Island in the Mist

Sneak Attack on Simon's Rest

With the bulk of Simon’s Rest’s military forces out in the countryside dealing with pressing threats (the necromancer, chief amongst them), Simon’s Rest’s defenses are woefully weakened. Rumors of riots, sightings of shadowy assassins and word of a small army marching on the city put General Oldmoore into a frenzy, leading him to suggest the imposition of martial law. Ezra, who has had command of the city bestowed on him by default, is near the breaking point.

After interfacing with Minoc Heart Intelligence, Valindil is set upon by a member of the Brotherhood of Ravens. He is struck by a dagger with a fearsome poison, and while he resisted its effects at first, later succumbed to them. The assassin escaped Valindil’s wroth, which was revealed to be by design, when a woman of much beauty informed him that she does not yet wish him dead. It also turns out Valindil is an elf in the world.

Tarare, on his way back from MHI is greeted by a rattish little beast: the Nezumi, Goku. Goku informs him his master Nogiyana is still alive. Nogiyana was the maoren who slew Slen, and was presumed dead when the jail the Riders assaulted collapsed. According to Goku, Nogiyana managed to survive. After Tarare chases off the nezumi, Nogiyana revealed himself, much the worse for wear. He reveals his intentions of seizing control of Simon’s Rest, but first, Tarare must be dealt with. Unfortunately for Nogiyana, Tarare has learned a few new tricks. With one spell, he incapacitates him. Tarare believes him dead, but his inspection is rushed by the outbreak of a riot.

Tarare deals with the riot while Valandil struggles with his poisoning. By creating a multitude of ghost sounds in the crowd, he manages to get people worried about their homes, sending many of them away. Some looters remain, so Tarare enlarges himself and projects his voice, playing on the crowd’s selfishness. They disperse and he and Valandil make their way to the House of the Sapphire and Rose, where MHI is housed. From the stout brick walls, they snipe an army of about 150 soldiers, filling the street with bodies.

Tarare stands atop the mountain of corpses and roars like a Tyrannosaurus Rex.

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Prison Break

Noriam, having the constitution normally reserved for the only male heir of a proud king at the end of a dynasty, fell ill for some reason. Some rumors in Simon’s Rest suggested too many tranny hookers, but these were unconfirmed. At the end of his delirium, Noriam was visited by Sage Marin. The vision seemed real and he was able to convince the Riders that it was authentic. Sage Marin insisted they come for him in the Cassian Labyrinth Prison within three days time.

A short while later, the Riders were visited by an envoy of the Elf King, who also insisted the Riders make their way to the elf city to see him for something very urgent. Torn between saving Sage Marin and the Stranger, and going to visit the Elf King on what may be a fool’s errand, they decided Sage Marin was worth it.

Tarare fretted very much about entering the Cassian Labyrinth Prison due to the fact that that the entire plane is in a null magic zone. Worse, there are pockets of dead magic zones that would be irrevocably devastating for him to enter. As a precaution, he fashioned detectors on the ends of poles that would signal the presence of a dead magic zone.

Upon entering the Cassian Labyrinth Prison, they quickly were able to find a large tree with a hollow root system where Sage Marin and the Stranger were able to contact Noriam. However, there was evidence of a struggle and it was clear Sage Marin and the Stranger were kidnapped and dragged off.

The CLP has a few interesting features, including a sea of acid. Good times. One crazy old fuck at the entrance to a cavernous temple rigged the whole place with acid bottles he harvested from the sea. After a brief battle and a Mexican Stand-off, Valandil finally pulled a honey badger and got some people drenched in acid, resulting in the death of the crazy man. Tarare looted him for a pair of odd goggles (the Mortuus Magicae Oculos), which he later discovered enabled the detection of dead and null magic zones. The temple led down into a cavern with many more pitfalls. In two cages atop pillars and separated by a large gulf, were Sage Marin and the Stranger.

Much to the dismay of the Riders, they were at odds, each cajoling and pleading for their own life while suing for the death of the other. The Riders attempted to save them both, even though it was a King Solomon’s dilemma, and it ended about as you’d expect. Valandil knocked the Stranger’s cage off the pillar. Unbeknownst to him, the bars of the cage are deadly and the Stranger is almost certainly dead. Thanks to some heroic lock-picking from Noriam, they were able to free Sage Marin.

A vast and ancient dragon enters around this time and the Riders make a mad dash to regroup. Just as shit is about to get real and peeps start dying, Tarare uses a recall scroll and they return to Simon’s Rest.

World. Saved. Again.

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Drag Me to Hell (2012 remake)

Previously on Islands in the Mist: the Riders were forced to decide between going to see the Elf King and saving Sage Marin and the Stranger.

When the Riders return from the Cassian Labyrinth Prison, they discover that many Riders are no longer present in the city. Indeed, rumors swirl that Blacksnarl Orc Dude, Lucien Oldmoor, Maurissa (the woman who was trying to kill Valandil), Erik Valtjof, and basically everyone we hate went off to see the Elf King. Sage Marin made it a priority to discover what happened to them, but then rumors surfaced that they had returned.

Tarare was met by Nemo the Beggar who passed on the message (after much lamenting about itchy palms) that the ones who left had returned. They wanted to see all the Riders and Sage Marin at Minoc Heart Intelligence. Upon hearing this, Sage Marin advised against walking into an obvious trap. He then gave a history lesson the origin of the dragon gods, of which Sherylin was one. Evidently, the departed usurpers had visited the dragon goddess of nature in Thaylithien. While the dragon gods were born to Bahamut, who is good, Sage Marin believes they were reared by Tiamat, who is evil and once tried to burn the world. As such, they can be trusted, and they cannot, he was a little confusing on this point, seeming to bounce around a little in specifics. Suffice it to say, the Riders need be cautious, for the dragon gods are more likely to act for their own best interests, rather than the best interests of the Mortal Realm.

The Riders decide to confront Blacksnarl on his own. They learn he is addressing his troops in the morning and they plan to listen in on the briefing and talk to him after. He seems congenial enough, and so they go back to Sage Marin’s with the intention of going to MHI.

While Valandil is out buying better armor, he is confronted by one of the usurpers, Maurissa. She explains that she took out a contract against him with the Brotherhood of Ravens, but that the contract was not yet active. However, some recruits learned of the contract, and in an attempt to curry favor with the Brotherhood they acted prematurely. Turns out, she is an Aecheron sent to prevent a prophecy pertaining to his particular brand of shapeshifting elf in the world. The prophecy foretells that one such will bring out about the extinction of the Aecheron race. Also, it turns out Aecherons are celestial beings who protect the Mists.

Lucien Oldmoor visits Tarare at Sage Marin’s house and insists he talk to him outside. Tarare warily consents and gets threatened oh-so-lovingly yet again by the Cassian pomp. It turns out Aurelie wants to name their child Tarare and Lucien says Aurelie gave him one story for why and it had better match or he was going to go full trailer park domestic violence up in this bitch. Tarare first pokes at the ridiculous ass and then confirms their great-great grandfather was named Tarare. Lucien threatens again, which Tarare does not deign to respond to, and Lucien departs.

Meanwhile, Esh investigates a small mouse demon creature that turns out to be Goku the Nezoumi trying to make contact with him. Goku tells Esh of all the plans that the usurpers have made, how they met Sherylin in Thaylithien, how they are all now servants of a dragon goddess, and how Sherylin has said that if Sage Marin and his Riders remain in control of Simon’s Rest, it will spell the destruction of Simon’s Rest and even the world itself. The usurpers are conspiring to send the Riders off to Hell.

At MHI, the Riders and Sage Marin encounter Erik Valtjof, who is holding a baleful black sword and shield. Tarare ascertains the magic in his armaments could be dragon-god in origin. Eric explains that the Mists are Sherylin’s dream. She slept to hide from the Aechmus brothers, but they have discovered a way to discover her. Now she needs to awaken to fight them. She has seen that as long as Sage Marin and the Riders are in control of Simon’s Rest, the pocket will be destroyed. Valtjof also reveals that Sherylin ordered the death of the Riders, but they are choosing to disobey and instead banish them to the Underworld to face the growing demon menace. In this way, the Riders will still be able to help Simon’s Rest, without the ability to return to it via the portals. To ensure the latter, Maurissa casts a spell on each of them that prevents the portals from opening back to Simon’s Rest. Also, the magic she used creates a certain instability when using the portals so it’s not guaranteed they will all end up at the same place in the future.

Outgunned and with little choice, the Riders begin entering the portal. Pausing at the entrance, Tarare lashes out at Lucien Oldmoor with a prismatic ray, turning the Cassian to stone. He then ducks into the portal, leaving Valandil to face a stunned crowd of Sherylin followers. Valtjof won’t brook another betrayal and pushes him through.

Satisfied the portals aren’t the only way to return to Simon’s Rest, the Riders begin their descent into Hell.

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