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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. 
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