Wrath of the Righteous

Take the Bridge
Surprise Evil Cow - MOOOOO!

During the night, the camp is attacked. The army of ghouls use the cover of darkness to launch their assault from the cemetery to the Southbank.

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With the Knights of Paradise still weakened from the previous day’s battle, they go on the defensive as the Knights of Kenabres mount up and go on the attack. Fortunately, they manage to destroy the ghouls and capture the leader without further casualties.

The next morning it is found that several stores of food and water have been spoiled. No one saw it happen and it is uncertain whether it happened during the night’s confusion or whether it is sabotage. Leaving the guards on high alert, the heroes set about investigating the strange dark vault in the middle of the cemetery. It turns out to be an ossuary with a powerful undead squatter in the form of a berbalang.

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They battle its incorporeal form until Enoch alerts them that its material form will be nearby. The group split and manage to overcome both its forms. They then restore the crypt as best they can, returning bones to their positions and removing the unhallowed evil that prevails in the vault.

That night, the ghosts of the fallen thank the armies for laying them to rest, boosting the morale of the fighters. A weapons repair tent is also set on fire but it’s quickly doused with magical water. There is definitely a traitor within!

The next morning, Erin addresses the crusaders, asking them to be vigilant without enacting a witch hunt and the heroes set off to take the Ahari Bridge. It’s defended by a group of tieflings, their leader being a magician of sorts, and when attacked, they attempt to tear down the bridge with beasts of burden, man-eating aurochs, tied to its pillars below.

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The tieflings are quickly despatched but their leader escapes. One auroch collapses a pillar before charging off, but the others are subdued, but not before Andrei gets a surprise, finding them red-eyed and snorting, clearly corrupted by evil.

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War On Drezen
Fortune Favours the Brave

The outskirts of Drezen are surrounded by several armies. There is a schir army holding a large group of prisoners, a group of tieflings and cultists holding a stockpile of gear, and an army of ghouls in the old cemetery.

The leaders of the Knights of Kenabres decide to take on the demon army first, which they manage to defeat without casualty.

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The prisoners turn out to be capable fighters, a group they dub the Knights of Paradise and appoint Irabeth as their commander. They then charge down to the Southbank to take the tieflings and cultists, with the poorly-armed rescued fighters feinting to draw attack. It’s a close thing, but the crusaders are victorious. They use the cache of healing potions and the paladins lay hands on the wounded and set up camp to take stock. At least there are weapons for the newly-formed army.

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Obstacles
A sting in the tail

The Knights of Kenabres push on to Drezen but find the way blocked by a enormous vescavor swarm.

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It’s ascertained that there is probably a queen below the surface in a honeycomb of caves. The heroes leave the army behind and head below. After fighting off a few smaller swarms they find the queen and manage to destroy her. They also find an Abyssal rift which they close just in time as a vrock tries to use it to transition to the material plane. The swarm disperses and, with the way clear, the army advances.

With Drezen nearby, the army camps and two curious events occur. Firstly, Andrei observes Nurah acting suspiciously (but can’t define exactly how) and follows her through camp only for her to give him the slip. The next morning, there is some strange behaviour from Aaron. After he is confronted, it is revealed by Sosiel that he is a Shadowblood addict and that he found several vials of the drug in his bag. Aaron claims that someone knew about his weakness and planted them there. The leaders decide to confront Sosiel, Aaron and Nurah in a zone of truth but come out none the wiser. If there is a traitor in their midst, they have failed to flush them out.

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The Lost Temple of Iomedae and Ragathiel
Holy Crap, that was close!

Our heroes investigate a ruined chapel dedicated to Iomedae and her champion Ragathiel.

Inside, they find all types of desecration, and fight off gargoyles before battling with ghouls and ghoulish clerics.

This then seems trivial when they then encounter a half-nabasu inquisitor flanked by more ghouls. Despite their fearsome appearance, however, this battle does not last too long.

The rest of the temple is explored and a large cache of healing potions is found: enough to supply the Knights of Kenabres with three uses each.

After some experimentation with a silenced area, the group remove the blasphemy, make some repairs, and plan to rejoin the army. After some final moments of silent reflection they are set upon by a true horror: a very angry Nabassu demon.

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The party is undermanned and caught with surprise. Trapped in the silenced room, they battle their way out and start attacking. Erin almost pays the ultimate price, her life force drained away by the demon’s magic, but a final lucky shot full of Ragathiel’s righteous vengeance finishes the foul beast.

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Battles
Mass Combat

The Knights of Kenabres head off to Drezen.

Their first sign of trouble is the ruined town of Vala’s Gift. There are no survivors and the army is wary of taking supplies from what it left. They push on to Vilareth Ford where they catch a large army of tieflings unawares.

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The battle is won without casualties. The leader of the army, a small, goat-faced demon, is killed in the skirmish. Supplies are scavenged and prisoners are released. A sergeant named Kamil leads the survivors back to Kenabres.

The Knights press on, deeper into the ravine, closer to the Worldwound proper.

At Keeper’s Canyon, the trail leaves the West Sellen River and turns inland through a steep gorge left by the now dry Ahari River. Two enemy armies are found camped here. Tieflings amass on the ford and dretches skulk amongst the ruins of the city.

Again, the Knights are victorious without casualty, defeating both armies before they can act and killing their incubus commander.

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The Knights start up the steep hill into the Worldwound whilst our heroes break off to investigate a temple overlooking the gorge.

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Leaders of the Knights of Kenebras
An NPC Gallery

Irabeth
Paladin of Iomedae
Second in Command
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Arravashnial
Rift Warden / Battle Wizard
grants Spellbreaker tactic
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Anevia
Scout
Grants Battlefield Advantage
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Horgus
Quartermaster
Reduces consumption by 2
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Aaron
Scout
Grants +1 to DV
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Sosiel
Cleric of Shelyn
Grants +1 Morale
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Nurah
Bard / Historian
Grants +1 to OM
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Knighthood
Iomedaean Rhapsody

Our newly-minted mythic heroes make their way through the deserted Grey Garrison, removing the desecrations as they go, and burying the fallen in the graveyard. Some crusaders find them and explain that the battle has been won! A mysterious flash of power turned the tide…

The party is led back to Defenders’ Hearth where they find an army has arrived led by the one and only Queen Galfrey.

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The Queen knights our heroes for their services to the Crusade and grants righteous medals to each individual (with Moloch receiving two).

She then informs the group that by destroying the Wardstone fragment it destroyed all of the wardstones! Whilst the wardstones are gone, the energy released vanquished the demons present and saved legions of crusaders. Apparently not everyone thought this was the best outcome.

It appears the demons are amassing in the southern reaches of the Worldwound and have left their northern lairs unprotected. The Queen tasks the heroes the job of reclaiming the city of Drezen, which fell in the First Crusade, and to recover the Sword of Valor, a magical banner. This will bolster morale, and silence those calling the heroes traitors to the Wardstone. Erin readily accepts the challenge on the group’s behalf.

The heroes are put in charge of a small (medium in game terms) army of paladins: the Knights of Kenabres. Erin, with her military background, becomes their commander. The Queen also charges several specialist soldiers to join the army. The heroes also convince some of their allies from the past to join. The Queen heals Anevia’s lameness and cures Aravashniel’s blindness on the party’s request.

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Mythic
WTF!

Before heading upstairs, several of the party drink potions of invisibility, sensing the object of the mission is nearby.

The first obstacle on this floor is a fiendish minotaur with a battle horn!

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The party destroy this evil, but Erin and Moloch become visible in the process. Only Enoch remains hidden.

The final chamber reveals the wardstone fragment locked in a cage guarded by a half elf / insect hybrid.

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The heroes set about attacking her as Enoch sneaks past unseen and touches the rod of cancellation to the wardstone fragment. Immediately the shard explodes in a blast of golden light to the sound of an angelic choir. Pieces of wardstone fly throughout the room killing the witch guardian whilst missing the heroes completely!

The released energy is absorbed by the heroes, healing them of all ailments and causing them to glow with golden light. They stand stunned and received visions of the past:
the erection of the first Wardstone in 4639 AR with the ritual involving the Hand of the Inheritor;
the inquisition and burning of ‘witches’ lead by Hulrun in 4665 AR;
the first attack by Khorramzadeh the Storm King on Kenabres when he struck the wardstone which shattered his sword;
a vision of Irabeth and Staunton Vhane battling, with Staunton nearly killing Irabeth before escaping an approaching army on the back of a giant fly;
a demonic women with horns placing the wardstone fragment in the room with the insectoid witch and creating a magic cage around it.

The images then fade to one of a beautiful demonic women with wings, horns and glowing red eyes: Areelu Vorlesh.

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She attempts to suffocate the party but fails due to the magic they have imbued.

She then spreads her arms wide, a rift tears open and babaus start to spill forth. The golden magic of the wardstone then pulses, closing the gate, and tearing into Vorlesh.

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The babaus remain, normally a foe impossible for the heroes to defeat, however, the wardstone magic gives them the edge and they manage to defeat this final evil.

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Suicide Mission
Doing the Good Thing in the Face of Certain Death

Our heroes return to Defenders’ Heart with more information and hand this over to Irabeth.
They find their fellow underground travellers have been safely escorted to the tavern. After resting they are summoned to a meeting with Irabeth and a man know as Quednys Orlun, who Enoch recognises instantly.

It appears a witch called Areelu Vorleesh will be coming to Kenabres with the express purpose of corrupting a shard of the shattered wardstone with something call a Nahyndrian crystal. What this would do exactly is unknown but it would be BAD. The group are tasked with the mission of stopping her. The rest of the crusaders, along with the First Crusaders (molemen to the un-PC) will attack the cultists to create a diversion. The mission sounds impossible and will very likely result in the party’s death, but the most important thing to do is to touch a supplied Rod of Cancellation to the Wardstone shard to neutralise it’s power before the witch can turn that power to nefarious purposes. The shard is said to be held in the Grey Garrison, a former museum of the crusades.

The group agree to the mission without question, and once the battle is underway make straight for the Garrison. The guardians of the garrison turn out to be a great horror. The bodies of the city’s leader, Lord Hulrun, and the noble Nyserian have been possessed by some corpse-inhabiting demons.

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The heroes fight their way in and then battle many cultists in the ground level of the Garrison. Many shrines have been fouled and atrocities committed. After an epic battle against a tiefling alchemist and cultists, a sword is found: n evil-outsider-bane longsword once owned by Irabeth which was accompanied by a note.

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Moloch immediately uses the sword to great effect, carving through three demons to clear the way for the party to head upstairs.

An epic battle ensues upon the landing abive, featuring cultists, demonic flies and a schir.

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After many trials, the group prevails. They search the floor and find a library containing a peryton, which they lock in. They find the stairs guarded by some zombies which are dispatched. Knowing there is no time to waste, they continue up to face greater evil.

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Templar Tracking
Rooting Out the Evil

After resting at the Defenders’ Heart, gathering some resources and a debrief with Irabeth, it is agreed that the group will attempt to track down the Templars to see if they have remained in the city. Search parties out sent out to retrieve Horgus and the Riftwarden Aravashniel.

The group starts at the herbalist shop Topaz Solutions where they quickly convince some looters to leave. In the basement they find signs of Baphomet worship. Moloch sets off a poisonous trap without too much collateral damage. Not much is found other than what the looters had taken.

Nyserian Manor is found in ruins. There is nothing left.

The Tower of Estrod is found to be standing, and occupied. A knock on the door is greeted with a grunt however the pass-phrase “I’ve new materials for the archives” grants access. The heroes are led downstairs to the leader, a tiefling with the symbol of Baphomet tattooed on his chest.

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Erin offers him the opportunity to go quietly which is refused. He and his followers are dispatched without too much trouble.

A locked room reveals itself as a place of great evil. The group leave with the information and return after resting to find a shrine to Baphomet. A search of the area find some curios but, more importantly, some information about the cultist’s movements.

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