Saturday, 27 March 2010

The last chapter

In the previous chapter, not written, the Pius Cabal built a temple to Arkon outside Rederhafen. The reason was that by so doing, the Older God could work a miracle; the Host of Man, encircled on the Dark Continent, marched home through Arkon's Gate.

This chapter started with Banzel's Masterpiece. It involved building a grand machine, combining the ship's Navichron and the Dragonheart. The new contraption, Banzel's Apparatus, would then allow the Cabal to teleport the Pius, with all her crew.

As Banzel, Galan and van Zaar were hacking out the spesifics of the Masterpiece, Drake and the Prince went to visit the Host. Drake had decided that he needed a seal-breaker (some artifact designed to break metaphysical seals), and that the Draccian Wolf Lords of the Host would possess such an item.

Thus he came before Lord Vargas, the leader of the Wolf Lords, presenting his request, which was promptly denied. Lord Vargas quoted the previous handywork of the Worlock, and said that he did not deem it wise to aid in furthering that craft.

The Prince asked for Grey Knights to serve as weapons-masters in the martial college he was planning to build on his newly gazetted land. He had more luck than his compannion.

Afterwards the prince went to the newly constructed temple, Arkonshov, and found it quite busy.

Not only the Pendrellians of the Host, who knew the god as St Marcus, and had seen his might when the Gateposts were erected on Cora, but countless others as well, had come to worship. The Prince spent the remainder of the day at the temple, speaking to the masses about the divinity of man, and the futility of worship. He was treated like a saint come amongst mortals.

Drake, sickened by the spectacle, and feeling insulted by Lord Vargas, left the Host and walked back to the city. On his way there, he came to a bridge, and there he found a steady trickle of rats coming the other way. He snatched one up and spoke with it. At first the rat seemed reluctant, but after being duly threatened it revealed that all the rats were leaving Rederhafen due to something dark coming up from below. So adviced, the Warlock hurried back to the ship and informed the Cabal.

Van Zaar, the Adeptus of Time, looked into the future and saw pestilence, fire and death. He also saw demons walking the streets, and at the root of it all, he saw the Kraken, leaving the port three nights earlier. And then the Cabal despared. It took them a while to disbelieve the whole thing, and in the meantime Banzel completed his work; Banzel's Apparatus was finished, and Mandan Banzel could style himself Master of the Arcana of Matter.

Only when the Prince returned, well after dark, did the Cabal spring into action. First Drake went to the site where the temple of Gilgul, Gulathing, was under construction. He called for the Lord of Justice, and he appeared. After having heard the plea, Gilgul warned him of the cost of releasing the Hosts of Nightmare on Rederhafen, and the Cabal saw the wisdom in that, and turned to other sollutions.

They decided to go after Armand, and the Prince sent his men to warn the Marshal of the Host about the danger.

Galan scryed for the Kraken, and found her in the Straits of Ahriman, sailing a storm, in plain view with her flag flying. The Cabal took the Pius out to sea, and using Banzel's Apparatus, teleported right behind the Black Ship.

The Prince charged the aft-deck of the immense ship, wielding the sword Deicide, and attacked Armand. As this happened, the Kraken let her anchors drop and unfurled her sails, thus capsizing the ship. On the deck, Armand called forth shadowy tentacles and grappled the Enæïd, while throwing himself overboard. As the Kraken sank, her crew threw grappling hooks over at the Pius, hoping to drag her under with them.

This is when van Zaar cast a mighty spell, undoing all events and offering the Cabal one more try.

Following the same strategy, only now focusing on destroying the anchors, and controlling the Gauntlet, the Cabal attacked the Kraken. This time the Prince managed to gravely wound the captain of the Black Ship, and as he threw himself overboard, the Prince jumped after, driving the sword through the heart of Armand.

As the dark mariner died, all the power bound in his flesh discharged with eldritch lightning and bursts of fire that blew in the side of the Kraken. Thus Captain Armand died.

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