Thursday, 4 November 2010

Chapter: Death comes from above

Chapter One of the Black Spear.

ADMIRAL VORTIGERN - Wyrm-class battle-cruiser

Cast: Master Bansl, Master Galan, Master van Saar, Prince Aegir

The following takes place between 14 Octavum and 23 Octavum, YE 1022.

Last time the heroes passed through the Waymar Islands en route to the elves. They were spotted by the enemy on two occasions. Previously, the Ordo Ultima Thule has tried to assassinate both the prince and Galan. What is known about the OUT is that they come from a dead world far, far away, and that they employ advanced technology in their service of the Deep. For at least eight months now, the OUT has had complete control over the Waymar Islands.

Whilst sailing down the river, towards the coast of the Land of the elves, the Pius Cabal decided to strike a killing blow towards the OUT on the Western Isles. As they had days to spare before they came to the navigational point outside the river's mouth, they planned their assault thoroughly.

All available knowledge was put on the table and properly examined. Based on this the cabal then laid a plan to burn the main base of the OUT on the the island of Corregidor. They would teleport their ship in above the island, and while the flying vessels of the enemy climbed to come within striking distance from the Pius, van Saar and Bansl would be teleported down to the base. Here they would blow it up, while captain Galan and the prince destroyed the enemy ships. Once the time was right, the prince would call upon the dragon, and it would then vanquish the enemy totally.

In preparation to this, the balloon Bansl ordered built, back in Dodecium of 1221 was readied, and the Pius was rigged for flight. Great magics were employed to further bring the ship to a state of battle-readiness. As a step in this, the hight of the Troposphere needed to be measured. To fail-safe these measurements, a chicken was put in a cage beneath the balloon Bansl and Galan sent up. The chicken ended up dead, but became an important part of van Saar's divination-spell.

In this ritual, van Saar looked into the future, and there saw the cabal surrounded by fire, wounded and dying, with death pouring into them from all sides. The last captain Galan had said in this vision was, "death comes from above." Van Saar's apprentice, Simon, who had been the one to cut open the chicken, became overwhelmed by what he saw, and had to be taken below deck.

Based on this new information, the cabal made some minor adjustments to the battle-plan, and then advanced on the enemy. The sails were struck, and the good ship Pius rigged for flight. When the ship had cleared sea-level, it teleported in above Corregidor, 10,000 meters above ground. Thanks to good leadership and its crack crew, the Pius stabilised in the air, and the chain of events began.

Below them, two wings - three vessels each - of OUT Reavers began to climb. Below them, there were at least three more wings. Within not too long, a lookout called, "Meteorite, hoi!" Above the Pius a great, burning, metal sarcophagus came thundering into the Troposphere, a terrible, snarling maw painted on its bow. On the sides of this terror, the words "ADMIRAL VORTIGERN" could be made out. As the fires engulfing this horrible ship went out, and a shock-wave that made the heavens boom in thunder spread from it, van Saar called the out the dreaded words, "the Olympos is here!"

It became clear that the course of this new enemy would take it clean through the keel of the Pius, and captain Galan quickly teleported the ship into a new position. Within seconds, the sarcophagus belched fire, and great metal projectiles came hurtling towards the heroes. By now, the cry, "Olympos!" had convinced van Saar and Galan that this was indeed the First of the Eldren Ships come onto Argos, and so the Pius teleported to safety.

Storyteller's note: First, let me give a short explanation of the Olympos, just to make what happened understandable. The Olympos is, according to legend, an Eldren ship, and it has set course towards Argos to destroy all that has been corrupted by the Exarch. This is a terrible thing, as everything on Argos has been touched by the Deep in one way or another. It has been described as the Sarcophagus of the Gods, travelling through space.

Now onto tonight. Van Saar's player's misunderstanding of the situation was just too sweet. I did not have the heart to intervene, but I probably should have <--- note to self.

The players did not expect the ADMIRAL VORTIGERN, or anything on that scale, and the battle-ship effect is such that it strikes terror in the hearts of its enemies. And it did indeed appear to be a metal sarcophagus of enormous size bearing down upon them. Two players questioned this assumption, while the other two became convinced. And so the assault on the OUT was cancelled.

The players became quite downcast for a while, feeling cheated of a victory, but they seemed to rally once the situation had been assessed properly. The war is entering a decisive phase, no doubt about that, and an enemy long avoided has now become quite real.

Over the next week, I plan on posting on the Space Nazis, a.k.a. OUT, as well as the Waymar Islands.

[Artist: Keith Thompson]


  1. What system are you playing? it sounds like a heck of a campaign. :)

  2. The core system is nWoD, and most of the heroes Mages. Three are Masters in at least on Arcana, one is an Adept, and the last one plays a home-brewed Exalted. It looks like we'll get one more aboard now, but what he'll play I don't know yet.

    But, yeah, it sure is a big 'un. Complex enough to give a poor fellow an aneurysm ;) I just hope it doesn't get so big that it collapses under its own weight.

  3. That's what I thought, but I wanted to make sure. It sounds wonderful, like you are really pushing the system as far as it can go.

  4. I don't know... The system is only to support the story, but it still gives flavour. Using a level-based one would have made less about the actions of the players, and more about the 'strength' of the characters.

    But, yes, as with oWoD, nWoD becomes a bit wobbly once you pass a certain power-level. Then again, there's no such thing as a perfect system.

  5. NOW all of this makes a ton and a half more sense!!!!!!!!!!!

    Mages... think they know everything. =p

  6. They really do, Loq, they really do.

  7. Mage 1- "What is it? I don't know. I think I'll poke it with a stick."

    Mage2- "That didn't work. Do you think we need a bigger stick?"

    Mage1-"We just might. Or, we could name it. No one else knows what it is. How would we be wrong?"

  8. You know, that's eerily close to how it actually is :)

  9. From your posts here this has always truck me as a really great campaign. It's the sort of "off-center" fantasy I find a refreshing alternative to Middle-Earth's in drag, or Hyborian Age knockoffs.

  10. Then I think you'll like the next post. It should be more or less up your alley.

    And thank you for the kind words!