The Price of Peace

Session XXIII

Battle for Alexia

6/21/429, Thursday

The sounds of marching militiamen and blaring horns fill the besieged city. The party can hear Kega shout, “Come on, you apes! You wanna do paperwork forever?!” Criers run along the major avenues, shouting for available adventurers to proceed to the palace courtyard. The party briefly considers taking the day off, but they comply.

Amélie is passing out assignments to various groups, many of them menial but necessary, such as policing the city and keeping the archers fed and healed up. Professor Zalomon speaks up with an idea: the griffins are coming from the forest, so there is probably someone controlling them there. He notes that the tunnel in his lab to the surface was never completely sealed off, so the teleportation circle should provide a quick route. Weiss says that the reverse could be true, and if the tunnel is discovered, they could get into the city with ease. Willow, Horace, Zion, and Dorien take up the mission. The Guardian Adalia says that she can help seal up the tunnel when they’re done.

They head to the circle and teleport to Zalomon’s lab. They climb to the surface after Adalia stone shapes the wall into a large enough opening. They hear the sounds of leaves rustling, as if something large is flying through them. Willow finds tracks and they follow them to a clearing in the south. Horace scouts ahead and sees a halfling surrounded by four legion devils watching four griffins prepping to take off, holding boulders.

Horace opens with a blast from his wand of fireball. He fires off another before they can act, killing a griffin. The devils don’t seem to mind. Willow and Bubbles take on the devils. Dorien hurls a falchion with whirling blade, wounding some devils and killing the halfling. Zion casts black tentacles to ground the griffins and control some of the devils. The battle is soon over, so they return to the lab. Adalia seals the tunnel with another stone shape, and they teleport back to Alexia.

Overhead, they see a freighter flying from the northeast. Dorien identifies the flag as that of Tipalia. Some colonial allies have arrived early! They land behind Kendall’s army and attack their flank. The party returns to the palace, where Amélie makes plans to send strike teams to take out the catapults while the foot-soldiers are occupied. The party and Adalia make up one team. They head out on a hopper.

Their target is protected by two bearded devils, an erinyes, and a bone devil. There’s no catapult crew; it seems to be a self-operating siege golem. They consider staying in the ship and attacking at a range, but Zion knows that the golem is immune to most magic. They decide to land and disembark. The devils charge: the bearded devils attack Willow while the bone devil sees Zion as a soft target. Adalia uses repel wood on the golem, sending it flying off the ledge. Zion casts dismissal on the erinyes successfully. The devils are quickly defeated, and together they take down the siege golem.

As they begin to head back to Alexia, Kendall and two half-erinyeses teleport onto the battlefield. Kendall seems furious, blasting soldiers as he flies by. Horace mans the ballista mounted on the ship and fires at him, narrowly missing his head. This draws his attention. He blasts the ship with a hellfire blast, ripping a hole in both sides of the hull as the blast tears through it, knocking pieces of wood and cargo off of the ship. The captain insists that she cannae take much more like that.

Zion powers a dispel magic with the Imperial Medallion targeted at Kendall, dispelling all of his buffs. He tumbles to the ground. One of his companions follows him, while the other moves to take on the ship. Adalia casts call lightning storm and a bolt strikes Kendall. Kendall gets to his feet and doubles in size as he casts righteous might. Zion leaps off of the ship, feather falling down as he pulls out a scroll of anti-magic field, then casts it as he moves next to Kendall, shrinking him back down to size. Finally, Pythagoras stings Kendall and he falls asleep.

Both half-erinyeses converge on Zion, though their magic is now useless. One dives with a greatsword and slashes Zion, the other stabs him with a dagger. The rest of the party follows, attacking Kendall while he’s down. One companion picks him up and tries to escape, but as she leaves the anti-magic field, Kendall returns to his larger form, causing her to drop him and lose her balance. Willow stabs Kendall one last time, and the Golden Star flashes with a bright holy light. He gives one last scream, then dies.

In a blind rage, one companion attacks Zion, but misses with both attacks. Adalia moves to protect Zion, taking her next attack. The companions soon fall as well.

The party beheads Kendall and strip his body, taking both with them as the return to the palace. As they arrive, a shaft of violet light fills the courtyard, and a woman in a white and purple gown adorned with butterflies descends, holding a rapier and a crystal apple. Selenia crushes the apple in her hand, and a wave of light washes over the city and beyond, banishing the remaining devils. Horace drops the head of Kendall at her feet. Selenia cheers, while Amélie looks away. Selenia asks to borrow the head, then has the party follow as she speeds to the frontline, holding the head aloft. For added effect, Horace drops Kendall’s naked body as well. Morale breaks and the soldiers either flee or surrender.

They return to the palace and give the good news. The party mentions to Selenia that she looks a little different. She agrees; she is a Goddess once more. She then relates a little story.

About 2000 years ago, she left the company of her cousins, the Three Goddesses, after a dispute over the role they should have regarding mortals. She ended up here on Paixia, wandering aimlessly, living among the people for 20 years until she was discovered by agents of Taqualik, the devil Sheridyn would defeat. He and Monoth, the Old God, had an arrangement: Taqualik had exclusive rights to the souls of his condemned, and Taqualik would guarantee that no other gods would be able to compete for worship on Paixia. Selenia was stepping on toes.

Taqualik’s forces overwhelmed Selenia, but instead of destroying her, he stripped her of her divinity, manifesting it into a crystal orb. She was left to live in these lands for all eternity, powerless to help them. When her cousins learned of this, they dispatched a team of archangels to storm the Hells and reclaim her divinity. They succeeded, but their champion, Guardiana, fell in battle. In time, he would be reincarnated as Sheridyn.

The Goddesses attempted to use this to persuade Selenia to join them, to be worshipped as a Goddess. She declined, and the Goddesses kept Her Divinity in their vault, should she change her mind. Selenia began plotting to reclaim the crystal by storming Sanctuary with a mortal army by leading a revolution. Taqualik anticipated this, and used the revolution to put himself in a position to restore the status quo through the use of his pawn, Kendall Oakes.

Kendall led an assault on Sanctuary the same day the army arrived at Alexia. Selenia was among the human soldiers at Sanctuary, and while they distracted the Guardians and Cain Stone, she entered the vault and reclaimed her divinity. Kendall’s objective was now lost, so he went to Alexia to fight a battle he thought he could win.

Selenia has one favor to ask of the party: as wielders of the legendary weapons, they can destroy Taqualik, once and for all. They benefit by destroying this evil while it is still recovering from its last defeat, and Selenia gets her revenge.

Willow, Horace, and Zion agree. Selenia leaves for a moment, then returns, holding an angelic figure holding a falchion high above his head. Selenia explains that Bahamut gains from this as well: with Taqualik defeated, the seal preventing the dragons from returning to Paixia will be broken. Bahamut sends his best regards and an old friend: Sir Frederik Kuhlricht.

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