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DW1: This Is the End

Rivermark is under passive siege. New Tower and its allies are “on a picnic” to the south while a few Calmfork reinforcements are trickling down from the north.

At the Golden Tree Inn we decided to find out what the Chruch of the People is planning.-

Aleria identified the high priest of Church of the People from correspondence. The church seemed to be stalling the war. She also noticed we were being shadowed, and when Lativus and Dodge circled back they saw the shadow was a street kid. Dodge offered to double what he was being payed, and the urchin spun a load of crap before buggering off.

Dodge went to visit the temple to case the joint… devoutly. He saw the building had more than enough room for secret corridors, and surmized one of these would lead outside to a mansion.

At night we got jumped by fairly well-equipped thugs, which we quickly trounced, taking one captive. We had to bail out and ditch the prisoner when two patrols of templars converged on us. After a bit of running about we headed for the mansion.

Dodge found a convenient window to gain ingress, but woke up the nubile young woman – the high priest’s mistress – sleeping there. After tackling and drugging her he lowered a rope for the rest of us. After a bit of bumbling by Asammun. Dodge found the entrance to the secret tunnel in the bathroom while Aleria found arcane writings (alludes to The God of Hardship) in a study. We proceeded through the tunnel to the high priest’s office in the temple.

From the papers in the office we surmised that the high priest, in his ambition, was planning to perform a heretical ritual, just so the pope couldn’t show him up. Dodge found a hoard of coin in a chest. The guards outside were alerted. We killed one, quietly nabbed the other, but, on being wouded, Aleria screamed loudly. Quickly we hauled the guards and the contents of the chest into the secret tunnel.

The guard revealed the high priest was performing a ritual of some sort in a cavern under the temple. Asammun and Thølien killed the guard while Aleria put on a nun’s habit. Then we headed for the cavern with Dodge and Aleria quietly slaying the guards on the way.

At the ritual site we found the high priest bumbling about with an eldritch ritual, with a dozen attendants. Dodge tried to sneak up and bludgeon the high priest to death, but all of a sudden the globe of light in the middle of the cavern transformed into an unearthly eye that stared straight at Aleria, who had just lain a divine ward (which involved squeezing her boob with his hand) on Dodge. Meanwhile Asammun yelled commands at the cultists and earned their ire. Battle commenced.

Aleria saw that the globe was a portal to another plane and the creature beyond was paying unusual attention to mere mortals.

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DW2: The End of the Road

We prepared for the mission. Rafael traded his bag of books for some bandages and antitoxin, while Ix’i found a definitely and absolutely reliable connection for a mage poison grenade that was guaranteed to prevent spellcasting. Meanwhile, Høwke chatted up a Spearpoint mercenary and drank and fucked him out of his coat-of-arms.

Eyfris and Wenna prepared by drawing maps and figuring out the tower’s features.

  • Back door to the kitchens
  • Marbiaga has two elven warmages from Spearpoint, named Brightgrass and Winterdew, who always work as a team. And lotsa traps.
  • Fewer servants, more guards from Spearpoint.

Wenna got nightmares for her trouble.

Ix’i disguised Høwke as an elven Spearpoint mercenary and they walked up to the back door at first light. She successfully convinced the sleepy guard that she was there to relieve him; when asked, she introduced herself as Breakgrass.

We walked in, and the actual relief came to relieve Høwke. We found a bug-out bag in a concealed closet and took it.

We went up the non-trapped stairs to the second floor. Eyfris noted how few servants there were, and how hurried they were.

Farther up the floors had been emptied of people very recently. Ix’i’s brooch trembled.

On the fourth floor we encountered a young half-elven servant girl shivering with cold and sobbing with terror. Eyfris warmed her up with an embrace and told her to fear not and escape via the kitchens – she would not be hunted. The girl complied, albeit hesitantly.

Moving on, Wenna was assailed by dweomer grubs that tried to feed on our souls. Eyfris turned them to ash and we proceeded. The noise of battle had attracted attention, and as we went up the stairs, we found Brightgrass and Winterdew standing guard. They halted us for inspection.

Eyfris, who had followed from a distance, stepped forward to tell them to stand down. The outcome was a battle. We vanquished them with fire, steel and overgrown orchids. Ix’i and Eyfris picked the dual lock on the massive door and went inside. The door closed behind us.

In the winding staircase within Eyfris found an adjoining room containing a crystal orb of soul scrying that Marbiaga had acquired from a necromancer. After Mr Squeaky the Mouse had experienced ballistic trap disarming (and survived!) Eyfris and Rafael looked into the orb and spied upon Marbiaga, whom they saw sitting languidly on a divan, observing something of great interest.

We went up the stairs to the top of the tower and found a trapdoor. Ix’i was checking the magical trap on it when, all of a sudden, a horrorfly swooped inside Ix’i’s head from behind. For a moment he stumbled in confusion as he experienced the memories of a little elven girl. Then the horrorfly flew out of him and entered Wenna, who had memories of baby fever. Then Høwke cut it down as it emerged from Wenna.

Ix’i disabled the trap and Eyfris burst forth impatiently. She charged, howling, at Marbiaga and the two started wrestling furiously. Marbiaga froze the exits from the room. Through fire and ice we finally slew Marbiaga, but then had to turn our attention to the huge undead dragon that burst through a frozen wall. From behind the dragon we heard Macombe’s voice ordering the dragon to attack.

As battle was joined, Macombe broke a row of jars containing swarms of horrorflies, which promptly flew past the dragon to envelop Rafael. Eyfris swooped past the dragon just as it breathed fire, but she landed awkwardly next to the crib of the horrorfly-child, now adolescent, waking him from his nap.

Meanwhile, Ix’i opened a balcony door for Behnam and Rashne, who then tackled the enemy dragon while Rashne shouted for us to all engage Macombe. Not that anyone would actually listen to Rashne.

Despite having an injured wing, the undead dragon lumbered toward the balcony at Rashne’s taunting. It tried to fly, and managed to clip a neighbouring tower as it tried to remain steady. Wenna grabbed onto its tail.

Meanwhile, Høwke got hit by a horrorfly and became Sarush, a Calmforkian man of similar mentality, as well as herself. Rafael, on the other hand, failed to calm down the faerie child so devastated by his “father’s” death, and the child blew him away into Marbiaga’s bedchamber. There, just as his soul slipped from this world, he saw Eyfris shove the sword into the enemy dragon’s belly. The dragon died and half-fell down to the streets below with Wenna hanging on.

Eyfris flew inside and started looking for Rafael and the faerie child. With the last of his strength he gave Eyfris his holy symbol and bade her keep it well. And he died and found a blissful, verdant afterlife.

A weepy Eyfris went to confront the faerie, but he blasted her as well and ran for the balcony. Høwke wasn’t of a mind to let the creature just run off, and together with Eyfris pulled him down. In spite of the recently returned Wenna’s vigorous interference the faerie finally died from Høwke’s attack with the Champion of the People’s sword.

After this Eyfris, brtoken at the great losses suffered that day, grabbed Marbiaga’s icy tiara, flew through the tower to shoo everyone out, and burned it until it toppled.

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DW1: Rockin' the Sewers!

Thølien was stalking outside the walls when a ratman in Aleria’s armour burst out of a sewer outlet. He tackled the thing and interrogated it. It told him about the rest of the group having beaten it and its friends up, and about how it tricked them into letting it go and giving it the armour.

Thølien rushed forth into the sewer tunnels in search of his fellows. He found Lur’s upper torso and arms and followed tails of blood to Aleria. Lativus was nowhere to be seen. Asammun, on the other hands, was. Seeing him half-dead and surrounded by cultists, Thølien powered through to hand the dwarf a healing potion, which the latter then fumbled with and broke. Aleria’s blessing whistle at Asammun garnered some attention as well. But no one noticed the viper nipping at the head cultist.

During the ensuing battle the viper turned into a hooded human who called on the rocks above to collapse upon the ritual. We managed to free the last of the nuns before the rockfalls got out of hand and buried the cultists, as well as the mystery human and Asammun. Aleria had intercepted with her own body the tendrils reaching for the last four nuns while they were being freed. The rocks collapsed on the tendrils and cut her loose from their agonizing grasp, freeing her to help the stumbling Thølien into a stable tunnel, however battered and bruised. From there she tossed Lur’s severed head for the crowd gathering around the edges of the newly made hole in the ceiling to gawk at, and she shouted “This was done by Lur!”

To everyone’s great wonderment Asammun burrowed out from underneath the rock. Thølien left Aleria’s healing embrace to charge into the dwarf’s arms. After the boys had bromanced a bit we bugged out of the city and made camp in the woods.

On his watch Thølien spoke unto his sword, “What was that ritual all about?” and the sword answered in his head “They were trying to create new life, of course. Were you dropped on your head as a child?” Thølien called out “Who goes there?”

And then a cloaked human man emerged from the woods, asking if we’d seen Niels, a man matching the description of the mystery human at the ritual. Thølien and a waking Aleria invited Dodge to join them by the fire. They told him of his friend’s demise. Together they mourned Niels and briefed him about the political machinations we’d discovered from the High Priest’s correspondence.

Morning came.

Asammun had been sent back from the Gates of Death to teach an apprentice, and had decided that Thølien would be the one.

We headed south, towards New Tower. On the way Dodge spoke of rumours about cults and necromancy and stuff in New Tower.

On the way we ran into very lifelike statues. Or rather petrified persons. Thølien saw a snake-haired woman, and knew from lore that this was a creature that could “turn men rock-hard with a glance.”

The medusa walked into her lair and Thølien followed. The rest of us went looking for him, and saw him just as he entered the cave. Dodge wasn’t quite sure if it was looking at or being looked upon by the medusa that turns people into stone. Aleria ran after Thølien.

Thølien, having sneaked a peek at the medusa’a luscious form, he was just about to scamper out when his gaze locked onto the medusa’s boobs. Aleria covered Thølien’s eyes and pushed him into cover, but was left transfixed by the aforementioned mammaries. At Thølien’s insistence and after some bemusing pleasantries she ran off with the northman, giggling.

The party proceeded enthusiastically at random, which took them to Rivermark in record time.

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DW2: New Tower Beckons!

After Høwke healed Vihnsent Macombe, we noticed that Rafael was nowhere to be seen. It just so happened that Rafael managed to piss off the villagers on the way back to the village, and the rest of us found him sulking outside the settlement with pitchfork holes in his cloak. They’d mothballed Anima’s shrine while they were at it. Høwke tried to cheer the villagers up by espousing the merits of the viking lifestyle – they responded poorly, perhaps because Eyfris, all aflame, tried to help her out.

Meanwhile, Rafael talked to Ix’i about Anima, and he listened attentively. Encouraged by this, Rafael tried to bring Eyfris’ fiery wings under her control, but without results.

Wenna was flown to a dwindling town north of the ruins of The White City that features an impressive temple to Aerer (a fortress-like affair previously dedicated to Threvash). There Wenna did a ritual to enable Rashne and Behnam to talk to Aerer. An induced coma (and she took a dose of the hemlock mixture with her for later use) led them to a liminal space between life and death. They experienced this as a party of every kind, looking for Aerer. Rashne asked her if souls were missing, and Aerer said no. Apparently, Wyrmspire had calculated an excess of souls in the mortal world. Puzzled, Aerer tasked Wenna with looking into the matter and blessed her holy symbol to make communication with the other side easier. Then Aerer noticed a disturbance in the trio’s physical location and sent them back. Coming to, they noticed four dead townsfolk wandering around them. They struck them down and Wenna was given a ride back to her fellows, with actual thanks from Rashne.

Eyfris’ wings died out during the night. She went off to bathe, but when she tried to warm up the water her spell fizzled and, to her startlement, a distant horrorfly got bigger. Perhaps befuddled by this, she let Rafael wash her back, and acted merely ambiguously when he told her she looked beautiful with the wings.

Rashne and Behnam let Wenna off on the other side of the river, thanking her again for her help. Ix’i bid Wenna to bathe as well, and she did. He also returned her manacle. Wenna let him examine her ritual hemlock.

Rafael explained to us a ritual for traveling with the power of Anima to where we need to go. We started the ritual, and Anima told Rafael that he should cooperate with other non-hostile deities and their servants. A green, verdant-scented wind enveloped us, and then waned, giving us all a sense of where we should head off to. Eyfris got the impression that Anima was not the only power responsible for this.

We headed roughly west, forded a few rivers, much to Høwke’s irritation. After a day’s travel we made camp, and those not keeping watch fell asleep quickly. Wenna’s dreams were visited by an elderly templar named Darius who told her they were missing only one soul – that of a dragon so extraordinarily vicious that The Vortex of Souls wouldn’t let it through into the mortal world. He suspected the interference of a powerful necromancer or a divine entity. The night was otherwise perfectly peaceful.

The next day Wenna brought up the missing dragon and told us it is now our problem. Ix’i and Wenna had a private chat, wherein he explained he thought our mysterious patron might be this creature. With Høwke’s help Eyfris’ dragon mused that the dragon in question might be the giant dragon that inspired The All-Consuming Flame.

We came to the edge of a magical forest and stepped under its eaves. Inside we felt hunger, thirst and weariness leave us. We followed a game trail that eventually turned into a cart trail and we emerged from the woods to northern cliffs overlooking a grey sea and an inhabited island. In this location, facing in this direction, we had a feeling we were on the right track.

Nearby we saw the New Tower skyline. Høwke saw thatthe city had changed since her last visit: more fortified, the port guarded by warships from Spearpoint (mercenaries?), lines of refugees at the gates, and plague victims.

Near the end of the line there was a camp of magicky nobles off to hunt something unusual. Among them was our mysterious patron in opulent garb. He approached us cheerfully and when he debriefed us he seemed reasonably happy with the result, and was of a mind that the new creature had a place in this world. For our quest he gave us a rusty sword (named ‘’, according to Høwke) and a flimsy shield (’’, ibid.).

When asked, he introduced himself as Sarush.

Eyfris sensed that Sarush’s potential for destruction was incomparable to anything she had encountered before. Ix’i saw the same when Høwke dispelled the glamour Sarush had lain on him.

Eyfris ran into sergeant Tredd, who identified her, at the gates, but let us in at the mention of Marbiaga’s name.

Høwke found us refuge with a Northman witch named Thora. In the backroom of her shop did we plan our assault.

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DW1: Escape from Calmfork

Lativus tracked our meandering trail until it strayed off down a faerie path. She backtracked and suffered through hunger and inclement weather, and eventually ended up in Calmfork.

The gates were firmly guarded against people surreptitiously exiting the city. She found out that Aleria was wanted for vandalism and disturbing the peace. Lativus asked to be given a mandate to search for her in the form of two junior templars. With Sandy’s help she tracked us to the Canal Ward, where she saw the mongrel beast that we had killed, and led the templars into the sewers.

Meanwhile, ten feet above Lativus’ head, Asammun decides to macho it up and wrestle Lur to the ground. Lur, in response, wanted to toss the dwarf out the window. As a result, Asammun flew out the window with Lur in his arms, and the pair landed with a splash right behind Lativus and the templars.

After almost killing each other, the squabbling pair are stirred by a templar trying to grab Aleria, who’d run down the stairs, cursing at them to stop. We took out the templars and buggered off, leaving a diarrheic Thølien to guard our coins, box, and Asammun’s armour.

Aleria led the group calmly to an abandoned attic near the river, where we made camp until evening. Aleria gave Lativus an invigourating massage. Waiting for darkness to fall, we perused the high priest’s correspondence.

The letters discussed the war between Southport and Grainstown, and how the conflict should be exacerbated. We discerned that the high priest of New Tower is behind the plot. Apparently the purpose, however, was to distract the people from some greater scheme.

We decided to head after the nuns first, though. Asammun went to meet Thølien and gave him a list of purchases to bring to the rendezvous point.

While we rested, the search for us intensified.

We traipsed over the rooftops to the riverbank and down into the sewers. When we got to about under the wall, we heard a small group of beastfolk. Lur boasted at them and they attacked. We captured the leader, a ratlike man dressed in silk rags, and slaughtered the rest. We promised the leader we’d let him go if he told us where nuns had been taken. Once bribed with Aleria’s leather armour he gladly told us that the nuns had been taken next to a sewer junction beneath the centre of town.

On the way, tentacles as thick as a man’s waist grabbed onto Aleria. She slipped away with her friends’ assistance, but as Lur made the tentacles withdraw, they pulled her down against the grate and tore her legs off. Asammun, unrelenting, plunged down after the beast in spite of Aleria and Lativus’ objections.

Aleria took Lur’s stuff and head, and the pair headed off. Eventually we came to a chamber where 13 nuns were tied down, stripped bare. Above them a massive, malformed heart throbbed.

Suddenly, a badly torn Asammun burst forth from a grate. into the midst of the dozens of cultist surrounding the ritual.

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DW2: Onwards, to New Tower... eventually.

Ix’i woke up, feeling much better. After a bit of breakfast he followed the rest of the party. On the way he met a happy mouse, fed it, grabbed it, examined it, and stuffed it inside a pouch.

On the way he found the remains of the strange zones, now extinguished. He stopped to loot a ruined temple of The Cult of the Red Grave, but instead of valuables he found a tunnel to the centre of The White City.

While in the tunnel a pressure wave from through the wall slammed him down. The wall was untouched. He shrugged off the water off his scales and ventured bravely onwards. He eventually found the tunnel’s terminus: a temple near the centre of the city, not far from the burning camp.

He went to examine the camp and found a startled Kelli Dogerrty. He looted a footlocker and asked her what happened. She told him. He wrote up a contract under the name S’lur that she owed him a favour. She signed it and was released. She was eager to go and kill her attackers, but Ix’i persuaded her of the foolishness of the notion.

Ix’i noticed a dragon circling the temple of the Church of the People. Suddenly, he felt something strange go through him and come out as a butterfly. He hurried toward the temple.

Inside he saw the rest of the party arguing. Of the setting he surmised that a very unusual necromantic ritual had occurred.

Ahriman, judging by his spear-like soulbound arcane focus, was a formulaic wizard, as opposed to a mage like Eyfris. Old school magic, then.

Rashne swooped in, with Behnam waiting anxiously outside. She examined the area with her usual condescension. We traded our knowledge of Macombe’s whereabouts for information about her mission. She told us of sightings of Salveig and Ohrin the Stormlord in the north, of the queen of Grainstown having gone missing, and that the queen might be The first Avatar.

The party had a bit of an exchange of opinions, and then decided to head for New Tower. Wenna flew off with dragon and rider.

Høwke knew that wizards need material ingredients to cast their spells, and Eyfris knew that they tend to have the ingredient pouches on their persons, booby-trapped. Ix’i strip-searched him thoroughly.

Rafael took the former captives and Vihnsent Macombe to the village. The rest of us went to the camp with a stripped and chained Ahriman.

We chained Ahriman to a post inside the tent and drugged him with goldenroot. Ix’i woke him up and started interviewing the pharmacologically befriended wizard. He revealed that Marbiaga was a sponsor whom Macombe intended to deceive. Ahriman speculated that Aerer and Keeper of the Scales might be on Macombe’s trail, and that he should be notified of the fact.

Eyfris told Ahriman she was vetted by Marbiaga and asked him hoe he could help destroy the ice witch. He told her that if Macombe has his way, all magic-users like her (i.e. mages) would be weakened. In return for his cooperation, she burned him alive painlessly. He had time, however, to say a prayer to the Vortex of Souls that should quicken his soul’s return to the mortal world.

At the village, Høwke sang a healing song for Vihnsent, and it went as well as could be hoped.

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DW1: Ballistic Templars

Aleria dressed in more practical traveling garb and we started tracking the beastmen and their captives. This led us to getting utterly lost until we wandered to Calmfork.

There we met with the local high priest of Church of the People. Upon learning about the lost artifact he started assessing the damage. Asammun interrupted by pushing him into telling him about undead.

We went drinking in an establishment called The Empty Purse. Aleria cured Thølien of his hunger-induced weakness and chased away surrounding wenches. Lur realized, through trial and error, that coloured glass is not in vogue in the area. Aleria fell asleep against Thølien’s shoulder.

The next morning, Asammun got wind of a missing persons case in the city involving the undead. Lur found a wizard to analyze the casket she’d been carrying.

Meanwhile, Aleria and Thølien went to have a friendly chat with the high priest. He wasn’t very eager to let Aleria go, so the two adventurers started tearing the place apart.

Thølien started flinging templars out of the office window while Aleria snuck out and misdirected the reinforcements. Afterward they looted the office of correspondence and 789 coin. Then they walked out dressed as nuns.

After a hurried shopping spree, Aleria and Thølien went to the Canal Ward to find Asammun.

Meanwhile, Asammun was puttering around the district and got mauled into the canal by a giant abomination of a creature. The others appeared and kicked the things furry, tentacled arse-equivalent and adjourned to the wizard’s lounge for tea.

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DW2: To the Revels!

Rafael gets a talking-to by Matriarch Altriel and her cohorts for having tried to flagrantly seduce the servants of Captain Gery Eanwald. They ultimately believed his protestations of innocence (and virginity, as it happens), and while he couldn’t stay in town, Altriel suggested he should hurry on his quest.

Rafael found passage with a caravan for Grainstown, and en route was inspired to stray off. After an eternal moment of walking.

Meanwhile, in the ruined village, Høwke, Wenna andEyfris were taking turns keeping watch. Poor Ix’i had drunk something unbecoming the previous day and was down with an explosive case of upset tummy. On Wenna’s watch Rafael appeared out of the shadows to pray at the funeral pyre. Challenged by Wenna, Rafael flew off the handle and started yelling at her. The rest of us tackled him and dragged him indoors while he shouted “They made me tell them I’m a virgin!”

He quieted down in the building we’d made camp in and was briefed about the sea journey and the village. Rafael cast a Divine Ward (+1 forward to Defy Danger) on Ix’i. We left Ix’i to recuperate and ventured forth.

We trod forward through the rugged terrain until we came to a wall of fire. Eyfris tried to conjure fiery wings but they were swiftly sucked into the wall. She then drilled a hole through the wall, albeit with great difficulty. Only Rafael got to the other side unscathed, and when he demonstrated his protective aura by toying with the wall. This made Eyfris and Høwke suspicious – perhaps he is not Rafael, but an infiltrator?

We saw the ruins of the White City in the distance. Høwke and Wenna realized there was a network of underground tunnels that The Cult of the Red Grave used for burial purposes. Since these tunnels were known to be well trapped
we decided to proceed overland.

We came to another wall, this one completely transparent. Rafael noted that the area seemed to be warm like the height of summer heat. But that was all when we walked through.

We approached the city walls, around which we found another arcane wall. This one seemed to have strange effects on gravity. We jumped through, but during the leap Eyfris and Høwke flew up so high they saw they’d been noticed.

Chasing after the distant observer, we came to a barracks and training grounds. We climbed on top of one of the barracks buildings and saw a tent. And that the dragon statue wasn’t a statue. It flew up, took a well-armored woman off her observation post and swooped down in front of us. The woman, who bore the heraldry of Wyrmspire on her tabard, told us to get down out of sight. We introduced ourselves, and she introduced themselves as Rashne and her mount Behnam.

We told her we were there to kill some Revelers. They suggested there was something even greater afoot than a Reveler party, and told us the tents probably belonged to Macombe and his compatriots. We decided to attack the campsite, which the dragon and her rider considered suicidal for us. Wenna and Høwke got pissed off at them for not interfering so we made haste.

Wenna snuck up on a guard and grabbed her for questioning and learned that weird stuff had happened, and that Macombe might right now be doing something to cause some more. She spoke of Macombe in terrified tones. Just then Høwke blew her horn to attract the Revelers’ attention. We slew the two guards and their captain, but Rafael got struck on the head and fell.

Rafael came to in an idyllic forest glade next to an elderly elf. He took Rafael for a walk and was just about to offer a deal, when Wenna, dressed in traveling clothes, appeared and exchanged nods with the elf. This convinced the elf to show Rafael and Wenna in another direction as they came to a fork on a path.

Rafael came back to life.

Eyfris blew up the wards surrounding the main tent and we stepped in. Inside we found a lab and a dissected corpse. Eyfris noticed, however, that this was no Reveler lab, but something much more businesslike and unnerving – they had dabbled with pure magic, i.e. the souls of the dead. Rafael discovered a text that revealed these people might be doing the work of The God of the People. We grabbed a map, sanctified the body and Eyfris put the tent to the flame (but something survived…). In Macombe’s personal tent we found some money and a holy book of The Church of the People, but with extra detail.

We left Kelli Dogerrty behind chained.

The map showed that the leylines crossed the great temple of the God of the People. Eyfris and Høwke went to scout out the temple. Høwke got stuck on a magically sticky stone slab, and although Eyfris got in unnoticed, she was lured farther inside by something fascinating to the dragon inside her. She found a sideroom which held a large, upturned glass bowl with a white butterfly trapped inside. On her way back she also saw inside the temple. Macombe and two other wizards were chanting around Macombe’s ailing son, who lay in the very centre of the chamber. On one side of him was a pit, on the other side four captives suspended from the ceiling. She surmised that the captives were there not as a sacrifice, but to maintain a balance of souls. On the floor, around Vihnsent, there was a spiral of a shining liquid.

Eyfris returned to the others. Wenna loaned Rafael an unloaded pistol and we approached the temple. Wenna stayed to help Høwke off from the wall while Rafael went ahead to stealthily free the suspended captives. Eyfris tried unsuccessfully to climb onto the roof, and after a bit of a fall crawled in through a crack in the wall instead.

Wenna and Høwke burst in and the former shot at one of Macombe’s assistants. The two assistants attacked them. Battle was joined, but Macombe continued with the ritual.

When Rafael got up the pillar to the captives, he felt that his presence there upset a precarious balance in life force. Once he cut down a captive Rafael felt a hint of divine satisfaction at the resumption of balance. Eyfris just managed to break the captive’s fall by swooping in on wings of fire that proved more permanent than anticipated.

As the fighting continued, Rafael sensed that Macombe’s ritual shouldn’t be interrupted, and used his power to ward him. Thanks to him, Macombe managed to complete the ritual, and a light started running along the liquid spiral to the centre. However, Høwke tossed a fallen assistant onto the spiral, and as the light touched the body, the air was suddenly full of butterflies, and inside the empty garb of the wizard a small thing crawled.

Eyfris, trying to avoid the terrible butterflies, collided with a wall and was stuck there. She did manage to burn herself loose, but lost her chainmail bikini in the process.

Macombe’s last remaining henchman scooped up the bundle of robes from the floor and handed the squirming package to Macombe. We managed to overcome the henchman but Macombe teleported away at the last moment. However, Wenna had managed to cut him with her sword, and with the blood on the blade Eyfris managed to track Macombe to a marketplace in New Tower.

After releasing all the captives from the ceiling, Rafael tried to liberate the ones in the pit on the other side of the room. This didn’t quite go according to plan, and he plummeted in himself. After managing to aggravate the prisoners in every way a naive boy can, Rafael was finally pulled out of the pit only to be faced by angry companions who suspected him of being a traitor. Eyfris almost burned him alive, but at the last moment she saw the innocence in his eyes. “He’s not an enemy,” she said to the others, “he’s just a fool.”

Although Eyfris stands appeased, tensions remain among the others.

Vihncent + 8 villagers drugged, Ahriman beaten and bound, Macombe and faerie child in New Tower

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DW2:

Rafael gets a talking-to by Matriarch Altriel and her cohorts for having tried to flagrantly seduce the servants of Captain Gery Eanwald. They ultimately believed his protestations of innocence (and virginity, as it happens)

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DW1: Hits and Kisses under the Abbey

Our intrepid adventurers woke up properly hungover (except for Asammun, who was sleep-deprived instead).

Thølien confused Aleria with semi-nudity and Lur convinced him that Aleria is a prankster by nature. While Aleria was away to fetch salty food for Lativus Lur and Thølien advised her that Lativus needs booze. Lativus disagreed.

Asammun bought a map “worth ten coins” for a measley three coins. Not a bad discount for a slightly incorrect map. Fortunately Lativus noticed the error after we’d left The Blind Dragon Inn.

Thølien bought two days’ worth of rations with the loot he’d collected from the harpy’s nest, and even got 20 coins in change. Aleria explained the virtues of civilization to Lur, who made her doubt her beliefs in return.

By evening we had ventured a good way into the wilderness. Asammun and Lur had some disagreements which culminated in them wrestling on top of a treetrunk we were using to cross a river. As a result, over half of our food fell into the river and was swept away. A pissed off Lativus went hunting but got her foot stuck in some rocks. A well-fed Sandy led the rest of us to her rescue.

As we approached the abbey we were running out of food, and when Lur offered to sell some from her personal supply, another argument took shape. When the disagreement was at its loudest, Aleria and Thølien noticed someone spying on them and then running away. They followed Lur in a headlong charge into the bush. Aleria ended up hanging from a rope by her ankle and Lur disappeared into the wilderness. Lativus and Aleria kept fumbling with the trap while Thølien and Asammun see that we had been acting exactly according to the enemy’s plan. Thølien and Asammun freed Aleria and Lativus with a flourish.

While Lur was feasting on the satyr scout she’d felled somewhere in the distance, the rest of us were attacked by another satyr force with the apparent intent of capturing us. We fought them off and Thølien managed to capture one. Asammun tried to knock it out but managed to snap its neck. Lativus’ cavalier attitude upset Aleria to the extent that she wandered off, got lost immediately and had to be fetched by Lativus.

Lur returned to fix satyrs into rations.

We reached the Abbey of St. Rona. It had been robbed, defiled and burned, apparently by followers of The Mother of Monsters. In the dorms we found the bodies of two older nuns (Sister Trista and Sister Varna). Hence, thirty nuns still missing.

Since the nuns would’ve retreated to the catacombs, we headed that way. In the main corridor we found the naked, defiled body of Sister Khern hung upside down from the ceiling. Asammun blundered into her and got covered in corpse-juice.

In a prepatorium we found an improvised kitchen. Aleria recognized the decomposing thigh of Sister Nadra from a distinctive birthmark. Angered by this Aleria hastened off toward the mausoleums and ran into a minotaur-like beastman. It got cut down quickly. Onwards we went.

On the way we heard yapping noises and set up an ambush for the approaching hyena-men. We crushed them and went on to examine the defiled burial hall beyond. There we found the very fresh, long-suffering body of Sister Gerda. and onwards.

In one alcove we found Sisters Pieta and Kara, shivering and scared stiff, but alive and whole. We told them to stay hidden.

We found a tomb that struck Aleria as peculiar. Within we found a hidden stairs under the sarcophagus.

Faced with a choice in avenues, we questioned the nuns rather sternly and found out there was something unholy stored underneath the Abbey. Apparently the nuns were kept there. And down we went.

… Into a hidden archive of Unpleasant Things.

We found our way through to a chamber with an empty pedestal, which apparently held whatever the beast-men were looking for. Aleria saw the warding runes around the chamber that was keeping things both from coming or going.

We took our lich-bundle into fitting-looking chamber. Thølien and Asammun got thoroughly zapped by a trap on the door, but eventually they got it open. Inside lay a dais bearing a steelbound oak chest.

When healing Thølien, Aleria felt the favour of Haridalr course through her. With a kiss. An all-round confusing kiss.

Spurred by divinely inspired curiosity and the awkwardness of the moment Aleria hastened inside the chamber and to the box. Thølien felt the touch of our undead cargo in his mind and heard the spirit call eagerly for us to put his remains in the box. Aleria asked it if this chamber would satisfy its needs. When it cried “Yes!” she pushed the chest down to slam onto the floor and placed the spirit’s remains onto the dais. She and Lur grabbed the chest and the whole party ran for the door.

Enraged, the spirit possessed Lativus and stabbed Thølien, nearly killing him. It then jumped into Lur and bashed Aleria before it had to return to its remains, for Thølien pushed the door shut with a mighty effort.

It was clear the 19 missing nuns had been taken elsewhere along with whatever artifact they had come to steal, so having contained the spirit, we collected the chest and the two surviving nuns, and left the catacombs.

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