Scales of War

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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The Way of the Bat: Justice Tempered in Darkness – Chapter 4, Part: 3 (EXCERPTS)

I went out to familiarize myself with the city, and search for anything that could be useful the following night. While I was surveying Telicanthus’s house, I saw a githyanki wearing the same clothing as the ones who attacked the monastery. I chased the gith to an abandoned building, which I later learned was an old temple of Ioun. I was able to sneak in undetected and spy on the gith for a while. He had an ambush waiting for me and my friends. His allies were lead by someone known as the “Filth King”. With the new magic tattoos we all acquired, I was able to contact the group and call them for help.

Since they weren’t expecting us to be aware of the plan, we were able to pretty handily turn the tables on them. They didn’t last that long. After we bested them, we found a secret passage. In the main chapel, we found the Filth King and more of his subjects. The King proved to be unable to stand up to us, and he also quickly fell. After we defeated the King and his men, we found a huge pile of treasure. Before we could lay claim to the treasure, though, it animated. Taking the form of a three-headed dragon, the treasure pile attacked us. The fight proved to be the more challenging one of the night, but once we defeated it, the treasure was ours.

There was another secret door beyond the treasure hoard. I went ahead to scope out what lay at the bottom and I found several corpses in a room covered in old scribbles. The others quickly joined me and as they did the corpses animated. We had to defeat what once were the priests of Ioun. Their entombment had driven them insane but they were no match for us. After putting them to rest we were able to examine the walls of the chamber, which were covered in layer upon layer of writing. I was able to pick out some Elven, but not much else. After spending a great deal of time poring over the writing we were able to piece together a story.

Auglos founded the outpost of Auger. He created a powerful scrying device. It was a huge glass globe the color of the evening sky and could send seemingly anywhere, even across planes, as long as the recipient had a receiving mirror attuned to it. Auglos sold these attuned mirrors for a fortune, usually to powerful merchant guilds or various rulers across the land. He never told his customers that at any moment he could see and hear everything happening in the vicinity of these mirrors. Auglos learned all kinds of secrets. And he sold these secrets, making an even bigger fortune. There was one problem, though. The glass globe created psychic pulses in the Astral Sea whenever it was used. Eventually the githyanki in the city of Tu’narath were drawn to the psychic pulses. The Lich Queen Vlaakith herself named this device the Bitter Glass and decreed that the psychic pollution must be eliminated. This lead to the destruction of Auger by the gith.

There was something else on the walls. Something very strange. There was a message personally addressed to Verne that told him of Telicanthus and how he had found the Bitter Glass. Of all the unusual members of our group, Verne is arguably the strangest. This new development, while beneficial in this circumstance, could have big implications for the future. I think I’ll be keeping my eye on Verne much more closely.

The next morning Amyria brought us to the meeting hall. We met with the leaders of the Coalition. Kalad was representing the forces of Overlook. A copper dragon named Fariex was there, disguised as a mortal, and he pledged to aid the Coalition with his vast wealth. Caliandra, a very old elf, represented the elves and eladrin. Lord Divian Torrance represented the kingdom of Sayre. And there was a high priest named Inogo who represented the religion of Ertharis. Ordos and his githzerai were welcomed in to the assembly, as well. My compatriots and I began discussing the war with the assembled leaders. They were initially obstinate and difficult to sway, but we managed to convince them that the risk the githyanki posed would require them to work together. And we now have a new mission. We need to journey to a city of magic which may already have fallen to the gith. But first, there was something on our agenda. A dinner party.

Telicanthus’s dinner party was that evening. I prepared by picking up a few items that could come in handy, including some potions that would allow me to disguise myself for a few minutes at a time.

Once inside the house I took stock of the area the party was in. I was able to find a private washroom where I took the opportunity to turn invisible. From there I scuttled my way to the kitchen area. It didn’t take long to see who I should follow from there. All the kitchen staff were afraid of the same individual. Following him, I made my way into a secret passage and down into the old ruins of Auger that lay below Telicanthus’s estate. There, in the center of a large chamber, and supported by several pylons of many different materials, I saw the Bitter Glass. There was a group inside the orb, and they were performing some kind of ritual.

The one that I followed ordered a couple guards to follow him and talked about leading Madmartigan’s Men (and Ithyk) out of the house to kill us. I sent a message to the others so they could meet me in the kitchen. Then I raced up and sabotaged the secret door mechanism. Using the potion I bought, I took the form of the man that I had followed and went into the kitchen to dismiss the staff. From there I lead the others down into the chamber with the Bitter Glass and we were able to get the drop on the ritualists. With their concentration broken, the energies contained in the globe lashed out at them and helped us bring them down.

Shortly after we dispatched the ritual casters, we were joined by Telicanthus himself, as well as several of his men. The fight waged across the large open chamber. It was a thrilling battle, and in the end, we defeated all of our assailants. And with their defeat, we have the Bitter Glass and can destroy it, cutting off the means for the gith to communicate with each other across vast distances. It is a tremendous victory.

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4th Message to Baron Glasrael

Kage smiled at his reflection in the mirror as he finished applying the black lip paint. With an extravagant flourish he spun around with his arms out and chest puffed out. Dio, the book imp, glanced up from his infernal text as this happened with a quizzical look on his face as Kage excitedly made his pronouncement.
“I look friggin’ awesome!!" Dio cocked his head to the side as he examined Kages face. It was completely covering in chalk white powder except around his eyes and his lips, which were painted black. He was also wearing so much eye liner that it was almost comical. He was dressed in the nicest clothes he owned, which was to say the only ones that weren’t stained with blood, and he had his magical vihuela, Monster Mash II, slung over his back. Taking this all in the imp was clearly unimpressed and simply shrugged and responded.
“Sure, I guess.”
“Whatever!” Kage spat as he walked over to the summoning circle he had made out of Githyanki blood on the very expensive rug, in his very expensive room of the inn him and the Men were staying at. " It’s not like you know anything about fashion or looking cool, you bespectacled little dork." Kage knelt down and touched the summoning circle as Dio rolled his eyes so hard it may had giving him a headache, had he not already had one, brought about by always being with Kage. With a word of power Kage activated the circle and suddenly, cloaked in an aura of brimstone and mailice, before him stood the mighty Baron Glasrael. Kage beamed up at the imposing figure as the devil looked back, more than slightly confused.
“Ahem….." Glasrael began. " Kage, what ummm……what happened to your face?"
“I know boss, It’s awesome right? It’s a new makeup thing that I’m gonna drop on high society! I call it “Corpse Paint”! It’s gonna blow people’s minds!"
“Riiiiiiiight.” Glasrael returned. “That’s very nice Kage, was that all you called me for? I have a meeting with Lord Calbren soon and I don’t want to make him wait."
“Lord Calbren?" Kage asked “Isn’t he kind of big time? What’s he want?"
“Actually, he wishes to speak with me about you. I expect it will go………..poorly, but that’s beside the point. What was it that you wanted?”
“Oh, right,” Kage’s attention snapped back to the task at hand.” So, we saved that Githzari fortress, right, and found out that the wife of one of the head monks was like, possessed or something and had totally got the githyanki into the place and screwed the defenses and stuff. So we totally executed her and told the Githzari that we’d keep them safe and get them to some meet up with the rest of their people. They were all like “ Oh, we don’t need your help.” but we told them “Hey, We’re Madmartigan’s Men and Ithyk, and if you don’t have us helping you, you’re probably boned.” So they agreed and we went with them to Sayre. When we got there we met by this super rich githyanki ass-hat named Telicanthus, and he invited us to a dinner party and to stay in town on his tab. Hence the awesome digs I’m staying in right now.”
“That’s all very interesting Kage.” Glasreal said while kage took a second to breath in.” Next time though, can you just write this all down and send me a letter or something?”
“ But Boss, that’s not even the interesting stuff. You see, we found this piece of glass that is part of some giant scrying orb called the Bitter Glass. “ Kage quickly produced one of the pieces to show the Baron. “ Pretty cool, huh? What it does is….”
“Thank you, Kage I know plenty about the Bitter Glass, the Githyanki had hidden it quite well, and you say that is one of the communication pieces? “
“Yeah, totally is, also, we’re pretty sure we know where the main control orb is.” Kage said with a prideful smile.”
“Come again?”
“Yeah, it’s in mansion of that prat Telicanthus. We’re going to a party there tonight. That’s why I’m all dressed up. We’re going in there and we’re gonna burn that motha’ down.”
“But you’re not going to destroy the Bitter Glass? “ Glasrael asked, hope dripping into his voice.
“Don’t know.” Kage said seeming truly perplexed. “We didn’t really make a decision on that. Now that I think about it, we usually don’t make too many decisions beforehand. I guess we’re not really planners, ya know?”
“Or thinkers” Glasrael said below his breath.
“What?” Kage asked.
“Nothing.” Responded Glasrael.” Look, just try not to destroy the Bitter Glass, it’s very useful. And after the party, should the priceless artifact remain intact could you give me the exact location and maybe a way in?”
“Ummmm, maybe. I’ll have ask the Men, not Ithyk, he wouldn’t understand the question even if I said it and grunts and humping.”
“Yes, fine, whatever.” Glasrael interrupted. “ I have to speak with Lord Calbren. I’ll speak with you later Kage.” And with that, Baron Glasrael vanished with a wet, sulfurous pop. As soon as he was gone Kage turned to Dio with a leering, I Told You So look on his face.
“Look at that Dio, the Boss thought I looked awesome!” Dio didn’t even bother to sigh, since he know the gesture was like trying to teach a pig to sing. Instead all he said was.
“Yup Boss, just like you said.”

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Madmartigan's Journal, Book Two, Page 8
Hail to the King

Kord, I’m bushed. I was just settling into a nice night of drinking and debauchery on someone else’s tab with Kage when Spooky Kid sent a message to us all saying that he’d followed one of the mean Gith from Telicanthus’ joint to some warehouse, where he was currently stalking him and some cronies.
I sent a message telling him to stay put and assembling the rest of the Men & Ithyk nearby, so we could bust in and bust heads together.
Oh, I forgot to tell you about my new tattoo! I got the symbol of Madmartigan’s Men & Ithky inked on my right hand and enchanted, as did the rest of the Men (well, branded, in Ithyk’s case and enscribed in Vern’s). Now we can communicate with the rest of the men magically, and can also know each other’s location and if we’re OK.
I’d never tell them this, but I worry about the Men when they’re off doing they’re thing, especially the kid. Bahamut forbid he get into some serious shit, not that he can’t handle himself, I know he can, but I feel responsible for them. I don’t want to sound like a fop or anything, just, I’ve imposed myself as their leader, so I better do a damn good job about it.
Anyway.
We busted into the warehouse, being careful to avoid the goop cube that the kid warned us about. Tzolek & Ithyk busted right through the floor into the basement, where everyone was waiting to take us out, I guess. I leapt in after them, same a tricky looking fucker perched up on a beam, sliced him open and knocked him on his ass. Then the kid used some spooky-fu and threw him half across the room, right under Tzolek’s descending ax, which promptly decapitated the prick. The rest, even the cube, were a mop job after that.
The kid led us through some secret passage to a real winner by the name of the Filth King. WHen I say we kick-circled him to a bloody pulp, I’m spareing you the details because I know you can be sensitive, baby. His “subjects” fought valiantly but were clearly outmatched, and one finally broke rank and ran, but Kage slipped his pick between the cowards shoulder blades and he went down.
Kage opened a portal through hell to cross the pit to the King’s treasure pile, but the fucking thing came to life as a three-headed dragon. It was the toughest fight we’ve had in a long time, mostly because it whispered words of greed to us and turned us against one another. It told me to strike the most powerful one of us, so of course I stabbed myself and of course I hit, that’s how good I am.
We busted the treasure monster into pieces (gold pieces) and made with the looting.
The kid spotted another secret door, so he spooked on down, found a room with a bunch of deadies and sent word for us. As soon as I walked in the room the deadies all stood up, but it wasn’t long before we put them all back down.
The room was covered in crazy writing, turns out it was an old Iounian temple and the scribes all got trapped by some Gith-triggered flood, so they decided to write everything in every language. A bit of it was even addressed to Vern, which gave me the willies.
On the way back we found that the Filth King was gone. Good thing I already absconded his crown. It fits nice, too. I think I’m going to wear it tomorrow.
I am going to a fancy party, after all.

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Madmartigan's Journal, Book Two, Page 7
Epicer & epicer
Whoa, I just had another crazy dream. That same broad I saw on the hill last time, but this time she was at the bottom of the hill with me. She smiled this weird green smile and told me I could have anything I desired, but I woke up before I could tell her to bob my knob. It’s not every day you can get head from a chick with green teeth. Well, I guess it depends where you pick up your ladies, but hers weren’t dirty green, they were magical green.

Just when I think my life can’t get more epic, I fight a squad of troops on an two airships stuck together from the back of my unicorn. Wait, that’s not the epic part. I know, it’s amazing…
Then I ride my fucking unicorn to the ground, galloping through the Feywild to land safely on the ground as the ships crash into an obliterate an army of bad guys. Fuck Vecna in the eye socket, what a day.
Oh, after all that we helped the rest of the quiet-type Gith find a saboteur in their ranks. Turns out it’s Tokk’it’s wife. Bummer, poor guy. Odos, the head quiet Gith, asked us to escort him and the rest of these ungrateful fuckers to Sayre, so of course we did.
Lord Telicanthus, the head honcho of Sayre and one of the dickhead Gith (well, they’re all dickheads, but you know what I mean) rolled out a welcome wagon for us, all veiled threats and guards who think they’re tougher than us.
I can’t wait to prove them wrong.
I rode around Sayre on the back of Kickass, drawing looks from the ladies. We went to some slum where all the quiet Gith were holed up and ran into the sword broad again. She told us some foreboding shit, I wasn’t really listening though, I was looking at her jugs. I think they got bigger.
Now I’m just about to lay down after a nice hot bath. Telicanthus put the Men & Ithyk up in some fancy digs, so we’re going to run his tab through the roof before we party like there’s no tomorrow at his abode tonight. I’m going to get drunk, fight and fuck, hopefully in that order. Telicanthus will regret the day he invited Madmartigan’s Men & Ithyk to a party!

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Second Dream

You are lying in a glade. The forest is thick around you and the setting sun shines bright golden light throughout. You feel dizzy, and vaguely remember that a few moments ago you were running up that hill after that beautiful woman. As you reflect on this, you realize you are not alone. There’s movement beyond the glade. You stand quickly, but realize your weapons are not with you. From the corner of your eye you see her step out from behind a tree. The woman from the hill is now in the glade, this time clothed in deep green gown. She is adorned with rubies and her hair is jet black. You turn to face her and she smiles, revealing lime green teeth. “Few can resist their greatest desires, tell me what it is and you’ll have it”. Before the image of your utmost desire forms in your mind, you wake up.

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The First Dream

You are walking through a large field. There is a large hill off in the distance and you feel compelled to reach its summit. As you start to approach the incline, you notice you are not alone. There is a beautiful human woman at the base of the hill. She’s wearing a white gown and is adorned with gold jewelry. She notices your approach, smirks seductively and disappears. You look around and notice her now standing at the summit of the hill. You race up the hill as fast as you can, reaching the crest out of breath. The woman is there, looking out at the land. You move to stand next to her, becoming aware that the hill is much taller than you thought and you can see to the horizon. “All of this can be yours,” the woman says, then adds with a smoldering look “anything you want can be yours”.
You wake up.

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