The demon-spawn are true to their word, for now, and we pass the night unmolested. In the morning Lann returns, and we barter for some much needed supplies. Renli and I question Lann and Aravash on the nature of the enemy we will face on this day. Much is learned. The demon worshiping bitch was quite successful at converting the youth of Neatholme. Not that I’m surprised. The trouble with demon-spawn, is that they always meet my expectations. They can play at honor and goodness down here, but their souls are defiled by the taint of the abyss. Give them one taste of darkness, and they will walk willingly into it.
The bitch we stalk, is some sort of priestess of Baphomet, and her cult has been growing. One of her converts was a man named Wendaug. Lann tells us of his skill as a hunter and trapper, we will be prepared for such things. Lathander, showing some useful initiate for once, declares he has some skill at such things if he had tools, so Renli, Lann and he ransack Wendaug house searching for spares. It is time will spent.
Lord of Minotaurs
Beasts, Labyrinths, Secret Societies
This Wendaug, supposedly he was a “decent” guy before a Witch-hunter burnt his wife. Maybe she was innocent, maybe not. Many innocent make the final sacrifice every day, and before the end I suspect we all will. Such is the cost of survival. There can be no excuses. This Wendaug makes his home with the enemy. He aids the enemy. I will destroy him…like the enemy.
Lann grows angry over my…callous…remarks. But he wisely holds his tongue. That is good. If he can learn to embrace the truth of his foul heritage, and wield that anger against his race, it can protect him from that which he hates.
We exit Neathholme, and strike out a good pace towards our destination. They do not bother with blindfolds, but the terrain is confusing enough that I am sure we could never make it back without a sufficient guide. Lann is competent in this regard.
After some time, we come to a chamber covered with fungal spores. They are recognized to belong to some deadly plant creature, so we leave with haste before we are delayed. But not before Lathander scrapes as much of the poison as he can into his vials, and we discover two dead pit-born, dead from asphyxiation.
There is a brief bit of trouble crossing a rope bridge, cleverly trapped to drop its first crosser to their death, but Lathander is saved by Taerekt’s great strength. He is swiftly hosted to safety, and the rest of us cross without injury.
Shortly after, Renli, scouting ahead reports back that we have found their hideout, but the entrance is guarded by barricades and crossbows. A brief exchange of “misdirection” gives us the opening to close with the pit-born while they are off guard. I hit the first with my crossbow, as Renli and Milo charge the gate, and Taerekt hops over the barricade. They are swiftly dealt with. I demand the last surrender to me by the grace of Iomedae. He chooses death.
Our assault, swift and effective that it was, raised their guard, and they were ready for us. Taerekt smashes open the door and we charge into the larger chamber beyond. The traitor Wendaug and several other Demon-Spawn are waiting, polearms, and bows waiting for us. But my attention is caught by the fiend on their ceiling. A crab like monstrosity, tainted and warped by the presence of the worldwound.
We engage, but Lathander finds himself caught in the beasts sticky web, and is eaten alive. An unfortunate fate. Wendaug retreats deeper into the structure, with Renli on his heels. I distract the fiend long enough for Taerekt to shatter its carapace with that marvelous hammer. Recognizing the significance of the next few moments, I call up the might of Ragathiel, to give me strength to bring this bastards justice. I strap on my shield and pursue Wendaug.
He notices me this time, stepping into the doorway. “WITCH-HUNTER!” He screams at me, as he unleashes his arrows. But my rage is just as potent, and I swiftly overtake his cry with my own words. “DEMON-SPAWN.” And then he flees….coward. We execute the remaining Pit-born, but Wendaug has taken position at the top of a ladder, a difficult assault. And we trade arrows and javelins for a moment.
Gen. of Vengeance
Duty, Vengeance, Chivalry, Chastity
And then we hear the female voice of the Bitch, this priestess of Baphomet, who has some responsibility for the events of yesterday. Thousands of lives, if not the entirety of humanity and all the goodness in the world could lie at her feet. Ragathiel demands her death, and my choller rises, and I pursue, headless of the difficulty of the challenge.
Renli, fearless, for one so small, nods, and together we storm the ladder. Wendaug’s shot goes astray, and then suddenly Milo is there, shouting for us to go back down the ladder. The foul scent of sulfur fills the chamber, and we knew some new fiend had joined the battle. As Renli and I gained what purchase we could at the top of the narrow ladder-well, Wendaug and the Bitch retreat beyond yet another door. In their wake, a might Schir Demon, charges forth.
The spiteful demon misses with his first assault, and Renli lays into the beast with a glorious wound, but balancing precariously at the top of the ladder, I have difficulty bringing my weapons to bear against the demon. Again and again the demon swings with his foul diseased halberd and gores at us with his horns. My prayers, protect me from the worst, but Renli is not so lucky.
The little one is struck unconscious by a vicious blow, and I am barely able to scoop him with my shield arm before he falls to his death. Trusting in my uncommon fortitude, and recognizing the disadvantage of my current location, I drop down the ladder, handing Renli off to be healed.
The fiend follows, but now we can bring our numbers to bare, and together, we cast the bastard back into the abyss.
Message to Hossila
Circumstances have necessitated that I depart earlier than anticipated. You will remain, for the time being, in Kenabres. But know this, the cities days are numbered. Soon, I shall assume command of Drezen, and you will return to my side. Before you depart, pay a visit to the chemist and “Thank” him for his service. Then stop by the Lodge and insure that the fool has left no evidence behind. Finally, it has come to my attention that the pest Faxium has been assigned the acquisition of a priority target. It would serve us well should we succeed where he fails. If the opportunity arises you may thank him as well. Use your mongrels. They are expendable and not traceable back to the Templars. Fret not over the alliance, as our Lord decrees, Power is neither earned nor given, but must be Taken.
Act with Haste. Once Vorlesh returns and initiates her ritual with the Stone you won’t want to be anywhere near the doomed city.
PS If you haven’t already, best thank the messenger too.
After a short stop to sort out our injuries, we carry forward, intent on bringing our foe to justice. But the door above is locked, and precious time is wasted opening it. The room behind contains some sort of meeting chamber, its large table stained with the blood of old sacrifice. A tapestry of Baphomet covers the opposite wall, my stomach turns. Several doors surround the chamber, but by the time we locate the exit, the bitch is long gone, into the sewers of Kenabres.
We investigate what we have found. First the bitches bed chamber, where we find several bloody bandages. On a hunch i try the blood on the message intended for Hossila, its a match and its contents are laid bare. As we thought Baphomet and Deskari are working together. Vorlash is in or will be in Kenabres to attempt some ritual on the wardstone. The message mentions several cleanup jobs that Hosilla was intended to take care of, hopefully we can intervene and discover that which the enemy desires hidden.
Another chamber reveals some sort of forge. The chamber reeks of old stale blood. They were crafting unholy weapons. We decide to give the chamber to the purity of fire. And that is when we notice two fresh corpses. More demon-spawn from Neatholme, but Lann knows these two, he suspects they were capture by the enemy and executed, I concure, it is likely these two died without giving into temptation.
Back on the lower floor, further discovery reveals some sort of “trophy room” where these demon worshipers could relish in the horrors of their past deeds. Among the heads on the walls are a couple crusaders…and a witch-hunter that I recognize. We do what we can, but only through vengeance will there be satisfaction.
I am not yet satisfied!