Tiralth, Quest for Freedom

Game Three

The Adventure begins at the Militia Compound. The group of Elam, Brand, Oscar, Jocaste and Kodan meet up with the Ishnaran Cleric Maria Vega, and share what information they have learned from their encounters in Windswept. While the vast majority of the party rests, Maria and Elam go and interrogate the Priestess and the Warrior that Maria had taken captive.

After a lengthly discussion, and some “torture” applied to the priestess, they learn that the invasion of the Empire is set to begin here at Windswept, and after the Priestess tries to give Elam Plague. Elam runs her through and leaves her for dead. Asking maria to leave he then privately interrogates the Warrior, who is MUCH more forth coming with information. He manages to confirm what the Priestess said, and get the name of the High Priestess as well as the Paladin of Athnea that is guarding her.

As the Party prepares to move out, Maria notices still fires on the Docks and suddenly realizes that the Fire Goddess’ disciples are preparing a ritual. The party gathers what Militia remain and together head down to assault the docks. There, Elam tries to negotiate with the High Priestess Shela Demar, who refuses his advances and offers of negotiations. He attempts to use a spell first on the Priestess, who is wearing fire, and then on what he assumes are ritual bon fires. The first fails due to the fire being a gift from Athnea herself, the second only partially works, but instead INJURES the resting Fire Elemental Warriors that the High Priestess had summoned. (She was in the process of summoning A LOT more)

The fight begins in earnest, with both parties pretty much charging each other. Gormak moves to engage the Elementals, while the Paladin Gauvain Tarris, engages the Paladin of Athnea. (As Lyle called it, a Palladin Slap Fight). Jocaste and her Master Oscar move in toward the center where the Slap Fight is occurring and fight there, with support from Maria. Kodan supports the Militia as they advance with Healing Hexes, and begins to throw out debuffs to affect the enemy. Elam moves over to the side with Gormak and supports him by blinding the crap out of anything and everything.

Eventually a second wave of Plague Demons arrives behind the party, and Brand, Elam, and Gormak engage them. The fight is brutal and fierce with the docks being torn up (Mostly by Gormak’s axe….) and militia and Dark Elves die all around, with at least one Militia Soldier being turned mid battle. Oscar lands a telling, and very definitive killing blow that causes the High Priestess to explode in a ring of Fire. When it clears, a Chosen (A type of Avatar) of Athnea is standing in her place.

At this point the party begins to engage what is effectively a God itself on the Docks of Windswept. Despite well places hits, the goddess was receiving no damage, except when Jocaste rakes her across the midriff with her greatsword in a critical strike. However the wound very quickly heals. Oscar grapples with her, his skin burning from direct contact with a fire god. As they grapple, in a fit of pure rage he tosses her off the docks into the Ocean.

At this point a giant hand of pure water thrusts up and speaks in the ancient language of the gods (Nobody has Celestial, however the voice said: I gave you no such leave to punish my children Sister. Be the gone from this plane.) The hand caught the Chosen of Athnea raised her high into the air, about a thousand feet, and crushed her. The hand, and the chosen then explode and it begins to rain.

The rain is actually the healing tears of Ishnara, curing the town of the plague and killing the last of the Plague Demons who cannot be saved. The rain also heals all wounds, restores a person’s vitality. (As if you have taken an 8 hour rest). The party realizes, however that even refreshed as this, they cannot stop the fifteen Dark Elf Corsair vessels heading for Windswept. They gather the survivors, including the Mayor and his Nights, and set fire to Windswept to deny the enemy food or shelter, and then leave. Gormak takes his payment of a boat and swears to Elam that he will have a dialog with the party before he attacks them, and should a contract require them to cross swords, he will do his best to not kill them.

XP: 1600 for Battle
Elam and Maria: +50 for interrogation
Oscar: +50 for figuring out how to kill the Chosen
Jocaste: +100 for Criting a God! (this is on top of your achievement!)
Kodan: +75 for great Hex work
Maria: +20 for greeting your god by calling her “Boss”
Elam: +20 For Taunting a God. -20 FOR TAUNTING A GOD.
Brand: +50 for being tactical with your targets.

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Game Two Point Five

The following takes place at the same time as the party’s misadventures in the town of Windswept. (This solo adventure’s purpose was to catch Maria up with the party, or close enough.)

Maria Vega is ordered to report to the Temple of Ishnara in Aquileia, where the revered mother tells her that the town of Windswept is rumored to be plagued and could use a healer.

Maria: “You’re just trying to rouse me from my drunken stupor by getting me to go do something useful.”
Priestess: “Yep. Here’s a hundred gold for expenses.”
Maria: “Heh. Fair enough.”

Maria rides Peony down to the town, which is suspiciously silent and empty-feeling. Her first stop is the militia compound, which is full of diseased militia, but also their commander Marcus Valerius, who, along with a squad of fifteen men, remain untainted. From Marcus she finds out that a) the disease started in the town square and b) it started a couple of weeks ago, right after the Empire fought off and captured a Dark Elf Corsair ship and took its elven captives as their own. Some were sent to Aquileia’s Legion.

Maria goes to check out the town water supply (the well in the town square), and purifies it, just in case. She finds the infirmary totally empty, rather than, as she’d expected, full of dead bodies — it hasn’t been used in days. She leaves a note on the door announcing its imminent reopening once she returns from a few quick errands, and knocks on doors between the infirmary and the militia compound to let people know that it will soon be open and to pass the word.

Back at the compound, Maria asks where the heck all the healers are, and is given four home addresses. She asks for a messenger to be sent out to announce to the town that the infirmary is reopening, but there aren’t enough healthy men; Marcus suggests finding a kid at a tavern somewhere.

At the tavern, Maria chats up the innkeeper (in a timely fashion), hears more about the disease, how it started, who its first victims were, and so forth. She pays the innkeeper well for his time and trouble, in hopes of future good will. Then she goes to the healers’ homes, and discovers them dead — with bodies locked in rictuses of pain. It doesn’t take her long to recognize that they died roughly around the same time of ingested poison, made to simulate the plague, rather than dying of the plague itself. She administers last rites to all the corpses.

She heads back to the infirmary, which is now full of people who need attention, thus giving her ample samples of the disease. She carefully studies and cares for many victims, and categorizes the disease as a) magical, b) spread by touch and by water, and c) that it has at least three stages; first flu symptoms, then a red rash accompanied by comatose sleep.

The third stage, she discovers when her comatose patients turn bright red, grow claws and fangs, and turn into Athnea-type demons. She evacuates the infirmary, sending those townsfolk still uninfected or in stage one off with as many healing supplies as they can carry, and instructions to use them freely, then holds nine demons off at the doorway (so that only two of them can attack her at a time). Once they’ve all been subdued, she injects them with a knockout drug and thoroughly binds them with bindings also soaked in knockout drug (to put them out again when they inevitably try to bite their way to freedom).

Then she barricades the door from the outside, leaves a note about what’s inside on the door, and makes the executive decision that this is too big for her and it’s time to go get help.

She’s also realized at this point that this disease is obviously sent by agents of Athnea, given the type of demon inhabiting the villagers, and that the most prominent Athnea worshippers in the entire world are dark elves. The elven ‘captives’ may have not been captive at all; it seems like an ideal way to soften up the Imperial coast for a more serious attack.

Oh, and some captives were sent to Aquileia.

Crap.

So rather than abandon the town, believing that she’s the only healer present, she goes back to the militia compound to get a messenger (hoping that this time they won’t blow her off, and prepared to browbeat them into obeying her if necessary). However, they’re under siege by demons, so while they’re clearing out the compound, she writes letters to the head of the Aquileia Legions, the Ishnaran Church, and the Aquileia Senate, then grabs Marcus and his horse and says “saddle up brah, time for you to go save the Empire.”

The two of them head for the gate, which, they discover, is being held by Snow Cleric of Athnea and her Seven Elves.

Maria, primly: “Greetings, cousins.”
Athnea Cleric: “Cousins?! How quaint, Ishnaran rhetoric about how we’re all one big happy family. In your dreams, bitch.”
Maria: “This is your one warning. Stand down and let this man pass, or suffer the consequences.”
AC: “And where is he going? Aquileia, to warn them and the Empire? What exactly do you think is happening here?”
Maria: “Well, I think that this might be the first stage in a larger attack on the Empire. A first wave of corsairs are sent to soften up the coast with a demoralizing plague that infests the Empire with demons under its enemies’ command. With Aquileia in chaos, weak as a newborn babe, the key to the Empire’s defenses will be as easy to pluck as a ripe plum. And if that happens, I fear I would be terribly disappointed.”
Marcus: “Honestly, I think I’d be rather upset.”
Maria: “Yeah, we’d really be quite put out. So I’ll ask you again, cousins — will you let us pass?”
AC: “No, I don’t believe I will. Kill the Ishnaran and her man!”
Maria, grinning evilly: “Bring it on.”

Together they fight off the elves until Marcus, who has been thoroughly buffed with defensive spells, is past the gate and free to escape to Aquileia. They see that quite a few infected demon-people have already been sent out of the town to spread the disease, but that’s not a reason to not warn Aquileia, particularly by speedier-than-demon horse. Maria promises Marcus that she will not leave his townsfolk to die; she will remain and do everything she can to save them.

She retreats from the seven warriors and the cleric before they can kill her, goes back to the militia compound, rallies the men there, and once all the demons /there/ are dead, leads a squad of militia to retake the town gate. They kill all the warriors but one, who they take captive along with the cleric; after being thoroughly searched and dressed in appropriate prisoner attire, the dark elves are thrown into the militia brig for interrogation. Men remain at the gate and at the militia compound to secure both.

Before Marcus left, he mentioned another group was in Windswept trying to solve the problems of the town. In the interests of meeting up with any remaining uninfected townsfolk/adventurers, she sends up a Legion signal flare from the compound, its message writ bold in red light across the sky:

ALLIES OF WINDSWEPT AND THE EMPIRE, ASSEMBLE AT THE MILITIA COMPOUND TO REGROUP AND REPORT. ENEMIES ALSO WELCOME IF YOU WANT TO SAVE US THE TROUBLE OF HUNTING YOU DOWN.


Transcript of Letters held by Marcus Valerius

TO: Aquileia Legion, Church of Ishnara, Senate
FROM: Centurion Vega of Ishnara, Windswept Militia Compound, X/X/XXXX XX:XX

Windswept compromised by magical disease, sent by Athnea agents — dark elf corsair connection probable, captured elf maidens suspicious. Disease is ransferred by TOUCH and WATER; quarantine those who have touched maidens (and those they’ve touched thereafter); switch to emergency water supplies. First stage of disease is flu symptoms; second stage is red rash with comatose sleep; final stage, completely red skin, claws, fangs, black eyes, transformation to (or possession by?) demons of Athnea. Try to contain maidens and disease from Aquileia. Call exorcists.

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Game Two

The party sets out to find and confront the remaining Priestesses in the town of Windswept which is currently under siege from some rather nasty Plague that was revealed to have been distributed by the Dark Elf Slaves captured a week earlier by the 8th Legion. The party, slightly wounded enters a local apothecary shop where they discover the propieter not to be home.

Elam leaves a few hundred Gold Crowns and then ransacks the place for available healing supplies, managing to score several, including a few rare Full heal Potions! The party then vacates to investigate the Residential area were they can clearly see several smoke plumes from fires raging. Once the party leaves, Oscar secretly sets fire to the apothecary’s shop for reasons that are his alone…

In the Residential area they locate a priestess, two fully armed and armored Dark Elven Warriors, and a horde of the Abyssal plague victims. Not far away in cage created of fire, are somewhere in the neighborhood of 40 survivors, some of which look to be ill. The party engages in a fierce battle with the elven and victim forces and eventually emerge triumphant and then free the prisoners.

Moving to a nearby home they find the way inside barred by a Kin Slave who refuses them entry, claiming that since his masters are dead, he is now free and quite frankly the Empire can “Go to the hell it so richly deserves”. Deciding they jsut don’t have time for this crap, Elam declares the Kin a traitor to the Empire and orders the Slave put to death. Brand hit the man with an arrow and Oscar hits the man with an alchemical bomb, while Elam fires his Crossbow landing the killing blow. While this was going on, Jocaste stealthed to the rear of the home and opened the door covering the escape of a female Kin holding a babe, and her toddler child.

The party then fortifies the home for the survivors they rescued and moves out to the Jail. Though the Gate house was closer, they decide that from reports of enemy sighted there the Elves are actually doing them a favor and keeping potential Plague victems INSIDE the town, and keeping it from spreading. Once at the Jail they find a Human Barbarian of White Hall offering free ship, and raiding privileges along the rich Imperial Coast, claiming this to be the first step in the Glorious War to follow as White Hall invades Avarris, the Vaxians the Southern Kingdoms, and the Dark Elves attack the Empire!

In a tactical surprise attack set up by the party they engage the group, and though outnumbered fight hard against the enemy. It is there that a Paladin of rough origin appears, and a Large rather frightening Minotaur as well. The two fight each other as well as the inmates, while the party fights the Barbarian Lord and his Dark Elven warrior escorts. After the hardest battle the party has fought they manage to defeat the inmates, the Barbarian Lord, and the Dark Elves.

It is here the Minotaur turns his attention to the party. Elam quickly blinds the Minotaur as the Party is in NO condition to face the beast. The Minotaur decides that Blinding sucks, introduces himself to the party as Gormak and offers to make a deal. The party offers him his choice of ship after they try and retake the town, and Gormak agrees.

The Paladin offers to accompany them, and even behave himself around Gormak so long as the Minotaur keeps his word.

Taking the weaponry form the inmates and corpses around the jail, the party heads back to a save spot to rest. Elam and Brand take the equipment to the survivors and are tailed by a shadowy figure. The figure nearly kills Brand, and Elam summons a Celestial Eagle to distract the figure and they run. Arming the Survivors to defend themselves and then return to the party to rest.

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Game One

Elam’s father the Count Aegon Hurst sends his son, whom he views as a vagrant party goer living off his family’s good name and fortune to the town of Windswept. The town is owned by the Count and the Count has received troubling messages and the trade income is being affected. Elam is told to earn his keep and investigate as well as solve this problem. He is given 1000 gold Imperial Crowns and with these funds, leaves to perform his task.

He acquires his old Legion buddy Brand Firelock, the Local Healer Koden, and the family’s apothecary Oscar who brings along the Kin Slave Jocaste. This group of individuals head into the town of Windswept were they stay at a local Inn and do some ear to the ground investigation. From this they learn the town is dealing with a bit of illness.

Oscar and Koden head out to local residential areas to investigate the depth of this disease and from there find the residential area completely smothered by the illness. They quickly head off to locate the others who had gone to check on the local Militia compound which had also been summarily hit by the Disease.

The party then heads to the Mayor’s to discuss with him the state of the Town. There they discover the Mayor is a bit under the weather but appears to be fighting off the disease on hsi own. Koden manages to heal him and Elam notices a subtle difference in the actions of a recently acquired Dark Elf Slave. After some subtle trickery he manages to trick the Elven maiden int revealing herself. In a fit of rage the Mayor kills her, but only after Elam manages to tease more information out of her.

Two other Elven Slaves attack the party in the mayor’s home, and after a brief scuffle the Mayor orders them to kill the remaining Four in the town. They manage to reach the Town Square and there confront an Elven slave who is revealed to be a Priestess of Athnea. The towns folk have been turned into some form of Demonic Plague victims and attack the party along with the priestess.

After the party defeats her they set out to confront the remaining Priestesses.

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