The Fall of Kenabres
- Alaenora Thalanis is questioned on her knowledge of the battle tactics and formations that are currently in use by the crusaders and much to Fru Brynhild Eirensdottir’s delight, answers with confidence and insight, impressing the war strategist, Count Magnus Darcarus. For her reward, Alaenora is given the job of putting the trainees and squires through their daily training.
- Nyissa Veil prepares for her dinner date with Lady Aspexia Wintrish by quietly asking around about her. A very private person, it is not easy but she does discover that Aspexia often seeks out people outside of the faith to talk to as she wishes to talk more about other stuff in the word. She is also a big fan of Chelexian opera as she is quite proud of her heritage despite the turn the country has taken over the last century.
- Ralthanar is approached in the Defender’s Heart Tavern by Anevia Tirabade, a sometime scout for the Eagle Watch. A dozen children were taken by a “being” that the children called, Brother Bright. He promised to lead them to new parents and it appears that he has taken them into the Worldwound. Knowing of the tracking skills of the Khellids, she asks Ralthanar to assist in finding the children. Ralthanar quickly picks up the tracks and as they head deeper into the ruined countryside, he and Anevia take to the mesas to gain a greater view. His keen eyes quickly spot a campfire in a nearby covered ledge and leads the men there. The children are found safe and speak of a woman with bat wings, forked tail, horns and red eyes who drove away Brother Bright and small horde of dretches. She then brought them here and assured that people would find them soon. She left as the men arrived. The children are safely returned to Kenabres and Anevia thanks Ralthanar profusely and promises that his deed will be reported to the Eagle Watch.
- Alaenora Thalanis successfully runs the recruits through both the martial and spiritual training for the day and finds that one in particular is of rare talent. A natural leader and strong swordsman, he showed compassion and a willingness to assist his fellow trainees. Upon reporting to Brynn, she nods knowingly and suggests that Alaenora’s own training would benefit from developing another. She arranges for the boy, Tarric, to become her squire. And then, with a knowing smile, suggests that they should talk of the day’s events while walking through Truestone Park.
- Nyissa Veil is picked up by Irabeth Tirabade in a grand carriage and taken to a quiet, fancy inn for dinner. After giving a gift to the young paladin, the talk turns to the crusades, Nyissa’s plans, Chelexian politics and opera. Lad Aspexia seems quite knowledgeable and genuinely interested in differing subjects before they head of to a local show by a Chelexian playwright. The night continues after the show as the two walk through Truestone Park, a quiet, content peacefulness falling over the human knight. Exploring each other’s interest, Lady Aspexia moves closer and embraces the surprised elf for a goodnight kiss. A cheer of happiness from the row of hedges above breaks the moment and the flaming wings of Fru Brynhild Eirensdottir are seen disappearing into the night.The two agree to try another date in a week.
- After a day to themselves, the three receive invites to the Silver Ball, an annual event for the rich to attend and the Church of Iomedae to raise funds for the crusade. Only basic wine is served and no food, the event is for the nobles to also show humility but they are awarded a silver word pin that has been blessed by the Triumvirate of Hope. Nyissa is invited to be Aspexia’s date and Brynn invites Ralthanar so that she know the man who she is handing over the artifact too. She also arranged for Alaenora to attend with Tarric.
- The 6 all arrive in the one large carriage and are greeted by the Eagle Watch, who have the ball under guard. The newly celebrated hero of the watch, Irabeth Tirabade is seen watching over the most important guests. With only basic wine being served and light musical entertainment, people break of into smaller groups to talk and network. Knowing that Nyissa is looking for new contacts, Apsexia points out several people of note and allows her to break off and mingle. Tarric nervously follows Alaenora as she also meets and greats several of the more important figures of Kenabres while Ralthonar makes his way to the back garden with several commanders of the various crusader orders for stronger drink and revelry.
- As the night progresses, merriment, contacts and dancing is enjoyed by all the guests, the horrors of the crusade forgotten if only for a few hours. Even Count Magnus Darcarus is high spirits, his wife making the trip to be with him and hopefully travel home with him as the crusade winds down. Despite the constant attention and sycophants, Aspexia manages to spend some time with Nyissa, still testing the waters of a relationship. However, the Triumvirate receive a message that they are required on the front lines, for Aponavicius had been spotted on the move. As they prepared to leave, a Taldan noble demands he still gets a chance for his time with them for that is what he had paid for. The calm, serene nature of Aspexia immediately drains away, replaced by the formidable, iron willed destroyer of demons who proceeds to reduce him to a trembling, humbled and humiliated pile of nerves. Apologizing, the three leave and the night draws to a close not long after.
- A couple days pass and the day of Armasse arrives, the city in full celebration. While in preparation, Nyissa is visited by Aspexia who had just arrived back front lines, the sighting of the dread general only another Marilith. She looks forward to seeing her that night after all the formalities and warns Nyissa that she only has a few more days to plan their second date. For luck, she gives her a kiss and a pass to enjoy the celebrations from the Promenade of Saint Clydwell’s Cathedral. Meanwhile, Fru Brynhild Eirensdottir manages to catch up with her new prodigy, to see how she is going with her new squire. Bryn talks more seriously, and talks about how the next generation of the crusaders must do things much differently from them, to take the war to the demons, to fight with not only courage and honour, but to make sure that their own souls are not corrupted in the quest for victory. She also believes that the next crusade must be called on their own terms, not that of the demonic hordes. With that, she secures a spot on the Promenade for Alaenora so that she could see Tarric in his parade. Lastly, she greets Ralthonar and gives instructions on the time and place of the handover of the Kellid artifact. Along with Count Magnus Darcarus and Lady Aspexia Wintrish, she makes her way to the Kite for the midday ceremony.
- At noon, the promenade is packed, the whose who of Kenabres jostling to see Prelate Hulrun‘s grand speech from upon the cathedral balcony. The excitement turns to terror quickly however, when a loud explosion and pillor of light erupts from the Kite. Moments later, the unmistakable form of Khorramzadeh, the Storm King emerges only to be met midair by Terendelev. However, the cheer from the crowd is short lived as demons suddenly seem to spew forth from every direction before an immense beast tears itself free from the ground, causing a great crack to split open the promenade, causing dozens of people to fall to their deaths. As Alaenora Thalanis, Nyissa Veil and Ralthanar plunge into the seeming bottomless void, Terendelev looks down, her body already shredded and bloody, and uses her remaining magic to save as man lives as possible. As the feather fall magic takes hold, the three’s last sight is that of Khorramzadeh‘s sword carving through the ancient dragon’s neck. Then blackness.
- Finding themselves in pitch blackness and the sounds of moaning around them, the three try not to panic. Soon, a tiny flicker of magical light flares up, revealing a natural cavern. Dozens of bodies seem crushed and buried but three people seem to have survived. The elf wizard and member of the Riftwardens, Aravashnial, city noble and financier, Horgus Gwerm and freelance scout and wife of Irabeth Tirabade, Anevia Tirabade. Horgus is grumbling but relatively unhurt but Anevia suffered a broken leg and Aravashnial has been blinded by coping a glancing blow from the Balor Lord’s whip. As everyone begins to take stock and bicker, the shadowy shape of an immense spider is seen in the deeper cavern. With some minor healing done, the barbarian and paladin close in only to find the Giant Black Widow dead. Sighing with relief, they are surprised by the giant maggots that burst through. Once dispatched, the 6 survivors start to move through the cavern complex.
- Finding supplies here and there, they manage to walk for almost 2 hours, encountering only natural creatures that have been frightened by the vibrations. Eventually, an old and hidden temple to Torag is found and once the giant fly had been dispatched, they enter. Long forgotten, a lone dwarf is seen sitting in the pews, presumable dead. However, as the paladin moves close, he lurches to life, his curse of undeath apparent, one that is born from faith rejected. Once defeated, the tired and injured party look to rest and stop the bickering that seems to come from their 3 companions. Pooling their resources, it becomes apparent that Horgus seems above the issues facing the group. However, he promises a 1000gp to whoever can get him home, somewhere where he will be able to supply them with all the resources they need. After an argument about cleaning the temple, most take a chance to sleep while the barbarian and paladin clean and re-sanctify the lost church. The action drawing immediate action from the heavens, blessing the survivors.
- Refreshed, they carry on and find another campsite, inhabited by an insane dwarf wizard. Yelling, ranting and frightened, he lashes out with magic and manages to hold off the survivors for some time before being captured. Given a chance by Alaenora, he then strikes out again with magic but is slain in the struggle. Looting his camp, many helpful supplies both mundane and magical are found.
- Oh yeah, almost forgot, the Triumvirate of Hope are slain by the Storm King, the light of of the crusaders crushed in mere seconds.