Anevia Tirablade

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61 posts. Alias of Camris.


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Anevia ducked back into the command tent and shook her head.
"Still nothing."


Anevia ducked into the command tent.
"I have eyes on every gate in that fortress. The walls are manned, but there is no sign of troop movement." She said, clearly having expected something more.


Carilain wrote:
”The attack went better than could be hoped. I wonder what holds the demons on that hill with such perfect, and uncharacteristic discipline.”

Anevia nodded.

"It's true. Schir demons are powerful and arrogant. They should have jumped up and swarmed to attack; but our scouts said that there was just a stir of more activity than usual when our forces attacked.
"It makes sense that a strong enemy leader holds them to more discipline."


Anevia stepped forth and pointed at various points on the map.

"Here along the South bank we have two units of enemy forces.
"First, close to the bank of the dry river is a Company of Tieflings; much like the ones we encountered in Kenabres. Rogues and casters mixed together. Fairly weak compared to our forces.
"Next, further down the road to the West of the Tieflings is a base with Three Companies of Cultists and Mercenaries; a bigger threat than the Tieflings by far. They are based around several warehouses that look like they are storing captured Crusader equipment. Intact, quite valuable for our army."

Her pointer moved North.
"Here is a much tougher nut. A large number of schir demons hold Paradise Hill, once a district of warehouses and food stores that sat atop the high ground east of the citadel. It appears the demons are now using the area as a prison for captured crusaders—rescuing them could provide reinforcements for the army.
"Unfortunately, they have dug fortifications all around the hill, giving a serious bonus to their defenses.
"Several of our scouts went to Drezen Citadel itself, but have not returned; and I don't think they will now. Outside observers report nothing in the way of activity... but it feels like Something is watching anyway.
"Lastly, we haven't penetrated to the West side yet, but reports have the Cemetary being shrouded in shadow even at the height of what passes for daylight around here.
"That is it so far. Any questions?"
She asked, looking around at the staff.


Annie smiled weakly. "Bryson, thank..." She said before falling limply into the water again.


Annie suddenly woke choking on water, impelled by a voice she couldn't remember... Only to see Bryson-Cat leaping to attack her companions in a full blood rage!
Quickly she cast Calm Emotions, and everyone in the vicinity is suddenly thinking clearly, their strong emotions suppressed. Bryson is now free of his Rage.


Anne followed Bryson, keeping an eye on the leafy surroundings as well as him.


"Me too." Annie said, glancing briefly at Bryson.


For those that need it...

When all the wounded are gathered, Annie proceeds to raise her holy symbol high and Channels Positive Energy twice.
Sparkling golden energy washes over you all, easing the injuries you've taken.
Positive Energy Healing: 3d6 ⇒ (3, 3, 4) = 10
Positive Energy Healing: 3d6 ⇒ (3, 2, 2) = 7


Annie, looking exhausted, goes about triaging everyone according to how wounded they are.

How wounded are you at this point?


At the end of the next day while the army is setting up their laager, Anevia poked her head in the command tent and said; "Hey guys, take a look at this!"

Outside, she pointed up at the top of the western wall of the gorge.
There, somewhat obscured by blowing dust, stood a partly ruined stone building.

"I think it's an old temple." She said, frowning up at it in concentration.

The building sits atop the cliff, 90 feet above the Ahari gorge below.

Perception DC16:
From the dry river bottom A narrow flight of stairs carved into the rock winds up the cliff face to the chapel.


Anevia finishes putting markings on the tactical map and stepped back to look it over.
"Well now. Look at all that.
"Scouts report another all Tiefling army.
"It's hard to tell, but we think they're about the same size as the last one. 800 to a thousand or so."

THE MAP. (Also replicated above in the header).


Anevia returned to make her scouting report.
"Only two fled NorthEast, we got them both before they could report."


Azuretta clucked with disapproval.
"No. That won't do at all. Be right back!"
She returned a few minutes later with a couple of sets that fit Sunny.
Aside from the appropriate smallclothes, she got you:
*One is an off the shoulder silk peasant blouse, a flattering low cut leather corset and full skirt.
*The other is a silk warm weather pirates' outfit (sexily cut).
She looks at your feet critically.
"Do you want footwear too? You look like a barefoot all the time girl, but I'll offer anyway."


Realizing that Sunny in her naked state was a tremendous distraction to the crew, Azuretta grabbed Sunny, threw a blanket over her and hustled her below first.
After showing her the 'stateroom', she hesitated.
"Honey, do you have any clothes to wear? I have some I could loan you; we seem to be the same size." She said sympathetically.


"I hope you take the time to unpack and get used to your accommodations." She said. "The Captain has asked all passengers to dine with him this evening, so I hope to see you all there!"


Yeoman Azuretta, the same girl who examined your tickets came back on deck.
"Attention passengers! If you'll come with me, I'll show you to your cabins." She said, gesturing for you to follow.


"Milord Sephriel!" Gushed Azuretta, dropping you all like hot potatoes as she ran over to fawn all over him.


"Passengers! Passengers! May I have your attention!" Calls out a lovely halfelven girl waiving her hand in the air.
"I am Yeoman Azuretta and I'll need to see your tickets before I take you down to your berths." She continued.

You each will have paid for (or stolen) a ticket from the ships Factor on the docks.


Greta growled even louder now and threw her hands in the air.
"Fine! Pass! Get out of here!" She shouted as she stomped off.
Her partner in the guard shack snickered quietly.


The girl growled deep in her throat and her eyes glowed yellow as they gazed hungrily at Gondork.
Abruply, she flung an arm around his shoulders and turned to Ringeirr.
"Hey Ringeirr! How much fer this slave? I'll give ye a good deal right now!" She declared.


Greta poked through the pile of smelly fish with distaste, withdrawing and wiping her fingers off on her cloak as quickly as possible.
She then walked past each one of you, giving a sloppy pat down and brief sniff before going on.
She did linger over Gondork, even whispering privately into his ear.

Gondork or Perception DC20:

"Hey there big man. Want to get a cup of tea or spiced wine with me later?"


Nadya hugged Giacomo back.
"I hope we can as well. Thanks you you, we have a chance now. And I would love for you to visit!"
She backed off.
"I've seen you all in action. I KNOW you can finish things now without me. Go with the gods!" She said, before mounting the sled and leaving.


The next day, Nadya came to you all and hugged you.
"I'm sorry, but I can't continue with you into Whitethrone. My children and my village need me, and I... anyway, I brought you to Ringeirr and he is well able to guide you from here on out.
"I wish you the very best of luck!"
She said, before taking the sled and setting out again back the way you came in.


While he was out, Nadya told you a little about Ringeirr.
"He is Ringeirr Malenkov. He was my late husband Hjalnek’s maternal uncle.
"When he was a younger man, Ringeirr’s wife and son were taken by the White Witches and brought to Whitethrone.
"Ringeirr went to the city to rescue them, but though he was able to secretly enter the city and leave it again many times, he never did see his family again.
"Ringeirr stayed near Whitethrone after that however, and the last I heard was that he was living in the Fishcamps and working as a fisherman; and smuggler.
"That's the reason I took you to see him; he's an expert in getting in and out of Whitethrone unnoticed."


Jokum wrote:
He turns to Anevia. "The skirmishes cover this whole area? There is no way to scout up the canyon to the northwest any farther?"
Voren wrote:
"What if we could put some of our troops at the top of the canyon, destroying any traps they may have or turning them against them, attacking the enemy armies from above while our main force engages them on ground level?"
Arthas wrote:
"Can we get some of our people or scouts up top?"

Anevia looked out over the battlefield, unaccountably gloomy.

"No, no. It's too rough to climb freely. I mean, we could do it, climb that way, but it would take too long. We can't afford the kind of time that would take. The battle would be decided before we could get the first reports. And that's if we didn't encounter skirmishers."


Anevia finishes putting markings on the tactical map and stepped back to look it over.
"Well now. Looks like they know we're coming this time.
"Scouts report another Tiefling army. It's hard to tell, but we think they're about the same size as the last one. 800 to a thousand or so. And this time forted up in the remains of the town, unsuitable for cavalry."

The Map. (Also replicated above in the header).


Arthas wrote:
"Avieva, have the scouts reported if any escaped the attack?"

"That's Anevia sir." Said Anevia with a grin. "And no, nobody escaped north up the road; we made very sure of that.

"It IS possible that one or two may have escaped south down the riverbanks. To make sure of them, we'd have to reorganize the army for search and take days out of our schedule."


Anevia

"Aw." she said, eyes downcast.


Anevia

"Well, if none of you have a way to alter your appearance with magic, we can go with tried and true disguise makeup! Which I happen to be fairly well skilled at.
"The idea is not to give them time to search you or run a detect on you. Someone skilled at conveying urgency is needed to sell the idea you REALLY need to get in there and right now!"
She explained cheerily.


Anevia

"Voren, Danua, I appreciate what you want to do, and it kills me to say this, but there simply is not enough time to do a proper infiltration job. The army is too big and noisy to be hidden for long enough, and the cavalry is too eager to charge to be held back. Sorry."
She looked at you speculatively.
"There is one thing that a small group could do to help.
"I'm thinking a group of tieflings, dressed in uniforms we took from Kenabres and insisting they have an urgent message for the fort commander can bluff their way across the lines and into the fort. RIGHT before the army charges.
"First and foremost;
"The gate to the fort has to be held open. We absolutely cannot be held up by a seige.
"Second,
"we need to stop any kind of signal from getting out. A mounted courier can be ridden down or shot, but I'm worried about drums, horns, a signal fire, carrier pigeons and all that.
"And lastly,
"it would be useful if the enemy commander were otherwise occupied or too dead to organize his troops.
"The small group who does this would need to be fast, convincing, powerful and used to either using or defending against magic. Know anyone like that?"
She asked innocently.


Anevia grinned. "It's no problem finding a way around, but there is no real stealth possible with this army." She said, gesturing towards your shining host. Even in the gloomy overcast that perpetually shrouds the Worldwound, it looks like more than a few of the Crusaders are lit as if by a spotlight.


"Crusaders! You all know our plan! We march on the Morrow!
"Until then, DISMISSED!"
She shouted.
The assembled Crusaders all saluted, which she returned, and they broke up talking excitedly amongst themselves.

She turned to you all.
"Excellent speech Arthas! I approve wholeheartedly!
"But before you head out tomorrow I think it's time you met the command staff. Come with me."
She said, turning to march down one of the alleyways behind Defender's Heart.


Stepping back, the queen barks "Salute!" and as the queen snaps a salute to you, all the crusaders do the same in near perfect synchronicity.


Then she calls up Jokum and Karthak.
"I present to Sir Karthak and Sir Jokum the Righteous Medal of Vigor!
"In recognition of a hero who is reduced to unconsciousness in battle by a demon but survives and rejoins the battle before that demon is defeated!"
She proclaims, pinning a medal that looks like a hexagonal medal depicting a white castle on a field of red with gold trim.

As a swift action, the wearer of the Medal of Vigor can gain a +2 sacred bonus to Constitution for 1 minute (once a day).
In addition, this medal grants a constant +2 sacred bonus on saves against death effects.


Then she again calls up all of the Heroes.
"I present to Sir Karthak, Sir Voren, Sir Jokum, Sir Arthas, Dame Danua and Sir Irabeth the Righteous Medal of Valor!
"In recognition of a hero who delivers a death blow to a demon whose power greatly exceeds theirs!"
She proclaims, pinning a medal that looks like a demonic skull, the top of which has been pierced by four red-hilted swords.

As a swift action, the wearer of the Medal of Valor can gain a +2 sacred bonus to Strength for 1 minute (once a day).
In addition, this medal grants a constant +2 sacred bonus to CMD.


Then she calls up all of the Heroes.
"I present to Sir Karthak, Sir Voren, Sir Jokum, Sir Arthas, Dame Danua and Sir Irabeth the Righteous Medal of Clairity!
"In recognition of a hero who recovers vital information of great use against the Worldwound and delivers this intelligence to the crusaders!"
She proclaims, pinning a circular blue medal tha depicts a pair of feminine gray eyes surrounded by a circular silver lightning bolt.

As a swift action, the wearer of the Medal of Clairity can gain a +2 sacred bonus to Intelligence for 1 minute (once a day).
In addition, this medal grants a constant +2 sacred bonus on saves against insanity or confusion effects.


Then she calls up Jokum and Arthas.
"I present to Sir Jokum and Sir Arthas the Righteous Medal of Agility!
"In recognition of a hero who delivers a death blow to a demon in combat before it gets a chance to act!"
She proclaims, pinning a triangular iron medal that shows a demonic face surrounded by three swords.

A righteous medal functions only if the wearer has legitimately achieved the feat for which she received the medal.
A medal must be affixed to a worn article of clothing to function, but doesn’t have to be worn visibly.
As a swift action, the wearer of the Medal of Agility can gain a +2 sacred bonus to Dexterity for 1 minute (once a day).
In addition, this medal grants a constant sacred bonus of +1 on Initiative checks.


The Queen stepped forward and raised her hands. The crusaders quieted down.
"CRUSADERS! YOU HAVE HEARD OF THE HEROES OF KENABRES AND THEIR DEEDS TO LIBERATE KENABRES!"
The crusaders cheer.
"THIS HAS NOT GONE UNNOTICED BY US!
"IN RECOGNITION OF THEIR SUCCESS AND IN HONOR OF THEIR TRIUMPH, WE AWARD THEM THE RANK AND HONORS OF KNIGHTS OF THE FIFTH CRUSADE!"
She proclaimed.

One by one, she has you all (and Irabeth) kneel before her as she takes her longsword and taps you one each shoulder and then the top of your head.
Then she drapes a silver chain with a jeweled medallion (a shield shape the size of your hand) around your shoulders. The symbol is of a silver dragon scale with the icon of Iomedae in the upper left and the hammer of Torag in the upper right.


Jokum wrote:
"This is your SMALL army?!"

The queen smiled amused.

"Yes indeed. I would that I could send our entire host, but that would counter our strategy here."


Danua wrote:
"Do you have any additional provisions we can buy before your departure? Healing wands, weapon, armor or other enchantments perhaps?"
Voren wrote:
Voren scratches his chin. "That would be good. Having some more resources before we set out would be beneficial to us and our army."

The queen nodded as she led you through the doors and down the hallway.

"Of course. Your Battalion Quartermaster will have a selection of such equipment already available. If you are independently wealthy you can see the Eagle Watch merchant's bazaar, or even the Black Market before you leave. Healing is especially dear nowadays, with the war you understand."


After any other questions...
The queen rose from her chair.
"If you are finished, would you like to meet your army?" She asked, with a smile on her lips.


"As soon as we get you on the road North, I'll gather my host and head south. Hopefully, I'll be threatening enough that Drezen will be emptied of the demonic forces that normally hold it, and you will have an easier time of it.
"Scouts within the Worldwound tell us that the demons and their minions are massing all along the Sarkora River in Riftshadow, and we expect them to hit Nerosyan, Karcau, and other southern points within the week.
"I need to get Kenabres in order and head back south in a few days as a result, and I hope you’ll be well on your way north by then.”


The queen leaned forward.
"Simply retaking the Drezen is a herculean accomplishment, but it is only the first thing that needs to be done.
"The second thing is the search for and recovery of the Sword of Valor.
"For those of you unfamiliar with it, Despite the name, it’s not a sword.
"It’s a battle standard—an artifact once used by Iomedae herself during the Shining Crusade.
"The church loaned the banner to the First Mendevian Crusade and allowed it to hang in Drezen, where it bolstered crusader morale and, perhaps more importantly, warded against demonic attacks, deceptions, and even teleportation.
"It is located somewhere inside the Citadel.
"At one point, it was held in a special vault, but our divinations have only revealed that the banner remains in the Citadel somewhere.
"Alas, the same wards that protect it against demons also hamper divination attempts—but we know it’s still in there, likely kept as a trophy.”


Karthak wrote:
"Drezen was and IS an example of what happens when we let betrayers and traitors in our midsts. Kenabres was almost another. Or have you forgotten about those servants of Baphomet - cursed be its name - masquerading as crusaders? No. Drezen fell because of Stauton Vahne's betrayal. Something I swore to avenge a long time ago!"

The queen nodded.

"So it is, and your opportunity for vengeance will come soon; for I intend for you to go and retake Fortress Drezen." She replied, smiling.
“For those who aren't familiar with the history, Drezen was built during the First Mendevian Crusade as a strategic foothold inside the Worldwound.
"Dwarves chiseled it from of a rocky hill near the source of the Sellen River.
"It held for well over a decade, withstanding almost constant war before a traitor turned the Sword of Valor over to the demons.
"With the Sword of Valor’s protection gone, the demons overwhelmed Drezen in a night.”


Voren wrote:
"I'm going. Sarkoris is my home. I saw the Worldwound open and now, with everything that has happened, I need to go. There is much healing to do. Of man and land."

The queen smiled and nodded her approval.


Danua wrote:
"Those too weak to act are quite adept at blaming others for their shortcomings. No offense Queen of Mendev."

The queen sighed and said, "None taken."


Voren wrote:
"But, I thought we were doing a good thing in destroying the Wardstone! Some of them are still against us?!"

The queen glanced away, seeming ashamed.

"The wardstones have stood against the Worldwound for such a long time, many Crusaders assumed it would always stand. It's destruction is a rude shock, especially for those of a Conservative bent.
"I promise you, those who understand already know the truth, and I will inform everyone else in time through the Bards network."
"But yes, until then, the Conservative faction will curse you for doing Demons work."


Jokum wrote:
"...but I enjoy the chance to slay a demon. I will go if they will."

The queen smiled and nodded, accepting your tacit assent.


Standing tall in front of the fireplace she gazed down at you with piercing eyes.

“There are some narrow-minded souls among the crusade who blame you for the destruction of the wardstone border.
"I am not among them. I do not begrudge you for what you did. Far from it. From the sound of it, you saved entire legions of crusaders from a vile fate by preventing Vorlesh from transforming them, and the blast of energy gave us the time we needed to regroup and prepare for what will certainly come next."

She hesitated a moment.
"But, you understand the implications of what you’ve done, I’m sure—the wardstones are gone, but Iomedae has seen fit that YOU will be their replacement.
"I can think of no other reason that would explain why their power would have settled in your bodies and souls and didn’t merely fade into the ether.
"In time, the demons will regroup and reorganize—we can trust their inherent chaos to make this period of regrouping longer than it otherwise would take, but we shouldn’t underestimate them. They’ll be back soon enough. Already I’ve had reports from along the front lines that small groups of demons are attacking fortifications and settlements along the southern border."

She leaned forward, looking intense.
"But what intrigues me most is news from several reliable sources that as our fiendish enemies are starting to mass in the southern reaches along the Riftshadow within the Worldwound, they have left several of their northern lairs relatively unprotected.
"In particular, the fiend Aponavicius has taken the bulk of her army from Drezen, leaving it only moderately protected as she joins with the Storm King in Iz to, no doubt, plot greater attacks on larger targets like Nerosyan, Karcau, and beyond."

She straightened up.
"The time is right to strike into their territory. Drezen was the first of our cities to fall after the First Crusade, and we lost more than our kin and our pride that day. We lost the Sword of Valor, a magical banner carried by the Inheritor herself during the Shining Crusade.
"If Drezen could be retaken—if the Sword of Valor could once again be held by the crusade... well, I trust I don’t need to explain how well that would affect morale.
"But with the imminent attacks along the border, I cannot spare many to lead an assault on Drezen. And even if I could, a large army attacking the city would only draw Aponavicius back to defend the place.
"The obvious tactic is to send in a group of capable heroes with a modest but well-trained army to strike now, while the proverbial iron is hot. And this is why I’ve sought you out.
"If you can retake Drezen and reclaim the Sword of Valor, not only will you silence the fools who would brand you traitors for destroying the wardstone, but more importantly, you would bolster the entire war effort with your heroism. And I fear we need all the bolstering we can get!"

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