Game Date: Sunday, January 12, 2013
In-Game Date: Summer XX, 998 AC
The game ignored last season’s cliffhanger at the start, instead jumping to the airship, where Praxis/Lisa and the rakshasa Kalarel had a brief conversation about Akara. And by “conversation”, I mean Praxis refused to answer any of Kalarel’s questions about his (alleged) old partner. Their lack of discussion was interrupted, however, by a chill in the air, and the appearance of a frost genasi who announced himself as “Lloyd Slate, Winter Knight to the Queen of Air & Darkness, Mab”. He said that his queen had sent him there to make sure they could not interfere in the fight back with the dragonborn army. A fight ensued (with Greg taking the reins of the NPC Kalarel), and the party killed Mab’s Winter Knight.
The two then realized they needed to turn the airship around, despite the previous concerns about the airborn dragons that might attack/get-attacked-by the airship. Kalarel hit the “BATTLE MODE” button, and the ship identified 5 draconic targets (2 gold, 2 silver, 1 mithral), all diving towards the ground. Kalarel told Praxis that the ship could target two of the dragons, and asked her which ones. She chose randomly, and the ship went after one gold & one silver as Praxis jumped on a flying carpet (which was low on energy, and could only safely get her to the ground) to join her friends.
JUMP BACK DOWN TO THE GROUND.
Back on the ground, in the moment after Baba Yaga disappeared and all the dragonborn of Detham’s Legion and their draconic allies in the air above lost their sentient minds, an unnatural calm fell over the field as almost everything froze into place and a terrifyingly beautiful woman showed up. This was Queen Mab herself, Archfey of incredible power. She had arrived, she said, to speak with Ginger/Elizabeth, whose Grandmother, Baba Yaga, had baptized her with her tear before departing. According to Mab, the Grandmother of all Witches had been gone for much longer in the actual Feywild than the moments she’d appeared to have been gone in Coventry (which, despite the fey blood magic ritual, is still technically a part of the Prime Material plane in some regards… though not in others). In fact, she’d been missing for a year and a day in the Feywild, which had some significance (according to the Arcana checks the party made). Mab said that Ginger was able to speak for her Grandmother, given the baptism, and wanted to repay a debt she owed Baba Yaga through Ginger.
While the party was more than a little wary of cutting a deal with Queen Mab, Ginger agreed to hear her out.
Here was Mab’s offer: because no creature died in fey lands without her approval, she could bring back the lives of all the witches who had just been killed by Detham’s Legion prior to Baba Yaga’s break-down. However, because her servants had found interest in Detham’s Legion, they had recently made copies of the legionnaire’s thoughts (and those of the dragons with them) in ice crystals in the feywild, and she could bring back all of their minds & memories (from about a month ago), making them savages no more. Either way, though, she noted that she had recently lost her Winter Knight (in fact, she noted that this was the second time Anaru/Jessa had been present for the death of one of her Knights, referencing an event from Anaru’s backstory session we ran a few weeks earlier), and reserved the right to choose her new Winter Knight from among those who were chosen to be brought back.
The party debated this for a while. Nikolai/Micah specifically wanted to see his brother brought back to mindfulness, though he didn’t really care about Detham or the rest of his soldiers. Ginger felt a kinship to her witch sisters. Akara/Valarie was concerned with how Mab messing with death might interact with the Raven Queen’s authority. However, as Mab listened to Nikolai talk about his brother, she asked him to describe him more. Nikolai (innocently) spoke at length about how awesome his brother was, and so Mab altered the bargain: she’d bring back Nikolai’s brother Osyp as her new Knight, and then would bring back whichever side Ginger chose.
Ginger chose to bring the witches back, and Nikolai had a scant few moments to say farewell to his mentally-restored (but confused) brother before he was whisked off in a flurry of cold air, disappearing with Mab.
This, however, did nothing to stop the diving dragons, who suddenly started moving normal speed again, along with the rest of the world around the party. After a fairly epic fight, the party managed to subdue (but not kill) the 3 dragons. The revived witches were instructed by Ginger to contain (but not kill) the dragonborn, and soon a huge hedge wall/maze was raised around the mindless dragonmen.
After the fight, Ginger (who was seen as a leader by the other witches) worked with her sisters to create a sort of ruling council of witches. They chose to have 9 members total on the council (3 maidens, 3 mothers, 3 crones), with Ginger having the option of stepping in with a veto vote until Baba Yaga’s return.
Kalarel brought the airship low, now fully-powered, and managed to use the other red wizard minions he’d mentally controlled to activate the magical lift circle, so that he could easily move folks to and from the ship. While the party was not happy with the fact that Kalarel & the ship had, effectively, eaten 2 good dragons, they weren’t in much of a place to alter the past.
As night fell, Nikolai wandered around the hedge enclosure, standing on a hill to look over into the crowd of mindless dragonborn, wondering if he’d made the best or worst decision of his life. One of the witches managed to help him find Detham’s ring, the gold version of his own ring, which Nikolai stashed away for now, seeing that Detham himself didn’t even recognize its significance. While Nikolai sat on the hill, uncertain of himself for the first time in a while, a Canary landed near him and started talking to him. (Nikolai recognized the significance of a Canary related to Bahamut, but didn’t let his awe affect his conversation). The Canary offered counsel, but also said that Nikolai would need to strengthen himself for two armies approaching with the dawn. The canary then flew away.
As dawn broke, the sun brought with it an army from the east, the soldiers of Dambrath, the Pelor-worshipping nation to the east. To the south, a slightly smaller group (though better regimented) of black-clad soldiers arrived with the banner of Bane flying above their heads.
The session ended with the leaders of both forces riding forth to meet with the party.