Fallen from Faith
This is a storyline that took place in the Platinum Instance during 2019 - ONGOING. Official title is "Fallen from Faith".
- 1 Fallen from Faith: Chapter 1
- 2 Pleasantly Surprised
- 3 Chapter 1 Conclusion
- 4 Fallen from Faith: Chapter 2
- 5 A Call for Allies
- 6 Knowledge is Power
- 7 The Forum
- 8 Chapter 2 Conclusion
- 9 Fallen from Faith: Chapter 3
- 10 The Fall of Wehnimer's Landing
- 11 Contemplation
- 12 Fallen from Faith: Chapter 4
- 13 Credits
Fallen from Faith: Chapter 1
A brief sanding of the parchment and she was ready to send it to the cleric for delivery. She glanced over the wording once more. "Lord Murchadha, As the snow has thawed with the onset of Spring and the passage has been clear for several weeks now, a delegate from the Landing made their way to the frozen north a week ago. The Faire of the North provided a suitable reason to be present and allowed a brief investigation into the rumors of undead activity in the area. It is unfortunate that you were not reachable to attend with the delegation, but I seek to share our information with you as you brought us the first concerns. Rumors of a woman named Seika abound in the north, with discussion at the local taverns and among the guard that she seeks an army to bring upon her father who it is said lingers in the Landing on occasion. This is cause for alert, of course, and so the delegation is making their way back to the Landing to help prepare for the possible arrival of this vengeful woman. We expect her to arrive this week's end, this Feastday, under cover of night. Having reached out to the Order of Voln, we are expecting to have support from the Shield and Sickle and would like to know if we can count on the Militia as well. My guard will be present of course, but should this provide to be needed, we would like to count on your support. I hope to hear from you soon. ~Oreena Januth" The parchment was folded and sealed with the mark of Moot Hall, then sent to the clerk to deliver with haste to the Murchadha manor.
Jaynon Murchadha, Commander of the Wehnimer's Landing Militia, and Oreena Januth, Town Official of Wehnimer's Landing, have previously consulted together about rumors of a great gathering of undead in the far north. A delegate from Wehnimer's Landing was sent to Icemule Trace during their "Faire of the North" to investigate these rumors. Their fear is that once Spring melts the snow in the passes, is that the undead army will invade the lands. It is also rumored that this undead army is being lead by a woman named Seika, the very same from years past that adventurers had previously encountered. Unfortunately, the delegate reports back that the rumors are true. The two make preparations to defend the town of Wehnimer's Landing once the passes can be traversed in the Spring.
23 Charlatos: Wehnimer's Landing and Environs
Jaynon called to arms all members of the Militia and gathered any volunteers to stand against the undead army approaching Wehnimer's Landing. Oreena had already evacuated the town and anyone left was expected to assist in defense or with the wounded. Oreena's newly formed guards are also instructed to help defend the town and assist with triage. As everyone makes final preparations to repel the undead army, a gravely wounded scout manages to make it back to the north gate and informs those assembled there that the undead army is making its way towards the town.
The Militia forces, along with Oreena's Guard, decide to make a stand at the Abandoned Inn located in the Upper Trollfang Forest and meet the first wave of the undead army before it reaches Wehnimer's Landing. A tremendous crashing roar is heard throughout the area as the defenders wait at the inn and scouts report that a massive avalanche fell upon the undead army as it made its way through the trail leading from Wehnimer's Landing to Icemule Trace. Roughly half of the undead army is buried by the avalanche and those gathered relax a little at this stroke of good luck.
The first wave of the undead is met by the Militia and Oreena's Guard. The first few waves consist of mostly weak undead, but soon an ominous voice heralds the onslaught of stronger foes. Among these new waves are undead griffins and spiders that slaughter many of the defenders. Several adventurers are forced to make a "tactical retreat" back to town. Despite apparently having the upperhand, the undead army suddenly halts their attack and disperses back into the night. Everyone is relieved and yet confused as to the cause of their salvation.
As the survivors are tending the wounded and raising the dead in town square central of Wehnimer's Landing, the disembodied voice of Seika is heard. She demands that Jeofrey, her golem father, be surrendered to her. Excuses, suggestions, and taunts are traded with Seika and she vows to deliver unto all those gathered further chaos if her father is not delivered up to her.
Order of Voln monks by the name of Gentre and Vernin arrive in town square central to consult with Oreena. Gentre and Vernin are members of the "Shield and Sickle," a sect in the Order of Voln. Vernin informs the adventurers of the devastating effects of the avalanche upon the undead army and believes someone caused it and blessed the snow. Neither he or Gentre know the identity of the person that caused the avalanche. Gentre tells the gathered adventurers of "The Fallen." The Fallen are a dark sect that was expunged from the Order of Voln for practicing necromancy. The pair of monks leave with a warning to not trust the Fallen. Oreena departs as well to consult with various town officials and prepare for any more attacks by Seika and the Fallen.
24 Charlatos: Wehnimer's Landing, Town Square Central
Oreena and various adventurers meet with Vernin and Benly to discuss the events of yesterday and how best to prepare for Seika's continued attacks against Wehnimer's Landing. Benly, is a novice in the Order of Voln and also a member in the Shield and Sickle sect. As the discussion is ongoing, Guiseppi shows up to join the discussion.
Guiseppi, is a former member of the Order of Voln and a member of The Fallen sect. He takes credit for his sect having caused the undead army to retreat last night and proposes that all those seeking to stop Seika and her undead army by any means join with him and his sect.
Vernin and Benly vehemently disagree with the methods used by Guiseppi and the other Fallen and plead with Oreena and those gathered to join them in prayer the next evening and seek Voln's blessing for the battles yet to come. Guiseppi proposes to hold a meeting at the same time where he will instruct those gathered in the methods used by The Fallen to combat the undead.
Jaired Delone, a vagrant and wastrel with a proclivity of cross-dressing in revealing skirts to showcase his alluring legs, claims to have orchestrated the blessed avalanche that destroyed half of the undead army led by Seika.
25 Charlatos: The Abandoned Inn
Various adventurers met with Guiseppi in the Abandoned Inn to learn more about The Fallen and to see a demonstration of necromancy. Guiseppi led the participants to the Wehnimer's Landing Graveyard and proceeded to animate a goblin and hobgoblin. He explained that the animates are completely under the control of the necromancer. He commanded his animates to attack the undead found in the graveyard and some onlookers admitted a grudging respect for the power he demonstrated. The undead animates under his control did not tire and only attacked whom he commanded.
With the demonstration concluded, the party proceeded back to the Abandoned Inn and Guiseppi explained that the undead army that had attacked Wehnimer's Landing and its many defenders had in fact been directed by The Fallen. The undead army was meant to be a demonstration of the sect's power and effectiveness. Seika did not have command of the undead at all and The Fallen had only provided her with an army as a means to further their own agenda.
Guiseppi's revelations were not well received by those assembled to hear him speak that evening. Most everyone present was quite flabbergasted as to the logic displayed by The Fallen in attacking Wehnimer's Landing with an undead army in order to demonstrate their ability to stop the attack and cause the undead to retreat. Many of those present had been wounded, killed, or had a friend or loved one experience the same. It was quite natural for them to be upset at Guiseppi's offhand comment of having done no "permanent damage."
The evening ended with frustration and few answers that made sense or were willingly accepted.
25 Charlatos: Voln Monastery, Wehnimer's Landing Chapter
The Brothers and Sisters of Voln gathered in the courtyard of the Landing's Monastery. Before the sermon began there was a brief discussion about the Fallen and their heretical use of necromancy. A novice by the name of Benly informed that the Fallen had taken control of several of the more powerful undead during the recent assault on the Landing. Also present was Winter Keeper Vernin the leader of a faction within Voln known as the Shield and Sickle. He advised that the Fallen were a sect within Voln that were expelled because of their heretical belief that to fight the undead, necromancy must be used and they took up this practice in Voln's name.
Vernin then went onto to give a brief explanation of his faction's purpose at the behest of Brother Hirle who was leading the proceedings. He explained that the Shield and Sickle had been formed long ago with the mandate to keep the Order free of corrupting influences within and without. He decried the use of necromancy. He declared the Sickle's motto to be 'Reap what evil sows'.
Brother Hirle stated that the Fallen deny the brotherhood of the Order but retain Voln's teachings. Stating that they walk amongst the Order spreading lies and deception.
Vernin called for the Reaper Benly, to lead the gathered in a prayer. The novice's prayer called for Voln to bless those present, and for the souls to be freed from their binding and the Fallen's heresy.
Vernin then gave a brief history of the Sickle, explaining they were formed in Fairport, Torre, but were independent of the Grandmaster there. Hirle noted that he thought they were once theological by nature, and questioned what had caused the shift to secular defense. Vernin advised it was because of the success of the Dandrellians and the spread of the Waterford Creed. Brother Virion, then recited the Waterford Creed, 'Voln is our Lord. We, his servants, seek out his Enemies. To being Mercy and Balance to the Suffering. For this is our Mandate, and this is our Duty.' A simple creed designed to unite the Order.
Hirle then recited the tale of Voln how he lost his family and village to Luukos's minions and taught himself to fight, before daring to challenge the God directly. Lorminstra came to him and revealed to him that his Father was in fact Koar. Lord Voln ascended to the moon Liabo and joined his family becoming a deity.
Hirle then recited the words of Brother Dandrell, a scholar of Nydds; "... From the point in which we, as followers of our Lord Voln choose to take up his faith and mandate, we cleanse ourselves of the evils of the world. In essence, we are born again as children, and upon this birth receive our holy mandate from our Lord. As those who walk the path of our Lord, it is expected of us to mature under his divine words and guidance. The literal mandate is the stepping stone to the greater mandate. Every soul has value, and it is for that cost that our Lord Voln sends us into the wilds to free those in bondage, not simply as a mission of bringing balance to the world."
Hirle then called to the gathered advising them that it is their duty to oppose the Fallen and all they stand for. That the use of necromancy serves Luukos, no matter their claims to serve Voln.
Several of the gathered asked mercifully if the Fallen might not be redeemed and returned to the Order, and other doubts were raised asking if the control of the undead was such a sin. Kiel confirmed he had witnessed a Fallen ritual and that they were not only controlling undead but creating them. And that they claimed responsibility for the Undead attacking the Landing. Several calls of blasphemy went up at this.
Hirle called for the gathered Brothers and Sisters to band together to defend against the Fallen.
The Meeting was closed with a prayer this time lead by Vernin asking Voln for guidance in eliminating the corruption and threats within and without.
Hirle's final announcement was that they would meet again when the Grandmaster of the Landing Monastery was present.
28 Charlatos: Wehnimer's Landing, Raging Thrak Inn
While everyone is enjoying a relatively quiet evening lounging at the Thrak Inn in Wehnimer's Landing, a scholar by the name of Telsprin stops by the inn to enjoy a hot meal and rent a room for the night.
The assembled patrons of the inn were curious as to the reason for Telsprin's presence and he reveals that he has been traveling in company of the Fallen in order to study their use of necromancy in controlling animates and using them to fight the undead. Guiseppi arrives shortly after Telsprin makes his introduction and remains silent for the most part to allow Telsprin to share his experiences and insights regarding the Fallen and their methods.
Most of those gathered listen politely to Telsprin share his opinions of the Fallen and their use of necromancy. The scholar is all to happy to share and mentions that he would like to present his findings to another sect in the Order of Voln, the Solacebringers. The Solacebringers are the record keepers of the order. Leiana asks quite a few questions of Telsprin as she has been mysteriously absent despite the danger that the town has been faced with and is quite clueless as to what has taken place so far.
A few are angry at the revelations from the night of the rallies and want Guiseppi and the other Fallen to be brought up on charges and face justice. Rouste makes a promise of holding Guiseppi to account personally.
The night winds down with Leiana leading Telsprin away to his room at the inn and Guiseppi returning to the Fallen's camp outside the Abandoned Inn.
Hirle left the Grandmaster's office and made his way down the hall to his sparse quarters to grab his walking stick. He would make the trip to the Landing and over to Moot Hall to seek audience with Oreena Januth, the Landing official who now seemed to be running well... everything. The Order had not really had a relationship of much importance with the previous official, Izaar, but Oreena had made a point to engage the Order in matters of the army that was rumored to be bearing down on the town several nights ago. She had even approached them proactively to ensure that they had security in place and offered her assistance for their observance of "The Day of Our Lady" , a holy day for the Order on the first Volnesday of Lormestra this year. He could not remember a time when a Landing town official had taken interest in such a thing, and if he was honest it both pleased him and made him nervous that she had done so. Making his way into the town walls, he nodded to the various guards posted at the gates and along the streets to Moot Hall. This was also a change - the previous administration had guards, this was not new, but their attentiveness and discipline was not the norm in his experience. He'd had to come into the Landing on occasion for Temple events or to provide guidance to a young monk here and there, but had always found the guard to be a bit slovenly and rather unconcerned for their job. Additionally, they smiled at him. Actually smiled at him! He was pleased yet again and found himself looking forward to speaking to the office of Oreena. As it turned out, she was not present, but her clerk was very accommodating and smiling too as he spoke to her about the reason for his visit. She promised to let Oreena know that the Grandmaster at the local chapter of the Order of Voln would like to meet at the Assembly Hall to discuss the concerns expressed by Winter's Keeper Vernin around the undead activities taking place nearby. The clerk assured him that Oreena would give this the utmost attention, as it deserved, and would be available for this meeting on the morrow at around 3 bells in the afternoon. She also reassured him that this threat is being taken seriously and that Miss Januth had issued orders just this day that the Fallen were not permitted within the walls, and if found within the town, should be immediately detained. Hirle felt good about that and thanked the young clerk before leaving. Perhaps change is beginning, he thought as he left the town walls and down the path back to the Order. ************************************************************** A Notice Posted on the Moot Hall Announcement Board: Oreena Januth, a Grandmaster of Voln from the local chapter of the Order, and Winter's Keeper Vernin will be meeting in the Assembly Room of Moot Hall to discuss the recent undead activity near the Landing. Those interested from the Militia or other concerned citizens wishing to offer their thoughts and assistance are encouraged to attend. Disorderly conduct or disruption will not be tolerated and Oreena will act swiftly to limit it.
30 Charlatos: Wehnimer's Landing, Moot Hall
A meeting takes place in Moot Hall of Wehnimer's Landing between Oreena and two Order of Voln monks, Brother Paval and Vernin. Brother Paval is the Grandmaster of the Wehnimer's Landing Chapter of the Order of Voln. The purpose of the meeting is to further build relationships between Wehnimer's Landing and the Order of Voln and to discuss concerns regarding the Fallen and next steps. Members of the Militia, concerned citizens, and busy bodies are present to observe the meeting and take part in the discussion.
Oreena shares with those gathered that Leiana stole the scholar Telsprin's notes while he was sleeping and shared them with her. The pair discover that Telsprin was not completely forthcoming in recounting his observations of time spent with the Fallen. She copied down some important pieces of information and had Leiana replace the notes without Telsprin knowing.
In the notes, it is revealed that Guiseppi and his Fallen brethren used Seika in order to distract the Order of Voln from learning that they were behind the army of undead. The real goal was to demonstrate the effectiveness of the Fallen's tactics and convince the Order of Voln that necromancy could be safely harnessed as a tool to combat the undead. Guiseppi revealed to Telsprin that the knowledge to create animates and control the undead is actually knowledge that has been lost to the Order of Voln. The notes also reveal that Telsprin thinks his findings on the Fallen might just be his ticket to fame.
Paval decides that Telsprin will be contacted by the order and invited to present his findings to the Solacebringers. It is also decided that the order will not engage in open hostilities with Guiseppi and the other Fallen. Vernin announces that he will be leading an expedition through Danjirland to the Glatoph Mountains in order to release the remaining undead that wandered away from the main host of the undead army as it made its way towards Wehnimer's Landing.
2 Olaesta: Glatoph Mountains
Vernin gathered adventurers at the sign pointing the way into Danjirland to lead them against he undead roaming the Glatoph Glacier. The trolls and ogres were roaming their territory in great numbers; most likely in response to the undead that threaten all living things, even trolls.
As the party made their way onto the glacier, the air grew stale and dank with the stench of the dead. Their moaning could be heard over the strong winds as they shuffled about. A number of weak undead were dispatched before encountering stronger foes. Some of the most fierce consisted of rotting pythons and spiders. Even tigers were not spared from being animated by the Fallen's experiments.
Eventually the group of forced to retreat due to the cold of the glacier, but Vernin was satisfied that the majority of the undead had been laid to rest. Vyrshkana, a spritely gnome that seemed to horde baubles of all sorts, safely saw the party back to the courtyard outside the Wehnimer's Landing Voln Monastery via magical means. Vernin shared news before everyone departed that the Solacebringers were interested to hear from Telsprin and hear about this new lore concerning the Fallen.
4 Olaesta: Darkstone Castle
Chapter 1 Conclusion
"Grandmaster Paval is expected to arrive any moment now.", she reminded the clerk who was perched obediently just outside of Oreena's office in Moot Hall. "Yes, ma'am. We have already notified the guards to expect him and allow him unfettered passage to your office. As soon as he gets here, I will usher him in straight away." the pretty young clerk responded. "Very well, thank you." Oreena nodded and began to go back to her office, then turned at the last moment back to the clerk. "And th.." "Yes, ma'am." the clerk answered quickly, anticipating the question. "There will be refreshments available as you requested." Nodding crisply, Oreena returned to her office with a smile on her face. Settling in her chair, she looked out the window at the grounds of Moot Hall with a calculating gaze. Things had gone very well recently and she relished the opportunity to cement her hold in this office. This onset of undead, though irritating, was a perfect opportunity for her to prove her competence and show senior leaders that she was the best choice. Slowly, she began ticking down in her mind the list of things she'd done since being called upon to fill the vacancy left by the untimely death of the former leader, Izaar. * Replacement of the guard - her new guards were attentive, well-trained, disciplined, and unshakably loyal to her. They had rushed into the fray when called upon as the undead arrived, offered assistance in triage, were friendly and focused. * Establishing relationships with those organizations that held influence - The monks of the Order of Voln in particular had been her focus for the last several months, given the information she'd received from Jaynon Murchadha around the impending army. She had made sure to incorporate them into her security briefings, offer support for their gatherings and observance of holy days, and was attending Temple regularly to offer tithes. It was going swimmingly, all things told. The Militia was another critical piece and she had gone out of her way to endure that loathsome wife of Lord Murchadha's. Nothing more than a common street rat given better clothing, Oreena was sorely put upon not to snap the girl's neck. It was counterproductive to her goals, however, and so for now, the girl would have to abide. Thankfully, Lord Murchadha was well aware of the need to be civil and had been taught manners and so there was very little difficulty in interacting with him. Oreena knew the Militia had the people's ears and hearts, and so she would continue to endeavor to maintain and strengthen that partnership. Involving them in security briefings would continue for the foreseeable future. * Establishing order at town meetings - Oreena was hard pressed to understand how the previous administration had ever run a meeting or discussed anything of any importance with the behavior she'd seen displayed at events. That drunken sot, Rouste, was vociferously raging at her every time she walked into a room and between him and the street rat turned Lady, she was seething on a regular basis. Of course, her training would not allow that emotion to go unchecked and so she was polite, smiling and nodding and offering kind words when she'd have rather forced him to take a bath and a shave. She felt that would be akin to death for the slovenly man. No, order would have a place in her town, she thought. Yes, it absolutely was becoming her town. She intended to keep it in line, as well. Meetings, especially. Two knocks came upon the door to the office, jarring Oreena from her leisurely position at the window so that she stood, smoothing out her gown to ensure respectability. A quick adjustment of her wig and she forced a pleasant smile to her face, watching expectantly as the door opened and Grandmaster Paval entered with a sweep of his wool robes. "Grandmaster Paval," she greeted him warmly, gesturing to the seat and nodding as a tray of refreshments was ushered into the room and placed nearby for consumption. "Tea?" The Grandmaster nodded gratefully and accepted it with a polite nod, sipping carefully at the steaming brew. "Thank you for seeing me, Miss Januth." "Of course, we are aligned well in this Grandmaster." she responded as she settled into her chair across from him with her own cup of tea grasped delicately. "I have good news." Paval smiled, his eyes crinkling at the edges as he said, "They are coming then? The Solacebringers?" to which she nodded, grinning as well. "Yes, they will send a delegate. A Solacebringer is expected to arrive in a month's time, once Spring is upon us fully." Oreena set her cup down a moment as she allowed the Grandmaster to absorb what this means for him and then continued. "We will need to arrange for a neutral arena for the debate, Grandmaster. One that is not within our walls and not within yours, as the sentiment around this Fallen is tense at this moment. I feel we are courting violence if we do not find a neutral venue." Nodding in agreement, Paval murmured an acquiescence to her proposal and took another drink of his tea. "Yes, I'm sure we can arrange for that. It should not be difficult. A month, you say? That is fantastic news." "I'm glad we agree, as I feel that allowing this Fallen their day in front of this knowledge keeper will allow you to finally put an end to their foolishness and drive them away.", Oreena commented, her eyes raising to his from her cup after another sip. "They have left, you know." "The Fallen have, yes I have heard from Vernin." Paval responded, nodding a bit and reaching for a buttery cookie from the tray to nibble on. "We had patrols nearby the Inn since their arrival." he admitted, taking a bite of his cookie and brushing away the crumbs from his robes. "We could not blindly trust." as he gave her a hooded gaze. It was not lost on Oreena, he was not just speaking of the Fallen. She had known this would be coming and was surprised he chose to imply it so early on as she'd felt he wouldn't have the nerve for it. She was not unhappy at the discovery that the Grandmaster has a backbone. "Yes, it is not wise to do so without cause." she demurred, her eyelashes fluttering in a practiced way at him. "One must earn trust." as her eyes held his gaze, letting him see that she was well aware of his wariness of her overtures of partnership and was willing to work for his approval. It was critical to her future to have it. After a long moment, Paval nodded and broke his gaze from hers after searching it a moment for any indication of trickery or falsehood. Standing, Paval smiled and finished off his last bit of cookie. "We will be in touch, Miss Januth." he stated, and then offered his hand as she stood to acknowledge him. She offered her own in return, to which he bowed and lightly placed a brush of his lips against her knuckles. Straightening, he smiled as Oreena said "Please, call me Oreena, Grandmaster." to which he nodded but noticeably did not offer for her to call him Paval. "Good day to you.. Oreena." he concluded as he exited the office, leaving her to stand there gazing after him with a slight smile. "Yes, it is." she mused to herself as the clerk closed the door to her office without request, leaving her boss in private.
Fallen from Faith: Chapter 2
"Of course you didn't know!", he barked at her in frustration as he ran a hand over his head slowly. A quiet sigh followed the statement as he looked up at his daughter's face, recognizing the guilt written there as she nodded. "You left, Leiana." he accused, standing up from behind his desk and making a show of shuffling the piles of paperwork stacking up around him, eyes fixed on anything but her. "You left and you didn't look back. Not for months." "Daddy." she said quietly, walking over to where Sabrien busied himself to place a hand on his. He paused and tentatively raised his gaze to hers, the pain clear. "Daddy, I'm sorry I have not been around as much." Sabrien nodded, but his shoulders remained tense as he straightened and pulled his hand from hers. "I'm here now, Daddy." she began, but he cut her off with a raised hand. "Why?" he demanded and she flinched, unused to seeing this side of her father. She knew he had taken her departure from the Landing hard, but she did not expect it to remain several months later. "The undead." she admitted, seeing his disappointment as he sighed. "Not just the undead, Daddy, but..." she said, hoping to ease the pain she had caused. After a moment, he nodded and walked away to sit back at his desk once more. "So then you'll be leaving when they are gone." he stated, his eyes hardening slightly as he looked up at his daughter. Leiana pulled at a loose curl as she was wont to do when she was nervous, biting at her lower lip. "I don't know." she admitted and quickly walked over to sit before him, reaching out to take his hands in her own. He stiffened but did not pull away this time and she smiled at him. "We are working on a docking arrangement for the Muse at the moment. Oreena refused us but I am hopeful that she will relent given time." "Given your help in this issue with the Fallen, I suppose." he reasoned with a dry tone. His eyebrow raised in disapproval as she nodded sheepishly. "It couldn't hurt, right?" she said, then hurriedly followed it up with, "I'm not doing it because of that, Daddy. You should know that!" It was her turn to be hurt as she stood up, tears brimming. "I'm not a monster, Daddy. I thought you of all people understood." "I do understand, sweetheart." he murmured, motioning toward the doorway where repairs to the front desk were ongoing. "I understand, yes, but you do seem to be a bit emotional lately..." That deflated her and she sat slowly, her gaze downcast as she murmured, "I'm very sorry for that, Daddy. I… well I'm still working on things." "Yes, I get that Leiana. And I'm proud of your efforts, but we have a business to run and I can't have you blowing up the Inn when you get angry." She looked up as he added with amusement, "Even if it is Whick's things that you set on fire." A giggle was his reward and he smiled. "Just make sure it's all cleaned up and let's not have another incident like this. Our guest is arriving soon and I cannot have the Inn in this state." Sabrien stood to hug her close and held her longer than normal, his gaze over her shoulder on the destruction outside of his office. Worry etched his face momentarily as he contemplated the meaning of that scene and the power his child possessed. Quickly regaining composure before she could see, he pulled back and smiled at her, brushing a stray curl away from her forehead. "It's fine, Leiana. I love you and we'll get through this together." Happy, she smiled and said, "I'll get the Solacebringer's room prepared right now." At Sabrien's nod, she left with a bounce in her step and a sway of her curly head. His smile faded as she rounded the corner, replaced by a worried frown as he sat slowly back at his desk. "I just hope we can weather both storms…".
2 Ivastaen: Wehnimer's Landing, Raging Thrak Inn
Sabrien is on hand to greet Ismae, a member of the Order of Voln belonging to the Solacebringer sect. Various adventurers also stop by to greet the Solacebringer and inquire as to how the Order of Voln plans to conduct the discussion between Ismae, the Scholar Telsprin, and representatives of the Fallen.
Ismae shares with those gathered that she will be meeting with Grandmaster Paval tomorrow morning to discuss the arrival of the Fallen. The Fallen are once again making their way back to Wehnimer's Landing and are due to arrive on the 3rd of Ivastaen in the evening.
3 Ivastaen: Wehnimer's Landing, Raging Thrak Inn
Ismae makes an appearance in the lounge of the Thrakk Inn to converse with locals and answer more questions. Jaired and Leiana leave early on to "skulk around," spy on the Fallen, and be general nuisances.
She speaks on the main purpose of the Solacebringer Sect, to seek out the lore that was lost over 700 years ago during a war that nearly destroyed the Order of Voln.
3 Ivastaen: The Abandoned Inn
Guiseppi arrived with his soldiers to set up camp at the Abandoned Inn - they are partaking in the forum with the Solacebringer and the scholar around the Fallen philosophy. A few adventurers arrived to greet them and it was revealed by Guiseppi that their plan is to create a super army of undead who would do the fighting for everyone against other undead. Originally, they attempted to create a 'super undead being' with skills from various creatures and it did not go as well as intended. They have scrapped that and instead are enhancing the skills of creatures they animate to create their super army.
Jaynon expressed concern about the safeguards around that plan, as he felt that it could fall into the wrong hands. Guiseppi explained that part of his process is to destroy the super army by triggering a word that causes them to self-destruct after they have eliminated the undead of the world. He also explained that he had created a pocket realm to carry his experiments around in so that he did not delay work while traveling to the meeting in the Landing. This realm holds the earliest versions of his enhanced undead and he invited adventurers to ‘test’ their skills by hunting them at their leisure. The evening ended with Guiseppi mentioning that the scholar, Telsprin, would be arriving in the Landing to join the Fallen on the 5th of Ivastaen in the mid-afternoon. Adventurer’s should expect him to arrive at the Inn and seek audience with the Solacebringer.
Jaecee paced methodically in front of the desk where Guiseppi sat, systemically counting out loud the components remaining in the storage crates and bins hauled from the North to assist with Guiseppi's continued experiments. The initial attempts to create a super being, complete with a combination of skills from various creatures throughout the lands, had seemed promising but ended in utter failure. Guiseppi had been unable to hold the control needed to utilize the creation to its best advantage and it resulted in a cataclysmic meltdown of the tissues in the creature, leaving a puddle of ooze behind. That had lead to some discussion around ditching the project, and yet Jaecee had insisted there were other options. Guiseppi trusted Jaecee's thoughts on the subject, as the young man was a skilled alchemist and devoted utterly to Lord Voln and eliminating the undead. At times he was a bit driven, but Guiseppi enjoyed that kind of dedication as it didn't always manifest itself in the others. Being a member of the Fallen often equated to taking quite a bit of abuse from others in the Order of Voln who disavowed the Fallen path and theories vehemently. It took some gumption and more than little devotion to endure that and keep going. Jaecee had it and Guiseppi appreciated that. Valued it even. "We're still short, sir. Did you convey the list needed to those adventurers?" "Yes, young Jaecee, I did. They will bring around what they find. If they do not bring enough, we will scout for more." A slight nod was Jaecee's response and then he turned to face Guiseppi, quickly reminding him, "We also need new corpses, sir. The supplies are only half of the equation." Guiseppi chuckled and nodded, confirming, "Yes, we will make sure to scout out some local denizens for our newest crop of experiments." "This time with increased skills, yes? We are ready." Jaecee eagerly questioned, his eyes flashing with his excitement at the prospect. "Yes, I believe we are ready. I am going to try and arrange a meeting with the Solacebringer to show her our progress if all goes well." Jaecee's frown was immediate as he murmured, "She won't listen, you know. This is useless - this forum debate. They aren't ever going to listen." Guiseppi smiled indulgently at his protege and responded, "We should attempt to sway her if possible. Transparency may be a path to explore." Echoing the advice given to him the previous evening by Leiana and Jaired, who encouraged him to build a relationship with the town and the Solacebringer as an alternative to his normal brusque attitude. He felt it was worth a try at the very least. Nothing else had worked so far. "I'm going to get some rest, sir." Jaecee responded, a bit curt in his disapproval of the new direction but unwilling to openly disagree with his Master and friend. With that, he turned to go back to his cot, leaving Guiseppi to his musings. ~Naionna
9 Ivastaen: The Abandoned Inn
Various people meet with Guiseppi to provide him with the ingredients he requested for his research. A forest gnome named Vyrshkana, provides him with most of the ingredients as she is known to have a penchant for collecting various items and being generally helpful to anyone and everyone.
Leiana leads a party to collect the last of the required ingredients which consist of a gremlin's toenail and a large wart. The wart could probably have been obtained from a hobgoblin or other creature, but for whatever reason it is determined that Helga, owner of Helga's Tavern in Wehnimer's Landing, would be the best candidate to provide the wart. The last of Jaired's dignity and self worth are bargained away by Leiana to obtain the prize.
A Call for Allies
A street urchin dropped from a branch of the tree lording over Town Square Central. The boy landed in a squat position, dropped to a knee, and looked at Rouste curiously. Rouste appreciated the theatrics; he did his share of tree climbing as a boy- just never in a city. But no time to live in memories. He nodded to the child and dropped a small bag in front of the kid. The urchin's eyes immediately flitted down to the bag, then to Rouste. He said nothing, but it was clear he approved of the payment. But what was the job? "Spread tha word," Rouste said. "Lookin' far people who donna wanna wait far tha scholars and holehs tah do thehr research. Weh need tah move against tha Fallen. Fast. Ahehahn interested in helpin' should meet at the well on Restday, two hours past midday." He nodded to the boy in dismissal, who quickly snatched the bag and ran off.
12 Ivastaen: Wehnimer's Landing, Town Well
Rouste met with those that shared his concern regarding Guiseppi and the Fallen. All present agree that if an opportunity presents itself, that Guiseppi should be eliminated as the leader of the Fallen.
13 Ivastaen: The Abandoned Inn
Guiseppi, or as Jaired likes to call him "Guppy", instructed those gathered in the history of necromancy and explained that the first necromancer created an undead with the help of a magical artifact called the "Sphere of Sorrow".
Guiseppi revealed that he has created his newest undead which are available in the pocket realm he created to store and test his creations; adventurers are welcome to test the strength of his newest creations found within this pocket realm. Those gathered helped Guiseppi acquire more ingredients, and he added a new one - magical essence, that was infused into an orb he will use to power an artifact to assist him with building his super army.
13 Ivastaen: Wehnimer's Landing, Raging Thrak Inn
Oreena met with Ismae and Telsprin in order to lead them on a tour of the town's temple that is primarily dedicated to the worship of Lorminstra, an Arkati that is often affiliated with the Order of Voln. The tour proceeded smoothly without interruption and the party returned to the Raging Thrak Inn at its conclusion.
Once back at the inn, Oreena invited those gathered to attend a meeting at Moot Hall in the Assembly Room for Voln members only to discuss what has been learned and define their defense strategy for the forum with the Solacebringer on the 25 of Ivastaen.
In the early hours of the morning before dawn broke, Auvreaian slowly moved the slender dark arm wrapped over his shoulder and climbed out of bed. "If the senses were dulled, this could almost be...peaceful...", he murmured to himself as his Mate, Cassae simply stretched further out on the bed on her side, one knee deliberately bent as a learned gesture to allow his Pet the comforts of the bed with them.
14 Ivastaen: Wehnimer's Landing, Moot Hall Assembly Room
Grandmaster Paval and Vernin arrive at the Assembly Room in Moot Hall to hear from those tasked to gather information in regards to the Fallen's activities. Unfortunately, only Lilium, Priestess of Lorminstra, is in attendance and she voices concern that foul play may have befallen the individuals that were to make their reports.
Some debate insues with the priestess voicing her opinion that the Fallen should be cleansed and their knowledge with them. Grandmaster Paval is adamant that the forum take place though and that no harm should be inflicted upon the Fallen. Having warned the priestess, Grandmaster Paval sternly admonishes Vernin for trusting in unreliable adventurers to deliver and abruptly leaves the meeting.
Jaired arrives fashionably late and shares with Vernin that Guiseppi and the Fallen are attempting to create an undead that can regenerate itself by experimenting with troll animates. They are also attempting to power some type of orb to further empower their undead creations. Furthermore, Jaired shares that the Fallen are using a "pocket realm" to contain their creations. Vernin worries that this pocket realm is a rather convenient way to hide an army.
Leiana arrives as Vernin is about to depart to seek out the Grandmaster and share the newly obtained information. A bit of a spirited debate insues between the four present, regarding corruption and the soul, but ends before things get out of hand.
Knowledge is Power
[Tower of the Queen, Royal Suite] Lavish crystal sculptures grown from the very walls, floor, and even ceiling decorate this space. The suite is broken into two parts, a sitting area and a sleeping area, separated by a great wall of translucent crystal hung with a variety of tapestries that is broken by a single, intricately sculpted arch. The furniture is lavish and ornate, and small spheres of white and green dot the room, providing ample light to see and read by. The only exit from the spacious room is a vaulted dark alloy door. Auvreaian paused for a moment to examine the door. "Enough for one more..I cannot wait to see his smug face twist so, poor Qalinor...", he chuckled before turning back to the bedroom. < The dark alloy door is painful to look at for more than a few moments at a time, as the entire thing seems to shift in and out of focus. Stark black one moment and swirling shades of grey the next, faint images of faces and hands seem to surface from the blackness within the metal to pound against it as if trying to escape. > The opportunity had been simple enough, he thought to himself. "A favor for a favor, indeed..", as he remembered the conversation earlier that evening. A raspy voice states, "I've been told you wish to offer... assistance of some type? In exchange for a bit of..." The speaker clears their throat before adding..."Mayhem, in the Landing." "Our main hurdle is the Solacebringer." "The assistance we need most currently is with infusing magical spheres. They are sort of like a sponge for magical energy and will be used to power an artifact which will allow us to enhance the undead further than we currently are able." It was initially difficult to stomach the idea of aiding these fools with Unlife, and his first retort was made plainly in regards to this. Speaking politely to the visitor, you say, "We also have no love of the Unlife, as much of that is beneth us. That being said, if the Unlife can be used to remove Lessers, then perhaps we can see a use for it." The visitor provided us with the same story as most do, their power is new and doesn't settle with others, and yet my Mate had her curiosity piqued. Speaking to the visitor, Cassae asks, "How did you come by this learning if I mnight inquire?" To which the visitor replied, "Nydds is... an amazing location." An accord was struck shortly after, as the Countess of Shadows does not go without when she shows interest in something, Auvreaian chuckled to himself and glanced back over at his Mate, the lavish silken red sheets cutting a drastic hue on both her skin, and in contrast to the massive ebonwood four-poster bed that dominated over the sleeping area. As an agreement was finalized, he took the opportunity to advise the visitor of one of his life traits. Speaking firmly to the visitor, you say, "Knowledge is Power, and none of them will grasp that." The visitor became mesmerized by the trinket lent to them, fascinated by its power. Speaking to the visitor, Cassae says, "We do bring an abundance of riches to aid you." A general assessment of strength was spoken of, when a curious tidbit of information came forth. Speaking to Cassae, the visitor says, "Twenty is... beyond most capabilities. With standard necromancy tactics, anyway. With certain rituals and alchemical influences, the range can be extended. Though no small amount of training is required." The visitor left, and his Mate moved to make plans. Speaking in Dark Elven, Cassae says, "You will need to intruct your tool well." Speaking in Dark Elven, Cassae says, "Her whispers can steer a path away from complete failure." Speaking in Dark Elven, you deeply say, "She will need to be told to be subtle, lest her position be compromised." Speaking in Dark Elven, Cassae says, "She is prone to failures. I would hate to have to cut her tongue out." Speaking in Dark Elven, Cassae says, "I would flay her slowly, strip of skin by strip of skin. Enjoyment for me, new soles for our boots but the loss of a tool." Speaking deeply in Dark Elven to Cassae, you say, "I will impress upon her that your approval is highly desirable for her case." This very day he would plan to visit with the half-breed and provide her guidance. He was dubious of the results of the visitor, but there was poetic justice in looking over his bedchamber to see a beautiful woman with the appetite for power as the Tower's namesake. "She could be Despana reborn..", he said to himself begrudgingly, reminding himself that she would hold dominion over both Shadows and the Unlife, yet his feet moved back towards the bed and the comforts found there nonetheless. Willingly so, even. ~James/Auvreaian
25 Ivastaen: Melgorehn's Valley, Crossing
Finally the day of the forum arrived and all of the necessary parties gathered to present their respective positions. Grandmaster Paval and Winter's Keeper Vernin were present to represent the Order of Voln. High Ritualist Guiseppi and Regent Proxy Jaecee were present to represent the Fallen. The scholar Telsprin was also present to give his account of his observations regarding his time with the Fallen. Liel of the Mage's Guild was also present to take notes. Presiding over all of them is Solacebringer Ismae to determine whether or not the knowledge presented by the Fallen is truly "lost knowledge" of the Order of Voln and should be added to the libraries found in the Halls of Solace.
Both sides present their cases with passion and emotions run hot as the art of necromancy has ever been a divisise topic. Many adventurers have also gathered to hear the debate as they too have aided the Fallen or worked with the Order of Voln leading up to today's forum. Adventurers throw out questions and make points at every opportunity to attempt to catch the opposition off guard and trip up their arguements.
In the end, Ismae determines that the knowledge presented by Guiseppi on behalf of the Fallen is not lost knowledge of the Order of Voln and would be best left forgotten. Creating an army of undead that are magically enchanced in combat ability and able to regenerate wounds if simply too dangerous; especially should the knowledge fall into the hands of those who are truly evil. Ismae ask that Guiseppi cease his research and turn away from the practice of necromancy for the safety of all. As to whether Guiseppi will heed the advice of the Solacebringer...
Oreena believes that plans should be put in place to defend Wehnimer's Landing should Guiseppi and the other Fallen prove vengeful.
Chapter 2 Conclusion
Guiseppi was lost in his thoughts, the cold, biting wind barely registering as he moved alongside his men in the snowy landscape toward Icemule Trace. He had failed to convince the Solacebringer, the Order of Voln, and more importantly the leaders of Wehnimer's Landing of the legitimacy his purpose and path. It was a bitter pill to swallow and the ire of his companion and progeny, Jaecee, was palpable. Guiseppi had attempted to conform to the suggestions of Leiana and Jaired, two locals to the town that he felt would have a good insight into what could most help him sway the town to his side. Become more amicable, more transparent, keep a kind word on your tongue and a smile on your face - give them reason to trust you, they had said. He felt he'd done all of that and then some, allowing people to be involved by being allowed into the pocket realm he carried with him, talking to them about his plans, and discussing at least somewhat of the artifact that he had gained knowledge of to assist with his endeavors. He'd eaten and drank with them, he'd joked with them, he'd had pleasant conversation. He didn't lose his temper, mostly, and had tried very hard to maintain that demeanor - even when confronted with the zealot paladin Jaynon and his opposing viewpoints. Alas, it had all been to no avail. "Cease all experiments", he scoffed aloud as he trudged through the snow, his feet soaked and frozen to numbness as they traversed the path to civilization. He would not cease his endeavor because he felt in his heart, deep in his soul, that this was the right way. Learning a way to limit innocent casualties of the war against the undead, and at the same time, how to control and someday eliminate necromancy was at it's core the path of Lord Voln. He would allow none to stray him from that journey. Nearby, Jaecee trudged beside his Master, a scowl on his visage and dark rage in his gaze. He had tried to explain to Master Guiseppi the folly of listening to the locals, and yet despite his years by Guiseppi's side and his loyalty to the cause, his opinions were discarded for naught. All around, the soldiers of the Fallen were sullen and silent as they too trudged back to their icy camp in the North. There was a definitive cloud of dark emotion hanging over the downtrodden group this day. Once near enough to the town, Guiseppi cast an incantation briefly and a portal opened, allowing his Fallen to step within and take refuge within the Icemule Trace walls for the night. It would be a short trip on the morrow to their encampment and back to square one in their efforts. As each one stepped through the shimmering portal, Jaecee watched with calculating focus and a narrowed gaze.
Oreena sanded the invitations she had written to the various leaders among the populace, asking them to a meeting of the minds to prepare the Landing against what she felt was an impending return of the Fallen to the gates of the Frontier town. She had secured the participation of the Mage's Guild in Liel, the local Militia in Jaynon and Jaired, the Order of Voln in Brother Hirle... and the somewhat disturbing support of Leiana Delone, whom was of much interest recently. Having received reports of the storm that Leiana created, of all things in the town square and town square only, Leiana had become a focal point for Oreena in preparation for what may come next their way. Now, if only she could feel confident that Jaired would be able to control the girl...
Standing, she called out to her girl who hurried into the office and took the sealed invitations to deliver. "Right away ma'am, yes." was the young woman's response to the receipt of the items and she left to go carry out her task. The meeting would take place in just a week's time and she had no time to waste. There were preparations for the room, refreshments to arrange, security to discuss with Oreena's guard, and various other tasks to complete. The invitations were simply the first step.
Liel glanced at the sealed invitation he held and with a sigh, sank into his chair in the Guild and pried loose the wax to open the paper. He had agreed to assist, but was weary of Oreena at just the thought of the time he'd have to spend with her and had no good feeling of anticipation in this effort. Yet, it was needed as he too felt there may be trouble stirring in light of how things went at the forum a few weeks prior. He also wanted to find out a bit more about this artifact that Guiseppi mentioned, and his involvement might prevent that from happening. It was a dilemma, to be sure.
"You are cordially invited to attend a meeting in Moot Hall to discuss the future of the Landing's defense system. We would appreciate and be honored to have the Mage's Guild represented in this endeavor and beseech you to attend. We will meet in the Mayor's office on the eve of next Tilamaires, the 11th day of Lumnea, at around eight bells in the evening.
P.S. There will be punch and pie.
~Oreena Januth of Moot Hall"
Fallen from Faith: Chapter 3
16 Koaratos: Wehnimer's Landing, Raging Thrak Inn
Adventurers are gathered at the Raging Thrak Inn anticipating the return of Ismae and eager to hear whatever news she brings with her. After she arrives, the Solacebringer explains that she had been investigating a mountainous region for potentially lost knowledge of interest to the Order of Voln, but it turned out to be phosphorescent mold. Oreena arrives shortly after to greet Ismae and the two exchange pleasantries.
Ismae inquires as to the defenses of the town and if they are ready. Oreena informs her that a crystal defense system is nearly ready to be implemented that was designed by the Mage's Guild working in conjunction with the Shield and Sickle Sect of the Order of Voln. Liel of the Mage's Guild has offered his personal assistance in the construction of the crystal defense system once the plans are finalized.
Oreena departs for the evening with a reminder to meet in the Moot Hall Assembly Room in the evening of Niiman.
18 Koaratos: Wehnimer's Landing, Moot Hall Assembly Room
Oreena holds a meeting to discuss the crystal defense system being developed by the Mage's Guild and the Shield and Sickle Sect of the Order of Voln. Liel of the Mage's guild is on hand to explain how the crystals operate and shows those gathered an inactive crystal.
By studying Leiana and how her powers react violently to perceived threats against her, the Mage's Guild has managed to mimic the same reaction via the crystals and how to tap into the same power that Leiana does. Liel further explains that the crystals are not operational as of yet, and need some time to build properly, continued testing, and strategic decisions around where to mount them. They also need a supply of magical energy to allow them to perform, which will take time to gather.
Vernin updates those gathered on the progress of the special combat training that the Shield and Sickle has been providing for the other monks in the Order of Voln.
A commotion is heard outside the assembly room and people rush out to see what has occurred. The scholar, Telsprin, is found to be badly wounded with a missing leg and near death. He is helped inside the assembly room and Ismae tends his wounds using her empath arts.
Before passing out from fatigue, Telsprin informs those gathered that a mutiny has taken place amongst the Fallen. Jaecee and Guiseppi quarreled bitterly over the outcome of the forum with Jaecee believing that the forum was a farce and that the Fallen should have forced the Order of Voln to accept the plan they had put forth. Members of the Fallen agreed with Jaecee and helped him to take control of the undead army and pocket realms; striking down Guiseppi and any other Fallen that stayed loyal to him.
Jaecee is currently marching back to Wehnimer's Landing with the Fallen's undead army in tow and will arrive in approximately a day.
The Fall of Wehnimer's Landing
19 Koaratos: Wehnimer's Landing
As the evening draws late, all that would defend the town of Wehnimer's Landing gather together in force at the north gate. Oreena orders her guards and hired mercenaries to position themselves at the west and north gate as well as throughout the town to defend against the undead too. Mages from the local Mage's Guild man the walls of Wehnimer's Landing to thin the horde as it approaches. The monks of Voln do their best to delay the advance of the undead army and light beacons in the countryside to mark its progress.
The forces do not have to wait long before the weakest undead begin to throw themselves against the defenses of the Landing in order to test for weaknesses. Wave after wave of undead batter themselves against the defenders for quite awhile until eventually Oreena's forces are swarmed over and the undead gain entry to the town via the west gate.
A few adventurers break away from the north gate to face the undead entering the city and prevent them from killing the people of Wehnimer's Landing. Around this time a man assumed to be Jaecee calls out to the defenders and belabors their folly in not welcoming the Fallen with open arms and agreeing to aid them. He opens a pocket realm and from within come forth the most dreadful undead creations the Fallen were able to create: spiders, beings, and corpses that fairly oozed their taint from every pore and orifice.
With this last wave of undead the defenders are forced to retreat from the north gate and fight a moving battle throughout the town. Defenders would bravely make a stand amidst the streets of the Landing and hold their own for a time only to be forced to retreat or killed before they have a chance to.
A triage was set up in the Raging Thrak Inn and a number of adventurers are delivered there for healing and resurrection throughout the long night. Some respite comes from the aid of some rather strong adventurers that foolhardily join the battle long after the gates have fallen to the undead. Many of the wounded recovering at the inn wonder where Leiana is amidst the chaos, as she had been absent for the battle so far.
Leiana would be seen later on at the Raging Thrak Inn before the survivors were forced to flee the town, taking refuge at the Order of Voln near the Ravenswood. She was forced to flee with the others but upon arriving at the local monastery she immediately ran off, presumbably back to Wehnimer's Landing.
All of the survivors spoke of the battle that was witnessed in the sky above Wehnimer's Landing and the eventual defeat of the female figure as she tried so valiantly to defend the town. The figure was not recognizable as Leiana, but most everyone agrees that the figure in the sky was her. The following is a recounting of the battle that took place, pieced together from survivors accounts:
A figure appears high above the town, amidst the storm that rages around it, lightning flickering down its frame and wind whipping restlessly about as it hovers. Bolts of energy erupt into tiny bronze and silver sparks as they escape the hovering figure high above, leaving streaks of silvery electricity to arc through the air as the figure slowly turns within the eye of the storm. The skies boom witih thunder and the stinging rain that whips across the town from the storm. Many corpses fall to the lightning, patches of the streets clearing momentarily, only to be filled once more with renewed invaders. The air crackles with heat as the figure turns slowly within a tunnel of raging air, arcs of energy loosing from her fingertips to dance across packs of invaders that shamble along the town walls and over the streets. They dance their macabre dance in response, their wails filling the town. The powerful swooping of wings can be heard above as a figure astride a griffin is silohuetted by the crackling lighting. "You won't stop me, mutant! You can't stop us! We are eternal!" The figure turns quickly within the eye of the storm to face the griffin as it wings toward her. Streaks of energy arc from her fingertips towards the large creature. A red beam of energy snakes forth from the griffin-rider, lashing out towards the floating figure. "Suffer! Know that you have failed!" The figure's hands begin to twist rapidly, sucking the air from beneath the wings of the griffin, causing it to falter just as the first blast of energy streaks toward her. It misses, and the griffin swoops past, leaving the figure to circle behind him. The figure rides the waves of the storm as it ripples through the skies, using the raging wind and clouds to lead the griffin away from the town. The rider and griffin hastily give chase, following the figure in the sky. A screech echoes through the night as the griffin chases its prey. The figure slows and turns, sending arcs of fire toward the griffin, singing its wing as it swoops to the left and she suddenly appears on it's side! The griffin lashes out at the figure, latching on with one of its talons. The rider seems stunned momentarily, before a blast of balefire ignites in the figure's face. The night sky suddenly booms with a blinding crack of lightning as the figure falls from the sky. The figure falls heavily down from within the storm, smoke and blood streaming behind its descent.
21 Koaratos: Ravenswood, Order of Voln Monastery
Feeling bitterly their defeat in Wehnimer's Landing at the hands of Jaecee and the Fallen, a group of adventurers gathers at the Order of Voln Monastery in the Ravenswood to discuss a plan to infiltrate the town and reclaim it. The key lies in closing the pocket realms that the Fallen continue to use in order to spawn undead. The group is joined by Vernin and he leads the way towards an entrance to the tunnels that run beneath the town, found in the Lower Dragonsclaw Forest. The catacombs are thought to be the best way to gain entrance to the town without having to fight through innumerable undead.
As the party makes their way through the catacombs, they come upon the very thing they were looking for, a pocket realm. Seeking to close the portal before they are discovered, the group tries casting various magical spells at the pocket realm in the hopes of destroying or dispelling it. Lesser Shroud, a power spiritual spell, is found to be effective against the portal and the final spell is cast by a old mush-mouth ranger named Rouste.
With the pocket realm closed, the group decides to make their way up to the streets above but before they depart, none other than Guiseppi arrives. Guiseppi was thought to be dead, given the story that Telsprin told of the mutiny within the Fallen. He tells the adventurers that he was imprisoned, but managed to escape. Guiseppi has sought out the party to share with them the word, or kill code, that will cause the destruction of all the undead. Before he can share this code word though, Jaecee materializes from a pocket realm and hurls a wooden pike at Guiseppi, impaling him.
The party does what they can to stabilize Guiseppi's condition, but the pike was unable to be removed from Guiseppi due to some magical curse and he died. Unfortunately he could not be resurrected either, due to this curse, and with his death, so to died the best chance at destroying the undead army without further bloodshed.
21 Koaratos: Ravenswood, Order of Voln Monastery
A memorial service is held for Solacebringer Ismae at the Order of Voln Monastery. A small group gathered to pay their respects including Telsprin, who Ismae had saved from death recently. The eulogy was given by Vernin and the prayer led by Benly. Telsprin requested that his leg be buried with Ismae's body as he was very distraught over her death; he had grown rather affectionate for her it seems.
Oreena invited everyone to join her in the Mayor's Board Room located in Moot Hall to hear from Liel regarding the final steps needed to implement the crystal defense system. Most everyone reconvenes to the board room and they are met by Liel. He explains that a number of components will be necessary to fuel the crystal defense system and allow it to operate for extended duration. The crystals utilize fire, lightning, and holy magic and will need to be powered by essence of fire, air, water, and holy water. He tasks those present with spreading the word and gathering large numbers of the required ingredients to get the crystal defense system up and running as quickly as possible.
Wind howled through the nearby trees. Yet the sun shone brightly and there was not a cloud in the sky. It was supposed to be just another quiet day of research and writing. His stacks of notes, all neatly wrapped with pieces of twine and yet fully unorganized, were stowed away nearby in a satchel. Telsprin sat there alone on a make-shift chair, contemplating. The site was a freshly dug and and now filled grave. The earth packed up uneven above and Telspin's chair atop. There was a funeral for....her, instead. Today's journey from somewhere about the frigid surroundings of Icemule had been long and arduous. A mule had been offered for help, but how was he to ride atop it with a missing leg now? He was sure he would have fallen off and broken his other leg in the travels. So he limped the long walk to the Landing with only his stick as aid. And now, Telsprin was furious. Furious and determined. He would finish his tome of research. It was the only thing he knew to do. Now more than ever. Her honor was all that was on his mind. Wait--that's a lie, he told to himself--it wasn't the ONLY thing, but it was the most important thing. No more would the innocent die because knowledge was lost. Hours passed, and even more hours. Darkness fell and and Telsprin was still there, late into the night. It was only the night's chill that caused him to arise and make his slow journey back towards Icemule. He had done much thinking, but it really hadn't helped his mood. The wind continued to howl.
31 Phoenatos: Solhaven
With the help of Liel of the Mage's Guild, a magical bubble is prepared that will allow Leiana and a group of adventurers to explore the dark underwater depths ??? of and recover ???.
The mission is uneventful up until the party acquires the ???. As their prize is obtained, a gargantuan kraken appears and takes interest in the group and their magical bubble.
7 Imaerasta: Graveyard, Near Wehnimer's Landing
A training exercise is organized by Lilium, a priestess of Lorminstra and master of the Order of Voln, and Phocosoen, a bard and master of the Guardians of Sunfist. The goal is to take a group of young adventurers through the Graveyard near Wehnimer's Landing and provide them with valuable experience in fighting the undead. It is expected that the Fallen will eventually attack Wehnimer's Landing again and more defenders will be needed if the outcome is to be different from the last attack.
The group makes their way into the graveyard and visit the burial grounds to pay their respects to the townsfolk lost in the last attack by the Fallen. Large numbers of undead attack the group and it is surmised that the activity by the Fallen has greatly increased the number of undead in the areas surrounding Wehnimer's Landing.
The young adventurers fight bravely against the many undead encountered in the graveyard under the tutelage of Kiel, a veteran of the battles against the Fallen and a well known adventurer. As the group makes their way through the graveyard, they encounter stronger undead as they venture into the dark tunnels of the crypt. Eventually they make their way to the sanctuary found inside the main crypt and the veteran adventurers congratulate the young on acquitting themselves well.
Fallen from Faith: Chapter 4
"Why do we have to do extra?" he whined, his stomp heard throughout the hallway as he moved from one room to the next. "Because they said so." responded his coworker, pausing to dip her mop in the bucket nearby. "Why do you always complain? It does you no good, this is what they wants and we have to do what they wants." "Doesn't mean I have to like it." he grumbled, putting down his own bucket a bit harder than necessary so that it slopped over. "Ugh! Now look - we have to do extra." she responded, a scowl on her face. "Why do you always complain?" he mocked, a grin following quickly afterward. "Shoo!" And the mop came at him, causing him to dodge out of the way amid her chuckles. "Brat." she muttered as they continued their work cleaning the Inn's rooms and hallway. The sound of footsteps coming up the staircase alerted them to Leiana's arrival and they both grinned as she rounded the corner, her own bucket and cleaning supplies in hand. "What, you thought I wouldn't help?" she remarked, her own grin matching theirs as she sauntered into one of the rooms to help. "It's the scholar - we need to make it - " "Extra!" the workers chimed in, finishing her sentence with a look at each other.
This is the conclusion to Chapter One of Fallen from Faith! Look for activities to resume in May, however you may see some of the characters throughout the next month as part of the community! Special thanks to the following folks: GM Annanasi - Guiseppi GM Aulis - Telsprin GM Skhorne - Vernin GM Avaluka - Benly ~Naionna
OOC: This concludes Chapter 2 of the Fallen from Faith storyline! There will be a meeting on Tuesday, 06/11 at 8pm EST in Moot Hall for interested parties! Additionally, you can expect various events throughout the next several weeks to allow players to participate in the preparation of Landing defenses and RP opportunities in advance of Chapter 3. We hope you have enjoyed this chapter and are excited to move forward soon!
Special credit to the following folks for their help with this Chapter.
QC - GM Aulis NPC Support - GM Aulis, GM Avaluka, GM Annanasi, GM Skhorne Invasion Support - GM Aulis, GM Annanasi