The doorway stood tall before them, ominous and silent. Defeating an army of orcs at Deathfist Citadel was not easy, and this massive structure appeared no more inviting. F’Sheel, the dark elf assassin, and Janusa, the human monk, drew their weapons.
“We should take another path,” Tykisa, the high elf, advised. She looked at the solemn entrance warily.
Perish Tel, the wood elf warden, studied markings on the smooth stone closely, frowning. “These inscriptions…they don’t bode well for what’s inside.”
“We’ve come this far,” Hoorak said. A tough barbarian, he brandished his sword, worn and covered with dried blood. “Nothing has stopped us yet.”
“Nothing from this realm,” Perish Tel spoke softly.
Gelig, the dwarf templar, felt particularly uncomfortable about this leg of the adventure. “Just show me what we can vanquish, and let’s stop with the talk.”
The shadow of the obelisk before them looked solid, eons old.
“I have heard rumors of these obelisks,” Perish Tel said. “My people have seen them before, in strange places. They appear without warning and depart just as suddenly. Their origins are unknown. Inside, it is said, they hold secrets not of Norrath…”
Hoorak chuckled. “This structure has never moved. And it isn’t going anywhere soon.” He moved toward the doorway, which blew open of its own accord.
Perish Tel instinctually cast a defensive spell over the group.
Inside the dark entryway, hallways extended far beyond what the obelisk seemed to be able to contain.
Hoorak advanced; the group uncertainly looked at each other. Then F’Sheel entered behind Hoorak, and the others followed suit.
They came to a large chamber at the end of the hall, doorways branching all around them.
“What now?” Gelig asked.
The chamber answered.
A breeze blew past them, a strange current that seemed to suck the air out of their very lungs. Before any of them could react, a flicker exploded into a ball of energy in the middle of the group. Everyone ducked and scattered, assuming it was some kind of explosive magic. But, instead, it appeared to be a dark window on another realm…
“The Shadowed Men!” Tykisa cried.
From the darkness of the shadows came a movement, and suddenly the shape of an unseen, glimmering, impossible being, reaching out into the chamber.
“Welcome, travelers. You are daring to have ventured so far from your own lands…so far from your own world.”
Hoorak tried swiping at the Shadowed Man, but his steel had little effect upon the otherworldly form.
The Shadowed Man laughed. “I’m sure you will not be missed. Children of the Void, arise! We have secrets to keep.”
The group turned to face a chamber beside them that had been empty mere moments before. Gelig pointed and stared, transfixed as lightning bolts flickered and spat. At the centers of these balls of light, tremendous dark shapes appeared… with massive fangs and large curved horns.
“Nightbloods!” Gelig gasped. “Stand ready!”
The Nightbloods thundered forth, and the group plunged into battle.