CONCORDANT MIRROR

S2E2: The middle passage

In which the party meets with an Archduke, a killer with a sweet tooth, books passage to the Netherlands and performs a skit in a children's park.

Recovering from the battle with the Fire giant, the party retreats to their place of residence only to find it closed up, sheets over the furniture an the windows boarded. All of their belongings have been expertly packed and the butler, with equal expertise, shows them the door.

The party then travels to where Malagar is to meet the Draw emissary in a small private club called The Pangolin. Here he meets Causette Lacienne who has bloodily murdered everyone who entered the club while she waited for Malagar to arrive. In a brief tête-à-tête she lets him know that the Sisterhood’s plans, though delayed by the party’s actions will go forward. Russia will fall and the world will go to war and open the way for the Sisterhood and their forces. She tells Malagar he is falling irreversibly under the sway of the artifact but this is reversable. She offers him a way back to himself — join the sisterhood. As an act of good faith, gives him a map to the location to a lost outpost of Vhaeraun in northern France that is about to fall, a place where, she claims he can still make a connection to his God.

Later the party has an audience with the Archduke who is seated at the end of a hall of mirrors  behind a small moat of water that runs across the floor. He is there with his court magician Otto, his captain of the guard Nicolai Eckhart, now a Colonel and his wife the Princess Sophie who, once again looks sickly and pale. He gives them permission to leave Prague on two conditions, they see his Magician safely to Paris and they find out “Why Prague was targeted”.

Additional highlights

  • The party has clothes for their audience with the Duke made by the Dwarf Ranata Fuentes, the proprietor of Olangands, a hight end tailor shop
  • Edmond books passage on the Gnomish express train from Winfred Engel a 78 year old travel agent 
  • The train will take them as far as Brussels where they will have to book alternate passage as there are no working train lines in France.
  • The party secures supplies for the journey

 



XPS
500 ea for the game
800 ea for some really nice roleplay
100 ea for the interlude at the playground
TOTAL: 1400 ea

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S2E1: Circle of Pain

In which the party waits on a Duke, defeats a half orc, makes some appointments and eats some questionable bread.

Note: this encompasses the latter 5th of the first session (where we played the pre-gens) of the new season and the whole of session 2)

The has been living in Prague waiting on the audience with the Duke. Their declining fortunes are evident as Olivander is fighting for money in a bar called the Tick Tock tavern and establishment frequented by the nobility who bet on the fights that happen in the taverns great ventral ring. Here Olivander fights Holg who is assisted by his brother Bolg while Olivander in turn is assisted by (and bet on by) the party.

Though touch and go, the fight ends with Holg near death and the onlookers fleeing the obvious use of magic by Edmond and Ylmaterä. During the fight the exit, the party notice they were  observed by an emissary of the Sisterhood  and a fire giant in disguise, — an emissary of the House of Nylund. The Drow leaves leaves a note for Malagar to meet her along with similar summons from the Archduke and Madam Gerber.

 

Additional highlights:

  • Madam Gerber turns out to be a powerful practitioner of magic and, in some what attached to the Lord of the White tower. She offers aid in France at the white tower.
  • The party eats wet, fleshy bread cooked by Madam Gerber and gains vitality (XPS) from it.
  • The party is attacked at Madam Gerbers’ by the fire giant and Prussian soldiers lead by Holg and Bolg.
  • Holg is killed by Olivander and, from a distance his brother swears revenge.
  • The party decides to book passage to France by train.
  • The Gypsy information network is revealed and a note is delivered to Edmond from M.Holmes “Meet my agent Prof. Moriarty at N.Cathedral"

     



XPS
500 ea for the game
200 ea for good roleplay
400 ea for fighting/escaping the fire giant
100 ea for Prussian soldiers
350 ea for Holg
TOTAL: 1550ea

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S2 prologue: The Fall of Locronan

Wherein we see an investigation force from the church of Rome, following a trail of lots and abandoned towns, approach the small hamlet of Locronan in Brittany where they find a gypsy camp who warns them not to enter the town. The warning unheeded they advance and find the populace all dead yet animated by swarms of unholy worms. The entire populace has been set to excavating a previously unseen white marble foundation under their church by the woman who will be popularized in song as the Crimson Lady and The Turbaned Queen

Only one of the investigative force remains who saw the event and could tell more of the tale. 
 



XPS (for the main characters)
500 ea for the game
300 ea for great roleplay
350 ea for the combat
TOTAL: 1150 each. 

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INTERLUDE: In Another World

Sympathy, a Shadowrun short story

PART I of III


King's Doughnuts is an all-hours doughnut shop with a full liquor license. That alone would make it a place of note but add to that fact that it is situated in the middle of a haunted junkyard where strange people gather and strange things happen on a regular basis and you have a local legend. 

Those who know the street know King’s is a safe zone, a place where local freelance police look for work mixing in with factions of all kinds both legal and illegal and no one seems to say boo about it. For those that know magic, Kings is situated at the crossroads of two very active ley lines and the less that balance is interfered with the better.

As such the local government, law enforcement and even the gangs give Kings owner and main bartender The Chancellor a wide berth even though he has manifested no martial or magical ability beyond an uncanny ability to know someone favorite doughnut and when they need it adorned with his (literally) patented ChromaSprinkles™.

The players had gathered at this iconic setting (at 2AM) for various reasons.

  • “Casper” had been called by his “Mr. Johnson” Vicky O’Malley
  • “Sparky”, also called by the same “Mr. Johnson”, just happened to be there escorting his friend and connection “Reza”
  • “Reza” was there to meet his connection Shouts at the Sun – a tribal leader who arrived personally, without the stash, to tell deliver an enigmatic warning to “watch his back” from his Shaman.
  • “Cutter”, who knows The Chancellor well, was there seeking work.

While the Shadowrunners are gathering at Kings for different reasons, a car is pulled from the waters of Lake Washington, a car filled with the bodies of six Orks, all young, all gang members and all missing their hearts. Sam “The Sham” has been tied to the team of beat cops investigating the murders which were discovered mere yards away from Kings, at the same time the other players are gathering.

At King's, Vicky O’Malley is gathering a group of Shadwrunners for a hyper quick run (with the money to match). The players are drawn into the scheme including Sam who substitutes for Neil Tyrel who Vicky originally called. The gig is explained as a simple B&E breaking into a “Local Government” facility on behalf of a client who’s name is Roger Bacon. 

Having accepted the job which included a ¥10,000 fee up front (just for listening) and ¥80,000 for completion the party uses it’s contacts to gather materials, a ride and lightly investigate Roger Bacon. The latter turns out to be a former VP of research for Stoner Ares Weapon Systems and also a mage with a particular genius for sympathetic magic, Roger was also caught in the middle of a four-way, sustained firefight in a parking lot between a group of shadow runners, Lone Star, a gang and Ares Security. The fight lasted seven minutes and cost him the lives of his wife and his young son whom he failed to protect.

After that he disappeared from the public eye, re-emerging recently in Seattle where his sister lives in Capital Hill. Roger settled in the Barrens – a decidedly unlikely place for a human (non-ork) to pick to live.

While the players secure, a ride and some information, Reza travels down to help the investigation. His astral projection reveals the ghosts of the 6 Orks, floating 100 yards off shore above where the car was found. Further astral-investigation reveals what looks like magically impregnated wood in the wounds of the victims.

At the same time the other player’s contacts confirm that the dead Orks are members of the Coffin Chasers – an all-Ork gang out of the Barrens, the same area where they are to meet their contact. The party sets off and, after a brief interaction with the 405 Hellhounds, enter the section of the Barrens known as The Cave – a neighborhood that is 94% Ork and controlled/protected by the 'Chasers. 

It takes almost no time for the combat van full of Humans to attract the attention of the gang and here the players almost fall afoul of the very jumpy CC gangers, Pretty Boy, Johny Sausage and FUBAR a monstrous cyber-enhanced Sasquatch. Some quick talking gives the players a chance to meet 4Stroke, n older grizzled Ork who is the leader, and potentially, progenitor of some if not most of the ‘Chasers.

Calmer heads prevail and he agrees to give the players passage to see Roger Bacon on two conditions 1) they help him investigate the murders of his men (a plot the players already seem embroiled in) and 2) no harm comes to Roger Bacon who seems to be helping the local Ork populace and is, perhaps the one Human the Chasers trust. 4Stroke’s calm-headedness is only in contrast to the hot-headedness of his rank and file as anyone with an ounce of street knowledge knows his reputation for pure, remorseless menace is well earned.

Passing by the impromptu check point, the players take their van down the street ending in a peculiar brownstone. The narrow, 3-story building has been separated from the other densely packed buildings by having had it’s closet neighbors demolished, leaving just enough room for the six foliage-overgrown pillars that surround it. The early December air is wet and bitterly cold but the air around the house and the clear area is oppressively hot and sticky — like a tropical green house gone amok. The exterior of the house itself is completely overgrown just like the pillars and a quick check by Reza in astral space confirms Sparky’s suspicions, the house sits on the nexus point of three active ley lines.

Still, the light from the windows and doors is warm and inviting and, when Casper knocks on the door, the players are welcomed cheerfully by a small boy made of wood who introduces himself as Andy and by an equally cheerful (adult) voice further in the house who invites them in.

 

PART II of III


As Andy welcomes the runners in the narrow hallway they step into is charming if oppressively warm. From floor to ceiling are books, papers, knick knacks and plants, some of whom the runners can see come from dozens of pots and others who’s origins are more mysterious, tendrils vines snaking from the other rooms. The air is thick with insects and as the players brush aside butterflies, moths and dragonflies, the sounds of crickets is ever present and, not altogether unpleasant.

As Andy leads them down the hall, other “Andy’s” can be seen, when the first Andy takes a turn into room another Any takes his place emerging from a side door and continuing the sentence mid-stream as if they were a single creature. The runners emerge into a small sitting room where Roger Bacon, who sits next to past a stack of thaumaturgy books (standard magician tomes) that are particularly overgrown and long since used, greets them warmly. Reza notices that, likewise, the books on the shelves are magician’s tomes in the same state of disrepair. It is unlikely that Roger has performed any traditional magic in years.

Roger himself is an affable man in his late 40s’. He is friendly toward the players and asks Andy to fetch the party some refreshments which he does cheerily. As Andy returns with lemonades Roger explains his plot and the players part in it. As the runners have been able to discover Roger, a genius in sympathetic magic and former VP for Ares, and his family were caught in a fire fight where Roger’s magic was unable to protect his wife and son from the relentless, indiscriminate gunfire of the combatants. 

Relocating to Seattle to “start fresh with Andy”, Roger tells the players he is seeking revenge against his former friend and partner Alexander Wolfe, EVP of weapons development for Ares technology — he blames Wolfe for the violent death of his wife and, in payment, seeks to embarrass him by stealing three of his prized possessions: 

  • A painting entitled “The Death of General Wolfe” depicting one of Wolfe’s ancestors
  • The head of a 10th century Chinese “fire lance” which is heralded as the worlds first true gun and 
  • The SAWS Hachiman IV powered armor a pet project concept developed by Stoner Ares to combine razor’s edge physical augmentation, protection and versatility. For the latter, the helmet contains the full technical specs and is all Edward requires the players to steal.

Bacon lets the party know that the items are currently on display in the Arts of War exhibit at the Seattle Art Museum in fact, the entire collection of paintings, and artifacts around warfare both ancient and modern is owned by Wolfe and protected by the Ghost Matrix, a security system that, the party later learns is a mixture of tech and magic, a way to “project” ghosts into specific areas at specific times. The party has been able to at least roughly map out these areas.

The runners need only bring the items to Bacon before the next night ends to fulfill the contract. Just before the party leaves Sparky offers his condolences on the loss of Bacon’s wife and son. While the mage thanks him for his kind words on his wife he is completely confused by the notion that his son was lost in the onslaught. Andy shows the party out and, as they drive away they see there is an Andy in every window of the old brownstone. 

Though a day of research and infiltration, including some light kidnapping of a security guard and the less than light stabbing of a temp receptionist, the party is ready to act. The museum is closing, the ghosts are coming on line and the party is in place with Casper jacked into the net and and physically in the unemployment agency above the museum, Cutter impersonating a guard and Reza and Sparky waiting in a side alley to enter and Edward Bacon waiting for the items to be delivered to him at his brownstone.
 

PART III of III


The museum closes, the lights go down and the ghosts come on line. Outside the museum the streets are crowded for a parade celebrating the anniversary of the ghost dance which took place on this very night. Inside the museum, a single guard patrols with Cutter who is pretending to be a replacement guard for the one the party kidnapped and left incapacitated in his underwater apartment building.

While Cutters performance is well scripted, his delivery lacks nuance and it isn’t long before the guard realizes the deception. Rather than sound the alarm the M.A.L. (Minimal Assault Logistical) Cop – The lowest paid run in the Lonestar Security Hierarchy merely begs for his life and plausible deniability. Between Cutters intimidation of the quickly departing guard and Casper’s hacking the primary security of the Seattle Art museum, from drones to door locks is soon under the party’s control, leaving only the Ghost Matrix.

While Cutter lets the rest of the party into the museum, Casper is in the net where each node is represented as a floating platform room room housed by icons of art history. The party moves to the second floor where the Arts of War exhibit is housed guarded by the ghosts of long dead soldiers.

Room by room the party the Shadowrunners search for the artifacts they have come to steal aided by stealth, caution and the magical sight of Reza who has discovered that the ghost projectors are only focusing the spectral energy, that each spirit is actually tied to this world by a single magical rune disk attached to objects from the ghosts past. Removing this hockey puck sized magical objects breaks the connection and the ghosts fail to appear.

Thus it is that the party makes it through the exhibit unharmed, having gathered all but the last object– the helmet of the Hachiman armor, on display at the back of the exhibit hall. It looked like smooth sailing until, the armor itself activated and, without a pilot attacked the group. 

The armor jet packed into the high ceiling in the hall and let loose a flurry of bullets from it’s Ares asset rifle, knocking Reza out of the fight in a single volley. Meanwhile, in the net, Casper had found out that Alexander Wolfe himself was online and connected to the exhibits servers. With some skillful decking Casper managed to ghost himself into Wolfe’s systems and there learn that, unlike they were told by their employer himself, Roger Bacon was not seeking revenge. In fact he held no ill will toward his former boss at Ares, and forgave him fully for the death of his family — instead feeling it was the weapons themselves the were to blame. After learning this information, the Runners, with a bit of help from Casper who had infiltrated the suit’s systems manage to deactivate the Hachiman IV helmet and escape to their waiting get away van.

Driving to the barrens they see scenes of a neighborhood in terror. Doors and windows barred and locked, no one in the streets save  the bodies of of the Coffin Chasers gang. All lay dead, their hearts ripped out of their chests. In the distance light pours into the sky from the the ley line nexus that is Roger Bacon’s house and, as they approach, Sparky is forced to use the windshield wipers to clear the thick cloud of insects that surround the house. Once at the door the Runners are greeted by a host of Andys, all moving independently, all finishing each other’s thoughts and sentences. Many of them quite new, the wood of their constructions still wet and raw.

Inside Roger Bacon has knocked down many walls to make way for a ritual. As the players enter the night is reaching it’s zenith — the same night of the Ghost Dance that changed the history of the world. Inside Roger Bacon, bedraggled, worn, mad with sorrow and pain, manic with laughter, cheerfully accepts the artifacts and casts them all aside all save one, his true goal, the Chinese fire lance — the world’s first gun — the object that originated and defined all firearms after it. As the party tries to leave, the Andys insists that they stay. They love their father and would have an audience for his triumph. Roger, an artist in sympathetic magic, a genius in linking a physical anchor to a magical effect explains his plan. He will use the power of this night, of the ley lines in this place, of the obvious (at least to Reza) Insect spirits that have granted him their shamanic power, that he will use all that, the world’s first gun and his own ancestral ties to the first known maker of modern gunpowder, to quite simply end all firearms, to cast a great work that will keep all guns from functioning– forever.

The party had a choice to make — stand by and see the end of all guns or stop Roger, and a growing mass of insect spirits from completing their own ghost dance. 

The fight is brief.

Though the Andy’s swarm the Shadowrunners iin their dozens, they need only put down a single unarmed and unarmored wizard. Reza sets the room (and the Andy’s) on fire and, as Cutter and Casper clear a path Sparky takes a single shot. Roger Bacon, still casting his spell, oblivious to the flames that were already consuming him, falls.

Though the Shaman dies and the spell fails, the Andy’s do not. They stop fighting and silently gather around their father. As the party leaves, the last of the Andy’s silently enter the burning house and close the blinds. The Runners drive away.

 

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S1E16: Hunter's end

In which the party confronts the Vampire Mina Jaeger, her thrall the baron, attempts to save an Archduke and prevent a world war orchestrated by the Sisterhood. 

As the mists continue to swirl, the Raven and Malagar square off against the Baron Jaeger, his teeth bared and his movements like flashes of lighting in and out of the mists.

Meanwhile, in the Dukes luxurious field tent, Olivander, witnesses the Archduke’s wife, the Princess Sophie of Bavaria in her death throes, sick and pale seemingly from disease — but the players know better as she is attended by one of the Baroness’ handmaidens, a vampire thrall , whom the party had destroyed in an alternate past.

Meanwhile, Alphonse is in a battle of wills with the Baroness herself. In her thrall, his natural gnomish evasiveness proves an apt foil as she questions him but gains  no direct answers to her questions. This buys the rest of the party valuable time but leaves the Baroness increasingly frustrated. In her anger she resorts to more base methods drawing what first appears to be a sword but in reality is a gigantic set of ornate scissors that, on their own, appear to seek out Alphonses’ neck.

Meanwhile Edmond and Ylmaterä have also moved into camp, stealthily moving between tents and advancing on the forces of the house of Jaeger.

Meanwhile, the plague tents begin to erupt in flames – the work of Philipe attempting to set the should infected to rest.

In the mists outside the camp the combined efforts of Malagars enchanted sword and Raven’s other-worldly magic prove to be more than a match for the Baron. He is destroyed in a short, vicious series of volleys.

At the same time  Olivander squares off against the remaining vampire thrall and defeats her — the truth of the situation rouses the Dukes fury and he calls his men to arms. 

With her deception at an and, the Baroness  Baroness emerges prepared for war summoning the men at arms from her own house as well as the dead that have not succumbed to the purifying flames. In addition to the dead and the living, far off can be heard the howling of wolves.

The Duke, Olivander and Alphonse, now free of the distracted Mina’s influence, rally the loyalist troops while Ylmaterä sets fire to the Jaeger tents, distracting the forces of the living and Edmond confronts the Baroness herself, calling the artifact to him in an attempt too wrestle control of the undead from their mistress. As she feels her control slipping from the undead, Mina turns her attention on Edmond and he falls under her spell. She bids him command her forces against his own allies and the battle begins in Ernest.

The combat is hard fought and though the League has the advantage of sunlight and Raven’s spells keep the vampire from regenerating still the outcome is never certain. During the battle Edmond is at last freed from the vampires forces, free to use the artifact’s full power against her. The martialed forces of the living fight the dead to a standstill buying the party just enough time to bring the battle straight to the Baroness.

In the end with dire wolves in their dozen just entering the fray the party at last manages to put the vampire on the run and with a wild gambit by Ylamterä that quite nearly costs him his life, they hold the vampire and, at last, bring her low.

The undead collapse, the wolves retreat and, though the soldiers of the house of Jaeger throw down their weapons and surrender, they are slaughtered by a vengeful Duke who orders his men to fire on them where they stand.

The mists depart and the battle is, at last, ended, war is averted and a begrudgingly grateful Duke offers the party safe haven in Prague and medallions bearing his seal.

XPS
Game itself: 500 ea
Mina Jaeger: 2,900 ea
The baron Jaeger: 360 ea
Vampire thrall: 360 ea

Wolves: 100 ea
Zombies/Skeletons: 100 ea
House Jaeger’s Men at arms: 75 ea

Total: 4395 ea.

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S1E15: Veil of evil

In which the characters encounter an unexpected fog, an expected enemy and a lost teammate.

Pushing their horses through the night Edmond, Ylmatera, Malagar, Olivander, Alphonse and Phillipe charge into an uncertain fate.

And they ride.

Long into the night, long after the place where the forces of the Archduke should have met them on the road, long after the rise of the sun. Just as their horses tire the players reach a steep rise in the road by a steep hillside that dips into a steep valley, a valley covered in an unnatural mist.

Looking down into the valley the party sees the Archdukes camp surrounded by a circle of swirling mist — a mist apparently held back by a near exhausted court wizard. The camp is still, stiller than it should be and the tents of the archduke and those of his five attending houses are flanked by a long row of hastily erected tents – each flying the yellow and black flag of plague . The entire camp has the aura of death about it and only the forces of the house of Jaeger seem unaffected by the calamity. 

With dozens of The Baron Jaegers men roughly equaling the remaining forces, who are presumably loyal to the Archdukes the party decides on a riisky gambit – sending their two stealthiest, the Gnome Alphonse and the Monk Olivander, to talk to the Duke and reveal the true nature of the Baroness Mina Jaeger.

As the two descend to sneak into the camp, the rest of the party is drawn by a large flock of abnormally large ravens to a rise in the hills beside the path. The rise is revealed to be the very top of a long buried and  truly ancient pyramid. As the players approach the top opens and Raven emerges from a cloud of antediluvian dust.

But the party had no time for explanations Olivander and Alphonse had made it through the mists and the light guards who were in it and were working their way to the Archduke’s tent when Mina Jaeger herself emerged and asked Alphonse to join her in her tent for a conversation.

At the same time Olivander is stopped by the Captain of the Austrian royal guard and brought before the Archduke who is in deep grief over his wife who is in her bed with the plague that has struck his entourage – his wife who is attended by one of the Baroness Jaeger’s personal handmaidens.

Back on the hill the rest of the party solidify their plan and descend into the mists. As they approach the duke’s camp their carefully laid plan is immediately altered when Raven recognizes in the mist the form of the man who betrayed his company and left him for dead – the Baron Jaeger himself. He moved to confront him with Malagar in support.

In the distance the plague tents catch on fire, the work of Philipe who went to see to the Christian souls who were suffering there.

The stage was set for mayhem, for violence for revenge and, most certainly for a final conflict with the House of Jaeger.

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S1E14: A second downpour

Where the league gets some exercise on the train, accepts new member, makes a decision and starts a midnight ride.

Convalescing from their wounds and losses, the party has a chance to examine the dispatches captured from the Sisterhood (see appendix II) learning many things. Edmond is returned to the party, escorted by a Fire Giant guard.

They board the train for the Faerie Market and the Eldarin outpost. Along the way they fend off an assassination attempt by a band of Prussian spies with the help of a mysterious elf who goes by the name of Ylmaterä. 

Exiting the train, Malagar sells one of the assassins to a merchant.

Arriving at the outpost, the adventurers inform Fingolin that Baba Yaga has ceased her assault on the Shifting Zones and tell him the reason why – thus fulfilling their part of the bargain.

Fingolan leads them to a set of stairs which spirals deep into the shifting zones. The stair leads to s single room with two doors — The WHERE door, which will send them anywhere they want to go and the WHEN door which will send them anywhere along their shared timeline.

The party is left to choose.

After some debate it is decided to go back to before the sacking of Prague, try to thwart the assassination of the Archduke and forestall the start of the war. The party walks through the door.

The rain pours down on their heads, they stand amidst the Brevard Militia, haggard, worn but with their memories, equipment and newfound abilities in tact from their adventure on the other side of the mirror. They stand in the exact same places they stood mere (days?) before, outside the Old New Synagog, in a standoff with the community that has come to defend it. Looking to his side Edmond sees Kerstas, the back of her head a cavernous hole. She puts her finger to her lips and disappears into black mist.

The pounding on the door of the synagogue ceases abruptly as the Golem within reverts to simple clay – the slip of parchment with the name that gives it power now in the party’s possession.

As he did once before Edmond charms his uncle, who leaves. He then disperses the militia — sending them away with Holg and Bolg, the half-orc brothers, now alive again.

Back at the inn, Madam Gerber has Alphonse’s belongings packed and gives him exact directions to catch up with the party. Ylmaterä, who was also curiously in Prague at the time, meets them as well.

The party uses a mixture of coin and Braddock/Brevard influence to wake a stable master, procure horses and, in the middle of the night, they speeds toward where the Archduke, Baron Jaeger and the Vampiress Mina Jaeger await.

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S1E13: Storm of loss

Where the party confronts the sisterhood and says goodbye to a friend.

A storm forms over all of Diaspora an angry living thing that lets the party know they have little time. The party tracks the sisterhood to The Diaspora Grand hotel where they are awaiting their train.

The hotel itself reveals Lord Nylund’s (Centuries long?) fetishizing of the human world. It’s style is pure European opulence designed to impress Giantkind and intimidate “human” sized visitors. As such it is built on a precipice — jutting out from a sheer drop not he mountain city’s edge.

As Diaspora is a major trade city it is set up to accommodate all sizes and tastes and is located directly across from the North end train station. It’s lobby and halls are opulent and the former is well serviced with Hill Giant lobby boys and bell hops Stone Giant receptionists and a Cloud Giant Concierge.

Using Alphonse’s glamor ability the party alternately walks through the front door and sneaks around the side all the side with Quincy acting as both sniper and look out.

Confronting what they later learned was the last remnants of a once larger delegation, the party defeats the sisterhoods minions including a Drow warrior and an Illithid. The party had prevailed but at a terrible price. As Kerstas falls Ollie discovers a room where two once-human clockwork automatons are somehow transmitting and deciphering messages from the sisterhood. After exacting his revenge on the remaining Drow Warrior Malagar recovers lady Asstrid’s contract and a second small chest, identical to the one they had just won from Lord Nylund.

Pursued by the cloud Giant concierge and his staff the party flees into the presence of the Lord of Storms, a massive Storm Giant monarch with Lady Astrid and a penitent Lord Nylund by his side.

He examines the contract, destroys it and deems that the party has done his kin a service, a service he repays by allowing the party to leave Diaspora unharmed on the next train.

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S1E12: Vitreous Humor

Where the party gains an ally defeats a misshapen fool, and tracks down a band of insurrectionists.

“Why is a candle maker likely to come to a bad end? Because all his works are wicked and sure to come to light”

The contest begins with … a joke. It seems Chambord is more than a misshapen giant, the stare from his bulging eye is deadly and his fool’s staff had magical abilities of its own. He presses his advantage in both size and performance keeping the team off guard and even trapping Edmund into an irresistible dance before he can cast a spell. The sudden appearance of the pugilist Ollie Harris aids the party and slowly the tide turns.

Attacks from every direction divided Chambord’s attention keeping him from leveling his full magical and physical might on any one party member. Soon the outcome of the battle was no longer in dispute, no longer a matter of sport.

Chambord pleads with his master to intercede. Lord Nylund, once jovial, now, his pride wounded, turns from his faithful servant in disgust. Wounded, beaten and on fire, Chambord finally falls when Malagar cuts his ankle and Ollie delivers the coup de gras with a blow to the head.

“Why is a dog like a tree? Because they both lose their bark once they are dead.”

The contest over, Lord Nylund hands over the locket around his neck and prepares to destroy he party himself but Lady Astrid, perhaps spurred to action by the Giant floating castle that has just made landfall with Diaspora assumed her full height and power and stops him.

She makes a bargain with the party – she will see them safely from the castle if they retrieve the contract that binds her, a contract she was coerced into signing by the sisterhood.

The party exits the castle, quickly.

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S1E11: Fountain of fools

Where the party heals, rests, receives payment for their heroism and a enters into a risky wager with a giant lord.

Carrying the catatonic body of Kerstas into the town of Diaspora, the party seeks a moments rest at the The Altoclef, a hotel run by high elf in the human-sized section of town. There Kerstas is violently healed by a Drow healer.

The hotel is, itself, downstream from “The Fountain” a once semi-clean water well now used as a privy dumping station by hill giant servants of visiting giant dignitaries.

It is here that the party reconnects with Quincey Morris and the Brownies who have been spending their time scouting the area which includes a gigantic modron arch. A mirror to one being constructed in Berlin. 

The party gathers with their lost comrades and gains entrance to Diaspra Manor, residence of the 7th Earl of Diaspora, Lord Nylund a vassal of an unnamed Giant King who’s castle is drifting closer to the manor, presumably to attend the wedding.

The party is lead to the chambers of Melania where they are ask five questions. Among other things they learn that A delegation ( they sisterhood agents they have been following) have already arrived and met with Lady Astrid, known to be the true power behind Diaspora and the house of Nylund. Indeed when they meet later Lady Astrid has a voluminous white silk scarf around her neck.

They also learn that the delegation traded what is presumably the heart of Baba Yaga (or at least one of the Baba Yagas) to Lord Nylund in exchange for a military alliance.

Though the nature of the venture is unknown it appears certain that the Prussians, or factions within it, working with the sisterhood is preparing to capitalize on the chaos resulting from the recent fall of Prague.

Lastly the party learns that Lord Nylund is a arrogant and vain with a weakness for gambling. Gaining an audience to his private drawing room, they decide to risk all on a wager with the party setting the terms and the cloud giant setting the contest.

Lord Nylund chose as the mechanism a contest of arms. The party must defeat his fool — a thirty foot tall Famorian named Chambord. The contest is to the death.

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