The Nine and Six and One

Partying like it's the last week before the siege

And a helpful flashback...

Session Date: 4/3/2012

Week Five of our stay at the Word Bearers’ fortress.

Group quest — Balgrim found something…speaking with these goblins and they have treasures of power and riches in a spot in Khyber. (We decide to pass on this — riches won’t help defend the fortress).

Easy — repair arms and armour
Medium — assist in dirge singing.
Medium — Block certain passes with rock slides.
Hard — raid a bladebearer supply cam and raze it

Aldric picks up passable goblin during this time.

Zel’s business when she gets back…things have gone well.

Hogar and Aldric will do the raid on the enemy supply camp.
Neils and Zel will sing dirges to boost morale.
Bulwark will help with rock slide ambushes.

Book translation stands at 11 days out, siege starts in 9.

We start off with dirge singing.

Neils and Zel go to Twar Dakkan, leader of Word Bearers, who has requested their help. She wants to plan a big inspiring feast. Zel should go around and collect funds from merchants to fund the event. Neils will help with the actual singing.

Zel convinces all the merchants to chip in for the feast, but he will need to organize a staff cooking staff since all the regular cooks have been pressed into service elsewhere. He pulls out some old Vanderbeck recipes and the goblins love it! The feast goes well, but in the middle the goblins demand a speech, in goblin. Zel charms them with his wit, even though he doesn’t speak goblin…some jokes are universal. Well done!

Bulwark sets out with a small engineering squad to set up some rock slides. This doesn’t go well. First, Bulwark and the engineers get into an argument about where to place the traps. The engineers want to ambush the forward elements of the Bladebearers, but Bulwark wants to hit their supply train. Bulwark intimidates them to attack the supply train. Unfortunately, they fail the rig. The rocks don’t fall when they are supposed to. Spontaneously, Bulwark claws his way up the mountain to force the rocks down upon the enemy. He takes some hits from the enemy during this maneuver and loses a healing surge. Half credit!

Aldric and Hogar are on the supply raid. They scout the camp and decide they can’t sneak past the sentries. They decide to wait for night, then kill them. They do very well. They’re slitting throats and sinking arrows into enemies. They find their way to the supplies, douse it in oil, and set it all on fire. Time to run! Unfortunately, they cannot outpace the pursuit! Also, around the corner, they find their escape path is blocked by a rock slide (doh). Fortunately, Hogar is able to climb over the rubble and pulls up Aldric with him. They escape.

Congrats to us! The siege now starts in 8 days, but book translation will be done in 4!

Part 5 of translation: The child needed to be born in the influence of the plane of Dolar, the shadow fell of the Dead. It was during the birth that the plan fell into ruin. As the mark of death was settling…the gates to Zoriat sprung up all over the empire and creatures came through. They took the child, which was now twisting into something horrible.

Oldskin miffed, says, “We…we…brought the invasion on ourselves? The mark of dead triggered the appearance of the gates?”

The party ponders the text. Hmm….the Lord’s daughter was born in Mournland….could that have been under influence of the shadow fell?

Twar Dakkan wants to speak with us.

She lives in a common house. No guards. She has the only unmarked skin we have seen in the city. When Hogar asks about this, she says that in the future the Word Bearers’ victories will be inscribed up on her clean skin.

She thanks us for our help, and offers us a gift in return…Bulwark gets Helm of Heroes!

She has another gift for us. She offers to sing a dirge for us, to see an important event to us, in the history. We agree. She starts singing and we fall into a trance. We feel ourselves settling into new bodies and new memories.

Vignette starts! (See separate previous post for character backgrounds)

Cthulu Dark system.

Ferrous and Maela (two Sentinels) are in Cyre, tracking a criminal — someone suspected of mage breeding humans (Koro d’Cannith is involved…Nadine Seryon also). This is an abomination. Highly illegal.

This area of Cyre is under the influence of Dolar. They track the suspects to an underground cave complex. They face many undead sentries, it seems.

Meanwhile, inside the cave complex, Koro and Nadine are there. Nadine is in labor with Koro’s child. Nadine’s trusted Midwife is attending; she has delivered mage-bred children before

Ferrous and Maela approach the ruins guarded by ghouls. They trick and distract the undead with some magic and enter the caves.

During this time, Nadine is giving birth. But unlike other times, it’s like this baby is the perfect child…there is no trouble at all, no fussing, no violence.

Koro, being the bastard he is, realizes that the midwife is now a liability, a witness. He excuses her from the room, tells her to retire for the night. As she leaves, Koro uses his thoughts to order one of the Warforged to follow her and make sure she stays in her room until he decides what to do. For that matter, he also realizes that Nadine has now served her purpose and is dispensable as well.

Suddenly something seems to swirl into being on the child’s shoulder. A mark appears. An aberrant mark! Koro feels his sanity pulled loose just a bit. No! It can’t be! Not this child! Not HIS child!

At the same time, everything seems to shift sideways. It’s almost like two realities have smashed together. We are completely disoriented…..there is howling in the air that we do not hear with our ears…the sky brightens….cackling…cries of the dead….

Visions of death cloud some of our minds.

Ferrous and Maela charge inside and meet a Warforged guard. The Warforged tries to charge Maela, but stumbles and Maela kills the warforged. Meanwhile, driven temporarily mad, Koro orders the earlier Warforged to kill the midwife. It complies.

Maela has heard of this in the dragon prophecies. They must hurry.

Nadine is feeling so weak…but she has prepared for this — this is not her first mage-bred birth after all. There are healing potions near her bed, but she needs Koro’s help to fetch them.

Koro sees an opportunity, lies to Nadine saying that she needs something stronger to help her, and leaves the room to rig another potion (poisoned). Nadine sees through ploy and balks. Suddenly, Koro tries to shove the potion down Nadine’s throat, but she uses magic to explode the potion. Some of the contents get into both of their mouths. Both Koro and Nadine fall into a drugged sleep.

Ferrous and Maela charge in. Maela looks at the mark on the child and sees that this is the one that could become the new Speaker of the Dead. A perfect child, born in the influence of Dolar. She knows how often it has gone wrong in the past. Ferrous just knows that mage breeding is bad but doesn’t know about draconic prophicies that Maela does. The child is almost growing before their eyes!

Ferrous tries to kill the child — the abomination — but two Warforged burst in and one pins her against the wall. Maela tears one Warforged apart with magic.

Koro and Nadine wake up.

Maela grabs the child and makes a run for it. In the hall, wraiths come out from walls. Ferrous tries to attack Koro but fails.

Ferrous is mind-controlled by Koro (he has that power over Warforged).

Maela tries magic against wraiths. Succeeds. She sends the wraiths back into the walls. The baby screams in his hands.

Nadine charges after Maela. She snatches the baby out of Maela’s hands. Maela’s arms stretch out (!) and grab the baby back.

Ferrous, under Koro’s control, steps out and tries to kill Maela but fights the control. He stops the attack just in time. Ferrous recognizes Nadine from investigation and reports; knows Nadine is a magebreeder.

Back in room, wells of shadows appear and skeletons of great hounds start pulling their way through. Koro runs out with his two remaining Warforged and gets pounced by the shadow hounds. He jumps out of the way into the brawl outside. One of the wraiths has the baby, though, and is carrying it out.

Ferrous kills one of the shadows. The one carrying the baby has left the room. We all chase after them. Maela starts transforming into a dragon! (Note, at this point, many of the characters’ “sanity” counter is so far gone, that this event is easily observed without remark or injury up on their sanity)

Nadine chases after them, outside into Cyre…which has turn into a blasted wasteland. Shadows dance in air…the sun is obscured. This was not the Cyre of just an hour ago!!

Ferrous attacks Koro, cleaves off his arm as he tries to block the strike. Ferrous gets piled by Koro’s warforged.

Koro orders one of Warforged to bring him a healing potion and he takes it. But something is wrong. Koro’s wound erupts into flame! This stops the bleeding but leaves black burn marks all over his shoulder and face. Oddly enough, he feels great and powerful — better and stronger than he’s ever felt before! He tosses the Warforged aside — incidentally putting his hand through its chest and killing it.

Maela is now a female silver dragon, trying to grapple the wraith with the child…the child falls to the ground. As she kills the shadow hound…from around her more creatures spring up. She is slammed aside as they pile her.

Ferrous attacks Nadine, but Nadine blocks the strike and Ferrous just ends up cutting deeply into her face. Nadine’s magical failsafe triggers, and she disappears. Ferrous goes insane!! Nothing makes sense! His partner (Maela) is a dragon!?? His brethren Warforged are mind-controlled?! What has happened to Cyre?!? It is too much!

Under the strain, Ferrous realizes that the only way to stop such abominations is to ERADICATE ALL BREATHLINGS FROM THE WORLD! They are the cause of all that is wrong!

Ferrous, tells the remaining Warforged to join him but K’s last remaining Warforged refuses!

In a desperate bid, Maela decides to pull all the shadow hounds down into the under world with her. She is actually Denandran the Silver Dragon. She and the shadows are sucked into the gate away from the child. Maela is now in Dolar (shadowfell). Once there the shadows break away to find another way. She doesn’t have the strength to get back.

Meanwhile, Ferrous (Lord of Blades!) storms off into the blasted wastelands of Cyre. Koro and his last Warforged (now referring to itself as Breaker) leave with the child. They emerge into Breland. Behind them, a wall of mist slams down, sharply delineated at the border. Cyre has become Mournland.

Ferrous becomes the Lord of Blades. The only beings that can be trusted are Warforged…except Breaker. Hmm, Ferrous figures he should have Breaker killed at some point. He sets out into the Mournland to gather survivors and finds Koro’s creation forge. It seems he can use it despite not having the mark of making.

Denandran, the dragon (Maelan) knows that the child will have to come to Dolor. Whethers he will be here to control it or help it, she is not sure.

Koro knows he needs to lay low. The mark on his child worries him, but he needs to put Warforged components in her soon, to continue his project.

Nadine…her face is torn asunder…is back in Mournland, surrounded by hundreds of insane mage bred children. She feels safe there.

The song fades and we are back in our own minds and bodies we now recognize them as Lord Vanwick (our employer), Breaker, Lowella.

Hogar ponders the perfection of self….the blood of vole….pursuing inner
perfection, sounds like the mark of being. Hogar is unsettled by implications of his religion.

Zel thinks he can save Lowella. Be a hero!

Aldric needs to decide who to support…or kill Lowella.

The last section of the book is translated:

The Dakanni has nearly fallen now though the Zoriat forces have been pushed back and the gates sealed. So many souls failed to continue on the journey due to the failure of the creation of the speaker of the dead. The followers are blamed and being hunted down. But it is clear another speaker of the dead is needed so this text is copied and sent elsewhere….being sent across Ebberon to keep it safe and to help others on this quest.

Now the question is…will we continue to support the Word Bearers?

If we decide to help she needs dragon shards to sing a dirge during the siege.

We decide to help! (Over Neils’s objections)

Now, regarding the mission Twar needs us to do. She has already sent a group of gathers and hunter down to find it, but they have not returned. They knew of a place where a dragon shard as large as a goblins heart grew from a cavern wall. She needs it.

It is deep in Khyber. If we can do this…we get an extra standard action a turn!

We head into the tunnels, back through the old city.

The ruined city is very quiet.

Very dark. We come into an area of branching caverns and tunnels. The silence is broken. Around us from all sides is an undulating scream, ripped form an inhuman form. We break and run as a primal fear strikes us.

The cackles chase us through the passages. They are driving us somewhere. We can’t fight the fear.

Zel outpaces the light source and falls as the floor falls away. Takes 11 damage as he falls not a pit of sharp splintering bone. Hears something breathing. Something large. A voice whispers. “Don’t move. It can see you when you move.”

The rest of us find ourselves at the edge of a large pit in a large cavern with many entrance. We can see Zel. Also there is a hobgoblin soldier, in bad shape.

With the light shining down there…some shadows look wrong, as if cast from another light source (except that there are none).

And that’s when we see them. At the edge of the light. They look like raptors (drakes). We are surrounded by the hunting pack of drakes.

To be continued…

Comments

You’re doing fine work on these write ups Andrew. Riveting stuff!

sporkish

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