Session 28 – The Ball: Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy
Session 29 – The Ball: The Party of the First Part
Session 30 – The Ball: Head Like a Hole
200xp due to being cut short
Recap: The luscious banquet was interrupted by two minor incidents: the brutal cranial goring of a rogue mage mid toilet break by Magnus, and the liberation of a dancing bear by Ana. Afterwards Ana found herself dancing with three spirits – dawn, noon and dusk who gave her a mission from the legendary Baba Yaga; acquire the metal box carried by the man in the butterfly mask, but beware of the blade sheathed at his side.
Session 31 – The Ball: Nobody Let the Cat Out the Bag
Recap: Attempting to repeat his previous success Magnus lurked in the toilet once more, this time for butterfly mask. However the preternaturally skilled duellist blocked his narwhal strike before it drew blood. Meanwhile Ozric interrupted an assassination attempt on , and intimidated and commanded the culprit Gunther Reikburg into his service (on parole). Viloman, Magnus and Ozric chased poor butterfly mask through the servants quarters and into the ballroom, where Ana danced him into submission and acquired the metal box, before the trio chased him down into a skaven infested sewer on zero wounds. Shallyan priestess Sophia arrived with troubling news about Lucius, and it turned out that Draal was back possessing someone and tormenting him in ethereal form. Between Ana and Ozric’s flaming swords however the daemon didn’t have long for this world, and was sent back to the empyrean. In the aftermath of the ball there were a surprisingly large number of unconscious drunk people with Cathayan longswords and large cat masks.
Now that the ball is over the group intend to fly North to Kislev through the Empire, in pursuit of the crystal keys.
Session 32 – Altdorf: It’s Raining Men?
Recap: Answering a summons from the Emperor the characters travelled to Altdorf to attend a garden party held in honour of the festival of the occult and celebrating Balthazaar Gelt retaining the status of Supreme Sorcerer for another half decade. They flew partway before landing silently in the Reik, surprising a few other vessels when they lit their lamps.
They docked for free and explored the city, seemingly gilded from the decorations celebrating the victory of the master of the college of gold magic. The markets were stuffed with magical curios, items and animals suitable as familiars. Magnificent illusory displays were on every street corner, and street food that changed colour or flavour were highly popular.
Ana took the opportunity to visit the temple of Ursun to pay her respects and ran into Carp who bought her dinner and tried to persuade her to join the priesthood.
Ozric went to the temple of Myrmidia with the Priestess Wren. It was while they were both praying there that they were attacked by bounty hunters sent to kill Wren by Gunther. Ozric sensed their intent and dealt with them swiftly. Upon seeing the grandmaster of the blazing sun icon the priests thanked him and dealth with the bodies, no questions asked.
After the garden party they met the Emperor informally in his throne room, to explain the details of their quest – his curiosity piqued by the predictions of his Celestial mages. As they entered into the chaotic details Karl Franz summoned Gelt as counsel – to verify the details and advise on whether he should turn them over to the witch hunters or assist them on their quest. They were shocked at the return of Lucius Helden.
At the perfectly inopportune moment a swirling maw of darkness appeared in the ceiling and dropped Kaleb Daark on the throne room floor before vanishing. He was smoking as though scorched, and clearly injured. Priestess Sophia was summoned and persuaded to heal the chaos champion, saving his life, although she was unable to fully restore or awaken him. The characters were invited to stay at his Imperial Majesty’s pleasure in the wing of the castle for special guests.
Balthazaar came to discuss matters with them, offering them one of his journeyman wizards to represent him on their quest. They requested a bright mage, and also asked whether he would be able to work with Sophia to restore Lucius. He agreed readily, stating that he would be honoured to assist the legend. He and Sophia spent the night weaving their magic over his mind, and removed all of his trauma and insanities.
Lucius left to reconnect with the Sigmarite witch hunters.
Session 33 – Altdorf: Old Friends and Unknown Enemies
Recap: Ozric joined the blazing sun grandmasters council…
Session 34 – The Forests of Hochland: Squatting Cousins
Recap: On their way to Talabheim the group are blown slightly off course into Hochland where Ozric gets a vision of his sword. He finds his ancestral home is currently inhabited and being roughly rebuilt by his cousin Zenna, who tells them about cultists periodically assaulting the place, and driving off her workers. In between there and the local village they (Nym’s scouting) find a strange dome of magic, visible only through witch sight. They discover it hasn’t extended through some forest created gaps – such as a large hollow log. On crossing through they discover a group of violent cultists, previously invisible due to the barrier, who attack.
Session 35 – The Forests of Hochland: Inside Plunder Dome
Recap: They defeat the cultists and capture one, recognised by Ozric from childhood as the son of the Mayor of the nearby village. On hypnotic interrogation they discover that he is now the mayor and the cult has a central temple and daemons, ruled by the patchwork herald – a name that makes the characters understandably nervous due to it’s resemblance to The Patchwork Prince. They return the cultist to the Pride, but as Ana tries to leave the exit is cut off when the log shatters.
They travel to the centre disguised as cultists (in masks and cloaks) and walk confidently into the temple – in the middle of a clearing floored with strange echoing purpleish glass shifting colours, with the twisting temple spiralling up through it. It is guarded by ranks of daemon guards who ignore the characters. They pass cultists bathing clothed in strange glowing pools and convince two cultists guarding the doors of the central chamber to let them pass. Inside is an altar resembling twin girls back to back and leaning over, the dome seems to be spiralling up from them. Also truly out of place is a huge rock with a sword jammed in it. Ozric looks at the scene with magic sight and sees a huge serpentine Lord of Change, who offers him a deal to take the sword and leave Ana, when he refuses she offers him to take the sword and just leave. Ozric refuses both and that’s how the next session will start with a fight with a greater daemon who has spent her first turn casting aethyric armour. Good luck I guess?
Session 36 – The Forests of Hochland: More Like Deflator Daemon
Recap: So the greater daemon was defeated with depressing alacrity. Once it was gone Ozric drew the Harbinger, his ancestral sword from its encasing stone, it’s pure metallic ringing sounding strangely triumphant, the blade seemed to have properties of light magic. The group destroyed the daemon’s chaos weapon, and then opened the gates to face the daemonic horde. Two flamers, two chaos spawn and 22 pink horrors. The rupturing mutating powers of the horrors caused sufficient damage to fell Viloman, only the inner grail-born light protecting his life and soul. Once the characters destroyed the altar the temple became unstable, patches vanishing, and chunks of the warp-stuff crashing down.
They fled outside only to find the surrounding woods had grown alien and hostile, the trees whipping their branches and attempting to corral and cluster when not being observed. Seraphina‘s fire walls and crown proved invaluable at deterring them. They discovered the waves of hostile magic possessing the forest and its animals seemed to be coming from two spots = one amber one green. Naeve the spite spirit spotted a huge imposing tree in the direction of the green power, and the group managed to navigate towards it. The tree was gnarled and twisted, with Karin Lapnyov’s form at its heart, mouthing vile rebukes at Ana, and vowing to drag them all to hell. Blade singing, Ozric charged at her with The Harbinger levelled at her chest. Her branches lashed at him, but he was able to dodge, slice and parry them all before plunging the sword up to its hilt into the tree. With a scream she was gone, and the tree burst into white fire, burning from the inside out.
Then the squirrels attacked….
The Burnings of Konnigsveld
Recap: Insects biting and stinging at their exposed flesh, rabbits, squirrels and birds harrying them, deer and wolves flinging themselves at them, the party travelled inch by agonising inch to the source of the amber disturbance. The location was a huge deep pit, with a winding scaly path down into its shadowy depths. Vilo and Magnus descended, only to discover that the depths held a sleeping dragon, with the remaining sister Erin’s torso sticking grotesquely out of its head. The two of them prepared to fight it. As its eyes snapped open Ozric gained a clean line of attack with his gun, and shot it dead in the eye, making that eye blinded. Meanwhile Nym leaped gracefully from the edge and landed square on the back of the leafy reptile, running up its spine to attack Erin directly. In three blows he slew her, and as she died she evaporated into light. The dragon went to thank them and leave but the prospect of slaying a dragon was too much for the Grail knight to pass up. It scrabbled away desperately with but a thread of life left to it, covered in gashes from the wicked blades of Magnus and Viloman. Viloman chased it deep into the knight, himself near death, but his exhaustion caught up to him so he summoned Brightwing and flew away, vowing to return.
The village of Konnigsveld had seen its fair share of flame during the chaos incursion. After a great trial presided over by Magnus, Ozric and Lucius it saw more, as over a dozen cultists were consigned screaming to the pyres.
Where did they learn to negotiate?
Recap: The party returned to the Harbinger homestead to find a distinct lack of guards at their posts. Alerted to danger Viloman began to scout aerially. Unable to spot anything he landed to peer through the windows. Meanwhile Nym, Seraphina, Gunther and Magnus were approaching the front door, and Ozric climbed up to the upper floor locating an unboarded window. Nym approached the house with preternatural speed and entered, only to hear a voice from the landing above ‘Stop. We have hostages. We just want the hand. Please give it to us so that we may leave.’
Slipping through the window Ozric spotted a hu jingshen – tiger beastman – lurking in the shadows. It was distracting by the conversation below, so Ozric fed the hand some power so that it could reach the creature’s dagger, drawing it and cutting its throat. It died with barely a sound, blood dripping through the floorboards to the room below.
Viloman, with inexplicable quietness, went to the stables with Brightwing. He pressed his blade through the edge of the door to lift the door bar and entered, while murmuring soothing words to the horses as his massive predator-steed followed him in. Heading to the kitchen door he picked up a bucket and lobbed it at the stable door while slipping back into the shadows. The beastmen charged past him, got a look at the terrifying hippogriff, and two of them fled. Viloman pursued them and a messy combat ensued, particularly as the beastmen in the next room split up and started executing the guards held hostage therin.
Ozric snuck into the next room, peering through cracks and spotted his cousin, bound in a group with guards and watched over by several beastmen, mostly distracted. He launched in to fight the group trying to interpose himself between the beasts and his allies. He used the hand to untie a guard, and started killing tigermen. One grabbed his cousin and held a blade to her throat, threatening to cut it if he didn’t just surrender the hand. Ozric in turn attempted to pull his head off with the hand; he nearly succeeded but could not quite do it, then overcome with waves of horror as the beastman moved to cut her throat he felt an offer from the hand, accepting it the hand plunged its nails into him, draining his blood and the creature’s head was torn clean off by the subsequent burst of power.
The group in the foyer entered combat with the speaker beastman. They peppered him with magic and arrows. Nym used one of his arrows of roots, binding the creature’s legs and arm to the stone of the building. The speaker started to cast a spell, intending to control Nym and force him to hurt his allies, but the winds were against him – he miscast, rolled up, and was torn up into the air, the roots ripping chunks out of him, and tossed off the landing. He landed in a heap and died at Nym’s feet.
The remaining tigermen were hunted down and killed, but one – Rasheth – was spared for questioning.