The party is now in possession of not one but two artifact warships, a massive stack of magical materials, and a bell that might end the world (might). One of the first things that happens is a blue glowing paper airplane appears from thin air and hits Kami in the head. It is a note from Hunter via Cathamoray to open the teleportal, which he does carefully. Hunter soon comes through and reports that Quetzalcoatl compromised the island earlier already, and that the teleportal to Langri-Sha is open and has a lot of guards around it.
Some discussion ensues about where to take the ships, and the ultimate decision is made to take both ships back to Hunter’s manse first, since they only have one teleportal between the two ships and splitting up would lead to Cthulhu rules. The new ship can sail under its own power so it’s less than a week’s sailing to Cathamoray’s island. In the meantime, the bell is moved back through the teleportal to Hunter’s manse, volunteer sailors are brought through by Kami, and Jacob and Veria are ultimately stashed on the island also, with Veria trained to turn off the teleportal at all times except when Jacob is hungry or needs healing.
The plan is now to track down Quetzalcoatl. The party takes Jonas and Isabelle, having impressed on them that Quetzalcoatl is the enemy, and they go through the portal, Kami first. Mithril has finally upgraded iBot to allow telepathic communication, so he is invisible as they go through. On the other side are a large number of Langri-Sha guards, all at the ready and slightly terrified. Olivia goes to work, persuading them to let them search for Quetzalcoatl, who is the real threat and is on the Technomage council. They also see Olivia’s two trussed-up mercenaries in purple, and ask about what had happened. The guards report how earlier in the day Quetzalcoatl took one away, then came back and walked through the portal. They report that he had made the third mercenary a doppleganger of Quetzalcoatl and had somehow forced him to walk through.
The captain of the guards informs the party that there is a meeting of the Technomage council at sundown, which is soon, and offers to bring the party there. They agree, so a number of guards accompany the party up the many flights of stairs out of the basement and up to the top floor of city hall. The guards insist that each person must go through the door one by one to gain admission. Kami goes through first, wearing iBot. On the other side of the door is another door with an ornate, jeweled doorknob. As Kami grabs the doorknob, he feels a tingle run throughout his body, and spend extra time on his head. Then he is through, and greeted by a very elite-looking guard who greets him by name.
The rest of the party goes through one by one. Olivia is next and is greeted as “Olivia of the Wyld.” Hunter goes through next and is greeted as “Madis, Hunter of the Gloaming Truths”, but he rapidly seizes the throat of the guard before he can finish and insists that the guard not speak that name. Blade goes through and is greeted as Dutifully Striking Blade, and Mithril goes through last (he uncloaks at some point), and is greeted as Mithril the Electromaster Accelerator.
There are twelve seat, through four are vacant, and there are all sorts of different people on this council. At least two are obviously Dragon-Blooded and some others are likely god-blooded and/or Wyld-touched. Quetzalcoatl is not in attendance. The council members are reviewing papers in front of them that Mithril’s telescopic vision reveals as dossiers on each of the party. Greeeeat.
The leader of the council, Carnot, is clearly Wyld-touched and speaks in an accent that is reminiscent of some Fair Folk. He asks their business, and Olivia takes the lead in arguing that Quetzalcoatl is a dangerous man and poses a danger to Langri-Sha. Carnot and other council members scoff, insisting that everyone on the council is dedicated first and foremost to the safety of Langri-Sha. Carnot then informs the party that the NSA (Neural Security Administration) keeps track of all members of Langri-Sha and keep them apprised of all threats from within. Olivia asks if Quetzalcoatl receives the same scans, and Carnot concedes that council members enjoy certain priviliges but that Langri-Sha’s safety is paramount.
Blade, meanwhile, has been looking through the goggles that were taken from the guard earlier, and one of the larger council members is not what he seems. Through the goggles, he is actually a wire frame illusion, with a smaller person within. Blade informs Mithril via iBot, who then informs the rest of the party. There are a number of highly elite guards around, who also are much more than they seem when viewed through the same lenses, and the Pattern Spiders have to intervene to prevent Eli from getting the party killed. Blade opts for the less violent route of handing the goggles to Carnot to see for himself that his council is compromised.
The party was expecting to see Quetzalcoatl under the illusion, but once Carnot has guards grab the councilman, it’s revealed to be a man they’ve never seen before, wearing black with gold trim. The prisoner smugly screeches at the party that it’s past sundown and Quetzalcoatl has already emerged from the shadow of the mercenary. This kicks everyone in the ass as they realize they’ve been had, and they sprint out the door, with a final smug remark from one of the councilors thanking Olivia for the tip about Swar. Olivia tells the captain of the guards on the way out that Jonas and Isabelle are heroes and should be treated as such, and then the entire party literally goes out the window. Hunter runs down the wall, Blade spidermans down, Olivia takes wing and flies, Mithril leaps out and reextends his armor mid-fall, and Kami just jumps and Iron-Skin-Concentrates the falling damage.
The party sprints back to the basement and through the teleportal to a gruesome sight. The sailors Kami brought through are all dead, and as they come up the stairs of the Moral Ambiguity they can see Quetzalcoatl rummaging through the stacks of soulsteel. Kami is up first and gets ready, then Blade is next and grabs him and spidermans them both over. Hunter then leaps over and gets ready as well, and Olivia and Mithril fly high into the air overhead.
This is when Quetzalcoatl makes his move. He was holding a bar of soulsteel and he drops it on the ground as he activates his short feather cape into a pair of wings and flies into the air, while his headband sprouts three brightly glowing spots on the front. One of them flames out, and Olivia’s AK-47 she has been carrying around suddenly becomes much heavier. She manages to drop it in time, as it splashes into the ocean and becomes a monstrous metal demon which starts shooting at Olivia, so Hunter has to go take it out. Quetzalcoatl catches up with Olivia and tries grappling her, but she manages to win the clinch and takes control of him. When Mithril shoots a lightning lasso at Quetzalcoatl, he expends another charge on his green headband to block it. Hunter runs up the lasso and tries to stab Quetzalcoatl who is helpless in Olivia’s arms, but Hunter’s attack ends up hitting Olivia instead as Quetzalcoatl uses some kind of escape charm. Fortunately, as Olivia expends a virtue channel to improve her block she takes no damage from his blow. Blade also shoots at Quetzalcoatl, who expends another green shield to harmlessly dissipate the attack.
The soulsteel bar that Quetzalcoatl had dropped was apparently full of hungry ghosts, which are now unleashed and swarm around Blade and Kami, and at least one bite gets through on each. Blade leaps into the cabin of the ship to reactivate its weapon systems. Kami follows quickly after and covers her as Olivia drops a pyromantic grenade on the hungry ghosts, wiping them out. Quetzalcoatl starts pulling colorful feathers off his wings and converting them to arrows. He hits Hunter with a purple arrow and Hunter is now in a euphoric state and takes no action, and a blue arrow ices Mithril and reduces his mobility and dexterity. Olivia flies over to pull the arrow out of Hunter while Blade climbs up to the main weapon of the ship and Kami follows to cover her. Kami is hit with a yellow arrow but successfully does not panic and flee. Olivia blocks a red arrow with a force field, which explodes in a gout of fire. Mithril has deployed a smoke screen at one point, and a trident shoots past him from someone wearing a soulsteel diving suit by the side of the ship. Also around this time one of Quetzalcoatl’s charges on his headband lights back up, eliciting groans from everyone. Blade charges up and fires the main weapon, removing another green shield before the main attack.
It’s time to finally go on offense. Mithril and Hunter coordinate an elaborate attack, where Hunter rides Mithril up as he shoots lightning at Quetzalcoatl, then Hunter leaps off and makes a massive combo flurry while Mithril flies past, turns, and shoots his rocket punch which is charged with Axiomatic electricity and then deploys a net. Quetzalcoatl uses the last of his tricks, including all his shields and deploying a series of Raksha illusion duplicates, but Mithril aims with his essence sight and punches the correct Quetzalcoatl. In a strange twist, Autochthon knows nothing of what Quetzalcoatl is and so the axiomatic electricity is not especially harmful to him, filling out his boxes with bashing damage only which can’t overflow. The net then opens around the unconscious Quetzalcoatl and the battle is won!
DM’s take: Holy crap this party’s teamwork is pretty epic. And the rush back to the basement is probably among my favorite things that has ever happened.
Some funny things that were said/done:
- Debbie: Kami asks Jonas and Isabelle, “How many dots in sail do you have?”
- What if you had everyone doing ‘Defend other’ in a circle? Kami defends Hunter, who defends Olivia, who defends…
- Jason: “I’m going in visibly.” Someone: “You mean you’re going in where you’re visible or where you’re invisible?”
- Eli: “I assume the illusion will fall off once the head does.”
- Alejo: “Wow this party is really mobile, especially when going downwards.”
- Louis: “Blade has cover, right?” Debbie: “Yes, if you count Kami.”
- Debbie: “Does the fire have Essence 7 or higher?”
- Louis: “What kind of action is it to yank an arrow out of Hunter?” Debbie: “A dangerous one, since he likes having it in.”