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Ash and Ash 2 Plot synoposis & discussion (Spoilers!)

05-18-2012, 10:44 PM
#1
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 146
Ash and Ash 2 Plot synoposis & discussion (Spoilers!)

So... I was never quite able to figure out whether it was OK to link to this off-site or not. Therefore I'm posting it here.

Every time a new chapter of Ash comes out, I find myself asking for a synopsis of the plot so far because I've forgotten details between chapters. However, no one seems to have written one. So I decided to write one myself and I discovered why... this sucker's long! I found it interesting, though, and I decided to post in case someone else might also find it interesting/useful as a reminder of what's happened in the past. Maybe even some discussion. SRRN Games does say it's not just about the game, it's about the conversation afterwards, after all. :-)

Having made the synopsis, the things that strike me as unanswered questions include (Chapter 2 spoilers):

Besides the obvious -- what's going to happen to the Magistrate, what's going to happen to Nick, and whether and how Aghus will be saved from corruption:

What was Nick up to during the time between Ash and Ash 2?
What sort of game is Erik playing? Why is he doing all this?
Is Zadkiel actually telling us all he knows?
Why do all major corrupted beings call each other "brother"?
How did the corruption escape from behind the barriers in the first place?

Or at least those are the ones that occur to me. :-)


I will go ahead and put in one link (I hope that's OK). This has links to versions with summarize events only through Ash and only through Ash 2 Chapter 1, in case someone wants those before they start Ash 2 chapters 1 or 2.

https://sites.google.com/site/ashandash2plotsynopsis/

(The synopsis is split across several posts for length reasons.)

(Should I take out the spoiler text in the following posts?)

Last edited by Bethany; 05-18-2012 at 10:55 PM. Reason: Added question
05-18-2012, 10:48 PM
#2
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 146
Ash Synopsis Part 1

All sections of this synopsis contain spoilers through the end of Ash 2, Chapter 2. Read at your own risk!

Events before the beginning of Ash:


Before the Catastrophe


· The Lightbringers teach humanity to use the arcane. In retrospect, this may have been a mistake.

· Because humans are not bound to serve the Allfather as Lightbringers are, humans misuse magic in a way that creates the corruption

· 3000 years before the events in Ash, the Lightbringers seal the corruption into the Sanctum behind a barrier that only they can cross, seal Avadgar to those who don’t know the spell, and destroy the written record of the arcane in the outside world.

· However, this seems to contradict what Gregor says in Chapter 1, which implies that Avadgar wasn’t sealed off until after the Great War, and certainly it seems that people from Aghaus came and went regularly.

· It also seems to contradict the fact that according to the journals in the ruined tower and some comments in Chapter 1, Nilejan sorcerers were working with the Aghausian forces in the Great War. (However, Olesanmi mentions the 3,000 year figure in Ash.)


The founding of Aghaus

· Aleksander 1 unites three fiefdoms to form Aghaus. To get their support he gives each of their leaders positions as the first Forgotten Ones: The Sword (general of the army) the Stone (the Magistrate) and the Shield (the captain of the royal guard).

· To ensure their loyalty to him, he has them take an oath created for him by Zadkiel (or at least made with knowledge Zadkiel taught him while he (Aleksander) was studying in Avadgar) which magically binds them do they can never betray the rightful king.

· This oath means the Forgotten Ones are no longer completely human, but have a little bit of Lightbringer. Presumably this seemed like a good idea at the time.



The Great War

· Some time later, King Erik II decided to establish a city in Avadgar and sends Gregor (his Shield) and Magnus (his Magistrate) to oversee the settlement.

· The Lightbringers taught Gregor and Magnus about Avadgar but wouldn’t tell them about the corruption, apparently not realizing that keeping something secret is the best way to make humans obsessed with learning about it.

· Magnus, whose family had recently died (except apparently for his son Erik?) thought the corruption was the reason the Lightbringers were immortal. (Also Zadkiel says Magnus “sought something of mine, something very valuable.” He may or may not have meant immortality.)

· Because of the oath that made him a Forgotten One and part Lightbringer, Magnus could cross the barrier into the Sanctum.

· Also because of the magic of the oath, he was able to hide his corruption for some months.

· Again, because of the oath, Magnus’ being corrupted is extra-bad and makes him extra-powerful. Like “Lord of Darkness trying to take over the world” powerful.

· He used the corruption to gather an army, turning villagers, etc. then convinced Zadkiel and Gregor that the Lightbringers and the Aghausian army should fight his corrupted thralls.

· When the battled started Magnus revealed his corruption and impaled Zadkiel on his own sword.

· The wounded Zadkiel is saved by Gregor.

· I think this may be the point where Gregor was killed, then saved by the Lightbringers, who put him inside a stone body. (Based on the journal entries Damien and Co. found in the tower, which say “The Commander” is dying immediately after the betrayal.)

· This journal entry also mentions a “damned sword” which may or may not be Zadkiel’s sword and may or may not mean anything.

· As more and more soldiers died (and Magnus recruited them and reanimated their corpses) the good guys were pushed further from the Sanctum.

· Gregor and Zadkiel are briefly able to hold Magnus (creating the Great Scar) for long enough to create the barriers and seal him – along with a bunch of the Aghausian army – into the Badlands.

· According to Gregor, this is when Avadgar was finally sealed away.

· Gregor is left behind to protect the wards.

· Magnus retires to the Sanctum Keep and is not seen outside it again. Ominous.

· At one point Yulia says this was 700 years before the present time. Erik says 8 centuries. Others just say “hundreds of years.”

· Although Gregor seems to think that that Forgotten Ones (at least) should know of the existence of Avadgar, knowledge of its existence eventually becomes legend and the few sailors who try to find it, “Sunchasers,” are thought to be crazy by everyone else.



Before Ash

· About 30 years before the events in Ash, Nick is inducted to the Royal Guard at the age of 19 and meets Coral, his future wife. (It’s not clear whether this is also when Nick becomes the Shield. Later dialogue suggests it is, but unless the Forgotten Ones are chosen in a different manner than people would normally be chosen to be generals, magistrates, etc. 19 seems very young for someone to be made captain of anything.)

· 13-year-old Damien Leshrac is brought to the capitol and the captain of the Royal Guard, , Nicholas Creval, is assigned to train him.

· The corruption returns to Aghus.

· At some point, the Magistrate creates the Black Guard to fight the corruption. They carry swords of obsidian, which seems like it would make an awfully fragile sword to me, but apparently obsidian can be used to contain the corruption. Each Black Guard has a little bit of corruption sealed inside him using the arcane, in an attempt to make him more powerful against the corruption. My guess is, in retrospect this will probably turn out to have been a mistake.

· 5 years before the beginning of Ash, King Lars dies and Edward, the Magistrate, takes over the country.

· Damien later suspects the Magistrate had a hand in Lars’ death, but based on what Zadkiel says about the magic of the Forgotten Ones’ oath that prevents him or her from betraying the rightful king, that seems unlikely (or at least, it must be more complicated that a simple power grab).

· Also 5 years before the beginning of Ash – but after the death of the King -- the Magistrate sends Nick, Damien and the entire Royal Guard to a village, allegedly to investigate a rebellion but actually to investigate the corruption.

· The Black Guard arrive at the village shortly afterward and order Nick, Damien, and the Royal Guard to kill all the farmers. When Nick refuses, the Black Guard kill the villagers and the Royal Guard. Nick and Damien escape.

· The Magistrate kills Nick’s wife and 8-year-old son and puts out the news that the Guard was killed by the farmers and that Nick and his family were killed in an accident.

· Nick and Damien turn mercenary and wander the countryside for 5 years.

· Meanwhile, the Black Guard destroy any village where the corruption is found, apparently telling people these are rebellions that are being put down. Because this is not a good way to win friends and influence people, this leads to an actual rebellion.

· 3 years before Ash, in Oruiko, Yuka’s powers as a shaman start awaken.

· 2 years before Ash, Yuka travels to Aghaus in hopes of finding out why she’s begun to show healing powers. She is arrested by the Magistrate when she lands in Corolla and forced to heal badly injured men.

· Some unspecified period of time later, Yuka materializes back in Corolla and is taken in by William, the leader of the resistance. How she got there isn’t known. (Note that except for the various lanterns, etc. that teleport you – which I see more as an RPG mechanism to keep your party from being trapped in a place they can’t fight their way out of than an actual plot point – to date Erik is the only being we’ve met who can teleport people from place to place.)

· Nick and Damien kill some bandits that are attacking the town of Nikel.
05-18-2012, 10:50 PM
#3
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 146
Ash Synopsis Part 2

All sections of this synopsis contain spoilers through the end of Ash 2, Chapter 2. Read at your own risk!

Ash 1


· Nick and Damien agree investigate why miners are disappearing in a mine near Nikel.

· They fight a mutated bandit deep in the mine.

· With a bright green flash, Nick is knocked unconscious and the monster disappears. Nick is corrupted.

· Nick and Damien go the imperial archives at Rattfeld to try find to find out what happened to Nick’s arm, now black from corruption. They learn that the green flash has something to do with the arcane.

· Still looking for an explanation for what happened to Nick, they decide to resupply in Celan before heading through the mountain passes into Corolla, a port town known to have many healers from the Northern Continent.

· The duo discover that villagers from Celan brining back ore from Nikel also brought the corruption with them. They kill 3 corrupted monsters that once were people (infected with an illness presumably caused by corruption, though they didn’t turn black like Nick’s arm) who turned into monsters when a JRPG Villain (later revealed to be named Erik) arrived in town.

· JPRG Villain re-appears and tries to knock out Nick and Damien, but only Damien is affected. JRPG Villain is intrigued. He releases Damien to Nick and says a number of creepy things, including telling Nick he won’t kill Nick because he isn’t a “kinslayer.” (Note that all the major corrupted beings call each other – and Nick -- “brother.” This presumably means something.)

· They go through the Starspur towards Corolla. The guards at the entrance to the Starspur are conveniently gone (presumably killed by the Black Guard). Near the end of the Starspur they find a mountain village that was destroyed by the Black Guard, along with the bodies of some Imperial guards.

· Nick and Damien try to book passage to the Northern Continent, Iruiko , known for its healers. No one will take them because the channel has been overrun by pirates. Arr!

· A minotaur appears in the center of town for no readily apparent reason. Damien is injured by it and healed by Yuka.

· Yuka tries to get Nick and Damien to join the rebellion against the Empire, but Nick doesn’t want to get involved, saying it’s not his problem. Damien disagrees. Eventually Nick agrees to join them, after Damien gets into a fight with an imperial officer.

· Nick and Damien agree to join the rebellion and come up with a plan to take Corolla, then meet in Staunton to take Keshvar and a western supply depot, cutting off supplies and forcing the Magistrate to send his troops out of the capitol, at which point they plan to kill the Magistrate.

· Meanwhile, Olesanmi comes to Aghaus to investigate rumors of corruption.

· Yuka joins the party and they sail to Avon, on the way fighting pirates and bizarre bird-pirate hybrids.

· Nick admits to the Damien that he’s begun to hear a voice (later revealed to be Magnus, who controls all corrupted beings).

· In Avon, they hear about Olesanmi and decide to find him to see if he knows anything about the corruption that could help cure Nick.

· He doesn’t. They do end up fighting a dragon in a cave near Staunton who calls Nick “brother” and says other mysterious and alarming things.

· Olesanmi explains that believes that whatever caused the Catastrophe has returned. (Which later events seem to suggest isn’t the case exactly, although as of Chapter 2 we still don’t know how the corruption escaped from the barriers in the first place.)

· Nick admits to Damien that he has not dreamed about his wife and son since he was corrupted at Nikel. He asks Damien to kill him if the corruption eventually turns him into a monster. (Damien at various later times makes statements suggesting that he does intend to keep that promise if Nick is truly fallen.)

· Nick and Co. take the Imperial supply depot while the rebels take Keshvar. Our Heroes fight Marcus, a fellow Sifter, when they are unable to convince him to turn against the Magistrate. They leave him locked in the depot until the rebels arrive so he can’t warn the Magistrate.

· JRPG Villain reappears and attacks the party. Nick threatens him and eventually he leaves after saying more mysterious and alarming things and suggesting that he is the source of the corruption (some of the things Erik says suggests he thinks he’s responsible for corrupting Nick as well). Nick says that Erik is not the source of the voice. (According to Zadkiel, Magnus is.)

· In Keshvar, Nick tells the party about his past and passes out with a flash of magic. Yuka explains that the corruption is spreading much faster. Olesanmi suggests that maybe it would be safest to kill Nick. Damien is not pleased, saying he’ll kill Nick when he’s completely gone and not a minute sooner.

· The rebellion plans the final attack. The plan is lure the Imperial army into the field, drawing them out so Nick and Co. can kill the Magistrate, declare Nick King by a little-known rule called lateral succession which can be invoked when the king dies with no heir (but which was apparently never invoked by the Magistrate?) and have Nick abdicate in favor of William.

· To accomplish this, Yuka and Olesanmi cast a spell that makes the rebel forces look larger than they are. Evidently while naked.

· The rebel forces meet the Imperial army.

· Nick and Co. arrive in the throne room to discover the Magistrate and most of the Black Guard left earlier that day.

· The remaining Black Guard will not tell Nick where the Magistrate has gone although Nick threatens him in very violent terms.

· Erik appears.

· The remaining Black Guard and Erik explain that the Black Guard was created to fight the corruption and that was the reason they were killing the villages -- to contain the corruption, not because the Magistrate was a power-mad lunatic. (Though he may still turn out to be a power-mad lunatic.)

· Olesanmi knew this, or at least suspected it. Nick is not pleased that Olesanmi never saw fit to mention this.

· Erik and Olesanmi explain that Nick’s anger and hate at the murder of his family is the reason the corruption was able to take hold of him. “The corruption must have a willing host.”

· Nick asks if he can be saved, because he does not want to be slave to the corruption. Olesanmi doesn’t know.

· Erik hints that Nick will NOT be a slave to the corruption and will instead become an unstoppable force. (Which based on what we’ve learned in Ash 2 so far appears to be an accurate description of what happens when a Forgotten One is corrupted. Speculation: could Erik be interested in Nick because he wants to seize power from his father, Magnus?)

· Erik offers to take Nick to the Magistrate because he wants Nick to destroy the Magistrate and the Black Guard for him.

· Nick takes him up on the offer and kills the Black Guard, telling Damien, “My fate was decided long ago” – which Damien later realizes is a quote from the oath Nick took as a Forgotten One. Nick and Erik vanish.
05-18-2012, 10:52 PM
#4
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 146
Ash Synopsis Part 3

All sections of this synopsis contain spoilers through the end of Ash 2, Chapter 2. Read at your own risk!

Between Ash 1 and Ash 2

In Avadgar:

· The Magistrate stays with Lord Karrom and agrees to sack Valen for Karrom in exchange for supplies. The Magistrate appears to be aware that Nick was chasing him and discusses the matter with Karrom.

· A Black Guard appears in Segora asking about Valen.

· 1 month before the beginning of Ash 2 proper (not including the intro with Nick at Valen) the Magistrate and his men sack Valen. The barrier crystal is broken. (To let the Magistrate pass into the badlands?) Given how deep Valen is in Astorius’ territory, getting there from Karrom without anyone getting suspicious of this band of heavily-armed foreigners was a neat trick.

· Nick is at the tower of Valen with Erik, fighting the Magistrate’s men. (I’m guessing this is at the tail-end of the sacking, after the Magistrate has crossed over into the Badlands. Clearly it is after the barrier crystal is broken or Nick couldn’t have been there.) He chases the Magistrate to the top of the tower but finds there only a group of Black Guards. Erik abandons him. Fade to black as the Black Guards close in. (Note that all 3 Black Guards here are later seen in Levalon, so whatever happened, Nick apparently didn’t kill any.)

· It’s unclear if this happened immediately after the end of Ash or if Nick has been running around killing more people in the intervening time. My initial assumption was that it was immediately after the events of Ash, but now that we know the tower is in Avadgar… The Magistrate sailed to Avadgar by ship, he seems to have traveled overland after he got there, and spent time as Lord Karrom’s guest. That has to have taken more than a month. One would think it took more than a month for Damien to figure out how to break the spell and for the expedition to be organized. Also, Blue Valen Demon seems to know Nick and clearly expects him to help kill Zadkiel. This makes me think Nick may have been with Erik for a while doing… whatever corrupted demons do. (Clearly Erik did NOT in fact take him directly to the Magistrate.)

· Shortly after this Zadkiel finds Nick on the northern shore of Secura, riddled with wounds and corruption. (Or at least, that’s what he tells Nick later, but Zadkiel isn’t always completely forthcoming.) It’s not clear how Nick got there, or whether the wounds were caused by the Black Guard or something else Nick fought.

· The Magistrate is busy making his way through the Badlands to the Sanctum keep. Wherever he entered the Badlands, he apparently ended up on west side of the Sanctum Sea. He travels through Sevalon to Levalon, arriving with 3 Black Guards. He holds the villagers hostage until they agree to take him across the Sanctum sea. He departs with 2 Black Guards, leaving one behind. This Guard begins killing villagers until they finally drive him off to places unknown. (This takes place a week before Damien and Co. arrive in Levalon, so part of it at least occurs during Ash 2, but it seemed easiest to put here.)



In Aghaus:

· Marcus recovers and arrives in time to convince the Sword and whatever other powers-that-be remain in Aghaus not to kill Damien and Co., possibly on the grounds that with the Magistrate fled and the countryside in rebellion, killing the heroes of the Rebellion might not be such a bright move, So, let’s just try to form some sort of provisional government with William and save any killing until we can bring the Magistrate back for trial and sort things out, shall we?

· This shows remarkable forbearance on the part of Marcus, since we later learn Damien and Co. tell him precisely zilch about the corruption or anything else. Apparently this is because of his long friendship with Nick and Damien. Or at least his long friendship with Nick, since people who know Damien for a long time eventually seem to start thinking execution might be good idea after all.

· The corruption continues to spread, requiring a number of corrupted people to be killed.

· William and the remaining Forgotten One form a provisional government. (Gregor seemed quite relieved to learn that at least one Forgotten One was still in Aghaus, making me wonder if something bad happens if all three of them die/leave. Hopefully they’re taking good care of the Sword back there.)

· (The Sword always seems to be the one who gets left behind when the Shield and the Stone head off to Avadgar, although he’s the one whose job description seems most suited to wandering to other continents. Shouldn’t the Shield and Stone be staying home and guarding and… er… magistrating?)

· Damien frantically searches for information that might help him find and help Nick.

· Damien decides that Nick has not fallen based on his quoting his oath as a Forgotten One, and realizes that Nick has gone to the Eastern Continent.

· I’m wondering if someone else also told Marcus et al. that the Magistrate had gone to the Eastern Continent (maybe they saw the Magistrate’s left-behind copy of Fodor’s Avadgar 2012 or something) since everyone else seems quite willing to believe that’s where the Magistrate went and organize an expedition to find him and return him to Aghaus for trial. (Or at least, an expedition to hang around camp while Damien and Co chase after him.)

· Damien finds the spell that will lower the barrier to Avadgar.

· Olesanmi finds a way to temporary contain the corruption in Aghaus.

· Marcus, Damien, Olesanmi and Yuka accompany the expedition to Avadgar. Olesanmi casts the spell to go through the barrier and is indisposed for some time afterward. Marcus apparently spends the time NOT asking Damien what why Damien and Nick aren’t dead the way he was told, or why they’re angry at the Magistrate, or what happened to Nick’s family, or why and how Nick left chasing the Magistrate, or anything at all important, really – something he may later come to regret. Not only is Marcus forbearing, he’s incurious. No wonder he didn’t notice the Magistrate spending years destroying whole villages. Also, there is some sort of incident involving Damien and some potatoes.

05-18-2012, 10:53 PM
#5
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 146
Ash Synopsis Part 4

All sections of this synopsis contain spoilers through the end of Ash 2, Chapter 2. Read at your own risk!

Ash 2 Chapter One (happens simultaneously with Ash 2 Chapter 2)

· The expedition arrives in Avadgar.

· Damien, Marcus, and Yuka explore some nearby ruins because obviously, if you’re a deposed head of state fleeing from justice, ruins are the first place you’d go. Olesanmi is still weak from the spell and remains behind.

· Damien and Co. meet natives who flee when they learn Our Heroes are from Aghaus. They chase the natives through the ruins, eventually coming to a village where, despite not speaking the same language, they communicate to Yuka that the party should head west.

· They find a tower with corruption sealed inside and a statue of the first king of Aghaus in front. They are astonished to find evidence that Aghausians have been in Avadgar as their histories say nothing of this.

· Yuka tells Damien that the seal recognizes him and Marcus and although it normally keeps people out of the tower, it wants them to go inside. This alarms her and thinks they should stay out. (I wonder why. Because they’re Aghausians? Because they’re Sifters? Also note that unlike this tower, most of the barriers keep corruption out, not seal it in.)

· Damien finally tells Marcus about the corruption and what really happened at the village he and Nick were ordered to destroy. Marcus says he finds this very hard to believe. Damien says that’s why he didn’t tell Marcus any of this before he saw the tower.

· They pass 4 talking riddle statues, mostly NOT by answering riddles (“God, just attack us and get it over with”) and wake Gregor. Gregor thinks this means the wards have fallen and is relieved to hear this is not the case.

· Our Heroes return to the expedition camp for an infodump session with Gregor. They tell him what’s going in Aghaus and he tells them about the Great War. No one but Damien and Yuka believe that the Magistrate was trying to kill Nick et al. and there is some tension.

· Come to think of it, since everyone knows what Damien thinks of the Magistrate (what Damien thinks of ANYTHING, for that matter), how did they get the rest of the expedition to agree he should be the one in charge of finding the Magistrate and bringing him back, anyway?

· Gregor wants to return to Aghaus immediately until he learns that BOTH Nick and the Magistrate are in Avadgar. He seems relieved to learn that the Sword is still in Aghaus, making me wonder if Bad Things happen if all 3 Forgotten Ones leave.

· Damien and Co return to the native village (now able to communicate because of an amulet they got from Gregor) and the natives tell them that the Magistrate and his men are north, behind the barrier. (How they know this, since it doesn’t seem like the Magistrate came through this part of Avadgar, I’m not sure. I may have missed screenshotting an important line of dialogue here or something.)

· (The natives mention that they remember Yuka’s people visiting “hundreds of years ago.” It’s not clear whether this was during the Great War or later.)

· Our Heroes visit a Lightbringer monastery. Yuka reveals a legend that the Lightbringers taught the shamans of her people. (Note: Gregor says later in the chapter that Yuka’s magic, like the Lightbringers’, is divine magic that differs from the true arcane. I wonder if this means that Yuka and her people are bound by a similar oath to that of the Lightbringers and Forgotten Ones.)

· There is a discussion to the effect that the barriers do not seem to have fallen and thus no one is sure how exactly the corruption started to spread.

· Idle comment: here a monk tells Our Heroes that members of their order are not immune to the corruption. However, in Chapter Two Zadkiel says that Lightbringers ARE immune. This seems like a contradiction unless not all the monks are actually Lightbringers.

· The Lightbringer mentions there are Aghausians in the Badlands, whom Damien and Marcus assume must be the Magistrate’s men. Gregor metaphorically looks away and whistles innocently.

· Our Heroes cross over into the Badlands, following an infodump by Gregor where he explains about Marcus, the fact that corrupted Forgotten Ones are especially dangerous (as in Evil Overlord dangerous), that Gregor was the King’s Shield, and tells them about the Great War. He leaves out the part where he and Zadkiel abandoned a bunch of Aghausian troops sealed in the Badlands.

· The party visits Sevalon expecting the “Aghausians” they have heard about are the Magistrate’s men and discover instead that they are descended from Aghausian troops sealed behind the barrier. Damien is not happy with Gregor. Marcus doesn’t seem to be as upset, which surprises me because he seems like even more of a king-and-country type than Damien. Maybe he just thought Damien was shouting enough for both of them. Or maybe he was just too tired to argue…

· Yuka is able to help the refugees somewhat but can’t completely cure them of their corruption.

· Idle comment: The refugees are “corrupted,” but they don’t seem to be corrupted in the sense that Nick and other corrupted beings we’ve seen so far are corrupted: they don’t lose their humanity, don’t need to be a willing host, and don’t hear Magnus or become enthralled to him. So apparently there are at least two different ways the corruption can infect people: one by invading a willing host (which usually ends in turning to the Dark Side, so to speak), the other just by living in a heavily corrupted area for a long period time. The second sort of corruption renders one unable to make one’s bed or pick up knocked-over tables and bookshelves, but doesn’t end in becoming a demon.)

· Damien and Co travel to Levanon to visit the other refugees and learn that the Magistrate took villagers hostage and demanded they ferry him across the Sanctum Sea to the Sanctum Keep, the heart of the corruption where Magnus dwells. The Magistrate leaves behind a Black Guard who kills many villagers before they are able to drive him off.

· Hearing this, Marcus finally believes Damien’s story.

· The villagers will not ferry the party across the Sanctum Sea until they destroy a demon in the tower of Foven.

· When Our Heroes arrive at Foven they see signs of a battle. (The Black Guard?) They kill their way to the top of the tower, gaining a number of levels in the process, where they find a Black Guard (presumably the one that was driven from Levanon) and a demon.

· The demon strikes the party down, but they are saved by Olesanmi’s timely entrance. (He explains he has been following them for a week. Perhaps the time the party spent leveling in Foven gave him time to catch up.)

· Gregor reveals that the Black Guard has some corruption sealed inside of him.

· Gregor reveals that divine magic is fundamentally different from the arcane and that only divine magic (not the arcane or more corruption) is effective against corruption.

· The villagers at Levanon agree to ferry Damien and Co. across the Sanctum Sea.

· There is another infodump. The villagers reveal that Magnus is still alive but has not left the Sanctum Keep since the Great War. Gregor is surprised and discouraged to learn Magnus is still alive, saying they will not be able to defeat him. “Only a Forgotten One can harm him now, or a very powerful Lightbringer.” Oh, dear. Wouldn’t it be handy if a Forgotten One and a very powerful Lightbringer would just happen to appear at the Sanctum Keep at the same time Damien and Co. do?

· There is speculation as to whether the Magistrate is trying to destroy the heart of the corruption, or take control of it.

· Our Heroes travel to the Sanctum Keep, where, handily, a Forgotten One and a very powerful Lightbringer happen to appear.

· End Chapter One.

Last edited by Bethany; 05-18-2012 at 10:54 PM. Reason: Added spoiler warning
05-18-2012, 10:54 PM
#6
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 146
Ash Synopsis Part 5

All sections of this synopsis contain spoilers through the end of Ash 2, Chapter 2. Read at your own risk!

Ash 2 Chapter Two (happens simultaneously with Ash 2 Chapter 1)


· Nick wakes up in a Lightbringer monastery on the island of Secura, off the south coast of Avadgar. Zadkiel, the leader of the Lightbringers, says he found Nick a month ago on the northern shore, badly wounded and corrupted, and that Nick has been unconscious since then. (Of course, Zadkiel isn’t the most forthcoming of beings.)

· Nick remembers nothing that’s happened to him since he killed the Black Guard in Aghaus.

· I wonder if Zadkiel was able to help reduce the effects of the corruption in Nick the way Yuka did in Sevalon? Because Nick seems significantly calmer now than he was at the end of Ash or in Valen.

· Nice bit of conversation: Nick: “There were Aghausians here before me?” Zadkiel: “There were.” Nick: “Are they still here?” Zadkiel: “You are the first to ever step foot on this island.” Nice one, Zadkiel. I see what you did there. Figuring Nick won’t be that happy about the Aghausian refugees you trapped in the Badlands, huh? Really, you may as well just tell him now. That’s the thing about being corrupted; Nick’s temper is pretty much just going to get worse over time. This is as laid-back as he’s ever going to be.

· Note that Zadkiel knows Nick’s name even though Nick never introduced himself. Maybe that means something. Or maybe not. Maybe Zadkiel just knows all the Forgotten Ones because his magic made their oaths or something.

· Nick explains to Zadkiel that he can’t stay and help them pick cabbage because he’s sworn an oath. This seems to interest/alarm Zadkiel unreasonably. Zadkiel insists on coming with Nick to help him fulfill his oath without asking what it is first. (I wonder if bad things happen if Forgotten Ones break oaths? That could be interesting. Although Nick appears to have been the most faithful and devoted of spouses, it seems like a few Forgotten Ones would found that one out the hard way over the years…)

· In the bar in Segora they learn that the barrier tower of Valen was destroyed a month ago.

· The bartender also mentions the Black Guard that was loitering around asking about Valen right before it fell, something the bartender doesn’t find the least bit suspicious. Nick *doesn’t* reach over the bar, grab the bartender by the collar, and demand he tell everything he knows about the Black Guard. Yes, I think Nick is definitely on a more even keel than he was before being healed by the Lightbringers.

· Nick and Zadkiel arrive at Valen and find month-old corpses, including the body of the Magistrate’s guard Nick killed. Nick doesn’t find this noteworthy. (Of course, he doesn’t remember killing the guard… but you’d think he’d recognize the uniform.)

· When they reach the top of the tower, Nick realizes he’s been there before.

· A blue demon appears, telling Nick that Erik sent him back to Nick. The blue demon seems to know Nick – he seems relived that Nick is alive, even! -- and takes it for granted that Nick is going to help him fight Zadkiel. This makes me wonder what exactly Nick was up to before Valen that he doesn’t remember.

· Nick tells Zadkiel that he was at Valen chasing the Magistrate. The Magistrate’s presence in Avadgar appears to be news to Zadkiel, and not welcome news.

· Lord Astorius’ men arrive at the tower to put up a temporary barrier, and take Nick prisoner on the grounds that he’s a corrupted demon.

· Astorius sets Nick free with orders to kill the leader of the country they are at war with, Lord Karrom. He sends the blonde shapely traitor Yulia as a guide, threatening to kill her brother if she fails to return with Karrom’s crown.

· They stay the night in Yulia’s village of Istok. Yulia tells Zadkiel how her father was killed by Astorian troops taking supplies from their farm, and that she left Astorius and joined Karromshahr after her mother’s subsequent suicide. She tells Zadkiel intends to kills Astorius… and Nick, who she believes to be a demon. Zadkiel doesn’t try to explain that Nick isn’t a demon, which in retrospect may have been an unfortunate omission.

· When Nick and Co. arrive in Karromshahr, Yulia betrays them to the army. Nick decides he’s through being betrayed and taken prisoner and escapes after breaking a few heads. Nick and Zadkiel follow Yulia to the capitol.

· At the capitol, Lord Karrom tells Yulia he’s sending men to destroy her village for harboring an assassin and to cleanse it from the corruption. Yulia flees to try to save them.

· Lord Karrom taunts Nick with the information that the Magistrate was (and may still be) a guest in his castle. Nick must decide whether to help save Istok or to search for the Magistrate in the castle.

· Of course, Nick saves Istok. :-P (Seriously, though. Threatening family members, burning villages to contain corruption, punishing treason by killing innocent loved ones? I’d tell Astorius and Karrom to go back for another round in case they missed pressing any of Nick’s buttons the first time, but I don’t think there’s a button left unpushed.)

· (If you don’t save Istok, Nick kills Karrom with some nice and extremely non-even-keel dialogue, after learning the Magistrate has now left for the Sanctum Keep. Also note Nick never actually PROMISED not to kill Karrom if he told Nick where the Magistrate went…)

· After saving Istok, Nick and Co. return to Karromshahr to find the Magistrate. He’s gone, but they do find corrupted Karrom (so they can kill him and take the crown guilt-free!) and get a surprise visit by JRPG Villain, who is revealed to be Magnus’ apparently-not-killed-with-the-rest-of-the-family son Erik. Erik tells them that the Magistrate is headed to the Sanctum Keep, where Erik apparently lives along with Magnus. Zadkiel notes this means Erik can cross the barriers, not a happy development.

· To cross the barrier, they must return to Astorius, who gives them permission to cross at Centinela and frees Yulia’s brother. Yukia goes with them in gratitude for saving Istok (in exchange for her life and her brother’s life, if Nick didn’t save Istok).

· Zadkiel doesn’t know how to get Nick across the barrier, which is supposed to prevent anyone corrupted from crossing. Luckily, Nick is able to force his way across through sheer manly fortitude.

· Nick and Co. are on the correct side of the Sanctum Sea, but they have to cross the Great Scar, which Zadkiel created in his last battle with Magnus. Ooo. What level does Zadkiel get the “create giant fissure in the earth” skill at? I know it’s not less than level 30, anyway.

· At the entrance, Zadkiel infodumps the story of the Great War and the creation of the barriers (leaving out the bit where he sealed a whole bunch of Nick’s countrymen in with demons). He also explains about the bit of Lightbringer magic in the Forgotten One’s oath.

· After a very long schlep across the Great Scar, Nick and Co. arrive at Sanctum Keep, where Nick can hear Magnus’ voice even more strongly. Zadkiel hears it as well.

· Unprepared for the shock of being in the presence of the heart of the corruption, Nick collapses. Zadkiel fears that in the Sanctum itself, Nick might not be strong enough to continue resisting the corruption.

· Yulia spots Damien and Co. Yuka spots Nick and Co. Damien spots Nick. Fade to black.

· End Chapter Two.