The party was arrested on Day 9
Two days pass while the party is locked away.
Food is being served by one of the choir boys today. Hes awful chatty, and says he volunteered for this, being excited to meet an Elf. "I mostly keep to the choir, but its good to get out from time to time, even with the whole mess going on. I go’ it once already. Nasty stuff. Priest cured me righ’ up. Nice to be workin’ the church.”
Nuada spots a note under his food plate after the boy walks away. It says “hang tight, we’re getting you out soon”
The rest of the day passes uneventfully.
From inside the embassy, you’re awoken that evening by the thunderous marching of feet from the plaza. It sounds like an army is assembling in the courtyard near the temple of justice. Shouts are heard, and the occasional horrified scream. Combat can be heard occasioinally, but it sounds somewhat one-sided.
In the prison, its a similar situation. The rumbling of marching feet can be heard from above. You hear shouting and the tearing of flesh. Prisoners are shouting and banging their buckets aginst their cell walls. Smoke starts to feel the hallway outside your cell.
Two Hands of Moradin appear with two more guards to bring Thorsun from his cell. They have an urgent, haunted look in their eye and keep darting their gaze around frantically. They’re moving him to a more secure location. Your friend in the cell next door calls out “What about me? Don’t just leave me here!” The smoke seems to build up heavier in the hallway.
He’s brought to the Cathedral. Before going in, everyone is heavily inspected. One of the guards is caught with lesions. He screams and protests as hes dragged away by two of the Hands, and then stabbed in the heart. His body is left there as they return and bring you further into the citadel. You’re locked in one of the servant’s chambers on the first floor. Presumably, its previous residents no longer need it.
For Severath, time passes with the occasionall running of footsteps, then silence save for the rumbling shudder of the earth above you. Eventually he hears the creek of a key turning. Its Rega, followed by two younger children. They’re all holding rings of keys and small daggers. Rega has an angry look on her face, and one of the younger children’s daggers appears to be stained with blood.
She says your friends are getting busted out of the embessy. They found a way out of the city through one of the fountains, but your dwarf friend was taken to the Cathedral.
Severath steps over a dying guard in the hallway after making a pretense of trying to stem his bloodflow. He then heads to the embassy.
Meanwhile, back at the embassy.
Leha can be heard banging on her door, demanding to know whats happening. Suddenly you hear a large explosion from outside, then men and women screaming. You hear the footfalls of the guards as they run outside. Then a loud “hey” followed by a thunk and clatter.
Suddenly your door is unlocked and flies open. Its Leha holding a ring of keys, with Raspina standing powerfully behind her. She motions for you to start unlocking everyone elses doors. One of the guards looks to be knocked out on the ground.
The choir urchin from earlier runs in, saying “Hey, I was gonna do that”
He tells everyone: The ’ole city ‘as gon mad! They brought yur friend to the cathedral. Theyre gonna execute ‘im! Dey thing he donnit. All this. You didn’t, did you? The Heirophants gone mad! Devils are roaming the streets and he jus wants to kill that dragon dwarf. Says Moradin’ll cure us all once we destroy the devil’s agent. You gotta get out o’ here!"
It looks like Leha has been gathering everyone’s weapons and armor up over the last few days, getting ready to break out. Everyone puts their gear on as Severath with his urchins runs into the building. It seems like all the guards are elsewhere.
Raspina and Leha insist on staying with their guards at the embassy. Raspina sends Gilar Stonefoot (guard captain) to rally her soldiers and fight back against the devils.
As the party gets ready to leave the Embessy, they’re confronted by bloated-looking fleshy monsters, all oozing fluids from their mouths and lumpy patches of skin.
The party attacks the fleshy creatures. They’re kinda easy to hit, but hard to deal damange to. They seem to have a natural resistance against most damage, but the party prevails in the end.
As everyone runs toward the Cathedral, all chaos has broken out in the streets. It looks like another riot is happening, but its hard to tell where. Multipl buildings are showing damage, and civilians are running around, trying to take shelter. Some buildings seem to have caught fire, and smoke is pillaring from various parts of the city.
The party encounters another group of the fleshy monsters, this time lead by some sort of bearded creature with claws. The bearded one was a bit more difficult to defeat in combat, and a few members of the party were fairly unjured. Unlike the fleshy monsters, this bearded one seems intelligent, and disappears once its health runs low. The rest continue to mindlessly attack, but are soundly defeated.
Finally, the party bursts into the unguarded Cathedral.
Its packed. Memebers of the court are mixed with higher end commoners all here fleeing the chaos. The pews and walkways are full of families huddled together. Guards can be seen standing solemnly down the main row – all Hands of Moradin. Everyone is facing the Heirophant, standing on the dias near the altar. Thorsun is kneeling on the south end of the altar, made to face it while wrapped in chains. Two of the cities three arches are flanking the altar, each holding a length of chain tied to their prsioner. The Heirophant is gesturing wildly with his right arm extended, holding that beautiful, magical hammer.
With a dramatic flourish, the Hierophant turns to the statute of Moradin behind him and shouts: “You burn the dross from me, but the iron remains!”
The congregation repeats it back with a panicked, religious vigor.
Only Mahkdoh sees this:
Suddenly you feel that buzzing in your ear. That almost subliminal tone, causing everything else to go quiet, and your head to turn in that direction. A dwarven woman stands somewhat on her own near the back of the church. Shes a little plump, but shes young with a soft disposition and a long chestnut braid down her back. Her mid-toned grey dress looks almost mossy green in the flickering light. Shes the only one smiling, as if genuinely filled with joy – although its hard to say whether its because of the current situation, or in spite of it.
Thorsun has been made to bend forward with his head on the altar. The Heirophant raises the hammer high shouting “purge the wicked and cleanse the holy!”, and brings it down upon his head.
With a loud crack, the hammer shatters.
The party springs into action. Nuada fires a few bowshots toward the arches holding Thorsun’s chains. Most others charge forward toward the altar. Most of the hallway guards are too stunned to react.
The Heirophant stumbles backward, aghast at the turn of events.
The hallow spell once upon the Cathedral, suddenly collapses.
Suddenly the two flanking Arches start to scream and claw at their faces. With a revolting tearing sound, their skin rips apart. Outward from the layers of flesh and gore step much taller humanoid figures, completely wrapped in chains and smoking with an infernal fire.
The Heirophant is frozen in fear.
The crowd screams in panic and starts to rush for the door or huddle against the walls, with evil being all around there is nowhere to run. Even most of the guards flee.
The party does battle with two Chain Devils, but one of them is already very injured from a critical strike dealt by Kuma in the previous round.
Thorsun is still tied up in chains, and it appears that these devils have the power to control those chains. Every round they attempt to do damage to Thorsun, but he was able to roll well and fend them off.
Meanwhile, Mahkdoh casts fly and charges down at the Hieropant. The Hierophant gets stunned into action, and instead of seeing Mahkdoh as a threat, attempts to instead banish one of the devils. When his spell fails, he’s locked in a crisis of faith.
Pe-ling and Kuma do some series damage and finish off one of the devils quickly. Nuada does a lot of sneak attack damage, and Severath hits the remaining devil with a Feeblemind spell, bringing its intelligence down to 2. It takes a while to kill the second chain devil, and by then most people are out of spells. On top of damage reduction, these devils appear to regenerate a bit, and it took longer than expected to cut them down.
In the end, both devils were defeated.
Afterward, you see the Heirophant holding Thorsun’s axe, screaming out “NOO! We must smite the wicked!” Without warning the statue behind him reaches out with a metallic screech and grabs his arm. He screams as his hand opens and the axe tumbles to the floor. The statue lets go of him and he stumbles backwards. Reaching out his arms imploringly to it. “Moradin?” he asks in wonder. The statue points toward him, and with a crackling sound Linjal Runicstone II slowly shifts from flesh and becomes stone.
The remaining crowd gasps and wails in despair and fear.
The statue speaks to the crowd “Peace be unto you, children and cousins alike."
The crowd stills.
It looks to Trinjal’s father, Trinjal the 5th.
“Approach and neal before me. (he does so) – "The time of religious hierarchy is over, and you must now return to blood. Trinjal Runicstone the Fifth, son of Linjal runicstone the first. You are not your brother. I declare you head of the clan of Runicstone. It is now up to you, in how the clergy shall influence the crown. Rule well – in my name as well as your own.”
He looks to Thorson
“Child of the forge, you are headed down a path of chaos. Soon you will have to make a choice, for balance is not an option for you.”
He looks to the room
“Go forth and do good in the world. Focus on love, compassion, and help bring out the best in others. Be the order you wish for the world. For if you do not, then chaos will return.”
The statute steps back into its pose, then grows still. The crowd begins to murmur, and a gasp rises up. as the stones crack and vines grow up from the floor at an alarming rate. They curl and writhe and sprout leaves, then blossoms. The flowers are strikingly silvery bell-shaped flowers with little protrusions of white pollen that start to fill the air. The vines continue, invading the pews, crawling the length of the floor, grasping against the stained glass windows, and digging into the morter of the ceiling.
The flowers exude a sweet and calming scent, that immediately feels amazing. People start taking deep breaths and clearing their throats with some relief.
Everyone gains 2 con except for Mahkdoh, who gains 2 wisdom.
After the battle, it seems that all the devils who once terrorized the city have disappeared. Those silvery flowers started growing everywhere throughout the city where other plantlife had already settled. Much of the city is still riddled with disease, but the flower seems to bring some comfort. Faenya works with the city alchemists again, and a proper cure is distilled from the flower in a matter of hours.
The silvery flower has been named Mithril Ansuz – After the rune of health, humility, blessings, and insight.
The parties items have been moved from the embassy to the royal apartments, both at the request of King Trinjal and Raspina. The rest of the day is taken to sort out events through the city, and bring back what order they can.
Trinjal 5th summons everyone to the Hall of Compassion (no longer a temple) and thanks the party for their heroism. You are instructed to dress nicely. His wife and son are standing proudly behind him. Trinjal 6th winks at Thorsun. The new King seems to have done away with some of the previous fineries.
King Trinjal the 5th:
“It is with great pleasure that I welcome the group of you to this great hall, not as a Hierophant, but as a King. You have done an unmeasurable service to this city, and to this nation as a whole. It has been an honor and a blessing to have you here as our people adjust to a new system of life, and recover from an unspeakable tragedy. We have very little to offer in compensation as we rebuild, but my son has requested a series of gifts in the time we’ve had available.”
A group of servants step out of flanking doorways behind the throne. Most of them are carrying differently sized velvet-lined boxes. Two of them are wheeling in a cloth-covered humanoid-shaped object.
Trinjal 6th (your Trinjal) steps forward to call the first name and takes an item from the box.
“Severath of the Beacon City. I present to you a shielding clasp of faith. Wear it well.”
Its Shield of Faith cloak clasp. Both sides are in the shape of a three-pronged shield with a mithril braided rope edge. Once stamped with the Runicstone symbol, but was redesigned with an owl face imprinted on one side, and a rolled up scroll on the other.
Specifics: Clasp of Faith. Grants a +3 deflection bonus, as per the spell Shield of Faith. (worth 18k)
Faenya of the Creston Jungle – A ring of Animal Freindship, once a gift from the Redspear clan many years ago.
Specifics: Ring of Animal Friendship (worth 11K)
Nuada of the Creston Seas – A pair of Gloves once belonging to Harafal Runicstone I, also called Harafal Duel Axe, Second son of Barafal V.
Specifics: Two gloves of storing. (worth 20k together, to say nothing of their historical value)
Mahkdoh of the Valley of the Fallen – I present to you a full set of mithril plate mail, modified to better fit your frame. He shakes your hand and whispers that you may need some further adjustments before being fully battle ready.
Specifics: Full Plate. Masterwork to allow more flexibility. Speed is 25 feet, spell failure 25%, max dex +3, and check penalty of -3. Considered medium armor, and weighs 25 pounds. (Worth 18,000 gold and enchantable) Will have penalties until better fitted.
Kuma of the Tolgarian Tribe of the Bear – A stone Horse of the Courser – with the command word of Raidho (after the dwavish rune of travel), this horse will become a full grown heavy horse. (worth 10k)
Specifics: Stone horse of the Courser (note – not warhorse!)
(apologies for poor clipping)
Pe-Ling of Appleblossom Monastery – A set of prayer beads (can be worn anywhere really, around your neck or wraped around your belt, etc). All of the beads are a nice soft grey hematite, with two of them being larger red carnelians. The carnelians each have a dwarven rune, one for Law: the inverted Hagalaz, and one for Holiness: Isaz. Both are beads of smiting, one with holy smite and the other with order’s wrath. (both do 3d8) worth 20K
Specifics: Strand of Prayer Beads (modified) Two beads of Smiting – one with the spell “holy smite (P241 of the PHB)” and the other with “order’s wrath (P258 of the PHB).” Cast at level 7. Will DC 17 to resist
Holy smite: P241 of the PHB
Range: Medium (100 ft. + 10 ft./level)
Area: 20-ft.-radius burst
You draw down holy power to smite your enemies. Only evil and neutral creatures are harmed by the spell; good creatures are unaffected. The spell deals 1d8 points of damage per two caster levels (maximum 5d8) to each evil creature in the area (or 1d6 points of damage per caster level, maximum 10d6, to an evil outsider) and causes it to become blinded for 1 round. A successful Will saving throw reduces damage to half and negates the blinded effect. The spell deals only half damage to creatures who are neither good nor evil, and they are not blinded. Such a creature can reduce that damage by half (down to one-quarter of the roll) with a successful Will save.
Order’s Wrath: P258 of the PHB
Range: Medium (100 ft. + 10 ft./level)
Area: Nonlawful creatures within a burst
that fills a 30-ft. cube
You channel lawful power to smite enemies. The power takes the form of a threedimensional grid of energy. Only chaotic and neutral (not lawful) creatures are harmed by the spell. The spell deals 1d8 points of damage per two caster levels (maximum 5d8) to chaotic creatures (or 1d6 points of damage per caster level, maximum 10d6, to chaotic outsiders) and causes them to be dazed for 1 round. A successful Will save reduces the damage to half and negates the daze effect. The spell deals only half damage to creatures who are neither chaotic nor lawful, and they are not dazed. They can reduce the damage in half again (down to one-quarter of the roll) with a successful Will save.
“Thorson, Honored prince of the Dragonaxe clan!”
A hush falls over the crowd as Trinjal slowly steps toward you solemnly, then smiles and laughs as he clasps you in a big hug.
It is my great honor to present you with Soulguard (a large +1 fine steel shield with mithril etched runes on its three corners and gold frame. Its etched in three places with Algiz – Protection, but when inverted as the top two are, it means death. In its center is a painting of your house crest. This shield is a protection from the dead (ghost touch). Once belonged to Barafal Runicstone III, also named Barafal Deathsbane for his heroics against a surge of evil undead to rise against us. (worth 16k without history)
Specifics: Large steel +1 Ghost Touch shield.
King Trinjal the 5th stands and walks forward, taking his son’s place.
“And finally, a little something to remind the seven of you, that you did this together. You are stronger as a whole, and although you are from different backgrounds, you must continue to care for each other as a family.”
Each of the servants takes something from the last box, something that glows softly blue – small pins in little velvet jewelry boxes. Each pin is unique, and made of delicately molded mithril. Each one is embedded with a perfectly cut sapphire. (they all come with a little box)
Severath – A lighthouse with the sapphire as its beacon
Faenya – a tree with the sapphire in its trunk
Thorsun – the dragonaxe symbol with a sapphire in its tail curve and eye
Nuada – a three-sailed ship with the sapphire on its mainsail
Mahkdoh – a skull with the sapphire in one eye
Kuma – a bear on its hind legs with the sapphire where its heart would be
Pe-Ling – a snail with the sapphire in the center of its shell
They’re flickering and glowing with a bright blue flame (continual flame spell but with sapphire instead of ruby) Each servant pins one to your shirt. You’re asked to turn and face the crowd.
To the room: Trinjal I sates, "As you all know Morndinsamman is more than a city. Its name reminds us not only of Moradin, but of the saints who have helped further his cause. Those who have stood beside him in times of great need, and have devoted themselves to him above all other causes. This city represents the Heart of Moradin, much as other regions represent his head, shield, and so forth. But it is this city that was named for the Saints, and the mithril once mined here long ago helped to build its foundation both figuratively and literally. While it is true that most of you do not follow the faith of Moradin, you have still helped to further his cause. If this city is Moradin’s heart, then you are truly its savior.
I proclaim you, Heroes of the Mithril Heart!
We should all take this as a lesson, that compassion, strength, and faith, can come from the most unexpected places.
That evening a feast is held in celebration. Not only for the saviors of the city, but in honor of its new King, and the cure of the disease. Conversations are still somber, as many seats are sitting empty at court. Once the city has rebuilt a bit further, King Trinjal will declare a period of mourning to acknlowledge the ones who were lost. In the meantime, the people must focus on restoring their home.
The Princess Raspina is notibly absent.
The next day
The Right Hand Clerestory, named Torgus Whitehand, requests a meeting with Pe-Ling. – He is the Master of Agriculture and Finance. He just wants to get to know Pe-Ling as a hero of the city. He praises Pe-Ling for his humility, stating “It is well that you do not seek praise or reward for doing good works. They should come of their own accord, should they not?”
The Head Clerestory, Barr Spirithammer reaches out to Nuada again as well. The two of them spend some time catching up on what is to become of the city, as well as the clan, now that things are changing.
The party gains 2000 experience each. And there is still a bit more left to do!