Just a note, this casting is from the beginning of the game. Most characters are at least 2 years older now (some are more due to time shenaniganry)
Liam Callahan - a 17 year old human farm boy who constantly has his head in the clouds (you guessed it. The Hero!). Liam hails from the "Road's End Villages" the far North Western section of the Kingdom of Cerimea, not that anyone particularly remembers that that is still a part of the country. Liam has since aged to 20 years old and is taking the first steps towards facing his destiny.
Ilian Holhan - A 19 year old apprentice mage Seraphim who has come down to the surface (accompanied by his mentor and master) to further his studies on the weather as well as several other studies for his magical pursuits.. The Seraphim are a race of winged scholars and magi who live high above the clouds.
Abar Dan Rab Beynonn - A 19 year old Azrian Sword Dancer. The Azrian are a tribe of humans that live in cities in the forests (think Sherwood from Robin Hood Prince of Thieves), they are some of the premiere sword fighters in the land, using a style that emphasizes grace and finesse over power.
Darcy Stanton - A Half-Elf Rogue who has been staying with Rab (Abar) among the Azrian for the last few years. She is as close as a sister to Rab, and helps him on the various jobs he undertakes for the Azrian. Despite her time with the Azrian though, Darcy prefers to fight with her knives rather than use a sword.
Genru Crabshall - A Dwarven caravan guard from the Dwarf's War Caste. Genru hails from the famed floating cities of the Dwarves, though it has been years since he has seen home. Assigned to a guard a caravan heading to the northern provinces of Cerimea.
Ornu Tana Dar - An experienced Elven Woodsman, Ornu is specifically trained to be able to counter rogues, spies, and assassins, and also in taking out larger groups of opponents as quickly and efficiently possible. One year ago (beginning of the game) he was sent to retrieve Darcy back to the Kingdom so that officials could speak to her on matters of some importance to the Elven kingdom.
The session began with Ilian and Ornu rejoining the group as they were consoling Liam (see the end of last session for details). Ilian without question just kind of joins into the group hug, while Ornu keeps a bit of distance. A lot has changed it seems since the group last saw each other. Darcy is wearing a cloak that seems to sparkle and is white, Rab has a new sword, Ilian seems a bit older and has part of a key hanging around his neck, and Ornu is holding a large scythe and wearing a black cloak that everyone things, oddly enough, smells fantastic.
They move further away from Castle Wyvern and catch up. Ilian tells how he is now the Patriarch for his home city, and has half the key he needs to get the staff of the archmage. The other half is in a different city, but he'll need the groups help. He does have a way to get up there though. Ornu tells his story, though it is far less specatcular. A fight in the woods, falling into a tunnel and finding the cloak and scythe. There were questions, similar to what Darcy and Rab had in Castle Wyvern. The long and short of Ornu's tale is that he is here to help Liam win the war, and nothing else. Darcy welcomes him into the party fully.
Using what is jokingly referred to as a magical gondola, Ilian brigns the group up to one of the flying cities of the Seraphim. The city is beautiful, and kept clean with ancient magics. Long and tale spired buildings that stab into the sky gracefully. It looks like it'd be a nightmare to traverse without wings, but then again, the Seraphim are a winged race. Luckily, what the PCs want is in the basement, not at the top of the towers.
Heading down, the PCs find the vault, the lock is a tower of hanoi puzzle with 10 discs on it. For sanity's sake, I gave the players a 5 disc version and told them to do it in 29 moves or less (this was later found to be impossible, and the margin was changed to 31 moves. but due to an error, the players took 36 to get it done right). As the vault opened, three people walked into the room. Ornu's old captain. The sword fighter from Oldritch who'd almost killed Rab, and a younger looking spear fighter. The three men, all dressed in dragons cale armor, thank the party for opening the vault for them. The PCs say they're not getting in, and battle commences.
Rab goes right for the sword guy, and nicks him through the armor with his sword. Darcy is attacked by Ornu's old captain, but she dodges the attacks before countering. Her attack isn't intended to harm though, just to set the man up. Which she does, wonderfully, and leaves him open to Liam's attack. The Dragon Knight Sword glowing with energy, Liam cuts the man in half with one attack. Ornu goes for the man on Rab, the scythe hits the sword fighter and with a light tugging sensation cleanses and harvests the soul from the man. His body falls over dead, but looking cleansed of taint.
The spear fighter's will breaks and he turns and runs, the party lets him flee. Inside the vault are three items. A forge, a suit of armor, and a box. Liam takes the armor, the red dragon scale mail fitting him perfectly. His shield tints to match the armor, giving him a complete set of gear. Grenru uses the forge to forge the metal found in Oldritch into new armor for himself. He doesn't have time to do more than the very basic work, but he gets that done in an incredibly quick 12 hours. His body glowing and helping to shape the metal, and not one stroke of the hammer wasted. Ilian opens the box and finds the other half of the key.
The gear had, the party goes to lead only to see another dragon landing on the city. A large and iridiscent one, the riders are Malik and Liam's mother. The group decides this isn't a fight they want to have and rushes for the gondola, launching off the city and back towards the ground at a dive bombing pace. Malik, without care for safety, leaps off the city and plunges down after them. Rab and Liam climb ontop of the gondola to face Malik. Darcy keeps out of the way, Ornu shoots arrows, and Grenru clings to a bench for his life (he hates flying). Ilian jukes the gondola out of Malik's path, but the move knocks Liam off the gondola into free fall. He and Malik fight in the air, neither feeling any sense of urgency from the free fall.
Ilian jukes the gondola back to catch Liam, and manages to snag Liam and Malik at the same time. Rab goes to try and bat Malik off the gondola, while Liam barrels into the man and the two go off into the air once more. The iridiscent dragon is also plunging towards the ground, not aiming for the gondola but seeming to prioritize grabbing Malik and Liam out of the air. The two land on the dragon, and start to roll off. A barked order from Liam's mother stops Malik from fighting and he breaks off the fight by grabbing onto the harnessing on the dragon. Liam falls back into the air, and Ilian manages to catch him with the gondola again. Darcy sets off a bright flash of light with her magic cloak (yeah I never went into this, sorry). The group uses the flash of light to escape through cloud cover and avoid the dragon.
Ilian lands the gondola near the Elven kingdom, the next stop the party wants to go to. He recognizes that the gondola is about spent, the flight from the dragon having used up much of the magic in the thing. Still, it was a worthwhile use of it at the very least. Pulling out their map, the group makes their way to the secret tunnels into the elven kingdom. they're met by Jasa, who explains to them that Elise is waiting as long as she can, but may not be able to wait for to much longer. Jasa then brings them through the tunnels tot he elven city and the high council within.
As the group moves through the High council chambers, the crystals of long passed elves begin to glow. Other elves marvel at this, and scholars quickly rush up to touch a hand to the crystal. It is explained that elves go into a long sleep, but are still present just sleeping. After so many years though, their dreams can not be touched. These elves are for some reason re-dreaming, and there is much that they can teach. It takes a bit longer for the group to realize that the cause of the reaction is Rab. The Ancient King of the Humans is walking the halls, how can the elves do anything but greet him properly?
Rab touches one of the crystals, and is greeted by the elf. He asks for help, the Elf tells him to raise his army, he is the king after all and his army awaits beyond the titan wall. Rab asks what side, and the Elf asks if he knows what the word "other" means. The elf also tells him to learn tactics, a glib answer, but an answer.
Speaking with the council, it is revealed that there is no longer a need for Darcy there. Things have progressed too far. The party tells the Elves why they are there, and the elves agree to make arrangements. The PCs stay for a couple of days in the lap of luxury asonly the elves can provide. During this time Ilian goes to teach the Elves 'real magic'. They are haughty, arrogant, and dismissive. two of the younger students do stay to learn, and Ilian teaches them the basic rights and rules for it. Darcy and Liam have some quiet time, where Darcy explains that Rab is her son and they're not dating. Liam takes a bit to let that settle in.
A few days later and the elves escort the party to the center of the city. There there is a large memorial for the last Dragon Knight, Deregar, who walked the earth nearly 500 years ago. The group goes in, and the ancient elves re-dream as Rab goes past. The more recent do not, not recognizing the blood line before them. In the center room is where those elves who have died violent deaths are lain to rest. They have n crystal 'coffins', but instead a crystal ball. When an elf dies a violent death there is a funeral held, in the funeral everyone who has ever known the person - friend or enemy - shows and sings all they know abuot the person into the crystal. In this way, as much of the person will be preserved forever as can be done.
Liam picks up the orb for Deregar and is assaulted with visions and memories. Three life times, each over 500 years long bombard themselves into his brain. He collapses from the strain, and doesn't awake for several minutes. When he does, there is one burning thought. He knows where the Dragon Eggs are, and must go to get them alone. Rab needs to go to the Titan Wall to get his army, Ilian needs to go to Tamera to get his staff. The group decides to split up and meet back at bastion. Game ended there.
I had originally planned a lot more for the elven kingdom than what I did. It feels like a gyp letting it be that short, but at the same time what I had planned I don't think would ahve been fun and felt needlessly lengthening the game.
I really like battles in free fall, there is just this awesome level of tension to them that is amazing.
I also am really liking how the game is shaping up. The PCs have a real sense of being hard core bad asses, the heroes of the tale. But there is still trepidation, anxiety, and nervousness about what comes next. Both personally, and for the world. I think this is due to the level of the players I have. I feel spoiled by it, but at times I look over this game and the reactions I have from players and myself, and can't believe I am the one GMing it. Will I match it? I hope so :D
As much as I am sad to see the game coming to an end. I can't wait for the finale and epilogue. More in 2 weeks.
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