ZEITGEIST [ZEITGEIST] The Continuing Adventures of Korrigan & Co. - Page 107
Page 107 of 107 FirstFirst ... 757979899100101102103104105106107
Results 1,061 to 1,069 of 1069
  1. #1061
    Member
    Lama (Lvl 13)

    gideonpepys's Avatar

    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    London, United Kingdom, United Kingdom
    Posts
    1,362

    Session 222, Part Three - Things Got Dark

    Things Got Dark

    The Dons had fingers in every part of the city, and they’d been coordinating ways to keep order, using generosity when possible, broken noses when necessary. Donna Aneenya gave the unit a brief synopsis of Crisillyir’s woes, and what was beyond the Family’s control.

    After the the stars vanished, many hierarchs killed themselves and left suicide notes claiming they had lied about the gods, but the military was able to keep order. Then Prime Cardinal Titus Banderesso left for Danor to meet with this Obscurati group that claimed they were trying to save the world from Risur. Things became unstable, and the high priest of the goddess of the night sky claimed that he would call forth a miracle to fix the heavens. That, of course, did not work, and he was dragged out to Plaza Hyperion by a mob. They were about to just kill the man, when a godhand appeared.

    The man, Vitus Sigismund, explained that the gods may have failed them, but the people of Crisillyir should not follow the gods’ lead. He said they should not punish the priest, but the goddess herself. He stalled the mob’s anger for a day, and it seemed like perhaps he was trying to make peace. But he demanded the remaining ecclesiarches send a lawyer to defend the goddess, and anger rose. Riots were just starting when Legate Savina Tullius came to the plaza and announced that the government was silent and offered no defense for the goddess, but she would advocate for the people.

    They held that first trial in the square, and Legate Tullius made a case that the goddess must have been negligent in letting the night sky go dark. The high priest said the accusations were a lie, and that some evil force had overpowered his goddess, but that she would return.

    That was when Sigismund spoke to the crowd. He claimed he could call the god down and deliver the people’s judgment. The crowd cried out that the goddess was guilty, and should be executed.

    Sigismund then called for the crowd to follow him and bring the priest to the top of Enzyo Mons. Vitus said he would use the power of Triegenes—the man who became a god—to transform the priest into his goddess. And to the crowd’s astonishment, after an hour-long hike up the mountain to the edge of the caldera, he did just that. He slaughtered some animals, painted the priest with their blood, then performed a spell.

    The priest transformed, grew, and where shadows fell across his body stars could be seen through him. Then he fully became the form of his goddess, but was still reeling in confusion. The godhand pronounced that the goddess had been found guilty and was sentenced to death. And then he struck the huge woman and hurled her over the ledge into the volcano. The crowd looked down as she fell into lava and vanished. For a moment a beam of holy light rose up to the clouds, but then it guttered and died.

    The very next day, the military got orders to launch for the shores of Risur, to aid the other nations in an invasion, and began to leave the city. With no military to keep the peace and no head of state to try to control the mob, the city became gripped with a mad desire to punish more gods. Almost a dozen had been executed up to now.

    The Family could help those people who were afraid of the chaos, but those who revelled in it were mostly beyond their power to control. The dons admitted they did not have enough strength to fight back. They had considered assassination, but they knew Sigismund shared the spell he cast with others who were loyal to him. Removing him might not help, and could just incite the mob more.

    To make matters worse, there seemed to be some strange plague or curse afoot. People were dying without rhyme or reason. The prevailing theory was that as the gods died, spells their priests had cast also ended, and so old wards that held demonic forces and evil ghosts locked away had faltered. Korrigan wondered aloud if this might not be the same sort of backlash suffered by the followers of Srasma when she perished. Rumdoom determined to look into it. “Show me a corpse and I’ll tell you how it died.”

    They wondered if this was the sacrament of apotheosis, where Vitus was getting the components necessary: the entrails and blood of an eagle, a lion, a whale and a dragon? Gupta asked if there was any order to the trials and executions. Though the first trial had been random, and the order depended on when the priests were found and dragged out of hiding, it seemed as if Vitus and his allies were dealing with the weakest, less popular gods first. Uriel was unhappy. It was unhealthy for people to rely on the gods for everything. Gupta wondered if the trials risked the formation of hiveminds, if the ‘gods’ could be created by hivemind activity.

    They mulled over their choices. The dons had considered a co-ordinated strike; an evacuation to Sid Minos (with as many priests as possible); and an attempt to put up a defence for the gods and bring the trials to a halt that way. The unit considered these options, and also the possibility of just getting what they came for – the Axis Seal Ritual. With the country in this much turmoil it was hard to imagine Crissilyir talking part in an invasion of Risur. Korrigan would not hear of it: “If we can save people, that’s what we’re going to do.”

    Korrigan asked if it would be possible to arrange for a meeting with the Arch Secula. Yes, they could. Did they have time to do so before the next trial? Just about. Uriel was concerned that they make the next trial, but was assured that the meeting would be should and to the point. Quratulain asked him what all the fuss was about: “I struggle to see why you concerned with their fate.” Uriel told her that the gods were not the clergy and that she should not get the two confused. (Her issues with the human institution were understandable…) To avoid drawing too much attention to the meeting, the Family got them in surreptitiously, with the aid of Leon’s illusions.

    The Arch Secula was nervous. She told them that she was not a fan of the Obscurati, for obvious reasons, and would have no interest in aiding their invasion of Risur were the unit able to deal with the current problem. (Gupta confirmed she was not wearing an Ob ring.) They got to the point and asked her about access to the Vault beneath the library. She said that they would require the presence of herself and the most senior clergy in Alais Primos. Unfortunately, right now, that was Vitus Sigismund.

    When asked about the nature of the vault, Ken Don simply said, “It is very well defended.” When they discussed the possibility of intervening in the god trials, perhaps even providing a defence for one of the gods, the Arch Secula and the Dons thought that defending Triegenes might be their best bet. This was the god Vitus Sigismund was least likely to execute! But they would need evidence if their defence was to succeed. Ken Don was equally pessimistic here. The primary document of use to them – the biography of Triegenes – known to be in the Vault of Heresies on Odiem.
    XP RangerWickett gave XP for this post

  2. #1062
    Member
    Orcus on an Off-Day (Lvl 22)

    RangerWickett's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    Decatur, GA
    Posts
    14,742
    Remind me your party's opinion of Ashima-Shimtu?

  3. #1063
    Member
    Lama (Lvl 13)

    gideonpepys's Avatar

    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    London, United Kingdom, United Kingdom
    Posts
    1,362
    Quote Originally Posted by RangerWickett View Post
    Remind me your party's opinion of Ashima-Shimtu?
    I think that would count as a major spoiler. Let's just say it's mixed. (Uru in particular bears a grudge for her 'gift' of the bottled quasit Tokoloshe, who left him to die in the Bleak Gate on Cauldron Hill; Quratulain was trapped in sea-ice by Ashima-Shimtu for about 500 years - albeit at Nicodemus' request.)

  4. #1064
    Member
    Lama (Lvl 13)

    gideonpepys's Avatar

    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    London, United Kingdom, United Kingdom
    Posts
    1,362

    Session 222, Part Four - The God Trial

    The God Trial

    The dull roar of a crowd in Plaza Hyperion can be heard from over a mile away. When the unit gets to the Plaza, they are treated to the spectacle of a makeshift stage assembled from toppled marble masonry, rising ten feet above the rest of the plaza. Atop it, eight armored priests, their platemail doused in volcanic ash, hold the ends of chains. Together they watch a feeble manacled prisoner – an old deva woman wearing tattered priest robes.

    Legate Savina Tullius paces around the accused. Tall, beautiful, and endowed with powers to fascinate the crowd, Savina is making a grand show for her audience.

    “You have all gathered here to bear witness and hear the crimes of Velkali, the goddess who shelters travellers and offers rest at oases. What oases? I note from an epistle of the ecclesiarch Stella Amphora, who wrote in the year 157 B.O.V. that Velkali was welcomed into our pantheon by the request of the people of the northeast. Any traveller who has gone there knows that land is dry and parched, its people dead. Today that waste has spread throughout our country, and aside from this sheltered garden that people have crafted, our nation is unsafe.

    “What did this god do when the great calamity struck our people? Nothing! Not a finger was raised to provide succor to her people in the hour of their need.

    “I quote from the holy poem of Agraman, sacred to Velkali, ‘And she said to the desert folk / let this pledge be never broke / that in your lean and hungered days / your suffering I shall assuage.’

    “I ask that this tribunal take this as evidence that Velkali has forsaken her core vow. She is derelict in her duty.”

    The elf makes a sweeping gesture towards the crowd. “Who would bear testimony for Velkali? Any?”

    Uriel speaks up. The initial boos and jeers of the crowd die out when he levitates out of the crowd and floats over to the makeshift stage. Relying on the newly rational world order, his arguments are appeals to logic and focus on the true role of the gods: that people should rely on themselves and not look to the gods to save them. Though compelling, they do not find purchase here, and the charismatic Legate Tullius is easily able to dismiss them: “You cannot defend a god who claimed worship, sacrifice and propitiations by simply saying people should not rely on them. That may be your understanding of theology, it may even be the truth, but it is not what these people have been sold for centuries. Unless you have evidence, stand aside, and let the people judge for themselves the guilt or innocence of this god.”

    Uriel sees that emotions and hysteria have won the day here, and reluctantly withdraws. He remains above the crowd, hovering, and ignores the occasional missile that bounces off him, or whistles by his head.

    “And so it is,” says Legate Tullius. “The god has not done was she was pledged to do. Even the humblest tailor can complete their task given to them. Should we not expect any less of gods? Take her. We march for the mountain!”

    The crowd parts as the armoured guards drag the chained priestess down from the stage. The whole mass of several hundred people heaves out of the plaza and onto the road that leads to Enzyo Mons. Many sing an old song that prays for condemned men as their souls head to the afterlife. (Of all the gods in the Clergy pantheon, no one disputes that the god of death is doing his job.)

    The trek takes a little over an hour. On the path up the mountain various shrines and small chapels have been toppled or burned down, and crude wooden grave markers erected with the names of dead gods. Between these, beggars huddle under blankets and hide their faces as they hold out pleading hands for alms. The crowd is generous, spending no thought for the morrow, which may, after all, never come.

    The cathedral of Triegenes looms at the edge of the volcanic caldera, and shining forms circle in the sky above – angels, called to serve Vitus Sigismund, their armour and blades reflecting the hellfire light of the lava.
    XP RangerWickett gave XP for this post

  5. #1065
    Member
    Lama (Lvl 13)

    gideonpepys's Avatar

    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    London, United Kingdom, United Kingdom
    Posts
    1,362

    Session 222, Part Five - The Sermon on the Mount

    The crowd marches through the open doors of the cathedral, where priests in soot-dappled armour and monks in funereal robes watch for signs of dissent. The monks intone low hymns, slowly repeating parts of the chant for the sacrament of apotheosis.

    Ten-foot wide fluted columns rise eighty feet to support the ceiling, from which statues of holy figures hang, their eyes turned skyward. Some of them have been recently cracked and removed, their white marble pristine beside the ash-coated surfaces of the rest of the ceiling.

    Rows of pews stretch the length of the building, which is constructed with a slight downward slope akin to stadium seating. Aisles flank the pews, lined with ornate statuary that depicts the life and ascendance of Triegenes. Grand stained glass windows beyond the rostrum permit crimson light, but where a traditional cathedral would have a back wall behind the pulpit, here the building opens to a wide balcony with pitted and burnt stone tiles. Grandiose fountains lie on either side of the balcony, each consisting of stone sailors on boats, holding silver chains that end in harpoons and fishhooks, the symbol of Triegenes. A railing encircles most of the balcony, but leaves a fifteen foot wide section open, perilously overlooking the burbling molten rock in the mouth of the volcano.

    From the moment one enters the cathedral, a single figure is visible all the way down the length of the building, standing at the precipice. Bald, silhouetted by the fiery haze, Vitus Sigismund raises one hand and beckons the mob and the condemned to meet him on the balcony.

    The crowd fills the cathedral and many flow out onto the edge, though priests stop the group before a dangerous number press through. The onlookers form a half-ring around Sigismund as Legate Tullius and her priests guide the priestess of Velkali to the edge. A bucket of blood with brushes in it has been set up on the balcony. Legate Tullius goes to Sigismund and whispers in his ear. He scans the crowd and sees the unit, but does not react beyond that.

    Then Sigismund begins to speak, and as he does, his fellow monks take up bloody brushes and begin to paint symbols on the priestess. “I understand,” Sigismund says, “that the tribunal of the people has found the goddess Velkali guilty of forsaking her pledge to protect us in our time of suffering. Before you lay sentence, heed this sermon, children.

    “I have faith. I know you do. Say, do you have faith?”

    The crowd murmurs in agreement.

    “Do you have faith? Don’t lie.”

    A louder, pleading response from the crowd cries yes.

    “I hear your uncertainty. I feel it too. I do not wish to see those who I pray to be shown as liars. I pledged my life to the gods, foremost of all to Triegenes. The core of our faith is this. A man can overcome adversity to become anything he chooses. A hero. A king. A god.

    “But too many of us choose the wrong path. We become braggarts. Blackguards. We swagger and slander and become tyrants over whatever small world we can grab.

    “And this new world, this dark and damned world we see around us? I tell you it has changed because those who once led us were lying to us for years. They did not trust us. I tried to find the truth, and they killed and cursed righteous friends who would have pulled their schemes into the light. And their scheme, I tell you, was to decide what we would be. They decided what they thought was right. And they did not give us a choice. They did not let us test ourselves. If the meaning of life is to choose what you become, they tried to eliminate it. That’s as good as killing us all.”

    Korrigan leans towards Leon and whispers in admiration, “This guy’s good.”

    “Our hierarchs betrayed their vows to us. I’m sure the kings and philosophers and sovereigns of the rest of the world did the same to their people.” (Here he casts a pointed glance at Korrigan & Co.) “They should be punished, and we, the children, should retake a world they have stolen from us.

    “I say to, none of us is different. Our leaders abandoned us. The gods? They abandoned us! And you, each of you! You know you have abandoned your brothers and sisters. Do not think we are better because we sit in judgment. We are all weak.

    “But we are all strong too, in that any man can rise above his frailties. Any ruler can be just. Any god can obey his pledge to this world. I shall ask you to lay sentence, but know when you judge, you judge yourselves as well. Have you, children, risen to what you could be?”

    He pauses for a long moment of silence.

    “This goddess, Velkali, is guilty! She has forsaken us, and like a soldier who leaves his post, her crime cannot be forgiven. Tribunal, what is your sentence?”

    As one, the crowd roars, “Death!”

    With swift confidence, Vitus begins to chant. He grasps the priestess’s head and somehow compels her to intone with him, “Before I was nothing but words. Now I am all that is believed. I am faith made flesh. I am flesh made a god.”

    The monks remove the chains on the prisoner, who falls over, gasps, and begins to swell in size. (Uriel notices Leon whose mask is turned towards him. He can feel the unseen eyes boring into him.) Blue-white energy arcs off of her body in fiery blazes, and she staggers to her feet, fifteen feet tall, with long blue-green hair flowing and rippling like water. She looks down at her hands, then lifts her gaze to the crowd. She opens her mouth to speak, but beside her Sigismund has planted his feet solidly, and he lunges into her, pressing with one hand. The blow hurls the goddess off the edge of the balcony. The crowd holds its breath.

    Caught in the telekinetic grip of Uriel, the goddess rises back up out of the caldera. The crowd’s gasp of outrage is as loud as a roar.

    End of Session
    XP RangerWickett, Andrew Moreton, Tormyr gave XP for this post

  6. #1066
    Member
    Orcus on an Off-Day (Lvl 22)

    RangerWickett's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    Decatur, GA
    Posts
    14,742
    Korrigan leans towards Leon and whispers in admiration, “This guy’s good.”
    I'll take it.

    Meanwhile Leon chooses "thwarting an angry mob's bloodlust." Let's see who gets people on their side.

  7. #1067
    Member
    Lama (Lvl 13)

    gideonpepys's Avatar

    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    London, United Kingdom, United Kingdom
    Posts
    1,362

    Session 223, Part One - Skip to the End?

    Vitus Sigismund did not appear to be surprised by their intervention. He raised a calm hand to forestall any retaliation from his followers. Looking Korrigan straight in the eye, he asked, “The new King of Risur walks among us. Why have you chosen to interfere in this matter, your majesty?” As he spoke, the angels above him stopped circling and hovered in the air, poised to strike. The most majestic – a leonine planetar named Advoral, plate-armoured, steel winged and around eighteen feet tall – landed behind him, silently.

    Korrigan returned the godhand's unwavering gaze but said nothing. He left it to Leon to respond. “Let the goddess speak. She has a right to defend herself.” It didn’t look like the goddess was in any fit state to do so. She lolled in Uriel’s telekinetic gripped, crippled by Vitus’ blow.

    “She has been afforded that right and failed to do so," said Vitus. "I ask again, why have you chosen to interfere?” Leon reiterated their position that the god trials were unfair and Vitus sneered. “That is a pretext. You have not answered my question. Why are you here? What do want?”

    Still keeping his eyes fixed on Sigismund, Korrigan told the others, telepathically, “He is morally resolute, and unlikely to be persuaded to contrary. We must meet this challenge head on.” Gupta studied Vitus and determined that these trials were in fact his decision; he deferred to no higher power.

    Uriel spoke up: “We did not come here to save this woman, though her fate has moved us to act. We are here to repair the damage that the Obscurati have done to this world.”

    “Laudible though that may be,” said Vitus, “your intrusion here remains unwarranted.” As he had done to Legate Tullius, Uriel again spoke of the role of the gods and the way that the trials were being conducted. Vitus said, “I will not stand here debating theology and jurisprudence with agents of a foreign power.” His eyes darted to the Humble Hook, then back to Korrigan.

    Korrigan told the others, “He is concerned about his authority. We should avoid backing him into a corner as it may make matters worse.”

    “Can we speak privately?” Leon asked.

    “When the trial has been concluded,” said Vitus.

    Uriel remembered one of the options they had discussed with the Family. “Why toy with these lesser deities? Do intend to save your own god ‘til last? Have courage and put Triegenes on trial. Allow us to defend him.”

    Again, Vitus sneered. “All of the priests of Triegenes are dead or in hiding.”

    Uriel then manifested Cardinal Tadeo. “Not all,” he said.

    This dramatic act surprised the crowd. There was a lot of noise. Vitus waited for silence. It gave him time to think. When the crowd realised he was waiting for them they grew still. Vitus gestured towards the Staff of the Hierophant. “You claim holy authority, and yet you wield an artefact of Seedism. I will not countenance such an offer.”

    “Need it be a priest who stands for Triegenes?” asked Leon.

    “A true believer,” said Vitus.

    “Why don’t you stand for him?” asked Uru.

    “And allow you to conduct my defence? I am not a fool.”

    “Then I will stand for him,” said Morgan Cippiano, stepping forward.

    Vitus stood, poised, appraising Cippiano, as if trying to decide whether to attack him with his bare hands. Then he said, “Very well. I accept. We will try Triegenes next. You have two days to prepare a defence. This man will remain here, as will the priestess of Velkali. We grant a stay of execution until this greater matter is weighed in balance. Clear this place, and we will discuss the matter further.”

    The angels bore the priestess away. Priests led away Cippiano, who gave a nod to the unit as he went. The crowds were herded out by templars. They were unhappy at the bloodlessness of the affair and jeered and booed in half-hearted disappointment, but were sufficiently cowed not to become rowdy. When the cathedral was empty of all save himelf, the unit, and Advorel, Vitus took up a cloth, wiped his hands and asked, “This quest you speak of – why has it brought you to Alais Primos?” After a quick telekinetic conference, Uriel told him that they sought the Axis Seal Ritual. Vitus smiled. “And thanks to the Ob I am now the highest holy authority in Crisillyir. Tell me, what did the Arch Secula have to say?”

    “She is willing to grant access, if you are,” said Uriel.

    Vitus laughed. “More irony! She is a puppet of the Obscurati, you know.”

    Gupta wondered how she could have missed that. Instead of berating herself she said to Vitus, “And now she finds herself at the centre of unexpected events. You are a fine example of that. Tell us what charges will be laid against Triegenes.”

    Vitus told them that all of the gods had been charged with abandoning the people. “The dead sky above us is our proof. Prepare your evidence carefully. Hearsay will not suffice." Then he gave them a final, bleak look and said, "I hope you win."

    With that, he turned and walked away.
    XP RangerWickett, Tormyr, Andrew Moreton gave XP for this post

  8. #1068
    Member
    The Great Druid (Lvl 17)



    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Posts
    2,292
    Badass story. This is really going well.

    I had to chuckle a bit at the typo about a "telekinetic conference". That would look...interesting.

  9. #1069
    Member
    Lama (Lvl 13)

    gideonpepys's Avatar

    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    London, United Kingdom, United Kingdom
    Posts
    1,362
    Quote Originally Posted by Tormyr View Post
    Badass story. This is really going well.
    Thanks. And I agree - it is badass! I left it at an early cliffhanger last week when Uriel interrupted the execution - as I would do if a fight was about to break out. Did a lot of head-shaking and tutting. The players had had the temerity to interrupt the readaloud text, and must be punished! So I think they were quite relieved by Vitus' measured response this week, and that they managed to talk their way out of it.

    So far so good...

    Quote Originally Posted by Tormyr View Post
    I had to chuckle a bit at the typo about a "telekinetic conference". That would look...interesting.
    Lol. Yes. Like the Italian parliament.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3nC_C-vgoew
    Laugh Tormyr, RangerWickett laughed with this post

Quick Reply Quick Reply

Similar Threads

  1. The Continuing Adventures of Unit 27
    By Bruize in forum EN Publishing, WOIN, ZEITGEIST, WotBS, & Worlds of 2000AD
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: Tuesday, 27th August, 2013, 02:02 AM
  2. MiB, Continuing Adventures, and Putting it all together.
    By Shawn Struck in forum *General Roleplaying Games Discussion
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: Friday, 14th September, 2007, 01:27 AM
  3. HardNova ][ continuing adventures...
    By pigames.net in forum *General Roleplaying Games Discussion
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: Tuesday, 14th September, 2004, 12:40 AM
  4. Replies: 226
    Last Post: Monday, 4th February, 2002, 04:54 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •