Monday, 22 November 2010
Chapter: Point of Catastrophe, part II
Cast: Mandan Bansl, Gryff Galan, Jolander van Saar, and Toadface.
The following takes place between 24 and 25 Ovtavum, YE 1022.
Previously, the cabal decided to attack the Ordo Ultima Thule on the Waymar Islands, and to take down the OUT battle-ship ADMIRAL VORTIGERN. This chapter starts with the good ship Pius - now rigged for flight - high above the Isles. Three Reavers have been defeated, and several more are forming a defensive formation between the Pius and the OUT base.
Below them, the heroes could see more Reavers taking off from the island, and amongst these there was a wing of three white vessels. They climbed from a jungle-clad valley, and suddenly they vanished in thin air - they had breached the Gauntlet and entered the Umbra. This is the Achilles Heel of the cabal, as both Thaumathurges have vanished.
The magicians decided to up the ante, and they called on the Great Dragon Ahariman. He came out of the sun, falling towards the ground at immense speed, heading towards the OUT base. As the dragon passed the Reaver-formation, fire engulfed them, and many were struck out of the air. Suddenly cannons hidden on ridges and hill-sides started a frightful barrage. The sky around Ahariman became riddled with lethal dark blossoms, and glowing trails of death whipped the air.
And again the lookout called, "Meteorite, hoi!"
ADMIRAL VORTIGERN, the enormous steel monster, engulfed in flames, came thundering into the Troposphere. The Pius sprang into action, and as soon as the flames were extinguished, Captain Galan ordered the ship to teleport.
The Pius jumped to a position where Bansl could fire the White Arrow the cabal had forged for this job. Immediately the enemy's defences opened up, and the decks of the Pius were scoured by red hot metal poured from the countless guns jutting from ADMIRAL VORTIGERN's hull. Even so, Bansl calmly took aim, and fired his cannon. The White Arrow pierced the thick hull without trouble, and galan teleported Bansl, van Saar and Toadface aboard the enemy, then he took his own ship to safety.
In the steel bowels of the great battle-ship, the OUT found that a war-cabal is a terrible thing indeed. The magicians effortlessly fought their way to the bridge, and only there did they meet resistance sufficient to slow them down. Bansl's bombs proved invaluable in clearing closed rooms.
Two Hellghasts stood between the heroes and the door to the bridge, and Toadface whooped with joy at an enemy worth walloping. He charged the two as van Saar shifted time to get behind them. Despite the Hellghasts being fearsome fighters, they stood no chance against two Masters and an Adept, and the battle ended shortly.
The bridge was scryed, and Bansl came up with the idea to use a basic apparition-spell to deliver his ordnance into the room without exposing themselves to the enemy. Thus it was that the bombman blew a great hole in the hull of the enemy ship, and almost killed his brothers-in-arms as well. Bansl himself will of course tell you that everything was under control all the time.
With the ADMIAL VORTIGERN now falling helplessly towards the sea, Captain Galan brought the boarding-party home again.
Further East, the OUT base was now burning, but the dragon, now grievously injured, was fleeing. Relentlessly pursuing the wyrm was a fleet of Reavers. Each was pouring death into the ancient creature, and it was clear to the magicians - who were scrying this from afar - that Ahariman would fall.
Again the Pius was readied for battle, and Captain Galan teleported her between the dragon and the pursuers. As the enemy vessels screamed past them, the Pius opened up with both her broadsides. Of the seven Reavers following the dragon, four were blown out of the sky, and a fifth soon followed.
Toadface, being an Adept of Life, asked to be put on the wounded dragon's back, and Galan promptly teleported him there. Once on the ancient creature, Toadface could feel broken bones grinding against each other, torn tendons and ripped muscles straining to keep moving. The dark and sinister sea was coming closer by the minute, and it looked like there was a malicious shadow following them just below the surface.
Toadface started pouring his magic into the dragon, and despite his best efforts, it did not seem to be sufficient. At last he reached deep into himself, and sacrificing ten years of his life, he managed to bring enough strength back to Ahariman to make him able to climb again.
Simultaneously, the Pius had become threatened by the three white white Reavers. Coming out of the Umbra, one on each side, and one beneath the ship, they made ready to board with dozens of Hellghasts. The cabal didn't think twice, and they retreated.
Toadface was at this time clinging to the dragon's back as it climbed higher and higher, towards the sun. As the horizons widened around him, he felt the light fill his soul, and before the dragon came too high he let go. Before the Pius left the Western Isles, Galan brought the dragonrider safely back aboard.
The Pius anchored off the western coast of Pendrell. Here the wounded crew-members were seen to, and teh ship was mended. There was extra rum for each man, and the cabal celebrated the victory.
At 0500 on 25 Octavum, an enormous explosion wiped out a large portion of Rederhaven. Tens of thousands were killed, and several important buildings were lost. The Ordo Ultima Thule's revenge for the loss of ADMIRAL VORTIGERN has begun.
Storyteller's note: This is a great example of what the Pius Cabal is capable of when they act rationally and in concert. Still, this is only the third victory they have had since they left the Dark Continent (a year ago, RT). Since then, they have made invaluable contributions to the defence of Argos, but they have avoided battle.
The first great victory was the defeat of Captain Armand, following the Dark Triumvirate's attack on Wezell. The second great victory was the defeat of the Flood at the Battle of Geminon Field, where the migrating people were turned towards the lands of the Temple. And now, the defeat of ADMIRAL VORTIGERN. Three victories, against three enemies.
There are in effect three different groups of enemies. The Dark Triumvirate, the Temple of Man Supreme, and the Ordo Ultima Thule. Behind, or below, there is of course Cthulhu, but he's a little out of the reach of mortals.
Following the first victory, they were told by the Queen Mother herself that if they meddled in her affairs again, she would not forgive. Not worth all that much, perhaps, but since then she has left the cabal alone. The second victory has not yet borne fruits, but by the end of YE 1022 or so, the Flood should start pouring into Temple-lands. This war is also being fought by the Enlightened Alliance (in effect every friendly magician and all their allies).
The Ordo Ultima Thule has been allowed to operate freely on the Western Isles for a generation, and now they have been attacked openly.
[Picture source: LayoutSparks.com]