White. That’s all I can see. Why Cayden? Just a few minutes ago it was all black, now it’s all white. That gold-clad man didn’t seem very happy with us, well he probably wasn’t a man. Clearly sent from the heavens, at least he was enough to scare that bitch back to where she belongs until the time comes where we can deal with her directly.
I can still feel the power within me, the power we had when we stood shoulder-to-shoulder against the denizens of the Abyss. We held the line and kept this world free, for that I am grateful and give you thanks. But… it isn’t quite what it was, a shadow of it perhaps, but it is still there nonetheless.
It is clearing a bit now, I can see a few feet, like a bright white fog starting to dissipate. I’m in some grand silken white robes, my weapons and armor nowhere to be seen. Now my companions are coming into view, maybe 15 or 20 feet away, all similarly clad. It looks like we’re all here. Aldrick seems uneasy for the first time in my memory [His connection to his god has been severed], and Lathander is yammering away again… Ha, he thinks we’re dead. Well that shows what he knows. Hmmm… he’s really convinced of it. There’s Renli headed over to try and calm him. Think I might as well join the conversation…
This place is really odd, this pillar here seems to follow me. Even though I am getting closer to Renli & Lath, i can still reach out and touch it. I can see the room a little better now too, it seems to be a large marble grand room, but it stretches on forever. Lath seems to be inconsolable, he still thinks he’s dead… well… maybe this will convince him.
“Lath, if we’re dead, then why in the Nine Hells do I still want a drink?” That’ll get… what the… where did this goblet come from. Looks pretty nice, smells good to! Well, you only live once, bottoms up! I drink heartily and it tastes fantastic – really hits the spot. Thank you Cayden, this is definitely needed after the day we’ve had – yes indeed.
As we gather and the fog clears more the never-ending room.. hallway?… becomes even more apparent. But I don’t have time to marvel, as a rather… perfect looking blond man is striding down it towards us. He welcomes us, and offers us some food. We follow his gesture to a huge banquet table laid out near us. I wonder where that came from? No bother, I’ll certainly take him up on his offer, it’s been a rough few days. I’ll have some more ale and some good food… exactly what I’ve been craving, again. Whatever this place is, I’m pretty well enjoying it.
But the rest of my companions aren’t all rushing to the table. They are slow to join. Lath asks the man about Kenabres we learn it is safe. Lucius makes a show of how honored he is to be here. But they eventually all join me at the table, feasting on good food and drink. There is a sublime music as we eat, setting a calming tone in the room. The blond-haired man is at the head of the table, and in small conversation it turns out we are “supposed” to be here… whatever that means.
Just as we’ve had our fill, we look up to see 5 armored men coming down the hall in a wedge shape. No wait, they have dog heads. Well, at least the one in the middle appears to be a man… with wings. They all wear battle-armor that has seen recent action but is still in impeccable shape. The man also has a bladed shoulder pad. Suddenly Lucius bows his head and kneels.
The blond-haired man rises to meet the approaching group, and the winged man speaks, sounding irritated, “Gabriel, why is the prisoner not in chains!?” He looks past Gabriel and directly at Aldrick, who is actually showing some fear. Gabriel responds, “You know our laws Michael” So, we are indeed in the land of the gods, and the angels are bickering. That must make these the Hounds of Justice. “But think of the leverage he could bring Gabriel”. Gabriel does not respond, standing still between us and Michael.
Then Michael’s voice booms, “Lucius Hulrun, take the prisoner into custody!” Lucius springs up, ready to follow his angel’s command, but Aldrick’s swagger has returned [His god got through to him]. Gabriel is clearly agitated with Michael, and his golden armor is starting to unfold around him. So he was the one who ended the fight in Kenabres. Looks like we’re about to have a heavenly brother battle.
“Enough!” came a loud voice “This is my house, I will have none this!” Both angels immediately stand down. It is the voice of St. Alvis (sp?). “The Concordance has spoken, they are to be returned. They belong to the crusade now.” And just like that, a fight in heaven is prevented. Aldrick then speaks to Gabriel, claiming to have seen waves of demons crashing against the walls of this very place, asking what it means, if the assault was meant to be coordinate with the one on Golarion. Gabriel responds simply, “That is what I intend to find out.”
The whiteness returns briefly, and suddenly we appear in Kenabres, in the middle of a camp. A figure rises – it is Eddoras, “By the light they’ve returned!” A cheer raises amongst the group and it takes several minutes for things to calm down. We are applauded and congratulated and almost worshipped by those around us. When things calm, Eddoras reveals it has been three days since our fight with Vorlesh. He also saw it – everyone did – saw us stand and hold the line against the hordes of the Abyss, right up to the blinding white light. No wonder we’re practically being worshipped. Eddoras says that since then there was the overwhelming feeling that everything was “ok”. The only bad news is that Zamiyaden did not survive his fight with the Vroc. Thank you Cayden that his sacrifice was not in vain.
With a new purpose though we have Eddoras take us to the Queen, who has assumed command. We belong to the crusade after all. As we approach the Eagle’s Nest we note the mongrelmen in a makeshift prison-cage. Several of us object, knowing what they did to aid us and what the others had pledge when they encountered them prior to my arrival. Eddoras agrees, as they helped him directly, but there was little he could do. Perhaps we’ll have better luck seeing these good people freed.
As we enter the Nest there is a distinct change. They’ve cleaned, taken down all the defiling “art” and the morale is certainly much better than it was when we left. The Adjunct meets us at the door, happy to see us. So Irabeth has been restored to duty, good to hear. And we are to have an audience with the Queen, of course. He shows us to a room where we can wait.
It isn’t long before Irabeth comes and thanks us – stunning as always, what a shame… But unfortunately we aren’t to see the Queen until after the ceremony tomorrow. What ceremony? So we are to receive a medal? The Righteous Medal of Valor. Guess I’ll take it, why not. At least the ceremony should have some celebration after it. And that means good food & drink. Irabeth thinks the destruction of the ward stones may be a good thing, and that the 5th – and final – crusade has been commissioned. No longer will we hide behind the barrier, hoping it keeps the filth contained. We are going to take the fight to them. It’s about time.
Alas, there is still no sign of the leadership of Kenabres. Nobody has been found. Lucius speaks up, telling of our encounter with Liotr. But Irabeth counters that no body was found. Lath then has a moment of brilliance, and remembers that Liotr’s body was not there when he returned to partake of the holy water a 2nd time. Troubling indeed, but why did he keep it to himself for so long? Finally we lobby for the mongrelmen, but Irabeth is unable to do anything about it – the situation is beyond her control.
So we take our leave for the evening, each going our own way. I think hero’s status is probably good for a free night drinking down in the mess, and for some reason Cayden I feel you’re going to let me enjoy it without paying much of a price in the morning… Which is a good thing with the ceremony and meeting the Queen…