Exodus

Session 46: What happens when you light God on fire?
Because I'm vengeful and I read -- the DM

We stand in the courtyard of Yourga Pasht…
He has clearly charmed everyone else in the party, not Khut obviously…
Thus, they have to die…maybe in that convenient pit of roasting scampers over there…
It’s Vadim…clearly Vadim…Khut tries to slap him upside the head and snap him out of it…

Forest-Troll, one of our scouts in the city, jumps down from a roof, bow in hand, and fires on our host…
A table full of blueberry pies suddenly animate and start flying around at everyone…
Ellen-Dear is the only one not attacked by a pie…so it must be his fault…
Khadagan comes rushing in and jumps Yourga…tearing it into tiny pieces…
And it becomes clear that it was, in fact, a bound and gagged female Pasht…one of our scouts…
Squee, overjoyed at being given pie by Ellen-Dear, runs over and gives him a Tiara…
AND Ellen-Dear goes completely bat-shit crazy…and starts attacking the pies…
Vadim goes running and starts climbing a trellis to the second story…
Ado leans in and blows his pipes of creeping people out…
That-which-was-Sorq lights the building on fire, no surprise…scorching ray up the trellis…
Well…the roof is not on fire…Khut beats feet, strait up the trellis to the roof and runs for it…
Forest-Troll unleashes a bevy of arrows after Khut and then dives in the fountain…
Khadagan, frightened by Ado, charges a wall…through a door, through a window…
and out the back wall into the street outside…
AND starts praying…
Looking up he sees a white-clothed elbow leaning out of an upper window…
Khad runs up the wall snags the sleeve and yanks Yourga strait out the window…
Khut grabs a burning chunk of roof…leaps off the roof onto a large tent…
housing a slave auction…and sets the tent on fire…
Forest-Troll charges after Ellen-Dear…stabbing him viciously…
Ellen-Dear meeps out strait to the Fade…
AND then Forest-Troll breaks into an uncontrollable victory dance…courtesy of Squee…
Arandyr jumps Ado…Vadim thorn whips Ado up to the second story, grabs him and jumps out a window…
Ado gets up and starts viciously mocking Khadagan…
Meanwhile, inside, there is a cackle of glee as That-which-was-Sorq sets more things on fire…
Khut, perched on the lip of the tent, braces his feet and shoots Yourga from on high…
Strait through the throat…and…its really hard to concentrate with an arrow in your throat…
Khadagan rolls over on Yourga and commences stabbing…and takes his head off…

We are out in the street…there is a burning tent…a burning building…
Enraged pigs running amok…people running and screaming…
Guards coming from everywhere…
Ado turns invisible…
Khut drops from the tent, rolls under the falling flaps of silk, and starts crawling away…
Khadagan is surrounded…Forest-Troll charges after him…
Vadim leaps into their midst, distracting the guards and…Poof!

We gather, some time later, in an upper room of a violent, roudy, shadowy bar…
Moralla Pasht slips in to report…an army is force-marching to relieve the city…
They are two or three days out by land…five if they have to circle the Melliae…
Of course if they are forced to go around, they will go right through our camp…
We settle in to rest — Khut, Khad, Ellen-Dear, and Forest-Troll on watch…
Around 3 am there are gruff voices from below…we brace for impact…
Ado screams “FIRE!”…and the other doors burst open creating chaos down below…
No one comes in…the light in the tavern goes dim…
AND the whole tavern Fade-shifts…as Breaks shows up to save our asses…
The guards arrive to find an empty, blood-soaked murder scene…

We rest and recoup in the grimdark…
Ado takes his void-sept, fade-blessed talons and flays off all of Khadagan’s skin…
and the two curses affecting him with it…
Khadagan, screaming in pain…rubs some purple lotus into the wounds…
And gets seriously addicted…
Breaks makes tea…except…tongues of flames should not look like actual tongues…
Vadim, meanwhile, reincarnates Yourga as a Fade-Gnome…and Squee falls in love…
His name is Staples…Vadim tries to chat…Squee bats her eyelashes at him…
Vadim points out that Yourga was not as highly regarded as he should be…
We manage to get him to negotiate…
When we take the city, he gets the Ulfeddin, Vargr, Sand-Devils, and Fagine…
We get the Vitte, Nohai, Malik, Melliae, and Steppefolk…
The Glaistig are to be returned to their clans, unharmed…
And their race shall be exempt from forced entry to the Yassa…
Any who challenge us in battle must “join or die”…regardless of race…
Which he already satisfied…
We sack the city and take its beasts and riches…
He is left behind as a vassal-nation…
We will be given free passage, but must give him hostages for the passage…
We blood-sign in clay, wrap it, bake it, and sign the outside as well…
And even those not of the Altan Ordu counter-sign not to countervene the contract…
AND Khadagan presses his thumb in the clay:
“May the justice of the Nail be upon any who break this.”
So it is sworn, in blood, in the Fade…
And he shall be called Yougastopheles…

Now we have a “friend”…
The Melliae have been corrupted since the fall of the Western Empire…only about a decade ago…
The Leif Sept infiltrated and eliminated the Western Empire…and made everyone forget…
The entire Western Empire has been Verge-shifted by the Leif Sept…
They effectively do not exist yet…
Yougastopheles is going to subvert the control system of the city…
Specifically the rune-collars worn by the slaves…
We need to sneak in and deal with the smith caste dwarves and their forges…
apparently Ahura Mazhda refugees…
And we need to break the power of the Fenrir-shamans…
The deranged water-spirit who we just pwn’d has been despoiling the land for generations…
So the Vargrs are protected by their walls but also enslaved by them…
If we can lace the water-supply with ground iron, he can subvert more of them…

There is a tree in Vargrborg…great and rotten…first of the corrupted Melliae…
There is some discussion of how we might cleanse them…
Invoking Apple? Invoking Ivy?
We discuss…we argue…we say their names way too many times…
And…still in the fade…the tavern is no longer a tavern…
We are surrounded by trees…bloody, thorny apple trees…
With blood-red apples…that look soooooo wrong…totally not white…
Or so right…they look like bloody…like meat…
Ado reaches out through the fade and calls in the Sunbolts…
Ormazhd Bay roars to life and he explodes in incandescence…
Vadim breaks out bags of apple pollen and tosses them to the wind…
As Ellen-Dear prays to Apple invoking her to cleanse the Melliae…

We are at a tavern, but no one else save the bartender…
There are eggs in front of us…knives, forks, delicious food…
The bartender speaks “I’ve never seen it take that long to wear off, you’re sober now…”
Arandyr asks for a drink…gets denied…and sneaks behind the bar…
There is a big, empty jug of apple brandy…
Someone pulls Khadagan aside…either in memory or now or then…
“Its clear that if there is a god of this world, they clearly designed a world in which
no gods exist, and, if such a god exists, it would be the greatest blasphemy to find it”
Khadagan wrestles whoever spoke to try to find out who was speaking…
Because more blasphemy is better…right?
And Khadagan’s hip is dislocated…and he’s been renamed by something…
But until its fixed…he can draw on a name…
In the bar…Vadim stands over a battered unconscious Khadagan, cudgel in hand…
Ellen-Dear looks at the barkeep: “Do you happen to know Remiem Meltiedes?”

We head out of the bar and limp to the grove…there is no one around…
We walk into the forest…the trees are black and rotting…
Khadagan rubs the bark of one with his nail, and underneath it is very much alive…
Vadim disappears into the city and comes back with some poop…Plant Growth…
Ellen-Dear opens up his Verge-sight…
Ex-Sorq contacts other planes…
Ado drops into a trance: Hallow…
And Ormazd Bay’s light pours down into the grove…
The tree grow, crack, and untwist reaching for the light…
The closest thing we’ve ever felt to spirits answering prayer…
Inside we can see humanoid figures caught in the trees…
White-hot light burning through them bottom to top…
Scorching out the corruption…
Khadagan bows and prays: “May the peace of Nail be upon this forest!”
There is some sincerity there, but its fake, but it does some good…
Breaks meanwhile marches off and opens a Fade-Gate in the slave market…
A pit of death and screaming opens behind the wealthy and powerful…

AND we are in the middle of an enemy city…with a fully restored Dryad Grove…
And we have an army of Vampire-Dryad-Nuns…

View
Session 45: A Plague of 1s

CARDS

Under the walls of Vargrborg is a drowning pool…
We were in it…now we are being sucked down into an abyss…
An abyss filled with with a baby-squid…
Not a baby squid…but a large squid made of babies…
Overhanging the pool are the walls…with an acre of murder-holes…
Out of which are raining dozens of slaves with slit throats…
Creating a Fade-shift as they fall…
The blood swirling in a whirlpool, linking back to the surface…
And there is, of course, the sea serpent still…
Which has Khadagan in its mouth…

Ado heals several of the dying slaves…partly sealing the gate as well…
Khut dives down towards the tentacled mass…stabbing…
And it retreats, spewing a cloud of undead as it goes…
Something clearly spooked it…but what?
Ellen-dear informs us that it is clearly a Fade-corrupted water spirit…
Using the undead as an unliving wall…hurling them between us…
He Banishes it…there is a snapping noise…it gets darker…
And enormous rotting tentacles come reaching up for the slaves…
Arandyr leaps on the sea serpent…stabbing…it’s mouth snaps open…
And Katcha hurls a dart into its mouth…killing it…
And it reflexively swallows Katcha…and starts to sink into the Abyss…
Barruk has a little chat with Fireeyes…and dives after the serpent…
And smashes its teeth open with the hammer…
Katcha and Khadagan come out…
And are promptly snatched by tentacles from below…
Ado starts praying…and the sun starts shining…and it burns…

There is a Water that flows down from Heaven
To cleanse the world of sin by grace Divine.
At last, its whole stock spent, its virtue gone.
Dark with pollution not its own, it speeds
Back to the Fountain of all purities;
Whence, freshly bathed, earthward it sweeps again,
Trailing a robe of glory bright and pure.

This Water is the Spirit of the Saints,
Which ever sheds, until itself is beggared,
God’s balm on the sick soul; and then returns
To Him who made the purest light of Heaven.

Khut dives right through the horde of undead…
and stabs the tentacled thing in the pants with the bone knife…
Water flowing through the wound and blowing it out…
Ellen-Dear follows down into the darkness…
And unleashes a burst of blue-white light, burning it…
Katcha swims away from the tentacles towards the slaves…
And…licks a bleeding vittebjorn…closing its wounds…and freeing it…
And it has a lifelong cat fetish…
"FLY MY PRETTIES!…and Vadim’s pixies turn all the slaves into hedgehogs…
And the blood-trails go out…and the lights go out…
And the tentacle-bady goes to its ultimate final form…
Barruk tries to scare the tentacly-thing…and gets tentacled in return…
Squee tells it a joke…but its not laughing…and there are more tentacles…
Khadagan starts praying…and Ado’s pillar of light catches fire…
In the form of a massive flaming nail that pierces the darkness…
And the piles of undead are incinerated en masse…

Almighty Nail,
whose light pierces the darkness,
whose fire cleanses corruption and rot -
From the seat of your power,
reach into these polluted depths
and make clear your rule as king of the fade.
Deliver this unclean foe
from the madness infecting it,
from the arrogance of the mortals who would
bend this being to their selfish will.
Let your dominion be proclaimed
Let your servant carry out your will
and let the name of Altan Yadasun be praised

Khadagan then starts clawing his way down the tentacle towards the body…
Blood spews, burning his nostrils…and Mr. Wiggly is not happy…
Ado drops another flaming sunbeam…
Khut continues stabbing…
Ellen-Dear keeps blasting away with force missiles…
AND there is a massive explosion in the water…
Blood and ink flowing everywhere…
That-which-was-Sorq blasts away with meteors…dispering the cloud…
Revealing the enormous dead bulk of the squid-beasty…
Mountains of undead start climbing up towards us through the muck…

AND Ellen-Dear releases the River Spirit from its banishment…
We are rushed to the surface…
There are sounds of gates closing, chains being drawn, from above…
Half-drowned bodies dead-man float in the water…
Katcha starts searching for hearts…
Vadim drags the Vitte slave up under the walls and starts questioning it…
His name is Kvelduff…Vadim and Arandyr suggest sneaking into the city…
He says the only way slaves come out is through the pit…
They are locked in collars until tossed to the river…
Katcha offers to get him back to the people…
He asks us to “kill the dwarf”…
Apparently the little wizards collar them…

Ado grabs Squee and they dimension door into the city…
Appearing on a crowded city street…and turn invisible…
They appear in the slave-market district…
Ado lifts a purse…and finds only tooth-inspecting gear…
They watch a trade and see that they use hack-silver, not coin…

Khut climbs the wall, unlocks the grate on the murder hole, and…its too heavy…
He ties off a rope, tosses it down to Khadagan…
And Khadagan inch-by-inch shoves it open about eight inches…
Khut tries to wiggle through…and gets aggressively stuck…
And it starts to shut…ouch…
Barruk gets up there to brace…and Khadagan shoves again…
Khad’s muscles bulge…Khut slips…
and his arm is crushed…and broken…and he’s hanging by it…
They shove again…Khut falls…and gets caught by Arandyr’s magic rope…
Vadim slithers through…Ellen-Dear teleports in…
And they jam the gate open to let everyone else through…
We come out into the sacrifice room…there are stocks, chains…
And two massive muzzled vittebjorn…
Ellen-Dear and Arandyr go to work figuring out the collars…
Clearly smith-caste dwarven work…
The same runes used to control golems…
Inflicting incredible pain if they do not obey orders…
Looks like they need a special runic key to remove them…
Khut meanwhile, tries to set his broken limb…and starts screaming in pain…
And he unleashes the girliest scream that any of them have ever heard…
AND the bears wake up…their muzzles splinter…their collars glowing…
Ado hears it all the way in town…

Khadagan rushes the bears…slashing wildly…
and just can’t get through their thick, matted, bloody fur…
That-which-was-Sorq tries to make friends…but they just won’t calm down… Ellen-Dear does a sending to the Pasht, letting them know we’re in the city…
Ado sneaks up to the door to the slave-murdering-warehouse…
Which is, of course, guarded by a pair of large ulfeddin…
And he prays for a full-on miracle to unlock the door…
There is a passing trot of iron-plated hellpig cavalry…
The sun glances off the barding and blinds one of the guards…
Ado reaches for the keys…gets grabbed…
The guard howls…and gets cut-off with a Silence spell…
Squee drops of pink tiara of madness on one of the hellpigs…
And suddenly there is mad-hellpig induced chaos in the streets…
AND Ellen-Dear drops a fog cloud in the street adding to the chaos…
Vadim thorn-whips a raging bear…over to the grate…
Where his pixies, down below, are putting on a circus act…
With manatees jumping through hoops…
Watched by ulfeddin nobles on pleasure barges…
Arandyr snaps the collar on one of the bears…runes spread across its body…
Its fur catches on fire…its eyes blaze…it stands up…and bursts into flame…
And tears into her with its flaming claws…
Khut slips up behind and stabs it with his good arm…
Katcha swings the door open from the inside….
Outside the guard swigs for Ado’s head…and wiffs in an explosion of feathers…
The non-flaming bear charges the opened door…and runs strait into Barruk…
And then gets wedged in the door…and bull-rushed into the street…
Ado drops the silence…rolls between the bear’s legs…
and starts blowing on his blight-drake flute…
and the hellpig riders are completely terrified…and strapped to enraged pigs…
Squee joins in on her pipes of the sewers…calling in a swarm of tiny Nozzles…
Which enrage a pacel of Holy Mountain Beasts in a corral next door…
Vadim runs for the street and ducks into the nearest clean alleyway…
And runs into a well-appointed villa that is clearly “completely unguarded”…
Arandyr, Khut, and Katcha keep wailing on the flaming bear…
Katcha backstabs it, climbs, leaps off its head and slips out an upper-story window…
Barruk invokes Dust and comes in with the hammer…
smashing the flaming bear to the ground…and leaving a massive crater…
That-which-was-Sorq and Ado run into the villa after Vadim…
Outside people are panicking and running in all directions…
Inside…Ado blows his pipes in the central courtyard…
Khadagan runs off…somewhere…
He heads for the gardens…chats up some Steppefolk slaves…
Apparently there are some blood-oaks, witches, and damned dwarves…

With the flaming bear inside dealt with…and chaos in the streets…
We convene in the “perfectly safe” villa that Vadim found…
In the center of the courtyard is a large fountain…
With a statue of a Pasht spitting water in the air…
At the far end of the courtyard we find a tall, barrel-chested, tiger-striped Pasht…
a Male pasht…we greet him ‘Are you in peace’?…he says “Our”…we’re confused…
Katcha comes down from the roof…he gives a long, curious look…
We chat for a bit…his name is Yorga Pasht…
Nothing he says sounds like any Pasht we’ve ever met or heard of…
Barruk drops a Zone of Truth…Vadim lays it all out…
“Given the magic in play, you put me into an interesting ontological
conundrum in which I’m afraid I can’t answer.”
Ado trips him into the fountain…with some hilarious windmilling…
He invites us in, offering wine and water and honey…
He slips off to get dry clothes…for himself and for Ado…
Ellen-Dear does anothing sending to our Pasht to give them directions to the villa…
They respond: “You have to leave before you meet the master of the house…NOW
He sets off the message chain telling the girls to GTFO
There is a nudge, a shuffle, its clear that half of us have been enchanted…

NEXT TIME: A giant brawl…clearly the other side is the enchanted one…

His rolls: 16, 9, 9, 15, 4, 3

View
Session 44: There's a river right there
My missing dignity

CARDS
Vadim’s seven coins
Betrayal
Hoargrim Firemane
Human Relations Series #11: Accepting and Respecting Authority

The scene opens…
Ithunn, Katcha, and Squee are visiting Aradyr’s tent…
The warblers complain about missing feathers…
Drifts of grated golden dust drift through the camp, chased by Squee…
There may be pillow fights involved…
Khut was definitely not watching…as far as anyone knows…
Squee runs up and asks his favorite colour…
“Damnit, that’s what she said, except the other way around.”
Ado shows up a bit angry on finding some feathers missing…
He had apparently been chatting with Hoargrim’s old love – Munkhtsetseg Blackhand…
She seems less than pleased by the Nailer’s “abominations”…
She is using all her art to keep the vanguard families from dying of Blackmaw…
He demands that in exchange for the feather, Arandyr needs to steal something for him…
He wants Aradyr to swipe the sun-flower from Khadagan to make her young again…
Arandyr swipes the flower…Vadim magically cultivates it…
AND Ado feeds the potion of longevity to Munkhtsetseg…
Ellen-Dear starts teaching the youngsters about Hoargrim’s glorious history as a leader…
“What kind of history would bind twelve tribes that have nothing to do with each other?”

Somewhere in the Cusp…Sorqutani’s skin is on fire, crackling, inhabited by a fire spirit…
She stands in a circle — a bonfire — filled with burning white blossoms…
A bed of coals around here feet, ramped up to her waist…
the rich sent of farmland and fruit wafts by…
Around her stand several black-cloaked steppefolk, their heads pressed to the ground…
Blood is scattered around them in semicircular arcs, forming a double-loop pattern…
Among the old-mothers circling her is Munkhtsetseg Blackhand…
She warns her that ‘the stitching may fray’…
There is some confusion over how much of Sorq and how much of Odqan lives in there…
With Munkhtsetseg’s youthening and Sorqutani’s return…the old mothers are feeling pumped…

Khadagan has been the “guest” of Jurgen, Skald of the Vittebjorn…treated with the utmost care…
Unsurprisingly he heads strait for their gardens…beds of kelp tended by the Skalds…
Tended by people diving off the sides of Galeons into black, freezing water…
They are, of course, overwhelmingly solicitous about their ships…almost holy reverence…
Also holy reverence for islands that they never refer to…another place, not here…
Their reason for being here is to sink anything that leaves the shore…
Their smiths are churning out massive, massive armor — huge plates of metal…
They fight with huge, acid-etched metal claws handed down from generation to generation…
Khadagan gets into some serious discussions of “claw-craft”…
“There are precious to the spirits. Why do your claws not speak of what they’ve done?”
“It’s an awkward conversation…”
Scene fades with the sound of sizzling…acid etching Khadagan’s deeds into his claws…
Steppefolk claws, dipped in dwarf silver, etched by the Vittebjorn…

Khut heads out to scout Vargrbjorg…
The raiders are out on the river, they clearly know we’re coming…
There is something in the water with them…something huge…under the boats…
And the motion of drowned, undead troops along the river-bottom…
Protecting all water approaches to the city…
And the present of a very powerful water spirit controlling the drowned…
The ulfeddin routinely sacrifice and drown their prisoners and slaves…
And Drowned River informs us that the spirit of this river is vicious and violent…
Corrupted by the regular blood sacrifices…
The walls are thick, rune-etched to be resistant to magic, and plastered with blood sacrifices…
Steppefolk wearing heavy iron colars man the walls…
The colars are etched with runes of fire and blood…

Khut returns from his scouting mission…walking through camp…
Ithunn stalks him…
Squee and Ellen-Dear hijack his brain and haul him off somewhere…
Where he gets cleaned, perfumed, and…decorated…
Meanwhile Arandyr ambush-decorates the camp with gold-dust paint, streamers, and glitter…
Katcha and the pasht round up a swarm of scramblers…and roasted with apples…and cakes…
A huge tent is set up with three large fire pits…
At one end of the tent stands Breaks…dressed in an apron with gems from all our journeys…
And, for a moment, all three worlds come into convergence…in sacred space…
With Dust and Drowned River looming over…
Yaghuth priests line the walls, similarly adorned by Squee…
And Semek calls the party to order with the ringing sound of a hammer…
And Ithunn and Khut SERIOUSLY get the blessings of the spirit…
Khut, mid-ceremony, still dazed from his hijacking, tells them about his scouting results…

Drowned River explains about the plight of her sister-river…Time to go talk to her…
Drowned River walks to the edge of the river, slices off the tip of her finger and tosses it in…
Katcha sees a glimmer on the water…bats at it…and falls in…
The fog roils up from the river, deep and thick…
Ten drowned corpses with glowing blue eyes start to climb out of the water onto the docks…
Ithunn clings to Khut and feels no fear…
The Spirit speaks through the corpses…“I thiiiiiiiiirst”
Katcha – “There’s a river right there…”
“Blooooooooooood”
Khut cuts his hand and offers a few drops…
Ado tries to make friends…
The spirit steps forward, clearly of two minds, one of which agrees with us…
The other of which is a deep blood-rage…

The dock collapses…we all fall in…the shit hits the fan…
Khut shoves Ithunn up onto the surface…where she stands…
Squee: “Ooooh, glowing eyes, will they still glow if we take them out?”
Khut: “Just call me Boo!”
Khut deftly cuts an eye out of one, flipps it to Squee, the cuts its head off…
Ithunn works one over with her tusks, burning it to cinders, and sending it spinning off a pylon…
Khadagan’s shiny etched claws come out…and assassinates one…tearing it in half…
The spirit-thing that used to be Sorqutani unleashes some fire…
Then unleashes a bunch of tiny fireballs…
Katcha notices that the undead are slow, mechanical…clearly controlled by some other intelligence…
Probably hiding underwater…she dives in after it…stealthily…
Sitting on the river-bottom, she finds a blue-eyed creepy sitting meditating…
It looks up at her…she screams for help…she swallows river water…
AND she feels the blood-plague burning into her lungs…
Ellen-Dear summons up some tentacles…
And Arandyr takes out the legs of one grabbed by a tentacle…
Khut opens his third eye, releasing a torrent of clear, clean water out around him…
He whistles for Littlewing…who airdrops Ithunn, knife-diving strait down over the drowning cat…
She shoves the cat above water, and starts punching…missing a lot…
It opens its mouth and unleashes a disgusting cloud of black, coagulated blood…
Khadagan takes a step back and starts praying…
A preternatural rage seems to be drawn out of him…out of the air around him…
And his claws begin to glow red…
“Mighty Altan Yadasun,
Who protects his faithful from the Black Maw,
Who delivered this humble seeker from the mindless rage
of the eyeless visage
Whose golden light turned away a rolling
wave of darkeness that threatened to engulf your followers
We call upon you, mighty one
To free our unseen adversary from the rage which poisons its mind
as you did with me
To cleanse us of the venom coursing through our veins
Let these lost be found and brought in to your fold
Let the godless behold your mercy and believe
and let the faithless behold your power and tremble”
Ado prays too…for the FOLLOW SPOT OF DOOM!
And there is a break in the clouds…and a bolt of bright sunlight descends…
Scorching the big bad…and blinding it…
“Put your vileness up to a mirror and
weep. Your stream-water may look clean,
but there’s unstirred matter on the
bottom. Your Sheikh can dig a side
channel that will drain that waste off.
Trust your wound to a Teacher’s surgery.
The wound is the place
where the light enters you.”
Arandyr and Sorq finish off the zombies held by the tentacles…leaving four…
But more come…
Big creepy lashes out at Ithunn and tries to make her sick…and fails…
Then slams her with a rotting fist…and she starts to rot too…
AND…Khut is there…and the bugger being is in lots of tiny, tiny pieces…
And he puts an arm around Ithunn and bolts for the surface…
AND there is some cinematic smooching…
Ithunn immediately swims back down and decapitates a draugr with her flaming tusks…
And That-which-was-Sorq drops a wall of fire all over the zombies…
The river goes up in a giant gout of steam…and three melt into little puddles…
Then the remaining ones get pelted with flaming meteors…because she does that…
And there was one…
AND Khadagan happened to it…

In the middle of the night…in the middle of the dark water…amidst all the chaos…
Katcha notices a small, blackened heart floating down the river, still beating…
And she dives after and snatches it…
and tells us that stronger undead can come back from that…
Ado casts Purify Food and Drink on the heart…YUM YUM!
DM – “What you find inside the heart…”
Katcha – “My missing dignity!”
Lootings happened:
Potion of Vitality (blood from the right atrium of the heart)
Nolzur’s Marvelous Pigments (paint with the blood from the right ventricle)
Left-Atrium Blood-clot (as Amulet of the Planes – Fade only)
Left-Ventricle Bloom Ruby (20,000gp)
And that eyeball…acts as a Wand of the Warmage +3…
Vadim turns into a reef shark…
and smells that there is tons of blood pouring into the water upstream…
Ado reminds us that some part of the River Spirit wants us to go free it…

Vadim calls up a bunch of pixies…and turns everyone but Khut and Ithunn into manatees…
We head upstream…everyone tries to act like a manatee as much as possible…
We reach the walls of Vargrborg…the river is thick with blood…
The bottom of the river is an interwoven carpet of bones…
We end in the ‘Drowning Pool’…the wall leans out over a blood-soaked lagoon…
There is a head the size of a volkswagon bus…
It breaks the surface of the water spewing blood in every direction…

Khut interposes a knife in its path…stabbing it in the head…
It grabs him…he breaks free…it grabs him again…it tries to swallow him…
Ado appears by its head…
“Hey Cousin! Cousin! How’s it been?…”
And it fails to swallow Khut…and much laughings happen…
Ithunn and Arandyr and Katcha and Khadagan start murdering it…
there is very much blood…sooooooo much blood…but its not dead yet…
Ellen-Dear and That-which-was-Sorq suck the fight into the Fades…
The thing twists…the world falls away…
And we find ourselves being sucked to the bottom of a whirlpool of blood and bones…
And see an enormous bulk…the head of a screaming child surrounded by tentacles…

TO BE CONTINUED



And the author said, “This is good, this thing I have done.” And he went for lunch and a drink. And it was good!

- From the ramblings of Khut

View
Session 43: Imbessaries
We need to make a braid line!

CARDS
Human Relations #7: Tonsilectomy, Learning to deal with confusion and fear
Semek
Mongolian Death Worm
Human Relations #4: Accepting and sharing responsibility through an open-ended children’s story

We are back in camp, with the entirety of the Void Sept parked on our flank…
Ellen-Dear starts forging a national identity, telling the story of the Altan Ordu…
Focusing mainly on a largely secular founding legend, usable by any religion…
The Nohai scouts report back that the wild Ulfeddin are leaping from the trees to catch stars…
Vargrborg is a huge slaver city with few friends…but they still send an emissary…
We received an emissary of a people we’ve not met before…pointy ears and horns…
Many of their people have been enslaved and they’re looking for help…
“Glaistig”…Barruk speaks of them as terrifying raiders from NW Gaavshahar…
Powerful warriors, but terrible armies…kilted, clannish forest-dwellers…
Recountings of Malik generals of them lining up, bare-chested, frothing…
We’ve had to set up ambassadorial quarters for all of the emissaries…
Khut spends a lot of time hanging out with Breaks Like Wind studying the Yassa…
Most specifically, that it has no provision for marriage…
Khut and Breaks seek out Semek and work out a new Yassa…
Marriages shall henceforth only be recognized if witnessed before a Blacksmith…
We sit down for a bit with the Vittebjorn ambassador…“Jurgen”…a Skald who studies the law…
Nice tent, too warm from giant braziers, ornate armor made for an 18-ft. tall bear in one corner…
The usual questions come out: ‘Do you remember?’ ‘Do you breed?’
“I remember for us. We do not remember as the Yaghuth remember, but I lie in the dark
with a stone upon my chest.”
“You ask Do you Breed. I have learned something during my time here among you, and I imagine
the question is more than proforma…it is complicated, we come to learn, not just for
trade…”
Apparently they have a battle-fleet near Kaupmadr, which they think can repel the Nihil Sept…
Squee pets the big, fuzzy, live teddy-bear…
The tent door is torn open and an enraged Moon-Moon rages in…
“Where’s my Squee!?”
Ithunn leaps across the room and muzzles him…
Arandyr grabs Squee off the bear and teleport-puts her in Moon-Moon’s arms…
Vadim keeps the conversation going…with the confused-looking giant white bear…
“It may be possible that we can help one another. But it is also true that blood has been
spilt and laws have been broken. Our laws call for the payment of weregild.”
They will cooperate in defense of the river once honor is satisfied and deals are struck…
Unfortunately the “breeding” of their “river-beasts” (boats) is a closely held secret…
The only road to the West is through their waters…
If we set foot on their sacred lands and that would be cause for war…
If we turn to felling forests to build boats, there would be war…
They don’t mind the destruction of forests…just the building of war ships…
We can build barges…but they can sink barges from ‘near the horizon’…
As a boon they would like us to gather or destroy the wild Ulfeddin tribes…
He refers to Ithunn as ‘uncorrupted’…apparently the local variety drinks blood…
“You are from the Yaghuth forests, far from here, perhaps the corruption has not
reached so far.”
And, on showing him her tusks, she gets a giant bear-hug…
The forests to the west are ruled by the Meliai, blood-drinkers…
To make a military alliance, they need a hostages of unmatched value…
We give them Khadagan and Hundreds of Dust…
In exchange they bring in the boats to move out whole camp north of Vargrborg…
A Pasht spy (Katja) comes in and informs us that Vargrborg is working with the Nihil Sept…
They’re the ones who sent the fire spirits downriver to burn our cable…
They apparently expect us to attack and have called in their allies from North, West, South…
North — from the very large city of Tvennrstad…
South — into Thaabanite territory where they often capture and trade slaves…
West — Ulfeddin, Glaistig, other races they enslave…
Forming legions of armed slaves…noncombatant slaves being sent in caravan west…
If the caravan reaches the west, we will spill much more blood around Vargrborg…
Apparently their trying to make an alliance with the Meliai…

The vittebjorn load us on their ships and, slowly, relocate the whole caravan across the river…
We land just north of Vargrborg…Moon Moon and his ulfeddin leap ashore and establish a beachhead…
We careen our longship, the Fenrir, and cover it with a cairn…
It is a big, walled, well-armed city…
and a huge caravan is heading up into the mountains to the west…
Seeing the slave caravan, we circle out and around to cut them off…
Ithunn, disguised as a Meliai, heads strait into the caravan…
YOUR Imbasarries left me alone in the woods!” and she proceeds to chew them out…
She yells that the sacrifices are insufficient…
They seem, unsurprisingly surprised to find her there…
“We have sent them nine at a time as you requested.”
She threatens to eat them…
“Without a tree can you feed? Nevermind, we’ll bring you blood…”
They seem very surprised that one would get that close to their campfires…
Ithunn — “Dim that down…”
And they proceed to pour water over the fires…
AND they start avoiding the surrounding trees like the plague…
With Khut, Vadim, Arandyr, Ellen-Dear, Squee, and Katya following in stealth mode…
Vadim and the elves start thumping on the ground…trying to provoke a worm…
Meanwhile Squee and…something…are having some kind of weird slumber party…
It’s a gnome…with mis-matched eyes…and a BADGER
Arandyr and Katja sneak up close to keep an eye on Ithunn…
There are at least a thousand slaves, with perhaps a hundred ulfeddin guards…
They start bringing Ithunn her nine slaves to eat…
Ithunn nicks slave number one and paints her lips with blood…
While Arandyr and Katja absconds with them…
Ithunn steps out of the dark and freaks the Ulfeddin the fuck out…
Khut and Vadim sneak in and start busting open slave cages…
Meanwhile, Squee and Rute scarmble up a tree, and tell it to move…
And a massive black-barked oak tree steps up behind Ithunn…
“You think my people are afraid of fire? I am the exception!”
She steps out of the dark, there is a whistle…
…a flash of lightning…and her tusks are in her hands…

Squee, from the top of a walking tree, drops a cloud of daggers down on the ulfeddin…
“Calling all GNOMES!” and things begin to get strange as two more trees uproot themselves…
Ithunn wades into the ulfeddin and just kills four of them…
Khut smashes a third cage open, releasing a mob of sand-devils fleeing into the woods…
Vadim blasts a gust of wind towards the trees…sending a rain of blood-red leaves into the glade…
We bust open the last cage and unleash a pile of steppe-folk and Malik…
“Third Gond form up!” – two-hundred and fifty POWs lost in the thaabanite war…
A cloud of arrows rain down from the ulfeddin…Vadim blocks with his shield…
And the malik go charging, past horns lowered…
Ellen-Dear drops Black Tentacles…roots erupt from the ground and kill more than a dozen ulfeddin…
Arrows rain down on everyone…and hit nothing but air…everywhere…
Katya and Arandyr appear out of the trees and start knifing things…
The forest on the northern edge breaks and two massive trees stride forward…
Leaves blood red…bodies hanging from ropes like gibbets…their eyes open and staring…
A chorus of fishy screams rises from the north and the bloody leaves start to spread…
Spores start spraying out from the gallows zombies…
And the zombies swarm over Aradyr, bouncing like marionettes, as they swing on their ropes…
And the tree starts waling on everyone…and snatches up Vadim…
Squee makes everything pink…so pink…
Khut and Ithunn, both now up in the tree, start cutting their way through to each other…
AND…the tree bleeds…and Ithunn kicks it to the ground…
Ellen-Dear sends in his swarm of action-figures…tiny copies of the party…
Daggers and tentacles and the Gond happen…and more than half of the ulfeddin are dead…
Arrows rain down…zombies go swinging…spores burst…trees bash…
The tree crushes inward on Khut more and more branches, more and more pointy…
Squee drops the Negasonic Squeenage Warhead again…and the zombies explode into pink sparkles…
The tree wobbles, staggered…
Khut leaps on it…and carves a giant heart in it with his dagger…
spraying Ithunn in tree-blood…and carves “K + I” inside it…
Ithunn – “I forgive you!” (for stealing her kill)

We round up the slaves…and come face to face with Squee’s gnome friend…Rute…
Who lives in a walking tree…has a window…has a tri-corne hat…and a ship’s wheel…
Vadim flips a gold coin up in the air towards the gnome…
The tree catches it and hands it to the gnome…
We start chatting with the trees, gathered around…
And the trees pick us up…where we see the eyes of a number of gnomes…
Eyes that flicker like fire-flies, constantly changing colours…
And Arandyr and Katja suddenly have gnomes perched on their shoulders…
And their hair is being braided…
Vadim and Khut try to convince the trees to carry the refugees out of the forest…
But Squee interjects…“We need to make a braid line!”
Khut and Ellen-Dear run down to the shore, dig out the boat, and start making rafts…
We swing towards the shore as fast as we can…but the trees become sluggish…
We pass the gnome a potato…and tell them to go round up their friends…
Squee gives them one ‘moon’ before we come to start some forest fires…
Ithunn and Khut guide the rafts down-river…

We ride the rafts out into a lake…where we see the Vittebjorn fleet…
And barges full of amalgam, swarming out to build breastworks and establish our new colony…



And the author said, “This is good, this thing I have done.” And he went for lunch and a drink. And it was good!

- From the ramblings of Khut

View
Session 42: They All Jumped out of a Rotten Potato
Arandyr -- "The invention of Popcorn..."

CARDS
Semek’s Wife
Nihil Sept
Human Relations #3: Accepting individual differences and capabilities
Orbghuz Forktongue

We’re hanging out in camp…we’ve moved past shoulder into high summer…
Ado lays Guards and Wards over the camp, requiring everyone to scrub before entering…
[Next time plague card flips, it is blocked once]
Khadagan harvests some more iron wood to armor up the troops…
Ithunn talks to the Pasht and starts an academy for spies and monks…
Khut spends the entire time hanging out in the tree watching..
The Academy now has three branches…
The Amazons are training the elite infantry and officers…
The Pasht are training the spies…
The Old Mothers are training the mage corps…
Barruk starts re-training the infantry in formation tactics…
Arandyr takes Semek’s Wife and the Nohai out into the woods to teach them to sneak…
Vadim gets the weavers involved building super death-nets for the fishermen…
Sorqutani sends the amalgam out to go forage for themselves…
Squee busts out her pipes and summons a swarm of delicious lickens…

Meanwhile…Potatoes…
We have a countil of war…the debate centers around what backup we should take through…
It gets heated when Ado suggests taking the Spire and leaving it there…
and when Khadagan suggests going through and praying…just because…
Khut suggests that we just take a few amalgam, because they’re expendable…
We head to a bare patch of the forest…a circle of yellow and purple mushrooms…
Khadagan reaches for a shroom…there is a deep pull as we flow through the roots…

We come out at the edge of an amphitheter…we are surrounded by claws and antennae…
We explode out of a mountain of canvas-covered crates, marked with the sigils of all races…
SUPPLIES!”
The amphitheater is clearly elven…everything around is a wasteland…
Sorqutani’s mind fractures like a mirror as the bugs are separated from the hive…
But, by sheer force of will, she keeps them under control…
Hands outstretched, eyes rolled back in her head, cinnamon smell everywhere…
She gives them one order: DESTROY!
AND the ground disintegrates as massive burning worms break the surface…
The screaming starts as our bugs face outward and rush…
The ground glows white-hot as several desert worms break the surface…
Meanwhile, we’re in the middle of a HUGE Nihil Sept camp…
With some Void Sept emissary’s tents off to one end…
Some kind of meeting is going on in the amphitheater…
behind a life-energy sucking Fade Shield…
Khut pivots sees a rank of Old Empire knights surrounding the shield…
And fires an arrow through the fade into one of their stomachs…

AND its on…
Barruk hastes Sorqutani…Vadim hastes Ithunn…
Khadagan grabs one of the forty-foot-long, white-hot melter worms by the tail…
Swings it around and hammer-throws it right at the Fade Shield…
The energy is sucked strait out of it…and there are incinerations galore…
Sorq shoves her hands under a plate of the worm crossing the shield…
And causes it to spawn a plague of smaller biting, stinging insects of death…
Inside the shield…where they start chowing down on the meeting…
Arandyr misty-steps above the second desert-worm and starts with the stabbings…
Squee casts Otto’s Irresistable Dance on it…and it starts walking like an Egyptian…
Ado drops a Death Ward on Ithunn…she starts glowing…
And Ithunn becomes Tranquil…and walks right through the shield into the council…
TIME STOPS
Six figures stand there, protected in the Cusp…
Ithunn – “I can’t believe you didn’t invite me!”
Void – “We considered it. So come.”
Nihil – “Despite Void interceding for you, we are not convinced that you are the lost seventh”
Void – “Because of our long and bloody relationship, I saw fit to speak against your destruction in the council.”
This from an elderly steppefolk with eyes and mouth sewn shut…
He introduces the council:
High Priest of the Void
Seneschal of Oblivion
Prator Destruction of Nihil
Eschaton of the End
That Which the Yaghuth Do Not Remember (Unknown of Lief)
and a sixth which he fails to introduce…

We join the council…
Void – “There have always been six septs.”
Nihil – “There is no seventh. There is nothing. We will show you nothing.”
Void argues that they’ve gained wisdom from the gods.
End (a thabaanite) argues that the gods are just spirits and the sleepers will destroy everything.
Void goes on a zealous rant about the Golden Nail.
Oblivion argues that they just kill all the non-believers and thus live in peace.
Void and Oblivion share a vision, but parted ways.
Nihil and End agree on some things.
Leif (the cheese) stands alone.
After lots of arguing, Khadagan starts praying…

“To the one around which all things revolve,
To he who holds the night sky to the arc of heaven,
To Him who gathers all instances of himself,
reaching out from the fade, across the river of time.
You, whom the seven profess to serve,
Bring forth your holy light and cleansing flame from the fade,
Walk among this council
and judge as you will.
Weigh the hearts and judge the intent of this assembly.
Correct the paths of the lost,
purge the iniquity of the unrighteous.
Give strength to those who seek to serve as your mighty right arm
and break the backs of those who would stand against you.
Open the eyes of the blind,
speak to ears of the deaf,
and displace the stubborn.
Altan Yadasun, mighty golden nail, I call to thee now.”

The Void Sept immediately throws down their full power behind Khadagan.
Nihil Sept is enraged, but also afraid…
Not of us in battle…
but that we are a tree, growing, beyond their power to destroy…
Oblivion decide that they are turning north, to put an end to us…
Leif, the forgotten, are clearly messing with us, creating mental linkage…
Leif is quietly satisfied…things going according to plan…
but deeply concerned about Vadim and determined to destroy him specifically…
but they are deeply satisfied about Khadagan and willing to back him…
End is waiting, cautious, holding…
And Ithunn discovers the presence of the sixth sept…nameless, silent, whatever…

Ithunn turns and looks at the council…
The Fade Shield explodes…and the council is gone…
And there is the rich sound of cooking food…
Roasted apples, burning mean, cinnamon…so much cinnamon…

And Ithunn needs something to kill…
Ellen-Dear stands on top of the supply dump and spills poisonous gas down into the food…
The shield-thrown worm charges Khadagan and chomps him…
Then it gets an arrow in the eye from Khut…
And Barruk’s flashing flaming radiant hammer to its gut…
Knocking Khadagan free of the thing’s mouth…
Where he proceeds to tear it into very small, tasty chunks…
Khut points out that the camp still has 65,000 Nihil Sept troops…
He points towards the Void Sept tents and leads by example…he starts running…
Vadim heals Khadagan and runs!
Arandyr proceeds with the stabbings against the other worm…
Sorqutani calls in the pixies and starts plowing a path towards the Void camp…
For a moment, she falls to one knee, coughing soot…
Black pouring from her mouth…her lips and teeth are black…
And she becomes subsumed in her little, local hive mind…DESTROY!
The centaurs charge her, but their armor is devoured as they come…
Ado desperately tries to save her mind…and fails…
Ellen-Dear calls out to the fire mother to accept her child…
The Atheist begins to pray…and Banishes Sorqutani…
He sees a fence leading down to a vinyard, a long slope down to a river…
Standing on the fence, resting, is a finely dressed woman…
With scarred, burned arms, and work-hardened hands…
The orchard around him is filled with rich, blood-coloured apples…
“Who are you? I thought that since the veils were torn
the forgotten were lose on the world. Do you come from
beyond the veils? Come, I had not expected company here at the end of things. Come look, some stars fall, other stars rise.”
A star rises from the ground, burning away the darkness of night.
“Who is this rising star?”
“Hope. If you can believe it.”
“Hope is all I have.”
“You won’t understand any of this, but I’m pleased to meet you. My name is Ramiem Meltiedes. I have no idea where you got this memory.”
“How did you come to be here?”
“Some decent human had to be Hope’s mother.”
AND the centaurs all turn Pink…agressively Pink…thank you Squee…
AND Ithunn, raging like a Yaghuth, charges through them like a blender…

Then the last worm descends on Sorqutani…catching her up in its maw…
Sorq begins to glow, as if she were merely an envelope for the flame inside…
Khut flows into the Nihil Sept troops like a wave, bone knife in hand…
Water pours from the hole newly drilled in his forehead…and they die and die…
And Vadim comes behind with his pack of cackles…
And a Negasonic Squeenage Warhead…as she looks out and starts crushing heads…
Ellen-Dear, running the back, drops a Cloudkill behind him…
Barruk launches the worm into the air…
Khadagan dives into the worm’s mouth…
kisses Sorqutani…“Hail to the Nail!”…and flips out and down…
Ado fires an arrow into the worm…
It’s plates fly outward in a volley of burning-hot scales in the Nihil…
AND Sorqutani EXPLODES!
As the mortal form of what was Sorqutani is torn to pieces in a hurricane of flame…
It draws the heat from the worm, from the pixies, from every living thing…
And the sky is lit phosphorous white, bright as day…
Barruk is leading the charge, ahead, a rolling wave of black flame comes towards us…
Steppefolk march on the edges, driving back the dark with gold-flamed torches…
Fireeyes encourages Barruk to smash the Void sept…
“Yeah, duly noted, next time.” Barruk turns to meet the foes behind him…
And drops the hammer, flattening a section of the horde…

In our wake there is fire! The Nihil Sept camp is in flames.
A crater runs the length of the camp.
The Golden Nailer lines are shielded by a wall of water, parting the flames…
All is quiet on the western front.

We are among the Void Sept…obviously, they talk to Khadagan…
He encourages them to pull back for now…rather than pressing on to destroy the Nihil…
“To hear is to obey. You must understand this is complex for us. We will follow your commands. You are closer to our lord than we have managed.”
The High Priest of the Void Sept comes to us in physical form…
They agree to accompanying us over the river and cover our backs.
There is some discussion of religion and conversion…and how its pointless…
They give us a Potion of Speed and Potion of Flying…



And the author said, “This is good, this thing I have done.” And he went for lunch and a drink. And it was good!

- From the ramblings of Khut

View
Session 41: Cloudy with a Chance of Khadagan

CARDS
Cusp
Human Relations #5: What Shiela Said: Truth vs. Exageration
Oblivion Sept
Ganbaatar

We are ‘safe’ (relatively speaking across the river…
We continue to build up our forces…
Squee wanders into the hospital and tackle-hugs some nohai scouts…
Leaping from bed to bed of the injured…
Nurses and shamans chase her desperately…
Until she vanishes into the linens…
And morale among the scouts goes through the ROOF!
Sorqutani starts spending a lot of time hanging out with a young mage…
One “Ishni” by name…
Ado starts trying to coax birds onto the water…
convincing the Krokodile archers that boats are not as terrifying as they think…
There is a barbecue for the infantry…or there tries to be…
There is a smell…not a pleasant smell…and waves of black smoke…
Arandyr heads upriver to meet with the Vittebjorn and the Glaistig…
And deprive them of their shiny things…and she’s on the lamb…
Khut takes Ganbaatar and Orbghuz on a fishing trip…
There is some awesome bow-fishing…and some male bonding…
And, finally, the cavalry and infantry are not at each others throats…
Barruk and Breaks sit down with Semek and tries to build up some armorer support…
And suddenly, the man whose been overworked, underpaid, unappreciated…
Now has a forge…and a magic hammer…and some holy mountain beast bones…
And the armor starts flowing out in bulk…
Khadagan rounds up all the gardeners and gets to work growing and compassing iron wood…
And puts semek to work armoring the Holy Mountain Beasts…

We are camped on the Tanngrisnir river…south of Kaupmadr…
Chinnua and Kitty enter the war council after scouting Vargrborg…
It’s a big city (100,000+), as big as Ahuramazda and better defended…
And the people of it are fierce…raiding up and down the Tanngnjóstr…
Mostly raiding Glaistig to the west and Thaabanite in the south…
They have a booming slave market…with Vittebjorn gladiators…
The perenial discussion of ‘To Sack or Not to Sack’ comes up again and takes forever…
Suddenly the maggotfolk are gone, Barruk is mounted and thundering out…
The rest of us rush out to see what’s up…clouds of black smoke everywhere…
A Golden Nail section of the camp is on fire…
A burning body lands next to Barruk and explodes…
Manlike things of living flame turn and scream at us as we charge in…

Sparky stempedes in spouting clouds of petrifying gas…
Which ignites in the updraft around the flaming things…
Barruk invents the game of polo, thwacking one with his maul on the ride-by…
Arandyr notices the burning things coming from outside…
In towards the Void-sept part of the encampment…
And a blood-soaked section of ground with a bloody trepanning drill…
Khut arrives and rails one with a pair of arrows…doing massive damage…
But the things seems to not notice the gaping wounds…
As if its nerves were cauterized…but it blocks with an arm…
Breaks dispels the flames…revealing a trepanning scar on the forehead…
Of what is otherwise a Sureshaft Scout…
Who is suddenly smeared by a flying tackle from Diddlydoo the dworc…
Breaks then immediately starts in on a ritual of Planar Binding…
Then they all turn Pink…thank you squee…
Sorquitani drops a sleet storm…clouding the area with steam as it hits the flames..
Then she floats into the air…for no apparent reason other than its her…
Ado calls in the Yaghuth to quarantine the area…
Khadagan, on the other side of the camp, gets flung into combat by Littlefoot…
Screaming “It’s cloudy with a chance of Khadagan!” as he comes in…
Plowing claws-first into a flaming, trepanned malik…
Ellen-Dear examines the trepannation…looking into the hole…through the cut…
And sees, inside, an immense flaming woman using them as marrionettes…
Yeah…Odqan Talaqan is looking a little crazy today…
Sorqutani places a collect call to the Fire Mother…
“What have they done to deserve this?”
“I BURN! PAIN! METAL! TWISTING INSIDE!”
“I WILL BURN THEM ALL AS I AM CONSUMED!”
“Who should I burn?”
She looks confused…her eyes light with a dark flame…
A rich golden flame behind them…snarling, dripping magma as blood…
Arandyr, across the way, finds Nergui Axetooth…coughing up black fluid…
Black Maw…in image very much like the magma coughed up by Odqan Talagan…
She messages this information to Sorqutani…
“Looks like I’m burning some priests…”
Meanwhile, the flaming things pinned by Diddlydoo and Khadagan return the beatings…
Barruk suppresses the fire in the third…shoving it back into its head…
And Ado banishes the two heavily wounded ones…and they are decapitated…
while Breaks continues his ritual to bind the third…
Khut runs off to fetch Hundreds of Dust…and they both reappear almost instantly…

A Steppefolk woman in a khaftan stumbles out of the Golden Nail enclosure…
She says those afflicted with the Black Maw are gathered here…
And its spreading…
We have a long chat about theology…its boring…Nailers suck…
Then Breaks finishes his binding in a full-on exorcist scene…
Heads spin…black vomit spews…someone gets slapped with a book…
And a mirror its glued onto his forehead over the trepanning hole…
And you see not yourself reflected in it, but fire…
“What do you recall?”
“A nightmare of fire and feathers. Pain. Black feathers.”
Flames suddenly shoot out of the necks of the two headless corpses…
They stand up…
And Khadagan promptly shoves handfulls of yokeleaf into the holes…
Arandyr cuts one in half in a splash of flame…
And Khut puts an arrow clean through the head of the other…
We start to get high…and Ado invokes the lord of light…
Then Breaks decides to drag the captured fire spirit in chains before Drowned River…
Time slows, flames freeze, and we’re all dragged into the Cusp with him…

There sitting in the center of the camp are the Lady and Lord, our patron spirits…
They don’t look well…Breaks offers them some marriage counseling…
Here, in this land at least, they are stronger…thanks to the mighty river…
The Nail, it seems, has stolen power from the Mother of Fire and Lord of Light…
He is a seed from the Fade and casts a long shadow into the Verge…
Birthed from the spike which we bear…
“We didn’t break the Spire, the worlds been broken since we started tokin”
He has declared war…not on the spirits…his true enemy hides on principle…
Only the eight, the seven silent ones and Hope, can defeat him…
The Doluyan Ebügen who wait to consume the world at the end of all things…
And one eighth “Good Outcome”…
Khadagan sneaks into the tent where the trepanning happened…
And sees a massive concentration of cancer spores hanging in the air…
Which, of course, he collects…

We come out of the high sitting around a fire…or rather a burning man…
Around us stand robed and cowled people in heavy mail, swords drawn, facing outward…
Nail troops left there to make sure we were not interrupted…for 36 hours…
Breaks proposes a wedding between the Nail and the Fire Mother…
We send the guards to fetch some priests…both Black Crow, Void Sept Nailers…
Abaka, a tall, rail-thin steppefolk with steel-capped tusks…
Doquz, a shorter, portly steppefolk lady with greenish hair and a khaftan…
Doquz under her portly, friendly exterior is a little pissed at the suggestion…
Abaka seems deeply satisfied under his angry exterior…
Doquz starts arguing their freedom of religion…
We have some more theological discussions…
“Can the Nail marry himself?”
“How blasphemous can we get?”
A discussion breaks out into whether or not to keep the spire…
There was much shouting and discussion of laws and crap like that…
Are spirits property? Clan members? Subject to laws? Protected by Laws?
It was very boring and shouty…

Arandyr reminds us that Nergui Axetooth was infected and outside the quarantine…
We head off to the Axetooth camp…and tell them they’re now under quarantine…
Ado pontificates and the rest of us slink into the shadows surrounding the camp…
We head into the black felt traditionalist yurts…lots of ‘mothers’…
Seems like they’re pretty solid into trepanning and setting people on fire…
As their way of ‘burning out the plague’…
And not too clear on the idea that the Nail tents are part of the Tribe…
And their nails are crusted with dirt and blood…
Arandyr, meanwhile, pulls lots of shinnies out of Nergui’s pockets…

Vadim calls up the troops. “We’re going to war!”
And he pulls out a potato…



And the author said, “This is good, this thing I have done.” And he went for lunch and a drink. And it was good!

- From the ramblings of Khut

View
Session 40: The Battle of Sargymir River

CARDS
Fade
Human Relations #9: Conflict Between Wanting to Help a Friend and Cheating
Xian-Yu and the Old Empire
Hulugu

The crossing continues…
Arandyr starts mining the tunnels with explosive wards and zombie bombs…
Vadim and Khadagan head north to try to make friends with some Bears…
Some hunters are chilling out by their long-canoes…
On the Nihil-blight side of the river…
Clearly placed to keep an eye on our craziness upriver…
One even has a telescope…a long bronze eye…
Vadim sneaks in and drops a Holy-Mountain Beast steak on their grill…
They very politely stand up (to full armored bear height)…
“Doesn’t look like a wolf, doesn’t smell like a wolf…”
Apparently they know how to speak Elvish…
We try to talk them into teaching us to sail…
They’re a little confused that ‘greenfolk’ burned their village…
And the Ulfeddin ships on the river…
They tell us their are sailors in Kalpmather…
A walled city…a city…with walls…flamable walls…
Ado steps in and starts trying to recruit them hardcore…
Their leaders are old, slow, wise, secure, etc.
We scare them with tales of 7 armies on our heels…
Apparently they’re expecting some “Imperial reinforcements”..
from the west…to honor old alliances…
We make some tentative alliance…

It is late in the evening…from the Nihil Blight comes a roiling black fog…
Seeping out of fissures in the ground to form an almost solid black wall…
We hear a moaning and the canter of hooves…then black arrows start to fall…
Their scouts lead…Vadim throws up a Wind Wall between them and ours…
We pull the Bent Blades back from the spiked earthworks we built…
Forcing them to close…scuicide squad style in dead silence…
There is a shuddering crash as the scouts close to knife range…
The first one crests…to find one of Khut’s arrow strait through its heart…
The second…takes an arrow right in the eye…
The third…finds Ithunn up in its grill…and has no head…
Then Ado files an entire volley of arrows by himself…
And a roiling cloud of poison gas from Ellen-Dear…
And soooooo many of them are left dead…
Fourteen of them charge Khut…one even hits…he laughs…
AND then everything is pink and sparkly thanks to Squee…
AND they are swarmed under by a pack of Vadim’s cackles…
Then out of the mist come endless, endless ranks of Old Empire zombies…
A barrage of fireballs from the boats rain down into the fog…
And the leading zombies run into some cancer-spore bombs…
But the rest of them swarm the scouts under by shear number…
Giant balls of bones come hurtling, twisting through the air…
Massive, skeletal holy mountain beasts launching HMB skulls…
But most of them were burned to death by the fireball barrage…
And Machek is leading them…
They shell our mages…but the Ulfeddin back-oar hard…
And the giant skulls splash down harmlessly into the water…
Our archers rain death on them from the river…
We run through the tunnels with the bent-blades, weavers, and cackles…
With piles of zombies dogging out heels…
And packs of blight-bird whelps screeching over their heads…
Khut knocks two arrows into the first one…
crashing it into a pile of zombies…and pissing it off…
where it is promptly eaten by a pack of cackles…
Ellen-Dear blasts one with acid, to no avail…
They respond with acid of their own…and it hurts…
Many are scorched…Vadim drops…
Six weavers are liquified…
Several Bent Blades are down by not out…
Ado heals Vadim…Vadim heals the Bent Blades…
The Bents fire a volley, then withdraw with the weavers…
Ithunn runs up a wall…axe-kicks one off of its perch…
And beats it to a pulp…breaking both wings…
Sorq hedges out the zombies with a Wall of Fire…
Turning the first rank of zombies to a fine ash…
Iron-Dear leaps through the wall and executes Ithunn’s bird…
Squee drops the Negasonic Squeenage Warhead again…
There is a shockwave of sparkly pink butterflies…
That reduces the zombies into piles glitter…
Khut puts two arrows in the eyes of the next blight bird…
Then Ellen-Dear blasts one of the tunnel supports…
The cieling starts to collapse…water rushes in…
Steam rushes up from the Wall of Fire…
Zombies are washed…through the wall of fire…
There are 4 rounds before the end of the world…
Ellen-Dear turns, runs, and ticks a delayed explosive glyph…
Iron-Dear swims for her life…
A blight-bird rushes in and chomps Sorqutani…
And promptly bursts into fire…
And Darth Sorq grows even larger and scarrier…
And sucks the life out of everyone…
And becomes resistant to all damage…
Ado prays to the Lord of Light and blesses all our attacks…
Vadim screams out in a primal tongue…
And a strange, multi-armed creature of earth shows up…
It grabs three weavers and starts earth-glide evacuating…
Ithunn surfs the wave of destruction punching birds as she goes…
AND there is yet another Negasonic Squeenage Warhead…
And a blight bird explodes into puff of rainbow feathers…
Khut dives and engages the last two blight birds…
He guts one with a single hit…stabs the second…
And comes up riding it…
And it vanishes out from under him…
Banished by Ellen-Dear…
We run, swim, surf, and ride the wave towards the exit…
behind us zombies continue to flush through the wall of fire…
Everyone grabs a weaver or two and we book it like crazy…
Vadim turns into an orca…
Khut and Squee start piling folks on his back…
We make it out…with 24 Weavers and 5 Bent Blades…

Up on the surface, the cable is broken, rafts are smashed, but we are across…
We are safe on the western shore…We call a war council…
The eastern shore is nothing but fire and fog and wreckage…
We have crossed the river with the overwhelming bulk of our troops intact…
The Ulfeddin and Vittebjorn still dominate the rivers…
The river runs to a large lake…
There is an Ulfeddin city one valley to the west…
There is a Vittebjorn city to the south on an island…
The trees here are not cursed, but the ground is not fertile…
The plague is still a problem, and their is unrest in the camp…
Golden Nail “shamans” continue to be challenged and killed…
We need to rest and reinforce…
but ‘not being chased’ might be a threat to our cohesion…
So we also need an enemy…
We decide to go sack the Ulfeddin city…
We set the Gray Lady to scry the Vittebjorn…
And Iron-Dear explains our chat with the hunters to her…
Trying to get more information about the old alliance
between the Maggotfolk and the Bears…

We have some peace for a while for a change…
Khut realizes that there is meat that swims under water…
And he starts teaching himself and the Nohei to spear fish…EPICLY!
Then Sorq introduces Hulugu to frozen fish…
Ado and Arandear take a longship and sail out to meat the Vittebjorn…
They let Arandyr up onto their ship…
Ado and Vadim perform some rituals to Awaken on the ships…
This should not work…you cannot awaken dead, inanimate objects…
BUT…It totally works…
The massive rampant bear-figureheads animate…
The ropes coil…the sails pull taught…
The rudder moves…finlike…against the current…
An enormous white bear with piercing blue eyes looks impressed…
He looks naked…but is dressed in fur that matches his own…
He puts a paw down on the deck, which ripples, like fluid…
Vedim has a chat with the ship…which is apparently of elven make…
Made of “Bone Wood”…but the Mistresses of the Ivory Tower…
Meanwhile, Ellen-Dear settles in to make some armor for his sister…
Studded leather with iron-wood studs…invested with the spirit of Thorn…

To be continued…



And the author said, “This is good, this thing I have done.” And he went for lunch and a drink. And it was good!

- From the ramblings of Khut

View
Session 39: Swimming Lessons

CARDS
Long Time No See (move bottom to top)
Warblers
Th’tktktkt (snake-boy)
Human Relations Series 2: Learning to Make Friends Through Open Ended Stories

We are still crossing the river, a bit ahead of the Nihil Sept…
Hoargrim says he and the scouts can keep the Nihil Sept busy for 3 days…
But if we can get across we’re solid…
We’ve diversified our crossing capacity…
Amalgam are tunneling under the river guided by Vadim…
using giant borer worms quickened by Gray Lady…
Second we bought a bunch of boats off the local Nohei…
Ulfeddin they call them…

Meanwhile, we’ve all been turned into Orcas by pixies…
And they won’t let us turn back to normal until we do some tricks…
We come to ourselves soaking wet, lying gasping on the deck…
To the sound of manic pixie laughter…
And they’ll never live down the jumping through flaming hoops…
But its the standing ovation from the pixies that really hurts…

We tack upstream (south) on some boats with a ulfeddin skeleton crew…
We’re spread between two boats…mired in fog…
To the background melody of cracking ice…
One of the ships is missing a mast…
but Ellen-Dear fabricates a new one…
Apparently a blighted thunderbird tried to eat us…
Breaks Like Wind arrives on a row-boat floating directly up stream…
Apparently dragged by weighted zombies walking on the bottom…
Near the prow, Iron-Deer hears a splash and a scattering sound…
Oars? and the sound of snarling voices which she can’t understand…
Khut dives in the water (not so stealthily) and swims after it…
“Who’s there?!”
“A fish!”
They don’t buy it…unsurprisingly…
Ahead, through the mist, we see glowing rings of fire…
Barruk: “Didn’t we just jump through those hoops?”
We’re blinded by the light filtering through the fog…
There is the sound of running feet off to our left…
Ithunn leaps out of the boat and…runs on the water…
And leaps onto an ulfeddin raider ship…black fur, long claws…
“Hello, I’m your new swim teacher, today we learn the belly flop”
And she punts one out into the water…
“Your form was terrible!”
Ellen-Dear grabs a floatation device…
Which apparently Ado was sleeping on top of…
Casts light and tosses it out into the water…
Sorq leaps into Break’s boat…
Breaks councils her to challenge them…recruit, don’t kill…
And lays an illusion to make her sound like a Nohei Darth Vader…
“Silly puppies! There’s no honor in this!”
They snarl in rage, rejecting the challenge…
And someone dives into the water…
Barruk lights up our ship with some Thaumaturgy…green and ghostly…
Accompanied by a loud steady beat of war drums…
Arandyr hears five Nohei on head boat, nine on the flanking boat…
And at least ten in the water to the left…
Khut goes…“There are a bunch in the water?”
He dives, they dive, they don’t swim nearly as good…
There is a LOT of blood in the water, and none is his…
Khadagan scrambles up the mast…leaps into the air…
And glides out to the mast of the flanking ship to the right…
And they don’t see him coming…
As he drops onto their helmsman…and assassinates him…
And hunkers down over the rudder…
And they’re going at ramming speed…
As it goes past our ship…
Ado lets out a shrill scream…
and they are all deathly afraid of him…
Ellen-Dear rakes the ship with a lightning bolt…
And Barruk takes a flying leap on board…flaming maul in hand…
Comes down right on the prow…and goes bowling for Nohei…
And all nine remaining Nohai go flying into the water…
Four swimmers and nine archers all go for Khut in the water…
He is scratched…a bit…he giggles maniacally…
Meanwhile Ithunn gets jumped by an entire ship worth…
She takes a beating, and retaliates with vigor…
Punting one through the ring of fire…
Arandyr misty steps onto the shoulders of one in the water…
And double-stabs him in the ears…
Then gets jumped (completely ineffectively) by five more…
Khadagan rams his now empty ship broadside into the left flanking ship…
Khut’s head breaks the water briefly…and he whistles…
Littlewing snatches Ithunn off the lead ship…
And rakes it with lightning…
And then he vanishes back under water and keeps stabbing…
Breaks Like Wind misty steps into the water…in full plate…
Sinks to the bottom…and forms up a phalanx with his zombies…
And lights up the underside of the lead ship with a fire bolt…
And sees that the boat is held in place by a giant snake…
Some long, round, sinuous thing…
Squee turns the crew of the left (rammed) ship pink…
Then drops a shatter on the hull…
Spraying them with splinters of exploding wood…
Two water-bound Nohei climb over the rails of our ship…
Ellen-Dear charges them and blows them to pieces with a thunderwave…
And two more re-board Khadagan’s ramming ship…
They all start shooting…rather ineffectively…
Littlewing drops Ithunn back onto the ship…
Where three large, coiling salamanders have enwrapped it…
Heating the metal of the ship white-hot…
And also slagging our metal guide cable…
The kills one with a single punch…
then punts a second in the water…
and takes the third by the throat…
The zombies keep towing Breaks’ boat…pulling Sorq with them…
And she burns up the five boarders still on the lead ship…
Then they get eaten by some pixies…
Breaks hauls himself out of the water…
And turns a salamander into an elephant…
Which proceeds to stomp Ithunn into unconciousness…
But at least its not on fire any more…
But the guide-cable is starting to groan and fray…
So Breaks’ quenches it with grease…
Barruk leaps the rail onto the left (rammed) ship…
Kills one Nohei with his horns and a second with the hammer…
Khadagan comes right behind him…and three more die…
And Arandyr comes over the rail and knifes the rest…
Then Squee drops some dynamite in the water…and more things die…
Then goes swinging from the rigging across to the lead ship…
Where she wakes up Ithunn…“SHAZAM!”
Ithunn does a backflip out onto the water and heals herself…
Ado teleports to the lead ship…
Drawing off a few of the raiders staring down Sorqutani…
The two of them tank, sending two into the drink as they do…
Then in a flash of light…Sorq is just gone…
Strait into the verge…
And Ado falls back into the water…
Khadagan climbs the mast and glides for the lead ship…
But slams into the side…and lands in the water by the salamander…
Which he of course stabs for good measure…
Khut, still with two swimmers on him, punts one up on deck for Barruk…
Then ignores the other and goes bolting after Khadagan…
The one left behind climbs over the rail to engage Barruk…
And they both get knifed by Arandyr…
And Khut and Khadagan ginsu the swimming salamander…
Breaks climbs up onto the lead ship…
Turns the elephant back into a salamander…
And himself into an elephant…and shoves the cable free…
Right off the back of the boat and into the water…
Barruk swings over to the ship, and engages the salamander…
Arandyr comes right behind, through a tangle of rigging…
Then the elephant upends the boat…with a great splash…
The elephant grabs the cable and starts swimming upstream…
Relieving some of the tension…
Barruk punts the salamander in the water…to be killed by Khad…
Then knocks a Nohei into the water…to be killed by Khut…
And the last one, gets massacered by Arandyr…
With everything dead, Khadagan leaps the rail…
Tears the mast off the ship…and plunges it into the water…
Dousing the burning rigging, and using it to pole the ship…

Of course…we still have a brittle cable to deal with…
Ellen-Dear summons some water elementals to coral the damaged ships…
Then pairs up with Ado to magically repair the damaged chain…
Ado chants and wiggles and prays…and the mist begins to glow…
And Ellen-Dear pulls material out of nowhere…
Weaving streams of liquid silver in an unbreakable chain…
And the silver threads continue to grow out through the cable…
As if alive…
And when the figure of Ormazhd Bay fades…
Sorqutani is standing there…
Meanwhile two barges full of Yaghuth priests meet up along the chain…
Then Iron-Dear hears a ‘CRUNCH’ from upstream…
Someone just dropped several chained-together icebergs into the stream…
Heading strait for the mass of seven boats…
Khut swims up underneath and unhooks one chain…
Then Ellen-Dear’s elementals shove one of the icebergs free…
Sorq reads the current…
Points out one berg heading strait for the Yaghuth…
Ado tags it with a shatter…breaking it up…
but sending a huge chunk right into the barge…
Barruk yells for the Yaghuth to grab the cable…
They all get out…but the barge breaks apart completely…
Then the second boat gets smashed…
Leaving twenty Yaguth swimming…
Squee blasts another iceberg, just before it hits the swimmers…
Deflecting it into the now nigh-indestructible cable…
Breaks Like Wind breaks up the mass with a wall of force…
But a large chunk of it Titanics one of the ulfeddin longships…
Khadagan orders the ulfeddin to turn another ship to ram the bergs…
And they meet it head-on with the ram…
And the last pieces drift away…
We start hauling yaghuth out of the water onto the second longship…

The tunnel is complete…and the warblers start heading through…
Eight more boats come up stream behind us…
Giving us 10 fishing boats (crew 40 each), 1 longboat, 1 warship…
Khut feels strangely at home on these strange devices…
He immediately takes control of the boats…
Gets people loaded, shows then how to row, figures out rigging…
And a third line of transit across the river is opened up…
Arandyr goes to meet the Naiads and starts chatting up her fey ancestry…
Trying to convince them that she is a long-lost fairy princess…
They begin to bring her tribute off the river bottom…
Squee makes her a pink tiara…
Squee starts singing for the troops…
Healing up our cavalry who are massing on the far shore…
Breaks Like Wind starts harvesting salamander eyes…
And starts making himself a shamanic ephod with nine mirrors…
Barruk leads the scouts out to check on what the Nihil Sept are up to…
Finds they are force-marching twenty thousand troops to catch us…
Khadagan, Sorq, and Ellen-Dear settle down to have a long rest…

To be continued…



And the author said, “This is good, this thing I have done.” And he went for lunch and a drink. And it was good!

- From the ramblings of Khut

View
Session 37: Negasonic Squeenage Warhead

Khut’s feeling…
Khut-feels-4.JPG

CARDS
Warblers
Plague — Naquim Blackhand
Human Relations: Grandmother’s Green Bowl – Honesty & Following Rules at Home
CHAOS! — shuffle the whole damned thing

The camp by the HMB breeding grounds are a buzz of activity…
Soldiers, wearied from long campaigning, are finally pulling off the bandages…
Tensions in the camp mount thanks to the addition of the Empty Circle/Hell Horns…
Made worse by the death (presumed murder) of a Golden Nail convert…

We, meanwhile, are still in the Fade…
Khut field-dresses the old-empire brain eaters, makes Vadim a nice mindflayer hat…
The elves loot the bodies:
Scroll of Guidance
Scroll of Identify
Scroll of Eldritch Blast
3 Potions of Healing
We settle in and get some rest…

We’re on a precipice…looking down we see Darkness flowing, pooling, gathering…
Hear a sussurus…a whispering…
Breaks Like Wind points out that there is a storm centered on our Caravan…
Deep Fade energies flowing out of the Deep Fade towards our camp…
Iron-Dear starts tracking the flow…
Around our camp there is a glade of sunlight…golden radiance…
The Darkness cannot get in…
In the center is a candle glowing a deep deep red…
A colour which should be impossible in the Fade…
29 Red Candles circle the camp…
A knot of pure-blackness towards the edge of camp…
We approach the darkness…
It’s big…like House-sized big…
Not really pure dark, but very much like entering the Deep Fade…
Ellen-Dear casts some light…except its not light…just less blackness…
Vadim smells the deep rot of the Fade Cancer Spores…
Shadows gather, coalesce into a corpse-like shape, then recede and vanish…
Breaks says that its Fade energies seeping into the real world…
Like when he animates some corpses…
Breaks casts us back into Reality…
by urinating on the ground around us, his pee falling like quicksilver…
We step out of the darkness, our pupils rapidly undialating…

We come out in a large tent, with a large shrine at the far end…
The shrine is wood, split like lightning, with a giant yellow spike driven through it…
The room is filled with the moans of the dying…and the stench of cancer…
Corpses are stacked against the walls…swathed in death robes…
Empty Circle priests, save that their mouths and eye stitching have been slit…
They are leaning over a body, which is not-yet-dead…
Breaks reaches out to tear out the nail…
Then changes his mind and challenges the head priest…

There is a moan from the corpses stacked against the wall and a puff of black spores…
The head priest raises his hand, holding a glowing red-hot nail towards the corpses…
Ithunn and Iron-Dear leap in and start punching zombies…
Squee then spins and turns the zombies bright pink…
And for some reason there are a whole lot of Ellen-Dears…
Vadim points out that the dark fade energies have been pushed back from the altar…
A seed of flame is burning inside the one on the altar…
Apparently trying to cure diseases…“Black Maw” is going around…
There is a low moaning howl and a zombie blows spores in Ithunn & Arandyr’s faces…
Followed by lots of punchings…
And more spores, tagging Khut, Ado, and Vadim…
Then Sorq unleashes the Pixies!
Ithunn steps up and starts punching some more…
Squee claps at the pink zombies flying across the room…
Then she starts glowing pink herself…in a bubble of anti-wiggins…
Khut is scared, but can still shoot and kill pink things as well…
Ellen-Dear throws down a Thunderwave and flattens several as well…
Iron-Deer also makes with the stabbings and chops up a pair of them…
Sorqutani lights two of them up…
The Pixies keep tearing them apart…
“Oh mistress of toes. I fear to report that some of the toes were destroyed
in our zeal to bring them to justice!”
Ado chucks a giant handful of glittering feathers into the air…
And everyone in the room feels better…seriously…and not so scared any more…
They attack…ineffectively…
Ithunn punches them back…crushing a pair of heads…
Then Squee leaps into the air, does a super-hero landing…
AND goes off like a Negasonic Squeenage Warhead…
AND they are all dead…soooooooo dead…

We have a chat with the Golden Nail priests…they’re curing as many as they can…
But they’re tapped out…they can only help so many…
Apparently the diseased are all veterans of the battle in the cursed city…
We decide to dispose of the corpses…in our way(s)…
Khut has a snack…Sorq burns a few…the priests get reeeeally uncomfortable…
“Welcome to religious freedom!”
Breaks Like Wind says “Hey, if you’ve got a Golden Nail, lets talk to him!”
He walks up to their altar, gets his shaman on, and Contacts Other Plane…
The night sky twists…warps…rotates around a point…
The heavens wheel around the nail, a single star…
Breaks offers to let them ask the first question…
But senses that he is not in contact with the golden nail…
A creature lands in front of him…
Swirling bronze wings, brass feathers, and the head of a warbeast…
The roar of a furnace comes from its mouth…
Which he lets everyone see…
Apparently his name is Soon-Day (Sunde, Sunday?)
“Oh great spirit of the nail! Does this plague come from the spire?”
“NO!” (and the world shakes)…
“Is there one within this camp who wishes for or helped cause the plague?”
‘You have long had a traitor in your midst…’
“Is the plague the doing of the Empty Circle?”
“Noo…ooooo…ooooo. . .”
They ask: “Have we read the auguries aright?”
“The answer to their question is Yes”
“Does you lord wish the death of the unfaithful?”
“All. All are welcome…”
We ask about the auguries…
Apparently they are all in for starting festivals, building temples, etc.
Ado hands the high priest a jar of crushed opal in alcohol (nail polish)…

We head out into the rest of the camp to see what we can do about the plague…
Vadim and Khut have a long chat about whether we should be running or fighting…
Decide that either way we should cross the river to the west first…
Khut checks on the disposition of troops…
Which are NOT good…we need to delay the fight as much as possible…
Vadim takes Swampy out for a swim in the river…
It is much to wide even for Morva to span it…
Easily a half-mile wide…and very deep (but not Morva deep)…
Not fordable by any but Morva…
The terrain is populated by wolf-headed things…
There is a strong falloff of the Fade influence past the river…
He also spooks some black-sailed, outrigger-canoes…
Smugglers caves and pirate coves up and down the river…
We start to organize the tribe to cross the river…
Put it between us and the Nihil Sept…
And if they chase us we’ll turn and push them into the river…
Breaks and Sorq sick the Old Mothers of the Mage Corps on diviner duty…
Diviner-corps says that the disease is our fault…
We unleashed Fade Cancer Spores in the fight against the Old Empire…
And they mutated and spread to affect the living…among our folks…
Sorq stands up a magical quarantine to try to keep it from spreading…
Ithunn, Squee, and Arandyr start trying to track infection rates…
Turns out they are much lower among the Void Sept folk…
The Golden Nail worshippers who caught it early were cured…
But there are only five priests of the Golden Nail…
The source were a troup of front-line soldiers…
They were pinned down by the Old Imperials…severe PTSD
Some were so badly hurt, near death, but were never the same…
Ado teams up with the Yaghuth priests to Hallow a graveyard…
Keeping all the corpses from standing up and turning to undead…
The Golden Nail burning of bodies has kept the spread at bay…
Whereas the Nohai eating the bodies are breaking out like crazy…
Ado, Sorq, and Breaks walk around the Nohai and hand out torches…
Licking plagued bodies with “Tongues of Fire” in place of eating…
Ellen-Dear starts chatting with the Void Sept…
Asking if they have experience with disease of these sort…
The answer is ‘No’…they’re turning to the Golden Nail priests a lot…
And getting cured…which is strengthening their faith quite a bit…
He asks about the Nihil Sept…
Suicide warriors with mastery of destructive rituals and magic…
Poisons…diseases…explosions…

We break camp and head for the river…
Nohai and Warbler scouts fan out through the Blight Forest…
Nihil Sept suicide bombers dogging close on our heels…
Khut stakes out some high ground and rains death…
Ellen-Dear starts fabricating rafts…trees tearing themselves down and assembling…
Every raft gets jumped on by Mage Corps menders…
Then everything slows down…stops…
And the party gets jumped by Pasht ninjas…in the Cusp…

Everyone is stuck one-on-one against a Pasht assassin…
in their own little pockets of non-time…
Arandyr whips out her blade and guts one…then quickly tries to shove guts back in…
Ellen-Dear shunts one into the elevator…
Squee turns one into a bright-pink swirly-patterned slug…
Breaks Like Wind wiggled some fingers and turned it into a hedgehog…
Vadim reaches into the verge, hauls out to faerie dragons…
Dragons shove it into woohoo land…it eventually gets better…
Vadim turns into a bird and calls lightning until it almost stops…
Then drops from the air and clubs it like a baby seal…
Ado…like a really fast kiwi bird climbs all over the cat…
Caughing on it…shooting fire…trying to polymorph it…
Sorq paralyzed it…and lit it on fire…and waited…
Ithunn and her kitty leap into the air…trade kicks…
Ithunn lands on her feat…the kitty does not…
Khut plugs an arrow in his…then there is a flurry of missed blows…
It gets behind Khut, who shoves his greatsword through his own gut…
Stabbing the kitty behind him…
Ellen-Dear’s kitty comes out of the elevator and takes an arrow to the shoulder…
We have a little chat with them…about how they “underestimated us”…
Vadim hands one of them a potato with orders to deliver it to those that hired them…
They won’t tell us about their contract on us…
But tell us that they will not take contracts in the West…
They don’t take contracts from those without political power…
The binding clause of every contract is freedom for their homeland…
They agree to recognize the Altan Ordu as a nation…
And thus take contracts from us…
Like the one to plant a potato on her employer…
Heck, she’ll do that for free…
Their males do not fight…they chill out in the Cusp…
And are the ones who pull them and their targets in to fight…
We head off to chat with Sarafesh…the lead Pasht in our camp…
She seems to think its funny that Feshtik got her ass handed to her…
And that they should not have taken contracts with the Nihil Sept…
We now have 8 pro-bono contracts available in exchange for sparing their lives…

We pack up, round up, and start crossing the river…
Morva trails a steel cable, pulling the barges, rafts, and wagons…
Water spirits start swirling around Morva’s feet…
Ellen-Dear saw it coming…and is waiting at the edge…
And has a nice chat with the spirits…
“We’re just passing through, we won’t bother your environment”…
Iron-Deer moves out in the river and starts mand-hand petting the naiads…
Khut throws himself between a wagon and a fast-moving ice-berg…
Braces…and the berg brakes…splits…and goes right by…
Ado does a little chirping dance…
And drops Freedom of Movement on Morva…
Sorq, perched on Morva’s head starts selectively shelling icebergs…
Which it spooks Morva a bit…shaking Vadim off…
But Vadim turns it into a nice swan dive and turns into a fish…
Breaks, standing in good view, fakes taking an arrow…
A squirt of seal’s blood…and everyone is on combat alertness….

To be continued…



And the author said, “This is good, this thing I have done.” And he went for lunch and a drink. And it was good!

- From the ramblings of Khut

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Session 36: PARTY!

Khut’s feeling…
Rather upset that Naquim Blackhand still draws breath…
Khut-feels-2.JPG

CARDS
Hulagu
Human Relations #10: “It’s My Turn” – Dealing with Anger
Void Sept
Fireeyes
Hook: The Dolmens

In finding the HMB breeding grounds, we have camped in the blasted wilderness…
Additional food is hard to come by…
The camp digs in in muted, sullen silence…
Scouts indicate that the Nihil Sept is nearby to the East…
Chinua informs us that the Void Sept has cut off retreat to the south…
Led by Orbghuz Ironcrown (BWAHAHAHAHAHA)…

Ellen-Dear is meditating with the Yaghuth…who ‘OM’ like foghorns…
He sees a vision of a city…inhabited…at a distance…
Creatures with long, pale hair…
Long-necked like a giraffe…with tall twisted horns…
On its back is a twisted, moving cage like an orrery…
A second later he sees an endless rainforest as far as the eye can see…
And a sense of devistating loss…

Barruk wakes up to a snarl of challenge…and two burning Nohai eyes in the darkness…
Black fur and slavering teeth leaping for his throat…
Fireeyes! (isn’t he dead?)
Barruk rises, shaking his head slowly…
“You really want to do this?”
And Fireeyes gets the horns…and his teeth shatter…
Barruk wakes (for real)…with his hammer burning in his hands…
Oh look…the hammer is Sentient…and thinks that its Fireeyes…

We’re surrounded…again…so…LET’S THROW A PARTY!
We bust out the fatted Holy Mountain Beast…roasting on spits the size of trees…
Massive bonfires are lit…
The music is…complicated…
Yaghuth droning…under warbler melodies, nohai yipping, and steppe chants…
Rust appears at the edge of the camp and scouts call us over to meet some…guests…
We go to greet the emissaries…
In the valley below is a large camp of black felt tents…Steppefolk tents…
Tattered black flags fly in the wind and ranks of soldiers stand ready…
Rust stands with some black-clad folks…
Starts yapping about how we are brazen and over-bold…
Then a big, scarred orc calls for Vadim’s head on a pike…
Orbghuz Ironcrown and Naquim Blackhand are here…
They’re here to discuss a truce?
REALLY?
They want to join our Ordu…under our Yasa…
And only want freedom of religion for it…
We call a council of war to talk it over with Hoargrim…
There is a long…long talk about whether or not to accept them…
We’ve stolen beasts, stolen troops, stolen cities…
What keeps us from stealing a god?
The answer to monotheism is synchrotism…
There is some worry about splitting the camp…meh…
Khut: “We’re going about this all wrong…
We’re much too sober to make these kinds of decisions…”
We call the vote and 9 to 4, decide to let them in…
AND it becomes one hell of a party…
Families are re-united…Hellhorns and Black Crows and Drowned River coming together..
Including a whole bunch of Black Crow shamans who quickly join us…
Casting off their black cloaks…and letting Squee paint their faces…
Squee starts up some arts and crafts with the new children…
They tie-die some robes…
Ithunn points out to grumpy parents about the freedom of religion clause…
Ithunn takes the Amazons out for a training exercise…
Khut calls out Naquim…and gets cock-blocked by Giggles…
Because there are no challenges during the party…REALLY?
So Khut challenges Naquim to a smoke-off…and kicks his ass…
Ellen-Dear and Sorq get the magelings to put on a firework display…
And set some trees on fire…and put them all in contact with the spirits…
There is acrid tension and hatred in the air…
Both the old mothers and the black crow shamans jump into some cutting…
The rights take a turn even a bitter darker than Sorq is used to…
Ado has a chat with Altan about acquiring large swathes of black silk…
And makes some silk shirts for the troops…
Vadim and Barruk team up with some Fertility priests…
AND casts AWAKEN on MORVA THE ANCIENT HOLY MOUNTAIN BEAST!
Vadim clambers up by Morva’s ear and tells him the story of our beasts…
“You would like to charge your enemies, yes?”
“I suggest stepping on them…”
And Barruk steps in to discuss getting the beasts to partner with riders…
Getting Morva to tell them to “Stay still, at first”…
And Barruk spends a lot of time encouraging “Trampling” as an idea…
He might need some apples…
Rust starts moving among the people “doing good works”…
Reuniting families, managing strained relations from the splits, etc.
Khadagan and Hundreds go off to work on his armor some more…
Crushing some purple lotus to make a dye to colour the whole thing…
The wings are woven out of purple lotus fabric…
With thread-of-gold insect-like traceries…
A flaming circle of gold is etched in the chest…
Anything that bites him must save or be blind or deaf…
And the wearer is deeply terrified of the colour pink…
Squee: “We need exposure therapy!”
Iron-Dear goes off to spend some quality time with her spear-tusk…

Everyone dances the evening away (or meditate as appropriate)…
Everyone is stuffed with meat and fermented mare’s milk…
Khut and Khadagan notice that someone has been raiding our store of apples…
It is definitely not that Malik-shaped person hoofing it through the darkness…
There is also a light dusting of fade-cancer spores over all the plants…
We are hauled out of our sleep in the middle of the night by a hubbub…
Khut wakes up beside a passed-out Naquim Blackhand…
Urinates on him before catching up with the others…
Where Petrana and the Tradestoners have assembled an unofficial constabulary…
Yelling at a stone-faced woman standing unbuding in the middle of the yurts…
An angry crowd is gathering…
And the three biggest troublemakers find themselves Held by Sorqutani…
The fight ends before it starts…Petrana explains…
There was a scream from a yurt…
Belonging to a black crow soldier and his estranged wife…
AND Iron-Dear is in the tent, as usual…
A burly man in Empty Circle robes lies bleeding on the ground…
Raised bands on his arms…like nettle stings…
Rust convinces the woman to let us in to have a chat…
Ado modifies the woman’s memory to grant her perfect clarity…
She tells us her husband gave her a gift brought back from the EC…
A forged golden nail on a silk chord around her neck…
She smelled something like burning gulchberries…Madcackleweed…
Her head swam…heard whispering speech, then grinding noises…
Rust points out that the golden nail is a popular symbol among the converted…
The golden nail that pins the sky to the home of the gods…
Which rotates around the seven-starred constellation of the great bear…
Barruk blesses the nail and tells her to keep it as a memento of her husband…
Sorq finds the scuffed-out traces of a ritual circle…
And his head has a hole bored in it…death by trepanning…
Khadagan also finds traces of a paralytic toxin…
Green Lotus…the really rare, good stuff…
Khut looks at the nettle-welts…
Not nettles…precision work with a very fine whip…
Then does an autopsy on the body, head, brain…
Which is more like field dressing, but whatever…
Inside the mouth he finds a black crust…
Which Khad identifies as mutated fade-cancer spores…
Ithunn points out a neat curlycue of smoke rising from the fire…
AND raises the alarm…

There is a cracking sound…and an arrow materializes and cuts one of Ithunn braids…
AND another arrow is in the air from Khut’s bow…Ithunn tries to deflect it…
AND there is a surprised ‘Meow’…and a Pasht falls off of a tent…
Ithunn has a nice chat with the Pasht (Sarafesht)…who she owes a favor…
Apparently someone has taken a contract out on us…
Apparently they want the ones in our camp to be delivered to them…
One of those ones is the mother of one of their best assassins…
But is obscenely overly attached to her offspring…
Who is the one who is going to kill us apparently…
They take contracts to protect their homeland’s sovereignty and independence…

Vadim goes down on all fours and sniffs…a faint waft of incense and the Fade…
Barruk puts the scouts and mage-corps on alert for possible Old Empire intrusion…
Sorq brings in the coven…It’s time to smoke up…
“We’re like the super-dark version of the powerpuff girls”
The three sisters share a creepy meal…and their eyes turn creepy-green…

AND…we are standing in a lush, verdent forest with gray-green leaves…
The delusional dream-elf-twins notice…something…like we’re being watched…
And Vadim catches the very very faint scent of incense…
Khut and Iron-Dear take point…
We find a valley with an arcane circle with alien, old imperial ideoglyphs…
And a quartet of cloaked figures gathered around a twitching, bound body…
Arandyr creeps up to investigate…
And realizes that the valley isn’t really there…
A precipitous cliff dropping away into nothing…
And the hooded figures are looking directly into a mirror in their hands…
Creepy old imperial with long tongues with eyes on the ends…

Khut launches some arrows, which bounce off some suddenly raised shields…
Ithunn and Barruk go leaping in…with similarly ineffective results…
Khadagan follows and manages to sink its claws into one…
Then Squee makes them blurrily pink coloured…
Vadim’s cackles show up and tear into them…pulling one down…
Ellendear animates some little rock monsters to join the grand melee…
They try to telekinetically fuck up Vadim and Iron-Dear, but Ellendear shuts them down…
And Sorq treats us to a brand new kind of fire…immolating one…
Ado vanishes in a puff of purple smoke and appears in the melee as well…
They hammer us with mind blasts, stunning several…
Mostly Khut and Khadagan…who stand there for a long time doing nothing…
Rust runs to clear the blast radius…
Then one raises a Wall of Force between them and the cliff…
Iron-Dear appears and knifes one…and it dies…
Sorq drops a fireball on everyone…
One of them is blown strait off the cliff…
Then Ado…who had just been standing there…stabs one…
With a dagger…which pricks it…AND
Simultaneously mind-fucks it and inflicts a contagion…
Ithunn kicks one’s head clean off…
Squee drives the last one mad…and he gets eaten by the cackles…



And the author said, “This is good, this thing I have done.” And he went for lunch and a drink. And it was good!

- From the ramblings of Khut

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