Raistlin

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27 posts. Alias of Camris.


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Aravashniel stood up from where he had been manipulating some kind of mystic Orrery device.
"From the first, both I and Lord Aaron had been concerned with the shadow hanging over the Drezen graveyard. Somehow, some way, the powers governing this place have effected an Eclipse of Groetus."
He paused, then shook his head.
"There's no time to explain the details.
"In about..."
He glanced at the Orrery. "Forty minutes, all of the undead slain by our forces today will be able to rise again. And at this point, all of our regular paladins will have run through their smite powers to face off against 3-4 thousand undead of all types.
"There is an anchor point somewhere in the tombs of the graveyard; something that focuses the Eclipse over the area. That thing must be dispelled or destroyed before they can rise again.
"No, I don't know what it looks like; I know that I would hide it inside a protected tomb."


"Hm. I fear I may disappoint you in that respect Lord Carilain. My focus of study is in Conjuration and Abjuration."
He approached the maps and studied them while idly drawing on his pipe and blowing smoke in the form of fantastic creatures.
"If put to it, and with a day's preperation, I and my apprentices could create the visible and audio illusion of, say twenty armored knights on horseback, or a fifty man spear and shield phalanx. I could even march them around for an hour or so. Or perhaps a much wider area, say a hundred feet by a hundred feet of Hallucinatory Terrain.
"But if I were to do this, I would not be available to counter a serious demon cascade, if they assay it."


Lord Sephriel showed two tickets to the Yeoman.


Up the gangplank came striding silently a richly robed... person of some kind. You can't quite tell what kind he is.


Aravashniel nods darkly at Kankai's words.
"Yes. The bodies, at least the intact ones, have been taken by the enemy. They are creating more undead as they move I think." He said.
He suddenly frowned as something occurred to him.
"Or worse. Do you recall your encounter with the Vermlek?"


Under Alorah's eager questioning, Aravashnial gradually unbent enough to share some stories with her.


Alorah wrote:
Alorah spends the time mingling with others of the army, especially seeking out any spell casters that might have an association with the spiral and tyhe ultimate fate of the Riftwardens.

Kimroth Otai, your host at the Defender's Heart inn, points you towards a darkened corner where a tall elf with a bandage over his eyes sits gloomily.

"I am Aravashnial, once Chancellor of the Librarium of the Broken Black Wing, as well as the Riftwardens in Kenabres. There is nothing left of them now..."


As the party starts cajoling and intimidating, Doctor Habe tried to argue back, but had little luck against you.
"If you would just list... No, I'm not hi... You can't just... You'll set my patient back..." He pushed his hands out.
"Alright alright! ALRIGHT!" He said, throwing his hands up with exasperation.
"You can see Mister Grayst, but only for a few minutes! Hopefully you'll realize he is useless as a witness and LEAVE!" He said disgustedly.

He turned and opened the southern door and led you into the main workroom. It has three tables and a number of chairs scattered about.

"Grotus!" He called out.
A hulking, and somehow deformed tiefling in an orderlies uniform ducked through a door and looked at you with a glowering surliness.
"Could you please find your brother and bring Mister Grayst down here for a consultation? Thank you." The doctor said impatiently.
Grotus nodded and trundled down to another door south of you and went through.


Meeting the Doctor

The south door rattles and opens up. A tall and bony man with iron gray hair strode in, shutting the door behind him. He is wearing a dark gray cassock and a doctors mortarboard.
Turning a sour expression in your direction, he paused and raised an eyebrow at your odd appearance.

"Yes, I am Doctor Erin Habe. Who are you and why are you here?" He demands abruptly.


The man replaced his top hat and swung his hands wide.
"I am Kaleb Hesse, the Ringmaster of our little troupe!"
He is an albino man with red eyes and long, white hair that hangs below his knees. His top hat is tall and red, his long red coat is rich with gold buckles, and wears striped trousers.

Taking a closer look at the people milling about, you can see a large, shockingly ugly man; three women with tiny heads, a boy who has hair all over his body, a mwangi man with no arms wearing a fez, a lovely eastern lady wearing silk scarves and four arms, and more. All bizarrely shaped somehow, by magic or nature.

"One of our troupe has gone missing! Aleece wandered off more than an hour ago, and with dusk upon us we are fearful for her safety. Young Aleece is too young to defend herself from the creatures of the countryside, and despite our monstrous appearances, we are ill suited to fighting. None of us have the skill to track her, especially in the lowering light.
"I beg of you sirs and ladies! If any of you have any skill that could be of aid, I offer an enchanted dagger as a reward for her safe return!
"Can you help us?"
He pleads, kneeling at the last.

Christoph and Ereviss:

You sense that this guy is pretty slick with a turn of phrase, but he seems sincere.


The good father's right eyelid gave a sharp twitch.
But he gave a brave little smile and nodded sharply.
"Yes. Of course." He said, acceding to Christoph's diplomatically phrased suggestion.


Rhia wrote:
"...perhaps the Prelate will find himself inspired by recent events."

Father Grimburrow folded his hands and bowed his head.

"So let it be." He intoned.

Christoph wrote:
...I can also write to my superior in hope that he will make his own requests.

"Such an effort for my poor parish is above and beyond your call of duty young man; this poor priest is grateful for your efforts." He said, bowing to Christoph.

Ereviss wrote:
...looks to buy 8 vials of holy water.

"For the blessed of Pharasma, the price is twelve crowns per vial of Holy Water." He said, smiling at Christoph and Rhia.

"For all others, the price is twenty five crowns per vial." He continued, glaring at Ereviss.

Ereviss wrote:
"Maybe some doilies and curtains?"

Father Grimburrow twitched violently, and for a moment you thought he was going to have a heart attack. But he recovered and drew in a great breath.

"No." Was all he said.


Ereviss wrote:
"We would like to consult with you."

"About what?" The priest asked flatly.

Ereviss wrote:
"Perhaps purchase some holy water from your supply."

"The Holy Water of Pharasma is available to those with holy missions." Father Grimburrow replied suspiciously.

Christoph wrote:
"Master Ladyhunter and Master Agrimar's experiences in Harrowstone Prison in particular seem to demand our intervention. Such a cursed place seems fit to be hallowed."

Father Grimburrow's face fell even further than you thought possible.

"The ghosts have been banished, it is true; but... to actually hallow that entire prison site is beyond mine and my acolytes power. Needs I must resort to appeal to the prelate of this province."
He shook his head with disgust.
"And of course, the haunted prison has been SUCH a priority that the Prelate has not set foot in this area in the sixty years since the fire." He said bitterly.

Skiia wrote:
She casually scans the spines for titles out of mild curiosity.

Skiia:
You see texts on the history of Ravengro, the tales of the first crusade, the lineage and family trees of local folk, many religious texts with a high proportion of the prophesies of Pharasma, liturgical errata, sacred songs through the ages, etc.

Father Grimburrow looked at you all flatly, then stepped aside.
"Be welcome and enter in Pharasma's final grace." He said flatly.


Kwava:

Clearly relieved at your agreement, he pulls out a common map of Varisia.
Putting his finger on the map, he showed you the route was not so much a highway as a winding dirt road that quickly becomes a Varisian caravan path. It leads north from Riddleport, following the Velashu River for much of its length, rarely veering away from its winding course to reduce travel time.
The route to Crying Leaf follows this road until the Calphiak Mountains recede to the west. About 45 miles north of Riddleport, a hunter’s
trail branches off to the west—it is this road that leads to the rim of the Mierani Forest and the settlement of Crying Leaf.

Looking up at Liz, he frowned.
"Well, you see, the road to Celwynvian isn't so much a ROAD, per se, as a set of trails. A horse could make it through, easily enough, maybe three to five days; but something with wheels is likely to make the trip caravan slow. That, or walking, perhaps, would make the trip at around 11-15 days."


Kwava eagerly listened to your tale of desperate heroism, the seige, the descent into the cliffside caves, the hidden outpost of evil black elves, and what you found in the journal you captured.

Afterward he fell silent. He seemed to be thinking very hard for several minutes before he looked up again.
Kwava pauses for a minute to gather his thoughts, a deep furrow worn into his brow.
“These are... grave tidings.
"When you discovered Vancaskerkin was working with one of the dark elves, I could hardly believe it. Now I realize there are far more
terrible events in motion.
"If the drow have learned how to pull stars from the sky, none of us are safe."

He went to the door to check for eavesdroppers, then he turned back.
“I'm afraid I must ask a great favor of you.
"My employers, the Shin’Rakorath, have only recently revealed to me the full extent of the drow menace in Celwynvian. As much as I would dearly love to see the city, they have ordered me to remain in the Riddleport hinterlands to keep watch for any further drow influence. Yet they have also expressed interest in hearing from you directly.
"This journal you found, combined with the one recovered some time ago from Vancaskerkin’s drow accomplice, would be of great use to my kin in the Mierani Forest.
"The Shin’Rakorath and I ask you to carry these journals to Crying Leaf, a small camp in the eastern reaches of the wood.
"Take it to Eviana, the leader of Crying Leaf. She will know what to do.”


You have Kwava's interest now.
"Tell me."


Kwava nodded.
"Yes indeed. Something about missing Skymetal? Fortunately for you, there are a number of charlatans wandering about today, selling artifacts and skymetal shards from Devil's Elbow."
He riffled a deck of cards with aplomb.
"That will attract a lot of attention away from you. They shouldn't realize it's a lot of colored obsidian until tomorrow at the earliest."
He leaned forward.
"But I was hoping you could tell the tale of your adventures on the island, and what you found there."
He looked at you with some intensity.
"And... who."


At Liz's outburst, Kwava put his finger to his lips, went to the door, looked out either way down the hallway and drew the heavy curtain across.
Returning to the table, he twisted one of the light sconces and you feel the sounds from the exterior muffle to near silence.
You also hear sounds coming from this room that you don't make; the sounds of riffling cards, and random words like 'Two', 'Check', 'Banquo', and 'Out'.
Kwava nods at this, satisfied.
"There. Now we can talk in confidence."


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"It has been suggested that we should recapture the wardstone instead of destroying it." Quednys said, glancing at Irabeth.
Quednys sadly shook his head.
"The fragment is useless at this point to the crusade, and as long as it exists it will continue to be a threat to us. It must be destroyed."
He leaned forward.
"And not by just any method either. It is made of adamant perdurable, and filled with the celestial majesty of generations of priests, angels and Empyreal Lords. It is not going to be easy to turn or destroy; the enemy would not need to wait for the arrival of Vorlesh if it were not.
"Fortunately, we do possess the means to do so."

Turning to the corner, he pulls his staff out, unscrews the top and reached in to pull out a heavy looking five foot long metallic rod with a chisel tip. It is a matte black, and its very presence seems to drink the color from the room.
"With this, a Rod of Cancellation." He said quietly.
The room seems to chill.

"With this, you should be able to drain the last vestige of power from the fragment; in so doing, it will completely sever the wardstone’s connection remaining connection to the field.
"Doing so will rob Vorlesh of a crucial chink in the wardstone field’s armor and prevent her from using it against the crusaders; unless the demons can manage to destroy another wardstone— Something I don’t think is possible in the short term, for the Kenabres stone has suffered numerous attacks over the past several years that made this final destruction possible. Almost,”
he adds wryly, “as if the demons have been planning for this day from the start.”


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Quednys spoke in a quavering voice.
“When the wardstone was destroyed by the Storm King, it exploded and destroyed the Kite citadel. The network along the border, here;” He pointed along a line on one of the maps pinned to the wall in the office.
”Failed, but did not fade completely.
“I believe this is because a significant portion of our wardstone STILL exists, and that the cultists have taken it to the old garrison in Old Kenabres,”

He pointed to another place on a crudely drawn city map, marked by the red X.
MAP of KENABRES CURRENTLY
”Here.
"From what we’ve learned, they’re hoping to engineer a way to somehow reverse the field generated by the wardstones—essentially, to use our own greatest defense as a devastating weapon.
“The attack on Kenabres had a predictable result: causing the crusade to gather at the border to defend it. Some wonder why the demons haven’t attacked in stronger numbers.
“I believe that Areelu was counting on us massing along the border, and that if she can corrupt the wardstone field, she can strike a devastating blow against us all by detonating them all!
"In effect, we’ve lined up for the slaughter.
“Vorlesh is surely seeking some object of great Abyssal power, likely the Nahyndrian crystal mentioned in the missive you recovered, and with it she intends to turn the source of our hope into an unimaginable nightmare.”

Quednys shook his head and sat down.


Aravashnial also came to tell you all farewell.
"Oh, and one more thing. I have heard tell of a hidden cache of useful equipment in the Temple of Iomedae. I don't know exactly where though."


Quednys also nodded to you.
He held out the Rod of Cancellation.
"Who will bear the Rod?"
It weighs ten pounds.


Quednys traded glances briefly with Irabeth, then he turned to Karthak and nodded.
"Yes. We do." He said briefly.
Turning to the corner, he pulls his staff out, unscrews the top and reached in to pull out a heavy looking five foot long metallic rod with a chisel tip. It is a matte black, and its very presence seems to drink the color from the room.
"With this, a Rod of Cancellation." He said quietly.
The room seems to chill.

"With this, you should be able to drain the last vestige of power from the fragment; in so doing, it will completely sever the wardstone’s connection remaining connection to the field.
"Doing so will rob Vorlesh of a crucial chink in the wardstone field’s armor and prevent her from using it against the crusaders; unless the demons can manage to destroy another wardstone—“Something I don’t think is possible in the short term, for the Kenabres stone has suffered numerous attacks over the past several years that made this final destruction possible. Almost,”
he adds wryly, “as if the demons have been planning for this day from the start.”


Arthas wrote:
"Perhaps Radiance can sunder the Wardstone as it did the Idol of Baphomet. To be clear we are to destroy it, not try to recapture it?"
Iavdi wrote:
"Why not try to recapture it?"
Voren wrote:
"should we not recapture the wardstone?"

Quednys sadly shook his head.

"I fear that Radiance, as powerful as it surely is at the smiting of demons, is ill suited to smashing the bastion of holy protections that the wardstone represents. I do not believe you can do it with Radiance.
"As for simply recapturing it, might I point out that the fragment is useless at this point to the crusade, and as long as it exists it will continue to be a threat to us. It must be destroyed."

Jokum wrote:
"...if this 'wardstone' has been in the fiends' hands since the fall of Kenabres, it must be warped beyond hope, no?"

Quednys smiled ruefully.

"Would that were the case. It would be a simple matter to destroy then. But it is made of adamant perdurable, and filled with the celestial majesty of generations of priests, angels and Empyreal Lords. It is not going to be easy to turn or destroy; the enemy would not need to wait for the arrival of Vorlesh."


Quednys spoke in a quavering voice.
“When the wardstone was destroyed by the Storm King, it exploded and destroyed the Kite citadel. The network along the border, here;” He pointed along a line on one of the maps pinned to the wall in the office. ”Failed, but did not fade completely.
“I believe this is because a significant portion of our wardstone still exists, and that the cultists have taken it to the old garrison in Old Kenabres,”

He pointed to another point on a crudely drawn city map.
MAP of KENABRES CURRENTLY
”Here. From what we’ve learned, they’re hoping to engineer a way to somehow reverse the field generated by the wardstones—essentially, to use our own greatest defense as a devastating weapon.
“The attack on Kenabres had a predictable result: causing the crusade to gather at the border to defend it. Some wonder why the demons haven’t attacked in stronger numbers.
“I believe that Areelu was counting on us massing along the border, and that if she can corrupt the wardstone field, she can strike a devastating blow against us all by detonating them all. In effect, we’ve lined up for the slaughter.
“Vorlesh is surely seeking some object of great Abyssal power, likely the Nahyndrian crystal mentioned in the missive you recovered, and with it she intends to turn the source of our hope into an unimaginable nightmare.”

Quednys shook his head and sat down.


ARAVASHNIAL:

Aravashnial tap tapped his way through the door.
He stopped, turning his blinded visage left and right.
"I smell smoke. Please. Tell me there is something.... anything left!"