Yo Ho Ho and a Bottle of MemoryEdit
The session opened with the party arriving back at the Black Band base with a celebrating crew and welcoming party. The Black Band immediately broke out the festivities in honor of the success of the mission. There was drinking and gambling, and amidst the chaos, Atterum approached Dax and asked him for a moment in private.
The party joined Atterum in a private room, and he told them he was going to break a few cardinal rules of the Black Band. He pulled out a bottle and presented it to Dax, telling him it was his lost memory of his time with the Band, and that drinking it in the Wyld would restore his lost time. He also gave him a black jade horn, telling him he would understand what it did once he drank the memory.
The party enjoyed the festivities a little, but they had noticed their prayer transceiver modules had ceased working. Amber sent off prayers to Viridian, Plentimon, and Taru-Kul hoping to get some answers, or at least let people know of the situation.
The next morning they departed for the Mother's Sanctum. There, they spent some time fashioning artifacts out of materials they had gathered using the Maker's Loom, including a key to Yu-Shan and a couple combat-oriented spellstones. They also made a mixture using the Phoenix Cauldron, dubbing it "The Flame That Marched Against the Sea," that mixes with water to create a holy flame. They headed north to the Wyld, and Fern used her increasing prowess to slightly modify Largo at his request.
Dax downed the bottle, and memories came flooding back to him, manifesting in his mind and his surroundings. He recalled his time spent with the Black Band, years of pirating and sailing. He recalled an attack from undead and ghosts, when he and Atterum were on the same ship, with eels crawling up out of the water and implanting the fallen, reanimating them into zombies. Dax had barely managed to wipe out the opponents, which had been led by an Abyssal, and Atterum was wounded. The rest of the crew was dead. Not seeing any other option, Atterum had directed the ship to a small island nearby and blown the black horn. Black-robed monks had shown up and tended to Atterum's wounds, and they told Dax about the Emissaries of Perfect Water. The group was dedicated to protecting the West, and they worshiped the spirits of Okeanos, the sunken continent.
Given Dax's connection and that he had saved Atterum's life, Atterum being a particularly high-ranking member, he was quickly initiated. However, many of the others were not pleased with his membership, as they likened him with an Abyssal from years before. An Abyssal named Scourge of the Crimson Tide, who had been present when Dax's village had been raided. He had received the Black Exaltation while a mortal member of the Emissaries, and had caused a lot of death and problems to them.
Dax had spent the rest of his time with Atterum, who still felt like he owed Dax a debt. In all, Dax's membership in the Emissaries had changed little, as he still worked under Atterum with the Black Band.
Two More Deathknights fallEdit
The party checked the Coatl's personnel tracker and saw that Leviathan and Serentatis' arrows were waving about madly, clearly thrown off somehow. Cid explained that when someone is hidden or trying to hide, the Tracker does not reveal their location, as a safety measure. Piqujait's arrow was still stationary, and the party headed to his location southward.
They located the Lunar in the smoldering remains of the town they had last seen him in, leading the remaining Icewalkers. He explained that they were badly outnumbered, and the Silver Prince's forces were in two major encampments to the west. The party heads north to the Wyld to fashion supplies, including a large supply of powerful Gossamer equipment. Fern keeps a suit of gossamer chain swathing for herself, in the form of layered robes.
The party struck the first encampment, composed primarily of zombies and ghosts. Dax flew overhead, spraying the lot with holy flame, salt, and fire. Fern launched a few spells, and care was taken to separate the leaders from the larger zombie pens. Once the encampment was thoroughly in disarray, Largo and Amber led the troops in and wiped the disorganized, moaning rabble in a mighty strike before the leaders even had a chance to retaliate.
At the second encampment, the armies were mostly of living mortals. Dax and Fern took up a new strategy of trying to eliminate the group's leaders, all war ghosts, and was largely successful in the endeavor. Dax launched his two Reaver Drone companions at a pair of them using the Coatl's grenade launching systems.
As Largo led his troops in, it became apparent to the enemy leaders that their troops weren't going to hold up while the party was in command. They called out for a duel, and the party, eager to avoid unnecessary bloodshed, quickly agreed.
The leaders appeared to be a pair of deathknights; a comely young man in black robes bearing a whip and a smile, and and irritated looking female wearing black soulsteel lamellar and brandishing a bow.
Largo dove in quickly before anyone else could react. The Abyssals dodged his strikes, and the one with a whip retaliated with a potent Charm, which deflected off of Largo's armor. Dax tried to use the Coatl to the party's advantage, lighting up the battlefield with holy fire, and Amber tried commanding the fire in to taunt the Abyssals into attacking her. Fern launched a few spells, requiring further dodging on the Abyssals' part. The woman with the bow and Fern began firing at each other, but neither was able to connect.
Dax, and then Amber, landed blows on the man with the whip, sending him reeling into a fence. Largo spotted the aerial duel between Fern and the woman, and leaped up to grab Fern's adversary. Seeing an opening as Largo prevented her from dodging, Fern launched a Flying Guillotine, killing her instantly. Largo dropped back down and landed a terrible blow against the remaining Abyssal, shredding his body to pieces.
Amber convinced the remaining troops to follow Pick and help rebuild, and Fern and Largo brought back supplies from the Wyld. Pick found some papers in the Abyssals' tent that indicated that they were trying to gain entry to a First Age facility to the north.
New Questions and a New FriendEdit
The party headed to the facility and found a fake manse with a trapdoor underneath. In the icy chamber below, they met a strange entity who seemed to date back to the First Age. It introduced itself as I AM, though with a hint of bitterness it stated that it would better be titled "I WAS". It implied that it had very important knowledge that it needed to depart, but that its protocols demanded it not speak of the matters.
I AM stated that it needed to be reborn, recreated from the spark of consciousness that spawned it. As its reboot protocols established, it was entitled to ask the Exalt bearing the shard of Brigid five questions of its choosing. With a hint of satisfaction in its voice, it began its questions.
What caused the God-Kings to fall? Fern first suggested the Dragon-Blooded, then the Sidereals. The party made a few more suggestions before hitting on the Madness of the Solars, which I AM identified as the answer he was looking for.
What beings are powerful enough to curse the Solars with madness? There was a pause. Fern tentatively suggested the Primordials. I AM eagerly agreed, and hinted that the question was very important.
What three races did the Mother save? Numerous guesses arose from the party, including the Dragon-Blooded, the Jadeborn, and humanity itself. The answers I AM was looking for were the Dragon Kings, the Lunars, and the Lintha. This caused some discussion amongst the party, as a Solar rescuing the Lintha seemed irrational and unlikely.
What great mistake did the Mother create? The party listed off several of the great evils around Creation, but I AM stopped them on the Deathlords. Exactly how Brigid enabled the Deathlords remained a question.
What is your name? I AM, growing impatient with his programming closing in around him, simply wanted to escape. Unfortunately, when Fern said, "Adamant Fern," I AM was surprised to discover the Essence of her answer was a falsehood. Fern stopped, and thought, and the party offered help. Remembering the alias suggested by Amber a week ago, and pulling the information as if from nowhere, Fern stated, "Saychel Araka".
Fern pressed her caste mark against the icy wall, and I AM presented her with a gift; her vision was much sharper, and readouts and assisting imagery now appeared in her vision. I AM then burst into hundreds of crystal shards, and from the center, the fabled Sword of Ice emerged. In an eager, childish voice, it asked Fern what its name was. Fern named it Aetla.
The Rescue and the TrapEdit
The party installed the memory shards into the Coatl's systems, and Shade, now fully sentient, emerged from the ship's console. He gave the party a salute, and they filled him in what he had missed for the past several hundred years. Aetla listened eagerly.
Shade did what he could to pinpoint Serentatis' location, breaking his own protocols since it was a bit of an emergency. The party headed westward, to the ocean, eventually coming across the ship Shade assumed Serentatis was in.
They dropped down to find the ship deserted. Amber quickly identified the situation as a trap. Fern scouted out the ship with her vision, locating several mortals huddled in a corner belowdecks and Serentatis, weakened, right nearby. The party headed down, and undid the Lunar's gag. Serentatis looked at them and said, "You know this is a trap, right?" Amber nodded, and the party undid Serentatis' soulsteel bonds. As they did, the mortals leaped out from the nearby barrels... and promptly panicked and started fleeing upon seeing Largo's rage. Except for one. A tall, lanky figure in a long blue jacket produced a vial of a strange black liquid. With the phrase, "For my Prince," he dropped it. Amber attempted to grab it, but it was too late. It shattered, and a black vortex surrounded the party and Serentatis.
The party felt a weightless, floating sensation, and saw a kind-looking figure step out of the darkness. He wore an opal mask and robes of razor-edged silver, and was calmly applauding. The party recognized him as the Silver Prince.
He and the party calmly discussed a few points, such as the Prince's desire to snuff out the little empire the party had been starting. Amber and him agreed to have a peaceable meeting as soon as the party got out from where they were headed. The Prince, chuckling and amused, agreed to her request.
The Prince departed, and the darkness around the party seemed to coalesce into a pool before them. They found themselves sitting on a tattered stairway of black stone, leading down into a pool of perfect blackness. And around them, they felt and heard voices. Hundreds of voices, thousands, whispering and babbling madly. The Whispers of the Neverborn. Behind them they spotted the outline of an enormous stone tomb.
Amber looked over to see the man who had set the trap, who was breathing heavily, lying on the stairs, and emitting a faint silver glow. He stirred a little. She looked at him, noticed the silver outlining him, and asked, "Can you sing?"
Character Thoughts and ReactionsEdit
Steve is glad that the session went about as he had hoped. Looking forward to seeing how you deal with the new things as they change; the new situation should present some interesting challenges.
Largo likes the new Soul mechanic and is now looking for other components *cough Howl's Axe cough*. Can't wait to torch Hell.
Alexa still giggles manically every time she thinks of this session. So much awesome, so little time. Do let her know in the future if she gets too wired and annoying. Also, she's been terrible at role-playing lately... if you catch her in the act there, do poke her. She means that.