After Gericscht’s final heretical statement, I flew at him to cut him down. Unfortunately I only discovered that the Gericscht in the throne was yet another ruse when it exploded as I struck it. Erathis smiled upon me and I avoided taking the brunt of the blast despite the wreckage it made of the throne room. Fortunately my companions had not been so swift and avoided the explosion entirely. I spied a secret door beyond the throne and we found ourselves in crude passages. An even more cunningly disguised secret door at the bend of the passage led through to a hidden cache and heard the sounds of airship engines spinning up from a further passage. We leaped from the end of that passage down onto the deck of Gericscht’s yacht to confront him just before it took off.
Initially there was no sign of Gericscht on board. We were faced by a gigantic warforged Titan backed up by a more normal sized warforged that the others informed me was their old companion Javelin. As Javelin was known to be a formidable ranged combatant I introduced myself to him by flying across the ship and slashed him. Gericscht arose from concealment beneath a tarpaulin behind me and retaliated by striking me with his flail to control my mind. The battle proceeded somewhat chaotically from there after Noname confronted the titan and Gericscht, as goblins swarmed all over the deck after Kong Meng walled off the Titan using some terrible ice from the Shadowfell.
Once I was finally in control again, I called upon divine vengeance and mightily smote Gericscht twice, leaving him clattering up against Kong Meng’s wall of terrible cold. He wavered and appeared to be at the end of his life. Struggling against his inevitable death, he attempted to draw more lifeforce from his two warforged puppets, but his invocation of this vile magic did not have the effect he had intended. After a loud clang as if from the largest prison door slamming, a mighty angel of Torog appeared. I recognized it to be Azumel who we had met below Zhia after the breaking of the chain. Azumel recognized me and bid me stand aside for his lord had a stronger claim upon Gericscht. I accepted his priority and rested my blade out of respect for the Angel’s duty to reclaim one who has strayed.
Azumel extracted the protesting pallid and scarred hobgoblin form of Gericscht from within its warforged shell and imprisoned it in a fiery cage within Azumel’s chest. As Gericscht was separated from his shell, all his servants went berserk. Though Javelin simply collapsed, the Titan charged off the ship and rampaged on the lands at the edge of Zhia. Azumel warned us that this was a final result of Gericscht’s doing, not of Torog. We conducted a short discussion with Azumel over Gericscht’s screams. Azumel approved of our idea to pursue the Thrymspaker on the northern continent, but also recommended that we find the bright ones. They had escaped into the domain of their gods in the astral sea and could be found in a bright place that I would find most welcoming. I took this elliptical statement to mean that we should seek after them in the Bright City of Hestavar. He also wished me to pass friendly greetings from his god to the blessed Erathis, but did not expect her to accept them warmly. Finally he stated that his god extended a welcome to any remaining priests of Torog who would forswore their heretical ways with warforged accoutrement. Perhaps some survived in the fleet or in the Crag outside Gericscht’s compound.
Kong Meng reported our mission success to command who ordered us to return. They eventually notified us of the current state of armistice. We spent a few minutes recovering the non-goblin slaves and usable treasures from Gericscht’s lair, subdued the Titan, and journeyed to Vergeance with Gericscht’s yacht and the Stormcrow in formation. We flew over the battle scarred returning Craggen fleet en route, but there was no confrontation.
At Vergence, we beheld a battlefield strewn with the wrecked hulls of many Craggen vessels. Vergence had lost one tower and crews worked to seal a few holes in the dome, but it appeared that the Craggen had lost this confrontation rather decisively. Doubtless, things would have gone much harder for the Oathsworn if the Craggen’s slaves hadn’t all “mysteriously” gone mad at the height of the battle.
- Deacon Novius Carnifex Vergilius