Zg Session 106

Winter 82
Aleith|DM: It's been a week since you fled Axis Island on the retrofitted Coaltongue. Nicodemus' Forward Symposium starts today. You've gotten in touch with Aodhan and Lee in the meantime to let them know what's going on and to start preparing for a possibly-imminent invasion.
Aleith|DM: Cherage is built upon several hills around La Baie du Violet, a bay named after the violet hue it gives off during sunsets. Small islands in the bay each support immense artillery batteries—weapons installed after a brazen Risuri attack forty-two years ago.
Aleith|DM: The city builds upon itself in layers, with the more affluent citizens residing on hilltops, while the common folk reside in an almost literal ‘melting pot’ between the hills and the bay. North past the hills, great fields of industry churn out smoke and soot, which can faintly be tasted on the air even in the finer parts of the city. Small surface rail moves citizens between the industrial sectors and the central city, while traditional carts and carriages are required to navigate up to the hills.
Aleith|DM: Obscurati enforcers walk side by side with Danoran police in protection of the city. The increased enforcement, coupled with the subtle shift in behaviors since the Great Eclipse, has led to fewer acts of disobedience or direct sabotage. As a result the Danorans have cancelled their previously mandated curfew in the city.
Aleith|DM: The industrial district of Cherage (technically located out of city limits to the north) is abuzz with new job opportunities. Folks from all over Danor are flocking to the capital city for well-paying work churning out improved firearms, war equipment, and revolutionary constructs. Many people are fascinated by the possibility of learning magic, long unavailable in Danor, even if in truth not many people will find a teacher.
Aleith|DM: Warehouses along the docks of Cherage have stockpiled with war materiel, and despite attempts to maintain some security, gawkers are fascinated by the steady arrival of man-sized constructs dressed in Danoran military uniforms.
Aleith|DM: People in Danor do not work against the Obscurati or see them as any sort of evil conspiracy; instead, they see the Ob as a group on the cusp of bringing about their salvation.
Aleith|DM: Indeed, the people of Cherage are predisposed to hating Risur. Obscurati propaganda has informed the populace that all the positive changes of the Great Eclipse—magic returning to Danor, improved healing, people being less prone to violence—are the Ob's doing. And all the faults with the ritual—hiveminds, the sun disappearing, and She Who Writhes disrupting shipping—were due to Risuri meddling.
Saylin: "They have yet to see Risuri meddling…"
[OOC] Saylin: SPIRITS!Q!!
Phyllis: "Technically still possible. Nicodemus seems to have good reason to think it was someone from Risur."
Phyllis: "If we have some good idea of who it is, why do we not tell him and absolve ourselves, Brakken?"
Garrett: "In the age of reason, if it is better to manufacture a war to save the world than to know the truth?" He shrugs. "Or so I think their reasoning would be."
Gerald: "Weird how he just completely overlooked the radical doomsday cult…"
Zane: "The really sad part is how flammable those warehouses are."
Phyllis: "That is the nature of Nicodemus' single-sided 'Truth.' Explanation comes first. Reality follows, it doesn't precede."
Phyllis: "'There has been an error in your paperwork, and rather than correct the paperwork to conform to reality, we find it easier to reshape reality to fit the paperwork.'"
Garrett‘ nods. "It’d be a convenient truth."
Zane: "Oh well, time to go put my game face on."
Garrett: "Good luck, make sure they don't find the bodies. Or if they do, that they're appropriately horrifying enough."
Garrett: "And make it back, eh?"
Phyllis: "Tell them Occam's Razor cuts both ways."
Aleith|DM: The Obscurati don't do anything to interfere with Brakken's plan to enter the Forward Symposium. Elite military guards watch the entrances to the event, and corridors are patrolled by large golems that can see through most magic. Security screenings check for illusions, polymorphing, mind control, possession, and being a duplicant, but both Zane's mundane disguise and Brakken's link with the other constables (and Pemberton) is not detected.
Aleith|DM: The Congressional Hall of Cherage rests atop the highest hill in the city. The massive metallic structure of the domed roof is currently open, which traditionally allows for an impressive view of the sky, though now the black heavens are fairly underwhelming.
Aleith|DM: Prior to the official start of the conference, a brief gala in the hall provides an opportunity to mingle with the other attendees. The Obscurati guards stay out of the way to ensure the attendees don’t feel pressured by the Ob’s watchful eye.
Saylin looks nothing like his actual self. His close-cropped black hair has been covered by a wig of long, curly brown locks, he is wearing bifocals, and his traditional leather armor and small armory of weapons have been replaced by a simple, neat suit and a belt holding pouches full of paper, inkwells, and quills. The Arsenal is a simple white stone worked into a woven wire bracelet.
[OOC] Saylin: god damn it connection!!!
Aleith|DM: Delegates have arrived in the city over the past few weeks, and they come to the hall with their aides and attendants. The government representatives from Crisillyir and Drakr—Prime Cardinal Tito Banderesso and Chancellor Dmitra Takhenova—are already here, talking with Gelsey Jierre, wife of Sovereign Han who sadly will not be in attendance.
Aleith|DM: Sagu Jacksdotter, the representative of the newly-formed League of Malice States, is giddily telling stories of horrible magical mishaps she has seen, which she will never have to experience again thanks to the Obscurati.
Aleith|DM: Betronga Sidhon, head of the eladrin contingent from Elfaivar, talks with representatives of the various colonies who have taken their land. They warily trade tales of violence that each perpetuated, but are relieved that such warfare might be no more.
Aleith|DM: Brakken makes a bit of a stir arriving with only one aide, and attendees from various minor statses gather around him and Zane. Despite Ber being a large nation, the minor states see it as a kindred spirit since Danor, Drakr, and Crisillyir have long treated it as inconsequential too. Many people express concern that Ber might have been in danger because it shares a border with Risur.
Phyllis . o O ( Is that a cue for us to reassure them? )
Garrett‘ . o O ( That’d be a big on the nose for just arriving. )
[OOC] Garrett: *bit
Phyllis . o O ( Shrug it off as if it weren't a concern, or some such. Nonchalant. )
Zane . o O (Well I mean, Brakken *was* the official envoy between Ber and Risur.)
Garrett‘ . o O ( Let’s hear their rationalizations so we can understand what 'logic' we're dealing with on a ground level. Plus it may or may not give us some insight on what the Ob claims to know at this point. )
Phyllis . o O ( Fair enough. )
Brakken . o O ( What would you like me to say to them, then?)
Garrett‘ . o O ( Be nervous or whatever, it’s not -that- crazy an emotion. Yeah you're the envoy but also you've heard stuff and so despite your past cordial relations, you're attending because you want to hear what the Ob have to say. )
Garrett‘ . o O ( Past cordial relations with Risur, that is. )
Garrett` . o O ( Loyalty to Ber still above Risur. )
Zane . o O (You could point out that we were not making any sort of preparations for war when you were there last. Obviously that may have changed since thin though.)
Brakken: "Ber has been doing fine. Bruse Shantus has been rallying our people with the fact that many of can still see in this new darkness, and is willing to hear what the Obscurati have to say about the changes to the world. We’ve been cordial with Risur in the past, but they've been having their own troubles lately, I hear."
Aleith|DM: There's some back-and-forth between Brakken and the minor-state representatives about the troubles of the new world caused by 'Risur's meddling' before the lead attendees from Drakr and Crisillyir step in. Brakken quickly fills you in telepathically to who they are.
Aleith|DM: Chancellor Dmitra Takhenova, an obese dwarf woman who wears a robe woven with tiny runes that convey her core philosophy, is nearing the end of her six-year stint as leader of Drakr, having been appointed by a council of philosopher-politicians. She's been ruthless in using security forces to hunt down internal dissidents, though she was recently dealt a humiliating defeat when some of her supporters were bombed by followers of Grandis Komanov, the radical eschatologist. She also made a few public statements blaming Risur for the high-profile destruction of a railyard in Mirsk last year.
Phyllis might be familiar, given her background. At least with Crisillyir?
Aleith|DM: Prime Cardinal Tito Banderesso, rail-thin and sporting an impressive moustache, is rumored to be the highest-ranking member of the Clergy who did not commit suicide during the Great Eclipse. He's a powerful divine spellcaster, and his public statements have always been fairly traditional and positive, but Brakken wouldn't be surprised if he's an elitist, like most of the Clergy hierarchs were.
Dmitra: "Brakken, do you have any first-hand knowledge of the disasters that have befallen Risur since the sky changed?"
Garrett‘ . o O ( You can be literal with this one. What’s your first-hand knowledge? Not what you heard from us. )
Garrett‘ . o O ( If you travelled into any of the affected regions, you can probably tell them about it. And if you did, we’re sorry we missed you. )
Phyllis sighs. Physically, not over mental channels. Switching her senses to her own for a moment, she pulls out a quill and parchment, ready to to write her counterpoints and her own factual accounts of the events in question.
Phyllis: There will be //dissent//, oh yes.
Brakken: "I'd heard they've been having some issues with their fey titans waking up. Like She Who Writhes taking out any ships travelling there."
Aleith|DM: The Prime Cardinal nods at the mention of She Who Writhes.
Phyllis . o O ( And somehow, you made it here. )
[OOC] Aleith|DM: They took the train…
Dmitra: "I can't believe they'd mess with the ritual like that. Those hiveminds are terrible to deal with, and, really, taking out the sun?"
[OOC] Phyllis: i'm bad at geography :(
Tito: "The Risuri people must be truly berefet of leadership. The noblest thing to do would be to kill the wolves who rule them, so that the sheep might live the simple lives meant for them."
Joao Silva: "I have to admit, I am a little confused why they would do such a thing, myself. We Berans thrive in the half-light, but they have… no such gift?"
Dmitra: "I'd sooner see the savages of Ber return Risur to a land of beasts than to let the Clergy's classical brand of delusion take root there."
Garrett‘ . o O ( And I was just beginning to wonder why there wasn’t a gestalt forming in the area. )
Aleith|DM: Danor's Minister of War, Eloise Duffet (she was supposed to attend the conference in Risur last Spring before it was cancelled…), joins in, admonishing the two. "Now, now, you'd be best to save your anger for Risur, not each other."
Chandrasekhar: . o O ( Trust Drakr to send someone competent. )
Dmitra: "Well, it's true they must be conquered so the world can truly have peace."
Tito: "Quite so. Maybe then the Obscurati can fix what happened."
Garrett‘ . o O ( Oh man, are you gonna take that? )
Phyllis grits her teeth. . o O ( It is agony, hearing this. )
Chandrasekhar: . o O ( Curious about the logic there. )
Dmitra asks the Minister of War, "do you think it will be a long war? It would probably be risky to change leadership in the middle of an ongoing conflict." The enthusiam she holds for maintaining her position is only partly concealed.
Joao Silva looks down his nose at Dmitra, eyes glaring through the bifocals. But since he’s an aide, he holds his tongue for the moment.
Eloise: "I can give you two a preview of my presentation about the invasion plan. I've even prepared letters of intent that both of you can sign if you agree, and then they could be sent out immediately."
Aleith|DM: Both the Chancellor and the Cardinal say they'd like to hear about it and start following her.
Garrett‘ . o O ( Hrmmm. I guess playing hard-to-get will only be advantageous for so long. )
Phyllis . o O ( This sounds like something we should nip in the bud, yes. )
Aleith|DM: The attendees from the minor states start trying to get Brakken’s attention again.
Garrett‘ . o O ( Right, back to hobnobing. )
Garrett` . o O ( Unless you think you can sneak away and follow them not unlike a shadow, which… )
Joao Silva . o O ( Well, I try not to brag… )
Garrett` chuckles irl.
Garrett` . o O ( Of course, use your own discretion here. )
Joao Silva will in fact blend into the crowd to find out about the war plan. Brakken & company can handle things without him.
Aleith|DM: The general strategy that Minister Duffet outlines is as follows:
Aleith|DM: Danoran soldiers and golems will take the Avery Coast Railroad to Trekhom and Sid Minos, where they’ll board ships from Drakr and Crisillyir, since the Danoran navy is depleted. Additional forces from those two countries will launch two invasion fleets.
Aleith|DM: The Drakran fleet will target Flint, but instead of a frontal assault the fleet will drop off its soldiers 10 miles to the east. Though there’s no suitable harbor, the soldiers will be trained to teleport to make landfall from a safe distance. Then the fleet will begin bombarding Flint proper while the army advances through the Cloudwood.
Aleith|DM: Meanwhile, the Crisillyir fleet will make landfall in southeast Risur, on the northern shore of Marrajado de Oro (the riven sea of gold), near Ber. Minister Duffet had hoped the fleet could assist a bridging action to march Beran forces into Risur as well. The two armies would have a hundred-mile march to reach Bole, where they would cut off the rail supply lines to Flint.
Aleith|DM: The western Risur city of Shale, though it has great symbolic prestige from past wars with Danor, will only be harried by a token fleet to keep them from sending reinforcements to Flint. Most of Danor's remaining navy will be needed to protect Cherage, where they'll be constructing a new colossus. That ordeal will take perhaps a year, so it won’t be available for the invasion.
Aleith|DM: Once Flint and Bole are captured, they'll take a few months to rebuild industrial facilities, and then they'll invade down the Great Delve River to capture the capital Slate.
Garrett‘ . o O ( Well, they at least have a plan. )
Phyllis . o O ( If we can’t head this off with a diplomatic miracle, at least we can prepare. )
Joao Silva . o O ( Its either a trick or this minister is an idiot. )
Aleith|DM: There's no one there to dissuade them, so Chancellor Takhenova and Cardinal Banderesso agree and sign the expedited orders, which Minister Duffet hands off to a courier who heads out towards the foyer.
Gerald‘ .oO( Yeah there’s no possible way the person in charge of Danor's military is THAT dumb… )
Phyllis . o O ( Dearest attendant. That courier will find you in a dark alley, yes? )
Garrett‘ . o O ( What -could- we even do to ward this off diplomatically? Our best shot is… somehow wedging enough doubt into all of the Ob’s claims to deflect an invasion, and have everyone focus on 'fixing' the world? )
Joao Silva . o O ( Of course not. He's simply about to drink something that violently disagrees with him. )
Aleith|DM: While 'Joao' chases down the courier (as soon as he gets out of the Congressional Hall, he pulls out a telescope, looking towards a distant hill for a moment before disappearing…)
Aleith|DM: The crowd begins murmurring loudly and turns in the direction of two dwarves that suddenly teleported into the hall: Vlendam Heid and his apparent bodyguard, Kvarti Gorbatiy.
[OOC] Joao Silva: oh SHIT son
Phyllis . o O ( Friendly faces, at last. )
Phyllis was glad to have seen their names on the kobold spies' list.
Aleith|DM: Lord Kulp of Nalaam is also there, but he's off to the side, keeping to himself.
Aleith|DM: Dmitra Takhenova sees him and says, "Vlendam, I'm glad you finally arrived. I know you appreciate endings, so why don't you leave and come back when we're done?"
"Dmitra," Heid says with a chuckle, "I hear you're taking to heart my advice to plan for the end of your chancellorship. Invading Risur, very good idea! I wager if you could out-debate the dockside poets in Flint, they'll gladly let you be in charge of a shipping guild or something."
"Guilds," scoffs Cardinal Banderesso. "Just common people trying to get a taste of real power. I am not impressed by the ability to make a high-quality shoe."
Phyllis . o O ( Get on his good side with a proper reading of his works. Interject that it's the preparation for the ending that's more important, the story while you're still in the middle of it, the power of myth and common cultural tales. )
The cardinal chants a prayer, and conjures a shining angel. The crowd gasps, few having ever seen a true celestial. It bows to the cardinal. "Go fetch me some shoes," he tells it. "Red leather, please."
Aleith|DM: The angel stands, glances at the gathering with a hint of disapproval, then flies out of the open roof.
[OOC] Aleith|DM: https://vignette.wikia.nocookie.net/forgottenrealms/images/7/75/Planetar-5e.jpg/revision/latest?cb=20161119160832
Chancellor Takhenova claps. "We should give it a rifle instead of a sword, but still, good. I'm glad to have such magic on our side for the war against Risur."
Heid: "Now come, we've all gathered together here in peace. Can't we make peace with Risur too? I say let's not jump so hastily to conclusions, and I just teleported here from a mile away. I'm getting quite good at it, don’t you think?
Standing beside him, his bodyguard Kvarti shrugs. "Yes, but now we cannot flee quickly. You must be prepared for your life to end here."
Heid: "I always am, my friend. Well, perhaps not before I get a drink. Chancellor, Cardinal, I look forward to our discussions. Ambassador Brakken, please allow me to get you something as well."
Aleith|DM: Zane, it looks like the courier teleported to the hill closest to the trainyards.
Phyllis: Out loud, to those around in the valley: "How soon can we get a message to Extraño?"
Aleith|DM: There's a couple of kobolds around.
Gerald: "Duno, you're the mage with Sending not me."
Zane was really hoping to NOT kill anybody this early in the trip but OH WELL he shoulda stopped for a drink.
Phyllis: Well, she's asking them.
Phyllis: "And how much will it cost?"
Aleith|DM: What about?
Aleith|DM: They're working with you. They shrug.
Zane turns the Arsenal into a set of claws and shreds this dude from behind without warning or mercy. Then scoots back to the meeting.
Heid: "Brakken, it's a bit coincidental to have both you and my bodyguard here today, isn't it?"
Phyllis: "There's a courier with a letter that if Zane doesn't apprehend - "
Phyllis switches senses. " - oh. Never…. Nevermind."
Heid: "There's a bit of synchronicity about Kvarti here unwittingly being part of the terrorist group that could have nearly blown you up in Flint nearly a year ago. What do you think of the Risuri people?"
Garrett‘ chuckles irl again.
Garrett` . o O ( I would just call it providence, but… )
Phyllis . o O ( Things may be more complicated than they seem. Cast doubt. )
Brakken . o O ( Cast doubt on what? )
Phyllis . o O ( The allegations against us, using Kvarti as an example of complexity that the others may not have observed. )
Joao Silva . o O ( Just dont be super on our side. Leave wiggle room. )
Phyllis . o O ( Yes, be firmly … ambivalent. )
Garrett` . o O ( That’s kind of a weird set of questioning. 'Hey, remember that time when you could have died? What do you think of the people?' )
Garrett‘ . o O ( Anyway, yeah, what Phyllis said. )
Garrett` . o O ( Or just be honest. )
Brakken: "Yes. That dinner didn’t even happen, but it's a good thing the terrorists were caught even before when it was scheduled. I've spent some time with them as ambassador, and Ber's relationship with them has been cordial since the revolution."
Heid: "Quite. I've spoken with a number of people there, several of them quite…interesting and inquisitive."
Brakken: "Much like your bodyguard's situation, things are complex now."
Heid: "Very. We've only heard one side of events these last few weeks, after all. Who knows what's true or merely hyperbole?"
Garrett‘ . o O ( Hmmph. Matters little to some attendees. )
Phyllis . o O ( The public may think differently. Still, cling to this doubt like a foothold. )
Gerald` .oO( Wouldn’t be rational to go on a witch hunt without evidence… )
Zane rejoins Brakken. "My goodness. I step away for some refreshments and miss the arrival of Vlendam Heid himself. A pleasure to meet you sir, I have a friend who is a big fan of your work." He passes Brakken a glass of wine. "Here you are, sir."
Brakken: "As you've said, there's still a side that hasn't spoken up." He takes the glass. "Thank you, Mr. Silva."
Heid: "Oh, so you have a bodyguard as well, Brakken. I almost thought you'd turned up alone unlike the rest of these people with their hanger-ons."
Zane gives a dry chuckle. "I am a fierce protector indeed. Brakken need fear no papercuts while I am here."
Kvarti nods to you. "I haven't decided if I'm for the Obscurati or…not. As you say, there's not enough crosswise talk."
Kvarti: "On the other hand, they've done more to unite the world than most." He shrugs.
Zane: "They did seem… emminently positioned to extend a helping hand to almost the entire world. Assuming you mean the Obscurati."
Kvarti: "Quite."
Heid: "Almost as if that had been the idea all along."
Aleith|DM: Gelsey Jierre, Sovereign Han's wife, calls for everyone's attention and asks all of the delegates to take their seats around the chamber. The keynot speaker will be arriving momentarily.
Zane nods at Heid. "If one had a suspicious mind."
Heid: "Quite so. It was a pleasure speaking with you, Brakken." He moves to take his seat, Kvarti following him.
Garrett‘ leans back in -his- seat and kicks his feet up on a nearby table.
Aleith|DM: After everyone’s seated, a somewhat heavy-set man whose face looks eminently friendly and trustworthy enters from a side door from the dais at the front of the chamber, flanked by several of the Ob officers you saw at the Convocation at Mutravir Island, as well as the ghost of Lya Jierre.
Nicodemus: "It's heartening to see so many gathered in one place, meeting in peace and willing to discuss how we can work together and set aside old differences. Before I get into the meat of things, I want to take a moment to thank you for showing me that my long faith in people's capacity for good was not misplaced."
Nicodemus: "My name is Nicodemus." He pauses to light up a cigarette and smiles. "An old nickname from my monastery days. More recently, though, I devoted myself to leading an organization on a dangerous path. We hid most of our actions because we knew our ultimate goal would be opposed by many people in power. People like you, if I may be honest. It would be easy for governments to assume that our aim was to take power for ourselves. It's a sad fact of the world that it's hard to believe that someone's intentions are benevolent."
Nicodemus: "But I knew that once we accomplished what we set out to do, it would place before the world evidence of the common sense of the matter. Already changes are happening that are so positive that they must command the assent of those who witness them.
Nicodemus: "You've no doubt read by now the generalities of how we enacted this change, and I'll be glad to give you more technical specifics later if anyone has any questions. But I want you to understand that our ritual was sabotaged just before we could finish it. Operatives on order from Risur detonated a bomb that killed many of my friends and could have had catastrophic consequences. One particularly brave friend named Borne was able to continue with the ritual, but he was killed before he could secure it."
Nicodemus: "It's a flaw of my character, I feel, that I empathize with the leaders of Risur. I can understand why they'd fear to lose their power. For two centuries they waged war with Danor and tried to crush this nation before its industry could be strong enough to challenge their magic. But I wish Risur's ruler were here today so we could show that cooperation will benefit us all."
Nicodemus: "My organization tried to save the world, and Risur nearly doomed us all. It will be months before we'll be able to fix their sabotage—and I assure you we will; I miss the sun as much as you—but between now and then our foremost goal should be eliminating the threat Risur poses. I have personally met some of the agents of Risur's Homeland Constabulary, and they're dangerous people."
Nicodemus: "Danor's navy, sadly, is very depleted, but thankfully Risur's is as well. I'll call upon Minister Duffet in a few minutes to explain the invasion plan, but I hope we can count on your nations to lend their ships for a full-scale invasion of Risur in one week's time."
Nicodemus: "I don't want to focus on the specter of war. This symposium is for looking forward, and I'd like to propose a comprehensive agenda where we talk about positive changes. We can determine how our nations and philosophies will best cooperate to deal with international challenges such as long-standing grievances, constant military build-ups, and territorial disputes, as well as local challenges like alleviating poverty, negotiating with and integrating rebellious populaces, and most intelligently making use of natural resources."
Nicodemus: "I think you'll find that in the new world we have brought forth, it will be much easier for us to agree on paths that are a net benefit for everyone.”
At this moment, an advisor leans in and whispers in Nicodemus's ear, then backs away.
Nicodemus: "Right," he says with a smile. "We've all heard or even seen the worrisome 'hivemind phenomenon'—an unfortunate consequence of Risuri sabotage of our ritual. We understand the mild risk we’d have with everyone focusing on solving the same problems, but don't worry. We have guards and magical wards set up to detect any precursor energies that could lead to a hivemind. You're all perfectly safe. Unless an element of risk is intellectually stimulating, in which case by all means, panic a bit."
Garrett: "One week, damn."
Phyllis . o O ( Hahahaha. HAHAHAHAHA. His faith in the people's goodness 'was not misplaced.' That's absolutely the opposite of what he confided to us in that mine shaft. )
Ernst . o O (I'm grinning pretty hard right now, yeah.)
Nicodemus: "Again, it is an immense honor to stand here among you, and to see the first steps toward a better, united world. Before I call up Minister Duffet for her invasion presentation, does anyone have any questions?"
Aleith|DM: The first reply comes from Chancellor Takhenova. The large dwarf voices Drakr's support for the Obscurati, and talks about how she looks forward to a new future alongside them. She admits that she will be glad to rally her nation's military might to use against Risur.
Aleith|DM: Nicodemus seems pleased, smiling calmly.
Aleith|DM: Prime Cardinal Banderesso is the next to address the crowd, citing Crisillyir's current turmoil and the need for immediate order. The Cardinal states that he was worried that there was some plot against his religion; he found it suspicious, after all, that so many of his colleagues recanted their faith and killed themselves at the exact moment the Obscurati took power. However, he agrees the invasion plan for Risur should benefit the Clergy—and the Crisillyiri people, he adds somewhat sheepishly. He is willing to direct his people to work with Obscurati, but he is concerned that not all of his nation will recognize the clear logic of this war.
Aleith|DM: He offers to contribute to the war effort if the Obscurati are willing to work with his nation in quelling the more rebellious elements of society, particularly the lower class.
Aleith|DM: Nicodemus seems slightly taken aback, but before he can reply, the Drakran chancellor voices her support. She already has agreements with other leaders in her nation to undertake grand industrial projects, but there were concerns that they would meet opposition from the working classes. She’s sure the war effort against Risur would be more efficient if these dissidents could be…persuaded, rationally of course, to contribute.
Phyllis . o O ( Were the operatives confirmed to be involved Risur's government, or were they merely residents of Risur? Complexity. )
Aleith|DM: Nicodemus interrupts and says that the Obscurati changed the world so that everyone could prosper. Yes, military production will need to increase, but people will be more enthusiastic to work the factories if they can share in the prosperity. Rather than maintaining existing power structures, he believes that the overall quality of life could be improved if those gathered here were willing to consider more unorthodox social structures.
Aleith|DM: Lord Kulp from Nalaam asks if he means communal ownership and wealth redistribution.
Aleith|DM: Betronga of the eladrin scoffs and says of course not. He heard rumors about the Obscurati conspiracy, and they would kill those who got in their way. That’s why he and the eladrin representatives came. He wanted to show that they were willing to change, and to help however they can to make life better for those willing to contribute.
Aleith|DM: Sagu Jacksdotter of Orithea agrees, and vigorously. She came because she hoped to get help with violent warbands who roam what were once the Malice Lands. It’s too great an issue for Orithea to tackle on its own, but eladrin hunters and Drakran soldiers could make quick work of them, if they would contribute.
Garrett‘ . o O ( Interesting. How far does Nico’s sympathy for 'the common man' really stretch? )
Aleith|DM: Chancellor Takhenova clenches her fist in support. "Those who will not contribute will be destroyed," she says. "They're ultimately just a net drag on society anyway. This new world only wants people who contribute."
Aleith|DM: Nicodemus clears his throat and calmly starts to admonish people that they're starting to sound like a hivemind. He is ignored. Vlendam Heid tries to speak up too, but is cut off.
Aleith|DM: A representative from a minor state asks if this is the sort of unorthodox social structure Nicodemus was suggesting. Nicodemus said to share the prosperity, and obviously some people don’t have much prosperity to contribute.
Aleith|DM: Cardinal Banderesso agrees. Some people are just inferior. They're a net drag on society. We could easily remove them. This is a cause to which I could gladly contribute.
"Contribute," murmur a dozen people in unison.
Phyllis . o O ( ENOUGH. )
Aleith|DM: Nicodemus steps away, looking concerned, and he confers with his fellow Obscurati members. While the rest of the crowd continues to speak in synch, he shouts to Heid, Brakken, Kulp, and a few others who seem unaffected.
Garrett‘ . o O ( I was about to suggest that if we insist that the Ob handle local problems first, we could delay or distract things. )
Garrett` . o O ( But it seems like they’re letting that happen naturally. )
Nicodemus: "We took precautions! There should not be a hivemind here. Can anyone see it forming? We need to destroy it!"
Garrett‘ . o O ( Brakken, start backing away. )
Gerald` starts laughing.
Phyllis: Through Brakken, if he doesn’t resist: "Scarcity isn't a problem. The world, overall, is full of resources."
Brakken: "I feel something taking control of my thoughts, and I'm being compelled to contribute to the discussions."
Gerald: "Odds on this being very deliberately planned so that Nico can seize power with a new world order after these fuckers kill each other?"
Aleith|DM: Zane, you feel the same thing.
Garrett‘ forces Brakken to turn and start running!
Aleith|DM: Across the room, Heid falls to his knees and clutches his head. Lord Kulp struggles to cast a teleport spell, but he fumbles the words.
Aleith|DM: Brakken gets up from his seat and starts running for the doors.
Garrett` . o O ( You’re going to gestalt soon. If you don't run now, you will either die or contribute to a catastrophe. )
Garrett‘ . o O ( Zane! )
Aleith|DM: Nicodemus starts to back out of the room, shouting to his fellow Obscurati officers—who seem to be protected—to flee. But Eloise Duffet stands still, and even as Nicodemus shakes her she does not respond.
"You sons of bitches," Nicodemus says to the room. "I give you the chance to do something wonderful, but this is what unifies you? This is who you really are, ha? Am I the only one power hasn’t corrupted? Let this madness take you! You're a cancer upon civilization, and I’ll cut you out like I should have from the start."
Aleith|DM: At the urging of Lya Jierre's ghost, he leaves the room right as the hivemind begins to surge.
Gerald‘ howling with laughter. "He thinks he isn’t corrupted!!!!"
Aleith|DM: Vicious white light flashes through the room as Brakken trips, several feet from the door.
Phyllis has had enough. "Where the HELL was that faith in people's capacity for good you crowed about just minutes prior?"
Aleith|DM: The air itself seems to peel open like the petals of a flower at dawn. Tendrils appear throughout the hall, growing outward from random points and then connecting the people caught up in the hivemind. Each tendril is thick, fleshy, and segmented, like an arm at an elbow, but with a new joint every few feet. When they finally connect two people, their eyes begin to glow blue, and tiny arcs of energy stream up and down the tendrils connecting them.
Phyllis focuses anger. Resistance. Defiance in the face of an otherwise unified front.
Aleith|DM: As more and more connections form, the arcs and glowing eyes grow brighter, and the speech of the assembled delegates fades out into a thrum and drone that heaves across the room like waves. The web of skin and nerves begins to spread across each person in the hivemind, rooting them to the ground and leaving only their mouths and their glowing, catatonic eyes exposed. Guards begin to walk in from outside the chamber, and they too are consumed.
Joao Silva: "Here's my contrimbution."
Phyllis: "Are we not galvanized enough, ourselves?"
Aleith|DM: The open roof is covered by a spreading mass of thoughtflesh, and the entire building begins to heave upward. There is a sensation of swaying, lumbering steps, which shake the entire structure. Faintly in the distance, people begin to scream.
Phyllis: "We stay and fight. We provide the conflict."
Joao Silva flings an inkwell at the Danoran war minister, letting it shatter at her feet. [Insanity Mist]
Gerald: "Aaah. … We're gunna have to fix this aren't we?"
Joao Silva then hauls ass, grabbing Brakken by the collar and hauling his ass bodily out the door.
Garrett‘ rolls his head around and looks at Gerald, then looks at some of obstensibly more mature members of the squad.
Garrett: "Eh……."
Aleith|DM: Otherwise, the chamber is still. Then, in the blue glow from arcing thoughts and the victims’ eyes, a figure reveals itself, casting aside a psychic cloak that made it impossible to perceive. The creature—a blue-gray semi-humanoid with tentacles floating around its head and four slits of black eyes—steps into Brakken's field of vision.
Ernst: "Well, this went to shit fast."
Phyllis: "It would be unconscionable to turn tail and let this FESTER."
Sijhen . o O ( I can sense you there. The role-reversal—you in another body, trying to learn secrets so you can get back your world—it is a complex, ironic, and delicious thought. Whatever was done to this planet, it has made you so wonderfully vulnerable. You have seen a hivemind, but now you shall witness a Godmind. I urge you not to despair. The Gidim shall consume your world, but I will savor the challenge of defeating you. )
Sijhen reaches a hand into Brakken's face. Brakken begins to spasm and a psychic pain begins to drive you out of his mind. But before you're forced back into your bodies, though, you see Sijhen step away and vanish in a flash of blue-white light.
Garrett‘ . o O ( I love the enthusiasm but let’s get them out of here- )
Gerald‘ .oO( You want to kill us in peson, for real right? I WILL TELL YOU WHERE WE ARE! )|
Gerald: "Fuck."
Garrett` [Suppress Gerald]
Aleith|DM: From your parked airship, you can just barely see, a few miles away, the top of the hill of the Danoran Congress. The entire building is moving, crawling along on massive tentacles that flicker with blue-white light. After a moment it disappears behind the hill, heading toward Cherage’s poorer districts.
Ernst lets out a long sigh after he's body ejected. "Well, uh… What about Zane?"
Gerald: "This is literally the dumbest thing I have ever seen. I hope Zane and Brakken are alright."
Garrett‘ shakes his head.
Garrett: "If they don’t show up soon, we gotta go get 'em."
Garrett: "And even then… if we can do something to stop that thing, we should."
Joao Silva shakes Brakken like a baby. "Wake. Up! I have work to do and cant be carrying your big ass with me."
Ernst: "Well, I mean we're getting invaded in a week, so if we're doing something it needs to be today. We need to prepare for that."
Phyllis: "BY WHO?! The very people swept up in that godmind now?"
Phyllis: "We need to get there. Now."
Phyllis points at the now … floating congress.
Joao Silva . o O ( Are you… Are we… still… Hello? )
Garrett: "Time to take to the skies!" He calls the crew into action!
Aleith|DM: Slithering, not floating
Phyllis . o O ( Zane! Is that you? )
Pemberton: "…well, if you insist."
Gerald: "I do! The Brainpyre begged be to murder him again."
Joao Silva . o O ( Uhhhh… Yes… I think. Right now. It's hungry, though… I can't… move. Fight. Work. Anything. )
Brakken: "There's…immense pain… It's trying to…subsume…our personalities…."
[OOC] Aleith|DM: whoops pretend that's telepathic
Gerald: "Phyllis, do you remember the brainpyre's name off hand?"
Aleith|DM: The Coaltongue takes off after a few minutes of preparation. Several minutes later, the godmind comes into view again.
Phyllis: "One of our own is trapped there. And despite the fact that there is a gathering of people that would kill us in less than a moment's notice, they deserve help too."
Phyllis: "Sijhen."
Gerald: "…nevermind I forgot how damn fast this thing flies."
Joao Silva . o O ( I can feel us moving. We're a building. How are we moving? )
Aleith|DM: Unless stopped, the Godmind proceeds in methodically overtaking the people of Cherage. Most citizens stand in awe at the creature as it looms over them, or they actively approach it. A few strong-willed individuals manage to recognize the danger and flee.
Phyllis . o O ( Hold fast and remember your names, Brakken, Zane. )
Aleith|DM: The central body of the creature is a hundred foot high mass of flesh and stone that surrounds the Congressional Hall, with tiny bits of the metal dome visible at its 'head.' The entity crawls along on massive tentacles, but it doesn’t so much move its limbs as grow its tentacles outward and then pull the body along. Tendrils spread out in every direction that they sense conscious thought.
Aleith|DM: These fleshy vines twitch and occasionally blossom with black flower-like petals. Those petals can fire beams that disintegrate nearby creatures, though it only targets those it deems unworthy.
Ernst: "Remember when we had normal investigation work…? Shit."
Garrett‘ stretches his senses, uses his mind to occupy Brakkens, uses his Tremorsense to try and pinpoint where they are in the mass.
Joao Silva . o O ( This is… everything I hate. Exemplified. I hope it… chokes on me. Also, you may have to destroy this building… with me inside it. I want you to know, that is OK. )
Aleith|DM: You need to make a save each round to maintain the connection.
Aleith|DM: But…
Aleith|DM: They’re near the north end of the conference hall.
Ernst frowns. Good thing he knows the raise dead ritual.
Chandrasekhar: . o O ( No way in hell, Bieito. )
Gerald‘ .oO( Duly noted, boss-man. )
Aleith|DM: The Congressional Hall is a roughly two-hundred foot diameter room in a much larger building, with a southern dais and a horseshoe of seating on three levels, each five feet above the next. Dozens of fleshy trunks grow up from the ground where symposium attendees were trapped, and aside from the dais there’s not more than ten feet of open space in any given area.
Joao Silva . o O ( It’s not my first choice, no. But Chandrasekhar… Whatever is neccesary. )
Aleith|DM: One section near the north wall of the hall has enough tendrils to effectively form a cage that traps any creature larger than Tiny. Brakken and Zane are near there, trapped in tendrils of their own. The door is on the other side of the 'cage'.
Chandrasekhar grits his teeth. The eyes in the mirrormask glow gold.
Garrett‘ shares his senses through Brakken. . o O ( Here’s where they are. )
Phyllis: "At the very least, we're cutting them loose if we can."
Garrett‘ . o O ( Any tools, techniques, rituals to extract them in an instant- because gods know we can’t afford to stick around and get absorbed as well. )
Ernst . o O (I know at least if things reach that point I'm retreating to my Planar Seed.)
Phyllis primes her senses, ready to cut them out as a surgeon with thoughtform.
Pemberton . o O ( If we don't confront it now, it might get strong enough that we can't stop it later. )
Gerald: "What was…"
Gerald: "Shit."
Gerald: "Okay I got it."
Phyllis . o O ( Can we warn the populace to run? )
Garrett‘ . o O ( Also I suppose if we can get into Brakken’s line of sight, he might be able to teleport up here… )
Garrett‘ . o O ( Don’t know if it's been long enough for Zane. )
Gerald: "Ernst, you remember that bomb that made machinery stop working?"
Aleith|DM: The roots of the Godmind are currently spreading through the district surrounding the Congressional Hall.
Ernst: "Uh huh. Why?"
Garrett‘ . o O ( Though odds are they’re… probably both trapped. Still. )
Gerald: "I'm thinking something like that might help, kind of like a large concussive blast? They can't hive mind if they can't think, right?"
Joao Silva . o O ( I could… but… its all still… in here. Cant see outside. Don't want to leave Brakken.)
Garrett: "Knock them all out? Not a bad idea."
Garrett‘ . o O ( Heh, well, hold onto your guts.)
Garrett: "Bring the ship around, north wall! Load cannons."
Gerald: "I can’t think of anything else that'd work with it this big, since it's a bit beyond thinking solid thoughts at it…"
Garrett: "And ready the Brand."
Phyllis casts Battlefield Elocution in the meantime. If we're going loud and concussive, we're going LOUD.
Aleith|DM: As you get within 800 feet of the Godmind, you feel psychic suggestions trying to grab your will and twist it towards its own ends.
Gerald‘ allocates a decent portion of his mind to fighting it off. Gods know he capable of focusing on getting a job done to an uncanny degree.
Pemberton: "That’s…unplesant. Well, Your Majesty, it's probably time for a thrilling speech to urge your subjects on. If you don't want to crash, that is."
Joao Silva grabs Brakken. And then grabs whichever most obnoxious warmongering asshole is closest, and interposes them between himself and the north wall.
Garrett: "It's horrible having to be on the same page but not -too- on the same page!"
Garrett‘ bellows to the crew!
Aleith|DM: Joao Silva, you’re trapped in thoughtflesh and don't really have control of yourself.
Phyllis taps Garrett, giving him the benefits of Elocution with a touch.
Garrett‘ wildly smiles.
Joao Silva just sorta chills out then. The grea’er good…
Gerald: "Okay ya'll work on the bombs I'm going to see what I can do about those tendrils on Zane and Brakken once the Brand goes off…"
Gerald‘ moves to the ship’s rails and starts setting up his rifle.
Brakken o. o O ( I think I've figured out…why the godmind is so strong. Each person here…is head of a latent…hivemind formed from…all the people who see them as…a leader. )
Gerald: "Chandra, you can teleport at will now, right? Might want to long distance yourself in their after we shoot them free, then zip out as fast as you can with them."
Brakken o. o O ( If those people could…be killed…in the real world…it would weaken the Godmind. )
Brakken o. o O ( But just as effective…would be finding…a way…to remove someone from…the gestalt in the mindscape. )
Joao Silva . o O ( If I could move, I could absolutely make that happen… ))
Chandrasekhar nods to Gerald. He's like a statue - singular, intense focus.
Brakken o. o O ( If you…sufficiently…distract the Godmind…I could help you into…the mindascape…and debate with the members…who make up the Godmind. )
Gerald‘ .oO(If debating worked we probably wouldn’t be here right now.)
Phyllis . o O ( Distract it how? )
Brakken o. o O ( Influencing…the attendees' opinions…could likely affect the…outside body. )
Gerald‘ .oO(Got a REAL good distraction incoming though. Heh.)
Phyllis . o O ( It’s our only feasible chance here, Gerald. I can be VERY persuasive. )
Brakken o. o O ( Just don't…mention myself or Zane…as we're trying to hide from…the Godmind. If it realizes…we're not…Contributing…it might…kill us. )
Gerald‘ laughs at Phyllis’ comment.
Garrett‘ turns to the gnolls!
Phyllis: "I’ve been pulling my punches."
Garrett‘ thrusts an arm forward!
Gerald: "Here’s hoping mind control works inside a hivemind, yeah."
Garrett: "FIRE!"
Phyllis . o O ( Brakken. Pull me in. )
Aleith|DM: As you approach within range, the fleshy black blossoms start trying to hit the Coaltongue with rays of disintegration, which the pilot performs evasive manuevers to dodge them.
Phyllis: Nothing more than an invocation to the plane of Perlocus: "[Make It So.]" Such that the rays miss.
Aleith|DM: At Garrett's command, the Brand fires, powered by Ernst in the capacitator on the foredeck. A massive blast of pyromantic energy fires from the figurehead, blasting a massive hole in the northern side of the Hall.
Aleith|DM: The godmind reels in pain, and a couple of large hundred-foot-long tentacles narrowly miss the ship.
Aleith|DM: The tendrils nearest to the north edge of the Hall burn up, and thoughtflesh begins to close up around it slowly shortly afterwards, but Zane and Brakken have line-of-sight to the Coaltongue.
Chandrasekhar is invisible, then, and waiting for the right moment. The faint glimmer of gold, in the air; the smell of sunlight if sunlight had a smell.
Zane . o O ( Brakken… You… first… )
Phyllis: An [Arcane Gate] to assist extraction, if possible.
Gerald‘ fires off a quick salbo into the tentacles holding onto Zane and Brakken, once a whole through the Godmind is opened up.
It’s impossible to know when, exactly, he teleported away - jumping from here, to here, to here - but then suddenly he's -there- and slicing a tendril to shreds~
Aleith|DM: Two white-green slime bodies, one shaped like a nearly-obese dwarf, the other like the rail-thin cardinal, approach, the cardinal's Planetar struggling as it flies behind them.
Zane brings his mental focus to bear, years of discipline instilled first at the feet of his warrior mother and apothecary father, then honed at war college, underlayed by the savage fury of this abomination against free will. . o O ( GO! ) And he tries to force the minotaur to teleport himself.
Aleith|DM: Brakken staggers, but looks outwards, into the dark, and teleports on to the deck of the Risuri flagship.
Phyllis holds Brakken steady once he makes it on. "Brakken. Brakken, hey. Are you with us?"
Chandrasekhar grabs Zane around the middle and pulls him the -hell- out of there.
Gerald‘ .oO( Assholes on your left, Chan.) While firing a few rounds into them.
Aleith|DM: You shear off a large chunk of their masses with your shotgun blasts.
Phyllis: "How does this work? How do you bring me in?"
Phyllis: "Is that still possible?"
Aleith|DM: Brakken coughs on the deck. "Not…quite."
Aleith|DM: Chandrasekhar and Zane teleport onto the deck.
Phyllis: "You’re already cut free. Is that why?"
Brakken: "Yes. The connection would be…much more difficult from outside."
Zane sprawls in Chandrasekhars grasp. For once, the unbreakable half-orc seems… spent.
Gerald: "You still you?"
Aleith|DM: A tentacle slams into the side of the ship, inflicting minor hull damage.
Chandrasekhar hugs the shit out of Zane 'cause that's what you do when someone just got pulled out of… /that/. If he needs to tank some tentacles he can take a minute to make sure his friend's alive first, ain't goin' nowhere.
Aleith|DM: It'll take several minutes, if not more, to recharge.
Phyllis: "And if, for example, I went inside?"
Gerald: "That sounds like a horrible fucking idea if you can't seize control."
Phyllis: "Jumped off and ran into the eye of the hurricane, so to speak."
Zane manages to mumble. "Need… my stuff. Fuck. Out of grenades. God damned Han. Barrels of firesand. Firecrystals. Ship fuel. Blow that… fucking thing apart." he's sure as hell not moving at all though.
Gerald: "Yeah I'm definitely thinking soarched earth here too."
Chandrasekhar: "Lenz. I don't know if I can teleport in and pull you out of that. And we need you."
Garrett: "AND… FIRE!"
Chandrasekhar: "Let's obliterate this thing."
Gerald: "Okay Pemberton."
Gerald: "You want to hear my craziest plan yet?"
Pemberton: "Well, I wasn't going to say it, but…"
Gerald: "You see that big ass hole in that thing we just opened up?"
Gerald: "Gunna need you to… fly into it."
Gerald: "Then we unload. Everything. Into it and blow it appart from the inside out."
Aleith|DM: The barrage tears into the side of the Godmind, preventing the thoughtflesh from closing, in fact opening it up a bit wider as it collapses some more, and knocking out some of the tendrils.
Phyllis stares at the gestalt for a few moments, then pats Brakken on the shoulder. "Never mind me, then. The moment's lost, as you say."
Gerald: "Going from the outside looks like it'll give it too much time to regenerate, and the Brand can't recharge fast enough to do the job itself."
Phyllis: "If they're still alive through all this, debate can wait."
Zane: "Nobody in there… worth debating. Kill 'em all."
Phyllis: "Not even Heid?"
Zane heaves a deep breath. "Fuck. OK. Give me… a minute."
Gerald: "He's at peace with whatever end he may get, yeah? We'll try unloading into the Chancellor and Cardinal first, see if that knocks it loose enough. Brakken said they were the main ones keeping it moving still."
Chandrasekhar: "…you know that he lived prepared for the end. He taught us all the way."
Gerald: "Can you sense them out, Garrett?"
Zane tries to roll to his feet. "Not like… that."
Garrett: "It was easier with Brakken down there."
Garrett: "And we're not lettin' him go -back- down, so…"
Aleith|DM: They were on the east and west wings, towards the front of the table on either side
Gerald: "Guess we'll have to look fast when we get closer then."
seating, not table
Phyllis: "He taught people to prepare for a good end. A *proper* end. To not live without teeth, to not die without bite."
Gerald: "We're sure as fuck not letting this thing get any further than it already has, though."
Garrett: "Any ideas to stop those two in their tracks, start them in motion while the airship comes about." He turns to the helmsman- "PUSH FORWARD, EAST WING! WE'LL CIRCLE BACK ABOUT AFTER!"
Phyllis: "Would your Vekesh be satisfied? Would he finish his third stanzas?"
Zane: "I know where they were… If killing those two asshole doesnt… stop this thing, I can go get them. Maybe."
Phyllis: "Eschatology is not the fatalism you make of it."
Gerald: "Point of the matter is stopping this thing is way more important than anyone that might need to die to make that happen. We'll TRY and stop it with as few casualities as possible but I mean…" Gerald shrugs in the things direction.
Garrett: "Aw, we got Zane and Brakken, right?"
Chandrasekhar: "Dying for the sake of the world's survival ensures you live on as long as the world itself does. I am the fatalist, old friend, not you. But… we shall see."
Gerald: "Fuck's sake I just said we'd try but we don't have time to run person by person extractions, with it continuing to move and grow like it is."
Phyllis: "Yeah. Focus on those two first."
Gerald‘ lets out a long breath, before lighting up a ciggarette and returning his focus to his scope.
Garrett: !ROLL 1d20+6 ; straight CHA check
Garrett` rolled 1d20+6 and got 8 ( Total: 14 ) for straight CHA check
[OOC] Garrett: Sly fortune’s favor
Garrett: !ROLL 1d20+6 ; straight CHA check
Garrett‘ rolled 1d20+6 and got 15 ( Total: 21 ) for straight CHA check
[OOC] Aleith|DM: +11
Phyllis tries as she might to will the Chancellor and Cardinal’s forms as she can with thoughtform, to make them still, substantial, tangible. [Thoughtform?]
[OOC] Garrett: ok so 26 on that second roll
[OOC] Aleith|DM: 12, even, you add 1/2 level
[OOC] Garrett: 27!
[OOC] Aleith|DM: more like 33
[OOC] Garrett: oh snap
Aleith|DM: The crew is bolstered!
Zane pulls himself away from Chandra to lean on the rail, pulling in slow, deep breaths. "Okay… Okay." He closes his eyes and visibly regathers his composure. "Okay."
Chandrasekhar draws the blade of Srasama, seeks the Chancellor. She is -not- an innocent… "…the Chancellor's on the west side."
Aleith|DM: You approach again, and after some more disintegration rays fire (one scratches the surface of the hull on the port side) the Brand fires again into the West side of the Hall, opening another gaping hole. The one on the North side is still not completely closed yet.
Aleith|DM: The barrage continues, pulling away slightly as a tentacle narrowly misses the ship again.
Aleith|DM: The glowing eyes on the attendees make them easy to find, but there's numerous ones. With Chandrasekhar playing as spotter, Gerald can find Drakr's Chancellor from behind.
Gerald: "Hmm… ah there we go got it." Gerald lets out a puff of smoke, followed by a clip of ammo into the Chancellor.
Aleith|DM: The Prime Cardinal's summoned angel flies out of the hole, greatsword held high as it flies towards the Coaltongue to intercept.
Gerald: "That's all yours Zane!"
Aleith|DM: The lights in Dmitra Takhenova's eyes go out, and the ectoplasmid that held her form collapses.
Aleith|DM: Gerald, perception check?
Zane: "Yeah… Alright."
Phyllis: "Hold! Must you serve your master so?" [Revoke Agency] [All the save penalties]
Phyllis: To the angel, that is.
Gerald‘ rolled d20+26 and got 17 ( Total: 43 )
Aleith|DM: Phyllis, you can tell that the Godmind is actually dominating the planetar itself, not controlling it directly through the Cardinal. The planetar staggers, stopping in mid-air as you fight the Godmind for dominance.
Aleith|DM: After a few rounds of searching in the scope, you find the Prime Cardinal trapped in a pillar at the front of the east side’s seating from here, Gerald.
Gerald: "And… there he is. Garrett, swing aroud the side a bit!"
Aleith|DM: Another disitegration ray manages to hit the side of the Coaltongue, nocking out several portside cannons.
Phyllis: This is the purpose behind Phyllis' study of control. Defenses. Rescue. Strength to defend others from those that truly mean ill.
Aleith|DM: The position of the ship adjusts, and you have a better angle, Gerald.
Gerald: "If this doesn't work we need to burn everything though because those cannons aren't going to hold up much longer. UUuugh. Here goes nothing!" Blam. Blam. Blam. Blam. Blam!
Phyllis: "Stay your hand. Drop your blade. Dig deep for that sense of individuality, your own tempo." [Mass Charm] [Wrath of Battle] [Fiat] [Mesmeric Hold]
Phyllis: She can probably keep that up for several rounds, basically.
Chandrasekhar: "One must try. And then one does what one must to survive."
Zane looks at Singh. A small smile. "Whatever it takes."
Aleith|DM: Tito Banderson dies, and the last ectoplasmid fades out. The Godmind shudders and slows down dramatically-it's still moving, but much more slowly.
Zane: "My turn."
Aleith|DM: The Planetar shakes its head, flaps its pairs of wings a few times rapidly, then bows towards the party before disappearing.
Gerald: "…Sort of worked…? Someone else make the judgement call here."
Zane flicks the Arsenal into a wickedly-curved slashing scimitar and vanishes from the deck of the Coaltongue. Time to go rescue some people by carving through brainmeats.
Garrett: "It's slowed considerably- HELMSMAN, EVASIVE MANEUVERS!"
Aleith|DM: The godmind's defences stop trying to blast the Coaltongue out of the sky.
Garrett: "OH- hey that works a lot better now."
Chandrasekhar is there- and then not there. Invisible, Zane's shadow, carrying the liberated to safety.
Gerald: "Who else is high on the shoot list Brakken?"
Aleith|DM: It takes a few slashes to cut through each tendril, and most of the attendees are comatose, but after cutting them out they start to look at least a little better.
Brakken: "Those three were the heads of the largest three countries. I'm not sure about the rest."
Chandrasekhar works without a word to Zane, precisely where he needs to be.
Gerald: "Right we're looking for the slimest, angriest assholes that were shouting for war the loudest down there, though. It's still kind of solid, if not as dangerous."
Zane passes bodies to Singh and keeps slicing. A few of the more obnoxious warmoners wind up getting their throats cut and left behind.
Phyllis wanders through, cutting free who she can with the Sword of the Black Needles.
Gerald‘ tilts his head backwards. "Looks like you lucked out and we don’t need to do the crazy thing, Pemberton."
Aleith|DM: After you cut out a few dozen delegates and attendees, the Godmind gives out a psychic whimper, and its entire thoughtflesh mass begins to dissolve.
Phyllis: "Gerald."
Phyllis: "What of Sijhen?"
Gerald: "I'm going to murder the SHIT out of him but… seems like he fucked off as soon as the hive started."
Aleith|DM: The Congressional Hall tumbles to the ground, with you in it, but survives with enough integrety that you can still rescue everyone inside.
Aleith|DM: Around the city, every person who was trapped by the Godmind knows that it was the party who saved them. Though wary of forming a new hivemind, the population begins to surge toward them to thank them for saving the city, and an impromptu parade is arranged if you will allow it.
Gerald‘ is pretty sure we’re going to allow it. PR!
Zane will totally allow it. By which he means he fucks off immediately to avoid the spotlight.
Garrett‘ is about to fuck off immediately to avoid the spotlight but then remembers how that life is now over, thanks Aodhan. He delegates triage responsibilities.
Chandrasekhar cautions the populace to focus on making sure everyone is safe and secure, first - to focus on each other, and on their hopes for the world, and for survival. But, within all that… it IS due to their efforts that so many survived. Nothing wrong with acknowledging that. (And using that, to prove to the world what Risur is, and is not.)
Phyllis is out and about, possibly at the parade, speaking with people that approach her, merely to present herself as a Risurian and ward off the xenophobia that swelled into a hivemind so easily. No tricks, no magic, just … her.
Aleith|DM: After your rescue and PR efforts, you board the Coaltongue and head back to Risur to plan for what may come.
Aleith|DM: You level up to 25.
Aleith|DM: War funds, the royal coffers, and taxes/donations provide you each with 2,000,000 GP.
Aleith|DM: End of Module 10 - Godmind.
Phyllis: "… can we refuse part of the funds?"
Garrett: "I wouldn’t think about it too closely."
Phyllis gives Kulp a glare if he's present.
Garrett: "There aren't enough muffins in the multiverse."

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