Campaign of the Month: February 2016

Rise of the Durnskald

Ozzo Fizzlewyk's Guests
Session 17

Ozzo had received the letter just a few days ago, it was a missive from Dax simply stating “Prepare”. Ozzo knew who and what he was preparing for. They were coming, and they would be bringing her with them. That meant that he would be arriving in short order as well.

Ozzo twitched, his left eye blinking.

His house would need protected against them. His friends would see to that, surely. As surely as the moon rises in the sun and stones bleed sweet honey like the small screaming cakes that they are. Ozzo liked the way the stone cakes squirmed in his mouth when he bit them.

Ozzo decided that he wanted cakes. He told his friends that he required one. A small red one if they could find one for him. Ozzo liked the red ones the most. He liked to imagine that they tasted of something more exotic than the brown or black ones. Yellow ones were good too but those had been gone for quite some time, Ozzo had either eaten them all or they had rolled away when he wasn’t looking.

Ozzo hated it when they rolled away. They were his after all. Everything Ozzo could see was his. Everything would eventually be his, it was his birthright. He knew that as surely as he knew that the moon rose in the sun. How he wished he was one of the scaled wyrms of legend, then no one could stop him. Ozzo was fascinated by their power and ferocity.

Ozzo twitched again, a shudder working its way up his long and slender spine that made him quiver excitedly. Ozzo knew what that meant too. He saw them enter the city and knew where they were staying.

They would be his shortly.

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Looking Glass
Session 15

Markus Endrok looked up at the dreary gray sky with disdain and a touch of fear. What he had seen shouldn’t have been possible, even when he entertained the possibility of divine intervention. He had never seen anything even remotely like it before.

He surveyed the carnage all around him. The Imperius lay shattered in many smoldering collections that could only be referred to as piles, twisted scrap metal and shards of wooden beams. His officers had either all died in the blast, died when the Imperius forcibly became one with the swamp, or had abandoned him for dead amongst the wreckage. He really couldn’t be sure at this point since his outlook and health were fading faster than he cared to admit.

Markus had lost much in the crash. He had tried taking a mental inventory of the damage he had withstood, giving up scornfully when he had tallied no less than three life-threatening injuries before he got to anything below his neck. Markus was blind in his left eye, without a mirror he wasn’t even sure if his eye was still physically in its socket. He could say with confidence that his skull was fractured in at least two places. He couldn’t move his lower jaw anymore either, which upon inspection was because the majority of it was missing. Markus was baffled that he hadn’t bled out by now.

Perhaps that man who was approaching would have the answer, not that Markus could ask the question. Markus was dismayed to realize that he was hallucinating again when the man turned into something more akin to a reptile fish thing with cracked and smoking skin, grinning at him maniacally as it walked closer. Markus made eye contact with the hallucination, his breath taken away by the aura of menace that surrounded it. In that moment Markus knew that this was no hallucination but a harbinger of pain and flame.

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Imperius
Session 14

There was a hard knock on the door leading to Dax’s study.

“Come in, Gavon.”

As the door swung open Dax could plainly see that it wasn’t his dutiful assistant. Consulate Seneschal Archeusio Rex’Amon burst into the room in a flurry of white robes, his face lined with anger. Several men in heavy scale armor followed Archeusio into the room, their weapons drawn and gleaming in the lamp light.

“Dax, you have failed to contain the Pergisurcians as we ordered. They have fled Bestheda Garrison and are now running rampant, turning the populace against us! How could you have let this happen? The Consulate demands answers or you’ll hang for this!”

Dax stood slowly, meeting his accuser’s gaze.
“Archeusio, need I remind you that there are to be no drawn weapons in my presence? You presume to enter my home in the dead of the night demanding answers by swordpoint?” Dax motioned to the men behind Archeusio. “Do you ingrates even know who I am? I am Dax Orbidal, Grand Arbiter of The Consulate. I am the settler of disputes, the master of war, and my command is unequaled…”

Archeusio cut him short. “Except for The Six. Your command is granted by their grace and favor alone. Gloried Elder Markus Endrok hasn’t returned from the south yet and the Imperius has gone missing. The last communication we received from the Imperius is quite damning, if I were you I’d beg for my favor now before you incriminate yourself further.”

“Quit mincing your words, ‘steward’. Why would I require the pathetic favor of a worm such as yourself?”

“The Imperius was attacked! We lost one of our flagships to Linden, another shining beacon of yours that you failed to smother. Markus may be dead, and it’s on you! They haven’t even located the ruins yet, we just know that the ship was obliterated in the swamps by some sort of ‘super weapon’ on Linden’s ship. A ship, I add, that you commissioned to have built in the first place. A ship, I add again, that was stolen out from under you at the very moment of its completion! A ship, I add now thricely, that was designed by and was carrying the Mechromancer! Gods only know what he did to it afterwards. Do you have any idea what this means?! The Six do.” Archeusio’s eyes were wild with fury and his thin lips curled into a sinister smile. “It means that you have been stripped of your titles and lands and are now my prisoner!”

The three armored men were on Dax in the blink of an eye, the brawl short but bloody. Dax struggled feebly, his senses muddled from the pain spreading from his now broken jaw. They locked the manacles and gave Archeusio the key, then hoisted Dax abruptly to his feet.

“I, Archeusio Rex’Amon, hereby declare in the name of The Six that Grand Arbiter Dax Orbidal has been accused of treason by virtue of negligence and that he is to be stripped of his property and titles, at which point he is to be remanded to my custody until which time he can stand trial for his crimes.”

Three more armored men were waiting just outside the room.

“You three, take him to my airship and lock him to the ring in the floor. The rest of you have done a fantastic job and well, it looks like you’ve earned a tasty reward. Dax has two children downstairs, an older daughter and a young son. I think the boy would make for excellent target practice. As for the girl…” Archeusio looked over at Dax. “How old is she Dax? If I remember correctly she’s turned fifteen recently. Well, I trust I don’t have to explain to you fine men what a fifteen year old girl is good for.”

Dax struggled against his captors but was silenced by the crash of a scaled fist to the remnants of his jaw. He fell limp.

Archeusio eyed the room savagely.

“Take what you want but burn the rest when you finish. We leave before the sun.”

Watching from behind the bookcase Gavon knew what to do.

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Grand Arbiter
Session 13

“Sir, I’m going to read the contents of this missive out loud to his lordship at his pleasure.”

“Go ahead Gavon.”

“All right Sir, it reads: "Grand Arbiter Dax Orbidal, it has been brought to our attention that there is a small group of Pergisursians inquiring about our “ancient history” in Burcia. See that they are silenced. Don’t involve Admiral Perth or the royal guards as we wouldn’t want to tip our hand."

Dax stood from his chair, a grimace cemented into the features of his already stern and broad face.

“This is troubling. If that scoundrel Linden gets involved there will be complications. Gavon, where are his last known whereabouts?”

“Certainly Sir, if my sources are correct Linden was last seen no longer than three weeks ago hiding in the farmlands to the north of Bestheda Garrison.”

“His airship?”

“Its location is currently unknown Sir, we know that it is in the south somewhere but we haven’t located it as of yet. We currently have four patrols to the north of Mossgate with six Bolt class airships waiting in the swampland for the signal to proceed. Once his ship is spotted we’ll have Linden in chains within the hour.”

“Good to hear it Gavon but increase the Bolt’s to eight and send word to our special agent in Kardak as well, he may be getting visitors. What to do about these foreigners…”

“Sir, if I may make a suggestion?”

“Go ahead.”

“Thank you Sir. These foreigners are presumably ignorant of our ways and customs and may not realize what exactly they are prying into with their questions. This is unfortunate, as you are well aware our law puts very serious consequences on stirring up this particular bit of our past. It would serve in our best interest to capture them and hold them as our “guests” until we can ascertain what they know and who sent them. Then we send them home, comfortably."

“A valid idea with some merit but I don’t think it will be that easy. It isn’t explicitly stated but if we aren’t to involve the royal guards or Admiral Perth that really only means one thing, the Pergisursian group contains someone of influence, likely a royal or one of their House leaders. Either way, if they are sent home I don’t think it would matter how well they were treated. We would have a situation on our hands, one that could jeopardize The Consulate’s plan. This is ill timed. What of the search for the Mechromancer?”

“Yes Sir. The insectoid automatons continue to plague the lands to the south of the swamp, and have been spotted as far south as Bestheda Garrison. Considering that these automatons are effectively self-replicating it has proven extremely difficult to locate their master by their locations alone. Of larger concern are the newer automatons encountered in the mountains south of Mt. Krag, as they are of a variety that is previously unknown. We have identified a total of four different models so far. Wolf, Hawk, Snake, and Tortoise. Models Wolf and Snake have proven formidable. Given their locations it is likely that the Mechomancer is hiding out somewhere directly south of Mt. Krag in the swamps. I have a bigger concern though Sir.”

“Oh? Proceed.”

“Well Sir, these automatons are scaling up in complexity and size. What if he learns how to reproduce himself?”

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ARC Application - Summer Sky
Session 12

Name: Summer Sky
Race: Unknown ~ She appears vaguely Elven but with more rounded features.
Gender: Female
Hair Color: Light Blonde
Eye Color: White/Blue clouds ~ Verified, damnedest thing I’ve seen all year.
House: None
Chapter: None
Profession: None ~ Adventurer, perhaps? Not a spellcaster, her aura is ill suited to it.
Skills: I can absorb the writing from books. ~ She means this literally, as in, hand her a book and she’ll give it back to you blank.
Personal History: I can’t remember much from before, just bits and pieces like a dream I’ve since forgotten. Darkness. Pain. A table of some sort, perhaps an altar? A woman that was with me, she was like me, she was my… my sister? Whisper took her from me. I remember an ocean, and fire. So much fire. Then I was woken, and here I am. ~ Yeah, this is basically meaningless on its own. The others in her group stated that she was recovered on the beach after the wreck of the San’Gill and that they have been caring for her since then. According to them she remembers virtually nothing prior to her recovery, I verified this with House Blackshade.
Family History: I think I had a sister once, but she was taken from me. ~ See my notes above.
Administrative Notes: Eh, I think that this one may prove more of a liability than an asset. She doesn’t know where she came from and the only clues that she can give us point to the Durnskald. Not just any Durnskald mind you, but to Whisper, one of their “leaders”. House Auvraela’hass is being hyper vigilant with this girl and wants her out of the country as soon as we can manage it. They even sent us citizenship papers to make her official so that she can use the airships and rail systems to get about, granted her maximum security passage while they were at it. I don’t even have that level of access, it’s ludicrous. The group she’s with is completely mixed House too. Something is seriously wrong with this scenario. On top of all that, we caught a guy trying to skulk about in his half-plate babbling some nonsense about “Directive Seven”. The poor kid took a nasty blow, that much was clear from the blood and the caved in helm, he’s lucky to be alive but I’m not sure we can fix him. Get this though, he had a sketch of Summer in his pack. I had old Ironeye look into it, says there’s been “a ruckus” at the warehouse next door and that the blood on the floor was barely dry. Whoever it was cleared out before Ironeye could track them. I don’t know what any of this has to do with Summer here but I’ll be glad to see her and her entourage off tomorrow morning.

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Libram Novus Arcana, Entry 2078 - Subject "Sky" - Report A
Session 11

Libram Novus Arcana, Entry 2078 – Subject “Sky” – Report A

The subject is not only awake but is speaking fluent elven, which she appears to have learned by literally absorbing the knowledge from the pages of the book she was studying. The mechanism behind this phenomenon are unclear but I think it best as a precaution to remove her from our library facility before any real damage to the books can be done. Subject “Sky” has been named Summer by Page Luon’s group, and Summer seems to like them.

According to several of the reports I have received she is able to sense when The Durnskald are near, and now we have ascertained that she can absorb the words from books. This presents itself as a perfect opportunity for us to gather additional information on what other sorts of abilities Summer may have. The arrangements were made the moment we had formulated the ritual to break her connection to The Shadow Veil, the letters were sent tonight to the Houses involved. Now we wait for the last representative to make himself known, Medius Libri Victor Skarsgard seems to think that one of their specialists will be sent, a Drow if I remember correctly.

This should prove interesting.

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Libram Novus Arcana, Entry 2072 - Subject "Sky" - Report F Mark 30
Session 10

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Entry 2072 – Subject “Sky” – Report F Mark 30

Subject “Sky” has been deemed exceedingly dangerous to interact with after the incident (ref: Section E Addendum 17, Addendum 31, and Addendum 40). Our lady wants her to be either removed from our facility or be taken to a more secure and shielded location for further testing. This has not been mandated only because we wish to preserve our good relationship with the Houses that Subject “Sky’s” compatriots belong to. Mark my words, Subject “Sky” is an abberation of a most heinous sort and will be the death of us all if we continue to perform our tests on her. Page Luon will need to uphold her end of the bargain soon or we may not be able to help any further due to safety concerns.

In other news our windows haven’t looked better in many a year.

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Libram Novus Arcana, Entry 2067 - Subject "Sky" - Report B
Session 9

Entry 2067 – Subject “Sky” – Report B

Subject unresponsive to external stimuli. Subject also rendered arcane spellcasting useless when within ten feet, arcane magic becomes far too unpredictable within that range. Divine appears unaffected with the exception of magic with specifically restorative effects (documented under “Section E”).

More interesting are the attempts at Exorcism that Subject “MHGCOOK” seems to be initiating. A means to perfect this process has been established with the consent of Page Luon, a “loan” of sorts in our Progenitor’s style. Further study on the Subject’s part will be required but he shows great promise.

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A Welcome Sight
Session 8

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“Notify Unit Zexys that the target has made landfall and to enact Directive Seven the moment visual contact has been established. If any of the Custos or Libris catch wind of our involvement this operation will be compromised, Unit Zexys must maintain silence until the appointed time. Rendezvous inside building six; maintained silence and wool on the reeds, no exceptions.”

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Redux
Session 7

With a scream of fury Cinder leapt onto the deck of the Promontory Piddock, lashing out with claw and flame. His mind racing with the urge to kill, he made no effort to use any sort of strategy and was rebuffed after landing several nasty blows on the half-giant and goliath. He could still hear her voice, could still feel her breath in the darkest recesses of his consciousness, calling him, beckoning him, seducing him with her whispered words of power.

He retreated back to the water where it was safe, swimming under the craft as it floated on the surface of the ocean. He could hear them, shouting and searching, fumbling around in their weak bodies. He would scour the ocean clean of their vile presence, that would please his mistress.

That was when he noticed that one of the fools had crept close enough to the edge of the ship for him to strike again, so Cinder did so with fervor. Back on the deck he could see that his hatred was manifest, burning them with its righteous flames. The half-giant and goliath engaged him again, this time with the fey-thing. Confused that the fey-thing wasn’t burning like the others he was caught off guard, taking several hard strikes in rapid succession.

He was hurt and the voice was telling him to retreat, so he threw himself overboard again. The fey-thing followed. Focusing his rage he let loose a shrieking blast of flames and swam ever deeper to escape, vanishing from view.

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