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Baltsaros Witch Project

Nahk, tossing and turning after tossing his squirrel and kabob stick, is plagued by nightmares on Abe’s mattress: The Deathless One appears before him, whispering from the darkness, and the unknowable darkness into which Nahk was nearly consumed startles him awake.

Baltsaros is in a corner, with his hands over his head and curled up. Bulotros appears at the head of his bed, asking him how he likes his new glaive. “It served me well for a time.” The face morphs into the Bakasura, his big toothy tiger grin shining down on Nahk, who is covered in sweat.

“It was always seven days,” the Bakasura reminds him. “We are allies for a time. So I must warn you that the Deathless One may be spying on you from the blade.”

Recalling that the Binder of the Dead had been absorbing the wraiths and specters and undead he had been killing, Nahk realizes that this could indeed be the case. After turning down a suspicious offer to take the blade and exorcise it himself, Nahk bids farewell to the Bakasura and tells him he’ll see him in hell for the rematch. The Bakasura smiles, releases Baltsaros from the suggestion to be baby in the corner, and leaves.

Bugged Bear

Nahk and Baltsaros share Abe’s doggy bag on the way to Livius’s house. Nat answers the door, mistaking herself for Livius’s door-opener-person, and Nahk tells everyone what the deal is:

“I’m a walking bug! Bear!” he says, basically, and they realize after way too long that they should be speaking in the crude sign language that they invented with Natalya. After realizing that it is not conveying enough information, they temporarily put the glaive in a safe while Nat and Livius consult the arcane library for more information.

Livius offers everyone to stay at the house, particularly since Baltsaros could’ve been easily mauled by the Bakasura (who used his disguise as Bulotros to worm his way in). Baltsaros doesn’t hear the offer but is helping himself to the larder and making a sandwich so he basically got the gist.

Natalya taps into the glaive and wonders if they can reverse the signal to try to spy on the Deathless One! What a concept! Unfortunately all of the souls that the Bakasura (and Nahk) have captured in the glaive make too much noise to hear the signal clearly enough to isolate it.

Putting their heads together, Livius and Nat decide to perform the exorcism (equivalent to one circle of candles, one drop of blood from the Deathless One’s sister, and 36 hours of chanting) and trap the spirit that emerges into a soulcage! Fun!

Casimir and Sora decide to take on an unspecified mission while Abe and Hobbes decide to kill the Bargainer, the vampire lord who has been undermining Hespero’s business.

I thought they were the Nice Siblings

Abe, Hobbes, and two of the Knives stalk the Undercity for three days, with the changelings taking on different forms and Abe using his invisibility (classic wizard move).

Meanwhile Nahk makes Livius and Natalya food as they perform their ritual and as Livius copies spells from Hespero into his spellbook. Casimir and Sora check in every now and then but they are always too tired to relate what they’ve been up to, “But it’s something big, trust me.”

Hobbes and the others make it to the Bargainer’s crypt, though as soon as they step in, a pair of meazels enter to give the gang some trouble. Abe rushes to the coffin, places a fire spell over it, and slides it open. The Bargainer vampire-stands up and is engulfed in flames!

Hobbes and Abe fight with the vampire while the Knives fight off the meazels. The Bargainer dominates Abraham and uses him to clobber Hobbes, cackling all the while. “You cannot best me! I am vampire! Ah ah ah!”

The Bargainer manages to critically sink his teeth into Hobbes’s neck, crying out, “Yummo! Gushers, my favorite snack! Ah ah ah!” This is followed by Abe chopping off Hobbes’s middle finger and bloodying him something awful, with Abraham saying all the while, “Why are you fighting the Bargainer? He’s a good guy!”

Finally, bruised and bloody, Hobbes has had enough, storms up to the Bargainer and plunges the fey blood into his heart and says something cool, punctuating it with changing his face to the Bargainer’s. “The king is dead. Long live the king.” That was it, just remembered it.

Abe charges Hobbes, realizing he just killed his best friend the Bargainer and, uh, gosh, wait, where was I? “I’m confused.” Hobbes spits out a tooth.

“Don’t tell anyone that guy charmed me. I don’t want the real wizards to know.”

Hobbes is touched by this level of vulnerability just as a blade sinks into his side.

Meanwhile back at the manor, the following exchange:

“I don’t know if they should be trusting people called the Knife Siblings.”

“The Knife Siblings? I thought they said the nice siblings!”

The Knife Siblings I guess wanted to take on the Bargainer’s role, but Abe just completely brutalizes them. Like wow, it was a bit much. One of the siblings covers the other’s decapitated head since it is taboo to see a changeling’s true face and weeps.

“I’ll give you something to cry about,” Abe says and decapitates them too. Wow, what the fuck.

Hobbes just shakes his head as he sees the true faces of these people he once called friends. Abe high fives him, both of them covered in blood.

“Just between us! Don’t forget!”

Hobbes takes a seat on the Bargainer’s throne, saying, “I think I could get used to this: Don Hobbes has a nice ring to it.”

Meanwhile Natalya says, “I like Hobbes. He seems like he’ll never be corrupted.”

Hobbes takes the ashes of the Bargainer to Hespero, who accepts them gladly, touches Hobbes’s sword for another +1 to the fey blade and presses a shed tear to Hobbes’s forehead to give him the Rakshasa’s Absolution: Freedom from a Rakshasa’s violence so long as the recipient does not target the Rakshasa first.

“Tsk,” Hespero says, stepping back in through the door like Homer into bushes, “OK bye.”

Hobbes meets up with the rest of the gang, though Casimir and Sora are still out on their mission. The soulcage is created and the Deathless One is trapped! Or at least part of them is.

Despite all my rage I’m still just a many-body eldritch abomination in a soulcage

The gang have a brief discussion about betrayal and what they’re going to do next, what they’re going to ask the Deathless One.

“Live your life ready for betrayal” Natalya says. She asks when the violence will stop and the others say that once they do this, it’ll be over.

Someone else tries to reassure her, “We don’t want some of these people to come out on top.”

“We were afraid of death and violence all around us, but we created our own monsters.” I think Nahk says this because someone else remarked, “You keep us honest, Nahk.”

What the hell did they ask the soulcaged Deathless One? Some bullshit that’s what. Answers? Resists fire and psychic and immune to poison and necrotic. Makes sense.

“Is my brother still in there?”

“Yes because I am what I was always meant to be.”

And damn, there’s something that will weaken them. A sort of opposing force to sirablood.

Natalya recalls from her studies that “sirablood is the blood of the fiends and even the devils’ ore contains it (which is how we refine it). Sirablood from a rock can be used in a blood transfusion for Hespero or the Bakasura for instance. Therefore, based on what the Deathless One has said (that sirablood can be neutralized by its opposite) that celestial blood may be its opposite.”

Natalya uses an infusion (turning KB’s decapitated head helmet back into a head) to make the soulcage permanent, adding a charge for every undead spectral creature killed by–Yeah that’s right and that’s been canon too anyway, I never said that it was any undead–it was just the ghostly ones! Makes sense, right? Zombies don’t have souls but ghosts are souls. This works. Take that!

Soul Fish Mukbang Challenge

The heroes go down to save Malory with the mad wizard still going on about the great weapon he’s going to take them to. Livius tries to pick the lock and then Natalya tries to pick the lock and well, they get him. Easy prison break too: None of the guards seemed to care! Natalya gets ready to manacle him but everyone is like, yeah no need for that.

On the road north, they make camp and Malory orders Hobbes to bring him tea and Nahk to bring him a blanket. They start to do so and Malory says, “I suppose you’ll be wanting back pay,” but Nahk says, “Actually you don’t have to pay us. We can just cancel to contract. We don’t work for you anymore.”

“Then why are you bringing me tea and a blanket?”

“Because we’re being nice?”

“No, I don’t want the tea if I’m not paying for it. Just never mind.” But they bring him the stuff anyway and Malory cozily drinks his tea under a blanket.

They see some refugees on the last day, coming from the direction of smoke. They ask the passersby what happened and they say that there are horrors that way, to turn back. Malory runs into the woods, crying out, “There it is! My bag!”

He retrieves the orange, Livius, Abe, and Nat watching with some amusement. Meanwhile Hobbes and Nahk overhear someone say, “They call that justice?” After some inquiry the refugee explains that there is a fiendish court set up, passing judgments and doling out torture as punishment.

Regrouping with the others, the heroes watch as Malory stuffs a big white fish into his mouth. “I think this is going to work!”

The heroes ask what that is and to stop eating the fish as he pulls out another one. They look closer and it’s not quite a fish but like a blobby sort of thing. Malory eats another one! They tell him to stop! Explain yourself! Nat says, “I knew him back when and he was less crazy. But still crazy, but less so.”

Malory finally stops and explains himself: It is Dark and Hell is Hot

“This is me! I think this will work. If I just eat all of these, I will finally become me!”

But swallowing 11 fishes looks to be tiring him out pretty bad. “OK, let me show you the weapon!”

The heroes crest the hill and see in the distance hundreds of people being tortured by furies and bearded devils and other devils. A long queue leads up to a desk where Zulon sits.

“There’s your weapon!”

“What? That’s not a weapon!”

“What? Sure he is! Look at his big army! OK bye!” and Malory turns into a duck and leaves to bring the orange to Charon.

Not a day over 631

The heroes, uh, get in line I guess. They watch as about one out of every five people is allowed to go free while the rest, the majority, are sent to different torture stations.

Zulon greets them and Livius takes the lead on a pale phantom steed made to look undead. Which is not really Zulon’s whole thing. He looks upon it critically. “Finally an ambassador from Argot come to parley! I have your army back there!” He points to the captured soldiers and General Beren who were lost in the Battle of the Foothills during Phase 4 - The Fall of Kalens and the Arrival of Zulon - Day 31-36. “So you’ve come to ransom them? What will you give me?”

Natalya and Livius try to reason with Zulon, telling him that there is an even worse abomination coming: The Deathless One, who has cheated death many times. He is a true abomination who requires Zulon’s fiery judgment, they argue, and Zulon sees the reason here. Zulon asks for 500 souls to be sacrificed to him.

“In exchange I shall provide the following:”

  • Zulon will return the captured soldiers (and throw in Malbec Riesling for free)
  • Zulon will provide a third of his forces to the Argoti cause and abstain from killing any Argoti and attack only the troops of the Deathless One
  • He will pass judgment on the Deathless One and their minions
  • 30 days after the completion, 500 people will be sacrificed to Zulon

They try to negotiate, saying, “What about like a bunch of rakshasas!”

“No. Mortals only. I don’t fuck with other fiends like that.”

Finally Livius offers himself. “I am a necro man, sir, and I have committed such crimes that I should take the place of the 500 souls.”

Zulon grins a toothy grin and says, “Her too,” pointing to Natalya. “You smell returned. You have cheated death and have 632 years on you. Far beyond a mortal’s life. You too must be judged.”

The final clause is amended by Zulon’s little imp clerk to read

  • 30 days after the completion, Livius and Natalya will report to hell for judgment

And they sign it.

Nahk says, “It just says judgment. Doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll kill you guys or torture you.” As if on cue, a torture victim’s scream tears through them.

The signed contract rolls back up, the order goes out to release the soldiers and Malbec, and Zulon says,


Beyond the smoke, the Godsbody looms in the far distance.

Travel Quests

  • Parley with Zulon ☑
  • Free Mallory ☑
  • The Liminal Arrow

Skill Challenge Per Day Quests

  • Counterintelligence
  • Undermine Calantha
  • Disrupt Mineosi Operations
  • Kill the Bargainer ☑
  • Exorcise the Binder of the Dead ☑

Single Moment Quests

  • Casino Heist
  • Kill Hespero and Armand
  • Kill the Duchess

It is day 51 since the Battle of Aurochs Island, the first engagement of the Argoti-Mineosi War.

The Argotnauts are standing before Zulon.

Malory Whisperbottom exits, transformed into a duck.

Casimir Flüf and Sora Nemmonis are on a mission!

You have two solid cubes and a ring of seven keys:

  • One of the pine wood cubes is on the floor of the ship
  • Livius Anastasius Cratius has the cube made of bone found in Iskos Valley Village’s elders’ hut
  • Natalya has one of the pine wood cubes and the ring of seven keys; she dropped the obsidian cube containing her heart into the ocean

Zulon has been on the material plane for 20 days.

The Deathless One’s invading military are expected to arrive in 9 days.

Previous episode: we never did catch that guy who bound him naked to a table

Next Episode: gransoms wife is named greautiful go ahead ask me more i dare you

Unlocked!: It is Dark and Hell is Hot

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