Protectors of Golarion (Wrath of the Righteous AP)

Game Master Sensen

Current Chapter: The Worldwound Incursion
Wherein a hero falls, a city dies, and legends rise.
Date: Starday, 23nd of Arodus (VIII) 4713
Time of Day: Early Afternoon
Season: Late Summer
Weather: 15° F (-10° C), Clear Skies

4713 Calendar
Scenic Kenabres

General Purpose Maps:
Kenabres
Kenabres Map Key
The Worldwound


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Encounter Maps | Geographic Map | Treasures | Important NPCs

Starday, the 16th of Arodus, 4713

The Cathedral of St. Clydwell stands proud in the late summer sun, its stained glass windows reflecting beautifully across the plaza that shares its name. Throughout the plaza, there are hundreds, if not over a thousand people in various states of martial preparedness. Men and women in full plate armor bearing heavy weaponry rub shoulders with scouts armed with bows and crossbows. Clerics, especially Iomedaeans, walk throughout the crowds, resplendent in their full regalia - which, of course, incorporates their armor and weapons.

For it is Armasse, one of the holy days of Iomedae’s church, and thus of the Mendevian Crusade and Kenabres as a whole. On this day, it is traditional for the Church of Iomedae to teach and practice martial skills - something especially critical this close to the Worldwound, where demonic hordes lurk.

Everyone is dressed in warm clothing, to ward off the bitter chill of the north - something that most agree is far favorable to the possibility of Abyss-tainted weather blowing in from the west. For that reason, braziers burn in strategic places across Clydwell Plaza, and people huddle around them, chatting away.

Nevertheless, despite both the chill in the air and the grim reminders of the dangers to the west, Kenabres is gripped in a celebratory mood. After all, it’s a festive day! Many of the civilians, especially the youth, treat the martial training as more a game than something that will save their lives.

At the foot of the Cathedral, a group of priests and priestesses have assembled. Of these, two men stand together near the center of the steps. One, an elderly Garundi, wears a troubled frown, while the other, a (younger-looking) half-elf of Taldan stock gestures at him for calm. Both wear fine steel armor and tabards marked with Iomedae’s sword.

Knowledge (local) DC 10 or Elyda:
The Garundi man is Lord Hulrun Shappok, ruler of Kenabres and fanatic witch-hunter. Though he has become more moderate in recent times, he remains something of a paranoiac about demons and infiltrators.

The half-elf is the head priest of St. Clydwell’s Cathedral, Second Sword Knight Eterrrius Sunnestier. A veteran crusader, he’s a tremendously influential figure in Kenabres, possibly outstripping even Hulrun in his impact on the people of the city.

Conversations fill the air from one end of the plaza to the other.

Elliot:

As Elliot arrives at Clydwell Plaza, he sees his mentor, the elven wizard and Riftwarden Aravashnial is walking around with one of the other Riftwardens, a human youth whom he recognizes by sight, but not by name. The two are in deep discussion with one another, doubtlessly discussing some sort of arcane minutiae.

As is often the case for Elliot, he finds himself catching sideways glances from all manner of festival-goers. His unique appearance, even for an aasimar, brings him plenty of attention, often of the female variety, but sometimes of the male. Sometimes, it’s even with amorous intent! Usually, however, they simply gaze upon him with awe. His reputation of being a literal fire starter has been somewhat eroded in recent years, but the strange looks remain - possibly even more focused than previously.

There are, of course exceptions - as the two women that pass by him this very moment demonstrate. They are heading away from the plaza, and the older is complaining to the younger.
”I’m telling you, Klarah, you’re too good for him. Maizah swears that he’s a moron, and he barely bathes!”
Mother, your friend is hardly reliable. Maizah slept with a con artist once, and thinks that it gives her some sort of supernatural feel for people.”
”You’re not sleeping with him, are you, because-“ The two pass away into the noises of the crowd.

Verene:

In Clydwell Plaza, Verene finds that the stuffy masses of people are much the same wherever one is - though she is not herself religious, and Armasse is dedicated to Iomedae (in the Age of Lost Omens, anyways), it is good to see the people happy, especially since they are so close to the Worldwound.

”Out of my way, you!” A portly gentleman snaps grumpily at her, brushing past. The middle-aged noble is dressed in fine clothing, with the small rapier at his hip a mild gesture of acknowledgement of Armasse’s martial traditions. His companion, a servant by the look of them, bows their head apologetically.

”You see why I hate dealing with crowds, Aren, don’t you?” The nobleman says, his tone still waspish.
”Yes, sir.” There’s a slight air of exasperation to the reply.
”Are you listening to me, Aren?”
”Yes, sir.”
”Do you know -“ The pair pass out of earshot, though Verene thinks she hears another ”Yes, sir.” in the distance.

If you pass a Knowledge (local) DC 18 check, you may look at the spoiler below

Spoiler:
That was one Horgus Gwerm, a nobleman of some infamy in Kenabres. He is, as Verene has just experienced, rather infamously unpleasant, as well as a penny-pincher, and something of a recluse. It’s a bit surprising to see him out at Armasse, actually. She thinks there might’ve been some sort of tragedy about him and his family, but doesn’t know enough to say.

Elyda:
As an exceptionally attractive young woman, Elyda is used to being the center of attention. As a formal servant of the Inheritor, she is used to being highly respected by Kenabrens. As an aasimar, she is far too used to the element of awe that filters into most interactions she has.

So it is today, as she helps Fourth Sword Knight Loskar Truesteel, a young dwarf cleric, to run civilians through training drills with weaponry. The majority of their students are young men who are trying to not obviously gawk at Elyda as they train, and most of their attention is focused on her, rather than on Fourth Sword Knight Truesteel, something that the other cleric seems good-naturedly exasperated by.

After several accidents occur as the youths drop their training weapons, accidentally smack one another in the midst of sparring, and one receives a telling blow to the stomach, Fourth Sword Knight Truesteel takes her aside.

”Off with you, young inquisitor. I’ll get this lot finished up. You go and enjoy the festival.” He grins at her, the teeth glinting through his finely braided blonde beard.

Merixia:
If being a tiefling in Cheliax is bad, and being a slave in Cheliax is abhorrent, being a tiefling in Mendev is somewhere in between. Not only does Merixia have to deal with the ignorant fearing her for her fiendish background, she has to deal with the slightly less ignorant assuming she’s a demon-descended tiefling - one of the pitborn - and therefore asking insensitive questions that don’t even apply to her. If she has to hear ”What does it feel like, being connected to the Abyss?” just one more time…

Furthermore, as the priestess of an empyreal lord who is barely known outside of dedicated religious scholarship or churches, Merixia has had to deal with more rude and confrontational lay crusaders than anyone should have to. They almost seem to think she’s the real enemy - especially Hulrun’s witch-hunters, who came to warn her they’d be watching her when she first arrived in Kenabres.

As it happens, just as she passes into the plaza, a haughty Taldan noble and priest of Iomedae by the name of Darian Kastner aggressively approaches her, reproaching her for claiming to follow the General of Vengeance, and warning her that she should know that his cousin is a paladin of the same, so he knows…

Fortunately, before she has to deal with him herself, an annoyed-looking paladin of Iomedae drags him away to deal with some other (hopefully menial) task. The half-orc woman waves Merixia away, mouthing an apology: ”Sorry, his minder got lost.”

Thesius:

As the young half-elf archeologist arrives in Clydwell Plaza, he cannot help but be struck by the magnificent edifice that is St. Clydwell’s Cathedral. It’s obviously of Chelish style, of course, which would have made it somewhat out of place in Mendev a century ago, but nowadays it’s the norm. Tragic, certainly, but perhaps unavoidable.

Even as the thought occurs to him, though, Thesius hears a conversation between a Kellid man and woman, spoken in Hallit.
”-ster Vorek is here. He’s already been talking about revitalizing our people, getting back into the old ways, but with a new focus.” The woman says.
”You think that’s possible?” Her companion asks, bitterly. ”The crusaders are all around - especially that bastard Hulrun and his fanatics.”
”Well, Vorek says he’s willing to spend time working with the high priest - not the ‘lord’ of this city. If Hulrun knows what’s good for him-”
The two drift away into the crowd, their conversation fading from even his keen senses.

All five of these disparate individuals spy a stall where a young tiefling woman is selling fine sculptures made from the stone that is dug out of Truestone Quarry to the east. As they watch, she passes a statue somewhat surreptitiously to a customer.

Perception DC 20 - Tiefling Sculptor:
The statue depicts an erotically charged scene of two succubi embracing and sharing a passionate kiss. While this isn’t illegal, per se, it is rather alarming to most Kenabrens. However, if Lord Hulrun or one of his adherents were to find out about this, the fact that she is a tiefling combined with her choice of artistic subject practically guarantees that she’d be destined for execution. Quite probably within a week - Hulrun isn’t usually one for patience when there’s a risk of demonic incursion about.

In the other direction, another young woman, this one human, with a bow on her shoulder stands near to one of the braziers, holding her hands over it to absorb the heat. She’s keeping an eye out for something, but seems relaxed enough.

So, I ask that you react to your spoilered bits, then go meet up with at least one other PC, whether you go to the sculptor or the archer.


Male | Half-Elf | Archaeologist Bard 5/Trickster 1 | HP 48/48 | AC 18 T 12 FF 16; Uncanny Dodge | Fort +2, Ref +9, Will +6; +2 vs. enchantments | Init. +4 | Perception +17 | Low-Light Vision | Archaeologist's Luck 8/12 left, Lore Master 0/1, Mythic Power 4/5 | Spells 1st - 4/5 2nd - 2/3 | Current buffs: Alter Self (Half-Orc), Heightened Awareness, Heroism

Knowledge (local): 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (12) + 7 = 19

Perception: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (11) + 8 = 19

Thesius takes note of the conversation. Interested in the reference to the old ways, but not quite able to put a finger on who this Vorek figure was. He certainly knew Hulrun and even shook his head a bit in disapproval upon seeing him at the foot of the cathedral. The man's prejudice always stood out to Thesius because of his father's past.

As the conversation drifted out of focus, his eyes wandered over the crowd as he gracefully maneuvered through it. A sculptor took his attention for a moment because of her unique heritage. A pang of grief hitting his heart as he thought of the loss of his father forcing him to quickly readjust his focus elsewhere.

It would take a moment, but finally he would settle his gaze upon a brazier and it's current occupant. He did not know why, but he was drawn in that direction.

As he nears his destination, his approach would slow as he softy asks, "Would there be room for one more?" in reference to the vicinity around the heat source as a chill sent a shiver down his spine. It was hard for him to distinguish whether it was the weather, the thoughts of his past, or perhaps both causing it.


M Aasimar (emberkin) Arcanist 2. HP 14/16. AC 16/FF 14/T12. Perc. +1. Init +2. Saves: F +2, R+2, W +4. CMB +0 , CMD 12. Spells: level 1 0/4. Reservoir: 0/5. Conditions: None.

Elliot grins at the conversation the women he just passed had been having. It was relieving in a sense, that who the daughter was sleeping with was seemingly the main concern of the mother. Surprisingly normal - probably? - for a life this close to the worldwound and with alledged armies of demons just a stone's throw away from the walls.

And doubly relieving that he could simply walk around openly, on such a festive day too. Perhaps he shouldn't have been surprised, since it'd been a full human generation since his trial.... and before his studies began in earnest.

But still, walking around here and seeing the prelate whose beard he'd burned off all those years ago just standing there and not coming after him like the bad old days... it felt good.

perception: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (12) + 1 = 13

On the way, he did sometimes catch people throwing meaningful looks his way, something he'd once had thought impossible. It had taken an embarassingly long time to even realize what they meant! Times had really changed. But... how to act on it? Should he?

What if he got distracted over the memories and master Aravashnial scolded him for it later? And... the downside of living in a library for most of his youth was that he wasn't very... 'experienced' in matter of courtship. How to even begin? There weren't that many books in a wizarding library on it, either. Unsurprisingly.

Somtimes, he missed that useful ability some diviners had where you could check how people would react to what you said before it happened.

perception: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (6) + 1 = 7

Caught in his peaceful inner musings, the Aasimar was content to stroll along the market stalls set up for Armasse to see what was sold. He stops at the stall of a young Tiefling Woman, apparently a sculptor, and gives her a polite smile. "Hello, my lady. What sort of artworks are you selling here? Is there anything you'd recommend? I was planning on buying a gift for my sister's upcoming birthday..."


NG F Human Wizard (Diviner) 6 | Archmageᴹ 1 | HP 40/40 | AC 20 (T 12, FF 18) | Prescience 8/8 | Mythic Power 3/5 | CMD 14 | Fort +5 Ref +6 Will +8 | Init +9 (and Forewarned) | Perc +9 (+14 Thamyris) | Conditions: mage armor 1hr, shield 1min | Thamyris: HP 20/20; AC 19 (T 16, FF 17) | Conditions: merge with familiar 6h

A human woman in fur-lined blue robes takes a meandering path through Clydwell Plaza, reaching up to her shoulder with one hand every so often as though to adjust her dark hair or an earring. A closer look reveals the tiny brown bird perched there, happily eating the bits of fruit she offers in between darting sharp glances at the crowd. She's carrying a light crossbow at her hip - perhaps in a nod to the Armasse holiday, or perhaps just because it's unwise to go anywhere unarmed in a city on the edge of the Worldwound.

Verene takes another piece for herself from the small bag of crystallized fruit treats she's sharing with Thamyris, smiling at the sight of children running past and "sparring" with wooden swords. Her gaze passes casually over the steps of the Cathedral, noting what appears to be a disagreement between Lord Hulrun Shappok and Second Sword Knight Eterrrius Sunnestier, and the smile fades somewhat. Conflict between two of the most influential men in the city could only spell trouble for everyone, and she has no love for the lord witch-hunter of Kenabres. A man ruled by fear will rule by fear.
Knowledge: Local (DC 10): 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (3) + 9 = 12

Her momentary distraction causes her to miss the portly nobleman walking directly into her path until they almost collide. "Excuse me, beg pardon," she murmurs automatically, turning aside even as he snaps at her to do so. With a sympathetic glance at the apologetic servant, she keeps walking, trying to remember his name, and has to stifle a laugh at his peevish diatribe to the long-suffering Aren.

Knowledge: Local (DC 18): 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (12) + 9 = 21
Ah, of course; the famously reclusive and bad-tempered Horgus Gwerm. Hadn't there been some family tragedy...? When they're out of earshot, she says quietly to herself, "Happy Armasse, Lord Horgus."

The little voice on her shoulder grumble-chirps, "Mean man. Nasty man."

"People can get a little strange when they aren't around others for too long. No doubt it's hard for him to be out in the crowds and the sunshine." Verene strokes her familiar's ruffled neck feathers briefly and they move on. She pauses near the artisans' stalls, her eye caught by the goods of a young tiefling sculptor. However, she can't see why the woman's movements in handing off one of her fine statues would be so furtive. She drifts closer.

Perception - Sculptor - Verene (DC 20): 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (2) + 4 = 6
Perception - Sculptor - Thamyris? (DC 20): 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (14) + 8 = 22 He's constantly looking around for danger and important things, but there is zero chance Thamyris would think this was important or dangerous without Verene's prompting. So I hope prompting him is okay with you, GM! If it's not, disregard the below.

Sculptor:
"That young woman with the horns - why is she sneaking, my dear? What can you see?" Verene murmurs to Thamyris under her breath.

The thrush peeps even more quietly, "Don't know. Statue is just two wing-ladies with horns, all mashed together. Maybe stolen from someone else's nest?"

Verene stifles another laugh. "I see." But she sobers as she realizes what danger the young woman is putting herself in. Lord Hulrun is known for neither tolerance nor restraint, and one ill-fated encounter with one of his witchfinders could see the tiefling paying for her art with her life. She approaches the stall casually, meaning to discreetly warn the sculptor once she's done with her current customer, in case she's from somewhere else and doesn't understand the risk she's taking.

Elliot:
Elliot would probably notice Verene as she approaches and appears to begin perusing the statues for sale as well. She nods to him in a friendly greeting, but waits for his business with the merchant to be concluded.


F Tiefling (Hellspawn) Cleric of Ragathiel 6 / Hierophant 1 | HP 54/54 | AC: 21 (11 tch, 20 ff) | CMB +7, CMD +18 | F +8, R +4, W +11 | Init +1 | Perc +13, SM +17 | Destructive Smite 8/8 | Touch of Good 8/8 | Channel 3d6 3/3 | Pyrotechnics 1/1 | True Strike 1/1 | Protection from Evil 1/1 | Mythic Power 5/5 | Effects: none

Merixia rolls her eyes as Kastner is dragged away by his more sensible half-orc companion. "Gods, what an ass." She wouldn't mind getting to know the half-orc paladin better, though. Often they're more accepting of tieflings than other races.

As she wanders through the crowd, the priestess spots a fellow tiefling selling sculptures. Her expression brightens as she makes her way over to the stall. "Happy Armasse!" She spots someone buying a rather risque (not to mention heretical) sculpture out of the corner of her eye. Merixia winces slightly, leaning forward and pointing to a random sculpture as if she's asking a question about it, and speaks to the sculptor in a low voice.

Abyssal:
"Be careful, friend. If I saw that sculpture of the lovers, an inquisitor might do so as well. I won't say anything, but others are less understanding."

Her attention is drawn away by the flickering of flame in her peripheral vision. A young man with flaming hair... oh! The stage magician with the theater troupe! The one she mistook for a fellow tiefling. "Oh, hello Elliot! Happy Armasse. How have you been?"

Perception on the sculptor: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (19) + 8 = 27


F Archon-Blooded (Lawbringer) Inquisitor (Cold Iron Warden) 3| HP 24/24; AC 18 (3 mins) Touch 11, FF 15; | F:+5, R:+2, W+6| Init +4; Perc +9| Darkvision 60ft |Corruption Resistance (Good) 1/1 | Judgement 1/1 |Touch of Good 6/6|Track Teleportation 1/1|Channel Energy, dmg 1d6, 3/4

Standing amidst the Armasse training drills and the handful of young men, both eager and awkward to impress; the chilly air running across the scarlet scar 'neath her left eye brought back memories of her own youthful trials - of the wooden practice sword and the sword-priests of Sancta Iomedaea. She had lost her parents and a righteous anger burned inside her. I did not lack focus like these young men and their persistent gaping. May the Lady of Valor's light give them true direction. She watched as Fourth Sword Knight Loskar Truesteel accepted the trainees' lack of focus with a practiced, patient exasperation. The dwarven cleric was giving steady, explicit instruction and Elyda watched as the civilians attempted each movement/maneuver. If the young men fumbled, she provided further guidance and strategies that could be useful in the weaker aspects of their techniques. The young inquisitor still had much to learn as a swordsman, yet the training drills allowed her a chance to improve her own skill while instilling some of her own training to those with little or none. When one of the less attentive civilians dropped to his knees after a telling blow to the stomach, Elyda was given leave to go and explore the stalls and enjoy the general festivities. The Sword-Knight will do better without my presence to draw focus away from the training. Best I go and leave him to his duty. "I wish you well with these trainees. Blessed Armasse," Elyda acquiesced; nodding with a small smile before respectfully inclining her head toward the young cleric before turning and moving away in steady strides.

At the foot of the Cathedral she spied the frowning Lord Hulrun Shappok and Second Sword Knight Eterrrius Sunnestier attempting to placate him. She wondered at the reason for the ruler's present troubled demeanor.

Perception (DC 20): 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (18) + 7 = 25

Moving further into the stalls, something caught her eye and Elyda frowned as she watched a young Tiefling artisan secretly selling an explicit stone statue to a patron. Neither the nature of the sculpture nor the quiet transaction was considered outside the general law; yet, there would be severe ramifications for a person of her race and the heretical nature of her artworks if discovered by Lord Hulrun. It was then Elyda spied another Tiefling female approaching the stall; stopping to quietly speak with the sculptor. I recognise her - Merixia, the cleric. The frown grew a little deeper as she wondered at their interaction. Elyda moved closer to the stall in question, only to see Merixia heading away toward another person in the crowd. Returning to the situation at hand, Elyda did have a duty to report the Tiefling artisan for her covert business, yet the woman had not broken any fixed laws. A quiet warning, at the very least, was certainly warranted. Looking unblinkingly at the seller; bending her head forward so she could make her quiet words impactful and just for the ears of the Tiefling, Elyda spoke in the common tongue for it would be most disrespectful to speak the tongue of the Abyss on such a day, "Greetings. Remain calm and listen without challenge. If you persist in selling such heretical wares on this holy day, Lord Hulrun will discover your secret trade and you will incur the highest penalty in this land. No amount of coin means more than a life. Desist immediately and carry on with more palatable trade and you will not see trouble from me nor any other lawkeeper this day. Are we in agreement?" Elyda kept her voice low, steady, yet purposeful with meaning to make her point and incur no rebuff nor trouble. The young inquisitor gave a small smile as she lifted a smaller, ubiquitous stone statue to give the impression she was merely browsing the sculptor's wares if there was any unwanted, keen eyes on her/them.

Intimidate to steadily drive the point home: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (14) + 8 = 22


M Aasimar (emberkin) Arcanist 2. HP 14/16. AC 16/FF 14/T12. Perc. +1. Init +2. Saves: F +2, R+2, W +4. CMB +0 , CMD 12. Spells: level 1 0/4. Reservoir: 0/5. Conditions: None.

Elliot was still glacing through the artworks when he noticed Verene approach, who nodded at him silently.

He nodded back.

...

As usual, he had no idea what to say.

He'd known of her earlier, even spoke on occasion. There weren't that many places arcanists of any given nature could go to for instruction and guidance, after all. But back then, they were just fellow students.

Now, she turned out to be his actual sister - the one he'd been seperated from just after birth.

Should have been a joyous reunion! Right? Though... in reality, he wasn't sure how to act. Where was she when he needed her in his early years? When the townsfolk and witchhunters were after him and it had gotten to where it seemed nowhere was safe?

Fact was she was a stranger; he considered Lyra his real sister. Verene and him didn't even remotely look alike! True, that was probably his fault, but still...

It was complicated.

He decided to try adding a polite small smile and hopes it suffices, then turns as he suddenly hears abyssal next to him.

"'The lovers?'" He repeats in common, somewhat confused by the message. ""Huh. I wasn't aware the inquisition was celebate! Though that does explain a lot."

He grins as he sees the other Tiefling. "Hello there, Lady Merixia! Great to see you again, and happy Armasse to you as well." He idly grips the collar of his thick duster to needlessly readjust it as his mind scrabled to remember how to properly greet a follower of Ragathiel. From their earlier meeting, he knew she was friendly and seemed to like being adressed as the warrior she definitely was.

...Except he couldn't really claim to be an expert on the empyrial lord or his greeting... Something with eyes and wings...? "Oh, and 'may the General's gaze fall upon you and his wings shield you this day'".

There! Close enough? Hopefully?

he might have said more, if a godsdamned inquisitor hadn't suddenly appeared just three paces away only to begin whispering intently to the shopkeeper they'd just been speaking with. "Speak of the devil!"

Old instincts resurfaced and he already turned half-away to make a break for it. Fortunately, that wasn't needed anymore.

...Wait... "Oh gods, PLEASE don't have her heard what I just said about the order...!"

But he couldn't just run away from both Merixia and Verene like that...

"Um, is the shopkeeper actually in trouble? I thought you might have been joking earlier..." he asks Merixia, keeping a wary gaze on the scene.


Encounter Maps | Geographic Map | Treasures | Important NPCs

Thesius:
The woman nods at the half-elf as he approaches, offering him a brief smile. "Sure, step on up." She waves a hand at him, welcoming him closer. "You don't look like you're here to learn how to fight." She observes mildly, before frowning over his shoulder "Gods, don't those people have anything better to do than harass tieflings?" She gestures at the tiefling woman who Thesius had spotted earlier, and the crowd around her. The young woman is beginning to pack her things up.

The tiefling woman looks up at Elliot, her businesslike smile fading as she sees him before she bows her horned head. "Sculptures. Mostly of people or ideals, but a few other things." She shrugs a little. "I don't have many recommendations for gifts, but if you like what you see, please buy something."

Her wares are finely crafted. As she says, they're mostly well-sculpted forms of humanoids, though there's a motif of bats, moons, and stars, as well as a definitely... sensual element to them.

She offers a polite smile to Verene as she arrives, though Merixia's own arrival cuts any greetings she might've offered short. Her brows furrow, and she responds in the tongue of the Abyss just as readily.

Abyssal:
"A bit preachy, aren't you?" The word has connotations of patronizing disregard. "Fine. Thank you." As might be expected of a language of demons, the words come across as more somewhere between "blatantly false" and "empty flattery." It's unlikely she means it that way, but rather is just a function of how Abyssal works.

She smiles apologetically at the siblings before she begins packing up... though not quickly enough to avoid Elyda's attention. Her face twists into a brief, dark scowl, and she shakes her head, muttering something under her breath.

Varisian:
"People like you are why so many of us get pushed into our ancestors' arms... It's always heresy."

Her voice grows quieter and quieter as she continues packing, before she speaks up again. "No, I was just leaving, miss." There's a bitter edge to her voice. "But you should learn that not everything can be controlled, and sometimes trying to do so makes it worse for everyone involved."

She looks back to Merixia. "Thank you for your concern. I hope your god will watch over you in your endeavors."

To Elliot, she gives a courteous nod, and to Verene, an apologetic one.

GM rolls:
1d20 + 5 ⇒ (14) + 5 = 19


F Archon-Blooded (Lawbringer) Inquisitor (Cold Iron Warden) 3| HP 24/24; AC 18 (3 mins) Touch 11, FF 15; | F:+5, R:+2, W+6| Init +4; Perc +9| Darkvision 60ft |Corruption Resistance (Good) 1/1 | Judgement 1/1 |Touch of Good 6/6|Track Teleportation 1/1|Channel Energy, dmg 1d6, 3/4

Perception to overhear/catch the muttered statement: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (13) + 7 = 20 Hopefully this is enough...

Hearing the Tiefling sculptor mutter in Varisian, Elyda's brow rose and she replied in lower voice,

Varisian:
"It is fortunate for you that it was I and not another inquisitor or the Lord Hulrun come to this stall and speak of such matters. If you believe my warning is a matter of control, then you are mistaken. I did not ask you to leave. I merely asked you to be more prudent in your business this day. Make your coin, but do so wisely."

The bitterness underlying the seller's voice was not missed by the young inquisitor. The warning she had given earlier had nothing to do with the woman's race and all the do with keeping her alive in these precarious times. Elyda sighed quietly and pushed a strand of metal-silver hair from her face. The scarlet scar had began to itch for the warmth had spread and tinged her skin even with the cool air around her. Her duty was not always easy or understood by the common person. Elyda merely nodded at the Tiefling seller and moved away. Her temple began to throb from the tension 'neath the skin. There are more important matters at hand, Elyda. Enjoy the festival while you can.

Elliot wrote:

he might have said more, if a godsdamned inquisitor hadn't suddenly appeared just three paces away only to begin whispering intently to the shopkeeper they'd just been speaking with. "Speak of the devil!"

Old instincts resurfaced and he already turned half-away to make a break for it. Fortunately, that wasn't needed anymore.

...Wait... "Oh gods, PLEASE don't have her heard what I just said about the order...!"

But he couldn't just run away from both Merixia and Verene like that...

Perception to notice the flame-haired Elliot: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (13) + 7 = 20

Her mind recalled a description of a male who was under the watch of the local inquisition. The man who stood not far from her seemed to match the description and she moved purposefully through the crowd toward him. Merixia was standing near him as was another unfamiliar female.


Male | Half-Elf | Archaeologist Bard 5/Trickster 1 | HP 48/48 | AC 18 T 12 FF 16; Uncanny Dodge | Fort +2, Ref +9, Will +6; +2 vs. enchantments | Init. +4 | Perception +17 | Low-Light Vision | Archaeologist's Luck 8/12 left, Lore Master 0/1, Mythic Power 4/5 | Spells 1st - 4/5 2nd - 2/3 | Current buffs: Alter Self (Half-Orc), Heightened Awareness, Heroism

Thesius gives a smile and a nod of thanks as he steps over to the opposite side of the brazier. His hands coming up to appreciate the protective warmth of the fire. "Indeed. While the martial arts are of course useful, I'm here more for the stories and what information I might glean from the attendees. And of course..." he replies before his attention is drawn to the focus of her ire.

He takes a moment to observe the current scene...

Taking 10 on Knowledge (local) and Knowledge (planes) for a 17 to identify the ancestries.

...before responding further. "It seems odd that such a gathering would form even here in a place like Kenabres. Might this be some divine play being acted out before us? I do wonder what Verene has found her way into. It's not everyday you see two blessed by the heavenly right next to two damned by the abyss."


Encounter Maps | Geographic Map | Treasures | Important NPCs

The tiefling woman stares sharply at Elyda, before her scowl deepens. "Goodbye." She says firmly, picking up the last of her wares and beginning to fold the blanket that had covered the stall away.

Meanwhile, Thesius' words seem to pass by the human woman without much of an impact. "What? Oh, yes, sorry. You're right. That is an odd assortment of people. I've got to go investigate - duty calls and all that. Feel free to come along if you'd like."

With that, she comes to the stall, her eyes narrow. "Anevia Tirablade, of the Eagle Watch. What exactly is going on here?"

Knowledge (local) DC 15 or Knowledge (nobility) DC 17 - The Eagle Watch:
The Eagle Watch is a knightly order devoted to Iomedae. Mostly made up of paladins, there are a few others involved as well. It seems likely that Anevia is one of the latter.

"No, nothing. Just a misunderstanding." The sculptor takes up the last of her possessions and makes a hasty exit.

Anevia looks from one face to the next, eyebrows arched.


NG F Human Wizard (Diviner) 6 | Archmageᴹ 1 | HP 40/40 | AC 20 (T 12, FF 18) | Prescience 8/8 | Mythic Power 3/5 | CMD 14 | Fort +5 Ref +6 Will +8 | Init +9 (and Forewarned) | Perc +9 (+14 Thamyris) | Conditions: mage armor 1hr, shield 1min | Thamyris: HP 20/20; AC 19 (T 16, FF 17) | Conditions: merge with familiar 6h

Verene folds her hands in her sleeves and observes as first another tiefling with a religious device on her shield, then an Iomedaean aasimar, approach and between them scare the sculptor into packing up and moving on. Her lips thin.
Knowledge: Religion, to recognize Ragathiel's holy symbol?: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (8) + 8 = 16 Pr...obably not?

Between the inquisitor's first and second exchange with the artisan, she says to Elliot, as though simply making an observation, "By spreading their own fear and mistrust to others, sometimes crusaders do the Abyss's work for it." The tiefling sculptor and perhaps Merixia could probably hear this; Elyda might or might not, since it seems she's approached from the other side of the stall or something. Verene returns the tiefling's apologetic nod as she leaves with a sympathetic look and a shrug.

They haven't spoken in depth about Elliot's past troubles with Hulrun's inquisitors, but she was saddened to learn of even the broad strokes. While it might be better to grow up with parents and a home than in an orphanage with only a sister, everything about the choice to separate them just seems... unfeeling. And he's so young compared to her, so bright and optimistic, that it's easiest to think of him as a colleague with whom she happens to share an interesting historical footnote, rather than family. Even so, his fear of the inquisitor is obvious, as is the fact that she has shifted her focus to him. Verene makes a decision.

She steps forward, nominally to answer the knight of the Eagle Watch, which also has the effect of putting herself between Elliot and the approaching aasimar. "Truly just a misunderstanding, I hope, lady knight. Mostly about the difference between a friendly warning and a threat." She looks coolly at the inquisitor, though she does not say whose misunderstanding, exactly, it was.

Knowledge: Local, The Eagle Watch (DC 15): 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (9) + 9 = 18


M Aasimar (emberkin) Arcanist 2. HP 14/16. AC 16/FF 14/T12. Perc. +1. Init +2. Saves: F +2, R+2, W +4. CMB +0 , CMD 12. Spells: level 1 0/4. Reservoir: 0/5. Conditions: None.

Slightly before...

Verene Tanaquil wrote:
"By spreading their own fear and mistrust to others, sometimes crusaders do the Abyss's work for it."

Elliot blinks and quickly looks to Verene to his other side, wide-eyed. "Even if you're right, they don't want to hear that, or be reminded of it!" he whispers, quickly but urgently.

Now...

Verene Tanaquil wrote:
She steps forward, nominally to answer the knight of the Eagle Watch, which also has the effect of putting herself between Elliot and the approaching aasimar. "Truly just a misunderstanding, I hope, lady knight. Mostly about the difference between a friendly warning and a threat." She looks coolly at the inquisitor, though she does not say whose misunderstanding, exactly, it was.

Sensing an altercation about to take place, one which probably wouldn't end in their favor, Elliot snaps out of his indicision and quickly steps out from behind his elder sister. "W-wait a moment, I don't know what exactly's going on here, but, uh, why don't we all calm down about whatever it is and be friends here? It's Armasse! We're supposed to celebrate it together!" he says, clearly uncomfortable about facing Elyda and definitely forced on the cheerful side. "Not sow discord between us like the demons out there would want, right?"

"Gods that sounded corny as all hell... but if it keeps her out of jail..."


Encounter Maps | Geographic Map | Treasures | Important NPCs

Ragathiel's holy symbol would be a DC 20 check.

Anevia raises her hand. "Alright, you two, calm down. First off, I'm not a knight. That'd be my wife. I just help the Eagle Watch with some things. Second, what exactly happened here?" Her eyes narrow.


Male | Half-Elf | Archaeologist Bard 5/Trickster 1 | HP 48/48 | AC 18 T 12 FF 16; Uncanny Dodge | Fort +2, Ref +9, Will +6; +2 vs. enchantments | Init. +4 | Perception +17 | Low-Light Vision | Archaeologist's Luck 8/12 left, Lore Master 0/1, Mythic Power 4/5 | Spells 1st - 4/5 2nd - 2/3 | Current buffs: Alter Self (Half-Orc), Heightened Awareness, Heroism

Thesius turns back to regard the woman he was sharing the brazier with as she responds. A look of intrigue coming over his face as she states duty calls. "Ah yes, I think I will do just that. I must say the whole situation has my attention," he says as he falls in line a bit behind her. She was on the move a bit before he realized what was happening.

Knowledge (Local): 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (17) + 7 = 24

As they neared the stall, Thesius would recognize the name of the knightly order. He started to wonder if Avena might be even more than he realized before it became clear that she did not seem to be a paladin.

Not wanting to make the conversation worse, Thesius takes up a position slightly behind Avena and stands up on his toes to give Verene a supportive smile.


F Archon-Blooded (Lawbringer) Inquisitor (Cold Iron Warden) 3| HP 24/24; AC 18 (3 mins) Touch 11, FF 15; | F:+5, R:+2, W+6| Init +4; Perc +9| Darkvision 60ft |Corruption Resistance (Good) 1/1 | Judgement 1/1 |Touch of Good 6/6|Track Teleportation 1/1|Channel Energy, dmg 1d6, 3/4

The pressure tightened behind her temple as her quiet word of warning to the sculptor had garnered attention from a handful of citizens. She had caught just enough of the human woman's words regarding spreading fear and mistrust and then the other woman claiming to be part of the Eagle watch seemingly eager to know what had transpired. If I speak the entire truth, then the Watch will involve itself and the incident will be reported to Hulrun. Elyda inwardly sighed. A firm caution was all it was. The young inquisitor did not address the human woman's words regarding her intent. Fourth Sword Knight Loskar had said to go and enjoy the festival and so far it was proving not so enjoyable. I wish I had Loskar's patience and manner...

Verene wrote:

"Truly just a misunderstanding, I hope, lady knight. Mostly about the difference between a friendly warning and a threat." She looks coolly at the inquisitor, though she does not say whose misunderstanding, exactly, it was.

The unfamiliar woman was not even subtle in her disapproval. Elyda eyed her with detachment, even though her scar began to itch anew. If she would have taken the time to ask, then any misunderstanding could be avoided...

Elliot wrote:

"W-wait a moment, I don't know what exactly's going on here, but, uh, why don't we all calm down about whatever it is and be friends here? It's Armasse! We're supposed to celebrate it together!" he says, clearly uncomfortable about facing Elyda and definitely forced on the cheerful side. "Not sow discord between us like the demons out there would want, right?"

The flame-haired aasimar's words drew her attention back to the matter at hand and her eyes fixed unwaveringly on him, contemplating the information she had received about him and silently drawing her own conclusions (in part).

Looking to the wife of the Eagle Watch knight, she addressed her, "Blessed Armasse. I am Elyda Evandros, in the divine service of the Lady of Valor. Apologies, I do not know your name to address you properly. The stall owner did not appreciate my critique on the work on one of her wares. She was unimpressed with my general manner and decided to leave the market. Things like this can happen. My words can be misunderstood. I have no particular issue with the sculptor nor do I wish to prolong the conclusion of the encounter." Elyda gave a small smile as she did not wish to elaborate further to this stranger nor justify her intention.

She looked across to Merixia, "I do hope you are at least enjoying the festival. It is good to see a familiar face among so many strangers."


F Tiefling (Hellspawn) Cleric of Ragathiel 6 / Hierophant 1 | HP 54/54 | AC: 21 (11 tch, 20 ff) | CMB +7, CMD +18 | F +8, R +4, W +11 | Init +1 | Perc +13, SM +17 | Destructive Smite 8/8 | Touch of Good 8/8 | Channel 3d6 3/3 | Pyrotechnics 1/1 | True Strike 1/1 | Protection from Evil 1/1 | Mythic Power 5/5 | Effects: none
Elliot Worthane wrote:

He grins as he sees the other Tiefling. "Hello there, Lady Merixia! Great to see you again, and happy Armasse to you as well." He idly grips the collar of his thick duster to needlessly readjust it as his mind scrambled to remember how to properly greet a follower of Ragathiel. From their earlier meeting, he knew she was friendly and seemed to like being addressed as the warrior she definitely was.

...Except he couldn't really claim to be an expert on the empyrial lord or his greeting... Something with eyes and wings...? "Oh, and 'may the General's gaze fall upon you and his wings shield you this day'".

There! Close enough? Hopefully?

------

But he couldn't just run away from both Merixia and Verene like that...

"Um, is the shopkeeper actually in trouble? I thought you might have been joking earlier..." he asks Merixia, keeping a wary gaze on the scene.

Merixia beams at the aasimar. "You remembered! I appreciate it. It's good to hear my faith's greeting again. I have yet to meet another follower of Ragathiel here. How are you today?"

After the inquisitor delivers her own, much more intimidating warning, Merixia replies to Elliot in a low voice. Given how close they are to the stand, the sculptor can probably hear her. "There's no law against it, but Lord Hulrun and his lackeys don't care about that. Especially when it comes to us tieflings. They'll string you up on a mere suspicion."

Worldwound GM wrote:
She looks back to Merixia. "Thank you for your concern. I hope your god will watch over you in your endeavors."

The cleric sighs and gives her an apologetic look. "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to come across as preachy. It's just that this can be a dangerous place for our kind. I've had the inquisitors breathing down my neck since I got here just for 'walking while tiefling'."

Worldwound GM wrote:
Anevia raises her hand. "Alright, you two, calm down. First off, I'm not a knight. That'd be my wife. I just help the Eagle Watch with some things. Second, what exactly happened here?" Her eyes narrow.

"Just passing on a warning about the local law's attitude toward tieflings. It's not quite as bad as Cheliax here, but not too far off either." Merixia's face remains impassive, but her red-scaled tail lashes back and forth like that of an irritated cat.

Elyda Evandros wrote:
She looked across to Merixia, "I do hope you are at least enjoying the festival. It is good to see a familiar face among so many strangers."

She shrugs and gives the inquisitor a half-smile. "Well, I was enjoying it. I could do with something to eat, maybe there are some food stalls nearby with something tasty."


Encounter Maps | Geographic Map | Treasures | Important NPCs

”I just…” The woman sighs in exasperation. ”I’m not a knight, Elyda, just Anevia. Anevia Tirablade. Can you-“

”Anevia.” A gentle voice interrupts her as an elf with silver hair and eyes steps out from the crowd. Turning her monochromatic gaze to Merixia, then Elyda, Thesius, Verene, and Elliot, she offers them a warm smile. "Please, let me speak."

"You? Who are you?" Anevia asks, bemused.

"These fine individuals were concerned that a young tiefling was selling a sculpture that Hulrun would object to. They did not, despite what it may seem, have any intention of harassing her." The elf woman brushes past the archer, before turning to look at them all.

”It was compassionately done to come to warn that child, though perhaps not wisely enacted.” She says, her attention focused on the group once more. Finally, she adds simply. ”I am Terendelev.”

Terendelev. The champion and protector of Kenabres for at least twenty years now. She who nearly slew the Storm King on his first invasion, and drove him back into the pits of the Worldwound.

Terendelev. A potent sorcerer and mighty warrior in the fight against the demons.

Terendelev, the ancient silver dragon.


Male | Half-Elf | Archaeologist Bard 5/Trickster 1 | HP 48/48 | AC 18 T 12 FF 16; Uncanny Dodge | Fort +2, Ref +9, Will +6; +2 vs. enchantments | Init. +4 | Perception +17 | Low-Light Vision | Archaeologist's Luck 8/12 left, Lore Master 0/1, Mythic Power 4/5 | Spells 1st - 4/5 2nd - 2/3 | Current buffs: Alter Self (Half-Orc), Heightened Awareness, Heroism

Thesius' smile widened as he felt the incident was settling down. It appeared that the commotion was born of good intent, but it was not uncommon for such things to go awry. A notion only further confirmed by the appearance of Terendelev.

Why does that name sound so familiar? he would think to himself for a moment before his eyes widened in recognition. "By the stars..." he would whisper in reference to his chosen deity as he nods in reverence to the mighty protector of Kenabres.

"Warmly met Terendelev. I hope this day finds you well," he would state while trying to compose himself.


F Tiefling (Hellspawn) Cleric of Ragathiel 6 / Hierophant 1 | HP 54/54 | AC: 21 (11 tch, 20 ff) | CMB +7, CMD +18 | F +8, R +4, W +11 | Init +1 | Perc +13, SM +17 | Destructive Smite 8/8 | Touch of Good 8/8 | Channel 3d6 3/3 | Pyrotechnics 1/1 | True Strike 1/1 | Protection from Evil 1/1 | Mythic Power 5/5 | Effects: none

Merixia's eyes widen, and she quickly bows to the dragon with a clink of scale mail. "It's an honor to meet you, Terendelev. I appreciate your intervention." Even though it was delivered with subtle criticism. Well, Merixia has never claimed to be a diplomat. That's one infernal skill that passed her by.


M Aasimar (emberkin) Arcanist 2. HP 14/16. AC 16/FF 14/T12. Perc. +1. Init +2. Saves: F +2, R+2, W +4. CMB +0 , CMD 12. Spells: level 1 0/4. Reservoir: 0/5. Conditions: None.

Before Elyda talked to the Tiefling stall owner...

Merixia wrote:
Merixia beams at the aasimar. "You remembered! I appreciate it. It's good to hear my faith's greeting again. I have yet to meet another follower of Ragathiel here. How are you today?"

Elliot returns the smile, relieved he got it right. "Oh, I'm just fine. Though I can't deny being bit nervous for today's performance. It's Armasse, after all, so everything has to be perfect! We refined the timing for most of the magic effects, especially for the 'drunken' scene, and I *should* be able to angle the colour spray so that it doesn't hit the lead actor this time..."

The ever-burning orange flames surrounding his hair briefly flicker a blue hue as he mentions and no doubt recalls the incident. "I'm glad you found the... 'rehearsal accident' amusing, and the others improvised quite well. But still, even miss Allistraz was a bit upset backstage. In my defense, it was only my second try, that time... Ever had a similar experience?"

Now...

Elliot, shocked at seeing possibly the greatest magician in all of Kenabres join the scene out of nowhere, does his best at a quick, deep and formal bow. "Ah, Lady Terendelev! You honor us with your presence. Will you be teaching the populace to fight today as well?"


NG F Human Wizard (Diviner) 6 | Archmageᴹ 1 | HP 40/40 | AC 20 (T 12, FF 18) | Prescience 8/8 | Mythic Power 3/5 | CMD 14 | Fort +5 Ref +6 Will +8 | Init +9 (and Forewarned) | Perc +9 (+14 Thamyris) | Conditions: mage armor 1hr, shield 1min | Thamyris: HP 20/20; AC 19 (T 16, FF 17) | Conditions: merge with familiar 6h

Verene's eyes light with welcome on seeing Thesius approach behind Anevia, momentarily spoiling the air of calm politesse she meant to project. She stands and listens, hands still folded in her sleeves, to Elliot's attempt at defusing the situation and Elyda's exchange with Anevia Tirablade. Despite not speaking, her bearing relaxes noticeably from its lawyer-prepared-to-defend-someone uprightness when Elyda mentions not wishing to pursue the issue further.

When Terendelev intervenes and introduces herself, Verene just blinks for a moment, stunned. The elf's air of assurance is such that it doesn't even occur to her to wonder if a trick is being played on them. And yet... Great Terendelev, mightiest protector of Kenabres, creature of song and legend... was standing right here? Taking an interest in a mortal squabble over a risqué statue?

Thamyris, who had frozen huddled in place, perhaps due to the force of her emotions down their shared empathic link, dives into her hair to hide. It startles Verene into remembering her manners, and she bows hastily, saying, "Well met, and a joyous holiday to you, honored Terendelev. I am Verene." She asks none of the many questions that spring to her tongue. One does not make conversation with a dragon.


F Archon-Blooded (Lawbringer) Inquisitor (Cold Iron Warden) 3| HP 24/24; AC 18 (3 mins) Touch 11, FF 15; | F:+5, R:+2, W+6| Init +4; Perc +9| Darkvision 60ft |Corruption Resistance (Good) 1/1 | Judgement 1/1 |Touch of Good 6/6|Track Teleportation 1/1|Channel Energy, dmg 1d6, 3/4
Merixia wrote:

She shrugs and gives the inquisitor a half-smile. "Well, I was enjoying it. I could do with something to eat, maybe there are some food stalls nearby with something tasty."

And, there it was, now coming from Merixia - the accusation that she had ruined the general merriment. Elyda suddenly (and momentarily) felt the loss of her friends and companions in Vigil. The young inquisitor merely nodded at Merixia's desire for food.

Anevia wrote:

”I just…” The woman sighs in exasperation. ”I’m not a knight, Elyda, just Anevia. Anevia Tirablade. Can you-“

"It is good to meet you, Mistress Tirablade," she managed to get out before the Elven woman appeared, cutting off Anevia's questioning.

Terendelev wrote:

”It was compassionately done to come to warn that child, though perhaps not wisely enacted.” She says, her attention focused on the group once more. Finally, she adds simply. ”I am Terendelev.”

It appeared everyone was in agreement that she had wronged the Tiefling sculptor with her manner. Perhaps in time I will learn to speak with tact and tender-heartedness. The silver-haired one has spoken the whole truth to Anevia Tirablade.

Elyda roused herself from her inward musing and made a respectful bow toward the Great Terendelev. "Blessed Armasse, and, well met, Terendelev. I am Elyda."


Encounter Maps | Geographic Map | Treasures | Important NPCs

Terendelev's smile remains gentle and warm as the five of them greet her. For her part, Anevia blinks rapidly, her mouth hanging open.

"You all have such promise..." The wyrm muses aloud. "It is good that you are here, now." She turns her attention to each of the group in turn, her silver gaze penetrating, as though she sees all of their secrets. "Blessed Armasse to you all."

Sense Motive DC 18:
Although Terendelev is genuinely pleased with those gathered before her, there's an element to her attitude that resembles an adult looking approvingly at a group of children.

She looks to Elliot. "Ah, I do not have experience fighting with the artificial weapons of your kind, so I cannot teach you much in the ways of direct combat. No, I am here at the request of young Hulrun. He seems concerned that people are not taking the festival seriously enough."

Anevia finally recovers enough to speak. "Uh, it's an honor to speak with you, Terendelev, and thank you for your help, but..."

"It is no trouble. I was simply passing by when I heard the commotion." The silver dragon replies swiftly. "I believe I saw your wife earlier, dragging a priest to a meeting of some sort..."

Anevia scowls, cursing under her breath. "He gave me the slip when I was stopping a pickpocket earlier. The bastard. Do you know where they are now?"

Terendelev shakes her head slightly. "No, I'm afraid not."

The young archer sighs. "I'd best go look for them, then." She looks to each of the others. "Well, I'm sorry to have caused you all some trouble. Hope we can meet again - you seem like decent sorts." With a quick salute, she vanishes into the crowd.

"A worthy young woman." Terendelev says, looking after her, before turning her monochromatic eyes back to the party. "I think that Hulrun wishes to speak to the people soon." She says with a slight smile. "We should make our way towards the Cathedral."


M Aasimar (emberkin) Arcanist 2. HP 14/16. AC 16/FF 14/T12. Perc. +1. Init +2. Saves: F +2, R+2, W +4. CMB +0 , CMD 12. Spells: level 1 0/4. Reservoir: 0/5. Conditions: None.
Worldwound GM wrote:

Terendelev's smile remains gentle and warm as the five of them greet her.

She looks to Elliot. "Ah, I do not have experience fighting with the artificial weapons of your kind, so I cannot teach you much in the ways of direct combat. No, I am here at the request of young Hulrun. He seems concerned that people are not taking the festival seriously enough."

"I think that Hulrun wishes to speak to the people soon." She says with a slight smile. "We should make our way towards the Cathedral."

"Ah, bummer... I was hoping she could show us some cool magic, but I should have known that'd be way too dangerous to teach to uninstructed citizens at a festival. There probably wouldn't be much of Kenabres left!"

"Well, far be it from me to refuse a direct invitation from our guardian!" Elliot says, his mood much improved and seemingly back to pre-incident level. "Though it is freezing and a bit of warm food to have for the speech doesn't sound bad."

He looks to the side for a moment and grins. "You all go ahead, I'll catch up!"

Trudging off, he stops by a stall where he buys six small pancakes. After receiving them, he runs back to the group and hands them out to those who want them. "They have glace patterns in the form of the popular crusader god symbols. I uh, don't know everyone's preference that well and there's sadly no Ragathiel... but they're tasty! And you can just roll them up and not look if you're so inclined I suppose."


NG F Human Wizard (Diviner) 6 | Archmageᴹ 1 | HP 40/40 | AC 20 (T 12, FF 18) | Prescience 8/8 | Mythic Power 3/5 | CMD 14 | Fort +5 Ref +6 Will +8 | Init +9 (and Forewarned) | Perc +9 (+14 Thamyris) | Conditions: mage armor 1hr, shield 1min | Thamyris: HP 20/20; AC 19 (T 16, FF 17) | Conditions: merge with familiar 6h

Still somewhat shell-shocked, Verene bows her head in acknowledgement of the dragon's blessing. Though she can't help but be flattered at the praise from a hero of her childhood, she tries not to show her confusion. Promise? I thought I had promise, once. Now my life is half over, and what have I to show for it? Worn-out shoes and a few minor tricks.
Sense Motive: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (12) + 3 = 15

She follows the group toward the Cathedral (assuming they go with Terendelev), choosing to walk near Thesius once Elliot splits off. "Hello Thesius. Enjoying the holiday? I have to admit, meeting a dragon is not how I thought today would go when I woke up this morning."

When Elliot returns: "Oh, thank you Elliot! That's very thoughtful of you." Verene takes whatever pancake is left after the others have chosen, without looking at or seeming to care about the symbol. She tries to tempt Thamyris out with a crumb or two, but he remains stubbornly hidden, so she eats the pancake herself. Ragathiel... that must be the crossed wing-and-sword motif worn by... Elliot called her Lady Merixia.


F Tiefling (Hellspawn) Cleric of Ragathiel 6 / Hierophant 1 | HP 54/54 | AC: 21 (11 tch, 20 ff) | CMB +7, CMD +18 | F +8, R +4, W +11 | Init +1 | Perc +13, SM +17 | Destructive Smite 8/8 | Touch of Good 8/8 | Channel 3d6 3/3 | Pyrotechnics 1/1 | True Strike 1/1 | Protection from Evil 1/1 | Mythic Power 5/5 | Effects: none
Worldwound GM wrote:

"I believe I saw your wife earlier, dragging a priest to a meeting of some sort..."

Anevia scowls, cursing under her breath. "He gave me the slip when I was stopping a pickpocket earlier. The bastard. Do you know where they are now?"

Terendelev shakes her head slightly. "No, I'm afraid not."

The young archer sighs. "I'd best go look for them, then." She looks to each of the others. "Well, I'm sorry to have caused you all some trouble. Hope we can meet again - you seem like decent sorts." With a quick salute, she vanishes into the crowd.

"A worthy young woman." Terendelev says, looking after her, before turning her monochromatic eyes back to the party. "I think that Hulrun wishes to speak to the people soon." She says with a slight smile. "We should make our way towards the Cathedral."

Oh, Anevia's wife must be the half-orc paladin Merixia saw earlier! Sometimes Kenabres is a small place. She makes a mental note of that fact just in case she runs into the couple later.

Elliot Worthane wrote:
Trudging off, he stops by a stall where he buys six small pancakes. After receiving them, he runs back to the group and hands them out to those who want them. "They have glace patterns in the form of the popular crusader god symbols. I uh, don't know everyone's preference that well and there's sadly no Ragathiel... but they're tasty! And you can just roll them up and not look if you're so inclined I suppose."

Merixia looks up at the earnest young aasimar with a mixture of disbelief and gratitude. Someone... actually went out of his way to buy her food? After they just chatted after a rehearsal once? Nobody outside her family and mentor does that for her. Ever. "Um... thank you, Elliot. Thank you very much!" Her pancake has a symbol of Iomedae, presumably a popular choice in Kenabres. "Don't worry, very few people even know who Ragathiel is. Comes with the territory of worshiping an empyreal lord, so I'm used to it." She takes a bite of pancake and hums in satisfaction.

Looking around at the motley group, it suddenly hits Merixia that she's neglected to introduce her... are they friends? Elliot might be. Acquaintances? Fellow crusaders? Whatever. Swallowing her bite of pancake, the cleric gestures from Elyda to Elliot. "Where are my manners? Elyda, this is Elliot Worthane, an arcanist and member of a local theater troupe. Elliot, this is Elyda Evandros, an inquisitor of Iomedae- not one of Hulrun's lackeys though!- and a capable swordswoman. We spar together at the temple sometimes." She smiles at the silver-haired aasimar. "She's one of the few people there who never gave me grief or even a side-eye for being a tiefling."


Male | Half-Elf | Archaeologist Bard 5/Trickster 1 | HP 48/48 | AC 18 T 12 FF 16; Uncanny Dodge | Fort +2, Ref +9, Will +6; +2 vs. enchantments | Init. +4 | Perception +17 | Low-Light Vision | Archaeologist's Luck 8/12 left, Lore Master 0/1, Mythic Power 4/5 | Spells 1st - 4/5 2nd - 2/3 | Current buffs: Alter Self (Half-Orc), Heightened Awareness, Heroism

Sense Motive: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (14) + 4 = 18

Thesius bows his head again to Terendelev, noting her demeanor, but playing it off as part of being such a long lived being. "It would be a pleasure to accompany you to the cathedral."

As they start to move, he gives Verene a warm smile as her notes he falling in next to him within the group. "My holiday has been good, if not lacking the excitement that yours seems to have had. That is up until now. Meeting Terendelev is a pleasant surprise, although I fear I will not get the chance to ask her all the questions I have for her. And you? How have you been my friend? The latest translations going well?"

Upon Elliot's return, Thesius would graciously accept a pancake. "Many thanks my friend. I don't know that we have had the pleasure of meeting before. I am Thesius Monteblanc." He would sustain from offering a hand until after Elliot's hands were less burdened with the pancakes.

In the mean time he would note that his pancake also bared the symbol of Iomedae, which was not to be unexpected on such a day. A smile would play upon his lips as he notes the biggest star of all behind her sword. Perhaps not a symbol most people associated with Desna, but it was a star none the less.


F Archon-Blooded (Lawbringer) Inquisitor (Cold Iron Warden) 3| HP 24/24; AC 18 (3 mins) Touch 11, FF 15; | F:+5, R:+2, W+6| Init +4; Perc +9| Darkvision 60ft |Corruption Resistance (Good) 1/1 | Judgement 1/1 |Touch of Good 6/6|Track Teleportation 1/1|Channel Energy, dmg 1d6, 3/4
Terendelev wrote:

"You all have such promise..." The wyrm muses aloud. "It is good that you are here, now." She turns her attention to each of the group in turn, her silver gaze penetrating, as though she sees all of their secrets. "Blessed Armasse to you all."

Sense Motive (DC 18): 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (6) + 10 = 16

To hear the silver dragon speak warmly of their potential made Elyda smile and the weight on her heart lifted a little.

Anevia wrote:

She looks to each of the others. "Well, I'm sorry to have caused you all some trouble. Hope we can meet again - you seem like decent sorts." With a quick salute, she vanishes into the crowd.

"I wish you well in your endeavours, Anevia," Elyda replied quietly and returned the quick salute.

Terendelev wrote:

"I think that Hulrun wishes to speak to the people soon." She says with a slight smile. "We should make our way towards the Cathedral."

Elyda immediately acquiesced and began to follow Terendelev along with the others, wishing not to tarry and curious to hear what Lord Hulrun had to say.

Elliot wrote:

Trudging off, he stops by a stall where he buys six small pancakes. After receiving them, he runs back to the group and hands them out to those who want them. "They have glace patterns in the form of the popular crusader god symbols. I uh, don't know everyone's preference that well and there's sadly no Ragathiel... but they're tasty! And you can just roll them up and not look if you're so inclined I suppose."

Elyda remembered she was hungry as the greater part of the morning was spent training civilians and she had worked up an appetite. She accepted the offered pancake with a polite word of thanks, and noting the symbol of the Lady of Valor, quickly began to eat the tasty morsel.

Merixia wrote:

...the cleric gestures from Elyda to Elliot. "Where are my manners? Elyda, this is Elliot Worthane, an arcanist and member of a local theater troupe. Elliot, this is Elyda Evandros, an inquisitor of Iomedae- not one of Hulrun's lackeys though!- and a capable swordswoman. We spar together at the temple sometimes." She smiles at the silver-haired aasimar. "She's one of the few people there who never gave me grief or even a side-eye for being a tiefling."

Elyda smiled warmly at Merixia upon her commendation. "You are a fine sparring partner, Merixia. You've certainly kept me on my toes." Looking over to Elliot, her light blue eyes settled on him for a moment -So it is him, was her only thought before Elyda inclined her head and addressed the aasimar male, "It is good to formally meet you, Elliot Worthane. I have not had the fortune to visit the theatre since my arrival and I look forward to seeing you on stage." Merixia appears to trust (at least, like) this man and she is not one who would do so without reason. Certainly something to consider.


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Encounter Maps | Geographic Map | Treasures | Important NPCs

Terendelev remains silent as they approach the center of the square, and the bells begin to ring out from St. Clydwell's towers, signaling for quiet. Hulrun takes the center stage to officially welcome Armasse into the city.

Clearing his throat, he opens his mouth, and... Bright light erupts from the west, casting a weird and distorted shadow against the cathedral, as though a second sun has risen in the west.

BOOM

A violent tremor rips through the earth, and an explosion shatters the momentary quiet. Turning, the heroes see that a brilliant pillar of crimson flame stands tall in the direction that should hold the Kite, home to Kenabres' damaged wardstone.

Shrieks break out, but in a flash of silver, Terendelev is gone, soaring through the sky towards the explosion. Almost as soon as she does so, an enormous crimson humanoid, three times the size of a human and crackling with fire and lightning, emerges from the fiery pillar. Gripping a burning sword and whip, he rushes at Terendelev with a thunderous roar. The Storm King - Khorramzadeh - has returned to Kenabres.

Then, the Abyss seems to erupt into Clydwell plaza. People begin to panic and scream, dashing this way and that, and the earth cracks, rupturing and unleashing demons into the plaza. A murderous demon covered in red slime disembowels a man nearby, before leaping after the rest of his family. Cackling vulture-demons surge into the sky and swoop down on unfortunate passersby, rending limbs and shearing skulls. Hulrun and the rest of the clerics take up arms and try to save those they can.

Meanwhile, the fight in the skies proper is over almost before it begins, as the balor slashes deep into Terendelev's form, and she is sent spiraling towards the crowd, with him close on her tail, his whip cracking down into the chaotic plaza. The champion of Kenabres smashes into the facade of the Cathedral, sending stonework flying.

Even as the enormous edifice shatters beneath the weight of Terendelev and Khorramzadeh both, another rift tears through the ground on the far side of the plaza, and an incomprehensibly large demon bursts into Golarion, tearing open a hole beneath the feet of the five. Terendelev, even in her distress, takes note just as they begin to fall, and chants a spell. The magic embraces them, slowing their fall, and then... battering, bruising darkness.

Pain is the first thing to return, then hearing. In the distance, the group hears a sound that is half-sob, half-giggle. It is dark. Totally, completely dark. A soft whimper comes from an area closer to them.

Elyda, Merixia, and Elliot:
When the planestouched open their eyes, they find themselves in a cave. Nearby are Thesius and Verene, but also several others - an elf man with silver hair and a nasty slash across his face, a familiar woman - Anevia - with one leg trapped beneath rubble, and a well-dressed man in his middle years who's holding his face in his hands.

In the pile of rubble, the three also spy a few sparkling objects, but any more attention will have to wait, for, most concerningly, however, there is a creature in the distance - an obscenely large spider, its limbs twitching ever-so-slightly.

Making a DC 15 Perception check gets you this spoiler, too.

Spoiler:
There's something off about how the spider is twitching. Like it's not quite alive...

Welcome to Wrath of the Righteous, everyone.


Male | Half-Elf | Archaeologist Bard 5/Trickster 1 | HP 48/48 | AC 18 T 12 FF 16; Uncanny Dodge | Fort +2, Ref +9, Will +6; +2 vs. enchantments | Init. +4 | Perception +17 | Low-Light Vision | Archaeologist's Luck 8/12 left, Lore Master 0/1, Mythic Power 4/5 | Spells 1st - 4/5 2nd - 2/3 | Current buffs: Alter Self (Half-Orc), Heightened Awareness, Heroism

Thesius starts to take a bite as Hulrun opens his own mouth, but fails to finish it as a loud explosion and sudden light draws his attention to the west. What could it be? Was it a new part of the festivities? A drill? Or worse...? His heart would dip at the thought of the latter which became the prominent choice as Terendelev rushed off to be met by The Storm King.

A piece of pancake forgotten in his mouth, he looks around for somewhere to help. His hand instinctively goes for his bow, but he is not sure where to start. It was as if the abyss has opened up around them and before he knew it, they were falling.

Something quickly arrested their downward acceleration, but Thesius was not in a mindset to note what it was. Panic gripped him as they fell. His heart feeling as if it was beating out of his chest before darkness engulfed him.

Slowly he awoke, not sure of how long it had been, to the pain. He assumed that meant he was alive, but he was not sure how that was possible and the sound of others did not give him too much time to contemplate it.

"Hello? Are you okay?" he would softly ask before continuing on to prompt, "Ward your eyes, I'm going to bring some light up." With that said, he would evoke a cantrip to conjure four lanterns of light around him spaced 5 feet away from him in a cross pattern.

Thesius uses Dancing Lights to give him some insight into their immediate surroundings.


M Aasimar (emberkin) Arcanist 2. HP 14/16. AC 16/FF 14/T12. Perc. +1. Init +2. Saves: F +2, R+2, W +4. CMB +0 , CMD 12. Spells: level 1 0/4. Reservoir: 0/5. Conditions: None.
Thesius Monteblanc wrote:
Upon Elliot's return, Thesius would graciously accept a pancake. "Many thanks my friend. I don't know that we have had the pleasure of meeting before. I am Thesius Monteblanc." He would sustain from offering a hand until after Elliot's hands were less burdened with the pancakes.

"Sure, no problem!" Elliot cheerfully replies to Thesius. "It is a day of celebration, after all. So you know Verene from somewhere? We're, ah..." his gaze shifts to his biological sister and he's again unsure what to feel or say. "...Fellow students of magic here in Kenabres. What brings you to this city, Thesius?"

Merixia wrote:
"Um... thank you, Elliot. Thank you very much!" Her pancake has a symbol of Iomedae, presumably a popular choice in Kenabres. "Don't worry, very few people even know who Ragathiel is. Comes with the territory of worshiping an empyreal lord, so I'm used to it." She takes a bite of pancake and hums in satisfaction.

"Yeah, I can imagine. I'm sure they appreciate your help still," Elliot responds, taking a nice sweet bite of his own Sarenrae pancake. "No need to be so thankful, by the way. After all, it's a day of celebration, and I feel like celebrating!"

"If only because I survived Miss Alliz's constant changes to the script..." he then mutters to himself as he briefly sighs a pained one.

Merixia wrote:
"Where are my manners? Elliot, this is Elyda Evandros, an inquisitor of Iomedae- not one of Hulrun's lackeys though!- and a capable swordswoman. We spar together at the temple sometimes." She smiles at the silver-haired aasimar. "She's one of the few people there who never gave me grief or even a side-eye for being a tiefling."

The aasimar's golden eyes widen slightly as he stops his eating motion looks at the inquisitor a second time. He inclines his head in a left and right alteration during Merixia's commendation and the perpetual small smoke trail that rises from his firehair copies the notion, briefly forming what looks like a question mark that rises higher and higher into the air before dissipating.

Elyda wrote:
"You are a fine sparring partner, Merixia. You've certainly kept me on my toes." Looking over to Elliot, her light blue eyes settled on him for a moment -So it is him, was her only thought before Elyda inclined her head and addressed the aasimar male, "It is good to formally meet you, Elliot Worthane. I have not had the fortune to visit the theatre since my arrival and I look forward to seeing you on stage."

"...Right." He says, slowly and somewhat lamely. "Uh, I mean, yes! Likewise. You do seem similarly... physically impressive, and why wouldn't you be sparring partners? You're, uh, of course welcome to come check out a performance once! Though... with me being a novice in charge mostly of the visual magical effects, I'll be off-screen for the majority of it. You'd get to see plenty of my sister though."

..."Too much if you ask me." he adds, slightly distracted and deciding it best not to ask what rumors were still circulating about him to make her know of him beforehand.


Encounter Maps | Geographic Map | Treasures | Important NPCs

The festival portion's over, so I'm going to nix the earlier chatter, even in spoilers. Accursed demons, ruining good character moments.

When Thesius' spell lights the area, he and Verene are able to see what the others have seen - three people - a human man in his middle years who is the source of the sob-giggles, Anevia Tirablade, one of whose legs is trapped beneath the rubble, and an elf with silver hair and terrible wounds on his eyes and face.

Shimmering on the ground nearby to Thesius, there are four silver scales, but of greater concern is the giant spider twitching unnaturally, deeper into the cavern that the five have found themselves in.

Verene:
The sobbing man is Horgus, who had so rudely pushed past her earlier.

Elliot:
The elf is his teacher! Aruvashnial. He doesn't look well, to say the least.

The elf speaks up. "Well, what are you waiting for? Create some lights." His voice is raw, pained.

"No... no, you won't see... but I do. I see him seeing me back..." The human man mutters to himself.


M Aasimar (emberkin) Arcanist 2. HP 14/16. AC 16/FF 14/T12. Perc. +1. Init +2. Saves: F +2, R+2, W +4. CMB +0 , CMD 12. Spells: level 1 0/4. Reservoir: 0/5. Conditions: None.

Aw... the city got destroyed in the time i was busy writing :'( Cursed demons indeed! I'll react later.


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F Archon-Blooded (Lawbringer) Inquisitor (Cold Iron Warden) 3| HP 24/24; AC 18 (3 mins) Touch 11, FF 15; | F:+5, R:+2, W+6| Init +4; Perc +9| Darkvision 60ft |Corruption Resistance (Good) 1/1 | Judgement 1/1 |Touch of Good 6/6|Track Teleportation 1/1|Channel Energy, dmg 1d6, 3/4

Elyda felt the bruising pain. They had fallen ... Terendelev had fallen. There was profound silence, then there was the ringing - St Clydwell's bells were still ringing... but no. I'm disoriented. Her hearing was returning, for she could make out sounds around her and the people present. Her eyes grew accustomed to the darkness and noted the cave and the injured among them. And, some sparkling objects on the ground.

Perception (DC 15): 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (17) + 7 = 24

Lights broke through the darkness - she had heard Thesius' voice and some of the others spoke. Elyda moved swiftly to her feet (or as swiftly as she could having fallen into some sort of cave). She drew her sword, fixing into a steady stance and quietly warned the others, "Deeper in the cavern is a monstrously large spider with twitching limbs that move ever-so-slightly. Strange movements - like it's not quite alive. Merixia, we must defend..." Elyda drew her cold iron longsword and levelled the blade toward the spider in case it moved closer to the group. For now she keenly observed it - attempting to identify it and gauge its abilities and weaknesses. It was useful to know what manner of creature one was up against before rushing in recklessly and putting the others at risk.

Know. Religion with monster lore re spider: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (9) + 8 = 17
Know. Planes with monster lore re spider: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (11) + 8 = 19

GM, can Elyda gleam anything more about this giant spider as she studies it?

===

It's late, here, and I'm headed to bed. I'll check the boards in my morning. Night!


Encounter Maps | Geographic Map | Treasures | Important NPCs

Elyda:
Well, Elyda's reasonably sure that it isn't demonic in origin, at least. One of her teachers in Lastwall, however, did mention that there were necromancers who, rather than animating dead vertebrates, focused on overlarge vermin with exoskeletons. Such creatures are, as undead, resistant to all but crushing blows, but lack any poisonous bites, or other biological functions of the living creature. They're also rather tougher than the creatures are whilst alive, but that's normal for the undead.

"What's going on?" Anevia manages from her position beneath the rubble. "Er, could someone help me out of here?" She shoves feebly at the rock.


F Archon-Blooded (Lawbringer) Inquisitor (Cold Iron Warden) 3| HP 24/24; AC 18 (3 mins) Touch 11, FF 15; | F:+5, R:+2, W+6| Init +4; Perc +9| Darkvision 60ft |Corruption Resistance (Good) 1/1 | Judgement 1/1 |Touch of Good 6/6|Track Teleportation 1/1|Channel Energy, dmg 1d6, 3/4

Posting this from my phone and then heading to bed. I’ll post more in my morning.

The young inquisitor sharply, yet softly inhaled as she recollected her teachings. Elyda quietly informed the people around her. Not a demon, but one of the undead raised by a necromancer. They’re resistant to all but crushing blows, yet lack a poisonous bite. They’re also tougher than living spiders. Be vigilant.”

Elyda sheathed her long sword and drew her morningstar in preparation for fighting the giant undead vermin.

Keeping her eyes on the undead creature, Elyda moved carefully/steadily back to Anevia trapped in the rubble and bending down, attempted to push/lift away the rocks/debris to free the archer’s leg while still mindful of the threat.


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NG F Human Wizard (Diviner) 6 | Archmageᴹ 1 | HP 40/40 | AC 20 (T 12, FF 18) | Prescience 8/8 | Mythic Power 3/5 | CMD 14 | Fort +5 Ref +6 Will +8 | Init +9 (and Forewarned) | Perc +9 (+14 Thamyris) | Conditions: mage armor 1hr, shield 1min | Thamyris: HP 20/20; AC 19 (T 16, FF 17) | Conditions: merge with familiar 6h

Pain.

Kenabres, Sixteen Years Ago:
"Mama? I had that nightmare again."

"The same one?"

"A little different. The Storm King, and the street splitting open. I think a new demon killed me this time. Bigger than anything. Last time it was a falling stone from the cathedral."

"It's stress, my dear. Your vigil is tomorrow. You should try to get back to sleep."

"Yes. I will. ... But what if it's— I don't know. A vision. Something real."

"I don't know the future, dear heart. No one does for sure, anymore. But I do know that last time, great Terendelev drove that old bat out of here and chased him yelping all the way back to the Pit. I know that she is still here, and the Wardstone is still here, and the Light of the Sword is with us. I know that as of tomorrow, She will have one more brave and true servant standing against him if and when he ever dares show his face here again. I am proud of you, Verene."

"I know, Mama. I love you. I want to serve Her. I just wish I could know if I was doing the right thing."

"You will. When the time comes, I have faith that you will."

Darkness.

It had been years since she last had this nightmare. Not since before coming back to Kenabres. Strange that it would return now. The room is complete darkness. It must still be long before dawn. Why does her head hurt so much? Her whole body is one solid ache.

Someone sobs in the dark and it isn't her. Verene comes fully awake with a gasp, the memory of the past few minutes rushing back. Floating lights pop into being, here and there. They blur as she turns over and stares at them, and the solid-looking mass of rock above them, and considers just not getting up. The nightmare has happened. Nothing she did mattered to it one jot. If she goes back to sleep, it will be more peaceful that way.

In the end it's Thamyris who decides. He struggles out of the cup of her hands, where apparently she had curled her body around him while falling, and hops up to her face, peeping anxiously. He settles in the curve of her neck, preening a strand of her hair as he does sometimes for comfort. When she doesn't respond, he pecks her ear.

"Ow," she grumbles. Her voice is rusty. Carefully, she picks Thamyris up again and checks him for major injury, then herself. She sits up, narrowly avoiding braining herself on a spar of rock, and looks around. People, most of whom she knows, most of whom seem unharmed. How? Terendelev— She shoves the thought away. There are people right here, right now, who need help.

"Thesius, was that light you? Thank you," she calls softly. "Are you all right, my friend? Elliot? Lady Merixia?"

Closest to her is the source of the sob. Lord Horgus Gwerm certainly sounds worse for wear, although he's not in as obvious immediate distress as Anevia Tirablade or the elf. She hopes his mind hasn't cracked. Verene moves carefully on her hands and knees toward him, trying not to attract the attention of the enormous, twitching, many-legged thing still half-hidden in shadow. Please let it be dying or dead. Please let it be dying or dead. The aasimar who had introduced herself as Elyda, one of Iomedae's servants, already stands vigilant against the spider. Verene reviews her spells and concludes none of them, nor likely her crossbow, will be any help at all against an undead. She would do better to get people ready to run.

"Mistress Tirablade, I think we fell to somewhere beneath the plaza. There is something here with us, but it does not seem to be attacking yet," she replies to Anevia. To Horgus Gwerm she says, "Hello, Lord Horgus. My name is Verene. He can't see you here. Are you injured?" She looks him over for obvious wounds, though hers is not a trained healer's eye.
Perception, maybe?: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (1) + 4 = 5

Although her voice is even, it is the kind of glassy calm that precedes shock, and her eyes are far away.

You were wrong, Mama. I don't know what I'm doing at all.


M Aasimar (emberkin) Arcanist 2. HP 14/16. AC 16/FF 14/T12. Perc. +1. Init +2. Saves: F +2, R+2, W +4. CMB +0 , CMD 12. Spells: level 1 0/4. Reservoir: 0/5. Conditions: None.

Elliot, face-down on the floor, seems to rouse at the mention of his name by Verene. Very slowly, grimacing from both the disorientation and the fall, he pushes himself up on his knees and rises.

Once standing again, there were probably much more important things to do first, things he could have been helpful with, other team members to check on...

Instead, he stares blankly at the ceiling of this dark cave. "My parents and sister are up there..." he whispers, then looks around in a fit of panic for a way back up, breathing heavily.

What he finds instead is his teacher, and he rushes there. "Master! oh, thank the gods you're here! Can you take us back to..."

He stops when he reaches Aravashnial and sees the gruesome wounds on the elf's face. "...Master? What are you talking about...? The lights are on; You can see them, can't you...?"

Faced with the wounds on his teacher's face on one hand and just then noticing Elyda facing the spider, he stops in place, unsure what to do.


F Tiefling (Hellspawn) Cleric of Ragathiel 6 / Hierophant 1 | HP 54/54 | AC: 21 (11 tch, 20 ff) | CMB +7, CMD +18 | F +8, R +4, W +11 | Init +1 | Perc +13, SM +17 | Destructive Smite 8/8 | Touch of Good 8/8 | Channel 3d6 3/3 | Pyrotechnics 1/1 | True Strike 1/1 | Protection from Evil 1/1 | Mythic Power 5/5 | Effects: none

Awareness returns to Merixia gradually, along with a headache. She groans, finding herself lying face down on what feels like a pile of jagged rocks. The tiefling gets to her feet, armor jingling, and rubs her head. ”Ragathiel’s wings, what hap- Spider!” Fastening her buckler onto her shield arm, she draws her sword.

When Elyda tells the group about the giant undead spider, Merixia grimaces. ”I don’t have a blunt weapon. Hopefully I can hit hard enough to get through its defenses anyway.” She waits while Elyda frees Anevia, eyes on the spider. If it moves toward any of the people down here, she’s prepared to attack.

Perception: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (2) + 8 = 10


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Encounter Maps | Geographic Map | Treasures | Important NPCs

”Thank you” Anevia’s voice is soft, but her pained cough that follows echoes through the chamber. She slowly forces herself to sit upright, her expression tight with agony.

”What light? I still can’t see a thing.” The elf’s voice cracks with pain. A moment later he touches his face, stops, and shudders. He takes a deep breath, his expression brightening ever-so-slightly at Elliot’s words. ”Ah, good, Elliot. You’re here. Could you tell me where we are, and what exactly is happening?

Horgus looks up from his hands at Verene, his eyes wild. There is something horribly, malignantly wrong about him, that hadn’t been there when she’d met him before. He giggles again. [b]”No, I saw his Untruth, and it saw me seeing it. How can it be so wrong?”

The man’s laughter grows louder, edged with malice. ”No, not wounded outside. Only within. But who hurts more? Those broken without or within?” He stumbles back against the wall, his chest heaving, appearing for all the world as a distressed victim but for a brief flash in his eyes. ”You think yourself free of him, here? No, he is still here, watching. I am in his eyes, now and forever.” His laughter collapses into tears once more. ”But, don’t you see? He’s in mine, too.” The laugh-weeping continues.

Verene:
Despite her lack of training, Verene feels distinctly uneasy about whoever it is that lurks in Horgus’ skin now. He doesn’t seem injured - if anything, he’s more likely to injure someone else… wait, where did that thought come from? That isn’t likely at all.

”Calm down!” The elf hisses waspishly, before turning his scarred face in the direction of Elyda's voice. ”A necromancer… that’s odd, Zura and Kabriri aren’t associated with the Worldwound, and most other demons don’t bother with the undead…”

Sense Motive DC 11:
The wizard is focusing on what he knows and can control to distract himself from what has happened.

Knowledge (planes) DC 20 - Zura and Kabriri:
Zura is a demon lord known as the Vampire Queen, an ancient being from before the Earthfall. As Aravashnial says, she and her cultists are among most likely of the demon lords to associate with the undead.

Kabriri, Him Who Gnaws, is the demon lord of ghouls, graves, and the secrets of the dead. Like Zura, his cultists often raise the dead as servants to their causes.

However, neither of them are associated with the Worldwound, so… what’s going on here?

The spider continues to twitch, but doesn’t make any moves towards the group.

Anevia tries standing, only to wail in pain and collapse onto her side when she puts weight on her injured leg. "Godsdammit!" She manages between harsh breaths. "I'm not gonna be able to walk like this."

Heal DC 15:
One could make a splint to ensure she can at least somewhat use her leg. She might also need a crutch. Alternately, with enough magical healing, she might be able to walk with just a crutch. Fully healing her would take a great deal of time, or significant magical might, neither of which seems available at the moment.

Aravashnial speaks, his voice is twisted with pain. "Does anyone have the ability to heal the wounds of myself and Miss Tirablade? And who here has any skill or experience in fighting monsters?"


NG F Human Wizard (Diviner) 6 | Archmageᴹ 1 | HP 40/40 | AC 20 (T 12, FF 18) | Prescience 8/8 | Mythic Power 3/5 | CMD 14 | Fort +5 Ref +6 Will +8 | Init +9 (and Forewarned) | Perc +9 (+14 Thamyris) | Conditions: mage armor 1hr, shield 1min | Thamyris: HP 20/20; AC 19 (T 16, FF 17) | Conditions: merge with familiar 6h

So his mind has cracked, or worse, he is possessed. Even this thought is calm, and her face does not change from mild concern. It would be useful to know which.

Verene stands up, but does not approach Horgus more closely or make any sudden movements. "That sounds hard. You've had a very great shock," she says kindly. "Lord Horgus, if you can understand me, please know I mean you no harm. I will help you, if I can."

She mutters a word and passes a hand over her eyes.
Casting detect fiendish presence.

Verene gives Aravashnial only half her attention. While blinded, he at least seems mentally sharp.
Sense Motive, Aravashnial (DC 11): 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (4) + 3 = 7
Knowledge: Planes, Zura and Kabriri (DC 20): 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (11) + 8 = 19


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F Archon-Blooded (Lawbringer) Inquisitor (Cold Iron Warden) 3| HP 24/24; AC 18 (3 mins) Touch 11, FF 15; | F:+5, R:+2, W+6| Init +4; Perc +9| Darkvision 60ft |Corruption Resistance (Good) 1/1 | Judgement 1/1 |Touch of Good 6/6|Track Teleportation 1/1|Channel Energy, dmg 1d6, 3/4
Quote:

”Calm down!” The elf hisses waspishly, before turning his scarred face in the direction of Elyda's voice. ”A necromancer… that’s odd, Zura and Kabriri aren’t associated with the Worldwound, and most other demons don’t bother with the undead…”

Sense Motive (DC 11): 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (10) + 10 = 20

Know. Planes re Zura & Kabriri (DC 20): 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (5) + 8 = 13

It was good that the wizard was keenly focusing on what knowledge he possessed to distract himself from the misfortune that had befallen them and the city. She tried to recollect any knowledge she had learned of Zura and Kabiri - yet she was coming up with nothing.

Anevia wrote:

The spider continues to twitch, but doesn’t make any moves towards the group.

Anevia tries standing, only to wail in pain and collapse onto her side when she puts weight on her injured leg. "Godsdammit!" She manages between harsh breaths. "I'm not gonna be able to walk like this."

The undead spider continued twitching, yet had moved any closer, so she glanced at Merixia fixed on it and ready to defend. She directly her voice steadily and quietly, least she agitated the spider into movement/action, "Merixia, the fell creature has not moved for now. I will continue to be vigilant and ready, if you can spare your healing talents to Anevia's leg. I am not skilled in the healing arts. It would be good to have more fighters standing and able to fight whatever we may encounter in this cavern."

Aravashnial wrote:

"Does anyone have the ability to heal the wounds of myself and Miss Tirablade? And who here has any skill or experience in fighting monsters?"

"My talent lies more with fighting monsters, sir. I will do whatever I can to protect the people in this cavern," the young inquisitor answered steadily to assure the elf.

With morningstar in hand, Elyda continued to watch the undead spider for any sign of movement or attack.

Perception to watch spider's actions: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (19) + 7 = 26

She then stepped forward to give Merixia room to attend to Anevia, for Aravashnial was closer to her and Elliot.

Elyda began to draw on the divine magics at her disposal and cast Detect Magic on the giant spider - wishing to spy any magical auras surrounding the creature, the number and strength and location. After she cast, she drew the buckler from her back and held it in her other hand; never turning her gaze from the spider.


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Male | Half-Elf | Archaeologist Bard 5/Trickster 1 | HP 48/48 | AC 18 T 12 FF 16; Uncanny Dodge | Fort +2, Ref +9, Will +6; +2 vs. enchantments | Init. +4 | Perception +17 | Low-Light Vision | Archaeologist's Luck 8/12 left, Lore Master 0/1, Mythic Power 4/5 | Spells 1st - 4/5 2nd - 2/3 | Current buffs: Alter Self (Half-Orc), Heightened Awareness, Heroism

Thesius widens his eyes and blinks a couple of times, working to adjust his eyes to the newly introduced light. His eyes being drawn to the light reflecting off the silvery scales. A reminder of what had befallen up above...

His attention would be drawn back to the present at Elyda's words and he would note the spider in front of them before addressing Verene's questions. "Yes, it was I that brought forth the lights and I seem to be no worse for wear beyond some possible bruising," he replies while slowly standing. He was about to ask her the same, but she seemed focused on other things by that point in time.

Noting Merixia's movements, he would be reminded of his own devices. With a sigh of relief he found his own buckler and weapons still on his person are close by. He would take the moment to put his bow away, pull forth his buckler and strap it to his arm, before drawing his longsword thinking he could at least get some leverage behind it.

"I as well am without a blunt weapon, but I have some training with the sword and some minor healing if we need it."

Sense Motive: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (18) + 4 = 22

Knowledge (Planes): 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (10) + 7 = 17

Thesius takes after the elf's lead by taking a deep breath to calm himself while asking, "Who are Zura and Kabriri?" as he cautiously moves up to stand the line with Elyda.


M Aasimar (emberkin) Arcanist 2. HP 14/16. AC 16/FF 14/T12. Perc. +1. Init +2. Saves: F +2, R+2, W +4. CMB +0 , CMD 12. Spells: level 1 0/4. Reservoir: 0/5. Conditions: None.

sense motive: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (7) + 1 = 8
Planes: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (2) + 10 = 12

Too distracted to properly recall worthwhile information at the moment, Elliot tries to get a better look at his teacher's face as he answers the earlier question. "I... think we fell down through the earth, master. Do you remember? Terendelev was fighting a huge demon in the sky, buildings were crashing down, and a huge rift cut upon the ground. I think Terendelev noticed us fall... but that's all I know."

He approaches the elf from the front, sitting down if necessary, and conjures balls of dancing light only a foot in front of his teacher's face. "Master... can you see anything? Can you tell how many fingers I am raising now?"

It's a trick question. He doesn't raise any fingers at all, so the correct answer would be 'zero'.

heal: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (8) + 1 = 9

To his side, he sees Anevia struggling with her injured leg, but he knew enough about himself to know he knew little about healing. She had to get help from a proper doctor. "Lady- um, 'just Anevia', maybe one of us could support you so you can at least hop along? I would do it, though... I'm afraid my master might need the same assistance."

Slightly more calm now that Verene and Aravashnial seemed to have calmed Horgus down in turn, he turns to look at the spider Merixia, Thesius and Elyda were facing and frowns. "That's strange... according to basic nature theory, animals react to potential danger in three ways: playing dead, fleeing, or fighting. Since we're a large group of people that just fell from the sky right into its domain, it *should* see us as threats. But... this spider isn't doing any of those. Why is it both giving itself away and giving us so much time to prepare fighting it? And.... if it's undead, wouldn't it also just attack right away?" he wonders.

I'll have the final revision of Elliot's stats for the pyromancer build up somewhere over the course of the day. His limited prepared spells are daze, dancing lights, prestidigitation, colour spray and burning hands.


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Verene:
Blessedly, there is no sign of possession or demonic presence. At least, none that Verene’s spell can discern.

”Ah, yes, the prying gaze… you know it well, don’t you?” He looks at Aravashnial. ”Just as he does. Do you see delusions of your own making, too?” There’s a surprising amount of venom in his voice.

The elf’s breath hisses, his cheeks flushed with pain. ”Gwerm, whatever difficulties we’ve had in the past are not important now.”

The nobleman’s only response is to laugh again.

Elyda’s watch on the creature continues unabated, and she moves forwards to keep a closer eye on it. It… doesn’t seem to be moving, other than the occasional twitch, as it has been since she first laid eyes on it.

Elyda:
Then she hears it - a faint noise coming from the direction of the spider. It takes the aasimar a moment to identify the sound, but then she puts her finger on it - it’s chewing.

Aravashnial turns in Thesius’ direction. ”Demon lords.” He says distractedly. ”If one of us is keeping an eye on the undead, could the rest of you gather and tell me who you all are, what your experiences fighting are, and so on?”

Anevia sits up with a grimace of pain, but remains quiet, her breath coming in short gasps.

At Elliot’s words, the elf wizard half-turns to him. ”Terendelev?”

”Dead.” Anevia shudders. ”I don’t think she survived. How she had so much trouble this time when last time she soundly defeated him I don’t know.”

Aravashnial takes another breath. ”No, I cannot see, Elliot. I will need you to serve as my eyes for now.” He grips the young man’s shoulder.

Knowledge (arcana) DC 15 - Terendelev & Khorramzadeh:
It is odd. Dragons do not grow weaker as they age - they grow stronger. Admittedly, twenty years isn’t very much by dragon standards, but still…

Knowledge (planes) DC 15 - Terendelev & Khorramzadeh:
That is distinctly wrong. Demons don’t grow that strong in that short amount of time, especially not balors, who are already among the mightiest of demonkind. If the Storm King had been so soundly defeated before, he should not have been able to so easily defeat Terendelev.

Anevia grunts at Eliot’s words. ”I’d appreciate it.”

Horgus, meanwhile, has fallen mostly silent, staring off into the distance.


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F Tiefling (Hellspawn) Cleric of Ragathiel 6 / Hierophant 1 | HP 54/54 | AC: 21 (11 tch, 20 ff) | CMB +7, CMD +18 | F +8, R +4, W +11 | Init +1 | Perc +13, SM +17 | Destructive Smite 8/8 | Touch of Good 8/8 | Channel 3d6 3/3 | Pyrotechnics 1/1 | True Strike 1/1 | Protection from Evil 1/1 | Mythic Power 5/5 | Effects: none

Merixia turns around as she hears Anevia's wail of pain, sheathing her sword. She missed a wounded person! Two wounded people! Granted, she woke from unconsciousness with a really big spider in her face, but still! Unacceptable. At least it's dark enough that most people won't see her blush of embarrassment. "Thanks, Elyda. Elliot, would you guide your master over to where Anevia is? I'd like to get a look at him as well. And, ah, Verene? You don't have to call me 'lady', Elliot just says that because he's very polite."

As she makes her way over the rubble, the cleric puts her buckler away. "Hello again, Anevia. I'm a cleric, so I'm going to take a look at your leg." She never thought she would be grateful for the number of thieves in the crusaders' camp, everything Merixia owns is on her person somewhere. Including her healer's kit. As she examines the other woman's leg, it's pretty clear that it's broken. "Okay, I need to straighten this out a little before I splint it. This is going to hurt, but painkillers are a bad idea in potentially hostile territory." Before she gets out the bandages, Merixia casts a simple orison on herself, then channels a bit of Ragathiel's power with a whispered prayer.

Using Guidance and Touch of Good.

Heal to properly splint and bandage Anevia's leg, with healer's kit, Guidance, and Touch of Good: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (17) + 11 = 28


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Anevia inhales sharply as Merixia helps to splint her leg, but slowly relaxes, her eyes shut tightly. "Alright, thank you." She casts about briefly, before picking up a piece of wood from the rubble. Using it as a lever, she manages to stand on her own. "Alright. What are we going to do with the spider over there?"

Merixia:
I'm going to make your heal roll for diagnosing the two of them - just to make sure things keep moving.
Heal, Guidance: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (3) + 7 = 10
Though it takes her a bit, Merixia can tell that despite putting on a brave face (er, so to speak), Aravashnial is badly hurt. It wouldn't take much more than a harsh sneeze to knock him out. He's at 2 hp out of 35.

Anevia, by contrast, is badly hurt, but will be able to take a punch, at least. She's still nowhere near healthy. Completely healing her would also let her get around without a splint, but since Merixia's already done that, it might be best to hold off for now. Anevia's at 6 hp, out of 17.

After Elliot guides Aravashnial over, the wizard binds his eyes, covering the horrific burned scars that seared the skin around them, as well as the frankly disturbing empty places where once they had been. "If we're going to do anything, it ought to be those with the most martial experience to go first." He says, his voice still tight.


NG F Human Wizard (Diviner) 6 | Archmageᴹ 1 | HP 40/40 | AC 20 (T 12, FF 18) | Prescience 8/8 | Mythic Power 3/5 | CMD 14 | Fort +5 Ref +6 Will +8 | Init +9 (and Forewarned) | Perc +9 (+14 Thamyris) | Conditions: mage armor 1hr, shield 1min | Thamyris: HP 20/20; AC 19 (T 16, FF 17) | Conditions: merge with familiar 6h

"I see nothing of the Abyss in you," she tells Horgus gently, responding to his words rather than his tone. They demonstrate an encouraging level of awareness of his surroundings and events; anger and aggression are often the outward manifestation of inner fear and despair. "Just a man who has had a very hard day. If you want to talk to me about what happened, or what you saw, I will listen."

If a Diplomacy roll is allowed somewhere in here to get him to be more friendly/cooperative, given that Verene has been chatting to him for a bit, I'll use Prescience first.
Prescience: 1d20 ⇒ 10
Diplomacy: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (4) + 10 = 14
So, Diplomacy 20?

She searches her memory for any recollection of the "past difficulties" that would explain the venom in his voice toward Aravashnial, or indeed herself. He clearly knows and dislikes the elf.
Knowledge: Local (DC 20): 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (6) + 9 = 15

Verene then turns her head to sweep the rest of the cavern briefly, including the spider, before letting go of her concentration on the spell. Taking another round or so to cover the rest of the cavern; if she doesn't sense the presence of evil outsiders or 'the lingering effects caused by their gifts, presence, and spells' in the first round, she'll let it go.

Finally, to Merixia: "I understand. Merixia, then. I also tend toward over-caution with titles, since it's hard to know who holds what rank in the Crusade - or who will take offense if addressed too informally."


NG F Human Wizard (Diviner) 6 | Archmageᴹ 1 | HP 40/40 | AC 20 (T 12, FF 18) | Prescience 8/8 | Mythic Power 3/5 | CMD 14 | Fort +5 Ref +6 Will +8 | Init +9 (and Forewarned) | Perc +9 (+14 Thamyris) | Conditions: mage armor 1hr, shield 1min | Thamyris: HP 20/20; AC 19 (T 16, FF 17) | Conditions: merge with familiar 6h

Knowledge (arcana) DC 15 - Terendelev & Khorramzadeh: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (2) + 8 = 10
Knowledge (planes) DC 15 - Terendelev & Khorramzadeh: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (17) + 8 = 25

Just checking to see what Verene should know for later, since she's not participating in that conversation right now.

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