(Death Comes From Above)
The final part of the second chapter of the Dark Spear
Cast: Gryff Galan, Mandan Bansl, Yolander van Zaar, Toadface, and Prince Aegir of the Enæidun. Also, as NPCs: Hans Willem Smit (Wezellian Onkel), Octavian Augustus Arbalestus bani Flambeu (Hermetic Master), and Geoffrey Colomb (Admiral of the Argonauts).
The following takes place between 25 and 27 Octavum, YE 1022.
Previously the Pius Cabal has attacked the Ordo Ultima Thule forces on the Western Isles, destroyed the battle-ship ADMIRAL VORTIGERN, and with the aid of the dragon Ahariman set fire to the OUT base Fort Niebelungen. After the battle the cabal retreated to a secluded bay off the western coast of Pendrell to heal the crew and refurbish the good ship Pius. The Thulists's retaliation was to set off a great explosion in Rederhafen.
During the daylight hours of the 25th, Bansl and Toadface worked hard to mend hull and heal flesh, respectively. Despite the loss of about a dozen sailors, the Pius was again ship-shape and ready for action. Extra rum-rations were ordered to all hands, and the cabal sat down to determine its next action. After some deliberation, it was determined to keep up the pressure on the hated Outsiders.
Van Zaar, the Master of Time, had long been insisting on creating a massive bomb, something Bombmaster Bansl supported wholeheartedly. A long symposium erupted, and eventually the cabal had agreed on building the bomb, as well as how to do it. The arcane principles involved were quite complex, but it involved great rituals covering multiple Arcana. The core of the device was Master Galan's long researched Prime spell targeting the Ethereal elements of the targets, i.e. their soul, and Master Bansl's Thaumium-enclosed meta-explosive concoction. The latter was made up of Prince Aegir's blood (by bleeding him, the cabal managed to extract the corrupted essence the Prince absorbed when he killed Captain Armand), blood of the Exalted, the remains of Deicide, as well as most of the gunpowder on board.
The following two nights strange lights could be seen over the western coast of Pendrell, as the cabal fused all these elements into a doomsday-device. This construction consumed most of the Mana-storage on board the Pius (137 mY* all told).
Now armed with their bomb, all they needed was a target. To find this, they called on their allies to uncover intelligence on the OUT. The first on the list was Smit, who after the Great Explosion had been named Onkel - one of the seven leaders of the Syndicate. Due to the cost of the bomb they also asked Onkel for mana. Smit was all for bombing the bastards, but wanted to make sure that such a retaliation would hurt them properly. He knew little about the current situation on the Western Isles. He could however inform of the existence of at least five OUT bases on the Dark Continent. He also mentioned that the Pendrellians had recently established contact with a source on the islands.
After Smit, the heroes turned to their old friend Octavian. He had now moved his chantry to the Hermetic flag-ship Katedral in the Erian Gap. He could provide further information on the bases on the Dark Continent, but little else that shed much light on the current tactical conundrum.
Now the turn came to Admiral Colomb. The Argonauts had indeed reached the Waymars, and there made contact with a source known as The Widow. Through this contact they had learned of three major bases, Fort Niebelungen, Helmshaven, and Port Valkyrie. The Widow had also informed of resources being shipped in from the Dark Continent.
The cabal also learned that King Rowar II of Pendrell had declared the Ordo Ultima Thule to be the primary enemies of the kingdom. Further, within a few weeks, twelve Windjammers would be sent to the Erian Front to fight the Humanist forces.
It had now become clear to the intrepid heroes that few knew anything of tactical value about the enemy in the West, but they decided to finish what they had started. And so Fort Niebelungen was scryed again. The fires had been put out, and an army of slaves were busy repairing and rebuilding the installation. The area was still heavily guarded by artillery, Hellghasts and other troops.
The good ship Pius was rigged for flight and readied for teleporting again, and Bombmaster Bansl stood ready to drop the bomb. The ship blinked into position, Galan created a magical tunnel, and in a blinding white light, the bomb went off. The secondary explosion scoured the hill sides in a deluge of fire, and Fort Niebelungen ceased to exist.
The Pius teleported away just as one of the White Reavers appeared out of the Umbra.
*mY = 1 unit of mana
Storyteller's note: Not much to say this time. The cabal has kept the pressure up, and the score-board now shows one more victory for the good guys. The question is how long they can afford to exchange ordnance with the enemy, but that, I'm sure, we'll find out soon enough.
[Picture source: Dvorak Uncensored]