Things where not going well.
What had seemed a simple job, to take Castle Ravenloft and destroy it utterly by flying it into the sun had instead left Koran trapped watching as the movement of stars slowed. To him it appeared that over time Castle Ravenloft had slowed down, but in truth it was time itself as Koran had witnessed the sun gradually change hue and then one day explode into a mass of light only to replaced by the dark spot on the horizon.
All of that was gone now. Looking up though the momentary gap in the floor he saw Tasha kicking the side of the Spelljamming Helm as above her the sky was streaked in the multi-coloured glow as the Castle moved between spaces. Had Koran been a seasoned Spelljammer he might have noticed the colours here were darker then what was normally seen travelling between the Crystal Spheres in Realmspace. But even he could figure out from the slight trailing direction of the light that the Castle was still on the move, heading away from the sun and towards somewhere else.
Clearly he would need a new plan to destroy the castle.
Glaring up at Tasha he for the first time was taken aback, for now that he was closer he could see that she had used not only the name he had given her, but his FULL name! Yet he also sensed that while she hadn’t directly lied, nor had she been entirely truthful. Worse was the disturbing feeling that she seemed to know more about him then he did himself.
He needed something simple, something black and white and so once again leaving Tasha to her own mischief he rushed down the stairs in the hope that whatever it was that had given the Castle means to move between words might also provide a way to destroy it once and for all!
Meanwhile down in the Larders of Ill Omen Dunena Ried had long lost track of how long he and Bill and Ted had been hold up in the wine cellar.
Groggy having long drunk the last of what passed for wine, they had been living upon Crisps, dried mushrooms that looked and tasted exactly like potato chips but SO MUCH BETTER! Dunena awoke to the telltail ‘Thum of the Spelljamming engines kicking into gear, come to mention it he hadn’t had anyone bashing on the door for a while, and so decided to go investigate. Stumbling into the hall he didn’t remember it being quite so dusty but as he turned towards the stairs he noticed the telltail rainbow hue and heat of the spelljamming engines.
Lucky that he’d noticed the rainbows where not just his imagination, for had he gone up there he’d have probably been roasted alive by the wild magic energy. “Come Bill, Come Ted” Dunena said wandering down the hallway instead. The two llama’s jostling into place to follow him until he reached a doorway.. opening it to find three hippo-people looking at him with rayguns raced.
“Hey hey it’s just me..” Dunena said putting up his hands to show that he wasn’t a danger. before absentmindedly eating one of the Crisps and offering another to the hippo lady along with his help. However he felt a weird itching sensation on the side of his head as his ear shriveled up and dropped to the floor.
For a moment it looked like a crisp but then started to caterpillar away. “Hey don’t eat that!” he cried out as Ted immediately put his head down to eat it..
Dunena’s command caused the Llama to refrain, the entire room for a moment just watching as Dunena’s ear crawled across the floor and disappeared into a crack in the wall.
Shaking herself out of the revere Captain Amelia’s eyes narrowed in annoyance “Right.. well keep your eyes peeled for the Plasmoid, and try to not die” she said to Dunena.
However tripping on the crisps Dunena just nodded as he grooved though the room, saying words to the effect that he’d do just that while having no idea what she was actually saying.
Whatever plan he had was forgotten the moment he opened the door to the back of the room and stood staring for a while.. the room was full of glowing lights, the ruin of busted furniture overtaken by the patterns in the water that in his altered state was constantly shifting in hypnotic patterns of divine light. “Woooooah!” he said as his trusty Llama’s followed him into the room and started to drink the water. Whatever plan or mission the three of them had was forgotten entirely as all three where caught by the patterns.
Nearby in the Giff Battlecruser Strahd von Zarovich was in a far better mood.
He felt the strange creature trapped in the Brig try and burrow into his brain, but Strahd had charmed enough people in his life to know what it was like and easily ignored the effect.
Searching though the Giff Battlecruser that he’d so carefully crashed into Castle Ravenloft he found stashed in a emergency cabinet was The Multi-Tool. The perfect tool to break open the strange force-cage like effect that was the only thing stopping him from releasing the Mad Ultraloth that he was gambling on would save him from the fearsome Solar that had almost killed him not too long ago. Ignoring the prior warnings of the Giff crew he set about releasing the creature, the Multi-Tool in his hand listening to his thoughts to transform into a glowing crowbar perfectly keyed to counter the Force-field if only for a single moment.
That was all it took – for lashing out the Ultraloth rushed forward – almost being sliced in two as two of the force-fields immediately slammed back in place. But it was too late, with Strahd’s help two thirds had made it free – the monster colliding with the wall as it’s right arm and leg was left twitching helplessly on the ground.
This was fine.. Strahd helped it along to the hatch, opening it only to narrowly duck to the side as the force of the Giff sonic shotgun rung out.
Captain Adelaide Cholmondeley just narrowly missing as she called out at Strahd in horror “You let it out!? I knew we couldn’t trust you…”
Strahd was sure this was just because of the whole ‘Plasmoid Thing’ as he used his vampire speed to slip behind the strange green creature.. just as time it’s burning mad rage focused on Captain Adelaide and the entire back section of the room bust into flames!
This was a problem, because while most of the castle was made of stone and rock the doors, and decorations where most defiantly flammable. Nor did it help that Strahd’s mother had been rather partial to decorating the Larders of Ill Omen with plenty of now very dry and dusty drapes!
Strahd would never admit that he’d never been a fan of them and so seeing the room on fire didn’t upset him, but as the flames started to creep along the woodwork towards the Spelljamming ship who’s nose poked though the wall he had for the first time a moment of realisation:
The engine was still on, and wired into his Castle.
If the ship was to catch on fire or explode so too would Ravenloft Castle!
Unaware of the danger Koran had been following the feeling of power downwards though the ship, now a floor above Strahd he came to the landing looking out towards the Chapel. Koran closed his eyes for a moment.. this part of the Castle had been long out of reach to him while that little fool Assterion lived. Koran focused his divine powers, reaching out extend his control over the castle… he imagined his radiant light spreading out to dispel the evil that had befouled the Castle for generations. Evil was so seeped that the only hope it had was to be totally torn down to nothing and the ground consecrated many times over. Focused as he was he felt content as half the floor grew under his awareness, but he felt a dark spot.. a patch of evil lurking not so far away. Yes, he had to destroy the Castle but first he would DESTROY ALL THE EVIL that festered in his horrid place.
Koran moved swiftly, recalling how long ago he and his allies had fought in the Chapel, the ruins of the battle still told across the floor.
Climbing the stairs to a small room containing little more then a desk, a ledger and two skeletons flanking it there was a little disappointment.
He was ready to smite and yet the room was empty.
Then it emerged from the lower stairs! A mostly bald headed man wearing a extremally dull set of robes and carrying a thick ledger and abacas.
Koran was taken aback for a second. He’d sensed undead but what he saw before him was merely an accountant! For the first time in a very long time Koran focused on the creature before him, his angelic gaze turning to read his aura where he found almost all of it was beige! Where he expected evil what he found was neither good nor evil – but not nothing, for at the edge of the beige was a twisting curl of purple chaos.
Normally this would be good enough, but for Koran he knew chaos without goodness could well lead one to do just as much evil as one who was lawful yet evil.
Koran looked down at the creature and drew out his Lance. Whatever it was he knew it had to be destroyed.
But then the creature opened it’s mouth, in a cheerful conversational tone it spoke seemingly oblivious to the rude interruption “Hey, did you know that most lances are made of iron and was designed to be used by a horse.. the most common breed being the Hasselbaink Windsor found around the forest of Bree during the age of….”
Koran felt his mind drift, his entire body feeling heavy as the droning voice went on-and on, it was so.. relentlessly boring that whatever he was doing just slipped from mind.
But only for a moment.. Koran felt then the aura.. different to any he’d felt before. He tried to attack again, drawing upon his holy energy as this time he struck true! However his eyes widened as reeling from the attack Koran watched as the psychic energy caused the monster eyes to glow bright purple, a happy smile upon it’s face as it seemed to grow stronger.. “Yum! I will take some more of that please” Leif said.
Koran’s memories where still a jumble but he recalled now being told stories of a type of rare vampire, one who didn’t dress in eveningwear and could even walk in full daylight and pass for any of the most boring people you might ever have met. His lip curled for this was no vampire but a vampirate! A Energy Vampire whom had the unique ability to bore people to death! His hate fueled his swings as he cut at the monster, divine light slicing though and with a mighty stroke the creature was impaled and powerless before him.
But like all cowards it tried to run, with a ‘poof’ turning to a small cloud of white smoke! Quickly slipping back down the stairs and out of Koran’s sight in the hope that it might survive to feed another day.
On the floor below Strahd watched as Captain Adelaide Cholmondeley and her crew burned.. he could help, fishing in a pocket he pulled out a small bead.
It looked like a child’s play thing until he tossed it directly in the middle of the fire and the Giff. There was nowhere to run, nowhere to jump to as the bead grew.. for a moment passing though creatures and objects like it was a illusion before reaching it’s full size. For one moment it appeared to disappear entirely before the smoke hit the edge and started pooling inside, the the fire cleanly separated inside and outside of the sphere of force. Strahd watched as the two younger Giff started to panic and shoot their guns to try and break open the barrier..the ray-guns bouncing in all directions with Captain Adelaide yelling – no words passing though the barrier as he saw her start to try and smash the barrier.
Strahd watched, enjoying the torture as it was her own fault for rejecting him after all!
While it hadn’t put out the fire it had contained most of the danger for Strahd of course considered the Mad Ultraloth a ally and tool that he could use to pit against the crazed Solar. However as it’s mad eyes turned towards him Strahd quickly turned to mist and moved deeper into the Spelljamming ship, easily finding a pocket deep within the ventilation system shafts to hide and wait out his genius plan.
At first he thought the warmth of the roasted Jiff was why the temperature had risen but then in a hiss of stream and straining pipwork it became clear that in his haste he’d allowed the Ultraloth to set fire to the interior of the Spelljamming Ship! So worried was he of the Solar that Strahd had forgotten the very real danger of fire + engine = very big explosion! Not to mention that he was a long way from Barovia where being killed just meant needing to hang out as a spirit for a while before sneaking back into the Castle to heal up in his favourite coffin.
Still most people forget that Strahd is also not too shabby a wizard.. flowing out of the vents he reformed and drew upon his magic to cast a spell to blow the fire out.
Of course being magical fire this was a bit more tricky.. and as Strahd forced the fire back he realised far too late that the ventilation system he’d been messing around in lead directly to the engine! Strahd was so sure that he could do it that he did it anyway!
…only by inches did the flames miss the key intakes that would have ended in tragedy as Strahd found himself still looking at the magical fire as it continued to spread. Hiding didn’t help, the Mad Ultraloth just started a second fire closer this time to the engines.
If only there was some kind of tool perfectly designed for putting out fires? He looked down at The Multi-Tool that he’d been carrying reshaped itself into a large red cylinder with a strange flexible hose with a trigger like some kind of crossbow. What is this?! He thought.. his finger moments from spraying himself with the fire extinguisher.
Feeling Strahd’s confusion the Multi-Tool reshaped itself in line with Strahd’s wants into a more primitive form.. a humble bucket of water which Strahd splashed over the fire.. the magical properties of the Multi-Tool easily spreading to cancel out the effects of the spell and soon the fire was gone. Lucky for all the ship was designed for the occasional explosion in it’s hold as the Jiff where more then a bit obsessed with gunpowder. Yet it was clear that meddling with the ship was a dangerous prospect.
But leaving would mean needing to face both the scary Solar, and the very insane pyromaniac Mad Ultraloth!
Speaking of which… Koran was hot on the heels of the escaping Vampirate, heading down the halls he caught the creature as it stood on the stair just above the pooling holy water. The pathetic creature seemingly in no hurry as it slowly rolled up one pants leg… it didn’t even get a chance to cry out before Koran stabbed it in the back, a easy kill and yet in the moment of death a great rush of psychic energy was unleashed as all the energy the creature had stolen rushed out, all at once buffering Koran and even reaching so far as to Strahd who felt first the pain and then a great sense of relief. For long before Strahd had become a vampire there had been Lief Lipsiege, always going on about the accounts and taxes for as long as he remembered. Strahd would not admit that he had gone to great lengths to avoid having to deal with Lief, nor did he dare enter the mans office for worse was the energy drain of being around him was the nagging about taxes, insurance and accounting. Strahd felt a great weight lifted, for while it meant the Solar was likely near and out for his blood, it also meant he’d never have to listen to another lecture about taxes.
Strahd could almost thank the Solar for that.
However he was having a less fun time with his friend the Mad Ultraloth as it continued to try and attack him and make a mess of the place. Thankfully as a ooze he could quickly slip around him to avoid the attacks and repel the gaze of the mad creature.
Koran was unaware of the danger as he found himself looking at the strange sight of the Man lying across a par of Llamas blissed out of their heads. For a moment Koran had felt that he should judge their brazen drug use, but then a vivid memory – him long ago at a welcome gala for the queen of the Fey. He’d taken a piece of cake and ended up high as a kite the entire night. Koran remembered the shame he had felt, for he was sure that it was the end of him. He’d failed his duties – yet when he’d gone to repent he’d been shocked to be told that he’d been chosen by the Queen of the Fey to be the Envoy because he had been the only one willing to ‘have a little fun’.
Distracted as he was Koran opened the door only to see first the hand of Captain Adelaide Cholmondeley pressed against the invisible barrier of the dome of force as she choked on her last breath and slid to the ground. Koran’s angelic eyes seeing all as he noted the dead bodies, the destruction, the monster – for some fool had let the Ultraloth out! What idiot would have done such a thing? but Koran’s angelic eyes were quick to notice the slime-like creature lurking behind it.
At Last! Strahd thought, drawing upon his power he thought back to many happy childhood memories of reading every book written about a mad-wizard who tried to make a tourist attraction in Chult, a park of Dinosaurs! Strahd had loved it so and picturing the great T-Rex in his mind he spared no expense in compelling the Mad Ultraloth to take this new form, ignoring that the ceiling and room was unlikely to fit such a large creature. For a moment it seemed like nothing would happen, and then life found a way.
The tail came first.. snaking out as it slammed into the wall, then the Ultraloth’s body started to grow, all but it’s arms at least as it slammed the Force-Bubble that contained Captain Adelaide Cholmondeley and her crew. Slamming into Koran who flew back into the door – wood splintering as he crashed into the fluffy-lumpy form of the two llamas and a hippie “Oww…man…” – but Koran had no time to care for them for the fight was afoot.
Who would survive in the next epic battle of T-Rex Ultraloth vs Very Angry Solar?
Place your Bets for Round 4 of Revenge of Strahd in Space!
Dunena gains 1 for inventing Crisps and being the reason why Strahd was able to get to space in the first place
Koran gains 1 for becoming the Dreadlord of MOST of the ground floor of Castle Ravenloft
Koran gains 1 for doing something VERY in character that can’t be disclosed due to SPOILERS
Koran gains 1 for Defeating the biggest evil at Castle Ravenloft – Lief Lipsiege the Energy Vampire!
Strahd gains 1 for using a Bead of Force to replicate Alberta Banana’s Wall of Force ‘ultimate solar trap’ to kill Captain Adelaide Cholmondeley and crew.
Strahd gains 1 for proving himself a real fan of Chultrassic Park!