From the personal journal of Sturn Terrasmyn, housed in the Great Temple to Iomedae Special and Venerated Documents Collection
We marched from Kenabras just before dawn, and made good time, some thirty miles on the first day. I chose to ride ahead with Aron‘s scouts, both for the purpose of seeing what was ahead of us, and to assess their skill and dedication. I’ve been concerned about traitors in the ranks, and they can come in two general sorts: willing turncoats and dupes. I figured that if our scouts were either, we’d be in for a world of trouble. None were evil, so far as I could tell, so that calmed me – a bit.
We found the Tiefling force encamping around the bridge we needed to cross, and I favored a quick, aggressive assault, which Utenar agreed to order. The fight was intense, but short – they broke and ran, most of them, and we trampled many into the dirt and river. We didn’t get their demon leading the force – I’d love to find a way to prevent them from teleporting away.
The disturbing piece, beyond the loss of some men and horses, was my discovery of the demon blood in Aron’s pack. We interrogated him and I think it was planted on him. We shook down Sosiel Vaenic, as well, and as a group we determined that both were telling the truth and unaware. The blood had been planted, and the only person who’d been in a position to do so was Narah Dendiwhar, that annoying bard. We started our search for her immediately and – surprise! – she was gone. The only remnant we could find was some lingering enchantment, evidence that she’d ridden off on a spectral steed of some sort. A traitor was gone, but took with her detailed information of our army, our march, and our plans. Having little other choice, we encamped for the night, healed the men as best we could, and moved out early the next morning.
Again I rode with the scouts, and by mid-day we found another town, abandoned and with collapsing walls and roofs. We had to pass through it on our way to Drezen, northwest of our current position, and the town created a series of natural choke-points for us. We sent up Jaroo in bird form to scout and he came back with news of dretches hiding in one area, and an ambush force of Tieflings in another. Arranging the army for ranged assault, Utenar ordered volleys of arrows onto both forces, which we followed with a pincer charge of cavalry. These two groups were little effort for us, and were broken and dispersed into the hills.
We regrouped the army and sent out skirmishers again, forward into the hills, and placed a handful of lookouts on the surrounding hilltops. Meanwhile, the team and I headed up a steep hill to what looked like a large temple or cathedral complex – set apart from the rest of the town, and seemingly less damaged.
Upon arrival we entered the complex, which was also without a roof – this place had been abandoned for a while, it seemed – and were set upon by a group of ghouls. Atiasi called for patience, asking us to hold back, and we were rewarded with a massive blast of fire, which ended several of the things, and sent many of the others running. I’d heard that ghouls crave living flesh over all else…clearly, not above being burned to cinder.
Pursuing the beasts, Gnarl disappeared into an adjacent chamber while were were set upon by gargoyles – I’d heard of these stone beasts, but had never faced one. I found that I could move far faster and with greater ferocity than ever before. I will attribute this to Iomedae’s favor, as I and my comrades were able to destroy the beasts quickly.
Following Gnarl, we were set upon by demons – finally! – and again our new-found abilities served us well. I’ve never moved so far, so quickly, and have been able to launch so many attacks! I saw similar feats from the others. I know we have earned Iomedae’s blessing, and I only hope that we can continue to deserve her support.
The demons were, but one that disappeared in a sulfurous cloud of cowardice, destroyed. It was time then to take stock of our surroundings and see what else this complex might hold for us.