Upstarts in Felac'Delb

Session 3

You Will Submit to My Test

The group stood in the channel, facing down the mysterious keeper. The Archon spoke up first, inquiring what Hilal was and by how she could help to “ensure the proper use of the channel”. Hilal explained she was a Felac’Dora whose body and soul had been recalled to this plane once the the gods saw how the channel was used as “a child bumbles around with laboratory devices” in The Uprising against The Orcs eighty years ago. Hilal was one of the builders of the channel, so her intimate knowledge of its capabilities and correct use were unquestionable. The archon made some sort of attempt to invade her mind to determine the truth, but he was noticeably rebuffed. The keeper said to the four cohorts (Alphonse Hayek, Arcturus Thrayne, Ironbeard, and Ollin Gualimozin) that if they wished to use her property (the runes), they would have to pass her test. The Archon made a feeble “or what?” jab, and she pulled the bag of runes from his grasp, despite his attempts to magically deflect her. They seemed to have little choice, though everyone was certain in their abilities, so the test proceeded upon consent.
The four lost consciousness, and woke suddenly in a large amphitheater. They stood at the bottom, and in front of them was a desk of stone with a large bone chair behind it. The room was mainly stone, with bone decorations and red curtains that hung from the ceiling. Out of nowhere, a crowd appeared to occupy the seating. They gibbered and squawked, and Alphonse and Ironbeard were quick to recognize them as imps. Just as they turned to face the mass of tiny devils, a thundering voice addressed them from behind. A devil that would dwarf even the tallest of orcs sat menacingly in the bone chair and declared that he would administer their judgement. He told the four to give him their names, and they did so. The judge/devil was displeased with Ollin’s quiet voice, and demanded that he restate, this time with more conviction.
The devil looked over them and called Ironbeard forward. The devil proceeded to accuse him of being a bad father, a completely unexcusable crime. Leaving a dead wife and a lonely daughter for the excitement of travel was selfish and cruel. Ironbeard said that without his business, then his family would be not only suffering from the loss of Ironbeard’s wife, but also in poverty. A burst of flame appeared next to the devil, and from it emerged Ironbeard’s daughter, who joined in the accusations. It was too much, and Ironbeard was overwhelmed and left to ponder his “misdeeds”.
Next up was Ollin, who the devil declared a heartless murderer. Ollin stated that he knew what he had been, and that he was making amends, and felt guilty. The devil agreed, and proceeded without mercy. The first “witness” that was called to the stand was the first man Ollin had ever killed: a baker from his home slum in Nith. Ollin had killed him to be accepted into a gang in his early days, and here was to taunt him. Ollin fought (verbally) valiantly, and caused the man to get so flustered that he disappeared in a gout of flame. Another witness, Ollin’s first contact in The Combine, appeared to join the accusations. The elf called him a traitor to the core, and Ollin would not back down. He continued to argue with them, taking to heart how much of his past he had screwed up. He decided to end the conversation with a shred of dignity, and let the devil move on the next offender.
Arcturus was called, and accused of being selfish and hypocritical in his worship of Lamder. The devil summoned one of the girls that was a slave with him under Zonam Damshred, and they accused him of being selfish when he had the choice. He gave examples of the times he’s gone out of his way to help other slaves escape, and the devil countered with accusing him of betraying his god. It hit Arcturus hard, who thought about it, agreed, and tore off his Lamderi neckalce and shoved it in his pocket. The rest of the conversation was a struggle to maintain dignity.
Alphonse, was last, and he gave the devil what he had coming. Though the devil had gone three for three so far, he had taken a bit of heat himself. Alphonse gave the devil his own special blend of silver-tongued bullshit and the devil had a hard time taking it. By now, Alphonse had determined that the people being “summoned” were illusory and under the devil’s control. When the devil summoned his mother, Alphonse played a little, then unmade the illusion with his own magic, all the while deflecting attacks on the quality of his character with skill. The devil got so flustered that he declared the trial over, and that worthiness would be decided through other means.
The courtroom faded out, and they found themselves in a burned forest with a village nearby. This was certainly an illusion, but the source was unknown. They could see armed devils and imps moving about the burned/burning down village, and they moved on them. Once they were within range, they sprung. Ollin and Ironbeard dealt with some of the devils while Arcturus and Alphonse engaged the imps. Alphonse took a blow to the head, but kept going. Meanwhile, the imps were going down like flies, and the judge devil had appeared on scene wielding a blade made of fire. The rest of the infernal minions gathered on him and they engaged the nearest target: Ollin.
Almost immediately a dragon flew overhead and set the melee area ablaze. The Devil took the opportunity to swing at Ollin, and dealt him a terrible blade and burn wound. Upon seeing the dragon, Arcturus called upon his bit of magic and communicated with the beast. It was intrigued and left the fight to investigate Arcturus. Ollin was nearly down, but Ironbeard called upon his training in healing magic to deal with the worst of Ollin’s injuries. By now only the judge and the dragon remained, and Alphonse moved in to assist with the judge. With a well-placed blast of telekinetic force, he knocked the fire blade from the big devil’s hand, which Ollin snatched out of the air to deliver a perfect killing blow. The illusion shattered and all four of them awoke on tables of stone in the central room in the channel. They had survived.
Hilal stood over them, and told them they had proven their mettle, and they had been rewarded. Each one of the four had glowing patterns tattooed into their chests, the permanent after-effect of rune implantation. They smiled, and the archon explained what he had seen. According to him, they consented to the trial and all lost consciousness. Hilal took them into the central channel chamber (transporting them by moving the earth underneath them) and waited for a minute or so for no apparent reason. Afterwards she took out four runes and performed some kind of activation ritual on the channel. When it was complete, the runes were placed on their chests, and great waves of magic flowed into them, which seemed to disolve them into each man. The whole thing took five minutes tops. The four told a very different story. The archon was confused and impressed. He also told them that he had more business to take care of with Hilal, and that in the mean time they would take orders from General Saren. And also, congratulations.



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