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Recap / World's End

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This is the recap page for World's End.

WARNING: All episodes will have unmarked spoilers. Proceed with caution!


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     Chapter 1 

Episode 1: The Tiendai Thugs

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Even backstabbers have their limits
Within a refuse-strewn, dilapidated hovel sits a middle-aged gentleman by the name of Edwin Tevoran, a veteran of the Libertine's Rebellion, who has of late fallen to various petty criminal pursuits. As all his recent schemes have failed miserably, he loudly laments his recent fall into poverty as he enjoys a puff upon his opium pipe.

Tevoran's adopted daughter Ysabel comes down the stairs and chastises her stepfather for stinking up the den with his opium. Her anger escalates when she realizes he blew their entire food budget on drugs and they have nothing to eat but a pot of cabbage water. Enraged, she picks up a crate and smashes it against the wall, prompting Tevoran to berate her for her violent temper. An argument ensues which wakes up Ivan, their even-keeled but lazy indentured servant, sent to work for them in order to repay his massive gambling debts to his wealthy uncle.

Ivan notices a sack of tobacco in the shattered crate and starts rolling himself a cigarette. Tevoran and Ysabel gawk at the unfamiliar sight of smoking without a pipe, but Ivan explains that it was quite common back in his homeland and he used to sell them to street thugs all the time.

Realizing that the tobacco can potentially be sold for money, Ysabel then demands that Ivan seek out his former customers, to sell them some tobacco for food money. Although he is reluctant at first, when Ysabel threatens violence he agrees with her idea, and heads out on his mission.

Wandering deep into the Tiervan slums, Ivan laments his fate of being forced to serve a couple of petty criminals before running into a couple of gang members from the Tiendai clan. Ivan tries to persuade them to buy some of his tobacco, but they turn violent and demand he pass over the entire sack or get jumped. Ivan is forced to kill all three of them, but the victory is short lived as six more thugs surround him. He prepares to battle the whole group, but is spared by the timely intervention of Ysabel and Tevoran. Together, the trio wipe out the entire group of thugs.

After the battle, Ivan notices that one of the thugs is still alive. Ysabel prepares to finish him off before Tevoran stops her, unveiling his new grand plan for riches: capture the thug and hold him for ransom. Ivan and Ysabel point out all of the logical flaws in the plan, but the thug insists that their are more members of his gang that will be coming to take revenge on all of them soon. Tevoran demands the thug tell him where to find there other gang members, which he refuses to at first, but is quickly persuaded by Ysabel threatening to torture him. The trio ties up the thug, named Vadim, and retreats to their hideout to prepare for the upcoming battle.

Vadim, leads Tevoran and Co. to the thug hideout, where the group is discovered by yet another batch of thugs, who they fight their way through. The next room leads Tevoran and Co. to the inner sanctum of the thugs' hideout, where they confront Laszlo, the gang leader. They demand ransom for Vadim's return, but Laszlo, having grown weary of having to constantly bail Vadim out of trouble, decides to simply betray him and kill all four of them. Vadim is enraged and, together with Tevoran and Co., proceeds to kill all of the thugs in the hideout, Laszlo included.

Back at Tevoran's hideout, Ysabel celebrates finally being able to enjoy a decent meal. Ivan notices that Vadim is still with them, and Tevoran reveals that he has hired him as an enforcer. Ysabel doesn't trust him, but Vadim explains that since Tevoran can pay him better, he is loyal to Tevoran. Ivan then worries about the implications of slaughtering the gang, but Tevoran tells him to shut up and eat. He, Ysabel, and Vadim all start eating.

Episode 2: Casimir's Ransom

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In a room full of addicts, clearly the drug dealer is the brainwashed one
Ivan and Vadim sit around the hideout talking before Tevoran bursts into the room, agitated and claiming that a dear friend of his has just been kidnapped. Ysabel questions him further and realizes that the "friend" in question is his personal "pharmacist" (as in, drug dealer) Casimir Ghaft, and the "abduction" was simply him closing up his shop to go work for a wealthy nobleman named Boris Belayev. But Tevoran is having none of it and insists they mount a rescue mission, which he compels the gang into reluctantly agreeing to. They gather up supplies before sneaking off to Boris' mansion under the cover of darkness.

However, they've barely crossed the fence before Vadim gives away their cover in the most blatant way imaginable, taunting a sentry and drawing in a bevy of guards to eliminate them. Tevoran & Company emerge victorious, though, fighting through multiple waves of guards before forcing entry into the mansion.

Meanwhile, inside the manor, Boris injects the fruits of Casimir's latest narcotic labor, much to his satisfaction. Boris is well pleased with Casimir's efforts, but warns him that should he ever should fail to overcome Boris' ever-increasing tolerances, he will have the doctor killed. A guard interrupts the conversation and informs Boris of Tevoran and Co.'s attack on the mansion. Boris orders the guards to mobilize and kill them all. He then demands another fix from Casimir.

From the main foyer, Tevoran and company continue slashing their way through the mansion guards before reaching Boris' study. Boris demands to know their business. Tevoran demands he release Doctor Gheft from his mind controlling sorcery. Casimir appears and confirms that he's been legimately hired by Boris, but Tevoran is unconvinced, insisting that the pharmacist has been brainwashed. Boris calls upon his guards to wipe out the intruders, and battle commences. Tevoran and Company win the fight, striking down Boris Belayev in the process.

With Boris defeated, Tevoran calls out to Casimir. The pharmacist emerges from the adjacent room, confirming once more that he was working under Boris of his own will. However, with his previous employer dead, Casimir, now deprived of income, is petitioned by Tevoran to work for him. Ivan and Ysabel protest, but Tevoran silences them. They then prepare to carry off as much of the dead nobleman's wealth as they can before returning home.

Episode 3: The Church of Ecthain

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She's a nun like you've never met before
Tevoran announces to the gang that he has a new mission in store for them, but the details are secret; Ivan and Ysabel must accompany him to meet with their employer. They head off, leaving Vadim with Dr. Casimir, who has intentions of experimenting on him for some valuable research.

Tevoran, Ivan, and Ysabel arrive at the employer's house to realize that it's none other than Milan Vaclav, Ivan's rich but reclusive and paranoid uncle. Both immediately become apprehensive of the mission, Ivan because he still holds some hard feelings for his uncle selling him into indentured servitude, and Ysabel because Milan harbors barely concealed affections for her.

Inside, the group meets with Milan, who amidst a flurry of mockery from Ivan explains to him his predicament: Milan is convinced that the eastern nation of Vorona, known in the distant past for its incursions into neighboring territorities, is poised to rise up and take hold of Tierva. He thinks they will accomplish this through religious forces, utilizing the Church of Ecthain to achieve their goals.

Tevoran, knowing Milan well from their previous war experience, isn't convinced of Milan's intentions, and demands to know his true motive. Milan admits that he's only concerned about the Church confiscating his "erotic literature" collection, which is worth over 250,000 zloteks, and says that he wants them removed from the city for that reason alone. As Tevoran and his minions leave, Milan is ashamed of speaking so brazenly in front of Ysabel. Ysabel hears every word of it, and Milan gets a crossbow bolt from his beloved planted before his feet.

Later that night, Tevoran and his crew pound on the doors of the local Ecthainian Church, demanding sanctuary and alms. The Voronese soldiers guarding the church inform him that the church is closed for the night and to come back in the morning. In response, Tevoran breaks through a stained-glass window and eviscerates the guard, slashing him in half. A group of monks and acolytes come to investigate the carnage and Tevoran demands that they leave Tierva immediately. The monks and acolytes refuse and a fight breaks out in the sanctuary, with Tevoran & Co. demolishing the monks and trashing the sanctuary, tossing over confessional booths and hurling corpses across the room. After the fight, Ivan remarks that he can add killing monks to the list of things that plague his conscience, but Vadim reassures him that the priests were worshiping the wrong god anyway and Tevoran demands the team get a move on.

They do, only to run into another cadre of priests and deacons, whom they butcher their way through just as before. The commotion draws in Father Otis, the priest and leader of the local mission. Otis attempts to parley with the party; he is rebuffed by Tevoran who is insistent upon fulfilling Milan's mission, and a fight ensues. During the fight, Otis reveals access to supernatural abilites, healing his fellow priests and firing bolts of lightning across the room. Though his men are taken down and Otis himself is temporarily wounded, he insists that he is not defeated and that Ecthain will punish them before vanishing into thin air. Ivan immediately questions how such a thing could be possible, but he seems to be the only one who cares about the apparent miracle.Tevoran and Co. proceed to march into Otis' private study where they find the priest barricaded in with his most trusted agents. Tevoran repeats his demand to leave to Tierva a final time before descending into the final battle, ultimately slaying all the survivors of the church; soldiers, acolytes, monks, and even Otis himself.

After the fight, Ivan remains concerned by Otis' supernatural powers, though Tevoran is insistent that the entire debacle was merely a mass hallucination. The gang prepares to leave, but just as they do, a door suddenly opens, and a portly woman emerges. Tevoran warns his company that she is the "final boss" as she approaches Otis' body and retrives his necklace.

Despite Tevoran's apprehension, the woman is not hostile. She calls herself Oksana, a Niendan woman who says she joined the Church as a nun to meet strong, strapping men. Though she failed to intrigue them, and soon lost zeal for her endeavor, her interest was aroused by Otis acquiring the red stone necklace that was the apparent source of his supernatural power. She suggests that the ability to utilize Otis' charm is not universal, but that one must possess a certain "talent".

Tevoran makes known his desire to employ Oksana, which she initially misinterprets as a sexual proposition. Tevoran irritatedly corrects her, but she still accepts the prospect of living with such "fine specimens of manhood." Despite protests from all the other party members, Oksana is hired as the latest member of Tevoran and Company.

Episode 4: Redshields, Blue Girls, and Pink Haired Trollops

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Never bring a crossbow to a barfight
Ivan and Ysabel question Tevoran's seemingly newfound generosity when he takes the company out to a swanky dive bar, with live music no less. Tevoran reports that he's stumbled upon a new mission for his company, one which will require them to leave town, much to Ysabel's delight. It seems the party must take down the rogue trading partner of a local businessman, with a nasty habit of "disappearing" said businessman's underlings.

As Tevoran and Company discuss their upcoming mission, a disheveled blue-haired girl walks into the tavern and immediately stumbles into one of two burly mercenaries. As this resulted in one of them spiling their beer, they are none too pleased, and speak harshly to the girl. Tevoran notes that the mercenaries appear to be of the Redshield corps, a notoriously brutish (and inbred) lot origininating from Vorona's outskirts.

The Redshields' harassment of the girl continues, and Ysabel decides to intervene, shooting one of them with her crossbow. The tavern goes silent, as the band, patrons, and workers alike all flee, fearing the worst given the Redshields' reputation. Ysabel's defiance only provokes them further and they attack the party.

After a brutal slugfest, the combined might of Tevoran & Co. manages to temporarily prevail against the monstrous Redshields, but almost as quickly as they've fallen, the two get up and walk away from the fight as though their injuries were nothing, promising vengeance later on. Amidst the wreckage of the alehouse the bartender emerges, furious at Tevoran & Co. for driving off his customers and trashing his alehouse. An argument breaks out that almost leads to a fight between Tevoran and the bartender, but Ivan holds him back and the gang makes their way back to their hideout to prepare for the upcoming mission.

The next day Tevoran & Co. prepare to board the train for the neighboring city of Masori, where their target is said to reside. Unfortunately, Tevoran lets it slip a bit too loudly that he intends to board the train without paying for tickets, attracting the attention of a nearby Tiervan guard. The guard immediately recognizes Tevoran and his motley rabble as a gang of petty criminals and calls in reinforcements. The guards attempt to arrest Tevoran & Co. but are beaten back.

Suddenly the guards scatter, which Tevoran takes as a sign that they fear him until the Redshields appear on the scene, ready to get even with the company for their previous defeat. They introduce two more of their brothers who will be joining them in the fight, just as powerful as they are. The situation is looking bad when suddenly the blue-haired girl from the night arrives. She saunters up next to Bernard, and with her face contorted with rage, she leaps upon the Redshield and bites off his ear, her angry visage quickly evaporating into a broad, bloody grin. With the Redshields momentarily distracted, Tevoran sees an opportunity to attack. They end up winning the fight by playing dirty and shovign the Redshields into the path of an oncoming train.

With the Redshields dispatched, Tevoran turns toward his company's momentary savior, and asks her name. With seeming confusion she names herself Aizu of Setora. During the subsequent interrogation she becomes increasingly tight-lipped. The party devolves into argument, during which Aizu wanders off.

Departing the train, Tevoran and Company come to Masori, the location of their bounty. Tevoran declares the name of the party's target, a man by the name of Czartorysk, he who was responsible for the capture of their employer's servants. When questioned, Tevoran admits that he has no idea where Czartorysk might be found.

After some searching, the company is able to discover the residence of the sinister Czartorysk. They are soon confronted by a pigtailed woman in a red dress, who immediately piques Vadim's interest. Certain party members assume she's a "lady of the night", although it's soon discovered that she is the very same Czartorysk for whom Tevoran and Company seek - Zofia Czartoryska, to be precise. Despite some initial confusion, Zofia is determined to be the party's target, and after she summons a squad of mercenaries (indeed, the very same underlings "stolen" from Tevoran's employer), a fight ensues.

After her defeat, Zofia offers to cut Tevoran and Company a deal in return for her life. Zofia ultimately agrees to pay Tevoran more than his own employer, who wished to have Zofia killed, was offering. She further sweetens the deal by offering three unspecified favors; her mere mention of baking an opium cake is enough to win Tevoran over. Ivan scolds Tevoran for his poor bargaining skills, while Ysabel suggests killing Zofia to prevent future problems. Despite these protests, Tevoran does not relent. After receiving his money, and presenting Zofia with a mailing address for his opium cake, he leads the party back to Tierva.

Epilogue

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Nothing ominous here
In Hrvain, a mysterious cloaked woman muses that a "creature" has awakened and that an unknown "he" has undoubtedly sensed it too. She resolves to act quickly before he gets the upper hand in their arrangement. She then calls in a guard and orders him to assamble a squad of soldiers. She finally muses that events are going faster than she had anticipated, but that it is unimportant and that Tierva is lovely this time of year.

In the final scene, Aizu is seen sitting at the edge of a cliff in some unknown location, staring out over a large crater.

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     Chapter 2 

Episode 5: Jailbreak!

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Not the first oversized lightning user that gang has faced...
Ivan, Vadim, and Tevoran are all thrown into prison for remarkably petty crimes (ironically, none of them the ones they committed in the previous chapter). From within their Tevoran assures them that he's prepared a contingency plan with Ysabel to insure their expedient escape, but Ivan remains unconvinced and laments his fate to die incarcerated.

Meanwhile, Ysabel, Casimir and Oksana prepare to infiltrate the prison disguised as envoys from the "Temple of Debauchery" (clearly Oksana came up with the plan), promising drugs and doxies to all the prison guards if they let them in. The guards fall for it and they make it through the gates, but Ysabel is already near bursting with rage at the sheer indignation of the plan. When one of the guards proceeds to criticize her bony frame and scowl, she loses it and fires a bolt through the guard's chest. A fight breaks out and the three pummel their way through the sentries before moving on.

Ivan sees all of the action from a peephole in the cell and informs his fellow inmates. Tevoran prepares to execute the remnant of his escape plan, luring a guard into the cell by claiming a carcass has appeared in it and then immediately having Vadim shiv him. Apparently the guards somehow missed confiscating his knife during the search, and the less that's said about this, the better. Ivan insists that they'll need the rest of their gear if they want to escape, but fortunately, all of the prisoners belongings are kept in an unlocked chest right outside the cell. Tevoran proceeds to unlock the other cells to have the additional prisoners serve as a diversion for the guards, but the plan goes awry when the neighboring inmates are revealed to be enemies from rival gangs just as the guards arrive. A 4 vs 4 free-for-brawl breaks out, but Tevoran & Co. manage to come out on top by slipping to one side and letting the others duke it out to the death, picking off the survivors when they're finished.

They then storm the next chamber which turns out to be a mess hall, where several of the prison guards are busy getting drunk. The elite guards march in from the opposite side and rouse their drunkard companions to actions, and the boys are hard pressed to hold their own in the ensuing brouhaha. But hold their own they do, making it to the prison's central chamber just as Ysabel, Casimir, and Oksana coincide with their arrival.

The desperate guards call in the prison warden to defeat them; despite being irritable at having to fight, he challenges Tevoran and Co., only to be taken down by Tevoran himself. After killing the warden, the group finally escapes to the courtyard. Tevoran wants to return home and celebrate, but Ivan, Ysabel, and Vadim concur that their actions have crossed a line and that it is in their best interest to skip town for the time being. Despite his reluctance, Tevoran agrees to flee the city.

Episode 6: Out of the Box

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Is it a mail order bride or a prank?
The group makes camp in the foothills of the Tiervan wilderness. Oksana prepares a meal for them, but their food supplies are running low. Ivan attempts to buy sardines from a traveling merchant, but Tevoran berates him for wasting his money when the wilderness is full of wildlife to eat. He then announces that the company shall embark on "the greatest hunting trip of an age" before gathering supplies and leading them deep into the woods.

Unfortunately, the only wildlife Tevoran & Co. are able to find is a nest of enormous, aggressive spiders and walking, sentient pigmen who carry armor and axes to boot. At Tevoran's behest they cut down the lot anyway and prepare to take them back to their encampment. Ivan questions whether such creatures are even safe to eat, but Tevoran dismisses his worries and the group prepares an unusual supper.

Back at camp, the group is enjoying their meal when they hear soldiers marching nearby. Tevoran briefly panics and thinks the Tiervan military has gone to extreme lengths to recapture them, but Ysabel recognizes the uniforms as Voronese. The group eavesdrops as the Voronese soldiers decide to take a break from marching. One questions why the girl they are transporting is so valuable, but is shot by his captain for his loose tongue, much to Ivan's bemusement. Ysabel wonders who the girl is, but Ivan believes tht Tevoran and Co. should not get involved. However, Tevoran agrees with Ysabel and attacks the soldiers.

After killing the soldiers, Ysabel excitedly demands to open the box. Tevoran prepares to do so, but its occupant breaks out on her own, revealing herself to be Aizu, the blue haired girl from the tavern. The group is disappointed that their prize was not a pile of treasure or an attractive consort. Tevoran asks her why she was captured by the Voronese, but Aizu cannot remember. However, at that moment a mysterious Cloaked Woman from Hrvain arrives with a contingent of soldiers. The cloaked woman claims that Aizu belongs to her and Tevoran and Co. should return her. Aizu refuses to come with her and grabs an axe to defend herself. An entire legion of Hrvancais soldiers surrounds the group. Tevoran demands to know what both Vorona and Hrvain want with Aizu, but the woman refuses to elaborate. Tevoran and Co. refuse to surrender Aizu, and the gang and their newest member proceed to battle the battalion. The Cloaked Woman teleports to the top of a nearby hillside and nearly annihilates the group with with her deadly sorcery, but a few of the party members manage to blitz the hill and cut down the Veiled Mystic where she stands.

The Cloaked Woman is astounded and furious at being struck down by a mere group of mercenaries, but she quickly dismisses it as a mere temporary setback. She taunts Aizu before vanishing into thin air. Ysabel again demands to know why two nations are gunning after Aizu, but she once again claims that she cannot remember anything. Tevoran states his intention to learn about Aizu so he can profit from the situation, but Ysabel wonders if they have simply mistaken her for someone else. Tevoran decides to take advantage of her unknown abilities and takes her into his custody. Ivan points out that going around with a girl wanted by two countries is a horrible idea, but Ysabel counters that they cannot leave her on her own. The rest of the party concurs with Tevoran, and they decide to return to Tierva.

Episode 7: Raiders, Invaders, and Stalled Elevators

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Where the heck does she store this thing?
Tevoran once again scams his way onto a Vorona-bound train despite Ivan's protests that they need to keep a low profile. He believes that due to Vorona entering martial law, criminal activity will be very profitable. Tevoran orders the group to rest for the time being. Later, the group hears a knock at their cabin door. Ivan opens it but is promptly assaulted by a man in a cowboy hat. He demands the group surrender their valuables. Ysabel mocks him for his lack of weapons, but the man simply beats her aside and reveals impressive martial arts training. However, Aizu, who has been napping throughout the ride, wakes up. Enraged by his attack on her friends, Aizu decapitates the robber with a single stroke from her axe, much to Ivan's shock and Ysabel and Tevoran's approval. The group is surrounded by more robbers, and everyone is forced to defend themselves.

Tevoran and Co. fight their way through the train and confront the leader of the robbers. He introduces himself as Reynold Chesterfield and attempts to initiate polite conversation, but Tevoran and Co. are in no mood to talk after his men's attack on them, and the two groups proceed to fight.

After being struck down, Reynold gracefully accepts defeat and surrenders. As penance for his actions, he offers his services to the group. Tevoran briefly mistakes this for an offer of sexual debauchery, but after being corrected points out that their group is big enough as it is. However, Reynold offers to pay Tevoran to work for him, much to Tevoran's delight. Tevoran returns to their cabin to rest.

Tevoran's attempt to stay on the train with forged tickets fails spectacularly, and he and the group are thrown off the train in Masori. As he is cursing their ill luck, Zofia arrives. She reveals that the Voronese military has set up siege encampments all around Masori. Tevoran realizes that they have no choice but to fight the invaders themselves, but he's rebuffed by Ysabel, calling it insanity. Ivan considers surrender, but Ysabel counters that the Voronese are willing to shoot their own soldiers, never mind an enemy prisoner of war. Zofia offers to use one of the two favors she owes Tevoran to give him a way out of the city. Despite their mistrust of Zofia, Tevoran and Co. decide to follow her for the time being.

The group arrives in Zofia's mansion, where she reveals that she has lured them into a trap. However, when she tries to trigger it, it malfunctions. Tevoran and Co. surround Zofia, and Tevoran orders Casimir to inject Zofia with a lethal poison. He demands the location of the exit in exchange for the antidote. She opens a secret passageway, but it seals itself shut. Zofia reveals that the safeguards have not been disengaged. She directs the group to a her special blowtorch which will melt their way through the steele. Unfortunately. it will take several hours, the group decides to relax on the balcony.

There, the group enjoys Zofia's collection of alcoholic beverages. Ysabel considers the possibility of Zofia trying to poison them, but she dismisses her. A severely intoxicated Vadim attempts to flirt with Zofia, who knocks him unconscious and drags him off to have sex with him. Aizu ominously proclaims that Vadim will be dead soon, and Ivan agrees. Ivan decides to partake in the drinking despite Ysabel's suspicions, and Reynold promises he will not allow anything to happen to them. Ysabel decides to take the time to restock on supplies.

Most of the gang assembles outside Zofia's mansion in anticipation for the upcoming battle. Tevoran returns from his scouting, and Vadim arrives shortly thereafter complaining of inexplicable pain; Ivan decides that they are all better off not knowing why. Zofia arrives last and reveals that she is still trying to break down the seal. To pass the time, Tevoran decides to go on a looting spree while the opportunity has arisen. He leaves behind Aizu to make sure Zofia does not attempt any further treachery, and the group makes for Masori.

It doesn't take long to find the Voronese invasion already underway. He announces his presence and intentions to the marauders, and an officer responds by ordering his soldiers and mercenaries to kill the group without mercy. Tevoran & Co. fight back and wipe them out.

Back at Zofia's fortress, Aizu reveals that Zofia still hasn't completed her mission just as a fresh wave of invaders arrive at her doorstep. Tevoran & Co. are forced to attempt a futile effort to beat the invaders back, but as the waves keep coming they're eventually forced to retreat into the fortress. Meanwhile, Zofia has finally burned her way through the steel slab but intends to leave Tevoran & Co. behind, beliveing herself to have stolen Casimir's antidote in his sleep. It turns out to be a placebo just as Tevoran & Co. break down the door and make straight for the elevator. A few Voronese soldiers make in it into the fortress, but Zofia lobs a molotov at them just before escaping herself.

Episode 8: Tunnel of Despair

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To each his own paradise
Tevoran loudly voices his suspicions about the elevator taking the group underground, but Zofia reassures him. She bitterly notes that she will have to use a certain trump card to escape. Zofia detonates her entire fortress, killing the pursuing soldiers. They reach the bottom of the shaft to find an underground tunnel with a rail line laid down that will take them the rest of the way to Vorona. Zofia demands two volunteers to pump the Hellcar transport, and Ysabel conscripts Ivan and Vadim. The two relucantly take the fore of the cart and begin pumping away while the others sit back and relax.

After a long while, the group nears a waystation, but crashes into a rock at the end. Due to the sudden impact, Vadim is knocked off the Hellcar into a large pit, brutally impaled upon a stalagmite, and killed instantly. Tevoran eulogizes him, but Ivan and Ysabel are dismissive. The group realizes that their progress has been impeded by a gaping pit, and notices several strange beings called subhumans lurking nearby. Thinking they must have caused the blockage, Zofia confronts their leader. The leader cannot communicate, so Tevoran and Co. attack.

With the Hellcar disabled, Tevoran and Co. are forced to continue on foot. Zofia reveals that the hike will take a long while, and a bitter Ysabel notes that Vadim's untimely demise spared him a lot of agony. Casimir suggests the group take a short reprieve before continuing. Later, the group enters a cavern just as Tevoran and Ysabel finish telling an embarrassing story concerning Ivan's escapades as an escort. Tevoran notices many strange mushrooms strewn about the cavern, and Zofia reveals that this is her garden and warns them that the mushrooms are poisonous. A living slime creature arises right in front of Tevoran, and Zofia notes that the organic defense system must be activating due to the approach of harvest time. She also reveals that the defense system cannot distinguish friend from foe; therefore, Tevoran and Co. is forced to destroy it. After a few waves of fighting, they manage to repulse the organic defense system and continue along their way.

As the weary group continues their trek, Zofia complains about losing the Hellcar, revealing that her mother built it before being killed in the old war. Tevoran and Ysabel are both fed up with the tunnel and nearly ready to call it quits. Ivan jokes that Ysabel can always shack up with his uncle Milan, causing an argument that nearly escalates into physical violence. But Aizu suddenly senses the subhumans approaching. The group hears a strange sound, but dismisses both it and Aizu's warning. But the subhumans continue to draw closer, and having realized that Aizu was right, the group desperately flees to the waystation and takes up a defensive position. Zofia activates two nearby defensive turrets just as the mutants catch up to them on the Hellcar. While two of the subhumans drag the Hellcar away, the rest attack Tevoran and Co. As the battle starts, the turrets malfunction and attack both the group and the mutants. The gang wipes out both the mutants and the turrets.

After the mutants are slain and the Hellcar retaken, the group prepares to continue to Vorona. However, Ivan demands to know how Aizu was able to sense the subhumans' approach. She claims that she heard how hungry they were. Ysabel once again dismisses Ivan's worries, though Tevoran is impressed with Aizu's abilities. Reynold offers to take the deceased Vadim's place on the Hellcar, and he and Ivan are finally able to transport the group to Vorona. As they leave, Zofia muses how the subhumans were able to get the Hellcar past the pit.

The scene abruptly switches to the Throne Room of Vorona. Prince Martin, crown heir of Vorona, is summoned by his father, King Oskar. Martin reveals that Vorona has conquered Emeria and transferred control to Hrvain, as per their agreement. Oskar notices Martin's unease; Martin reveals that he is troubled by the ruthlessness of their generals. Although Oskar is satisfied with their approach, citing few Voronese casualties, Martin states that many generals have been torturing prisoners of war for their own amusement. The soldiers are encouraged to loot and pillage without remorse. Oskar dismisses Martin's worries, but Martin continues to question his father's decisions. Oskar flatly states that the whims of the commoners mean nothing to him before summoning his other son, Prince Rudolf. Oskar declares Rudolf heir apparent and dismisses him. Both Martin and his sister, Princess Vera, beg him to reconsider, as Rudolf is a drug-addicted lout, but Oskar's adviser Duriken tells him they should be thrown in the dungeons. Oskar agrees. As he is being dragged away, Martin threatens to kill Duriken for his poisonous advice. He then attacks the guards arresting him and orders Vera to flee. Conflicted between their loyalties to their king and princess, the guards side with the king and capture Martin. Once everyone is gone, Duriken tells Oskar that his children are liabilities and should be assassinated. However, this course of action is too far even for Oskar. Oskar retires to bed, accepting some medicine from Duriken. As he leaves, Duriken muses that Oskar will not be enjoying his excesses for much longer.

Episode 9: The Rescue of Martin

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If there's two things you don't want to hear together, it's "tentacled fiends" and "feculance"
Tevoran and Co. hide in one of Zofia's safehouses in Vorona. Zofia attempts to kick them all out so she can restore her business, but the group refuses to leave. Tevoran returns from scouting and reveals that Prince Martin has been disinherited and is currently imprisoned. Tevoran announces the gang will break Martin out of prison in order to earn his gratitude and a handsome reward. Zofia, overhearing the conversation, reveals that she has the floor plan of the entire Voronese palace, and that the entrance to the underground tunnels is close to the underground dungeons where Martin is likely being held. Ivan points out that it would take weeks of labor to break in that way. Zofia offers her aid in breaking through to the prince in exchange for 80% of the profits. She and Tevoran haggle down to 50%, much to Ivan and Ysabel's gall. As Zofia leaves to begin preparing, Ysabel points out that Tevoran also lacks an escape plan, but he figures that Zofia will think of something. Ivan and Ysabel decide to keep an eye on Zofia to ensure that she does not betray the group again.

Hearing a large amount of noise from downstairs, Tevoran finds Zofia adding a giant drill to her Hellcar, upgrading it into a Semi-Autonomous Helldrill. After a brief explanation, she activates the Helldrill, which runs perfectly, much to Ysabel's surprise. Tevoran proceeds into the tunnel, but Aizu warns the group that their current course of action is dangerous and some of them are likely to die. Ivan dismisses her concerns and Ysabel adds that she is not being forced to accompany them. As the two leave, Aizu stays behind, though saddened by Ivan's disrespect and her own apparent uselessness.

In the dungeons, Rudolf tortures his brother. Martin tries to warn him about Duriken's manipulation, but Rudolf refuses to listen. Before the torture can continue, the group hears a shaking noise. Rudolf, thinking he is going into withdrawal, tries to leave to get some drugs, but the Helldrill bursts through at this moment and kills his two guards. Tevoran and Co. arrive and attempt to rescue Martin, but Rudolf gets reinforcements and demands their surrender. Tevoran refuses and frees Martin, who grabs a nearby mace. The two brothers and their groups engage in a ferocious battle. Martin manages to rush in and get the finishing blow on his brother himself, ending the fight effectively.

Defeated, Rudolf panics and flees to get his father. Martin decides not to pursue him, as they have more serious threats to worry about. Together with Tevoran & Co., they flees through the tunnel they arrived through. Ysabel wonders how they are supposed to stop the Voronese from following them, and Zofia reveals that she has built a self-destruct mechanism into the Helldrill which will collapse the tunnel. Ivan and Reynold attempt to pull the Helldrill back into the tunnel, but the wheels are jammed. Tevoran decides to solve this by pushing a random button, despite Zofia's warning, and accidentally triggers the self-destruct mechanism. Everyone except Reynold immediately flees; he intends to sacrifice himself to drag the Helldrill into the tunnel and save the rest of the group. However, Aizu arrives and uses a strange power to telekinetically fling Reynold into the tunnel before pulling the Helldrill in herself.

Back at the safehouse, Reynold laments Aizu's sacrifice. He explains what happened in the tunnels, but Tevoran spares little sympathy for her. At this point, Martin demands to know who Tevoran and Co. is and why they rescued him. When Tevoran demands a reward, Martin points out that he has been disinherited and is most likely a wanted fugitive. However, he directs them to a stronghold in the countryside and offers their bounty if they can escort him there after shooting down Zofia's suggestion of trying to turn him back in, pointing out that the Voronese will most likely simply kill them all. Zofia instead redirects the group towards an escape route through the sewers, much to Ivan's displeasure.

The group enters the sewers, failing to notice Aizu's arm detaching itself from her body and beginning to move on its own. Not long into the sewers, Tevoran encounters a group of tentacled monsters and demands that Oksana exorcise them. Tevoran and Zofia begin to argue, but Martin demands the group focus on destroying the monsters.

After the battle, Tevoran and Co. press forward to another part of the sewers. Zofia notes that the exit should not be much further. However, a blindfolded man demands to know who is trespassing on his territory, much to Tevoran's disgust. Zofia identifies him as the self-styled sewer shaman, a deranged individual who lives in the sewers and demands a toll in exchange for passage. When Zofia claims that he is harmless, he counters that he is the "god of the underworld". Ysabel attempts to shoot him, but he deflects the attack with a barrier. The shaman summons several minions, and a battle commences.

After killing the sewer shaman and taking a short break, Tevoran and Co. finally break through to the surface. Martin elaborates that his safehouse is to the northwest and that they must get moving immediately. However, Duriken arrives. Martin identifies him and explains that he intends to drag Vorona into ruin by manipulating Oskar. Duriken demands the group surrender their "interesting new companion", referring to Aizu, but Martin has no idea who he is talking about. Martin and Ysabel both agree that simply killing him is a good idea. Tevoran explains that Aizu died in the Voronese dungeons. Martin is shocked to discover that Duriken has been hunting Aizu, and demands answers. However, Duriken refuses to elaborate and attacks. The group's most vicious battle yet ensues, but Tevoran and Co. ultimately emerge victorious.

Duriken admits that the group has fought valiantly, although it is for naught, and advises them to leave Vorona before teleporting away. Martin swears revenge, but Tevoran reminds him of the payment he craves. Martin demands to know why both Vorona and Hrvain were after Aizu, but Zofia suggests that they reach shelter before answering his questions. Martin hopes that Vera has reached safety and decides that he will return to his father and restore his sanity one day, although he muses that he might need an army to do so. However, Tevoran informs him that he should spend less time talking about his goals and more time accomplishing them. Amused that even a common brigand such as Tevoran can occasionally give useful advice, Martin and the rest of the group prepare to head out into the Voronese wilderness.

Epilogue

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I knew these guys were in cahoots!
As Duriken returns from his battle with Tevoran and Co., the cloaked woman teleports in and greets him. The two verbally spar briefly, and the woman asks why Duriken has not killed Oskar yet, and Duriken states that all is proceeding as he plans and that undue haste will ruin everything. The woman states that she made it into Hrvain's inner circle in less than a year, but Duriken responds that she used unscrupulous methods to do so and that they must proceed cautiously. The woman continues by asking why Voronese soldiers have been scouring the western wilderness, but Duriken refuses to elaborate. However, the woman states that she knows what he is seeking and that he had better not betray her. Duriken responds in kind and states that although they have a common goal for the time being, that will eventually cease to be the case. The woman warns him that if his questionable actions continue, she will reconsider their arrangement. Duriken states that she will fail without him needing to lift a finger. The woman leaves, and Duriken muses that he will gain control of a certain "god-creature" and change the world forever; he also reveals the woman's name, Fallon.

     Chapter 3 

Episode 10: Little Manor in the Woods

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Seems legit
The scene opens on Vera being borne through the Voronese wilderness via palanquin by her personal guards. She insists they stop for a rest despite her guards concern for her safety, but then immediately gets distracted when she spots "a blue fairy", whom she insists they catch. The guards acquiesce to her request.

Not far away, Tevoran regales Martin with a riveting tale of how he butchered a vagrant for trespassing on his property. Martin exasperatedly tries to steer him back to the topic of Aizu, before hearing his sisters screams in the distance. The gang comes across a band of renegade Hillmen carrying off Vera. Martin demands that they go after her, which Tevoran agrees to after he offers to double the ransom. Reynold seems particularly distraught and reveals that their assailants are a splinter faction of his own Hillmen who forsook the way by taking up weapons. The gang battles through multiple waves of the renegades before eventually making their way to Martin's sanctuary.

There, they meet Gilbrecht Van Arkanad, who offers to send a search party for Vera and provide lodgings for Martin and his entourage. After he departs, Ysabel and Ivan express their suspicion that Gilbrecht intends to kill the royal siblings and take the throne for himself; the party retires for the night but agrees to remain vigilant. Ivan and Casimir, unable to sleep, encounter each other in the manor. As they converse, guards ambush them and flood the room with poison gas. As the rest of the party rushes in, the guards offer them mercy if they turn Martin over to them. Tevoran refuses and attacks.

After shutting off the gas and slaying the remaining guards, Tevoran & Co. confront Gilbrecht, who reveals he has placed Vera in a death trap. He explains that Oskar has offered him a handsome reward for the siblings' heads. The party engages him in battle, rescues Vera, and defeats him.

Vera is overjoyed to be reunited with Martin. They are suddenly interrupted by Gilbrecht, who throws one last bomb at the group. The bomb strikes Casimir over the head before Zofia throws it back at Gilbrecht and finishes him off. Martin decides that searching for Gilbrecht's money stash is too dangerous, and Tevoran reluctantly contents himself with what he can salvage from the guards. Vera directs their attention to Casimir, but the others are dismissive of his apparent demise. Fortunately, Casimir recovers. Martin, Vera, Zofia, and Casimir depart for Tierva to defeat Duriken, while Tevoran declares his intention to head east to Hrvain in pursuit of further riches.

As Tevoran and Co. take their leave, Ivan realizes they are not bound for Hrvain. Tevoran explains that he intends for Casimir to spy on Zofia so they can capture her, turn her over to one of her enemies, and be handsomely rewarded. The group makes for Tierva.

Episode 11: Jedmesz's House of Flesh

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Left to right: the Legalistic, the Decadent, and the Morally Unfettered
Martin's party arrives in Tierva, where Vera is horrified by the poor living conditions. Martin and Vera leave to seek military aid from Lord Pesko in retaking Masori. Zofia immediately deduces that Tevoran intends to pull a fast one on her, but Casimir reveals he has already poisoned her. Zofia curses Tevoran before collapsing. Tevoran and Co. arrive and pay Casimir for his efforts. As Casimir leaves for his peaceful retirement, he injects Tevoran with an "antidote" and warns him to visit if he should start vomiting black tar. Tevoran and Co. head for their old safehouse with the captured Zofia.

The group plans what they intend to do with Zofia when she awakens and demands to be set free. Suddenly, Tiervan guards storm the safehouse and order Tevoran to surrender. Tevoran frees Zofia, and the group prepares to fights off the onslaught of guards. As the elite guards keep pouring in, however, the gang realizes that it's futile to continue fighting and surrender.

Tevoran & Co. are brought before the High Triumvirate of Tierva. As a guilty verdict seems imminent, Tevoran desperately tries to scapegoat Zofia for his actions. His inane pleas fail miserably, and Pesko convicts all of them and sentences them to death by hanging.

Tevoran and Co. are promptly imprisoned to await their execution. As they bemoan their misfortune, Leithar, one of the Triumvirate Lords, appears. He offers to remit their sentences if they assassinate a certain "purveyor of filth" within 48 hours.

Tevoran and Co. arrive at the manor of Ivan's uncle Milan to request a place to stay, and Milan begrudgingly agrees. As Zofia departs to peruse Milan's collection of literature, Tevoran begins to explain his plan. Later on, Ivan, Tevoran, and Reynold approach the front door of a local brothel to distract the employees while Ysabel, Oksana, and Zofia sneak in through the back. However, the plan goes awry when Reynold discovers his own daughter Cordelia is the receptionist. Cordelia berates him for stepping foot in a whorehouse and leaves. Several bouncers arrive, and a brawl ensues.

While the boys distract the bouncers in the front room, Zofia and the girls attempt to sneak in from the back. One of the trollops mistakes the group for job applicants, and a fight breaks out. After the trollops are dealt with, Zofia begins to suspect that something is off about the brothel, noticing feeding tubes attached to the various "clients", and Ysabel concurs. The group rests briefly before moving to the brothel abattoir.

There, they discover people with their internal organs removed, much to Ysabel's horror. The men arrive and regroup with the women just as the true culprit behind the slaughterhouse arrives: Jedmesz, another member of the Triumvirate Lords. Jedmesz explains that he has been getting rid of the miscreants of Tierva by feeding them to each other. Tevoran and Co. wipe out Jedmesz's men and defeat him.

Mortally wounded, Jedmesz retreats further into his sanctum and attempts to eat some of his regenerative meat. However, Ysabel catches up with him and finishes him off. Ivan worries that their actions may shift the balance of power in Tierva and that they may cause unforeseeable consequences, but Tevoran dismisses his concerns. As the group prepares to remove Jedmesz's head as proof of his death, they suddenly hear a noise and see Aizu, alive, well, munching on Jedmesz's food stores, and with no recollection of her near-death in Vorona. Seeing her pragmatism inspires Tevoran to sell the meat to the city's destitute, much to Ivan's disgust.

Episode 12: The Wastes of Niendam

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Give me a hug!
Martin and Zofia depart Lord Pesko's manor to seek military aid in Niendam, leaving Vera in his care. Meanwhile, Tevoran's latest money-making scheme backfires, and he and his companions are driven out of Tierva yet again. Upon learning about Martin and Zofia's plans, Tevoran decides to seek fortune in Niendam as well. With few other options, Martin asks for their aid. Suddenly, Vera recognizes Aizu as the "blue fairy" she saw earlier. Martin is shocked to discover Aizu alive and well, but she is unable to tell him why Duriken and Hrvain want her. Tevoran demands to be made tactician of Martin's armies after the war, and Martin begrudgingly agrees.

As the group travels towards Niendam, they are accosted by bandits led by Oksana's husband Oleg. After an argument between the two, Oleg attacks the group. After defeating Oleg, Oksana insults his virility, much to Tevoran's chagrin. She explains that she originally left Niendam out of shame of her husband. Ivan points out that Aizu has spontaneously developed magic powers, but is ignored as usual. After learning that no man was able to satisfy Oksana's desires, Oleg decides to stand down. Martin asks of King Volebor, and Oleg explains that he is bored due to lack of conflict with strong foes. Pleased with his good fortune, Martin follows Oleg to Volebor's camp.

Martin's party arrives at the Niendam meeting hall and receives an audience with King Volebor. Volebor is irritated by Martin's grovelling and pleased by Tevoran's lack of tact, but Martin quickly catches on and begins speaking more bluntly. Volebor agrees to aid Martin on one condition: he must climb a mountain in southwest Niendam, enter a cave, and claim a token of bravery to prove his valor. The party decides to partake in sampling Niendam's finest alcohol.

The party heads to Oksana's house to collect her before embarking on Volebor's challenge, but discovers a "do not disturb" note on her front door and elects to leave her behind.

The party arrives at the specified mountain. Martin expresses concern about the possibility of being poisoned without their healer to deal with it, but Zofia is dismissive.

After defeating the local fauna, the group takes a moment to assess their injuries. Suddenly, Vera arrives and offers her aid. She explains that some Ecthanian priests visited Pesko and left behind a magical staff, which she has been eager to try using ever since. Confused at both her and Oksana's ability to wield their magic, Martin begins to suspect something sinister about the Ecthanian priests.

The party arrives at the cave and claims Volebor's "trophy", an ordinary beer mug. When Martin picks it up, a burst of fog covers the room, and the entrance mysteriously vanishes. The fog quickly proves to have a narcotic effect on the party, and they begin suffering from impaired mental faculties and visual and auditory hallucinations, including an apparent one of Vadim. Notably, Martin is able to see Vadim, despite having never met him before his apparent death. A frustrated Aizu manages to dispel the fog just as the mountain itself comes alive and attacks them.

After the battle, Ivan wonders how Vadim came back to rescue them, but Tevoran dismisses him as another hallucination. Suddenly, Ysabel's mind comes under attack. Aizu dispels the attack and warns them that they have to flee, but suddenly an unholy abomination attacks them all.

Against all odds, Tevoran and Co. return triumphant. Tevoran accuses Volebor of deliberately trying to get them all killed, which he denies. Having succeeded in completing the trial, Volebor agrees to lend Martin his military might. Afterwards, Oksana arrives and explains she has successfully whipped Oleg into shape. Tevoran convinces her to continue travelling with the group for a little while longer.

Episode 13: Counterattack

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It would figure that this is what finally sends him over the egde
Martin and his entourage return to Tierva to resupply, and Tevoran and Co. request lodgings with Milan. Milan explains that Jedmesz's death has put Tierva on the road to civil war and that Vorona has its eye on the region. After he leaves, Tevoran sends Aizu on a shopping run. Martin arrives and reveals that Pesko has been assassinated and that they were nearly arrested by Leithar's men, only to be saved by Aizu. Her rescue has convinced Martin that she is key to ending the recent conflicts. As the group speculates as to Leithar's goals, the manor comes under attack from Leithar's men. Tevoran and Co. depart for the library to take up defensive positions.

After defeating Leithar's men and doing their best to save Milan's erotic literature collection, Milan bemoans the damage done to his library. Martin worries that Duriken may plan to march on Tierva soon, and moves to immediately mobilize his Niendam allies. Frustrated with Milan's cowardice in the face of danger, Ivan leaves. Tevoran pursues him, promising that he has planned their escape from Tierva. Zofia drags Milan off to have a private conversation.

Tevoran and Ysabel catch up to Ivan at the local train station. Ivan explains that with everything that has happened in recent weeks, he wants to flee and start over. Tevoran sees through his lies and accuses him of wanting to abandon them to search for his father. When Ysabel mouths off at Ivan's goals, Tevoran threatens to reveal her life's ambition, much to her embarrassment. He then explains that he has no intention of leaving Tierva to Voronese control, and plans to rectify the situation by assassinating Leithar. Ysabel points out that he has no way to accomplish this goal, while Ivan notes that he could cause an even worse power vacuum. Tevoran's solution is to install Milan as the new leader of Tierva. Ivan worries that he may become the target of assassins seeking to threaten Milan. Ysabel mocks him for his apparent paranoia just as Voronese assassins arrive to eliminate them.

After beating back the assassins, Ivan, Tevoran, and Ysabel return to the manor. Ivan proceeds to brutally browbeat Milan into taking a leadership role in Tierva. Ysabel watches the spectacle and realizes Tevoran planned this all along. Milan agrees to take the reins, but refuses to allow Ivan to inherit the city. He explains that he intends to produce a new heir and unexpectedly proposes to Zofia. Tevoran objects, but Milan orders him to explain his plan to defeat Vorona. Ysabel explains that the assassins were an advance reconnaissance force for the main Voronese army. Tevoran explains that his plan is to kill Leithar in order to avoid Voronese subjugation of the city. As everyone departs, Ivan privately admits his relief about being disinherited to Ysabel.

Martin's entourage arrives in Leithar's inner sanctum. Tevoran and Martin declares their intention to kill Leithar, who explains he intends to turn them over to King Oskar. When Martin points out he will likely not retain control of the city, Leithar begins rambling about cleansing Tierva of its degeneracy. Tevoran decides to simply begin the battle.

Tevoran and Co. corner Leithar in his study and offer him a chance to speak his last words. Leithar claims that the Church of Ecthain will bring order to Tierva before Aizu loses patience and throws him into his fireplace. The group departs to prepare for the upcoming battle with Vorona.

Oksana officiates the wedding between Milan and Zofia. Tevoran begins to explain his battle plan, but a soldier informs them that Vorona is breathing down their necks, their defenses are disorganized, and the Niendans are nowhere to be seen. Tevoran decides to feign parley and strike when the Voronese lower their guards, but Martin worries that the Tiervans will be slaughtered. Tevoran dismisses his concerns, and the group leaves to attend Milan's speech to the public.

The group returns from the speech, with Ivan and Ysabel not impressed. Tevoran elaborates on his earlier plan; he intends to sneak behind enemy lines and have Martin convince the generals to defect to their side. He intends to gamble on Martin's respect and conviction being more persuasive than Duriken's terror tactics. The group prepares to hold the Tiervan gates.

After a gruesome battle, a friendly captain reports that the enemy has fallen into disarray and that Niendan support has carried the day in favor of Tierva. His strategy a success, Tevoran sets out to enact the second part of his plan. Ivan worries that things have gone too smoothly and Vorona may have a trump card yet to play.

The enemy agrees to surrender on the condition that Martin restrain his Niendan allies. However, Volebor is reluctant to stand down. Martin appeases him with the promise of further battles in Masori and Vorona. As Martin sends his new allies to begin the march to Masori, Fallon the Cloaked Woman appears. Fallon offers Martin a way to defeat Duriken instantly: if he surrenders Aizu, she will crush Duriken for him. However, Duriken himself also arrives. Martin attempts to attack Duriken, but is effortlessly brushed aside. Duriken wipes out Tevoran and Co. and orders Aizu to come with him. Volebor attempts to charge Fallon, who effortlessly kills him. She also demands that Aizu come with her. As Aizu begins to prepare a powerful spell, Duriken restores some of her memories, revealing that he is her father. This is enough to sway Aizu into going with him, and an enraged Fallon vows to defeat Duriken. Tevoran and Co. recover from the attack. Ysabel and Vera demand to attack, but Tevoran and Martin order them all to flee.

After Tevoran and Co. make their escape, Fallon accuses Duriken of betraying her. Duriken retorts that the human powers are turning against each other and that their alliance was guaranteed to collapse anyway. He accuses Fallon of ruining their mutual plans with her recklessness, and of intending her homeland of Thalaea to subjugate Duriken's people. He retreats, leaving Fallon to plot her revenge.

Martin elects to continue their previous plan to retake Masori and Vorona, but remains troubled by Duriken and Aizu. He speculates that Duriken must have retreated to Vorona to recuperate from his battle with Fallon. Martin is confident that Masori will be an easy victory, but Vorona gives him some pause. Tevoran suggests infiltrating Vorona through Zofia's work tunnels in Masori. Since Zofia previously destroyed the Masori entrance, she admits they will have to excavate it. When Ivan points out the logistical issues of marching an entire army through the tunnels, Tevoran decides to simply have his company do the heavy lifting.

Episode 14: The Siege of Vorona

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There's still another Chapter to go; I'm sure we will
Martin and his entourage arrive in Masori, whose defenders surrender before their arrival. Martin reveals that the Niendan force occupying the city has proven difficult to control with Volebor dead. The group heads to the ruins of Zofia's manor to begin the excavation. The group arrives at Zofia's manor, and Zofia laments the destruction and looting of her property. Realizing that their last march saw them run out of food and water, Ysabel goes on a supply run.

Tevoran and Co. begin traversing the tunnels, and discover more of the subhumans lurking about. Tevoran notices that they have gained enough sentience to renovate the tunnels. After defeating the subhumans, Tevoran and Co. discover they have enshrined a severed hand. Despite Martin's warnings that it could be infected with all manner of diseases, Tevoran is compelled to take it into his possession.

The group arrives in Vorona without any further incident. Martin and Vera leave in disguise to ascertain the current mood of the common people. When they return, Martin reports that Oskar's popularity has degraded to the point of open rebellion and Vera reveals that Duriken is holed up in the palace, presumably with Aizu. The group takes some time to prepare for battle.

The revolting commoners demand Oskar abdicate the throne, and are executed as a result, much to Vera's horror and Martin's anger. Martin challenges the king's soldiers to battle. Martin expresses his regret at having to kill the soldiers, though Ivan reminds him that he was the one that sentenced them to death. Vera tells Martin that the soldiers would've died had they not followed the order of King Oskar, and hopes that he and Rudolf come to their senses, though Ysabel is just itching to kill Rudolf. The group prepares to enter the palace.

The palace appears to be empty, but when Vera calls out, she is answered by none other than Rudolf, with Oskar and an enchantress beside him. He declares himself the King of Vorona, and when Martin asks Oskar for his opinion, he does not answer. Rudolf tells them that Duriken has done something to Oskar, and since he's unresponsive, the current prince will be in charge now. Vera and Martin request that if Rudolf gives up this oppressive act, they'll forgive him, but he does not relent. He even reveals to them that the red stones they use for powers are made from the blood of their people, and they weren't able to save any of them, or what was once their father. Ysabel wants to fight already, so Martin is forced to fight against his family with the help of Tevoran and Company.

Rudolf whines about he won't let the group take everything away from him, hoping that his drugs will save him before ultimately dying. Though they weren't close, Martin still finds his death tragic. Tevoran wonders aloud about what he said about the stones, being made from the blood of the dead. Martin acknowledges that it is vile, but the peoples' lives won't be in vain if they use the stones to fight evil. Knowing this, Vera attempts to revive the deceased Oskar, but to no avail. Martin swears revenge on Duriken, though Ivan and Zofia are hesitant to go up against him again. Martin leads the group onwards anyways.

Inside the throne room, the party confronts Duriken at last and discovers he has Aizu in his company. Duriken claims that Aizu is a weapon and orders her to attack the party. However, she seizes and merges with the dismembered arm found in the underground tunnels. Aizu begins rambling incoherently, to the party's confusion; Duriken declares that a god will be resurrected and Aizu to be an avatar of Ecthain before siccing her on the party. With no other recourse, Tevoran and Co. battle Duriken and Aizu.

Martin and his companions emerge victorious, and Duriken blames his defeat on Fallon and declares his intention to retreat. Aizu returns to her senses and renounces him. She knocks him out and explains that the party is meddling in forces beyond their ken and only she can fix things. After bidding them farewell, she teleports them all away. As Duriken recovers, Aizu declares he cannot control her and that she now knows herself. She attempts to finish him, but Duriken protects himself with a part of Aizu and flees. Aizu then loses control of her power and explodes violently.

Epilogue

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Someone needs to lay off the opiates
Tevoran and Co. make camp for the night, and Ysabel bitterly complains about the weather. Ivan reveals that half of Vorona has been destroyed by Aizu, and Tevoran wonders where Martin and Vera are. Zofia speculates that they are stuck rebuilding Vorona if they survived, and dismisses Ivan when he points out her husband is trying to run Tierva without her. Martin appears and reveals Vera has gone missing; he explains that she was last seen heading south and begs the group to find her. Martin then relates that Vera believes Aizu is still alive, and furthermore, that he's becoming concerned by his sister's obsession with her. Tevoran makes a veiled innuendo concerning what such "obsession" might entail, before departing with most of their companions, leaving only Ivan and Ysabel. Ivan begrudgingly admits he is starting to enjoy being part of Tevoran's group. When Ysabel mocks him for his desire to find his father, Ivan reveals that Tevoran told him she intends to protect something, but a mortified Ysabel cuts him off, and the two leave to catch up with the group.

In another unclear time and place, Vadim wanders a gelatinous and pulsing unknown area, much to his confusion. He stumbles upon a bloody ear, and wonders who dropped it.

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