Wrath of the Righteous

Kenabres

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Earthquake!
An earth shattering start

Khorramzadeh the Storm King assaults Kenabres at the beginning of Armasse, a week-long festival starting 16 Arodus.
Looks like the Storm King killed the silver dragon Terendelev, but not before she saved a few people during an earthquake that left the survivors trapped in caverns deep below the city.

The survivors:

Erin Orison – A bossy, beautiful, army-brat holy warrior with a foul mouth
Enoch – A nervous arcanist of undetermined race with a tattoo addiction and a hard-on for Iomedae
Andrei – A non-drinking vegetarian tough-as-nails Ulfen man with a Tian fetish
Moloch – A lead from the front half-orc who only cracks out the big sword when it’s worth his time
Annaka – A not-so-hot Varisian woman and Desna devotee who has kept everyone alive to date

Anevia – A lame human rogue
Aravashniel – A blind elven wizard
Horgus – A fat arrogant aristocrat

The group has done some exploring, looking for a path back to the surface. They have found some evidence of the fabled mole men of the underground but so far have spent most of the time battling oversized vermin. An encounter with an undead dwarf in a shrine of Torag and some near-death experiences with some darkmantles has shown there are some more serious dangers down here. The group has retreated back to the Torag shrine to rest and recuperate.

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Journey From the Centre of Golarion
Tunnels and Freaks

After resting in the Temple of Torag, the intrepid group push on through the tunnels below Kenabres in the hope they would find a way to the surface. Shortly after setting out, they encounter an angry, confused, and clearly mad dwarf who cast a spell on several of the group before being skewered by Anneka, then talked down by Erin.
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The dwarf wandered off muttering to himself and the group decided to press on, taking out a spider on the way, before meeting some strangely deformed people, one of whom was trapped under a fallen rock. The lost crusaders jumped in to help, freeing the under-worlder. Quickly making friends, their leader Lam agreed to guide the group to their village to meet their leader. Along the way, they discovered the bodies of Crusaders of Iomedae, but strangely one had a symbol of Baphomet secreted away. Cultists! This will need investigating.
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After travelling some time, they arrived at the village of Neatholm, surrounded by an underground lake. Here they met Chief Sull, leader of the mongrel folk of Neatholm who gave them directions to the quickest route to the surface. Unfortunately this route leads directly through a tribe of mongrel-folk traitors who seem to have allied with some cultists of Baphomet. Traitors!
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Double Bluff
The Gentle Art of Subterfuge

After making some purchases at the village of Neatholm, the lost crusaders talk through their plans to get back to the surface. After some debate it is agreed there are two possible courses of action: either the group bluffs it way through the village of traitors to lead the trio of lame/blind/fat back to the city and come back to deal with the cultists or they take the cultists head on and come back to get their non-combative companions. It’s decided to leave Anevia,
Aravashniel and Horgus behind and scout out the location. Along the way, Erin and Moloch agree to dress as Crusaders in order to bluff their way in, under the guise that they have fooled the rest of the party to the surface, but they are really Baphomet cultists taking the group to their doom. Surprisingly, this works! They get past the first guards, then confusion breaks out in regards to what’s a bluff and what the group’s true motivation is. Moloch wants to go to the surface, Erin wants to see the leader. The guards have directed them to the leader, but said their directions lead to the surface. After some baffling winks, nods, and misleading statements, Erin leads them to the leader, then declares they are corrupt and must repent.
Battle ensues. A long battle. Combatants rise and fall like the night of the living dead. After much time the cultists and many of their mongrel-men allies have fallen. The remaining mongrel-folk led by a bow-wielding warrior of some talent take out the last remaining cultists and demand parlay. The crusaders are exhausted and are now sailing in uncharted waters…
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Parlay to Freedom
Some big finds

After negotiating freedom with the surviving underworld traitors our heroes ransack the cult leaders room then return to Neatholm to lick their wounds. The funds are significant though and include a missive from a cultist’s superior and a stolen powerful holy weapon that changes form and seems to respond to Erin.

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After resting back at Neatholm, the surface refugees press on to the surface with their maimed and slightly unwilling companions.

The base of the traitors is largely deserted save for a few vermin and they make their way through what appears to be the bowels of the city. It’s here they face their first demons who are far from easily defeated!

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The Destruction of Kenebras
To the surface! To the surface! oh shit...

The group make their way through the sewers and via a series of ladders back to the surface of the city of Kenabres.

It is here the true horror of the scale of the destruction of the city is witnessed. Huge parts are craters and entire blocks are destroyed.

Enoch is particularly shaken by the destruction while the rest of the group are stunned. Erin gathers them together and directs them to make way to Blackwing but Horgus has other ideas. After some argument the group realise that Horgus will travel alone unless they accompany him directly to his manor. As it turns out, a direct route is blocked. The only way appears via the Blackwing. Setting off in that direction our heroes encounter a lone demon in the midst of destroying a shop of fine clothing.

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Despite appearance, the group quickly despatch the demon and rescue the tailors hiding in the basement. Resisting the urge to rest here they push on to the Blackwing. This turns out to be a fortunate decision as the surviving librarians of the mostly destroyed library are found bound and soon to be be burnt with their books by a turncoat crusader and two tieflings. The crusader is dangerous and it takes the best efforts of the group to fell him and his evil side-kicks.

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After resting the group interrogate the fallen Crusader Chaleb and his companions to find the murderous group were carrying out acts of pure evil in order to seek favour of a higher demonic power. After much discussion and the lack of a city authority, it is agreed that Horgus is able to pass judgement on the prisoners and that judgement is execution. After prayer for their souls and the opportunity of absolution given, Erin delivers final justice.

The group leave Aravashniel behind with the librarians and push on to Horgus’ manor. They find it abandoned and Horgus is true to his word in regards to a reward.

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Home Coming
Not So Sweet

The crusaders make good on their promise to return Horgus to his manor. It’s intact but abandoned. He gives some awkward thanks and makes good on his end of the bargain. Some of the party worry about leaving him behind but he insists he will be OK.

They press on to Anevia’s house where they are ambushed by a half-orc sorcerer.

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After some surprise he is dispatched fairly quickly. Anevia is somewhat distressed that her wife was not at home and tells the group the Sorcerer was put in jail by her: a paladin called Irabeth Tirabade. After a quick search, a note was found guiding Anevia to Defender’s Heart. The password “Silverstrong” would identify them as friends.

The group travel to the Tavern to find the last survivors of the city and the last bastion of the crusaders. They met Irabeth and handed over all the information they have gathered from the underground.

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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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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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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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