5/25/2009: Session 44

Their plan blown, the Imperials hurry to assess the situation and make the most of it. Fishbone disguises himself as a rebel and infiltrates the regrouping legionnaires. Carrying Vratas’ body, the others work their way through back allies to reach the inn where they’re staying to retrieve the corpse of Qi Fa’Galasiim. Dinesh enters their room stealthily and discovers a single, unsettlingly still rebel legionnaire watching the door. When Dinesh picks up the bag, the legionnaire falls forward, dead, and Dinesh is confronted by Bitamesh, who is pleased that Dinesh and his people are alive, but concerned that one of them may be a double agent. Content that it isn’t Dinesh, the two head out together and meet back with the others. In addition to a possible mole, Bitamesh is confused that when he tested the group for Grael, he made notes about a young kemerai wizard named Fahtel, but doesn’t actually recall the man. None of the others remember him either, although recently they have been repeatedly aided by rather confusing magical intervention. Is it possible that Fahtel is an illusionist so mysterious that even his companions cannot remember him? And was he the one who was killed while escaping from Vratas? There’s too little to go on to make any conclusions, so the group heads to the Temple of Gorian to rendezvous with Fishbone. On the way, Bitamesh hides the bodies of Vratas and Qi at a personal safehouse.

Fishbone also has no recollection of Fahtel, but shows the group a dagger he pickpocketed off of Vratas during the fight. He has heard legends about a dagger steeped in evil, that destroys the legacy of those it kills, wiping them from the memories of those they’ve known. It’s possible that if Fahtel was killed by this dagger that they wouldn’t remember him.

A decision has to be made quickly. With Grael captured and his organization scattered, Shesai is no longer safe for the group or for Bitamesh. They can attempt to escape, attempt to go into hiding, or stage a daring rescue of Grael and his the means to enter the palace. Even after a long night of fierce fighting, the group opts to rescue Grael. Bitamesh has Behram, Dinesh, and Goreman climb down a cliff face toward’s a secret cave entrance while he and Fishbone more freely past the base’s Kell’vin guard. What they discovered is that the gang’s large storehouse is indeed overrun with rebel legionnaires and Grael is being held on board a small airship. Bitamesh sneaks off into the darkness while Fishbone impersonates and engineer and gets as close as he can to Grael. The rescue is proceeding as smoothly as could be hoped inside the cave, but the other group isn’t fairing as well.

The decent down the cliff face is fraught with peril and the three heroes are being forced to move at a risky pace. Behram has specialized climbing gear from his days patrolling the Nolohi Cliffs, but Goreman and Dinesh have no such equipment. The rock face isn’t strong enough to hold the powerful Kormin’s weight and he slips off. Behram manages to catch him, but dislocates his arm in the process and is unable to help the second time the wall breaks off under Goreman’s fingers. Flailing blindly in the dark, Goreman manages to catch his spear in the black curtain which hides the cave entrance. With the cliff plummeting hundreds of feet below, Goreman is forced to swing himself inside, where he’s promptly apprehended by Kerizatz warmages. The Legion captain in charge orders his archers to the entrance to shoot down any others who might be scaling the cliff. Goreman calls out a warning and attempts to break free, but the warmages easily pin him in place with a barrage of magic. With the barbarian outmatched and his friends on the wall in mortal danger, Fishbone is forced to make his move. He frees Grael and attempts to drive several legionnaires and a warmage from the ship. Grael is by no means used to armed conflict, but employs his own style of magic to great effect, Blinking inside the warmage and destroying him in a rain of warm water. Still, the two are outmatched and Grael’s only chance is to start the airship and pitch the soldiers off. He succeeds, although damages the ship in doing so.

Meanwhile, Behram lands on the cave floor and is set upon by nearly a full cohort, which pin him to the edge of the cliff. Dinesh tries to support him, but the archers make short work of the wounded Kemerai, leaving him unconscious, pinned to the cave’s curtain by a hail of arrows. The only good news is that Bitamesh has entered the fight, throttling one of Goreman’s opponents, giving the brute a chance to make a run on the second. The cave explodes into chaos and Grael, Fishbone, and Bitamesh attempt to guide the ship to freedom, running down legionnaires in the process. Behram pulls down the curtain to get to Dinesh, but the Legion captain shoves them both out into the abyss. Grael speeds up and plows off the edge of the cliff, grinding both legionnaires and Goreman between the hull and the rough cave floor. Goreman barely manages to grip the underside of the ship as it shoots over the edge and plummets towards Behram and Dinesh. Behram manages to catch the ship with a grappling hook just as Goreman swings around onto the deck and Grael arcs the ship up towards the night sky.

Battered and weary, the group is happy to let Grael take charge as he pilots the damaged ship out of Shesai and into the Begger’s Frontier.



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