Chapter 39: The Kingdom of Zemlak
The game continued from Chapter 38: Alexandria.
Solve for X
game session #226
played on July 18, 2018
Imhotep taunted the group about their abducted families via the golden bird still in Elise's backpack, but before they could attempt a rescue, they needed to know how to defeat him. Beyond the portal, they found the Lost Kingdom: A lush valley populated with Egyptians who had studied life and death magic, along with "outsiders" like the group. Sadett explained the ancient Prophecy of the Nine: That the high priest of the Red Death, aided by a man in blue and woman in black, would bring the world to the brink of destruction, and five heroes (two men, two women, one "in between") would recruit nine people to their cause, each represented by a symbol, to lay hands on a mystic artifact that opened the way to save Earth. Elise fainted again, and Sadett said that something was causing her heart to stop. Gao had a vision of Gant Harrington tied up. Caleb and Sagesse tracked Gant to the X Club, a scientist collective that was hazing Gant upon making him a member. The group learned that the new leader of the club was Oliver Haddo, a dangerous occultist who had come into possession of the heart of a powerful being named Zemlak the Destroyer who the group had once gone to a lot of trouble to slay. Through the door to Haddo's room upstairs, they found a vast snowy forest, and entered it, bringing Gant and Marmaduke with them.
Deke for questioning the outsiders and searching for Mycroft Holmes
Elise for investigating the nine symbols
The Awful Remembrance
game session #227
played on August 1, 2018
Deke wandered in the woods and ultimately gained the help of forest creatures that could talk, finding the rest of the group. They were met by scientist John Dolittle and witch Theresa O'Neill who came in through the still-open door to London. Elise dispelled magic and for a moment the forest disappeared and they were in an office with Oliver Haddo, but it didn't work twice. Theresa cast a spell that helped them figure out where they were: The Kingdom of Zemlak, the creature's personal demi-plane. Elise's heart stopped as a powerful heartbeat could be heard around them, worrying Hartdegen, but she recovered and it stopped. They explored the woods and found scenes playing out in dimensional "bubbles," like a child having a picnic with stuffed animals and a faun sleeping under a lamppost. They encountered a pack of wolves, one of whom, Vinny Castille, was still bitter about being abandoned in Zemlak's domain by Elise months earlier. The wolves invited Marmaduke to join them, but Deke convinced the dog to stay and earned some degree of respect from the wolf pack.
Deke for befriending the forest animals
game session #228
played on August 8, 2018
The group came upon a "bubble" with Nannuraluk and his chief Nanook around a campfire with bears, which Elise accessed with a portal. They explained that they were purifying Nann of the Red Death so that it couldn't take control of him. Misunderstanding, Sagesse interrupted the ritual and unleashed the Red Death within Nann, forcing a battle until the group subdued it and restored him to human form permanently. Suddenly, something attacked magic weaknesses in the Circle members: Elise's heart stopped, Rose's limbs began disappearing to another dimension, Gao zombified thanks to being bitten on a Viking ship, and Theresa began birthing Excalibur from her brief pregnancy with John Sheppard. Sagesse treated Gao, breaking the effect on the others. The group pressed onward, up into the mountains, where they found Haddo performing magic at an altar. He invited Elise to join him in study, claiming that her actions showed that the true master she served was power itself, and her claimed objective of defeating the Red Death was just pretense. She refused, and a swift battle ensued. Deke and Marmaduke both lost their noses and mouths, forcing Sagesse to cut the dog's face open so he could breathe. Sagesse's bones doubled in length, rupturing through her skin and locking her into a painful position. Rose's blood froze solid in her veins. With the help of the returning wolf pack, the group slew Haddo with repeated attacks, finally crushing him with a pair of boulders thrown down by Elise.
Caleb for trying to distract Haddo by threatening Zemlak's heart
Sagesse for treating Gao and saving the Circle