Asteria

Session 5: Escape from the Citadel
Ankou, Korrigan, Jam, Tjorven, Lord Kevven, Miguel

The team have been arrested for their various crimes of murdering Masons and general havoc-creation. They’re all in the jail cells in the Citadel, awaiting trial the next day. Several have nightmares over the few hours of sleep they get.

The magic users have been given Hjoltharn neck braces to prevent their magic from having any power, and this takes the team’s attention for a long while, trying to break them open. A few false-start attempts to remove the braces leads to the Guards coming down to check on the noise.

They see Jam acting suspiciously after he managed to break open his neck brace, and realise that it has broken. They send for a smith to fix the brace.

Meanwhile, Ankou has been provoking one of the other prisoners, an ex-Mason, into revealing how to break open the neck braces by overloading them with magic. He learns this and succeeds in breaking his neck brace.

Miguel has got hold of one of the guard’s baton, and after some scuffling, the team are all freed and make their way up the stairs to get their possessions from the inventory room upstairs. They encounter some guards and fight them, after Korrigan and Kevven find their weapons and distribute them quickly. The guards defeated, the team exits the Citadel through a back door and makes their way through the streets, planning to commandeer a skyship and leave this godforsaken asteroid of Masons forever.

Tjorven and Miguel decide to try to collect the reward from the parents of the children who were taken. The parents do not want to hand over money, as their children have not been returned to them. Miguel finds out that Pedro has not been seen since they were arrested, and begins to get suspicious that something has happened. Tjorven intimidates one parent into giving him some gold, and then meets up with the rest of the team in the shipyards.

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Session 4: If Demons Could Dance
Ankou, Korrigan, Jam, Tjorven, Lord Kevven, Miguel, Cassius

The team manage to bring the stone out of the store’s trapdoor using a magical pulley system. After a brief fight with some Masons coming from the nearby temple, they appropriate a cart from a nearby city-worker and lift the stone onto the cart. The team then decide to split into two — one half taking the stone directly to the crash sight, the other half going to the troidstone store to purchase a Hjoltharn stone. The cart party sneak through the city successfully.

At the troidstone store, the team arrive and the shop is not open — it’s Godsday so most citizens will either be at temple or resting for the morning. The team decide that time is of the essence and so they break through the shop’s door by cutting around the door’s keyhole alarm system. Almost immediately a city-wide alarm goes off from the temple. They steal as many stones as they can carry (the stones are disproportionately heavy) and try to make a swift exit from the merchant quarter. As they leave the shopping area, they are stopped by some guards. Korrigan and Lord Kevven run and hide around a corner, while Tjorven cuts one of the guards’ heads off. The team manage to escape mostly unharmed.

Now waiting for nightfall, the team go to the crash sight and set up the Fupnja stone trap in a destroyed building. Some city guards are protecting the crash site from public interference. The team end up killing all but one of the guards, who escapes and ends up going for help.

The demon appears at nightfall. Despite its ability to fly, and its invisibility, the team find it after firing the Hjoltharn troidstone into its abdomen. The demon is killed, partly thanks to Cassius who forces the demon to dance a jig while the others surround it and stab it to death.

Skyships and guards are now pouring over the entire city, and the team quickly heads to the nearest graffiti site to rescue the children from the now-deceased demon’s lair. Entering the cave, they find that it is already falling apart and the team only just manage to escape back into the street with all the children. Miguel has a brief tearful exchange with Pedro before they jump back into the city.

On the street they are now surrounded by guards and are summarily arrested. The children are taken into the Empire’s protection. Cassius turns invisible and flies off, never to be seen again. The team themselves are taken to the the Citadel, hand over the weapons and spell books and are put into the cells underneath the guards’ quarters.

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Session 3: Thieves in the Night
Ankou, Korrigan, Jam, Tjorven, Miguel, Cassius

During the stone-stormy night, a few members of the team hear a loud crash not too far away. Deciding that saving the children is more important, they head to the Secretary to receive a promissory note saying that the Empire will pay for one troidstone up to 500GP. The secretary tells them that they would do well to visit Tjorven in the hospital, since there had also been a skyship crash overnight in the Old District and Tarquin the scholar requested their presence.

In the hospital, the team meets Cassius (a pixie from the skyship crash) and also the pilot of the skyship who is grievously injured. Tarquin and the team collectively establish that the crash was almost certainly the demon’s doing. The demon, according to Tarquin, appears to be searching for Fupnja troidstones, oily-black rocks used for travel and space-flight. The team make a plan to lure the demon with a Fupnja stone and drain its power with a Hjoltharn stone. Fupnja stones are harder to get hold of, being highly in demand from skyship builders.

On the way to the troidstone shop to purchase stones, the team encounter a gang chasing an apparently innocent civilian. Tjorven scares the leader off and the innocent civilian — called Beub — offers them his help. He tells them they could also find a Fupnja stone either in the shipyards, or in the Masons Troidstone store in the North of the city. He tells them they would be unlikely to find a Fupnja stone in the jewellery store, so the team decide to steal from the Masons.

They sneak into the Mason’s private troidstone store through the delivery entrance — a clever idea of Tjroven’s who spotted a magical trail going into a small trapdoor on the street. After a short fight with some Masons — who are destroyed by an enlarged raging Miguel — Tjorven enters the store and ends up having to stab a Mason in the back, narrowly avoiding a city-wide alarm. After a brief encounter with some Masons, the team finds a 6-foot long Fupnja stone and are just able to carry it back to the main room by triggering its speed-boosting ability.

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Session 2: Schoolboy Blues
Ankou, Korrigan, Jam, Tjorven, Lord Kevven, Miguel

As they enter the cavernous portal-room, the team find the source of the screeching noises: giant mosquitos on the ceiling, currently docile and apparently disinterested in the party. Tjorven decides they are a threat and tries to take them out with his crossbow, which brings the mosquitos to life. At that exact moment, a space matador called Miguel enters the cave through the portal, looking for his son Pedro who had also recently been taken.

One of the mosquitos dives and digs its proboscis into Tjorven and begins to drink his blood. Jam fires a burst of colour into the group at large, causing Lord Kevven, Miguel, and one of the mosquitos, to fall unconscious instantly. After a bloody fight, Tjorven frees himself and the mosquitos are killed.

Back in the city, the group now attempts to find the source of the magical power. Assuming their only common link is the school, they head there to investigate further. They receive a tour from the severe Mistress Gerran and the nervous Master Kierrel. The somewhat sneaky headmaster Odonin was too busy to show them around himself, as he was dealing with some Mason oversight on the religious practices of the school.

The school mostly appears normal, although Ankou finds some suspicious notes in the headmasters office thanking the headmaster for his “recent donations”. Miguel and Korrigan find a crying child who claims to have been forced into following the school’s strict religious ceremonies and rituals. Tjorven’s bloody clothes nearly lead to a confrontation, but cooler heads prevail and the tour continues.

The headmaster abruptly returns with guards. The guards have received reports that a group of people covered in blood were seen in the city, and in particular near the kidnapping sites. The team are arrested and brought to the Citadel, the political centre of the city. The Citadel is a giant marble white building, with high ceilings and expensive decorations. The Secretary (deputy to the chief Executive of the city) questions the team about the missing children and why they are investigating. After some diplomatic persuasion, the Secretary decides that the team are not trying to cause problems and tells them to visit the Scholar Tarquin in the library for more information about demons.

Tarquin, a frail old academic-type, tells them they might be able to kill the demon by draining it of its power, using an ice-blue Hjoltharn troidstone which drains magic from anything it touches. The team visits a troidstone shop in the market but the shopkeeper would not freely part with his stones without express permission from the Secretary.

The team rests at Miguel’s house overnight, except Tjorven who spends the night in the Citadel hospital recovering from his mosquito wounds.

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Session 1: Sympathy for the Devil
Ankou, Korrigan, Jam, Tjorven, Lord Kevven.

A group of parents have been desperately searching for someone to help find their missing children. The children all went missing on the way home from the same school in the same area of the Old District, and neither the Masons nor the Guards seem inclined to help. The only clue left by the kidnapper(s) is an oily-black graffiti tag on the wall.

Arriving at one of the kidnapping sites on a cobbled street, the team spoke to nearby inhabitants but could find nothing more until Ankou touched the graffiti on the wall. Two sludge-monsters emerged from the graffiti (now known to be a demonic portal) and were quickly dispatched. Ankou recklessly touched the portal again and was absorbed through it, so the rest of the team quickly followed him in.

On the other side of the portal, the party arrives in a damp cavernous moss-covered room. A single tunnel leads down into a more brightly-lit chamber where the children are being kept hostage in magic containment fields. After a few minutes of fruitlessly failing to free the children, the team succeeds only in electrocuting themselves and one another. The disembodied voice of a demon speaks into their minds.

The demon says it is trapped in this cave and needs power to return home. It is able to enter the city through the graffiti-portals only at nighttime. It tells the party that it would free the children if it were brought a source of great power. The children have apparently been exposed to this source of power… The team are naturally suspicious about giving a source of great power to a demon but agree to help, if only to prevent the demon from keeping them hostage along with the children. The team make their way up the path into the cave and hear screeching noises…

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