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Obedience - A report by Marius The Magnificent

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26 Vultria, 8975 Ta

Source: Marius The Magnificent

Report by Marius the Magnificent, slayer of Zombies.

To: The New Lady Protector of the Protectorate, the one who isn’t Lord Artemis and may turn out to be actually competent (Unless you’ve decided you don’t want the job after all, in which case can I suggest Lord Marius has a very natural ring to it).

Your most excellent excellency, Greetings. Marius the Magnificent is pleased to bring you this report into the actions of your predecessor.

As you know your Lord Artemis disappeared from his duties recently. Marius and his team were assigned to assist a small group of high level auxiliaries to find his Lordship and return him before he could cause any new wars for us.

The high-level party was made up of Hero Anduin, Hero Reginald, Hero Malakai, Hero Lurgy, and Hero the one with the black hat. Since their part in this mission was reduced to that of tea service to the Emerald Empire, they will not be mentioned further.

More important are the lower level Auxiliaries:

Marius the Magnificent, Slayer of Zombies etc. etc. I am sure you are familiar with Marius through his many books, such as the 27 volume classic series “Marius’s Wheel of Time” which will be finished at some stage.

Trent – A noble fighter and attractor of no end of trouble.

Lyra Blackthorn – with her new plate armour, and more ferocious than ever. Can be calmed with a good chew toy, such as a Leg bone she’s ripped off a hopping mad skeleton.

Mal’faine – a blue (he claims grey) faced elf with a big long dangerous weapon, he also has a halbard.

Thyme – Hospitaller, skilled bandager, administrator of elixers, and a furry eared fox.

Piper – A deadly scout with twin bone blades, stylish black cloak, and horns. Modus Opperandi – slip in, apply stabby death, slip out.

Uthvas Bethud – Sharp arrows, sharper wit. Beware the twang of the bow from this grizzled veteran.

Vaughan – with his fine chain shirt and ready to enforce the cosmic balance with his mace.

Tenth – Ninth in our party was Tenth. He’s learning well under Marius’ guidance.

Ziggy – Still playing his sitar, and actually useful now and then.

 

Assembled we set off teleporting into the Razoredge mountains, where we established a base before setting out North to scout. Encountering some bandits we discovered the main base of smuggling operations in this region is the Traders Purse Tavern. After this we encountered Imps, Supayen, Undead, and finally a patrol of Emerald Empire guards.

Following some intensive weapons-based negotiation, three of the Emerald Empire guards agreed to come with us back to our base where we discovered their orders from General Montague Forcyth-Bladderbrook Worpington-Pillary, 3rd Earl of Teabagshire, QBC, CBKB, QED (clearly self-given sanctimonious titles, how sad) to annex these lands despite the treaty between them, the Supayen, and ourselves.

Worried that, should Lord Artemis discover this he would dispense instant justice which could have longer term ramifications, we dispatched the Heroes to use their influence to negotiate a withdrawal by the Emerald Empire while we found Lord Artemis and kept him happy.

While Anduin et.al. were out of trouble drinking tea, we set off East, refreshed by a good night’s sleep despite being roused earlier than planned due to a cowardly attack by some weirdoes, not much to note though, other than the morning meal was spoilt by the sight of Mal’faine having to be elixered - his blood and intestines on the dining table ruined breakfasts’ 8th course.

Piper and Uthvas set off tracking and Pipers’ eagle eyes found a confident stride of size 8½ boots, which she deduced to be Lord Artemis’ (possibly the clue was in the trail of scorch marks from lightning in the area). Like a bad smell, Malice were everywhere as well as Imps and bandits.

Slaying every obstacle we found a strange Druid who was creating bizarre creatures, abominable mixes of beasts never meant to be forced together, a Boar-badger, Komodo Dragon-spitting cobra, (most foul chimera), however the last one, a Parrot-Gnoll, was a truly magnificent creature with beautiful iridescent blue plumage, and as sweet a personality as ever could be wanted in a pet, it delightfully took food from Thymes hand and was most friendly (right up until Uthvas slit it’s throat).

The Druid decided he wanted our Hospitaller for his foul experiments (due to her great foxiness) but we refused to give her over. He even offered to trade for a pouch that he had found, one we recognised as belonging to Lord Artemis himself, a clue to our mission? As he refused to hand it over peacefully we had to resort to more persuasive measures. Taking the pouch from his body we discovered, well, I shan’t describe the indescribable horrors in Lord Artemis’ pouch, but rather focus on his plan. His cunning masterpiece was:

1. Teleport in

2. Throw off the Scent of the Protectorate

3. Hide in the Shonky Shack

4. Blow up Malice staging post

5. Blow up Malice Portal (details TBA)

Genius, is a word I would hesitate to use to describe this plan.

It was but a moment to the shack where we found Lord Artemis (drunk, naturally) and offered our services to him (as per our orders). Seeing such an amazing array of talent led by Marius the Magnificent he was delighted to have our assistance and as soon as lunch was over we set off, teleporting back to the University (we held of several waves of imps and ferossa while Lord Artemis cast) with a note that Lord Artemis had gotten Crygos’ signature on it and also (eventually – thanks to our swift running Piper) Lord Artemis’ signature (which the forgetful dolt had neglected the first time) - in line with proper authorisation requirements.

This got us into the Archive where the Archivist gave us a “fascinating” tour and then he offered to us an item to assist our mission – rumours of any maces accidentality falling into Trents' bag is pure slander.

Teleporting back to the mountains we fought undead before returning to base to make sure that the Heroes were staying on course to achieve their mission. We found them helpless to proceed without our help, this meant locating and slaying a terrible Tea Bush to get a special brew for them to give the Emerald Empire. We hunted it down, and while the Tea Bush shambled and blustered, it succumbed to our axes and we returned with a pack of Wizzard Tea for the negotiations.

Having a swift dinner of roasted Parrot-Gnoll (delicious, tastes a bit like chicken) we proceeded to the Malice staging post. Lord Artemis created a distraction by unleashing an apocalyptic lightning storm of vengeance and suppressed anger at paperwork, attracting the bulk of the Malice forces in the area while we proceeded to assault the staging house. There we engaged in three waves of undead forces who had been left to defend the post. In this final push, lit by the flashes of the Tempest in full flow, we tried to force our way into the building while Malice threw everything at us for they had reserved the most important of their forces for this defence, a skeletal warrior, necromancer, Marrow eater, ghoul, and Zombie. The Marrow Eater was most vexing until Marius (thanks to an invocation from Vaughan) hit it with an empowered staff and it recoiled in horror, but due to its position in a narrow doorway we could not get a good attack on it, and the necromancer would heal any damage we managed, so quickly thinking Marius hit the Skeletal Warrior with his power weapon, driving is berserk and luring it out of the confined doorway where we could surround and slay it. Drawn out, the remaining Malice forces followed outside and we engaged them in a better position, but the necromancer was still healing any damage we could inflict on his most powerful creations, and he marshalled his forced most carefully and expertly which left only one option.

Marius launched himself suicidally at the foul and stinking representative of Malice, landing many stout blows, breaking his casting concentration and his direction of the battle. Taking advantage of this the undead where slain, but what a cost…Marius himself downed in brutal heroic contest with the Necromancer (overcome by his smelly breath in an action that swung the entire battle - though quick thinking by Piper and Thyme ensured he got an elixir in time), and also Trent, who had attempted to weigh down the zombie’s sword by sticking his body on it during the very earliest stages of our assault.

We grieved for our fallen comrade who was beyond an elixer, but there was looting to be done so we dumped him out of the way and proceeded to clean out the base until Lord Artemis returned, having had his fun, and with an item he restored Trent to us, oh happy days!

In the base we found a foul mixture used for the creation of undead (samples dutifully returned) there were many warning signs about the flammable and dangerous nature of this material, so like any good Auxillaries would, we set it spread it everywhere and then set it alight (the solution for many problems), proceeding to blow up the building as a consequence.

Then the matter of the Malice Portal. Lord Artemis needed 10 minutes to charge the device while we cleared the area of the imps and Hepathic creatures attracted by the magic. Wave after wave assaulted us but we repelled them with ease, Piper especially safe in her static field. A cry from Lord Artemis, who had charged the item, as he stood ready to close the portal but then… the tea bush had its final revenge, a fellow plant reached out a root and grabbed the foot of dear Thyme, and another struck her leg bringing her down and leaving her most grievously injured. The horror of such a gentle soul being attacked made what follows a little hazy to remember, but we believe from evidence it went something like this:

Lord Artemis started to run towards the Portal. A water based creature emerged from it and cast Slow on Lord Artemis. With only seconds before the device went off, Marius the Magnificent grabbed the item from Artemis’ hand and threw it to Uthvas. Uthvas handed it off to Vaughan who passed to Tenth. Tenth ran past two defenders and lobbed it to Ziggy. Trent defended Ziggy while he got into position and used his Lyre strings to catapult it to Lyra. Lyra leapt up and caught it in her mouth and raced to Piper (who had to tell her several times to drop it). Piper, the fastest of us, raced through the remaining defenders, only the Water creature left, it went to cast another Slow, but Mal’faine appeared behind it and slit its throat. A last ditch tackle by an imp brought Piper up short but she popped the device up for Marius to slam dunk it into the Portal then we all ran like hell (remembering to take Artemis with us)(1).

We returned to our staging post and rested.

The next morning the Heroes set of to the final part of negotiations while we waited with Lord Artemis, trying to make sure he didn’t rush off before the Heroes got back. The surviving Malice forces assaulted our position which we held off at great risk and cost, Marius slew so many Zombies that morning, it was glorious.

Malice forces were also bolstered by Enchantians, and most strange creatures they had with them. An emboddied Corpse Candle, An Eye of Flame and Fear (extra vulnerable to water magic, thank Tenth and his Ice Javelins), and an Ashen Warrior.

Exhausted, almost out of spells and badly wounded, we drove them off a final barrage of lightning bolts, just in time for the Heroes to return (missing the fun) where they told us how they had all dressed up in maids outfits to pour tea for the Emerald Empire General, and then the Emerald Empire had agreed to go away, have a nice lie down, and think about what they had done.

With that Lord Artemis teleported us back home where he gave a speech praising our spirit and abilities, then dropped the bombshell that he was quitting as Lord Protector to find a job with less paperwork (ok, it wasn’t really that surprising).

So ends the report of Marius the Magnificent into our mission “Lord Marius Artemis Blows Shit Up”.

So many tough and wonderful monsters that weekend, despite the best efforts of the weather against us. They were epic as always, and thanks to everyone who put in extra help to make this weekend happen. Best wishes to Lex and her family for a swift resolution to their house and the flooding damage.

 

  1. This may(2) not be exactly what happened.

  2. i.e. Almost certainly not.