The Wrath of the Righteous

An Assassination Foiled, A Kidnapping Planned



An Assassination Foiled, A Kidnapping Planned

The Demon’s Heresy Session XV
WotR LVIII
11/27/16

Iomedae is my Strength

Renli cuts head off nalfeshnee
Shaking Lathander back to normal
Lathander offers some alchemical remedy to stall the disintegration of the ‘husk’, but reaching down, it crumbles to dust in Renli’s hands
Hoisting head of nalfeshnee onto shoulder, Renli starts to haul it down the stairs
Renli “Lathander, they just tried to assassinate us, kidnapped her, and had demons in the city, we need to report now”
Bottom of stairs, see outer doors ajar, outer guards crucified on doors of keep with mark of Iomedae burned in chest
Lathander hears whimpering, finds clerk on the guard, shaking, his eyes burned out
Renli “Be still, child of Iomedae, let the Lady’s warming light be still your heart and comfort you”,
Lathander rambles on pointlessly to the clerk
Call to guards to secure the exterior of the Tower of Silence
“Sir Renli, are you hurt?” Me “yes, but I still stand”
The city bells of alarm begin to ring as we reach the Castle
-——-

Artie, still drinking with Norselin, puts their drinks on hold and heads to the Tower…
Lucius,
Aldrick, has Bertran attend to the preparations of his letters, then departs

Artie, Lucius, & Aldrick reach gates as Renli and Lathander
Captain Raven, traitor, servant of Voorlash
Carelessness amongst the Order of Hell
Aldrick – no, utilizing best tools against demons
Renli – Lucius, you should take note of that

Queen and Guard burst forth, “What is the meaning of this, explain what has happened, now?!”

Renli recounts entire scene in detail

Queen, hearing description of “husk”, clearly knows exactly who/what Renli is speaking of

Aldrick, special (Lithou demon, Minaguu, ruler of Raliskrad) demon that focuses on taking over minds/psionics, can take over body, mummifies form, soul trapped within watching all actions

Renli, my concerns are two fold: first, the infiltration of the Inquisition, second, that Voorlash has now taken Arushalee for whatever evil ends she seeks

Accompanied by Queen’s Guard, go to flush Tower of Silence. Assembled masses are clearly troubled by sight of crucified bodies with symbol of Iomedae on it. Renli calls for removal of bodies.

Heading down into the first lower level, they find little sign of activity. Strangely, the kitchen is empty, with aged food still sitting in pots. Checking it, a touch of Renli’s heritage reveals that it has been sitting for 3 days, 6 hours, 18 minutes, and the potatoes are oversalted. Just enough time to align for when Raven would have left to intercept the PCs

Descend to next lower level, reach a vault-like door, which is open to utter darkness. Lucius tries to cast spell, effected by overwhelming aura of evil. Lucius “A Great Evil was here”, overwhelming stench of stale blood and decay.

Drawing Radiance, unleash the light of Iomedae against the darkness of the Abyss. Overwhelms the shadows, and find clearly designed storage chamber of recovered items – all of which have been removed. Lucius, reaching a strange construct at the center and it becomes evident that some fiend creating a summoning circle out of the occupants of the tower. Bodies arranged to make symbol of Deskari, both on ground and in the air. Cage in center that could hold body within – used as summoning chamber to summon great outsider within, then trap there. There is overwhelming evil presence from circle, then remnants of lesser evil in cage. Lucius destroys summoning circle. Then says, “there should be a log, chronicling the contents of this vault. We must see what has been taken.”

Aldrick lingers in the vault for a moment, touching into the aspect of the seer bound within his soul. “The image that comes to you is a broken chain of events. It starts to a prayer service to Asmodeus, a number of people have gathered in what was once a temple of Iomedae. Beautiful regalia of Hell has been risen in place of the symbols of Iomedae. A dignified man in his 50’s leads a procession. Begins cackling laughter with evil voice, turns with desiccated face, says “so predictable”. Doors burst open in filthy bronze armor, horned helms, tabards of Templar of Ivory Labyrinth. Fall to knees, scream in pain, fire bursts from their eyes. Leading the Templars in full black plate armor and a gilded mask with horns, the size of a halfling, mark of “the 2nd” on helm. “ As witness who he is seeing throughs eyes are burned out, he feels his pain on a lesser level.

Lucius “Per Henning must answer for this. His gross negligence has put the entire Crusade at risk!”
Aldrick, “I do not believe he was here when it occurred. “
Lucius “it was Per Henning who lowered the wards so they could have their fucking hell dogs that allowed this”
Aldrick, “we do not know this, all we know is neither he nor Captain Raven were present in my vision. It appeared that prior to the wards being lowered, the priest was already possessed. It does appear that they got an entire unit of Templars into the tower. They were accompanied by someone of the ilk we have met before. A small creature, in full armor, perhaps the stature of a halfling. What made it different is it possessed the mark of the 2nd, the number 2 in Abyssal. One of the Sons of Midnight, we met his brother before. He entered this very city. I believe we will not gain any further knowledge from this tower.”

Heading up, find barracks and such. Eventually find Captian Raven’s quarters, with clear sign of a struggle within. Find old commander’s quarters, but limited left within. In commander’s room, eventually find secret vault compartment that is emptied some time ago.

Exiting the tower, we find the men building a pyre around base of tower. Exiting, they move wood and oil into the interior, to bring the tower down by cleansing it with fire.

Return to report to queen and small council. Give formal statement on events of day, starting with Renli’s formal report of the initial attack then into review of the Tower. After, each is questioned one by one sharing details.

Aldrick, describes vision in specific, gory details. “It would appear that the small creature was the one that smote the interrogators in the tower as Renli described.”

“Thank you all for your testimony. And Aldrick, I appreciate you not holding anything back. Adjunct, let it be known throughout all corners of Mendev that the High Inquisitor-Marshal Paralictor Per Henning is wanted for questioning and his hereby formally denounced as High Inquisitor-Marshal. Furthermore, the Inquisition itself is temporarily disbanded. All military orders now hereby report to me directly. I expect to see all commanders post haste. The Court is dismissed. Would you five remain.”

The queen yells in a fit of rage and slams her fit down into the table. “I am 137 years old, and I have not lived my life to be pissed on by our enemies. I am tired of their games, that they flaunt around us. Our Queen grows angry. What I am about to say does not leave this room. Abrogail sits on a throne that does not belong to her. That throne is for Our Lady, and she will reclaim it, when we are done with the blight upon the world. I am invoking Her Right of Divine Authority. You believe your relative has knowledge pertinent to our cause. BRING HIM TO ME! Dismissed.”

(small keep, vineyards, farmland, and village of folk that work lands)

Aldrick calls on memories of ancestors to seek insight into the plans necessary to execute his plan.Old captain of guard, retired Hellknight, was forced to abdicate his role when Thrune married his mother. Opened tavern nearby called Hung Blade, mother would seek counsel with him. Confided in him that believed new “Thrune” husband has orchestrated the death of her husband, Aldrick’s father. “I am reminded of an old servant, a captain of the house guard, that opened a tavern nearby. Perhaps give us insight of a way into the keep.”

Renli, “Aldrick, your friends with the quartermaster. Get us something so we can go unnoticed.” Go to meet, very excited to see Aldrick. Gives a selection of gear to heroes, excitedly slips some dust to Aldrick.”

Bertran teleports us south to Andoran, where we take rest for the evening. Preparing to depart, we take on our disguises, as follows:
Aldrick, representative of House Castillo
Artie, Huntsman and guide
Lucius, Mercenary guard
Lathander, Manservant and Counselor
Bertran, scholar
Renli, Halfling servant, butcher, and cook

Teleport into alley, hear sounds of merchants setting up stalls in pre-dawn hours.

Hung Blades, what would expect from ex-soldier for Tavern. Everything is well kept and pragmatic, if built simply and without pomp and circumstance. Has reputation for being hang out for ex-military. Entering, note a company of mercenaries present in the tap room, looking fairly hung over. Two toward back, one passed out, the other with hand on cup, dressed in official garb of House. Busty Woman, “Morning, grab a seat. We got hot cakes, coffee, etc.”

Aldrick, “strange, I don’t recall this town being so busy last time I was traveling through.”
Barmaid, “I dont remember your face.”
Aldrick “I did not stay, as I said, passing through”
Barmaid, “yeah, umm, well the lord has called on mercenaries to deal with the orc problem nearby”
Aldrick “orcs are causing trouble in these lands?”
Barmaid, “oh yes, those goblins can be a problem every now and then” she clearly does not believe stories as to why being called up
Lucius, “do you remember every face that comes through?”
Barmaid, “clearly not every face”
Aldrick, “pardon my man Gregor, he has a problem with faces”
Lucius scans crowd, gets small sign of chaos and evil in crowd
Aldrick, “do you have a private dining room we could use?”
Barmaid, “yes, but it will be a gold a piece”
Aldrick, “

Aldrick, “is the master of the tavern here?”
Barmaid, “he is not, he is at the market, but should be returning shortly”
Aldrick, “excellent, let him know I would have words with him when he returns”
Barmaid, “he does not involve himself with the politics of the region. Can I ask what it would be regarding?”
Aldrick, “No, but he can. And I can assure you that it does not have to do with the politics of this realm”

Enter private room, dine and enjoy. Hear people active in the dining room.

“Marta, get the boy out to the cart. Got a few good hogs for the oven today.”
“Francis, there’s an agent of House Castillo here. Said he wants to speak with you.”
“Castillo, eh? Did he say what it’s about?”

About five minutes pass until, there is a knock on the door. Opening, it is the aging tavern owner, his sword hanging from his hip,

Francis, “Good morning masters, I understand you had wished to see me.”
Aldrick, “Good morning Master Fernando, so gracious of you to greet us. A mutual friend said if I am ever in the area I should stop by and say hello.”
Francis, “A mutual acquaintance, and who would that be?”
Aldrick, “Aldrick Acquitainus.”
Francis stares directly into Aldrick’s eyes, trying to suppress his emotions. (Pain, disappointment, paternal empathy)
Francis, “Aldrick you say? Is this before he turned traitor and died?”
Aldrick “this is news to me”
Francis “When the demons overran his lines, they say he fled, dishonored his family name, and got stabbed in the back”
Aldrick, “Intriguing, that is news to me. That is not the man I know.”
Francis, “at least he died quick, did not have to see the death of his mother”
Aldrick, “as I know he is not dead
Francis, “Tell me, Master Castillo, I have not seen you before”
Lucius, “Perhaps you should have this conversation inside the room”
Francis, “I thought servants held their tongue until spoken to”
Aldrick, “Yes, Gregor… is useless”
Francis, “Or Perhaps things are not what they appear to be. Why are you here, and how do you claim to know Aldrick?” He closes the door.
Aldrick returns to the form of himself.
Francis, “It is true then?”
Aldrick, “As I said, very much alive, and very disappointed about the death of my mother”
Francis, “Last I heard, you pledged an oath to a Crusade. Your father did not raise a traitor, what are you doing here? What your father said is true, you turned your back and fled south?”
Aldrick, “Sometimes those who are truly devout have an opportunity when their duty and their pleasure would align. This is such a case.”
Francis, “God damn, Lady Acquitainus would be proud of you.” Gives Aldrick a big hug. “It is good to see you alive. I am glad to hear that. What can you tell me of my mother’s death?”

Francis, “She fell. Badly, upon a blade, multiple times, quite quickly. Bastard of a husband claims she took her own life.”
Aldrick, “In court he claims it was an Andoran conspiracy.”
Francis, “She always suspected him in the death of your father”
Aldrick, “She suspected correctly. Unfortunately, he is quite good at covering his tracks.”
Francis, “if i could have prevented what happened to your family…”

Francis, “tread carefully, your step-father made it known you died as a coward”
Aldrick, “I will have to rectify that, make sure messages make it south of my deeds”
Francis, “he had also deemed you unfit to be his heir. His newly betrothed has promised him many sons. She has the mark of an elf about her, but there is something off, something sinister.”
Aldrick, “My mother kept you as a confidant. And she somehow made her way out of the house and back in”
Francis, “she had a couple friends still among the staff. So you here to claim revenge?”
Aldrick, “i could do no such thing, as it would bring dishonor to my name”
Francis, “if this is the army you brought, you are woefully inadequate. Two soldiers, a slave, and a hedge witch.”
Aldrick, “remember, not all is as it appears. I have been away fighting for a great deal of time, and am not the coward my step-father claims.”
Francis, “be wary, your stepfather has powerful friends. I know little of them, for they travel in the dark, yet command great power. In court he calls for war against Andoran, and seems to be assembling an army ‘hunting for orcs’. Though, there are some that would say he is not in favor with the queen.”
Aldrick, “where are the mercenaries stationed?”
Francis, “most of the mercenaries are camped south of town. The personal garrison in the keep is full. I should tell you Aldrick, the flag of Asmodeus flies, yet I do not hear many prayers. Your stepfather is up to something, with his friends”
Aldrick, “i believe that, in his lust for power, he has joined the Cult of the Ivory Labyrinth.”

Francis opens the door and walks out, returning with a sack and throwing it on the table. A brass bull helm rolls out. “One of those came by, spotting his insanity three months ago. Would you believe, bandits got him. Hehehehe”
Aldrick, “i am surprised the queen allows such nonsense. The dark prince does not take kindly.”
Francis, “no, the dark prince best not be crossed. Wouldn’t want you to be persuaded by new friends, remember who your family is.”
Aldrick, “I always know who my family is, and of course these lands do not belong to demons.”
Francis, “And who are your friends? Pardon, where are my manners, my name is Francis Fernando, I was once a Captain in the Order of the Godclaw. I served in the Acquaitanus house guard for many years. I tried to train his at the sword, but he showed no skill for it, so I gave him a mace. But damn, that boy could talk.”
Aldrick, “there may be questions to come, and names could cause problems. Suffice to say that they are all capably skilled allies of mine.”
Francis, “I would help kick in the doors myself, but it may cause too many problems,”
Aldrick, “My stepfather may disappear in the coming days, and his ills may come to light.”
Francis, “Given that you are officially claimed as dead, and he has no living heir, that might cause some turmoil.”
Aldrick, “well then, I will have to rectify those lies. And deal with his betrothed as well.”

Francis, “when new mercenary companies arrive, they are given audience with Thrune, then sent on a mission to “slay orcs”, and come back with signs of battle. Whispers among ‘barmaids’ that they are raiding Andoran villages, and also villages in Cheliax dressed as Andorans.
Party spends time debating plan – walk in as mercs, or sneak in at night. Talking

Merc Roles
Artie, older graying man in robes, with a staff
Renli, stocky dwarf with a hefty shield and short, brutal sword
Aldrick, half-elf, “Griffin, leader of the Band of the Hawk”
Lucius, Gregor, big merc, tiefling
Lathander,

Approaching keep, quite a few guards present. Lucius scans their souls, noting the taint of chaos. “Halt, state your business, we were not expecting anyone”
Aldrick, “I am Griffin, leader of the Band of the Hawk. I was told mercenaries could seek work here”
“We need soldiers, not bards”
Aldrick, “We are more than capable, and I think this should clear up the matter” Holds up invitation to meet with lord.
“You were not expected, but you have papers, let them in. Perhaps they will sing for us, we got a pretty one”
Lucius spits on one’s boots as we pass
Guard draws his sword, “get ‘em boys”, closes and slashes Lucius’ arm “You son of a bitch”
As he slashes him, Lucius rips sword from his hand and strikes him across the face with pommel “that was a bad idea”, runs off crying
Aldrick, “Gregor, we have lost our guide. Perhaps you boys will have more respect next time. Now onward.” Jaunts ahead.
Guards, quickly step aside and open down. “My apologies lord, please allow us to open the doors. I am sorry, I did not hear your name.”
Aldrick, “Griffin, Band of the Hawk”
Guard, “Oh, I am sorry my lord. Yes, I have heard many great tales of your deeds in the Hinterlands and Abroad.”

Walking in, there is gilded, gaudy decor haphazardly strewn everywhere. Looks like recently raided and thrown on display. Cheerful music echoes from a chamber beyond.

Guard, “Pardon me steward, but the honorable and well regarded Band of the Falcon is here to see you” Aldrick changes hawk to falcon. “You should have seen what he did to Belkin, he shit his pants.”

Steward, “Band of the Falcon you say. Yes, come in”

Entering, Stepfather Thrune is sitting feasting, beautiful scantilly clad woman playing harp. Four servants also attend his every need.

Thrune, “Enter, Enter! Napkin, damnit! Please come in, Band of the Falcon you say? You must be famished from travel, please join me for a bite.”
Aldrick, “Thank you most kindly.”
Lucius, removes helm, revealing tiefling nature.
Thrune, “You do realize the touched are illegal here.”
Aldrick, “nonsense, they can be a bit fiesty, but direected can be fierce in battle. He ripped the arm off an ogre and beat it to death with it.”
Thrune, “ha, excellent, though I heard it was a giant. You will do most well here.”
People seem to react rather little to fact he is a tiefling.
Aldrick, “I hear you have an orc problem”
Thrune, “yes, but to that later. Please, tell me of your tales.”
Aldrick shares the many tales of the Heroes of Kenabres, leaving out some details, to which Thrune is ecstatic
Thrune, “alright, to business. Shall we retire to my study?”

Move to former library, adorned with far more wealthy spoils from raiding. Above desk hangs a bull’s skull, inlaid with platinum pentagram. Horns have been foiled with gold.
Aldrick, “You have such wonderful taste and an exquisite home.”

Throws heavy pouch, from which platinum spills, onto table. Lathander reaches out for coin, it bites into his flesh, drawing blood.
Thrune, “Not so fast, not so fast. Let’s get some details clear. These are blood coins, if you accept them, you will not be able to break the bond between us.”
Lucius, “we are not interested in your gold. At least, I’m not”
Thrune, “you like what you see, demon? You know what they said about power?”
Aldrick & Lucius, “yes, power is taken.”
Thrune, “ahh, I suspected we were in good company. There are many ways to take the power. From where I stand, I have established many contracts with people who would benefit in war with Andoran. Some of my counterparts have been a little slow to join with me, and that is where you come in.”

Thrune, “There are some Andoran lords preparing to invade. We need to get the word out quickly.
Aldrick, “In some situations entire towns can go missing.”
Thrune, “That would definitely get there attention. This has been a very good meeting my friends. Ah, dessert! Of course, I take half of what you acquire, you take the other half. Please, sit, enjoy. This is the start of what I am sure will be a very pleasing endeavor.”
As we sit, a woman enters through a side door, stunningly beautiful, in translucent green robes that leave nothing to the imagination. Long beautiful black hair, “oh, we have guests my darling? Well, hello boys.”

It is Jerebeth

~Renli



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