Ahrea Sidestory: Soul Of The Burning Mountain

Session 8: The Burning Mountain

Aya finds the secondary entrance to the ruins, commenting on how odd her choices in life are made by Krios. She knows this is where Aras and his party ventured to, and wonders how they’re doing as she takes a look at the entrance before wandering in.

In the meantime, Kor’Jagn introduces himself to Aras, and asks the fighter why he’s so intent on preventing the Legion from creating a peaceful world. Aras asks the dragon if wholesale genocide is the Legion’s idea of a “peaceful” world, to which Kor’Jagn replies by stating the “unwanted” elements of the world need to be purged before engaging with Aras.

The others watch as Aras begins fighting Kor’Jagn, and immediately Fiva attempts to break off from the rest in order to go assist him. Gragus also has a change of heart, though Selea grabs Fiva and restrains her before she can leave them – telling the elf she needs to help accomplish the quest.

Aras finds himself fighting against a very superior foe, as though he manages to put a couple wounds into Kor’Jagn, the dragon sweeps Aras on his feet and causes him to fall on the ground. Looking like he’s about to become killed, Aras ends up being saved by Gragus as he shoves him out of the way. Gragus ends up taking a severe scratch wound from Kor’Jagn’s claws, but is still standing and begins helping Aras in the fight against the dragon. Gragus holds Kor’Jagn at bay while Aras manages to climb on top of the dragon in order to stab him through the skull, though the dragon is just playing with them – seeing that the rest of the party is in full retreat, Kor’Jagn informs Aras that he’ll destroy what the fighter cares about as he flies forward to chase them. Aras and Gragus are thrown back by the sheer force of Kor’Jagn taking flight in the tunnel, and can only watch on in horror as the dragon lets loose with his fire breath before they can get up.

Fiva, despite being enraged that Selea and Adgar are forcing her to come with them, saves their lives as she throws them down to avoid the blast of fire bearing down on them. Wekus also saves himself, just barely.

As Eliva finds herself unable to escape the burst of flame in time, she is immediately pushed away by Nardoss – the fighter sending her into the wall and safety moments before he himself is caught within the blast. Everyone against the walls watch on in utter horror as Nardoss is incinerated in front of them. After the flames clear, only his chainmail and sword remain. Eliva is broken after this, having become shellshocked after seeing him sacrifice himself for her.

Aras and Gragus start desperately running after Kor’Jagn in an attempt to slay him before he can cause any more harm, and the dragon turns in order to face them. Seeing her chance to help, Fiva runs to save Aras from harm. Kres joins her, having been enraged to see his friend die in such a horrible way.

At the same time, Adgar realizes this is the time he needs to actually help his younger allies, and prepares to cast some sort of extremely powerful spell aimed at Kor’Jagn – but coughs out blood in the middle of his incantation and falls to the ground as Travner stands behind him with a bloody dagger.

Everyone watches on in horror as Adgar falls, and realize that Travner has misled them the entire time.

Having been caught by surprise, Eliva realizes that their old friend has betrayed them – and realizes that Travner intends to assist the Legion. She charges at him in an attempt to kill him before he can harm anyone else – but Travner realizes this and strikes first, making a clean swipe at her throat as she runs at him. She stops in place after he makes his attack, and falls to the ground after having had her throat cut – she died instantly upon the strike.

As Kres runs up to help the others fighting Kor’Jagn, he turns around upon hearing Eliva yell, and watches on as Travner kills her. He loses complete sight of the dragon behind him as he is horrified to watch her die – only to be slammed with the full force of Kor’Jagn’s tail into the wall. He dies instantly as well – basically becoming a fresh coat of red paint on the wall he was slammed into.

Very horrified at what has just happened, and due to her oath to defend the wounded, Selea attempts to charge at Travner and feels enraged enough to murder him – though her attempt is cut short as suddenly the left wall behind of Travner simply explodes – a new hallway is created as Yarvdenn and Legion troopers pour out of it and stand behind Travner. The thief is thanked for his services – as the ambush as been sprung. Selea and Wekus can only watch on as the odds have completely been turned against them, and as the Legionnaires charge at them.

Aras watches on as all of this goes on while he’s attempting to engage Kor’Jagn, being caught off guard and realizing that things have gone rather bad rather quick. He and Gragus wound Kor’Jagn slightly more, and Fiva manages to pop off several arrows into it’s back in order to get the dragon’s attention focused on her rather then her friends. Kor’Jagn turns around and prepares to fire his breath again at her, which causes Aras to lose his attention and gets him thrown straight into the wall as Kor’Jagn’s tail slams into him.

Though Selea and Wekus valiantly attempt to hold off the oncoming Legionaries, Wekus ends up being stabbed in the stomach and Selea finds herself being pinned down by a Legionnaire attempting to stab her neck. She attempts to force the man off of her, watching on as Soli attempts to guard Adgar’s body by immolating the other Legionnaires approaching them.

Yarvdenn casually walks up to Adgar, however, warding Soli off with a Hold spell and reclaiming the ruby that was stolen from him, immediately forcing her back into it. Yarvdenn steps on Adgar’s back as the old wizard attempts to stand, wounding him even more then the man can bear. As Adgar falls defeated, Yarvdenn begins preparing to cast a spell that will wipe out Adgar, Wekus, and Selea all in one go – smiling widely as Selea begins losing her fight and can only watch on.

Suddenly Selea feels the weight being lifted off of her, however, and sees that Gragus has killed the man fighting her – and as Gragus starts hacking his way through the Legionaries in order to cut Yarvdenn down. As Gragus prepares to bring the full weight of his sword down on Yarvdenn, however, Travner immediately jumps behind him and strikes first – violently and repeatedly stabbing into the back of his former travel partner.

Aras, Selea, Fiva, and Wekus all watch on as Gragus falls lifelessly down to the ground.

Enraged that the Kor’Jagn is preparing to kill Fiva and has prevented him from aiding his other friends, Aras feels a rejuvenated burst of rage flow through him and he jumps into action – running in front of Fiva and bringing his sword down at the moment that Kor’Jagn prepares to breathe fire on her.

Aras catches the dragon at the last possible moment – he has stabbed straight through Kor’Jagn’s mouth and jammed Kinsir in place, closing the dragon’s mouth shut as flames burst out of the sides of his jaws. Kor’Jagn is rather enraged by this interruption of killing things, and begins attempting to force Aras backwards and to let go of his sword as it pushes forward. Aras does not yield, however – realizing that if he loses now, everyone behind him will be killed once the dragon finishes him. Kor’Jagn starts pushing Aras’s backwards, attempting to trip him as he’s being shoved. At the same time, Fiva’s attempting to pepper the dragon’s throat and face with arrows, though she also sees that her other friends have gone down and that several Legionnaires are preparing to cut down Aras. She jumps in front of his back, protecting him as she starts shooting down anyone who dares approach him.

Realizing that Kor’Jagn will finish the two still standing and that the others are either severely wounded or “useless” in Selea’s case, Yarvdenn commands his troops to retreat and continue towards their destination – stating that he needs to save his energy to create the portal rather than waste it killing vermin.

Utterly enraged beyond all measure, Aras continues to desperately bide time in order to gain a moment in which he can kill the dragon in one go. Kor’Jagn realizes this also, and intends to finish things by sweeping both Fiva and Aras with his tail. He slams Fiva against the wall, and Aras initially goes flying – but uses it as his opportunity, using the momentum while he’s still holding onto the sword hilt in order to swing himself on top of the back of Kor’Jagn’s head. The dragon realizes that it’s a fatal mistake – and Aras immediately retrieves Kinsir and begins stabbing down upon Kor’Jagn’s head. Kor’Jagn is killed as Aras continues his attack, and the Legionnaires watching are left horrified as they stare upon the sight. Demoralized after watching one of their champions fall against the Green Swordsman, the remaining Legionnaires break and begin retreating after Yarvdenn, leaving the rest of the party for dead.

Fiva immediately picks herself up and runs to assist Gragus, seeing that he’s laying down in a pool of blood. As Aras catches up and the two attempt to give him medical aid with Selea, the three of them realize it’s too late. Gragus requests to Aras that he completes the quest, and protect his family for him – and gives Aras a gold pouch to give to them before he dies. Unable to do anything for him, Selea turns around and begins tending to Adgar’s wounds, Wekus being just cognitive enough to remain barely standing.

Aras is overwhelmed by emotions as he recuperates from having just slain Kor’Jagn, realizing that three of his allies lay dead and that Yarvdenn will continue ahead and create the portal in mere minutes. Unable to let this happen, he stands up, checks his equipment one last time, and prepares to enter the hallway that the Legion escaped into. Before he enters the hallway, he leaves his shield at Selea’s side.

Selea asks him what he’s doing, and he informs the remaining party members to remain behind as they’re too wounded to help him. Upon being asked again in regards to what he’s doing by Selea, Aras informs her that he’s going to turn Travner into a bloody pulp and that he’ll do the same to Yarvdenn. Wekus informs Aras that he’s going on a suicide mission alone, and Fiva chimes in with this notion as well as she continues to hold onto Gragus’s body. Aras informs Fiva that he’s not going to die, but he’s going to make a future for the two of them. As she watches on rather speechless, he turns around and prepares to give chase to the Legion.

Fiva stares down at Gragus one last time, squeezing the man’s hand before she stands up and forcibly grabs Aras by the arm. She informs him that she’s going to help him make that future happen. As Aras interjects and states that it’s too dangerous, she silences him and tells him that they’ll have to risk it in order to live through the day.

Unable to convince her otherwise, Aras holds her hand for a brief moment as the two stare at each other – and the two start on their chase of the Legion.

Selea and Wekus watch on as she tends to unconscious Adgar’s wounds, both of them realizing that Aras and Fiva are going to die.

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