The Forging of the Axe
The Soulforge is bustling with activity. Tartarus the Great Maker, his after-life body fashioned from Adamantine and clothed in ancient Nerathi robes, stokes the forge and mentors BH-005 on his new duties as keeper of the forge.
The corrupted sword Nightbringer is laid upon the forge, and work begins on first cleansing the artifact and returning the Dwarvish spirits within it to their dominance in the weapon. Then the metal will be melted down and the reforging will begin.
Tartarus addresses Mielka directly. “As the emissary from Moradin, this weapon will require your final blessing. And in this state of flux, the Axe can take many forms based on who will wield it. Within the 3 days, you will need to decide who shall carry it into battle. Take any counsel you need and let me know your decision.”A conduit is opened between Mielka and Dwarfdom itself. The choices presented to her are:
- Forge it into an Executioner’s Axe and give it to Bael Corvus. He is the most powerful warrior in the group, but his ideals may not agree with those of the Dwarvish Lords and lead to low concordance with the weapon.
- Forge it into a Halberd (which is a kind of axe) and give it to Reschard Tam. He is a great leader with a noble heart with the most personal stake in the conflict. He may be called to lead instead of fight on the front lines, however, and his personal attachments may entangle him.
- Forge it into a Greataxe- the weapon’s original form- and give it to Prince Gargin, deposed ruler from Sarta and exiled due to the giants’ takeover. An old friend to the Tams, yet little is known about the Prince himself.
- Forge it into a Handaxe for Hans Zigfrid, Knight of Tarturia, and Council member of Alexandren. This blustery politician could wield considerable political power with the Axe in hand and do good for Dwarves everywhere, but seems unwilling to engage the giants directly.
- Forge it into a combined Axe/Holy Symbol and keep it for yourself… and thrust yourself into the center stage in the war against the giants, titans, and the villainous Dyson.
Given the recent events, some of the party is deep in contemplation.
Shen One-Eyed has had his big secret revealed, and come within inches of giving up the Eye of Vecna. He has seen the face of Paldemar reaching towards him, only to be pushed back at the last second from ripping it out of his head. Though it would be a relief after all these years to have its presence gone… the price would be high. The questions are many: how to keep out of Paldemar’s undying clutches, how to deal with the others who now know, and most importantly, how to make a few coins in the process?
Zigfried von Schattenwerk pours over The Book of Tartarus. Maybe within these pages, or in another book, he will find a way to continue his duty to protect the Empire from aberrations… if the voices will let him.
Light sits in quiet contemplation (as he usually does), preparing for the major undertaking he will undergo once the Axe is completed. The forging of his soul presents the best chance of finally purging himself of his infernal soul, but also gives a high chance of death. He does not fear death, for he has faced it many times before. What he does fear is having failed his Lady when he goes to meet her again (as all things must.) Or worse- that the Archfey who he has signed a pact to will come collecting after death. Regardless, this may be his only opportunity for Light to shed his heritage.
Raiden stands in another one of the rooms, practicing the techniques taught to him by his master. Orcus’s invocation of Zumcantor’sname still burned in his mind. If only things had worked out differently in the fight, he could have used the power of an Exarch to gain revenge. He wouldn’t need to adventure with these other people any longer, who so often seem to actually avoid battle! The teachings of Master Gogi came back to him: “If you master only one style, your enemies will find a way to defeat that style. Only by mastering different forms will you become invincible.” And with those words repeated in his mind, Raiden works on retraining his Swordmage style to confront the next stages on his journey to ultimate mastery.
The Next Quest
There is a favor that demands some of the party’s immediate attention , but after that, the next group will have to decide on where to venture next. The quests still to be resolved are as follows:
- Use the Axe of the Dwarvish Lords to defeat Dyson, the Maul of the Titans, and the armies of the Giants. This will possibly involve organizing a war.
- Track down Azazel “the Emperor”, a Rakshasa and send his soul to the Raven Queen by properly killing him.
- Use the cleansed etherium piece to travel back in time to visit the Great Alexandren Library and find out more about the Chained God.
- Visit Aramath Teldorm in the Feywild and see how his Etherium-cleansing ritual is going.
- Tangle with the Drow to get some rewards and/or upset the delicate balance of power in Phaervorul.
- Something else entirely, like track down Paldemar, hunt the Gibbering Orb, manage your fish export business, etc.