The Freeport Chronicles

Rematch

The top floor of the tower is of similar design as the main floor being structured as a large open concept room with a mezzanine level above. The room sports four large pillars, each topped with a beacon top representing one of the four cardinal elements – water, earth, fire, and air – and each are guarded by the respective elemental. From the mezzanine level, Palomina smiles at the companions’ entry and motions haphazardly to her elementals to depose of the group.

The battle tests the companions on many different levels, with the elemental guards invoking the wrath of their respective natural forces while receiving tactical support from Palomina above. The companions are hit by a well placed fireball as they charge the centre of the room. They concentrate first on the earth elemental, surrounding the creature to inflict maximum melee carnage with ranged support from their new found friend Poots. The companions take a beating as they reduce the earth elemental to its natural state; as it disintegrates into dust, a final surge of energy is released. The beacon atop the earth hub explodes, resulting in several members of the group being knocked unconscious. Lando, who had retreated from the battle scene after being scorched by the fireball, expends a hope stone to return the group to full health.

Learning from their near death experience, the companions employ a modified strategy to battle the remaining elementals. They continue to concentrate on one elemental at a time, but before the death blow is dealt by Maydrane, the other companions duck behind several walls of elemental force that Palomina employed to control the field of battle. In this way, the air and water elementals are quickly destroyed although a second hope stone is expended to keep the group in prime fighting condition.

With three of her guards destroyed, Palomina transitions to more aggressive attack spells as opposed to providing tactical support. Further, getting close to the fire elemental to attack with melee weapons proves a dangerous game given the potential to be burned. The companions play a game of cat and mouse with the elemental, charging in for several hits before dodging back out of the line of fire. To cap the strategy, Anton completes a feat of daring do, jumping up to the mezzanine before diving directly down on the unsuspecting elemental. The resultant elemental blast catches several of the companions in addition to damaging the fourth relic.

Unable to heal, the companions quickly mobilize for an assault on Palomina. The death of her elementals has resulted in several levers appearing, which lower the stairs to the mezzanine. While the group charges up to engage her in melee, she readies herself by casting mirror image. The companions surround her and fastidiously knock off the magical images while she scorches the group with several fire-oriented spells in response. Magus Mike counters her spells with a flaming sphere of his own. A vicious hit from Anton drops her to her knees just as Maydrane completes a charge, rendering her unconscious. The remains of her body crackle in the intense heat of the fire.

As her life force dissipates, an onyx shard rises from the ashes. The child of Captain Sil and Ancias, who was magically hidden during the assault on the tower, steps forward to consume the physical manifestation of the Unspeakable One. The orb attempts to flee but is caught in the child’s gravitational pull. It adjoins to the boy’s chest seamlessly, adding to the intense iconography already displayed there. The child voices a soundless scream as he grows physically in both stature and maturity. As the companions watch, the child’s face changes into the inquisitive features of a teenage boy. The transformation is almost complete.

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