posted Nov 17, 2010, 11:13 AM by Stephen Pliska-Matyshak

Dodecitina 17, 1000 PC

Our heroes take cover from the rain caused by the release of tons of smoke into the atmosphere to discuss their next move. After contacting Oliveryn in "The City" and supplying him with more ammunition to convince the Emperor to visit Troll's Bridge, they are convinced by Melora that they should take advantage of the smoke, rain and darkness to get some rest before making their way to The Cathedral of the Grotesque in an attempt to summon the avatar of Zodyu and implore him to allow Ran MCXI to enter the city.

The next dreary morning while our heroes prepare to make their way to the cathedral, Imhiakaam appears with several devils to make an assault on The Fortress of Armee and make an end for The Heroes of Redemption. A pitched battle is fought with the devil while all wonder when Ozimius was going to make a treacherous appearance as he had on House Artural. Believing that Ozimius was leading the assault within the castle, Nyza and T'Krosh teleport within to find devils rampaging, attacking refugees.  However, this assault is lead by a horned devil; Ozimius is nowhere to be found. Back on the ramparts, Asmodeus' gifts to Imhiakaam seem to finally fail her as the heroes finally are able to make attacks directly against her. Alone and pierced by arrow and spell, Legeand finally brings the brachina down.

Finally, Ozimius makes his appearance. Flying in as Imhiakaam collapses, he tosses Imhiakaam's Gift to Wintersky to affect the devil's final destruction. With the pleasure devil pierced with the blade wielded by a hand of good and forged to aid her evil offspring, Imhiakaam's being is destroyed forever.

Smoke swirls around the fortress as the weather is effected by the colossal volume of smoke released. It begins to rain, obscuring vision even more and the group is forced to retreat inside.
Melora: Rain. We have not seen any of that for a while.
Nyza: The city is doomed! We cannot go outside in that!
Nyza is frantic.
Dale: Nyza? What's the matter? A little rain won't hurt us.
Celesta: This much might put her out.
Legeand: Yea, it is not like we are made of dust or ash.
Dale: I was just about to offer Melora, when this is all over, to summon a storm to help cleanse the city.
Dale: Nyza, you may stay inside when the time comes.
Nyza calms a little by Dale's words.
Dale smiles at the flaming kobold.
Melora: It is going to take more than rain...holy rain might do it.
Nyza: No, it is okay. Nyza will manage somehow.
Celesta: Should we inform Oliveryn that the wards are down before the whole empire notices when the sun comes up?
Wintersky: Sounds like a plan.
Sparta: Yes, and find out when the Emperor will arrive.
Elenia: With all this smoke, they might think Walton happened all over again.
Sparta: We need to get through to Zodyu before he gets here.
Melora: Preferrably without any sacrifices.
Wintersky: No sacrifices.
Dale: Agreed.
Legeand: Yes, preferably, but we can leave that up to our talking half and we can clean out some of the gutter trash with the rain to help.
Dale is silently thankful she doesn't have to go through with the offer to sacrifice herself.
Melora is briefly interrupted by one of her Avengers.
Wintersky: I will not be a party to Zodyu devouring someones Spirit for kicks.
Melora turns to the group, "I have some good news...seems like a long time since I have been able to say that."
Legeand: Well, it will keep piling in now that we are here.
Wintersky looks surprised.
Melora: The merchant ship Illamaesa sailed toward "The City" as soon as the wards were brought down. It is a very fast ship and may help in getting the Emperor's army here quickly.
Legeand: That would be a good thing, we were unsure about holding the bridge crossing the river.
Nyza: It is some relief, but it does not help us immediately.
Melora: The other good news is it appears that the outsiders are being contained by forces other than the wards now that they are down.
Legeand: Are they summoned to a limited space maybe?
Wintersky: That at least prevents them from scattering.
Melora: No, more like four armies.
Legeand: Which?
Dale: Four?
Melora: Apparently the Tetons have secured the southern part of the forest outside the city.
Melora: An army of kobolds from vethObulus have approached from the east.
Sparta: I would guess the White Blades are another faction.
Melora: The White Blades have the west and the Fey the north.
Legeand: Well, that is a good sign, for sure.
Nyza: Hah! Wybak pulls through for us!
Legeand: I only see one problem with having more people here. If we can not get Ran here in time, much more will be at stake. We will have to let them know at "The City."
Celesta: Nyza, do you have the Sending Stone?
Nyza reaches into her pack and produces the stone.
Celesta: Who would like to do the honors this time?
Wintersky: Here. I will try to contact them?
Wintersky: Who has the other? Luanes?
Celesta: Oliveryn.
Wintersky: Oli, can you hear me?
Oliveryn: Huh, Wha...Wintersky?
Wintersky: Yes, it me. When is the Emperor coming? Things a getting dire here.
Wintersky: You have stated our case, yes?
Oliveryn: We meet with him in the morning, first thing.
Oliveryn: The runes are not glowing. Are you not in Troll's Bridge yet?
Wintersky: Umm, you better interrupt him. Things are moving quickly here. Tetons are in the south.
Wintersky: White Blades to the west, Fey to the north.
Wintersky: Kobolds from the east. All these people will die if we can not stop the cataclysm.
Oliveryn: More ammunition for our argument.
Wintersky: We are in Troll's Bridge. The wards are down.
Oliveryn: That is progress. Is there anything left?
Wintersky: Spirits and blood! Do you know how to crash a party. The time for fancy footwork is past. Get the job done.
Nyza: Yeah, tell him Ms Sky!
Wintersky: Yes, we need the Emperor here.
Oliveryn: Alright. The Emperor is out on the Barbarian Plains and is returning specifically to speak with us.
Wintersky: Or we need to move a ghost.
Oliveryn: Move a ghost?
Legeand: An answer on our side would be better sooner than later.
Sparta: Good, Nana's time is coming fast.
Wintersky: If we cannot get him to Troll's Bridge, then perhaps we can move Nana to Rebelton.
Wintersky: I would not count on it, however.
Dale whispers, "No, not Rebelton."
Oliveryn: That would make it easier for the Emperor to get close enough.
Wintersky: Where?
Celesta: The Barbarian Plains?
Wintersky: Is Redemption where Nana was born?
Dale Yes, but that village barely survived the Gaedracis. They would be completely destroyed by Nana's cataclysm.
Wintersky: Yes, anywhere would be.
Nyza: It would be wiser to take her somewhere uninhabited then, like the middle of an ocean.
Oliveryn: There is no true wilderness on Almebezbik. We will have to find some way to prevent it.
Oliveryn: Luanes suggested The Abyss.
Wintersky: Moving her will be difficult. Moving her to somewhere she has no connection to unlikely to impossible.
Sparta: Cedarcleaver's lair might work, but only if he's home at the time.
Sparta starts counting on his fingers.
Celesta: You really do not like that dragon, do you, Sparta.
Nyza grins.
Sparta: How much longer is it until New Years again?
Legeand: Not like two dragons are enough you want a third.
Wintersky: Since the catyclysm has to do with her existance, it may be connected to the place of her birth also.
Celesta: Nine more days.
Wintersky: Rebelton is a small place; evacuation may be possible.
Dale: We need to get word to them, or they'll never know what hit them.
Celesta: Or it could take out Tower's Heights and Tangleton as well.
Sparta and Tangleton is nie on the edge of Walton's crater. Nana lived there for years before the fall.
Wintersky: They are probably at risk already. I feel that the cataclysm would reach out past the Teton Plains.
Sparta: It'll take days to get them as far as The Castle of the Canyon Guardian, if that is even far enough way.
Oliveryn: Aifos believes the cataclysm may occur wherever Zenda's spirit goes.
Oliveryn: If she is before Zodyu when that happens, that could be very bad...or good...
Wintersky: And extend how far?
Celesta: Wizards' Catalysms generally confine themselves to one plane...generally.
Dale: It wouldn't tear a rift to the between Zodyu's realm and here, would it?
Wintersky: If she passes on the cataclysm should be averted.
Celesta face palms herself.
Sparta: Then we need the Emperor and his scabbard.
Legeand: Well all this 'We hope' is good for words, but let us concentrate on getting Ran to say yes or no first and clearing the way.
Sparta nods at Legeand.
Celesta: Zodyu may be setting this up to happen.
Wintersky: Maybe I should just try to summon Zodyu.
Oliveryn: I think we will be able to convince the Emperor without a lot of trouble with the information you have given me.
Wintersky face palms.
Legeand: We can plot and assume, but right now it is not getting us anywhere head or foot.
Celesta: Zodyu is familiar with the spirit powers of the Tetons. He is probably counting on their Great Shaman to avert the disaster.
Melora: May I interrupt?
Wintersky: Please.
Melora: We should take advantage of the cover the smoke and weather has provided to get some rest. Tomorrow will be very trying without a doubt.
Wintersky: Shall I try to call him...outside of course.
Dale yawns.
Dale: Perhaps Zodyu should wait until tomorrow.
Nyza: Right...along with the demon hordes...
Dale: When we are all rested.
Legeand: Yes, a good night's sleep then we can reconviene in the morning.
Celesta smiles, "I agree."
Celesta: Go back to sleep, Oliveryn. Be ready for the Emperor in the morning.
Sparta: Maybe we can make it to the cathedral in the morning, it might help your summons.
Wintersky hands the stone back to Nyza.
Oliveryn: Good night.
Nyza nods in thanks.
Sparta: See you in the morning, for breakfast.
Nyza (to T'Krosh during the night): I worry about Wybak's army. That the Obulus are coming unprompted could be dangerous--for the humans, not the demons.
T'Krosh (to Nyza): I do not think so. You took in his refugees.
T'Krosh (to Nyza): vethObulus knows better than to mess with Troll's Bridge.
Nyza (to T'Krosh, still worried): You're right...they would be no match.
Nyza (to T'Krosh): Tomorrow, let's be observant about the city. We can send the army information before they get here--it may save lives.
T'Krosh (to Nyza): Agreed.
The heroes bed down high in one of the towers, assured by Melora that there will be plenty of warning if an attack should come.
No attack materializes during the night and the heroes awake to a gloomy morning similiar to mid-winter.
Sparta sleeps fitfully, worried they won't rescue his Nana.
Legeand sleeps like a log, not waking once.
Wintersky sleeps deeply, searching for the powerful spirit of The Grotesque.
T'Krosh sleeps, but he is plagued by nightmares of Tangleton engulfed in a terrible black energy.
The rain subsides and after a quick breakfast, our heroes return to the ramparts of the fortress to prepare for their attempt to contact Zodyu the Grotesque.
Sparta scans the streets for signs of devilry.
Sparta: Do you think we can make it to the cathedral?
From the gloom, an unpleasant, familiar voice floats in.
Wintersky: Not without a fight.
Imhiakaam: Trying to upgrade from Heroes of Redemption to Heroes of Troll's Bridge, my friends?
Sparta looks about for the source of the voice.
Nyza: Not much of an!
Sparta: There she is.
Legeand: Where are wings when you need them?
Sparta readies his bow.
Imhiakaam: So typical.
Dale: Looks like you were right, Miss 'Sky.
Wintersky: Sad but true.
Imhiakaam: Oh, Ozi. Your friends are back.
Celesta: She is too full of herself.
Sparta: Ozi?
Imhiakaam: Speak for yourself, archmage.
Legeand: Couldn't stand fighting with everyone else, so you thought you'd come pick on small fry today?
Shadowy images can be seen moving about behind Imhiakaam and her flanking kytons, but they remain silent.
Sparta looks about for his lost friend.
Wintersky: What is it you want here?
Imhiakaam: Not obvious?
Wintersky: Spell it out. I hate word games.
A thunderous crash can be heard from the other side of the fortress followed by screams from the refugees.
Imhiakaam: Your end has come, heroes.
Legeand: Is that the fiftieth or sixtieth time we have been told that?
Dale casts Stoneskin on herself.
Celesta smiles, "Who cares. She will never learn humility."
Legeand: Or a sense of timing. We haven't had our first meal, Right, Sparta?
Wintersky: At least the fortieth, but never by someone so skanky.
The shuffling of many feet is followed by the rushing and shouting of refugees.
Imhiakaam: This spell is completely wasted on "Mask," but the shaman is a good choice since you sent all the paladins away.
Imhiakaam casts Morality Undone at Wintersky.
A flood of evil thoughts and intentions washes through the shaman, but pass through without effect.
Wintersky: Bleah.
Imhiakaam growls in frustration.
Wintersky: I just do not think like you.
Wintersky: Thank the spirits, she was only aiming at my convictions.
The chain devils advance over the ground toward the base of the wall.
Legeand raises his bow to fire at Imhiakaam and is compelled not to loose any arrows at her. He advances toward the ramparts instead.
Wintersky casts Divine Agility shared with SnowShadow.
A horned devil flies in from the northeast.
Elenia steps up to Legeand and casts Magic Circle Against Evil upon him.
Elenia: That should allow you to fire your bow legeand.
T'Krosh spins around to find himself closest to a large devil.
Legeand: I don't use it often, but this will definitely leave at least one mark.
T'Krosh: Ahh! You picked the wrong tower, devil!
T'Krosh casts Destruction on the horned devil, but it resists.
Celesta: You are so dead, Imhiakaam!
Celesta fires a grayish ray of a Disintegrate spell at the pleasure devil.
The ray stikes Imhiakaam and she shrieks in anger.
Wintersky: Oh, that has to hurt!
Nyza casts Arcane Spellsurge on herself, then fires a greenish beam of an Dimensional Anchor spell at the horned devil.
The ray just misses the flying devil.
Dale casts Mass Owl's Wisdom on the Heroes.
Sparta sees another horned devil approaching from the southwest.
Sparta looses a volley of arrows at Imhiakaam.
Sparta: There's another one of those beasts coming at us from the other side.
The first two arrows strike Imhiakaam.
Imhiakaam: What? Now him too?
Sparta: What happened to the kytons?
Ringo moves to protect Dale.
Legeand: Here kitty kitty kitties. We have some sharp treeties for you.
A roaring chuckle can be heard from within the fortress and then the familiar sound of a Fireball can be heard. Much of the screaming suddenly stops.
Imhiakaam: Time to get serious. Ozi! Execute your plan.
Sparta smiles at his bow at his ability to hit Imhiakaam, but the smile quickly fades from his lips at the sounds from within the fortress.
Wintersky: I guess if the whole populace of Troll's Bridge dies, we do not have to worry overly much about the cataclysm.
Legeand: Blanking all out, Legeand concentrates on his coming shots.
Sparta shouts, "Ozi, don't listen to her, you're better than this."
Imhiakaam: The archmage needs to go.
Sparta: You're my friend.
Nyza: And mine! Wake up, Ozi.
Imhiakaam raises a gem and points at Celesta, "Time for a new prison, love."
For a moment it appears that Celesta will be sucked into the gem, but finally resists and smiles evilly.
Celesta: Not good enough, love.
Imhiakaam shrieks.
Wintersky: Temper, temper. Must not let us get too you.
Chains begin to writhe over the ramparts in two locations.
Legeand works himself in to a rage and directs an intimidating display at the pleasure devil.
Imhiakaam sneers.
Legeand still cannot bring himself to fire at Imhiakaam.
Of the flurry of arrows that Legeand looses at the horned devil instead, three strike the horned devil.
The arrows do minimal damage to the charging devil.
Sparta: Miss 'Sky, can you bless our weapons or something?
Sparta: We're barely scratching them.
Wintersky: I can align our weapons so that might make more damage stick.
Sparta: Please do.
Celesta: Silvered weapons as well, if you have them.
Wintersky casts Mass Align Weapon (Good).
SnowShadow tires of waiting and pounces the approaching horned devil.
Legeand: How about steelisin, Celesta. Any good on them?
Celesta: If you can make it behave like silver.
Legeand Oh, verily so.
SnowShadow bites and manages to rip into the devil with three of four claws.
SnowShadow scrabbles about the devil, but still does little effective damage.
The devil tries to catch and bite the panther, but cannot pin it down.
Elenia casts Dismissal upon the horned devil.
The devil chuckles at the factotum's feeble spell.
The second horned devil finally arrives.
Celesta: Oh, I do not think so, beastie.
Celesta casts Dismissal on the too-close devil.
A pearly radiance appears behind the unsuspecting devil. Suddenly, it is drawn screaming into it and vanishes.
Celesta: See you in hell...not!
Nyza dashes to T'Krosh.
Nyza: Quickly, we have to stop Ozi!
Nyza grabs T'Krosh and Teleports deeper into the fortress.
Nyza and T'Krosh appear among dozens of fallen refugees. They can see Avengers nearby fighting lesser devils while another horned devil revels in his destruction.
Nyza immediately blasts the large devil in front of her.
The horned devil looks suddenly surprised and stands dazed.
T'Krosh attempts to destroy this devil as well.
T'Krosh's spell fizzles.
T'Krosh growls and then closes in with his spear!
Dale tries to target a spell on Imhiakaam
Dale casts Finger of Death.
Imhiakaam: Another one!?
Imhiakaam roars.
Ferocious turns to join SnowShadow and charges the devil with a pounce.
Ferocious' bite sinks in as well as one claw.
Though not a lot of damage is being done by the cats, the several hundred pounds is slowing the devil down.
Two more of Sparta's arrows hit, one if a vital organ.
Imhiakaam shrieks again.
Ringo joins the cats attacking the horned devil.
The devil in front of T'Krosh stands dazed.
T'Krosh: Rawr!
Imhiakaam advances and throws flames at Legeand.
Even as difficult as it is for the pleasure devil to gaze at Legeand, the flames still strike him and strike hard.
Dale: You can thank me later.
A chain devil finally crests the rampart with dancing chains flailing.
Chains lash out at Legeand and Sparta, one slashing Sparta viciously.
The other kyton also appears attacking Legeand and Dale with it chains.
One of the chains strike Dale.
Legeand bull rushes one of the kytons and knocks it off the ramparts.
Wintersky pulls Blessed Black and takes aim at Imhiakaam. She says a small prayer and lets fly.
Three of four of Wintersky's arrows strike true.
SnowShadow continues to try and maul the beast.
The arrows burn Imhiakaam as they stike her and she shrieks in anger and frustration.
One of SnowShadow's claws manage to rip this time, but the panther stays on the devil.
The devil drops a Fireball on itself to try and free itself from the animals.
The fireball disappates and the animals seem little effected with just a bit of singe on Ferocious' mane.
Elenia attempts to cast a spell at Imhiakaam.
Elenia cannot seem to direct the spell at Imhiakaam, so she directs it at the remaining kyton.
The kyton evaporates instantly.
Celesta: Nice, Elenia!
Dale: Nice shooting, Elenia.
Celesta: I have had enough of your pets, Imhiakaam.
Celesta fires a spell at the remaining horned devil.
The devil turns into a good-sized rabbit, landing on the ramparts below the surprised animals.
Celesta: I like that better as a pet.
T'Krosh casts Visage of the Diety. He grows a pair of horns and a set of non-functioning bat wings.
Nyza steps aside for a clear shot and then fires again on the devil!
Dale casts Flame Strike
Dale's Flame Strike fizzles as it passes over Imhiakaam.
Dale: Time for Ferocious to eat a little coney.
Sparta sees Ozimius rising into the air beyond Imhiakaam with a wink and his usual sardonic smile.
Sparta let's fly another volley of arrows.
Sparta: This is for all the pain you've caused my friends
Two more arrows strike the pleasure devil.
Sparta: Why don't you come down here and face me.
Imhiakaam raises an eyebrow.
Sparta is trusting that Ozimius is still his friend.
The horned devil lays into T'Krosh.
Imhiakaam gazes at Elenia.
Elenia turns and launches a Baleful Polymorph at Celesta, but to no effect.
Celesta glares at Imhiakaam, "Not funny, bitch!"
A scuffle can be heard from the ground were the kyton fell.
Legeand looks over the ramparts and sees the fallen chain devil surrounded by Sajenese assassins.
Legeand decides to attempt an attack on Imhiakaam one last time since she is hovering low enough for him to hit her and she is convinced she is protected from him.
Legeand: Suffer for your sins, devil, for you will only know them where you return!
Imhiakaam falls to the ramparts, though not quite out.
Ozimius flies over and tosses Imhiakaam's Gift, sticking it in a wooden post next to Wintersky, "You are the holiest. Stick that in her."
Imhiakaam: No!
Wintersky grabs the dagger, leaps over to the crumpled figure with a war cry and sticks Imhiakaam with the dagger.
The knife plunges into the ancient devil and she immediately begins to be desolved where it touches her. The knife seems to float above her, of its own volition, staying in contact until she is consumed. Then, the dagger disintegrates and is no more.
Sparta: Ozi, my friend, it is so good to see you are still alive.
Legeand: And not under her control.
Devils can be heard roaring across the entire city briefly before being cut short as they drawn back to the Outer Planes.
Ozimius: I told Luanes not to believe what she heard about me. Where is she?
Nyza and T'Krosh are not precisely sure why the devils disappeared, but they waste no time in tending to any burn victims that can be saved.
Legeand: In "The City."
Sparta: She is meeting with the Emperor, we need his scabbard here to prevent a cataclysm.
Celesta stalks up to Ozimius, hate in her eyes and slaps him hard, "That is for my family."
Legeand grins slightly.
Ozimius: I suppose I deserve that.
Sparta: You're lucky she only hit you with her hand.
Celesta: I am not disintegrating you on the spot because you finally got rid of Her.
Ozimius: Thank you, Lady Artural.
Sparta: Let's get inside, there are wounded to tend to and stories to tell.
Sparta: And, the stories will go better with food and beer.
Legeand: And, no skulls to collect this time, hmmm?
Ozimius: I cannot stay, Sparta, as much as I would like to catch up. There are a lot of demons that no longer will be kept at bay by the devils.
Sparta: We came here to fight them as well.
Ozimius: Good, we will see each other again soon.
Sparta: There is a she-demon that leads them.