Journey to Fate’s doorstep: 21st of Marpenoth (month 10), Trades Ward

It had been a long day among the graves of the city, and it had been full dark before Mordrock- sore and nigh-frozen – had made his way back to his rooms. Once there, he’d poked the fire and suspended a large copper plate above the flames. After Dewen had brought his supper upstairs, he’d moved the plate to between the blankets and the straw pallet in his sleeping alcove. He decided he was too tired for dinner, choosing to portion out some of the fish to Skeet and go to bed. The other cats would simply have to wait until morning.

He’d dropped his outer clothes where he stood, but kept on shirt and leggings. Even with the bedwarmer it would be a cold night. Frost blooms would creep up his window by midnight, and by morning the water in the ewer would be be covered with ice.

About an hour later, Mordrock tosses and turns in his sleep. He seems to awaken, takes a deep breath and turns onto his side, before he falls back into a slumber. 

A dream gradually takes over his senses and transitions him into a ghastly abyssal scene where he floats over a horrid wasteland. The scent of rot and decay fills his nostrils. Above him, a sickly shade of green illuminates the sky. 

A fierce wind from the South propels Mordrock forward, pushing him at an unbearable pace. He glances South to witness a great host of angels, flying at break-neck speed. They fly past him, sweeping him up as they move northward. Their destination: a castle on the horizon. 

The angels fly over a river red as blood, which leads them to the castle’s doorstep. Mordrock watches as the castle comes into view. It is enormous and appears to be made of bone and sinew. The area surrounding the castle is filled with throngs of undead; loud, ghastly cries rise from their decaying forms as they shamble and stumble in maddened patterns. 

The angels pierce through windows into the castle’s interior carrying Mordrock with them. Crossing the windowed threshold he begins to convulse at first site of the interior walls made of putrid flesh oozing pus and floors of humanoid hair matted with blood, crushed bone and ichor. 

The dream pivots and Mordrock is no longer flying but stands on solid ground. All around him, battle rages. Vast angelic hosts engage hordes of undead demons in a fray that stretches as far as he can see. A squad of angels with golden tridents darts past him, he catches a glimpse of Kelemvor’s symbol tattooed across their backs. 

The angels with golden tridents close in on an undead titan thundering through the battlefield and hastily fell the creature. As it falls, screeching, it reaches out with broken claws and snags several of the angels, pulling them to their doom alongside its dying body. The fighting tangle crashes onto sharp rocks with a horrible, earth-shattering sound. A dozen rivulets of demonic and angelic ichor mingle and run down the rock face.

The dream pivots again. Mordrock is back in the castle, somewhere in the shadows of a huge chamber that smells rancid with undeath. In the center of this chamber sits a large throne made of bone; dark gems outline the arms, back and legs. 

Seven angels fly into the chamber and surround the throne, searching frantically. In seconds, they locate a pulsating gem and force it out of its socket. A black cloud erupts from the empty socket engulfing five of the angels; seconds later, they turn to dust as the gem tumbles toward the floor. 

The sixth angel snatches the gem before it hits the floor; in the angel’s grasp, the gem unleashes a curse that washes over the angel. Gripped by panic, it throws the gem to its last remaining ally before it screams and tears at its skin. From inside the angel’s body a violent figure erupts– an undead balor, roaring in mad rage as it crawls out of the angelic husk and lunges toward the remaining angel. A wave of hopelessness washes over Mordrock as he realizes the angel is no match against the balor. The angel knows it too. Still clutching desperately to the gem it frantically looks around the chamber. When it locks eyes with Mordrock, it sends a jolt of radiant energy down Mordrock’s spine. 

With an inarticulate roar, Mordrock jumps up. Tangled in his sheets and hampered by the low ceiling of his sleeping alcove, he stumbles, half catches himself and smashes into a shelf on the wall. Several glass specimen jars shatter on the floor. He swears, then stands bent over, panting. He’s had nightmares before, but not like this. Nothing remotely like this.

Thunder cracks in the small room and Mordrock flings himself around. A portal opens, obscuring his bed. From inside, a grievously injured angel lunges forward. With a final burst of strength, it fixates on Mordrock. Inside his head, he hears an angelic voice, short and breathy with exhaustion. “Guard this with your life…Until the time is right… To free it…We all…Have sacrificed our lives for this… Keep it safe…Mordrock of Kelemvor.” 

With those words, the gem disappears from the dying angel’s hand.  A weight pulls on Mordrock’s neck as the gem appears there, suspended from a thin chain. Mordrock begins to form a thought, tries to speak. Then, a huge, clawed hand reaches through the portal and crushes the angel’s head. Angelic ichor sprays out from between the monstrous claws across the room as the portal closes. 

Clutching at the gem around his neck, Mordrock stares wild-eyed at the messy pile of blankets where the portal was. Only after several seconds does he blink and realize he’s standing in a puddle of embalming fluid and ichor, surrounded by chunks of flesh, pieces of skin and the well-preserved body of a large, two-headed kitten.