Evening on the 24th day of Barrakas.
When the session opened the party stepped through the last door of their tests to confront Paladin Genero. The door opened into a large natural cavern, with an altar on a raised platform in the center. Several tunnels lead out of the chamber, all set into the far walls.
As the characters entered the chamber, they saw Genero standing on a raised platform. Before him was an altar of stone. Plunged into that altar was The Keystone. Surrounding the platform were four snake-like demons. As the characters entered the room, Genero declared that his “Master” had commanded him to kill them. With that, the demons attacked by spitting forth a liquid that seemed to corrode flesh and steel.
During the battle with Genero, Armigero was able to stand blade to blade with his enemy. Genero’s well known battle prowess was aided by a strange suit of armor that he was wearing. The armor seemed to be composed of an inky blackness, and at the end of Genero’s arms, the armor slid off onto the Greatsword that he was wielding. When Genero’s blade swept, his strength was combined with that of the armor, and their combined blow was devastating. The Armor also seemed to leave some of its demonic essence behind, when it struck, as each blow brought a poisoning effect with it. To make things worse, each blow struck against Genero was shared with the armor itself.
The party struggled against this dual natured foe, and his speed and power allowed him to drive Armigero back several times so he could get in amongst the casters in the party. Gaius was able to teleport away from Genero’s strikes a couple of times, but Corvus was forced to take several strikes from Genero’s poisoned blade.
The team’s prospects became very dark, when Genero’s armor dragged one of his wounded allies next to the paladin, so he could use a demonic ritual to increase the potency of the poison already in a few of the party member’s bodies.
The team pressed on though. Thorn, mounted on Chomper was able to move freely about the battlefield, and used his mobility to harry and kill the snake-demons. Corvus, and Armigero focused on Genero; leaving Gaius free to help their or Thorn’s efforts as needed.
The turning point that started to bring the party victory was when they attacked Genero’s Demonic Armor rather than the paladin himself. Eventually surrounding and focusing their attacks, they were able to shatter his armor. In that weakened state, the party was able to hammer in blow after blow upon the paladin, eventually killing him.
Armigero took a moment to savor his revenge, while the rest of the party searched the room. Corvus was the one to discover the bad news. Checking the altar, Corvus was able to decipher the runes upon it, and from them he determined that the Keystone had already been activated. In fact, Corvus determined that the tests the team performed were the events that unlocked the altar, allowing the Keystone to be used in the first place. The Nine Seals had already been revealed, and were now open to being broken.
As the party considered their next course of action, a purple fog drifted out of the altar, and coalesced onto the broken paladin’s body. The body animated, and eventually hovered above the ground surrounded by the necrotic fog.
The puppeted corpse spoke with an unnatural voice, and told the party that they had not only enabled the use of the Keystone, but that, in killing Genero, they had already broken the first of those seals. The creature then launched itself at the party, and attacked them.
The animated paladin proved to be a tough opponent, as the party was fairly weakened by the tests earlier in the day, and their conflict with Genero. The creature was surrounded by a mist that weakened the party’s ability to resist its necrotic influences, and it employed this weakening to great effect. Everything about this creature seemed to echo the grave. At one point it even caught several of the party members grouped together, and blasted them with cloud that reeked of rotting corpses.
The party did their best though, and eventually surrounded the beast, and tried to keep from bunching up. The creature countered with massive blows from its cloudy arms, which brought with them the chilling feeling of death itself.
The beast was eventually able to knock Thorn unconscious, but the constant blows of radiant might that Armigero was able to bring to bear on the creature rang in to massive effect. Gathering their combined fury the party was able to eventually defeat their enemy.
The party gathered together, and left the chamber through the same door they had entered, but this time it led straight out of the temple. Once outside, the team found the Dark Elf villagers waiting for them. The elder asked them if The Keystone had been activated, and if the first Seal had been broken. When the party revealed that they had, the Dark Elf seemed relieved. Gaius and Armigero were quickly roused to anger at the elder’s reaction to the terrible news, but the Elf assured them that these things were a sign of their eventual victory, not their defeat. The elder revealed, that the breaking of the seals, and the death of The Silver Flame were inevitable, the only question was whether or not the party would be able to defeat the Adversary. Apparently the events of the day were seen as omens that the party was on the right path.
As the session closed the team was contemplating their next actions. The Dark Elves promised to escort them to Stormreach, so they could travel back to Khorvaire, but beyond that the party was not sure what their next step should be. Regardless of their possible choices, Ja’Co’Bari plotted their downfall, and the return of his demonic god.
Late Evening on the 24th day of Barrakas.