Thursday, May 18, 2023

Good!Party: Back into Fanaxia

We return to the remaining group: Martini, the elf assassin; Eva, the gold dragon; and Geddy Lee Geddy the bard.

But first, we take a minute to remember Fanaxia. We had a magic mirror that let us view the past where it involved the dark one. We got a couple of glimpses of her early childhood, and then the moment when the Archmagister Prospero first invited her to study at the castle Fanax. She refused to go, not wanting to leave her mothers or her best friend, Vecna Orlok. So, we went to view her parents’ house. 

The little girl was the pride of the Von Styne clan. There was danger, but she and her parents would have guards. Then the Night of A Thousand Fangs came, and her parents were murdered. The guards fled with the girl, to a tavern. It burned down later, but we went and looked anyway. There was a basement or something under the inn; we made our way inside and found an underground passage. At the end was an ancient bunker full of coffins. There is, however, one room with a bed. The mirror: vampires attempt to console her. The Dark One, cursing and pacing and utterly disappointed with the King’s failure to hit the Wallingtons with more than a token punishment. This is why she betrayed the king; this is why she founded the worship of Urgroth. She had vowed to subjugate the Wallingtons… who eventually wound up as her worshipers. Martini was very impressed with her initiative. 


The next vision shows one of her vampire protectors apologizing that they must leave if she agrees, but Vecna’s dad – Count Orlok – is willing to adopt her. She broke ties with the vampire clans at that point. But clearly she re-established contact later. Kroni, however, was a Dashcov, not a Von Styne – which isn’t the clan that was originally protecting her. 

So apparently at some point at some point Vecna and Kroni joined the vampires, probably under assumed names. We broke into Count Orlok’s castle, found the boy Vecna’s old rooms, and set up the mirror: this vision showed Vecna, sick in bed with his nurse.Then there were alarms and screams about fire, and the nurse left. A moment later a mist flowed into the room, materialized into a man – Kroni – and drained him. Ruin tries out in the garden, and we get glimpses of the Dark One here and there. She had a hidden cave, that had once been used as a campsite. The visions here are extensive and illuminating: this is where the Dark One met Kroni, who was then a refugee of the Dashcov clan. She kept the relationship secret, and over time began to experiment on Kroni, who was perfectly willing to go along with it. Her powers grew. Then in the midst of a great thunderstorm, the Dark One came to Kroni, crying over Vecna’s illness and impending death. She asks Kroni to save him. She’s twelve at this point, but she starts laying out orders and explains the plan. It was soon after this that she went to the castle to study under the Archmage Prospero. 

Ruin, Martini, and Azrael found all this. Azrael, at the time, pointed out that her true name holds power over her; that’s why she’s essentially erased it. Most likely, she took somebody else’s name – Vecna’s. And the boy who was once Vecna might be the only one who still knows her name. We did eventually find the boy, but not his soul; his soul must exist somewhere else. 

So this is the knowledge we have as we approach Ezra Cardon at the appointed time, on the edge of the lake, in the fucking rain. 

(JESUS CHRIST SEND THE DRUNK DM THE PLAN FOR THE NEXT FEW SESSIONS. Murder Lamont, Murder Bouvier - both ideally in surgical strikes, with Vendril getting the Bouvier Crew into Wellfort.

ALSO NOTE: GOZARTD THE DRUNK DM resents that. Yes, he is demanding that I add that to the notes.)

So Geddy, Eva, and Martini head to Lago Gota, where a man in tattered robes leans on his walking stick and waits for them, lightning flashing dramatically behind him as the rain pours down. “Do you have the crown?” 

We do.

“The gem in the crown! That is the Heart of Vecna. You must find the child formerly known a Vecna. With the crown, I can send you back in time to Fanaxia, to rediscover the True Name of the Dark One!”

Eva: “Gods this guy is an asshole.”

Geddy: “Guys, I think I’m kind of done with this whole time travel thing.”

Eva pulls out the crown and Ezra sends us to the City of Fanax just outside the castle. There are fireworks blasting into the sky. It’s an evening of great celebration; King Baldric is throwing a spring ball. 

Eva will be a merchant, the Lady Quixote. Martini is Mistress Balaam, who is quite upset with the merchant for trying to steal away her diplomatic and quite handsome pirate husband Imperius Rax. 


Eva and Martini: “No. No we are not.”

Next plan: Geddy will be Lord Lando, Martini will be Lady Leia, wife of Han Cholo, and Eva will be Han Cholo, bodyguard of Lord Lando. 

Or maybe it’s Geddy will be Lando the bodyguard, and Martini and Eva will be Lady and Lady Cholo. 

The Dashcov’s and the Von Stynes were the vampire clans; the Wallingtons and the LaSonts were the werewolf clans. Elaine and Gloria were the parents of the dark one; Count Orlok was the adoptive father. 

We approach the castle, and a steward asks who we are; we motion for “Lando” to introduce us. Geddy explains that we come from Solo, an obscure holding northeast of Styre. 

Turns out the king is most welcoming of his northern allies. We stroll into the castle, casually mentioning to the Magiknights that they’re all going to get slaughtered. We recognize some the groups – the big guys with the beards are werewolves, for instance. Geddy is somewhat distracted; his memories are pulling him in various different directions. 


Small groups have gathered around a couple of wizards. There’s also an older man who has a bunch of people around bowing very officially and offering greetings. Then there’s a couple over in the corner, looking slightly intimidated but gracious; another old man who has that I-don’t-give-a-fuck air about him is surveying the room. There’s also the really large, muscular guy over in the corner sipping wine. There’s a tall man with pale skin on one corner who’s just kind of controlling the people around him. There’s also a smaller man with a young boy staying next to him. 

So the ladies Han, with their loyal manservant and bodyguard,  head over towards the hot lesbian parents. Martini: “Oh my dearest Elayne and Gloria, we met at that one event…” The dark one’s mothers look a bit deer-in-the-headlights, but Dmitri Von Styne swoops in and introduces himself. Martini immediately sets to flattering him. 

He says that surely we know his tailor….?

“But we so seldom get to Vrist,” Eva chimes in. 

There’s some discussion of the Archmagister Prospero planning to apprentice the girl, and for reasons none of our characters understand he really doesn’t want anybody to know her name. It turns out that she’s back in Vrist because Vecna Orlok is summering in the school. 

We head for the older guy with the boy beside him, and he’s a broad-shouldered guy with pale skin. He’s Alexandra Daschcov, and this is his son… Kroni. Kroni, who eventually became a dark demigod; Kroni, whom we killed to free Sacha from his evil influence.

The trumpets sound, and the herald announces a martial demonstration. Young Kroni tenses. He and Fenric Wallington shall entertain the room with their skill at arms. Fenric goes into his half-wolf form, and pulls out his arm-blades. Kroni is too fast for him, though, even though he can't possibly be a vampire yet. He’s just really, really good. Eventually Fenric gets frustrated: “Arrogant blood-drinkers! You won’t last the year, I swear it.” But Kroni has clearly won, and Fenric is very upset; Fenric’s dad pulls him aside and give him a stern talking-to, probably because he's making threats that will reveal their plans.

Geddy notices that Fenric almost certainly said more than he should have. Kroni is just hanging out with his dad, Alexandra. His attention doesn’t seem to be anywhere in particular, except for the folks who are congratulating him on his victory. A Soothsayer proclaims that dark times are coming to Fanaxia. A time of breaking is coming, when three dark gods who are but two will bring ruin and destruction to our land. The nobles are too blind to see it, and the king will allow it to happen but punish the gods who did it. 

The king orders him arrested, and the magiknights drag him off. The Ladies Han go to talk to Prospero, who was very impressed with the Dark One but can't remember her name. Behind him, his apprentice rolls his eyes and claps his forehead. Geddy sidles over and talks to Victor, Prospero’s apprentice; he thinks the dark one is too young for that kind of power, and they should slow her down and have her come to the capital in a few years. 

The trumpets sound again, and a group of knight march forward and kneel before the king. “Come forth, Thybalt of the Magiknights. Rygar, Barnabus," and the others who were old when we were in Fanaxia later on.

Thybalt has just been knighted as the new head of the Magiknights, to thunderous applause. 

We circulate a bit more. Gerwulf Wallington, and some LaSonts, and the other werewolf clan. Boris LaMorgan was the big werewolf we fought; Martini giggles. Gerwulf is reminding the king that they’re the major economic powerhouse in the region, and they want to be reassured that they have his support. The King and Prospero agree that they have long been allies, and with the expansion of the Magiknights they will need quality supplies. 

“Oh,” says Martini, and walks away. 

We go check out the heavily built guy in the corner, who’s clearly a jock in the company of nobles. Martini: “How do you feel about threesomes?” 

He’s in favor of them. His name is Rin Stonehammer. 

Rita considers this for like a half a second, but she’s in. This guy is just… a classic himbo. And if we have to go to Vrist… yeah, definitely a diversion first. Lord Lando, meanwhile, has made his way over to Count Orlok, and that old guy is bitter about the werewolves and the vampires having all this power. The King is playing along with this. 

King Merric doesn’t seem to be under any particular magical influence, he’s just trying to balance a lot of very fractious and powerful political factions. Geddy starts trying to spread Alex Jones-style conspiracy theories. “Oh yes, everybody always forgets about Clan Kwalish.”

Geddy: “Did I hear that you have a son?” 

“A great disappointment to me,” says Count Orlok. “He’s a soft boy. I hope that the magic school will serve him. I would put him in a military academy, but I fear he lacks the constitution for it. He’s always cheating off that Khaledi bitch…” 

So Rin Stonehammer has just finished a big commission up in Vrist, but he doesn’t know the Dark One’s name either. Martini and Eva draw him away from the party, and they go off to find a bed, preferably one with a lot of room.


So it’s only Geddy who’s there when the Alexander Dashcov attempts to introduce Rin Stonehammer, and presents that young blacksmith's arms and armor to the king. 


Rin, meanwhile, is in our hotel room, getting his world rocked. Afterwards, he tells us about how much trouble this Khaledi girl has been. Apparently his forge is right next to the school of magic. And even though she nearly destroyed the forge, Dmitri won’t hear about it. And Vecna Orlok is doing summer school up there, so the Khaledi girl has stayed and keeps distracting him. He also mentions a cave that they might be sneaking out to, but he hopes not because it’s dangerous. 

We return to the party, and Dmitri comes to ask us why we’re here asking so many questions. 

Dmitri: “I understand that you’re not properly part of the aristocracy, but you must understand that economics will win the day.” He starts explaining how having higher-quality weapons will drive the Wallingtons out of business. 

Martini: “That’s true… unless the werewolves threatened you directly and you stupidly ignore it, and then they murder you all. Which actually just happened.” 

She walks away, and Dmitri does too. 

Walter Crow shows up as we’re leaving, with a petition requesting permission to drive out the half-beasts -- the centaurs -- and reclaim the lands for the king’s benefit. Martini grins, because we kill him later. Still, King Merric is not what you'd consider an upstanding individual, even by the standards of politicians. 


We'll head for Vrist next, because clearly the only way we can get the true name of the Dark One is to ask the young man who is still, for the moment, Vecna Orlok, directly.  

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