God Maker, God Breaker

ALT 4

After Will smashed the machine, the ship rocked and shuddered for a moment before materializing in the Astral Sea near a large fortress like city building into a floating rock. This turned out to be a githyanki citadel and when they spotted the intruders, they immediately sent out ships to intervene. Will was nearly attacked by the illithids before the elder brain called them off and sent them to defend the ship. The battle was brief but hectic and Will took the opportunity to strike at the illithids while Roxy attacked anything that came near her. The illithids erected psychic barriers and dominated as many of the githyanki warriors, but they were so heavily outnumbered that they were eventually overtaken. Roxy, Will, and Baron Zandakar were taken as prisoners. Well, Will and Zandakar were taken as prisoners. Roxy was taken more like a wild animal. The ship was taken to port and searched while the party was confronted by a regal looking githyanki. Narehk, the ruler of this citadel, upon hearing reports of the illithids dusted off an ancient artifact from the Illithid War and used it to determine whether the prisoners were slaves or hosts of the mind flayers. Seeing neither psychic domination nor an incubating young illithid, he ordered them taken to a dungeon until he decided their fate. After some interrogation, he concluded that he could learn nothing useful from them, and that they would be uncooperative slaves. So he had them taken to the Pit to await gladiatorial combat for the pleasure of the githyanki. Once imprisoned there, they met several githzerai, a race that split from the githyanki not long after they had freed themselves from illithid slavery. They had a plan in place to escape and invited them to join. Of course they did. The githzerai had planned a massive distraction and broke through the protective spells by sheer force (the psychic equivalent, anyway) to open a portal that transported the prisoners onto several waiting escape ships. the ship that Will, Roxy, and Zandakar found themselves on took them to the City of Brass. There they were offered a choice. They could join the githzerai to help defend against the githyanki (and presumably, now the illithids) or they could find their own ways in the City of Brass. Roxy stayed in the city for a while, working the docks and making contacts until she got her hands on a planar vessel and became a space pirate. She made sure to hinder the githyanki every chance she could find. Zandakar found himself in charge of a shop not long after their arrival and Zandakar, loyal man that he is, stayed on as guard. Rumors spread that there were efreets who would not enter if Will stood in there path, though of course no efreet will confirm it.

Magus found himself in Tivvum’s Antiquities in the Market Ward of Sigil, having fallen through a portal that the owner, Alluvius Ruskin had previously thought to be inactive. She fed Magus and gave him some water and wine, and told him that while she could help him find the portal and key to his world, he would have to know the name of the world, first. (Magus being the only one so far to hope that they had fallen back in time and could avert the disaster.) Unfortunately, as far as Magus knew, there was no name for his home world, as it had never needed one. So he set to find a man known as Rule-of-Three, a source of hidden knowledge within Sigil. Rule-of-Three was about to dismiss him, since he couldn’t help him if he didn’t know where he was going, when Magus provided that it had been the world where the illithids were defeated. Now, Rule-of-Three could help him. But in return for the information, he asked for a flame rose, a storm rose, and an ice rose. Magus decided the best place to start would be to find a collection of elementals. After some questioning of an obviously racially sensitive earth elemental, he learned of a bar where elementals liked to gather. It was a hell of a bar, and would probably be a total drag to more… fleshy beings, but he was there for business. the elementals there, though, told him he’d be better off finding a florist. So he did. He woke up the shopkeeper, a disgruntled gnome, and traded a ring for the three roses. When he returned to Rule-of-Three, he was given three pieces of paper with different names written on them. Magus hoped that Lu could help him. Unfortunately, she was an old lady and did not like to be disturbed at night, so he waited until morning, having found a room in an odd inn. In the morning, Lu took the pieces of paper and tried to match them up on a map, finding a new one that she had not added. This new portal matched one of the names, and according to her chart should activate if the person thinks of a wish as they enter. Magus followed her directions and found a manhole cover (completely nonfunctional, since there was no way to tunnel in Sigil) with a carving of a woman with closed eyes and open hands. Magus wished for his world to exist and pried the lid off with a conveniently placed crowbar and stepped in.

Steve found himself floating through madness and chaos, holding onto Mordecai for dear life. After a few moments, they hit a planet. They materialized on a barren, featureless rock, with a permanently dark sky despite the huge star in the sky overhead. they quickly learned that looking into the star was inviting madness, so they walked away from it for a while. Mordecai explained that they had traveled through the Far Realm and that star must be the portal equivalent that brought them there. Eventually, Mordecai decided that inviting madness was a preferable alternative to listening to the bard and turned to face the star. After watching him disappear, Steve decided to follow. He floated helplessly for a while, or not at all, depending on how time did or didn’t flow and saw things that his mind instantly rejected. At some point, Mordecai grabbed hold of him and stabilized enough area to talk. Apparently, in the time for Steve to follow, Mordecai had experienced a thousand years, more or less simultaneously, and had learned that the Far Realm was the source of his power. After some experimentation, he learned he could control it. So he shoved Steve off of the little platform he had formed and they fell into Trilake some four hundred years in the past. Mordecai said he had something to take care of and left Steve on his own. Immediately things went very, very wrong. The citizens mutated into monsters and freaks, and the sky changed colors. In a panic, Steve ran after Mordecai but had no idea where he had gone. A three legged horse screeched at him for a moment, before Steve manged to force reality into place and realized that it just a man. He stumbled through the city, heading for the Order Arcanum, constantly forcing reality into place as he went and killing himself when he got in his own way. When he reached the Order, he told them what was wrong, and they took him for study. While he waited, he got a hold of a pen and paper and wrote “Don’t trust Mordecai!” and asked that it be delivered to him sometime after his birth in four hundred years. After standing in a circle of runes, touching various one as directed, the head of the Order activated the circle, trapping Steve in a blue light. they asked him some questions, and then decided that L’nok Taber, the only expert in the theory of the Far Realm, should be involved. L’nok arrived, said a few words, then asked every to leave the two of them alone. The man was terrifying in his own right and seemed completely unperturbed by Steve’s claims. He explained that he was writing a ritual to trap a being of the Far Realm and was missing something. And it could just be a few drops of Steve’s blood. He waved his hand and Steve was pulled to the edge of the circle where L’nok cut his wrist and caught the blood in a vial. Then, seeing no other use for him, L’nok cut his throat.

So, that’s where we’re at. Have your level 11 “real” characters ready for next session.

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ALT 2/3

The party found Baron Zandakar, who had discovered a book that seemed to foretell the end of the material plane by being absorbed into the Far Realm, destroying them both. Some stuff happened, and they found Mordecai. They then used one of the Order Arcanum’s permanent portals to get to the docks and onto Roxy’s ship, hoping to find some answers beyond the veil of storms. Once there, they found a hatch that led to an underground complex containing some kind of power/steam plant. As the plant was started by the random lever-pulling of Roxy, they became aware of a presence in their minds, watching them. They searched around and found an underground lair of Illithids in some sort of stasis. The feeling in their minds was their elder brain, awakened by the stirring of Arcana caused by the machine. The elder brain told them a little of what had happened to this world, and that some nameless force was responsible. It also said that the force could not be defeated or survived, only avoided. And since this event was not chronicled in their history (the future) it had surmised that time had been altered and the only way to avoid this threat was to restore time. When asked how, the elder brain told them to awaken the sleeping Illithids and they would show them. Not trusting the brain in a well, who called them food and slave-stock to their faces… minds… whatever, they agreed to awaken a single Illithid. The brain agreed, and Will shoved Steve’s head into the pool of the water. After having the brain tentacles wrapped around his head, he was able to open one of the stasis pods and return to the brain with the awakened Illithid. There, the elder brain stalled them by telling them about how they escaped a similar threat in their past while the Illithid left, supposedly to prepare the device they would need. Will escorted the creature, and tried to stop it when it entered the room with the other sleeping Illithids. A psychic attack held him at bay while the pods were opened and the party was taken captive by hundreds of the mysterious beings. They were brought to the shore with a strange device and commanded to bring the flagship to shore. Four of the Illithids boarded the boat they had taken to the shore and rode with them to the ship. There, the party attacked their captors. They defeated all but one of them, who had teleported to the helm and was able to command the crew to steer the ship to land. In a seeming act of betrayal, Mordecai seemed to help it. As the horde of Illithids boarded the ships and the elder brain was teleported on the flagship, Mordecai explained that they needed to use these beings until they understood enough to strike back. With little in the way of choices, they stood by while the Illithids installed the device and took the fleet into the Astral Sea and watched their world crumble. Then they dropped into some sort of time warp.

Mordecai mused aloud to Steve about wondering what would happen if someone were to go overboard while in the state. With a dare of “Race you,” he dove from the ship. Steve was right behind him, reaching out and grabbing onto Mordecai’s leg as they fell.

The others stood in the command room of the ship, watching the Illithids operate the machine, wondering how to get control of the ship. Magus attempted to send the machine through a cascade of portals in hopes of destroying it. Unfortunately, in this timeless place, the portal spell backfired (it’s magic! WooOOOooo!) and fell into his own spell, and seemingly out of existence. That’s when Will decided that the direct approach was the best approach and smashed the machine with his hammer before the Illithids could move to interfere and the ship shuddered and lurched and everything went nothing.

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Session 19/ALT 1

Our heroes set out to Salatene to seek answers and maybe get some magic goodies. The road was a desolate waste. The small towns and villages they past were little more than rubble and corpses. As they were starting to look for a place to set up camp, they spotted some torchlight near the top of a hill in the distance. Deciding that any civilization was better than none, they made their way to what turned out to be some sort of hideout built into the hills. A man (he didn’t give a name) let them in in exchange for a wager up front to be gambled later. His explanation was a little vague, but he seemed to enjoy the idea of betting on the bet itself, as if gambling was a way of life and a philosophy for him. Feeling that they could take back their stuff if this was a trick, they decided to see what he was up to. He collected a sword from Steve, a false deed to a ship from Roxy (via Steve’s forgery skills), some coin from Will (enough to be a fair price for a room and a meal at an inn), and a piece of elemental ice from Magus (it’ll keep your drinks cold forever… I think.) From the rest of the crew, he collected odds and ends, happy with whatever anyone would gamble. He then led Steve, Roxy, Magus, and Will into what he called The Den of Thieves (“Not very original, but why be subtle when you’re among your own.) The place was filled with what seemed to be a gang of bandits and thugs just trying to enjoy the last days of the world. They were told the one rule of “Don’t fuck with anyone inside.” Which, as he explained it, meant that you don’t steal from, lie to, or knowingly cause or contribute to a fatality. Cheating is still okay, but if you get caught, it’s between you and the one you cheated. The next stop was a room at the bottom of a flight of stair that was filled with odd trinkets and minor magic items. Magus also felt the presence of something distinctly unnatural among the items. In the middle of the room were a large chest on the floor and a small box on a pedestal. The man rolled a die into his hand and counted from left to right and came to Magus as the first to play out the wager he made. Magus decided on the small box. The man put on a glove and showed Magus what he had chosen; a ring made of what appeared to be pewter with an image of a woman with her hands closed in fists. (For those of you who care, the image was a representation of Fate. She sees all and is immutable. When Magus put the ring on later and saw the new image, Fate was blind and the open hands represented openness to change.) This was clearly the source of the unnatural feeling. Their host explained that the ring is supposed to be able to do absolutely anything, but the only people to have tried it so far either died, or manage to get the ring off in time to collapse into a coma for a couple days. Using the low Wisdom, Magus took the ring and it immediately began to fill him with pain. He heard something yelling in a language he couldn’t understand and saw a terrified and confused Mordecai. Everyone else saw a spasming Magus and were unable to get a hold of the ring. Mordecai held out his hand and Magus grabbed it and the shuddering terrible pain was replaced by numbness. Mordecai explained that something about the ring was tearing fate apart around Magus and somehow brought the two of them to some null-time outside of reality. RETCON: I forgot to mention this, but there was something else Mordecai was supposed to say. So here it is. “Your fate is important. It is a fixed point in the lines of Fate. Roxy and Will, too. Steve is another matter, he destroyed his own fate and now creates a new one as he goes. But NONE OF YOU can safely use that thing on your finger.” He told Magus that because the two of them share enough of their fates that he was able to stabilize Magus’ mind enough to think clearly, but that the two of them were dying as they spoke. The only left to do was tell the ring what he wanted and hope for the best. He wished for the only things he’s wanted consistently his whole life. He wished for the curse on his family to have never happened.

(I did prepare a few extra possibilities, but I’m glad this one is the one that played out. I almost didn’t roll the die to see who picked first, but I figured “what’s the worst that could happen?”)

The character’s alternate selves found themselves in the court of King Magus XXIII calibrating Prince Magus’ wedding to Princess Shiara.

I won’t go into the all the details here, but I will send you guys the things I had typed up that contain all of that. I’ll also be expanding upon the “new” history. I hope the backgrounds work for everyone. I tried to appeal to what would make the characters most happy. Roxy has a fleet of ships and has declared it a sovereign nation (not recognized by any other kingdom… yet). Steve is a free man responsible to no one with a father to watch out for his mom. Will is proudly serving his kingdom in a position higher than any commoner could hope to have and his family is taken care of. Magus’ bloodline is so powerful that many consider it divine. (He’s not thrilled about having to be king someday, I imagine, but it’s not that bad, really.) I didn’t want to give too much away, so I didn’t ask any questions and just went based off of what I have seen. Before the next game, we can fill in some of the gaps. I can’t/won’t tell you guys how long this will alternate section will be, but I will say that you guys (in and out of character) will have some say in it. And I’m still not sure how XP here will change over in the original. I’ll let you know when it comes up.

Anyway, a strange half-elf gets up from the floor screaming and looking very much like a thing from the Far Realm and mutters something about being too early. Then he walked to the great window and saw a tear in the sky and things pouring out. He muttered “No, I’m right on time,” shattered the window and stepped out. Then a Fucking Colossal red dragon began to tear the castle apart. Will lost sight of the Baron when a tower collapsed and Magus led the others into a sanctuary until they could figure out what to do. When he saw his father face to face with another dragon, he set out to help. Out side the castle, they found Will digging through the rubble and a then that whole incident with the Huge red dragon happened. The party escaped through a portal back into the sanctuary and are now trying to figure out what the hell to do next.

Okay, so I’m changing the end of the last session a bit.

The dragon, wounded and tired, lets out an angry roar and takes flight, headed in the direction of easier prey. You guys are now left standing among the debris of the wrecked castle.

Here are some details that may help keep you guys together and give you a potential goal.

Tackett: You are, of course, bound to search for your baron. Magus is not your prince, and even if he were, you don’t even answer to your own king. Besides, Baron Zandakar is a scholar who has been studying the Far Realm. There’s a good chance that whatever it was he was trying to retrieve could be important to what is going on. Perhaps Prince Magus, with his knowledge of the planes and the elements could help as well.

Magus: Your family’s safe room has several fixed scrying mirrors, and several that can be targeted. You really have no political reason to care what happens to Tackett, but if he gets eaten by a dragon, he’s no good to anyone. And you do know that his baron is prone to collecting odd bits of knowledge. Of course, you are just a prince and you do have to answer to your father, if you can find him.

Quint: At several of your recent performances, you have noticed a strange man attending. He sits quietly, writing the whole time. You approached him once, and he told you that he was The Historian, and the he was recording your stories. You tried to demand royalties, but he laughed at the idea that knowledge should be paid for with such a paltry thing as coin. You asked why, if not for money, he wanted them, and he said, “With enough knowledge of the past, the future is not so hard to see.” You don’t know why, but your gut tells you that this man knows something, and your gut is never wrong. Rarely, anyway. Okay, so maybe 50/50, but you’ve always come out ahead, so it may well be worth looking into.

Roxy: Something about this reminds you of the grim wastes beyond the Veil of Storms. While even remembering that terrible place makes you shudder, there may be answers buried beneath the silent ruins. Of course, you’ll need help if you are ever to make it back to your ship.

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Session 18

I forgot to update this. I don’t remember many details, so this will be short.

Roxy’s mother revealed that Mordecai is actually her half-brother, making him Roxy’s uncle, and that he and Terron had been involved in a dangerous cult a few hundred years ago. She didn’t say anything earlier because she didn’t realize the depth of his involvement until Thyssen went to talk to her about finalizing the house for Steve’s mom. (Incidentally, Steve is now happy that Roxy’s mom is somehow involved with his mom.) She urged Roxy to be careful with Mordecai. Even though the leader of the old cult is dead, his ideas may be influencing the two in their quest for godhood.

There were also some Vecna-worshiping crazies, but nobady cared much about them.

Our heroes have their wagons and are ready to set out for more adventure.

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Session 17

Selecting Vlad to act as captain (as he is the most captainy of the lot), the crew decided that a glossed over version of t he truth is the best story. Vlad dealt with the initial inspectors and obtained permission to dock. Unfortunately, they wanted the ship, since no one had the money to fix it. They were briefly interviewed by Lt. Jenkins and allowed to stay in the city until they figured out what to do. He promised that someone would review their claim about Morkain and decide whether or not to act. Thyssen took Steve with him while he replenished his stocks and explained the basics of Alchemy. Roxy and Magus sneaked off to find her mother. And they found her. While she was happy to see her daughter, she insisted that her visit be short, for fear of her father finding out. She offered to let Roxy hide out there, and treated Magus as a house guest when Roxy’s dad came home. In fact, she was a sort of family friend, having been friends with his great great grandfather. Steve decided that the military’s “review” of their report was just not good enough, and found a church to plead his case. They seemed more receptive, and Steve got to meet Brother Khorhan, the towering Dragonborn Paladin who serves as a sort of liaison between the church and military. He said that he felt the truth of what Steve was saying and that he would read the omens and determine what to do. It was a better answer than he had from the military, though he was still frustrated by the wait. Tacket looked around for a messenger of Zandakar and, unsurprisingly found nothing. He returned to the ship where Vlad expressed concern that Roxy may have done something stupid like try to see her parents. He was less concerned about Steve’s whereabouts, but accepted that his actions may reflect upon him as “captain.” Soon enough, Steve showed up, and Thyssen just after. He had found a house for Tor, his kids, and Steve’s mom. He just had a couple of things to do to make it final. Every decided that they should find Roxy and Magus, so Steve and Will set out to find them. Will got spooked when he spotted someone moving suspiciously and went back to the ship, leaving Steve all like “WTF, there’s no one back there…” So he decided to ask around for the Katz’ house, counting on her to go running back home. Also, he wanted to meet her mom. He found the place easily enough and Magus lead him around in circles in the hedge maze while Roxy prepared her mom for Steve. When he got in, Roxy’s mom was clearly displeased with their conversation topics, and with Steve in general, but kept judgment to herself, only insisting that whatever they do, they leave the city before Roxy is found. So, everyone made it back to the ship, and they started making plans to sell the steam jacks and get themselves a good old fashioned wagon train.

I think you guys had already sold the steam jacks and where figuring out what to buy with the cash. So that’s where we’ll start.

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Sessio 16.1

A few things come up on the trip down river.

The ship’s propulsion was damaged severely by the sudden heat up. Thyessen was able to concoct some compounds to repair most of the obvious pipe ruptures, but most of his components went into the flash boiling. So, a lot of pipes have been patched as well as possible with some damage control kits. It’s held up so far, but it’s not likely to handle a sustained voyage. Also, some of Thyssen’s components were introduced directly into the boiler water and have begun to cause some clogging and possible corrosion of the steel. You’ll need the engine repaired repaired, or you’ll need a new ship.

You learn a little about the man Will and Otto met in the jail. I’ll post about him in the NPC’s section.

Roxy gives everyone a heads up of what to expect in Utona. This will be posted in the World Background section. Some family specific things will be posted in Roxy’s section.

You begin to see the things under the water. Shadowy shapes that seem to belong to creatures too large to fit comfortably in the river. They don’t seem to bother you, but it’s a little bit unnerving.

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Session 16

Having escaped their captors, our heroes had to figure out a way to get out of this mad city. Steve figured out how to use the shape changing ability of his armor and took on rat form to explore the city and find someway to take his revenge. Roxy, Magus, and the others with them decided to find Thyssen’s cart so they could hopefully make some sort of explosive. Disguised in robes from their fallen captors, they made it to the stables where they indeed found his cart. He gave a drug to Goblork to keep him from going savage and they used the relatively secure location to come up with a plan. Meanwhile, Steve found what appeared to be the center of worship fro Orcus under a temple dedicated to Moradin and Erathis. In rat form, he was able to follow some cultists down there and made his way to a chamber where he found a very impressively dressed priest in the middle of a ritual to open a portal. When the ritual was complete, Doresain, Orcus’ exarch and lord of cannibalism step through. Steve watched as Doresain removed a piece of a living sacrifice and consumed it. The priest asked the exarch for guidance about the new captives and the orb they found on board. Doresain said only that the orb was ancient even by the reckoning of Orcus and that Steve Quint was known as an associate, though not necessarily ally, of Vecna. As he spoke, his robe, made of flesh and mouths, ate pieces of the dying sacrifice. He demanded that the captive be brought before him so that he could make some sense of them and the orb and returned through the portal. The priest took a drink of the blood of the now dead man’s blood and left the chamber. Steve knew he’d likely never have a chance this good, and as the priest walked past what he thought was a rat, he returned to human form and stabbed him in the neck, killing him. On his way out, he grabbed a robe and scythe for a disguise and set out to return to the ship. On the way, he found Will and Otto pushing a very pointy cart through some back streets in the company of the crew and some guy with an axe. They decided that the best course of action would be to get to the docks and find the ship. Once on the docks, they realized that they could set fire to several of the warehouses as a distraction and just plain arson. Meanwhile, Roxy, Magus, Vlad, Thyssen, and company decided to take out the bridge. Their disguise served them well again and they found the bridge house. Some quick work was made of the guards, and the bridge was raised. But that was not enough. Thyssen crafted up some acid and an explosive and destroyed it. Seeing smoke coming from the docks, they decided to make use of that distraction and made a run for the ship. Once everyone met up at the docks, they realized that the cultist were busy searching the city for them, so they had some time. They decided to commandeer a steam ship and set about warming the engines and stocking it up. Magus activated a couple of steam jacks and Steve got a crane working. Between them, they got the cannons and some basic supplies off The Eclipse and on board the new ship, (which I believe was renamed The Eclipse 2: Eclipse Harder) before those who came to deal with the fire noticed anything amiss. At this point, there was a battle. Arrows, magic, improvise crane use, cannons, and some spears collided as the crew tried to get the ship moving. After a few minutes, some cultists somewhere caught wind of the battle and made a desperate plea to their Demon Lord for help. And help he did. An aspect of Orcus appeared over the city and headed for the ship. In a panic, the crew threw what they could at the thing but it kept coming. Word made its way to Thyssen who had been overseeing the heating of the ship (alchemists have a very solid grasp of thermodynamics) and he made his own desperate move. He threw everything he could into the boiler and flashed the water. The ship lurched and shook, pipes burst, the rudders cavitated, but the ship did move. They pointed downstream to take advantage of the current and kept firing canons at the aspect when suddenly, a Pit Fiend appeared out of a nearby portal and tackled the thing into the river. Not stopping to find out why, a wise move by any standards, they watched as the two creatures thrashed under the water until it was out of sight. They spent the next few days repairing the damage from the sudden boiling of the water and figuring out their next stop. (I’ll make another post soon about some details of that time, including some information on “guy with axe.” Also, I will post some specific stuff about Roxy’s parents and the the city of Utona so you guys know what to expect.) They made it to the ocean and headed along the coast until the reached the blockade set up by the Libanthas navy. They had been spotted and a small ship with some slightly larger and better armed escorts “requested” to board. As the party tries to straighten their story, Roxy hopes her disguise will fool anyone who might still be looking for her and all aboard hope for some safe haven, and maybe some help in destroying what they call The City of Orcus.

I’ve lost track of in game time, and as it is almost one in the morning as of writing this, I have no intention of figure it out right now. Keep an eye on the forums. any day now (at least before the next session) I’ll post some more info you guys will probably need.

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Session 15a

Separated from the others, Will and Otto waited for a chance to escape. It wasn’t until they arrived at the guardhouse that they found their chance. The cultists had to remove their handcuffs in order to remove their armor and clothing, and they sprang into action. Will had been unlocked and a slave was reaching for his armor when Otto was unlocked and headbutted the cultist with the key and dumped out his handy haversack into a pile. Will used his mighty bulk to throw his guard off and make a move for his weapons. After that, things got chaotic. The rest of the crew used their pirate brutality to pin down two of the cultists and dog pile them. The resulting bitings, headbutts, smothering and such quickly finished them off. Will and Otto dealt with the other two standing cultists while one of the pirates grabbed the key and started unlocking the others. The fight was quick but noisy, and soon there was pounding at the door. The pirates held the door while checked the cells. There he found a man a boy and a girl in the cells and released them. The man grabbed a battle ax from Otto’s pile and the children were placed in a cart. Otto braced his halberd on top, and some other spears were quickly tied on before the door began to give. Will lined up the cart with the door and as soon as the pirates moved aside, he rammed the cart into the cultists in the way. There was blood, broken bones, children screaming, and they made a path to the exit. By then, they heard the guard bells ringing from the others’ escape across town and started trying to find them.

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Session 15

The party was forced to pull in and were greeted at the pier by several priests and slaves of Orcus. Looking at the city, it was clear that this cult had made a swift and brutal takeover. The priest that “greeted” them demanded that they kneel before the might of Orcus, which they did. Only because they were severely outnumbered, of course. They were less willing, however, to be bound and taken. Especially when they found Steve’s mother on board. Steve made some very bold threats that he promised would come true if they molested her. Impatient and angered by their lack of respect, the priest gave a display of his unholy power. Between that and the wights on the end of the leashes held by several of these priests, the party decided it best to surrender for now.

Steve, Roxy, Magus, Vlad, Steve’s mom, and Mumble Pouch were taken to a guard house, stripped, handcuffed, and jailed. Will, Otto, and the rest of Roxy’s crew were taken elsewhere (and will be dealt with separately.)

Once in their cells, they realized that they were not alone. A cage at the end of the room held a familiar little guy. It was Goblork, whose excited noises roused Thyssen Krupp, sleeping in a nearby cell. Roxy’s eye beam made short work of her lock, and she slipped her cuffs. Thyssen bit his arm, drawing blood, and spit on his lock and cuffs and was free. he had just enough left to open Steve’s door, and Steve found a piece of wire to pick the rest of the locks. Together, they hatched a plan. Thyssen was able to make a flammable substance from Goblork’s feces, Magus’ blood, and some rotten apples they found in a cell used for storage of odd discarded things and he set some sheets on fire. They ran back to their cells and screamed for help. When the guards came, they burst from their cells, disarmed the men, and shoved them into the fire. Then things went downhill… In an attempt to grab a passing cultist and pull him into the room, Vlad tripped over Steve and fell through the door. Between them, they had only two weapons and no armor, so the ensuing fight was tense, dangerous, and a little comical. Goblork showed his feral side, leaping onto the startled cultist and pummeling his head, while Steve took his weapon. Vlad got to his feet and went on the offensive While Magus did some magic work to slow down the cultists attracted by the noise. After the disarmed and wounded cultist fled, Vlad and Goblork stood their ground while the others ran the other way to find their stuff. They ran around and found the first cultist talking to someone around the corner. He spotted them, and alerted the other, who happened to be a deathpriest and two more cultists. Roxy made a mad dash down another hallway, kicking in doors, looking for the room that held their stuff, while a cultist gave chase. Magus and the deathpriest had a pretty impressive dual while Steve and a cultist fought in the middle until Vlad a Goblork showed up to turn the table. Steve found the room that held their stuff, appearantly in the process of being examined by the deathpriest and Roxy came in just as Steve went down to a brutal slice from a cultist’s scythe. She went into a rage and attacked the bastard until Steve sprang up from his impressive bluff check and grabbed his weapons. Armed, he began to cut down the enemy as Vlad finished the deathpriest off and made his way into the room. Roxy got a hold of her weapons, and the remaining cultists went down smoothly.

The room contained all of their equipment and some of Thyssen’s stuff. As they regroup, rearm, and rest up, they know that this is far from over. They have to find Otto, Will, and the crew, get everyone back to the ship, and teach these demon worshiping bastards just who the fuck they’re dealing with!

LET’S GET IT ON!

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Session 14

While preparing to set sail onboard the Eclipse, William spots the personal flag of Baron Zandakar raised then quickly lowered on a vessel moored a couple piers over. Knowing it would be a little while before the ship left, along with the orb, he quietly ducked out and paid a visit to his patron. Baron Zandakar looked over William’s notes and confirmed that the orb was indeed the object he had been seeking. However, for his part, he was unable to obtain enough information to be anything but dangerous with the item. So, he informed Will that the safest place was onboard the ship, where it would be hidden and protected until he was ready for it. He instructed William to stay with the group and protect the opb above all else. He also made an enigmatic reference to the blood of Magus’ family being somehow important. Frustrated by the classic “so close, yet so far” scenario, William nevertheless resolved to see the mission through to the end. He knows that his family will forgive his absence in service to the king; now he must trust that they will survive the current events until he can return.

Meanwhile, after some oddly probing questions from Alexi and the eyeless cloaked man, the party still on the ship met Joseph Wright. Joseph had been a witness to the events at the temple earlier, and was willing to place his fate in the hands of Terron. Steve filled him in on the tenants of Terronism, along with things such as proper saluting and a favored weapon (the gun.) Joseph readily accepted the instructions and left to spread the word and start a following of Terronists.

With those lose ends tied up, the ship set sail. Sort of. it was suddenly obvious that there was no wind at all. Nothing but dead, still air. They decided to row out of the harbor, and let the slow current of the river take them south. Hopefully, they could upgrade to a steam powered vessel prior to reaching the open ocean.

Several days go by, the current slowly taking them at its own pace. They see distant battles, and terrible creatures in the sky, but they themselves remained unmolested. Well, except maybe Roxy. Steve has busy hands. After a few days, they stop at the small village of Dinas just inside the forest. It was the last place of note before the mining city of Morkain on the other end of the forest, and the party decided to stop and stretch their legs and spread the Good Word. As they approached, the fires in the sky burned out and were replaced by a starless night and blood-red, lightless moon. They learned that the people had been mostly left alone by the more dangerous creatures, but they were under constant attacks by bandits. The heroes (especially Steve) saw an excellent opportunity to gain some more followers. They promised to seek out and destroy these bandits in the name of Terron. Unfortunately, the starless night seemed to unnerve the bandits and the village slept peacefully. The next morning, Steve sought out the destroyed temple of Melora and carved out the symbol on the stone alter. William, on the other hand, offered the town fifty gold pieces to help the recovery. (The town of Dinas was within Elundul borders, and William felt honor bound to help his countrymen.) That morning, the sun proved a savage counterpoint to the dark nights. Shining bright white in the sky, the sun was a scorching, merciless testament to the anger of Pelor. From the safety of the god-hidden ship, Steve gave the sun the finger. That afternoon, the party set forth to hunt down the bandits. What they found, however, was a bit surprising. A savage cult worshiping the Devourer Wurm attacked them from the trees. The battle was easily won, and the village’s mayor seemed satisfied that those were the bandits. They took a list of needed supplies and some gold with which to purchase them, and promised to bring them in the name of Terron in exchange for a small favor. Along with the supplies, they would send some iron. With this iron, the village will be expected to build a black obelisk as an alter to Terron.

And so, the heroes set out once again. The dark nights made for harrowing navigation, while the fierce days forced the crew to spend as much time below decks out of the sun as possible. Thankfully, the protective symbol did it’s part and kept them hidden from the gods. Unfortunately, the journey took a terrible turn. Rounding a bend, they sighted the city of Morkain and its docks. Unfortunately, they also saw that the drawbridge on the other side of the man-made harbor was down and bore a symbol carved into a giant piece of steel. The symbol was not well established, but it bore several traits that Magus recognized. With a sinking feeling in his stomach, Magus informed the crew that symbol was that of a cult of Orcus.

DUN DUN DUUUUUUUUUN!!!!!

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