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Session 155 - Fresh Baked Patsy

posted Apr 25, 2020, 6:20 PM by Will McCain

After sharing their findings with Corwin, the Maladroits debated on what to do. They thought of taking direction against Forsythe, but that stood to be too high profile  if it was traced back to Callon. More importantly, it seemed incredibly out of character for business dealings in Morend. Something else could be afoot. In the end, they decided the best way to learn more was to ask Forsythe himself. Even if he refuted the charges, maybe they could learn what would push him to such extremes. 

As Forsythe wasn't a noble, they had no obligation to inform him of their desire for a meeting. A sudden appearance at his door was met with a cordial welcome and followed by a genteel discussion that danced around the issue while the Maladroits tried to feel him out. Not making any headway, they asked him directly about the assassinations and laid out the evidence they had found for suspecting him. He seemed genuinely shocked by the accusation. He starts to respond, but turns in surprise at a loud crash from the rear of his property. Looking out his window, everyone sees centaurs and satyrs emerging from the wood and ready to charge the manor.

Some more pieces of the puzzle begin to fall into place in the minds of the adventurers, but they first had to fend off this unexpected assault. They tell him to take cover somewhere as they head outside to meet the invaders. Their numbers are alarming, but none of them prove much of a challenge for the veteran fighters. Smoke suddenly fills the house, but the lack of fire suggests that it was simply a security measure that Forsythe had activated. While they try and piece together the motive for the assault, the driving force itself appears as the Erlking himself emerges from the wood.

Session 154 - Immigrants Wronged

posted Apr 25, 2020, 6:00 PM by Will McCain

The Maladroits were finally admitted to Corwin's office, where he brought them up to date on happenings in Morend. The tales surrounding Callon were in part spread by him and his efforts marketing new products using his elder brother as an inspiration. As Callon feared, his letters home from Riparia had never arrived. He apologized to his younger brother for letting him think him dead for so long, but Corwin didn't seem to take much umbrage and was just happy he was alive. 

Attention then turned to Lilu and her hamadryad companion. Corwin explained that both of them were refugees from the Shalewood in eastern Morend and the mountains bordering them. The hamadryad, who is by nature a queen of the forest, had fled from the Shalewood when an erlking, previously summoned from the Feywild to help fend off invaders, had refused to return to his home plane. He declared a war on civilization, which the gentle hamadryad opposed. She wanted to warn the nearby towns, but was chased by his soldiers. In her flight she had met Lilu, who agreed to fend off the pursuers while local Naiads helped the  hamadryad escape. Both were injured and ended up floating down the river towards Morend City, desperately clinging to life. By chance they washed up on the shore of the Foxmane estate, where Corwin found them and offered them sanctuary. 

The group also learned that Lilu had been born a Dwarf in the eastern mountains that border Morend and trained as a Monk of the Four Winds. She had died in combat, but her mastery of her discipline afforded her instant reincarnation into a new body. She awoke as a human in village some distance from the mountain dens, where she met the hamadryad.

Another troubling issue was the troubling news that Corwin had been the target of three separate assassination attempts in the recent month and a half. That coincided somewhat with the appearance of the hamadryad, but the group couldn't make any conclusions baed on the little information Corwin had to offer. It did help to explain how aggressively Lilu had received the armed party. 

Now up to speed, the Maladroits decided to do some legwork and take care of some other lingering issues. For his part, Callon went with Carissa to visit the Brinehearts in order to clear the air. He explained as well as he could about Beletsirana, and how the extant Foxmanes were trustworthy allies. Reflecting aftterward, he realized they wanted to hear him speak more on Carissa and the future he saw with her. Nonetheless, a tenuous agreement and understanding between the families was forged.

Knox and Alera searched around Morend for information. They learned about a conglomerate whose markets were in direct competition with Corwin. It was taking the unique path securing funds from commoners to fund its efforts. The founder, Reynold Forsythe, became a prime suspect for the assassinations in her mind. They also happened upon a shop serving arcane needs, which was a rarity in Morend. It was run by a Verona Skyspark, who had come to the capital from the southern city of Eyrie. She was fascinated by Knox's arcane talent, and was herself a fan of the Marvelous Tales that Jonid had spread so effectively.

Lucas flexed his roguish might and learned the details of the different assassination attempts. Each had been perpetrated by different people, two of which the guard had custody of. Searching their records, he couldn't find much information on them. He did, however, find records of bribes that might explain why so little legwork had been done. Searching the back channels, he also learned of a contract out on Corwin.

Returning to the estate, Lucas tested its security a bit, to the consternation of Lilu, who WAS said security. A brief prank war ensued, which earned her some esteem in his eyes. Lilu's estimation was yet to be determined. 

Session 153 - Pressed Sternum Depression

posted Feb 16, 2020, 1:03 PM by Will McCain

The Maladroits finally enter Callon's family home and are immediately greeted by a monk bodyguard named Lilu. She is a little too eager in her duties, and is more inclined to fight the party than listen to Callon's protests of it being, in truth, HIS home she is defending against him. She holds her own surprisingly well against the party, with pain dealt and healed in equal measure. The heretofore expatriat hommadryad queen of the Shalewood that was helping Lilu came under assault from the party, but pleaded for them to stop fighting Lilu. Sharing her protests with the monk, the party managed to convince her to stand down with a flash of Callon's Foxmane signet ring. With a wary truce, Lilu began to lead them to Corwin's study, ominously asking that Callon not do his brother any harm after they spoke. 

Session 151 & 152 - Star Crossed and Sea Tossed

posted Sep 8, 2018, 6:05 PM by Will McCain   [ updated Sep 8, 2018, 6:08 PM ]

Rike the Bard. Denea the empathic arcanist. Beatrice the motherly cleric. Sir Worg the battle-hungry. Delve the emotionless monk. <Geordi> who saw and acted through his ship. Visili the annoying. They all seemed strangely familiar. They all turned with respect at the appearance of their captain, Carissa Foxmane. Callon was speechless in joy and confusion as she walked over to the discussion. Callon expressed his amazement and asked how long she had been awake. She ignored his question and calmly stated that if they wished to book passage, the fee would be much higher. Callon was shocked at her coldness, and pushed against her demand, asking what happened to her. Did she even get his letters? They arguee back and forth, with Carissa placing a hand on her blade at one point as a warning. Having had enough, she stormed off. Callon, however, called after her with parts of a song from their wedding. Carissa stopped, but didn't turn back, even as the rest of the crew joined in Callon's singing. The Maladroits were very confused. As they reached the end of the song, Carissa finally joined in the chorus as she rushed back to throw herself on Callon in tears.

Reconciled for the moment, Carissa told her crew to set sail as the Maladroits sat down with her to see what had happened in the time Callon had been away. She told them that she had awoken from her mystical sleep not long after Callon had left for Riparia. Her family told her that Callon had stayed with her after she fell into her sleep just long enough to satisfy propriety and then quickly made his exit. Nothing had been said of their convincing him to annul the marriage. She refused to accept the decision, and took her favorite ship from the Brineheart fleet and left Morend. With legitimate enterprise no longer an option, she became the pirate captain of the Sparrow and raided ships in the seas between Riparia and Morend. Though refusing to surrender her married name, she was still angry at Callon for leaving her as she had been told. Callon explained not only their great mission and the vision that pulled him away from Morend but what happened at the wedding that he learned from the Maladroits' adventure with Beletsirana. There is little time for anyone to process either revelation as a Dead Ship closed in on them and battle was joined.

Undead flesh given form and motion by the restless souls of those lost at sea, Knox recalled what such vessels are capable of. Carissa and Callon called everyone together to first receive buffs from Alera and Beatrice before facing off agains the horror. Before they can be dispensed, the ship attacked with one of its dreaded abilities, slaying Sir Worg and Delve. The two groups continued the plan, and magics were dispersed. With their flight and other reinforcing magics in place, Callon, Lucas, and Carissa soared out over the waves to engage the enemy. The arcane casters began pouring spells into it, while Alera and Beatrice started using their healing arts to disrupt the energies of undeath. Carissa tried to damage the ship first, but missed. Moments later, Lucas and Callon got into their usual positions and began landing strikes on the fleshy hull. Alera and Beatrice decided to take a more hands-on approach, with Beatrice teleporting over and Alera flying over like her comrades. They both unleashed channels and Heal spells into the terrible vessel. Callon had received a particularly potent blessing from one of Alera's spells, and decided to try using a new ability he had access to: the Smite attack of a Paladin. Charged with holy power and Callon's own might, the ship was unable to avoid its doom. 

The group returned to the deck of the Sparrow. Alera and Knox examined the fallen, and determined that the terrible rending away of Sir Worg and Delve's souls could not be undone with a regular resurrection spell. However, the use of Miracle on each one from Alera should suffice. For such specific cases, she wouldn't even have to supplement the spell with the usual amount of gold in order to petition the Dawnflower. The bodies were preserved until the morning when Alera would have the magic prepared, and both crew and Maladroits relaxed, glad to have survived and a little more comfortable with their circumstances. Lucas and Knox still opt to remain on guard around actual pirates.

For their part, Callon and Carissa retreated to her cabin to make up for lost time.

Session 149 & 150 - A Torrent of Troubles

posted Aug 19, 2018, 9:43 AM by Will McCain   [ updated Aug 19, 2018, 11:57 AM ]

Maladroits at sea! With Knox at the magical helm and Lucas using his fresh sailing knowledge to keep the ship in proper sailing form, Alera and Callon enjoyed the feeling of being on the waves. While Callon reminisced about the time he spent with Carissa on the seas of Morend, Alera ran between starboard to port to bow, full of childish wonder. She had never been on the ocean, after all, so it was quite exciting for her. For a long while it was a peaceful voyage of friends and comrades. As with everything involving the Maladroits, though, peace was not to last.

Before long, they caught sight of another ship on horizon. It was closing in on them fast, and it wasn't long before they made out the skull and crossbones defiantly hoisted over its sails. Sighing to themselves, they readied themselves for a fight. They slowed the Dibs as the other ship pulled alongside. They were told to surrender their goods or their lives. Smirking to one another, they chose a third option and took the fight to the pirates.

Both sides started off strong. The enemy cleric cast a Mind Fog on Lucas. In response, Knox put up a Prismatic Wall blocking off almost an entire side of the Dibs from view. This frustrated the pirates, as they had to reposition themselves and make quick teleports over to the Dibs. The Maladroits used this time to gather to the center of their boat and prepare their various skills and tricks. Before long, a fight is upon them, with a monk, barbarian, and bard coming over from the pirate crew to try and take them out. Callon and Lucas pair up to take on the monk, while Knox is able to send the barbarian away with Maze. Unfortunately, the barbarian is able to return in only a few moments while the monk landed a Stunning Fist on Lucas. The Maladroits front-liners were about to try and mount another offensive when another threat emerged from the waves. An enormous beast from the depths took notice of the battle and decided to make the Dibs its next prey. 

The two parties agree to a temporary cease-fire to deal with the threat. Spell and strike were piled on, but it was too little. Saved from the depths by a Mass Fly spell bequeathed to them by Knox, the Maladroits could only watch as their beautiful ship, brought all the way from the Astral Plane, slowly dipped beneath the water. Fortunately, all of the most precious items they brought with them were still in their Bag of Holding, so it was only the ship that was lost. Not only that, but Alera had heard tell of a spell she could cast that would be able to return their lost vessel to them. It was strange to have such a simple fix to a problem, for once. 

The heroes landed on the deck of the pirate ship. The other crew had already retreated there, and were continuing to fight to monster now that it's attention turned to their own vessel. Knowing their mission is more important than their ship, Callon opens negotiations to book passage to Morend. While Lucas also agrees with the order of priorities, he is less quick to forgive, keeping an eye on the crew for an excuse to enter combat again. To him, booking passage is like rewarding them for attacking the Maladroits and sinking the Dibs. Knox and Alera have their concerns, as well, but Callon gives them all the order to fall into line in Solfege. With a tentative agreement in place, the pirate crew calls for their captain.

Carissa Foxmane.

Session 146 & 148 - Where Everybody Knows Your Name

posted Aug 6, 2018, 9:10 AM by Will McCain   [ updated Sep 8, 2018, 6:05 PM ]

The Maladroits returned to Riparia, their adopted home for the past few months of their quest. Though thankfully free of the Invincible Trio, it had still become an unwelcoming place thanks to their efforts. Trying to keep their minds on the task at hand, they headed to the Tower to confer with their few remaining allies. On their way to the top chambers, they came across a half-elf wizard by the name of Simone who had recently arrived from the Tower's sister school, the Ivory Academy. She was a scholar of legends and lore, and told them the story of a faraway mountain range called Avannan. This particularly caught Callon's attention, as his original vision that lead to him leaving Morend involved a mountain range and being gifted with the Avanni language. After he surprised the scholar with his knowledge of the shattered moon, she went on to explain that it was fabled to be the resting place of the goddess Avanna. Dwarves guarded its depths, but dwarves unlike the kind known today. These were dwarves of legend, and spoken of as closest to the ideal of dwarves. All she could say to its location was that it was purported to be in the far east, beyond Morend and Tortuftus. They hadn't even conferred with the Divine Blade, and yet the party felt their path laying itself in front of them. 

Meeting with the masters of the Tower was a somber affair. Rufus looked somehow even weaker than before, and it pained the group that they could not, considering the stakes of their collective efforts, ask him to stop his work. Callon ventured into the mindscape for one final communion with the Divine Blade Aria now that only one Shard remained. Many shocking truths were revealed, from Carissa being awake to Oragor gifting the tattoo they had seen on Jonid to his lieutenants so that he could communicate with them. It occurred to Callon that he had not seen the Shard of Illusion yet. When he asked, he watched as Aria reached out through a hole in the air and grabbed the hand of another of herself and used the hand to slap Callon across the face. Now outside the mindscape, he realized that Aria had been the Shard of Illusion the whole time and was talking to Callon in bubble of illusion. He shared what he had been told, even though none of them could be sure what was true and what was a lie.

Since they had begun collecting the Shards, everyone involved in the effort had been wondering how they would forge them once more into the Sword of Magic. What they had recently learned of Avannan gave them hope and at the very least a lead. They began their preparations like they had for every other sojourn, but realized that not only would this journey perhaps be longer than any other so far, but they also had little reason to return to Riparia. Since they would be heading east, they decided to try going by sea, and sought a way to make the Dibs sea-worthy. The first task, of course, was bringing it over from the Plane of Shadow. A visit to the Tiderunners Consortium availed them of a method, but they would have to do a task first. There was a meeting soon between leaders of the Crow and the Stingblades to exchange some very dangerous items. The Tiderunners couldn't afford to get involved openly, but they could send adventurers to try and stop it.

The Maladroits wanted to do this undercover, so they availed themselves of Lucas' Gem of Gender-change. With some additional disguise work from Lucas, they began roaming the town as new adventurers looking for dark dealings they could take a stand against. After gathering enough info, they headed underground and hid in order to ambush the two groups. The underworld bosses finally arrived with their attendants, but before the Maladroits could make their move an unexpected group of heroes burst onto the meeting and declared their intent to stop the exchange. Rushed into action, the Maladroits had to struggle with helping the quickly overwhelmed heroes and trying to apprehend the leaders and their contraband. Unfortunately, the Stingblade leader escaped with a terribly potent poison, but they were able to capture the Crow leader who had come for a strange, wispy creature held in a cage, which Knox and Alera suspected was the manifested form of a soul.

Having done their duty, the Tiderunners used their artifact to bring over the Dibs and began to fit it for the sea. Lucas watched and learned what he could of seamanship. Callon, in his female form, was spared the slurs and hostility that the Maladroits usually received from the denizens of Riparia thanks to the rumors of the Invincible Trio. He found himself wistful of Morend and the respect his name and profession awarded him. 

Eventually, the work was done and the time came to leave. The Maladroits went through the city and got their affairs in order. It was solemn work, and not a few tears were shed as they said goodbye to friends who had stood and fought by them. They offered their now-empty rooms at Bramblewick to Elistra, Yanjing, and any other of their allies who might need a place to stay. Lucas checked in with Emmett and Kokichi. Alera paid a final visit to the Congregate. Callon promised the preserved body of Cordova that they would bring her back one day. Knox took Amii to the top of the tower and shared a kiss with the fire-haired mage. 

After their separate business, the friends took a final stroll around the city. It had loved them, hated them, but still had welcomed them and became home for a time. They took to the air with Knox's magic and watched the evening shadows stretching over the great city, just as they had every day before. Should the Maladroits succeed, it would see many more. The next day they set out on the Dibs, into waters and futures unknown.  

Session 145 - No Fate But What You Make

posted May 20, 2018, 8:28 AM by Will McCain

After claiming responsibility for what happened, the Maladroits continued to question the Norn. Each cryptic answer only left them more confused. The Norn sensed their hesitation and forced their hand by attacking. Her first moves banished Callon to the labyrinth of the Maze spell and gave Lucas a deadly heart attack via Phantasmal Killer. Fortunately, the rogue's Determination armor brought him back, though still on death's door. Knox tried a spell which was unable to get past her defenses and was hurt for his efforts. Alera gave her teammate some much needed healing, only for the Norn to assault him again and once more send the life from his body. His rogue's resiliency helped bring him back this time, but the pattern was growing old quick. 

Not only had the Norn avoided attacking Alera, it had been staring at her the whole fight. Even when a casting of Destruction ravaged its figure, it still seemed like it was expecting her to do something. Alera felt the tug of intuition leading her to a realization and tried to put the pieces together. The Norn said she had been responsible for what had happened to her monastery. And what had happened? A kind of program or long term plan to achieve some great, lasting power. What were the means to that? Children brought in regularly, often from terrible circumstances, and raised with strict training and harsh expectations. Now how did the Norn fit in? She was a being tied to fate itself. Ancient, and possessing knowledge and insight beyond any mortal. What had she been trying to achieve? Or, if everything involved training people, WHO had she been trying to achieve?

Alera, a cleric adored and nearly worshipped among her fellow believers, stood there. She brimmed with the power of her patron, to the extent that any mortal would be capable. She could weave Miracles. Before her, the Norn also stood, not as some unassailable force, but another foe to be dealt with. Had ALERA herself been the end goal this whole time? Had the Norn seen what was coming to pass with the Shards and knew that defenders were needed? Had she tugged on the strings of fate that lead to the accidents that lead to so many orphans? Had she orchestrated the meeting of the Maladroits themselves?

Alera thought back to her brothers and sisters. If true, it meant that they had somehow been lacking. It pained her to even think of it, but the truth was as firm as the sword and shield she held raised. She was here; they were not. She had a chance to act, to make a difference. Had she done enough? Had she made the right choices? No, it didn't matter. Right now, she had choices to make, and an enemy that was waiting on her to do so.

Climbing onto the backs of the pews, Alera took long strides across them until the towering woman was before her. Drawing back her scimitar, she attacked. The Norn did not surrender or give ground, but she no longer assaulted the rest of the Maladroits, as if trying to remove the distractions that kept Alera from taking action. Callon had finally returned from the confines of the maze, and was surprised to see hesitant Alera locked in combat with the Norn. Sensing her determination, he followed her lead and joined her in the fight. 

The Norn, already weakened, didn't last long. Even in its death, however, there was a strange calm and acceptance. Inscrutable to the end, the Maladroits thought there was a contentedness in its visage as the woman fell, seeing her goals realized and all her long work vindicated. The price had been high, but against the weight of the world, had it been worth paying? Standing in the silence of the long abandoned temple, the adventurers heard no answers.

Session 144 - Deviations from the Norn

posted Apr 23, 2018, 11:29 AM by Will McCain   [ updated Apr 23, 2018, 11:47 AM by Paul H ]

Putting the issue of the undead aside for now, the Maladroits pushed on until they finally reached Alera's old hilltop home. Looking upon the simple wooden buildings, the party remembered their previous fight and decided for caution in approaching it. Taking to the air, they surveyed the cloister. They saw no movement or anything that spoke of foul deeds being done. It was strangely derelict, though, with signs of neglect. Even more troubling, there was some kind of aura of silence about the area. The grass swayed in motion, and wooden shutters knocked against buildings, but they heard no wind nor discerned the crack of wood on wood.

Splitting into two groups, they decided to investigate further. Callon and Alera took the conspicuous route and entered the main hall. Rapping his knuckles on the door, the pair were surprised that it produced sound as normal. Even more bizarre, Alera noticed that the door squeaked, even though the hinges were perfectly oiled. Entering, they found it as bare as the rest of the complex. The only curiosity was the lack of chairs where the instructors would sit at the end of the great hall. Knox and Lucas quietly entered the dormitories, looking for anything amiss. Not a soul or trace of one could be found. They noticed that the nameplates for each room were written in Sylvan, which seemed an odd choice for followers of Heironeous. Removing one, they found that the student's name was written in common on the reverse, leading them to suspect that the Sylvan had been left as a message. Translating each nameplate, a message emerged:

"All of this is for a reason. All of you are for a reason. All that happens is for a reason. Every reason is for a reason."

A thoroughly unsettled Lucas led Knox to rendezvous with the others and was the first to voice that this was not a place where they should linger. Still, the group - and Alera foremost - demanded answers. They moved to the classrooms next, and split the rooms between themselves. Lucas, investigating the classrooms, found strange writing on the chalkboard. Alera, looking through the library, examined books she had reach in her younger days. To her astonishment, they were not the books themselves, but poor copies of what had been written in them. Callon, taking to the teachers' offices, found various instructions for how to create Heironiacal items. He even found one such item: a crudely crafted longsword with the heraldry of the war god worked into it. Knox, entering the headmaster's office, was amazed at what he found. Upon one wall was a litter of papers pinned up with strings running between them. Reading as fast as he could, he pieced together some kind of plan to pass on the knowledge and preservation of the ways of the cloister to a being or agent unburdened by aging and death so that would be able to eventually carry it onward perpetually. Calling the rest of the group in, he shared what he had found. Equal parts amazed and aghast, they resolved that it was time to visit their last destination: the temple.

The heavy doors to the sanctuary opened with the same solemnity they had always known. The petitioners who entered came like many before them seeking answers, even if theirs was a more immediate and temporal quandary. Finally they had more than the remains of the long departed. At the other end of the room, a tall and beautiful woman stood next to the altar. Nearly equal in size to the undead they had recently fought, she gave off a serene and ancient air. Knox knew it to be a Norn, a spirit ancient beyond imagining bound to fate itself. Addressing it, Callon asked if it was responsible for what had they had found in the monastery. Running an enormous hand over the reel of golden thread she carried, the otherworldly woman calmly said it was.

Session 143 - The Gathered Faithful

posted Apr 9, 2018, 12:03 PM by Will McCain   [ updated Apr 9, 2018, 12:06 PM ]

The Maladroits chatted happily as they walked. The crisp air, empty road, and vibrant autumn trees surrounding them made for a picturesque hike. Despite their lingering misgivings, they were starting to think that maybe things would go back to being (relatively) okay. As they rounded a corner, that conceit was rudely disrupted by a towering undead in tattered robes floating just ahead of them.

Racking his prodigious mind, Knox identified the entity as a Saxra, a creature borne of memories and interested in lore. Without much else to go on, the group approached cautiously. They called out to it, remembering their encounter with 1201 and knowing that not all battles are unavoidable. At the mention of talking and swapping stories, the creature turned its head slightly and raised an arm as if in greeting. The area around it all the way to the party was immediately filled with sharp and broken bones. Now accepting the fight before them, they all waited in place for Knox to grant them Mass Fly so they could engage the Saxra without having to worry about being impaled. 

Before they could engage, however, the Saxra pointed a finger at Knox and blasted away his life force with a Finger of Death spell after he had granted the boon of flight. The wizard fell lifeless into the mass of broken and oozing bones. Fortunately, Alera was nearby and was able to bring him to back to life while it still lingered in his form. Lucas and Callon flew forward to flank the monster, slashing and hacking viciously at it from opposing sides. For its part, the claws it swiped at the pair carried the pallor of death with them, and drained them of strength. Alera floated toward the creature, then, and let fly a specially prepared Heal spell. The undead writhed at the influx of such potent restorative energies, but its cries were short-lived. Focusing her holy might, Alera freed the positive energy that suffused her body and soul and sent it against her foe. The abomination burnt away under the assault of such a life-giving aura, and the battle was won.

Still careful of the terrain, the Maladroits examined the creature. Lucas found it especially odd that an undead would be found not far from where a monastery to Heironeous stood. Looking at its bones, they came to a horrible realization. It was made from Alera's fellow clerics and worshippers who resided at her former home. Not just adults were taken, either, but children, as well, and with violence, by Callon's seasoned estimate of skeletal damage from weaponry. Alera's form was surrounded by holy light once more, and her balled fists shone with the barely restrained power of righteous fury and anger. She would cleanse this horrid thing from existence and let her brethren rest. Lucas stepped in and put forth an interposing arm, saying that the remains were more useful if they were used to bring her friends back. Callon, too, overcame his own disgust and anger to turn and envelop his friend - and the first Maladroit he had met on his sojourn from Morend - in a sorrowful embrace. He, too, wanted vengeance, but Lucas was right. He asked that she stay her hand, and they would help her rain holy judgment upon those who had wrought such evil. 

Tempers calmed, Knox asked Lucas about a moment in the battle when the rogue had been able to dispel a magical effect on the Saxra. Lucas explained with not a little joy, not realizing at the time what he had finally accomplished after so many failed attempts in previous fights. The creature had an aura of Desecrate about it, and it had been amplified by a nearby altar. Searching around, they finally examined the creature's equine skull and noticed a red glow still coming from within. There they found a ruby wreathed in gold wire and covered with profane supplications to Urgathoa, goddess of undeath. Lucas looked away as Alera took the precious gem and smashed it upon the holy symbol in her shield. 

The road ahead of them held dangers they had not dared suspect until now. Removing themselves from the field of bone, they took a rest. Alera would Consecrate the ground and remove all blemishes of undeath before moving on. Whoever was behind this horror had done in the faithful of Heironeous, but those were stoles that had long since fallen from Alera's shoulders. Now the holy fires of Sarenrae were coming, and they would not be so easily quenched. 

Session 142 - The Road of Perdition

posted Apr 8, 2018, 8:26 AM by Will McCain

The next morning, the Maladroits broke camp and surveyed once more the devastation that had been wrought. The field still remained around the broken carcass of the mythical beast, so they could rest easy, though not for long. Not knowing how long it would be before proper measures to contain the Terrasque could be put in place (and also hoping that such measures existed), they began to cordon off the area and tried to think of how to keep travelers from coming across it, as they were in the middle of a well-traveled road.

To their fortune, a trio of local druids emerged from the forest. They had come to investigate the disturbance they had heard, and were shocked at what they saw. After briefly explaining the situation, they gladly offered to help. Along with the Maladroits, they felled a number of trees to be used as barricades and road blocks. Callon also enlisted Alera's help to fashion a makeshift sledge for their now containerless equipment. After those preparations were made, Lucas and Callon led two of the druids to the cavern where the Terrasque had been sleeping in order to make sure the mutated goblins didn't share the beast's penchant for regeneration. Fortunately, the corpses laid where they were slain, though the druids opted to keep one of their own on lookout. Finally, they sent one of Morvant's Homing Bats towards Riparia with a message of what had happened, in case it might reach the Tower before Alera could prepare a casting of Sending. Knox also reported the results of his day of examining the remains, telling the group that his best guess was that the field keeping the beast from recovering would last a time, but not to count on more than a month or two if luck held out.

With their precautions finished, the Maladroits settled into another evening of camping, this time joined by the druids. They tried to lift their spirits with shared stories. Being so close to Alera's monastery, the cleric and the captain began talking of their time there. Hearing the description of the place, Lucas became suspect of how such a remote place came to be wardens of so many orphans. Alera dismissed it at first, but eventually agreed that it might bear investigating. Callon, recounting his own limited time there, also found some troubling memories. 

When morning came, they thanked the druids and bid them farewell, assuring them that further magical help would be on its way. With curiosity piqued, they began the short hike to Alera's monastery, and another rendezvous with history.

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