Mild gore warning, nothing too graphic if I could avoid it.
The following story is based upon the DnD adventures of @Racie02, @Marendex_T17, @Political_Slime, @DarkTakanuva, @BeefJStag, someone who doesn’t have a boards account that I know of (I’ll call him TB), and their DM, @Middlefingerstudios. It was transcribed by me, with help from Racie. Any inaccuracies are due to her memory or creative liberties I took to make things more epic.
Jeszin Neir = Racie02
Mef Darr = Political_Slime
Stagro = BeefJStag
Wilford = DarkTakanuva
Dromon = Marendex_T17
Tiwin Beewin = TB
There have also been other players who have left.
Also, this is in the literature category and not the DnD topic because it is also a story.
With all that out of the way, let’s get to it
His name alone inspired fear throughout the kingdom. An extremely powerful dragonborn sorcerer, his reign of tyranny had shadowed the continent of Bralphry for years. Then, the resistance had started. Led by the Swords of Slada, the rebels had fought back against the Ghermesh Monarchy, and now, finally, they were ready to storm the capital city and take down Paxon once and for all.
Among the Swords of Slada was a group known as the “Quentiam Coetus”. Initially a mercenary group hired by the Swords, the Quentiam Coetus had risen in fame and notoriety as they took out innumerable enemies, and had gained the attention of Paxon himself. The first time that the Quentiam Coetus came face-to-face with Paxon, he had thrown meteors down at them, destroying an entire village in an attempt to eradicate them. He very nearly succeeded.
But the second time they had seen him, he came to them in the woods with an offer. He wanted the Quentiam Coetus to join him. They had turned him down, of course, but they learned something very valuable…
Paxon was afraid of them.
The Quentiam Coetus always had been… unorthodox in their ideas. On the eve of the big battle, they came up with the plan to use parachutes to dive-bomb the city from above, with help from one of their dragon allies. Forging makeshift parachutes from tents and other stuff they found from the camp, they went through with their crazy plan. And it had actually worked – they had landed on the roof of the castle, then proceeded to smash through the cieling, falling into the throne room. And then… they heard the voice of Paxon himself and turned around to see him seated on his throne. An elven woman who they did not recognize was by his side.
Dromon – a massive warforged paladin who has been around since the beginning of the Ghermesh Monarchy’s reign.
Jeszin Neir – a battle-crazy half-elf barbarian woman with magic gauntlets that gave her ridiculous strength.
Mef Darr – a slightly mad dwarven ranger with a powerful magic bow and a penchant for collecting everything he finds.
Stagro Wallaburra – a wild and unpredictable tiefling bard with a penchant for screaming at enemies and allies alike in combat.
Tiwin Beewin – a clever goblin archer who had once served under Paxon, until he got blamed for a battle that went sideways.
Wilford Dracosmith – a dragonborn sorcerer with some pretty powerful spells.
Others members had joined and left the group, but these six now stood before their ultimate enemy. While the Swords of Slada took on Paxon’s army outside, the Quentiam Coetus confronted Paxon. It was time to end this.
Tiwin was the first to react.
For a moment, when everyone came face to face, they stood there staring at each other. It was as if they were sizing up their opponent, preparing for the battle. But Tiwin wasn’t one for thinking before attacking: he just attacked. Raising his bow, he recalled a bet he had made with Mef Darr about who would be the first to shoot Paxon in the leg. Tiwin’s arrow flew through the air, before anyone knew what was going on, and impaled Paxon solidly in his shin. Paxon grunted in pain. Interestingly, the elf woman at his side also winced in pain, shifting her leg slightly.
As if Tiwin’s attack was a signal, the battle began. Paxon stood up and began to rise slowly into the air. The elf moved towards the attackers, magic crackling at her fingertips. The Quentiam Coetus drew their weapons. Tiwin scurried to the side, hoping to get away from the others. Bunched up as they were, Paxon could hit them all with one spell.
Jeszin already knew what her first attack had to be. Paxon was the most powerful enemy that she and her friends had ever faced. Well, possibly excluding the demon that they had run away from. If they were to have any hope of defeating him, they needed to throw all of their most powerful attacks at him. Jeszin’s hand went to the lightning javelin, and she threw it at Paxon. As soon as it hit, a bolt of lighting formed in the javelin’s path, slamming into Paxon.
This time, the elf woman staggered for a moment as if struck by a rock, and Jeszin could see burn marks on the base of her neck. Somehow, the elf woman was taking the same injuries as Paxon. No, even worse: Paxon’s chest remained mostly unburned. The elf woman was taking the damage instead of Paxon.
Well, there was only one thing to do then. Jeszin drew another javelin, aimed it at the elf… and hesitated. Was this a loyal ally of Paxon’s, willing to lay down her life for him? Or was she an innocent, who he was forcing to act as his shield?
Suddenly, the room darkened. Purple energy began to swirl around, glass shards began to fly from the windows towards Mef Darr, Wilford, and Stagro, and claws began to emerge from the floor. Of course Paxon had enchanted his throne room to attack intruders.
Wilford had yet to notice the damage spell connecting Paxon to the elf woman. All he knew was that the woman was coming towards them, magic energy in her hands. Maneuvering to get her in line with Paxon, Wilford threw a bolt of chain lightning, blasting them both.
Paxon retaliated, unleashing a cone of ice energy at them. The temperature in the room dropped as a blizzard raged, ice shards flying through the air, bombarding the crew. Jeszin tried to throw her javelin, but the attack missed completely, the javelin impaling one of the windows. Only Tiwin managed to narrowly dodge the ice attack.
Knew it was a good idea to spread out, he thought to himself, scurrying toward the pillars.
Mef Darr stumbled out of the blizzard, nearly falling to his knees. He glanced at Paxon. I know I’m one of the weakest of the group, but… one attack from Paxon, and it nearly took me down. Can we really beat this guy?
Then he heard Stagro’s voice over the raging storm. “Is that all you’ve got? Throwing snowballs at us, like some pathetic child? I’ve fought animals with better attacks than that!”
Somehow, Stagro’s words rejuvenated Mef Darr. They would win. Mef could not think of victory as anything other than an inevitable reality. He pulled himself behind one of the pillars, taking cover, and notched an arrow.
Paxon’s hands glowed, ready for another attack, but this time, Stagro was ready. Faster than the eye could follow, Stagro’s hands blasted a counterspell, stopping Paxon in his tracks. Then Stagro threw down a stone, a glyph carved into its surface, and a field of energy flew up, surrounding him and Wilford, cutting them off from the storm and rejuvenating them.
Dromon, meanwhile, was the least affected by the blizzard. Having seen Mef Darr stumble weakly out of the blizzard. Dromon raised his staff, and a beam of energy flew out of it, enveloping Mef Darr. The dwarf felt his strength return, his wounds heal. Dromon, meanwhile, moved into the safety of Stagro’s shield.
Jeszin slammed her fists together, and her gauntlets glowed as she suddenly grew in size. For a moment, the storm dissipated around her. Seeing this, the elf turned to face her. She had heard about this barbarian, and she knew of her unrivaled strength. This barbarian had to be taken out of the fight. She raised her hands… and a counterspell from Stagro cut off her spell before it could fire. Growling, she unleashed another spell, this one hitting home. Jeszin’s muscles froze up, paralyzing her.
By now, the claws coming out of the floor had been joined by the rest of their forms, and three skeletons marched toward the crew. One of them caught Mef Darr by surprise, its claws raking against his arm. Another charged toward the frozen Jeszin. The third ran toward Stagro and Wilford.
Mef Darr grunted and pushed the skeleton away, and fired his arrow at the elf woman. Before it had even struck home, he loaded and fired another shot, this time at Paxon. As the arrows flew, energy crackled around them, and the first slammed into its target, blasting the elf and causing her to drop the paralysis spell on Jeszin. Paxon was too fast, however, and batted the arrow aside.
Wilford stepped out of the energy field and glared at the elf. A wall of fire blazed between him and the elf. The skeleton, as brainless as skeletons usually are, ran right into the wall and was incinerated.
Jeszin grumbled as the wall of fire cut her off from her enemy. Then she felt something brush against her armor, and turned to see the skeleton waving its claws at her. Skeletons. She could have laughed. A long time ago, these might have been a threat, but now? One swing from her axe shattered the skeleton. A second destroyed the skeleton attacking Mef Darr. All of the skeletons were gone for now, but more claws were already coming up from the floor.
Then, Paxon flew over the wall, unleashing a wave of energy. Stagro’s energy field shattered, the wall of fire fell, the combatants winced in pain.
Stagro glanced at Wilford and nodded, a silent plan between them. Stagro launched a spell at Paxon, trying to bring him down. This time, it was Paxon who cast a counterspell, and Stagro’s spell fizzled out… but this attack was only a distraction. Wilford unleashed another bolt of chain lightning, hitting the elf woman. She screamed, then fell to the floor, lifeless. A shimmer of energy arced from her body to Paxon, and the spell that was redirecting his injuries to her fell with her death.
Paxon growled. Fine; if they wanted to take out his allies, he would take out theirs. A bolt of power flew toward Jeszin… and she disappeared.
Jeszin found herself in a darkened hallway. She began running, but every turn led to just more hallways. A maze, she realized.
Back in the throne room, Dromon had had enough. Paxon was flying way out of reach, batting aside arrows and shrugging off spells. It was time to bring him down a notch. Literally.
Dromon ran toward Paxon, his legs shimmering with magic, and he jumped, his magic-enhanced jump bringing him nearly equal with Paxon. At the apex of his leap, Dromon unleashed a blast of lightning that hooked onto Paxon and pulled him down, zapping him at the same time. Somehow, Dromon managed to grab onto Paxon’s legs, weighing the king down.
As Dromon enacted this crazy stunt, he heard a yell from Stagro. He couldn’t tell what Stagro had said, but he suddenly felt the need to emulate his screaming partner. And so, as his lightning hook pulled Paxon down, he decided to give this attack a name, calling out the first thing to come to his mind:
“LIGHTNING DEATH DRIVER!!!”
Stagro saw an opportunity. As Paxon dropped out of the sky, he came in range, and Stagro unleashed a spell, causing Paxon’s own magic to falter. Jeszin reappeared on the battlefield.
Paxon had reached his limit with this tiefling. He raised his hand, his finger pointed at Stagro. “No more shall you hold me back, tiefling!” he yelled, unleashing a bolt of pure black power.
As the combatants watched in horror, the power blast arced through the air and hit Stagro. He screamed in pain as his life force was pulled out of him, arcing back to Paxon. It only lasted an instant; when it fell, Paxon was grinning, his strength partially restored, and Stagro fell to the floor.
Stagro Wallaburra was dead.
Tiwin let loose an incomprehensible cry and ran toward Jeszin, unleashing arrow after arrow at Paxon. Caught off guard for a moment, Paxon was struck by a few of the arrows before he could react. When Tiwin reached Jeszin, he sheathed his bow, grabbed his dagger, and muttered two words:
Jeszin reached down and scooped up the little goblin. In her enlarged form, the goblin was barely larger than her hand. She tossed the little guy towards Paxon, a little lower than she had hoped… but Tiwin still managed to grab onto Paxon’s tail. Scampering up the dragonborn king’s back, Tiwin pulled a chain out of his bag and hooked it around Paxon’s neck. Then he began to stab at Paxon’s right eye.
Paxon, now finding himself grappled by two enemies, threw up a shield around himself, slowing down Tiwin’s attacks and lessening their effect.
Mef Darr dropped his bow and ran to Stagro’s body, hoping that his friend was just unconscious… but he could tell that wasn’t the case. With a cry that seemed like half anguish, half rage, he unleashed an arrow from his bow. This time, the magic around it swirled faster than before, and when it struck home, Paxon cried out in pain.
Paxon was still just out of Jeszin’s reach, and she wasn’t quite sure what to do next. Then she felt another skeleton flash its claws against her armor. For a moment, she wasn’t sure what to do: waste an attack on the stupid skeleton, or try to jump at Paxon, and possibly fail? Then an idea struck her. Before common sense could stop her, she reached back, grabbed the skeleton, and threw it at Paxon.
Paxon had seen many things in his life. He had seen the Quentiam Coetus do some pretty crazy stuff. But he’d never had anyone throw a skeleton at him before. The skeleton did very little damage by itself, but Paxon, momentarily, was stunned by the unorthodox attack.
Somewhere, somehow, Jeszin could feel the gods laughing.
Dromon took advantage of Paxon’s distraction. Pulling himself up, he grabbed onto Paxon’s shoulders and unleashed a blast of force, pushing the king downward. Dromon slammed to the floor, but Jeszin grabbed him and hoisted him up to Paxon’s height. He blasted Paxon a few more times. Then Jeszin dropped her partner, grabbed her axe with both hands, and cried out:
Was it Tiwin’s imagination, or did Jeszin’s gauntlets glow? He couldn’t be sure. What he was sure of was that he’d never seen such strength. Jeszin’s axe slammed into Paxon’s chest and came out the other side, cleaving right through him. The king’s body fell. Somehow, he still managed to raise his arm. Tiwin leapt off his head and jammed his dagger into the hand. He needn’t have bothered anyway; the arm fell, and Paxon didn’t move again.
Tiwin wasn’t done. Taking his dagger out, he cut out Paxon’s left eye and tossed it to Jeszin; she grabbed it out of the air and dropped it into her bag. Then Tiwin began to hack at the dead king’s neck, trying to cut off his head.
Jeszin grinned wryly at the crazy goblin. Then her smile faded as she turned to Stagro. Wilford, Mef Darr, and Dromon were already gathered around Stagro’s body.
“There… there has to be something we can do,” Mef Darr muttered. “Some way to bring him back.”
No one spoke for a moment. Finally, Dromon’s voice cut the silence.
“There may be a way.”
The throne room doors slammed open. Xanros, the leader of the rebellion, stormed in. Beside him stood his general, the blue dragonborn general Rasrinn. Behind them was a crew of troops. All of them were battle-ragged, but ready for one more fight.
“Your reign of terror is over–”
Tiwin was seated on the throne, his legs casually draped on the armrest. Somehow, there wasn’t a scratch on him; nothing had hit him during the battle. Paxon’s head was perched on the other armrest, his body lying on the floor. Tiwin grinned at the stunned rebels.
“What took you so long?”
Footsteps were coming up the stairs, fast. Jeszin drew her axe, ready for battle, then relaxed when she saw Rasrinn appear. Their dragonborn ally walked up to her, glanced at her sympathetically for a moment, then looked in the doorway to the bedroom.
Stagro’s body was on the bed. Dromon was sitting beside it, holding his staff, watching it intently. Mef Darr and Wilford were standing nearby, watching. Seeing Rasrinn, Mef Darr walked up to him.
“Dromon’s staff can revive Stagro,” the dwarf explained, “but he used one of the charges during the battle. It takes all five charges to bring someone back from the dead. He’ll regain the charge eventually.”
Rasrinn nodded. “I see,” was all he could manage. He stood for a moment, then turned and headed back downstairs. Tiwin came up the stairs a moment later, standing in the doorway.
It felt like forever before the staff recharged. The longer Stagro was dead, the harder it would be to bring him back, and each second felt worse. Finally, as the first ray of sunrise began to trickle through the window, the staff glowed for a moment, its full strength restored.
“Here goes,” Dromon muttered, and set to work.
The staff glowed brightly as Dromon pointed it at Stagro’s body. A large glyph appeared on the floor beneath the tiefling’s body. Three smaller glyphs appeared around it.
“We need to convince Stagro’s spirit to come back,” Dromon said. “I need three people to do whatever you think will help. An offering, a song, anything.”
Mef Darr was the first to step forward. Reaching into his hat, he pulled out a bottle. Stagro had helped the crew make these molotovs long ago, and although they’d never used them, they were a statement of his ingenuity. Wordlessly, Mef Dar placed the bottle on the glyph, and it glowed green. Mef Darr glanced at Dromon, but the warforged simply shrugged.
Jeszin came forth next, opening her bag. Paxon’s eye was resting on top. She grabbed it and placed it on the second glyph, and it lit up brown.
Dromon was the last one. He took off his cloak and rested it upon the glyph. Then he placed his crossbow on top of the cloak. Finally, he pulled a small symbol off his vest and placed it on top of the crossbow.
The glyph glowed blue.
Stagro’s body began to glow, along with all of the glyphs. There was a flash of light, and then it all disappeared – the glow, the glyphs, leaving the items that the crew had left and Stagro’s body.
For a moment, nothing happened.
Jeszin crossed her fingers. Mef Darr slowly leaned forward. Dromon stood completely still. Wilford anxiously shivered. Tiwin took an involuntary step forward.
Then Stagro began to breath.