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Rappan Athuk #105: The Solution

11 Jul

In an unwritten chapter of our tale, the party miraculously survived a demon-goblin ambush, the party explored the remainder of their caves, finding altars to Orcus, treasure, and a revealing note. Bright Yilling also was murdered by a half-orc viking fighter, Grom-gil-Gorm, who stole his gear and joined the party…

(-GM)

29th day of Desnus, 4722 AR

Valestar looked up from the pile of treasure which lay before us in the chest of the once-leader of the goblins. The “compensation” we had received from this long and extremely eventful encounter was hardly worth the amount that was spent here. However, it did not matter, for a long-time bastion of the Prince of the Undead, the demon lord Orcus, was no more. The goblin priests of this abyssal city were among his most devout and brutal followers, never shying from the opportunity to spread his corruption. 

Among the treasure we had found a note from the persona “GC,” which we have interpreted as the Grand Cornu, which used to lead the Cult of Orcus in the ancient evil city of Tsar. In this letter he revealed that he had in fact given the goblins the balor demons who we had fought in the antechamber outside the room in anticipation of our eventual “return” to the city. Orcus and his followers have become aware of our party’s growing prowess. The challenges of the past will likely pale in comparison to what we are going to face in the future.

The letter described an item which was given to the goblin leader by the Grand Cornu. The item was a piece of parchment which could be torn apart, alerting Orcus of our presence in the city. I pondered why the goblin leader would not have used this item, which would most likely have ensured our defeat.The most likely explanation was that the arrogant creature wanted to impress Orcus by bringing him our heads all by himself, a feat which he nearly accomplished.

We continued on, exploring and purifying the caverns of the city, when we chanced upon a cave which was permeated with the thick pungent scent of undeath. Death-From Somewhere-Irrelevantly-Far-Away immediately uncorked a bottle of smoke which he always keeps on hand.

Almost instantly, a thick, grey cloud surrounded the party, rendering us near indiscernible in the dark cavern. I, unaffected by the smoke along with the rest of the party (because of our special masks which allow near perfect sight in smoke) saw a huge host of undead and skeletons in the caverns ahead. Valestar immediately flew towards the unholy creatures, holy power imbuing him and his companion Perseus with superhuman might. Around him flew arrow after arrow from DFSIFA’s longbow, felling several undead. Grom-gil-Gorm, the newest addition to our party, charged into the fray, knocking undead over like wheat before a keen scythe.

Knowing that there were too many for just our other three companions to handle, Susurrus of the Wind and I directed our fury at the undead ourselves. Waves of undead went down as Susurrus’ spells took effect. But still, the undead swarm pushed forward, a never-ending tide of death. I called upon the element of purification — fire — and unleashed it upon the pestilence in front of me.

A huge storm of fire enveloped the undead, melting both skin and bone alike; the explosion was so bright that the cavern which seemed so dark before was now illuminated in full. An intense heat wave poured forth from the cavern onto the party, but the effects of it were nowhere near the destruction it wreathed upon the undead.

We continued forward into the cavern itself now. There was nothing left to show of the undead swarm that was once ravaging this place except for twitching bodies covered in charred skin. As we reached the end of the cavern, a message was spoken to the party, as if through our minds. It requested an alliance between some of Orcus’ minions and ourselves in order to fell “the Ravager,” a great beast contained in the dungeon of Rappan Athuk which would destroy the world if ever unleashed. We were extremely skeptical of this but accepted. We were then told to “go down the well” and bring a special key which appeared in front of us as soon as the voice spoke its final words. 

This was a dilemma: risk the end of the world, or trust our fate with our bitter enemies?

We decided to go back and rest at the capital of the air elemental plane and ponder how to destroy the Ravager or contain it further. However, when we approached the store at the capital, we were immediately apprehended by the city guards. For a moment, I considered flight, but knew that it would end only in the hunting down of myself and the end of all good ties I had with the city. The air marshal declared that we had attacked the Orcus temple in the city and murdered dozens of innocent guardsmen and townsfolk alike.

The charges of course could in no way be true, but the guard captain and others who were present swore that all of the attackers resembled our exact appearances. We tried to explain how there was probably someone that wanted us discredited and they committed the attack, but they would not believe us. So one by one, we were interrogated.

We would have been put in chains if not for Valestar being there, for the word of a Paladin was not taken lightly. We were allowed free but were not to, under no uncertain terms, return to the city.

Regretfully, we expected this “punishment” of sorts, and set off for Golarion where we could figure out how to deal with the Ravager situation, and the Hellblood Corsairs who we assume, were behind the framing of our party. We also waited five months for Valestar to finish his new training.

Valestar graduated from the church of Iomedae. Finally, Grom-gil-Gorm decided to draw a card from our magical deck and test his faith. He drew The Hermit and stared at it for a moment. As he was contemplating a great mystery, he looked up slowly and said in a soft voice:

“The answer to our dilemma is clear. We must kill him. That is the solution. The Ravager must die or the world will end.”

Everyone in the party all looked at each other, knowing that this next mission would be the most dangerous one we had ever faced and that we may not return. The Ravager may bring about the end of the world, but we would fight to the end to save it.

Deckard Cain (Aidan)

=========================

Deckard Cain, aasimar oracle 19
Death from Somewhere Irrelevantly Far Away, tiefling slayer 20
Doomfist, oread monk 17
Grom-gil-Gorm, half-orc viking fighter 18
Susurrus of the Wind, sylph wizard 19
Shia Labeouf, merfolk bard 17
Valestar Ekhart, aasimar paladin 20

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