Living Mystara: Red Arrow, Black Shield

Last Rites

After their passionate time together, Galenraug and Lady Vehá rose from one of the auxiliary chambers of the town center to learn of the upcoming reading of Lady Ledeïa’s will. Their conversation quickly shifted to that of the family lineage, Ledeia’s wishes for her internment, and the fact that “Sir” had utterly circumvented them. It was revealed, shortly after Ledeïa’s passing, that the Darokinian executor of the estate was almost immediately at hand to notify Sir of 11th-hour changes to the will. He was noticeably furious, as Nala had observed and told to Lady Vehá. Consequently, Ledeïa had been neither cremated nor given a private ceremony, going against her will and causing the executor to pursue litigation against Sir, also in keeping with Ledeia’s own personal instructions. Lady Vehá informed Galenraug that they had used the concealment of the casket to ceremoniously remove Ledeia’s feet, the tips of her ears, and some of her hair for cremation and internment in Alfheim, the resting place she’d chosen and Sir had flouted.

Nala and Gālen almost immediately sought Lady Vehá and Galenraug once they finished their talk and agreed to attend the reading, as apparently the Darokinian executor insisted they (Vehá and Nala) be present as per Ledeïa’s instructions.

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Don't look behind the curtain
Two fiends, two souls...
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Limbo
Where the dead hold on...
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Waking dreams, and those who eat ghosts...
Marcellus and Adelard confront eternity, and discover the sinister origin of the warbird
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The darkness below deck
Adelard shows Marcellus the depths of the ship...
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Wolves and the Order
the rogue warbird and its conflicted crew...
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Signs of the Times
A curious storm cloud...
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The Choice: Remember or Forget?
The fate of the shadow scions...
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100 Years in the Writing...
The Entreaty

The children go about their noonday training with Master Lockart; the grunts, cries, and grimaces of pain at rapped shins and knuckles in the courtyard can be heard from the window where a line figure sits entranced. Straining, focused upon Harley’s teardrop gem, feverishly attempting psionic focus, Galenraug fails to activate a simple dorje of luminesence after hours of meditation. He is rebuffed by Harley, who appears in the nearby door frame to remind the elf, “if you try too hard, you’ll never get it”. With her simple, if seemingly contradictory words, the dorje blazes forth a beacon of light. In its flash, the smiling girl in white vanishes. Flora comes to his chamber door to announce a guest. A boy requests his audience out in the main hall of the compound. With one last exertion, he covers the dorje and wills the light to come on…to no avail. Disheartened, Galenraug exits to the hall. The young human child coyly bows to the elf, who is quick to make him comfortable with a courteous bow and the respectful title of “young master”….(more to come)

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"They"...
The Star-children stand

The three travelers in Temporal Prime espy the growing maelstrom on the horizon of Mystara’s lifeline, as countless alternate Mystara’s reverberate in and out in the aperture of their vessel. The Hengeyokai, or more affectionately the “Birdman”, from his friends on the Prime, watched with growing distress. Conditions on this perturbation of Mystara were looking dire. Multiple, incongruous timelines continued to stretch and compress closer and closer across the vast plane before him. They were approaching singularity; something was making them converge at the horizon, a tangential moment that would steer them all toward the same inevitable result. Suzuki immediately recalled the blasted terrain, the poisonous cloud hanging over the former Glantrian capital. The inverted summits of great, Nightmare monoliths fazing in and out of the dimension. And the Neogi. Huge arachnid jammer vessels prowled the sky, their thorax-hulls teeming with enslaved Mystarans for the phlogiston-jump back to Wild Space. The planet was being harvested. Suzuki tried not to flinch.

“If you mean to go back, this is the time”, came his mentor’s voice from his left. Setzer Belerond, who would almost pass for human if not for his green skin and violet hair, stepped to the aperture and gazed out absently. “Gavron’s picking up some kind of disturbance. He doesn’t know how much longer he can hold us here. The Key is giving him fits again, and frankly I don’t want to be too close to THAT when it goes critical”.

“I have to try,” replied Suzuki as he called up and solidified void-stone into a pedestal, preparing to embark. “They want her. ‘Mother to them’, Jerms said. He’s not even trying to conceal his actions, so They must be close. Look at the lifelines”.

Suzuki returns by the skin of his teeth through the Temporal Prime to Vega, in the year AC 1200 of Mystara 1.113642 (this campaign setting). He immediately locates a grieving Marcellus and bequeaths to her a certain ring, no less than the Ring of Balrog the Red Wyrm. stating he has returned to identify the buildup of “star-children” on Mystara (those attached to by an Uuvuu have a visible, alien appearance to their lifelines in the Temporal Prime), he expresses that there is no denying the Uuvuu seem more confused than malicious, and that with exception most appear to be in hiding in this dimension. Immediately he sees Marcee, Marcellus’ star-child, and enquires of her what exactly the Uuvuu are fleeing. Marcee begins to fidget and twiddle the gleaming, blue trinket in her hands…

Valine recovers the Evergrun Mythal, but immediate senses something is wrong. Rent air begins to bleed alien atmosphere through visible wounds in the Prime. Suzuki gasped as he stared through his oculus, “Something is happening, the timeline is beginning to form a singularity at the eye!” Valine’s eye crackled, and with each burst of Elven high-magic, the winds of a temporal maelstrom began to blow. Breaking his void-stone, which in turn proceeded to break his body by proxy, Suzuki turned the inner shard of the stone to Valine. “Cast it into the Void! It CANNOT exist here! This world will cease if it does!” Wasting no time, Valine discharged the mythol from his blackened left eye socket, and it blasted through the stone and into the space between worlds.

Marcellus focuses Marcee’s energy, telling her to call up a blue ball of fire. Ultimately she succeeds, only to attract two rogue Uuvuu to her, which quickly begin to merge with Suzuki and Valine. She senses their fear, turned to anger and senselessness, like frightened children. She reaches out to them to stop, only to be met by a familiar, hollow face. Jerms steps out of the deepening shadows of the Nightmare Dimension’s presence in her mind, his and his masters’ bridge to this world. In a last ditch effort, Suzuki’s void stone sends Marcellus to the Astral Plane, where she stands between “Them” and the Star Children.

Marcellus taunts Jerms to release Ashrava’s “muzzle” and send him after the Uuvuu. No sooner does she issue this challenge, then the lifelines of thousands begin to visibly ascend high above the maelstrom. Their palor is alien, irridescent, and soon covers all the horizon. Jerms remarks that every single Uuvuu is visible to “Them”, each a beacon to follow to this world.

Jerms’ dissolving body began to jangle, to convulse and bob like a marionette. His distended and hinged mouth slackened, the distant, cacophonous voice that originated within was not his own. “We are the voice of they that lie between worlds. We are the other half, two from where once was one. We are the Däum, and together we once were all, the spoken AND the unspoken. Uuvudäum. Open, shut, open. And we will be whole again. If they are the children, we are the fathers and the mothers. They reject the black wine and flee the nameless fear, to limit themselves in this world of horrible order. Do not interfere. And this one…”

At this moment, the ethereal tentacles filling Jerms’ hollow body began to gain terrible solidity, to pull his body painfully taunt, as though on a torture rack. “I serve you still!” He gasped.

“You serve us no more. The way is open,” the Däum replied with cold denial, and with a flick of tentacles, the herald’s body was obliterated in a blackened spray of offal. The glistening proboscis that followed punched a hole in thin air, and a great aberrant beast began to labor it’s way through the wormhole, an immeasurable span of space between realities traversed in less than thirty feet.

Immediately, the sky began to bleed. Deep within Vega, the Per-Niter’s ancient ley-lines began to hum and crackle to life, sensing a kindred energy. Rends from the Nightmare Dimension began to open, and the true battle began.

With Marcellus far away in the Astral Plane with the Star-Children, her body remained in the Prime and highly vulnerable to the Nightmare denizens that streamed out. Seeming to understand that her death would end the greatest threat to the Däum’s arrival on Mystara, they attempted at all costs to destroy her. At her side were Suzuki, Valine, Tonerus, and Galenraug.

Marcellus’ first move after regaining consciousness was to close up the breaches opening in thin air. As the group rallies around her, the next wave of attacks commences. Diaboli, all bearing the mark of the Morisil, flood the courtyard through these rends. At their head is the Chosen of Jerms, Kīro. Malferas and Diaboli flank the knight at both sides.

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