Scales of War

48. Lord Telicanthus

9/19/09: This was a special Game Day Session on a Saturday at the den. We first played through the moderately awful Game Day scenario called “A Passage into Mystery”. The heroes had heard rumors of a great treasure in some caves… but it turned out that the treasure was actually the lessons they learned along the way. Also, Connor, who plays Corth, is a treasure. We had a cool mix of players. Emily and George, who played Cedric and Mika Lime (former Badasses of Overlook) returned to the table and it was a lot of fun.

RPGA Sanctioning #: 09-09-2055995

Cedric – Dwarf Cleric Corth, Friend of Falrinth, Betrayer of Troglodytes, Whisperer of Lingering Spirits, Slayer of Sarshan, Harbinger of Critical Strikes, Puller of Chains – Dragonborn Paladin Devilock *- Tiefling Bard *Galasis *- Eladrin Wizard *Mari – Human Sorcerer Reshkar – Dragonborn Fighter Storm – Razorclaw Avenger Mika – Human Wizard

Falling Force had agreed to help the surviving githzerai make their way to the city of Sayre two days away from the githzerai fortress of Akma’ad. Despite the adventurers’ heroism, Odos and the githzerai were not especially friendly. Tokkit and Gallia were shunned as well.

Cedric and Mika had been training in nearby lands, and had caught word of the siege and had come to help. They teamed up with Falling Force and agreed to help the githzerai get to Sayre.

After a long day of walking, the heroes made camp a fair distance from the githzerai. Devilock was taking a watch in the middle of the night… when suddenly, a half-tangible githyanki gish sprung up from the earth and attacked! He had more warriors lurking in the woods, who quickly stormed the camp. The assassins hoped to kill the heroes, and then cut down the remaining githzerai.

Devilock gave a shout, and the heroes awoke and engaged the githyanki. Mika emerged from her tent launching off spells, creating a pillar of light on a tree, adn then following it up with a thunderwave that utterly devastated the two githyanki warriors near the tree.

The githyanki assassin made it a point to avoid Mika, teleporting away (which refreshed his insubstantial ability). Cedric fired off a lance of faith that pierced the heart of a githyanki warrior while Devilock and Reshkar engaged the gish.

The warriors screamed for help as Mike blasted them again into the pillar. Tokkit and Gallia ran to the githzerai camp for hep. The heroes could hear them mobilizing. The heroes knew that help would not be necessary. Mari plunged the two remaining warriors into a maze of mirrors, while the others surrounded and murdered the gish.

The adventurers went back to sleep, hoping that they’d make it to Sayre the next day. They did. Here’s the Sayre flavor:

“You hear the distant sound of church bells long before you actually see Sayre. It lies in the valley below you, nestled between three rivers. Sunlight reflects from the city’s canals. Although it has roughly the same number of inhabitants as Overlook, Sayre is a very different city. It is said to be a city of artists, artisans, and scholars, and you can see why. The sunlight filtering through the hills gives a golden glow to the entire valley. From where you stand, you can see mansions and palaces rising up from islands between the rivers, university halls jutting upward, numerous monuments and large statues, and the smoke from smithies rising into the air. Mist from a huge waterfall swirls along the southern edge of the city. A guardhouse stands in front of the great bridge that leads over the river into the city. A throng of people bustle about—buskers, salesfolk, travelers, beggars, and guards. Even a few rich nobles can be seen, riding in open-top carriages in their finery.

A servant comes up, haltingly. “Excuse me,” he says, “but by any chance are you the Heroes of Elsir Vale?”

Corth told the servant that they were the heroes. The servant brought the heroes to a carriage, and told them a very influential noble wished to meet them. His name was Lord Telicanthus. He was a githyanki. Telicanthus tried his best to hide his distate for the githzerai, but the heroes picked up on it.

Telicanthus sent a servant to set up rooms for the adventurers at the finest inn in Sayre – The River Jewel. He was honored to be in the presence of true heroes, and asked them to come to his mansion for tea the following day. The heroes agreed to do so, but were skeptical of a githyanki living amongst the people of Sayre. Telixanthus said:

“I’m not associated at all with those murderous fellows in the Astral Sea, though. No, I left that life years ago and I’ve never regretted it once. I’m a glassmaker now, and a loyal citizen of this fine city. We can’t help how we’re born, but we can choose how we live our lives. Something that everyone really ought to learn.”

With that, Telicanthus entered his carriage and rode off. Odos, leader of the githzerai, immediately took a dislike to Telicanthus. He told the heroes that he had heard that a band of githzerai lived in a red building in Sayre. they began to cross the bridge leading into Sayre’s noble district, but guards on a battlement shouted for them to stop. The guards claimed that githzerai were nothing but trouble, and that those of their ilk could not enter the noble district. the heroes took offense and intimidated the guards into backing down. Some of the adventures spotted Telicanthus peering out of his carriage, smirking at the githzerai’s plight.

The heroes made their way through Sayre to the riverdown district – the slums of Sayre. There they made their way to the Plaza of Vision, where the githzerai lived in a red abandoned warehouse. A githzerai guard saw Odos and immediately bowed before him. The heroes went inside with Odos, and saw the githzerai in a heated debate.

The githzerai of Sayre had a problem – the citizens had turned on them, and claimed they were thieves. Four githzerai had even been mysteriously killed. To the heroes shock, they saw someone they knew amongst the githzerai. Amyria, the mysterious deva who had been imprisoned in the platinum sword was there, trying to make peace.

Odos listened to both sides of the argument. An angry githzerai called Gall’ott wanted to form a gang and kill Lord Telicanthus. He was certain that the githyanki was the cause of the sudden tide of hatred of githzerai. A female named Azitt claimed that killing Telicanthus would make things worse. She thought the best course of action was to try and prove that Telicanthus was a fraud.

Amyria agreed with Azitt, and was dismayed when Odos suggested that they just kill Telicanthus and leave the mortal realm entirely. She asked the heroes to help persuade Odos to stay and discredit Telicanthus.

Amyria explained that leaders of many nearby cities had come to Sayre to discuss what to do about the githyanki invasions. She believed that Odos would be an invaluable ally in what she hoped would become a coalition to fight the githyanki.

The heores gave it a shot, trying todraw parallels to the githzerai’s history and religion. The problem was that the heroes knew nothing about wither (this was a skill challenge that had NO successful rolls! John Lent pointed out that this was evidence that rolling initiative for skill challenges doesn’t work).

Odos declared that the githzerai would kill Telicanthus and then leave the world of Dracos for good. Dismayed, Amyria thanked the heroes for trying and she asked them to meet wth her Coalition on the following day. the heroes agreed.

Amyria explained that she was especially troubled due to a prophetic dream she had:

“In my dream I was standing in the midst of raw elements. Waves crashed around me and fires flared, and I was looking down through clouds onto a dark blue night’s sky. Stretching across the sky was a giant spider’s web that was woven between planes. It was silver and sparkled with stars, and at the end of each web line was a githyanki. As each githyanki spoke, the web sparkled, and a fat spider in the middle listened to everything that anyone said. The spider was beautiful, but you could tell it was evil, just like the people talking through it. It scuttled around, fixing frayed lines and tossing out new lines to new people. Most were githyanki, but some were not. One of the lines went to a githzerai.” She looks troubled.

“I looked harder at the spider, and I knew it was here in Sayre. I could see the city around it. So I came here. I think someone in Sayre is helping the githyanki, but we don’t know for sure who it is, although we have our suspicions. And we don’t have an easy answer about what to do about it.”

The adventurers then decided to head into Sayre to do some investigating. Devilock ha it in his mind that he needed to warn Telicanthus, who had been nothing but kind to them. But as they made their way into the plaze, flavor text happened:

“As you leave the building and move into the plaza, you notice that there’s movement at the mouths of the alleys around you. Ragged beggars emerge from the shadows brandishing bright, new weapons—and wearing chainmail! The attackers appear well fed, despite the rags and dirt that cover them, and more than proficient with the weapons they’re wielding.”

The beggars closed in from all over. Corth let out a blast of lightning that killed a few. Cedric called forth a consecrated ground spell that murdered four beggars with devastating radiance.

One beggar was holding a gem that had incredible power – it dragged the heroes closer to it with strange draconic energy. Reshkar was immediately drawn to the gem, sensing a strange and powerful presence connected to it.

Storm raced across the plaze and tore into the beggar woman and her aide. The fight sprawled into an alley, with Storm’s blade drawing blood over and over again. Mari called forth a spectral claw, which snatched up a beggar streetfighter and sent her cashing into a wall.

The heroes killed off the beggars. Reshkar held up the gem, sensing a powerful intelligence inside. He placed it in his pack for further study.

The heroes had fought an incredible battle to protect the githzerai, but now found their allies threatened by an unseen and perhaps undefeatable foe. Their choices on the next day could determine the fate of the githzerai as well as the entire world of Dracos…

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Brock

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