2007-06-04


Adventure: The Last Command
Sessions: 2007-06-03, 2007-06-04
Player: Dave Zhang
PC: Tyrian
Status: Human Paragon 1/Wizard 1/Human Paragon +2/Master Specialist 4/Fatespinner 4

An End and a Beginning

The day was going to be a rough one, Orilam knew, as she was awoken abruptly by falling two feet. She took a couple seconds to realize that she and Tyrian had both been teleported to the Inner Guard Enclave. That wasn’t so much of a problem, since both of them had been here before, and both had access. What was a bit odd was that the two of them were both naked. What was a bit embarrassing was that Sir Blaze was here, and definitely not asleep. What was a bit alarming was that Tyrian sported a rather large gash in his side.

“Ack! Invisible attackers! Gimme a hand here, Blaze.”

Orilam’s commanding officer hurried to her boyfriend’s side and channeled his divine powers of healing with a touch. “Sir Tyrian, what has happened!?”

Orilam covered herself as best she could as she ran to the supply cabinets to find a couple sets of clothing for herself and Tyrian. She returned a short while later in a simple white tunic.

“…couldn’t see him, despite all my perceptive aptitude, so I can only guess that it was a well-trained ninja.”

Blaze nodded. “Very likely. You should check on the others immediately; if I’m not wrong, this assassin will try for the lives of your compatriots if he has not already.”

“Good idea! Orilam, grab me a couple scrolls of sending.”

A moment later, Tyrian tried to activate the items with a shout of “Ankmopar!”

Tyrian frowned, as he noticed that the magical writing did not disappear. He failed activating the scroll. He never failed with magic. That could only mean…

“Blaze, I think Nebu’s dead.”

The sound of Blaze’s knuckles crackling emanated from the Priest’s desk. “Try the others.”

A couple minutes later, after failing to reach Siivrell and Teferi, Tyrian was finally able to reach Mike, the now-human monk. “Mike, are you OK? Assassin attacked tonight. I can’t reach the others, possibly dead. Meet at the cathedral immediately.”

Tyrian spoke to his girlfriend as he quickly casted an invisibility and a fly spell on her, “Go quickly to the Keeper’s chambers; that place should be warded against attacks.

Orilam nodded. “Please be careful.”

***

Orilam and Jaela gathered about the basin of water in the latter’s chamber later in the afternoon. Tyrian, Blaze, Mike, and Sovelom and managed to destroy the assassin, and recovered Siivrell, Nebu, Teferi, and Ankya’s bodies. Since Blaze’s death and true resurrection some time ago, Jaela had become much more paranoid about death, and had fortunately stockpiled five scrolls of true resurrection. They were put to good use.

Blaze and Krozen each led their faction of troops to Morningcrest, where they planned to mount the first stage of defense, while Tyrian et al. had traveled on air skiff to scout out the enemies.

Orilam gasped. “What are they doing?”

“It’s obvious. They’re going for the airships. Thrane and Karrnath both lack air superiority; those are going to be dangerous later on if not destroyed now.”

The image in the water proved Jaela right as the adventurers freed the huge fire elemental powering one of the airships. The moved on to another, and then another, and soon the fleet was completely in shambles.

“Your Grace, they did it! Now Flamekeep will have nothing to fear from the skies.”

“Hardly. There are four more armies, so they’ve maybe defeated a fifth of the air threat. But it’s a good start.”

***

The group headed to the next army.

“Tyrian! That fool, what’s he doing!?” demanded Jaela as Tyrian jumped off the airskiff to hover some hundred feet above the foot soldiers.

“Look, Your Grace.” Orilam pointed to a few warforged in the corner of the field of vision. “Those look like casters; the first army didn’t have such a squad.”

“Well, I sure hope he doesn’t try anything stupid. Those warforged may not be able to stand up to him one-to-one, but there are a lot of them and only one of him. Oops, too late!”

On screen, Tyrian casted a protection from arrows spell on himself, before casually tossing an empowered fireball to the center of one of the caster squads. The targeted few evaporated as expected; however…

With the efficiency of a well-practiced army, all foot soldiers from the entire army turned to face the no-longer-invisible Tyrian, and let fly a hail of arrows. The first of the volley were harmlessly deflected by Tyrian’s spell, but there were simply too many arrows. Tyrian, realizing his jeopardy, quickly started to incant a teleport spell, but did not have time to complete it, as the thousands of arrows struck into him from every angle.

Orilam fainted.

***

Orilam awoke with an uncharacteristic scream, before realizing she was still in the presence of the Keeper of the Flame. “Your Grace..?”

Jaela nodded sadly. “His friends have recovered the body, but Tyrian’s dead, no doubt.”

Orilam quickly knelt before her master, and begged out in tears. “Please, Your Grace, please! The last scroll…”

Jaela hesitated. “But, it’s the last. The main battle has yet to start. What if Blaze were to fall tonight?”

“I beg you, Your Grace! Sir Blaze and Tyrian are close as brothers; surely he would agree as well! You’ve heard Tyrian neutralize the threats of the vampires and Vol. Surely with Tyrian alive, the battle will be that much more in our favor!”

Jaela bit her lip as she considered the consequences. Finally, she nodded. “You and Tyrian have been served me well these years, and I owe you at least this much. Ready the altar.”

Twenty minutes later, a new body for Tyrian appeared out of thin air at the end of the invocation. He awoke with a Fireball ready to throw, and bracing a grimace of pain.

“Tyrian!” Orilam clamber atop the altar to embrace him.

“Welcome back to the land of the living,” spoke Jaela as she wiped the sweat off her brow. “And try to stay away from the land of the dead for a while.”

Tyrian gritted his teeth. “Those damn warforged! I’ll turn them all into slag iron tonight.”

Jaela stormed up to the altar and slapped him. “What part of the order ‘stay alive’ don’t you understand!? If it wasn’t for Orilam begging me so insistently, I’d have been content to raise you from the dead some months later. And that’s the best you can hope for if you get yourself killed again today.. assuming we actually defeat the warforged armies.”

Tyrian considered this sullenly. “Are the rest of them still kicking?”

“They’re fine for now. It doesn’t look like they’ll be directly confronting any more armies after your shining example. Now teleport your butt to Morningcrest and tell Blaze that he has strict orders from me not to die today.”

***

“Finally, it’s beginning.” The image in the water showed the warforged troops, some 80 000 strong, marching relentlessly toward the fortress-town of Morningcrest. A few squadrons of warforged titans broke rank to besiege the city walls, while the main column of troops marched ahead toward the main gates. Blaze stood atop the gates of the city in his usual combat form, that of a cervidal. With his falchion, he directed the volleys of the Thrane archers, while shouting encouragement and healing the nearby injured.

In the other scrying pool, the air skiff bearing the Tyrian and his companions veered to the eastern side of the city.

“Good to see they’re learning from their mistakes,” noted Jaela as she witnessed Tyrian throw some three iceballs without returning to common sight. “Greater invisibility.”

“Your Grace, Tyrian’s single-handedly destroyed the right wing of titans!” Orilam beamed.

Jaela nodded, “Yeah, it looks like it was right for me to resurrect him. The western city walls are taking quite a beating though, they to need to hurry.”

As the front line of warforged troops approached the city gates, tornado-force winds whipped thousands of the metal-clad soldiers into one another in the air. Some minute later, the winds died down, leaving only the scattered metal remains of those consciousnesses awoken but a few weeks ago.

“No blood, no soul,” muttered Jaela. “The enemies have no purpose, no value, and no hope for salvation.”

“Your Grace, some warforged are fighting on our side. There is the one called Watcher, and there is that magic shop owner…”

“I wonder if those few are truly different, or if they have other treachery planned. I have heard many a tale of heroes who have fallen through the actions of their comrades.”

The image in the water scrying on Tyrian suddenly shifted to the interior of the city. Tyrian teleported himself and Teferi there, where some number of Teferi’s followers had gathered. The shadow dragon rampaged in the background, breathing the pestilence of the Mournland onto the home of the paladins of the Eternal Dawn.

“That fool Tyrian! Are they trying to take down the dragon with just the two of them!?” Jaela motioned her hands and quickly casted a sending spell to him.

“Tyrian! Do not engage that dragon! This is a direct order! Dragons can sense you despite your invisibility. Clear out immediately!”

“Negative. That thing’s doing too much damage to ignore. Teferi says he has a plan. I’m here to bail him out if it doesn’t work.”

An instant later, the shadow dragon stopped in its tracks. The gnome pointed at the warforged airships, and the dragon obediently flew directly towards them.

A minute later, Sovelom and the rest caught up to Tyrian and Teferi. A round of congratulations later, they took off again for the battlefield abreast the city walls.

Sovelom suddenly handed Tyrian the steering wheel, and jumped off the air skiff, soon to be followed by Nebu and Siivrell. Tyrian suddenly grinned wide, and jerked the air skiff suddenly in a vertical loop.

“What a show off!”

“Your Grace! The Lord of Blades himself!”

Indeed, it was hard to miss him now, for he was a full seventy-two feet tall, towering over the battlefield. With a powerful smash, he shattered the heroes’ air skiff, and carried through the blow to temporary captain Tyrian. The giant size lasted but a moment though, and quickly he returned to his normal self. Though the remnants of the air skiff crashed to the ground below, Ankya, Teferi, Mike, and Tyrian stayed aloft.

With two quick motions, Tyrian zapped the enemy leader in a Dimensional Anchor, and encased him in a shroud of force, effectively sequestering the mighty warforged general from the battle. This however, also lasted but seconds before it was dispelled by an enemy spellcaster.

In an instant, the seven adventurers morphed into war trolls. Several of them engaged the Lord of Blades in melee, while others continued blasting away with spells. And then…

It was over.

***

“Today, we stand at the dawn of a new age. An age of rebirth, where yesterday’s errors will not shadow the light of tomorrow’s coming. An age of unification, where all that is light and good in Eberron will unite against the powers unleashed by the lich-queen Vol and the now-dead Lord of Blades. An age of expansion and cleansing, where those nations indulgent of evil shall be purged along with those actively working against us.

“Citizens of Thrane, Breland, and Karnath, we have stood together against the most formidable army of ruthless killing machines the world has seen, and won. Our friendship has been forged in battle, and shall be further tempered in war. Our triumvirate alliance has been sealed by victory, and together we shall band together to sweep all before us.

“First, we must retake Breland, and restore the rightful heirs to the throne. I, Blaze of Flamekeep, shall personally lead an elite contingent of three hundred paladins to serve as the vanguard in the campaign to retake Sharn from the hands of remaining warforged. The City of Towers shall rise again, reaching closer to the stars than ever before! Citizens of Breland, I pledge to you that your home shall be yours once more!

“From there, we shall march onwards with vengeance to Droaam! For too long have we been distracted by our own petty squabbles, and allowed this monstrous state to grow strong. These fiends dared side with the soul-less warforged, but they shall soon pay for their treachery. Our warriors, hardened in experience and outfitted in trophy-armor of the bodies of the defeated warforged, shall make short work of the hags and harpies.

“Along with Droaam, Darguun will also receive its comeuppance. With the mists of Cyre lifting, Lord Kaius of Karrnath has mobilized his troops for immediate departure on a south-eastern campaign to punish the goblin state, with the full fury of warrior spirits both alive and returned to life. We of Thrane have promised our unconditional support for them, and all citizens of Thrane are to treat Karrnathi citizens as brothers in arms, offering quarter and supplies as requested.

“The remains of Galifar’s nation has too long be splintered. Today, we make our first move towards reunification!”

***

Tyrian smiled. “A good speech, Blaze.”

“Thank you, my friend. Not only for your half-hearted compliment, but more importantly for the invaluable support in the Battle of Flamekeep.”

“You seem to have omitted Aundair, Zilargo, Valenar, and all the rest on the hit list.”

Blaze’s jaw tightened. “One can only face so many opponents at once, as I believe you learned early yesterday morning. There is nothing to gain by declaring hostilities so soon on them. However, rest assured that their actions shall not go unpunished. With the vast stores of adamantine scrapped from the husks of the warforged invaders, we have enough resources to sustain war for a hundred years. But the soldiers will tire, and Breland needs rebuilding. Punishment to Aundair can wait a couple years.”

“What of the Glowing Chasm? The rate of monsters appearing have diminished but the ones already here still pose a threat on the safety of Thrane and Karrnath.”

“It’s true, but the threat is local, and others are already making moves to neutralize that threat. Your friend Siivrell and her jade phoenix mage companions, for one. Druids and rangers from the Eldeen Reaches, representing a faction known as the Gatekeepers, have also arrived to assist. What of the rest of your companions? Are they willing to serve Thrane?”

“Not so sure about that. Mike seems to be interested in opening a temple, while Sovelom is heading back to reconcile with his family. The gnome Teferi and his followers could be persuaded given the right approach. I should be able to talk Nebu into assisting us; he seems like the reliable sort.”

“Good. We march on Sharn three days from now. You mentioned before that you wanted to fight by my side again; the time has now come.”

Tyrian raised his eyebrows. “Does that mean I have a three-day vacation until then?”

Blaze laughed. “As you wish.”

Player’s Notes:

Mmm… portentious. I foresee a Rome-like era.

Tyrian’s final Statistics:

  • Str: 9 (-1)
  • Dex: 8 (-1)
  • Con: 14 (+2)
  • Int: 16 + 3 + 2 + 4 = 25 (+7)
  • Wis: 14 (+2)
  • Cha: 10 (+0)
  • hp: 76
  • Base Atk +6
  • AC 7, touch 7, flat-footed 7
  • Fort +5, Ref -1, Will +15
  • Init: +24

Special Abilities and Effects:

  • Bat familiar (+3 Listen checks)
  • Focused Specialist (Evoker)
  • Prohibited Schools: Enchantment, Abjuration, Illusion
  • Adaptive Learning (Use Magic Device always a class skill)
  • Ability Boost (+2 Int)
  • Fickle Finger of Fate (immediate action to force another’s reroll, 1/day)
  • Spin Fate (4 points, add to DC)
  • Spin Destiny (add Spin to skill check, attack roll, or save instead)
  • Deny Fate (auto-stabilize when below 0 hp, 1/day)
  • Resist Fate (1 re-roll per day)
  • Minor School Esoterica (Evocation): +2 Concentration for Evocation spells
  • Permanent Spell: darkvision (60ft)
  • Permanent Spell: see invisibility
  • Permanent Spell: read magic
  • Skill Trick: Tumbling Crawl (crawl 5 ft. as move action, Tumble DC 15)

Spells:
0th—detect magic ×3
1st—feather fall, grease ×2, nerveskitter, swift expeditious retreat, [magic missile ×3]
2nd—rope trick, scorching ray ×4, [scorching ray ×3]
3th—piercing shivering ray ×5, [fireball ×3]
4th—piercing iceball ×3, [explosive cascade, piercing iceball, resilient sphere]
5th—teleport, greater fireburst, [ball lightning, cacophonic burst ×2]
6th—disintegrate, [lingering flames (to power reserve feat), piercing ball ice ×2]

DC: 17 + spell level (19 + spell level for evocation)

Traits:
1. Aggressive (+2 Init, -1 AC)
1. Slow (+1 HP/lvl, half base speed)

Flaws:
1. Poor Reflexes
1. Vulnerable (-1 AC)

Feats:
1. Guerrilla Scout [+1 initiative, Listen and Spot always cost 1 skill point]
1H. Improved Initiative
1F. Spell Focus (evocation)
1F. Sudden Silent [Silent Spell 1/day]
2W. Scribe Scroll
3. Quick Reconnoiter [+2 initiative, Listen and Spot as free actions]
3HP. Energy Substitution (cold) [good for not damaging buildings/ships]
5MS. Skill Focus (Spellcraft)
6. Fiery Burst (+1 caster level for Fire spells, Nd6 burst (5’ radius) of fire as standard supernatural action, Reflex half DC same as Nth level spell)
7MS. Greater Spell Focus (evocation)
9. Action Surge
12. Piercing Cold [+1 metamagic adjustment, ignore cold resistance, do ½ damage to cold immune, do double damage to cold-vulnerable]

Skills: Listen +24, Spot +24, Spellcraft +29, Concentration +19, Use Magic Device +21, Knowledge (Arcana) +22, Tumble +14

Gear:

  • Weapon: +1 warning dagger [+5 insight bonus to initiative]
  • Waist: belt of battle [3 charges/day, 1 = extra move, 2 = extra standard, 3 = extra full round; +2 competence bonus to initiative]
  • Head: headband of conscious effort and intellect +4 [Concentration check instead of Fortitude save, 1/day]
  • Eyes: goggles of perception [custom: +4 insight Listen and +7 insight Spot]
  • Neck: empowered spellshard (fireball) [3/day +50% damage for fireball]
  • Hands: gloves of device mastery +6 [custom: +6 competence bonus to Use Magic Device]
  • Arms: bracers of spell aiming +2 [custom: +2 enhancement bonus to touch attacks]
  • Carried: handy haversack, lesser rod of metamagic empower ×3, lesser rod of metamagic energy substitution (acid), lots and lots of scrolls

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?

Adventure: The Last Command
Session: 2007-06-04
Player Character: Michael Busch
PC: Anethilzair
Status: Monk 12

Flamekeep, two weeks after the destruction of the Blades army at Morningcrest:

Four raptoran monks carried a pallet up the steps of the Cathedral. On it rested the body of another, this one with wing-claws terribly burned by acid. Although it had been dead for months, it seemed newly fallen: the body had been retrieved from the Mournland, and had not decayed since then, thanks to the dragonmark on the left palm of the slightly glowing human who walked next to the monks.

Inside the Cathedral, divine and arcane energy was released, channeled through the Flamelord and the Pontiff, and the human was transformed. Limbs lengthened, nails turned into dull talons, hair was replaced by an overall coat of feathers. From his shoulders sprouted a pair of wings. Anethilzair Mykispar was now in the body birth would have given him, with the exception of the dragonmark, which remained visible on the now-hardened skin of the palm.

Anethilzair bowed low. “I am even more in your debt, Blaze. I can now restore the monastery without violating the rules of my order, and I will no longer be the last of us. And though I have learned much while in the bodies of other races, I am glad to have back my wings.

“I must ask one more favor of you. Please tell me whatever you come to know of Vol, the daelkyr, and the apparent dissolving of the Mournland. A time may come when it is safe to move the monastery back to Cyre.”

Between the ziggurat and the lightning-rail line, on the Thrane–Mournland border, a month after the Battle of Morningcrest:

The Mykispar Monastery had no physical infrastructure. The raptorans nested in trees spread out over several square miles of forest, and trained in the open space between the forest and the ziggurat, in the forest itself, or anywhere within tens of miles on the wing. The strongest of the monks had only just returned from an expedition into the Mournland, to see the melted ruins of the old monastery and bury the bodies of all of those who died there. Anethilzair now sat at the base of a large oak tree, his wings folded at his back.

With him was a Dryad, her elven features a pale green and her long hair the color of dark wood, and the necropolitian child Alia, whose dinosaur skeleton crouched outside. Although none needed to drink, in deference to the halfling’s reverence of ancient custom, all three had small wooden cups of tea.

They spoke of many things. Alia wanted to know if there were any interesting skeletons between the Mournland border and the ruins of the old monastery. Then the wind through the leaves of the oak tree began to whisper. House Sivis was delivering a message from Flamekeep.

“The jade phoenix mages have reported from the Glowing Chasm. The area has finally been cleared of most aberrations, although many more were able to escape. Watcher and Siivrell fear that more daelkyr may have been released from the Chasm, and so the mages will stay there for the while. The clear zone continues to expand and healing magic has begun to work there. We may hope the Mournland will be cleared within a few years.

“Sovalom accepted the Flamelord’s offer to return him to his original body, and House Lyrander has given him a gift of one of the fastest and best equipped airships they have. The gnome Teferi offered to provide him with a crew when he heard of this. Nebu nearly begged himself a place on board: he seems to think that it is safest to be at the eye of a tornado.

“Tyrian signing off. Orilam is waiting for me.”

***
This is my attempt to close out Anethilzair’s story, and those of the other members of the party. I have tried to remain true to the characters, but feel free to modify it if necessary. I’ve assumed that the jade phoenix mages can deal with the daelkyr, but there is still the plot hook of Vol unresolved. [Ed. by Domenic—yeah, daelkyr are a bit tougher than that. Lord of Blades is a mortal-level threat; daelkyr are demigod-level threats. Vol would be in between, I think. Small modifications made :).]

Since true resurrections have been handed out, a permanent polymorph any object seems reasonable. I hope that Anethilzair preserving his own body after removing it from the Mournland, where it has rested since 6th level, is a valid use of gentle repose (Vol having cursed us with the Least Dragonmark of Death). Domenic stated that using the Mark would cause it to become the Lesser Dragonmark of Death, so Mike may have had this happen to him.

(This is not the exact form in which you fought him, but it is pretty close. He has had a few item downgrades and a few item upgrades/additions, most notably of winged boots and a ring of evasion; two feats were replaced as well so as to make taking thicket of blades legal. His challenge rating is one more than his class level due to the fact that he has a decent amount more wealth than a typical 17th-level character, plus he has above-25-point-buy statistics and four arms.)

The Lord of Blades