Episode Eighty-two - Hearts of Vengeance
Part OneThe party spent roughly seven days in town as their wounds healed. Early on, they worked together to track down Tanzot, a friend and fellow former Slayer Brother of Dane's. Once located, they party had Annabelle make the approach and she did so carefully as to not have her face revealed to the vile man. With Sol nearby, wearing the necklace of Detect Thoughts that they'd purchased from the local blacksmith, they were able to determine that Dane was likely hiding in Cullenshire. With a plan set for him to be retrieved, the party settled in and started to heal. Arion spent his time training the local conscripts and preparing them for the inevitability of combat. Annabelle helped out in minor part with injuries emerging from a nearby goblin chokepoint but made a major stride in training the military unit's medical team to preform the task themselves. She taught them advanced techniques and procedures in such way that she was branded a hero for her efforts. Katerina spent her evenings singing Faerûnian legends and gathering local rumors regarding the "Q." After having received a map from Durnan to a place called Q, a potential abandoned wizard's stronghold, Katerina learned that: the name of the stronghold is Quasqueton, the complex has a rear exit which is secret and well-hidden, Rogahn owned a fantastic gem as big as a man's fist that was worth over 100,000 gold pieces; he kept it hidden in his personal quarters, there are secret doors, rooms, and passageways in parts of the complex and one before the statue at the entrance, and that the place is protected by the gods themselves, and one member of any party of intruders is doomed to certain death but she believed that last rumor to be a lie. Sol spent his time reading about beasts and undead from Arion's book and learning local lore. In his research, he also learned that Zelligar and Rogahn had orc slaves to do the menial work at Quasqueton, and that some lived permanently at the stronghold.
Part TwoThe party had rested from the 11th to the 18th of the Wolf, 12,011 CE. As they set off on the morning of the 18th, they learned that Dera had set off with a merchant, headed north. They also learned that Jorg had heard part of Quasqueton was unfinished and that Evelyn had heard that Rogahn's trophy room had battle relics and slain monster remains from his adventures. As they chatted around that breakfast table they all agreed that Dane needed to die. Then, looking very serious, Jorg made and offer. "So we are leaving to go after what you lost, yes?" "Its the long term goal, at least for that part of it." Annabelle answered. "So Dane is where?" Arion asked generally. "Cullenshire we think," Sol answered before explaining all that he and Annabelle had determined from Tanzot's mind. Jorg then stated, "then I go with you, I too know the sting of loss. I understand the regret one eventually feels for not trying harder to get what you lost, back. There is only pain in loss, this I know, but there shall be redemption for you, I stake my life on it." At this Evelyn then added, "I'll go too if that's okay. I can map your travels and help with camp. See, I.. I too know loss. When I was just a little girl something was taken from me that can never be returned. Jorg told me the two men who did what they did are two that you're after anyway, I'd like to see what you do to them. Honestly, talking about it has been the only freedom I've found from it, its all I've ever had. But I think, I think I'll find catharsis in vengeance, even if its you all that get it." Jorg then asks matter-a-factly, "well what say you then heroes, could you stand to have two sidekicks? One without a left hand and one with a stolen virginity?" "When people travel with us they tend to die," Arion started, "you need to know that now. You're welcome to come with us but people die around us." "Well then wherever you go, we go." Jorg began. "I stake my life because I don't have people. You are all good to me. You see, I was cast out from my tribe as a runt. I was sent into the cold wilds to hunt a great beast but I could not kill the creature. I was exiled for my failure; so, in truth I am not on pilgrimage for a new home, I am on pilgrimage for my first home. But you see, home doesn't have to always have to be a place, it can be a people. It can be you people." They all then agreed to hunt down Dane that very moment and after Arion informed Durnan that they wouldn't be back for awhile; they met Tanzot outside. With only a threat, Arion lifted Tanzot off of his feet and carried him thusly into the woods. There they questioned him and learned that, due to a delayed shipment of goods Dane and his men had fallen back to an abandoned farm house. As Arion searched the fellow for weapons, the wizard used his Medallion of Detecting Thoughts. Sol unfortunately learned that the man was carrying a pendant that belonged to a little girl that Tanzot beat to death with his bare hands. He then used the man's thoughts to learn the way to the abandoned farm. Skirting around town, the party made it to the southern outskirts and pushed out. Sol lead them along and eventually, they all found themselves nearing the farm. Ahead, Katerina heard chatter and pointed it out to the group. Ahead, in the bush, the voice of two men grew closer and the Champions of Destiny heard every word. "We've made bit'a coin wif Dane and 'is ghost lad. Take for example the shipment of magic thingys coming in from the Old World soon. Thems would net us quite a bit of coin." One uneducated fellow said to the other. From the same tree line another voice responded in a Border accent, "its just, we left the Slayer Brotherhood to go about and do something grand. We're hiding in bushes robbing all the same, eh?" "Yea sure," the deeper, original voice retorted, "but we's gots a pile'o coin back 'ere in the farmhouse and more comin'. Ghosty-boy ain't steered us wrong yet and I figure there's better room for promotion in the Order of the Eye then there ever was in the Brotherhood. Anyways, I hear'd dat dem gobin 'fings are on our side. One of the lieutenants is runnin' 'em and bound to send coin our way. Hey wait, someone's comin'." "There're armored!" The first exclaims, "run!" Two men then jumped out of the brush ahead and tried to make a break for it but failed within seconds. Annabelle's Sapping Sting of the Divine tripped the uneducated fellow and Sol drug the other fellow right to Arion. As Arion drew his blade Sol aged the uneducated fellow into a husk. As the man twisted through hundreds of years of aging in six seconds his comrade gave witness and then met his own death. Blood on his sword, Arion surged forward and was met with crossbow fire. As Katerina turned invisible and snuck around the farm house, the battle commenced. In the end, the party destroyed the two spectral forms, a wraith and a specter, Arion got the last man to surrender, and Annabelle had taken a prisoner that she'd knocked out with the ball end of her mace. Both men told them that Dane visited often, arriving in a mist. They told them that they were his former Slayer Brotherhood unit and that they had taken up with him in the Order of the Eye ever since. The party then decided to lay a trap for Dane, if he were to arrive in his mist form, but he did not arrive as they had hoped. Instead, he arrived with a small force of zombies and along with them, thanks to Annabelle's old necklace, was a demon. Arion started the battle and slew the demon, stopping Dane's plan to gather his men and head north. At an early point in the grueling fight, Katerina climbed up onto the roof and fired her hand crossbow at Dane. The bolt clipped his shoulder and in retort he buried a poisoned bolt in her brain. Katerina had fallen back into the house, tearing through the roof, and when Annabelle, Sol, and Jorg retreated from the room she was consumed and then turned into a zombie herself. Standing before the prisoner that Sol had killed for his alliances and attempted escape, she hungered. As Annabelle, Sol, and Jorg attempted to get control of Katerina, Arion finished off the zombies surrounding the farmhouse. With nothing but Dane left to handle, whom had been trapped in Sol's hypnotic spell, Arion took the time to disarm the man and ensure that he would be of little threat. It wasn't Dane that was threatening them however; as a horse strode forth, they realized their real threat. Riding up to the house on horse back was none other then the Earl of Undeath, Trilorgaen Valisar.
Quest Vecna's Eye Continued, Sidequest Forlorn Founding Continued
Notable Party Damage:
- Aldrich has a horrible burn scar on the left side of his neck in front of the ear from an azure fire elemental summoned by Seldra Tylmarande. His armor and shield are extremely claw marked from many Lizardfolk. His shield has a large fist shaped dent in it from when he was crushed by a Sacred Statue.
Noted Effects: Horrible Scar (Neck). You are disfigured to the extent that the wound can't be easily concealed. You have disadvantage on Charisma (Persuasion) checks and advantage on Charisma (Intimidation) checks. Magical healing of 6th level or higher, such as heal and regenerate, removes the scar. Missing.
- Annabelle has a hole in her armor and healing wound on her right abdomen from a kobold's arrow. She has a scar on her left abdomen from an attempted assassination.
Noted Effects: Minor Scar (Left Abdomen). The scar doesn’t have any adverse effect. Magical healing of 6th level or higher, such as heal and regenerate, removes the scar.
- Arion came from Arda with a scar that won't seem to heal.
Noted Effects: Minor Scar (Head). The scar doesn't have any adverse effect. Magical healing of 6th level or higher, such as heal and regenerate, removes the scar.
- Katerina has bruising on her ribs from falling when she was lit on fire by a kobold.
Noted Effects: Is dead.
- Sol has tear marks across the back and chest of his shirt, as well as down the sleeve, from the claws of lizardfolk. He was shot in the stomach by a beholder's enervation ray and it left a burned hole in his clothes. He has a scar across his right jaw from a nail that was shot at him in an explosion.
Noted Effects: Horrible Scar. You are disfigured to the extent that the wound can't be easily concealed. You have disadvantage on Charisma (Persuasion) checks and advantage on Charisma (Intimidation) checks. Magical healing of 6th level or higher, such as heal and regenerate, removes the scar.