Chapter 36: Solusek Ro

The final day of the elven city of Fayspires was approaching. The ancient trees of Telethin burned like giant torches, filling the sky with black smoke. Outside of the city, the armies of Tunaria battled the demons of Ro. Inside, the last sages of Fayspires concentrated their powers on the large blue shell that encompassed the city.

Waves of fire and bolts of electricity bounced off of the protective shell. Then Rizlona entered the wizards guild and all was lost. Once known as a bard with songs that soothed the most troubled heart, the elven woman had been in seclusion for weeks before the gates of Fire had opened. For weeks Solusek Ro whispered to the bard, tempting her with powers and riches beyond any Rizlona had ever known. When she awoke this morning she found a white multi-faceted gem in the center of her floor. The last dark words of her dream rang in her ears. "Take the Dresolik to the wizards."

The eyes of the wizards snapped open when they felt the burning artifact enter their room.Before they could react, the gem flashed and a guardian of Fire appeared in the middle of the wizards' circle. The demon was black faced with red burning eyes and held a double-bladed glyphed axe.Elven magic exploded and blood sprayed on the white marble walls as the last defenses of Fayspires collapsed.

Rizlona was given a place as a guardian of Solusek Ro in his black tower deep within the Plane of Fire. For five hundred years, her powers grew within her dark chamber. It was within that chamber that she now faced the vengeance of the elves. It was within that chamber that she faced the vengeance of the elves. She was reminded of the last days of Fayspires when she heard the roars of battle just outside her door.

Few had ever seen a horror greater than that of the demon Grezou. Older than the mountains of Kunark, he attacked with a ferocity of pure hatred. Beams of energy shot from his emerald eyes and claws ripped through enchanted armor like paper. The blades of the warriors of the Cult cut deep but the beast was relentless. Calling upon the powers of his home plane of Fire, Grezou reached his arms high. His chanting was interrupted by a blast of absolute cold that tore through the massive chest of the greater demon. Loral turned to see an icy glimmer in Azile's eyes before they returned to normal. Loral shuddered.

Covered in ash and soot, the raiding party entered Rizlona's chambers. Loral was shocked to see the elven woman armored in gold. His surprise intensified as his companions attacked the woman and she showed her true form.

Solusek Ro had given many gifts to Rizlona for her part in the destruction of Fayspires. None was more powerful than her new body. Rizlona fell to her hands and knees. Her back arched and elongated. Claws sprang from her finger tips as she grew many times her size. Her armor fell away revealing a thick gold hide of scales. The cracking of bones refitting and reforming made Loral shiver. Huge batlike wings spread above the raiding force. When she raised her head again, Loral stared in shock at the head of a huge golden dragon.

Rizlona breathed and a huge column of lava engulfed the front lines of the raiders. Blue rings of protective magic kept the party alive if not unharmed. The party attacked. Powerfully enchanted blades and waves of magical powers ripped into the dragon. Though it felt as if it lasted for days, the battle lasted only a few minutes before the betrayer of Fayspires fell dead.

Each of the five guardians of Solusek Ro had been defeated. A silence fell over the tower. Bubbling lava and creaking steal were the only sounds as the war party stood in front of the pillar of flame, the gateway to Solusek's antechamber.

Solusek Ro stood on the raised platform of his throne room. His remaining minions stood with him, horribly powerful protectors feared by Norrath's eldest dragons.

Loral thought back to the stories of the exodus of Tunaria. He remembered the cold eyes of his father when Tarlin retold the sad tale. Thousands of elves had died, many of starvation and exposure to the harsh ocean of Tears. While the strongest of the elven armies died upon the fields of Northern Tunaria, many of the sick, the elderly, and the children of the elves died in travel to Faydwer. So weakened were the elves that they had been threatened with extinction at the hands of the Crushbone orcs.

It was the jealousy and greed of this spoiled child of Fire that taught the elves the meaning of true sadness. The vengeance of Tunaria fed every elf who ever picked up a sword or cast a spell. On this day, vengeance was sated. Solusek Ro, the Burning Prince, was killed within his own lair. Across the Plane of Fire, one last flash of brilliant light from the top of the needle spire of his tower could be seen.

Loral stood staring at the smoldering corpse of Ro. His hammer, Daninulaer, still hummed in his hand. An unintelligible voice whispered within his mind. The weight of his actions began to sink in. Rallos Zek the Warlord had been killed, protecting Growth from the assault of the frost giants of Kael Drakkal. Solusek Ro, destroyer of Tunaria, had been destroyed, avenging the death of thousands. All across the outer planes, gods, demigods, and their armies had been hunted and killed.

Somewhere within the chambers of Ro, a gnome of the raiding party found a lever opening a pit of burning lava. Darkweb the wizard recognized it as a gateway, perhaps deeper into the Plane of Fire.

Loral stared into the burning pit. He could return to Felwithe this day. He could spend every day from now on in peace, knowing Felwithe was safe. Loral looked deeper into the gateway. There was no logical reason to continue. He had served Tunare more than any had ever expected. There was no need to face further unknown horrors. A single prayer and the powers of the Faithstone of Nature would return him home. Entering the gate would send him to dangers beyond any known by mortals. The laughter of Xuzl the demon echoed in the back of Loral's mind.

Loral jumped into the pit of Fire.