So far it had been all too easy to cut though the few guards that had stood between Vecna the Whispered One and what he wanted. Striding over the dead body of the guard who had dared stand before him – his lightning sword still flickering with the last of it’s charges Vecna stode into the next carriage – the hiss of steam reminding him of how much he hated this nonsense of artifice, why build all these machines that could be so easily broken when magic was far more reliable? Vecna reached out for one of the tubes and pulled.. as the hatch at the other end opened and a bunch of guards rushed in to stop them – now they where really starting to fight – it appeared to be a pathetic last stand.
Vecna expected them to attack him – but instead of following the guard who had used a lightning sword against him Vecna was confused when the people shouted in their strange language and rushed past him to repair the damage he’d created by pulling away the pipe.. Vecna as a undead was unaware that the pipe was key to the air supply.. the despirate fight as the guards used their hands and body to try and deflect Vecna away from the key components the ones that where they destroyed would doom the entire train to running out of clean air and water. Not to mention more then a few of the gases where explosive.
Vecna didn’t know this, nor did he care.. for what was more interesting was that when he casually struck the head of the guard that was trying to pull him away from the pipework his eye was drawn to the shine of metal under the wound.. the break in the man’s skin showing dented metal… and as Vecna struck him again the metal buckled.. and oozing blood mixed with clockwork.. the men where automations! Yet they still screamed when he killed them…. showing off to Strahd he laid waste to everything in his way.. however in his haste to destroy he cast a spell and suddenly the entire room was full of flames.. the walls of the cart pushing outwards, the roof buckling open and floor giving weigh as behind them came the telltake sound of smashing glass as the shockwave of the blast and sudden explosion of twisted metal tore though the glass of the aquarium cart. Below them the ground shifted.. thick smoke blocking their view with just the sound of screeching metal to warn of what was to come.
The metal fouling the carts behind them.. a piece getting under the wheels and in a moment a sickening lurch.
Little did they know that the Train was on a bend… the small piece of metal giving just enough ‘push’ to set of a cascade as first one then another cart started to tip beyond the point of no return. In the mist the Train tried to drag itself ever forward.. the sparks of the wheels and scream of the soul-forge engine unable to stop in time to avoid the disaster.. the carts dragging sideways, screaming metal mixing with the screams of people as broken glass allowed the mist to seep in at last..
Even Vecna was shocked by the sudden destruction that he’d wrought as he found himself laying on his back on the steel remains of the undercarriage.. looking up at the thick black clouds, nothing to protect them from the raw lightning and necrotic energy that crackled along the outside of the train. There was nothing to hold back the Mist now and as warned it started to pour in.
Titania! It had all been fun and games when they had been killing the passengers on the train, but this was too much! How would he rescue his dear Titania if the train could no longer move? This was all Vecna’s fault.. he had clearly been jealous the moment saw how handsome and good at wooing the ladies he was. Screams from above was no matter to Strahd for he had no interest in saving the people, no, his only interest was his selfish desire to save ONE person.. his Titania and make her his bride!
Strahd turned to mist, effortlessly moving down the tunnel at high speed leaving Vecna in his wake.
Vecna who felt something far stronger then fear as he heard the screams as panic broke out across the train… he felt powerful!
Far down train Daniel Daybringer, Tasha and Queen Dannel of Cyre where brushing themselves off and carefully climbing their way though the twisted wreckage to the ladder. Here the carriages had twisted and bent but had settled mostly the right way up. With Daniel’s help Queen Dannel opened the latch and climbed back into the mess of Norran’s lab.. broken glass, leaking ooze and damaged machinery everywhere.
“What happened?!” she asked, Norran explained to them that there had been a explosion.. there was no real detail but only guesswork that something had gone wrong in the cart that supplied the air supply. Queen Dannel looked to Daniel, sweet Daniel who had promised refuge for her people and yet now.. what hope was there? It was obvious to all that the train was dying.. toxic smoke was starting to billow though the air shafts and Daniel and Tasha started to cough..
But it wasn’t just fumes that came in with the plumes of dark smoke.. as emerging from the mist, heroic in the gloom was Strahd von Zarovich!
“Tatiania.. I will save you!” Strahd rushed to Queen Dannel, tossing aside Norran he lunged at the poor women, drew her close and reverting to his slimey skinned form he sunk his teeth deep into her neck
OUCH! – something was wrong.. instead of subtle flesh and the sweet nectar of a women’s blood he chipped his vampire teeth across something hard..
“now you know the truth….” she whispered to Strahd as the vampire’s eyes turned from her to Norran… the great Artificer.
But nobody tricked Strahd von Zarovich and got away with it! Strahd pulled himself away, exposing for the first time the metal under the skin of the women that he had been so sure was his Tatiana. Nothing but cheap tricks! Furious he wailed upon her body before turning his hatred onto Norran..
“no….nooo!” here he found real flesh and blood.. Strahd bit deeply into the old man’s throat.. draining his life but with the final insult giving him just enough of Strahd’s own blood in return… for Norran would not know the end of his suffering.. instead the man would be doomed to rise again as a Vampire fledgling under Strahd’s control.
The others just watched, in the chaos their original aims for getting on the train had been forgotten.. leaving Norran screaming and crying over the body of the construct they had called Queen Dannel Strahd, Tasha, Vecna, Daniel turned away and leaving the lab they found the nearest door, climbing and jumping down into the ’crunch of gravel, looking back they could see the bulk of the Mourning Rail stretched out before and behind them.. people climbing out of windows and trying to escape into the Mists before they came for them.
Where to next? That was the key question… as the mist closed in on the Mourning Rail Tasha gave a start as a cheerful “HOpa!” called out.
As yes.. The Invisible Person! They had all but forgotten he was with them.. between Tasha’s fight with the passengers, The Invisible Person terrorising the passengers by putting plungers in all the toilets – leading to one child and quite a few adults having QUITE a horrific experience made all the worse for having no idea WHY and Strahd and Vecna’s antics there was no question that at last they had inspired terror.. and with it grown stronger.
Strahd realised here was a opportunity! If all they had to do was kill the ruling Dreadlord to gain their power – well that was easy! But where to start? Strahd looked at the others and immediately knew exactly where to go.. if they were going to take over Ravenloft then what better place to start then by starting at the top.
Not noticing that Daniel had wandered off into the Mist Strahd turned to Vecna and suggested they should travel to Vecna’s domain.. After all, if you were going to take over Ravenloft what better place to start then with the Dreadlord who was always going on about being a God?
Convincing Vecna was surprisingly easy, for of course every Dreadlord believed their domain to be the best, and so it was agreed.. they just had to hope that the Mist was willing to take them where they wanted to go…
Vecna gets 1 point for DESTROYING THE TRAIN
Strahd gets 1 point for turning Norran into a Vampire!
TIB gets 1 point for the horrible image of people going to the toilet only to sit upon a invisible plunger
Strahd gains 1 point for killing Queen Dannel
Cyre-1313 aka the Mourning Rail is no more following the defeat of Norran, Queen Dannel and ‘The Captain’ – aka the Train itself – congrats – everyone gets a Level up to 17! :D