======================Turn 4[CONT]=================================
     
        Recall last time when . . .
     
        For the first time, Kaliban looks down and sees the form of Styles 
     sprawled over the entrace.  His howl of grief is deafening as he 
     turns his head to the heavens and bellows over his long time friend 
     and partymember.
     
        Huvis begins to speak in a strange language to Cragspider who 
     begins to respond in one tongue and then switches to another.  Then, 
     Tremir breaks in by saying ``Cragspider, I have known you for 
     centuries!  We are just as real as you!  We deserve the chance to 
     live.''  Cragspider says ``Bah!  Exist?  You have no idea what `real' 
     existence is!''  She waves her hand absently toward Tremir, and a 
     complex series of symbols appear in front of her.  The symbols are 
     aligned in linear formations, apparently some type of language.  
     Cragspider appears stunned, and she mumbles ``impossible!''
     
        Balinor sees his break, and he disappears from the view of the 
     remainder of the party.  Guy begins to stir on the floor (Risk remains 
     quite motionless), and Miriya invokes a WORD which lights the runes of 
     Magic and Infinity befor her.  Guy's prostrate form is covered in red 
     sparkles.  Miriya's hand is a blur as a throwing start darts unerringly 
     to and through Guy's head, apparently impacting with nothing solid.  
     The throwing star bounces off of the floor and hits Cragspider with a 
     crackle and smell of burnt iron, rousing her from her stupor.  
     
        Miriya's mouth drops open in amazement, but she quickly recovers and 
     invokes another spell flashing the runes of Movement, Magic and Void 
     before her.  As she intones the spell the floor beneath Guy begins to 
     glow in dull greyish light.  Guy gestures and the runes of Air and 
     Movement appear over him.  Branham says ``someone familiar is nearby.''
     
        A gateway appears beneath Guy, and immediately a human female head 
     appears through the opening.  She has raven black hair and eyes like 
     liquid rainbows.  Her thin, pale features are lit from below by some 
     flickering, multicolored light source on the other side of the gate.  A 
     circlet on her head bear inscriptions of the runes of Magic, Infinity 
     and Illusion.  Branham and Tremir both look at the woman as though 
     trying to remember someone.  Miriya looks to Branham for some 
     indication of who this might be.  Once the woman's chest clears the 
     gateway she proclaims ``ah!  Free at last!  I've been waiting 
     *CENTURIES* for someone to open a gateway to Limbo somewhere I could 
     escape and wreak my revenge.  Phineas thought by stomping out my 
     religion he could destroy *ME*!  Well, he was WRONG!''  She wears a 
     dress of black chemise, trimmed in silver spiders.  Tremir and Branham 
     yell as one ``Gabrielle!  Miriya!  Shut the gate!  SHUT THE GATE NOW!'' 
      Miriya does not hesitate, and the gate snaps back.  Gabrielle tries to 
     fight it, but it is too strong for her.  She is cut neatly in half at 
     the waist.  
     
        Gabrielle topples with a look of outrage, and puts out a hand to 
     stop her torso from falling to the ground.  Multi-colored lightning 
     crackles above her head, and the runes of Fertility and Mastery appear 
     above her as she states ``it's not *NICE* to fool with the Mistress of 
     Lies!''  Gabrielle is whole again.  Huvis, Branham and Granth launch 
     simultaneous devastating attacks, and Gabrielle becomes a fiery orb, 
     consumed in magical destruction.  After a moment, Huvis breaks off his 
     attack.  Gabrielle falls in a withered heap on the floor.  
     
        As the other party members press their attacks, Miriya, quite 
     outraged at the ``cheatiness'' of the Void creature's abilities, casts 
     a spell invoking the runes of Magic and Movement.  Guy is teleported to 
     Miriya's feet, but he no longer appears human.  He actually resembles a 
     haphazard pile of chopped, black luminescent jello.  Miriya and Huvis 
     follow immediately with incantations using the stasis rune, and the 
     jello stops its movement.  Miriya and Huvis give each other a ``high 
     five.''  
     
        Outside the obelisk, the trolls chanting changes again, clearly 
     becoming ``AN-NIL-LA AN-NIL-LA AN-NIL-LA!''  Leoshi says to the group  
     ``if we can just hold on a bit longer, help is on the way!''  
     Trahk-Chi says to the howling Kaliban Keen-Eye  ``so, you are Zorak 
     Zoran too?!'' as much a statement as a question.  Kaliban Keen-Eye 
     answers in the gutteral tones of Darktongue.  Kaliban and Trahk-Chi 
     snort together in admiration and respect as would of the broo (who 
     tried to sneak up on them) had Trahk and Kaliban not smashed it in two 
     with their great mauls at that particular point in time.  Trahk-Chi 
     looked up at the lip of the crater and said ``who is that?'' as he 
     points to a human male coming working his way down the edge of the 
     crater toward the obelisk. 
     
        The man appears mature (40ish), greying a little but still hale.  
     He has brown hair and is very short (5'4") but quite muscular.  His 
     surcoat bears the Nerrian crest, the device of the Lands of the 
     Overlord superimposed by a laurel wreath and a unicorn rampant.  He 
     wears field plate, but he walks under the weight unhindered.  A chain 
     hangs from his neck bearing inscriptions of Death, Truth and Good.  
     His bearing is regal, befitting one who had expected and received 
     absolute obedience and respect.  In his right hand, he holds a long 
     sword glowing faintly, covered in the ichor of a recently slain Chaos 
     beast.  The blood smoulders and burns, leaving the blade clean as 
     Trahk-Chi watches.  In the man's left hand he holds a hefty hand-axe 
     which would require a normal strongman two arms just to lift.  His 
     eyes look like gatesways to Hades.  
     
        The regal figure pauses as he comes within ten meters of Trahk-Chi 
     and Kaliban Keen-Eye and states ``Hail and well met.  I am Phineas, 
     the Humakti, I am here to prevent the taking of the World Machine by 
     those forces of Chaos and Void which are fast upon this place!  Be 
     quick; we must be inside at once! There is but little time!''
     
        Inside, Branham says ``King Phineas is just outside!''  Huvis 
     growls ``Phineas the Black'' through clenched teeth and levels his 
     sword at the gaping portal to outside.  Just then, the party and 
     Cragspider notice Balinor moving stealthfull and apparently unaware 
     of his change in visibility through the three rings of metal to the 
     door.  Balinor takes a small card, inserts it in the door and quickly 
     steps inside as the doorway opens.  Leoshi notes the smirk adorning 
     Balinor's face as he steps through still believing himself 
     unobserved.  Cragspider cries ``No!'' and steps through in a single 
     bound, springing off of Risk who remains impassive throughout the 
     scene.  
     
        Trahk-Chi is startled to see over one hundred feet from snout to 
     tail of dragon flesh above him!  Kaliban Keen-Eye quickly surmises 
     ``must of teleported!''  The dragon transforms into a Dragon-newt 
     noble wearing gold inscribed dragon-bone armor.  He says ``we must be 
     inside!''  To punctuate his point, a horde of mishappen Chaos beasts 
     pour over the lip of the cavern and down to the obelisk.  The dragon 
     steps inside, and Trahk-Chi, Phineas and Kaliban Keen-Eye perform a 
     fighting retreat into the interior of the obelisk, but the Chaos 
     beasts shy away from the entrance.
     
        The party had taken the trollish chanting almost for granted, but 
     when it stopped, the thunderous silence caused all their collective 
     stomachs to knot.  The entire complex shakes for a moment, and the 
     light outside the obelisk takes on a shimmering light blue color.  A 
     thrum fills the air.  The noise of battle immediately outside the 
     obelisk ceases abruptly.
     
        Huvis says ``Phineas the Black you murderous &^%$*%&$!!!  That is 
     as far as you go!  Whether of Chaos or Void I don't know, but you are 
     certainly EVIL!!!''  Phineas regards Huvis calmly and looks pointedly 
     at Risk's spot on the floor.  Risk remains motionless under Phineas' 
     withering gaze.  Phineas states  "I have no idea who you are, but 
     right now we don't have the time to settle any feuds.  Any quarrel 
     that you have with me can wait until after we've defeated our common 
     enemy"  Huvis reluctantly points the sword away from Phineas although 
     Huvis does not sheath it.  
     
        The dragon says ``We must go inside!!!  NOW! or NEVER!  The mad one 
     returns!  QUICKLY!''  Phineas says ``yes, there is no time to waste!'' 
      Gabrielle springs to her feet at this juncture and says ``Not so fast 
     Phineas!  Who are you to say that Void and Chaos are any less suited 
     to rule than the likes of you!  Spah! [she spits in Phineas' 
     direction] Look at what has come to the world because of you and your 
     ilk.  Void and Chaos are but differing philosophies, and the 
     generations which follow will be thankful for the diversity.  Besides, 
     you've well outlived your usefulness to anyone save yourself!''  With 
     a disdaining laugh, Gabrielle points a finger at Phineas and a scarlet 
     bolt of power springs toward Phineas.  
     
        A disk of gold flies from the hand of the dragon and deflects the 
     beam away from Phineas.  The dragon remarks ``what foul spawn once 
     human is this?  In all the millenia, I've not ceased to be amazed at 
     the evil lying coiled within the human frame!''   The dragon points a 
     menacing forefinger toward Gabrielle and says ``out of our way, and you 
     yet may survive!''  Gabrielle levels both arms at the dragon and 
     unleashes twin purple bolts of power at the the dragon's chest stating 
     ``*I'm* a goddess whose waited far too long for her just revenge 
     dragon-newt scum!''  The dragon calmly bends, opening its mouth and 
     absorbs the incoming energy.  ``You apparently have no idea who *I* 
     am'' says the dragon.  Gabrielle is momentarily dumbfounded, and 
     Vorondil and Leoshi silently nod at the dragon.  Vorondil knocks an 
     arrow, and Leoshi takes a fighting stance.  The dragon utters a WORD 
     and the runes of Infinity, Mastery and Magic flare before Gabrielle.  
     She shrieks, but her cries are cut off by a well aimed arrow to the 
     chest and Leoshi's snap kick to the head.  Gabrielle falls, unmoving 
     beside the introspective Risk.
     
        ``Let us be in my children'' says the dragon in a concerned tone, 
     but the party has already begun to file into the darkness beyond.  As 
     the last party member crosses the threshold, the black jello once Guy 
     begins to slowly reform . . .
     
        [Let the games begin!]