The Wrath of the Righteous

In the Name of the Law



In the Name of the Law

The Worldwound Incursion Session XIII
6/29/14




BEST MEET EVER!!!!!!!!



  • stabilize hosilla
  • search back office-letters-maps-messaging statue
  • find treatise by aravash narciso on soul binding martyred souls as power source for incredible magics
  • pack up important stuff into hole
  • put hosilla to the question/torture, knows little, her “husband” superior officer may know a lot more, also mentions Jesnah, perhaps faxxium’s sorcerer companion.
  • Learn Faxxium is at Grey Garrison, probably
  • Lathander and Artemis get into trouble with bloated zombie
  • pack up library into hole,
  • try out chalk room, person on other end, not an outsider, names Jaruunicka mysterious person/organization runs black-market of extremely illegal things, artifacts from worldwound etc. first real evidence of persons existence
  • tries to scry on us, unsuccessfully
  • lucius tries to get us much information as he can, but the person on the other end seems to know its a lark
  • Arueshalae is the name of Nocticula’s Butterfly
  • as we are leaving the dungeon, lucius remarks that we have one last taint of evil to clean up, to try to ease the others disagreement with this, offers its perhaps the only compassionate response.
  • demon-stitched bitch saves us the trouble of arguing by trying to kill us and silence us
  • its rough, but in the end we ruin her day
  • return to the eagle’s nest

  • exchange with guardsmen, upset over use of teleport
  • general discontent towards eribith, soldiers seem near mutiny, think that they are all dead, and question why magic isn’t being used to save them.
  • erebith in argument with Velsoon (or his men)
  • Erebith pissed off, but hears our report
  • conclude demons planning on mass murder, soul binding to corrupt wardstone.
  • Queen Galfreys army 2 days away, obvious trap!
  • erebith takes us to speak with Com. Orlun, leader of the Sentinels, would be Commander (as highest rank) but mortally wounded, body beyond repair with available magic
  • When we tell him what the enemy is planning he has heart attack, Lathander saves him
  • tells us about wardstone history
  • wardstones created through the use of soul binding to bind willingly (suicided) souls of powerful righteous men to power their incredible magic.
  • over time wardstones have weakened
  • ritual of sacrifice once every seven years, commander of sentinels gives life to “recharge” wardstones
  • recent decade, wardstones have been weakening quicker, sacrifice held every year
  • Orlun tells us of Altar of Sacrifice, a demi-plane, that connects all the wardstones. Having access to our wardstone in Kenabres gives them the ability to effect all wardstones through this altar of sacrifice.
  • we conclude better to have a breach in a wall, than no wall at all. We must recapture our wardstone, or destroy it.
  • Powerful magic item, no known way to destroy it, and doing so may cause reaction with other linked wardstones.
  • Orlun suggests we find a way to remove our wardstone from its link with the others.
  • Spells like Anti-Magic would work, but may not be available, and do not last long, bad solution
  • Orlun tells us that it was rumored that Aravash Narcisso had a Rod of Cancellation in the Blackwing Library, such an object should be able to cut our Wardstone from the Altar of Sacrifice.
  • Erebith has Aravash summoned to her chamber, we leave Orlun and head back
  • Erebith, finally fully steps up! takes charge!

  • We question Aravash, (who can now see), remains a pompous idiot, we struggle to get any truth out of him
  • finally he admits that he did have the Rod, but that he already surrendered it for the good of the Crusade.
  • he gave the Rod to Liotr, just days before shit went down. Liotr has been missing, gave order, during demon assault that essentially left city ripe for the taking.
  • we conclude he must be working with the enemy, lucius really pissed off!
  • Aravash thrown in the brig
  • Erebith’s staff translates dwarven message from statue
  • Lucius asks for permission to put Lt. Drake Malyce to the question, Liotr’s right hand man. Erebtih agrees
  • questions quickly reveal Malyce last seen in the mess hall.

  • arrive at mess hall, Malyce, on table addressing crowd, riling them up to turn against erebtih.
  • crowd in a near frenzy, dangerous situation.
  • try to get Malyce alone, Lucius succeeds in at least getting him off the table and talking quietly in a corner.
  • while Malyce’s men keep crowd (and group) back, Lucius sets his manacles on the table, and demands that Malyce turn himself in for questioning in regards to the apparent treason of his commanding officer, Liotr. Appeal to Malyce, as a responsible, competent, witch hunter with a good record, should get through this quickly, but surely he can see the need, Erebith needs to be certain of every ones loyalty…
  • Tension rises exponentially, crowd is dangerous, Aldrick takes table and reminds everyone of oaths in amazing speech
  • Malyce explodes, taunts Lucius, demands that Erebith is a false commander, Iomedae would never want us to die here for nothing.
  • Malyce and Lucius draw swords, neither wanting to strike the first blow, Lucius incredibly pissed off!
  • Lucius retorts, Slams Malyce for using the ladies name, while breaking the oaths he swore to her, long winded angry castigation results in Malyce catching on fire in evident Damnation from Iomedae (Huzzah Blistering Invective)
  • As he begs us to put out the fire, Lucius approaches and repeatedly slaps him into unconsciousness.
  • Mess Hall clears out, Malyces men and others run!

  • Bring Malyce to private stock room
  • question him
  • arrogant asshole fool
  • didn’t realize the harm he was causing
  • will not believe Liotr is probable traitor
  • was working at the behest of Sir Goodran Velsoon to stir up disorder
  • while obviously not true to his oaths, not an outright agent of the enemy
  • confirms Liotr had Rod of Cancellation. And that it is in Vault at Grey Garrison. Vault very secure by magic, but probably not against teleportation
  • bring malyce to Erebith and report, leave the scum for summary punishment (and probably execution!)
  • erebith commands us to get some rest, tomorrow will be big day. We have one day window to neutralize wardstone problem before army arrives ripe for slaughter.
  • she begins planning for offensive action using all remaining personal, even those not in eagles nest
  • Lucius and Aldrick go to temple of Iomedae. Lucius tells aldrick what he knows of St. Elvis (sp?), Lucius prays all night, over the horrors he committed today, and will commit in the morning.
  • Aldrick spends the night studying demonology and soul binding lore. Trying to find way to save wardstone (Or remake it if worst happens)
  • Lathander heads back to hospital with Artemis (Who he demands needs urgent care)

  • As Lucius prays and Aldrick reads…Ted the Burner Turner (witchhunter-companion of Malyce, woops loose end, lol) enters the chapel. Screams at Lucius to burn, then unleashes Fireball!

  • As Lathander tends to wounded Irabeth enters Hosptial demanding to know why she was summoned (Erebith doesn’t like being summoned by her underlings) She is executed! Knife through neck! Demon disguised as man standing behind her on the ceiling!

  • AHHHHH!!!! WTF!!!!

~Lucius

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Ding Dong... The Bitch is Dead!



Ding Dong… The Bitch is Dead!

The Worldwound Incursion Session XII
6/22/14

Well, that was close. Lucius had a great idea, stuffing that rug under the door. Hopefully that’ll hold those nasty roaches back. I’d need a million arrows to pick them all off. Looks like Lath is wrapping up with another powder keg trap, though he is awfully giddy. Probably safe to look at the rest of this abandoned lodge now without too much risk of blowing us up, wonder what’s upstairs…?

SMACK What the?! Did Renli just reach up and give Lath a whack? Looks like it, he’s rubbing his cheek while he looks over the door. I think a smug grin just passed on Renli’s face too, but he’s all business right now. Meanwhile Aldrick is focusing in the other direction, seemingly looking through the wall. Must be using some of his powers.

You know, the dynamic of this group I joined is quite interesting. Clearly forced to work together to eliminate the common foe, you can’t help but wonder if they’d be together under any other circumstance. Yet their discordant union seems to work. This city must be freed of the hold placed upon it. I joined in because I thought they’d lead to good adventure, but I had no idea…

What’s that, must have been used to destroy the plaza, the treachery, the infiltration? Wow Lathander hurried in there, something got him excited again, Renli’s slap didn’t last long. Oh there’s the smell, more black powder – explosion: back on the table. He needs to calm down or he’ll blow us all up. “Be cautious Lathander” Lucius bellows forcefully – a wise suggestion. Renli is headed to check out the far room, must not be much else in the bigger room. Looks like the upstairs hasn’t been used in a while…

Hmm, some magic in the middle room? Guess I’ll have a look for myself, but what in the Worldwound is Lucius bellowing about now? Bah, no bother, I don’t see anything of note other than what looks like chemical apparatus. Aldrick said it was in this corner, so it has to be in the dresser. Not there, nope… where would I hide something… AHA! A false bottom! Now where’s that lever… and what the Nine Hells is all that racket? Sounds like they’re trashing the place in there… hope they don’t blow us up…

Found it! And what’s this? A nice satchel filled with all kinds of useful things. Some books, manacles, a ring, some potions, scrolls, wands, gold. Yeah think I’ll stash this for a few minutes while we keep looking around, Aldrick’s gonna need to look at it when we have a spare moment. Looks like a woman used to call this home, but she hasn’t been around for a while. Not much else in here, wonder what’s in the third room… think I’ll have a look.

So yeah, this dynamic, well, how’s this for not-working-well together but still getting the job done…?

I hear it first, the roar of the wind, and peering in see two swirling vortices with Lucius standing square inside one. Lathander is up on a stage of some sort and Aldrick is just inside the doorway, reciting some incantation and it seems like he’s asking the vortex to serve him… But a split second later Lucius dispatches one, briefly revealing a small creature at it’s center. Everything the vortex had picked up crashes to the ground… So that was the sound from earlier! Lucius quickly steps inside the other vortex. Next thing I know Lath throws a vial in… doesn’t he know wind isn’t kind to small flying objects?… and the vortex snatches it up, bringing it around right into Lucius’ face. I can hardly contain myself, and since my arrows are worthless, I figure I’ll check out the last room before I burst out laughing.

But there is nothing of note, other than some odd symbols I don’t recognize. The sound has stopped from across the hall so I might as well regroup with them. As I stand in the doorway I can really see the room now, looks like an old theater converted into a chemical lab. Black powder dust is everywhere and shattered glass litters the floor. Only the rear table speaks to the use of this room, mostly still set-up for the creation of black powder. Crates of supplies litter the corner, and Lathander is trying to close some up with a shiny new case at his side, wonder where he got that? Aldrick and Lucius are in another corner looking at more crates…

CLICK! A door… closing! I whirl to my right and look down the hall to see a robed figure in front of the double-doors at the far end of the hall. She – it seems like a she – is backlit by the outside light of the open door we entered through, though I can’t quite make out any features. “Did Jorsal send you?” she asks, yep definitely female. “Did Jorsal send YOU?!” …or maybe not, whats with that voice? Umm.. gotta stall here, not quite sure.. not working, she’s getting angry now, shit don’t have my bow out… A thief? No I’m not a thief (not really, but I did just take a nice looking satchel full of goodies)… Leave, well, um… damn are those claws?

“No we are not reinforcements” thank you Cayden, stalled just long enough… Lucius is bellowing again as he strides past me to confront her. He mentions we were sent by Hosilla, that bitch servant of Baphomet they said we were after, and oddly enough she hisses at the name. Perhaps this isn’t going to be a fight after all, although Lucius is still advancing, circling like a predator. Her voice keeps changing, almost sounds.. Demonic on occasion. Yep definitely claws, she’s ready for anything. Oh great, Lucius just invoked the name of the Queen, and she looks like she’s ready to defend her home. Lucius is relentless, shouting, but she is tenacious as well. Then Aldrick steps forth with a more even tone. I find it remarkable he can stay even-keeled in his delivery, but regardless he seems to be making some progress with her. She hasn’t let down her guard yet, but we’re getting somewhere now.

Thurl, the Dwarf leader of this lodge, had escaped through the basement some time ago. She reveals there are many horrors down there and pulls back her hood, revealing a stitched-together head… well several heads… or more like several head pieces to form one head. Part is human, but the other parts look Demonic… so yeah, that explains the voice… and here we go again with these guys. Lucius and Aldrick now… one about ready to cut her in half, the other ready to have tea with her. Sheesh. She still wants us to leave, can’t we take a hint? And now Lath wants to heal her? Yeah Aldrick’s right, use some common sense…

“What is your name?” ok, yeah, that’s common sense, that caught her off guard. Good question Lath. “Val…” So I suggest why don’t we leave this place like she asks, we’ve got a lot to report on the black powder and such. Wow that opened a room of Demons, back to bickering again, and she still wants us to leave… Oh I get it, Lucius was being clever, Hosilla ‘sent us’ because of the letter they found. Val seems to buy that, she’s a little more agreeable now that it appears we’re fighting for the same team.

Val further reveals that Hosilla is somewhere in the basement but is beyond her power. Now how in the Worldwound did Aldrick do that? He just politely let her know we would kick her ass in a fight, and she’s not pissed off! Furthermore, she’s concerned about the reputation of her group, he gives his word we’ll keep what we see secret, and she believes him! Because he’s a Devil worshiper no less! Well, what an interesting group this is… ‘The Chemist’ was here too, and he also disappeared into the basement, with the rest of his chemists disappearing on that fateful day. And finally, she was turned into this creature by Thurl because she was suspicious of him. But no more until Hosilla is dispatched!

Now how to get to the basement past those roaches… What is Lath doing? He deserves getting his hand cut for giving her that potion, Aldrick warned him. Basement, still not a good idea to burn stuff… What’s he handing her now? A holy symbol of Seranrae? Yeah, cut again and the symbol is shredded. What a group… a hothead, a full-on diplomat, and an idiotic pyromaniac… still need to figure the rest of em out, but this ought to be fun! What’s that Lath, a secret passage under the stage? Well why didn’t you say something sooner? (Did someone mention idiot…?)

We head back to the chemical lab, and Aldrick heads towards the crates. He’s talking to another of those creatures who seemed to escape the earlier battle but looks terrified of Lucius (Did someone mention hothead…?). Huh, Aldrick just convinced it to jump into a powder keg?! (Did someone mention diplomat…?) Yet again, what a group… I manage to activate the door and inside there is a ladder down, Hosilla, here we come…

clutter-filled room but in middle circular raised platform made of ivory-inlaid wood in pristine condition

brass bull (Baphomet) and Iron Dwarf (Torag) locked in battle, appears Torag winning but Baphomet has an opening.

“In my name is the strength of my history, my tradition and my people. Speak your name into my ear and I will judge your worth.”

Aldrick and Lathander explore portal, noting magical effects – alarm, lie detection, and that circle pivots across the floor

Lathander tries to speak the name “Thurl” but gets blasted with green gas from the bull’s nose. He coughs but is ok.

Aldrick then tries and is successful, platform moves, revealing spiral staircase down.

We follow down and enter a rectangular room. Stale putrid liquid on floor, bugs, simmering stench

Far corners two man-sized glass vials with more liquid in them, and a ladder that can move between them so one could climb up to gain access to the tops of the vials. Two doors, one left, one right.

Lathander climbs the ladder to “test” the liquid, nearly gets ill and as he gags creature reaches up and pulls him inside.

Lucius charges in a shatters the vial, spilling the liquid, Lathander and a man-sized flesh golem out.

DM Note – Lathander failed saving throw

We all spend the round nauseated as the creature stands up.

We quickly dispatch, Lucius delivers killing blow and beheads it.

Discussion about wasting time/tactical decision to explore here, Lucius/Aldrick dynamic.

Creature long dead in other vial, we shatter it from the far side of the room and move on.

Left door has the stench of death, leads to a diabolical torture chamber full of hundred of machines and implements, dried blood everywhere, with a dead man on the table

Lucius takes the body down, Lathander gives him rights.

Aldrick notes he thinks Val was created here.

Lucius opens only other door in room, appears to be a “meat locker” with all kinds of body parts from many types of creatures, some have been around for a long time (Lucius recognizes one at least 6 months).

Take wand from doorway (cold spell on room).

We go back and take other door, head down stairs, hit a landing with putrid-smelling water on one side (decaying bodies), continue in only other direction down the stairs further

We enter a dark library with many demonic books, crate under a desk, a reading area, and two doors on west wall.

Aldrick & Lucius flip through some books, note we need to come back to restore some information (Demonic anatomy, etc).

Lathander opens the crate, wooden Holy Symbols of Iomadae, he grabs one and is poisoned.

We check first door, small room with concentric circles, red glow, is a summoning circle, not used recently

There is gray chalk on the wall and writing on the way in Abyssal. Conversation about prices.

Appears to be Thurl and a Daemon, over a long period of time.

Most recently Daemon offers Noticula’s Butterfly for Hepzamirah’s Nahyndrian Crystal. Thurl says steep price, needs to call in a favor from Staunton. Daemon says hurry, offer isn’t his exclusively.

We check other door, is a hallway with Abyssal Larvae in glass enclosures, shrunken for sale most likely. We start to shatter cases and they pop like a balloon as they expand. Lathander mildly objects.

Enter door at end of hallway into another room, on an elevated landing. Room opens out in front of us, stairs down to both sides, iron grate in front and a large boiling cauldron hanging from 4 chains. Smells similar but not as bad as the first room we came down to – more flesh golems?

We hear Hosilla’s horn and a Schir demon materializes on the grate and hits Lucius.

I pepper it with arrows, Aldrick stuns it, Lathander bombs it.

Second sounding of the horn, I sidestep the blow and shoot the stunned demon, Aldrick drops obscuring mist, Lathander fumbles and drops weapon.

Artie gets hit, then takes the head off the first demon with a pair of arrows. Footsteps down below.

Lathander gets hit

DM Note: Artemis & Lathander both failed saving throw

Hosilla appears near Aldrick and makes him cower in fear (castigation).

Lathander throws holy water, hits Lucius in face (again).

We whale away at the demon

Aldrick trips Hosilla, but she gets right back up and backs off.

Lathander finishes off the schir demon with a holy water.

Artemis moves down and finds Hosilla, lands an arrow

Aldrick ends obscuring mist

Lucius jumps down, trading blows with Hosilla

Hosilla delivers a devastating blow to me, but Lathander comes to my aid.

I miss with two arrows

Aldrick attempts to suggest but fails (magic circle vs lawful), note: made DM re-roll with DP, still failed

Lucius gets up and manages to avoid Hosilla’s blow, but he can’t land one of his own as a result.

Hosilla glaives Aldrick in retaliation.

Lathander heals me again

I switch to holy arrows and aim more carefully, slamming both home, she falls… (-2) and is stabilized by Lucius who also puts the manacles on her.

We explore room at end, full of maps, hand-sized fiendish statue, lockbox.

Hosilla has: +1 Glaive, holy symbol of Baphomet, prayer book, 2 antitoxins, 2 alchemist fire, tanglefoot bag, scroll, wand, cure moderate, used potion vial (invisibility).

~Artie


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Bridge to Terrortopia



Bridge to Terrortopia

The Worldwound Incursion Session XI
6/01/14


Unfortunate Canopic Jarring

That scale covered, mutton-headed, two faced, remorseless, sewer rat infested sociopath! I swear every time I turn around there he is trying to push his influence around like it’s his god given right. I’ve always got to keep an eye open when he’s around. Dear Seranrae, why oh WHY do you allow him the ability to procreate, and have me – ME the “pleasant honor” to be tested with my NUTS in a vault?! Have I been THAT bad?! I’ve been GOOD, haven’t I?! And it doesn’t help that I feel that this is some conspiracy because I think about it all the time. I SWEAR he’s trying to amass an army to enslave us all with his stupid LAWS and RULES. He LITERALLY wants to see the entire world go the Hell. Oh, and the Witch Hunter doesn’t help either.

Aside from the screams of torture, moaning of death on the winds, melancholic atmosphere, and destitute people, it brings the horrible nostalgia to a time prior to the Wardstone destroyed. I mean, I was pretty much doing the same thing I am now… just not in a lone survivor of humanity capacity. BLECH… this gruel tastes awful. Maybe, if I add…eh… and a little… eh… That’s odd… I feel weird.

Who AM I supposed to trust out here anyway? I mean, I’ve got to keep a close hand among these people. They’re all ready, oddly enough, to extinguish a life no matter what it is than to save it. It doesn’t help them that their command structure isn’t even a command structure anymore. It had evolved to whoever wants to play leader. Which, I guess, is their way of things. I could care less about that – as I am tasked with my share of helping. But it’s like these crazies need a title or station to understand their position in life. Help me, because they are all a bit fanatical.


Mess Hall

For instance, all this began earlier tonight. There was a moaning outside, like there always is apparently. More people are crucified in front of the Eagle’s Nest that follows Your dawn. It’s driving the people in here to despair, and although I have earplugs, most of the people here don’t. The mindkilling fare keeps some up all night, fatiguing most from the screams of the tortured. Although, to my defense, I could probably sleep fine without the earplugs just the same. So, we’re sitting there sitting around the mess table getting some pastey food, when the Milo Halfling tries to woo us with a lament. Yeah, like that helps the situation. After some badgering, he changed tunes, and sure enough the grumbling people started feeling a little bit better. I saw some tapping of fingers and a little relief. I had no idea music could heal… somewhat.

It almost felt like I was back in my tavern days in Osirion, when there was a little tune and people started passing around horned mugs of fermented goats milks, ales, wines, and brined tortoise. Save for now we were in a boarded up decrepit building on the verge of collapse with the scents of desperation and body odor. Well the only thing we were able to drink from here was that cup of Chaleb’s that would repeatedly refill itself. But, of course, the Witch Hunter had to be a buzzkill when he found out that we weren’t supposed to be drinking because drinking had been “outlawed” by Irabeth and whoever fancied themselves the great dictators. Well, I wasn’t going to let that ale go to waste, so I snuck a few more mugs in before the Asmodean pulled the mug away. Come to think of it, he was really interested in… damnit! He was preaching all over again getting everyone to go the way of that god-thing.

Well, after the Witch Hunter used his death glare of “I-AM-THE-LAW”, the party ended and Artemis, Milo, Aldrick, headed to bunk down and Lucious headed to the passage that I think led to the chapel? Lavatorium? Prison cell? I’m not sure of the arrangement. I do feel sorry for him. Even though he can be a bastard, who I think IS come to think of it… here-nor-there. I had no idea ripping off the mask and healing him would invoke old miseries… I know now why you placed me with him. Just like the Quillitich character, he is misguided and must be shown the future of Light and Redemption. Perhaps he sees himself as those he had mercilessly murdered in the past. Serve’s him right… but that’s not good. Don’t worry, I’ll stick by him… begrudgingly, but I suppose Your ways are all-knowing. Maybe, with my nuts in a vice too, there’s something you want me to do.


Infirmary

Terrible smell those sores on the afflicted. Oh yeah! Forgot, so, while the others bunked down for the night I made my way to the area they “call” the infirmary. It’s awful. Everything isn’t where it should be, but I did see the Renli Halfling down here. And well, another potential candidate to be your follower – which I am hereby putting in a good recommendation even though he is a follower of Iomedae. This Jeremy was a squires age… and here he was, doing just about everything WRONG! What do they even TEACH healers in Iomedae’s church?! How to beat health into the near dead?! I swear…

Well, here was this boy, suited with breastplate (pfft – like that will help him move quickly), “in charge” of the “infirmary”. He went droning on about being part of the Everbright Crusader’s BLAHBLAHBLAH, tutelage under Colbin of Everbright BLAHBLAHBLAH, master chirurgeon. As he kept listing off titles and the nonsensical practice of his supposed betters I saw many afflicted with the sores of Grayscales… wait… no… Gray Pox. Yes, I’ve seen such before… I think. Those goat demons have terrible disease spittle if I remember correctly. Anyway, I certainly couldn’t leave his ineptitude unnoted and thus, in Your name and my extensive experience, took over as his superior. If I recall chirurgeon is a senior medical officer… And what do you know, he moved aside and was RELIEVED! RELIEVED!

So, I put him to work… however he was too busy gawking at the divine gift of Renli… Which is terribly unreliable for long term problems. I swear. Just because you heal the wounds caused by the Grey Pox does NOT mean you’re not possible contagious or will not find yourself back in the same cot you were just in because the disease continues. And the smug shit just lay down among the afflicted. Certainly not smart, as you need masks, like Jeremy had found. But so far, that Halfling luck… or fanatical killing of demons has placed him in some sort of pedestal from the rest of us. And as if spent, he just went to sleep. Better that way anyway as it was time to impart some proper bone setting and wound grafting. So for the better part of the evening, I poured some good practice into Jeremy. I kept going with his inventory lists and salve application when I saw him fallen asleep at a desk with a book open and reagents at the ready. I remember those days… and I was a little hard on the boy. He wasn’t inept – just overwhelmed. Good lad, so I left him a rather lengthy letter. Caught up on some reading myself and fell asleep in the Master’s Chambers. Still, I think I should’ve taken the insomnia powder to finish out the evening.


Irabeth Tirabade
Captain of the Eagles Watch

After awakening to the dawn… or what I thought was the dawn… well, the late morning anyway, Jeremy was still fast asleep. I, heading up to the mess hall to get that blasted spiceless gruel, hear the whispers of the Asmodean’s name on the lips of survivors… I swear, that man… do I have to stay awake to stave his influence?! Maybe I SHOULD have taken that powder. Seems that the meal wouldn’t be complete without Adjunct requesting us – says the Devil-bringer. Eating the last of the slop, which I did spruce up with a few “spices”, we headed to Irabeth. Congregating outside the war room, I hear some muffled commotion and arguing going on behind the doors. Sure enough some noble types storm past us wearing an odd Stormcloud cloak clasp. Storm clouds, that is an accurate depiction of trying to talk to this lady. Must be people devoted to arguing, or being angry. Well, Irabeth just stands there with fatigue and exasperation set into her lusty mug, gulping down “water”. Water being a precious resource, I think that’s more of a clear liquor. That’s what I would do. But that’s Irabeth, beautiful and spiteful, and apparently and lady lover. Seranrae! I would looove to see those things…. DON’T THINK ABOUT IT! … Cold water… Orcs… Close call.

So she continues on, looking not so viewable through smoked lenses, that she expects the enemy has a design for the city. And BEHOLD she REQUESTS… actually ASKS… well, not “ordering” which is pretty much the same damn thing to her, for us to investigate the Pathfinder Building. Seems that she already “asked” Teer to bring back those left at the Hammer and Keg in the Gate District. I may not feel great about that, but for someone so big he’s really good at keeping a low profile. But now, it’s up to us to get into the Pathfinder Lodge. After some crappy quartermaster gives me guff, and obviously has fallen in love the Asmodean, we gain our requisite supplies and leave through the front door of the Nest.

I don’t know how the building is still standing… must be by Your divine hand, because as we walked out into the moans of the near dead, the wails of the somber winds, and the blackened-red skies, a hemisphere of annihilation was laid out; an engulfing darkness that surrounds the blocks worth of area set forth into the deepest recesses of ground like the Day of Armistice. And what do you know, a single bridged path toward the Hall of Heroes. One path… practically an invitation to terror. The crucified dead vaulted up high into the bleak sky and murders of tainted crows on each didn’t really help our redemptive cause either.

Over the bridge, an array of crucified littered the path. As we got closer, it seems that the 10 bodies were the ones recently moaning… The closer and closer, they were more definitively mutilated with carved writing. Thinking about it, they were most certainly – maybe kind of, set in a pentagram pattern… like some contrived diabolic ritual. Their bodies, carved with the frightful Chellexian words “I AM NOT DEAD”, were those of the fled Tiefling minions of Faxium. No one, Brightness, should ever be subjected to that kind of torture.


Path of Dispair

As Renli steps one foot into the pentagram circle, so hasty that one, one of the Tieflings eyes flies open screaming horrible cacophony. The others snap awake and scream discordant as well. Covering my ears, Artemis looks through the vaulted tortured and spies a hulking mass shifting. Of course, under Your guidance I try to figure out some way to take them down. While my mind works away, Artemis gives the call of the rising enemy through the patterned mutilated mass in the Hall. Lucious steps forward drawing his weapon as the hulking mass stands and clear view, body wrought with the skins and unlife of various creatures, straightening its massive bulk and extending two powerful looking pairs of arms. Oh that? A construct of dead bodies… and from what the Asmodean conveys, its undead too. What joy.

And so the beast roared blood-curdling sounds, silencing those Tieflings magically bound on their crucifixes. The roar of the flesh monster resounded and in trailing away, the Tieflings chanted Chellexian “I am not dead” over and over and over. It’s like this Faxium wants us to know he’s not dead. Yes, Everlight, I am smirking. Only because our small victory the other day. I’ll take the small victory for now – keeps me going. Well, I figure out how to unhinge one of the crucified, but they just fell forward not stopping the infernal chanting. The monster however, charged forward, ripping out a tiefling-stand off the ground and takes another massive claw and rips into Artemis – a really big gouge too. Renli steps into it with a spear calling out to Iomedae, as per normal. Lucious steps in and cuts into it too. Artemis looses a few arrows every few seconds turning into a pincushion.

Just when I think we’re gaining an advantage, the monster is ceaseless. It claws Artemis again… and Aldrick (HA!)… and Lucious, but tears into Renli – BADLY! Nearly rent him limb to limb! The tieflings had to wait, so I tossed a few flammable reagents its way immolating the sewn and strewn together skin. Just… the acrid smell… burnt flesh and hair is NOT a wonderfully nostalgic smell, but the fire burns it down, and Renli makes sure it stays that way.


Flesh Golem

Which brings me to the whole situation of careless life keeping. You’d think the Tieflings have had enough of a punishment tacked, branded, and mutilated. As I’m trying to save ONE… just one! My “companions” unhinge the crucified stakes one by one, and push them off the cliff. No matter what I do, they just continue their wanton killing sprees. The last Tiefling, of who I almost got off the post, is quickly dispatched by Artemis and sent plummeting still attached to the abyss of darkness.

I’m trying to find the swift justice in their actions, but can’t understand the chaos and evil which changes their hearts to such hatred and savagery. Meanwhile Renli looks upon the Human dead discarded, heaped, and crucified in the Hall of Heroes. Melancholy and crying, the Halfling cleans off what looks (and smells like) feces that the demons most likely smeared over the innocents, especially the children. I help him clean off a few, and give passing rites as I read in one of your holy texts – more or less. But his, and everyone else’s outward lack of veneration for the living is unnerving. The dead have already come to your Hallowed Halls and, your Everlightness; you’d see them to the other side with open fiery wing-arms.


Pathfinder Lodge

Trekking onward and finally making it to the Pathfinder Building, it looks like two entryways stand before us and the Chemist’s work… which I am greatly enthusiastic for! I mean so far, his work – his GENIUS is only preceded by his… ahem. The windows on the first and second floors are boarded and front door partially open. Just as I smell the faint scent of ferrous beauty that is the black powder of home, Lucious DEMANDS I stop what I’m doing. AGAIN! Just demands it. However, it wasn’t me that was on the disapproving end this time. Seems Artemis and Renli were ready to trigger a trap on the side door. And, although as unpleasant a scolding I heard… I checked the side door and sure enough… the sweet smell of black powder was overpowering on this side. Heaven help us that these killers almost killed us all. A trap in a trap, if they SNEEZED improperly the trap would trigger – and here they were ready to meet their makers. After bypassing the door, which required my brilliance – waterskin and tripwire cutters… as an extension of You of course, we found KEGS of black powder and sulfurous material. Lucious mentions something about Phomet, but I wasn’t listening… I think it was something about his supplies.


Black Powder Keg Trap

With the utmost care, I started collecting the kegs of black powder to store in the portable hole. Four KEGS! I could spruce up my tea – or mutagens – give that gruel and extra kick at least. I hear the sounds of someone finding shelves of Pathfinder Society books. As I find more kegs to collect with Renli, I hear a door open, some type of chittering and buzzing, and Lucious and Artemis yelp. My head perked up, and the strangest thing happened. I watched as the pathfinder area rug is swiftly ripped from its place on the floor and heard some odd scuffling with a sigh of relief from one of the guys. Just another day at the precipice of death I suppose.




~Lathander


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Corruption of Lucius: The Beginning



Corruption of Lucius: The Beginning

The Worldwound Incursion Session X
5/4/14


Hammer and Keg Inn

We finally find ourselves at what would seem to be safe place, the Hammer and Keg, where we can drop off some of this dead weight. The Hammer and Keg is a dwarven tavern frequented by Artemis and owned by a dwarf, Phomet, and his lovely half human half ogre wife. Phomet agrees to help us and let everyone in, but once he sees the large number of refugees he begins to argue with Artemis, believing the large number of people will attract too much attention…precisely why I was trying to dump all of them there in the first place.

Overhearing Phomet and Artemis’s conversation Lucius asks Renli to go and convince Phomet to let us stay. As with everything Lucius says, this comes out more as a command and Renli starts to argue with Lucius. Lucius tries, unsuccessfully, to explain reason to Renli, and Renli tries to explain something to Lucius. In truth I stopped paying attention fully, but it was more of the old argument about his duty and why we were foolish not to listen the brash little halfing. All this ignoring the fact that we would be trekking three dozen or more people across a demon infested city. I am sure I will not survive this city, but I do not plan on being slaughtered like the rest of the sheep in here by wandering the city with a large number people. This is precisely why those people should not be given free thought. In either case the argument escalated and continued for a bit, but was quickly brought to a halt by a large explosive noise. After an investigation, which showed I was not dead, the explosive noise appeared to have come from a device in Phomet’s hand. It was a weird looking thing made of wood and a long tube, which he had pointed to the ceiling and smoke was trailing out from the top of the tube. An interesting item that faded from memory when Phomet tells everyone to get out.


Black Powder Pistol

As always it is up to me to clean up as there was no way these people are coming with us. I convinced Phomet that my companions and I will leave him immediately with water and provision provided he lets the useless ones stay. He countered by letting them stay for 3 days. I tell him that seemed reasonable believing we would either find refuge for them or we would be dead and no longer have any worries, but the fires of Hell. I follow Phomet into his back room to fill his kegs with fresh water to honor our deal.

From what I have been told Renli was rather upset about the argument and our decisions. He decided it was time to leave on his own and determine what had happened to his home, The House of the Hollowed Shield. As he prepared to leave Anevia pulled Renli aside and gave him a private message. I know not what was said, but it is rather curious and at this time only known by Renli.


Renli Stuff



Edorres
Knight of Iomedae

After their conversation Edorres was able to convince Renli, with the supposed aid of Lathander, that it would be too dangerous to travel on his own and that his strength was still needed. In truth I do not care what was said as in the end he stopped his trivial complaints.

All of this was happening while I was the only one working to honor our host and provide him with the aid he both needed and deserved. Lucius decides to ruin this by following me back to the store room and accuses Phomet of allying with the enemy. Again I am forced to smooth things over as the man lacks tact. Phomet identifies the smell, that led to Lucius’s premature conclusion, as sulfur, a necessary reagent to the mysterious compound known as black powder. Before I can intervene, or even negotiate, Lucius agrees to pay the ludicrous price Phomet had asked for a single keg of black powder. I know little about the substance, but I know how to make a bargain and you never accept the first offer. In either case it seemed to have made Phomet very happy, which makes sense considering the amount we were taken for, but perhaps he will keep the lumps a bit longer if we do not make it back in 3 days time.


Black Powder Keg

With our part of the deal complete we make preparations to leave. This is followed by a quick rest with the aid of the mongrelshrooms as I have come to call them. Those folk may have been positively grotesque, but they had their uses and perhaps I will have more use of them in the future. Although they would have to agree to keep themselves completely covered at all times and of course live separately, but equal to the rest of men.

Lucius speaks to the blacksmith about his weapon and its chaotic tendencies. She is able to suppress its taint for forty eight hours, a blessing that will become permanent if he can sanctify its blade with the life of a demon. Blessing and preparations done we leave the Hammer and Keg and make our way toward the wall seeking a hole that will grant us access into the inner tunnels. Our final destination, the Eagles Watch headquarters as it seemed likely it was still standing and could possibly provide us hidden access into New Kenabres. When we had left the Hammer and Keg I was disappointed that Lathander decided to join us instead of staying with the rest of the others. I would have much rather Helena followed us in his place. However, I will admit there were many opportunities during our journey to the Eagles Watch headquarters where he proved less than useless despite his disabilities.


New Kenabres Wall

Our journey took much longer than I would have liked and was rather tedious. It did not take us long to find what we sought within the wall as there are cracks and holes all over the city. The walls in between the city districts sit high above on top of massive cliffs. This forced us to climb up before we could reach the inner tunnels. Renli decides to climb first and scout the way, which I had no objections to. Finding everything clear the rest of us soon follow. Once up we could only see part of the city as it was shrouded in night, but we could clearly make out the glow of flames in the direction of the blacksmith shop.

Given his oddly superior site in darkness, Renli again acts as point down the tunnels. It does not take long for us to reach an entrance to one of the many towers that are positioned along the wall. The tower itself is of course empty and appears to have been thoroughly scavenged and given the way it looks it was most likely not from allies or refugees. Lathander takes his time finding the exit back into the other side of the tunnels as the way is of course hidden. This man Lathander has a rather odd set of skills. I expect it from someone like Milo, his kind is full of thieves if they are not tamed properly, but perhaps it is the taint in Lathander’s blood. It is something I will have to take some time to study.

Again we find ourselves travelling through a dark tunnel only this time our walking is cut short by a gate. Renli and Lucius inform us this is quite common within these tunnels so Lathander moves forward to see if he can bypass it. I cannot help, but smile and offer praise to The Prince himself when two spears come flying out of the wall and stab Lathander. Moments before this he proclaimed the gates un-trapped and as unlikely as I believed that to be I let him continue on with administrations and was promptly rewarded. The trap did minor damage to him which he quickly was able to heal by his own concoctions and return his focus on bypassing the troublesome gate.

Lathander I suppose can learn a lesson as we encountered several of these gates after the first and he seemed able to pass them all with ease. We trekked through the dreary tunnel until again were forced to stop, this time due to a bottomless gap in the tunnel floor. No doubt caused by whatever creature had destroyed half of the city so far. Wonders never cease as Lathander surprised me yet again and provides a reliable means across the gap with the anytool, a tanglefoot bag, and some rope. Once we are all safely across find yet another entrance to a watch tower, the last tower before the Eagles Watch headquarters.


Stone Guardian

Once inside the tower it is easy to see that it had not been touched or damaged in any way as the previous tower. Lucius moves forward toward the stairs in search of the entrance to the opposing tunnel and is attacked by one of the two stone guardians of the tower. For some reason they do not attack Renli and Lathander and focus only on Lucius and myself. Renli commands the guardians to stop attacking as they are only supposed to attack the enemy. Interestingly this seems to work on one of the stone guardians. The other is quickly subdued by Lathander, of all people, as he says something to it. We luckily move on to find the entrance to opposite tunnel with me being the only one to suffer injuries and those were quickly healed by my gifts.

Making our way down yet another tunnel we of course come to yet another hole. This one however is not nearly as treacherous and we are able to bypass it by simply climbing down and back up to the other side. The only thing of note about the climb was the screaming. From within the hole the wind brought sounds of those who were in a considerable amount of pain. Worse than this though was that it was coming from the direction we were headed, an ill omen indeed. Suppressing my disgust we move on and come to another gate, surprise surprise.

This time however the gate was not unoccupied. Standing just beyond the other side was what appeared to be a guard who did the only sensible thing and levelled a crossbow at Renli’s head while ordering him to stop. Upon noticing the rest of us he asked us our names and forces us to recite our oaths. Lucius ever eager spits it forward with vigor. This seemed to be good enough for the man as he possesses a candle that would somehow inform him of any deceit on our part. Requirements satisfied the guard, Garwin, welcomes us to the Nest.

Making our way into the Nest Garwin informs us we are to meet with Captain Irabeth Tirabade, head of the Eagles Watch and currently highest, known living, commander of the crusade. It was of course then that the man decided to finally notice Lucius and his certain complexion. What demon had processed Lucius to make him believe he should go unmasked is beyond understanding. Garwin did not hesitate to raise the alarm; however, some quick words from Renli and I, with some help from Lucius himself, were able to convince the man that Lucius was not the enemy. It was most likely Renli’s voice that stayed the execution as these people seem to be very distrustful of the word of an Asmodean. I am sure this is something that can be corrected in time with some work. In either case having said the oath and having several vouch for his character this again seemed to be enough for Garwin although we are forced to give up our weapons. Nevertheless we resumed our journey to see Captain Tirabade.


The Nest

The Nest as it was called turned out to be nothing more than a disgusting congregation of filthy cramped people. I suppose the name is appropriate as the people looked no better than beasts. Despite the lack of the accommodations I will admit it was better than the sewers, but only by a bit. It was fortunate that we did not have to stay there for too long as we continued on and reached our destination. At the Captain’s door we were greeted by a hideous one armed man. What he lacked in appearance he must make up for in other areas as he introduced himself as Norsellen, Adjunct to General Dyre, High Commander of the Crusade. Perhaps it is former High Commander as Norsellen informed us many of the higher echelons of leadership were still missing including General Dyre. It is safe to conclude that death has found them and if not I am positive they are wishing it had.


Adjunct Norsellen

We wait while the Adjunct informs Captain as to our arrival and it does not take long; however, he informs us Lucius must be separated and assures us he will not be harmed. I care little for any harm that may or may not befall him, but it would have been inconvenient to me if they were to kill him. Confident they will do no so such thing and that the Captain only wishes to speak to us alone, we entered her chambers while Lucius is taken away.


Lucius Stuff


The stories of Captain Tirabade’s were not exaggerated so that even in full battle regalia, with exhaustion casing all her features, and covered in sweat and dirt the women was beautiful. Unfortunately, the only thing less under exaggerated than her beauty was her cold hard ice bitch persona. We entered to her looking over several maps in the center of the room. There were several officers or assistants, but the room was eerily quiet for some kind of command meeting. Standing as instructed silently to the side of the room the fool Renli decides to open his mouth. I am not sure what is wrong with those creatures for some reason their mouths always seem to be open. It is either food and drink in or talk out and in most cases they know not when to use that object between their ears. It baffles me how they can be so quiet when they wish and positively frustrating that they only seem to wish when it involves mischief. I suppose they are like children and must be taught by their betters something the Captain quickly proved by ordering Renli to shut his mouth. For a wonder he listened.

Finally the meeting came to an end and her attention focused on me for some reason. I was promptly ordered to identify myself which of course did. One of the men started looking through a small black book and once he found what he was looking for told the Captain I was set to take my oath this past Armasse. Once confirmed the icy bitch ordered me to keep my mouth shut. She appears to be of the similar mind and temperament as Lucius and my presence seems to unnerve her. I will have to tread carefully around her as her age and most likely race makes her cooler headed and not nearly as easy to control as Lucius.

Satisfied and done with me she orders Renli to relay our tale for which he does in rather impressive detail. He may be a fool in many ways, but his mind is sharp in others, it would be wise for me to remember that as well. The tale itself is the first time the women showed any emotion and it was a mix of mild amazement and admiration. I must again stress mild with the Captain. During this full recounting Renli mentioned many of those travelling with us; however, it immediately struck me as odd that he would forget Anevia. The one with us that had the most drive to reach the Nest and whom supposedly had important information for the women who stood before us. Not to mention she was the only one among us actually part of the Eagles Watch. Deciding this required further investigation I requested permission to speak and once granted I mentioned Anevia and her supposed important message to the Captain. The look on Captain Irabeth Tirabade’s face, although extremely quick so that I doubt any other than myself noticed, and the abruptness in which Renli cut me off confirmed my suspicions. This scout was more important than I had originally expected, but how and why still remains a mystery to me. It is very useful that I saved that girls life on several occasions as it is perhaps leverage I can use in the future.

Once done we inform her that we have evidence of the Hammers of Heaven’s betrayal and that the ones among them should not be trusted. She in turn vouches for the loyalty to the cause or at least for the ones within the Nest. The leaders may be the scum of the enemy, but the rest seem to be dedicated. Finally she informs us of the current state of the Nest and the war which is grim. With all that completed and information shared on both sides we are ordered to go rest and eat while she has a private word with Renli. I contemplate convincing the more useful halfling to stick around and see what he can find out, but although he may not act it, I believe he is more cunning than he looks. My machinations and schemes would most likely fail with him, all until I can find the right lever that is. Perhaps if we could find a way to combine our two halflings we will have a complete man, but perhaps not.

As a passing note before we leave the Captain puts our minds at ease that we have been pardoned for the crime of consorting with the enemy. Not because we had no idea that we were travelling with a demon spawn or because Lucius may be a steadfast devotee to the cause, but because the cause could not spare a single able bodied soldier…a cold hard bitch indeed.


Renli Stuff


Lucius Stuff


It apparently had been decreed that Lucius was worthy enough for the cause as he joined us at our table with a brand new metal face, gifted to him by the Captain. As I sat there, ate, and contemplated the last few day’s events I noticed a man get up from his table and make his way determinedly out of the hall. For some reason I had sneaking suspicion that he went off to inform someone of our arrival. Unable to do much about the man at the time I decided to set my mind back to its original task.

Even now I am still undecided as to my path, but I am sure it will come to me. Asmodeus is not like other gods whose followers whine and pray for guidance. The Prince of Darkness does not have the time to listen to such trivial wailing and moaning. He bestows his gifts on those worthy and sufficient enough to do what must be done on their own, and those capable of forging their own path. For now I will see where this road leads. I may not agree with many of my companions, but they are for the most part useful allies and perhaps strong enough to weather what must come to win this war. Renli and Lathander will most likely have to go, but that may prove to be difficult now that Lucius has not been burned. There is still time yet and it is likely I will have to do nothing as Renli seems determined to kill himself and Lathander will decidedly do something stupid and I can petition for his execution. Even if Lucius proves to be too weak for the job I am sure Capatin Tirabade will perform her duty.

pentagram.gif Aldrick

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When Fates Offers You an Ambush, Tackle Boxes Instead



When Fate Offer You an Ambush, Tackle Boxes Instead

The Worldwound Incursion Session IX
4/27/14

Iomedae is my Strength.

The boxes tumble to the ground as Lath peers over them. Though he manages to catch one, the noise is enough, prompting one of the demon-spawned minotaurs to look our way. Glancng back to his liege for approval, Faxium tells him to ‘check it out’. Accompanied by a half dozen tieflings, the bull-headed beast heads our way.

Damn, a good opportunity wasted.

For a brief moment we confer and decide we will slip into the arms market through a minor entryway. Aldrick checks the door, but it was locked and so takes a moment to utter some infernal blessing, drawing power into himself. Every time he does that I feel his unholy power scratching at my skin. My kinsman Milo rushs back to offer his talents, though the lock seems to confound him as well.

I call the rest to fall back and protect the innocents while we work on the door. Hearing the minotaur approach, I offer my prayers to You, seeking protection against the worst of the blows that are about to fall upon me. My shield is stout, though against the raging horns and slashing axe of a minotaur I know it can not stop all those blows on its own. Lucius and Lath step back toward the others, while Anevia takes up a firing point atop a cart. The Sarkorian Teer does not heed my words, taking a position beside me, though in truth I am honored to have him by my side. That man is a giant, both in size and in heart. He is a pragmatist at times, though I believe that is the grief coming through – he came to Kenabres with several kin, all of whom were in the Great Courtyard when the tragedy befell. Still, I hope I can inspire more such strength from him.

I see the beast closing through a gap, and ready myself. It rounds the corner, and I can smell its Abyssal breath from my position as it utters two harsh words, “Holy Men”. Milo and Lath still battle with the lock, though fruitlessly. The moment is about to pass.

Suddenly two arrows streak down the street from the forge, striking a duo of the tieflings. The odds are getting better, though still in their favor. Cruelly, Faxium calls out, “I guess I have your answer” as he draws his vicious blade across the neck of the knight. A pain strikes my heart, though not as deeply as the heart of the one inside the forge who cried out in response. Damnit all, I must get to him, there are two few good men left in our city, I must save him. Forward then.

For the Light of Iomedae I charge the servant of Baphomet. The might of Radiance glowing as the morning sun, I raise it high whilest I dive and roll to avoid the beast’s mighty swing. Coming up, I plunge You Glory into the beast’s leg and it howls in pain. True to his nature, Teer charges behind me, swinging his mighty hammer into the minotaur’s shoulder.

The tieflings swarm around us like locusts, though as they move it becomes evident they are no mere militia. Offering prayers to the dark lord Daskari, I see unholy energy dance along their bodies and blades. Damn, a host of demagogues and cultists, this just keeps getting better. They swarm around the cart and minotaur, striking at Teer and I with their cruel blades. Their blades inflict little pain, though perhaps that is because all of my strength is driven to raising my shield ab block the giant axe swinging down at my head. Your Strength bolsters my arm and Your Might strengthens my shield – the Abyss-spawn’s axe is no match for Your Glory. Iomedae protect me.

As the other minotaur begins swinging its axe into the forge’s door, Faxium turns to his priestess and utters the words, “deal with this” before disappearing. Damn, he escaped.

Striking back with a swing of Radiance and a punch of my shield, I wound the demon minotaur more, though it only counters with its own dark prayers, and I am troubled as wounds on its body begin to close. More tieflings have surged past us and I can hear Lucius, Lath and the others battling behind me. Damn, this is taking too long, a good man lays dying.

Several tieflings fall, arrows continue to come from some unknown defender within the forge, and we make a leap forward when Radiance delivers the final blow to the minotaur I battle. I turn to run for my fallen brethren when a demonic laughter erupts from the roof of the arms market. Faxium is playing with us. Damn. He vaults off the roof, landing near Lucius who has just dispatched several of the tiefling cultists. His Abyssal skin glistening with a blood-like sheen, he smiles as Lucius, then speaks to him, calling him by name, “Lucius, we thought you were dead. Most excellent. Let me see what you are made of.”

A challenge? He wants to challenge Lucius? How does he know him? This is the second demon to call to Lucius… perhaps this has to do with why he asked me to seek evil corruption upon him? Still, there is something he is holding from us, something we need to know. It almost seems as though Faxium wants to measure himself against Lucius.

I am torn, do I turn on Faxium, now standing amid my allies, or do I rush to the fallen knight and the defense of those within the forge. Besides Faxium, few are left at this side of the battlefield. Best to take the fight to them and save this man at the same time. I charge down the road, shield raised as I duck and weave through the vile cuts of Daskari’s worshippers. I make it to the knight, a good man named Edorres, and through the blessings You have bestowed upon me his eyes burst open and he gasps for air as I am able to heal his wounds. Thank You, Iomedae, for Your blessing upon me.

I hear a battle cry, a challenge, erupt from the battle behind me. Though the voice is Lucius, it is in a strange tongue, yet one that sounds of honey and trumpets in my ears. He calls on Ragathiel, Your battle general, for guidance in the fight with Faxium. Iomedae grant him strength.

Ever a lion in his heart, Teer calls out to “Stormfather” for strength – I believe he said that is one of his tribe’s deities – and charges with the fury of a ranging thunder, crashing into the crowd of tieflings near me and shattering one’s skull with his hammer. The other minotaur’s axe comes around viciously at my head, though again Your blessing deflects its blade away from my shield. Strangely, I see a man climb out of an upper window of the forge. He is armored lightly and a bow rests across his back. He seems drawn to the she-witch, and as he mindlessly walks toward her, he is cut down by swings from the tieflings and the minotaur. Another noble soul twisted by their foul touch.

The witch tries her Abyssal enchantments on me, hoping to bind me in place so her minions can cut me down. Her magic holds no strength over me, bless You Iomedae. I wade into the mass of demons and deliver two mighty blows to her in response. The tieflings strike at Teer, though for each minor wound they cause he takes another of their lives. A noble exchange.

A cry, a righteous cry, erupts in a street to my side, “With the blessings of Saranrae, charge!” Zamieden and his men have joined in the battle, and rushing forward slam into the demon horde. One’s life is quickly ended by the minotaur, though the others strike fiercely into the weakening cultists. Some turn to flee. Zamieden’s righteous blade takes a chunk from the minotaur, while spears stab out of the building at it as well.

As Radiance cleaves into the Daskari priestess again, ending her life, I hear the voice of Aldrick call out boldly, “Faxium is dead, quickly mop up the rest of these fools!”. A thousand blessings upon You, Iomedae, for granting my allies the might to take down such a mighty foe. The spirits of the demons broken, one calls out “Faxium is dead, Jezna must be informed” as they turn to flee. Having already killed the first minotaur, you would think this one would not be so foolish as to lower its guard before me…. but it did and Radiance dealt with the Abyss-spawn appropriately. Stepping through the crowd, I reach the fallen archer and with Your blessing am able to restore life to his body. I am amazed each time this happens, thank You.

Teer and I offer our hands and arms to the fallen knight, a man known to me as Edorres Kelvarane, a knight of Iomedae, and the archer, named Artemis, a scout and guide that served one of the mercenary company’s that had come from Mendev. I likewise embrace Zamieden and his men, welcoming them likewise as well-timed brothers. Looking up, the rest of our company approaches. But all is not well.

Lucius is unmasked, revealed for the first time. His skin is bloody and scarred. Though the blood is fresh, the scars, burns of some sort, are old. Yet beneath the scars I can see scales, not unlike those that were on the faces and flesh of those in Neathholm. Strange indeed, that one would so hastily judge another by their appearance while knowing that the measure of a man is not his flesh, but his heart. I wonder what pains have befallen him.

I would later learned that Lucius’s battle cry was followed by a mighty blow against Faxium’s red flesh ~ flesh that shimmered and briefly revealed magically-hidden metal armor. The demon quickly countered with a mighty swing of its unholy blade, cutting Lucius’ chest nearly in two. It said simply, “pathetic”. Aldrick drew upon the fires of hell to heal Lucius’ wounds while Lathander pulled back Lucius’ mask to feed him a potion, thereby saving his life. Faxium reached for the mask in Lath’s hand, who countered, “not on your life”. But the will of Faxium could not be stopped, and Lath’s hand slowly stretched out and handed it to him. He looked down at Aldrick, and smiling, spoke, “When you’re ready to join the winning side, you know where to find me”, then disappeared.

Seeing the demon-tainted inquisitor approaching, Edorres goes to draw his blade before realizing he has none. There is a brief confrontation in the street between the men, but I call on Edorres, who knows of me through Brother Audrin of the House of the Hallowed Shield, to trust that I speak for both the quality and nature of Lucius and Aldrick. We move inside quickly, where we are greeted by Kayda Hull, the owner of the forge, and her six “warriors”. Though… to call them warriors might be a stretch. Still, they have held up a noble defense and offer guard over a dozen women and children. Kayda embraces Edorres as only a lover could, and tears form in both their eyes. Love reunited.

In gratitude, Kayda offers us food and drink, though it is clear that we are far better off then those within. We decline, and instead share some of our goods. Lath offers healing to the injured and begins tending to their wounds. After a quick few questions, two things are clear: first, there are no great weapons to use against the Enemy here; and second, this place is no longer defensible. It has been assaulted three times, and with our arrival, Faxium will definitely return. We must move, but to where?

Once again I propose the House of the Hallowed Shield, whereas both Lucius and Aldrick are looking simply for the closest place to “unload the baggage” and feel it is too far. Their frank disregard for life is appalling, and I worry that the Devil worshipper is toying with Lucius’s mind. I press the Witch Hunter for answers, about his origin, his nature, his role as a Witch Hunter, and why these demons know of him. He continues to pull rank, but even his confidence in that is weakening. Eventually, he shares some basic details, of how he was born tainted though does not know why, of his punishment and torture at the hands of the Witch Hunters, and about his eventual indoctrination into the order.

Still, we need someplace safe. Edorres’ men are preparing everyone for travel even though we have no specific direction. The archer Artemis suggests an old dwarven tavern, Hammers and Kegs, that lies north of the grand market. Not far, though we will likely pass close to the gate into New Kenabres. Not great, but for the moment it is our best chance.

The sound of a palm cracking across a cheek echoes through the room, and I see Aldrick standing before Kayda, face red. He apologizes for some slight that I missed, and agrees to heal Edorres, though warns it may “hurt a bit”. That infernal bastard, with his tricks and mechanations. I don’t like him, but he has been true to his word to this point. Kayda offers us any arms we can find, and we each add something to our equipment. I find an archer’s training bow, probably designed for a lad being groomed to be a serious archer, that will serve me well, granting me a further reach than my javelins.

We carefully take to the streets and make our way across to the Hammer and Kegs, sticking close to buildings as we move. Upon arrival, Artemis goes to open the secret door, and we are greeted by a dwarf pointing a musket at us.

Iomedae is my Strength.

~Renli


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The Castration of Lathander Dall



The Castration of Lathander Dall

The Worldwound Incursion Session VIII
4/6/14

Vorlash

Demon Loving Bitch
Birthed Worldwound

Status: Alive
Overwhelming Threat
Do Not Engage

In the morning we discuss plans for our further infiltration of this now damned city. Vorlash’s ritual must be stopped, and for that we need information. The pathfinder lodge seems to be the ideal starting point, considering Hostila’s traitorous letter. However, the “” Blacksmith shop is also close by and we do have word from the criminal, Chaleb, that it is fortified and occupied.

Well if my memory serves me right, the proprietor was quite the fierce woman, and an asset to the crusade. She could be a valuable asset against Vorlash. Furthermore, she has survived now for several days, and perhaps she can lend her expertise in this regard, freeing us of these…deadweights.

We have a job to do. We survived the fall for a reason, her Grace saved us from instantaneous death so that we could in turn stop Vorlash’s ritual at the Wardstone. But I have no delusions, we are all dead men, and we must do what we can for the greater good before we are discovered and slain. To that end, these obnoxious civilians we seem to be gathering…serve no purpose but to burden our already diminished chance of success.

As I ponder…solutions…to this crisis, a scream cuts through the morning silence.

We rush to action, searching Gwerm’s mansion and gathering together. Its is quickly realized that the two younger librarian girls are missing. Ironic.


Gwerm’s Ballroom Piano

The first girl is discovered…weeping…under the piano in the ballroom, after being calmed by the others she yields to our questions. The other girl had gone outside, by herself, being unable to shit in our company. Damned Idiots, this is the last thing we need, another distraction and delay, this is now the 5th day since the city fell, we are running out of time!

Nevertheless, if she is still close and can be saved…I wont let any of us be taken alive by the enemy. I order the men to prepare for travel quickly while Taer and I search the ground for tracks, we signs of duress and capture, but we lose the trail on Gwerm’s carriage path. Well…if she can’t be found, she can’t be found. Taer and I head back to the mansion to ready the company for travel.

Helena however is in a crazed frenzy, and is unable to accept the situation. That without a path, we must abandon her charge and return to our quest. I’d just about had it with hysterical female’s for the morning, when she reveals that she can discern the missing woman’s location with magic.

Seriously Woman! We just wasted half the morning outside. I don’t care if your upset, get your fucking act together. The greatest power of the enemy is fear, and our inability to act rationally in face of such fear.

We follow her magical guidance and leave Gwerm’s estate. As we approach a small lake and garden park across the street we discover 8 men praying and prostrating themselves before the rising sun. With them are 3 women, in bondage. One of them, our missing librarian.

Lathander recognizes their speech and garb first and calls out to the strangers in his native tongue. One of the stranger replies with feverish devotion. I do not understand his language, but it is clear he is welcoming Lathander, allies perhaps? But then why are the women in chains.


Southern
Sarenite Paladin

Well, if this man is truly a priest of Sarenrae as he appears…such things can not be hidden from one such as I. I open myself to my Lords gifts with a prayer, and peer into this Southerner’s aura, it is strong for a human, and pure. I was expecting subterfuge considering the situation, but still Sarenrae does not see eye to eye with Iomedae in all things. Slavery is not tolerated in Mendev, and I care not for how these Southern fools treat women in their own lands, but here in Mendev such actions are unacceptable and blasphemous against my Ladies grace. I command them to stop this nonsense and hand over the girls in the name of the Inquisition, Queen Galfrey, and Iomedae herself!

Mendev

In Mendev there is only one sentence for those who break the Crusader’s Oath.
Death!

They refuse, breaking their oaths in the process. They claim these virgins are gifts from Sarenrae, and will be ritually murdered to annoying their weapons with holy power.

At this, Renli, unable to stand such insubordination, runs foreward, jumping into the middle of the crowd to get to the girls, yelling out a warning that he will slay any who continue to defy us by harming these women.

At this, the Southerners attack us. Madness, all of it. The chaos of the Worldwound has truly taken Kenabres. Considering their leaders aura, only madness and the Enemies influence could lead us to this conflict. Still, there is no greater enemy than a tainted and fallen ally, these men must be put down. Better to die by the hands of your friends and allies then be allowed to commit treason of your own soul.

They are well armored and skilled, yet providence is on our side, and they are dispatched. Three flee, as we corner another against the lake. Still we are bloodied, and Lathander only lives by Renli’s fortuitous presence. I execute their defeated commander. A soldier’s death, may his recent sins and failings not outweigh his other deeds in life.


Lathander
Looses his Manhood

Lathander releases the women, but as he does so, he screams out in pain as his crotch erupts in a torrent of blood. One of the women distorts and expands with sadistic laughter as she is revealed as a hideous man eating demon, an Alrune. It takes fight, as we all turn to face the true villain of today’s injustice.

This vile monster…how many innocents, how many allies have perished due to its manipulations. NO MORE!

I take aim with my crossbow and unleash a bolt. The sight of the foul demon seems to return the one sole remaining Saraenite to reason, as he joins us in battle. The demon does not but laugh, and the unleashes a nauseating cone of ejaculate from its fanged phallic appendage.

Most of us are able to find cover.


Alrune

Lathander overcomes his nausea and hits the Alrune with a tanglefoot bag, knocking it out of the air. Now grounded and entangle in the sticky mass, I sate our need of vengeance with my Bastard Sword. I offer the now slain Alrune to Ragathiel, and as I perform the sacred rights the others heal and deal with the Saraenites.

Their leader, Zemiedan, has lived, and is horrified over his actions under sway of the demon. We will gladly take his aid and find a use for him and his men. But any ally with such a weak will must be watched, we will never be able to trust him completely again.

As I consider such things, Lathander, now a eunuch, approaches me. He yells at me in anger, spouting nonsense about how I attempted to slay Zemiedan in battle. Apparently I don’t have the “right” to make such decisions.

Well I put an end to that. I will not stand for such insubordination from a medic. Dealing with the Enemies influence is my job, is the charge given to my order by Queen Galfrey in the Lady’s name. I have the only right. And lacking other means to break the demons hold I would slay anyone, anyone!, than let them commit the enemies work. Better to die in battle than bring forth treason and disaster.

Nocticula


Lady in Shadow

Darkness, Lust, Whores, Assassins

Demon Lord

Lathander, is unable to see reason, he has become completely out of control. Considering his plait this last day, having his balls stolen by Nocticula, I go easy on him. I backhand the bastard, in an attempt to silence him, but the already injured half-elf gets knocked out cold. I manacled him, and with the others drag him back to Gwerm’s mansion so we can try to recover from our injuries.

When Lathander awakes, I instruct him very clearly that he is on his last legs, I am getting sick of his constant mutiny. It is useful having a trained medic as part of the team, but a soldier who hesitates on the battle field is aiding the enemy.


Faxxium

In the morning we set out for the Weaponsmith. Helena uses some magic to mask our presence as we once again venture near the market. With providence, we manage to evade the flock of tainted vultures, but as we approach the blacksmith’s shop, we hear voices.

Peering around the corner of a nearby building, we see a host of Demon-spawn, and two fiendish minotaurs. The leader of the group a red skinned long horned fiend has taken a man hostage. He demands entry and submission from the occupants of the building or he will slay the man.

At this, Lathander, hoping for a better look himself sneaks over to the edge of the building. And by sneak I mean make as much noise as all the Symphonies in Oppra combined. The red demon-spawn orders one of the minotaurs to investigate the noise. We prepare for battle.

~Lucius

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Join Us. Join Us, or Die



Join Us. Join Us, or Die

The Worldwound Incursion Session VII
3/23/14

Iomedae is my strength.

A distant cry pierces the stillness of night, echoing through alleys and off rooftops. There is a haunting emptiness within Kenabres, yet I know not fear, for you are with me. Your virtues and radiance guide me, granting me the faith to face each challenge renewed. We are on the edge of eternity, the mouth of the Abyss, and tis likely that I will never leave this city, but ever you are with me. To that end I will serve you however you see fit.


Gwerm’s Mansion

We arrive at the merchant’s mansion, Lucius and Aldrick seeking the wealth of stores that supposedly lay within. The outer gates are open and unlocked, not a flame can be seen burning within the manor house beyond the gates. Cautiously we follow the pathway toward Gwerm’s home. To the left stands the silhouette of another building – a carriage house, indicated as such by the ruined carriage before it. No weapons harmed the transport, but rather the claws of some fowl beast – a “howler” the Sarkorian says. Some primordial drive takes over him and he sets of with my kinsman to hunt the beast, expressing concern that he would not want it to return and flank us, catching us unaware.

At first glance, Gwerm’s mansion appears to be a small castle, but with just a little inspection it is clear it was built for form rather than function. The ground floor walls are adorned with stained glass – pleasant for entertaining guests, but death to any trying to use it as a fortification. A loss for us.

Like the gates, the front door is ajar. Gwerm has grown even more nervous than he has been throughout our time together. Somehow he thought his wealth would have protected him against the might of the demon horde – a fool. Terendelev struck down and the wardstone destroyed, the mightiest duo laid low, what did he think?

Stepping through the doors, a large mansion stretches before us. We are greeted by a sense of emptiness and loss – this does not bode well. I would rather an enemy waiting, blades raised, then the linger of dread hanging like an unseen enemy. A once-beautiful fountain greets those entering, two statues mounted at the center. The first is a woman holding a merchant’s scale, her face defiled and the desecrated with the remains of the fallen. Before her a smaller armored statue holding a hammer – the pair are both icons of Abadar, Keeper of the Vaults and Judge of the Gods. A business ploy or a personal faith? I think the former, given his willingness to pledge allegiance to the Asmodian for a hefty sum despite my honest pledge to protect him freely. Examining it, the sullied pool casts dark, haunting images into my mind, but You quickly drive them out. Several others start to succumb, but we free them easily.

Moving down the foyer, we enter the first door to our right, and discover a kitchen still largely intact. Yet cast upon the floor is the corpse of a woman, which has been both torn at and feasted upon. Gwerm falls to his knees, succumbing to the pains of the heart. He cries out for his loyal housekeeper and cook, who has been with him for so many years. I reach for some linens and dress her body – no one should be left to be observed, by man or the gods, in such a manner.


Rat Demon (abrikandilu)

As we explore the kitchen further, a strange noise is heard from a dark corner. A stocky demon strikes, with the face of an obese rat and claws like daggers. The lady’s assailant has been found. The name Abrikandilu echoed in the back recesses of my mind. It struck at us cruelly, yet we took it down fast. Helena and the girls set about collecting supplies, including the meat discoverd in the magically cooled pantry, while Anevia took watch.

Exiting the chamber, we entered into the dining hall, were the captain of the guard was found splayed out on the table, the main course at a feast by more demons. To the side lies the body of the stableman, though unlike the others he has been struck down by a blade. Crows and vultures tried to pick at him, reminding me of the Vrock we encountered earlier. Like the cook, I cover both bodies and offer a blessing, I will lay them to rest when I have the next chance. For now best to always be on our guard.


The Abandoned Study

The stablehand fell before the door to Gwerm’s study, as though guarding it. The chamber is adorned with books and maps of shapes and sizes. As we explore the chamber we hear more noises from beyond the desk – at first fearing another demon, we prepare for battle. But then the distinct sound of a child’s whimper echoes forth – it is the stablehand’s daughter. Gwerm is able to coax her from her hiding spot, and indeed, is kind and fatherly with her. Lucius steps forward intent on interrogating her, but several others raise protest while I assist Gwerm in comforting her. She calms and Gwerm takes to her care.

While the others seek Gwerm’s stores, I return to the kitchen to check on the others. Anevia is there to protect them, but there are so precious few of us, it is hard to both push onward while also protecting a stable point.

Returning to the study, they have ascended to the upper level, then descended down into the vault, accessible through a trap door set below the floor, which can only be reached via the magic of a black hole. The vault is sizeable, with books and maps filling on series of shelves, and gold the other. At the far end is Gwerm’s real business desk and he leads us down further into the vault. He begins speaking of the things here, while he handles a small porcelain horse. Suddenly, he and the girl disappear. A magical escape, we surmise that the horse must have been some form of escape key. Though I wish he had taken the others who are not able to defend themselves, I cannot fault him for seeking refuge. It is the normal desire of man to survive, and in his action he took perhaps the youngest child left alive in Kenabres. A grim thought, my mind wanders to the House of the Hallowed Shield and the many wounded and orphaned within.

We start to examine the maps, which include trade routes around the Worldwound, and well as secret routes to strategic points within the Worldwound, including to the lost city of Drezen. These may prove useful should we survive the city.


Canopy

CRASH! As we discussed the maps, the door to the vault slammed shut. Rushing back, it opens at our touch, though there had been immediate concern that we were now locked within. Emerging, we realize the upper study’s door is now open. Something is here with us. Taking to the catwalk cautiously, Lucius and I approach Gwerm’s bedchamber. Opening the doors, the chamber looks as one might expect for a wealth merchant, especially the canopy bed. The curtains on it are drawn, and as I step forth, I use my blade to pull them aside. A woman is cast on the bed, her throat slit. From his earlier description she appears to be the stablehand’s wife. God rest her soul.

Suddenly I am beset by two more Rat Demons, one strikes from beneath the bed then erupts up through, the other bursts forth from the armoire. Battle ensues and the others descend on the room. A third flanks us from behind, trapping us in the room just as the screams of pain and battle are heard below.


Blood Demon (babau)

Iomedae forgive me, I have failed in my duties to protect our companions! The battle’s focus turns toward the beast blocking the door, and as we lay the creatures low we each leap over the railing of the catwalk, dropping to the floor below to rescue our charges. The sounds of battle and the fury of magic can be heard within the now closed doors. Bursting into the room it is near black, yet Your blessing lends me sight. Anevia is done, bleeding out. Helena and Aravash are both severely hurt. A hideously creature, incredibly thin yet equally muscled, its skin the color of blood, stands menacingly within, a large sword in its hands. It cackles as we descend on it, then teleports away, removing the darkness. Aldrick lays an infernal blessing on Anevia and by Your Grace I seem to be able to mend some of Helena’s wounds.

Lathander calls out from the great hall “It is here!” where he tries to confront the beast. A poor choice indeed. Rushing to his side I draw Radiance and a brilliant light bursts forth, casting away the darkness of the demon. Just as I arrive, the demon teleports back. The game continues. Yet his play has allowed some of our allies to regroup.


“Join us, Lucius”

The creature pauses his assault curiously, and turning to Lucius, entices him to go with the demon, as though tempting a drunk back to the bottle. This resonates within me, a fear, not of pain, but of corruption. Lucius has asked me to sense evil with my Angelsight before – was a demon trying to possess him. The blood demon, a Babau I think, states it would be so much easier if he’d only join them. Otherwise, there would be only death.

Death for the demon – we strike at it mightily. Aldrick’s infernal words command the creature to “Sit Puppy” and Asmodeus’ blessing makes a mockery of the Abyss, dropping the Blood Demon to the group. Our fury is unleashed, and with Your blessing guiding me I strike at it with blade and shield. The foul creature is no more.

The grand ballroom offers another macabre artwork – three of Gwerm’s servants adorn the chandelier. As I lower them to offer respects, Taer returns with the broken body of Milo and the head of a demon cat, the aptly named Howler. Lathander’s potions restore life to Milo while we set about taking stock of the day.

What will be our next step, I know not. Yet 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.

~Renli


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The Devil You Know... or Don't



The Devil You Know… or Don’t

The Worldwound Incursion Session VI
3/9/14


Sarenrae… give me strength… or something. Demons and devils… they’re all the same. Save for the ones that I am currently with. You know, sometimes I pray for your guidance… GRANTED I don’t think you hear me. Since my days in the deserts and wastes I have seen horrible things… Who am I kidding I’ve done some horrible things but this is ludicrous. It all started as we were practically hugging each other in the basement.


Aravash Narciso

Aravash was again prattling along BLAH BLAH BLAH wizarding nonsense when it struck me – he was making sense. Lucid in his boorish ramblings he started to explain this secret fraternity called The Adepts. I have absolutely no idea what the man was talking about, but I certainly know a thing about a fraternity… let alone a secret one.

Either way, this man… this Xanthir… he was something of a prodigy within the order of The Adepts – apparently. So much so he began becoming power hungry – thus bringing about a new fraternal order encompassing the mastering of power… the secrets of harnessing the power of the Spheres…. THE SPHERES! By the Sphere’s that man IS a genius. Who in their right mind would harness the power of the Spheres unless they had the power to do so? I doubt the one with such a reputation has such bravado – certainly a touch of arrogance – but… but that man is a thorn in the side of the living. Unfortunately his experiments went awry and he became corrupted by the Abyss. And his protégé, this rambling historical magician saw the great evil that lurked within Xanthir’s inane scheme and fled him and his order. Aravash fled to the Witch Hunters – THE WITCH HUNTERS! Those hate mongers and baby killers would slit throats in broad daylight and get away with it under the pretense of an accursed “oath”. Ah well, Aravash came and he sold that rat bastard Xanthir out for money, a library, and something morally greater – besting the taint of the World Wound. We can at least agree on that and I can’t blame him, I’d stop someone from doing great harm against another if I could…

We’ve found out from yet another captor of ours – that Chaleb fellow – that 4 days since the attack of Kenabres lapsed. The city is in smolders. There is debris everywhere. A giant hole as far down as the 12 Hells and the Rough Beast’s prison was created at the bottom of Gate District. The city is overrun with tainted vermin and miscreants of all shapes and sizes. Like what “my companions” describe as a vrock. But, like the gung-ho rage monsters that I am walking around ruined Kenabres with, it maybe that going deeper into the lion’s den may prevent further calamity – so planning our course into the city IS our course. The story of the now deceased Chaleb, whose premature death is part of the reason I am currently praying for, fell across our attentive ears.

By Chaleb’s account, the Kite and Wardstone had “poofed” in a thunderous sound and force and lightning ripped the sky… HA! Wizards… malcontented old bats… divining their way to god-like… oh yes. Chaleb had flown his crest – a red banner with a blue rooster – The Mighty Cocks that he helped command, into battle. The battle, he mentioned and I believe to sugar coated, was most probably more vicious and visceral. The men ripped apart limb by limb in front of kinsmen. Chaos surrounded everyone here to fight the taint as the demons poured in. Surprising the mountains of guards and security that was in place in Kenabres, blood and gore littered the streets with lifeless bodies. Desertion – laughable – a tactical retreat much more feasable. Oh yes, this veiled controlling Witch Hunter and manipulative Asmodean debutante mocks the morale and lives of men. Hold steadfast to the oath? HA! “The LAW~ is the Law~!” I would laugh, but I too am frightened of those around me.


Chaleb

Chaleb died prematurely. For surviving the hell and torment of 4 days in a land that is now screaming to be renamed the Second Abyss, he was unrighteously murdered for the sake of an oath that no longer hold sway in the hearts of those doing unspeakable acts to survive. I hated that man for his actions and the horrors he caused to the librarians, those poor women. His was a penance that I think you’d agree with Dawnflower, swift justice. However, when confronted with his misdeeds, he cried out redemption. In his pleas, I saw truth. I saw a man at his wits end, overcome with fear of his surroundings, about to break and scream insanity – but found guidance in our light. For his struggles, his life was extinguished – 4 days of unyielding torture. I’ve tried to save him – you know I’ve tried. Manacled as he was on the floor, I tried to free him so he may be able to rally a resistance from the south. My words and action fell muted by the unreasonable laws of men and mortals. Even the Renli Halfling had expressed another way than this bloodthirsty Hunter and encouraging Devil-man. I dove to protect him, locked him as the blade would have to pass me to take him down. But the brutish pillar Teer ripped me from him and down came the sword of “justice” – the sword of “law”. More akin to the sword of chaos from my perspective – what man in their sound mind could not see the fallibility within that stroke? Instead my gaze met with the devilish Aldrick with his parading smile, the anhedonistic blackness of the Witch Hunters’ eyes, and the uncaring of the rest of the armed lot.

Aravash couldn’t see what his ears told him. The librarians were happy to see such a macabre happenstance, even in this time of troubles. The rest were mortified, including me. I couldn’t help but see Milo standing unassumingly near Chaleb as he had when struck at me with the dark imp. I see joviality in his eyes, but unfortunately I don’t trust him. He liable to kill someone for any reason… awful they can be, I suppose, those followers of Pharasma.

Milo and Teer crept away looking for a way to continue through the city. Checking the basement door squeaks and scratching filled the tunnel as they estimated a huge swarm of tainted rats tracked the scent of blood to us. Our new course then would be to head above ground. Needing our rest, many of us used the Vivid Hallucinogenic Mushroom Sedatives we had received prior in Neathholm. I was reluctant to induce myself the pleasure of rest because I no longer feel safe around my companions… except again for Renli, since – oddly enough – I feel a little safer with him nearer to me than when not. OH YES! I forgot, prior to that, Aravash went on another lucid tirade blowing out long overdue information on his mix-up with Xanthir.


Sinister Ritual

Xanthir had been a rather naughty man. He experimented his dark ways on pregnant women. Now, I have done so in the past – and you know this – but it was with consent… I don’t think his was consented… or the same dark ways. ANYWAY! This issue with the Wardstone and wards in general has now been tied to Faxium WHICH is now a man-demon hybrid able to walk within the barriers of the Wardstones and bring them to ruin. Peach… this tastes like peach… why does a mushroom taste like peaches and pork fat… Xanthir for all his worth has his hands as a Templar of the Ivy Labyrinth – whatever the Spheres… that… is. … (Snoring)

… Huh? What a reinvigorating feeling! I feel wonderful – was I praying or thinking? Not sure… now that my mind isn’t addled… It seems we awoke to find the swarm of taint dispersed from the basement doors, the dead body of Chaleb removed from the general vicinity of the more “civilized” people here, and the two scouts continue their reconnaissance. It seems our way is by night even though our fearless leaders or convinced heading out during the evening gives us an advantage. YEAH RIGHT. Our overland flight takes us through crumbled buildings and ruined streets. Ruins within depressions tell a story of a colossal demon that enjoyed rampaging in any city allowed. I believe the Asmodean called it an Ulkrath – follower of the demon lord Xerneron. It could have been the Asmodean who said it I wasn’t paying attention.

As we continued onward Horgus – that slippery Gwerm – began losing balance when our group was crossing atop a wall of debris. With speed I grabbed him. Losing my footing, a librarian grabbed me – not so bad to be grabbed by her – and we regained our balance. But of course as it so happens my walls came crumbling down – and I held on to the two.


Ruined Wall

As we recovered, we found ourselves unable to get up. A diabolic web covered us. Slashing free with whatever we could, we brought the attention of a spider… a big spider… that turned bigger, and bigger, and bigger. The massive creature laid into me and a few other companions. It seems to have had a potent toxin with its teeth as, when bit, the poison immediately rendered Teer weak. Sounds like a good backup plan to me. After a long and arduous battle, sloughing off the sticky webs, we all recovered our composure and completed our journey to the little Gwerms mansion gates – with uncertainty of what comes next.

Sarenrae, if you’re out there – and really hear the words of your followers, help me… or send an agent to this broken land. I need to get out of here. The men’s minds I’m with are warped and care little for what lives can be redeemed. The banner of Iomadae ought to fly, but is tarnished with layers of black. I am discouraged from my companions and cannot understand why they care so little – but your teachings are what drive me. You’re the Healing Light right?! And by extension, now, I try to continue to heal those that are in need. I am frightened, yes – GOD yes. Though it does make things more interesting than sitting in a stuffy room with dying people all day… But if these people I am with are to relieve this area of the World Wound’s dark madness, I feel I should be here – with them – at the edge of all things good. I hope I don’t die… I’ll survive… no – I WILL SURVIVE! …have so far… But I think they’re more interested in killing me… I hope I don’t die… BUT THEY’RE CRAZY!… not going to die – not going to die. By your beautifully endowed blessing – I will continue to do something greater than the rat fire of 4709… Just, temperance and patients… patience! Here I go…


The Everlight

~Lathander

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Squawk Squawk Says the Vrock



Squawk Squawk Says the Vrock

The Worldwound Incursion Session V
2/9/14


Strength and honor to you brother. I shall miss you every day until we meet again.

Thank the Earth Mother my bloody fever finally broke. I don’t know what could have caused it but we have fought some wretched creatures these past few days and from the healing abilities of the odd fellow Lathander I seem to have been able to overcome my state. I must make sure he stays alive. He may not be much use in the fight but seems to be able to help those who are. Though he is… odd…

This day will be our last in Neetholm. Our hosts have been gracious considering the amount of harm we seem to have tracked to their door. The recent loss of their lord and large fires that claimed a few of their buildings have left a solemn tone about the day. Today was to be a grand funeral for a few of their fallen. Now there are a few more of the oddly shaped men that were lost in the recent fighting. The one called Wendug was dealt with, fallen by our ally Lan’s mighty blow. He was quite an opponent, nearing felling me in the fight. Thank the Storm Father that the “holy” little one has strength to him more than his luck. Taking the man off the balcony we were on in that manner could not have felt good to one so small. We attend the funeral pyres and say our farewells to Lan. I offer him a token of our clan, my brother’s ring. I know it a kingly gift but I felt he, being a lord now, was worry of such an honor. He refused but I understand. I will not forget my brother as some forget their kin.

To dampen the day further, it seems as if we all suffered from rather poor sleep. Horrible dreams filled my night. Images of being shot by Wendugs bow over and over again filled my mind this past night. Regardless, we travel on desiring to reach the surface as soon as we can in order to find out what has come to pass on the surface. We are guided by another of their tribe, one similar to me in her skill in guiding others. She leads us along a path to our desired exit point but we find our path blocked. It was not blocked by rock but rather the opposite. A bottomless hole around the area we believe to have been where we started our journey. We know not the fate of the ward stone but a hole this large was not formed from any small amount of demon force. Our guide takes us to what the others call the Southgate district instead. I believe me and my kin would have come in from that end of the city. I am unsure, being not overly familiar with the city.

She guides us up to the sewers, showing us a secret way into the city from the underground. It would seem these unusual men were able to enter the city and even live to a degree among the normal people in this city with more ease than the witch hunter would like to believe. Seeing him put out by this does my soul some good. He and his kind have no honor. I hope my mother was able to avoid their alleged campaign for “truth”. It seems that those who would claim to root out the evil of demons become more like them over time. I will have to see if he determines it necessary to earn my trust. He has no shortage of earning my hatred.

Finally, we breach the surface. Thank the earth mother that there are still buildings standing in this forsaken city. It seems we would have been better off to not have been enticed to support this crusade. But no, we carry our honor well and those that returned to the Earth Mother did so battling the evil we have endured for generations.

We have come up into some sort of tavern. There are large kitchens in the lower level and we move through them, seeking the surface. We know we must be quiet now. We know not what will await us on the surface. As we come up into the main level one of others points out we must be in a place called Mama’s Meat Pies. Apparently a well know tavern though some of the bones we found below certainly didn’t look like any meat I would willing partake off. Odd vermin and things seemed to fill out these “meat pies”. It seems clear that we are the only ones around. In fact, we are creating much more noise than we should be. Even talking seems to carry more than normal. The quiet is eerie, near unsettling. It is like the darkest time in the midst of night just before a raid would strike. I am tense, expecting anything.

It seems that the windows are in disrepair, or perhaps gone due to the demon attack. Renli notices some vultures outside. They seem off as many animals in the Wound are. He tries to eliminate one, missing wide with his javelin. It seems his faith in this Iomedae does not guide his hand well this day. They then decide that live food is better than whatever refuse they had been feeding upon. They set upon us. We take them as they come but they multiply as quickly as we remove them. It seems a swarm has been attracted. We know that we cannot hold out forever and as the flock grows, the noise created is not small. Suddenly, we hear their father calling. A Vrock or I’m a bloody witch hunter.

Vrock


I’ll Get You Next Time and Your Little Halfling Too Muwahahahaha!!!

I alert the others and we flee back to the sewers. I am the last to drop down to the lowest level. The Halfling can see in the dark it seems so he elects to stay just below the grate in the sewer to see if the demon scum pursues us. After a long while he goes back up into the restaurant. When he returns, he notes that the demon has gone but it is certainly not safe to go that way. I offer to guide the group though they seem to not understand that I need their absolute trust for this. I am very good at my trade and only better at unmaking men. With help from those that know the city, I get us to our goal. Some famous library that this blind scholar Aravash will not stop whining about. I am not sure what he is about but it seems as good a place as any to start if it is perhaps fortified.

I guide us safely to the hidden back door that led to the city sewers. Apparently there is some sort of alarm on the door so my normal method of opening a door is decided against. It appears Lathander and this other girl we found, Anevia I think, have some skill at breaching locks. Neither succeeds at preventing the alarm from tripping however as Aravash is alerted to the door being open. We make entry to what seems to be a storage room. We tell those injured among us to stay here until we are able to scout the building and return. If we do not return they are to venture on without us. The witch hunter now seems intent on leading us up into the library. I am unsure why but he seems to think he is in charge. Clearly, he has never been in command of men.

As we enter the main level of the library, it becomes quickly clear that the demons have beaten us here as the smell of burnt wood and parchment fill our noses. We immediately notice something else amiss. There are maidens tied to pillars in what was once the grand lobby of the librarium. There is some man who has clearly gone mad who appears to be planning to kill them both. He also has one at knife point. Upon further inspection the maidens are covered in some sort of oil. His intent is clear. Somehow, the devil worshiper manages to talk him away from the one woman he has at knife point. Seeing an opening I attempt to take him down. We need to take him alive and I stumble. He gets the better of me, slashing me across the chest. The small holy one attempts a similar attack and also is unable to connect. We close on him, surrounding him and he surrenders. His name is Chaleb we find out and he starts babbling, quite loudly. The witch hunter clubs him over the head with one his own weapons saving me the opportunity to repay him for the wound. Too bad, perhaps later. We collect the women and move all into the basement. We are worried that the demons may not have departed from the library. I offer to scout the building but it seems wise to first find out what took place here. I decide to join the others in the basement, taking up the rear. We will see what can find out for the destruction here seems total. One might think this was no mere fire started by some crazed zealot.

I carry my honor and my honor is strong.
Praise and thanks to the Earth Mother. Strength and honor to the Storm Father.

~Tearekt

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Big Trouble in Little Neathholm



Big Trouble in Little Neathholm

The Worldwound Incursion Session IV
1/26/14



Seer’s Room

I came back to myself within the chambers of the Seer, alone, lying upon his bed. My head was filled with a dream or perhaps it is better to call it a vision. A vision complete in all its detail, but one I found impossible to focus on. Even now if I were to try it would shatter just outside my grip, and I would see only glimpses. Something I attempted for several minutes in either case while laying there regaining my strength. It did not take long for me to mark the effort as pointless and rise from the bed.

The Seer’s room had changed visibly from what I could only assume had been a short time ago. Everything had taken on an old unused quality, which was a staunch contrast from the sparse, but warm chamber of before. Many pieces of the furniture were covered in a layer of dust and webs hung on the walls. In reflection it would have perhaps been wise to search the old man’s chambers thoroughly, but I doubt he would have left much if anything behind. However, perhaps something was urging me to the door. I will admit he made me…uncomfortable and there were many questions he left unanswered, in time perhaps or perhaps he is finally dead and I will never know.

Shedding the useless thoughts I left the building heading back to my quarters. The street itself was quiet, all except for a commotion off in the distance. Ignoring that for the time being I found my path back easily. I am not certain how I knew the way, but the knowledge was there none the less. Approaching the door I could tell something was wrong. Two guards lay dead at the entrance and the sounds of fighting spilled from inside the large room. Casually I made my way towards the door only to find the room mostly empty of my associates. The woman, Anevia, was backed into a corner fighting against a single mongrelman and defending the other two useless fools. Well at least the old man has some knowledge, if you can ever get him to focus. The fat merchant only had a shallow cut and it unfortunately was not across his throat. His death would have made his promise easier to ignore.

I stood in the doorway taking in the scene and weighing my option. After a moment I decided the woman would be slightly more useful alive. She had already killed one of the two attackers after all and that at least counted in her favor. Stepping into the room I dispatched the last attacker with ease and aided the woman with some restorative agents. Our ‘healer’ is a untrustworthy buffoon, but his creations are not all that bad.


Strange Vision

With the woman mended, and not a single word of gratitude from the bitch, I learned the rest had left when they heard fighting from the docks and people screaming in the streets. I commanded the three to pack up their things and be ready to leave in case it became worse. Moving to ready my equipment I noticed someone had rifled through it. A quick inventory of what was missing easily betrayed the most likely culprit, and that is when it hit me. I saw my hands digging through my bag and taking my missing items. For a moment I was confused before I realized those were not my hands and they wore a ring I did not own, but seemed familiar. As quickly as it came the vision vanished and I was left stunned. Again I was left wondering what had happened to me, but again I did not have the time to dwell on it. The sounds of men were growing closer.

Reinforcing my order of making ready to leave, I left the building to see what was coming. Out on the street I encountered Renli rushing toward the center of the town so I followed. After some time it was apparant he was heading toward the main hall of Chief Sull. I would later discover that there had been a battle at the docks which had drawn the Chief’s guards and left him unprotected. However, at the time I followed the halfling into the main hall where we found the Chief sitting in his chair. Of course the man was dead, only fools would have hoped otherwise, with three of Wendaug’s arrows protruding from his chest. Not wanting to be shot Renli and I hugged the walls under the upper catwalks searching for Wendaug himself.


Neathholm Ablaze

After a few seconds the rest of the men entered the building, which was precisely when another arrow struck the Chief and set half the building to flame. Wendaug closed his trap by setting the entrance alight hoping to burn us all to death. Fortunately the man was not as cleaver as he thought for there were too many exits for most of us. Hell take me, Lucius did not even seem to be bothered by the flames and the smaller of the two haflings, Milo, just jumped out of a window. Leaving the task of finding Wendaug to Renli and the big brute, Teer, I went to retrieve my family’s banner. If the building was going down there was no reason my family’s crest should go with it.

Iomedae

The Inheritor

Valor, Rulership, Justice,
Honor

Goddess

Predictable as always Renli and Teer climbed to the catwalks and charged an indistinct smudge they believed to be Wendaug. Teer received a nearly mortal wound for his trouble from the smudge, but he did succeed in revealing Wendaug for the rest of us. I am told then, for I was stowing my family’s banner and did not see it, that Renli charged Wendaug and tumbled off the catwalk with him. I will not deny the halfling has determination even if it is a bit reckless. I am sure it is something that can be pushed in the right direction. Wendaug must have realized his defeat since he attempted to stand his ground. We quickly surrounded and killed the man, Lann delivering the final stroke.

With Wendaug’s death the conflict was finished and we left the burning hall before we were all consumed. As we stood there looking back into the building it was an effort to keep my features smooth, but I was able to manage. Wendaug may have been an Abyss tainted bastard, but he did have a flair for the dramatic. Nothing left to do we returned to our chamber with an invite from Lann to join him at the Chief’s ceremony in the morning. It was then I leaned the events after my departure.



Fog Covered Neathholm

The men were surprised to notice that I was gone and may have been gone for sometime. They believed I perhaps had cast some powerful magic on them to make them forget my departure. This of course was ridiculous as they had all seen me leave. We came to the conclusion it must have been the Seer or perhaps his masked companion as I do not possess such powers. In reflection perhaps I should have let them believe I am capable of such things; however, it is done and may have made things more difficult. It was during this argument, and theft of my possessions, that the screaming started.


Basidirond

The guards at the door did not detain the men when they attempted to leave and ascertain what was happening in town. Apparently they were alive at the time. It did not take the men long to discover the problem, as mongrelfolk were running around clawing at their faces and fighting unseen assailants. Many lay dead on the streets bearing no discernible wounds, but a few scratches. More shouting came from the direction of the docks, which were now completely shrouded in a thick layer of mist, and they charged in believing a Basidirond had decided to attack the town.


Smoke in a Bottle

Within the mist they were met by a group of mongrelfolk soldiers who came to investigate. Fanning out they searched the docks for the creature. Not finding any sign of the Basidirond some moved out to docks. It was there Teer discovered an empty bottle with a few remaining wisps of smoke trailing out from the top. It was painfully obvious to me what was to come next, but unfortunately my voice of reason was not their to aid them, and they fell easily into the enemies trap.

A horn sounded within the mist and most of the mongrelfolk turned to attack the men. Their attacks spared no one not even fellow mongrelfolk as they attempted to kill my allies and loyal guards of Neathholm. The men dispatched the threat and the true nature of the attack finally dawned on them. Renli raced off to check on the safety of Chief Sull, which where I met him.



Asmodean Monograph

Story completed I decided not waste anymore time and demanded the foolish healer return my belongings. As is typical with his inferior nature, he attempted lie, poorly. It was obvious he would be the only one interested in the reagents I collected, ignoring the fact that he wore the very ring I saw in my vision. Still spewing out some nonsense I ignored the man and turned to Lucius and made a formal complaint of theft. Lucius, as expected from a honorable man, ordered the peasant to return my things. I was rather disappointed that the witch hunter gave the scum three chances to return my belongings, which he finally did. I will have to watch the witch hunter closer for he seems to have a bit of a soft streak. I judged the man to be nothing but cold iron and was looking forward to the deserved whipping. However, I was incorrect again as no whipping occurred; either way it is better this way. I can use this softness if needed, but I doubt it will be necessary. Lucius I think is the only one of these fools who truly understands what this war will take to win, and it will be a lot more than just self sacrifice.

Asmodeus

Prince of Hell

Tyranny, Slavery, Pride, Contracts

The First

Lucius at the time had seized my journal and monograph, which he returned once realizing what it was. He kept the journal for further study, but that is of little consequence and I am sure it will be returned in the morning. Laying down for rest I reflect back on the day and the Seer. Both sides lost warriors this day, but perhaps Chaos lost more. I suppose we will only truly know the toll once we reach the surface and Kenabres. Lann says he will have us lead out tomorrow so we shall know soon enough.

As I close my eyes for sleep the image paints itself across my vision in exquisite detail, and I finally release the smile I have been holding since I turned to see His omen. The Seer’s words…that damn old man’s words had shadowed me with doubt; doubt, that was scourged away when I turned to peer into the inferno of the Chief’s hall and witness His omen…“Burn you traitorous bitch! Burn and be cleansed in the fires of Hell! Hail to the One! Hail to the First! Hail to the Prince of Darkness, Asmodeus!”

pentagram.gif Aldrick


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