Eyes of the Dawn - 2016-11-06 - The Fall of Talador (log)/saved posts
The Fall of Talador: A quick Recap, for any that missed it.
[Also, anyone who wants should feel free to correct or clarify anything that I left out or misinterpreted, as it was a bit crazy-town tonight.]
The multi-armed assault on Talador began with Thadston, Aydan, and Cryheart (and likely a few other splinter cells) leading several different groups to infiltrate various areas of Talador simultaneously. Templars and crusaders aplenty were dispatched, and there were relatively few casualties at the outset. When some did perish, Rodnay was witnessed grabbing the fallen and escorting them back to the triage area inside the Outpost. (Sidenote: Much to the amusement and/or bafflement of some, one of those later included a temporarily fallen Drangell; before chains could be shackled on him, however, he escaped back to Talador.)
It was not long before Drangell was met with spell and sword within the Temple, and his various taunts on the amunet rather rudely interrupted. After a lengthy battle and much vigorous rubbing, the salve finally began to take effect, and he eventually retreated toward the Mines. Conveniently around that time, Rysus and his band of Rooks presumably detonated several orbs in order to gain access to what would turn out to be Raznel's rather grisly den of horrors. Several parties chased Drangell deeper into the mines, and more battling was had; however, he eventually succumbed to the salve and was reduced to a puddle of black goo... seemingly vanquished for keeps this time, no take backs. Crux remains deeply disappointed that he didn't ultimately get to dine on the Everblooded scourge, but retains some solace in the fact that at least he got a few chunky bites out of him.
A few samples of the inspiring decor of the mines are below. Seems a delightful vacationing spot, I might consider checking with my travel agent to see what kind of availability there is.
[Talador Mines, Old Tunnel] The walls of the tunnel are swarming with slimy, glowing white maggots that crawl along like a cascade of bright opals. Amidst the darkness of the passage, thick cobwebs hang from the uneven ceiling. [Talador Mines, Tunnel End] Huge scorchmarks have blackened the walls of the shadowy tunnel, and only a few glowing worms cling to their surface. The dim light from the worms causes some heavy cobwebs to glisten. [Talador Mines, Blood Tunnel] Pools of blood coalesce along the bottom of the tunnel's walls, small bubbles rising and popping on their surfaces. A foot of murky sanguine fluid covers the ground, fragments of jagged bones floating about it like debris. You wade slowly through the murky blood and floating bone fragments, ribbons of sticky ichor slowing your movements. Roundtime: 3 sec. [Talador Mines, Den of Flesh] The earthen walls are glistening black with rivulets of ichor creeping along jagged ridges. Hundreds of half-elven corpses form a macabre tapestry along every inch of the open cavern, their broken and mutilated bodies hung and hammered into the walls, onto posts, or dangling from rusted chains. Streams of caked blood lead towards a corner of the room. Also here: Earl Eddric
Eventually, Earl Eddric was discovered deep within the (only somewhat figurative) bowels of the Talador Mines. Though visibly shaken by the ordeal, he was recovered and escorted to safety by guards. A rotting woman's corpse was also discovered, and it was concluded that the body belonged to none other than Seraphene, Thadston's ex-wife and Disean's mother. Duplicity (the villainous deed, not the merchant) was quickly revealed, however, as it was discovered that "Seraphene" -- actually Raznel disguised by dark magic to appear as Seraphene -- had already been escorted to safety by other parties. (See: http://forums.play.net/forums/GemStone%20IV/Towns/Wehnimer's%20Landing/thread/1814500) Upon arrival at the Outpost, "Seraphene" had requested to visit with her son, Disean; unfortunately, it was later found that both had disappeared within the unfolding chaos of the seige. Their whereabouts are currently unknown, presumably.
Deeper still within the mines, we discovered a rather suspicious glowing portal and a blood marble obelisk of strange and eldritch power:
[Sacrament Chamber] [GEE, THAT'S NOT AN OMINOUS NAME.] The earthen ground has been segmented in dozens of sections, with narrow grooves crisscrossing along the floor. Each slender channel is caked with dried blood, and the air shimmers with a penetrating heat. Rising up in the center of the chamber like an oblong pillar is a huge, polished obelisk of blood marble. Gouged into the surface of the marble are glowing incarnadine runes. You also see a growing viridian portal and a huge rhimar-framed wagon. You touch a polished blood marble obelisk, and the blood red specks flash with a sanguine light. Beads of crimson light drift up into the vast chamber above, disappearing into the darkness. You think to yourself, "A bit ostentatious, but rather admirable workmanship." You gaze through the viridian portal and see... [Tamzzyr, Chaston's Way] The grand boulevard stretches out far and wide, its cobbled roads masterfully crafted and pristine, yet still holding the faintest hint of use from both the passage of feet and time. On the far western end of the Grand Imperial Plaza, the majestic palace which houses the Sun Throne raises high into the sky, its grandiose walls gleaming in the bright moonlight above.
Wave upon wave of enthralled peasants began to emerge, and appeared to be trying to push the obelisk into the portal... surely for no nefarious purpose at all. It was clear that Chaston was controlling them, and his disembodied voice more-or-less confirmed this with some amount of enthusiasm. Attempts were made to subdue the unwashed peasants, and there was some moral debate on whether or not their lives were of higher priority than whatever assuredly wicked designs the ominous obelisk was about to reveal; eventually, the group seemed content enough to just let a few of the more "morally flexible" among them deal with it, whereupon they collectively shrugged and moved on. When the enthralled peasants were shockingly bested by a sizable group of highly-skilled adventures (I mean, REALLY, Chaston), the Prelate then attempted to enthrall a few among them without much success, because no one had time for that nonsense. When that failed, he finally revealed himself and was struck down. And struck down. And struck down again. Eventually -- and with far more rubbing -- the salve finally served its purpose upon his broken body, once again... and there was a very cathartic but short-lived moment of victory.
Chaston's abdomen melts, crumbling apart, his legs melting to black tar. Chaston reaches out with an blood-soaked hand, touching the base of the blood marble obelisk. He prays, and coughs, ichor dripping out from his mouth. His golden eyes go black as night. The rest of his body soon melts into a pile of gooey black tar. The runes along the obelisk flash with a bright crimson light! (Cruxophim splashes the obelisk with the tar-like black salve, for good measure.) Suddenly, the obelisk bursts open like an obsidian egg, and a bright blood red pillar of light bursts up from the obelisk and temporarily blinds you! The blast fires up into the darkness!
Cheers of victory turned out to be premature, however, as with his dying breath, Chaston apparently succeeded in activating the obelisk. Some hideous power emerged and escaped upward to the surface, much to the consternation of those present. Pylasar then appeared, in the form of a tiny purple ant that shifted into a purple spider; the purple spider then spun a doorway through which we escaped, only to be met with this:
[Talador, The Bleaklands] The land is desolate and broken, with an endless terrain of fragmented, grey earth that is caked in layers of ash. The air is suffocating, with a thick, rancid odor and a faint heat still lingers in the area. The sky is bleak, resembling an expanse of ink-whorled slate. Malvernus slowly and painful walk in, leaning heavily on his staff. Malvernus says, "The city and those soldiers who moved into it..." Malvernus says, "Fires tore up from beneath the town and tore it and everything there asunder." Malvernus says, "Fortunately not everyone was within the city." Malvernus says, "Those Drakes that I could formed defensive circles around all they could. When the fires came they met the strongest shields we could hold." Malvernus says, "There are some other survivors, yes. But there were far more soldiers than Drakes." Malvernus says, "There are some other survivors, yes. But there were far more soldiers than Drakes."
The extent of the devastation was confirmed by Malvernus; we had emerged via the peculiarly prodigious purple passage, somewhat victorious... only to discover that Talador now lie in blasted ruin. We returned to the Outpost with (mostly) slumped shoulders, and met with Malvernus as well as Michol, wherein Raznel's treachery was discovered by all:
Michol deeply says, "Sir Thadston sent word, I do not know where he is. He left, with the Earl. I believe to return him immediately." Michol deeply says, "Saraphene was rescued, I sent her to see her son." Speaking to Michol, Stormyrain says, "No." Michol deeply says, "Sir Thadston should return in a night or two." Dergoatean says, "Not Saraphene." Speaking quickly to Michol, Kayse says, "No, no, no. That is Raznel." Michol deeply says, "He was seeing the Earl back to the Keep." Michol deeply asks, "Excuse me?" Speaking stoically to Michol, you state, "Illusions, Michol." [I really had to... you understand, of course.] Michol blinks. Michol deeply says, "Sara.." Michol deeply says, "No, she cannot be dead." Michol deeply says, "That will destroy the commander." Michol frowns. Michol deeply asks, "What occured in Talador?" Speaking to Michol, Irar says, "We destroyed Chaston's forces and Chaston, and he destroyed Talador in vengeance." (Which is honestly a far more succinct summary of events than this... perhaps we should just go with that.)
And that, boys and ghouls, more or less concludes our tale.... for now, of course.
It can't be said enough how well done this turned out. Cruxophim had a great recap, with his slant of course. Crux 2017. ;) I don't think he missed anything, but bump to the top and a high level recap I sent blurry eyed. I look forward to the official recap. I think we ran from 9:15pm - 1:30am CST for the finale. -We dropped into Talador inside the temple. -Gurbah and the Vornavis forces protected the Imperial armies flank against blameless. -Drangell engaged Aydan's unit in the temple. -We fought Drangell through the streets with the Vornavian Guard and Imperial Army. -Rooks showed up on the roofs and started firing at just about everyone. -Gained access to the mines when Sir Thadston arrived and bombs were set off after Drangell fled that way. -Tricky mine navigation. Bombs kept going off and the mines collapsed. People got thrown in every direction. -Drangell set on some of the stranglers in the dark tunnel portion of the mines, but we were able to engage him. -Defeated and ended Drangell with the black salve weapons. We made sure to stay until we confirmed he ceased.(He melted like in Gremlins II) -Found Earl Eddric Jovery and rescued him. He was taken into custody by the Hendoran knights and Thadston after the Gryphons released him into their custody. -Found Chaston. He was protecting a square with a portal to Tamzyrr and a black obelisk on a wagon. -He used thralls to try and push Raznel's creation (the black sphere of blood marble) into a portal for Tamzyrr. -Raznel is believed to have used Seraphene's body as a mimic and escaped from Talador. -Landing adventurer's and combined forces were stuck in the caverns where Chaston perished. -Malvernus had the drakes throw up shields up above per little communication we had from them. -Chaston died and touched the obelisk, something cocooned out of it and destroyed Talador completely. It's a magical wasteland now. -Pylasar saved us with a webbed door portal. (Cool effect) -Folks thought everyone above died. I mentioned Malvernus isn't easy to kill and then he limped in a few minutes later to update us. -We're stuck in Talador wastes, we think most everyone is dead. We're hoping Thadston retreated south to the Outpost via the portal since the Earl was south of Talador when he was escorted out. -Successful evac to Hendor Outpost. (Pylasar I think. I was tired. Monday was suffering.) -Michol came and briefed us on what he knew. -Fake Raznel came and took Disean from the Outpost and left. -Sir Thadston was taking Eddric back to Hendor. -We'll know more in 2 days when Thadston returns. Tuesday I really liked how the alchemy process turned out on the salve. It altered the weapon with a cool change and harkened back to the mandis bane weapons nicely. Intentionally or not.