Wrath of the Righteous

A Story Where No One Lives
and so it goes...

Sosiel Vaenic and the ranger contingent stood in horror. The grave knight slowly rose out of the still waters of the lake, dark fire burning inside its eyes. The desecrated spiked armor of the once slain Staunton Vhane had returned to life as a grave knight. Joran Vhane, Staunton’s brother in life lifted his voice in vain cries, “no, no… NO! This cannot be!” The Firebelly narrowed his steal gaze at the creeping abomination, gripping hold of his axe. Gnarl E. Firebelly stood at once, swinging his arm as his brother would often make a spectacle, shouting, “By Torag’s hand, lets end this bastard’s misery.” The rangers were first and quick, letting off a volley that struck harmlessly off the undead dwarf’s armor. Sosiel cleared his throat, “Adjust for his magic.” He began to recall his spell list for the most effective burst. Joran, blinded by furry, began to charge at the grave knight as it lumbered upon shore. Gnarl let the dwarf have first blow, waiting his movement. But brother or not, he was going to have his thirsty blade its due. Joran struck hard with a downward blow. Staunton held his fist up in a cross to block, with surprise effectiveness. He muttered a guttural tone, “My brother, so weak in flesh, you will be in death.”

The undead warrior flinched as the next barrage of arrows found a way to pierce his veil, only long enough to pull his haunted pole arm and slice the leg of Joran. With a look of astonishment, the warrior fell to the earth. Staunton was sure to pierce his brother’s heart before he touched the ground. And so with a slice and a small sound of broken armor and bone, Joran’s body began to bleed out, sliding along the pole arm towards the still watery shore. Sosiel knew he needed to get closer to channel the energy that might save. Gnarl knew this foe was not the same he had dealt with before. Sure footed, the mad fire haired dwarf assaulted the undead knight. A swift sure strike into his mid section, enough to cleave a normal man, followed with a pulling roundhouse blow to the opposite side, breaking lines inside Staunton’s armor. Then, with mighty energy, Gnarl pulled and reversed the blade’s direction from retreat to a felling blow from above. The grave knight did not block the blow but let the warrior’s axe drive into his clavicle, crushing the bone but doing nothing to stop him from advancing.

Staunton peered with unholy energy at Gnarl and let lose a field of energy that suffocated and corrupted the very air around him. Gnarl felt the pain, undeniable and unknown. Sosiel began his channeling but the energy negated his attempt to commune with his god. Stanton then slammed Gnarl a pace back, landing prone. The rangers shot their last volley of enchanted ammo, resorting to their blades for a charge attack. Sosiel readied an arcane blast. The grave knight stepped towards the rangers, immeadiately causing a sense of dread among them. What started as a coordinated assault fell into disarray as the grave knight sliced, maimed, and crushed the trained swords men. A searing bolt of energy struck the knight from above. The energies mostly fizzled as Staunton continued to harvest the ranger contingent. Needing to try again, Sosiel began his focus again to channel and save some of the men before it was too late. As if sensing his motives, the grave knight moved beyond normal and drove his weapon deep into the cleric’s heart before turning to counter a move from Gnarl, now up again pressing the attack. Sosiel could feel the world spinning into Pharasma but he would be witness to this as least.

The firebelly pulled his axe in reflex, saving his appendage from another amputation. The grave knight solely fixated on him, flicking off the rangers that tried to flank. Gnarl stood poised, gathering his energy for the attack window. He saw where it was, every so often the knight would flex his shoulder, trying to unhinge the broken armor that was stuck inside the corpse. The next time around, Gnarl swung, bashing the shoulder piece to pieces. He then swiftly moved below the counter attack to break the right griddle, plunging deep into the undead body. It was with furious and righteous wrath that Gnarl deliverer an uppercut swipe through the chest of the enemy. And it was enough, through the ruinous fear and plaguing energy that the champion endured, to deliver the killing blow to the grave knight. Staunton fell, or the suit of mail fell, to the ground harmless. The fell energy gone, Gnarl surveyed himself. “Oh,” he felt the piecing pole arm through his side, blood seeping through the wound. Now he felt it was a good time to remind himself to attend to his religious rites as his brother had instructed him. Pushing the weapon through, Gnarl let out a painful grunt before letting the world go black.

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A Story Where No One Dies
elsewhere in the Worldwound wilds...

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Sturn Terrasmyn sat across from the small fire, admiring the perpetual twilight of the abyssal energies. It was luck that they happened upon solid ground, away from the squalor of Yathscar’s typical festering environs. He was longing for sleep that was not on a horse. Narah Dendiwhar, the Halfling, pulled first watch. She sat nearby the mad paladin also staring into the fire but not falling asleep. The land was dangerous but she felt they could chance the flame, hidden in a slot canyon. Her thoughts though drifted back to their first meeting. She felt the betrayal even more so now than before. When she was ordered by her demon masters to hide the demon blood and instigate sabotage. It was mercy that saved her, the mercy of the heroes. How she had grown in the few months with Sturn’s tutoring caused her to have nightmares and fear for all that she has done. It did not matter now. She was no longer under her demon masters. She was free to make her own decision. And she felt very likely she was following the mad man to his doom, something she very much was looking to stop somehow.

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Take Me to Your Leader
...you forgot to say please

Arueshelea directed the adventures to the rift canyons at the end of the sand dune swept “green gates”. The jagged rock rose ominously into cliffs more than two hundred feet. The light that fell into the chasm was muted against the stone and shadows. Still, the succubus could see a half dozen basilisk soaking what light they could. She notified the group; plans were made for a swift strike. Two arrows shot though the starbow illuminated the central lizard as the projectiles ripped through. A well placed fireball engulfed several followed by an acidic cloudburst. Jaroo and Kahn quickly joined the action in rending one apart. Successfully, they shielded themselves from the creatures’ gaze attacks. Bram let loose his mighty blade. Not to be outdone, Clarence summoned an invisible blade of force and pierced one himself. Atiasi still did the most damage, making sure to point that out.

That was okay. He later made the mistake of looking trough an illusionary wall to be skewered by a glaive. The surprise on his face was a classic “Santa Vaca!” With the balance of good and evil being restored, Jaroo supplied a chime of opening for the portcullis and banged it with his animal paws, I mean hands. Quickly back in animal form, Jaroo and Kahn implemented SWAT tatics in clearing the room, each engaging a minotaur directly. The succubus deftly moved into the room and identified two other foul guards approaching. Clarence, looking through his many books, remembered to cast his kick-ass spell of smite shite. This rendered the battle moot as the DM tried vainly to charge Bran the paladin.

Fourth wall broken, the spell casters fought over themselves on the standard OP of detect magic, evil, and other furry things. You are in the evil magical lair, there is evil and magic everywhere. Summarizing the degree of everything, the team decided to venture to the closest, evilest thing possible. Two doors later they found Jerribeth, doing her best Ava Green impression. The lack of blood to the head of the adventures led to some abrupt and awkward conversation. The promise of a wish was not enough to keep the conversation sustained, and much like the first time, the party let loose. Bram drew his mighty blade for a blow. Jerribeth transformed into the large demon she hid, said one word and Bram was caught stunned but not dead. Atiasi dispelled. Jerribeth stunned again. Atiasi dispelled. All the while the sorcerer could hear whispers,“come with me, and you’ll see, a world of pure imagination…”. Jaroo and Kahn took turns swiping out the demons mirror images, which there were many. Arueshelea let loose a barrage of arrows several times before the DM was reminded she should be using the +2 bane arrows. Clarence, still reading his books, determined that summon monster three was the best course of action. It was only later, after the battle, he was informed to use flame strike next time. Bram delivered the killing blow to Jerribeth. Fittingly she changed back to her vain human image, blowing kisses to the paladin.

Rushing to the next room, not spending precious time to loot, the juiced band of adventures literally blasted into the liar of the brain collectors. Atiasi continued to lay down the mythic fireballs. A CR10 encounter turned into a CR2. What further mayhem, havoc, and badassery do our heroes have in store?

Will Clarence embrace his mythic path by reading a book?
Will Atiasi ever be more than a one trick-pony?
Does Jaroo really hate red bull?
Will Bram bend his mighty blade for Arueshalea?

Stay tuned. Same bat channel same bat time.

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When the Mighty Fall
... do the weak care

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The Ivory Sanctum was colder than usual, or perhaps it was the company. Jerribeth did her best to blend in with the intricate inlays of the wall, a cold marbled surface. She was unsure how to breach the news to Xanthir, wondering how the wormed one would express his anger. “Kiranda was unsuccessful to report yesterday…” she imparted to the wizard.
“And… you fail to mention what she was doing.” Xanthir let his low rasp echo inside his study chamber.
Jerribeth blinked weighing her next words, “She was checking in on our contacts in the marchlands.”
“Really? I had her taking a newfound slave the crusaders recently banished from their hole,” he turned to see her response. It had never occurred to Jerribeth that Kiranda was also working for Xanthir. The feeling of fear quickly turned to terror. Did Xanthir know about her plans for the Ivroy Sanctum without the wormed one. She had hoped the apparent incompetence would leave her superiors to dispose of him. Now she felt toe to toe with a foe that could easily call retrievers to rip her apart.
She shrunk looking for a way out alive, “Why would you have her do such a thing?”
“My dear demon of secrets. For as clever as you are, you cannot hide your hatred for me. I know you have slowly been leading the adventures by their noses. Their apparent liberation of Drezen extend from Wintersun to the Molten Scar and now with Kiranda’s absence, you have successfully talked them into destroying the dragon Sizorcar.” He wiggled with a thousand sounds moving towards Jerribeth.
“I do not know what lies she has told you…” Jerribeth let blurt in feigned pride. With deft quickness, Xanthir had his hands around the demon’s neck. The worms pressed against her flesh, compressing the air inside her body as they writhed against her chest, back against the frozen wall.
“Yes!” Xanthir let ring from Jerribeth’s voice. His magic body controlling her words in a strange sign of power. Jerribeth thought quickly about changing. “Why do you not reveal your true self now?” Again the words coming from Jerribeth but clearly the wormed one. The small larval flesh flexed as they played puppeteer to the demon. “Do you want to ruin your perception as another lackey to Baphomet? Let go your precious skin into the creature you are? Please do not, I would find the body distasteful for my hands.” Letting go he laughed as a dog would cough.
Jerribeth released her tension, fell to the ground and began to rub her wounds. “So why do you let me live?” She wondered aloud, in control of her own voice
Xanthir held his distance and began moving his hands in space, dancing them to some strange pattern. “It is all part of a plan. Have you keep the focus of the vain crusaders, thinking they are doing good. Let them remove the threats to power in the Marchlands. See that they are ready to find me.” He was amused with his thoughts, “So was your plan also mine. That I might supplant the idea of where the hag had your fallen sister held into one they already trust. So that she may lead them to me now when we are ready.” The worms curving on his face attempted a smile. “All the while your power vacuum has attracted another ambitious marilith seeking to make her crown once again on that shite hole of Drezen.”
Not knowing that Drezen was under sieged once more pushed a hideous idea into Jerribeth’s mind.
“Ah, it strikes you that your mistress would not be happy if she returns to find her play toys lost to another of her own kind. What do you think she would do to you now? Shed a tear like you have for Kiranda I assume.” He delighted in knowing more than the supposed spymaster of the labyrinth. He squirmed as much as she did, for different reasons.
“But why bring them hear now when you could have done so earlier?” She asked confused.
“Oh but I did! Well, at least one. I know you do not agree with my methods or the company I keep but I trust you to know, cross me again and you will be trapped as they, vain, shallow, singled minded and our sister mercy will soon be. It will not be long before we will bring them all before Deskari to atone for their sins.”

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The Demon's Retribution
....we are half way there...

From the escapement of the tower, Utenar could see the winged flurry haunting at the distance edge of Drezen proper. The protective shroud provided by the Sword of Valor kept the abyssal armies at bay for now. It was in short order that the perimeter patrols began reporting in random sightings of demons en mass, teleporting to the outer edge of the banner’s protection. In the span of a few hours, the Marshal had ordered the outermost units to return back if they could or make for the Fallen Fane or Chapel if not. The demon’s retribution was finally here, something he had been preparing for since the citadel’s capture.

marilith_by_el_grimlock-d32utmw.jpg – demon pinup

The Dwarven General turned his attention to the stairs where Aron could be heard scurrying. “Fresh report Sir, it is a marililth and a demon army but not Aponavicius,” saluting as he delivered the news. “It is as we thought, Sir.” Both anxious and uncertain, Aron could not restrain his emotions. The plans Utenar and he drew up to protect the city left natural choke points and gutted full avenues into thick wall barriers. Everyone a soldier was drilled into those permanent residents, adding threefold to the armies present. Provisions had been rationed from day one and the stores beneath the castle would last them a year, at least, with their magic wards. Water was not a concern because of the decanter. The inclusion of siege weapons and anti-air batteries would top off their plans. They could hold so long as the banner flew.

Utenar was especially worried though because of the rumors he heard to the south. It was said that the Queen had been taken ill, wounded in battle, or worse. The communications had been sporadic but now silent more so. His orders remained, to hold Drezen long enough for his friends to find out what the demon’s were plotting. Still, with his brother running after ghosts, his once stalwart companion in faith, chasing his dreams, and the rest… what progress were they making tracking down the redeemed succubus and source of the elixirs?

Sturn sat at the fire, slowly cleaning his blade in the heat. Around him the ground breathed and heaved, pulsating at the veins of some arboreal made flesh root system. His stead, something of a prize, stood nearby. It was once a horse but has long since become something else with the abyssal energies. Nostrils exhaling a dull mist that fell to the ground. Pooling around the fire, lifelike, the mist was attracted to the heat of the ground and flame. This made visibility even worst in the dark skies of Yathscar. Sturn eyed the beast he procured from a hag sometime back, noticing his skills on horseback had not been lost since his youth. He still had the dream. It was a taunting him more than calling now. As if he was not meant to reach it. He only smiled as he continued to clean his blade. He knelt with nothing amiss although he knew he was being followed, slowly turning his head during his evening ritual, scanning the firelight edge for movement of any kind.

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He heard a splash, spinning out of the darkness, a creature ran towards the paladin. “Help me Stern!” shouted the halfling Nurah. The knight was surprised to see a familiar face but held his instinctual reflex and prepared to strike hard on the creature following behind the scared hafling. The visage was of an insane, twisted, humanoid-shaped tangle of limbs and gnashing teeth thrashing and howling, all too eager to wreak havoc. Sturn could feel the creature trying to tear him apart, even though it stood across the fire. Steadfast in mind, the paladin let lose a holy smite to split the fiend into two. Shuddering in pain as its mass split into two, the warped one let loose a flurry of claws, each one rending more steel than flesh on Sturn. Quickly, the paladin raised his sword, only to feel his feet give way. The beast of chaos somehow rendered his bones lucid and watery. A strange nauseating sensation filled his body as it slid inside his armor. The creature continued to pelt his flesh with slam attacks, breaking bone where there was no more bone. Just as quickly as the sickness had come over him, Sturn was once more made whole. Turning one last time, Sturn leveled his sword and swung in fashion befitting a beheading. The amorphous mass wiggled and writhed in death throes until no more. Breathing heavy, and taking into account his manhood. Sturn bowed his blade and looked perplex and angry at the Halfling. “That is just bloody mad jumping out of nowhere! Just how long have you been following me Nurah?” He paused to recollect before she could answer. “It is good to see you.” He smiled.

Sosiel pondered on the still water, talking to the drawf of few words. “My brother lies somewhere out here as well. He was part of a patrol, on a mission similar you heroes. He felt he was prepared to fight anything the hoard had ready once he slew his first vrock,” the cleric waited for some reflection in Gnarls eyes. Only the dull flame lingered in the warrior’s pupils, peering in the vast nothingness of the see. Joran acknowledged Sosiel’s conversation, “Did he let it go to his head like mine?” Sosiel leaned over the fire, poking aimlessly with a stick, “No, I do not think. He thought more of the crusade than himself.” “Then,” the draweven blacksmith chimed, “you do not have to worry about his death. The gods willing he found good graces with Pharasma. Unlike my Staunton, the dumb… “ Joran felt for the feeling to express, something other than anger, it had been that and greed he and his brother shared. With a wiff of tear, Joran gritted through his teeth. “Bastard!” Sosiel let the silence permeate. It seemed the talk of brotherhood was not one to be had at this moment. Turning the topic, the cleric geastured towards Gnarl asking Joran, “Is he asleep, I have not seen him move since supper.” Joran, bemused by the question, forgot his pain and laughed. “You have not heard him snore yet then no, young human.” Gnarl just continued to stare affix to the sea, waiting for a ripple. He winked but once and then nostrils flaring, “There! To arms all!” Sprung the armored drawf with inpossible speed. “First the ripple then we battle!” Shouted the deranged hero running toward the sea. As he was first to meet the horror that was Staunton Vahne, now a shadow of flesh twisted into a grave knight…

graveknight_by_akeiron-d3kop7r.jpg – because black is how I feel on the inside

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much treasure
to be sold

Celestial armor 22,400
2 composite long bow (4 str) 8500
Talisman of Pure Good. 1charge left. Artifact
+2 vicious battle axe 18,300
7 evil outsider slaying arrows 15,974
Horn of goodness/evil. 6500
3 doses of incense of meditation 4900
Rod of the python 13000
+4 cold iron maul. 34300
+2 corrosive scythe 18300
Wand of of stone skin 22 charges. 14740
Mithril scale male +4 20,000
+3 cold iron evil outsider bane long sword 34,300
Belt of dwarven kind. 14900
+1 frost rapier 8300
Boots of elven kind. 2500

10,000 in coin and gems

I believe we gave the talisman of pure good to Bram,
I think the horn of goodness/evil would be fitting in Brams possession, and the incense of meditation would be good for Jaroo. I know Jaroo wants the boots of Elven kind. There are a few things Atiasi would like… wand of stone skin. As to the rest, sell, unless there is anything else someone wants.
however, if we sell it all, then that would be 128,457 in coin to split between all of us.
speak up if there is something else you’d like from the stash.

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putting to rest
one way or another

The doul demon was a disgusting hybred between angelic features and demonic, connected at the back. Its demonic hand held a long blade to strike down foes. It attempted to use its spell like abilities but was quickly subdued over a 100 ft pit with the evil snoring swings from the Flying Bram, and the wall crawling paws from the morphed Jaroo. Atiasi had a difficult time crossing the flow of lava, but was able to get a mythical shot of his feared scorching ray. With the room cleared, they inspected the crystal the priest was lounging on. It was more than just a large chunk of crystal, but held the remains of an ancient priest of Erastil, “Dalemere”. She was draped in fine chain, and a bow across her chest. A talisman around her neck, and boots on her feet. The group are not grave robbers, so they said their good byes to the priest at rest, and left the tomb. The priest Jesker, who the demon possessed, once the battle was done, slowly woke. He felt shame for his actions, even of they were controlled by the filth who was inside of him. He didn’t wish to continue on this mortal realm, but with the help of Atiasis words, and the support of the other heroes, he made it back to Drezen. There, the team found magistrate Kalfaren who had been left in charge during Irabeths absence while she looked for the missing Sturn. They petitioned him with a casting of atonement for the priest who was visibly relieved when the request was granted. Also, when the team found him, he was hearing from both sides of an apparent murder from our barbarian maiden, while defending the refugees from a group of merchants. Her rage cut one of them in two before the group dispersed. She immediately turned herself over to to the guards, but was placed in the dungeons once more. Atiasi went to horgus, who was now the cities prime merchant, to discuss the feeling of the city, and more specifically, the merchant community. He was powerless to easily change their minds, and would be removed from his seat if he tried to get them to drop the charges. With the suggestion from atiasi, and a donation of a thousand gold pieces, he would begin to grease palms, and entertain others to begin to sway the crowd. With the mechinations in place, both Atiasi and Jaroo decided to make their way to make their way back to Kaneabres for commerce of their own. Their stock pile I’m magic arms and armor have been growing, and an item that Jaroo wanted was outside the ability of the fledgling city of Drezen to procure. Both took flight, Atiasi on the back of his frost Drake, and Jaroo in the guise of an Air Elemental. They left behind Khan, and Bram, as neither could fly all the way back. Khan was left in the wilds to frolic and hunt, and Bram used his time to continue study of the world wound. The first night, Bram dreamed of Dalemere. She woke within the crystal tomb. She rose from its confines, shattering the crystal which encased her. She stripped her armor off, leaving only her cotton burial smock. She folded her armor, placing the bow, and talisman upon it. Dalemere smiled her thanks, then once more took her place in rest back in the crystal. When he woke, he knew the items had become freed for him. He requested a detachment of knights from Magistrate Kalfaren. The magistrate granted his request, and made one of his own. To defend the Barbarian maiden Jesker in a court of Law. Once Bram retired, he would indeed defend her. Drezen may be a fledgling town, but it still required order, and as a Paladin of Abadar, he would seek justice for the actions of Jesker. The ride to Dalemeres tomb was swift. There were no patrols of Baphomet to bar their way. Inside the tomb, on top of the crystal sarcophagus, were the items were laid out as they were in his dream. A suit of fine celestial chain mail, a twice magiced long bow built for great strength, and the Talisman. A minor artifact which drew down evil spell casters into a pit of fire for ever. It only could be used once more. With the gifts in hand, they quickly made their way back to Drezen to prepare for the trial.

Once back, the city was a whirlwind of trial preparation. A scaffold was built for hanging Jestak, by the merchant guild, and other signs were for her unconditional release. All was ordered in its display. If one would fight for the city, but break its laws, there is no leeway. A trial would be held, and the outcome left to the tribunal.
Bram was dressed in his formal ware to defend the actions of Jestak. The other minister argued the laws were broken. The arguments rattled back and forth for the day.
Once closing arguments were heard, the judgement was handed down. Jestack was found guilty of killing a merchant who drew a knife. Her skills as a warrior far outweighed the merchants lack. And since this was a city of Law, taking matters in your own hands is not authorized.
Rather than putting her to death as the wishes of the merchants, and the deads family, she would be banished. Not just banished, but set upon the path of redemption to still fight for Drezen.
She took with her, her great adamantine blade, and armor, but a book of abadars laws, and Iomedaes letters of justice. Bit she would not be allowed to step in Drezen again upon pain of death.
Magistrate Kalefran dubbed it, “the long walk to redemption”. A new punishment for those who have proven they wish redemption for their past transgressions, who slipped back to their old ways.

Meanwhile, to the east in Kanebres, Atiasi and Jaroo walked the city inspecting its reconstruction. Its walls were rebuilt, and city was once more cleaned, but there were large areas still scorched from demon fire, and scarred from their raking the ground. Whole swathes of city were still without its buildings that were destroyed, but slowly were being rebuilt.
Atiasi was able to make his way home to where his parents lived. The house was still standing. Somehow, the demons left this small section standing.
“A good place to rest before we make our way to the city council.” He said.
Jaroo nodded in agreement.
Beaverach stayed in the stables of the house, and Khan slept with Jaroo in the spare bedroom.
That night, Atiasi walked the home of his birth, casting mend, and prestidigitation to help repair, and clean as he walked.

The following morning, they made their way to the council. The heroes were welcomed with open arms. They described their time in the world wound, the progress of Drezen, and their need of selling their gains other than those being redeemed by the redemption forge.
There looked for an Amulet for Jaroo to enhance his ability to bypass the demons ability to shrug off damage. It would make his attacks make his claws as cold iron, and goodly aligned to cause divine damage more.

Along with the sale of gear, they also picked up some scrolls to turn people back from stone as there have been some statues spotted along the grey road. A couple other trinkets were purchased to help with their travels.
Also a few bits and pieces as a reward for Beverach becoming Atiasis mount. His goal is to no longer have to charm the Drake to gaurentee loyalty.

Days later, once Jaroos item was created, they were able to make their way home.

Their arrival to Drezen was a sad one. Their companion Jestak was already gone. Perhaps in their travels they would encounter her again, but the law must be upheld.

A report also came in from Gnarl. A ruined town was passed by the Undead Staunten vaign. Then to the shores of the lake of the fallen sun.

We would follow to the town and investigate.

There, the town was mostly leveled. Few structures stood, and one unbroken. The crypt stood for the family… Firebelly. Firebelly! The brothers, or at least their family, had a hand in this town of Seskers Gully.

Outside the crypt, a swirling mist took the form of one of the firebellys ancestors. But he was human. How did a Dwarf rate with Human ancestors?
Alrys Firebelly screaming in rage. A demon was blocking his rest. He is cursed because he was never placed in the chalk of eternal slumber, and now a demon was feeding off of his anger, and hate.
Of course the heroes would place his remain where they were needed.
Arlys warned that there was a demon below. One which wielded a nasty battle axe.
Once in the crypt, Bram began detecting for evil and Undead. Both were easily found. Behind doors, a pair of bodaks rose to attack. Once more, the team jumped to action. The Undead fell quickly to the might of Brams holy smiting, Jaroo also was able to lay waste with his new Amulet. And finally, rays from Atiasi put the creatures down for good.
Further into the crypt, they found the demon who quickly disappeared and reappeared behind the team in a hall, blocking their way.
Atiasi using his new heavenly wings flew past the creature to gain distance, when both Jaroo and Bram stepped up to join the combat.
Atiasi attemped to fire his tried and true scorching rays, but was thwarted while he was in a zone of silence. Further he flew to exit the zone.
The martial duo began ripping the beast apart. Very little could stand to the onslaught of holy might of them. And once Atiasi was able to get to an area outside the zone of silence, more heavenly arcane might rained down.
Once the demon was sent back to the abyss, the paladin began reading their last Hallow scroll.
Arlys felt the passing of the demon, and was relieved. Once the crypt was cleansed with the Hallow spell, his vissage of rage was replaced with calm. He could see his reward in the afterlife. His last act was to send a beam of light to a broken down church of Torag. A small section of ground glowed. The companions dug in the area and uncovered a stash of holy relics. One was a great holy maul which seemed like it was made for Utinar specifically.
Now that the town was cleared, the three made their way back to Drezen.
Once there, a disturbing report was waiting for them.

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Report from the Grey Road
...a taking of souls

It was an ambush. The blood demons descended upon the scouting party without mercy, flanking and backstabbing the first knight where he stood. Aneiva knew making a defensive circle would keep them alive if they hoped to live to tell the tale. She ordered the remaining paladins to form up. The demons, six in all, assailed the five remaining members with their swift claw strikes. Anieva used her experience, to weave from foe to foe, taking advantage of her own precision shots and quickened reflexes. The blood spurting from each critical hit soaked into her leather bracers, quickly making them useless. Likewise, the paladins turned on their ability to call upon holy might and strike down the blood demon’s attempts to flank. The scouting party had the advantage now. The demon’s seemed to be relenting on their attack, becoming tired and waiting. Aneiva thought this was a good sign. Then quite suddenly, sharp talons ripped into her shoulder and arm, tearing flesh and gripping to the bone. She flinched, panicked, and dropped her weapon as the ground began to flee from her. She could see the battle below, the knights holding their ground as the blood demon’s began to teleport away. A ruse she though now, as the large beating wings of the Vrock carried her higher into the darken worldwound sky… to the south, beyond the molten lake, reported the surviving paladins.

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Doing what needs to be done
Finally

Now that the US Men’s team is out of the World Cup, I can focus a little bit more on posting for the game.

The three heroes finally made their way back to Drezen in front of refugees who were apart of the winter sun clan. Cries of celebration coming from the walls of the keep when the recognized who was in the lead, and even in the air on back of a large Frost Drake.

There was very little time to waste. The Fallen Fane was still on Jaroos mind. The affliction continued to affect his strength.

They were taken to the main hall to see Irabeth and provide a report.

“Welcome home my friends. What have you to report?” She asked.

“Mistress, we found the raiders hitting our caravans.” Began Atiasi. “It was from a tribe of barbarians called the Winter Sun clan. They were beaten into submission by the clan leader. They’re no longer a threat. In fact, they wish redemption from their ways of the past months following their chieftain.”

“Good. We could use their help keeping this part of the land clear of other … Vermin.” Replied Irabeth.

“Irabeth,” began Jaroo hastily, “we still need to clear the Fane. Our purpose was to reaquire the scrolls from the shipment that was stolen. I will leave when the sun rises.”

“Very well my friend. Who will be joining you?”

Atiasi chimed in, “I will.”

“I’ll have to decline.” Havik said, “I have work to do with the forge of the city. Aravashnel needs my help.”

Jaroo sighed in frustration. "The queen tasked us to gain intelligence of this region. "He thought to himself, “another so called hero is bowing out.”

Irabeth saw his frustration on his face. “Worry not Jaroo. A new face has come to Drezen. Someone to help in the hinterlands.” She gestured to one of the guards. “Fetch Sir Van Zant.”

They continued their conversation for forward progress in the world wound until there was the announcement… “Sir Bram Van Zant per your request my lady.”

Bram entered the chamber with a book tucked under his arm. He was adorned in his priestly robes but ever with his sword belted at his hip. “You sent for me my lady?”

“Yes, you’re needed.” She replied.

Introductions commenced, plans laid out for marching to the Fallen Fane. The three heroes would be the lead element. Shortly followed by a detachment of knights to fill and quarter the retaken Fane along with one of the priests to keep the ground holy, and a mage with stone shape to make adjustments once the Fane was cleansed.

The next morning, the three heroes rode out. Jaroo loped alongside his companion Khan in the guise of a tiger, Bram on horseback, and Atiasi took to the sky on back of his charmed Drake Baeverach.

The path was free of incident. One morning, a sight was had off in the distance. A large Red creature on wing flew. This was seen once before. It seems a dragon stalks these lands.

Two days later they reached the sight of the fallen Fane. The small group decided to venture in through the secret back entrance to hopefully surprise any residence who may have taken back their stop over.
They sent their larger mounts around to the front entrance to wait and stop any from escaping.
Through the tunnel they snuck as best an armored giant of a paladin could.
They entered the secret room which once held the “god caller”’s quarters, who fled when they first came here.
Atiasi held the group back. He cast invisibility from his staff upon himself to move through the secret tunnel to the main complex. There he spied two sets of boots behind curtains on either side of the room. Their plan of stealth failed miserably and the fallen knights who fought for Baphomet were waiting in their own ambush. Jaroo, and Bram held their position behind the secret door until Atiasi unleashed 2sets of magical force (magic missile) to strike each foot to hamper their movements.
The other two rushed into the room.
Jaroo pounced on the other set of templars when Juan burst through the front to help him.
Bram joined Atiasi and chopped into one of the templars felling him.
The fight continued, with another two templars filling in from behind another set of doors on the dias. They all quickly fell to the might of the heroes but one. This one was charmed by Atiasi. He stood with mouth agape for a moment. Bram saw the opening and began a devastating swing. Atiasi yelled, “Stop it!!! He is already Mine!”
The swing glanced off the armor of the Templar, not damaging him, however the might of his blow took out a chuck of stone from the wall beside him.

Both stood down from the fight.

After, they took their prisoner outside while Jaroo began the 24 hour casting of Hallow to finally clean the taint from the fallen Fane.
Once outside, the conversation began of the Templar who followed the Demon Baphomet. His name was Ted.
“The Glory of Baphomet will retake these lands. You should come with me. His glory Zanther Vang will bring you into the fold. His Ivory Labarynth hold your demise. Your small victory means nothing against the grand design. This world is doomed to the hordes of the abyss.”
And on he spewed his fear of the Abyss and his death at their.hands. Better to be on the winning side Ted thought.

A day later when the ritual was completed to remove the unhallowed effect from the Fane, the rocks began to shake almost earthquake quality. Only inside the Fane shook. The evil writings on the wall broke and shattered to dust upon the floor, the images of Baphomet broke apart and from within, an oak tree sprung to life. The darkness from within was cast out. There was no longer a trace this was dedicated to an unholy creature. Instead, the life tree glowed slightly, shedding warmth to those around it.
Jaroo stood stunned. This was the path of his ancestors. Governing nature in all of its divine glory. He realized he as able to follow both paths of enlightenment. Iomedae’s holy vengence, and Natures beloved call. He would honor both equally.

A few days later, the small caravan arrived to man the outpost. A cleric dedicated the Fane to holy justice, and the mage stood agape. He made the trek from the safety of Drezen for nothing.

Immediately, the detachment began sending out patrols. The surrounding area began to take shape. It’s topography, and wildlife. Reports began flowing in that the surrounding countryside was beginning to look… Less… abyssal.

Within those days, the affliction that affected Jaroo disappeared. Like this Fane, he too was cleansed. Energy courses through him, and a smile finally spread across his face.

“We should continue on our way. Many places yet to explore.”

The trio made their way to the great rock jutting up from the planes. This was Eagle Rock. A former outpost which fall during the second crusade. On top of the spire stood 5 watch towers which made the rock seem like a hand.
There were no stairs to climb. Those were scrapped away many years ago by the demons who took over and created a more teleport or flight friendly look out.
The small team used various means to reach to top. Atiasi flew his charmed Frost Drake, Atiasi also cast levitate on Bram, while Jaroo cast levitate from Terendalevs scale for Khan, then assumed the form of an air elemental and took to the sky.
On top of Eagle Rock, the team explored. Sneaking into the courtyard, they were set upon by two derakni demons. The team went to work. Atiasi blasting them with his epic Scorching rays, Jaroo morphing into a ferocious large cat, paired with Khan, Bram calling on his smite to hack them to pieces.
One lanced out a flash of negative energy against Atiasi, draining him of half his life force. The other took to wing which caused a confusing buzz which affected Jaroo.
The melee was fierce but short lived. Using metal, magic, and claw, the demons were dispatched. Their bodies dumped over the side to fall into a heap on the ground below.
They looked through the towers for any further enemies. They only found a fungal patch which Atiasi, in his weakened state, was unable to resist. The others made him rest, hoping the magic would wear off before the spores turned him into another mushroom pile. The goddess looked kindly upon him, when the spores did their final attack to his circulation system, he resisted.
“I’m staying right here until that blast wears off dammit!!!”

The following day, with Atiasis strength returned, they made their way along the flowing lava stream. Rumors from a book found back in Drezen told the group of a burial site nearby. Clues from the desecrated church by the priest said he may be close by.

In one of the many caves, they found what they were looking for. They moved to the mouth of the cave. Once again, Atiasi cast invisibility on himself to spy on its contents. A coffin of sorts made of crystal, and the draped form of Jesker, the priest who was missing from Drezen laying on it. Inside, a stream of lava snaked around the room almost guided away from the couple of pits that spread about the interior.
A plan came to the minds of the team. Capture, not kill the traitorous priest. Let him stand trial for what he had done. Using his mythic powers, Atiasi cast fly, then a short invisibility on Bram.
Bram them floated over to the collapsed form of Jesker, and with a mighty swing with the flat of his Bastard sword, smashed jesker in the back of the head.
Simultaneously, Atiasi used his admonishing ray to blast him with non lethal force. The two blows together crumpled the priest even further as a demonic, and angelic in one, form fled his body. This abomination is what caused Healer to desectate his church, and flee into the world wound.
With understanding, the team braced themselves for the fight that was about to commence.

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The Sea Lost to the Sun
...Gnarl's hunt for the fallen

“It is the Sea Lost to the Sun,” Joran spoke. Gnral stared in silent retrospection. They had been following the trail for some days now. It was evident that the culprit of Vahne’s body acted alone, or so he explained to the men. Joran and himself knew some fell magic rose the fallen paladin from the grave. And now it fled from Drezen. Was there a purpose to this he pondered. “Is there something on your mind sir?” Solsie asked. “No, nothing.” Gnarl muttered. “I only ask because it is evident when a dwarf tugs on his beard, some thing Aron explained to me once.” The cleric responded respectfully. Gnarl had been tugging at his beard, to his surprise. The same astonishment fell on Joran’s face once Gnarl looked his way, and at once, Joran stopped himself from the same breed tendency. Gnarl surmised that Joran was also thinking similar things staring at the large inland sea. Unsure why it did not function as other large bodies of water, they witnessed no lap of the shore, no ripples on the water. It was stilled, likely an influence of the abyssal energies. The same foul magic kept birds away and there was scant life, bug, plant or otherwise touching the shore. The tracks ran right into the sea and disappeared beneath its waters, so it seemed. Gnarl motioned for Solsie, “Send back two men to report back, we are camping here until we are able to detect this creature. Have them share the town we saw on our way so they may investigate… and get me a mage.” he snarled, “I need someway of following this thing.”

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