Ties that Bind
This is a GM storyline that took place in the Platinum Instance during 2017. The official title is "Ties that Bind".
Ties that Bind, Part 1
Sitting, if one could call it that, at an old desk littered with maps and papers, his thoughts raced. "Fools," he said to no one in particular. Turning to the shadows, he spoke, "Do they not know what's coming? I have waited patiently for years, building my strength, building my army, plotting my revenge." A wet slurping sound, as something shifted in the shadows, was the only response. ~GM Mazreth "The time has come..."
It had been quite some time since any major threat had materialized to challenge the might of the elven nations. Ta’Illistim and Ta’Vaalor, two of the five major city-states, were about to be sorely tested by demonic and undead forces reminiscent of the Undead War.
Ties that Bind, Part 2
A lone candle casts shadows across the ivory and gold walls that dance and flicker as a slender elven woman pulls the sash of her dressing gown tight and paces to and fro. She pauses to glance at the sleeping form in the bed before looking out a window, her lips hesitant to give word to her thoughts. “Demons,” she whispers into the dark night. She nods as she hears the watch call out that all is secure on the walls. Tiny motes of light sparkle in the windows of the crystal towers as elemancers renew the spells and strengthen the defenses of the city. Reaching towards a gold cord, she gives it a smart tug. Even at this late hour, a small page scampers in rubbing the sleep from his eyes. “Gasen, you may retire, I will not need your services any longer tonight. I would rather see you home safe with your mother.” “Yes Mirror,” the boy replies as he turns toward the door. Pausing, he glances back and says in a quiet voice, “Mirror?” “Yes, Gasen?” “All will be well. We have pushed the demons back each time they have broken through. Your warriors and elemancers are strong and skilled. Please, do not worry so. Mother says you will look as old as Lady Ardtin if you continue on.” “Thank you for your advice Gasen. One Lady Ardtin is enough in the Keep. I will take your words to heart. Now, please go home and sleep. We have much work to do tomorrow.” Myasara smiles warmly as the boy disappears through the door. “If only I could rest,” she thinks. “What do they want? Why do they attack us?” Looking back out the window, she lets her mind wander. Her hands rub a small vaalin chain link. “If we have a son, I would wish him to be like Gasen.” Slowly, she turns and blows out the candle, leaving the room in darkness. ~GM Valyrka
Demonic and undead forces make occasional assaults upon Ta'Illistim and Ta'Vaalor during the winter months and are repelled with few casualties. Neither city has any idea as to the why of these attacks, but each city is determined to protect its citizens. As winter passes into spring, the attacks cease and the cities begin to hope that the worst has passed and that they are safe once again. Months pass...
As summer approaches, demonic and undead forces assault Ta'Illistim and Ta’Vaalor in great numbers. Neither city is prepared for the onslaught and the invasion forces gain a foothold into both cities via their main gates. In Ta’Illistim, the invasion forces manage to fight their way to the Hanging Gardens before adventurers can gather. They manage to push them back while suffering heavy losses due to the presence of demonic forces that most defenders are ill equipped to deal with. The battles rage on into the night, but the defenders manage to drive back the invaders in the end.
Ties that Bind, Part 3
After standing up to the King of Ta'Vaalor, and refusing to quit the field of battle after being feebly struck by the King himself, the guards dragged him to the dungeon to face charges of High Treason. The guardsmen laughed as they recounted the tale while nearly tearing off Auvreaian's possessions after an extended session of "subdual" involving clubs. "Oh, that little scratch on your arm is going to cost you, we'll add it to the fine of your charge once you see the judge.", the first guardsmen said in a matter-of-fact tone while standing over Auvreaian's kneeling form. "You mean where your King assaulted me with a weapon inside the confines of your own city?", Auvreaian replied while looking up at the second guard pulling a dagger from his belt-sheath. "It seems you have an unpaid fine in the Elven Nations, as well...a whopping sum of zero silvers! Judge isn't going to like that one bit. Ol' Earl here is going to remove the last thing on your body since it won't cooperate, likely going to sting a bit.", the first guard says while taking a step back. The other guardsmen kneeled next to Auvreaian and attempts to pull the troll heart from his chest before shrugging snd starts to saw at the tendons, causing a gush of blackened ichor-like blood to spray forth. The first guard lets out a chuckle as the other guardsmen sputters as blood hits his face and instinctively leans back in a failed attempt to avoid any further coating of the foul smelling liquid coming from the troll heart as it hangs limply from Auvreaian's chest. "Looks like we can add littering to your list of transgressions, too!", the first guardsmen says while slipping a few gems from one of the possessed containers of the imprisoned to his own. The guard called Earl swears under his breath before leaning back in and wraps his hand around the troll heart and begins to tug at it, causing a mixture of ichor and blood to pour from Auvreaian's chest. Any attempt to remain calm is quickly removed, as the second guard falls back from the force of Auvreaian's forehead slamming into his own, the final tendon ripped forcibly from the sudden motion. Both the guard named Earl and Auvreaian crumple to the floor. The first guard pulls the club from his belt and begins savagely beating the nearly unconscious Auvreaian, until there is nothing but blackness to quell the waves of agony. "...my Mother-in-law is in town, for TWO WHOLE WEEKS!", the judge yells down as Auvreaian returns to his senses. A pair of halberd blades rest on the back of his neck, rings from the cross post of the polearms are attached to the manacles that bind his arms above his head, bent backwards into an awkward angle. His ankles are chained to the floor, rendering him immobilized. "Do you know how much it cost for me to hire an escort for my Mother-in-law in the middle of this Koar-foresaken little stunt you were involved in?", the judge continues clearly in a fit of rage. "Guilty on all counts! In accordance of His Majesty, Qalinor, you are hereby sentenced to incarceration and levied a fine for High Treason, littering, resisting, and assault on a guardsmen in defense of the King!" "Get him out of my sight, before he bleeds onto my floor and I add an order of contempt!", the judge yells while banging his gavel. His ankles are released from the floor only for him to be drug across the courtroom floor like a rabid aminal being put into a pen. Hours of interrogation and beating for his sarcastic replies follow, until he is finally released and thrown outside the city gate. Auvreaian flashes back to the confrontation between him and Qalinor. "I only answer to MY people!", the King yelled at him in the face of his accusations. "Yes, you will do so soon enough.", Auvreaian says to himself as he picks up his items, finding his container of gems substantially lighter than it was before his time in jail. The ride on the ferry allows him to begin to make plans for his upcoming actions. ~James/Auvreaian
The fierce battle is the talk of both cities the next day and it is learned that a lich was seen to be directing the demonic and undead forces. A few adventurers even heard the demons use the name Vindicto used to address the lich. Auvreaian, a dark elven warrior and one of the Ta’Vaalor defenders, was jailed during the battle for calling out the cowardly actions of Qalinor and the Crimson Legion for retreating and sealing off the Guardian Keep. The king's actions left much of the populace to fend for themselves. Qalinor and Auvreaian already have a checkered past and the king has no patience for the termity of Auvreaian. The king has him stripped of possessions and jailed. After a number of brutal beatings, Auvreaian is found guilty of crimes against the crown and cast out of the city.
Ties that Bind, Part 4
Frustration pushed at the corners of his mind as Vindicto heard the defenders' answer. "Why wouldn't they just see the truth of things and hand over the Fortress peacefully", he thought. No matter, he would take it either way. With a simple thought, he sent waves of his undead minions crashing against the gates of the elven city. Defenders fell alongside his minions, but he had plenty more troops to waste. He would win a war of attrition, though he preferred not to waste troops. A thought entered his mind and with a flick of his hand, he materialized outside the southern gate and looked upon a defender. "You will do nicely", he stated more to himself than to the defender. Valewyn uttered something, but Vindicto wasn't listening. His mind was racing at the possibility of having eyes and ears on the inside. Without another thought, he cast the incantation and Valewyn's features changed before him. Blood drained from the defender's face as life left him and his flesh rotted. "Perfect, you will do nicely", Vindicto rasped to Valewyn. A nod of understanding was the only response. Others came to interrupt his doings, others fell before him. One unfortunate victim recognized her mistake and promised him information. Vindicto granted Talryssa a new life, an unlife, and a chance to serve him. Again they came, by ones and by twos, each seeking to destroy him, each falling before him and his undead horde. It was with great pleasure that he strolled through the bodies littered about him, leading his new fledglings across the bridge and into a city teeming with his undead. Reveling in the sheer number of undead within the walls, and finding a decided lack of defenders, the small group proceeded to King's Court to relish their victory. Defenders began trickling into the court and repeatedly threatening the Lich and his fledglings. Angered and arrogant, "I will show the infidels the error in their ways", he thought as he began to summon forth He brought forth his babies, his vathors and abyran'ras. He pulled so many of them through the valence that he inadvertently overextended himself and was vulnerable. "No matter", he thought, "My babies will protect me." He didn't even have time to realize the error of his thoughts, as the defenders attacked with a renewed fury and the Lich fell beneath them. As the magical energies that had held his will to the corrupted form vanished, he began to unravel. Each layer of energy burst like a bubble, revealing bits of his past. With a final explosion that rocked the fortress to its core, the lich was no more. Ta'Vaalor's magical defenses absorbed portions of the blast as they focused the majority of it through the natural channel of Fearling Pass. The shock wave rolled through the pass with increasing fury, rocking the ferry violently as it picked up water and debris in its travel across the Lake of Fear before eventually expending itself against the majestic cliffs beneath Ta'Illistim. ~GM Mazreth
That night Vindicto assaults Ta’Vaalor again with undead hordes and the invasion forces manage to break into the city. Adventurers attempt to stop Vindicto, but he is nigh unstoppable until a fatal error is made on his part. The lich summons forth a mass of demons, but expends to much of his magical energies in the process, leaving him vulnerable. The defenders seize upon this opportunity and attack the lich with a renewed fury, winning the day just barely and vanquishing Vindicto. The destruction of the lich releases a magical blast wave that is mostly absorbed by the magical defenses of Ta’Vaalor, but a portion is directed through the natural channel of Fearling Pass. The magical blast wave is amplified as it travels through the pass and exits with great fury, travelling across the Lake of Fear to strike the cliffs beneath Ta’Illistim with tremendous force.
OOC NOTES: I wish to give special thanks to GM Zoelle and GM Kynlee for their great help in this story. I would also like to thank GM Skhorne for bringing his lich to play in the finale. I realize this story was much shorter than in prime and I apologize for that. Sadly, most of the history I drew on in Prime, never happened in Plat so some changes were necessary. Don't worry though, I'm not done with you yet. Events have consequences you know... ~GM Mazreth