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Episode 193: Meanwhile...

    Mount Celestia. Heaven, some mortals called it. Home of the celestials: angels, arch-angels, devas, paladins, and the souls of all righteous mortals.
    And under siege.
    They had long counted on the Blood War to keep the lower fiends in check. The Tanar'ri had raged against the Baatezu for time immemorial, with the Yugoloths hiring out to both sides.
    But with the Abyss destroyed... and the Tanar'ri Demons gone...
    The Youngest stared at the battle map. The lower defenses were gone, as were the lower altitudes. The vortex breach in the upper altitudes loomed ominously, daring any to take flight and be sucked away to the Nothing.
    It was not the first time fiends had attacked the mountain. But it was the first time they had ever been allied like this. The Devils and Yugoloths were bad enough, but in their sweep across the lawful planes, they had now joined the Modrons and Inevitables to their banner. To Jergal's banner. Two gods had fallen today. In the past that would have been unthinkable. Now it seemed like light casualties.
    "We can't hold here," Thor growled from a corner, wiping a smear of blood from his face. Most of it his own.
    The Youngest shook her head. "It's a natural defense. The fortifications array the entire mountain. We have the high ground. More than we know what to do with."
    "It was a trap. Jergal wants us on the defensive. We're cornered. The horde in front, oblivion behind."
    "What would you have me do?" she swallowed hard, trying to compose herself. "I am not my father. I can't lead this army. And we can't get to Sigil. My mother has seen to that."
    "What of the mortals you sent? You said they could breach the barriers."
    "The assault on the First World has begun. I can't see them anymore. I don't know... I just... don't know."
    The fortress on the edge of oblivion was shuddering again. Elera wasn't sure if it was the Nothing or her extreme annoyance. Because Torin was chatting with the hussy again.
    Elera continued to scribble in her journal, but her attention was on the two of them, clearly engaged in something fascinating. She paused for a moment and looked down at her work, which was now a series of jagged lines.
    "Gods..." she sighed to herself. Composure was important. Get it under--
    The fortress shook again. The inkpot spilled over.
    "Dammit." she finished. How come no mage had ever invented a pen that didn't need a bottle of ink and feathers to work?
    She was still cleaning up when she heard a cough and an "ahem." She looked up.
    "So, uh, Elera..." Torin was saying, looking awkward (though that was hardly unusual). "Embra and I were talking." He paused and then chuckled. "Hey, you ever notice how your names are kind of similar? Elera, Embra..."
    "Really," Elera snarled as civilly has possible. She attempted to smile at the fiend girl, but she was pretty sure her hair was sparking.
    "Uh, yeah. Anyway... it was about the Nothing. Folding it up, or something."
    There was a brief silence.
    "I can explain," put in Embra, adjusting her glasses (how did she make that look so sexy?!) "From what I've gathered, the Nothing is a vast vacuum of folded space. What that means is that it basically allows movement between all points in space. At least potentially. I like to call it a Rat Hole." The stares lasted far too long. "Never mind the name. The point is, I think a properly defended vessel or person could survive the Nothing long enough to reach another point in space. Like a portal."
    "You mean... like to reach Sigil?"
    "Yes. With the portals closed, it might be the only way. And from what I've learned, if we're to defeat this thing, we have to reach Sigil."
    "Well, that's all well and good," Torin put in. "But wouldn't the Lady of Pain just, um, make our heads explode as soon as we get there? Since she's gone bad and everything."
    Embra nodded. "Bergimon might have something to address that. But a lot of what it comes down to is numbers. We need an army in Sigil. Enough to battle the gods."
    "Mortals can't kill gods," said Elera. "That's a well known fact."
    "It's a well known falsehood," said Embra. "People mistake power for invincibility. People think gods are omnipotent because they can blow you up from a mile away. But there's limits to everything. They can't ignore a sword through the gut or an explosion in their face. The trick is getting close enough to actually deal damage."
    "An army," Torin reiterated.
    "Exactly." Embra stared at Torin, looking expectant.
    "Huh?" said Torin
    "You're an Aasimar," said Embra. "Half-Celestial?"
    Torin blinked. "So?"
    Elera choked back her sigh. Embra seemed rather more patient. "The last army of angels stands on Mount Celestia, with the last of the good Powers. It is a lost cause."
    Torin nodded slowly. "I suppose... wow. I wonder what Mom'll say?"
    Elera raised an eyebrow towards the demon-girl. "And what are you going to be doing then? Sitting here and drinking coffee?"
    Embra chuckled. "Hardly... the war's coming to Sigil, right?" She clenched a fist. "Someone needs to incite rebellion."

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Yeah... this episode was a bad idea and I kind of hate it. Oh well. I can still retcon the glaring plotholes I created with it!

Mentioned doing one of these... well, I guess it was last year or so. But there's several plot sections that we need to cover, and I figure I can address them far more rapidly with a few (mostly) text updates! (And, with any luck, any more I do may be a bit more timely in their updateiness.)

Copyright 2005-2012 by Travers Jordan

This comic parodies aspects of TSR/Wizard's of the Coasts Planescape AD&D campaign setting under the Fair Use clause of U.S. copyright law. All images are the creation of the author except where otherwise credited.