Monday, November 3, 2014

New Pantheon 6: Apocolyte Compound

Our heroes stand over the bleeding body of Kindred Kazel and, after some deliberation, Rache slices her head off. They have enough crazy people to worry about.

The next two weeks continue uneventfully. Strong Ride and Survival checks means no random encounters, and our heroes eventually get to the Apocolyte Compound, a 100ft x 100ft fort. It is manned with guards and appears to house many apocolytes.

After a day of observation and extensive discussion, our heroes decide to go invisible and sneak in through the side door (used by people in the compound when nature calls to get to the woods). Without any issue, the heroes get inside, then up to the battlements.

When the invisibility wears off, our heroes start massacring the cultists. Semprona takes on, and has a tough time with, four guards, unable to get through their armor. Jeptha tears through a squad of guards on the battlements, then moves onto a second group. Aislyn throws around a few snowballs, absolutely decimating a mob of cultists before being paralyzed by an enemy spell caster. Rache chases down the caster and kills him, only to be surrounded by a second mob on whom he uses blistering invective and whom Aislyn dispatches with ice ball when she can move again.

Our heroes then make their way inside the compound, where they dispatch a Rock Troll. In this fight Semprona is the star, smiting the beast and dealing nearly all of the damage. She also survives a massive full round attack. Jeptha is less helpful. After a failed trip attempt, his guisarme gets stuck in a nearby bean bag. When he is unable to pull it free, he draws his club only the nearly break it on the hard ground. A hesitant Rache does his best in melee, and Aislyn, running low on spells, utters a few Ear-Freezing Screams. She then prevents the troll from regenerating with acid.

Semprona's brother Tomas is found in a cell. Tomas spits in her face and vows to kill her for murdering their mother, but Semprona isn't quite sure what to do. Killing your brother in self defense is one thing, but killing him while he is locked in a cell? Decisions, decisions. She decides to leave him locked up for now.

Our heroes proceed through the compound. Past the inner sanctum, they find 100,000gp in a pile or 2,000 pounds worth of gold.

The final room is quite a sight. It is covered in runes, and an iron throne houses a partially melted painting that looks vaguely familiar. The iron throne hums with worship. In the corner cringes Vander Perkins, who explains everything.

The Charismatic Leader isn't here. He was born in Mildan, under a sign, and he worshiped the six. He was just a teenager when the Cataclysm struck and killed his childhood sweetheart. He lost all faith in the world, realized that there were no gods, and began to preach the nihilistic Apocolysm.

He also discovered that, if men drank from his blood, they would follow his word and spread it with magical force. Every sermon he gave, he cut himself in a different place and drained some blood into a bowl of wine to be passed around. Before long he was covered with scars.

Apocolysm spread, and things were good. Money rolled in, and the Leader, and those closest to him, had power.

However, the Leader then fell in love again. He realized that perhaps there were gods, and that he may have been wrong. The Apocolyte higher ups realized that if he were to change his mind and tell people, they would lose their power. So, they killed the new sweetheart and cut out the Leader's tongue to he could never talk again to change people's beliefs. They would continue believing the last thing they heard from him.

However, if the higher ups killed the Leader, his blood would lose its power. So, they sent him to a secure place where nobody would listen to him, and from where he would never escape - Gallowhall.

Krannic, the mute half elf, is the Charismatic leader of the Apocolytes.

Our heroes decide to spare Vander Perkins, and perhaps use his logistical and administrative skills to help run the new pantheon. Semprona decides to tie up her brother and take him back to Gallowhall. And, just for the hell of it, they will grab the Troll Keeper as well.

However, as our heroes are leaving the compound, they are jumped by five enemies - four men with shortswords and one with a lute!

It is now February 14th, 15 A.C. Our heroes played this session at level 6, Ascension level 2.

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