After an evening of rest back in Neatholme, we collected our charges and returned to the surface. Yurik felt that he had fulfilled his obligation in aiding our return to the surface and elected to remain in Neatholme. When we once again reached the surface, we lost another comrade. Phoenix felt a calling from within the ruins of the city. I guess all the violent deaths had produced some unquiet spirts. Phoenix said that there was something that she had to do alone and with that, she turned and walked away. Odd? Well, we have other things with which to attend.
As we surveyed the ruins, we wondered at our next step? The Kite would have been our best bet had it not been completely obliterated. Without a clear objective, we chose to honor the requests of our charges to be returned to their respective residences. Anevia wished to be taken to her home, Horgus insisted that we return him to his manor and Aravashnial asked to be escorted to the “Blackwing” library.
Given where we’d surfaced, we elected to visit the closest location first and then go to the next in turn. The closest place being the home of Anevia and her spouse Irabeth. The small house was dark when we arrived. Anevia went right in and called for Irabeth. We were all surprised when a fire beetle appeared before her! Seb slipped inside and killed the bug. I surmised that an invisible personage was hidden within, summoning. Everyone else went inside to begin searching while I remained with the others. Another beetle appeared and it too fell quickly. Then a half orc appeared and attacked Anevia. He bellowed something about leaving her body in the bed for Irabeth to find. I summoned a dire rat that proved to be rather ineffective. It mattered little as the half-orc swiftly fell under the onslaught from Emp, Ram and Seb.
Anevia recognized the half-orc as Vagorg, a criminal whom her spouse captured some time ago. It seems that he felt that the chaos of the demon attack made for a good opportunity to pursue a vendetta against the paladin. Anevia was quite concerned over the whereabouts of Irabeth, until Seb showed her a note that he’d found within the bedroom. Irabeth had left a package of supplies and a letter directing Anevia to the Defender’s Heart Inn where the remaining crusaders of Kenebras have created a defensive position. It’s reassuring to know that we have a safe refuge. We asked the others if they’d prefer to go to the Defender’s Heart? Both Horgus and Aravashnial chose to continue to their destinations.
Our next stop was the manor of Horgus Gwerm. He was grateful, at least as grateful as he could be to us. Although he was angered that his guards and servants had fled (along with many of his possessions), he paid us a reward for our assistance and chose to take refuge in his still secured vault. We advised him that we’d send help for him after reaching the Defender’s Heart.
As we moved along, we passed by a wrecked shop, “Fine Fittings”. From within we heard screams. When we investigated, we found an abrikandilu demon destroying the place. We attacked and slew the abomination. The shop owners were very grateful for our aid. In thanks, they gifted us all with an outfit of fine clothing. I’m not sure when we will have a chance to wear them, but we appreciated the gesture.
We pressed on and reached the Library of the Broken Black Wing, or Blackwing as it was known to the locals. When we arrived, we found that only the main portion of the building was still standing. From within, we heard shouting. Inside, we found 3 librarians, bound, while a 4th was being forced to build a ring of books around them by an armored crusader? He attacked when we entered. Emp shifted into a wolf and with the aid of my earth elemental, put down the crusader. 2 teifling rogues attacked the others when they entered, Ram killed one of the rouges while Seb took out the other.
Emp and I restrained the crusader and a small heal restored him to consciousness. Together, Emp and I attempted to try and talk some sense into the man, to offer him a chance to atone for his evil acts. He was unrepentant, however, claiming that the demons were going to win and he intended to be on the winning side. He was lost. As the penalty in this land for collaborating with demons is death, Emp and I stepped aside and allowed Ram to attend to this criminal’s punishment, much to the joy of the now freed librarians.
We found a couple interesting finds amongst the rubble. The first was a spellbook which I made sure to appropriate. The other was several dried worms! We realized that they came from a Worm that Walks! There have been stories of a Worm that Walks leading one of the cults that operate from within the Worldwound. I wonder what could’ve drawn it out?
Aravashnial elected to remain behind at Blackwing to aid the librarians in protecting the library. Before we departed, the librarians told us that the head of the library, Quednys Orlun was in the city center during the attack. If he’s still alive, they requested that we inform him of their survival.
Our next destination was the Defender’s Heart. We began picking our way there through the ruined streets. As we approached an abandoned shrine to Sarenrae, we beheld 2 knights surrounding a kneeling woman. She was weeping as one of the knights tried to console her with words about how her sacrifice will aid the cause of good. We immediately challenged them and demanded that they release their prisoner. Their leader told us that they must anoint their blades with the blood of a virgin, thus will they become demon slaying weapons for a time. I remember hearing this. It is an old hillfolk superstition. I began speaking to the knights and was able to appeal upon their sense of honor and duty. Having a paladin of Iomedae with us, standing in judgement of their actions proved to be enough to convince them to abandon their plans. We attempted to convince the knights to come with us to Defender’s Heart, but the refused and walked off into the ruins.
The woman, Klarah, was grateful for our help. She’d been hiding nearby with her parents and had been caught while out foraging for food. We escorted her back to their shelter and gathered her family, bringing them with us. In appreciation, Klarah told us of some of the things that she’d seen during her forays. Of interest was a sighting of some cultists and teiflings coming and going from the Tower of Estrod. This might be something into which we should look.
After a bit of a walk, we finally reached the Defender’s Heart Inn. We didn’t even need to use the password that was left by Irabeth. As we approached, some of the guards recognized Anevia and called out that the Commander’s wife was approaching and to let us through!
Upon gaining entry into the inn, Irabeth met us. I was a bit surprised to see her, a half-orc paladin of Iomedae, but after she and Anevia had a joyful reunion, she asked us what had transpired? We then recounted our time in the bowels of Kenebras, our fight to the surface, the discovery of the infiltrators, the alliance with Neatholme and our return to the surface. Irabeth was delighted to hear about the offer from the Mongrelmen, she immediately dispatched some of her knights to make contact with Chief Sull. She was also interested in our report regarding the cultist sighting at the Tower of Estrod. She suspected that the cultists had a safehouse within the city. Her soldiers were occupied with the defense of the inn and thus, she requested that we investigate the tower and destroy any cultists within. In the meantime, she had some rooms made available to us for rest. We also discovered that several merchants had taken refuge here. This gave us the opportunity to buy and sell some items.
After an evening of rest, we set out for the Tower of Estrod. It was easy enough to find. The towers doors were locked, but Seb easily picked them. Being a teifling, he proposed a plan. He would enter, posing as a cultist in need of aid. He would try to gather up as many cultists as possible and lure them outside where we could destroy them.
Despite my skepticism, the plan worked! Seb barged in and told the 2 guards within that he needed help at once. Regardless of the fact that he never gave the password that they requested, 1 guard came at once, while the other ducked downstairs for a few seconds before following. The delay gave us ample time to dispatch the guards individually and move into the tower’s ground floor.
Seb then snuck downstairs as we awaited his signal at the top. A few second later we heard the sounds of fighting and stormed down. As we moved into the lower level, we saw Seb swinging blindly at another teifling! I began to summon from the stairs. Ram and Emp charged into the battle. The teifling cast a spell upon Ram, he suddenly then staggered under the weight of his armor and his charged slowed to the pace of a snail! Our adversary then retreated to a corner to make a stand. It mattered little as my elemental finished him just after he appeared.
Emp and I searched and looted the area. The next room held a makeshift temple to Baphomet. We looted the coffer and pulled a brazen head from the wall. Despite it being an item hallowed to Baphomet, it could still fetch a decent price from someone with less nefarious purposes in mind. We also discovered some documents including a message from Minagho to Faxon. It stated that Vorlesh had traveled to the Abyss to retrieve a Nahyndrian Crystal. Between a few of us, we pieced together snippets of lore and deduced that these crystals originated as the result of demons being murdered. The letter hinted at some sort of plan to use the wardstones against the Crusade. This needs to be reported.
We gathered everything that we’d found and departed. Our journey took a bit longer than normal due to having to assist a blind Seb and a weakened Ram. Hopefully there will be priests back at the Defender’s Heart who can remedy their conditions.
Irabeth was very pleased with our success at the tower. She ensured that we were well rewarded for the documents that we recovered. The news about the crystal and the demonic plans for the wardstone concerned her greatly. She bade us to rest and recover. Tomorrow, we would meet with her ally, Quednys Orlun (the head librarian of Blackwing?) and from there we would formulate a plan.
Bring the Jubilee
Campaign Journal of Nik the Crow - Session 3
Adventures in the Worldwound - Session 3