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Thursday, June 13, 2019

Sabina's Castle: Session Two


Spar: Andy's character, a dwarven con artist. He's convinced the stupid humans he can listen to stones and hear everything said around them. Yeah. He's full of crap, in far more ways than one.

Germana: The head of The Processors, a magical guild dedicated to cleaning up sewage. She put Spar into Sabina's Castle to listen to the stone. Yup.

The Unemployed (Shadow's Sons): The totally legal assassin's magical guild. They totally do not exist.

Germana told Spar that Severus, the studly cook, had been kidnapped and she wanted Spar to find out why. A few moments after Germana left Spar to investigate it became discovered that Severus was kidnapped by the general public. Spar went to Severus' room under the pretense of cleaning. The room was locked from the inside, so Severus hadn't been taken out from there. Severus was known for being extremely clean, but the books on his shelf were strewn about, the shelf itself knocked over. But the window (which was several stories up) was not forced open. As Spar left the room he walked directly into Olivia, one of the maids. she was angry that Spar had been in the room and walked off in a huff. Spar noticed she had a key to Severus' door, in her hand.

Spar then went into the castle town and found fellow gambler Lucius. The two had a game over a ruby ring. Spar won. Lucius told Spar that the Shadow's Sons (Unemployed) had been paying handsomely for people to case Sabina's Castle. Felippe was one such gambler, who had been milking the Unemployed for all they were worth. Spar went back to the kitchen for a bottle, which he filled with a couple of thimblefulls of Dwarven Nog, known for knocking out a human with nary a drop. He found Felippe and presented him the bottle. Felippe, always eager for a drop of something new, was unceremoniously knocked out. Spar brought Felippe back to his daughter Salt's place. She was annoyed that Spar had brought a human to her place.

After a few hours Felippe woke up, feeling pretty rough. After a quick bribe Felippe told Spar that there was a spot the Unemployed negotiated with people, at midnight. Spar went to the spot. Severus showed up there at midnight. Octavia showed up and began to argue with Severus, who explained what had happened. Severus had been "kidnapped" by Arianna, his childhood sweetheart. She had been thought dead for decades, only to show up out of nowhere and spirit Severus away. It turns out Arianna had been abducted and trained by The Unemployed. She had showed up at Severus' window once she was able to escape. Octavia, furious, stalked off. She was carrying Severus' child...

All of this, of course, was reported to Germana.

The Giggling Dark: Session Ten, Trait Vote the First


For those of you not in the know, the Trait Vote is possibly the best thing about Burning Wheel. Don't get me wrong: I love, I adore the rest of Burning Wheel. But what sets this and the Burning Wheel family of games apart (to the best of my knowledge) is the Trait Vote. After a significant event in the campaign the players take stock, go over the events of that arc, and then start voting on traits and reputations. There's generally a time skip between arcs, so we also figure out what the PCs did in the meantime. Normally this process takes about the length of a small session for 3-4 players, usually no more than two to three hours.

This trait vote, for one player, not two, not three, not four, took eight hours.

How did this happen? How did this monstrosity of a Trait Vote happen to me?

Part One: the Trait Vote


First off, let's review what traits Xellous had at the start of play:

Character Traits
 Single-Minded
Superstitious
Hard-working
Blunt

Dice Traits
Prodigy

We decided that, after we had given him the trait "Chosen of Ikuinen Lampo" to represent his ability to see auras and to communicate with Ikuinen Lampo, that we would take away the Superstitious trait (which was a cultural trait) and give Xellous character trait "Bereaved" and the Call On Trait "Aura of Determination". For those of you who don't know what that does, Aura of Determination allows you to either re-roll a mass Steel test that your group makes or for Xellous to re-roll a test that a group of people are helping him with, once a session. Given Xellous' habit of trying to get everyone to keep their crap together when they were losing it.

The Reputation Vote
The slaying of the Beast of the Apocalypse netted Xellous a "2D Hero of Khouria" reputation. He's pretty well-known across the lands, even if by distant reputation.

The Affiliation Vote
Becoming the Chosen of Ikuinen Lampo netted Xellous an affiliation with Celestial Knights, rated at 1D.

Part Two: Aura Manipulation

So... Kurlak invented a magic system in session eight. Y'know where he went and manipulated the auras of everyone? Yeah, that wasn't me suggesting anything. Kurlak just said "I do this" and I... looking at the fact that there is no Gifted trait required for magic.... facepalmed. And made up something on the spot. And had to continue to do so. Enough of that nonsense. Here's what Kurlak and I came up with for Aura Manipulation. We used the Magic Burner System in the Revised Magic Burner book. I managed to get all the Revised books about a week before they went out of print. I found the Burner extremely useful.

Concept: Manipulating the auras of living creatures to modify its behavior and understand it better than simply having Aura Reading. Think of the more empathic abilities of The Force from Star Wars. 
Technique: The user must take time concentrating and focusing upon the aura of the target.
Cost: Regardless of success or failure a Forte test must happen. If a test is failed by three or more a horrific failure is visited upon the user and he gains infamy for doing so.
Effects: May be used to:

  • Force a Steel test on anything with an Aura.
  • Force Obstacle penalties on a target. +1 Ob up until three over the obstacle, +2 Ob up until six over obstacle, and so on.
  • Suppress Traits: +1D for Character, +2D - +4D for Die Traits, +3D-5D for Call-Ons.
  • Add Traits: Ob is point cost of Trait, +1 Ob if target is unwilling.
  • Mask Aura: +2D to target if unwilling.
  • Mimic Aura
All tests except for Add Traits are VS Tests, with the target using Will.


Limits: The user must use hand gestures, similarly to a Jedi using Mind Tricks and lifting heavy objects. The time in each test is equal to the Obstacle of the test. The duration of all tests is one scene,+3 Ob for the rest of the session.

Part Three: The Red Ethergaunt


Kurlak had ensured that a red ethergaunt, the foot soldiers of the Khen-Zai, was killed. During the Trait Vote he asked what the Traits of the creature were. I realized that I had no idea, not really. Ug. We needed to fully burn it, because he wanted to taxidermy the darn thing. So here's what we came up with, using the Monster Burner which, again, I was very fortunate to have. Yes, this is me very bluntly stating: The Monster Burner works. Reprint it, whatever you need to do, Luke Crane and Co, do it. This was awesome

You think if I put that with bold, underlined, and italicized they'll read it and friggin' do it already??

Anyway. Here's the monster

Beliefs
1. The material universe is ours and all else will be exterminated.
2. The hierarchy must be obeyed strictly.
3. Nothing else is as intelligent as the Khen-Zai

Instincts
1. Always destroy all temples I see.
2. Always refuse a Duel of Wits with non Khen-Zai
3. Always have my etherblade when on expedition.

Traits
 Tall
Thin
Hyper-Intelligent (C-O for Perception)
Planar Phasing (DT, May go back to Ethereal plane, may take passengers, 10 actions)
Horrific Face (DT, when revealed forces Steel test)
Strongly Influence (DT, may attempt mind control, which forces Steel test +15 hesitation)

Skills
Khen-zai Hierarchy-wise G3
Read G3
Write B5
Intimidation G5
Meditation G3
Observation G5
Orienteering G3
Khen-Zai Supremacist Philosophy G4
Khen-Zai Technology G5
Etiquette G4

Stats
Will G6, Per G7, Pow B3, Spd B4, Agi B4, For B3

Attributes
Steel B8, Health B4


Part Four: Practice Time and Enchantments

So Kurlak went nuts here. He made Gauntlets of Brawling from the skin of the Behemoth of the Apocalypse, giving him G5 Brawling whenever he wears them, until the end of time. He also made four Amulets of Healing from some of the organs of the Behemoth, which helped Telos recover from most of his wounds! Telos went from mortally wounded to mildly inconvenienced in the space of six months. Kurlak also finished training Command, Persuasion, and Ugly Truth, as he went and bossed around the monks and fed hard truths about the state of their situation, along with trying to get other people to trade more with the monks. So this guy who was pretty inept socially before is now quite a bit better. That'll help him out next arc!

Oh man, that's done.

Saturday, June 8, 2019

Sabina's Castle: Session One


Spar was approached by his boss, Germana Corvus, head of the Processor Guild. Her son, Caius, had attacked a dignitary. Germana was convinced her son was being set up. So Spar went back to the castle and started looking around. During this investigation he bumped into Herminus Luzi, an abrasive and dumb guard, who didn't like that the lowly janitor was poking around Caius' cell.

Continuing on, into a crowded room filled with dignitaries, Spar discovered that two members of The Unemployed (the totally not existing magical assassin guild), Agrippa and Aelinus, were plotting to kill Herminus. There was a Death's Head, which forced someone to attempt an assassination, placed on Caius. Agrippa and Aelinus weren't able to get the Death's Head off of Caius before he got put into prison. So this time they decided to put a Death's Head on Tara, Spar's human lover and member of the agricultural mage's guild The Kami Guardians, so she would kill Herminus and Caius. They would then remove the Death's Head from Tara. But they decided to try and get past Herminus, who was Caius' guard, one last time, before they went and did something as drastic as putting another Death's Head on another person.

Of course Jasper lost no time in telling Tara, who then ran down to the jail cell. She surprised Agrippa and Aelinus as they cased Herminus, spilling their whole plan at the top if her lungs. Agrippa and Aelinus, embarrassed, began to try to get away from Tara, but she followed them, yelling at the top of her lungs.  This called in other guards who, out of respect for Tara and her position with the Kami Guardians, arrested Agrippa and Aelinus.

Spar contacted Germana and told her everything he had learned. Agrippa and Aelinus vanished very quickly. Spar patched things over with the overenthusiastic and lawful stupid Herminus, who offered to help Spar whenever he needed it.

Sabina's Castle- Session 0


Andy and I were doing a Whitehack game, which was a bit doomed to fail, I suppose. Andy has never been a fan of DnD and I found that Whitehack's world-building mechanics work better with more than... well... one player. So when I started talking with Andy about the Burning Wheel setting that I've been running in for years, he perked up. I threw my pitch for the setting Kakusaretta Sekai at him: at the center of the planet is an enormous blue flame, surrounded by water.

This flame is the source of all the goodness in the world. A long time ago the world had rejected this flame, and it went out. The God of this world came back, incarnated as each of the 8 races- human, elf, dwarf, orc, spider, roden, wolf, and troll. Each time He incarnated He was inevitably betrayed by those of His race, and was finally killed as a human child by an angry mob. Each time He was betrayed He refused to let go of the Flame He possessed by right. By refusing to reject Himself the Flame of the Earth was re-lit.

I then went and outlined the one continent I had played in the most, the northwest one: Helmi. This had two kingdoms in it: The Iron Kingdoms and the Argentum Empire. I had done most of my campaigns in the Iron Kingdoms, but had only ever done one short campaign in the Argentum Empire, and didn't have much of a handle on the place. Naturally, Andy wanted to play there. Oh, and he didn't want to play a human, the dominant race of the Argentum Empire, but a dwarf, who have their own things going on, below ground. So, y'know, Andy was being Andy.



At this point I revealed that I hadn't really worked out anything else for anyone but the humans, mostly. Andy laughed and we began to get to work. We discussed the planet's primary villains: the Inimicai, who are a being from each race who set up their own anti-Flames, against the Flame of God. Andy loved the concept... and was disappointed that I'd no idea what the dwarven Inimicai was like. In the my previous campaigns I'd centered around four Inimicai: the head Inimicai Eous, the elven Inimicai Kenodoxius (also known as The One in the Deep), the human Inimicai Golau, and the orc Inimicai Rahbarl, but when Andy asked me about the dwarven Inimicai I think he could hear me hanging my head and blushing in shame over the phone.

Some of the most impressive worldbuilding I'd ever heard just jumped right out of Andy's mouth. He went off for a good long time, on and on about the Inimicai he named Leviathan. Unlike the other Inimicai, Leviathan had never been seen before, and in fact it was not known if he ever actually existed. It was rumored that, should Leviathan show up, everything would end. But even the other Inimicai scoff at Leviathan's existence. And yet there are those who think it does exist.

You have to understand that I was in complete and utter awe, but we had to move on.

We decided to go with the Dwarven default of stone-listening, turned up to 11. Dwarves can interact with the Flame inside the stone, given they have the sufficient skills and magical aptitude. This, of course, has led to the folk tale that dwarves can talk to stones.

Andy's character,a dwarf named Spar, decided to take advantage of this universal human ignorance. He took up a job with The Processors, a magical guild that got rid of the garbage in the Argentum Empire. He was hired by The Processors to snoop on the other guilds that frequented a neutral ground called Sabina's Castle, which was on the very outskirts of Argentum Prime, the capital of the Argentum Empire.Spar, a greybeard amonsg the dwarves, took up the position of janitor, pretending to be a human named Jasper. While there Spar took a human earth mage known as Tara as a lover. She figured out pretty fast he was a dwarf and kept the secret. The tone of the campaign was intended to be a lighthearted, episodic, campaign.



Yeah, that went well.

Friday, June 7, 2019

The Giggling Dark: Session Nine


Xellous: 13 years old, the main character, played by my buddy Ryan Kurlak. He wants to be the greatest enchanter ever, and has had to deal with Flammeous Lads threatening his family. After killing a Behemoth of the Apocalypse, a hitherto unknown feat, Xellous went to bed.

Kora: Also 13, Xellous' wife. She's currently pregnant after being raped by her (now dead) father Altus, and owns a ridiculously powerful bow called Pyra, made for her by Xellous. She killed the Behemoth of the Apocalypse with Xellous' help, so she's feeling pretty good about herself.

Pyra: Kora's bow, made for her by Xellous. it is capable of vaporizing practically anything.

Telos: A man from another place, another time. He's currently mortally wounded from his fight with the Behemoth.

Michael: Kora's younger brother. He'd summoned a Flammeous Lad before, but has no memory of doing so. He just walked up to Xellous and proclaimed that he knew the truth about his mother, Threen, and currently has her at knife point. He wants to summon his brother, Charles, who is now a Flammeous Lad, to deal with Threen.

Threen: Kora's and Michael's mother. Michael claims she killed her firstborn, Charles.

Ikuinen Lampo: The star of the local area, who had sacrificed herself to keep the area from crawling with undead (referred to as a Rot Zone). She has made Xellous her champion. She lives in the Observatory, which is the center of her power.

Seeing the black aura possessing Michael Xellous declared that he was done with seeing his family be messed with. He reached out toward Michael, star metal stone in hand, and tried to exorcise Michael. A force far more powerful than Xellous repelled him, holding its ground. Xellous charged Michael and tackled him. Xellous hit Michael in the chest with the star stone, demanding the Khen-Zai leave Michael immediately.

The black aura flew away, forming into a smaller, black version of the red Khen-Zai Xellous had fought earlier. It removed its mask, to reveal a shifting, horrific mess. Everyone froze in place but Xellous, who charged the Khen-Zai with the stone. He stopped it from breaking Pyra by shoving the stone in its face. Repelled, the Khen-Zai dropped Pyra, grabbed Kora, and began to phase out of the material plane with her. Xellous tried to restrict the Khen-Zai's aura like he did with the red Khen-Zai, but the black Khen-Zai was far too strong and Xellous failed.

The Khen-Zai took Kora. She was gone.

Xellous fell to his knees. Tears streamed down his cheeks. After a moment he stood up, wiped his eyes, and vowed to save Kora, no matter where she was. The rest of the world snapped back into focus. Threen was screaming and crying, tearing out her hair and clawing at her face. Xellous glared at her, and Threen stopped.

Michael told Xellous that Threen had drowned his big brother, Charlie. The Khen-Zai had shown Michael. Xellous told Michael, over Threen's sobs, that there was more to that story. The Khen-Zai had set up everyone, manipulating them into this horror. Why Michael thought the Khen-Zai were telling him the truth was beyond Xellous. He then told Michael and Threen he was going to rescue Kora. Michael told Xellous he was coming with him, and Threen said she was coming too. Xellous told both of them no, that there needed to be a home to go back to. Xellous and Telos would come back.

As they loaded the unconscious Telos onto a stretcher, Threen told Xellous she had adored Charlie. She wasn't conscious when he died, but only came back to afterwards. She saw him drifting down the river, face down. His legs, which almost never stopped moving, were still. She told him to get the fiends that had done this to her family. Xellous nodded.

They took Telos to Ikuinen Lampo's Observatory. News of the Behemoth's advent and demise had spread quickly, and The Observatory was only too happy to take in one of the heroes of the event. They gave Xellous a place to sleep as they tended to Telos.

Xellous was back inside The Observatory, standing opposite Ikuinen Lampo; she was crying. Lampo told Xellous that she was sorry for the ripping apart of his family. Xellous asked to know everything, to finally understand the big picture. Lampo apologized for not telling him all she knew at first, but she thought he'd want to focus on saving his family, that saving the world wasn't exactly something he should have had on his plate.

Xellous saw Threen, her pitch black aura identical to Michael's, drowning Charles. Charles loved his mother, through all the confusion, the pain, the awfulness until the end.... and then something snapped in the little soul, and he became a Flammeous Lad. One can only take so much betrayal before breaking. Xellous was then shown a Lad subduing his mother.

The Flammeous Lad ate his mother.

Xellous was then flown out of the world. He was looking at a giant disc, held up by red and white titans. A red titan grew up on the disk and stepped off, walking toward a white titan. He ripped the white titan open and stepped within its corpse. The area above the red titan became a rot zone. Xellous saw millions of undead rise from their graves and massacre the living. And above the frozen planet, with red and white titans holding up a disc of earth, floating an enormous ship, cold, caring, unfeeling. it was a Khen-Zai ship.

Xellous was back with Lampo again. He told her he would have wanted to have seen it at the beginning of this whole thing. Lampo told him about how the Khen-Zai were trying to return to their home universe. They had been been fighting a foe called The Nameless... and were losing. The reason why the Khen-Zai didn't directly try to take the planet was because their presence would attract The Nameless, who Lampo knew nothing about. They needed to be ready for the Nameless to appear, since the Khen-Zai had come to the planet.  Lampo apologized again, but she didn't want to take away his choice beyond saving his family.  Xellous told her this was a no-brainer. Smiling, Lampo asked if he'd like to start saving the world.

For those of you confused: a very long time ago the Khen-Zai ruled the known universe, until they encountered The Nameless, a collection of eldritch horrors. They left the material universe to combat The Nameless. Thousands of years later, they have retreated back to the material world... and have found that others have taken over their planet. The Khen-Zai are unable to act directly, as The Nameless have branded the whole race of Khen-Zai and can follow them wherever they directly manifest. Having discovered the Flammeous Lads and the means of their creation (mother drowns son, son returns and eats mother, to support the disc everyone is on) they have decided to create a system where more Flammeous Lads are created. This is because the sanctified earth is deadly to the Khen-Zai, forcing them to exorcise the stars from the earth so that they may live on their land once more.

Underneath the disc is inhospitable and horrifically marred earth. Nothing has gone down there in millennia, marred as it was by The Nameless.

END OF ACT ONE

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

The Giggling Dark: Session Eight


Xellous: 13 years old, the main character, played by my buddy Ryan Kurlak. He wants to be the greatest enchanter ever, and has had to deal with Flammeous Lads threatening his family. After killing a Behemoth of the Apocalypse, a hitherto unknown feat, Xellous went to bed.

Kora: Also 13, Xellous' wife. She's currently pregnant after being raped by her (now dead) father Altus, and owns a ridiculously powerful bow called Pyra, made for her by Xellous. She killed the Behemoth of the Apocalypse with Xellous' help, so she's feeling pretty good about herself.

Pyra: Kora's bow, made for her by Xellous. it is capable of vaporizing practically anything.

Telos: A man from another place, another time. He's currently mortally wounded from his fight with the Behemoth.

Michael: Kora's younger brother. He'd summoned a Flammeous Lad before, but has no memory of doing so. He just walked up to Xellous and proclaimed that he knew the truth about his mother, Threen, and that he wants nothing more to do with her. But he did stay around to help out with Telos.

Threen: Kora's and Michael's mother. Michael knows something awful about her.

Ikuinen Lampo: The star of the local area, who had sacrificed herself to keep the area from crawling with undead (referred to as a Rot Zone). She has made Xellous her champion. She lives in the Observatory, which is the center of her power.

Xellous found himself back in the Observatory. Lampo demanded to know why he was asleep. Xellous was confused, as he had never seen Lampo upset before. Lampo explained that the Khen-Zai were coming. She apologized for not talking about the Khen-Zai before, but she never expected them to show up. But, on the other hand, no one had ever killed a Behemoth of the Apocalypse before, but the Khen-Zai moving openly was such a risky proposition that any open movement on their end was unthinkable. She began to hit Xellous on the top of the head as hard as she could, screaming at him to wake up!

Xellous woke up as Kora hit him in the head with Pyra. Kora had an incredibly red aura. Her baby's aura was a pure white, shining as brightly as it could, interfering with Kora's. Xellous rolled onto his knees and stood up on the bed. "Kora, I love you". Kora drew and fired Pyra and Xellous dodged easily; the roof was blown off by Pyra. The house caught fire. Kora knocked Xellous onto the floor and drew again, hesitating. Xellous told her that he loved her again. Kora fired. Xellous rolled out of the way. The floor was blown out and they fell to the bottom story of the house. Xellous was bruised by the fall.

As they got up Xellous realized that he could manipulate the aura of others as if it was an object. Xellous reached out to Baby and tried to make its aura stronger. Xellous knew that, if he failed, it would injure and possibly kill Baby, not to mention hurting Kora. But Baby was up to the task; the white aura was pushed to an overwhelming degree and forced out the red aura that was possessing Kora. Out of the aura stepped a seven and a half foot tall humanoid, with flaming red skin, long arms, a mask, and dreadlocks.
Image result for red ethergaunt
For you 3.5 Fiend Folio lovers, yes this is what you think it is.

Xellous and Kora froze, terrified. The Khen-Zai grabbed Pyra and tried to snap it in half. But Xellous snapped out of his reverie and tried to force the Ken Zai's aura in on itself, rendering it temporarily unconscious. The Khen-Zai fell over; Xellous pulled Kora up and she killed the Khen-Zai with Pyra. Xellous helped Kora out of the burning house, and went back in for Telos, getting him out just in time.

He came face-to-face with Michael, aura pitch black, who was holding a knife to Threen's throat. Michael told Xellous that he knew Threen's secret, and that he was more than happy to bring back his big brother, Charlie, again so he could his death at Threen's hands!

Thursday, May 23, 2019

The Giggling Dark: Session Seven


Xellous: 13 years old, the main character, played by my buddy Ryan Kurlak. He wants to be the greatest enchanter ever, and has had to deal with Flammeous Lads threatening his family. He's currently facing down a Behemoth of the Apocalypse.

Kora: Also 13, Xellous' wife. She's currently pregnant after being raped by her (now dead) father Altus, and owns a ridiculously powerful bow called Pyra, made for her by Xellous. She seems to have jumped off the deep end, having killed Veraunay in cold blood and causing a lot of trouble.

Telos: A man from another place, another time.

Ernzan: a man who has been implied to have made Michael summon the Flammeous Lads. He and Veraunay kidnapped Threen and Michael.

Michael: Kora's younger brother. He'd summoned a Flammeous Lad before, but has no memory of doing so. He just walked up to Xellous and proclaimed that he knew the truth about his mother, Threen, and that he wants nothing more to do with her.

Threen: Kora's and Michael's mother. Michael knows something awful about her. No, you won't find out what it is this session. Heck, you probably won't find out next session either (that's a guess, BTWs. Haven't run Eight yet)

Ikuinen Lampo: The star of the local area, who had sacrificed herself to keep the area from crawling with undead (referred to as a Rot Zone). She has made Xellous her champion. She lives in the Observatory, which is the center of her power.

Xellous woke up in Ikuinen Lampo's Observatory. Lampo was standing in the middle of her Observatory. She explained that the thing they were facing was called a Behemoth of the Apocalypse, a demon of chaos and destruction, intent on coming to the Observatory and eating her remains, thus allowing the Rot Zone to return. Without Xellous this would happen for sure.

Lampo showed Xellous a secret door in the side of the Observatory. It led to a workshop filled with every material known to man. Lampo explained that one day in this workshop was a minute in the real world. Lampo told him their best chance was to make a suit of armor for Telos, who would then use Pyra to destroy the Behemoth.

Xellous got to work... on a chest and arm piece for Kora. He made it impervious to all demonic activity. This took him three days to do. When he got done he decided he wanted to make leg pieces for Kora as well... and took another three days to do that. Lampo walked in, observed the work he was doing, and asked why Kora was getting all the armor. Xellous told Lampo that, despite everything, Kora was the savior of the world, not Telos. Xellous believed that Kora could pull it off, given the chance. Lampo smiled and told Xellous to make armor for Telos too.

After a week of working on a chest piece and arm pieces for Telos, Xellous thought he had it pretty well down. The armor melted. All his work was destroyed. He stared at what was left of his work, trying to figure out what to do next. He took a deep breath, grabbed what he had made for Kora, and walked out of the workshop, back into the Observatory proper.

Xellous woke up in his house, to the sounds of carnage just outside it. In his hands were Kora's armor. As he ran outside he saw the Behemoth had knocked over his father's barn and was devouring the helpless animals inside. Telos lay nearby, mortally wounded. Threen, Michael, and Kora were trying to keep him in the land of the living. Xellous didn't see his father around anywhere. Xellous ran up to Kora and gave her the armor. He told her to get out there and kill the Behemoth. Kora told him she had tried, but couldn't steady her hands well enough to shoot; she had shot wild every single time and had made an even bigger mess than the Behemoth had so far. Kora had given up.

Xellous told her to cut it out, that the world was counting on her right then and there, and that if she didn't pull off the shot no one was going to. He took a look at the Behemoth, took a deep breath, grabbed a nearby bow (Kora had brought his from earlier), and charged the distracted Behemoth, taking aim with his bow. Kora, who was busy putting on the armor, screamed "What the hell do you think you're doing??/" and Xellous replied "I need a skin sample from that thing! Its skin would make great armor!" He fired off a shot, and managed to get a small piece of skin off with his ordinary bow. This startled the Behemoth and it turned around, confused.

Kora shot in the leg as it turned around and it collapsed. Kurlak rolled 9 successes on 3 dice, against Obstacle 3. Xellous collected his skin sample as Kora walked up to the Behemoth and shot it in the head, putting it down for good.