Way of the Wicked

After three days of rest, the Nessian Knot was brought back to Cardinal Adrastus Thorn. “Have you enjoyed your gifts? The iron circlets allow you to move amongst your enemies as one of them. The silver amulets will remind you of your true loyalties. And the other items – well, you need them now.”

“You have done well to escape from Branderscar and to accept my offer. However, you are still not ready for my service. ”/characters/tiadora" class=“wiki-content-link”>Tiadora will lead you to the basement of this domicile. There you will find nine chambers each more dangerous than the last. Somewhere hidden within these chambers is a pendant of silver and sapphire. Recover the pendant and bring it to me. Let nothing and no one stand in your way."

He stood up and looked out of the manor house window across the gray moor. “It’s almost dusk. You have until dusk tomorrow to bring me my prize. Do not fail me.”

Cardinal Adrastus Thorn took a seat at his desk as Tiadora arrived right on cue. “This way,” is all she says. The Nessian Knot made their way to the basement and asked if they could use Grumblejack during this test. Tiadora told them they could use whatever resources they wished, so the villains quickly went and retrieved the Half-Ogre.

The villains made their way down into the basement and found an inscription in the archway leading into a 30′ × 30′ room. The inscription read “Deception is a tool. Self-deception is death. Deceive always thy enemy but never thyself.” The villains entered the room and found it empty save a lantern hanging from the roof and a door to the east. Elizavet Verithos approached the door and triggered a trap, falling into a hidden pit. The door popped open and showed a stone wall that read “Thou wert deceived. Pain is thy reward.”

The villains backed away and searched the room more carefully, finding two hidden doors. In the north room, they found a vial of alchemist ice. To the south they found a hall.

The next room’s door had another inscription. “Following the herd is for fools. Fear not their icy derision. Instead, fear only thy Infernal Lord.” Inside the stone chamber, there were four doors, one of which had a strange fungus growing on it and the chamber felt strangely cold. Being more cautious, the villains searched the room finding a dozen tracks to the east and southern doors. No one had approached the western door. Liailah Shamayim approached the fungus covered door and was quickly enveloped by a quickly growing mold. The villains tried to burn it away, but that only caused it to grow faster. With quick thinking, Liailah Shamayim threw the alchemist’s ice at the mold and killed it. Going through the door, there was an inscription reading, “Thou hast made thy own path.”

Following the passage to the next room, the inscription read “Know your enemy. Shatter all that blinds you and then burn thy adversary to ashes.” Opening the door, the villains found a room shrouded in darkness. Those that could peer through found dozens of coin sized holes in the ground and a pedestal holding an onyx globe. They also spotted barred doors to the north and east. Fellony Glitterhorn and Grumblejack entered the room to shatter the globe, when a creature of mist emerged from one of the holes and stung Fellony Glitterhorn. She was suddenly bleeding and felt weakened by the bite. This mist creature then fled back down a hole before the villains could react. They hurried through the room, removing the bars on the doors and moving out away from the mist to the north.

Another room was found with an inscription reading “Cruelty is a tool, not a pastime. Be ruthless to thy enemy, but reward those who serve thee well.” Entering the room the villains found a torturer’s rack with all the implements functional and unused. Searching the room, Fellony Glitterhorn found a secret chamber. Inside was a terrified Squire Timeon of Balentyne who became even more terrified when spotting Fellony Glitterhorn’s symbol of Asmodeus he became even more scared. He proved very unhelpful, unwilling to be of any aid to an Asmodian. Fellony Glitterhorn put Squire Timeon of Balentyne on the rack and quickly broke him with the slightest threat of torture. He revealed that he and the knight he severed were captured by an unbelievably powerful bald man. He also informed them that the man was going to torture him until Timeon spotted the hidden chamber and hid inside. While hiding, Timeon learned the layout of the rooms in this dungeon. Elizavet Verithos offered to help Timeon escape if he came with them. Timeon agreed and was released from the rack.

The villains fled through the mist’s room and out the eastern door. The inscription on the next rooms door read, “The chosen are revealed by their might. The weak deserve no sympathy.” Inside this room were two metal cobras that were quick to attack the villains. The constructs were quickly smashed by Grumblejack. Upon inspection, it was clear the cobras were made of Mithral alloy, so the chunks were gathered to later sell.

The villains went to the next room and read the inscription. “Suffer not the fool. Stupidity is our faith’s cardinal sin.” Inside was a podium upon which lied a pendant of silver. A dragon with silver eyes and a set of stairs to the east. Taking the warning to heart, Liailah Shamayim found a secret door and slipped into the hallway beyond. F’larden grabbed the dragon and followed after Liailah Shamayim assuming the stairs are trapped. Elizavet Verithos and Fellony Glitterhorn inspected the stairs and found them trapped. Elizavet Verithos disabled the trap and Fellony Glitterhorn went to the top of the stairs and opened the door. The door revealed a dead end that had an inscription reading “Only the foolish believe great deeds are so easy or so obvious.” Satisfied, the villains followed the others into the next hall.

The next door’s inscription read “Secrecy is our greatest ally. Exposure brings death.” With warning from Squire Timeon of Balentyne the villains thought there may be a mushroom in this room that responds to noise and light. The snuffed their lights and opened the door. Inside was the mushroom. The villains decided to leave Grumblejack behind here as he could not slip past the mushroom. The rest carefully slipped by and made their way into the next hall.

Upon this door read, “Beware the fallen for they may rise once more to threaten you.” The villains quietly entered the room filled with waterlogged coffins. They hoped to slip past them, but were heard passing through and four draugers began to rise and attack the villains. The villains were trapped by the undead in the next hall, so Liailah Shamayim used a key she found to open the next door. Inside was Sir Balin, armed and ready for a fight. Sir Balin recognized Fellony Glitterhorn as he was the one that captured her and sent her to Branderscar Prison. He drew his sword and attacked.

Sir Balin was a strong fighter. Along with the Drauger from the flanking hall, the party was being overwhelmed. Elizavet Verithos attacked Squire Timeon of Balentyne and nearly killed him. Elizavet Verithos then threatened Sir Balin to stay his attack and they would save Timeon. After some quick negotiating, Sir Balin agreed that if he and his squire could go free, he would not hunt the villains. The villains agreed and Sir Balin gave a potion to his squire. As he did so, Fellony Glitterhorn and Liailah Shamayim quickly stabbed him while he was distracted. The battle restarted and the villains used the tieflings darkness to put the human on the defensive. The battle was hard fought and eventually Elizavet Verithos fled to get Grumblejack. With the Ogre’s aid the drauger and Sir Balin were killed.

After looting the corpses, the villains returned upstairs. Jarvis Anaral lead them to Cardinal Adrastus Thorn was sitting in his study seeming almost as he has moved not an inch from where he gave you the orders at dusk yesterday. “You’ve returned.”

After some discussion, F’larden presented the High Priest with Sir Balin’s silver and sapphire holy symbol. The high priest holds the trinket and pauses as if in deep contemplation. He watches the holy symbol glitter in the light. “A pretty enough ling, eh?” he muses. “This is a holy symbol of Mitra. In particular the sort favored by the Knights of the Alerion. Perhaps you already knew that.”

“Remember this symbol. This is the mark of those who destroyed our faith and sought to banish all traces of worship of our Father from these shores. These, my friends, are your enemies.”

He tosses the holy symbol back to F’larden. “Keep it. It may aid you in disguising yourself.” He smiles. “You have done well. Escaping from Branderscar, slaughtering ”/characters/sir-balin" class=“wiki-content-link”>Sir Balin… yes, you are worthy. Now, let us complete your training…"

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