The Final Gate
After 2 days of waiting, patience is finally rewarded when a little kobold-like creature wandering into the area in front of the final gate door.
Vilous keeps the rest of the crew silent and watches. It does not take long for the creature to turn his head in the direction of the cave they are hiding in, and screech in fear! For a moment, Vilous believes they have been spotted! But then, from above and behind them on the cliff, a fire drake swoops down and blast the critter with his fire-ball breath.
The creature turns and runs towards the gate hallway and door, with the drake following close behind. The critter scrambles at the door, pushing on it, trying to get away but the gate does not open for it. A few moments later, the fire drake finishes the screaming creature off, and flies off with it. During the commotion, the party sees another fire drake from a nearby drake stick its head out to see what the commotion is about.
After a few moments, when things seem calm, that second drake sticks its head out of the cave again and spits a fireball onto the rough ground in the middle of the clearing, then goes back into its own cave. The behavior is odd, and inexplicable.
At this point, everyone starts to discuss their options. It is noted that if they get spotted by a drake while they are in the cave, the drakes have the range and ability to spit fireballs into the cave repeatedly and fry them all. That if they start fighting, they will need to spread out.
A concern is raised that there may be other drakes and caves. Everyone starts looking around the clearing more carefully, and spot another semi-hidden cave entrance. They don't see another drake.. but there could easily be one inside.
It is decided that they will try to sneak out and up to the hallway and final gate, but numbers and the laws of probability prove to make that untenable. Vilous, manages to make it out of the cave and start on his way there, but its son Otoc immediately slips as he starts to work is way over and makes a bunch of noise, and the drakes hear it.
The second drake from before peaks his head out of its own cave as the party scrambles to try to get out of theirs and spread out. Some fall, but others make it out and for the most part, the party is spread out when the drake shoots its fireball. Arrows fly, and the drake takes a little damage from Tolm and so it is Tolm who takes the brunt of the drakes initial attack.
Arundl decides, once everyone else is out, that he'll just stay in and cast enlarge on himself, hoping to wade into the fray in a round or two, but he slips and falls when climbing out of the cave.. oh well.
At this point, a third drake from the semi-hidden cave sticks his head out to see what all the fuss is around. The fighting drake screams at it, as if to say, 'back off, I got dibs', and the 3rd drake seems to be intimidated for the moment. It spits off a fireball onto the ground, where the party saw the other drake spit a fireball, not hitting anyone.
Vilous manages to get the drakes attention, and it lands and starts attacking him, getting in a vicious critical hit. But Vilous has made himself resistant to the fire damage, so while hurt.. is still in the fight.
With the drake landed, all the melee combatants move in the join the fight. The drake looks surrounded and not long for life.. when from behind them, the original drake flies in, attacking Arundl.
The archers and party tiger manage to take down the drake that had originally engaged them. And the original drake starts moving in to claim the group, who has starts to take a bunch of damage from fireballs and bites.
This enrages the 3rd drake, who gets into a screaming fit with the original and they have a brief altercation, as if deciding who gets to eat the party.
At this point, Vilous basically tries to claim the attention of the drakes and screams at everyone to get to the gate. Feeling like he is the best equiped to fend them off and possibily get away. He doesn't think they will be able to take down 2 more drakes.
The party listens for the most part, and starts dashing towards the gate door. They find it does not 'just open' like previous gates. But shortly realize that if they cooperate, and have one person each put a hand on the 2 circles on the gateway doors, that they swing open. A blinding light source coming from the inside, making it hard to see far.
Some of the party dash inside, including Otoc, who encounters a large, imposing Patryn who looks quite surprised and happy to see them.
It is at this point, that tragedy strikes. While distracting the remaining drakes, out of the ground where the firedrakes had been spitting fireballs, a huge ant swarm oozes out and covers both the dead drake and Vilous himself. Vilous is apparently immediately overcome with some kind of poison and collapses, apparently paralyzed.
There is a moment of indecision.. but the party does not like the odds of rescueing Vilous, and taking on 2 drakes and a swarm of ants without losing more of the party. So they retreat through the gate. As the last party member makes it through, their father is clearly being eaten by the ants. Once all are safely inside, the mysterious patryn closes the gate door.
Welcome to the Nexus
The patryn introduces himself as Xar, and welcomes the party to the Nexus. He notes that it is probably not what they were expecting. He explains the following things, after leading the party inside to safety and healing.
1. He was the first person to make it to the Nexus, and that happened many gates ago.
2. When he got here, the place was deserted. If there were supposed to be Sartan here, monitoring us and the Labyrinth, they have been gone for a very long time.
3. He has spent those years learning and decipher what he can of the Sartan runes using the books and materials they left behind.
4. He found an odd book that details the history of the creation of the Sartan and Patryn races, and the creation of the Labyrinth. This book was notably newer and in better shape than other materials he's found here.
5. The history:
- a world of mensh, that had a nuclear holocaust.
- Arising from the ashes of that were the Sartan race.
- Sartan were stronger and able to access the magic of the wave, which is the mensh could not so they exerts control over the world.
- Bringing the mensh races in line with their vision of society
- 'the wave' desiring balance, caused the Patryn race to arise.
- Patryn, using the wave differently than Sartan rebelled against Sartan rule.
- The Sartan, were losing control, and split the world up, casting the Patryn race into the Labyrinth to rehabilitate them
6. Xar explains that he has been going back into the Labyrinth and rescuing as many other Patryn as he can. There are several dozen here in the nexus.
7. He shows them the "DeathGate" which can supposedly connect all the parts of the universe that the Sartan had split up. He has managed it to open it a little bit. But has seen no response fromt he other side.
8. All the baby bears he's sent in to explore it have never come back.
9. This party are the only other people he knows of to make it to the nexus on their own, without his help so he wants to recruit them into his big plan to kill the Sartan and take over the universe as the Patryn are destined to do.
10. He shows them his big mythic-making machine, left behidn by the Sartan, that inscribe a Sartan rune over the Patryn's own heart-rune and unlocks mythic ability. He will do this for them, if they swear fealty to him and his plan.
Arundl jumps in head-first, and Xar mythics him up. Otoc also tries to, but Xar thinks he's full-of-it, and doesn't believe his fealty oath.
… to skip to the end. Other members of the party take some convincing, or slightly adjusted oaths of promising to stick to at least the first part of the plan. He even lets Otoc go mythic so long as Arundl promises to keep them in line. They try to figure out how to use the machine, but only learn that Xar is using something that gets consumed to make the machine go. They don't know what that something is, or how many Xar has.
The plan is:
1. Go through the DeathGate.
2. Don't let the Sartan know you're there.
3. Scout, determine what is up with the world over there.
4. Don't get discovered. Don't let the Sartan find out we're free.
5. Find souls that could be useful or convinced to help us.
6. Don't fucking let the Sartan know we're free.
7. Find opportunities to spread chaos and sow problems that we Patryn will be able to come in and resolve, saving the world from the mess and being heroes ready to take over.
He shows them the magic flat barge they will be able to use to fly through the Deathgate.
So at the end of the session everyone is Mythic tier 1 and getting prepped to go through the DeathGate.