Wrath of the Righteous

Tarren's Journal

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18th of Arodus

It's been hard these last few years. Not really belonging anywhere or to anyone. Me and Elarath have made it through, living outside of the city selling goods to a nearby village. Even if it’s not the most honorable it’s at least quiet. Being around people again is difficult for me, not sure it will ever be easy. After dealing with the horror and escape from the mages that threatened us has made it hard to trust. Tristan really has been a good friend im glad he’s here with me. With the Cathedral collapsing i thought the worst. He really has been my only contact in the city. It's easier with someone who has been through the same thing. Finally being able to rest is nice. Been a long time. it feels like down in the tunnels, a rest is welcome even if it's in a unfamiliar place. Seem to be safe though after saving some of the mongrel men from the rubble and getting them back safely to the village. It's good to rest for a time, even knowing we have to get to the surface soon and find out what's left of kenabres after the attack from the demons that drove us into the tunnels. A small group of us seem to have been saved together? Coincidence or not we are in this together, Valentine and Jack are capable in combat and seen like decent company. Anivia and Aravashnial are good people and seem to have connections in the city that we need. Tristan seems determined to follow his path, found peace within his paladin hood. At times he seems to hold me in check, a conscience that i might not have otherwise. Killing out of rage or survival like what happened back in the tunnels doesn’t let me sleep soundly at night by any means. I need that check and he needs me to keep him from having his bravery lead him to far. Hopefully things become clear once we reach the surface. Not sure Elerath, my companion and guide can handle being away from the sky much longer.

                                Tarren Firesong

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Tristan's Log

A lot has happened.

Where last I was writing from the comfort of a well traveled Inn, on my way to Kenabres, I now write from the floor of some kind of subterranean cave system, caught up in a feud between some kind of mongrel-men factions.  It's our only way out. Back to the surface.  Back to what's left of Kenabres.

I can't say for certain, but I believe it's been roughly two or three days since Terran and I had strolled through the city gates, looking forward to the festivities.  I hadn't been there since I was just a boy, but as I mentioned earlier, I was excited about being allowed to participate in the martial contests now that I had been accepted into the ranks of Iomedae's Paladins earlier in the season.  I'm pretty sure Terran came along for the free food, but his company is always welcome, even if that Rok of his always smells like it needs a bath.  I've found my path with Iomedae, and he seems to have finally found his in the green wilds he spent so much time since..  Then.

Anyway, during the festivities.. I don't know what exactly happened, but demons surprised everybody.  Nobody except for Koramozda was ready for the suddenness or the fierceness of their attack, and I fear from the last I saw before falling down a rent in the very earth that ended me up here that even that mighty protector could not match the overwhelming force of the demons ambush.

I obviously survived the fall, somehow.. and Terran did as well, with Elarath in tow.  It has been a comfort just having such familiar friends in this strange place so disconnected from the world I know.  Also with us is a dwarf who calls himself Valentine, and a strange man who calls himself Jack.   Among the injured are a man who has been temporarily blinded and a stout warrior by the name of Anevia, whose leg is difficult to look upon.  They both carry on though, and it is an inspiration to behold.  There was a third, but I will save my thoughts on him for another time.  Valentine is fierce, even by dwarven standards, and if we can keep his temper in check, we will have a much better chance at getting out of here alive.  Jack has been quiet, but his art at healing is truly a gift down here. He seems to be distracted by something, always, but I suppose most of us are down here.

We have met many strange things down here; even a seemingly ancient dwarven temple! I was left wondering how a temple ended up in such a desolate place, and had to leave it cleansed of an evil that haunted it, but not completely sanctified due to my own inaptitude.  I can admit here I have much to learn about being a Paladin.

Eventually, we met a people who call themselves mongrel men. At first glance I thought they were a spawn of evil, but nothing out of the ordinary about their auras confirmed such, and after helping them, they became as friendly as the next person.  They took us to their city, where we met their leader. A person by the name of Sol.  He's agreed to ally with us against the demons, if we agreed to clear out some kind of rival clan.  He assured us they were not friendly, and likely in league with darker forces, as well was told us that they stood between us and the way out.   I had my reservations and wished we would have had more time, but  we agreed in haste so that we could get back to the city we started this journey from, or what was left of it.

There's been battles. We've encountered the promised opponents, but have also met Cultists. I know they aren't demons, and that every human can turn from their path to become good again.. but in Iomedae's name, I burn with the same righteous hatred  for them as I do for the truly evil things out there among the demons. I always will.  

One of them even had in her possession a magical sword! Every time I draw it, it comes alive in my hands, and such a glow and aura of good come from it; it is a wonder she could even hold it, although it  was stored in a case.. so maybe she could not.  Regardless, we've reclaimed a weapon of great power against Evil, I am sure of it, and I look forward to returning it to it's owner, as I'm sure they are an equal match to its potency.

There's no sun or any kind of sky down here, but I feel it's best to catch what rest I can, as it will soon be "morning" and we've a long ways to go yet. 

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Kenabres Attacked and a Fall Into Darkness

Armasse.

The holy day to learn the lessons of history, come together, choose squires, ordain priests, and compete for the glory of those fighting the Worldwound.

Armasse.

From this day forth shall have a new meaning.

 

The crowd was gathered in Clydwell Plaza, ready for the festivities to kick off with the words of Lord Hulrun.  A buss of excitement hung in the air as the sun played off the high stained glass windows of the Cathedral of St. Clydwell.  As Lord Hulrun stepped up to the podium and began to speak a massive flash like the spawning of a new sun flared to the East.  Hulrun’s shadow, grotesque and distorted played across the façade of the cathedral soon followed by a deafening boom that shook the very air. Screams echoed in the courtyard as women and children started to panic as the light died down only to be replaced by a giant fiery smoke plume over the Kite.  A flash of silver exploded into the courtyard as Kenabres’s oldest guardian, Terendelev, the ancient silver dragon, shapeshifted from his human form and burst into the sky.  Opposite him, at the far end of the court yard a rift exploded from the ground and a titanic demon burst forth, giant black horns and lightning crackling around his head.  Khorramzadeh, the Storm King of the Worldwound had arrived!!  As the two met in a shattering clash in the sky, the ground below in the plaza became a scene of chaos as citizens ran for the lives, paladins stepped up to meet the emergent threat of demons bursting from the ground with each rippling shake of the earth.

In the middle of that fracas the ground opened up in a deep rent fissure dropping citizens to the ground, three young women grasping for dear life on the edge.  Valentine Balarog, a dwarven barbarian visiting Kenabres from his local tribe, reacted with primal instinct and rushed to their aid, reaching down to grasp the nearest woman and pull her to safety with a sharp tug.  To his despair, Valentine turned back to the crevice to see the other two terrified women fall from the earth into the black Abyss.  Meanwhile on steps of the Cathedral, the young paladin Tristan Shieldheart turned his eyes to the sky to witness the fight going on in the sky, Terendelev’s tail lashed out at Khorramzdeh catching the corner an nearby inn collapsing the building into rubble upon the victims below. Tristan lept from the step running over to try to dislodge the giant beam laying across a squire caught in the collapse, but even his adrenaline filled strength was unable to lift the beam.  Elsewhere in the square Jack Daft, a local life oracle with a haunted past, found himself being pushed along with the panicked crowd unable to find his footing as souls tried to find sanctuary from the erupting demonic forces around them.  On the other side of the square, Tarren Firesong, long time companion of Tristan, called to his roc companion Elarath to come to his side and spotted Tristan struggling with the fallen beam and began to make his way across the square to give aid.

Suddenly, a massive roar filled the sky as Terendelev dove from the heavens charging down on Khorramzadeh. The Strom King lept into the air bring his flaming sword to bear in a vicious swipe that tore into Terendelev’s chest and sent the silver dragon in an uncontrollable spiral crashing head-first into the front of St. Clydwell Cathedral in an explosion of stone, glass, and iron.  People stood in shock as the massive dragon slid to a halt on the ground only to have the remains of the Cathedral collapse down upon him.  The gathered masses had little time to despair as the earth shook with a great roar and yet another grotesque demon emerged rending the crust of the ground below across the plaza.  The found adventurers found themselves hurtled along with countless others into the gaping seam in the earth. As the ground opened up below them, the silver dragon bent his head into the gap and in a last gasp of defiance waved a clawed hand at the falling crowd evoking ancient words of magic to slow the fall of several people to that of a feather.  The last thing the adventurers saw as they looked into the heavens was the terrible visage stepping up over the shining silver dragon, his flaming whip extending the neck of the creature and the terrible sword coming down in a swift, brutal blow severing the head clean off in a jagged cut.  The world turned dark as the fissure in the earth closed above the falling.

Sometime later, the four adventurers found themselves awaking, bruised and swollen from the fall in a pitch black cavern.  Disoriented about place a time, the four struggled to make their way below ground, Tarren and Jack both summoned magical light and began to explore the vast cavern.  After some time anxiously following the sounds in the room, the four adventurers found each other an introduced themselves.  Tarren and Tristan knew each other, but Valentine and Jack were new encounters.  The companions also encountered a human woman dressed in black leathers trapped beneath the rubble nursing a broken leg.  After a few painful attempts at splinting the leg, Jack was able to successfully brace the leg for a makeshift splint.  The woman introduced herself as Anevia Tirabade, and she seemed concerned with getting back to surface and joining the defense of Kenebras and finding the state of her wife.

Shorty thereafter, Tarren and Tristen bumped into yet another wounded soul sitting awkwardly against a boulder.  White hair wisped away from the elven man’s head along with a nasty scar that recently burned across the elf’s face blinding him.  The man introduced himself Aravashnial.   Aravashnial seemed considerably in control of his facilities despite his injuries and asked to be helped to the rest of the group, grumbling along the way about his lack of sight.  Aneiva recognizes Aravashnial and introduces herself much to his surprise, although he kept any additional comments to himself.  Jack set about to bring his healing talents to the two wounded victims and their wounds became much less pronounced. 

As the party considered how next to approach their current situation, they were joined by yet another Survivor of the Fall.  The well clothed man walking into the circle of light introduced himself as Horgus Gwerm and expected recognition of his position.  Why the party had not heard previously of Gwerm it was obvious to the group that both Anevia and Aravashnial did.  Unfortunately, Gwerm’s haughty and brusque attitude immediately put him at odds with Valentine, who despised the contemptuous comments made by the irascible noble.  The altercation between the two as they bickered about who and how they should explore the cavern came to a head when Gwerm made a offhand comment about the dwarf’s “pint-sized” nature.  The burly dwarf flew into a rage (not a RAGEtm) and grabbed the haughty noble by the neck shaking him violently, injuring the man in the process and throwing him to the ground in disgust at Gwerm’s weak arms flailed against the dwarf. Recognizing his situation depending largely on the aid of those around him, Gwerm fell into a tension filled silence as the rest of the party planned their exploration of the cavern.

As the party navigated their way out into the cavern, trying to get a lay of the land, they came across a giant spider hulking in the corner of the cavern.  The group cautiously approached only to find the stench of the spider overpowering them with the smell of decay.  As the party examine the creature, two massive Maggots burst from the bowls of the dead carcass in front of them and surged forward to attack.  The four adventurers lept to the challenge as they faced their first physical threat in the dark tunnels.  Tristen and Valentine brought their blades to bear savagely slicing into the sickened pale hide of the maggots while Tarren fired arrows from behind, doing his best to stay on target amid the darkness and chaos of battle.  Jack assessed the scene and administered valuable healing aid to those in the thick of combat.  Soon enough, all that remained was the disease infested goo that was once a couple of giant maggots and the party continued on to find potential exits to the cavern.  It was discovered that two pathways led from the cave and, after a quick strategy session, the heroes decided to follow that path that wound toward the surface in hopes they could quickly make their way back to Kenebras.  They returned to their injured companions, discussed their current situation and the party set out for the tunnels.

The group spent a good half hour traversing the rocky pathways and found themselves in a small cavern with an abandoned campsite.  Surprised, the party investigated the area only to find a few stubby candles and a bedroll.  Aravashnial commented this could be the first inclination that there was actually life down here before the attack.  As the party planned its next move, two Giant Cockroaches emerged from the folds in the bedrolls and the party was forced once again to bring pain upon the vermin of the underworld, the batlle was short and swift, but left the party concerned about their luck as already they had already been beset upon twice. The next cavern found no better  for the party as they had to defend themselves from a Venomous Snake that had claimed the territory for their own.  The party’s internal fortitude was beset upon by the deadly venom, but their constitution proved strong and they were able to down the sinister creature.

Before continuing on to the Northwest, Aravashnial implored the party to make sure that all pathways behind them were safe.  Gwerm in his usual manner, provided an acerbic observation that any adventurer worth his salt would have known that.  Valentine issued another threat Gwerm’s direction causing him to sink back behind the rest of the party muttering all the while.  The adventurers, however, headed Aravashnial’s sage advice and traveled to the southwest.  The found themselves in another cavern with high ledges on either side.  After investigating the area, they noticed glints of silver sticking out from the loose dirt at their feet.  Tarren reached down and discovered the silver was not coin, but rather fallen scales of dragonkind, shorn from the neck of Terendelev as he fell.  Each member of the party, was able to discover a shiny scale, imbuing a variety of powers to the adventurers.  Tristen was particularly excited to find his scale granted him the power to levitate, which he soon put to good use as the party caught a glimpse of a leather bag stuck high on one of the ledges. After a couple failed attempts at climbing to reach the haversack, Tristen found himself floating upon a column of cloud and was able to snatch the bag.  Inside the group found an assortment of beneficial items including a couple useful potions.

Upon returning to the wounded survivors, the party continues northwest along a winding difficult stretch of cavern and eventually came upon an old worn down temple. The front of the Façade bore the hammer and anvil of Torag, god of the forge.  As they entered the chapel the found the temple in complete disrepair. Anevia was overcome by memories of her wife Irabeth, and had to take time to compose herself.  Gwerm implied that the party might be better served by not being slowed down by the weak, and caught an angry glare from several of the party.

 A dwarven corpse, head bowed sat facing the dirty alter at the head of the chapel. As Tarren approached, the dead dwarf snapped its head up and lurched to life striking out at the hunter.  Clad in the robes of Torag, the adventures knew something was terribly wrong with this creature.  The battle raged between the party until Valentine with a roar of rage charged at the undead dwarf.  The wet, ripping sound of his axe echoed in the chamber as the Huecuva's head was dispatched from the torso in a smattering of gore that spread violently across the back wall of the temple. The group stood aghast at the violence that Valentine had so casually brought to bear.  Tristen suggested they clean the temple and sanctify it to Torag. Jack and Tarren removed the body from the temple with Valentine went to work scrubbing his mess off the walls.  Tristen worked hard to prepare the altar and remember the correct sanctification rites to Torag. Upon completion of the ritual, Tristen felt convinced the rites were off in some form, but the party felt better having served the light.  Anevia was concerned that they were losing precious time to return to Kenabres and the party reaffirmed its resolution to continue to find a way out of the passages.

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