old score with Ohrn, leaving the large man in a bloody pool of acid on the floor. The Wizard-King spread his hands and cast forth flame, felling Sinclair and killing Damin. Thimdriatorin again scaled the wall and leaped onto the Wizard-King with his mighty blade drawn, slicing the man from stem to stern. 

But even beyond death the Wizard-King would not yield! His soul remained in the tower and would still use the engine to ascend. But Damin's soul also remained!  The two spirits wrestled as the demons continued to weaken. Sinclair and Thimdriatorin attached the walls and the throne, seeking to disrupt the mechanism of the tower.  Shade was the first to fall, absorbed entirely into the tower. Without Shade to maintain the light, darkness fell again.

At noon the tower was consumed in black flame which shot forth into the heavens.  The Wizard-King's army broke and ran, crushed beneath the approaching army of Gulsun-Gul.  The Wizard-King's plans were thwarted, but had the ritual succeeded? Did any of the sorcerers escape the tower?And what of this new source of power from the world itself?
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