Chapter 9.13

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Chapter 9.13
Xrn throws Merdon.jpg
Xrn vs. Merdon by Brack
September 4, 2022
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Chapter 9.12

Chapter 9.14 VM

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Chapter 9.13 is the 18th chapter of Volume 9.

tl;dr[edit | edit source]

  • Many people react to the antinium's presence in the north. Humans are generally scared, but the antinium queens are mostly positive.
  • Pisces meets Magnolia who pays off his debt to Wistram and Ama, a [Necromancer] from his past in Ailendamus.
  • Xrn comes near Orefell and declares the [Crusaders] their own hive led by herself.

Synopsis[edit | edit source]

This chapter is spent on the aftermath of the battle at Orefell. This mostly revolves around different forces worrying or giving their opinion on the antinium's presence in the north. Some, like Calidus Reinhart and Manus' council, are very concerned about this, but others have more nuanced views. Chaldion has a more open perspective due to his time at The Wandering Inn and therefore recognizes the [Crusaders]' actions as independent from the antinium queens. Ryoka is able to speak to leaders of four of the Five Families or their representatives and tell them about a less militaristic view of the antinium as well. At the battlefield itself, many are more curious than afraid at the chance to actually talk to the antinium especially given their unique faith based powers that they are willing to freely share information about.

Each of the antinium queens themselves had their own thoughts on the matter. The Grand Queen was furious that she was not informed about the [Crusaders] actions and her lack of control over the situation. She felt the loss of Xrn as the Small Queen was recovering, and felt her control slipping. She requested Wrymvr to act as her new high-level servant but he refused. With Xrn hurt and Klbkch in a lesser state due to his deaths, this left her only the option of looking outside the hives. Doing this, she found Roshal and made an inquiry into high-level slaves as a replacement. The Free Queen was excited that the crusade proved the worth of her leveling antinium idea. The Silent Queen also felt positively about the crusade though she was more so curious about the new antinium. She requested for her prognugator, Xeu, to steal a few of the leveling antinium so that they could be studied. The Flying Queen was excited about the [Crusaders] as well though she was more interested in Pivr and how he was progressing. She was happy to see that he had made friends with some of the Brotherhood of Serendipitous Meetings and was leveling, but she wanted to call him back to see his progress with promises of finding new friends later. Pivr tried to get out of this by pretending that the speaking stone was malfunctioning whenever she brought up the idea of returning to their hive. The Armored Queen was also happy about the [Crusaders] seeing as how her armor was used by them and thus proven useful. She wanted to send more resources to help support them and set up a trade with the Free Hive to better train both hives' antinium, but the Armored Hive was poor. Luckily, she declared this to Anand who was able to make these connections as a matter of fulfilling debts for the magnanimity of the Armored Queen. The Twisted Queen was also pleased with the crusade since it showed that the antinium were changing. She decided to send them a gift after purchasing one of the scrolls from the Village of the Dead for a very large sum of gold. The last pseudo-queen was Xrn herself who was less focused on the crusade. She cared more for Bird's [Unitasis Network]. She had captured and recaptured him for multiple days trying to get the secret of this network from him. The injury she'd taken from Snatcher was impacting her, though, as she was far less mentally stable than before. Klbkch found Xrn interrogating Bird about this Skill, and after Bird was nearly killed by Xrn, they learned that the network was a Skill that he'd gained rather than an inbuilt trait like the true antinium had.

Back at the battlegrounds outside Orefell, Wistram News Network had begun its broadcast and was interviewing the combatants. The antinium were unguarded, but Rags made sure she also appeared on the scrying orb. She pretended to be dumber than she was and completely mercenary so as not to appear as if she was as much of a threat. When asked how she learned to talk, she gave credit to Pyrite instead of Erin or other more accurate teachers. The final of the five families that wasn't present earlier talking to Ryoka, was the Reinhart Family. They were, for the most part, very concerned about the antinium and did not have Ryoka to talk them down, but they did have Magnolia who had a plan in place. She knew of the Crusade's movements and had hoped that they were acting independently, so she sent Theofore over to facilitate a negotiation with them over scrying orb. She used this chance to plant the idea of further disobedience of their queens in order to drive a wedge in the unity of the antinium. They had been ordered by the Free Queen and Klbkch to return to the Free Hive for punishment, but Magnolia paid them to stay around Orefell for a little bit longer with promises of food if they did not want to return. The antinium accepted jade as payment in hopes that the Free Queen and Liscor would take this as recompense similarly to how Liscor's Army brings back payment after a successful military campaign. Magnolia also stayed around to network with the adventurers. She met the Horns of Hammerad and paid off Pisces' bounty with Wistram for their efforts, though his bounty with Roshal was out of her control.

Things started to calm down afterward as the dwarves left, taking little besides their dead back to Dwarfhalls Rest. They promised to take a trip down to the Wandering Inn for a free meal at some point, though, and accepted Pisces' advice about maintaining their dead for the journey back. Pisces started to think about taking some of the gargoyle bones for himself when Az’kerash started talking to him and Crowdcaller Merdon showed up at the same time. Merdon had been paid by Magnolia Reinhart to defeat the horde but he had showed up late and was now ready to attack the goblins and anyone that defended them. Magnolia told him off and Pisces went to take the bones he had been considering before. He was brought over to a large pile that the armies had been making and found manually created undead trying to take the bones as well. He tracked them back to a nearby hiding spot and found a cabal led by a [Necromancer] from his past in Ailendamus. Before they could catch up, Merdon started to kick up a second fuss. The [Necromancers] fled with Ama promising to find him again soon as Pisces prepared to fight again, but the adventurers did not end up fighting Merdon. Instead, Xrn came to the scene and launched Merdon away. She had with her a birther sac, which was the gift from the Twisted Queen, and she proclaimed this group of [Crusaders] to be the new Seventh Hive of the antinium led by herself. They would fight for just causes and live above ground.

Characters[edit | edit source]

( * = First Appearance)

Locations[edit | edit source]

Undead[edit | edit source]

  • Skeletal Gargoyles (Destroyed)
  • Skeletal Eater Goats (Destroyed)
  • Zombie Gargoyles (Destroyed)
  • Zombie Eater Goats (Destroyed)
  • Giant bone housecat

Golems[edit | edit source]

  • Terland’s Golems
    • Serving Golems
    • Security Golems
    • Cook Garneis - Cooking Golem (First Time Mentioned)
    • Fencing Golem

Creatures[edit | edit source]

Items[edit | edit source]

  • Dragonbone mace
  • Magic longsword = Has a strong gravity-grip spell, and a strength and sharpness enchantment, and for the main effect, a gravity spell that grabs and twists whatever it runs into, like a sword. Doesn’t work well on a shield, or having little effect on anyone with a good grip.
  • Speaking stone
  • Dwarfsteel crossbow
  • Putrid One's Circlet
  • Gravesalt = A combination of salt, ash and silver, that suppresses death magic. (Mentioned)
  • Gargoyle bones
  • Shatterbolt Ring
  • Birther Sac