Run or Serve

Burning Down the House

Herr Kaltenstein

Peter came to Waver to talk about the Saeletra message the technomancer had found on FastJack’s commlink. Peter proceeded to gather up the team to talk about it, because this had world-altering ramifications. Sitting in a backroom of the Arcanum, they heard a knock at the door. Waver opened it to see a faceless man dressed in a dapper suit. He spoke in a German accent, and asked about hiring the runners for a job. They had to steal blueprints from an Ares warehouse, burn it to the ground, and make sure they weren’t seen. The Bull was wary of this, but the group dragged him along. Seeing several guards inside, they sneaked to a back entrance. The Bull convinced the security guarding the door to let him in through his fluency of Or’zet, and Waver made the other guards inside think some critters had gotten inside instead of a minotaur. He took the plans and left, allowing Waver to fire off a huge fireball inside the warehouse. It was cinders before too long. Waver did manage to grab a small box from the storage area, however, and opened it inside the car on the way home. It was filled with anthrax, and he promptly fell unconscious. Ryder threw the poison outside, and was knocked out herself. Getting them to the Arcanum quickly, the Bull explained what had happened to Herr Johnson. The man seemed to understand and gave them the payment. However, the Bull wouldn’t leave him alone about the whole ‘lack-of-face’ thing. Herr Johnson snapped his fingers, and the runners found themselves in a dark room.
Waver sustained a fireball to light the way, and saw they were in a large labyrinth. The walls were made of screaming faces and rent flesh made stone, and the passages seemed to move and shift with the movement of the group. Gravity changed as well, opening up new paths, until the runners came across a stone face that could talk. He called himself Goddy, and the group determined he was a paladin of the Fourth World. Waver pried him from the wall and tred to carry him out, but Herr Johnson appeared in front of them after a short while. He peeled off his ‘face’ to reveal himself as Kaltenstein, the Troll King and a great dragon. This place was his domain, the souls his hoard. He asked the group to leave, as the labyrinth had cauht their auras. They would become part of the maze once they died, they no longer needed to be there. Waver realized they were in a metaplane, and asked Kaltenstein how he had shaped it. The dragon lied, saying he had created it from his own thoughts. He offered to show the mage around, and sent the rest of the group back to Earth. Waver wasted no time in pulling his dragonbone wand on the beast, hitting him with a substantial flamethrower. Kaltenstein responded with a breath of flame which Waver barely dodged, and was hit by another flamethrower. He delivered the third prophecy, saying, “You think you can survive? Still, after all you’ve seen? This was only the beginning, there is still so much more to come.” The dragon’s skin sloughed off, and his skeleton was clearly visible. Waver took Kaltenstein’s skull and Goddy back to Earth.
Goddy, upon arrival on Earth, was transformed into a regular paladin again (complete with sword and armor). He has taken up semi-permanent residence at the Arcanum. Waver will take the time to mount the skull, with a plaque that says ‘Herr Skulltenstein’. However, while he and Ryder were cleaning off the skull, her Aurora-powered vision turned on, and she found she couldn’t turn it off…



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