Scenario:Aglovale - Blade and Mind of Steel

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Blade and Mind of Steel

In the depths of night, a shadowy figure suddenly manifests in the keep of Wales Castle and attacks a regent, taking control of his body. The following day the regent encourages Aglovale to excavate the caved-in facility wherein the underground chamber and related phenomena were researched, and then join forces with the Otherworld once more. Aglovale consents.

???: Gweh-heh-heh...
On one darkling night, obsidian clouds shroud the moon.
A shady figure suddenly appears in the ward of Wales Castle and creeps along as if hunting prey.
Regent: Sigh...
???: ...
The figure turns into a black fog and lashes out at the person who passes it.
Regent's Voice: Gwaaah!
???: Your body looks like it'll do...
Regent's Voice: Guh! Who's...
The fog swallows up the person and turns him into its marionette.
Regent: ...
???: Gweh-heh-heh...
The following day dawns.
The regent steps ahead and bows his head reverentially to Aglovale, who has just finished with an assembly of the round table.
Regent: There's a matter that I must raise with you, King Aglovale.
Aglovale: Then why did you not speak up during the assembly?
Regent: The issue being what it is, I'd first like to share it with Your—
Aglovale: Speak.
Regent: It's concerning the past attempt to open the gate of the Otherworld.
Aglovale: Only a small handful of people are aware of that...
Regent: To me, such information is no scarce commodity.
Regent: Was that not why you enlisted me into the state?
Aglovale: Humph, you speak the truth. Continue.
Regent: The large underground chamber which caved in, and the research facility that served to investigate the Otherworld...
Regent: What if you were to excavate them?
Regent: Your reforms, Aglovale, have transformed Wales into a veritable rising star.
Regent: Is this not, then, the time to found an empire that will span the world?
Aglovale: ...
Aglovale scrutinizes the regent's subtle movements in an attempt uncover his true intentions.
Not picking up on this, the regent continues to gesticulate through his impassioned attempt to convince the king to unearth the sites.
Regent: True, they might have been destroyed by some of the Feendrache orderlies...
Regent: But the dragon nodes' location is a known.
Regent: And a recent investigation showed that a fraction of the power still flows through the nodes.
Regent: What good will hesitation do? The time for excavation is—
Aglovale: You're suggesting, then, that we join forces with the Otherworld once again.
Regent: Indeed, my lord.
Aglovale: Hm...
The regent continues his fiery speech to Aglovale, who sits wordlessly upon his throne.
Regent: The old days are past, and now our registers are filled with eminent scholars.
Regent: If we join forces with them, we could make use of the Otherworld's dreadful powers—they would assist in the path of domination!
Aglovale: (Humph, this is the most audacious thing I've heard in a while.)
Aglovale: Let us excavate the underground chamber and research lab as you say.
Aglovale: We will talk more after that.
Regent: Yes sir! As you wish, King Aglovale!
The regent begins enlisting skilled diggers into state positions.
Leading the crew of diggers, he prepares to excavate the collapsed underground chamber.

Blade and Mind of Steel: Scene 2

Returning to Wales for an assignment several days later, the crew is walking though the bustling town when Percival catches the scent of gunpowder wafting in from the west of Wales Castle. He races toward the source and finds laborers who have almost finished excavating the caved-in underground chamber where the battle with the Otherworld Key took place. The crew hurries into the chamber.

Several days pass.
(Captain) and the others have come to Wales to deliver a shipment.
As during their previous visit, crowds of people fill the market.
Vyrn: Whoa... This place is still popping.
Percival: Hm... It seems that a host of crews are carrying shipments here just as we are.
Percival: Who would've thought my brother's policies would have us so busy?
Vyrn: Hehe, not me!
Lyria: Don't you think we should deliver the load and get lunch?
Hearing Lyria's stomach rumble, (Captain) and the others let out a good-natured laugh.
Lyria: Hehe...
Vyrn: All right! Let's wrap up this delivery for Lyria and everyone else.
As (Captain) and party members are unloading the packages, they notice an unexpected odor.
It seems to be drifting in on the wind from the west of Wales Castle.
Percival: (Is that... the scent of gunpowder?)
Vyrn: Huh? What gives, Sir Burnsalot?
Percival: There's something I'd like to look into. My apologies, but please see the load to its destination.
Vyrn: H-hey! Where are you going?
Lyria: I wonder what's happening. What should we do, (Captain)?
  1. Let's follow him!
  2. Maybe he had a snack attack.

Choose: Let's follow him!
Vyrn: That's right. It's Sir Burnsalot we're talking about—there's gotta be something going down!
Go to "Continue 1"

Choose: Maybe he had a snack attack.
Lyria: Do you think he smelled a tasty restaurant?
Vyrn: Hey, hey, what are you saying?
Vyrn: He made a serious face and ran off all of a sudden! There's gotta be something going down.
Continue 1
(Captain) and associates entrust a nearby shop with their haul and follow in Percival's wake.
Percival: ...
Guided by the scent of the gunpowder on the wind, Percival arrives near the western wall of Wales Castle.
There seems to be no trace of anything unusual on the surrounding grassy plains.
Percival: (I hope it was only my imagination...)
Percival: Hm?
While inspecting the vicinity in detail, Percival notices a large pit.
It's wide enough that an adult could easily enter. A ladder leads into the depths.
Percival: (The scent of gunpowder is emanating from within. But what is this hole in the first place?)
When Percival is about to enter the hole, a voice sounds out from behind.
Lyria: Percival!
Percival: Ah, my vassals...
Vyrn: Is something going on? You had me worried when you ran off...
Percival: My apologies. Something just caught my attention.
(Captain) and the others peek into the pit that Percival stands before.
Lyria: Um... Does that hole go somewhere?
Percival: I'm not sure. But I smelled gunpowder coming from it...
Vyrn: Did you catch a whiff from way back there? You've sure got a nose on you!
Vyrn: For as many times as you called Blondie a mutt, you're the one who—
Percival: ...
Vyrn: Hahaha, never mind!
  1. Let's go in.

Choose: Let's go in.
Percival: Right. You can follow behind me.
(Captain) and the others climb down the ladder into the hole.
Reaching the bottom of the hole, they notice torchlight flickering in a tunnel off to one side.
Lyria: The lights are on, but nobody's here...
Vyrn: Whaddaya think this place is?
Percival: Well... I don't know why a tunnel would be dug in a place like this.
Percival: But an answer's sure to present itself if we continue onward.
A few moments after hearing the reverberations of two raucous voices, a pair of soil-sodden men appear.
Laborer 1: Whoa!
Vyrn: Whoooa!
Laborer 1: Who're you supposed to be?
Vyrn: You took the words from my mouth. Don't go scarin' us like that...
Percival: We're a band of skyfarers who just happened to find a big hole near the castle. Yes, coincidentally...
Percival: What is it that you're doing here?
Laborer 1: Ah, yeah, that's, uh...
Vyrn: Hey, no need to hide nothin' from us.
Vyrn: We're all friends here!
Laborer 1: All friends?
Laborer 2: Ah! You're... You wouldn't be Percival, would you?
Laborer 1: Huh? Perci-who?
Laborer 2: Ah, I'm sorry! He's still a newbie here!
Percival: Don't concern yourself. Now what are you doing here?
Laborer 2: Truth to tell, we're digging out the collapsed underground chamber. Using gunpowder, boring down...
Percival: You're digging out the underground chamber?
Lyria: Percival, could it be...
Percival: Yes... It's likely where the battle against the Otherworld Key took place.
Vyrn: Hey, so how far down did you dig to get to the underground chamber?
Laborer 2: This morning we blew up a big ol' rock that was in our path. All that's left now is to tidy up.
Percival: ...
Percival: I can't believe that my brother would repeat the same mistake. What purpose would that serve?
  1. Now is no time for questions!

Choose: Now is no time for questions!
Percival: (Captain)... You speak the truth. Onward, my vassals!
Lyria: Yeah!
Vyrn: Yeeeah!
Pushed on by (Captain), Percival takes the lead and advances deep into the tunnel.

Blade and Mind of Steel: Scene 3

In the underground chamber, Aglovale defeats the Otherworld fiend who had possessed the regent; though Aglovale pretended to be deceived by the possessor, he was actually deceiving it. (Captain) and the others enter the chamber just in time to see Aglovale use a magic circle to summon the Otherworld fiend with whom he'd formerly made a pact. He then raises his blade to contend against it without others' help.

Aglovale steps into the underground chamber that the regent encouraged him to excavate.
The earth and rubble that once filled it have been cleared out. It's almost as if there was never any cave-in to begin with.
Aglovale: (Humph... Who would've thought those loathsome magic circles would still be in place?)
Regent: King Aglovale, the documents that were present in the lab have been retrieved without incident.
Aglovale: Bahaha! I had no intention of unearthing this place...
Aglovale: But you have served me well. Have a word of praise.
Regent: Oh my! May I some day be worthy of it...
Aglovale takes some of the documents from the lab in hand and begins to review them.
Aglovale: (I should like to encounter that fiend a second time, for if I do, then surely...)
Regent: Now then, King Aglovale! Let us commence summoning with this magic circle...
Regent: And forget not the pact! The Otherworld Key will be ours, and once it is, opening the gate to the Otherworld will be no great task.
When the regent speaks, Aglovale's hand stops paging though the documents.
Aglovale: You're talking about renewing the pact with that otherworldly being?
Regent: Yes, the magical circles that your father was researching exist for the purpose of summoning.
Regent: Indeed, this time the power of the dragon nodes is...
Aglovale: Heh heh...
Aglovale: Bahaha!
Regent: King Aglovale... Is there some issue?
Aglovale: Why, no... It seems that I'd jumped to conclusions.
Aglovale shoots the regent a contemptuous glance.
Aglovale: We're through here.
Regent: Hm?
Aglovale: I was under the mistaken impression that making a pact with you was needed to summon that being.
Aglovale: But now, realizing that my father's research and a magic circle is all that's necessary...
Aglovale: I have no time to continue playing along with your wretched farce.
Regent: ...
Aglovale: Show yourself, worthless knave. On your own you are powerless.
Regent: What!
Aglovale: Is something wrong? Are you trembling there inside my regent?
Realizing that Aglovale was in command all along, the regent flies into a rage.
Regent: You blathering—
Aglovale: Oh? Howling now, are you? Very well—then step forward where I can see you!
Regent: You think you're clever, don't you, mortal?
???: You won't get away with this! You won't!
The regent's body begins convulsing, and a moment later black smoke pours from his mouth and assumes the form of an otherworldly being.
Aglovale: ...
???: Gweh-heh-heh...
???: You will regret calling me powerless—
Aglovale: Haaaah!
It takes only a moment.
Aglovale slices off the lancer's head with a single sweep of his sword.
???: Ghlrrrgg...
Aglovale: How foolish of you... attempting to manipulate me.
Just as the otherworldly being disappears, the regent regains consciousness.
Regent: Mmm... What happened to me?
Aglovale: Heh...
Aglovale extends a hand and helps the regent to his feet.
Regent: I...
Aglovale: There's no need to think. Return to your quarters and rest.
Regent: But...
Aglovale: If you overextend yourself, your performance in tomorrow's assembly will surely be affected. Recuperate for your homeland's sake.
Regent: If that is your command, King Aglovale, I will gladly oblige.
Aglovale looks on kindly as the regent heads toward the exit.
Aglovale: (He seems to have been suffering from fatigue. The otherworld beings shouldn't have been able to manipulate him otherwise.)
Aglovale: (Caring for my retainers' health is among my duties. I must take more care in the future.)
Percival: Brother!
Aglovale: Well now...
Aglovale grins at the party, who rushes in as if to replace the regent.
Aglovale: Have you come to deliver a shipment to Wales?
Percival: Yes, but now I...
Aglovale: Bahaha! You've certainly done well to find this place, Brother.
Vyrn: Sir Burnsalot sniffed out the gunpowder coming from the pit.
Aglovale: Did he now...
Percival: Brother, what were you trying to do in this pit?
Aglovale: Did you think that I'd repeat the same mistake?
Percival: No, surely not, but... Concern got the better of me.
Aglovale: There is a reason that I've come down here for a second time.
Aglovale: And, as such, only one thing remains to be done.
With his late father's research materials in one hand, Aglovale draws magic circles on the four walls.
Percival: What are you...
Aglovale: Watch and see...
He begins chanting a spell from the documents, and the walls begin to glow.
Turning back to the magic circle in the center of the chamber, he then calls out to the Otherworld.
Space in the chamber begins to warp and is at last covered in a murky ebon darkness which obstructs the party's sight.
Lyria: Eeek!
Vyrn: Whoa!
When the darkness clears, the otherworldly being that had once attempted to manipulate Aglovale in a past incident manifests in the center of the magic circle.
???: ...
Aglovale: How long has passed... You worried me, leaving without a parting word.
???: What of it? What do you want now—you who are commanded by human passions?
Aglovale: Do not condescend to me.
???: Gweheheh... You are laughable.
???: You say that you would quell rival states, and I intended to lend my power.
???: But your purpose is not what I believed. We are through here.
Aglovale: No, we are not. I cannot allow you to redeem your sullied name.
Percival: Brother, I'll assist.
Aglovale: No... This is simple enough for me to handle alone. Watch from where you are.
Inhaling deeply, Aglovale glowers at the being and slowly reaches toward his blade.
Aglovale: ...
???: For the sake of pride, you wager your life. Pheh heh heh... Well enough. You will turn to dust.
Aglovale: Haaah!
The noble then draws up his blade and slashes at the sneering being.

Blade and Mind of Steel: Scene 4

In the underground chamber, Aglovale defeats the Otherworld fiend who had possessed the regent; though Aglovale pretended to be deceived by the possessor, he was actually deceiving it. (Captain) and the others enter the chamber just in time to see Aglovale use a magic circle to summon the Otherworld fiend with whom he'd formerly made a pact. He then raises his blade to contend against it without others' help.

???: Gwrgnhh... I underestimated you...
The artful swordsmanship of Aglovale takes a heavy toll on the otherworldly being.
Sensing the danger, the being warps space in a moment's time and attempts to flee.
Aware that its power is contained by the surrounding barrier, Aglovale does not so much as flinch.
???: What!
Aglovale: It seems that my father's research served a purpose after all.
Vyrn: When did you—
Percival: Just a bit ago, before reaching out to the Otherworld.
Percival: To think he'd know to prepare a barrier in anticipation of this...
Lyria: He's just as skilled as his little brother!
???: Gnnnph...
Aglovale: I've had my fill of this game. Let us end this.
???: Gwahahaha! Do not grow conceited! One day this world is certain to be ours, and—
Aglovale: Silence.
???: Gaaaah!
Aglovale refuses to lend his ears to the otherworldly being; instead he simply cleaves it in half.
Its body vanishes as if swallowed up by the darkness.
Aglovale: Mouthy little creature...
Percival: ...
Aglovale: Is something amusing? You're smiling enough, I think.
Percival: No, it's simply that I'm relieved.
Aglovale: Under my rule, Wales will be a mighty land—there is no need for me to borrow the power of those malformed creatures. That would be unconscionable.
Aglovale: And how could I show my face to you and Lamorak if I did?
Percival: No, that's—
Aglovale: Well, this is the end.
Aglovale: What do you say we return to the castle and feast?
Aglovale: You come too, vassals. Share with me your stories of travel.
Aglovale: The knowledge I gain could lead to new reforms.
Lyria: Yes sir!
At that very moment, Lyria's stomach rumbles loudly.
Lyria: Ooooh...
Vyrn: You said it... We're starving...
Aglovale: Bahahaha! Let's return to the castle now, all.
Aglovale: ...
Aglovale stops in his tracks as if suddenly recalling something.
He extends his father's research materials away from his body...
And holds them squarely above a burning torch.
Aglovale: ...
Aglovale: (I will become a man worthy to preside over the House of Wales...)
Flame consumes the documents and turns them to ash.
As he gazes at the rising smoke, Aglovale vows to fortify Wales on his own.
He hopes that the day will come in which he and his two brothers can converse at length in peace.