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/tg/ - Traditional Games

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Story time /tg/!
I finished typing out the tale of my first campaign, and it was a joy.
It's a long one, so bring some food.
Before the campaign began there were a few noteworthy things I feel need mentioning.
1. 1. We had kicked out a That Guy who insisted on having a time travelling harem of Dwarves. I shit you not; I didn’t even believe these people existed until then. The only thing more horrifying than that is that this was the second person I’ve seen to ever insist on including a time travelling harem of Dwarves. We hoped it was a joke, but it really, unfortunately wasn't.
2. It caused us to scrap our planned Dark Heresy spess campaign where everyone was a Psyker.
3. 3. We tried DnD 3.5 for the first time. 5 human party members, the rules were simple enough, we had played our fair share of neckbeard games and we had a DM who we joked knew every rule of any game ever made [and if he didn’t, he knew how to bluff so well that he avoided grinding the game to a halt]. With the addition of putting more emphasis on xp for completing quests or doing suitably heroic/villainous things than winning encounters, we rolled our characters’ stats, started picking feats that sounded awesome and worked with the DM to fit into the setting of what was a glorious sandbox.
The world we worked in was in essence, the Ancient world. Great Empires lay to the West, Great Empires were rumoured to exist in the North, no one really knew what went on further East and the South was dominated by open waters. Most of all the regions we started dicking around in fell under the influence of 3 big players:
>The nation state of Khemryte, rich in salt, spice and silks from the Eastern reaches.
>The Western people of Serrano, home to the Peacekeepers; thousands of Paladins who served Horkos the Good God of the Oaths. Controlled an important naval trade route in the straits of Sax and partially controlled the Meloran Sea.
And lastly, the City our campaign began in:
>City-states under the Hegemony of Kosfreya, the city state that wished all wealthy sea lanes and trade routes would pass through.
It was a powerful city full of poor citizens, with us numbering amongst them. We got to spend our starting gold in the local markets before all getting aboard the train tracks to the rest of our campaign. Our bard the philosopher Cassus was busy being swindled out of his money on an ‘all expenses paid journey to the mystic East’ by my own character, the aspiring Leukos Polak, relatively young Quartermaster new to the job [and now herding Cassus onto the humongous tradeship Hierocles]. This same ship was being boarded by our huge Paladin Othello Feaweather, busy preaching to our resident and bored Wizard Theodore Strange about the ‘value of friendship oaths,’ telling him how much ‘y’all wizards need Horkos.’ Our fighter was the last to arrive before the ship set sail: Abraxes, a member of the castle guard who was entrusted with investigating the business practices of traders around Kosfreya and finding a way to tax them on the Master of the Economy’s orders.
The journey went mostly uninterrupted for the next week, with the worst thing happening being Cassus walking into the rum stores and temporarily losing WIS. Most of the time was spent by our characters getting acquainted with one another since we expected another 4 days of sailing before reaching Khemryte. So we talked about why we were going there, it was a good excuse as any to get some characterization done. Othello was proselytizing his faith, protecting those in need and being a Paladin fearless in the face of sins. Abraxes said he had essentially left his post in the search of business for the good of the city, Cassus bellowed out a sufficiently bardy- ‘Get drunk and see the music of the world,’ Theodore was interested in becoming a sufficiently good wizard to start his own school and I was like Abraxes, looking for the wealth.
As the conversation went on, the DM rolled spot checks for the 8 of us [5 PCs and the Captain with his NPC attendees]. The DM announced that some of us had noticed things getting calmer and quieter. The winds slowed, the waves lapped at the boat as it cut its way through the ocean. The sun was not long for this hour, the heat of day leaving the air. We asked the Captain if this was normal; he said it wasn’t unusual and all it meant was that the boat might travel slower and so reach Khemryte later than expected.
So it came as a surprise when aquatic elves showed up. It was all quite peaceful with dozens of aquatic elves and sailors going about, communicating in gestures and inspecting their respective gear. Their tridents were not for show.
A few sailors were cut down immediately and before long pandemonium ensued. Everywhere people ran for weapons, rallying around the giant of a Paladin Othello swinging his Greatsword around. Theodore melted and maimed 2 elves with acid as they were being pushed back by sailors armed with longspears led by the Captain Martin. Cassus and Leukos gave token jabs and Abraxes freaking bull rushed their leader off the ship and into the sea [earning himself wounds in the process], looking up sadly at the deck, now empty of aquatic elves.
We collected what loot was left, Othello and Abraxes got paid a fair bit of pocket money for looking badass in the fights and everyone mourned the loss of life that had happened, 32 sailors had died and many more were injured.
By nightfall, the winds had calmed and the ship and slowed. Our DM had at this point discovered grapple mechanics, and on the hour we had to remain vigilant from the same threat; with a new tactic. My own character refused to leave his cabin after failing a check the second time he heard a sailor dragged into the ocean, the sound far too loud and far too close for comfort. As a result, Leukos locked himself inside the room, Theodore resigned himself to climbing up to the crow’s nest where he claimed he was more of use [and conveniently out of range from prying hands], Cassus earned the gratitude of a sailor by pulling him back into the ship, Othello grabbed a trident and went ‘fishing.’ Abraxes swore several times that he saw the Elf he threw overboard. Othello swore an oath to avenge the fallen sailors. The wind picked up.
The Hierocles would arrive at Port Dusk, Khemryte in battered shape. The journey had resulted in the loss of a total 60 men out of 200 and the Captain was eager to warn everyone of this sudden danger. Theodore raised a question that piqued everyone’s interest – why didn’t the elves simply destroy the ship? It’s not like anyone could have stopped them from simply wrecking the ship from below. Merchant ships leaving port were recommended by us to stock up with gunpowder charges to kill any submerged Elves, just in case.
Leukos and Abraxes went to the local markets; Leukos to seek profit and trade our wares, Abraxes to investigate how to increase trade to Kosfreya and Cassus tagging along, claiming he was the only one who was any good at appraisal. Theodore was looking for arcane knowledge amongst the ‘Liber Collective’ who stockpiled arcane knowledge, whilst Othello lurked around the markets asking the DM about various things on sale.
I was entirely taken aback by how much wealth was to be found by sea and market stall. Cassus and I persuaded some local silk barons to get favourable exchange rates of saffron to silk and...
300 tons worth of saffron got us about 1,051,884 yards of silk, flat market worth: 10,518,840gp.
And we each got around 50gp.
Not willing to earn the DM’s wrath for more gold, we went shopping. First we sold captured Elfy loot to boost our coffers and then went our ways, the DM pointing out various trinkets and items for sale [and of course the Paladin halting any efforts to pinch just a small amount of funds from the Captain’s treasury]. Abraxes bought 3 ladders [?!], and put them on the ship. I decided to adopt a new weapon [CC weapon with str as your dumpstat is fun but likely to end up with you dead] and so picked up 50 pints of oil. In all my games I prefer style over power, so no one really noticed.
…In any case you do still need some power.
Moving on, there was however, another limitation to having str as your dumpstat. There was the issue with weight. My 5ft 10” Leukos could not lift that much.
So I bought an Ox.
Riding around town on my Ox, it had 270 more lb to spare before it even noticed the weight and that was including weapons/armour/gear. And then I saw it. The DM was glossing over various junk, when he mentioned the censer. A series of metal frames, each one over the other [imagine a hypercube here] suspended from a chain; what made it so special was that butterflies popped out of it about every 5 minutes. Leukos, perched atop his Ox for about 5 minutes was looking down at the merchant.
‘My time costs silver, buy something or leave.’
Two red butterflies popped out the censer.
And so the merchant just watches in bemusement as Leukos wears the censer, mutters some words whilst staring at it, deposits 2 gold coins and wrapping the cloak around himself, rode off on his Ox.
The rest of our dosh was spent on really practical things, like Abraxes’s new dagger. An exception was to Cassus who came back hauling 20 bottles of wine [Othello decided at this point he needed an intervention] and we all came back to the ship for the night.
Day 2 in Khemryte was a bit more… Eventful.
The first thing we all noticed was that the boards of the overhead [ceiling of the ship] were cluttered with various technicoloured butterflies. The second thing we noticed was that we had what appeared to be half of a severed pair of manacles attached to each of our left forearms.
Immediately our wizard is dishing out divination spells, everyone’s panicking and reaching for weapons, amidst all this our Paladin is trying to calm everyone down in a flurry of butterfly wings.
Ostensibly we’re all puzzled [except the DM who must have been fucking in on it because there’s no bloody way a 6ft 7” Paladin could pull that shit off without godly move silently rolls or DM fiat]. We demanded to have the key.

‘They were cheaper without locks. Friendship bracers are for life?’
Captain Martin, hearing what sounds like a battle would open the door to our room, buffeted by butterflies and just in time to see pandemonium on Earth. Cassus was hitting his arm on the edge of the table, Abraxes and Leukos were trying to strangle Othello and Theodore was rocking back and forth in the corner just repeating ‘I’m too old for this shit.’
Once Martin was sure the door was attached to the right plane, he announced [rather loudly, with curses intermixed] that the President of the Khemryte Trade Union had called a meeting of all the various professional higher ups, and as Captain of the Hierocles [the 3rd largest ship currently docked out of a fleet of 38 proper-big ships] he was to assemble a retinue. He thought fit to bring his guests of honour to bolster his retinue [currently only numbering the Captain and Chief Officer] adding the party: Navigator Theodore, Quartermaster Leukos, Paladin Othello, Elf-killer Abraxes and the… Cassus, who would probably have been better abandoned were it not for his high charisma. All of this was done just to give a show of his ‘influence.’
Martin made little attempt to understand what had happened and simply said be ready in 20 minutes, probably saving Othello’s life.
The ‘meeting’ was unbelievable. There was the representative of the Blackfish Corsairs, the Eastern Slave Kings, The Spice Lords surrounded by their Spice Girls – there were even representatives of the Western Gold Barons. Before each person at the table was a radiant array of coloured fruits, mystery meats and fine liquors. The cutlery was wrought in aluminium, the walls adorned with paintings – statues everywhere spoke of heroic deeds from an age only the venerable remember.
And at the head of the hall’s sole table was the President of the Khemryte Trade Union. Clad in silk with adamantine plates sewn in like fish scales sat Kalos ‘Midas,’ 92 years old wizard and one of the richest persons in the known world.
Ignoring the various birds, geckos and butterflies roaming around the hall’s expanse, Kalos called for attention to surmise why the emergency meeting had been called.
Rumours and preachers were spreading terror about a supposed plague that was spreading through Khemryte; many travellers had been contracting a horrible disease that was leaving them weakened, losing vitality until they shrivelled up into dust and bone. Victims appeared looking like they had been starved for weeks from the moment symptoms arose. It had no known cure, and was driving away business. Anyone who could find the source and solve this issue would be rewarded.
The second was the problem of the Elves. He took it to personal offence that the Elves were so bold and so foolish as to attack ships under the protection of Khemryte, and that retribution had to be given. Anyone who could do so would be rewarded.
We left to go find any lead for the disease, judging that that was the more pressing issue since it would be a fair amount of days before the Heirocles would even be able to set sail.
It didn’t make much sense as to why such a disease was spreading; we even plotted out a map of all the recorded victims. CSI: Dungeons was in full effect. Our only lead came from a Hobo who said that he saw one of the victims come out of a local bathhouse crying about being attacked whilst sitting on the shitter, and we gave him some coppers to leave us alone.
We went to this bathhouse, asking where the water came from and where did it go, the attendant was kind enough [bribed] to tell us it came from an underwater river that had been piped through the city from further East.
And that’s when we decided to get backup. Cornered one of the artisans responsible for maintaining the water system, demanded to know if there were any openings to the Eastern deserts or if it was possible for the water to be contaminated.
He said no.
So the only sensible course of action was to see for ourselves.
Lighting torches, we kept to the main tunnels where walkways kept our feet dry and clean [though the water itself didn’t appear particularly bad]. We took samples along the way in vials for future divination to see if anything was dodgy. The first sign that something was wrong was when we found a tunnel that had completely dried. The other areas had fast flowing water deep enough to be dangerous, here there were only puddles. After some rolls, Abraxes said he heard some tapping noise coming from down the darkness. Even if it was just rats, this could suggest the water was no longer safe. I left my Ox up with most of the oil, so I had a handful of pitch to pitch and make things burn. Danger was on our mind, this tapping came closer and closer into the light of our torches.
A hand and a foot, a head stripped of flesh. A skeleton bounded its way towards us, sogging wet with a ceremonial sword mostly intact.
Against the 5 of us, it stood little chance. We inspected it for anything valuable, but only the sword shone out to be of any worth. Leukos got a successful history knowledge check and the sword bore the symbol of the Scorpion dynasty from the short and conflicted reign of Queen Sefereti.
Now, as enticing as the prospect of wandering down dark tunnels filled with skellingtons was, we weren’t expecting to be wandering this far unprepared. We might even need camping gear, plus we needed to know what we were facing. The question of why there was an ancient catacomb filled with undead warriors from battles ages ago was pressing. Cassus and Leukos went to the Liber Collective to search for information [adventurin’ indexin’ rollin’] whilst Theodore searched for poisons or magic residue in the water samples [found nothing, not really unexpected] and Abraxes/Othello went to gather supplies and hire mercenaries and labourers. First dungeon, let’s get this shit done right:
An Iron pot, rations & feed, plenty of firewood, 150ft of hemp rope and jugs for carrying water took the bill up to 104gp 8sp 9cp. Bringing Abraxes’s ladders, market tinder, Cassus’s wine and Leukos’s oil & Ox saved some dosh. 5 mercenaries, a cartographer and the Hobo from before raised the bill by 13gp 3sp for one week’s work.
Dungeons: The Dragoning was going get a whole lot more spelunked.
Our packs were ready, our hirelings were ready, our wizard had prepared; our party was ready. The only thing left was to send messengers to Kalos & Martin saying we were leading an expedition. The idea was there was a fair chance we were the first ones to enter the tombs. If such a thing was true, that’d mean we’d get first pick! And if things got too bad, we wouldn’t doom the town in failure since the bigwigs would be able to organize a response. All in all, we were confident that we weren’t just going to end up as a spooky abandoned camp bereft of life – we were going to own these catacombs.
Abraxes led the procession into the sewers from a maintenance shaft, used for transporting heavy equipment. After finding where the water had collapsed a wall and created an opening, he moved the ladders forward and placed them on the ground up against the edge of the tunnel. The supplies were moved down using the ladders like a walkway, before the wood was planked on to give a path the Ox could walk down. 3 mercenaries stood watch at the bottom with torches held on 20 foot poles, illuminating a wide perimeter as the logistics of the manoeuvre were carried out. This was around about the time when we realised that we wouldn’t be able to get the Ox back up if we burnt all the firewood, and one of the guards was quick to point out we wouldn’t be able to spend even just 10 minutes setting up the ladder if something gave us reason to flee fast.
Nevertheless, we had a weeks’ worth of essential supplies, enough firewood to illuminate everything for two weeks and we were sure we could take on all the skellingtons in the world for as long as we had fire.
The catacombs stretched on, columns separated 10 foot apart and 30ft high. Sections had been entirely ruined by time, opening several levels up into chasms that almost went beyond where torchlight could shine. Neat rows of engravings would intersect with running waters, long since having spilt out into their own water ways and deep waters. Rough walls led off into dark tunnels, long since having been bored by some unknown creature or civilization.
All of it, empty.
12 hours later, several burnt corpses ahead, our next round of torches had extinguished. Our cartographer, a middle aged man called Rinzler announced we covered just under 30 miles.
We set up camp where one pillar had toppled another, using our ladders to complete the makeshift wall. It wouldn’t hold any sustained assault, but it’d be enough to stop a charge/keep a burning zombie away. Leukos, Abraxes and two of the mercenaries Hark & Paul took first watch [we followed doctrine that not naming the followers would result in their immediate death, and demanded that the DM name them]. We set our first of 7 candles alight, to mark the passing of day 1.
It surprised us how quiet it was. At 60ft away, Hark saw something running towards the pillar wall. Paralyzed by fear, the first sign of trouble was noise of a pole being dropped onto the ground.
Abraxes raised the alarm first, quickly swinging his torch-pole to strike the attacker, clothed in frayed wools and dried flesh. The burned face of the attacker inspired fear in all who looked at it, even as it desperately tried climbing over the fallen column. Frantically everyone gathered arms and tried fending off the attacker; it ignored grievous wounds and vaulted over, slamming its arms onto the mercenary Dickens.
It collapsed when Cassus separated its head from its body with a swing from his sword.
Dickens laughed, shaken. Then he collapsed in a heap onto the floor, his pale skin becoming an unnatural bleached-bone white. Our Paladin was confused, he couldn’t heal Dickens. The disease didn’t attack his health; it attacked his very state of vitality – his constitution. Theodore said the disease was magical in nature, and that there was nothing they could do to stop it taking course. The best we could hope for would be that he successfully fought off the disease himself.
Othello and Theodore elected to stay behind with the mercs Hyrkan and Paul [alongside Hobo Solomon] to guard Dickens while Othello tended to him with the healer’s kit. The rest of us planned to scout ahead for a new campsite or a way out.
Purple zombie. Cassus spotted a purple zombie. Its dried flesh carried a sort of… Fuzzy, hazed silhouette to it, as if it was covered in a multitude of fine hairs. Moulds and mushrooms jutted from its limbs, giving it a staggered limp as it attempted to approach us.
Of course we set it on fire, at pole’s length.
We snuck around as sneakily as 5 people setting fungus on fire could, repulsed at how the fungus writhed in the flames. The fungus got denser as we went deeper, until it started running away from us. The fungus had limbs.
Most didn’t get very far, but they were somehow able to coordinate with one another to assault us all at once. As expected, they were about as menacing as being mobbed by groceries and quickly set aflame. We covered our mouths with cloths to not inhale too much of what foul odours they released, and as fortune would have it – we stumbled on a supply chain of sorts.
The fluffy zombies paused as they saw the glowing orbs approach. Then they were set alight.
Mixing jars had been carried and dropped by the fungus-zombies, and the small mushroom things that accompanied the zombies had long since fled in a trail of spore clouds.
It took twenty minutes to find out that inside one of the jars was a potion of daylight. Hearing the increasing patter of footsteps, Leukos threw it on the ground.
Light burst from the ground, illuminating so much of the empty expanse, revealing the towering mushrooms that were now fleeing from the brightness. We responded by detonating our last oil pitches in their area of advancement. They replied with spore clouds. We ran back to camp whilst they ran from the light.
We came back to the campsite seeing the rest of the party surrounded by burning corpses, a notable husk amongst them bearing 8 legs and a tail instead of two and none. Before it, one of the ladder walls had been shorn into three pieces.
Othello was the first to speak.
‘Is everyone all right?’
Cassus gave him the run-down of the situation.
‘There is an army of fungus and undeath following us. We might hold here – but there’s something else too. They have potions, lots of them. They might have something that can cure Dickens.’
The plan was ready. If their army was coming here, they wouldn’t be guarding their potions. We could strike quickly and withdraw with the potions. If we did it swiftly, they would be defenceless.
And so it was. Firewood was stacked onto the campfire before leaving, leaving a conspicuously large blaze; hopefully the mushrooms would find the ever increasing undead attacks just as fun as we did. Dickens was tied to the Ox within all the other equipment, wrapped in bedrolls. We took nearly half as much more time as it originally took to get there, circling around the mushroom colony to avoid detection.
We weren’t undetected for long. Four oil pitchers sailed overhead; one missed its mark and splattered the floor, igniting a field of squealing mushrooms. Another failed to ignite, dousing a tall limbed fungus with oil, leaving it terrified but safe. The other two were set alight, flailing as they rushed to defend the little ones.
Hobo Solomon and Cartographer Rinzler calmed the Ox as well as they could, handing out oil charges whilst keeping its ropes secure against the pillar. The largest one who stood taller than the rest seemed about as angry as a fungus could try to appear, which didn’t last for long as it was swiftly hit with the beam of a scorching ray. Many mushrooms didn’t strike back, clubbed to death with torch and magic. Such was the ferocity of the assault that the mushroom people fled en masse, leaving their remaining zombie levies to fight us off.
With no time to waste and no will to carry vast quantity of potion, portions were taken and placed into empty water flasks, leaving puddles of spilt tonic everywhere. And so we fled again.
Day 2 passed, another candle fired.
Camp was set up in a tomb. The burial receptacles were thrown outside and all its inhabitants destroyed in a pyre. Where each coffin once lay, a bedroll was spread out and an adventurer slept. The tomb had a working stone door. Unless something intelligent could key together the pyre with the surroundings, we would get to spend the night in peace figuring out which potions did what. Our rations were eaten cold; there was no way to burn a large fire in a closed room without suffocating. Before long, the room was full of enough butterflies that the DM announced a butterfly swarm had formed, and we were likely to suffocate in a colourful haze. At the time I jokingly asked the DM if I could make the butterfly swarm my familiar, but when he said yes I began thinking of all the possibilities. Leukos ended up getting +2 to diplomacy and was covered in a coat of harmless wings with a technicoloured hive mind. I named it Agamemnon. The rest of the party had also just found out Leukos was a caster, which all in all surprised me more than it should have; apparently you aren’t recognisably a caster unless you throw around magic like cheap toys.
Dickens was cured with a remove curse potion and a remove disease potion. We also accidentally fed him a rage potion.
Aside from everyone being woken by the sound of pawing on the door, day 2 was a good day.
Once everyone was well-rested, we set out once again to go deeper and lower through the catacomb system.
We had apparently angered a Sphinx, because we kept getting attacked by one throughout our entire journey. On the first attack it let out a horrific roar, grabbed Paul and took him across a shallow, tepid lake we were loath to cross. After the second close encounter we got pissed off and started hunting it to wherever it fled.
Our third encounter with it had it cornered by us; it died after it roared so loudly it shattered rock and jarred bone; a pillar had begun to crack and Othello toppled it onto the Sphinx, leaving it dazed long enough for Thedore to strike it with magical missiles. This was followed by everyone doing what can only be described as killing it to death in a vicious melee; even underneath the column the Sphinx was deadly, and Soldier Tchotz was killed, a stone claw opening him from clavicle to thigh.
There isn’t that much to say about what happened that day. Everything was quiet after our expedition started feeling its first deaths. Our resolve was tested, and we probably would have tried going home if Cartographer Rinzler hadn’t gotten lost when we chased after the Sphinx.
We had an argument on whether we should stay put and wait for hope to come, or venture out and hope we found our path or found a way out. Our arguments were answered with the sight of the Temple. Twinned blocks of sandstone covered two wide entrances flanked by pillars; the whole thing looked more like a Citadel than a place of worship. Built to ward off evil, it was no surprise that they were so formidable.
Despite looking great, it had two large side entrances, it was still a bit much for only 10 to defend. I suppose here’s where it helps to have people with ranks in profession: sailor and knowledge: architecture. Cassus directed where we should pile our last few bits of wood like stakes on the Western expanse and surviving ladders on the Eastern, whilst the two casters Leukos and Theodore went about fixing them with ropes. Working with Soldier Tallow the supposed de jure fire-guy, we set up simple barricades and fire charges we could use to burn everything for a short while; enough to halt an attack and escape. To finish it all, alarms were set around the temple.
Now that we had a Fortress to operate from we could stay for as long as our supplies lasted, in the meantime looking for a way out. We could spread out our food to last 18 days, plus eat the Ox if we really had to. Water was a bit of an issue, with the only nearby water source being foul water and only 4 days’ worth of water remaining. Leukos and Theodore took to the Temple’s roof top with Dickens and Hark to fend off intruders with spell and polearm. Thankfully the Temple hid the glow of the fires within, and other than a few big spiders nothing really threatened the Temple.
The fourth day we didn’t bother to commemorate with a candle, as we had decided we might need use of all our available fuel if we ended up stranded underground for a protracted length of time. Othello left with Cassus, Rinzler and Hark in order to map out the surroundings and try find running water.
While they followed a newly-formed brook upstream to see if it led to the water runways, the rest of us kept watch and began piling the barricades with masonry and setting more alarms up. We got around to constructing a bottleneck which we intended to spike with our only bag of caltrops once the scouting party returned.
The scouting party turned back when they saw the brook leading far up a vertical wall into darkness, but carried all the water they could back anyways. Far away we could all hear sounds of what was definitely a battle going on. The sounds never came closer; we didn’t worry much until the calamity died out altogether. Finishing whatever fortifications we could muster out front we returned to the sanctuary of the temple.
The din convinced the other half of the argument two things:
That we were not leaving the way we came, and that help was not coming any time soon. Faced with the possibility of having to fight an army, we all decided that it would be better to stay and fight. Our encounter with the sphinx had reminded us just how easily we could lose our supplies and our lives without shelter, and being cornered in a Fortress was better than being surrounded in the open.
The fifth day we used to completely barricade the Eastern temple entrance with chunks of rock from the ruins, leaving only gaps from which we could operate our longspears and longtorches. The Western entrance likewise saw its inner colonnades heavily blockaded, and even more traps were set up. On the sixth we got greedy and started planting oil pitchers further afield where we expected the army to approach us from. Placed gently beneath a slab, anything that stepped on it with sufficient force would shatter the pitcher, releasing the oil. It wasn’t exactly a proper landmine since it wouldn’t ignite without some help, but you make do with what you have. Tallow and Leukos were attacked by two skeletons while preparing more alarms and oil pitchers; it was the first skirmish of what would become known as the Siege of Fort Paul. The first skeleton was destroyed quickly, with the other fleeing. We chased it until we noticed the other 6 skeletons waiting in the darkness; in turn, they chased us until Theodore opened fire on the attackers.
The skeletons returned with over 30 soldiers, trying their best to sneak into the temple. With rolls that were borderline Satanic, Theodore incinerated their leader and caused them to scatter.
11 hours later, Solomon was the first to hear the sound of marching. Everyone finished their meals and manned the defences; this party was going to war.
First the massed ranks of arrows embedded or bounced harmlessly on the walls, volley after volley leaving the ground littered with the broken remains of ancient and rusted ammo.
By the time the cohort began fumbling across our defences, we were overjoyed. Every single alarm was triggered and ringing, there must have been nearly 200 skeletons advancing with khopeshes drawn and corroded boots crushing every single oil pitcher. Chunks of masonry were falling down on the assembled army, hastening their clumsy traversing of the walls. Their lines covered our caltrops and walls in bodies and before long they were scaling the rampart of the barricaded temple steps and falling to the longspears darting in and out of the gaps in our bulwark. Othello and Abraxes held off the entire army, each skeleton forced to fight individually in the choke points we had prepared. Dickens was cracking under the pressure, seeing just how many skeletons were attacking and began muttering to himself each time he drove his spear into their ranks. Once most of the cohort were inside the outer walls, Theodore casted Flaming Sphere and the whole ground became a killing field, igniting the oil. Skeletons boxed in by the barricades found no avenue of escape, the archers beyond scattered from the giant flaming katamari ball hurtling towards them. The survivors frantically tried rushing into the temple but were thrown back repeatedly, with the last being personally tossed out of the temple by Othello into the last tongues of fire below.
The damage done to our warband and our Fortress was superficial, with an exception possibly to Dicken’s psyche [probably shouldn’t have had him fighting whilst he was still recovering from a horrific disease, but we needed all the extra hands we could muster]. Othello did his rounds, healing anyone who needed help.
The skeletons resumed their torrent of arrows once they realised no skeleton footsoldiers had survived the onslaught. Theodore used Whispering Wind to alert the Khemrytian Trade Union to the danger below, sending it to the Union hall with the message ‘Legion masses below waterways, Sefereti’s army awakens. Prepare all soldiers.’
The day stretched on, with charioteers surrounding Fort Paul but never really getting close enough to get caught in the defences we had prepared. We maintained strict silence, speaking only in whispers whilst Theodore used illusions and various sharp objects thrown via mage hand to ensure the assembled skeletons didn’t get too comfortable.
So all the PCs are preparing for their death and glory moment as the NPCs think we’ve gone mad, and that’s when Solomon announced that Queen Jerky had arrived.
Day 7 and we had seen the face of what would become our first true enemy. One of the Mummies, clad in fancy and faded robes made her way alone to the Fortress, stepping on the charred bones and remains of the last assault. On her head was some beautiful adamantine circlet, with a crystalline scorpion perched atop. In her hand was a sceptre with a jackal’s head on the end, its eyes reflecting non-existent fires. And before Sefereti’s glazed, hateful eyes were two figures; Leukos and Cassus, the party’s diplomats.
Despite initial troubles in Sefereti trying to figure out what language we spoke, it was quite a nice conversation. Sefereti just wanted to reclaim her Kingdom, since the old one collapsed under a whole sleuth of cataclysmic events. She offered us safe passage if we would fight for her, but something seemed a bit off. Starting with the giant stone wall she had created and toppled onto our Fortress, creating a ramp onto the roof.
And then things got fun. Leukos bragged about how our humble expedition had already destroyed an entire cohort and Cassus brought out the trump card – if she attacked us, there would be nothing she could do to stop us from sending a message to other expeditionary forces. Of course having already sent the message, it was just something we were pulling out of our ears whilst our Paladin readied the Ox for the charge. Cassus and Leukos backed away from the stone wall, also adding distance between them and Sefereti. Just as Othello encouraged the Ox to go into a stampeding frenzy towards Sefereti with the help of a sharp prod, Cassus cast a silence spell and I threw the last oil grenade I had left. In the instant the Ox was about to alter course from the flaming angry undead Queen sorceress, Theodore cast fireball.
Every last oil pitcher exploded.
There was no more Ox.
Queen Sefereti was now, really, really pissed.
Magic missiles were launched from Theodore while Abraxes, Leukos and Othello were charging onwards. Cassus stayed back, creating an illusion of our party lying dead at the feet of Sefereti.
By the time the first skeletons were halfway towards us, evil smiter was smiting evil, Abraxes was bull rushing her out of the silence zone and Leukos was smacking an electrified palm right into Sefereti’s gabber.
Theodore cast web on the flames leading up to the marching skeletons, setting many of them on fire and giving us enough time to flee into the Fortress with the Corpse’s corpse in tow.
It took us a while to realize what Othello realized, and that the Queen was still alive, desperately trying to cast spells in spite of the Paladin hacking her repeatedly into smaller increments.
I’m not sure how much this was our fault, but the Queen managed to give one last command before getting decapitated.
Probably most of it, since I think our DM thought we’d try a peaceful resolution.
…She ordered them to start wrecking pillars.
Holed inside our Fortress, we heard a massive crash as the city of Khemryte was swallowed by the expanses below. More worryingly, the whole cavern ceiling was also beginning to crash into Fort Paul.
Everything was falling fucking everywhere, the DM was spinning one dice and he fixed on it with a death gaze. He looked up at us, and with a grin that could kill angler fish said:
>Rocks fall

>As you wake up
Everyone collectively cheered
>You see blinding light coming in through the cracks of the Western barricade
We pulled apart what we had to; keeping low behind the cracked wall that Sefereti had provided us with.
The whole city had gone to shits. Much of it now resided in a massive crater; the underground had become synonymous with surface. Pirates and mariners were duelling with the charioteer elite, mummy lords and arcane wizard librarians unleashed their ancient magics, the Khemrytian Golem Keepers rallied their constructs to protect the fleeing merchants. Fires consumed many of the housing districts, looters grabbing everything they could whilst battling skeletons in the street to have access to the finest wares.
We took on a few skeletons ourselves, but the skeletons just kept popping out of the ground in increasing numbers and increasing strength. We tried to find the Heirocles, but it had set sail. All the ships had set sail. Taking all the valuables we could, we booked it out of Khemryte on foot and from afar watched as millions of people ran and died from the touch of ancient bronze and bone.
A colossal amount of refugees were with us on the road Eastward, most had gone Westward or fled on the ships. Cassus and Leukos managed to get us hooked on a decent merchant caravan that was on its way to Khemryte, not knowing that it had fallen to a bunch of dried bones. They were kind enough to take what refugees they could with them, and so out of thousands our group of 200 set off ahead.

7 days later, things changed. Leukos had taken the leadership feat and the 5 NPC survivors from Expedition Sefereti become the first members of Leu Corp. President Kalos of Khemryte had died, using the wrath of Anapas to destroy the last general of Sefereti, leaving the undead leaderless and ripe for destruction at the hands of the army of Paladins amassing at Kosfreya. It didn’t stop the charioteers from running down the refugees though, and Othello felt some guilt at not staying behind and helping the refugees flee. To Abraxes and the merchants’ disdain, the fall of Khemryte meant that trade caravans would no longer have a safe Western land route to Kosfreya. We managed to broker a deal with the Sultan Babik and sold the crown of the Khemrytian dynasty taken from Sefereti for 60,000gp, playing up its value with the story of our expedition and calling it the last token of the old world. I kept the deal secret from the followers, so it came as a surprise to them when I gave them 1 platinum piece each for their loyalty. Theodore kept the sceptre taken from Sefereti, refusing to use it until he fully understood its purpose. Agamemnon learned how to communicate with the percussive sound of many hundreds of wings fluttering about, resonating in waves of beating claps. The others thought for a moment I had gone insane when I started speaking to it, and it wouldn’t stop hassling me to buy flowers so I hired a druid called Hasan to literally walk around following me with flower pots harnessed on a living backpack he tended to.
Everyone else bought useful gear with their share of the Babik money whereas I spent most of the rest of my gold on commissioning a mithral pith helmet, adding a visor with ruby-fire emblems set in the shape of a butterfly. It was a neat way to acquire fame and recognition; people didn’t recognise descriptions of faces – they recognised epithets and exotic features, though the underlying reason I bought it was that it was an easy way to carry 10k gold with little weight.
Leukos also bought goats, since I thought it’d be neat to have a source of dependable income/food. Went and hired 7 milk maids, 8 shepherds, 30 regular bobs and 20 mercenaries as guards; the total manpower of Leu Corp. had extended to include 70 people and 300 goats. The goats grazed out East of the city, all the workers under the watch of my followers. Sultan Babik listened to our account on the fall of Khemryte and asked if we could help get one of his wizards into the Northward city of Rambutan, where a gate spell would be cast and his operators would be able to move freely within the cities with much less risk of death, as the Blooded Triumvirate did not yet send patrols within their own city.
His terms were clear; he was sending us because we were (self) acclaimed fighters, but also because we were foreigners. On the off chance we failed dismally there would be no connections to the city of Bazista and the two cities would still be able to maintain their state of lesser war. The justification was simple. They kept raiding the various farms and villages around Bazista and should the two cities ever formally go to war [the triumvirate claimed the attacks were by unaffiliated bandits], Bazista would be able to threaten destruction on the Blooded Triumvirate despite their military inferiority.
We took the time to prepare for our next task, learning all we could. Rambutan was mainly populated by Orcs, and all of these Orcs had a levy system as government. The government would be drafted from the military which in turn was only ever drafted from the citizens when the city went to war. As long as the Blooded Triumvirate remained divided and the actual positions in the Triumvirate remained vacant, the Orcs would not attack Bazista in any sense greater than the individual ambitions of certain warbands.
The pseudo-city was a collection of mercenaries and such, so it was possible that we could sneak our way in without getting slaughtered, but there was still a high risk of orc warbands trying to rob/murderhobo us on the way there. In short, they had the mindset of a PC and would happily attack a random group of well-armed strangers if they appeared to have anything valuable at hand.
Once there all we would need to do is plant some scrying bugs which the squishy court wizards could use to study the area and teleport in, and that’s when we would travel back via gate, collect our pay and bugger off to our own ends. Personally I had my eye on buying out the entire cheese industry of Bazista, as my goat trade was running at a loss until they started multiplying – cheese was big business. Leaving in the night to give a good impression, our party of 5 travelled by camel with Hasan [I tripled his pay for as long as the task would require, if he would also act as an interpreter for us] in the night since we could handle Bazista cold better than Bazista sun.
We went northwards over the gradual change of terrain. The roads disappeared shortly after we burned down a bandit camp, the ratio between grass and desert slowly tipping in favour of the inhospitable latter.
The only problems we had to deal with were not getting lost in the dunes [which wasn’t a problem when we caught sight of the mountains] and the local fauna, which was a bit of a pain. An orc patrol, well-armed, caught up with us at dawn. We casually all got off our camels with weapons in hand, and started hailing the patrol as they circled around us.
At the very least, they weren’t attacking.
Their leader got down and started speaking in orcish, and bought that we weren’t Bazista easy enough. But he also wanted my hat.
And that’s how we got into a fight with 15 Orcs.
Abraxes and Othello tanked the worst of the fighting, literally tearing apart Orcs [causing Hasan to lose san, as he was the druid equivalent of a gardener]. And here’s where I started having fun. I cast shocking grasp on Agamemnon, who began floating as one quite literal thunderous cloud of butterfly towards the lead Orc.
He survived, but began fleeing after seeing Cassus dispatch the last surviving Orc of his squad. I decided to help him along by summoning a butterfly swarm – and here’s the neat thing, a swarm will attack the nearest living thing for as long as the spell lasts. The spell lasts for as long as you keep concentration. And since butterfly swarms did no damage, there would be no way they would ever kill the Orc or stop swarming it…
We found our way to their city following this Orc, who promptly collapsed after much running. We took him with us since leaving him out in the sun would be tantamount to death, dropped him off at the entrance with one of the scrying bugs pinned to the inside of his brigandine’s plates and were directed by the guards towards the immigration customs for humans.
Everything went surprisingly well. All it took for us to get citizenship was joining a mercenary band and that was as easy as well. We even got pay for our time there.
That was until I got the message from Manager Solomon saying that everyone but him had been captured by the Sultan, and images of us arriving at the Blooded Triumvirate were being used as proof of the mercenaries recruiting murderers and saboteurs from Khemryte to prepare an invasion of Bazista.
Now sure, the Triumvirate weren’t the nicest folks around. They didn’t become the Blooded Triumvirate by being soft on Politik, but we felt pretty dicked over and they stole all of my goats and had my people scheduled for execution. We immediately destroyed every scrying bug we had, with the exception to the Orc we could no longer find. The Sultan had declared war on the Blooded Triumvirate, and it turns out Bazista was not as militarily inadequate as we were led to believe.
The mercenary bands were called to assemble, as the leaders of the 3 greatest factions were about to announce the formation of Government.
The first thing they did was announce the previous 3 greatest faction generals had been assassinated and fires had sprung up in the food silos. Theodore cast tongues on Cassus, and Cassus stood atop a box to start riling the crowd up, Hasan translating for the rest of us.
‘The Bazista did this! Sultan Babik wishes us to fight amongst ourselves, divided and weak. Even now a Bazista army marches to our Mountain! Our Fortress! This day we are at war with the Bazista, this day our weapons will be drawn and on this day the Bazista will know we are willing to pay the price for freedom. Who will march with me, and who will make these warmongers know fear?’
He was also using inspire courage to get everyone feeling fearless and ballsy, but in the end it didn’t make much of a difference – everyone was out for blood. As if he couldn’t get any ballsier, he pointed his sword at the generals and asked if they were with him.
Cassus had pissed off one of the generals, who was now calling out Cassus to fight.

Theodore cast true strike on him before Cassus lodged his sword straight through the Warlord’s neck with a critical strike. Othello saved his life with a lay on hands, earning his favour – unintentionally bringing the opposition into our influence by just being a nice bloke. Cassus didn’t stop there, rolling to intimidate the warlord, it bloody worked. He told him to get back in line before he honoured him further by allowing him to shed more blood for the cause.
Abraxes and Othello raised their swords to Cassus, and just as soon others followed suit. Leukos was a bit pissed, since the plan was only to get the Blooded Triumvirate to create a distraction big enough to try and break into the Bazista prison and rescue the prisoners. Now he was self-proclaimed Emperor. A minor deviation from the plan…

Both sides tried attempting diplomacy; both sides accused the other of starting the war. The Sultan brought 300,000 soldiers, the Blooded Republic brought its 60,000 best. Even so, most of the Sultan’s soldiers were pissed scared with Babik’s 2000 elite having to be posted all down the line to keep moral high and the lines held firm.
Both sides traded arrows, with neither side succeeding in breaking the other’s lines.
Wizards from Bazista rained havoc on the thin lines, and once they had expended their deadly arsenal retreated to the safety of the advancing horde.
Theodore and I helped devise two plans to help defeat the enemy.
The first was mine; it was to get the Blooded Wizards to summon spider swarms and use gusts of winds to blast sand and spiders into the eyes of the advancing Bazista.
The second was to have 50 invisible Orc warriors ambush the Bazista general and kill him with alchemical fire.
Needless to say, everything went just as planned.
With the centre and left wing portions of the Bazista army being held off by the spider winds, the professional mercenaries descended on the right wing and began killing. Looking to their leader for help, the Bazista found that their high command was very flammable and flailing in pain whilst 50 elite Orc warriors charged them in the rear.
The Blooded forces continued their onslaught until they had fully circled around to face the fractured Bazista army, laid out in a quivering column that was already falling apart.
The survivors broke and fled back, pursued by Orc camelry which made havoc of their forces. When they reached Bazista’s gates, they found them locked out from within by the human mercenary infiltrators led by Abraxes and Othello.
Caught between two armies, the Bazista army surrendered. Cassus ordered all of their wizards to be executed.
The first thing I did was go to the prison to rescue everyone. The second thing I did was arm everyone for the assault on Babik’s palace, there was something important I had to do.
I went to the Bazaars and told them the war was lost and yet Babik hid in his tower, saying if they would join me I would be able to protect them. Seeing my mob of 60 [some of my lot had died in their capture], people started flocking on my march to the Palace.
I repeated my use of the shocking butterfly swarm to take out the archers behind their fortifications, whilst the mob started battering the gate down with a ram.
Once the door was ajar, Agamemnon surrounded the garrison Captain and delivered a touch of idiocy spell, causing the defenders to flee from the brain-eating vermin. They threw down braziers full of burning coals on their retreat, forcing Agamemnon back. Once the gate crashed down however, the wall of fire was nothing a well-placed kettle of alchemical fire and a gust of wind couldn’t fix. The fires in the hallway were put out, and a brand new one started in the midst of the garrison.
The angry mob did most of the rest of the work, some looted whilst others hid their family in the more secure rooms and hallways. I sent Hark with 30 of my soldiers to take my flag, which had a continual flame spell cast on it, and keep it hoist high atop the palace in the place of the Sultan’s flag.
Then I looked for the Sultan.
Babik was out looking down from the balcony, surprised at the sudden uproar. He kept asking me what had happened, and who was I.
All I wanted to know was where he put my goats.
Two of my soldiers died taking on his bodyguard, but it was 20 warriors against 3.
The rest of Bazista was looted whilst everyone inside the Palace was relatively safe, since we kept a helpless Babik tied out front to let everyone know it was already captured.
We got Babik to sign the capitulation papers before being executed, most of the court was executed and in their stead my followers were put in power. Bazista had essentially been turned into a client state to the Blooded Republic, but hey – I was on top. And I had all the goats, thousands more than I had before, I even got a Half-Orc cohort Abdallah who escaped the fall of Khemryte [the DM OOC told us that the RNG had created him with the motivation of having encountered mummies before and wanting to see their destruction, it was too good to ignore]. Cassus disbanded the government once the war was over and rogue Bazista wizards had been accounted for. While I didn’t step down as being ruler, I didn’t spend that much time actually being a ruler – delegating most of that to by followers.
After we had left, we had a mostly positive effect on the area. Since the Triumvirate had essentially been usurped by a mythical leader no one really recognized, a military dictator who used the title of ‘Kasos’ was installed, and under his reign the Blooded Republic ceased being effectively isolationist and started looking outwards for more things to conquer now that they had subjugated their neighbour. Not good. Bazista had had a fair few of its most able-bodied men killed in the battle of the Bloody Desert, but with generous donations from Leu Corp. mercenary bands from the Bloody Republic were hired to guard the city from other mercenary bands and to provide a helping hand to the people. Slightly better. To help with the rebuilding and to avoid getting bogged down in internal politics we hitched a ride on my newly acquired private fleet of 2 sailing ships loaded with salt [our party pooled our wealth at my promise of profit], letting the Bazista fleet sail off to Kosfreya for Serrano iron [and also mention that a Kosfreyan is King now] or join us to acquire wealth in the name of the state from the South Michaelans and legitimise our state.
My only regret of what happened there was that we never really did find out what happened to the Orc we bugged.
We arrived at the city Kyr, hoping that in our record of destroying two city states in a row that perhaps a fully formed nation state would be able to withstand our shenanigans.
Offloading the salt for Saffron I strode out with Cassus, we two fine high-Cha figures in our royal robes flanked by the rest of our party. The leader in Kyr was only some kind of minor Lord and not the head of the nation, so we offered him some fine wine and planned to move on. Othello didn’t feel particularly unlucky that day, which was odd considering when he handed one of the Kyr people the blessed holy symbol of Horkos it burned into her hand.
That was when we learned to fear the negative level.
Two weeks after we began our vampire hunt, an army of 180 heavy dragoons showed up demanding to know why much of Kyr was burnt down and why the Kyr Garrison was defending us. Othello first answered by blessing the water at their feet. Othello began explaining [as during the paranoia of the vampire-hunts the survivors and party rallied around Othello] the events of the vampire hunt. Othello had restored new faith in the frugal Kyr peoples seeing as most of the Priests of Agnus were killed or replaced by vampires deliberately sabotaging their holy work. The vampires had infiltrated much, but the people were still numerous and paranoid enough to force them back into the metaphorical underground. As much people as possible were rounded up into the former Lord’s palace, there we coordinated the hunt. The remaining true priests of Agnus found new service alongside Othello in training the first warrior-priests of the slaughtered lamb – the first lesson in being how to bless water.
We went out as a party, securing areas of the city section by section. The gates were soon under the control of priests, not long after that the docks too. Nothing entered or left without making them known.
The tens of thousands who did their business as usual, didn’t do their business as usual. Panic started getting spread and people started burning down houses of suspected vampires. At the worry of innocents being killed by overzealous scared people, high priest Trivedi asked for Othello’s help in judging the witch hunters. Those found were imprisoned beneath the Palace until they were no longer insane/under the influence of vampires, or until they repented or were found guilty of vampirism. That isn’t to say that Othello’s hunters refrained from burning down a house or two when it was confirmed that vampires were within, but it always carried the risk of spreading the fire so this was only done on high-threat targets.
Our party became involved whenever the situation became less-than black and white, like where vampires had created a Fortress across entire streets of houses populated by enthralled and charmed people, who were essentially innocent, albeit lethal bystanders.
That was one such time where firebombing was acceptable. We drove out the people we could, right into the holy rain. Othello was reading out scripture from Horkos’s book of ‘fuck your zombie shit’ whilst we tried our best to nonlethally take on the confused bystanders, and Othello went baptismal on them – simultaneously blessing them, healing them and punching them into unconsciousness.
Then the Head Vampire came out shrouded in a magical darkness to promptly wreck our party. It was too powerful or else the DM was just being too smart with a Vampire Wizard for us to destroy, but once it ran out of its weird shadow it was forced by the sun into a nearby house it tore the door from.
We all readied our water and fire to smoke it out and finish the job when 6 devil lemurs surged out. They were dealt with easy enough, each being fairly weak to sufficient application of weapon. Another devil came through, this one more composed, much larger and armed with a wicked glaive.
At this point we were really sick of the Vampire’s shit; Theodore used his last prepared spell to encase the devil in ice. Ice it broke through with its barbed and tentacled face.
Right in time for three swords a halberd and a dagger to embed in it.
Othello had the honours of blessing the house before setting it on fire, pulling the vampire’s corpse out of the ashes and into the sun.
This led up to our party returning to the Palace looking more dead than alive, recovering in time to burn down the last confirmed vampire’s den the next day – and find our 180 friends just in time to watch the fireworks and see the unliving proof in what was smoked out. All told, we didn’t actually wreck this city. And so we left as happy as you could after a san smashing loss fest, personally blessing every ship in the dock, watching them set sail [my own included] at long last.
We brought along 50 followers, with the rest left behind to train more priests and paladins to clean up whatever remnants of the vampires might be left and to help keep the city from descending into evil, just to keep us company alongside the Dragoons.
We gave our gifts to the Regent Alexandrina Michaelis [a polished mirror added to our list of gifts… Just in case] recommended she consider having a stringent search of her lands for other parasites holding office and worked out treaties allowing free travel between our states and protection of one another’s holy folk [sneakily getting our city state recognised by a powerful country]. The plot thickened when she asked that we join her on her talks with the King of North Michaelis.
Of course we obliged, and set off having bought more gifts for yet another monarch. Othello and Cassus traded philosophy with the conglomeration of holy men whilst the rest of us talked about the deal between North and South Michaelis. There was no real bad blood between the two nations, having been separated long ago when an old King split the land in two for his two children, culminating in a long lasting friendly rivalry between them.
We got good old fashioned RPing going, a nice break from having to constantly be worried about getting bitten by evil critters. Leukos even managed to slip in a plausibly deniable quip about Bazista being unable to join any pacts or unions with the Michaelan nations for as long as it was a protectorate of the Blooded Republic. The Northern King Obdan wanted to know if he could count on either state’s southern troops to aid him in joining the Mauryan Empire in repelling the Aurous Horde. Apparently they had completely destroyed 4 cities already – only 5 cities were known to have been destroyed almost overnight before, only one of the four was Khemryte. They demanded total surrender and gave no mercy to those who resisted, so King Obdan stressed the importance of winning. The Aurous Horde had not yet been defeated once in battle, yet they were simultaneously at war with the Dyrovo tribes, the Da Sen, the Conscious, the Mauryan Empire, North Michaelis and the Red Sun Assassins. And against all of that – they were winning. There was no use invading their lands, as the wide open plains meant their armies could outmanoeuvre all invaders and kill them off one by one. Their cities could be moved in a days’ notice, and if the allies did nothing one by one their border cities would be eroded into submission.
There were three great tribes within the Aurous Horde, being held together by their so-called Great Runner Etrus. Theodore was the one to ask the question; if we cut the horde’s head off, would the invasions stop? And so we had our newest goal in mind. All notions of being Kingly were abandoned as I joined my party again, in a glorious adventure through Desert Valley. Our party moved by day atop a Mauryan elephant, shaded beneath a giant awning attached to a howdah.
. Our weirdest encounter was seeing the Necropolitan Theatre, a massive city-wide stage atop a mountain where a legion of skeletons did the skeleton dance and made awesome musics, directed by the Composer Lich Azhwarh and flows of negative energy.
The Composer Lich turned our Paladin into a literal statue [after trying to be a Paladin] and requested us to listen to his pieces. Azhwarh himself was a pretty cool lich; he had his bones dipped in aururum so that they reformed whenever some wandering Paladin hacked them apart. The amount of negative energy in the place also played havoc with the weather, turning him into a giant lightning conductor. Cassus managed to convince him with Leukos’s aid that we had to leave, to spread news of how great Azhwarh’s theatre was, and so he let us go West with our Paladin statue who we were told would be fine in time.
The Assassin city was less of a city and more of a network, underground tunnels and ringed with towers poking through the neighbouring mountains. The Red Sun found us first, though I guess you could only be so stealthy riding an elephant.
The assassins refused to give their names, but if they didn’t seem trustful of us they did at least accept that a King was amongst them [although a poor King, one without rings]. They were also highly worried about the newly formed Blooded Republic that had only a mountain between it and Desert Valley, so they didn’t wish to fully commit to the assassination of Great Runner Etrus who marauded a world away. They did aid us by giving us help in the form of 3 lowly assassins and the instructions to give to alchemists and construct the tools to find and dispatch Etrus ourselves, which was a plus.
We went southwards from there, moving through the valley on our elephant to return to Bazista.
On our way we were ambushed by Khemrysian undead and mummies, but we were clad in new armours and equipped with more skills than when we last fought. Abdallah however got his first chance to be excessively violent to the creatures that originally evicted him. Theodore cast hold monster on the last mummy we saw. Abdallah hewed it from its shoulder to its armpit, removing its single remaining arm. And that’s when I got the idea of capturing this armless mummy. We roped it onto a pole we kept well behind the elephant as we marched on, putting it in a box when it refused to keep walking. We named him Abaddon. In the next few days Theodore helped me message my various followers to gather at the Bazista Red Palace for my return.
Abdallah and Solomon were entrusted with keeping the Mummy box beneath the palace, with guards rotated around the clock to avoid the unease they felt in its presence from driving them to insanity.
The Kosfreyan diplomat was a fair bit of a surprise. He came on behalf of Executive Eukoplon, who sought to have an audience with us in Kosfreya. We stocked up on potion and equipment [finally getting a ring worthy of a King, a ring of sustenance] before giving the alchemists their orders and preparing to depart.
My private fleet had grown to accommodate 3 sailing ships and 1 galley, Leu Corp.’s flagship the Venture, and after loading up on salt once more set out for the Motherland. Eukoplon was bemused, Kosfreya was a democracy and yet a monarchy sought to expand it further. Thankfully they weren’t regicidal to even the most foreign of Kings, so were more than willing to accept a Kosfreyan one that promised success. Leukos and Abraxes proposed greater trade through the Narrow Sea by constructing a canal system in Kosfreya, as well as allowing us to construct new city states along the coast of Old Khemryte to allow safer trade with the East, with Bazista.
The allied Empires were still withstanding the brutal attacks of the Etrus’s armies, but at their homes unrest grew as their men and boys were sent to fight horrors. There were rumours of the Aurous Horde literally piling up skulls of the slain in front of towns yet to fall.
In the weeks that followed, we temporarily split up OOC and IG. As a result Othello went around Serrano seeking to strengthen ties between the Horkos Paladins of the West and the Agnus Clerics of the East, Cassus and Abraxes oversaw development of Kosfreya [Abraxes even replacing the Master of Economy] and Leukos and Theodore helped create the new trade cities of Iryor and Menkator.
Unbeknownst to the rest, we had also established a Fortress on the ruins of old Khemryte. The ruins formed a great sunken crater in the ground; in this crater water from the systems flooded the lower levels – giving the perfect breeding grounds for the mushroom people, the myconids to flourish. A few wizards, many workers and labourers toiled to construct a great series of towers and walls surrounding and enclosing Khemryte, damming the rivers that once flowed through and from it with rock and Fortress. The cost was immense, but I subsidized it with funds given by Kosfreya for the construction of the two trade cities. I seriously considered the worry that the myconid would pose a threat to the world; even with their aversion to the sun their spores could travel far. So the walls grew tall, fully enclosing it in a strong dome fit with artificial day/night cycles.
Inside the ring of walls another Fortress was constructed, and this Fortress would become the first facility for the military branch of Leu Corp:
Leu Korps.

Theodore set up the Wizard Talks ltd. Company and began preparing various outposts from Serrano to Michaelis, for commercial to political use, for the royals and the peoples. Various methods were available; dreamers carried complex messages, wizards running in shifts to employ dreaming rods of transmission to dreaming beds of reception, holed up in the most secure Forts of the land’s governments. For those who needed to contact a specific person, a crystal ball with a whispering enchantment.
And for the economical, express pigeon.
Back in Bazista, all the mercenaries who weren’t bought out by Marshal Hark were slaughtered in a mountain Impasse by terrible fiends whilst on route to Michaelis for unknown reasons. With the majority of surviving Blooded mercenaries flying the burning colours of the Butterfly King, it wasn’t long before Bazista coin and the Half-wing flag ruled the city of Rambutan.
As a matter of principle I rarely used my powers. A sorcerer may be able to do away with subtlety, but the more your power is known the more likely it is that some upstart wizard will cater themselves a skill set designed to take you down. Teleport however, was just too good to not use, occasionally if not frequently.
I oversaw meetings and gift trading with the allied Empires whilst collective researchers, wizards and scientists worked to develop technological and magical advances for Leu Korps
To avoid affecting the myconid population residing in ruined Khemryte, their spores were collected without conflict while the breeding program began in bunkers underground. Soldiers in Leu Korps Practiced war and weapons against myconids bred to be targets.
And as much as they were targets, they were being moulded to become Leu Korps’ weapons.
Underground stockpiles started forming, poisons and chemical gases; bunker 14 housed the captured mummy that now evil clerics experimented to harness its curse for dispersion.
Eventually Leu Korps’ own production began to be so good at producing product that soon evil adventurer groups were being hired by guys who knew guys who knew a long list of people who didn’t exist who supplied them with potent curses and venoms for dear prices.
Trade began with the Imperium to the West, and thanks to their guarantee of safety for our trade ships, Leu Corp. ships were able to supply the Warped Wheel cities with grain at five silver pieces a pound. The Preyart League which had hoped to starve the Warped Wheel into defeat subsequently looked for desperate alternative means to ending their war, desperately needing to open their trade routes uncontested once again in the East and the seas of the South. Alternative means provided by Leu Korps.
Insanity mist delivered a terrible blow to the Warped Wheel populations, giving plenty of patients for Leu Corp.’s Bedlam to treat. The profit from the arms race started between the Preyart League and the Warped Wheel funded the Holophito Imperative.
When our party got back together, everyone could tell something was afoot. Othello had done more than being just a cultural diplomat, he wouldn’t say just what though. The same was with Abraxes, Cassus and of course us. Nonetheless, we continued as normal. The Alchemists had produced scrying balls from which a team of spellcraft technicians [Theodore and Leukos included] would search for Etrus. We found him and teleported in, close enough to the target. Our party of 5 were joined by the 3 assassins who said we should wait for the signal before attacking. All of us bar the assassins were armed with shock javelins the alchemists had made, each one acting as a lightning bolt from its activation. Cassus and Abraxes carried two javelins each, Leukos and Othello one each. Theodore readied his own thunderbolt spell.
>Othello was reading out scripture from Horkos’s book of ‘fuck your zombie shit’
The assassins disappeared out of view. We were going to launch our salvo when 3 gargantuan fiendish centipedes rose from the ground to attack the Aurous Horde. Centaurs; we were fighting centaurs. A vast horde of centaurs was waking up. Now was our time to strike, Etrus was firing from his bow into the fiends with his bodyguard, leaving himself vulnerable enough to give us good odds. It was somewhat sad the manner in which Etrus was blown apart in a round, but lightning was very visible in the dark and the centaurs now sought to kill us so we didn’t dwell on the philosophies of cheap kills. True to the cheapness, we teleported back out, but the assassins were gone. Othello just said we were better off with them horribly dead at the hands of the Horde. They were evil, and he had found out a secret of their history – that they had to have murdered someone in their past to become one of the Red Sun. So he began regaling to us of how he had founded the Bull’s Oath Company, dealing in anti-scrying magics. One of the first things he found out was that the Red Sun Assassins had been spying on him. He started gathering an army to destroy them when he realized they were entirely populated by murderers who had a penchant for killing all good judges around the world.
Zhelekut inevitables flocked to the Desert Valley to destroy the secret city of murderers. South Michaelis was divided in an uproar of revolutions after its armies were destroyed with the blunting of the second sons of Etrus, with all but one city becoming independent. One such city was gathering veteran pilgrim fighters, flying the Ram’s head of the slaughtered lamb. Othello didn’t deny his involvement. When he took command of the pilgrims and they listened, we were certain he planned this.
We agreed to help him and I pledged some Leu Korps soldiers to the effort [if I couldn’t have them as trading partners I could still loot their stuff]. There wasn’t much of a fight; the assassins fled in numbers with whatever they could take with them. We let the Zhelekut set off most of the traps, taking the assassins’ valuables for study or destruction. There were a multitude of poisons discovered including the means to produce them, alongside quite a few magical items that were too dangerous to peddle so they joined the Leu Korps stockpile. The city itself was cleansed and repurposed as a good city of law, where warring nations and feuding individuals would come to settle their conflicts.
Considering how I had taken most of the stuff that remained, the assassins assumed I was the one behind their destruction. Literally every week someone tried to kill me. The attempt that takes the cake for me was the time after I foiled the assassins placing poisons in my food with food tasters. What happened was, since they couldn’t poison my food with assassins, they put assassins in my food. Yuan-ti kept jumping out of my cake. This is why we couldn’t have cake anymore.

Moving on, killing Etrus had deprived the Horde of a capable general, but it hadn’t fractured the horde as much as we had hoped. Up North two cities from the Conscious had been captured by a splinter group of the Aurous Horde, three Da Sen cities were captured and two defected. Closer to home, the Mauryan Empire was split in two with the heart completely razed and was now full of the undead remnants of four armies and two cities.
The rebuilding process began with the Mauryan Empire and North Michaelis forming a union between the two to counter the new republican threat rising in the South, which had now deposed Regent Alexandria by virtue of chopping block.
Othello was a fair bit pissed.
Othello used this opportunity to expand the Slaughtered Lamb territory into republican lands & Kosfreyan soldiers raised their flag atop the maritime city Dram. Thoughts of expanding further into Michaelis were somewhat shunted by the First Consulate preparing to die down to the last man, so Othello decided to try and get all to broker peace between the Michaelis-Mauryan Empire [M&M’s] and the republicans. As Othello was doing that, Leukos and Cassus sent an expeditionary Kosfreyan force to keep the peace between the Preyart League and the Warped Wheel by taking over their cities, the Preyart League being entirely absorbed by Kosfreya and the Imperium. Leu Korps soldiers increased in strength, growing in numbers and completed their first proper live siege against a full-strength enemy by taking over an island state in the East, subjugating a Dyrovo tribe.
Abraxes also arranged a union between the Kosfreyan Empire and Serrano, forming the Serrano-Kosfreyan Empire. I sent my fleet eastwards to explore and conquer more land and our party joined together for war once again. The galley ‘L.C. Venture’ sailed to the Devil’s Reef to destroy the aquatic elf settlement, ending their civilization. The elves swam out to meet us, presuming we were either lost or stupid. Leukos gave the order to drop the lightning charges once the elves were climbing up the sides of the ship. The ship’s onager launched a half-dozen lightning charges into the density of their town, toppling towers and walls fashioned from moving or dead white corals. The elite 49 of Leu Korps joined us in descending the waters, each of us having 2 hours until our water breathers ran out of time. Attacking from the low ground, we had to make use of cold suits to avoid getting worn down by the chilly waters on our assault.
Leu Korps soldiers armed with telekinetic hand-muskets launched force beads explosively into the sole pack of Chuul the elves sent to remove us. The force beads were expensive, so the rank and file elves were taken out with javelin launchers. The elves tried ambushing us but sunrods attached to our weapons effectively ended their hopes. When we reached the coral, the town itself began fighting back. Leu Korps operators were grabbed by venomous tentacles and hewn in half by serrated corals, their bodies floating up to the surface with all their equipment attached after the contingency freeze spell activated – having the side effect of killing the corals that killed them.
The aquatic elves were all fleeing from us, so we only had to kill the ones that couldn’t escape [mostly the sick and old, right out of sight from Othello] and the looting began. Treasure from so many looted ships was wrapped up, frozen and floated up to the surface with a scrying token not unlike the ones we used to gather the dead. The prize was a map of the world and its waters we had to cut out of the coral and haul up by rope. This wasn’t of use to anyone else, not even me at the time. But the great trench even the Elves didn’t have knowledge on intrigued me. My plans had to be fortified.
Leu Korps operators kidnapped Orcs and Half-Orcs from across the known world in exotic lands. They matured quickly, learned quickly and I fully expected to be able to start raising my own army of loyal soldiers and builders, fully committed to the ideals of raising our nation to the fullest extents of glory and more. More closer to the present, the destruction of the elf settlement was concluded with charges covered in explosive runes placed everywhere around the dead coral reef for any elf that wished to return.
Officially the attack had no casualties on our side, as I was more than willing to resurrect the fallen, finding the cost of the diamond by harvesting the pearl and coral from the reef to bring them back. A few of them kept having recurring hallucinations and nightmares, experiencing their deaths again and again. Luckily Leu Corp.’s psychiatrists had become experienced enough from the Warped Wheel patients to actually help, and they were given the good drugs and magics to help recover.
I discussed with Theodore about the rift on the map, the black abyss where nothing could go. It was an ocean trench, impressed in a recessed pit, with the pressure of three worlds over strangling the light out of its depth. I showed my plans to the DM; he said it was ok, for as long as I could actually do it. I didn’t doubt that he would make it difficult to say the least. Leu Corp. spread by establishing Maritime trade cities along the cost of the Ilsene forests, where it was deemed taking over the natives would be non-profitable. They were populated by elves, and the mercenary loggers Leukos hired to cut down their hundred meter high trees were attacked by warriors writhing with muscle, armoured in bone and tearing into their ranks with club and tooth. Fortunately they were also quite capitalist, and were more than willing to get rich trading livewood with the commodities from Leu Corp. to their south and the metals of the Altswerps Mountains to the north. The loggers were instead sent to the Malapo rainforests even further north.
Unfortunately they disappeared too, so after Othello was done converting the Conscious to the influence of the slaughtered lamb [trading psions for paladins and clerics to fight the Aurous Horde]; we set out to stop a BBEG from taking over the world. Cultists of the Flensed Quarry were spreading themselves throughout the world. This was especially alarming as cells of cultists were appearing within our borders too. The Holy were finding members of their congregations disappearing for weeks on end, returning covered in self-inflicted wounds and mutilations.
The Imperium worked with us to find who was behind this self-destructive philosophy. Every now and then a leader was found and a pitched battle would ensue, with the cultists fleeing for as long as they could. When Abdallah captured one leader alive, he was brought to a Leu Korps bunker for interrogation. It was just that, no torture or anything. Even had priests tend to his self-inflicted wounds. This caused him to become very distressed, as it turned out they were trying to create their own god who grew more powerful the more its followers bared wounds and were hunted. With this knowledge the Imperium offered help for defectors and sent all who continued to hold its creed to the fighting pits [broadcasted by Wizard Talks Company ltd. to numerous empires]. Othello extended a hand of help to all of those who would take it, reforming those who he called out as defiling the sanctuary they had once been. Leu Korps just abducted their members, using chemical lobotomies to cease their worship.
There were a few close calls where Othello nearly found out about Leu Korps’s illegitimate weapons dealings, when cultists showed up well armed with weapons procured from associates of Leu Korps, one even carrying weapons with the Red Sun on it. Believing there to be Red Sun assassins nearby, Othello had the order of the slaughtered lamb search for leads. When Cassus began helping him I was legitimately worried, Theodore agreed and said we might have a problem. We didn’t feel like murdering some holy folk just trying to find some murderers, so instead every time they interviewed someone or began searching for someone Abdallah made them disappear. To distract them, we also seeded the areas they searched with insane vampires to explain the disappearances. The only clue they had was that there was someone called the Privateer who could sell you any weapon for a price. I even helped somewhat in the investigation just to make sure I didn’t have competition, and sure enough it was me I was looking for.
I had the last Flensed Quarry preacher interned in Leu Corp. Bedlam, ending the threat.
So we went back to helping the Da Sen break their deadlock with the Aurous Horde. Theodore and I also began expeditions to other planets via a gate artefact we had recovered from the alien skeleton of some ancient leader buried beneath an abandoned monolithic fortress. Our most risky experiments were carried out on a planet full of Kender. They seemed pretty friendly, but after they tried stealing bits of Agamemnon and tried stealing my peoples’ coin [in every single bloody Kender village we visited] I felt that it would be all right to start testing on them the components of the Holophito Imperative.
The Holophito Imperative found its first live non-kender action against one of my greatest enemies in the form of the Seven Tables Empire, run by a giant brain. I thought, surely a brain in a jar would be able to appreciate the pursuits of profit? Nope, it tried to dominate my will. This was a clear evil, yet it was at the head of an Empire and war with it would be devastating to global profit. And they employed brainwashing on a scale never before seen in this world [I didn’t brainwash the captive orcs, I raised their children. That’s different]. I had a major moral qualm with spells like charm person and dominate, which was a line I wouldn’t cross.
The first attack began with Operation Storm Rouge, clouds of sterilized blossom swarms raining down on their capital. The surface guards desperately cast whatever spells they could, rallying around their distinctly Cthulhu-headed masters [sign of pure fucking evil, destroy with genocidal prejudice]. In the confusion Operation Morewort was carried out, Orcwort plants delivered outside their doorstep. The Brain and its defenders set the whole skies on fire with the sheer volume of magic spells, but both sides knew this was only the beginning.
Assassin vines coated the roads, giving us time to replace their fields of corn with fields of needlefolk. Tendriculos goaded the needlefolk, herding them towards the Brain City. I was surprised by how the needlefolk viciously singled out the elves in the defender’s ranks to the exclusion of all else and noted this for future product development. Once the walls were being breached by roots parting masonry, they started sending out the golems. Adamantine constructs wielding sawblades hacked a terrible path through the plant army until none were left.
On my interrogations with the city-dwellers, I came upon the discoveries that not only were these people under mind-control of their brain government; they actively supported it. And the rulers were quite literally eating their brains.
I had Hasan and his druids corral Battle Briars into attacking at dusk, removing the golems with a single wave of powerful plants. It wasn’t nearly enough to destroy them all, but it allowed Wortlings to spill into the city and drag its defenders out. Every person killed and captured was one less brain THE Brain had to feed its spawn with. The Wortlings pursued the defenders underground, none returned. Our Party was also at the same time receiving reports from the Imperium that their wizards were scrying on a massive battle going on near their borders, and we politely split the party to continue the peace talks and deal with the war. This left Othello a world away and Theodore ensured that he received no more suspicious news of what was going on.
Night Twist shootlings were sown nearby every major city under the Seven Tables Empire by Operator Druids, their growth hastened whilst the druids retreated.
On the second night the Wortlings recuperated their numbers and the Night Twist Forests began their dreaded song. The inhuman overseers fought with the trees for control over their subjects, the cities moving as one to insanity or the forests. They walked into fields of assassin vines, and those that made it through by sheer volume of mass were strung up by the branches of nighttwists, piercing through their limbs and raising them high and low for the trees to feed.
The siege of their entire Empire continued until every citizen except those Leu Korps interred in bedlam was dead.
The final protocol of the Holophito Imperative was about to take place with the second wave of Wortlings [much less than the last time since many of their trees had been burnt down by a strike force of squid wizard overseers] when Operation Shock and Spore began. Canisters full of weapons-grade myconid spores and myconids were launched into their city by telekinetic catapult with Theodore screening the area to obfuscate the attempts people made to scry on the operation.
The Mandolin strain of Myconids were a vicious creation of Leu Korps druids. They kept the spores from the biggest and toughest myconids, burning the rest.
The day when I got an alarm from the bunker beneath Old Khemryte was the day I knew it was ready.
One of the myconids had successfully broken out of its kennel. When I asked the sole survivor to explain to me how one myconid managed to overpower a garrison of 30 guards armed with alchemical fire, it was a bit grim.
They all became motionless.
Then they took off their gasmasks.
The only thing more promising than this strains ability to affect peoples’ minds was the fact that instead of being timid and pacifistic they were now innately aggressive towards all non-myconid life.
The Wortlings went in, the myconids followed. Once the spores set in only total destruction of the entire area would remove them.

Exactly that happened. Druids released clouds of solution Sefereti, Theodore coordinating wizards to drive the winds’ solution into the plants. Air Marshal Solomon dispersed solution Sefereti from his command blimp via flying charioteers in preparation of the drop troops. Encased entirely in airtight armour and gasmasks [with true-seeing and night vision lenses to boot] collecting and marking sites of wealth. The capital itself was more hazardous, only golems were allowed to go there for the initial collections.
There was the risk of some dangerous myconids surviving underground, and any live soldier that died there would run the risk of having his body decayed beyond resurrection capabilities by solution Sefereti – the mummy’s curse enchanted onto a poisonous mist.
The plants themselves were immune to poisons, but not disease – and certainly not supernatural ones. So it made an effective herbicide. Sadly the golems couldn’t find the Brain, but they did manage to capture the brain’s progeny. Tadpole-like little things we transferred for research into the species of the overseer. As for solution Sefereti, we weren’t sure just how long this much chemical would take to degrade, so we just kept wizards posted around the whole thing to keep the winds blowing it inwards. With the gold generated from the items acquired from the Empire’s remains I began construction of the Absolution on the newly captured pirate city now called Papilion, capital of Leu Corp.
Abraxes, Cassus and Othello meanwhile led the cities occupide by the Aurous Horde into open revolt, the populace taking on the flag of the slaughtered lamb and attacking the garrisoned centaurs. Theodore and I joined them to fill them in on our version of the situation whilst Abdallah and Solomon continued with the work.
After that mess, there was a new major issue in that all the major powers on our world were literally creating gods as weapons of mass destruction. Abraxes and Cassus discussed with representatives from everyone who was anyone important, bringing them to the neutral grounds of the Desert Valley, limiting the domains of gods allowed to be worshipped and the amount of gods to be worshipped in the responsible deification treaty. The greatest fear was that some extremist zealots might be able to will into existence the aid of an omnipotent deity to destroy every population centre on the planet, or will belligerent deities who would bring war onto the other gods, so people switched to more responsible deities that stressed the importance of self-betterment and protecting their sphere/domain. Self-deification was also supposed to be in there, but the Imperials wouldn’t allow that clause since two of their Emperors had already become gods.
Leu Korps continued on their esoteric research projects, expanding in scope to also begin funding private scientists and wizards who seemed as if they could provide promising returns. My favourite Leu Korps project is still project Dave; where we took a convicted murderer called Dave and used him to test what the mirror of opposition does.
The mirror of opposition creates a perfect clone of the person that activates it. This clone then tries to kill the original.
Of course we had to see what happens when you place two mirrors of opposition opposite one another.
Dave exploded, creating a gate to the Dave plane, a plane entirely populated by murderous Daves. Attempts to expand into the Dave plane were not fruitful, so we did the next best thing and created a horn of summon Dave. The Daves were not army material since they killed other Daves, but they did provide bodies.
This gave me currency to trade with the Lich Azhwarh in exchange for aururum. He didn’t have enough aururum to adorn the outer panels, so I offered him half if he would tell me where he acquired it. The rest of the Daves were used in the production of Mohrgs sold to warlords and necromancers of other worlds.
The preparations took a lengthy amount of time, during which Othello kept hiring adventurers to stop the corpse trade being run by my associates. Abraxes went around hiring investigators to keep tabs on both Othello and Leukos’s associates and Cassus began sending spies through all the courts and governments to seek for insidious plots. This forced Theodore and Leukos to plunge our world into darkness, communications filtered and naïve adventurers looking for villains finding themselves face to face with high level casters and barbarians disinterested with their pleas. Any time our party got close to uncovering what was really being run, Theodore diverted the evidence to pointing towards some hapless patsy villain who would find themselves subsequently flooded with angry paladins.
By the time the aururum expedition was ready to begin, I gathered the 4,801 million gold pieces worth of materiel needed for the construction of the body.
That would be only the first 0.005% of the costs.
The planet Ahzwarh sourced his aururum from was a different world now from when he got the metal. Once like ours, some calamity had befallen their world as all living and unliving things were twisted by chaos magic to be in a constant state of mutation. Considering that this magic affected an entire world, Theodore and Leukos agreed that it would be best to establish a gate there on the Kender planet.
We even hired some Kender to go through the gate since they had a natural talent for taking everything that wasn’t bolted down. Leu Korps is an equal-opportunities employer after all. They entered the gate, some of them clinging to the 3 golems sent to help transport any heavy objects and clear the way. From command we could see everything the golems and kender were doing, though commanding the kender was not really possible in any strict sense of the word. They wore full-bodied biohazard suits since Ahzwarh made it sound awfully full of nasty disease, though what disease could affect undead we were yet to find out. The masks were the cheaper disposable ones though, so they only had 4 hours of exploration before they had to get back or else expose their lungs to the local air/die from suffocation. Already an entertaining prospect, we brought along the whole party [and took control of a lvl 1 Kender rogue each] and began exploring. Gravity was a little stronger than on our world, yet it wasn’t that hard to find the aururum – it was floating. Slivers of it drifted like metal dust motes [thank god for the masks], slabs of it oscillated in the air as if it were being attacked by some unknown assailant and the largest blocks spun and reformed, maintaining its symmetry against whatever forces had been acting on it for eternity.
There was every possibility that the suits would not stop the magics that were present on the planet, but they at least brought peace of mind on the little kender. The golems continued moving block after block of aururum through the gate [which was surprisingly quick given that they levitated] and into the disinfectant and divination stalls to make sure they weren’t cursed or blighted.
The ground shifted and pulsed sometimes, its brittle surface cracking and releasing powdered filaments into the air as if it were undergoing some quiet earthquake. Towers of various metals rose and corroded back into the ground unnervingly, our 5 kenders stuck close together. We sifted through mounds [at a prodding stick’s length away] for any surviving magical items and trinkets. This continued until Abraxes’s Kender picked up a green sliver of metal, green and turquoise like copper that has weathered poorly for so long.
It talked to that Kender, telling it to bring it back through the gate.
Our PCs heard everything through the scrying array. The whole planet was whispering for the kender to take the sliver back through the gate. The cracks in the ground gave way to a rising liquid that erupted like geysers, short moments where the dark substance remained aloft betraying an anthropomorphic mirror of the kender, distorted by the effects of gravity back into the ground. In the command centre our PCs lost just a tiny bit of sanity as they noticed that the figures rising and forming from the ground, forming from precipitation in the air – they weren’t just looking at the kender. Somehow, through the scrying – they were looking straight at them, straight at us. Our PCs started sending message after message telling all of the kender to get the fuck out of there. The first kender to die was Othello’s, which tried making friends with a pale creature that rushed towards him on all 7 of its lanky, disjointed limbs. His kender was impaled, held high, its limbs too burst outwards, expanding the creature’s portfolio of limbs to a full dozen.
Leukos and Cassus’s were the next to die, trying to fend it off and flank it respectively. When Cassus struck one of its limbs, the limb broke in two and fused with his arm.
Abraxes’s one imploded, leaving behind a charred humanoid bristling with wandering hairs that left its body and swarmed onto Theodore’s kender.
That creature began its rapid shuffling towards the gate with the sliver embedded in its forearm, kender everywhere were being trapped beneath falling and twisting iron tendrils, barbed hooks dragging them into the gradually softening grounds around them. The stupid things preferred fighting to running, and so the gate was closed. Two golems were lost, all the kender were quite horrifyingly still alive in some primordial form [we had to cut all scrying links off to stop the images from continuing to be transmitted] but the aururum was safe and gathered. Abraxes wanted to know why this material was worth that horror. Nothing was worth that, but it would be ‘needed’ nonetheless to save lives back on our world in finding a cure for the dead zone that mysteriously befallen what was once the Seven Tables Empire [all lies, it just sounded better than saying those kender were damned just to make godly armour].
The blocks were sent off to Papilion alongside massive amounts of livewood imported from the Elf tribes to aid in the construction efforts. Along the way thieves tried stealing the aururum; they were caught and executed by the rope, hung by the arms of a rope golem.
Leu Corp. orphanages and small-schools opened up everywhere; raising the newly-bred Orcs and the numerous orphans across the land [we had an in-joke with the sheer amount of orphan adventurers being a result of these orphanages]. Hospitals, factories and city-centres grew up, manned and learned by vast swathes of human/orc children labouring under the tutorship of skilled mentors. In lieu of highly disturbing kender-warping san loss, we embarked on a ‘normal’ adventure to kill a dragon that had plagued the canals of small time traders for too long.
Marrow, that’s what I think its name was. It resided in the deserts, all the rivers leading to its lair surrounded by fetid waters. It generated clouds of water that rained down through the land, luring merchants towards its maw.
We sailed upstream in a keelboat until we saw it; a great mound of claw and scales resting in the shade of a self-created downpour. Leaving the boat under the watch of Abdallah our party of 5 were going to take on our first dragon.
We neared the mound; it appeared that it had noticed us as we soon began to hear the cries of lamentations of people it had killed. People screaming for their loved ones, their gods and for death too did they scream. Leukos and Theodore set up a javelin battery [chocked full of thunderbolts] to unleash the first strike against the disturbing Marrow, stalwart in the face of this hellish theatre.
A deafening uproar began and ended with the salvo hitting the dragon with such force that the air around it exploded.
This is around the time where we learned that blue dragons were immune to electricity.
We were burning through cure critical wounds syringes like it was the Brandy god’s holiday, the dragon erupting from the sands and waters to fight us one to one, fleeing underground to escape retribution. That was until Abraxes latched on to it.
We waited nervously for one of the two to emerge from the sands, and we were fortunate to find his hand above the sands.
Now, the hand wasn’t attached to anything – but it did mean it could be reattached with some magical surgery later. Abraxes showed up riding Marrow’s left wing by the grasp of his teeth and a dagger, dropping onto the sands as Marrow started fleeing. Teleporting him besides the Keelboat with his hand, the ship’s crew began administering emergency treatment to his wounds [and his hand] as the rest of the party pursued the dragon.
Theodore traded damage spells with Marrow’s lightning, gouging deep scars in its hide. Cassus was calling it the progeny of his left buttock whilst Othello was tanking the horrible strength of its strikes. When Leukos returned with an angered Abraxes, Othello was half-dead, his sword broken, his armour torn open from the midriff and his left cheek shorn off his face by the edge of a claw.
Abraxes bull rushing Marrow’s left rear-leg distracted it long enough for Othello to thrust a jagged piece of adamantine from his broken armour into the dragon’s eyes, cutting smiles into his hands in the process.
Theodore froze its right leg just in time for it to break under the assault and shock of a shatter spell. Cassus drove his sword the ‘organ piercer’ into the rear of the dragon, Abraxes was opening its guts with his spare shortsword and to Marrow’s extreme discomfort Agamemnon was flying inside his skull and setting things on fire. Marrow stopped moving once the metal foot of a paladin dove right into a flaming, bleeding head.
Then the cloud of butterflies flew out.
All in all, it was a good fight.
We all returned home with Leu Corp. workers taking apart Marrow for resources/historical preservation whilst we all rested in the best Leu Corp. hospital, surrounded by family [Abraxes had apparently been spreading his genes far and wide… Fucking fighters] and medics. There was even the old Captain of the Heirocles who couldn’t believe how far we had come [or where we had ran off to]. It was a proper reunion from loads of people coming to congratulate our victory, our party showing off our scars.
And sure enough something had to ruin the peace; Hasan ran into the ward covered in blood asking for Leukos and Theodore to help sort out a problem.
Hasan had tried to breed some of the creatures we found from the Seven Tables Empire before we bombed it to hell, using some sort of larva recovered in underground ruins. We must have done something wrong, as the last surviving larva had simply grown fat, large and started killing all the researchers in Dead-Zone Research post. The good news was that it was trapped inside at risk of being exposed to the disease outside.
That said, it possessed potent psionic capabilities and nearly devoured Abdallah whole. The combined force of two casters launching disintegrate and a whole team of various Leu Korps soldiers levelling t.k.-guns at it removed the last traces of this breeding program. The only last living witness to this alien race even existing not under Leu Corp. influence was the original Brain itself.
Returning from our battle [telling everyone else that we had had to fight with ruinous parasites inside the dragon’s guts] this time general Tallow was the one to see me about deciding what to do with one of the magical items recovered. Along the way I had it explained to me that it had referred to see me by title. The magical item in question had summoned some mysterious figure who insisted that she had a message for the Butterfly King. Divinations confirmed that she was radiating overwhelming amounts of evil, but I don’t discriminate so I gave her audience [she wasn’t carrying weapons].
She came on behalf of the Honey Empress who had heard from the descendants of Agamemnon that there was a great world-travelling King of Vermin, piquing her interest in ways that surely were not healthy.
Messages between the two of us continued to be sent by bee, servant and butterfly as the Honey Empress tried to convince me to buy property on the lower planes. Being sceptical of moving into a rather unpleasant world, I instead opted for cooperation between our Empires; blood honey was distributed off world to foreign planet nations in the prime material plane via Kosfreyan gates, and breaking two birds with one stone prominent adventurers were sent to quest-bait areas [dungeons, caverns and tombs] that were in essence just traps to lead them to soul gems with their names written on them, traded off to the Empress with other poor souls alongside live convicted criminals for honey making and trading. Those that erred too close to uncovering the full extent of the financial affairs of Leu Korps all eventually ended up on a ruby ticket to the lower planes’ markets.
Money really began flowing once my expeditionary forces began harvesting entire worlds for their souls and items, repopulating their husks with Papilion colonists to further exploit the natural resources of each ruin. The Leu Korps security [lovingly dubbed the Goats] had to expand into the hundreds just to deal with the sheer amount of paladins and fiends that kept trying to find out our secrets, it really hampered profits somewhat. Petitioners began appearing one after the other to seek audience with either the Butterfly King or the Privateer, whatever they needed Leu Korps could provide. Some sought loans, others sought to offer enterprise in dealing with their business on a larger scale. Leu Korps mohrgs and golems were highly popular products in Avernus for some reason, netting a nice amount of souls Leu Korps managers kept exchanging for adamantine. Occasionally a powerful adventurer group was captured; those were kept in Vault 27 for research into creating soldiers out of these soul gems.
. In that same vault we kept the kennels, though they weren’t housing ordinary dogs – they housed adventurers subject to a baleful polymorph. Usually they were only there because someone paid us to keep them there [or it’d be cheaper to keep them there], they had some useful information they refused to give us at the moment or they were soon to be processed in some form. There was a reason why there was a dog catcher unit in Leu Corps after all. Sometimes I felt like being in a generous mood and gave low-level adventurer dogs out for adoption in the various Leu Corp. orphanages being run around, so they at least managed to continue doing good even in defeat.
We were all nearing lvl 20, we could tell that all of our machinations were beginning to reach completion. Theodore and Leukos set off alone to find the southern city of Leng whilst everyone did their thing. Alone in an arctic waste we pursued it in the wake of rumours spread by captured cultists on the hopes of finding something *incredibly* valuable to our interests. The geometries of the place were a bit odd, everything was symmetrical yet somehow wrong to our eyes. Standard Leu Korps helmets of true-seeing didn’t make any sense of the place, and still we wandered into this strange place.
We both experienced a different story despite never once remembering leaving the company of the other. Theodore saw before him the Titan Tethys, old mother of the oceans – a demiurge that time forgot. Around her the ruins of Leng began rebuilding, forming a pristine white city once more full of people from ages gone by going about their daily lives under the watch of several suns. Tethys gave Theodore a plain pearl basin, commanding him to spread her blood across the planes to replace the old oceans and give her new dominion, to rebirth fresh new oceans in the seas of stagnancy, seas full of creatures as old as sin. In return he would be granted access to her tomes, gaining insight to her wisdom. He accepted, and was borne out of the city into the arctic wastes by torrents of rising freshwater.
Leukos saw before him the Old One Dagon, the deep one from the cursed abysses of cosmic seas, the precursor to a world without time altogether. Around him the rocks greyed and blackened, warping and falling away and outwards into the empty void of space under the watch of lonely stars and galaxies. Dagon gave Leukos a misshapen hand-mill, carved from the petrified remains of driftwood, it conjured simple salt when wound. Commanding him to use the mill to salt the oceans and give him new dominion, to rebirth new saltwaters in the high seas, seas full of the progeny of toys the Old Ones once forged. In return he would be given a gem; a priceless large dolomite crystal polished to a perfect sphere. Within its grey, swirling rock, images of the worst atrocities to have ever happened or yet to happen burned themselves into the minds of the viewer. Priceless however, was still priceless.
Leukos easily held his ground to this crystal’s mental assault until he saw himself laughing over so many burning people, mountains of burning people, swarms of butterflies raining death and lightning onto so many people.
He accepted, and was borne out of the city into the arctic wastes by a cascade of putrid water.
We saw each other just a pace away, the city seemingly gone.

Not knowing what to make of this, we returned home.
Abraxes seemed oblivious to the changes everyone had been through, content with setting up his martial schools and spreading his family. Cassus was unusually silent and walked with bodyguards at all times. Othello wore the new set of armour I had made for him, with his own modifications. The ram’s head of the Agnus orders were besides the Bull’s head of the Horkos orders on his chestpiece. His armour was stained red wherever he had received scars in battle, from outlines of red on his helmet where his cheek was once gone to the dark blotches where blades and talons had run through him. His eyes focused on us all one by one, searching constantly for something we were unaware of. Theodore and Leukos both kept disappearing more often, teleporting away even in the midst of conversations, eventually failing to even bother come up with an excuse.
The harvest of the smallfolk began away from Kosfreyan skies, 7 billion citrines and quartz gems activating as one on a distant planet. Kender, goblins, kobolds, humans and elves – all who failed to resist it were taken up. The end of that world was glorious.
Leu Korps soldiers, clad in their gear looked like vengeful celestials or devils come to reap the world of its souls. Their eyes were obscured by enchanted lenses, their faces unknown beneath terrifying gas masks. Every inch of skin was covered by armour and air-tight survival gear, many of the survivors simply gave up when my soldiers raised their spell-muskets and harvested. It was the single greatest transaction in recorded history, deities and lords from all across the lower planes sent out brokers to give me the materials needed in exchange for even the smallest portion of these souls.
. News of this was impossible to stem, and I supposed I had maybe at best a month before the lawful crusader type folks started tracking down this mass death to the source.
Occasionally some blundering adventurer would return from some other plane or planet and would stumble upon a Leu Korps harvester, telekinetically acquiring all of the gems from the ground. The whole planet was screened for any signs of foreign teleportation; my soldiers did what they could but people still managed to slip through [likely spreading word of the horror happening].
Assassination attempts grew frequenter. I was attacked by the Dashing Gonzalez whilst alone in a Leu Corp. office block. He fought with mechanical gun, firing with astonishing speed [even in spite of the fact that that was the first one Leukos had ever seen], duelling against spellcraft operated wand-rifles and revolvers. Apparently I had killed his father. I killed him too when I used telekinesis to topple a bookshelf on him and sent Agamemnon out to electrocute him to death. The mechanical gun shook me – someone was making weapons evolved from mine, my time as the Privateer was looking to be soon in the past.
General Dickens saved Theodore’s life by setting Theodore’s bodyguards on fire, as they were secretly Tsochar out to steal his body. In reward, Dickens was given his own theatre by Theodore. He retired almost immediately afterwards to run his shows, where he would occasionally be applauded by the spectres of his fallen comrades.
Othello was attacked by a group of inquisitors, who believed him to be behind the recent crimes against all that is good because his products were so coincidentally involved in every one of their thwarted attempts at scrying.
In our last meeting as a whole party, we enchanted our friendship bracers to outlast the ages – for as long as they remained with us, we would never age again.
I suppose it was nice to have one last chance to enjoy this adventure before everything changed for good.
The inquisitor party found themselves in a Leu Korps warehouse, it was almost empty. The lights went off one by one, forcing them to deploy sun rods. Illusions wasted their first attacks, haunts and ghastly hounds flitting in and out of shadows. A cloud of butterflies buffeted them, leaving them in a witless stupor. The lead was completely disintegrated by Theodore; the one that tried to flee was stopped by the barrel held by Leukos. The last three didn’t seem built for fighting, and were pathetically dispatched by Abdallah.
Sighing to himself, Othello left that warehouse and prepared for war.

Othello returned to the red palace with his retinue of warrior-priests and paladins, only 30 of them [hundreds of thousands more were mobilizing in Serrano, Michaelis and Ocrea]. Othello challenged us to prove our innocence by combat, he wasn’t just accusing Leukos and Theodore – he was accusing the entire party but himself. We had an hour to prepare; Othello wouldn’t listen to any of us that this was insanity.
We began the fight, four against one.
Immediately Othello charged and grabbed Theodore by the throat, ignoring the flames and blades that curled around his armour, solely focused on strangling the wizard into unconsciousness. He battered Cassus into defeat with the flat of his greatsword, advancing towards the last two adversaries.
The fight between Abraxes and Othello began in earnest, growing in ferocity until I was certain someone would be killed. That was when I chose to surrender, on the condition that I trade answers and admissions for clemency. I gathered our party together, leaving in a cloud of summoned butterfly swarms that harassed the few people still left in the palace hall harmlessly.
>A single maximised disintegrate cannon was developed and installed at the cost of 2,700,000 gold
>A disintegrate quad gun was also installed at 1,560,000 gold
>A continuous sunburst that could be triggered at will, an additional 2,300,000 gold
>Three chain lightning batteries at 4,500,000 gold
>8 magic missile batteries at 8,500,000 gold
>A resonance engine [Spell turning in conjunction with Shocking grasp and enchanted electricity immunity to create rifts that could allow the Absolution to randomly travel across all the planes, and no one could stop it or plan for it], 9,000,000 gold to make it more reliable and controllable
>An on-demand force shield, an array of divination magic items constantly staffed, partially automated and also directed by golems to search the outsides, direct observation units embedded in the hull and keep the Absolution aware of everything surrounding it even in the absence of windows, 20,000,000 gold [with many costs eliminated from simply owning this equipment beforehand]
>The liberty of the Absolution: Built into the razor’s edge of the prow itself, the Twins of Liberty were only able to fire on whatever was staring down at the glorious ship. The reason was simple; the Twins would destroy any lesser weapon mount when fired. The reward was simple too: 600d6 of damage every round to anything in front of it. Including research costs, installation cost at least 3,003,771,000 gold.
The remaining costs that didn’t get sucked into miscellany were put into the engine.
138,700 maximised continuous telekinesis cells were woven into the ship herself, the ship was an engine of Absolution in even the literal sense of the word.
Just to make sure, I ordered another 138,700 to be fitted.
Absolution couldn’t just cut through the waters like the fastest fat fish in the seas – Absolution could fly, fly through skies and fly through space and fire.
Total costs of the engines: 291,270,000,000 gold.
The total cost of the Absolution, excluding the artifacts, souls of the powerful or valuable held within and also excluding the cost of hiring all the labourers and leading expeditions to gather materials is at least 892,044,450,000 gold. The vast majority of this money had been from the soul trade, the second largest majority being experimental weapons’ trade. Most of the legitimate profits of Leu Corps went into improving the world, so that all the orphanages, hospitals and their ilk weren’t built by blood money.
The only way we would be able to remain as a party of friends is if we parted ways. Othello wanted to put us to trial again, but he was reminded by the various, active weapon batteries aimed at him that he would be wasting effort here.
We would be gone before he could return with reinforcements, with Leukos even threatening to kill Cassus personally if he saw him again for using mind-control magic [I found it too evil, he found me too evil too though so it balanced out] once he admitted to large-scale manipulation of the people through magic.
The Absolution broke free from its hangar, flying out with Leukos and Theodore; Solomon and Abdallah amongst the elite crew to set sail, and we flew the great metal leviathan into the ocean. On our way to our destination we gave the Imperials a firework show before descending beneath the waves, broadcasting the sights via scrying ball to eager watchers. The drowned occasionally appeared amidst their wrecks, baring the marks of great sea beasts. Things with many claws, many teeth and glowing bodies grew more common the deeper we went. Eel things, lobster things, one such creature was nearly the same size as the Absolution – like a hideous sea dragon that had long since atrophied the need for legs, wings or eyes. We kept going deeper, passing the denizens of sunken cities and beholders that needed encouragement to not look on the Absolution for long, going deeper until we reached the trench.
We kept going deeper still, going deeper and deeper until the only things living here were those primordial oozes that stretched across the ocean trench, and the Absolution. The damage reduction from the sheer amount of adamantine meant the Absolution could descend to 40,000 ft safely and descend to 65,000 ft effectively [all without pressurization] – there were no depths it couldn’t reach. We said goodbye to our watchers in the surface, planted the flag of Papilion in the trench and closed the scrying link, activating the resonance engine and beginning our raid on the Beastlands.
Abraxes ran for president of the Serrano-Kosfreyan Empire, leveraging his extended network of family and family friends to move him up from Master of Economy to benevolent Dictator for life, nationalising what was left of the Leu Corps trading cities. Othello had the hefty task of tracking down two shady Empires’ worth of vagabonds and tyrants, the philosopher Kings of Cassus and the plethora of former Leu Corps executives maintaining their holds on their trades. Cassus manipulated entire nation states to bend under his rule, trying to attain godhood through their worship. Supposedly this attempt killed him, but our party were occasionally finding staves of summon wine engraved with his seal sent to them too often to not to be both hopeful and cautious.
Theodore and Leukos continued to up the power of the Absolution so that it could fulfil its intended purpose; challenging the judgements of the gods. Having an invincible ship means nothing if the people inside it can be killed on a whim by an angry deity and lords knows we had gone around angering just about every god there was. So we did what was probably the worst thing to have ever been done in that universe, by forcing a benign lesser badger deity called Gerrus into the priceless devastation gem.
If being subjected to the worst images in all of history wasn’t horrifying enough for Gerrus, after fleeing the beastlands we force fed him millions upon billions of souls until he became a greater deity of blind destruction and ruination. Not only could we call upon the power of Gerrus to shield us from the reality-warping attacks of greater deities and their lesser ilk, we could unleash Gerrus’s power to wreck other gods’ day [more than with just our weapons array]. At some point along this necessary process Gerrus let out a terrifying scream across all the planes, and is now the reason why badgers are fury incarnate.
Our next decision was to find and sever our link to Dagon/Tethys, who, whilst capable of baring the terrible magics we unleashed, seemed quite surprised to find that they were quite vulnerable to being caught between the razor ram of the Absolution and a giant rock hurtled into them with the telekinesis engines. We didn’t know if we had killed them, but for sure we had wrested control of the sea waters and the fresh waters as mortals.
The effects of this campaign became the underlying cause and reason for nearly every other major event in our later campaigns. The Baatezu had grown impossibly large armies with several Arch-Devils threatening to gain godhood with the influx of so many souls; the blood war looked to be running into a fateful conclusion. Across the material plane factions were fighting for weapons of mass construction once used to build fortresses, factories and cities in the days of Leu Corp, the promises of such power leading adventurers and leaders to take great lengths to secure these items. Underground remnants of once great civilizations cower; the surface world completely cleaned of life and cursed with winds that wear flesh and bones into dust. Mining companies dig, and depending on whether they find Leu Korp. or Leu Corps’s logo, two fates may await them. An Elder Brain reviews his tactics, shunning Empire building in favour of subverting others, studying for a new invasion. The Law of the land is replaced by the Good Law of the Clerics and Paladins, legislators mandating that all keep their word and keep their word good. For some the world is wonderful and full of butterflies, for others the world is suffering and full of butterflies.
The old gods united to combat the innumerable upstarts of new gods, leaving both sides too weak to realize the emergence of the all-powerful monotheistic gods that were on the rise and threatening to upset the divine order.
In the outer planes and demi-planes, pocket worlds unknown to most lie; expanding and building, the realms of the philosopher Kings thriving, those who continue their social engineering in peace, trading knowledge and weapons with the remaining Leu Korps cells operating from their fortress-city of New Papilion in the plane of Dave.
And lastly, any time a god emerged only to gain power, existed only to pass judgement on mortals – Leukos and Theodore might have appeared to them in the Absolution to dispense liberty and freedom with so many guns. Any time someone prayed to the gods and found none would answer, the mortals Leukos and Theodore might have appeared to them in the Absolution to dispense liberty and freedom with so many guns. Leukos and Theodore sailed the seas and skies, wresting power away from Dagon and Tethys, choosing instead to create their own seas of freshwaters and saltwaters for all mortals to enjoy. People began worshipping Leukos and Theodore, their powerful worship funnelled into Gerrus to retain our grasp on mortalhood and the strength of their blessings. Occasionally reports would arise of talented faithful being hoisted into the sky by telekinesis to join the Absolution on its voyages. Paradoxically we continued our own judgements, and any time either one of us was convinced that they deserved it; orphanages would find a box full of puppies delivered to their door.
This story ends where our new campaign begins. 5 Minotaurs have been sent by the rest of the Labyrinth-home to discover why the surface world is completely silent. Other than finding an empty and rusted canister with a butterfly logo on it, they are unsure as to what has happened.
They await a wide world that is a lot more uncaring and desolate than it should be.
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To all three of you lurkers who have monitored this thread, goodnight and thanks for your time.

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