Campaign of the Month: September 2012
A Manifestation of Chaos
Session 62 Expanded
2nd – 4th Day of Flocktime CY 623
Location: The Free City of Greyhawk – World Map
Map Tab Color: Orange
Part 1: Ellifane
Ellifane slipped into the darkness lent by the clouds covering the moon. The night air was crisp and cool – even for the season. The feeling of the night breeze across her bare arms felt oddly familiar yet distant. It had been some time since she had been back on the Material Plane. It seemed a lifetime ago. Indeed, it was a life ago.
She chuckled as she nimbly vaulted up to the low hanging roof to avoid the incoming Greyhawk city guard patrol. Her accute senses could discern the heabvy breathing of three humans, even amongst the noise their armor made. She lay prostrate on the overhang and held her breath as they passed, their mail armor clinking. Soon the steady metallic sound gave way to the calm night again as the patrol passed out of earshot.
Her orders were clear. Infiltrate the temple grounds, deploy the device, and kill Luthianis and High Priest Justineous if the opportunity presented itself. A cruel smile crept across her lips. Orders were orders, but when she had her lord’s permission to slay one of these holier than thou types, it stopped being work and became fun.
Ellifane scaled the outside wall and slipped behind a statue to some pagan sun figure. Pulling the white robe out of her haversack, she took a moment to spit on the effigy and curse the sun god. After donning her white and golden robe, she tucked her haversack and blades underneath.
“Imaginem Programina”, she whispered clutching the amulet around her neck. Within moments the dark elven deatures and demonic sigils running criss-cross across her visage had softened and now were replaced by pale white skin and flowing blonde hair.
A light gave evidence to someone coming behind her. Quickly, she knelt into the the respective pose she had known before in her former life. The footsteps were softer and the swooshing of the walk meant this person was unarmored – most likely in a robe.
“The Morninglord hears your prayers child, but for my sake, please tell me what troubles you that you break sleep to meditate.”, an older, gentle male voice implored.
With lightning speed, Ellifane swept her serrated dagger from within her robes and in one sweeping movement opened the priest’s neck before ending the momentum burying the blade into his heart. The old man gurgled for a moment and then crumpled onto the ground.
Blood splatter covered Ellifane. Her face was wet. Smiling she licked her lips. The thrill of the kill and the taste of human blood – it was something she could never get enough of.
This little incident though meant that time would now be a factor. Someone would be missing the old man soon enough. Unfolding her magical cloth and revealing a large black opening, she quickly moved the body into the hole. It disappeared into the arcane darckness. Folding up the portable hole and tucking it into her satchel, she scanned the horizon.
As nothing seemed amiss, she moved towards the wrought-iron gate entrance to the inner-circle. Once inside Ellifane saw what she was looking for – a large dias with a pedestal and a sun-like gem-encrysted globe on top. Reaching into her haversack, she pulled out the device the demon lord had given her. It was round, dark red, and fleshy. It seemed to flash with electricity from the interior sporadically.
Placing her hands on the pedestal and closing her eyes, she murmured, “Lapidem Figura”. The stone glowed momentarily and then seemed to loosen into a gel-like form. Ellifane planted the device into the mushy innard of the pedestal and remolded the outside with her hands as the spell efect began to wane.
If her lord was right, this would start events which would lead the way for the Great One to return. Ellifane smiled evilly. “Now”, she thought, “wasn’t there a target of opportunity to see to?”
Ellifane moved to the corridor and slipped inside an open window disappearing from the night air and into the candle-lit halls of the Temple of Pelor.
Part 2: Justineous
Justineous stirred. Sleep was a comfort he had not enjoyed peacefully for some time. For months now, events were happening which pointed to ominous ends. Every new tiding bode of dark motives and the recent news from Gilnaeus was quite troubling.
Heironnians arguing amongst each other, Critwall about to fail, fallen angels, and potentially worse – a dark lich manipulating the weapons of the four horsemen. Justineous rose from his bed and moved to a nearby chair to consider things more. His mind strayed thinking of the people of Greyhawk. They must be protected.
Suddenly there was a rapid kock on the bedchamber door. “Radiant Lord, important news”, a familiar voice whispered.
“Come in, Deacon”, Justineous commanded. “What could it be now?”, he wondered.
Once the door was shut, the tall whispy man bowed respectfully and then ambled to the sitting high priest. Justineous looked upon his faithful servant. Deacon had served him over the last two decades. He looked very old and tired tonight – but there was something more his visage belied. Deacon was afraid.
Trembling, Deacon made out, “Radiant Lord….Luthianis has been killed in her room. She has been slain by a demonic blade and I cannot bring her back. Even now, she has faded forever from our existence. I have requested help from the city, and roused your retinue. We must get you to safety.”
“The relics?”, Justineous asked abruptly. If someone had penetrated the Temple grounds and targeted Luthianis, then they may be after what she was examining, “Are they safe?”
“I have doubled the guard on them and am going myself once you are away, however…”, Deacon stopped as a horrible, blood-curddling cry erupted from somewhere nearby followed by the sound of battle.
“Look at me, Deacon”, Justineous held Deacon’s shoulders, “Go protect the relics at all costs. I have something I must do.”
“Yes, Radiant Lord”, Deacon hurried from the room and shut the door. The cries and clang of battle had now roused the city alarm. In the courtyard, the sound of metal on metal and something else…infernal speech. “So this is your next move”, the high priest thought.
Justineous quickly opened a scroll tube and pulled a parchment from it. In quick sweeping strokes, he started with the things his heart feared, yet he knew must get out, “Over an eon ago, a malevolent power walked the world and almost destroyed it. Only the combined power of Light and Darkness were able to bind it in slumber until now…”
The sounds of battle drew louder. The high priest dropped the quill and quickly wrapped up the scroll into the tube, then closed his eyes and whispered, “Travelicos Aegon”.
With a small poof, the scroll tube disappeared. Justineous said a quick thanks to Pelor and then paused.
“Show yourself”, the Radiant Lord commanded. “Veritas Vision”, he exclaimed moving his hands over his eyes.
“Hello dear friend”, a sinister voice rang out.
“Gilnaeus?”, Justineous managed. Not much shocked the old man, but this was unexpected indeed.
Part 3: Ancalagon
“Master”, the metallic voice of the iron golem droned, “scouts report that the test subjects are the the abduction site of the temple…bzzzzz…grrrrr…whirl”. “Assets are in position for interaction”, it continued followed by a series of clicks.
“Yes, send in the informant and gathering model. Have Unit R763 take the form of a girl. Let’s see what type of hand we have been dealt here.”, Ancalagon commanded. This should be interesting. Some upstart claimed royalty and titles and his merry band of misfits were late-to-the party heores. Why did Gilnaeus bother with these…undesireables?
With a wave of his hand, his chair moved to the nearby table and a disembodied hand removed the fine cloth covering a globe-like object. As the runecloth slid aside, a swirling crystal ball was revealed.
“Usque Vigilantes”, Ancalagon whispered in the arcane tongue. The scrying device blazed in a thousand different colors and then settled to reveal the wake of the Temple grounds. A small girl was walking towards a minotaur. This should be good, he thought.
The Sorcerer watched as the girl spoke with the hooved warrior and then frowned as the girl walked away almost as quickly as she came. This might be harder than initially though, he came to realize.
“Send in the messenger”, he said not even looking towards the looming iron construct.
“Cling…cling…cling…Yes, Master”, the metal giant replied in a monotone voice.
Ancalagon watched as the messenger delivered the note to the party and they passed it between them and examined it.
“Will I have to come get you myself?!?!?”, the Sorcerer cried exasperated watching to puzzled looks on the adventureres.
“Bing…click..zoom…I do not require assistance, Master…”, the iron golem began.
“Not you-blasted hunk of mindless metal! Although I dare say you don’t pretend to be some hot-aired bag of wind from Vevenig.”, Ancalagon remarked.
His attention turned to the sphere again watching intently. The group had made it to Harrow Point. Good, he thought, they will be here soon once they pass the defenses. He mused thinking of the reality rents they were about to experience. It would be good for them, he considered, the magic starved were hungry after all.
Part 4: Rumple
(More en route – stay tuned)
From the personal journal of His Grace, the High Watcher of Vevenig, Arch-wizard Entil-zha the Dragonslayer.
This day started as all my days have since I was a youth with my morning devotions to Lord Cuthbert. I then prepared my spells for the day, as my lord rightly teaches routine is the father of discipline and discipline is needed in all things. I prepared extra teleport spells as I knew I was going to once again have to sit in on tribunal at Citadel Black, with Lord Aegon Baratheon and the witch Drexella.
As I gathered my things for my journey, my military commander Ufnash informed me that my Castellan, Ghyffrey intended to hold court for my loyal vassals. I informed Ufnash to delay the proceedings and I would interrupt my trip to deal with the troubles of the small folk. Ghyffrey while a good and noble person lacks the stern authority and judgment to impress upon the small folk the necessity of maintaining order and discipline. A child coddled is a child spoiled.
Administering justice is a vital duty of every lord, and often noblemen or those in power man may dismiss what these people consider to be problems but not I; a lord’s duty is exactly that, his duty and if one were to ask if these issues really require the personal attention of, I , The High Watcher of Vevenig, Arch-wizard Entil-zha the Dragonslayer, who has single-handedly brought low hostile giants, terrible demons, hideous aberrations and deadly dragons; I whom have brought wisdom to fools and intellect and reason to every endeavor; I would without hesitation say yes, they do. For the small folk need the guidance and wisdom of their betters, so that they may more effectively go about their lives doing the menial yet necessary tasks that are beneath great men such as myself, for thousands of years, the lowest classes of the lesser races have spent their lives laboring under the lash of their betters, growing food, crafting mundane objects and erecting monuments until finally they drop down and became one with the dust through which they trudge. All of that needs organization, without organization and rules; well you have chaos… just chaos. What kind of world would it be if chaos was the norm? The kind sorcerers would run no doubt and believe me, that is no world for anyone to live in.In the first case, the cobbler’s son and his friends tipped a farmers cow and broke its leg and now the cow must be butchered depriving the farmer of the expected income that the cow’s milk would have brought in for the season. I sentenced the youth’s to perform hard labor on the farmer’s land until such time as thrice the value of the cow was worked off.
The second case was more serious, Ghyffrey took it upon himself to defend a half-orc was caught stealing ale. (In most cases, the interbreeding of races is a detestable practice which often results in a being that is significantly less than the sum of the wholes from which he was spawned , although truthfully almost anything mixed with Orc is better than being an Orc). While scientifically I understand satiating one’s curiosity by creating something new, the existence of such beings in general is just a bad idea). Ghyffrey, pleaded for mercy for nearly ten minutes with many excuses such as the half-orc’s upbringing, abuse he suffered as a child and a number of other non-factors. The bottomline though is that this wretched creature has free will and freely chose to steal; Lord Cuthbert cannot abide thievery, such degeneracy must be harshly dealt with by swiftly inflicting horrific punishment on the offender. I had one of the Half-orc’s hands removed at the wrist and a rune of shame branded upon his forehead so all that come upon him in the future would know him for what he is. Even while the hand was being removed, Ghyffrey, pleaded for banishment instead of the righteous punishment the half-orc was receiving. (This is why Ghyffrey will never be a true lord of men, he cannot make the hard decisions. What would banishment do? It would create a problem for someone else that’s what it would do, furthermore banishment would serve no daily reminder to all of the other smallfolk who happen upon this wretch as to the consequences of one’s actions. These are the type of hard decisions a lord must make as a matter of course, they cannot be agonized over, they just must be done as unpleasant as they are).
More to come…