Monthly Archives: January 2015

Episode 4 – Welcome to Nexus

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.

Side Story – Bravo

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.

Episode 3 – Sidetracked to the Underworld

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.