Cold Open: Omen
Vessel looks like he’s just been attacked and nearly devoured by a dragon, which he has. But right now he’s managing to run, up a hill and into a clearing, and as we do so the camera pedestals high and we see the clearing is a giant swirl of stonework and grass, undulating slightly as it settles. “Not again,” Vessel says, and he starts to dig furiously in the dirt, the blood that cakes his hand mingling with mud and dirt. “Not again!”
Purge and Nameless run up next, each looking as beat as Vessel. They are followed closely by Nat and Eyon, and as each enters they immediately begin digging as well, using whatever means they have available to them. The camera pulls out, into the sky, and we see the clearing and the island around it, trees blasted away from the clearing, dead dragons laying in the forest, trees covered in blood. On the periphery another dragon slithers away, nursing a broken wing.
A shout, and the camera furiously pushes in again, and we see that Vessel has uncovered a cavern, and below is darkness, but there is air. And hope. Vessel, you are about to decide what to do when the ground gives out from under you, and all of you fall into the pit.
Törk, you have a few blessed moments of ignorance before the rubble high above falls into the cavern you are laying in. What do you do?
Spotlight: Vessel; will you serve the One True God now that you know his true nature?
Int, A cavern filled with dust and rubble
The dust fills the air and makes it impossible to see.
- Törk rolls into cover and surveys the surroundings, just as the ceiling falls in.
- The party gathers themselves together and takes a short rest.
- The dust is settling. The only light is from far above, where the morning sky is visible through the opening. On the far side of the vast chamber figures loom out of the darkness.
- Törk calls out to the figures, and when he gets no response he lobs an arrow at them. As he does so, the Jeweled Guantlet springs into action. The walls of the room glow a bright green, and from between the stonework the energy pulses, converging on Törk and crackling up his leg, through his arm, and into the guantlet. The shot rings out, and as it flies the arrow glows a vivid green, then hits dead center in one of the figures, who falls dead. [Producer’s Note: this was a critical hit that triggered a special ability that doubled damage, so ended up dealing 126 damage!] But Törk’s guantlet continues to glow green… as does his poisoned arm.
- The figures return fire, lobbing an arrow of their own at Nameless. Oddly, it too has a green glow.
- Vessel steps forward. He noticed that the arrow travelled oddly through this room, particularly in the center of the vast chamber. As he steps closer to the center, he taunts the room, “Want to fill the Vessel?” and he lets fly a Javelin of Faith. As it hits the figure opposite, he realizes what’s happening: there are no figures opposite; there is a mirror bisecting this room, redirecting their fire back upon them. As he realizes this, the javelin’s echo strikes Purge, and Vessel laughs. He looks over the figures he sees and notes that his reflection is a dark-hearted demon; Purge‘s is an undead hulk; Nameless’s is a shackled dragonic; and that Törk’s is a hulking rage-filled orc.
- But the rest of the party has no idea. So Purge attempts to attack, but fumbles. Törk notes the fumble and realizes what’s going on, and begins to attack the mirror itself. Nameless, however, is oblivious, and flings lightning at the reflections, hurting Törk.
- Vessel attacks the mirror, too, and directs Nameless to do so; “It’s us! Well played! Reflect this!”.
- Purge fumbles again.
- Flashback: A torture chamber
- Purge is being cut by masked men. “Has he broken yet?” “Not yet. Soon.”
- Soon it shatters in a rain of shards, which cut as they fall. The room is revealed to be a glorious chamber with a gigantic peacock mosaic on one wall.
- Behind the mirror stand the two Cambion Assassins that fell into the pit with Törk, just completing a pentagram to gate in another of their number. They turn and charge.
- Extreme close-up of the peacock mosaic’s unchanging eyes.
Int, The Temple of Narcissus, lighted now
- The cambions split up; one goes downstairs and two across the bridge.
- Nameless and Vessel take care of the downstairs one quickly, evne though she finds a flower rune on the ground that helps her in her fight. She manages to slice Vessel up a bit before he too takes advantage of the rune and she falls.
- On the bridge, Purge continues missing, and gets blasted in the face with darkness and smoke. He topples off the edge and falls dozens of feet to the ground below.
- Nameless steps on the flower rune and retches; her insides seem to crawl. She immediately leaves the area.
- Törk, now upstairs alone with two Cambions, retreats down the stairs as he fires. One of the Cambions dies.
- Vessel is ascending the other staircase, yelling at the peacock mosaic. He takes off his helmet and throws it at the mosaic, which cracks just the tiniest amount. “You have caused all of this, interfering with people’s lives! Interfering with my death! You have no right!”
- Flashback: Beach
- Vessel’s half-melted corpse lies on the beach, surrounded by flotsam. The Devouring Chest floats up on a wave and nessles into his body. There is a flash, and then the chest is alone, floating out to sea.
- Vessel launches an attack and dispatches the last of the Cambions.
Int, The Temple of Narcissus, as the peacock looks on
- The two surviving gorge dragons from last episode fly down, immediately coiling Purge and Nameless in their tails. [Producer’s Note: Being dragons, these baddies got to use that already-at-6 Escalation Die.]
- The tide turns quickly against the PCs. They’re surrounded on the bridge, a dragon on each side.
- Vessel is still mad at the mosaic while continuing his fight. “You cast judgment upon me? You judge me to be worthy or ready or useful to you? No, I cast judgment, and find too many wanting!”
- Nameless falls as the dragon breathes sparkling lights on her, shorting out her brain.
- Purge falls as the other dragon tears huge teeth through his plate mail.
- Vessel heals Purge, who barely stands up before being chomped again. [Producer’s Note: 2 HP!]
- Törk is launching volley after volley of arrows at the dragons, but they’re too busy with the others to do anything about him.
- Nameless is healed by Vessel, too, and staggers up.
- Törk clips the last dragon, who shudders as he falls, flailing tail sliding off the bridge and into the area below. Vessel peers down and sees a pit of dust.
Int, The Temple of Narcissus, on the bridge
- Vessel looks up at the peacock mosaic, eyes narrow. The eyes look back, unmoving.
- Then a voice echoes through the room, deep and resonant. As it does the dust below begins to stir, and soon a whirlwind is filling the room, dust blowing everywhere.
- “Look at what you’ve accomplished.” And the dust forms images around them. We see temples to the One True God erected in city after city, with statues of Vessel in each. Happy worshippers surround each, helping their communities.
- “Look at what we can accomplish.” The images shift, and Vessel is talking to the masses, and they are cheering, then he is leading them, and they are an army united behind him.
- A voice starts droning in the background. Faintly at first, but then louder and louder. “no. no. No. No. NO. NO. NO!” We recognize that it is The Priestess.
- Extreme close-up of the peacock mosaic’s unchanging eyes.
- Extreme close-up of the Vessel’s eyes. He glances up. A peice of paper flutters down. It is singed on one side, but he grasps it, and we see that it is the same paper he drew the salamander on the peacock.
- The voice again. ”Set the wheels in motion. Seek out the The Prince of Shadows."
- Vessel struggles with the decision. His eyes move from the paper to the mosaic. Then the throws the paper down, and with a look of defiance in his eyes, his armor surrounds him, whiter and shinier than ever.
- For a moment we think that he’s going to fight the One True God, but then on his chest, a giant black salamander appears, and his mouth curls into a smile.
- Suddenly the salamander is peirced by a blade from behind. The camera rack-focuses and we see Purge behind Vessel, his sword through his friend’s back.
- Vessel looks down and smiles. “I knew it. This was how… it had to end. Give in… and prove Him wrong.” He slumps over, and crumples to the ground.
- A moment later, light swirls around Vessel’s body, then coallesces and pulses into Purge, who looks taken aback.
- But the swirl combines with the dust storm as the voice growls. “You shall not take my vessel from me so easily!”
Int, The Temple of Narcissus, on the bridge
- The dust forms new images. Above the corpse of Vessel an eye coallesces, and all who look up it know that it sees their vanity, knows their secrets, and will strip away their self for its own ends.
- Naturally, the Heroes need to kill it.
- Nameless is first up, and she spells the Three Dooms for the Eye. She calls upon the power of the Green, and her attack blasts into the Eye with amazing force.
- But poison saps out of the ground. The tiles again glow green, and the stonework oozes out energies that flow toward Nameless… and then redirect to Törk, who again finds himself with a glowing green poisoned arm [Producer’s Note: and an automatic crit on his next attack].
- The tiles at either end of the bridge, after the green glow subsides, burst forth, and four orcs emerge, newly birthed from the earth.
- To make matters even worse, the dust storm settles down and around each hero forms three figures; long-forgotten gods devoured by Narcissus, their symbols naught but dust now, echoing their forms in service of their new master. They appear for a moment, attack, and disappate again.
- All the heroes focus on the Eye, which seems to be the center of it all. It lashes out at them with psychic glares, and though they question their choices they manage to fell the thing, but not before Nameless again falls bleeding to the floor.
- As the eye falls, the whirlwind picks up, and the tiles of the mosaic start to rattle free. The walls shift and crack, and then the ground itself rises and pushes everything up at an alarming rate.
- Cut to far shot of the ruins on the hill; the Shady Braggart is still in the harbor. We see bodies ejected from the earth, arc into the air, and fall back down to the ground.
Ext, Ruins on Omen
- Nat and Eyon find the party and minister to their wounds.
- Purge gathers up Vessel’s remains; a skeleton obviously dead for many years.
- Cut to evening; the whole group surrounds a grave, heads down. Each leaves, one by one.
- The last to leave is Nameless. “You idiot,” she says, and turns to leave. But then she turns back, picks up the holy symbol that decorates the grave, and puts it in her pocket before walking off.
Tag: Ext, Beach
- Chyron says “Five years later”
- A father and son are walking along the beach, talking about the recent storm.
- They see someone in the sand, and run to him. We see him from the back, where he has a huge wound.
- They ask if the stranger is okay (“I think so”), inspect the gash in his chest, and the father sends the son to fetch someone so that they can take this fellow to get help from The Archmage.
- The father turns back to the newcomer, “Where are you from, stranger? What’s your name?”
- The stranger shakes his head to get the ideas flowing. “I can’t recall where I’m from.” The camera turns, and we see that it is Vessel, but not Vessel; he’s got black hair, now, and his features are all slightly wrong. ”But I think my name… is Emissary.
- The camera pulls back out to sea, and we see the Devouring Chest floating away.