We arrived at the Citadel without much issue, and were able to surround it. It was decided that we’d take a few units to help us push in, since we did have a map of the place, and it looked like they’d committed all their forces to defending the wall. Once we get inside, we’ll see if we can make straight for where the trouble is.
We dreamed that night, though we didn’t remember of what, save that the orichalchum weapons we’d created were named. Reeshka’s was the Queen’s Fang, and Ceor’s was Destiny (which pleased him not at all). Someone clearly had a sense of humor, and mine was Talisien’s Barb. Because of course it was.
The sun rose normally for once, though the comet seemed like a candleflame on top of the tower. This is nice.
We did have some old and new allies show up… Sionna and Sanguine, the minotaur we’d found under Friula, too many others to name. They elected to help us charge the Citadel, which will help. I hope.
After a really stirring speech by the Champion of Mavros, there was nothing else but to charge. So we did. Despite some really fierce resistance, it only took a few minutes to get us through the front lines, to the entrance to the Citadel.
If we’re going to be heroically stupid, we might as well go all the way.
The doors to the citadel were ajar, and I reached them first… there were a pair of very alarmed looking dwarves, who did not seem inclined to abandon their post… though good gods did they want to. I’ll be willing to give everyone one chance to bugger off… though them being dwarves, Reeshka is not inclined to be as polite. She practically bull rushed them.
They did seem inclined to think that this was NOT what they’d signed up for… though, granted, I don’t think we’re what anyone signs up for.
Reeshka seems inclined to take no prisoners… can’t say I’m much surprised.
At least the guards on the entrance are more inclined to get out of our way than fight… which is probably a good thing. If we can get Reeshka to stop stabbing people.
There were more guards in the hallway, and while the ones with swords were smart enough to step away, the archers elected to shoot at us… which they really shouldn’t have done. A fireball took two of them out. Ceor took another one out, which just left one… who wisely surrendered.
At least there was no real resistance offered as we opened the next chokepoint… particularly as Ceor’s horse kicked down the next door. Reeshka did let us know that one of the men we’d killed’s spirit was going up to power the comet. So we shouldn’t kill as many people…
If we can help it.
The next guards seemed less inclined to be intelligent… a fireball took care of it. They’re slowing us down, which isn’t good… particularly since it felt like the ground shifted in a way I didn’t like. It’s starting to slope upwards in the direction of the comet…
Someone opened the door behind me; I don’t particularly care what he does as long as he doesn’t decide to fuck with me. We proceeded further in; the guards here were more determined, but godawful stupid.
Such as the case who decided it was a splendid idea to charge Ceor… and impale himself on Ceor’s lance. Maybe a set of Scorching Rays will change their minds… Regardless, we don’t have time for this. Ceor thought the same, because all four of us ended up on Anusk. We’ve got to get up to the tower, and these guys just keep getting in the way.
Though we do seem to have gotten far enough in that we don’t have regular guards, but horrific abominations in the hall.
Because of course there are.
At least the guards decided to fuck off once they saw them.
How nice of them to be in a straight line. Fire snakes are wonderful for that.
They all died, but let out this horrible noise as they did so, which set my teeth on edge. And then, of course, more showed up. Reeshka popped one, and Keshemet killed a thing, after Ceor introduced himself. We reached the tower, which was groaning and creaking, as dust and debris started falling down. This is just lovely.
We got up the tower, and Reeshka indicated there was something big on the other side… okay. We can manage it.
Ceor kicked the door open, and shoved his orichalchum blade straight into the horrible jelly-like monstrosity on the other side. It is worth noting that in addition to the lightning enchants I’d put on it, it was wreathed in a silver-white flame. Interesting. It screamed at him, leaving him dazed. I hit it with the strongest scorching ray I know… and it mostly shrugged it off. Great.
And there were more of those hound things, which by the way can teleport. One of them bit me. It hurt. A lot. At least we managed to put down the huge thing… but the smell was so bad it nearly made thinking impossible.
Fortunately, Ceor was able to reduce three of the hound things into piles of ichor, and the remaining three were close enough for a fire snake to do horrible things to.
Also, the giant monstrosity regenerates. Of course. Ceor took care of it. Again. At least it seemed to be dead this time.
We made it up to the top of the tower. It was infested with cultists, of course. And what looked like control orbs that seemed to both be holding the comet directly overhead and funneling power into it. Not exactly sure what’ll happen if we break them, but let’s find out.
For the first time, I used a melee weapon, to attack the closest orb. It seemed to be leaking ugly purple and green energy. Nice. One of the cultists stabbed me, which was highly unpleasant.
And then they dropped a fireball on our heads. Which I don’t give much of a shit about, but it’s highly annoying. Of course, there are no railings on the tower roof… Apparently they don’t have feather fall. Silly.
I did manage to fry two of the cultists. Of course, doing so opened myself up to getting hit by some nasty ray attacks. And those damned orbs are going to cause a problem. One of the cultists tried to heal the cult leader, but Ceor put him down and gave another more flying lessons.
The orb closest to me, though, it’s causing me severe problems. It feels like it’s trying to rip my mind apart. Fuck this shit. My rapier seems to do some good against it, so, let’s try that.
At least I’ve almost destroyed it, and Ceor and Reeshka have knocked pretty much all the cultists off the roof. Ceor then took a chunk out of another.
I finally managed to break the orb I’d been focusing on… a huge fountain of energy poured up at the comet, but didn’t appear to change anything. Ceor then shattered a second one at Reeshka’s behest. Then we both hit the third, which resulted in it shattering as well. Reeshka managed to destroy the final orb.
Just then, Sionna arrived, accompanied by a pack of the shining hounds. She told us that they’d given her a message… the comet was merely a passage way that would allow Mara to enter the plane. We have to confront her, but we have a choice. We can either let her come into the plane, unbound and at her full power… or they can bind her into a mortal body, which would lessen her power. The only candidate would be Sionna herself.
We couldn’t do it.
It’s not the stupidest thing we’ve done, I suppose, fighting the mother goddess of all abominations at her full strength.
Fireballs are always a classic way to say hello, anyway.
We managed to do something to the bitch, though not as much as I would have liked. Reeshka suggested hitting her all at once… she might have a point. The orichalchum does seem to do more to her, anyway… I took leave of my senses and stepped into melee with her, and surprised myself with how much damage I did.
Reeshka even charged into battle, screaming like a banshee… and carved a nasty chunk out of her, doing a tremendous amount of damage… with a dagger. This is beautiful. Doubly so since she’s been on fire as a positive energy being since nearly the moment we started this.
Ceor then did the same, leaving a smoking scar behind.
That was about the time the shining hounds vanished into a beam of light, wrapping around the three of us. This is interesting.
We do seem to be doing a significant amount to the bitch… we may actually win this thing.
Though it does help that Sionna apparently picked up healing somewhere.
As Ceor was busy lopping tentacles left and right, Reeshka took a flying leap into Mara’s mouth…. and hit something vital. The abomination…. liquified and ran down the sides of the tower. The comet shattered, the everpresent yellow tinge to the sky faded to blue, reality seemed to reassert itself, and when we looked at the battlefield, the abominations that had been fighting with the Order of the Pure had vanished as well.
Every one, thousands of people fighting in the plains below was screaming our names, so loud we could actually hear them from our position.
Then we heard a somewhat metallic cough and turned to see Rava, the Clockwork Goddes was standing behind us. She told us that Mara was gone for good, that by morning only those of us who’d been on top of the tower would remember that she ever existed. The rest would remember some other great threat that we’d led them to triumph over.
It was her that was using every iteration of Miaako, who she called Eeyrieminder, to assemble a group capable of putting her down. Others had tried… but it was us who did it. She also mentioned that when we were done with mortality, we’d come into contact with the gods again… and that when I reached the end of time, to not go walking outside.
I think I’m okay with that.
We’ve broken the curse of the Wastes, banished all the Old Ones… things are right for the first time in time immemorial.
It’s a good place to start.