At the Whims of Fate

Bound and Gagged!

The party now find themselves crossing the bridge that has recently been discovered within the ruins of Nel Zurathol Dol. The intricate Dwemer metals and gears span the distance between the third floor level, leading to a landing on the far-side of the main room. They waste no time in crossing the bridge and walking down the long staircase on the opposite side that leads to a hallway nearly ten meters long. At the end of the hall is a circular Dwemer door, created of thick bronze metals and marked by the carvings and runes of the Dwemer. In the center of the door are three indents, each equal size and formed in a roughly triangular shape.

This doesn’t slow Borkalt down at all, who walks straight up to the door to examine it. After remembering that they had found three circular pendants with mushroom figures carved into them, his Orc brain correctly assumed that the slots in the door were made for the medallions. Taking the three amulets from the party, he proceeded to pop them into the slots one after another. Immediately after, the door began to creak and grind as hidden gears began lowering the entire circular door into the floor. Once it dropped to the point where sight was possible, Borkalt and the rest of the party found themselves staring down quite the collection of men and women who they could only assume as serving The Prophet, Helette Life-Singer. After a few seconds, both the party and the warriors within the room began to react to the opening doorway.

Seeing the immense number of bodies on the other side of the door, Dra’Jhad quickly touted the benefits of a strategic retreat to a better defended position. The rest of the party agreed and, doing their best to keep the enemy at bay, attempted to maneuver to the end of a hallway, at the top of one of the long staircases. Once the enemies began filling the hallway, mages opening portals to the Oblivion planes and releasing fungal hounds, Jethro and Borkalt took the lead. They moved toward the enemy and slowly began a back and forth battering. Many warriors fell to Jethro’s spear and Borkalt’s hammer, all while Dra’Jhad provided ample support.

Before too long, the party realized that there was a key wizard outside the hallway, in the main room where the Prophet resided. They did they best to avoid his paralysis and other mind spells, while watching in dismay as he buffed his allies. Eventually, the wizard began levitating and rose out of sight. Not long after, the doorway separating the hallway and the main chamber began to seal and fill with water. Deciding it was time to go all out, the party rushed forward toward the quickly closing doorway, through the water. Except for Dra’Jhad, who easily cast a water manipulation spell to make sure he didn’t get wet.

Luckily, with haste, all three members of the party passed through the closing doorway and into the main chamber. Although the numbers had been thinned by this point, they were still staring down at least two mages and a handful of warriors. In addition, archers flanked the Prophet and did they best to fire unceasingly into the fray. Determination kept the party going, through the taunts and threats the Prophet made, attempting to coerce the party into giving up.

It was at this point that the the wizard, who had still been out of the sight by the time the party made it into the main chamber, emerged from a cell to the right of the doorway. Holding the body of a ragged Argonian male, he threatened to deliver a swift death to the prisoner if the party continued pressing their assault. Although this hauled them for a few moments while they discussed amongst themselves, the party ultimately decided they knew nothing of this prisoner and continued the fight. The wizard, fully planning to follow through on his promise to kill the prisoner, brought a dagger to bear against the dark-scaled fellow. Luckily, the Argonian was able to escape to the far reaches of the main chamber.

Unfazed by the distraction, Borkalt and Jethro continued pressing the fight. Taking down the majority of the fighters, they were left with one of the original summoner mages, the archers, and the stronger wizard. The battle had definitely taken its toll on the party and it was with a growing desperation that they corned the wizard, deciding to take him out of the way before finishing the others. In a fit of desperation of his own, the wizard released a huge wave of paralytic energy that hit every member of the party. Although they were shackled and knocked prone, he too was affected by his paralysis and fell to the ground. With the four bodies now prone on the ground, the rest of the Prophet’s combat battalion wasted no time in attempting to overtake the party.

The archers fired mercilessly into the fallen body of Jethro, filling him full of arrowheads and leaving shafts sticking out of his body. Within the first volley, all thought was taken from him and his head lolled in unconsciousness. Dra’Jhad was the first to break the spell and decided he needed to take action against the wizard above everything else. Drawing his enchanted, silver sword, he pierced the body of the wizard, wounding him and bringing him within an inch of his life. Unfortunately, the wizard was the next awake and, fuming at the wounds left in his clothes and his body, used his entire force of wills and magicks to pin Dra’Jhad’s body to the wall, knocking the weapon from his hand. All the while, Borkalt struggled against his paralysis, but was unable to break through.

Again, the archers fired into Jethro, seeing his still breathing form. This time the arrows pierced deep, bringing him up the verge of death. Only seconds separated him from bleeding out onto the floor and ending his life eternally. Seeing that the battle was now swaying back in their favor, the Prophet spoke up and again suggested that the party drop their weapons and give themselves over to her will. Even promising their release if they complied.

Seeing that there really weren’t many other options, Dra’Jhad spoke for the party and agreed a surrender. With that, it wasn’t long before the remaining mage helped to take ragged strips of mycelial threads from his own body and bind the party about the hands, feet, and mouth. For Borkalt, they even went as far as double binding him. To ensure that Jethro wouldn’t pass before whatever the Prophet had in store for him, he was brought back to a modicum of life, just barely over the cusp of unconsciousness. Then, their bodies were dragged from their places and to the foot of the second story where the prophet rested. The fate of the party lay now within the hands of the wicked figure, decomposing constantly, only to be filled with new sprouts of fungal life.

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Dillan Dillan

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