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"Is that what you want?" he spoke to the lantern, it didn't respond. "I'm not strong enough to face any gods or witches yet, I need to learn how to use this, then maybe I'll know what to do..."
He walked over to the unknown spirit.
(I'm Choosing the Fourth option)
As the hand is extended to me, I shake it.
"Yeah..." Wosy replies, grumbling. "Sure, we have leadaship, but that ain't exactly c'ordination. Most the time, we spend days arguin' amongst ourselves 'bout the best course of action, then goin' in guns blazin' anyways. Maybe with someone a little more level headed we can get things done." Wosy digs under the counter, and slides a room key across the counter. "Whether you stay here or not, here's a key so you'll always have access to a room, just in case we need to pull an all-nighter or somethin'. Speaking of all-nighters though, we do have one problem we need to go over that's quite a big deal... the Emperor of Etsane has finally decided to get off his bum and start takin' care of the "problem" in Nutheport... which is a fancy way of sayin' they're plannin' a raid."
"You never told us about this!" Rafael snaps, jumping to his feet.
"Yeah, um... sorry 'bout that."
"Sorry?! What if it was tonight?!"
"What if they planned on targeting us directly?!"
"What if clerics are coming?! Agents of the Six?!"
"You had better not be serious about this..."
"You are, aren't you?"
"...dammit!" Rafael throws his shot glass of whisky, and it hits the counter.
"Yeah, um... see, we have about 8 hours to plan how we're going to defend this place," Wosy begins as he comes from behind the counter, lighting up a very ornate looking bong of tobacco and taking a puff. Rafael pinches his nose. "Definitely comin' tonight, definitely hittin' here, and definitely comin' with book-thumpers. So... we got a few options..."
Option One - Defend“Option one, we batten down the hatches, close the place up. The rooftop access should allow any o’ you who wanna keep an eye out to do so, or maybe even get to the o’er rooftops. Shame we alrea’y have to deal with another attack right after both the ole’ tavern burnin’ down and P’s shop gettin’ destroyed... but we take what we can get.”
Option Two - Counterattack“Option two, we mount a counterattack on these guys, meet ‘em halfway just to send them home barren and loveless. Of course, we either have to work with a shorter crew or risk losin’ the bar to any bloke that pops their head in, but if we can intercept ‘em, the tavern should be spared any collat’ral.
Option Three - Surprise Attack“Last thing I’m thinkin’. Again, we’ll have to leave some folks here, but we can infiltrate behind enemy lines, try ‘n’ sabotage this operation, attack them ‘fore they attack us. Might just be doin’ a couple o’ me mates a favor, but in the same se’ence we’d be puttin’ our necks way out, and might dealin' with more than we bargained for...”
“It’s normally not the best idea,” Pathos begins, “but I think in this case it’s an exception. We put all our eggs in one basket, and hold down the tavern.”
“Counterattack,” Onaeca responds.
“I’m out for blood…” Rafael declares. “I say we counterattack.”
“The most powerful of our forces, specialize in preemptive strikes,” Otaimo brings to the group’s attention. “Mounting an attack where our enemy would be stationed... that would be our best defense.”
“Sorry to put you on the fence so soon, Florence,” Wosy speaks to you, “but I’d like to hear what you have to say. Then I’ll make my decision...”
Which option do you support? Do you have your own proposal? Anything to note?
Recon would be furthest from the Tavern. They will infiltrate behind enemy lines and communicate to us what exactly they're bringing, as well as which direction they'll attack us from and how they'll get here. If you see anything that you think you can sabotage without risking your own safety greatly, then you can do so. However, your safety is the utmost importance; don't risk blowing your cover if you don't think you can make it out of there without much difficulty. If you think you can't be out there for much longer without getting yourself injured, then retreat and reconvene with the Assault group or Defense group, whichever you think you can assist with better.
Assault will be located between the Tavern and the enemy in order to intercept them. They won't leave the Tavern until Recon has located the enemy's position and method of travel. Until then, Assault will help with Defense to establish wards and such to protect the Tavern. When the Assault team does move out to intercept the enemy, keep in mind your number one goal is to wear them out, rather than outright defeat them. Attack high priority targets, especially those pointed out by Recon, but don't overstep your bounds. If you think you are getting overwhelmed at any point, retreat together back to the tavern.
Last but definitely not least we have Defense. This team's goal in the initial stages is to prepare whatever defenses we can around the Tavern, both practical and magical. To the spellcasters in the group, prioritize wards that can protect the place from teleporting intruders or other forms of long range magical bullshit they could have. We should have at least two people who can't help with setting up wards to act as lookouts, keeping an eye on any suspicious occurrences or people. Hopefully the efforts of the Assault team should buy the Defense team more time to set up additional defenses.
Now, before you guys add anything you might have about this plan, I have one question: How well are you guys able to keep in touch in terms of long distances? I know this plane has common access to powerful magic, and it would be very helpful if the three teams could keep constant communication with each other."
Notice to all participantsDue to personal circumstances I'd rather not burden you with, I won't be able to continue the Saga for a little bit. Little be could be a few days, a couple weeks, I don't know. All I know is that I don't have either a mindset or drive to work on any of my personal projects, and I need time to cope. I apologize, because I know how many of you were eagerly looking forward to this, and I know how much it sucks for the players when things like this happen. But do know I have only the best intentions in mind
“Well I’ll be damned!” Sperling yells out, cutting the wheel to the right. “They ain’t friendly! En garde, Alfred!”
It’s apparent that the glints aren’t just spyglasses. A shot erupts from each glint. One misses you, and a second flies past you and hits the captain. He falls, and another shot hits him, the last one simultaneously missing.
“Dammit! I’ve been hit! I’ve been hit!”
Suddenly, you feel as though your mind has been breached, and you feel horrifying images being projected into your mind through a telepathic link. Every horrific moment of the angels being terribly slaughtered, every last ounce of their suffering, as a voice rings in your head.
“WE TOLD YOU NOT TO COME… NOW SURRENDER OR PAY THE PRICE. YOU WILL BE GIVEN FIVE MINUTES TO COMPLETELY STOP YOUR VESSEL, RAISE A WHITE FLAG, AND TOSS YOURSELVES OVERBOARD TO BE WILLINGLY CAPTURED!”
This… isn’t good. Will you comply?
You rush back to the town, and there’s a massive fight going on. There’s a zombie invasion in progress. How… ironic. You can’t immediately find who’s controlling them, but you see some pretty powerful zombies among the ranks… and the apparent source of the resident’s fears.
Coming from around a tall building, this monstrosity is killing dozens of innocent civilians at a time. Leading it is a group of zombified clerics, keeping it alive and protecting it from direct attackers. These priests… they're dressed in ornate, smoky cloaks, wearing skull masks as they hold up their triscepters to the sky. They are very much disciples of Sith... why are they attacking their own?
“Ladies and gentlemen!” One of the clerics announces. “We have noticed that many of you have refused to accept the truth... that Conse and Khantsievth are one and the same. Therefore, we have insufficient tithes to run the church… We have come to collect them by force.”
Workers are doing what they can to fight. Scepters, pitchforks, and improvised devices are thrown. Arrows and bolts are sent towards the giant. A couple hunters break out of their houses with guns to attack, but all are crushed underfoot by this great monstrosity.
Are you going to help stop the attack? If so, create a card that can keep Gangrenous Goliath from being returned to its owner's hand. The target score is 8 points.
(It should be noted that anything that keeps it from being returned to hand in the end works. Feel free to DM me if you're questionable about a particular method.)
As you look around, you can’t seem to find anyone else. Blood coats the dirt roads and lies in puddles in the mud. There’s the occasional corpse, but besides that, it seems like everything of value has been taken or destroyed. A massacre occurred here quite recently, and an unattended fireplace has caused a small fire in a house nearby. All signs point to this destruction being supernatural in nature, but what caused it?
After about an hour of searching, you can safely determine that there’s nothing to see here. Everything truly is gone… at least, that’s what you thought. Out of nowhere, you hear someone crying. You look in the direction of the crying, and it seems to be coming from a pile of rubble. You head over to the building, what appears to be a destroyed house, and piece by piece you begin to clear it. After a bit of work, the form underneath is revealed to be a blackish purple skinned elf in a wizard’s robe… a drow male. His body is withered from famine and dehydration, and he’s rightfully scared.
“W… a… ter…” he begs. You’ll find a small bowl, and fetch him water from the cleanest source you can find, the small fountain, and bring it to him. He drinks up, coughing. “Is… it gone?” You ask what he’s talking about, and he shudders. “Big… brown creature… horn…” So it wasn’t you who did this? Excellent. What isn’t excellent is the fact that there’s something out there capable of causing this level of destruction. Was it alone? “Yes… horn… killer…” That… is terrifying. What’s most important is if it’s related to the Six. “No… serial… killer…”
This is just getting better and better. Not only is the world going to end, but there’s a serial killer on the loose that can destroy an entire town by itself! The man passes out before you can ask anything else, and it’s clear that, despite you providing him water, he’s probably going to die from his injuries anyways.
While your fight against the Six has grown into a full blown conflict, this “Horn Killer” could prove problematic if they aren’t dealt with. Which will you prioritize?
The angel looks to the left and starts to walk the rural roads towards civilization. The Six weren't getting off the hook this easily.
(I choose the Six, but remember the Horn Killer just incase it pops up again. If it does, it's following me. Or at least I think it is)
I am seriously sorry for the delay, but know that they were caused by circumstances beyond my control which I'd rather not share here. Otherwise, I'm getting my inspiration back, so prepare for more Stitia!
“I’m quite glad that we have your support during these trying times,” Pierre responds. “Though, I suppose I should have suspected as such given…” He looks at the mark on your arm. “Maybe it’s not best to talk about it here. Anyways, if you wish to begin your efforts immediately, feel free to join us in the war room in about an hour. Otherwise, our guards will be more than happy to make room and board arrangements for you, so you and your soldiers may rest. I can catch you up on current events at a later time."
“Very well,” the scholar replies. “I understand you are likely overwhelmed by choice. I will give you as much time as you need to consider, but the sooner you come to a decision, the better.”
“I share the same view,” Nohel adds. “If you must take time to reflect, do so… but know that the fate of the world hangs in the balance. If we want to stand the best chance, we should take action posthaste.”
“Ahhh… quit y’all’s cryin’,” the teacher speaks as he stands. “He’s made up his mind. Come now, kiddo. I've got somethin' to show ya."
The other spirits disappear as the old man leads you out of the house, and through the marsh...
The teacher leads you to what appears to be a withered and abandoned hut built over the marsh, and the lantern seems to pull you back on track any time you two grow distant. Decades of wear has rendered this dreary place useless, the floor collapsed into the water, and the house on the verge of sinking in itself, three of the eight stilts eaten away by black mold. However, despite what you see in the physical, you can sense something in the ethereal… the essence of the building still remains, likely this man's home.
"Well. We're here. Come in…"
The man fades into ethereal, and it's quite obvious you'll have to do so yourself.
As you transition, you notice the entire world seeming to twist around you as laughter fills your ears. The already thick fog grows even thicker, turning black, as does the sky above. The moon glows a deep, dark purple, cloaking the shadowy world in an eerie vibrance, and in the distance, covering a huge portion of the sky above, you can see a shadowy, eldritch image of Khantsievth, looming above the moon and pushing it down ever so slowly with a horrifyingly large hand.
The hut is quite roomy, the parts of it that had been destroyed in the real now formed of black, stone like substance in the ethereal. When you walk in, you see all sorts of… witch's implements? A cauldron over a purple, hazy fire, strange supplies, alchemy tools, a bookshelf… this isn't the kind of teacher that teaches normal subjects, is he?
This upcoming section contains private DM-to-player communications. Therefore, the rest of this prompt is being sent to your DMs.
Vin had a dilemma on his hands. While the perks sounded nice, if he joined up with the Blood Moon Guard, one slip-up or moment of lost control could mean death. It appeared as though one of their commanding officers was a vampire, but in this period of high tensions, he doubted that they were looking for more monstrous members. They'd probably assume something along the lines of infiltration by the enemy if they found out. Vin doubted that he would be given a chance to explain himself before any hunters he happened to be with turned on him.
So Vin did what he always did when faced with an issue. He thought. Probably a bit too long, as it appeared that Pierre was getting a bit impatient.
In the end, Vin decided that, despite how tempting the many benefits were, the risk was too high. While he had quite a bit of control over his werewolf form, there was the rare occasion when he lost that control. If that happened, it was all over for him, and he wasn't willing to take that risk.
Vin turned to Pierre, and said, "I'm sorry, but I can't join the Guard. True, I was able to survive an encounter with that powerful werebeast, but as you noticed, I'm not exactly a fighter. Hell, I only survived that by getting a lucky shot off, throwing a smoke bomb, and getting myself and Rebecca out of there. So, while your offer is generous, and much appreciated, I'm going to have to decline."
Over the past couple years, sanjaya, also known as Fallen_Lord_Vulganos, has made multiple tasteless remarks and decisions. In good faith, I had allowed them to participate in both chapters of the Saga. However, in the most recent Tournament of Champions, they crossed the line by making a post with another player's character, where their character is inferred to have date raped another character. This post was also made without asking the other player first. In light of this event, Rafael, Ivan, and Nevine are being permanently removed from the Saga as characters (even dead), and SJ/FLV will be barred from participating in any future contests ran by myself, even if they are unbanned. This will have a slightly detrimental effect for the "good guys" in the saga, seeing as Rafael is a significantly powerful character working against the Six, but I feel this is the right thing to do.
Now, as for the queue...
@Abu_Jafar This is really bad... everything leading up to this has been one grave misfortune after another... right now, you really don't have many options, so you ultimately decide to turn yourself in.
"Well... what do we do here? We aren't even angels... just a young lad and his cap'n..."
You let him know that you plan on surrendering, and he sniffles. He actually has a tear running down his wrinkled face as he starts to cry as he hugs the wheel before going to the flag and lowering it.
“Well, old Lory… it was nice knowing you, darlin’... but I’m ‘fraid we won’t be seeing each other again…”
You can’t say for certain, but that angel was horribly disfigured. It’s a shocker they were even able to deliver their message. And now, you stand before the very same people, you assume… what are they going to do to you?...
~ 30 Minutes Later ~
You have been led down by a group of demons, devils, azra, succubi, and incubi to an extremely crude prison area, with everything taken from you, even your clothes. The prison reeks with blood, the stench of entrails and feces ravaging your nostrils. The cells are uncleaned and poorly kept, conditions inhumane. Each cell is no larger than three feet wide, four feet tall, and six feet deep, and there are no beds, toilets, or water sources in any of them. Each cell has bars over it, yes, but that is combined with a piece of stone that covers all but a small breathing hole for the cell, leaving you unable to see most of the prisoners as they are forced to lay in their own refuse. There’s blood everywhere, trails and handprints where people struggled for their lives and were brutally murdered as a result. In fact, your and the captain are led to a cell with very prominent markings on the stone covering it; someone tried desperately to escape, and bled out, dozens of bloody handprints on the stone.
“In there. Both of you.” the single guard that is still with you, a thin succubus, barks out.
“What?” Sperling replies, confused.
“Did I not speak clearly enough?!” She kicks him, knocking out his peg leg. Then, she tosses him in the cell. “In means in!” She then looks at you, and aims a finger at you. “You. In with him. You two will be sharing this cell.”
You get inside, forced to huddle in with the poor, wounded captain as he bleeds on you. The stone is place, leaving you no glimpse of the outside world except for a miniscule hole, and the cell door is locked. This won’t be enough… after just an hour, you can tell that you two are ever so slowly running out of oxygen. You might not even last a day under these conditions.
~ 12 Hours Later ~
Idle conversation has kept you two occupied. As much as you don’t want to waste the air, you might just go crazy without. There’s nothing to see, nothing to do. WIth the conditions, it’s impossible to rest, especially with the occasional yells and screams of those outside your cell.
“Alfred… my boy… I don’t think I’m going to make it.” Sperling surrenders weakly. “My wound’s infected… and I’ve lost too much blood… If you somehow manage to make it out of here, promise me… promise me you’ll take care of dear Lory for me…”
@FourEyesIsAFish Hmph… where to go… where to start… right now the most you have is directions, when you come across a small map of the state area.
You are currently in Onbay, a central town in the state of Rotavel. You have a few options of where to go here, or you can leave the state.
Which option will you pursue? You currently have no leads on the Six, and know not much about them, so gathering knowledge would be crucial.
Right as Wosy finishes his sentence, an explosion erupts from the kitchen, sending a small, burned devil in dapper clothes flying out.
“Oh, for cryin’ out loud…”
“The imbecile knows not how to operate modern equipment,” Otaimo says, chuckling.
“Yeah.. he ain’t the sharpest tool in the shed,” Pathos replies.
“The only thing sharp about him is his tongue,” Onaeca adds. “Otherwise, he’s quite dull…”
“Anyways,” Wosy continues, “I can set us up with some good ol’-fashioned telepathy.”
“I do excellent recon…” Otaimo gloats a bit. “It may end more like an assassination, however.”
“I can lead a counterattack,” Onaeca boasts. “You and me both. Right, Rafael? Uh… Raf?”
“Looks like someone got a head start!” Wosy laughs out. “Hope he don’t get himself killed…”
“Knowing him?” The devil starts to reply. “Probably. Didn’t you say he’s nearly died three times in the past couple months?”
“Yeah.. kinda somethin’ like that.”
“That’s on him,” Pathos replies. “I’ve never really trusted him anyways. So. I’ll be holding the fort with Wosy and this little guy. That puts Rafael and Onaeca on attack, but Otaimo alone on recon… wanna give him a hand, Florence?”
"Hmm, it would be preferable if none of us took any unnecessary risks, we're already in a tight situation as is. That said, I'll go with Otaimo to aid with recon. Before we initiate the plan, however, we should make sure our connection is secure."
“Oh… um… well… I never actually expected someone to decline, but I suppose there is a first for everything.”
He takes a moment to pace around, thinking.
“Hrmph… well, if you… do not want to join the guard, then what, pray tell, do you have in mind for yourself? I’m somewhat aware of your living situation with the pirate family, having to run away from home. And now your encounter with Timothy… if you venture out there alone, you have not one, but two major targets on your back. The best we could do is give you government boarding… but even then, we would not be able to protect you directly. Are you… sure you do not wish to reconsider?”
~ Important Event - After making a wish, Warren is now a Planeswalker
@IzItTru You feel yourself spiraling, spiraling, spiraling… a crash, and a scorching heat. When you come to, you awaken to a hellish landscape. Perhaps wishing for an escape was a tad too ambitious after all…
Image Credit - Vulca by Asur-Misoa on DeviantArt
As you look around, you see nothing except for sheer cliffs, volcanic rock, lava, and magma… the smells of sulfur and rot fill your nostrils, and there seems to be absolutely no escape from this living nightmare. The lantern’s light is flickering weakly, and it doesn’t seem to be pulling you anywhere, so you are left to explore this wasteland.
It takes a few hours, but you manage to find something here. Water… you drink deep, but spit it back out. It burns your tongue, and tastes of blood, sulfur, and ashes… utterly disgusting. There is a light at the end of this tunnel, however; you can see an encampment downhill, though it’s protected by a… dragon. Meanwhile, uphill, you see what appears to be an abandoned fort of some sort, smoldering and ravaged.
Which option will you pursue, or will you keep looking around?
The captain suddenly vomits before passing out. It isn’t long after that his heartbeat begins to slow before eventually fading, the old man succumbing to his injuries.
~ About 52 hours later?
You’re finally able to get a little sleep, though it isn’t out of want, but rather, need. The last couple of days, you have gone without food, and have had to take water from a leak in the ceiling. You can’t compromise the roof above, but at least it provides liquid when it rains.
Finally, the door to your cell is opened, and the rock is removed. The succubus seems a tad pleased.
“Well, well, well… this is a surprise. Not a sign of blood consumption, yet you’re somehow still alive… Get up, maggot.”
You’re weak, but at least you’re able to gather the strength to crawl from your cruel prison. Standing will be difficult but manageable.
“Now… with me. We’re going to have a little chat.”
You’re taken by the succubus to a locked room. All of your possessions are here… even the scythe somehow, though you specifically remember Timothy taking it.
“Alfred… what a mundane name for someone so… apt. So… strong. What is a fool like you doing serving The New Order? They have nothing you could ever want… Us pirates, meanwhile, deal in tangible pleasures. We leave no desire untapped, and do not allow ourselves to be restricted by the questions of morals and such. We are the Black Guardians…” She stands proudly, adjusting a bracelet on her wrist. “Our goal is quite simple… ensure Khantsievth’s will is carried out. Of course, now that you know about us, you either join or die…”
The scythe glints, and you hear the wind pick up outside, pushing against the door.
“We can promise you great things, but only with your cooperation. Otherwise, we promise only a slow, agonizing, and painful death, and your mangled corpse shall be hung before The New Order headquarters as a warning to any who refuse our offer.”
Will you join the Black Guardians, refuse, or attempt to escape?