Wrath of the Righteous

Disaster in Kenabres
16. of Arodus

Went to the opening of the Armasse festival with Mikhail, Jack and Erros. We were seated next to a woman whose presence and beauty I could not possibly do justice with mere words, and Erros was, in an uncharacteristicly social manner, making a complete fool of himself.

The inoguration was about to start when a fiery light from the keep lit up the morning sky, and out of nowhere, a demon appeared who could only have been the storm-king himself. The woman disappeared in a flash of light, and in her place stood Terendelev, kenabres’ draconic defender. The ancient dragon launched herself into the air and engaged the invading demon, and we could only watch in horror as she was struck down. It was at this point that the earth itself seemed to open its jaws and swallow us whole, and only by the dying effort of Terendelev did we avoid plummeting to our deaths.

When we regained consciousness, we were halfway buried, and only by the grace of Cayden himself had we avoided being crushed under a mountain of rubble. Anevia was not so lucky, and only barely did we manage to dig her leg out from beneath a large boulder. She was one of only three others to survive the fall with us. Apart from her, there is Horgus Gwerm, a loudmouthed, pompous aristocrat I can only pray has no relation to my beloved Milja, and Aravashnial, an elven mage, who during the battle was struck blind by the great demon.

We also discovered a few remaining scales of the great dragon and as they still seem to carry some of her magic, we decided to keep them. Erros also discovered a regenerative potion that cured Anevia’s broken leg.

Together, we started exploring the endless darkness of the cave. We came upon an abandoned campsite, and a small church of Torag, whose only inhabitant was the shambling husk of its former priest. Only barely did we manage to destroy the undead creature, as its foul magic struck both me and Jack unconscious, but not before I managed to chip my sword on one of the stone pews. I pray that Cayden let one of the demons end me before SHE finds out about the sword….It will probably be a more mercyfull death.
We left the church after only a short rest, and while it pains me to see a holy site unsanctified and in such disrepair, we have more pressing concerns.

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Neverending Darkness
16. of Arodus

We have been trapped down here for what seems an eternity, and though my traveling companions put on brave faces, I know their thoughts are with their loved ones above. I can’t imagine the hell on earth Kenabres must be by now, if it hasn’t already been burned to the ground, and I cannot help but feel guilty for being hidden away down here, instead of battling the demon horde with my brothers and sisters in arms above.

As we were resting among some statues, we were attacked by creatures Mikhail called shadowlurkers. They apparently belonged to a suspicious-looking dwarf, who disapeared after a short skirmish. I would have prefered to question him, but he slipped away before he could be captured.

We pushed ahead, and by a collapsed tower spotted a couple of strange looking humanoids. We moved closer, and when they did not seem to wish us harm, we hailed them.

They called themselves Lann and Daera, and claimed to be the descendants of crusaders from the first crusade. Aravashnial excitedly reffered to them as molepeople, a term they (with good reason) seemed offended by, and he kept muttering something about a theory and some research. At least it keeps his mind off his eyes.
They also claimed that only a few hours have passed since the quake that toppled the tower, meaning all hope is not lost of returning to Kenabres and meeting up with the city’s defenders.

The odd pair were attempting to free Daera’s husband from the ruined tower, and not inclined to leave the suffering to their fate, we offered our help. We tried, but it pains me to say that we were unable to save him.

Nevertheless they offered their people’s aid and hospitality. We made our way towards their home, and easily crossed a chasm created by the quake (and by the grace of all the divines I will smite down anyone who claims otherwise). I must admit, I cannot see how we can possibly win against these forces without our greatest defender. How can men stand against creatures who can literally break mountains?

The dragonscales have proven to contain restorative magics. Resting near one leaves one rejuvenated, and although they loose their power after use, it somehow feels wrong to just throw them away. I think I will keep them until I can find a proper way to bury them.

We also passed through the lair of a sporecougher. Lann claimed it was a fierce predator, and that we should be on guard, but in it’s lair we found it slain at the hands of what at first glance seemed to be Iomedean crusaders. After further inspection though, to our horror, evidence of demonworship started to appear. These “crusaders” seem to be followers of Baphometh and Deskari. It would seem that the demons are not our only enemies. We have traitors in our midst.

After a while, we made it to Lann and Daera’s village, where, after seeing a brooch Erros had picked up at the abandoned campsite, we were immediately taken to see the village chief Sull. He told us the brooch belonged to his son, but unfortunately we could give little comfort other than not having found a body.

The chief seems like a honorable man, kept away from the battles of his forefathers by pridefull men put of by his people’s strange apperance. I cannot see how we will ever win against the abyssal horde if we turn away willing warriors, and I gave him my word that if they answer when the call to arms comes, no righteous man will reject their aid.

The chief also told us that with the recent quakes, only one route to the surface remains: through the lair of their traitor cousins. While I do not rejoyce in sheding blood, demon worship cannot be allowed. Justice will be served.

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An unexpected disovery
16. of Arodus

I do not believe I have ever faced as fierce an opponent as this pack of cultists, and only through perseverance and dumb luck were we victorious in our initial encounter with them. I still cannot believe Erros’ first valiant charge into their midsts, nor how he miraculously made it through unharmed. The rest of the skirmish is a blur. We dove in after Erros and engaged a pack of the madmen lead by a lunatic with a bow and a lizard larger than any I have ever seen. I must have taken an arrow or a bite from the lizard, for not even the combined healing powers of Mikhail and myself could keep me on my feet. I am told that Erros finished off the beast, while Jack and Mikhail drove the leader into a corner and finished her.

As we barely managed to defeat these cultists, we were forced to take another rest, using another dragon scale, before we dared venture forth.

We pushed on further into the lair and finally encountered the cult-leader, a woman called Hosilla. We prepared for what would certainly be a tough battle, but thanks to Cayden’s own luck, the cult leader was knocked out by one of Erros’ spells before the fight had even started.

Without their leader, the remaining cultists proved no match for us, and before long we had cleared the lair. With only Hosilla left alive, we could once again take a short rest, during which Mikhail began interrogating our new prisoner. He discovered Hosilla’s letter that, among other things, spoke of the demon horde’s plan for Kenabres..

… I cannot believe my own eyes, it is really here. I have found Radiance. Hostila’s letter claimed they had stolen it, but until now I could not believe it to be true. I cannot imagine myself being worth of carrying such an artifact, but by Iomedae’s wellformed arse I swear that I’ll nevertheless bring it back to its rightful resting-place.

In the short time I had searched for Radiance, an argument had broken out between Erros and Mikhail regarding Hostilas fate. While they agreed that she could not be released, they could not decide what to do with her.
As neither Mikhail nor myself liked the idea of killing an unarmed woman, Erros agreed that we should bring her with us… I only hope there still are someone alive who know what to do with her.

We left the lair behind us, and as we neared the city sewers, we were clumsily ambushed by a pair of lesser demons. Erros, encumbered with Hostilas unconscious form, and Mikhail, nauseated by the demons foul odor were forced to keep their distance. Jack and I, in a decision that would prove near fatal, agreed to press on. Refusing to wield Radiance against the foul creatures, the demon overpowered me, and had it not been for Jacks timely rescue, I would have met my end there.
Never again will I underestimate the creatures of the abyss. They will once again learn to fear the light of Radiance, and may the divines forgive me should I prove unworthy of wielding her.

As we made our way up through the sewers and once more onto the streets of Kenabres, we were dumbstruck by the hellscape awaiting us at the surface. Houses aflame, screams and hideous laughter wherever you turn, the Kite torn asunder and the wardstone destroyed. I would have fallen to my knees and wept were I not with my companions. But this is not the time. We still have to fight for our city.

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Arival at Kenabres
16. of Arodus

We emerged into the hell on Golarion that was Kenabres, and staying true to our word, headed straight to the [blacksomething] library to bring Aravashnial back to his comrades. Slowly, we made our way through the burning city, avoiding bands of demons on the hunt for anything to entertain their twisted minds. Fully aware that if caught, death would be a kindness we would swiftly beg for. Like the woman we came accross, bound and naked in the street. Her eyes telling of all the terrors she had seen before the demons had grown bored and left her. I would have liked to help her, but she had clearly been broken beyond any aid, and all we could do for her was give her a mercyfull death.

Further along the road, we came across the Golden Strings, a provider of instruments frequented by Mikhai, as it was being savaged by a [hvaenn den demonen het]. Spotting the aging owners still inside, we had no choice but to run to their aid. I engaged the [rottedemonen], while the others fought off the pack of dretches it had brought along. Bringing the divines wrath with us, we swiftly overpowered the demons, but not before the [rottedemonen], showing its hatered for all things beautifull, took a nasty bite out of Radiance. The others claim I am imagining things, but I know in my heart that the blade has been badly damaged. I am disheartened. I have not yet wielded the blade for five minutes and already she is broken. Iomedae forgive me.

The aging owners were grateful for our aid, but when we offered to bring them along in the search for a safe haven they regused. I tried to reason with them, and given time I would surely have done it, if not for Erros and his idiot mouth. Going on and on about the terrors awaiting outside, the fool scared the old couple near death. For all his wits, the man needs to learn when to hold his tounge, or some day we will all pay the price for it.

Leaving the owners behind, we continued our march towards the [blacksomething] library. We were making good progress when we heared the pleading cries of a young lady. Rushing to her aid, I was distraught to discover it was none other than my Milja, surrounded by our own brothers and sisters in arms. Desperate and wounded, they were resorting to heretical practices long ago forbidden by the church, and attempting to bless their blades with the blood of a maiden. We desperatly tried to reason with them, but lost to madness and dispair, their leader plunged her blade into the poor girl. I do not remember much of the battle, but when I came to, Horgus was cradling Milja’s lifeless body, and we had to tear him away before the last slivers of life left her and all hopes of saving her were lost. After minutes of breathless terror, Mikhail managed to bring her back to life, though her back was injured to such a degree that she was rendered paralyzed. I will save a prayer for all divines good and just, for sparing me this one loss on this tragic day.

Slowly, we moved on, and finally arived at the [blacksomething] library. What awaited us there was a charred ruin, with only a stone tower left standing. As we approached it, a man emerged, his armor drenched in blood and once again we prepared for battle. But he greeted us, and I must admit, I was glad to get a short break from the endless battles. Jack eventually recognised the man as [whatshisface], a local gloryhunter of some renown.
Thinking we had finally found friendly combatants, we were caught flatfooted when he attacked Erros as he was trying to enter the tower.
We fought, and he quickly surrendered, and not eager for more bloodshed we gladly accepted… Untill the depth of his treachery was uncovered. In the tower, we discovered a girl, raped and beaten, desperately attempting to put out a wall of books urrounding the last surviving librarians.
They claimed [whatshisface] had done his foul deeds as a gesture of loyalty to any demon who would accept him.
Needing no more proof of the man’s guilt, I ushered everyone inside so noone would have to bear witness to the foul deed, and then ended the mans life.

We left Aravashnial at the library nd made our way to Gwerm manor. Inside, we were payed quite a heafty sum of gold for our aid, and before we left Horgus even agreed to let survivors take shelter in his fortress-manor. I am hesitant to leave Milja, but other matters require my attention, and as I swore to her, I will find a way to make her better.

On our way to Anevia’s home, we came across some survivors enacting some gruesome play in an outdoor theater. After a short skirmish, we chased away the demon responsible and sendt the poor people to Horgus’ manor for safety.

With no further obstacles in the way, we made our way to Anevia’s home. Treading carefully, and with eyes peeled, we still could not foil the ambush laid for her by a mysterious halfork, and before we could even think, Anevia was ablaze with a spear through her gut.

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A safe haven
16.-17. of Arodus

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

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The first counter-attack
17.-18. of Arodus

- I was dead(ish)
- found Faxon’s treasury and evil plans of evilness
- found letter to faxon
- returned to the heart with evil plans
- horgus was there, with Irabeth thanking him for something.
- old man called quendys was there
- horgus left
- everyone thankfull for our work
- i was brought back
- was going to take bath, found Milja, plans changed
- ordered fullplate from caelda
- next day: Irabeth told about plans to destroy wardstone-fragments
- went to church with irabeth
- destroyed corrupted remains of lord Nyserian and high inquisitor Huldrun.
- fought our way through packs of demons and cultists.
- found a lunatic in charge of the enimies on this floor, destroyed him
- after securing the floor, with the blessings of iomedae we discovered an armory in the back of the church, prepared to push further into the church.

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Close encounters
18. Arodus

- Battled up the tower
- Found a tainted divination pool
- clensed said pool, saw div (demon minotaur, ritual elf)
- used last scale to prepare for fight
- Ham was gone (minotaur held us off)
- Erros mangled (seriously bad)
- Stormed out screaming for vengance
- Demon was felled with our combined holy might
- Before Erros could be mourned, Mikhail brought the rod of cancellation to the wardstone fragment.
- Burst of divine power and we were held still and through some magic, Erros was once again with us
- Saw flashbacks of the history of the crusades.
– Saw the creation of the wardstone after the second crusade by an angel and a horde of paladins
– Saw lord huldrun burn some peoples during 3. crusade?
– Saw the stormlord put a crack in the wardstone while shattering his sword before he was nearly destroyed by Terendelev.
– Saw the dwarven crusader (MV) be chased by Irabeth, battle her then escape on fiendish mount.
- Demonish lady projected in, offering limitless power for our service. Naturally we refused.
- She was about to summon in loads of div, and we would have been overrun had not a second burst of holy energy destroyed her projection and shattered her portals like glass.
The few demons who made it through would easily have slain us, had the wardstone not infused us with a divine power I cannot even begin to describe. It felt as if we could singelhandedly take on the abyss and win. Before long, the demons were slain or fleeing in panic, and with a salvo that shook the tower to its very core, Mikhail finished off the final demons.

Staggered by this unknown power, we suddenly found ourselves in a great hall, domed by a night-sky unlike any I have ever seen. Before us was a pedestal, where seated on tall thrones sat the unmistakable forms of Torag, Sarenrae, Desna and, slumped across the final throne, Cayden himself.

- Saying they had watched over us for a while, but been unable to act, Iomedae bid us take up arms in their steads, and fight the hordes of the abyss for the sake of all that is good in this good world.

- should have asked Iomedae if it was ok to keep borrowing radiance, and hope (if it’s not to presumptuous) to one day take Cayden up on his offer of the pub.

- we were returned to the church to find it cleansed of the evil taint. Irabeth asked what happened, and Erros, with words not completely unfitting for the occasion, mangled the tale of our meeting with the gods. Irabeth was awestruck, but no more so than we were.

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mere stuff

people are crazy after battle in sky, met queen, gathered army to retake dresen, traveled east, found abandoned village, attacked by assassin win ddemon followers

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Something

we traveled towards dresen

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