The March on Icewall: Entry 30

These events take place before Rise of the Obsidian Legion.

Lynch’s Journal

Entry #115

Through fire and smoke we return to the throne room of Castle Frost with the prince unconscious at our feet. His mother rushes to his side, crying as she throws herself on his motionless body. Lothric kneels beside her, assuring her that Amon is all right and that the evil is gone.

King Frost stares at his son with cold, emotionless eyes. I am unsure what my friend’s father thinks of all this. One can only hope he understands that this goes far beyond what had befallen Amon.

When the prince awakens, we urge him to tell the story. I remind him to mention Henry’s tale to make sure the good dwarf gets the proper burial he deserves. For what he has done for Amon, and more importantly, for myself, our lost friend should be held a hero for what the dwarf has done this day.

Afterwards Balasar, Lothric and I dispose of Novak and the First Breaker corpses, taking them far outside of Icewall’s borders. Though the bodies of the enemy are thick with the kingdom these two do not belong among the masses. Together the web of evil they weaved had spread too far, causing devastation to wherever it touched.

We wanted them in a place no one could ever find.

Our plan is to stay for Henry’s funeral, we owe him that much. If not for him I may have never found the courage to stand against Novak. We had a brotherhood and understanding that none will ever know. Though wishing we could switch places, deep within I know he would disagree knowing the life I have carved for myself.

From Icewall we will head back to Mirabar, informing Lamoram of Randle Dundragon’s demise. I have no doubts the dark elf will make the right preparations for a follower of Pelor. Surely his funeral will be grand.

Finally we are to return to Red Larch, placing the warrior priest under the watch of the temple he had raised in town. Like Henry, Randle deserves a hero’s farewell. I imagine his passing will draw many from miles around from his time as a soldier and now, as a priest, who has healed and aided those in need. As he graced us with his presence many months ago, I look forward to doing the same to those who called him friend and ally alike.

But most importantly I head home, somewhere I never would have thought to be discovered when this all started. To know that people who love me like Amara and Jalina wait there for my arrival with open arms and smiles.

It is a place that I can finally be at peace.

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.

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.

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.

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 22

These events take place before Rise of the Obsidian Legion.

Lynch’s Journal

Entry #107

I thrash and flail in the darkness, desperately trying to fight my way out. Though I scream loudly as possible no one can hear me. I cannot even hear myself in the silence.

I tumble through the darkness and through a massive pair of dark yellow curtains. High above I can see it’s tattered flaps waving in the wind. They stretch into the dark, cloudy sky.

Pillars just as tall reach into the clouds before disappearing. Thousands of them are spread out for miles across the grey dirt. All around me is dull. There is a deep feeling of sadness.

Not to far from me stands one of these bare, grey towers with a strange marking. I am fascinated by it.

A yellow sign.

Tracing my fingers around the curves and lines causes them to go numb. My mind wonders aimlessly as I get lost in my curiosity. Within minutes I have realized that all traces of the mark have been removed.

Anger washes over me for removing the insignia. I quickly become obsessed with finding it, to gaze upon its simple beauty. There is nothing I will not do to touch it again.

I run to the closest pillar, my hope is high of finding the Yellow Sign. Moving in closer I can see it stand out like the sun, bringing me pleasure at the sight of it. Nothing in all of Faerun could compared to it.

Not even my beautiful Amara.

It is just feet away from me. I extend my hand to touch this thing that makes me feel whole. Just a few more inches.

And it is gone.

GONE!

Where did it go? I must have it! I need it! I desire to look upon it! Where is it?!?

The yellow sign appears on another pillar. I chase it down only for it to disappear. Then it appears on another. Then gone. Another! Gone!

Why does it leave me?!?

Falling to my knees, I lean against the grey pillar crying out loud to any who could hear me. Then I hear her, asking my why I am so upset. Her gentle touch makes me flinch. As she does the image of the yellow sign flashes in my mind.

I look up to see Amara. Though she has become my everything she is nothing to the sign. My love for it is far greater than anything I feel for her.

As she questions why I cry her words turn to the gibberish. It grows louder. The language sounds like it is everywhere. I turn in circles, looking for where it maybe.

Then I see the massive dark yellow curtains with it tattered flaps. But it is not that at all.

It is a robe covering a gargantuan, hooded figure. Tentacles waves from the ripped folds of the cloth. The gibberish grows louder in my ears, giving me the true location of the yellow sign.

I turn to Amara, she is scared of me. The sadness swells up in my heart as I see the fear in her eyes but all I know is to find the yellow sign. Throwing her to the grey dirt, I tear her beautiful dress of her body. My love screams for me to stop but I pay her no attention.

I must see the sign!

There on her flat belly it shines to me like a beacon, calling to me. Amara begs me to stop as I draw a dagger. Her pleads fade away as I carve the insignia into her skin. The sadness within my heart is nothing to the pleasure I feel across my entire body as I lay eyes in the yellow sign.

Her belly quickly swells as if she is with child. The skin bursts with an awful smell as tentacles lash out from within her body. I extend my hand to them as they gently caress my arm.

I smile at the sight though tears of sorrow fall from my eyes.

The gibberish in my head is now barely a whisper, comforting me. It assures me I have done the right thing and there is only one sign remaining to be found. I turn to the massive figure and immediately know it’s location. I smile widely with glee.

With my dagger I carve the yellow sign into my forehead. I laugh as the blood flows down my face, into my eyes and mouth. Ecstasy fills my body.

All I see red.

The March on Icewall: Entry 21

These events take place before Rise of the Obsidian Legion.

Lynch’s Journal

Entry #106

I am weightless. Against my will I am floating up in the darkness. Everything around me is heavy, I can feel the pressure all over my body. Far in the distance is blue for as far as I can see. Bubbles escape my lips.

Am I underwater?

I panic, trying my damnest to reach the top. My lungs burn as I lose breath little by little. My legs kick harder, my arms move faster. It is as if I will never reach the surface.

Is this my fate? To drown with no hope of reaching air?

The blue turns brighter. I think back on those who need me – Amon, Lithia, Balasar and Lothric. I think of Jalina and Amara who love me. Pushing myself harder and harder I break the surface to take a huge breath of air.

It stinks.

Horribly.

I am in the middle of an enormous lake, the shoreline is just a a few hundred feet away. Thought I am tired I force myself not to give up, to think of those who care. Once I hit the shallows I give up, collapsing to my knees and taking deep breaths of the wretched air.

Where am I?

I look around at the barren land. Much like the endless lake, sand stretches to the horizon of the night sky. Statues of various sizes dot the beach depicting the slim exotic lizards you can find on the Black Market at Waterdeep. Its head is different though, a beard full of tentacles hang from the snout much like Novak’s own. Some carvings show the beast with long needle like spines emerging from its hide, others do not.

The wake of something large floats me forward toward the beach. Pushing myself up I can hear gurgling and hissing. Whatever behind me is angry.

Another wake hits as it moves closer. A massive shadow darkens the water before me. The itching in my brain returns. It speaks to me in the same gibberish as the tentacles. Overcome with doom, I am too terrified to turn around and acknowledge the thing behind me.

There is movement in the water just feet ahead of me, something very long and slender. Before I can react a barbed stinger bursts from my chest, hoisting me high in the air. The tail of the monster turns me to face the beast, the lizard creature whose likeness is carved in the statues.

As its head leans forward the beard of tentacles hungrily reaches for me. I hear more of the gibberish in my mind. There is no understand it but I can feel the hate toward me. Hopelessness washes over me as I am caught between awe and horror at what stands before me.

Finally I manage to scream.

With a roar to ripple the water around us, the beast flicks its tail and tosses me into the darkness of its gullet.

The March on Icewall: Entry 20

These events take place before Rise of the Obsidian Legion.

Lynch’s Journal

Entry #105

Nothingness.

Falling helplessly that is all I see with no end in sight. No land. No sea. No sound. Nothing.

Is this the afterlife? Have I died? This is not a way anyone should have to spend eternity. When I decided to do something about Novak and break the chains bound to me I thought I was doing good. Do I not deserve a better fate?

Then I hear it, the gibberish of the blackness and the tentacles that once took Novak. The itching in my brain returns but is far greater than the previous times. It is to the point that it is driving me mad as I continue to fall.

Something grabs me. Something heavy and covered in sticky slime. It wraps itself around my boots and quickly comes up to my waist. I can only look on in horror as it moves to me face.

A green tentacle. Wider than a tree and just as long squeezes the breath from me.

In the blink of an eye hundreds of thousands of them slither, moving over and under one another in a dizzying mass. And this one, larger than any of them, pulls me in closer as the other reach for me ravenously.

I fight and scream to free myself but it is of no use as I am pulled within.