Alt-Magic Recap — Episode 41: Present Tense

Alt-Magic Campaign
Episode XLI
Present Tense

cast

Abraxas Silvermane (Connor), *Akkamas Mohaïva (Mike), **Braxton Chabbone (Steve), Jone Constance (Aaron), Kelwyn (Rodney), & Tim (Shaun)

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“..I see the visions always whether or not I wear the crown. They tell me the secrets… the secrets of the ice and snow… that the power of the crown will save me with its frost.”

—Simon Petrikov

Following their long rest, the Hellblazers debate their next course of action, ultimately deciding to return to the ruins of Venta Korum and see about Malhavok sending them back to their own time… but not before they recover the Book of Korum that Jone had passed over in the Korum Family graveyard outside of the ruins of the Tyr Cathedral.

 

Arriving back in the burned out home of Jace and Ocasta via the magic of Abraxas‘ Key, the party navigated the Smuggler’s Tunnel and stepped onto Throat Punch Alley which is bustling with activity. It seems there’s a celebrity in town — a famous showman and wizard, Thurston the Great.

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The Hellblazers take note of a suspicious figure that is watching them. He makes his way through the crowd, obviously intent on making some report. But to who? They follow.

Kelwyn slips into the pub where they had met with Malhavok previously. He takes to drinking with a Northern barbarian from Helheim named Wulfgar who states he and his companions are looking for a warlock from the village of Stahlkrahe in Koldwynt’r. Kelwyn says that he knows a warlock and keeps the barbarian, who has had much to drink, confused as he leads him out into the street.

Braxton has cast Locate Object on Malhavok‘s robe and follows the trail that should lead them to the wizard, while Jone is confronted by an old friend who has given up the proverbial ghost.

Ziyal, in spectral form, is upset and explains that she died shortly before the Hellblazers left for the past and that she discovered that the afterlife was closed to her, that her gods no longer existed and she suspects the Hellblazers are to blame.

Meanwhile, Tim leads the rest of the party in stalking the suspicious character that caught their eye as they entered the Throat.

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Abraxas addresses the man who scowls in return. He throws open a tavern door and announces that the warlock is close. From a side door, a figure in immaculate plate armor steps out. He is Sir Gavin Blackstone and he is seeking a warlock who bears the Crown of Winter, an object he and his companions had destroyed a few years earlier, having cast it into Surtur’s Fire.

The Crown is in Akkamas‘ possession. It seems that Dugan, the ranger who had accompanied the Hellblazers to confront Vecna and Ocasta, is a companion to Blackstone and the others and had sent them a message via magical courier letting them know of the Crown’s location.

Akkamas turns over the Crown without further incident as Thurston joins the others in the street. This party of adventurers head out to converse with their old friend, Malhavok, while the Hellblazers are forced to wait by standing guards who have closed off entry to or from the Throat.

Once allowed to pass, they find Malhavok in the Korum Family graveyard. He allows them to take the book hidden within the statue, urging them to read it carefully, and then teleported them back to their own time.

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They reappear within Malhavok’s Lair in Undemountain, but immediately realize things have been altered. The Lair is tidy and Malhavok himself is young and hale. He has also been stripped of his magical powers. He explains that Waterdeep, while still the City of Splendors is under the control of Masked Dragon Lords, agents of the Faith of Quintus, a religion centered on Tiamat, Queen of Dragons.

Tiamat crossed over thirty years earlier, killing students of Moloquin Grey’s School of Wizardry who had tried to thwart her plans. Dragonkind quickly swept through the land, conquering as protectors against the rise of undead and demonkind. The people happily accepted their rule.

TiamatMalhavok then revealed that positions of importance had been held for the coming of the Hellblazers: Tim had been tapped to be the head of the Green Flame, Waterdeep’s Thieves’ Guild; Braxton was the Administrator of Acquisitions Incorporated; Kelwyn was to serve as the Arch-Druid of Dragonstone Grove; Jone had a private investigation office in their old Trollskull Alley digs; Akkamas was positioned as an Agent of Foreign Relations with Stahlkrahe; and Abraxas held the position of Blackstaff of Waterdeep.

How could this be?

Abraxas revealed that, needing a place to secure Vecna’s Soul, he had turned it over to Tiamat. Knowing Ocasta‘s role in stopping Tiamat‘s attempt at conquering Enochia had been eliminated by her death, he made a deal with the Queen of Dragons to ensure the safety of humankind and to secure for themselves positions of power in her regime.

He knew, or sensed, that their only way to ultimately defeat her was from the inside.

Stunned by this news, Tim asked if the Lair could be used as a safehaven by the Hellblazers. Malhavok agreed and gave them the command word so they could return whenever they needed.

The party decided to head topside and teleported to Jone‘s office in Trollskull Alley. Entering the building, they found it bathed in darkness as they were confronted by three figures sitting at a worn table, a bottle of Knob Alley Mead between them. Jone conjured Produce Flame to reveal a tielfing monk, a half-elven acrobat, and a Norfrostian bard, collectively known as The Highwayman’s Lute.

The session ended as Stigandr asked, “What did you do?” to which Kyrian replied, “Does it matter? I say it’s go time.

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Oh, my stars and garters. Act II begins with a bang. How will the Hellblazers navigate the uncertain waters of a Waterdeep under draconic control? Our heroes are in a pickle. Tune in next week to find out how much stranger things might get…

( * ) Played via Skype
( ** ) Absent/Ran by DM
( *** ) Online Play via IM or Email
( + ) Had to leave early
( – ) Arrived late
(Absent)

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