Sundering the Brass Prison

Journey to the Mountain
Battles in the Sky

With the company of Gyrfalcon, the cover trekked across the Endless Desert for five days. Gyrfalcon followed the arrow on his enchanted compass, which unerringly leads him to his ship, where ever it might be. They board the ship and make way for Mount Metagalapa, as they had negotiated with the Infernal airship captain. His crew deftly operated the Silent Blade, and many miles were covered quickly.

Early one morning in the voyage, Gyrfalcon wakes all on board with an announcement. A Haslanti airship base is just ahead, and he plans to raid it, destroying as many of their moored ships as he can. He demands that the rest of the Green Sun Princes on board join in the fray as payment for their passage. Hammer and Encore are eager to engage in battle, while Job and Henley were less inclined to fight. Henley in particular was upset at Gyrfalcon’s demands. The Lord of Flatford surveyed the stars of the night sky and believed that Gyrfalcon taken them over a thousand miles off course. He was wrong, of course, but that did not stop the Fiend from immediately plotting retribution against Capt. Gyrfalcon.

Gyrfalcon began the assault by firing the Silent Blade’s marmoreal cannon on the first airship in range. Encore had also made a flying leap at the very same ship, and narrowly avoided being collateral damage in the blast. He recovered and sprinted along the fortress walls, prowling for unfortunates. Job stayed aboard the Silent Blade, slinging Sand-Strike Blasts at other moored airships.

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Splitting Up So We Leave Later

After extracting themselves from the beast that Querros had sent the group to kill they gathered together and formulated a plan. Revenge must be had against the traitorous Querros who lied about the Manse. To achieve this the various Infernals did what Infernals do best: whatever the hell they felt like without much coordination.

Job headed off to the outskirts of the Chateau housing Querros and his minions. In observing the building from afar and talking to stranger walking by from time to time it became obvious that the most important thing for him to do was not to observe the Chateau but instead avoid the oncoming acid storm that everyone in the region is escaping. After making his way to a fallout shelter he wound up spending his time inside converting those fleeing the acid rain including a blood ape and an neomah.

Meanwhile Henley went off to procure the ingredients for a concoction that would make Querros betray himself somehow (I don’t remember Querros’ motivation and how Henley planned on turning them against himself).

The Daughter was busy researching Querros and crafting things with objects flying around and swirling without being touched. Dealing with Gryfalcon was not her main concern and was instead left to the least able to deal with social situations: Hammer Against Creation and Encore of the Final Silence. Gyrfalcon was ready to head to Creation and start the journey. Hammer and Encore tried to negotiate for more time. Gyrfalcon was impatient. The disagreement almost ended in a very Malfean way (physical confrontation). It instead ended with Encore changing the subject in random ways while still making sure everyone continued to drink. By the end it was agreed that they were all owed a chest of treasure for having to wait and intimacies were instead developed.

Once it was determined that Querros was paid to distract the adventurers, something he very much succeeded in doing, the plot of another set of Infernals was uncovered. The Defiler called Draegul left a taunting letter for the Daughter to find, describing how he made a deal with Querros to mislead her coven, so he and his allies could take Mt. Metagalapa for themselves. The multiple day advantage of another set of Infernals with the exact same plan infuriated some and concerned others. Finding and collecting the group ended with Job riding on Encore’s back while naked, except for his artifact breastplate, due to everything else being dissolved in acid from the storm. After collecting some clothes, the trek into Creation began.

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Treachery of our Peers
With friends like these...

The Daughter of the Unread Pages gasps as the heart tendril jerks her into the air, quickly constricting around her rib cage. She lashes out with a telekinetic strike, severing the grasping appendage. She drops to the ground, looking up to see more of the tendrils unwinding from the knot above, all connecting back to a descending hungry maw.

Encore of the Final Silence leaps to his feet, bounding across the pool of blue nourishment fluid and racing around the curved interior surface of the heart. Several tendrils chase after him as he runs, nipping at his heels. Encore kicks off the wall, flipping through the air and landing on the nearest tendril. At unnatural speed, he approaches the screaming mouth of the heart’s guardian, but he does not move fast enough. Snagged around the waist, the Scourge is lifted up and entangled in the monster’s grip, his breath rapidly squeezed out of his and flesh violently torn away. The pain awakens the Monster lurking inside him, and he vows that Retribution Will Follow.

Job spies several more tendrils waving through the air, homing in on him. They move almost too fast to follow and the fallen priest knows he stands no chance of escape…at least, as he is now. It is the nature of Cecelyne to be stronger than her lessers, and Job knows the secrets of the Miracle Gift Mastery through which this is possible. Through an arcane act of will and Essence, Job rewrites his existence and suddenly knows the precise moment and direction to leap in order to evade the coming attack. He dives just out of reach, then lashes out with a slash of silver sand, cutting the tendril and causing it to momentarily withdraw.

The Daughter stands her ground, staring dispassionately at the creature defending Brezozi’s heart. The air around her wavers violently from a barrage of telekinetic strikes, each drawing another splash of the guardian’s blood. It’s shrieking screams and cacophonous roars fill the chamber, audible even to Henley and Hammer.

Encore grips the tentacle holding him and rips it apart. He launches himself airborne with a powerful swing on the torn limb, his demonic hair wrapping around his fist in anticipation of the killing blow. He falls like an executioner’s axe on the creature’s body. The savage blow explodes the thing. Gore cascades out of the wound on the combatants below. Encore’s rage is not yet satisfied, and he pulls the dead beast down to the ground where he mindlessly obliterates what remains.

As the Daughter and Job mop up, Henley and Hammer finally arrive in the heart to see what is going on. Henley’s self esteem is bolstered to know that it was in fact dangerous in the heart, and he managed to avoid getting caught up in the situation. The warlocks finish their examination of the chamber and the Daughter arrives at a frustrating conclusion: this is not a hearthroom. Brezozi is no manse; an ancient behemoth from beneath the waves perhaps, but no manse. Hammer grunts, “Are we done with this stupid thing then?” The Daughter gives a distracted nod, so the Slayer brings his weapon crashing down through Brezozi’s heart. An unsettling rumble overtakes the behemoth’s body and the coven decides it is time to leave. The Daughter sends out a stomach bottle bug to stop the flow of fluid into the chamber and open up an escape route. As soon as it is possible to scramble out, Encore soars off toward the mouth to alert the two agatae that were left there. As he launches out of Brezozi’s open maw, Encore sees the green acid sea below him. He lands safely on the stone beach, but Brezozi is quickly receding from the shore, trying to flee those that do it harm. The agatae both zip between it’s teeth, down toward their mistress. As they arrive, the Daughter and Job mount one, and Job and Hammer get on the other. As rivulets of acid spill over the rapidly descending fangs, the agatae are spurred forward. With only seconds to spare, the coven emerges above the acid sea, several hundred yards from shore. Brezozi sinks beneath the waves and disappears.

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The Belly of the Beast
Wherein the belly is avoided in favor of the lungs and heart.

Having discarded Brezozi’s stomach as a likely route to the hearthroom, the coven decides to traverse the breathing passage of the creature in hopes of coming closer to the heart. Forcing open its trachea causes a sharp intake of breath from the monster, nearly sweeping Henley deep into the respiratory system. Hammer’s quickly snags Henley in mid-air and the party begins their descent.

As they walk, The Daughter of the Unread Pages considers the problem of uncovering the hearthroom of the living manse. She asks her companions to wait while she finishes her calculations, but Hammer is impatient to proceed and continues marching down the dark, fleshy tube. Encore and Henley follow Hammer’s lead, but Job appreciates the prudence of the Daughter’s plan and agrees to help her. She invokes the Essence Discerning Stare to watch how the Essence of the place is flowing. Job acts as a sounding board for the Daughter’s theories. Together, they determine that there is likely some kind of Essence respiring organ deeper into the manse, and connected to this organ should be the hearthroom.

Meanwhile, Hammer has led the remainder of the coven to this very organ. A vast rounded chamber, walled with spongey, springy tissue extends before them, with a steep drop from their passage of entrance down to the floor. Every surface of the organ is covered with antenna-like structures, capped with a lightly glowing bulb, which gives the otherwise unlit room a dim, bluish tinge. Henley’s sharp eyes and his ability to disregard the meager darkness of mundane shadows allows him to peer to the far side of the organ and spots a more intense blue glow around an organic structure that doesn’t appear elsewhere in the room. Encore needs no further convincing and dashes into the chamber with the supernatural speed of the Wind-Born Stride to examine the structure in detail. He finds blue, glowing fluid slowly exuded by a multitude of small orifices into a pool, and the pool is obviously draining to somewhere. He tears a shred of cotton fabric from his tunic and dips it into the mysterious goo, then runs back to Hammer and Henley with his prize. His rapid passage back and forth through the chamber disturbs the peaceful swaying of the bulbed organs, causing them to oscillate wildly. An unsettling shudder ripples through the chamber and up the breathing passage where the Daughter and Job sit in discussion.

Shortly, a strange multi-tentacled creature wriggles out of a nearby orifice, plopping to the ground. Job evaluates the thing through the Hellskry Chakra to learn that it exists to protect Brezozi from outsiders. With little delay, it sets out to fulfill its purpose, leaping at the Daughter, ripping talons seeking her heart’s blood. She catches it in mid-air, holding it in place with the force of her mind, and coldly regarding it. Sadly, her scientific reverie is interrupted as dozens of the monstrosities begin to pour into the passage.

Most of the creatures begin sliding down the passage toward the rest of the coven. Job and the Daughter set off in pursuit. Down at the lungs, Hammer hears the mass of horrors approaching, and quickly forms a plan: Encore will stun the coming enemy with a shockwave generated by his incredible speed, while Hammer will follow through with a savage attack before it can regain its wits. Henley quietly slides behind Hammer, hoping the brute will hold off whatever is approaching.

By the time the tentacled beasts reach the entrance to Brezozi’s lungs, they’ve tangled together into a horrid mass. Encore is undeterred and dashes forward to intercept what seems to be a single foe. With an explosive burst of speed powered by his Charm of Racing Vitaris, he surges forward with the intent of knocking the monster to the ground. It’s only as he sees the mass separate due to the shockwave that he realizes that he faces several score smaller enemies. The monsters rain down on him as he uses his momentum to power through to the other side, tearing a few apart with his bare hands as he passes. Henley mutters a few words about reconsidering, but Hammer is consumed with the fury of battle joined, and he charges the creatures. Lord Ravenhurst can do nothing but remain in the eye of the maelstrom (which apparently is crouched between the Slayer’s legs) as Hammer Against Creation whirls about with his namesake goremaul. Encore reaches Job and the Daughter, leading them back to the fray. Once there, the Daughter unleashes a torrent of telekinetic attacks using her demonic knowledge of the Principle of Motion. Before long, piles of the creatures litter the passage, and the coven returns to exploration.

They descend into the lung, carefully picking their way through the swaying antennae until they reach the pool of fluid Encore examined earlier. The Daughter sees the strong Essence flow here, clearly making out the passage of energy from this chamber through the wall to somewhere else. She concludes, “We are close to the hearthroom. We must reach wherever this vessel flows.” With that, she dives into the goo and works her way down, deeper into the beast. Encore also sees no reason to hesitate, and follows closely behind. Job waits a moment, and then asks Hammer to go immediately after him, so the large warrior will push him down to the end, should he get stuck. Henley counters that it is rash to submerge themselves in this pool, as they have no idea how long the journey to the other end will be. What’s more, the Daughter and Encore are now either dead, or certainly able to secure the hearthroom by themselves. There’s no need to follow them, as there’s nothing for Hammer to do down there. Hammer doesn’t like the sound of squirming through a cramped, goo-filled passage for no good reason, so he sides with Henley and decides to stay behind. Job protests, until Hammer agrees to follow. As Job climbs into the pool, Hammer gives him a solid shove beneath the surface of the fluid. “I’ll be right behind you.” he says unconvincingly.

Job manages to wriggle through the vessel and falls unceremoniously into a deep pool inside the heart. The roof of the egg-shaped chamber is barely visible in the light emitting from the rippling liquid. A small island of flesh rises out of the center of the pool, a twisting knot of pulsing veins connecting the surface of the island to the roof. Encore simply sits and scrapes the goo off of himself, while the Daughter has disrobed and laid her neatly folded clothes on the ground as she walks around the organ, considering what to do next. She is so deep in thought that she fails to notice the writhing tendril slowly descending behind her from the mass above…

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Work Begins in Earnest

The coven works to resolve responsibilities in Hell before returning to Creation. The Daughter settles into the library and laboratory of her apartments, initiating research on several topics. She summons several naneke and a sorcerous duplicate of herself to lead them, dispatching the group to one of the great glass libraries of Orabilis, The End of All Wisdom. She commands them to seek knowledge of Mount Metagalapa. The Daughter then fills her time beginning the designs for Essence powered propulsion systems and hearthstone bracers.

Henley and Hammer journey via agata-drawn palanquin to the markets of the demon Makarios. Henley and Makarios have an arrangement such that Makarios supplies exotic goods of the Demon City for Henley to sell in Creation, while Henley finds victims to be enmeshed in the dreams that Makarios’ sends to mortals. Each profits greatly from the deal, and a modicum of trust has developed between them. Lord Ravenhurst asks a gift from Makarios; a number of large emeralds and rubies, pieces of Malfean brass, and a small amount of chalcanth to aid the Daughter in her experiments. Makarios graciously accommodates the request.

Meanwhile, Job and Encore introduce themselves to the Scourge known as Captain Gyrfalcon. Job applies his considerable social acumen, persuading Gyrfalcon to transport the coven aboard his airship to Mount Metagalapa. Gyrfalcon is uninterested at first, but when Job offers Gyrfalcon fifty hawkmen slave warriors by the next Thing Infernal, a deal is struck for passage.

While Hammer and Henley are away, the Daughter is visited by a meek fegran. It carries a message from Querros, the Burning Orrery; he holds lore the Daughter would find valuable. If she is interested in a deal, she is invited to visit his home and negotiate. Her interest piqued, she makes the short journey to Querros’ dwelling and asks for more information. Querros tells her that he knows of a hearthstone that can be planted like a seed, growing a new manse and returning the seedstone to the manse of its origin. However, this seedstone is created by a living manse that swims the deepnesses of Kimbery and rarely appears…except that it is now accessible, if one acts quickly. Querros only asks that the Daughter establish a cult in his name in Creation, and he will tell her where to find the manse so she may claim it for her own. The Daughter has Querros write their bargain as a contract, providing a copy for herself and him. The two parties sign in agreement, and Querros gives her the location of the living manse known as Brezozi.

When Hammer and Henley return to the Conventicle and the coven is reconvened, the Daughter leads them to Brezozi. It is a massive creature, beached on the shores of the acid sea. Its thick, armored shell indicates no entrance, save through its fetid, gaping maw. The Princes step over the threshold, seeking the treasure within. The Daughter sends her stomach bottle bug into the flesh of the creature to learn what it may. Using the magic of the Unimpeded Perfection of Exertion, Encore manages to tread lightly down a fleshy passage and avoid triggering a deadly swallow reflex in the beast. He discovers the stomach, and its decided that the hearthstone is more likely to be near the heart than in the gut. Job sees an opportunity to hopefully make Brezozi friendly to them, and he invokes the Locust Mana Plague to fill Brezozi’s stomach with sweet insects.

After some internal exploration, the coven returns to the creature’s mouth to plan their next move.

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Assembly of the Thing Infernal

The Green Sun Princes, the jouten of the Yozi, and select Unquestionable assemble at the Conventicle Malfeasant for the yearly Infernal Thing. Each Prince rises before his peers and boasts of what he has achieved in Creation, and how his plans bring the Reclamation closer. Hammer Against Creation seizes the attention of the congregation and proclaims what he intends to achieve.

“I will conquer Mount Metagalapa, break its people, and bring the flying rock down on the heads of the weak fools below!”

When the detail-oriented Defilers of the gathering inquire as to exactly how he will accomplish this, Hammer admits to having not dealt with the intricacies of the endeavor. Laughter ripples through the crowd, and the jouten gaze down from their balconies, giving no indication of their opinions. The Daughter of the Unread Pages rises and defends Hammer’s position, as she sees a spark of inspiration in the idea, though she proposes to convert the mountain into a flying fortress. Finally, Malfeas himself declares the fiery destruction that this scheme would yield pleases him greatly, and it should proceed. The Demon City had spoken, and Mount Metagalapa would suffer his rage.

Lord Ravenhurst watches this unfold, considering what value he can extract from such an operation. If Hammer and the Daughter can actually make the mountain mobile and control where it can go, it would be in a prime position to threaten the heart of the great Guild’s mercantile operations. At this realization, Henley speaks to the Daughter and pledges his aid. Similarly, the Malefactor called Job listens to the growing coven discuss what to do with the inhabitants of the mountain, and he volunteers his unique skills in managing populations. Encore is simply offended that Metagalapa is the home of great hawks and hawkmen when the sky should be the domain of the cruel Silent Wind. He attaches himself to the coven hoping to punish the blaspheming flyers.

The coven assembled, they begin to formulate their plans and assess their strength. Job leads a sacrifice to Amalion to humbly ask an audience with her. The request is granted, and the Daughter requests a design for a manse from Amalion; one that can focus the geomantic power of the flying mountain and perhaps redirect that power to propulsion. Amalion gives a disappointing answer, though. One of the riddles of Mt. Metagalapa is the absence of Essence flows. Unless the coven finds geomantic power for a manse to harness, their petition has no meaning.

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Birth of Monsters

In this session, we played through the history of Hammer Against Creation, The Daughter of the Unread Pages, Encore of the Final Silence, and Job. Things that were learned:

  • Hammer’s name before his Infernal Exaltation was Veiled Crow.
  • Hammer’s brother (as played by Michael) and father (as played by Mark) were jerks, and obviously deserved the horrible ends that Hammer dealt them.
  • Despite being a Slayer, Hammer has a knack for base treachery.
  • The Daughter has always tended toward obsession. This attribute made her attractive to the gallmau that found her hiding in the deep caverns beneath the Shining Monolith of the North.
  • Being surprised by a gallmau in pitch-black caverns has made the Daughter wary of dark places.
  • Encore was known as Peleps Han before his Infernal Exaltation.
  • Betrayal, mockery, and solitude form the majority of Encore’s experiences with the world. Thus stems his murderous madness.
  • Job was nearly the Pope of the Beatific Order of the Golden Lord. He’d reached that position through bribery and threat of violence however, which drew the ire of the Golden Lord and ultimately Job was cast out of the Order and imprisoned.
  • Job spent decades in prison, and carved out power for himself there. His lifelong efforts to establish hierarchy and place himself atop it drew the attention of an agata carrying an Exaltation of the Malefactor caste. Job’s subsequent prison-break via demon wasp was largely unintentional.
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Character Building Exercise
Wherein we read much about Infernals

We met and decided what kind of characters people would make and discussed our different ideas about what makes Infernals interesting. Chris made a Slayer, Brian made a Fiend, Michael made a Scourge, Aaron made a Defiler, and Mark made a Malefactor. Everyone agreed that Infernal Charms were cool, but you have to read a lot of material before you get a handle on what kind of things you can do.

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