Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The Rebellion Arc - 14: The Night the Sky Cried Tears of Fire

In which both Kethranmeer and Nakmander fall, and only one gets up. 

10th of Fourthmonth, 9996 DK
Once within the wolf-iron Dwenoren tunnels, Nakmander's group and The Robust Five (More Or Less) quickly came to the end of the tunnels and found a circular chamber with a skylight. Nakmander and his sorcerers used sorcery to excavate the opening so they could get a wider view of the sky and then set forth to creating a ritual. The fifteen sorcerers were aided by Derf, Xein, and D'alton in the crafting of the ritual. The sorcerers chanted, Derf etched runes to channel power into the floor, Xein laid down lines of sorcerously reactive powders, and D'alton gave birth to sorcerous shadows to enhance the energy of the ritual. Once the ritual was fully begun, the sorcerous energy within the chamber began nauseating and weakening the group.

Nakmander then explained that it was time for Kusseth to pay for all they'd done to his people and his city. He spoke to his cronies of making martyrs of Kusseth's innocents, innocents that had not raised a single hand in defense of Nakmander or his people. Nakmander said that they would use the falling stars themselves to make Kusseth pay. Kethranmeer and Xein said that they had friends and family within Kusseth that could be injured by the meteors brought down on  the city. Nakmander commended them for their noble death in the name of his cause, Kethranmeer and Xein felt this was not the way it should be and Kethranmeer leapt forward to attack the sorcerers and Nakmander stepped to their defense.

At this time, Gonigi Montoya rappelled into the chamber with forty wardens and Brasscoats in tow and all Hell broke loose and people began shooting and casting and generally just making a mess of everything. Derf immediately levelled his most powerful spells against Gonigi while Kethranmeer attempted to get past Nakmander to the sorcerers and D'alton and Xein attacked Nakmander with bombs and pistols. Derf's spell almost destroyed Gonigi then and there, but the warden managed to cling to life long enough to retreat and restore his vitality with his psionic powers while John attempted, and succeeded, in clotheslining Derf to keep him from killing the warden.

As the ritual began to reach full power, Kethranmeer fell to Nakmander's spells, his body reduced to slag and scorched rust by Nakmander's most powerful spells. Nakmander had not sought this and screamed at the group, asking them if this was enough of a price to pay for Kusseth's safety. Derf began attempting to take control of the ritual while John and Xein attacked the sorcerers and D'alton continued attacking Nakmander. Nakmander began marshaling his power, seeking to unleash one of his most  powerful spells upon the group, but sorcery slipped from his grasp and his power burned out the air in the chamber in a violent flash of sorcery that left most of his soldiers unconscious from lack of oxygen. Nakmander too was knocked down by his power, and D'alton stepped forward with a blade forged from Kethranmeer's own blade finger and plunged it into Nakmander's face. 

Derf managed to take control of the ritual, and in typical Derf fashion, directed the falling meteors at the northwest of Kusseth City, because he felt like it. Gonigi and the group engaged in brief dialogue, Gonigi was admonished when he irreverently lamented the death of Kethranmeer. Gonigi had only vague words for the players and pointed out that Nakmander's body had disappeared. He and his wardens and Brasscoats left quickly to head back to Kusseth to help restore order. 

12th of Fourthmonth, 9996 DK
The group, with Kethranmeer's body in tow, arrived in the 295th district of Kusseth City seeking to return Kethranmeer's corpse to his creator, luckily able to enter freely and safely due to the devastation the ritual had wrought.  They found the warehouse empty of A'lst. Their investigation revealed a thick layer of dust on the floor, but they did discover what they determined were the tracks of five Soulless in the dust, along with what they assumed were A'lst's small footprints. All six sets of footprints left the warehouse. Not knowing what else to do, the players left the warehouse and headed back to Hell.

16th of Fourthmonth, 9996 DK
The group returned to Hell and found their mansion and businesses in good order. Well aware of the fact that Nakmander's body had disappeared, they laid Kethranmeer to rest down in the bottom of the mansion near his forge, and set to defending their home in the event that Nakmander attempted to strike at them, if he was still alive.

Edit After The Fact: This was the final scenario of The Rebellion Arc. This run down doesn't really show it, but there was a lot of discussion and role-playing during and following it. I was so sad when Kethranmeer died, I actually had to get up and leave the room for a moment. As I've said before, I am too invested in this shit. Also, Gonigi was a warden errant of Kusseth that had previously interacted with the group in the hopes that they would help him root out Nakmander's plans and aid him in defeating the sorcerer. I don't recall if they every informed Nakmander of this, but they didn't exactly help out the warden. I guess I should explain the blade finger bit as well. When Kethranmeer was the Beast/Spineplate of Beltan, the wardens there fitted him out as a mining creature and replaced his hands with large wolf-iron claws that could hack ore out of the earth. Eventually, Kethranmeer requested that Xein and D'alton help him out and remove the blades and replace them with fingers and he returned to using hammers. As a sign of friendship with D'alton, Kethranmeer forged one of his claws into a short sword for D'alton. 

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