Post date: Nov 04, 2010 1:44:2 AM

Dodecitina 16, 1000 PC

After the previous night's solemn feast, our heroes get to work quickly the next morning.  They decide where to enter Troll's Bridge and to which refuge to they will seek cover in. This becomes The Fortress of Armee.

After preparing and teleporting to a clearing outside the walls of the city.  They fly invisibly through the wards with Legeand in the lead.  The significant quantities of steelisin sheathing the northman cause the wards to be broken, though few if any prisoners realize it.

While approaching The Fortress, two goristro demons demolishing some of the few buildings that remain standing in the Noble's District spot our heroes and attack.  The demons are vanquished quickly and the group finds themselves engulfed in the smoke that now swirls throughout the city since the winds have been let in again.

Returning to the street, Sparta guides the group to The Fortress where they are challenged, but welcomed by The leader of Armee's Avengers, Melora Agirrish. They quickly realized the extent of the suffering in the city and begin to get the lay of the land, so they can find a way to help Zenda pass on before setting of the cataclysm predicted by Isildul.

The feast is a pleasant if not a bit solemn.

Sparta and Nyza explain their plans and contingencies to the community.

The feast ends earlier than most halfling affairs, but our heroes need their rest for an early start in the morning.

The night passes uneventfully and our heroes are rested and ready to go when the sun rises.

Celesta walks into the hamlet from the valley in the morning after having been conspicuously absent the night before.

Celesta: Good morning.

Wintersky: Good Morning. Where have you been?

Celesta: Visiting with Lyphnur.

Nyza nods at her fellow mage.

Sparta: Good Morning, did you have breakfast?

Celesta: I broke my fast, thank you, Sparta.

Wintersky: Any good ideas?

Celesta: One thing we did not discuss is from which direction we will approach Troll's Bridge.

Nyza: Will it matter, do you think? My plan is to just go straight at it.

Sparta: What is it? Do we try to get to Nana first? Or do we need to get to the Grotesque's cathedral?

Wintersky: Which refuge are we heading for: Visaria's, the Grotesque, or Armee's?

Celesta: We are sure to run into resistance and may expend our resources quickly just finding someplace safe to take refuge.

Legeand: I'd say Armee's

Celesta produces of a map of Troll's Bridge.

Wintersky: I like Visaria's myself, but Armee's will do. Which is closer to the walls?

Wintersky: Where is Nana Zenda?

Celesta: The Fortress and Orphanage are the closest safe havens from the respective gates.

Celesta draws arrows from the closest gates to The Fortress and The Orphanage, then circles where Zenda is.

Sparta: I'd rather be on the same side of the river as Nana.

Nyza: In the dead center of the city, naturally.

Celesta: The Orphanage is by far the closest to a gate.

Sparta: The bridge could leave us quite exposed to attack.

Wintersky: The bridge does make for a nice bottleneck.

Legeand: We also need to think about defenses when we get in there.

Celesta: Once inside the wards, we should be able to teleport to large open areas such as the square where Zenda is and the Cathedral stands.

Dale: Are any trees left standing in the old city?

Wintersky: That would eliminate crossing the bridge.

Nyza: What about allies in the city? While we are dealing with Zenda, the demons will still be running around killing townsfolk.

Nyza: We could rally some support on our arrival first.

Celesta: Rallying support could imply entering the north and making our way to The Fortress.

Wintersky: I think most are keeping their head down and out of sight.

Nyza thinks on her own followers beneath Troll's Bridge. She hopes Wintersky is right.

Celesta: The south is where the tanar'ri are retreating due to their battles with the baatezu.

Sparta looks down and pokes at a rock with his toe, "I hope Tuk & Tun have survived so far."

Celesta smiles, "They are under Zenda's protection, so to speak, Sparta."

Legeand: Well, if they are retreating south cutting though the enemy will help, won't it?

Wintersky: Shorter fight through the city to the safety might be good. Once in a secure location, we could contact other pocket of resistance.

Nyza: Yep, me like that.

Nyza: We get a foothold first and then we can decide how to proceed from there.

Legeand: The problem I see from the south is the river and bridge. they make it less favourable even if the friendlies are there.

Wintersky: If teleporting is not a problem, the river is inconsequential to our decision.

Wintersky: Do you know anybody at Armee's?

Legeand: Erm...I trained most of the fighters well as...

Celesta: Melora is there.

Legeand: Yes.

Wintersky raises eyebrows.

Legeand: Do not think ALL I did was train when I disappeared...

Celesta: The manors between the gate and The Fortress have all been leveled, so they will present us no cover, but we may be able to sneak through the tenements.

Wintersky: It would be very good to have trained fighters at our back.

Legeand: The real question we need to follow the roads in?

Legeand: Why not approach from the west and pass the walls.

Wintersky: Fewer people to hurt that way.

Wintersky: Can we get in without going through a gate?

Celesta: From the west, the passages lead into Schloss Tanglewood and directly to Hardun. I would prefer to have that battle once the devils and demons are banished.

Wintersky: I do not really want to blow up the wall, Nyza.

Legeand: And the river?

Legeand: If we had boats that is...

Wintersky: I do not want to tangle with Hardun right away either.

Nyza: No need to blow it up. We can all fly over.

Sparta: The river lies in a deep crevasse, with steep cliff walls, but if we can teleport over it from Visaria's to the square, it should pose no obstacle to us.

Celesta: A flying campfire is not very subtle.

Celesta: The defenses along the river and the poisonousness of the river are quite dangerous and designed to prevent intrusion that way.

Legeand: You said the cover is open from the houses right? What about invisibility?

Wintersky: A diversion while we work on Nana's problem might be good.

Wintersky: Could your fighter friends provide that for us?

Legeand: More then likely.

Celesta draws another line from a point in Tanglewood just west outside the walls straight to The Fortress of Armee, "Fly invisibly this way?"

Legeand: Yes.

Legeand: Invisible and flying short and true.

Legeand: My armor is enough to put a hole in the shield, I am sure if we need more I can make it back to a main road.

Dale: Can the demon's see through invisibility?

Celesta: The most powerful ones, but they would have to be alerted to our presence ahead of time.

Wintersky: Do we have more contact stones?

Legeand: So, if we fly high and quiet they will not know we are there.

Wintersky: Except, if the shield makes firework going through it.

Celesta: I would suggest low and take advantage of any smoke and ruins.

Dale: How many of us can fly? I can take five with me on a Wind Walk.

Wintersky: It would be helpful to coordinate different pockets of resistance.

Celesta: I can cover us all with one spell.

Wintersky: SnowShadow and I can fly but not StormCloud.

Celesta: Are you suggesting splitting up, Wintersky?

Legeand: We could...

Wintersky: I should have him reshod with Cinders shoes.

Legeand: You want a distraction, but do we have more steelisin for another path?

Wintersky: No, not splitting up.

Wintersky: That is too dangerous, but we could get to someplace safe and then teleport to other areas to connect them.

Celesta: So we get in, set up a headquarters and then contact pockets of resistance as a team.

Sparta: I agree, we've already sent half our party to parlay with the Emperor. We should stick together.

Celesta nods.

Wintersky: Yes. then organize a distraction, get Zenda, kick demon and devil butt, then kill the vampires.

Legeand: I say fly invisibly to the fortress, from there we can span out easily.

Wintersky: I do not think it matters where we hole up first if travel is not restricted.

Legeand: I say there because it has forces for its own for defense.

Wintersky: Can anyone make a horse fly?

Celesta: Got that covered, Wintersky.

Wintersky: Great. Let us go from the west then and get this party started.

Sparta: Agreed.

Celesta: We just need to teleport to a place outside of Troll's Bridge and go from there.

Wintersky: Sparta do you know a clearing west?

Celesta, looking a bit uncomfortable, "I do."

Sparta: Before we go, can you scry the path to Armee's Fortress to see how active the devils are?

Wintersky: I have not been able to scry throught the shield.

Celesta: Yes, scrying into the wards does not work.

Celesta: We will have to check visually once we arrive.

Wintersky gives Celesta a long look.

Wintersky: The clearing?

Dale: Will we be free to cast our defensive spells when we arrive outside the barrier?

Celesta: I suppose scrying the clearing to make sure it is "clear" is prudent.

Wintersky: True.

Wintersky hands Celesta the crystal ball.

Celesta takes the crystal ball, going pale as she concentrates on the location of the clearing.

Wintersky places a gentle hand on Celesta's shoulder.

Nyza: See anything?

The image of a glade fades into view. It looks clear and the sun shines in, highlighting a tree with a long burnt scar.

Celesta glances at the crystal ball intermittently.

Dale catches her breath.

Celesta: Clear, as always.

Sparta: Then let's hurry.

Celesta hands the crystal ball back to Wintersky shakily before the image fades.

Celesta: Shall we?

Legeand: Yes.

Wintersky puts the crystal ball away.

Celesta: We can use the new teleportation circle.

Nyza: Ok then. That should be safest.

Nyza: It would not do for our own teleportation spells to misfire - not now.

Wintersky calls Cinder, removing her shoes and saddle strap.

Wintersky: I'll bring them back, sweety. See that she get new shoes.

Wintersky packs away the shoes and exchanges the saddle strap. Okay, ready.

The heroes collect there gear and Celesta leads them to the circle.

Wintersky: Are you ready for this Celesta?

Celesta: As ready as I can be.

Wintersky: You will be fine. Just breathe.

Celesta smiles with one corner of her mouth.

Everyone enters the large circle in one of the caves at the front of the mine.

Nyza: We will win.

Nyza: We fight for our family, for our friends. The demons fight for nothing. They have no chance.

Celesta concenctrates once everyone is in and a moment later they are standing in the clearing, the wall of Troll's Bridge in view through the trees.

Celesta turns immediately to face Troll's Bridge.

Legeand: One small step for man, one giant slaughter for demon-kind.

Wintersky applies warpaint to her cheeks.

Celesta: Stay together so I can cover all of us with the Fly and Invisibility.

Legeand stays close, but readies his sword in both hands.

Celesta wields her familiar staff and casts, everyone now feeling a slight lift as the Fly spell takes effect.

Wintersky mounts up holding Blessed Black ready.

Dale waits until Celesta finishes, then begins casting her own spells

Wintersky begins casting too.

Celesta: Let us all hold here until we are all prepared, then Legeand, you will need to lead the way.

Nyza and T'Krosh prepare their own defenses as well.

Legeand gives a quiet grunt of acknowledgment.

Dale: How long will it take us to fly to Armee's Fortress?

Celesta: Only a few minutes, provided there is nothing we need to deal with once we have passed the wards.

Dale casts True Seeing to see through any devilish or demonic illusions.

Dale: Then I'm ready.

Legeand: Everyone else good to go?

Nyza: Ready!

T'Krosh: To victory!

Celesta: Ready.

Wintersky: Ready

Legeand: Alright then, let us see what we can do.

Celesta mysteriously transforms the staff into Isildul's staff and casts again and everyone vanishes from view.

Legeand begins to try and make his way to The Fortress of Armee flying.

Sparta, alongside Ringo, follows closely behind Legeand.

The group rises invisibly into the air, floating toward the wall. As they approach they see the devastation on the Noble's District.

Fires burn out of control sending pillars of black smoke into the air, which accumulates thickly above the city, trapped by the wards.

Wintersky mounted on StormCloud and SnowShadow follow the group.

Legeand nears the wall knowing the barrier must be there, flinching as he crosses the wall. The wards resist him for only a moment before they give. The light tinkling sound of shattered crystal can suddenly be heard, but there are no immediate signs that the wards have actually fallen.

Celesta whispers, "Too much steelisin."

Legeand chuckles softly, "Never enough for me."

The clamor of conflict assaults the heroes suddenly and the clanging of a ship's bell can be heard in the distance to the group's right.

Wintersky startles a bit.

Legeand: Sounds too?

The group flies toward The Fortress of Armee and begin to pass over a group of buildings not associated with any of the manors. Two huge minotaurs are throwing rocks, slowly demolishing these buildings.

Celesta whispers, "Goristro."

Nyza growls lowly.

Sparta: Keep going, we need to make the fortress.

One of the giant demons suddenly swings his head around, gazing with glowing eyes in the group's direction.

The demon roars and launchs a rock in the group's direction, narrowly missing Ferocious.

Dale: I think we've been spotted.

Nyza: We'll just have to be quick about it!

Sparta looses a volley of arrows at a demon.

Ringo circles pass Nyza to the right.

Legeand flies forward to just out of reach of the goristro in the open.

Nyza quickens the pace of her magic with Arcane Spellsurge and then begins to summon a huge earth elemental.

Celesta: What a pain.

Celesta casts a Assay Spell Resistance and then the gray beam of a Disintegrate spell streaks across the intervening distance.

The spell blows a hole in the demon's side, but it remains standing.

Wintersky: Dang, I hate demons. Wintersky rides closer, then casts Dismissal upon the scaly creature.

The demon remains, unphased by Wintersky's rebuke.

SnowShadow moves up, but does not attack yet.

Elenia moves up also.

The goristro charges Legeand and slams into him.

Legeand is thrown back ten feet and slammed prone onto the street.

Dale charges as a mammoth at the first demon with Ferocious at her side. Dale the mammoth gores the demon.

Ferocious pounces as she charges the demon, sinking teeth and claws into it.

Dale trumpets in anger at the demon slamming of Legeand.

T'Krosh flies to the front of the battle.

The other goristro climbs up the building and leaps to strike the flying mammoth.

Sparta changes his target to the second demon and lets fly another volley of arrows, hitting it with half of the volley.

Sparta looks disgustedly at his bow and switches to his dagger.

Ringo moves down in a circle to the flank the first demon.

Legeand flies back at the goristro in a frenzy and attacks, cleaving large slices in the demon.

A towering being of elemental earth appears on the road as menacing in size as the goristro.

Nyza moves into position behind Wintersky and fires a volley of force-missiles at the demon in combat with Legeand.

Four of the five missile damage the demon.

Celesta moves up and casts Dismissal on the flanking demon.

The demon shrieks as it is thrust back to The Abyss.

Dale: Thank you, Lady Celesta.

Celesta: It is a good thing the wards are down or that would not have worked.

Wintersky fires arrows from Blessed Black in quick succession.

Sparta: Why can't I shoot my bow like the Shaman?

SnowShadow moves to pounces on the demon to try out his enhanced teeth.

The volley of arrows cause the goristro to explode in a shower of blood and demon ichor.

SnowShadow stops mid stride before reaching the demon.

Shrieks and roars can be heard all around, but no other demons appear to be in the immediate vicinity; and Legeand is frenzied.

Elenia floats in the air concentrating and directs a jumble of gestures and obscure words at Legeand.

Legeand suddenly hangs limp in the air exhausted from his frenzy.

Celesta: We need to get to the Fortress!

Dale the Mammoth gently grasps Legeand with her trunk.

Wintersky: Let us hurry.

Legeand: Gah, that is tiring.

Dale: I can carry you.

Wintersky: I hope they let us in.

Nyza's summoned elemental wanders off to wreak havoc on more, lesser demons.

Swirling smoke now obscures all vision as the air again begins to move after the breaking of the wards.

Wintersky: Legeand, I think you broke the shield.

Legeand: Well, at least I did something.

Sparta: Oh dear, the demons will scatter as soon as they figure it out.

Celesta: I think they will think of it as escape, Sparta.

Elenia: The Fey and the dragons will not let the demons stay long.

Wintersky: But will they go home?

Celesta: We should get to the ground, so we do not lose our way in this smoke.

Wintersky heads down to the ground.

Dale: And here I didn't think we would want any wind today.

Wintersky: Perhaps the smoke will hide us.

Legeand: Or show us...

Sparta hurries to catch the group before they are obscured by the swirling smoke.

Celesta: Stay to the road and it will lead us straight to The Fortress.

Elenia heads to the ground too. SnowShadow follows Wintersky.

Celesta descends and finds the road.

Wintersky: Where is Dale?

Dale: You can't see the elephant in your midst?

Wintersky: No, she blends in with the smoke I guess.

Sparta: Follow me everyone, the fortress is this way.

Wintersky: Coming.

Legeand: Lead on, I am too worn to move fast.

Dale brings up the tail end of the group, carrying Legeand.

The kobolds fly closely together, both near Wintersky.

The group makes their way through the swirlng smoke until the vague shape of The Fortress of Armee begins to loom before them.

Melora Agirrish: Halt! Who goes there!

The familiar voice comes from above them.

Wintersky: Leggy, wake up you are our introduction!

Sparta: I am Sparta, I bring the Heroes of Redemption to your aid.

Sparta: We seek shelter, may we enter?

Legeand: Legeand...The sword of the north!

Melora Agirrish: Legeand?

Legeand: Who else would wear enough armor to sink boats!

Melora Agirrish: Where have you been?

Melora Agirrish shouts to the gatemen, "Open the gates!"

Legeand: You would not believe me if I told you.

Wintersky: Mysterious does not suit you, Legeand.

The gates barely open and a shimmer of chain darts out and leaps onto Legeand, both toppling to the ground.

Legeand: That it does not, but I do what I can.

Wintersky: Umm, wrestle inside.

Melora Agirrish: By the Gods! Have you been missed.

Melora Agirrish: Are you alright, Legeand?

Wintersky rides in with SnowShadow.

Legeand: Well...

Legeand: Until you hit me and I am exhausted. Other than that...

Legeand grins wide, "Yes, I am well, not much slows me down!"

Dale resumes her halfling shape to fit through the fortress gate.

Elenia rides in also.

The heroes file in and are confronted by a grim sight. Refugees from the streets take up most of the usually open space.

Wintersky: Oh my!

Nobles and paupers sit in the dark, thin and gaunt from fright and hunger.

Melora Agirrish: It has been hell here for weeks now. If you have a way to end this...

Legeand: Well, it is a good thing we came when we could.

Celesta wanders around looking for familiar faces.

Legeand: The ward is down around the city, so at least that is over, but we have bigger concerns. The next cataclysm is soon upon us if we do not hurry.

Melora Agirrish: A cataclysm? On top of this!

Legeand: Yes, on top of a rather large pile of things going on.

Melora Agirrish: Let us take this somewhere more private, all of you.

Dale: Do you have food and water for all these people?

Legeand: We definitely need it and to plan.

Melora Agirrish leads the way through the destitute and up stairs to the battlements.

Melora Agirrish: We are running out of resources and the priests are exhausted. The Temple of The Billiken is also in dire straights.

Dale: I will lend them a hand while you discuss strategy.

Elenia: I will help where I can as well.

Melora Agirrish nods in thanks.

Legeand finds a seat and slumps down exhausted, "Well, where to start..."

Melora Agirrish sits next to Legeand and then casts a spell that dispels his exhaustion.

Melora Agirrish: It has been utter chaos here since a couple days after you all vanished near Schloss Tanglewood.

Legeand: We know, and we didn't disappear...We traveled back in time if you would have it.

Melora Agirrish looks stunned.

Melora Agirrish:

Legeand: Yes, to the days before some gods were in power...and Ran was a kid.

Sparta: That was after we escaped from the dragons.

Melora Agirrish: Several green and a couple gold dragons flew over the city a day or so before the chaos started.

Legeand: Yes, that was them. We were with Aifos and he used a teleportation spell...and the gods had other ideas...

Melora Agirrish: The Mage's Marshal did that?

Legeand: Among other things.

Melora Agirrish like what other things?

Wintersky: Where are there pockets of resistance and are you in touch with them?

Melora Agirrish looks at Wintersky, "We try to protect the surrouding area and a group of Beauregard's soldiers patrol the northern part of the city, but I do not know how many are left."

Wintersky: I know you want to catch up, but we need to work in the here and now if we are to prevent a cataclysm.

Melora Agirrish: Over the last several days, since the White Witch vanished, the demons and the devils have resorted to battling each other. The devils are winning. Amongst all that, Hardun has restored himself as mayor.

Sparta: Lord Oli won't be happy to hear that.

Celesta joins the conversation, "Hardun is not long for this world."

Melora Agirrish: Lady Artural? You survived!

Celesta: As always.

Wintersky: To prevent the cataclysm we have to get to the center of the city.

Sparta: We should let Lord Oli know that the wards are down.

Melora Agirrish: Where the ghost now reigns?

Legeand: Never gets easier...

Sparta: He will need to meet us there with the Emperor's scabbard.

Wintersky: That would be about right. She needs to find her rest.

Sparta: The ghost is my Nana Zenda

Melora Agirrish raises her eyebrows.

Sparta: She is nearing her thousandth birthday.

Wintersky: What has the ghost been doing?

Melora Agirrish: Well, actually making that part of the city moderately livable.

Melora Agirrish: No devils, demons or vampires will approach any longer.

Legeand: Thank the gods for small favors...

Wintersky: That is good, but if she does not pass on there will be dire consequences for this city.

Melora Agirrish: They are running out there as well, but they are at least not fearing for their souls on top of starving.

Wintersky: Perhaps she will let us approach her without a fight.

Legeand: At least Ozi is not here to mess that up for us...

Melora Agirrish: The devils are cruel and guard the perimeter, so no other refugees can escape the torments of the rest of the city.

Sparta: I wonder what happened to poor Ozi and his Sajenese friends.

Wintersky: Do you know if a teleport will work inside the city?

Melora Agirrish: The Sajenese lord? He and his followers are in Imhiakaam's camp.

Sparta looks down, "Our friend fell pray to her lies again."

Celesta sneers.

Melora Agirrish: Teleporting? The White Witch did it at will.

Wintersky: Then it should be possible for us to move about.

Melora Agirrish: If there is anything I or The Avengers can do for you, just let me know.