Wrath of the Righteous

The Mask of Comand

((While my forum post handled a lot of this, I thought I should do one of these since I hadn’t yet.))

Knights of Kenabres Logbook

The army has proceeded in good order so far. From Kenabres we quickly pressed as far as Valareth’s Ford. Our outriders scouted the ground and determined that the hills would allow us to take the enemy by surprise. Using the hills, we approached unseen and at my signal, the army crested the hill and began to rain arrows down on the enemy. They were so unnerved that the broke ranks immediately and the army rode them down with no trouble. Their disorder was so great that their commander was still planning the defense as his army melted away, delaying his escape enough that my companions were able to reach his tent and slay him.

Our destruction was incomplete, however, as when we next met the enemy they were aware of our marching. At the ford we rescued a few crusader knights who had been held as prisoners for unknown purpose. However our inquisitor detected no evil in them so I deemed them no threat. They have been sent back to Kenabres to recover and to request that a detachment be sent forward to hold the ford. My recommendation was that any of them that wished should be allowed to return with that force to take up their old posts.

From Valareth’s ford we proceeded unopposed for a day and reached Keeper’s Canyion on the morning of the day after leaving Valareth’s Ford. There we found encamped an similar force of tieflings, but reinforced by a horde of dretches. They seemed in good order, but did not rush out to meet us, showing greater patience than demons are want to. There being no terrain suitable to conceal any portion of the army, and assuming the enemy had scouts on the heights, I determined that surprise was not an option and prepared for a frontal assault.

I sent a scout up onto the cliffs to watch for additional forces coming down the pass, put the troops in order, and charged, arranging things so that we would wheel around their army and strike the dretches first. It was my hope that breaking them would unnerve the tieflings, who no doubt saw the dretches as the main strength of their army. Some losses were incurred from magical fire from the dretches, but our charge went home and they broke. However, the tieflings were able to come up more quickly than I anticipated and struck the right flank of our force. Trusting the troops there to hold, I led the left flank around what had been the front of our army, extending the line at the risk of weakening our center, and managed to outflank the tieflings. So outmaneuvered, they broke with little further struggle.

The victory was not without cost, perhaps thirty of my men were wounded, though roughly half of these recovered quickly with minor healing. thirteen remain wounded and under care.

The dretch commander proved to be a succubus, who escaped the battle by means of teleportation. He moved to the cliff and surprised my scout, Annavia, and took her prisoner, no doubt out of spite, or perhaps for information. Unless Aravashnial can track his teleportation, I fear we must consider Annavia lost, though I fear the demon will find a way to use her against us yet.

We have camped in the ruins of the town here and will march as soon as all is put in order. Our next stage will take us into the Worldwound itself, and I pray to any god who will hear for aid in that place.

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In the Mind of Tsura: The Cave

Tsura was ready for whatever this adventure had in store, and yet she was a little uneasy with the group that iomedae had gathered together. Maybe uneasy wasn’t the right word… Tsura had spent most of her time growing up following her sister, or with others close to her in her training. While she always had thoughts and opinions, she wasn’t used to voicing them, especially with those she barely knew, especially with those who were so quick to assume her wrong or had such varying opinions. The event with the dwarf in the cavernous room still lingered in her mind, hours afterward. She believed the dwarf to be evil, and didn’t understand the necessity of keeping him around the party. Maybe not killing him, she realized that her announcement that he should die was premature. She had been so used to her sister’s ways of getting to the point. Naomi rarely had to think before she acted, and perhaps Tsura had picked up some of those traits. But as that “holier than thou” elf had proclaimed, someone shouldn’t just die because they were an inconvenience. She knew that the dwarf was evil…and maybe she should have stopped to think about the possibility of being able to bring him back to the sane. He had obviously dealt with some trauma and wasn’t in his right mind; was that any reason to put a death sentence on him so quickly?
Being a follower of Iomedae, Tsura was embarrassed by her brashness. She knew (knows) the importance of redemption. Just because a being is evil, doesn’t mean they can’t come back from that.
Tsura wasn’t used to being told so blatantly that she wasn’t a true follower of her goddess. In fact, she had never really seen someone so lawfully good as the elf before. She was under a lot of stress: the concern for her sister in such an enclosed place, the attack on her city, the fact that she had no idea what was in store for their future. She had been acting in such a way that she knew Iomedae would be disappointed and she knew much prayer and repentance was needed. Perhaps she would watch this elf, Tyrael, more closely. If anyone knew how to be so lawfully good, perhaps it was him…

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Walking in Darkness
The Search for Daylight

The Survivors set out from the newly consecrated Temple of Torag. The quickly stumbled into a large cavern with statues of the First Crusaders carved into the walls of the cavern. Kushali identified them, and Aravashnial grew excited that his theory about the Mongrelmen that supposedly live beneath the city being descendants of the First Crusaders may very well be true.

But the statues were not the only thing present in the cavern. As Lei began to leave the cavern to scout ahead, three Darkmantles leapt out from their nest and attacked, making quick work of the gunslinger in such close range. Kethradel also attracted the attention of one of the Darkmantles, and while he tried to blast a brilliant display of colors at the creature, the Darkmantle managed to disrupt the hand gestures to cast the spell, giving itself an opening to use its tentacles to squeeze Kethradel until he lost consciousness. Tsura quickly leapt into action to defend her sister alongside Tyrael and Telchar, who stabilized the dying Lei quickly. Kushali hung back, using alchemist bombs, with Anevia and Aravashnial to defend Kethradel. Anevia used her shortbow, while Aravashnial summoned a dire rat to assist in the fighting. It was a hard fought battle that the Survivors walked away from.

In the next cavern, however, the fighting took a backseat to a moral disagreement. The group was confronted by a crazed dwarf, who had clearly lost his capacity to be reasoned with. Kushali immediately informed the group that the alchemist could sense the dwarf was evil, which sprung Lei, Tsura, and Aravashnial into readiness, wishing to quickly dispatch of the dwarf and be one their way. Tyrael spoke his misgivings about killing the dwarf, given that he was clearly not capable of coherent speak most of the time, much less making conscious choices that would dictate him being inherently evil. In-fighting quickly broke out, with Kethradel defending his brother’s view alongside Telchar. Lei took her shot after receiving a blessing from Aravashnial that her shot would strike true. This prompted Tyrael to try and disarm Lei, but without success. Witnessing the resolve by which Tyrael was willing to act against an ally to defend the insane dwarf’s life, Aravashnial decided that even in his blindness, he had to try to dissolve the situation quickly. Reaching into his bag he pulled out a bag of fine sand, which after a few words began to glow gold. He blew it in the direction the dwarf’s screamed were coming from, and was pleased when he heard the dwarf’s body hit the ground. With tensions high, Lei went on ahead to scout the path while Tyrael quickly bound the dwarf and fashioned a means to transport the body.

The found a section of the caverns that traveled upward, and began to climb and continue along the path that the slope lead to. After awhile Lei, while scouting ahead, came upon a cavern with a fallen tower that had toppled when the demonic forces attacked the city. Lei tensed up, seeing two creatures that were only villains in fairy tales up to that point in her life…Mongrelmen. Many folks in Kenabres did not think the creatures were even real. The rest of the group caught up to her and approached the tower. The two Mongrelmen quickly realized they were not alone and Lann pleaded that the Survivors help them free his friend Crel from the fallen tower. All six of the Survivors positioned themselves around the large rock pinning Crel in the tower, and with a concerted effort managed to lift the rock. The three Mongrelmen were very grateful and agreed to lead them to their city of Neathholm.

After some travel the group approached a cavern that was home to what Lann referred to as a “spore-cougher”. Kushali recognized this as a basidirond, a dangerous sentient fungus. But once the group entered, Lann informed them with much relief that the spore-cougher was dead. Tsura and Telchar examined the two human bodies in the center of the cavern, who were dressed as crusaders of Iomedae. But Tsura quickly realized that something was not right, since these two did not wield longswords, as followers of Iomedae do, but rather spiked gaunlets and glaives. Telchar found a brass bull’s head on one of the bodies, which he realizes in an unholy symbol of Baphomet. Telchar began seeking a way to melt down the unholy symbol, while Aravashnial expressed his excitement over this discovery. He has long held the belief that there were spies of the demonic forces posing as crusaders, and such proof is quite remarkable. He initially insisted that they take the bodies with them, but Tyrael quickly dismissed that notion as being impractical.

It was not long before the group arrived at Neathholm, which normally frowned upon up-landers entering the city, but with Lann and Crel retelling the noble gesture of the Survivors, they were all admitted entrance into the city. While Aravashnial and Horgus expressed their fascination and disgust, respectively, the quickly relented at the request of Tyrael and Kushali. They met with Chief Sull, who thanked them for them kind deed in saving Crel’s life. He informed them that the quickest way back to the surface is to the south, through a settlement of Mongrelmen that Sull refers to as traitors. Sull also inquired if the Survivors had come upon anyone else living in the caverns, which prompted them to inform him of their dwarf captive and the abandoned campsite they came across. Tyrael asked that Neathholm house their prisoner, which Sull agreed to reluctantely. His aprehension is born out of anger, since the dwarf had killed a number of Mongrelmen, but as a sign of good faith he agreed to keep the dwarf alive, for a time. The group then produced the brooch they found at the abandoned campsite, which cause Sull to become emotional. It belonged to his son, who had left after a particularly terrible fight. He thanked the Survivors for the token and rewarded them with his prized morningstar. He informed the group that they were more than welcome to stay in Neathholm for the night, and also asked a favor of them. Upon learning of the horrors that had occured on the surface, Sull pledged to assist in the defense of Kenabres, as his ancestors had, and that the Survivors should inform the crusaders on the surface that should they call, the Mongrelmen of Neathholm would stand with them. Sull agreed to let Lann accompany the Survivors to the surface to act as an envoy.

It was then that the Survivors once again settled down for the day, to reflect on that which has occurred, thus far the emotional and moral conflicts have far outweighed any physical danger the caverns have presented.

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Celebration of Armasse
Khorramzadeh's Revenge

The Survivors of Kenabres began their day like many others, attending the Celebration of Armasse. But this year would not be like any other year prior. At noon, when the opening ceremony was set to begin, a thunderous explosion ripped through the sky. In an instant the Kite, the home of Kenabres’s wardstone, had vanished. It was in that moment that Kenabres’s greatest guardian, the silver dragon Terendelev, rose from the crowd, shedding her human disguise. She was met in the sky by a monstrous figure three times the size of any man, Khorramzadeh the Storm Lord of the Worldwound. The two iconic figures battled in the air while demons filled the streets of Kenabres.

It did not take long of the balor lord to strike down the silver dragon, who came crashing into the facade of St. Clydwell’s Cathedral. It was in that moment another titanic demon erupted at the far end of the plaza, smashing several buildings into the ground and causing a massive rift to open up beneath the Survivors’ feet. With her dying breathe, Terendelev cast a spell to slow the descent of Tyrael Anarion, Anevia Tirablade, Telchar Silverheart the Firsthammer, Lei, Aravashnial, Kethradel Arionan, Tsura Lei, Kushali, and Horgus Gwerm.

The group awoke in darkness, beneath the city. After informal introductions, the group tended to their wounds, Anevia’s broken leg, Aravashnial’s eyes had been struck by Khoramzadeh’s flame whip which blinded him. Horgus demanded his wounds be looked at as well, though they amounted to no more than scrapes and bruises.

They made quick work of the vermin that lives in the cave, though evidence of the destruction above was still present, an abandoned backpack of a crusader who had fallen even deeper in the earth hung to a cliff face. The Survivors also found an odd brooch that none could identify as having any religious significance, the symbol being a bat perched on a mushroom. The only significant danger came from within early on, when Lei’s claustrophobia got the better of her and she fired an errant gunshot into Telchar’s side.

But soon they found an abandoned Temple of Torag. After dealing with a giant fly outside, they found that the Temple has not been completely abandoned, the former dwarven priest had been transformed into a huecuva. After dealing with the ghastly figure, Telchar consecrated the temple and the Survivors settled down for some much needed rest.

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