Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Isle Imperium: Episode 1.28 -- Better


Information gleaned from the introductory sequence:

  • Arc was not really killed by the Grand Scholar; rather, he was saved by the Paladin of the Lost Hour.
  • The Stalwart Warder was not repaired; this was an illusion fostered by the Bejeweled Nuncio for Varian’s sake.
  • The Renegade’s number has practiced one other seeming on the party before.
  • “Events have brought us into almost perfect position” for the Renegade’s plan.
  • Lord Salinicus had seven children, five of whom remain alive.

As the party prepares to embark on rescue missions in search of other members of the Ten, VINDAR comes to the realization that his visions concerning the fall of the Citadel may have been portents of events still to come rather than of events which have already occurred. For her part, CATALINA learns through the Prodigious Scholar that, given the dissolution of the Diamond Legion, the unmounted shards sworn to that legion will disappear in three days’ time if the Writ of Diamond is not recovered from the vault of Kadmos in the Citadel.

After some heated debate concerning the wisdom of trying to alter what has been foretold, the party travels to Alina’s boat via Feylight Pathmage, leaving Vindar behind to pay the penalty for MANTIUS’S karmic debt. There, they spy the ship of the Stone Bound Warder, to which CATALINA and ALECTO venture, with the intent of explaining certain matters to the neophyte mounts on board, as previously promised. When they get there, however, they discover that the ship has been attacked and all on board killed. With the exception of the Hex Scourge shard, which they rescue, all the shards of the Stone Bound Warder’s number have evidently been taken by the attackers, whom THESSALY determines to have included Bregan of the Tenth.

Having said prayers over the departed, the Ninth proceeds to the Citadel, again via waypoint (not wanting to leave a clear trail to Peerdin). Upon arrival, they are immediately beset by creatures of Chaos, which fortunately are quickly dealt with through a combination of attacks and the synergy discovered among empaths. They are soon after attacked again by a man in blue, accompanied by more creatures, but VARIAN’S thirteenth legion, as bolstered by Mantius, enables the group to escape while the forces of Chaos are occupied by the horde.

Through Mantius’s eternal passage and Aly’s labyrinthine and ingenious touch abilities, they are able not only to gain access to Kadmos’s office, but to open the vault (notwithstanding Thess’s momentary entrapment by revenant hands en route, ably disrupted by Cat). They are pondering how to acquire the Writ from the vault when the empaths become aware of others in the room, whom Mantius reveals to be ISOLDE and JOVAL of the Tenth. These are impressively easily dealt with by Mantius and ARCTURUS respectively, and Thess uses her Silk Agent abilities to extricate the Writ from the heavily secured vault.

As the group prepares to leave, BREGAN arrives and attempts to negotiate for possession of the Writ. When it is clear that no accommodation can be made, neither party willing to give way to other, Bregan regretfully announces that they will have to fight, whereupon he is promptly overborne by various attacks. He goes down, and given the nature of his Torrent Academician shard, a proposal is made to deshard him, but fortunately Cat obviates the moral dilemma ensuing from this by using her Daughter of Passion abilities to simply prevent him from undoing what has just occurred.

The party returns the way they came, but Varian and Thessaly are plucked away en route by the GRAND SCHOLAR, who cordially informs Varian that he intends to kill him for defeating the Scholar in their last encounter. Before Varian can respond, Thess attacks the Scholar and is thereby gravely injured, though she manages to hold her own and injure the Scholar in turn in the resulting battle. As Varian cradles the injured Thess in his arms, the two of them manage to emotionally manipulate the Scholar (along with his belly bag companion) into letting them go and returning the shards taken from the party earlier. (The Scholar also mentions that “the warder of the Third” has been in the blue area recently as well.)

Back on the boat (to which a frantic Mantius led the rest of the group from Peerdin, when they discovered the two missing), everyone is thankfully reunited, though not before Thess implies to Varian that her pretended feelings for him were not, in fact, pretense. The reassembled party returns to the area outside their stronghold, where they find MAXILIUS, GENARIUS, ARIUS, and TEREGAN of the Tenth awaiting them.

After ascertaining that negotiations are not going to be entertained for the Writ (which is inside the dome of Peerdin, having been delivered into JUDEA’S hands earlier by Aly), the members of the Tenth reluctantly but graciously swear their fealty to the new Diamond Legion, in which they are now counted as the Second; and the former Ninth, the first. They depart thereafter, and Vindar comes to apologize to all about his earlier vehemence, Thess in particular.
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