Scales of War

50. The Coalition

9/28/09: John Lent couldn’t make it this week, but we had a surprise return. Daryl had gone to the South and as far as I knew might not return.. and yet here he was! He’ll be in town for a few weeks, and will be playing Ark again!The heroes were 40 XP away from 13th level, and they mauled over that barrier tonight….

Sanctioning #: 09-09-2064684

Ark – Eladrin Swordmage Anjou Beurre – Half-Elf Warden Corth, Friend of Falrinth, Betrayer of Troglodytes, Whisperer of Lingering Spirits, Slayer of Sarshan, Harbinger of Critical Strikes, Puller of Chains, Master of Spicy Hobos, Impressor of Scalehammers – Dragonborn Paladin Galasis *- Eladrin Wizard *Mari *- Human Sorcerer *Reshkar – Dragonborn Fighter Storm – Razorclaw Avenger

Falling Force 7 was in the city of Sayre, trying to help some home-less githzerai, as well as help stop a githyanki invasion of the world of Dracos. They were suspicious of a popular githyanki noble in Sayre, and were investigating a Spice House that housed bandits who had attacked them in the city. Deep under the spice house was a church of tiamat, and inside was the bandit leader – the Filth King.

The room was cut in half by a 20 foot deep pit lined with bones of those who had angered the Filth King. On the far side was a filthy statue of Tiamat, and a massive treasure hoard.

A bandit was by the treasure, nervous. The filth King shouted “Do it!”. Galasis wasn’t sure what was going to happen. He cast a stinking cloud on the bandit, who doubled over, wretching. The bandit picked up a coin from the pile, which triggered the magic.

The hoard swirled together, forming a massive five-headed beast made entirely out of coins and treasure! The treasure golem’s roar sounded like a thousand clattering coins. It reared up and devoured the wretching bandit.

Suddenly, Ark kicked in the temple doors. As a treasure hunter, he had been drawn to Sayre and the city buried beneath it – Auger. Ark jumped over three pews and tore into one of the bandits.

Mari cast a chaos storm, summoning it on the golem. The chaos storm dragged the treasure golem to the edge of the pit. The thing fought and was able to keep itself from falling in.

Anjou grabbed the Filth King and hurled him into the pit of bones. He fell with a sickening thud, and groaned. He was near death. (Meanwhile, up top, The Combat Advantage was utilized. We speculated on scenarios where a rowdy night out could lead to a fellow going to a doctor to get tested for The Combat Advantage. How dangerous that would be. Why, anyone could get sneak attack damage on you, even in broad daylight!).

Anjou used her storm step spell to turn into a being of wind and rain. She crossed the pit and hacked into the golem. Storm the Avenger climbed down into the pit, pursuing the Filth King until he was sure he was dead.

The golem snatched Anjou up in its’ mouth and flung the warden into the pit. As she stood up, she aided Storm, flanking the Filth King. Storm;s blade plunged into the king, slaying him.

Storm climbed, pulling himself out of the pit. He hacked into the beast, but it tossed him back, sending him sprawling. A bandit fell into the pit and attacked Anjou. Ark teleported down and sliced the bandit to ribbons. As the bandit was in death throes, the two friends re-united amongst the bones of the enemies of Tiamat (Ark and Anjou were adventuring companions before Falling Force 7 formed).

Anjou then used magic to summon branches which allowed her to run up and out of the pit. Storm and Anjou engaged the creature, but were shocked as the thing turned into a swirling vortex of treasure and crossed the pit. As it came close to a bandit on the other side, he shouted out “I quit!”.

The bandit jumped the pit and ran toward the statue of Tiamat. He began reaching to the wall behind the statue. As Arc climbed out of the pit, Anjou ran over to the bandit and was as friendly as possible. She asked him not to run, and asked him for help. “Is there any way we can pacify the golem?”

(In the adventure, it mentions a power called pacify by tribute). the bandit nodded, and shouted that in order to placate the golem, you’d have to offer it a fairly valuable stack of treasure. The heroes tossed 100 gold at the golem, which placated it. The thing revert3ed intothe form of a pile of treasure.

The heroes then went through a magical process where they disenchanted the treasure. Once successful, they divvied up the loot, which included about 10,000 gold, four potions of vitality, and a painting of Auglos, founder of Auger.

Reshkar, meanwhile, had been in a savage fight with a pair of female bandits. He sensed a connection between the Tiamat statue and the gem he had gotten from the would-be assassins from earlier. He tossed the icy gem to Storm, who placed it at the altar of the statue. A cold voice emanated in Storm and Reshkar’s minds: “Cast off your God, Glydon of War, and follow me – Chillreaver!”

Storm said “Screw you” and backed away. Reshkar, however, agreed. The voice said “Come forward, then.” Rehskar could sense the power of Chillreaver as he came near. He touched the gem, and he felt his body surge with strength. His breath weapon was now ice, and his red scales had whitened considerably. The gem, too, had been recharged. He could use it to draw enemies to it. He understood that it could be recharged if he brought it back to the statue. He also understood that he now served Chillreaver, the two-headed white dragon.

Three bandits surrendered. Galasis proceeded to beat them to death with his staff. he church had originally been dedicated to his diet, Radu the god of magic. Galasis took great offense to what they had done to it.

The heroes rested for a few minutes, then checked out the secret door behind the statue. In it was a hallway that sloped downward and ended at a door partially blocked by rubble. Josh the snake was sent, and he slithered through the rubble and under the door crack. Josh reported that the room tasted of death and that he sensed the vibrations of many.

The heroes cleared out the rubble and forced the door open. Inside was an old library, with 8 undead scribes lurking within. Text had been scribed all over the walls, using their own bony fingers to copy the books contents that had long since decayed.

Storm charged in, crossing the room and devastating a Bone Archivist with a massive attack. It touched the avenger, reading his memories. Storm’s memory of rejecting Chillreaver’s offer was inscribed on the strange creature’s skin.

Anjou used a thunderstrike to drop an archivist as the undead closed in, intent on reading and copying the heroes’ memories, killing them in the process. (It was also pointed out that there’s a comic on the rack that seems to claim that the Justice Society of America is “Gay for Justice!”).

Anjou teleported further into the room, usign thunder ram assault to send them flying. Falling Force easily took down the undead, and then studied the walls. There were a number of passages about the development of a glass communication device, and how it sent feedback into the astral sea… Ark noted that Auger had been destroyed by the githyanki hundreds of years ago….

But there was one long passage that seemed to address the heroes directly:

“You’re watching me. I can see you, but you don’t know that. You’re listening to my words even though I’m long dead. No, not you! Idiot. You’re just writing down my words because you were told to by the old man with a beard and a magic glass. I’m talking to the other people, the ones reading this on the wall. They know I’m dead.

Oh yes, dead, mud in my mouth, river arisen! I sing of a ship that sails the air, that brings swords and fire. You’ve fought it, too, but it’s worse for you. We’re just going to die. They’ll kill us all because of what the bearded man does, talking through the mirror. They’ll just flood the room, and that will solve their problem until he finds it again. He’s been looking for it a long time. You think he likes you but it’s a lie. There was digging, you see, and cleaning, and many false leads. He’ll use it to conquer you all, but no one will believe you. You’ll have to prove him a liar. They can talk through it, you see. They’ve managed to do it, and the armies whisper through the blue darkness in a way that no one else can hear. You’re dead if you don’t stop it.

Even now they are discussing you. “Distract them,” he is told, “this is too important to ruin.” But you can. Boy! Boy, I demand a goose! Pluck it and ruin it and save yourself if you find the right spot. Look for the old tower when no one expects you. It isn’t where they think it is. Ask the dwarves if you like, the brothers who dream of maps. Because in the days to come SHE will spread herself, and none will be safe from HER reach, so you may wish to trust the speech of the Bladed Girl. Trust, trust her if no one else. If her people do not come together, they will certainly be ripped apart. Like my goose? I am so very hungry. I could use some tea. Boy!”

—verbatim account from the recorded visions of Graiden Brackenhaus, oracular guest of Seer Auglos of Auger, as scribed by Brother Pinnot from the Church of Radu.

Falling Force headed back up into Sayre, and decided to stay at Ark’s inn. they checked in on the River Jewel. Anjou had offered her room to 2 bandits. Apparently they had raised quite a ruckus. Anjou found them both passed out in her room with two floozies. Empty bottles covered the floor.

The heroes let them be and headed to Ark’s place for a well-deserved rest.

The following morning, they headed to the University of Sayre with Amyria. It was time for the meeting of the prospective Coalition. Amyria hoped to convince influential leaders of the region to band together to fight against the githyanki, who were attacking settlements all over the continent.

Sitting at the table were the prospective members of The Coalition:

Cedric of Overlook – The former Badass was now representing Overlook’s interests Fariex the Scalehammer – a well-connected merchant of the region Caliandra of the Stagrunners – and elderly ruler of 25 elf tribes Lord Divian Torrance – governor of Sayre Quelenna Entromiel – ruler of a settlement called Dornaithos, also a wealthy merchant Inogo Dravitch – Priest ruler of distant Sherrbyr, a city of churches Odos – the blind githzerai who wanted to kill Telicanthus and take his people off of the world entirely

Amyria thanked them all for coming. She began to speak of the threat of the githyanki. Corth stepped forward to help. Fariex the Scalehammer questioned the logistics of a Coalition. Corth proceeded to give an incredibly eloquent speech, noting not only the good that could be one, but also the potential profits to be had in a wartime scenario.

Fariex sat back and rubbed his chin. Fariex proclaimed that he wanted to be involved in whatever Corth had in mind. He was thoroughly impressed.

The first order of business was to discuss the transfer of the military to the Coalition. There was a lot of resistance to the idea, but the heroes stepped in and helped Amyria. the heroes convinced the Coalition that a unified army was essential infighting the Githyanki.

Amyria was pleased, and declared that apparently there would be a Coalition. The next order of business, then, was to vote on a leader. It came down to three choices: Lord Divian Torrance, who insisted that if this was all to be based in his city,t hen it only made sense for him to have control of The Coalition. Anjou and Storm nominated Odos the githzerai, who was shocked. And Ark threw his hat into the mix, with the backing of Galasis, Coth and Reshkar (Mari remained neutral).

A debate raged (opposed skill checks!) to decide leadership. The talks bounced back and forth. Ark’s argument for himself was more or less “why not?”. But he was backed by Corth, an incredibly skilled Orator. Corth eloquently laid out the idea that Ark was a fresh face with new ideas.

Anjou knew Ark, though, and was repulsed by the idea that her eladrin friend would be in charge of such a massive effort. She explained that Odos was the perfect choice because he didn’t want any part of it. Odos had no vested interests – his only concern was that he didn’t want anyone else to die.

It was a great point. But Anjou was not the great speechmaker that Corth was (Anjou failed her check by one point! Since Ark’s team had won all three of their checks, and Odos’ team only won two, Ark was the victor). Anjou cringed as The Coalition agreed to make Ark the leader ofthe Coalition effort!

After an hour of logistics, someone called for a lunch break. The heroes and the leaders mingled as they ate. Fariex the Scalehammer pulled out a deck of cards and asked if anyone wanted to play a game of Three Dragon Ante. Mari looked him over, and watched the merchant’s elaborate shuffling techniques. She couldn’t spot any tricks. She decided to play him.

She sat down at the table knowing nothing about the game. She then proceeded to destroy Fariex with an incredible hand. She walked away 50 gold richer. Fariex was bemused and impressed with Mari. He couldn’t help but respect her skill (she would get a +5 on her next check involving Fariex).

There were still major decisions to be made. As they sat and reflected, the heroes wondered what would be in store for Ark’s Coalition…

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Brock

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