War of the River Kings
The Grease Fire Plot (episode 3)
With Irovetti gone, the battle seems to be winding down. And none to soon as the hero’s of Dun Malta are running low on spells and strength. The demon prince Villamor Koth and a hand full of troops are all that remain.
It is just then that the northern doors of the throne room fly open to the menacing strumming of a guitar. The now uninjured King Irovetti and Helana the Grand Mother Child stride into the room side by side. Irovetti now wields a very plain halberd. Lurking over their shoulders is the undead white dragon Bailong. Following them closely is Garet Darkhorse, Yvonne DeCarlo, and Slazar LeMort. Behind them a procession of vampire mothers, undead orphans, and Pitax troops. Irovetti stops to bark out angry orders as the reinforcements flood forward.
Helana cups her hands while speaking a dark prayer, and her palms fill with black flames. In this moment, all of the stained glass windows grow dark with tiny black figures that land on the glass with heavy rapid slaps. The windows explode inward and waves of bats pour in, filling the throne room. Over the cacophony of flapping wings and screeches Chet yells, “What the hell is this every bat in all of Pitax? Seriously we kill these and there will be no bats left, anywhere. And next year you better believe the mosquito population is gonna explode.”
Bailong takes to the air and swoops down to snap at Schmidtaki, rending his flesh. Schmidtaki returns the favor with a hail of arrows. The missiles lodged in the dragon’s hide and look in place among the numerous gaping wounds that cover the beast. Yvonne unleashes a series of elemental attacks as Slazar and Garet wade into battle. Salazar’s shadow springs to life and the pair begin attacking Geronimo. Garet stands toe to toe with Aramis, his Falchion writhing with black flames. As Garet evades Aramis, he slams his blade into the duelist. The flames sear his flesh and turn it ash grey.
At last, Irovetti rejoins the battle. He flickers briefly before appearing in multiple locations at one time. He strikes his enemies at multiple angles from multiple places. With the smoke no longer providing Schmidtaki sanctuary, he flees the dragon to drop more smoke sticks. The dragon switches to attacking Chet. Schmidtaki then launches a barrage or arrows at Helana. The arrows land and she falls to one knee with pain. As the last arrow flies to finish her off, the tar black hand in the center of her chest plate catches he arrow, snapping it in two. Helana rises with a fanged smile and now appears unharmed. The diminutive figure clad in black flames, pounces on Rainfall deftly clawing at him. All the while, the Apostles of the Lost Master rain down black enervating rays on the party to no avail.
Though nearly depleted Baron Mitchel pushes on, turning into a whirlwind, fling to safety, and bolsters his allies. The dragon rains down blows on Chet and he goes down. Eventually the dragon is returned to death and shortly after that Helana drops. Her body turns to smoke and slowly drifts away. The shield of Evil Dead then shouts a stream of obscenity and curse so foul it brings Chet back from the dead. Then the curtains at the end of the hall to the throne room fly open. Trolls and soldiers run into the room screaming, their backs on fire. The curtains tear open and fall away revealing the two elemental worms that were released earlier. The fleeing troops are picked off one by one as the run towards the final battle. Only the worms reach their destination.
Bats bursting into flames or freezing solid as the worms rampage into the room. Aramis and Garet continue their duel while the vampire mothers sing in an evil chorus that flares with dark energy and pours into Garet. Aramis grows weaker with each blow, while blessings from the dark gods and burst of unholy energy restore the dark knight. Chet calls Aramis to him. Aramis stumbles as he pulls away from the vampire knight. Chet then places a cleansing blessing on Aramis’ sword and it glows with disrupting energies. Geronimo cracks Vilamor over the head with the butt of his tail, knocking him senseless. A few seconds later the party lays into him and Vilamor the Demon Prince is no more. Growing frustrated Yvonne swiftly charges herself with magical focus before unleashing a disintegrating blasts. Luck and fortitude beat back the green beams of destruction.
Through the course of combat the Apostles have turned the battlefield into a maze of Wind Walls. Schmitaki leaps onto the grand dining room table taking aim at the spot that Irovetti has been teleporting to and from. Touching a finger to his helm, Schmidtaki lets the spirit of Old Deadeye flow through him and aim. He lets the arrows fly. One misses, one hits, Irovetti’s armor knocks another away. The last arrow strikes true and finally, Irovetti is dead.
The king is dead but the vampires remain. One by one the party defeats the vampire mothers, quickly followed by DeCarlo and Slazar. Each turning to smoke and drifting away. Wordlessly and powerfully Garet advances on Aramis, only to be snapped up by the Remorhaz. Garet turns his attention to the worm without hesitation. A moment later a hand full of arrows land in Garets back and he melts into smoke. Geronimo whirls around and slams into the Frost worm, stunning it. The fire worm is killed by the party, it turns to molten lava, and begins to melt through the floor. Aramis charges up the stairs to stair the ice worm in the eye as he stabs it, in the eye. It dies and the frost worm grows colder, freezing solid, before suddenly exploding in cold and shrapnel.
The battle is done. The death of the worm has left every surface covered and embedded with worm and bat viscera. The red mist of what once were countless bats settles on the ground as the bits of frozen worm cover the floor and walls with a thin layer of fog. The room is silent save for the sounds of your own heaving breathing, bat pieces falling off the walls, and the distant sound of pitched combat. You’ve all managed to duck down and avoid the brunt of the exploding ice worm, with the exception of Chet. Chet stood as openly as possible and is now covered in frozen bits of worm and shredded bits of bat viscera. Chet, “Ouch.”
Rainfall beheads Irovetti, “This way if we run into a guard, we can have him talk for us.”
Chet, “Dood, what is it with you and beheading?”
Rainfall, “Common I haven’t done that in years.”
Aramis, “What did you get a craving?”
Rainfall, “No, that’s not the point.”
Over the course of the next half an hour you begin exploring and loot the Palace. What guards remain you either defeat with impunity, or scare of with Irovetti’s head. While exploring the palace you notice a group of people dressed in brightly colored cloaks heading up the main steps. Though exhausted you head to the main entrance and ready yourselves one more time.
Two troops dressed in full plate with purple and green cloaks enter with their hands up, “The Houses of Pitax have come to parlay. To fulfill the bargain struck with Ilorna Nuski.” You are only slightly relived to hear that, but tell them to come in. Two men dressed in fine red and black cloths. A man and a woman dressed in black studded leather trimmed in sterling sliver fittings. Two men dressed in breast plates, traveling gear, and a vibrant blue cloaks. One man dressed in half-plate, a green and purple cloak, and a shield emblazoned with a cockatrice entwined in a grape vine. The guards match the man dressed in half-plate.
You begin negotiating with the “nobles” of Pitax. From the dosie you know that you have dealt with the second in command of the with the exception of the green and purple. The leaders of the factions are annoyed that their underlings needed to negotiate behind their backs to save their houses. Especially annoyed to be in the same room with each other. But most of all they are annoyed with your presence.
Negotiations are especially tense. No one trust anyone, and since the battle for Pitax rages as you speak, time is an issue. They want to go back to squabbling over Pitax. You want loot and for your armies to survive. The agreement is quick and dirty. In exchange for your help destroying the Vilamor’s Barbarian Armies, they will allow you 24 hours in the Palace to loot it. A win win. Your armies won’t be destroyed and you get loot. They get their city back and a reason to redecorate the Palace after Irovetti plastered his face on everything.
The thief houses come up with a simple but effective plan, betrayal. House Vascari will bring their rangers into the city via the river to “reinforce” Pitax. Then Cattanei will open the gates. Last, Dun Malta, Liacenza, and Strocalle forces will pour into the city.
On the battlefield, the Noble House of Pitax gather their forces. The Rangers from the Vascari House move into the city from the river. The army of Liacenza Cavaliers and Strocalle Rogues move to flank your armies as you attack the gates. During this time you battle the Cattanei Arcane Artillery and Barbarian Hordes. Your own 1st Army Rangers are nearly destroyed and forced to retreat.
Faced with these new enemies your armies believe all is lost and brace for the worst. The messages you sent reach your forces. The orders go through the ranks but they are hard to believe. Your forces hold their fire as the armies sent by the Noble Houses charge your forces. Moments before they would collide with your formations all the gates of Pitax open. They turn and charge the gates. Vascari Rangers and the Cattanei Arcane Artillery already inside the city turn on the barbarians. Your forces flood in with their new allies. The Arcane Artilery is routed in the initial push into the city, but by nightfall all of the all of the Barbarian Armies are decimated.
After the battle your forces celebrations with the Pitax forces are cut short. Apparently your vigorous looting of the Palace of Pitax has not been revived kindly by the citizens of Pitax. By morning, brawls break out with such frequency that you are forced to leave early. Its a shame to, you hadn’t finished pulling up all of the floor tiles.
The battle that ended the war of the River Kings becomes known as the Massacre of the Endless Horde . Castruccio Irovetti is denounced as “the Savage King”. His growing obsession with barbarian cultures is blamed for strong arming the Houses of Pitax into unnecessary war with neighboring states.
While accounts vary, prevailing wisdom has it that the Houses of Pitax nobly put their differences aside to save their country from being torn asunder by Irovetti and his savages. Sending envoys to Dun Malta and convincing them to have them attack Pitax. Forced the king to call on the armies of his Nobles. Distracted by Dun Malta the Pitax Armies were able to destroyed the barbarian horde. Dun Malta, sour over their losses, took advantage of the chaos to loot Pitax. Thus drawing an uneasy truce between the kingdoms.