Sorry, missed a bit previously...retro:
Errit's hand shakes as he takes the holy symbol. It does not burn him, and he eventually curls up with it. He sleeps, for awhile, then wakes in the morning. Bound or freed, he keeps his silence unless prodded. It is clear he has a lot to think about.
When everyone is ready, the group heads out, finding the tunnel entrance behind the temple. The passageway leading south continues for about 3,000 feet before ending after a gradual rise in elevation to widen again into a small cavern. Carved, stone figures decorate the walls, each depicting a different crusader clad in armor and wielding weapons, but their carved stone features contain expressions of sadness.
The 'Lady of Valor' usually refers to Iomedae, Warrior Goddess of paladins, knights, and warriors, is known by her holy symbol, a radiant longsword. That was the holy symbol that Jurin gave to Grasker
As the shifts change, the priest sinks into quiet introspection unless questioned by others.
Those that are awake during third watch may make a diplomacy check if they choose to pull Errit from his reflection, to encourage him to seek a way back into Iomedae's good graces, but only if they choose to do so. Otherwise Third Watch will pass uneventfully.
Grasker's dream continues. An army surges forward at the command of the valiant goddess, but now finds himself laying in the midst of things. Battalions of warriors advance at her command. With a flash of fire, they become a sea of vicious bunnies, tearing at the demons with holy vengeance. One of them, with long floppy ears and wide innocent eyes jumps over him, nearly tripping as his foot catches Grasker in the stomach. The brave bunny soldiers on, limping bravely forward to the goddess's call. The pain of small kick sinks deep into Grasker, then melts into a heated urgency that spreads through his being, like being touched by the hand of god. The pain forces Grasker awake with a gasp. In front of him, the others encircle the bound priest, asking him questions.
Jurin's dream continues... The old man tsk's at Jurin. "It's all well and good to have Faith, son, so long as it's in the right thing." He raises his bow, launching an arrow high into the air. It sings as it falls to the ground again, boring a hole deep in the ground. The ground lurches and writhes, and "Her" voice shatters the silence as the wound grows wide and deep. After a moment, a flaming, bunny-eared butterfly, soars out of the wound even while her scream still echoes in Jurin's head. The "scream" startles Jurin, waking him to the rest of the group.
It is the end of second watch, Beagan's voice rising in supplication to his god. The oil catches light, taking the butterfly painting with it. The flames lap, wings of fire flaring above the sacred flame.
The butterfly, the living fluttering thing of fire and dreams flits its way into the flame and becomes one with the sacred sconce. The fire flares, a ghostly aura of retribution exploding out from the altar in all directions, through people and walls and stone.
He sees them as their skitter becomes a blur, one large and a myriad of smaller roaches swarming towards the temple His hammer connects with the first, and the rhythmic rise and fall of Beagan's voice from within in time to the swing of his hammer. The large roach rises up and hisses and keeps coming, the swarm coming with it.
"...and all who are oppressed be Liberated in your name!" comes from within and an aura of fire rises up, sweeping out from the temple! The large roach is gone in an instant, its swarm nothing but dust in the very next breath...and then the world outside, at least as far as Eli can tell, is quiet and clear...and safe.
...The fire shrinks back once more, until just a few small flames remain, looking remarklably like a fluttering, flittery butterfly upon the altar.
On the far side of the temple, the bound priest from the tunnels groans, and wakes... to be clear, not the Hecueva, the crazy priest that you knocked out and tied up.
Outside, the world is quiet, but not safe. There is a breath of ill will in the air, and Eli hears several scurrying sounds just out of his range of sight. Each time he hears them, they are closer. A click and clatter of something on stone, edging towards the temple.
While inside, with the others
Once Beagan starts looking, the small divot in the top of the altar becomes unmistakeable. He'd even painted it into his devotional art; the center of one of the swirls, at the heart of a fiery wing. Filling it with oil is easy, but in lighting it for consecration, the little knight's most beautiful work to date will likely go up in flames.
The butterfly twitches, the flames in its wings flickering with the motion. It takes flight, landing on the altar.
Serra, others with knowl religion:18 or higher:
While the temple has been cleaned, its heart, the sacred flame, remains unlit. It's possible that lighting it, with a heartfelt prayer from a devotee may reconsecrate the temple to Ragathiel.
Sleep comes for everyone eventually, and Grasker is no exception. The dreams come after. In the distance the battle blazes, but even from a distance he can see her; her sword high, leading the army. Iomedae! She can be no other! Suddenly, she turns, her eyes only for him. "Grasker! Not yet! But soon. For both of you!" A sadness fills her eyes but the demonic horde surges and she turns back to the fight, her sword held high.
[i] The landscape is a shambles, some of the buildings nothing but ruin, others still standing. In the distance, screams silence suddenly only to rise again, in some other part of the town. He finds a temple still standing, a priest at the door smiles benignly at him as he makes towards the door. "Don't you worry, Cole. We'll take good care of your father. The same way we took care of your mum." The benign smile melts to a sneer, a long black tongue with wicked fangs along its length thrusts out, swiping over his chin as if cleaning up spilled gravy. "Don't hurry on our account."
Towards the end of the second watch, while Beagan carefully retraces the ruin upon his flesh, something flits into the room, as lost and unlikely as either of them. Brightly colored, with wings swirling in a flame of gold, purple and midnight blue, the butterfly alights upon Beagan's brush, its wings fluttering as needed to keep it in place.
While Grasker and Cole are on Watch, sleep comes for the rest. Anevia's is restless, "Irabeth?Irabeth!" muttered over and over with a terrified whimper in between. Aravashnyel sleeps lightly, if it can be called that, his lips moving, though no sound comes out. Horgus sleeps solidly, with not a sound nor motion.
It all started with the blade. It swept through his mind, the flame of it burning the edges of his vision even as it flayed Hanzi and his minions in a wide arc. Out of the inferno, her eyes called out to Beagan, her voice calling in his brain. "There is a Debt. Nearly paid is not nearly good enough. There is a debt." the chattel salon turns to ash, to dust, to the temple. "The Flame must be Re-lit."
Kastor sits before him, a book in his hand, and a tree covered in flowers at his back. "You know what to do, don't you, Sir? Just like the books said, Find the heart, of god or man, and surely the rest of him will follow. All we have to do is find his heart." The boy smiles, and the flowers take flight, a shower of butterflies on wing into a fiery sunset.
It's her laughter he hears first, subtle, sultry, beckoning. The click of her nails joins in, scratching at his consciousness. "Ohh Jurin, why are you wasting your time in here, when you could be with me?" He sees her then, twirling Othoe's wig in one hand, a pair of pincers in the other.
His heart lurches, the world tilts, and she turns to gray, an old man standing in verdant green in front of her. "It doesn't have to be this way, son. You know that. All you have to do is...choose."
The voices roll in from a distance, muddled and indistinct, but insistent. Over and over again. Like a whisper to a roar of an oncoming flood, it grows louder and louder and louder until finally there is no denying the words. Over and over again, a multitude of voices, and every single one of them is calling his name.
The first watch passes uneventfully, and soon it is time for Grasker and Cole to wake the second.
The group is able to clean the temple in a few hours, making it a much more comfortable place to spend the night. Aravashnyel helps as he can, instructing the others in the best ways to clean certain types of stains while Horgus grumbles about the time it is taking, but when he sees how hard the others work, he lends a hand as well. Anevia helps, if encouraged to do so, but otherwise remains withdrawn and silent.
know relig: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (18) + 10 = 28
no one appears to be under a charm, glamer or transmutation. Especially Serra. However, there is an ambient glow to him. Every PC has at least one aura, as does Aravashnyel, whose bag has several auras. Anevia's armor, should Grasker wander into the Antechamber, also glows. Horgus' cloak also appears to be magical.
After an hour or so the place appears much better, though it is not yet ready for any reconsecration. I count 3 man hours of cleaning so far, but it would probably wouldn't be ready for reconsecration just yet.
knowl religion: 20:
the place probably needs to be thoroughly cleaned and (say, another 5 man hours worth) before reconsecration should be considered.
As Beagan, Grasker and the others continue to clean and put the temple back in order, the feel of the place also eases. Still, it does not come easy. After an hour, the place looks and feels considerably better, though it is still a ways away from reconsecrated.
I asked earlier, but will ask again, Who all works on cleaning the temple, and how long do you work?
Beagan Berelcar wrote:
That reminds the Gnome Ara-vashnyel's question about symbols around the font, so Beagan takes a good long look at the 'pure' water basin surrounded by dust, in particular looking for any symbols or inscriptions, and describes anything he finds to the Elf.
Within the basin of the bowl is a clear symbol much like the one Beagan draws upon his arm every morning.
Grasker's attempts to cleanse the holy symbol with the water from the font bear fruit, or rather quick licks of flame that eat away the demonic goat face in mere seconds, leaving the Iomedaen holy symbol purified once again.
Who all helps with the cleaning, restoring of the temple, and how much time do you spend setting it to rights. Also, are you planning to rededicate it, to a good god, and if so, to which one?
Two vials lay nestled within the dust that remains of the huecuva, as well as a small gold ring.
Without the unholy horror to distract them, the unwholesome air of this once sacred place becomes more evident. Broken benches, shattered holy lamps, and the shredded remnants of Ragathien scripture litter the floor. Still, the bones of the structure are sound, and with a little devotion, it could be returned to its original purpose, either to Ragathiel, or another deity, should that be preferred.
Serra uses his knightly skill to help aid the others, encouraging Eli to do his best against the horrifying creature.
Grasker tries to take advantage of the confuses, but the dried out old husk avoids his blade.
Jurin misses by a mile.:
The hideous creature in front of Jurin turns its face in his direction, and for a moment, another vision overlays the first. *Her* skin, fresh and fair, *her* hair black as night, and *her* mouth, oh *her* mouth...
Jurin pulls his strike, swinging wide. If Beagan were taller, the blade would surely have sunk deep into his throat, but as it is, Jurin just... misses by a mile.
Beagan goes back to doing what he was so doing so well, distracting the creature and getting in the way. He taunts the heretic, and it turns at the last. Eli times his mighty swing with the others movements, catching the creature in the face and knocking it to dust!
and we are out of initiative!
Cole* lines up another shot over Beagan's head and tries to drop the thing before he can do in any of the shinies clustered around him, but misses.
Surrounded by likely targets, the dusty heretic swings from side to side trying to decide. Forsake them! Join me! Forsake....
1 is Grasker, 2 is Beagan: 1d2 ⇒ 1
Both gnarled, clawed hands slash out, aiming to change Grasker's mind, or take it from him.
claw: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (5) + 4 = 91d4 + 1 ⇒ (1) + 1 = 2 plus fort if successful
claw: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (7) + 4 = 111d4 + 1 ⇒ (3) + 1 = 4 plus fort if successful
Serra, Grasker, Jurin are up...
Serra eyes Eli when he enters and makes room for the man while trying to aid his (hopefully)impending attack. Once again, the creature attacks as Serra moves, but misses. Jurin swats at imaginary flies or some such, missing the huecuva, but devastating the whatever dust mote he hit.
AoO: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (6) + 4 = 101d4 + 1 ⇒ (2) + 1 = 3
Grasker, Beagan, Eli are up
Eli drops the stabilized priest moves into the room while the creature is still steaming. Cole tries to repeat his previous success but spends too much time worrying about his hat. Serra tries to see Grasker's holy symbol, but can't quite see it through all the things going on.
With bits of himself flaking off, the creature lurches for Grasker, trying to rip the holy symbol from his hand.
claw: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (17) + 4 = 211d4 + 1 ⇒ (4) + 1 = 5
Serra, Grasker, Jurin are up...
Will save: 1d20 + 4 + 2 ⇒ (2) + 4 + 2 = 8
Grasker pulls a holy sword pendant and thrusts it at the Huecuva, denouncing him with holy faith. The power of Grasker’s god rips into the creature, burning his eyes and sizzling his extremities. Smoke pours off him, but he remains standing. “YOU!!!! Your god will Fail YOU as WELL!”
Grasker clearly has his attention now!
Beagan uses his words and his sword to distract the creature from Grasker, aiding his defense.
Serra waves his weapon at the creature, hoping to help Grasker's next attack, before draws the creature's rage once again. But, once again, his attempt is only half hearted, so excited is he at the thought of stealing Beagan's soul from Ragathiel's flock.
Jurin prays to, well, someone surely, over his blade, but whoever it is, they laugh at his mutterings as he flails uselessly and calls for his grandmother.
claw AoO: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (2) + 4 = 61d4 + 1 ⇒ (2) + 1 = 3
Grasker, then round 3 with Beagan and Eli are up
Beagan tries to help Grasker while keeping himself in one piece. He reminds the others of the water in the font in the antechamber. Eli judges by the size and shape of the building, encourages the others to stay outside while dragging one last little bit of something from someone to bless Jurin, if only just a bit. Cole enters the building and shoots a blunt silver arrow at the evil attacking his friends.The blunt silver head knocks one of the former priest's eyes lose, which waggles as he moves. Jurin joins the others in the temple, though he seems to think it is a baker.
Round 2, Init 12
The former priest seems locked onto Beagan, intent on reaching him on a soulful level. "Ragathiel? He will forsake you! Turn with me! Wreak your vengeance on the god himself!!" So intent is he on having Beagan turn on Ragathiel, that his attacks miss. Beckoning, he steps back, inviting Beagan to turn on his companions.
claw 1: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (12) + 4 = 161d4 + 1 ⇒ (1) + 1 = 2 plus fort if successful
claw 2: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (6) + 4 = 101d4 + 1 ⇒ (3) + 1 = 4 plus fort if successful
Serra, Grasker, Jurin are up
Beagan's sword merely scratches through the dust on the huecuva. The creature missed with a swipe at Beagan's nose. Eli moves up, casting a benediction on Serra.
Serra joins the fight, ranting about the past and calling out that the creature is a huecuva, and it will need magic, silver or possibly both to hurt the creature. Grasker joins the others and agrees with Serra.
Jurin: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (1) + 1 = 2
Jurin, Beagan, Eli are up
Serra crabs his way into the room, drawing the creature's ire, though the slashing claws miss. The Rolly Polly Knight studies the cowled creature, trying to figure out just what he – it– is!
The creature is a Huecuva. Huecuvas are the risen corpses of heretical clerics who blasphemed and renounced their deities before meeting death.
AOO: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (6) + 4 = 101d4 + 1 ⇒ (1) + 1 = 2
Round 1, Init 12
Beagan strikes back quickly, scratching the gaunt creature in front of him. The things eyes blaze with malevolence as it strikes back, but misses this time. No, really. Also, only one claw since it should have only been one last time.
claw: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (12) + 4 = 161d4 + 1 ⇒ (2) + 1 = 3
Serra, Grasker, Jurin, you're up.
"Poor believer! He will Fail YOU as WELL! But I will save you from the DESPAIR!!!!!" With that, the man raises arms, bearing 2 inch long claws on both hands. The sleeves of his robes fall back, exposing the dessicated remains of his arms, even to Serra.
claw: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (19) + 4 = 231d4 + 1 ⇒ (4) + 1 = 5 plus a fort if hit
But it has been so long since he's had anything fresh to attack, that he misses, catching only the air above Beagan's head.
Beyond the room, Beagan's challenge filters back to the others. Anevia grabs her bow and looks about, Aravashnyel reaches for his component pouch, and Horgus moans, "Not Again?!?!?"
Begin Round 1
Beagan, Eli, Cole are up
Beagan Berelcar wrote:
"The Big... R?" The man raises his head, looking straight into Beagan's eyes and right up in his face. Blood red eyes meet his, and surely only "The Big R"'s blessing helps him see through the "man"'s disguise, for surely whatever it is that stands before him is no longer truly alive. He raises his claws to strike, but Beagan is the faster.
Serra tries to see inside, but the door and Beagan's upraised shield get in the way. He does see the man's head, though, and the ragged hem of his cowl.
Surprise round, Beagan, Priestly Guy
Cole: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (11) + 3 = 14
Elyanius: 1d20 ⇒ 11
Beagan: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (16) + 3 = 19
Jurin: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (1) + 1 = 2
Serra: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (6) + 5 = 11
Grasker: 1d20 ⇒ 7
priest: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (6) + 6 = 12
Elyanius: 1d20 ⇒ 19
disguise: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (6) + 10 = 16
Beagan Berelcar wrote:
"The Lord of Liberation? The Lord of Vengeance? Yess, can you not see his Hand here?!" The man rises to his feet, approaching up the aisle as he talks.
"And you, little warrior? What brings you here?"
misc.: 1d20 ⇒ 3
Serra seems quite happy to see his squire safe and that it seems that his squire means a lot to him...but no demonic or devilish intents are felt, if that's what Grasker was looking for.
Beagin strides confidently into the antechamber. Having a divine experience with the water from the holy font, he calls out to Jurin about possibly "re-holy-fying" the defaced symbol of Iomedae, but doesn't wait for an answer before turning his attention to the interior door.
With a loud prayer to his god, he opens the door.
Broken stone benches line this narrow room. The air is cold and stale, and thick layers of dust cover the floor, benches, and a large altar at the far end of the room.
Near the front of the nave, a cowled figure sits facing the large symbol at the far end of the room, murmuring, either to himself, or possibly in prayer.
Serra joins Beagan in the Antechamber just in time to see the little sizzle/hiss/spark come off his symbol at the touch of the water from the font, err, fountain. The symbol matches both the holy symbol around Beagan's neck, the symbol in the interior door, and somewhat the chipped and scraped one outside.
Sorry, Grasker, missed your knowl. Religion check. The symbol on the front of the building looks like it used to be the holy symbol for Ragathiel. Someone or some thing has chipped and scraped at it. Though much more ornate, and whole, the symbol on the gnome's forearm is very similar.
Beagan: The pristine water washes away any grime on the symbol. There is a tiny *whoof* and a spark of flame as it hits a bit of swarm goo and flares for a moment, before leaving the symbol pure once more.
Serra cautiously opens the door, watching it swing inward into the dark. Obviously un-opened in ages, a sharp line if detritus marks the threshold, delineating inside from out.
The light pours into the room like sun warmed honey, pushing back the bitter shadows and warms the empty interior. A stone bench lines the southern wall of this chamber. A fine coat of dust shrouds the every where except for a basin of water sitting atop a stone pedestal at the far end of the room. A stone door engraved with an image of a wing and sword stands to the north.
No longer having to fight off the predation of the giant fly, the rest of the group is able to get a good look at the structure.
A single sizable 20-foot-tall building remains in the center of this 30-foot-high cave, a bunkerlike structure with no windows and walls of worked stone blocks. A 10-foot-high carving of a wing decorates the building’s facade. The ruins of collapsed outbuildings stand to either side.
Grasker, and anyone hitting a DC 10 engineering check(untrained is ok):
The buildings appear to have been built down here. It does appear that the main structure withstood the demonic seismic activity well.
Eli and Grasker move forward with the wounded (and whiny) the combat becoming visible even for Eli's eyes.
Round 3, all in
Serra swings on the giant, man sized fly that is attacking him, but misses.
The Fly, wobbly and oozing, flies back to his perch on the building, eying the party out of his iridescent multifaceted eyes. withdraws
Serra, Beagan, Cole are up.
Grasker, and Jurin, Serra, Cole, Beagan:
Grasker and Jurin come rushing up at the cry of "Abyssal Bug!" to find Beagan, Serra and Cole locked in a deadly pest extermination. An ugly giant fly the size of a man flies wobbly with a torn wing as it attacks Serra.
Serra: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (11) + 5 = 16
Grasker, you still have a standard left, as does Jurin.
Everyone else, Begin round 3
Eli stares ahead, watching as first Grasker, and then Jurin disappear out of his limited range of sight.
Grasker, Eli, Jurin:
Elyanius Myoch: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (5) + 6 = 11
Jurin Kreedsön: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (4) + 1 = 5
Grasker: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (19) + 9 = 28
Grasker and Eli hear something from up ahead, but Jurin is lost in his own musings on the useless goat god. Grasker clearly hears a voice that can only be Beagan's cry out, ""Abyssal bug!"
Anevia at nearly the same time, cries out, "What was that?!?!"