This is sooo true….
From the Journals of Quinn and Alexi Goldenscale
Kirinor the 14th of Newkolt
Karnak arrived and cursed under his breath at the sight of the dead Knights. I understand his feelings all too well, but push them from my mind and ask about a map of the area. Before anything can be done though, the trumpets blare from the city wall and in the distance we can see shapes flying towards the city. It ‘appears’ as if the Evil Dragons are approaching from the south east. (GM: accompanied by the Ride of the Valkyries) I make haste towards the command post, while Lukan remains behind to help scout the warehouse area with his ‘beast’. (GM: piggy!!!) I send Lt Day and Tiny to the docks to watch the Minotaur ship ‘just in case’, and if any of their troops try to establish a beach head they are to be eliminated. Karnak will stay with Lukan and 5 knights to patrol the area and also watch for the Demons.
At the command post on the wall I take stock of the situation, while the Sergeants rally the men (well scream at them) to hold the line. I have some difficulty making out the Dragons and then realise they are actually Griffin Riders; (GM: took Quinn a while) the dwarves are here and I can see a human on the back of the lead griffin with a very familiar dwarf. I order the troops to stand down and say loudly ‘they are dwarves and our allies approaching on griffins’; this actually boosts moral and there is a cheer as an area is cleared so the griffins can land. (GM: that is cardinally true)
Captain Harko dismounts and with him is Caleb; Blessing of Mishkal on you and Caleb reply’s with the Blessing of Paladine to me. It is great to see my friends and I give a quick rundown and explain that the griffins can be stationed in the Temple District (also because they will fly there and the Minotaur ship will see them and give them pause. (GM: ohhh I didn’t think of that, but that is true, the ship will see them, nice plan!) The defence of Palanthas gets a little better). Caleb explains that he is here to help with the NOTE, for which I am grateful. We go into the Captain of the Watch’s office as I explain about the Demons in the Warehouse (Harko, his dwarves and Caleb offer to help) and I mention Lukan. Caleb knows of Lukan and it seems he is not pleased. Caleb also says he must talk to Alexi but I say that Alexi is at the Tower of High Sorcery as there is an ‘emergency’ again. There are always ‘emergency’s’ at that place. (GM: the most animated you have seen Caleb is when he spoke about wanting to speak to Alexi)
Caleb then says that he was talking with Par-Salian and a number of monks \ Irda(?) (GM: yes that is correct) are also at the tower preparing (That is an interesting turn of events). I say that the Temple District of Palanthas has been cleansed (and explain the tomb of the Evil Sorceress underneath it and the reason the temple was built there in the first place). Harko adds that he ‘needs ALE’ and the Guard Captain organises to get him and his dwarves some. While the Captain clerk gets the correct maps we need for the warehouse district, Caleb goes into more detail about Par-Salian and the training going on at the tower, BUT Caleb lost contact with them three days ago (this is not good – could this be why Alexi has returned to the tower?). (GM: you can bet your gold dragon Alexi will be involved) He also adds that he is here to help as he knows about Udoonin and the sliver inside Alexi; I add that yes I had guessed as much and then Caleb adds ‘Quinn – I trust you as I trust very few – I will tell you – Your brother trust and loves you – but there are many secrets.’ I add ‘I know Alexi is hiding things from me, that he thinks it is best but he has been ‘assuming’ a lot of late and that his way is best. He needs a good kick in the ass again.’ I think I surprised Caleb with that. (GM: yes you did) The Dark Armies have also under-estimated me in the past, but the Demon threat in the warehouse is aimed at removing me and not Alexi. Seems I am definitely on their hit list now. (GM: ohh yes)
Caleb continues and says, ‘But he does what he does out of love, not spite.’ No kidding, but it is still an excuse. And then Caleb says there is a ‘Sliver of Udoonin in the tower!’ Again I have worked this out for I remember back to when we rescued the Black Robe Mages… Harko says are you expecting an attack here and I add that with the pass blocked for the next few days, Dragons would be the logical choice, hence the ballista and netting weapons (and Dragonlances). Caleb asks why I am not with Alexi and I say he left after finding the Tablets of Wisdom and the White one is broken. I quizzed Lukan on the Tablets and the location of the missing piece and he is hiding the truth and would not take me to them. Or should I say ‘cannot’ take me too them as we cannot get there. I believe he told me some truths but not all. (GM: nicely done)
Now I explain the reason I want the maps; there are Demons in a warehouse and they have captives. I also know that it is a trap designed for me. We then discover that the warehouse is owned by the Knights of Solamnia, but it was emptied out of all food stuffs (confirmed by Sturm). Ale is organised and the Captain of the Watch greets Harko in Dwarven as well. Nice touch. The Captain explains that the best way to get close to the warehouse is via the sewers and Harko volunteers his men as they can see in the dark; and Caleb will use his abilities to get even closer and relay back the information we need. Sturm says he will lead the assault but I say ‘no’ as he is needed to command the wall defence in my absence. He begrudgingly accepts.
On the way to the warehouse command post, Caleb talks to me about Lukan and his order. It seems that the two orders have never had an overly ‘friendly’ relationship and the ‘Book’ mentioned Lukan by name (interesting). He is a Deva that has lived many lives and is a follower of Denvark. (SAY WHAT!!!) I say that Lukan has always only talked about getting the Crown of Power back to his order and out of the hands of Denvark. He forgot to add that Denvark was once (is) their leader!!! Seems I was right to be wary of Lukan. I also realise that Caleb is holding something back and I get it out of him – We have to save Miles! That is the plan after all. (GM: it all comes down to Miles)
We arrived at the Command post and it is a death staring match between Caleb and Lukan; unfortunately they look like they are ready to come to blows, but I defuse the situation with a quick command that they both follow – ‘There will be NO fighting here!’ Lukan then says that nothing has left the warehouse at all. With that Harko and his men, with Caleb close behind, enter the sewers to discover the number of demons, see what they are doing, and in the meantime I work with Karnak to get him to act as a diversion or vis-versa if necessary. No we must wait.
Deciding to check these other two sources of this Wal or Scion Sorcery and the first that I find is in a most interesting location. It doesn’t seem to be part of any section – its separate. There are two other books in this section and I can’t tell why they are here. Almost most interesting is the book itself that I sensed. It seems to be made out of wood. I pick it up and instantly realise that its trapped D: (GM: ITS A TRAP) An energy comes out of the book and starts to move up my arm. I sense that there this attack is linked to something and that if I let it continue I can actually get a vision of whom is attacking me, but that would mean letting the power further consume me and it would become harder to resist. I instead come up with (what I think is a better alternative) forcing the Udoonin essence to be consumed by the power first that way seeing the vision, eliminating Udoonin and hopefully still ensuring my best chance of resisting the attack. I succeed in pushing the Udoonin essence towards the attack and receive a vision of the attackers. It’s a collective group of the gods, I unfortunately cannot tell whom they are (but I am sure it’s not the Gods of Magic), (GM: that is true) I am overwhelmed by their emotions of hatred, anger, betrayal. Also the label of imposter, usurper. Why they are feeling this I am not sure?! They must have known that this is what was going to happen eventually. Ripping the power from the gods (What I was doing to the Gods of Light) without remorse is an even bigger betrayal. I can understand not wanting another Draleth (especially with the arrogance and the ego), but I am not him. (GM: so you say….)
The vision ends and I focus now on the attack and the Udoonin essence, unfortunately the worst possible thing happens, the trap attempts to attack the Udoonin essence but instead fails and the Udoonin essence completely consumes the trap and absorbs its power! Udoonin essence which was previously just a sliver is now a grown force (and its inside of me!!) I realise now that this essence has become more than just troublesome, I’m going to have to do something about it. (GM: it is now looking for a piece)
I examine this book and interestingly discover that this is a way more advanced spellbook than the apprentice one I had. This wooden book contains no information about history, only high level spells and rituals. I somehow can read them but I have little chance of understanding them. Realising that this book will require extensive study of lower level material I place it into my bag for safe keeping. I find the second book (this one just looks like a normal book) in the Age of Might section (Time of Huma) and I realise that this is probably also trapped, and it is confirmed when I use one of the rituals in my apprentice book. I look through it for something to remove the trap (GM: ITS A TRAP!!) and there is a ritual but it causes for a focus. I explore further and it seems that this magic does use items and that these can be used to store and leech power from. Unfortunately, this apprentice book only references it, it does not explain how to do it. (The book explains that eventually an advanced user will not require a focus).
I decide to attempt to create a focus by muddling through. I use my amulet of protection + 2 (that is no longer used), I succeed in leeching the power from it! /huzzah. (GM: you big leech!) I realise that that the ‘+#’ of the item gives me bonuses to my next ability. I also succeed in transferring the power back into the necklace. Now able to use it as a focus I cast the ritual and remove the trap on the third book. This one turns out to be more advanced than the apprentice book but is also still an instructional journal. It contains more information such as creating a focus. The ritual in the book is a much simplistic and elegant way of doing it then what I did.
I perform both the leeching and imbuing ritual on the necklace with this new way.
Unfortunately for me, while successful, performing these abilities constituents reaching a new level of understanding in the way of Scion Sorcery. (First level obtained 10/10). While that is an elative achievement I unfortunately was not prepared for the exhaustion of reaching this new level. I feel myself fall unconscious… (GM: weak!!!!)
While I am waiting for the dwarves to report back, I sense a disturbance from somewhere nearby (and that covers the whole city) but I am not sure exactly where. All I know is that it has something to do with Alexi; it always has something to do with Alexi… what has he done now? Soon a dwarf pops up out of the sewer and says that the monk reports that there are around 20 demons all praying around a larger one, but he could not see Miles or the gnomes. The dwarf adds that Caleb is checking the Mezzanine level; the dwarf then disappears back down the hole. (GM: like the white rabbit down the rabbit hole)
It is at this point I really consider my role in this and what I have to offer Paladine; how we can truly ‘be one’ in this time of need. Could I become an Avatar of Paladine? Let him use my body to help drive the demons from this plane? There are many possibilities and this has opened my mind… (GM: very, very interesting) I then wave Karnak over and say we need one of the wagon mounted ballista brought here, as well as my backpack with the mana-mithril in it. As Karnak rides off to get it, I say to Chrome that he can investigate the Mezzanine level for Miles and he flies off. The dwarf then reappears and says that the Demons are taking no notice of the outside and are just praying. Caleb also reports that one of the gnomes has been skinned and his flesh has been used in some part of the evil ritual, while up top on the Mezzanine is Miles (being flayed) and the Demon Prince in an Irda body! I explain my plan to the dwarf and to relay it to Harko and Caleb.
Karnak returns and at the same time one of the wagon ballista arrives. We strap the pick head on to the ballista and I imbue it with divine power so that we will launch it into the demons on the warehouse floor and create an explosion to wipe them out. I then look through Chrome’s eyes and relay what is to happen and can see Miles, the Demon Prince (Irda), his two guard demons and the missing gnome (he is also dead). There is also a ward on the Mezzanine level which will protect them all from the blast (I hope). It also seems that the gnomes had been touched by the devils (damn it!) but they were still killed.
Once everyone is in place the ballista is fired and goes through the wall, hits a demon or three and explodes! And so begins the battle of the Warehouse of Palanthas! All but three demons and the Demon Prince are killed from the explosions and the ward on the Mezzanine level is gone. Miles is still alive (just) and is on the ground floor. The Knights charge with Karnak leading and I call upon the power of Paladine and built up and channel power into the Sword of Vinas and it begins to glow. Inside the battle goes from bad to good. The bad; Karnak is struck down by a ‘Mordor Spear’ being carried by an Elite type of Demon! I step in behind my knights and blast a beam of pure light from the sword that strikes a demon and drives it into the last column holding up the Mezzanine level and the Demon Prince and Caleb fall. Caleb lands fine, as does the Demon Prince by the two demons underneath have debris fall on them, with the one I hit dying. Miles is missed by the falling debris.
Chrome swoops in and takes down the shields protecting the Demon Prince and Caleb strikes and hurts it with his Katana. Meanwhile the Elite Demon charges at me screaming ‘You are the one!’ but before it arrives it is blinded by the power of the halo I wear. We fight and then rest of the dwarves and knights join the battle; eventually I land the killing blow on the Elite Demon and turn to see Caleb miss the Demon Prince and he escapes. Damn! So very close. (sooo close…but an epic battle)
With the battle over I cast an area ‘Healing’ (Word) on Karnak, Miles and everyone there. Importantly those two do not die, but there is nothing we can do for the gnomes.
I feel myself wakeup and am not sure how much time has passed. I’m getting my bearing when I suddenly realise that I am not in control of my body…. Oh crap… The (former Sliver) essence of Udoonin has usurped control of my body. It seems he’s attempting to perform a ritual (He’s drawing a circle on the ground) – I assume to teleport out of here. I start to attempt to fight back but at the moment he’s firmly in control (GM: ohh if he gets control, its alllllll over!!!)
He finishes inscribing runes on the floor and he’s standing inside the circle. He starts lighting candles and this time I leech power from my robes (+10) to bring my force to bear on him but he still manages to maintain control (#20 from the GM grr), but I notice he’s getting weaker. Luckily he attempts to try and cast the ritual but he’s using High Sorcery magic and my body and mind have begun the process of shifting focus to Wal. He has to bring his force to bear on attempting to change back to the old focus, and that is my opportunity to pounce. (kitty claws extended!!) I bring my full force to bear and manage to exert control. Gaining control, knowing he’ll likely fight back instantly I use my moment to kick over the candles and break the circle delaying his opportunity to leave if he gains control again.
Luckily Udoonin attempts to but fails to gain control and I use his failure to expel him (GM: Noooooo) – not from my body but into the robes (that are no longer magical), hoping that it will be able to contain his power. Unfortunately, with Udoonin absorbing the trap (GM: ITS A TRAP) from the book the robes were not able to contain his power and so they explode (I had thrown them off). I manage to avoid the blast but with the robes destroyed his essence coalesces into a shadowy being that attempts to escape. I bring my full Scion force to bear and launch attack after attack, firstly immobilizing, then slowing the creature preventing it from escaping until I could destroy it. Just as its about to escape through a wall I manage to launch radiant energy at it, vaporising it, his essence destroyed and the remaining energy dissipating into the sky. (GM: well… did it dissipate, or actually “escape” into the sky???)
It’s after the combat that it finally hits me. There is no way this could have happened if I had only been sent back in time to gain knowledge. But how is that possible, no chaos creature came back with me, but then I realise….. The staff of Takhises, was the staff of the beyond, powered by Chaos… Chaos residue is still in the staff… Using it as the focus has broken the law, time can be altered…
What am I to do!?!?!! (GM: no, no, no… the question is what is the GM going to do!!!)
Detect Magic (Tendrils)
Remove magical trap
It is now evening on Kirinor the 14th of Newkolt 20:00 QMT (Quinn Mean Time)
With the NOTE close, and the moons alignment – it has caused a convergence that has blocked the visions of the enemy…. Now the games begin
From the Chronicles of Lukan
So… Caleb Kane has arrived. While this was not unexpected, it is annoying, another rock thrown in to cause ripples in the stream of time. I must make Quinn see where Calebs loyalties truly lay. But I have faith in the young knight, and this has shone through more now that he is out from under the controlling influence of his brother.
From the Journal of Someone
(Follower Bowing) “Your will mistress?”
(Looking up) “The veil has dropped, the winds have shifted, the time has come”
(Follower nodding) “That is good, this waiting has been difficult, but which one?”
(Considering) “I have meditated, and have also spoken to the companion, both have there benefits…. And flaws….”
(Follower persisting) “But which one?”
(Eyes narrowing) “It is not your concern, ready yourself and the others, you will know soon enough”
From the Chronicles of Assless Chaps….er … I mean..Astinus
Quinn Goldenscale continued along his path of enlightenment. As I have said, as most historians note, it was in Palanthus that the young knight, transitioned from just a powerful force on the battlefield to a shrewed leader and assumed the role of commander, just as his father had years before in the goblin wars. But that didn’t mean Lord Quinn stopped using his sword, on the contrary… but like his father before him, Lord Quinn realised he couldn’t do it all on his own.
But unlike Lord William whos enemies were all before him in his war, Lord Quinn was about to experience discord from within in his. Lord Quinn quickly discoverd the Demon Summoning attack in Palanthus was aimed soley at him, a probe, a sortie if you will. Perhaps a costly sortie to the enemy but a sortie nonetheless. The enemy had turned they gaze fully towards the young knight. And an advisor as he had guided the father, now guided the son, to dubious or doubtless counsel depending on your viewpoint….and loyalty……
But….the one thing friend and foe alike continued to underestimated about Lord Quinn was his faith and loyalty. The young knights faith in his god Paladine, his feverent loyalty to his beliefs, and his iron resolve to execute those beliefs. It is understandable that those around him did not understand, few do. And the coming fallout from this faith would be as epic as it was tragic. But this is why in the days and years to come when they talk about the great knights Vinas Solamnus, Huma Dragonsbane and Bethal Brightblade, many include the name Quinn Goldenscale to that exclusive list.
From the Chronicles of Astinus
The young wizard Alexi continued to study the ancient art of Sorcery. It should be noted that while his nemesis Udoorin used a version of Sorcery and fused it to wild and his own magic, Alexi studied the art as it was set down by Draleth…… in its pure form. This would prove to be difficult to the young mage, but ultimately would prove to be a greater boon.
What other historians fail to understand was that while much was lauded to Quinn regarding the young knights faith and reslove, nothing was mentioned in the histories regading Alexi’s resolve. But while not lauded, the young mages resolve in what he was doing was “right” was just as strong as his brothers. It could even be argued more so, considering the fall out. While Quinns resolve led to a strengthing of his faith, Alexi’s was the beginning of what was seen as a break of faith with the gods, this time fatal.
What no one realised, even the gods, was how Alexi would deal with this. His decision to time travel, his ability to influence the past…. the future….. and his command of an ancient magic, was never considered. And while Alexi may not have realised at the time he could inflence the outcome in this way, this historian is certain, once he knew, he didn’t shy away from his decisions. And this is the point Alexi Goldenscale Master Wizard of High Sorcery of the 4th Order and Personal Representative of the Council of Three turned his back on the White.