The Last Stand

Enclaves Within the Confederacy

As may be expected, tensions were again tense soon after the Temple meeting. Though the Confederacy had been mostly subjugated and brought within the GPC or New Turtugan Empire, some enclaves still existed; the Stack, the heart of the Earthborne, and the Order of the True Confederacy, led by the Knights of the Storm. Following Inquisitor Rex Harkon Stormwarden's announcement of its establishment, many clans defied their new rulers to travel to the remote sector of the Corvidae the Order had established as their stronghold. Among them were the Circus, apparently in protest against the homogenising forces of the Union and the GPC.

As Corvidae poets, free-market capitalists and high priests of ancient and arcane religions mingled, many were unsure what would happen next. The armies of the Union and the GPC remained on standby, on the lookout for any clans putting a foot wrong. Meanwhile, the Knights of the Storm were busy trying to heal one of their number, Bergholt Stuttley, and remove the influence of HIVE from his mind. Even so their was a feeling of camaraderie and rebellion, each clan convinced they were doing the right thing in making a stand for independence. It was not to last.

The problems started as a number of strange occurrences on the border; outposts were found deserted, with no sign of the guards. There was no sign of a struggle, no bodies even, leaving nothing but the detritus of everyday life; cooling meals, circus playbills, the odd instrument. Armed patrols sent to investigate meet similar fates, though occasionally the odd body part was found, cut almost impossibly cleanly. At around this time, the Earthborne came under a strange attack of their own; a horde of flying jellyfish, reproducing as they went, swept over the Stack killing many. After fighting this invasion off, the Earthborne went fully defensive, with Cavil Earthborne converting the entire stack into a whirling maelstrom of fragments through which no non-geomancer could pass unharmed. At the same time, some of the more foolhardy clans of the Order of the True Confederacy start sallying out into the lands around the colony, trying to find whatever Union or GPC agents might be causing the disappearances.

The Battle Starts

Of course, this raiding did not go unchallenged; soon the GPC was marshalling its own forces to push back these incursions. As armed groups pushed back and forth, growing in size and violence, it became clear that there could be no other result than war. The combined armies of the GPC and the Union soon formed up on the border of the Order of the True Confederacy, led by General Kopeck Deepcut and El Presidente. Soon the Storm Knights, and all their allies, formed up to oppose them. Though it's unclear who made the first move, the battle was joined with great violence and desperation. Soon bullets, lightning and storm rays were flying thick and fast, cutting down the troops of both sides. Striding among the chaos were the special forces of the Union, altered and augmented by Djared Crusius's technology into unstoppable bionic commandos. Professor Crusius himself led the charge, blasting all foes within sight with guns, bombs and acid. A tempest grew above the battlefield, as seething bolts of pure chaos lanced down among the Confederate armies and Unity led the Union troops in a wedge to charge through the Confederate lines to their commanders. As they rained destruction on those around them, however, they realised they had been fooled; the Confederates were already enacting a similar plan on their own leadership.

Kopeck only had the briefest of warnings before the command tent was destroyed in a blast of lightning. Picking himself up from the ruins, he saw Harkon floating above, another bolt of lightning already forming above his hand. Quickly summoning his own powers over the power of lightning, Kopeck sent his own bolt to meet Harkon's. As each poured all their power into defeating the other, their eyes met, and they realised that this would be the final confrontation between them. Lightning coursing through his veins, despair filled Kopeck as he realised that this was not a battle he could win. Suddenly, radiant light filled the air. As Harkon staggered back, shielding his eyes, Hawthorne threw his blinding shield to the ground and then summoned up up his own storm magic. Weaving streamers of light in a strangely intricate pattern, he gathered them together and then hurled them at Harkon, where they formed a net around him. As they sank into his skin they seemed to do little, but then a great bolt of lightning leaped out of the Storm Knight, as if it was pushed away. This lightning bolt danced around for a time, before shooting straight up into the Storms.

Harkon pushed himself up, looking drained but still resolved to win. Drawing his sword, he charged at the general, lancing at him with a dazzling series of thrusts. As the General desperately fell back, Harkon dealt several harsh cuts to him and was poised to deliver the killing blow when he was knocked back by searing bolts of energy. Charging over the ridge came the GPC's best troops, led by El Presidente himself still firing off his Winning Rhetoric as quickly as he could. As the troops crashed over him Harkon did his best to hold them off, fighting with inhuman skill to try and cut a path to freedom. Deepcut, however, was not completely out of the fight. Summoning the last reserves of his strength, everyone around felt their hairs standing on edge as a great electric charge built around him. As the energies reached their apex, he released them in a great arc of lightning, coursing over Harkon and finally dropping him to the ground.

The End of the Storm Knights

Events on the front line were also going badly for the Confederate troops. Constantly pressed back by the superior forces arrayed against them, they are forced to fall back to a single fragment, the home of the Storm Knights. It is then that their foes deploy their strangest weapon. As the airship Glory flies over the heads of the Confederate forces, the world seems to shift strangely, and suddenly the fragment is covered in runes. Agonising pain wracks everyone present, as it seems their very blood is on fire. As some try to use their Storm magic to escape they find it does nothing but fizzle out in a puff of air. The surrounding Union troops, having retreated a little, can only look on in horror and more than a little pity as the Confederate forces fall to the floor, their bodies dissolving into air. The fragment itself soon started falling down into the Mists,

With that, the Storm Knights appeared broken. As the soldiers mopped up the remaining forces, Takhai was seen flying away on a travel fragment, faster than any pursuit. Bergholt was found still unconscious in a hospital, having recently undergone surgery, and was captured. Clintina Spacepuny was apprehended by Marshall Craddock acting with the Legion and brought back to the Union, but it seems Aoishe somehow managed to escape, and evaded capture even with Talvi working with the Union to find her.

Takhai, however, was not so lucky. He has barely landed in Earthborne territory before he is set upon by what appears to be a ghost; Catequil, larger than life and burning with righteous anger, lays in to him with punches all too real. Takhai staggers back, trying to defend himself from the revenant, yet even as he fights something almost impossibly huge appears above him. The New World, a construct of fragments and iron held together by Spirit magic, has somehow come to life, assuming a form almost humanoid. In their temple at the heart of the New World, the Adventuring Party set aside their grievances against each other, unified in purpose to avenge their murdered friend. Valk makes the final motion, and massive fists larger than settlements swing in towards Takhai. Even so their target stands firm, perhaps impressed by the great geomantic power before him but even so willing to stand and spit in the face of death. Just as they hit the colossus seems to have the face of Catequil, victorious even in death. Then the fists meet, and Takhai is no more. The New World, strained to its limit, settles back into its original form, never to move in such a way again.

The Fate of the Earthborne

The Earthborne had been watching this, within their fortress of swirling rocks and geomantic defences, and knew that the armies would soon be marching on them. Seeing few possible avenues escape, they decided to take matters into their own hands and strike at the aggressors before they could destroy the Earthborne as they did the Order of the True Confederacy. Quickly Cavil span the stack up to yet higher speeds, and sent a mass of fragments shooting towards the Union and the GPC. Though the fragments heading towards the Union were intercepted by microfragments packed with explosives to defend against this very outcome, the GPC was not so lucky, with a great deal of settlements razed by the bombardment.

Any celebration that may have occurred in the Earthborne was short-lived, as the GPC was swift in enacting retribution. Union and GPC geomancers, lead by Sarenn and Chtoth, quickly made the relevant calculations, jarring the Stack out of its chaotic rotations and bringing it to a halt, enabling invasion of troops. With little in the way of military, the Earthborne could do little to resist the combined armies of two colonies, and soon surrendered. Any further resistance was quashed by a combination of military force and diplomacy, as El Presidente was able to find compromises to give the Earthborne a place they could be proud of in the GPC. Cavil himself was extradited as part of the peace treaty, and tried by the Union.

Picking Up the Pieces

The war created many refugees, though humanitarian efforts coordinated by Hawthorne and Kopeck were able to rehouse and treat the worse off. El Presidente travelled the Confederacy, ensuring that everyone accepted the GPC's rule and freely giving of his clan's wealth and resources to reinforce this. That done, he retired back to the GPR's main settlement. Though he may not have expected it, something was lurking there, waiting for him. The following morning, his dead body was found in his chambers; scrawled around the room were messages in blood proclaiming this the revenge of the Knights of the Storm. As the sole remaining Knights operative, Aoishe was the obvious culprit, but her body was never found.

game2/eternity_war.txt · Last modified: 2009/03/10 14:06 by gm_rob