Rally in Vespacore

The Locks of Astaroth

Too long. Writing these in sections now.

Heading into the secret entrance, they headed through the obsidian complex, finding dead slaves all around them. Reaching the deepest areas, they found doors chained shut with giant silver locks. The wakasashi worked as a key, and they headed deeper into the temple, past where the slaves had dug.

The found themselves face to face with Astaroth, the Demon Prince of Secrets and Time. Wrapped in dark leather and addorned with Silver Locks, Astaroth inclined his head to Ty. He intimiated they had met before, and Ty learned that Tiru had accepted the taint on the soul of the original Kara the Fierce as his own. As Astaroth had tainted her soul, it was his to move. The tip of Tiru’s wakasashi protruded from the Demon’s chest, and only Ty, ,who was Tiru, could remove it and allow Astaroth to heal from the damage he had done in a previous life. Ty agreed, asking for an unspecified favour at a later date.

Astaroth then turned to Laxus and declared that a servant of Jackfrost, Demon Prince of Winter, was coming for him. When Astaroth reveals a secret, the ringing truth is evident, and Laxus asked him why he had revealed this to him. Astaroth offered to be Laxus’s patron, in exchange for his aid. Laxus agreed, and Astaroth forced him to cut out his left eye. In it’s place he set a silver lock, which flowed to fill the eye socket. The left eye would no longer close, and Astoroth could see through it.

Astroth then revealed, with his ringing truth, that the Arch-Angel Uriel was with the armies above, trying to break into this vault. It contained the Font, the place where esence left the Third World. With it, Astaroth revealed, Heaven would have the unlimited ability to power the Instrument, the thing which made the Divinely Inspired. They could raise an unstoppable army of the fiathful.

He also revealed that if they aided him, he could defeat Uriel. There was a room, deep in the complex, which would allow them to safely bring the complex crashing down on the humans inside, sacrificing them to him and allowing him the strength to defeat Uriel. They agreed, and lured as many soldiers below ground as they could, before bringing the complex down on their heads. It crashed all around the Vault, a huge multihedrel structure wrapped in silver chains and locks. Above, Uriel and his Angelic companions came at it as streaks of golden light, but purple hellfire blazed across the vault, unraveling the Arch Angel, an injury which would take Eons to recover from. Astaroth then flew off with the vault, to rehide it beyond heaven’s ken.

The Long Absence

Okay, let’s go through a month and a half of games quickly here.

Helial Durian was rescued from Ashbay by his companions. Their assualt revealed that the Solarian army had seeded their ranks with full blooded angels, creatures so powerful that the Cabal of Magi which they dissolved never required anyone but the High Magus to summon a demon of that power. Laxus Veyenne was able to keep the angel distracted with several spirits and mercenaries Alec had hired, long enough for Baroness Nalia to teleport Helial back to Redgate.

Heading out looking for help, they looked for enemies of the empire. They sought out the pirate queen, Kara the Fierce, but Ty’s old soul was jarred by her claims that she was Kara. He learned that she was the 7th woman to use the name, and she plumbed him for hidden information about her predecessors, to further the illusion of the immortal pirate queen. The island she used as her home base could be moved, and Ty found a strange ring that, when he wore, drove him into a cruel state of mind, and prepared him to commit a series of murders. He also found a series of several locks in a room, eight in total. With the ring, he knew how to undue the first, and the dark voice in the chamber told him he needed to find the keys to the locks with Aldara, a Morijin Damiyo.

The group headed north, to Nubis, the headquarters of the Stonewolves. They convinced the leadership that the Solarians would turn on their magical members, and the Stonewolves agreed not to take any imperial contracts, and make their membership available for hire by Red Gate.

Laxus went to visit his ancestor, Kalis Veyenne’s homeland, and found that two of Kalis’s siblings, Vey-Mara and Loris-En still lived, preserved by magic and angel blood. They argued over which path of Loris-En’s vision to follow. Loris said that they could save their world by mounting a direct attack against the Empire, possibly at the cost of the Second and First worlds, and Vey-Mara wanted to chase their Grandfather, an Angel known as the dreamer, back through the Mysts of Avelot to the Second World. He said that only one would suceed in their goals, and whoever did would die shortly afterwards. Laxus had to chose, and he chose Vey-Mara.

Pan Lancaster was disgusted that Laxus would sacrifice their home, and stayed with Loris to help him.

Ty found Aldara’s aged grandson, who provided them with hospitality. Wearing the ring, Ty explored the manor, and found the locks carved on a statue in the family shrine. Opening it, he found a journal written in the Sacred Tongue. It was the way to open the rest of the locks.

Returning to Redgate, they found that the survivor of the County of Montengro’s ruling family had come to seek help from Redgate to free his town from a Sucubus. Redgate agreed, but decided that Vey-Mara was correct: The first thing they needed to do was secure the Rite of Passsing, hidden in a temple deep in Golgaria.

Arriving on the shores of the jungle continent, they found a ship flying the flag of the Empress Knight. The title is rewarded to the most highly decorated warrior of a generation, and is currently held by Genova of House Hinter. Laxus suggested they do what they could to avoid her. Scott the Scout led them through the jungle to the Temple, with the help of Max-Ro, a Redgatian with a mystic compass.

The Temple of Passing was a Cathedral built on one of a set of twin peaks. They climbed the more accessable peak, and found the bridge burnt down. Alec was able to cross on the chained remains and get the others into the Cathedral.

A True Demon, by the name of Tasefex, waited inside. He told Laxus he was bound to try and kill anyone who attempted to head down into the rectory without providing the password. Laxus tricked him into providing the password, and the demon was bound to let them pass. Alec lead them deep into the temple, past the traps to guard it, and they found an old Kerebuim, an Angel who had been a man in life, St. Gallahad. Gallahad revealed that he had given the Grail, which was a beacon through the Mysts, to the Empress Knight, who had arrived days before them. He also revealed to use the Grail, they needed to fill it with the blood of three different Celesstials, whether they were angels or demons.

On the way out, Vey-Mara insisted on fighting Tasefex, and Victor Montegro sliced the Demon in half with his family blade.

They returned to port, and sought an audience with Genova. She agreed, and was accompanied by the Shadow, a Kijin Scion who had served as the second for the Empress Knight since Gabriel Durian had held the post. Genova agreed to work with them, and together they would go to the second world and seek the Dreamer. She could provide the blood of one Celestial, which indicated she was not working with the full support of the Imperial Army. They agreed to find the blood of additional Celestials.

Laxus could summon Angels when he knew their true names. Otherwise, it would be risky, because if he could not dominate their powerful wills, they may turn on him and report them to Heaven, which was obviously sided with the Pontiff and the Empire. The Shadow suggested Sariel Durian, Gabriel’s angelic wife. When she appeared, she begged to be releasd, and for them to tell her nothing, as Michael, the Arch Angel, had imprissoned her husband.

Releasing her, they accepted Vey-Mara’s suggestion to summon Vey-Aris-En, who was a Kerebuim. He appeared, and gave his human sister enough blood to fill the third of the cup. Hearing about Gabe’s prediciment, he left on his one Angel assualt on Heaven, as he is aspected to Freedom.

Working with the book, Laxus had learned that behind the looks was a being called the Dagger of Hell, or Bakarra in the Sacred Tongue. The dagger was in service of St. Tidus, the patron Keribium of Assassins. Certain that he didn’t want to reveal he would speak with Tidus, he asked the Empress Knight to trust him to get the second portion of the blood. She agreed, and asked them to meet her in Avelot.

Summoning St. Tidus, he demanded that they kill Emporer Jean-Sebastian III. If they did, he would provide his blood. He recommended they use Bacarra. Finding Bacarra was a demon bound to Tidus. Only Ty and Laxus were present, and they agreed to betray Hinter and try. They released the demon, and it agreed to kill the Emporer and give them the final portion of blood in exchange for his freedom and Laxus’s first born child. Reluctantly, they agreed.

Bacarra flew, faster than sound, into the Emporer’s court, and killed him before hundreds of witnesses. He took his head and vanished. Days later, the new Emporer, Prince Lucus I, was crowned and swore to stop the Blasphemy that had taken his father’s life, tightening ties with Sacre.

With the cup full, Laxus placed the Grail in Bacarra’s prison and reformed the locks. Meanwhile, the demon starred hungrily at Ty. “How dare you give your soul to another. You belong to me!” It shouted, and ripped a piece from him. The personality of the ring left him, travelling with the Dagger. Overcome by guilt, Ty sent a letter to the Empress Knight explaining and apologizing for his actions. She knew that he and Laxus were responsible for the death of Jean Sabastian III.

They followed Victor to Montengro. He offered Helial the Kappella Sheild for his aid, Alec any treasure he could carry, and Scott the title of count. Arriving in town, they found it a hedonistic mess. At night, musclebound mostly nude vampire gaurds protected the new Countess, Jessafank, from any vistors who would do her harm. The rest of the town was lost in lustful, drunken debauchary. Alec took anything he desired, and then headed to the Countess’s manor. Convincing the gaurds he was no threat, he was granted an audience with Jessafank.

To his suprise, she was in fact served by the Sucubus. Along with the vampires and the demon in her service, the Countess also had an elite guard of four women, whom the others avoided. Jessefank was inhumanly beautiful, and she took an interest in Alec, and took him to her chambers. In the morning, he left, and the guards paid him little heed.

Deciding it would be best to rouste her from her Manor during the day, when the vampires would be useless, they decided to attack that day. They easily overcame the hungover human gaurds, and found where the vampires slept. They attacked, but found that even with the sun in the sky, the undead were more than a match for them. Jessefank’s servants nearly killed Alec and Victor, and did kill Ty. Determined that Jessefank was too powerful for them to defeat at present, they retreated.

However, vampires do not need to kill by draining blood to make a body one of their own, and they forced Ty to rise a week later like them. He was given audience with Jessefank, who claimed to be from the Second World. She was a young Goddess of Lust, and finding the Third World in worse shape than the second, and seeing what Heavan was doing, she had revealed to the Montegrans that they were at the end of times, and led them to enjoy themselves. She had no intention of keeping Ty beyond his will, and so as a vampire he returned to Red Gate.

The Imperials had begun to arrest and imprison citizens for minor offenses, based on orders from Emporer Lucas I. They were being shipped to the Gyrian Wastes. Scott bought a boat and he, Laxus, Ty and Victor went to investigate. They sailed long seas to avoid the Imperial Fleets, and found a beachhead the Solarians had set. They sailed past to the pirate haven of Smugglers Bay, and headed inland with a Karnling Lizardman as their guide.

As they travelled from well to well, a great sand strom descended on them. When the eye of the storm was upon them, they discovered it was caused by Vagyria, the Great Dragon of the Wastes. Ty was called to him, who declared the Elven Vampire “A true child of the wastes, broken and strong.” He presented Ty with a broken wakashi, without a tip. Victor, a student of swords, identified it as the blade of Tiru, the greatest Morijin swordsman alive 300 years ago. Ty knew that this was one of his previous lives, but there were missing spots in his memory, even for a past life. The sword tugged to the west, and they followed it, as the sandstorm had receeded.

They arrived at a great obsidian complex hunkered into the sand, crawling with Imperial Soldiers and prisoners working in it like a mine. The sword lead them to a secret entrance.

Church and Death

Baron Nalia Redgate welcomed the refugees to her city, and was interested in helping the Enemies of Solaria. She provided them with a residence, on the condition that they serve the Barony. She revealed that below the Acedmey in Redgate there were a series of portals, which she recommended using to evaluate the threat the Solarian Empire posed. Heliel Durian felt the best place to start was with Sacre. They travelled in two seperate groups, and observed the Holy City.

There, they found that the streets were litered with Angels. This did not bode well, because every time an Angel appears on Vespacore, it means a Demon may also materialize. They went to a public audience of Pontiff Abraham VII, who stated that the end of times was coming, and that it was the duty of the Church of Deos to accept any who would repent, to protect them from the end.

One of the Angels told Kazeem the Irredemable that he would see the end of times.

After a week, they returned to Redgate, and recieved word that Hasfeld had been attacked by Overcaptian Archimedes Demeter. He had burned Foamel and Crucix as witches. Nathaniel Durian was killed trying to protect his mother. The refugees were pursued by the Overcaptain’s company.

They set out to seek vengance. Pan Landcaster tried to approach the soldiers where they camped for the night, but he was seen by the watch. They called him over, but before he arrived, Scott the Scout, and Alec Silk attacked. They took out the watch, and Pan raised an illussion to make it seem like there was a group of wolves on the far side of the camp, and disguised Heliel as one of the guards. Heliel was shadowed by Kazeem an they moved through the camp, finding the overcaptain.

Heliel attacked Archimedes with the sword his son forged. Kazeem attacked from behind, and it looked like Archimedes might fall, but he called apon Deos, and found himself with the strength of ten. He cut Heliel down, who was kept alive by some miracle beyond explanation. Kazeem was not so lucky.

Escape through Blackwell

Just as the boat Ty procurred from Myracruz arrived in the distance, the refugees from Hasfeld, huddled in Laxus Veyenne’s ward heard a group of Solarian Lancers approaching from the other direction. Scott the Scout went to check it out, and found a half squad approaching the town. Kazeem the Irredemable and Laxus went to warn the boat to avoid the town and the soldiers.

Magus Maria Achus convinced Heliel Durian that they couldn’t allow the lancers to be feed to the terrible thing in the well, so they sent Alec Silk to talk them out of going into town. Silk did not want to fight them later, so even across a language barrier, he convinced them to investigate the well, and explained they misunderstood him when he returned, as he dis not speak Solarian and the Soldiers did not speak Tyroc.

The sailors returned to the boat while Ty joined the others at the camp. When night fell, they heard the thing attack the Lancers. Two escaped, and it stopped outside their ward. It spoke with them for a while, and it agreed to spare them from harm if they could bring him Lemaya within the year. It was a woman that he had loved in life. The group agreed, and the monster went after the lancers.

While it was gone, Maria and her apprentice worked to lock the creature out of it’s well, by warding the enterance, and then creating a lock system where they stood in a completed ward, and finished an outer ward once the monster was inside. While they worked, Ty spoke to the town of ghosts trapped in the well. They explained the monster, Garrald of Blackwell had been the local butcher’s son, but when Lemaya left on a pilgrimage, in a fury he killed her family. The town hung him, but he returned form the dead and brought vengance down on them, over five years, until the town was destroyed. he never found Lemaya.

When Garrald returned, dragging trophies, Silk insulted Lemaya, and then jumped inside the completed ward. Garrald ran at it, but couldn’t break it. Laxus closed the outerward, trapping Garrald a creature of the night, between the mystic walls. The sun rose, and began to melt away at the thing’s flesh. Once it was badly injured, Kazim severed it’s head, and Maria severed it’s connection to the mortal world.

To be sure, the refugees decided to bring Lemaya to Blackwell anyways. Laxus suggested for the time being, they sail to Redgate, who traditionally had helped his distant ancestors.

The Rise of Dissent
Threats to Hasfeld

While on the run from the Solarian Empire, Magus Maria Achus took sick. Her apprentice, Laxus Veyenne was unable to help her, but fortunately they were discovered by Pan Landcaster. The young saytr took them to Foamel in Hasfeld, who agreed to help Maria if Laxus would join them at the standing stones for a cermony in two day. Laxus agreed.

They went to the Four Leaf Clover inn, and the town buzzed with their arrival. When Toke told his father that people who “talked silly, like you” were in town, Heliel sent the boy to offer a mend to Laxus’s obvious tower sheild. Toke obligided, and when the young magi entered the smithy and saw Nathaniel working the forge, he was confused. He was more confused when a knife went to his throat and the gruff voice of the old Solarian soldier asked him why he was here.

They soon determined that they were both refugees, and that Laxus’s presence created a threat for the town, which would only be made worse if Heliel was recognized. The elders were convined, and they determined what to do. With a 100 Imperial Crown bounty on both their heads, the town decided to move cautiously. Alec Silk was hired to determine what, if any threats, followed them from Reedport. Scott the Scout was hired to determine what threats existed in Ashbay.

Returning home, Scott secured a position with Overcaptain Jerard Simone. Jerard was looking for general information on the area and threats present. He did not seem to have a specific goal, and Scott faithfully provided his services, but just happened to skim over Hasfeld.

Alec found that in Reedport, a squad led by Captain Zuriel Tisban was specifically hunting the fugitives in Hasfeld. He started spreading rumours, so that the Solarians would not know where to look.

Zang’s student Ty confronted Laxus, and asked if it was worth it to risk the whole village to avoid his persuers. Laxus felt terrible, and let Maria know he wanted to move on as soon as he had paid Foamel. Maria agreed, and spoke with Heliel, asking him if he would come with them, to ensure his family wasn’t harmed. Helial agreed, and called together a meeting of the town elders. Foamel wanted to help, and Pan agreed to represent her. Zang informed Ty he would be assisting, and Maria hired Scout and Alec on their return, to assist them in escaping the Empire, while drawing them away from Hasfeld.


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