The Eroding Empire

Of Cutting Veins and Time Travel

It’s the evening after the Priestess’s death. The party is still in the Cathedral, in one of the lower, outer parts, in very basic accomodation.

Thybalt meditates with Aegis Lothvir. He asks the blade about its purpose, about its creation. It tells him about a man, or rather a being, Maitoflorenius, who created the blade. It tells him to use the obsidian box to travel through the Echo across time and visit him.
Thyb also learns that the creator was a Moloch, an ancient race of metallic humanoids. He met a member of that race in his earlier travels.

The next morning, after a short discussion what to do, Lythvard, Nemona and Thybalt head off to a library to research about Nemona’s mark, Thybalt’s situation, and the Eye and Hand the Archmage left. Rawdon meanwhile carves his horn.

At the library, their attempts aren’t very successful. Nemona is also looking for someone she could warn about the Archmage / Lich King potentially snatching the Priestess’ body, but her warnings don’t fall on open ears. Through the shelf, a man called Lyddnaig whispers to her, and shows her a hidden tattoo of the same shape as her birthmark. Lyddnaig tells her that the sect is not very welcome by the church over here, but they’ve build a small hideout in an older, run-down corner that serves as their own library and meeting place.

There, Nemona learns that there are three ways to help herself and Thybalt. Either heal him properly, let him go back to a vegatative state, or find someone else to take over the burden. There was no information about the first option, the second was out of the question, the third would require significant arcane or divine might.

On their way back, Lythvard and Thybalt talk out of earshot. Lythvard tells him that he has an uncanny feeling of undeath about the place, as if suddenly an evil had started to creep in. Thybalt didn’t sense anything similar, but he speculated that the death of the Priestess might have allowed something to seep through the cracks that was held back by the Priestess before.

Back in their quarters, an older lady drops by to sell very tasty meat pies, albeit at completely inflated prices. The party takes the welcome opportunity to fill empty stomachs. They hear from the lady that on this day, the 24th Otter of the Summer Equinox, not just the Priestess died, but the Emperor had also been assassinated. The lady also complained about the church charging all mourners through the nose, 2 gp to get into the mausoleum, 2gp to lay down flowers, 2pg for holy water, 3 gp for special mourning clothes.

In her frustration, Nemona head-butts Thyb in the back. She then retreats in a corner, shedding tears about the Priestess’ death. Thyb, in a lack of gentlemanly conduct, takes a handkerchief out of his pocket, but instead of handing it to Nemona, wipes crumbs of the meatpie off his mouth.

For lack of better options, the party then decides to use the obsidian box to travel through the Echo and find Aegis Lothvir’s creator. They enter a shadowy place, where the Cathedral has either not been built yet or long been destroyed. The place is in ruins, dead trees try to lash at the party with their branches, and no breeze can be felt anywhere.

Thybalt reaches out to Aegis Lothvir. The blade does not talk to him, but it gives him a feeling of where he needs to go. Rawdon scouts ahead, while Vorax defends the back. The party sees a ziggurat in the distance.

On the way to the ziggurat, the party enters a large stone maze with an open ceiling. They also notice intricate carvings along the walls of the maze.

The carvings tell the story of the Molochs, a progenitor race that came to what is now Star Port in the Dragon Empire, in a past event they call The Landing. The maze tells how the were the masters of early, ape-like humanoids, before the humans, elves and dwarves of today.

The carvings tell of a rift that opens, demons pouring out, and cities of steel that have been leveled and torn asunder. Some Molochs survived by burying themselves deep underground. As they follow the story, the party hears a rumble. They send Nemona up a wall to see what is happening, and she reports a giant, purple, worm-like creature, only two corridors away. Thybalt suggests to get to the ziggurat as quick as possible, climbing over walls if necessary, but Vorax and the others are confident that they could take on that creature, should it attack, and keep following the carvings.

The story continues about the life of the remaining survivors, and how they plot revenge. All plans to banish the demons fail. As the story continues inside the ziggurat, it tells of an enormous dragon, which the party identifies as the Great Gold Wyrm, who appears and starts fighting the demons. Only one moloch is left to make these carvings.

As they continue further, the meet this lonely Moloch, still carving the story. They start talking to him, and he confirms that the story told by the carvings is true. The party is confused as the being keeps refering to himself as We, even though there seems to be only one Moloch left. They confirm that the creature is Maitoflorenius, the creator of the blade they were looking for. Thybalt wants to show Aegis Lothvir to the creature, but notices that the blade is missing.

Behind the Maito, they see an alien-looking apparatus, which is some kind of forge. This is where Aegis Lothvir is to be forged. Maito explains that they were waiting for Thybalt to come, to carry the blade in the future. He explains that to forge the blade, it has to be infused with Thybalts life force.

Thybalt is very hesitant, but in the end he agrees to sit down on a chair above the vat with molten metal. Maito slits his veins and Thybalt slowly feels life draining from his body…

Everything goes black, but Thybalt awakes, back outside in the maze, back with the group. They are right at the end of the story. There, a young boy steps into the machine, and Aegis Lothvir is being forged. A the end of the story is a tiefling in a top hat, wielding the blade.

Thybalt is still alive, he still / again has the blade. Even more surprising, it appears as if Nemona’s wound on her neck has healed, even though it left a nasty scar. The party heads back to where they entered the Echo.

As they leave, Aegis Lothvir tells Thybalt that he now serves the blade, as the blade serves him. In essence, he regained his Warlock powers by bonding directly with the powers of the blade.

The party wakes up in a field. In the distance they see the spires of the Cathedral. The party goes to a farm house, knocking to see what day it is. They learn it’s the 23rd, one day b e f o r e they left. They decide not to lose any of their precious time. Nemona teleports everyone to Axis.

The party ends up in a crowded street. They immediately head towards the palace. At the entrance, they are stopped by the guardsman. Luckily, Vorax knows the guard captain, Captain Worthington. The guard captain tells him that they are aware of an impending assassination attempt. They are already doing what they can. Vorax tells him that the Verisiels will use a new avenue for the attack.
Lythvard mentions that his old master Ratnab is an alchemist, and he could use that, potentially to build explosives. Vorax asks who the captain of the guard is, and learns that Captain Archer has been promoted to Brigadier.

As the guard captain seems to be rather stand-uppish, the party is not convinced that he will do everything in his power to stop that assassination attempt. Vorax decides to go to a different gate, and deliver a written message to the captain of the Emperor’s personal guard, Brigadier Archer. He tells him of an immediate and direct threat by their leader, the alchemist Ratnab. Vorax says that he in the city and he will do what he can do stop the attack, and that he has brought a former apprentice of the guy to help stop him.

The party rents a room at an inn near the guardhouse. It’s decided that Rawdon and Thybalt try to find the Verisiels and Ratnab, while the rest is on the lookout near the palace.

To contact the Verisiels, Rawdon writes a little message, a bird comes to pick it up. A little later, Rawdon has two Verisiels to their left and right, nudging him into a certain direction.
The Verisiels notice Thybalt, and Rawdon tells them that he is his shadow. Soon, Thyb has two guides of himself, one of them a cute elf girl. In a moment of thinking with the wrong brain, he gives the girl the tavern name and room number where he is staying.

Inside the Verisiel hideout, they are led to meet Ratnab, who makes a point of being very, very busy. Ratnab is an older man, but dressed in nice clothing, decorated with alchemical symbols. Many pouches, potions, charms and things are fastened to it. Rawdon tells an impressive story about being the leader of one of the biggest tribes in the north, and suggests an alliance. He suggests meeting again the next day, but Ratnab tells him that this is not possible since he is planning to leave the city tonight. Thybalt suggests a meeting with Ratnabs old apprentice, Lythward.

After the meeting, Thyb listens at the door, and manages to eavesdrop on a conversation between Ratnab and a dark, unnatural voice, which he identifies as a devil. Ratnab feels they have been found out and tries to convince the devil to postpone their plans, but the devil will have none of that.

With a sudden sense of urgency, Thyb and Rawdon head back to fetch the rest of the group and make their way back to the hideout, in the hope to prevent the worst…


Furikake_Kid martin_killmann

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