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D&D 5e: The Great Betrayer

The Traitor’s End: A Campaign Boss Encounter

Deep within the Shadowfell, the party arrived at the inner most sanctum of an ancient Dwarven crypt.
Saiton, the great betrayer, turned from his studies of some unknown magics and balked. The very man he had murdered countless years ago stood at the doorway, flanked by an intimidating cadre of heroes.

“Traitor!” shouted Bellamin as he drew his blade and set his sights on Saiton’s rotted form.

“Bellamin Vaughn!?” The decrepit sorcerer recognized the paladin, seething with the knowledge that all he had sacrificed now may have been for nothing.

This man had no right to be living and breathing before him. Bellamin’s corpse was left strewn amongst the remains of his decimated platoon; Pelor’s Faithful. A small price for Saiton’s own immortality.

But the paladin alive again, be it by fiend or celestial hand, could not be allowed to exact Pelor’s justice, not when Saiton was so close to unlocking the secrets of the terrible despair of the Shadowfell.

The sorcerer raised a desiccated hand and pointed at Bellamin with a vicious sneer, commanding that which stood before him to fall beneath the cold hand of death.

An electric green bolt tore through the air, seeking the paladin’s heart.

Half a breath’s gasp, eyes wide, Bellamin braced himself behind his shield.

Pelor’s gleaming emblem illuminated in hot green death for the briefest moment before the energy’s deadly aim faltered, and crackling electricity leapt through and about the man’s shuddering form.

Saiton’s withered face cracked an unfamiliar smile as he saw the paladin falter, his shield echoing a loud clang as its point struck the floor.

Beside the hunched paladin, a mighty fighter clad in black, twisted armor readied his weapon; a gnarled hand gripping cut and cracked forge slag that seemed to glow eternal from within. The famed Claw of Acamar. The blade-bearing sorcerer’s hardened expression made all the more intimidating through scarred flesh and tangles of black beard. Arcturus bore no mind to his companion struck by the sorcerer’s magics, his cruel gaze was anchored upon the prey before him.
Behind the two-man bulwark grumped a living mound, swamp-rot given agency to the untrained eye. The Madam of Murk, great witch of the black pools known simply as “Hesper”. She cast a squinted gaze across the room, cultist and skeletal servants garnering no reaction, but upon the sight of a great flesh-sewn golem, she grimaced and shook her head.

With the wave of her earth-smeared digits, a great wall of stone rose up to entrap the creature, and she returned the muddied hand with a self-satisfied “Hmph” to her equally filthy robes.

Further back still, a gangly wisp of a wizard bore cautious observation of that which played out before him. His ragged clothing and unkempt features betrayed nothing of the powerful magics and spools of cheated and persuaded fate that rested just below a fold of cloth and hinge of leather. Cyril Babbage’s eyebrows rose nearly to the base of his hair line as he saw their paladin falter beneath a crackle of green energy. He reached into the tattered and worn folds of his tunic and produced an innocuous seeming sprig of raven’s feather.

“I ah - well - help us in any way imaginable!” And with a frantic motion, he threw the black feather upon the stone ground.

The air grew cold, and all about them shadows leapt from the corners of the darkened crypt to twist and thread themselves into the form of a great feathered horror. Strips of greyed and shredded flesh hung from the skeletal behemoth. Ruined wings molted into thin, curving tendrils, facsimile of their once-great avian splendor. The creature’s head sprouted bald from between it's blade-like shoulders, and twitched about in search of that which it had been summoned to destroy. As the empty sockets of its eyes found their mark upon Saiton, the reaper’s jawless head raised up with piercing shrieks as its two great claws readied a scythe, and eulogy bell.

It was then that the paladin found his footing. He stood tall once more, eyes burning through the thin slit in his sallet helm. His expression bore terrible sincerity as Bellamin Vaughn, twice risen, servant of the gleaming dawn, declared to the terrible sorcerer, “Your evil will be silenced here.”

Now it was the great betrayer’s turn to fear. He had not felt the sobering jolt of impending mortality for so long, it caught him off guard. Had he flesh proper to swallow the building lump in his throat, he would have. As it was, his form visibly shrunk back with wavering voice as he commanded his servants in desperate summons.