Monday, September 23, 2013

Falling Ishtar ep06 : Dungeon World

07/28/2013

Falling Ishtar
Episode Six

"In the End of it All"

Dungeon World

Chaos.  That turned out to be the root of it all.

Cairre has a fitful dream as he recalls his foster parents.  Even in his dreams, they warn him.  They beg him to be wary.  He awakens feeling angry of having lived a lie all this time.   With Lady Unisa still in the Eternal room, the Necromantic Dagger continues to lick at her life, waiting to be unleashed with the Ritual that Cairre had prepared.  Cairre knows that he must maneuver to Roderick soon.  He must use the Dagger to trap his former master within himself as a vessel.  It was the only way to defeat the Lich.

Roderick visits.  In a dream, Cairre sees his former mentor calling for him.  The Lich tells him it is not too late to save his friends, and in the vision, Cairre sees his adventuring companions all defeated on the ground.  Cities burn.  The sky is darkened by smoke.    Cairre swears to himself he will defeat the Lich.

Bjorn finds the orb of smoke which Cairre had once shown him and sacrifices it to Bob for some guidance on the matters at hand.  The Divination he receives shows the massive epic creature known as the Tarrasque rising as an undeniable force of supernatural danger.  Orbs of light illuminate the Tarrasque in key places.  Mountains crumble as the thing walks.  And a poppy flower blooms.   Bjorn realizes Bob is confirming their suspicions that the Tarrasque is indeed beneath the City of Flowers.  Melisande's story about the thing supposedly being forced asleep by its poppies seems to now ring true.

Hob inspects the orb Bjorn sacrificed and realizes it was a commonly used prison for spirits and demons.  He quickly surmises however, they would not be strong enough to hold a Lich.  A Lich, unlike spirits and demons, was still more man than spirit, and thus benefited from free will.

Gil and Cedric discuss the coming fight and Cedric admits he thinks it was time to head back home.  After nearly dying when they fought Voarex, Cedric realized that given the world may be ending, his deepest desire was to be with his family.   "A life of an adventurer, I guess, is not meant for me."   Gil tells him he was brave nonetheless and should go home proud.  Gil offers him back the potions his mother had given Gil, but Cedric admits, "You may need it more than me."  Cedric leaves for home, and the ranger merely watches him go.

Melisande considers finding possible allies in the City of Flowers.  Knowing it is the largest Church of Bob, Melisande realizes that title once belonged to Gonol before it fell.  She visits Unisa, who sadly does not have much to share.  Melisande relishes seeing the Dark Elf in her pitiful state, however.  The Dark Elf sneers at how the Sun Elf had clearly fallen from grace and become one of the Wood Elves instead.

“The beast from the depths. It comes from beneath!”    Bjorn wakes from the Divination.  Hob and Melisande join him as he tries to explain, “The City crumbles as it rises.”  The dwarf can barely be made to relax.  It is clear he feels the time to act is now.  “There are the end of days.”

Hob tells them they will go better suitably armed.  He spent some time in the Endless Room and ransacked it for items that may prove useful.  Hob found some priestly vestments crafted from stone in a tomb at the altar.  With Bjorn's new divine manifestation of being made of stone, it seemed fitting to let him wear it.  He found a hat with multi-colored feathers which suited Melisande.

Melisande shares with them the stories about the mark and convinces the group the urgency to go to the City of Flowers.  None of them, however, realize Cairre is getting a big push to do that as well that same moment.  Adon manifests infront of Cairre as a disembodied spirit.  Adon tried to use a Power Word to escape back to Cairre, but his imprisonment holds his body fast.  Roderick's Ritual keeps him trapped.  He tells Cairre the fightening truth:  Roderick has used the Magi themselves to become the very "strings" that allow him control over  the Tarrasque.    Panicked, Cairre rushes down the tower to find the others and realizes no one is there.   As rare as the moment is, he focuses on the task at hand and finds Gil outside (having just returned from bidding Cedric goodbye).  Cairre opens the Portable Hole and Gil hands him the hair he had received from Bridgette as a means to contact her.  "Tell her the Silver Lance is calling."  Rather than jump inside as well, however, Gil closes the Portable Hole behind Cairre.

Cairre arrives at the Eternal Room and the others are surprised to see One-Eye shapeshift into a humanoid form.  The two embrace as a bond now exists between them given their having survived the battle against Voarex.  As the group discusses how they plan to deal with Roderick, the topic of heading to the City of Flowers is once again raised.  Bjorn insists his interpretation of the vision Bob sent him is correct, but Unisa does question them on whether or not their actions may "free" the Tarrasque from Roderick's control.

Hob hands Cairre a dark Cloak which seems to be made of panther hide.  Its displacement properties were hopefully to help him in the coming battle.  And Hob has the Ion stone which Cedric found from the treasures activate and spin around him.    He holds on to a bow carved from Dragon Bone which he plans to hand eventually to Gil.  As the group considers their plans, they do not realize that outside the Eternal room, time passes far much more quickly.

*

Outside, Gil stalks the towering monstrosity known as the Tarrasque.  With Illuray carrying him in its talons, Gil spies the remnants of the City of Towers that has been lodged upon the back of the epic thing.  It seems its rising from beneath the City resulted in the city itself being torn from the earth itself and carried along with it.

It has been three days since Gil had rolled up the Portable Hole and made his way towards the City while the others were inside.  As the thing continues its relentless tread towards the City of Towers, Gil dodges the wave of debris that crashes in all directions.  Though he had no idea why Roderick would direct the thing towards the City of Towers, Gil knew it had to be stopped before it got there.  However, he was certain that there was no way he was defeating this beast alone.

The two swoop past the Tarrasque unnoticed and find that the remnants of the City of Towers remains inhabited!  As the city's inhabitants struggle to survive their crumbling home, Gil finds as well corpses of strange distorted things.  To his surprise, he finds the Silver Lance present!  Bridgette has become the woman in charge of the City's defenses and she quickly reports to him that prior to the Tarrasque rising, they were assaulted by twisted winged things that used to be elves.  Gil studies a corpse and realizes they seemed to have been elven-draconic hybrids - a sad sign that Melisande's mother was abducted to create these things.  As Bridgette admits there's a need for assistance, Gil unrolls the Portable Hole to allow the others to emerge.

Bjorn asks if the City still has a Temple to Bob and the others seem surprised that of all the deities, it would be Bob whom these heroes would look for.  Melisande tries to calm the people down with her songs.  But then the whole city... leaps.

As it becomes frighteningly clear, the City of Flowers is precariously balanced upon the epic monster.  And though its immensity is enough that its step does not cause the city to bounce off, when the Tarrasque actually moves beyond just walking the city's inhabitants are jolted out of place!

Outside, two massive armies from the City of Towers and other nearby farms and villages close in upon the Tarrasque.  Catapults and Seige weapons are unleashed, and while they all are dwarfed by the singular force of destruction, their assault does not go unnoticed!  The Tarrasque feels the impact upon its knees and stomps one of its many feet in response.  The earthquake that follows downs almost half of the armies before it.    On the City of Flowers, however, things fare less favorably as hundreds are flung away from the city and into open air!  Melisande fails to properly polymorph into  Roc and in the chaos, the stone-formed Bjorn slams upon her.  The others try to hold on to anything in the landscape.  If anything, the group knows they have to bring the fight to the beast.  And they have to do it now.

Each take to the sky in one way or another.  And Roderick reveals himself, standing upon the Tarrasque's head with the massive beast following its urgings.  Each of the Magi serving as a focal point for his Ritual to direct the Tarrasque -- for the beast is actually still asleep! All its movements have been through the magical urgings of Roderick's Ritual.  Cairre considers the act of killing the other Magi as unthinkable, and tries to challenge Roderick directly.  The two trade spells, and parry with their respective Dispel Magics.  Melisande struggles to retain her Elven thoughts in her Roc form, while Bjorn casts Sever to separate one of the Tarrasque's arms!

Hob and Gil struggle to think of what they can do to best the Tarraque, given the thing's immunity to be hurt or defeated using the same method twice.  Hob comes up with an idea so crazy it just might work.  Roderick planned this all.  His actions have been so meticulous that even Cairre's whole life was mapped out to serve some darker purpose - that he had to be raised thinking Roderick was not his father.  The Tarrasque was heading to the City of Towers, the same city which Roderick had - for months - prepped for the Ritual which affected all First Borne.   The only place Hob could think of as the Tarrasque's target was the City of Towers... until he realized also in the route were the Ruins of Gonol.

"The Eternal Room.  The Portal.  They lead there."

Gil agreed.  Hob  asked for the Portable Hole, and when Gil handed it to him, Hob asked Gil not to let go of the other end.  With a leap, Hob held on to his end of the Portable Hole, and the impossible thing began to stretch like a gigantic black net.  

"This thing cannot be killed by something that has killed it before.  But perhaps we can trap it.  Somewhere it has never been.  The Eternal Room! The Hole!"

Gil understood, and the two maneuvered closer to the Tarrasque's head.

Bjorn leapt onto the Tarrasque, and with a massive act of sacrifice, shattered the Monstrance of Bob to see if Hob's plan would truly work.  In his vision, he sees the heart of the temple in the Ruins of Gonol.    Roderick and Cairre trade more spells, and when the Portable Hole covers them all, they are all shunted into the Eternal Room.  Cairre stabs the Necromantic blade deep in a bid to finally rid the world of Roderick.

*

The Tarrasque sleeps.
Cairre and the others are alive.  As was Roderick who now triumphantly congratulates Cairre for doing everything he had hoped he would do.  As the other Magi, now free from the ritual, come close, Roderick blabbers about how everything was meant to push Cairre to become the embodiment of a new Seat for the Magi: the Seat of Evil.  Roderick exposes the chaos of his plan and how in its ashes, Cairre was forced to rise into prominence as the one who defeats the Tarrasque.  "Imagine, you have defeated an Epic Beast that none of the Magi could stop!  And in your heart you were willing to kill anyone to make it happen!"   The mad ramblings of a man who knew no true way to be a father.

The other Magi demand the others to stand down, citing that Roderick now will have to be punished as one of the Magi.  Cairre angrily accepts that he now is part of the Council and has a vote on the matters.  The others do not deny it.

Gil trains an arrow at the Council, warning them all of what their choices may lead them to do.  He challenges them to step away.  To no longer interfere with the lives of men.  The Council turn to Cairre.    The challenge is accepted.

*

Years have passed.  
Very many years.

Magic has long withdrawn from the world.   Though stories still are sung of great wizards, of magnificent beasts, of spells and rituals and strange artifacts of power.   But no, magic is but a myth, people say.

The Church of Bob stands proud.  A stone dwarf in penitence kneels at the temple.  Some whisper it sometimes seems to move.    People whisper of strange people living in the woods.  Not human, they whisper.  Not quite.  They don't realize the ones they speak too are such people as well.  Inbred enough to look like a mix of both.

Blood mingled together.

There are no dragons now.
No tomes of spells or hammers of stone.

But sometimes, a falling star streaks across the sky.
Leaving silver in its wake.

THE END

I lost my notes.  But I recall mostly this was how the game went.  Am sure certain things have changed from the actual game.  But that's okay.  Sometimes, it is how the story is told that matters more than the truth.

*winks*
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