Our Material Plane

Session 4

House of Lancaster, House of York.

Having ended the last session by destroying Atlas and freeing Drasil from the taint of York, the party meets DanDan, an airship-sized bat and ally of Lancaster. The party notes that Herja’s heart is still pinned to the tree by her own spear, but they choose to leave it as is. Hyram considers the “memorial” a disrespectful symbol that should be removed, but he defers to the party’s judgment.

Back in the party’s peculiar new “airship,” DanDan—in a spectral version of his original form—tells his story. He was once a servant of the Raven Queen and a man who helped Hyram and his allies battle the forces of York when they took over Antenora 200 years ago. Over these centuries after this defeat, DanDan noticed that the Raven Queen—Melia as he calls her—had grown distant and more secretive. She relied more and more on Guitar and his Shadar-kai, who had fled Antenora as York took over their northern lands as his personal domain. DanDan was isolated from Melia, and so he chose to resign from her service. He did not expect her to immediately revoke his power as a divine servant and exile him to the material plane. He retreated to Drasil, where he attempted to find another path. 15 yeas ago, as he finally began to regain some power, he was visited by Guitar, who unleashed an intricate and powerful sealing curse, decreed by Melia, to completely confine DanDan. Only days later, he witnessed York’s battle with Herja, and his remaining energy was stolen to power Atlas as the guardian of York’s new realm. Freed now, DanDan suggested a means of finding Lancaster—search his mortal hometown, the ancient city of Saein in the northern mountain ranges.

Nancidru, a witch who had joined the party since their visit to Guitar’s tower in Caith, met with Mix, wishing to learn how he meant to advance Guitar’s plans while surrounded by people who were clearly working against him. Like a natural servant of Guitar, she refused to disclose Guitar’s plans to Mix.

The party returned to Minsgorod to see that the effects of a freed Ruslan had already been felt. They met a peculiar monk named Chestnut, who had engaged in a nonsensical debate with Eleos and the Banshrae. Mr. Min gratefully pledged his support to the party, offering to embargo the heavily import-dependent capital city of Margarit if they declared war on Antenora. Nancidru was not pleased.

The Banshrae also bestowed a blessing upon the party to thank them for their help. Unfortunately, Mix was not able to receive the blessing because of the curse placed on him for slaying Atlas. Even stranger, the blessing had no effect on Gryphon. The Banshrae discovered a peculiar mark on Gryphon’s shoulder, what he believed to be a birthmark, and took blood to test. The party needed to travel quickly to Saein, and the Banshrae requested that the party leave Gryphon in their care.

On the way north, the party searched for someone able to treat Mix’s curse, and soon enough, they came upon Jaqen H’ghar, the Yorkist cabby. His raft was destroyed by a swarm of demons that had rushed up from the river. The recently drowned Jaqen told the party about the legions of demons overtaking the river districts of Florizel.

The party arrived in Saein, and after slipping past a compactor trap at the city walls and an assault of invisible archers in the eastern forest, they made their way to the House of Lancaster—the origin of Lancaster’s mortal family. There they met Henry, a phantom “steward” of House Lancaster and uncle of Edward of Lancaster—the boy who would become the guide of the dead. Henry revealed that Dignam had visited him a week before his death, in an attempt to find Lancaster. It would seem that Dignam had gone out in search of allies to help in this undertaking when he was murdered. Henry gave what he could to help the party, and everyone helped Akbar draw the Lancastrian Storm Sword from a furnace of electrical energy.

With a seal-breaker and a group ready to face whatever might stop them, the party only needed to find the location of Lancaster’s cell. Compelled by Atlas’s curse, Mix lead them to the House of York. After viewing portraits of “The Demiurge” and the Yorkist general Wygrieve with his son Richard, Mix was dragged helplessly into a trap. Akbar, Chestnut, and Hyram saved him while Nancidru and Jaqen watched.

Several traps later, the party made their way to the top floor of House York, where they found loads of historical documents, an abyssal shard, a map that marked Lancaster’s location…and a Skeith. Skeith, like so many others, taunted the party for knowing so little and told them of the demon invasion of Florizel. He claimed that York and the Raven Queen were working together, and that the party would do better to butt out of their plans and save Florizel instead of Lancaster. As Skeith revealed the pact between York and the Raven Queen, Nancidru fled, but Mix caught her, yet she still would not reveal any of Guitar’s plans. Mix later made a grand gesture, an assassin’s gesture of trust, to the party. He killed Nancidru and rejected his ties with Guitar.

The party refused Skeith’s offer, and as Skeith prepared to unleash some horrific abomination on them, Akbar released DanDan, form of bat. The mansion’s support structure crumbled as the giant bat expanded, and the party flew away while the House of York crushed not Skeith, but a possessed Yorkist pilgrim.

The party rushed north and into the looming skeletal figure in the sky and swarms of Quasits and Ravens. There the party met the force sealing Lancaster—a massive hydra. Herja, who had been following the party’s progress in her airship, assisted them in their battle with the beast. With the help of the Storm Sword, the party slew the beast and found themselves within an enormous storm-cloud—Lancaster himself. There they met an aspect of the freed god, who gave them some important information and a new mission.

Lancaster revealed that he was trapped by a clever ploy 15 years ago. York met him in his homeland to discuss a plan to manipulate a source of all existence found deep within the Abyss—this source he called the Demiurge. When Lancaster refused to manipulate all of existence, York revealed that he had already conspired with the Raven Queen. They knew he wouldn’t join them, and she hadn’t had the guts to eliminate him. York then ordered the Raven Queen’s followers—a swarm of ravens, witches, priests, etc.—to eliminate all of Lancaster’s followers on the island. He then unleashed a curse, a greater incarnation of the spell that trapped DanDan, upon Lancaster which sealed him to his island.

The now freed Lancaster offered a god’s boon of power to the party and asked them to travel to Antenora and to York’s realm to stop his tampering with the abyss. To do so, they had to abandon Florizel to the demon occupation, but they all decided it was best to stop York and the Raven Queen before more damage could be done to the material plane. Herja entered the scene unharmed, revealing that she had heard it all. She was disgusted by the Raven Queen’s plan to manipulate the material plane, and she rejected Guitar on the spot. She pledged to fly to Florizel to help fight back the demon occupation, and to thank the party for opening her eyes, she promised to free Florizel’s airship field first so she could send transportation to their friend in the east…Gryphon.

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PoorTom

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