The wind howls as it blows across the desert, throwing a flurry of sand into the dark sky.
Overcast clouds block out the stars on this night, the darkness of the desert spanning
as far as the eye can see. Drahken barely has time to react as a familiar face appears
before him at the massive cactus where they had arranged to meet.
"Your early!" barks the voice, the source obscured by a black cowl cinched tightly.
Drahken bows, "So is Ygryeal, we've been awaiting your arrival Lord Gelgimas."
The man loosens his cowl and pulls it back revealing his face. The man is in his mid
thirties and dressed in a flowing black robe, an intricate blue crescent tattoo covering
his disheveled face.
Gelgimas nods, "Then lets get on with it, I suspect we won't have long before we
Drahken grins malevolently and begins murmuring to himself as a dimensional fold
forms before him. Lord Gelgimas nods as he steps through the fold, gripping his
ashen staff tightly.
Ygryeal is waiting on the other side, standing before a circle of strange stones. The
stones hum, releasing a soft glow as they float above the surface of the desert sands.
Ygryeal bows before Lord Gelgimas, taking his leather satchel and slinging it around his shoulder.
Ygyreal groans under the weight of the satchel bag. "The others are already inside working
on opening the door."
Gelgimas chuckles as he steps into the circle of stones. His body shifts and contorts before
fading out of existence.
"Be sure to yell if you see anything approach." Drahken says before stepping into the circle
Inside the ancient pyramid the other men stand waiting before a massive slab of sandstone
blocking entry to the inside. They stand at attention as Gelgimas approaches them, holding
a large tome bound in blue reptile hide. He opens the tome slowly and carefully turns to
a marked page. Kneeling before the large slab Gelgimas speaks in an unfamiliar language,
the massive slab shaking violently as it moves to the side. Gelgimas slowly stands, dusting
himself off and then turns to Drahken.
"Make your way to the Dais in the bottom of this place and then bring us to you when your
Drahken nods, wrapping himself in his cape and darting off into the darkness of the pyramid.
It had been nearly a decade since his parents had put him up in the disgusting hovel he had
called home in Waterdeep for schooling from the Master Illusionist. Born to a wealthy noble
family in Calimport, his parents had been looking for a way to rid themselves of the added
expense a child brings...They're love was vanity and the luxury of being a socialite in the
vast deserts of Calmishan. Drahken had vowed to return one day and ruin his parents
financial empire and take what was rightfully his.
Gelgimas had found him one day studying in the sanctuary of the desert and taken him in
as his own, showing him the darker side of magic and the strength of a true Calishite. It
was then Drahken made a pact to his new found brothers and joined the Cabal Gelgimas
assured him would someday give him the power and nobility in the great city of Calimport
he so desired.
Dark thoughts ran through Drahken's head as he made his way through the shadows of
the pyramid. He knew what would soon happen and that his life would forever be changed,
an eternal enemy to the city of Nizari. They were to sacrifice the Sultan's daughter and
summon a foul sand demon from its eternal slumber.
Finally he reached the Dais and opened a dimensional fold to the rest of his comrades.
Gelgimas and the other men step through the fold before Drahken as Ygryeal struggles to step
through, letting out a loud grunt as he pulls a gagged and bound woman along with
him. He slumps to the ground covered in sweat and panting like a dog.
Gelgimas reaches down to retrieve his satchel from Ygryeal, pulling a small opaque crystal
from the inside. He carefully affixes it to the top of his staff, the crystal pulsating slowly as
he lowers his staff into one of the braziers atop the Dais, flames bursting upward and
illuminating the massive hall inside the pyramid.
"Hurry Dramenzhan, draw the circle before the Sultan's men figure out how to enter the
A short and stubby man quickly pulls a piece of black charcoal from his pocket and begins
drawing a circle onto the floor of the dais. In the distance a loud rumbling noise echos
through the darkness surrounding them.
"They've opened the slab, we will have to fend them off till Dramenzhan finishes."
Ygryeal and Drahken both nod and begin preparing themselves for battle. The sound of
clanking metal echos, the sounds drawing closer and closer with every breath. Dramenzhan
hurries to complete the circle as the others stand at the ready.
Finally the roar of the soldiers reaches the entry to the lower level, the soft moaning of the
tomb guardians barely audible over the sound of clanking sabers.
Gelgimas nods at Drahken who quickly camouflages himself, blending into the shadows
of the pyramid. He grins, turning towards the frightened faces of the Sultan's soldiers as
they approach the base of the Dais.
"Leave Now!" Shouts Gelgimas, "Or meet a fate worse than the undead that protect this
The soldiers surround the Dais keeping there distance as their leader approaches the front
of the crowd.
"Give up the Sultan's daughter or we shall be forced to return to Droijiam with your heads!"
Gelgimas spits at the soldier and slams his staff into the ground. The ground rumbles and
shakes, knocking the soldiers off their feet. Dramenzhan loses his grip on the charcoal as
it bounces along the Dais and over the edge into the crowd.
"Shit!" Dramenzhan shrieks pulling his longsword from it's hilt, the blade glowing an intense
red before bursting into flames. "Bassssstards!" Dramenzhan jumps off the Dais and into
the crowd of soldiers swinging his longsword wildly and slicing at the Sultan's men, decapitating
several in a single swing.
A dark mist begins to form before the feet of the Sultan's men, large tendrils rising up from
the mist and squeezing the soldiers like dolls, throwing their battered and bruised bodies against
the wall in a lifeless heap. Several images of Drahken appear, their faces all covered with a sinister
expression. He raises his staff as he chants, assaulting the soldiers minds with his twisted
illusions. The men scream as they grab at their heads, stunned by the intense visions of the
Dramenzhan quickly grabs the charcoal from the lifeless corpse of a soldier and jumps back
atop the Dais, his hands dripping blood onto the partial completed circle.
Gelgimas roars and aims his staff at the remaining soldiers, a massive fireball flying
outward from the crystal. The flaming ball hurtles across the hall into the center of the crowd,
an inferno blasting outward encompassing the remaining men. As the smoke clears nothing
remains but the charred corpses of the Sultan's elite army laying lifeless on the sandstone
floor of the pyramid.
"Hurry!" barks Gelgimas, "He will send reinforcements soon, we must make the sacrifice before
Dramenzhan stands before his finished circle, blood still dripping onto the ground before him
as he pockets the remaining charcoal. "Its done!"
Gelgimas nods as he drags the bound daughter of the Sultan into the center of the circle.
"Quickly, the portal will remain open for only a few moments." Gelgimas shouts as he raises
his staff high above his head and slams it into the Dais. The charcoal circle glows brightly,
wisps of black sand swirling around the outsides encompassing them in its shroud. The
loud crackle of electricity echos through the hall as bolts of lightning arch outward from the circle.
In an instant it all stops. The men find themselves lost in the desert, surrounded by dunes of dark
black sand. A circular formation of thick black obsidian spires rise upward from the dark sand, their
sheen glistening under the moonlight.
Gelgimas stands and dusts himself off, a childish smile across his face. Drahken and the others
stand, lifting the bound women off the ground and tying her to one of the spires of obsidian.
"And now we begin what we've spent so much time working for. The forces of darkness shall once
again empower us as we lay siege to the northern kingdoms. Our power shall be unmatched!"
Gelgimas grins at the young girl, "Your father may not be happy with your fate, but Xedazinax will
be pleased we have brought him something fresh and untainted for his first meal in eons. The Sultan
has failed to stop the Cabal and now we shall go forth with seeing to his and your demise before the
overwhelming power that is Xedazinax..."
To be continued...
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