Chapter 22: The Spire Lord

Chilled air blew through the deep caverns as Loral and his friends stepped out of the mouth of the cave that led to the barren plains of Marus Seru. Ahead of them, great ridges fed into canyons hundreds of meters deep. Quivous, the armored bard, stepped forward and Loral followed close. Behind Loral were Juror, Wrenne and Raom. Each highly respected elders of Healers United and mighty adventurers.

Quivous's magical songs of travel held the party high above the great gorges of the broken land. A misstep climbing the steep ridges would mean death, but floating high above them, the party was safe. Looking down, Loral could make out the giant blue isects that crawled within the gorge. Loral shivered as his feet stepped upon illusionary walkways while they traveled deeper into the barren land.

Climbing over a steep ridge, the party beheld the great broken artifact. A huge stone platform stood on giant arcing columns of granite that burrowed deep into the rock like great worms. The platform stood hundreds of meters above the earth and was penetrated through the center by the spike of a steep mountain peak. At each corner was a grey runed spire the same proportions of the wizard spires of Norrath but much larger. One of the four had broken and lay deep in the canyon below, shattered from the great fall.

Loral had learned of the existence of this monument through gossip and rumor. Though many of the drunkards of various inns had little information of worth, one elderly bar maiden told Loral a tale passed to her by her grandfather. According to her story, the great wizards of Seru, known as the Eye, attempted to construct the largest teleportation spire ever created, building it upon this mighty platform over a twenty year period. When finished, the great wizards of the Eye of Seru tore open the fabric of time and space to activate the great spires, but something went horribly wrong.

The great energy of the spires collapsed and exploded, sending one of the burning spires plummeting to the canyon below. Some wizards were simply blown to pieces, others were transported to some unknown reaches of the universe damned to unknown hells. The deformed clawed hands of extra-planiar beasts reached from the abyss and tore others to shreds. Many powerful wizards had their spirits stripped free of their bodies, forever to walk in two planes of existance with life in neither. Hundreds of years later, the barmaiden told Loral, the spirits of the damned wizards still haunted the spires seeking answers and vengeance.

Loral pointed his traveling companions to the base of the canyon wall below the platform. There, a small cave led into the mountain that pierced into the platform. Blades drawn and spells ready, the party entered the cave. A few meters in the cave widened into a giant circular cavern. The center held a great pillar and spiral walkway leading far above the floor. All along the outskirts of the cavern stood spirits of the damned wizards, now guardians of the abomination.

With great speed the party was engulfed under the blacked robed figures. Icy etherial claws tore at the party. The chilling touch of the horrors turned Raom's skin grey and Loral began his prayers to Tunare to cure his longtime friend. Back to back, the party made their way to the staircase in order to fight the spirits one at a time. Loral grasped the warden symbol of Tunare around his neck and the earth below reached up and held the spirits to the ground. Quivous's harmony lent great strength to the blades of himself and Raom while Juror's spiritual chants stole the speed from their attackers. Wrenne splayed her fingers and a blinding star of fire tore through one of the spectres, bursting it into flame.

Gaining the high ground, the party moved quickly up the staircase, paralyzing each creature in turn until they were able to focus on defeating the spirit. Raom's bladed axe, a Wurmslayer of Kunark, drove through the dusty robes and landed solidly in the etherial body of the spirits. Loral turned his hand from the spells of healing into the judgement of Tunare's wrath, blasting down another of the horrid spectres with unyielding energy. Soon the party had worked up the stairs to the upper platform but instead of a break in the onslaught the party faced even greater numbers.

The eternal voices of torment filled the heads of the weary adventurers as the spirits attacked. Feeling the battle turning against them, Wrenne prepared to open a gateway far away to the lands of Norrath where they might escape with their lives. Quivous, quick to find solutions to such odds, began a different chant. This one a slow melody that turned the attentions of the spirits away from tearing the party to shreds. Their voices calmed as memories of their lives flowed into them through the haunting chant. Quickly capitalizing on the turn of battle, the rest of the adventures cut down the spirits with spell and blade. Soon they stood in the empty room, the tattered robes of their foes at their feet.

The adventurers passed through an archway onto the open platform, facing the true guardian of the destroyed portal, the Spire Lord. It stood taller than any of the spectres they faced and instead of an eternal blackness staring out from under the dark hood, twin red eyes pierced into the very souls of those who met it's gaze. A steel crown, that of an arch-wizard of Seru, adorned the head of the century old creature. With an etherial growl, more felt than heard, the beast attacked.

Raom stunned the spectre with a quick slam of his shield and a powerful chant to his diety, Errolisi Marr. Juror cursed the creature, calling fourth the great powers of ancient mystics and stealing the lord's strength. Wrenne surrounded the party with translucent blades of energy that bit into the spiritual beast with each swing of it's horrible invisible claws. Quivous sung songs of war as he cut into the creature. Loral surrounded Raom with a celestial pool of light, healing his wounds as they appeared and protecting him from the cold touch of death. They fought in perfect sequence, each member an extension of the party in perfect unison. Though never having faced such a creature in battle, it was little match for the battle hardened Healers. With a final cut of Raom's blade, the spirit screamed across two planes of existence and fell to the platform's surface.

Three weeks later, Wrenne met Loral on the second floor of a small inn near Shadowhaven. Loral had been preparing a report to the Church of Tunare outlining the events. Wrenne smiled at the strict scripture and Loral's attention to details, it would seem even the wilds of Luclin hadn't removed his sense of discipline in the matters of the church. They talked about what they had seen at length, it was clear that while they had seen first hand the results of Seru's attempt, the full result of the catastrophic event was unknown. Loral had heard of spectral minions of other planes walking within caverns under Luclin. Rumors of the return of the slavemasters of the Iksar had also been overheard. There were many great dangers on Luclin, and with the Nexus now in operation, those dangers could soon face Norrath. Loral had much yet to discover.