Anima: Beyond Malaz

Waltz of The Fragments and Gauntlet

Powers from other worlds, and corruption of demons arise.

• Night of Day 122 After the Fall, trapped in the ice of the northern wastes outside of Esorchan’s personal fortress.
• They appeared in the flashback for The Fragment of the Arena The Fool that Jack was pulled into. There are visions of a strange dome room, with awkwardly tiled room with a statue in the middle of the room showing a man in a strange clothing playing a flute. There was a strange band of individuals. There was a mage of dark complexion, lose clothing, shaved head, and heavy confidence named Mordenkainen. Behind him strode a vampire of cracked onyx skin, a pair of katanas at his hip, and an enormous flowing red cloak upon his shoulders, with the name Vincent belonging to him. A pair of dwarves with long beards also walked in the room, one covered in stone armor, the other clad in metal with a massive shield and the name Rokam. With them came a female cleric wearing leather armor and a short sword, her name Nailo. Finally, there came a psychic warrior wielding a crystal blade, and fine armor to allow him to maintain his nimble speed and power. The first of the heavily armored dwarves walked into this seemingly unthreatening room, and then a wave of traps began to be triggered. There were poisoned needles raining down from the walls, swinging pendulums, falling pits in massive rings across the room, and a great deal of pain was inflicted upon them. Then, the vampire in a red cloak leapt across one of the large pits and then reached the statue, found a disabling button within it and turned off the traps so that they could move onto the next chamber in The Gauntlet.
• They appear back upon the deck of The Black Pearl, still in the frozen waste of hell outside the base of Esorchan. They are all very cold. The chest that would have had the Fragment and 13 other slots there were there. The Fragment of Gauntlet The Fool in its slot, and another mask that has the number “I” on its forehead and appearing similar to a Jester’s hat. They all decide that they need to try and get back out of there. Elspeth wonders if they should move onto the next mask, but then Jack says he wants to move on somewhere warmer first. They want to know how they could do this using The Black Pearl’s Warren Engine. Elspeth thinks it might worth, Jack says that he refuses to leave The Falling Dragon Behind, so he decides they should try to get things working with the Dreglings going on one ship to another to try and run their new ship in order to try and convert it. Then they also summon back the mage Dreglings in order to pirate the ship. Then they start their way in order to make their way forward in order to go through the portal to Ruse. Then they would be able to use only a skeleton crew on The Wicked Wench, sending the Dreglings (minus the mages) in order to pilot The Falling Dragon, and using much of the old Wench Crew in order to pilot The Black Pearl. They open the portal, fall through in order to land, but then The Falling Dragon tips in, since the portal wasn’t big enough, and it falls down to strike the back of The Black Pearl, sinking the Captain’s quarters and then having it pop up. The resulting wave soaked nearly everybody, except those in the crow’s nests. The Dreglings then fire the 3 still functional super ballistae into the deck of The Black Pearl, so that The Pearl can tugboat The Falling Dragon as they travel through the warren. They then set their direction for Kartool, based on Jack’s directions.
• Days 123-131 travel through the warren of Ruse towards Kartool
• Elspeth picks up Nadiel’s remains and stores them in an empty rum barrel.
• Ryn gives Sparkly the rest of the jewelry she had purchased, is a bit sad to see that she doesn’t get items for doubling up on some of them, but gets a few more White Wood Arrows and also gets another Traditional Hero Soul to give to Jack later.
• Bo’sun, Emack, and Fynn continue training with Dave (Emack Use of Ki, Bo’sun Inhumanity and a Ki Technique, Fynn Aura Extension).
• Ryn then also asks Dave about training, resist the urge to fire an arrow when talking about payment options, so then throws the GC across the waters in order for him to get Use of Ki. So does Elspeth. During one of the training sessions Elspeth, Emack, and Ryn all realize that Dave was an old Talon trainer on Malaz Isle before Laseen took over and kicked out all the old trainers that were still loyal to The Emperor.
• Elspeth then writes about the recent events that have happened to them recently, about Jek, the death of the one thing, and then the whole Suitengu and Esorchan and all of the Fragments that they gathered from him. The Cain pulled down a writing telling Elspeth to gather up everyone regarding so that they could do a captain’s meeting in order to discuss it. Then they all mention to Deckard that they can’t actually make their way into the other ships while under voyage, so Deckard then poofs them all to The Black Pearl, and then appears in a bolt of lightning that Bo’sun deflects. Deckard then appears, wanting to know all of the information going on, and then mentioning the whole being double-dealed with Esorchan and the Fragments he had. Elspeth demands to know what Heinrich wrote, and he doesn’t want to comment on it all. Deckard then begins to challenge them, and Bo’sun not worshiping Deckard any more. Jack then drags Bo’sun into his cabins quarter, where Isabella and Dina both look like drowned rats in the sodden quarters, the two quite displeased. Jack then shows Bo’sun The Pirates Code again, commenting on reading Rule 5, possible regards to what is going on. Bo’sun says that he never really cared about Cain to begin with, then trying to make his way through everything else. While Bo’sun reads the code, Jack comments on the women appearing quite wet and that he will tend to them in a bit, so when Bo’sun high fives him for it both women are quite pissed. Then they figure they should head back out to discuss things, and Bo’sun is blasted in the back by a Death Beam, which hurts him. Bo’sun comments that isn’t there a side-note in the code to prevent these kinds of fights outside of combat and everything else like that. Then Isabella reminds them that she hadn’t actually signed the code yet, because Jack had been a bit distracted by all of the nomming, nibbling, and glomming that they never got around to it. Then Jack also has Isabella sign the code so he doesn’t forget and then they go back out to deal with Deckard.
• Deckard had randomly gone off on a tangent for a while, so barely noticed when Jack and Bo’sun returned. Then they figured that there needed to be some form of payment and trust generation in order to figure out what to do. Deckard offers that either they give them half of their Fragments, or 104,000 GC. They mutter that they would have to attack Ankara in order to get all of the Fragments back that they need and the other money as well. Deckard then mentions The Fragment of Diablo that he lost and wants back. Emack tries to make a counter offer to let Deckard have that fragment back if they got him back Fragments. It isn’t enough to persuade Deckard, so Elspeth instead offers to allow Deckard to have 3 of their Fragments, also finding the Fragment of Diablo from him as well, with also coming to Ankara once a year to check in and keep things going. Deckard says they need to come 4 times a year. They agree, so Emack gives Deckard the Fragment of a Cloak, Fragment of a Broken Wagon, and Fragment of a Card, which Deckard then vanished returning back to his own home, except all of the others are then trapped aboard The Black Pearl as they continue moving forward through the Warren. Emack is a little sad to lose the Fragments
• With Deckard gone, all of the pirates realize that they are all trapped aboard The Black Pearl now, with only a skeleton crew on The Wicked Wench, and a crew of Dreglings pirating aboard The Falling Dragon. They figure they will just deal with waiting on the ship until they leave the warren and make their way to Kartool and be able to switch back the ways they actually want to be spread out aboard their ships. Several of the men, including Jack, discuss the fact that they will need to find some more whores when they are in port again also, since the ones The Black Pearl crew brought aboard were turned into Dreglings as well. Jack can feel a pair of murderous gazes upon him from his sodden cabin (Dina and Isabella), so he tries to brush off the suggestion by saying he has all his own whores that he needs. For some reason, the icy chill of death threat glares fell upon Jack, but he ignored them anyway.
• Given they still have several days to spend within the warren, the pirates make their way through all of the Fragments that they acquired from Jek to determine who they would assist the most.
• They begin by looking at Jek’s Fragment of Machinations, the small metal and crystal fibers that were within his flesh. Instead of the usual vision, they got a holographic projection of Jek that, in his own simple and pleasant way, described what the fragment could do for them. It can be used to enhance a person’s strength, endurance, speed, or intelligence, and also the incredible boost of acting many times in the time most can only act once. When the pirates ask for more details, Jek essentially just smiles and says that they should try it out if they don’t understand it.
• Next they look at the Fragment of a Scope. The memories bound within it belong to the man that actually held the name of Hanzo Hizashi, who had many different faces, and names. The man was an infiltration and murderous savant. Several of his favorite kills were trapped within the fragment; headshotting a boy scout that had just gotten his gun safety badge, shooting a sasquatch that survived the first hit so that he could savor the second killing blow, kidnapping a man from a hospital and surviving all forms of other difficulties further on, and the piece de resistance was while flying in a strange metal creature known as an “airplane”, with its back open and being able to fire with his great rifle to strike the pilot of a “jet fighter” that was chasing them at full speed and take it down. This fragment can be used to enhance speed, stealth, combat skills, and can also be attached to any ranged weapon to remove the penalty for targeted attacks.
• After that they looked at the Fragment of a Dinner Sauce. It contained the memories of a doctor that called himself Doc Hollandaise. He often treated a wide variety of people that suffered from unfortunate injuries from doing illegal jobs, yet often suffered just as many injuries himself. He was shot, stunned, burned, and astrally crippled numerous times, but always pulled through (although sometimes it was close). This fragment can be used to enhance mystical powers, summoning, and healing capabilities. It can also be used to make a fine steak.
• Next comes the Fragment of a Pizza Box. This Fragment contained the memories of a dwarf that wore blue-jean clothes, and a confederate flag bandana, and called himself Lee. Having a knack for joining with a piloting vehicles, continueing forward through any challenges, and also eating the most unpleasant of foods were among his special skills. He would pilot vehicles baring massive weapons in order to destroy their enemies, and complain that every time the others borrowed one of his vehicles without his permission it always returned to him with some major form of damage to it, or with his explosives destroyed. He once even managed to destroy a giant fortified laser that was leveling a city using only his powerful gun and driving skills. This fragment can be used to enhance skills with vehicles, as well as constitution, and increase toughness against poisons.
• With that they turned their attention to the Fragment of a Game Cartridge. It bore the memories of the classy, the persuasive, and the absolutely terrified of combat dwarf by the name of Davas. His gifts and skill at making those he encountered trust and care about him were truly exceptional. He even managed to seduce a beautiful elf that was a part of their one mission objective and then eventually married her. He made a great deal of profit for himself and his friends. The owner of this fragment can also befit from these gifts, increasing all manner of social skills, as well as a knack for being able to find and make greater profit with the items they discover.
• Finally they looked at the Fragment of a Cane. It contains the memories of the ork adept known as Reginald Thogg Esquire The Third. A man that insisted upon class, style, and melee weapons. In an age of firearms. He was able to slaughter all that he got closed to, but his companion Hanzo couldn’t help but imagine pulling the trigger everytime his scope sight passed over Reginald while he provided cover. The owner of this fragment can use it to enhance their physical, magical, or supernatural capabilities, as well as it providing a great deal of support to other physical activities, as well as a degree of style and class.
• Ryn takes The Fragment of a Scope and places it upon her bow to allow her to make called shots at anything without any penalties. Emack takes the Fragment of a Sauce, turning it into a pair of glasses with multiple lenses of magnification in order to get +30 Magic Projection. Bo’sun got the Fragment of Machinations in order to serve as the Wired Reflexes despite many of the other crew voting against it because of the axe. Elspeth took The Fragment of a Game Cartridge in order to increase her nack for profit as a neck tie. Fynn took the Fragment of a Cane, used it to get +15 Attack, +15 Dodge, and +15 Initiative as a pair of gauntlets. Then Jack takes the Fragment of a Pizza Box, uses it to enhance his skill with vehicle piloting because of turning it into a rigger core inside his head giving him a metal back of his skull and +150 to Navigation for his own ship. Then they want to keep the Masks to look at later since they still have much to do while within the warren.
• Jack eats the Demon’s Souls that Jek had on him. He can sense that they are evil, but when he devours one of them, the Maneater Soul and gains 2000 souls, and doesn’t feel anything negative happens, so eats the Fool’s Idol for 1000 souls, then the Old Monk soul in order to gain an extra 7000 souls.
• Ryn traded Sparkly one of her stilettos, and the next day received a hunk of white, translucent, nearly glowing stone that Sparkly identified as a chunk of Moonlight stone. She goes to ask Emack about what the stone could be used for. He says that it could probably be used to craft some form of weapon, as there are traces of mystical power within it. Emack asks Ryn where she got the stone, since he hadn’t ever seen its like before. This leads to the whole discussion about Sparkly the Crow (since Emack was still ignorant to her presence), the trading of items to get other items, wondering where this girl gets them, how they can manipulate her, and what form of profit they can acquire. When Ryn mentions the Regenerator’s Ring she got, and the golden Rune Sword that Jack got by trading in the Perception Enhancing Ring (which Emack gave to Jack, and so felt slightly cheated that Jack would regift it), Emack decides he needs to meet this Crow Girl and see what he can get from her himself. Emack heads up to the crow’s nest with Ryn, meets Sparkly, doesn’t get any answers to his questions about where and how Sparkly gets the items (people give me things and I find things to give them in exchange), so he gives her a GC in order to see what he can get. Ryn says she will bring whatever it is down to him. When Ryn awakens the next day, Ryn finds that Sparkly didn’t leave anything for Emack, which allows Ryn to realize that Sparkly doesn’t give for the same item more then once. She lets Emack know, and Emack begins trying to think of better, shinier things to give to Sparkly.
• Bo’sun and his three carpenter’s apprentices spend the rest of the journey repairing the damage inflicted on the ship by the attack on The Falling Dragon. They have enough wood to repair the side of the ship that was destroyed along with the one captain, but he informs Elspeth that they will need a good deal more wood and metal to finish the repairs. Elspeth, thanks to all her financial savy and new Reality Fragments, estimates that it will cost them between 500-600 GC to purchase all the materials they need for repairs to the three ships.
• Most continue their Ki training with Dave as well. Elspeth also is informed by Aeris of some of the psychic powers that she can have access to, such as control over electricity and rapidly accelerating objects as weapons to form and function like a railgun.
• Day 131. On the morning of Day 131, when they will reach Kartool later in the day, there is a disturbing presence of new individuals aboard the bow of The Black Pearl. Ryn wasn’t able to spread the warning herself however, because she stepped on the stiletto that she had given Sparkly, maiming her foot slightly and requiring she tend to it. Jack and Emack notice these new interlopers however, and Jack, being admiral, approaches them to learn what they are doing aboard his fine vessel.
• Three individuals stood at the bow. The central figure was an older man of noble bearing, wearing exceptionally crafted silken clothing, long grey heair and a neatly trimmed beard, a sword that radiates power upon his hip, and a fine metal crown upon his head. On his left hovered a person wearing a full suit of the heaviest armor, all made of deep black silver, a massive shield and even larger mace made of the same materials strapped across his back. No sign of human nature or flesh could be seen within that massive suit of armor. On the noble man’s right stood a beautiful woman clad in the long flowing white gown of a religious saint, gold and blue trim detailing it, her long golden hair and pale complexion hidden beneath her robe’s hood, a crystal sphere with an inner glowing light clutched in her grasp.
• Jack introduced himself to the three individuals, asking who they were and what they were doing aboard his ship. The noble man introduced himself as King Allant of Boletaria. He thanks Jack for all of his dedicated gathering of souls, even if it cost them one of their greater demon collegues. At the mention of “demons” all of the crew listening, and Jack himself, begins to worry. For someone like this to simply admit bluntly that they have the powers of a greater demon, there must be doom and threat to it. Plus, Jack doesn’t want them to take his ship away from himself. King Allant ignores the fear and chaos in the eyes of the pirates and continued on about their appreciation of Jack gathering enough souls for them to finally return to this new world for them to try and make it. All five of them. It is upon this mention that another being enters the scene, a colossal flying manta ray like demon that blocks out much of the sky, flying above them in a torrent of wind. Afterwards the chains to The Falling Dragon began to grow tight. Then the giant ship behind them was lifted from the water as a titanic demonic dragon of mythic proportions burst up from beneath the waves. The monstrous power of the demonic dragon’s aura caused Applejack and Fynn to fall to the side of the ship, vomiting all of their stomach’s contents into the waves below. The sight of the monstrous creatures simply made the pirates be incredibly afraid for their lives once more by these monsters in their midst. Elspeth tried to Magic Appraisal the man in the armor, while Bo’sun tried to Ki Detect him, but neither of them could detect anything at all within that monstrous suit of armor. They informed Jack, and it didn’t reassure him any. The pirates then asked what these demons intended to do. They said that they needed to continue gathering souls for their master, The Old One, so that they can create their new world that they want and reforge Boletaria. Emack is terrified by the prospect of these monstrous and terrifying individuals having a master. King Allant then offers to let Jack continue gathering souls for them, and that if he gains enough he can be converted into a higher demon himself. Jack doesn’t like the sound of that, since he doesn’t want to be permanently bound to anything, but when King Allant informs him that greater demons have extraordinary power, freedom, and immortality, Jack is interested at least a little bit. Jack then lets the demons have their time on the front of the ship so that they can then continue on their journey, deliver the eggs they need to, and then leave the demons trapped on Kartool and away from them. Therefore, they continue on their brave journey to Kartool.
• That afternoon the grand Warren portal opens before them, allowing them all, including the gigantic demons to make their out with the ships as well. The massive stone towers, the tops of which are shrouded in spiderwebs to make it look as though there is a constant fog, rise up all across the island. As soon as they begin to get close, and the demons become easily visible the sound of alarms and sirens begin to echo out across the island. King Allant comments that they must be preparing to great their new exceptional beings come to rule them. Then a volley of defensive ballistae and catapults were fired towards them. King Allant, offended by the audacity, had Storm King and Dragon God unleash a barrage of massive death upon the defenders of the city, destroying defenses and igniting the upper portion of the city, causing the stone to burn. The Black Pearl pulled into dock, with King Allant, and his other two messengers known as Saint Astraea and Garl Vinland to make their way into the city, crushing any and all that get into their path. While Bo’sun wants them to try and loot the city, the massive collection of hate and demon fire makes that incredibly unlikely. After the initial assault Dragon God made to turn towards Ankara, while the Storm King began to prepare for a strafing run against the Falari Islands. Given the death and destruction preparing to fall upon Kartool, they figure they won’t be able to deliver the eggs that Humble Measure gave them, so they will need to keep them with them, hope they don’t hatch aboard Emack’s ship, and then deal with them later. Elspeth is sad to know they won’t get paid for the shipment, but is much sadder with regards to the fact that this city will fall completely because of them, yet they didn’t want anything bad to happen to it.
• There was a large distraction for the crew when Madness burst out from inside Elspeth’s head (causing the poor ghost-phobic mage to degenerate even further into her multiple gibbering personalities). Madness what is going on with all of them, saying that she has been spying on the since they left Ankara the first time, but has been forgetting to report back to “Daddy Deckard” because she has been having so much fun watching everything they do. Then Madness said that she had a gift for them, a surprise to give them. She flew through the ship, and eventually returned to the deck with a duck that she set down. Madness said that there was a surprise inside the duck, and they needed to get it out. Fynn didn’t trust this strange duck, while Bo’sun grabbed his sword and stabbed the duck immediately. The duck exploded in a cloud of giblets and confetti, and the Fragments that they had given to Deckard were there. Madness said she replaced them with ducks, but that Deckard wouldn’t realize it until someone tried to use them. Emack grabbed his three Fragments back, grinning as he through his Cloak back over his shoulder and kept the Wagon Wheel under his arm. Then they mentioned that the Dragon God was heading off towards Ankara. With the threat of a dragon trying to murder her family, Madness shrieked off through the air at the speed of thought. The pirates just stared after her, Elspeth’s terror finally passing, and then they opened a portal to Ruse so to leave the burning and dieing ruin known as Kartool behind them.
• Days 131-145 they travel through Ruse in order to try and get to Korelri as a safe harbor to restock and further repair their ship.
• The pirates do their best to put their concerns for the world because of the demons they unleashed behind them. They are very worried about what they need to do next, trying to gather the fragments in hopes that they can undo all of the damage that these demons will inflict upon their new world. In their new world they can create a heaven without these demons and the torment they caused.
• Day 140, Lucanor Giovanni’s Invitation to The Tournament of Fragments, speaks to them through the Reality Fragments they have gathered and are wearing. This voice that calls itself Prince Lucanor Giovanni, from a world known as Lucrecio that no longer exists, is attempting to gather the various Fragment Hunters together to gather up the remaining Fragments in one place so that they can be collected by one group and a new world can be created rapidly, one month from now. The rules are at least One Reality Fragment must be in the possession of each group that enters, but they can then use as many other Fragments as they want to try and enhance their powers, but if they are defeated then all the Fragments they were using will be added to the pot for the winner. Then, the winner takes all. Up to 10 people may take part in any group for combat within the tournament. Lucanor then wishes them all luck, anyone that has the strength to forge a new world should make their way to the Aurgett Mountain Range between Korelri and Stratem where he has built a massive arena specifically for celebrating this glorious tournament. Lucanor Giovanni then signs out.
• The pirates discuss whether this would really be their forte, to enter a tournament. Bo’sun (shockingly) is all for it. Many of the others wonder if they would actually be able to survive it. They all think that they should at least check it out, since if each of the slots in Esorchan’s chest will be filled once they are done looking at the masks, they will have 40 fragments in their possession, which means they should have the most of anyone. This means that they should have the strength to oppose even superior individuals that only have fewer fragments. This way they can fight such powerful people when the pirates, having a majority, can have the largest advantage available to them. Otherwise, should they wait until after the tournament it would be the single biggest badass that would get all the Fragments from the others, which would then have that person come hunting after them to take all of their Fragments from them. Therefore, they figure they will probably have to compete, but should take the month they have before it starts in order to prepare, repair, and also improve their chances of gathering everything. They don’t really want to fight in the tournament, but they know they don’t really have another choice. This man Lucanor Giovanni also worries them, since they imagine a man with this kind of power would probably want to create a world all his own but can’t do that unless he perhaps competes in the tournament as well to try and win the Fragments.
• Then they go through the rest of Esorchan’s masks in order to get all of the information from them and see the various visions of the other rooms. They want access to all the Fragments they can before the tournament starts.
• They next continue with The Fragment of The Gauntlet The Magician, the mask in the shape of a harlequin magician. Once more they find themselves observing the same group of adventurers that were in the previous room. This time there is a hallway filled with acrid, bright orange smoke that smells of burning and torment. The vampire in the glorious red cloak charged into the hallway in order to escape and make his way through it all. However, there is a wall that he slams into, stopping him cold. The fog around him burns his flesh with extreme torment and pain, so that Vincent knows he will only have one chance to guess the right way for him to turn and escape. Knowing that he will truly die if he can’t escape the fog, Vincent turns back and runs to the rest of the group. His incredible regenerative powers began to kick in, until the group’s mage Mordenkainen generated a sphere of magic negation in order to allow them all to walk through the fog without harm, but it also kept the vampire from healing, which made him a little bitter. Then they grabbed the mask and opened the next door. This fragment can be used to enhance a variety of things, but specializes in enhancing mystical powers.
• After that came The Fragment of the Gauntlet The Priestess, which took the form of a long woman with a veil concealing the bottom half of her face concealed by a veil. Inside they found a small spherical room with a beautiful fey creature that introduced herself as the sister of Princess Dumpling (whom both the pirates and the adventurer’s within The Gauntlet had encountered before), and she said that she would give the adventurers the mask that she guards if they can forgive her sister for all of the terrible things that she did to them. While the vampire didn’t want to forgive her the rest of the party made him, begrudgingly did so in order to be able to leave with it to the next room. This fragment can be used to enhance a variety of things, but specializes in restorative and holy purposes.
• Making their way forward they entered The Fragment of the Gauntlet The Empress, which looked like a noble older woman’s face. Inside the party found a dilapidated mansion with an overgrown fountain tucked away in back with a statue of The Empress in it. The adventurers searched the mansion high and low to try and find some clew as to how they could escape. Eventually, after searching through it they found an ornate golden statue tucked in behind a barrel in the wine cellar. Taking the statue to the fountain, they presented it to the statue, which gave them their mask and opened the gateway to the next challenge. This fragment can be used to enhance a variety of things, but specializes in control, respect, and mystical defenses.
• After that there came The Fragment of The Gauntlet The Emperor, which has the face of an old noble man. There was an incredibly long hallway at the far end of which there is the Emperor mask is found. Rokam the dwarf stepped forward, and the walls began to close in on all sides of them to try and crush them into a goopy paste. Mordenkainen the mage ran to the other side of the hallway, as well as the cleric Nailo. Rokam new he wouldn’t make it, and neither would the psychic warrior. The two of them latched onto Vincent the vampire, and the vampire then ran the entire way through the hall, avoiding the crushing walls and making it to the exit with the others. This fragment can be used to enhance a variety of things, but specializes in leadership, and martial prowess.
• Taking a small breather, the pirates commented regarding the extensive number of challenges that they faced through all of the rooms that had to occur. Then, they jumped back in, after a few of them grabbed a snack and some drink.
• With The Fragment of the Gauntlet The Hierophant appeared, with a grizzled male face. Inside was a ramshackle village of desolate barren sand, ruined and cracked buildings, and terribly downtrodden citizens within it. At the center was a dry fountain with the mask of The Hierophant within it. Rather then simply beating up the saddened peasants, the adventurers decided to help out all of the villagers by repairing their homes, tilling their fields, manipulating the weather to give them refreshing rain to give them hope. Vincent the vampire also made the parents fear for their children a bit. In thanks for all the help provided they were given the mask of The Hierophant in order to let them go forward. This fragment can be used to enhance a variety of things, but specializes in holy and nature associated powers.
• After that they found themselves in The Fragment of The Gauntlet The Lovers, which was divided in half, one male and one female. Inside the adventurers found themselves in an otherworldly brothel populated by all form of mystical beings, vampires, succubi, and nymphs. All of the party took advantage of the generous opportunities available, except Mordenkainen who had a deep philosophical discussion with a group of Nymphs. Then, all of them were summoned into the commanding succubi’s office, where she thanks them for their patronage, invites them to return whenever they wish, and gives them the Mask of the Lovers in order to progress forward. This fragment can be used to enhance a variety of things, but specializes in seduction, romance, and superficial physical modification.
• Afterwards was The Fragment of the Gauntlet The Chariot, which was designed to look like the faced of a mane-bearing lion. Inside was a chamber full of doors that promise to take them anywhere they wish to go. However, Esorchan had warned them before to never leave The Gauntlet or else they would fall and suffer for it. Vincent the vampire decided to check on his unholy citadel of glory that he had left behind, stepping through one of the doors, which vanished behind him. He checked on his home, and then Esorchan, Suitengu, and The Joker appeared behind him to punish him for his leaving the rules. Esorchan, harvesting an incredibly potent magic far beyond the realms of normally available magic for any real character leveled Vincent’s entire city and then dragged Vincent back into the Gauntlet. Vincent then dedicated his entire reason for being to inflict the same amount of pain and destruction on Esorchan as was just inflicted on him. Then they moved on. This fragment can be used to enhance a variety of things, but specializes in enhancing agility, and rapid transportation.
• Next came The Fragment of The Gauntlet The Justice, designed to appear as a blindfolded female face. Within they found a massive underground labyrinth that stretched off in all direction. Centered within the maze of chambers was a bound angel that gleamed with a massive holy light. Vincent the vampire recognized this particular angel as having divinely smote him in the past when Vincent was much weaker and more vulnerable. Now, Vincent finally saw that he would have the opportunity to get the vengeance that he had so long hoped for. Unfortunately for him, the others in the group had released the angel since the angel promised to let them out. Vincent, cheated from another vengeance allowed his hatred to burn all the brighter as they moved on. This fragment can be used to enhance a variety of things, but specializes in ensuring equality, fairness, and justice.
• The Fragment of the Gauntlet The Hermit took the form of an ancient man with a long beard. Inside each of the adventurers was sealed alone in a room of darkness containing nothing besides a full-length mirror in the center. After a time their own reflection emerged from within the mirror to have a conversation with them, trying to determine their entire purpose and figure out what their guiding purpose in life was. The cleric Nailo was trapped within an undetermined understanding that resulted in a lack of knowing what she really intended. Eventually she was able to escape. Vincent was told by his other self not to allow his hatred to consume him, but to harness it as a weapon, to forge a sterner self out of it so that he might be able to strike down all that would get in his way. Vincent decided to temper his hatred against Esorchan in order to guide his blade forever. It was a little awkward afterwards when he learned that his reflection had actually been Esorchan impersonating him. Then they were all eventually move forward. This fragment can be used to enhance a variety of things, but specializes in improving those that isolate themselves from others.
• Afterwards they found themselves with The Fragment of The Gauntlet The Wheel of Fortune, which took the shape of a divided wheel instead of a face for the mask. Inside the adventurers stood around a massive wheel in the center of a room, divided into numerous coloured slices, with a selector bar waiting to interact with the wheel. One of them spun the wheel, since they could not know what might come. Some options were glorious fortunes, destruction of materials, improved powers and capabilities, cursing them, granting them magic, or dropping them dead. What did occur was a greater devil was summoned before them. There was an incredible battle between great forces, and in the end the adventurers were able to strike down the devil and move forward. This fragment can be used to enhance a variety of things, but specializes in effects connected to random chance, both for good or bad.
• Then came the Fragment of the Gauntlet The Strength, which had a heavily muscled and scarred face of indeterminate gender. Inside the adventurer’s faced another greater monstrous demon of smoke and fire, wielding a sword composed of cursed infernal lightning, standing upon a statue in the form of The Strength. Fire, death, oblivion, and all forms of chaos and elimination were unleashed before the dark and chaotic demon fell away from them. This allowed them to progress forward once more. This fragment can be used to enhance a variety of things, but specializes in greatly enhancing physical or spiritual strength.
• Next came the Fragment of the Gauntlet The Hanged Man, which bore a swollen face with a noose designed its neck. Inside the adventurers found themselves trapped within a marching line of infinite level zero commoners being led to a massive 5 person gallows, a monstrous pile of shoes to one side, and countless normal guards keeping the line moving. Seeing an opulent, fat, and food devouring noble overseeing everything, the adventurers decided that it was time to stop this violence. They slipped from their chains using a variety of techniques, except the exceptionally strong Rokam that was trapped within the rusting crappy manacles and got himself even more trapped then when he started. Mordenkeinen transformed into a spectral ball of energy, went before the noble, and demanded that he let all of the peasants go. Impossibly (except on a natural 20), the noble resisted this demand from the obviously more powerful and dangerous person, ordered his guards to kill all of them, and then slit his own throat to prevent domination magic from making him reverse his order. Mordenkeinen just stared, as never before had he failed so extremely. Vincent tore in half one of the spears of the pathetic warrior before him, which then proceeded to stab Vincent in the heart, making him vanish back into his coffin, bound and down. The psychic warrior unleashed wave after wave of Dragon’s Breath fire powers but couldn’t make his way through all of the guards that fell upon him. It took a long time, but eventually many of the infinite level 0 commoners were saved. They obtained the Mask of The Hanged Man and then, Vincent had a brilliant idea. As there were still combats before them he expected, Vincent convinced all of the remaining commoners to fight along with them into the next room. They bravely charged into the next room, a mass of infinite commoners after them. This fragment can be used to enhance a variety of things, but specializes in extending life, and withstanding terrible pains and hardships.
• After that came the final mask, The Fragment of the Gauntlet The Death, shaped as a bared skeletal face. The adventurers appeared in a room of deep blue light with a mirrored floor that showed a strange scene. Floating in the center of the room was a monstrous entity that radiated death and power. A sack covered its face, except for a hole that revealed a bloodshot eye and tarnished flesh. A long tattered duster jacket shrouded it, torn and fluttering around the bottom to reveal that it was flying above them. Two massive chains fell across its shoulders like bandoliers, and in its hands it held a pair of massive long-barreled revolvers. The adventurers had all of their commoners charge this being, known as The Reaper, first. In a raining volley of magical bullets, destruction and harming energies creating a torrent of death, and impossibly this powerful monstrous entity managed to do the impossible and killed infinite commoners. Then the adventurers did battle against it. A volley of blasts harmed many of them, magic prevented its own damage, and nearly killed Vincent. The vampire hid behind the massive shield of Rokam, in order to take some time to heal. Until Rokam did the most selfish thing he could; walked forward 5 feet getting no closer, but taking Vincent out of cover so that The Reaper unleashed further death and destroyed Vincent, sending him onto the next room as they were supposed to die. However, the others continued battling, suffering, and moving on, with Mordenkeinen using the sphere of negating magic, leaving The Reaper prone in order to eventually be beaten down by the rest of the warriors, so that they did the impossible, and killed death itself. This allowed the rest of the group to move forward and claim their rewards along with Vincent for completing the Gauntlet.
• After this there was one final Fragment that also appeared, which didn’t actually have a slot within the chest. It was the Fragment of a Button, a large red button soaked in blood. Touching it they found themselves seeing the ruined chamber with the shattered remnant of The Reaper, lamenting in a terribly deep voice that no one is supposed to be able to face death and win, this is not the way the world should go. It demanded the chance to one day avenge its failing and crush those that dared to defy its powers. Then, appearing before the broken remains of The Reaper was another being, who’s voice was nearly impossible to take any features from it. The robes and hood were pure white, all its flesh concealed and nothing but light shining out from beneath its hood. This entity muttered in that voice about the only purity being death and destruction, that there was nothing but corruption present within all worlds that it knows. This being offers The Reaper a chance to travel to another world where it can unleash the purity of death and destruction to all that it encounters. The Reaper accepts this generous offer, and so the world that they were in was completely consumed by blinding light.
• Having returned back, the Fragment of a Button asked Jack if he would like to court death. Given what all of the other Fragments that had offered to let them fight things tended to murder them, he decided to ignore the offer. Then, it was time for them to get down to work.
• Then they divvy up the Mask Fragments that they got. Elspeth takes The Magician as secondary belt and then grants 150 Zeon Battery, +10 Magic Projection and +5 Final Magic Accumulation; and The Priestess as her primary to giver herself double damage on her offensive Light Spells. Emack takes The Empress and wears it to improve his Defensive Magic Projection +50 and wear it as a mask, and The Hierophant as a mystical pauldron to improve his nature powers giving him 3 more prongs on each tentacle (12 total), and improves his control over all forms of animals with his staff but can also see through bird’s eyes, and also communicate with them telepathically. Bo’sun. Fynn. Jack. Ryn takes The Hermit wears it and is granted a +30 All Action Bonus as long as she is acting in isolation.



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