Ragnar was resting behind a huge tree, hoping no one would find him. He was tired of running and bleeding pretty bad from his left arm. “What the hell am I doing here?!?! This was all just a big mistake, and were the hell is Lia?” He was breathing heavily and was shaking with fear. “Lia needs help and I’m sitting behind this tree like a coward” The thoughts were rushing through his head and it was hard to think clearly.
He could hear a strong groaning sound close by. “What the...?”, he said and turned his head to his right. Suddenly a zombie stod next to him by the tree. Ragnar, as a reflex, grabbed his flail and flung it at the zombie, smashing off its arm. The zombie moaned and Ragnar hit it again, this time smashing the zombies head to dust. He’s heart was pounding like a flock of bisons running from a lion. Ragnar looked out from behind the tree and saw Lia almost surrounded by zombies and skeleton warriors. She was casting spells to protect her self, but were running out of escape routes.
Ragnar hurried over to help her. Lia saw Ragnar running towards her, and was relieved to see him. “Ragnar, help me, they're to many!” she shouted as she casted a fireball at a group of five zombies. The zombies exploded and Ragnar now had a path to reach Lia. He ran were the five zombies had been standing and was now standing next to Lia.
“Thank God, Ragnar! You have no idea how good it is to see you!” “Always a pleasure” he replied as he swung his flail to keep the creatures at a distance.”What are we going to do now, Ragnar, we’re kind of trapped”, Lia said scared. Ragnar looked around for a solution, but could not see a safe exit, so he desided to take a chance. His metal-plated armor sounded of steel meeting steel as he started to run towards a pack of skeletons standing in front of them. When he was about 5 feet away from the skeletons, he threw himself at the skeletons, crushing them with his heavy armor.
“Run Lia! Get out of here now!” Lia ran over Ragnar, who was lying on the ground, and towards the forest. As she looked back, a dozen creatures leaped on Ragnar. She wanted to go back, wanted to stop and help Ragnar, but she was so frightened that she just kept on running. She knew exactly were they left the horses. She got on one of the horses and rode out of the forest.
After fifteen minutes, she calmed down from the fear and stopped. “I can’t leave my friend to die" She turned around and rode back to the tempel ruins. She could not see him anywere. “Ragnar! Were are you!” she shouted, but got no reply. The zombies and skeletons were still coming out of the temple entrance. It was like they were in infinite numbers. She sneaked past ruined houses and once great statues of forgotten heroes, to get a closer look at the entrance, she once escaped from. “Could they have taken him down there” she thought to her self as she leaned towards a door on one of the ruined houses. “Were are all these undead going?” Suddenly the door opened and she fell backwards into the house. There stood Ragnar, pretty beaten up and bleeding from almost every vain in his body. “Help me, Lia” he uttered in a hoarse voice. “Ragnar, you’re alive!” She got down on her knees and started healing him. She patched him up with bandages and gave him a potion.
“Here, drink this, it will stop the bleeding” Ragnar drank the potion, and his wounds started to close up. He was still sore, but managed to get up on his feet, and Lia helped him out of the house. They got back to the horses, and rode into the forest. They camped in the forest and rested. They didn’t talk much, but Lia was curious. “How did you escape all those undead? I saw them kill you!” Ragnar took a gulp of his waterflask and got quiet for a moment. “I think we’ve messed up, big time Lia”, he said and drank up the rest of the water in the flask. “Do you know anything about someone or something named Kas?” he asked Lia and anxiously awaited her answer. “The vampire, Kas???” she asked shocked. “Vampire or not, he wasn’t like anything I’ve seen before, thats for sure. He came out of the entrance with a black cape and a large black longsword in his hand. The undead didn’t even attack him. It looked like they, in a way, answered his orders. Then he raised his sword and yelled something like: Master Vecna, the revenge of your trusted lieutenant Kas is at your hands, then he started walking towards east”.
Lia’s puls increased and she looked frightened. “What’s wrong?” Ragnar asked. “Kas the vampire was Vecna, the archlichs lieutenant. He served under Vecna. The sword you saw was probably the sword of Kas, which Vecna forged for Kas. Kas betrayed his master and attacked Vecna, seeking more power. After a titanic battle, Kas managed to cut of Vecna’s left hand and eye before Vecna destroyed him. Vecna then became a Demi-God, and the powers of his hand and eye was lost. But there has been a rumour about Kas still being alive... But it can’t be! We have just released one of the greatest evils into our world! We have to...”
She was out of words, and took a deep breath. Ragnar put his hand on her shoulder and told her to relax. Lia drank som water and continued: “If Kas wants to find Vecna, he has to open a portal to the Lower Planes, and...” “Thats hell itself!” Ragnar interrupted. “Yes I know, and he will not dare go down there, so he will trick Vecna to the Material Plane, our world, the mortal world. With this portal open, The Nine Lords of Hell can escape and take control over the mortal realm, which will doom us all.” Lia said with little hope in her voice. “All this because we two idiots were greedy after treasure, god dammit, I’m such an idiot!” Ragnar cursed and threw away his waterflask. “We can’t let this happen, we must correct our error and stop this Kas fellow”, Ragnar said as he got on his feet. “How are we going to do that? Kas has the power of a thousand soldiers, and his blade is sharp enough to cut through diamond” The hope slipped out of Lia’s mouth with her words and she started to cry. “It’s ok, Lia. We messed up, but thats normal. Maybe we messed up little more than normal, but hey, we can do this. I know a dwarf, a mighty fighter who will help me. Come on, Lia, cheer up” He stroke her cheek and told her the zombies looked kind of like her brother Lars, with the drooling and all. She started to giggle, and a smile soon filled her face.
He helped her up and they got on their horses. “Thank you, Ragnar” she said and they rode towards the city of Crimson.
After five days of travel, they reached Crimson. A small farm village east of the Great Metropolitan City of Nyx. They went to the local tavern, “The Crippled Griffon inn”, to rest after the long journey. And Ragnar was right. Inn the corner a party of six, consisting of three humans, one gnome and two dwarfs were drinking and laughing their heads off. “ Hey Eberk, it’s me, Ragnar” One of the dwarves turned towards Ragnar and replied: “Hey, my good mate, the travelin’ haven’t killed ya I see” “No but, i need your help, fast!” They told the dwarf everything and Eberk agreed to help.
They stacked up on trail rations and went east, towards Kyrasis, “the city of Immortal Doom”. They were certain that Kas was heading there, because it was in this exact city that the battle between Vecna and Kas took place, centuries ago.
Upon arrival at this abandoned necropolis, the smell of death and decay was in the air like fog. Darkness had settled in over this city a long time ago, and the mountains laying like a bakground picture of the town, was haunted by infinite night. It was the one place even the sun didn’t dare to shine, and no man never walked out of Kyrasis alive, he would be cursed with the life of the undead, if he dared to trespass Vecna’s great palace.
They arrived, after traveling six days in total darkness, barely finding the way. The city is full of undead and fiendish creatures, all killing each others. “The undead army of Kas is here, so that must mean that Kas also has arrived”, Ragnar said. “Tis’ here Kas fella sure has a lot of followers”, the dwarf said and scratched his beard. They started to carefully move into the city, taking cover behind what they could find along the way. They were quite lucky, because the other monsters were too busy fighting each other, that they hardly noticed our party. They had to fight of a couple of imps and kytons, but nothing more.
After three hours of walking towards the city core, they arrived at the gate’s of Lord Vecna’s old palace. It is said that this palace was were Demogorgon, the prince of demons, was born. The colossal palace gates were smashed open and the doors leading into the palace had recieved the same treatment. They entered the palace knowing that there now was no return. Dead bodies and the smell of blood hits them in the face like a shovel when they enter the first great hall. The sound of battle can be heard through the halls, were once great battles were fought by unique heroes, only described by the legends and Gods who was its witness. Great paintings of the lord himself hangs upon the walls, and great treasures are like petty art objects hidden away in dark corners. After over a thousand steps in the golden stairs of Vecna’s throne, Ragnar, Lia and Eberk arrives outside Vecna’s private quarters.
They can see Kas, the vampire wielding his sword against Vecna’s powerful magic. Behind them is the portal they feared. Thousand of demons, devils and horrific creatures not even imaginable in your worst nightmares are entering our world through that portal. “We must stop the portal!” said Ragnar. “We cannot destroy the portal without destroying Kas and Vecna, im afraid” replied Lia. “We have to kill’em both? asked Eberk suprised “I’m going to do this. Eberk, distract them, and I’ll sneak up on Kas. Lia, go with Eberk, I’ll be fine” Ragnar kissed Lia and went into the big room where the battle was going strong.
Eberk and Lia ran towards Kas and Vecna. Lia started casting spells and Eberk drew two greataxes and attacked Kas. They joined the battle, and the focused on destroying Kas first. Vecna did not attack Lia or Eberk, since he saw that they were only attacking Kas. Eberk took a couple of hard hits, but kept on fighting, and protecting Lia. Kas uttered words of pure evil and attacked Vecna with one incredibly powerful attack. He cut off the Archlich’s head. The body of Vecna started to burn and turned into dust. Kas turned around and towards Lia and Eberk. “What do you mortals think you can do to me? I am the great Kas, slayer of Vecna, master of your pity world. I will kill you now, so that you may tell whatever gods you worship, that their days are numbered, that I will destroy them one by one, like I destroyed lord Vecna”
Suddenly Kas got knocked to the ground. Behind him stood Ragnar. Kas jumped up, over Ragnar and drew his sword. “That was a stupid move, human. For that I will kill your friends. Kas jumped on top of Lia and drove his sword through her head then followed up by slicing Eberks throath. “NO!” screamed Ragnar and rushed toward Kas with his flail. He swung his flail at him, put Kas dodged his attacks. Then Kas disappered. “Come out, you coward, show yourself! I’m not afraid of you! Come and kill me, if that's what you want!” yelled Ragnar furiously. All of a sudden Kas stood behind Ragnar and grabbed him from behind. He put his blade towards Ragnar’s heart. “Your death will be meaningless, just like your friends.” “NO!” Ragnar took Kas’ hand and with all his might, he drove the sword through his own heart and body, and then into Kas who was standing behind him. The sword pierced through Kas’ heart and the Vampire screamed in pain, before he started to disintegrate, until he was merely a pile of dust on the ground.
Ragnar fell lifeless to the floor, with blood flowing from his heart. The portal could no longer be controlled by anyone, and it exploded. The explosion destroyed the palace with all the creatures summoned by the portal, the palace itself, the city of Kyraris and everything within a 1000-mile radius, in a flash of light.
The Oerth, the mortal world, was once again safe. The lost heroes Ragnar, Lia and Eberk will soon be forgotten for their sacrifices and the world will go on like it always does, waiting, expecting a hero to save them whenever something is wrong and never give them gratitude. “The Statue of Forgotten Heroes”, in the immortal elven city of Stagheart, is fading away. The simple hero is forgotten, and soon Oerth will be lost to the darkness. But remember Ragnar, Lia and Eberk, three heroes who fought and sacrificed their lives for each other and the great people of Oerth. Remember.