Ascension of Corin and Kilana

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It began on day 6 of Winter Cloak of the year 176 ... and ended with the rebirth of a Temple, one bent on the destruction of the Overworld.

Day 6 of Winter Cloak, Year 176

Against the backdrop of the night sky, the surface of the Midnight Star pulsed and rippled. The Star's light intensified, and then subsided. Fiery eruptions marred the Star's exterior, revealing several enormous new crevasses.

A terrible stillness fell across Terris. All was silent: the calm before the storm.

Suddenly, howling winds whipped across the land, carrying souls from the partly ruptured Midnight Star. The strongest souls commanded possession of the foreboding creatures wandering throughout Terris, whereas the weaker souls floated about aimlessly, invisible to the eye.

Hordes of ravenous demons rushed the locked gates of the Underworld. Each demon was eager to consume the unprotected souls cascading down to Terris. Straining under the impact, the gates burst open, and unleashed the evil denizens of the Underworld.

The citizens of Terris were caught in the middle ... battling both demons and the possessed creatures! The screams of the dying called out across the land. Swarm after swarm, the demons arrived to ravage the soul-infested surface of Terris. Desperate, the citizens of Terris attempted to beat back the Hordes of Hell and the frenzied monsters of the Overworld.

The Midnight Star's eruptions finally slowed, as it returned to a shaky equilibrium. Yet clearly its power was still failing. The newly strengthened demons returned to the inferno of the Underworld ... sated by their fresh fill of souls!

Day 21 of Winter Cloak, Year 176

A bright flash was seen in the sky as a flare from the Midnight Star shot from its fiery depths. Again the souls began to spew forth from the Star, while the demon hordes of Hell left their homes to prowl the lands. The Midnight Star appeared unable to retain the souls of the dead any longer; the souls cascading down to Terris were unrelenting.

Kilana awoke from a deep sleep, stirred by dreams of ominous portent. The sounds of battle filled her with dread as she realized the mighty Star had ruptured. Hurriedly, Kilana searched for a means of containing the remaining souls for later use by the Immortal who would one day rule Death. She ventured into the musty catacombs of the Brotherhood Guild and rummaged through sacred guild artifacts for an item of suitable magic ... finally encountering one! Amidst the detritus of many decades lay an ancient black crystal. She seized it up.

Kilana entered a state of deep meditation, and focused her mind, seeking to channel the remaining souls from the Star into the heavy obsidian sliver. The rush of souls down to Terris slowed to a trickle as Kilana redirected their pathway ... at her own expense. The souls rushed through her, and into the waiting crystal, by the hundreds of thousands.

Meanwhile, the demons, no longer presented with the rich feast of souls, restlessly trolled throughout the lands in search of victims. Kilana cursed as she discovered the black crystal could not retain the souls without her unwavering concentration. Sweat began to form on Kilana's brow as she felt her mind and body slowly, relentlessly, drained of strength. Her body trembled with effort as she whispered to Corin that they must locate a true artifact of the Underworld ... one formerly owned by Lord Worcester. Then, and only then, could the souls be properly channeled.

Desperate to rescue his weakened wife, Corin gathered worthy individuals near the entrance to his guild. Among their number were Nera, Jihan, Jinx, Mordimer, Vax, Swift_blade, Gimle, Adams, Drogun, Neithan, Pinecone, Twink, Cenedra, Southbound, Baelwrath, Drachen_spiel, Wynter, Agravaine, Polar, Kye and others at various points in the journey. The group's size dwindled as death claimed one, then another, and then still more ... and yet the party pressed on.

Corin, bearing Kilana in his arms, led the battle-ready adventurers to the gates of the Underworld. Hordes of demons swarmed around the invading party -- the soul-hungry creatures fighting to thin their ranks. Then, the party came upon a glowing portal in the Underworld, where they were met by another group of demons. Despair began to fill the group as it seemed there was no end to the creatures in sight...

With time running out, Kilana and Corin entered the portal, even whilst the combatants outside were fighting for survival. Corin and Kilana found themselves in a treasure-laden room, where three Demon Overlords stood in the center. After setting his unconscious wife down, Corin stepped forth to reason with the creatures, but was met only with hate-filled screams. The largest demon stepped forward and spoke, "I am Kharak-Tul, now ruler of this plane. Leave now, for I own what was once Worcester's!" Corin said, his sword and dagger already unsheathed, "Then I have come to depose you, as my lady must have that which you jealously guard. Flee now, or perish by my blade."

Cloaking himself in the shadows, Corin slipped behind the utterly enraged demons, while they fumbled about in search of him. In one quick motion, he buried both sword and dagger in the backs of two creatures, and then faced Kharak-Tul alone!

After several passes at each other, the demon and Corin felt their patience near an end; the final straw came from a wicked slice on the arm of the thief's foe!

Kharak-Tul, frothing and beyond rational thought, charged the nimble thief. The demon was met with two throwing daggers, buried quickly in both eyes. Kharak-Tul rushed onwards, blind with hatred, only to be decisively impaled on Corin's sword.

Corin rolled out from under the dead creature, and gathered his weapons, then awoke Kilana so they could search the room for what they so fervently sought. Foraging on opposite sides of the room, they simultaneously found two pieces of a long-broken item. An icy cold wind blew through the chamber. Meeting in the center of the room, Kilana and Corin joined the two items together. The wind increased as the item was made, and the couple found themselves encompassed in an aura of ancient, fated power.

The Black Skull Mace of Death, broken and lost since Worcester's departure, now had its two new masters!

Newly strengthened by their Immortality, Corin and Kilana summoned the souls from the crystal, and cast them into the Underworld. At long last, they called back the hordes of demons and the remaining dead ... for now.

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