Characters: Avria, Gronja, Indus Ederix, Vondulyth
Game Date: 02/11/14
King’s Road between Jordan’s Crossing and Allenns
- After a month of settling into their new villa and keeping themselves preoccupied, the heroes are called before Jordan and the Countess Sybil Ambrosia. The church of Trithereon has emerged from their self-imposed policing and claim to have routed out their own corruption. Vondulyth is still barred entry to the church, but his scar has mysteriously stopped itching in the interim.
- The church of Tritheron is prepared to offer Palimar over to agents of Jordan’s choosing. They must safeguard the former bishop half-way to the capital city of Allenns where he will be handed over to the mystic guard of Trithereon. Jordan chooses the heroes to be his agents whether the church likes it or not and Gronja makes sure the party will be well compensated. Jordan tells Vondulyth that there is visitor wishing to speak with him in the wings.
- The paladin meets with none other than Damien, who has not only been reinstated in the church of Trithereon, but promoted to Bishop, replacing the man who slandered his good name. Unfortunately, despite his appointment, there are still factions within the church who take umbrage with Vondulyth. Namely the deacon who the paladin intimidated for straight answers when Damien was excommunicated in the first place. As such, the paladin is still not welcome back.
- Vondulyth handles the news with surprising grace, which troubles Bishop Damien. He knows that the paladin refuses contact with his noble family after they pawned him off on the church. Not being welcome in the church might push Vondulyth even closer towards Araleth Letheranil, the Twilight Rider and Prince of Stars. A minor god who nonetheless fought Vecna to a stalemate on the battlefield of gods. Legend claims that Araleth still bears a scar from the encounter.
- Avria, Gronja, Indus, and Vondulyth load up their battle wagon with Palimar gagged and manacled inside, guarded by the barbarian. They are to be accompanied by a Ser Gillian, a paladin of Trithereon, and Tommen the Scout. Despite leaving during mid-day siesta, when the city is mostly at rest, the party doesn’t travel far before encountering resistance in the back alleys.
- Archers assail the wagon from rooftops and brigands attack from the ground. Gronja stays with her snickering prisoner and shoots her bow from inside the wagon. Avria unleashes Sacred Flame from the second floor of the wagon. Indus sneaks out of the secret floor hatch and engages the enemy with the mounted Ser Gillian. Vondulyth leaps onto the nearest building from the battle wagon and climbs the wall to smite an archer.
- It quickly becomes apparent to the heroes that their ambushers are actually animated undead. Vondulyth leaps across rooftops in pursuit of the shambling archers and then jumps across the street by using the battle wagon like a lily pad in a river. Each time he smites the undead, the creature is torn apart form the inside out by a sudden profusion of roots. Similarly, Indus eviscerates the undead on the ground.
- The battle is ended quickly and the bodies are tidily thrown into alleyways so that they might still leave undetected. The heroes and their two companions make haste through the city gates and back out into the frontier lands. They travel for nearly week without incident, except for one piece of distressing news. Tommen the Scout rode off on the first day and then completely disappeared. The party almost gave him up for dead until the man returned on the sixth day, battered and bruised from an ordeal.
- Although initially suspicious, the party are mostly convinced that Tommen is not an impostor. He speaks of being attacked near the designated meeting point by a score of undead. A difficult challenge for the party if they ride ahead. Tommen barely escaped with his life, but only because he surprised the creatures insomuch as he was also surprised. His horse was killed while fleeing, which is why it took him so long to return.
- Rather than continuing on course, Tommen suggests an alternate route through a bog that will add three days to their journey. The battle wagon, however, would have to be left behind. The heroes decide to take their scout up on his suggestion, but leave him with the battle wagon to recover from his wounds. They’ll swing back and meet up with him on the way back.
- It’s around this time that Indus and Vondulyth search Palimar to see if he’s concealing anything unusual. They both find a strange stone hidden in the folds of his vestments, which causes Palimar to smile. His maniacal grin is quickly chased away when both rogue and paladin resist whatever pull the stone tries to exert over them. Indus and Vondulyth pocket their respective stones and blindfold the deposed-Bishop as an extra precaution.
- The heroes, along with Ser Gillian, travel the bog road in tight formation, always keeping Palimar between them. Indus sends Adonhim, his celestial familiar, to fly ahead in search of trouble. The raven spots movement in the trees and tells the rogue as much. The heroes advance in anticipation of being surprise attacked. They are not disappointed.
- A brace of skeletons and zombies shamble out of the shrubbery. The party charge into them, despite being travel weary from a forced march, and decimate the enemy with axe, blade, bolt, and hammer. Realizing there is no time to rest, they reluctantly press on, using every mote of daylight to gain ground. The night passes without event. Palimar’s ears are filled with wax to prevent him from listening to their conversations.
- The next day begins with Ser Gillian returning after investigating their flank. She reports back that they are being relentlessly followed by undead, the largest contingent of which will catch up with them soon. The heroes attempt to hide as a party, but fail at group ambush tactics. Several ghouls lumber directly toward them, lead by a particularly nasty-smelling ghast.
- Avria turns undead and tells the animated creatures to “GO”. They are given pause long enough for Gronja to cut down their numbers with her axe. Vondulyth restrains the ghast by snaring it with a pillar of roots, which allows the barbarian to bisect the creature with a single swing. Indus suddenly recalls that he purchased some special holy arrows before leaving, ideal for slaying undead. The dwarven cleric cleans up the battlefield by searing away the last incorporeal shadow with Sacred Flame.
- Day three brings the heroes close to their final destination, but the undead have been laying in wait. Rotting gnolls attack them from both sides, along with more gruesome undead that are falling apart even as they swarm the party from every direction. The most threatening opponent to descend on the adventurers is a poltergeist that tries to possess Avria.
- The dwarven cleric fights off the invasive creature with her iron will, but Vondulyth decides that it’s time to stop holding back. He needs to embrace the righteous calling in his heart once and for all. The paladin dodges past multiple opponents and devotes his attack not to Trithereon, as he has done every time in the past, but the ferocity and fury that is Araleth Letheranil.
- His ancient sword lands true and exorcises the poltergeist from this world with purifying radiant justice. His words, however, are not without consequence. Vondulyth finds himself immediately isolated from the divine grace of Trithereon. Gronja chooses this moment to miss one of her targets and strikes Ser Gillian instead, almost killing her with a single blow. The knight of Trithereon is suddenly unsure about her travelling comrades.
- To make matters worse, the stone that Indus and Vondulyth lifted off Palimar chooses this moment to reach out again with what can only be nefarious intentions. As before, the rogue and paladin resist the insidious call. Moreover, Vondulyth grabs his stone and calls upon Araleth to channel himself through the conduit so that he might suppress whatever purpose it serves to Palimir while also aiding his friends.
- The elven god, perhaps moved by Vondulyth’s destruction of evil in his name, lends the paladin his divine might, allowing the stone to become a temporarily holy symbol in service to his will. Vondulyth immediately heals Gillian and casts Bless on his companions, who collectively bring the battle to a swift conclusion, turning what could have become a route into a glorious victory. The creatures are dispatched and left to become beetle and vulture food.
- The heroes continue to the agreed destination and meet with the Mystic Guard of Trithereon, to whom they hand over Palimar. Expecting Vondulyth to be a paladin of Trithereon, they are surprised by his transformation. The commander asks for his shield, as it bears the triskelion of his now former god. Vondulyth hands over the shield readily, relinquishing the burden of faith it came to represent. Lastly, Gronja interjects to inspire a more generous payment for their services, much to the gratitude of her comrades.