As Tybalt and Finkle attatch the last two gems to the crystal shaft they’ve been forming, it pulses slightly. The new rod obviously will fit into the groove in the giant crystal sitting atop the pedestal in the middle of the room. Together, the two of them lower it into the slot with a crystalline click. The gem flashes brightly making everyone blink.
The girls, who were hiding behind Duule just in case, are the first to see him. He appears to be a drider, but his upper torso is human rather than dark-elf. He also appears to be albino. Also his eyes are that of a spider. Four large ones arranged atop his hairless head, and four smaller ones around the sides. Immediately, Tybalt seems to just disappear, which he’s been getting rather good at lately. Duule braces himself to jump over the crystal. But both Vanessa and Finkle call out to wait, “It’s only an illusion generated by the crystal.”
And then he speaks, “Greetings, I am Arachnus, the demigod of spiders. And for a brief time the last surviving demigod. I must be brief, as they hunt for me even as I speak. My own folly has brought this fate down upon myself and the other demigods. During The Godwars, The Younger Gods sought to overthrow the Elder Gods, their parents, and ours for that matter. We sided with the Younger as the Elder were decadent, self-absorbed, and generally abusive to everything upon the world of Draken.
“The demigods were the generals of the Younger Gods’ armies. We fought the hordes of abominations that the Elder Gods created to defend their lairs while the Younger Gods fought our parents themselves. The greatest advantage we had over our parents was the fact that none of the Elder Gods trusted, or helped, each other. So when several of the Younger Gods combined their power, they were able to defeat their individual Elders. Even so, we took horrible losses. Barely half of the demigods survived, and the Younger Gods were reduced from fifty to just thirteen.
“During the last part of the wars I conceived of the idea of overthrowing all of the gods. We, the demigods, still numbered in the hundreds. We should’ve been able to do it easily. But I forgot that one detail that separated the Younger Gods from our parents. They helped each other. We were defeated, and for our attempt, sentenced to death. Only my own abilities at deception and misdirection were able to save me until now.”
He lays a hand upon the crystal and it begins to glow from deep within. “I have invested all of my power within this gem. I have told my minions they cannot use it, however I don’t think they understood. Their brains always were rather limited, always focused on the moment and playing with the little lizardlings.
“Ah! They come!” With that he lays his upper body across the crystal so that it appears all four of his larger eyes are looking at the party, Tybalt and Finkle having both moved to flank Duule by this time.
Suddenly, three more images appear around Arachnus. Z’handar and Truss on either side of the crystal, and Agara behind him. Agara cries out, “Whatever he’s doing, finish him before he slips away from us again!” With that, both the other gods bring their swords down upon the back of Arachnus’ neck and into the very spot where the groove was before. And with that all the images disappear.
The gem still glows with it’s internal light. And it illuminates the faces of all the people around the room. The gods fill the spaces between the pillars around the room, two at each of the cardinal points and one at each of the secondary points. Aillur and Phardos stand facing the party from the north. Z’handar from the northwest, Bene from the northeast, Dagron and Uthen from the west, Sardan and Agara from the east, Truss from the southwest, Anarchy from the southeast, and Cray’t and Necros from behind the party to the south. Isis makes an odd mewling sound then lies down with her head on her paws, giving Erima only a sense of resignation.
Z’handar speaks up, “Well, evidently he deceived us one last time.”
Truss, “Aye, the little bastard was a wily one to the end, and beyond.”
Aillur, “Still, there’s the issue of the power he put into the crystal. What shall be done with it?”
Anarchy, “I say ‘finders, keepers’!”
Dagron, “If we allow it to grant each of them a boon, it should just about take all the power it has.”
Agara, “And I think we should take the tower as a monument to the aid the demigods did provide us in the ‘wars. Despite their betrayal at his urging, they were invaluable in that fight.”
Phardos, “ Agreed, all in favor?” There is a chorus of assent from the surrounding gods, “Then it shall be done. Reece?”
A man appears atop the crystal. Nondescript, and wearing a brown robe, he carries a book in both arms open and a quill pen writing without a hand to guide it. He says, “It has been recorded, so it shall be.” He speaks in a deep, resonating voice that seems to etch itself into the very bones of the earth. He then immediately disappears.
With him go most of the rest of the gods, except for Aillur, Bene, and Agara who congregate on the east side of the room evidently discussing the location the tower should occupy on Lieros. Z’handar also remains in his alcove as his attention focuses on the party. He says, “Adventurers, you must hurry. Place your hands upon the crystal and it will grant you the boons we discussed. With it you will be able to command the spiders below once. My suggestion is to not let them kill you. Goliath can carry you upon it’s back to a single destination you command. There, it will die. It had hoped the power of the crystal would save it from its advanced age, it will not. It will gladly do this one last service for the inheritors of its beloved master’s power.”
The party lays their hands upon the crystal and the crystal flashes once again then shatters into a thousand smaller gems, each worth a thousand gold pieces and primed to receive any magical powers granted to it.
While gems are being loaded into bags, Zhandar pulls Tybalt aside, “I would have the body downstairs. Your friend is to be a champion of my estate on Lieros, and he will have need of it. His banner however, you may take and return to his guildhall in Fallscliff, where they may hang it with the other honored trophies of their guild. He will need his armor, shield, lance, sword, and horse. The rest you may have to do with as you need.” He then glances over at Erima, “You’d do well to listen to your heart. There is a great destiny unfolding here that you may all play a part in. Succeed, and all Draken will remember your names.” With that he disappears. The female gods look at the party and shoo them out of the tower.