When No Plan Goes Wrong

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In this week’s session of Strange Aeons it turns out that we had no plan. It was a good example of us blindly wandering into a dangerous situation based on a single comment, without anyone actually knowing what it is that we’re trying to achieve, let alone knowing how we’re going to achieve it. In the end, we had no plan and failed to stick to it.

With the enemy defeated, we now had a chance to check the Star Stelae and prepare for the ritual to attune to it. However, everyone else decided to wander off and take a look down the various passages that led off into the ruins of the Snarl, leaving myself and Catiana to try and clear some of the rocks from around the Stelae.

As we’re there, a man stumbles out from the ruins onto the beach, muttering “I can hear the calling“. It is Havigan Krast, the man we rescued from Lowl’s team when we found him tied up and in a sack on first entering the large tower.

I can hear the calling, but I must resist.

His movements are jerky, almost as if he’s being controlled by something else, and he stumbles towards the lake. I remember that when we let him go he showed signs of being infected by Xhamen-Dor, so I was unwilling to get close to him. He stayed by the lake shore for a bit, ignoring my shouts to him, then he gave a sudden “NOOOO!” and turned around, running back into the rubble.

By the time the others got back, the Stelae was pretty much prepared for the ritual, and it just needed a group of us to carry it out. Myself, Ray and Erasmus each took responsibility for a different part of the spell, and we began the chanting. As we approached the end though, it was clear that things weren’t going right – Erasmus kept on stumbling over his parts of the ritual, eventually causing it to fail.

So we reset all the candles, and tried again. But once again Erasmus had problems pronouncing the names he was meant to recite, and we failed a second time.

The third time is the charm as they say, so we once again tried to perform the ritual. Again Erasmus got it wrong, and his stumblings caused me to make mistakes as well.

Maybe the fourth time? Eventually we just managed to hold the ritual together, and despite some flaws during the middle bit we managed to bring it back together towards the end, and successfully attuned to the Stelae.

With the ritual completed, we started to head back towards the tower, to take the sword back to the ghost Upianshe. It was then that a discussion started about going to visit the Heresy Devil Eshimal. Previously he had been protected by a prismatic wall, but that should have dropped by now – given that we’d spent a good four hours trying to complete the ritual.

Most of us are against it, but some feel that since he didn’t seem to like the other devil who we’ve now killed that he might be wanting to reward us. I pointed out that seeking a reward from a devil was a really bad idea. The one possible good reason for going back to him was that the Otyugh Hoshbagh didn’t like him, but that seemed to be more from a desire from wanting access to his library than because he was causing her problems.

So nothing is decided, but Ray decided to go and have a talk with him. At this point nobody was clear on what the objective was – were we planning to attack him, talk to him or just see if he was still there? So most of us held back. Ray tried to get a reward out of him, but was rebuffed, and Eshimal spat a globe of acid at him.

Ray turned and ran as the devil started summoning more of his kind – a couple of bone devils. Gregor paused as he tried to find out what was happening and Sheena held back briefly. Catiana and myself decided that since nobody was attacking we would withdraw and followed Ray down the passage, with me pausing briefly to throw up some Etheric Shards in the passage in front of the devils to try and stop them getting to us. It doesn’t prevent Eshimal from filling the passage where we are with a cold, cloying miasma of unholy darkness though.

Erasmus and Sheena still stayed though, with Erasmus casting Haste on those still in range and Sheena possibly preparing to fight. But Gregor was gone by then as well.

One of the devils charges towards me – but is shredded by the shards before it reaches any of us. I turn and run after Catiana and the others eventually follow.

We all gather further down the passage, and just as Eshimal teleports in close to us Erasmus uses Getaway to get us safely back to the tower.

So we now have the sword Teralindar’s Honour, and we need to take it to the ghost of Upianshe so that she can maybe help us in tracking down Lowls. She is still at the top of the tower, and still sane. We pass her the sword and she grasps it – for a moment she is standing wielding it – and then she becomes the sword, merging with it.

With her spirit fused with the sword, it becomes a potent weapon against Xhamen-Dhor and their followers. However, the only person who could possibly use her is Catiana – who doesn’t normally use any weapon other than her fists. It would be a shame not to give the spirit of Upianshe a chance to fight against the darkness though, so Catiana takes it for use against the infected.

With that done, we decide that tomorrow we will probably go looking for the third Star Stelae.

Samuel Penn

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