Midnight RPG - Chapter 44.911

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Setting: Location, Time & Context


Durgaz touched and used his Seer Sight ability on Ahemia when she mysteriously returned from her 'death' by Anaximath, with the primary intent of determining whether or not she was who she said she was. When it was later revealed that she was pregnant, he attempted to recall when the child(ren) had been conceived, and found that the only possibility was Zal'Kazzir's tryst with her in Vrolk's tower, even though this did not match Kyuad's timeline. Later, Kyuad discovered that the reason it didn't match the timeline was that the pregnancy had been magically concealed to hide its progress, so Durgaz once again reviewed events and found that she had encountered a band of men outside Baden's Bluff, led by a creature that, from Durgaz's description, Kyuad identified as none other than the Priest of Shadow himself. This latest 'review' is an attempt by Durgaz to see and find out what happened to her after that ... where the men took her, what happened while she was there, and how she was returned to Baden's Bluff with (apparently) no memory of the events.

Note that these are technically all the results of a single use of the Seer Sight ability. When Durgaz touched Ahemia on her return to the castle, he essentially experienced the last seventeen years of her life. As per the house changes we have made to the ability, however, he needs to selectively pinpoint and review certain sections of those memories in order to access them information.

What happened to Ahemia after she was taken by Sunulael(?) outside the Bluff

GM Commentary: Ahemia

To Durgaz Orc eyes this land seen through the eyes of the Lady Ahemia is of the lower westlands... at some unknown point perhaps amid the eastern Cambrial or the Zorgetch district. The former Legate had been avoiding major settlements, however the Shadow's Highway, her on the mid-ranges of the Road of Ruin, from Sharuun to the Bluff, was not dangerous for her well trained eyes... Many priests, journeymen, goblin-shovellers and green Orc Troops newly let loose from requisition at Eisen to the North passed by frequently. Not more than a few hours went by without a nod or a drawing of her Legate spell-warded papers, showing the Shadow-mark forged from the Sharuunian Traitor-Princes (likely at Zal'Kazzir's request). It was at a continually shifting but growing orc town on the southern Eren, where a pair of orc brothers (well heard of by Durgaz as Vorbane and Vrin who govern the Zorgetch district.

Lady Ahemia, knew that this place had been a small refuge on her way to the Sarcosan capital many weeks ago, so riding in on her old friend and mount was easy yet she still slowed with the activity, unsure at what word had been spread of her adandonment of Vrolk the Vile, whom she knew to be traitor to the Priest... As she approached, human clerks swarmed over the tent-city, sorting mountains of materials into useable supplies. Orcish recruits (Durgaz knows that this province manages the movements of some 10k troops at any given time) mustered on fields large enough to contain all of mankind’s remaining hosts. Flotillas of gnomish ships carry these supplies from artificial mountains to the front lines while halfling slaves haul caravans to garrisons throughout southern Erenland. Goblinoid armies guard the camp itself for its loss would inconvenience Izrador’s armies in the south.

Her horse jarred her in the saddle as it walked the Road, stepping over and sometimes on a goblin-shoveller... A surprise to her eyes though came when on their own mounts approached the governors of Zorgetch and a different familiar face.......
  • Riding a massive brown-white spotted Sarcosan Warhorse, strapped heavy with armor comes Vorbane the young but feared warchief in charge of the training camp at Zorgetch.
  • Atop a strong grey-black mud-covered mule, laden with equipment of war, pleasure and priestly needs comes Vrin the rare orc legate of some status and is both advisor to Vorbane and leader of the Temple of Shadow recently established in the camp.
  • And on a smaller coal black Sarcosan horse twists an urban Sarcosn, somewhat fat for his average height with hair whitened by experience more than age... He appears to be a priest of Shadow... a Curate Barrack-Master, a Surgeon's Knife (Umbral Catholicon).
The orc brothers quarrel incessantly, each has grown to depend on the other’s council in carrying out his duties. As they approach Lady Ahemia looks down from the road, some 6-7 ft. built on rock and timber, as she navigates her animal companion (horse) down from the road she speaks...
"...Father Titkan, I hadnot thought anyone but myself able to escape the treachery that the Vile handed down... Can I assume that you've come to terms with Lord Sunulael then? Tell me Yungat, what of our fellows amid the Nail? Do you know of Hyuri?" Ahemia asks with concern in her voice, but more concern of the situation for sure...

"...You Ahemia, your eyes shine as those of the horse-stars of the Riding Host. We had heard you survived. We had heard you had made way to the Erethor. But you come from Sharuun now?" Yungat Titkan replies as the group close with each other.
The orc governors circle to flank (out of habit more than anything) as the Legates, obviously former co-worshippers, speak. A snort or two go out from brother to brother, sharing intelligences as they look Lady Ahemia over.
"Yes. Sharuun... the City of the South was good to me in this short exile from the grace of the Master... Can I assume the Speaker awaits my report?..." Ahemia asks as she parlays with her former co-worshiper in the Obsidian Spire.
'"grrumph... arrrgh... enoUgh tAlK pRiests. stAte yEr naMe an' bUsiNeSs herE wiThin dA-ZorGotch woMan..." Vorbane grumbles with a glare from his brother...
"... heheh... quiet you puss..." Father Titkan casually waives to Vorbane. "... forgive, Ahemia, he knows not his place here. He for sure is trying to impress the masters." replying to Ahemia, he then turns to look at the orc... "What our orcen governors do forget is that strength of belief rules in the presence of the Priest... not the blunt-brute of the Shadow Minion... yes... I said MINION." he smirks "...Yes, Ahemia, Albactrus is in camp" he points just beyond the inner tents to the near complete temple still under construction. "... in fact... there is an assembly Ahemia. They've come because they've seen you are holding something... unique. Something that could be of use to the battle."
as Ahemia rides up to the side of Father Titkan, she looks down and cups her new tummy buldge...

Moments later Ahemia, now being dragged by a man-catcher around her neck, by Vorbane and four other orc recruits, into the tented area in front of the newly made Temple of Shadow grinds her heals in the hard Sarcosan mud...
Once within the drapes of white, that block the gloom-day sun... Ahemia sees several...
  • The perfect human woman. Her culture appears Erenlander if anything, she is obviously a product of the Theros Obsidian breeding programs... Near white-blond hair trails down over her crystal blue eyes and behind her down her back nearly reaching the back of her knee, much like a natural cloak. This is her tent-garb. As her vestiments show absolute priesthood, likely a legate of the master order. She is adorned in only whites and golds, a trace of silver peaks across her chest with her breast plate armor etched with the symbol of the Master in the North.
    "I am Carissa the Pure, merciful Mother of the Sisterhood of Tender Mercies. You are Ahimia, of the Black Nail?" the Legate Carissa notes, waiving off the orc-handlers letting the man-catcher fall loose... but before Ahemia can reply...
  • A Sarcosan, seated beyond Carissa breaks in as he toys with his wine gobblet... "SHE is the Lady of Steel of the Gaskindin family, from where your steed comes - good Vorbane..." looking to the Orc, then toward Ahemia... "... a Bearer of the Black Shield, a Harrower of Legates, a Soldier of Shadow. YOU have made alife of hunting those that would form the Cabal of lies against the devout of the Order. You are NOT a 'Darkvoice'. You listen and act, you judge and execute. You willnot go blindly, you will follow when your name is spoken from the icy tablet of the Scar!... I slaughtered your brother, Kevok'Nur, when I roamed the Erenland - you will forgive I hope... That was in my 'younger' days... hahaheheheh..." his leg twitches restlessly, as he sits lounging back along a chair with white-silk pillows. This man who's younger days have left him, still bears the torture marks that the Priest of Shadow put on him as he waited for the screaming turn aways from that of resistance - into the madness of pain that would become of this former spiritual channeler. This can be seen by the mixed adornments of both magery and priestly baubles...
  • a third within the white tent... male but of unknown... 'shifting' images (to Durgaz's Seer Visions) stands to the back of the tent. He is obviously the most dangerous man in the room through both Ahemia and Durgaz natural warrior evaluations. "...let us get this done, my duties await my return in the Bluff."
  • the last, 'the Speaker' steps stands. This being may have once been of Sarcosan make... or perhaps that of Orc to which his height would lead your eyes to believe. The near skeletal form, has a layer of fat and hide stretched over his bones. He had lied on a slanted cot until this vary moment - as if it pained him to stand. Creaking bones, hint that his limbs could snap at any time. When he stands he must duck his head as a smearing of blood from his open scalp scrapes the white-silken tent ceiling... Turning to face Ahemia his spindly arms raise and lower a helm onto his ghastly face - to her relief... no nose remained on the skull of the Speaker. Only holes above a dagger mawed mouth that appeared stretched by some horrid torture device when this being was with 'life'. It looks at Ahemia... into her soul... Pinpoint ruby eyes glow deep in the pits of it's eye sockets. "SHE IS NOT ALONE..!"

"..YOU DIDN'T SCRY HER?!?!!" says the restless Sarsosan mage/priest as he throws his goblet near Vorbane!
The orc quartermaster governor backs out of the tent looking for his brother... "...ii..it was not... VRIN, do your magic-words!!!" as the orc grabs his brother, who'd been lurking just outside the tent and pushes him in his place within...
"THIS IS NO ...THING... A ODRENDOR-PRETENDER-PREIST COULD SEE. THIS IS ONLY SOMETHING THE FIRST LEGATE CAN MANAGE. WE GO NOW WITH NO MORE WORDS TO THE MY TEMPLE OF COMING NIGHT." (Durgaz would know "the Temple of Coming Night" as the first southern temple of Shadow formed in Cambrial, created by Albactrus the Speaker, 2nd only to Sunulael and the Priest's closest advisor)
"Put her in a box or bag, Samael." says the reserved ever-shifting man, rarely bothering to acknowledge the others...
"YOU do not give me orders Go..." within miliseconds an assassin's blade it both at 'Samael's' neck and lower back. The assassin of the Bluff speaks only once more.
"Speak another sylable and be paralyzed watching your neck spew blood unable whine." The assassin says kurtly.
"...I will do it boys..." Carissa the Erenlander legate says as she looks Ahemia in the eyes. "I'm sorry your journey may be less than comfortable Lady Ahemia. Lie down on the cot there..."

As the last of Ahemia's sight and senses are blocked, being wrapped in the white silks of the tent trappings. The more magically understanding priests here would know that this binding and blinding of the "prisoner" will not hide the gaze of a Seer such as Durgaz Mirriorbreaker. But the unknowning divine grace of the Speaker quieted this band of lieges...
It would be some days of travel. Little words came from the Shadow crew as they road, Ahemia within a covered tent driven by the skeletal hand of the Speaker as the others ride within a company formation of Orc-born-Maelgral. No one has dared say any other words since leaving Zorgetch.
For when they saw the Speaker with a mere touch kill and revive the orc Vorbane as his brother Vrin watched, they were speachless.
And as the band left Zorgetch Vren morned, for he knew that his brother would soon require feeding if he were to remain with his sanity... lucky for Vrin killing a, somewhat competent, but loyal servant/priest was not to the needs of the Speaker - though his brother was not such a Witch Talker... Though a part of Vrin surely noted that he NOW was in COMMAND of Zorgetch as he liked, as he knows priests of Shadow can command a newly made Fell!!

The travel was easy for the Shadow minions, much that passed them gave wide birth. They were alone on the Road of Ruin, nearly the entire way - riding openly into one of the most miserable places on Aryth... and into the city all streets lead to their destination...
What was once a quaint manor house on a hill amidst the city’s high district has been transformed into a massive black cathedral surrounded by the skeleton of a civilization. Its heights can be seen from anywhere in the city and beyond. The stones, stained with the blood of the slaves forced to build it, and the signs of their desperate labor are visible in the fingernails and bones trapped in the mortar and stone. Statues of cloaked and hooded giants with skeletal hands grasping skulls line the exterior walls. Dark shingles cover the roof along with a forest of jagged spines on which a number of writhing zombies and bleached bones still lay, impaled for some long-forgotten offense. There are no windows to this place, though a collapsed section of the southeastern wall testifies to its age. The temple’s exterior is impressive and sinister, but it is nothing compared to what lies within. Though there are only token guards patrolling the building, this place... The City of the Dead... Cambrial... Crawls with undead.
The city itself was once one of the largest cities in southern Erenland and home to a vibrant, mixed-race population. Among the Sarcosan majority lived Erenlanders, Northmen, elven traders, and even a few city-dwelling halflings. Even in the dark days at the end of the Third Age, the city remained a center for interracial trade and was known throughout the southlands as the home of Sarcosan wizardry.
When the Shadow’s forces took southern Erenland, they attacked and razed Cambrial as a demonstration of their power and ruthlessness. They killed all who did not flee, filling the city’s streets with blood. At the command of the Night Kings, the bodies were purposefully left untended and soon every last one rose as Fell. Neither time nor decay seemed to diminish the undead horde’s numbers and many believe it is the black magic of Izrador that maintain them. Perhaps charmed by their tenacity, the Night King known as the Priest of Shadow has made Cambrial his most common lair, within which new undead monstrosities are constantly being born. In the century since its fall, so many of the foul creatures continued to haunt the place that the ruins of Cambrial came to be known as the City of the Dead. The settlement and its environs have become so dangerous that even orc legions stay well clear of the region, if they can. Unfortunately, the Priest of Shadow and his legate servants require guards, servants, supplies, and all the other trappings of a community, so Sarcosans and Erenlanders are commonly rounded up and replanted in the various keeps and secured buildings of Cambrial, forced to do their best to raise food and meet their masters’ needs while avoiding the often uncontrolled Fell and other, more powerful undead that roam the ruined sections of the city and its outskirts. No more than 1,000 humans and halflings live here at any given time . . . though that number begins dropping from the moment a “fresh” shipment of transplants arrives, and must be supplemented every few years. No one knows how many undead roam the city and its environs, but those few who have escaped the place alive say that they must outnumber the living by a ratio of ten to one, at least.

As the horrid band led their way into the streets of the dead, skeletons and Fell beasts alike seemed to ignored them after a glance from the Speaker. Only some joined the procession in this unholy, ungodly parade down Cambrial's main way. As supplies were removed and replenished by the undead along the way a cloud of plains dust could be seen on the wind. Through a broken portion of the wall upper North-Western wall a brigade of Warrior Legates road uncaringly through the dead steets... This strong Sarcosan Legate rider was most assuredly Kuros the Exonerated, coming to likely report from his orders to raze the forests of Erethor through driving his given horde of dead into Three Oaks!
Moving from their trains and into the Temple of Coming Night, through the darkened hallways Ahemia still bound and gagged... The Speaker of Shadow opens the court naming all of those in attendance of this unholy sermon... With the assemblige of followers, all masters in their own circles, this coven of commanders:
  • Carissa the Pure, Erenlander legate a Merciful Mother of the Sisterhood of Tender Mercies.
  • Samael the Pardoned, Sarcosan channeler/legate former resistance guerilla freedom fighters now 'Pardoned' and proven worthy servant sent to undermine the Cabal’s influence in the Kaladrun offensive.
  • Sunulael’s (currently) nameless Assassin, a quiet, kurt, calculated moving man who's image shifts even for the Seer visions.
  • General Kuros... the Exonerated. A legate of Sarcosan heritage, now Master & Commander of the Armies that will do what Grial could not.
  • Albactrus the Speaker, the lich-like legate, second-in-command and closest advisor of the Priest of Shadow.

Within the chapel only describable as the closest place to god (beyond the Scar itself) on Aryth, they join three others, Albactrus speaks there names witout fear of the one who sees... (you, Durgaz):
  • Master of the Zordrafin Corith of Zorgetch, Master of Blood (Keeper of Obsidian), former one of five, a SLEEPER of the Obsidian Spire, Stoki of House Snena of the Great Dorn House Rengard. An elder seemingly from both his years on Aryth and from the drain of the Black Nail's needs. He stands weakly and nods with a ceremonial hand wave gesture...
  • Helping Master Stoki to his feat is the, now, familiar face - two face of Dierro Pessiogn, Erenlander and former friend to Kyuad, a Keeper of Forbidden Lore, a Mirror Master of the Keepers of Obsidian...
and finally... the mortal amoung them look away and downward as the sermon beings...
"If you have faith, true faith, you need not be reminded at who I am. You need only know the power that I offer.
I bring you one thing my faithful. A tiding of pain that you are responsible for... I have only one verse to offer you children, in this most holy of sermons today... Then you must speak to the Mirror of the things you do in reverence to the One.. Our lord and savior, the Dark Star... the guiding darkness in this painful light..."
Lord Sunulael, Priest of Shadow opens the Holy Book, turning to a single passage he quotes...
"'Izrador weeps.'"
The terrifying figure shrouded in tattered black robes stands before you. Pinpoints of white light stare out from the hood that conceals its features, on which rests a crown of black iron that exudes menace. As the cloth swirls, you catch glimpse of a skeletal body with rotting flesh hanging from the bones. The Priest of Shadow, the FIRST Legate's transformation to an undead state was not an easy one. The spirit of Izrador held down the aged priest with filthy bonds of eldritch energy and placed the Crown of Endings on the man’s hooded brow. To ensure that it would never be removed, the Shadow affixed it with spikes forged from mithral and quenched in the blood of angels. Only after he warped and ravaged the man’s flesh did Izrador tease out the tortured vessel’s spirit and placed it in an iron box. Now, the Priest is this tall gaunt thing, with tattered flesh hanging from a blackened skeleton that was scorched and eaten by the acidic essence of the Shadow’s flesh. Once believed to be a Sarcosan holy man, is responsible for the sacrifice of tens of thousands to Izrador each year. He is reviled in the Sarcosan south for turning the once vibrant city of Cambrial into a vast necropolis. Rumors of his creations, including creatures built from the remains of man and beast and legions of undead soldiers marching to war, are told in every town and village south of the Ardune.
His mind had been turned long ago, but now his body was transformed as well and it is said that any mortal that looks upon this gruesome visage uncloaked instantly turns to dust.
Just as his mind had been distilled and burned away to a bright glowing cinder of insanity and faith, so was his body melted away by the acidic essence of Izrador’s own flesh, until all that remained was blackened muscle and cracked and pitted bone. Then, his mind, soul, and body remade, Sunulael had become a Night King. The willing and most frequent vessel of Izrador’s possession and suffers the madness this brings as a kind of divine rapture.
Hollowed by the words of god the masters and commanders speak quickly and kurtly regarding their venues. They speak not in terms of glory as might someone in the presence of King Jahzir, or in honorifics as they might with the Demonbane, Ardherin. This they know, god is watching them - they only need to give the most brief of reports to Lord Sunulael or they may be fed to the mirror deep below the chapel...
  • Carissa the Pure: "Through the grace of our lord I come here. Theros Obsidia, m'lord remains the hive as usual, I continue to lead my group of sisters to derail what I have found to be a pitiful but dangerous plot that would end the lives several of the more loyal legates of your Devout."
  • Samael the Pardoned: "Through the grace of our lord I come here. My coven is the most dedicated I have fielded m'lord. Yet I have still not located the traitor to undermine the Cabal’s influence in the Kaladrun offensive. I have found his names though. He went under the name Shevinu when he was with a resistance cell beneath at the Battle of ShadowHold. His true name is Fesikri and I have pieced together that he indeed worked with or for Vrolk the Vile. He sold informations and formed a Pale Mirror within the ShadowHold, a small Dwarven Cairne in the mid-range Kaldrunes. This intelligence comes from a twisted goblinoid one going by the name Iblis. I believe there was something he's hiding beyond the Spine, perhaps in the White Desert or the Highwood forest... I trust the loon for all his fear of my wrath in finding his desire. "
  • nameless Assassin: "Through the grace of our lord I come here. All goes well in the Bluff. I nearly had Tomas however he eluded my scouts in the market as his men made ready for someone called Ghulvenne who needed hiding for his band... an orc and elf of little note. With your approval, Sunuael, I wish to have the Drake scout the edges of Erethor and Seas for these men, I believe they will lead me where I'm needed. One other minor note. I've have already begin using this traitor... Ioliel our minor functionary in the Harbormaster’s Office who had ensured all religious relics and sacrificial victims get through the resistance-haunted alleys of Baden’s Bluff unmolested... I have found recently that our Dorn spy also, however, has been receiving payment of a far baser and more debauched nature from the Demonbane. My men say, in return, Ioliel reports to the elf what, when, and where the Priest of Shadow is having things shipped, as well as making certain that other spies do not notice or record the Sorcerer’s own shipments. " (NOTE: remember this is prior to Zaindal's death)
  • General Kuros the Exonerated: "Through the grace of our lord I come here. Three Oaks will fall by Autumn or it will be the death of me... m'lord."
  • Master Stoki of House Snena of the Great Dorn House Rengard: "Through the grace of our lord I come here. I fear, old friend..." he says to Lord Sunulael in a reverenced but familiar tone of a dying man. "...I fear my life is ebbing and my knowledges will flow to your new servant. I have used the magics your legion found within Vrolk's laboratories. I brought this husk back from the brink. The White-Wyrm didnot survive Vrolk's treachery... but Vrolk's legacy is now working for you old friend..." as the old man presents Dierro in his newly made form...
  • Mirror Master Dierro Pessiogn: "Th... through the grace of our lord I come here. I come from the dead m'lord. I have seen the dark of the Scar and been given back to the world. There is another destiny for me. My misguided ways did not know the true path. My name is written on the icey slab at the crack of doom beneath endless ice and I will follow the call of my name from hereon. I give you this newly made form. I am better, stronger, faster. And I serve with newly made faith. I will become legend if you allow it m'lord..."
Taking in all of this, Lord Sunuael doesn't lash out at the last - this newly made follower, Pessiogn. His incompetence before has been rewarded with strength, the lord has seen fit that this happen. He is worthy... for now. The first Priest nearly smiles at this legates bolstering. Making sure to cast a gaze in his direction so that it would never happen again...

Lord Sunulael then begins to remind them of his means...
" I seek to supplant Jahzir with his army’s success and accomplish in one season what the twisted Sarcosan and his orc general have been unable to accomplish in a decade. My sole purpose is to further the interests of our profane master in the minds and souls of men. Cold, calculating, and thoroughly brilliant, I manipulate and control the network sea of legates who ensure that the world bends its knee to the Shadow. To understand Sunulael and my enduring commitment to Izrador, one must know the face of god. I am a believer in something greater than myself, that has liberated all sense of fear, hate, worry, or desire I could have. I shepherd the power that is Izrador from its Aryth-bound mundane state back into its heavenly form. I am the messenger, the guide, the midwife to God. I chose to serve Izrador because the god showed me the beauty of pure power, and now I embody the beauty of power. This is built perfectly on my eternal philosophy, built upon the teaching of the Old Gods, that says that ultimate awareness and ultimate power are the ideal states for any being. Out Master in the North is the being on Aryth closest to achieving that power, and HE gains more power by drawing the life and magic from every living thing in Aryth, Izrador will elevate all of Aryth, all of its life forces and souls, its magic and its matter, into perfect divinity, perfect power. In this... I... WE are making the world a better place. " Gripping the pulpit it is as if Izrador speaks directly though him. In fact HE does!! as He continues...
  • " First, we will crush the elven resistance in Erethor, doing so in the space of a few years what Jahzir has failed to do over decades. "
  • " Second, we must expose Ardherin’s obvious disloyalty to his master and take away his ability to commandeer any found arcane nexuses or powerful magic artifacts."
  • " And third, we must put our house in order by removing the fractious elements conspiring to undermine our authority."
" Izrador has been quite clear about his desire to see the elves of Erethor finished and will accept no excuses for failure. The forest must fall. As Jahzir divides his forces, one to fight the dwarves and the other to invade Erethor, and Ardherin wrestles with the fiends, sending waves of demons to harry and destroy. We constructs a vast army of undead in Cambrial. My legates sacrifice countless souls to create the largest army of undead the world has ever seen.

The Cabal remains strong in the north, however, and they resist my efforts to exert authority. If the northern legates succeed in stamping out the last pockets of Dorn resistance or if their legates prove instrumental to the victories against the dwarves in the Kaladruns, they might gain enough prestige to endanger our positions. Even now our most trusted soldier legates have been sent to the Wars of Steel and Stone, where some 300,000 orcs, goblin-kin, human mercenaries, and Cabal legates are led by Jahzir himself to finish off the dwarves. There, between warding off axes and conjuring magics to smite their foes, the Devout legates also parry thrusts of intrigue and take trophies in the form of influence. In fact, so pernicious are their machinations that they have managed to seed discontent amongst the gathered forces. Not only have they isolated and disempowered their Cabal peers, they have even managed to coerce the warchiefs and mercenary captains to consult with them before taking actions; should they refuse, of course, their soldiers will be denied healing and spell support. This has done little to improve the armies’ performance, of course; but that was never our goal. The Devout’s efforts have managed to fragment and splinter the host, destabilizing the Cabal’s influence and creating an untenable situation that seems ready to explode into violence.

The Cabal descends from those northern legates who had maintained the lore of the faith for centuries. The Cabal continues to resent my authority and power working to undermine our faith, chipping away at our defenses with the hope that I will eventually be toppled, restoring power to those decrepid custodians. I believe this Lich-Host is a mysterious faction within the Cabal, far two old to understand our Lord. They occupy territory on the cusp of Izrador’s tomb far to the north. Abiding so close to our god’s grave and cradle gives them incredible power, rivaling even that of Cambrial's might, but their ancient and alien motivations are not of god's will! As of yet their leader, known only as the Riven One, has not yet brought his power to bear in the south. I suspect this Riven One, the so-called father of legates: Beirial the Betrayer the founder of the Order of Shadow who must yet lair in the ruins of Bandilrin and I believe a pact has been formed with he and the Demonbane!! I have dispatched a contingent of my most powerful agents to scour Bandilrin and contact all Trapped or Lost there in an to locate Beirial. It will not be long... Remember, information leading to Beirial’s exact location would be strongly rewarded, and if contact can be made with the ancient priest, there are few prices Ardherin would not pay to bring the lich into his fold. That price will cost YOUR lives if you let it happen...

For I believe that it is the Demonbane that will be our downfall... his looking into the Flesh of the Father Ardherin has perhaps begun research into the process of how we the Avatars of Aryth were created. Surely he is a fool to believe that he can replicate what God wroght... however... if Ardherin can field even a small cohort of beings whose power neared his own, he could gain a significant advantage over our domain... I believe this is what drives his plots in these last of days... He seeks now to possess beings derived of his blood in a manner similar to Aradil and her avatars, allowing him to spread his direct will over a much wider area. Toward this end, Ardherin has ordered the delivery of female captives to his tower of Arydian Avielehrius. Ardherin will surely command his unholy experiments with their flesh, held off from the Whipsterer and with razor seeds (the Sons of Izrador) in the hopes that those creatures’ insidious and powerful ability to perpetuate themselves might be twisted to his own ends. "
Following this lengthy diatribe... Having finished his sermon, the First Legate looks down to the unconcious body of Ahemia.
" Now... Seer... I donot yet know who you are, but you may enjoy my intelligences for your own. In strange manner, you seek what I seek. I only look to make this world complete and whole again. I seek to have the Demonbane fall. Use this knowledge today. Many things will happen between now and when you review this whore's life - but I am glad to have aided you... Thus, I will trust that you will never step before me or mine. I seek only to give Aryth to the Dark Star... If you cross my path, unlike the prideful sourceror I will not toy with you... You will die one day, and I will use your body and the remains of your soul to fire on my Order... You death WILL come pathwalker... Cross me and I shall bring that day! I shall bring heartache and pain. I shall bring the word of GOD!"
With a hand wave Lady Ahemia's robes are withdrawn... The sorceror shreiks an unAryth sound of horror and hate, the crisp sound trails into a deep base that trembles your soul...
" What's this?? Have I found a something that Arderhin does not know of... a thing of prophecy perhaps? What is prophecy in the eyes of God? Within this Southwoman's belly! Rests something the Sorceror does not know of... And so it will be that no one knows until THIS day seer... " As the white pin-points look deep into your soul... Pariah or Messiah. Perhaps one is in the belly of Ahemia. Perhaps not. God only knows!!! You have just witnessed a MIRACLE being called and cast!!
And all goes white, the next visions along Ahemia's path within Durgaz's seer site is her entrance into the gatehouses of Baden's Bluff, she is clad in her armors and now "without" the belly of a woman with child... as the man in shifting form leads her in handing her reigns over to a woman resembling Zal'Kazzir's sister, then he disappears in the crowds.......


Durgaz touched Neega and probably could have used his Seer Sight ability while the two were falling out of the sky. However, this would not strictly have been necessary, since he had access to Neega's remains after the astirax was crushed in his 'shell' of alchemical silver. Durgaz's interest in reviewing Neega's memories would be everything he can discover about why Diero is here, how and why Diero called upon Anaximath to help him, and what Diero has been doing in the months since we saw him bring torn apart by wolves. Presumably Neega was present for a least some portion of these events.

However, worthy of note: Durgaz may not actually be able to review the past of Neega the astirax. He did touch and can certainly read the crow that Neega had taken up residence in, but it's probably a GM call as to whether or not his ability extends to an incorporeal spirit inhabiting the physical body of the creature he touched. If not, the information he gains access to depends entirely on how long Neega had occupied the crow he died in.

Anything I can glean from the crushed body of Neega about Diero's intentions here in the North, who he serves, what happened to him in the meantime, etc.

GM Commentary: Neega

Strangely... much of the "meat" of Dierro's whereabouts and recent origin were revealed in the scanning of Ahemia... It is true that Neega has inhabitted many different forms, his favority being crows (which he magically enhances on entering). So feel free to read the above info and ask any more questions based on any of that.
The bit of info you can gather (specifically) about the questions you asked here is that the deal made with Anaximath the Vanguard of the Southern Pelluria is that Dierro implied that the Dragon would be "taken in" and blessed by Lord Sunulael himself to go out and retake Baden's Bluff for him. Dierro heavily implied that he might raise to the glory of one day taking the seat of Zardrix as the most powerful dragon Aryth has ever sean. Whether Anaximath was greedy of this or if he was in fear of the Priest of Shadow wasn't apparent in the Seer visions.

any other questions?



You may have already done something with at least one of these, since I mentioned it in one of the group posts, but here are the main things I'd like to go over in bluebooks:

1) What happened to Ahemia after she was taken by Sunulael(?) outside the Bluff
2) Anything I can glean from the crushed body of Neega about Diero's intentions here in the North, who he serves, what happened to him in the meantime, etc.

This is probably a lot of stuff, but if you could give me an overview that I can ask further questions on, that would be great. Thanks!

GM Commentary

Great Andrew! Some things I need you to specify for me:
  • Please note (in "setting" above) when and where this is happening. Who else is involved and if you're hiding it from the others. If so whom/how? Sometimes its important logistically for other PCs/NPCs.
  • WHICH abilities you're using on each item? This is more important now that I'm trying to clarify things better for you. If you can give me the rule/die rolls needed for the ability, so I won't have to look it up.