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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female, Aasimar, Paladin 6, Marshal/Champion 1 | HP 61/61| AC 25 (t17/ff19) | CMD 23 | F +12*, R +12*, W +13 | perception (darkvision 60') +1, sense motive +1 | +7 initiative | panache: 4/4; LoH: 6/6; smite: 2/2; divine bond 1/1; mythic: 5/5 |active effects: --

At first the absence of any partner is a welcome reprieve, but before long Azira finds that--even with the music and wine--the solitude is leaving too much room for the thoughts she was trying to keep at bay.

mother always used to tell any would-be sword knights who had trouble with their footwork to learn to dance... and we all had trouble compared to her... surely there must be a few sword knights here who actually took her advice...

Never the wilting wallflower, when the song ends she grabs another drink and invites the nearest person (regardless of gender) who looks like they might be a sword knight to dance. She chooses a different partner for each song, until she runs out of candidates or one proves bold enough to ask for another.


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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

Oops, I intended these conversations to be happening at different places and times, but I didn't mark them as separate clearly enough. I'll have to remember to use spoilers next time. Definitely did not mean to grill Merixia in front of Irabeth and Anevia, sorry! Also, Verene intends to spend at least an hour or so with Aravashnial before the party breaks up, so I'll probably note that next time, but don't hold things up for me. Unlike Anevia, Aravashnial hasn't had much to do now that we're here, and she doesn't want him to feel alone or become despondent because of his injury.

Merixia wrote:
"What, like marriage and stuff? Sure, if I could find a man who loves me for who I am, and doesn't think I'll magically settle down and become a housewife the minute I have a ring on my finger. And let's be honest. A tiefling is not exactly what most people imagine when they're dreaming about their future spouse."

"I did not only mean love, marriage or family, although those are important, of course," Verene say to Merixia, almost apologetically. "In fact, I was thinking more about... well, for instance, my mother serves Iomedae, but she and my father are also consummate gardeners, partly because herbs are useful in magical and nonmagical healing, partly to help preserve and pass on the seeds and traditional knowledge brought by the refugees from Sarkoris, and partly just because they enjoy it. That kind of thing."

Elliot, the Red Heron wrote:

"Hm, you'd think that between a fallen angel aasimar and yourself that we'd be pretty daunting to approach. I guess we'll just have to see for ourselves if these crusader folks are really as stubborn as they claim to be. Hey, maybe we should practise our villainous glares while we're at it!"

It is, at best, a smolderingly cute pout.

Verene bites her lips together to hide a smile and makes a very creditable effort at pretending not to be that interested in the subsequent interaction, turning her attention back to Irabeth and Anevia. Sometimes, the best thing a big sister can do is stay out of the way. But Elliot's real discomfort at all the people wanting a piece of him — literally, it seems — is something she makes a mental note to take up with him later. It may help him to learn some techniques for gracefully but firmly demurring and detaching himself from the more overbearing admirers.

Irabeth wrote:
"Dad wasn't a paladin, but he was a crusader. So was Mom, actually. He would make a good one, though. He taught me a lot about self-control and honor. Almost everything I know about it, actually." She shrugs. "When I left home for Vigil, he gave it to me."

"I see. I can't imagine things were easy for them. He must have needed a great deal of patience. Why did you go to Vigil? Was that where you and Anevia met?"


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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 rises and lets out a small laugh. "If you can understand Khaseph, I dare say magic may be upon your horizon. It may be worth speaking to Verene about her connection with Thamyris. I can't say it is quite the same, but it may lend insight into what you find happening."

At the inquiry of his connection to Desna, he pulls forth his wooden holy symbol. "While I don't necessarily receive my spells from her like priests, I can't help but feel as if she is watching over me. As if my actions are guided in a way I don't fully understand. It's something I remember feeling since I was young. Especially when I managed to escape a rather dire circumstance in the Worldwound when I was younger." Laying the holy symbol upon his chest, he adds, "After recent events, it feels as if that guidance has taken a stronger presence in my life. Like a mother or teacher guiding the hand of their child or student."


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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
Verene Tanaquil wrote:
"I did not only mean love, marriage or family, although those are important, of course," Verene say to Merixia, almost apologetically. "In fact, I was thinking more about... well, for instance, my mother serves Iomedae, but she and my father are also consummate gardeners, partly because herbs are useful in magical and nonmagical healing, partly to help preserve and pass on the seeds and traditional knowledge brought by the refugees from Sarkoris, and partly just because they enjoy it. That kind of thing."

"Oh, a hobby! I like to read when I can get my hands on a book. Um... I know some weaponsmithing, it's kind of satisfying to turn a chunk of steel into an actual weapon. Other than that, not really. I've never had much time for that sort of thing." Merixia is not going to admit to her tastes in literature. And she only learned weaponsmithing because bastard swords aren't a very common weapon. If her sword should (gods forbid!) break without a replacement readily available, she needs to know how to fix it.

Elliot, the Red Heron wrote:

"Ah, thanks. That's... really nice to hear." His embers turn a shade of blue and he scratches them absently.

"It wasn't all bad, though," He continues, seemingly not noticing her discomfort - again. "I mean, I didn't have a mentor like you did until I had Aravashnial. But my foster parents did their best, as did my sister, and they were great - protective and warm as they could be, I think. Just incapable of helping me control my fire nature, not that it was their fault in any way. Which reminds me... did you ever tell us about your family? If you did, or don't want to talk about it, I'm sorry. I'm just..." He vaguely motions around the side of his temple as his flame's azure glow grows deeper. "Curious to know more about you, and it's hard not knowing if I've forgotten anything important..." He glances away in shame. The memory loss was evidently still bothering him.

Sense Motive: 1d20 + 14 ⇒ (18) + 14 = 32

Elliot's fire-hair is turning blue, the color of a very hot flame. That must be the emberkin equivalent of a blush. Is he... Merixia thinks back to their past interactions, his tone, his expression, his body language. Oh my gods he IS! She can feel herself turning roughly the color of a ripe tomato at the realization. Aaaaaah, what do I do?! Verene. I'll ask Verene later tonight. The wizard is disconcertingly insightful, has a lot more world experience than Merixia does, and knows how to keep her mouth shut. Okay, good. I have a plan. Now pay attention to the handsome man who actually thinks you're attractive, self.

"Well... I'm not sure how much you've forgotten- which is not your fault, quit beating yourself up about it- so I guess I'll start from the beginning. I was born a slave in Cheliax. My parents love me, and they did their best for me, but there was only so much they could do under the circumstances. When I was about eight years old, my parents and I were on a slave ship bound for Egorian when the Gray Corsairs of Andoran attacked the ship and freed us."

Smiling at the memory, she continues. "They took us to the city of Almas, where the Andoren government has programs in place to give newly freed slaves official citizenship and help them adjust to life in Andoran. Even with that, though, it was a hard few years while we all tried to figure out how to function as free people. I was a hellion, frankly. Once I figured out that I wouldn't be beaten for acting out, it's like all the built up anger came out at once. My parents were both dealing with their own issues and working long hours to support us. They had no idea what to do with me.

"That's when I happened upon the shrine of Ragathiel and Father Darian. He's a half-orc, so he was sympathetic. He knows what it's like to be judged for the way you were born, and I think he saw something of himself in me. The rest is history." She takes a deep swallow of her beer.

Elliot, the Red Heron wrote:

He gives a wry grin. "Well, I won't deny that some part of me insists you would be fine without me. But... maybe it wouldn't hurt to have some backup?" There's some humour in there, but also a somewhat hopeful undertone to the question? "Besides, if you all didn't have me to lighten the mood every now and then, I dread to think of what would happen. I can't have you shouldering that burden alone."

"To say nothing of having to leave the city to look for my parents, if we don't find them in the next few days."

"Only..." He takes another drink offered to him in passing and he grows more solemn. "I am worried that I won't be able to live up to the expectations of the people here. I've never had any sort of formal martial training, for one. I'd probably have to change that, but I'm not sure who I could or should train with. Or, for that matter, if there will even be time for such. The prospect of being relegated to winging it all, forced to rely on the memories of Aisha alone is rather daunting. That's the former wielder of Eclipse, I just learned."

"What, don't be silly! Of course I want you along. I just wasn't sure if you wanted to come. You're better in a fight than you think you are. And, um... you're good company too." He does have a point about training, though. Her red-scaled tail twitches slowly as she thinks. "Unfortunately, I have no idea how to properly wield a scimitar. I can use simple weapons and the bastard sword, and that's it. I would be happy to spar with you if you think it'll help, though. Or maybe you could ask that Sarenite priestess for some tips on proper scimitar technique."


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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
Merixia wrote:
"Oh, a hobby! I like to read when I can get my hands on a book. Um... I know some weaponsmithing, it's kind of satisfying to turn a chunk of steel into an actual weapon. Other than that, not really. I've never had much time for that sort of thing."

"Books and smithing. That is good to know." Verene noticeably brightens when Merixia mentions liking to read, but restrains herself from inquiring further while in the middle of a noisy party with Elliot standing at her elbow waiting to bear her away. They can talk books later; surely there must be some titles or genres they have in common. The two planestouched escape to the bar for more food and drink, and she sees them off with an amiable wave.


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M Aasimar (peri-blooded) Magus 6 (Bladebound, Hexer) I Archmage 1. Init +4, Perc. +8. HP 58/58. AC 20/FF16/T15. : F+8, R+7. W+7. Att. +10, 1d6+6/18-20/x2. CMB +9, CMD 18. Darkvision. Cond: None.

This time, though, even Elliot can tell his conversational partner was blushing. As in... just like him? His throat was dry at the realisation, his chest suddenly tight with nerves. Merixia was cute, pretty, and in really good physical shape. Plus she was a great person; it was hard not to feel elated there there could be something of return affection, perhaps. Even if she could probably snap him like a tindertwig if she got angry. ...Yet if he were honest with himself, even that thought was somehow strangely enticing.

That was, if he was reading it correctly?

Wait, was he overanalysing? No, right? Hm. Oh goddess, was he overanalysing over whether or not he was overanalysing!?

Regardless, it was just...

...What the hell was he supposed to do now!?

"Okay, okay, calm down. Don't screw up. I can do this? Definitely! Probably. ...Maybe? Argh, what do I say!?" He scrambled thinking of any examples of guys being suave near him lately but came up woefully short. Couldn't Thesius have hit on more girls on the way here or something!? They always seemed to be looking at him!

Instead he takes another deep gulp of the next mug as he buys time, listens and nods along as Merixia tells her story. He gradually calms down and raises his eyebrows and smirks when she describes herself as a 'hellion' when she was little, and she can tell he is really tempted to ask for clarifying fun anecdotes. But he remains respectfully quiet until the end.

"You say your parents had no idea how to handle you? You mean they weren't Tieflings as well, then? Or did they have different urges the way it is for us different kinds of Aasimar?" He wonders, and takes another drink. "Well, Father Darian sounds like a great figure. I kinda wish he were here with us. Something tells me we might need guidance from wise veterans like him soon."

Maybe he could just file all his/their (?) feelings away for later and figure out how to go about this first. Like maybe ask Verene for advice first. Yeah. That seemed like a plan.

Merixia wrote:
"What, don't be silly! Of course I want you along. You're better in a fight than you think you are. And, um... you're good company too."

Okay, maybe not.

Perhaps it was the drinks, the atmosphere, the earlier realizations or all combined, but when he hears this last admission his mind just doesn't process the rest of what follows. No doubt she was giving him good advice on the training bit, but it just didn't seem important then. Not anymore. It was a problem for another day.

He takes a quick glance sideways, and, in what felt like an act of incredible bravery, swallows his nerves.

"Um, Meri. Would you... like to dance?" Some part of him remembers the formal courtly half-bow and hand offer for such a request - and he decides to try it, smiling warmly. "I, ah, can't say I'm that good at it, but I figure half the room is drunk, and the other half is probably watching Azira, so we can probably get away with it."

I think that Elliot, if Merixia accepts, is very happy and content with the dance but doesn't try to push his luck any more that night, unless she wants to do more. If only to leave more things to build up to later and not hold up the story too much, as much as I do enjoy this conversation :)


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Encounter Maps | Geographic Map | Treasures | Important NPCs

Azira:
Azira's chosen partners look somewhat overwhelmed at first, but as the party wears on, more and more people grow confident - likely due to the preponderance of alcohol being served. Most of them aren't nearly as skilled as she is at dancing, but a handful are at least moderately talented, showing some promise.

As I said via PM, you can have one of these be Wulfric, but you don't need to.

Verene, Merixia, and Elliot:
Irabeth nods briefly at Verene. "Dad was a great man. He had the patience of a saint and the honor of a paladin, for all that he never took up that mantle."

"We met after she was on her way back from Lastwall." Anevia says, placing a gentle hand on her wife's. "I was the damsel in distress at the time, and my knight came to save me just in time. I've become, uh, slightly better at keeping myself out of danger since. Most of the time, anyways." She pats her injured leg.

Thesius:
Klarah looks a little uncomfortable. "I can't understand him in the way I understand you. Not words, just... feelings." She shrugs slightly. "And I thought wizards studied a lot before learning magic."

If you can make a DC 25 Knowledge (religion) check, look in the spoiler below.

Spoiler:
This sounds vaguely familiar to Thesius. It takes him a few moments to place where he's heard of it before, but it comes to him. The Journey of Sella Erin, a biography of a Chelaxian woman who was called to the crusade from Egorian by a golden eagle representing Iomedae. She became a paladin, despite lacking any training from the church, though many of the traditional paladin powers came later to her than they did to her formally trained counterparts. Eventually, she fell in the defense of Drezen, seventy five years ago.

"You went into the Worldwound when you were young?" Klarah's eyes widen. "That's... crazy. How did you survive?" She pauses before shaking her head at her own foolishness. "Well, you just told me, I guess. Desna's favor."

As the celebration stretches on, the squads sent out as distraction forces begin to filter back, including Elyda and her group of inquisitors. This provides a distraction for many of the priests, who hasten to ensure proper healing is available to all of the injured, which in turn begins to slow the party. Despite this, the returning crusaders are toasted as heroes - almost as much as the champions of the garrison were.


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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
Elliot, the Red Heron wrote:
"You say your parents had no idea how to handle you? You mean they weren't Tieflings as well, then? Or did they have different urges the way it is for us different kinds of Aasimar?" He wonders, and takes another drink. "Well, Father Darian sounds like a great figure. I kinda wish he were here with us. Something tells me we might need guidance from wise veterans like him soon."

"My mom's human and my dad's a tiefling, devil-blooded like me. The blood manifests differently in different people, though. He doesn't have my temper." He definitely has his own issues, but at least that's not one of them. "From what I've seen, Father Darian is to me what Aravashnial is to you. While I would love to be able to ask his advice, I'm kind of glad he's not here. The cold would be hell on his joints, and I've noticed his hearing starting to go in the last couple years." It's far too easy to imagine a demon or cultist sneaking up behind her aging mentor, taking advantage of his hearing loss. He's earned his retirement.

Elliot, the Red Heron wrote:
"Um, Meri. Would you... like to dance?" Some part of him remembers the formal courtly half-bow and hand offer for such a request - and he decides to try it, smiling warmly. "I, ah, can't say I'm that good at it, but I figure half the room is drunk, and the other half is probably watching Azira, so we can probably get away with it."

Merixia beams at him, delighted, and takes his hand. "I'd love to! I have no idea how to dance, but you're right, most people won't be looking at us." Silently she prays that she won't step on his feet. Or if she does, that she doesn't step too hard. Part of her registers the arrival of a new group of crusaders in her peripheral vision, but between the alcohol and her discovery that Elliot's feelings for her go beyond friendship, the cleric doesn't notice exactly who's there.

I agree, I'm happy to leave it here and move on to the next scene.


female, Aasimar, Paladin 6, Marshal/Champion 1 | HP 61/61| AC 25 (t17/ff19) | CMD 23 | F +12*, R +12*, W +13 | perception (darkvision 60') +1, sense motive +1 | +7 initiative | panache: 4/4; LoH: 6/6; smite: 2/2; divine bond 1/1; mythic: 5/5 |active effects: --

Azira is relieved to see other squads returning safely from the day's dangerous work. As they slowly make their way into the celebrating, she makes it a point to invite some among them to dance with her as well. Whenever she notes that one of her partners still bears some wounds, she lets a wave of warm healing energy flow from her hands into them.

I have all six uses of lay on hands available still; I'll burn through all of them healing my dancing partners.


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male, human, Bard 3 | HP 24/24 | AC 16 (t11, ff15) | CMD 13 | Fort +2, Ref +4, Will +4 | bardic performance 11/11 | perception +7, sense motive +11; initiative +1 | active effects: --

Among the weary warriors returning to the Defender's Heart is a slender but handsome Ulfen man carrying some kind of banner. He carefully secures it in a corner before smiling at the sight of the celebration. He waggles his fingers and magically cleans himself and the soldiers with him, then heads to the bar for a drink.

A silver holy symbol of Iomedae hangs prominently on his chest and its only a matter of time before Azira grabs his hand and calls him to take a turn as her partner. He freezes for a moment--intimidated by the woman's beauty, and the grace she's already demonstrated on the dance floor--then empties his cup and follows her with a nervous smile.

He's thankful that the song is one he recognizes, and he does his best to keep up.
perform (dance): 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (20) + 9 = 29

Riding high on the joy of the day's success, and trying desperately not to embarrass himself so publicly, he dances as well as he ever has, maybe better. When the song ends he even receives some applause. Afterwards, he grabs another drink and then finds himself in the unusual position of potential partners being nervous to dance with him.

Bahaha! How's that for an introduction?


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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
Worldwound GM wrote:

Irabeth nods briefly at Verene. "Dad was a great man. He had the patience of a saint and the honor of a paladin, for all that he never took up that mantle."

"We met after she was on her way back from Lastwall." Anevia says, placing a gentle hand on her wife's. "I was the damsel in distress at the time, and my knight came to save me just in time. I've become, uh, slightly better at keeping myself out of danger since. Most of the time, anyways." She pats her injured leg.

"How wonderful. That sounds like a story out of a fairy tale," Verene says sincerely. She will let them decide if they want to tell it in any more detail, however. It may be that the two would like to be allowed to go back to their own conversation with each other. She looks briefly around the room for Aravashnial, hoping she will see him in company and happily engaged in the festivities.

If Verene sees Aravashnial is alone, she will politely excuse herself from Irabeth and Anevia, go to the kitchen and wheedle a bit of any kind of fresh fruit they still have (something like berries, apples or cherries maybe?), and then approach Aravashnial and offer him some. She remembers he seemed to like raw food over cooked.


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Encounter Maps | Geographic Map | Treasures | Important NPCs

The party begins winding down as the heroes spend more and more time socializing with one another and the other residents of the Defender's Heart. They catch up with Elyda, who mentions her own adventures - some of the inquisitors she had done battle with had fallen into worship of infernal forces, and were hunting both demons and innocents they disliked (mostly Kellids).

Merixia:
The mention of devils sends a bolt of pure fury through Merixia - one not wholly her own.

Verene has a brief chat with Aravashnial, who expresses his hope the the Queen's forces will also bring a cleric potent enough to restore his eyes - and Anevia's leg, he hastens to add.

Anyone who wants to continue RPing at the party, please do so in spoilers.

Eventually, the celebration slows down enough that the champions are able to excuse themselves and make their ways to there respective rooms. Falling asleep comes surprisingly easy for all of them - the day's events have exhausted them, if only mentally. As they sleep, they come into a dream.

Azira:
Azira dreams. She is in a lush and unfamiliar land, standing atop the wall of a small keep. In the distance, she sees clouds drifting beneath a cliff - she is on a vast mountain! An armored Chelaxian woman with short, dark hair stands next to her, looking over the beautiful fields.

"I am very proud of you, Azira." She says. "You have saved thousands of innocents from a doom beyond death, and millions more from the spread of the Abyss." She turns to look at the paladin, revealing her scarred face.

"In you, I see a most worthy champion, equal in potential to your Queen. For your heroism, then, I grant you a blessing." She kisses Azira's forehead, and silvery light wraps around her. "Know that your mother is proud of you, and that her reward is yet to come."

Thesius:
Thesius dreams. He walks on a trackless path beneath the glorious night sky, surrounded by an ineffable music. A pervasive serenity and warm sense of safety embraces him as he witnesses the dance of the stars above him.As he walks, a gentle feminine whisper drifts, as the sweetest music, into his mind.

"Dearest Thesius. You are blessed for your bravery and courage in the face of the demonic invasion. By your choices and skill, you saved millions of lives from the Abyss, and more from the destruction that might have followed."

He feels the gentle brush of lips on his forehead, and a warm glow fills him.

"To you, beloved one, I grant my blessing. Continue your journey, for I am watching over you. Your path is a most unique one, and I will enjoy learning what joys you will bring to this world.."

Elliot:
Elliot dreams. He finds himself embraced by the gentle warmth of the sun as he stands in quiet contemplation of distant pastoral fields. The weight of Righteous Eclipse is not at his side, nor does the sword's presence intrude in his thoughts.

"Excuse me, child." A voice interrupts his thoughts. "You have done me so proud." A handsome man with wings of pure flame steps into view, a broad smile on his face.

"The lady wishes to speak with you personally, but she granted me the right to have a few words with you first. I... thank you. You have inspired me with your bravery, but most of all with your mercy. Though circumstances forced your hand, you..." He hugs Elliot. "Thank you." He says with utmost sincerity.

A winged woman with hair of blazing fire speaks (was she always there?).

"Child, your ancestor speaks well." A beautiful smile blooms on her lips, illuminating Elliot in totality. "You have lost much - more than you can know now, but you have acted with true heroism. In time, you will face greater challenges yet, but I know that with your heart and mind as they stand, you shall be as a light to your fellows and enemies."

She approaches him as the flame-winged man steps back and bows. With a gentle kiss on his forehead, she ignites his soul with a warm, healing radiance. "Take my blessing for your actions. You have earned it, and more."

Merixia:
Merixia dreams. She stands before a glorious host of radiant beings. Some part of her trembles in terrible dread of the might arrayed before her, but they offer nothing but respectful gazes.

"She wanted to offer you a blessing." A deep rumble comes from behind her. She turns, and sees an enormous man with five flaming wings standing behind her. He steps forwards, gold-glowing eyes surprisingly gentle.

"I intervened, that I might grant it to you myself, as is my right. Though I have little time before my next campaign, I wished to speak to you in person, you see." He looks over the heavenly army. "Merixia, my child, you have done me proud in your war against the evils of the Abyss. To you I grant my blessing, and my hopes. You may yet conquer the greatest foe, one that I have not faced myself." He kneels next to her, giving her a paternal kiss on the forehead. Gold fires whirl about her, and the heavenly army salutes her in unison, a sharp shout of celebration echoing over the military camp (is that where she is? Must be.)

Verene:
Verene dreams. She is... somewhere. A tremendous mountain, it seems. She sits near the edge of a cliff, gazing out over clouds drifting beneath her. Something about the area, though it is beautiful and most certainly good puts her teeth on edge. She does not belong here, not really.

A woman stands nearby. "Your feats are tremendous." She says, dark eyes focused over the clouds beneath them. "I wanted to offer you congratulations, and my thanks. Your defeat of the Worldwound's forces... it saved so many lives."

She lays a hand on the wizard's shoulder.

"I know that you may not be pleased to accept this, but you are blessed nonetheless for your actions at the Garrison." Silver light wraps around Verene, offering her a sense of comfort despite the mountain's slightly unsettling air.

Please feel free to post your reactions to the dreams. Note that your characters aren't able to speak in the dreams, so just emotions and thoughts, please.


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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

Verene has long practice in accepting dreams as they come: not trying to influence or interpret them, but merely to observe and remember. To do otherwise, when they are so often out of her control entirely, is pointless. It does not trouble her to be perched on the edge of a mountain so enormous the clouds are actually below her, nor even to feel that despite its peaceful beauty, the mountain is no place that she could ever stay for long. She has been a stranger in many lands. Heaven is far from the worst.

That realization is not alarming either. Her dreams are rarely as pleasant as this tranquil memory from the mind of some interloper into Paradise. She will enjoy it while it lasts and then put it aside. The perfect forest, the mist and clouds, that glimpse of a shining city far away: she is vastly fortunate to see them even secondhand like this, when most mortals never do. Although she does feel a wistful curiosity about the city, and how strange and wonderful the beings who live there must be.

All of that peace is overturned in an instant when the woman beside her speaks, and Verene realizes that this is no one's memory. Iomedae. Has she been there all along? Of course she has. Too many emotions to name roil within Verene, the most overwhelming of which is shock, as the goddess speaks to her directly and personally. Is this is a trick? But she knows it is not.

Once, to hear praise of her actions from Iomedae herself would have made Verene completely, transcendently happy. It was all she wished and worked for, all she wanted from life. To know beyond doubt she had done the right thing. Now... it is only a vision, but the words bubble within her, sour as anger and bitter as grief. Where were you? How dare you?

The silver light wraps around her regardless, and Verene opens her eyes. It is dawn, grey and cold and silent. She has not fallen out of bed or anything so dramatic; she never does. Slowly, she sits up and even more slowly gets to her feet.

"I didn't do it for you," she says out loud to the air, dry-eyed and furious. "I don't want anything from you. Take it back. I do not serve you."

Silence.

She is shaking, her breath trembling, half-expecting to be struck down for insolence now that Iomedae has deigned to notice her. At least that would not be the same silence she has known for the past thirty-four years, which if anything only makes her angrier. "No. I know you are listening now. Take it back. I will blaspheme you in public."

Silence. Her own reasonable inner voice whispers, You know you will not. It would only make good people unhappy and cause needless conflict. It is no less pathetic to yell at a closed door than to plead with it.

"I will write polemics denouncing you and your church."

Silence. For receiving a gift? The world is the same as it was before, when you had no impulse to write them. It sounds less like a matter of principle and more like a personal grudge.

Verene makes an inarticulate noise of frustration. "This changes nothing," she snaps, and stalks to the basin to throw cold water on her face and begin her day.


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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 dreams, knowing that this isn't actually a dream. She's been seeing Ragathiel and his celestial army this way for years, ever since she first stumbled across his shrine and learned the tale of the General of Vengeance. But her dreams of her divine patron are rarely this clear, nor does she usually see what looks like his whole army looking right at her! It's an awesome sight, in the old meaning of the word. Why is she here? Has she done something wrong?

Worldwound GM wrote:
"She wanted to offer you a blessing." A deep rumble comes from behind her. She turns, and sees an enormous man with five flaming wings standing behind her. He steps forwards, gold-glowing eyes surprisingly gentle.

And there he is. Ragathiel himself, in all his terrible glory. Wow, I hadn't realized how tall he is. She's never been this close to him in her dreams before. Merixia takes a deep breath and gives him her best salute. That's how a soldier is supposed to greet her general, right?

Worldwound GM wrote:
"I intervened, that I might grant it to you myself, as is my right. Though I have little time before my next campaign, I wished to speak to you in person, you see."

Ohhh. Now this makes sense! Iomedae wanted to bless her for foiling Vorlesh's plan, but Ragathiel called dibs on his cleric. Makes sense.

Worldwound GM wrote:
He looks over the heavenly army. "Merixia, my child, you have done me proud in your war against the evils of the Abyss. To you I grant my blessing, and my hopes. You may yet conquer the greatest foe, one that I have not faced myself." He kneels next to her, giving her a paternal kiss on the forehead. Gold fires whirl about her, and the heavenly army salutes her in unison, a sharp shout of celebration echoing over the military camp (is that where she is? Must be.)

Merixia blinks, and finds herself back in bed with the first rays of dawn shining through the window. She reaches up to touch her forehead. Is it her imagination, or does that spot still feel warmer than the surrounding skin? "Wow," she whispers. A phrase echoes in her mind; 'my child'. Does Ragathiel think of all his clerics as his children? He doesn't have very many, so maybe he does. Or did he mean something else?

...Nah. Can't be. She grew up a slave in the land of devils, for the gods' sake! No good deity would leave their child in Cheliax of all places. Merixia shakes her head, dismissing the notion. Clearly she's still a bit muddled from sleep and vivid dreams. Ragathiel is proud of her! That's more than enough for any priestess. She throws the heavy blankets aside and gets up to begin her dawn prayers.


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M Aasimar (peri-blooded) Magus 6 (Bladebound, Hexer) I Archmage 1. Init +4, Perc. +8. HP 58/58. AC 20/FF16/T15. : F+8, R+7. W+7. Att. +10, 1d6+6/18-20/x2. CMB +9, CMD 18. Darkvision. Cond: None.

Elliot closes his eyes and basks in the warmth and tranquility of the plane. Somehow, he knew everything in this place was good and right , a place of safety and a haven from everyday mortal troubles. Suddenly being here was relaxing rather than alarming, though the studied part of him seriously contemplated the possibility that he’d somehow actually died and gone to the afterlife.

Surely he hadn’t danced that poorly?

Ragathiel? wrote:
”Excuse me, child,”

He glances back and sees the majestic handsome man with his awe-inspiring flaming hair and wings and can’t help but wonder if that was actually The General of Vengeance himself, here to punish him for daring to lay a hand on his priestess. Though since he was already dead, part of that had presumably already happened.

”Well, f*ck,” He thinks, as he looks up to the godlike being probably here to make his stay on Nirvana a whole lot less pleasant. The way he was smiling – beaming even- could only mean every bit of pain imaginable was about to be inflicted upon him – and why wouldn’t he? Who cared if it was only a dance. Presumably his followers were rare and so diametrically opposed to Sarenrae’s in faith that he felt a harsh lesson was in order – the one a simple death just wouldn’t properly convey.

Probably-not-Ragathiel wrote:
”The lady wanted to speak with you personally, but she granted me the right to speak with you first. You have done me so proud. You have inspired me with your bravery, but most of all your mercy,” he hugs Elliot. ” Thank you,” he says with utmost sincerity.

”O-Oh. Well then. You’re… welcome?” He thinks, and hesitantly returns the stranger’s hug; part flabbergasted, part unsure what else to do. Apparently this was important to the figure. ”Nice to meet you too, I suppose? Um… do you have a name? Though I should probably mention up front that I’m sort of taken and swing the other way even though this hug is kind of nice I guess?” He mentally rambled, though the words wouldn’t form.

In retrospect and up close, it made sense. He couldn’t quite distinguish different sets of wings among this… Peri’s fumage and supposedly Ragathiel had two-and-a-half of them. Plus, it was a different kind of sword from the Bastard one. But which Peri, then? Whom among those would call him ‘child?’

”Ah, Mouth? Words? I would *really* like some backup here?”

Sarenrae wrote:
” Child, your ancestor speaks well.”

He looks the other way and whatever coherent thought or speech he was still capable of disappeared in his Goddess’ presence, utterly glorious in her benevolent warmth and majesty. After the manifold horrors of the last week, all he wanted to do was fall to his knees and weep, and it was probably only the full Peri’s support that kept him upright even as she – incredibly – praised him and then kisses him on the brow even!

Sarenrae wrote:
”You have lost more than you could possibly know. (…) But I know that with your heart and mind at they stand, you will be a light to both your allies and your enemies.”

”My goddess… does that mean my foster family *is* dead, then?” The thought felt hollow; it should have been emotionally devastating, but was numbed so much by the effects of the plane and herself that it barely registered. Perhaps it was the lingering, soothing effect of her blessing that even allowed him to think. ”For my memories… I have gained much in turn. New friends. A way to fight that suits me. A way to bring hope to the survivors. I cannot miss what I don’t know existed, and I would make that trade again. I just hope that I can live up to your expectations and do not lose my way.”

He wakes the next morning on the rare private bed allowed to him as a ‘hero’ and regards his reflection in the mirror. Somehow, it seemed different. Calmer, perhaps, or more confident somehow. Regardless, if everyone – even divine beings!- were placing such high hopes on him, he had no choice. If that was what they wanted or needed, he’d just have to pretend to know what he was doing, for as long as it took.

But how would the others ever take that dream seriously?


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female, Aasimar, Paladin 6, Marshal/Champion 1 | HP 61/61| AC 25 (t17/ff19) | CMD 23 | F +12*, R +12*, W +13 | perception (darkvision 60') +1, sense motive +1 | +7 initiative | panache: 4/4; LoH: 6/6; smite: 2/2; divine bond 1/1; mythic: 5/5 |active effects: --

Azira's eye flutter open.

a dream... it was just a dream... no... it was dream, obviously, but certainly not just a dream...

Laying in bed, she closes her eyes tightly and holds the dream in her mind, trying desperately to remember every detail.

a vast mountain... the Heavenly mountain... I didn't realize it while I was standing there, it just felt... like home, but it was, I know it... and the keep, could it really have been... she was there- Iomedae herself... I should have bowed, why didn't I bow... it seemed right at the time, it felt so natural to stand in her presence... that sounds so arrogant... she looked so much like she does in the great paintings, only more so... and she spoke to me... what was it she said... "I am very proud of you, Azira. In you, I see a most worthy champion. Know that your mother is proud of you, and that her reward is yet to come."

Tears stream down the paladin's cheeks as she replays the words over and over in her mind.

I swear I will live up to your pride.

Her eyes finally open once again and she slips out of bed. Normally she would get dressed and put her armor on before saying her morning prayers, but this was no normal day. Instead, she walks to the window and opens the wooden shutter. She kneels, still nude, in the morning light and holds Radiance before her. Taking off her holy symbol, she hangs it from the sword's guard, as she always did for prayer, and can't help but giggle a little at the thought of how much like the symbol Radiance looks with the morning sun rising behind it through the window.

The thought passes quickly and she settles into her prayers. When she finishes them, she remains on her knees and recites the vows she took when becoming a sword knight, renewing them in her heart with every bit as much fervor as when she first made them. Only after that recommitment does she finally rise and dress herself, and head downstairs in search of breakfast.


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

Afternoon and Evening of Fireday, Arodus 22, 4713

Spoilered for organization, not secret:
For the rest of the day after returning from the Gray Garrison, Verene allows herself to simply be. She enjoys the celebration without thinking about anything larger than helping the First Children make a good impression and ensuring to the best of her ability that everyone is having a good time. When it winds down, instead of squeezing every moment of magical study that she can out of the evening or trying to sell some of the surplus weapons and other material they brought back, she merely drops all of the things piled on the floating disk in the separate room where she left her own extra clothes and books that morning, jots down some notes about the extraordinary events of the day on a loose sheaf of paper, and prepares for bed. Only when she is taking off the twin wrist sheaths that hold the wands found in the Riftwarden cache to set them aside does she pause. The power lent by the Wardstone still hums under her skin, wanting to be used, and when she picks up one of the wands it seems almost to spark within her mind in recognition of a reservoir it could be channeled into. Surely that is not possible... but it couldn't hurt to try. I will use the least-valuable wand we have remaining, so that if this goes wrong and destroys the wand instead, little will have been lost.

She finds Merixia quickly to ask to borrow her wand of spiritual weapon and explain what she intends (probably in a rather abstruse and confusing way). Assuming Merixia says yes, Verene is somehow both shocked and completely unsurprised when she holds the wand flat across her palms, concentrates, and feels the power flow from her hands into it. Caught up in it as she is, she does not notice how her eyes glow solid, brilliant white for a moment, nor how her hair lifts slightly, as though in an invisible wind, to reveal the mark on the back of her neck glowing also. Baffled but pleased by this new power, the wizard chalks it up to one more impossible thing made possible by the Wardstone's influence, gives Merixia back her wand, and returns to her own room to go to bed.

Morning of Starday, Arodus 23, 4713
Verene's gray eyes are decidedly stormy when she enters the common room for breakfast, and she does not speak to anyone beyond the most minimal pleasantries. Following breakfast, she goes back to the private room with a desk that she has been allotted, and buries herself in magical study and crafting for the rest of the day, unless and until called upon by Anevia and Irabeth. Specifics TBD, but probably learning some spells that are available for copy from Millorn's or others' spellbooks or scrolls, then doing a day of work on the first wondrous item for another PC.


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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

Continuation of conversation with Klarah:
I'll have him use his bardic knowledge for the day to get he knowledge check.

Rubbing his chin, he recalls a story from the past. "Honestly I believe that is generally how Verene's connection works as well. However, I don't know that your bond is the same as hers. I thought it might share some insight, although after a moment more of thought I would say I recall a story of Sella Erin who was called to the crusade by a golden eagle. I would be curious if this is a similar case," he ends while looking at Khapesh.[/b]"

"Indeed, I do account a lot of my survival at that moment to luck. An individual appeared to happen upon me in a time of dire need and led me to safety after I foolishly rushed out after my...father who was not so lucky," he says as a glimmer of moisture forms in his eyes.

During the dream:
Thesius finds himself compelled to dance, the names of constellations filling his mind on his wondrous journey.

As he feels the need for movement start to fade his eyes go wide for but a brief moment before relaxing.

The voice felt familiar, soothing. As if he had always known it. The warmth those words and the sudden touch filled him with helped alleviate the negative emotions that had so filled his mind of late. Helplessness turned to acceptance, inadequacy turned to a strive to be better, lack of control turned to the ability to write one's own destiny, and so much more.

He felt himself sink to his knees, tears of joy streaming down his face and obscuring the stars above as he continued to look to them accepting that the world is what he made of it and lingering in idleness simply took his ability to help shape it away.

Morning of Starday, Arodus 23, 4713

Thesius awakens that morning, his mind feeling more refreshed then it had been for some time. Quietly he lays in bed looking towards the ceiling while trying to remember the events of his dream. Working to dedicate them to his mind as his right pointer finger traces the contours of his wooden holy symbol.


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Encounter Maps | Geographic Map | Treasures | Important NPCs

Verene:
Though she struggles to speak, Verene does not hear her own voice. If the woman does, she gives no sign of it. She simply shakes her head, before looking at Verene for the first time. "I hope that you will serve as a beacon for those in need, regardless of your feelings about me."

Verene wakes up.

Thesius, Earlier:
Klarah tilts her head, considering his words. "That sounds like you were very lucky indeed. I'm sorry to hear about your father, though. I... I don't know what it's like to lose a parent, but I imagine it is terrible."

[spoiler=Thesius, Dream]As he sinks to his knees, Thesius sees through blurred eyes that he is somewhere else - a room that looks like a prison cell. A beautiful dark-haired woman (she is familiar, but why?) is carving prayers and symbols of Desna on the walls - but before he can see more, or call out to her, she is gone, and he is awake.

Starday 23rd of Arodus, 4713

The heroes awaken to find themselves some of the first people up - it seems that other than the guards, only a handful of people are willing to be awake as early as they have gotten up. This gives them time to prepare and work through what they need to do for the day.

Checking in with Irabeth reveals that she (and a half-dozen other members of the Eagle Watch, including Anevia) are already hard at work looking through the documents that the group recovered from the Garrison. "Sorry, I don't have anything concrete on this yet," she says, "but there are a few things you might be able to do. Ask around once the others are up - I think that there's plenty around."

I'm assuming you would check in on Irabeth, if not, disregard the last.


M Aasimar (peri-blooded) Magus 6 (Bladebound, Hexer) I Archmage 1. Init +4, Perc. +8. HP 58/58. AC 20/FF16/T15. : F+8, R+7. W+7. Att. +10, 1d6+6/18-20/x2. CMB +9, CMD 18. Darkvision. Cond: None.

"Anyone in particular we should check up on, Commander?" Elliot asks, unsure where to start. "And... would any of today's missions perhaps veer across the southern Gate district? I seem to remember where my house was. I would like to see it, or search the area for that other rumored pocket of survivors. But if there are more pressing matters, I'm sure half a day wouldn't make a difference now."


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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

Verene nods in acknowledgement of Irabeth's words and with Elliot's permission spends a couple of hours copying cat's grace from his spellbook before checking again if they will be needed today. If not, she wants to try a very expensive experiment. -40 gp to write cat's grace into Verene's spellbook — assuming Elliot charges no copying fee! :)

She holds back preparing about half her spell slots until they know the answer.


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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 practically bounces down the stairs with a smile on her face. "Good morning, everyone!" While she is fully dressed in the quilted undersuit that goes under her armor to prevent chafing, the armor itself is nowhere to be seen. "Hi, Elliot! Would you help me put my armor on after breakfast?" She sits down next to the aasimar and waves at the server. "Whatever hot food you have is fine."

Elliot, the Red Heron wrote:
"Anyone in particular we should check up on, Commander?" Elliot asks, unsure where to start. "And... would any of today's missions perhaps veer across the southern Gate district? I seem to remember where my house was. I would like to see it, or search the area for that other rumored pocket of survivors. But if there are more pressing matters, I'm sure half a day wouldn't make a difference now."

"If you want to go look for your parents, Elliot, I'll be happy to go with you." The server brings out a bowl of porridge and a mug of hot mint tea. With a smile and nod of thanks, Merixia digs in. "I had the best dream last night. So, I've been dreaming of Ragathiel and his army off and on since I was a kid. That's what originally tipped my parents off that I might be able to become a cleric." She takes a drink of tea, heedless of the fact that it looks like it just came off the boil. Piping hot food and drink don't bother most tieflings. "I had the clearest dream of him yet last night, and he told me he was proud of me!" She beams happily. "And gave me a blessing too. Apparently Iomedae wanted to bless me for our actions yesterday but Ragathiel called dibs. I noticed this morning that I can prepare another first level spell."


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female, Aasimar, Paladin 6, Marshal/Champion 1 | HP 61/61| AC 25 (t17/ff19) | CMD 23 | F +12*, R +12*, W +13 | perception (darkvision 60') +1, sense motive +1 | +7 initiative | panache: 4/4; LoH: 6/6; smite: 2/2; divine bond 1/1; mythic: 5/5 |active effects: --

Azira stops with her fork halfway to her mouth and stares at Merixia as she talks about her dream. When the priestess finishes, she sets the still loaded utensil back down and tells her, “I had a dream as well…”

Her eyes roam across her companions and her voice is more hesitant than usual as she continues, “I was standing on the fortified wall of a keep on the great mountain of Heaven… Iomedae herself stood by my side and… well, she called me her champion and gave me a blessing too… I believe you’ve confirmed that it truly was more than just a dream, and I think it means that our role in all this is far from over…”

I’m not sure how much we’re supposed to RP things out and how much is just declaring what we want to do? I’ll certainly ask around and see who needs help with what after we’re done with breakfast; do we need any rolls for that? I’d also like to try to meet with Irabeth and Orik (or whatever the name of the ranking sword knight was?) to share the dream with them whenever they’re both available.


M Aasimar (peri-blooded) Magus 6 (Bladebound, Hexer) I Archmage 1. Init +4, Perc. +8. HP 58/58. AC 20/FF16/T15. : F+8, R+7. W+7. Att. +10, 1d6+6/18-20/x2. CMB +9, CMD 18. Darkvision. Cond: None.

Trusting his sister completely, Elliot hands off his spellbook to her on the spot despite all the drinks present at the breakfast table. When Merixia enters and asks him to help her with her armor, there is a brief flicker of blue in his flames and he gives her a warm smile, obviously pleased. "Hey Meri! Sure, It'd be my pleasure! And thanks, I'll be happy to have you with me, or us, if we get to searching for them today. But I'm also aware that my request is a selfish one and that there's lots of other people out there who need our help as well..."

He trails off momentarily as he wistfully glances at the door out, absently eating his bread and cheese. In truth he wanted to be out there NOW, not hanging around here even longer.

Merixia wrote:
"I had the best dream last night. So, I've been dreaming of Ragathiel and his army off and on since I was a kid. That's what originally tipped my parents off that I might be able to become a cleric. I had the clearest dream of him yet last night, and he told me he was proud of me!" She beams happily. "And gave me a blessing too. Apparently Iomedae wanted to bless me for our actions yesterday but Ragathiel called dibs."

However, it was hard to be down when Merixia was so happy. "Wow, congratulations! Definitely well-deserved, I'd say." He says, and beams at the cleric as he holds up a hand for a high-five gesture.

Azira wrote:
"I had a dream too. I was standing on the fortified wall of a keep on the great mountain of Heaven… Iomedae herself stood by my side and… well, she called me her champion and gave me a blessing too… I believe you’ve confirmed that it truly was more than just a dream."

"Iomedae was to bless both Merixia and Azira...?" His glance goes to his sister on the other side and he watches her with curiosity. He supposed it was a testament to how insane the last week had been that claims of several gods blessing the lot of them didn't seem all that far-feteched.

"Really? You know, I had a similar vision. I think I was in Nirvana when a majestic fiery angel with a big sword appeared behind me. At first I, ah..." He glances away. "...Thought it was Ragathiel there to voice his displeasure at me, but it was a Peri, and he was really touched and happy about how merciful I had been. Then, I turned around and Lady Sarenrae was there, also expressing her gratitude and blessing me through a kiss - on the brow!" he quickly adds the last part, throwing up his hands in defense. "She said something about wanting me to be a light for my friends but also my enemies, and that I'd 'lost more than I could ever know'. I just hope that doesn't mean what I think it means..."

He shakes his head and takes a quick drink. "Anyway, I don't feel that different from yesterday - I think. Though I'm sure that if it was true and her gift meant to make me stronger, it will reveal itself in time."

I'm also slightly unclear on what we are supposed to do. Do we simply need to pass the time here until certain other characters join us with today's tasks?


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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 joined the others, a lighter step noticeable about him. His mind being eased by the earlier evening's dream having helped ease his demeanor.

Upon hearing Elliot's request, he also offers his assistance. "I would be happy to assist as well. I think it's definitely prudent to start gathering any survivors we can find together so we can better assist everyone."

While sitting down with his companions, he listens intently to their recalling of their prior night's divine encounters. It's at this moment that he realizes that his mind does seem sharper and full of knowledge he does not recall having known before. It's almost as if the universe has blessed him with some of the infinite knowledge of the stars.

"I found myself greeted with a divine encounter in my dreams. I found myself beneath a field of stars dancing to be eventually greeted with a sweet voice and a kiss upon the head telling me it looked forward to seeing what I would come to accomplish, however I also had a vision of someone imprisoned...I plan on asking around about it," as he speaks, a thought transpires to him. He pulls forth his quill, ink, and journal and continues his daily practice of making notes of the day. This time he tries hard to recall any details from the prior dream hoping to find some kind of hint at where this individual might be being kept.

After a bit, he looks back up and remembers to add, "I also find that my mind seems to be sharper today as if blessed with new knowledge. I do feel as if it is a blessing from Desna."


female, Aasimar, Paladin 6, Marshal/Champion 1 | HP 61/61| AC 25 (t17/ff19) | CMD 23 | F +12*, R +12*, W +13 | perception (darkvision 60') +1, sense motive +1 | +7 initiative | panache: 4/4; LoH: 6/6; smite: 2/2; divine bond 1/1; mythic: 5/5 |active effects: --

”A kiss… yes…” Azira marvels when Elliot and Theseus both mention the gesture. “The Lady of Valor kissed me on the forehead… incredible.”


Encounter Maps | Geographic Map | Treasures | Important NPCs

Irabeth doesn't have a chance to reply before Anevia does. "Elyda and her inquisitors are probably a good place to start, Elliot. They were the ones to encounter one of the enclaves of survivors."

"They weren't in Southgate, though. If you want to explore there, you should do so." Irabeth says after a moment. "Don't worry about us - we're still analyzing and digesting. Some of this stuff isn't going to be useful in Kenabres, just... in the future." She shrugs slightly. "A lot of what you folks got at the Tower of Estrod are also still being analyzed."

I'm taking the liberty of assuming that you guys moved on from Irabeth's little conference room before moving to the topic of dreams - probably to the common room, where you can grab food.

The talk of dreams catches the attention of one of the few people awake in the common room. A human man in his middle years, he wears the tattoos and kapenia that mark him as a Varisian, though his battle-worn hands and shadowed gaze indicate that he is also a crusader. He doesn't speak, instead listening intently to the words of the party. He makes no attempt to disguise his interest, however, simply looking on in honest intrigue.


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M Aasimar (peri-blooded) Magus 6 (Bladebound, Hexer) I Archmage 1. Init +4, Perc. +8. HP 58/58. AC 20/FF16/T15. : F+8, R+7. W+7. Att. +10, 1d6+6/18-20/x2. CMB +9, CMD 18. Darkvision. Cond: None.
Thesius wrote:
"I found myself greeted with a divine encounter in my dreams. I found myself beneath a field of stars dancing to be eventually greeted with a sweet voice and a kiss upon the head telling me it looked forward to seeing what I would come to accomplish, however I also had a vision of someone imprisoned.

"So the four of us were blessed, presumably. Does that mean you had a visitor too, Verene?" He looks at his sister, stating his earlier thought. He didn't know what to make of the prisoner Thesius saw, as without details it could be anyone, anywhere. He elects to just nod at the bard and promise help if there was a more concrete lead to go on.

When discussion of the blessings eventually passes, he finishes the rest of his plate and nods. "Since there does not seem to be anything immediately pressing, I suggest we start with looking into this survivor enclave. Perhaps they require some sort of assistance; it's good to hear Elyda made it back safely to tell us of them. Maybe we'll find my foster family there too, if not there's always a chance someone knows more. We can always check Southgate afterwards."

He is about to rise and go look for their Inquisitor companion when he notices the Varisian man standing near the table, listening in. "Oh, hello there. Who might you be? Is there something you need?" He asks the colourful Crusader.


female, Aasimar, Paladin 6, Marshal/Champion 1 | HP 61/61| AC 25 (t17/ff19) | CMD 23 | F +12*, R +12*, W +13 | perception (darkvision 60') +1, sense motive +1 | +7 initiative | panache: 4/4; LoH: 6/6; smite: 2/2; divine bond 1/1; mythic: 5/5 |active effects: --

Azira turns around to see the eavesdropper whom she hadn’t noticed. Despite her discomfort at a stranger listening in on their dreams, or perhaps out of concern that he might somehow misuse that information, she smiles and joins Elliot’s greeting. “Yes, welcome, stranger. Please, come have a seat with us and you can share your name and your story with us while we eat.”

diplomacy: 1d20 + 19 ⇒ (12) + 19 = 31


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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
Merixia wrote:
Merixia practically bounces down the stairs with a smile on her face. "Good morning, everyone! [...] I had the best dream last night. So, I've been dreaming of Ragathiel and his army off and on since I was a kid. That's what originally tipped my parents off that I might be able to become a cleric." She takes a drink of tea, heedless of the fact that it looks like it just came off the boil. Piping hot food and drink don't bother most tieflings. "I had the clearest dream of him yet last night, and he told me he was proud of me!" She beams happily. "And gave me a blessing too. Apparently Iomedae wanted to bless me for our actions yesterday but Ragathiel called dibs. I noticed this morning that I can prepare another first level spell."
Azira wrote:

"I had a dream as well…"

Her eyes roam across her companions and her voice is more hesitant than usual as she continues, "I was standing on the fortified wall of a keep on the great mountain of Heaven… Iomedae herself stood by my side and… well, she called me her champion and gave me a blessing too… I believe you’ve confirmed that it truly was more than just a dream, and I think it means that our role in all this is far from over…"

Elliot wrote:
"Really? You know, I had a similar vision. I think I was in Nirvana when a majestic fiery angel with a big sword appeared behind me. At first I, ah..." He glances away. "...Thought it was Ragathiel there to voice his displeasure at me, but it was a Peri, and he was really touched and happy about how merciful I had been. Then, I turned around and Lady Sarenrae was there, also expressing her gratitude and blessing me through a kiss - on the brow!" he quickly adds the last part, throwing up his hands in defense. "She said something about wanting me to be a light for my friends but also my enemies, and that I'd 'lost more than I could ever know'. I just hope that doesn't mean what I think it means..."
Thesius wrote:
"I found myself greeted with a divine encounter in my dreams. I found myself beneath a field of stars dancing to be eventually greeted with a sweet voice and a kiss upon the head telling me it looked forward to seeing what I would come to accomplish, however I also had a vision of someone imprisoned...I plan on asking around about it. [...] I also find that my mind seems to be sharper today as if blessed with new knowledge. I do feel as if it is a blessing from Desna."
Azira wrote:
"A kiss… yes…" Azira marvels when Elliot and Theseus both mention the gesture. "The Lady of Valor kissed me on the forehead… incredible."

Verene keeps her eyes down during the discussion of her friends' dreams, mechanically eating the simple but hot meal provided by the Defender's Heart without tasting it. Thamyris has finished his allotment of broth and grain, and huddles on her shoulder, subdued.

Elliot wrote:
"So the four of us were blessed, presumably. Does that mean you had a visitor too, Verene?"

Verene sets her spoon down in the empty bowl with a measured click. "Oh yes. And if 'blessed' is what you would call being summoned by a goddess you do not worship to be changed without being asked in a realm that makes it clear you are unwelcome, I have been blessed too." Her voice is quiet but hard. "I have half a mind to vandalize the nearest of her altars to express what I think of this 'gift.' Since apparently that is what merits Iomedae's attention, not the actual suffering of living people."

That is unfair, and you know it. Now the reasonable inner voice sounds like her mother, patient and disappointed. She spoke of the lives you all saved, and of being a beacon to those in need, not the shrines.

Verene grits her teeth, takes a deep breath and stands up, saying with careful politeness, "Excuse me. I am feeling a bit inclined to be sharp this morning, and should not take it out on any of you." Only then does she notice the Varisian man who has been openly listening in, and she closes her eyes with a sigh. Of course a stranger would be around to hear it on one of the rare occasions she loses her temper and speaks in anger.


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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 waves to the Varisian man, curious about his presence so far from home. Then again, people would probably say the same about her. Before she can speak, though, Verene beats her to it.

I should have anticipated this. But she had been too giddy at her patron's pride and blessing. She sets her spoon down and turns to Verene, her earlier joy replaced with a somber sort of understanding. "You're right, Verene. Iomedae should have asked for your consent. She would have known that you are an atheist, that atheists rarely want anything to do with gods, and she should have taken that into consideration." Merixia sighs, looking down.

"Call me selfish, but... for my own sake, I'm glad that you have another tool to keep you alive, especially now that Areelu Vorlesh knows who we are and is no doubt holding a grudge. I don't want to see any of you die. It might help to consider this payment for services rendered." She looks up again. "In some ways the gods are far more constrained in their thinking and behavior than mortals or even outsiders. I'm not sure if it's possible for a god to act against their nature, but if it is, doing so would be extremely uncomfortable. Iomedae is the goddess of honor as well as valor and justice. You did her an enormous service; you may not have intended to do so, but that was the end result. So she would have felt compelled to repay you. It's unfortunate that she chose to do so with a personal blessing rather than something you actually would have wanted, like helping the victims of the demons here in Kenabres. She really should have asked rather than assuming you would want something similar to the rest of us." Merixia shrugs. "There's nothing to be done about it now. I suggest you go do whatever you usually do when you're mad at something- I usually beat up some training dummies or chop firewood- then figure out how to use this unwanted gift to do things you want to do."


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M Aasimar (peri-blooded) Magus 6 (Bladebound, Hexer) I Archmage 1. Init +4, Perc. +8. HP 58/58. AC 20/FF16/T15. : F+8, R+7. W+7. Att. +10, 1d6+6/18-20/x2. CMB +9, CMD 18. Darkvision. Cond: None.
Verene wrote:
""Oh yes. And if 'blessed' is what you would call being summoned by a goddess you do not worship to be changed without being asked in a realm that makes it clear you are unwelcome, I have been blessed too." Her voice is quiet but hard. "I have half a mind to vandalize the nearest of her altars to express what I think of this 'gift.' Since apparently that is what merits Iomedae's attention, not the actual suffering of living people."

Elliot winces from his sister's harsh tone, already regretting having brought up the painful subject. Fortunately he didn't have to be the first responder, and he waits for Merixia to finish her advice first. "I'm... sorry I brought it up, sis. Perhaps I should have known better. However, if we're discussing it anyway, I'd like to apologize to you. A few days ago, when we spoke of her rejection of your divine service to her in your youth, I said that she was also a goddess of tactics, and that she perhaps foresaw that we needed you as an arcane specialist to win. But... I see now that mindset is wrong. If my guess was correct, then to treat someone as little more than a chesspiece, especially in a way directly against their personal wishes and without explanation, is a very cold and arguably cruel thing to do."

He makes an apologetic look towards Azira. "Now, I can't claim to know what the Inheritor thinks or what her reasoning was, but Merixia is right in that she probably should have asked your consent. I would like to believe that our free will as mortals is valuable, and that who we choose to serve or spend our limited time with should appreciate such, rather than take it for granted. I know that might not make being blessed against your will now any easier, but if I can ever help you with those feelings in some way, I will."


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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 his caught off guard by Verene's sudden outburst, but not surprised after he thinks about it. "I'm sorry she chose to interact with you in such a fashion...I do agree with Merixia's sentiment that I am happy you have more to help you in the future, but not at the cost of your own free will."

"I agree that the survivor enclave sounds like a good place to start. I will need some time to prepare before we head out." Thesius felt the urge to dance as he did in his dream, he would find the time to do so before they left. When he does, he will find himself listing off the names of stars in song, his feet falling where they will. His thoughts going expanding. For some time he dances before suddenly coming to a halt. A sense of completion in him as his eyes and thoughts take into account what had just happened. Looking for guidance in what had just occurred. Start to him taking the steps for his deific obedience.

Thesius' eyes kept drifting to the man watching them. As his companions address the man, he waits for him to respond before letting his own thoughts come forth. He believes this may have to do with his own heritage and beliefs. If the man worships Desna, it would explain to some degree his interest in their dreams.


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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
Merixia wrote:
"Call me selfish, but... for my own sake, I'm glad that you have another tool to keep you alive, especially now that Areelu Vorlesh knows who we are and is no doubt holding a grudge. I don't want to see any of you die. It might help to consider this payment for services rendered." She looks up again. "In some ways the gods are far more constrained in their thinking and behavior than mortals or even outsiders. I'm not sure if it's possible for a god to act against their nature, but if it is, doing so would be extremely uncomfortable. Iomedae is the goddess of honor as well as valor and justice. You did her an enormous service; you may not have intended to do so, but that was the end result. So she would have felt compelled to repay you. It's unfortunate that she chose to do so with a personal blessing rather than something you actually would have wanted, like helping the victims of the demons here in Kenabres. She really should have asked rather than assuming you would want something similar to the rest of us." Merixia shrugs. "There's nothing to be done about it now. I suggest you go do whatever you usually do when you're mad at something- I usually beat up some training dummies or chop firewood- then figure out how to use this unwanted gift to do things you want to do."

Verene's tense posture softens as Merixia speaks. She shakes her head with a wry half-smile. "How is it you are over a decade younger than me, but already so much wiser? Never mind. Rationally I know this is only another tool, and it should not matter where it comes from. I had planned to spend the day in study if we were not needed, and turn this new acuity to my own ends that way. But I will make time to practice with the crossbow and dagger first if I can. Perhaps it will help."

Thesius wrote:
"I'm sorry she chose to interact with you in such a fashion...I do agree with Merixia's sentiment that I am happy you have more to help you in the future, but not at the cost of your own free will."
Elliot wrote:

"I'm... sorry I brought it up, sis. Perhaps I should have known better. However, if we're discussing it anyway, I'd like to apologize to you. A few days ago, when we spoke of her rejection of your divine service to her in your youth, I said that she was also a goddess of tactics, and that she perhaps foresaw that we needed you as an arcane specialist to win. But... I see now that mindset is wrong. If my guess was correct, then to treat someone as little more than a chesspiece, especially in a way directly against their personal wishes and without explanation, is a very cold and arguably cruel thing to do."

He makes an apologetic look towards Azira. "Now, I can't claim to know what the Inheritor thinks or what her reasoning was, but Merixia is right in that she probably should have asked your consent. I would like to believe that our free will as mortals is valuable, and that who we choose to serve or spend our limited time with should appreciate such, rather than take it for granted. I know that might not make being blessed against your will now any easier, but if I can ever help you with those feelings in some way, I will."

A little knot behind Verene's ribs that she had not known she was carrying around unknots. Elliot thought about her words and he understands, without her having to explain. She squeezes his shoulder in thanks. Her throat tightens, but she clears it and says gruffly, to both him and Thesius, "Privilege of being a god, I suppose. They don't have to care what we think. That does not mean I have to like or agree with it. I still do not believe Iomedae has always planned this. Because—"

Because if she did all along, through all those years when I was asking, begging for her guidance about what the dreams meant and what I should do with them, knowing how easy it is for her to communicate her wishes — how nice of her to instead say absolutely nothing either way, and simply let me discover it for myself some twenty years later! That wouldn't be at all wasteful, or malicious. Because if she had the foreknowledge that Kenabres would fall and let it happen, for any reason, that is an incomparably greater crime and betrayal than anything she could ever do to me. No. Gods do not have perfect knowledge of the future. If it had not been me it would have been someone else that fell into the caverns and was reshaped by the Wardstone. I just happened to be there, and now the power cannot exactly be transferred to someone else, so of course Iomedae would like me to live and be useful to the Crusade even if I curse her name for it every single day. She is many things, but no one ever called her a fool. A goddess must use every tool at her disposal too.

"—well. Because I can only control what I do. And I do not want to spend my life screaming at a closed door."

She smiles — faint but real, not the polite brittleness of before — and sits down again. "In any case, I do not mean to bring down the mood. I am happy for all of you. Truly. You deserve this. You know I will help you find the prisoner you saw in your dream if I can, Thesius. And of course to bring any survivors we can to safety, and check on your home in Southgate, Elliot."


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The Varisian crusader waves his hand at Elliot and Azira. "Apologies. I've a long-standing interest in dreams. Though they're rarely quite so vivid as you've described... or as direct." He muses, a note of wonder in his voice.

"I'm Eugeni Iuvescanu." He adds, moving over to the table and sitting with them. He remains politely silent as the others split into discussion, keeping his silence for a time. At Verene's mention of the gods not caring for mortals' thoughts, however, he shifts. Opening his mouth, he hesitates for a critical moment, then shakes his head. "I am the last one," he finally says, "to tell you what to believe."

He takes a quiet, thoughtful breath. "Which enclave are you looking for? I'm not much of a fighter these days, but I know a lot about the city."


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M Aasimar (peri-blooded) Magus 6 (Bladebound, Hexer) I Archmage 1. Init +4, Perc. +8. HP 58/58. AC 20/FF16/T15. : F+8, R+7. W+7. Att. +10, 1d6+6/18-20/x2. CMB +9, CMD 18. Darkvision. Cond: None.

Elliot does not seem to catch any emotional overturn in his ster's behavior, but he doesn't pull away from the gesture either, thankful that the earlier misstep seemed to be repaired.

He glances at the other man when he introduces himself. "Well met, Eugeni. I must say, I quite like your name. A near-anagram of 'Genius Evangelic', I believe? Well, we could definitely use some sage advice. Oh, I'm Elliot Worthane, by the way," He extends a hand to shake the varisian's one. "In regards to your question, I'm afraid we don't know yet. It was only yesterday that we heard about there being two other potential enclaves of survivors, and we haven't had the opportunity yet to talk to Inquisitor Elyda of the one she encountered. If you know of any concrete locations, where would you say survivors from the Southgate district would be most likely to be?"


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female, Aasimar, Paladin 6, Marshal/Champion 1 | HP 61/61| AC 25 (t17/ff19) | CMD 23 | F +12*, R +12*, W +13 | perception (darkvision 60') +1, sense motive +1 | +7 initiative | panache: 4/4; LoH: 6/6; smite: 2/2; divine bond 1/1; mythic: 5/5 |active effects: --

Azira’s brow furrows in an uncomfortable blend of shock, hurt, and anger. She’s so stunned that she can’t even speak while the others pour out apparent support for Verene’s troubling opinion. She lets Elliot take over talking with the Varisian man so that she can speak to the wizard instead. “Verene, we studied together… when did you turn your back on the Inheritor?!?”

I apologize if it happened somewhere and I missed it but I believe this is the first Azira is hearing anything about Verene’s loss of faith.


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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
Azira Tal-Shirin wrote:
Azira’s brow furrows in an uncomfortable blend of shock, hurt, and anger. She’s so stunned that she can’t even speak while the others pour out apparent support for Verene’s troubling opinion. She lets Elliot take over talking with the Varisian man so that she can speak to the wizard instead. “Verene, we studied together… when did you turn your back on the Inheritor?!?”

Merixia lets out a pained sigh, resisting the urge to bang her head on the table. Really, Azira? Really? I just got her calmed down, and now you're pouring oil on the fire! She turns and gives the paladin a deeply unimpressed look. It's her best impression of her mother's signature 'I am very disappointed in you, young lady' look, one with which Merixia is all too familiar.

"Azira. This is neither the time nor the place. Verene, if you choose to explain matters, I suggest you take it upstairs or save it for later. More people are going to come looking for breakfast any minute now." She doesn't think that the wizard wants any more people to overhear her personal business. Clearly when Verene is out of commission, the Voice of Reason job falls to Merixia. I'm supposed to be the one who yells insults at demons and charges them head on! I don't think I like being the sane one. Well, nobody ever said being a cleric was going to be all fun and demon-slaying.

She turns back to the Varisian man. "Pleasure to meet you, Eugeni. I'm Merixia Pentarian, a priestess of Ragathiel." Merixia offers him a hand. "I hear there's a group of Varisians who follow Ragathiel in Magnimar. Are you from that area, by chance? I'd like to travel there someday, maybe compare notes."


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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
Azira wrote:
“Verene, we studied together… when did you turn your back on the Inheritor?!?”

Verene turns sparking eyes to the paladin, but Merixia intervenes before she can say whatever first came into her head to say, giving her the time to take a breath and put a hard rein on her emotions.

"We studied together almost twenty years ago, Azira." Her tone is so mild it sounds like it hurts her teeth. Just because it seems she hasn't changed at all since we were adolescents, she assumes no one else should have either. "If you wish to discuss religion later, we can. For now I would like to hear what Master Iuvescanu has to say."

This is the first time she's said it in so many words when Azira has been with the party/been around (it was discussed pretty openly upon returning to the Defender's Heart after the Nyserian Manor mission, but Azira went to the bar and didn't participate in that conversation.) However: Verene also pointedly walked away while Azira was praying to Iomedae over the bodies of the people, including Old Arthek, that they discovered in the fountain near her home; she awkwardly and abruptly denied being a crusader or having gone to the Fourth Crusade when they first met; she was untroubled by the shrine vandalism in the Gray Garrison, wanted to move on without cleaning either shrine until after the mission was done, and specified that Iomedae might approve of Azira for doing something about it, "but it is not just Azira here." So, in-character Azira might have made some assumptions based on their shared past and overlooked those things before, but this probably shouldn't be some shocking revelation either, based on Verene's behavior.


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Eugeni offers a dry smile to Elliot as he shakes the younger man's hand. "A curious assortment of companions you have." He says mildly, before nodding. "Well, the enclaves I've heard of are in the north of New Kenabres, Northgate, and western Southgate. There's also the Kellids in Truestone Park, in the southern Ring District."

He rubs his chin. "If I had to guess, I'd say that the druid Vorek and his husband have made their stand in Truestone, along with their followers. Back before Armasse, they were gathering support among the Kellid population for bringing new life to old ways."

"I've not been to Northgate since the fall of the city, but the most fortified buildings I know of out there are... the temples. Probably the first to fall."

"In western Southgate it would almost inevitably be housing, so I can't help you much there. Probably in the back allies, though, where the demon cultists wouldn't have gone so often."

He courteously disregards the other conversation.


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 (Local) - Vorek?: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (19) + 11 = 30
Knowledge (History) - The 'old ways'?: 1d20 + 15 ⇒ (5) + 15 = 20
Verene tries to recall what she might have heard about this Vorek before. The old ways of Sarkoris were not always a good thing... particularly not for mages like me.


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M Aasimar (peri-blooded) Magus 6 (Bladebound, Hexer) I Archmage 1. Init +4, Perc. +8. HP 58/58. AC 20/FF16/T15. : F+8, R+7. W+7. Att. +10, 1d6+6/18-20/x2. CMB +9, CMD 18. Darkvision. Cond: None.
Eugeni Luvanescu wrote:
""A curious assortment of companions you have."

"Given he's talking to someone like me, that sure is saying something." Elliot dryly thinks to himself.

He glances at the interplay between Merixia and Azira with a decidedly neutral look, one trapped between amusement over the Tiefling's brand of chastising and the wince over the disconnect between Azira's outrage and Verene's grief. Though, he supposed that wasn't really the Plumekin's fault, with the exact details only discussed before she joined... or so he thought.

"Perhaps, then, we should get moving and try seeking out this conclave of survivors in the Western part of Southgate first," He says, slightly louder than was really necessary if only to draw all the attention back to the plan for the day. "Thank you, Eugeni," He gives the main a courteous nod in thanks.

"If no one objects, I suggest we ask Elyda for her information on the other survivor pocket on the way out. I believe she was fighting alongside the druids in the park as well? Which might help making contact with them if we drop by there during the day."

Unless there are further pressing matters or objections, he would approach and ask Elyda for said information, then inform Irabeth of their destination and begin heading out.


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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 looks over the man named Eugeni further as he joins them. It was not uncommon for Varisians to have an interest in dreams, especially with their connection to Desna.

"Indeed, dreams don't often seem to guide us in such a direct path."

His eyes turning once more to Verene, he offers a smile. "I know you will make the best of what has been given to you. I hate it was done in such a manner, but I have no doubt you will turn it to your own. As always, I appreciate your help in my endeavors. The imprisoned seemed familiar to me and I have a guess at who it may be, but I've yet to confirm those suspicions."

"I have no objections with your proposed course of action. We need to start somewhere," he says in response to Elliot.


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Verene:
Verene has heard of Vorek in her time back in Kenabres. He is, as Eugeni says, a Kellid druid who has been trying to bring some sense of cultural identity back to the Kellids of Kenabres. This naturally brought him into conflict with Hulrun's inquisitors, who were very wary of any sort of worship that could've led to demonic cultists.

From what she's heard, Vorek has been trying to resurrect the druidic aspects of Sarkorian religious life, while his husband, Rashan, is one of the oft-maligned god-callers, who summon beings that the Sarkorians named "gods." From what she understands of the practice, it is not quite that clear-cut, but she hasn't read any strong sources that aren't polemical in nature.

That said, she is very much certain that arcane magic has historically been scorned by locals, and with Vorlesh's opening of the Worldwound, that may well have only grown more potent.

Eugeni smiles at Thesius. "Just so. Nevertheless, it seems you have the attention of gods. A blessing, certainly, but an ill-omen for the future. Your path seems like as not to be a difficult one."

He nods goodbye. "If you'd like to head out, I won't stop you."


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female, Aasimar, Paladin 6, Marshal/Champion 1 | HP 61/61| AC 25 (t17/ff19) | CMD 23 | F +12*, R +12*, W +13 | perception (darkvision 60') +1, sense motive +1 | +7 initiative | panache: 4/4; LoH: 6/6; smite: 2/2; divine bond 1/1; mythic: 5/5 |active effects: --

Azira falls silent after Merixia's rebuke. The flash of anger that had crossed her face quickly passes, but her brow remains furrowed with pain and concern.

twenty years isn't so long, really, is it... I spent all that time learning and training, and growing into adulthood, but Verene's lived a whole life... one that we haven't really talked about at all in the chaos of the past few days...

Her mind plays back the wild events they'd been through. Suddenly the wizard's attitude towards praying for the dead and cleansing shrines made far more sense.

I've tried so hard to shut myself off from my grief that I shut out pretty much everything else too... I should have noticed... I should have asked... hells, she could have teenage children and I'd know nothing about it... now that things have calmed down a bit, I need to catch up with her for real, and with Elliot too... the gods have brought us together, whether she likes it or not, and if we're going to be together on whatever quest they have appointed for us, I need to be a better friend...

She too distracted to follow the rest of the conversation with the Varisian man, but when Elliot stands to leave she follows suit. "It was nice to meet you, Eugeni," she says with a little wave as she walks behind her fellow aasimar towards Elyda.


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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
Elliot, the Red Heron wrote:
"If no one objects, I suggest we ask Elyda for her information on the other survivor pocket on the way out. I believe she was fighting alongside the druids in the park as well? Which might help making contact with them if we drop by there during the day."

"Sounds like a plan. I didn't get a chance to talk to Elyda last night, it'll be good to catch up with her." Yeah, because she was nicely buzzed, having a great time trying to dance, and had no idea that their erstwhile comrade had returned. I should have been more aware. Hope she isn't offended.

Merixia nods to Eugeni and knocks back the rest of her now cold tea, rising to follow Elliot. "May Ragathiel's eyes fall upon you and his wings shield you."


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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

"Thank you for the information, Master Iuvescanu, and may the stars light your path," Verene says politely as she stands, a translation of a common Varisian goodbye. "Although with respect, I hope you are wrong about the significance of these dreams for our future." But I doubt it.

To the others she says, "I've heard of this druid leader Vorek before. His husband Rashan is what the Sarkorians call a god-caller — a kind of specialized conjurer, I think. The Sarkorian Kellids termed many spirits, beings and entities 'gods' that we would not think of as true gods. But they tend to distrust magic that does not come from a source they would call a god — that comes from within, or through study and practice. So if we meet them, Elliot, Thesius and I should perhaps avoid explaining what exactly we do.

Vorek and his movement have been in conflict with Hulrun's Inquisition for some time now. They were suspicious of his efforts to turn the Kellids who live here back to druidic practices, thinking it would result in a return to demon-worship*. No doubt Elyda can tell us more about how exactly those tensions exploded into violence in the confusion of the attack.

I do feel we need more specific information about the locations of the other three groups of survivors, including those in Southgate, before we attempt to find them. People have been trickling in over the past days, and the groups of fighters who went out as decoys at the same time we did yesterday may have seen things that could help us. Perhaps we should ask around. If that fails, it may be time to resort to magic."

She picks up Elliot's spellbook, handing it back to him. "Thank you for your willingness to let me copy that spell, Elliot, but I suppose it will have to wait if we are determined to go after more survivors now."

Verene goes with the others to talk to Elyda or question other current occupants of the Defender's Heart who are awake and likely to know more.

*I'm not actually sure if it is common knowledge that some Sarkorian groups before the Worldwound did worship demons. But several of the cultists we have met have been speaking Hallit and we fought that cultist shifter for a reason, I assume. Verene's studying and magic item crafting for the day, which I declared when I wasn't sure what kind of 'zoom' we were having on this day, won't take place if this conversation happens at breakfast and we go out soon after. I don't know if we're going to talk to Elyda first, if we're RPing that out or not, or generally trying to talk to other crusaders/survivors/people who know the current lay of the land in Kenabres, but if a Gather Information check is needed here:

Gather Information if needed:
Diplomacy, Gather Information: 1d20 + 17 ⇒ (5) + 17 = 22
[ooc][/ooc]


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

"I believe our path was likely to be that regardless," Thesius says in a joking manner with a smile. "None the less, we have all chosen to walk the path we shall."

After a moment, Thesius thinks it prudent to ask, "Eugeni, do you by chance know of any other Desnan worshippers?"


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Encounter Maps | Geographic Map | Treasures | Important NPCs

"Thank you both, for your well-wishes." The crusader says politely. "I pray your journeys shall be swift and safe, but I don't hold out much hope for that." He grins wearily.

I think that that's not common knowledge, Verene, but with your previous roll Verene absolutely knows that much.

"I do, in fact, know many of our fellow worshippers. Not sure how many survived, but I pray that Lady Luck is with them in that regard. In Defender's Heart, though, you have three full priests, such as they are. Garen, Yelun, and Mishiko." He adds a few other names, some of whom Thesius recognizes.

I'll leave it to you guys whether you want to RP meeting Elyda out, or if you want to skip over it to hunt down some survivors. I'll also say that if you want to do some shopping/selling, that will take much of the day, too.

Elyda is fairly easy to find, as the scarred aasimar is sparring against two other crusaders in a room that's been repurposed for training. It takes almost a minute before she calls it off, looking to the party with a slight sheen of sweat gleaming on her face. "Good to see you all again."


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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
Worldwound GM wrote:
Elyda is fairly easy to find, as the scarred aasimar is sparring against two other crusaders in a room that's been repurposed for training. It takes almost a minute before she calls it off, looking to the party with a slight sheen of sweat gleaming on her face. "Good to see you all again."

"And you as well, Elyda," Verene says with a smile. It was a relief to see the inquisitor looking so hale, for it had seemed she was almost expecting to die when she departed for Truestone Park; and leading one of the squads into the city to distract the demons and cultists yesterday had been risky as well. "I should have known neither succeeding in your mission nor celebrating the victory afterward would dampen your dedication to early morning training the next day. I know you are busy, but if you have a moment, we were hoping to hear more about your experiences in Truestone Park — what happened with the other inquisitors and Vorek's druids, what you saw of each side, what the situation was like when you left, where the survivors have set up, whether they could or should be convinced to relocate here for safety, and so on. Between preparing for the Gray Garrison mission and the chaos afterward, we did not get much chance to learn about your adventures, beyond the basics."

Happy to RP this out in spoilers or summarize it and move on, GM. I feel like as a group, maybe we're ready to move on to more action without doing downtime activities like selling things or shopping? That was the impression I got from Elliot's post. Correct me if I'm wrong though. Oh, and don't let me forget: before we leave, Verene wants to take along (read: ask Merixia to take along) the gold dragon hide armor, as we never gave it a burial or were able to follow up on that. If we end up meeting the druids, maybe they will have insight on it!

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