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"Ballisantirax dreams...." is the 21st episode of The Chain. It aired on June 26th, 2019.

The fight is on. The Chain of Acheron face off against the Black Iron Pact. Who will win? And who will survive?

Summary[]

Wounded, low on spells, the Chain of Acheron face their greatest foes. Ajax’s Strike Team in Capital: The Black Iron Pact. Back against the wall, the Chain of Acheron are not without tricks of their own, and allies accumulated over ten years adventuring across the Timescape.

Trading blows[]

The warlord says, “Kill the Higaran priest first. No resurrections.” As they get into position, the wizard says, “Mercenaries?” She spits, and the spittle turns into copper, which bounces on the ground. “That’s what you’re worth.” The warlord, a heavy-set muscular Riojan in heavy armor, moves catlike to face Copper and attacks with his greatsword, hitting Copper twice. The Master of Jackals, a monk, positions himself to attack Leech. He’s wearing black iron bands on his forearms, but is otherwise unarmored. Four of his strikes land, which causes Leech to become disoriented and he can’t concentrate on spells. King casts hold person on the eldritch knight and the assassin. The assassin is held. The monk hears King praying to Akemitsu and casts a spell at him as a reaction. King feels a hand choking him and is unable to speak. The monk says, disparagingly, “The Chain of Acheron.” King pulls out his staff of command in preparation for an attack. The wizard casts a spell at Slim, but Slim shakes off the effects. The eldritch knight, whose skin seems to be made of iron, attacks King and knocks him prone. Copper tries to disengage and move away from the warlord, who reacts and knocks him prone. Copper stands back up and uses his battlefield ability to give everyone some temporary health. Bigcat tries to bite the warlord, but misses. The wizard says, “Is this the best the Sapphire Sky has?” and the warlord says, “We’ll send the Sapphire Sky their heads when we’re done.” Boots stabs the cleric with a whirling thrust that pushes the cleric away from him, then as a bonus action casts a healing spell on Copper. “Don’t let someone so much smaller than you push you around.” Judge puts a seal on the wizard, who shouts, “They have an illrigger!” The warlord says, “He will die like the rest.” Judge then attacks him with his greatsword, but the wizard casts shield and the blow bounces off. Buts casts stinking cloud at the cleric. The assassin, still held by King’s spell, can’t act. The warlord barks an order at the assassin, “Shake it off!” The assassin struggles against the hold person spell and is able to free himself. Slim uses charges from his PSIONIC CRYSTAL to empower his sword, then action surge to attack. His first blow is ineffective, but on the back swing he whirls his vorpal blade around and lops off the warlord’s head. The members of the Blackiron Pact gasp and look at their priest. Slim casts misty step to position himself right in front of the priest. Boots, Copper, Bigcat, and Leech get caught in a giant pillar of flame summoned by the cleric.  Copper and Bigcat seem less affected than the others, but Leech is just barely hanging on. The cleric then heals himself a bit. Leech heals himself a bit, then casts blight on the cleric. The wizard sees him casting a spell and says, “Stop,” casting a counterspell. Leech tries to absorb the counterspell with his sinmetal rod, but fails, as does his blight spell.

Calls for Aid[]

The monk attacks Leech, who is clearly the most damaged member of the party, and drops him with his first strike. Upset by the death of his leader, he pummels Leech over and over, until Leech’s rib cage explodes and he dies, Odie pops out of existence. The warlord then moves to confront Slim and hits him twice. King petitions Akemitsu, beseeching him for help. “We face the minions of he who threatens Higara. If these heathens deliver the emperor’s wards to him, the sun will set in Higara. I call upon your fire to cleanse the shadow from this land and to deal a grievous blow to those who would desecrate Higara.”

Someone answers King, but it’s not Akemitsu. It’s the Lady of Brass. Her voice rings out, ““ The scribbler! You always spoke so well of me in your Chronicle. Ah I miss those days. Days of high adventure. When you were loyal. Before your Commander betrayed me on the word of that infernal Tiefling. In memory of those days, and your fine words, accept this boon.”

A High Templar of Dust appears and says, “The Lady of Brass sends her regards. Death to Ajax.” Upon his appearance, the Blackiron Pact rogue is injured. The templar then makes four halberd attacks. Fire and lightning leap from the blade. The rogue dodges one attack, but the rest land. She seems surprised, but not as badly damaged as she might be. King then manages to free himself from the mystical choke hold that was keeping him silent. The wizard casts fireball, which blasts around King, Buts, and the High Templar of Dust. Buts takes the brunt of the fireball; King saves and the Templar is immune to fire. The eldritch knight calls upon Saint Ajax, “Grant us a boon against these, your greatest enemies.” In response to his plea, Maladar Dictum appears in the room. It attacks King, hitting him once, and then tries to bashes him. Maladar Dictum looks around the battlefield and says, “This would be an excellent place to rule.” Copper shoots the rogue in an attempt to take another enemy out of the fight, then Bigcat uses her ferocious strike ability and hits the rogue with a flurry of attacks, clawing, biting and hitting the rogue with her tentacles. Copper uses a nimble escape to disengage and move away from his opponent. Boots touches Slim and turns him invisible. Judge moves away from her opponent and casts interdict iteritas (sp?) to put seals on every opponent, then throws two javelins, but both whiz past the rogue. Buts casts another stinking cloud centered on the wizard, which also catches Maladar Dictum, but neither one seems to be affected. The rogue calls upon the power of Ajax and she and the monk turn into living shadows. The Templar attacks the assassin as he runs past to stab Boots in the back. Boots falls. Slim winks back into existence. He is surrounded by enemies. The Master of Jackals says, “What is it?” The priest answers, “A filthy Gith, washed up on the shores of our world.” “The Master of Jackals says, “Let’s send it back.” Slim feints and hits the priest, then takes advantage of the opening to hit him again. King order Slim, “Hit him again!” Slim’s final attack against the priest kills him. Slim edges around the stinking cloud, taking a hit in passing from the rogue, to position himself near Judge. 

The monk sees Boots’ unconscious form and kicks him twice. Boots’ head explodes and he’s dead. The monk advances on Slim and hits him twice, but the third strike misses. Slim ripostes, slashing at the monk, who turns at the last moment to keep the hit from landing as solidly. The templar turns into a sandstorm and blows through the eldritch knight, who seems unaffected. The templar then attacks with his halberd and hits the knight. King moves next to Leech, kneels next to him, and casts revivify. Calling upon the god Akemitsu, Leech’s wounds knit between King’s hands and he kneels up and almost wordlessly calls out to the cosmos for aid. A tiny, spinning flash of light appears in the room. As it grows large, they see that it’s floating sapphire. Camera cut to the moon elf, who opens her eyes and speaks. Darengar Vilesilencer translates, “Ballisantirax Dreams. She dreams worlds, and worlds within worlds…. What does that mean? Does anyone know what that means?” Back in the vault, the mote briefly appears to be a sapphire dragon, who quickly takes the form of an angel, who speaks, “Terrans! Always turning to Sin, you are not to blame. It is your nature. But you know it cannot be permitted.” His eyes glow and a blast of psionic energy bathes the rogue, the monk, and Maladar Dictum in rainbow fire. Finally, the rogue falls. The wizard, who is in the stinking cloud, shakes off the poison again, then runs over to the priest and pulls out a small marble, which she throws at Judge. The marble explodes, but everyone is able to dodge the area of damage. The eldritch knight attacks Slim, knocking him back and prone, and Slim falls unconscious. Leech dashes across the battlefield to Slim and uses some quick field medicine to wake Slim back up. The sapphire dragon turns his gimlet eye on the monk and says, “Believe.” The monk looks at the sapphire dragon and says, “I understand. I was wrong.” Copper shoots two arrows at the monk, then Bigcat attacks the eldritch knight, clawing, biting, and hitting him with tentacles in a frenzy. Judge casts revivify and red tendrils of energy surround Boots. His eyes flash open and they can hear him breathe again. Buts casts acid splash towards the eldritch knight, but he dodges out of the way. Boots stands up and advances on the monk, hitting him twice. The monk falls and Boots says, “How does this go towards paying that debt?” then casts a healing spell on himself. Slim attacks the eldritch knight, but he has a fire shield which blasts back at Slim, who goes down again. The Templar of Dust attacks the eldritch knight, killing him, and Maladar Dictum disappears. King casts shatter at the wizard. Leech casts agonizing blast at the wizard. The first one hits, but she casts shield and the second blast misses. The sapphire dragons reaches into the mind of the wizard, say “Mortal memory is so faulty,” and tries to pull some spells out of her mind. The wizard resists, pulls out a small piece of wood, snaps it, and disappears. 

Aftermath[]

Judge uses hellsight to see if she’s turned invisible, but she’s gone. The high templar turns to King and says, “Concordant, our queen commands me aid you, and this I have done. This world of yours is pain for us. Do not ask more of me, for I have no more to give. I leave.” King expresses his love for the Lady of Brass and the templar disappears.

The sapphire dragon in the form of an angel says, “Arise, time raider.” Slim’s eyes open as he’s fully healed, along with the rest of the party. The dragon says to Leech, “you have made powerful enemies and Ballisantirax’s patience is not infinite. Make use of the time she has given you.”

The Chain searches the bodies and finds several interesting items as Slim takes trophies from each of their enemies. From the Master of Jackals, he takes the tattooed skin. Judge investigates the diamond to see if he can determine what was inside it and realizes that this was the sun elf’s prison. As soon as Judge touches the diamond, it crumbles to powder, and continues to disintegrate to powder. 

A heavily bloodied dragonborn paladin walks into the room and says, “Who are you?”

Behind the Scenes[]

References[]

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