Order within - Chaos without

22. The Cleansing of the Cultist Sect

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The party continued through the building in search of whatever the demons were guarding inside. As they entered a room the foul stench of iron and rot almost overwhelmed them. Inside the room at the far end stood an altar. Upon the alter lay a twisted creation sewn together from pieces of human body parts. A human centipede of some sort. This had truly been turned into a place of the most chaotic worship.
Guarding the altar was four human cultists and a tiefling, and once again the party found themselves in an unavoidable fight.

Frakasto casts a stinking gas cloud that makes the enemies noxious. The tiefling is too busy puking to notice Wulffgrim and his might Standard of Azlanti, and in two successive swings he decapitates the half-devil. The other cultists are slain just as quickly before the might of the other adventures.

Inside the room Frakasto kneels before the altar and recites the prayer “Let us inherit thine arms, Iomedea”, and a secret alcove opens beside the altar. Inside the secret room are mighty weapons all specialized in the slaying of vile demons.
In a room beside the vandalized room of worship stands a chest with the personal effects of the now dead tiefling cultist. Among his belongings is a note which reads:

“Lord Staunton, I believe you will find the enclosed weapon to be a singular and famili ar delight, for it once belonged to your old “friend” Irabeth. She sold it to Kandro Nyserian, of all people—I’ve no idea why. Kandro’s been sitting on it for years—still would be, except his home got smashed by an ulk reth. Shame. He managed to save the sword and came here, begging for an escort north to Drezen, doubtless so he could give you the sword and weasel some cash to help him set up a new home. I hope you don’t begrudge a creativity I took—our friend Nyserian serves now as a warm suit for a vermlek as punishment for only revealing the sword now instead of when he first acquired it. I suspect the blade will take to your brother’s touch nicely!
Your loyal servant, Othirubo”

It was now even more clear, that these wretched cultists were up to no good, and the rest of the area had to be swept of these vile beings. The party rushes to the 1 st floor and makes short work of the rest of the cultist sect.

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21. Second hand, second life, second death

The gates were guarded by deamons dressed in dead bodies. Two wermliks wearing old friends barred the way forward. The party set upon them. [[:fausto | Fausto]] produced glittering dust and puny flames to no effect. Ermis and Topol tried not to overthink the solution and went head on with blades.. The worms bleed well enough and gave no wounds but had the audacity to suck the lifeforce from their attackers who ended up killing a good portion of their own spark of life to give death to the worms.

But in the end the mighty axe of Topol Topol Badutput them on the ground.

The gates tasted the axe as well and gave way. Behind waited another 3 wermliks. Ermis put himself between the party and the deamons – to shield his friends with holy light.
Topoil swang his axe above his and into the heads of the deamons.
Fausto provided haste and the chpping of sword and axe smashed the bodysnatchers. The last went down by a ray of light from a summoned creature.
What could be worth this many guards…? Hidden treasures?

Fausto kneeled at an altar to Iomedei and saw runes on the wall " Let us inherit thine arms, Iomedea"..

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20. The Knights of the Meeting Table

In the ruins off Kenabres, the adventurers meet with Irabeth, Quatnos and Lemüer to get up to date and discuss their future actions.

Irabeth has taken the reins of the Eagle Watch for the time being. People are waiting for help from the Mendivian army, but Irabeth knows that they might be waiting in vain. She confirms that the wardstone of Kenabres has been destroyed and thereby weakening the network of the entire country. The other cities have been informed of the attack on Kenabres, but they are also under attack themselves. The Mendivians will not be able to help everyone. Staunton Vhane, leader of the Hammers of Heaven, turned out to be in league with the demons, to the surprise of everyone, and he has been slain.

Lemüer stands in the background, nervous and slimy, saying nothing so far. Quatnos Ulem greets the party, a tattoo of an eagle on his cheek. He is lead the library the party came by on their journey. He tells them that he is there to help and that healing is on the house, so to speak. There is also an abundance of supplies for sale, despite the ruinous state of the city.

Quatnos begins to tell about the demons’ schemes to use the fractured wardstone to penetrated and destroy all of the wardstone defenses. To stop them somebody must go find the wardstone and destroy it completely using a rod of cancellation. The rod that Quatnos has may or may not have been given to Quatnos by the great wizard, Fyrsten. The party volunteers to do this mission, of course. The forces of Kenabres will make a diversion to allow the adventurers to get through the worst of the demon defenses.

As the meeting is coming to an end, Herman who was saved by the party, in an ungentle manner, arrives and asks Irabeth who has been chosen to do the brave quest. When he hears that it is, in fact, the very same party, he looks at them, mortified and angry. He turns on his heels and leaves the room, followed by Lemüer.

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19. The Return

As our heros return to the surfaces, a horrifying site meets them, the once great city of Kenabres
the tremors and demonic attacks have devastated the city, leaving it a smoking, apocalyptic ruin. Deep chasms riddle the city, while the paths of enormous demons have left ruinous trails of rubble extending out from the city’s heart. Above, the once-familiar skyline of Kenabres and forever changed—the tower of the Kite and the Cathedral of St. Clydwell having been completely destroyed
The Worldwound has expanded its borders, and now the city of Kenabres is enveloped in it.

Evidence of violence lie everywhere, whether burned buildings, splashes of blood, or dead bodies waiting to be claimed by vultures and it’s never long before the scream of a fresh victim peals through the soot-encrusted streets.

Our heroes decide to find the Wardstone. On the way they come across a ruined shop which is a combination of tailor/clothing store that specializes in particularly fancy clothing, and the shop has recently attracted the attention of a passing demon—an abrikandilu.
Topol is the first to spot the demon and rush towards it swinging his axe, but his short dwarven legs are no match for Wolf’Grim that runs pass the dwarf.
Wolf’Grim kills the demon with a swift strike, but another demon is in the store. In the far corner of the store Dressed in a fine garb. The demon throws a broken mirror at Wolf’Grim which barely hurts him and Wolf’Grim repays the demon with a swift death.

Blackwing ruins
The Librarium of the Broken Black Wing—called “Blackwing” to the locals—has a reputation for containing the most complete record of research on demon hunting in the country.

Unfortunately, Blackwing now lies in ruins—all that remains standing is the Librarium’s facade and its reinforced great hall. When Aravashnial learns of the building’s destruction, he becomes despondent, collapsing to his knees in despair

Curiously, the buildings surrounding Blackwing seem not to have been as damaged—it’s as though some force singled out Blackwing for destruction.
Inside Blackwing stand Chaleb a fallen paladin and 2 Tieflings surrounded by a wall of books. In the corner a group of imprisoned librarians. Chaleb orders around with a woman, getting her to stack the books.
Our heroes bash in. Topol charge trying to attack one of the tieflings but only hits the books. Wolf’Grim badly hurts Chaleb, and trips one of the tieflings and skewers it with his spear. With Thrand’dral in hand Ermis cuts the head of the other tiefling in a single swing. Chaleb falls to his knees and beg for mercy. Mercy is what he gets – Hellknight style! Ermis take him outside and executes him in the name of justice and Iomedae.
Inside among all the books Topol have cut shredded he finds a special book – a spell book he gives to the wizard Gargamel.
Araveashnial stay at the Blackwing, as he might be the last Riftwarden in Kenabres. The rest of the party continues toward the tower and make a little detour to get Horgus to his manor.

On the ruing streets the party encounter a demon a Babau bend over a woman while it was skinning her alive. Topol and Wolf’Grim rush towards the demon. The demon conjures a thick fog between the party and him, Topol and Wolf’Grim continues through the fog where they think it might be hiding. But the demon has summoned another Babau and they go in melee combat with Ermis and Gargamel. Gargamel uses his innate ability and shifts away from the demon and try to bring it down with a spell but the spell fails. Ermis calls for the power of Iomedae and smites the demon to the ground. The other demon strikes back on Ermis before it disappear from this world.

The party arrives to Horgus Gwerm’s manor which looks like something of a miracle, for it seems to have escaped without any damage at all. Horgus is somewhat disgusted that his guards and the help have abandoned the manor—even more so when he realizes that they made off with a lot of his valuables.
As a reward for getting Horgus home, he gives all the members in the party some gold, but the reward is not evenly distributed, which Wolf’Grim does not think is fair and forces Horgus to pay the same amount to all.

Wolf’Grim still thinks Horgus is arrogant and slap him across the face. Horgus falls to the ground as a bag of potatoes.

Now the party wants to get Anevia home. Her house is an empty simple three-room affair. As the party enters the house they are attacked by fire beetles Wolf’Grim and Topol destroys the entrance to get the space to fight. After this the fire beetles are swiftly delt with. Suddenly a half-orc appears in the corner. He fires a scorching ray at Gargamel. Chocked by the fire Gargamel hesitates – but returns the fire with a Lightning bolt which hurts the half-orc badly. The party kills the Half-orc Vogrog. In the bedroom the find a letter from Irabeth to Anevis telling har she can be found at Defender’s Heart.

Defenter’s Heart the largest inn in Kenabres is a stout stone structure that survived the fall of Kenabres with ease.

Anevia lets out a joyful cry as Irabeth appears, quickly coming to greet her once word of her return spreads. The women embrace tenderly before Anevia introduces her wife, Irabeth Irabeth explains that she’s now in charge of the Eagle Watch

She knows that word got out about the attack, but has also heard that Nerosyan and other cities along the border are facing their own plights

this city’s wardstone has been destroyed and that as a result, the entire network of wardstones has diminished in power to a shadow of its former strength.

Tower of Estrod

This sixty-foot-diameter gray stone tower is missing the bulk of its upper floors—some terrific force smashed its upper sections away, creating huge mound of rubble north of the building and leaving the tower now a mere stump with a jagged top.

The party arrives at the tower which is one of the three safe houses for the Ivory Labyrinth.
In front of the current leader Faxon, Ermis uses his power to detect evil, and evil he is. Faxon dissipates in a cloud but Wolf’Grim uses his keen senses and finds him and attacks. Gargamel conjures a deep pit under Faxon but he avoids falling in and stands on the edge as Wolf’Grim charges Faxon with the risk of falling in the pit, but he keeps his balance and buts his spear through the heart of Faxon.

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18. Smadring i grotten

Jeppe skriver en eventyrlig log her.

The party proceeeds through the caves towards the surface. This means going or rather fighting through a clan of evil mongrol men.
The mongrol men are no real match for our heroes. In the end they find the irritating nobelman tied to an alter awaiting blood sacrifice.

Mongrolmen and cultists swarm the party. After intense fighting the head cultist flees the scene of crime. A letter is found and a treasure is revealed,

Back at the surface the city is destroyed and the rune stone has a rift.

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17. Tur i jernrosen

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SPOILERS!!!

The party returns to The Iron Rose with mixed emotions. Thanks to the orb they borrowed from the lady, they were able to defeat Azalin and stop his evil plans. Though this also ment, that they would not be able to return what they have borrowed, since Manus Grisius (The Saviour of Heroes, Master Wizard and Protector of the Realm) had kept all the orbs in his plane, so that he might hide them from the world.

The party now entered into a year of servitude to the lady of The Iron Rose. Her first command was to follow Lemeür south back to The Citadel. There they were to serve their former teacher Richfred Grimacar in his quest to start a new chapter of The Hell Knights. His plans were to start a new chapter in the far north in the region of The World Wound. This place was the most chaotic place in the world, and thus the region in the most need for the lawful Hell Knights!

The group sets out from The Citadel and has a quite peaceful journey north.

Upon reaching the border between The World Wound and Numeria, Grimacar sends them forward on their own. They are to gather information and scout The city of Kenabres, one of the last strongholds holding the ever expanding World Wound at bay.

The City of Kenabres is celebrating The Festival of Armaze, the annual festival on the 16th of Erodis. The main square is filled with entertainers, cityfolk, crusaders and would-be adventures.

The celebrations are cut short as lighting and winged demons fills the skies, and before the party can gain grasp what is going on two giants take to the square. The two giant creatures is a towering demon and a great white dragon. The dragon is the protector of the city and fights a desperate fight in order to keep the city from destruction. The fighting between the two great beings strike deep and wide chasms in the ground, and sends the party into the dark depths of The Darklands.

When they regroup after the fall, they realise that they are not alone in the darkness. Three unfortunate inhabitants of the city has fallen into the depths alongside them: Anevia Tirablade, Aravashnial and Horgus Gwerm. The party decides to protect the three unfortunate strangers and together they venture through the caverns of The Darklands.

After a long and troublesome journey they encounter some of the inhabitants of The Darklands, the inhabitants of the Darkland city of Neathholm.

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16. The Battle against Azalin
Facing evil with evil on top

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Behind the enemy, Topol just beheaded, stood a black stone door as the one the party found in the back og The Black Cave. Ermis reluctantly used some of his necromancy magic, and the door slid open. It revealed a chamber similar to that in the Black Cave. 6 statues along the walls. A shallow pool of purple water in the middle and a large Whispering Way figure reaching out his hand holding a second black stone in an annex in the back of the room.

Just as the party stepped into the chamber, 6 zombies came charging from behind them. Ermis stood firm and tried to block the zombies way to the pool of deathridden water. One zombie got past him and swiftly climbed the statue in the back. Topol drew his trusty crossbow, but as usual found it did not have the deadly effect his axe has. The new party member Wulf’Grim proved his worth by throwing his axe into the back of the head of the zombie, taking it out. Wulf’Grim grabbed the black stone, and scanned the inner annex. A rich mural depicts a large battleground with several human armies battleling the lich-lord Tar Baphon. Octavian popped out and pointed to the Azlanti Standard flying high in the fray of battle. “That is me in my hay day”, he said.

In the round room behind them more zombies spewed forth, this time accompanied by the dark Azalin. By the black stone doors a mysterious figure appeared, wielding a large sword. As the lack door slammed shut, ceiling the party in, they heard a violent battle commence in the other room. When the battlesounds stopped the doors opened again, the figure was gone and Azalin and the zombies looked ready to storm the party. Azalin held a little villan-speech, before unleaching a fireball on the party. Only Ermis was swift enough to avoid most of the flames. Topol and Wulf’Grim charged the zombies while Ermis stayed back in an obscuring mist preparing to summon monsters.
From the back 3 wights entered the room going straight for Azalin. He quickly disposed of them all with a wall of fire.

Feeling the party could need his help the weary ghost Octavian jumped out, giving the last of his ghostly powers, as he lunges into Azalin yelling “Lethal War”.
Surrounded by zombies Topol uses his cleave ferrociously taking down one zombie after the other and Wulf’Grim fights his way towards Azalin. A cone of cold from the dark necromancer makes Ermis go down, and quickly Octavian jumps into his body and fights on. As Topol plants the killing blow in Azalins guts, the rest of the zombies vanish, and the party quickly gathered the two black stones Azalin was keeping amongst his possesions.

As if that wasn’t enough evil for a day, The wight mother of Isger, the party had seen outside in the valley fighting Azalins zombies with her wights Illcayna Alonnor now stood before them, looking even scarier with a pack of wights guarding her. Now doubt enourmous evil power was in those stones, and just as the party was getting ready to be annihilated, a portal opened in the middle of the room. A figure in purple robes called them to him and as the party jumped through, they found themselves on another plane, with a mage that presented himself as Prince Manus Grisius, Saviour of Heroes, Slayer of Dragons.
After a little discusion the party decides that the evil black stones will be safer with him, and grant him the eternal life he has been longing for. For this he will imbue Topol and Ermis’ gear with extra magical abillities. Lord Octavian will also grant the party a kingly gift if they will bring him back to Gilamoor and the eternal peace of his grave. Wulf’Grim is presented the awesome spear Standard of Azlanti and Ermis bids a last sorrowful farewell to his old soul-tennant, as he reads the insciption that Octavian made to the weapon:
Thus is our treaty written; thus is agreement made. Thought is the arrow of time; memory never fades. What was asked is given. The price is paid.

Today fighting evil felt especially well.

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15. A new friend
Touring Zombieland

The party is now down to two men, who boldly sneak into Finder’s Gulch. A deadish world meets them. An entire village seem transported into the dark cave and is filled with people that are neither dead or alive are frozen in whatever position they were in when something sinister happened and made them into objects in a unknown twilight zone between being and not being.

Beneath the thick dust that covers everything lies food that also seems transformed into something else even though it still looks like food.

Searching a house Topol Badut hears a sound from a room and decides the only sensible thing – kick the door open and rush in with the axe ready.
A half orc is hiding. The following discussion is begun with a dash on Topols head by the side of half orcs gigant axe.

He is Wulfgrim the sole survivor from a nomadic tribe that was assaulted by Azalins undead army. Now he is here to kill the responsible. The dwarf is puzzled as the fierce half orc lived because he ran.

Topol Badut hear yet another sound. This time it is zombies approaching.
A battle commences on the narrow stairs in the house. The zombies are easily beaten and the newcomer presents himself as a brave but unwise warrior and thereby gets accepted by the two remaining friends.

Lord Octavian pops out from Ermis Aradippous chest and the astonished half orc chops his axe through the illusive body. After explaining the presence of the spirit guide they approach a house containing to wights. Wulfgrim shows creative skills when he smashes through the wall to get into close combat. Excellent teamwork is shown when Turgrimm pushes a wight to the floor so Topol Badut can chop of the head.

Ermis Aradippou decides to face 4 zombies on his own. Some channelling and chopping later the undead are dead again. The house hides a trapdoor that leads to a underground tunnel. The tunnel ends in a ovale room filled with mosaic of the godess Urgathoa. Ermis Aradippou remembers a story of Urgathoa becoming allpowerfull on the day where a dark sun rises.

When Turgrimm enters the room the mosaic of one of two golden suns turns dark and purple light pulses around the mosaic suns. A figure is waiting on the other side of the room guarding a door. The first exchange of blows reveals the stranger as very agile and difficult to hit. A sudden smart move from Wulfgrimm gets the Matador stranger to lose a step and hold out his neck so the running dwarf gets to chop of his head with one swing of his axe.

Iomedae watches and the approval of the skillfull act is felt in the heart and soul of the Dwarf. The darkness wanishes from the mosiac.

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14. A Glorious Death
The end of an era

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After Drax’karns glorious defeat to the devil, the party decided to travel back to the city of Elidir in order sell the accumulated loot and treasure. As the party departed from The Iron Rose, Octavian emerged from the chest of Ermis and accused the party of being incompetent servants. Without giving any further explanation to his accusations, he disappeared back into the body of his host.

They hitched a lift with the slimy captain Lemyre back to the city of Elidir. Trouble with the sails delayed them by a day, and on the 5th day of the signing of the deal with the lady of the iron rose, they reached the city. Carefully avoiding any contact with the family of Ermis, they sold their loot and bought 3 horses and a pony in preparation of their travels westward in search of more obsidian stones. They didn’t quite remember why they felt an urge to avoid the family, but they felt that they had forgotten to fulfil the request of the family.

The terrain westward his rolling hills and grassland. They pass small towns and settlements along their path, and as they ride further west, the settlements decrease in size. The rumours tell of orcs raiding the western rolling hills and it is even said, that something even worse than rampaging orcs haunt the mountains near Finder’s Gulch.
On the night of the 8th day, a small band of orcs attacks the camp of the heroes. The orcs are dealt with swiftly and without mercy. Soon after they corpses of the orcs awoke as mindless zombies, their will bound to that of Gargamel the wizard. The control however was difficult to maintain, and the proved to be hostile towards Ermis. They had to be put down.

On the 9th day, they came across a second band of orcs. This band consisted of three orc grunts, a shaman and a leader equipped with a mighty composite longbow. The warriors hurled javelins at the heroes, and the shaman hurled shit at the warriors. The magical effects of the shit was not scientifically confirmed. Drax’karn had an excellent strategic mind, and he quickly figured out, that the heroes were outmatched in ranged capabilities. His solution was a glorious charged into the face of the danger. With both weapons drawn, he jumped to action and shielded his friends from danger with his own body. Some tales say, that he used the well-armoured body of Topol Badut, but those tales are evil lies that only mean to smear the glorious memory of Drax’karn Brizag’Dekhel.

His valiant charge ended only a few feet from the enemy lines. His body had soaked up to many arrows and javelins, and in the end, his body caved in and he fell unconscious to the ground. Close behind him came the rest of the party, and due to the sacrifice of their friend, they managed to kill the orcs. During the combat Ermis disregarded all safety protocols, fumbled his swing and lost his sharp sword. The swing send the sword flying through the air and straight into the back of the valiant Drax’karn. He who sought to protect his friends with his own body found a knife straight in his back. Thus ended the glorious tale of Drax’karn Brizag’Dekhel first of his name. May the tales of his glorious victories live forever.

As if the backstabbing wasn’t enough his body was raised soon after by the evil Wizard Gargamel. It seemed that not even death would free him of the service to his “friends”.
Now consisting of one dwarf, two humans and a mindless zombie, the party continued westward. Not long after they reached Finders Gulch. Before the gulch, they saw a horrifying sight. A great battle between wraiths and zombies were fought. Leading the army of the zombies was the dark and evil Azalin and on the opposing side stood Illcayna Alonnor.

This left the entrance to the gulch unguarded, and the party decided to take advantage of this and slip inside.

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13. Iron Rose

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The barge continued its slow pace north up the river towards Iron Rose. Perfectly straight rows of crop lined the river, as had they been commanded by a higher force. The sight would have pleased Paravicor Emanror Pinard. In the evening the party reached The Iron Rose. From the little harbor, they could see the giant opulent palace throne before them. Their rowdy travel companion, sea captian LeMuyer smiled. Let’s follow up there, he said. I also have an important errand with Lady Kaltessa in the Iron Rose, yes. I have a most valuable cargo to deliver. The party accepted and were guided by a bearded devil into the palace halls, where Lady Kaltessa sat in a large obsidian throne looking down upon the party, with her chain devil guards. Here is my valuable cargo, my lady, LeMuyer smirked as he pointed to the surprised party. And what have you come for, Lady Kaltessa adressed the party. A black stone you say? If you pledge me your services for a month, I will loan you the powerful stone. After a brief discussion the party decided to take her offer. A contract was signed and an imp brought forth the stone that held powerful dark magic. Gargamel Shadowtouch agreed to wear it and harness its magic.

Lady Kaltessa offered that the party members could battle one of her devils. Draxkarn Brizag’Dekhel was the first in the battle ring. The opportunity to defeat a devil and hereby advance in the Order of the God Claw made him jump into battle, but it soon becane apparant that his powers were not enough to defeat the mighty chain devil. Topol Badut wasn’t discouraged by somewhat weak performance and felt ready to give it a go as the next contestant in the ring.

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