The Hands that Move the World

Timeout I: Saint Derli

Nymm 8 – Lharvion 2, 1002 YK

After the fall of the Becoming God and the defeat of the axiomites Creator and Vindicator, the party meets with Mediator to settle the matter of the Inevitables. Afterwards, they handle their own business for about a month’s time:

  • Zil’dejin begins cleanup in Eros, retrieves the party’s rings from House Cannith in Wroat, and goes to get his son Zil’temeris back from the elves of Valenar.
  • Lucan goes to the House Medani enclave in Wroat, where he finds files from Taldor d’Medani‘s oldest case in the Basilisk’s Gaze: the Masked Flayer, a famous torturer during the Last War. He tracks him down in Sharn, discovering the criminal to be none other than Professor Mordecai Ayel Moriarty d’Medani.
  • Derli finally duels Tethris and wins. He also takes Lavrenti on a short journey to educate him on matters of knighthood.
  • Conlon meets with Mellifleur’s Cabal and discovers that the next step in achieving lichdom requires that he kill his adopted son, Morgue Conlonnar. He seeks an alternative, where he intends to turn Morgue into a living phylactery.
  • Rilic goes on a book signing tour for the newest volume of his autobiography: Stopping the Inevitable.
  • Kaleth attunes himself further to the Chaos Gear.
  • Indicus goes to Xen’drik to find a descendant of Erlandur to either fix or remove his accursed armour, damaged by Vindicator‘s hammer Metalshape. He finds a fire giant that removes it, but at the cost of the giant’s life.

Lharvion 3, 1002 YK

Olath arrives from the Chronocracy to reveal that the Phane has begun unwinding time. To fight it, the party needs weapons from another timeline, and to protect against its powers they each need something valued by an alternate version of themselves. Olath gives Kaleth two spells to facilitate jumping between alternate realities, and the first reality is Derli’s. They visit a timeline where Khorvaire is covered in poisonous fog, and in which Derli is leading a “High Crusade” against Zil’dejin Firebane, who is the prakhutu of Masvirik, the Cold Sun. The Demon Overlord is free, and Derli is pure, called “Saint Derli” here. In a battle against the Poison Dusk, Saint Derli is killed by Poison Zil’dejin, who is then defeated by the party. They gather Saint Derli’s Blade of Dol Dorn and Poison Zil’dejin’s terrible poison glaive before Masvirik himself shows up. They then flee back to their own reality.

Lharvion 4, 1002 YK

The party enters Conlon’s reality, where the sky is pitch dark save for a single star. The only person on the street in the city they arrive in throws himself to the ground and prostrates himself before Conlon.

Main Characters: Zil’dejin Firebane, Lucan Vrinsk d’Medani, Derli d’Kundarak, Conlon Ostrennar, Rilic Balendal, Kaleth, Indicus

Nymm 8, 1002 YK

The party regathers after the Becoming God has fallen. Derli introduces them to Mediator, who wishes to discuss any reasons why the Eclipse Collective believes the Inevitables’ assault was unjustified. Zil’dejin jokes that it will take a long time if she wants them to go through every point on the Tablet of Censure; Mediator explains this is exactly what she wants. Zil’dejin, Conlon, Kaleth, and Rilic spend about two weeks in meetings with Mediator, providing a case for every single one of the offenses on the Tablet of Censure being unjust, including arguments both cogent and fantastical, and a spectacular but pointless performance by Rilic. After the two week span, Mediator appears satisfied to leave things as they are now, and withdraw the Inevitables. However, she offers no guarantee that their pursuit will not continue if more violations of the Six Axioms are committed by the party.

Nymm 20, 1002 YK

Zil’dejin begins cleanup and damage control in the area of the city impacted by the fight against the Inevitables, picking up scrap metal from the Inevitables and the Becoming God, and recovering blades from the Testament of Sin. He begins a project of using these to assemble a wall on the northern edge of Grey Titan’s Hold.

Meanwhile, Kaleth locks himself in his tower, working on attuning himself further to the Chaos Gear. It is a process that will take a week, but will improve his power over the artifact, granting him the ability to confuse all those around him… including himself.

Nymm 21, 1002 YK

Lucan and Zil’dejin go to Wroat. Zil’dejin visits the House Cannith enclave, where he picks up the rings created in the Equilibrius. It is a set of nine magic rings: one for each member of the Eclipse Collective believed to still live. He returns to Eros to distribute these rings among the party, taking his Ring of Dawn for himself.

Lucan, meanwhile, returns to the House Medani enclave to deliver the news about Taldor d’Medani. He is shown Taldor’s old office, where he discovers a set of old files: Taldor’s longest-running case for the Basilisk’s Gaze. The case regards the “Masked Flayer,” a freelance torturer and interrogator during the Last War, wanted for war crimes. The nature of his interrogations is unknown, but it is known they were heinous and unforgiveable. To honour Taldor’s memory, Lucan picks up the case where Taldor left off, and begins his pursuit of the Masked Flayer.

Nymm 22, 1002 YK

Derli releases Tethris from the jade prison Rilic put him in. They begin their duel for the Tournament of Blades. Tethris immediately uses a Mystic Arcanum to transform into an ancient brass dragon, but Derli’s aggressive assault soon forces him out of this form, ignoring his own wounds the whole time. Not long after Tethris returns to mortal form, Derli rips off his wings and beheads the Brass Knight, taking his talisman, which temporarily grants dragon wings similar to those seen occasionally on Tethris.

Nymm 24, 1002 YK

Indicus sets out to find a descendant apprentice of Erlandur, the fire giant blacksmith who made his accursed armour which was damaged by Vindicator‘s hammer, Metalshape. When asked if he wants to find the armoursmith to have the armour removed or repaired, Indicus responds that he won’t know until he gets there. He then leaves to catch a ship to Xen’drik. Metalshape is taken as a trophy, as it cannot be used by a non-axiomite.

Nymm 25, 1002 YK

Lucan tracks the Masked Flayer down in Sharn, where they engage in a dramatic fistfight on top of a tower during a storm at night. The Flayer ends up falling off the tower, but Lucan catches him by the wrist, dangling him off the edge. With his free hand, he removes the mask, discovering the Flayer’s identity: Professor Mordecai Ayel Moriarty d’Medani. Still holding the mask, Lucan drops him, letting him fall away into the night.

Nymm 27, 1002 YK

Conlon is summoned to the Circle of Silent Screams in Hopelorn by Mellifleur. Here, the Cabal is gathered, including Tristuro, who is back at his seat under unknown circumstances. The Cabal discusses The Weeping Widow briefly, and Conlon discovers that she is being held by a powerful archon for reasons unknown, and that she is beyond the Cabal’s reach at this point. With this matter shelved for now, Mellifleur takes Conlon aside to start him down the next path in lichdom. He must make a major sacrifice to seal his soul in his phylactery by killing something to which he has a real mortal attachment. The only person for whom this truly applies in Morgue Conlonnar. Unwilling to kill his adopted son, Conlon demands another path, but Mellifleur tells him that all paths to lichdom (except becoming an archlich) share the need for such a sacrifice in common.

Conlon then goes to Tristuro, seeking another path even if it’s darker; Tristuro tells him the same thing. He returns to Eros, where he consults with Zil’dejin. They come up with a new plan: rather than slaying Morgue, perhaps Conlon can turn Morgue into a living phylactery, framing the sacrifice in that way. After a meeting with Rave, Conlon believes that if kills both himself and Morgue at the same time, his new road to lichdom can be realized. Rave begins making the appropriate preparations, a process that he claims will take at least a month to be sure.

Nymm 28, 1002 YK

Lucan visits Taldor’s grave and places Mordecai’s mask upon it, saying: “I caught him, Taldor. I finally caught him.” Somewhere in the distance, there is the sound of a sad saxophone riff.

Lharvion 1, 1002 YK

Indicus locates a descending apprentice of Erlandur, living a hermited life at the base of a mountain. The smith still holds the remnants of the Demon Overlord armour from this timeline, where it was forged partially to completion before the prakhutu of the Broken Shield destroyed the Khyber shard portion of the armour, essentially leaving behind everything needed to restore Indicus’ armour. Indicus takes a long time to think about this, and then finally decides to ask that the smith remove the armour. The fire giant begins the removal process, but midway through its evil overtakes Indicus, causing him to black out. When he comes to, he is standing over the dead body of the giant smith, who has been ripped apart by the armour’s claws, but who apparently managed to remove it during the struggle. Indicus carefully takes the shard portion of the armour, and dons the inert metal part (which retains some enchantment, just as every suit of armour made by Erlandur). He then goes to catch another airship back to Eros, leaving the body of the blacksmith behind.

Lharvion 2, 1002 YK

Zil’dejin resolves to at last get his firstborn son back. He goes to the mirror of disguise in the Eclipse Keep, taking on the form of a Valaes Tairn elf. Then, Kaleth turns Zil’dejin invisible and teleports him to the heart of Taer Valaestas, capital of Valenar, where his son is believed to remain. Zil’dejin witnesses a procession of Valaes Tairn cavalry returning wounded and broken from the frontline agaisnt Mishva Garodya Stormhorn, while High King Shaeras Vadallia oversees. Zil’dejin quickly makes his way to the palace, and though it takes more time than he has invisibility enchantment, he locates the nursery where his son is being kept. Two nursemaids overlook the boy in a basinet, and the room is bedecked with elven antiques and artwork.

The nursemaids question him in Elvish. Zil’dejin, unable to speak the language, breaths his paralyzing gas over them, knocks them out with the haft of his glaive, and then gathers the child, noticing that the elves have tattooed its chest. He recognizes the styling of the name, even if he cannot read it; Vadallia has devoted Zil’dejin’s son to an elven ancestor famed for being one of the greatest cowards in their history. Frothing with rage, Zil’dejin swaddles the child and slings him over his back before returning to the gate where the High King was watching the return of the cavalry.

As he approaches, the High King yells something at him in Elvish, apparently commanding him to stop. Zil’dejin keeps going, his glaive in hand, and the High King’s honour guard encircles him. With this, Zil’dejin charges forward, toppling the horse and rider in front of him and leaping up to the High King, who has only enough time to utter “the baby!” in Common before Zil’dejin utterly destroys him. Then, with the baby still on his back, he flies up into the air. The Kel Gryfaen, the Valenar griffon cavalry, gives chase, prompting Zil’dejin to throw one of them off its magebred griffon in mid-air. With its accelerated speed and Zil’dejin’s experience in flying such creatures, he outpaces his pursuers and flies back to Eros with his son, whom he can finally name. He calls the child “Zil’temeris Firebane.”

Lharvion 3, 1002 YK

Kaleth is paid a visit by Olath, now the First Magister of the Chronocracy. Aside from informing Kaleth that he has recently been named First Khan, he has come to reveal that the Phane has begun unravelling time. Entire branches of the Temporal Prime are collapsing or darkening, threatening all realities. The Prime Jester has conceived of a plan to defend against it, which Olath has approved. Apparently, the phane can be harmed only by weapons forged in a timeline other than the one it is fought in, and the worst of its powers can be nullified by wearing or holding equipment belonging to a version of oneself from a different timeline.

To help the party acquire these things, Olath has brought with him a book containing two powerful chronomantic spells: reality jump and restore timeline. The former opens a slipgate tunneled directly to an alternate version of the present, using an individual as a focus. A version of that person is guaranteed to exist and be alive in the reality jumped to. Two options are presented to the focus, representing the nature of the realities they can go to; they must focus on one for the spell to work correctly. Meanwhile, the latter spell opens a slipgate back to the caster’s native timeline.

The first casting is used with Derli as a focus, who sees before him the Mark of War and the symbol of Dol Dorn. He chooses to focus on the symbol of Dol Dorn, and the party enters the slipgate created by his focus. They pass through a sort of tunnel in the Temporal Prime, and arrive in the middle of some sort of dense fog with the sounds of heated battle echoing nearby. As they try to identify where they are — believed through a group effort to be somewhere on the edge of Q’barra — a group of lizardmen leap out of the fog and attack. They are intercepted mid-leap by a squadron of men and woman in shining armour, who make quick of the lizardfolk and turn to the party. Derli is condemned for his daemonic appearance, and Conlon is accused of being an “unholy revenant.” The party convinces the knights to take them to see “Saint Derli” instead of just trying to execute them, and they are taken further into the fog.

Eventually, they reach a clearing in the middle of what appears to be a war camp. Torches that burn a bright red but shed little light are spaced around the camp, apparently pushing back the fog. The camp is full of people equipped similar to the party’s escort, identified as the “men and women of the High Crusade”. Here, astride a brilliant white horse and wearing armour that shines even in spite of the great amount of blood on its surface is this reality’s version of Derli, equipped with the full set of Dol Dorn’s artifacts. He recognizes only Rilic and Conlon, but believes them both to be dead — Rilic killed by the lizardfolk and their demons, and Conlon by Derli’s own hand. He points to the Starshadow Blade talisman on a chain around his neck as proof. Conlon makes a vague response, suggesting that the grave cannot contain him, and Rilic indicates that he made a daring escape after faking his own death.

Saint Derli seems suspicious that the party is not aware what is happening, especially at Kaleth’s constant questioning. He reveals that Eros exists, but it is governed by Coref Irvallo, and that, like the rest of Khorvaire, most of its able-bodied people have left to join the High Crusade against the Poison Dusk. Before much more can be revealed, Saint Derli gets word that the Poison Dusk is making a move on the camp. He orders the retreat of the wounded and demoralized, gathers up the Hammer of St. Derli (one of many such armies, which are all part of Derli’s High Crusade in this reality) and tells the party they can join him if they have a thirst for battle. The party does, and he distributes some alchemical masks to them. Once the party has put them on, they enter the fog together with Saint Derli.

They clash against a mix of demons and lizardfolk of the Poison Dusk. The crusaders handle the lizardfolk while the party takes on the demons, using the combined power of their rings to launch a concerted attack, speeding them forward, empowering them, and inspiring fear in the few surviving minor demons, causing them to turn and run. As they clean up the attacking force, the approach Saint Derli, but his attention is focused on something they cannot see in the fog. He says “he is coming,” and hops off his horse, holding his shield up to the mist.

Soon, a somewhat familiar shape emerges. It is this reality’s Zil’dejin, who became the prakhutu of Masvirik, the Cold Sun and was gradually corrupted by the influence of the Cold Sun. Over the course of about a year, he strengthened the Poison Dusk and managed to free Masvirik, who created the poison fog that is now sweeping the world. A two-faced Iadoes Lunaformer, also corrupted by the Poison Dusk, is escorting him. All of Iadoes’ cold-based spells have been replaced by similar, poison-based spells.

Saint Derli enters combat with Poison Zil’dejin, but is quickly cut down by the fearsome poison glaive. Poison Zil’dejin bites off Derli’s face and strikes him down with his bladed tail before turning his attention to the party. Even as their alchemical masks begin to fail, they managed to fight Poison Zil’dejin to the death, but he does not seem particularly fazed by his death. As Zil’dejin falls, Iadoes flees, and from the direction that he is running towards comes a swarm of snakes, forming a slithering carpet beneath the party. In the fog, a dark form begins approaching, causing immense panic among the few High Crusaders left.

Mainstream Derli gathers the Blade of Dol Dorn from the fallen Saint Derli, and Zil’dejin takes the poison, corrupt blade from this reality’s version of him. Kaleth prepares to restore themselves to their timeline, against Derli’s and Zil’dejin’s protests that they are obligated to save this world. The others insist that this reality is already dead and well beyond saving, and eventually persuade Derli and Zil’dejin to join them. They return to the Eclipse Keep with items for Derli’s and Zil’dejin’s protection in hand.

Lharvion 4, 1002 YK

The next day, the party gathers again. Kaleth chooses Conlon as a focus, and he sees two symbols before his eyes: a star and a blade. He chooses the former, and a slipgate is opened again. The party arrives in what appears to be a city lit by torches in the midst of a very dark night, in which only one bright star is visible in the sky. The streets appear to be completely abandoned, but they hear footsteps in a nearby alleyway. As Conlon turns into it, a middle-aged man sees him and falls to his knees, prostrating himself before Conlon.



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