We have been retained to perform a mission for the Empire of Thyatis. What it is their representative, a Miranda of Tel Akbir cannot say for some reason. We decide to go after assurances we will be performing no ill deeds.
- Engalton Redwood
- The great leader and famed healer/namer. Brave if enthusiastic.
- Baron Erehwon (Saydar)
- The powerful necromancer and power drinker.
- Vychan Adam Jones
- A giant of immense physical prowess. No concept of fear.
- The elf. He is the most experienced member having been adventuring long before any of us others.
- Liessa Varden
- The scribe. I am an entertainer and people person.
Since Miranda gives us no information we leave that afternoon. This involves going to Hamburg and using the interplanar portal here. The residents demand a magical item from Engalton who borrowed it and forgot to return it. They give it to me instead. Evidently a wise decision. Using the portal involving seeing Death, who does not faze us.
We arrive on the plane containing the Empire of Thyatia. This Empire is run by a corrupt emperor and a conniving but altruistic adviser named Dimitrian. After speaking to him we learn that he is an inspired genius. He tells us the amazing plan. We have gone back in time to beat our foes to the punch as it were.
- Remove the Dragon Mysanius the Miser who came to live there after Dimitrian encased it in ice. It is an Ice Dragon after all.
- Remove all available loot from the Imperial Treasury. As befits his status Dimitrian knows of all the defences. As befits fate he has a geas not to reveal it. He assures us it is well defended. While not adept at breaking and entering we are masters of the first part.
- With the plunder we are to hire mercenaries from a vast continent to the South. It has a vast ocean in the way and. nobody really knows anything about it. Still it should contain at least one civilisation with 30,000 disposable warriors.
- Retake the city of Newkirk which the Aphatian Empire recently took. Untroubled by such minor details (such as the name of the city which we forgot) we head off to the Capital to see off Mysanius.
A word of advice concerning the fighting of Dragons. Take more than five adventurers as we fought it for a while and then it charmed us to stop us fighting. Thinking us weak and puny because we do not weigh 20 tons apiece it agrees to let us take all we can carry from the treasury. We take all the money from the treasury and dig our way out. On the way out Mysanius flies off and the ice age effect ends. We speak to Dimitrian the next day and his wisdom is far too lofty for our minds.
We nevertheless discover that the best port is Featherfall on the island of Aeria. This is because they have flying ships. this immediately gets our attention as flying ships are an asset to any adventurer. We also discuss several ambitious long term plans so that Aphatia never again attacks Thyatia. These are shelved. I propose marriage to Engalton who agrees. Saydar makes a counter-offer and I threaten to decapitate Vychan. Vychan claims no knowledge. I can only guess at how non-adventurers do this. Engalton wants to discuss the matter with my parents, ie people I have not seen in ten years and wouldn’t recognise me now anyway. This could be overly formal) but Engalton is the best choice for a husband being both brave and caring.
We travel to Tel Akbir to talk with Miranda who can travel between planes and ask if she could send us back with a flying ship or thirty. After difficult negotiations she says she will do it in return for the Mace of Rastalon which is held by the Empress of Aphatia. She may be out of her intensely guarded Palace sometime soon and we might be able to persuade her to part with it. Leaving Tel Akbir people give us a wide berth as if we were dangerous and/or insane.
”Normally we have to Agony people to get this kind of respect” - Saydar
We summon a cloud and fly of to Aeria and Featherfall. This takes four days. Featherfall is a flying city which Vychan determines to be held aloft by Air Magic. As we arrive, a large crowd gathers as Vychan and Saydar discuss the values of Earth and Air mages. It rapidly becomes apparent that most citizens of Featherfall are air mages. We meet an official by the name of Baron Xarath who is the Shire Reeve and Town Mayor to boot. There is a small misunderstanding and the boys learn of many of the local laws and effectiveness of the constabulary. Corel discovers that these Air mages know how to bind air and that Councilor Geronimus might be able to teach him. I discover that a well appointed flying ship, the Darting Thrush with Captain Forest will be in port tomorrow. The boys then go to the Magistrate to complain about the rough nature of this town Saydar agonies everybody and we are charged 6000 for the privilege We leave for a nice inn after asking an interested crowd to be on their way.
After a tasteful breakfast we fly to the docks and wait for our ship at a tavern which serves tar of variable levels of alcohol. The luxury cruise ship turns up and I am sent to arrange passage. The captain asks for an extravagant sum to travel to lands he has never heard of and we pay him twice that.
After some days land is sighted by Engalton. The next day we reach some sign of civilisation and ask for directions to the nearest city they tell us to head south. After trooping in and talking to the petty king of Kupar we receive directions that a suitable army will be found on the western side of’ this continent. We take a flunkey of the kings, a silversmith named Hassan. We hear of the Priest-king of Nildreth. As an evil ruler we decide to improve the tone of this land by getting rid of him.
After a few days flight from Kupar we reach the huge city of El Kazar. Here we start hiring troops and plan to travel up the coast gaining more troops. First we will level the evil city of Nildreth and then sail) for Newkirk. Over the next two weeks we acquire approximately 5000 troops.
We attack the priest king and his evil black city. Since most of us are strategists of one calibre or another we come up with a plan. This involves digging a big tunnel into the city. However after half a day the Priest-King is bored and attacks us. There is some momentary confusion as to what we do with the army attacking us. We eventually remember we have our own army and we call it up. We then obliterate the enemy and charge into the city.
So much for our wonderful strategy session, I’m sure that across the multiverse, ’Arrggh let’s go get them!’ is not the tactic of choice when assaulting cities. The army follows us just in ease we miss anybody. Inside is a tangle of streets and houses. We order Vychan to punch through to the tower thus eliminating the problem of everybody getting lost We reach a wall just before the Priest-king’s tower. We pause to detect ten greater undead and a giant spider creature. Leaving the army way behind us to smash through to attack the reserves who are no doubt waiting inside, I control the spider as we step through.
”I’m a white necromancer and we don’t control undead.” - Saydar
”Vychan, you’re l 8 feet MH, have horns, have just killed 800 people- and appear to have a new GTN. Is there something you haven’t told us.”
The inside of the tower proved equally exciting with an enemy Pyromancer and Sorcerer backed up by some amour plated flesh golems and some elite troops who were not quick enough to run for it. After two minutes of beating each other up, breaking Engalton’s hip and extraneous parts of Vychan we arrange a truce. We agree to leave and not level the place and they give us their magical devices, equip our army and some money. Anyone who wants to may come with us and we don’t annoy one another for a year and a day.
So we got our troops outfitted, a heap of miscellaneous magical devices including a giant mattock labelled ’Household Item’, an Angelic Host. summoning scroll and a potion of insanity which we gave back because we had no need for it. We then left for the coast and off to Newkirk. Oh and some more money.
Over this time we arrange shipping for our now 6000+ soldiers, refugees, camp followers and people who have just been swept up along by it all. We then sail back to the island with Newkirk on it. On the may we discuss how to attack it. Since it didn’t happen at. Nildreth we decide to give the giant tunnel option another go. We land 30 miles away and start digging. The tunnel is ingeniously designed by Engalton. Captain Forest of our luxury flying ship decides to leave because he has the opinion that we have Sir Stark Ravensmad in our company. We let him go and arrange to contact the ship for a real luxury cruise at a later date. He looks concerned when I mention it will be for a honeymoon trip.
”We are the good ones and we actually PAY our troops” - Liessa
”Oh, well I’m not used to that sort of thing” - Saydar
Five miles from the city we detect a bunch of mages and troops on the surface above it. We retreat and come boiling out of the surface as the tunnel section we were in is flooded. We stealthily approach and notice they have surrounded themselves with fog. We attack them scattering the fog with an agony and windstorm They run away and we capture three. We then marshal our troops to attack and fly ahead to destroy the gates thus enabling our army easy entry. The gate towers are defended by heavy types in plate and mages with an inordinate amount of Rank 20 spell effects. Nevertheless we attack and proceed to demolish them. At this the enemy proceeded to get even more offensive as Rank 20 stars started landing and a Rank 20 light went off to make matters even more entertaining We retreated to beneath the roof and found the 30 ft pit trap with spikes at the bottom. Fortunately they were only iron spikes and so bent when Vychan landed on them. We eventually broke out and spotted our old friend Mysanius the 20 ton ice dragon.
We go to chat with Mysanius and it turns out he was so impressed with our efforts he wanted to know what we were up to. He decided to give us a hand. Also if we let him have the Mace of Rastalon as apparently the Empress herself was overseeing the defence. We then negotiated the surrender of the Alphatian troops and gave them four days to leave. After much to do we have succeeded in our mission.
Dimitrian turns up with some officers of the Thyatian army to relieve us. He explains how the enemy were able to absorb our magical firepower and he tells us it was by use of an Arcane Talent and would we like to learn it. We all say yes and enter a brief six month course of intense magical training. We then return to the guild just in time for our next mission. We’ve already had a holiday this decade so we don’t need any more.
The real story
We the low of sanity and idle of hands have agreed to a mission by one Miranda of Tel Akbir. We can’t be told what we are doing but given the level of lunacy present in any of these undertakings I wonder why we bother. We agree to go after being assured that we won’t be doing some terrible evil even though Saydar is coming with us.
Making the Plane of Allusia safe by departing is
- Not ’Evil Engalton’ as you may of heard. While stern and brave he no
concept of how society at large works. Engalton typically expects instant obedience and disagreements with this world view can cause problems.
- Baron Erehwon (Saydar)
- ’I’m a good and honest orc’ is this entity’s defence should
any accuse him of evil. It’s not a good defence and he cannot be left unattended on account of what he will do to the surroundings.
- Vychan Jones
- A giant and Saydar’s minder. Vychan suffers from the glacial thought
processes of all giants. However he can be relied upon to keep Saydar from eliminating any he thinks would be an addition to his undead army, ie everybody. A good fighter who does not know the meaning of the word fear, or many other words at that.
- There is nothing I can say about Corel as he has recently come out of
retirement. He may be the one called ’Lightning Bolt Corel’ who was famous for his indiscriminate use of lightning bolts on both friend and foe in battle. That Corel was a bit of a loose cannon but this may just be another Elven Air mage called Corel.
- I have been an adventurer for some time now and given limited career
opportunities staying with what you do best is always an option. However I’m told that holding reality together with your hands is not good for peace of mind. Apparently I have a bad temper but nobody has ever complained.
We are sent to the plane of Cormelle by a portal run by Death. Being someone we see on a regular basis Vychan strikes up a conversation. The part of Cormale we reach is a peaceful meadow with rolling hills. I instantly feel sorry for the place. While wondering what direction we should madly charge off in a hedge appears and an old man steps out. He introduces himself as Dimitrian and he must be a relative or analogue of Himagery as they’re both doddery old mages who advise their rulers. Things must be dire if we have been called in. He informs us of what we have to do.
- Free the Capital of Thyatia from an Ice age (localised) and see off the now resident
Ice Dragon, Mysanius the Miser. Mysanius seems to think the place is his but apparently we are to disagree with 20 tons of fire-breathing, spell-weaving lizard.
- Loot the treasury of the Emperor. This is the first time I have been hired for specific
looting and I always thought your employer asked you to loot from others.
- Travel to an unknown continent and find a civilisation capable of selling us a large
army and rent it for a while. Is it just me or are these tasks getting more and more insane. Not that we notice. Maybe we are also going down the happy path of ratbiting madness.
- Attack the City of Newkirk which until recently belonged to Thyatia. It now
belongs to Aphasia which is another Empire. From the maps we are shown it is apparently a much larger one. They have more mages, troops and money. Given the calibre of the other three tasks, this will probably be more than a little tricky. Given a very brief briefing we charge off on task one. Fighting an Ice Dragon in an ice covered city at freezing temperatures with limited visibility is madness but we soldier on and are eventually charmed by the Dragon. Possibly he couldn’t believe we were stupid enough to attack with only five people and was anticipating the next wave. He also lets us loot the treasury on a laugh. On a laugh we take everything. Upon returning we discover Mysanius left and the Ice age is over. It may be important to note that Dimitrian came up with the Ice age in the first place to put out a fire. If this is what too much magic does to you I’m taking up Animal Husbandry instead. Task two completed as well.
Dimitrian advises us on the next stage and gives us some idea of what Thyatia is like. Personally I think questioning any of the beasts of the field would garner more concise and useful information. Anyway we work out that Featherfall on the Isle of Aeria is our next stop as we will be able to get a flying ship there. A smal1 word on f1ying ships is needed here. Recently several adventurers have met and fought a race known variously as mind flayers, illithids or calamari. As a result of having more magic than they know what to do with some of them tool around in scary looking flying ships acting like trans-dimensional pirates. After seeing such things most adventurers want one (bit like toys and children). The fact that the last time a flying ship faced off a calamari ship the result was a frantic triggering of flight spells as the calamari shot them down fazes them not in the least. Anyway this is the basis of the current charm of flying ships.
Hearing of such things Engalton and Saydar go about planning the wholesale import of flying ships to Allusia and the conquering of a large portion of Aphasia. Since I am concerned about all the commoners who will die as a result of such an epic conflict I get in a shouting match with Engalton. At some point in this we agree to marry each other after certain formalities and the levelling of a city are seen to. Neither of us recall how we got engaged but we are both too stubborn to admit we can make such mistakes (I certainly don’t). Still we are matched in both temperament and so maybe we learn how to live together even if eventually decide to term Allusia home and live in separate bedrooms on opposite ends of the ’house’. Such a union can only have dire consequences for the fabric of time and space. I mean alone we’re menaces... We go see Miranda who we figure to be an authority on planar travel. We talk with her and in the face of such reason we eventually learn that shipping a flying vessel is difficult. So difficult she will only do it for an artefact possessed by the Empress of Aphasia. Is anyone deterred by the fact that she is the most heavily defended woman on this plane and that she might be pretty powerful herself. Having read this far you already know the answer. We thank Miranda and leave for Featherfall.
We reach the marvellous and beautiful city of Featherfall. Most of it floats in the air providing an absolutely breathtaking sight. The fact that within minutes of arriving it could be crashing in ruins, wasting generations of labour brings tears to my eyes.
As we approach Vychan DA’s it and determines it is held aloft by Air magic’s. Here I was thinking it was a necromantic thing and all, thanks Vychan. Almost everyone here is an Air mage as a personal flying spell is kinda needed to get about here. In the main square Saydar and Vychan discuss the relative merits of Air Magic annoying the local citizens. An official who turns out to be the Squire Reeve, Mayor and respected city Elder shows up to sort things out. Engalton’s personal dysfunction (see intro’) causes the boys to offend him to such a degree that the wholesale destruction of the city and surrounds would seem a compliment by comparison. The boys discover that the police are also air mages with some pretty devastating crowd control spells. Despite constant abuse and agony spells the boys and the city survive. Meanwhile I go off to charter a flying ship. I arrange for the Darting Thrush to take us on the next leg of our journey. We retire to a pleasant inn.
After a light breakfast for which Saydar and Vychan demand hunks of meat we leave to visit the Darting Thrush and meet with Captain Forest who owns the vessel. The boys wait in a tavern which serves tar of variable alcoholic content while I negotiate our passage. Upon discovering our destination is a continent he was previously unaware of he demands an outrageous price and I pay him twice that. Being shown round the ship I discover it is a luxury ship for the enjoyment of the idle rich. Possibly not the ideal craft to explore. an uncharted wilderness and hire hard bitten rnercenarv troops Still I prefer to do things in style and comfort. A break from bad food, horrible sleeping conditions, and no reprieve from the snoring of your companions should be embraced at every oppotunity. We board and leave for parts unknown.
We reach ’parts unknown’. I heartily recommend taking flying luxury cruise vessels on adventures as they are superior in every way to any form of transport. Parts unknown is a massive continent containing mountains, jungles, deserts and forests but as yet no civilisation. Late in the night someone spots lights on the shore of the continent.
Since we have a policy of ’interfering busybodies’ we land at the hamlet and demand one large kingdom. pronto. The simple fisher-folk didn’t have one and pointed down the coast. After some talking I determined we should go south down the coast until we arrived at some kingdoms. After a brief contretemps and restraining of ”They’ll make excellent undead” Saydar we f1y off south terrorising all the vessels we meet (they don’t fly) for directions.
We arrive at the first of this place’s tinpot kingdoms. Most of the places round here consist of a lush palace and the oppressed multitudes to support it. We walked in like we could buy the place and met the king who insulted us and lived to tell it to his descendant. ”These completely mad people looking to conquer random bits of landscape came one day. I managed to convince them that we would be more trouble than it was worth so they went to conquer another bit”. He gives us directions and a guide he had handy. His name was Hassan. He mentioned that there was more civilisation on the other side of the continent and also some place called Nildreth and it’s Evil Priest King. We decide to make a detour since seeing to Evil Priest Kings is on our job description. After a brief argument we decide to get an army first. take it with us because we had better do a test run and get the hang of this military leader thing.
We now have 5,000 or so troops at a cost of 30000 sp a week. We are outside Nildreth and this priest king definitely forgot their public relations department. The city has black 50ft high walls and barren, burning wasteland for miles around. Did I mention the huge black towers? Oh well they figure prominently soon. We decide to tunnel via Earth elemental but give up when attacked by flocks of ravens and siege weaponry. After seeing to the ravens we charge the city, turn round and call the army to follow. An army comes out to fight us and we get into an argument about what we should do. The armies start to charge each other and we continue bickering until each is 50ft away. Vychan then annihilates Nildreth’s forces and we attack their commander who thought he was safe behind his army. The commander runs off and we charge the walls. Our army follows. We run in through the still open gates and confront the city.
Vychan is ordered to bash a path to the towers and we follow. The enemy pretend we were not there. We reach the tower and charge on in battling greater undead, flesh golems, warrior magi and some poor unfortunate bastards who couldn’t run fast enough. After beating the priest king and the commander (who obviously was intrigued by the novel tactic of ’Hey, over there, get ’em! ’) for a while and ruffling their clothing they call for a truce and offer a vast amount of magic, money and equipment in the hope we’ll go away. We agree and mention we’ll be back next year. Nildreth, not a nice place to visit and you wouldn’t want to live there as half the population decided when asked if they wanted to come along.
After three weeks preparation and three weeks sailing we land on the island with Newkirk on it. We make a vast tunnel to travel in with our army and are detected 5 miles from the city. We get out just before the enemy flood it and we attack the sappers and capture three, two who received fatal beatings. We then organise a one day siege tactic like in Nildreth. We rush in and blast the gatehouse to rubble and then the army comes along two hours later. We have the presence of mind to take a minuscule fraction of the army with us.
The fight is exceptionally violent with the Aphatia Army being everything our employer promised, ie waves of tanked to the gills tanks and more mages with rank 20 spells than anybody is legally entitled to. To make things more interesting they have devices which allow them to totally absorb the first few spells we lob. Somehow this only makes us all the more eager to get some ourselves. We take the bit of gatehouse we land on. At this point the enemy decides to regroup and we play with the exciting traps in the tower. We eventually break out after restraining Vychan from destroying our only hope of escape should we be attacked while at the bottom of a pit trap.
Leaving we sight Mysanius the Miser and panic a bit before we lose all sanity and and go to negotiate with him. During negotiations, Corel insults Mvsanius (we were standing on him at the time) and gets off with a warning. Engalton then insults Mysanius and catches a few warning Whirlwind Vortices before he behaves. I might just need something like that in the future to keep him in line. It turns out the lizard wants to know what we are doing with his money. It does not believe that we are retaking a city with the intent of leaving it standing. It agrees to help us and in return we get some more loot and a flying warship back on Allusia. The negotiations go smoothly with a Dragon at our backs and Saydar and Vychan being left with the army. The Alphatian army surrenders and starts to leave.
Dimitrian turns up to relieve us just in case we break anything. He asks us if we had any problems. I tell him that we forgot what city we were to attack and he looked alarmed. I then mentioned the upcoming marriage and he looked terrified. He also told us how the enemy were absorbing our magic’s and would we like similar training. We all jump at the chance to successfully resist death spells on demand and take a six month introductory course in Arcane Magic after which we leave for Allusia and the next cosmic disaster.