Fall From Grace

REP has been awarded for this quest.
[QUEST COMPLETE]

DM Name: Sorrowdusk

Adventure Name: Fall From Grace

Participants:
Eisen, 11th, Wizard/Incantatrix
Tonia Pegason, 10th Human Cleric
Dakheel, 9th level, Psion/Crystal Master
Quintus, 8th, Bard
Gabriel A., 8th, Warblade

Challenges/Objectives Completed:

30x CR1/3 Human Skeleton Archery Unit (CR10)/[Lay All of The Villages undead to Rest and retake the cemetery]

3x CR 5 Undead Unicorn (CR 8)/ [Lay the raised Unicorns guarding the Menhir to rest, and end their slavery]
^ (note, Dakheel was not here for the majority of this conflict.)^

2x CR 7 Nolkrin & Helamorn, Twin Armanite Huntresses (CR 9)/ [Vanquish Escalon's Abyssal right and left hands.]

1x CR 10 Escalon Corrupted Unicorn (CR10)/ [Kill, capture, or remove him from the wood]
(His name is spanish, it refers to a single 'step' in stairway, a rung on a ladder, or even a stepping stone.)

Experience:
Eisen -1155
Tonia Pegason - 1575
Dakheel - 2070
Quintus-2880
Gabriel A.-2880

Treasure:
(1) Black Unicorn Head
Eisen - 1443gp
Tonia Pegason - 1968gp
Dakheel - 3105gp
Quintus- 3600gp
Gabriel A.- 3600gp

Quest Summary:



The party traveled by carriage, to a literal local watering hole, a well at the edge of a forest, where they met their contractor, Grigori- the local cleric. He explained to them that six weeks ago their small woodland community the countryside was met by unusual visitors- a grace of seven Unicorns. These unicorns seemed to intend to make their home here in the wood. The families dwelling in the area were very pleased, and saw their arrival as a blessing from the gods, especially Matra. However, strange things began to happen. Wildlife suddenly and noticibly dwindled; people began to go out and not return, and the few that did turn up did so /dead/.

He suspected a dark cult was at work, and that people in the area, very residents may make majority of their number -he ran a weekly service at a small nartual cathedral atop "Dead Tree Mound" -or he DID, until in tandem with the dissapearances, some people, and some entire families stopped comming- he tried visitng these peoples homes, and they turned him away, acting strangely. Others simply fled out of fear. He wondered if some sort of compulsion is at work. He pleaded that if the part such encounter any suspicious folk that they not kill them, but only apprehend them until their part in this could be determined, so that they might be punished if guilty or set free from whatever warps their minds if innocent. After the deceased of the cemetery on the hill awakened, most people in the area fled to areas closer to avalon with relitives or anyone that would take them-or so he has heard, from the handfull of people that remain. He would have thought the grace of Unicorns would protect the wood from something like this, BUT NOT after what he found just this afternoon. He patted the wells wooden cover, and said only that "I fear for the unicorns, but I fear even more the hands that would defile our well like this…".

Not inquiring any further, Tonia offered to consecrate the well. As she did so Gabriel was overcome by visions. He saw smoke staining the starry sky, and burning fields. He saw through the eyes of another, a Unicorn, watching as "he" and other Unicorns escaped the inferno. A female companion asked if they were abandoning the herd, whether they were doing the right thing by not staying to help others. "He" insisted that they didnt matter, that if fate had damned them to burn alive, there was nothing to be done about it. There was a flash of light, and "he" looked on at a the female unicornfrom before, bound by strong ropes, each leg tied to a tree. He was acompanied by what looked to Gabriel like two pale, sickly centauresses,their nude human torsos covered in sores and blisters. The female unicorn asked him why him why he was doing this, and he retorted "Why?Thou knowest why! I gavest thee every chance, alle of thee to stande at mine righte side, bask in the glory of mine ascension. But thou hast throwne thate away. Be gone, lay downe and die already." One of the centauresses armed with a bardiche asked him if he really wanted to "do it this way", rather than turning her lose to be hunted and slain in a more sporting fashion. He admonished her for questioning him, saying it would only be a waste of time. At those words the centauress beheaded the unicorn, causing the forest floor to become awash in blood. In this blood Gabriel finally saw his "own" reflection, a unicorn with sable hair, ends tinged with gray of age-or perhaps it was the last bit of white not yet stained by encroaching blackness? Then Gabriel witnessed the heads of three unicorns being cast into the covered well, and was beset by red fear, violet sorrow, and black anguish, emotions and colors, and then further visions of skinned unicorns galloping through endless flames and shadow, a hellish dregscape. Suddenly he came out of his horrific trance (Resulting in 3 cha dmg), holding his head in pain.

As Grigori provided them with a decent map of the area, Eisen sent his owl up to get a better view. There on Dead Tree Mound, the owl could see the natural cathedral on the far west side of the mound. The top of the mound was flat and covered with dead naked trees, some of which intertwined to form a structure with a peaked roof from the branches, and walls from the trunks. Eisen asked about the mound, the structure on top of it, and about the eldritch light that came from within. The old priest explained that Dead Tree Mound appears to be man made, long ago by people unknown and that the structure atop it was a wonder of nature, unless arcanum could make such a thing. It was found by the people that settled there and consecrated as a shrine to Matra, The Great Mother in his grandfather's time. He did not know of a light within the shrine, but he had seen cloaked figures gather sometimes late in the night there since it and the cemetery was abandoned. The hill was once lush and green, save for the unliving trees which had always been there, but now the hill was naked, all the grass dried up and dead leaving only deep black soil.

Setting out the sun on the edge of the horizon, the part approached the hill. At the base they encountered a little black squirrel. This was unusual, as long the way there were no birds, no crickets, or any of the wildlife that ought to be active in a forest like this. It was eerily quiet. With beady red eyes, that studied them with a little too much interest for any random animal. As the squirrel ran up the hillside, Eisen sent his owl to swoop down and grab the animal. The owl dove, but the squirrel proved to slippery, and wriggled out of the owls grip. Running, the squirrel suddenly dissapeard, but some of the party were still able to hear it. Quintus threw a knife at where he believed it to be but missed. Gabriel lamented that they had revealed foolishly revealed their abilities to the enemy. Eisen admitted that it was at the very least a magical beast, or at worse something else polymorphed- in any case he didnt believe that they had shown anything more than the fact that they could throw knives and control owls, a meager showing at best that might actually make them seem weaker than they were. Reaching the top of the hill they spotted the "Tree-thedral". The party approached from the side, Dakheel detecting the thoughts of two creatures within, one of them somewhat disturbing professing it wanted to break the legs of its sloppy slave, and the other wondering whether it was doing a good job. Tonia detected a general Strong aura of evil about the place, but there was 1 distinct Strong aura of some creature within, and…30 faint aura's of evil within as well! Simultaneously, Quintus, Gabriel, and Eisen went around to the front to the wide, doorless opening of the shrine.

Inside they saw that there were benches or pews of logs about 20ft long on either side, leaving an aisle of 10ft wide. A hooded man at a lectern wrote, while a black unicorn like the one from Gabriel's vision. Beside the unicorn was a magic circle that illuminated the space, which it broke with the scrape of a hoof. Darkened, the space was illuminated eerily once more, but now only by the light of the red dusk that filtered in through the cracks in the trunks and tangled branches. The man was surprised, dropping his quill, but the unicorn was unpreturbed. Quintus began to sing "In blood and death 'neath a screaming sky, I lay down on the ground. The arms and legs of other men, Were scattered all around. Some prayed and cursed, then cursed and prayed, And then they prayed some more." Dakheel who continued to read their thoughts would note that the unicorn liked Quintus's lyrics, and wondered if he might have a bard as a slave. The hooded man wondered who they were but not for long, as he became fascinated by Quintus's bardic music. As Quintus performed Gabriel demanded "Answers. Now.". Eisen approached the situation more diplomatically, asking what the unicorn was doing. The unicorn lamented in his archaic common, that the visitors were rather forward, and introduced himself as 'Escalon', explaining that he and his scribe were attending to 'clerical' business, but that they had just finished. Escalon asked if he could help them with something. Eisen asked why the dead had risen, and why they were tainting the area with evil, explaining that if they could come to an understanding, that they might both have what they seek. Escalon said he was not aware of any undead, and that tales of such were baseless rumor. They, in Escalon's words, were "-bute fellowes united by our service to the Greate Mother, Matra.".

Seeing this as a stalling tactic, Eisen immediately polymorphed himself into an Erynes. The unicorn remarked "Looke at thise, we are visted by Bardes, Swordesmen, and wizardes." Eisen opened with Shock & Awe, and then the party initiated battle. Tonia raised the parties defenses, Gabriel charged -connecting with a powerful slash, Dakheel tried to attack but was unable to overcome the unicorns spell resistance, and Quintus kept singing. From the earhten floor a unit of 30 skeletal archers armed with composite long bows suddenly rose from the floor, loosing a hellstorm upon Dakheel and Quintus. Escalon reached for the lecturn, grabbing a twisted white rod with his teeth, exposing his neck allowing Gabriel to wound him again.

Crushing the rod in his teeth, Escalon was enveloped in a visible magic aura. Eisen tried to counter the spell which he was readied to do, idenifying it as Word of Recall, but barely failed. Escalon dissapeard with a loud rush of air, as the sudden vacuumn left by his absence was filled. Tonia flooded the chapel with holy power shattering most of the skeletons, while Gabriel angered at the unicorns escape, attacked a skeleton; Eisen was dazed from his failed attempt, and Quintus continued to fascinate the hooded man. The remaining seven skeletons retaliated focusing their life-loathing on the quintus. Dakheel left the left over skeletons to Tonia who with second turn attempt sent them back to the grave.

With that, the tree-thedral was silent. Eisen searched the room, recognizing the twisted shattered white rod to actually be a unicorns horn. He identified the item as a Violated Horn, a horn cut from a still living unicorn, and then used to violate a subject upon an altar dedicated to a dark power in a perverse ceremony. With this done, the horn could any time there after be broken, and return the user to the site of the ritual as Word of Recall. Given that it had to be cut from a living unicorn, and that it was unlikely Escalon possesed this item before comming to the wood, it was likely that the site of the ritual was there in that very forest. The party was unsure whether any of the three Unicorns known to be dead had had their horns cut, as they had not actually opened the covered well to look within. They knew of Escalon, but knew not of the status of the other three of the grace of seven.

Eisen teleported briefly to town, using Escalons spilled blood to scry on him; from this Eisen saw Escalon somehwere in a dark, dense area of forest. He addressed the two "centauresses" now clothed in plate-whom Eisen could see actually had horns on their head, not a feature of centaurs, albeit they were like centaurs in every other respect - as well as an unknown number whom Eisen could not see. Escalon said they were being invaded by more wizards, most likely compatriots of Grigori. He asked them to remain strong and ever vigilant, and apologized for not being able to vanquish these invaders immediately and control of the shrine falling to heathens. Escalon held a moment of silence for brother Terrance, whom he presumed to be dead at the hands of the enemy. When this was done, attendents began affixing plate barding, and he began to dine on a plate of pale grass and drink from a pail of something dark that stained his beard, to thick to be wine. Dakheel knowing there were only four such areas on the map dense enough to be where Escalon was hiding, sent his crystal to search starting with the closest one, the Northern Wood, in which his crystal did spot strange light-blue, green, and purple.

The party examined what was on the lecturn and found a leatherbound book opened to the first page which was partially filled, the rest of the pages were blank. The handwriting was incredibly sloppy and amateurish and lacking in punctuation, though good enough to be legible. Unlike the handwriting however the language was much more advanced.

Th’sleeper awakes
I hade a dreame, bute t’was not all a dreame, bute phrophecy I wase witnesse to m’lady, Th’Keep’r of Secrets, Beauty, Venus, Mistresse, Empress, Venome of my Hearte, Goddess, Th’Moste High Queene – she stoode before a windowe in a tow’r, a blacke sune behind’r dressed in moste regal wear In’er hande t’was th’sacrificial dagg’r and before her th’cauldron. She conjur’d a blacke miste, thicke and intoxicat’ng We alle did revel, kille, and shoute, and the courte did become drunke on her elixir of madnesse and comit sodomy in divine ecstacy So sweete, and so darke, and so riche, t’was a delicious poison made by no earthly alchemiste I am no long’r dream’ng , no more am I sleep’ng, no more am I wait’ng, no more am I only Escalon, I am become the moste high prieste in m’lady’s own worde as she is the moste high priestess Bute, I shalle not sit cloister’d in a monastery, I am an apostle and shalle go oute into th’worlde I am a hunt’r, a seek’r, and shalle uncov’r moste rare treasur’s to lay at her feete and dainty thinges on which for us to feaste I am of stronge body and bloode, I am a fight’r I am not mere prieste, but deacon-knight, bless’d paladin of a new age who wields th’sworde I shalle strike downe alle others, and bringe them to our feete On their blood shall we drinke and on their flesh shalle we feaste and withe their faces shalle we all masquerade and begin a danse moste macabre in celebration of our darke lorde I muste sende lovely Nolkrin and Helamorn t’gather up’er form’r subjects frome their essential saltes and gather a multitude of virgins, uninitiated men and women who know our lorde not, she shalle have years to know our flesh and our immortale lorde even longer to watche us rotte I will build a temple, thate high and mighy tow’r upone thise very hille, and write a newe booke , a complement to the revelations of my brothers that will rival alle other seers and wizardes, I am a travel’r and if a travl’r wishe he may draw a log from colde ashes and thate is what I will do, from the ashes of olde make anewe on olde grounde and with newe name shalle we make it our life duty to gath’r converts and the daemons > againe to thisse worlde In the inner sanctum of thate temple shall be inscribed- *It stops abruptly, unfinished*

Having read this, the party interrogated the hooded man, who was now cowering in a corner. Dakheel tried speaking in his mind which only further frightened him. Using a Charm and some Diplomacy, Dakheel was able to question the man speaking normally. The man said Dakheel wasnt so scary when he spoke aloud and not in his mind, and that he felt he could trust a "magician" like Dakheel, although he didnt know about the rest of Dakheels companions.

Dakheel gathered that the hooded man had been told his name was Terrance. He could remember only as far as three or four weeks ago, when he suddenly found himself in an unfamilar wood. He didnt know who he was, where he had been before then, or what he was doing. Before him was a black unicorn that asked if he was alright, calling him 'Terrance'. He asked if the unicorn knew him, and the unicorn said that he did, proving he knew him by listing all kinds of personal preferences- that he enjoyed grapes eaten right off the vine, sitting in trees wittling, and that his favorite color was orange like the wild flowers; the unicorn even knew about a scar on his chest which Terrance didnt know about until he looked under his clothing The unicorn said that he was a priest of Matra, The Great Mother a goddess of nature, and that Terrance was one of her chosen.

According to Escalon, Terrance and his family had lived in a woodland comminity as her followers until an evil old wizard, Grigori came into the community and changed their memories to believe that Grigori was a cleric. Grigori in Escalon's words inserted himself as community leader while Escalon was away, and preached in their church, instructing them in ways contrary to the goddesses dogma. Escalon was able to draw some of the Matra's chosen away a few at a time from under the wizards watchful eye. The unicorn wanted to restore their memories and ward them from, but in trying to do so they were erased unfortunately. He advised Terrance stay away from Grigori's "services" at the shrine and to invited him to join a small group of those whom he had managed to free from Grigori's control. Within a few days of living in a dense, secluded area of the wood to the far East of the tree-thedral, Terrance came to realize that he did enjoy all the things Escalon said he knew him to do so. The members of the 'Matra's Chosen' as they had come to call themselves were busy fashioning weapon composite long bows, which they did remember how to do. Escalon, fed up with the Grigori's evil machinations chased him off, by raising the dead so they might defend Matra's shrine even in death, arming them with the weapons they had prepared. Unfortunately, most of the community fled too, but all that was important was that Grigori was gone. Escalon hoped that in time, they would gain strength and number by spreading Matra's teachings, and that those who fled would be brought back as Matra's Chosen-including Terrance's family, especially a wife, and a baby girl.

Escalon told Terrance that before Grigori came he was his scribe, his most important human assistant-it was by Terrance's hands that Escalon wrote, as he had none of his own. When asked about the Text, Terramce cannot confirm nor deny what it says as he is illterate. Escalon "retaught" him how to draw the characters, and dictated to him one letter at a time. He promised to reteach (althoug given the locale of the woodland community, one doubts if Terrance was ever literate) Terrance how to read later, in the meantime he only needed him to be able to scribe the characters legibly enough. Isnt that what scribes do, scribers are not necessarily readers are they? Furthermore, the time that could be spent learning to read, Escalon saw more fit to teach him and others very minor magics that might aid them in their holy endeavours.

[Terrance is a lvl 1 Adept; knows Sleep, Command, Detect Magic, Ghost Sound, Touch of Fatigue; posseses Club, 5 Darts, Elixir of Sneaking, Potion of Cure Moderate, Unholy Symbol (wooden)]

When told that undead were anathema to Matra as they were abominations of the natural world, Terrance explained that Escalon had taught that undead weren't anything to be feared or loathed, for to raise the undead were the essence of life preserved, and to be undead and serve even in death was a great, great honor.


Deciding that they had extrapolated all useful information from Terrance the party had thorough discussion as for what to do with him. The party finally decided that they couldt trust him enough to just let him go, and so it would be safest to secure him firmly inside the chapel. Dakheel reassured him that he ought to face no punishment should anyone find him, as there was no way he could have stopped them on his own. All he had to admit to was that he knew they were going west. Of course this was minor deception of Dakheels part, as it was their intention to head East where they suspected Escalon was in hiding, in a camp of human servistors. However as the party left, looking now to the South East, Dakheel would spot equine like outlines on the far hill, and the silhouette of some sort of monolith which they had not noticed as they appraoched Dead Tree Mound from the well in the North East. These figures seemed to circle the marker, in some sort of ritual. The party decided that these might be the centaur-like creatures seen in Eisen's scrying or Gabriels vision. Heading in that direction it became clear they were not at all centaurs but clearly unicorns, circling the monument in small procession. The party approached cautiausly and it did not seem that they were noticed. The party also spotted an inscription on the monolith, and Eisen and Tonia were through their knowledge of religion able to descern it was a Menhir, a monument typically built in communities dedicated to Matra. However, Grigori had mentioned that there was nothing on the nameless mound, so it seemed any developments had been recent.

Doubting whether stealth would be of any help Quintus charged in after creting mirror images, and Eisen created a Mind Fog to weaken the enemies will. Dakheel tried to Brain Lock the creatures, but even then their will was too great (nat. 20) The unicorns howled bearing predatory teeth and held their ground. The party attacked, but their weapons drew no blood. They at first thought they might be illusions, but this proved quite wrong when one of them attacked Quintus with its deadly horn. Gabriel found himself seized, under the influence of Dominate Person. Crying the name of a being he had never heard of he attacked quintus wounding him terribly. Eisen acting quickly was to destroy one of the wounded ones with an orb of acid. He tried to break their hold on Gabriel but failed. Shortly after Tonia was able to dispel their hold on Gabriel, and recognize them as undead destroying one with holy power. Free on control Gabriel wa sable to finish the fight, cleaving the unicorns legs out from under it before cutting it in hallf.

The battle over, the party examined the inscription, which Eisen was able to translate from Abyssal.

A village and a church is Fallen, and over all her land will fly our High & Mighty Colors.
On the ground are her holy icons rubble and her monuments dust, but in our hands are they clay! Let us sculpt them in our model and our make.
Her dogma and her doctrine are paper, stained and torn and crushed, easily consumed by worm & insect like flesh of the grave.
Let us make new dogma and doctrine in their place, and make last these marks 'til the stars go out, and all is dark.
Builders, Masons, and Architects all! Raise up ye stones and make ye inscriptions thus:

'All hail The Cruel Deceiver! Great King! Strong King! King of The Hills and The valleys, King of The Mountain and Gorge, King of the Cave and the Crevasse, King of The Earth, King of All cities from East to West, King of The Abyss, King of The Universe, Lord Fraz Urb'Luu! To Those who are conquered: Profess your alliance with us. Join us in our manifest destiny. Know True Chaos. Accept it, all of it.Those who fight for us and live shall have their Names engraved in the mile markers of our roads. Our roads shall reach all places, and all roads shall lead to Hollow's Heart. No place unconnected, no distance resistant to bridge or causeway.

To Those who are against us:
No one shall remember you. Your countless names will not mark your graves, nor grace the face of any memorial stone. Your lives will not survive to become either myth or legend, or even rhyme in nursery tome.
Look on our Lord's mighty works.
And Despair.'

Wracking their minds, the party was able to recognize the name as that of a abyssal lord, and so recent events were it seemed as Grigori suspected, the work of a dark cult. Dakheel sent his crystal scouting again, confirming that the strange lights they origially spotted in the wood North east of the Menhir and North of Dead Tree Mound were still there, and spotting a darkened camp of 12-15 people in the woods North of the Menhir and East of Dead Tree Mound as Terrance said it would be. In the dense woods South of Dead Tree Mound and West of the Menhir, his crystal spotted a running man. Meeting him midway in the open fields the terrified man could only get out that "the trees have eyes!". Calming him down and talking further, they learned that the man believed the vuillage was being watched by strange black squirrels with bedy red eyes. He had tried putting out traps for them of all kinds, but the creatures simpley took them apart and left all the pieces neatly arranged on the ground. He fled his home when he awoke to one of them crawling on his ceiling. He looked at the He could find no point of entry except the unlocked door, which in his words must have been picked.

The party decided that the black Unicorn was at the root of all that was wrong, and so rather than investigate there any further, they would bid the half sane man abandon his home while they crossed the fields and searched for the hidden camp Dakheel's crystal reconnaissance had unveiled. Along the way they were intercepted by half human half equine figures galloping on air over the canopy armed with bows. Knowing they were at a disadvantage Eisen had the sudden idea to teleport the party (save himself) on top of them. The party now split into two groups of two landed right on the demonesses' backs! Gabriel and Quintus hacked into them while Tonia branded one with a Mark of Judgement, causing it to lose half of its actions and Dakheel assaulted them with his psionic powers. The cursed demoness stood stock still on air, while the other still moble rolled over, content to let Dakheel and Quintus fall from 60ft up, while she floated to the ground. Dahkeel activated his boots of levitation, Quintus tried to grab onto the floating demon's leg, but ti kicked his hand away. Eisenin the air tried to grab him, but wasnt fast enough. The bard fell out of the sky…and landed in a bush! With minimal scrapes to boot, and most of them from the bush! Knowing the cursed demoness would likely try the same manuever, Tonia cast a Downdraft warning Gabriel to brace himself just before she teleported herself to the ground. Rather than 'riding the bomb' as it were Eisen managed to grab his falling friend. Landing, the demoness fired shocking arrows upon Quintus, while the bard returned fire with throwing knives. Eisen set down Gabriel, who hit the ground not hard but running, charging the cursed demoness. Meanwhile Quintus engaged his own demon in melee, flailing at it with his Assassin's whip, entangling it. Dakheel channeled his psionic waves into the still cursed demoness causing her head to explode, but unexpectedly with its death its insides suddenly became animate, slithering out of the gaping hole of its neck. Its own viscera crushed its bones before turning the whole of the body inside out revealing it to be filled to the brim with spontaneously generated vermin that began feasting on the remains and one another. Tonia, brandishing her holy symbol sung a Demon's Dirge, paralysing the remaining foe and inflicting wounds. Gabriel struck a final and critical blow, cleaving the entangled menace in two at the waist. With its death the equine half remained standing, turning to stone, while the humanoid half fell to the ground smoldering and blackening, givin off a putrid smoke as was reduced to a tar like substance.

It was just after that that Eisen partolling the skies above, spotted trouble not far way. There in the shade of a tree, was a sable unicorn almost unseen save its ivory horn. Speakin telepathically, Escalon taunted them, undaunted by the loss of his demons. Eisen laid down a Mindfog which didnt impress or affect the unicorn at all. Gabriel charged into the fog, hoping to have a repeat of the demon's death, using the same manuever as before-but he missed! Tonia Hasted the group and bolstered their resolve. The unicorn struck back at Gabriel, first missing with his horn, and then with two touch attacks. Gabriel flung one away with his blade, but the second made contact inflicting him with wounds under his armor. It seemed Escalon had made a smart move, turning Eisen's fog to his advantage by trying to force the party to fight in it. Eisen would follow with a succesful Feeble mind, rendering the well spoken unicorn incompetent. Quintus cursed him with Unluck, rendering Escalons followup attacks completely innefective when otherwise they would have harmed Gabriel.

Ultimately Dakheel brought down the villain wiping out his last modicum of spirit with an Ego Whip and sending him unconcious. From out of the wood, Escalon's followers came, shocked and awed that he had fallen to so few. Some wailed at his demise, some dried their eyes and simply watched, and many questioned what they believed anymore.

Gabriel raised his sword, ready to end the uncorns life, but Dakheel asked he stay his hand at least until they had learned all they could. Probing with questions and forcing him to answer, Dakheel learned that the people of the village had their memories erased, as Escalon had hired a group of dark fey mercenaries, Pixies, to do the job. Escalon was able to learn the preferences, and personal qualities of villagers like Terrance through the extraplanar squirrel like entities, Skiurrid, which he summoned for use as spies. The Pixies had no loyalty to him, and once the village was under his control, he sent them away. The Skiurrid which had terrorized the running man were of no harm now, as they would no longer be of his command, turning wilde and returning to their home plane. Albeit Escalon did not know how to undo what the Pixies had done, and thought it irreversible, the party had enough people with knowledge of the arcane to know the pixies memory loss could be reverted with a Heal spell. One byone, Tonia worked to uncloud their minds, and slowly memories would blossom and they would reclaim their former identities- including Terrance who set out to find his wife. The villagers did not survive the ordeal with onlytheir lives, for the abyssal lord's servitors had brought plenty of gold that were to serve as funds for arcane materials and weaponry. They were grateful, and there was enough to go around that they had no qualms giving it to the adventurers that had set them free.

When Dakheel probed deeper so as to descern where Escalon had come from, he revealed it in his own words.

I came frome far away, frome a far greene place in th'northe. I mete two females in our woode, but they were not unicorns at alle. They were demons disguis'd so perfectly. One of them seduc'd me withe th'pow'r I coulde gaine…and alle th'carnale thinges she coulde give; she introduc'd me to'er sist'r then their culte, and their highe priestess. I was promiss'd everythinge. Bute to prove myself, I hade to shew I could decieve-so I razed my home, and tooke withe me only those I thought woulde follow me, those I thought were worthy. But when I revealed my plan for our new woode to them, shewed them I was a cultiste of Fraz-Urb'luu they recoil'd, so I hade to kille them. I hade to do it. I kill'd half of them, and then th'rest too; but seeing how the firste three went to waste, th'other three were made into undead. I did what I hade to do.

Cloudcover rolled in, a curtain call that hid the fading stars, making way for a pale gray dawn. Gabriel raised his sword again, and with a single stroke, removed Escalon's head. The falling rain would wash away all the red. A hooded Grigori, approached the party, acknowledging their success. And then…as if in approval Mother Nature answered with resounding thunder. On the far hill that upheld the Menhir to Fraz-Urb'luu, there was a flash of lightning, and the mocking stone was split in two.


Quotes

Meeting Grigori

"Where are the unicorns?! Can I ride one?" -Quintus

"Gabriel's possesed by unicorn ghosts!!"-Quintus

Investigating Dead Tree Mound

"Oh, I'm adding 'Black Squirrel' to my arch enemy list…" -Quintus

"You're a bad, bad, Unicorn!" -Gabriel

"Foul betrayer!"-Gabriel
"Betrayer? Thou hast yet to learne the meaning of the worde…"-Escalon

"That was fifteen or so by my count…." -Eisen
Quintus shakes his hea slowly, tossing the arrow over his shoulder " nah, there were thirty, easy. she killed the first twenty or so with her smile. Then mopped up. "

Interrogating Terrance, The Cultist

"Dakheel can read minds, that'll save us 20 minutes of beating his ass."-Gabriel
"Yeah"-Dakheel
"Wheres the fun in that? ;3"-Myself
"Nothing, just that Gabriel doesnt feel like splitting his knuckles on his worthless ass."

What should we do with him?" he would haved asked the rest after they had finished extracting all the information they could from his new "friend" Terrance. After all he didn't want to leave the man still under the compulsion of the evil not so my little pony. -Dakheel

After The Battle of the Menhir
Quintus manages a weak smile "y'know… standard ettiquite… when ya stab a friend in the chest… y'apologise…."

Tonia_Pegason lays his blade down in front of him, stands and turning on her heel begins to walk away. She knew it was not his fault…and stoping, looked over her shoulder. "It was not your fault, Gabe…don't blame yourself." And approaching Quintus and the others asked, "What did you learn?"
Quintus waves a hand "evil cult worshiping an evil fake god, death and destruction for all that oppose, something about roads… probably evil roads… "

Tonia_Pegason nodded, "He has a point." she says with a sigh, "But if we continue onward, we may go in unprepared…Eisen's reserves are lessened and mine are getting low as well."
Quintus spreads his hands i don't think the demon has any plans to move… these types tend to dig in and defend. at worst, we'd be giving them a chance to bolster that defence. personally i'd rather go into a slightly worse situation prepared, than an unknown one with my pants down.

Quintus tips his head slightly "that reminds me… did i ever tell you about that time i fought a drow priestess with my pants down?"

"Squirrel Hunting
Quintus snaps his fingers " i told you! i ToLD you that squirrel was behind it all! no one ever suspects the squirrels, see… "
Quintus narrows his eyes "…but they watch. oh, they watch. and plot. and their little beady eyes dart around… like this…" he shifts his eyes rapidly from side to side.

Dakheel "A squirrel that can kill a hound…things are certainly not what they appear…" he would surmise after sparing a wary look at Quintus, indomitable spirit, but that spoke nothing to his sanity which he believed the man had shed years ago at least in half-measure. Swallowing he would bring a hand up to his beard, scratching at his neck in idle thought before it seemed he pulled something out and tossed it away with a grimace of distaste. "We can only judge everything with scrutiny…but confronted by the fact our foe can take any form…if we maintain our vigilance long, we will surely lose our minds.."

The man shudders at Quintus immitation, as it triggers a flash back. "NonononthedamsquirrelstheydissapeartheytheyheartheytheirphantasmalweirdhowdoIknowyouainonefthem!!"

Dakheel almost, but not quite wants to say, "Case in point" as the man proceeds to lose it.

Battle in The Sky
*falling 60ft*
[02:41] <Quintus> roll 1d20+8 tumble
[02:41] <Vault> Quintus rolled 1d20+8 tumble —> [ 1d20=13 ]{21}
[02:42] <GameMastaTam> ok
[02:42] <GameMastaTam> roll 1d6 nonlethal
[02:42] <Vault> GameMastaTam rolled 1d6 nonlethal —> [ 1d6=2 ]{2}
[02:42] <GameMastaTam> roll 4d6 lethal
[02:42] <Vault> GameMastaTam rolled 4d6 lethal —> [ 4d6=4 ]{4}
[02:42] <Dakheel> haha nice
[02:42] <GameMastaTam> un believable!
[02:43] <Tonia_Pegason> Lawl
[02:44] * Quintus immortal
[02:44] * GameMastaTam Quin falls a wild 60ft out of the sky…tumbling…tumbling….until….he lands on his butt in a unusually soft bush, quite comfortable actually. Matra must be watching out for that boy!

[03:26] * GameMastaTam The female Armanite's arrow streaks through the air, cracking loudly, striking true at the real quintus, piercing Quintus armor and dealing a nasty shock. "You thought you could ride for free? In the Abyss on the Gallenshu Plains, our men must earn it through combat-blood is the price of glory!"

"You know whats surprising?" -Me
"That it had exactly 32 hp left?" -Gabe
"No."-Me
"Its Gabe's mother? }:-)" -Quintus
"XD" -Gabe
"Son, I just wanted to help you kill the evil unic-aaaaaaaurghk!" -Quintus
"No, its that it had 42hp left and you did 42 damage. That would have been a perfect finish with the number thats the answer to everything…'cept there was DR."

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