Rolan, Seven and the Githyanki White Ravens, led by D’keth arrived in Pluton, the Grey Waste. Before them stretched endless grey, a landscape devoid of features except dying trees, a few scattered bones and rusted weapons. Colour was drained from everything, including themselves. The group had been followed, they soon discovered. A half-fox, half-human bard joined them, but gave little information about herself other than that she wanted to help. As they wandered the Wastes, they found themselves struggling more and more with each step. Eventually, they were unable to bring themselves to move, losing their will to continue. The mysterious stranger helped them, encouraging them to move forward. Wispy apparitions appeared in front of them, each attempting to convince one of them to stay here and give up on their quest. One by one, the stranger managed to convince them that the apparition was wrong, and they found their will strong enough to move them again. As the apparitions dispersed, a town began to fade into view before them. The residents were grey and so were the bone-and-mud buildings. They tried asking for directions, but the citizens of the town were apathetic to their concerns, and really, anything at all. The only information they could glean was that this settlement was named Desolation. After a few minutes, a grey female giant made its way over to them, asking why they were here. When they replied, she told them that they still had souls and demanded that they relinquish them to her. She attacked them to take their souls by force, attempting to cleave them in twain with her axe. The fight was interrupted however, when a human-sized insectoid creature intervened. It told the giant, named Willow, to lower her axe. It introduced itself, telling them it was called Illaxis and was a Yugoloth, as well as the ruler of this settlement. When they told it why they were in Pluton, the creature offered for a small fee to take them to the temple used by Vecna’s worshippers.
Illaxis led the group through the Grey Waste for a long time, telling them that this plane was the site of The Blood War, an eternal battle between Tanar’ri and Baatezu (other names for Demons and Devils.) It told them that the Yugoloths tried to stay out of it and hid mostly from the conflict. It told them the war went on for eons until finally it came to a stalemate when Asmodeus became a god. The bones of that war lay here in the Grey Waste eternally, a relic of history. Eventually, they came to a grey building with big stone doors built halfway into the ground. Illaxis led them inside. They realised it was dark and had to light sunrods to see. In the room was a chair, with a book sitting open on a table in front of it. The table was stained with blood and there were bones lying about the room. The book read:
* Then more writing appeared once Seven began to read it. *
“I should thank you. After all, I owe the success of this plan to you and your continued survival. I’ve tried with others many, many times. Most were not powerful enough to contain such a power within their own head. And barely any could make it through this plane with their willpower intact. Being here destroys the very hope in you, your willingness to do anything. But finally, the power is here, where it belongs. A nexus of all the planes. I apologise in advance, because this will be a painful process.”
Suddenly Seven felt agonising pain in her head. Visions of thousands of places flashed before her eyes. In every single scene, there was one common element: the dead were rising from the ground. The pain built as even more places flashed in front of her. She felt like every single plane in existence was flashing before her eyes, often too quickly to comprehend them all. Then finally, the pain stopped. She felt like an energy was sent out from her head in all directions. Then there was a terrifying noise, as if a million demons were roaring all at once outside.
While all this happened, the other group were recovering from being dropped in a thick jungle. Oizo, Char, Silver and Ralan’daak decided to start moving, to find a landmark or settlement. The jungle was overgrown, denying the leaf-littered floor much sunlight. The group came to patches of mud, which Oizo discovered were not stable footing. A group of demonic frog-humanoids across the jungle took notice of the group, immediately making their way over. Large carnivorous plants also took the opportunity to attack the travelers. Eventually the denizens of the jungle were defeated and the group finally crossed the mud.
They saw something unusual in that moment. Before their eyes appeared a familiar woman they had met before. Alicia Dalamar, reluctant inter-planar traveler stood before them, obviously shocked to see them as well.
|Alicia Dalamar|| “Wait, you’re real? This has never happened. EVER. I’ve been around for thousands of years, I was born in the year 2286 in the fourth age. I’ve been traveling the planes, stuck in this endless journey to find a way to restore Rosaline…I’ve met hundreds of thousands, maybe even millions of people. I’ve met the same person maybe twice, maybe even three times. And now I’ve met you twice in the same week!
WHAT ARE YOU?! WHO ARE YOU?!
* She slowly calmed down.*
Okay. This place looks like…the Abyss.
* She stopped for a moment and looked around herself*
If I had to guess, I’d say this is Abysm, the Screaming Jungle. The 90th layer of the Abyss. This place is incredibly dangerous. We need to be careful.”