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Sep 29, 2020 10:15 AM
that looks like a pretty intractable problem you've got there have you tried throwing more leareths at it
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Interesting third-level spells: Aura sight lets you see peoples' alignments from a distance. Channel Vigor lets you pick from a fairly appealing set of benefits including halving your reaction times and letting you move twice as quickly, more intelligence enhancement, or improved ability to throw off spells. Remove Disease cures diseases. Speak With Dead lets you animate a body to ask it questions. Water Breathing does exactly what you'd expect.

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Fascinating. The dead-animating one is weird but what do you expect from a world with magic as weird as this one. Anyway, if Abadar decides to drop more levels on him, Leareth now has some idea what to do with them, and he'll keep reading if he has more time. 

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He does not, unfortunately. Aroden, with Alter Self back in place to wear his former human face, rested and full up on spells again and equipped with his usual Pearls of Power and a stash of diamonds in his Bag of Holding, leaves his demiplane and quickly tries to scry the army again before heading back to the makeshift war camp. 

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At the rendevous point more Chelish troops are streaming in, some of them having marched a magic-aided thirty-five miles in the last eighteen hours, and resting in illusion-shielded camps when they arrive while Hell ships out potions and armor and magic weapons for their defense of the country.

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Aroden would like them to stop getting supplies promptly, but - hmm, actually, the vague plan shaping in his mind works a lot better if they're caught completely and utterly by surprise. He's not sure it's possible - he could consider using Wish to help but he doesn't have a safe wording, obviously...

He Teleports back to the camp and finds Leareth and they confer, briefly. 

Then, after a quick check that everything still seems quiet-ish, he takes Leareth's arm, and Plane Shifts both of them to Nirvana. 

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They land in a glade of trees next to a gloriously pretty waterfall. There's a bridge across the river and exquisitely pretty wooden houses on the other side. Most of them are not the right shape and size for humans. Perhaps relatedly, there's a centaur-like creature with the antlers of an elk resting at the water's edge, and half a dozen creatures who look like cats to ordinary vision but not at all to Thoughtsensing gathered around listening to a story one of them is telling.

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Aroden approaches the group and politely interrupts. "I would like to speak to someone with authority to hear our rather unusual request. Who ought I seek?" 

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Leareth is trying not to stare, fascinated, his Othersenses extended for magic as well. 

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The houses are full of magic things. The kind of magic is unfamiliar; neither Golarion's nor Velgarth's.

The centaur straightens and raises an eyebrow. "I would expect most people to have the authority to hear requests, even if it's rare to have the authority to grant them. And I can't guess who'd have the authority to grant your request without hearing it." 

He doesn't have the ability to read alignments at will, like the archons; he can detect divination magic pointed at him, and notice immediately that both of these people are reading his mind. He is not especially troubled by this. The material world trains bad habits into people by virtue of being completely horrible.

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Leareth thinks this commentary is pretty fair. He wonders what the centaur would think of Velgarth and all its horrors. 

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Aroden nods, and straightens himself up. "I am Aroden, returned as a human and currently fighting to reclaim Cheliax from Asmodeus and the rule of Hell. I think there is likely someone here who can verify my identity, if you wish to do that; I know that Iomedae and Her people are aware. In any case, their army is regrouping and we would prefer they not have a chance to do so, however, I do not wish to kill them because then they will be in Hell and very annoying to rescue from there. Leareth, my colleague, has magic from another world that allows very large portals between planes. We would like to transport twenty to thirty thousand Chelish troops to Nirvana, where they will be out of our way; we can, of course, retrieve them after the war once I know what to do with them." 

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The enormous antlers bob. "Will they have food with them? Supplies? Will they be a danger to anyone around? To eachother? To themselves?"

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"They do risk being a danger to anyone around them, and ought accordingly be placed somewhere inaccessible if that can be done, but I do not think to each other or to themselves, Asmodeus' order is a very Lawful one. They will have supplies to camp, and some food with them, though perhaps not enough for more than a day or two. We are obtaining aid from neighbouring countries and Leareth could deliver additional food later if that is necessary." 

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"I do not know of an area large enough for thirty thousand people who might travel from there that is without any inhabitants," he says slowly. "I can find out whether anyone else knows of such a place, or we can ask people if they'd be willing to leave to clear space. I would expect either approach to take about an hour; can you wait that long?"

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Aroden takes a moment to think and then nods. "Yes, we can wait that long. Though, in that case, I think I will leave Leareth here with you and depart to continue other preparations." He probably needs an hour to set up for Leareth's plan anyway. 

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"I am going to Teleport around talking to people," the centaur says gravely to Leareth. "I can take you with me if you sit astride me."

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Sure, he'll ride the centaur, this is honestly not the weirdest experience of the last twenty-four hours. 

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Aroden Plane Shifts back to his hallway-demiplane, since it lands him in a predictable location where he won't be seen and lets him do one last quick scry of the army's position and level of preparation from his crystal ball, and then he Teleports to Ostenso, gets out a large map in one of the planning tents, and sends someone to wake and assemble Leareth's mages while he sketches out a plan and starts assigning locations. 

As the mages trickle in, he buddies some of them up with his high-level wizards, for Teleports and Invisibility, and notes down their placements, laid out in a giant circle well away from the camp's perimeter. Leareth's Farseers can See exact locations from the map and mentally share them with the wizards, even if they can't See the cloaked army.

There aren't enough wizards who have Rings of Sustenance and thus today's spells to match with the number of mages Leareth said he needed for this, so Aroden lines up a dozen of them to quickly Teleport into place himself, once it's closer to the time of. Precisely an hour from now, he wants all of them in place and with at least twenty minutes of invisibility for flexibility of timing; Aroden can cast it to last forty-two minutes with Extend Spell, so he won't want to start yet. 

If they don't end up getting approval from Nirvana, well, at least they'll have two dozen Velgarth mages and a lot of wizards already surrounding the camp for a more conventional attack. 

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Nirvana is not really considering it in question whether they'll do this, they just have to figure out where. Eventually they settle on a mountain valley from where the trails out are impassable this time of year but not actually miserably cold down in the valley itself, owing to some hot springs, and Leareth's centaur gallops around through the valley explaining to everybody that it's recommended they evacuate and explaining why. Several people are worried that it'll be scary for the captured army if there's no one there to explain what's going on, but are successfully persuaded that if in their panic they kill some people then 1) those people will be dead and 2) they'll have more to heal from. 

 

Eventually Leareth's centaur Teleports out of the valley with an enormous flock of creatures alongside him, birds and foxes and rabbits and lions and a dragon. "Can your friend cast a larger than usual Dimensional Lock spell to prevent the army from Plane Shifting back or Teleporting around within Nirvana?" he asks as he does this. "I would not expect many of them to have Teleport locations here but there are combinations of magics that would permit it, and we'll have to kill them, if they start attacking people."

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Leareth is pretty sure his friend can do that, they briefly discussed plans there, Aroden said he could handle it, and he knows from his studies with Khemet's researchers that using Wish to extend the range of an existing spell is a relatively safe usage. In terms of telling the captured army what's going on, they have access to some people with extraordinary telepathic range, one of them can be brought over when the army is dropped to make an announcement. 

Is it all right if Leareth very quickly goes around the edges of the valley and casts some of his own kind of magic on some rocks? (He wants to do a quick-and-dirty partial version of the set-spells on a permanent Gate threshold, it'll make it a lot easier for him to anchor on the destination quickly and pull off an interplanar Gate on this ridiculous scale.) 

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Sure! The centaur can Teleport them around for this.

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Leareth puts down half a dozen anchor points for his Gate, and then he'd better transport himself back, via a much tinier Gate, so he can prepare for the final portion. 

He's going to collapse in a puddle after this. Having two dozen of his mages shaken awake to hold the perimeter of the enormous concert Gate will cut the power requirement from him for the initial threshold, nearly half a mile wide, down to something he can handle. Still, he's the one doing the heaviest lifting, since as the only one who's actually been to the valley, he'll be handling the interplanar search component and the destination threshold. 

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Vanyel, waiting for his turn to be rendered invisible and Teleported, greets him. :I'll be next to you, 'Fandes thinks she can help me node-boost you for the harder bit: 

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:Thank you. I am sorry to disrupt your rest: 

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:No, this is amazing. I love this plan. I just wish I could see the look on Asmodeus' face when his entire army gets kidnapped to the Neutral Good afterlife, it'll be glorious: 

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