- July 16, 2016
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- Prestige Class - The Wild Guardian
- The Red Knight of Damara (Saga of the Vaasan Knight #1)
- Prologue: City that Never Sleeps
- The Road Home (Saga of the Vaasan Knight #2)
- A First Lesson (Preludes #1)
- Hunter in the Darkness
- The Mistress of the Cross-Trade
- An Unlikely Visitor (Preludes #6)
- Setting the [Game] Table: Riddleport at a Glance
Episode 10: Reborn
The Roughnecks began their final assault on the lair of Mysterio. They followed a series of secret tunnels below central park to the place where the goddess Nemesis had recently laired. They followed an unused railroad track to a long abandoned station, and forced their way through reinforced steel doors, not realizing that somewhere above them, the amazing SPider-Man had just detected the presence of someone he believed he had lost forever and was headed right for them.
As they entered the first antechamber, each hero was engulfed in a nightmare realm of his or her own making. Little did they know just how far in mortal danfer they now stood, as Mysterio was using the power of the Nexus Apparatus he had constructed to amplify his own considerable might in order to fuel his illusory death trap.
Each hero began his journey waking alone at the end of a long, narrow hallway with only Mysterio standing before a single door at the end. In each hero's mind, they simultaenously heard Mysterio taunt them. "Come and get me!" he said as he stepped through the doorway and closed it behind him.
Making their way down the hallway, each hero faced a series of random deadly traps- the 'buzzsaw corridor,' the 'paralyzing portcullis,' the 'terrible tumbler,' and the dread 'blade storm!'
No hero emerged unscathed from this gauntlet, but all made it through the doorway at the end of the passage. As they passed through, each fnext ound themself in a large underground chamber, face to face with a dire shadow in the form of a foe from their past.
Fenris faced a silver wielding Kraven the Hunter, while Crucible faced Nemesis, Sabanion faced Ghost Rider, and Phantasm faced Lady Selene. Once again, however all the heroes overcame their opponent, and once more passed through a doorway.
The heroes awoke from their nightmares lying prone and battered before the triumphant Mysterio in the middle of his laboratory-lair. Although the trials and travails existed only in their minds, the results were only too real. They were all as battered and bloodied as they had been in their dreams. On Mysterio's left stood his protege, Bloody Mary. And on his right was a strange, glowing orb resting on a pedestal. Mysterio's hand rested on the glowing orb, extending its aura around him so that he, too, glowed with an otherworldy radiance.
As Mysterio gloated over them and began monologuing about realizing his supreme plan for revenge on all of them, the interpid Spider-Man burst onto the scene.
The momentary distraction led imediately to battle, as Mysterio commanded Mary to destroy the wall-crawler once and for all.
"Oh yes, Peter Parker, not only do I know who you truly are, but I also know you have recognized Mary Jane Watson, who stands before you now," he shrieked. "She mine, and she shall be the instrument of your death!"
Mysterio then attacked the awakened heroes, who were able to battle him to a standstill, even in their badly weakened conditions.
As Mary and Spider-Man fought each other, she gravely wounded him, and in the act of mortally wounding her former lover, Mysterio's hold over her was broken.
"Finish him!" Mysterio screamed in vain, as Mary Jane moved toward the Nexus. "No, NO! do not touch that, girl!"
This bauble is not yours, fool. She said, her voice taking on an otherworldly resonance. It contains but a sliver of a power that no mortal may control unbidden. And I reclaim what is mine!
As Mary Jane touched the Nexus, the globe exploded, bringing the room down on all their heads and casting the entire chamber into darkness.
A moment later, as the heroes began to slowly climb their way out of the rubble of Mysterio's lair, the room was suddenly bathed in the soft light of a fiery aura. Mary Jan Watson hovered before them, wreathed in flames.
Behold, I have arisen and once again am made whole! I am Phoenix, and the universe trembles at my rebirth!
She looked down sadly at the broken forms of Mysterio and Spider-Man.
Truly, the universe is cruel, she said, looking up at the battered Roughnecks. Evil lives to spread its misery again, and the hero falls, never to rise.
Phoenix gently reached down to lift up the form of the fallen Spider-Man, drawing him to herself.
I shall contest mistress Death herself for the soul of this one, if I must, so that he too shall one day rise again.
She turned her gaze once again to the heroes.
It is all of you who were present at the moment of my death, and it is all of you who are present at the moment of my rebirth. I will not forget the part you have played in my saga, Roughnecks, and I bid you good fortune in the battles to come.
The reborn Phoenix then vanished in a whirl of clelestial fire, once again leaving the room in near darkness, with only the smoldering form of Crucible shedding a dim light amidst the wreckage.