In which sons doom their fathers, and brother is set against brother
A harvest of souls
Random awoke in a wicker man, to the smell of gasoline.
In a rage after what happened to Mireille, he goes on a killing spree using a combine harvester that runs on the souls of kittens, and is lubricated with orphan’s tears.
Julian is displeased to have it dumped on the border of Arden, and demands it be consecrated before the dogs eat it.
Random calls in a favour with Caine, and has the high priest of the church of the Unicorn brought to him in chains.
Only Caine is excommunicated over this.
Zurehn awakes in a freshly ploughed field near a place called Stoke.
The farmer, driving a tractor, is at least familiar with the idea of strange men waking up in the middle of nowhere, and offers “stag do” as an explanation.
According to a calendar at the farmhouse, it is 1970 – which doesn’t mean much but is at least a point of reference.
Apparently there is a war on, and the recruiting office would like to see a man of Zurehn’s age.
Zurehn asked to see the “rest of Stoke”, which produces a confused look but the farmer offers to drop him at the services later on.
At the service station, Zurehn learns a bit about the war from newspapers. Two lands have long been at war, but things stepped up recently with a land war in action.
A call from Finndo interrupts things, and Zurehn steps through a card for a tour of his hometown.
This is a high-gravity version of ancient Rome, where chariots and tanks train and prepare to fight wherever they are needed.
However the tour ends at sunset, Zurehn is instructed to leave before dark, and Finndo refuses to reveal what happens after dark.
A teleport brings Zurehn back to the farmhouse kitchen, where the farmer was cooking breakfast. “Stag Do.”
After a blood test (it’s OK, Zurehn bleeds in red), a few phone calls, and a few ministry of transport cars later, Zurehn is in a military HQ where they explain the situation and discuss how to put his skills to use.
The enemy bleed pink goo, but look human otherwise. Sometimes they are copies of people you know – so people have got used to bleeding in front of each other as a test.
Continental drift (1 meter per year) has brought these lands together and recently formed a land bridge.
Osric suggests Zurehn could resolve the situation in favour of the pink goo, a chaos infection that can cross shadows, and perhaps put a stop to the random travelling that way.
There is another call from Finndo, now severely injured with a severed arm – Zurehn offers him extraction and medical attention and the promise of a good fight when he’s recovered.
Finndo points out most of the people here are probably already infected, and the best option would be to cleanse the world with fire, starting with the healthy looking people before they become more dangerous.
Zurehn first informs Osric of the situation, then immediately informs Caine, Fiona and Random (who promises a
military medical expedition to help out with the disease)
While in the trump call, Random sees a green aura around Zurehn and suggests he’s being targeted by magic.
Zurehn counters with a power word, but it comes back, so he teleported out to Kalenwic.
After a few moments, it comes back again, so he trumps out to Random.
Some time later, Zurehn returns and brings in Fiona to help study the disease.
She demonstrates a blood sample can be returned to normal magically, and gives several hours of instruction on how to create a cascading spell to cure a whole area.
In the morning a soldier bursts in to say “it’s working – he’s out there throwing people into the sea”, and television screens confirm this, a red armoured person smashing up the enemy forces on the land bridge.
Aron, Master at Arms?
Caine points out that it doesn’t matter if everyone knows you didn’t do it, word got out that you did. (somebody set up a shrine and everything)
Dreams of Demons
Phil revealed to Aron that he had a dream about a demon arguing with the King.
Library research was not fruitful, there is hidden history there, but it stops abruptly around the time of Eric’s birth (+/- 200 years?)
Phil’s sketch looks unlike a chaos creature, but like storybook demons from his home shadow. (OOC: probably Swayvil or another chaos lord, but apart from a glimpse of the chaos trump deck we haven’t seen anything like that)
Aron asks Benedict about the sketch, then tries Fiona (who is masked), and Brand.
Rinaldo answers, and steps through the card instead of taking the sketch.
He points out things in the palace: a secret passage that has been painted over, a bricked up gallery “you don’t want to know what’s behind there”, and a pillar that was damaged in a fight between Corwin and Eric.
Rinaldo suggested Fiona could help with the sketch, and gets very upset when informed she is hiding.
After banging on doors, he runs into the war room, and finds Bleys (rather than Caine). They ask for privacy and teleport out, leaving a ward on the door.
Corwin orders Phil to arrest Aron, Phil decides to take him outside anyway and their horses are shot.
Random throws Aron down the stairs on Corwin’s instructions.
When Aron walked the pattern in front of Random and Phil, involuntary shapeshifting occurred. When the first walk burned the pattern into him, it did not burn that out of him.
The forms were not just his natural forms, but included others, such as the demon Phil showed him earlier.
Random called Corwin in to witness,
Finndo was snatched by Benedict and Caine (Plan A), followed by Corwin (Random’s medical expedition).
Now chained in the dungeons, in secret. The dungeon guards who unlocked the cell were murdered to keep this secret.