The Price of Peace

Session XVIII

Sons of Steel

6/4/429, Monday

The flight back to Alexia is uneventful. Zion spends the time investigating and polishing the Imperial Medallion and figures out how it works. Once they are back in Alexia, the party goes shopping, then visits the Queen.

Amélie is ecstatic to see the Medallion. She tells them that they are still no closer to finding the Golden Star. Dorien mentions their last meeting, when they talked about Wandalynn Dewshining’s adventuring party, especially Dr. Otikul Steelhand, who currently resides in Tipalia. She says that there are still some colonies that her Guardian diplomats have yet to convince to take a side in this conflict, and Tipalia is one of them. They decide to go there, first picking up Bubbles, Flash, and Wind.

Their route passes through the gnome neighborhood, where they hear screams coming from near the local church. They hurry to investigate and see four golems rampaging down the street. They spot a gnome wizard on a roof, ostensibly controlling them. However, Cain Stone sees that it is merely an illusion.

The party is struck by an unholy blight, sickening Cain. Willow and Cain attack the golems while Dorien breaks a window to rescue the clerics still in the church. Zion flies upward to find the source of the spell, spotting an erinyes hiding on a rooftop. She takes notice of him and hits him with two flaming arrows. Zion retorts by polymorphing into a huge wyvern and charging. The others take the golems down as Zion grabs the erinyes, nearly ripping her apart. She attempts to greater teleport away, but cannot concentrate, and Zion knocks her out.

They tie her up and attempt to interrogate her, but she is uncooperative. She tries to escape, but Zion denies her, and they finish her off. They continue on their way to the Blind Flame to get the metal men, then take Galenka’s ship to Tipalia.

6/6/429, Wednesday

Two days later, they arrive at Tipalia, a cold colony far to the north. They are greeted by some men who inform them that there has been an incident at Steelhand’s tower, and he can be found at the Blinking Cat Tavern.

At the tavern, they find a dwarf sitting alone, drawing on a napkin. He is happy to see his sons again, especially Bubbles, having feared for his life. He tells them that two months ago, Kendall Oakes came to them and promised a great deal of funding in return for Bubbles’s services, and Steelhand now regrets agreeing. During his stay, Kendall spoke at length with his “troubled” son, Crash. And now, two days ago while Steelhand was out, Crash erected a wall of force around the tower, declaring that he was doing “the will of God.” He asks for their help, and the party accepts.

Zion uses dimension door to get the party inside. Their presence triggers an alarm, and three automatons react. Dorien casts invisibility sphere and two of them stop approaching, but the third can still sense them. They open a door to hide, triggering a fire trap, and finding two more automatons inside. Cain disables these two, and Dorien steps outside to cast sound burst to overload the sensors of the other. With this one disabled, Dorien recasts invisibility sphere and they climb to the second floor unimpeded.

On the second floor, they see two more of Steelhand’s sons talking to each other. They hear the names Quick and Heat, and they are wondering what the deal was with that alarm. Cain steps out of the invisibility and announces that he is here on behalf of the Goddesses and their father and would like to negotiate. He convinces them to fetch Crash. Crash approaches, with a whip and rapier at his side. Zion casts detect magic, and notes that their body/armor and left forearms were magical on all of them, Quick had a few magical boomerangs, and Crash’s rapier was overwhelmingly magical.

Crash and Cain talk theology for a little while. Crash calls the Goddesses “Usurpers” of the “One True God,” Monoth. Cain tells him that Monoth was a despicable tyrant who killed those who didn’t worship him, while the Goddesses teach kindness and peace. Crash motions toward Cain’s warhammer, and says, “Isn’t that what you do too?” Cain tells him that his mission is to enlighten. He tells him that without the Goddesses, Dr. Steelhand would never have had a chance to pursue his research and he never would have been created. Cain strikes a nerve with these comments, and Crash retreats upstairs, needing to think this over.

Quick and Heat look at each other, confused. They go to check on Crash, and the party waits. A few minutes later, there are screams and a shout of “Mr. Stone, help us!” The party hurries up the stairs to see Crash on the ground and his brothers staring down Kendall Oakes.

Kendall says, “Not you again,” as Dorien charges him in a rage, singing his dragon song. Kendall blasts him with a brimstone hellfire blast, seriously wounding Dorien. Willow hits Kendall with some arrows while Zion readies the Medallion, Cain moves to attack, Quick hits him with his boomerangs, and Heat misses him with an orb of fire. Crash gets to his feet and starts reciting poetry, inspiring courage in his new allies and firing an explosive missile at Kendall.

Kendall attempts to blast all of them with an eldritch cone, but Zion counters it. They proceed to attack a confused Kendall, who then backs around a corner to regroup, losing another eldritch blast to the Medallion. Cain casts enlarge person on himself and overruns Kendall, knocking him to the ground. Zion polymorphs Dorien into a huge treant, who tramples over Kendall. Kendall angrily fires a quickened maximized hellfire blast at Dorien, who is saved only by Cain’s close wounds spell. Kendall then abandons hope of recovering this situation and plane shifts away.

Crash is bewildered, his faith in Kendall as Monoth’s “prophet” shattered. He dispels the wall of force and says, “I think I owe my father quite the apology,” and thanks Cain and the others. Dorien fumes away, heading to the tavern and ordering enough booze to drown a leviathan. Crash mentions that Kendall charged him with protecting this sword, and now that he sees that Kendall is a slimy bastard, he gives the sword to the party. They are amazed to see that it looks very much like the Silver Star, only… golden.

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