Sunday, August 8, 2010

Game Notes - March - July 2010, Part II

The party heads back towards Dreia for the final battle of the goblin war. On the way, they are paged by Doogal, whom they meet in Guy’s Port. Doogal has returned from Issa, bringing with him troops and supplies. In exchange, the Issans have requested control of the city of Guy’s Port as an embassy of sorts for their government to trade and engage in international diplomacy. Guy relinquishes the city to the Issans with only minor reluctance.

The party makes their way to Dreia, where the find the High Council (Braddock, Garvey, Bart, Ajax, Appolonious, Terick, etc.) making final preparations. The final battle strategy is settled upon, and then begins a grand final feast and celebration, which all the officers and enlisted men partake in.

Following this feast, the army makes ready to meet the approaching goblin force, this time commanded by none other than the Warlord Graxx himself. The party joins the front lines, alongside Samared, McGrath, and many of their other more powerful allies. There, they inspire the troops, help them prepare, and generally raise spirits before the battle.

Along the way, the party runs into Goldschmiddt and Rumplemintz, who enlist Virgil for an anticipated aspect of the battle – advance scouting reports a powerful trio of mind flayer wizards who will attempt to wage war against the magical abilities of the spellcasters in the battle. Goldschmiddt and Rumplemintz help Virgil prepare for this aspect of the battle.

At long last, the goblin army appears on the horizon, five times the size of the force assembled to fight them. An enormous, bloody battle ensues, with the party and the more advanced adventurers taking out the higher level baddies in the fight. Swarms of soldiers swell around the twelve Cathonic beasts of legend in this battle, even managing to take down one. Well into, but still in the early stages of the battle, Revan contacts the party with the news that he has figured out how to disable the magic-dampening beacons. The party leads a team towards one of the beacons, which the goblins defend voraciously. Finally, Floyd and Virgil gain access to the inside of the beacon while Guy, Brix, Samared, and McGrath defend their position from the outside.
Floyd and Virgil work their way up to the top of the beacon tower, then call Guy and Brix up. Whilst Guy and Floyd fight off the goblins attempting to defend the beacon’s power source, Virgil and Brix analyze the beacon and come to the conclusion that it can be destroyed with a Miracle spell. Brix casts the spell, which results in a holy schockwave resonating across the battlefield. Realizing it would be impossible for the party to take out all of the beacons this way, there is initially despair, until they realize that the holy energy has infused itself with the soldiers on the battlefield, raising the fallen and giving the allies new life and hope.

At this time, Goldschmiddt and Rumplemintz retreive Virgil for the mage-off. What follows is a fireworks show of magical energies as the three spellcasters trade blows with the mind flayers, but ultimately Goldschmiddt, Rumplemintz, and Virgil are victorious. This leads to a brief lull in the fighting while both sides regroup.

During this lull, the party is delighted to find Pskenart and Axe recently arrived from Larst, here to join the fight. As the battle resumes, the heroes fight valiantly, yet in spite of this, the beacons and Cathonic beasts are taking their toll on the numbers in the fight. It is when all hope seems nearly lost that Visgoth finally arrives (sort of), sending Harves Raeth and Malus to command his mighty army of undead. These undead swarm the Cathonic Beasts and the beacons, felling them with impressive alacrity. This distraction allows the party the opportunity it needs for a final push towards the Warlord. Taking their most elite group into the fray, the party works its way up to the Warlord’s prime entourage. A spectacular combat ensues, during which the party expends every available resource they have in battle. Pskenart and Floyd are both killed in the fight, and Axe is taken out, but Guy, nearly down to the last, manages to deliver the killing blow. The Warlord is dead.

The death of the Warlord has a major psychological ramification on the goblin forces. Disorganized and disillusioned, they scatter as the heroes and their army conduct mop-up duty. Guy, Virgil, and Brix carry their fallen comrades off the field, and, once the battle is over, resurrect Pskenart and Floyd.

The dead are tallied, and the number is overwhelming. Among the casualties of the battle are Vain, Pope Benedict, Ajax, Luth, and General Braddock. The fighting force of Western Aggravail is reduced to five digits from the two million who took the field. While the number of the dead is depressing, their sacrifice becomes fortuitious for the reality of the war’s aftermath that is to follow. Facing dramatically reduced resources, the survivors divide off into groups, occupying the Freelands territory (as of now, the only real livable land on the continent) in separate communities. Bart is asked to lead a community, and chooses to do so, promising to keep in touch with the party and work with them as they attempt to rebuild. Havern also returns to lead his community in peace. Appollonious, on the other hand, consults with the party, who decide that a regent must be installed in the Freelands to maintain order and keep the nation from dissolving. Appollonious takes on this regency, with the party engaged in other tasks.

The boys are concerned to find themselves at odds with followers of Doogal for control of Dreia. Tensions are raised to anger between Doogal’s spokesman and the party, and Virgil kills the spokesman in anger in front of many people. The rest of the party attempts to restrain Virgil, but Virgil chooses to Teleport away rather than face punishment. Guy, seeing no other recourse if he wants to keep the peace, declares Virgil an outlaw and pariah from the community.

The party goes off in search of Virgil, whom they find and begin to negotiate an acceptable return, however, Virgil is not keen on paying for his misdeed. The group attempts to involve Appollonious in their descion, but when they radio him, they learn from one of the Freelandian soldiers that Appollonious has been forced out of Haven by followers of Doogal. The party returns to Haven, marching straight in to the new leader of Doogal’s men and demanding they vacate Haven. The leader has the audacity to ask for terms, and they nearly come to blows again, saved only by a strong desire for diplomatic solution and a need not to escalate the situation further. Finally, Doogal himself returns, and the entire affair turns out to be a misunderstanding of where Doogal’s people were supposed to settle.

Doogal and Virgil negotiate their way through and appropriate punishment that will allow Doogal to save face. After considerable discussion, Virgil allows Doogal to behead him in front of his people. Brix immediately Ressurects Virgil, but the point is made.

The party heads west to The Warrior’s Rest to discuss their next move. Along the way they pass Guy’s Port and discover that three groups are fighting for control of it – followers of Doogal, the Issans, and a Freelandian faction. Guy visits the Issans and attempts a negotation for Issan food and supplies in exchange for increased trade and diplomatic inolvement in Aggravail.

Continuing on to Goldschmiddt, the party encounters Appollonius and expain the Doogal situation, and how he may safely return to Haven. Still on their way, the party is intercepted and taken to see Visgoth, who is curious to know if they have picked their twelve for the final fight (see the ten vs. the twelve propehcy). Visgoth explains that death is not necessarily an impediment to those who will fight in this encounter. During this conversation, the existence of the Elf-Grandmother comes up. Visgoth’s nostrils’ flare, and he’s off.

Of course, there’s no way the party’s not going to see this, so they zip off to Grandmother’s house. Guy, Brix, and Floyd maintain a safe distance while Virgil Polymorphs into a woodland critter and goes in for a closer look, using Teris’ spell circle to communicate the visuals and audio with the others. Visgoth confronts Grandmother, and an angry conversation ensues. Meanwhile, Virgil spots the Bellmaker taking off from Grandmother’s back porch with the twin elf boys in tow. Guy, Floyd, and Brix follow the Bellmaker, finding him just as he uses a bell to open a portal, and tosses the babies in. The party stops the Bellmaker from going through, demanding answers. Before he can elaborate, though, Linus drops in and kills the Bellmaker. Linus tells the boys that the Zarin they knew is dead, and that Linus’ consiousness has completely overtaken this body. He continues to profess non-allegienance, refusing to answer why he killed the Bellmaker, and he goes on his way.

Meanwhile, Virgil, from his hidden position, witnesses Visgoth kill Grandmother. Before she perishes, though, she imprints a map in Virgil’s brain. Virgil, alarmed that his position may have been given up, escapes and meets up with the rest of the party, who tell him about the Bellmaker encounter, and their inability to find the elf twins, Voltaire and Voltar. Vigil analyzes the portal, and determines that is an ever shifting portal, surmising that the twins may have ended up on compltely different planes from each other. The portal’s design keeps unwanted followers from being able to find you, but no individual who goes through it ends up in the same place. Realizing they have no hope of finding the twins, they dismiss the portal.

The party finally makes it to Goldschmiddt, and they explain everything that has happened to him. Goldschmiddt elaborates on a theory about Visgoth, that he is an aspect of something called the World Serpent, an antithesis to the spirt of creation (which Brix would classify as the one true God). Goldschmiddt believes that Visgoth’s desire to ascend is only part of a plan to reunite all of the World Serpent’s aspects, which would be very bad news for the universe. This news puts the party’s plan to find Ethan’s journal into high gear.

The group travels to the Necromancer’s Tower to retreive the second page, which they are able to do without major incident (they fight a transformed and mad angel, but nothing of major story consequence happens, nor do they encounter Elliott, as the journal page lies deep within the nether bowels of the tower, where Elliott is apparently unaware of its existence), only therein does the party discover further evidence of Elliott’s horrific evildoings. The page they find explains the mystical properties of the Lay of Lugh, a song fo the utmost difficulty, which, if played correctly, will suprress certain aspects of the vampire’s powers, enabling the party’s weapons to do damage to him. The Lay of Lugh, it is last rumored according to the page, is somewhere in the Eastern Lands. This knowledge directly influences the party’s next actions.

End of Part 2

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