As Mask departed towards the remaining captives, the rest of the party remained behind, seemingly frozen in place. A monotone, sinister voice crawled within their skulls, whispering a dark monologue that explained the creation of the Lich, who was one of the three thief kings of Luskan, sacrificed to spare the city. He was reborn as a :ich, and had killed the original nine. He had also infiltrated the Nine’s royal circle, and has created a disease known as the Spellplague, a terrible creation that would cause anyone with magical abilities to be driven insane and slowly become a Lich Vestige, a husk of a mage that blindly follows the nearest most powerful source of magic.
As the terrifying explanation ended, the Lich himself appeared, walking towards the overlooking balcony and staring down upon the party. He mocked their inability to actually end his life, and informed them that Luskan had sent a powerful group of mercenary’s known as the Snaketounge to kill him, and that they would kill the party as well without hesitation.
He then summoned into the room below a Beholder, a powerful beast with a giant eye in the center, along with several eye stalks that could conjure powerful magics. It was assisted by five cyclops, giant, towering one eyed creatures. The party fought valiantly, Kriv and Shepard teaming up against the Beholder as Elliot, Herlock, and Wandon fought against the towering Cyclops. Elliot managed to slay two, and Herlock and Wandon the remaining three. The final blow to the Beholder was dealt by Wandon, who launched a powerful Arc of lighting into the creature. Surprisingly, most of them were unharmed.
The Lich re-informed the party that the Snaketounge were coming, and that the only option was to split their forces to fight both. His idea sounded promising to the party as the Snaketounge warped into the mansion, and Shepard agreed to hold off the large group of mercenary’s as long as he could, drawing his divine longsword from his back and readying his self-forged arm. The Lich brought the remaining party to the balcony above with a snap of his fingers, and the fight was on.
Shepard struck left and right, taking several blows from the mercenary’s but refusing to let himself be surrounded. They attacked en masse, making it near impossible for him to parry all their attacks. Elliot backed up Kriv as they charged against the Lich, who had created a large. powerful layer of jagged ice on the floor below them, which has impaled all but Herlock, who had ran onto the ceiling, and has nearly killed Wandon. They fought, the lich dodging most of Elliot and Kriv’s blows, while Wandon weakly fired bolts of lighting and fireballs from his fingertips, struggling to stay conscious. Herlock assisted from above, occasionally taking down a mercenary near Shepard or knocking away one of the Lich’s attacks. Elliot retreated to the wounded Wandon and hastily healed his wound, giving him enough strength to continue fighting. Shepard has been pushed back into a tiny side room, bloodied, and was attempting to narrow down the remaining mercenary’s into single file so that he could fight them one at a time. One tried to enter the room, and had his head knocked off his shoulders by a powerful punch from Shepard.
The Lich was hit with a devastating axe blow from Kriv, blooding him. He began to turn to dust, taunting the party. It didn’t matter if they defeated him, he had unleashed the Spellplague thirty minutes ago onto Neverwinter, the city they had sworn to protect. And he would return forever, he was immortal, undead. His death would mean nothing. He unleashed another powerful barrage of ice, cutting Elliot deeply and barely being dodged by Kriv. However, Wandon received a large chunk of the magic ice directly into his chest, and stumbled towards the stairs towards Shepard, clutching onto his last thread of life. Shepard, enraged at the near death of his ally, charged forwards, cutting down the last of the mercenary’s, save one, who shoved his poison-tipped longsword through the stomach of Wandon, but was quickly turned to ice and shattered before Wandon collapsed, blood spilling down the stairs and his eyes going wide. He gasped for breath, staring at the teary-eyed Shepard who held him. “Tell my wife.. tell her.. tell her hi for me, okay? Tell her that..” He let out a sigh, and a weak smile, and died in Shepard’s arms.
Shepard stood, notching the last of his fire arrows in his bow, and took aim at the Lich, who was dodging and weaving around a battered and bloodied Elliot and Kriv, struggling to keep themselves and each other alive. Herlock has been knocked from the ceiling to the ground by a powerful shadow bolt from the Lich, and was struggling to return to his feet. Shepard let the arrow fly just as Kriv managed to remove one of the Lich’s arms, and the arrow lodged into the undead wizard’s head, collapsing into a pile of dust.
The party stopped, catching their breath and mourning the loss of Wandon. The palace was beginning to crumble, turn to ash before them. Mask rushed into the room, informing them that he did not make it in time to save any of the nine. He tried halfheartedly to console the party of the loss of Wandon, and they all looked out into the now open wall of the beautifully crafted palace, towards the Astral Sea. They contemplated what to do, where to go..
Perhaps this was the end.