Monday, March 13, 2017

On Angel's Wings - Princes of the Apocaverse - Session Fourteen





Between the Wind Dukes’ feathered envoys;
And the heroes of the eclectic band of six;
A plan was formed to end the gnolls’ joys;
Of slaughter and pain in a woeful mix.

The aarakocra took to the foggy skies;
There to keep watch for sign of other foes;
While to the place where the gnoll camp lies;
The six heroes sought to bring mighty blows.

The approach was stealthy and silent;
But for one little thing of some surprise;
When the monk’s boon of a past tournament;
Revealed it had more than met the eyes.

The bauble was a glass orb surrounding water;
And a tiny clockwork fish of glimmering gold;
Which now rose into the air and making a bother;
By shining rainbow light in a statement bold.

The camping gnolls and hyenas all turned alert;
Heads peeled to look at the human and her toy;
And screeched as they found something to hurt;
The slavering pack falling to the unintended ploy.

They could not quite reach the nimble Fennle;
She skewered the hearts of the snapping beasts;
Before slamming shut the gnoll lord’s channel;
And twisting about to stall another gnoll’s feasts.

Faced with the spawn of Yeenoghu’s slaughter;
The aasimar flared in furious angelic light;
Of heavenly Celestia she was a chosen daughter;
Born to mortals to protect and at times to smite.

The bright-winged angel child took to the air;
And then landed behind the stunned lord;
She called on Mystra’s power, old Mystra’s heir;
Strong lightning within her hand was stored.

The gnoll lord shrieked in electrified pain;
As yipping hyenas and gnoll archers surged;
An arrow striking the revealed celestial thane;
In one gore-minded frame of thought merged.

Angus slipped quietly through the brush;
While the gnolls focused on the aasimar;
He took a moment to fire a crossbow’s thrush;
Slaying one of the gnoll archers from afar.

Then the assassin faded again from view;
As gnolls sought and failed to find his place;
They turned their bows on those of bright hue;
A dart clattered off the armor hosting angel’s grace.

Another arrow slipped through with aim true and vicious;
Only to be snatched out of the air by Fennle’s hand;
The monk casually returned the gift most malicious;
Confusing the gnoll as it saw the dart in its own flesh land.

Lohn took up his bow and cast his hand unseen;
Across from the other rogue he took this flank;
He struck an arrow into the gnoll lord’s spleen;
It growled in defiance and still of Yeenoghu stank.

The tiefling bard swept toward her radiant friends;
Her blades striking a bewildering pattern of blows;
The rapier striking true into a gnoll’s hide;
While Rezur failed to bring an end to the beast’s throes.

The paladin then sent her elk friend on a solo tryst;
Leaving her to run alongside a different path;
Emris’s hooves and antlers brought forth a red mist;
One gnoll obliterated before the fey creature’s wrath.

Talindra herself charged forward with practical pace;
Sword slicing firmly to dispatch a head from its place;
Then striding to end the gnoll lord’s demonic trace;
With a skillfully struck sword following a shield to the face.

In the night fog a hunting horn sounded loudly;
High in the air and not far from the battle;
It attracted little attention from the gathering rowdy;
With gnolls focused on the thirst for blood and chattle.

Fennle nimbly dodges the gnoll’s battered spear;
Though her own weapon is deflected by its fury;
A kick slips through and wipes off the thing’s leer;
Leaving it alive but of coherent thought now leery.

A form of great power and speed appears above the fray;
But neither rider nor beast are turned from their quarry;
As they disappear back into the night’s misty spray;
Concealing the dome of night sky starry.

Elivia noted the vulture’s appearance but kept focus;
Turning her angelic wrath on the corrupted hyenas;
She burst the heart of one of the furred locusts;
Removing another foe from one of life’s arenas.

One of their feathered allies flitted out of the clouds;
And called a warning of cultists on the hunt;
Driving a beast out of the night’s billowing shrouds;
Then he saw how the gnolls’ fangs had been made blunt.

Angus appeared again and releaed a nocked barb;
Forcing a gnoll to cover its throat lest it bleed out;
Then once again he made the brush’s shadow his garb;
And vanished out of sight of the demon-born lout.

The stricken gnoll dropped his bow in rage;
But could not find where the assassin had vanished;
The spear in its hand flew across the stage;
Only to clatter against the paladin’s shield burnished.

Across the field another gnoll’s fared the same;
A rogue launched dart landing in its kidney;
Almost putting out its consuming demonic flame;
And leaving another hand with blood quite sticky.

Hyenas charged forward to the paladin’s heels;
And failed to grasp hold of any flesh to gnaw;
Unable to find within her steel and meals;
With which they sought to fill a hungering maw.

Above them a second vulture emerged from above;
Rider slowing on seeing the violent show;
By the exchange of violent hew and occasional shove;
She tried to make out what was happening below.

Marle stepped forward and cut a dashing figure;
Slicing and twisting with rapier and dagger;
Feeding its fruitless anger and renting a fissure;
With her blades she brought the beast to stagger.

A third vulture appeared almost passing through;
Turning at the last moment on seeing his comrade;
He looked below through so very much dew;
The battle was a scene of phantoms in mist clad.

Talindra responded to the hyenas’ harassment;
The Rosethorn Blade slicing heads from bodies;
As Emris turned to the victim of the bard’s torrent;
Flashing hooves cutting short its vile follies.

Then straight down from above a great beast burst forth;
Teeth triple lined along a jaw greatly distended;
Beneath a face between man and lion but of giant’s girth;
It roared and lashed with tail, barb ended.

Three spined darts cast forth at vultures and aarakocra;
Striking the great bald carrion eaters;
But missing the flying soldier of Wind Dukes’ draw;
The beast drew eyes from all theaters.

The throat-slashed gnoll sought a foe in gory rage;
Tossing his spear high into the air;
And drawing wide of the aarakocra’s lofty stage;
It shrieked and stamped at the fate unfair.

Fennle attempted to avoid any attention;
Unleashing her darts on the gnolls remaining;
The spear-thrower ended his skull’s retention;
In a crimson stream, life slipping and quickly draining.

Eyeing the great beast of malignant hunger;
Elivia released a twisting bolt of radiant might;
Striking with wrathful force to half sunder;
The manticore itself in one telling divine smite.

The aarakocra hurled its javelin at a vulture;
And dived down to the ground to seek cover;
He warned Marle of other parties of aerial culture;
Would soon be coming to this place to hover.

The original vulture rider then appeared;
It’s eyes drawn to the manticore in radiant fire lined;
Took aim toward where the beast leered;
The divine fire pulled the bolt into the beast spined.

Angus leaped out of the bushes then;
Catching a last gnoll unawares;
Short sword’s blade, flashing and thin;
Cutting down the fiend as it stares.

Lohn likewise took aim with his bow;
Bemoaning the loss of Mystra’s fiery guidance;
His arrow but very little force did show;
Though by closer to death the beast came by inches.

The remaining two vultures fired their bolts;
One then winging fast away;
The manticore now boasted many bloody jolts;
And two vultures did stay.

Marle called forth an inspiring song;
Before turning with a bard’s magic talent;
A childish taunt of power quite strong;
Upon the malignant beast its mind to splint.

Talindra set aside her Rosethorn Blade;
To take up her longbow and aim;
One arrow glanced off the hide much frayed;
And the second was lost to minor shame.

The Manticore pushed away from the flurry;
Unleashing another spray of quills in a hurry;
The bard’s insult sent the first far from worry;
Shielding Mystra’s cleric from the fiend furry.

Pretenses of humble nature abandoned;
The monk drew upon her inner sun;
Releasing discs for the beast to be branded;
Into the air more of its blood spun.

The cleric of Mystra then rose up on wings of light;
And did not draw off the necromancer’s wand;
But rather from her own holy power and might;
Unleashed a hail of darts of force to push the beast beyond.

As the cleric landed back upon the ground;
One of the vultures dropped lower in the air;
“Who are you that intrudes on our hunting round?”
Called out a voice that seemed noble and fair.

The other vulture remained circling high;
While the rogues below took cover out of sight;
Marle responded with a response most spry;
Of being simple travelers lost in wild night.

The curious knight landed her steed;
And took the helmet from off of her head;
Revealing her to be the focus of Elivia’s deed;
Savra Belabranta, born of a Waterdhavian thread.

Elivia steps forward, eyes still aglow;
And introduces herself as a Moonsilver scion;
About the name she was not in the know;
But Savra picked up Elivia’s client.

As the knight of Feathergale denied her family;
And Elivia pushed to convince her to return;
Talindra stepped forward with her own travesty;
Asking about reavers coming from the sky to burn.

Savra denied any involvement in atrocity;
And while Talindra spied honesty in her eye;
The paladin also noted a distinct loss of ability;
To distinguish between truth and dogmatic lie.

The knight of the Feathergale Society began again;
To speak of her order’s special duty and quests;
When in the distance horns made a complex din;
She reacted to decry them as traitorous guests.

Before the blade from her side could be readied;
Elivia lashed out with Mystra’s arcane storm;
The shock leaving her vastly unsteadied;
As the woodcarving fey knight lashed out her arm.

From the side, Angus applied a dose of ghoul ooze;
Before firing a dart into the vulture’s side;
The great beast resisted the poison but lost its fuse;
Screeching into the night it angrily cried.

Seeing its rider take a pommel to the face;
The vulture lashed out with talon and beak;
But could not touch either divine’s grace;
Losing speed due to poison from vial’s leak.

The other knight and vulture swept lower down;
Taking aim with crossbow to add to the fray;
The bolt loosed but made no ground;
Hitting the ground where it merely lay.

Lohn’s invisible hand appeared from curious direction;
Gaining the rogue an advantage for his shot;
The arrow struck true sending the vulture to gravity’s collection;
The knight called on power to drift but fall not.

Looking up at this slowly drifting villain;
Marle reached for her guitar and trilled a note;
To empower a favorite spell again;
And into the scale armor a burning heat was wrote.

Desperate the fanatical knight landed soon after;
And tried to charge the tiefling that had cursed him;
Hoping to disrupt the spell before reaching hereafter;
But his strikes were nothing to the bard’s fighting trim.

Burning again, the knight started to fade;
But his misery was ended as part of rogue double act;
While Savra’s vulture was ended by a blade;
The bespelled knight took an arrow in the back.

The aarakocra bemoaned his lost javelin;
And encouraged them to leave with great haste;
Before the there was a renewal of battle’s din;
When more knights arrived to the chase.

He questioned why they had taken a prisoner of the knight;
Elivia responded that she was tasked to rescue her;
They noted it was a fool’s task to free her from air’s blight;
She would only be freed if destroyed was air’s spur.
A quick looting of the camps and bodies followed;
Taking fifteen barbs from the fallen manticore;
And a curiously whispering crown from gnoll’s hollow;
Then their tracks were covered by Talindra’s woodlore.

The aarakocra left to find a new camp;
Fearful that their quiet watch risked discovery;
Yet the Feathergale Knights on the ground did not stamp;
A simply flew past with a look cursory.

The party made quickly for Tricklerock Cave;
And assured that it was not repopulated by stirges;
Finding only a family of foxes brave;
They settled in to deal with rest and nature’s urges.

Marle attempted to dispel Savra’s enchantment;
And despite a great arcane force being applied;
The attempt rebounded without enactment;
Yet she felt a dark entity behind it lied.

The crown was investigated and found to carry arcane whispers;
Giving a bearer access to a sliver of the wizard’s art;
As soon as she confirmed there were no minds’ glimmers;
Elivia took the item to be powered by her own heart.

Meanwhile the issue of Lohn’s slow changes was addressed;
Much to Marle’s much stated relief;
Talindra took a moment to lay on hands a disease to be cured;
Which resulted in being height’s thief.

Marle then tried again to cast her spell of Dispel Magic;
And a blast of magic washed over the man of Union 271;
Leaving behind a woman of deep stone and pick;
Where once a human had stood was now a duergar woman.

Elivia investigated the matter and identified;
Lohn’s nature had been shifted at the core;
And his old body as a polymorph had lingered;
Slowly stripped away as time did pour.

After a greater uproar Angus took the new-dwarf aside;
For a calm chat away from others’ panic;
To discuss matters on dealing with the change of hide;
In a chat that was not quite quick.

In the meantime, Savra awakened;
And as she took in the surroundings;
Realized that she was heading to be imprisoned;
And when soon she started giving angry stings.

Faced with clever interrogators;
She became a font of incredible lore;
Names spilled angrily from her mental stores;
Thurl Meroska and more.

The name Kalinoth recognized as Fey royal blood;
Who rarely had dwelled in mortal realm;
While the name of Yan C Bin spurned a flood;
Of awareness in Elivia’s helm.

Though she quickly started spinning into fanatic circles;
Spouting insane nonsense and lies fed into her;
Of Waterdeep as a true kingdom in the North’s girdle;
And other things falling into a crazy blur.

Soon thereafter the rogues returned;
With Lohn under the influence of a disguise spell;
Appear as a man one foot earned;
And assured everyone that everyone was well.

They waited out the day and traveled at night;
Finding some pilgrims on the route;
And warning them of reavers on wings alight;
They came to Red Larch as dawn did sprout.

They imprisoned Savra with Harburk;
Warning him of her sorcerous nature;
So she would not use it to her cell shirk;
And to these needs he said he would cater.

They heard then that his longtime-companion Jalessa;
Had been named Red Larch’s first ever mayor;
And was very busy with problems greater and lesser;
Even now attending a general meeting of many layers.

The heroes then set about seeking their contacts;
And investigating their curious baubles;
But that would wait until another ballad’s tracks;
Before they found themselves facing more squabbles.

The Chapters and Cast of the Ballad  

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