DW Session 44: The Battle of Kassadeia
12/3/897 The Royal Knights Brigade, having fended off a death slaad and its army of headless skeletons, spent the evening resting in the ruins of the village temple before traveling closer to Kassadeia and the Sunken God. Despite the ghosts and scenes of destruction outside, the temple sheltered the party from the rain and helped them plan out a way of safely infiltrating the city. The ghosts freaked Margaret out, and she chose to keep watch outside the temple to stay as far away from the spectral elves as possible. Finally, a new day began and the party started heading towards its final encounter with the Sunken God. Sahuagin lurked in the woods outside the village, keeping an eye on the party as they moved closer and closer to the ruined city. Adam tried tossing a couple rocks at them, but every time one of them would back away a few more would come forward to take its place. The party reassured itself with the fact that the sahuagin didn't try to attack them on their way to the city. The RKB reached the gates of Kassadeia, the ghost of elven farmers tilling the flooded fields as the rain poured down in a relentless deluge. Margaret and some other party members suggested they try entering the city through the river, but Adam and Jax remembered how they had entered the elven capital almost a year earlier and started searching for a giant tree. Sure enough, they located Mr. Tree, the treant who guided them through a crack in the city's fortifications for a small contribution to the treant's mission to buy a legal deed to his old spot in the city. He requested that each member of the RKB pay 50GP for entrance into the capital, a significant decrease from the previous year's entry fee. Jax explained how the treant could just walk into the city and take the spot as his own, but Mr. Tree insisted that he wanted a legally binding document showing his ownership of the spot. The party tried killing a couple of sahuagin before they crawled their way into Kassadeia, but every time one fell several more appeared to take its place. Kassadeia's destruction proved to be vast and devastating, every building in ruins and the Aurelian River flooding its riverbanks. Margaret had a small heart attack as the party walked into the old diplomat's section of the city, finding tens of thousands of ghosts walking up and down the ruined streets as if nothing had happened to the capital. Flora, the village ghost's horrifying visage still burned into her memory, gave the ghosts a wide berth and encouraged the rest of the party to do the same. They saw few sahuagin patrolling the haunted streets, but as they crossed the river to the city's vibrant downtown they noticed hundreds of sahuagin standing guard in front of the Globe Palace. The tower where the party fought and killed The Mariner during the New Year's Massacre had collapsed into the the river below. At the palace gates the party used Jax's old Broom of Flying and Rope of Climbing to safely navigate the 50-ft walls and climb down into the palace courtyards. Atop the walls the party could see through cracks in the palace's ballroom to see a humanoid figure sitting at a throne at the top of a grand staircase, its dark blue eyes glaring into the RKB's souls. Flora cast 'Earthquake' upon seeing these eyes from the shadows as a precautionary measure, tearing the remains of the palace apart as three massive fissures appeared and swallowed up dozens of sahuagin unfortunate enough to be near the site of the devastation. The palace would be irreparable now, but what was one more natural disaster on top of all the destruction dealt to the city? The party entered the palace's massive ballroom where the RKB had fought Bianca Avon's white dragon form at the start of the New Year's Massacre. They stood on the right side of a 90-ft. chasm while atop a grand staircase stood the undead Amara Fireheart, glaring at the party with those dark blue eyes. The entire lower half of her body was destroyed in the fall from Empress Ophelia's tower, replaced with sahuagin legs to turn the body into a horrifying mockery of the heroic Roland Fireheart's daughter. Speaking with a deep, menacing voice, the Sunken God spoke through Amara's body and told the party of the pleasure he took from seeing them die today. He had given them many opportunities to surrender and abandon their quixotic mission, but the party's insolence would prove to be its undoing on this cold winter day. The RKB, disagreeing with the Sunken God's condemnations, readied for a fight of epic proportions against this monstrous deity of the Far Realms. The Sunken God didn't disappoint, calling forth hundreds and hundreds of sahuagin to surround Amara's body. Within moments the undead Amara was encased inside a thick mass of sahuagin, wrapped together to create a mega-sahuagin with incredible powers. Two chuuls, one of which reminded Adam of the mosnter he'd seen in the sewers of Hedgpeth, appeared on either side of the mega-sahuagin while several sahuagin abominations crawled forth from the ruins of Empress Ophelia's tower. Immediately the fight turned into a violent battle with the Sunken God's forces attacking the RKB from both sides. Jax, Asdis, and Margaret all jumped to the other side of the chasm to do battle with the mega-sahuagin. Together they dealt several devastating blows, but the chuuls distracted Asdis and Margaret as they became entangled in the monsters' ferocious pincers. Meanwhile Adam, Kacie, Beleren, and Flora dealt with the abominations with a flurry of well-placed crossbow bolts and spells. One abomination nearly KO'd Kacie, but Flora's spellcasting kept her conscious and prepared for the long fight ahead. Within seconds the RKB dispatched with the abominations to its east, turning its full attention to the mega-sahuagin and its chuul assistants. Every few moments the Sunken God would fire off a wave of psychic energy at the party, dealing devastating amounts of damage that whittled down the party's health. Beleren killed one chuul with a well-placed crossbow bolt and Adam punched another one into oblivion, but the monsters had served their purpose by distracting the fighters from the Sunken God's mega-sahuagin. By this time the Sunken had weakened Asdis and Kacie enough to swallow them whole, their bodies ripped apart by the hundreds of sahuagin surrounding Amara's undead form. Despite such losses and devastating psychic blows, the party held out hope and continued the fight. Flora's healing spells kept the party refreshed after every devastating blow from the Sunken God, and Jax's vast reserves of health kept most of the mega-sahuagin's blows directed at him. At one point Flora even managed to conjure a celestial being from Erivo's paradise in Elysium, allowing a celestial version of Sebastian the Character to assist in the brutal fight with several well-placed spells. With every blow the party knocked off a handful of sahuagin from the mega-sahuagin encircling Amara, and after several rounds of fighting the party began to notice cracks in the Sunken God's edifice. Jax used this as an opportunity to pull Asdis from the mega-sahuagin, dismayed to find her nothing but a skeleton and some ruined armor with the Iron Flask still attached to her side. The mega-sahuagin on its last leg (literally, Margaret and Beleren had hacked away at the monster's left ankle), Adam steeled himself for one show-stopping blow. Adam remembered all the devastation the Sunken God had brought to the world, all the death and destruction, the corruption of his friend and ally Amara Fireheart. The Sunken God corrupted everything he touched and brought nothing but genocide to the world, so with one last hit of his bracers he destroyed the mega-sahuagin and sent monsters flying to every corner of the palace. Dozens of sahuagin started fleeing towards the palace gates and river, while those less fortunate fell into the chasms of Flora's earthquake. As the party sifted through the piles of dead sahuagin for the corpses of Amara and Kacie, a thick, dark blue cloud formed above the party and threatened to return to finish the destruction one day. The party took this moment as an opportunity to capture the monstrous deity in Asdis' Iron Flask, ending its reign of terror and ending the fight for good. The party looked up at the cracks in the palace ballroom, seeing sunlight shine down on the Elflands for the first time in weeks. In the battle's aftermath Flora and Adam set fire to the sahuagin bodies, placing Amara's corpse at the top to lay the barbarian's soul to rest. As the bodies burned with a purifying green flame, the ghost of a young woman appeared in front of Flora asking for forgiveness for all the destruction she'd caused. Flora promised the woman that everything was forgiven, allowing the ghost of Amara to pass away in peace. After a long rest Flora tended to Kacie Whately, bringing her back from the dead and into Beleren's loving embrace. Unfortunately for Asdis, there wasn't enough left of the body for 'Resurrection' to work, the lone victim from the RKB's encounter with the Sunken God. Asdis' ashes were shipped back to Free State of Thorvald with the Iron Flask, where she would be given a hero's funeral and honored in Grettir's great temple as a demigod. A few days later the party regrouped with Roland Fireheart's naval coalition in Elwood, where the elder brains were defeated and the sahuagin left leaderless and in utter chaos. It would still take months to clear them all out of the Elflands, but with the Sunken God defeated the region could enter a new era of peace and progress.
EpilogueThe Sunken God's reign of terror proved to be the final chapter of the Elflands Empire, and with the signing of the Treaty of Iverburg in 898 the Elflands became nothing more than a kingdom with its capital in the city of Henriad at the edge of the Golden Forests. After ruling over an empire of millions for nearly four thousand years, the Elflands was now reduced to small nation-state without even an oceanside port. More than ten years later Kassadeia still remained a city of ghosts, a grim result of too many elven souls in the world without enough bodies for them to inhabit. The city became a shrine of elven hubris and tragedy, tended to by vestals to keep the ghosts at peace and the city secure from looters. Nations like Sardivelia and Bahamut stepped forward to govern the ruined cities of the former Empire, while newly founded nations like the halfling Treeleaf Union and orcish Broggfey reshaped the political balance of southern Pescat. The brave adventurers of the Royal Knights Brigade became household names after the Battle of Kassadeia, every developed nation racing to fund the creation of adventuring groups of their own. Many of the heroes stayed in touch after the final battle, but their lives took them in different directions: Adam Divisav moved back to Noggin to be with his wife Cassandra, becoming a father to a beautiful half-elf girl named Amara Divisav in 898. Worried that fatherhood would proven even more challenging than fighting a lich or mega-sahuagin, he stayed close to Cassandra and tried to raise Amara as best he could. In his free time he worked on writing plays, sometimes performing them at the amphitheater at Mulane College. Jax, despite abandoning all affiliations to Sardivelia, was formally fired from the RKB for the bribes he took from Paoli Piedmonte. He maintained a close relationship to Helena Lockmere for a few years, moving to Gameth's wilderness to form a band of druids and barbarians known as the Knights of Yo-Na to protect the continent's natural resources. His and Helena's lives diverged when her position as the new director of the RKB kept her in the cities of Gameria and Oakengaard, but on her travels they would always find a small inn or tavern to meet and relive the passionate days of their expedition to the Elflands. Flora moved to the nation of Sabha to research the legendary thri-kreen city of Thrah-Kezaam. Granted access to Tahrir College's vast records in the capital city of Orem, she spent years poring over centuries of writings to identify the true location of this mythic city. Most archaeologists had abandoned all hope of ever finding the city, but Flora believed that her months spent as a thri-kreen would help her push past the point where so many other researchers had given up. Beleren Hazid became an instructor for a new generation of adventurers in the RKB, his ruthless teaching style drilling the importance of preparation and strategy into all of his students. After Kacie Whately became an official RKB member in 898 the two of them became a formidable teaching pair in Gameria as Helena modernized the adventuring organization into an official adventuring guild. Margaret Keats became a full-time member of the RKB in 898, going on adventures around the world with her old ally Adam. Although she still dreamed of one day settling down with a beautiful man in a city by the sea, she still had plenty of traveling to do before that time came.
- Jax reached lvl 16
- Flora reached lvl 16
- Kacie Whately reached lvl 9