As they closed in on the party, Clerics called upon their dark powers; hammering them with bolts of unholy energy while another caused a sudden alteration in the pull of gravity, slamming everyone into the ceiling. The Knights drew great-swords, engraved with unholy runes as they charged into melee. Alluvian observed the Knights and Clerics of the Church as they charged, quickly identifying her quarry. She cried out to her compatriots, “They are demons!” Her arrows quickly found their mark, but they proved highly resilient to any of their attacks.
Gretel invoked the blessings of Pelor to enhance and heal her friends. Vad’in, with the aid of Cacophony, filled his surroundings with his Bard Song, slightly cancelling the blasphemous song of the Acolyte Choir. Samnymian tapped into his most powerful magics to fight the Soldiers and Ragnork drew his elven longsword and jumped into the fray.
“CHILDREN! YOUR WILL IS WEAK, YOUR COURSE IS LOST.“, the voice hammered in their heads…
The High Priest began a long incantation, tapping into power from the giantess behind him. Midway though his casting, two of Alluvian’s arrows sprouted from his chest as Ragnork charged through the lines of Clerics and Knights to engage the High Priest directly. Gretel invoked a banishment prayer, the might of Palor passed through several Soldiers of the Church. A few were rendered unconscious, the demons fueling their powers driven back to the Abyss. As Gretel got a clearer view of the giantess at the far end of the chamber, she heard an androgynous voice speak in her head,
“That is Dinestrae the Fallen, Dinestrae the Deceiver, I will aid you in your fight against her.”
It filled the young Dwarven priestess with a sense of dread, the last voice to speak to her so turned out to be succubi minions of the Demon Lord Malcanthet.
Ved’Rail had been watching the battle, and a reckless gamble came to mind. He invoked the power of his cloak and immediately appeared behind Dinestrae. It was there were he observed a startling sight. There were two vicious gashes down the giantess’ back, they left behind gaping wholes in her armor, but what it revealed was a vast emptiness, a void that hinted at a vast emptiness. Air was rushing into the two gaps, highlighted by the swirling incense filled smoke that was rushing inside. The Elven bard could also hear what might only be described as the sound of chimes coming from her twin halos, but there was something wrong with the music, intermixed with the clear notes were dull, out of tune clunks.
Acting quickly, Ved’Rail completed the second part of his reckless plan, invoking a Disjustion Crystal against the Dinestrae’s larger halo. The crystal’s enchantment ripped through the magical effects in the area, cancelling several of Ved’Rail’s spells and extinguishing the Well of Light she was levitating over. However, the halos remained unaffected. She whirled around to face him as his levitation effect was canceled.
“HOW DARE YOU… INSECT!”
Dinestrae’s ethereal light filaments solidified and lashed out at Ved’Rail. He dodged several before one struck him, sending him sprawling. Then it seized him, lifting him into the air.
Samnymian threaded his way through the mass of Soldiers to join his brother against the fallen Clestial. Ragnork drove the High Priest back, finally cutting him down as he fled into one of the transepts. Ragnork growled in satisfaction as the High Priest’s blood pooled on the floor. But then the Acolytes in the transept opened their mouths as if to scream as light poured from their eyes and into the High Priest, who rose from the ground, renewed. “I am the Chosen of the Prophet! Herald of the Benevolents! and Blessed by Angelic Forces!” and their fight renewed.
Gretel realized the voice she was hearing was that of the celestial they had rescued from the Tower of Iron Judgement back in Kovir. The being must have been recovering within her all this time. Now it lent her its power, invoking extra prayers as she moved toward her companions in the thick of the battle at the far end of the hall.
Meanwhile, Alluvian and Phandria were in the thick of battle with the Soliders. The Huntress would split her attacks between her immediate foes and sending magically disruptive shafts at the High Priest or the Dinestrae as the situation allowed. Phandria fell into the role of healer to the huntress, avoiding the soldiers as best she could.
Dinestrae held Ved’Rail in her ethereal coils and turned on Samnymian, attempting to sieze him as well. Ragnork fought the High Priest a second time, although he was now heavily wounded. He pressed the Priest further back into the transept, where he couldn’t reach any more Acolytes to restore himself. Gretel reached Ragnork in time to prevent his demise, so he could dispatch the High Priest a second time. The Celestial within her banished the last of the Soldiers, leaving unconscious humans behind.
Dinestrae the Fallen failed to seize Samnymian, so she used her great-sword against him. He cursed her and, with nearly his last breath, invoked a scroll passed to him by Lord Hirolë Bireth of the Summer Court. The magic from the scroll surrounded him in an Anti-Magic Aura. Dinestrae dropped to the ground, her levitation cancelled. The halos around her head vanished, and the tendrils holding Ved’Rail disappeared. The bard dropped to the ground, landing nimbly on his feet.
Dinestrae’s voice screamed in their heads, an incoherent rush of rage. She swung her great-sword, laying Samnymian low. His body slid across the white stone floor, carried by the momentum of the blow, a crimson trail of blood in its wake…