Carlos emerged blinking from his Uncle’s house startled to see it partly flooded. While others were still picking up the mess from the previous night’s party, Maximoff caught him up on what happened. Carlos proposed that the party return to Lookshy as that was where Esteban told Carlos they might find clues to the device they found. The party agreed and started preparations to leave. Esteban pulled Carlos aside to tell him to go see an old friend of his, Julien, a sorcerer who worked in the technology development department in Lookshy and gave him a letter of introduction. Carlos summoned an Azure Chariot and the party left for Lookshy. The party set down just outside of Lookshy to avoid spooking anyone on watch and proceeded on foot. The guards greeted them like most would, but quickly moved aside when Carlos name dropped his family. The party proceeded to Carlos’s house to rest up and so that Bravo and Harlock can be paid for their services. The next day the party proceeds to a building that Esteban had taken Carlos to when he was younger. The guard outside was not eager to let them in but yielded to the letter of introduction. He insisted that the party follow him to see his captain and check in. But was browbeat into skipping that and leading them to Julien. At the base’s cafeteria, in the back corner sat an elderly man who stood out from the many of the soldiers around him. He introduced himself and the Carlos, Harlock, and Bravo dumped all the papers, maps, and the artifact they picked up onto the table in front of him. Julien obliged them and examined what they had and told them about the warstrider, the Hateful Devourer, that he had been working on. Marik was very eager to hear more, but Julien insisted that he return to his workshop to study what the party had shown him. He said that he would return in an hour. Before he left, he looked around the room and lead Marik to a large man and introduced him to Revan, the current pilot of the Hateful Devourer. Marik pleaded with him to show him the warstrider and when shaking his hand felt a twinge of familiar essence, but dismissed it. Revan begrudgingly agreed and lead Marik down to the lower levels of the building into a large underground hanger. Marik was amazed at the sight of such a large soulsteel killing machine. After admiring it for a bit and asking Revan a bunch of questions about it before returning upstairs to wait for Julien with the rest of the party. Over an hour passed and Julien had not returned. Marik found a receptionist and scared her into telling them where Julien’s workshop was. The party moved to Julien’s workshop only to find no one else in it. They found a locked door in the back of the workshop. Maximoff managed to pick the lock and in the center of the room lay Julien with several knives in his back. The party looked around the room for any clues when alarms started blaring and many quick and loud foot steps approached their location. Carlos kept the party calm and prevented them from fighting waves of Lookshy soldiers. They were taken to see captain Gerad and Carlos, Marik, and Bravo managed to convince him of their innocence. They in turn questioned Gerad and learned that he was alerted by Revan about the murder. The party quickly grew suspicious and knew where they could find him. While Gerad was busy locking down the base, the party slipped away to the underground hanger and found Revan there, but the Hateful Devourer missing. Revan turned around and decided to get rid of these witnesses. His essence flared and Marik realized it, this was the same essence as the young dragonblooded who killed him all those years ago. Combat started and Maximoff slipped away to the hanger’s catwalk to get a better view while Bravo charged Revan. Revan defended against Bravo’s assault and stomped his foot on the ground shaking the entire room, knocking Carlos and Maximoff off their feet. Harlock also moved onto the catwalk while Marik tried to grapple Revan with one of his bone chains. Revan started to feel out numbered and made a few quick movements with his hands and all around him, walls of earth rose from the ground creating maze-like terrain around the room. This sudden shift in earth damaged the catwalk causing Maximoff to fall off onto the ground. Bravo and Carlos climbed up the walls to travel more easily from the top of the maze. Marik now cut off from his target was debating punching through the wall or going around it when Revan’s arm grabbed him through the wall and pulled him into it leaving him stuck. Harlock tossed a bomb at Revan damaging him and the wall while Carlos shot an arrow at him. Marik used one of his bone chains to burrow out of the wall and use it as an anchor to pull him self free. Bravo dropped down on Revan from above and distracted him. Using this opportunity Marik pierced all four of Revan’s limbs with a bone chain before kicking him square in the chest. At the last moment he held back and didn’t kill his past murderer as because he knew it would be easier to question him alive rather than dead. The party took Revan back to captain Gerad and informed him that the Hateful Devourer was gone. Gerad woke up Revan and he was questioned. The party learned that he had sold himself to a Deathlord in return for power and that the invasion was tonight.
The party sans Carlos awoke from the inn they stayed the night at to find a message for them. Carlos’s great-uncle Esteban had invited them to a dinner party as thanks for escorting his beloved nephew here safely. The party explored Nexus for the day before going to Esteban’s estate in the evening. Esteban welcomed them along side his maids and informed them that Carlos is feeling ill and won’t be joining them. Esteban showed them to the dining room and introduced him to his wife. A man calling himself Garcia approached the party and introduced himself as one of Esteban’s war buddies.
As Marik, Harlock, and Bravo enjoyed their food, Maximoff chatted with Esteban. Meanwhile, the man calling himself Garcia went around chatting with everyone he could. He asked each individual of the party their names, Bravo and Harlock answered him normally, Marik gave him a fake name, and Maximoff tried to use an alias, but felt compelled to answer with his actual one. This made Maximoff awfully suspicious, doubly so when his train of thought suddenly crashed while talking with Garcia. He warned the rest of his allies of his suspensions. Garcia started to give a speech and during it, Bravo, Harlock, and Maximoff felt a change in the essence around them. Maximoff later excused himself to the bathroom to shoot a few questions to the loom of fate regarding Garcia. He got vague answers which confirmed the true identity of Garcia. He checked to make sure Carlos was actually just sick before returning
Back in the dining room Marik got a bit bored and activated his martial arts form charm and began to practice kata in the room under the guise of entertaining the other guests. Bravo was getting annoyed with Garcia and tricked Esteban’s wife into thinking he wasn’t actually an old war buddy. This put Garcia on the spot and tried shoo Bravo away, this lead to a slip of a tongue on his part and Bravo had run out of patients and decked Garcia. Garcia started to put some distance between them before muttering something about his job being finished and fleeing the scene. Bravo leapt from the second floor balcony and quickly chased after him. He cornered him in the garden, but was forced to back off when a blood red spear was hurled between them.
The man who stole the map from them who they chased to Rathess, Chulainn stepped out from the shadows and reclaimed his spear. Harlock and Marik jumped off the balcony into action. Harlock tried to run past him to catch the fleeing Garcia, but Chulainn moved just as fast and pinned his shadow to the ground. Marik then started casting a necromancy spell. Maximoff not as confident in his athletic abilities opted to go back inside and take the stairs. Bravo moved in to slash at Chulainn when a silvery liquid rose from the ground to his defense. Harlock threw a bomb while trying to pull his shadow free from the ground, but missed and destroyed a garden gnome instead.
Maximoff rushed down stairs and activated blinding the boar when he arrived. Marik finished casting his spell and caused bone hands to appear from the ground grabbing at everyone. Chulainn slashed at Bravo grazing him and ordered his silvery sentry towards Marik. The thing pounced on Marik and tried to envelope him in its acidic body. Marik grappled with the slimy monster while Bravo skirmished with Chulainn and Harlock pulled his shadow free from the ground. After Marik threw his attacker off of him, but not before getting singed by acid, it returned to Chulainn to protect him from the rest of the party’s onslaught. The slime monster appeared to be injured and Chulainn jumped back and began to carve runes onto the ground with his spear. The party tried to interrupt the spell, but was unsuccessful. He tapped his spear to the ground and a geyser of water followed by a large wave erupted. Marik used his bone chains to pull himself away, Maximoff changed his fate, and the two Lunars took a more appropriate form. While the party was hampered by the rushing water, Chulainn took a deep stance and prepared to lunge with his spear. He leapt forward calling the name of his spear and as though moving against all of fate, the spear came for Maximoff. It took Maximoff everything he could muster to dodge this imminent fate that seemed to be ignoring cause and effect. However, with his final attack dodged, a crocodile Harlock leapt out of the water and critically injured him. Before death could fully claim him, Chulainn muttered a few words under his breath and his body burned to ash in a flare of essence. The party gathered themselves and began to figure out what their next step is.
After carefully moving through the Underworld, Carlos, Maximoff, Marik, and Harlock made it to an exit that spat them out in the city of Nexus. Unfortunately, before they could really do anything else they had to move through customs. While stuck in line, they spotted Bravo also in customs also trying to enter the city. He showed the rest of the party a small discus shaped artifact that he took from Rathess. Carlos tried to examine it, but couldn’t figure it out. They proceeded through customs and waiting for one of them specifically on the other side were Marik’s minions. Marik gave them some orders before setting out to do stuff with the party.
Carlos headed to his great uncle Esteban’s house to say hi before joining Marik and Maximoff who were headed for the city’s underground markets. Harlock went to the regular markets to buy some new equipment, he was quite pleased to find some firedust grenades. Bravo went to the house where his younger sister lives to check in on her. She wasn’t home, but the house was suspicously cleaned up and her umbrella was still by the door despite the fact that she never leaves home without it in this season. He suspected she might be in danger and went to find Harlock.
Bravo found Harlock still hanging around the market and asked him to help him. Using his keen sense of smell, Harlock lead Bravo to the west side of the city where the harbor and wearhouses were. Harlock was lead far from the main street to a ordinary looking wearhouse. He used his familiar to scout around the area and saw a man sitting on the roof staring back at his bird. Bravo climbed onto the roof to confront this man. This man was wearing a white mask with long brown hair, he claimed to have kidnapped Bravo’s. If he wanted her back he would have to return what he had stolen, the artifact he took from Rathess. He told Bravo to return here at midnight with the artifact to make the exchange. Harlock tried to find further trace of the smell, but the trail had ended at the wearhouse as though something was blocking him. Bravo left to find Carlos who still had the stolen artifact.
Meanwhile, Carlos, Maximoff, and Marik were attempting to find the cities underground markets. They started by trying to interrogate a shifty looking ferryman into taking them there. But he denied such a place existed until Carlos slipped him a bit of coin and berated his companions for not understanding how these things work. The ferryman took them to a more shady part of town and directed them to the back room of a restuarant there. While Marik browsed a catalogue of artifact weapons he couldn’t afford, Carlos asked to see an appraiser to have the discus examined. The appraiser told him that it was a rather odd artifact and although it didn’t do anything on its own, it was meant to be used in conjunction with another artifact and judging by the detail in its design a rather large one. Satisfied with this information, Carlos and company returned to his uncle’s home.
Bravo and Harlock ran into Marik, Maximoff, and Carlos outside of Uncle Esteban’s house. Carlos decided to have Esteban take a look at the artifact. With his years of experience, Esteban was able to tell Carlos that it was an artifact meant for disrupting the functions of a Warstrider and judging from the Soulsteel core in it, it was meant to be used on a Soulsteel Warstrider. Esteban found that odd since those were not often seen and the only one he knew of was one stored in Lookshy.
With night falling Bravo tried to negotiate with Carlos to get the artifact to trade for his sister. Carlos wasn’t willing to part with it, but agreed to help rescue her. Bravo proceeded back to the warehouse at the appointed time with the rest of the party following him from behind. Carlos and Marik stayed out of sight near the warehouse door and Harlock waited on a nearby roof looking in from a window. Bravo went in through the front door with Maximoff who had Blinded the Boar. Inside were five people, two dragonkings, one small and one large, a woman in robes towards the back and the masked man who he talked earlier who was now with his sister. Bravo engaged the masked man who named himself Balrog in banter trying to get more information and distract him.
Waiting on an nearby roof, Harlock had been observing and waiting for this Balrog to relax his guard. He saw his moment and activated Instinct Driven Beast Movement several times. He took a running start and charged off the roof and leapt through the window at Balrog. He landed in front of him, grabbed Bravo’s sister and left a bomb in his place when he dashed away. The bomb exploded and threw Balrog into the back of the warehouse and Bravo charged after him and began to maim him. Balrog took the first two attacks, but used his Gauntlet of Distant Claws to pull himself away to dodge. Harlock took advantage of Bravo’s sudden charge to hustle his sister out of the warehouse and to safety. Marik stayed outside to activate a charm to make two chains made of bone sprout from his body and Carlos shot an ineffectual arrow at the large dragonking. Maximoff still hidden from fate shot the woman in the back with his laser beams. The woman in the back drew several needles from her robe and threw them at Bravo. The needles moved unnaturally as they tried to strike him, he dodged but they still managed to scratch him. The skinny dragonking pulled a revolver from his belt and scorched Carlos with a stream of fire, and the larger one drew a large club and commanded the earth around him to armor himself. Bravo then chased after Balrog and dropped him with another slash of his claws while Maximoff blasted the woman with another heat blast.
Harlock couldn’t decide who to attack in this chaotic melee, so he decided to attack all of them. He dashed into the center of the room, took as many firedust bombs from his cloak as he could hold. He planted one foot firmly in the ground, spun rapidly around, and tossed bombs all around the room damaging both enemies and allies alike. No one but Bravo and Marik, who were still outside, were safe and the woman with the needles fell. Carlos knocked another arrow and shot the gunner who retaliated with another stream of fire. Marik had grown tired of watching people fight around him and steal kills he could have had. He used his two bone chains to strike the gunner and dropped him, but not without getting burned by counterattacks.
All that was left was the large dragonking who was covered in armor of stone. He made a mighty downward swing glancing off of Harlock and making a large crater around him. The party concentrated their attacks on the final foe. Marik tripped him with his bone chain, Bravo blinded him with frost breath from his warform, Maximoff and Carlos shot him with lasers and arrows, and Harlock finished him off with a large bomb.
Bravo checked on his sister to make sure she okay and then he took her to see some of his contacts so she could be placed under protection to prevent this from happening again. Marik took Balrog’s mask and head, as his prize and began interrogating the dead soul. Balrog came here under orders from Chulainn and that an ally by the name of Katanashi had tracked the party here. Before the party looked for an inn for he night, Maximoff got a message from his boss, a powerful Sidereal from Gold Faction had entered the city, be careful.
While trying to leave Rathess, a slip of the tongue caused the guards to become suspicious of him and they hauled him off for questioning. They took him into a building and put him into a cell while waiting for the interrogator to show up. Bravo decided to play it cool for now and didn’t resist. While waiting in the cell and gazing out the window, he saw a familiar face leave the building. It was the person who lead him to the city in the first place, Chulainn. This was the opportunity he was waiting for, he needed to follow him but first needed to escape this cell.
Bravo hid in the shadows using his hearthstone and shouted, “Oh no! The prisoner isn’t here!” and used a charm to convince one of the guards that he really wasn’t there. When the guard came around, Bravo knocked him out and stole his uniform to disguise himself and shoved the guard under the cell’s bed. He left the building and quickly began to search the crowd for Chulainn. It took a bit of searching, but Bravo found him heading towards the palace in the city’s center.
Bravo causally headed into the palace after Chulainn by blending in with the crowd. As he was heading in, a large entourage was leaving. Being carried on a throne was a young man in golden armor with golden hair and a presence about him that felt bigger than the entire city. Bravo quickly moved on to avoid drawing attention to himself. He went deeper into the palace and saw that Chulainn was carrying a small device downstairs into the depths of the palace. It looked quite important, so Bravo hid and waited for Chulainn to come back.
After a bit the man Bravo was following returned and he began searching for the storage room Chulainn had gone to. He found it and broke the lock and went in. The room was mostly empty aside from the item Chulainn had. It appeared to be a small disc like artifact, but Bravo wasn’t sure of its function. He pocketed it and made his way out of the palace. He moved into an alley and ditched his uniform as he heard panicked guards in the street scrambling. He took this as a sign that his theft had been noticed and decided that now would be a great time to slip out of the city. He morphed into a hawk and waited on the rooftops. He saw that the city guard had begun to launch flying artifacts into the air and waited for them to fully scramble before flying out of the city. Bravo felt that trying to meet up directly with his allies would be dangerous so he flew north to find Nexus, the place they were headed to in the first place.
Maximoff, Carlos, Harlock, and Marik were looking over the documents stolen from Rathess and found something odd about the notes about Deathlord invasion plan. It did not have any plans for moving into the city, it is as though the invaders planned to suddenly appear in Lookshy. They were puzzled by this and noticed that Bravo was taking a lot of time to catch up with them. Shortly after they heard loud noises coming from Rathess and saw a few flight artifacts launch into the sky. Figuring something might have happened to Bravo, the rest of the party decided to flee the area. Because of the aerial scouts Carlos decided against fleeing via giant magical chariot. Harlock lead the party safely through the forest, but when night began to fall Maximoff noticed the scouts had begun to turn back. At the same time Marik felt that they were surrounded by death and might have wandered into a shadowland.
Despite the risks of going into the Underworld, it was the perfect way to avoid being found by the scouts. They pressed forward through the shadowland and entered the Underworld, it was a very different place from Creation. Carlos, Maximoff, and Harlock immediately felt the effects as their essence regeneration changed. They carefully pressed on and reached a small village of spirits called Lavender. Marik grabbed the first ghost he could find and began to interrogate him and asked who was in charge around here. The poor ghost directed him to the church where a Father Gerrard acts as mayor of the town. Marik knocked down the door and began browbeating the priest, who thought he was an Abyssal working for Corpse Stitcher Joshua.
Marik was intrigued by the presence of an nearby Abyssal to kill and pressed the father for more info. He learned that an Abyssal residing in a tower outside the village was terrorizing the village occasionally and dragging residents back for materials. The rest of the party eager to not spend more time in the Underworld than necessary asked him where the nearest way back to Creation was. Gerrard wasn’t sure, but said that the archives in the tower might contain such info. Having gathered all the information they needed, Marik punched the priest’s head off, tied a rope to it and attached it to his belt in case he had further questions.
The party rested until morning in the village before heading out to the tower. At the end of the road they found a large gray and black jagged tower with a few zombies with swords stitched to their arms by entrance. They were easily able to dispatch the undead and Carlos picked the lock on the door. Inside there was a simple room with a desk, some bookshelves and a staircase spiraling along the wall leading up to higher floors. Maximoff checked the bookshelves for any interesting books and found mostly books on anatomy, the undead, and surgery, while Carlos checked the documents on the desk and found order forms detailing zombies constructed and delivered. Most of the orders came from the Forsaken Lion.
The party proceeded to the next floor and found many zombies similar to the ones outside grouped together in several cages. They proceeded to higher floors and found different types of stitched together zombies caged up on each floor. They finally reached the second highest floor which had a few giant, burly zombies. Carlos, Harlock, and Maximoff stealthily peered up to the next floor and saw a cloaked man at a table with several more tables around the room with bodies on them. They began discussing an angle of attack when the cloaked man shouted, “I know you’re there. Come out.” Marik opted to come out on his own to try and hide the party’s numbers. The two of them exchanged banter and insults, the usual for two Abyssals meeting for the first time, while keeping his attention on him so Carlos and Maximoff could sneak into the room. Carlos ducked under one of the tables with a body on it and tried to stab the zombie in case it was planning to get up later. This didn’t go as well as hoped when it let out a pained scream and combat began.
Corpse Stitcher Joshua made the first move by snapping his fingers and summoned a large stitched together suit of armor from Elsewhere. He leapt into the air and black tendrils pulled the armor on to him. Marik who had been waiting for this to happen immediately began casting a necromantic spell. Joshua quickly responded to this by setting his armor aflame and pinning Marik in a full nelson and burning him a little. The zombies on tables in the room began to stir and Carlos grappled and killed the one he was near. Meanwhile, Maximoff fought seared one zombie with his heat vision and Harlock threw an ax at Joshua to try and assist Marik. Joshua climbed out of his armor while it was still squeezing Marik and summoned a new armor and a sword made of bone and flesh.
With a bit of help from Harlock and Maximoff, Marik managed to throw off the flaming suit of armor and complete his spell. A tornado of of bones and flesh swirled around Marik sweeping up the zombie armor. Carlos used this time to draw his bow and pin a zombie to the floor. Corpse Stitcher Joshua growing tired of having so many enemies charged at Marik hoping to cut him in half, it didn’t work. A well placed punch from Marik plus a laser blast from Maximoff injured him forcing him to abandon this armor and switch to a flying one to try and gain the upper hand. Carlos tried to shoot him down with an arrow, which was swatted away. Harlock threw his trusty knife, which was also swatted away. Finally, Maximoff tried to blast him with eye lasers, which just plain missed. Joshua, feeling pressured decided it would be best to get out and set up shop elsewhere. He dive bombed Harlock who was still by the exit, but Marik was waiting for him to lower his altitude and punched him with his boney fist. Joshua, who was now feeling nostalgic towards the last time he died summoned a cannon like weapon from elsewhere. He fired it which released a large burst before fleeing down the stairs. Harlock chased after him, slashed him, and knocked him down the stairs as he tumbled until his dying health levels disappeared.
The party descended and found the dead Abyssal on the first floor, whose body had knocked over a bookshelf revealing a basement floor. Downstairs was a study which contained several maps, more books, and more zombie orders from the Forsaken Lion. The party was able to decipher the maps and learned that first the zombies were being sent eastward and that the nearest reliable way back to Creation was to the north and controlled by the Guild and lead to the city of Nexus.
A new morning dawns as the party discusses how to pursue the map thief from the previous night. Maximoff uses his Efficient Secretary Technique to find out more about where the thief might be headed from the direction that Harlock is getting his scent from. He learns that quite a distance southwest of there is the ruined city of Rathess, a city from the First Age with a scarce population of dragonkings. The first idea the party had was to repair the carriage and travel with that, but they quickly learned none of them had any idea the difference between a philips head or a flat head screwdriver. So that plan was scrapped. After watching the rest of the party scramble for a while Carlos finally spoke up and offered a suggestion. He had magic that could summon a chariot that had enough seating for everyone(excluding Marik’s minions). With that finally settled, the party headed southwest.
The party didn’t have any trouble mid-flight and eventually saw the ruins that are the city of Rathess on the horizon. They planned to land just outside the city, but when they approached they were engulfed in a bright light. When their vision cleared, they saw not a ruined city but a much a thriving metropolis adorned in gold and crystal. Carlos quickly made an emergency landing in the forest and narrowly avoided crashing his chariot at the same time. The party took a moment to make a new plan of action to infiltrate the city. At the same time, Marik began to mildly freak out and repeatedly told the others to excersise utmost discretion and not to touch anything.
They were stopped by some guards at the city gates, but Bravo and Maximoff, who was wearing the guise of one of Marik’s cultists again, convinced them to let them pass. The scent Harlock was tracking lead him to a large building adjecent to the barracks and not to far off from the palace. Harlock and Carlos decided to investigate the rest of the city, Bravo went to find a female guard captain to seduce and get information from, and Maximoff and Marik went to gather information at a bar.
Bravo met and seduced a dragonking women in charge of training recruits and during their date he learned more about the map thief. He is a high ranking Solar captain named Chulainn and takes orders directly from their king, Gilgamesh. Carlos and Harlock went around parts of the city and examined the building in question and learned that it was an intelegence building where most of the military planing was conducted. Meanwhile, Marik and Maximoff got drunk at the bar.
When night fell all five of them gathered and planned to sneak into the building which was guarded by four dragonkings. Marik and Maximoff still a little drunk got into a fight nearby to draw one of the guards away. The second burliest of the four guards came over to break up the fight and get them elsewhere. Bravo moved to a rooftop and started throwing rocks at one of the guards to get his attention elsewhere. Unfortuneately he messed up and got the guard’s attention a little too well. The guard took flight and spotted Bravo who fled, not what he intended, but there is one less guard nevertheless. Finally, Carlos used a charm to sneak himself and Harlock past the one guard who remained by the door.
They entered the building and found it to be mostly deserted as most of the people in it had gone home. Harlock tracked down where the map was and found a room full of intelegence documents. A breif glance revealed more maps with similar information, only with a bit less blood on them and better hand writing. Carlos grabbed what he could and the two of them made their escape. Harlock changed himself into a spider and shot a line of web out a window to make a zipline, however the two of them didn’t check which direction the window was facing and found the guards outside looking directly up at them.
Acting immediately the burliest of the guards shot a fireball at the zipline and Harlock shot webbing at another binding him. With the line cut Carlos and Harlock swung onto a rooftop while the flying dragonking began to chase them. Carlos climbed onto spider-Harlock’s back and used some of the webbing to tie himself to his makeshift mount. Harlock then activated Instict Driven Beast Movement several times and accelorated faster than anyone watching could believe and fled the scene. The flying dragonking tried to keep up, but a well placed arrow from Carlos slowed his pursuit. The gates were closed at night, but that didn’t stop spider-Harlock, he climbed up the walls and left the city before anyone could do anything about it. Bravo, Maximoff, and Marik met up and decided to wait until morning to slip out of the city.
When morning came, the city was in an uproar. There were increased guards everywhere and anyone leaving the city was being heavily questioned. Marik and Maximoff didn’t have much trouble outwitting the guards and Bravo had just about convinced the guards of his uninvolvement, but his tongue slipped and said that he didn’t know anything about one of their buildings being attacked. The guards found his knowledge of last night’s events suspious and they hauled him off for questioning.
Carlos, Harlock, Maximoff, and Marik met up where they landed the day before and looked over the stolen documents. They figured out that they described more details on a deathlord’s invasion of Lookshy and a counter invasion to be carred out by the Rathess military. With two invasions to thwart the party heads out.
In the Department of Loophole Regulation of Physical and Meta-Physical Laws, Maximoff had just finished his coffee and was about to get back to work when his boss, Nikolas called him to his office. The office was filled with documents and a large suspicious sack. Nikolas told Maximoff that their was a leak in the department and that the information could lead to a Deathlord attacking Lookshy. While this would normally be a smaller problem, a Solar kingdom sprung up under the Bronze Faction’s nose in the city of Rathess lead by a Solar calling himself the King of Heroes. If they were to move in and drive whichever Deathlord struck Lookshy out, one of the strongest Dragon-Blooded cities would be theirs. Nikolas needed Maximoff to gather a team of Exalts who had no ties to any existing power and resolve this matter as quietly as possible. Nikolas had made some preparations already, but he needed Maximoff to bring one final member for the team together directly. He tossed him a dossier containing information and a rather ugly mugshot of the Exalt in question before sending him on his way.
In Lookshy, a young Dragon-Blooded named Carlos was at home when his mother Juanita came up to him with great news. Carlos’ grandfather Esteban was having his 102nd birthday soon and Carlos was getting sent to Nexus as the family’s representative. Carlos was ecstatic for a chance to get out of Lookshy, but his excitement dropped when he learned that his mother was sending him with a full entourage of bodyguards. Having already packed his belongings, Juanita lead Carlos outside where several armed men stood with horses around a carriage. Carlos was introduced to Bravo and Harlock, the two primary guards hired by Juanita. Carlos tried to argue that he didn’t need this kind of protection, but Juanita is a very doting mother and would not hear him out. Bravo reassured that Carlos would be properly taken care of and negotiated an increase in pay. Reluctantly, Carlos agreed and left with the entourage riding along side the carriage, with Harlock sitting on top and Bravo running along side it.
Deep within the forests of the East, an Abyssal named Marik maintained a small fortress Manse and with a cult around him. One of his underlings approached him and informed him that one of the watch had caught a spy and wanted to know if you wished to interrogate him. A man in a sack escorted by Maximoff wearing a resplendent destiny entered the room. Marik immediately ordered the spy to be killed and then began to interrogate the body with his Death-Speech Gemstone. He was told of a Abyssals who sought to take over the region and a scouting party’s location. Marik wasn’t about to let any rivals encroach on his goal, so he set out to end them on a skeletal horse with a few members of his cult in tow(one literally being towed).
Carlos, Bravo, and Harlock had left Lookshy early in the morning and now dusk was approaching. They had gotten pretty far and were now traveling through thick forests. Out of the corner of his eye, Harlock noticed a hail of arrows coming for the carriage. He shouted “Look out!” before shapeshifting into a snapping turtle to protect himself from the arrows. Bravo dove for cover behind a tree while Carlos moved beside the carriage to use it as cover. The driver and other bodyguards were not so quick and were struck by the barrage. With the driver dead and horse mortally wounded, the carriage toppled over. Everyone near it managed to avoid getting hurt, however Marik emerged from the forest atop his undead steed and was knocked to the ground by the oncoming carriage(first botch of the game).
Before anyone had anytime to process what happened, two hellish hounds(Barghests) and two raiders lead by a large man atop his own undead steed descended upon the party. One Barghest moved to check the fallen carriage and the other charged at Maximoff who immediately fled. Marik, very angry about what just happened, began channeling essence into a necromantic spell. Carlos drew his bow and fired an arrow at the Barghest that attacked Maximoff while Bravo lunged at the one by the carriage and killed it. The larger man rode over to Bravo and tried to lodge his ax into his head while another arrow tried to pierce Bravo’s heart. Harlock still in turtle form changed back and leapt over the carriage to throw a bola at the leg’s of the mount of Bravo’s attacker. The horse was entangled and it and its rider were thrown to the ground. At that moment, Marik completed his spell and released undead essence into the ground bellow him. Countless skeletal hands sprung from the ground and grabbed anything and anyone they could.
With all of his attackers pinned by the skeletal hands, Maximoff activated his awareness excellency and shot a blast of hot essence from his eyes at the Barghest that attacked him. The attack burned straight through it and killed it. Marik became startled as to why one of his followers could preform such a feat and Maximoff earned himself a point of paradox for that. With out anyway to defend himself, Bravo was able to tear the man before him into pieces. However, that’s when three more arrows each moving in odd ways struck the party. The first was parried by Bravo using a dexterity excellency, the second struck Marik in the knee, and the third struck Maximoff but only managed to damage his cloths. Carlos fired arrows at one of the raiders that got grabbed, while Marik who has been getting increasingly angry punched the other in the throat with a jagged boney fist killing both of them.
Harlock saw where the arrows were coming from and spied a man in black armor with a shadowy aura on a highland raised above the forest. He activated his Instinct-Driven Beast Movement charm, closed the distance in an instant, and slashed the archer with his hunting knife. Maximoff ran closer to the Abyssal to get a better angle and fired another blast of essence that unfortunately only managed to warm up a portion of his armor. Carlos fired an arrow at him, but it was also in effective. Since there were no more nearby enemies, Marik took this as his chance to interrogate one of the corpses. He learned that they were agents of the Deathlord known as the Forsaken Lion and they were scouting for an upcoming invasion. The mook’s final words pissed off Marik so he crushed his balls before crushing his skull.
The Abyssal was caught off guard by Harlock’s sudden attack, but he composed himself, threw away his bow and drew a sword. His shadowy aura drew and shadows surrounded his blade before he plunged his sword into Harlock. When he withdrew his sword a shadow of it remained pinning Harlock in place. Upon seeing his ally in trouble, Bravo shapeshifted in a bird and flew over to strike the Abyssal with his talons. Maximoff used this chance to get closer and unleashed an even more powerful blast of essence blowing a hole through the enemy’s shoulder. While still pinned, Harlock tossed his knife into the fresh wound and Carlos fired an arrow that pushed both it and the knife through finishing off the Abyssal.
As the Abyssal fell a large roll of paper dropped from his person and Marik, Maximoff, and Carlos gathered around. Maximoff took a look at the paper concluded that it was a map and nothing else so he left it to Carlos and proceeded to treat Harlock’s wounds. Carlos who was more familiar with the region was able to deduce that it was a map of Lookshy including patrol routes, the route and return point of the raiding party they just encountered and a date. Marik meanwhile sat down in front the dead Abyssal and shouted at him to wake up. After a further interrogation Marik learned didn’t learn much more, but managed to get into a shouting match with him. Maximoff realized that these were who his boss spoke of and revealed himself and his mission.
While the party was discussing what to do next, a man with blue hair and a blood red spear leapt from a tree and snatched the map from Carlos. Bravo tried to stop his escape but was not able to and the party opts to pursue the thief.
Best Moments of the Day:
- Brigid deciding that Carlos’ family is a telenovella.
- Mark Reed continuously arguing with corpses who only he could speak to and hear.
- Jeremy asking if he can run along side the carriage.