Kethencio

Episode 4 - The Gang Discovers the Blood War

After parting ways from Ravdet, our intrepid adventurers head towards the small town where they have been told of a portal to Sigil. Quickly learning about trust and the dangers of telling the wrong people about dead powers, Adso breaks a revelation to the party members the following morning: Aoskar was killed by the Lady of Pain, yet somehow lives on with the new name of Rao. Out here in the Planes they can continue to worship Aoskar, but now he is called Rao. To show his new-found faith in his deity, Adso shows the other party members the symbol of Rao which has been embedded into his hand.

After a relatively uneventful journey the party reaches the town, and they instinctively know that something is not right. Gone are the sights and sounds of life, and the only movement is from the fluttering of carrion birds. The town has been partially destroyed and the streets are soaked with a black fluid and littered with bodies. While all members of this gentle group are appalled at this destruction, Adso is taking it harder than the others and insists on giving the dead they come across a proper burial. Lacking tools, the party begins searching through the rubble for survivors or a shovel to properly care for the dead.

The search is fruitful for all members, as Coverdale finds some armor, Adso finds a hoe, and the other party members come across a humanoid clearing away the rubble of a house. The man looks similar to other humans, but has red eyes and a tail! Adso offers to assist the man clear the rubble of his home, and introductions are offered. The man is no man at all, but a tiefling by the name of Arthonis.

Arthonis slowly regales the party with the tale of what happened: the town was ravaged by the never-ceasing feud between demons and devils. The blood war. Adso decides to stay with Arthonis and assist in the rebuilding as the others look for other survivors. The best news they have been given is that there were possibly other townspeople who managed to flee to the nearby caves who may be returning to start rebuilding their shattered lives.

As Meera and Nyx are combing the ruins looking for other people, they hear a shout and come across a man named Evan who is searching for his woman in the remains of his house. Nyx takes pity on the man and tries to comfort him as best she can, but it is not enough. The apparent loss of his wife has made our new friend Evan inconsolable. Survivors are beginning to trickle back into the town from the sanctuary of the caves, and Coverdale, Meera, Nyx, and Gabriel watch as the people begin combing through the rubble of their individual houses.

Meanwhile, Adso is talking with Arthonis while helping the tiefling clear out rubble. Arthonis is expressing surprise that the your novice has stopped to lend a hand with the work. Adso explains that he stopped because it is one of the tenets of his faith to help those in need. After talking for several minutes, Adso becomes disgusted with Arthonis’s attitude regarding helping others (ie. not to do it at all!) and goes off to see about burying the dead. Walking down one of the ruined streets Adso is confronted by the terrible scene of a strange, dog-like creature covered in chewing mouths masticating a pile of bodies. After being spotted by the creature and shouting in alarm, Adso flees.

Chaos ensues as the town is under attack! A winged creature and several squat creatures covered with maggots are killing the townspeople as Meera, Nyx, Coverdale, and Gabriel attempt to come to terms with what is transpiring. Nyx and Gabriel coax poor Evan into a partially excavated house for protection as another dog-creature nearby is tearing the tender flesh of the recently slain.

Running back to find his companions, Adso sees these squat festering demons being commanded by the winged creature sitting atop what was perhaps once an inn or large house. Upon spying Adso, the foul beast wretches a burning glob of fire at Adso and sets him afire. Nyx moves out of the house in an attempt to engage the foul creatures, and after using her new-found fey powers blasts one of the maggot-ridden pear demons then teleports out of sight. Coverdale and his betrothed fend off several of the manes as Adso rushes up, short of breath from running with the hellish hound close on his heels.

Seeing his pillar of faith in mortal peril, Coverdale moves around the side of the house to protect Adso from the dog-demon and fire-spewing foulness perched atop the building before them. On the other side of the building, Gabriel was faring well against the manes as he used his mental powers and made the minor demons explode in a shower of filth. During the swirling melee, Nyx was badly injured and fell before the onslaught. Seeing her sister fall, Meera rallied Gabriel and the two of them destroyed several more of the manes while Coverdale fended off the hound and slowly was making his way to the other party members.

With Nyx fallen and the both Gabriel and Meera badly hurt, Adso prays fervently to Rao for help and is rewarded with healing the party members at the cost of his own stamina. Exhausted from this sudden spiritual toll, Adso sits down, drained. After killing the foul winged creature, Meera saw to Nyx’s wounds and she regained consciousness. Bedraggled and broken, the party hastened to find the portal to flee as fiendish warhorns sounded in the distance, coming closer with every moment.

After several minutes of searching, Meera sees a house with a blue roof and tells the others that she has found the smithy with the portal to freedom. As they enter the decrepit and collapsing building, they notice a body pinned beneath a beam need the forge. As the horns draw closer, Meera and Coverdale manage to free the trapped body and Adso opens the portal with the bird feather. He waits as his fellow party members go through the portal then follows them, praying that Rao will protect them in this time of need.

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