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Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Dissension - Chapter 14

Rakdos The Defiler is free!

Dissension - Chapter 14

And so the happy little dromad, the mother dromad, and the father dromad ate the farmer and his family, went home to their pasture by the bubbling, blue brook, and lived long and contented lives. The farmer had learned a valuable lesson, and his ghost would wander the wilds of the undercity until the end of the world, telling all who would listen: 'Never get between a happy little dromad and his parents.'
-The Happy Little Dromad, by Evkala Belott
(Matka Children's Press, 7290 Z.C.)

31 CIZARM 10012 Z.C.

Fonn and Jarad skip on the splitting up idea. They swing down from their ledge and find themselves fighting back to back against by the Rakdos mob. Fonn takes down a cultist with huge age while Jarad handles a pair of trolls. Next are a pair of fire juggling viashino then a trio of goblins that end up killing themselves as much as anything else. With each victory the two elves are able to gain some ground towards both the cages with the recruits as well as Rakdos and their son.

Thankfully the mob doesn't actually mob them. They attack singly or in pairs while the other cheer them on as if making a sport of the whole situation.

Battle after battle they win until just twenty feet and a pool of lava separate them from the the demon-god and their son. The cages are closer however and they can't just leave the recruits and it's become quite clear that they won't be able to catch up to the leaving Rakos any time soon. Jarad eases some of Fonn's pain by letting her know he has some beetles tracking him. Their son looks to be safely nestled within the links of the demon's large chain around his neck. There would still be time.

The make it to the cages while their son and Rakdos walk out the heavy door opened by the strength of several ogres. The recruits are hacked free and pick up weapons of their own and together they make their way to the exit. The ogres don't release the chains fast enough for the door to slam down in time before our heroes escape.

Fonn makes sure the recruits have their heads about them and don't fall to their panic. But there's no time to waste as they heard the wild cries of the cultists behind them as the door begins to open once more.

...Outside Rix Maadi...

Myc enjoys himself while at the same time knows something's not right. While not too concerned me manages to at least ask where they're going. Rakdos responds that the season of dissension is at hand, His children need to be free and enjoy themselves in the city. Perhaps he might rampage in Old Rav first, then topple a tower of justice or two. Better yet maybe he'll burn down the city tree of the Selesnyans. Oh, and the Boros titans. It is time to play with those toys.

Myc knows he has friends and parents are are in those places or wouldn't want those to be destroyed. He's pretty sure he doesn't want any of them to die. Rakdos assures him that he does, and Myc assures him right back that that's not so.

Rakdos hits a lever and the way to Old Rav is opened up before them. Myc lets out a wild yell that gives the citizens enough warning to flee from the mighty demon before he can reach them. The demon is pretty annoyed and tells the little elf that he has no idea why they are joined but he'll find a way to separate the two of them without doing harm to himself and then he'll destroy him.

Myc claims the yell was only to instill terror in the citizens first, to make their deaths more fun, but Rakdos says he doesn't care about that, he just wants to kill. But maybe these pitiful creatures are beneath him anyway. His heralds, the rats , await him at Vitu-Ghazi , and that's where he should strike first.

..Back inside...

Fonn needs to get the kids to safety, they also need to save their son. It's decided that Jarad will chase after Myc on his own while she takes the kids up the long ladder they've found that should head straight to the surface.

Fonn has never thought about it before but she is able to witness the massive upper-body strength and expert control of the front legs of a centaur as of a centaur, as Orval ascends the ladder with no problems.

The climb isn't short and the cultists climb after them. Fonn takes the rear and kicks at whoever catches up to them while they just keep on climbing. One and then two recruits make it out the top when the stress on the ladder finally tears it free from the wall. There's a jolt as the ladder drops a few feet to the ground, and only the strength of her cytoplastic hand keeps her from falling off.

The good news is that the passage is narrow enough to keep the ladder from falling over completely. The bad news is that the exit is now too far away for her to reach. She orders the recruits to leave her, but they refuse and Aklechin tells Orval to grab onto his ankles. The centaur lowers him just enough for Fonn to grab hold of his wrists and be hauled up to the surface.

Fonn checks the hatch for pursuit and one familiar cheeckless fellow pops up causing Fonn to jump back with a start. Z'reddock attacks but before he can do any damage, he's casually crushed by a passing creature that she's never seen before that doesn't even realize he's there.

Fonn wants to order them to safety while she goes after her son, but looking at the state of the city, where is it safe for them to go? The.. thing... was headed straight for Vitu-Ghazi. The recruits insist on staying with her, so follow the monster they go.

...Below the City-Tree...

Rakdos pounds away at the ceiling above him, ready to emerge before the great Vitu-Ghazi. The demon comments that this will be an uprising like no other, and Myc realizes how true that is. The demon had been growing during this short trip of theirs and nothing in all the histories he's read did he ever read about Rakdos rampaging throughout the city himself. He always just rallied his worshipers into a blood frenzy and let them loose. Myc lets his thoughts touch the song and he finds it just barely there.

* * *

And the winner is...

Looks like we're headed for a Rakdos vs nephilim showdown. Possibly just demon vs monster without Rakdos' followers also swarming the creatures. We'll see how he compares to the great Niv-Mizzet, the Firemind.

Not really much more to say. The chapter was pretty much wall to wall action, good enough to give it a thumbs up. The Cut of Rakdos is the embodiment of Red/Black, action should be expected. I did very much like how they held back from attacking Fonn and Jarad all at once. The lack of organization and desire for personal glory as individuals or small groups by in killing them was very fitting for their nature. It's actually quite a very nice way to give an angry mob the Rakdos feel. I didn't know there was more than one way to write about an angry mob. I'm impressed.

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