Alt-Magic Recap — Episode 62: The Undying

Alt-Magic Campaign
Episode LXII
The Undying

cast

Abraxas Silvermane the Wizard (Connor), Akkamas Mohaïva the Warlock (Mike), Braxton Chabbone the Spellbound Paladin (Steve), Jone Constance the Occult Detective (Aaron), Kelwyn the Druid (Rodney), Tim the Rogue/Ranger (Shaun), & Bob the Dungeon Master

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This Recap was written by Connor (Abraxas)

All is quiet in the City of Waterdeep. The dead walk the streets at night, and white dragons have been harrying the Griffin Calvary, but other than those things, the Winter Court has remained hidden.

waterdeep

Two Masked Lords arrived at Blackstaff Tower to deliver this news. They could tell that things weren’t right and charged the Hellblazers with finding the Court and putting an end to their schemes. To aid them in this, they made each Hellblazer (barring Abraxas) Warden of a City District, granting them power over the city watch. In addition, Abraxas could keep the title of Blackstaff for as long as he wished, and Tim was elected Head Warden by the group.

The party agreed that Akkamas should go to Stahlkrahe in order to round up an army accustomed to fighting the ice and snow, while they made preparations to go to Thule and end this business once and for all. After the Warlock had gone however, something strange happened. The City of the Dead began to glow.

From the balcony of the tower, the party realized that the Winter Court had never left, using trickery and magic even against their own followers in order to hide their true location. They were building something, and using every magic item they had stolen to power it.

 

Tim unfurled the magic carpet and waited for everyone to climb on so that they could fly to the City of the Dead, but Abraxas stopped him.

“We’re forgetting someone,” The wizard said. “Come out old friend.”

Stepping out onto the balcony was Wilbough Waggons of Lostonshire. It seemed that their meddling with time had brought the little halfling back to life, where he had been captured by Baphomet, and freed by Abraxas. Now, with Wilbough at their side, the Hellblazers sped toward the City of the Dead.

dragonfire

High above them, the Golden Dragon Aurinex sailed into battle against the white dragons guarding the Court, looking for vengeance against his traitorous “father”. Below, the Walking Statues of Waterdeep marched forward, laying waste to all evil-doers in their path.

The party glided into the Necropolis stealthily, approaching a frost covered “shield-wall” that Kewlyn was able to open a pathway through, at the cost of his magic Scepter of Dagon being drained of its power.

High above them, on a pedestal, was the great machine. It was a massive transmuter, converting the power of Crenshinibon and countless other artifacts into some kind of raw energy. Ocasta and Dorian Neverember stood before the machine, controlling it with their magic. Behind them, the Dracolich Vyrmagoth lurked, waiting with her followers.

Vyrmatrix

Jone drew first blood, casting a meteor swarm that decimated the Winter Court’s forces, slaying Cassius Marner and Osborn Colville — two members of the Neverember retinue. Braxton then teleported the group to Ocasta’s side, where Tim dashed forward, drawing his new sword, claimed from Blackstaff Tower’s vault.

“My Grandfather’s sword!” Dorian cried as the blade cut into Ocasta.

ocastaThe witch’s last words were: “You’re too late.” Her eyes locked on Jace, her ex-husband, before Tim took her head off with the ancestral Neverember Blade. Tim then punched Dorian in the face, knocking him from the pedestal, into the icy waters below.

But Ocasta’s words were true, a great rift had appeared, calling something from across time and space. The Hellblazers were then faced with Vyrmagoth, who breathed ice upon them, wounding the less dexterous of their group.

Valiantly, Braxton and Tim charged in,  engaging in a battle with the dragon and its remaining servants, Dagult Neverember and Terrance Somerfort. Jone remained stealthy, taking carefully placed shots when he could get them, while Wilbough distracted a Death Knight by flying around on the carpet.

Kelwyn summoned his fire elemental, Johnny Storm, which proceeded to attack the approaching Dran entourage, including Portentia and Auspicia Dran, as well as Amalia Cassalanter, all of whom were wounded by the fire. Soon the weakened Cassalanter went up in flames, and the Dran sisters abandoned their post to parts unknown.

Meanwhile, Kelwyn and Abraxas attempted to shut off the machine, which they did successfully…only to find that the portal remained, and something was climbing through.

vecna

It was Vecna, the Undying —he who was erased from reality by the Hellblazers. Ocasta had gone mad because of him, because she remembered two timelines, and created this machine to restore order.

The Dracolich and its followers bowed in reverence, giving the Hellblazers the opportunity to strike with all their might. But they saved some energy for the god — and they’d need it.

Kelwyn struck at Vecna first, but was rebuffed. Vecna then smacked the druid, sending him flying with supernatural force into the dragon behind him. To everyone’s shock and awe, Kelwyn had crushed the skeletal dragon’s head on impact. Abraxas attempted to strike Vecna in turn, but was rebuffed as well.

As the battle raged on, Braxton had a flash of memory: This was once the graveyard of Korum, where they slew Vecna before he had become a god. And he remembered a book, buried under a statue… The paladin flew down to the waters below, out of sight.

Jone, after doing small damage to Vecna with his Blink Dagger at Tim’s behest, turned on Somerfort. Appearing at the Occult Detective’s side was the ghostly Ziyal, who hissed at Somerfort, her former husband, and attacked him. The ghost possessed the evil noble and held him aloft for Jone to strike, throwing a dagger into the man’s chest and killing him.

Johnny Storm glided across the field, killing Dagult Neverember before going down in blaze of glory, its master regaining his feet at last. Kelwyn brushed himself off and entered the fray again, as everyone converged on the god.

Venca howled as he began to diminish in size, becoming vulnerable to Tim’s mighty blows. In this world, Vecna had no cult, and therefore no worshipers granting him power. He was getting weaker.

Down below, Braxton found the statue of King Korum and the hidden space beneath it. There he saw the book of lineage… but the book began to change when he picked it up. It wasn’t a book of lineage at all, it was the Malhavokomicon, The Dark Book of Malhavok. Braxton flew this to his uncle Abraxas, who saw the perfect spell to use against Vecna:

Konx Om Pax, Light in Extension. It was a spell designed for banishing anything. Even Gods. And the Wizard’s voice roared as he cast Vecna back into Oblivion, back into Nonexistence…

malhavok“Then it’s done…just as Malhavok wished,” Abraxas laughed, looking at the book. The Archmage of Korum had planted the book there for the Hellblazers to find, thus preventing catastrophe.

In the wreckage, they soon learned that things were far from over. Portentia and Auspicia Dran had escaped, as had the Death Knight. A long rest was called for… but first, Wilbough joined his friends and shared dire news… He had overhead the Dran sisters: this had been their plan all along, to usurp the Winter Court and assume the mantle of rulership in Thule.

They had an ally, it seemed, but that figure remained a mystery.

Eager to find out? Tune in next week for the end of our adventure as this campaign goes out, not with a whimper, but with the resounding cacophony of war in the frozen north of Thule!

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