Exodus

Session 24: Would You Believe
We put a woman on the moon

Albino Manbeast approaches, wonders why we haven’t joined at the council. We join the council, and try to stir the pots between the Void and Oblivion sept. They have sensed a fulfillment of their plan, and want to know what we were doing right. They have asked us what were doing right to summon the gods. There are two groups in the tent, Steppefolk Voidsept with their eyes woven shut and some hat and haughty Manbeasts, headed by

“The fish sees the bait not the hook”

Vadim tells them that they cut down seven men, but the eighth lived and escaped before the ritual could be completed. Sorq notices whispers between Void and Oblivion. Void offers to take the city and convert it. Elondir whispers council to Vadim and he orders a charge south, after the eighth man. The host follows, and the party goes into the city.

The voidsept leader approaches them in the street and begins a conversation with Vadim, clearly seeing who he is. He tells them what septs face them if they head north.

Vadim tells him “The distance between heaven and earth is no greater than one thought” He weeps through the stitching.

Khut rides Arrow in the dark, and the entire Oblivion Sept follows after him.

They are greeted by clockwork sleep-army on their way into the city. Then Nohai scouts take them to Hundreds (or MY WIFE! depending on who you are)

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Session 23: The Answers to Your Prayers

Deck: Oblivion Sept…
Machek…
Disease…Krokodile…
But Ado puts the kibosh on the plague…

We are dead…
Looking at the spire, spinning above a pyramid…
Squee is here…faded…skin black…eyes deep purple…
Flickering in and out of existence like an old TV set…
Gray Lady is etching runes around the base of the pyramid…
The inner circle of rings are magical…but indecipherable…
The base of the pyramid starts dissolving away…
Accompanied by a gnawing noise…
As the dirt falls away, floats free, into the abyss…
She writes “do not bury us” in a circle around the monolith
Again and again…
Khadagan starts collecting samples of the cancerous growths…
He finds lots of interesting stuff growing at the boundary…
Tiny white pustules…
Scab-like lichen growing over everything else…
Tumor-like mushrooms the size of four men…
Large…mushroom cloud shaped…rippling surfaces…
They break open with large writhing tendrils…
Active feeders…like flytraps…

The big shrooms move…Khadagan shouts a warning…
Khut shoots one…shoots it again…Khadagan assassinates it…
And they keep coming…because NYAAAAAA!
Ithunn leaps in, kicking one into the air, and delivers some beatings…
It grows new tentacles and roots as it tries to reach the ground…
Lands hard…
And Khadagan leaps on it…claws rusting over…rusty scar burning…
AND there is much raging…and much assassination…
“If I can find an awkward place to pray, I’m going to do it…”
Sorqutani burns it with a dark, almost black flame…but not much…
The shroom vanishes…folding itself into the fade…
And appears next to Khut…it swings, misses…
And reality crumbles around Khut’s feet…
Ado leaps behind Khut and thorn-yanks it into the hole…
It goes screaming into the abyss…grabbing reality…
Which fractures around it…to more gnawing noises…
Khut shoots the next one…
Squee goes on a tirade about how she hasn’t washed her hair in ages…
And how the mushrooms are too bland…AND they all turn PINK!
AND two of them launch into the air and swarm Khadagan…
One engulfs him…
Vadim reaches out a hand…and burns it to dust and blows it away…
Khadagan: “You! Stay out of my garden!”
Vadim: “You have to learn how to make mulch!”
Another goes for Ado…beating him a bit…
A third swings at Ithunn…slips…and takes a twisted claw to the teeth…
Ithunn follows up and kicks it into the abyss…
To more creepy chewing noises as it exits reality…
Then she runs up and kicks the last one just for sport…
Sorqutani summons some pixies…flaming pixies of DOOM!
and the pixies start harvesting pieces of the thing…they swarm its orifices…
a pixie emerges clamering out of its mouth holding some strange organ…
The enraged mushroom engulfs ithunn…
AND there is some grease…and it starts sliding towards the abysss…
Squee and Ado viciously mock it…
Khadagan leaps in slashing wildly…becoming more frenzied by the moment…
Vadim lights some calming incense to try to bring him out of it…
Ithunn punches her way out just before it topples over the edge…
A fist comes out…with a victorious pixie standing atop it…
She kicks it into the abyss…pushing off to land barely on the edge…
Khut rushes in and immediately begins applying poultices…
Khadagan snaps out of his frenzy just in time…
He becomes focused on the fancy herbs that Vadim lit up…
They might help next time…
Pixies fly back bearing various lumpy things to present to Khadagan…
3 collections of Lifeline Cancer spores…
Can drain residual life energy from undead…
Heal/spawn by the spark of life that is lightning…
TIME TO MOVE!
Reality is crumbling and we’re trying to pull a skyscraper along with us…
We wrap a steel cable around the spire…
Khut and Khadagan dig in and start hauling…with Bull’s Strength!
The spire shifts…turns…begins to drift uphill…
Vadim summons an octet of hornbeasts and starts lashing them to the cable…
Khut…nat 20…Khadagan…nat 20…Vadim…nat 20…
Sorq calls in a phantom steed and ties it on…
Squee harnesses her imaginary unicorn-chinchilla-bunny-thing…
They pull together…and we loose one on reality…
Vadim dangles some cheese in front of the hornbeasts and they start straining…
Khut goads Khadagan who frenzies and starts reaching for Khut’s back…
Straining enough to make progress…
Ithunn leaps into the air and punches the spire to make it move…
AND it shifts…
Squee runs…grabs the cable…polymorphs herself into…
an enormous…Pink…charging…HOLY MOUNTAIN BEAST…with purple polka-dots…
accompanied by swirling rainbows and poofs of pink sparkly pixie dust…
AND PULLS
Khadagan’s claws dig into Khut’s back…
He sees an image of an eyeless, oblong face…
Vadim slaps him…Ado starts playing some muzak…
Khadagan claws Khut again…then snaps out of it…
with a feeling like a razor’s cut across his chest…
We haul it up to the rim…
The Gray Lady sits there with two pots…gleaming gold and black iron…
She says we have to lay down and die before we get out of here…
Sorqutani looks at the iron pot…she smells apples…
Ado: “How you like them apples?”
Sorq senses crushing depression…
but is not particularly bothered by it…
out of the blackness she sees the armies of the old empire…
preparing for battle…
Ado looks at the gold pot…
He transforms into a scaled golden-eyed thing…
“What am I doing here?” it asks…
It shifts tonality so that Ado’s voice can come through…
Party: "What am I called?
It: “Jean…” FUUUUUUUUUCK!
Ado: “When did we pray last?”
Ado realizes that its funnier to use him as an answer to prayer
than to destroy him utterly…
Vadim drinks from the golden pot…
We hear whispers…“Come to us…”
Khut, Ithunn, Khadagan, Squee, and Ado wake up…
Covered with bloody gashes across their chest…
In the body of steppefolk and warbler refugees…
Two empty circle priests stand over them…
…Sorqutani and Vadim…yep…PRIESTS

A warbler…her feathers black…her mouth sewn shut…says “I am pink!”
There is a spread of glorious rainbows…AND she’s a peacock…
Vadim: “Who’s Khut? Everyone who is not Khut raise their hand…”
Khut, looking at the wound “I’m Cut…”
Vadim, who is a centaur, looks out of the tent…and sees chaos…

Firemane has rallied our troops…
We (the party) are in the middle of an Oblivion Sept camp…
The Old Empire is trying to drive the caravan before them…
The dwarves and the Gond Salar are to the south in the city…
Hoargrim kisses the mammoth and tries to lead everyone into the city for a free-for-all…
AND crashes into the Dwarves…
Chinua’s scouts face off against a Bronze Dragoneer…
Then the Gray Lady enters the field, but is locked by the enemy sappers…
And gets mauled by the Dragoneers…
A brass behemoth shows up…and gets jumped by some Oblivion Sept outriders (the party)…

Meanwhile…back in the camp…the party jumps some Oblivion sept scouts…we need weapons…
We ride with them…slaves and whippers…ahead we see the behemoth break from the wall…
Ithunn, now a hot black-clad steppefolk…jumps one, fists flying…
Knocking him to the ground…where Khut grabs the bow off his back…
And Khut gets shot by two more of them…
More arrows rain down…missing Ithunn and Squee…
One pegs Ado…with a poof of feathers…who plays dead…
Squee turns the bad-guys pink…
Vadim (a centaur priest) tosses a sacrificial dagger to Khadagan…
Who rages…and finds himself holding a pair of rusting strait-razors…
And becomes the sexy, shoeless god of war…the wound re-opening on his chest…
AND assassinates and GUTS one of the pink centaurs who has not yet acted…
Vadim charges and skewers one with a pike…
Sorqutani (also a centaur) glares at them – “Idiots! Why are you shooting at me!”
AND unleashes a handful of fire at the lead one…torching him top to bottom…
AND she sucks the life out of everyone…killing two of them…
And there is the plague witch…deep in the Fade…kicking ass…
Ado drops a Hypnotic Pattern on a pair of them…
Ithunn continues beating the one she knocked down…and his little friend…
Squee and Khut hold back…doing respectable but not lethal damage…
There is another volley of arrows…tagging Ado…and Khut…
Then one charges Sorqutani, hitting her HARD…but she takes it…
A frenzied Khadagan charges the nearest pink one…
Lockjaw and Badpenny tear pinky open…but don’t get the job done…
Meanwhile the Brass Behemoth is wading through the lines, spewing steam, and laying waste…
Vadim hastes the railgun (i.e. Khut)…who wipes a scout and injures his friend…
Sorqutani blows another EC Scout into his component atoms…
Leaving only three…that are busy watching Ado’s light show…
One of which is viciously mocked by Squee…
And then jumped and shish-kababed by Khadagan…
And the Behemoth wanders close enough for us to smell the steam…
Vadim “Treat it like a beast, let’s corral this thing!”
He whips it, pulling it towards the empty circle lines…
Sorqutani rails the Behemoth with arcs of lightning…
Khut and Ithunn wipe out the second to last scout…
And Khut puts an extra arrow in the last one for good measure…
AND Khadagan eviscerates him…
Squee drops a shatter into the Oblivion Sept lines…stirring the pot…
Ado banishes the golem…the life-rune goes dark…giving us a second…
Vadim shouts to the slaves “It’s been deactivated…haul it back to camp!”
“In Exodus campaign the horses ride in the trojan human!”
Sorqutani and Ado chime in, rallying the workers…
with magical Suggestions on the Oblivion Sept commander…
but Ado stops concentrating on the banishment…
SO it wakes up…
Khut grabs Squee and disappears at full, hasted speed…Meep Meep!
Khadagan tries to sneak away…but is raging, frenzying, wrathful…
And leaps, frothing at Sorqutani…but whiffs…
Vadim pulls Ado up…trots by…shaking his tail at Khadagan…

Meanwhile…back at the fight…
The Bronze Dragoons fire on our infantry…with grapeshot…
But get railed by Chinua’s Scouts instead…
They maneuver…mountains…forests…deserts…grass…
And their gunners keep pelting Petrana’s infantry…who soak it up…
We maneuver towards the plateaus…the krokodile rain hell on the dragoons…
But the terra cotta infantry suck it up…
And things look very bad for our heros…
The Iron Rhinos charge…but…Hoargrim pulls a switcheroo…
And Chinua’s scouts wipe the floor with the terra cotta army…
Then the krokodile go for the dragoons…but the mechanicals hold firm…
The Iron Rhinos recharge…while the krokodile aim for the dwarven general…
And the Rhinos plow into the krokodile and our infantry at full steam…
Another volley from the krokodile finishes off the dragoons…
AND Hoargrim now has ranged superiority…
Their general withdraws…
The Rhinos charge…and get mowed down…
Their last ditch sappers come from below…and stab Chinua’s troops…
Then withdraw…

The Gray Lady is out for the next six fights…but alive…

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Session 22: Take me out into the black...

We are in the badlands, having just smashed the Void Sept
We head into the city…
Heading strait for the spire…
Khut is in the lead…because everyone says he is…

We sneak in, Ado on my shoulder…
Ado makes a quiet whistle…we find and disable some deadfalls…
Then there is a loud rumble…cracking sounds…
And the roof collapses…
Smearing Vadim, Squee, and Breaks like Wind…
Apparenty there is a fight over out heads…
They peer down, but don’t see us…
We’re under the walls…
Looks like the Gonds are fighting House Surin
Surin and the Smiths are trying to breach the wall…
And let teh EC in…Fuck them…
Ithunn apparent brought some Pasht assassins with us…
She challenges to see who can kill the most people…

Vadim, still pinned under rubble, calls to Odqan Talaqan and drops a Wall of Fire…
On the north side of the hole…protecting the Gonds…
Khut and Ithunn jump in and start trying to dig the casters out of the rubble…
Khut pries squee out…Ithunn smashes through a beam over Breaks…
Ado ties a metal cable to the rubble…an arrow on the other end…
Fires the arrow…Khut whistles…
AND rubble goes flying into the air…
Lightning coruscates through the House Surin ranks…
And Vadim is free…and everyone goes WTF just happened?!
Four big, burly Malik Steers jump in the hole and go for Ithunn…
And another hammers into Sorqutani with a jagged chunk of rebar…
AND she bursts into fire…because her mother is displeased…
Accompanied by Sorq’s maniacal laughter…
Squee drops her Crown of Madness on the captain of the House Surin archers…
But only serves to piss him off…
He retaliates with great vigor…and great javalins…
But his archers just suck…seriously…
Breaks drops another Wall of Fire up topside, sandwiching the Surin troops…
Khadagan comes rushing out of nowhere…covered in limestone dust…
And tears into one of the malik steer…
AND Barruk knocks one of them out of the park…
Vadim yells…and a bunch of cackles dive from the rooftops at the archers…
One archer goes down devoured by cackles…two more fall down into the pit…
One of which finds the whole situation ridiculous thanks to Squee…
Khut runs up out of the pit…charging the archers…
dives into them, daggers flashing…and kicks two strait into the fire…
Ithunn clambers up, slipping on the rubble…
Ado hops up, climbing over Ithunn’s head…
And thorn-whips the remaining archer into the hole…
Where he lands with a snap of his neck…
Sorq calls up her flaming pixies…“Bring me their tongues!”
The Malik charge in…
only to have pixies tear all of thier piercings out…
Then they start beating on Sorq and Ithunn…poorly as usual…
The archer Captain goes for Khut with a big sword…which is laughable…
and Breaks tags him with a Ray of Sickness…and he pukes on Khuts shoes…
Khadagan guts a Malik…but apparently they don’t feel pain…
They’re doped up on something hard-core…Khad takes a sample…
Then Barruk brings the Thunder(ous smite)…
AND sends a steer flying, crushed and impaled on the rebar…
The last archer shoots ado…and kills him hard…or at least it looks that way…
Then he is eaten from the inside out by pixies…
And Ado stands up and dusts himself off…
Vadim climbs up, trying to help Khut…fails to whip the captain into the fire…
Then the cackles pile on the captain…and kick him into the wall of fire…
The Gonds have fallen back, taken up ranged positions…
And are wiping the floor with the House Surin troops…
Sorq and Ado bring more fire…incinerating another steer…
The remaining two charge Khadagan and Ado…to similarly little effect…
Except Ado plays dead again…
Squee summons up a cloud of daggers, shredding another Malik…
AND Khadagan rips the remaining one in half…
AND tears open his bowels to investigate the contents…

We head deeper into the tunnels…the sounds of battle raging overhead…
Khut takes point…everyone else follows…as stealthily as possible…
Khut draws things off, keeping the path clear…
We make it to the cavern of the Spire unseen…
And…of course…there is a big metal golem in the way…
A massive statue of a dwarven councilor with burning eyes…
Armed with hammer and shield…
On seeing the spire…the Gray Lady is very very pleased…
The golem sees us…ITS ON…
Ado curses it…
It responds by pulling out the burning brazier of its left eye…
And hurling it at Barruk, Vadim, and Khut…
Vadim and Khut are a little singed…
Barruk sidesteps…and retaliates with fire of his own…
Barruk misty steps to the top of its head…and brings the thunder again…
And nearly takes its head off with his opening salvo…
“For 105 points of Barruk to the head damage!”
Then Ithunn is flying in and punching it like crazy…
Knocks a leg to the side…lands on a knee…slams into its hip…
But it stays standing…
Break’s skeleton pulls a lever…
and a massive caulron of metal starts hurtling towards Khut…
Khut leaps, grabs the chains and rides along with the cauldron…
Squee whisper sweet damaging nothings in the golems ear (equivalents)…
Khadagan (moving very fast thanks to Vadim) body checks it…
Then Khut and Breaks slam the cauldron into the things head…
Spilling molten metal all over the thing…filling it…
We dip some weapons in the molten silver to coat them…

Ado…“That was THE guardian?”…looks around…
Vadim leads the way into the spire…
With Breaks scrying like crazy…
Then we start trying to figure out how to get this through the walls…
Khadagan pushes it…and sees (w/ See Invisibility)…
A pyramidal basalt base…
The Gray Lady suggests that we take the whole thing into the Deep Fade…
Khadagan and Vadim get the drugs ready…
Ado invokes Ormazd Bay…
There is a tiny glimmering of light…a tiny firefly…very faint…
Where we’re going is not Ormazd Bay’s country…
Khad and Khut lead them into the Spire…find the life rune they carved…
We sit down…light up…
Breaks looks awesome…starlight eyes…dark aura…
Squee is sick…pale…faded…
Gray Lady is beautiful…sharp teeth, sharp eyes, pure white…
A mass of twisting vines have grown over the throne room…
Among the vines is a faint, maggotfolk-like bird spirit…
Khut says “You are here” in the speech from last time…
It stands with a flex of its wings, “This is strange” it says…
Ado offers it his pants…
Vadim starts talking to it about love, lust, come with us…
Squee asks “What color is your castle?”
“Tell the little coureous one my castle is of silver and obsidian…”
It says, in no language spoken in this world…
Squee gives the strange being directions to her castle…
Khadagan listens for the voices…they are all wrong…
He is struck with overwhelming vertigo…a sense of falling…
Far away the sound of the world breaking…
Sorqutani: “Dear one, what can you tell us?”
Khut: “What’s your name?”
Being: “Anariel”
We chat for a bit, trying to get around lack of a shared framework…
Khut has to muzzle Vadim when he starts to wax mammoth-kissing…
Sorq: “Who do you serve?”
Anariel: “The King”
“What King”
“The King of Kings”
Khut: “Like this?” he says holding up the Solde of the Altan Ordu
Anariel: “Almost…almost…”
Vadim conjures Hallucinatory Terrain…a garden…
We walk into the garden…not away from the spire…
Around it…near it…deeper into the fade…
The roses growing darker…red…purple…black…withered…
The further we get from Anariel…he gets no smaller, no less bright…
We’ve gone no further than thirty feet from the spire…
Gray Lady says we have to make the world forget…
Before we can change our orientation in space…
Things get darker…paths twist…trees die…
Vadim says we should kill things…we’re all confused…
A black ripclaw with a pirate accent appears…
“Go no fartherrrrr…” it says perching on a withered tree…
There is a clicking sound…very far away…
Like insects discussing their doctoral disertations…
Khut, because it can’t get worse, smokes some more…
Vadim lays down some spike growth along the path…
A tall, elegant looking malik walks up…
His intricately carved horns glowing…
Carrying a black-polished staff with a skull up top…
Blue fire burns deep in the skull…
Beside him paces a strange, six-legged leopard-lizard…
Sorq makes some greetings…
“Anaros of the Dreamer’s Guild”…
He seems a little thrown off by us being there in flesh…
To say the least…
He’s a member of the necro guild…
not friends with Ormazd Bay fire magisters…
known for their poisons and narcotic dusts…
thought to be death-obsessed necrophiles…
really in love with memories of the Fade…
they readily interact with beings that are “dead now”.
He warns us that “they can smell you if you’re really here”
He’s looking for some shrooms that grow here…
Khut leaps into a tree and goes in search of shrooms…
Khut finds a long-forgotten dream of madness…
A pool of non-reflective still, black water…
Three perfect black mushrooms…
Growing through the eye sockets of skulls…
Whispering to each other in Old Imperial…
Something about warehouses and measures…
And a massive…40-ft figure…
Wading through the trees…
Reaching down to pluck and inspect trees…
White beard that glitters in starlight…
Blade edged with lightning…
Khut swings down, says hi to the skulls…
Plucks the shrooms…makes them happy…
They tell Khut he needs to clear a warehouse…
Prince Te’Wang would like it they say…
We can hear the sniffing of something hunting…
Khut swings back and hide everyone…like good…
A whole caravan of ghasts comes by…
Everyone but Khut is horribly ill…
From the stench of death…
Past the lifeline…
They walk past us…ignore us…
We march on…towards the life-line…
Khut takes point…tells Ithunn to stay put…
Squee falls asleep on her chinchilla…
The place is old…memories…temples…then gone…
The obsidian fulcrum for the spire is at the top of the hill…
At the bottom of the hill is an obsidian-marked road…
In the distance are differences of darkness…
Pitch black, dead black, but a deeper darkness…
The black on black silouette of a city in the distance…
A cave at the base…two statues stretched across the road…
Encrusting cancerous growths on everything…
The Gray Lady suggests we rock some rituals rather than just walking…
So we can cross briefly…we need blood…
She opens an eight-foot chinese scroll…
Khut puts a knife to his wrist and opens a vein…
she writes the death characters in blood on his chest…
We take one step forward…
AND
PLANE SHIFT
Squee, Ithunn, and Khadagan stay behind…holding a slack rope.

We are in a crater…there is a mushroom cloud…
Wind howls up out of the crater…
Bits and pieces of burning white rock fall from the sky…
Khut checks his pulse…there is none…opens a vein…empty…
The runes burn on his chest…
A thing begins to uncurl itself from around the pyramidal meteor…
A massive world-serpenty winged lizard…breath death, all that jazz…
Wrapped around the pyramid…over itself, under itself…oroboros style…
One eye opens…a thin purple line of bright flame glowing under the lid…
Vadim starts to call lightning…Khut muffles him again…
Breaks has a chat with it…
Apparently it is paid to keep the story of this place from being remembered.
Vadim gets unmuzzled and drops a few more lightning bolts…why?!
Khut walks up to the spire…its shiny and new and covered with angel carvings
The bottom has broken off and its balanced on it…
The spirits of the dead hold it in the air and spin it…
Khut walks up to the spirits and says Hi…
Vadim drops some halucinatory terrain to make it look like the steppes…
The dragon seems a little grumpy…
its concerned that the memory grows in us…
“If it gets out they might begin to believe…”
Breaks: “Do you believe there is a god?”
Dragon: “Believe?”
Ado: “How would you hide it?”
Dragon: “Be refusing to answer prayers!”
Ado: “Spirits are doing the lords work”
DM to Breaks: “You don’t get Cosmic truth on an insight roll”
Breaks: “I get cosmic truth when we’re in the deep nasty”

Meanwhile back in the not-so-deep-fade…
Khadagan rages out and walks forward…
Barruk dives…grabs him…and they both join us past the life line…

AND the dragon exhales a cone of shadowy fire right at Vadim…
Khut returns fire…plowing all his rage into the shot…
The arrow glows cling through him…leaving a trace of crimson
But the dragon is clearly not entirely substantial…
Khadagan leaps in raging…and…praying?
“I don’t know who you are. I don’t know what I’m praying to…”
“…but I want to know!”
A jagged, rusty cut appears on his shoulder, tracing down his chest…
His claws are also covered with rust…
AND he leaps on it and aligator-wrestles its mouth closed…
Breaks like Wind points out exactly where NOT to hit the spire…
Because it would be so easy to drop it on the dragon…
But that would be bad…
AND drops protection from wiggins on Barruk…
Barruk, hasted by Vadim, starts wailing away with the hammer…
Sorq sends Alev to cast light on it…
It twists away as from the light as from death itself…
The dragon tries to bite, but can’t open its mouth…
But gets its claws into Barruk…Then gets grounded…
Khut puts another arrow clean through the thing…
Khadagan hangs on, stabbing away while holding its mouth closed…
AND he goes completely, murderously insane…possessed by WRATH
His claws leave deep smears of rust-red through its face…
Then Ado reams it with a Guiding Bolt…
Breaks drops some grease in its path…and Vadim knocks it right in…
Then Barruk is all over it again with his radiant, flaming, smiting hammer…
The light from the tip of the hammer spreads through its system…
It sighs “At least I got to see the sun again…”
AND IT EXPLODES
We cut it up…
LOOT FROM THE FADE:
* Left Eye: Cube of Force
* Right Eye: Ioun Stone (awareness)
* Carapace: +1 Chain Shirt

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Session 21: The Adding of the Five-Thousand...
oops...I mean 7000...mouths to feed...

We gather in the Gray Lady’s tent for war council
She’s all gussied up for Ellen-Dear…
Blue-green hair, sea-green eyes…
Vadim suggests that we leave the Old Empire behind us
Like a landshark in the desert…
But instead they are baring our way…
Firemane barges in and says “we’re dead in the water”
with at least two armies out there…
We could probably break through the Old Empire…
IF we move now and head north…
We have an intelligence advantage…
They are still gathering their legions…
Gray Lady says we need to go south…
Can’t leave the spire in Empty Circle hands…
Vadim says South…and lead the Old Empire there…
Give the Old Empire control of the dwarven city…
Firemane points out that two Septs of the EC are in play
Oblivion (who were besieging the city)
Heavy horse archers from Vohu Mana…
Void (who chased us through landsharks…and hate us)
The creepy, cursed-arrow, mouth-sewing folks…
Vadim…then it sounds like running West is the Best…
Firemane: “Through Worm infested salt flats?”
Ithunn: “Are the worms edible?”
Khut: “Of course!”
Ithunn: “Then we’re fine…”
Khut (under breath): “And this is why I’m in love…”
Gray Lady: “If we leave the artifact behind us…”
Vadim: “Wait! Did you just say we, meaning you and me?!”
Ellen-Dear: “She still doesn’t want to breed with you…”
The Old Empire are the enemys of our enemy…
Therefore we want them to be our friends…
Ellen-Dear: “We want them to tolerate us”
Khut: “Tollerance is the core of friendship”
Ellen-Dear (looks at Sqee): “Yeah, you’re right…”
There are like 8 armies out there…
Us…
Old Empire…
Gonds…
Hellhorns…
Axeteeth…
Void…
Oblivion…
Dwarves and Golems…

We decide to gather some data before making a decision…
Ellen-Dear bribes Decoy with some booze to go scout…
Decoy says there is an armed encampment of
steppefolk on the edge of the salt-flats…
Presumably Hell-Horns?
Then sits down to chat about strategy with Firemane…
Iron-Deer escorts Firemane to go make nice with Hellhorns…
We ride in…mostly stealthed…
Vadim hears a clicking/popping noise…
Then a corrosive geyser goes off…
Which is apparently normal for the badlands…
Then we hear a black-44 shaman’s death curse…

AND its on…
Khut: “Haven’t you always wanted to fly?”
Ithunn: “Yeah, but…”
Khut whistles and Littlewing grabs them…
From above they see a 300-ft. long deathworm…
Mauling some Hellhorns Shai-Hulud style…
Ellen-Dear grabs Squee and charges his warbeast up the slope…
Squee tries to make the worm laugh hideously…
Hey…its intelligent…and might have a sense of humor
Vadim hastes Iron-Deer and she rushes in like lightning…
She shoots, but it bounces harmlessly off its body plates
The tail stinger bursts out and stabs at Vadim…
Splintering his shield…
Sorq and Khadagan charge!
A tail segment bursts out of the ground…
Sinking their beast, but they leap free…
Breaks Like Wind picks up Ado and runs!
The Worm rears and unleashes a spew of…
Salt…blood…stomach acid…half-digested bodies…
Littlewing drops Khut and Ithunn towards the worm’s head…
Khut nails it with an arrow mid-fall, right in the gullet…
Drawing its ire…and a tail shot…
Which sends him flying 80 feet through the air…
Ithunn lands right on its back…beating with her tusks…
Caving in its exoskeleton and driving it towards the ground
Ellen-Dear unleashes a lightning bolt…
arcing through the sand…scorching it like OW!
to shouts of “Lick it” from Squee…
Squee meanwhile tells some more jokes, which fall flat…
The worm tries to wipe Ithunn and Iron-Dear…but whiffs…
then twists and dives, sounding beneath the sand…
Clearly regrouping…not fleeing…
AND Sorqutani drops a flaming sphere right down the hole…
AND somehow Sorq gets…younger…
Khut leaps in the hole, spits on some dust…
AND smears the worm with some Green Lotus paste…
Breaks Like Wind runs and hurls Ado at the worm…
who claws up its back…
Then Breaks tags it with a ray of sickness
Barruk finally shows up…and beats the worm with his hammer…
The worm wraps itself in a knot and bursts from the sand…
Towering above everyone…very scary…
Then it vomits its filth down on everyone…
AND Barruk goes down…
Littlewing swoops down grabs Ithunn…
Khut plants an arrow in its face…it turns…
AND then Ithunn in 70 feet in the air with her tusks out…
Then head falls…collapsing segment by segment…
right at Khut’s feet with Ithunn standing on its head
There is a tick of a geyser about to go off…
And Khut leaps and yanks Ithunn out of the way…
And enjoys a brief cuddle…
and applies some healing…
We patch everyone up…

Then Firemane rides down the hill…
Hair flaming…ground shaking under his mounts hooves…
The hills light up in flames behind him…
Riding through an alley of exploding geysers…
Because we know how to make an entrance…
Breaks Like Wind slips off to check on his fellow shamans…
One is badly wounded…one dead…
Khut slips a potion to Sorq and she joins the chat…
They prepare a worm-pyre for the dead shaman…
Have a bit of an a-political guild-centric chat…
Apparently “Mutsatseg” is the Black-Hand powerbroker…
She has some history with Firemane…
Firemane rides in with Squee and Ado…
Nergui Axetooth seems surprised to see him…
Some intimidation happens…weapons come out…
Mutsatseg confirms that Hoargrim is no illusion…
We try to talk Hoargrim into taking command…
But he seems really hesitant to do it…
AND then he just takes Nergui’s head off…
Who was apparently his son by Musatseg…
AND then Hoargrim starts booming about how awesome he is…
And he implies that we alone could kill their camp…
AND he promises to find Musatseg some longevity…

Barruk wanders out into the desert and communes with the spirits…
Calling for a steed…
He comes back with an enormous Chinchilla…
…Bunny…unicorn…thing…
“Squeeeeeeeeeeee!”
He tries again…
And comes back with…Sparky the Gorgon…
Blue-steel…and burned with lightning in the womb…
Wafting with the smell of ozone…
The gorgon shows up and…
POOF! the chinchilla loses all its fur…
Vadim goes and digs up some land-shark eggs…
And uses them to accelerate the aging of some HMBs…
Khadagan calls up the gardener…with some Plant Growth from Vadim…
AND makes more Spuds…because…food…
Ado starts taking time to cleanse the 5000+ steppefolk coming in…
Curing diseases, patching wounds…
[+3 on next check to stave off the plague]
Khut and Ithunn start carving up the worm…
Semek churns out several suits of solid chitin armor…
Khut finds a half-formed child inside…
The skin perfect and pliable…
They make REALLY nice gloves…
Infused with the rage of the worm…
Sorqutani goes and prays to the fire mother some more…
And the fire mother’s love for Sorq burns hotter and hotter…

THEN we turn south…
We ride into a cluster-fuck…
Old Empire…Void…Oblivion…Gond…Dwarves…
Breaks scries them with Decoy…
We scream, leap, jump the Void with surprise…
They lead with fire arrows…lighting up the Steppes…
And our Malik Cavalry ride in from the flank and flatten them…
They march in endless lines of slaves from the East…
The party leap in on some Holy Mountain Beasts…
Aiming for the slave drivers…
Who are thirteen-foot tall bone beasts…
Breaks: “It’s a date night. We found a fight where
both Drowned River and Dust will be happy…”
We charge the Bone-Slavers…
Ithunn, Squee, and Iron-Deer lead…to no apparent effect…
Ellen-Dear barrages one with bolts of force…
Khadagan sneaks in, hidden among the refugees…
And leaps on one…climbing up its back with his claws…
The thing retaliates…but is distracted by Ado…
The other goes for Ithunn…but is distracted by Breaks…
Because…sucks to be them…
Sorq conjures up a cloud of swarming fire pixies…
Which seem to ignore both the party and the slaves…
Sorq: “Because clearly I am good and not evil…”
Khut: BURSTS OUT LAUGHING
She manages to reign the homicidal pixies in…
Then they swarm the bone-slavers burning them alive…
AND the pixies set the Holy Mountain Beast farts on fire…
Khut leaps from one HMB to another to line up his shot…
AND hammers one of the bone-slavers with an arrow…
Knocking it into the line of fart-fire…
Barruk charges in on Sparky…
who knocks a bone-slaver down…and stomps it…
Thus spake Ithunn…“I remember!”
And she slashes like crazy at the downed one…
but can’t finish the job…
And Breaks waves…and the one in the fire…
gets coated in unusually-liquid HMB shit…
causing it to slide and fall on its ass…
on fire…and covered in shit…
AND Ellen-Dear blasts it with some lightning…
AND Iron-Deer appears by its head…
and drives a sword right through its left eye…
AND Khadagan rips the lungs out of the second…
AND Yet…it tries to retaliate…
But there are Ado and Ellen-Dear…and it hits air…
Then Sorq’s black flaming unicorn reappears…
AND the bone-slaver is utterly annihilated by…
Unicorns and Pixies…

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The slaves join up with our Infantry…
And Hoargrim enters the field to take command…
AND walks over their Cavalry…
THEN their general comes out and savrifices their scouts…
to decimate our cavalry…
AND Hoarrim wipes the remainder out and captures their general…

SO…we rescue thousands of refugees…
AND decidedly CRUSH the void-sept…

View
Session 20: Do you breed?

Cards: Drowned River Thunderbird
Chaos
Plague among the Warblers

We surface out of a long-used-up mine shaft into the city
Followed by hordes of frightened dwarven women and children
Vadim flashes some House Surrin markers to some merchants
We head towards the north gate (out and west)
There is a Riot and a political gang-fight…
Reds (fight the EC) vs. Blacks (open the gates and surrender)
Breaks Like Wind scrys the Exarch’s discussions…
They realize they’d been conned hard-core…
They begin mobilizing the golems to pursue us…

Khadagan charges out of the caves into a pile of Reds…
Pitches them into a slimy beast-trough with a big timber…
Then whirlwinds as they close in…
Khut finds a granary and decides to loot it…
He swings up to the second floor…
From his vantage he spots some female Pasht assassins on the roof…
Ithunn starts giving him advice on how to hit on cats
“Be confident, chicks love that…”
But, with his deepest love talking to him he goes catatonic
Ellen-Dear runs in and starts leading the dwarf refugees into the granary
Squee organizes them to grab hay-bales…
Loading them onto wagons…
and the kids building forts out of the hay-bales…
Ithunn stealths up and leaps over to chat with Pasht…
Breaks Like Wind (still stoned) comes running in behind…
Is stuffed unceremoniously into a wagon…
THEN Sorqutani sets fire to the granary…
Ado illusions up a horde of EC troops in the city…
the riot stands in stunned silence…
AND we kick open the doors of the granary and roll out of there…

THEN

WE SPLIT THE PARTY
Ithun, Barruk, Ado, Ellen-Dear, and Khadagan lead the dworcs out of town

Khut, Sorq, Breaks, Vadim, Squee, and Iron-Dear head to the mercantile quarter
Squee chews out the guard lieutenant and demands they open the gates…
Khut makes the House Surrin markers appear in her back pocket…
AND she flashes them…
“What do we care what House Surrin says, the city is about to fall…”
“We’re going to run and save everyone we can…you should come along”
They double-march lead us to the warehouses…
We debate what to loot first…
THEN a big palanquin hauled by flesh golems shows up…
The Golems put the palanquin down and charge…
Khut shoots the curtains off the palanquin…
Sorq blasts flame at the golems…and lights them up…
One swings wildly at her, to no avail…
One starts sniffing around for Iron-Dear…but sucks…
the other two maul Vadim…
knock him through a window…into a burning building…
Iron-Dear lights another one up…
Khut rails the necromancer…
the palanquin goes up in a gout of shadow and flame…
Sorq and Iron-Dear light up the others…
Breaks spots the invisible necromancer…
and duels him mano-a-magical-mano…
countering his spells and blasting his ass…
Vadim pulls out his reflective shield and sword…
and stalks up to the necromancer…and misses…
the necromancer blasts him…
AND it bounces back and he kills himself…
Squee drops a cloud of daggers on one…
Khut blows the rune off and kills it very-very-dead…
Sorq burns one down to its component atoms…
Iron-Dear cuts the rune off the third burning golem…
Vadim thorn-whips the last one into a burning building…
Which collapses on him…
The golem stands up…
AND gets shot in the rune by Khut…
We steal the beasts…
Khut and Iron-Dear smash and grab the mages’ guild…
each comes out with two big bags of shinies…
Cloak of Elvenkind
Wand of the Warmage

We run for the gates…
with 10 Blood War-beasts, pulling wagons…full of food!
AND Khut is riding a ???
AND makes himself scarce…
We reach the north gate to kind Ithunn playing soccer with a golem’s head…
The rest of the golem hangs from the portculis, upside down, headless…
AND everyone else playing pinata with it…
AND Khadagan is now wielding a portculis…
Apparently they told the Northern Gond that they would hold the gate…
and sent the Northern Gond to the square to get reinforcements…
AND the gonds in the square take control of the city…

AND we head out, booking it for the salt flats…
Malik lead the way in the vanguard…
Nohai scouts circle us….
Blood warbeasts and holy mountain beasts in the center…
The Gray Lady and the maggot-folk follow near the center…
The core forming a tight academic community…
Trying to assemble a portable replica of the golemworks…
The warblers are sick…their eggs shells are brittle…
Khadagan moves in and starts nursing them back to health…with vigor…

AS WE TRAVEL
Breaks dedicates himself to the mirrors…
Watching for threats from the Fade…
Which are clearly bleeding into reality through a nasty hole…
Squee runs for Hulagu, finding supplies, apportioning rations…
Helping the refugees get acclimated to life in the Ordu…
Ithunn starts a witch-hunt for possible assassins…
Finds some funny-dressed steppefolk and joins them for dinner…
Vadim almost hits on them…
Apparently he bathes in mares-milk…
Iron-Dear points out their yellow eyes…totally NOT steppefolk…
AND Ithunn and the Pasht start some kung-fu cat-fighting…
Khut, lurking, is terribly turned-on…
The rest of the cats fall asleep by the fire…
The Catgirl leader introduces herself as Mrin of the Mountain…
AND Squee appears out of nowhere “It’s a kitty!”
Vadim works with Broketooth and Gormak to mount fireworks on spears…
Giving some anti-archer capability to our infantry…
We all go talk to the Gray Lady to tell her about the skystone…
Vadim tries to hook her up with Ellen-Dear…
Khut, scorched, offers to smuggle her in to see the skystone…
Vadim “Why are you on her side, she can’t even breed!”
Ellen-Dear “Oh, she can breed!”
Khut explains the encounter in the skystone…asks to see her library…
Also, he looks very very burned…
And his yurt starts skittering away…
He runs back to catch it…or what he his in there…
Ado asks about invoking Ohrmazd Bay…
She suggests talking to the Malik Magi…
Khadagan chats with her about herbalism…
He offers her some black lotus…she accelerates the potato harvest…
Ellen-Dear starts discussing golem-craft with the Dworcs…
Barruk and Gan’baatar starts breaking the Malik up into squads of 25…
Training them in group-combat (non-Champion) tactics…
With Gan’baatar training them to incorporate Holy Mountain Beasts…
Which makes Hoargrim Whiteman really happy…
He nicknames them “The Iron Gorgons”…
Because Malik on Blood Warbeasts charging as a unit is awesome…
Iron-Dear takes some time getting to know the caravan…
Then goes scouting with the Nohai…
Whoever is out there is exremely good…but she has their number…
As the rocks change to salt-flats…
There is something out there…
And its not just heat-shimmer…That ground is moving…
Ado removes all adornments…cakes himself in mud and dust…
Sits outside the camp with a broken warbler egg…
And entreats the Lord of Light and Life (Ohrmazd Bay)…
Going so far as to mortify himself with a cursed arrow…
“Against evil from outside and to secure victory in war”
The desert heat bakes down…
All he can see is the searing white light…
As he passes out…
He realizes he can see a patch of blackness against the sand…
Then realizes that he is looking at something pure white…
And the sand is made black…
He has caught the attention of a spirit of pure white light…

Iron-Dear comes back into the camp…
with a tattered bedraggled warbler…cradling a dead baby…
and they both say “LOOK UP!”
AND it’s the biggest thunderbird we’ve ever seen…
Khut quick-shoots it and pushes it away from the herds…
Sorqutani calls on the fire mother and blasts it with a witch bolt…
drawing its attention…
It dives and grabs Khut…
The thing…was clearly a thunderbird…at one point…
But has black feathers and stiched-shut eyes like an EC Warbler…
Khut stabs it in the foot…It drops him…
And he is snagged out of the air by a Juvenile Thunderbird…
HIS NEW FRIEND
Ithunn leaps 60 feet into the air…
grabs Khut’s ankles…gets flipped towards the bird…
grabs a wing and wrenches, causing it to lose serious altitude…
and proceeds to beat it out of the sky with her tusks…
WHERE Vadim ropes it with a steel cable…and lashes him to a wagon…
Barruk leaps on an exploding outhouse…
Onto the head of the blackcrow-thunderbird…
And SMITES it…and SMITES it again…with the sound of rolling thunder…
Ellen-Dear fires an acid arrow strait in its teeth…
Melting the bindings holding its mouth and eyes shut…
And its eyes are completely black lifeless pools…
Khadagan leaps in with the claws…and tears its lungs off…
And Squee viciously mocks it…
Breaks tells everyone not to kill it…
Then looks more carefully…
points out that it is not undead…just soul-less…
Decides that its not a thunderbird…
Touches its forehead…and kills it…

Khut flies back to his yurt and tucks in his little friend (Littlewing)…
Then walks back to the downed Fade-Bird, cuts off a chunk, and chows down…
Ellen-Dear starts researching turning it into a Golem…
Hundreds of Dust marks the bird as unclean to keep the nohai off…
AND she and Khadagan return to their tent to get it on…

We have a long chat about whether or not to head into the salt flats…

We head north into the salt-flats to meet the Fade-turned Old Empirers…
Everyone vanishes [Nat-20 Stealth plus Pass without Trade]…
Ripclaws (and Littlewing) circling silently overhead…
Except Barruk…who walks alone through the desert…
Bearing the standard of the West†
† golden pole topped with a double-headed ripclaw…
We come upon a crater…
In which there is a black Gith…with shining black teeth…
Emanating a miasma of darkness…bearing a sword of liquid starlight…
Barruk plants the standard and faces him…alone?
The Gith greets him in clipped, cultured, High Malik…
Barruk makes…confused…complicated introductions…
He introduces himself as “The Fifth Blade of Shan-yu”
Well known as the general who won the greatest, most mismatched battles of all of military history. Beating armies of 200K with an army of only 30K. Burried another alive. More than 2000 years ago.
Apparently he is digging up the burried army…
The ground around him is swarming with salt-zombies…
And there are a lot more just on the other side in the fade…
Vadim stands up out of the sand…covered in fur…and asks…
“Do you breed?”
Nope…they are “Faded”…they are gone…
But their memory can still impact this world…
Squee appears and asks “Can I have a tooth?!”
Khut presents the Sulde of the Altan Ordu…
Which apparently hurts his brain…an empty place in his mind…
We negotiate…and offer them the city of Ahura Mazda in exchange for their salt
The Gray Lady (who came with us)…switches to old imperial…
And asks for the opportunity to discuss philosophy with them…
Offering the knowledge of an ancient kingdom
To trade for knowledge “that your folk alone possessed”
Vadim – “I’m glad I hit the shit-house and not the library last night”
Squee, convinced the Gith cannot see or hear her, scrambled up him…
Trying to steal a tooth…
Iron-Dear tries to grab her…fails…
Breaks cuts a mirror off the top of his hat and presents it to her…
She refuses…
Iron-Dear tries to put her to sleep…fails…
She climbs him, trying as hard as she can to extract his teeth…
But it just doesn’t work…
She bangs on his head…and he doesn’t even notice…
THEN she steals his sword…or tries…
She touches it…grips it for a moment…
But knows that if she unsheathed it…she would have no future…
The sword apparently severs you from the Verge…
And she goes back to desperately trying to pry a tooth out…
AND We’ve offered them a city…

View
Session 19: Golems Golems Everywhere
JC's notes

We make our way into the dworc golem-works
Apparently there are lots of guilds who don’t get along

We are left in a room filled with the sound of hissing machinery
Khut leaps down the steam tunnels
Jalin’s creepy dream-ghost-elf-guy makes the rope tie itself
Khut narrowly avoids becoming a steamed flank
We end in a cavern with a giant steam engine
with some kind of massive rocking piston arm
and molten-iron being dumped into clay molds…
clearly making golems…

There are lots of workmen…they spot us…
Khut shoots a technician…
then leaps grabs a crane…
and swing out over a vat of molten metal…
Vadim calls in some mining machines that belong to our friends
Two of them rail into the guy who Khut shot…
and he goes flying into a vat…
Four more rush a second tech…
One falls off the gantry…
the other three knock him down…
And then the dude bursts into flames…
fragging all the mining machines
Then Vadim leaps out and goes swinging too…
Ithunn runs across the piston-arm…
and wails on the flaming guy…
but he barely avoids falling off the walkway…
Squee drops a stinking cloud…
Breaks Like Wind lays down some grease around the levers…
a third guy runs for the levers…
and goes sliding onto his ass…
and shoot Squee from his back…
and sends her flying off the gantry…
where she catches Vadim’s feet and they go swinging…
Jalin’s Dream-Ghost-Elf-Guy lightning-bolts the piston…
Ithunn leaps so that she is not in contact
with the gantry when it eletrifies…
There is a hissing gout of steam…
Another guy logs a molten steel ingot at Khut…
He misses…then hits the cable on the backswing…
Khut leaps and grabs the cable above the break-point…
But gets clipped by the searing-hot metal…
Squee points out that the levers will RELEASE THE GOLEMS!
Khadagan jumps, grabs a cable, and…
swings just short of his target on the gantry…
Ado grabs the controls of a crane…
picks up a molten golem in its mold…
and lobs it at the guy attacking Khut…
wrecking the opposing crane
and covering the guy in cooling molten iron…
AND Sorqutani drops a sleet storm over the entire room…
all the badguys fall on their asses…
and one falls into a flywheel…
Barruk leaps onto the piston arm…
and hammer-horns a technician off the arm…
but duder manages to grab the side of the arm…
He turns a valve and unleashes a gout of flame…
Vadim sicks his remaining mining machines on them…
then swings in
and tries to wrap up lever-guy with a cable…
and they BOTH go off the gantry…
hanging over the churning pistons…
and Squee is still hanging from the other end…
and she manages to tie the cable off…
Then lever-guy off-gasses at Vadim…
lighting him up…
Ithunn’s enemy breaths fire at her…
Then gets spin-kicked off the ledge in return…
Landing on the drive-wheel and spinning around…
and around…and around…
Breaks like wind throws a grappling hook…
Into a piston…
Jalin’s Dream-Ghost-Elf-Guy chucks another lightning bolt…
Strait down the line of the vats…
Dream-Ghost-Elf-Guy’s Dream-Ghost-Elf-Sister…
Leaps through the air…over the exploding vats…
Vanishes…and stabs molten-arm in the pants…
Who promptly blasts her with his welder…
Khadagan shoves a dworc into a piston…
Ado viciously mocks lever-guy…
Sorq unleashes a wold color spray…
blinding the guy hanging on the bridge…
and rendering both him and Barruk invisible…
then blind dude spews flames at Barruk…
which Barruk really doesn’t seem to care about…
AND Khut shoots Vadim…by accident of course…
knocking him out, but pushing him away from the machinery…
luckily Squee brings him back up…
Vadim blows some dust and reveals a golem…
Active, but still molten and in its Mold…
Which is cracking…
It takes a step forward, the mold breaking away…
Apparently the foreman is down activating them manually
Lever-guy laboriously climbs up…
But slips in the grease again…
Dream-Ghost-Elf-Girl ganks lever-boy…
Khadagan swings down and razor-claws the foreman…
invoking the blessings of the spirits to rip his lungs out
Ado swings in, thorn-whips, and taunts the golem…
Sorq blasts a flywheel…
AND some machinery EXPLODES
sending shrapnel in the air…
Barruk leaps in and smacks the golem…
Which turns, lurches at Ado…
Who takes the blow on his shield…
and dodges the second…
AND Khut pegs the Golem with a humming arrow…
Hurling it backwards into a vat of molten iron…
Which explodes…everything explodes…
Vadim carves a ‘Life’ rune in a dworc’s forehead…
and Breaks translates as they begin negotiating…
Apparently their Exarch is a nut-job…
Who wants to bargain with the Empty Circle…
Hangs out in the Skystone Spire…
a.k.a. the Soul-Forge…
Ithunn leaps and and begins wailing on the Golem…
Smashing, not the body, but the runes…
Squee tries to grab the golem with a crane…but misses…
The Golem charges, grabs Khut’s crane…
Tears it out of the ground…
and starts slamming it into walls and machinery…
Khut takes a beating, leaps…
And lands standing on its head…
Dream-Ghost-Elf-Guy (Ellen Dear?) magic missiles the golem…
Khad slashes at the Rune on its forehead…
Claws digging in and dripping molten iron like blood…
But maybe not harming it? #Confusing
Sorq blasts it with frost…
Barruk swings for the fences and misses…
Khut drives an arrow strait into the life rune on its head…
And rides the crumbling golem to the ground…

Ado sends a message in Barruk’s voice calling out the Exarch…
Breaks Like Wind animates the burned corpse of the
dworc who fell in the molten iron…
Calls it an “ironbone golem”…
Commands it to defend the frightened dworcs…
Promises to do everything to get the techs
families out of town to safety…
Breaks, Ado, and Vadim begin chatting with the Dworcs…
their interlocutor is a technician names Istvaan…
Trying to figure out if or how the Exarch may be deposed…
Apparently their Skystone Spire floats, spinning, in midair…
Unmovably…emiting strange glowing lights…
Lets them grant intelligence to their constructs…
And apparently is filled with voices…
Which enter the constructs…
Khadagan decides they need to talk to the spirits…
We head for the spire and break out the drugs…
Sorq turns Dream-Ghost-Elf-Girl into an Empty Circle centaur…
Apparently with some plan to impersonate the ambassador…
And go talk to the Exarch…
We sashay down the hallway to a barricade…
Manned by a Dworc in power-armor…
Who is scared off by Squee looking creepy…
And they agree to escort us inside…
We’re leg into a big underground town…
All the women and children are holed up in the caverns
surrounding the Skystone Spire…
Guarded by “forge-born” (Golems)…quite a few…
Who move up and line our pathway…
And fast-march us to the Skystone Spire…
Floating in the center of the cavern, is a giant chunk of marble…
Carved in the shape of skeletons reaching for the sky…
Rotating on a single point, not quite touching the floor…
Immense…almost as big as the Thunderbird nest…
Guarding it were dwarves in steam-punk mech golems…
Dream-Ghost-Elf-Girl-Centaur starts spouting out ultimatums…
Dream-Ghost-Elf-Guy creates illusions of the Skystone cracking
And a door opens letting us in the Spire…
One person per rotation…
With Centaur, fearlessly in the lead…
Inside is a large, long hallway lit with drifting lights…
Strange architecture…not even maggotfolk architecture…
Breaks Like Wind points out that it was once bone…
Bones of many thousands of humanoids…
The internal dimensions do not match the external…
And there are conveniently located braziers…
Twelve master smiths and technicians have gathered
One enormous, fat, ancient dworc sits on the throne
The Faux-Centaur starts uttering more ultimatums…
In the most chipper, young-female voice possible…
It becomes clear that they already have a deal…
with both the Empty Circle and House Surin…
They make lame threats about golems…
Khut passes Faux-Centaur the head of the slagged golem…
And we lay on the threats even more heavily…
We put a piton in the center of a wheel…
And demand they send everyone shorter with us…
“For their protection”
And that they double the promised number of Golems…
They agree to move up the timeline…
The golems will open the gates in 18 hours…
Then we burn one down in the Skystone Spire…
The world becomes hazy and blue, infused with golden light…
There is a strange stirring…the walls are restless…
Restless like the sound of a house where people are living…
The mist forms faces…briefly…
Khadagan entreats them…
A face half-forms and circles him…
There is a whisper from far away…
Speaking no language we’ve ever encountered…
“You are hear, you have answered our prayers”

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Session 17: Ahura Mazda

Seven dark riders arrive at the city gates, and Marzpan Da’lil sends us out to treat with them. The Empty Circle outriders come from Oblivion with a message; Duk Hund delivers their accords of peace: become the vanguard of the empty circle or be utterly destroyed. They give 3 days to decide. Baruch gives them a highlanders welcome and Breaks mutters, “can I kill them now, pleease!”. Adu convinces Hund to accept emissary status and accompany us for the 3 days, and we deliver the treaty offer to Da’lil. He agrees that we should use the 3 days to deliberate and tells us he will use the time to strengthen the defenses of the city.

We enter the city, and meet Altan and Hundreds in the market. We dump off some of the gold and silver metals with them, and they come back with all sorts of wonderful things: wagon parts, provisions, an adamantine chain shirt and a javaline of lightening. Our caravan is greatly strengthened.

Sorquitanni leads us though the markets to the university of the Maegi. On the way, Duk Hund is recongized, and a riot begins to foment. A balista from the walls fires on him, but Ithun catches the bolt and sends it spinning into a winemerchant’s stall. We ask Modun, the fire-maegi, to give us shelter and he begins a spell, we step behind him into a room of stone and lush carpets.

Vadim begins to interrogate Modun on the defenses and disposition of the Maegi in the city. Modun refuses to talk while there is any Empty Circle spy in the room. Vadim offers to kill the emissary, but Sorquitanni steps in and orders a cart and puts the man-beast to sleep. Modun sends for a representative of the Sudun family to pick up the downed man-beast. He arrives and it is Vizir Maadi.

The Vizir quickly puts himself at our service. He indicates that the controlling family would be more than happy to send out the gonds, or other slave armies they could form, to be the vanguard for the Empty Circle, but that they would always keep the Empire’s best interests at heart. Vadim requests for letters of requisition of wagons and letters of introduction sufficient to allow the horde to take control of and return goods from the salt mines. The Vizir grants all these with a smile and asks what more he can do.

Modun now steps in and ask what service he might provide. Sorquitaani asks to trade spells for spells, but he wants fire-birds. So we tell him how to make them and he gives us some scrolls. We say goodbye to our lovely friends and head to the ghetto.

Squee chums up to the guardian and the gates and then doubles back and lets us in through a trick door. Once inside, Vadim stumbles through the streets as an avuncular fool, gathering the children around him and feeding them berries that sprout from their ears, but the kids don’t want for nutrition and jump him. A deadly tickle-battle ensues.

Meanwhile, Breaks meets with his cousins, Seline and Reuvin the Weaver, and they tell him of their worries about the Empty Circle. But, they indicate that as long as the Smiths remain in control of their people, they will not be able to forge a retreat.

A pile of empty armor charges down the street and tries to kill everybody. Vadim makes the flowers in the street spikey and Baruk brings down the roof, and Adu and Vadim play numbly-peg with the last armored assassin. With spikes.

Well, those Smiths seem like bad people.

So we decide to go at it quietly, we rub ourselves down with coal, we have a guide, Gideon sneak us into the Forge in a coal cart…

And that’s when everything goes really well.

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Session 16: The Golden Horde

More disorganized JC notes, read at your own risk

The mongolian death worm is seriously dead…
And the battle is on…
Our cavalry crush their archers
The enemy cataphracts charge, but are routed by burning piles of cursed khort
The Titan Mushrooms confuse the cataphracts causing them to attack the enemy scouts
A group of enemies break off and charge the Titans
We jump in to intercept them…

The cataphracts are being PWNd by the nohai archers and their cloth-yard arrows
Myconid titan spores confuse everyone on the field…
Then a single old-empire cataphract on a blood warbeast breaks through…
AND gets blown off his beast by a point-blank shot from Khut…
AND it becomes clear that he is not at all alive…
Massive amounts of friendly fire occur…no one else actually aims for the bad guy…
Except Sorq who fireballs the bastard…
Khut puts another arrow right through its sturnum…
Khad jumps in and begins handing out the beatings…
Followed by Ithunn who tears him a new one…
AND then it retailiates and chops Ithunn and Khad up a bit…
He launches Ithunn into the air, then teleports up and whacks her…
AND one of Ja’lin’s flunkies tags him with a lightning bolt…
Ado heat-metals his armor…melting it all over him…making him REALLY dead…

Meanwhile, Baijou’s infantry attempt draw our archers out…
Who are more than happy to rain arrows down and wipe them out to a man…
Then follow up and wipe the floor with the cataphracts…
Then Baijou’s camp followers try to poison our archers…
But poison the infantry instead…
Then get driven mad by some spores…
AND GENERAL SQUEE WINS THE DAY!

There is an announcement from the Heralds, each carry a Sulde from the various Ordus…
“All armies must withdraw from the sacred space…no weapons, no armor during the Khurutai…”

A blood warbeast is missing…
Vadim follows it into the dispersing armies…
Vadim makes friends with the Warbeast…
Ja’Lin’s diviner points out the food wagons looking “off”…
Khut sneaks in and notices that the wagons “klink”…apparently smuggling weapons…
Ja’Lin’s diviners notice that the drivers are from the far west (Subotai’s district)…
Barruk punts the driver and stears the wagon out of the way…
Ado wanders over and has some tea with Baijou…implying that “his brother does not take a loss well”…
Baijou warns us of more violence yet to come…
The fortresses of the hidden ones in the west still stand…why are they still alive…
Khut sets fire to another wagon that looks…too different…
Ithunn spots a Pasht assassin roll off the wagon and vanish into the crowd…

When they choose a king, they take him, and seat him on white felt and raise him three times…
Then they lift him, carry him around the tent, and set a golden sword on his lap…
The assassin comes out of the crowd, poisoned blade in hand…
He launches…and is tackled mid-air by Khadagan…
Khad pins the assassin and holds his own dagger at his throat…
Ithunn strikes some pressure points…
AND Squee turns an assassination into a Joke…
But he thinks its not very funny…
The assassin’s eyes flash with insane purpose…
He pops his shoulder out of socket trying to break Khad’s grip…
AND is stopped cold…
Vadim pats Khut on the shoulder and says “Show Subotai our clemency…”
The corronation proceeds…
The party (or Vadim, Ado, Sorq, and Khut at least) swear oaths of fealty to the Jalin’s Golden Horde…
From the side, the Malik, led by Barruk charge Subotai’s contingent and level their horns…
Jalin rises from his throne and speechifies…
And gives us the Sulde of the Altan Ordu…
to carry forth the vision of unity, tolerance, and empire…
“I place my troops and my people at your disposal my generals…”
“We may not hear…call us through boldness, random chance, the unexpected…”
AND Khut drops a poisoned arrow right between Subotai’s clavicles…

AND they all fade…
AND we’re all bat-shit crazy…
AND Jalin’s gardener opens the door to let us out…
There are some things on the floor…
10 Champion (L6) Warbeasts
Tea prepared by the Khagan’s own hand (potion of mind reading)
A scroll of Rary’s Telepathic Bond (puffing myconid spores as a component)
2 Potions of Invisibility (composed by the Khagan’s hand)
Writings — The Secret History of the Altan Ordu
Prayers/Scriptures of the Altan Ordu:
Incendiary Cloud
Regenerate
Commune with Nature
The golden sulde
Spear with a disk around it with long golden hairs from a creature never encountered
Khad comes back with some plants:
Black Lotus
Green Lotus
Purple Lotus
Ironwood
Good Berries
Spuds

Outside there are two encamped armies…one of ours…and nearly twice as many Malik and Naiman…
Khad communes with the Gardener and sets him to work planting his new stock…
We ride in…chat with Ganbaatar…the head over to parley…
Barruk points out that some of the Gond troops are steppes Malik…
Everyone makes with the thunder, lightning, fire, ice, water, and dust as we ride in…
They say “Join up or die”…Ado says “That was our idea…”
Barruk introduces himself as being of “The People of the Fallen Star”…
Who are apparently loyal soldiers of the Gond…
Their captain asks Barruk to swear to the Shashahar he’ll call off the fight
and take us on as “irregulars” in defense of Gond Shahar…
Barruk swears as Irregulars to fight the Empty Circle…
but not “under the yoke” of the Shashahar.

We return to our camp to prepare the troops to head south…
Vadim makes nice with the Gray Lady (who has finally joined us)…
AND gets her to quicken 60 landshark eggs…which we plant behind us…
Barruk heads off into the Gond to seek out the other People of the Fallen Star…
All of whom are integrated into the 3 Gonds of the Eastern Marches…
Champions are good in a battle, poor in a siege…
He starts trying to assemble “a herd” among the Malik instead of the Champion mentality…
Ado marries some warblers as a way of entreating Drowned River…
Sorq encourages the nohai to breed…and we’ve got 40 more puppies…
Khut
goes in search of the Black Crows…kisses the mammoth and runs south…
And rides like the wind with another army on his heels…
Ithunn starts a military/survival academy for the kids and teens…
Squee makes up some flyers to advertise for the school…

A week later, we approach Vohu Mana…
An Empty Circle column is coming in from the east (sans scouts who we PWN’d previously)…
Barruk convinces the Gond leader to seed all 60 landshark eggs in front of them…
AND the entire northern column is DEVOURED by landsharks
We arrive at Vohu Mana a day late…
It is burning…top to bottom…
Very few (~1800) refugees fleeing to the west…
A huge array of slow, fortified seige engines…
Sorq drops an Incendiary Cloud on the seige weaponry…
Ado drops Commune with Nature…
The Empty Circle seeks that which is not at all natural…
They try to drive despair before them to find whether or not there are gods…
There is a large, living, pulsing body of water under the enemy forces…
The most valuable thing in the city = The blessing of Qormusta Tngri…
Khut rides in at breakneck speed…
To a dais, upon which the Empty Circle are holding a feast…atop a deck of those who groan and die…
The defenders of Vohu Mana are stacked beneath the dais…being crushed…
Khadagan prays to Odqan Talaqan and she takes the city in her warm embrace…
Squee sneaks in, dumps food, and steals all their plates…
AND their commanders rise up and look menacing…

NEXT TIME:
A battle on a pile of people…
Every time Josh says “Seige Engine” — Sorq says “I set that crap on fire!”

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Session 15: Maybe We Should Win a Little Less

Apologies for formatting weirdness with these.

At the gathering for Genghis to pick his successor
Subotai – The Slaying of Bektor, the story of the assassination of the Great Khan’s older brother…
Cemented the Khan’s commitment to never again fight brother against brother
Ithunn suggests that this is a thinly-veiled threat…
AND he BOMBS it…
The great khan, angered by Subotai’s speech, declares that its time to go out to the Arena…
On the way out Squee and Khut throw together a Sulde made from Squee’s hair…
PINK, maggotfolk hair…
Vadim and Breaks lay some undetectable buffs on Barruk
We walk out to see tents as far as the eyes can see, huge herds of Holy Mountain Beasts…
Jhamoushka — A gargantuan, enormously fat steppefolk with an enormous, bloody spiked club stands at the other end of the ring…he slams his club into the ground and roars…
Baijou — A Malik champion in a meditative pose…
AND…for Subotai…Chinua?!
Chinua makes the happy pant of a dog greeting his pack-mate…
They declaim the rules: No outside interference, battle to the death, order of death determines precedence
We confer…Khut moons Subotai to keep his sharp-eyed helpers from reading us…
The four champions charge!
Barruk OWNS the battle-field…
He commands Chinua to attack Jhamouka’s ogre…and Chin does exactly as told…
He commands the Malik to “Stand down”…and the target is left shaking in his boots…
Then he joins Chinua in charging the ogre…
Barruk brands him, and Chinua mauls him…
the Ogre is left lying on the ground, grasping at clods of earth trying to stand…
Khut and Ithunn sneak around into position to beat the crap out of any cheaters (other than us)…
One of Baijou’s guys tries to snap the Malik out of it…
And gets silently cold-clocked by Ithunn…
Subotai has the other nohai bagged and tagged…
Khut trips the guy who was standing ready to give the kill order…
One of Subotai’s dudes tries to cast an augury…and gets public;y foomed by Breaks Like Wind
Who joins the judges in the judge’s stand…
The fight rages on…
One of Baijou’s dudes tries to toss a potion into the ring…and Ithunn snags it out of the air…
And the two of them get into an all-out drunken brawl…
Squee and Ado start the crowd chanting “Thunder” to cheer Barruk on…
Then ado jumps into the air and sends Subotai’s caller into roars of laughter…
AND Sorq quietly Hold Persons two of the guards on the bagged nohai…
Khut punches the third, sending him flying, and cuts the Nohai loose…
AND Vadim puts bags over the guards heads and lets the nohai finish them…
Then, look three things with bags over their heads, with a couple steppefolk sitting watch…
Subotai’s cheater gets up, tries to grab a scroll…
And finds that Khut had already snagged it…and replaced it with a packet of Deathroot…
Another of Subotai’s bards tries to cast a spell on the Malik…
AND gets called out by Breaks throwing a fireball right above his head…
Jhanoushka’s cheater is so dumb he’s just randomly throwing things in the ring…
AND Khadagan wanders over and throws him…
Drunkenly: “I like to throw things too!”
and throws him again…
Drunkenly: “Are we still throwing things?!”
Vadim takes the Nohai and circles around to provide some backup…
Barruk swings at Chinua with orders to “play dead”…
Barruk blows a blood bag…gore goes everywhere…
AND Sorq hits Chinua with a Feign Death…
The ogre stands and swings at Barruk…but Ado shits in his eye…
Barruk flattens the Ogre…
then Misty-Steps into the Malik’s face and lays a flaming hammer upside his head…
and Ado viciously mocks the Malik…
Who swings and misses…
Barruk keeps beating…the Malik retaliates…and bursts into Flame…
Subotai starts cheering on the Malik…
Ithunn stumbles in and spills a tray of drinks on him…
AND Vadim unscrews the wheels from Subotai’s wheel-barow-chair…
AND Breaks drops Grease on the judge’s stand…
AND the legit judges go stumbling…
AND Barruk knocks the Malik’s head clean off…
Which lands in Subotai’s lap…sending him tumbling down the hill…

Then there is a mounted archery contest…Khut grabs the fastest hornbeast…
but shoots unusually poorly…
but scrapes a win anyways…
thanks to Ado lacing the coarse with ballbearings behind him…
Ghengis calls a rest and says that the next morning will be a mass-combat between Baijou and Jalin’s troops…
but, of course, Jalin doesn’t have an army…
We spend the night recruiting troops…
Nohai archers…Malik cavalry…
AND Myconids from the caves below Xanadu…
Some of which are HUGE!

The next morning…the ground is muddy…
Baijou’s troops poison our meat…
Then our cataphracts crush their archers…
Baijou sends out a Mongolian Deathworm…the king of all deathworms…Dune style…
And the party crashes into it…

Khadagan rages and leaps into the worm’s craw…
Ado rocks the hypnotic pattern…but only manages to stun Barruk and Breaks…
Vadim grabs a loose beast and tramples Barruk and Breaks awake…
AND Breaks drops a fireball on it…
AND it paralyzes squee…and swallows Sorqutani…
AND Sorq summons a unicorn…inside it…
AND Khadagan poisons it with some Cacklebane…
And he, Sorq, and the unicorn ride a wave of barf out of its mouth…
Vadim lays down some spikes…
AND Khut spikes it with arrow…sending it rolling into the spikes…
Barruk drops some darkness on its head…
AND Squee makes it giggle histariously…
AND Sorq throws a fireball strait down its gullet, followed by a swarm of fire spirits…
AND we’re all covered in glop…

Rankings:
Ja’Lin Khan: 7
Baijou Khan: 13
Jhamouka Khan: 14
Subotai Khan: 15

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Session 14: My Dinner with Ghengis

We’re in Xanadu
Ja’Lin’s malik seneschal explains that Ja’lin’s dad is trying to decide which of his four sons should bear the banners of empire throughout the world
He wants our help to let Ja’Lin (the youngest, least experienced, most academic son) get the one-up on his brothers

We head to the baths to get ready (except Khut who hides because why would anyone want to be wet all over) Giant roman-style baths with the Mother of Fire spirit and an Ice spirit bound to make the cauldarium and frigidarium Six evil mer-monsters (water spirits) with big harpoons burst out of the pools just as everyone is getting naked Ado stuns them all with some pretty feathers floating in the air… We kick their ass… Mostly by lots of Khut, Khad, Ithunn, and Barruk knocking, throwing, kicking, bull-rushing them into the hot/cold pools and Squee driving them insane… and Ithunn grabbing one by the head and giving it an ice-pool swirly… and Vadim and Khad playing tug of war to tear one in half… and free Updon Telegon (the mother of fire)… and accidently drop her into a pool of freezing water…banishing her… And then we get all gussied up to go hob-nobbing… While everyone else is dressing, Khut has some sushi… We are led off to dinner by some steppefolk women with dark-dark skin and red-tinged tusks… Prince Jamushka and lots of big heavy-set brutal killer, no intelligence, no imagination… Prince Baijou, emaciated with a big scary staff…with tons of paper-pushers, number-crunchers behind him… Prince Subotai, old, fat, carried in an ornately-carved wheelbarrow, with nondescript attendants… We bust in and make a big entrance… Barruk…big Malik champion…definitely gets their attention…in a shrinking back kind of way… Khadagan walks in also looking big and bad…with a big-teeted malik serving-lady on his arm… Prince Subotai is very pleased, and clearly not as drunk or incompetent as he looks… Squee rocks in, wearing a big feather headdress, and makes friends with Gen-shahar Khagan… Who reaches down, draws Squee up into his lap, and proceeds to hold court… And she starts braiding his beard… Ado fluffs up and wheedles over to General Baijou…and invites him to tea… And suggests “Perhaps you and I can discuss some ‘weighty affairs’”… And Baijou calls for some very weak, almost clear, tea… Breaks Like Wind slides in obsequiously and starts collecting people’s shoes and passing out silk slippers… Subotai’s are certainly not in need of changing, but he is there right as some wine is spilled on the shoes… And he reads the lines on the bottom of Subotai’s foot-palm…his lifeline is extraordinarily long, continuous, and strong… Khut rolls under Jamushka’s table…they are wasted, distracted by the ladies, and stink of fresh blood… As Ja’lin walks in, there is not a place set for him… but Vadim controls the plants and causes a table and mushroom-cushions to appear… Then…there is food… Whole roast warbler with all feathers replaced… Whole roast hellpig braised only in sea-grass… A thunderbird crafted out of ice, each feather dyed a different color, infused with sugar… Landshark egg-drop soup…which Breaks and Barruk get the recipe for… Whole roast thunderbird, each scale and feather replaced in place… Baijou appears to eat…but doesn’t touch anything… And several people start looking severly ill… Haunch of gorgon…whole roast gorgon legs… AND Khut laces Jamushka’s food with badberry… [2d4 penlty on his avoid puke check] AND Vadim (legit poisoned) projectile vomits on Baijou… AND Jamushka ends up down on hands and knees emptying his guts in a corner… Then the Storytelling… Vadim stands up, and tells the story of battling the Malik sorcerer atop the Thunderbird nest… While brandishing the horns of the Malik and the thunderbird scale shield… One of Jamushka’s goons starts to heckle…then REALLY needs to go to the restroom (thanks to Khut)… Ithunn tells the story of the burning of the Remembrance of Yaguth…with a performer’s flair… Everyone laughs at the ridiculousness…except Gen-shahir Khaghan… Barruk stands up, taking the Malik sorcerer’s horns…and laying down a Zone of Truth… And tells the tale of the assault on the Malik sorcerer’s camp…with Gorgons… And his acting as the bait to draw the stampede to the camp… Breaks Like Wind…appears out of no where…and tells them that he’s looko THROUGH the mirror… AND the whole room is silenced… Khadagan laces a brazier with mad-cackle weed…and “Let me tell you about how I met my wife…” AND even the worst hecklers are spell-bound… Squee, still in the Khan’s lap…speaks up saying “I’m fun-sized”…and tells the story of coming from a pink castle on a purple moon… and how the king and queen sent her on a mission to “collect grass and shiny things”… IN A ZONE OF TRUTH… And the party is completely baffled, amazed, dumbfounded… Khadagan: This is madness! Squee: This is squee! AND Ado is up…he thanks Baijou for the tea, warns Ja’Lin that he may need to render Ado unconscious at the end… And tells the story of his encounter with the undead warblers…and his trip to the fade…" Baijou looks horrified/guilty…Subotai looks cool…The Khagan looks shaken… AND stabs himself in the left-eye with a cursed arrow… AND hands the cursed arrow to Ja’Lin’s second-ranked Malik seneschal… AND the room goes deathly quiet…then erupts into booing and hissing, except the Khagan… AND Sorqutani tells the story of the spirit, the Mother of Fire…with lots of special effects… AND turns into a potted plant?! Quothe Khadagan: “Next time Sorqutani turns into a plant, I am going to deflower her.” AND a voice echos out from under the tables… “Once, I walked into the feast of the great khan himself, and poisoned his sons, and stood before him…and left…” AND KHUT stands up, the unwashed masses, and meeps out the door… THEN Baijou tells the story of “The Cattle-Raid of Oolan Baatar”… Subject to a whole lot of heckling from the professional cattle rustlers… But he carries it on with his expert oratory… Jhamoushka tells of the taking of Val-Ashem, riding on the backs of thunderbirds, burning the city with lightning…bloody massive piles of skulls… Which is actually kindof cool… Squee realizes that the Khagan is trying to decide which two brothers (and entourages) to fight it out…

Current Standing:
Subotai Khan: 2
Ja’Lin Khan: 4 [6 dice to distribute from the story-telling round]
Baijou Khan: 5
Jhamouka Khan: 7

Next Time: The final story of Jhamoushka Khan…

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