Adventure: The Last Command
Sessions: 2007-06-03, 2007-06-04
Player: Rachel
PC: Silverwind Siivrell
Status: Warblade 1/Wizard 5/Jade Phoenix Mage 6

A warforged sat on a stool in the corner of his room, seemingly relaxed, although his hand never strayed too far from his greataxe. He watched the tall illumian pace back and forth, tapping her sword nervously with her claws. She finally had a chance to tell him all the details, now that the threat of an imminent attack had been resolved.

“…it was the strangest thing I’d ever seen… I’ve never seen that moon before, and when the conjunction occurred—after the dragon flew from us, the strange moon collapsed, and a vast number of Siberys dragonshards rained down on us. Most of us had enough sense to leave, and Sovelom managed to avoid having them hit the air skiff. Tyrian remained to add to his wealth, and only managed to get back to Flamekeep by teleporting.

“But what we saw on the way back… we failed. The lava in the Glowing Chasm was boiling, and many of the denizens of Khyber escaped. Including one of the daelkyr.”

Watcher shook his head. “I was watching the Lord of Blades too closely.”

“It wasn’t anybody’s fault in particular. Except for Vol, curse her. I would have gone after that daelkyr then and there, had we not been so severely outnumbered and the threat of the Lord of Blades.”

“Oh, you wanted to go after them…” muttered Eiryavel.

“We made it back to Flamekeep, just in time to be observed by a massive crowd… I imagine you saw that.”

Watcher chuckled. “I did indeed. The trick the pilot pulled was good, but I am glad he did not swap places and leave me at the helm. The war weaver’s trick of turning everyone into gold dragons was quite interesting, although I suspect he was merely afraid of falling.”

“I expect so.”

“However, I was most impressed by your apparent mastery of cursing…”

“I don’t like showoffs.”

“…in at least five languages…”

“Enough with that. Aside from contacting the other Mages, making a few purchases, and eating dinner with you and Mike—”

“You mean, you were eating, and everyone else was watching you chew,” interrupted Eiryavel.

“It wasn’t that bad,” muttered Siivrell. “We had a strategic meeting after dinner with Sir Blaze, Jaela, Boranel and one of the cardinals, as well as a few others. We discussed deployment; they informed us that the Lord of Blades was definitely moving, and that he had seventy-five thousand troops following him, three times our number. The situation seemed somewhat grim; we expected an attack at Morningcrest, around dusk the following day.”

“We have faced worse odds.”

“But not by much. In any case, although I considered finding a quiet inn and paying extra to remain undisturbed for the night, I chose to accept one of the rooms offered to us. In retrospect, this wasn’t such a good idea.”

“Now, that’s an understatement if I’ve ever heard one,” grumbled Eiryavel. “You sleep like the dead, that’s for sure. Although, if you’d stayed up any longer pondering that dragonmark—”

“Dragonmark?” Watcher appeared startled. “You didn’t mention that.”

“It must’ve slipped my mind. I did mention that Vol cursed us?”

“Yes.”

“This is what it is.” She held out her left arm and pulled back the sleeve, revealing the dragonmark of death on her left wrist.

Watcher examined it, then said, “The Mark of Death appears to violate all the laws I know regarding dragonmarks. All of you who were there were marked?”

“Yes, but I only learned about that in the morning. Even Sovalem, who had a mark already. But that night… as Eiryavel said, I did sleep like the dead, as did Nebu, Teferi and Ankya. We were killed in our sleep by an aberrant assassin, walking through the walls. Tyrian heard him, and the group managed to get together to defeat him. After they found our remains, they resurrected all of us, so that we could defend Thrane the next day. I owe them a debt, since being reincarnated as usual would have been inconvenient. I hope we repaid that debt to their satisfaction.

“As for the mark, I hope never to use mine. It seems a terrible power to have—to drain the strength of the dying. The powers of the others are different, though, and perhaps not so destructive. Although it is the Mark of Death.

“We took the skiff, and flew to Morningcrest. From there, we scouted out the army sent by the Lord of Blades, in four contingents. In the first we met, we caused a lot of mayhem.” Siivrell smiled slightly, and held the hilt of her sword. “The armies were mostly minimally experienced warforged; a few were capable of independent flight, and a few were of a size clearly intended for destroying city walls and wreaking havoc on a large scale. However, a few airships, perhaps twenty-five or so, accompanied this section. Coordinating, I quickly sliced through the hull of a ship, Sovelom found the chamber for the elemental shard. I broke the case; he spoke with the elemental, telling it to free its friends; I broke the shard. The elemental escaped, removing the propulsion from the vessel. Nebu cast fly on the first one, which succeeded in destroying a number of airships, while we similarly disabled a few more. Excluding the flying elemental; Nebu wished to preserve some of his spells for later.

“We met with less success against the second wing; they anticipated our strike. Tyrian was killed by a hail of arrows, the results of which Ankya survived only by sheer fury and a spell cast by Nebu. Mike had learned to take a step like dimension door; between him and Nebu they managed to recover Tyrian’s body without becoming pincushions themselves.”

“I’m just glad you were using me to whack another airship, and weren’t getting pincushioned yourself like that time we were fighting at the beginning of the Last War,” said Eiryavel smugly.

“True enough. They had a couple of warforged guarding the dragonshard, but they were easily dealt with. We disabled that ship, and then left, since Ankya needed healing and Tyrian needed resurrecting.

“We returned to the city, and waited until dusk. As the armies entered our view, Sovelom prepared to use his Mark of Storm. The main army approached from the south; to the east and west, small contingents of the large warforged, essentially seigeforged, split off, and began to throw boulders at the walls. We dealt with those to the left. A large fraction of the army, almost half, had entered the range of Sovelom’s prepared magic, and he activated it, engulfing them in a pair of his tornadoes. We then flew to the other side, and destroyed the other seigeforged.

“Sovalem then received a message; a dragon was attacking from the north! Teferi, Ankya and Tyrian went there immediately, while the rest of us took the skiff as quickly as it would fly. Teferi had called many of his followers, and joining the powers of their minds to his, he managed to dominate it. Fortunately. It had already killed a fraction of the weaker population in the north of the city. As you know, this was the dragon created by Vol in the Mournland, and the stuff it breathed was the mist of that place. Instead of attacking us, now it went against the airships with the young gold dragons who joined us from Argonessen.”

“It is a pity that I missed many of these details; there were a few with sufficient power who made it through the gap between his tornadoes that I had my hands full. Even with Teferi’s power, that dragon was difficult to manage.”

“It’s good we didn’t need to worry about it until after the battle. After that, the army had decided to go around the two tornadoes, heading east, where we had been. Invisible, we flew over them, until Tyrian took the helm as Sovelom leapt overboard, flew down thanks to Nebu’s spells, and created another tornado, which wiped out another large fraction of their forces. This tornado was almost immediately dispelled, indicating that some more powerful threat lurked in the back—as we anticipated, guarding the Lord of Blades himself. Nebu and I leapt out, joining Sovelom; the rest flew on in the skiff.

“What followed was a battle between us, the Lord of Blades, and a few of his supporters, who were capable of casting spells on him and dispelling our own. They even enlarged him to enormous size; he damaged the air skiff’s propulsion beyond repair, capable of reaching it even at sixty feet above the ground. The battle seemed to last hours, though it couldn’t have been more than a minute or so. I dimension doored myself, Nebu and Sovelom closer to the fighting; Sovelom created his tornado; and then all was chaos. Spells were cast and dispelled, blows were struck and blocked. In the end, we all survived, relatively unhurt, and the supporters of the Lord of Blades, and the Lord of Blades himself, were destroyed.”

“Yes; I heard from someone that you had stuck the final blow with Eiryavel?”

“No, we only weakened him enough that a small power of Teferi’s was enough to kill him.”

Watcher shook his head. “A waste of skill and power, that one. What he could have done, had he not been mad…”

“We’ve seen his like before.”

“It only goes to prove what I’ve always been saying,” added Eiryavel. “Pretty much all of you people with legs lack sense.”

Ignoring the sword, Watcher replied, “And we will see them again, since nothing ever really changes. But now, we have a greater threat to confront: the daelkyr.”

“Right. I’ve had word from everyone who has passed their Rite of Wakening.”

Watcher nodded. “And there is another in the Mournland, who is almost ready for the Rite.”

“In any case, Darvik is going to meet us at the ziggurat. Ellandra is still in Argonessen from talking the dragons over, but she’ll catch up soon enough. If we get lucky, we might even convince some of my comrades to come along. It sounds as though Mike wants to establish a monastery, the war weaver wants to avoid getting killed, as always, and only Aureon knows what Teferi is up to. Tyrian’s probably busy with his work… or Orilam. I’ve heard something about Sovalem and Lyrander’s gratitude in the form of an airship. We’ll just have to go find them.”

Watcher stood, and pulled his greataxe from its place. “Then we are ready to begin. Shall we?”

“No more delays!” Siivrell said with a wry grin. Then, simultaneous with her sword, she said, “We have daelkyr to hunt!”

Player’s Notes

Ankya now wins the record for most negative hit points survived; at -3000 or so. I think. It was definitely negative thousands. We didn’t add it all up; it was averaged from lots of lucky low-level warforged. Like twenty thousand or so. She was saved only by not dying while frenzied, and then some spell Nebu cast that put her back to 1 HP.

No monks were killed in the playing of this adventure. Strangely enough.

Domenic informed us at some point that he did expect us to take out the Lord of Blades… but not necessarily most of the army while we were at it. There was supposed to be some sort of final confrontation on the steps of the cathedral… we kind of bypassed that. Bonus points to Scott for successful powergaming.

I don’t go over all the details of the final battle, since, well, I wasn’t there for most of it, alas. Second-hand reports were pretty interesting, though, so I gave the good bits.

Well, trying to wrap things up. Also, well, Siivrell is gung-ho about this “killing of evil stuff” thing. And presumably successful about it, too, if I glance at Michael’s post. [Ed. by Domenic—well, not entirely]

One last thought. Why is this adventure called “The Last Command”? Is it that the Lord of Blades’ last command was to attack the city, or what?

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