The strange party returned to Coin. Next on the agenda – Quicksilver! A knight of Iomedae. He offered aid to Coin in return for an unstated service. The party dispatched themselves to a clock tower on some distant (for a certain value of the word “distant”) world.
They passed through a familiar passageway, a hall of doors, and recently a scene of bloody battle. Gouges in the walls left by some mechanical device. Blood everywhere. A trap laid across the hall – some sort of tripwire (?), its ends extending through two of the doorways – doorless, opening onto swirling madness. This tripwire was no ordinary wire, but a strand of curious rope – completely rigid and suspended in space. The party had encountered this material before – even possessed a length of it.
Perhaps the gouges in the corridor were made by the ends of this rope, sweeping down the corridor. Perhaps what they saw was not a trap, but a successful attempt to contain the rope. No matter. They simply stepped over or crawled under it, electing to not tamper with it (although Picklick could not resist a parting shot, as they stepped though one of the doors into the next world).
They stepped out onto a narrow, high, windswept ledge around what was clearly a clock tower. Walking around it, they found a door and entered. Here the meeting would take place.
They were in a room housing enormous gears. No Quicksilver. On one of the gears was an origami bird – a message. Picklick nimbly leapt onto the gear to retrieve the message. He opened it, and a squad of Angels teleported into the room. The who had teleported onto the gear in front of Picklick began reading out a sentence of death: the party were found guilty of the deaths of Quicksilver and sundry others whose corpses they had encountered (but in most cases not been responsible for) and sentenced to death. They were commanded to lay down their weapons and submit to judgement.
Now, there’s a thing or two you need to know about angels. Angels are servitors of great forces brought into existence by the collective will of mortals – so-called “gods” – who are attempting to hold back the inevitable destruction of the universe as the great ones reawaken and bring chaos, madness, and death. These “gods” accomplish this by attempting to impose their ideas of “right” and “good” on beings weaker than themselves. They were made by mortals, and their primary concern is how mortals live, what mortals do, say, and think.
Yes, this is pretty preposterous. As if mortals thinking clean thoughts and having two healthful bowel movements a day will stop the chaos that is to come.
As is the case here, the gods often resort to execution to do this. They have courts of “law” (Who makes these laws? They do!) where these powers predictably conclude they have a right to act as they do. Thus they justify ordinary vengeance and their acquisition of power in their own twisted minds. In truth, the gods of mortal races are mere reflection of those races: preoccupied with sex, status, respect, money; vain, greedy, and power-hungry, which is to say fearful. They demand worship because they fear what will happen if they are not worshipped. They simply fade away, become a forgotten god.
Submit? To an angel? It is they themselves who ought to submit to worthier powers than they, and surrender themselves to true madness.
But there was not really time to dispute jurisdiction and due process with this bailiff. Because before he had quite finished reading, Picklick stabbed him.
Tactically, it was a bad situation. The party were clustered together on a gangway being approaced from both sides, with Picklick out by himself on the great gear in the center of the tower. The head angel swung at him twice, nearly killing him outright. Picklick chose to dive over the side and feather fall to the base of the tower.
As it was, he basically got no play, which sucks considering that he had to take a week off. Sorry, man. I feel for you.
Two of the squad were not angels, but were Assimaar inquisitors. One of them used a spell to chain John to a moving gear. Faugh moved up to engage them, and Brus and Bottom moved over to fight an angel coming from the other direction. John, calling on the madness of Azathoth, projected a field of madness around him in all directions. The party were kinda used to it, but the flying cherubs were struck with fits of giggling, and even one of the other lesser angels was confused. The second lesser angel projected a field of antimagic – breaking the confusion and also breaking the spell holding John in place. Brus stayed put of range of the field and with Bottom felled the confused lesser angel. Bottom attempted to save him, managing to stop him bleeding out. A cherub flew over, vomited cold over Bottom who protected himself by ducking behind the wing of the not-quite-dead-yet angel on the ground. “But … why?” wailed Bottom. The cherub moved within reach of Brus’ naginata, and Brus cut it cleanly in half.
Brus relies heavily on buffs. It’s not just spells – inquisitor buffs are supernatural and are suppressed by antimagic. Happily, angelic antimagic is 10′.
Meanwhile, John had moved over to the fight between Faugh and the Assimaar Inquisitors. His aura of madness mostly neutralised them, and they were cut down. But the lead angel had come over, and that bastard was tough.
The second lesser angel saw that everyone bar the leader was dead. He teleported himself and his fallen comrade out. Brus had finally (finally!) worked out that these guys were good, not lawful, outsiders. He had his bane on, switched to Judgement of Justice, and moved up to fight the main good guy with Faugh.
The great angel was already touched up. Brus swept his naginata and put in some hurt as well. The great angel turned and struck Brus three times, cutting into him twice and killing him outright.
I̡͉͉a̩̠͚̝!̸̩̼̣ ̺̼̯̬Í̮̦̜͚̪͈̖̰͘͞ą̧̯̟͍̳͙̻̻!̧̖͎͓͚̱̬̟ ̞̣̘̳̥ͅY̬͎͇͡o͔̦̜̮̲͢g̶̥̜̭̦̕ ̨̼̰̗̼͞S̨͖̭̥̥̝ó̯t͕͚͙́h̡͚̮͉͎̰̠̫̖͚o͈̥̻͝t̵̨̛̯͚͈̥̱ḥ̢̘͚̭̹͟ ̨͓͕͟͠n̤̺͕̪̠-̷̢̰̝̬͙̳t͕̙g̡͙̬͖̬̀l̩͔̦u͏͕̘̭̤ͅi̝͍͖ ̦̳̙̼͔͞I̷͈͕͕̲̫̻á͈͍̣̥̦̙̣̩̭!̡̙̮̱̯̣̠̝̲̗͢
The great angel turned and struck Brus three times, but on the second cut Yog-Sothoth intervened. Brus’s naginata spoke to him in the language of the Dark Tapestry. A command. An order. A ban.
In a few more moments, Faugh with only a little help finally managed to roll something decent and slew the angel. It faded away into light. A sheet of parchment fluttered to the floor.
Picklick made it back up to the gangway they were on. “I’ve been trying to set light to this place,” he said, “but this wood is old“.
They retrieved the sentence of death. On order blah blah blah for the murders of etc ect etc we find you guilty and sentence you blah blah blah.
Will noticed something odd. The 20th flight? Angel flights go up to sevens. Those old style numerals – “X X”. They were the eyes of Limen. These angels had been deceived.
But for Brus, another matter was more pressing. He approached John, the priest of The First. “This weapon spoke to me. A weapon that speaks should have a name. I will name him ‘Oblivion'”
John made a sign. “His name is Oblivion. You and he will save many from the horror that is to come.”
Oh man, I totally forgot about Neeko. Wasted my once-per-day 4th level spell on trying to locate her. She, of course, had gone through a portal and was off-plane. Neeko is Picklick’s foil, so maybe there’ll be some hobgoblin/catfolk love next session.