Skystorm

Aberrent Bargains

General Shale called us in to extract information from a prisoner who had been sent from front by Captain Hibernius. The prisoner was thought to be able to provide location information for the giant’s Thrymspaker. Shale also cautioned us that the prisoner was surprisingly dangerous and had already “taken” a guard before they realized it. He warned us to ward our minds and ordered us to leave the prisoner alive.

With that in mind, we made our way to the maximum security brig and found that the prisoner was an Illithid, one who spoke to us through the guard he had under his control. On further interrogation, he had consumed the mind of the guard already, so it was a puppet, effectively dead already. The creature wasn’t exactly a prisoner so much as an emissary. Its race was aware of the peril presented by the breaking of the Chain and the Thrymspaker. They wanted to participate in our exodus. Their price was too high.

They wanted us to grant them free passage, a non-aggression pact, and the minds of one hundred thousand sentient beings. Though they coyly asked for the latter in the form of “a month of food”. It took more discussion to extract those details. Gareth speculated that we could just get Keffin in to extract the information. It volunteered that they had knowledge of Keffin, that his mind was unlike ours. Keffin might be able to extract information from the emissary, however, it also stated that this emissary did not have the knowledge and would not until the bargain was made. Weirdly, Gareth and Terhali started to speculate about feeding them goblins. Oli objected and pulled us away to discuss the matter privately.

We could not agree to those terms, period. Gareth proposed that he could make a counter offer that would be less terrible, so we let him. His counter offer was that we give them nothing and they tell us anyway. For they, like other vermin, would find a way to come along with us no matter what we did because we were taking too much real estate with us to be able to police it all. They didn’t consider it an acceptable deal and did not believe that we could turn away from their information. We made a convincing argument to the contrary and pushed back very hard.

In the process, I applied extreme pressure against it and forced it to reveal its home. The escape of the information from its mind came in a blast of images which hurt Oli and Gareth, but it did contain enough information for us to probably reconstruct the bizarre home of its kind and their giant brain vats. Having this information, I added to the pressure by saying that I would make sure they died first. The creature relented and suggested a counter offer.

In return for us giving them the coordinates of the destination, and our promise to not seek them out, they would provide the details to find the Thrymspaker. We took that deal to Oathsworn Command and they agreed, they also agreed to the creature’s added on stipulation that they get the coordinates within the hour of our learning it.

Their information came in the form of a series of images which revealed that the giants had weighted down a city sized mote, probably broken from their continent, and were polling it along towards the Chain. We considered various approaches to intervention.

Ultimately we decided to disguise some of the gnomish enclosed crablike walker vehicles for us to hide in. The Stormcrow, with rocket assist, was able to rapidly move along the top of the Maelstrom and place us between their mote and the Chain.

-Deacon Novius Carnifex Vergilius

Comments

Terhali: "I must say that these squid-faced folk are most offensive. I’ve never encountered them before—-at least as far as I remember—-but they seem potentially threatening. What happened last time you encountered them? Also I heard bits and pieces of things that happened in the Eladrin enclave from my cousin Lirra. Is this connected?

In any event I suspect that we haven’t heard the last of them…."

Aberrent Bargains
 

“We met one when we climbed up from the bottom of the continent. It was half starved and ambushed us along with some mindless puppets. It tried to eat my brain, so I cut it to pieces. They are quite disturbing. If we can find some honorable way to rid the universe of them without violating the agreement, we should do so.”

“I wasn’t part of the Eladrin Enclave mission. The Angel of Erathis commanded me to return to my post here. Oli or Gareth would have more information about that.”

Aberrent Bargains
 

Terhali: “Or Keffin, I suppose. While it tried to invade my mind, it was not hard to fend off. I suspect this wouldn’t be true for others, though.”

Aberrent Bargains
 

“He would probably know the most about that kind of opposition. Reports indicated that the alien entities found him uniquely difficult. Even the experts of Hestavar didn’t know what to make of him. He was different when he came back from that mission. More comfortable with himself, but haunted and wary in some way that I lack the words to describe.”

“However, of those who went, he is the most difficult to find. At least Oli and Gareth are in Vergence. Oathsworn command has taken advantage of Keffin’s restless and implacable nature to keep him constantly deployed. As far as I know, the only day he’s spent off the front was the Founding of Vigil Holiday and that was at the Emperor’s express command.”

(Out of character, Keffin had direct contact with the Far Realms and comprehended it better than anyone. He did it without turning into a gibbering lunatic by mastering alien concepts in his own unique way. He stopped wearing concealing dark glasses in Hestavar after their examination came up with no useful information. So he walks around with ever watchful pupilless blue glowing eyes all the time.

Keffin’s epic path is Topaz Crusader. He’s hyper vigilant about maelstrom/aberrant things and flat out immune to daze and dominate. As a Psionic Incarnate Elan, he doesn’t eat, sleep, or breathe. He is entirely sustained by 4 hours of dormancy every day, during which he is entirely aware of his surroundings. He typically spends those on watch. Oathsworn command keeps him deployed because those are generally great virtues for someone at the front. But he scares the crap out of normal citizens if he’s left in town. He’s been known to talk litterbugs into cleaning entire city blocks, or to otherwise “creatively redeploy” citizens who cross him somehow. )

Aberrent Bargains
ericbohm

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