Rise of Rone - 5118-02-23 - The Priest and the Acolyte

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Fashanos 23, 5118

by Leafiara Autumnwind of the TownCrier

To discuss this event, please see the discussion thread on the officials!


Summary

  • The corpse of Johan, a priest of Oleani, is found on Dragonsclaw Road along with a symbol of Oleani.
  • Khylynnia sings to the symbol and Stormyrain sings to the corpse, revealing the tale of a jealous acolyte sabotaging Johan's services to gain a following in his own congregation, only for Johan to reclaim the greater following after he begins preaching against Rone and Mayor Cruxophim. Johan, though hoping for the best for the acolyte, is knocked out along with him one night in a flash of mist. A white-cloaked figure in a mask removes organs and bones from both of them, replacing the acolyte's body parts with Johan's. Johan dies, but the acolyte later wakes only to go mad and flee after seeing his new "horrendous mocking mimicry of Johan's visage" in a mirror.



Log

What the Acolyte Wished For

Two young kids run by, one of them saying to his friend, "...and she said she saw a body in the street, but, I don't believe her! She's always making up stories, so I called her a liar and she ran off crying..." They walk off.

[Town Square Central]

This is the heart of the main square of Wehnimer's Landing. The impromptu shops of the bazaar are clustered around this central gathering place, where townsfolk, travellers, and adventurers meet to talk, conspire or raise expeditions to the far-flung reaches of Elanith. At the north end, an old well, with moss-covered stones and a craggy roof, is shaded from the moonlight by a strong, robust tree. The oak is tall and straight, and it is apparent that the roots run deep.

[the search for a body begins]

[Wehnimer's, Dragonsclaw Rd]

The neatly kept shop on the west side of the street looks like a private residence, except for the displays in its bay window of all the latest fashions. Elm trees cast the cobblestones into deeper shadow, and a striped alley cat lurks watchfully in the light of the shop's bright oil lamp. You also see a bald-headed corpse with a rose-shaped Oleani symbol on it.

Stonmel removes a rose-shaped Oleani symbol from on a bald-headed corpse.

Stonmel blinks.

Speaking to Khylynnia, you encourage, "A loresong, maybe?"

Stonmel asks, "Anyone able to?"

Stonmel taps a rose-shaped Oleani symbol, which is in his right hand.

>look cor

The bald-headed corpse is wearing nothing special at all. His eyes are missing from their sockets, a straight, clean cut visible at each of the optic nerves. Running in long clean lines along myriad parts of his body are varied series of adroitly sewn, close-set stitches that seem to hold his flesh closed. A small tag is affixed to his wrist. "Johan Arvedisk. Priest of Oleani. Death by Justice."

Stonmel offers Khylynnia a rose-shaped Oleani symbol.

Khylynnia accepts Stonmel's Oleani symbol.

Khylynnia sings[...]

The Oleani symbol seems to respond to the magic of Khylynnia's song.

Khylynnia appears lost in thought as she sings to a rose-shaped Oleani symbol.

Khylynnia sings[...]

The Oleani symbol seems to respond to the magic of Khylynnia's song.

Khylynnia appears lost in thought as she sings to a rose-shaped Oleani symbol.

Khylynnia quietly says, "There is much this symbol is telling me."

Khylynnia sings[...]

The Oleani symbol seems to respond to the magic of Khylynnia's song.

Khylynnia appears lost in thought as she sings to a rose-shaped Oleani symbol.

Khylynnia quietly says, "Allow me a moment to organize it..."

Khylynnia recites quietly:

"The acolyte watched the bald-headed priest in silence. His words contained a special kind of music and magic in them, able to effortlessly soothe emotions and win hearts over. There was a natural brilliance to Johan, a glow that drew everyone, even the acolyte, in. From the first day of swearing their devotion to the Goddess of Love, the acolyte had never come close to Johan's exemplary perfection. Now, years later, the acolyte's last chance to prove himself within the ministry lay with Johan, the very person he could never be quite as good as, never measure up to."

Khylynnia recites quietly:

"The acolyte hadn't seen any harm in adding itching powder to the blessing oils, or setting out a batch of bad wine after services, or spreading carefully crafted rumors, all wildly false, to discredit and vilify Johan. The faithful soon instead sought guidance from the acolyte. Adulation was at last his! But then that Rone and the Mayor had ruined it! Johan's sermons on the justice of Rone and the corruption of the Mayor -- on what love of the town really looked like -- were so moving that scorn quickly reverted to reverence, and once again the chapel filled for Johan, leaving only scraps for him. Even as he admired him, wished he were more like him, the acolyte sneered at Johan's approach, but with a swirl of white mist and the flash of a blade, he was unconscious."

Khylynnia recites quietly:

"The acolyte's entire world was pain. First the white-cloaked figure, face hidden behind a mask, had carved up his face, and then the masked figure had removed his organs and several bones, among other things, replacing them with someone else's. He should by all rights be dead; but his body still functioned with these replacement parts. Fear coursed through him as the figure stalked toward him with an eyeball, its nerve cord bloody, whispering, "Soon, you will finally be like him."."

Khylynnia recites quietly:

"The acolyte woke slowly. There was no pain. He groggily cried out, "Hello?", then stopped abruptly; a version of Johan's voice, scratchy and absent its vibrant quality, had slipped from his lips. His hands confusedly ran over the priest's accrouments he now wore. Then over a face that he felt, without seeing, was disfigured. He glanced to the left. A mirror was propped up there, and his fingers stilled as he stared at a horrendous mocking mimicry of Johan's visage. A long, hollow sound ripe with despairing madness bubbled out of him. Tearing his holy symbol off and flinging it away, he fled, mindlessly, into the night."

[discussion ensues; people debate whether this was the work of Rone, Rone in conjunction with someone else, someone entirely different, etc., along with how this person has so much knowledge of anatomy, and so on]

Khylynnia quietly says, "It fades to madness afterwards."


What Johan Wished For

Stormyrain just arrived.

Stormyrain glances at a bald-headed corpse.

Stormyrain slowly empties her lungs.

Speaking quietly to Stormyrain, Khylynnia says, "I couldn't sing to the corpse."

Stormyrain focuses her concentration, briefly studying the composition of a bald-headed corpse.

Stormyrain nods slowly.

Stormyrain says, "I can if you'd like."

Speaking to Khylynnia, Stormyrain says, "There are definitely echoes within the corpse."

Stormyrain gazes thoughtfully at a bald-headed corpse.

Stormyrain focuses her concentration, briefly studying the composition of a bald-headed corpse.

Stormyrain sings something in Guildspeak to a bald-headed corpse that you don't understand.

Stormyrain says, "The priest's eyes swept over his congregation. Enlightened satisfaction brimmed within him, for preaching Oleani's teachings and sharing her blessings was his life's calling. He had worked hard, showed consistent devotion, and his sincerely generous efforts had been returned twenty-fold. His gaze lingered on the dark-haired acolyte. Bad luck and unfortunate circumstances had plagued the acolyte, but the priest was looking forward to providing a well-deserved respite and redemption to his old friend."

Stormyrain sings something in Guildspeak to a bald-headed corpse that you don't understand.

The bald-headed corpse seems to respond to the magic of Stormyrain's song.

Stormyrain appears lost in thought as she sings to a bald-headed corpse.

Stormyrain says, "Despite the strange troubles that had befallen his chapel and illnesses that had bothered his flock in past months, the priest felt only joy when the faithful ceased attending his sermons to instead flock to the acolyte's. He always felt, deep down, that the acolyte had great promise and potential, if only he followed a righteous example. His heart brimmed with joy for his friend. The priest was pleased, too, when his words regarding Rone's unique justice and the Mayor's corruption were well-received enough to fill the chapel once again. He strode toward the acolyte, lost in thought, but with a swirl of white mist and the flash of a blade, he was unconscious."

Stormyrain sings something in Guildspeak to a bald-headed corpse that you don't understand.

The bald-headed corpse seems to respond to the magic of Stormyrain's song.

Stormyrain appears lost in thought as she sings to a bald-headed corpse.

Stormyrain says, "Panic gripped the priest as he came to; he couldn't feel anything. He couldn't even move anything, save for his eyes. And what they saw terrified him. Propped upright was a naked body, its bleeding face and form turned just enough that he couldn't make out its identity. A masked, white-cloaked figure stalked into his line of vision. Was Rone humming to himself? The masked figure began meticulously cutting an incision down the center of the body's chest. The body shuddered, screaming horrifically, heaving in rasping breaths, begging, "Stop! Please!" Sudden heartbreak drenched the priest, for it was the acolyte who spoke. The priest's mind struggled to imagine what the acolyte had done to deserve Rone's justice."

Stormyrain sings something in Guildspeak to a bald-headed corpse that you don't understand.

The bald-headed corpse seems to respond to the magic of Stormyrain's song.

Stormyrain appears lost in thought as she sings to a bald-headed corpse.

Stormyrain says, "The priest felt, without pain, his organs being removed, one by one, and watched as the white-cloaked figure replaced the acolyte's like-organs with his. He couldn't have looked away if he had wanted to; he couldn't even close his eyes to the ongoing nightmare. A sickening measure of relief came when his eyes were, one by one, cut from his person. But even in the dark he could still feel his body being dismantled, still hear the continual screams of the acolyte. Until, as a more lasting darkness wrapped around him, a whisper crooned, "Do not pity him; he achieves his most ardent wish. Rest now, Priest."."

[As people had arrived after Khylynnia's original loresong, she repeats the story from the symbol. Discussion continues with people wondering whether the acolyte is still out there somewhere, why the priest seemed to be the innocent one but was the one killed, etc. It's proposed to check the temple of Oleani--the Wedding Glade--and check inside the clothier for answers after town guards take the corpse away...]

Town Guards arrive and haul off the corpse.

[...but no answers are found the rest of the night, or at least not reported.]