Knights of Tethyr

The Three Sisters
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Just after the arrival of Laurel and Willow

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Octavius will use the last Bead of Curing (for the day) on Laska. “Sir Bruce, who are these…women?” Turning to them Octavius with some venom says “how very brave of you to make such a timely appearance.” Gesturing to Sir Beros’ body and the bloody mess that is our little group at the moment, “this man might have lived had you bothered to lift a finger to help us. Is this how you repay Sir Bruce’s former help to you and your people?!”

At that Bruce will hold his hand up to Octavious, “Please my friend, Tree Spirits like these are powerful forces in the forest, let me do the talking.” In Sylvan Sir Bruce says a few words to calm them. But Willow shakes her head and says in common, “No Octavius is right. It was shameful not to help you but please give us a chance to make it right.”

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Willow andLaurel look at each other and then look away in shame. Willow finally speaks in a soft and sultry voice, “I am… very sorry for your loss. The Fey much like the human race is both good and evil. And ancient bonds make it difficult for our people to stand against others of their kind. It is difficult to explain to mortals. It is the ancient magic. But please, let us bring you to someone who can make it right. The Three Sisters rule this part of The Wealdath. They will wish to speak to you. Please…”

Willow gestures with her hand and the main stem of a large Oak tree next to her shimmers for a moment and a sparkling silver portal opens up. “Please, follow us through this mighty Oak. It will take us to The Three Sisters. There your questions will be answered and The Fey can answer for your loss…”

Laurel steps into the glittering silver portal and vanishes. Willow gestures for each of you to follow Laurel through the opening. Octavius will nod for Laska and Sir Mallory Marsdale to join us. After they pass through, Octavius will walk through into the silvery portal, cupping Raven gently as they pass through. Bruce takes up the rear after Willow, grabbing his gear (wanted to say grabbing her rear but that would be improper), magic saddle and silvered lance from Leadbelly and then walks through the portal.

As you step through the portal your body is bathed in warm silver. Your presence in your new location suddenly coalesces with a vivid assault on all of your senses. Everything here seems more vibrant. The bright colors seem more intense, the dark shadows are deeper. It is quite otherworldly. To your ears comes the soft song of the babbling brook and gentle rustle of the wind through the tree branches. To your nose comes the smell of dank mushrooms and sweet flowers. Your skin feels the sun dance across as it filters down through the canopy. Its takes you a minute or two to acclimate to your new environ. But when you finally do you see a deep dark wood with a waterfall tumbling down out of an enormous duskwood tree down into a serene pond below.

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Laurel begins to walk down toward the lake. Willow beckons you to follow and also moves down. Sir Bruce, Octavius, Laska, and Sir Mallory Marsdale walk down the path towards the enchanted lake gazing about in amazement at what they behold.

Small sprites and pixies flit about the lake shaking dew from bright flowers of a myriad different colors. Lounging on a patch of soft moss on the shore of the lake near to where the waterfall spills down from the mighty duskwood, you see 3 women. They are all about the size of human women but clearly they are not. One of the women looks like an elf with long blond hair and pointed ears and piercing green eyes.. The second has solid yellow eyes and long auburn hair with sparkling gossamer wings. The third wears a bit more clothing than the other two but still barely enough to cover herself. She has black hair and violet eyes with some sort of black head covering and thigh high leggings.

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Willow whispers, ‘Behold… The 3 Sisters…’

The three women lounge by the water of the lake served by the sprites and pixies flitting about. Offerings of flowers, fruits, and small crafts are laid at their feet by the wee folk. As you approach the three sisters stop and shoo away the little faeries and fix their intense gazes upon you. Each one of you feels as though they all are staring at you. The intensity of their beauty is difficult to describe. Its almost difficult to look at them and hold their gaze. The blond haired sister speaks first in a youthful high pitched voice that fills your heart with joy, ‘Greetings Sir Bruce of Avalon… ’ The auburn haired sister continued speaking right where her sister left off with a more adult voice, ’friend of Willow and champion of The Lady of The Lake…’ The black haired sister finishes in a deeper older voice, ‘You are known to us Sir Bruce. But who are these others?’

Sir Mallory Marsdale steps forward his face and eyes filled with wonder as he gazes about, ‘My name is Sir Mallory Marsdale… I have never seen a place of such beauty and wonder.’ Laska Jendelle steps up next to Sir Mallory and says, ‘And My name is Laska Jendelle. I am pleased to make your acquaintances.’

Octavius steps forward and says, ‘I am Octavius Mort and this is Crow. This one,’ he gestures to Willow, ‘says you might offer some explanation as to why her compatriot sat and watched a fey lure this man’s man-at-arms to his death without lifting a finger. Is there some answer for this? I’m not sure I care what the answer is but we need help finding someone. So if Justice is something you fey even let flit at the edge of your fickle consciousness’s, you might offer us this help to recompense your adherent’s complicity.’

Sir Bruce smiles and says in sylvan, ‘Please excuse my friend’s legal rhetoric, but thank you for taking us to this wonderful place.’ He continues in common ‘I am graced by you presence my ladies and thank you for taking us to this place of safety. May I ask where we are?’

The blond sister laughs a melodic giggle that warms all of your hearts, even the cold cold heart of Octavius. She says, ‘Sir Bruce, you are in the Glade of The Three Sisters. Octavius Mort you are well met…’ The auburn sister continues, ‘…Do not fret. You seek Justice…’ The black haired sister finishes, ‘…And you shall have it.’ The blond sister says, ‘Let us see…’ The auburn haired sister continues, ‘…what really happened…’ The black haired sister finishes, ‘…In the Dark Wood.’ In unison the three sisters wave their hands and speak the spidery words of magic unleashing some sort of spell. A grand illusion suddenly appears floating above the lake. The illusion recreates the battle starting with everyone on the wagons and first hearing the strange song on the wind. The illusion follows the party racing through the woods on horseback. It shows in detail the battle with the Lorelei and the Harpies. It ends with Laurel showing herself to the party.

‘We see the truth of the matter…’ begins the blond sister. ‘…It is quite clear what happened…’continues the auburn haired sister. ‘…But some mystery remains.’ finishes the black haired sister. ‘Tell us…’ begins the blond sister. ‘Why were you traveling…’ continues the Auburn haired sister. ‘…In these woods so deep?’ finishes the black haired sister.

The wooden wand tucked into the belt of Sir Bruce begins to glow with an eerie green light. ‘And tell us Sir Bruce…’ begins the blond sister. ‘…What is the nature of this wand you carry?…’ the auburn sister continues. ‘…You bring great evil into our realm, champion of The Lady of the Lake.’ finishes the black haired sister.

Sir Bruce frowns and says, ‘Evil has taken hold in these woods, Three Sisters , and I have been sent by my order to cleanse this forest and region of evil. Tell me sisters, what do you know of the Gulthias Tree?’

The blond haired sister slowly and languidly gets to her feet and strolls over to Sir Bruce. The scent of her is like pure honey and her presence so close to his body makes Sir Bruce start to sweat and think improper thoughts. The blond sister brings her hand up to Sir Bruce’s cheek and ever so gently touches the side of his face. Sir Bruce is immediately filled with pure joy at the blond sister’s touch as she runs her hand down his body it is all he can do to maintain consciousness. The feeling of bliss is so overwhelming. The blond sister’s hand brushes against the wand tucked into Sir Bruce’s belt and she instantly pulls her hand away in startled alarm. The Sister takes a step back and the overwhelming feelings instantly cease in Sir Bruce as he recovers his faculties.

The Gulthias Tree…’ begins the blond sister. ‘…is a great and ancient evil…’ continues the auburn haired sister as she takes wing on her fluttering gossamer wings and languidly circles Sir Bruce. ‘…It has been a blight upon the Wealdath for many generations of your kind.’ finishes the black haired sister. ‘It began long ago…’ begins the blond haired sister. ‘A Vampire Lord named Gulthias ruled the Wealdath…’ continued the auburn haired sister. ‘…from his keep called NightFang Spire.’ finishes the black haired sister. The illusory image of a dark and foreboding tower fades into view floating above the water of the Lake. A dark and evil vampire is seen looking down from a balcony on the tower. ‘But a hero arose from your kind…’ begins the blond haired sister. ‘…a great warrior who fought through the minions of the vampire Gulthias…’ continued the auburn haired sister. ‘And drove a wooden spike through the heart of Gulthias.’ finishes the black haired sister. ‘But that was not the end of it…’ began the blond haired sister. ‘…The blood of Gulthias was strong…’ continued the auburn haired sister. ‘And the wooden spike became infused with the evil of the vampire lord blood.’ finishes the black haired sister. ‘The evil infected wooden spike took root…’ began the blond haired sister. ‘And over time it flowered and grew into the Gulthias Tree…’ continued the auburn haired sister. The illusory image of a blood soaked wooden spike begins to grow sprouts and grows into a large and dark tree.

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‘…Many have forgotten the evil of this tree.’ finishes the black haired sister. ‘But not The Three Sisters of the Fey…’ began the blond haired sister. ‘…Or others amongst our kind…’ continues the auburn haired sister. ‘There is a powerful hag named Filthy Granny Toadspittle who walks the Wealdath…’ finishes the black haired sister. ‘She tends the Gulthias Tree and spreads its seeds across the land…’ begins the blond haired sister. ‘…We have watched the evil grow over the years…’ continues the auburn haired sister. ‘…It has spread like a cancer across these woods.’ finishes the black haired sister. The illusory image of the Gulthias Tree zooms out to depict an old human crone with sunken eyes and missing teeth. Her wispy grey hair is tied into two braids that dangle out from under her hooded brownish green tattered cloak. Her bent over form is supported by a staff she carries that has multiple candles affixed to the top and a live snake which slithers and coils around its base. She collects the fruit of the Gulthias Tree and plants it.

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‘Sir Bruce of Avalon…’ begins the blond sister. ‘…You have done our kind a great service in cleansing the blight of the Gulthias Tree to the West…’ continues the auburn haired sister. ‘…But why do you carry pieces of such evil still?’ finishes the black haired sister as she points to the wand at your belt.

Sir Bruce takes a deep breath and says, ‘This wand was crafted from the remains of the evil tree I destroyed in the west by an ally of Tyr, Lady Lymera of Twin Falls Keep. The magic it contains will lead me into the heart of the forest, to the Gulthias Tree. Tell me more about this Hag, Filthy Granny Toadspittle as she was not known to me before, but seems to be a key part of this puzzle. My compatriots an I are in need of rest and any assistance you can offer us would be greatly appreciated. I pledge to you Three Sisters and all the kind Fey in the forest to rid the Wealdath of this terrible blight.’

The blond sister nods and says, ‘We accept your pledge, Sir Bruce, with thanks. Filthy Granny Toadspittle is an ancient being of the Fey…’ ‘…She has worked against us for almost as long as she has walked these woods…’ continues the auburn haired sister. ‘She is the reason the evil of the Gulthias Tree has spread so widely.’ finishes the dark haired sister. The blond sister begins, ‘Filthy Granny Toadspittle tends the tree. She prunes it, waters it, helps it to grow…’ ‘..She collects its seed and carries it great distances through the wood to plant that seed…’ continues the Auburn Haired Sister. ‘…And she works with the evil that the Tree attracts, forming dark alliances across the Wealdath.’ finishes the dark haired sister. ‘Sir Bruce, you have cleansed the western forests of their blight…’ begins the blond haired sister. ‘…And there are many other dark areas…’ continues the Auburn haired sister. ‘…But if you destroy the original Gulthias Tree to which your wand directs with fire, all the progeny will wither away with it.’ finishes the dark haired sister. The blond sister begins, ‘Filthy Granny Toadspittle is a Blood Hag…’ ‘…She was born in blood and she revels in the blood of mortals…’ continues the auburn haired sister. ‘…Beware her power over even the blood that pumps through your very veins.’ finishes the dark haired sister. ‘The Vampire Lord Gulthias had a consort…’ begins the blond haired sister. ‘..her name was Beatrix and she was a red hag…’ continues the auburn haired sister. ‘The red hags unlike their hag kin, are not horrid to look upon, and most are considered comely in their own right. An elder race-much older than the elves, and as old as the dragons, they claim-red hags are the most cunning and longest-lived of the hags, having a lifespan of more than a thousand years.’ finishes the dark haired sister. ‘Beatrix laid with Gulthias and from his seed was born a child.’ begins the blond haired sister. ‘…Their spawn was the only one to survive the fall of NightFang Spire..’ continued the auburn haired sister. ‘And she grew to be known as Filthy Granny Toadspittle, the Blood Hag of the Wealdath.’ finishes the dark haired sister.

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Just then a parade of sprites and pixies flies into the glade buzzing around the floating dead body of Sir Bosmer. Sir Bosmer’s still form gently levitates down to the mossy shore of the lake next to the Three Sisters and the pixies and sprites flit away all at once. Each of the three sisters slowly and tenderly remove Sir Bosmer’s armor and clothes piece by piece until he lies there naked on the shore. Then the blond sister bends down and gently kisses the dead knight on the lips as the other two sisters gently stroke his hair. Suddenly Sir Bosmer coughs and water pours out of his mouth. The blond sister gestures to the waters of the lake and says, ‘Enter the healing waters of the Glade with naught but your bare flesh…’ ‘…and your wounds will fade…’ The Auburn sister continues. ‘…And you will have Justice.’ finishes the dark haired sister looking directly at Octavius.

Sir Bosmer, still in a state of bewilderment, slowly gets up and gingerly wades into the sparkling waters of the glade. He begins to laugh and splash in the water. ‘I haven’t felt this good in years. My leg hasn’t been right since I fell from my horse 10 years ago. It feels fine now! Come! Join me in the water. It is magnificent!’

As everyone stares in amazement at the now living Sir Bosmer, Laska suddenly removes all her clothes in what seems like an instant. Standing naked in front of a hesitant Sir Mallory she assertively helps him remove his armor and clothes and leads him into the water. The wounds on both of them fade away as they enter the sparkling waters. Sir Mallory suddenly seems like a new man. Before he seemed so sullen and wounded spiritually and mentally as well as physically. But now he frolics and plays and laughs in the water with Laska as if he was a man half his age. He tosses Laska up in to the air and catches her as she comes back down in a shower of water, both of them laughing with glee and hugging tightly. ‘Join us!’ yells Laska. ‘You will not regret it!’

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Octavius bows his head and says, ‘thank you sisters. You have been more than just in these matters.’ His brow furrows, ‘Sisters, we seek a man who is luring women into the Wealdath including this man’s wife. He gestures to Sir Mallory. ‘Can you provide us with any insight into how or more importantly where we may find him?’ Octavius will wait for an answer to this line of questioning but he will shake Crow off to join the others in the pool.

Sir Bruce waits as Octavious sheds his armor and continues. ‘The man was a piper in a tri-cornered hat, Can you help us find him?’

The Three Sisters ponder a bit and ruminate over your questions. Then the blond sister says, ‘We know of one who can help you…’ ‘And that you can help as well.’ continues the auburn haired sister. ‘Laurel, fetch Pril’ says the black haired sister. Laurel bows and steps into one of the trees and vanishes. A few minutes later she returns through the same tree with a strange looking creature in tow. What follows Laurel is a fey creature with furry goat legs and goat horns but the upper body of a human female with pointed ears. She carries a wooden staff that seems to be alive as it has shoots and flowers blossoming upon it.

The creature steps forward and bows to the 3 sisters. She says, ‘Greetings mortals. My name is Pril. I was a Satyr once. Satyr’s are always male. We mate with nymphs and dryads. If the offspring is female it is a nymph or a dryad. If the offspring is male it is a satyr. A female Satyr is not something that normally occurs. In fact, I was born a male Satyr and roamed the Great Wealdath forest playing my pipes. I used the faerie magic of my pipes to make everyone I met my very good friend. However, one day I had an encounter with a human man and an old human woman in the forest. The human man wore a strange tri-cornered hat. I remember it because I had never seen its like before. I love hats. I played for them trying to make them friends as well. They liked my music but somehow did not like me when I was done. The old woman laid a powerful curse on me that transformed me into a female Satyr and the man stole my pipes from me. I didn’t know it at the time but the three sisters tell me that the old woman who cursed me was actually Filthy Granny Toadspittle under the guise of a glamor. If I had known it was her I would have had nothing to do with her. Now I wander the Wealdath unable to make music and unable to make love. I have never known sadness until now.’

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The blond sister speaks, ‘The curse that binds Pril is strong…’ ‘…The only way to break that curse is to retrieve Pril’s pipes from The Piper…’ continues the auburn haired sister. ‘…And bring them back here.’ finishes the black haired sister. ‘Only then can we break Filthy Granny Toadspitttle’s curse…’ begins the blond sister. ‘…And return Pril to his true Satyr form…’ continues the auburn haired sister. ‘…Will you do this to help us mortals?’ asks the black haired sister.

Sir Bruce nodded in affirmation and said loudly, ‘yes we will help you Pril, it will be my honor to break such a curse.’ Bruce waited until Octavius was finished bathing in the healing waters and had his armor back on before he too shed his armor and clothes and let the warm waters caress his naked body. He felt his wounds and troubles just wade away.

Here are the specific game effects of bathing in the fey waters of the Three Sisters:
1. All HP damage is removed.
2. All exhaustion is removed.
3. Fey Blessing of Health – permanent +2 bonus to CON (to a max of 22)

In addition you notice grazing in the nearby meadow, all of your 5 of your horses (that had died) are now alive and seem in great health. In fact after eating the grass of the 3 Sisters meadow, they are fey blessed and now have double their original HP.

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Graldrog The Mighty Has Fallen
Watch Out for the Fey Ambush

Octavius, Sir Bruce, and Laska Jendelle were on horseback in hot pursuit of Graldrog The Mighty who was making his escape across the river and up the ridge trail riding Beakmaw, Graldrog’s Owlbear steed. Octavius lost site of Graldrog for a moment around a switchback but spurred his mount onwards and managed to close the gap to ride up adjacent to the hobgoblin war chief near some unattended wagons. Octavius held out TitanCleaver – The Green Scythe menacingly and yelled in his quiet gravelly voice, “Surrender Graldrog! It’s over.” The huge hobgoblin shifted in the saddle of Beakmaw and cocked his head to the side, “Is it?” he replied.

Graldrog The Mighty smiled as his reserve units ran out of their hiding spots in the thick underbrush and tree cover. Octavius was surrounded by hobgoblin foot soldiers and 3 archers appeared on the bluff some 30 feet above him. Another small group of hobgoblins came out to establish a shield wall cutting him off Octavius from the rest of the party. “NO it is you who are finished fool!” yelled Graldrog as spears thrust up at Octavius and arrows rained down on him from on high. Octavius did his best to defend himself against the attacks but they were unrelenting and many found their mark.

Sir Bruce galloped up and around the switchback on his mighty steed Leadbelly and saw the hobgoblin spear wall blocking his path. he also saw Octavius a bit further ahead completely surrounded by hobgoblins. He lowered Inferno – The Spear of Immolation and let loose the magic item’s final fireball. It exploded with terrible force ripping apart the spear wall in front of him sending bits of burning hobgoblin bodies in every direction. Graldrog The Mighty and his steed Beakmaw were engulfed in the flames as well but managed to survive the blast. Sir Bruce looked down at Inferno knowing that he had used the last charge of the mighty weapon. There was a chance such reckless use would turn the magic item to dust. But Sir Bruce thanked Tyr as he found the weapon had survived the use of its last charge and would regain its power on the following day. Sir Bruce charged forward into the breach to take on the rest of the hobgoblin host. As a bonus action he cast a shield of faith spell on Octavius to help bolster his defenses.

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The shield of faith was a most wise move on the part of Sir Bruce. As Octavius was in a dangerous position surrounded by hobgoblins each attacking him with advantage from a flanking position. At least 4 viscous spear attacks would have found their mark on Octavius if not for the protection of the shield of faith. Most of the attacks were stopped but a few still made their way through Octavius’ defenses and hurt him. Worse still was Beakmaw. Although Octavius was able to parry all of Graldrog’s attacks, his mount managed to clamp his sharp beak down on his sword arm, injuring it badly.

Laska rode up around the switchback to join them and fired her heavy crossbow. Her bolt hit one of the hobgoblin archers up on the bluff right in the head, knocking it backwards out of view as it’s lifeless body fell to the ground. The distinctive whistling sound of TitanCleaver – The Green Scythe was heard over the battlefield as Octavius hewed the hobgoblins around him like wheat. Heads and arms were flying away from their owners as showers of gore erupted from the hobgoblins bodies. Sir Bruce shouted a strong challenge to Graldrog as he rode up to the mighty hobgoblin chief and swung Talon in wide arc overhead. The blade came down to past the hobgoblin’s guard to cut through his shoulder and into his chest. Sir Bruce then said a prayer to Tyr and the sword exploded in blasting smite of divine energy that snuffed the life out of Graldrog. His dead body slowly fell sideways out of his saddle and fell to the ground.

Instead of breaking with the fall of their chief, the disciplined hobgoblins seemed to rally in fury spurred on by the obvious rage of Beakmaw. The owlbear tore into Sir Bruce raking with it’s claws and snapping with its beak. Sir Bruce took some severe damage including a critical claw hit to the side of his head. But he managed to fight on. Sir Bruce suddenly thrust Talon forward and into the gaping maw of the owlbear. The point of Bruce’s sword erupted from the back of Beakmaw’s head and the raging owlbear suddenly went limp and crumpled to the ground dead.

It took some maneuvering and additional attacks but all of the hobgoblins were slain. The battlefield was finally quiet. In the end 42 hobgoblin soldiers, 6 hobgoblin captains, 1 Hobgoblin War Chief, and 1 owlbear had fallen to the Knights of Tethyr. They recovered 3 wagons and 7 horses. The wagons contained trade goods, supplies, and treasure. There was a sack of 734 CP, 7540 SP, 2112 GP, and 105 PP. There was also a chest with 2 Potions of Healing (Laska and Octavius) and 2 Potions of Greater Healing (Octavius and Sir Bruce). There were also 2 statues worth 100 GP each and a velvet lined box containing 50 rubies worth 100 GP each. The Master Treasure List was updated.

The party also found 2 human male knights tied to trees. They were clearly being held prisoner by the hobgoblins. Both were heavily wounded and bound tightly with gags. One was unconscious. Octavius recognized him as Sir Mallory Marsdale. The other one was conscious. When unbound he explained his named was Sir Bosmer and was a man at arms working for Sir Mallory Marsdale. Sir Bosmer told the tale of what had befallen the logging camp. Graldrog had launched a feint attack designed to lure the camps defenders out of their heavily fortified position and defenses. Sir Bosmer had begged Sir Mallory Marsdale to stay within the defenses of the camp, but the lord fell for Graldrog The Mighty’s ploy and launched a full attack of his heavy horse and chased the hobgoblins into the deep forest. The hobgoblin scouts melted away leaving Sir Mallory’s host chasing shadows. When they returned to the logging camp they found it completely destroyed. Everyone had been slaughtered. Then the hobgoblins sprung their trap and wiped out the heavy horse by surrounding them with spearmen. Sir Mallory Marsdale and Sir Bosmer were the only survivors. They were both taken prisoner.

Octavius desperately asked about Sabrina Thirston. Sir Bosmer explained that she and a number of other young female residents of the logging camp had disappeared a day before the hobgoblin attack. Eyewitnesses had reported a human male traveler wearing strange garb including a tri-cornered hat had come to camp and entertained everyone by playing his pipes. The description of the man seemed to match reports of The Piper that the party had uncovered in Oakhurst. Similarly the man’s music had a strange effect on the women causing them to dance wildly about and follow the man off into the woods. Sir Bosmer explained that Sir Mallory Marsdale was personally leading many forays out into the wood to try and find his lost bride. He was beside himself with grief and extremely exhausted when the hobgoblins attacked.

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Octavius and Sir Bruce made it clear that they believed Sir Mallory Marsdale was responsible for the hobgoblin attack on the logging camp becuase the human’s actions were in direct violation of the treaty between Oakhurst and Graldrog The Mighty. Sir Bruce even produced a copy of the document to show definite proof. Sir Mallory Marsdale seemed sad and shaken. He quietly took responsibility for the all the death and chaos by repeating, “It was all my fault. I let all those people die.” Octavious and Sir Bruce explained that they were going to bring Sir Mallory Marsdale and Sir Bosmer back to Oakhurst to face justice before Constable Felosial Starsong and Mayor Thadius Moonsong.

All the wagons and horses were rounded up and the party headed back towards Oakhurst. As the day drew long, they were beginning to think about finding a place to camp for the night when a strange song wafted through the trees. Sir Bruce and Octavious both felt the tug of the strange song beckoning them deeper into the woods. They both resisted but Sir Bosmer and Sir Mallory Marsdale spurred their horses and galloped off into the wood at a break neck speed. Leaving the wagons behind, Sir Bruce, Octavius, and Laska gave chase. Sir Bruce’s superior riding skill showed as he was the fastest and managed to close the gap close enough to see Bosmer and Marsdale ride right up to a small pond where a red haired human woman was beckoning them to come closer. Both men were yelling, ‘Sabrina we will save you!’

With a wave of her hand both mounts came to an instant stop and the two knights tumbled forward out of their saddles to land in a heap at the edge of the pond. Sir Bruce quickly looked behind him and saw Octavius was coming up behind him. He spurred his horse forward but saw too figures fly out of the trees and swoop down towards him. They were two harpies – a young woman’s body with leathery bat wings and sharp claws.

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One of the harpies flew over Sir Bruce dropping a dusty substance from its wings. The dust coated Sir Bruce and Leadbelly and both of them fell down asleep. Octavius then rode up looking over his shoulder and seeing Laska not far behind and Sir Bruce unconscious in front of him. And he saw even further ahead in a pond Sabrina Thirston. Octavius rode up to Sir Bruce and used a greater restoration spell to return him to consciousness. He then saw Sabrina beckon to Sir Bosmer and Sir Mallory Marsdale and they walked into the deep water, their heavy armor pulling them completely under.

The harpies flew over and tried to put both Octavius and Sir Bruce asleep with their wing spores. Sir Bruce fell asleep once again but Octavius resisted the effects and spurred his horse on riding right up to the edge of the small pool and yelling back to Laska to wake up Bruce. As he arrived the image of his beloved Sabrina Thirston wavered and in its place he saw a fey creature. It was a beautiful elf like creature with pointed ears. She was caressing the heads of the two knights who were under water. The bubbles coming up from them were ceasing to float up to the surface. Octavious, free of the creatures glamor, swung TitanCleaver – The Green Scythe but found the fey creature was difficult to hit as she was covered in some sort of magical shield.

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The Fey creature surprised by the attack, moved its attention to Octavius and gazed at him. Octavius met her eyes and his mind exploded in sensation. It was almost too much for him to simply look at her. The fey’s beauty was so great that it almost stunned him. But Octavius made his save and pushed through as Laska woke up Sir Bruce. The two harpies converged on the knight, attacking Sir Bruce with advantage by flanking him. They seemingly ignored Laska but she did not ignore them, lashing out with her whip and rapier. Sir Bruce used Talon to great affect carving into one of the harpies leaving it badly bloodied. Octavius shook his head to clear it and swung TitanCleaver – The Green Scythe down hard cutting into the hip of the fey creature and then spinning around and smashing it into her shoulder. Blood poured down the fey creature’s body as she screamed in pain. Unleashing her full wrath, a storm of cold and ice exploded around her killing all the horses, the wounded harpy, Sir Bruce, and Laska. Bruce and Laska lay blood pouring from their mortal wounds, the life ebbing from their bodies.

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Octavius was bloodied and barely able to stand but he gritted through the pain and once again unleashed a huge swing of TitanCleaver – The Green Scythe at the fey creature. The huge axe caught the creature at the waist and almost cut her completely in half. She looked at Octavius in disbelief as she slumped down and began bleeding out into the pond. Octavius dove into the water and dragged out Sir Mallory Marsdale. He sputtered and coughed and water poured out of mouth. He was alive. Octavius then dove in and grabbed Sir Bosmer and dragged him out onto the dry land but the unfortunate knight had drown.

Laska and Sir Bruce each failed a death save as Octavius moved back to them. The remaining harpy swooped down to attack him but TitanCleaver – The Green Scythe struck first cutting the bloodied harpy right out of the air and smashing it into the ground – dead. Octavius barely broke stride arriving at the side of his fallen comrades. He cast a healing spell on Sir Bruce and brought him back from the brink of death after failing his second death saving throw. Laska had 2 failed saves as well but before she had to make her third check, Sir Mallory Marsdale cradled her in his arms and applied healing poultices to stanch the bleeding. His medicine check was a natural 20 and Laska breathed in suddenly brought back from the brink of death by Sir Mallory as the two locked eyes and smiled.

As the party was assessing the situation, Octavius suddenly saw a female figure watching them from the trees. She stepped forward and said shyly, ‘I am Laurel a dryad of the Wealdath. Sir Bruce of Avalon, you are known to me. I know someone who wishes to speak with you.’ She steps into the tree she is standing next to and disappears. A minute later she steps out of the tree followed by another dryad who Sir Bruce recognizes as Willow.

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Hobgoblin Battle

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The battle against Graldrog The Mighty and his Hobgoblin War Band continued to rage on. Hobgoblin archers high up on the cliffs kept a constant rain of arrows falling on the knights. They also unveiled a hidden ballista that fired huge spear like bolts through the air to severely damage Sir Bruce and his comrades. Two ogres and more support troops came forward. Sir Bruce responded by launching a number of fireballs from Inferno – The Spear of Immolation. The first ripped apart some of the archers and the hobgoblins manning the ballista. The next tore into the ogres and more of the hobgoblin spear men and swordsmen. Laska Jendelle spirred her horse up and around one of the bluffs to engage one group of hobgoblin archers. Octavius rode right the rough the chaos to a different bluff housing the ballista. Octavius used his misty step spell to teleport from horseback up to the top of the bluff some 30 feet overhead. There he charged down into the two hobgoblin captains who had put out the fire on the ballista and re-positioned it for attacks. With two viscous swings of TitanCleaver – The Green Scythe, Octavius left the two hobgoblin captains in pieces next to the ballista. He then aimed the ballista at one of the huge ogres who had attacked Sir Bruce and hit him full in the chest.

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As Laska Jendelle took care of one side of the archers, there were still 5 hobgoblin archers on the opposite bluff raining arrows down on Sir Bruce. He was also surrounded by hobgoblin spearmen and swordsman as well as two huge raging ogres. It was all he could do to fend off their attacks and hold the line by healing his wounds with his magic as he continued to get hit. But Sir Bruce fought bravely on protected by the magic of his enchanted shield Arrowbreaker.

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Just then Graldrog The Mighty burst out of a copse of trees riding upon Beakmaw his huge Owlbear steed. He was leading a host of reinforcements to take back the ballista position. Seeing them bearing down on him, Octavius moved swiftly to the edge of the cliff and peered down to see his steed waiting dutifully 30 feet below. With a brave jump, he leaped off the cliff and landed expertly on his saddle to ride away, denying the hobgoblins their prize.

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Laska Jendelle, having delt with one group of archers rode her horse down to lend her aid to the harried Sir Bruce who was still surrounded by foes. The two fought their way clear killing all the ogres and hobgoblins. Octavius road around the escarpment to seek cover from the archers and heal himself. There he saw [[:graldrog-the-mighty | Graldrog] moving swiftly across a section of shallows in the river to pack a hasty retreat. Octavius could clearly see that the shallows were the only sane way across the raging river, so he called out to his friends to give chase and spurred his horse in pursuit. As Sir Bruce and Laska gave chase, Sir Bruce pointed Inferno – The Spear of Immolation up at the last group of hobgoblin archers and let fly another fireball to rip them apart.

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Graldrog The Mighty had a good lead on them, but the knights and Laska spurred their mounts on to close the distance as Graldrog riding Beakmaw rounded a switchback up a steep hill and disappeared into a thicket.

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Exploring Oakhurst
Trouble with Hobgoblins and Disapearing Girls

The Knights of Tethyr concluded their discussions with Constable Felosial Starsong in the jailhouse of Oakhurst. Felosial led them over to the granary to speak with the town’s mayor, Thadius Moonsong. But as they were crossing town, an old human woman came out of the Oakhurst General Store and approached Laska. She said to her, ‘You shouldn’t be here, my dear. Oakhurst is cursed. You might disappear like the others.’

Felosial looked sternly at the old woman, ’That’s enough, Louisa. No more of that talk. On your way.’ Sir Bruce tried to get the woman to speak more of what she had said, but Louisa looked fearfully at Felosial and slowly moved away. Felosial looked around as if trying to spot some hidden foe and whispered, ‘All will be explained Sir Bruce. Please let us speak with the Mayor.’

The group entered a large building that appeared to be a granary. Inside the saw a farmer tossing some hay bales about. ‘Morning Felosial,’ said the farmer. ‘Thadius is in his chambers.’ The half elf woman nodded and led the group through a door. A male half elf sitting at a desk by a fireplace and writing with a quill and parchment, stopped what he was doing and set down his quill. He stood up and raised his hand in greeting. He was a tall sharp eyed male half elf with long black hair who was very well dressed and extremely polite.

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Mayor Thadius Moonsong introduced himself and got to know each of the Knights of Tethyr. Apparently their reputation had preceded them because the mayor expressed his thanks with all of the good deeds they had done for The Village of Tommen. Trade had opened up again along the Old King’s Road and that was very helpful to this small community.

Felosial mentioned to Thadius that the party had been ambushed by Drow outside of town. Both community leaders seemed quite worried at the mentioning of dark elves and seemed quite respectful of their powerful and evil reputations. They pressed each party member for details about the drow assassins. They each voiced concerns that and hoped that no drow would find their way to Oakhurst.

With their fears of dark elves at least partially allayed, Mayor Thadius Moonsong turned to the pressing matters of the town’s security. He explained that there was a powerful hobgoblin war clan that dwelled in the forests of The Wealdath. The Clan was led by Graldrog The Mighty, a cunning hobgoblin war chief. After some skirmishes between some of Constable Felosial Starsong’s guards and the hobgoblins about a year ago, Mayor Thadius Moonsong was able to negotiate a lasting truce with Graldrog The Mighty. Both sides were honoring the agreement and the signed treaty was working well. However, about two weeks ago Sir Mallory Marsdale arrived with his host of woodcutters. They had their sites set on the finest trees in the forest that would work well as masts for his majesty King Haedrak’s ships to fight against the pirate scourge. The best trees happened to be in the area claimed by Graldrog The Mighty. Hobgoblin emissaries warned both Sir Mallory Marsdale and Mayor Thadius Moonsong that such activities were in violation of the treaty. Thadius tried to convince Sir Mallory of his folly. But he does not seem to listen. Both Thadius and Felosial are very concerned and hope that as holy knights, Sir Bruce and Octavius can talk some sense into Sir Mallory Marsdale and convince him to keep his axemen out of the hobgoblin lands. Sir Bruce and Octavius pledged to seek out Sir Mallory and attempt to make him see reason and heed the warnings of Graldrog The Mighty. Sir Bruce secured a copy of the signed treaty from Mayor Thadius Moonsong.

Sir Bruce also brought up the fact that it seemed to him that there was certain demographic missing in the town of Oakhurst. Mayor Thadius Moonsong sighed and admitted that as many as 9 young women have been reported as missing in town. Six young human women named Elsbeth, Frigga, Jessa, Sofie, Triss, and Fiona have been reported as missing by their families. And 3 half elven young women named Kirien, Laira, and Cythien have also disappeared. Most families with young women still in town have kept them safely hidden away in their home, not daring to let them out for fear of losing them. After some questions and answers, Octavius and Sir Bruce found two common threads running amongst all 9 of the missing. The first was that all 9 young women were exceptionally beautiful. The second was that they had an encounter with a human man playing a flute. The young women were somehow glamoured by the music and were led off into the forest. Felosial suspects that some sort of enchantment magic was employed. The Knights of Tethyr vowed to look into the mystery of the missing women and lend what aid they could.

Lastly the party’s original quest given to them by Lady Lymera was discussed. The Gulthias Tree was known to both Mayor Thadius Moonsong and Constable Felosial Starsong. Both knew of the legends of the cursed tree and that it was supposedly growing somewhere in The Great Wealdath Forest. But no further insights were availed.

The party took their leave and began interviewing the families of the lost women. They found that the younger brother of the woman Sofie had witnessed a man he called The Piper playing his flute while his sister danced around the piper. The Piper marched off into the forest and his sister Sofie followed him. The Piper was described as a tall human man in his 20s or 30s with slicked back black hair. He wore a dark blue overcoat with a matching tri-cornered hat. The style of the coat and hat are unusual for Tethyr. Some reports from those that have seen him included the piper having glowing red eyes. Other witnesses and a written diary of young Sofie seemed to confirm these descriptions and circumstances but gave no further clue as to their location or motives.

The Knights of Tethyr stopped in the Oakhurst General Store and met Jarius Dronk. Jarius was a tall man with slicked back black hair and a well trimmed goatee. He was very well dressed in the style of the Tethyrian nobility. Conversations with Jarius revealed that he moved to Oakhurst a few years ago from Castle Tethyr. He said that he has connections there which bring lots of excellent provisions to his store. Most of his goods have moved through town from the roads to the west. But now that the old king’s road to the south is opened up again, he looks forward to Tommen salt and other goods coming through town. Sir Bruce made a good impression on Jarius. Jarius offered him a discount on his goods in the store. Jarius was concerned by the mounting tensions between the hobgoblins and Sir Mallory Marsdale. He hopes that Sir Mallory and his knights deal with the hobgoblins and continue their logging operations which do a lot of business with him purchasing supplies for their logging camps. The Oakhurst General Store is well stocked with rope, farming tools, seeds, and almost any nonmagical item or equipment. Sir Bruce purchased two vials of antitoxin from Jarius Dronk in Oakhurst for 40 GP total. The Master Treasure List was updated.

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A large shrine dedicated to Silvanus sits at the edge of the town of Oakhurst. Large braziers of burning coals light the site at night and ward off the chill air. The Knights Of Tethyr had heard that female gnome cleric by the name of Pip Alulin tended the shrine. The party had heard rumors of Pip cultivating magic apples that that heal the sick and cure the blind and the deaf. In fact the town of Oakhurst has an annual celebration called The Festival of the Apple where Pip gifts an magic apple to someone in town in great need. She reportedly knew the forests of The Wealdath better than most and the party wanted to talk with her. However, the first few visits to the shrine were not fruitful in finding her. Eventually the party met her in the evening at her shrine.

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The Knights of Tethyr found Pip Alulin to be a short forest gnome who wears earth tones and forest greens. She carried a bow and a short sword and wore the holy symbol of her deity – Silvanus. Her long dirty blond hair often fell in front of her face slightly obscuring her piercing green eyes which looked far older than her years. Her pointed ears always poked up through her hair. Pip spotted the blight wand that Lady Lymera had crafted for Sir Bruce right away. This led to a discussion of the Gulthias Tree. She had of course heard the legends that the original tree grew deep in the Wealdath. But she confirmed her own sightings of dark fey creatures and undead in the forest perhaps attracted by the Gulthias Tree that were similar to what Sir Bruce had seen near The Village of Tommen. Pip wished the party well in their quest to destroy the Gulthias Tree as it was clearly a blight upon the forests she loved so very much. In order to help them in their quest, Pip agreed to scribe spell scrolls for the party. Any paladin spells from her cleric lists could be scribed for a price.

Since it was getting late, the party decided to return to the Ol’ Boar Inn. They spoke with Garron Cooper, the innkeeper about getting a room. They negotiated a rate of 30 silver coins a day for food, drink, and lodging for all 3 members of the party. Concerned for Laska Jendelle’s safety, the party opted for 1 big room with three beds in it. The party did not want Laska disappearing like some of the other young women in town. Although the idea of using Laska as bait to lure The Piper back into town crossed their minds. But since the most pressing issue seemed to be the problems with hobgoblins, The Knights of Tethyr decided to turn in and travel to Sir Mallory Marsdale’s logging camp in the morning to see if they could talk some sense into him and get him to respect Oakhurst’s treaty with Graldrog The Mighty. Octavius Mort spoke to Laska and Sir Bruce about having some history with Sir Mallory Marsdale. Although he had not met the man he married the daughter of his former employer. This woman was very dear to him.

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In the morning the Knights of Tethyr rode out in search of Sir Mallory Marsdale’s logging camp. They found it but to their horror found it had been recently attacked by the hobgoblin war band. Knights, guards, and loggers were strewn about the camp. Most of them cut down by swords, riddled with arrows, impaled by spears, or in a few cases ripped apart by something very large. Tents and supplies were still burning and the bodies were fresh. The attack had not been long ago. It may have even have happened over night. The fresh tracks leading away were obvious to the party, the hobgoblins had stolen several horses and wagons and seemed to have rounded up what they could of value. Octavius rushed forward into the camp and searched each body with a look of panic and despair upon his face. After checking each one, he seemed to calm down and his look of despair turned to one of hardened tenacity. Octavius turned to his two friends and said grimly, ‘The Hobgoblins are on the move. It is likely they have prisoners. We must track them down and make them pay for this.’

Track them they did. The mounted Knights moved quickly along the obvious trail. After a couple of hours they came to a narrow ravine with trees and bushes on all sides. A clever ambush had been planned and the party would have rode strait into it if not for Laska Jendelle and her Dagger of Warning. Erupting out of the bushes came 6 hobgoblins. But before they could attack, Sir Bruce called out to parlay using his considerable diplomatic skills. Graldrog The Mighty made himself seen on a hilltop ahead astride an enormous owlbear. Graldrog and Sir Bruce began shouting back and forth and so began some negotiations. They found the hobgoblins felt the terms of their treaty with Oakhurst had been broken. They had warned Sir Mallory Marsdale and Mayor Thadius Moonsong that the logging was a personal affront to them and their territory yet it did not stop. Graldrog The Mighty was willing to talk but Sir Bruce found he had nothing of any real value to offer them. Clearly they were not going to stand down on the power of the treaty alone. The hobgoblins wanted gold that the party simply did not have, having spent all of their loot on gearing up.

So eventually the parlay broke down and Sir Bruce turned to Negotiations with a Longsword to make them see the error of their ways. Sir Bruce and Octavius spurred their warhorses forward and lowered their lances together making short work of the 6 hobgoblins barring their path forward. But 8 hobgoblin archers rained arrows down upon them from elevated positions at the top of the ravines on both sides of them. Their full plate armor protected them, but the hobgoblins proved to have the advantage of the terrain and seemed to be well trained and disciplined warriors, unlike the goblins Sir Bruce had fought before.

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Drow Ambush!
Arrival in Oakhurst

Following Lady Lymera’s Wand of Blight Detection, Octavius led the Knights of Tethyr out of The Village of Tommen on the Old King’s Road. The journeyed by horse past the ruins of the goblin caves where Sir Bruce had defeated Blort and his goblin host. The road led through the mountains and down into the heart of the Wealdath – the expansive forest in the northern reaches of the Kingdom of Tethyr.

One evening along the journey through The Wealdath, the party made camp along a stream and had a nice fire to cook their dinner. They split watch. Laska took the first watch, Sir Bruce the second, and Octavius the third. Laska’s watch passed uneventfully. But during Sir Bruce’s watch, Laska suddenly bolted awake along with Octavius. Laska’s Dagger of Warning had alerted them all of danger. A cloud of inky blackness appeared over the fire and everything went dark. But Sir Bruce drew forth Talon and called upon its power to light up the night sky. A brilliant bright 60 foot radius circle of light dispelled the darkness over the fire and lit up an area surrounding them revealing 7 dark elves, a shadow demon, and a yochol demon surrounding them and moving in to attack.

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Laska managed to slip away and hide in a small copse of trees. A drow priestess then unleashed a powerful flame strike spell. Sir Bruce and Octavius were engulfed in flame. The drow wizard followed up with a lightning bolt that crackled through Sir Bruce and Octavius. Both knights were hurt badly. The Shadow demon was flying in towards them when Sir Bruce held up his holy symbol of Tyr and invoked the power of his deity. The demon was turned. The holy power of the knight frightened it and it flew away off into the night as fast as it could away from the Sir Bruce.

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Octavius moved forward and with a mighty swing of TitanCleaver – The Green Scythe cut one of the drow women completely in half. The battle was brutal and long almost lasting a full minute. Four of the drow were lesser warriors but one of them was a powerful elite warrior who wielded two short swords with deadly precision. It also seemed that both of her blades were coated with a powerful drow poison that did extra damage.

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The leader seemed to be a powerful priestess of Loth. She wielded a scourge with 9 whips attached to base rod with sharp pieces of metal worked into the whip strands. The resulting lashes were very painful and seemed to be coated with a thick heavy poison as well.

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The wizard cast multiple lightning bolts and blight spells. The blight spell sucked the water and life out of its targets making them wither and die. She seemed unarmored but her mage armor and shield spells helped her defensively.

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The Yochol turned out to be one of the most formidable opponents. It was a demon that looked like a slimy pillar of yellow ooze. It lashed poisonous tentacles out of its body and had the ability to use its one central eye to dominate humanoids. Sir Bruce was attacked in such a way but the Paladin was immune to the charmed effect due to his faith in Tyr. So the power could not overcome him.

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The Yochol’s poisonous tenatacles attacks were too powerful for Octavius and the knight fell before the demon. Sir Bruce was able to get him back into the fight. But Laska fell before the Yochol as well when trying to keep the creature away from Octavius’ body. Laska was bleeding out when Octavius was presented with s difficult choice. He either had to try to get to her to save her or continue attacking. Unfortunately he realized he could not get to Laska in time and contuned to press the drow. Laska bled out and died failing her third and final death save.

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Finally the drow priestess fell before Octavius and thankfully the Yochol demon she had summoned vanished along with her death. The only drow left was the wizard who had cast a fly spell and was flying overhead trying to use a witchbolt spell. Finally she decided to fly awy and make her escape. Sir Bruce would have none of it, however. He hurled two javelins which brought the drow wizard down.

Sir Bruce ran over to Laska Jendelle and found her dead. He said a prayer to Tyr as he quickly rifled through his pack until he pulled out a spell scroll. He read the scroll over her body and waved his hands over her still form in prayer. The revivify spell could bring the dead back to life providing they had not been dead for very long. It was an advanced spell for Sir Bruce, however, and he had to really focus and pray to try and cast it. It was not a given that it would be successful.

The scroll crumbled to dust as Sir Bruce finished the spell. He and Octavius stared at Laska’s still form. The quite was unbearable when suddenly she sat bolt upright and and breathed a huge gasp of air. Laska was alive. She tanked Sir Bruce profusely and they went about the business of searching the drow ambush party for anything of interest.

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Using his Wand of Magic Detection, Sir Bruce found the the drow priestess was wearing enchanted scale mail that seemed to be fashioned out of spider silk. Likewise the elite warrior had enchanted studded leather armor made of the same silk like black material. Likewise the two short swords of the drow elite warrior and the scourge of the Drow Priestess were enchanted as well. Laska claimed the whip and the studded leather armor but the swords and the scale mail armor was put in the Heward’s Handy Haversack. Laska found the armor resized magically to fit her perfectly.

The drow priestess also had 3 pieces of parchment. Upon one was a drawing of Sir Bruce’s face with his full name written on the bottom in a strange language. That language turned out to be undercommon and it was able to be deciphered using the read languages spell. On the second was a rendering of Octavius’ face with his name upon it. The third was a drawing of the Captain’s Log for Captain Flense Shagath, the mind flayer captain of The Plundering Madness.

Sir Bruce and Octavius informed Laska about the mind flayer captain who had gotten away and that they had burned his ship to the ground and killed his crew. He was most likely seeking vengance for their actions against him by hiring this group of drow assassins to kill the Knights of Tethyr. They were puzzled by how the drow had tracked them down in the middle of the wilderness. However, they clearly had a powerful wizard and priestess in their ranks and could most likely use potent divination magics to aid their pursuit.

The rest of the evening went without incident and in the morning the Knights of Tethyr continued deeper into the Wealdath led by Octavius’s Wand of Blight Detection. The group began to emerge into large areas where the forest had been cleared and small family farms had been planted. Finally they rode into the small farming community of Oakhurst. The center of town had a collection of 5 buildings plus a large shrine. Laska noticed that her new drow whip and drow armor did not fare well in the direct sunlight. She found both items withered away to smoke in the light. It seemed drow armor and weapons were damaged and destroyed by sunlight.

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A grizzled dwarf smith was working the forge outside one of the buildings. The party approached him but he continued to pound his hammer into a piece of heated metal that slowly was staring to transform into a horseshoe. Sir Bruce introduced himself but the dwarf ignored him and continued to work and shape the metal. Octavious spoke up in the dwarven tongue saying a word of greetings. Immediately the dwarf stopped his work and looked at Octavius. They spoke in the dwarven language and gave introductions. The dwarf’s name was Rurik Lutgehr. He thanked Octavius for he had not had a chance to speak his native tongue in almost a year. Rurik told them that they had reached the town of Oakhurst.

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As Octavius spoke to the Rurik Lutgehr, Sir Bruce watched as young children played in the street, men worked the fields, old women carried water back to their farms for washing. One thing struck him as odd. Clearly most folk in this town were human or half elven but he couldn’t see any women between the age of 15 and 30. There were young girls and old women but no young women. Rurik Lutgehr told Octavius that he was the finest smith in Oakhurst and would be happy to make any weapons or armor they wanted for a decent price. He was busy filling a large order of wood cutters axes for a new logging operation that had come to town. Seems this new fellow in town by the name of Sir Mallory Marsdale is leading an expedition to get fresh pine lumber for ship making in Zazesspur, a Tethyrian city on the coast. Rurik Lutgehr thinks Sir Mallory is cutting in a very dangerous place and has gained the enmity of a war band of hobgoblins who live nearby. The dwarf referred the party to Constable Felosial Starsong, a half elven woman who is in charge of the town’s soldiers and jail.

Next the party visited the guardhouse and jail where they found Constable Felosial Starsong. She was an old and strong looking half elven woman with a very serious demeanor and no nonsense way about her.

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The meeting at the jail included introductions and news from the party about the latest goings on in The Village of Tommen including the new law in town – Warden Felicity Briarpatch. Felosial thanked them for the news and said she would have to visit with Felicity when things calmed down in Oakhurst. She was concerned by the new logging operations of Sir Mallory Marsdale’s expedition. She thinks they may have endangered the truce the the town had negotiated with the hobgoblin war band a year ago. She counts Oakhurst fortunate to have such notable and capable holy men. And asked you to speak with Mayor Thadius Moonsong. Perhaps there might be something you could do to help. She also referred a little more cryptically to some other problems the town is experiencing.

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Sir Darius Black Falls
Return to Twin Falls Keep

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During the battle of Graveth’s Fort, both Sir Bruce and Octavius had gone down under withering fire from powerful ballistas. Laska had just slipped out of the shadows to administer a potion of healing to Sir Bruce and get him back into the fight.

Sir Bruce healed himself as Laska took on Sir Darius Black and Faith Inhiri. When Bruce got up and back into the fight, she slipped out of combat and over to Octavius to bring him back up as well with one of his potions.

With all three back in the fight they were able to take out first Sir Darius Black. And then Faith Inhiri. When the Tiefling fell she exploded in a foul burst of necrotic energy. There were still 4 brigands manning the ballista towers. Laska took one of them out with a sneak attack shot from her heavy crossbow. Then she scaled the tower to take control of the ballista. It was already loaded. She fired it at one of the brigands across the compound and the ballista spear caught him in the chest and carried him clear off the tower to crumple to the earth below. Octavius did the same, climbing a tower to man a different ballista. When he got to the top, however, he found it had already been fired. Instead of reloading he fired his wand of magic missiles but the spell fizzled as the range was too far. It was a race to see who could load their ballista faster.

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Laska was hit by a ballista spear and went down before she could reload. Sir Bruce leaped up on Leadbelly and charged the tower of the final brigand as he took aim with his ballista. Sir Bruce knew he would not get close the distance in time to use his lance so he hurled two javelins. The first found purchase in the man’s leg and the second in his throat as he slumped down dead. Octavius made it to Laska before she bled out and used a healing spell to save her. Octavius grunted, ‘Glad you are back.’ She wiped the bloood from her mouth and smiled, ‘I guess we’re even huh?’ Octavius nodded grimly, ‘Yeah, I guess we are.’

Searching Graveth’s Fort they found the desk of Sir Darius Black. There were papers there documenting the supplies and men of the fort including details on attacks they had made against trade caravans and merchants as well as The Village of Tommen. There also seemed to be a link between the Devil Cult of Bressard Montaine and this group of outlaws in the form of Faith Inhiri who was influencing their decisions and tactics and reporting back to the cult.

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They also found 257 CP, 8560 SP, 1400 GP, 60 PP, 5 paintings worth 25 GP each, and box with 10 Emeralds worth 50 GP each. These emeralds were very similar to those the cult had given to the goblin chief Blort and others the cult had dealings with. The fallen Sir Darius Black carried Arrowbreaker – an enchanted shield that Sir Bruce claimed as his own.

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The Master Treasure List was updated with each of the three party members getting an equal share of the loot. The three took an extended rest, camping out at the Graveth’s Fort before heading back to The Village of Tommen.

Greeting them was Sir Bentley Dunlavey who asked for a report. He congratulated them on their victory and when learning that they planned to travel back to Twin Falls Keep, asked Sir Bruce to deliver a letter for him to his cousin Duchess Fiona Falconhand. They also checked in with Warden Felicity Briarpatch. She deputized a number of townsfolk to come to Graveth’s Fort with wagons and oxen. All of the weapons and armor and excess trade goods that had been stockpiled by the brigands were brought back to The Village of Tommen in order to aid in it’s defense. Warden Briarpatch asked Sir Bruce to check with Duke Eltan Falconhand as to the fate of Graveth’s Fort. There was a question as to whether it should be burned or garrisoned or simply left empty.

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The Knights of Tethyr travelled to Twin Falls Keep without incident. There they met with Duke Eltan Falconhand and Dame Claire Brinewind for an extensive debriefing. Sir Bruce held nothing back. He explained in exact detail all of the party’s adventures including the destruction of the devil cult run by Bressard Montaine, the liberation of the salt mine, and the fall of Sir Darius Black. Duke Eltan was quite impressed. After hearing of Sir Bentley Dunlavey’s rescue from almost certain death, Duke Eltan gave Sir Bruce a token of his appreciation. The Duke gifted upon him Ironbiter. The mighty enchanted lance had been in the Dunlavey family for generations and was given to the Duke upon his wedding to Sir Bentley’s cousin, Fionna. The Duke thought it only fitting that such a family heirloom should be bestowed upon the man who saved Sir Bentley’s life. The Duke also decreed that Warden Felicity Briarpatch should assemble and train a force to occupy and hold Graveth’s Fort so that it would not fall into evil hands again. He gave Sir Bruce a chest of gold to deliver to Felicity to help see to the needs of the garrison to be.

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Later that evening The Knights of Tethyr dined with Duke Eltan Falconhand, his wife the Duchess Fiona Falconhand, and her long time friend Lady Lymera. Over dinner, the noble hosts were once again regaled in the stories of the knight’s adventures. Lady Lymera remarked on how the plant samples Sir Bruce had delivered had proven to be quite interesting indeed and wanted to speak further to them about it in the morning in her lab.

The next morning Lady Lymera explained that the samples Sir Bruce had provided her from his encounter with the evil tree had proved most troubling. The tree that Sir Bruce had destroyed was in fact the progeny of an ancient and storied tree of evil known as The Gulthias Tree. Legends tell of a vampire named Gulthias who worked terrible magic and raised an abominable tower named NightFang Spire. Gulthias was undone when a hero plunged a wooden stake through his heart. But as the vampire was destroyed his blood fused with the stake with a dreadful power. In time, tendrils of new growth sprouted from the wood, growing into a sapling infused with the Vampire’s evil essence. From this Gulthias Tree came the seeds from which the first blights were sown.

Seeds from the original Gulthias Tree grow into smaller versions of the original tree and can take root and pollute a forest with evil. They attract other evil creatures such as spiders, evil fey, and undead. And from these saplings grow the blights. Twisted plant like creatures that are evil and thirst for blood.

From the samples of the Gulthias Tree, Lady Lymera was able to craft a magical wand. This wand can be used to direct the wielder in the correct direction to get closer to the ancient original Gulthias Tree, the source of all its evil. Lady Lymera has asked that this source be found and destroyed. Sir Bruce with the assistance of Lady Lymera sent magical word to his superiors in the The Order of the Silver Owl. They agreed that this evil should be sought out and destroyed and confirmed that Sir Bruce follow Lady Lymera’s quest.

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Lady Lymera also shared that she would use her skill in the arcane arts to aid their quest. She offered to craft magic items for them in exchange for gold to help her replenish her reagents and components. Sir Bruce spent 5,000 GP on a Javelin +2. Octavius purchased a Necklace of Prayer Beads for 5,000 GP ( with 400 GP of help from Sir Bruce), Octavius traded the arcane spell scrolls of lightning bolt, magic missile, and invisibility for a Ring of Swimming, and Laska purchased Dagger of Warning for 500 GP and Rapier + 1 for 500 GP.

The next day the Knights of Tethyr set out from Twin Falls Keep and traveled back to t The Village of Tommen. There they met with Warden Felicity Briarpatch to deliver the Duke’s decree that she was to assemble and train a force of guards to man Graveth’s Fort to protect the Old King’s Road between Tommen and Twin Falls Keep. The Knights gave Felicity the chest of gold entrusted to them from the Duke to help pay for the garrison. With the limited funds he had left, Sir Bruce purchased two potions of Greater Healing for 250 GP each. He gave one to Laska and 1 to Octavius . The Master Treasure List was updated.

Sir Bruce gifted his trusty war hose Leadbelly to Kip Briarpatch on the promise that he would take good care of him. And then Sir Bruce cast the summon steed spell. A powerful destrier suddenly ran out of the woods to come to Sir Bruce’s side. Sir Bruce gave him an apple and the two were immediately the best of friends. Sir Bruce saddled him up and the Knights of Tethyr rode out of Tommen.

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Enter Laska
On to Graveth's Fort

Sir Bruce and Octavius moved swiftly. They had not fully explored the entire complex but they were too badly wounded. Their chief priority was to free Sir Bentley Dunlavey and the human woman from the altars they were chained to. The cold black iron manacles glowed with red infernal runes and were attached to the stone altars. Octavius produced the silver key found on the person of Bressard Montaine. They key fit the lock of the manacles and freed both prisoners. They appeared alive and unhurt but were still unconscious and non-responsive. So Sir Bruce picked up Sir Bentley Dunlavey and fireman carried him towards the door. Octavius did the same with the human woman.

They closed the doors as they went, leaving the temple sealed as they passed through the teleportation circle arriving safely back in Bressard Montaine’s observatory in The Village of Tommen. It was just as they had left it – deserted. Fearing that more prisoners may have been in the unexplored sections of the temple, the knights bound what wounds they could and prepared to return. But first they carried Sir Bentley and the human woman to The Standing Stones to leave them in the care of Felicity Briarpatch. There they found the entire Briarpatch family reunited at last.

Sir Bruce and Octavius went back into the devil cult temple and fully explored it. They found that they had defeated all of the cultists and their guardians. All that remained was the personal bedrooms of Bressard Montaine and Warden Duthane.

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They found many incriminating documents on a desk in Bressard’s room. They described various plots and day to day activities of the cult. Sir Bruce packed them carefully in his satchel. In Warden Duthane’s room they found a horrible sight. Desta Triss was chained to Duthane’s bed. Rashid Al-Hassan was in a large cage and had clearly been severely beaten so badly he was barely conscious. Both were freed and brought safely back to The Village of Tommen. Leaving Rashid and Desta with Felicity Briarpatch, Sir Bruce and Octavius went to The End of the Road Inn for a special meeting of the town council convened by Sir Bentley Dunlavey.

The large common room at the inn had been cleared and all the tables put together to form a huge meeting space. In attendance were council members Karn Miller, Louisa Little, Orion Endar, Raquel Richards, Tabitha Jensen, and the newly liberated Sir Bentley Dunlavey. Also in attendance was the freed prisoner Laska Jendelle. Sir Bruce began the proceedings by describing what they had seen at the devil cult and presenting various journals and written documents written by Bressard Montaine implicating both Bressard and Warden Duthane in the cult. Together they had kidnapped citizens of the town including Sir Bentley Dunlavey, Lawrence Briarpatch, and Rachel Briarpatch. Laska Jendelle also testified explaining that she was a member of a trade delegation from Sembia who was interested in bringing Tommen Salt to the city of Saerloon. They were attacked in the salt mine by the trolls and the devil Skarloch. Sir Bentley also described his harrowing experience of rallying the miners to try and protect his investment in the property only to be cut down by the grimlocks and trolls in the dark. Both told of their imprisonment and inevitable sacrifice in an infernal rite were it not for the valiant efforts of Sir Bruce and Octavius to save them.

Many questions were asked an answered. The Council thanked Sir Bruce and Octavius for their help. They offered them joint ownership of Warden Duthane’s old house. The two nights accepted the gift and now use it as a base of operations while staying in The Village of Tommen. With Duthane dead, the town needed a new warden. The council offered the job to Sir Bruce but the knight kindly declined explaining that he had to follow Tyr’s will and go where he was needed which may or may not be Tommen in the future. Sir Bruce artfully suggested that Felicity Briarpatch be given the mantle of warden. After some discussion, it was unanimously agreed to. Felcity was offered the job and she graciously accepted.

Sir Bruce asked that Persephone Montaine be brought before the council. She was and Sir Bruce asked permission to cast a zone of truth spell. The spell would not allow those within its area to tell a lie. The Sir Bruce questioned Persephone Montaine about her involvement with the cult. She denied any knowledge of it or any knowledge of her father’s involvement or that of Warden Duthane. Sir Bruce also asked his questions of Laska Jendelle when hearing her story while in the zone of truth. However, Laska made her save against the spell and was not affected. But none in attendance doubted the veracity of her claims.

Sir Bruce asked the council about Sir Darius Black and his men at Graveth’s Fort. All agreed they were criminals – highwaymen who had stolen Raquel Richards’ cattle and attacked many travellers seen first hand by Tabitha Jensen. It was agreed by the council that Sir Bruce and Octavius should destroy graveth’s fort and bring Sir Darius Black to justice.

It was decided by the council that all of Bressard Montaine’s property and possessions would pass to his daughter Persephone Montaine. Sir Bruce and Octavius were to have joint ownership of the Duthane property. Felicity Briarpatch was to be the new Warden of Tommen. And the two knight’s were granted permission to bring justice to Sir Darius Black.

After the proceedings were complete, Laska Jendelle approached the knights. Her employment with the trade coster from Sembia had ended with the death of the rest of the trade delegation. She owed the two knight’s her life so she offered to join their adventuring company as an equal member. She had many skills. She was well trained in combat arts, stealth, and negotiation. In exchange for her services she would be entitled to keep 1/3 of any treasure found on their adventures. The two knights agreed to the terms and Laska Jendelle became a member of the party.

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Sir Bruce and Octavius spent some time resting at their new house and invited Laska Jendelle to stay in the guest room. They discussed their plans to attack Graveth’s Fort and bring justice to Sir Darius Black. They took the time to look over the treasure they had won in Lady Fierna’s temple. The wand was black with a crystal shard tied to the end with strips of leather. It was determined to be a wand of magic detection. Bressard Montaine’s iron staff adorned with emeralds was not magical other than it was a focus for his warlock spells. A chest containing 400 emeralds worth 10 GP each were nonmagical. The golden amulet, however, was an Amulet of Health – a rare item requiring attunement that granted its wearer a 19 CON. The silver helmet was a Helm of Comprehending Languages. The Golden Ring worn by Bressard was a Ring of Spell Storing -a rare item requiring attunement.

Later the party visited Felicity Briarpatch and congratulated her on her new position as town warden. In order to prepare for their assault on Graveth’s Fort, Sir Bruce purchased the following potions from Felicity: 4 anti-toxins (2 each),* fire breath* (Bruce), climbing (Octavius), fire resistance (Bruce), necrotic resistance (Octavius), and lightning resistance (Octavius). The total spent was 1300 GP. Felicity also thanked them for the return of her parents by brewing two greater healing potions and giving Sir Bruce and Octavius each one of the potions as a gift. The Master Treasure List was updated.

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The party visited the Salt Mine and met with Jarik Goth. He showed them that his improvements to the mine were finally all coming together. The magical gate the underdark was still sealed off as he had promised. A thick 5 foot stone wall and two locked iron doors sealed it off from the rest of the mines. Goth insisted that 3 guards had been on watch at the doors the entire time the knights had been gone and that nothing had some through those doors. Sir Bruce bid the dwarf to open the doors. He did so and they found the gate just as they had left it. After some debate, the Knights and Laska agreed to destroy the gate. They had Jarik Goth summon some of his miners with pick axes to smash the ring of stone forming the gate. Once the magic circle was broken, the magic faded away and the gate was sealed.

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Sir Bruce and Octavius did something similar in the observatory, prying up the wooden boards upon which the magic circle had been laid. In so doing that magic circle was also destroyed and its magic faded away, sealing the evil devil temple off from the observatory.

Sir Bruce purchased a high quality riding horse for Laska Jendelle for the sum of 75 GP in town. Laska was fully geared up with armor, weapons – including a whip, rapier, and heavy vrossbow she had claimed from Bressard Montaine’s armory in the observatory. Fully rested and healed, everyone mounted up. Octavius frowned and said in his gravelly deep voice, ‘BlackSir Darius Black must pay his debt to Hoar.’ Each of the knights nodded and rode off towards Graveth’s Fort.

The plan began perfectly. Under cover of darkness Octavius hid in a copse of trees overlooking the fort to the north, close to the northeast guard tower. Laska Jendelle rode her horse right up to the main gate. She was hailed by the guards and asked to state her business. She said that she wanted to join up with them. She told them quite a convincing story of how she was down on her luck, interested in coin, and extremely well trained in combat. Sir Bruce, following on the road behind Laska in the darkness, was impressed by the woman’s guile and charisma. She was quite well spoken and had an unsettling command of language and speechcraft.

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The guards opened the western gate and as it creaked open, Sir Bruce spurred Leadbelly into action. He burst through the door and rode down the gatesman, trampling him beneath the thundering hooves of his heavy warhorse. Laska Jendelle followed Bruce swiftly through the gate and then leaped off her horse to roll into the shadows at the foot of the stairs leading to the gatehouse and vanished into the darkness. Octavius heard the commotion and sprung into action. He quaffed the Potion of Climbing. and ran down the hill to the base of the tower.

Each tower had a manned ballista. There were 7 in all. The one guard on the northeast tower saw Octavius running out of the woods and fired at him but missed the mark. The other 6 trained their ballista at Sir Bruce. One fired at his horse and the 5 at the knight himself. Sir Bruce used his shield to protect Leadbelly, but had badly misjudged the range and power of the ballista. The huge siege weapons fired spear sized bolts with deadly accuracy to damage him greatly. The onslaught was difficult indeed. Sir Bruce was badly wounded and bloodied.

Sir Bruce yelled out to his comrades to take out the ballista towers as men began to run out of tents to see what was happening. Octavius did just that climbing right up the side of the tower thanks to his potion as the bandit fought furiously with his ballista to reload it. Just as he finished he looked up to find Octavius and saw him standing over him, TitanCleaver – The Green Scythe held high. The huge axe swiftly descended as Octavius leaped down onto the tower floor cutting the man through his chain mail armor cleanly in half. Octavius smiled grimly and swung the loaded ballista around towards the inside of the compound.

Meanwhile the guard at the main gate reloaded his ballista and began sighting it on Sir Bruce when a whip cracked out of the darkness and lashed around his neck. There was a sickening snapping sound as the whip was yanked back. The man’s head hung limp and his body crumpled down off the tower. A lithe shadowy form climbed up the ladder and kicked the fire brazier off the top of the tower in a shower of sparks and plunged the top of the tower in darkness. Then suddenly a deadly thwap was heard as a huge bolt from the ballista flew out of the darkness of the tower to impale another of the tower guards on the other side of the compound. With a satisfying thwack the huge spear like bolt flew through the air and caught the highwayman full in the chest picking him up and launching him into the air and off the wall of the the fort with a terrible scream.

Bandits and highwaymen began to rally and move towards Sir Bruce. The knight had dismounted seeking cover behind a building. He fought hard swinging Talon with bold strokes and hewing his enemies like wheat. But they kept coming and the devastating ballista fire kept coming as well. Sir Darius Black and his second in command Sir Merril Redgrave got to their horses and mounted up. Sir Merril charged Sir Bruce with his lance and delivered a nasty blow. A mysterious female figure emerged from a tent to join the battle. She was clearly a Tiefling woman with horns and green hair. Faith Inhiri was her name and she called upon the power of Lady Fierna creating a swirling maelstrom of black energy around her.

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Octavius took a bead on Faith Inhiri and gently stroked the trigger. The ballista tore through the swirling maelstrom to greatly injure the Tiefling. Not wanting to reload the ballista, Octavius slid down the ladder to join the fray in melee. He cut through bandits and used a Potion of Necrotic Resistance as he pressed the attack on Faith Inhiri. As he cut into her he felt the dark magics of the maelstrom surrounding her eat away at his soul. But the necrotic damage was partially resisted through the magic of the potion. But suddenly 2 ballista bolts tore into his hip and his shoulder. Sir Darius Black laid into him as well with some mighty blows. And suddenly Octavius Mort went down.

Sir Bruce was hard pressed he had healed himself but the onslaught was too great. He was trying to fight his way to the side of Octavius but he knew he would not make it. There were too many men between him and his friend. But Sir Bruce gritted his teeth and put his head down. In an act of desperation he drew forth Inferno – The Spear of Immolation and let loose a ball of fire. The huge ball of flame lit up the night sky. The bandits screamed as 5 foot soldiers and Sir Merril Redgrave fell to the ground as charred corpses. Sir Darius Black and Faith Inhiri were badly burned and bloodied but still alive.

Sir Bruce ran towards them but 2 ballista bolts caught him in the back and he staggered forward. The mighty knight fell to one knee and then completely collapsed and everything went dark.

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Sir Bruce felt a sweet warm liquid in his throat. He just had his own potion of greater healing poured down his throat. The darkness faded away and Sir Bruce found himself lying on his back on the ground with Talon still clenched tightly in his mailed fist. He opened his eyes and looked straight up at the crotch of Laska’s leather pants as she stood over Sir Bruce with her short sword in one hand and whip in the other brandishing them menacingly. When he realized what he was looking at, Sir Bruce blushed. Laska Jendelle looked down at the knight between her legs and winked. She smiled and said, ‘Come now Sir Bruce, no lying down on the job. There are brigands to slay. Get yourself up and back into the fray.’

Sir Bruce looked around quickly and saw Sir Darius Black and Faith Inhiri, the tiefling woman, still standing 10 feet away. Four of the ballista towers were still manned. Each ballista was loaded and ready to fire. Octavius and Max were still down.

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Ending the Devil Cult Leadership

Sir Bruce and Octavius opened a large double doors using the emerald pentagram necklace recovered from Adrick Demolith. Beyond the door they saw a huge room with 10 foot wide and 10 foot high raised walkway ringing a large open area with a sandy floor. Four stone altars were in each of the four corners of the room. A humanoid figure was chained to each altar. Three figures stood around the northeast altar. An immense six armed stone statue of Lady Fierna dominated the center of the room. Each of her six arms wielded a different weapon in a menacing fashion – a war hammer, mace, broadsword, flail, longsword, and battle axe. On the far side of the room on a raised balcony were four figures seated in chairs looking down at what has happening below.

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Upon the northwest altar laid an older human man in richly decorated garb. From the heraldry upon his tunic, Sir Bruce instantly recognized the man as Sir Bentley Dunlavey. He was not moving but had no recognizable wounds upon him. The shackles securing him to the altar were cold iron and had red glowing runes scribed into them. Upon the southwest altar was a young human woman wearing black leather pants and a red shirt with an exposed midriff in the style of Sembia. She was also chained in the strange glowing shackles and was not moving. But she too looked alive with no apparent wounds. The human on the southeast altar clearly did not fair as well. The human man in plate armor had his head cleanly severed at the neck. Blood was pouring out of his body, funneled down the altar and collecting in a large brass vessel. Another human man who looked quite dead was on the northeast altar. Two female tiefling cultists Estaria and Lilith had carefully removed the man’s heart, performed some foul ritual upon it, and were in the process of sewing it back into his chest cavity. Behind them, Elphaba, an erinyes devil, stretched her feathered wings expectantly. She was well armored with black platemail and well armed with a longbow and longsword.

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Up in the balcony was sitting one new face three very familiar faces. Bressard Montaine sat on a throne like chair on a raised dais with a commanding view of the room. Warden Duthane sat to his right staring intently. To Bressard’s left was a new face – that of High Inquisitor Valarian, a human male wearing a devil cult mask. And to his left was seated the salt encrusted Devil Skarloch. Sir Bruce strode boldly into the room and called out, ‘This ends here, Bressard. There is no escape for any of you.’

Bressard Montaine narrowed his eyebrows and said:

So you survived the Gauntlet of Death I had laid before you. Pity… You would have been a fine addition to Adrick’s collection. Now it seems I shall have to add him to it. Fitting end for that crazy bastard I suppose. Sir Bruce, you have arrived just in time to save Sir Bentley Dunlavey or most likely die trying. But must it really come to that? You have proven yourself to be most capable. Most capable indeed. Remember looking through my telescope? Stare into the heavens for too long and you feel them staring back. They whisper infernal secrets for those with keen enough ears to hear. Cast off the shackles of Tyr and Hoar. They ask too much of you and give so very little in return. My Lady Fierna gives me so much… If you only knew the pow-er…

Sir Bruce resolutely replied, ‘I would never join you. You have sold your soul to devils and done unspeakable things. Tyr’s justice has found you out and you will pay for your wrongdoings.’ With that he quaffed a Potion of Speed and Octavius quaffed a Potion of Invulnerability.

Bressard Montaine shook his head and frowned even deeper, ‘You men of faith are such a waste.’ He turned his gaze to Estaria, Lilith, and Elphaba below and said, ‘Kill them both and bring me their heads.’

Elphaba unfurled her wings and launched into the air. She flew up and over the statue and landed about 30 feet from Sir Bruce. She unslung her bow and fired an arrow dripping with poison at Sir Bruce. but the knight raised his shield just in time to deflect the arrow out of harms way. Estaria moved closer and cast a hold person spell on Octavius. The knight was captivated by her evil beauty. Octavius could do nothing but stand and stare at her. All thoughts of combat left him. Lilith also moved forward and cast a spell. She commanded Sir Bruce to grovel before her. But Sir Bruce was too strong willed. He resisted her spell and moved forward to engage Elphaba. With a big swing of Talon, he cut into one of her wings.

Bressard Montaine then turned to High Inquisitor Valarian and commanded him to unleash the Statue of Lady Fierna. Valarian drew a rod out of his robes and began manipulating it. The huge stone statue of Lady Fierna in the center of the room then lurched into motion. The statues six arms each held a different weapon and one by one they began to swing down and attack Sir Bruce. The war hammer crackled with lightning, the mace ebbed with necrotic energy, the broadsword blazed with fire, the flail dripped with poison, the longsword whispered with cold, and the battle axe sizzled with acid. Each round one of the weapons crashed down to attack Sir Bruce from on high, but each time he was able to deflect them with his shield while continuing to fight Elphaba mono a mono. Estaria and Lilith continued to hurl spells at Sir Bruce as well but his resolution was absolute and he did not succumb to them.

Sir Bruce commanded Max to enter the frey and occupy the two tieflings. He admirably drawing some attacks away from the knight and even biting one of the cultists. After two round Octavius finally broke the hold person spell which had him fixed in place and out of the fight. He responded by moving swiftly to Sir Bruce’s side and helped him with the Eryines Devil Elphaba. Sir Bruce read a spell scroll of bless providing holy guidance to the two knight’s attacks and saves. Guided by the heavens above, with two mighty blows from TitanCleaver – The Green Scythe, Octavius laid the fiend Elphaba low.

Skarloch cast a spell and bathed the area surrounding the knights in darkness. The devils with their infernal site were able to see through the magical darkness. But it only lasted a short while as Sir Bruce called on the power of Talon to emit a bright light that pierced the darkness and illuminated the room once more. With Elphaba slain and his darkness thwarted, Skarloch stopped laughing and teleported down into the battle. With a wave of his hand a salt encrusted viscous scimitar appeared in his scaly hand. He cut wickedly into Octavius. The infernal wounds from the fiendish blade were even more painful and could not be healed by magic.

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Warden Duthane stood up from his chair and took out a crossbow. He began raining bolts down upon the knights and he moved along the height of the walkway that surrounded the room. Likewise Bressard Montaine moved along the other side of the room along the walkway and cast spell after spell upon the knights of tethyr. The first was a deadly contagion spell unleashing a slimy doom disease upon the knights that would have caused them to bleed uncontrollably and stun them but the paladin virtues of both knights protected them. Their immunity to disease completely negated the spell’s effectiveness against them. Frustrated, Bressard Montaine tried another of his most powerful spells – harm. But it too relied on disease being the vector of damage so it too failed to hurt the two paladins. He finally resorted to an eldricth blast which proved quite effective. He leveled his iron staff adorned with emeralds at Sir Bruce and unleashed the spell which smashed into the knight with magical force.

The battle raged on with both Skarloch and Lilith falling before the wrath of the enchanted knights. Octavius’ invulnerability from the potion he took proved incredibly valuable as he soaked up massive amounts of damage. Sir Bruce’s speed granted him extra attacks that he used very effectively with a slashing Talon. Max managed to stay in the fight incredibly despite being bathed in flames by Estaria and smashed by her mace. With the battle turning against them, Bressard Montaine ordered Warden Duthane to press the attack. Duthane leaped down into the sandy floor of the room and charged forward with his greatsword. He hurt Sir Bruce badly forcing him to heal himself after the onslaught.

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Soon Estaria fell and then even Warden Duthane could not withstand the onslaught of the Knights of Tethyr. Bressard Montaine grew concerned he moved towards one of the exits as Sir Bruce leaped up and grabbed the edge of the walkway and hauled himself up to the balcony. High Inquisitor Valarian bought Bressard some time as he got in the way of Sir Bruce to try and slow him down. But Sir Bruce was still incredibly fast. With three swift strikes High Inquisitor Valarian fell before him as Bressard fled through a door and down a flight of stairs.

Sir Bruce, Max, and Octavius were in high pursuit running down the stairs after Bressard Montaine when the warlock unleashed a lightning bolt up the narrow staircase. The damage was too much for Sir Bruce and Max. Both fell down onto the stairs bleeding out. But Octavius having just previously healed himself sustained the damage from the lighting bolt and pressed the attack.

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Octavius caught Bressard Montaine at another door and unleashed a flurry of attacks. He cut deeply into the warlock but found himself engulfed in flames from a hellish rebuke and then frozen by Bressard’s Armor of Agthys. Bressard was fumbling with his pendant trying to open the next door to escape. Octavius looked worriedly at Max and Sir Bruce. Max had seemed to stabilize and was simply unconscious but Sir Bruce was in a bad way. He had failed 2 death saves and was bleeding out. Octavius looked back and forth. His choice was clear. Bressard was severely wounded and most likely could not withstand another round of attacks from Octavius but one more failed save and Sir Bruce was dead. Octavius cursed Bressard under his breath and said, ‘this is not over…’ He then ran over and gave Sir Bruce a Potion of Greater Healing to get him back in the fight.

Bressard laughed as he opened the door and ran into the next room calling out ‘Althea Hope protect me I must summon Lucien’ Octavius and Sir Bruce rushed into the room to find two female tiefling cultists blocking their way and in the background Bressard Montaine chanting at a summoning circle. Octavius moved forward and tried to hack his way through to Bressard to stop him but could not get past the tieflings. The Sir Bruce leaped over a desk and chair and as he came down brought Talon down in a wide arc to cut deep with a critical hit into Bressard’s shoulder like in Rob Roy’s final duel. Bressard crumpled to his knees and expired.

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But Bressard smiled as he watched with his dying breath his tiefling disciple Hope Despara step into the summoning circle and slit her own throat to complete the summoning. With an infernal roar a winged black horned devil stepped out of the summoning circle. It raised its burning pitchfork and attacked with it twice and its tail twice. From great triumph loomed despair as Lucien, the horned devil pressed the attack.

Octavius pulled out all the stops swinging TitanCleaver – The Green Scythe as hard as he could. He hurt the horned devil badly and got its attention immediately. The wrath of the creature was mighty indeed. Sir Bruce felled Althea Dursley and turned to help Octavius battle Lucien.

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With a powerful thrust Lucien’s flaming fork went clear through Octavius’ chest. He crumpled to the ground before Sir Bruce who fought bravely on but knew he alone would not be able to defeat Lucien. So Sir Bruce used a healing potion on Octavius and brought him back into the fight. Again the battle raged on with Octavius laying some more powerful hits on Lucien. But this time Octavius was struck by the devil’s tail. The scaly tail wrapped around the knight and began constricting him so tightly that it literally squeezed the life out of Octavius. As Octavius fell to the ground having gone down for a second time, Sir Bruce took a wild swing and made a critical hit (the 4th one of the battle).

As Lucien glowered over the fallen body of Octavius, he shuddered for a moment and looked down at his chest. The tip of a fey blade had emerged. Sir Bruce then twisted Talon free in a shower of gore and the Lucien crumpled to the ground dead.

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Sir Bruce went down on one knee and took a deep breath. He looked over to Octavius and saw that he was still alive. He used a potion of healing to bring him to consciousness. Both knights looked at each other and slowly surveyed the carnage. They both said silent prayers to their deities as they could not believe they had made it through this devil worshiping temple alive. It was an incredible feat indeed with such powerful enemies arrayed against them.

The knights quickly searched the bodies and the rooms they had just been in. In the summoning room they found a chest containing what looked like a wand of some kind. It was black with a crystal shard tied to the end with strips of leather. Bressard Montaine had his iron staff adorned with emeralds on his person as well as a very ornate looking ring and a silver key. He was also wearing a cold iron pentagram with an emerald stone in the center similar to the one worn by Adrick Demolith. In the adjacent bedroom was another chest containing 400 emeralds worth 10 GP each, an golden amulet, and a silver helmet.

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Battle of The Collection Room

The Knights of Tethyr were squared off against male human cultist Adrick Demolith and his fellow female Tiefling cultists Svatlana Sharn and Delista Mohn. A huge Barbed Devil named Gollarach was also protecting the room. Adrick’s familiar, the imp Telmik, was also in the room although he was mostly invisible and difficult to spot.

Each round on his turn Adrick Demolith was manipulating some sort of controls of an arcane device on a raised dais connected to a machine. The machine was pumping green liquid into one side of a dead human woman’s body and pumping out a blue liquid on the other side and collecting it in vials. Adrick would pull a lever and one of the blue vials would drain away and the stone pillars attached to the dais would glow with infernal runes. Pink liquid would then pour out of the pillars in 4 streams. Each stream formed into a grotesque pink devilish creature called a Lemure. The Lemures looked like pink blobs with roughly humanoid features like a head and claws. Each round for 3 rounds Adrick brought 4 more lemures into the room in this manner from the machine creating 12 in all. The lemures were easy to hit and had few hit points but a round after they went down their hellish rejuvenation would bring them back up to full strength. So they were difficult to deal with.

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Svatlana Sharn was the first of the female tiefling cultists to be seen. She had four horns coming out of her head and had been working on something in the adjacent eastern room that had left her face and robes splattered in blood. Later the party searched the room and found a number of posed dead preserved creatures. These specimens were clearly part of the collection and included a cockatrice, a mind flayer, a hobgoblin, and a freshly killed unicorn. It seemed most likely that Svatlana had been covered in unicorn blood.

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The other female tielfing entered the room a round into the battle. Delista Mohn came into the room from the western door. She carried with her a huge chalice filled with some sort of blood. She took a large drought from it before entering the battle and laughed as the blood dripped down her chin and onto her cleavage. The room was later searched and found a strange coffin like metal tank containing the body of a human man with his face quite visible through a pane of glass in the tank. Some sort of machine was pumping liquid out of the tank and filling a large vat which is where the knights believed Delista had filled her chalice.

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All three cultists had a number of spells at their disposal which they repeatedly cast upon the knights. Hold person, inflict wounds, sacred flame, and command were most often employed. But wisdom and a good deal of luck was on the side of the knights on this day and they were able to shake off most of the effects and not fall prey to the fell infernal magic. Sir Bruce was able to use his channel divinity to call on the power of Tyr to Turn the Unholy on the fiends in the room. Four of the Lemures and Telmik were frightened by the power of Tyr and ran away from Sir Bruce. They were unable to fight and only came back into the fight 10 rounds later after a minute had passed and the duration of the turn was up. Octavius used his different Chanel Divinity Power to speak a prayer of denouncement upon Gollarach. This abjured the enemy fixing him in his spot and not allowing him to move and also overcoming him with fear. In this frightened state Gollarach could still fight but all his attacks were at disadvantage. So for most of the battle he wound up hurling flame at Octavius or Sir Bruce. This really helped keep many of the devils at bay and was a key to The Knights of Tethyr Victory. Sir Bruce also knew well that these devils were all immune to fire, but the human and tielfing cultists were not. He blew up two fireballs from Inferno – The Spear of Immolation that played a major role in slaying the cultists.

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After each fireball went off, Adrick Demolith was badly burned and hurt but he jumped off the dais to the part of the machine with the green liquid filled glass tubes. He pulled the tubing off of the machine and drank the green liquid. As he did so, Adrick’s wounds vanished. It appeared that the liquid had powerful healing properties. Sir Bruce’s armor and shield had protected him from most killing blows as he was swarmed by the lemures and bathed in flame by the cultists and Gollarach. But his wounds had added up. When Sir Bruce finally attacked Gollarach head on, he released him from his frightened state of abjurement brought on by Octavius’ channel divinity. Free from the effect, Gollarach unleashed his full complement of attacks. A claw, claw, spiked tail triple attack that laid Sir Bruce low. Octavius bravely filled the breach and fought Gollarach toe to toe while standing over Sir Bruce’s body which was rapidly bleeding out.

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Octavius fought bravely and cut deep into Gollarach with TitanCleaver – The Green Scythe. But with Sir Bruce down and the duration of his turn the unholy completed, the invisible Telmik finally appeared behind Octavius and drove his poisoned stinger right into the back of the brave knight. As the poison coursed though his body, Octavius continued to press the attack against Gollarach thinking his only chance was to cut down the creature before it could do any more harm. Max also helped by moving into a flanking position behind Gollarach and giving Octavius advantage on his attacks. Max himself was able to sink his teeth into the devil and drag him off his feet. But Gollarach got up quickly and after some additional hits, Octavius’ wounds were too great. So he decided to bring Sir Bruce back into the fight by pouring a healing potion down his throat.

Sir Bruce got up and delivered two definitive blows the Gollarach finally laying him low. Octavius cut down the imp Telmik but there were still the 4 lemures to deal with who had previously fled the fight after being turned by Sir Bruce. After trading some blows, they too were destroyed.

With the battle won, the Knights of Tethyr searched the Collection Room. There they found a macabre collection of dead bodies lovingly and beautifully preserved. A troll, mer folk, hobgoblin, pig, wolf, cockatrice, mind flayer, dryad, and many more strange creatures were part of the collection. They were posed in different positions and looked like they were alive. But they were cold and dead. The Knights shook their heads. The diabolical machine connected to the corpse of the human woman had healed Adrick Demolith when he had drank from it. Sir Bruce sniffed at it and taste a bit on his tongue. It tasted very much like a potion of healing but even stronger. He hesitated for a moment gazing upon the ravaged corpse of the human woman attached to the machine but then drank from the tube. He felt his strength return as all of his wounds vanished. Octavius followed suite and with all of their wounds healed, they filled 4 empty potion bottle with the remaining blue liquid. This resulted in 2 potions of greater healing for each Knight.

In a library section of the room there were all manner of books about devils, summoning, preserving bodies, potion making, and other works. There was also a special section which included a book describing each creature in the collection, who they were and where they were from. A complete history of how the creature had come to be in the Collection. Mixed in with the many potions of components and reagents, the Knights found the following potions: invulnerability, longevity, and speed. Some spell scrolls were also recovered including scrolls of bless, command, zone of truth, lesser restoration, remove curse, and revivify. The Master Treasure List was updated.

At full strength and knowing time was of the essence if they were to have a chance of saving any more of the prisoners especially Sir Bentley Dunlavey, who Blix had said had just been removed from the prison, the two knights decided not to take any rest but to press on. Adrick Demolith, Delista Mohn, and Svatlana Sharn were each wearing a cold black iron pentagram necklace with an emerald in the center. The knights hoped this would open one of both of the final two doors in the main chamber.

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The Redemption of Godrick
Don't Become a Part of the Collection

The Knights of Tethyr continued their exploration of the devil cult temple. The next room was a large prison with cold iron cages, chains hanging from the ceilings, hooks, manacles on the walls, two racks, and a door on the other side of the room. As the knights walked down the hallway towards the room Sir Bruce’s sword Talon shed a brilliant light that illuminated their path. They could see a human body stretched out on the rack. Two other humans in cages – a man and woman who looked either unconscious or dead. And a small goblin was in the closet cage. The goblin whispered to Sir Bruce:

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Psst.. Careful… Careful… One more step and they will know you are here. You can’t see them but they are there. Please you must free me. Some stupid knight killed Blort so they don’t need me anymore. They are going to give me to Adrick. I don’t want to be part of the collection. I am Blix. Please let me go. I will do anything. I will tell you secrets… I know secrets…

He warned them of the evil that lurked in the room. Sir Bruce wanted to ignore him, but Octavius parlayed with Blix and bartered what information he could including the following:

1. This prison is guarded by 2 powerful beings: Godrick and Barakas
Godricksad… so sadThey make him do things he doesn’t want to do. Powerful magic he has and a fiery sword. I fear Godrick more than Barakas but both are deadly opponents.

BarakasA devil who wraps himself in chains. He makes the chains come alive. Don’t look at his face… never look at his face.

2. The Two Human Prisoners – The two humans are from The Village of Tommen. They are some of the last prisoners left alive . They just took Dunlavey. He seemed important but I doubt he’s still alive. They do terrible things to folk down here. I don’t understand it. I just want to leave.

3. Blix – Son of the Goblin Chief Blort
Blort made a deal with Warden Duthane. Pretty emeralds in exchange for keeping some pretty human girl captive. She was not to be touched or harmed though. I was taken as a hostage to keep my father honest and sticking to the deal. Then some stupid knight killed my Dad and I became expendable so they threw me in here. Luckily Duthane only talks about Desta Triss now. Apparently he has her here somewhere. So he has thankfully forgotten about me. But Adrick wants me for his collection.

4. Other Side of the Door – Adrick Demolith and his collection of dead things. He’s mad… completely mad! He says he doesn’t have a goblin in his collection. He needs me for The Collection but I don’t want to go.

Preparing as best they could from Blix’s information, the two paladins cast protection from evil spells and entered the prison. Two shadowy forms slid out of the darkness in the back of the room near the door. One of them spoke in a booming voice:

I am Godrick guardian of this place. Leave now or be destroyed.

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Sir Bruce strode forward and tried to parlay with Godrick but he would have none of it and attacked in a wild rage. He drew forth a huge greatsword and it burst into flame. The fallen angel then clenched a fist and opened it unleashing a blast of radiant energy that smashed into both Sir Bruce and Octavius. Luckily their protection from evil spells helped minimize the damage and stopped them from being knocked prone. Barakas, the chain devil, raised his hands and the chains hanging throughout the prison room came alive. Barbs and hooks grew out of them and they began to swing wildly around. Sir Bruce managed to use his shield to keep them away from him but Octavius was truck soundly by a large heavy chain and wrapped in it to a grappled condition.

Sir Bruce rushed forward to attack Barakas. But as he closed the gap he looked at the face of the chain devil and saw not the face of the devil but of his own father. Sir Bruce hesitated for a moment. Could he really fight his father? But his paladin’s faith allowed him to see through the illusion for what it was… infernal trickery. Talon’s fey blade bit deep into the chain devil. And it recoiled in pain. Octavius struggled against the chains grappling him but managed to throw them off by casting misty step and closing to a flanking position on the chain devil. But he too looked upon Barakas and saw a different face. It was the face of Sir Mallory Marsdale, the knight who had married the only woman he ever loved. Pure rage filled Octavius and almost unbalanced him until his paladin’s graces allowed him to see through the illusion as well. TitanCleaver – The Green Scythe bit deep into Barakas three times. The chain devil was hurt badly.

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Having seen enough of the protection from evil spells thwarting their attacks, Godrick stared at the two knights with his fiery infernal eyes. His black halo glowed even darker and a black blast of necrotic energy hurled out of his halo to strip away and dispel the protective magics of both knights rendering the protection from evil spell gone. Barakas followed up with viscous chain attacks against both knights entangling them and squeezing the life out of them. But both Sir Bruce and Octavius focused their attacks on Barakas and finally laid him low. As the chain devil fell, his infernal magic died with him. The chains wrapped around the knights and swirling wildly around the room went limp and fell silent.

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The destruction of Barakas did not stop Godrick. The Fallen Angel twice brought his fiery greatsword down upon Sir Bruce and hurt him badly. The Knights surrounded the angel flanking him from both sides. But instead of striking to kill they used the flat of their blades and axes to try and pummel Godrick unconscious. They hoped they could somehow redeem the creature. An angel was a force for good. To see such a creature corrupted and tainted into its current form made both Sir Bruce and Octavius sad for him and even more furious at devil cult. The continued to parlay as they fought to knock Godrick down but the fallen angel could not be reasoned with. He fought with infernal rage unleashing another blast of radiant energy using his fallen glory attack. With his protection from evil spell gone, it was too much for Sir Bruce to take. The force of the spell took him off his feet and smashed him against the wall. Sir Bruce’s body went limp as he slowly slid to the ground.

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Octavius looked gravely at his friend. He thought of trying to heal him for a moment but then realized he had to stop Godrick as soon as possible because he himself could not take much more punishment. Octavius squared off with the Fallen Angel bringing TitanCleaver – The Green Scythe to bear. Max ran in to help by occupying the flanking position of the fallen Sir Bruce. The distraction helped Octavius gain advantage and the flat of his axe hit time and again and very squarely causing the bloodied Godrick to stagger a bit. But then the fell angel surged forward swinging his fiery sword in rapid succession. Octavius barely parried the blows. But Octavius then spun around and caught the off balance chained angel on the back of his head with the flat of his axe. Godrick collapsed in a heap. His fiery greatsword vanished before it hit the ground.

Octavius tended to his fallen friend and poured a potion of healing down his throat. Sir Bruce was thankful to be alive and got himself up. The two knights dragged the unconscious Godrick into one of the cages. After securing the fallen angel, they searched the body of Barakas and tucked into his leather jerkin, they found a key. Reaching through the bars, Octavius used the key to unlock the cold iron shackles with red glowing infernal runes. When the shackles fell away, a noticeable change started to happen. The skin of the angel that had worn away under the foul shackles began to rapidly grow back. The pitch black halo above his head began to fade and then brighten into a bright golden color.

Hopeful that whatever infernal curse had taken the angel was now lifted, Octavius fed the still unconscious Godrick a potion of healing. As the angel opened his eyes, Octavius saw that gone was the fiery red burning eyes. They were replaced with serene pure white pupiless eyes. Godrick stood up and gazed at the two knights as if seeing them for the first time.

I am Godrick, Archon of Torm. I owe you a great debt of thanks. You have redeemed me from a most terrible fate. A fate far worse than death as far as I am concerned. My Lord Torm is smiling in approval of your performance today. Please let me bathe you in his loving light.

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Godrick stretched out his hands and a soft warm light wafted over the the two knights healing them both. The lay on hands provided 70 HP that they could spread between the two of them however they wished. Sir Bruce opened the cage and let Godrick out. The Angel strode confidently out of the cage and nodded to Sir Bruce.

You both have fought bravely. You have my thanks. Find the light of Torm, Tyr, and Hoar within you. You must be their agents in this world. This devil cult must be destroyed. They are doing great evil here. I know you will succeed. I must return to the court of my Lord Torm. I have been gone too long and I am needed. Blessings upon you both.

And with that, Godrick spread his wings wide and vanished as he plane shifted away. The knights checked on the other prisoners. Blix was excited to be released. The human stretched out on the rack was clearly dead. And the two humans in the cages were still alive but barely. Sir Bruce and Octavius used some of their lay on hands to heal them enough so that they could become lucid and walk. They freed them both and spoke with them. They learned that they were Lawrence Briarpatch and his wife Rachel Briarpatch. They were from The Village of Tommen. The red hair was a dead give away but in fact they were the parents of Kip Briarpatch and Felicity Briarpatch.

The knights escorted the Briarpatches and Blix back through the cleared portion of the devil cult temple and out through the portal to Bressard Montaine’s Observatory. There they fed them and saw them on their way. The Briarpatches went off to find their children and warn the town of the cult. Blix decided to go off into the wilderness. Sir Bruce tried to convince him to go back to the devil cult and fight against them, but he was too afraid. His goblin nature got the better of him and although he was thankful for his freedom, a deal was a deal after all.

Sir Bruce and Octavius headed back through the portal an hour later after a short rest. They found everything the way they had left it. Going back to the prison they tried to open the door that had been guarded by Godrick and Barakas. It opened easily using the necklaces. Inside they saw a large room filled with strange magical laboratory types of items. Strange components, glassware filled with bubbling mixtures, and well preserved bodies laying in various poses on tables and in cases. A tall human man in a black robe was working some terrible looking machine that was attached at two different places to the body of a human woman. It was injecting some sort of substance under the woman’s skin on one side and drawing something out on the other. He looked up from his work to look upon the two knights.

Well well… So you have arrived at last. Bressard said you would be coming. I thought perhaps the Whore Devils had eaten the flesh from your faces. Thank goodness your skin seem to be intact and in excellent shape. You both will make fine additions to my collection. Please, please come in. My name is Adrick Demolith and I would like to show you my collection. I have specimens from across the realms. You will have the honor of being a part of it. I am truly envious of you.

The two knights rushed in to attack, but Adrick Demolith cast a spell. It was a hold person spell that froze Octavius in place. He also pushed a button on the machine in front of him and two pillars in the room connected to the machine pulsed as a bright pink liquid poured out onto the floor and rose up to take shape. Four Lemures, infernal foot soldiers of hell, came into existence. They looked like vaguely humanoid dark pink globs of flesh with sharp claws and teeth.

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Sir Bruce closed the gap and swung his sword twice into two of the creatures. Each blow cut down a lemure. The two remaining creatures attacked Sir Bruce and the two fallen Lemures suddenly shambled back to their feet. From his new vantage point, Sir Bruce saw a female cultist off to his right. It was going to be a difficult battle.

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