A Sundered World: Pilot Episode

  • Agron (level 1 scion psion)
  • Devi (level 1 deva fighter)
  • Katra "Crazy Gin" (level 1 kobold pirate)
  • Sirus "Ironhide" (level 1 tarchon battlemind)
  • Waive (level 1 scion nomad)

They had explored every nook and cranny of what they simply referred to as the "Sword Vault"; despite the numerous, fucntional traps the only worthwhile treasure they had found—aside from some odd sixty coins—were various swords.

One was inhabited by a malicious intelligence that hungered for blood and souls (not that anyone but Agron knew that), two contained war spirits, and another was made of a dark, glass-like material.

The fifth was stranger still. The blade had been broken about halfway along its length—the rest was still embedded in the petrified corpse of a dwarf—and it looked translucent. Not made of a translucent substance, but more like it was the...ghostly remains of a sword. Despite its nebulous appearance it felt perfectly solid, albeit weightless, when Katra went to pick it up.

Agron opened his mind to listen for other thoughts, in case the guardian he had previously encountered during his original visit was somewhere nearby. It was, and it punctuated its presence with a piercing wail that caused part of a wall to explode. The force hurled Agron and some rubble across the room, where he slammed into the opposite wall.

When the dust cleared they could see a long, circular tunnel. At the end was a glowing, floating apparition. As it started drifting towards them the tunnel began to writhe, and after a few moments they realized that they could see crumbling bodies hauling themselves forth.

Dwarf zombies.

Sirus tried to focus his psionic energies, but some of the fragments around him began wriggling about. More dwarf zombies. Well, parts of them anyway: arms attached to barely recognizable, half-destroyed bodies pulled him to the ground and began clawing at him.

While Devi and Katra helped free Sirus, the ghost continued its advance. With a minor ripple of space, Waive plucked Katra's grenade from her belt and threw it. The grenade landed at the ghost's f—, well, underneath it. The explosion was nowhere near as loud as it's wail, but it nonetheless inflicted an impressive amount of destruction. When the dust and debris settled the zombies were no longer moving, but as far as they could tell the ghost hadn't been inconvenienced in the slightest.

Ghost-sword in hand, Katra leaped at the ghost and stabbed at it. To her surprise and relief there was some resistance as the sword bit into...whatever amounts to ghost-flesh, causing wispy strands to flow from the "wound". Before she could strike again the ghost wailed, throwing her out of the tunnel. Ears ringing and body aching, she handed the ghost-sword to Sirus.

It being the only thing that seemed to work, Sirus took the blade and charged. Before he could close the distance more arms burst from the tunnel and grabbed at him. He tried wrenching himself free, but the ghost's point-blank scream bowled him over. Dazed, he could only lie there as more arms grabbed him and began pulling him into the floor.

With Sirus out of the way the ghost continued its progress towards Agron. Up close they could see that it looked like a female dwarf, clad in a heavy apron and mask, and wielding a heavy-looking hammer.

When she had nearly closed the distance Waive, with another twist of space, took the ghost-sword from Sirus and struck. The ghost had not expected this, apparently confident that without the ghost sword they had no means to hurt her. The blade sunk into her face, which was thankfully as lethal as a living person getting stabbed in the face.

There was one final, fortunately harmless wail as her entire body dissipated. The arms stopped pulling Sirus into the floor—just in time, as he was up to his head—and with no ghost screaming at him Waive was able to teleport him out. They returned to their ship, intended to make port so that they could get some rest before heading out again.

Hopefully they could recruit a medic.

Behind the Scenes
After an hour or so of back and forth, here's the backstory we cooked up:

Waive, along with another adventuring party, previously discovered the island. Not really sure of how long, not that there's a consistent means of tracking time. While exploring it they found a pair of swords, but when Waive picked them up he triggered some sort of magical trap. It disintegrated everyone, Waive included. He was able to reconstitute himself along with the swords, which were inhabited by twin spirits of battle.

He left the Vault, and was searching for a way to leave when Katra's ship arrived.

Thanks to her ability to merge with the ship, Katra was the sole survivor when a group of cambion soulreavers attacked. They killed some of the crew and captured the rest to sacrifice later. Luckily they didn't want the ship, so once they left she was able to emerge and make her way to the nearest port. The experience left her more than a bit shaken, and when she sleeps she can still hear the damned wails of the anima reactor.

Katra recruited a new crew, among them a pre-Sundering deva named Devi. She was searching for other angels to follow her, so that she could become a new god of the dead.

Sirus ordered his retinue to retreat during a battle, denying those under his command an honorable death. In retribution they mutilated him and left him for dead, but he was discovered and resuscitated by another, mysterious entity that had taken the form of a tarchon. Once he recovered he left the Bahamut Span, and ended up being hired as a bodyguard by Katra, because if there's anything more frightening than cambions, it's tarchons.

Agron had barely made it back from the Sword Vault alive, carrying a sword possessed of a malicious intelligence. He suspected that an undead guardian of the Vault was following him, and to make matters worse the blade not only didn't harm undead, it healed them at its touch. He came across Katra while she was in port, and implanted memories of both the Sword Vault and their "lifelong friendship" in her mind.

Pleased to see her friend after such a long absence, they set sail for what they would come to call the Sword Vault.

The Sword Vault came to be because both Agron and Waive's players had coincidentally taken the fighter's Signature Weapon move using their scion race move (which lets you snag a starting move from another class), and both also coincidentally ended up going with swords. Devi's player also wanted a sword, but just a normal one that looked neat. Eventually it was decided that they'd all found their nifty swords in the same place.

The ghost-sword is the Shattered Echo from 10+ Treasures: Volume II, while Agron's black blade is based on Life-Sever (also from 10+ Treasures: Volume II), but with some tweaks to make it more like an intelligent artifact from 2nd Edition and 4th Edition Dungeons & Dragons.

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