The Wrath of the Righteous

Milo the Magnificent

Milo the Magnificent

The Sword of Valor Session VI

Robed figure holding ceremonial dagger opens door (female voice)

“you are a long way from home travelers. Come, it is not safe in the night”

Teer goes inside, darkness

Renli goes in and uses radiance to dispel darkness

Inside is very ornate, blankets over statues

asks us to sit, we can smell wonderful BBQ (hard to resist halfling temptations)

She casts suggestion on Renli, he shrugs it off and asks where our men our.

Teer stays at the entrance

lightening flashes, stain glass reveals symbol of demon god kabreri

pulls back robe…she is undead

“you wish to know where the others are?! Come join the feast and you will understand!”

Casts flame strike

Fight ensues (gargoyles come down from the ceiling)

I tumble and flip and….get hit….and diseased…..and I do 2 damage…..balls

I am hit again….and paralyzed

Renli unleashes on the bitch

Eventually she is hurt and says that we will die before the sun rises

She melts away and disappears

Renli ventures into side room, finds dead bodies hanging from rafters and 2 ghouls guarding

Bell rings and ghouls rise throughout the surrounding hills

Lathander is left alone w/ Aldrick…..creepy…..RUN Lathander!

Ghouls everywhere!

Mirror images for Milo

Ghouls breakdown doors

Aldrick casts difficult terrain

Lathander uses holy bombs

Teer destroys things…..per usual

Renli tries to knock down door, gets 2 negative levels

Teer destroys door…..per usual

Inside is darkness…..

Aldrick casts mythic prayer

Bitch casts unholy prayer

Renli dispels darkness and within the darkness a half death demon with wings, the undead caster (bitch), and 3 ghouls are revealed


The One-man Army

The One-Man Army

The Sword of Valor Session V

Storm Father be my strength. We meet so many foul beasts as we get closer to the wound, I need your guidance now more than ever.

We continue to lead the army toward Drezen and lick our wounds from the battle with the plagued trolls. The wretched beasts deserve to burn. Who knows what crimes they have committed. Captin Etoras is not pleased with our little adventure. “How the hell can I keep you fools safe if you keep running off into danger?” Stay out of our way and lead the army. We’ll keep us safe.

We will make the ford this day. Artemis, Milo, Anevia and I scout ahead to see what lies in the woods between us and the tower. A cloud of carrion birds circle ominously in the distance in the direction that we ride. A dark omen in a dark land. Once we are in sight of the tower, we can see the reason for the bird. A large group of mindless tieflings are milling about what looks like a battle-ravaged tower. Curse these chaos-worshipping demon spawn! We need that river crossing! One of the others notices that the tower is flying the queens banner. Well, that is bloody peculiar. With what little I know of this country and their heraldry that seems very out of place. Milo offers to investigate. We caution him against it but he assures us that if it his time, he’s prepared. Your god’s speed little one. He takes a potion and disappears.

When he returns, he reports that the queens men still hold the top of the tower though they are not sure how much longer than can fight. There are not many and many more have fallen than remain. Scores of tieflings appear to have died. Many from the battle but more from something else it would seem. These demon lords are always fighting among themselves so I am not surprised.

We alert the army of what awaits us, then mount up and ride on the tower. We position our army with myself on one flank and Artemis covering the other. He rains down arrows on his side a I charge in, screaming blood and rage. “Storm Father, crush these demon spawn!” I take a potion in order to become a small giant and smash my hammer down upon a group of the awaiting demon zombie creatures. The others wade in to the fray along with the army, many still mounted. I trust my two legs better than those of any horse. As the battle rages, I destroy the enemy’s flank and turn and crush their rear guard in one mighty swing. It may have been harder had they not been mindless zombies. But then it would have been more fun too. These undead bastards can barely stand let alone put up a decent fight. I think one landed a blow on me. One! Well these pit-born are what they deserve to be. DEAD!

Our army is victorious and we start clearing the keep and the tower of any enemy stragglers. We are able to reach the top and find the survivors. 11 of the queens men remain. Captain Dann is in charge and tells of the events that transpired here. Some foulest of demons ripped these tieflings to shreds with claws and teeth when they wouldn’t turn over human prisoners for what I would assume is some sort of demon sacrifice. It seems they got their blood one way or the other. It also appears they wrecked the tower on the far side. I scout across to see if it passable and to see if the thing left any trail. Perhaps it could put up a decent fight.

The other side of the river is a blasted waste land, typical of the wounded lands. I have scouted some areas similar to this before and know that nothing but trouble awaits us here. I find some tracks on the other side of the bridge after climbing through the rubble. They seem to lead away from the river and off into what was once a wooded area. Now just cleared land, it seems it would be easy enough to follow. I return and discuss with Captain Etoras and Anevia. Also relay what I have found to the others. We decide to send a small party tonight to see how far the trail leads and if following would prove feasible. Lucious, though I despise his presence, offers to come. As his pit-born brethren, he can see in the dark and that may prove useful should we loose the light on the return. Perhaps he could “fall” off the bridge while we are crossing. No, that would be too simple and he’d probably survive.

With our combined tracking skills, Anevia and are able to lead a small band along the trail easily and we come to a small rise overlooking what appears to be a ruined temple in the distance. As we are almost out of light, we turn back at this point. Lucious seems confident we can follow his aura to this point once more in the day time. Apparently even the sun can’t remove the stench of demon.

We meet again with the captain and he is not pleased, ranting about trying to keep us safe and blah,blah…. we’ll catch up. This could prove important. At the moment it appears to be us keeping you alive. We turn in for the night.

Overnight, I dream of horrendous things. Witch hunters burning my family. My mother raped and burned at the stake. My sister, though she fights many off fiercely, meeting the same end. Many of my companions appear to be taking part and taking much pleasure. Horrible, treacherous, traitors! MOTHER!! I wake. We need to be done with the World Wound soon. I can’t imagine these will get better.

I can see others are equally bothered by their dreams and many men did not sleep well. It seems the troops are almost as disturbed as Lathander normally. That is saying something. The man is out of his head but he seems to keep us alive. Renli is able to calm the men with a most well put speech. There is something different about that little one. I put my gear together and head to the bridge where men have started clear the debris so they may cross. I give them a hand with some of the heavier bits. It seems they like having a Kellid around when there is heavy lifting to be done. It is too bad my brother could not be here to accompany us. I’m spared a few words by our cold god-caller. She believes they treat me like a dog. I tell her I do what I must. The enemy of my enemy is my friend and my honor lies at her feet like unwashed clothes to be aired on a line. I will reclaim my honor in this life or the next. First we must survive.

We gather together across the bridge and head into the wounded land. It is unseasonably hot for this area. Some magics are cast by one of the group and I feel better, as if the heat isn’t pressing on me so much. The tracks are weaker today but through my efforts we are able to follow them fairly easily back to the rise with no incident. During the journey Lathander seems more on edge than usual. Aldrick tries to feed into it, goading and taunting him as he would. That man is evil, I can almost smell it.

Once we are in view of the temple it seems as if it is at the foot of a mountain and that mountain has cast a great shadow over it. There are no mountains for many days ride north of here. Ah, yes, the wound expands. The chaos knows no up or down, no left or right, no bloody idea where the mountains are…

As we approach we noticed the building is not so ruined as we once thought. The door is in good shape and the windows seem all intact if a bit cloudy. Milo identifies some of the markings as belonging to his god, Pharasma. The god of fate if I guess his often musings right. I scout around the side to look in the back courtyard of the building. Its a roughly 10 foot wall so that shouldn’t be an issue lets see if I can… wait, did that thing move. Nah, just this crazy land playing tricks on me. There doesn’t seem to be a good hand or foot… no, I swear it moved. I stare intensely, almost snarling at this gargoyle. I must be going out of my mind. Its a bloody statue. But I stare. I doesn’t budge, not the smallest bit. I ignore it and focus on the wall. A short jump and grab the top and…owch.. spikes. Didn’t see those. Well, the other side has been overgrown by thorn bushes and other odd things. Strange…. that’s the most vegetation we’ve seen since we can across the river. And try to release the these spikes seem to be hooked barbs. I get my hands off but that didn’t feel great. Where is that bottle of clan brew? I could use a drink. I return to the group and notice Artemis is looking at the gargoyles as well. “Did you see that thing move, Artie?” He nods. We may be in for a fight. The building has many of these statues. We are moving to arms when suddenly, the temple door opens.


Dramatis Persona: Capt. Dann
Note: Aldrick finds magic something on a dead tiefling


The Last Rope Didn't Break

The Last Rope Didn’t Break

The Sword of Valor Session IV

The Inquisitor inspects the corpses for signs of lethality. The bodies are slowly starting to pile up as we head upriver toward the tributary and I don’t feel very positive about what we may come across. Though, unlike my usual self, I feel a little more disdain for the amount of corpses piled up. It didn’t necessarily bother me before as I was trying to follow in Your footsteps my Grace, it’s just that… well. I feel odd. I believe ever since that cataclysmic night of rampaging through Kenabres and shattering the Wardstone I’ve been feeling … for lack of better terms, off kilter. I can vaguely remember the etherreal spectre that moved in front of me as if letting me know things would be alright. And let’s not MENTION the trip to Heaven. They scoff… but I doubt they’ve ever died before. To my knowledge, if you are some of the few that go to Heaven – you are dead – end. of. story. But that aside, why yes… different.

Following the steep embankment, the bodies clogged the rapids. They hung over each other and rocks as a putrid sacrifice and food stock for what lay crunching their bones. They were green, moss of various variety creeping upon their backs and fronts like a bad affiliction, to which they should probably do something about, upturned teeth and hideously bad as a whole, river trolls took up the desecrated bodies, ripping their limbs, a snacking like the carrion birds would in the sands. In some stories apparently, they are more feircesome and taller. These two were simply … well- short, stocky, and brutish.

As that seance wielding know-it-all bellows an infernal blessing, I’m not sure why I am driven to do so… there was a compulsion… a jerking. That asshole, I wanted to strangle his smug face… and I knew I could, but then something held me back. And I believe it was my right mind, but then my new left mind came into contact with my right mind and wrenched it away so hard it felt like snapping. Startled by the mental gynastics, I saw as my associates began the attack after one of the miserable monsters ripped a body in two. Artemis, to which I will later describe as the human seige weapon, got in the first few shots which made the troll drop their new meal. But he did his best assassin work, the little scamp, and sliced at the monsters throat. Wailing and baby-like, these tantrum toddlers picked up the already desacrated bodies and hurled them around hither/thither trying to knock us off balance. It didn’t work. It merely incited us.

The Asmodean leaned in and conjured his famous smoke screen… and I certainly moved away because he is bound to try and kill me again one of these days. In a volley, the Inquisitor, Seige Weapon, and I fired hotly into the trolls from the edge of the red mists. A displaced Milo with refracted images in tow blurred across the river from the other side of the bank within the blink of an eye… I was very surprised to see him dart out there because I did not hear or see him leave our company. I don’t think he was around when the devilish sycophant made his mists…

BAH! Those damned things multiplied as 2 became 4, and then the most protective, guttoral, and horrible noise came from the steeper sides of the hill. The trees all snapped like a charging elephant through a forest.. but the elephant was 20 feet tall and was fiendishly tainted by the abyss… and not an elephant to begin with but an, I could only assume, mother river troll. As if that wasn’t bad enough, a screech and coming in sight near Milo upriver was a river dragon. I had not seen a river dragon before… but as for trolls and dragons there are many things I can think of that are alchemically used for more potent potables, baubbles, charms, and tinctures… and more debilitating resins. The dragon cantered down river with a body strewn in its gorey mouth and was fired upon instantly by Artemis. So Artemis… yes. YES! Artemis, where was I, he when first met, was a normal archer of human stock, quite good in fact (forgetting the climbing down for an advantaged area – in a miniature fortress no less- and running straight to that witch, to which we nearly died) seems… less human. I’ve seen a few archers in my time, even elven… but this – is ODD! I’ve seen so many various shots by this man. He, as an aside, moved with more the celerity and puntured everything with such accuracy and such ease (to which I am surprised because the capabilities and hides of these creatures were extremely difficult to overcome by normal means) he stood in a fixed point and unloaded volley after volley of arrows into these monster with ease. It was INhuman I’d say. The only other time I’ve experienced such a thing was walking by balistas on the walls maned by 5-10 people for the quick load and unload of pikes.

The dragon moved acording to the, I could only assume as mother until closer inspection, as it dove and swiped at Artemis. Within the mists, I could hear the shameless Inquistor barking the “Law of the Land” to the fiendish monsters. Yeah… like they’d stop to chat about how they need to organize and follow into a law-abiding society of men. And with that thought… again Artemis pushed arrows into the swooping dragon (to which I later learned was not a true dragon, but of its kin… but I’ll take it). And then for a split second, most of them just calmed down. For a few breif seconds I heard… nothing. And then the raucous Lucious started running his firey mouth off, AGAIN, and buried that bastard sword of his to the hilt into the mother.

I guess these things don’t die unless you use a little bit of fire… well why not. I took a few pokes and wound up on cleanup duty as I began expelling both healing dispersals and holy fire all at once. Not really holy though… I don’t think. For some reason though, that doesn’t sound like an off base statement. Ahhh… Milo. YES Milo. He danced around the toddlers taking wacks at them here and there, and put a few down, but had no fire. So, as I mentioned cleanup duty he seems relieved. And then the fun part! Except that son of a bitch got there before I could. Although he didn’t take much… or the right things for that matter… the Asmodean grab a few teeth, scales, wing pieces, and trophies… I on the other hand got Artemis to carve out glands, and bile sacs, and bio-iginters, and blood! WHAT A DAY! WHAT A DAY! It’s very hard to find these on the open market these days.

Thinking there was more to it, we set up the steep slope from the direction of where the mother had come crashing down (yes, it was a female – nevermind the exposed breasts, two heads, and grim appearance… that could have been any gender of these things) and came up a cave. Well. We went spelunking down into the depths… and guess what we found… BILLY AND SQUIB! THOSE imbeciles… thought you could sneak away huh!? Thought you could take my Medal of Valor… YOU KILLED ME! And this well be sweet and swift when I ring your grubby li- [patience… forgiveness…] What?

The carvern was natural, strew with refuse art, hides, a fire pit. It seems they recognized me, but I was able to hush them up as quickly as I took back my Medal without anyone seeing. I tried to make a quick cover for them, but again the Inquistor stepped

in… continued poking and prodding until he got an answer he liked, Squib took up a rock and hit Billy with and and Lucious began yelling for god knows what and killed Squib outright. These men should die. They shouldn’t have behaved like that. Nothing could excuse them from this kind of justice. Their ties ran to deep and foul retain any sense of compassion. … THERE IT IS AGAIN! … I can hear it… and feel it nagging me like a batty ol’ wife or one of those law people telling you to move along when you’ve had a bit much to drink… And without pause, somehow I stood up to Lucious… really resolute I must say, but it almost felt like I was taking a back seat… like a was being directed and when I came back to, Squib was dead… I don’t know how he did it… but he managed to find a sharp object and did himself in. I guess that was his recompense… BUT he was still breathing… I can save you Billy. It’s ok. You can do better next time. We all will. There are such things as second chances… Seranrae knows this.

So catching before he was completely gone, I roped him up and harnessed him to me to I could drag him up through the cave mouth. Even though I’m doing a bit more harm than good, Lucious and the devil worshipper impart advise and act as if they was total dominion over the comings and goings of this little operation. HA! I am NOT dropping him and I am NOT giving up on his. I am well within my rights. Lucious tasked me with showing justice to this criminal, well I am… showing justice… my version… in a way. I’m going to have him help us get that banner. It’s practically a suicide mission anyway – and with the lay of the land it would be less torture to have him with us than have him walk about the wastes. But he couldn’t let it go… And he killed Billy, that self-righteous, pompous faced, dehydrated geriatric quim.

The unconscious body weighed a TON! But I managed to start dragging him as the sounds of screams and battle were heard in the distance toward the deathzone were created. Lucious still badgering says SOMETHING about a tree but I needed a cot… and what do you know that smug son of a bitch denies me the cot… it IS for medical purposes and it IS used by an enlisted man and it IS being utilized by said enlisted person… Instead he went straight for the kill. Not caring or considering the potential hazards that had befallen whatever innocent souls that are down in the screams, he tries to murder Billy in front of me in cold blood. So I ran with Billy – dragging him along. By some divine grace I heard a thunk as an axe in a stump… but I heard the crash of leaves and battle cry of the partially demonic man behind me and the lighter load that freed itself from my arms.

Billy’s dead. Another one for the Gods of Chaos I suppose. I have to wonder why I was so adamant about this miscreant. Its perplexing and jarring really… this Inquisitor that stands “for the law”. Etores and company in tow finished with what looked to be the smaller father of the trolls, save for this was a detestable and dispicable zombie thing. So I burned it with some flint and steel. And the grave looks of those around me sent me packing on a one way ticket to 1000 mile island that seemed to say, keep your beliefs out of our business.


The Weight of Reality

The Weight of Reality

The Sword of Valor Session III

Iomedae is my strength.

The wind slams against the small farmstead whilst lightning crashes illuminate the bedchamber. Even the storm is on the demon’s side, yet we, the Righteous, shall prevail. Rushing to the fallen daughter of the farmer, I call out to You for the blessing you have given me once before, and in my moment of need you see fit to grant this young woman life through me. Aldrick too tends to one of the injured, though I worry that he is damning her soul in saving her life. The thought receeds to the corner of my mind as a loud thud, as though something landed, is heard from the roof. I inquire for a route to the roof, and one of the frightened lasses points me toward the ladder to the attic.

Crawling through the filth I can hear the storm raging above, the girls screaming below, and the battle echoing beyond. Too scattered and spread out, we are in terrible position and ripe for the picking. Your Glory is our armor, yet the foolishness of some may cost us dearly. Kicking out the slats of a vent, I climb onto the roof and start seeking my foe. Yet they command the storm and through the might of the wind cast me aloft and off the roof.

Back inside the farmstead Aldrick and Milo engage in combat with a demon attacking through a window. At first it tries to drag a woman out yet Aldrick’s magic is able to protect her. Then it launches a lightning bolt at Aldrick, yet instead kills one of the woman within. Calling on Asmodeus’ bond with law, Aldrick launches a spell that wounds and stuns the demon because of its chaotic nature. Summoning his courage, Milo rushes ahead to Aldrick’s side and strikes at the demon, though Aldrick’s blow finally ends the beast. Aldrick commands the women to move to the lower level for safety, and he and Milo herd them down.

Across the darkened farm, Artemis ran for the fallen body of Lathander and grabbing it, dragged him into the barn. Utilizing a potion, Artemis restores life to Lathander’s limp body, yet they are quickly confronted by one of the demons. Artemis’ arrows fly true and strike the beast, and Lath’s alchemical concoctions explode against its Abyssal flesh. Yet the lightning storm has set the barn ablaze, and though the first demon falls, another is heard in the rafters. They exchange fire with the creature, who in turn summons the storm into the barn. The whipping winds fuel the fire, and parts of the barn start to tear apart. The building creaks and groans against the stress and eventually gives out, collapsing atop Lathander as Artemis dives for safety.

Back at the farmstead, Lucius stands resolute on the front porch where he is struck by a bolt of lightning from the dark storm above. Taking guard, he steps out into the storm, awaiting an attacker. Another comes down and wounds Lucius with its lightning, yet not before he can land a vengeful, vicious slash into it in turn. His mighty voice calls through the darkness summoning the demons to face him. One swoops at Lucius’ head yet fails to wound him. He prepares for the next dive, and as the demon appears he cuts it in twain.

Coming back to my sense on the ground, I try to stand yet am cast aside and go tumbling across the farm toward the burning barn. Hearing Lucius’ words, I too call out a challenge into the darkness. Foolishly a demon flies down to strike at me and lands. Your righteous wrath channeled through the blade Radiance, I strike the foul demon valorously and turn it to a memory. As my blade slides from its falling corpse, the storm abates.

Turning to the collapsed barn, we move to see the state of our companions. Artemis begins searching for Lathander amid the rubble when a swarm of beetles ushers forth. Taken aback and knowing Deskari’s mastery over vermin he steps away. Yet the swarm does not strike, and instead forms into a likeness of Lathander, before actually turning into him. He has made use of the cloak we recovered from Deskari’s priestess, though I hope he is cautious with such a vile item.

While some of us see to the innocents, others examine the bodies of both the fallen brigands and demons. What tools can be used against the enemy are taken. Lucius finds a mark of Pazzuzzu on the Storm Demon. Pazzuzzu is an enemy of Baphomet, so the question arises as to whether these demons are in fact in league with Baphomet and Deskari, or if they are merely enjoying the benefits of the growing Worldwound. In either light, it is troubling.

We gather the innocents and escort them back toward town. Arriving, we see the signs that they too were confronted by an abyssal storm. Edores reports that the demons descended on them as well, and though they were able to dispatch them, the camp has been scattered and the men will be tired and worn in the morning. More concerning, the townfolk rose up and executed Kyle, one of the turncoats who had joined with the bandits. Though a criminal, he should have faced judgment lawfully rather than at the hands of a lynch mob. I understand their pain and feel for their loss, but we are civilized folk and cannot descend into wonton madness.

The night fades slowly into day, though little light is gained. The filth of the Worldwound continues to grow and all we gain is a hazy, red mockery of daylight. Similarly a darkness is growing in the soldiers’ hearts. The gravity of our mission has set it, yet there is still room for hope. So quickly do men let their spirits fall at the sign of adversity. Yet throughout history good has only triumphed over evil after overcoming many obstacles. So too will we succeed in this endeavour. I have faith, Your might and wisdom guide me.

Yet the fate of the townsfolk remains to be determined. They cannot remain here, that is certain. Lucius and Aldrick are content to abandon them to their own devices as they retreat toward Kenabres. It is clear to see this town, limited to women, children, the old and infirm, will stand no chance against even a few demons. Are orders direct us on toward Drezen, bringing us deeper into enemy territory, and bringing such a large company of civilians would both slow us and ultimately lead to their destruction. Thus it is clear, we must lend them defense on their retreat while we move forward on our quest. A paradox? No, it is simple, and though it means dividing our force, it is the only way to follow both our orders from the Queen and the commandments set down by You.

In speaking of this with Edores, I find him of a similar mind to myself. His heart and faith are pure and understanding of Iomedae’s teachings. Yet Lucius begins stomping around, declaring that they must deal with it themselves, that it is not our duty and we must be on our way. Not our duty?! He claims to be a servant of the Church, a righteous defender of The faith, yet I have seem only hate in his eyes as of late – I fear for him. Your teachings tell us that we must protect the weak and innocent, helping those in need, that we are responsible for the lives of our prisoners, that we must be temperate in our actions and moderate in our behavior. I know right and I know wrong, and I have the good grace to know which is which. Lucius seems more and more to have forgotten these things, letting vengeance and hate fuel his commitment to order.

I believe it comes from his hatred of his misbegotten birth, but he must learn that he is defined by his actions and deeds, not his bloodline. Still if his actions continue down this course, I worry that he will fall to the evils that he seeks to defeat. Lucius is my brother, a bond as only soldiers fighting alongside each other can share, and so I will honor him, and guard him against corruption. His soul is strong, I will encourage it toward Your light.

In the end Edores decides to protect the people, sending a small contingent of troops with the refugees back toward Kenabres. He and Lucius are two sides of a coin, and I will stand nobly by both of them.

As the citizens travel south, we turn our force northward, further into the Abyssal realm. The continuing darkness weighs on the souls of the men, yet we soldier on. As we camp that night we are haunted by dreams of death and betrayal. Morale is low, and I turn to the annals of the First Crusade, sharing tales of the valorous heroes who turned back to first abyssal horde. I see Your light growing in the troops’ hearts, and we continue our journey north.

As we draw nearer to the fort and its ford, Anevia returns to us with grave news. Riding ahead of the army, we dismount and move down toward the river, where we are confronted by a mess of corpses. The bodies of men and tieflings litter the water, including members of the Queen’s Men, who had been dispatched to the fort before us. It is clear a battle took place, though we have little time to think on the matter as several trolls move about the bodies, feasting on the corpses.

Iomedae is my Strength



Discord, Heresy, … Treason.

The Sword of Valor Session II

Arrive back in the ruins of Kenabres.

3 days have passed.

Queens army has arrived.

We are found by some soldiers, and brought to the queens camp where we meet with Erebith.

Despite the fall of the wardstones Erebith is pleased by our sucess, and informs us the queen is as well and will meet with us tommorrow, in a honor ceremony.

We see the Tieflings from Neathholme, under armed guard and detained and enquire there fate. Erebith tells us they will be put to death.

spend the night finishing my written report of everything that happened.

Track down some of the other Witch Hunters, leadership is completely destroyed, none know whats to be done.

In the morning we see signs that the army is going on the move. Camp is being broken down. Our ceremony is cancelled, but we are still to meet the queen.

Meet with the queen, given medals (that cast protection from evil, woot). 5th crusade starts now. Wardstones have been a crutch, with this opening…we will win. We will win in the field. Queen informs us of large enemy movement heading back to capital. Must depart at once with army.

We are her weapons now, and she will use us. She informs us that the Sword of Valor, her banner, Iomedae’s banner, is a fake. The original is said to have incredible magic properties. That an army bearing it can not be defeated.

It was lost when Drezden fell with treachery. We are to take a small group of men, 100 soldiers, and go there. Reclaim her banner, and bring it back. She suspects most of Drezden’s inhabitants are marching against the capital.

Still it is a mission deep within enemy territory. A Suicide mission. Lucius preens.

Renli enquires as to the Tieflings. The Queen, with regret, says they must be put to death. That is the law. Tieflings are evil.

Lucius, remembering his words with Lan, asks the queen if they are to die, perhaps they can do so in use to the crusade. Let us take them to Drezden. They likely will die, but they can die as “free men” and no one needs to know of the exception.

She ponders this for a momment, but is not convinced.

Renli starts reciting his code of conduct as a paladin. Lucius cringes with disbelief and tries to stop him.

The queen has been a paladin of Iomedae for over 100 years. She was a paladin before Iomedae was a god, and been with her ever since. She wrote the code! She understands it better than anyone, and communes with Iomedae daily. She is her Mortal Herald! The most powerful and most respected Iomedaen on Golarion.

Iomedae has many aspects. Valor, Honor, Justice, and also Rulership. We must respect the queens authority and her wisdom. Its her divine mandate. Sometimes decisions are hard, there are no clear answers. But she remembers the 2nd and 3rd crusade. She knows the devestation tieflings, the tainted, can cause. She must protect all, not just small few.

Besides can we really vouch for those tieflings. Sure, we can trust Lan, his devotion to Iomedae, through the fire has become true. But the others. We do not know these people. In our brief interlude with them, we had to kill many cultists of baphomet. Tieflings are evil. And even those who aren’t, live a tainted life. They can not be trusted.

The queen rightly gets pissed off at Renli’s disrespect and disobedience. But she seems to rather keep her “weapon.” She agrees the tieflings can go with us. And if the taint of the worldwound causes them to fail..causes us to fail…then the world may very well be damned.

As we leave, Lucius reprimands Renli for his lack of tact. But Renli says hes had enough of Lucius. Disobedient halfling child! maybe Aldrick is right about halflings.

We get some supplies in order, and prepare for our trip. Then we depart. Captian Edoras is in charge. The rest of the company are made of Tieflings and those who helped us in Kenabres. Those who have felt this new hope, and want to hold on to it, and do what they can.

We discuss how best to get to Drezden from here. The worldwound is constantly shifting. Its best to use natural hard to move landmarks. We decide to use the river, and then a canyon offshoot that will take us near Drezden.

We met some NPC’s but I forgot their names

We depart, heading north to Vala’s Ford.

Our scouts notice the town has had a rough few days. The people, especially, their elder/mayor seems nervous.

When the rest of us arrive, army in tow, the elder informs us that some manner of storm demon has been attacking their town most days. And now all their warriors are gone. He wants us to escort them to Kenabres. Our mission is to important. Another in the crowd urges the Elder to be quite on some other manner.

Between Aldrick and Lucius we get to the bottom of this. What they want hidden and why. The other man is an oathbreaker. A member of the blue roosters. He is here to make sure the Elder keeps his mouth shut. It seems a company of Blue Roosters, having, abandoned their posts in kenabres, came here. Where they abducted the women folk, and have been living fat wretched lives at the expense of these people.

Well, we must leave in the morning. And instruct the elder to ready his people for the march south as well. In the meantime, as we are here we can look into his oathbreaker problem.

We find out there are about 20 of them. Along with 3 teenagers they’ve recruited from the locals. We head to their base of operations, a fairly well to do farmhouse.

Lucius affirms that the teenager’s may live. But there is only one penalty for oathbreaking, the rest must die. We attack. Tear and Artemis make short work of the guards outfront. Most of us attack the townhouse, hoping to execute their leader, and save the women hostages.

Lathander, inexplicably, decides to go to the bard, trap everyone inside, and burn it down. Because you know, sarenrae and stuff. Regrettably in the flow of combat, he moves inside the barn and is then set upon by the entire lot of the scum. He tries to escape and manages to bring down a few of the assholes, but is cut down in return.

The rest of us remind these scum of their oaths. Some of the hostages are killed in the fighting. The assholes deciding better to cut a defenseless women than try to escape. They had a sorceress with them, who tried to muck up our minds. Thankfully, or concernedly!, Aldrick is much more skilled at such feats of power.

Many of the louts run, and as we give chase, the storm picks up with violence! Demons are coming!


We're not in Kenabres anymore Lathander

We’re Not in Kenabres Anymore Lathander!

The Sword of Valor Session I

White. That’s all I can see. Why Cayden? Just a few minutes ago it was all black, now it’s all white. That gold-clad man didn’t seem very happy with us, well he probably wasn’t a man. Clearly sent from the heavens, at least he was enough to scare that bitch back to where she belongs until the time comes where we can deal with her directly.

I can still feel the power within me, the power we had when we stood shoulder-to-shoulder against the denizens of the Abyss. We held the line and kept this world free, for that I am grateful and give you thanks. But… it isn’t quite what it was, a shadow of it perhaps, but it is still there nonetheless.

It is clearing a bit now, I can see a few feet, like a bright white fog starting to dissipate. I’m in some grand silken white robes, my weapons and armor nowhere to be seen. Now my companions are coming into view, maybe 15 or 20 feet away, all similarly clad. It looks like we’re all here. Aldrick seems uneasy for the first time in my memory [His connection to his god has been severed], and Lathander is yammering away again… Ha, he thinks we’re dead. Well that shows what he knows. Hmmm… he’s really convinced of it. There’s Renli headed over to try and calm him. Think I might as well join the conversation…

This place is really odd, this pillar here seems to follow me. Even though I am getting closer to Renli & Lath, i can still reach out and touch it. I can see the room a little better now too, it seems to be a large marble grand room, but it stretches on forever. Lath seems to be inconsolable, he still thinks he’s dead… well… maybe this will convince him.

“Lath, if we’re dead, then why in the Nine Hells do I still want a drink?” That’ll get… what the… where did this goblet come from. Looks pretty nice, smells good to! Well, you only live once, bottoms up! I drink heartily and it tastes fantastic – really hits the spot. Thank you Cayden, this is definitely needed after the day we’ve had – yes indeed.

As we gather and the fog clears more the never-ending room.. hallway?… becomes even more apparent. But I don’t have time to marvel, as a rather… perfect looking blond man is striding down it towards us. He welcomes us, and offers us some food. We follow his gesture to a huge banquet table laid out near us. I wonder where that came from? No bother, I’ll certainly take him up on his offer, it’s been a rough few days. I’ll have some more ale and some good food… exactly what I’ve been craving, again. Whatever this place is, I’m pretty well enjoying it.

But the rest of my companions aren’t all rushing to the table. They are slow to join. Lath asks the man about Kenabres we learn it is safe. Lucius makes a show of how honored he is to be here. But they eventually all join me at the table, feasting on good food and drink. There is a sublime music as we eat, setting a calming tone in the room. The blond-haired man is at the head of the table, and in small conversation it turns out we are “supposed” to be here… whatever that means.

Just as we’ve had our fill, we look up to see 5 armored men coming down the hall in a wedge shape. No wait, they have dog heads. Well, at least the one in the middle appears to be a man… with wings. They all wear battle-armor that has seen recent action but is still in impeccable shape. The man also has a bladed shoulder pad. Suddenly Lucius bows his head and kneels.

The blond-haired man rises to meet the approaching group, and the winged man speaks, sounding irritated, “Gabriel, why is the prisoner not in chains!?” He looks past Gabriel and directly at Aldrick, who is actually showing some fear. Gabriel responds, “You know our laws Michael” So, we are indeed in the land of the gods, and the angels are bickering. That must make these the Hounds of Justice. “But think of the leverage he could bring Gabriel”. Gabriel does not respond, standing still between us and Michael.

Then Michael’s voice booms, “Lucius Hulrun, take the prisoner into custody!” Lucius springs up, ready to follow his angel’s command, but Aldrick’s swagger has returned [His god got through to him]. Gabriel is clearly agitated with Michael, and his golden armor is starting to unfold around him. So he was the one who ended the fight in Kenabres. Looks like we’re about to have a heavenly brother battle.

“Enough!” came a loud voice “This is my house, I will have none this!” Both angels immediately stand down. It is the voice of St. Alvis (sp?). “The Concordance has spoken, they are to be returned. They belong to the crusade now.” And just like that, a fight in heaven is prevented. Aldrick then speaks to Gabriel, claiming to have seen waves of demons crashing against the walls of this very place, asking what it means, if the assault was meant to be coordinate with the one on Golarion. Gabriel responds simply, “That is what I intend to find out.”

The whiteness returns briefly, and suddenly we appear in Kenabres, in the middle of a camp. A figure rises – it is Eddoras, “By the light they’ve returned!” A cheer raises amongst the group and it takes several minutes for things to calm down. We are applauded and congratulated and almost worshipped by those around us. When things calm, Eddoras reveals it has been three days since our fight with Vorlesh. He also saw it – everyone did – saw us stand and hold the line against the hordes of the Abyss, right up to the blinding white light. No wonder we’re practically being worshipped. Eddoras says that since then there was the overwhelming feeling that everything was “ok”. The only bad news is that Zamiyaden did not survive his fight with the Vroc. Thank you Cayden that his sacrifice was not in vain.

With a new purpose though we have Eddoras take us to the Queen, who has assumed command. We belong to the crusade after all. As we approach the Eagle’s Nest we note the mongrelmen in a makeshift prison-cage. Several of us object, knowing what they did to aid us and what the others had pledge when they encountered them prior to my arrival. Eddoras agrees, as they helped him directly, but there was little he could do. Perhaps we’ll have better luck seeing these good people freed.

As we enter the Nest there is a distinct change. They’ve cleaned, taken down all the defiling “art” and the morale is certainly much better than it was when we left. The Adjunct meets us at the door, happy to see us. So Irabeth has been restored to duty, good to hear. And we are to have an audience with the Queen, of course. He shows us to a room where we can wait.

It isn’t long before Irabeth comes and thanks us – stunning as always, what a shame… But unfortunately we aren’t to see the Queen until after the ceremony tomorrow. What ceremony? So we are to receive a medal? The Righteous Medal of Valor. Guess I’ll take it, why not. At least the ceremony should have some celebration after it. And that means good food & drink. Irabeth thinks the destruction of the ward stones may be a good thing, and that the 5th – and final – crusade has been commissioned. No longer will we hide behind the barrier, hoping it keeps the filth contained. We are going to take the fight to them. It’s about time.

Alas, there is still no sign of the leadership of Kenabres. Nobody has been found. Lucius speaks up, telling of our encounter with Liotr. But Irabeth counters that no body was found. Lath then has a moment of brilliance, and remembers that Liotr’s body was not there when he returned to partake of the holy water a 2nd time. Troubling indeed, but why did he keep it to himself for so long? Finally we lobby for the mongrelmen, but Irabeth is unable to do anything about it – the situation is beyond her control.

So we take our leave for the evening, each going our own way. I think hero’s status is probably good for a free night drinking down in the mess, and for some reason Cayden I feel you’re going to let me enjoy it without paying much of a price in the morning… Which is a good thing with the ceremony and meeting the Queen…




The Worldwound Incursion Session XVII

Lathander of course lets off a huge explosion almost killing everyone. Luckily I was a bit behind due my excursion in the vault and was therefore spared the ramifications of Lathander’s folly.

After the smoke had cleared Artemis is confronted by yet another swarm of spiders. I swear these followers have no originality or style. I suppose if they capture us they would sacrifice us and we would a death by maggots or some such. Truely uninspiring. In either case deciding there was nothing he could do, Artemis turns the corner, leaving the nest of spiders to us. He is rewarded by they sight of Tiefling fleeing around a corner.

Hearing of Artemis’s find we make our was into the hallway past the spiders. It is interesting to note the most affective of us against this swarm decided to completely ignore it. I am always surprise to find Lathander adept at something, but this quickly counterbalanced by his lack of wisdom to actually use his skills. Luckily for us the swarm proved to be only a minor annoyance at best.

Once we had all entered the hall we were quickly surrounded, coming from the north and south parts of the hall, by no less than 9 tieflings. Two appeared to some sort of Clerics to Deskari while another we identified as the alchemist from the Pathfinder lodge. The rest were nothing more than the garbage that comprise most of their kind.

Thinking quickly I conjure an explosive noise which stunned a large number of them providing us precious time to launch a counter strike. Unfortunately, for Artemis, the Alchemist decided to counter attack as well by blowing a hole in hid gut. Those guns as they call seem to much more potent than they appear. It was at this point one of the clerics decided to bathe the south part of the hall in darkness giving them the advantage.

Again thinking quickly I countered by conjuring mist to conceal us and even the playing field while my allies fought on. I had also hoped it would spare us from the Alchemist and his gun, which it did, but not the explosive fire he created instead. His fireball did little hurt us but succeeded in burning away my mist. Enjoying the game I summon more mist and conceal us once again. This may not have been wise as the fire he brought down upon us the second time was more potent. I dare say even Lucius felt its sting. I knew then I had to put an end to this game and requested the Alchemists aid with an offer he could not refuse. Not wanting to disappoint us he promptly turn and put a hole in his fellow clerics head.

It was during this exchange that Lucius finally decided to get into stride and painted the walls with tiefling blood. The spiders that have been ineffectual up until that point finally sink their fangs deep in Lucius skin and sap some of his strength. He does not let this distract him though as he sought to continue on with his genocide. However, with a blast of his gun our new friend finishes off the last of the clerics, ending the battle.

Battle done the others begin to search for what we seek. Not being a fool nor wanting to waste time I ask the Alchemist where the wardstone is being kept. He informs us the stone is under the protection of his lords chosen, Jeslyn, on the upper most floor of the building. Pointing to closest door he explains there are stairs which will take us to what we seek.

After some of his usual incompetence, Lathander finally unlocks the door. Of course the room is filled with more of those damned Vessels, but for whatever reason they do not seem to react to us, not even when Artemis dispatches one. He appears to becoming deadlier against these vessels and adapting quickly to new foes, a useful talent indeed. A point which he punctuates soon after as his arrows find and kill yet another vessel. The vessels had started to move forward and attack due to Lucius’s entrance into the room, but it mattered for not as Lucius kills the last.

Once the room is cleared we discover the stairs the Alchemist spoke of in the corner leading to the third floor. Filling some need I suppose the Alchemist warns us of our impending doom, like we don’t already know we are all dead men. We of course ignore it and Artemis starts to climb the stairs only to come face to groin with Teer’s brother. For the life of me I cannot remember the man’s name, but no matter because Artemis did the only reasonable thing and shot him the face. His face explodes as one would expect, but it was soon replaced by a vermlek’s maw.

While Artemis has his hands full with Teer’s brother, I convince the Alchemist to stay and loot the rest of the building for us and kill whatever may be left. I had feeling that he may have turned on us if I decided to press him and force him to join us up the stairs. He agreed and then promptly died as sword was slammed through his back and out his chest. It is then that most of our worst fears were realized as the hand holding the sword was none other than Faxium himself. With a condemnation to Othirubo, apparently the Alchemists name, Faxium jerked his sword free from the corpse and faced us.

Showing wisdom I did not know he possessed, not that pay to much attention to him and mostly forget he is even there, Milo promptly disappeared. Only to appear again behind Teer’s brother to finish him with two thrusts from his daggers. Perhaps what they say is somewhat true and is not always the size of the weapon. Either way he cleared our backs leaving us to focus on Faium and our impending doom as a man I had once know used to say.

Trampling over that man Lucius charges Faxium and shaken by the demons threats. Not to be undone Lucius threatens him Faxium starts to vomit. Needless to say it was very confusing and fierce battle. Milo I joined the fight flanking Faxium from either side as he dealt mortal wounds with his weapon. It was not long before Milo dropped and I soon followed. However, our attacks had made a difference and was weakened. Running out of time Faxium sought the reason for our visit and apparent suicides. Looking to Lathander for the answer, the fool had drawn to close healing the small one, Faxium demanded to know why were there. Amazingly Lathander told him perhaps a bit vaguely, but he told him none the less. I am still not sure why Lucius did not turn and the brazen fool then.

Not completely understanding, but knowing enough, Faxium decided to flee and teleportted away leaving us a bloody mess or so we thought. Turning to conceal his actions Lucius grabbed his sword in a two handed grip and spun to slam its edge into the hollow of Faxium’s neck with the momentum and force of his entire body. Faxium invisible form came back into view and the shock and horror of his death was written clearly on his face. However, I suppose he had the last surprise in the end. Just before his body fell completely to the ground and all life left him a scream from above splits the air like a thunder crack and Faxium is bathed in vile energy. Somehow we know his soul has been preserved and it is not the last we will see of him.

With no time to lose we heal our wounds and rush up the stairs. Bursting into the room we discover the once elegantly appointed room of Prelate Hulrun had been turned into a demonic trophy room. It was there sitting on a pedestal covered by a steel cage we found what we needed. In between us and our prize kneeling in a puddle of her own blood was the chosen of Deskari herself and she did not look pleased that we had just attempted to kill her son. Well I had made Faxium a promise during our battle below so decided to honor it. We moved in to kill the bitch and I was going to make sure she stayed dead.

She, as they always do, had other plans and started them off by permanently blinding Artemis. I suppose it could have been worse as Lathander could tell you. Weakened by the power needed to keep her sons soul from departing the battle did not last long. However, at one point she manifested a spell I am very familiar with and ordered us all to bow before her. What is incredible she was strong enough to force her will onto all of us. This is something I must learn as there are too many uses to let the knowledge go. Either way she died by our hand and surrounded the stone to complete geas.

Milo reaching the top before any of us attempted to use the rod on the wardstone with no success. Lathander pleaded for the rod like a spoiled child, but not being a fool I stepped up to take the rod myself. Milo and Lucius understood that opposites stand a stronger chance of destroying each other. Unlike other week fools I did not beg the Prince Darkness for aid, I touched the rod to the stone with willing infernal power and offered sacrifice if the wardstone and its soul…that is when all Hell broke loose.

pentagram.gif Aldrick

The Betrayal's Truth

The Betrayal’s Truth

The Worldwound Incursion Session XVI

The basement of Grey Garrison

The Storm Father be my strength. This horrid place does unhinge a person. I know not if my people have been subjected to the rumored horrible tortures of this place but it makes me no less please to need to be in this building. Entry to this building was made easily enough. I expected a “garrison” to be hard to penetrate. I suppose the demon spawn did not think anything could survive their attacks. I enjoyed showing them what crossing blades with a true warrior means. They barely stood long enough to bare their teeth.

As we continue to fight our way through the basement of this place, we are assaulted by what the others refer to as “vessels”. It is some sort of demon-born infestation of what once was a person. The horrid creatures are unwise to fight in close quarters and I decided to let others handle the last of them while I try to find the vault, the reason we are in the basement to begin with. And find it I do.

I signal to the others that we have found it but I know not how to open it. I would think Lucious would have such knowledge. Apparently we need a key. While we are sorting this out, Lath is trying to free some of the prisoners that we have found. “What will we do with these broken people should we free them all? They are safer behind closed doors for now. Lathander, pull yourself together. We have a task at hand!”

More demons, some sort of demented rat, descend from the upper level and are dealt with quickly by my mighty hammer and my half-kin’s equally powerful bow. I allow one to land a successful blow to draw it in closer and then destroy it without delay. We finish searching the basement, discovering no key and through our combined efforts, no way to get the vault unlocked. In addition, it appears to have some magic upon it. Lath just can’t seem to keep himself out of trouble, the poor fool.

Aldrick prays to his devil god and is able to figure out where Liotr and the key are located. We return to the main floor of the building seeking the former ally who has no doubt turned to the chaos. He must pay for aiding the enemy and disturbing the balance. We find him in the company of 4 demons that have found hosts in soliders bodies. This abomination cannot stand. Liotr can wait. I wade in to battle with these hideous creatures in what was once a holy place to the goddess Iomedea. And what is that sound?!? The hideous…droning…. Gah!… It tries to unmake a man but I fight it off.

Lucious goes mad with rage, screaming about treachery and he seems even more enraged than usual. Seems impossible. The pit born is always angry. His anger seems to turn to strength as he charges in and takes a mighty slash at Liotr. They exchange blows as the vremlicks surround me. Finally, a fair fight. Well, almost… I retaliate immediately, making a puddle of one and my blow carries into another doing great damage. This strange creature escapes its host’s body revealing it to be some sort of snake thing. And its bloody wounds are healing. Damn! We fight on.

Lathander aids me with some healing magics as I fight on and we destroy the vremlicks in short order. Lucious and Liotr continue to scream brutality and hatred at eachother, trading mighty blows. So these were once good friends and allies? Strange company the pit-born keeps. A small wonder that he is always angry and has no trust. A Lucious lands on final, mighty blow he downs his opponent and suddenly a dark angel-like figure rises out of his body. It seems this demon inhabited Liotr and turned him against his once-pledged cause. The strange noise assaults me still. We identify the source as some strange, unholy thing made of body parts and vermin. Once we are able to destroy it, the noise ceases, thank the old gods.

We take a moment to search the room and are able to find some sort of hidden room behind this room. There is a basin within that seems to heal any who drink from it. From all appearances, this place is totally unmolested by the chaos. There are also weapons and armor that we collect in haste. We need to be done with this task quickly before the demons have a chance to molest the ward stone further.

Lucious retrieves the key from Liotr’s body and we return to the vault with Lucious opening it. I am one of the few able to enter along with Lucious. We begin our search for what Lucious describes as a rod. One rod in a room full of relics? Very well. As I search, I discover a box marked “Sarkorian relics”. I decide this may be worth my time. I remove it from its shelf and pry the box open, digging through various relics of my people. Stolen relics! Lucious scolds me, telling me that it is the churches property. Burn him! His church has been as much a scourge to my people as the demons these many years and the blood of my people has been spilled as often as any in the war against the siege of chaos. I am able to find a suit of fine leathers which I stow in my pack.

Lucious finds the rod with need. We gather together and head to the upper level of the building where we suspect the ward stone is being hidden. We make a quick check to clear the first level and then head up the stairs. Artie opens the door and… BOOM!!!


A Time to Heal

A Time to Heal

The Worldwound Incursion Session XV

I supposed the trials come in waves… I assume… I hope. Because if they weren’t trials, well then… I’m in major denial. So passing the bleakly crucified through the land bridge, the mountains of bodies in the Hall of Heroes (which should aptly be named the Hall of the Dead), and the endless rubble mounts and colossal defecations of the tainted of the Worldwound, we happened along sneaking closer our destination of the Gray Garrison. Of course, the biggest obstacle thus far to all the venturing was the grotesquely (and quite enormous) centipede.

Black and chitinous, writhing and skittering slowly toward us as we apparently sought it out. The Asmodean releases a prayer to the ether. And of course, the human pillar just HAS to antagonize the monstrous vermin by hurling a javelin between its plates. It stuck in as the thing howled out in a two-toned discordant scream. Seranrae bless the road a walk on because as the vermin writhed… a humanish head appeared from its front end with a mouth separated by outstretched mandibles. In retaliation, it vomited a swarm of like kind centipedes by the cart full. All of which began making their sickening way to us.

Everyone trying their best to ready against the large vermin… but large… large is large. It was COLOSSAL. A body a building span that scaled the great walls of a 2-3 story building with ease, it was simply a pinnacle of species development. . Unfortunately, that paragon multi-legged spawn of the Rough Beast is more nimble than originally anticipated. First, the swarm begins crawling over Renli. Then, the monster rips into Lucious with its face pincers and its tail filled with a deadly poison hits me… and instantly I feel… not so well. As I’m trying to ignite the swarm, the rest are doing their best to bring it down. Even Milo was hopping around like a hare. Unfortunately, giving the finishing blow to the minion of the Rough Beast, Milo set off a alchemical reaction somewhere in the blasted thing and it exploded viciously.

Rustling everyone up I stave off the brushes if death with some of these die hards. They run over like they were going to bash in the door… but after some verbal persuasion they stop, look for things that may make them go boom like at the Pathfinder Lodge, and THEN they bashed in the door. The Garrison is dark and filled with the sounds of gambling drunken men to our left and nothing to the right.

With a zealous deathwish, Lucious kicks down the door, Yells at the top of his lungs that they’re all going to die… blah blah blah… justice served… boredum. But the sounds of what happened…. that’s different. The room fell silent when they heard the call. Then, darkness. The single light source blown out from the rooms interior, the archer Artie fired arrows so large they could be mistaken as small trees. Between him and Lucious, they had thing well underway. Hearing the door close on the opposite side of the room and the seenless slaughter coming from inside. Artie and I begin taking a different route…followed by that deluded tagalong Asmodean.

Swing into the right door, we come across the Witchhunters base and shrine in this great establishment. Dark, dismal, depressing… no wonder why that man has problems. I built a torch and soon the sounds of taunt and bees came from the what seemed to be many rooms away. Opening the next door, my “companions” are running down toward the basement. With the swarm of bees now in view, I run to the small space available and shut the door.

The basement is no better. Poor light, odds sounds, and putrid stenches. Of course following a putrid stench would be those Dretches people talk about. I haven’t examined on up close… and nor did I want too, but they secreted the noxious gas which cause havoc, panic, and nauseated just about everyone. Of course holding your breath helps. Beyond the Dretches, maggoty corpses sauntered over from opposite sides of the stone corridors. And thank you Seranrae for sending Artie my way because he shot those Vessel Corpses right off me.

The basement is essentially a prison… with malnourished and desperate people beaten bloody and let to rot in a cell. Now… how do I get these people out and running without raising the Law Alarm…


From Darkness Comes the Dawn

From Darkness Comes the Dawn

The Worldwound Incursion Session XIV

Iomedae is my Strength

So many lies, so much doubt, so much treachery. In the wake of the Assault on Kenabres, every day has revealed another betrayal – of values, of honor, of brothers. So few in the Crusade uphold Your ideals, it is my deepest hope that can be changed. Only in valor and righteousness will we ever succeed.

Part I – The Betrayal

As the last sound of Irabeth’s question hit my ears, a new sound follows – the gasp for air and gurgle of blood caused by an assassin’s blade plunging through her throat. Her metal armor clangs against the aged stone steps as her body collapses limply to the floor. A cruel laugh echoes out of the assailant’s mouth and as I close I recognize the man’s face.

If he could be called that. Sir Benedict Raithus, a coward, bully and bastard of a knight – second sword ot Godran Velsoon – revealed to be a demon-born assassin. His flesh pealed away to reveal his true nature. I guess I can’t say I am surprised. How there was so much blindness to all this corruption while innocents were persecuted in the name of the Crusade I will never understand.

But now is not the time for such thoughts. I condemn the traitor for his actions as I rush across the infirmary. Lath hurls a curative mixture at Lady Irabeth, but is has no effect on her mortal wound. Artemis, never one to back down, seeks the guidance of the Drunken Hero as he draws his bow. Seeing the mighty archer take aim at him, the cowardly Raithus vanishes. Bastard.

Diving to our fallen commander, my prayers go out to You. This cannot be her fate – let this noble woman, Your stalwart and dutiful servant, live! I feel a warmth radiate from my heart out through my limbs and as You have so often as of late, You deliver your blessing through my hands. Miraculously I watch the brutal, and clearly fatal wound close before me. Irabeth’s chest rises shallowly as air returns to her lungs. Thank you Iomedae, for rewarding her piety.

As I hold Irabeth in my arms, Lath and Artemis seek out the assassin. His guile run deeps, and he reappears only after plunging his blade into Lathander’s back. Artemis lets fly his arrow which buries itself in Raithus’s shoulder. Lath too steps off the assassin’s blade and stepping away hurls one of his explosives at him. Jumping up from Irabeth’s side, I rush the traitor, Radiance drawn, hoping to deliver Your righteous judgement down upon him. Radiance strikes true, causing a mighty wound in his chest.

Wounded and faltering, Raithus thinks to threaten me, calling out that he “will haunt your family for generations to come” as he vanishes again. I know my mother and father both walk safely in Your Hallowed Halls, and thusly call back, “I have no family”. But the coward has already fled, as evidenced by Artemis’s next two arrows striking only the stone behind where Raithus once stood.

As Lathander begins to mend his own wounds, I return to Raithus’ target – Lady Irabeth. Drawing my shield, I stand above her unconscious body, ready to defend against his next attack.

Artemis suddenly bolts for the healer’s quarters and stepping through the door finds Raithus with his blade to the throat of the medic Jerami. The traitor tries to bargain one life for another “give Irabeth to me and I will let the boy live”. Lath rushes forward but Raithus pushes the blade harder against the lad’s throat. I call out to the coward, offering him a challenge – if he thinks so little of me, come battle me. If he wins, he gets us all. Sadly, his cowardice runs deeper than any measure of honor and he refuses, “Give her to me, or this boy suffers of a life of damnation”. Artemis, quick with his words, replies, “Damn the boy, or damn us all” as he fires 2 arrows. They strike forward incredibly fast, but not fast enough as Raithus and Jerami disappear. Lathander’s knowledge of the arcane reveals that Raithus has traveled to the Abyss with Jerami. We will rescue him. A good man will not be lost.

Turning back to our commander, the Lady Irabeth lies unconscious. Lathander and I go to her, lifting her body and moving it to a bed. In truth I am still amazed, and honored, that You would use me as a vessel for Your divine blessing. Thank you Iomedae. Lathander too is amazed, though moreso that he could not safe her yet I somehow could. I tell him that I am but a tool, Your willing agent. Perhaps he will learn more of devotion later. He is a strange fellow, though generally of noble heart. I hope he can grow further in that.

Part II – The Truth Revealed

The sound of commotion and battle echo through the halls and we reluctantly leave Lady Irabeth in the infirmary as we seek on the other troubles beseiging the Eagle’s Nest. As we head toward the back gate, where we had entered, there are signs of fighting everywhere. Refugees and soldiers alike lie wounded and dead. Continuing toward the gate we encounter Lucius and Milo. Reaching the gate, we find Edores, Zamiedan and a small group of soldiers holding the defense against a wave of dretches. Lending our aid, we are able to turn the tide of battle and put the wretched demons down.

The attack had come from both within and beyond. Lucius and Aldrick had been set upon by another traitor, the wizard Ted “the Burner” Turner, while seeking solace in the temple. Many innocents perished and Aldrick was separated in the fierce fiery barrage, but Lucius rose through the flames and offered Your judgement against the traitorous arcanist. The wizard’s reliance on fire proved foolish as Lucius’ ancestry shielded him from the worst attacks. His blade rent the traitor in twain, but mended just enough of his wounds, so as to have him for later interrogations.

Milo too encountered similar events in the mess hall. My kinsman, ever seeking solace from our monstrous appetites, noticed the kitchen had grown eerily quiet. Gaining entry, an unnatural fog he found a hideous dretch feasting on the cook. He put it down then helped several knights kill other lesser demons.

I too share with my comrades the dire nature of the attack. How the assault by the dretches was likely a diversion to allow them to strike at their goal – Lady Irabeth. I reveal Raithus’ treachery and condemn him as traitor. I tell of the mortal wound he inflicted, and then the gift You in turn bestowed upon me, granting her life. My goal is to spread knowledge, yet as word spreads, so too does a sense of fear and hysteria. Some call for Velsoon, the commander of both Raithus and Turner, to be put in command while others state that he must face judgement for his subordinates’ crimes. The hysteria grows.

Mighty Lucius, ever bold and resolute in his duty, bellows out that with a commanding voice that with Irabeth comatose and Velsoon in question, I am in charge. Some challenge his statement, to which he responds, “He is the only one I trust!”. I appreciate his trust, but am in shock at his words. I am but a lowly temple guard, though admittedly one You have seen fit to bless with great strength in our time of need. Still, the soldiers need a calming voice, and casting the doubt of Raithus’ failure, of Turner’s failure, I am able to bring order back to the company.

I ask Edores and Lathander to return with me to the infirmary while Lucius, Artemis, and Milo seek out Velsoon to learn his part in all of this. There is still no sign of Taer or Aldrick. I truly hope that they still live, though Aldrick’s part in all this is still a mystery to me. Regardless, he fought loyally beside me thus far and so I will trust in him, though ever warily.

Returning to the Infirmary, Edores is shocked by the state of Lady Irabeth. I can see the doubt and fear in his heart. “Edores, she still lives, we have foiled their plan for now. Let the men not fear because of this, let them rally behind this. She can be a beacon of hope, of the Lady’s radiant light, in our hour of need. Irabeth should be dead, but Iomedae saw fit to send Her blessing through me and grant Irabeth another chance to serve.” He warms to the words and we begin to prepare Irabeth for travel.

I hear Anevia’s cry before I see her, and I feel a deep pain in my heart for her even as she runs into the room and throws herself atop Irabeth. Lathander tries to pull me away, yet I share a sacred bond with these ladies, and so now I will serve as a support for them. Drawing her hand crossbow, Anevia rashly tries to end her own life. I cast the weapon aside and look her in the eyes, seeing the pain and fear within. “Anevia, you cannot lose hope. Remember the love that drove your onward in those dark days below the city. When I spoke to Irabeth of your survival, she was overjoyed. You must have strength. Irabeth lives through the blessing of the Sacred Lady. This is a sign from Iomedae, of the coming of dawn. We foiled a great evil today, and Irabeth will be our strength. Please trust in me, trust in Iomedae. She has saved your love, and you two will soon be reunited.” Anevia finds reason in my words, and offers her trust and support for my plan. We take Irabeth’s body to a private room outside the great hall.

We are joined in the chamber shortly after by Lucius, Artemis, and Milo. They had found Velsoon tortured and dead, nailed to the headboard of his bed. His guards too had been murdered with a small blade, likely the same blade Raithus had used against Lady Irabeth. So it would seem Raithus’ plan was to execute both potential leaders, leaving the survivors of Kenabres without someone to turn to. He did not plan on Your intervention. Lucius then dispatches men to check on the status of Orlun, Aravash, and Mallus.

Part III – A Call to Arms

As we await their return and discuss our options, Adjunct Norselan and his guards arrive. He is upset by the state of Irabeth, uttering the words “so it is true”, but like the veteran officer he is, he focuses on the task at hands. Norselan explains Lady Irabeth’s twofold plan. With the knowledge that the forces of Daskari and Baphomet are trying to corrupt what remains of the Wardstone, we must attempt to thwart their plans. There is no chance for a large force to strike at Old Kenabres, for such would draw the full might of the demonic horde within the city. Lady Irabeth believed, and so in turn does he, that a small force could sneak in and strike at those holding the Wardstone if they had the proper distraction. To that end, Norselan has communicated with other pockets of resistance and at dawn every battle-capable man and woman will strike out at the city’s gates, hoping to breach the demon’s defenses and make for Mendev.

The men dispatched return and inform us that Orlun is still alive, though continues to remain unconscious. Aravash and Mallus are both gone from their cells, likely teleported away by some foul magic. Fewer weapons we can rely on. Returning to the plan, I do not like the likely sacrifice of so many striking for the gates as we slip toward Old Kenabres, but from an understanding of army tactics, it makes sense. Still, the men must be rallied for such an action.

Stepping out into the great hall where most of the soldiers and refugees alike have gathered, I offer a brief prayer to You. I think of those warriors, both great and small, who have served before me. I think of my father and my mother. I think of the orphans that likely still lie trapped, or worse, at the House of the Hallowed Shield. I know You are ever at our side, holding aloft our shields. I know You are ever in our hearts, guiding our actions. I know You will grant us strength in this hour.

Standing atop a table, like a great commander might speak from a stage, I call out to my brothers and sisters in arms. The words that echo forth across the silent crowd are bold and strong, calling on their faith and devotion – to Iomedae, to the Crusade, to each other. At moments I feel almost as though I too am a spectator, as though the voice comes not from me but some other power. Is it You, who has guided me so often? I believe so, and yet, this feels different, like a power awakened within me from long ago. It is strange. I reveal Lady Irabeth who had fallen to an assassin’s blade but had been saved by Your blessing. The radiant dawn is coming, ushered forth by this boon You have bestowed and the day brings new hope. We will strike out at the demons, we will break through the walls, we will unite with the army marching from Mendev. We will be victorious!

The roar of the soldiers shines brightly with hope, and it saddens me that I will not stand beside them. Our mission takes us deeper in. Stepping down, greater men give orders and distribute various supplies, including the black powder which Lucius procured, to be used in the escape attempts. I find my way to the tower atop the Nest, and look out in all directions then focus on Old Kenabres, staring into the abyss where the Kite once stood. So we shall come to a reckoning, returning to where this began.

As the forces prepare to depart, Edores and several knights request honor of staying in Eagle’s Nest to protect Lady Irabeth and the others too infirm to travel. Lucius and I offer our blessing and Adjunct Norselan agrees to allow it. Zamiedan, the sacred knight of Saranrae, and his followers ask for the honor of accompanying us. I know in his heart he is a righteous man and welcome into our company. We wait by the front gates of the Eagle’s Nest.

The sounds of fierce explosions and battle echo back across the city. The diversion has begun, it is our time to move. We strike out across the barren waste before the Eagle’s Nest, seeking a hole in the wall up into Old Kenabres. Climbing through the fallen stone takes time, and I wonder on the state of those forces striking at the gates. As we near the top of the ruins, we hear a familiar sound – the squawk of the Vrock. Zamiedan calls that we must go on, that he and his men will face this beast. I clasp his arm, offering both Your and Saranrae’s blessings to him. I will honor his stand, and accomplish our mission. We will not fail.

We continue to sneak across Old Kenabres, hugging walls and checking corners. We manage to elude the watchmen at the gate, and draw near to the Gray Garrison. Our target lies before us, yet something strange, a massive insectoid covered in chitinous armor clings to the outside of the building.

Battle is imminent, and we will phase untold horrors, but I know I will always walk in Your Light, and in Your Light I will no neither fear, nor pain, nor defeat.

Iomedae is my Strength.



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