WotBS Lylandra's War of the Burning Sky continued - Page 12
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  1. #111

    An unlikely alliance

    Meanwhile, Tinuviel offers Shalosha, Torrent, Rhuarc, Katrina and Three Weeping Ravens a teleport to the Lyceum. As Shalosha pretty much turned against Shahalesti officials this day, she gladly accepts. When Tinu returns, he signals Cuin that the air is clear, but Cuin is still pretty much captivated by the tiny wyrmling. So Tinu carefully approaches his brother and is very much surprised to see a dragon sitting in his lap. When Cuin finally realizes Tinuviel's presence, he greets him with a broad and blissful smile.

    “This is Eshaya. Syana's last gift. She's a... miracle. Say hello to Tinuviel!”

    “Inu...fiel...” the wyrmling responds with a cheerful squeak.

    Tinuviel looks at the wyrmling for a while and then puts a hand on Cuin'halar's shoulder.

    “And I will protect her with my life. We both know that Shaaladel will hunt her should he ever know of her existence.”

    “Then let's make sure this doesn't happen. Those who may know about Eshaya must be people we trust unconditionally.” Cuin says while Tinuviel concentrates on a shielding power to protect Eshaya from divinations of all kind. The three then return to Seaquen by teleport.

    The two then show their room to their new guest and discuss on how to proceed. Tinuviel stresses out that Shalosha seemed utterly lost after seeing her father during the visions of the temple and that he cannot leave her alone in such circumstances.

    “You know... the reason why Shalosha was hurt so much, why this gaping rift between us emerged in the first place was because I had to lie to her all the time. Don't you think she deserves at least a partial truth? Right now, she has no place to go and she made all of these difficult decisions on her own. Never knowing who to trust. Maybe it is time to offer her a place at our table.”

    Cuin'halar nods quietly and takes a moment to think about the Shahalesti princess for a moment.

    “Alright then. Let's tell her everything. So please, bring in our ladies. All of them.”

    Tinuviel smirks shortly, then jumps to his feet and rushes out to rally Crystin, Torrent, Katrina and Shalosha. He leads the four to his and Cuin's room to present the previously missing Cuin and his new baby. Needless to say that they are all instantly smitten by the cute little whelp who tries to imitate their words with high-pitched squeaks.

    Note: I somehow imagined Crystin do the Fluttershy here. “It's a BABY DRAGON! SO CUTE!”

    The two then take Shalosha aside to tell her that she mustn't tell her father about the existence of this dragon at any cost. They then explain that they had to keep many secrets from her because they feared that her knowledge may fall into the wrong hands. Next, Tinuviel asks her to concentrate on her celestial sight to look at himself and Crystin (who's still busy playing with Eshaya). She's pretty much surprised to see that the young woman exhibits the same strange dual pattern as Tinuviel.

    “That's because we're not alone.”, Tinu explains. “We both share a bond with a dream creature called Trillith, born by the dreams of Trilla, the very same gold dragon your father tried to use for his Torch experiments. The reason why he killed almost all of the Taranesti. And I'm pretty sure he'd experiment on us, too, would he ever know that we're connected to the very same power that gave birth to the Torch of the Burning Sky.”

    Cuin takes the opportunity to hook into Tinu's arguments and asks Eshaya to come to him. He then presents her to Shalosha, causing tiny violet eyes to lock with those of the princess.

    “Look at her. She's an innocent, curious wyrmling. The last remnant of our people's guardian and her generosity. Just imagine the atrocities Shaaladel could commit should he ever lay a hand on her. This shall never happen. Promise me, Shalosha.”

    Note: Psychological warfare at its best. But honestly, a newborn dragon baby is a trump card against anyone with a heart.

    Shalosha, of course, promises that she'll keep Eshaya a secret and Cuin then goes on to discuss more esoteric, but also more existential topics. Namely the elemental imbalance they know about and their eventual mission to restore the heart of the Stormchaser Eagle. A legend of old that's pretty much real and that's also the source of Coaltongue's and Leska's immortality. And another secret Shaaladel shall never know about.

    After the dragon petting is over, Cuin then asks for Rhuarc who's brooding in the shadows. Cuin asks Rhuarc if he remembers their exchange in Ycengled and the egg he had shown him as proof that there is still hope for the Taranesti. When Rhuarc confirms this rhetoric question, Cuin then explains that said egg actually hatched after being exposed to either Trilla's or Syana's soul remnants in the temple and he's also in for a round of “say hello to the dragon”.

    Seeing Eshaya causes Rhuarc to smile faintly for a moment before he dryly states that he will cut anyone down who dares to threaten this new life. He then adds that he isn't quite sure what to think of Shalosha being so close to so many sensitive secrets and Cuin explains that he and Tinu just decided to tell her everything after she got estranged with her father and the Shahalesti in general.

    “So... she hates her old man now and wants to kill him? Makes her one less target on my list.”

    “We're not quite there yet. But maybe she'll understand that her father has to be removed from the throne should there ever be a chance for peace between our people. At the very least, she's on our side now.”

    Rhuarc nods quietly and is about to withdraw to the shadows when Cuin raises his voice again

    “Oh and one more thing: We need someone to carry the Torch during our assault at the Ragesian fortress. Someone who's independent and who'd mercilessly kill everyone who tries to steal the Torch. Someone we all know has absolutely zero interest of conquering the world with an army of his own. In other words: We need you.”

    Rhuarc is a bit surprised to hear that, especially since he knows that the rest of the Alliance will probably want to know the Torch's whereabouts during the assault with the artifact being their only way of retreat. Still Cuin doesn't want to draw any more attention on his team or risk losing the Torch to the Rags should they get captured during their mission. Rhuarc isn't so happy about being delegated to the sidelines, but he agrees nonetheless.

    Meanwhile, Tinuviel fears about Shalosha, both in terms of her mental health and her standing. So he meets with Xavious Foebane to suggest that maybe Shalosha could be his military aide on the battlefield. He explains that the princess is trained in commanding squads, knows some brilliant tactics and is surely a great inspiration for those around her.

    He also explains that, while he knows that Shahalesti pretty much withdrew from the Alliance by trying to get their hands on the Torch, Shalosha remained loyal, turned on her closest allies and therefore deserves a chance to prove herself. Xavious agrees to this suggestion and confirms that he will take Shalosha under his wing and that he'll also try to talk her out of any solo-action.

    After all the preparations for the attack on the Needle and the Fortress are set and done, the now rather big bunch of friends and allies decides to go to the northern harbor area of Seaquen to have one big feast before tomorrow's battle. They all know that this might be the last time they can come together like this, so they (and especially Torrent) party as hard as they can. Tinuviel and Cuin also take the opportunity to tell Shalosha that the upcoming battle might be crucial for the Shahalesti representation, which is why she has to remain in an open and official position, even if she might feel the need to join the rest of the team in their strike force. She reluctantly agrees and makes them vow to return safely.

    The next morning, the Alliance armies assemble on the large fields surrounding Seaquen. Xavious and Simeonne seem both quite satisfied to see the Ragesian rebel army of Magdus side by side with Sequen's own ragtag team of refugees and local recruits. They are flanked by the cavalry, infantry and mage units from Dassen, led by Lady Timor and Lord Gallo, as well as the Sindairese led by Gasparde.

    Simeonne raises her voice first, thanking everyone for their effort on this mission that may or may not be one without return. Still, everyone has seen the effects of the Koren Obelisk, a weapon that is very much able to destroy whole cities in mere seconds. She explains that, while she's no war wizard at all, she does feel the need to contribute to this mission and will act as source of communication between the two central pillars of their upcoming battle on two fronts.

    Xavious hooks up here and lays out his plan: The large army will attack the pass known as “the Needle” with as much caution as possible and as much force as necessary to draw the Ragesians away from their inner fortress. This way, a small strike team can infiltrate the shielded areas around the Scourge Fortress where the Koren Obelisk will be placed. Sheena Larkis and the Wayfarers will use the Torch and their teleporting abilities in synch to get the armies there and back again and the Torch will be carried by an independent Taranesti elf during the battle.

    Cuin steps up next to explain that their strike force is basically formed around the very same team that got their hands on the Torch in the first place. Which is why their chances at succeeding are not so bad, even if he perfectly knows that his team is about to go on a suicidal mission. He also thanks everyone present for risking their life in this desperate attack on what may very well be a deadly trap. But he also stresses out that Leska and the Inquisitors managed to do what none else could have done: To create a threat so big that people who once considered each others enemies came together to form an Alliance. An alliance of people who decided to draw a final line which shall never be crossed and which has clearly been crossed by the Scourge and the creation of the Obelisk.

    Then Sheena finally presents the Torch and creates and the wayfarers, including Tiljann, form a huge teleportation circle. The strike force is the first group to step through the circle, so they bravely enter and are instantly teleported to an icy landscape with howling winds. As soon as the first troops emerge behind them, they decide to use the time until the camp is set up and the battle may begin to carefully scout their surroundings.

    They turn invisible and fly towards the Scourge valley while looking for obvious traps the army may encounter or other signs of defensive magic. This way, they find the contingent spells, the symbols and the stone golems. As they already knew that the area is warded against incoming teleportation and divination, they manage to find the borders of the forbiddance area with ease and are pretty much surprised by the amount of material that must have been invested here. Once they realize that entering the forbiddance might alert the Ragesians prematurely, they return to their meeting point to support the arriving forces and report their information to Simeonne.

    It takes quite some time to get the whole army through the Wayfarer's circle and Sheena hands the Torch to Rhuarc afterward. Cuin takes some time to have a private moment with Lady Timor where he asks her to stay safe as their plan “simply” requires constant pressure and no quick advance. Myriam returns the request as she knows that he'll be the one with the most dangerous mission. She then reminds him of her thumper and the elemental forces she may call for help, so no need to worry. Cuin reminds her that the stone golems will easily outmatch the Timor mages, so she should be careful about these. They say goodbye with a short kiss and both return to their respective teams.
    XP Tormyr, RangerWickett, Tizbiz gave XP for this post

  2. #112

    The Great Druid (Lvl 17)

    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    One of my current players plays a 14 year-old-girl warlock. Every time we meet a creature she goes, "Oh! It's so cute." She has tried to acquire te dire weasel, the celestial badgers, and definitely Takasi. The little baby dragon would have been one more that she would have tried to befriend.

    ...and then there was another player from a few years ago who was a bit disruptive (it's what my character would do!) and would try to kill it because it was a dragon.
    Laugh Tizbiz laughed with this post

  3. #113

    Acolyte (Lvl 2)

    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Frankfurt am Main, Germany
    Once upon a time we were playing a rather serious campaign where one female player insisted on playing a druid with a baby tiger as an animal companion just because baby tigers are so adorable. *shudders and faints*

    For some reasons players tend to befriend cute or strange npc. in my first epic campaign Quin'halars player ended up employing some of the opposing lich and pit fiend wizards as teachers in his characters wizard academy .... .

    When i introduced a fairy dragon npc in my Zeitgeist storytelling, Lylandras first ooc question was: "can we keep him?" So Flying Spark got a job as a RHC agent and the host to Dr. Meridith's mind. They made a fine team as the RHC historian and protecting the king at the peace conference in the Aurum as an invisible bodyguard.
    Last edited by Tizbiz; Sunday, 20th January, 2019 at 08:34 AM.
    Laugh Tormyr laughed with this post

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