Howl of the Carrion King Session XIV
The wings snapped, then fluttered, and sputtered to an inconsistent beat. The Whisperer of Pride laid beaten, soul bereft of body, eyes glassed in pitch – its myoclonus resounding its death knell.
After removing the items from the daemon husk, Ce-tan explains the findings as a ring which protects the wearer from debilitating effects and a necklace whose sole purpose was to assist in the murder of Gnomes. Glarthoblavot, weary of the necklace stayed far away.
One by one as each ascended from the fetid nether realm, the smell of the granite and field stones through the well rapt attention and pervaded a sense of accomplishment and triumph. As Ce-tan, the first of us, climbed over the wall of the well, we all had understood – Kelmarane, the city lost to a nightmare of twenty ages had been retaken. As Khatovar pulls up over the last stone and applies himself firmly on ground again, he takes a deep breath of air and walks toward his companions toward the exit of temple of Sarenrae.
The air is dry; its wind mild with the scent of sweat and dual tinge of acrid death and sweet desert grass. The clatter of feet on rough stone and talk of victory upon the lips of fatigued companion became dissonant ever slightly as Khatovar with senses still sharply attuned from battle hears a reverberating chime a distance behind. Taking inventory, Ce-tan had not been seen. Seeing no one behind and quickly asking the group to continue forward, Khatovar moved back toward the Burial Urn monument to Sarenrae.
The whispering tone dissipating ever gently from the call of the walls, Khatovar calls out to Ce-tan reminding him to honor an agreement made. Ce-tan, appearing next to the hung gong from behind whence the group had come from the well and apparently examining it under scrutiny, looks confused at the accusations. With a discerning eye and ear Khatovar feels truth in the words of the Ce-tan, marking that nothing had happened to the Urn.
The sun and its radiance danced in the reclaimed city. The houses, ruined markets, manor, cookery, mill, and guard posts all retold tales of its most recent inhabitants. From the nauseating stench of poor alchemical craft to the lair of the Shadowstealer in the mill, no stone had been unturned. And with a bit of foresight all saw the potential of what these emptied walls could become for the future.
Upon arriving back to the Cathedral of St. Vardishal, Filliped stands with the few remaining mercenaries. As though taunting and biting, Filliped and Glarthoblavot exchange commendations, though curt to the untrained ear. A library awaited entering, the news long awaited by its inhabitor – Almah. Upon the news, she knew unprecedented elation only held in check by her years of discipline.
With high reward for great service, those who had dispatched the evil inherited the Wharfmaster Manor within Kelermane’s lower city. As the city will be transformed, the manor – as empty and debris covered as it had been when investigated earlier – would stand as a beacon to those who would cross into the new city. With gratitude, it was accepted. And with that, the rest of the day left to leisure.
Glarthoblavot and Ce-tan investigated a strawberry sized ruby, glowing red with warmth and splendor. Prying over its properties it was found to contain an elemental fire, harnessed, able to do the wielders bidding on notice of the gem’s use. Giddy, they left it to the will of whim and pocketed the gem for some later use.
Khatovar stayed close to the “Desert Rose” speaking about different times and delving into the world now laid before her. Zafar prepared news for his departure to quest to place his acquired reliquaries of Sarenrae to clergy better suited. But before then, the shadow of evil looms. An ever beckoning call of attention stirred as the matter of the lycanthrope is yet unresolved.
Rested and willing, those whom have vanquished the taint of the Whisperer set forth to release the hold of the Katapeshii leopard lycanthrope. It is remembered that the beast made its lair around the Temple of Nethys and the depths of the temple had yet to be explored further.
The whispers of remembrance to wash your feet are uttered by Glarthoblavot as he begins the ceremony and jumps downward into the fantastical lower temple foundations. With awe, a ghostly cup finds its way to the perplexed gnome. Unknowing of what to do with the semi-frightening gift, it is stowed for perhaps later use for a higher purpose.
An unexplored library lay behind the unexplored portion of rooms behind the illusionary wall. A tapestry waves and shimmers with phantasmal realism to those who gaze into its depths. But its secrets are lost on all.
Returning to the large temple halls, columns etched with magical writing support the ceiling with grand definition. Its writing shifting with the passing glance, as relayed by Ce-tan, reveals a simple prismatic spell to render those use against unable to act momentarily. The altar adorned in black and white marble, pristinely carved and shaped is investigated by Glarthoblavot. The scent of magical miasma became stronger.
The hissing, fierce. The strike, sudden. The venom coursed through blood, intoned with death. Vipers had lashed out viciously from the marble statuary upholding the altar. Small and remorseless, they bit into their summoned cousin Suerbahn time and time against only to be sent into the oblivion from whence they came.
Behind the altar, a doorway leading down a narrow hallway. The scent of the Breath of Nethys thick, pungent, and intense, slowly minds begin to warp to their own desires.
Visions of visions, Khatovar steps forward battling an opponent similar to him, fighting to no avail yet jumping into and out of lucidity – attacked self and companions alike. Zahkmed shouted and attacked companions and Ce-tan came forward hearing the mumbling and raving of a lunatic around the corner. The man stood bedlam adorning an oily goatee, ragged clothing revealing linked chain beneath, and haggard blue sash. Underfoot an arcane drawing in a dark dried crimson spreads across the floor emanating a sense of dread and foreboding. The symbols only matched by the ruined and broken illusion of a barge behind him.
With a sense of calamity it left unchecked, one by one slowly everyone crept closer to restrain the man as Ce-tan engaged in dialogue. Incited by the amount of people, the man rose and transformed in an unhinged rage – to a hybrid of dire leopard and human. His vicious claws equally as deadly as his vicious punching dagger. He lashed out wildly. Suerbhan and Khatovar overtaken but not outdone by his pure might trade blow after blow. Glarthoblavot riddled companions with magical speed.
Ce-tan, with a few quick words sent forth bolt after bolt of emaciating fire, charring flesh, shucking bone, and reducing parts of the once lucid man – since aged and wrought with disease – bear to ash. In his wake, the curse lifted itself revealing the full man once again and his unsure face.
Such things have been expunged. Such things will not see the new city of Kelmarane; but only time will tell.