Party woke up, noticing that Aeyla now had a kick ass mohawk which was customary to the hunters and her area and Serah took everyone through process of receiving missions. There were 3 waiting,
- Liserra asked them to deliver new ward rune to the mines in the West.
- Puth asked them to go look for a missing wizard.
- Artisan Gur wanted the party to look into tracking down a beast that was causing havoc.
- The fourth simply requested a meeting in the kitchens after lunch. With no signature.
In the end they went to the admin building to see a lady about some Wards. The following conversation was quite enlightening, as Liserra revealed a strange affinity with sparrow like birds when sending for a guide to lead the party to the mine. She also took the time to explain that the wards being delivered were similar to the ones stabilizing the city, only with a little “anti evil” thrown in.
A couple of questions from the party revealed some suspicion of Liserra due to her curious veil/hood thing you can see in the picture. Barack commented that he didn’t fully trust her on the way to retrieve supplies, only for Markus and Lucien to notice a small bird eating from the ground half a foot away. Markus of course badmouthed Liserra as loudly as possible next to this bird.
In the armory they were attended to by a goblin with a peculier accent;
The goblin, seemed rather nervous about things. As during the admittedly tense silence he kept trying to help Loremaster Barack… only serving to irk him more. But the party had other business and moved to find the veteran miner Jurgen…
Some good dice meant that Aeyla asked her two goblin friends where to find him, whilst Barack went up to the first human he saw and asked for him. Both paths led to the same destination as Bibby and Bobby pointed to the bloke Barack spoke to. A nutter, absolutely paranoid, Jurgen was instantly on the defensive when he found out Liserra had sent them and was even more defensive when he found out that the mines were in play. (His eye was actually covered with many many bandages and stitches… but this is a close reference)
So Jurgen was deemed an unnecessary hazard and left to wonder why a party was sent to the mines. Deciding that this confirmed many of his theories; “Liserra is an elf, the rain is brainwashing people, the ghosts of the mines are possessing people with an aim to build a possessed/undead/goblin army to conquer the world for their sheep overlords” chief among them… he decided to arm up and follow them in the event that he could put an end to this web of deceit.
Gret, their guide, was nursing a brutal hangover from the night before. The party recognise her from when she was trying to defend her sister’s sanctity in the tavern last night. Mumbled apologies for her outbursts did in fact occur.
A great little bit of chatting occurs with the party getting some background on their companion. Turns out she was a miner back home, but actually prefers an exile’s life to one of an upstanding dwarf. She and her sister were blasters, dwarves sent into the rock to drop explosive runes into potentially unstable caverns and crevices. She never got any social interaction besides her sister and as she said, “I love Lot more than anything, but at the end of the day she ain’t no man and can only talk to someone so long before you go a bit mad.”
Nobody enquired into her actual crime, but she did mention how it was those bloody blasters that got her sent here.
Syd gets a really good perception roll and is not amused about something behind the party. After the party use every non mundane method to sense for a follower, somebody eventually shouts for their pursuer to come out. Jurgen does so, bitching about how the miners are possessed and crazy yatta yatta.
Gret informs the party that Jurgen is crazy and deliberately maimed himself to get retired from duty, away from “all those crazy people submitting to ghosts and losing their minds” the two bicker but in the end it’s strength in numbers. Which ushers in a tense silence until Gret’s skin springs a leak.
Being handy in self sustainment from long digs she pulls together a makeshift patch which seems to mostly do the job. But the Loremaster goes one further, using his Stone Skin spell to turn the surface of the skin into Stone. Besides being a lot heavier, this is a perfect seal and Gret being ever the miner begins enquiring how he did that and asking what stone it is and other such geological questions. They stop for lunch not long after and
Syd, Gret, Jurgen, the flies, even the wind has all frozen. The party does a quick recon of the camp and besides a pile of ooze it appears nothing is too amiss. At least, in a mundane fashion. Magically, the world is drowning – Barack casts his sense out and “tastes” magic beyond anything he has ever felt. The feeling of this magic feels like the descriptions he has read priests and zealots describing when their god performs miracles. Aeyla examines the ooze whilst Lucien begins to hear what sounds like colossal digging to the South. So the party pick up and move North (literally picking up the frozen people.) In the confusion, Gret is dropped and lands on her arm. A disembodied voice also starts telling Barack;
“Do not fear, witness the Beast. It is under my control and will not harm you or yours.”
Barack summons Basalt to help with heavy lifting and continues to try and leave. Magical pressure slams into everyone and (due to massive critfail) Aeyla begins to move South, almost like a zombie. But with a disembodied sigh the party feel the sensation of a teleport just like they did on the fateful day (yesterday) they all met.
And found themselves in a cave with a Deorlas. The Ancient Sages, Prophet amongst Prophets, grasper of time, all knowing, portent of heroes and Guardians of Order, the Deorlas are held sacred by almost all of Thornyayne…
Except Markus, he tells it to fuck off when it starts speaking. Immediately afterwards he feels himself be magically soothed. Barack slyly casts “Enhance Emotion” turning Markus into the hippy-est Imberian ever. Which is majorly saying something considering “Rainbow Smile” and “Smoke Dancer” are acceptable surnames there.
To summarise a very long conversation, Thurald the Seventh Deorlas briefly sketches out everyone’s motivations for being there, “Duty,glory,freedom,betrayal” it gives out some sage advice before revealing to Barack he knows his true purpose; dispelling/destroying the chaotic magic of the Wildlands.
Testing the creature and not trusting it, Barack asks it if it knows how he planned to do his deed. It obliges him, letting him know the ingredients for his ritual as well as who devised it. It also warns him that an abomination will be working against him, as it seeks to channel the raw magic of this place to open a stable portal to the realm of Demons.
He shows a magical reconstruction of the thing;
A thing that Lucien recalls them as having seen before. A bastard of Magic & Alchemy by Thurald’s description. An ogre, granted sentience and magic by a mix of demonic influence and a Martessian alchemist… he has his kind’s savagery and strength with a ferocious perversion of fire magic native to the Demon Realm.
The apparition laughs and explains his side of the story, explaining that he has seen the horros demons suffer in their realm. Proclaiming that nothing warrants such treatment he wishes to throw off their shackles.
Everyone is pretty much agreed that this Ogre is a dick and Demons are bad M’kay. But he picks Barack to rebuke, “Typical of a dwarf to support chaining another species. Perhaps you’ve come here looking for another dragon to enslave.”
Barack; “You expect me to allow Demons into this realm, just stand by while they destroy everything?”
Ogre; “They would not! They would co-exist as any other species, criminals would be punished. Diplomacy would be conducted -”
B; “Demons are Demons.”
O narrowed his eyes; “Yes, and Dwarves will be dwarves.”
As he disappeared he implored the Imberians to ask Thurald who the prophet that inspired the High King of Imberia really was. To see “who is really to blame for that nursery rhyme you fear so much.”
Turns out Thurald was the one who showed The High King all the power and magic he could wield, as well as the women he could harem and the foes he could slay… he showed a twelve year old boy what he could have and that boy abused all that power… a fact he feels guilty about. The party reassure him it was the High King who went mad, not the Deorlas who caused his deeds.
Barack is gifted with a boon to help his quest, a piece of Deorlas Antler, a massively powerful relic of order. The colossal antler shrank to the size of a regular deer’s in the mortal’s hand. The magic surrounding them flickers as the boon is given and Lucien notices the digging outside has stopped… Thurald also notices something wrong, as the abomination has taken control of the guardian beast Thurald wanted them to witness…
So naturally the party need to go fight it. With help from Thurald in the form of a fragment of his power as a blessing. (1d4 fortune points for rest of session.)
So the party doth nobly go into battle. Like the absolute heroes they are they are teleported behind the beast and proceed to gank the everloving fuck out of my lovely big Wan-Rir boss.
^ George Lucas said I could use it so we’re cool.
Lucien De Perisian just waded into ankle deep slime and got all slashy slashy with the area where it’s arse would be. Barack summoned up Basalt and then began erecting an Earth ramp as part of perhaps the greatest mario moment in RPG gaming. Aeyla studied the creature, recalling every tale she had ever read or heard about every manner of beast and finding inspiration. Markus fired off a shot as quickly as he could, though it skittered off the creature’s chitin.
(Due to Aeyla rolling a 2 on her 1d100 animal care check the party got the following from the Wan-Rir beastiary entry)
A huge but mild mannered beast, it walks on four massive legs and secretes a thick flammable ooze harmful to humanoids. They have long protruding spikes on their underbelly as it’s predators attack from below most often, but also have a surprisingly vulnerable back and neck.
The beast was hobbled by Lucien next round, it’s front left scyther slashed and pulped. Despite this; it’s retaliatory smash attack still did 8 wounds before soak (down to 4. Them Spellknights are tanky) before Basalt got to run up Barack’s ramp and jump onto the beast’s back. It required two agility rolls and a WS roll for the leap attack. Pass, Pass and Natural 1. Basalt in Rock Golem form just goomba stomped a Wan-Rir for 11 wounds after soak. (around ¼ of it’s health.) Things continued to look up for the party as Markus hits a nice shot to the screeching creature’s wounded leg. But it’s Aeyla who claims the kill, using that bestiary knowledge and conjure flame to brutal effect.
Winding some cloth round a stone, she conjures fire to make what I dubbed a “magical molotov” launching it into the flammable ooze with such precision it hit the Wan-Rir in the secretions glands directly (rolled a 3) Lucien makes a difficult save to roll out the way of the towering inferno of slime and burning bug monster. Lucien’s action roll left him in the perfect pose to pull ye olde “Walking away from explosion” while the Wan-Rir had to roll on…
THE BURN EFFECT TABLE
On it’s two rolls it got:
WATERING EYYYYYYEEEEESSSSSSSS < The safest thing. It’s eyes are just kinda slit anyway. It would give it a negative to any actions while still burning.
SNAP SUFFFFOOOOOCAAAAATTTTTIIIIIOOOOOON < The most dangerous thing, if no ally aids the target in 2 turns it dies! And since the Wan-Rir has no allies I ruled it dead and allowed the party fluff it.
Basalt locked in a chokehold, similar to the one she witnessed/sensed Barack suffering at the hand of Max the Swoleling, whilst the fire burned the majestic screeching beast to a painful and slow death. Thurald thanked them for their aid in this and the future as they departed with their guides and Syd. The control of the Bastard already gone.
Their next stop, was the mine. Gret looking miserable and resigned and Jurgen looking terrified.