Zg Session 118

Aleith|DM: Spring 4th, 2:30 PM
Aleith|DM: A large crowd is gathered outside the Jenevah Grand Librarium, booing and jeering the Arch Secula and demanding she come out.
Zane regards the crowd with arms crossed. "So. Do we finesse our way on in or shall I work on clearing the street?"
Gerald‘ glances around the party, before ultimately shrugging. "Hell if I know, this is kind of a strange riot."
Chandrasekhar: "Think it’s possible that the Arch Secula would agree with us that a conversation would be in her own best interests?"
Zane: "Probably. I mean we are trying to stop the god trials and all."
Chandrasekhar: "In which case, a word to her guards. And then if that doesn't work, there's always a way to get in someplace people don't want you to be."
Zane shrugs. "The guards are too busy watching the crowds, if I have to I can go in on another floor. But the talky way is probably a better Plan A."
Chandrasekhar: "Can't hurt. Not like talkin's against the rules."
Phyllis: "And I'd hope she'd be willing to speak with the Risurian king and his entourage."
Zane shrugs and walks through the crowd to the guards. "We're here to see the Arch Secula. It's probably in her best interests to see us, since we're trying to stop the god trials and keep you people from tearing your own country down around your ears."
Guard: "And who exactly are you?"
Aleith|DM: There's some more jeering from the crowd, but it's ignorable.
Zane shrugs. "I'm nobody important. But that guy is the king of Risur, that lady is a scholar, and the mask & armor is a very devout man carrying… well, something pretty important. The guy with the shotgun is security, like me, and the robot is our mascot. We keep the grumpy looking guy around to drive it."
Gerald‘ nods.
Phyllis: "Phyllis Lenz, of the secular arcane college."
Guard: "…aren’t we at war with you?" He sighs and shakes his head, before pointing at another guard. "You, go check with the Arch Secula. Make sure to mention that they want to help with everything."
Gerald: "With a desire to not be."
Aleith|DM: While waiting he remarks, "nobody important, huh? For all that, you show up in the news a lot, Constable, uh, Bieto, isn't it?" Yeah, he didn't quite pronounce it right.
Zane gives a small smile and a little 'who me?' shrug. "I move in exalted circles."
Aleith|DM: The recognition seemed to have clicked when you mentioned the king.
Chandrasekhar hides an amused smile behind the mask.
Aleith|DM: Several moments later the other guard comes back, reporting that she said to let them in to see her.
Aleith|DM: They both head in to escort you to her, while the rest of the guards stay outside to maintain order.
Chandrasekhar gives Zane a thumbs-up.
Zane strolls along with his hands hooked in his belt, giving a nod to Chandrasekhar. "I'm kinda surprised my name shows up in the news out here. Unless it was some piece ot war propaganda telling you I was coming for your women or something."
Gerald: "You were pretty hands on during out time in Ber,"
Guard: "I think they were printing the articles from a Beran newspaper with permission…?"
Gerald: "And with as much as Ber's been swinging back and forth with regards to international politics…"
Zane: "Ahhh, yeah I suppose that would do it."
Zane: "In my defense, I was highly motivated. Ber is my home."
Phyllis: "And this was mine."
Zane nods. "No doubt, yeah. I am fully willing to step back and let you carry this one, Ursinho."
Zane: "Lending a hand as needed, obviously."
Zane: "I dont need to be in ALL the papers."
Phyllis: "And yet, I think Chandra has a greater handle on what is necessary here than I do."
Chandrasekhar chuckles at Phyllis' wording, adjusts something at his neck. "Possibly literally."
Zane: "Well, he's coming at it from the angle of the providence of the divine. You're hitting it as an intellectual analysis. You're walking different paths, but you're headed to the same spot."
Chandrasekhar: "…but yes, there is that here which ought be saved. The world will stand together against this end."
Phyllis: "As much as I intensely disliked the corruption of the Clergy, there is still silver amidst the burning dross."
Zane nods. "And thats why you two should take point on this. Cuz I'd just do the divine investment on the relevant preachers, toss 'em in a pit, and let the strong eat the weak. Thats how we do it in Ber. Sorta."
Chandrasekhar snorts softly at Zane. "And that's why the RHC puts together ~balanced, skilled teams~."
Degaspare: "Welcome to Crisillyir, Your Majesty. I am Natalia Degaspare, the secular head of our nation. Awfully brazen, visiting a nation you're at war with. But you say you're hear to help…?"
Aleith|DM: She's a severe-looking woman, her brown locks kept back by a headband, approaching the end of her middle year.
Zane: "In our defense, everybody else said they were at war with *us*. We were too busy trying to settle things at home to try and pick a fight with anybody else."
Chandrasekhar: "All peace begins with the overture of communication and good faith. That… is our responsibility."
Gerald: "In our defense, ya'll siort of started that bullshit yourselves for no good reason."
Phyllis: "We've all suffered during these dark times. It does no one on the world stage any good to expend effort on fighting. We have the means to lend succor."
Phyllis: "… and our friend here means that Risur is merely the scapegoat, not the actual culprit."
Degaspare: "Did agents of Risur not disrupt the ritual that this Obscurati group led by Nicodemus were using to change the state of our world, causing the loss of the sun?"
Gerald: "No, but not for lack of trying if we're being perfectly honest."
Chandrasekhar: "I have to admit, brazen's worked rather well for us, historically. Sometimes you just have to be the one to take the step. So." He smiles. "Let us clear up what we can, and build towards a truth Lanjyr can share."
Gerald: "They were done before we got to the site, though."
Phyllis: "They may have been denizens of Risur, but they are a rogue faction."
Zane: "As far as I know, it wasn't an official mission to screw everything up."
Gerald: "The thing about Nicodemus is he's charismatic but also a gigantic lying sack of shit when it suits his needs and narrative."
Zane: "And he's got entirely too much practice at all of the above."
Degaspare: "A rogue faction, you say? Interesting. So, how can you help us? By stopping these farcical god trials?"
Phyllis: "I do not think he intentionally lied, in this case, but jumped to conclusions. If Risur orchestrated affairs intentionally, in unison, our own nation would not have been thrown into the disarray it was, with four of the great fey titans rampaging across the land. The fifth one and his agents are the responsible party."
Zane: "Mm. That's part of the plan last time I checked. How the hell are you guys even performing these trials? The ritual components are ridiculously expensive and rare."
Degaspare: "Aha. From Risur, but not working directly FOR Risur. Convenient."
Chandrasekhar: "That seems as if it would be a good place to start. The country will not recover until it finds something to live -for- rather than against."
Degaspare: "Convenient for both narratives, rather. Yours and Nicodemus'."
Zane: "Less 'convenient' and more 'awkward and uncomfortable' for us really. I mean yeah we wanted to stop the ritual, but we wouldn't have signed up for…" He gestures to a window. "Any of that."
Degaspare: "Stopping it before it began, right? So I would assume. Keeping the sun would have been part of any official plan, I'm sure." She sighs. "As for the god trials…"
Gerald: "Strongly in favor of *not* fundimentalty altering the fabric of reality without understanding the consequences, yes. Especially since they didn't go with the meat trees."
Degaspare: "It all started when the stars vanished. Many hierarchs killed themselves and left suicide notes claiming they had lied about the gods, but the military was able to keep order. Then Prime Cardinal Titus Banderesso left for Danor to meet with that Obscurati group and never came back. In some mess that was fixed by you but caused him to die."
Degaspare: "Things became unstable, and the high priest of the goddess of the night sky claimed that he would call forth a miracle to fix the heavens. That, of course, did not work, and he was dragged out to Plaza Hyperion by a mob. They were about to just kill the man, but then a godhand appeared."
Degaspare: "The man, Aulus Atticus, explained that the gods may have failed them, but the people of Crisillyir should not follow the gods' lead. He said they should not punish the priest, but the goddess herself."
Degaspare: "He stalled the mob's anger for a day, and it seemed like perhaps he was trying to make peace. But he demanded the remaining ecclesiarchs send a lawyer to defend the goddess, and anger rose."
Degaspare: "Riots were just starting when Legate Savina Tullius came to the plaza and announced that the government was silent and offered no defense for the goddess, but she would advocate for the people."
Degaspare: "They held that first trial in the square, and Legate Tullius made a case that the goddess must have been negligent in letting the night sky go dark. The high priest said the accusations were a lie, and that someevil force had overpowered his goddess, but that she would return."
Degaspare: "That was when Atticus spoke to the crowd. He claimed he could call the god down and deliver the people's judgment. The crowd cried out that the goddess was guilty, and should be executed."
Degaspare: "Atticus then called for the crowd to follow him and bring the priest to the top of Enzyo Mons. Aulus said he would use the power of Triegenes—the man who became a god—to transform the priest into his goddess."
Degaspare: "And to the crowd's astonishment, after an hour-long hike up the mountain to the edge of the caldera, he did just that. He slaughtered some animals (and found preserved dragon entrails in a musty old museum), painted the priest with their blood, then performed a spell."
Zane furrows his eyebrows and opens his mouth, but holds his questions.
Degaspare: "It seems it was a very large dragon, so he has quite a bit of those ingredients."
Degaspare: "The priest transformed, grew, and where shadows fell across his body stars could be seen through him. Then he fully became the form of his goddess, but was still reeling in confusion."
Gerald: "I *was* wondering about those specifically…"
Degaspare: "The godhand pronounced that the goddess had been found guilty and was sentenced to death. And then he struck the huge woman and hurled her over the ledge into the volcano. The crowd looked down as she fell into lava and vanished. For a moment a beam of holy light rose up to the clouds, but then it guttered and died."
Degaspare: "The very next day, the military got orders to launch for the shores of Risur, to aid the other nations in an invasion. It was a bit delayed due to the Prime Cardinal's death, but eventually, with no military to keep the peace and no head of state to try to control the mob, the city became gripped with a mad desire to punish more gods."
Phyllis: "This sounds very familiar to almost any Eladrin and devotee of Srasama, I'm sure."
Zane sounds *pissed*. "This whole thing is a setup."
Degaspare: "To make matters worse, there seems to be some strange plague or
Aleith|DM: curse afoot. People are dying without rhyme or reason. "
Degaspare: "The prevailing theory is that as the gods die, spells their priests had cast have ended, and so old wards that held demonic forces and evil ghosts locked away have faltered."
Degaspare: "But I fear that it's more direct: when the gods die, their primary worshippers die as well."
Phyllis: "I reiterate what I just said."
Chandrasekhar: "…the power of Triegenes. I see." He's not… shaking with anger. It's much more subdued than that.
Degaspare sighs. "That's sadly a good reference point."
Degaspare: "Always raised up as one of our greatest triumphs, but now it's being turned back on us…by our own people, even."
Chandrasekhar: "I find myself perversely irate at that befoulment of Triegenes' name in the service of such a ritual and such rhetoric."
Zane: "So this guy just happens to show up to calm the crowd and just happens to know the god killing ritual and just happens to have a huge stash of the rare shit needed to make it work."
Degaspare: "How do you propose to stop the trials?"
Chandrasekhar: "…yes, well, weapons can cut their wielder as well as the foe." He sighs, softly. "And no people should be forced to witness the death of their divinity."
Degaspare: "…I am in more agreement with you now than I would have thought possible just last year."
Phyllis: "Atticus has agreed to move up Triegenes' trial early, and we intend to provide a defense for him. His is to be the last."
Chandrasekhar: "That IS the important question, is it not? What if a god were to prove their innocence in front of all assembled?"
Zane: "Well, we did sort of finagle Atticus into putting Triogenes on the block next. And acting as his stand-in."
Chandrasekhar: "What if that God were Triegenes Himself?"
Chandrasekhar smiles dangerously.
Zane: "But at this point I am pretty sure Atticus is working for the Obscurati."
Phyllis: "Are any of the suicide notes available for evidence, out of curiosity?"
Degaspare: "Yes. We've been trying to find the biography of Triegenes, but I fear the only copy lies in the damned Crypta Hereticarum. I'm sure there's something in there that would be useful for the trial."
Zane: "Well, if you give us the keys, we can go get it."
Degaspare: "Atticus hasn't been quiet about his intent to try Triegenes as well, so we've been trying to turn up evidence to defend the god, but the normal scripture can be as easily used against him as for him in these 'trials'."
Degaspare: "I'm pretty sure you've already been in there. Twice, in fact," she says flatly.
Zane: "I think we've only been there once, actually."
Zane: "Guys am I forgetting a visit?"
Gerald: "Uuhh…"
Gerald: "Was that the place with the weird prophetic demon that was tied up over a well?"
Degaspare: "Ashima-Shimtu, yes."
Gerald: "Twice yeah."
Phyllis: "Yes. Likewise, the one with the ritual for the Apotheosis."
Zane: "Oh, was it twice? I must be mixing the two together in my head."
Gerald: "We flipped off the ice anarchist when we were there the second time."
Gerald: "First time you got into a fistfight with the godhand."
Chandrasekhar: "Yeah, that was twice. Don't suppose you have the keys to let that angel thing trapped down there free, too? I -did- tell her I'd look for a way to get her out. She seemed… quite in pain."
Zane: "Oh! I forgot all about that guy! All I remembered was Gradiax and whats-her-face in my ring now."
Degaspare: "Not specifically. Anything like that would be in the Clergy's hands. And I'm not sure how much of that they still have after all these centuries."
Chandrasekhar: "Mmm. And I don't suppose you'd know anything strong enough to chew through those chains."
Degaspare: "Not in particular." She turns to Phyllis. "As for the notes, they're probably in one of the offices at Praetorio Urbis, across the Plaza."
Degaspare: "Who exactly are you getting to stand in for Triegenes, by the way?"
Zane: "Atticus."
Phyllis cocks an eyebrow at Zane.
Zane shrugs. "He's using Tregenes name, it seems only fair."
Degaspare: "That sounds unlike him."
Degaspare: "I suppose you haven't raised this fact with him?"
Phyllis: "I was considering volunteering, but I'm not sure if my faith is strong enough to count."
Phyllis: "I have all this … conflict about how I feel about the Clergy, you see."
Zane: "He said we had to find a stand-in. That was the only thing he said. So I am nominating him, as the most active member of the church."
Degaspare: "I recall."
Degaspare: "Ha! I think that's rather a good argument, actually. But maybe have a back-up just in case."
Zane: "If he backs down, he immediately loses face and takes a huge hit with the mob. Cuz it shows his lack of faith, y'know."
Zane: "So if we find him guilty, we kill the executioner and win. And if we find him innocent we stop the god trials and win."
Degaspare: "And if you kill him, as Triegenes, you will likely kill myriad of my citizens, too."
Zane: "I'd actually rather find him innocent."
Phyllis: "I think her point is that the former case isn't really a win."
Degaspare: "Quite," she says flatly.
Zane: "A phyrric victory is still a victory."
Chandrasekhar: "…that won't happen."
Degaspare: "Very well. I suppose that if you pull this off, and manage to get Triegenes proved innocent, you'd want Crisillyir to pull out of the war effort?"
Zane: "Well, yeah. I mean we are putting our necks at risk to help you get your country back under control… if we really wanted to, we could make it ever so much worse. But that's not how we operate."
Phyllis: "Along with a ritual."
Degaspare: "And for that, you have my thanks," she says ever-so-dryly.
Phyllis glances over at Zane with - disgust? No, but at least she balks at the second-to-last bit.
Degaspare: "A ritual…?"
Zane: "Part of the way to fix this world-spanning, sun-eating disaster may be locked in the Librarium. If we can save your country, we'd like permission to copy the ritual so we can continue to try and put things right."
Phyllis: "Regarding the Axis Seal. I'm under the impression that we need both you - *and* Atticus - to gain access to it. It's necessary if we want to fix the stars."
Aleith|DM: Her eyes narrow shrewdly.
Zane: "Like I said, I'd rather find him innocent. Finding someone else to take his place will be a pain in the ass."
Degaspare: "So I suppose, in a way, you do want to do what Nicodemus accuses you of. But to fix it up, rather, than destroy it."
Gerald: "That is literally what I opened up with, yes."
Zane: "Its more like we want to do the opposite of what he accuses us of, since he says we broke it."
Zane: "But either way, we need the ritual."
Chandrasekhar fixes his featureless mask on Degaspare. "And, yes, you know the implications thereof. It's the only path to repairing the world."
Degaspare: "Very well. I suppose you've asked Atticus about this too? If you can stop these god trials, stopping my countrymen from possibly killing themselves at the same time, I will help you gain access to that ritual."
Degaspare: "As well as getting him-or his replacement-to call back our troops."
Zane: "This does indeed sound like the ideal plan."
Phyllis: "Even without the quid pro quo, I'd still be here."
Phyllis: "But yes."
Zane: "But really, I'd like the relevant keys and passwords to the Hereticum, so I dont have to fight my way through every trap and guard dog in the place."
Gerald: "Not when we've got a time limit, yeah."
Degaspare: "There isn't much left there. Recent reports say that the wards are almost dangerously weakened now. The only real defence is the legion of undead that still rise up after sunset. The doors aren't even locked."
Zane: "Oh. Well that's easy enough then."
Phyllis growls. "But we're still fixing -this-."
Zane: "We're here to fix a lot of shit, Phyllis."
Zane: "Alright so if we leave now, we'll get to the island just in time to deal with the aforementioned zombies. Which I think me and Gerald can probably handle, but that leaves us outside while you all are inside poking around. Or we go in the morning and skip that part."
Aleith|DM: There's big bronze doors at the front of the lighthouse above the entrance that you can barricade if you need to.
[OOC] Zane: now whats the fun in that
Phyllis: "In we go, then?"
Zane shrugs. "I like my odds against the horde if we want to go tonight, sure."
Aleith|DM: It doesn't take you long before you get back to the Coaltongue following your departure from the Grand Librarium. The trip is relatively short, just under 5 hours, but you arrive just after sunset.
Phyllis: "I don't think we really have time to spare."
Gerald: "Fine by me."
Phyllis lets her hand crackle with the beginnings of a [Chain Lightning] cast. "Besides, hordes make great conduits."
Aleith|DM: Debarking in front of the forlorn lighthouse, a voice whispers into your minds, "Deceptions and foul deeds were long the domain of Ashima-Shimtu. Perhaps the visitors to her prison wonder if she enjoys the suffering and death of the pious in Alais Primos."
Ashima-Shimtu: "The religion that imprisoned her is shattered. She senses as blood flows through the city's canals, but though she provided the hammer, it is not her hand that swings it."
Ashima-Shimtu: "Alas, it seems all of Ashima-Shimtu's plots to ensure her release have come to naught. Should the doors to her prison be opened, her sentence of the oubliette shall become the scythe. Execution awaits her, yet these visitors might prove her salvation."
Ashima-Shimtu: "Though it may be revealed as hypocrisy, she demands a favor be repaid. She beckons her visitors, come and speak in person."
Gerald: "Uh…"
Gerald: "You remember I've offered to free you each time we've been here ebfore right…?" Gerald glances over at Zane making a 'demons are so weird' expression.
Aleith|DM: As Ashima-Shimtu finishes speaking, a single figure appears atop the lighthouse, a trumpet-bearing angel. He proclaims, "None shall attempt to enter the vault, lest they face the wrath of the gods. All within is suspect. We cannot allow the evil here the leave, so if you open those doors, we will not stop until this isle is cleansed. Do you come here as thieves and looters, or do you also wish to purge the unholy?"
Zane shrugs at Gerald. Then looks at the angel. Then back at the zombies. Then back at the angel. "Its like its my birthday or something."
Phyllis rolls her eyes at the angel.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License