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When all have gathered at the gates, the group sets out to return to the garrison. The mood of the people is much changed, though the core troops remain in place following the standard precautions.
Deirdre checks each of them off on her list, noting where they are headed. "Do you know when you plan to return? I think Captain Irabeth was hoping to see you this morning."
Elyanias Myoch wrote:
with a dream:
She smiles sadly at his request, "You may see them, but they will not recognize you." The dream swirls, much like the scrying pool, and he is looking upon somewhere else. A young mother holds twin bundles. One of them fusses and fights with the swaddling, while the other cries and bites her little fists." They were so young, it seemed a waste to hold them here, and they lacked the experience to empathize with mortals as older spirits might. Pharasma, in her infinite wisdom, has sent them back, to try again."
Kimroth looks up as Eli enters, his wide grin settling into more studious lines at the request. "For you, I can find a bottle." He pulls some keys from his waist chain and unlocks a chest down below the bar, retrieving an aged bottle of something or another. He pours wordlessly, then sets both down in front of Eli. "I don't suppose I could interest you in any food to go with that?"
Klarah jumps up and brushes off her skirts as she gets ready to go, but turns back and grabs one of the little dolls from the dollhouse. "She better come too. She gets scared in the big house all by herself." Slipping the doll into her pocket she takes Cole's hand and prepares to go shopping.
Klarah proves well behaved for the most part, and seems to be fully cognizant of time and place several times during the shopping trip, but after a few stops, she reverts back to her childlike self. Luckily for Cole, Laina shows up at that moment and takes her mother in hand.
"I'll take her back to your father, Cole. I think she's had enough for today." the girl smiles, her eyes overly old in her young face.
Serra Iondri Phaer wrote:
"Well, that's what Irabeth said, I think. That there were no more demons in Kenebres...maybe it was the latent power of the wardstone. I dunno. As a knight, all I can do it fight."
"Oh I don't know, Serra. You strike me as somewhat brighter than the average knight." The merchant winks, the good news about the demons lightening her mood even more.
Serra Iondri Phaer wrote:
"You know, Darian might be able to help you with that, Serra. Won't take much but an awl to put another hole in it." she offers helpfully.
"You know Amber...any of these spells, plus any that you might suggest, would be welcome in our fight."
"I think I can do most of these. These last two, though, I'm not sure I can put my hands on those." assume that you can get all but the last two spells, at 1/2 price.
Cole Zeff wrote:
He seeks out his father and fills him in on the prior days events. "...and the upshot of it all is that the demons seem to have fled/been destroyed. At least for now." He stands and stretches. "I'm sure they'll be back."
"I'm sure they will too. Or someone will have to go in after them." He eyes Klarah where she plays on the floor, his brow furrowing. "On the one hand, I suppose I should take them far from here, to keep them safe, but... I don't think I can handle running. Maybe I'm not good for too much right now, but I can help in the background.
Hide the pack, Cole. But I won't promise to use it."
Cole Zeff wrote:
"I like shopping!" Klarah says, hopping up from her place on the floor and grabbing at Cole's hand. "I can go with you? I can help! "
Maurice stifles whatever answer was on the tip of his tongue and grins at Cole, "There you go. You can take Klarah shopping with you." He lowers his voice as soft as possible, "It would do her good to get out. I kept thinking Laina would come take her, but she's been scare since you all got back."
"That one, I can get for you right now, Serra." Amber says as they go over his scroll needs. "I count 5 demon's. That's 10 scrolls for the price of five. Give me your list and I'll get started."
She putters as they talk, pulling paper and inks out that she will need to fulfill her promise. "Is it true what they're sayin'? That the demons have left the City? ALL the demons?" Hope and skepticism war on her face as she considers the implications if it is actually true.
Amber looks up, her usual taciturn features splitting into a wide grin as she sees Serra enter. "You made it back! I'm very glad you did! Rumors have been flying like fire through here. Did you bring back any demons, or at least parts of demons? I'm afraid I nearly sold out on scrolls prior to this morning's attack, but I can scribe more in the morning."
Technically, Irabeth sold her sword to provide Anevia the elixir she needed. The sword is part of the spoils of war, but she would not turn it down. She would want to reimburse you if at all possible, but it would likely be in gear rather than gold, at least at this point.
Also, while choosing things, please be sure to read the FAQ regarding the mythic stuff.
dream for Beagan:
During the night, a scarred but beautiful woman comes to you in a dream. She looks at you, and in her eyes, you are reflected not as you see yourself, but as a paragon warrior of the elves that raised you. "Thank you, Ser Beagan. Your service and kindness within my Garrison has not gone unnoticed. I am sorry for not being able to help you more then, or in the future, but sometimes, with great power comes great restrictions. Still, I am well pleased with you and your companions. Take this as a small boon, and walk in the way of Righteousness." with these last words, she presses a kiss to your brow, then salutes you with her sword as she steps away. please be sure to read the devotion point details above.
dream for Grasker:
During the night, a scarred but beautiful woman comes to you in a dream. She looks at you, and in her eyes, you are reflected not as you see yourself, but as a paragon warrior of the elves that raised you.
"I am so proud of the man you have become, Grasker. I worried when the witch hunters called to you, but Your service and kindness within my Garrison has proven your bravery, your wisdom, and your generosity. I am sorry I couldn't help you more then, and will need to keep my distance in the future as well. It saddens me to be so removed, but such are the restrictions of my position. Know that I am well pleased with you and your companions. I know you will continue to do what is right, what is true, and what is kind, in your future days." Hugging you tightly, she presses a kiss to your brow, then steps back.
" Take this as a small boon, and walk in the way of Righteousness. You are never far from my thoughts, my child. Let that be your sword and your sword in these upcoming days. I have faith in you." squaring her shoulders, she salutes you with her sword, then disappears into the fog of war. please be sure to read the devotion point details above.
Dream for Serra:
During the night, a scarred but beautiful woman comes to you in a dream. She looks at you, and in her eyes, you are reflected not as you see yourself, but as Kastor, and as your mother before him, saw you. tall, and strong, and generous of spirit. "Thank you, Serra. Your service and kindness within my Garrison has not gone unnoticed. I am sorry for not being able to help you more then, or in the future, but sometimes, with great power comes great restrictions. Still, I am well pleased with you and your companions. Take this as a small boon, and walk in the way of Righteousness." with these last words, she presses a kiss to your brow, then salutes you with her sword as she steps away.
Dream for Cole:
During the night, a scarred but beautiful woman comes to you in a dream. She looks at you, and in her eyes, you are reflected not as you see yourself, but as your mother and your brother Laine saw you, tall and strong, with a good heart and a keen eye. "Thank you, Cole. Your service and kindness within my Garrison has not gone unnoticed. I am sorry for not being able to help you more then, or in the future, but sometimes, with great power comes great restrictions. Still, I am well pleased with you and your companions. Take this as a small boon, and walk in the way of Righteousness." with these last words, she presses a kiss to your brow, then salutes you with her sword as she steps away.
Dream for Eli:
During the night, a scarred but beautiful woman comes to you in a dream. She looks at you, and in her eyes, you are reflected not as you see yourself, but as Lenore and your children always saw you. Tall, and strong, and protective. "Thank you, Elyanias. Your service and kindness within my Garrison has not gone unnoticed. I am sorry for not being able to help you more then, or in the future, but sometimes, with great power comes great restrictions. Still, I am well pleased with you and your companions. Take this as a small boon, and walk in the way of Righteousness." with these last words, she presses a kiss to your brow, then salutes you with her sword as she steps away.
devotion point details:
Over the course of their attack on the Gray Garrison, the PCs earned 10 devotion points with Iomedae, putting them securely in her good graces. When the PCs waken, their
Devotion Points are gone—
in their place they gain additional rewards, depending
on how many points they accumulated overall. Note that
these rewards are cumulative; earning 10 or more points
grants all four of the following permanent boons.
1–4 Devotion Points: Each PC gains a permanent +2
bonus to a skill of her choice.
5–7 Devotion Points: Each PC gains 3 permanent hit points.
8–9 Devotion Points: Each PC gains a bonus trait of
10 or more Devotion Points: Each PC gains a +1 increase
to an ability score of her choice. You also waken with your mythic tier in place. The power surge from the wardstone's destruction is gone, but some of it has settled into your very being.
Base Mythic Abilities, with suggested changes:
Base Mythic Abilities
Every mythic PC gains a number of base abilities common to all mythic characters, in addition to the special abilities granted by each mythic path. These abilities are gained based on the character's mythic tier.
Ability Score: Upon reaching the 2nd mythic tier,
Mythic Feat: Select one mythic feat or non-mythic feat as a bonus feat. You must qualify for this feat normally. You gain another mythic feat at 3rd tier, and again every 2 tiers thereafter.
Hard to Kill (Ex): Whenever you're below 0 hit points, you automatically stabilize without needing to attempt a Constitution check. If you have an ability that allows you to act while below 0 hit points, you still lose hit points for taking actions, as specified by that ability. Bleed damage still causes you to lose hit points when below 0 hit points. In addition, you don't die until your total number of negative hit points is equal to or greater than double your Constitution score.
Mythic Power (Su): Mythic characters can draw upon a wellspring of power to accomplish amazing deeds and cheat fate. This power is used by a number of different abilities. Each day, you can expend an amount of mythic power equal to 3 plus
Surge (Su): You can call upon your mythic power to overcome difficult challenges. You can expend one use of mythic power to increase any d20 roll you just made by rolling 1d6 and adding it to the result. Using this ability is an immediate action taken after the result of the original roll is revealed. This can change the outcome of the roll. The bonus die gained by using this ability increases to 1d8 at 4th tier, 1d10 at 7th tier, and 1d12 at 10th tier.
Amazing Initiative (Ex): At 2nd tier, you gain a bonus on initiative checks equal to
Recuperation (Ex): At 3rd tier, you are restored to full hit points after 8 hours of rest so long as you aren't dead. In addition, by expending
Mythic Saving Throws (Ex): At 5th tier, whenever you succeed at a saving throw against a spell or special ability, you suffer no effects as long as that ability didn't come from a mythic source (such as a creature with a mythic tier or mythic ranks). If you fail a saving throw that results from a mythic source, you take the full effects as normal.
Force of Will (Ex): At 7th tier, you can exert your will to force events to unfold as you would like. As an immediate action, you can expend
Unstoppable (Ex): At 8th tier, you can expend one use of mythic power as a
Immortal (Su): At 9th tier, if you are killed, you return to life 24 hours later, regardless of the condition of your body or the means by which you were killed. When you return to life, you aren't treated as if you had rested, and don't regain the use of abilities that recharge with rest until you next rest. This ability doesn't apply if you're killed by a coup de grace or critical hit performed by either a mythic creature (or creature of even greater power) or a non-mythic creature wielding a weapon capable of bypassing epic damage reduction. At 10th tier, you can be killed only by a coup de grace or critical hit made with an artifact.
Legendary Hero (Su): At 10th tier, you have reached the height of mortal power. You regain uses of your mythic power at the rate of one use per hour, in addition to completely refreshing your uses each day.
These are suggestions, please weigh in if yout hink something is still too powerful or if you think I cut it back too much.
Congratulations! You have just gained your first mythic tier. As the power from the blast fades, some of it settles into your very being in unique and interesting ways. Please consider which mythic path you want to take. Take your time, I will be posting some changes over the next 24 hours.
While choosing your Path, please bear in mind your campaign trait. If you choose the Path connected to the trait, it gets a little better. Not tons better, so if it's not really what you want to do, don't worry about it, but if you are deciding between two and that may sway you, let me know and i'll tell you what the upgrade is.
The old man and Laina come back in to the room. Both wear smears of blood and other things best unexplored upon their armors, and their faces bear a weariness that only comes from battles for life and soul.
"You did it, Grasker!" the old man says, catching the grizzled cleric up in a hug before letting him loose and pounding him appreciatively upon the back. "Look at you, you glow, even now!"
Laina comes in more quietly, but hands several gathered arrows to Cole. "You dropped these." Add 1d10 + 2 ⇒ (8) + 2 = 10 cold iron arrows to your inventory
Both of them blink as they try to look at Grasker and at Cole, the light still glowing around them more than a little surprising to the eye.
Thanks for a great evening, Guys. We have more or less reached the end of book one. We will take some down time for the characters to explore life in Kenabres as it rights itself before we move on to Book two. As there is no agenda for this part of the adventure, feel free to explore whatever you would like, get to know the citizens that remain.
With the gnome's healing touch, Irabeth wakes, though her voice is still rough from her suffocation.
Cole, both are still alive, though Graf continues to slip closer to death with every moment.
Downstairs, Serra and Eli find a small cadre of crusaders staring at several piles of ash. There don't seem to be any living demons left, at least, not in Kenabres.
in addition to Jeslyn's gear (her body has been destroyed by the blast), there are 5 tiny shards of wardstone embedded in the walls.
Even though his first shot misses, Cole still manages to hurt Demon number 4 quite a bit. (-39 hp) The creature hisses quietly, or is that the sound of the acid eating the arrow heads stuck in his flesh?
Round 1, Init 6
acro: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (10) + 11 = 21
attack on Xanthos: 1d20 + 12 + 2 ⇒ (20) + 12 + 2 = 341d6 + 5 + 2d6 ⇒ (6) + 5 + (4, 1) = 16
Begin Round 2
Round 2, 19+, 19
Demon 4 and Demon 3 converge on the archer, clearly the most dangerous being in the room now that Areelu has forsaken them!
Grasker attacks Demon 3 as he tries to take the flank, wielding Radiance like a shining Paladin of old!
Grasker AoO: 1d20 + 9 + 1 + 1 ⇒ (1) + 9 + 1 + 1 = 121d8 + 2 + 2d6 ⇒ (2) + 2 + (2, 6) = 12
Demon 3 and Demon 4 flank Cole, and try to end his part in this battle.
attack on Cole, D3: 1d20 + 12 + 2 ⇒ (8) + 12 + 2 = 221d6 + 5 + 2d6 ⇒ (1) + 5 + (1, 2) = 9
Serra, you're up!
Demon 6 looks for a likely target and picks the biggest one of all.
claw 1, D6 on Ely: 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (20) + 12 = 321d6 + 5 ⇒ (3) + 5 = 8
claw 1, D6 on Ely, to confirm: 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (10) + 12 = 221d6 + 5 ⇒ (6) + 5 = 11
Beagan swings Irabeth's sword at the Evil Incarnate in front of him, cleaving into Demon number 1. He tries again, but misses by a hair.
Beagan, I need a DC 18 reflex, or take 1d8 ⇒ 1 worth of acid damage to the sword
Xanthos, unmoved by the Areelu's beauty, snaps at her, but his jaws pass completely through her, as if she were not even really there.
Shaking his head in frustration, he turns his claws and another bite against the Demon Beagan hit. One claw catches the awful creature, and gets coated in acid for his trouble. Dc 18 reflex, or take 1d8 ⇒ 1 acid damage.
Round 1, Init 15+
Demon 5 moves closer to the little gnome and tries to take a bite.
Suddenly realizing the thicker, juicier outsider right there in front, he switch the rest of his attacks to Xanthos.
Demon 5, attack #2 on Xanthos, claws: 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (5) + 12 = 171d6 + 5 ⇒ (3) + 5 = 8
Demon 3 rushes out, then waits for his companion Demon 4 to join him on the other side of Grasker. Once there, Demon 4 attacks with a vengeance and his claws, swiping at the young cleric.
Attack, Demon #4 : 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (3) + 12 = 151d6 + 5 + 2d6 ⇒ (3) + 5 + (5, 6) = 19
Demon 3, takes the opportunity to join in, attacking as well.
Serra is up!
The sound of thunderous footsteps ring from the stairs as Irabeth and Graf come charging back into the room. "Something's Happened! The whole building lit up with golden light and every demon in sight has turned to ash because of it! What did you do? What did you wonderful people do?!?!?!"
They join the others, shaking them when they don't answer.
Suddenly, the woman from the previous vision appears, more transparent,yet more present than before. Her batlike wings flip in irritation behind her and her glowing red eyes smolder in fury.
“This only delays your kind’s extinction. But at least I can take steps to hasten your own.”
Irabeth attempts to charge the image of the powerful witch, but Areelu waves her hand. The paladin stops dead in her tracks, grasping at her throat as she suddenly seems to be suffocating. Graf, behind her, drops unconscious to the ground in an instant.
Areelu, for surely she can be no other, glowers as she notices that not only are the other five people in the room unaffected, they seem to be shaking off whatever held them before.
“The death throes of your wardstone seem to be protecting you from my magic. No matter. They cannot protect you from my slaves!”
Areelu grips the very air in her hand and YANKS! opening a tear 10 foot wide wound into the abyss. Her "slaves" rush in, filling the room. Irabeth sags to the floor next to the already unconscious Graf. With her face an ashen, bloodless gray and limbs as limp as death, she lies motionless and ignored as a full half dozen slimy demons tromp through the rent between planes and towards those still standing.
knowledge planes: 21:
This gaunt, abyssal creature is a babau, a demon that specialises in stealth and assassination. This result reveals all outsider and tanar'ri traits.
As well as its natural attacks, a babau can also take advantage of foes that it catches unaware to place a telling blow, much like a trained rogue does. Babau speak Abyssal, Celestial and Draconic.
The last vestiges of the stunned paralysis falls away from the each of the companions. The visions of the past and of averted futures fade, leaving only the Present, and the Present is ugly indeed.
Cole Zeff: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (2) + 3 = 5
Elyanius Myoch: 1d20 + 0 ⇒ (16) + 0 = 16
Beagan Berelcar: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (12) + 3 = 15
Serra Iondri Phaer: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (17) + 2 = 19
Grasker: 1d20 + 0 ⇒ (11) + 0 = 11
Elyanius Myoch: 1d20 + 0 ⇒ (3) + 0 = 3
Cole Zeff: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (4) + 3 = 7
Demon 1: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (3) + 5 = 8
Demon 2: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (12) + 5 = 17
Demon 3: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (17) + 5 = 22
Demon 4: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (14) + 5 = 19
Demon 5: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (10) + 5 = 15
Demon 6: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (9) + 5 = 14
Though no longer stunned, The PCs bodies still surge with the power of the Wardstone's demise. The power roars onward and into their souls, and realization hums around the edges then smacks them in the gut. It's too strong to be a single Wardstone, and truly, what Wardstone ever stood alone? The overwhelming flood can not be just one, but the power of ALL the Wardstones coming careening back into the room, a tsunami of Righteous Power released upon the world and into these five, these Chosen Five.
Each PC gains the following effects during the battle.
The image begins to swirl once more, then stops, shudders and shakes before stabilizing again. The edges are ragged and the vision is flatter than those before, hazy and less real, but the room is the same.
Another woman (NSFW?), still demonically tainted, but primarily human, stands near the cage with a deep purple crystal the size of a human head in her hand. With a touch, the cage opens allowing her access to the Wardstone fragment. She moves the crystal to it and deep purple veins begin to crawl over its surface, then seep down into the floor.
The image pulls back, above the Garrison, above Kenabres, above Mendev. All along the border, thousands of diligent crusaders stand gathered near the waning border. The ugly purple of the tainted veins flashes from Wardstone to Wardstone. It taints the crusaders clustered at the border, turning them into half fiend monsters, vicious new members of the demonic hordes.
The vision pulls back again, shudders back to Kenabres, to the Garrison, to the room, but it is the room of the present, not of the ruined future just witnessed. There is no fragment for the tainted woman to poison, no taint to flare from Stone to Stone. The loyal crusaders that crowd protectively at the border remain safe in their holy attention, due to a single touch of rod to stone.
Lilitu demons are subversive and hidden horrors, demons who work much more subtlety in their constant quest to destroy and devastate. Whereas most demons prefer to rend and destroy, the lilitu is more akin to the succubus—she labors in humanoid guise to infect society from within with sin. Known to some as temptation demons, lilitus enjoy little more than leading mortals into all matter of sinful acts, in the hopes that when the mortal perishes, that soul will fuel the Abyss. Despite some superficial similarities to succubi, lilitus are not solely concerned with the sin of lust. The exact nature of sin that a lilitu tempts a mortal into committing varies, for these demons are adept at reading mortal desires and secrets, quickly discerning which sinful acts a specific target can be convinced to perform.
Lilitus have numerous tools at their disposal for the encouragement of promoting sin, but they much prefer their humanoid victims to commit sins of their own free will. As such, lilitus generally use their abilities to deceive and beguile mortals rather than forcing them to execute these heinous acts. A son convinced to kill for his mother (the disguised lilitu) to rectify a grave injustice done to her produces more delight than simply mind-controlling a humanoid into doing such a deed.
In her true form, a lilitu appears as an eyeless, horned, snake-tailed—but otherwise beautiful—human woman.
Despite her lack of eyes, a lilitu can see with supernatural ease. A lilitu forms from the soul of a mortal who lured others of its kind to commit sins.
Lilitus who serve the seven demon lords of sin are unique in appearance, reflecting their sins more physically than others of their kind. A lilitu of the demon lord of fungi might appear to be made of slime, for example.
Lilitus typically stand 6 feet tall and weigh 130 pounds.
They capture the attention first, and hardest, for the curves of the woman in front of them are so perfect, so promising, they age a man simply by looking. They seize the heart and fire the blood, promising a torment a million men would kill for and another million gladly die.
The rest of her registers a moment later. Her whip slender tail and her long clawed fingers promise a much different sort of torment than the swell of her half bared hip, or her impossibly perfect breasts. And yet, there are those that would die for that as well.
It is her face that registers last, and perhaps that is a blessing. It too, is beautifully sculpted perfection, even the horns that curl up and back from where her eyes should be. Surely blind, she none the less moves as if well aware of everything about her.
In her clawed hands, she carries the fragment of the Wardstone, all that is left of the proud artifact laid so carefully all those years ago by the Hand of the Inheritor. The half-elf Jeslyn grovels at the demon-woman's feet. She begs for a boon, a wish, to help her protect her demons from the stone. The demon nods, and the cage springs up around the fragment. Jeslyn tries to kiss her feet in thanks, but the demon disappears in an instant, leaving her alone with the fragment to guard, with only the cage to hold its holy power in check.
The people on the ground celebrate the victory, kicking up a swirl of dust from the courtyard as they do. When it settles again, the vision has moved on. Things, the buildings, the Wardstone have settled, marking the passage of time. They do not look much different than they did on Armasse day, save that the courtyard is empty.
From behind the stone comes a clash of steel on steel and the thunder of boots. A burly dwarven man, with a crest upon his chest, twin hammers crossed above a halo comes barreling into view. Staunton Vhane, leader of the Hammers of Heaven mercenary group. Somehow the knowledge is there, to go with the image.
A moment later, Irabeth rounds the corner, her face alight with rage and her father's sword in her hand as she chases the dwarf. They fight, their weapons ringing off one of another. The paladin hems him in, slowly whittling down his area of movement. Vhane backs up, once, then again. His shoulder touches the Wardstone and he Screams! An acrid stench rides on a billow of smoke. He jerks away and ducks to avoid Irabeth's next blow, then manages to swing his hammer around and up, crushing her knee. The Paladin stumbles, drops to the ground and the Mercenary advances, his hammer ready to deal one final blow.
The heavy rhythm of soldiers on their way reaches his ears and stays his hand. he begins to mutter, his hands crafting complex motions in the air. Suddenly, a fiendishly awful wasp is at his side. He mounts it and flies out of the courtyard as the soldiers rush in.
A funnel cloud grabs them and spins them wildly around. Caught in a tortuous spin of images, they are inundated with the sights and sounds of battles and ambushes and life on both sides of the Wardstone border. Years flash by at a distance. Able to see and hear, even smell the quick snippets of time as they slide passed, they find themselves unable to affect anything in any real way, unable to touch or correct anything before it is gone again.
Is this what the world looks like to the gods?
Suddenly, the funnel cloud plunges down upon the world, and they fall like rain into another close up vision of Kenabres. The storm, huge and looming hangs in the sky behind them and riding upon the clouds is Khorramzadeh, the Storm King with a host of demons behind him. The attack on Kenabres is brazen, coming in the storm tainted light of sunset. He wields a mighty sword, laying waste to the crusaders throwing themselves in his wake. with crusaders crushed beneath his feet, he marches upon the Wardstone, with his weapon raised high. For a heart stopping moment, it seems it must be the very end of the stone, the end of Kenabres, the end of Golarion as something other than a playground for the Demonic Hordes.
But the balor's sword shatters, leaving only the tiniest of cracks in the stone.
At that moment, Terendelev rises like the sun in the East, and rushes Khorramzadeh, hitting him with a furious attack. Again and again the shining silver dragon flashes in the sky as she rips at the demon that dares threaten her adopted home. The Balor, torn and bleeding and with no weapon save his own evil form, flees the conflict, rushing back into the Worldwound, leaving the Silver Dragon triumphant and the barely cracked Wardstone nearly as good as it ever was.
The world turns and the vision spins, each man's view spinning with it. Round and round it goes, a storm of fire and soot stirring within its center. Flames and ash burn away the Hope of the world before, ushering in the truth of Fear and Hatred.
The courtyard again, the wardstone stands, but lies unscratched. In front of it, tall and strong and full of a young man's righteous certainty, a 20 year old Hulrun stands in gritty ash covered armor. In front of the Wardstone, a stake stands surrounded by rushes. Two women and a man stand tied to it, as Hulrun sets fire to the kindling and the smoke begins to rise. Across the courtyard, dozens of "witches" wait their turn, bound and gagged. All proclaim their innocence, though some are more believable than others.
The vision pulls back, away into the crowd where a woman watches with dry eyes and a slight twisted smile. Her hands rest upon the shoulders of a young boy, lightly toying with his hair. "Learn from your father's mistake, my pet. Hulrun listens to me. He should have listened to me too."
The boy nods but he can't stop the shiver that runs down his spine, nor hide his red and swollen eyes as his father goes up in flames. But in the dust and ash and fear, no one notices, no one notices at all.
Beagan, lost in the flood of sensation burns like a flame, and Xanthos, Xanthos, The Understated, burns with him, at home in the fires of Righteousness.
Serra would fight if he could, the onslaught of power that spears his being. But power such as this listens to no one, and only the gods might decide who is worthy. Still, his hearing betrays him and his mother's voice fills his ears. "You are your father's son, Serra. You can be anything you dream, just trust in yourself and *Believe*." A warmth brushes his forehead like a kiss then melts away, his vision obscured by a sudden flurry of apple blossoms....
Cole straightens, all of Kenabres laid out before him. His TOWN, his HOME! Cole’s vision spins, then rises high and higher, until not just Kenabres is laid out before him, but all of Mendev. The wall of warriors clusters on one side of the wards, as many as could be found, while on the other, demonic hordes wait in slavering anticipation. A split second more, and the vision spins again, enveloping Cole, and his all of his companions besides....
Graskers memories billow out, his mother and father and the wardstone as they were, or at least as he remembers them. And yet, there is something that tugs at his mind. Was it a dream, perchance, a phantom fantasy born of too much mutton at too late at night…
The vision pulls them in, as if instead of watching, they stand in the middle of forces of Good. "The Second Crusade" Already it is named, but hope still fills the hearts of the men and women around them. They know not what the future brings, and for a moment, that spark of hope flares within the hearts of each of them. Yep, still stunned. But oh the things you can see, and feel, and hear....
Initiative for ease of use
Cole Zeff: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (13) + 3 = 16
Eli is up, followed by Cole, Beagan and Grasker.