Bear's Elemental Mayhem

Ice Elemental (1)
Winter is coming
Debriefing:

Cid – "The Ice Elemental is going to be passing close enough to the Los Wegas peninsula that Pax’s presence should be all the lure you need to have him make landfall. If not, then we’ve got an armada of tugboats with whaling equipment ready to drag him to you. And don’t worry about the tugboat crews getting in your way. Everything that could be automated has been, and what crew was required is composed entirely of bots that have been modded out to survive being frozen solid or having to make the walk of shame across the ocean floor.

Now, going by the sort of devastation left in this things wake from the Jurai Isles last week, we’ve outfitted you lot with the finest cold weather gear that there is. Don’t expect it to matter much if this thing grabs you though. Now, gear up and head out. We’ve got a driver waiting for you down in Los Wegas and he’s not cheap."

Once the party finished their prep work, they used the teleporter for Los Wegas.

The slot machines have gone cold:

Los Wegas normally enjoys rather mild weather year round thanks to the Gulf of San Duskin to the west; however, this is not a normal day. As you step out of the teleporter a cold wind stings your eyes and you are shocked to see everyone bundled up in their thickest coats and furs. The Ice Elemental is still a couple hundred miles away, but the winds have announced his coming.

Rache and Ervill, as you exit the building, you see a familiar face woofing down some chili cheese fries. Your pal, Roderick Jones, stands beside his superbly distinct vehicle. He waves you over, scattering chili and fake cheese as he does so. Roderick’s outfit is heavily stained and he grins at you through food encrusted teeth. He’s about as wide as he is tall, and he’s wearing a too big duster over his floral shirt and jeans combo. Thick goggles perch atop his head, nearly hidden in the thick, tangled mess of dyed red hair. Dirt covers Roderick’s entire person except for where his goggles normally sit over his eyes.

Roderick – “Fellas! Wassup! So, you with the crazy tats must be the dude who’s gonna nuke Jack Frost. Nice to meetcha. Names Roderick Jones, and this here’s the misses”

Roderick points to the most gaudy and impractical looking rig you have ever laid eyes on. The vehicle is a tric (2 wheels in the front, one massive, 8ft beast in the back) with a trailer made out of the doors of a great many unfortunate cars. The tric is hot green with orange banners streaming from anything and everything that sticks out past the frame, and the trailer is an eye jarring assortment of whatever color the vehicles were in their past lives all mashed together.

Roderick – “I can see you’re impressed. Now, she ain’t all good looks and pretty paint, ya know. See, the trailer here may be covered in windows that let you look in, but there’s the trick. They don’t actually show you what’s inside the trailer! Here, have a gander.”

Moving up to the trailer, you look through the windows and for all you can tell, this man is crazy. You can see inside the trailer just fine and can even look out the other side when the windows match up. Sitting in there is going to be miserable.

Roderick – “Now for the cool part.”

He opens up a door with a hot green X on it, and you realize this man is actually quite crafty. The inside of the trailer is filled with plush furniture, a handful of flatscreens are mounted on the walls and a mini fridge sits towards the front.

Roderick – "The windows are actually screens and this whole rig is covered in tiny hidden cameras. It’s ok to be impressed. I’ve even got some screens on the inside so you fellas can look out. There’s food and beer in the fridge if you want. It’s not but an hour or so to the tip, but make yourselves at home.

You each find a place to sit and relax as much as you are able. Roderick jumps aboard his hog and starts hauling you out of the city and towards the coast. It won’t be long now….

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ChryoTech Security Games
Donut Cops of Destiny

Cid calls Pax, Rache and Ervill into his office.

Alright men, here’s the deal. Our security teams have been getting their teeth kicked in for a while now and I’m sick of it. We’ve done everything we are legally allowed to with minimal success. So, until the board lets me tinker with our staff on the genetic level, we’re at a bit of a standstill. This is where you come in. I need help convincing the board that more science is the only recourse we have left. Not the happy, blue-ribbon science fair type stuff, oh no. We’re talking the sketchy, time to hide the kids kind. I want to have to harness lightning to get them back off the operating table.

The board has allowed for me to run a war game between you gents and the security personnel. No need to thank me, I’m sure you’ve all been itching for a chance to shoot these guys with bullets that make your limbs go numb. Now, normally, the compound found in these capsules doesn’t cause you to go limp, but we’ve been peppering the food with just the right amount of amino ester. Now, when one of these Novocain rounds hits you, say, in the shoulder…

Shoots Pax in the shoulder.

The whole arm goes totally limp! Go on, try and move your hand.

Pax tries to move his right hand but it jerks and slaps around listlessly.

See, it simulates taking a slug in the shoulder without all the hassle of bleeding all over the place and needing surgery afterwards. So, each of you will be given enough of the Novocain rounds to tranq the whole security team twice over. They’ve had their standard rounds swapped out as well. Any shots you take to a limb will make that extremity go completely numb. Take a hit in the head or torso though….

Shoots Pax in the chest. Pax slides out of his chair onto the floor in a puddle.

Total paralysis! Aside from breathing and blinking, you can’t do a damn thing. You can still breath and blink, right? Blink for yes, stare at me in wide-eyed horror for no.

Pax blinks.

Stupendous! Glad they got that fixed. Now, the best part, is that the effects last until you remove the gel from the bullets. I had the labcoats alter the gel to be extremely photosensitive to Ultraviolet light. A quick blast from one of these….

Pulls out a flashlight and shines a deep bluish-purple light over Pax shoulder and chest. The gel breaks down and runs off onto the floor.

Turns it into basic water. Now, Pax, you’re going to feel like your entire body has fallen asleep and is now waking up. Feels like you’ve got pins and needles all over, but it’s still better than being actually shot. Now get off my floor and take your seat. As I said, you all will be outfitted with Novocain rounds and Novocain knives. They’re rubber, but release the gel when the “blade” portion is pushed against another surface.

Now, the purpose of these toys, is for you lot to go out there, make complete fools of our security team, and show the board once and for all that the time to take drastic measures is before the drastic times come. Our motto isn’t “We do what we must, because we can” for no reason!

The war game starts at six, an hour after when most of the employees leave. Your task, aside from moping the floor with our security teams, is to retrieve as many flags as you can. We’ll have them located in mock high security areas of the building. Namely, the 4th Fl. Cafeteria, the mens room outside of the robotics bay, and my office. I’m counting on you to shame them. Make them beg me to alter their DNA. I want tears, gentlemen! Great big droplets of liquid remorse!

Pax, Rache and Ervill spend the early afternoon prepping themselves and meet back up outside of ChryoTech just before 6:00 pm. What follows is the hightlights reel of their exploits:

1) While attempting to enter the building covertly, Rache somehow manages to repaint the entire East side of ChryoTech into a 400ft mural of Baba Yaga. The mural proceeds to shrink down to life-size, and Baba Yaga’s shop appears from nowhere. The ancient witch proceeded to empty the embers from her pipe into Rache’s ear and informed him that she was not a woman to be trifled with.

2) With their Illusionist caught up with other matters, Pax and Ervill sought their own way into the building, and being the covert experts they are, swiped Pax’ keycard on an exterior door. The security team told Mr. Romanis to wait just a moment and someone would be there to get the door for him. While they wait, Rache turned up and offered to simply magic the door out of their way. Flubbing the job yet again, the door appears to be gone, but is still there in reality. Convinced things are all clear, Ervill tries to enter the building and slams face-first into the invisible door. Just as Ervill turns to chew out Rache, a squad of security personnel throws the door open and fire like mad at the guys. Fortunately for our trio, the guards are awful marksmen and are quickly dispatched.

3) Rache breaks off from the group, summons his minions (whom he has given all of his Novocain bullets to) and heads off for the Robotics Bay mensroom flag. Along the way, he has his minions duct tape their doctored knives onto the end of their rifles for some good ol’ fashioned bayoneting. Since ChryoTech has been serving everyone with the same doctored food, Rache has his minions poke everyone they come across, leaving a trail of paralyzed employees in their wake. Since Rache’s minions lack the amino esters necessary to let the Novocain rounds function, collecting the flag and disabling the security team in the mensroom is child’s-play.

4) Pax and Ervill hit s supply closet and nab a pair of Haz-Mat suits and proceed up to the 4th Floor Cafeteria. The 4th Floor is accounting, and it takes little work for the duo to whip the crowded eatery into a suitable panic. The security personnel rush the civies out the doors and down the stairs, sending everyone to the second floor where the “Decontamination Center” is located. Pax and Ervill then bark orders at the security guards, sending some out to search for others to warn and the rest down to the second floor. Nerves are running thin, though, and some of the guards crack under the strain. The flag is easily taken from one of the guards who is suffering from a laughing fit.

5) Rache and his minions storm Cid’s office with flashbangs followed immediately by Rache’s shroud ability. The sudden flash of light followed by utter darkness leaves the guards disorganized, and easy marks for the minions. Rache magics a hole in the outer wall of the building, and a second hole in the window of Cid’s office. Capturing the flag is again simple, and Rache throws himself out of Cid’s window, unsummons his minions, and proceeds to fly the 27 stories down to ground level on his wings of madness. Unfortunately, the minions weren’t done paralyzing all of the guards and about halfway down Rache remembers something terrible…. Hezrou had the flag from the mensroon, and it is now just sitting on the floor back in Cid’s office. Cursing, Rache hastened back to the office, but the flight back up took longer than he would have liked and sure enough, the flag is nowhere to be found. Rache summons Hezrou again, unleashes his bonds, and has his awakened spider demon use his sense of smell to track down the remaining guard and flag. They leave the poor fellow pinned against a wall in spider webbing in a stairwell.

Needless to say, Cid was elated, and the security personnel at ChryoTech will be getting overhauled on the molecular level.

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Becoming a Lich
In honor of Rache

Since there was no real action this last game session, have a gander at the means by which everyone’s favorite sociopath attained eternal life! I always imagine this being read by Julia Child.

Becoming a Lich:

So you wish to cheat death and obtain a body which will survive forever. Marvelous! Just use this handy guide to obtain immortality.

Ingredients:

(1) Soul of an innocent (must be human).
(1) Still beating heart of a sworn enemy (also human).
(1) Phylactery.
(12) Nightshade infused candles.
(1) Full set of child’s teeth (kids have 20 teeth).
(2) Basilisk eyes.
(1) Vial of mother’s milk (still human).
(2) Grams of belladonna
(1) Parent’s skull

Prep work:
  • Take your parent’s skull, flip it upside down, and cut away anything that keeps it from being a bowl.
  • Use a mortar and pestle to grind the children’s teeth into a fine powder (don’t skimp on the elbow grease here, the finer the powder, the better).
  • Sharpen your knives.
  • Place the candles in a perfect circle around the place where you will perform the final act of the rite (make certain you have enough room for both you and your phylactery in the circle).
  • Master the spell “Necrotic Ray”.
Directions:
  • Preheat your oven to 350°
  • Cook the Basalisk eyes for 30 minutes or until the iris blanches.
  • Light the candles.
  • In the skull bowl, mix the belladonna and powdered teeth.
  • Slowly add the mother’s milk to the skull bowl while stirring.
  • About when the eyes finish, you should notice a faint haze from all of the candles. It will now be safe to release the innocent soul you have into the air without fear of it escaping.
  • Take the cooked eyes, slit them open and scoop out all of the unnecessary jelly. Find the pocket of purple flesh in the center of the eye and carefully remove it without breaking it open.
  • Grind the basilisk eye cores in your skull bowl slowly. Use a twisting, crushing motion to insure you get the full effect.
  • Cast “Necrotic Ray” on the skull bowl. This should turn the contents from a lilac color to a pale blue with black veins.
  • Cut the still beating heart out of your sworn enemy (sharp knives!), take a mouthful of the blood from it but don’t swallow any just yet. Place the heart atop the skull bowl. With the heart now removed from its owner, you have only moments to complete the rite.
  • Place the skull bowl in the candle circle next to your phylactery.
  • Stand in the center of the circle, raise your arms above your head, and look up into the nightshade mist. Allow the mouthful of blood to trickle down your throat as you lock eyes with the soul of the innocent trapped in the air.
  • Slit your wrists (sharp knives!) and with your vocal cords now coated in blood, say the sacred words “Klaatu Barada Nikto”.

If you perform the rite correctly, the phylactery will pull your soul out of your body and into itself for safe keeping. The components of the skull bowl will devour the heart of your enemy, the soul of the innocent, the nightshade infused air, and the life essence from anyone in the room. From within the phylactery, you must command your body to drink the contents of the skull bowl, which will keep your body from decaying.

Accidental Lichdom:

If you should find that you were made a Lich by happenstance or magical tomfoolery, then it may not be necessary to follow the above verbatim. Use your judgment to determine which parts of the rite were overlooked in your personal transformation. Your physical body will have incorporated any of the components needed for the spell which were at hand when you became a Lich, and will not need to be obtained again.

Your Life as a Lich:

Now that you have entered into the ranks of the undying, there will be a few aspects of your new existence which will noticeably differ from your previous one. Such as:

  1. You no longer breathe. While this may dampen your spirits a bit if you are an avid gardener and live for the scent of fresh flowers, take heart. You can no longer drown or be harmed by noxious fumes!
  2. You no longer eat. Again, you will miss out on all of your previous favorite treats, but the boon is that you will never again have to suffer through your Aunt’s chicken spaghetti.
  3. Self resurrection. Should your body sustain a mortal blow, fear not! As long as your Phylactery is intact, you will rise again in short order. And it only takes about twelve seconds!
  4. Stunted healing abilities. Taking care of your new form can be tedious. All healing effects apply for half of their normal amount.
  5. The Phylactery is life. Anything happens to your soul’s new home, you get a one way ticket to the afterlife.
  6. Physical limitations. Your undying body can no longer bulk up. Hope you hit the gym a lot in your previous existence, cause your strength, dexterity and constitution are now set in stone. Magic means of self buffing still work though, so don’t get too worried.
  7. Fortitude immunity. Since your circulatory system no longer functions and your organs are there just for show, you need not ever fear being poisoned. Or suffering from frostbite.
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The Spire (Act 3)

Rather than wait to see if things could be solved by talking, Pax opens fire on the newcomer with a fel-fire charge shot; however, something weird happens. When the softball sized ball of red and black energy reaches Edgar Parris, all of the elemental power dissipates, leaving just the two uncharged bullets to pelt into him.
Pax – “What?! Well… crap.”

Vestus hurled one of his summoned throwing knives at Edgar just to watch it vanish upon contact as well. Edgar, assessing that neither Pax or Vestus will be much of an issue, levels his pistols at Rache and lets out a barrage of bullets. In a flash, Rache is shot nearly a dozen times and staggers backwards. Looking down, Rache expects to see the landscape of his torso covered in tiny blood fountains, but instead, a mound of rubber bullets lie at his feet.
Rache – “I’ll teach you to toy with me….”
Rache summons Hezrou, Balor, and Shoga
Three men clad in black leather and white masks slashed with color materialize between Rache and his attacker. Two of the men hold automatic rifles while the third wields a sniper rifle.

Pax, realizing that a change in tactics is needed, opens up portals both directly above and below the heaviest crate he can find. The crate falls, over and over and over again, quickly reaching terminal velocity.
Pax – “Lets see how you like science!”

Vestus boosts Rache’s armor with the hope that it will be enough to stave off another assault. Edgar grins, and charges straight at Balor.
Edgar – “I’d wondered what had happened to those three.”
Edgar slams his elbow into Balor’s gut
To Rache’s horror, the familiar vanishes in a small puff of smoke.
Rache – “Shoot him!!”
Shoga attempted to waste the Parris man with a point blank sniper round, but Edgar deftly deflected the barrel, making Shoga shoot Hezrou instead. Hezrou, ignoring the gaping hole in his chest, peppered Edgar with a few rounds of his assault rifle and then knocked him back a few paces with the rifle’s underside shotgun. Feeling less than safe, Rache decides it’s time to do the only logical thing… make all the rivets holding the ceiling up disappear.

A 50’ section of steel beams and metal sheeting comes crashing down upon Edgar, Vestus, Shoga, Hezrou and Rache. Dust hangs thick in the now sunlight interior of the warehouse. Confused, but now willing to let his grand experiment go to waste, Pax spies the flattest surface amidst the rubble and opens a fresh portal. The crate soars out of the opening, punching straight-up into the sky. Satisfied, Pax closes the portal and eagerly awaits for his makeshift cannonball to come back to earth. His wait is short, and soon the massive crate plummets into the ruined wreckage of the ceiling. A gout of black blood squirts out from between some of the sheeting, and Pax feels that he may have hit something other than his intended target.

Everyone hapless enough to be pinned beneath roof bits spends their time trying to dig themselves out, except for Rache and Vestus (who were KOed by the roof) and Hezrou (who was just crushed by a giant crate moving at terminal velocity). About that time, a loud POP erupts from the empty air next to Mathias’ corpse, and a 10’ armored warrior appears our of nowhere.

Armor – “Pax?”
Pax – “Yes? Wait, how are you on this channel? And how do you know me?”
The man in the suit ignores the questions.
Armor – “What happened here?”
Pax – “Heck if I know. We were fighting some guy when the roof collapsed.”

It takes some doing, but finally, everyone who was buried under the roof is topside again (though Vestus remains unconscious) and Armor has properly deduced that anyone packing rubber bullets isn’t there to kill you.

Edgar – “Well fought. You all handled those miscreants I had found so hastily I was afraid I hadn’t properly challenged you. Now I see that you are just on a different level than that trash. Bravo.”
Edgar holsters his weapons.
Edgar – “I’m glad to know that The Spire isn’t just wasting my time today. Oh yes, The Spire does still exist. It’s not just a name thrown around to lure people into abandoned warehouses. Sorry for the ruse, but we had to know that you were going to be capable of meeting our needs. The Spire owes much and more to house Mavernia, but don’t expect use to place our necks on the chopping block for just you. There’s too much at stake.”
Rache – “You might just be the first member of the Parris family that I don’t actually kill.”
Edgar – “Oh, don’t worry about the blood feud, Rache. The only thing I have against you is that you murdered my twin brother before I could. Nothing like being treated as a dirty little secret your entire life and then getting disowned for being honest to really sever those family ties. You’re not the only one who wants to see a couple Parris’ heads roll.”
Armor – “Pax, what’s the date?”
Pax – “Huh?”
Armor – “The date. What’s today’s date?”
Edgar motions Rache over
Edgar – “Rache, a quick word in private if you will.”
walks into the office section of the warehouse
Edgar – “Now, Rache, The Spire has only elected for you to join the ranks today, not your companions. So, if you want in, you’re going to have to help me out here. I can wipe their memories, just the last few minutes or so should do. It’s a trick I find most useful. There’s no chance of complications if they submit willingly, so I’m counting on you to make this a quick procedure.”
Rache – “Are they allowed to help me do Spire related work?”
Edgar – "Of course, as long as they don’t get wise as to who they’re doing the work for. "
Rache – “And nothing will go wrong if I can convince them to do this?”
Edgar – “Nothing at all. The problems only arise when I’m trying to overpower someone. Meant to make a man forget a week one time and wiped out a year and a half instead.”
Rache – “Gotcha. Ok, I can be persuasive.”
Edgar – “Oh, and one last thing. Who’s the guy in the armor?”
Rache – “No idea, I thought he was with you….”

Rache and Edgar cautiously reenter the warehouse right as Armor is removing his helmet. Pax and Rache are momentarily stunned to see that its Ervill wearing the daunting suit.
Pax – “Dude! I thought you were dead! Where did you go?”
Ervill – “Uh… it’s kind of a long story.”
Rache – “We’ll catch up later, for now, I need you all to let Edgar wipe the last couple of minutes or so from your memories.”
Pax & Ervill – “What?!”
Rache explains the situation and even elects to pay Pax and Ervill double for their effort. They of course make him transfer the funds before Edgar wipes their memories, but otherwise, they go along with it. Vestus is still KOed so he needs to convincing/bribing.

Edgar removes the memory of their encounter with him, making it so that only Rache will remember what happened after the trio of felons was dispatched. As he pulls the memory of the altercation from them, the afflicted party members slip into a temporary slumber. A couple of hefty illusion spells later, and the ceiling looks good as new.

Edgar – “Excellent, work Rache. I feel that The Spire has gained an important ally today. Should you ever need me, I can be reached here.”
hands Rache his card
Edgar – “I’ll be your contact with The Spire until we have a chance to bring you in formally. Shouldn’t be too long from now, a week or two at the most.”
motions to the rest of the party
Edgar – “They’ll be up in a few minutes, so I’ll just show myself out. Take care Rache. I’ll be in touch.”

About five minutes later, the group wakes up, mildly confused about why they had fallen asleep, but otherwise none the worse. Vestus calls in for a clean up crew and divides out the bounty.

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The Spire (Act 2)
Totally a trap.

The odd trio which was passing themselves off as members of “The Spire” were actually rogue mages from the Mage Guild’s top 100 most wanted criminals list. The trio are:
No. 27 – Gwendolyn “Vera” Verasala – A lanky, goth chick wearing the obligatory amount of buckles and studs on her black leather outfit. She is also wearing an enormous feathered coat which threatens to envelope her. (No additional intel)

No. 34 – Mathias Filch – A portly man dressed in a checkered vest the colors of fall, a whit, button-down shirt and brown pants. If not for the blood smeared around his mouth, you’d think he was a banker. (Mage Guild intel provided by Vestus claims that Mathias is a cannibal)

No. 38 – Daven Porter – A stately looking old man with a cane and top hat. His suite is as pristine as it is starched. Every butler you have ever seen is shamed by this man. (Mage Guild intel provided by Vestus claims that Daven has the ability to make his victims younger, till they are around 6 years old, then rape them to death)

Suffice to say, when the fighting broke out, Rache and Pax went after Mathias, Vestus and Ervill attacked Vera, and nobody wanted to tangle with Daven. First, Rache made the mistake of using the Ftaghn on Mathias, driving him into a frenzy. Mathias’ screams of “Hungry! HUNGRY!!!” echoed through the warehouse as his jaws dislocated and a red foam filled his mouth as his cheeks split open. Short, sharp teeth pierced through his gums and the roof of his mouth. His eyes went pure white and the veins of his neck bulged. Once enrage, the cannibal charged into Pax, and the pair went tumbling through Pax’s portal. Since Pax obviously had things under control, Rache decided it was time to back up Ervill and Vestus.

While this was happening, Vera tossed her feathered coat into the air, where it flew apart and became a murderous murder of ravens. The murder tore apart the illusions Rache had first sent in to “negotiate” with the trio. Ervill engaged Vera, and while many punches and kicks were flung by both combatants, none landed. Eventually, Vera’s guard was dropped just long enough for Ervill to sweep her legs out from under her. Once down, both Vestus and Rache appear from thin air to rain down slicey justice upon the prone woman.

With no one willing to play with him, Daven took this time to tear a rift in space, summoning a multitude of tentacles. From within the midst of these grasping appendages, a monstrously large head began to rise up into the air. The head was like that of an old man, though well over 5 ft tall, immensely fat, and equipped with three tongues, which whipped and slathered over each other.

Around this time, Mathias was flung back into the warehouse with hurricane force. The beastly man rocketed across the structure, exploding through the various crates and casks stored within, and finally halting his travels by face planting into the pile of steel shipping containers upon which Vestus, Rache and Ervill were pummeling Vera. The combo of being near death and in such pain cracked whatever shell of humanity was left within Mathias, as was evidenced by his torso splitting in half vertically and transforming into a gaping maw (like this, including the eye in the middle). With an attack too fast to see, the corner of the shipping container and a portion of the warehouse wall simply vanished.

With her assailants momentarily distracted, Vera had her murder of ravens descend upon her location. As the birds tore at everything in their reach, Vera sprouted wings of her own and took to the air amidst the confusion. Mathias, not a fan of being pecked and clawed, proceeded to suck all of the birds right out of the air, each vanishing the moment it touched the eye in the center of his jaws.

Rache, sensing that things were not panning out well, beat a hasty retreat and grouped up with his hobo minions outside. Vestus squared off against the now harpy like Vera, and Ervill took on Mathias. Daven, still being ignored, advanced slowly across the warehouse towards the fray, tentacles sprouting from his wake and the giant head booming Jabba-The-Hut style laughter. At this point, a much chewed up Pax reentered the warehouse, and lobbed a void grenade right beneath the floating head. The forces of the miniature black hole were too severe for the globulous head to withstand, and it soon caved in upon itself. As the head imploded, the tentacles withered and died, and so too did Daven cease live.

Ervill launched himself at Mathias, and suddenly vanished without a trace. Vestus, now stuck between Mathias and Vera without backup, pulled out every trick he new to stay alive. Pax proceeded to amuse himself with shooting up the imploded head, and several people began to beat and kick on the bay doors leading in to the warehouse, trying to get in. Vestus managed to finish off Mathias and debuff Vera to the point of helplessness. As Vera yielded, Rache and his hobos burst back into the warehouse through the bay door. The illusionist and his pets proceeded to wail on the still body of Daven, while Vestus took advantage of Vera’s surrender to cut her throat for her. With all of their adversaries defeated, the group took a moment to relax and wonder “What happened to Ervill?”

At this point, a man steps out from a secluded corner of the warehouse, slowly clapping his hands as if in applause. “So, it’s true what they say. If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself.” A man who Rache immediately recognizes as Edgar Parris emerges from the gloom. “I was hoping if the trap was obvious enough, you’d bring along all of your entourage.” The man looks over at Vestus. “But I don’t recognize you. Who are you and why are you here?” Vestus gives no answer.

The party greets the intruder with silence, and readies their weapons.

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The Spire (Act 1)
Rache has no friends.

Rache received the following letter:
Mr. Mavernia, we have not forgotten our allegience to your family’s house. We were scattered when the Parris family massacred your kin in the great fire so many years ago. We were lost, but not idle. Rache, as the last of your house, we implore you to meet with us, that we may once again be able to serve. Our forefathers owe everything to your house, and we desire to make good on our old debts. We humbly request an audience with you and your mage hunting companions. The Parris family is powerful, but you and your entourage combined with our armaments and information will be more than a match for them. Forever in your service, The Spire.

Now, as much as Rache would like to believe that he has friends somewhere in the world, the odds are better that this is a trap. After discussing the matter with Pax and Ervill, Rache determines to meet this trap head-on and offers to pay his companions for their time and company. The trio then head over to the Mage Guild to pick up their new acquaintance, Vestus Drawl, and go scope out the meeting location designated in the letter.

The local is an abandoned warehouse in Vyseria, and more or less confirms the notion that this will be a trap. After scoping out the area, Rache convinces a couple of hobos to hang around the place and report back should they see anyone enter the building. The party gets some rest, attends to personal matters, and waits for the appointed time to arrive.

About an hour before the scheduled meeting time, the hobos report that a rather strange trio has entered the building, but are not able to really give more intel than that. Feeling like they have done everything they could to prepare, the party portals their way into a secluded corner of the warehouse and sends in some illusion clones of themselves to meet “The Spire”. As they had guessed, this was indeed a trap, and talk runs quickly into violence.

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Top Headlines from Around the World (6)

1. BBQ Mayhem – Tragedy struck in the Mayfield district of Falaran yesterday afternoon when a suburban family’s attempt at fried turkey turned into a bonfire. The grease fire quickly grew out of control and within a matter of minutes the home was a raging inferno. The young couple who live at the now ashen estate managed to escape along with their son, but not all of their party guests were as fortunate. Neither were the neighboring homes, the asthmatic kid from down the street or the herd of alpaca formerly thriving under the watchful eye of Ms. Farroday. All in all, unless you enjoy charcoal or smokey alpaca fur, it was kind of a rough day.

2. Status Quo? – Three weeks till President Eamon Horadric’s state of the union address for the Mage Guild and things are not looking good. The Guild’s embassy in Muldaine is still being pieced back together from the terrorist assault that ravaged it two months ago. Public enemy No. 1, that’s Jacob Harmon for those of you who live under a stone, has been gallivanting around the globe wreaking havoc for over half a year without impediment. Incidents of Mage Hunters abusing their status is at an all time high. Worst of all, the man can’t dress himself. Pointed shoes. Really? In this day and age….

3. Capt. Cold Snap – The Jurai Isles are starting to thaw after last week’s brush with frozen ferocity. All of you poor souls who had to evacuate should be able to return to your homes before the weekend.The abominable snow beast is at the equator and his glacial gondola is showing no signs of stopping. At this rate, it shouldn’t be but about another week or so before Icey skims the Los Wegas peninsula. For those of you struggling with gambling addictions, now would be a great time to buy a coat or five. That is, unless Mr. Romanis steps in first. We’re all waiting Pax.

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Top Headlines from Around the World (5)

1) ChryoTakeover: For any of you now aware of the outcome of the Aerial Ballet, the Rodney & Flecks planes all went down in flames and ChryoTech soared like a dream. The Air Elemental made for a very flashy dispatching of anything airborne and lacking whatever voodoo CT is packing under the hood. Despite the chaos, authorities were able to keep panic to a minimum and only two people died as a result of the Elemental’s outburst.

2) Fight Fire with Fire: Another shard of delectable information shared with the world at the Aerial Ballet, was ChryoTech’s heroic Outsider. This super hero and his larger than life brute squad single handedly harried the enraged Elemental from the airshow. This paragon of science and magic harnesses the powers of his defeated Elemental foes and uses their strength to protect humanity. According to the company’s spokesman, Cid Lufaine, the Outsider has but four foes left to conquer, being the elements of Air, Water, Lightning and Ice. Cid has declared that the Ice Elemental will never reach its winter home at the North Pole, and that this will be the last time anyone need fear the shifting of seasons.

3) How It Works: On this segment of How It Works, we will be discussing why the CT planes were overlooked and the R&F planes were swatted out of the sky. It’s all thanks to turbulence. While CT was not willing to explain the actual mechanics, the theory behind their Elemental avoidance technology is based on the principal that the Air Elemental has only ever attacked flying objects which do not occur naturally. Jetbikes and flying cars are safe to fly, but only if you stay close to cities and other large structures, in the same way that bees buzz around their hive. Likewise, no birds have ever been targeted by the Elemental. With this in mind, CT developed a means of dispersing the air disturbance created by a plane in flight from a large one to a lot of little ones. The Air Elemental no longer senses the windy wake of a flying 747, but rather sees a sizable flock of birds. The dispersements are made at fairly random intervals ranging from 10 to 1000 yards away from the plane. It would be like taking all the pieces of a puzzle, scattering them across a crushball field, and then trying to see what the picture was supposed to be.

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Airshow Ads
Poster Propaganda!

Rodney & Flecks
The Air Elemental is a LIE
The skies belong to humanity once again
ChyroTechless
Aerial stunts performed by robots
Our planes are green w/ white stripes
Bring the whole family
R&F guarantees your safety

ChryoTech
The Air Elemental is REAL
Plane-shaped fireworks supplied by R&F aeronautics
Watch the sky devil swat R&F out of the air
To match R&F, our planes are red w/ fire decals
Witness our engineering triumph
Our pilots are people
CT guarantees your safety

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Top Headlines from Around the World (4)

1. Flight Of The Jailbirds: Riots and mayhem erupted at Folsom Prison yesterday when a computer error caused for all of the doors in Cell Block 2A to come open during what was supposed to be a lock down. Warden Ronnie Cash and two of his guards, Jeremy Martin and Ghu Xi Lao, were overcome by the inmates and perished trying to restore order. All told, 49 men died that day: the Warden, 7 guards, and all 41 inmates of Cell Block 2A. Folsom prison has a No Tolerance policy when it comes to escape attempts. So if you ever find yourself enjoying the hospitality of sweet Folsom Prison and decide to cut you stay short just remember: It doesn’t matter if you escape or get caught, either way your sentence is finished.

2. T Minus 3 And Counting: With just a few days left till the Aerial Ballet, things are really taking off at the Grand Marsh Airfield. The runways not being utilized for the show are now packed with stadium seating, bazaars and funnel cake factories. It seems to me that regardless of which Corp. is telling the truth, the spectators are going to come out on top. Also, In order to keep things family friendly (even in the case of Elemental carnage), only robots will be flying the planes to insure that no one gets hurt. That is not to say that the robots aren’t capable of being harmed (which would be totally robophobic and insensitive), just that our shiny friends are many times more durable and repairable that us fleshbags.

3. Internet Diva 2.0: The rumors have been confirmed that Goskorporatsiya has indeed decided that after 194 years, Anastasia is going to retire. The outdated A.I. will be replaced with a sleeker, sexier model named Karenina. Whereas Anastasia more or less had to program herself from the ground up, Karenina has been crafted by people who actually know what they’re doing and are making full use of nearly 200 years worth of technological advances. For those of you old enough to remember the first Hologram Films, you know what I’m talking about when I say that yesteryear’s “State of the Art” is today’s garbage. Karenina goes live later this month, and I, for one, welcome our new internet overlord.

4. That Which Does Not Kill You: Will still put you in the hospital for a very long time. Mahiir Nacik was lucky enough to only need a full body cast after his latest death-defying feat. What was supposed to be a new world record Jetcycle jump ended in shrapnel and shattered dreams/bones for the daredevil. His attempt to soar through 3 flaming rings over a 150ft long trench filled with manticores ended in catastrophe, when the propulsion system crapped out halfway through the jump. The second flaming ring caught Mahiir in a loving, fiery embrace, holding him just long enough to be considered “well done” before snapping and sending our hero into the pit of hell beasts. Mahiir claims his lucky toothpick saved his life, and that manticores aren’t so bad once they stop chewing on you.

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