Wrath of the Righteous

Lumi's Letters #1
Session 1
Dear mum and dad,

I am writing to you from a hole in the ground. I am able to do this because I thoughtfully prepared a Light spell for today. Don’t worry, we’re all fine, nobody’s dead.

I guess to backtrack a little bit- yesterday, (through no fault of my own), Astral, Raelyn, and I ended up at the bottom of a deep and treacherous ravine. There was some disagreement about the best way to the cave of monsters we were looking for. You will be happy to know that I have since prepared the appropriate spells on scroll paper and will not be caught unawares again. Luckily, an imposing — but well-intentioned — giant green man was looking for the same cave of monsters and thus rescued us through his brute strength. Together, we were able to clean out the cave as requested by the nearby village. That is not what today’s letter is about.

Today we visited the city of Kenabres, and the festival of Armasse is going on. This would at first appear to be our good fortune, but as I will elaborate it was, in fact, the opposite. The Wardstone of Kenabres is gone. It vanished in a towering column of fire. The famous Cathedral of Saint Clydwell tumbled down into rubble, crushing the Lord Shappok and various others. Horrible demons then appeared under the command of one who could only be the Storm Lord, Khorramzadeh. I am sure that I have your attention now.

All of us in the plaza were very scared, but the old lady sitting next to us turned out to be the glorious silver dragon Terendelev, under a glamour (she talked to me!). Everyone else thought that she was just a lame old lady, but I knew there was something special about her. She took to the skies in dragon form and battled Khorramzadeh.

On the ground, we were on our own… We did our best to protect the civilians, but there were just too many of them. In the sky, the silver dragon was losing. A giant demon rose out of the ground, and then the earth disappeared from under us. With the last of her strength, Terendelev cast Feather Fall upon us right before the Storm Lord beheaded her. Then everything went dark for a while.

I don’t know what’s going to happen now. We are somewhere underground, but at least we’re together. I hope this letter finds you well.


Your faithful daughter,

Lumi
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Astral's Accounts #1
Session 1
16th of Arodus, 4713.

We have arrived today in Kenabres just in time for Armasse, a weeklong festival. I am accompanied by my sisters, Lumi and Raelyn, as well as a half-orc named Krivak. He appears to be a somewhat puissant warrior, and his great axe is not unhelpful to a traveling group of magic-users. Not to dismiss Rae’s fine swordwork, but she alone has some trouble giving Lumi and I time to cast our spells. Indeed, he was quite able to help us out of a tight spot after we became somewhat lost during an early adventure before we arrived at town. Although the whole trouble could have been avoided if Rae was at all capable of navigating or reading a map.

We have come to Kenabres, not entirely for the festival, but because we are considering joining the Crusaders, those dedicated to holding back The Worldwound and the demons that pour forth. I have further considered inviting our new friend Krivak to join our small band as we do so. Although I have yet to think of a suitable name for our group… but I digress.

To tell the truth, it has all become something of a moot point at the moment. Hulrun Shappok, leader of the inquisitors in Mendev, was due to give a speech and start Armasse today. We had fairly good seats in the Clydwell Plaza, and had arrived before things began. Just as Shappok was to begin however, disaster struck. With a great explosion, the Kite, the fortress wherein the city’s wardstone is housed, was destroyed. Almost instantly afterward, Khorramzadeh, the Storm King of the Worldwound, appeared. I cannot imagine how this has happened. Although it is true he cracked the stone once before during the Fourth Crusade, I would have thought he would have more trouble reaching it again. But I must admit I do not actually know the mechanics of how the wardstone functions.

Still, all hope was not lost. The elder woman seated next to us turned out to be Terendelev, the silver dragon. She quickly transformed and set to battle with Khorramzadeh. As an aside, Lumi incessantly mentions the fact Terendelev spoke to her, as if the rest of us were not present to know that, or indeed did not participate in the conversation. Still, all could not be left to our draconic defender. As two titans struggled in the sky above us, strange rifts formed and released a slew of demons onto the crowd. Strange fiendish locusts along with dretches before to slaughter the bystanders. Although dretches are some of the lowest class of demon, it was clear almost instantly that the city guardsmen were no match for them. We and several others who appeared to somewhat more equal to the fight immediately set to trying to slay the fiends, but outnumbered and frankly out of range of many, we could only watch as large portions of the crowds were slain. The situation worsened when numerous members of the crowd threw off disguised and revealed themselves as tieflings, then attacked the bystanders in the name of the Demon Lord of Infestation and Locusts, Deskari.

About the time it became clear this was not a battle we could win, the ground beneath the plaza cracked and split open. What appeared to be demons of great size and terrible aspect arose, although we had little time to take this in, for we quickly found ourselves falling into the darkness below. And yet the great Terendelev noticed our plight and cast a feather fall upon us. Already gravely wounded by her battle, the distraction proved too costly, allowing the Storm King to strike a fatal blow. The last thing I saw as we floated into the darkness below was the demon cleaving off the ancient guardian’s head.
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Raelyn's Records #1

16 Arodus 4713

Yuelral save us…

NO. NO. NO NO NONONO
This CANNOT be. Even my worst dreams haven’t been like this.

Kenabres’ Wardstone is destroyed, Terendelev dead, Storm King Khorramzadeh was right in front of us.. It reminds me of… 23 years ago,..

I don’t.. can’t… From the start:

We arrived in Kenabres today, the start of Armasse. We sat in the ampitheater where Lord Shappok was about to speak, when the Cathedral of St. Clydwell collapsed, killing him, and Khorramzadeh appeared with a small army of demonic beasts: locusts, monstrous beasts, and several of the townsfolk were disguised tieflings. The silver dragon Terendelev charged the Storm King, we were occupied with the lesser demons. Not long in, demons erupted from the ground, breaking it, and the giant chasm sucked us all in. With her last breath, Terendelev protected us from the fall..

How can L&A be so calm right now? Do they know something I don’t? Am I a coward panicking for no reason? Or are they just oblivious?? They have lived a sheltered life, but can they really ignore this reality right in front of them?? Kenabres with its guardian, wardstone, and fortifications are the only reason we could live peacefully as long as we did: Those are all GONE now. Mum, dad, please be safe..

While I can only hope for the best out of the whole situation.. How could demonfolk live as humans here? Do I have to be wary of everyone and constantly detect magic everyone I run into? Terendelev was masked as a person too.

During the fight I got distracted by the people tieflings and didn’t stop Astral from running ahead… so sloppy of me.. Thankfully he wasn’t in much danger this time, but I can’t let that happen again!

I don’t want this to happen any more, THIS HAS TO STOP!

Yuelral guide us.

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Astral's Accounts #2
Session 2
16th of Arodus, 4713, continued.

We awakened from our fall somewhere beneath the city. After making sure we were all okay, we checked the rubble for other survivors. Firstly, we met Nima al Enrich and her serpent Curly, apparently old acquaintances with Krivak. She is a gnome and what I can only assume is a druid. Curly, a constrictor of unusual size, is shockingly good in battle. Nima… has a somewhat grating voice.

Anevia Tirabade is the wife of a Crusader. Although the fall broke her leg, with some splints and use of a magical wand we managed to heal her enough to walk. Later, a potion enabled her to stand enough to at least use her bow. She seems surprisingly upbeat and amused by our situation, but I can tell she wishes to reach the surface and check on her wife, Irabeth.

Aravashnial is the elven wizard who unwisely (but bravely) attacked the Storm King. We were unable to heal his eyes, and with his blindness it’s difficult for him to aid us. Given he has lamented his uselessness more than once, I think this hurts his pride. As he works in a library and studies demonology, calling upon his knowledge cannot help but make him feel needed.

Horgus Gwerm is one of Kenabres’ nobles. Although he is not unskilled with a rapier, after being wounded once he seems to have lost his nerve. I assume he is unused to real combat. His personality seems somewhat unpleasant (and known to Anevia), but ultimately his bluster seems harmless.

After making sure everyone was alright and able to travel, we began making our way out of the caverns. Or at least, we hoped we could find our way out. A dead spider (giant, that is) revealed giant ants when Lumi summoned a ball of flame upon it. We made short work of them, but although the wound was minor I think that may be the last fight Horgus enters.

As we proceeded through a narrow passage and then around we saw an old campsite from the path we didn’t take (which met this one again). I made the mistake of trying to investigate this firsthand, and nearly stepped upon what Aravashnial called a “tar jelly”. Lumi’s flames failed to hurt it, but Curly and Krivak did a much better job. Or so I was told after I was healed back to consciousness. We found a broach that Aravashnial suggested might be related to the “Mole Men”, mutated descendants of the First Crusade.

As we continued onward, we entered a much larger cavern, stumbling upon a flail snail. It was not a creature I was overly familiar with, although the shell is apparently of great worth. Although Krivak seemed to desire to find some way to converse with the dangerous beast, I merely greeted it with a color spray. Imagine my shock when the spell appeared to be absorbed. Again it was Curly and Krivak to the rescue.

Horgus was fairly upset at any damage to the shell, and even more so when he realized we could not take it with us. Although Lumi offered to use a spell to bury and hide it so it could be retrieved later, Krivak had apparently had enough. He attacked Horgus with his fist, and seemed quite willing to possibly offer up more violence.

It seems I misjudged him just because he aided us before. Although I hesitate to judge people by their race, Krivak seems to live up to all the stereotypes of half-orcs. Horgus can be somewhat annoying, but Krivak has seemed to be on the edge of violence since they met. I cannot view his inability to control his temper or constant attempts to intimidate the man as anything except bullying. Certainly it seemed out of proportion to Horgus’ attempt to keep the shell, given Lumi’s offer to help hide it. Hopefully, when we reach the surface and can part ways with the ruffian my sisters will not put up too much of an objection. Perhaps Nima, or rather Curly, would be an adequate replacement protector.
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Lumi's Letters #2
Session 2
Dear mum and dad,

Everyone is still okay. Our location has turned out to be the underground ruins of Lower Kenabres. With us, we have found more survivors. One of them is Aravashnial, a scholar-wizard from The Librarium of the Broken Black Wing. He was blinded in the attack fighting the Storm King. As a fellow wizard, I am honored to serve as his eyes in these sad circumstances. His great knowledge of demon-kind will hopefully give us the edge that we need to survive this. Three others, a scout of the Eagle Watch, a merchant lord and a charismatic gnome named NIma round out our party. Nima brings with her an enormous armor-wearing constrictor named Curly. Curly scouts the front for us, serving as a beribboned light source (ribbons and spell courtesy of me!). Oh… one other thing. We found some of Terendelev’s scales. We each got one. It makes me feel safe… but also sad.

I know that everything is more horrible up above, but we’ve run into a bit more danger personally down here. Astral ran ahead, straight into the clutches of a monstrous tar ooze. It was only after he had called out for me to cast fire down upon the fiend that Aravashnial informed us of their immunity to it. In fact, the beast seemed to revel in the flame, which quickly spread to my brother. As far back as I was, I could only watch in horror as it pummeled him into fiery submission. I think that’s been the scariest thing to happen so far. After the fight, NIma proved her value and resuscitated him with her magic.

I’m not sure what old residual magic twists the wild creatures down here, but we also fought a truly impressive example of snail-kind. If you have not yet heard of the mighty flail snail, let me so inform you: it is slow, but immense – roughly ten feet in height – with a head topped by no less than four spiky mace-tipped tendrils. AND it can both absorb and reflect magic. Much to mine and Astral’s dismay. Curly and Krivak once again proved their worth, keeping it safely far away from us. They also managed to kill it without damaging its beautiful and – as Horgus repeatedly reminded us – extremely valuable shell. I wonder if it would be possible to create some portable artifact from it, while retaining its antimagic properties. A task for another day, perhaps.

By this point, apparently tempers were running high, because a fight broke out between Horgus and Krivak. I guess it was over the snail shell, but I’m not sure why it escalated so quickly. I was able to diffuse the situation by immediately being able to fulfill Horgus’s request that we hide the shell so that we could come back for it later. And you’ll never guess how I did that! Do you remember that Expeditious Excavation scroll that you bought me for my sixteenth birthday? I know you remember how excited I was to receive that spell…but it came in very handy today! With it, I was able to instantly bury the shell and get the party moving.

Please don’t worry. I think if we all just stick together, and keep working as a team, we’ll get through this okay.

Your faithful daughter,

Lumi
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Raelyn's Ranting (#2)
Session 2

ASTRAL YOU IDIOT!

You had me worried sick! Are you trying to kill me, as well as yourself?! How could you possibly do something that stupid? Firing at an unknown creature while right next to it? And then yelling at Lumi to burn it after it inevitably engulfed you? You know that tar jellies aren’t hurt by fire! You’re smarter than that!! If only you’d think more before acting so rashly!

It destroys me how naive L&A are. Things here are dangerous and GOING TO KILL YOU. You can’t haphazardly go up to something and poke it. You can’t solve every problem by throwing flaming spheres and force bolts at it. Make one mistake and you may suffer for it.

I’m fortunate that Nima was with us and Astral’s wounds weren’t permanent. Look at our new acquaintances, Anevia and Aravashnial: Anevia was hurt enough that she broke her leg and couldn’t walk, and Aravash lost both his eyes to one strike from the demon lord. Maybe I should be grateful that Astral wasn’t gravely crippled and things could have been much worse. Even if not permanent, consider that it took FOUR Curings to get Astral back in top shape. If I’m not mistaken, that’s almost equivalent to a Cure CRITICAL Wounds spell. CRITICAL WOUNDS.

I sincerely hope L&A have learned lessons today, now that we don’t have everything perfect in our lives.

I’m not the type to be modest, but fact is, I can’t do everything. I can’t fix everything and make it all better if you get yourself hurt. And if you die befo

I swore that I’d protect you, Lumi and Astral, but I cannot protect you if you cannot protect yourself.

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Raelyn's Records #3
Session 3

Well. Lumi cleansed the altar with holy water and it feels so tranquil here. I could almost forget about the demons above, if it weren’t for Horgus constantly reminding us. But Astral got him to shut up too, convincing him that his guards can protect his estate even without him. L&A can actually be quite clever at times, although Astral still has a habit of straying from the party. Why must he be so curious that he ignores his own safety? I definitely don’t want to have to watch him closely all the time, but I also dislike the idea of letting him learn the hard way a second time…

We’re now resting at an abandoned temple once devoted to Torag, a dwarven deity. It had a few zombies and a.. huecuva? An undead creature that Lumi described: people (or in this case a dwarf) who anger and profane their deities may be turned into one. Which sounds believable given the state the temple was in. They weren’t too threatening, although perhaps I should look into getting some blunt weapons since my rapier wasn’t completely effective. I do sometimes have my force blade though.

Anevia swiftly killed one zombie with a precise strike from her shortsword. I’m disappointed I still haven’t been able to reliably find enemies’ weak points, despite mum always trying to teach me that facet of combat. I should must learn this soon, and I get the feeling that unfortunately, I will probably have many opportunities to practice it.

It’s not particularly late yet, but we don’t know that we’ll find another safe spot to rest if we continued. Though today has been a very long, very eventful day; hopefully sleep will help ease my mind a bit…

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Lumi's Letters #3
Session 3
Dear mum and dad,

In the ruins under the city, we found an old Dwarven Temple. Something bad must’ve happened here, because the whole building just felt wrong, like… Evil almost.. and it was crawling with awful undead creatures. One of the must’ve been a priest. He was chanting something in dwarven… And I realized that even with all of my language studies, I’ve never gotten around to that one. I really wish we could know what happened to this place, but I guess we’ll never know.

While we were fighting, yet another ghoul came from out of nowhere and almost killed Aravashnial. Luckily, Anevia saw it coming and struck it down. We have to be more careful. The monsters were very scary, but we managed to take them all out without anyone being hurt.

Afterwards we looked around a bit, and I was struck by the idea that the basin full of clear water near the entrance to the Temple might be holy water. I used a bottle to carry some back to the altar, and we used it to clean the dark marks and scum away. This seemed to be what was needed, because the awful feeling lifted and a peaceful one replaced it almost immediately. We’ve decided to stay a while and rest. We don’t know how long it will take to get out of here, and this is the first decidedly defensible place we have found so far. I think it’s a good idea.

I am so tired… It’s so good to just sit down somewhere safe. I’ve been preparing new spells, and to have a good feeling about these ones. They should be helpful to us. I’m almost done, but I think I’m just going to close my eyes for little while…

Sleepilly yours,

Lumi
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Lumi's Letters #4
Session 4
Dear mum and dad,

I think I messed up. I think I messed up really bad.

After we left the Temple, we fought some monsters. After that we came to a really narrow tunnel. Krevak went first, and I followed him. There was a wild looking dwarven man. He shouted something about people being after him, maybe he thought we were those people, and he threw Acid Splash at Krevak. I decided to cast obscuring mist… I thought that it would protect us from him while everyone else came through the narrow tunnel, and that maybe there would be a chance to talk to him. But I miscalculated. The size of the spell, the size of the room, I don’t know. Mist went everywhere. No one could see anything. The dwarf got more scared, and everyone kind of fumbled around blindly. Krevak attacked the dwarf, and the dwarf cast a spell on him again . I tried to fix things. I cast color spray on the dwarf while everyone was away from him, so that I would hit only him, and it worked- it completely stunned him. I thought that maybe now we could talk him down, but everyone else was wound up too. I didn’t know what to say, and I said the wrong things, I guess. Astral just kept saying it was my fault for casting the stupid mist anyway.

They killed him. He was trying to get away, but maybe I’m the only one that knew that. They killed him, then they just took all of his things. Raelyn is wearing his patched old cloak. He wasn’t a monster, he was a person.

I don’t know if I can do this. I wish you were here. I miss you.

Lumi
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Raelyn's Records #4
Session 4

17 Arodus 4713

Hahaha… Oh Lumi. I know I sometimes run forward to cast Obscuring Mist so that we can escape, or to sneak up on enemies… I’m amused, perhaps flattered, that you would try to emulate my tactics, but by Yuelral, that was ineffective. Running forward then clouding up a thin passage that we all had to pass through to get to our destination… Not the most brilliant tactical display. She also abandoned Aravash when she ran ahead, forgetting her priorities…

It seems like all my entries lately have just been me criticizing and complaining about L&A… Perhaps I should write about other topics, but well, I must admit that it still concerns me. It’s just that.. I want to see them succeed. They’re intelligent and clever, and their spellcraft is definitely potent, but sometimes they just surprise me with the foolish antics they occasionally do.

And their physical strength.. it’s worrisome. Watching Astral attempt to bat away a slurk, or L&A pulling the rope to support the others into that cliff.. I always knew they weren’t that strong but it’s still quite disheartening. At least they could jump fine.

Well, to cover today’s events so far… we fought some slurks in an area with some mundane statues, then next ran into a dwarf who kept screaming “You will not catch us” or the like. That was the time where Lumi set us back with her Obscuring Mist, and thus I .. haven’t the foggiest of what happened! At least not until the end where the dwarf started to float away, but Anevia took him down with a well-aimed arrow.

Lumi seemed quite reluctant to kill him, while Krivak and Astral were rather insistent to. Krivak I assume is just like that, but I’d imagine Astral wouldn’t have that motive without reason.. I hope… ? Again, I wasn’t aware of what the dwarf did, if anything, though Krivak looked slightly wounded so he probably did put up some of a fight. Krivak was laughing out loud for a moment too; I wonder what that was about..?

The dwarf had a Cloak of Protection which Astral insisted I wear. I took it for now; I theoretically would likely be more in the fray and thick of it, and I appreciate the gesture. But with A’s almost suicidal tendencies, am I really the one that needs it the most?..

We climbed up a cliff, and saw a tower destroyed by the recent earthquake. I didn’t realize there was still much civilization beneath Kenabres, but we ran into a few First Descendants down here who could use our help. In return they offered to let us see their village and perhaps they could help us find our way back to the surface. As we headed towards there, we were delayed by a chasm created by the earthquake, which a few of us jumped across while others climbed down to the bottom then up onto the other side.

After that, we found two bodies covered in mold, who wore the armor of paladins of Iomedae, but had unholy symbols of Baphomet, and held a glaive and spiked gauntlet. Aravashnial was excited and intrigued by them, wanting to carry them back as proof that there was corruption among the crusaders. But we weren’t going to do that.

Well, continuing towards the village now.

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