Zg Session 139

Aleith|DM: As Pemberton lifts the last of his jury-rigged duplicant apparatuses from Zane's head and chest, and Zane confirms his mission was successful, he states, "that's all of them, then. Good work, your majesty, constables."
Gerald‘ rolls his head around a bit before getting off the slab. "Well that was fun I guess, but time to go finally kill Nico and fix the world now right?"
Garrett: "We’ll have to append the congratulatory party to the end of the one we're going to throw for fixing the planar alignment and ending the Ob. Clock's still counting down."
Garrett‘ performs a few sustained stretches before looking out toward the Coaltongue.
Pemberton: "Your ship’s been taking on some supplies and a new crane while you've been busy."
Garrett‘ takes a few moments in contemplation before replying. "…wonder if that’ll work for arranging seals and whatnot, if need be."
Chandrasekhar gets up off the slab. His motions are still a little robotic.
Pemberton: "What are your plans for the planar alignment?"
Pemberton: "Well, the stone pillars are supposed to weight several tons. We don't have a giant golem to life them for us."
Zane: "We're making them not-stupid. Removing the Apet-Urim-Men seal was possibly the dumbest thing Nico has done in a long, *long*, and varied list of really dumb shit."
Phyllis: "I'm capable of raising land, with enough concentration and time. The Sacrament would make this faster, though…"
Pemberton: "Oh, right, the Sacrement? God-mode, the thing Triegenes apparently never used?"
Zane scowls. "It would be a shocking twist in established tradition if it was actually used properly."
Gerald: "There would be some weird poetic justice to kill Nico with that ritual, all things considered."
Chandrasekhar: "Trigenes wasn't facing an existential threat to all the world. We're playing for all the marbles, here." He plays with the hook around his neck, idly.
Pemberton: "Might be worth a shot. There's a lot of people cheering for you, especially after that reporter, Melissa, started writing about your adventures. She was still writing some after you were gone, until the Ob took over all the papers."
Gerald: "Huh."
Garrett: "Yeah, they still love us."
Garrett: "Danor's not going to realize that we saved them -again-, but I'll let it slide."
Pemberton: "They know you saved them from that Godmind, at least."
Pemberton: "No matter how the Ob tried to spin it afterwards."
Chandrasekhar: "The world wants to survive. And we will become what we must to ensure its will is made manifest."
Pemberton: "Saving them from certain doom once and the Ob's hiveminds the second time certainly helps. Not to mention just about all of Risur is behind you."
Phyllis: "I thought you had a more pessimistic view on what the world truly wanted, Chandra."
Gerald: "My boundless optimism has clearly rubbed off on him."
Pemberton: "I'm okay with having things mostly back the way they were, to be honest."
Pemberton: "If we've still got Jiese and flight, those are fine by me. I wouldn't mind being able to travel to other planes, but there are scary things out there."
Zane rolls his shoulders and nods. "I don't know much about astrology, but this new world is a fucking shambles. Unless someone can paint a better option and fast, I like going back to how it was."
Garrett‘ firmly shakes his head. "The extraplanar doors are being sealed and welded shut."
Ernst: "I think that is something we all agreed on, yeah."
Gerald: "Actually I’m still not convinced we really need flight but if we're basically keeping everything else I won't fight it."
Pemberton: "Better safe than sorry, I agree. I just know there isn't exactly much in the way of my kind left on here, so I could have left for 'deeper caverns', if you want to phrase it that way. For my daughter and myself."
Phyllis: "Given that the Obscurati broke flight when they journeyed to Avilona and it's their fault, I can see that."
Pemberton: "As it is, I know I'm pretty much only alive at Constable Bieito's sufferance."
Chandrasekhar: "Barring some strange extraplanar revelation at the last minute… and even then, Av, Apet, Nem, and Urim are non-negotiable, as far as I'm concerned. As for others…" He shrugs.
Zane nods. "Av must be restored. the planar ways must be shut. I imagine Jiesse must stay otherwise Ernst and Gerald will pout."
Gerald: "I mean if you suddenly want me to not be able to use my Blaster or for Ernst to be able to do anything, or Gods forbid, kill Stocke…."
Pemberton: "A shame to kill the Flint RHC's mascot like that."
Ernst: "If you think killing off the best member of the RHC is worth the planar change…"
Chandrasekhar laughs!
Phyllis: "At the -very- least, at minimum, we need to close the golden seal and return Vona to its rightful place in lieu of the Gyre."
Zane: "See? Pouting already! Gods forbid I have to listen to this for another twenty years. Jiesse must stay."
Zane grins.
Phyllis: "If we flub anything else, we can regroup and rearrange the seals later. But that is the main time limit behind our dire predicament."
Pemberton: "Alright. Let's get the things we need for the sacrement and take off, then.
Garrett: "I imagine it'll just be easier if we do it while we're there, why waste a trip."
Pemberton: "What was it? Eagle, lion, dragon…whale?"
Gerald: "Dragon."
Zane: "And a partridge in a pear tree."
Gerald: "Oh you got that part. Yeah I think that was it."
Garrett: "That's the four, if I remember correctly."
Zane: "Gerald remembers the important part, for certain."
Pemberton shrugs. "Don't look at me. I'm just here in soul and iron.
Zane: "Not helping your case, Gradiax."
Pemberton sighs. "I suppose you have a portal pad I can send some entrails too…."
Gerald: "Where else are we going to get some dragon, especially on the way?"
Pemberton: "There's always Inacth before we leave…"
Zane: "Yes, but we LIKE Inacht."
Garrett‘ is notably standing there, arms crossed, and he looks from Zane to Pemberton with eyebrows raised and a shiteating grin like, ’I a'int sayin' shit.'
Phyllis: "Or at the very least, we're already in communication with you and we're burning what little daylight remains on our planet."
Garrett: "We're wasting time talking on the ground as it is! To the Coaltongue!"
Gerald‘ j’aunt.
Zane: "In fact, I find it likely that Inacht would volunteer without even being asked. Possibly even at the expense of his own life. Not that's a threat with Ostea in place at the moment."
Pemberton: "It's true. Ostea does make this easier. Expect it soon enough. Get some people looking for the other beasts' entrails quickly."
Zane: "Of course."
Aleith|DM: His duplicant shuts down for the moment.
Garrett: "The governor's mansion should have some of this stuff since they moved the capital, or maybe RHC HQ…"
Garrett: "I'll go to the former, someone check the latter."
Garrett‘ jaunts!
Zane pushes it over and walks off. "Self-serving lizard. You will buy your pardon with blood, sweat, and agony since common decency is beyond your grasp unless you are under duress."
Zane goes to HQ to check for stuff. Including the talismans that were there from way back when this all started!
Phyllis helps Zane rummage around. She can at least send him in the right direction and split up when getting different materials.
Garrett` confers with the remaining mages in and around the mansion, also Inacht if he’s returned there. "Nah, we're making Gradiax give us the entrails," he assures him.
Harkover: "Very well. It does serve him right."
Aleith|DM: You are able to track down a decent amount of whale entrails down at some fishmongers' markets. Eagles aren't that hard to find in the Cloudwood. If anything, the lion is the hardest to find, but one of the richer factory owners does part with his pet lion after some encouragement….
Aleith|DM: By the time you're ready to go, a portal opens up on your fey portal pad briefly before a cart loaded with a large, steaming pile of dragon entrails is pushed through.
Zane will kill the lion, at least. A noble predator deserves to die at the hand of another predator.
Phyllis cracks her knuckles and stands up. "I suppose I'll get started."
Gerald‘ is kind of glad his sense of smell was undoubtedly ruined by spending so much time at the factories as the entrails come in.
Garrett` returns, and exhales deeply. "Thought the whale guts were bad…"
Pemberton’s duplicant re-activates. "They are both certainly in their own category, yes. I'm glad I can turn off the olfactory sensors on this."
Gerald: "Mm."
Zane passes Garrett a small jar with a salve in it. "Upper lip. It will deaden the smell. Mostly"
Aleith|DM: The Coaltongue takes off, with Ernst helping the engineers eke out every last bit of speed for the trip to Axis Island.
Pemberton: "It's probably a good idea you're planning to use this Sacrement. That tendril of energy in the middle of the Seal looks nasty. I imagine being god-like should help that."
Gerald: "Probably, yeah."
Phyllis gets to work in preparing the sacrament along the trip. Not applying it yet, necessarily, but getting it just about ready.
Aleith|DM: The Coaltongue is pushed to its limits, and probably beyond. It's certainly never travelled this fast before. The snow-covered ground of Risur zips past below you.
Aleith|DM: With a long trip ahead of you, most of you probably try to get some rest.
Phyllis lets a vase slip out of her hands, but catches it with a well-timed [Mage Hand].
Phyllis: From the turbulence, you see.
Aleith|DM: But when you do, visions assail you of standing at the edge of a world, staring down into the maw of the Gyre. No rest is had.
Garrett‘ lets the first mate handle the helm, and he sinks into a captain’s chair for a bit of a snooze… or not.
Zane knows there is only one word that he can wear to truly represent the spirit of his people. Liberdade is writ across his chest in bloody scrawl. He stands at the rail in quiet contemplation, preparing himself for the most important fight he will ever have. And at some point he has a slice of pie and a coffee.
Chandrasekhar does… what he always does. He meditates, more fitfully than usual; for a time, by the prow of the ship, he sings the central hymn of the Vekeshi canon in its entirety.
Aleith|DM: As you're soaring over seas between eastern Risur and Axis Island, you start final portions of the sacrament of apotheosis.
Gerald‘ goes to sleep, wakes up, rolls over, goes back to sleep, wakes up, rolls over and puts his hat over his face with a groan before letting his eyes rest at least.
Phyllis joins Chandra and contemplates what it means for her to take the sacrament, after Triegenes -hadn’t-. After her own writings and teachings, where she's said that we should be the priests of our own individual religions, not prescribed something from a higher organization. She will not become a deity to lord over the populace - she will become a servant of the people to -protect-
Phyllis that ideal.
Phyllis picks up a brush and stands over a vase, solemnly looking around the room. "Who's first?"
Zane removes his shirt. "When am I ever not on point, Ursinho?"
Aleith|DM: Phyllis has spread the entrails and blood of the beasts - lion, eagle, whale, Gradiax - in a ring. Two golden urns sit in the centre of the ring, one empty, the other filled with a mixture of the beasts blood. The empty urn is offered along with a knife, for your blood to mix into the empty urn.
Zane cuts his palm and bleeds into the empty urn. "For the freedom of all people."
Garrett‘ crosses his arms, also sipping at a mug of coffee.
Phyllis offers her hand to take the knife next. "I’ll drink to that."
Zane passes her the knife. "I have a batch of tequilla almost finished."
Phyllis cuts her palm. "For the good inherent in all of humanity, such that they don't need the heavy hand of someone like Nicodemus."
Phyllis: "Or myself."
Aleith|DM: Zane has already used the mixed animal blood to scrawl his belief across his chest.
Phyllis: (which is essentially freedom)
Gerald: "Hmm. Yeah, that'll work. Duty to the people and all." Gerald takes the knife, makes a cut, then passes it on.
Garrett‘ tosses the now-empty mug over his shoulder and takes the knife- a deft cut across the chest, and the blood swirls down the curves of an armored arm, swirling towards the tip of a bracer, and it pours into the jar.
Garrett: "For the hopes, dreams, and souls that yearn beyond the stars they see in the world they want for the better."
[OOC] Aleith|DM: You all take 20 damage for the ritual offering of blood.
Chandrasekhar: "For the right of all to live, to survive, to entrust their culture unto tomorrow. For the freedom of the vine to grow until all rocks have shattered." When he cuts his hand, blood drips from invisible flesh until it flows no more.
Ernst takes the knife himself, making a quick cut. "Just doing my job."
Garrett: "Before I was nothing but words. Now I am all that is believed. I am faith made flesh. I am flesh made a god."
Phyllis same.
Gerald` mumbles an ’oh right' to himself before repeating after Garrett's chant.
Zane clasps arms with Chakrasekhar. "Before I was nothing but words. Now I am all that is believed. I am faith made flesh. I am flesh made a god."
Phyllis: "Before I was nothing but words. Now I am all that is believed. I am faith made flesh. I am flesh made a god."
Aleith|DM: As the sacrament of apotheosis takes effect, you feel your bodies expand across the horizon, and your senses flit among the hearts of millions of people who believe in you. The shared faith – granted willingly, not compelled – fills you with unbridled confidence.
Aleith|DM: Motes of dancing energy, like fiery blue moths only you can see, swirl before all of you and grow brighter as you move toward Axis Island. As your ship nears the crux of the world's fate, these manifestations of destiny surge in the air like dolphins breaking bove the waves at the prow of a ship under full sail.
Chandrasekhar spoke the words, echoing after Zane. Where once this ritual doomed his people, today it will save ALL peoples- and he holds to that faith, the echo of and counterpoint to a long-forgotten refrain.
Aleith|DM: Choose your Boons. With the support of everyone, you have 14 boons to share amongst yourselves.
Gerald‘ scrunches up his face for a moment at the strange feeling, then settles into himself as he gets used to it. (At Will Disruptive Shot. Plentitude.)
Zane cannot, will not, be stopped. The strength to do what is neccesary that all may live free. [Tower Above. From On High.] The first lesson of the Dyer Revolutionary Institude. Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum. [Plentitude]
Aleith|DM: Zane: As the ship nears Axis Island, you feel a flood of inspiration - including a technique, Stance of the Paper Wind, which is completely foreign to you. [All Martial Scientist techniques are considered prepared and useable for this encounter.]
Phyllis: Creation. Plentitude. Myriad beliefs exist already, and the world shall continue to birth new ones still.
Chandrasekhar echoes Zane; they will be the pillars upon which the world rests. For as long as is necessary. [Tower Above, From On High]
Garrett` ’s form grows resplendent. His stare hardens with the eyes of thousands. When his fist clenches, it is with millions of fingers. Every wave of his arm, a blast of trumpets, an unseen chrous singing Risur's anthem. [Plentitude]. A shimmer washes over him once, twice, and the third pulses out to each ally around him… he grins with a determination backed by immesurable wills.
Garrett‘ [Unstoppable] [At-Will]
Gerald` rolls his head around on his shoulders a bit, then pauses briefly as a third hand grows itself out from his back and grabs hold of his rifle and rest it over his shoulder like a mount. A moment later the scope seems to have an eyeball inside of it.
Phyllis casts [Mage Hand]. [Mage Hand]. [Mage Hand]. [Mage Hand]. [Mage Hand]. [Mage Hand]. [Mage Hand]. [Mage Hand]. [Mage Hand]. [Mage Hand]. [Mage Hand]. [Mage Hand]. [Mage Hand]. [Mage Hand]. [Mage Hand].
Aleith|DM: As you come within sight of Axis Island, the shores are dark, but some barely audible thrum reverberates, like hundreds of bass drums playing asynchronously. The lashing tendrils of energy from the Axis Seal rise into the sky, stretching out toward the leading edge of the Gyre as it rises over the horizon.
Aleith|DM: Only the faintest hints of human activity are visible around the island’s perimeter, where hooded lanterns seek not to illuminate tiny work crews as they busy themselves with digging equipment and cranes. These crews have ensured all the petrified trees buried in the island are stable and prepared for the ritual.
Aleith|DM: Elsewhere, out of sight but clearly audible, house-sized steam-powered machines pound the bedrock in a mechanical approximation of a ritual chant, channeling power into protective wards.
Aleith|DM: The fortress where you first faced Asrabey and heard the Duchess warn of a conspiracy is abandoned.
Aleith|DM: The forests which you crept through when you first infiltrated the island wait motionless.
Aleith|DM: The island's roiling terrain is stable, for all the chaos and transmuting forces have been drawn to the Axis Seal.
Aleith|DM: Flying over the jungle hills, you finally gets a view of the ritual field itself, when they feel a tug at your thoughts.
[OOC] Aleith|DM: https://i.imgur.com/BWrYJSv.jpg
Aleith|DM: Images flash in your minds of a ghost solemnly stepping into the body of a nervous, shirtless man; of the man's posture changing as he is possessed; of chanting specters encircling him with entrails; painting him with blood; slicing open his throat.
Aleith|DM: Lights around you darken for a moment. Winds thrash, graced with the subtle scent of blood and burnt paper and flesh.
Gerald: "Guess we didn't miss the party."
Aleith|DM: You all feel as if you are being offered a choice.
Aleith|DM: One last vision shows the blood-painted body gurgle and sag to the floor, but Nicodemus's ghostly form remains standing, flanked by the psychic impression of ten million minds. Then Nicodemus turns, and gestures.
Aleith|DM: The vision ends, but with your real eyes you see the huge, crippled mass of the Obscurati's colossus stirs. He sits up weakly on the bedrock and heaves the golden seal off his body. It crashes in an unoccupied space of the ritual field.
Aleith|DM: The titan then rolls onto crippled knees and his single intact arm. The shattered pieces of his injured limbs lift from the ground and slide into place with a metallic screech. The colossus bellows in pain, but then with a surprised gasp as strong as a gale, he shifts his weight and pushes himself to his feet.
Gerald: "Hey, kid! Where's your mom at!"
Aleith|DM: The ghostly form of Nicodemus rises into the sky and meets the titan at eye level.
Nicodemus: "Borne my boy," Nicodemus says, and his voice is heard by everyone in the entire world. "We were sabotaged, but you were perfect, indomitable. Before you fell, you nearly completed our grand design."
Nicodemus: "The world we created truly is better, thanks to you, but outside forces," and he gestures to the sky, clearly indicating your approach, "were able to move against us. I have restored you, son. I know you are confused and have questions, but you have to trust me. Together, you and I, we'll finish this ritual and set it all right. But first, we need to pull those pests from the sky. Do you understand, Borne?"
Aleith|DM: The colossus turns his head to scan the entire horizon. He pauses at the sight of the Gyre, but only a moment passes before he narrows his eyes in a confident smile.
Borne: "Guide me, father."
Aleith|DM: Another airship turns towards you, this one appearing to mostly be a gigantic balloon with a substructure beneath it. Cannons are visible along the sides of the structure.
Aleith|DM: A gigantic mass of ghostly forms swirl in the distance, as well.
Gerald: "…He is seriously going to engage us with a fucking blimp…"
Ernst: "Can you just… shoot it once or something and let the air go out?"
Gerald: "Definitely." Which is exactly what he's going to do.
Garrett: "Summon your entire destiny before us, Nicodemus," he calls. The carry on his voice is unreal.
Garrett: "Here, everything ends."

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