The House that Once Was

The next morning we dress in our finest and arrive at the Cathedral. Thayne prepares his spells and begins to summon the Deva the same Deva. Before he can complete his spell Amelia Gutrinch, the high priestess, drops a silence spell on Thayne, stopping his spell. She immediately steps up and accuses his trying to summon the power of the dead. His spells would have called upon the power of Jukestra. The high priestess explains that when Jukestra was killed Asmodeus – who has been drawing his power from the hells. This has causes a faction war between various celestial powers.

To adjudicate in this manner Jared suggest call in Katib the planar that he spoke to at the Golden Harp in Caburh. Amelia does not know of Katib, but agrees to seek her advice. She summons forth Katib who agrees to offer her advice. She speaks in support of High Priestess Amelia and explains what has transpired. She tells us that the first created deity, Candor, was corrupted by the Corpus Inferni and refused to give out new powers to fledgling gods. He was banished to Carceri, the first prime prison. In time he once again came into contact with the divine first spark and regained some of his power. This is when he renamed himself Asmodeus and became the father of all fiends, devils, and arch-fiends.

Thayne demands action taken on those who have killed members of his church. Three of his members, and their families, have been killed. While the high priestess believes we should keep our focus on weightier matters, Katib agrees to undertake this job for a sufficient donation to her followers on this world. Thayne gives the high priestess ten pounds of platinum and demands satisfaction. Thayne gathers his companions and Katib into a circle and teleports us to just outside of his church’s compound.

Katib goes inside the compound and after making a quick check of the people, she sits in the square and communes with her divinity. Her answer is that one of the chained was responsible. Angels that have been bound by black chains and tortured until they submit to the will of the darkness. Thayne tries and get Katib to admit that this is a sign of the corruption, but Katib will not agree that any greater corruption exists. She will search out the bound interloper and destroy them.

By nightfall there is the sounds of battle overhead. We can see Katib, brightly growing, battling the bound deva that Thayne once summoned. In only a few minutes the sword of Katib cleaves through the deva. The deva’s golden mace falls inside the compounds and melts down into a disfigured lump. Thayne has his followers take the lump of metal to the church.

After Katib returns to her home plane Thayne teleports back to the Thirsty Witch. The next morning we return to the cathedral to report what happened at the compound and see what work needs to be done. High Priestess Amelia is speaking to the others via magic mirror, specifically Solomon. Fortunately for us there are far more troublesome spots that people that can help. We elect to take on a mission to investigate a growing miasma of necrosis outside the city of Ricusa in the Kingdom of Orlon. The kingdom fell to corruption years ago and is incapable of dealing with this problem. After that we will strike out northeast to investigate a floating island that has been slowly moving through the area.

We stock up on supplies, as well as some illicit cargo to trade inside the city. We will deliver the goods to Giles Erwine.

We reach the edge of the necrotic miasma. Jared orders his ship to back off a safe distance once the companions are away. Krin and Thyane agree that the edge of moving – it is growing. Thayne sends its familiar across the necrotic field. It is not harmed by the magical effect, but the earth under its feet crumbles to dust. Thayne casts various spells and identifies it has powerful necromancy mixed with some dark transmutation.

We prepare ourselves and enter the corrupted land. Near the middle of the corruption we come across small village of decayed houses. In the center of the village is the strange shrinking house. Thayne still feels himself bonded to the house, but he can no longer command it to shrink. He tries to open the door (fails) and knocking (fails). He casts a spell around himself to destroy the door, but gets blasted back. Several more times he pushes forward letting his spell damage the door. Eventually the door is torn asunder and we enter the house.

The house has changed. It is neither as Thayne ordered it, nor as we first encountered it. It now appears to be a wooden floor surrounded by a hellish landscape. Thayne leads us into the basement where he bonded with the house. His palm print is still on the wall and pulsing in time with his own heartbeat. Jared senses the malevolent evil that comes from this house. Krin speaks of the powerful living magic that lives in this house. We trust in Thayne’s judgement as he casts spells to destroy this evil creation.

When Thayne’s spells burst from his body the stone with his hand print cracks. Two purple hands reach out from the crack and tear the rest of the stone apart, stepping into the laboratory. A powerful archdemon pulls his way into the room drawing a greatsword over six feet in length. He charges through the room striking Jared as he run back upstairs. We follow as fast as we can; although the archdemon moves far faster than us. We battle the fiend in the hellish landscape, his dark blade, spells, and powerful curses causing difficulty in bringing down. When the final blow is struck he whispers that he is finally free just before he dies.

With the doorway gone we are stuck in this demiplane until Thayne can study his grimoire. During that time we all succumb to the dark curse of this land, except for Krin. Luckily Krin is able to keep Thayne focused enough that he could plane shift us back to Avendol just outside of the house. Once outside Jared regains enough of his own desire to consume the best of any food to remove the curse on us. The once black and evil gloom that lay over the land is gone; although all flora and fauna is still dead.

We call in the Jolly Jack and journey on to Ricusa. Once in the city we split up into two groups. Thayne and Blorp go to research about the flying island that is moving through this area, while Krin and Jared go in search of Giles Erwine so they can deliver the cargo.

Thayne and Blorp end up in the largest temple to Jack of Shadows. After gambling for just short of an hour he manages to gather some cursory information about the flying fortress, but nothing more than hearsay and rumors.

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