Mesdames et messieurs, nous avons l’honneur ce soir de vous présenter la nouvelle collection de Tyvernos Oriflamme et The Playboy Band."
Jidian this guy, leader of Northmoor,
a-huntin’ Glaivites, with a brand new bar,
Virakoth with me tonight,
you’re Jidian this guy…no mattress!
Keep a-huntin’ that bitch, Sister Gaea,
in the Tower of Stone with an Algor Giant!
Thoth won’t help you tonight,
you’re Jidian this guy…molasses!
Archfiend me tonight!
March find the Glaivite!
We’ve fought everything in sight!
Fight until we see the daylight!
Jidian this guy, ranger not a bard,
a-firing his bow, that he strums real hard
Hobie-cat with him tonight
He’s Jidian this guy…badasses!
Dear mother, dear father, the events of the last forty-eight hours are very distressing. Though I would not count myself foremost among the world’s saviors the powers-that-be would not have me forget it; it appears as though the Legion of Northmoor is incompetent. When we offered them the opportunity to strike out against iniquity and to rail against the evil of injustice they gladly grasped and groped. Now, however, it would appear that CrIsis is being called in to do their dirty-work. We always were the more capable of the two — the Glaive Quest clearly beneath us — but when things took a turn for the worse they called in their superiors to get the job done. So, it would appear, the most distressing event is the fact that renown ranger Jidian Kulder came to CrIsis with a teleport scroll or two to beg for our assistance…as if we didn’t have our own problems to deal with! Twenty-seven of them to be exact! So, without further ado, it was CrIsis’s pleasure to clean up the Legion’s mess and stop an Old One from being called into existence right under our very noses.
You taught me humility in the face of pride. You taught me reserve in the face of braggadocio. And I have done nothing if not flown in the faces of your every teaching. I must walk my own path — even if it is laden with silk, gilded with gold, and embossed in the inadequacies of my peers.
I’m clean, washed in blood,
Sanctified, inside out,
Oh I’m dead, to Anubis’s grasp
Justified by Bennu
Vertical convulsion, striven force
Grasp desired service
Hideous onslaught attacks the mind
Vicious intent prevails
Serve your god,
Your time will come…
We had recently interrogated the last orc standing — Roggan bore witness and recanted the tale of interrogation. The Timiro Kingdom is currently at war with a faction who is trying to collect the bounty on Gavin’s head. Who, upon finding this out, broke several bones in the beast’s body and threw him into the pit of lava. Pretty tame for Gavin, who upon hearing we’d be Teleporting to the Legion’s aid, fled with his woman to wait for our return. Regardless, the battle was wrapping up when we heard “rushing” through the trees overhead. We saw a ranger swoop down like an acrobat — channeling Overkill the Gymnast — and introduce himself as Jillian Coulter — leader of the Legion of Northmoor (the people who took over the quest to find the Glaive, beat the Glaivites, stop the Old Ones from being brought-forth, and then systematically deconstruct and destroy the Glaive so it may never happen again). He is a pretty damn famous man in some parts. He told us that he’d been keeping tabs on us and that he’d come to ask of us a favor — perhaps the fate of the world depended on it; nothing like an ominous introduction to induce a willingness to help. The Legion of Northmoor is the only group of people to have EVER returned from the Land of the Damned. Upon his forehead we noticed a strange charcoal mark of the Glaive and we were wary. Charcoal on foreheads is even more foreboding than world-saving!
After consulting with Priest of Isis, Draxx Silvercrown, he begged for help from the Legion — take a message to Horoth Wavestrider. Wait! The dawning of recognition blossoms upon many a CrIsis face. Jillian then tells us that they were waylaid by DEEVIL warriors on the road to Seaholm. Exsqueeze me? Baking powder? Father, I quickly consulted my histories and lore-indices (with a successful Lore: Demons & Monsters roll) and dropped my tongue like I’d drop my drawers. Deevils? Here on Palladium and in great number!?!? Jillian’s tale was grim and portentous. Not long afterward they were waylaid by mutineer Glaivites! They managed to recover the Glaive from the Algor Mountains where they were waylaid by Algor Frost Giants, Bearmen, and Orcs (I hear my old friend Oric Bellode had no small part to play in their successful navigation of those snowy, sun-forsaken passes. The Legion proceeded to the Eastern Territory where it was SILENCED by placing it on Rurga’s altar and prevailing upon the mouthy bitch to stop talking to people — the first step in destroying the Glaive for good. Sister Gaia, Wolfen Priestess was taken prisoner along with the Glaive by the Glaivites — though, why they wanted her Jillian didn’t seem to know. Time was of the essence! They are going to attempt to summon the Old Ones. He had a Teleportation scroll and was willing to use it.
Tyrone Heneman overheard this and assures us he will wait for us at the junction of the two rivers (a town called Rivendyne) with Morgan and Gavin in Nicole. I regaled Jillian, one of my oldest fans, with the tale of Chip’s desertion while we break bread for lunch. Roggan invoked the Dance Party tradition to initiate our newest member of Crisis who is currently also holding membership and leadership in our competing group, the Legion of Northmoor.
At this point, we used our bread-breaking opportunity to frown upon the gluttonous quantities of sustenance-maintaining rations Vandur had secretly helped himself to without replacing. Alas, it was only a matter of time until we caught him with his hand in the proverbial CrIsis Cookie Jar. We sent the giant Dwarf on his way with a ne’er do well and good riddance! It is my wholehearted belief that our closet-eater had an eating disorder — a symptom of the greater problem, cowardice. I am sincerely glad that we didn’t give him the Jade Sword; his overeating presence earned only our contempt and not the privilege to travel amongst the world’s most staunch and valorous of defenders. I’d have accepted almost anything from the silent giant. “Tyvernos, I’m sorry, my Dwarven Mother is dying and I must needs return home.” “Tyvernos, I know you’ll understand, I need to get help for my stomach. I think I have a problem with food.” “Ty, guy, you’ve been swell. I hate to do this to you guys but I just received a pigeon and my Halfway-House is falling to ruin without me their to run it. You guys got this one?”
He came into our house. I didn’t take it as a promise. Thought it was a lie. He went too far the fucker. It’s not like we owe him money. This is different. So gather your strength and break free or you will surely die. Gather your strength and don’t follow me…because I will surely die.
Teleporting takes all the fun out of traveling. So one Scroll of Boredom later and we had moved hundreds of leagues away to begin seeking out more fun! In that moment we were instantly relocated and not the least bit disoriented. We were 100yds from a Stone Tower with Gigantes, Trolls, Orcs, and others, under a cone of silence provided by Hobie, one of the Legion of Northmoor (another Gnome — but one who had dedicated himself to the scholarly mystic pursuits and not the wild, primal forces of elemental nature). Hobie informed us that inside the Stone Tower Priestess Gaia and the Glaive were “confirmed.” Jidian recommended we use a distraction by the Legion so as to draw out their forces with hit and run tactics and CrIsis will do the search and rescue. Thrilling!
Roggan suggested that he draw forth a Dust Storm to cover CrIsis movement toward the tower. We brought Terramore with us if only to chronicle our heroic tale of rescue. More planning ensued while we figured how to assail the castle and we finally decided to make a frontal assault on the main door — the entire tower is giant-sized to accommodate Gigantes, trolls, ogres, and Algor frost giants. Roggan will rot the wood and open the door for us. Terramore pulled out a very good looking bo-staff and in his other hand he has a hammer. The plan is good. The stage is set. Now all we needed was our distraction.
The Legion of Northmoor valiantly charged in to give us the opening we needed. We ran to the door where Roggan began to rot the wood but the door was already open; they were expecting us! We heard, in Gobbley, “Attack!” And when we entered the hallway we saw seven goblins and an ogre and a troll — a motley assortment of ragtag monsters and creatures. Roggan began to summon a little mud mound. Jidian entered the frey with a lightning arrow — courtesy of yours truly. As an aside, father, you know I created nearly thirty of those hateful arrows. When I next see Greminor I’m of a mind to have THAT spell burned indelibly from my brain. Cava’s first shot fired wide but shot crackling electrical energy down the hall. The goblins flung themselves down the hall and into our midst — beginning to engage us in melee combat. I whipped out the first spell I’d ever learned from you, father — the level 1 cantrip spell of Cloud of Slumber and put a few of the goblins to sleep. The Troll and Ogre left the vicinity and fled at the first sign of resistance. We still do not know their reasoning or logic. Maybe they weren’t being paid enough to go toe-to-toe with CrIsis for some dumb weapon and a summoning circle. Terramore began to fight against us — until we dispatched the goblin mage. Magic was abound and it was exciting! In the end, we were able to move forward without incident.
We continued down the hallway but we didn’t see any sign of the troll or ogre who retreated from our earlier encounter. We passed a few doors but we decided to ignore them for now and continue to the stairs at the end of the hall. Roggan’s little mud mound happily trundled off to do some exploration. I summoned a Phantom also to do some reconnaissance in the hopes of locating both the Glaive and the Wolfen Priestess Gaia. Nearly at the same time we heard pounding like a gait…large footsteps. AN ALGOR FROST GIANT burst out of the room right behind us! Roggan’s little mud mound began to engage an angry orc when the troglodyte instantly erects a massive STONE WALL that fills the entire hallway! The force of his erection unsettled the stone and compromised the structural integrity of this part of the tower.
We ran upstairs and found ourselves in the middle of a GREAT FEAST HALL before we find another stairwell. We tried the door at the top of the stairs and it was locked. Cava chopped through it in a heartbeat when my Phantom returned to me. The elemental air essence fragment announced the fact that he found the priestess and the Glaive below the earth. We get back to the ground floor and the stone wall is still there — and we know that the Algor frost giant and a few orcs are behind it whenever it comes down. And then it came down. Roggan asked us if we were ready for a fight — to which I responded that I sure as fuck WASN’T — and then Roggan cancelled his spell. Awesome. Just like CrIsis…keepin’ the lines of communication open! And when the giant wall disappeared the entire tunnel / hallways collapsed on top of our hidden foes and Tyvernos’s whining was for naught. Fortuitous, however this gave us an opportunity to search for hidden compartments and we found a secret stairwell that led down into the basement.
I used my subterranean skill with underground architecture and underground tunneling to determine where the air elemental went down through the floor in location to our current, relative position. I stepped forward, located the secret trap on the door, and then Cava stepped forward to disarm the trap and he DODGED right out of the way of a LARGE SPEAR that came flying out and stuck into the door opposite the hall! When we crack the door open we see a room filled to the brim with BAD GUYS WHO WANNA KILL US?!?! Ah…I guess I can’t blame them.
Roggan and Terramore charged into the room like tactic-less idiots and endangered the rest of the group by entering into melee combat with the room’s seven combatants. I erected a ball lightning field in the doorway to deter the bad guys from chasing them out of the room. I then moved closer into the doorway to change the position of the lightning field to try to protect the people who have already fallen — they are not necessarily unconscious but they are on the floor and not moving. Then, off in the darkness, in the back of the room we saw a DEEVIL and we heard him shout at the top of his lungs that he’s going to kill us! Overkill grew some balls and went head to head with him and the deevil tried to parry him but failed! The monstrous, demonic beast replied with a barrage of his own attacks and…OVERKILL GOES DOWN SWINGING!?!?! Oh Gosh! Overkill is DEAD!!!! Cava followed it up with an incredible critical and Jidian followed it up with another incredible arrow! The Deevil disappeared, deterred for the time-being, and ran away. Cava went through Overkill’s stuff and found a scroll to use to resurrect him and then he uses Thor-ak to bring the dwarf back to health.
We checked for secret doors and passages and didn’t find any so we started checking the other areas until we found MORE stairs down. We wend our way down again until we stop at a giant IRON DOOR that is “evidently” not warded or enchanted. WE FOUGHT A ROOM OF 5 TROLLS!!! And the trolls were routed! I was going to smite them with a CHAIN LIGHTNING FULMINATION FROM THE LOST MYSTICAL KNOWLEDGE OF THE LIBRARY OF MOTHERFUCKING BLETHERAD but unfortunately, due to time constraints, they capitulated on their second action — right before my spell was intended to resolve. Not that I needed the PPE.
We attempted to go through the last door but it was warded. Roggan and I both recognize the wards. I successfully used my Lore: Magic and saw the simple DEATH WARDS for what they are — and warn the group. I attempted to use his ring of negate magic on the wards but was unsuccessful on the first one. I re-cast my Armor of Ithan and stepped backward allowing Roggan to go forward and turn the wall of stone into MUD…literally. I bade my Phantom to summon his own Phantom Footman and bade him send my Phantom’s Phantom Phootman into the mud doorway and command it NOT to move anywhere but to report EXACTLY what it saw:
A being of great evil and many beings of lesser evil and a being of great good who is being threatened by the being of great evil holding a giant weapon of indescribable evil. We decide to enter the room and start combat. Jidian gets clawed by a Deevil. Cava flies over the entire scene of battle directly at the ARCH FIEND who is holding the Glaive and gets parried — and thrown to the side casually. I finally got to fire my Chain Lightning and electrify nine different deevils…but they didn’t seem to be killed. Roggan died under the onslaught of a deevil. The Glaive-wielding Archfiend Deevil was casting cold-based magic from the weapon. I was despairing! Until Jidian came out of nowhere with some random piece of gnarled wood we thought all hope was lost. This warped, twisted board of wood was being brandished by him when he charged out of nowhere and struck the Archfiend Ratel. The deevil exploded, as the entire room, into a burst of brilliant white light and purified and expelled all the hellish beings! CrIsis PREVAILED?!?!
Alas, you must forgive me, I am too tired to continue. Only moments ago we vanquished the beast and I penned this account. My friend, and fellow elemental brother, Roggan, is being returned to us as we speak…though I do not know by what divine providence his heart still beats.
Be well, and breathe easy — the air draws nigh!
Written by Tyvernos on the 19th of Majestic, in the 69th Year of the Wolfen Empire.
Picture from Sue Deutscher.