DR2220+ Finale Mission 1 Report: The New Years War


Prologue: What Principles justify Rebellion?

The Terror of Dunesphere, Major General Terror, K’ain son of K’ain, three names for the same K’iorn, who was heir of three different K’iorn tribes that claimed rulership over the WarCouncil of S’vana. Instead of leading his people, Terror had served alongside the EEF, and the Earthers. He had gained the respect of the dead Colony General Malthus, by saving him during a grand coup by the Tyrant Enric Von Glomhammer.

Terror currently stood on the balcony of his EEF quarters in Chooru. In the bed behind him lay Celyse, his wife, and an Uthvelor. She was deeply asleep, and Terror couldn’t help but envy her. Since she had recovered the hand of her son Zar’cos, she had seemed calmer. The news of the time traveling adventures of their children had given Celyse a sense of peace.

For Terror it had awoken a great fear, a deep fear he couldn’t place. They had heard of the adventures of their children Ar’tur and Ara’nia in freeing the Uth of Beroterask in the past from the Greyfalcon slavery on the prison dimension of Les’tas’tral. It had brought him pride, but fear as well. His son and daughter were many centuries older than he, and not having met them as adults, he felt a deep worry for them.

The worry had shown true when their rogue son Zar’cos fell to Warmonger worship and Celyse had to put him down herself. But she had not granted the boy final death. She had kept his hand, held his life to it, and bound it so it would not decay. The gristly trophy lay on their bedside table. A gnawing reminder to Terror of his failure to protect their children when Volphis had come for them.

How could he have planned for his own son from the future to steal his children and his own younger self? What book on parenting prepared a parent for that? And it had stolen Terror’s pride. He had hidden away, and it had cost him during the space expansions. He had allowed less than reputable EEFers to defame the EEFs honor in his eyes. Making treaty with the Quall had made him sick to his stomach.

But as he enjoyed the cool night air, and the light of the moons of Refuge, Terror could not help but wonder where his son Volphis was right now.

And Terror heard an unfamiliar hearbeat behind him, and an erratic breathing, as he spun around Terror could hear the intruder say, “Ahh but Father you were just wondering where I was right?”

Terror stopped his massive shapeshifted claws inches from the face of a handsome K’iorn hero in the prime of their life. The face was so like his own…

“Father, I am Volphis,” said the young man, dressed in the living Khaz’gha wood armor of an honored Dra’koon, “Volphis Starfalcon, honored by the tribe of the highest K’iorn, with a crown showing the high king’s favor.”

Terror relaxed his hand, restoring it to normal, saying, “My son, you are younger than I last saw you. I hope that means I have a chance to fix our relationship.”

“Of course father, you do,” said Volphis with a smile, he pulled a crystalline magi cannon from a shadow cast by his own leaf cloak, and fired a beam that struck the sleeping Celyse.

Terror looked enraged, but Volphis lifted up a finger and said, “Calm down father, it was just set to stun. She will sleep and you and I can have a good talk uninterrupted.”

Terror said, “Whatever you were told by the Krato General Tharr was lies. Your mother and I are no threat to you or your siblings!”

“Are you really sure?” asked Volphis, “I would go so far as to say that by breaking the rules of the Uthvelor and the K’iorn and breeding my siblings and I, you forced a civil war and its been brewing since then.”

“A Civil War? I don’t understand?” asked Terror, “Do you mean the Colony General Election?”

Volphis smiled, “I mean way more than the Election my beloved father. I will show you soon enough. I wonder if you will be as proud of my accomplishments as my adopted father Tharr would be?”

“So why did you come here?” asked Terror creating claws and armor over his form, feeling the shift in the room.

“Father, you know where the Flying Fortress of Mar’un’ga resides. I know this, you know this. You also possess a form that is beloved by the Fortress’ Guardian Yohai Horosha,” said Volphis as he waved his cape and four barrels bounced out.

Terror cut the first barrel in half, then shattered the second, the third and forth ended up on his claws and he stood there trying to decide if he had to cut down his own son. Volphis smiled and pointed at the ends of the claws, where something soaked down from the barrels.

The nanites suspended in the fluid disabled Terror’s nervious systems, keeping his heart pumping and his lungs moving. But his muscles were trapped unable to move.

“Bravo father, the Terror of Dunesphere indeed. You must have terrified those Church of Oners, and they deserved it. But you have a more important role to play today,” said Volphis Starfalcon as he placed a hand on the brow of his father.

Shapeshifting Leyas swirled around Volphis and he reformed into and exact replica of his father.
Volphis smiled and said, "Father there are so many fun secrets in here. I see what you mean about me not liking you. Hah, well don’t worry I won’t hold a grudge.

It seems after all these years without gifts, I have a present right here in your own mind. A shadow cocoon artificed tarp filled with…the bodies of Anton Davies, and Enric Von Glomhammer. Why thank you father, I could not ask for a greater gift at this time of uncertaintly in the Colonies."

Volphis walked into the room, and came back with the bag, and some additional weapons and gear from Terror’s personal supply to complete the ensemble. Then he paused, and walked back to his sleeping mother, kissed her on the head, and then took the embalmed hand of his brother Zar’cos off the table.

Volphis looked back at Terror and said, “Father it seems Mother has a gift for me as well. A tool to twist the Uthvelor and Pelebor to my will as well. I guess I win. I will return, Father, once my army is complete. Then I will ask for your praise. I am sure right now you probably aren’t feeling generous.”


Part 1: A Joyful reuinion over the Ruins of Morgoth

The grand flying fortress of Yohai, Akalus Ha’ku stood strong over the Fortress that Unity had built over the Death Gate to Les’tas’tral. Aboard it carried no crew, for Yohai knew he only needed the armies of K’ias spirits stored across his flying fortress to defeat any threat that dared to try and stop the forces of Good.

Akalus Yohai nearly smiled, but restrained himself. He was an Uthvelor and if he enjoyed himself too much he might trigger the curse. He calmed his mind and focused instead on the fortress of Unity below them. The cutting beams had wasted the last few hours firing impotently against the Annihilation shields of the Fortress.

Soon they would give up, and then they would talk, and they would see that Yohai’s way was the right way.

But then the brilliant and unexpected happened. Major General Terror arrived with a full EEF compliment including a Nomad City Transport and a trio of Duskan Destroyers. Yohai felt pride when the Major General hailed his ship, and allowed only Terror himself to board.

While he didn’t dislike the EEF, he only trusted the house of Celyse, and Terror was HER mate from Yohai’s point of view. That made him worthy of Yohai’s time, even in a moment like this.

“Honored mate of the Highest Zaodonai Uth Celyse Hajima, may your family be blessed ever after, what can I assist you with?” asked Yohai with pride.

“It is actually a matter of the family of Celyse, one of her sons in fact,” said Terror somberly, handing a Sylvan warrant in his hands and passing it to Yohai.

He unrolled it, looking closely at the ancient Sylvan writing, using the the Leyas to translate it. The material felt wet on Yohai’s hands but beyond that it seemed genuine. It spoke of a dreaded agent of the Krato, Volphis the K’iorn.

“I am sorry, Terror, my friend,” said Yohai, “Despite years of hunting him, I am no closer to reaching your lost son today than when I started.”

Terror closed his eyes and sighed, and then began to laugh in a strange way.

Yohai turned to look at him, but knew that Terror always walked around completely obscured. His weapons looked right, but as he tried to walk over he felt his legs stiffen up. Suddenly Yohai slumped over, clutching the Sylvan warrant in a hand.

“You are lucky, Akalus. I could kill you right now,” said Volphis, revealing himself finally, "But it would mean nothing. Nothing at all. Instead I want you to see what I created from the remains of Tharr’s armies. You slayed my adopted father, but I kept working, in the shadows, in the light. Whereever I could find allies, I found them.

Your muscles are stiffening now. I used a combination of DMSO and a unique blend of herbs, toxins and a nanite glaze to make sure you are awake, aware and unharmed when I am done. I used a similar concoction on my father this morning. Don’t feel bad, this is a real EEF fleet out there. And when the time comes, Terror will give the order to have them attack and wipe this Unity installation off the map."

Yohai forced the words out of his stiffening voicebox, “You will fail…”

Volphis Starfalcon smiled, lifting up Yohai’s prized Nodachi and said, “Yohai, I know I will win.
I’ve already seen the future.”

Volphis turned and restored the hand on his belt to life. Standing proudly now was Zar’cos, his brother, and the most Uthvelor looking of the four Scions of S’vana.

“Calm Zar’cos, I have much to tell you, but know you will have a chance to meet your hero today.”

Zar’cos looked down at Yohai’s paralyzed body, “Whats with him?”

Volphis smiled, “You would have to ask him…”


Part 2: The Fort of the Bladed Sun

One of the Instructors looked down at the assembled military criminals. He smiled. These were the ones worthy of a shot at redemption. “You here have done well in your courses and now we have an opportunity for a Graduation test and to help keep people from Slavery at the same time.

Right now the Northern Kingdoms are fighting over a hillside Fort and we wish for it not to fall. The new Itashi Alliance vs. Boriel’s Forces.

This is much like any VLAD mission with the exception that we want the Fort standing at the end, and limited casualties to the Itashi Alliance forces, and Boriel not knowing about this mission. We need to protect the fort and keep the Army attacking it back.

If you successfully defend the fort without causing the destruction to the friendly forces or the fort itself, you will Graduate and be free to do as you wish. Please report to Lurry if you need anything and to coordinate with any other specials there.

Running off to destroy the Enemy’s flag ship or otherwise will count as a negative. Stay on Missions.

Now go prepare.”

Lurry smiled at the assembled criminals and pointed out places they could stow their gear before takeoff.

Four hours later they arrived at the Fort under cover of night. They saw the columns of Boriel’s troops extending off into the distant horizon. Thousands of troops, wargiants and hundreds of airships filled the sky. Some were no bigger than gliders, but two massive carriers hung above the army protecting it from all approaches.

The Jemison Post Conscripts arrived at the Bladed Sun Fort to find there were only fifteen Bladed Sun Knights and no other defenders. They felt their hearts sink. The first of the WarGiants and WarDevourers would arrive at their walls within hours and the Airships seemed to be holding back for some reason.
The walls of the fort were high, and the defenders would not break. But they all wondered if they would survive the morning.

As the sun began to rise on the Bladed Sun Fort, Ser Albrecht Willford addressed the knights and the conscripts.

"Brave folks of all backgrounds, I welcome you to our Fort. The last safe location before you reach the Ruins of Morgoth. We have held this Fort and we will hold this fort.

Across this field stands the Slaver Boriel I’tash. His armies have no choice but to fight us, but to kill us. And as a result we must slay them first. But we will restore those to life that we can, and we will free those that we can. But only AFTER the battle. We must first be victorious!"

But as he spoke, a line of WarGiants approached. Each carried a javelin formed from a felled tree. They readied their arms, yet they did not let fly.

Above them, the I’tashi Carriers released a cloud of gliders that formed up and aimed their solar cannons as one. But even that was just a ruse, as the Artillery behind the lines began to fire. I’tashi Rocket Racks let rip, landing artificed spears into the fort. Some gave off clouds of poison gas, others gave off flames which set fire to the fort walls.

Knights of the Bladed Sun purified the air using the Leyas, and froze over the fires to put them out.

Meanwhile the Jemison Post Conscripts rebuilt the walls using the Leyas, and tried to deflect incoming spears. But the assault was too much, the force to great. But then suddenly UtR Carriers appeared, and began to fire upon the forces of Boriel. Seeing these unexpected forces, Boriel’s troops withdrew back to their lines.

The first day of battle had seen many casualties, but the Knights restored all who fell to life once more.
The added United Tribes forces gave all the defenders some hope, but all wondered, where was the Grand Magi Elijah Morte and his expected forces?

All day they had watched as the Flagship of the Sylvan Empress and her allied Sylvan starships hung in the air unmoving, seemingly uncaring.


Part 3: Aboard the Bridge of the Sylvan Empress’ Flagship

Empress Iuhari had been a brave, an honored, and a brilliant leader in her time. As Warleoch Calphas thought back to the long deceased empress, an example of everything good a leader could be, he was once again confronted by his concerns about the new Sylvan Empress.

On her throne of grown crystal, Empress Iessa lounged as she listened to the lively words of Elijah Morte and his supporters. The majority of them including Elijah Morte had not yet impressed her when her old friend Lalder stepped forward to support the Grand Magi.

“Greetings Empress, it is an honor to see you again. As always I have the Greatest respect and honor for the Sylvan Empire and the help they have given myself and the Olgogs and I wish to return it by helping here.

Helping the side who has freed their slaves, many of those who were Olgogs and am against those who continues to enslave olgogs. I see the Itashi Alliance and Elijah Morte as the best chance to keep more Olgogs free.

Thank you for your time.”

Lalder knew the changes have put a strain on their relation, but Lalder did truly care for the one race who stood up for Olgogs while others let them be slaughtered.

The Empress smiled genuinely and stepped down from her throne and over to Lalder.

“My good friend Lalder, you and your tribe saved me from the Warmonger’s Dead and many other threats. I consider your wise words above many in this chamber, including the half-breed child of the Falosini who thinks himself worthy to sit in the command chair of a Warleoch? He barely keeps his borders together due to his agents. He allows the Sea Kings to claim the lands once held against the Yyan and Krato by the Sylvan Empire. It sickens me to my core. And yes I have heard the propaganda, these Lemna Sea Kings are better than the old Sea Kings…”
There was a flash of light, and Volphis stood among them and cut sideways with a nodatchi sword. The blade tearing through reality itself and cutting a hole to another dimension, Volphis reached out and pulled the Empress through with him.
Warleoch Calphas, Elijah Morte, Lalder and their honor guards stood in shock. None of them had ever met Volphis before, and didn’t recognize the K’iorn at all…
Instead they were stuck with the unlucky news that a K’iorn Dra’koon kidnapped the Sylvan Empress Iessa.
Elijah Morte noticed an Eye spy where the K’iorn kinapper had first arrived. The eye spy looked like a larger crystalline bug with long leafy wings. It projected a light-form display of a distant floating isle on the Falosini Lands.
There was a K’iorn dressed in royal khaz gha leaf robes and wearing a crown of the high king’s favor.
Before him, chained down was Empress Iessa.
Standing behind the K’iorn was Ceroj the Red, Falosini Sovereign.

The K’iorn stepped forward and said, “I am Volphis Starfalcon. I am the Scion of S’vana. With the last high king of the Starfalcon Tribe missing through time, I declare myself the new High King. As child of K’ain son of K’ain I am the last in the line of the tribe of On’an Rass, the Sunset Ridge and the Broken Horn. I am the heir of heirs and I claim my right over these lands.
But beloved Sylan Empress, I do not seek to harm you. Only grant you life.”

He raised a hand and a glowing aura spread over the Sylvan Empress. She had been undead, but the undead flesh was burned away by the glowing aura, and only healthy living flesh remained.

Empress Iessa asked, “Why? Why did you do this? Why did you reverse my state as a Warleoch?”

High King Volphis Starfalcon asked her, “Do you feel it yet? The Vulite plague will be affecting you. Did your vassels tell you about it?”

Iessa was too impressed by the fresh coat of fur on her arms when his words sunk.

“No…Volphis…all the dimensions were infected with the Vulite plague…please don’t,” she begged.

Volphis smiled and said, “Then stop me,”

He tossed a Sylvan Magi Cannon at her feet. He motioned and the shackles released her.

Iessa tried to focus on the weapon, and her hand moved towards it. But then she wavered, the Vulite plague targeting portions of her brain handling executive functioning and tool using. She looked down at the strange bit of crystal and picked it up. Somehow she remembered it was a weapon, but couldn’t remember what a trigger was or how to aim it. Instead she swung it like a rock trying to bash in Volphis’ head.

But the K’iorn moved faster, dodging her swing and asking her to speak. Iessa’s mouth opened but all that came out was squeeking and meeping. She couldn’t form meaningful words, and she felt horror fill her core.

Volphis looked down at the Sylvan, “Ahh the bestial curse has taken you former Empress. You have no hope of ruling anything anymore. But I, the new High King will give you a true glory you deserve. A fitting end to the Sylvan Empire.”

Volphis lifted up a large crystal, “You see this?”

Iessa even in her bewildered state found herself focused on the strange crystal that Volphis held aloft. Her mind began to swim, and suddenly she couldn’t even feel herself. Iessa felt like she was floating in her own body, a mind trapped without action.
Volphis Starfalcon looked over at Ceroj and asked, “Mighty Falosini Sovereign, under the rules of the Peace of Falos, I ask your permission to unlock the Sircuit’n Keyaba using the Sylvan Key?”

Ceroj the Red looked down cruelly at Iessa and said, “Permission Granted High King Starfalcon.”

Volphis raised the Sylvan Key, and the crystal his family had guarded for generations began to glow. His grandmother S’saris Rass had kept it safe for hundreds of years until the Church of One had killed her and burned her at the stake.

Now Volphis unlocked its full power, allowing him to become a conduit to the encoding inside the infected Sylvan. He linked himself with Iessa, and felt her body respond to his commands. Like a marionette she moved to pick up the Magi Cannon properly and stand at attention.

High King Volphis Starfalcon looked out at those watching with an eerie gaze and said, "You who see this are the blessed few, because you will not face the wrath of the fully mobilized Sylvan Empire. Every living Sylvan will become part of this force, and they will cleanse Refuge of the Neliff threat once and for all.

After the Neliff threat is addressed, the rest of you will learn of my new order."

The eye spy turned to dust after it stopped projecting.

Elijah Morte looked over at Warleoch Calphas. The Undead Warleochs were immune to the effects of Volphis’ mind control.
“How do we stand with this alleged High King?” asked Elijah.

“The High King was a purely ceremonial title assigned to the first K’iorn tribe before it split,” said Calphas, “It has no bearing on the Sylvan. What you just watched was a coup de’etat. Ceroj the Red just got himself an army large enough to threaten any Falosini Sovereign who tries to stand up to him, and a patent fall guy in this Volphis Starfalcon. They could both give a damn less about the Sylvan or your own people Elijah.
But with the Empress indesposed, I will advocate your rule…if you push back Boriel.”
"But why?"asked Elijah looking hurt.
“You will need this win to convince your own PeaceLords to remain loyal,” said Calphas with wisdom.
Lalder asked, “How do we save the Empress?”
Calphas said, “She will need to be restored to an Undead Warleoch first, or her mind will be either a beast or a servant of the Keyaba. But now that Volphis has unlocked the power of the Key, he will be linked to it, and it will drive him onward to fight more and more targets.”
Elijah said, “Luckily we retained the Sylvan Warships.”
“Truth be told, he can call upon hundreds of vessels now that he has a living Sylvan force to power them,” said Calphas, “The Might of this new High King will be unstoppable.”


Part 4: On the second day of the New Years War the Cavalry arrived

The Death Darts of Fort Lendill were elite Razorwheel riding special ops under Prince Lief’s Marauders. Whne they deployed they were riding in pairs and made excellent time across the silty soil near the ruin. The Death Darts had batons with a silvery wire only a few molecules thick stretched between them. This monomolecular line was able to slice cleanly through flesh, bone, even armor.
They rode fast on a flank of Boriel’s war giant column. Driving on either side of the war giants legs the marauders, dressed in their self repairing armored space suits, amputated the giants leg. The last one riding by attempted to blast the cockpits with magi cannon fire and kill the pilots.
Their first pass was a success. It was early in the morning right as the sun began to rise. The War Giants lined up just as they had the previous day, and Boriel’s I’tashi Carrier craft moved into position and deployed their glider compliments.
On the walls of the city, Lurry could see the glint as the razor wheel riders began to fly across the field of battle. Where they passed over one hundred War Giants struck the ground, their legs severed at the knees. Again their treetrunk javelin assault was prevented from being unleashed on the Bladed Sun Fort.

But even after the deadly strike, the War Devourers, low to the ground, moved into position. When they began to fire upon the Death Darts with a combination of heavy springshot fire and acid cannons even the agile Razorwheel riders were forced to retreat. But they wisely chose to retreat to the Fort to use it as their base of operations for future strikes.
They were welcomed by the UtR Olgogs, the Jemison Post Conscripts and the Bladed Sun Knights.
Under the cover of the Fort Lendill cavalry attack, the Shield of the Redeemer had arrived. The Undead Warmachines immediately took position on the walls and began firing upon the gliders.
Boriel’s Glider Corps were not immobile during the Fort Lendill and Redeemer consolidation at the fort. They had been strafing the fort, using their solar cannons to unleash deadly beams. But luckily the UtR Mancers had mastered the art of using the Leyas to reflect beam weapons. For every salvo that was unleashed upon the fort, one quarter of the Gliders in the sky found themselves blasted to shreds by their own weapons.
Again artillery strike after artillery strike landed upon the fort, and the magi and mancers fought to raise the walls as fast as they fell. But the defenders now had the added magi cannons of Unit 817 at their side, which gave them the ability to reach back out and give as good as they got.
Unit 817 Radimancers flushed irradiated molecules out of the defenders bodies. Only they were aware that the dust clouds coming in from the north brought enough rads to harm the forces defending the Fort AND those attacking it.
Lok’Reshad, the squard leader of the Redemeers, sought out Ser Albrecht to inform him about the radiation and the threat to both sides. The Defenders wondered if this was the reason that Elijah Morte had sought to meet Boriel’s Army at this location of all locations in the Northern Kingdoms.
Even if Boriel’s army won, they would be so sickened by radiation poisioning that they would be easily dispatched before they could spread their reign of terror further than this battlefield.
Suddenly Ser Albrehct realized why he hadn’t seen any of Elijah’s own reinforcements yet.

Little did Albrehct know that Elijah was trying to prevent a Sylvan Civil War as High King Volphis Starfalcon’s Sylvan Army had already cleared both of the other continents of Neliff in a single day, and they were ready to turn their attention back to this continent shortly.
While Boriel impotently hurled his army against this Fort, in an expertly crafted trap, Elijah was already securing his actual place in the eyes of the remaining Sylvan Warleochs to lead the I’tashi Alliance.


Part 5: The Carriers fell

Boriel’s Tempests moved over the Fort, bringing in a full thunder storm to confound and depress the defenders. It also gave Boriel’s army the third day to repair their gliders, heal their wargiants and generally restore their own morale.

But they never suspected that an orbital satellite array would be transmitting their entire airship fleet’s location data to merc aircraft making their way in from the coast. The merc aircraft deposited Typhoon Squad on the hull of one of Boriel’s I’tashi Carrier craft. The merc squad used a bombast cannon to clear their way floor by floor, corridor by corridor until they reached the bridge of the Carrier.
There was a wide command deck, and a central command crystal, manned by a kumfei airship engineer. The minute peacelord was very angry to see the mercs arrive, since the Tempests should have kept all air off their positions.
But a firm talking to with Bax Gra’Vale resulted in the kumfei in shackles, and Typhoon Squad piloting the Carrier into its fellow. Since both crews were fully undergoing repair operations, they expected word of any attack. Peacebringers were hurled across floors with enough force to break them on bulkheads.
The two Carriers and their glider compliments began to fall towards the ground, and many of the ground troops below found themselves crushed by the falling airships.
Without the air cover of the carrier craft, the Tempests were quickly engaged and shot down by UtR Fightercraft, and the UtR Carrier craft moved into position to bombard the enemy forces.
Aboard his flagship, Lord Boriel watched his forces get devastated by the unexpected attack. He turned to Peacelord Viloh and demanded, “How did our security fall so quickly?”
“My Lord, I suspect they were using Earther cloaking technology,” said Peacelord Viloh, “More worrysome, The Empress’ Flagship has ignored our hails for the past two days. You told me to warn you when the 48 hr mark had arrived since we lost communication with them.”
“Send our elite slammers to find out what has happened,” said Boriel.
“With respect my lord, the Sylvan Flagship has its weapons firing upon any craft that approaches it. Our slammers would not survive,” said Peacelord Viloh…
“It might be time to ready the Doomwyrms,” said Boriel, “These fools would have no chance.”
Peacelord Viloh interrupted Boriel, “My Lord, please hear my words. Whatever you choose to order I will follow, but what if this is a trap to get us to commit our Doomwyrms. Right now we were already undergoing repairs. We have samples of our WarGiants and our Pilots that we could resurrect once we return to the Retreat.
We would have our armies, and the loss of only the two Carriers and the Tempests. Your full fleet back at the Retreat are still with Lord Malaganth, they are unharmed and ready for battle.
And your honor and claim to the throne of I’tash would go unquestioned. My Lord you witnessed the Falosini take the Empress and claim her, Ceroj’s new High King has claimed lordship. This is not the situation you were promised. Even if we hold this location for a week, what does it matter if the Sylvan Empress is not here to recognize your rule.”
“And accept failure?” asked Boriel.
The Peacelord sighed, “If our goal is to rescue Lord I’tash, we have been offered him in exchange for peace.”
Boriel’s eyes widened, “Elijah Morte would never use Lord I’tash as a pawn like that.”
“You are correct, Elijah doesn’t seek peace. The peace is offered by High King Volphis Starfalcon, and his master Sovereign Ceroj,” said the Peacelord firmly, “The Falosini are willing to back your rightful rule, even if the Sylvan are foolish enough to oppose us.”
“Lord I’tash returned to me, and a Falosini army to support me against this upstart I’tashi Alliance,” said Boriel, “That would be worth my pride…”
The PeaceLord nodded, “May I have your order to command our withdrawl.”
Boriel looked out at the fort and the Ruins of Morgoth beyond it.
“Make it so,” said Boriel.


Part 6: Moose hangs up his spurs

Moose had been running the Darkside Rapid Response Team since the death of the Colony General Malthus. It had been an honor working with the brave heroes he had served with, but there were just too many machinations going on. He didn’t want to keep facing McMurphy’s weird political games, or the convoluted plots of automatons, or the absolute insanity of the Time Shredders.
He sat in the Cold Draft in Jemison Post, as far from the Colonies as he could get without leaving the continent. Moose motioned to the Ohmite bartender for another round, “Add a sidecar of the strongest liquor you got.”
Tal’al’oon nodded and placed another mug of Icewyrm Icewine and a shot of Vagna from Boriel’s Retreat on the bar in front of him.
Moose downed the liquor and then began to nurse the wine.
He listened to the radio as it played the results of the Colony General Election.
The announcer seemed way too damn happy, Moose thought,but then the announcer suddenly got really quiet.
The radio announcer said, “For the first time in Colonial History, the votes have come in for the Colony General with less than 15% of votes coming in from all districts. Under colonial law such a lack of turnout will require another campaign, a new season, and emergency powers to the highest ranked living Colonial Officer under the Earth Authority. Right now EEF officials are reviewing staff rolls to see what EEF officers fulfill the qualifications.
Stay tuned for more…”
Moose raised his mug and said, “Better that than a Yildor Roren Win!”
A gaunt EEF veteran dressed in an old blue uniform said, “I’ll drink to that.”
“Thank’s old timer,” Moose replied, “Ever think you’d see a day like this?”
“The Colonies have seen its share of dark days, and it’ll see more in the future,” said the veteran, downing his drink, and ordering another. Moose couldn’t help but notice the vet was drinking an old Kasanthian vintage he was unfamiliar with.
“So what brought you to Jemison Post?” asked Moose.
“Leaving the past behind my friend, leaving the past behind,” said the veteran, “I hoped to see the Colonies I defended and supported for so long grow into something great and grand. It still might. But I knew my own hand in it was to close, and I needed some distance. You hope when you leave good officers in charge they will steer the ship of state and steer it true.”
“Old timer, I ain’t ever seen anyone steer anything straight and true,” said Moose, “They get distracted by shiny things, pretty things, quick things, and ignore the mission objectives. If you pick good people they self adjust, and restore the course of the ship.”
The veteran smiled a grin that showed off two long fangs that seemed a little larger than normal Earther teeth. The veteran said, “Well I’ll drink to that. To surrounding yourself with good people and hoping for the best!”
The pair clinked their mugs and downed them.
They shared their cups as the hours passed, as time came and went without word of who would be acting Colony General. Suddenly the radio sputtered on with the voice of the announcer.
“In an act unexpected by many in the colonies, Comissar Enric Von Glomhammer has returned to the colonies. His timing could not be better, as the highest ranked EEF officer with actual Earth Authority clearance, Von Glomhammer has been granted temporary rank as Colony General while a new election is organized.
Candidate Yildor Roren is quoted as saying This is a dark time for Refuge, but if anyone can help us walk in the light it is Comissar Von Glomhammer.”
Moose’s eyes went wide and he sputtered on a drink, “Did no one read their damn history books? How could they allow Comissar Von Glomhammer anywhere near the power structure?”
The veteran sighed, “I had hoped I’d never hear the name Von Glomhammer again. I guess I am not that lucky.”
Moose growled, “Seriously how the hell? Who in their right mind would allow Glomhammer anywhere near leadership?”


Part 7: The Old Vlad and other Seeds

Commissar Enric Von Glomhammer was having a fabulous day. Eight hours earlier he had been resurrected by K’iorn High King Volphis Starfalcon and Ceroj the Falosini. A peace had been forged between his own supporters and those of the new High King.

Now Enric found himself in the Colony General’s Office in Chooru. The building looked so similar to his offices when he had been Colony General two millenia ago. But the inside was completely different. Styles of fashion, furniture and art were so different than they had been and it made Enric feel the ages that had passed.
He sat at the desk of the Colony General, and the intercom beeped. Enric reached out tentatively and tapped it. He heard a beautiful female voice which said, “Sir, your first meeting has arrived. Mr. McMurphy of the VLAD agency is here to see you.”
Enric Von Glomhammer cleared his throat and said, “Send him in.”
The door opened and Enric was pleased to see his old friend, “Reilly, my good man, it is such a pleasure to see you.”
Reilly P. McMurphy gave his old mentor a huge hug and said, “Sir it is such an honor to see you. It’s been a long hard road.”
“How did you do it? Last I remember our coup had failed, Malthus was Colony General again, and you were on the run while the VLAD agency was being run by a goody goody faulty clone of you,” asked Enric genuinely wanting to know.
Reilly replied, “Sir, it took us working alongside a Krato General…Tharr…you remember him? Aristes and Rayfeld Roren made that contact for us. We funded a slave uprising in Kasanth, had it spread across the Northern Kingdoms.
I cannot take all the credit for it, Sir. Agent Vlad sacrificed everything to make this day happen. Even his own freedom. He is currently in the Goru Prison Facility, but it was his cunning work over the past three years that allowed this moment to happen.”

Enric leaned back in his chair. He had dreamed of this day for so long, he never thought it would really happen. The last time he had come this close, the Infamous Group 2 had him overthrown and even stole his experimental Nightmare Lord soldier. This time, he would not give up power so easily.
“Reilly, how many VLAD agents and government officials know you are you and not the goody goody clone?” asked Enric lifting up a cigar from the cigar case on the desk.

“Sir no one knows,” said Reilly P. McMurphy, “Agents Brook Harrison, Eli McGraw, Lurtor Auf Lal’al, and Olgog the Olgog suspect that I have been replaced but they have no proof of it.
Agent Yildor Roren and Agent Lust already have the 99s and Duskan Archers Syndicates ready to support your return. Cartouche will get in line once he realizes your return is real.
My only worry is the Two Domes. A K’ias General Vulfrym has turned them to Church of One worship…”
“I have already sent Anton Davies to restore order at the Two Domes. Once he has access to their processing plant and their DNA databanks, we can clone whatever soldiers we need in Saragosa,” said Enric lighting the cigar and savoring its flavor.
“Sir with respect Refuge is a dangerous planet, with so many threats…” said Reilly wondering how he would explain the threat of Neliff and Holys and others.
“Reilly, you think you and the Old Vlad used General Tharr as an agent, eh? What if I were to tell you that I believe we were just pawns in his plans?” said Enric blowing out a large cloud of smoke.


Part 8: Wintermute harries the Flanks of Boriel’s retreat.

As a holiday was celebrated across Wintermute, a meeting was held as to what to do about the battle between Elijah Morte and Boriel.

Jeren Holtar, Earther Vampire Council Member and Le’resh Swiftwind, a Kiorn Council member, never liked each other.
They were two members of the six member council that adviced Lord Hassan and had dramatically different views.
Holtar thought little of the living and originally wanted Wintermute to join the Kasanthian Federation while Swindwind wanted to expand the influence of the living and was a firm supporter of the Itashi Alliance.
They always argued during Council meetings but on this rare occasion they had a united goal. Meeting in secret they both shared a common goal of preventing the old Itashi regime from returning. They knew that neither of them had the power to deploy Wintermute’s army but the nobility each had their own private retinues that they could use at their discretion.
So they called Lady Xantinus to the council hall and informed her that Wintermute was to remain neutral and they would be accepting the result of the battle at the ruins no matter what happened.
Lady Xantinus was furious when she heard this, even Councilor Swiftwind who supported the Alliance was willing to throw everything away? This couldn’t stand!
She stormed from the meeting and declared that if they wouldn’t defend their allies then she would! Smiling, the Councilors knew that her hot headed nature was just what they needed, they officially marked Lady Xantinus as “gone rogue” and began to write up an official chastisement.
As Lady Xantinus left Wintermute with an army of undead at her beck and call, the battle between Elijah and Boriel was being decided.
The final day of the battle at the Fort and finally Elijah Morte’s WarGiants arrived at the field of battle. Hundreds of WarGiants came over the hill, firing artillery as they approached. But the armies of Boriel were already packing up and retreating. As the wave of wargiants and infantry reached the lines of Boriel’s troops they pushed them back.
The Morte Army pushed onward driving the Boriel army to the border of I’tash and Wintermute. The Boriel Army found itself facing a vanguard of one hundred zombies and one hundred skeletons. While not a real threat to the Boriel Army, the hit and run attacks by the undead and especially by flamethrowing ghast units, made every mile of marching a horror for the Boriel loyalists.
The Boriel Army finally returned to the city of Boriel’s Retreat a few weeks later, a third of their numbers lost to radiation poisioning and undead attack. Though they had not won the I’tashi lands back, they arrived to find Lord I’tash waiting for them, and this was enough to consolidate Boriel’s power.
Meanwhile at the Bladed Sun fort the defenders rejoiced. While on the final day, the armies of Elijah Morte had pushed back the Boriel Army, every one of those defenders knew it was really the Bladed Sun Knights, The UtR Soldiers, the Jemison Post Conscripts, the Unit 817 Redemeers and Fort Lendill’s Death Darts that really saved the day. The heroes of the New Years War would always remember their success, proving that slavery would never be accepted on Refuge.


Part 9: The Rise of the new High King

The advanced technology of the Unity was no match for the spirits of undead k’ias that flowed from the Flying Fortress. Every Unity defender was killed, and Volphis Starfalcon walked through the quiet halls with a sense of calm he had not felt since his adopted father had been slain.
He arrived at the lowest level, where the sheen of composite materials was replaced by old stone, dark and covered in moss and mold. At one side was Lord Ceroj, the Falosini Sovereign who had supported his rise to power. At his other was his brother, Zar’cos, now resurrected and carrying the nodachi sword they had stolen from Yohai.
He stepped out into the ancient chamber, so like a crypt. Volphis Starfalcon, Scion of S’vana stood before the pool of water that hid the Death Gate to the Prison Dimension of Les’tas’tral. On one arm he wore the gauntlet of Vul and carried a black orb that gave off a purple fire.
Waiting for them, floating above the water was the ancient ascended K’ias, Mar’un’ga.
Mar’un’ga spoke softly saying, “Volphis Starfalcon. You have balanced the actions of Holys, and freed the three timelines from his grasp and the grasp of the Neliff. You and Tharr even freed me from the spirit of Warmonger. For that i will be always greatful. But there are so many who serve the Warmonger Cult who still must be freed. I will return to Les’tas’tral, give up my ascended power and try and restore order to these forces.
Many of the Ascended Beings will be following me there. The mortals will be left to their devices.”
Ceroj the Red said, “Cousin, I am sorry for the years of warfare between us.”
Mar’un’ga looked upon Ceroj without speaking for a long moment, and then said, “Ceroj, you stand upon the same path I found myself so many millenia ago. Please choose compassion over control, choose empathy over power.”
Ceroj said, “Sadly the Quall will not allow us those luxuries…”
Mar’un’ga replied, “The Quall or outselves?”
Volphis Starfalcon said, “Lord Mar’un’ga, my brother Zar’cos has always studied your tactics and your philosophies since he was but a child. Please allow him to accompany you. It would be a dream to him.”
Mar’un’ga looked upon Zar’cos and his mask curled into a smile saying, “I need an agent to help me restore order among the Uthvelor and Pelebor. Especially among the Descended of Pelos. Would you serve me?”
Zar’cos bowed low, holding Yohai’s Nodachi up to the ancient K’ias.
Mar’un’ga lifted the sword, and felt the memories of an entire civilization of K’ias ghosts stored in the Flying Fortress above the Castle. He pulled the memories down into himself, feeling his mortal form grow full of so many lives.
Mar’un’ga marked Zar’cos as his agent, and then handed him back the nodachi.
Volphis said, “My father Tharr had great love for you Lord Mar’un’ga. Restoring you, and freeing you from Warmonger was his greatest wish.”
Mar’un’ga said, “And he has done it. May he rest in peace. You deserve great praise as well.”
Volphis Starfalcon said, “My Lord, this is but the first step. I have installed a friendly dictator over the Earthers, and I will rule the Children of the Falosini. The Legion of Ceroxis owe me their freedom, as do the Kasanthians.”
Lord Ceroj turned to Volphis and said, “Beware pride, High King. You know that the WarCouncil of S’vana has not recognized your rule, nor has Lord Berototh and the other Sovereigns. Your rule is predicated on my support. And these monsters who owe you their freedom will be purged soon enough if my will is carried out.”
Mar’un’ga said, “See again Ceroj, your path. Those you call monsters are not so different from you.”
Lord Ceroj said, “Uthvelor, Pelebor, Undead and Quall will all be destroyed when I am done. Any K’ias or K’ias blooded who do not accept imprisonment on Les’tas’tral will be eliminated as well.”
Mar’un’ga replied, “I guess it is good I chose to return to the prison dimension willingly then?”
Ceroj placed his hand on his sword and said firmly, “Yes.”
Volphis said, “The Greyfalcons have a kingdom waiting for you my lord. You will need for nothing.”
Mar’un’ga bowed and turned into a blob of silver as he dived below the murky waters of the dark pool.

Zar’cos embraced Volphis and said, “Thank you brother, you have granted me dreams I could never have hoped for.”

Volphis whispered, “Bring back Pelos and his descended in chains, and you will have payed me back in full, brother.”
Zar’cos turned and dived below the waves after his new master.
Volphis turned towards Lord Ceroj and said, “My Lord, it might be best if you didn’t tell the Uth and others we plan on wiping them out. It will make the cleansing so much harder.”
“What about your brother?” asked Ceroj.
“My loyalty is to my office as High King,” said Volphis, “Our forces are currently cleansing the Colony Lands under our puppet Colony General. When they are done, it will be time to march on the Quall.”
Ceroj said, “What about Grand Magi Elijah Morte? He is gathering the Sylvan Warleochs who defy your will like Calphas?”
Volphis smiled, “He will be here momentarily.”
At that moment in walked Elijah Morte protected by an honor guard of Unit 817 Radimancers, Fort Lendill Technomagi, and UtR Olgogs.
“You are the one who calls himself High King, I presume?” asked Elijah Morte.
“And you are the one who calls himself Grand Magi?” replied Volphis, “Grand Magi, I am not here to play pissing contests. I am here to consolidate my power, and help those who support my reign.”
Elijah interrupted him, “You kidnapped the Sylvan Empress and you interupted a battle for leadership of the entire northern kingdoms.”
Volphis motioned and the Sylvan Empress stepped out. Ceroj slayed her with his sword. As her body lay lifeless, Volphis sprinkled Khaz’gha seeds in her body and began to fill her body with Earth and Shadow Leyas.
Iessa rose again as an undead Warleoch, but the memories of her time under the hold of the Sircut’n Keyaba still terrified her.

Volphis Starfalcon said, “Yes, here is your Empress back if you want her. I no longer need her. The rest of the living Sylvan will do…”
Elijah Morte said, “How dare you…”
But was cut off by Volphis who said, “How dare I? How dare I? How dare I defeat the Neliff threat in seventy two hours while you and your fellow World Leaders let them spread like a plague for over a year? How dare I unite the factions that make you fearful?
I dare because I am the Scion of S’vana. I am the High King by birth and by right. Had I been coddled by my birth parents I would have allowed my birthright to pass me like countless high kings before me, while inept politicians rule instead.
General Tharr taught me the truth. That I had to claim my birthright through domination. That only through Tyranny would I bend the fools to the right path.
I will support your rule Elijah Morte, not because I think you are a particulary good leader, but because you will keep the peace. And you will be too busy fighting off Boriel and his Uncle I’tash.”
“What do you mean… Lord I’tash is back in my own capital city?” asked Elijah truly confused.
“Not anymore,” said Volphis, “Now he is with Boriel and they are meeting with representatives of a Der’al Collective, a group seeking to guarantee slavers their rights across this continent. Their influence will extend from the Glacial Wastes down through the Goblin Lands.”
“And they are your servants?” asked Elijah growing angry.
“No…no…no more than you are my servant,” said Volphis, “They are but another faction, another group on this planet, like your own I’tashi Alliance, who will have to acknowledge my rightful rule.
I will give you your Empress, and I will give you your legitimacy.”


Part 10: The Balance Restored, or Shattered?

Lord Azrael stood quietly watching the flying fortress of Mar’un’ga disappear over the horizon. One of the most powerful weapons developed during the K’ias wars, and now it was in the hands of the new warmonger, Lord Ceroj.
Lord Azrael felt a deep sadness in his heart, he knew the only way these moments could play out was if his beloved Akalus Ha’ku had been defeated by the servants of the enemy.
Already chaos had spread to the colonies, and the evil Enric Von Glomhammer was ruling with a VLAD agency that acted as his secret police and assassination squads.
Elijah Morte had defeated Boriel’s Army. But Boriel’s Army now had allies in the Sons of Yantuk, the Der’al Collective and their forces could exert insurgent force on all their neighboring nations.
Lord Azrael watched the battlefield, and the fort that had been so pivital to his own plans.

Behind him approached a construct made of Nanites, it was quite obviously a monster in a lab coat.
Lord Azrael turned and addressed the nanite-construct, “Holys, I thought you agreed to your imprisonment. Have you decided to reneg on the deal?”

The construct of Holys said, “No, honored Azre’Tal. I mean no disrespect by my arrival. I have explored these nanite constructs to observe my many experiments. I came here to witness the moment when the Ascended Beings willingly sequestered themselves on the prison dimension.”
“Yes…your moment of triumph?” asked Azrael bitterly.
“Triumph, no…no of course not,” said Holys, “What triumph is there in a secret Warmonger rising once again among the Children of the Falosini? You and I both can see what Ceroj the Red is becoming.”
“Yes as part of your experiments,” roared Azrael.
“No, Ceroj’s fall, and the rise of the Primordial Descended, was caused by the Nightmare Lord Ritual the Mortals used to destroy Warmonger’s physical form. I have merely been observing it. I would not affect the balance so profoundly. But once the timeline was so badly destabilized, and I found myself freed. The Neliff were about to overwhelm this planet and the entire timeline.
If I didn’t act, the local leaders would have simply bickered and fought for power while the Neliff secretly took them over. But I never planned for the new warmonger Ceroj and High King Volphis.”
Lord Azrael had watched the Unity unleash the Neliff once more on the galaxy, he had seen the Olgogs raise up Kalok the Volcano, he had seen too many of his own selected heroes fail in this last moment of truth.
“Holys, you have won. You have even defeated my future sight. The Ascended have left willingly, leaving only Berototh, Y’vhv, Vir, Uriel, Kincaid, a handful of others and myself. Only the Quall Queens remain in any large numbers and Ceroj has declared he will wipe them all out…
The saddest part to me is that I nearly achieved a peaceful state with the Quall and the Falosini. Quall would have a harem species to bear their larval young, ending their conquest. Falosini would no longer need to breed warrior species to oppose the Quall.
But with the changes caused by the death of the Da’uhnb Queen, the fall of Ceroj, and the coming of the Primal Descended…my aeons of planning have been overturned.”
Holys smiled a disconcerting smile, “Even your future sight could not plan for Time Shredders, or for Chronomancy.The future is no longer set, no final peace, no final culmination of history, no destination. Time moves in cycles, and when it doesn’t repeat, it rhymes.”
“You aren’t here to gloat, aren’t here to act, then why are you here?” asked Azrael.
“Simple enough, you are part of experiments just as others are. It is time to begin the next part of that experiment,” said Holys, “The only condition required for evil to triumph is for the good to do nothing.”


All players who took part in the Finale Missions may gain 5 points to use for a character of their choice.

Thank you for taking part in the DR2220 adventures.