With a wrench felt in his very soul, Merlin appears in a familiar place. A gate made of bones stands at his back, and though he feels it’s presence, the dark temple is no longer visible ahead through the mists. Looking around, Merlin barely makes out Marlo and Gardain standing beside him, as they appear so insubstantial as to almost not be there. Lloric and Gladric are nowhere to be seen. A quick bit of deductive analysis (and relief at still retaining cognitive ability) based on their previous visit tells Merlin that they are probably a the Temple Doors. The skeletons once seen marching out of the gate stand unmoving on either side of the path.
One of the ghost mages flanking the bone gate turns and says “Ah, you again.” As he looks the party over, a force grips Merlin around the waist and arms. He sees that the other 2 are being similarly constrained, their threadbare existence pinched in the middle. “Well! Your lifeforce is looking tenuous enough for us to sever. Lets get you up to the temple, and with luck you’ll be joining the main force assembling in Thanatos.” As he begins moving up the path between the stationary skeletal warriors, the force holding Merlin jerks into movement and shadows him up the path.
As Merlin is dragged up the path, the outline of the temple appears dimly through the fog. The ghost mage exclaims “Oh, I see your other friends are here too! Run into some problems in the Keep eh?” He laughs. “Well they can wait there, we’ll get you all processed together.” Suddenly the ghost mage turns his head to Marlo sharply as says “stop that!” Marlo ceases wriggling as his upper half is almost disconnected from the lower by the force constraining him. Meanwhile Gardain’s expression has gone from worried, to confused, through to calm.
Passing the last of the skeletal force, the temple can be seen more clearly now. Merlin deduces the distance at about 80 feet, the same distance they have been dragged. His access to magic seems tenuous at the moment, and despite attempts he has not been able to unravel the forces that bind. A glance behind does show a flash of light through the clouds. Gardain’s eyes are closed and he seems to be muttering.
The temple looms 40 feet away, it’s massive double door adorned with a motif of a horned rams skull. The mists seem darker and thicker here, swirling slowly around the corkscrew shaped building.
Suddenly, you are blinded by a brilliant flash of light and deafened by a sonic boom. As your vision clears you turn and see a massive dragon burst through the mists directly above the skeletal legion. With a shriek like a train braking, it falls upon the skeletal force, silver-white claws rending bone and breastplate alike. A dwarf bathed in soft light stands on the back of the dragon, hammer and shield in hand. His voice booms out: “Back through the gate lads! Make it snappy, times a’wastin!”. He roars and the remaining threads of mist scatter, affording you a clear view of the area. Still roaring, the dwarf jumps from the dragons back and disappears under the mass of skeletons. Seconds later bones begin fountaining up into the air.
You notice you’ve become essentially solid again and the force that once encompassed you is merely a tug on the arm. It is however still managing to restrain your movement. The ghost mage is looking fearfully between the chaotic melee behind and the temple gate, and yells ahead to his brethren: “Maloc, get those 2 inside! Rethel, I require assistance here!”. He struggles forward slowly as if pulling a great weight, and you are dragged along. Lloric and Gladric are dragged closer to the temple doors which begin to open slowly.