The March on Icewall: Entry 29

These events take place before Rise of the Obsidian Legion.

Lynch’s Journal

Entry #114

Lothric chants in the dragon tongue, summoning flames that dance around us. As his voice grows louder the fire engulfs us. On instinct I close my eyes and flinch but quickly realize they do not burn. As I open them I am at a loss of words at where we are.

Everything is alight for as far as we can see. In the distance volcanos constantly spew molten lava that feeds the magma beneath us. Their thick, black smoke fills the sky above. The heat is so intense you can see it ripple through the air.

The sheriff warns us not to break our circle. To do so would incinerate us all where we stand in seconds.

We glide inches above the magma on some unseen disc as Lothric guides us to the nearby mountains. A thunderous roar echoes through them that shakes me to my core. Fear rushes through my body despite telling myself to trust my mentor. Just a bow shot from the base I understand why I feel what I do.

A massive dragon the color of the landscape emerges from a cavemouth.

Cindermaw.

The beast is terrible and magnificent at the same time.

The dragon snorts as he breathes the air in deeply as if catching a scent. Looking down on Lothric he ask why his servant has brought the deceiver to his domain.

The sheriff explains that Amon was fooled by Zul, the undead sibling of his God. With the power granted to the dragon by Vecna, he twisted the power of the Sunbreaker gem before bestowing it to the prince, bonding his life force to the cursed stone. Once seeing through the lies of the First Breaker the prince sought redemption.

With this Lothric sets the pure and imperfect gems before his God.

Placing his enormous claw over the gems a cylinder of fire engulf them. Three of the stones shine in the flames. The corrupted two fizzle and spark against Cindermaw’s powerful magic. When the spell is over only Prince Frost’s gem remains impure.

The dragon of fire snarls in anger, informing us that it will take much time to purify this gem. With a wave of his claw the five stones disappear before us.

He then ask for Amon to step forward to be purified of his corruption.

Before he steps into the magma Lithia grabs him by the arm, tears roll down her cheeks. The girl is worried for his safety. Lothric places his hand on her shoulder to reassure the mage that her lover will be alright. After kissing her hand the prince steps off the disc.

Flames from the magma rise to cover him as he screams in agony. Lithia reaches out to grab him but the sheriff and Balasar hold her back. Amon thrashes in pain as his flesh is seared and scorched, pulling a putrid black liquid from his body.

The sounds of my brother’s torment are more unbearable than the sight before us. Despite all his courage Balasar looks away, turning the wailing Lithia with him from the ritual. I fight the urge to turn away because deep down I need to see this through. Lothric, a man forged by these fires, is unphased by it all as he looks on.

Though the ritual seems like it took an eternity, it is over in mere seconds.

With unseen force Prince Frost is raised from the magma and flames, his symbol of Vecna removed. As he is gently placed before us his body glows red and smolders from the painful ritual. Lithia reaches for Amon but quickly pulls back as she touches him, her hand burned by his flesh.

Cindermaw turns to move back into his cave, telling us that the prince will leave here not a Sunbreaker. That he has proven unworthy of the gem and lost his sense of law.

With those words the fires rage around us, engulfing us once more to take us away from this hellish landscape.

The March on Icewall: Entry 28

These events take place before Rise of the Obsidian Legion.

Lynch’s Journal

Entry #113

With Novak and the First Breaker dead the others race through Castle Frost searching for Amon’s mother and father. Sitting on the cold, stone floor looking at the carnage around me I search for something else, something personal.

My next step in life.

With Novak truly defeated, what should I do? I have built a nice existence for myself in Red Larch. Amara, a woman too beautiful to grace myself with her presence, cares for me unlike anything I have ever experienced. Jalina has returned to me, a reminder of good times from years ago. On top of this the townsfolk except me as not only a hero but one of their own.

It is a place any person would be a fool not to call home.

But as I look to the fallen Sunbreaker I cannot help but think there is more to this. There is something beyond the Restless Hand and the branding. Amon had spoke of a dragon who had defied death and granted him the wicked power he possessed. Placing my hand on the cold area of the stone I am reminded of the gateway and the inky, black tentacles that came from it.

Deep within I know sooner or later more must be done to search out this evil before its grip becomes too strong.

But I must face what evil remains in this castle, that which is inside Amon.

As they return with his parents in tow I ask myself if I am ready for this, to kill a man I call brother. Though he had did his part in defeating Novak and the First Breaker it is something the prince has done before just to fool us. First, Amon had saved and returned Jalina to me. Next, he aided in driving the First Breaker away and saving Red Larch. For all I know this is all a ruse as well.

It is bad enough to kill him but now with the King and Queen of Icewall here as witnesses makes it worse.

Seeing the slight orc bloodline in my face they are taken back at my appearance. Their son is quick to step up, informing them of who I am, what I have done for him and that I am nothing more than a fine ally.

Those last words hurt as I hear them. Amon is someone I trusted. Without him I would never had built the courage to attack Novak and The Restless Hand. But I know I have to push aside those feelings so no others must lose their lives.

I position my feet to pounce at him. It must be timed right. Lithia is the one I know that is the biggest threat when making my move. I can only hope both Balasar and Lothric have not been fooled by Prince Frost’s action here in the throne room.

Then Lothric speaks up, asking Amon if he is ready. With a deep breath of worry he agrees. The sheriff promises the purge will work and that the prince can return to his normal life.

Purge? What does Lothric mean?

Holding hands they form a circle. My mentor ask if I am joining them. Taking his hand I ask what this is all about. The sheriff throws me a wink and sly smile.

We are going to stand before Cindermaw.

Waterdeep – Dragon Heist: Episode 14

With Yarga dead the delima of how to tell Fat Tommy becomes apparent. More importantly to Karum Fathill and Chowbooka, how do they get their coin for the dead Vipers without suffering his wrath?

Dungeon Master: Evan the Great
Kyle as Malfador Frostblood
Sean as Zorxius Tycor
Joe as Karum Fathill
JVD as Chowbooka
Wes as Theodore Shieldbreaker

You can find The Last Tavern on the Left podcast on iTunes, Spotify or Google Play.

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Follow JVD on Twitter

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Check out Tabletop Audio for more awesome music!

The March on Icewall: Entry 27

These events take place before Rise of the Obsidian Legion.

Lynch’s Journal

Entry #112

Running to the right flank of Balasar, I complete the circle around the First Breaker. Looking over Amon the prince seems in rough shape, clearly taking the brunt of the damage. Lothric is covered in nicks and cuts but seems energized since regaining a Sunbreaker gem.

In a defensive stand the ebonborn fiend measures us, surely looking to which one of us is the weakest. Anyone else in this situation knows they would be doomed but not this brute. With centuries of battle experience, I have no doubt it has defeated multiple foes at once.

But we are not going to give it the chance to do so.

Screaming to the beast that he will never own him Prince Frost charges in first, greataxe held high. The chop is easily blocked by his fellow Sunbreaker, who spins with him only to quickly throw him at Balasar. Both are launched backwards by the force of the impact.

The fiend continues the spin, swinging it’s greatsword in a wide arc to keep Lothric and myself at a distance. With speed that betrays his size, the ebonborn quickly kicks out, knocking my friend flat on his back.

As he raises his blade high over his head a blast of flames and heat catches him off guard.

Lithia goes right back into spell casting.

Taking the opportunity to follow the opening I keep pace with the backside of the brute. As soon as the second spell connects I leap upon his back, stabbing him repeating in the shoulder with Novak’s shortsword.

The First Breaker reaches up, grabbing me by the head and flinging me to the stones. Using his momentum he raises the greatsword overhead, brining the blade down hard at me. In the blink of an eye Lothric is there, blocking the attack with his metal arm.

He comes up with in uppercut with his good arm, rattling the skull of the dragon fiend. Rearing back with his new arm, Lothric sends the First Breaker stumbling back with a heavy punch. A roar of agony shakes the Castle Frost as Balasar’s greatsword pushes through his belly from behind.

A back elbow busts the paladin in the snout but Amon is there to keep up the attack, burying the greataxe in the lost Sunbreaker’s thigh. Lithia’s lover is swatted away with the flat of the massive blade. The attack is answered as the First Breaker is caught in the chest by a bolt of fire from the mage.

Lothric charges in with me on his heels, punching with his metal arm where the spell scorched the hide. As he dodges a clawed hand I dash in, puncturing the arm pit once, then twice.

Realizing he is outnumbered, the ebonborn fiend blows a green mist over us. It sets my skin on fire. Breathing it in does the same to my lungs. Both my mentor and I hack and spit blood as we try to escape. We never see the greatsword coming.

But Balasar does.

Bleeding badly from his snout the paladin leaps into the mist, grabbing the First Breaker by both arms. He struggles against the brute’s impressive strength to prevent a death blow to either Lothric or myself. Their roars hurt my ears as they battle for position. Getting the best of Balasar, he begins to bend my friend over backwards in an attempt to break his back.

The fiend’s knee buckles as Amon places the greataxe between its shoulder blades.

Shocked and stunned by the blow his grip lets up. Balasar launches a headbutt to rock the beast backwards. Removing the axe, Prince Frost hacks at the other leg, dropping the First Break to his hands and knees. It looks at Amon, cursing him with every breath with hateful eyes.

The newest Sunbreaker is the last thing it will ever see.

With a great heave the prince takes the fiend’s head.

The March on Icewall: Entry 26

These events take place before Rise of the Obsidian Legion.

Lynch’s Journal

Entry #111

My eyes flutter as I lose consciousness, helplessly falling to the stone floor.

Something breaks my fall. Rough hands hold me up as a familiar warmth flows into my muscles and bones. My injuries mend instantly from the healing touch. For a moment I believe Randle Dundragon has returned from the dead to aid us.

As I my eyes flash open Balasar is looking down upon me, demanding I get up and finish what I started. With cutlass still in hand he shoves me forward to my nemesis.

I lock blades with Novak as the paladin sweeps wide to my left for the flank. Realizing the tactic he leaps back, blasting me with his desvestating energy before jumping high to stick to the wall. With the speed of a cat he climbs up to the ceiling.

Without no way reach him Balasar positions himself to catch the cursed copperborn if he attempts to escape.

Cursing the bastard, I use the magic taught to me by Nataku on my daggers and hurl them at him. With a wave of his hand Novak former a barrier shield just inches from him, blocking the blades and sending them falling to the floor.

He mocks me, stating I could have everything I wanted and more if to only take his offer. He makes promises that with the power of the First Breaker we can rule Icewall. Before he can continue an explosion of fire launches him and his greatsword to the floor, crashing hard to skitter across the stones.

Balasar and I offer a nod of thanks to Lithia as the paladin charges in to aid Amon and Lothric with the dragon fiend. She answers with a smile as the mage goes into spell casting and focusing on the foe bearing down on her lover.

Before Novak can get up I run at him, grabbing his greatsword on my way. To my surprise it turns back into a shortsword at my touch. As he gets to his knees I tackled him facedown into the floor. Pulling his head back to expose his neck the bastard begs me, promising me riches beyond my dreams. The copperborn says whatever he can for me to spare his life.

And right before us the same gateway from that night long ago opens up. Within I can see nothingness but I can hear it in my head, the gibberish. My brain itches as it calls to me.

Novak screams.

In an instant the black tentacles rush forward, grabbing not only him but reaching for me as well. Their slimy touch chills me to the bone. Novak screams and pleads not to be taken, begging the First Breaker to save him.

Images flash through me head.

A lake surrounded by statues.

A yellow sign.

A sacrificial alter on a beach.

An abnormal city floating in the sea.

One of the tentacles wraps around my waist, pulling me to the opening with Novak. I stab at it repeatedly, pumping it full of acid. As it lets go only to have another grab me by the leg.

Novak grabs me as well, vowing that if he is to live through that nightmare again that I will join him.

NO!

I would rather live the terror a thousand fold knowing that the bastard died at my hands. Grabbing him by the throat I ram the shortsword into his forehead. After a few seconds of violent shuttering Novak’s body goes still.

As his head hits the floor the tentacles let go of us as the gateway begins to close. The last of the gross appendages runs across my face as if caressing my cheek, as if it knew it me, before slithering into the nothingness.

With a small pop the portal closes. Knowing that I am finally rid of Novak I get to my feet to aid my friends in killing the First Breaker.

To finally end this once and for all.

Flames of Battle: Episode 11

In the lonely and cold Sword Mountains, Ghorg, son of Palx, leads Volo’s men on the hunt many days from Ironskull. If hunting the ferocious yeti wasn’t bad enough, the young hobgoblin moves the group toward the territory of Stone Wolf, Hogar’s former tribe and blood rivals of Clan Bear Sword.

Dungeon Master: JVD
Kyle as Nexel Greenleaf
Sean as Kaladir
Wes as Hogar Kepplar
Evan the Great as Victor Krexan III

Check out our podcast The Last Tavern on the Left on iTunes, Spotify or Google Play.


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The March of Icewall: Entry 25

These events take place before Rise of the Obsidian Legion.

Lynch’s Journal

Entry #110

Through my screaming I can hear Novak’s words as the gibberish echoes in my head. The bastard promises more torture to come, that what I have experienced is only a fraction of what I put him through that fateful night. Pulling my hands from my face, I open my eyes to his beard of tentacles reach out for my face.

A reminder of the horrors I have witnessed.

With an open palm pointed at my face, purple energy begins to swirl. Novak reminds me that such torment will begin once he is finished with my friends.

With a simple word the spell blasts me in the face, rocking me back. As I try to get to my knees another hits me in the chest. Stumbling backwards another collides into me.

Turning to face the others, the arcane energy flies in their direction to aid the First Breaker.

My vision goes blurry. I fall to a knee. It takes all of my strength to hold myself up. The anger I felt when seeing Amon defend Jalina returns, boiling and rising within. Roaring in defiance, I charge the bastard.

I bury my dagger into his kidney.

Novak turns to face me, through his transformation I can see the pain on his face, the anger in his eyes. The ebonborn turned abomination screams at me, demanding to know why I will not die.

The answer is simple. As long as he walks Faerun I will not pass until knowing the leader of the Restless Hand is dead.

The cursed copperborn drives his elbow into my nose. I feel it break as the blood runs down into my throat. As my eyes water I step back swinging wildly to defend myself but it is not enough.

Just within Novak’s reach he runs me through with his greatsword.

I feel all the air leave my lungs. My legs tremble and go weak as I look down to see the blade being removed. Though there is no smile on his face I can see the thrill in Novak’s eyes as he looks at the confusion on my face.

With my life leaving me I fall backwards into blackness.

Crossover Collision: Judge Dredd vs Blade

Episode 25

Evan the Great and JVD discuss a battle between the combatants in seven different battlegrounds – a jungle, a busy city street, a city alley way, the roof top of a large building, the sewer, a warehouse and a cargo ship. At the end they tally up the overall wins to declare a victor. Subscribe to Crossover Collision on iTunes, Spotify or Google Play.

Judge Joseph Dredd was created by John Wagner, Pat Mills and Carlos Ezquerra. He first appeared in 2000 AD #2.

Eric Brooks, aka Blade, was created by Marv Wolfman and Gene Colan. He first appeared in Tomb of Dracula #10.

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Check out our website for previous episodes, our other podcasts and more!

Go like and check us out on Facebook.

Check out Judge Dredd vs Winter Soldier on our YouTube Channel! Subscribe!

Check out Shredder vs Blade on our YouTube Channel! Subscribe!

Follow JVD on Twitter

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Check out Tabletop Audio for more awesome music!

The March on Icewall: Entry 24

These events take place before Rise of the Obsidian Legion.

Lynch’s Journal

Entry #109

The night sky is starless all except for one bright, green speck. Freezing water splashes over me as I lay face up on the wet rocks. All I hear is the sloshing around the edges of the stone.

Setting up I see nothing for miles in all directions except for an island of tall mountains. Realizing it is my only chance for survival I swim for the shoreline.

Not long after being in the cold blackness a strong wind ripples through the water. Miles behind me a storm approaches. Lightning flashes to reveal rain clouds stretching the length of the horizon.

The ripple around quickly begins to churn roughly. I kick my legs as fast they will go, pulling myself forward with my arms and hands. It seems like forever but I make the shallows. There is no sand, only a mess of mud, ooze and seaweed.

With the sound of thunder rain comes pouring down. Lightning strikes, revealing that the mountains are not mountains at all but crooked spires that stretch far into the storm clouds. Each one is built with sharp angles and edges jutting in every which direction. Throughout them and spread across the stone roads are domed, spherical shaped structures. Each of them look to be made of greenish glass.

The sight of the twisted city confuses me, makes my brain itch.

Somewhere within the crooked structures there is a faint calling. I strain to hear it over the thunder but cannot make out the words. Overcome with the curiosity to seek those who call, I make my way into the city.

The storm rages as I stumble through the winding structures, becoming lost within them. I fall into a wall only to stand up vertically to look across it. Baffled by what is going on I turn around only to face the ground in the same direction.

Was I never touching it?

And the ocean is above me?!

I have never been so confused, never felt such fear. Running as fast as possible I stop to find myself at the tip of one of these twisting spires!

Am I going mad?!?

I close my eyes tightly, hoping it is all a nightmare. Opening them I find myself standing back on the mess of earth.

Not too far from me something scuttles behind a spherical building. Did it even have legs?

Another slithers up a spire. Lightning flashes as large wings carry flailing tentacles through the rain. Though I cannot see them, I hear their call. It grows louder as it moves closer.

I run and hide, terrified of being found. Whatever they are, wherever I am, I pray to any god who will hear me.

Then I hear a voice.

The gibberish.

That is when I realize there are no gods on this island.

Some unseen thing skitters in through the shadows to trip me. Falling to the mess of mud and ooze I slide out of the dark. Covered in the mess I look up to see a arched opening as tall as an oak tree. From within two glowing yellow eyes open to life.

The gibberish grows louder.

The fear grows stronger.

From the upper shadows of the archway a huge octopus like head emerges. Two elongated hands grab the frame, pulling its gargantuan, humanoid body from the darkness. Wings stretch out from its back.

A towering impossibility stands before me. I am struck by a mixture of awe and terror as the God of this abnormal landscape stands before me.

The monstrosity is in my head, calling me. My brain feels like it is on fire. I scream at the top of my lungs. No, not a scream at all.

The maniacal laugh of a madman.

With an open, upraised palm he summons me, pulling me to it with some unseen power. My laugh grows louder but inside I scream in horror. My mind tells me to look away but I am enthralled by the misshapen God before me.

Knowing to look away I claw at my face, scratching and tearing away the eye lids. Digging my fingernails into my eyes, blood blurs my vision. I feel none of the pain.

All I can do is laugh at the madness.

The March on Icewall: Entry 23

These events take place before Rise of the Obsidian Legion.

Lynch’s Journal

Entry #108

All I see is red.

Thick and heavy.

Hard to breath.

Something grabs me by my hair. In a panic I wipe the wet clay from my face and suck in the putrid air around me. Quickly clearing my eyes to find myself wishing I had not. Many frog like men surround me.

With spears pointed at me I do not understand their croaking but there is no doubt it is a threat. They laugh as others come up to smear the clay into my face.

From behind I am slammed to the cold muck by two of them. All around the trees are covered with moss as a thin fog rolls around their trunks. A low canopy hangs above us. Seeing my toes I realized I am striped naked.

Females kneel at my left and right. Mixing the clay with bright colors, they begin to cover my body with strange markings. When they begin a low, cracked moan comes from all who witness.

What in the Nine Hells is going on?

Pulling me to my feet, they bind my hands behind me with tight vines. They nudge me forward with the end of their spears. With my first step the females go into a craze, dancing and throwing their bodies in ecstasy.

The frogmen before me part as the ugliest of them approaches. In one hand he holds a skull. An awful, brown smoke pours from it, the source of the putrid stench. In the other is a wicked stick. The skeleton of an eel winds up it. In its mouth is a huge black pearl. Deep within it a see something slither.

Across his back is a cloak of fish scales that shine from the moonlight creeping through the canopy. On his head is an enormous fish skull with a strange marking, a religious symbol of some sort.

This must be their chieftain.

The frogman blows the smoke into my face. I hold my breath before it reaches me but it does not work. One of the frogmen hits me hard in the gut causing me to take a big gulp of air. The putrid fumes quickly affect me, making my head swivel as I begin to feel drowsy.

The chief turns to walk away. Being too weak to defend myself, a shove from behind moves me forward.

The low, cracked moaning is all I can hear.

Swamp gives way to sand as we arrive on a beach. As far as the eye can see is a black, motionless sea. Clouds cover the night sky, allowing little light from the full moon. Not far in the shallows is a large flat rock with a small, stone pillar sticking up.

The frogmen push me forward, tossing me upon the stone as we reach it. With more vines they latch me to the pillar. I try with all my strength to fight them off but my body does not follow my commands. The poison’s hold on me is too strong to overcome.

Thick clouds part and the moonlight shines directly on me. As it does the croaking grows faster. The cracking becomes wilder. All around me the males and females begin rolling in the muddy sand, throwing themselves at each other in gross, sexual acts.

The brown smoke rolls over my shoulders as I hear the chieftain’s feet slapping the wet stone from behind me. His chanting and croaks turn to gibberish as the poison affects my mind. Then I realize the poison is not changing his voice.

I know that language!

Fear rushes up within. I try to thrash and pull but I am too weak to break my bonds. The pounding of my heart is loud in my ears.

Far out in the inky sea a wake forms, rushing in our direction. From it comes a large dorsal fin. The frogmen’s excitement grows at the sight.

A giant’s length in front of me the water burst into a spray of darkness. From it rolls and sprawls a mass of slimy tentacles the width of sailing boats. The gibberish fills my mind with madness as a defeating screech comes from the unspeakable horror before me.

Two scrawny and bony arms sprout from the thing at the sides. Rising from the middle of the tentacles is a gargantuan eel like body. It’s mouth if full of needle shaped teeth the size of spears.

My brain itches as I can feel it probing my mind.

I do all I can to scream as one hand reaches out for me, breaking my bonds as it pulls me forward. All I hear is the frantic croaks of the frogmen as this horror slowly drags me into the inky blackness.

The croaks give away to splashing of waves as the cold water rises up to take me.