Reacting quickly, Erros quickly slayed the wouldbe assassin, while Mikhail administered his healing artes, saving the poor woman’s life. But even though we asked, Anevia either could not, or would not, say who the half-ork was or why he was after her life. All we know is that the half-ork yelled something about this for some reason being meant to hurt Irabeth, Anevia’s wife.
Finding no sign of Irabeth in the house, we were uncertain what to do, until Anevia produced a letter from her from a secret stash. It told us that Irabeth had gathered what survivors she could, and was making her stand at The Defenders Heart. We immediately headed towards the heart, but Jack pointed out that Topaz solutions, a potential cultist safehouse was on the way there, and that time was of the essence. It pains me to say that Anevia’s reunion with her wife once again was delayed, as we could not allow potential evidence to be lost.
As we arrived at the store, we found it already occupied by someone, hidden behind blocked doors and barred windows. We tried to talk our way in, but they would not let us enter. Having no other choice, we broke down the door, prepared to once again battle the endless hordes of cultists and demonworshipers infesting this city. To our surprise, a group of survivors awaited us on the other side, looters by the look of them. They grudgingly let us search the shop, already picked clean by them before we arrived. We did however, find a trapdoor, and when asked, the looters claimed they hadn’t searched it. We climbed down, only to find a trap set by the previous owners.
A booming voice, claiming to be Baphomet himself greeted us, hoping we were at least someone important enough to waste a trap on. Then, the trapdoor snapped shut, the room filled with gas and we were attacked by two mandragoras.
We fought off the pests, but found the hideout mostly empty, except for a chest containing some Iomedean holy symbols that Erros to his dismay found out had been coated in poison. As we climbed back up, the looters were leaving, and as none of us were eager to shed blood over petty looting, we let them go.
After finishing at the shop, we finally made our way to the defenders heart, and what a sight she was. Still standing tall, with a flag raised and surrounded by guards, she was a bastion of human resilience if I’ve ever seen one. Inside, we immediately found Irabeth, standing over a table littered with maps and notes, discussing plans with her officers. Never have I seen joy like hers as she laid her eyes on Anevia, and she could not thank us enough for having saved her wife.
Left to our own devices, we one by one parked ourselves at the main bar, and to our delight found Kimroth Otai, the owner of the heart, serving drinks as if nothing had happened outside. Just for a moment, it was as if the attack had never happened. On his insistence, we told Otai our story so far, and before we were done, Irabeth had joined us too. She seemed impressed by our exploits, and made it clear she would be forever grateful if we continued our fight against the demons. Needing no convincing, I told her we would have it no other way, and though I told her there was no need for it, she insisted we be handsomely rewarded for our work.
When the ales were gone, Mikhail and myself agreed to head down to the heart’s smithy, while Erros and Jack went to sell off some of the valuables we had discovered. Looking uncharacteristicly thrilled, Mikhail would not say what he wanted from the forge, but he was carrying around drawings and schematics, meaning we’ll probably be deaf by the end of the week.
As we queued our way to the smithy, I overheard someone seemingly overjoyed by news he’d heard about who was runing the forge. Initially I payed him no mind, but with each passing word, terror gripped my heart ever tighter. Apparently Caelda survived and made her way here. I left Mikhail to his own devices and made a swift retreat back to the bar. Thrilled as I am to hear she survived, I’m nowhere brave enough to go to her with two broken swords, especially when I borrowed one of them from her.
Across the room, I saw Erros negotiating with some old man burried in books. Apparently there is some academic value in some of the unholy artifacts we found, and while I’d preffer to have nothing to do with them, I guess arms won’t buy themselves.
After curageously guarding the bar for some time I decided to once more brave the dangers of the smithy. Hoping to get her sword repaired through one of the other smiths, I almost made it before the treacherous Mikhail alerted her to my pressence.
I may have done many a stupid thing in my life, but never can I recall her being this furious. Before I could even explain myself I was dragged into the smithy and set to tend the furnace and when at last I was let go she was gone.
Knowing that tomorrow would bring more dangers, I collected Radiance and went searching for her. Unfortunately she had retired for the night, so I had no choice but to approach her quarters and pray she had not yet gone to sleep. As the echos of my knocking died down, and the annoyed mumbling and shuffling of the rudely awakened, and severly overworked blacksmith could be heared, the thought struck me that I might not survive the night.
Still as furious as she was in the forge …
for her to be here alone, she must have lost everything. Unable to think of anything to say or do to bring the poor woman even a sliver of comfort I sank down next to her door, and exhausted from everything, I fell into an uneasy slumber. When I woke up, I was clutching Radiance in my arms, and Caelda was already in the smithy. After letting go of all her stored up emotions, she seemed less angry, maybe even kind and I could do nothing but blurt out appologies for anything and everything that sprung to mind. After making sure there was no need to worry about Radiance, I left to join the others, but not before giving Caelda an oath to pay the demons back tenfold for everything we had lost.
We headed out to investigate the two remaining safehouses, the Nyserian Manor and the Tower of Estrod. Swiftly making our way to the inner city, we came across what can only be described as a.bloody carpet of human skin. After taking out it’s guardians, we found ourselves unable to sanctify the altar keeping this atrocity fresh. We made a note to return if we could, and made our way further into the city. Arriving at the manor, we found only a ruin, and with the inner city swarming with demons, we saw no reason to stay.
Before long we arrived at the Tower of Estrod and found it infested by a large pack of cultists. Using the passphrase from the letter, we gained entry and were guided to thinner sanctum of their leader, a thiefling named Faxon. We claimed to work for Hosilla, and that we were trying to blend in with the other survivors. Believing the bluff to be working, we allowed ourselves to be separated only to find ourselves trapped.
Alone with Faxon and his goons
- faxon attacked, and by a spell struck me blind.
- fumbling around, all I could do was wait for Mikhail save me.
- in the nick of time, mikhail burst through the door and shot faxon.
- thinking the day was won, the blade to the neck came as a surprise