Thursday, February 6, 2014

The Gossamer Saga ep06 : Homebrewed System

01/19/2014
The Gossamer Saga : Revolution


Episode Six
"Escalation"

Home-brewed Game

Somewhere underneath the ruins of Staniga, Kale, Ash, Quince and the Blacksmith face the cultists that rush down the hall and the invisible guards from the Gossamer Tower.  Up north, the capital is under martial law and General Cray of the army has confirmed that the Regent is gone.  In a random tent in the plains of Waltein, Magda is in a tent looking at the general who is having the Prime Minister executed.  She feels the confusion that plagues the Tower.

Back at the Gossamer Tower, Chi'tairn and Larkspur are brought to different dungeon chambers.  Larkspur is being interrogated by an officer and the answers the gives him are crazy talk about Divine Rapture and the like.  The guard remains skeptical of her answers but fails to get any real answers through her.

*

Kale decides to open a portal, using the strange device embedded into his hand.  He drags everyone to the Glades, including the guards, cultists and captives.  Only Ash successfully reacts in time to land on her feet.  The rest drop against the branches and other foliage of the forest and painfully hit the ground below.  Desiring a weapon, Ash is stunned to see a shaft of light emerging in her hand, forming into a spear.  She pins a guard down and demands to know who he is.  Quince gets up to his feet as a guard lands next to him, and without a second thought, he bashes the guy with a rock.  Kale trips a cultist and the cultist rolls away from him perhaps in a hope of finding safety.  Ash demands for answers, but when the guard doesn't give any, she discovers she can split the spear of light into two short spears, pins them against the man's neck, then draws the dagger she had taken from Kale to threaten the man more directly.

Kale figures out where his companions are while another guard assaults Quince.  The cultist Kale had tripped ends up rolling on the guard attacking Quince.  As Ash pries open the guard's helmet, she hisses that the Bright One wishes Staniga to be avenged.  She demands to know where his token is.  When he refuses to give answers, Ash simply kicks off him.

The group hurries into the woods, lead by Kale who makes sure they are not followed.  Kale leads them towards his village deep in the Glades.

*

Elsewhere.  Back in the Gossamer Tower, Chi'tairn is being guarded heavily.  A smell of the sea permeates the room, and water gushes into the dungeon.  Gorval opens the door to Larkspur's cell and tells her that she changed the time table.  Faraker appears as well.  They are here to bust her out.  Apparently, Gorval is "retiring."  Larkspur insists to be brought down to Hearthkeep, which makes Gorval impatient.  Ballouise brings Chi'tairn over. Larkspur gives Ballouise an embrace and tells her that now she is understood.  She does not seem to grasp, however, that the group is making a break for it.  Ballouise seems reluctant to go far from water, but Gorval finally concedes.  The man takes all of their totems and Faraker uses his ability to bring them all to Hearthkeep.  There, they find Dawn waiting for them.

*

The cultists and the guards battle it out as the captives run away.  The blacksmith takes his silver golems to the woods and departs.  The guards defeat the cultists.   None of them seem to track where the group had gone.

*

Kale talks to the group, mentioning the possibility of using the Trust without the use of totems.  He suggests leaving the totems in the woods.  Not having her own Totem, Ash decides to try channeling her memories of Staniga and decays a tree nearby.  The power is unleashed stronger than anticipated and she ends up creating a clearing of ashen trees.  Kale climbs a tree, gets an egg, uses the Trust to grow the egg into a bird, and leaves his totem on it.  Quince keeps his for now.  Kale leads them to one of his safe houses, a tree house in the middle of the woods, and Ash decides to not ask why a messenger boy would have such a hiding hole.  The group camps down to rest for a bit.

*

Back in Hearthkeep, Larkspur starts whipping up a warm comfy dinner for everyone.  She is blind to how disconcerted everyone else currently is.  After enjoying the meal, Larkspur uses the Trust to check on her erstwhile companions.  She is able to see that the tree are in a tree house somewhere and tells the others.  Faraker offers to fetch them.  Larkspur remarks that she thinks Faraker and Kale act like lovers.

Morning comes.  Faraker finds the other group and nearly gets assaulted by Ash and Quince.  He eventually convinces them to come with him and they appear in a barn.  Ash once again sees the woman she despises and throws Larkspur an insult.  The farm girl responds in kind.

With everyone gathered at the dinner table, they exchange the stories of what they have gone through and they have learned.  Dawn explains that her group had planned on going rogue from the start.  She explains that magic is out there and that "the Trust" and the World Pool are meant to leave others dependent on the Tower.  Chi'tairn explains that there is no need for "a battery" and that they only need to call on what is there.  Pick it out of the environment.   She shares how she was able to get deeper into the libraries before being discovered, and that there is something of the prophecies coming.  The Regent may have been a key to open a doorway of some sort.  The group shares how the cultists could use magic as well and wonders on what the cultists may be hoping to achieve.

Kale draws out the mirror that Magda had given him.  He peeks inside and sees images showing that his father was finally back in their village.  

The group discusses about how they must look for a way to identify the cultists.    The group shares their observations and considers their options.  The cultists may not be of this world or plane.  Chi'tairn admits it is next to impossible to track magic, and that the center of Staniga's explosion was where the Regent died.  He had been inserted with magic.  But the questions remain:  How to find more information on the cult?   Where to find the priest with the staff which the group saw in Staniga?  Or the cultists?  Some suggest to go where the Regent died, others suggest to investigate where he was prior to his death, and some consider finding a cultist to interrogate.

Ash asks about how one can conceal the use of the Trust.  Apparently, one merely need not tap into the World Pool.  Ash shares an idea:  what if the group were to have someone pretend to be the Regent, to bait the person who killed him to come out.  Quince gets impatient and demands Faraker take them to the Glades.  Ash, Kale, and Larkspur follow suit.  Kale clearly is annoyed at Quince's actions.

They return at the tree house, and Quince quickly climbs down, intent on heading where the clearing was.  Ash contemplates on why they were chosen.  Kale tells Quince he is headed the wrong way and eventually convinces him to head down the correct path.

Back at the clearing, the guardsmen are gone.  Quince gathers up the bodies he finds lying around while Kale opts to climb a nearby tree for a higher vantage point to look for a trail to follow. Larkspur uses the cultist's corpse as a focus to find a sympathetic link with the other cultists.  The two seem to be intent on using the Trust to achieve some goal.  Kale decides to stay at the top of the tree and keep watch.   Ash talks to Faraker, and he shares how he was once a recruit like them.  How he used to be from around the Glades.  How he was taken in by Chi'tairn.

The two talk more about the rest of the group, and Ash asks him why the others have chosen this group in particular.  Faraker admits that he has not really though about that.  She asks him of his training, sharing some hints of her darker brutal past.  Faraker says his life practically started with the Order.  He barely recalls anything of his life prior to joining.

Quince is busy transforming the pile of corpses he had collected into a strange construct of human remains.  Ash crawls nearby to him and admits to him her dislike of Larkspur and of religion in general.  She admits she has made a promise to herself to destroy them.  Quince barely responds, too preoccupied with sewing the bodies together.  He uses the necromantic structure to act as a link and tries to gain information from "the hive."

Larkspur embraces the idea of the divine miracles of the Bright One and attempts to raise the dead.  She succeeds in raising the corpse back from the dead to ask a single question.  "Where is the leader?" Sadly, the corpse admits it does not know.

Quince gets glimpses in his mind of the cultists activity for the past week.  He learns that the best is still in the temple.  There was a grand gathering where all the members were called underground, that the moment they had been for had arrived.  The man with the staff talks to them of the Regent and how he has come to be sacrificed so their true masters will come and rule the land.  The Regent's death occurs directly above the underground temple.  Quince learns the man with the staff has a name:  Yogandan.

Kale was making his way down the tree when he finds the impossible has occurred.  An individual have successfully snuck up close enough to him even while he was keeping watch.  He grabs the man only to be threatened by the man's companion to let go.  He also realizes the "men" are not human at all.  They are elves.

Larkspur and Ash realizes Kale is in danger and act quickly, with Ash summoning her spear of light and Larkspur growing massive wings to lift them both up towards Kale.  But arrows fly and Larkspur whips up the winds to form a spherical shield around them.  

Kale tries to parley with the elves, talking to them about how they have not come to fight with the elves.  But as he tries to ask why the elves have come so far away from their own territory, the tree itself becomes unable to carry their weight!  Down below, Quince has transformed the tree into a honeycomb for a brief moment, hoping to make the others drop down.  Kale teleports himself to the ground safely, even as the elves mobilize to attack.  A fight is imminent until Faraker steps foward and starts talking to the elves in their own tongue!

He asks to speak with their leader.  More elves reveal themselves and some don't seem too happy that Larkspur is using magic.  Faraker convinces Larkspur and Ash to cease their magic, and to the others it seems Faraker knows the elves.  They are a scouting party who have arrived to investigate the earlier battle.  Seeing the group, the structure of corpses, and the use of magic, the elves opt to bring the group to their elder.  Kale worries silently about this, knowing how territorial elves are and how typically they ignore anything outside their lands.

*

In Staniga, the cultists are gathered, surrounded by runes formed on the ashes with blood.  Yogandan stands there, drawing power into himself.  The beginnings of a portal begin to open.


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