Is this The Way?
At the raise of a hand,
We’ll drop to one knee;
Give way does all, even the land
Crumbles beneath our feet; we plea
The Will of the Valar, not yet do we understand
As Last Light on Freedom’s Eve passed away into a blend of shadow and vibrance, so too do the hearts of our Adventurers explode in a radiant light of courage and daring. Emboldened by the ferocity of GeraldK, The Ender and his triumph in The Dungeon of the Ark of the Valar, all the lands are scoured by the guildlings in the quest for similar glory as they race to be Hero of All-Realms; Yet, one does not choose to venture into the dungeons of Tol Eressëa. Tol Eressëa chooses only the finest in the lands to open her secrets to.
One such secret found its way to the feet of ones known as: Chilljackson, Darkness, and Jojimbu. For while the rest of Tol Eressëa found its way at each other’s throats for Influence, these 3 pious folk put their faith fully in their deities and blessed The Keepers of the Way with command over the other island guilds. The flames of their courage are stoked by Influence, and our 3 Believers - driven by a higher calling - gather together and venture to the highest peak of the tallest mountain in all of Tol Eressëa. Atop the Peak of Thangorodrim, beaten by the bitter cold, our 3 Believers stumble upon a small crevice in the breast of the mountain. Looking only for warmth & reprieve from the icy maw of Thangorodrim our weary travelers find not what they seek. As they pass through to the innards of Thangorodrim, the glint of a jeweled light encompasses the horizon. Driven by curiosity, or perhaps something more primitive, our travelers follow the light of their new god. The wet, rigid, cold walls of the cave turn to a never-ending sea of gold and treasure, washing the walls with a prism of greed & riches.
Now, if you’ve never met the Vicar of Souls, you know two things - they’re bitter about everything, and they put The Way above all. Naturally, a leader of The Mighty and the most pious guild in Tol Eressëa, expects the same devotion from their guildlings.
Now, something you might not know about the Vicar of Souls - he has been in Tol Eressëa, some say, since Eru Ilúvatar sang the lands into creation - even out-living many of the deities he once praised. It’s only fitting that a being so ancient would have a few powerful friends, including an Elder Dragon or two.
Our adventurers charge heedlessly into the shimmer of greed that fills the mountain. Leaving behind their arms, senses, and Faith - a sudden awakening of rage and destruction gives way beneath their feet, as if the mountain begins to devour itself. Where once they stared into the eyes of wealth, they now stare into the ruby eyes of Velomachus Lorehold. Glazed portals for the rage & disappointment of The Vicar of Souls.
With every flail of his mighty tail, the mighty dragon breaks away the land beneath Chilljackson’s feet. With every puff of his fiery breath, he scorches the faith of Darkness. With every slash of his talons he tears away at the armaments of Jojimbu. The battle rages on, the ancient fires of Velomachus begin to melt away the sins of our Believers. As their powers, abilities, and arms fail them one by one, our Devotees are finally stranded with a singular weapon that can win. Jojimbu is the first to yell out in prayer to his respective deity. One by one, our Believers fall back to their most awesome weapon, their faith. And their chants are answered. Our dutiful warriors begin to run on ground that is not there, to swing with weapons no mortal can wield, and pierce dragonscale for the first time.
At the height of their chants, the dreadful Velomachus is forced to retreat deeper into the gullet of the sleeping mountain; however, our Believers are once again blinded by mortal ways. Enraged in the powers their deities bestow on them, they foolishly plot their next moves with hubris. In arrogance they charge forward with another barrage for the Elder Dragon, eager for personal glory drenched in dragon’s blood. Velomachus turns to face them, with what can only be described as a smirk, as our crazed Believers scream their hefted weapons towards the dragon’s throat. Alas, the strikes are hollow, the reverberation of metal on scale the only sound echoing in the cavern. Velomachus stretches his wings fully and quickly contracts, the force of wind sending the once-pious flying only to crash violently into the cavern walls and fall crippled into the heaps of treasure.
Chilljackson is crushed ‘neath Velomachus’ tail with a scattering of gold coins. Darkness is torn to shreds, with the emerald encrusted crown slanted atop his head. Even Jojimbu, the first to remember his gods, is eviscerated in a wildfire that melts his bone & the surrounding diamond into a single disfigured monument.
From the shadows the Vicar of Souls emerged, nodded toward the dragon and approached the remains. With a sigh, the ancient warlock hunched over and began to chalk the outlines of ancient runes, black smoke bubbling from the floor and wafting over the heaps of treasure....
As this tale spread through Tol Eressëa, Adventurers clamoured with excitement. Unshaken by the ruthlessness of the Elder dragon, they yearned to prove themselves in kind. Spurred by the possibility, guildlings swarmed the country-side questing for Influence, our other guildlings remained hard at work: slaying beasts, defeating evil, and adventuring throughout the lands - all hard at work to earn favor in Tol Eressëa. Despite the untimely demise of their heathen brethren, The Keepers of the Way once more show their talent to the other guilds. Through the shared might of their weapons and their faith, The Keepers of the Way have once more claimed victory and will head back into The Dungeon on Sunday, July 10th; however, should they fail to redeem themselves….. Far greater horrors than The Faith Eater remain for them.
Jake & footnmouth
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