Fate’s Chosen: the Worm that Walks

Standing inside the platform, Naismith is the first to attack the oncoming masses of worms. He fires an arrow that pierces one of them, then steps back and vanishes into the shadows. Talina steps outside the doors onto the undulating floor of worms; she grimaces with every step, slogging through who knows what. She moves into position, focuses her casting and unleashes a cone of prismatic colors that impacts several spawn and rot grubs; some easily parish while others are held in place. Nong takes off running through the room en route to engage; along the way he vanishes into thin air. The Drow’s Bane offensive is flawless with a very strong opening. Royce casts Dawn and Mordrock casts Flame Strike; together they neutralize the rot grubs before they can even advance. However, a few swarms of Kyuss do manage to reach the party.

The chanting of the remaining swarms of Kyuss do not skip a beat and cause the Writhing Battery to spider crack across its crystalline surface. Unfortunately, the power of the Dawn spell also envelopes the prison with radiant damage, enough to cause a humongous wormy hand to break through the cracks. The sight empowers the chanting to increase in volume as the swarm senses their god is close to freedom.

Nong makes his way toward the chanting and easily attacks while no one can see him; he catches Zabrok looking around, sensing someone is nearby. When the spawns of Kyuss reach the party, they vomit more rot grubs onto Talina, Mordrock and Royce. The party is quick to zap the rot grubs to death, but the spawn of Kyuss manage to fling worms onto the party. Talina feels once again, something crawling up her skin and burrowing into her flesh. Royce is quick with a cast of Greater Restoration in response, and kills the burrowing worms.

The party hears a large crack from the Writhing Battery and now sees a huge arm breaks free. The undulating arm of worms pummels the ground near the chanters, making direct contact with the invisible Nong. When Nong comes to his senses he attacks the arm and quickly moves away, but the arm is too fast and pummels him before the monk can escape.

Talina, Naismith, Royce and Mordrock manage to take down the surrounding swarms and rot grubs, only to watch the arm point to the corpses and raise up new swarms. Royce manages to maintain his concentration on the Dawn spell that sears radiant damage into the chanters, the nearby swarms and the prison. In response, another loud crack is heard as a humongous head of moving worms and two hollow eyes, emerges. With the last of the chanting completed, Kyuss the worm that walks, breaks free. His visage is so grotesque that any other party would be instantly frightened of this great monstrosity. Thanks to last night’s Heroes Feast, the party is unaffected.

With each step, the ground beneath Kyuss trembles as he fast approaches the party; he stands twenty feet tall and he’s not alone. All of the chanters and new piles of rot grubs are en route behind him, hungry to join in on the fun. The massive head of Kyuss focuses on Royce as his first target; he raises his arm and smashes into the cleric. With that impact, Royce barely holds onto his concentration of the Dawn spell; he also feels tiny things begin to crawl over his flesh and burrow. Another swing and Royce’s concentration is gone. The bright light of dawn fades away, as darkness moves in to take its place. The Drow’s Bane continue to feel the god’s wrath leaving only Naismith without tiny visitors. Fortunately, Nong is immune to necrotic damage while he holds the wand of Orcus, preventing the multitude of his tiny visitors from killing him.

Talina is the first to succumb to worms. When Nong sees this he screams out, “Now is the time to break the rings?!?!” Naismith hears this, closes his eyes and acknowledges reality,
“Royce we need to break the rings now! We won’t survive without help!!”
“No! I will not break the ring and surrender my soul. I am ready to die and accept Tempus to carry me home!”

Royce is next to succumb to the burrowing. Mordrock is quick to cast a Mass Healing Word in response, before he succumbs to the same. Royce’s eyes open and before he can call out to Tempus, the worms burrow into him further causing him to close his eyes once again.

Nong breaks his ring and hopes for the best. Two swarms have now engaged with Naismith who is able to dodge the worms flung in his direction. The voice of JimJar enters his mind reminding Naismith to not overlook friends in his darkest hour. Naismith surrenders to the inevitable, “I knew I always would be damned in this life,” and breaks his ring. He turns his attention towards the downed clerics and dashes for their bodies.

Meanwhile, Nong is striking Kyuss with all of his might. He knows a stunning strike is pointless against the god and so he channels his ki into additional blows. Kyuss responds with signficant damage to Nong, who realizes he does not have much runway left in this fight. “Naismith, do something quick!!”

The determined rogue manages to dart next to Mordrock and Royce. Without giving it much thought, he slices off each of their ring fingers and breaks both rings. Even with all of the adrenaline rushing through his body, Naismith still feels the pain of Glasya’s copper scourge branding, upon his left inner arm. He looks up to see crimson red portals open up behind Kyuss, at the same time he feels little visitors crawling up his skin.

Emerging from the portals, two huge armored diabolic vehicles move out; both with large cannons and a hideous face carved into the front of each. Behind them, a large horned devil flies out followed by two other devils, amnizus, one holding flasks in its hand. The hellfire engines are the first to unleash their cannons, hitting Kyuss and his minions. Nong hears the cannons and immediately sees spawns and rot grubs surrounding him explode from the impact. The horned devil, attacks Kyuss from the air, striking the god with his forked spear followed by a tail swing. The aminzu holding flasks flies toward the downed clerics as the other holds his position and unleashes a fireball. Zabrok who has been taunting Nong from the air is in direct line of fire of the cannons and fireball spell. The deluge of damage tears the cambion apart as his broken body falls to the ground. Nong catches sight of this and spits in his direction before being pummeled by Kyuss. The god’s hit drops Nong to his knees; he spits out blood, channels his orcish ancestry and stands up once again, though barely alive.

The amnizu arrives at the cleric bodies and feeds them potions in between fighting the two spawn of Kyuss that took Naismith down. Unfortunately, these potions are meant to terminate the burrowing rot grubs, not heal them from unconsciousness. The impact of the diabolic firepower is enough to steer Kyuss away from the party towards the devils. Kyuss engages with the hellfire engines and pummels them but the engines are tough and stand their ground. Kyuss manages to kill the horned devil at the same time the amnizus unleash mighty attacks on him. What’s left of the battlefield is Nong, Kyuss, and the remaining devils; all of the spawns and rot grubs are destroyed by cannon fire.

As the tides of battle turn toward the party’s favor, the cleric of Kelemvor breathes his last breadth and quietly dies. Royce, Talina and Naismith are unconscious but manage to stabilize.

Nong can sense the life force of the god is fading and he musters all of his remaining strength to strike the god down, except he is unable to. It is the hellfire cannons who provide the killing blow to Kyuss. As the cannon fire tears into the god, large chunks of the wormed body fly off. No longer able to stay standing, the remains of the worm the walks, plummets to the ground.

The smell of brimstone and burnt putrid flesh fills the chamber along with an eerie silence. Nong who is breathing very heavy, looks up and sees the aminzus inspect the carnage for any lingering threats. An aminizu flies toward Nong and says, “Our business is done here. You can handle the rest.”

Crimson portals open up and the engines move into them. As the amnizus fly past Nong toward the portals, one says to him, “Mordrock must live no matter what the cost.”