The Nightmare War

The Liberation of The Stolen Destiny

On the Proper Technique of Ripping Dimensional Rifts in the Fabric of Reality

As Shemhazai finishes concentrating on the disintegrate, her passenger mentions that it sounds like the enemy are mindlinked, and he asks if she would like to listen in. Shem considers, and decides that it might be useful; he says that he will manifest that, then.

Inq, still taking advantage of his greater invisibility, slips across the ship and positions himself to strike simultaneously at three Inspired – one of which seems to be a captain, who is armored in expensive sentira armor and wielding one of the double-bladed Inspired weapons known as a zulaat. Inq’s attack is exceedingly successful, spraying blood across the deck from his three targets.

The captain responds by attempting to eradicate invisibility, but Inq manages to dodge. However, the captain is still aware of Inq’s approximate location, due to his attack, and manages to pierce the illusion through sheer will and concentration. He prepares to swing his zulaat, when Proust leaps into action, moving impossibly fast to grab Inq and drag him back and out of the way, so the zulaat almost misses… but the captain manages to recover in the last minute, adjusting the swing so that it still hits Inq as he is pulled out of the way – but Inq is out of the way for the follow up attacks.

Drakeus moves up to cast several protections on Inq, while Proust reaches over, grabs the wheel, and fiery sparks bloom out from him to cover most of the ship. Shemhazai concentrates on the captain, bombarding him with dispel psionics and then a cold ray. Quori Shemhazai taps into the enemy mindlink; Shem overhears the captain giving orders to another Inspired to grab a magical rod from his belt and activate it; she gets a sense that it has something to do with consuming magic. Shem informs Proust, Drakeus, RaE and Inq that someone will be going for it, and to not allow them to use it. She isn’t sure what it does, just something about draining magic… but she doesn’t quite have a chance to convey that.

Shira mentions over the party’s mindlink that she feels the familiar presence again, getting closer. Hard upon her mental words, Lord Baalnakhun, flanked by two oddly constructed warforged embedded with crystals enters the dry docks. He mentally bellows, “What’s going on here?!?”, and points at Shemhazai. Proust shouts, “He’s casting dispel!”. Shemhazai looks back at Lord Baalnakhun, shouts “Hey, I can do that too!” and points at him, manifesting anticipatory strike and beginning to dispel. Unfortunately, Lord Baalnakhun has the same Psionic power, and manifests it, acting before Shemhazai. Instead of dispel, however, he elects for antimagic ray, and hits her dead on where she is hovering above the stone walkway.

Shemhazai, taken by surprise, plummets the 20 feet to the elevated walkway, only managing to tumble at the last moment to prevent being injured other than a few bruises; however, she does land off balance and falls prone. Laying there, she quickly reviews her options, realized that she doesn’t have any, and shouts “You f—-ing bastard.” Lord Baalnakhun glances over with contempt, says “Good, one problem taken care of. You there,” he waves a hand at the Edgewalkers on the walkway, “take care of that.” He turns his attention toward the ship.

Meanwhile, Proust sees the Inspired that Shem had warned them about start to move toward the captain, and springs into action unexpectedly (again). He points at the Inspired. “If you use that, or let anyone else use that, I will take that rod and shove it so far up your a—that the term ‘sprouting wood’ will have a whole new meaning.” The Inspired hesitates, and believes Proust’s threat… so does most everyone else in hearing, for that matter. He takes the rod and backs off, preventing others from using it.

Inq opens up against several of the Inspired and Edgewalkers near him, taking out seven of them in short order (including the soulknife with the mystery rod) with his mindblades both melee and thrown. RaE moves forward and kicks the (supposed) magic-eating rod to Inq, then opens up on the captain. RaE kills the captain in a flurry of blows and a spray of blood; covered in gore, RaE glares around the ship with her blades ready. The Edgewalkers start backing away, and Proust shouts orders, telling the gnomes to prepare to cast off, while he sends the warriors to attack Lord Baalnakhun.

Drakeus casts a wall of force separating Lord Baalnakhun and his psiforged bodyguards from both the ship and where Shemhazai is on the walkway. Unfortunately, the two psiforged have the ability to run up walls, and use the ability to run up the wall of force and tumble down the other side. One charges Shemhazai, attacking with a crystal blade built into his arm. The other moves toward the gangplank and the ship.

Proust grasps the wheel with both hands and overrides Vial’s last command to the elemental. Fire suddenly erupts from the elemental band as the elemental flares up. Shem rolls to her feet, taking a few hits from those surrounding her, but manages to get to her feet and activate her psychoactive skin of fiendish embrace. Two blood-red horns appear on her forehead, and large, batlike red wings from her back. She takes off and flies to the ship, landing near where RaE and Inq have taken cover.

Lord Baalnakhun levitates upward to get over Drakeus’ wall of force and starts casting chain dispel. Proust, deciding that he doesn’t want to deal with that, acts out of turn again to raise the wall of force in front of Lord Baalnakun, breaking his line of effect to the party. Irritated, Baalnakun disjoins the area, destroying both walls of force. Meanwhile, the few remaining enemies on board the ship attempt to attack the party; unfortunately, they fail badly. The enemies cowed by RaE and Proust follow Proust’s last command to restrain Lord Baalnakhun, while the gnomes follow the command to make ready to leave.

Inq, taking advantage of a clear shot to Lord Baalnakhun, pops up and utilizes the ballista conveniently handy, scoring a solid, although unfortunately not fatal, hit.

Quori Shemhazai is aghast at the insanity. Shem ignores his ranting, finding it quite amusing, as does the rest of the party.

Lord Baalnakhun looks distinctly annoyed at the ballista chip out of his stoneskin. It’s probably not a good sign, since he hasn’t shown much emotion up to this point.

While RaE starts cleaning up the ship, Drakeus casts a lance of light at Lord Baalnakhun; it turns by a protection that Baalnakhun has in place and hurtles back toward Drakeus… and is immediately turned back by one of Drakeus’ protections. The bouncing of the spell sets up a feedback loop; rifts begin to tear open in the very fabric of reality, and in a flash of light and sound both Drakeus and Lord Baalnakhun vanish.

Alarms begin to ring throughout the dock cavern, and indeed all of Kintum Coluun. A female voice mentally rings through the minds of all in the cavern; “Dimension rift detected in Dock Area A3.”

Proust brings up the astral elemental that is tied to the ship just as the largest rift yet opens over the dock, leaking bone-chilling cold and a dark, dank shadowy light. Shem yells that it is likely a portal to Mabar or the Plane of Shadow; probably the Plane of Shadow (the group having had personal experience with that Plane). Individuals on the dock begin screaming as something comes through the rift; Proust recognizes a spellwarped, silver wraith frostwind virago, a very nasty undead fey, that emerges onto the dock.

The astral elemental finishes coming online on the secondary ring. Proust glances back at the commotion on the dock where the virago has exited the rift, and commands the astral elemental to “Take us somewhere!”. The silvery, vaporous elemental silently explodes outward from the binding rings, rippling and expanding, forming a shimmering bubble that surrounds the ship; then there is a flash and the ship and its passengers… vanish.

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Taria

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