The dragonborn fell with a heavy thud. Across the arcane laboratory, Aramil was charging at the Pit Fiend, fighting for every step of the way. When the enormous devil was slammed into the imposing creation forge, a dark terrible arcane vortex began to form. Summoning the last of her strength, Janna brought forth a strong gust of wind, shutting the creation forge. The party ran back to the room of scholars and theurgists and tried to evacuate them. As the group exited the Temple of Ioun screaming, the explosion occurred.
The world slowed. Dark thick ropey shadows devoured the blue skies ahead, and shadows fumed from everything around them. The ground gave way to a pool of oily darkness, and the heroes fell hard onto stone floor, the impact knocking the air and the light out of them.
When the heroes woke, they found themselves in a shadowy reflection of the blasted ruins. Before them stood a skeletal figure, his left hand a ghostly thing limned in spectral fire, carefully peeling off energies from the defeated Pit Fiend. A sense of power resonated from the figure, and when it turned its skull to faced them, its left eye glowed with a palatable malevolence.
“All the pawns of prophecy have fallen into my lap.” A disembodied voice echoed hollowly in their heads. “And it’s time I reap the fruits.”
With that, the Aspect of Vecna attacked.
As the Aspect of Vecna screamed a grating scream, the crystal shards on its belt flared into unlife. A staccato of arcane explosions later, the inky shadowy air was swarming with ghastly spectral figures; a women with half her face burnt off, a man with a sword tip still sticking out from his back, a child whose head rested uneasily on a torn neck. The mob of ghosts reached out for the heroes and Vecna, and though each touch felt like the light kiss of a feather, it sapped their strength. The ghosts begun to howl, forming a horrible sickly vortex in the Shadowfell. And just before the heroes fell to the tainted touches, Aramil caught a glimpse of the fragments of the crystal coalescing into a gem, one so dark and black that it sucked in all light.
When consciousness came back again, they found themselves within stone coffins, the mummified remains of dwarves and a blanket of dust layered on them. Muffled sounds came from without, and upon investigation, they found orogs and orcs plundering and desecrating what appears to be a dwarven crypt. The heroes fought their way out of the crypt, and they realized an orc raid on the Monastery has slaughtered everyone. A dying guard pleads them to save the Forgemaster, a paladin called Kalad Stoutheart. In a terrible battle down in the forgeworks, the heroes finally saved Kalad Stoutheart from a terrible fate at the hands of Og, the Orog Hero.