Scales of War

Unstoppable

We faced off against Chillreaver, a two headed dragon that asked us to join him. He told us we could have whatever we want, as though we need him for that.

The beast howled in rage as the fight began and I must have blacked out for a few seconds because suddenly I could see it had been injured but not how. I knew I’d have to work extra hard to keep up with everyone else, thankfully my axe quickly made up for lost time.

It wasn’t long before Chillreaver ran away from us. A TWO HEADED DRAGON RAN AWAY FROM US!

We killed him soon after and then I cut the heads off and I took out the heart and shared it with Ithyk. I was so full of adrenaline I couldn’t even taste it, which is probably for the best. I only ate it for my brother in blood, and as the blood poured down my face all I could think about was the glory I’d have killing the captors of my people when I found them.

That night I had a dream where the lady asked us to join her, our greed and strength impressed her. I woke up before I could respond. I know have a stronger affinity with the earth and I’m not sure why. Was it eating the heart, the lady in my dream, or something else? I don’t suppose it matters, I’ll use it to kill my enemies all the same.

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Fourth Dream

You find yourself walking through a giant city. The buildings are made out of alabaster, and shine with multicolored brilliance in the setting sun. You are walking towards a massive temple in the center of the city. As you walk, the citizens react to you in a number of ways. Some bow immediately as you approach. Others flee. You reach the gigantic brass building and ascend the steps to the main hall.

Inside is a large, cresant shaped platform. At the center stands the woman you’ve been dreaming about. She remains very beautiful, but her features appear harder and slightly less human. She is dressed in a deep blue gown and is adorned diamonds. The woman’s hair is the color of arterial blood and she smiles as you approach. There are four figures around her, but you cannot make you their features. The corpse of Chillreaver lies in a heap on the floor.

“You have killed one of my Exarchs. You showed courage and great greed. It pleases me.” she says. She looks at the dark shapes besides her and looks back to you, “Will you join me?” she asks.

You wake up.

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Madmartigan's Journal, Book Two, Pages 12 & 13
On the nature of ass-kickery

Know what icy fishmen, icy giants, icy floating eyeballs and an icy two-headed dragon have in common?
They’re rotting at the bottom of the sea because they fucked with Madmartigan’s Men.
And Ithyk.
Know what’s not rotting at the bottom of the sea?
Madmartigan. Oh and all that shiny gold Chillreaver was hoarding. I don’t get dragons, man. Why hoard wealth? Wealth is meant to be flaunted and spent, not secreted in some cave.
The Men & I (and Ithyk) hacked and hewed our way to the literal tip of the iceberg, where a two-headed white dragon named Chillreaver waited, furious and self-important. We walked (I rode) into the cavern to find mirrors lining the chamber and a bright glowing ice crystal in the middle. The Seed of Winter, I presumed (or thought, suddenly, anyway. Where do these things keep popping up from?) Oh, and a fifteen foot tall two-headed ice dragon, too.
We made a little small talk, did some posturing, then I pissed the thing off enough for it to attack us, but not before Ithyk launched himself at it. Bad boy, sit.
We all started in on it, but the Seed of Winter zapped a mind control beam at Ithyk. Luckily, Kage made some connections and Verne started blasting mirrors, which snapped Ithyk out of it.
Chillreaver kept belching out this nasty frost at us, making me slow as a whore on the morning shift. After several of these, poor Kick-ass exploded into a shower of sparkles and was no more. Tzolek, full of rage as I at the site of my awesome mount getting obliterated, completely lost his shit and literally chopped the dragon’s dick. It was brutal, but that’s what he gets for fucking with my unicorn!
Next thing you know, the kid appears from nowhere and punches a hole in Chillreavers head. As it howled for its mommy I knelt down next to it and whispered “Your heads will look lovely next to the others in my throne room.”
Boom! I’m so badass I make myself nervous.
After that I scooped up the Seed for Eachthigrn, figured he’d probably want a peak, then things started to get dicey and icy as the berg began to melt. We were shoveling Chillreaver’s hoard into the magic bag for a few seconds, but I could see things were getting bad so I sounded the retreat. Kage, smart fucker that he is, flips the Exodus knife out and says he’ll stay and collect the rest of the treasure, then escape with the knife. Verne volunteers too, since he doesn’t breathe (he doesn’t?!), then I, being the leader, send Kage off with an ass-slap with the rest so I can stay behind with Verne.
I immediately regretted that decision when I saw everyone slide away on Ithyk’s shield while the kid punched ice chunks out of the air, but these are the sacrifices a leader must make.
We shoveled for dear life, and Verne split into the portal and pulled me along just as I grabbed the last two blue diamonds.
Fucking A, how badass can we get?
Six hours later, Verne & I had counted more money than I’d ever seen, other than that time the money was also a hydra, all while a cold voice purred in my mind about ultimate power if I join the Winter Court. By the end of the day she was screaming at me for not responding to her, luckily I’m good at ignoring naggy broads. We popped out of the hideaway and into the ocean, where the Men waited in those funky boats and took us back to Nephleus, big damn heroes.
Everyone was happy, the angels agreed to side with the coalition, and I bagged me an angel girl. It was a magical experience.
Back on the main land, I noticed more whispers when I walked down the street. At one point I was out selling old gear for the Men and an assassin snuck up on me, probably would have sunk his blade right between my shoulders, but something whispered a warning to me and I turned in time to grab him by the throat. He hissed at me, actually hissed, and then disappeared out of my grasp. So, that happened.
Later I paid a visit to Eachthigrn to catch him up on my latest exploits and see what he wanted me to do with the Seed. I was growing tired of her bitching at me about the power of winter, blah blah blah. Eachthigrn suggested I hide it away from the Winter Court, but hesitantly said I could give it to him. I thought about it, but don’t want him to come to harm because I’m being lazy, so I said I would seek to destroy it and deliver the Winter Court a real kick to the scoots. He also brought Kick-ass back to me! He’s not dead! Apparently he can’t be killed here, he just discorporates (his word, I think). Now I just need to find a way to get to and survive on the Plane of Fire and a place to hide the Seed in the meantime. Time to get Kage & Verne to work.

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The Way of the Bat: Justice Tempered in Darkness – Chapter 5, Part: 2 (EXCERPTS)

We continued upward into the iceberg. I was still wiping the behir’s blood off my blade as the twisting cavernous tunnels opened up and we found ourselves facing off against the leader of the frosty sahuagin. There was a beholder in the cavern as well, and it had undergone a similar wintry metamorphosis as the others.

As soon as the fight began, these icy elemental creatures joined the fray. I barreled my way through the sahuagin and then began fighting the elementals. I tried to keep them busy so the others could focus on the beholder and sahuagin without having to fight too many enemies at once. Ithyk was determined to drive his axe right through the beholder’s main eye. Madmartigan and the others were able to hold their own, and then we met in the middle as we all fought our way through the monsters.

We moved onward and upward, and came to another large chamber. The leader of the Frost Giants was waiting for us with her guards and hounds. I wasted no time, and was able to catch the nearest guard completely unprepared. I sent him crashing down to the rest of the group. Our spirits were bolstered by this strong entrance and we handily dispatched the hounds, guards, and Nara of the Frozen Wastes.

After Nara and her retinue were defeated, a rumbling voice from above beckoned us further. After a few moments to compose ourselves, we continued upwards to the large top-level of the icy fortress. A two-headed white dragon stood before us. He said his name was Chillreaver. He was the White Exarch of Tiamat. He tried to call us to serve his lord and join forces with him, offering us great reward. We immediately shot him down. I quite enjoyed joining the others in voicing my confident lack of regard for his threats of death or his promised bribes. Our short conversation quickly exploded into a battle that spanned the chamber. But Chillreaver was not the only threat in the room. Mounted on the walls were the thirteen enchanted mirrors we had been told about, and their magic was being focused into the Seed of Winter, which was in the center of the room.

Ithyk ran straight for Chillreaver, as the beast readied to attack. Ithyk drove his axe deep into the dragon’s flank, but the dragon knocked him senseless with its counter. I ran in from the side and sent the dragon back towards the group, and knocked it to the ground. As the others joined in, Kage shouted out what the artifact was doing. Ithyk was the Seed’s first victim, as its magic took hold of his mind. Luckily, his body was still reeling from Chillreaver’s attacks and we didn’t have to worry about Ithyk harming any of us.

While the others joined me in fighting the dragon head-on, Verne started destroying the mirrors. One by one, he took them out. Kage and Madmartigan helped in finishing off the last of the mirrors, and as they did, the Seed stopped trying to take over our minds.

Tzolek and I rushed towards Chillreaver as he tried darting up the back wall. We both lunged for him and he swatted at us. He was obviously getting desperate and had been totally unprepared for the strength of our attacks. I dove through the shadows, and appeared on the wall beside him. With one final kick to the temple of one of his heads I sent him crashing to the ground. Madmartigan, whose unicorn had fallen during the melee, walked up and made sure the creature knew what fate had in store for its carcass: a display piece at Manse Victorious. And then Chillreaver breathed his last frosty breath.

A few moments later, cracks and splits began to form in the ice around us. A wall a few feet away came tumbling down and there before us laid Chillreaver’s horde of treasure. We were all so taken in by it. There was a huge fortune of coins, jewels, and also, weapons and armor. We began greedily grabbing up all we could, but the deterioration of the structure continued. It soon became evident that if we stayed to claim this treasure, we’d die. But then Kage remembered the Exodus Knife. We quickly hatched a plan: Madmartigan and Verne stayed behind to grab up all the treasure, and they would hide out in the safety of the knife’s pocket dimension. The rest of us rushed back to the mechanized crab boats.

We ran ahead as fast as we could. Ithyk grabbed Kage and I and then plopped us on his door, Tzolek jumping on for the ride. We slid down the ramp while I jumped off Ithyk’s back to keep some of the larger chunks of ice from pummeling the group. As we hit the next level, Tzolek jumped up and just started pulling Kage along while Kage pointed out what sections of the tunnel looked safer. Ithyk strong-armed his way through as I ran ahead and climbed up the ceiling to try and stabilize the tunnel as much as I could.

The iceberg only had moments left before it would completely collapse. We reached the boats. Ithyk drove his shoulder into one and roared as he shoved it into the water. Kage jumped in to another and began furiously smashing the controls to power the machine on. I catapulted myself into the last one and clicked it on as Tzolek leapt off the disintegrating ice, landing safely on a boat.

We took off into the water as the massive structure above us completely fell apart. Now safe, we went back to roughly where Verne and Madmartigan would reappear. Sure enough, after waiting a while, they popped back into our dimension and fell into the water below. We piloted the crab boats back to Nefleus where we received a hero’s welcome. The Deva were all ecstatic with our success, and pledged right away to join the Coalition. Amaryia was thrilled to see us alive and well.

After taking several hours to sell off what we found and to upgrade our equipment, we set sail back to Sayre. As we journey back to rejoin with the rest of the Coalition, I take time to think about our time here. We risked so much for Chillreaver’s treasure; my old master when I studied the Way of the Stone Fist would not approve of such greed. But students of the Way of the Bat must recognize the importance that tools play in our work to protect the innocent. In that chamber we found items that I have incorporated into my armaments, and with the wealth we obtained I have further enhanced my collection of equipment. We must always strive to be as powerful an enemy of evil as possible, and as powerful as we are, we are so much more powerful with the right tools. With that in mind, I can reconcile the risk we took to claim the treasure. Think of how much more fearsome an enemy to the Gith we will be because of it. As long as we temper this rationale with the knowledge that risk can come with a great cost, we can hopefully avoid doing anything too stupid in the future.

I also have been noticing the way the others’ spirits always seem to get bolstered when I rush ahead and am able to land a crippling hit on an enemy, sending the enemy to the ground or dazing them for a few moments. Being outside of the monastery as long as I have now, I have grown more comfortable speaking with the others, and with those we face off against. I think that by combining my new-found eloquence with my propensity for dramatic attacks that I can leverage this morale boosting effect more in the future. I can help my comrades be even more effective than before. I will have to experiment with this in the coming battles.

Madmartigan’s Men and Ithyk will make the Gith sorry they ever tried to invade this plane. And the Way of the Bat will become more and more clear to me as I continue to embrace what the shadows can teach me.

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Anger management

We were sent to investigate Nefleus, a tropical city that was experiencing unnaturally cold weather. Our boat was built to push through ice but I was still surprised when we saw the icebergs where they clearly didn’t belong. As we were pushing our way through a group of frost giants approached.

We defeated our enemies quickly, as we always do, but what made this unique was how we divided our forces. I fought alongside Madmartigan, the two of us separated from the group. The way we fought together reminded of fighting with Ithyk, and I finished the fight with barely a scratch on me. The more we fight together the more dangerous we become as a group, it’s almost disappointing to think of future enemies.

Once we arrived in Nefleus we were told the city didn’t have long before it was permanently encased in ice. We had to navigate these special mechanical boats they had for us that could only hold two passengers a piece. I hated every second in that boat. I had nothing to defend myself aside from a boat someone else made. Thankfully the trip was made without incident.

We dropped in on a bunch of fish men. One of was capable of some very nasty magic, unfortunately for him Thanoril excels at bringing people to the front of battle who don’t wish to be. As we killed most of them a behir joined the battle, a huge monster which I’d never seen or heard of before.

I felt my blood rush at the thrill of fighting a worthy opponent. As the fought wore on, Kage played a particular piece of music that helped me and the others focus. Any move the behir made and we were able to react before it. After the first time it noticed this it spent a few seconds cowering in fear of us. IN FEAR OF US! My pleasure from this was quickly diminished as, like a cornered rat, it fought back harder then expected. When we finally killed the beast Madmartigan asked me to cut off its head. My blade was already set to that task and I kept cutting after the head was removed. Every blow made me more angry that this beast had taken so long to kill.

After the fight as we took a break and I basked in the glory we received from this fight, I was glad the behir was such a worthy opponent and I look forward to future opponents with renewed vigor.

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Madmartigan's Journal, Book Two, Page 11
Backside penetration

The angelfolk gave us three freaky looking boats that work underwater and pointed us in the direction of the ice fortress we need to penetrate through the back.
My specialty.
Two by two we loaded into those metal death traps and easily made our way to and in the iceberg. Immediately as we hoped out of the boats, a bunch of ugly arctic fish beasts came at us. A few seconds later this enormous creepy thing with a hundred tiny horrible arms crackling with lightning roared into the cavern. Kage made it disappear for a second while we gutted the fishies, then we proceeded to beat down the big ugly. I kept poking at it, keeping it’s attention, while the rest of the Men & Ithyk hacked at it. Fucker was tough, but not enough for us!
We took a quick breather while Ithyk ate the gross dead fish that the lead fishman was throwing evil out of. I guess the fishmen tasted so bad even he wouldn’t eat them.
That’s a first.

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The Way of the Bat: Justice Tempered in Darkness – Chapter 5, Part: 1 (EXCERPTS)

With Telicanthus defeated, we met again with the Coalition. The rest of the Coalition will work against the githyanki while we sail to Nefleus and aid them, and hopefully recruit them to join our alliance. Amaryia joined us aboard a ship, the Rivenroar’s Pride, and we sailed for the tropical waters of Nefleus.

After several days and much warmer weather, we were greeted by a strange sight. We struck ice. Luckily, the ship we’ve been given has a reinforced hull and a bow designed to withstand frozen waters. We slowly began breaking through the ice. Shortly after we hit the ice though, we encountered fog, too. Out on the ice were frost giants who began closing in on the ship. Amaryia and the ship’s crew focused on getting us through the ice while the men and I attacked the giants. As a testament to how well we fight together at this point, there was no need for discussion. We all instantly snapped into action. Ithyk and I took on the giants attacking from the starboard side, while the others focused on those attacking on the port side. Kage stood atop the prow supporting us with his music, never letting an opportunity to be as dramatic as possible go to waste. The battle was over quickly, and the crew of the ship gave us an enthusiastic round of applause as we all came back aboard.

Our boat continued onward, having broken through the ring of ice. Kage could sense the magic that the inhabitants were using to keep the cold at bay. It was an enormous energy output, but it was not sustainable. The island was in danger of being overwhelmed by the ice very soon.

The island is almost entirely inhabited by Deva. I remember seeing a Deva at the monastery in my youth and then reading about them in the library. This island nation is where many of them are “born” on this plane. Bejam, the Deva that we spoke to, informed us that weeks prior to our arrival an enormous iceberg floated in towards the island. Soon a powerful magical cold began emanating from it. The ice ring began forming quickly after, cutting Nefleus off from the outside. The Deva believe that a powerful magical artifact is being used by the frost giants and some cold-adapted sahuagin to generate this massive freezing effect. We spoke with the Devas’ Thraxinium Council and they confirmed that their protection from the cold was on the brink of failing. We needed to act fast. The artifact being used is possibly the Seed of Winter, a legendary fey artifact. 13 enchanted mirrors were recently stolen from Nefleus that could be used to enhanced the Seed of Winter’s power. The council offered to join the Coalition if we are able to save them from this attack on the island. We agreed without hesitation.

We were given these bizarre mechanical devices to reach the iceberg. Their design resembled crabs… a little, and each one had room for two of us. They looked gnomish in design and function. I rode with Verne and we were able to easily navigate the sea floor and come up under the iceberg. There was an opening that the sahuagin were using to come and go, and we piloted the machines through the same opening.

Inside there was a chamber filled with several of the sahuagin. Whatever adaptation they’ve acquired to the cold has affected their pigmentation. The fighting began immediately. I dove forward into the fray and sent the one looking most like the leader flying towards the group. With him being handled by Ithyk and the others, Madmartigan and I started fighting our way through the ranks of them. Working together we were cutting our way through them rather well. And then the monster showed up.

From around the corner came a behir. The serpentine behemoth appeared to have undergone a change similar to the sahuagin. As soon as it rounded the corner though, Kage sent it to another realm briefly, giving us enough time to finish with the sahuagin first. I was thankful for the extra time as I wasn’t sure what to expect from the behir and wanted to be able to focus on it without distraction. When the behir returned to our plane, we all attacked. It was a powerful beast, but ultimately we triumphed. And with its fall Madmartigan’s Men and Ithyk moved deeper into the iceberg, ready to put an end to this devious arcane winter.

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Madmartigan's Journal, Book Two, Page 10
Cracking ice & heads

The Coalition gave me a boat. A big, bad mother called “Rivenroar’s Pride”. I would have changed the name to “Madmartigan’s Motherfucker” but Kage said it’s bad luck to rename a boat. Everything was smooth sailing, nice and warm, until we suddenly hit a bank of fog and then literally hit a wall of ice. The boat was crunching through it when someone yelled that there were shapes approaching, walking on the ice. About a dozen ice giants came at us and everyone started freaking until I told them all to chill the fuck out (I’m even funny under duress. Duress? I don’t know how I even know that word.)
I rode Kickass right over the side of the boat and promptly got chopped and stabbed damn near to death. I called on Eachthigrn to help a brother out and then Kage, standing on the prow belting out sweet riffs, took care of me big time.
Kickass and I clopped around one group of giants with Stoney while Ithyk and the Kid took on the other bunch, with Verne and Kage throwing whammies all over. Less than a minute later the giants all laid dead at our feet and the sailors broke into applause as I rode Kickass through the Feywild and onto the boat in a magical burst of rainbows.
We made it to Nifelus to a welcoming party of angelfolk and I did the whole “we’re awesome and here to save you” thing. They brought us to some high council types, ran through the usual gloating and suspicion, but got them to agree to join the Coalition if (when) we saved their glowy asses.
They told us about some kind of cold artifact that’s probably causing this, but I could see Kage was paying attention so I tuned out and started thinking about being up to my nuts in angel guts.
I hope I can find a couple appreciative broads once we return triumphant.

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Madmartigan's Journal, Book Two, Page 9
Lord Party Time

Ain’t no kinda party that Madmartigan’s Men (& Ithyk) can’t crash. We made a pretty grand entrance into Telicanthus’ party, everyone was all whispers and bedroom eyes as I introduced myself. We shook hands and made idle conversation for awhile while the kid did his thing and started looking for secrets.
Sure enough, little while later he sent a message through the tattoo that he found some ne’er-doings in a secret basement. We all assembled in the kitchen, sending the crew on their way, when Telicanthus’ second hand man walked in and told us to follow him. I was ready for a trap, but turns out the kid made himself look like the dude. Kid’s good.
So in the basement we found some crazy ritual inside a big magical bubble. We fucked their shit up, and as we were getting ready to take The Bitter Glass out with us, Telicanthus and his gang showed up, all full of pomp and indignation (Verne said that once, not sure why it’s stuck with me, but I like it.) The Filth King saw my new crown and threatened to take it back.
Of course we crushed them, then Verne & Kage took The Bitter Glass and got all up in the evil Gith network, so we know all their shit now.
We reported back to the Coalition with Telicanthus’ head and The Bitter Glass, and were treated like big damn heroes. Of course they had a new mission for us right away: head to the magical island nation of Nefelus to save the angelfolk that live there and get them to help us fight the bad Gith. Guess I’m going to need a boat.

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Third Dream

There is a terrible storm raging through the tundra. The sky is the color of dark ash and biting winds cut through you. You are not dressed for the weather; your feet sink into deep snow as your trudge along. Despair begins to creep in as you realize that you could die out in the cold. The howling gale is blinding, but in the distance you see a thin column of dark smoke. You struggle to make it to the smoke, hoping for a fire to warm yourself by.

Exhausted, you arrive at the source. The plain gives way to a small ravine and below, sheltered by the earthen walls, is a campfire. You rush forward, rolling down the hill and land at the fire. You look up and see that woman sitting by the glowing red flames. She is even more beautiful than before, her hair is the color of pale straw and her eyes are glowing like sapphires. She is wearing black furs and emerald jewelry.

She looks at you with a seductive smirk and says, “Warmth on a night like tonight is worth more than a treasure trove.” You offer the bag of gold you have with you and she laughs cruelly at the gesture. “You offer the gold you’ve taken from me? You’ll have to give me more than that. But if you do anything you desire will be yours”.

You wake up.

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