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Dark Angels

The brief, wonderous death of Theren Brightwood

The world spun, dropping away from Uthrid, Rudy, Theren and Nim. For an instant they fell, and the memory of stability, of reality, was only a fading dream. Then the vertigo stopped, without even giving them time to stumble. They found themselves standing on solid ground “somewhere else”. Although they stood inside a structure, the dimensions of the chamber were difficult to determine because hundreds, perhaps thousands, of humanoid bones jutted from its marble walls. Skulls and femurs, fingers and hands, and spines and ribs were intertwined and set into the walls, forming a rough surface of repulsive complexity. Then they heard the echoes of screams reverberating off the walls; of the originating sounds, they could make out nothing at all.

A pall of despair and the agony of loss flooded through them. Before their eyes passed the faces of every friend and loved one each of them had ever lost, and a part of them wanted to add their screams to the echoes to give voice to their own torment. The sounds and visions soon faded, but they left behind a lingering gloom in the adventurer’s souls.

A robed and crowned statue also resided in the room. The marble statue was slightly larger than a broad-shouldered human. The face had long since been chisled away. Many of the wall bones appeared to be pointing in its direction. Elf-sized footprints, which had been carved into the floor, led into the chamber from an opening in the western wall and ended next to the eastern wall behind the statue.

Though Nim had no idea how it happened, he was sure they were no longer in the Feywild. He believed they had made a planar transition, but that knowledge didn’t tell him when they had ended up. The general maisma of despair put him briefly in mind of the Shadowfell, but even that didn’t feel right. They were…somewhere darker.

Around the eastern side of the statue, Uthrid saw a dark winged humanoid figure floating silently with a scythe in its hands. He warned the others and they attacked. The BUSA delivered a heavy amount of damage the first round. Uthrid marked the creature with a combat challenge. Theren struck the creature with an arrow and shifted around the statue to stand by the north western wall by the opening in the western wall. Nim lashed out and stood back toward the opening while Theren unleashed another arrow behind Nim’s attack. Rudy engaged next to Uthrid. A necrotic burst, fingers of death, erupted from the dark angel, testing the fortitude of Uthrid, Rudy and Theren. The creature marked Uthrid with the Mark of Death before this attack and was granted combat advantage over him.

The BUSA were not so lucky with their next rounds of attacks. Uthrid and Rudy held their ground and felt a touch of death as the room drained life from them. There was a Maisma of Death permeating the room – a spiritual chill which left them vulnerable to necrotic damage and caused necrotic damage when the adventurers failed to move around. The angel reaped Uthrid and Rudy with its scythe and another dark angel attacked from the opening behind Nim. It struck the gnome and bore down on Theren. Theren tried to shift away and found that his close proximity to the bone-jutting wall prevented him from doing so. He was hit and marked for death by the new angel.

Soon, Theren found himself marked by both angels. The angels moved slwly between the adventures making scythe attacks against two opponents each round without provoking opportunity attacks. Those with the Mark of Death were dealt additional damage from the scythe attacks. When the adventurers were engaged by an angel they had to choose between holding their ground and taking necrotic damage from the maisma of death or moving away and provoking opportunity attacks. All the BUSA were wounded but Theren was hurt the most. He tried to shift away and fire at one of the angels but as he shifted the angel’s scythe attack knocked him unconscious. The other adventurers killed the dark angel and it exploded with Death’s release with a burst of necrotic energy. They surrounded the other angel who floated by the statue and it disappeared. They ran to Theren but he was beyond their aid. By lying prone he had been subjected to the necrotic damage caused by the maisma of death and he had perished.

They dragged Theren from the cavernous room out the opening in the western wall. Outside the cavern they were releived of the maisma of death. They were in a narrow passage of marble walls that were rough and wrn by weather and age. A door was in the northern end of the passage and to the south, 30 feet away the passage turned west and widened with another door in the southern wall. Uthrid went south down the hall and the remaining dark angel rounded the corner and attacked. There were several rounds of attacks exchanged between the angel and the remaining BUSA and finally the dark angel was slain. The burst of necrotic energy from it’s Death release knocked the party prone and nearly knocked Uthrid unconscious.

They gt t their feet and dragged Theren t the door at the northern end of the passage. No lock r traps were detected n the door so Uthrid opened it. Behind the door was a bright light. The party entered the light and found themselves back in the Feywild.

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