This log entry will be for between session (out of game) actions. Add comments to answer questions or start a discussion
I’d like the party to decide on a basic path so I can work up details. There’s a lot more information following but in summary here’s some ideas for one or a combination of things. You don’t have to restrict yourself to these choices:
* Return to the king for support (aka NPCs and magic items)
* Pursue the fallen paladin Ventrix and try to reclaim Iomedae’s crown (see below for more details)
* Find powerful allies
* FInd a way to ascend Yola and Marselene (i.e., make them mythic)
* Go straight for the demon Tuvagos (the one formerly bound by iron in the shadow’s center)
* Find powerful magic to aid you in your quest
After the battle with the succubus, the party rests and recovers all spells and HP. For now, the succubus hangs around with you. Suddenly good, she doesn’t really know what to do.
At dawn, it is clear from the vascant expression for a time that Blondie received another vision.
While Dagda was praying to Iomedae, in the reflection of the moonwell, he sees his patron goddess. She speaks (although only he can hear). “My crown is stolen! Beware, it’s destruction may give untold power to your enemies. I have given you the limit of my powers, you and your fellow champions! You must save the world. The danger is not yet passed!”In the interest of keeping things moving, I am assuming both Dagda and Blondie will share their information.
Dagda relates his experience (as described above in this entry). When he does, Blondie describes his vision:
He sees Ventrice, the fallen paladin taking a cell in the dungeon of the Paladin’s tower. It is not a prison cell but it is stark and damp with only a plain bed and simple wooden desk and chair. She enters the cell and falls to her knees in prayer to Iomedae.
The days seem to pass, although it is hard to tell in the dungeon. Ventrice tosses and turns in her sleep. A shadow seems to come into the cell, growing dark each time she sleeps. Blondie hears whispers that he thinks may be in her dreams: “Iomedae has abandoned you… A stronger power calls… Your fate is not to grovel… Claim your destiny… I will show you the way…” The voice is dark and seductive.
After each troubled dream, she wakes and prays fervently. The shadow in the room, something Blondie thinks only she can see (and him, through the visions), starts to fade. Her prayers seem to be giving her strength. When the shadows are nearly gone, she vows not to sleep until they are banished and prays resolutely, hour upon hour, not pausing for food or drink. Her faith is strong but her body weakens.
A man comes into the room, dressed in black. He is not like the others who have brought her food and prayer books. They were dressed in the livery of the paladin’s order. His face is in shadows. He wears black leather gloves and boots of highest quality.
Ventrice rises as he enters and steps back. “You!” She reaches for her sword but she is unarmed and unarmored. He throws his hood back, revealing a handsome, ebony face. “The man from my dreams,” she whispers. You recognize him as well: he is the demon who had taken hobbit form and directed the battle in the sunken road where you fought the false Father Gareth and False Suchet. She draws back from him, but you notice desire in her eyes as well.
“You are strong. You are sure. There is no need to grovel before your false goddess. Come to me. Together we will rule Tavia.” The voice is the same you heard whispering to her earlier.
“No!” In a barely audible, breathy whisper, she says, “Guards…” Her heart is torn.
“I stand against the demon of the shadows…” she says.
“As do I,” the demon answers. “He would slay us all, demons and mortals alike. I will help you destroy him. Come to me!” . He is tall, his shoulders square. His dusky voice speaks of power and…of lust. “The shadows are banished. If we slay the arch-lord, we can rule all! We can bring peace to the land!”
Ventrice turns away. He walks to her and lays a hand on her chin. She flinches and puts her hand on his but does not push him away. “Could I have done that if your false goddess had not abandoned you.”
Her nostrils flare as she draws breath. For a moment, Blondie thinks she will resist. Then she kisses him. They swiftly shed their clothes. Your vision fades and when it returns, it is clear the two have coupled.
The demon slays the next guard who comes to bring her food. She takes the dead paladin’s arms and armor. Together a make a trail of death and destruction from the tower dungeon to the upper floors where they find and kill Father Gareth, who dies before an ornate mithril chest. Within lies Iomedae’s crown. Ventrice tries to take it but is burned by it. They put it instead into a leather sack. Ventrice also loots her old weapons (including a bow Blondie recognizes as a magic item of some power) .
They go to the balcony where the demon takes his natural form of a winged inncubus and he carries her off into the night, carrying the leather sack with Iomedae’s crown.
“Ventrice, my love,” the demon says. They embrace and kiss.
“Ventrix,” she says, “I am Ventrix now.”
With her still in his arms, he takes them both off the balconey, teleporting away before they hit the ground.
Marselene thinks Blondie has described the making of an anti-paladin. While not entirely impossible, there is little hope of redeeming Ventrice. She tells you that Ventrix will gain most of her new dark powers almost immediately but that there are likely to be rituals and some learning required before she will have her full dark powers.
Marselene is worried about Iomedae’s crown. She thinks it is likely that Ventrix could forge a pact with a dark power that would give her similar powers to your own (i.e., in game terms, she’s worried that Ventrix could use the crown to become mythic.)
Marselene thinks they could have destroyed the crown using Asmodeus’ tears, but if they had Iomedae would surely have known and would have given a different message to Dagda. Therefore, this may mean the crown is still extent but that Ventrix and her demon seducer intend to use the crown to perhaps both achieve mythic ascension and empower a dark artifact that she could use.
So, assuming the decision to not destroy the crown in Asmodeus’ tears was not an oversight on Ventrix’ part (which Marselene considers most unlikely), Ventrix is almost certainly headed to one of the other centers of evil in the world. Using her mastery of lore, she thinks it could be (but is not necessarily) one of the following places:
- The sunken city of Ssrilith, to the far south. It is ruled by an evil merfolk. There is said to be an arrow embedded in stone that can be only removed by a dark soul of the greatest power. This arrow was used to slay an ancient god.
- The Soulwell. Marselene is not sure where this is and, most likely, similarly to the Fey Forest, it is in an ‘other world’ adjacent to this one. This other world is ruled by a vampire, is perpetually night and undead roam the land. The Soulwell would provide some sort of dark blessing if the crown was cast into it. So, this would not be a magic item but would instead grant her powers, perhaps those akin to your mythic powers, perhaps others. With a very good library or some divination magic, Marselene might be able to find out more about this.
- Ventrix might be able to become a mythic agent of the demon, formerly at the center of the shadows, if she went to him and pledged herself to him. However, Marselene, is not sure if the demon could do such a think. Perhaps he could before the shadows and might one day at some future point, but his ordeal of the last few centuries has probably weakened him.
- Given the role of the incubus, it is possible, even likely, that the demon lord Nocticula is involved with Ventrix’s subversion. If this is the case, there are a number of places Ventrix may go: into the Drow underworld, where Nocticula is particularly revered to one of several temples to her, or to the ruins of the Witch Realm in the far north. The Witch Realm was ruled for over a 1000 years by an ageless seductress and assasin beholden to Nocticula. She and her realm were destroyed long before Tavia came to be, but evil still lurks there.
Marselene notes that she would be much more useful to the group if she, too, were blessed by the gods. Yola (the druid) quickly seconds that idea, muttering “and I could get my sickle back.” Marselene thinks that Iomedae might not be the best patron for her and Yola though: she may already be at the limit of who she can empower, and even if she is not, if her crown is destroyed she will be weakened and lose the ability to empower as many folks.
Yola strongly supports the idea of getting her and Marselene empowered. Marselene is not sure how to do this but suggests a visit to either the Tavia temple district or Trina (the silver dragons home- if you can get to it) or some of the shrines of the most noble gods might show the way. Naturally, it might make sense to work with some of Iomedae’s allies (see wiki article on Iomedae for list of her allies.)
If the party does want to directly confront the demon once bound at the center of the shadows, she suggests they may want to try to find a powerful ally, such as Goradus, a gold dragon said to be the first gold dragon, so someone similar.
Yola continues to scry Ventrix and the Incubus (because she can’t always get a read on Ventrix- she thinks Ventrix has some anti-scrying spell).
She sees Ventrix practicing her new dark arts in what looks like a crypt. Once she saw the Incubus steal a human baby and later saw the baby in the crypt. So, far the two have remained in the crypt.
Yola says she can use a dream spell to communicate with you. So if you go after Ventrix, she could use dream to give you updates on what she is able to scry.
Marselene spent some time discussing Blondie’s vision of Ventrix’s fall from grace. She thinks the Incubus used a dimension door spell at the end, not a teleport. Demons can teleport but not with another person. Incubus can’t normally dimension door but this one may be trained as a wizard.