The Second of Nine
Khatzup, standing in a tower a long ways off cast an empowered finger of death at Darius. The spell crackled across the sky, flaring from green to grey as it intermingled with purple streaks of lightning that emanated from the tower.
Darius immediately summoned the Staff of Istarius and stopped the beam from striking him. Thus, the mage battle had begun.
Darius told the group they needed to open the cookbook in the right spot with a view of the dark wizard's tower.
Lexi ran off to gather people in the town, and the rest of the group ran towards the forest and the base of the flickering tower.
There was a group of soldiers training outside the main gates, but the group didn’t want to risk any lives. Instead, the Fated asked the soldiers to protect the gate to Gerunduk.
A fog started to fill the forest, spreading through the trees like a hanging plague.
Torque found himself back in the void. He tried to meditate but heard horrible screams. He went towards the sounds and found a woman’s corpse full of maggots. He then heard the voice of a brother he didn’t know he had fill his head. His name was Mortique, and it was almost like hearing the same thing Willbane contended with daily.
A further ways off, Torque found Chi Fey, but he had no eyes. Toque gave him a good berry and his temporarily came back.
In an act of reserved desperation, Torque called upon Ahzaran, and Ahzaran, the Dragon God of the Dawn, answered.
Torque appeared from a line of light from no where that burned the sky apart. He fell to the material plan, but not before hearing, “If you cross this threshold, you will be mine, but you will burn the light of a thousands stars.“
The group was so excited to see him, and he told Lyra it was Ahzaran who has helped him.
The group all jumped on horses, and Clara inspired her horse to be the new alpha. It lead the group.
Suddenly, a tree flew through Lyra's horse as a pig monster burst through the trees, while other, wolf-like pig creatures also started to appear and attack the group.
The large beast was intimidated by David after he squealed at it, so it went after him.
Lyra ran up to the beast, and with fated strike, she cut off its arm with a burst of divine light. The arm tried to grow back but the fire sealed it off, and it caught fire.
Torque bragged to Montague. “Who did that Montague? That’s my boy.”
Montague rushed to get a clear shot at the tower. His horse got mauled, and he jumped off of it. Clara tried to send her horse to help Montague, but the "wigs" killed it before it could get very far.
David kept squealing before doing a massive amount of damage to the large beast.
Lyra used Ahzaran’s magic to cast freedom of movement on Montague, and it worked. They could both tell there was a small amount of resistance—that the spell could have failed—but it worked.
Torque used his new power to heal David. Then he used his necrotic hand to melt the creature's face, and it fell to the ground, dead.
Clara had been fighting the first two wigs, unable to get away from them.
As the mages dueled, Khatzup had a moment where he saw the group, and as he fought Darius, he took a second to cast a second spell. Time slowed, and there was a rippled pulse that came from the tower. All of a sudden, there were more wigs and another huge pig beast. The group was unsure how much time had passed. They did know, however, that Darius was becoming weaker.
Montague got a clear shot of the tower. The cookbook opened, and a new page appeared. The spell was swimming on the page like a current. As he touched the book, the magic moved up through his hand and his eyes became bright blue. The psychic toll was incredible. The book was not powerful enough to be a conduit on its own for this spell. Montague put both hands on the book and pulled the spell out to cast it. Lyra channeled the power of Ahzaran to increase Montague’s accuracy and clear his mind.
Montague ripped the spell out of the book and forced it at the tower. The spell hit the tower and the shimmer of the tower phased in and out. The tower was not truly there... for now. The spell pulled the tower beyond the veil, and it vanished. The creatures turned back into their normal shapes and scurried away.
The group then went back to find Cecil, Veenar, and Varasha. JoJo let them know that Cecil was probably taken to either the third floor with her dollhouses or the deepest part of the dungeon where no one would look for her. Needless to say, she was not in the doll room.
The group trudged down into to the dungeon... a too familiar place. They heard something as they made their way down and ran into Veenar and Cecil.
David ran Cecil upstairs to safety.
Another man was down there, and they recognized him as Xyzote, one of the Nine. He wanted to make a deal with them. He wanted a heart from inside of a tree he was unable to get. He wouldn’t tell the group what he planned to do with it, but he said he would not directly harm anyone. He bribed them with knowledge of the star touched. After some debating, he said he would be around if they wanted to make a deal.
As they left, they ran into the Trash King who said he saw a crack in a wall and he could see gold. He got a blue bomb and blew it all to pieces. He asked them if they would help him clear the rubble. He also stole a ton of stuff. He gave everyone a “gift”.
Clara received a jar of newt eyes. Later as she looked at them, they became her eyes and her eyes were replaced with the newt eyes. Lyra got a little book of fate. Torque received porcupine quills, which made him smell a little different. David got a mermaid scale. Montague received a dragon’s tooth. Later on, the group found out that Rogert had been given Phoenix dust.
The group could now make the dragon tooth soufflé.
The group went to talk with Darius and Varasha. Varasha wanted the tree to be burned down—the same tree Xyzote wanted the heart from. She did not think the group should trust him. Varasha's distrust of the Circle of Nine left the group with a big decision to make.
The group left the family, but Torque took one last look at Cecil. He stared deep into her eyes. He tried to connect the void to the start touched, and he then he heard a voice. He saw a Dopplerganger version of himself, as his brother Mortique, staring back at him with his eyes full of stars.