Blessed Empire

Basilica of the Portal (I)

13 January 2012

We spend a couple of days in Vostir, celebrities. We buy stuff. Kleft learns rituals.

Cruhorn learns that his homeland has been overrun, and the Shifter community seems to have some sponsorship from a noble. Kriv makes contact with the Arkhosian diplomatic teams. Bonkk draws a greatspear from the Imperial Vault that belonged to the Petroteichos Brigade. Other characters draw impressive items of their own from the Vault.

We are to be the spearhead into the demon-occupied Basilica of the Portal. A tactical map is provided to us at the table. Nothing came through this portal (unlike what happened at Brsic), but the demons have interdicted the circle here, and it is corrupting the grounds around. It will take something special to evict the Aspect of Dagon that is half-manifested here and half-manifested in the Abyss.

We meet Lord Hyperstrategos Mikhail Gudyoni, designated commander of all Imperial forces. He is deeply experienced, old (on the high side of 60 years old), and the foremost tactical expert in the Empire. Our insight is that he is under severe stress: there are too many fronts, too much strength of enemy invading ….

Our assignment is to secure the entrance area of the Basilica. We are to take and hold that space. Other teams will nail down the space around the building. Then we are to force into the Chamber of the Portal itself, and cleanse the Portal Stones. We expect there will be opposition to all of our activities, but we don’t expect “fifth column” forces to emerge from the city and fight against us outside the Basilica.

The Circle is in a sunken floor, under a dome; there are four Portal Stones around the circle. The dome could be opened (e.g. to admit a very tall object), but not under present circumstances. The windows are largely broken. The external doors are secured from the inside.

After we have secured the space inside the Basilica, the Champions will go through the corrupted portal and attack the thing in the circle on the far side. This gives us real misgivings, but we are being given orders, not being consulted on tactics.

Cleansing a portal stone takes a ritual which is short and simple enough for us to do it during combat. We can do it (our Seeker, with his high Nature skill, is probably best at it) once we have elbowed open a space free of the enemy. The opposition is demonic and undead with an aquatic theme. The tempo of our action is to be as fast as possible. The Champions will go through on our signal.

Each of us is issued a healing potion and a Resist Cold potion (we know the enemy use cold-based attacks). We are warned that this will be a compound action.

We stealth up to the outside door, pick the lock, and press in. We see two Vine Horrors, several trident-wielding fish-man things of two different types … these are sahuagin. The Vine Horrors are militant plants, deep-sea versions of nasties Bonkk has seen before in swamps. The far doors of the antechamber are closed.

We open up and find the lesser fish-man things are minions. The Vine Horrors have a huge restraining blast attack but die relatively easily. After a short sharp fight (Lann is put down, but we destroy all opposition) we take a breather.

The door to the circle is being hammered on from within. We ready to attack, but it’s late and time to break until next session.

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