Players: Shannon, Scott, Z
Oracle: The God-Kings of War
- Six of Clubs: A brutish and tyrannical warlord and her uncouth thugs
- Two of Clubs: An army’s scrier, commanding six sharp-fanged gaunts
- Eight of Clubs: A high, many-towered wall on a fierce border, and the soldiers left to hold it
- King of Hearts: The ghost of a tyrant kind, strangled by his own daughter
It starts with our unlikely crew aboard the Endangerment, well underway to the Fallen Halls.
MIZ MALYCE is instructing a class of girls, all dressed in school uniforms modified to look like sailor suits, about the monsters in the Vale Perilous. ‘YUBA and her friends, DINDRAINE SELWYN and CONSTANCE, keep asking questions about the VALE PERILOUS, revealing its many horrible properties* to you, our gentle reader.
She also expounds upon the Gaunts, a species of flying humanoid undead with more power at night than the day. Six of them are caged on the deck of the Endangerment, part of WOLFBINDER’s slave stock.
MIZ MALYCE (MAURINNIS) also reveals that the ship is heading to the Fallen Halls in the center of the Vale Perilous, said to be the entrance to hell.
At this news, ‘YUBA becomes alarmed and asks about the wards on the Endangerment, but MR. WOLFBINDER, who knows little to nothing about magic, misdirects her with a story about his flight hat, which he claims sigils sewn into the brim. ‘YUBA, DINDRAINE and CONSTANCE later conspire to steal the hat.
The Endangerment approaches the Fierce Wall, which marks the borders of the Vale Perilous and Tyno Helig. The wall is unimaginably high, protruding from the clouds like a stainless steel ribbon covered in corkscrew towers that seem to wrap around themselves and the misty clouds of fairyland below.
ANNAIS insists on diverting to the wall and gets in a fight with MR. WOLFBINDER at the steering wheel. ‘YUBA joins in, giving MR. WOLFBINDER’s leg a good bite. He assumes one of his creatures has gotten loose and kicks ‘YUBA off while his attention is on ANNAIS. In doing so, he accidentally kicks ‘YUBA overboard. She falls, dazed and out of breath, silently into the clouds thousands of feet below. Eventually ANNAIS and MR. WOLFBINDER come to an agreement over the wheel and steer the ship toward the fierce wall.
Neither ANNAIS nor MR. WOLFBINDER nor, it would seem, anyone else on the ship notice that ‘YUBA is gone until MIZ MALYCE calls the girls together for a pre-shore-leave roll call. The Endangerment has docked by this time and ANNAIS and MR. WOLFBINDER have gone to speak with ANNAIS’ soldiers, who man the top of the Fierce Wall.
When MR. WOLFBINDER returns up the gangplank, he is confronted by a frantic MURINNIS (MIZ MALYCE) who back him down the gangplank back onto the wall with her furious accusations. When he realizes that ‘YUBA has fallen off his boat, MR. WOLFBINDER hauls MAURINNIS back up the gangplank while DINDRAINE and CONSTANCE run back down it to look for ‘YUBA on the fierce wall. The rest of the girls see this and swarm the gangplank, running around the battlements of the fierce wall like… well, schoolgirls on holliday.
BLOODY BARNABAS, the spirit which is possessing MR. WOLFBINDER, appears behind MR. WOLFBINDER, reaches into his heart and reveals ‘YUBA falling off the ship. He is gripped by pain and remorse and MIZ MALYCE somehow sees both the spirit and the vision. The ship casts off its morings and, despite a skeleton crew, dives for the clouds far below.
Meanwhile, ANNAIS talks to her chief gaurd, SGT. ADRAMELECH (himself a demonaically-horned fanatic with a little forked beard) who reports that there is still no news from SIR PERCY, the spy. Before she can reply, the girls swarm off the ship, it casts anchor and drops. ANNAIS gets the girls under control while the devilish SEARGANT coralls his own troops in the cafeteria.
Meanwhile, ‘YUBA plunges through the fairy mists. She emerges from the otherside, still falling, to see an upside-down version of the fierce wall. Only this version of the fierce wall is rusted and crumbling. It is also oriented 180 degrees straight down from the other fierce wall, with its own reverse gravity to boot.
That means that ‘YUBA falls out the clouds and up the crumbling inverted fierce wall for some distance before gravity grips her and pulls her back “down” into the mists again. On her second pass through, she begins to fear she will fall past the same towers over and over again, tumbling through the mists that divide both halves of the fierce wall forever. However, SIR PERCIVAL, a knight in shining armour reaches out and pulls ‘YUBA into his crumbling prison cell on her second pass.
SIR PERCIVAL is gallant and brave and attractive. He is very intimate with CAPTAIN HABITROT, a hag with a huge lower lip who seems to run the garrison of Tyno Helig. CAPTAIN HABITROT reveals that ANNAIS is her enemy and that the CAPTAIN does not want to be part of the Witch Queen’s empire (and certainly not part of the Vale Perilous, although Tyno Helig is almost nothing but barren rock.) She also reveals that SIR PERCIVAL is a prisoner of war and has been for hundreds of years. SIR PERCIVAL explains that he is a double agent, albeit an exceedingly honest one. He is also a good cook and makes tea sandwiches for everyone.
The Endangerment descends and finds floating rocks in the mists at the base, or, perhaps I should say mid-point of the two Fierce Walls. The ship comes through with a few close callse before docking in Tyno Helig.
MR. WOLFBINDER and MIZ MALYCE present themselves as traders and CAPTAIN HABITROT welcomes them. She misleads them about the arrival of ‘YUBA when SIR PERCY arrives with a sandwich tray and tells the CAPTAIN that ‘YUBA does not want anything to do with MR. WOLFBINDER or MIZ MALYCE.
While SIR PERCY and the CAPTAIN stall MR. WOLFBINDER, ‘YUBA sneaks aboard the Endangerment and opens all the cages of the mythical animals. MR. WOLFBINDER looks up when the commotion starts and races to his ship, MAURINNIS in tow.
MR. WOLFBINDER and MAURINNIS end up fighting back to back against the freed fantastic beasts, MAURINNIS using terrfying magical effects of the senechals temporae to deafeat the various monsters. They fight their way to the hold where SIR PERCY and HABITROT have already snuck aboard, using HABITROT’s capabilty with the Smell of Magic to track down ‘YUBA. CAPTAIN HABITROT grabs MAURINNIS from the shadows in order to threaten MR. WOLFBINDER. This gives SIR PERCY enough time to carry ‘YUBA to safety.
Back at the crumbling side of the fierce wall, SIR PERCY spots incoming drakes and MR. WOLFBINDER and CAPTAIN HABITROT make a hasty aliance to defend the wall. MAURINNIS goes to her (formerly the captain’s) cabin and scries out ‘YUBA while releasing her six gaunts (which MR. WOLFBINDER had given her earlier as a token of affection.)
ANNAIS leads the attack, breaking off when she spots a gaunt headed for ‘YUBA (not realizing that the gaunt was sent as protection by MIZ MALYCE) and SGT. ADRAMELECH uses a hellfire bullet to eplode the captain’s cabin of the Endangerment and send it spiraling towards its doom. MIZ MALYCE uses her time magic to escape the explosion but gets knocked off the ship anyway due to the horrible nature of a hellfire bullet (it grows demonic claws and drags people away)
SIR PERCY swings by and swashbucklingly saves MIZ MALYCE. ANNAIS scoops up ‘YUBA and heads back to her home while MR. WOLFBINDER blasts ADRAMELECH (whom he thinks has killed MIZ MALYCE) out of the sky with a cannon.
Listing, almost crewless and trailing black smoke, the Endangerment slips its mornings and slowly plunges back into the fairy mists below. MR. WOLFBINDER runs for the wheel only to have a winged serpent rear up before him as the craft vanishes from sight.