Special Creatures and the Final Battles
Special Creature Briefings
As many of you will see in the special creature briefings you will receive there are two important changes that have been made to all of the briefs, and a number of minor ones.
The first and most important change is to the "special weapon" execution rules. There is now a call - EXECUTE - PERMANENT which replaces the calls from the "named" special weapons. There are a small number of other sources of that call that the six named weapons at the Final Annual, so be aware that possession of those weapons is not the only major threat.
The second change is a hard hit limit. There is now a hard limit across the game of 10 body hits. No combination of effects or blessings irrespective of the source can take you above that hard limit of 10 body hits. All special creature briefs now note this.
If you want to discuss this in-play, it is an effect of the weakening of quintessence flow since the freezing of the Pivot at the Twelfth Annual.
The Trials and the Hard Limit
Anyone who is playing a "demigod" style character (Ka, nefilim, annunaki, demigod, et cetera) will face a trial at some point on the Saturday or very early Sunday of the event where they must choose between ascending to full divine status or repudiating their divine blood and becoming mortal again.
Most non-demigod special characters like the N'Hru and Ghul will also face an equivalent difficult ethical or existential choice during the course of the game. You will also note that many of the "champion" or combat buff blessing effects have a duration that notes they end at or before noon on the Sunday of the Final Annual.
In practice, with the exception of a small handful of special abilities which could/would endure, and the Liches who sit outside the cycle of the Ages, the Final Battle to Define a New Age will be fought, in the arena, between mortals, with mortal weapons and mortal tools, mortal lives and mortal passions. The New Age of the Middle Sea will be decided not by magic but by the blood of mortal warriors on the arena floor.
Should any demigod or equivalent characters endure to the last hours of the Annual, there will be some choices they will need to make to determine whether their characters participate int he battles to define the Age. Those who ascend to godhood will have the option, as with those who escape the Middle Sea, of participating in the final battles as champions of any nation they choose or of the additional choices noted elsewhere.
The aim here is simple: let the Annual's last fight, like its first, be about the Arena and its heroes, plain and simple.
Death on the Final Day
Death will play a part in the final battles of the Annual, but it holds no dominion once the Age is settled.
Once the defining battle for the Age is done and those who have fallen and shed their blood for the final time are counted, the Gods of Death will pay homage to the Age of Steel and will come in their very selves to collect the dead of the Age of Steel from the Arena floor. They will process to the Map Room and when they are gone, the Age of the Gods will end, and the gates of the Map Room will close for the final time.
There will be no deaths through combat in the final two battles of the Annual, and no psychopomps will attend funerals after 1.00pm.