Sunday, 19 June 2011

Divine Intention: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Gods - Part 4


Chapter 9 Part 2
Cool for Cats

“What attracted Lerissa to Carnack is mostly unknown. If there was a sexual or emotional element to it this was almost certainly unseen. There have been many debates over Carnack Cousland's sexuality and lack thereof, but there is not a single documented case that indicates he was ever interested in any sexual fulfillment. As a result then we can say with good confidence that the two's relationship was platonic at best. A practical man like Carnack found Lerissa's abilities to be of great use, and likewise Lerissa found Carnack's stone free lifestyle to be a more desirable future than the stuffy politics of Farrelite society she was intended for.”
- Simon Niel – Strange Acquaintances

Meanwhile, Carnack and Lerissa decide to leave Megi and Damon to their own plan and to take care of the other Generals themselves. Naturally without the DM's character around to shoehorn (or indeed abuse) us into following a specific route, Carnack and Lerissa were free to deal with the situation in their favorite manner. By setting things on fire. It wasn't all easy though, the DM decided that we weren't going to get away with it, and had the camp attacked by driders, giving us the choice of either aiding the soldiers or using the attack to finish them off. The general took a fireball to the face, and Lerissa used her teleportation to get her and Carnack out of there before they got a nommed' by spiders.

The group finally reunites with a frosty atmosphere between them. One of the targets remained before the Varassian forces could be united. This last general was specifically an extremist when it came to the Varassian fear of magic, which made it really easy to capitalise upon. The plan this time was unanimously agreed. Damon would use his divine costume changing powers to make himself a high priest and the general a secret member of the Black Hand. The rest of our characters would create the desired illusion that he was casting magic. Damon's player, who himself was very adept in dramatics, relished this part, verbally crucifying the general in front of the Varssian troops, who was executed shortly afterwards.


Chapter 10
Diplomatic Inconsistencies

“So then, came the siege of Memmnon City. Defending were the conspiring Black Hand, the bulk of who's force was made up of the members of the populace that had bought into the preachings of their puppet dictator, Revenant. On the attacking side were the united forces of the Farrelite invaders and the remaining free forces of Varassia not under Black Hand rule. The battle was almost certainly one sided, and once the walls were breeched, the defending forces were almost instantaneously routed. Many fought on however, to what would be the bitterest of ends.”
- John Barlywood – Conspiracy and War in the North

The endgame was finally in sight. I confess that the first half of this session was all a little bit of a muddle to me. Deciding to be a bit of an arsehole (as Carnack would be anyway) my character found himself excluded from most of the diplomatic talks between the two sides. From what I do remember though, is that Damon did most of the talking, and the best he got from the xenophobic commander of the loyalists was that as soon as the city was taken they would turn against the Farrelites. This didn't really sit well with Megi but beggars can't be choosers eh?
The next half of the session involved breaching the city gates to allow the army to enter. This involved using Megi and Lerissa's teleportation abilities to bypass the walls. Lerissa and Carnack decided to sit out Damon's confrontation with the guards by climbing a drainpipe and hiding on a roof. Finally though the group split up to secure the area, and Carnack was the one nominated to tackle the gatehouse. Fortunately he passed his stealth check, sneaked in, dispatched the guards and allowed the army to enter the city.


Chapter 11
And May Your God Go With You

“What remained of the cleric known as Tom was a creature of high emotion and lack of empathy. Revenant was known to sway between theatrical feats of benevolence and fits of pure rage. The power he had been granted was far beyond his control, and the more he tried to harness it the more it railed against him. By the time of his final battle he was nothing more than a shell holding back divine and infernal fire and fury. A force nothing in the realms could reasonably harness. Those who choose to remember Tom, do so only thinking of the simple man that wanted to change the world”
Denton Romulus - Bound for Glory: Those who dared to change the Realms

And finally, the payoff. The group of four practically ran into battle against Revenant's divine forces, eager for combat. There had been enough talk and negotiation, now was the time for action. Revenant was almost unstoppable, and a helluva lot of healing surges had to be used to keep our guys on their feet. I'm pretty sure that Damon was knocked down at least once, Carnack and Lerissa came close. Fortunately with each drop in Revenant's health, he would harness more of his power from within, showing cracks in his visage and lowering his AC, Reflex and Fortitude, as well as the power of his attacks.
After steamrolling the divine lord it all became too much for him, and trying to harness the last of his reserves he ended up almost imploding and melting himself. Leaving nothing but a charred corpse welded in his final stance. The city was now liberated, but it wasn't over yet, there was one more score to settle...

“Unbeknown to many, the former head mage of Farrel had been scheming for longer than many had anticipated. He had attained litchood many centuries ago, and used his guile and cunning to draw attention away from his agelessness and dabbling in the infernal powers. He had planned to use the chaos in Verassia to help himself to divine magesty. The mage had planned to use these powers to further harness the Palantír, one of the legendary spherical artifacts that contain vast arcania and knowledge. With the death of Revenant, and the fall of the Black Hand, he had nothing left but to try and consolidate it now, his last chance being the power held within the cleric Damon.
- John Barlywood – Conspiracy and War in the North

The head mage symbolized that last and most important goal for our characters. To Carnack it was through the mage's death that he might finally obtain the ancient texts that would give further clues involving the ancient map. To Megi, he was the key to her finally graduating to rank within Farrellite society. To Damon, he was an affront to everything he stood for, he had been the cause of Damon losing the grace of Ioun. To Lerissa, who knows.

The battle was equally as hard at Revenant, if not more so, but being the final battle it gave our characters the chance to roll out everything they had. In desperation, the mage harnessed the power of his magic orb, which would obliterate everything. Damon finally grasped the abilities of his divine power he had obtained from the sleeper, and thew himself at the orb in order to contain it. This led to a battle of wills between Damon and the mage, as the two fought against each other in fierce mental combat.

Damon won out, just. It had been agreed between his player and the DM, that Damon would be given a heroic sacrifice to bridge this campaign for to the next. The session ended with Damon's funeral. What a downer.



“...and so the period of malcontent had begun. With Revenant's death, Memmon city had returned to the crippled visage caused by the great fire, and the lycantrhopic plague returned to the fringes. The driders were still pressing the mountainous regions, seeking resources and slaves. Farrel now controlled the country, though loosely at that, as after the siege many of the loyalists broke lose again to continue a war of attrition against the invaders. Revenant's charred remains persisted, forever a reminder of how they got there.
To the bordering nations, Farrel was now looked upon with suspicion. Once a trusted trade ally, kingdoms like Wardovia, Andavia and Florantine begun to ask themselves if they would soon become the next target of Farrelite ambitions. Diplomatic relations between the states, soon became strained.”
- John Barlywood – Conspiracy and War in the North

“Despite being awarded respectable titles and land, Lerissa had no interest in returning to Farrel. Instead, she and Carnack disappeared for a time, likely involved somehow in Carnack's continuing quest into the mystery of the Bahamut shield he encountered in Wardovia. The question remains if this was still a mystery to Carnack, as since obtaining the Farrelite texts, he seemed to have a smug air of knowing exactly what he was doing from this point on.”
- Ella Howe – Not Now, Not Ever: Existences most Wanted

“Megi was granted a more than modest reward for her services. She was given substantial land within Farrel and a position of Mage Minister within the governmental organisation. She chose to defer her seat however, instead to see more of the realms. As to whether there were noble or devious intentions to this choice, remains to be seen.”
- Crispin Lennon – I Don't Want to Spoil the Party: Famous Farrelites

“On the day of his remembrance, Damon's values shone through. It was presided by a prestigious high priest of Ioun. It was attended by many who had fought alongside him, those from the Wardovia Job, the affairs in Verassia, and even old ship hands from his sailing days. Nothing would show his importance more, however, than the arrival of an old acquaintance, seeking the Cleric's aid in a time of dire need. Without Damon, he would have to rely on those who knew him best, and hope his values would shine through them also...”
- 'Tripshot' Murphy - Anthem: The Adventures of Damon Volume 2

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