The world has ended. The mountains spew fire, cultists ravage our lands and our cities burn to the ground. Only the vague prophecy of a dying demigod offers any hope of salvation. There is only one chance to save this doomed world. One chance, or all else is lost.
You cannot fail.
The Final Quest began in The Leprechaun's Foot inn, within the city of Last Shore. Most of the known world had fallen into the clutches of the Dread Lord, a new god who had managed to subdue, convert or destroy every force He came across. Last Shore was one of the final bastions of humanity, and even it had been raided and set to the torch, and was on the brink of destruction should another attack come. It was here that Thorek II came, having barely escaped the Fall of Capital City, burdened with a prophecy from a dying demigod which spoke of one being that would be able to stop the apocalypse: Sin Solar.
On his way to Last Shore, Thorek II, (a renowned general in many subterranean wars,) had recruited the hagspawn Etheldredda and elite hunter Skullvulture. Etheldredda had previous experience hunting down the rapscallion that was Sin Solar and so pledged her services, whilst Skullvulture as an expert tracker wished to test his capabilities. The group had reason to believe that a certain Angel was the key to locating Sin Solar, and whilst Etheldredda and Skullvulture searched the city for the angel's abode, Thorek II remained in The Leprechaun's Foot in order to recruit extra swords for the road.
Bessie the tavern wench put out the word that Thorek was recruiting to the patrons of the Foot. First to pledge his allegiance to the cause was Sans'Ux, a large warrior carrying a seven-foot tall quarterstaff, which he kept hidden within a white cloth for unknown purposes. When Bessie approached the infamous scoundrel John Black however, the mercenary captain shot her in the foot with his flintlock pistol for daring to address him.
The sound of the gunshot brought the attention of Captain Ryle Emeraldian, an undead corsair in pitch-black armour who had plagued the seven seas for decades, and Kai, an expert swordsman. Despite the differences between the various patrons, Thorek was able to recruit them to the cause, with the help of Etheldredda and Skullvulture, who had returned to the Leprechaun's Foot with the drunken angel in tow.
However, it wasn't a happy union. As John Black disappeared into the back of the tavern with Bessie in order to have his way with her, (and Ryle Emeraldian having already used her services that day,) Etheldredda informed Thorek that she had encountered John Black in the past, that he was a rogue of the highest sorts, and that he could not be trusted. Thorek however countered that they needed all of the help they could get- there were so few good men in this world, that they would be forced to ally with the bad as well, or else face extermination.
Ryle Emeraldian revealed to Thorek that he had personally known Sin Solar for many years, that they were pirating buddies, and that the expert in cowardice would be even harder than ever to find after the disaster at Troll Bone Peak. It was at this point that the group was joined by Hel'Grin "The Spine Rippa" Ironsides, a renowned Blood Bowl player from the Kal'dara Dragons team past his hay-days, in full Blood-Bowl armour, ready to pledge his skills to the cause.
Deeming this enough to get their journey started, Thorek began to leave- however the returning John Black decided to antagonize Helgrin Ironsides, and what started as a friendly wrestling match soon dissolved into a tavern brawl, egged on by Ryle the Vile. Skullvulture, unaware of the culture of bar fights, brought out his sword, and the tavern soon descended into a blood bath between mercenaries, patrons and murderers.
Thorek, outside and oblivious due to the loud nature of brawling, spoke with Sans'Ux and Kai, (who were adversarial towards one-another but pleasant with him,) and was joined by Sir Charles of Richton, a knight whose lord had died by the hands of the Dread Lord's servants, and who decided to join the cause.
Within the bar, Etheldredda came face to face with her own face- another Etheldredda stood in front of her. The doppelganger revealed itself to be XinOrzhov, a shapeshifting wraith who had killed Etheldredda's travelling partner Eddie Clarke and devoured his body, impersonating him for most of her previous quest and secretly working for the Demon Lord, who had granted the wraith his freedom from being bound by magical contracts.
Etheldredda drew her scimitar to kill the wraith- only for Thorek to re-enter the tavern and boot the hagspawn's weapon away, unaware that the person in front of Etheldredda was anything but a normal patron. Skullvulture had at this point seized Angel and knocked him unconscious, dragging him away, whilst Kai launched an attack on the armoured man, unaware of his comradeship with Thorek. However, the dwarf was able to stop all fighters from continuing with their brutality, and the group left the tavern behind.
Shortly thereafter, before leaving the city, they were met with Xiang, a warrior-mage from the east, who had also been part of Etheldredda's prior quest to Troll Bone Peak. He had lost a hand there, but it had been replaced magically with a golem's hand, presumably of Xiang's own invention. Also joining the group was XinOrzhov- no longer bound by contracts, the wraith had begun developing a conscience once again, and wished to repay for his past actions. Taking the guise of an old pirate he had once killed named Captain Storm, he joined the group incognito. The angel, unconscious, was tied to Sir Charles's horse, and it was like this that the group left the city.
On the road, Sans'Ux revealed that most of his clan had been struck down by plague some fifteen years prior, and not so long ago his mother and two sisters were stolen by raiders to be sold as pleasure-maidens, for which Sans'Ux massacred them, though was unable to find his family. Kai noted that his older brother had also been taken from him, and it was his brother's sword which he wielded, and so the two were able to bond over their shared losses.
Ryle told the tale of his upbringing, being a pirate since age fifteen, selling to slavers and sacking fishing villages. Sir Charles was the second over the ramparts at the siege of Katisvaal, and now a wandering hedge knight. Hel'Grin Ironside's story was so well known that needed little expansion- the greatest Blitzer the Kal'dara Dragons had ever known.
The group's bonding stopped abruptly when in the middle of the road ahead they spotted The Sentinel. Sentinels were the chosen warriors of the old rulers of Kal'sea, bred to withstand pain, said to be unstoppable once they had been tasked with murder. Soulless, they were the elite enforcers of Kal'sea, feared by all. Their souls had been freed from servitude when Br'nard Even'star destroyed the Soul Tank that encased their stolen spirits, and none had been seen since. That there was a Sentinel here, one of the most dreaded creatures in the land, made many believe that there would be a battle. However, instead of the bloodbath that they were expecting, The Sentinel fell in alongside them.
It seemed that the Sentinel had been sent in as a distraction as a loud sneeze erupted from a nearby bush- John Black, suspecting a squirrel, shot at it with his flintlock pistol, and the disguised XinOrzhov did the same. John Black stalked over to the bush and emptied his bladder there- discovering that the squirrel was no squirrel at all, but a girl spy by the name of Annie Wells, who had been sent to monitor the group.
Given that Annie was only ten years of age, this struck up a debate within the group. Black wished to leave her behind, whilst Ryle the Vile tied her up with the hopes of keeping her as a slave. Xiang attempted to step in the way of Ryle's actions, and so the corsair punched him in the face, whilst decrying Thorek's leadership skills.
The fighting subsided for a moment, with the group seemingly at an impasse. It was Sir Charles that suggested they inquire why she was clearly following them- it seemed that someone from Last Shore had hired out this spy to pursue them, supposedly due to the bar brawl turned slaughter, though perhaps it was one of the Dread Lord's spies at work. Thorek wanted nothing more than to leave the girl behind- a child had no safe place on the road, but Etheldredda argued that the child was more safe with this band of seasoned warriors than she was on her own, and Sir Charles let the two meet half way: take the child with them, and drop her off at the nearest safe location.
Ryle himself was pacified by this- offering the ten year old a friendly dose of rum to compensate. Little did the group know that danger was on the horizon. They had tarried too long, and the gunshots had alerted a travelling war band to their presence. The first wave was of fifty giant spiders, ushered forwards by goblin spearmen. There were four rhinoceros, each with a ballista on their back, the arrows magically enchanted. Behind them were steel-clad orcs, and leading both the rear and the procession was an ogress shaman, on her shoulder perched a buzzard that she had used to spy on them from afar.
Seeing the oncoming threat, Sans'Ux unveiled his quarterstaff- scaled and twin-tailed intertwined with a draconic head atop it, it was a god's weapon- two elder dragons sealed inside the weapon. It could not cast magic, but when swung it would hit with the impact of the two dragons. Sir Charles began ordering a defence, calling to form a square- selecting the two heavy-armoured infantry, the Sentinel and Skullvulture, to form the front of the block. He observed the spiders were not moving of their own volition, but were being driven, and so suggested that the goblins behind be taken out, so as to ruin the first wave before it struck. Getting atop his horse, he declared that he would personally engage the ogress.
Seeing the oncoming attack, the Angel decided enough was enough- his wings bursting out from beneath his robes, he took flight. He aimed to go high so as not to be caught by any of the adventuring party- but had his left wing severed in two as Skullvulture tossed his sword at the air-born being. Thorek shouted out his protestations, but Skullvulture swung his shield around and smashed the dwarf into the ground, before marching on the fallen angel. Etheldredda cut Annie loose, and knowing her only weapon had been confiscated by Ryle, Etheldredda gave Annie the hunting knife that Br'nard Even'star had passed on to her for self defence, whilst Annie felt a strange power rumbling within her.
Seeing Skullvulture take out Thorek, (who was about to be overrun by the giant spiders,) Sans'Ux went to secure the angel and launched an attack against Skullvulture. Seeing that his reasonable defensive suggestions were being wholly ignored, Sir Charles changed course and charged his horse headlong into the giant spiders, saving Thorek from certain demise.
With the spiders upon them, the group's morale was shattered. Etheldredda knew she was looking for Sin Solar, and knew he would be found in Capital City, and so told Annie to join her as she fled the battlefield, hoping to skirt around the warband and head onward with the mission. The warband had attracted two new warriors the fray- Illyanna and Aalok, a knight and a mage respectively, both deserters of the Templar order due to its falling under the influence of the Dread Lord. The ogress, aided by its buzzard spy, spotted their coming and sent orcs after them, whilst continuing the charge against the main group.
The ogre shaman's own attention was on Skullvulture and Sans'Ux, the two largest combatants, firing lightning at them as they clashed, whilst Angel simultaneously summoned and used his own staff to fire lightning at Skullvulture. Sans'Ux's swinging staff had made contact with Skullvulture's shield, shattering it and sending its flayed pieces across the battlefield. Between the two fighters, the lighting of the ogre and that of the angel collided and exploded, wreathing the ground in flames.
Sir Charles's charge meant he was the greatest target, and the spiders began to swarm him, climbing atop each other in their eagerness to feast. From this hill of giant spiders burst the mace of Thorek II, hitting this way and that, before diving atop Sir Charles's steed. It was at this point that the two were targeted by the war rhinos, with a magical arrow being blasted their way.
Sans'Ux flipped away from the explosion, and observed the oncoming hordes. Knowing Angel to be armed and believing him capable of handling himself, Sans'Ux set his sights on the ogre shaman instead. Swinging his staff around several times and then crashing it into the floor, he used the momentum to carry him deep into the enemy ranks, his landing creating a crater and blasting several spiderlings away. The Sentinel, having ignored Sir Charles completely, was instead following Etheldredda's departure, and began skulking after the hagspawn.
Hel'Grin Ironsides meanwhile had his sights on another target- as one of the war rhinoceros charged through, he ran up to meet it and swung a fist into the beast's face. The force of the blow brought the beast to the floor, rolling and crushing the goblin riders beneath it. Skullvulture was dealing with problems of his own- the lightning induced explosion had thrown him to the ground, where spiders were swarming over his prone body. Weapon lost, he tore at limbs and crushed the skulls of those atop him, but became submerged.
With Skullvulture preoccupied, Angel went to fire a lightning blast into the downed man and finish him off- but Hel'Grin, seeing this action and believing an attack from behind to be unsportsmanly, charge tackled the angel to the ground. Though Etheldredda and Annie were skirting around the outside, they were still coming into contact with the spiders, and whilst fighting them off Annie felt a strange power growing inside of her. XinOrzhov, in the guise of Captain Storm, fired a shot off at the ogress shaman but missed, and quickly realised that they could not win the battle. Needing a quick get-away, he changed his shape to someone he had seen and touched before, and therefore remembered the shape of- Sin Solar, the very man they were looking for. Becoming the embodiment of cowardice, he sprang like a startled deer into action, running in front of the ogre in the hopes of grabbing its attention.
Sans'Ux, in the middle of the spider swarm, was making short work of the remaining arachnids with the sheer ferocity of his staff's weight, turning them to goo before heading for the orc contingency. The Sentinel was itself cutting its way through the spider sea, and pointing its hand, two tendrils of black energy stretched out to seize the spiders which bore down upon Etheldredda and Annie, flinging them across the battlefield. It was unknown why the Sentinel was aiding them, but had charged headlong into the fray in order to buy the two more time to escape.
Hel'Grin, leaving the squished angel on the ground, lead a Blood Bowl charge into the goblin wave, shattering their ranks with the ease of such a superstar. John Black was also engaged with the goblins, swinging broadsword and firing off flintlocks. He spotted XinOrzhov run past, and thought for a moment that he had seen Sin Solar, but decided that was impossible and continued fighting, lighting his signature cannon balls and throwing them into the crowd, decimating the gathered forces.
Illyanna tried fighting off the orcs sent at her with her spear, but it was eventually shattered and she was swarmed- but the orcs were blasted back by Aalok. Drawing her sword, Illyanna tried to make a hasty retreat, but instead lead her and Aalok to the part of the fray where Etheldredda, Annie and the Sentinel were situated. Annie had made short work of any spiders nearby- as a half elf she was quicker than them, but sustained injuries from the goblins and their sharp fingernails.
(Page 20, post 6)