Fate’s Chosen: the gate

Sithka takes a deep breath and focuses on the surrounding environment to keep it from breaking apart in the churning chaos of Limbo. Feeling deeply distraught about her crew and ship, she reflects for a moment until she notices the tall spirit man who occupies the dwarf’s body, pick up the wand. She glances at the fortress and then back at the dead half-orc zombie; what a mess she thinks to herself.

Naismith exits the fortress, and moves to collect Kendall’s robe of stars; he then moves toward Zombie Nong’s body, undresses it and gathers his comrade’s belongings. Royce exits the fortress and looks at Sithka with a solemn face; he casts Tongues on himself and says to her,
“We are truly sorry for your crew and ship, Sithka. We did not expect the battle with Orcus to be here. We figured we would meet him in the Abyss.”
Sithka simply nods and responds, “My duty as githzerai is to protect my home, so this invasion was less about you and more about serving my calling. Nevertheless, if you were not here, that battle would not have happened.”
Royce looks down recognizing the truth in Sithka’s words.
“Royce, the fortress is on top of the key, which I already activated so it cannot be undone. Without more githzerai, I cannot complete the task. I need to return to Shra’kt’lor for more crew and another citadel. In the meantime I will show you and Mordrock how to maintain the stabilization of this environment.”

Royce dismisses the fortress as Sithka begins to teach Royce and Mordrock how to will their minds to keep the surrounding environment intact; the feeling is familiar to them, like concentrating on a spell. However, Royce is the only one who seems to master the technique which keeps him completely focused for the next few hours. Sithka draws a circle on the ground, casts a spell, and teleports away. Mordrock and Naismith notice that pieces of the rock beyond their current location begin to break apart, separate and transform. Both look at each other, concerned how much time they have left on the ground beneath them.

Naismith spends the next few hours resting and attuning to the Ring of Mind Shielding; he thinks he may put the ring’s ability to store his soul to good use, if things go awry in the Positive plane. He stares up at Anarchocles and takes a moment to digest what stands before him and then speaks out to the hero,
“Anarchocles, I can take hold of the wand, it cannot speak to me now that I possess this ring. You do not have to endure it any more.”
Anarchocles slowly turns to Naismith and stares at him before shaking his head, “No. The wand is my burden now and I must bathe it in the Positive plane. It will stay with me until then.”

Mordrock wills Anarchocles to sit down by Naismith and share with the group how he came to be and where he was prior to this. The mighty hero acquiesces and begins to tell his story. His story of the battle between Orcus and himself, fits the legend perfectly. When he was slain, Orcus trapped his spirit in a blood ruby and tormented him for a millennia. He made Anarachocles’s spirit feel the decapitation of his head, the exposure of his skull and the attachment to the wand. Anarchocles endured the pain from the necrotic energy Orcus used to bind his skull to the wand to craft the wand of Orcus. When Orcus was defeated in the Underdark, the Prince of Undeath’s essence returned to Thanatos to begin restoration. During this time, a squad of Kelemvor’s angels attacked Orcus’s lair, pried out the blood ruby from the throne, and bound it to Mordrock; none of the squad survived but they did complete their mission. Orcus nor the wand, knew what happened to the gem until Mordrock swallowed it and set Anarchocles free.
“And when I re-appeared today, thanks to Mordrock, I felt for a second fear from Orcus as he was completely surprised by this.”
Anarchocles pauses and then says to the group, “For you to have carried the wand all that time until here, is a testament of your endurance and personal responsibility to protect the multiverse from a great evil. You as well, are legendary.”

Naismith looks away toward the body of Zombie Nong.

Royce is the first to see another githzerai citadel approach what is now just a small island surrounding the group; a fraction of the rock formation remaining since Sithka departed. Royce, who is sweating and trembling from the concentration, feels the tension in his mind subside enabling him to relax and let go; he’s confident the githzerai on the ship have it now under control. Sithka and crew float down to the area and head toward the key that is partly submerged in the ground. She nods to Royce in appreciation and motions the Drow’s Bane over to her. The githzerai arrange themselves in a circle around the key and begin to concentrate. The key lights up again, begins to alter its shape and transforms into a gateway. The gateway activates and a bright light emanates from within, to reveal the Positive plane on the other side.

Sithka informs Royce that she can hold the gate open for about a minute. Royce tells the others and they prepare to enter. Anarchocles moves first through the portal. He is instantly blinded by the plane and Mordrock instinctively holds his breath from the lack of air; Naismith and Royce follow next. The rogue uses his blindsense to detect where Anarchocles and Royce are; he senses Anarchocles is struggling to keep the wand from thrashing about. He reaches out and grabs hold of Anarchocles’s hand to reaffirm the hero’s grip. When Naismith does this, a familiar dream appears in his mind. He remembers seeing Tymora’s silhouette in a bright light reassuringly nod to the rogue; the image calms Naismith allowing him to sense where Royce is and bring him closer toward the group.

Half a minute goes by and Naismith senses the wand is full of spider cracks and small chips in the skull are beginning to break away. With everyone holding their breath, no one can verbally guide the others so Naismith keeps his hand firm on Anarchocles’s hand. A minute goes by, and the party begins to feel discombobulated from the radiant energy penetrating their entire bodies. The wand is now severely cracked throughout and maybe a few seconds more, is all they need to destroy it. Naismith remembers Sithka holding the gate open, but immediately dismisses that thought; he always believed this was going to be a one way journey anyway.

One minute, eighteen seconds go by and the wand is exploding at the same time Naismith, Royce and Mordrock feel a cosmic pull on their beings; a feeling very familiar to each of them, like being pulled back from death. The choice is Now or Never…

Royce gives into the pull.

Mordrock gives into the pull.

Naismith resists the pull.

The wand explodes in the Positive plane causing the Wand of Orcus to be eternally destroyed forever in this timeline. The legendary Drow’s Bane succeed in their destiny! Huzzah!!!

Royce sees darkness.

Mordrock sees darkness.

Naismith awakes on the banks of the river Styx, in Avernus; the first layer of Hell.