Monday, 21 December 2015

The Long Game: The Last of the Aesian Outpost

When last we left our adventurers, they were in Aes, at a lonely outpost, underground, facing off against an alien queen and her many terrifying creatures. The monsters had already killed many Aesian guards, as well as one of Kalgar's crew. The room was surrounded by dripping water, and barrels of oil and black powder. The fight had started. Now, it was time to finish this!

Dallas Kasaboski
Kalgar roared his challenge, raised his sword, and charged the alien nearest Tong! The creature burst, spraying the dragonborn with acidic blood.

Alvyn hoisted his new gun, took aim, and fired at the next alien. Phfwomp! The shot splashed the creature, disorienting it! "Get your asses back into the doorway!"

Suddenly, a creature leapt from the water at Tong's face! Shards of ego-tempest veda smashed into it, falling into the water, bursting.

Another creature leapt from the ceiling, jaws wide, going for Tong's throat!

"Not so fast!" Kalgar called out. Divine light illuminated the alien, bursting it in mid-air. The creature's acidic blood splashed on Kalgar and Tong.

A creature swiped at Kalgar, he parried it with his katana.

Tong, wiping some blood from his face, wrapped himself tighter in his Stoneskin Robes. His skin hardened, and he felt emboldened. Alvyn, shouted out more orders, and his words reassured Tong further. His wounds closed, and he was back in the fight!

The queen, meanwhile, had not been inactive. She was hissing, gesticulating, and her drones had been following her orders. As she did so, two creatures advanced toward Kalgar and Tong, and reached out to grab them. Tong's assailant glowed with divine light as the power of Kord destroyed the creature.

Alvyn spun around, and fired a couple of bolts from his gun. They slammed into an alien creature, and in its confusion, Kalgar lashed out with his sword.

Rearing his head back, Kalgar unleashed a deafening roar. The creatures hissed and leaned away from him, extremely wary. He then stomps, sending out a shockwave of thunder damage. Several creatures shrieked in pain, another exploded, raining acid down on him and Tong.

"Tong! You're up!" Alvyn shouted, distracting the nearest creature.

The monk centred himself, and with a prayer to Ioun, shouted with divine force, clearing the area of drone alien creatures.

The three looked at each other. Bloodied, wounded, breathing heavy, they were still there, still alive. They looked at the carnage around them; spilled and destroyed barrels, water, oil, and black powder mixing, and alien carcasses strewn about.

Then they heard it. A blood-curdling, nearly deafening scream. Our adventurers nearly fell to the ground, the pain was so intense. Words were muffled, sound was garbled.

"! Can....y...see?"
"This bit...let...inish...this!"

Several more creatures burst from the water, surrounding the queen. The queen dropped her egg sac and took steps forward.

The party was now completely surrounded.

One reached out and squeezed its massive claws into Alvyn's shoulder. Then it took a step back and pulled him under the water!

Two creatures stepped up and swiped at Tong and Kalgar! One grabbed Kalgar and dragged him underwater. The other slashed Tong's chest and with a cry of pain, he fell to the ground.

Inhaling water, Alvyn reached into his belt, retrieved a vial of Feystep Potion and smashed it. He immediately teleported out of the water, and out of melee range of the creatures. Dropping to his knee, he took careful aim with his rifle and fired another arrow into a creature. As it hit, a light on the shaft blinked once, and Alvyn teleported, appearing right in front of the alien.

Kalgar sunk deeper into the water. It was deeper than he thought. He clenched his fist against his chest and healed himself thanks to the strength of his god. Kalgar was getting angry. Really angry. These creatures, had been born from the mad desires of a dragon. That dragon had been destroyed, but this curse followed Kalgar. Stole away aboard his ship, killed a member of his crew, several Aesian guards, and was now threatening this outpost. Enough. Is. ENOUGH!

Kalgar unfurled his wings, flapped them once, and launched himself well out of the water. He landed with a solid thump next to Tong's fallen body, and shoved the alien creature off of him.

Tong was blinking in and out of consciousness. This fight had been so senseless. These creature, they were devoid of birth, of life experience. They had simply been made, against the laws of nature, and they had no knowledge except that of their prey, no plans beyond consumption. They were aberrant, they were foul, and by all that he knew, Tong had to destroy them, had to push back. With a surge of belief, Tong's body felt invigorated and he was restored to life! He bounced back onto his feet, shifting his weight back and forth, on his toes and ready to finish this.

Alvyn was tired of these stupid creatures and wanted to destroy them, this place, and forget about these foul things.

The queen charged forward and attacked Kalgar. Turning too slow, he was unable to stop her from chomping her jaws down on his shoulder, lifting him from the ground. Dropping him, the queen spun around and whipped her tail at Alvyn. It missed him, but obliterates part of the frame of the stone doorway. Alvyn was seriously reconsidering the effectiveness of the doorway.

Retreating, Alvyn flipped a switch on his rifle and started firing bolts, repeatedly, at the creatures around him. One of the bolts flashed and Tong's vision completely changed as he was teleported out of the range of the nearest creature.

Kalgar brought his katana down, swinging overhead, and splitting the nearest creature in half! "Make yourselves ready to face my god! For His will is the will, and His strength is mine!" Stomping again, the ground shook, and all the enemies fell prone.

"You, queen, you're the greatest challenge here!" Kalgar pointed at the queen and moved toward her. He slashed back and forth, shifting his weight with every swing, hacking and slashing.

Tong leapt to his feet and shouted, "Get away from him, you bitch!" He stomped the ground, creating a shockwave, propelling him knee-first into the Queen's jaw. The queen tumbled.

With a low, rumbling noise, the Queen rose to her feet, grabbed Tong and dug her long claws into his shoulders. She then whipped her head side-to-side and used Dragonbreath on Kalgar and Tong!

Acid shot out in all directions. Alvyn dove out of the way, avoiding the blast, but Kalgar was covered in it, his plate armour hissing. Walls to either side of our heroes were crumbling as they dissolved.

The queen turned, and began dragging Tong deeper into her lair. Kalgar swiped at her tail hurting, but not stopping, her. Each step the queen took shook the building, and she dropped the monk into a nest of eggs. Several exploded open, and horrifying creatures leapt at Tong's face! While the queen held Tong down, her face-hugging children crawled all over him.

Alvyn rolled out of the shadows and fired a bolt at her. It struck her, but didn't lessen her hold on Tong. He flipped down his Goggles of Aura Sight to take a closer look. She appeared very strong, resistant to many things, and still very, very healthy, despite all the damage the party had caused.

The situation was dire. Tong's face was being smashed over and over again into the dais. Kalgar wanted to do something, this fight, it was terrible. This creature shouldn't even exist! The result of horrible, aberrant, experimentation by the Iron Dragon created these monsters, these alien hunters. And in the name of Melora and Kord, it was time to end this!

Kalgar side-stepped away from an alien creature using his Boots of the Fencing Master and then charged the Queen. His sword held high, and using his wings he practically glided across the floor. His sword became lit with righteous fire and he brought it down across her face.

The Queen burst into flame and started screaming in agony. The oil dripping off her lit a trail that spread throughout the room, igniting everyone and everything.

Tong closed his eyes, evaporated into mist form and teleported away from the Queen and her creatures. He appeared far from her and using, Temple Step Veda, he streaked out of the room, gone in a flash.

The Queen lashed out, blindly swinging, missed Kalgar, stomped past him, pushing him into the water. She spun around, swiping her tail at Alvyn, who ducked under it. Alvyn shouldered his rifle and fired a freezing bolt at her. The effect was immediate; she was slowed. Alvyn then turned and started moving toward the door.

"Kalgar! Let's get out of here! It's explode-o'clock!"

Above, Tong appeared in the hallway where the Aesian guards, including Kalgar's friend Sora, had been waiting. Bloodied, with acid still burning off him, and on fire, Tong stopped and shouted, "Something's amiss! There is a situation!"

Back downstairs, Kalgar had to hurry. Everything was on fire, and he was all the way at the back of the room. The quickest way out of the room was...through a wall.

Kalgar thought, "What would Kord do?"

Knowing the answer to that question, Kalgar brought his sword to his chest, asking for Kord's Strength through discipline, and flew at the wall. The 5-foot thick wall had been seriously damaged throughout the fight, but it was still made of stone. Taking flight, he flew over the water, weaved through the smoke, barely able to see, just passed by the queen who hissed in rage!

From Alvyn's perspective in slow-motion, the queen was hissing, and swiping at something in the smoke when, all of a sudden, the wall beside him burst open, and Kalgar squeezed through the hole his shoulder had made, folded his wings back, and landed with a heavy thud.


As the wall started to tumble, the building shifted.

"We need to leave now!" Tong was saying.
"What did you do to my outpost? I'm going to blamed if something happened!"
"We didn't do anything! We need to leave now before being crushed in rubble!" Tong tried his best to copy Kalgar's normally intimidating stance.

To little effect.

Sora just stood there, with her arms folded.

The queen focused all her rage on Alvyn, still left in the room. She tried to charge him, but his freezing bolt was still slowing her down. She swiped at him, he side-stepped just under her claws, she tried again, he backed up. At the other end of the room, eggs were popping, bursting, igniting. When the queen heard this, she renewed her attack and swiped at him again. She slammed into Alvyn, knocking him back, and Kalgar down.

Alvyn started dragging Kalgar out. At the top of the tunnel, Alvyn raced over to the cannon, still mounted facing the cellar door, waited for Kalgar to move past him, and held his sleeve over the fuse. Still on fire, the sleeve lit the fuse, and a blast of heat and light sends a shockwave out.

Everyone was thrown from the outpost, dust and loud noise was everywhere. When the dust settled, all that could be seen were the ruined remains of the outpost.

Everyone took a moment, to just breath. Our party put out their flames.

Sora looked at Kalgar and said, "You know I was in charge of this outpost...I'm going to be blamed for this."

Kalgar sighed. "Did you see what was down there!?"

"No." She responded.

"That thing would have killed you all instantly."

"You have to believe us! As a prophet of Ioun, I speak only truth!" Tong added.

"You guys can settle this if you want. I, however, am going to take a shower." Alvyn started heading toward the Shockrosia.

Sora shook her head. "I suppose it is safe to bring in Admiral Draxsha now, but we have nowhere to receive her."

Tong placed his hand on Kalgar's shoulder, "I can advocate for you, if you need it."

"I think the best thing would be for you, Sora, to escort us and the Shockrosia to the Admiral, where I will explain the situation and take all of the blame."

Tong looked to his friend, "Your will is like steel, and you show the determination of your god."

Sora just shrugged and said, "Well, we can't stay here, so, everyone load up!"

And with that, the destruction of the Aesian outpost, and the alien creatures, our party boarded the Shockrosia. As he was boarding the ship, Tong had a single thought, "What if that wasn't the only alien creature that got loose?"

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