Grimwyrd: Who are you?

Fiss: [elf mode!]
Doc: [human mode]
I play fantasy RPGs so I can imagine what it’s like to be human
P.P. A.: [dwarf mode]
I play fantasy RPGs so I can imagine what it’s like to be short
Ken (GM): [GM mode]
I play fantasy RPGs so i can imagine what its like to be a masochist


Ken (GM) WHERE LAST WE LEFT OUR HEROES

The town of Academ lies in ruins, blasted by a mystical storm and shredded with gale force winds! The party have ventured deep in the maelstrom, led by an eerie calm path through the chaos to the center of town. There, they found a den of ghouls nesting in the remains of the Academy! Carnage ensued! Blasts of fire and fury destroying the fell beasts! Then within the eldritch lair, they find a mystic circle inscribed with the runes of power binding the storm to bidding, and inside that, IT dwellls!

Gray scowls at eldritch markings and glyphs on the walls of the chamber, lifting a hand to slowly take off the Shamanic mask, hanging it on his armor as he speaks in that rough voice. “Does anyone see a way to close this gate?

Suðri Skornbrekker looks around the room for what looks like switches, hidden doors, or—don’t tell anyone—nice masonry.
(To Suðri Skornbrekker): The room looks to be setup in such a way that the gate was recently installed( magically created, as well) as the stonework is impossibly smooth and warped as if by magic. There should have been a door behind it, but it’s gone now, the arch replaced with a gate built much the same as in the mine

Doc: (did I roll Thaumatology for this last time?)
Ken (GM): [yes!]
Doc: (fug)
Syviis: [did I?]
(To Doc): Youre no gate-wizard, but they might have the whole thing setup like a kind of box-spring trap, siphoning the entity off if the circle breaks… regardless, they worked an operating Gate into the whole storm-spell. It goes somewhere else, and something over there is part of the spell circle
(To Syviis): Youre no gate-wizard, but they might have the whole thing setup like a kind of box-spring trap, siphoning the entity off if the circle breaks… regardless, they worked an operating Gate into the whole storm-spell. It goes somewhere else, and something over there is part of the spell circle

Ken (GM): [~whispering intensifies~]

(From Syviis): so it’s similar to how they’ve been binding elementals, just they decided that doing the same to extraplanar doom was OK also?
(To Syviis): Yep; looks like they are doing the same work as in the Ansible of Spirits. Siphoning power off the edge of the universe

(From Doc): as in, we’ll have to go through the gate?
(To Doc): As in, “the only stable way to release IT would be to access all the pieces of the circle, which is on the other side of the gate.”

Syviis shakes her head as she looks over the magic circles “Such foolish desire for power! They’ve been binding vile horrors from beyond our realm the same way as they’ve been capturing the elementals and putting them to slavery.”
Roderick: “Recklessness,” Roderick spits. “The binding circle is on the other side of the gate.”

Suðri Skornbrekker strokes his beard and approaches the arch behind the abomination.
(From Suðri Skornbrekker): as in like the portal pillars we destroyed?
(To Suðri Skornbrekker): Yeah, same deal. This is a gate made by likely a wizard immigrating the old dwarven empire construction

IT WATCHES THE DWARF INTENTLY, EAGERLY, HUNGRILY

Suðri Skornbrekker tries to ignore IT as he knocks on the arch. “This seems to be an imitation of the portal we saw in the mine.”

Gray: “It occurs to me I’ve never asked… What sort of arrangements should be made if any of you fall in battle” The beast ask in that low, powerful growl, looking around the room then walking around the pillars to join the dwarfs.
Bomrek: “Don’t be too morbid Beastman, I’ll live for sometime yet”
Gray: “I’d imagine you would best be shipped home in a whisky barrel. I’ll put a sign on it telling people not to drink from it.” He assures Bomrek with a faint chuckle as he studies the portal, then nods to Suðri. “I’ll follow your lead. This is beyond me”

Suðri Skornbrekker hesitates. “I would propose dealing with it the same way, but this thing seems to be… still coming out of it, so I’m not sure if breaking the portal like this could have some averse side-effects.” He considers, “We would also lose the sword if we just broke this now…”


Syviis: [Didn’t one of the silver swords get thrown into the void? Is it anywhere here on this side? or am I remembering that wrong?]
Ken (GM): [the swords all got recovered from your fight; when the gate burst into flames it scorched the silver knight, and you guys brought back his armor too.]
Syviis: [right on]


Syviis: “We really must find a way to close these wounds to reality. As much as I would love to find a way to use this vile power against our foes, that seems exactly what the darkness would want… we cannot win by using these sickening methods anyway.”
Gray: “Are you suggesting we venture past the gate? Closing it from the other side is hardly an option… Rig it to collapse and dive back though?”
Suðri Skornbrekker: “I have ‘peered into’ the other side, through my connection to the sword. It’s not a place I would want to be, but that might be the only way.” again, he considers, “I heard someone laugh, though; if that was not the mere ambient evilness permeating the place, someone might be lying in wait for us.”

(To Roderick): The voice in your mind continues to plead for help; indistinct but terrifying

Syviis looks around for wizarding trappings. books, scrolls, anything to indicate the madness that went into crafting the gate.
(To Syviis): The only trappings here are on the wall, carved in stone; Thaumaturgical script regarding the circle. There is a faint aura of transmutation. This was magically carved
(From Syviis): any chance I can read or ration it out? Or is this still beyond my omniscient skill of 12 lol?
(To Syviis): roll!
Syviis: (To GM) rolling 3d6 vs 12 Thaumatology ( 5 + 6 + 6 ) = 17
(From Syviis): HAHAHAA

(To Syviis): aside from your magic vision, it actually makes less and less sense as you read further…

Suðri Skornbrekker takes a cautious step closer to the portal to see if it can be seen through without sticking one’s head in.
Ken (GM) [The silver-gold mist is opaque; you cannot see through beyond it]
Suðri Skornbrekker steps back and concentrates again, trying to get another glimpse of the silver sword’s surroundings; he doesn’t expect to see much more than the darkness and suffering he saw last, but perhaps he can make out something that looks like the other side of the portal, now that he knows what he’s looking for.

Syviis turns away from the wall, shaking her head and clearing her eyes.
Syviis: “Blasted infernal magic makes no bloody sense…”

(To Suðri Skornbrekker): you concentrate, and your vision fills with red! Pain immeasurable lances up your body! A silver sword pierces your very heart! AGONY! TORMENT! [roll will!]
Ken (GM) Suðri closes his eyes a moment concentrating, then seizes as if struck with wracking pain! He staggers!
(From Suðri Skornbrekker): [11v12]

(To Suðri Skornbrekker): Very clearly, through the pain, you see the sword in the clutches of one of THEM, a demon. It is painfully torturing a man already scarred with the demonic powers. His pain is being channelled into something, and you crossed streams with it, with your visions.

Gray reaches out to steady Suori, the beastman frowning. “Are you hurt?”

Roderick sighs and braces himself for the answer to question he’s about to ask. “Is anyone else hearing whispers in their minds? Or is it just me?”
Bomrek eyes Roderick with suspicion
Bomrek: >mutter mutter “wizards”
Suðri Skornbrekker: “I cannot hear anything, Roderick, I am only getting physically stabbed through my mind.” He dismisses Gray’s worries: “I managed to avoid it, but… it looks like they are conducting some kind of ritual over there. Perhaps we should just jump in and kill them—prepare for demons, though.”

IT CHUCKLES LIKE A WET SACK OF DEAD CATS. PAIN IS DELICIOUS TO IT

Doc: >wet sack of dead cats
Doc: WEW
P.P. A.: Do dead cats chuckle?

Suðri Skornbrekker: “Feeding it pain, I guess.” He grinds his teeth against the pain and the cruelty.
Gray: “Blight and damnnation. I’m game if you are.. too bad we don’t have a few hundred pounds of powder. I’d rather just throw a huge bomb in then go myself.”
Syviis doesn’t outwardly mention the huge bomb we had access to

Bomrek: “Rod, elaborate, please; the HELLS do you mean by ‘voices’ ?”
Bomrek thumbs his pistols
Gray frowns a touch. “No voices here. No spirits here either… but there could be Other Things present.” He gestures to the hideous thing pushing at the bounds of their reality.
Roderick looks at the Skornbrekker. “Is part of your crystal spirit on the other side of that gate?”
(To P.P. A.): Yep; held by a demon, stabbing a man-mage
Suðri Skornbrekker: “The sword is, and it is part of her.”
Roderick: “Well the voice I’m hearing is begging for help. I don’t think we have any other options.”
(To Roderick): You’re very sure the voice you hear is familiar, but for the life of you, you don’t recall who or why
Gray: “Damn. Does it come from past the gate? They may have enslaved a Fae creature, something a Warden or crystal-bound Dwarf wouldn’t hear?”
Suðri Skornbrekker: “Let’s go do that then, although it looks like the only one they are torturing is the human who killed the folk outside.” He readies his dorf-rifle and his bardiche, and steps forward.
Roderick nods and readies his sword, looking to the others


(From P.P. A.): [For the dwarf armor ability] how about 3 levels in Binding in the form of some extended robo-tentacle (or simply a chain that can be swung with a joint growing from the armor) as the first use of his modular ability?
(To P.P. A.): sounds fine; it would need to be limited to a melee range/attached to you somehow, but thats valid
(From P.P. A.): the default range is 1/2 which is basically melee range

(To Suðri Skornbrekker): You misread; default range is 100 , and a “Half damage” range of “-” or “not applicable”
(To Suðri Skornbrekker): its a dumb format to fit in plain text
(From Suðri Skornbrekker): oh. Well, let’s say reach c, 1, 2 or something then, your call
(To Suðri Skornbrekker): Sounds fine 🙂

Suðri Skornbrekker: “One second, however.” Suðri takes out a bag of metal scraps, and munches down on a few.
Suðri Skornbrekker tenses up and concentrates, and produces from him some kind of crude robotic arm, attacked to it a heavy-ish chain. The process is done after little more than a second; at one end of the chain is a hook, the other is connected to the dwarf’s crystal armor by some kind of joint. “Let’s do this!”
Ken (GM) the dwarf’s armor bulges and swirls, and a crackling noise emanates from it as it morphs into the new limb
Bomrek: “Aw crap, now even he’s a wizard!”
Suðri Skornbrekker: “Nay, ’tis mere craft.”

Merely craft

Syviis steels herself for what could be a journey through the heart of the darkness itself, knowing her faith in the Light will protect her and her friends.

Suðri Skornbrekker braces his dorf-rifle and steps through the portal
Ken (GM) Suðri ‘s form melts from view as it passes through the metallic veil
Bomrek: “ah crap” and he barges after his dwarven brother
Syviis: “I don’t smell vaporized Dwarf…so I suppose that’s a good sign!” She smiles hopefully. Syviis walks through, bow ready
Gray nods and goes past the gate as well, unwilling to leave the others to face the horrors alone the Beastman settles the mask across his face.


Syviis: [TPK!]
Ken (GM): Roooood?
Doc: (connection died)
Ken (GM): lol TIMING
Doc: yeah the last thing I saw was the robo-arm
Ken (GM): [directly after that, Suðri jumped into the portal; everyone else followed suit]
Roderick would have stepped in alongside whoever went first
Ken (GM): [gotcha]


Ken (GM) the silver-gold mist parts over your skin like a cool rain. Jolts and tingles of power tickle your senses as you travel. It is cold here, in the space between worlds. But you are not alone…

(From P.P. A.): I realised I don’t actually know what skill to roll against to use this
(To P.P. A.): Oh the malf? Its just a flat roll vs the number you’ve assigned
(From P.P. A.): nah, to ‘aim and throw the chain-arm’ at someone
(To Suðri Skornbrekker): if you want it to require some sort of craft/knowledge to use AS WELL thats another -% modifier
(To Suðri Skornbrekker): OH! its just a limb with melee range, so
brawling
(From P.P. A.): ah, thanks

Ken (GM) you arrive SOMEWHERE ELSE

Syviis: ohshitson

Ken (GM) the silver gray mist disperses, but on the other side, it only fades to a thin screen over the place you stand. Purple light suffuses the area, torches of some weid witchlight play odd shadows, and in front of you a horrifying tableau.
A demon, easily fifteen feet tall stands holding a silver sword, wicked flames lick the blade and it glows with infernal power crawling down his skin into the tortured wizard hanging in midair. In the eldritch circle carved in the floor, power flows like dancing lightning and he spins, screaming, a sword in his heart, the wound impossibly large. His eyes find you, and he gurgles out a wretched cry

IT HUNGERS FOR MORE PAIN, FEED IT AND ALL SHALL KNOW IT’S GLORIES

Ken (GM) the voice of IT issues from the towering demon of rotting and charred flesh; the humanoid form has mottled hide and bulbous cancerous looking protrusions, but the two arms and two legs hold up a vague lump of flesh like a face… and the mouth moves in time with the words from IT in your minds

IT HUNGERS! COME AND JOIN IT IN THE GLORIOUS PAIN!

Gray stares for a heartbeat then draws his swords as the horrible voice of the otherworldly monster fills the air around them.

Ken (GM): INITIATIVE AT +2 THANKS TO GRAY!
Syviis: rolling 1d6 + 8 ( 5 )+8 = 13
Suðri Skornbrekker: rolling 1d6++6.25+2 ( 6 )+6.25+2 = 14.25
Roderick: rolling d6+8 ( 1 )+8 = 9
Gray: rolling 1d6 + 7 for Initiative (Basic Speed 6, Combat Reflexes +1 or +2 if Leader) ( 2 )+7 = 9
Ken (GM)/Bomrek: rolling 1d6+7.5 ( 5 )+7.5 = 12.5
Skornbrekker! you have the turn!

Suðri Skornbrekker tapes a step to the side and begins aiming at the demon’s head! (with his dorf-rifle)
Ken (GM): gotcha
P.P. A.: oh hey, there’s a mini-eyeball-ball
I overlooked that
(To Suðri Skornbrekker): True! It looks like the controls you saw installed at the dwarven gate too

Syviis!
Syviis: Going to try and disrupt the actual pain-dealing. 2 point lightning-arrow to it’s Sword-Hand to start.
Ken (GM): cool; SM +3 (in the blue HUD for the token too)
Syviis: OK, then I can only miss on a Crit Fail.
rolling 3d6 ( 2 + 2 + 6 ) = 10
Ken (GM): The arrow sinks in !
Syviis: rolling 1d6 + 3 ( 4 )+3 = 7
rolling 2d6 ( 4 + 1 ) = 5
Arrow 2? Or does stuff happen?

Ken (GM) the arrow sinks into the hand, and lightning claps! The man in the circle screams as HIS hand explodes in a burst of flames and electricity!
Ken (GM): rolling 3d6 vs 12 major wound(hand) ( 6 + 5 + 5 ) = 16

Syviis holds her 2nd arrow

Ken (GM) the flesh detonates and flies in all directions. A stump remains, charred
(To Syviis): You clearly saw with your magic-vision (TM), you power travelling in a channel through the sword, into the tortured man

Syviis also swears in elvish

(GM To Rod): You hear the screaming voice inside your head loud and clear, it mirrors perfectly the cries of pain coming from the man in front of you

Bomrek curses and aims with his pistols
Ken (GM): Gray!
Gray: rolling 3d6 vs 15 to resist Berserk (Battle Rage) ( 4 + 4 + 1 ) = 9
Gray takes two steps to the hideous and unbound bit of IT and slashes with two swords. (All Out (Determined) to avoid the penalty for the step)
Gray: rolling 3d6 vs 16 for Balanced SM +1 Broadsword ( 3 + 6 + 6 ) = 15
rolling 3d6+2 for Cut damage from Broadsword Slash ( 1 + 1 + 2 )+2 = 6
P.P. A.: poor guy
Ken (GM): [as in, the ball of IT?]
P.P. A.: oh
Gray: ((Yep))
P.P. A.: I think those are just the controls of the portal
like the ones in the mine
slashing them might not be wise while we’re on this side of it?

Ken (GM) the sword swings in the air, and sinks deep in the ball of flesh. There is a wet POP noise

Joush M.: Yep, in retrospect that IS unwise. Sorry))
P.P. A.: oh nvm, I forgot those controls at the mine also had IT leeching on them

Ken (GM) the Demon screams and reels backward from the blow!
P.P. A.: yeah, this should be fine
yeah nvm

Ken (GM) the silver sword drops from his grasp!
Gray cuts into it with the emerald flame wreathed blade, then follows with the steel before his snarl fills the air when it pops. Always glad to wreck one of those things.

Ken (GM): Rod!
Doc: (can you guard someone else with parries or only with a shield?)
Joush M.: You can Sacrificial Parry if you have a perk)
Sacrfical Block requires Shield Wall Training.
and a shield. [RIP, old shield]

Roderick just steps forward, then, avoiding the circle
Ken (GM): good idea 😀

Ken (GM) The Demon, staggered, lifts itself up from the wall, leaving trailers of slime and blood where it grasps
IT: “I will FEAST on your BONES!”
and IT seems startled at the change in it’s own voice…

Ken (GM): SKORN
Suðri Skornbrekker shoots a laser beam at the demon’s head, (hoping that whatever Gray just did severed its connection to the poor man). If not, melting his head might at least put him out of his misery.
Ken (GM): lol
P.P. A.: 11 hexes… 1sec… -5
so +6-5+3-5
Ken (GM): right
Suðri Skornbrekker: [5v-2]
Ken (GM): lol
bad math but good roll!
P.P. A.: oops, put some – there where there shoulda been a +
Ken (GM): thats a CRITICAL HEADBLOW
3d6 for effect!
Syviis: Noice!
Suðri Skornbrekker: rolling 3d6 ( 5 + 4 + 6 ) = 15
Ken (GM): “15 – The blow does maximum normal damage”
:O
Suðri Skornbrekker: 36 burning damage then!

Ken (GM) the beam of heat lances out form the rifle, and a short half-second later the PING of the mechanism ejects the spent dust. The bloody mess that was the demon’s head is gone, and the body slumps to the ground like the wet sack of meat it is.
IT bleeds

Doc: fugging hell

Syviis lowers her arrow, unable to hide her impressed look as she glances at the dwarf

Ken (GM) a tense heartbeat later, the room is quiet and still. The mage spinning in midair slowly turns, gasping for air, exhausted and sweating, blood dripping from his ruined stump arm

Ken (GM) the mists on the edges of the room swirl, witchlight flickers, and it is calm

Suðri Skornbrekker blows the remaining grains red dust off his rifle, proud. “Good call, Gray,” he acknowledges the Scorned enabling this shot.

Gray nods to Suðri in respect and flicks his wrist, putting away one sword as he walks around the circle. Heading for the fallen sword. “Let’s get this back to someone worthy of it and set this gate to close so we can get the fuck out of here.”

Suðri Skornbrekker picks up the sword, and takes a look at the dragon skull thing while he’s here.
(To Suðri Skornbrekker): The skull stares back; it uncannily resembles the one you killed, oh so long ago. The stone does not respond.

Syviis addresses the man in the circle “Are you still with us in there?”
P.P. A.: “sorry for blowing up your hand by sending a lightning through it”
Syviis: [when you have lightning arrows, everything looks like a target…with..uhm….a lightning rod.]

[REDACTED]: “please, Roderick, help me”
[REDACTED]: “theyre killing me….please, end it”

Suðri Skornbrekker strokes his beard, but turns around to listen to the man’s pleading for now.
(From Suðri Skornbrekker): This is the man Suðri saw butchering people with the sword, right?
(To Suðri Skornbrekker): Unmistakably, you’d recognize [REDACTED] anywhere

Roderick: rolling 3d6 vs 14 Thaumatology on the circle ( 5 + 6 + 2 ) = 13
(To Roderick): The circle here is the missing bit of the one on the other side of the gate. The power siphoned off [REDACTED] seems to be linking the edges of the rest of the symbols. The glittering trailers of yellow light seem to be his soul twisted into working as the container
(From Doc): so kill him?

Ken (GM) the man [REDACTED] swirls in midair, hovering over the circle in the floor, power flowing out of [REDACTED]’s wounded bits and into the magic working

Suðri Skornbrekker: “I pity you, man, but what good did you think would come from pacting with demons who let you butcher innocents with a sword forged from the Earth’s very spirit?”
[REDACTED] speaks, slowly, as if concentrating very hard to compose the words: “It was not [REDACTED]’s choice, Suðri. The power of IT has warped reality. “
Gray lifts the silver sword carefully and studying it, then offering it to Suðri. “You mean to say this man is innocent here?”
[REDACTED]: “Just another cog in the infernal machine, Gray”
P.P. A.: (well, the man himself is implying that)
[REDACTED]: “End it quick…and [REDACTED] might simply cease to be. That would be the best outcome….”
Suðri Skornbrekker takes the sword, and reloads his musket. He looks at the man with some doubt. “Roderick, can this circle be dispelled?” he asks their noble, who seems to have been studying it for a while.

(To Roderick): You’re above assessment points to yes; you could de-power the magic working here. It would stop torturing him, and would de-power the other bits too.
(From Doc): what kind of check is needed to do that? thaumatology?
(To Doc): Yes, but DX based, to ‘perform the rites’ properly

Roderick nods and tries to dispel the circle
Roderick: rolling 3d6 vs 12 ( 2 + 5 + 5 ) = 12

Gray studies the room, the dragon’s skull, the dead deamon. He’s uneasy here and doesn’t risk letting his guard down.
(To Gray): The dragon skull is stone, but uncannily like the one you killed so long ago. The room seems to be ancient, built of an odd purple gray stone. The controls you ruined IT on are new by comparison, fashioned like the ones in the dwarven forge/mine

[REDACTED]: “Syviis, please, have mercy. End [REDACTED]. Just let it happen”
Syviis looks to the others “How do you know my name, sir? Have we met?Syviis: “And Gray’s?” She aims, regardless, but holds her arrow
[REDACTED] sighs, weary and tired “We used to, before IT changed things”

Gray looks to Roderick as the man attempts to unewave the circle, ready to run if the gate behind them starts to fail.

Ken (GM) Rod moves about the circle, smudging out symbols in a precise order. The glow of the circle fades, and [REDACTED] slowly drifts to the floor. [REDACTED] begins to seize up, wracked with pains, his wounds freshly bleeding out with a new vigor! [REDACTED] SCREAMS as he settles, his terrible wounds now free to bleed and expire!

Syviis: I assume his giant chest-wounds are a little beyond our healing skills?
P.P. A.: If Rod is as skilled as Falkirk, maybe not. Syviis was in a similarly bad state once and got patched up again

Gray looks to the man then to the gate.
Ken (GM) the gate is still open, silver gold veil undisturbed. The magic no longer flows through to the other side, though

Roderick: rolling 3d6 vs 14 IQ, Healing ( 3 + 5 + 2 ) = 10
Roderick reaches down to heal the man
Syviis will assist if she can!
Ken (GM): MAGICU HEALIU
Doc: (oh wait fug, uhhh 5 FP!)

Suðri Skornbrekker lets the magic-people do the healing and beckons Bomrek over. “Can you tell what meat this fellow is made of?” he asks him and points to the demon’s corpse.
Bomrek: ” Thats definitely not good eatin’ ” he frowns
Gray: “It’s body is crafted of the unformed land abandoned by those that created the world. I’d not taste it if I could help it.” He says thoughtfully…then to the others. “We should go. This is no place for us”

Suðri Skornbrekker turns to the side. “The dragon skull here looked familiar, so I wondered if it was dragon flesh, taken from the same source. …but I agree.”

Suðri Skornbrekker walks over to the controls, brushes the gore away with his bardiche (and notes to himself to clean it later!), and takes a look.
(To Suðri): controls are arcane; literally. There are odd symbols all over it, some pieces float in the air, and crystals of red stone glimmer all over it. It looks to have been built by magic, not by simple hands

Ken (GM) The healing light washes over the man, and his gaping wounds bind; the bleeding stops, and pink flesh thinly veils the damage. His stump is a clean nub, and the hole in his chest is closed.
He shudders still.
This close, you can see the intricate runes and scars that cover his bare flesh. His face is a ruinous mass of them, his eyes nearly missing under the layers. Those eyes open again though

[REDACTED]: “Thank you Rod. That was….better than [REDACTED] hoped for

Roderick looks at [REDACTED] and asks the most important question he can think of. “Who are you?”
[REDACTED]: “Once, your friend. A long time ago, we grew up together. Studied magic together. You went away to seek fortunes and glories. The story of your family was disgraceful, but not on them, not their fault. On Jadeite’s work. HIS hand moved the wheels of fate.”
“When the good king died, when the Gray blade faltered, [REDACTED] went with the others to help. To find ways to fix things. Jadeite led us, taught us. We couldn’t know what he was doing, what he was planning for us”
“When you used the Ansible, it was as he hoped; you released the energies inside it in haste, without pause. He had engineered the whole thing. You had no other way to survive”
“When you used it, you destroyed [REDACTED] from reality. And yet, the body before you speaks.”

Gray frowns at the sad story the man tells, the strange, terrible tale of a man lost to even time, left in hell itself. The Beastman stalks the room uneasy, sure Hell will turn on them soon. He stays ready to fight.

[REDACTED]: “I had hoped your memory would retain something of us, of [REDACTED]….”

Suðri Skornbrekker listens carefully to the man’s story while he tries to figure out which buttons not to press.: “Are you his body whose soul is departed from it, and which speaks… as a kind of imprinted reflex?”
[REDACTED]: “That….is one theory” A look of fearful wonder crosses his face “That would mean your friend really died that day. And this body would be free of sin, of guilt”
Gray: “If you’d like to leave hell, now is your chance. We plan to blast this place to splinters and slam the door behind us. I’m surprised it isn’t already closing, with your power no longer draining to feed it.”
[REDACTED] shudders “My pain was not powering the gate. Only the storm. Binding the elementals. The gates are powered by Jadeite and his works. He had them built throughout his new domain”
Gray nods grimly at that. “Explains that, then.”

Syviis: “Can you come back with us? If so, is there a place you still call home and rest you may have?”
[REDACTED]: “Jadeite will see this body dead, one way or another. He sent me here to waylay you, while he mustered forces. He won’t know of the treachery yet. Not until the results are apparent. Send this body away, and you need not see it again. There are places in the world hidden away that Jadeite might not see them”

YOU Face him though!” The voice hardens, the face twisted in pain and also grim remorse and regret “Take him to task for his evils! He has done more than he could ever fathom to ruin this world!”
Syviis: “That…is the one thing we’ve known for a long time.”
Roderick: “One of the few things that is not a mystery.”

Gray: “I’ve no reason to condemn you, fool of a mage. You may be what you desire now… I will see him dead and Grayhold restored for it’s people. For everyone that will suffer for the choices I made to survive.” He assures the mage, then asks Suðri. “Rig a charge to blow the controls, or just hit the switch and jump though the gate?”
[REDACTED]: “Careful! The gates are ancient workings! Power tapped from the earth itself!” he staggers forward, lurching, weak “Don’t be so hasty to shatter them with brute force!”
Suðri Skornbrekker: “Power tapped from the earth itself, you say?” The Dwarf raises an eyebrow, and touches the control panel (but no buttons or anything), and listens to his crystal. Could it be the ‘Earth-spirit’?
(To Suðri Skornbrekker): The thrum of Quicksilver’s power is in the controls! They are tied in to her bindings as well!
Suðri Skornbrekker ‘s expression becomes one of anger. “Shatter them with brute force is what we ought to do! This machinery is another link in Quicksilver’s chains!”
Gray: “Seems about right. Mages enslave whatever they can”

Ken (GM): [so, whats the plan then?]
Doc: what the dwarf said

Suðri Skornbrekker turns to Bomrek and Grey: “Can we set it up so it explodes after we have gone back?”
Gray nods, searching amoment. “Lay a powder train to a charge. How much powder do we have left?”
Bomrek: “Enough. At least for that. ” he looks the delicate and very fragile controls up and down “As long as we’re far away from it…”
Suðri Skornbrekker helps Bomrek setting it up.
Bomrek begins measuring powder from his pack, a small wooden box and some fuse together, to make a charge
[REDACTED] seems quite afraid of what you are doing, edging for the portal
“the destruction you will bring here….it will be IMMENSE. Be careful, old friends”
Suðri Skornbrekker: “That’s the idea; as long as we’re far enough away. Take care.”
Gray: “Aye.. no reason for everyone to remain on this side. The rest of you go. I’ll spark the fuse and join you.”
[REDACTED] steps through the portal, one last sad look over his shoulder
Suðri Skornbrekker: “The other side of the portal is in a closed room. Perhaps we should get the horses so we can ride rather than run away before priming the fuse?”
Ken (GM): [but where is THIS side of the portal?]
Syviis: “Where is this? Another plane? A room in Jadite’s layer?…something else?”
Suðri Skornbrekker looks around. “Was it just me or was there a passage there? Now it’s all foggy…”
Doc: (is this side of the portal a closed room?)

Gray nods grimly. “Hmm.. I think this place would be a bad place to remain for long. There’s darkness here.. and the last portal we broke unleashed a blast that incinerated a man.”
Suðri Skornbrekker: “And a Dwarf,” he recalls painfully.

Ken (GM) looking around you, the details of the room fade in and out of view through the fog. The walls are a hewn stone, and in places large cut flagstone. Odd translucent plants grow out form the walls… but they seem to intersect them, like ghostly images. The floor is the most solid bit you can touch, and it does not yield to the touch. The ceiling escapes away up into darkness…
(To Roderick): Your wizard senses tell you, youre not entirely on solid ground. This is someplace else
(To Syviis): Your wizard senses tell you, youre not entirely on solid ground. This is someplace else
(To Gray): Your spirit senses tell you, youre not entirely on solid ground. This is someplace else; the realm of spirits! A place where they dwell aside the land, their domain and kingdom!

Suðri Skornbrekker takes a closer look at the floor, and the walls that can be made out—what stone are they made of, what craftsmanship went into them… perhaps he recognizes them from some place or period?
Syviis: “I don’t believe this room is entirely…real.”
(To Suðri Skornbrekker): The stone is…unreal. You’ve never seen anything like it in your life, and youve seen a LOT of stones…
Gray: “Not hell.. but carved from the realm of spirits. It won’t remain long.” The towering beast in the mask nods in agreement with Syviis. “Go. I’ll wait a moment then start the fuse. We run back to where we left the horses.”
Syviis nods, leaving the blowing-up to the Dwarves and Beastman.
Bomrek begins noisily hammering the charge into place against the controls. Big iron nails bite into the fragile construction
Suðri Skornbrekker: “This is… might not be part of this world. if this part of the Darkness, or some other otherworldly place?”
Suðri Skornbrekker: “Wouldn’t want to blow up some harmless enslaved Spirits’ homeplace, but I guess we have no choice. ” Suðri helps where he can, and makes his way towards the exit.
Gray: “They’d prefer this gate closed, I think”
Bomrek: “done” the dwarf wipes his hands and walks away whistling, the armory box floating alongside

Roderick heads for the exit, struggling to remember who [REDACTED] was

(To Syviis): No sign of [REDACTED] on the other side. The summoning circle of IT is now a pool of gore….and depowered. Outside the storm has stopped
(To Suðri Skornbrekker): No sign of [REDACTED] on the other side. The summoning circle of IT is now a pool of gore….and depowered. Outside the storm has stopped
(To Roderick): No sign of [REDACTED] on the other side. The summoning circle of IT is now a pool of gore….and depowered. Outside the storm has stopped

(From Syviis): is the circle deactivated like the one that held [Redacted] Dude? Or is it still active?
(To Syviis): Powered down. You guys did the safest option, turning it off instead of blowing it up, or unleashing IT

Suðri Skornbrekker hopes that blowing this up won’t super-charge the summoning circle and re-start the storm. He doesn’t have any better solution though, and thus makes haste to get to hopefully-safety.
P.P. A.: (When we blew up the other portal and its controls it didn’t hurt Quicksilver, so I don’t see why this time should )

Gray waits a moment. Giving them plenty of time to walk to safety in heavy armor.

Ken (GM) Gray lights the fuse, and absconds, stepping through the veil

Syviis: “I’d ask how long we have….but I suppose it matters not now. Let’s ride!”

Ken (GM) on the other side, the world is quieter, the rain abating. No thunder outside, no howling of ghouls. The portal behind you shimmers, then there is a flutter of the veil itself. Then, the power is gone, and it winks away, instantly. Quietly.

Syviis relaxes a bit, but still makes long strides for the horses. Also, wiping her boots free of gore the moment she can
Ken (GM): [so much blood]

Gray relaxes when it doesn’t explode, at last putting away his swords and looking to the horrible mess in the old circle. Stalking though the rain in the direction of where they’d left the horses. “Memory, do you recall anything about that mage? I didn’t want to risk asking you until we were out of danger. Out of the realm of Spirit.”
Memory appears from Gray, sliding into your world from the shadows “It depends on how you interpret reality, Gray. His story is quite convincing to me. The Ansible was capable of terrible things, not the least of which was re-writing creation and modifying it’s nature. The device was powered by such an immensely dark and powerful magic that I fear writing someone out of existence would be a trifle of effort for it. ” She WARK’s, and ruffles. “In truth, I can’t remember who he was or what his name might have been. And whenever I think of it, I get the vaguest feeling that I should know it”
Gray: “Troubling. I wonder what other changes it made. What things we’ve forgotten but should know.”
Roderick studies the faces of the corpses he passes on the way out. Perhaps he had known them, too, but they had also been erased.
Memory: “However, one thing he did not outright say is true; he was built into the circle that powered the storm. He led us through it to the gate, to free him”

Suðri Skornbrekker strokes his beard. “I think we met everyone we’ve met on our travels again at some point, or we killed them.”
Suðri Skornbrekker: “There was the guy on the giant flying horse, I think he knew our names too; but we weren’t exactly on cordial terms. He was at the eye of the storm when we fired the Ansible, though.”
Gray: “Right.” He nods, troubled by his thoughts but heading back with the others. “We should return to the army and make sure they weathered the storm.”
P.P. A.: We met Horsa again, didn’t we? He didn’t know Roderick anyway.
P.P. A.: We met the rover he fought, we met Ulm, we met our commander, all at the town…
Ken (GM): [in the aftermath of the first chapter, yeah, Horsa was alive and well]
[and yeah, all true]
P.P. A.: I can’t think of anyone I’m forgetting, though I’m excluding dead people. Falkirk was fine too mostly
Ken (GM): [but you recall, you first met the scarred mage on the nightmare steed before entering the Dreugar ruin. After Rod had joined, then you cleared that out, and drove the Ansible North.]
To just be blunt, [REDACTED] is the one you turned the Ansible onto. You shot him point blank with a reality warping doomsday gun
P.P. A.: Oh, so it is him! I recognized his icon a little, and I remember that when he greeted us in the south he knew our names… plus he’d have been redacted the hardest of anyone when we fired the Ansible
Ken (GM): ~nods~
Literally, ‘redacted from the universe’
Joush M.: Ha. Nice. Worse then killed him
P.P. A.: The dragon skull was probably a hint, since we probably also redacted some of the dragons there
if they didn’t die fast enough

Suðri Skornbrekker: “If the Ansible can undo people from reality, perhaps that is why we need to re-activate it? To undo the Darkness itself from this world?”
Ken (GM): Maybe, simply to undo what you did?
Gray: “I don’t know. I hope we can at least cut it away from the world like it should be”
P.P. A.: I don’t think Suðri can conceptualize or jump to the realization that ‘we can actually undo events or concepts’, rather than just ‘things’ and ‘people’
not yet, at least
Ken (GM): hahah
>roleplaying
Doc: fellas we gotta destroy time


P.P. A.: ^
P.P. A.: Since it was also pre-mediated, we’d have to undo more than just us doing the ansible, too
if we just un-did our breaking reality, we’d still be sitting in a flying fortress besieged by dragons
Doc: what if we use the ansible to undo itself
P.P. A.: whoa

Ken (GM): [map magic] [we return to the overland map, leaving the ruined town behind, headed for camp again]

Gray is busy being super disturbed that any of his memories could be fabrications, changes done by the Ansible when it fired.
P.P. A.: Well then, now we know what to do: bring about a future that un-makes itself in the past
Ken (GM): PIME TARADOX
Doc: We can’t wait for the future, we’ll have to do it in the present
Otherwise it’ll never not happen
Ken (GM): shit, I seem to have gone cross-eyed
P.P. A.: Better hurry then, the past won’t be waiting for us
Doc: too late

Gray speaks in a low, rumbleing growl. “Let’s get back and get some rest. It’s been a long day.”
Roderick: “When was the last time we’ve had a short day?”

Suðri Skornbrekker nods. “Should we rest at the mine so I can return the sword? If we want to save us the backtracking, I could also ask a soldier to deliver it, though.”
Suðri Skornbrekker: “The mine is close, though, we know it to be safe and can defend the entrance.”
Suðri Skornbrekker looks around at the ruins of Academ, gloomy.
Roderick: “We should first inform the troops that the threat has passed, for now.”
Gray: “The mine isn’t so far away. We will return there to rest, maybe send a work party back here to check again for any survivors in the ruins and burn the dead.”
Suðri Skornbrekker: “With the troops, of course; though I reckon they have noticed the passing of the storm.”

Syviis also asks Rod for help on which runes to clean/destroy the next time they see a similar circle.
Syviis: “You seemed to know where to find the points of power and how to disconnect them. Anything you can teach me?”
Ken (GM): [DX based thaumatology there fisso, though he prodded me with some investigating]

Ken (GM) the city is devastated, but the evil has passed; the storm above dispersed to the heavens, a cool clear sky left in it’s wake. The bright summer sun makes a kind of mist, boiling away water to the skies, and as you return to your men you stride through it like wraiths. The forward sentries remark your coming, and the guard is lowered for you. Your men are quite relieved at the outcome.
Ken (GM): [whoop, made an assumption of action there]
P.P. A.: (I think that’s what we were going to do)
(like, anyway)
(rejoin with our forces, then decide whether to camp in the ruins or in the mine)
Gray nods to the men, the beast seeming wary after the day and streching slowly.
Ken (GM): your men have little to report; the mystics of the elven faith made wards and gestures about camp which seemed to keep attention away from them while in the shadow of the storm. The elementals seemed to vanish when the binding broke, which was as they put it “spectacularly fookin neat”
They are ready again to march on your orders, but have halfways already pitched camp here South of town. With less than half a day of light left, your commander suggests just posting watch and embarking early.

Gray: “I’m sorry I missed it. Gather a work party and check Academs. The city is a ruin but there might be survivors. Search until you lose the light and burn any ghoul corpses you find. Just mark the dead’s location for proper services later.” He nods in agreement. “The bulk of our forces will remain here.”

Syviis helps the mystics, learning what she can from the disciplines she never learned in her home lands, but is forced to command now.

Roderick nods and gives the order to set up camp

Ken (GM) the camp is struck then, with a few parties heading out to town in small shifts with shovels, picks and stretchers

Suðri Skornbrekker looks across the plains to Greyhold, trying to make out its silhouette.

Suðri Skornbrekker is looking for any missing towers or dark smoke indicating what they blew up was in someone’s basement there.

Ken (GM) Suðri finds a high spot with a tree in the hills nearby and does some reconnaissance

Suðri Skornbrekker doubts it though, the stonework was out of this world; then again, so are a lot of denizens of Greyhold these days, like all the demons the city must be teeming with now.

Suðri Skornbrekker peeeers
(To Suðri Skornbrekker): With a spyglass borrowed from camp/made out of your armor you can make out the keep of Greyhold ahead across the valley. Lit from behind with evening sun, it twinkles like a shining star. In particular, the castle flying in the sky is cool. It floats on what looks like a chunk of earth, trailers of water falling from the broken moat and battlements.
The surrounding countryside is marked with scars of battles and strife. Swathes of land charred black from fire. You can see a few smoldering ruins which might have been hamlets along the road ahead
(To Suðri Skornbrekker): Hoddleton ahead looks to be in one piece…

Suðri Skornbrekker strokes his beard, and after a while climbs back down and rejoins the others. “Friends, we might have to reconsider our approach. We might have trouble getting our army into the city now that it’s apparently flying in the sky,” he notes, cheerfully—though a bit bewildered, too.
Gray climbs up to join him and look north. “Well, fuck.”
P.P. A.: nice, a map update
Roderick: “Saves us the trouble of encircling it for a siege, I suppose.”
Bomrek: “Fucking…..wizards” he says wearily, charring some meat over a cook fire
Suðri Skornbrekker: “I agree.” Suðri helps himself to some alcohol.

Syviis returns to the group after helping out in the camp and smiles, just enjoying the normalcy for a while, all too glad to be out of her armor for a bit.
(To Syviis): Looking to get magic-skill training off your acolytes?
(From Syviis): absolutely.
(From Syviis): but also, sleep and rest are important, but she’ll do what she can to advise
(To Syviis): Well thaumatology, ritual skill (magic circles) and ritual skill (spirits) are up for grabs then. Buy what you need.

(To Syviis): Your magic vision makes it quite easy to see what youre doing/channelling/writing, and if its effective
(From Syviis): ooooh, very nice. I have points to put into both so I will with your blessings

(To Syviis): by all means

Suðri Skornbrekker sits down and drinks a few sips. Having thus sobered up the Dwarven way, he continues: “The surrounding villages have been…scorched off the map.”he shakes his head, tries to smile “The one ahead, Hoddleton, is still standing though.”
Gray nods grimly as he joins the others, starting to take off surcoat and hauberk. “We will continue to there at least then figure out some kind of plan.”
(To Roderick): Hoddleton is the center of trade/crop collection, etc for the farms of the valley. When your family sent goods up and down the East from Bandobras, it was through them
Suðri Skornbrekker nods.
Roderick: “Hoddleton is where the nearby farms send their crops. It’s an important center for trade. Even more important for us to secure it now.”
Syviis: “It also effectively cuts off the capital from major routes south if we control the Northen road.”
Suðri Skornbrekker: “…until we shut down all the portals they have in places.”
Syviis: “True.”
(To Syviis): hint hint
Gray: “Well they have to return the capital and put it back where they got it. No flying off with our goddamn castle.”
Syviis: “I think the new era should have a firm No Flying Castles/ Keeps/ Parpets/ Holds/ etc. law.”
Ken (GM): [hah! “By order of the crown, any levitating domiciles within the borders shall be treated as hostile and dealt with immediately by angry dwarves manning large guns”]


[well, this seems like a natural halt for now; you are back safe in camp surrounded by a thousand men, and only have to deal with the looming threat of a magically levitating fortress three or so days march away.]
4 xp each!
Doc, were you gonna make indomitable a thing?
P.P. A.: \o/
Thanks for the session
Joush M.: Sorry I was tired this week. Thank you for the game
Doc: Looking at the advantages, would Unfazeable necessarily be incompatible with Nightmares?
P.P. A.: We learned a good deal about the role we’re supposed to play in the PLOT
Doc: Or would he have to buy those off, too
Fiss: Plot is always good
Ken (GM): oh shi- your nightmares!
Doc: (yeah I keep forgetting to roll for that)
Ken (GM): miiight have to buy that off now
P.P. A.: I got myself NIghtmares too when we got back from the Sotuh
Ken (GM): you gave yourself nightmares
P.P. A.: but we only sleep like every 4 sessions/IRL weeks
Ken (GM): you absolute madman!
Doc: “I have nightmares once a month/every time I sleep”
Joush M.: Gray sleeps like a baby. Growls and kicks his feet sometimes, but that’s just dreaming about rabbits.
Ken (GM): hahahah
oh man, thats ridiculously humanizing
FIERY WRATH OF SPIRIT FOLK
~Whimper~, kick kick
ANYWAYS, make your updates as you will guys, and fire me off some updated sheets, ya?
Fiss: Will do!
Ken (GM): Ill work with Kev on Bomrek, but most likely just do it myself on this side 😛
Fiss: Awesome session peoples!
P.P. A.: \o

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About KentonBlack

I'm an avid gamer, computer troubleshooter, and all around dashing fellow. I blog After Action Reports on my gaming, running as the GM for several GURPS 4e games
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