Tuesday, March 12, 2013
EPISODE 75: The Assassination at Cloud Theater (UPDATED)
Augustar 5-26, YE 754
The Rosegate Company, the rescued prisoners, and the survivors of the REF make their way through the Underdark back to Elan, which takes about two weeks because of all the loot they are hauling back from the ruins of Ul-Drakkan. On the way back, they stop in the Underdark town of Blightstone and convert all their loot to liquid cash. All together, they claim 1.36 million gold coins.
Because they are still wanted fugitives, Emeris, Vatex, and Dziga must be careful moving around the city. Additionally, they have no house anymore and they will probably get flagged if they try to open a bank account to store their loot.
So they speak with Doraedian Mythlord, who owes them money for assaulting Ul-Drakkan anyway. Doraedian pays them, praising their epic feats of adventuring.
The leader of the Elanian elven community explains the Republican government is getting worse. Most of the City Council has been replaced by Raknian’s friends, and not a day goes by where a new ridiculous law is declared. Worse yet, all-out street war has broken out between the three main organized crime factions -- the Killraven Crime League, the Balacazars (who are allied with the Republican government), and Aggah-shan’s network.
Doraedian fears that although the government is currently focusing its efforts on “terrorists” and the “fat cats” in the Guilders District, the Republican administration will eventually target other easy-to-scapegoat groups, such as the elven community. The Rosegate Company tells him not to fear -- they plan to exact brutal vengeance against the Republicans for burning down their house and confiscating the money from their old bank accounts.
Doraedian lets them operate out of his the back office in the tobacco warehouse down at the Docks. They will store their loot and make strategic plans.
CALLING ALL ALLIES
Vatex hits the streets, learning that the Killraven League is in dire straits. Some predict its imminent demise. The reason for this is that the Balacazars, who are the de facto operators of the Elan’s City Guard because of their partnership with Raknian, have started to take back all the territory and black markets which the Killravens had earlier secured for themselves. But that’s not all -- it appears Aggah-shan’s Mrathrach Machine is operational, and he has been hitting the Killravens while they are already under pressure.
So the Rosegate Company decides to extend an offer of allegiance to the Killravens and Aggah-shan, to see if they will work together with them against the Republicans.
Vatex exercises his network of contacts to arrange a meeting with Kevris Killraven herself. Eventually he meets Pianette, a Killraven rep in Riversgate District. She sets up a meeting with a troglodyte called “the Stink Man,” who serves as Kevris’ chief of staff. In a disgusting tavern that caters to troglodytes and lizardfolk, Vatex meets the Stink Man and arranges to meet at Kevris’ headquarters in two days.
Dziga and Emeris visit the White House, and speak with the proprietor Thurman Rees. They demand that he get Aggah-shan for them to speak with. Rees refuses, and tries to have them thrown out. Big mistake. Poor Rees ends up getting thrashed within inches of his life, and Emeris devours the soul of a couple guards. Rees concedes and leaves for a few hours, then returns. A minute later, Aggah-shan teleports to them.
Aggah-shan reveals that he has no interest in fighting against the Balacazars and the Republicans at the moment. He is merely attacking the Killravens because they are the weakest target at the moment. The best thing he will offer is a non-aggression pact between himself and the Killravens, in exchange for running all illegal activities in South Market, and all prostitution in Oldtown. But he also wants Kevris to stop funding Dr Feagus’ science, because it threatens his Mrathrach Machine.
With the offer from Aggah-shan, Dziga and Emeris meet with Vatex and await their meeting with the Killravens.
MEETING WITH THE HAG BOSS
In a secret hideout in the Undercity, the Rosegate Company sits down with Kevris Killraven. She is an intimidating figure -- a night hag blackguard of incredible strength. Also at the meeting are some representatives from Kevris’ other allies -- a couple of beholders from the Pactlords of the Quaan; a blue-skinned man from the Sorn; and a human from the Shuul.
The non-aggression pact is brokered, even though the term regarding Dr Feagus is not accepted.
This diplomacy, as well as the common enemy shared by Kevris and the Rosegate Company, makes them allies for now. But Kevris does not totally trust the companions yet. She fears they might be trying to infiltrate her organization on behalf of the Balacazars or the Republicans.
To prove their allegiance, Kevris tells them to assassinate Abenzio Porziar -- a Balacazar cousin who was put on the City Council to when Aoska of the White Tower resigned following the coup.
Dziga handles the assassination easily. At night, he sneaks through the alleys of Riversgate District and finds Abenzio’s penthouse. He climbs the wall, sneaks in through the window, and stabs the councilman to death while he cheerfully paints on a canvas. There are no witnesses.
The first stage of the plan against the Republican government is to punish their Balacazar allies. This also means they will probably have to tangle with the Circle of Blood, the faction of vampires allied with the Balacazars due to an mysterious pact.
Kevris reveals top-secret information that she possesses: Menon Balacazar’s grandson Dullin will be performing Sebastian del Ray’s latest opera masterpiece at Cloud Theater on Augustar 26. This in itself is unremarkable, as the boy is soprano prodigy and he performs frequently. What IS interesting is that Menon Balacazar himself is expected to attend the performance, along with Menon’s mother Maystra.
But that’s not all. This is such a major event that other important VIPs are supposed to be there -- including Medre Allaconda, leader of the Circle of Blood, and Loris Raknian himself.
Clearly this is a chance to assassinate some important adversaries.
The plan is for the three Rosegate Company members to join with Killraven agents Johnny C. Bad the rogue, Mordack the necromancer, and Richard Cheese the fighter. They will combine their forces to kill as many people as possible. But they decide Menon Balacazar will be the primary target.
Acquired intelligence reveals that the Balacazars and the Circle of Blood are in the balconies on the left side of the stage. Raknian is on the right.
The six-members of the joint assassination squad all get tickets so they can walk in. Dziga and Emeris take their seats and wait for the show to start.
Meanwhile, Vatex and the three Killraven agents head over to the stairs leading to the Balacazar balcony. The doorman says they are going in the wrong direction, their seats are elsewhere. Johnny C Bad panics and kills the doorman then runs up the stairs. “You fucking idiot!” says Vatex.
The Circle of Blood vampires spring into action, protecting Medre and Menon. Vatex and the three Killraven agents fight these vampires.
Dziga and Emeris shift through shadows from their seats on the floor up to the balcony. Menon’s bodyguard, the half-drow woman called “the Carnage Princess,” reacts too slowly as these high-level enemies appear. Dziga flanks Menon with his shadow companion and stabs him in the guts. A critical hit! Then Emeris stabs Menon with the Shadowgeist Reaver and consumes his soul.
Maystra and the Carnage Princess, and the two black mages with them, look on in shock as Menon’s soul is consumed, leaving no remains.
Maystra pulls out a bluish-green orb and hurls it at the ground below where it bursts, and a summoned Purple Worm appears. It snatches Dziga and starts to eat chew on him.
The black mages blast Emeris wth magic, but he resists their power. The Carnage Princess lunges at him, swords flashing in a fury. Some blood is spilled, but then the shade plane shifts into the Shadow Plane.
Vatex fights masterfully against the vampires, killing two rapidly. When he sees Menon has been defeated, he retreats from the theater. The three Killraven idiots follow him.
Dziga slashes at the worm while it chews on him, then he is swallowed. Splashing around amidst stomach acid and churning fleshy walls, he keeps hacking. He cuts his way out, leaving a series of internal injuries so bad the summoned worm dies.
Maystra throws another orb, generating another worm! Dziga shifts into shadows, making him functionally invisible. He too retreats from the theater.
Menon Balacazar has been assassinated. And because his soul has been absorbed by the Shadowgeist Reaver, he cannot be resurrected. So although they were unable to kill Raknian, Medre, and Maystra, they consider this a highly successful mission.
UPDATE: There is a strange encounter that was not previously described in the account of his episode. It was when Emeris and Dziga were talking back to the talks after visiting the White House, they encounter a guy who was a DEAD RINGER for Helmut Itlstein. So much so, they had to stop him and ask who he was. He claimed to just be some random guy with a lame job. He denied being Helmut Itlstein at all. Everyone has a doppleganger, they used to say. Vatex actually considered the possibility of using him to gain control of the Republican leadership... but that might be too complicated and difficult.)
Next time: Who is next on the Rosegate Company’s kill list?
Posted by Lord Chimp at 11:42 AM