Wrath of the Righteous
The Worldwound Incursion
For several weeks, excitement had been building in Kenabres - Armasse was coming! Traditionally an opportunity for scholars and priests to come together to study the lessons of history from wars past, since Aroden's death, this holy day had become more about training commoners in weaponry, choosing squires, and ordaining new priests. Over time, Armasse had grown to encompass jousting competitions, mock duels, battle reenactments, and other festival events. In Kenabres, the festival (which takes place on 16 Arodus) was eagerly anticipated, for it provided distractions from the horrors of being on the front line of the war.
Smiles on faces normally marred by downcast eyes and furrowed brows did wonders for city morale in the weeks leading up to the event. Armasse was a citywide celebration, but the majority of the events, including its jousting matches and other entertainments, took place at Clydwell Plaza, just west of the cathedral.
Armasse officially began at noon, with the blessing of the festival by Lord Hulrun himself, ruler of Kenabres. The crowd gathered in Clydwell Plaza quieted as the aged inquisitor took the stage, clad in shining, resplendent armor. He cleared his throat, but just as he was about to speak, a bright light shone from the west, as if the sun were rising from the wrong direction. Hurlun’s shadow fell huge and distorted across the cathedral’s façade. A moment later, the sound of a thunderous explosion ripped through the air and earth, along with a violent tremor.
To the west, the fortress known as the Kite – the location of Kenabres’ Wardstone – had vanished. In its place, a brilliant plume of red fire, lightning, and smoke erupted into the heavens.
A moment later, a powerful roar accompanied a welcome sight rising from the crowd – Kenabres’ greatest guardian, the ancient silver dragon Terendelev, who had until that moment been attending the opening ceremony disguised as a human. Above, another form appeared, as nightmarish as the dragon was breathtaking. A humanoid shape three times the size of any man, with skin coated in fire and lightning, gripping a flaming sword and whip. The creature’s identity was immediately obvious: Khorramzedeh, the Storm King of the Worldwound, had come to Kenabres!
As the ground continued to shake and disgorge demons into the streets, the dragon and the balor lord clashed above. The fight was over in a few harrowing moments, as the balor cut deep into Terendelev’s body, swooping down to strike the dragon and arresting her charge. A few more blows, and the titanic duo spiraled downward toward the crowd.
The sight of the dragon smashing into the façade of the Cathedral of St. Clydwell was one no witness would ever forget. At that moment, a titanic demon erupted at the far end of the plaza, reducing several buildings to ruins as it smashed into this world. The rift it created shot across the plaza, and this time there was no escape – it opened below the feet of those gathered, angling away into darkness.
Even as the unsuspecting victims fell, the dragon noticed their plight. Though she saw death standing over her, she seized this final chance to save a few more souls. After she uttered a few arcane words and stretched out a bleeding talon, they felt her magic take hold of them, slowing their plummet into the darkness as if they were feathers falling into a pit. Yet the fall remained as inexorable, and as they drifted into the depths, the last thing everyone saw was the Storm King standing before the ancient silver dragon, his sword lashing out and cleaving full through her neck. As her severed head fell, the rift above them slammed shut, and the light of the world above was gone.
When the dust and rubble finally settled, and the fallen were able to gather their senses, they found themselves in a vast underground cavern. The ceiling and walls recede into darkness. On one side, the wall had collapsed in an enormous mound of rubble – here and there the arms and legs of victims who did not survive the fall protruded. However, several other forms began to move as well, brushing the dirt and dust off of their bodies.
A male human, dressed in once resplendent attire, grumbled and complained audibly about his predicament, demanding that someone lend him aid in returning to the surface, promising a hefty reward to do so. A young woman wearing leather armor with a short bow and quiver slung over her shoulder had dragged herself from the rubble. She tended to her leg with building concern, indicating that something had happened to it during the fall. Another survivor appeared to be an elven man, dressed in flowing robes, and holding a tall staff. His head was bandaged, fully so that his eyes were covered. He appeared to be feeling his way through the rubble with his staff as though his eyes were not functioning.
In the back of the dark cavern, a disturbing shape loomed. Nearly the size of a horse, what appeared to be an immense black spider crouched silent and still on the ground.
This area is devoid of light, and the above descriptions assume that someone uses a source of light for those that do not have Darkvision.
The walls and floor of this cavern have the rough texture of natural stone. The distant squeaks of bats echo broadly, suggesting that this underground space is large and relatively open. Grit and rock dust covers everything. Clumps of Stalagmites jut from the ground.