Date: 8/1/1479 DR
A week after the death of Sarshan/Devir, the Outsiders hear a great ruckus outside the Eastern gate and are summoned to help deal with a situation. They find a crashed Githyanki airship and a Githzerai who is requesting their help. The choice is taken away from them as the ship takes off with them aboard and they are sucked into a fight that may be bigger than them…
About a week after the Outsiders defeated Sarshan/Devir they had returned to Overlook to resupply. They found the city in the process of rebuilding after the battle with General Zithiruun and his army, but it was far from stable and most of the military was stretched thin helping rebuild and protect the hobbled city.
As they were shopping, a runner found them, claiming that Captain Dauralis who was filling in for Captain Kalad, who is away on business, requested their presences at the East gate. It appears that some sort of flying warship was headed towards the city. He seemed insistent, so reluctantly the group followed him. When they were a few blocks from the gate, they heard a loud scraping and creaking noise, like heavy wooden timbers being dragged roughly along the ground, from outside the walls of the city.They hurried to join Captain Dauralis atop the walls at the East Gate. From that vantage point, they could see that a flying galleon named the Conqueror had crashed not too far from the city. Elarinya immediately recognized the ship as those flown by the militant Githyanki, but from what she could make out at this distance, there is only a lone male Githzerai on board, waiting by the rail. Those few guards on duty have crossbows trained on the ship, while those humanoids outside of this gate are fleeing in all directions. Captain Dauralis asked the outsiders if they will accompany her to speak with this creature and to find out his intentions. While the rest of the group tried to explain to the Captain that this was not in their job description, Searynox extended his wings and glided down off the wall, his curiosity getting the better of him. Once the Outsiders realized that the city had very limited resources, they agreed to help, but not to be outdone, Rinya fires a rope arrow at the ship, tied it onto one of the ramparts, and then used her unstrung bow to slide down it. Before she’s even off the wall, Damaia jumped on her back and hung on for dear life, while Vylify Fey Stepped to the ship.
Damaia hanging on for the ride of her life
The warship leaned to one side and had clearly been in a fight. The sails were ragged, the stern of the ship was charred from intense fire (Damaia recognized the after effects of dragon fire right away) and a humanoid with greenish-skin and gray robes was waiting for the group to arrive at the ship. Once they were all aboard, he said that his name was Tokk’it and he apologized for the method of his arrival, but he’s in a huge hurry since his people are being attacked by Githyanki and he’s come seeking the help of the Heroes of the Rethild Vale who slew General Zithiruun before their fotress is breached and his brethren are exterminated. The Outsiders explained that they were the ones who killed the Githyanki General, at which Tokk’it was astonished, but the arriving Captain Dauralis confirmed this. Before they offer anything, the group wanted to know more.
Tokk’it explains that he hails from the fortress of Akma’ad, about 140 miles to the East, and 20 miles South of the city of Sayre. The fortress houses close to 100 Githzerai trained to fight as well as several dozen noncombatants. He’s not sure how many Githyanki are attacking, or even how they got there without being noticed, but they had 3 War Galleons, and at least 3 Dragon Lancers, which would put his guess at close to 300 attacking troops. Tokk’it stole this airship by waiting until the troops had disembarked, and then he stole on board, killed the captain, and then took off before anyone could stop him. He had to outrun 2 of the Lancers, but he finally got away. The fortress has defenses against this sort of attack, but for some reason they weren’t triggered. He doesn’t have anything to really pay them with, but he does pledge the service of Githzerai troops in defense of the Rethild Vale during the coming war. He’s not of high enough rank to work out the details, but is certain that accommodations can be reached with his Abbot once the fortress is saved. But he reiterates over and over than speed is of the utmost importance. Rinya notices that he’s highly frantic, something not normal among the usually self-controlled Githzerai monks. The group wonders if they should help while Vylify can’t keep from interrupting to ask questions about this marvelous machine. While the group was deliberating, Searynox leaned in and told Tokk’it that he should just take off first and then they could work out the details later. The monk was quick to jump to it and soon the airship was aloft and flying East, leaving Captain Dauralis behind to report to the Dwarven Council
At first the Outsiders were angry at Searynox, but since this was a once in a lifetime experience, they decided to roll with it. While the Dragonborn took up watch duty at the fore of the ship, the others took off to inspect the ship. Vylify went into the Bridge to find out how the thing flew. He found Tokk’it standing in a ritual circle, driving with a wheel, much like a normal ship. Magic allowed him to see the outside of the ship in 360 degrees. A dead Githyanki was slumped in the corner, probably the captain, and a tapestry on the wall beside the door depicted a tall Githyanki knight standing triumphantly before a throne. From her travels, Rinya will later verify that this is Zetch’r’r and that is the throne of the Githyanki, but it had always been held by Vlaakith. Tokk’it will tell them that not too long ago, Vlaakith was overthrown and Zetch’r’r took the emperor’s throne for himself. Tokk’it also likes to discuss his affection for a Githzerai female named Gallia, whom he hopes is still alive, despite the fact that she dissolved their relationship several months ago.
Getting Tokk’it to talk about topics was often a point of entertainment
Elarinya makes sure that all of the Ballistae on the deck are in working order in case they need them for the coming fight. Damaia heads down into the belly of the ship, exploring the hold, the crew area and cabins. In the First Officer’s cabin she finds 3 hand-drawn portaits of Githzerai. Later when she shows them to Tokk’it, he’ll looked shocked, but then explain that these are the leaders at the Fortress; Odos, Kath’ik, and Wellik. This finally gets him to tell the group that these leaders are from across the cosmos and they have converged in Akma’ad to discuss how the Githzerai people should proceed in helping the people of this world in the upcoming war. Kath’ik is from the Monastery of Nine Stones, Odos is from the House of Reprisal, and Wellik is from the Tower of Dancing Flame. The war that is coming has only been sending out small incursions to test the mettle of this world, but a larger assault seems to be in the plans and the Githzerai were meeting to decide who would lead them in the upcoming war, and how involved they should be in aiding this world. The other thing that shocks the monk is that he recognizes the art style as that of his beloved Gallia, but why would she do something like this? This also coincides with a note that Vylify and Rinya found in the Captains Quarters, hidden in the desk, which read:
We expect the attack to go smoothly and quickly. Our informer is inside Akma’ad already, and has agreed to assist Brann’ot in the assassination of the foul githzerai leaders. Once you receive the signal from my flagship that the defenses are neutralized, land the Conqueror at a safe distance from the fortress and disembark all of your troops along with the Tyranny.
By the grace of High Emperor Zetch’r’r, Lord of the Astral Sea,
While in the hold, Damaia had also found the Psychic Helm and she took Vylify down to see it, and then left him drooling while she took the picture and information up to the others.
Tokk’it announced that they should see the fortress soon, when suddenly Searynox, who has been on watch, notices 2 dark specks drop out of the distant clouds, flying towards them. He raises the alarm that they’ve got 2 red dragons and Lancers closing in fast.
The Outsiders assembled on the deck and Damaia pointed out that she saw ammunition for the ballistae in the hold, so the group sprang into action, loading the weapons and readying them for the dragons to get in range. As soon as they were within range, the group open fired. The ballistae don’t do much damage, but they cause the dragons to reassess their opponents. As soon as one dragon is in range, Searynox reached out with his mind and dominated it, forcing it to land. The other kept sweeping overhead, hitting the group with Fire Breath and lance attacks. With one dragon on deck, the melee fighters went buck wild, attacking to overwhelm it. Vylify threw out a clockwork cloud of Mini-Mights , which confused and distracted the other dragon and it’s rider. Once the first dragon falls, the second dragon is quickly taken down by the group’s combined efforts. Still flying the ship, Tokk’it is understandably impressed with the Heroes of the Rethild Vale!
Within a few more minutes, the group could finally begin to make out the Fortress of Akma’ad and the forces attacking there. Flying above the battle is an even bigger red dragon and Lancer, picking off forces on the fortress walls. Another war galleon, the Sacrifice, is circling in the distance and hasn’t spotted them yet. They can also see the defenses above the fortress, where two towers are positioned to drop tons of rocks on the army attacking the fortress walls below, but for some reason those traps were never released. The third war galleon looks to have crashed along the west side walls of the fortress and there seems to be movement down there, protected behind the air ship.
looking at the layout, the Outsiders must plan the best sequence of attacks…
PIctures of our Aerial Battle