The heroes fought bravely, some would argue unnecessarily, against the Demons, and after a death ridden battle, they were able to retreat behind the barrier shield with the mages and their Golems. Of course they were now prisoners, but it seemed better than the alternative. The heroes immediately surrender and they are told to relieve themselves of all their weapons. A Golem designated as 119, wearing a shadow theists garb.
The heroes are taken inside the walls of Magehelm and experience the sterile essence washed brightness of the keep. The walls have intricate veins of essence flowing through, impressive to say the least. The heroes are led to a cell and establish a pee corner (which is always back left) and Eloric lets the heroes know to not talk to anyone and just wait.
119 returns, and switching out a hand that is capable of it, he opens the essence barrier on the cell. The heroes realize this is how Eloric got out last time. Further, it knows Eloric, and in fact used to be a charge of Eloric, nicknamed Steve, whose spirit was put into the machine. Steve lets the heroes know they are in fact dying because of their exposure to the Everspout. 119 (Steve) lets the heroes know they have means of escape through another Golem named 107. They will be able to escape on the very airships they came to secure. The heroes also learn that the Golems are vulnerable to fire, but any cast of divine magic will alert the any guards to their presence.
The heroes discuss their impending death as well as whether they should cut and run with the airship, the mages only means of escape, or negotiate with the mages so as to not upset them and gain their aid in the coming war. The heroes decide to check out the ship first to see if there are one or many and try to go quietly. To everyone’s surprise Santos is able to stay quiet. The heroes see what is a converted cafeteria, turned into a factory workshop. Eloric telepathically connects to 107, telling them that 119 sent them and they are here for the airships and an escape.
107 tells the heroes to hide and Cesa is able to open one of the storage closets that Eloric remembers. The heroes are able to duck into the closet just in time and avoid detection. This is the stealthiest they have ever been, ever, it’s a little unnerving. 107 retrieves them and they head into the machine workshop while they rest of the Essence Forge nearly lose their shit and 107 assures them the heroes are brothers in arms. The heroes try to figure out exactly how they will escape when they realize that the woman being put up in Magehelm is likely Alexander’s sister Emilia. Alexander famously left the heroes long ago to save his sister at Magehelm. The heroes learn they could stop the dying process of the essence radiation to make themselves essence forged as well.
Finally, the heroes realize that the Demons might benefit from capturing or absorbing the powerful mages as well as Alexander’s sister who the heroes decide is important in some fashion. Santos reads the letter from Alexander. Faldrco says “Then we should kill the Mages” to which Santos replies, “I don’t think that is what the letter says at all.” The best solution long term is to negotiate with the mages, aid their escape, and hope for their eventual aid in the great war to come.
Suddenly, Taran speaks up. The idea of being a perfect killing machine, literally, is just too much. Taran agrees to the transformation. His very spirit will be transferred into a mechanical construct. Taran will now be a literal killing machine. They head to the forge being lead by 53. Before they can get there though, Jeric decides to touch the motherboard of essence, alerting a war forged of their position. When the heroes are unable to give a convincing reason why they are planning to turn Taran into a Kill-Bot, a small fight breaks out. Or at least it would have if Cyril didn’t just chill him out so much. In fact, Cyril sings to the sentry and the construct is now willing to help lead them to the creation forge.
The creation begins, and the heroes watch as Taran the Shamed, Warrior of the Blade, of House Ovsunn, keeper of the Armor of Ovsunn, undergoes the transfer. The heroes hand over the divine augmenter as a arcane focus and the transformation starts. The pain is extreme but Taran finally releases a final death rattle. The heroes stand in the chamber as the machine completes the transfer. His eyes glow to light. 53, clasps the new war forged’s shoulder, “Welcome brother.” The new construct rises again, now as; Taran, The War-Forged. Through Jeric’s suggestion of using the Divine Augmenter, Taran has retained all of his memories due to the artifact’s extreme arcane and divine power. Having shed the mortal coil, 53 incinerates Taran’s old body, and when it returns, Ovsunn’s Armor is still intact and retrieved.
Santos makes the stupid mistake of being honest with 53 about where they’re going, and he bolts, likely informing the rest of the essence forged of the plan. The heroes head up to the mages quarters and decide that Amelia is the first person they should try to contact and get her to open the door. She is a lithe girl with fiery red hair. She would look good in a police uniform, although that helps no one. The heroes, speak of Alexander and she is willing to talk, until Carter Wilroar’s brother Lionel enters the corridor. The heroes try to reason with Lionel, speaking of a greater good, but with nothing tangible to offer the mage, he is unwilling to trust the people who enslaved his brother. The negotiations reach a heated moment and Lionel decides he will simply alert the mages, but just before he does a knife protrudes from his chest, stabbed in the back by an essence bane dagger by Amelia. She grieves that she had to kill him, but if she wanted to help Carter or Alexander, she believed the heroes were her best hope.
Agreeing to join the heroes, Amelia and Eloric lead the heroes to the hangar, although not as quietly as they’d like. On the way they encounter far too many sentry drones and Faldroco accidently knocks a wrench to the side. They realize they have to move past one of the command centers. Eloric and Taran the War-Forged come up with a genius plan of Taran blocking the view of the heroes trying to move past the corridor. The other essence forge walk up to him and try to speak to him via telepathy but he doesn’t respond because he’s not set up for it. He starts to bluff his way out of it and needs every opportunity (blue ultimate) to talk his way out. He uses a lot of logic that has to do with having flesh and blood but the mages seem content enough to send back to modification center with another essence forge. Cyril decides to dance his way into his heart. Which he does, but not without a little background music. All the planning, all the secrecy, all the negotiation, all the effort, gone, as the heroes decide, “Fuck it, we’re just gonna make a run for it.”
From behind them, a wave of essence hits many of the heroes as they try to flee. The red lights are flashing and the ground begins to shake. The heroes keep running and encounter a line of sentry guards all ready to stop the heroes in their tracks. Cyril calms down some of the forged, and Faldroco brings up some tentacles to try and slow down some of the guards. Meanwhile Ax casts mirror images of himself and Santos assumes his angel form, getting to the other side of the guards and telling everyone to get to the other side of the guards, he is calling out an Air Elemental. Cyril tries to by some extra time and suggest one of the enemies run, although it does wild magic spawn a physical embodiment of a suggestion spell which will not listen to any caster. It’s just telling people to run.
Wild magic abounds. A Triceratops is summoned. In a place of very solemn magical power, shit is going crazy. Ax is trying to get himself to other side which he does but when he appears, he is a stone statue. The Air Elemental comes down and starts sucking up enemies while the heroes run to the other side of the carnage. One by one they get to the other side, dodging tornados, physical suggestion spells, triceratops, and god knows what else. The air elder sucks up more baddies and Eloric sets up a floating wall and the heroes are getting out of dodge while the elemental and suggestion spell wreck havoc on any reinforcements. Eloric puts down some grease to keep even more enemies from following as well but ends up reversing gravity and hitting the ceiling. Santos goes up to catch him and the heroes speed off again some in gaseous form.
They end up at a door that they assume is for the hangar but when Santos tries to find the way, it doesn’t point through the door. Instead, when the door opens Amelia (out of gaseous form) rushes in and you see what can only be described as incredibly powerful mages, notably who looks like The Second, surrounding orbs, probably holding up the barrier. Amelia wants to use one of the orbs to hopefully release her brother from the demonic torment. When Santos agrees to help she runs up to grab the orb but is knocked away off the balcony. Asesthma catches her. As they relax for a moment a familiar black sword pierces through the chest of The Second. Sigfried steps out from behind him and states, “The third lich is destroyed. You guys are fags. I’m stopping Cathist.” Santos walks up, trying to talk down Sigfried, but he won’t listen, they are at a crossroads. The Second looks with his eyes, pleading for mercy. Santos touches him to heal him, but instead his body seizes up. The world opens up to him. Unlimited power. He has a dark vision, and suddenly he sees three options he could take. Use the power of the orb to destroy so much it could erase an entire city; use it to create a mass of essence to destroy all the demons and leave enough time to escape; or use it to make Magehelm implode, giving the heroes themselves enough time to escape but destroying everyone else and everything in Magehelm so the Demons can never get it.
The other heroes link to Santos, seeing what he sees. The Essence ARE the children of the Gods. They are angry with their Parents, and what to choose their own gods instead of their parents and choose to create a pantheon. Quickly Jeric sees that sadly it seems his sister has turned. When the heroes come back to their senses, Santos’ will decides to save as many people as possible, destroying demons. When they are released, The Second falls to the ground dead into ash and Redemption breaks, releasing Cathist once and for all as he ascends to his godhood on the Pantheon. The heroes decide now is the time to run….again. As they try to escape, the Forged loyalists try to attack the heroes but the Resistance shows up to diffuse the situation. The Heroes are able to get to the hangar and commandeer 25 airships. 536 joins the party, yes that 536, and ushers the heroes onto their flagship Hope. 536 assumes the helm and using the load stone begins to take the ship out from the underground hangar. As they leave, two of their 25 were destroyed, leaving them with 23.
“So where to?” 536 says, almost cheerily.
Jeric stepping forward, fresh air on his face resolutely says, “Char.”
The point is, every time the heroes try to save people and make allies, they make more enemies.