Wrath of the Righteous

The Queen at the End of the World

The Queen stood over a table poured with notes, maps, and troop movements-some of which the adventurers recovered. She stood in armament fit for war in apparent full-plate, only the regalia underneath her vestment revealing her royalty. Looking up with peerless eyes, she leaned forward then motioned the group closer. A smile washed over her forlorn face, they could see the touches of time in wrinkles but her face still stood in beautiful contrast for a woman of war. Her hair long and braided, purple hidden in tucks underneath her helm. Her presence at once intimidating and soothing. Her age a mystery in appearance, she looked far younger than she should. Perhaps even the dwarven brother’s beards curled a bit at the feminine warrior; it would be impossible to tell if their cheeks blushed due to their red hair. Her rosy voice broke…

“While there are some narrow-minded souls among the crusade who blame you for the destruction of the wardstone boarder, I do not begrudge you for what you did. Far from it. From the sound of it, you saved entire legions of crusaders from a most vile fate by preventing Vorlesh from transforming them, and the blast of energy gave us the time we needed to regroup and prepare for what will certainly come next.” With measured tone, “But you understand the implications of what you done, I’m sure-the wardstones are gone, but Iomedae has seen fit that you will be their replacement. I can think of no other reason that would explain why their power would have settled in your bodies and souls and did not merely fade in the ether.”

Crossing her arms, “In time, the demons will regroup and reorganize-we can trust their inherit chaos to make this period of regrouping longer than it otherwise would take, but we should not underestimate them. They will be back soon enough. Already I have had reports from along the front lines that small groups of demons are attacking fortifications and settlements along the southern boarder.”

Standing upright with her left hand over her chin, tapping gingerly with her index finger, “But what intrigues me most is news from several reliable resources that as our fiendish enemies are starting to mass in the southern reaches along the Riftshadow within the Worldwound, they have left several of their northern lairs relatively unprotected. In particular, the fiend Aponavicius has taken the bulk of her army from Drezen, leaving it only moderately protected as she joins with teh Storm King in Iz to, no doubt, plot greater attacks on larger targets like Nerosyan, Karcau, and beyond.”

“The time is right to strike into their territory. Drezen was the first of our cities to fall after the First Crusade, and we lost more than our kin and our pride that day. We lost the Sword of Valor, a magical banner carried by the Inheritor herself during the Shining Crusade.” Grasping in a right fist, “If Drezen could be retaken-if the Sword of Valor could once again be held by the crusade… well I trust I do not need to explain how well that would affect morale.”

“But with the imminent attacks along the border, I cannot spare many to lead an assault on Drezen. And even if I could, a large army attacking the city would only draw Aponavicius back to defend the place. The obvious tactic is to send in a group of capable heroes with a modest but well-trained army to strike now, while the element of surprise is ours. And this is why I have sought you out. If you can retake Drezen and reclaim the Sword of Valor, not only will you silence the fools who would brand you traitors for destroying the wardstone, but more importantly, you would bolster the entire war effort with your heroism. And I fear we need all the bolstering we can get!”

Galfrey paused as her thoughts collected upon the task she laid out before the adventurers.

“Hope springs eternal and that is the reason why. The reason we love, we hold our children, we serve our fellow beings, the fact we breathe. The reason we fight the battles we do and suffer the loss.” A sad pause interceded as the she brushed herself, “Our sacrifice cannot go on forever. That is why I share my hope with you.”

“This is the dawn of the Fifth, and I believe final Crusade. Will you be Knights, Heroes of Kenabres?”

Comments

meta
Here is an opportunity to ask questions and determine if you will follow her plan.

The Queen at the End of the World
 

How did you learn of the gifts that the ward stone, or Iomedae, placed upon us?

How far is drezen? How defended is it? Once we retrieve this banner, do we hold the city, or abandon it again?

The Queen at the End of the World
 

Sturn looks over the maps and nods as Atiasi asks his questions, agreeing with the need for them to be answered.

“My Queen, what sort of army will accompany us? I would like to be able to meet with its command staff as soon as possible in order to plan our march.”

After pausing to let her think for a moment, he continues.

“And what will our status be regarding this army, in terms of rank? I have found that an unclear chain of command is one of the prime ingredients of defeat…”

The Queen at the End of the World
 

Ute appears thoughtful, “Your Grace, I be in agreement with ya, a smaller force of capable warriors, led by Heroes… Knights, as you say, could be doing it. You speak of Hope, and I for one be hoping we move quickly. Sturn brings up valid points, we’ll be in charge of this army you’ll be sending with us, or it’s a no go.”

The Queen at the End of the World
 

Atiasi chimes in. “We’re no leader. We’ve no head for tactics. Our place is more of an advisory roll. We don’t have the heart to send warriors to their deaths. Tell us how best to defeat our enemies, point us in the right direction, then release us to do what is needed. We have no need of rank.”
It has been sinking in to everyone, ever since the Wardstone was destroyed, that Atiasi has begun to speak of himself in plural form.
NO GOLOM JOKES PLEASE!!!
We’ll be pleased to go find this sword, or banner. We for one would like to know,how did you learn of our Newfoundland abilities? We’re just now learning of these new abilities ourselves. We walked out of that building yesterday.
Which also begs the question when did you begin your march to Kanebres? We rode through Mendev on our way here. I’ve only been here less than a week.

The Queen at the End of the World
 

Quiet until the brief pause, Gnarl looks up from the table to woman of war and with an eager smile easily seen beneath his beard, he says, “ye had me at killing demonscum, yer majesty!”
Gnarl glances at Ute and mutters, “splitting demon skulls is me specialty.”

The Queen at the End of the World
 

Meta
For a pair of players who disliked a pirate campaign, it strikes me as curious the extent to which these current characters talk like…pirates. :)


Sturn considers the words of his companions, wondering to himself as to the sanity of the sorcerer in plural.

“Tell us about this force, your majesty.”

The Queen at the End of the World
 

META
come on, everybody knows dwarves speak with a Scottish accent, not like some lame sea-thief with a wooden leg and an obnoxious bird crapping on his shoulder.
Besides, “its a croc-isle-dile, sir.”
“One pet, parrots preferred.”

The Queen at the End of the World
 

Forgetting decorum and forging ahead, Atiasit was the first to speak, “How did you learn of the gifts that the ward stone, or Iomedae, placed upon us?” Galfrey stepped forward toward the young sorcerer, “I imagine all sorts of fantastic ways I can know such a thing; I will let you deal with the details.” Puzzled, the mage spoke again, “How far is Drezen? How well defended is it? Once we retrieve this banner, do we hold the city, or abandon it again?” Sturn looks over the maps and nods as Atiasi asks his questions, agreeing with the need for them to be answered. “My Queen, what sort of army will accompany us? I would like to be able to meet with its command staff as soon as possible in order to plan our march.” Hiding a smile of amusement, she replied, “I am glad to be reminded of such rapport as majesty…” sliding the writ of command before the group, “Here is the plan…”

“Citadel Drezen was built during the First Mendevian Crusade as a strategic foothold inside the Worldwound. It is north of here, some 160 miles up and west of the river Sellen. The quickest way there would be to follow the east bank until Vilareth Ford. Then it would be west along the dry Ahari riverbed. The army consists of 100 hundred heavily armoured mounted paladins experienced and able to cover nearly three dozen miles a day. It is sized to cross the blighted land and not attract attention of larger demons. I suspect you will leave in a few hours, rest what may on your horses, and arrive at Drezen within a week. I suspect it to be defended but un-organized; it is our surprise attack that will turn the tables in our favour. Aim to be discrete in your approach. Once captured, you will hold the city with the banner. There is no abandoning it again. You hold or we lose this war. Resources will be brought to bear upon your success.”

Galfrey watched the expressions of the groups concerned faces, “It is risky, but the reward is worth it. And the demons will not expect it. Fact, they might not even notice it as their attention is focused on the southern boarders. If you can secure Drezen quickly enough and find the Sword of Valor, it will do most of the work of keeping the place safe once you have reactivated it”

Pausing for a moment, Sturn continues “And what will our status be regarding this army, in terms of rank? I have found that an unclear chain of command is one of the prime ingredients of defeat…” Ute silent and thoughtful to this point, “Your Grace, I be in agreement with ya, a smaller force of capable warriors, led by Heroes… Knights, as you say, could be doing it. You speak of Hope, and I for one be hoping we move quickly. Sturn brings up valid points, we’ll be in charge of this army you’ll be sending with us, or it’s a no go.”

Atiasi chimes in. “We’re no leader. We’ve no head for tactics. Our place is more of an advisory roll. We don’t have the heart to send warriors to their deaths. Tell us how best to defeat our enemies, point us in the right direction, then release us to do what is needed. We have no need of rank.” The pluralism strikes the group as odd. Considering the words of his companions, wondering to himself as to the sanity of the sorcerer in plural, Sturn motions, “Tell us about this force, your majesty.”

Looking respectfully to the stoic dwarf, “My dear Ute, you will be in charge of this army.” Blinking disbelief, the follower of Torag is without wind for words as the load stone is placed upon him. The group is also scratching their collective heads. “There is a set group of specialist that will assist you as well with the logistics but I trust your capable hands in commanding the Knights of Kenebres, and the rest of you to assist.”

Atiasi still on a one track mind, “We’ll be pleased to go find this sword, or banner. We for one would like to know,how did you learn of our Newfoundland abilities? We’re just now learning of these new abilities ourselves. We walked out of that building yesterday.” Slipping into first person narrative, “Which also begs the question when did you begin your march to Kanebres? We rode through Mendev on our way here. I’ve only been here less than a week…” He is cut off by the Queen, “Only the pertinent need said at this table now.”

Quiet until the brief pause, Gnarl looks up from the table to woman of war and with an eager smile easily seen beneath his beard, he says, “ye had me at killing demonscum, yer majesty!”
Gnarl glances at Ute and mutters, “splitting demon skulls is me speciality.”

Jaroo, like his cat, feigns mild indifference at the whole situation.

The Queen at the End of the World
 

Jaroo sits quietly a small distance away. He stares intently at the shining symbol in his hands as he turns it over and over in his fingers, as if anxious for it to speak to him.

Aggassou, lies at his feet, his head resting on crossed paws, but his eyes gaze upward upward at his companion.

During the ongoing conversation, Jaroo simply nods distractedly, only half hearing what is said.

The Queen at the End of the World
 

Meta quewtion
how long was it since we destroyed the Wardstone until now? Are we talking hours? Days? I ask because there is an interesting ability Archmages get with becoming mythic. I can recharge magic items like wands staves, chime of opening etc. so our healing in a stick could be much more effective.

The Queen at the End of the World
 

meta

It has been two days since the ward stone was destroyed. Kenabres was under siege for five days up to that point. 6 levels in one game week, wish it was always like that. The next two books are killer.

The Queen at the End of the World
 

Then in that two days, Atiasi recharges the wand of cure serious wounds by 17 charges. The path of the archmage enables him to expend a mythic point to recharge a charged item 1-10+tier per day.
I was hoping for more time to get everything topped off.

“Sturn, with the destruction of the wardstone, that energy has improved us… Me. If we’re going to stay here to continue the fight we can refill the healing wand bit by bit.
Also, the destruction of the wardstone has changed us. All of us. For us… Damn… Me, not only did Iomedae unlock these abilities, bit Sarenrae guided the destruction of the wardstone to fuse with our staff, then a sliver of my soul to imbue intelligence. It is apart of us now. There is no longer a me.”

The timing just seems strange. I would have imagined we would have heard an army was on It’s way in two days time. Also, I really want to know how she learned of our mythic abilities.

The Queen at the End of the World
rykart

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