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Episode 11: The First Step

General Summary

Where we Last left our heroes was in the aftermath of the fall of Buulta. Varius was killed and the invasion of monsters thwarted. But victory was not won without cost.   The nation of Buulta was encompassed with an ominous blood red sky, similar to the sky that plagued the Isle of Moncar. The city of dreams had been reduced to a nation of nightmares. But even in this suffocating despair, there breathes hope. For the next several weeks our heroes had dedicated their time to helping the people of go to through recovery.  

From Reddened Skies Fall Tears of Flame...

   

Joshua

Joshua focused on helping the Gaevrn Force finding lost civilians in rubble. He would return to the ruins of the Cartalonia Company building only to find everything was destroyed in the collapse. With no clues of where Alice was taken, Joshua returning only her broken glasses in hand. Upon trying to contact Falser Falzin, Joshua learned the noble is alive but in critical condition from being attacked by a slaad.  

Iliren

After learning about Bakr-Koratash and Jason, Iliren went to research and investigate more about the Nicholai family- and more importantly the crystal crown growing from his head. The crystal crown were similar in shape to a painting in the monastery from where she was trained.   Unfortunately, due to the attack the majority of all if not most libraries had been destroyed and incurrence recovery. The Cube was desecrated and all dangerous artifacts were taken or destroyed. But if anything, Iliren was able to deduce that she and Jason, were trained from the same monastery- if not the same mentors.  

Novel

Novel had went to speak with Mantra. He and the other tieflings were forced by the Gaevrn Force to camp in the desecrated Lycanthropy Park. Novel askedabout a woman known as Humble. Humble is someone very important to novel and he desperately seeks to find her.   While Mantra doesn’t recognize the name, he offers a deal with Novel. A trade of services between one another. If novel continues to do services for mantra then Mantra will find clues on the whereabouts of Humble. The first service asked was to hunt and bring back escaped lycanthropes from the park. While Novel was not able to find all of them. he did find quite a few and helped the tieflings with their daunting task.  

Silas

Silas had to dedicate most of his time in recovery after his experience with death. Once her was in better condition, he went to go check on his parents house to find it decimated from the attack. Needing time to himself, Silas focused on doing his best to repair the house to the best of his abilities. While the building was still in terrible shape, it was enough repairs done to ensure that it won’t be deteriorated by weather at the very least.  

Masami

Masami focused all her energy into helping and healing the people. Her Priest and Mentor, Adonis, was killed in the attack. When the fiends were plaguing the city, Adonis continued to go out find people and bring them to the safeties of the church. He saved a lot of lives bringing them to the warded church.   Amelia Rhapsody was found critically injured, with a twisted, warped arm to the point where Masami could not heal her. Amelia begs Masami find her half-sister, Alicia Pendragon, finding it hard to live on without her. Masami reassures the Elfling she won't rest until she finds Alice.   To add to her anxiety, Masami was unable to contact most if any of her friends and allies that she made over the years since this attack. She was able to contact and recruit Somnus Oribtus to the Vanguards.   Jasmine has been avoiding her all together for some strange reason, but before she could press, Masami bumped into Eden Meho and Eclipse of the Moon in Buulta. She learned that they had left due to a dream they had of Jason telling them to go into Khyber and find a crystallized man. He will be needed for what’s to come. While confused as they were about the cryptic dream, Masami was ecstatic when Eden and Eclipse agreed to join the vanguards.

~*~

Divine Interventions

Joshua had asked Masami to ask her sovereign for helps regarding the disappearance of the world's currency. And though it took several weeks, they received two startling visions.  

A Sea of Flame

A desecrated land of nothing but ash, soot, cinder and fire. There was a castle overlooking a town that seemed to be having a festival, shooting fireworks in celebration while throwing gold and money in the air.   A familiar, cruel genie was smoking a pipe, content with a fortune of gold; The same genie that enslaved Eirene and Titus. In the castle lies a bored, flaming dragon that watches over the town.

The Gates of Dollurh

One side of the Gate of Dollurh is shown as a reflection of an orange-red moon on the lake of a destroyed castle in Shadar-yn; the Shadow Realm.   On the other side of the gate, awaits a black simulacrum of Varius. The gate is represented as a literal gate hidden in a empty cirque of black mountains in Dolurrh. The Simulacrum notices Masami and eagerly awaits for their arrival.
 

Enter, The Final Commander

As time passed, the Vanguards were brought to the Radiant Citadel. Formerly known as Nirvana, it has been consecrated by fae and astral energies. It is no longer the same place that they knew before and will serve as their stronghold.   Bakr-Koratash introduced to them to a new ally from a source unexpected; the Blood of Vol. An unusual Aasimar that goes by the name of Hir'eek the Unshacked. As introductions were underway Hir'eek introduced himself as a Seeker who rejects the sovereigns and wants nothing more than to free all man from their reign.  
Men are chained, shackled by the sovereigns unable to have true pure free will. His ambitions is to break those chains.   All men have the potential to be immortal but the Sovereigns refuse to give us that is our birthrights.
— Hir'eek the Unshackled.
  While not all of the Seeker have the same beliefs as Hir'eek, and he was known to be more extreme. The Blood of Vol, in it's purest essence, desires to find and utilize the spark of divinity that everyone has.   Hir'eek regals and praises the Vanguards, stating that the Blood of Vol sees them close to tapping into their spark of divinity, and not shackled by the Sovereigns.   This brought forth a clash of idealism and realizations between Masami and Hir'eek. Masami believes that the sovereigns are needed for balance and a source of power in the world while, while Hir'eek laments that that is what she was taught but not necessarily true. Silas has interest in the Blood of Vol, as his experience with the Queen of Death created enmity towards the sovereigns- all of which shocks Masami.  

I Wish Upon A Star

 
Even if we have disagreements on beliefs, the one thing we all agree on, is that together we will overcome this darkness. Stellarium is eating itself alive. For every wish that was granted, another piece of Stellarium deteriorates.   Varius has spent a long time granting an unprecedented number of wishes across the realm. While you have done a great service in killing him, the dice had already been tossed, and the domino effect has begun.   This is not about stopping Varius. This is about stopping what he started.
— Bakr-Koratash Nicholai
  The group still have Simulacrum in custody and discussed using the Wish spell to undo what Varius did. Bakr-Koratash warns that using a Wish is dangerous and could do more harm than good. He believes that the everyone has the fortitude to save the world without the use of a Wish. But he advises if it's needed, to only use it in the most dire of emergencies.   In order to succeed, everyone will need to accomplish the following:  
  • What even is The End?
In order to stop something from happening they need to know what what The End is and what it represents. Research is needed.  
  • What happened in the Age of Giants that led to magic deteriorating?
If they can solve this, then all they're doing is prolonging oblivion. Research is needed.  
  • How do you bring back the Twelve Moons?
Stellarium has been bleeding dry of magic since the disappearance of the moons. As it stands now the world is imploding, consuming itself alive because of the lack of magical energy. It only makes sense to feed the world more energy to prevent the end from happening. Travel to the planes and restore the moons to shed their energy on Stellarium.

~*~
 

Planes Are Like A Pizza

  The Vanguards needed more information regarding traveling between planes. After an awful pizza crust analogy from Silas, the group called upon their recently hired specialist on all things astral and ethereal; Valeri Elminster.   The easiest way to understand planes is to picture them akin to like planets. The Astral Sea is a space and the planes are planets that float in that space. Like planets, the thirteen planes orbit around Stellarium.   After being told of the situation she deduced two options.  

Option A

Travel to the moon and piggyback ride it to a different plane should be the fastest method.   Valeri tells them that option a would be the fastest as it is the closest plane entrance that they have. All planes have a connection to at least one other plane of existence. What made Stellarium special is that it's the only plane that shared a connection to all planes; hence having thirteen moons.   Joshua points out that the moon is Zarantyr, and it represents the plane of Churning Chaos. It is the homeland of Slaadi. From the Churning Chaos they would just need to find a pathway to it's neighboring plane; Shavarath, The Eternal Battleground. Though it may be the fastest method it will likely be one of the most dangerous expeditions that they will go on.

Option B

Travel across the Astral Sea any plane of their choosing. This method would allow them to travel to Fernia and take back the world's currency stolen by Genies. But it would also take the most time to travel. Even if they choose Option A, to travel to any other plane would require them to travel across the Astral Sea.
 

~*~
  No matter which route they take the estimated travel time of their journey would be several weeks. After a lengthy hard-pressed discussion, the vanguards ultimately decided to undertake Option A.   Bakr-Koratash reassures them that any allies traveling to the citadel will be protected to the best of his ability. Joshua convinces Terlin Torevir to join the Vanguards as their researcher and his sister, Darvia Daiyo, as their Craftsman. He finally gets in contact with Naravhal after so long and joins the Vanguards to help given the severity of the situation. Invitations were also sent to the blacksmith family he saved in Starview Valley, recruiting the son and daughter to help with the citadel's construction.   Silas contacts his former band of bards for help to do more good than just singing, while Iliren attempts to contact her family to get them to join as well but would be difficult given the horde of dragons that traps them in the archipelago. Bakr-Koratash promises to do what he can to get them out of there safely.   Naravhal, Eden, Eclipse, and Somnus are formed into a Striker team. It was decided they would not accompany the commanders into the Churning Chaos but to stay in Stellerium. The commanders assigned the newly established team on their first available mission: Infiltrate and spy on the Hobgoblin military in the capitol of Quintessa. There have been reports of civil unrest in.   With much to prepare for and even more to be worried about, the fully formed Vanguards will forge ahead and uncover what dangers may come.  

Can they safely travel to the moon?   What will they encounter in the Churning Chaos?   And how long will they be gone for?   Find out in the next episode of Vanguards of Serenity!
Missions Completed:
Main Scenario: The Battle For Buulta
  Airship Upgrades Installed:
Aquatic Landing Pads
Boarding Ramp
Improved Design
Hangar Service
Arcane Study
  Positions Acquired:
Craftsman (x1)
Resaercher (x1)
Scout Rogue (Striker)
Grave Cleric (Priest/Striker)
Shadow Monk (Striker)
Swarmkeeper Ranger (Striker)
Report Date
21 Jul 2022

Episode Run Time:
Approx. 4 hours   Characters Met:
Bakr-Koratash Nicholai (Human Man)
Jasmine (Silver Dragon Woman)
Amelia Rhapsody (Elfling Woman)
Mantra (Tiefling Man)
Eden Meho (Human Man)
Eclipse of the Moon (Shifter Woman)
Naravhal Stonerunner Vaimei-Luthea (Goliath Woman)
Somnus Orbitus (Human Man)
Valeri Elminster (Human Woman)

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