Episode 53: Yuna and the Fallen Sister
After a fitful long rest the party made ready to exit the mine shaft after their harrowing and bizarre jungle ordeal; their mission to rescue trapped miners apparently a failure. They made their way up the shaft, until they found it blocked by a cave-in. The collapse proved treacherous, and Magnus was injured and partially buried trying to clear the rubble with his bare hands. Through careful, painstaking work Yuna and Ara were able to clear a path over the rubble using the mining gear they had brought in anticipation of such a task, and after a few hours the party was free. Sirlius noticed again that the area of the cave-in seemed to be the result of an explosion, one centered on support joists designed to brace the tunnel against just such a collapse.
Ara remarked as they left the mine that during his watch overnight he had observed the strange metallic sphere creature the party had previously seen twisting reality back together; it appeared to be watching them.
The party decided to return to Uman, to inform Mera Maryndottir, the Lady of the Hearth, of the fate of the miners. When they arrived back at the Community’s compound, however, they found instead of a loose farming collective the compound was now a fortified militia installation, with high palisades and guard towers. They also found an encampment of Uman City Watch, led by the captain-general himself, Bartok Brescht. From him they learned that the Community had taken House Knacklebun’s firstborn son prisoner and were threatening to kill him unless their demands were met. What demands these were, he could not say. Brescht warned the Party that he was about to storm the compound, but feared this would lead to great loss of life on both sides, and beseeched them to help if they could. Confused by the drastic changes to the compound since they had last visited, they also learned that fully two span of days had passed in Uman since they found themselves in a jungle – more than twice as long as they had spent there by their own reckoning.
Yuna volunteered to enter the compound and try to reason with Mera, the Community of the Hearth’s leader and also seemingly Yuna’s half-sister. The party was reluctant to let her go alone, and so they all approached the newly-erected compound gates. The guards, who were little more than starving peasants, at first refused the party entry. But Yuna, channeling her divine energy and revealing her true quasi-angelic form, demanded entrance. This had the desired effect and they made their way into the compound, Yuna still resplendent in her divine form. Keen, using a new-found magical ability, conjured the illusion of angelic wings to match Yuna’s.
They were escorted by an increasingly large group of Community members towards the main structure, now enlarged with a second storey and further fortified. Mera Maryndottir greeted Yuna from a balcony, and bade her enter. She did so. The guards of the building barred the party entry and Magnus made ready to fight his way in, but at Yuna’s request the party remained outside. Behind them, dozens of Community members began to crowd together, watchful, though still at a distance.
Yuna passed through the community space on the interior of the building and entered the throne room, where Mera greeted her as an ally and urged her to join their cause, to stand against the watch and force a change in government. Yuna pleaded with the woman to see reason, and seemed to have convinced her to stand down and end the hostage-taking peacefully, when a madness seemed to well up and take her. Mera ranted that Yuna was lost, had strayed from the path of their father, and that she must be reprimanded. Rising into the air and taking on her true form, the Lady of the Hearth engaged Yuna on tattered, blackened wings, her leather armor black over grey skin and flaming, burning eyes. She manifested two flaming whips and attacked.
As the mad aasimar’s shriek echoed throughout the building, Yuna quickly relayed all that had been spoken to the party via their residium binding telepathy. Magnus immediately attacked the two guards holding the door and charged through the community space, not stopping even for the blades of the interior guards, until he was shoulder to shoulder with Yuna. The rest of the party enaged the militia, Whisper covering their rear and slowing the crowd behind them with a field of vicious thorns erupting from the ground. As they fought desperately to push past the guards and come to Yuna’s defense, she and Magnus engaged the fallen Lady of the Hearth, who displayed powers far beyond her divine heritage. Striking out with her whips and the force of her black radiance stunning Yuna, she shifted her form into that of an Executioner, clad in black armor and wielding a huge two-headed, blood-red axe.
Whisper, Ara and Keen made quick work of the remaining guards, the last one falling to a bolt of energy from Sirlius, his head briefly turning pinkish-red and sprouting jagged, strawberry-plant leaves before crumpling to the ground.
Meanwhile Magnus swung at Mera repeatedly but was unable to penetrate the heavy plate. Yuna’s attempts to calm the madwoman’s emotions were rebuffed, and she countered with a two-handed swing of the deadly Executioner’s axe. Yuna’s death seemed assured, but as the axe fell the party burst into the room. Keen, seeing the axe’s inevitable end yelled out, “That’s not how it happens!” As his eyes flared silver-white and his pupils took on the draconic, three-bodied shape, the air in the room shimmered and Mera’s killing stroke instead passed harmlessly, a hair’s breadth from Yuna’s face. Sirlius unleashed a fireball at the creature, who erupted into flame. Mera’s form shifted again and, no longer the Executioner, she rose higher into the air lashed out with her flaming whips once more. Yuna called on Stella, who burst into being and with a terrifying growl sprung into the air, closed her massive jaws around Mera’s hip and dragged the fallen aasimar to the ground. Yuna sprang forward and slipped Keen’s Ring of Bliss onto her finger, and at once her foe’s form returned to that of a simple peasant woman, glassy-eyed and content. As Stella released her she looked up at Yuna and mumbled, “Sister…?”
Boss Battle Rating: Epic
Mess With The Cleric Recommendation: Do Not
Keen’s Action Status: Legendary
RP Rating: Awesome!