Shepherd of Fire

THE STREAK... is over.
Actually, this is session 21, so I barely avoided the 21-1 and am still undefeated.

The session kicked off with the party getting their magic items together. Soon afterwards, they went off and rounded up the remaining New Light members. Ateb Tyrnol was defeated in a short duel, Patrin Norixius surrendered before he could be killed, and Baern Strahklin was assassinated with prejudice. After this, they decided to finish up as many problems as they could in Vesperia. They killed the Tarrasque while it was sleeping, only to revive it so it could kill off most of the New Light’s army. Soon after, they traveled to the top of the Silver Mountain and fought Saul Richter, who was accompanied by two solar-angel level beings. He was defeated after a somewhat difficult fight, killed by two mega attacks: Evender’s simulacrum form broke the Staff of the Magi and caused a giant explosion which hurt Saul. Immediately after, Aelar fired the most damaging attack in the game, shooting Saul with a quadruple damage shot.

The Archangel revealed that it was likely going to take him 60,000 years before he could begin his next indoctrination. Thus, began an epilogue.

Kriven became a dragonborn demigod who became Bahamut’s right hand man. His attempt at creating a dinosaur based leisure site ended in tragedy. His demigod form resides in Mount Celestia.

Oskar, Evender, and a newly resurrected Himaestro traveled the cosmos, defending it along with keeping peace in Gaia. Evender married the Queen of Avienne. In Heliod (and soon beyond) Oskar built a tavern, funding it mostly through his endless casks. Himaestro and Ali Babin Babar lived happily ever after. Thanks to his Axe of the Dwarven Lords, an extremely powerful artifact, Oskar became a legend amongst the dwarves.

Aelar married Sabrina Greyson and became Archduke of Vesperia. Though he outlived her by several hundred years, his children lived on, and he became a royal guard in service to Evender in Avienne.

Carth helped usher in a golden age into Vesperia’s history. His children were taught to be warriors, with half following his footsteps as an eldritch knight and the others taking after their mother, becoming clerics.

As for NPCs:

Estellise helped Carth usher in Vesperia’s golden age. The two’s rule was one beloved by the people of Vesperia. The scars of her past were eventually healed by time. She taught four of her eight children the duties of a cleric, a path those four took.

Seras Sang Rael was eventually defeated by one of Carth’s descendents, who managed to corner the vampiric assassin and defeat her in single combat.

Schwann Oltorain retired after another fifteen years in the spy game, fearing possible backlash from enemies made over the years. He continued overseeing the Flock as a thieves’ guild. His twin daughters took his place as Spymaster to the royal family.

Rita took on only a single apprentice: her lone son (the child’s father and Rita’s husband was Erdan Piper; I kid you not). She continued fine tuning her magic crafting skills, eventually able to make magic items which rivaled the power of artifacts. In the meantime, she taught at the Mage’s Circle in Heliod.

As mentioned above, Erdan Piper married Rita Mordio. He provided some of the music for his own wedding. Though she made him keep his rats outside the house, it was a happy life for them both. Their son, Roderick (often called Roddy) followed her mother’s footsteps as a sorcerer, though he also learned how to play music on the bagpipes.

Karol continued to fight alongside the Hunting Blades, eventually becoming their leader when he was thirty-three. When he was twenty-four, he married one of the female Hunting Blades members, whom he had known since he was twelve. In addition to his two sons, he adopted the child which the party found in Forbas when they were finding the source of the region’s famine, giving him two sons and a daughter in total.

Joan Feurouge regained her usage of her fire manipulation, though she no longer destroyed temples. Instead, she individually rooted out corrupt members of clergies and killed them in isolated areas, often burning them alive. She became somewhat of a legend, with tales of a burning woman roaming the countryside used to scare children into behaving, and recruits into falling in line.

Patrin continued his rebellion and managed to overthrow the empire of Doenfixius, despite having been gone for a few days. He ruled the newfound government with a firm grip. Justice was swift yet fair, and his power made it difficult for corruption to rise in the Federation of Doenfixius. Assassins who tried to kill him were defeated by his hand.

Ateb returned to the Great Wastes, though his goal to unite the barbarian tribes was never fulfilled before his death. The Great Wastes were never united, though Clan Tyrnol remained the strongest tribe in the land.

Excella continues to build a demonic army in the Abyss, though progress is slow due to the nature of the plane. Her goals are unknown, though seeking revenge upon Carth’s family is likely her main objective.

Kyle Greyson was released after the New Light dissolved. He lives out in his family’s old manor, content to not have to deal with the responsibilities of higher ranking nobles.

Tarhun Norixius remained jailed. Though Estellise had become a harsher ruler during the three year gap following the Cult of Cthulhu’s usurping, she decided to not have him executed. He died imprisoned, his name forgotten to many.

Percival Pringle used his favor with Mephistopheles to ensure that the royal family, along with his own, would never be harmed. Mephistopheles honored his old friend’s favor, sending out agents to deal with those who tried to attack Heliod with the intent to commit regicide. In the meantime, he continued styling and profiling, serving the royal family well into his old age. He also ensured that the Royal Palace in Heliod was the most secure building in all of Gaia. It was only broken into once after all of its new implements were added; that one intrusion was by Percival himself, who accidentally locked himself out after spending 78 straight hours at one of Oskar’s bottomless taverns.

Orryn Ningel’s titan was destroyed by Rita when she found it wandering the northern coast of Vesperia, still furious that it almost killed her.

The bandits who Himaestro helped organize continue to make monthly raids in Nirodan, and they continue to revere the martyr which freed them.

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An almost perfect session.
And then Carth mucked it up at the end.

The session kicked off with the party getting into Riverpool, the capital city of Benorthan, largely due in part to the bardic spells and skills of Evender. Both guards at the gates allowed Oskar, Kriven, Evender, and Carth inside (using the names Bill Nye, Robert Mayseal, Ted Bundy, and Jim Balaya respectively). They found Osborn quite fast after Evender sent out his pixie platoon to search him out. It turned out that a local duke wanted Osborn captured and had hired several mercenaries to bring him in. Carth murdered one of the mercenaries in cold blood after they tried bringing the thief to justice. Afterwards, they teleported back to Heliod. While in Riverpool, they also captured the paladins who betrayed Joan and her mother many years ago. Once captured and sent back to the Order of the Silver Hammer, the four men were burned at the stake.

Back in Heliod, troubles continued for the group. After returning from the swamp in Qualen (where they were fine-tuning their combat skills) they found that everybody in the castle had vanished. They looked for clues and possibilities as to where they had gone. Eventually, they tried investigating Marquise Excella of Barbon, who was a noblewoman in-line for the throne until the party chose Estellise. Everden checked out once they found Excella’s secret dungeon. By this point, Aelar joined the group. Excella was found about to sacrifice Estelle, though the party let her go in exchange for the lives of the remaining servants and NPCs (60 guards had already been killed; their blood was used to summon a balor). She is currently somewhere in the Abyss, most likely.

Before the Excella incident, the party killed the two ancient green dragons hounding the region of Qualen. Rita was dominated by one of her agents at this time, though the Dispel Magic spell ruined my fun freed her from domination.

After the Excella incident, the party (now Aelar, Kriven, and Carth) decided to further sharpen their combat prowess. They killed a lich and its two iron golems, found its phylactery, and killed an ancient gold dragon dracolich along with three iron golems. This made them much more powerful than they were before. Carth and Kriven began bickering over magic items, and this is where Carth made a small slip-up: as he and Kriven were arguing over a pair of Sending Stones, Rita was on a third line, waiting to see what they wanted to do with the magic item queue. She was going to say something, but Carth said, “Just get back to finishing the magic items” before she could utter a word. This made her rather angry, partly due to how the sentence was worded, partly due to how it was said, and she is currently not making magic items. Both Carth and Kriven tried apologizing. How, may you ask? Why, they decided to write a letter and offer her money. Though they rolled a damn high persuasion check, Rita wasn’t moved by the fact that they didn’t personally apologize despite being in the same building as her.

In the meantime, Carth and Kriven began buffing up Vesperia’s national army, made large temples to various deities, recruited people to serve as holy warriors and war priests, and upgraded several cities. The funding came from the dragon hordes which they raided during the session. Currently, the problems remaining are taking out the remaining New Light members, possibly killing Excella, and seeing whether or not Carth can possibly concoct a decent enough apology that doesn’t get him buried further in the hole he is digging.

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Oh look! A session where everything didn't go to Hell!
Alternative title: Carth's favorite session.

The session sort of kicked off with the introduction of a new character: Evender Galodel, a half-elven bard. He left the plane of Bytopia and returned to Aviene, where he decided to help out a bit. During his time there, he met Estellise and Percival, and the trio helped rid the city of mummies in its sewers. Evender offered to help Percival and Estelle with the problems in Vesperia, helping bridge the three years between his return from Bytopia to the present day.

The true session kicked off with the party heading to Diliatin to wipe out the Cult of Cthulhu once and for all (or, at least, until it comes back again). They arrived on the island and quickly found the temple with the help of some pixies which Evender summoned. When they found the temple, Carth killed one of its guards immediately and forced the other two to surrender. Inside, they fought 36 cultist, their tiefling leader, and a beholder. This fight didn’t last long; the cult lost.

Carth’s brother was revived via the Raise Dead spell after they left. Within the temple were the Necronomicon, one of the keys to Carth’s family vault, and some gold. All cultists were arrested and executed.

With the cult now gone, focus returned to fighting the New Light and restoring Vesperia. The party eliminated the famine plague in Forbas and took out one of the dragons in Qualen. Afterwards, they traveled to Megadon, where they killed the revived Orryn Ningel (who unleashed a Mecha Titan onto the world) and assassinated Ishkod Ogana in an inn. While they were there, they received a message from Seras: she was holding several people in the palace hostage (Rita, Estelle, Percival, anyone else she could have gotten her hands on) as part of a “last resort” type of plan concocted by Orryn.

The party went back when “Rita” brought them there; in truth, it was one of Seras’ vampire mates using scrolls and an Alter Self spell. Seras was prepared to kill the hostages when Saul, Patrin, Osborn, and Baern arrived. Saul explained that what Seras was doing went against what the New Light stood for: the goal towards a purified world which would be free of suffering. Her usage of hostage taking and psychological torture went against their beliefs. He ordered her back to the cathedral upon the Silver Mountain, and Seras and the rest left without further incident.

After they left, the party headed south to Benorthan, where they would deal with Osborn Greenbottle, the youngest New Light member (currently 20 years old) and their resident spy and thief. He is believed to be in the capital city of Benorthan, as are the four men who betrayed Joan many years ago; she requested that the party deal with them. Before the party entered, they realized that their best liar (Evender, whose player left earlier) was absent, so the session ended with them preparing to enter the capital.

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Himaestro's Final Stand
With his impending swan song, Himaestro decides to take his friends with him.

It’s 1:04 A.M., I still have 30+ minutes of Summerslam to finish (which I am watching while typing), and McDonalds was closed so I didn’t get my chocolate milkshake. However, that third thing is not the tragedy of today’s tale.

This session was done strictly to bring HImaestro back to the main party’s level. Unfortunately, that would not be the case.

It began with Himaestro deciding to make friends in Hell. Realizing that it would take him a very long time to get even a shred of respect, he decided to look for ice at the same time, as he wanted to cast Simulacrum to make a slightly weaker yet still powerful clone. He got his components while getting caught up in some Hellish politics.

While he was working with Fierna, Orryn Ningel informed Himaestro that he found a loophole in the two’s contracts to Mephistopheles. They were both promised something in exchange for their services. Himaestro was promised Mayor McCheese, Orryn was promised the first thing he created in his workshop. That first thing was Mayor McCheese, so he figured that Mephistopheles had a breach in contract. In the end, the two were released from their contracts along with receiving severance packages. Both were brought back to life. Also, Himaestro had used the Deck of Many Things and used up his “Fates” card and a card which gave him three wishes. One wish remained by the time he left Hell.

Himaestro used one wish to learn where the Staff of the Magi was located. He discovered that it was located in an ancient white dragon’s lair in the Polar North. This was a clear warning. It was ignored.

Himaestro, his clone, Mayor McCheese, and Ali Babin Babar tried sneaking into the lair. They activated an alarm which alerted the dragon. Said dragon took out Himaestro and the clone of him, killing them with its ice breath. Mayor McCheese eventually lost as well, as he could’t match the dragon’s range advantage.

This is likely the last session to feature Himaestro, as his player decided to make a new character. It makes sense; Himaestro doesn’t really have anything to return to in the Material Plane or other realms of existence. Honestly, I don’t like killing characters. Anything I do that makes me seem jovial to kill players is for comedy. Characters dying sucks, and changing them when so late into a a campaign is never fun. Himaestro’s player will not be available this Sunday, so the party will likely consist only of Carth, Aelar, Kriven, and Oskar.

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The Cult of Cthulhu Makes a Serious Move
And boy howdy, it brought the party to their knees.

The session kicked off with Carth and Kriven catching Erdan Piper. He tried fleeing through the city, though he was caught despite his best efforts (he was prepared to teleport away, but then the party caught him). When they returned, they discovered that the Cult of Cthulhu had attempted to invade the castle; this prompted Carth to demand an Alarm spell be placed around the premises. Percival informed King Carth that there was a prisoner in one of the twenty-something dungeons. This cultist, a half-orc warned that the Cult was probably still in Cavalan, possibly Heliod. That was when the newly installed alarm system kicked in.

In the throne room were twenty Cultists of Cthulhu, thirteen Heliod Palace Guards, four Beholders, one Death Tyrant, Estellise, Percival, Rita, Carth, Aelar, and Kriven. The ensuing battle was very brief, and those defending the palace surrendered in under twenty seconds. The Cult had Estellise and Carth brought to the Far Realm, as the blood of Carth’s family was needed (Estellise wasn’t needed, though the Cult would need her and Carth’s children to make sure the ritual didn’t muck up). Aelar, Kriven, Percival, and Rita were imprisoned.

After several days, Aelar was freed after spilling the beans on Kyle Greyson’s location. Despite the fact that they framed him for being a serial killer and a cannibal, they gladly sent him away from Vesperia and to Avienne, where he became a national legend due to his prowess with a bow. Kriven was framed for the destruction of a part in Caetha, and he was to be extradited to face trial. On the way there, his ship was caught in a storm and attacked by suahagin, causing him to land on a deserted island. There, he found a tribe of kobolds and decided to help defend them from various monsters plaguing them. The kobolds seemingly worshiped him, though they were just using him for the most part.

Carth and Estellise managed to break out of their prison, though traversing the Far Realm is no easy task whatsoever. They had to constantly make saving throws or become violent towards one another (Carth, the fighter, shockingly passed every single save while Estelle, a cleric, failed all but once). When Estelle was affected by the plane’s madness-inducing influence, Carth beat the holy high Hell out of her to knock her out cold. Escape seemed pretty much hopeless until they learned of a few ways out they could take: find tuning forks so Estelle could plane shift them out, find a portal leading to the Material Plane, or continuously pray to St. Cuthbert (Estellise’s patron deity) in hopes he would send help. Rather than constantly beg for diving intervention, they decided to continue searching for portals. They came across the same tiefling wizard who kidnapped Carth’s sister, Sabrina, and found him riding atop a beholder (the only one remaining from the castle invasion). Carth decided to surrender, sparing Estellise’s life while sacrificing his freedom while the Cult searched for his brother. Estelle was sent back to the Material Plane by the tiefling.

Three years (yup) passed. Rita and Karol tracked down Kriven and explained that there was a problem. Percival Pringle styled, profiled, and walked the aisle to Aviene to tell Aelar that the band was getting back together. Estellise pummeled and blasted her way through the Far Realm to bring Carth back home. When back in Heliod, they explained the predicament:

Vesperia has been crippled by a triangular war: a shadow war is being fought against the Cult of Cthulhu while a disorganized jumbled mess of a war is being fought against the New Light; fortunately, the New Light and Cult of Cthulhu despise each other, so they’re fighting each other at the same time. At the same time, the Ring of Cosmic Bending was delivered to the Archangel by Ishkod Ogana, who is once again searching for artifacts. The party was restocked, re-armed, and re-armored with new magic items. Carth also got to see his children (now toddlers at this point) for the first time: his son, Gabriel, and daughter, Vivian. He also went to a graveyard and killed a rat and death dog, gaining enough XP to level up to level 16. The party is getting ready to assault the Cult of Cthulhu and wipe it from the face of Gaia for a third time in its illustrious history. Will they fail as miserably as the last time they fought members of the Cult? What will happen to Himaestro and Oskar? Where is Schwann Oltorain (okay, he preparing to revive Oskar, who has been in a three year long stupor, with a special concoction)? What happens if the Cult of Cthulhu summons their master before the New Light gathers all ten artifacts? Why am I asking you all these questions? Find out on what will likely be August 30, a week after next Sunday, which is hopefully when the next session occurs.

Countdown to Extinction: 1,900

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This Session...
Ugh... damn it, Himaestro.

Because Himaestro was in Hell, and had the least amount of time given, we’ll start with him. He decided to meet his bandit friends to find a ruby. They were a bit short, so he decided to raid a treasury in Nirodan. Things went south when his stealth plan failed, and Mayor McCheese arrived to save the day. Nirodan’s capital city is no more, mind you. Himaestro then decided to head to Gahdom, but his actions enraged Mephistopheles, who knew that his actions would be traced back to the Archdevil. Mephistopheles grounded Himaestro for a week.

The main party set out to murder Erdan Piper. While in Attilus, they found what they initially thought was Seras Sang Rael. However, when they teleported to face her, they discovered it was actually an unconscious Rita, propped up via a (I found its proper name!) military fork. Oskar healed her and they quickly returned to Heliod. There, they found that Seras stole the Broken Crown of Io and the Tome of Righteous Indignation. This enraged Carth, so he made Rita teleport them to the Silver Mountain Cathedral, where they found both Seras and Saul Richter, the leader of the New Light. Further enraged, Carth forced Rita to teleport them to Attilus so they could victimize Erdan Piper.

When they arrived in Attilus, they had very little legal and political power to work with. Erdan used this to stall for time so he could prepare his special spellbook, the Arcanus Symphonia, to defend himself from his future captors. After the party worked out a possible deal with the guards and left the asylum which Erdan was visiting, Erdan played the intro to Ride the Lightning and destroyed most of the asylum. The party began to make chase, but Erdan summoned five effritti. Those five were killed in a difficult battle. This session left off with Erdan fleeing as the party prepared to give chase.

This session may have been worse than the last one.

Countdown to Extinction: 2,967

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I'd say things are going downhill, but it's more of a sheer mesa at this point.
Lads, this somehow got even worse than last session.

In this ten hour session, the following occurred:

It kicked off with some more banter which ended up being useless in the end. This is despite the party’s attempts to reach the country of Gahdom (or, at least, the King’s attempts). After finally getting to the black island wastes, and on target for once, they found the lair of Seras Sang Rael, who had both the Armlet of Divinity (which was still stuck to Estellise’s arm) and the Sword of Revealing Light. Carth wanted to kill her to remove Estellise’s vampirism, but she told him of an alternate way. It involved sending souls to Wee Jas’ realm (five souls) or Nerull’s realm (one soul). No longer wanted anything to do with souls, Carth decided to kill Seras instead. Her motives for joining were to rid the world of body-and-soul inflicting curses and diseases such as vampirism and lycanthropy.

Despite his seemingly unwavering position, Carth had second thoughts on the souls matter. Seras, rather on edge about the party, decided to give them the slip when they came back to Gahdom to collect her two artifacts. She was teleported to the Silver Mountain Temple, where violence is pretty much impossible. Archangel was given the Sword and Armlet (sans arm), bringing him two steps closer to freedom and unbridled destruction. Carth began ranting and raving, calling Seras a coward and a bitch for not fighting either he, Kriven, or Aelar one-on-one, despite the fact she would lose such a fight. In the end, he caved in and used the 5-Souls-For-Cure trick on Estellise. She was cured of the vampirism and thanked Carth (again) for saving her (again).

Some time before or after Estelle was cured of her disease, Himaestro died… again. How, may you ask? Well, because of his lifeline with Ali Babin Babar, when one died, the other went as well. Schwann had an assassin put down Ali when Himaestro began getting a bit too jittery, a bad sign for all involved. So, Himaestro was killed, tumbled down the stairs, and ended up in the Eighth Layer of Hell, ruled by Mephistopheles. The Lord of the Eighth offered Himaestro a chance to be his agent. He agreed, so long as he received a special tool to help: a reconstruction of Mayor McCheese. Mephistopheles granted his wish; Orryn Ningel was in charge of its enchantments.

New Years came around and everybody celebrated. Carth introduced Aelar to his sister, Sabrina, and began collecting information on Ishkod Ogana, Patrin Norixius, and Erdan Piper. He tried to get permission to enter Benorthan but was rudely rejected. Schwann is currently looking to put Benorthan at bay. The session ended as Carth received information on Erdan Piper, the most insane member of the New Light.

Not gonna lie, between the player-versus-player fight between Oskar and Himaestro (which was so boring that I changed the tense battle music to the comedic relief and relaxing songs from Fate/stay night), Himaestro bringing the party close to the brink of destruction a few times, the return of Mayor McCheese, and the fact that I will now have to leap back and forth between he and the party, this is my least favorite session of the campaign. At least I have three countdowns to life-changing (and sometimes, ending) moments to look forward to.

Countdown to Extinction: 2,970

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Just when they think they've got the answers, I change the questions!
The party takes one step forward and one thousand steps back.

This session began very slowly, though HImaestro’s reaction to discovering that there really was a kracken in Northern Vesperia’s waters was rather funny. Some useless stuff occurred afterward. They tried clearing a dragon’s den in Qualen, Kriven’s region, but they spooked it and the dragon flew off to retrieve its parents (or elder siblings, you don’t know). After some meaningless banter, they decided to go after Joan Feurouge, a New Light lieutenant who specialized in manipulating flames. How much so was a mystery. Was.

The party made their way to Titan’s Guard, the mountain range separating Benorthan and Salos. They teleported while a member of the Hunting Blades guided them as far as he could. Enduring blizzards, the party eventually came across Joan Feurouge and four horsemen from the New Light. She explained her actions and reason for joining. After it was clear that she wouldn’t budge on her position and Carth wouldn’t let her walk off so easily, a battle engaged. While the horsemen were dealt with rather quickly, Joan proved a more difficult opponent. When she was seemingly defeated, she transformed into a much more powerful version of herself. Funnily enough, this version of her lasted a shorter amount of time than her normal self, as a 100-points-of-damage attack from Kriven made her surrender.

After Joan surrendered, she was brought to Heliod. The party had retrieved the Broken Crown of Io; Rita tossed the pieces into an extra-dimensional space. When they returned, they learned that an assassin, likely Seras Sang Rael, had infiltrated the castle, cut off Estellise’s arm (which held the Armlet of Divinity), and turned her into a vampire. Himaestro attempted to become a vampire by rubbing his finger on Estellise’s teeth, though Carth stopped him and had his powers stripped while he was jailed. The session ended with a now conscious, now vampiric Estellise, a party set on taking out Seras, and a Himaestro locked one hundred feet below Gaia’s surface.

I can’t see this going wrong next session whatsoever.

Countdown to Extinction: 2,977

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Session 13: The Return of the King
The party gets back on track, only to go so far off that it nearly implodes.

The session kicked off with Himaestro receiving the intel he requested on Gaia’s various nations. Carth, who had just gotten out of his coma, learned of this, along with their terrorist actions in Undaston, and stripped Himaestro and Aelar of their land and titles, killing off Himaestro’s plans for world wide war. Some dignitaries (a word I kept searching for in my head this session but couldn’t find) arrived to explain that they wished to extradite Aelar and Himaestro for their crimes. While they were in Avienne, Carth, Oskar, and Kriven made a deal with the diplomats: Himaestro would be extradited to Undaston, his gold transferred to the country for repair, and Aelar would be brought to Vesperia. Aelar was executed by a Sabu Chair Drop Through A Table (I don’t know if Sabu actually did this in ECW, but it wouldn’t surprise me; maybe in FMW) and promptly brought back to life, just to teach him a lesson.

Himaestro created a prison revolt in Nirodan, where he was being held at the time. He made a deal with its president to make his uprising’s leader somebody other than himself and then returned to Vesperia. After retrieving his magic box to Boxland, as he dubbed it, he decided to go find his other possessions, currently on a ship headed towards Undaston. Oh, and during the uprising, he cut off both ears to remove an Anti-Magic Field earring… only one. I suppose he misheard as having had two.

Anyway, back in sanity (for the moment), Carth decided to do more research on the Armlet of Divinity currently “gracing” Estellise’s arm. He, Aelar, and Kriven headed to Zaphias, as Tarhun was the man who found it in the first place. On the way there, they were attacked by yet more devils from Dispater’s realm. After outclassing the strongest, the remaining two made them an offer: they’d talk to Dispater about possibly ending this deal once and for all. An imp appeared two days later and proposed a War Games contest.

War Games (a real life wrestling match inspired by Mad Max) is a contest which places the competitors in two cages separated by a pool of lava. A coin toss is made between the two teams. After said coin toss, each team sends in one member to fight the other. After thirty seconds, the team which won the coin toss sends in a second man. Fifteen seconds later, the team which lost the coin toss sends in a second man of their own. Every fifteen seconds, the teams alternate between men they send in. Nobody can be killed in the War Games until all men are in the cages, at which point “Survive or Surrender” initiates; those knocked to 0 HP in a War Games before “Survive or Surrender” kicks in is restored to 30 HP. The first team to eliminate all of their opponents wins.

Only Kriven and Carth partook in the War Games for their team; Aelar sat out due to his newfound hatred of Kriven. Estellise, Rita, Karol, and Schwann watched from the sidelines. Carth and an Ice Devil kicked off the War Games, with Carth having the advantage at the start. Team Dispater, who won the coin toss, then sent in their second man: a Death Knight. The Death Knight brought Carth down a bit for HP. Kriven then joined and eliminated the Ice Devil as “Survive or Surrender” came into effect. The Death Knight used a powerful bomb-like spell to eliminate Carth from the contest. Down to Kriven and the Death Knight, the Death Knight dropped Kriven to 4 HP. Then Kriven killed him with one blow, causing him to explode in a shower of holy light. True to his word, Dispater swore to never pursue Estellise or Carth again (unless they asked) and rewarded Kriven with a shield and feat.

When they returned, Aelar threatened a weakened Carth and Kriven unless:

1) They ended a Geas spell put on him to keep him in line.

2) He was given back his land and title.

3) He was introduced to Carth’s sister.

The first two occurred and the session ended as the party set out to… introduce Aelar to Sabrina Greyson.

Countdown to Extinction: 2,980

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A paradox is created within the space-time continuum.
And I run the most confusing session yet.

Things kicked off with Himaestro waking up in Arcadia, a land where everything is geometrically perfect. There are ruler-straight rivers, perfectly lined orchards, and visually pleasingly shaped buildings. It was essentially a nature-version of Clockwork Mechanus. He and Ali Babin Babar decided to talk with some other dead souls.

Oskar decided to get sent to the labyrinth plane to help get Aelar out of there. The two met an extremely powerful sorcerer who needed help getting into a dragon-proof barrier to retrieve his elder brother’s lost treasure. The sorcerer stood back and watched while Oskar and Aelar fought a small variety of enemies: a mind flayer, four minotaurs, and an aboleth. They also encountered a sleeping storm giant but didn’t bother trying to fight him. Afterwards, they met a halfling who was in the dungeon who asked if they wanted to “play cards” with his “special deck”. It was revealed that the deck was the Deck of Many Things, a very powerful magic item which can give one the world or ruin one’s life. Aelar decided against it but Oskar decided to draw one. He received a boost to his Wisdom thanks to the card he drew.

Meanwhile, Kriven found his way to Sigil, the lone city along the Infinite Road. He met the same wandering halfling and drew a card.

He drew the damn Fates card.

The Fates card allows one to “avoid or erase” a past event. Due to the ambiguity of the card, we decided the following: erasing an event will make it so a certain moment in time will not have happened but the timeline continues as normal with minor changes; avoiding an event will make it so a certain moment in time will be altered and the timeline will be accordingly changed completely. Kriven decided to avoid finding the magic lamp, causing the timeline to alter. Time shifted back to when the party encountered Orryn, though this time they had Oskar and Aelar at their side. Orryn was defeated when they used a magic topaz to blast his protective dome from the inside out (5d10 Lightning Damage + 5d8 Thunder Damage). He was only crippled from the neck down, so Himaestro brought him to his plane-in-a-box and threw him off the highest tower he had, earning the “Stargazer” achievement.

After this, Himaestro began plotting to create political discord amongst other countries. In the meantime, they attempted to assassinate Baern Strahklin, the King Beneath the Lake, Sovereign of Undaston, and New Light Lieutenant. They tried twice: once with an explosive book, the other with Cadalbolg, an explosive lance that was modified to be shot from a bow. They failed twice. The man with the explosive book was caught and Cadalbolg struck a Wall of Force guarding the king; the resulting blast killed 70 innocent civilians. We last left the party two hundred feet in the air as guards rushed to their position.

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