1628, Fire Season, Stasis Week (ish)
Berra (Herself, and slightly Humakt)
Maalira (Chalana Arroy)
Valseena (Flesh Man)
Xenofos (Ginna Jar)
A horrible demon
Some also-horrible priestesses
A Lunar sacrifice, a long way down
Some Lunar warriors a long way away
Keepers of the Gate
Jar-eel (herself/Lhankor Mhy)
Red Emperor (Yelm)
Berra, having finally climbed to the top of the mountain, met a woman with sharpened teeth, probably one of the sacred cannibal virgins of Maran Gor. She explained that she wanted to mess up one man in particular, but could not persuade the woman to help. The priestess asked if Berra was responsible for the Disorder in the Temple, which Berra could not answer as there was so much going on she did not know what the Disorder was. No explanation was forthcoming. The priestess had a Lunar soldier dragged before he – the man had, she said, brought Chaos into the Temple. Berra pointed out that it was on the orders of another, but the Priestess said that people should take responsibility for their own actions. The woman kicked the soldier into the middle of the sacred shape1This may or may not have been the twice five miles of fertile ground that was the centre of the holy mountain, where he made a splash, having fallen quite a long way. Asking about the centre of the ritual, Berra was told there were several rituals -the Seven Mothers, which had not happened, the Lightbringers, which had, the call of the Earth to her lover Yelm, and the Red Goddess’ quest she had been on. After that, Berra asked who she was allowed to kill, as the priestess seemed to think she was under hospitality, and Berra did not push against that. She was given a Babeester Gor guide.
The party tried to leave the Obsidian Palace. Alarms went off and the Only Old One stopped them, accusing Orlanth of betrayal. Vinga-Orlanth immediately assumed it was something Eurmal had done. Eurmal denied it, Ginna Jar suggested that Lhankor Mhy look for truth, by blurting out that it could be done and then remembering who he wasn’t. Lhankor Mhy smoothly pointed out it was obvious Eurmal was under a geas to forget. As Eurmal and Vinga-Orlanth bickered, the Only Old One lost his temper and swung at them with the mace he’d pulled from Eurmal’s bag. The world was shattered like (obsidian glass) and the party flew in all directions. Flesh Man was killed in the process and woke in the Hall of the Dead, where he spotted Yelm.
Chalana Arroy landed head-first, causing her brains to leak from her skull. Despite the fatal wound, she found herself face to face with a demon who was licking at her brains. She tried to heal herself, but while it was mostly healed, she just couldn’t seem to finish the job. The demon tormented her and she bravely argued back.
Eurmal managed a superhero landing and found himself in the dark. He kicked apart the obsidian wall of his shard of reality and in the process took some injury to his feet. He found Lhankor Mhy who thanked him for the rescue. Eurmal used his search light to spot a trail of his own blood. Eurmal tried to give Lhankor Mhy the slip and failed. Lhankor Mhy tossed the trickster over his/her shoulder and used him as a torch. And thus, “Eurmal” located Issaries. Lhankor Mhy squeezed Eurmal hard enough to cause him to continue to leak blood, providing a trail for them to follow. They set off in search of Chalana Arroy.
Chalana Arroy spent 20 years with the demon and managed not to lose her temper. She noticed that the demon was licking up blood – Eurmal’s, in fact. Eurmal was announced by a blinding butt light. Lhankor Mhy dipped a finger in the stream of blood, ran it along the blade of her scimitar, and then redipped it in the blood. The demon looked horrified, cried out that it was not going to drink THAT, and fled.
Eurmal offered to do a puppet show for Chalana Arroy to cheer her up. Lhankor Mhy suggested that it was time to get moving again and re-injured Eurmal to keep the blood flowing. She strode off, Eurmal on her shoulder, and Issaries and Chalana Arroy, keeping up.
Ginna Jar found herself on the Spike. She was love, self-love, and a few cliches. She noticed something wrong in the distance and then the Spike shattered. Her wings failed her (or she failed her wings) and she landed hard/perfectly. Ginna Jar saw a great many things, including Rajar/Storm Bull hitting someone with a lump of the spike. She also saw someone suffering and went to see, walking toward the light, and into the blood that flowed. It turned out to be Eurmal and the others. Reunited, they went in search of Orlanth.
Berra could see Onjur’s army down below, outside the sacred grounds. Determined to demonstrate that Onjur’s people could not be safe from her, she rigged up her chest wrapping into a sling, and used it to cause mayhem below, taking out a man in silver armour with a head shot, as well as wounding a few others and causing alarm. After that, she walked down to see where other things were, asking a few questions along the way; she was looking for Onjur, or Jar-eel, or any chaos that might be around – she found there was none of that. Jar-eel was not physically present, which pleased Berra, at least. The Emperor’s body was also not present. It seemed that there was little chance of doing damage to any of the ritual parts which were not where her friends were, so she asked to be taken that way, appearing in Sword Hall, where she saw a bright, glowing figure. She called on Humakt to share his blessing of protecting the Emperor from rising from the dead, but her god did not answer her.
Vinga-Orlanth was flying when he felt moisture on his face. She realised it was blood rather than rain and followed it. The trail led him in the direction of light, where she found Eurmal and the others. After checking on them all and asking Chalana Arroy to heal Eurmal, Vinga-Orlanth decided that they should carry on. Eurmal put up his trousers and put out the lights.
The Lightbringers heard laughter in the distance. Eurmal recognised it as the laughter of despair. Or, as he put it, ‘someone being really unhappy’. They went that way, as it was a change from everything else. They went to the hall of the dead, where Humakt and Flesh Man were by now waiting. Berra rushed up to Dormal to talk about how they might disrupt the Quest. Flesh Man was surprised by the state Chalana Arroy was in and the two talked briefly, but were interrupted when Vinga-Orlanth began to sing.
Humakt strode up and punched Vinga-Orlanth in the face. The dead attacked Humakt in retaliation (and protecting of Orlanth) and he was briefly immobilised. Humakt attempted to Turn Undead, but they were dead, not undead, so Berra’s spell did not work. To prevent Humakt from attacking again, Ginna Jar got between Vinga-Orlanth and Berra. The dead dogpiled on Humakt, seeking to immobilise him. Berra tried to calm herself, but panicked, and began lashing out.
Eurmal cased the joint, looking for useful things to steal. He also had a good look around for Belintar, but could not spot the king. He did, however, find Flesh Man and they talked briefly. Unable to decide what to steal, Eurmal just began taking everything.
Vinga-Orlanth was briefly distracted by Humakt’s panic and tried to call the dead to aid him against the Keepers of the Gate. Flesh Man’s discordant attempt at harmonies distracted Orlanth further and he was unsuccessful. Xenofos recognized Berra and tried to ensure that she was not choked or broken. Berra/Humakt dealt with her panic through rage, but ended up limb-locked. Xenofos tried to calm her with words and a ‘comforting hug’, and this did not go well.
After throwing a thunderbolt at one of the Keepers, Vinga-Orlanth removed her opponent’s arm by cutting through his blade. The Storm King turned to help Lhankor Mhy, who was having difficulties with his opponent when everything lurched sideways by several feet.
Eurmal held Truth in his hands, having wrenched it from the wall. Flesh Man crashed into Yelm and caught on fire. Three of Humakt’s attackers flew to one side, giving Berra the chance to make another break for freedom, though one of the dead still clung to her leg. Xenofos chose this time to hug her for comfort and was promptly bitten after which he tried to calm her down from arms length.
Before Vinga-Orlanth could recover from the sudden shift in reality, Lhankor Mhy finished off the second guardian and the gate swung open. Orlanth made the Promise of the Future, Yelm made his Statement of Recognition, and Orlanth agreed to recognise Yelm as emperor over there, so long as Yelm recognized Orlanth as king over here. They departed the hall in friendship.
When they strode through the gates, they found themselves in a room filled with Arachne Solara’s web and then in the courtyard in front of the Earth Temple. Berra fell to sobbing. Dormal found himself holding a large wooden Truth rune, which he thrust at Xenofos, proclaiming that Xenofos had brought Truth out of hell. Varanis went for the Emperor who stood at the middle of their circle, but he vanished. Valseena called for Suuraki and on not seeing him, stormed up to Varanis to “look very disappointed” before leaving in search of her husband.
Jar-Eel announced that she hadn’t got everything she was after, and was saying more, possibly about the group being interesting, when Varanis went for her. The demi-goddess batted her rapier away easily and sang, in an entrancing voice, about what they had done, blowing them a kiss before she vanished. Xenofos patted Berra on the shoulder. She responded to his overture by leaping to her feet and demanding to know where Onjur was. On learning that he’d left with his army, she declared that it was time to return home. Xenofos suggested that they go after Onjur, but Varanis agreed with Berra. It was time to return to Sartar. They caught up with Valseena, and left as a group.
“Just trolling Draznk.” – Salid