Nibenay sat motionless on his throne and listened carefully as Siemhouk told him of the party’s actions during the cataclysm. Everyone attempted to overhear what she was saying, and although they couldn’t catch it all, she appeared to be favorably about them. When she finished, the towering dragon king tilted his head, looking down at the group before him.
It would appear that you have some explaining to do.
Nibenay stares each of the heroes in turn. Only Kira, Jarvix and Iorskan could hold his gaze. The sorcerer-king was silent for a few moments, but none dared to speak. After a few moments Nibenay spoke…
I foresaw that a time of great change was coming. I was shown a time in which the internal struggles of the city were diminished. I assumed that this meant the destruction of my enemies and the cleansing of the rebels from my city. I see now that I was wrong. Throughout the city, I sense great suffering and torment. Truly, this is the darkest day of my long reign.
Gwyn spoke, casting the blame for the cataclysm on Nibenay, to which he barely responded with a snort of disbelief. He then spoke with almost a hint of joy and hope in his voice.
I sense, however, that it is also one of the brightest. Throughout Nibenay, people who should be battling each other worked together to heal the wounded and rebuild that which has been destroyed. Perhaps this is the way of the future.
When he spoke again, there was sadness in his voice and a hint of anger.
Then again, perhaps it is not. I have seen you and I have seen your actions. You who claim to want to bring about a new Green Age, yet cause scant more than chaos by overthrowing the rightful rulers of the cities. I am reminded of the true way of the world.
The anger in his voice, rising with each word, could now be heard and almost felt.
You meddle in events that are beyond you in every way and you seek to undo a history that you know nothing about. You try to inflict your will upon the world without knowledge of, or regard for, the consequences. You are but children at play.
Iorskan dared to speak during a brief moment where Nibenay contemplated his next works, but the dragon king was unmoved.
You worked against my interests by aiding the Veiled Alliance and their plot to destroy me. Had you not aided them, my magic would have finally torn apart the Zwuun and peace would have settled across the land. It is because of you that the cataclysm happened.
There is another pause, before Nibeany addresses the party again, where the party could speak. There is no more emotion in his voice, only cold logic.
Your attack on my Templars can be overlooked, as can your petty thefts. Truly such events help me to separate the strong from the weak. However, take care that you do not deprive me of anything that I do value, or the cost shall be very dear.
Nibeany arose from his throne and moved towards the party. His heavy clawed feet making a horrible scraping sound on the tiled floor. Siemhouk remained still and continued to intently watch the party.
He approached Delen who remained face down on the floor.
Your assistance with Siemhouk’s ritual is appreciated and it shall be rewarded. You will be allowed to live. However, you are dismissed from my service and will never be allowed to access that which you cherish most – the libraries of this city are forever out of your reach.
Delen could barely express his gratitude for being spared and remained facing the floor. Nibenay turned to Way-lynn, speaking with anger once again.
You were once my guard, sworn to protect me and the interests of our city. As payment for your service you were released from my service. In any other city-state you would have been a slave your entire life. You abandoned your home when you found your new sense of morality. And today you attack me while I was defenseless. Well, as defenseless as I can be.
Nibenay then turned to Kira, his anger rising.
I had you trained in powers that you could only have dreamed of, powers over nature that none on this world have possessed for millennia. Those gifts would have allowed you to restore the vitality of Athas. You repaid my generosity with treachery and have proven that you are more trouble than you are worth.
Nibenay finally faced Gwyn, his anger was now mixed with sadness.
You had the spark of a dragon in your soul and I have watched you for many years. You persisted when Dregoth’s construct destroyed your mortal form. You alone out of all my children have had the potential to make real change in the world. But what kind of king would I be if my own child could defy me?
Nibenay’s intentions were clear – Gwyn, Kira and Way-lynn were to be punished for their actions with death. The others knew that if they did nothing and let their friends die, they would live. Only by working together could they have a chance of saving their friends, but the sorcerer-king would be unlike any foe they had tried to overcome.
After the many adventures and shared dangers, the party decided to fight. Even Delen, who had been the most loyal to Nibeany, decided to tempt fate and try and defend his friends. The battle that followed was intense as the group endured assaults from Siemhouk, newly conjured fire and air elementals and the sorcerer-king himself.
Kira assumed the form of a primal wolf and pounced on Nibeany, catching him by surprise and knocking him to the ground. Elleandra used her magic on Siemhouk and, although the child resisted, she eventually was overcome and placed in an enchanted slumber for the rest of the fight.Iorskan found himself in combat with the air elementals and he fell to their attacks. Jarvix attempted to enlist aid from the Zwuun, sending out a message for help. He heard nothing in response and assumed that the enigmatic being simply did not care. He attempted to stay out of the way while aiding his friends and taunting Nibenay. He even went so far as to sit on the throne in defiance of the sorcerer-king.
Delen attempted to stand his ground against Nibenay, but the sorcerer-king had little patience and Delen fell. Gwyn fell next, her mind crushed by her father’s attacks. Kira was unable to sustain her attacks and Nibenay defeated her next. Way-lynn attempted to leave the throne room with Elleandra, and both were defeated when Nibenay teleported next to them. Jarvix was the last to fall to the sorcerer-king.
Everything faded to gray for the adventurers…