The Wrath of the Righteous

Log Entries
The Worldwound Incursion

#DateTitleAuthor
112/15/13The Beginning of the EndLucius
212/29/13The Enemy WithinRenli
31/05/14Trouble with Demon-SpawnLucius
41/26/14Big Trouble in Little NeathholmAldrick
52/09/14Squawk Squawk Says the VrockTeer
63/09/14The Devil You Know… or Don’tLathander
73/23/14Join Us. Join Us, or DieRenli
84/06/14The Castration of Lathander DallLucius
94/27/14When Fate Offers You an Ambush…Renli
105/04/14Corruption of Lucius: The BeginningAldrick
116/01/14Bridge to TerrortopiaLathander
126/22/14Ding Dong… The Bitch is Dead!Artemis
136/29/14In the Name of the LawLucius
147/13/14 From Darkness Comes the DawnRenli
157/27/14A Time to HealLathander
168/03/14The Betrayal’s TruthTeer
178/10/14Whoops!Aldrick

The Sword of Valor

#DateTitleAuthor
188/24/14We’re not in Kenabres anymore LathanderArtemis
199/07/14Oathkeeping: Discord, Heresy, … Treason.Lucius
209/21/14The Weight of RealityRenli
2110/19/14The Last Rope Didn’t BreakLathander
2211/02/14The One Man ArmyTeer
2311/16/14Milo the MagnificentMilo
2411/30/14Tales from the CryptArtemis
2512/28/14Incompetence and DivisionLucius
261/11/15Fear and Foolishness and ZombiesAldrick
271/25/15A Life for a LifeRenli
282/08/15Dominance, Delight & DetonationArtemis
293/08/15TBDLucius
303/22/15There Be Ants in My ArmorTeer
314/12/15This Place CrawlsRenli
325/03/15Bloody Murder in the NightRenli
335/17/15At the GatesAldrick
346/14/15Prelude to a SiegeArtemis
357/26/15The Devil and the Demon FewLucius
368/09/15A Sacrifice HonoredRenli
378/23/15No More Squawks for the VrocAldrick
388/30/15The Fall of Staunton VhaneArtemis
39
40
9/26/15
9/27/15
Forged by the Fire of HeavenLucius

The Demon’s Heresy
#DateTitleAuthor
41
42
2/21/16
3/06/16
TBDAldrick
43
44
3/20/15
3/25/16
An Oracle, an Inquisitor, an Alchemist, and a Ranger Walk Into a BarArtemis
454/10/16Corruption of Lucius: Death of a PeopleAldrick
46
47
4/24/16
5/01/16
The Depths of Sarkorian HeresyLucius
485/15/16An Ally or a FoeArtemis
496/05/16TBDLathander
506/26/16Caravan WreckAldrick
517/01/16The Enemy of our Enemy is our fr… Acceptable LossLucius
527/08/16The Hunger that MovesArtemis
537/22/16TBDRenli
548/05/16Corruption of Lucius: Death of an AngelAldrick
559/25/16TBDLathander
5610/16/16TBDLucius
5711/13/16It’s a Trap!Artemis
5811/27/16An Assassination Foiled, A Kidnapping PlannedRenli
5912/11/16Beautiful HomecomingAldrick
601/01/16The Masked HeresyLucius
611/15/17Eating Purple Wyrms Doesn’t MatterLathander
622/4/17TBDAldrick
635/21/17 – 5/28/17 TBDArtemis
The Midnight Isles
#DateTitleAuthor
646/4/17TBDRenli
212/29/13TBDLucius
View
Eating Purple Wyrms Doesn't Matter



Eating Purple Wyrms Doesn’t Matter

The Demon’s Heresy Session XIX
WotR LIX
1/15/17

There goes Beltran as he walked through the rifts with us in tow… just looking up the bend of the rifts are as chaotic as ever and seem to split and undulate wildly, however the our destination inside of the Rifts somehow are at an impasse. They end! And oddly do not exist to where we need to go… perhaps removed? But I’m not sure anything could do that? The only option from here, to be as close as we can get.

A few miles away, according to our anxious guide, we should be somewhere close to the Valley of Lost Children. The map of the Worldwound shows and Artemis’ know-how of the region, we should be somewhere near Storasta, at the very least by the West Sellen River. Being spit out of that oddly intestinal byway, we find ourselves on a grassy knoll, the hillock with a massive fissure in the ground. Our exit from the portal find ourselves at the foot of the chasm. The Valley of Lost Children… somehow, we need to go down that black schism.


Valley of Lost Children

To note; the grass of the knoll is dead, not rotting like shambling or dehydrated corpses, but the natural course of things fails to continue. Artemis finds that an army of mounted knights had rode through, the horses shoed with cold iron and perhaps the knights of Mendev travelled this very pathway. Do to the lack of cyclic decay, time of travel was quite irrelevant. Another natural phenomena, the sickly yellowed clouds cover the area, yet somehow these clouds shift suddenly and violently… like an eerie gaze. “Everyone get down.” Artemis flatly yells, “We’re being watched from the sky… best chance, get down into the fissure and find cover.” The bottom of the fissure can be seen, but it’s a bit of a way down and personally… I have not been the best candidate for climbing as my records show. As Artemis so pointed out the cloud, it remarkably moves in shivering and chaotic wisps and is a dark steel red and rolling toward us with I assume a high velocity or stable equilibrium motion within due to the constant changing of positioning. Artemis looks like there is something wrong with the cloud like it roils with tumult, but his stare says it’s closing in quickly. I had my theories regar- And it’s a giant swarm…

Mind you the fissure at the bottom is about 10 feet wide by my estimation and 7 stories lengthwise. And of course trending continues, just like the time with the gnomes, my footing and grip isn’t so nimble. The rocks moved and I fell… multiple times. Aldrick found his way to the bottom quickly with his air walking spell which would have been nice if everyone had such a easy spell. Standing back up with less dignity intact, and well, hiding now, the chittering… maybe the insects? No no, thats teeth… a lot of cold people chattering … but I’m reminded of a resident of the Abyss… a bat which has leathery styled wings but a giant toothy maw but are born of just chaos and just consumes things. Makes sense when a giant fissure has opened up and perhaps given the circumstance and time they fly through. If so the gluttonous bastards wont stop eating and have bottomless wells of gullets… so if I’m stuck in the middle of these things – everything is eaten, all matter… like mimic bag of holdings? Abyssal piranhas? And it doesn’t help that one could go mad when listening to all those chattering teeth swarming around you… AH! A Band of Vesicators! That’s it… or Apocalypse of Vesicators! That sounds right. Oh.


An Apocolypse of Vesicators

As usual the arrogance of Aldrick and the stalwart terseness of Lucius concerned with their martial prowess believe they are immune to poison and resistant to some energies and mind affecting spells. They have the entirety of fighting swarms… Well it doesn’t help that no one is ACTUALLY prepared with fighting swarms as far as myself and now Artemis which can take down those insects from the caverns. They are very difficult to fight and we wont be able to go through swarms of Vesicators let alone – And they’re following us. Following us… hmmm. Most likely because either we have a scent of blood, one of the hive caught us moving, or because we’re alive…

Looking up… now that we’re actually looking at it… I don’t think we can fight them ALL. I’m pretty sure there are the Kenabres courtyard full of them spread… And unable to see beyond the surface layer in the sky, I’m not too certain how deep they go. Luckily Artie knows what he’s looking for and there is a hole in the wall of the fissure. Aldrick took a look and as usual, you need to see in the dark. Artie thinks it would take 2 miles in direction and perhaps hours because of terrain. Unfortunately, we need to find somewhere rather defensible or a way to not be eaten. Although it would be wonderful to study these monstrosities further, I’d rather not be apart of the Apocalypse… even though I’m in one currently, I don’t believe I need another; we all have enough on our plate.

The caves are a perfect circle of borrowed material, 4 bodies across. Aldrick had left to inspect this hole, and graciously left a rope for the rest of us to climb passing it off to Renli and Artie who climbed up rather easily. I swear, Artie… it was like he was at home being in this awful landscape. Renli is just as worse, or he just doesn’t care about it, or it doesn’t effect him, and well I feel a little more – bolstered I guess around him. I wonder if he takes something to do that? Now everyone but me is trying to climb this stupid useless silt filled wall. Where are the caverns? Where are the stone fixtures? Where the HELL is civilization and this disgusting laboratory! That terrific chattering, unnerving as it may be, has Artie looking and taking aim. He let loose the arrows of war and HOW he impales 20 odd creatures with a single arrow, I will never know. Perhaps it’s his patrons gift? A gift as a servant of the Worldwound? Perhaps there’s a pattern that we’re not seeing in a swarm’s movement. And the most disturbing observation, as one of the vesicators dies, the rest devour it without remorse… that’s my signal, we should leave.


An Apocalypse against the Fickle Wind

But we don’t. No. Of course, Aldrick opens his volley with a casting of Order’s Wrath… sarcastically ‘He’s so original’ but effectively… he’s more ‘…son of a bitch…’ Lucious yells furiously at the swarm… which sets a few on fire while scattering more. And Renli… Renli rages forward with some sort of righteous fury but he’s hitting the little bastards. Turns out in my haste to find the new items I needed for this endevour I failed to recognize a new broach on my Halfling friend. The Asmodite’s Fickle Winds stave off the rest of the swarm to allay the bloodletting and the … uuuuuuuuh …. Grhrhhehhdh. Where!? They’re everywhere! Everywhere! The bats… the insects are crawling! Fuck! The boats are crying from the Artemis cannon! THE DEMON! KILL THE REGATHIAL DEMON! And then the law won; and it HURT!

Wait… Artemis looks Dazed and Confused… and I’m… I don’t feel right… BATS! They’re …. What’s that rumble the bat swarm turned into a – Lucious is flying … there … is … a what am I thinking?


A Terrible Sting of the Purple Wyrm

Purple wyrm? … Why is a purple wyrm spawned from law bats? I… think everyone is confused… and Aldrick is a devil in the middle of everything… I think it … I think Aldrick made these things! …. Uuuuugh…. My head. Renli? Renli… where are yo – DON’T RUN INTO ITS MOUTH! RENLI!! We can’t get you out! Renli are you the wyrm?! Were you a soul trapped on the outside trapped on the inside of the Worldwound and went back to your body? Are you a simulacrum? Aldrick is red … there… there are bone splinters… why are they on me? Is that incandescent blood?

…ugh my head… By the Everlight! It is! A purple wyrm! It’s sluggish and carapace is torn… I really must have been dazed or confused or some combination of addled… AH! It jabbed a 3 foot spike into me! AH! It bit me! And here it is, suddenly this burning sensation is coursing through my body but somehow feels familiar to my days of experimentations in Qadira. So potent, so fantastic! This poison may be the best I’ve come across yet… and as I physically and internally fight off this monstrous Artemis? The arrows bounce away but Artemis finds the gaps, Renli simply breaks through the body armor with sheer force, Aldrick and his infernal spells, Lucious and his rage… I suppose the Light of Seranrae is subtle in this encounter… I suppose light bends and becomes adaptable… now… I just need to harness light.

And with 4 arrows, Artemis finished the wyrm… and its poison is mine. Highly potent. And thinking of this further, this is a wonder how we survived…


Well, It Could’ve Been Worse

~Lathander



View
evilstepparents



The Masked Heresy
The Curse of Evil Step Parents

The Demon’s Heresy Session XX
WotR LX
1/1/17

  • Aldrick used a magic circle to imprison Jerabith
  • We brought the remainder of Aldrick’s step dad’s household to justice.
  • Aldrick coerced his step father into signing his life into slavery
  • Peir Henning showed up and spoke with Aldrick
  • Lathander stuck outside reading contract
  • Peir Henning actually Asmodeous’s Herald, Basileus
  • Gives Aldrick a crystal the demons have been mining and using, that is supposedly the petrified blood of a god
  • Gives us a tool to teleport us back to Mendev
  • Makes Aldrick agree to continue gaining the queens trust and eventually manipulated her to leave Cheliax alone
  • We take Jerabith back to Mendev, and put her in a secret questioning room for powerful demons atop the tower of silence.
  • In the absence of the inquisition, the queen orders us to question Jerabith
  • As Lucius begins to talk to her, he has a vision, of early memories that had been forgotten.
  • Jerabith treating him and other children abominations like a mother
  • She was Xanthir Vang’s lover and assistant in his soul experimentations
  • Hulrun showed up to shut them down, battle, hulrun killed Xanthir Vang
  • Hulrun’s wife one of Vangs Experiments
  • Hulrun in grief and wishing to protect wife’s memories wished for everyone to forget the horrors that they had witnessed
  • Jerabith granted that wish deleting Vang’s location and all memories of his expertiments from the minds of mortals
  • Lucius coerces Jerabith into granting wish undoing Hulruns
  • Lucius remembers everything, realizes he is one of Vang’s experiments
  • Senses horrible demon abomination sealed within him
  • Vang was using God Crystal and pregnant women to bind demon souls and mortal souls together
  • The other experiments are alive and working for Baphomet (#2 and #7, we have encountered, #2 is probably Renli’s brother)
  • Vang located at Valley of Lost Children, but everyone forgot the locations significance.
  • Vang now serves Deskari, but before wormhood was head of the Templars of Ivory Labrength for Baphomet.
  • Lucius angered and horrified by what he has learned, goes to execute Jerabith, Renli stops him, Lucius can’t continue looking at Jerabith without slaying her, so leaves, probably for another round of prayer and self flagellation.
  • Others question Jerabith, and begin piecing everything together.
  • Bring report to queen, she orders us to kill Xanthir Vang.
  • “Hellfyre” strikes tower of silence, now looks like candle. Jerabith gone, most likely slain.
  • Lucius finds Baphomet Mask marked 1, and Heaven’s Pyre in quarters. In a fit of rage, Lucius smashes the mask until it is unrecognizable lump of bronze.

~Lucius



View
Beautiful Homecoming



Beautiful Homecoming

The Demon’s Heresy V
WotR LIX
12/11/16

Jerribeth entered the room.

The jig was up and the battle started. Jerribeth had brought with her two hulking bodyguards and a women who appeared to be some sort of hand maiden, but had more of the look of a sorcerer. Lucius and Lathander also warned of an Invisible creature lurking in the back. Jerribeth starts off by trying to control Artemis. With an extra bit of power he shrugged off the attempt.

I dropped my disguise and confronted my step father. Enjoyed the look on his face as he realized what was happening. Opened the fight with a mythic order’s wrath to delay Jerribeth and her three minions. It also had the added bonus of nearly killing my step father and knocking the fat bastard out of his chair. Guards near the door raised the alarm and the closest one charges to his death. Except as he charged he turned into an Osyluth, bone devil to the common layman, which is somewhat surprising given the fact that my step father was a pit spawned demon worshiper. Either way the Osyluth was nothing more than a minor inconvenience and it created a wall of ice around my step father locking him into his study and taking him out of the fight.

Unfortunately, at this time Jerribeth also decided to drop her disguise and she was a hideously huge demon of the worst sort. She proved to be ferocious, cunning and incredibly fast similar to other powerful demons we encountered in the past. Her The battle raged with Renli and Lucius charging Jerribeth and her cohorts. While my initial spell held her for a moment she shrugged it off quicker than the others. Fortunately, Lucius and Renli were able to keep her detained, while Lathandar and Artemis pounded her cohorts. Lucius and Renli were struggling to wound the beast and knowing they could not do it without me I blessed our actions. I suppose Artemis also helped by instructing them where to strike the demon.

Lucius proved especially effective landing devastating blow after devastating blow. It quickly became apparent however that her handmaiden, while dazed, was somehow magically taking part of her wounds. Renli and Lucius did not let this deter them as they continued to lay into them. Artemis joined the onslaught and concerned she would flee, I wisely anchored her essence to our dimension. It was with a mighty blow from Renli that the demon finally fell, but not before being healed three times. The demonic bitch not only drained the life from her handmaiden, and the invisible beast, but also had a spell set to go off.

With Jerribeth dying on the floor of my step fathers dinning hall the Osyluth teleported itself past the ice wall. One of the guards escaped the hall and ran into several other guards. Not wanting to leave any witnesses Artemis fired an arrow killing all six men and narrowly missing my head. Raising an eyebrow at Artemis I walked up to the wall and with a mighty blow shattered a large section of ice. On the other side I found the Osyluth standing in front of my step father. Not wanting my father to escape as I had plans for him, I called out to the Dark Prince to summon back his creature from my Baphomet worshiping step father. With rush of rage at Baphomet’s name the Osyluth was gone and my step father was left before me a cowering mess on the floor. All was right in the world.

With a smile and a sneer…"Now that was a proper home welcoming wouldn’t you say father."

pentagram.gif Aldrick




View
An Assassination Foiled, A Kidnapping Planned



An Assassination Foiled, A Kidnapping Planned

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

Iomedae is my Strength

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

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

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

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

Renli recounts entire scene in detail

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It is Jerebeth

~Renli



View
Corruption of Lucius: Death of an Angel



Corruption of Lucius: Death of an Angel

The Demon’s Heresy V
WotR LIV
8/5/16

I found the sliding sword trap a nuisance so I promptly sealed the stone around the blade locking the trap. Unfortunately the stairway stopped at a portcullis firmly locked in place. I stepped aside allowing Lucius to move forward to try and open the gate, but he failed. We tried to determine away to open the gate and a marsh giant stepped around the corner in front of the gate. With a hideously barbed polearm he stabbed through the gate at Lucius. I attempted to calm the giant in order to give Lucius more time to open the gate. Like Lucius’s attempt at the gate this too failed. Lucius yelled at the giant and attempted to lite it on fire failing that as well. Lucius’s shout caused someone to pop his head around the giant from behind. It was only a quick glance, but Lucius saw an Inquisitor from Kenabres with his mouth sewn shut. Artie tired of waiting started to put arrows in the giants chest.

We eventually take the beast down and go back to confronting the gate when the, not one but two, Kenabres soldiers shoot at us. After those shot they moved aside and two more popped out and shot again. Lucius raged at the gate and with Artie’s help they were able to lift the gate. The gate opened which set off another trap. All the severed limbs moved to grapple us. I easily shook them off and moved forward while also helping Artie shake them off. Lucius drops the gate leaving me to open the gate for Artie. Artie killed two of the soldiers and the other two fled. Lucius rounds the corner and confronted by ten men.

Lucius discovered that the men all appeared to be former soldiers who committed suicide and their souls were taken by Sifkesh to serve her. We started to slay them and an angel appeared to us with two soldiers who belonged to the order of the sentinels. She begged us, her children, to stop. The male angelic creature was beautiful and perfect all but for the mark of shadow behind him. Lucius with his site peered into the darkness and saw that the angel had another creature fused to its form. He concluded the creature was Shachath and screamed his defiance to the demon slaughtering the soldiers around him. Artie came and was unsure of what to make of the angel so he started shooting at the soldiers. Lucius killed the two guards and the Shachath banished Artie…or not!! Artie explodes back into the plane saying I’ll leave when I want to leave bitch. Lucius and Artie proceeded to rip the creature apart.

Once done a face appeared in the wall and asked us to stop. This was none other than the hag with the butterfly. She tries to barter with us and convince us not to kill her. As we spoke the souls of the men we killed moved up to the soul stream, all but four which turned to attack us as spectral undead. The soul of an inquisitor told Lucius to find his body and perform burial rights on him, with that he cursed Lucius. We then slaughtered their souls again.

pentagram.gif Aldrick




View
The Hunger that Moves



The Hunger that Moves

The Demon’s Heresy Session XII
WotR LII
7/8/16

Alliance. It’s settled then, the glib-tongued Asmodean affirming the details with Karringor. So we are to go kill the beast of the rifts, The Hunger that Moves. Beltran was terrified of it last time we were in the rifts. But it is yet another task in our arduous journey to drive the demons back to the Abyss. I grab some mead on the way out of the chief’s tent, and we head back to the Bonesquaw Clan – Lucius’s new tribe. Lucius is his typical asshole self and asserts his command over them, saying he will take them on a new path of vengeance and demon slaying. I try not to pay much attention, consuming more food and drink before bedding down for the night. It’s going to be a difficult day tomorrow.

I awake to a blood-curdling shriek – a woman’s cry – and we find the old seer of the Bonesquaw clan has died of an apparent heart attack. The clansfolk are initially dismayed, but their hushed chatter tells of something else – they see this as a further sign of Lucius’ prowess, that his new direction is changing the old ways and they need to get in line or be killed. Amidst the commotion I notice Aldrick take her ceremonial dagger, but decide to leave it be. Sleep comes again quickly.

In the morning we discuss our task with Beltran. He says he would have laughed at us two days ago, but after seeing our prowess will do what he can to help us. This is a far cry from his previous concern. Lucius casts a spell, calling upon Ragathial to grant him insight on our foe before we go on our hunt. The information flows from him as if he had known it his whole life. Kakuen-Taka, known as The Hunger that Moves, is a living manifestation of the worldwound’s taint. It is a swarm of Bhoga covered by a bone and flesh “mansion”. The consume living flesh, spit out swarms of carrion birds and their mansion acts as a shield of sorts. Even more dangerous is that within the rift they prevent exit.

We strike camp and head back up the hill the way we came. Four women seers from the tribe lead us back through the hut so we can return to our plane. I notice not a thing has changed here – nothing has moved an inch, but the old man is gone. The women lead us through, and we step out in a different place than we entered from. We are near a small riverbed on desolate plains, likely not far from the hut I estimate. The women point us to a few small islands, noting there is a rift there and that typically The Hunger is guarding the entrances. But they say this rift hasn’t been used in some time, so it may not be paying close attention here.

Beltran begins to ready himself to enter the rifts, but the women scoff and push past. They step forward, slicing their hands and gathering some dirt, creating bloody, muddy hands. As they do this, my companions and I make our preparations – in case something is indeed waiting for us. They stand in a small formation and reach out touching their hands together. Light sparks, and an energy triangle forms opening a passage to the rift.

Instantly a storm of tiny undead carrion birds emerge, but instead of heads they have gaping mouths full of razor sharp teeth. The women are swallowed in seconds – their chanting quickly turning to screams then quieting almost as suddenly. I lose an arrow into a mist of blood the swarm has created, and as the makes a small opening it reveals there is nothing left of the women. They were all consumed in a few seconds. The noise of the chewing is overwhelming.

I quickly loose several more arrows, maintaining the bloody mist and knocking back the swarm that has emerged from the portal, but it rapidly re-emerges and engulfs us. We push toward the portal hacking a bit as more swarms emerge. I notice Lathander is affected by the swarm and lose an arrow in his direction to aid him. He seems to come to his senses and starts making headway through the carrion swarm.

We all continue pushing forward, and Aldrick touches us all on the way into the portal, counseling us not to attack saying he can hide us from the birds with this spell. We all plunge through the portal but find no relief – the swarm covers the rifts, impairing vision and movement. My greatest advantage negated, I get the feeling that the carrion swarm is moving from our right to left. Based on their motion we set out toward the right, figuring we will find The Hunger there.

Travel is tough and disorienting between the features of the rifts and the and the carrion swarms. Lathander continues to have trouble dealing with them, flailing wildly hitting first Beltran and then himself. But Aldrick’s spell is keeping most of the swarms at bay, with only a few of them noticing and attacking us as we press through them. After nearly a minute we notice the rifts stop shifting – the power of the Huner, it must be nearby. Lucius is the first to make it out, and alerts us that The Hunger is there before us.

Lucius and I move up, fighting through the swarms to attack the Hunger. It is an utterly disgusting abomination. We do minimal damage, and the creature lashes out, striking Lucius and grabbing me. Aldrick frees me from it’s grasp with a spell, but The Hunger lashes out again hitting me a second time and striking Lathander while enveloping Lucius.

Aldrick then calls on the power of Asmodeus, infusing us with his infernal blessing while simultaneously clearing a small area of the carrion swarm. Lathander drops a two bombs, one on the Hunger and one healing himself and me. I unload five arrows into the beast and it reacts by lashing back out at me, striking twice. Lucius cleaves into it four times and sets it on fire.

The carrion swarm quickly fills the void back in as the Hunger continues shambling forward, striking me again. Before I lose consciousness I notice it also struck Lathander and completely enveloped Lucius. [Aldrick draws on the wrath of Asmodeus to bring order to the Hunger, managing to temporarily stun it. Lathander calls upon the power of Seranrae to revive me from death]. Coming to my senses quickly with Lathander still kneeling over me, I grab my bow and jump up, pounding four more arrows into the Hunger. I can hear Lucius slashing away inside it, and can see what’s left of the Hunger’s corpse carapace fall aside. Lucius emerges from the bhoga, standing at our side yet again.

Aldrick calls on Asmodeus’s order again, while Lathander repeats his dual bomb throw healing himself, Lucius and me. I slam 6 arrows into the bhoga swarm, and now clearly agitated it moves up quickly, engulfing most of us. Lucius steps out the far side and attempts begins shouting down the Hunger, but the swarming beast pays him no heed. It continues to pound us now that we are inside it and I lose consciousness again. [For a third time Aldrick calls on Asmodeus’s order, and the Hunger clatters to the ground, dispersed. Lathader revives me yet again]. Again I come to with Lathander’s hands on me, but I immediately sense the change.

The remaining bhoga are skittering away and the carrion storm begins to disperse as well, having lost their central focus. The Hunger has be defeated. But there is something else happening, something far more dangerous. As I stand and adjust my senses to the diminishing swarms I notice the fabric of the rift deteriorating. I can see desolation – not just the Worldwound – but far worse. I can make out swarms of insects surging towards us. It is the far side of the rifts… the Abyssal home of Descari. Beltran realizes what is going on too, being all-too familiar with the rifts, and calls out for us to quickly gather to him. We rush toward him as he begins to weave his magic, and in a flash we are no longer in the rifts…

~Artie



View
The Enemy of our Enemy is our fr...Acceptable Loss



The Enemy of our Enemy is our fr…
Acceptable Loss

The Demon’s Heresy Session XII
WotR LI
7/1/16



View
Caravan Wreck



Caravan Wreck

The Demon’s Heresy V
WotR L
6/26/16

The battle rages and Aldrick is awesome.

Renli abandons all hope and us.

The Gatling gun popped up from the ground took down two Gorthek’s with ease. The Gatling gun then dropped again and then was healed by Lath and back up to kill some more. Artie and Lucius slaughtered. They continue to slaughter while Aldrick gives Artie the gift of pain…that also heals. Then on come the chariots of doom. Lucius jumped onto one and killed the two remaining demon spawn orcs, calmly stepping off as it flies by Artie. The Gatling gun put several arrows into another beast causing the vehicle to careen off to the side. Aldrick being the most useful easily dispatched the other two chariots. Aldrick creates an A10 Warthog. The fiendish orcs from the wagon drew closer, but were quickly dispersed by Lathander’s furry from above.

As the battle started to come to a close a sinister laughter breaks through all our thoughts and then a voice speaks directly into our minds. The voice gave us two options: to either submit and kneel as slaves, or have our souls ripped from our bodies for eternal suffering. The A10 answers, his defiance piercing through the bodies of four fiendish orcs. Lathander kneelt Then bursting from the ground, the demon and his gigantic beetle spray acid at Lucius and Lathander. Kalavakus tried to wrack Aldrick with pain, which Aldrick easily shrugged off. Aldrick responds by calling lawful wraith down upon the demon making him stagger. The A10 quickly put down the demon before he had a chance to respond, but then Lathander healed the demon…enough said. Upon waking from deaths door he enslaved Lathander. The A10 and Aldrick quickly put the demon down once again. Lucius ended the battle by cleaving the beetle in twain.

When the battle came to an end the Red Water tribe came out of the darkness to greet us. They are in awe of Aldrick’s power. The awe was so strong that they were in terror and accused us of trying to use them to attack their leader and kill their people. Aldrick convicted them we only sough strong allies…servants whatever.

pentagram.gif Aldrick




View
Any Ally... or a Foe...



An Ally… or a Foe…

The Demon’s Heresy Session VIII
WotR XLVIII
5/15/16

Heat. That’s the first thing that hits me as we adjust from our sudden passage through the rift. The Hunger is no longer chasing us, but it takes a few moments for my eyes to adjust to the new surroundings. It is extremely bright, and quickly it becomes apparent we are exposed. I look around, noting what looks like a dry lake bed – but it seems to never end. A flat expanse of desolation leading in all directions as far as the eye can see. The others are adjusting and looking around too, still adapting from the shock of emerging from the chaotic rifts to the blazing heat. Based on the size of this lake bed I know there are only two places we can be. Either The First Rains or Domora’s Pool, also called the Pool of Dryzad.

Distracted by my reasoning, it is Lucius who points it out first – a small bump on the horizon to the northwest. I study intently, trying to cut through the haze of the heat on the horizon and catch it too, though I should have caught it first. The Inquisitor is good at tracking his foes, but I am no doubt better – I cannot be distracted from my observations in the future. I decide to take a better look and cast a spell that lets me see from the vantage point of an eagle. The new angle cuts out the haze, and I can see a city. So it is Domora – or what’s left of it – and it is about a four hour walk away.

It is then I realize I am starting to sweat – profusely. We will not survive a four hour walk in this heat if only after a few minutes of idle observation we are starting to feel its’ effects. The devil-worshiper is immune of course, as is the tiefling. How odd that they have something in common… Nevertheless, I have to seek Aldrick’s assistance, and he casts a spell on myself and the holy halfling which will allow us to handle the heat for the next day. Beltran uses a wand to cast a similar spell on himself. Once ready, we set off for Domora.

As we travel we pass into an extremely cold air mass – a sudden drop of around 80 degrees with a biting wind – but after a very short time we come back into the heat. We cross through several of these “rivers” of cold air, moving like currents of water – only in the Worldwound. Off to the east we notice a low dark cloud, ignoring it at first we soon realize it is closing on us rapidly, and will intercept us at about the third hour, though we still don’t know what it is. As we keep moving I feel a subtle change in the wind – it is an approaching sandstorm. We hasten the pace but know we won’t outrun it. As the storm closes I get a tingling sensation, and starts to feel an electric charge on the air, noticing static in the storm along with an intermittent yellow light. Relaying this information to my companions, I suggest we hunker down as the storm is nearly upon us.

Aldrick tells us to get close as he begins chanting, then creates a stone hut for us to shelter in with a very small vision slit on the leeward side. The storm hits, and we hear the sound of sand and small debris hitting the shelter. There is also the occasional louder thud accompanied by an electric discharge. The heart of the storm passes quickly and without any incident. We wait for it to die down and pass completely, taking about 30 minutes until we feel it is safe to emerge. Aldrick opens the hut with another spell and we notice damage to the front of the structure – gouges with electric burns, but it survived intact. One less thing we had to deal with.

We regain our bearings and head off, but notice the storm suddenly shifts South as we head Northwest. Curious, we don’t realize why until was pass through another wind current. We near the city as the sun is setting, discuss our approach and decide to wait until dark to cover the final mile. It is a dark night with no natural light, and no light coming from the city. I have no problems moving in this environment, but my greatest advantage of range is taken away, as I can barely see my companions beside me. Hopefully we can handle whatever awaits us up close and personal.

As we wait for dark, Beltran tells us the city once was a popular stopover for migrating and nomadic people, with a large common area for tents to setup. This was in addition to the static population that mostly relied on fishing the lake prior to the Wound emptying it.

We circle around slightly, climb the slope of the lake bed and approach the city from the side. Lucius, able to see in the dark, sees an outer layer of single story buildings and an inner layer of two-story buildings. We move in to the first ring to explore, the buildings are simple, either very basic residential or small workshops.

Across the street from us, second floor. I can hear someone breathing – the steady breath of someone attempting to stay hidden. I whisper a warning to my companions. Lucius looks and sees what appears to be a scout. Renli reasons there would also be one on our side of the street. He steps out, cloaked, with his arm raised in greeting. “I seek an audience with your chief.” I hear the scout knock his bow and whisper something but I don’t understand or recognize the language – I don’t think any of my companions caught it either. Renli continues, “Shall I come up and join you?” and I can hear him start to move toward the building. I hear the unmistakable twang of a bowstring followed the the thump of an arrow hitting the ground… than the scout shouts something in Hallit. Oh how I wish I could see, because there would be an arrow right next to that scouts head right now…

Apparently none of us are unable to understand the language but Renli guesses the intent and drops his cloak, identifying himself brazenly. I can see him again – barely – because his armor gleams so much. The scout hollers something else, and Renli sees two more scouts approaching down the street with bows drawn. The scout says “No Iomadaen” wanting him to leave. Renli indicates there are six of us with with hand gestures.

Lucius then passes a rod to Renli and steps out while Aldrick casts a spell to comprehend what they are saying. The scouts start talking angrily and gesturing, and we think the want us to surrender. Lucius and Aldrick can understand due to magic, and Aldrick steps out, speaking to them in Hallit and appearing like an angel. He catches them off guard, and reiterates that we want to see their chief. The are stunned by his appearance. Renli ties a peace knot on his hilt, and gestures for an allegiance. The scout in the window tells us the Red Water wants no alliance with southerners then asks where the rest of us are. I maintain my cover with Lathander and Beltran, listening as intently as possible and ready to act if Renli gives the signal.

Lathander moves to exit and Beltran grabs him, petrified because he is from Usulav and they are responsible for the Red River Massacre. Renli continues to speak in common, attempting to seek an audience, perhaps a duel, and steps forward. They call out for him to halt and still demand to know where the rest are (as understood by the others). It is apparent the scout in the window is the leader. As Renli approaches the building again, the scout gives in and says he will give an audience with Borok. He meets Renli at the bottom of the stairs and tells him to leave his weapons. Renli insists on keeping Radiance, and the scout begrudgingly agrees.

Lucius sees the other scout, who whistles and points off in the distance. When Lucius turns to look my gaze follows. Off in the distance outside the city is a reflective flickering scattered light, similar to a school of fish moving in sunlight. The lead scout curses, and hurries Renli off while the other scouts hide. I continue watching and they appears to be moths with light reflecting off their wings but without an obvious source of light. They appear to be moth demons, which excel in mental control. They have long tongues and lay eggs in the brains of humanoids. We decide to follow Renli and not worry about the demons in the distance.

We catch up quickly and are led through town to a large building, possibly a mansion, and into a courtyard within. As we pass through we notice the side of some buildings have a glowing green moss, with a low irradescence, which Lucius recognizes as Midnight Moral, which is carnivorous. In the middle of the courtyard there is a big fire pit in the middle, with jet black flames roaring in the pit so the fire does not emit light. There are other soldiers around, which the scout interacts with and they seem agitated by our presence. The soldiers wake others up, weary of our presence. I count roughly two dozen.

The scout disappears briefly then returns with Borok, an older chieftan who clearly shows his experience. He sizes us all up without speaking, then addresses us in common. He announces himself as an orphan of the Red Water Massacre, and asks why the crusade has come. He states he will not deal with us until our sins have been repaid, and asks again why we have come. Renli addresses him, stating we seek an alliance against a common foe. Borok stops in front of Aldrick, who still looks like an angel, and asks why the little one speaks for him. Then begins to talk of “alliances” and how they resulted in the Red River Massacre.

Renli begins to respond, but Lucius cuts in. Renli asks him to remain silent, and let him work, Lucius agrees but less than 10 seconds later cannot help himself. The little man can talk… and all Lucius can do is bellow. His temper and sense of “duty” may get us into trouble one day, and nearly did with the guardian of Gundrum. I still think he could have been an importnat ally… Renli, Lucius and Borok continue the conversation, and talk of fighting to the last. Borok is committed to fighting the demons, but he feels an alliance forged in hope drowned 60 years ago in the Red River. Renli argues for what is right for all, that his goals are just and righteous, that they are not self-serving but are for all living beings. He promises to pledge in blood, and speaks of our victories over the demons. He emphasizes that if we are to succeed we need to fight together and not fractured. He asks again to forge alliance.

Partway through the speech Borok stops pacing and when Renli finishes he responds. He recognizes the passion of Renli and admires it, but he is still not convinced as his men will die fighting the Demons either way. What benefit is the scant two-dozen men he has to offer. Gashgelag’s hordes will slaughter us either way. (Gashgelag is a powerful Demon who was thrown out of the Abyss for attempting to overtake an island in Ishtar). We reveal we are after an accord with Karringor, to unite the remaining fractured clans in an alliance. Borok thinks before responding, and tells us that Karringor is one who leads by both fear and respect. But their people are leery of past betrayals, they do not want to be used as a simple tool for the southerners.

Renli responds and again offers a blood oath, which Borok believes, his people taking a blood oath very seriously. But Borok reveals he is playing the other side of the coin, reminding us of the history, and trying to anticipate how Karringor will respond. Karringor is leery of what southerners do, and that is take what they want despite who is already living there. We have to make Karringor see past that history in order to get him to agree. Borok says we are welcome to stay the night while he decides whether he will take us to Karringor, and will give us his answer in the morning. In the process he reveals he recognizes Beltran as Usulavian but states he will do him no harm. Renli has done a superb job in his negotiations, and Borok’s change in demeanor as the conversation continue was evident. Thankfully Lucius finally kept his mouth shut and let the Halfing talk.

We retire for the evening, hopeful for what answers may come in the morning – only then will we truly know how Renli’s word’s affected Borok. Not only would it expedite our mission to find Karringor, but then we will not be forced to kill Borok and his men. Though it seems he will do us no harm if he declines, we cannot risk our plans and those of The Crusade falling into the wrong hands. He will either be an ally… or a foe…

~Artie



View

I'm sorry, but we no longer support this web browser. Please upgrade your browser or install Chrome or Firefox to enjoy the full functionality of this site.