~ 15 - 20 years before present day
Weeks lead to months and months bleed into years as Digoria honed her magic and combat skills with Arthur. While she still had not learned to use a sword, she had become quite profiecient with her, now signature, sicle. The sickle’s shaft was the Banshee Ice Queen’s wuarterstaff, the blade and rear protrusion from her dragontooth dagger, and the top dressed with the owl feathers and skull found by Marin and Heley all those years ago.
The time had come, Arthur said, for the two fo them to venture to where the world blurred swamp and mountain, rock and ash. They must, he said, because he had sensed an evil presence lurking there and growing stronger day by day.
Arthur leads the journey over several days, apparently being quite familiar with the way and where they were going. The air begins to smell like death and destruction, but not like the vile rotting swaps, a streile ash and cinder fragrance. In the distance there is a castle nestled into a tall rocky face. Strangely enough, it seems as though it is in such a location where daylight never touches. Life never reaches there.
Upon arrival the gates to the castle are locked. there is some sort of open drainage system below. “There” Arthur says, “that will be our point of entry.”
Digoria leads, her Darkvision coming in handy. The burnt smell of death and smoldering debris is getting heavier, but there isn’t even the slightest sign of flames or fire. The closest thing to life is a small stream draining though these errie cotacombs. When Digoria and Arthug come to a large open cavern.
there is also a small window in the far corner which provides a subtle light to the room. Standing in the middle, as if on a stage, awaits a Vampire Spawn tapping her toe talons and examining her claws.
She introduces herself as “Phage” and says; “The master told me you would come. I only hope this will be as sporting as he promised.” Looking at Digoria, Phage says, “You? You’re the best old Arthur could bring? A piece of mountain driftwood flushed thorugh the sea and forrest…” Arthur steps forward, “Enough vile wrech!” and immediately attacks. Phage takes a heavy wound, but quickly scamplers up a wall into the shadows. Digoria is caught off guard by the the creature’s tenacity and is suprise attacked!
Arhtur lands a couple more hearty blows, but the young vampiress has immense stamina, far more than the weary (and a bit rusty) sage. A figure steps from the opposing entrance of the cavern. It is the presence Arthur has been sensing all these years; Ellion Stryfe, the Drow Mage. Arthur is a bit enamoured by Ellion’s presence which affords Phage a surprise attack. she is fierce and tenacious, but a bit clumsy and reckless. Digoria lands a Chromatic Orb square in Phage’s back, drawing her attention. Arthur prepares to fire again, but is severely wounded from a whimiscal Magic Missile from Ellion who appears to appears to be watching the two apprentices battle for enteratinment.
Digoria is evasive enough to avoid being hit frequently and knocks Phage into the pool of the stream system. Ellion intervenes with a Cloudkill attack which engulfs
even Arthur. Rather than attack his nemesis, Arthur fires a final ice storm to keep Phage in the water (thereby continuing to burn her like acid). But here is
where Arthur meets his end. Upon seeing his last breath, a furious Digoria breaks the ice restraining Phage, only to pull her from the water and fire a slew of
Magic Missiles into he face at point-blank range, causing a spray of viscera. But, a black, sulfurous smoke rises, and Phage seems to have mysitaclly escaped.
She is nowhere to be seen.
Ellion’s cloud spreads and Digoria colapses on the ground. The last thing she remembers is seeing is a smile on Ellion’s face and then the feeling of being carried in the direction of the far corner of the cavern and down a long corridor.
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