Wrath of the Righteous

Into the Breach!
ain't no mountain high ain't no valley low to keep me from getting to loot baby.

As the army moves out on the ninth day, they pass through a dried river bed lined by canyon walls. The Knights of the Fifth Crusade have successfully crossed into the Worldwound. Halfway through the day, the weather becomes odd. Clouds form overhead and begin spewing out what appears to be golf-ball sized hail. Upon closer inspection, it turns out not to be hail, but frozen eyeballs. The sun sets earlier than expected as the army prepares to start marching in the dark. As they march, word reaches Addit that there is a troublemaker in their midst. After all the issues with Aron, Addit falls back to investigate, leaving Artokus to lead the army.

It turns out that Arles Jhestanders is having second, or even third thoughts about this foray into the Worldwound. A veteran crusader, he appears to have lost hope and has fallen into a depression. After mincing words with Addit, the young girl manages to persuade him to carry on, claiming that “The Demons only win when good men do nothing.” Fifteen miles from Keeper’s Canyon, Aron spots an abandoned temple resting on the canyon top. According to him, some of these temples can hold hidden supplies of healing potions, sometimes enough to outfit an army. After a brief conference, the party, along with Nurah agree to explore.

After a difficult climb, the group reaches the courtyard of the chapel. Inside they find a pile of bones from various humans and other humaniod races. Nurah finds some weird humaniod-ish tracks, that look strange. Quiet shortly the mystery is solved when the party is attacked by gargoyles. After searching a small building and finding an armory, the party takes what looks useful before opening the door into a cathedral. The temple, which has massive ceiling with smashed stain glass windows, holds four large cracked statues in the shape of angels. In the chapel several forms of undead attack the party before one falls back in order to bring backup. Addit is able to recognize that the markings which the undead have scribbled onto the wall venerate the demon lord Kabiri, the demon lord of ghouls. Nurah winds up fleeing after the cultist manage to bash Addit into unconsciousness, but they manage to turn the fight around. After a harsh battle against an apparent chosen one of Kabiri, the party is successful and manages to find a stockpile of healing potions as well as a Knight’s Pennon of Battle. The party sends word down to the camp about the temple that all is well and that they will return in the morning. Despite the parties best attempt to cleanse the temple, the desecration still lingers, even after three separate attempts to remove it. The current plan is to bring Sosiel up and see if both holy men of Sheyln can accomplish what one cannot. (36 units)

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Trouble at home
In which tempers run high

The army begins their march with 50 units of food, heading North/ North-East. We arrive at the small town of Valis’s Gift at mid-day. The small town was Kenabres’ primary source of grain. However now it is nothing but smoldering buildings and strewn body-parts. It appears that the major cities were not the only part of Mendev that the demons assaulted. Addit, while listening to her counsel decides to stay the day here, to check for any survivors and recover any supplies. After one days search, they are able to find 5 units of food, before beginning the march again. (49 units)

After an uneventful day of marching, the army finds themselves at Vilareth Ford. Anevia has spotted an army of cultist, attempting an ambush. With Anevia’s tip, Addit is able to set up a counter-ambush and the Knights of the Fifth Crusade taste their first victory. Anevia, Aron, Artokus and Dave are sent to scout over the battle field to try and find anything useful, while Irabeth, Sosiel, Nurah, Dalin and Addit go to find survivors. Artokus’ group is able to recover a captured group of crusaders who inform the army of Emestil’s (enemy’s general) cruelty. According the the captives, there is a greater army of demons to the north at Keeper’s Canyon, that has dug into the Harrier River Bed. The other group is able to recover 2 units of food and 3 tools for goods. (45 units)

That night, Arin and Sosiel open up a bit about their past. Sosiel regails us with stories about his time growing up as a gardener in the peaceful Andoran countryside, while Aron is from Cassomir but has found his true purpose in meeting Sosiel. Nurah, for her part was a slave who was tasked with writing down her former master’s conquests in the Worldwound, but barely managed to escape after they were attacked at night.

On the fifth day of their march towards the wound, Addit presents everyone with a standard crusader’s cross, as a testament and promise to seeing everyone back to Drezen alive. (42 units remain) That night Dalin catches Nurah sneaking around camp, while Aron begins to act strange. The sixth day dawns on a tactically cruddy situation. The cultist and army of dretches have managed to entrench themselves into abandoned crusader strongholds. After a hard fought battle, The Knights of the fifth crusade manage to route both of the smaller armies, but a great cost. Both leaders of the enemy flee, while Addit goes about helping bury the dead and treat the injured. That night at dinner, an Incubus teleports into camp, and attempts to assassinate the party. Thankfully the group is able to fend off his attack, but is unable to keep him from fleeing. The remaining army recovers 6 units of food and 2 tools for goods. (45 units)

Addit determines that the army will rest here for the next two days to allow the injured a chance at recovery and the healthy to practice drills. That morning, Sosiel confides in Dalin that Aron has a history of drug addiction, and is becoming more withdrawn and solitary. According to Sosiel, Aron was clean when beginning this march, but is unsure why the scout his acting this way. Dalin agrees to keep an eye on Aron for Sosiel. (42 units)

As the eighth day dawns, Aron’s mood has not gotten any better. Sosiel presses Addit for an intervention, which the young paladin begrudgingly agrees upon. As she approaches Aron for the chat, Artokus tries to pull rank on Aron, and the talk does not go well. After the meeting, Addit goes to take her temper out on an unsuspecting recruit, while Dave and Artokus tail Aron who has grabbed a bag of personal belongings and left camp. After the two magic users realize what Aron plans to abandon the army, Dave rushes back to inform Addit. Addit, not wanting to lose a valuable scout, rides out after Aron with Sosiel in hopes to change the young Taldan’s mind. After some very heated words, and a surprise half-orc hug, the truth comes out. Someone had slipped drugs into Aron’s pack and he was fearing that he was going to turn on them. Rather than allow that to happen, Aron attempted to run away. Addit, offering Aron a second chance, managed to burn the drugs out of Aron’s system with a use of her lay on hands abiliity, and successfully return to camp with everyone. (39 units)

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The Queen is coming
In which we become leaders of an army

Two weeks after destroying the wardstone, Defender’s Heart is hosting a high profile guest! Queen Galfrey has come to Kenabres with an army of paladins to rage war on the demons that have dealt this city a devastating blow. She summons everyone to a closed conference, where we give her a briefing about what has been happening since the Storm King first attacked. Although not the most eloquent presentation, it gets the job done. Queen Galfrey informs everyone, that she does not think that our intentions on destroying the wardstone were dark, so we will not be branded as traitors. Instead of being relieved, everyone is confused.

Apparently when we destroyed the Kenabres wardstone, the entire fence collapsed, leaving Kenabres exposed. Near the Rift Shadow a major army of demons is a massing, under the flag of Aponovisious. While the fiend is distracted from Drezen, we along with a small army are to infiltrate the lost citadel and find the Sword of Valor. The Sword of Valor is a banner said to have been wielded by Iomedae herself, that was lost when Drezen fell to the demons. To reclaim this lost relic would bring a huge moral boost when we need it most. Everyone agrees and we plan to set out in two days time.

Along with one hundred paladins, the Queen has loaned us some of her personal royal advisers. First, there is Sosiel Vaenic, a holy man of Shelyn who is well versed in demons and their tactics. Next is Nurah Dendiwhar, an unmatched source on the history of the worldwound and has decent knowledge about everything else. Finally we were introduced to Aron Kir, a crusader tactician and engineer. Aron is an expert on maps, siege tactics and the like. In addition to our three new allies, we managed to convince Irabeth and Anevia to follow us into the Wound, as well as Aravashniel after we restored his eyesight. While Dalin entertains our guests, Addit went to visit Horgus and convince him to join in the efforts. Although she had to bribe the merchant, Addit secretly thinks that Horgus is pleased to have been invited along, even when there is no proof to back this up.

As Addit meets with her new advisers and the Queen, she learns that the current plan is to skirt the Worldwound before crossing over at Keeper’s Canyon. The march should take 4 1/2 days to complete, and the Queen will provide the group with enough supply to give everyone 5 1/2 days to take the cathedral.

As everyone prepares to ride out, Queen Galfrey dubs us the Knights of the 5th Crusade, which grants everyone the ability to run armies, rule kingdoms and claim lands. In addition to the new title, she hands out several medals we earned in our fight against the Babaus.
The session ends with the army beginning to move north, as Addit leads the march to Drezen.

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Reclaiming the Garrison
The key to attractiveness is TWO feet

After a quickly fought battle against the Minotaur, the group finds several interesting knick-knacks and shoves them into the ever increasing bag of loot, before kicking down the door into the big boss room. The main event pits everyone against Jeslyn, a deformed half-elf oracle, who claims that she is the chosen of Deskari.

After a few moments of skirmish, Dave is able to successfully prod the wardstone with the poker of potential power (AKA rod of cancellation), only to have the stone explode in a wonderfully colorful display. Thankfully the wardstone did not harm anyone in the party. Unfortunately for Jeslyn was not so lucky. The wardstone ripped her apart, and she dissolved into ash, as the purity of the relic was too much for her corrupted soul to handle.

Addit, Dave, Artokus, and Dalin are all frozen in place, as the history of the wardstone unravels before our eyes, as we all share in a vision. We witness the creation of the wardstone in the Kite, as the Hand of the Inheritor holds silent vigil. Then we are jumped into the future as we watch a young Hulrun begin the third crusade, dragging falsely accused victims and burning them in the courtyard of the Kite, all under the wardstone’s watch. We then witnessed as the Storm King laid a brazen attack on Kenabres, only for him to fail and flee before Trendelev, but not before leaving the tiniest of cracks on its surface. Just as quickly as that vision had faded, a new one began. We were forced to lay witness to Staunton Vhane, fleeing from an enraged Irabeth touch the wardstone, only for him to begin to smoke and scream in pain. With a lucky hit, he was almost successful in slaying Irabeth, only to flee on a fiendish giant wasp as the rest of Kenabres’ crusaders descended upon him.

We then witnessed the shard be picked up by a fiendish woman , with horns in place of her eyes, place the wardstone in the garrison and watch as Jeslyn crafted a cage around it. Our final vision was of something that had not yet come to pass, not would it ever have the chance; Areelu Vorlesh, the sucubii herself, approached the wardstone with a wicked looking crystal the size of a human head. Quickly performing a ritual, the wardstone trembles and lets out a flash of power before becoming corrupted and transforming the population of countless border cities into half-fiend slaves.

As we all were suddenly given back control of our bodies, Addit collapsed as her found that the wardstone not only revitalized her spirit, but regrew her severed leg, good as new. In that moment, of joy, Areluu Vorlesh tried to undo us all. She ripped open a hole to the abyss, after her attempts to suffocate us failed, and sent her six servants against us. After a hard fought battle against Vorlesh’s pet babaus, we sent Irabeth back to Defender’s Heart, with six shards of the wardstone, so that we could clear the rest of the garrison.

After coming across more displays of foul demonic amusement, we find our way into a small chapel to Iomedae. As we manage to gain access to a secret room, we are suddenly assaulted by a half-mad teifling alchemist, who managed to engulf Addit in flames. Thanks to Dave’s quick thinking, the alchemist quickly surrendered and threw himself at the young paladin. Addit, quite confused at the affections, knocked Ortirubo out, intent to deliver him to the authorities at Defender’s Heart.

After discovering a hidden trove of a crusader arsenal, the party grabbed anything that wasn’t tied down, before discovering Irabeth’s sword. Along with the sword we discovered a note, written by Ortirubo. Several hours later, the garrison was in better repair, before returning to Defender’s Heart. That night, Iomedae visited everyone in a dream and granted us additional power, while letting us know that she would no longer be able to interfere, and gave us all a kiss on the brow.

xp gained 10500 xp (23010 xp total) Plus Mythic teir I

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Welcome to our evil lair! Now stay still while I vomit on you!
In which the party fights the second floor of the dungeon all at once.

After returning to Defender’s Heart and recovering from dealing with the safehouses, the party meets Irabeth in the command center, along with Quednys Orlun (the founder and head librarian of Blackwing). We find out that Quednys was instrumental in saving lives after the initial attack on Kenabres. According to Quednys, as horrific as things have been, this is merely a prelude of what is to come. Areluu Vorlesh is coming to Kenebras. It is our understanding that Vorlesh plans on using what remains of the old Kenebras wardstone to corrupt and destroy the remaining fence of wardstones and wipe out any resistances to the demons that are along the border. Irabeth has tasked us with infiltrating the Gray Garrison and to destroy what remains of the wardstone.

Quednys has give us a Rod of Cancellation (which Dave carries as his solemn duty). According the Quednys, the rod should be able to remove the remaining power of the wardstone. As we assault the Gray Garrison, the rest of the crusaders will create distraction attacks, to give us an opportunity to enter the Garrison when the defenses are lowered.

We wait two days, as preparations are being made, and much to everyone’s surprise Aravashnial brings us a cache of equipment, and Horgus donates supplies to Defender’s Heart as a relief effort. In addition to the weapons and the supplies, a small group of rangers from Nealthholm arrives. Four of the mongrelmen accompany us (Neflet, Fileah, Kresspur, and Dormag) along with Irabeth to the Gray Garrison.

As we approach the former museum, we spy two Vermaliks that are using the body of Kandro Nyrisan and Lord Hulrun as hosts. After a hard fought battle, the group presses on, making a promise to bury the remains of the former inquisitor and nobleman once they get a chance. Addit uses her skills to climb up to a second story ledge and lower a rope down, as she enters into the museum to allow others up the rope. Inside the study, she comes face to face with three flies with baby heads and hands. As Addit attacks the flies, she become drenched in demonic fly vomit, before Irabeth and Dave show up to help save the day.

As the group attempts to sneak into the upper hallway, Addit accidentally alerts the entire second floor to come and attack. In the midst of demolishing the cultist and their tiefling allies, a terrible weird antler-wolf bird hybrid emerges from one of the room, and attempts to eat Dalin’s heart. Dalin freaks out and manages to crit the Perrington to death. As everything beings to calm down, a Schir demon breaks out of his chamber and tries to attack us. Although the Schir demon lands a good hit on Dalin, Dalin lands the final blow on the Schir and the second floor is cleared.

Looking through the second floor, the party finds most of the books in the library have been ripped to shreds. Dave and Artokus are able to recover half a dozen books and a Manual of War. Looking into the room that the Perrington was in, the party discovers a long table with a map of Mendev engraved on it. Scattered throughout the room is a dozen bodies all missing their hearts. In the room that the cultist were in have information all on the medevian crusaders and the troop movements, along with maps. A huge map depicts Sarkoris with the Worldwound superimposed drawn on it. Amongst the books, Dalin finds a scroll of restoration.

The group heads downstairs and accidentally blocks the doorway from any other cultist on the first floor. As the party returns to the second floor, they utilize the chime of opening to enter in the last door. In the room, we find a wide alabastar basin full of entrails. The party slowly advances up a set of spiral stairs, and the clarion sound of a horn is issued. Before the group stands a fiendish looking minotaur. That is what stands between us and what remains of the wardstone.

2850 xp gained (9660 xp to date)

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A slow descent into madness
In which the cultist don't know what hit them

The party wakes up in the Tirablade household, where they take their captive cavalier, Chaleb, to Defender’s Heart. (A former Inn that is nestled upon a hill, as a strategic stronghold). The Inn is well inhabited, and Anevia is treated as a celebrity, due to her wife Irabeth. Addit turns over Chaleb to the local authorities, where he is placed in a makeshift brig, before the group finally meets with Irabeth.

Anevia is overjoyed at the reunion and Irabeth is receptive to the offer of aide from Nealthholm. The half-orc promises that she will send some crusaders to reach out the Nealthholm. It turns out that the mysterious S.V. mentioned in the letter to Hosilla, is none other than Staunton Vhane, who is the leader of the Hammers of Heaven, a cultist group. Vhane was a former model crusader who had betrayed the crusaders of Kenebras, and may have been the lynchpin in causing the holy warriors to lose Drezen 75 years ago. Irabeth tasked the party with uncovering and uprooting the cultist safehouses. Saying goodbye to Anevia, the party made a quick stop my the makeshift bazaar that had been set up at Defender’s Heart.

After a brief discussion with the merchants, everyone earned 541 gp from the selling of art and splitting of found gold, the group left to uproot the cultist safe-houses mentioned in Hosilla’s letter. The first stop at Nyserian Manor yeilded nothing, as the manor appeared to have been destroyed in initial attack on Kenebras.

The next stop at Topaz Solutions proved to be a bit more formidable. As the party approached, sounds of looting could be heard, and the party rushes in to find a group of thieves ransacking the place. After nearly killing all of the ne’er-do-wells, the remaining man informs them that they were part of the Ash Raven mercenaries, and they were just looking for a quick way to make a shilling. Addit lets the remaining man go, as Artokus and Dave gather what the rogues had been looting. Making their way down into a hidden basement, the party find a depiction of Baphomet that had been painted on the wall, appearing to have been done in blood. Addit approaches a desk that looks to have a chest and a strange clock-work statue on it, when the iconography speaks.

“I hope you are among Iomedae’s slaves, I would hate to waste a personal greeting of Lord Baphomet on peasants.” As soon as the booming voice finishes, a cloud of vapor encases the heroes, coming from the statue, and a strange tumor-like creature crawls out from under a pile of refuse. The party manages to put together enough clues to realize that the creature is called a mandragora, a plant known for its inhuman screaming, and quickly finishes it off. In the chest on the table, are five wooden holy symbols of Iomedae with a note that states “Don’t need these anymore. Would hate to leave empty handed.” Addit picks them up, only to find that they are coated in a poison. Thankfully Addit’s hands are covered by her gauntlets and the whole thing is just an annoyance. The party also recovers the marileth statue, which is worth a pretty copper.

The party finally comes to the Tower of Estrod, where with the use of the pass-phrase, they are welcomed with open arms. The party is lead down the stairs to meet with Faxon, a teifling that has a striking resemblance to Asmodeous. Faxon instructs everyone to submit their treasures, before everyone starts to head upstairs for some rest. As the party begins to leave, Faxon wishes to speak with Artokus privately. Dalin, who senses that the meeting would have dire consequences for the alchemist, instead attacks. While Addit charges the teifling, Dave deals with the two cultist that try to sandwhich the group, before Addit and Dalin get into a huge fight over who has to go into the Baphomet fan shrine that Faxon has been hiding in his basement.

After a quick back and forth, Addit grudgingly enters the vile room, only to nearly kill the cultist in one hit. Faxon survives the crit, to demand Addit’s name, but before the Kellid paladin can give it, Dave knocks Faxon out with a magic missile. Addit is able to stabalize Faxon and tie him up, before the group begins to interrogate him. In the room the party finds a note to Faxon from Minagho, a lillitude demon who is the Raliscrad ruler. The letter informs the party that the cultist attack was at least three years in the making, and that they plan on using the wardstones for some nefarious purpose. In the wake of such news, Artokus kills Faxon. The group recovers most of the magical and mundane goods that the cultist have hoarded, before heading back to Irabeth to turn over the papers and figure out the next move. Irabeth is greatful for the findings, and rewards the party with 1,250 gp each for taking care of the cultist safe houses.

XP 2100 (10120 XP to date)

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Irabeth? Where are you?
In which the Party leaves two members behind and gains a new one

As Dave has a beloved reunion with Snickers, Horgus, Aravashnial, and Anevia each make a reasonable request to where they would like to go, after taking in the devastated city. After much cajoling with Horgus, who demanded to be taken home first, despite not being the closest, the group made its way towards Blackwing, a compound that houses a secret society of demon killers called the Riftwardens. Aravashnial informs everyone that he is a Riftwarden, but he has only been affliated with the group for a short time. Dave continues to pester Aravashnial for information on his parents and attempts to get the elf to touch his butt.

The party sets course to Blackwing, through the eerily quiet city, when two people rush out of a nearby tailoring shop, pursued by an ugly Abracandalu (most commonly known as a wrecker demon). As the foul outsider starts to hurl objects at Addit and Dalin, they quickly discover that the creature has some sort of immunity or resistance to fire. When Dalin gets into melee range, the demon attempts to kill the cleric, but Dalin is able to make quick work of the foul thing. The party is awarded a very fine outfit each, (though Dave leaves his pants with Belfas and Nera Loumis to tailor) they set off again towards Blackwing.

Upon approach to Blackwing it is clear that something terrible has happened. Most of the buildings in the Blackwing convent have been destroyed, with only the library remaining. Aravashnial is devastated by this news, and has to be physically pulled to his feet before the investigation can begin. Inside the library, the party faces off against a crazed man, Chaleb Sazomao, and his two tiefling minions. Chaleb was attempting to burn the remaining librarians alive. After a hard fought battle, Chaleb surrenders himself to Addit, before the group looks around. The lead librarian, a woman named Fenna, gives Dave a half-scorched spellbook in thanks.

According to Fenna, most of Blackwing was destroyed by a man made out of worms who used demons to attack the Riftwarden complex. A search of the library turns up some bits of unknown dried worm flesh. According to Fenna the leader of the Riftwardens, a man named Quednys Orlun, may still be alive. He was in Cydwell plaza when the attack started. As he quickly realizes that there is no one else to take charge, Aravashnial opts to stay at the library to help protect the remaining staff instead of continuing onwards.

On the way from Blackwing to Horgus’ Manor, the group stumbles across a mob of crusaders towering over a young woman. As one of them raises their sword the chipped statue of Sarenrae shines with a blinding light and the statue reforms. In that moment, the crusaders realize what they are doing and throw down their swords. According to them, an old man told the group that blood from a virgin would temporarily make a weapon able to harm a demon. Addit then proceeds to lose it on the group for a moment, before sending them on their way. Klara, the young girl, is very thankful and informs the group that there have been horrific flies with human faces eating people. In addition there have been rumors that the Mendevian Army is marching to Kenebras, but who knows how long it will take for them to reach here?

As the group leaves Klara with her familiy, they approach the Gwrem Manor, and it looks unscathed. However much to Horgus’ displeasure, it appears that the servants have taken off with various fine knick-knacks. He quickly pays us the sum he promised us, and takes his leave.

When we reach the Tirablade Homestead, it appears that nothing is amiss. However when we enter, Anevia is immediatly attacked by a large bug before being attacked by a half-orc named Vagorg. As Addit cuts Vagorg in twain, with his dying breath the cultist whispers “Xoveron take me”. Addit knows that Xoveron is a Demon Lord of gargoyles, gluttony and ruins. The party decides to rest at the Tirablade household for the night, and to find Irabeth in the morning, hopefully to turn over Chaleb to what remains of the local law enforcement.

XP 2250 (8020 XP to date)

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Stop Reading My Journal, Day 3

Day 1 (Early Morning):

Okay, so the whole damn town is having some kind of crazy warrior celebration (I thought I’d come to Mendev to get away from that tripe), and I’m expected to show up and “train.” If the demons come, what possible use am I going to be to the defense of the town. I am a baker. Is this not why we have the crusaders?

At any rate, I’ve got my rusty old dagger, I’ve brought a few potion components in case I need to put on a lights show, and I’ll hang back and hope nobody notices my lack of participation or enthusiasm.

Day 1 (Evening):

By Desna, even after the life I’ve lived, I can hardly imagine a worse day than the one I just had. As the Storm King of legend smashed the city, Terendelev sacrificed himself to save only a few, and sacrificed his own scales so that we might have a hope of escape. I had dreamed of one day meeting Terendelev, learning from him, and now I’ll never have that chance. His last act was undoubtedly noble. But not only has he only doomed us to a longer, more painful death, I cannot imagine a less deserving group of survivors. The appointed leader, Addit, is a young girl, with noble intentions, but no practical experience, and a cripple to boot. There’s the pretty idiot, Dalin. There’s Dave, a typical idiot half-orc who won’t shut up about his goat. Then we’ve got Aravashnial, who seems pleasant enough, but is completely blind, and Anevia, a skilled archer with a bum leg.

Together we were able to muddle our way through a number of encounters with horrible insects and some kind of undead monster, and now we’re sitting in a cursed church with the monster’s corpse just… laying there. Tomorrow we head off in some random direction with the hope that it just happens to lead us to the surface, and doesn’t get us eternally lost in these caves. Also, most of these idiots seem to think that the only way to fight is to get up close with their opponents. I’ve created a cocktail of chemicals that would handily clear a room, but I can’t quite bring myself to murder my only companions. Besides the fact that I’m not a murderer… not really.

At least there’s Horgus. Somebody here has to have some civility and class.

Day 2:

Horgus is an idiot.

He’s a useless waste of space who cowers at the sight of blood, picks fights with anyone and everyone, refuses to help lead Aravashnial, though he’s one of the only other people here who seems to have any sense.

At any rate, I’m starting to feel a bit more optimistic. We’ve run across a fascinating race of mongrel men, who have apparently been living in these caves for generations. They run a small, functioning society down here. Better, their chieftain seems to know a way back up to the surface. Even here, in the underground, where no light shines and few books are read, there’s more civilization than one can find in a barbarian horde. Addit told an interesting story of how she lost her foot. A barbarian tribe attempted to sacrifice her to one of their dark gods. Those savages would pray to The Storm King himself, and think that he was their friend, even as he crushed them alive!

I’ve clearly misread Dave. A thinker and “philosopher,” he’s unlike any half-orc I’ve ever met before. He studies the arcane arts, and has a natural gift for it. He is a wizard who can prepare spells from his book in only a few seconds. Can you imagine? It takes me longer to create and drink a potion. I’d love to review his spell book. I’m sure some of the spells could be recreated in an extract.

I’ve been experimenting with my makeshift bombs throughout the day. If I angle the throw just right, and use magically enhanced chemicals, the flames seem to sweep around my allies. Of course, a miss would still be a disaster.

Day 3:

We’re going to die. We’re all going to die.

We’re in some kind of compound, run by mad mongrel men and crazed cultists. We’ve bedded down in their anteroom. We have no choice, we’re too exhausted to go on.

Twice now, I’ve been left standing while all the others have fallen, though if I’m being honest, I think these cultists are targeting the holy warriors, and largely ignoring the baker. That’s what I would do.

I’ve never tried the drugs I’ve come across in my alchemical studies before. Even in my darkest moment, these items seemed to monstrous to contemplate. To turn myself into a mindless brute, the thing I hate most in the world, for even a few moments, wasn’t to be contemplated. But I believe I shall carry a vial tomorrow. Just in case. Better to be mindless than dead.

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What Snickers Knows, Part 1
Dave's Musings

Hey Snicky-doo. Been a while since I last saw you. I’ve missed you so much, and if you survived, that means Mom and the rest of the crew are still doing fine, right? Right.

Anyway, the last few days have been intense. We’ve spent the past four days fighting our way out of the pit we fell into. I’ve been travelling with a pretty odd group, as we were the only ones to survive well enough to climb out of the way. There’s Addit, a human paladin of Iomedae who’s still learning about the world outside of her theory, Dalin, a strange holy-looking man who praises Shelyn, and Artokus, a somewhat slimy human who’s constantly brewing up strange potions for himself and drinking them. In addition, we’ve met Horgus, as pompus noble who seems to be involved in sketchy things, Anevia who’s just the best, and Aravashniel, who I haven’t quite gotten a read on yet. They seem to know each other already. I wonder what they can do for us.

Yesterday, we fought out way to the surface from the mongrelmen’s home. The passages had become quite infested with a variety of creatures, including dretch demons, cultists, and cavefishes the size of men, called gar.

After our fight with the cultists, we discovered one of them – a woman that carried the holy symbols of Baphomet on her – had a letter on her detailing the plans that lead to the initial attack on the city. It listed three safe houses of these so-called Templars in the city of Kenebras, and discussed several important holy items and artifacts that they wished to corrupt. One of these was a magical sword that Addit had found earlier – it was apparently dedicated to worshipers of the Inheritor and had been hanging in the Cathedral of Saint Clydewell until it had been stolen. When Addit weilded it, it shone with a holy light. I’m interested in seeing what’s in store for us. However, I fear our next ste is to check the safe houses and see what remains. If only I could first see if my family is doing okay….

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Cultist, Dretchs, and a gars, Oh my!
the finding of magic weapons

The party continues to clear out a cultist stronghold on their way to the surface. As they begin to face more difficult challenges, they run into cultist of both Deskari and the Baphomet. In addition to recovering their weapons, the party is also able to recover some scrolls and other gear. While investigating a lower level of the compound, Dalin is attacked by several gar, horrid albino fish with massive jaws filled with sharp teeth.

After an intense battle with the fish, Artokus managed to find a hidden door, which contained a wooden chest. As Addit went to grab the chest she set off a trap, which caused the paladin to topple down into a well placed hole. Clambering up from the surprise pit, Addit was able to open up the trunk. Inside the chest was a magical shield, two potions and several scrolls and two hundred fifty gold pieces. As we trace back our steps, we encounter the head cultist, a woman named Hosilla.

After a fierce battle, Dalin and Artokus were able to defeat Hosilla and her henchman Uziel. On Hosilla we found a note naming three cultist hide outs (Nyserian Manor, Topaz Solutions, and the Tower of Estrod) the reason why Hosilla were down here. The cult of the Iron Labyrinth are attempting to corrupt holy weapons that belong to good faiths. The party was able to recover the holy relic, Yaniel’s sword. When Addit holds the weapon, it illuminates as bright as a torch, however when anyone else holds it, the sword stops glowing. We rest the night in a small room before venturing onwards deeper into the complex.

As Addit wakes up, she is also affected by the same disease that Dolan has been fighting off. Dolan, in his desperation to be rid of the fever, attempts to cast remove disease from a scroll that the party found, only to fail miserably and turn his hair color permanently periwinkle blue. Before we set out to find the surface, we show the note to Anevia and she becomes quiet worried. Aravashnial perks up at the mention of the Tower of Estrad, while Horgus is surprised at the mention of the Nyserian Manor. According to Horgus, he loaned Nyserian money several months ago for a large purchase. Aravashnial and Anevia explain about Yaniel’s sword, and the group has a new found respect for the weapon.

As they fight there way through the remaining mongrelmen and their pets, the caves turn into crafted tunnels. Soon the party comes across a large room that was once a cistern. as they make their way through the cistern, two small bloaty demons attack. After several hit and run attacks, the party is able to defeat the Dretchs and make it to the surface. Kenebras is not how they left it, with most of the city showing signs of a horrid battle and giant chasms litter the landscape. However a faint bleating is heard when the group reaches the surface. Much to Dave’ joy, he has been reunited with Snickers, his beloved goat.

XP 2750 (Total 5770 xp to date)

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