Episode Seventeen - Battle for Forteth
Episode Seventeen: Battle for Forteth (Level 9)
Kristy Eagar (DM)
After a harrowing ordeal in the underwater Yáloin temple, a grieving group of injured survivors cling to a rock, surrounded by deadly waters churned up with an underwater battle between a giant squid and hundreds of sharks and lesser aberrant cephalopods. Lyda is trapped in the mirrorscape, and they were forced to leave her behind. Abasi has given his life to save his friends, buying them the time they needed to escape the temple below. They have acquired a mysterious new companion, a mimessarch named Tuoch. He seems strangely devoted to Vash, and took terrible injuries drawing the monstrous sea creatures away from the group. He barely survived, with use of a potion stolen from the Yáloin. While Vash, Tobias, Carmenith, and Tuoch discuss how to reach the distant cliffs,the legendary Bone Dragon appears, captained by Sadhai Thibault, the subject of several conflicting stories and myths. Sadhai has come with a message for Cátzin, but rescues the others from the rock. He reveals that he located them through the meteor bracers, but hasn’t time to correct his course error and go to where Icthaca and Cátzin are. He has very limited time, as he is due in Morvugol for a battle important to “a friend.” He reveals that Cátzin has been instructed by her lord to watch Vash, and that she has shadow-servants hidden in some of the party’s shadows, watching them. As Sadhai interrogates the shadows, his crew tends to the wounded heroes. Tobias and Vash try to convince Sadhai to help them rescue Lyda, but Sadhai regretfully declines. He has less than an hour, there’s not time to attempt the mirrorscape. Vash does convince him, however to join them in the battle for the red palace. The bone dragon flies up out of the sea, phasing through buildings like a ghost, headed straight for the battle.
Ichtaca moves through the city with Cátzin at his side, navigating streets engulfed by civil war and influencing various factions to assist King Halden retake his throne from his uncle the Duke-Regent. They have several close calls with the eitharmos, who are scouring the city for Ichtaca, Abasi, and the others. Icthaca influences a key military unit torn by political dissent, helping unite them against what should be their true foe: the traitorous Duke. This contributes to the cascading effect already in place, and several more units torn by internal strife rally to the King’s banner. He finds the disenfranchised city guard hard-pressed to rescue civilians from several burning buildings, and charges inside, saving an etholchan priest and dozens of other people, which wins the city guard to the king’s side of the fight. Seeing golem-like warriors battling around the crater that once was Crisis Monument Park, and noting that one side is wearing green arm-bands to indicate support of the king, Ichtaca and Cátzin charge into battle to assist, freeing up the warforged to go to the King’s aid.
In the market, they encounter the sixty heavily armed dwarves whom Vash, Tobias and Abasi had saved from death and freed from slavery, gathering with a hundred Avan warriors of mixed races and classes. The warriors have been taking advantage of the riots to move through the city and rescue the last of their refugees, and are now gathering together for a rescue mission into the fallen secret city Karfallun. They ask Ichtaca where the others are, hoping to join the adventurers on their mission to rescue Carmenith’s brothers. Ichtaca explains that the group has to neutralize the duke before they can leave Forteth, or the world may devolve into a terrible war. With an inspiring speech, Ichtaca wins both groups of warriors to his cause, and marches on the castle.
Both groups of heroes converge on the castle, and join in an epic and thrilling battle. The Bone Dragon erupts out of the clouds, raining fire and lighting from above. Ichtaca surges up the hill at the head of a small army. Sadhai drops into the thick of battle, creating a swathe of death that moves to meet up with Icthaca. Both manage the battle on the ground, protecting the king and pressing ever up the hill towards the castle. Tobias, Vash, and Carmenith drop onto the castle roof from above, moving quickly to capture Duke-Regent Bergeth alive. It’s a stunning victory. As the smoke clears, Sadhai and the Bone Dragon are gone, but people are still staring in awe at the clouds, talking about the mythical ship and the magic that tore out of the sky.
The heroes gather around young King Halden, who is confused by the sudden presence of warforged soldiers fighting for him, and looking for an explanation as to all the illegal arcane magic being flung around here. Chorrom Viln steps forward from the ranks of the King’s men, having brought a unit of priests into battle to support the new ruler. He tries to claim that all magic used here today, including the golem-like warforged soldiers, are products of holy magic, miracles of Daemoth. Tobias and Vash step in, smoothly stating the truth, that whatever magic was used here, was used in support of the King’s cause. The two men publically embarrass the new Chorrom, but gain the King’s tentative approval of their actions, as well as sanctuary for the escaped slaves and Avans who joined in the battle. Vash comes forward and declares the truth about the events surrounding the death of the rest of the royal family 17 years ago; revealing that it was not Avan assassins who murdered the old king and his family, but the Duke-Regent. The avans were there on a rescue mission. One of the operatives from that old mission steps forward, testifying against the Duke’s lies, and swearing to the king that he has a brother and a sister alive, living happily in the Norlythe in an Avan community. The King is flabbergasted, reeling as nearly everything he has long accepted as reality is challenged and overturned. He invites the heroes to advise him in council the next morning.
It is a controversial and politically charged moment, and the heroes realize that the young King will have his work cut out for him in the months ahead, forming the policies of his reign without losing support of his largely Etholchan nobles and peasantry. The duke is hauled off in chains, and the Kings men move quickly to secure the city and the palace grounds. King Halden offers the newly vacant dukeship to Tobias, the lands and title of Marquis to Vash, and generalship of his army to Ichtaca, but all three heroes ask for time to consider.
Preparations begin for a huge party, but the heroes quickly find themselves in trouble again, when Tobias is suddenly attacked in the library. Dythan Mathis arrives, clothed in the body of Anotros Ciprano, whom he has healed and is using in a desperate attempt to regain his escaped “vessel.” Mathis is in a state of such rage and psionic fury, that the party can sense him coming, and they manage to reach Tobias just in time to help him in what becomes a nearly deadly encounter. They manage to slay the Anotros, but then Mathis rises up out of the body, his soul and powers seriously weakened and injured by being in the body during such an in-depth domination. Even so weakened, he is a dangerous foe. He tears into them, makes them fight each other, and flees, but not before repeatedly bashing against mirrors and screaming in fury. Tobias realizes that Mathis’s powers over the mirrorscape are weakened, and intuits that their foe will not be able to access the strange plane for at least three weeks. Lyda is safe from him for now. Tobias, meanwhile, can find her in any mirror, the lovers able to see each other, but unable to speak or touch.
It’s a night for bittersweet celebration and rest. In the morning, the heroes will council with the king, and then leave with their small army of Avan warriors, freed slaves, and warforged soldiers. The mission to rescue Carmenith’s lost brothers has expanded. Now they are bound to aid in a much larger rescue operation; one that will take them into the high realm of Vinramar, and pit them against an army of the eitharmos.
Gathering Factions Skill Challenge: 1,200
Convincing the legendary Sadhai Thiboult to join in the battle: 50 xp
Storming the Castle Skill Challenge: 2,000
Stopping Viln from crediting Daemoth for all the magic used in the battle: 50 xp
Averting war between Trentsmund and The Norlythe: 500 xp
Ichtaca’s glorious leadership of a small army: 50 xp (plus glory points)
Capturing the Duke: 50 xp
Winning the trust and confidence of King Halden Thaldemar: 50 xp
Saving the ambassadors: 100 xp
Being offered Noble Titles: 50 xp
Roleplay with Cátzin: 50 xp
Roleplay at the celebration: 50 xp
Library combat encounter: 1,750 xp
Total XP is 5,950, divided by 3 pc’s, is 1,983 each. Previous cumulative individual total was 18,928, and is now 20,911. Welcome to Level 10!
Noble titles, prestige, and glory! Whatever new mundane equipment (within reason) you need!
In-Character e-mail 16 included the following items:
*Everyone who participated in the email may choose one additional magic item of up to level 12
*2,500 GP worth of small gold ingots
*A small coffer containing 1,000 GP worth of mixed currency, from all over the world, including small change, (almost as if it has been taken from victims kidnapped from various world locations)
*Circlet of Indomitability (L8), Helm of Battle (L9), Reading Spectacles (L2), Starlight Goggles (L8), Boots of the Giant Kind (L9), Belt of Vim (L8), Potion Bandolier (L8) Goliath’s Belt (L8), and Ring of Uncanny Judgement, Ring of Mental Power, and Premonition Ring
*A fallen star meteor, radiating psionic power, (unblocked, like the ones you guys first found. So, the longer you stay in one location, the more likely you are to attract unwanted attention from those who can sense it.)
*Chorrom Dythan Mathis’s journals (3). Lots of information in here, all in Zoroch, but so far you know it contains notes on his studies into the mirrorscape and his research into various rituals.
*A book of prophesy, hand-written by Chorrom Dythan Mathis in the three months after the great crisis, as he lay dying from injuries sustained during the fall of the old cathedral in Forteth. Priceless religious relic.
*A ritual book containing comprehend language, sending, and scribe
*Three of the Yáloin-made potions left. (Potions of cure Moderate Wounds.)