Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Session Summary: The Crown of Ruin.

Dramatis Personae:
Vaina "Full Disclosure" Moynen, blood-soaked barbarian and chosen of Voidwalker.  (Dave).
Landar Farshield, cloak-and-dagger agent of the Emperor. (Phil).
Bodhi, Assassin-Priest of Beshaba, Lady of Misfortune. (Chris).
Bartholomew, Hunter for the Raven Queen. (Steve).

Our players cease their questioning of the corpses of Teshei and Four Times Jack, and plot the destruction of Sejuren. To this end, Bodhi has crept into the secret sanctum of the Cult of Beshaba with the Crown of Loquista. With the aid of an assortment of fellow worshippers of the Lady of Misfortune (beggars, pickpockets, swaggering sailors, gamblers and prostitutes who fear misfortune) he cursed the Crown in an elaborate ritual, creating The Crown of Ruin. Holding it delicately in cloth, Bodhi felt the tumult implicit in this gilt-and-gold, and was beset by visions of banners fluttering in the wind and falling into mud; of castles crumbling into the sea, or empires hazarded on the throw of a dice.

That night, The Company of the Noose met with Sejuren, and told him the deed was done. Sejuren was soon acclaimed by his troops as Most Sublime Despot of Loquista, Sejuren I, and began bringing his rule to the city with fire and sword. Granted the Crown of Ruin by the party, Sejuren then stormed the Grand Marshal's Keep and slew Tyruk in cold blood, suffering pyrrhic losses as the curse pulsed along the threads of possibility.  

The next day,  Landar snuck out of the city to meet with Prince Aurelian, commander of the Dameshti army: who furnished him with information: that the twin brother of Sejuren, Valour-In-Every-Hearbeat-Dwells, was a knight of the Order of the Resplendent Star and rode with them. Aurelian bade Landar lure Sejuren out of the city, and passed him a letter from the Swan-Emperor of Damesht himself. Landar proposes to open the West Gate for the Dameshti horse, commanded by Valour, that they might claim the city behind Sejuren's back.

On the swamp-wracked road, Landar read his letter, and saw that it was parchment containing only the footprint of The Hound. Feeling the press of fate like an insect crushed by a thumb against a window, Landar fled to the city.

Whilst Landar treated with emperors and princes, Vaina, Bartholomew and Bodhi hunted a merchant - a partisan of Tyruk's, who they slew in cold blood. Even Vaina Moynen quailed to see the way their new comrade Bartholomew put even the merchant's children to the sword.

The next morning the Company of the Noose awake to a city beset by a myriad misfortunes: milk spoiled, beasts sickened, wine soured, lovers parted, children tripped, vases shattered, eggs rotted; and they knew they sat in the lap of the Crown of Ruin; a terrible artefact of the Queen of Witches, Beshaba.

Landar approached The Despot Sejuren, cradling the dread coronet in his hands,  and appealed to his vainglory and his purpose - he goaded the man king with the possibility of cowardice. Shocked by such an affront, Sejuren demanded Landar supplicate himself in the dirt, and threw at him the head of the last man who had named him coward. Eye to glassy eye with the former Grand Marshal Tyruk, Landar begged mercy. But Sejuren heeded his counsel, and decided to march to face off against the Dameshti army in the field - with the Company of the Noose in his honour-guard.

In his absence, Bodhi schemes to open the gate in the dead-of-night, as battle-horns roar in the distance. With his Black Finger allies: Esmeralda, Esteban and Elspeta. Beset by all sides by Cambions and guards, the Black Fingers are soon vanquished with only Bodhi reaching the gate house alive.. Using his magic, he controls the mind of one guard to hold the door whilst he pulls the portcullis and the West Gate, hearing the screams of his dying friends above even the trumpets of the Dameshti charge. Picking over the carnage left at the gatehouse as battle rages all around, Bodhi saves Elspeta and Esteban.

As night falls at the tower of Black Annis, the assembled armies of the Dameshti Emperor Audenfeyr and the fiendish legions of the Despot Sejuren watch each other over the gloom, like two wolves about a scrap of meat. A nation hanging in the balance, the session draws to a close...

"I am aware of the frailty of man, I think about the power of fortune, and I know that all our actions are at the mercy of a thousand vicissitudes..... prepare for war, for you have found peace intolerable." Scipio Africanus

Assets Acquired:
"The Black Fingers": Esteban and Elspeta.
Villains Vanquished: 7.
The Fallen: Esmerelda of the Black Fingers.
Treasure: 200gp (bounty).
Magic Items: The Crown of Ruin.
New Moral Depths Plumbed: 1

The Crown of Ruin.

Artefact. The once-proud coronet of Loquista now thrums with dread purpose. A band of gold with spires of white platinum.
The wearer of the crown takes disadvantage on all saves, actions, attacks and checks and suffers any misfortune a capricious DM can conjure. The effects of the crown are also felt by any organisation or state which the wearer controls directly.
The Crown can only be willingly removed by the wearer following a Wisdom Check of 22.

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