The Revenant skulked silently and eyed the people gathering at the town of Paws. Baerron Jael peered through the eyes of his servant and watched with interest as the lightbringers came together. They wished to retake the Shrine of Honesty (see here: Breaking the Second Seal). The daemon mused loudly in Richard's head about his desire to once again engage these foolish humans in battle. But this time he could not. They were gathering quicker than he anticipated and he needed to turn his attentions to the third Seal, lest his own master... Baerron Jael forced the thought away. As much as the daemon would love to get his claws into some fresh lightbringer meat, he would need to turn to the Death Knight, Lord Soth. The lightbringers would need to be slowed down if not outright defeated in order to buy the daemon enough time to break the third Seal. Lord Soth, the mountainous and stoic dead knight set a plan in motion that would bring the lightbringers to him, but he would need to ensure that they come in force, for the more bodies they bring, the more they will feed into his army. Baerron Jael was bemused by Lord Soth's plan. A cult of fledgling mages worshipped the Death Knight for reasons that were beyond the comprehension of the daemon, and they would set the plan in motion to draw the lightbringers (see here: Looking for an Answer). Baerron Jael continued to watch in amusement as the lightbringers donned the disguises of missionaries. Their plan was to go to Moonglow where the cultists been at work searching for a tome to destroy the Shrine of Honesty. A wise plan, Lord Soth, the daemon once more mused. If the cultists are successful, then the Shrine of Honesty itself would be destroyed. If the cultists fail, Lord Soth still achieves the objective of keeping the lightbringers away from the third Seal. The Revenant was able to follow the group as far as the town proper itself. Once there, the lightbringers split into smaller groups and fanned out across the island in search of the cultists and to spread the Good Word of Paws, such was their ruse. Useless slave! Baerron Jael cursed the Revenant. The daemon lost his amusement when the Revenant lost the lightbringers on Moonglow. But all was not lost for the daemon. A spell of the Lost Circle was known to him by the name of Wizard's Magic Eye. The spell would drain the daemon slightly, thus slowing his efforts on the third Seal, but the daemon wanted to see the full plan of Lord Soth's come to fruition. Baerron Jael cast the spell and observed the lightbringers. Once the spell's effect settled on the daemon, the lightbringers had encountered the cultists sent forth by Lord Soth. These cultists were weak! Baerron Jael wondered at Lord Soth's judgement for choosing these fledgling mages. Unless... It was all part of Lord Soth's plan to draw the lightbringers to him. The lightbringers must believe that they are following a path that would stop Baerron Jael and him breaking the Seals that bound his master within his prison dimension deep down in the Stygian Abyss. Baerron Jael watched as more cultists attacked the group of lightbringers. The lightbringers fought their way through the cultists into the Lycaeum, where clues from the cultists led them. The cultists discovered a cypher and a set of encoded maps which would lead to the location of the tome which could destroy the Shrine of Honesty. However, these cultists were not clever enough to actually decrypt the code and figure out the location of the tome. With the cypher in hand and the maps handy, the lightbringers worked together to break the code that the cultists had failed. The tome was in the city of Wind. The daemon was no longer amused, as he rather relished the thought of the Shrine of Honesty being destroyed, regardless of its effect on the plan to free his master. But with the lightbringers imminently about to retrieve the tome, that possibility collapsed. Lord Soth must have sensed this disappointment. The Death Knight was still deep in preparing his forces for the main battle ahead and could not spare many bodies to waylay the lightbringers. He summoned forth a small amount of undead to harry the soldiers left to defend the entrance of Wind, inflicting several casualties. The lightbringers suffered only a very minor setback, and soon found themselves back in the city of Moonglow. The foolish cultists not only let the tome fall into the hands of the lightbringers (a small inconvenience given Lord Soth's plan), but an apprentice left behind directions as well. The daemon truly wondered about the quality of the cultists Lord Soth used. The forces of nature were on the side of the daemon. Sea serpents and krakens emerged from their murky depths to waylay the lightbringers and inflict further losses. They would be weakened by the time they reached the crux of Lord Soth's plan. The lightbringers landed on the east side of the island. Lord Soth moved his western forces into position blocking the western mountain pass that would exist the valley of Honesty. Baerron Jael wanted to see for himself the terror that Lord Soth would inflict. No longer content to use the Wizard's Magic Eye, and disregarding the possible repercussions from his master, the daemon perched nearby in the shadows and watched the lightbringers. The lightbringers split into several groups. On the south side, a group worked on pushing back Lord Soth's western forces. Another group rallied at the eastern mountain pass where Lord Soth's eastern forces moved into position, blocking any path of retreat. The lightbringers were caught in Lord Soth's pincer. That foolish grey wizard had a trick hidden up his robe. The tome acquired from Wind seemed to allow him to contact the Xorinite dimension and enlist the aid of the wisps! Baerron Jael fumed greatly at this. Bastard Xorinites! The daemon had a long history against the wisps and their collective knowledge. Their refusal of granting the Spell of Armageddon to the daemon remained a sore point. The arrival of the wisps threatened Lord Soth's plan. Baerron Jael needed to act. With a silent incantation, Baerron Jael vanished and appeared at the town of Wispfelt. This old wisp has caused nothing but trouble for the daemon, and it was time to enact vengeance. Merely killing the wisp would not do. No, the power must be harnessed. Lord Soth appeared next to the daemon. The Death Knight's icey blue eyes stared out from the depths of his thick shadow helmet. Without a word spoken, Lord Soth gathered the essence of the elder wisp and consumed it. With an echoing yell that sounded like a blood curdling scream from the depths of a bottomless cavern, Lord Soth began to transform. His heavy platemail collapsed from his body and his bones turned to dust. What emerged was an inky shadow connected with the Xorinite dimension, the very same that Jupiter has contacted but a moment earlier. Lord Soth and Baerron Jael returned to the valley of Honesty where the lightbringers and their meddling wisp allies pushed back the eastern and western forces of Lord Soth's. But it would not matter. Lord Soth tore several openings in reality and brought all of hell with him. Lord Soth himself entered the fray. With quick, deft strikes he felled lightbringer after lightbringer. Nobody was able to stand against him. Baerron Jael could not help himself but amuse himself at the expense of the lightbringers... after all, they fed him and Lord Soth so much death! Each lightbringer struck down added one more to Lord Soth's army. The vain struggle brought great joy to the daemon. With the lightbringers defeated, the daemon reveled in the bloody carnage. But something strange happened. Baerron Jael could feel it. Lord Soth, in his efforts here, became entwined with the Shrine of Honesty itself. If the lightbringers were to retake the shrine at some point, it would mean destroying Lord Soth. Baerron Jael shook his head vigorously. He needed to leave and work on the third Seal and make the most of the time afforded him by Lord Soth, for the Death Knight turned Xorinite was marked for death. A stranger in green appeared to the lightbringers amidst the death. Baerron sensed this was a being of immense power, far beyond his own. Was this some sort of god? It would seem that the stranger in green held the virtues in some esteem, for he gave the lightbringers the knowledge of where to find the ability to bring forth Lord Soth and destroy him. Baerron Jael gritted his teeth and hissed at the green stranger and his meddling ways before recalling from the field of battle. The daemon once more summoned the Wizard's Magic Eye while continuing his breaking of the third Seal. There was nothing he could do to help Lord Soth now. The lightbringers found the knowledge they sought in the Lycaeum and quickly made their way through Deceit. They gathered additional allies and mighty dragons to assist them in their fight against the Death Knight. With their newfound knowledge, Lord Soth was brought forth. It was time. The lightbringers and their dragons were very well prepared, but that did not stop Lord Soth from striking down several of the group and separating a dragon's head from its neck before succumbing, with all finality, to the grave wounds suffered in the battle. Lord Soth was defeated. The shadow that his visage had taken disappeared into nothingness, returning to the Xorinite dimension. The daemon cursed the green stranger, the lightbringer, and their dragons. With the defeat of Lord Soth, the corruption of the Shrine of Honesty was no more. Lord Soth gave his unlife to afford Baerron Jael the time to break the third Seal. It was a mighty sacrifice that would serve the daemon's cause well, but without Lord Soth the daemon found himself without many allies left. He would need to remedy that. =================================================================== =================================================================== =================================================================== =================================================================== (Out of Character notes): First and foremost, thank you everyone for participating, it was once again a huuuuge blast! I want to give a fond farewell to Lord Soth who has now left UO entirely. I wish them the best in their real life adventures. Also, a huge thank you to the people who sent me extra screenshots (they are the ones with the purple effect from the "Magic Wizard's Eye"). Please, feel free to post additional pictures and your own stories here.