Monday, April 8, 2013

Revenge of the Countess of Fire Chapter Eight

These are the notes from my Burning Wheel game Revenge of the Countess of Fire. I figured that now that we're at a certain point I'll put up the play report. Check out the tag "Revenge of the Countess of Fire" for more posts! BTW, this session was recorded by the players of Claire Romar and Elenor Grinslow.



The body that crawls out of the well looks like it's been mummified, and it freaks everyone out on a level that's hard to communicate. Everyone stands, absolutely shocked. The Countess of Fire gapes at the body of her father, who turns to her. "It's OK, daddy's home" he says. The Countess throws up, and the body chides him for not giving him a ready welcome. He turns to Elenor, and his nonverbals change to that of her father. He talks to her as if he is her father. All his mannerisms are so right they're wrong. The body thanks everyone for helping him, saying that he couldn't have gotten this far without any of them, with all their messed up desires. He looks at his body, and says that it isn't so bad, a bit weaker than his first, but still good enough for his purposes.

Kincaid finally snaps out of his fear, and says that this is definitely The One in the Deep. The One in the Deep says that he wants everyone to follow him down the well. And that he will show everyone what he's up to, and that they will understand that he's not all bad. After understanding what he's up to they can make up their minds.

Kincaid stands up to him, saying that the elves and wolves would never accept whatever it is The One in the Deep has planned, which only makes The One in the Deep chuckle. Kincaid swings his sword at him and it's caught in The One in the Deep's bare hand! He grins at Kincaid, and tells him that if his body dies, he'll just take over another body. The broken sword and stone gave him all the conscious and unconscious brain patterns he'll need to take over any body he wants.  He releases the sword, and dares Kincaid to kill the body.

Thieran Markov has been dead for awhile, killed by a horde of orcs led by the Countess of Fire. And ever since he's died his father (who's now 40 feet tall) has chased him, relentlessly. Finally Thieran turns and asks why his father is chasing him, to which his father replies "You ran! Of course I chased you!" Thieran turns round, and pulls out his sword. His father swings his sword, a forty foot long monstrosity, cutting Thieran in half. Thieran comes to in a forest, and he hears the rumbling of his father's footsteps in the distance...

Claire finally snaps out of her fear, and prays for a miracle from God. She asks, begs, God to intercede and save everyone from The One in the Deep. Blood gushes out of her hands, feet, and side, and she screeches in pain. She hears a voice telling her to touch Kincaid, and she does. Once her blood touches Kincaid he comes to a horrible realization: The One in the Deep was originally an elf! This is the final straw-Kincaid can take no more. He starts to wander off, full of the realization that his race created the ultimate evil. He turns and charges The One in the Deep with his sword, and once again he's blocked. The One in the Deep asks, once again, if they'll go into the well with him.

On the other side of the afterlife, Thieran faces his father once again and is once again struck down. He comes back to, and starts to put the pieces together. Maybe what he's facing isn't his father, but himself. Maybe, just maybe, he's what's in the way. And with that his father vanishes, as does the forest. The sky is bright, the grass is green but painful, and there's a road. He gets up and follows the road.

The One in the Deep extends his hand to The Hungry One, and offers, once again, to take him to see the plan. The Hungry One walks toward The One in the Deep, and finds that he can walk on air. Claire follows. But Kincaid doesn't. Elenor walks up to him and asks why he isn't moving. Kincaid  tells her that The One in the Deep was an elf once. How could any one creature become so horrible, do so many terrible things? Elenor responds that the only way anyone can get that horrible is if they choose to be that way. But Kincaid can choose to be different. Kincaid can choose to hope, and that means going with The One in the Deep until a weakness presents himself. Elenor tells Kincaid that he needs to hope until something presents itself. Kincaid nods, but says that he doesn't know why they bother: The One in the Deep will drag everyone down with him. But he does get up, and walk towards the well. The Countess gets up, and wearily stands next to Kincaid. 

And down they go. 

They all descend for 3 hours, losing light after fifteen minutes. There's a shrieking sound from below, and it gets progressively louder. When asked, The One in the Deep informs them that the orcs have build been building him a machine that'll let him get to the center of the planet. They ask what he's looking for, and he asks if they've ever heard of the myth of the flame. The flame is at the center of the planet, and it is the flame of life itself. All the goodness of everyone rests on this one flame, and if he can just merge with this flame he, who believes he is the collective evil of everyone. If it works the way he thinks it does, he'll become the good and evil of everyone, connecting them into a super-entity that will defy all individuality. No one will be able to hurt each other anymore, because they will be each other. So therefore no one will have to die, and no one will have to encounter God anymore: God will become worse than unknown: he'll be useless. Kincaid realizes that The One in the Deep doesn't even feel the grief inherent in each elf anymore, that he's denied everything so he doesn't have to merge with God when he should have passed on.

They all enter the ship, and descend into the magma that is the core. It's unbearably hot, and then all of a sudden they hear a crunching noise. The One in the Deep opens up the hull, and water spills in; it's breathable Everyone descends into the water, and Claire sees a young boy walking towards them. It's the same boy from the vision."All you have to do is hold him still" the boy says to him in her mind.

Thieran's been following the road for awhile, when he happens upon Honey, who's being attacked by Thieran's father as well. Thieran manages to kill his father, but he reappears and starts attacking Honey again.  Thieran tries to get Honey's attention, so he stabs her with his knife. She comes to for a second, and Thieran convinces her that she's torturing herself. He points to the road, and asks if she'll follow him down the road. She says that she will. They come to a lake, and there's a light in the lake. They go into the lake, and they see a large flame.

Back on the other side, The One in the Deep puts his hand in, and starts screaming. The flame is consuming him, he was wrong! Kincaid takes his sword and rams it into The One in the Deep's back, and he starts to fall in. Thieran sees a pair of hands coming through the flame. He also sees Elenor and Thieran, and he shouts out to Elenor. Elenor shouts out to Thieran to pull The One in the Deep in. Everyone, even The Countess and Honey, jumps in to help. The One in the Deep begins to shapeshift into a bunch of different forms, including that of a dragon, and finally returns to that of an elf. He pulls Kincaid in with him, who finds that the flames are soothing to his grief. He says to The One in the Deep: "You need to confront your grief". The One in the Deep replies "**** you", and his body is destroyed, and he is dissipated. Elenor, The Hungry One, Claire, and Marion find themselves back up at the top of the well.

Kincaid finds himself in Eternity now, facing Thieran and Honey. He hugs Honey tightly, and looks up. He finds this new world soothing. He informs Thieran that he's got an eternity of card games. Thieran groans, and they turn to the road and follow it into the light.

Back in the world, Marion starts to move aimlessly. Claire tries to reassure her that she lived for a reason and did help destroy all the evil in the world. Elenor and The Hungry One persuade her she has good in her, and that she shouldn't kill herself like she intends. Marion says that she won't kill herself, but that she won't go back with them. She'll go and do what good she can in the world awhile, and promises that they will all see her again.

Epilogues

Elenor goes back home, marries Luke, and convinces the country to give up slavery peaceably. She is regarded as a hero amongst the spiders, and lives on to a ripe old age with Luke.

The Hungry One becomes a vigilante in a neighboring barony, prowling the streets to devour evil. He is known as a doer of good and, while not everyone accepts him, the people he protects know he is good and protect and love him.

Claire tries to go back to the Church, but they don't accept her. Disillusioned, she runs into her old unit of knights, who accept her anyway. She continues to be a champion of justice, even if the Church doesn't accept her visions, which she never receives again.

A city is built over the well, so that no one can ever go into or come out of it ever again. A statue is put directly over the site, commemorating Kincaid and Honey.

The Last Scene

When Elenor gets back she finds Luke in the chapel, and tells him that she didn't kill Marion because Marion saw the good she could do, and she renounced the evil she had done. He accepts her decision, and tells her that she did what he wouldn't have been able to do, and that he admired that. He says that the marriage is schedule, and that he's getting the annulment well under way. After hearing about Kincaid, he smiles and says "Someone around should find rest around here, but not us." Elenor smiles at Luke.

"No, not yet." And they walk out of the chapel.

[Here, at the end of the notes, are two quotes from me. I include them because they thought it was worthwhile to note them:

"All you need to do is push..."
"Failure and success don't matter, try"]