64. The Temple of (Impending) Doom

It felt somewhat sacrilegious to be standing on an altar, but given the forsaken nature of the current climate and Leofric‘s devotion to elder gods this was quickly overcome. This monument to the hand of Torm separated to reveal a trapdoor beneath.

I and the Levellers dropped through its trapdoor to the catacombs beneath. What sort of god needs idle (idol?) basic trickery in order to sustain donation I pondered. Again, briefly.

The catacombs beneath were torchlit, tile lined and rather peaceful. The pitiful remnants of the resistance were within. Having expected to meet with a holy regiment, tight sprung, bent on vengeance, ready to be lead to a violent and righteous conclusion to our predicament I was achingly disappointed to note how few of them remained.

A few hundred civilians were said to be holed-up in the catacombs, the poor wretches couldn’t be said to have it better than those being bled for protection across the divide. There were so few able warriors present that it became clear that the return of Elturel was a responsibility set square on our shoulders.

Reya reported in to a Captain Kaas, Hilde, she was the highest ranking officer still around. She was keen for us to head into the catacombs, searching there and in the upper catacombs for some sort of shaman hobb…halfling called Seltern O’branch who had been sustaining survivors with goodberries (SEE TUNNY I TOLD YOU THAT WAS YOUR JOB). She also thought we should restore the Shieldhall to the north but that’s jokes; it is swarmed by Hell Knights.

We then met with a number of civil servants and clergy who squabbled about whether to give over to the devils and prep for life in New Hell-turel. We calmly rolled our eyes at talk of submission and I gave a speech so stirring, so colourful, so perfect in its rhetoric, that everyone who heard and can remember it was sworn to continue valiantly under the banner of Nutral-ish Good-ish. I had doubtless been stirred by Grumbar as now that I come to seek to record that speech… I cannot.

Tunwéya then went off to chat to someone about books. Yawn. Apparently though, due to some careful forensics of the ecumenical and legal contents of the contracts drawn up by sworn Hellriders we may have been able to determine why some of them fell and became Hell Knights. Additional note, Hell-Riders is a bit on the nose at this point and they should probably re-brand later on.

We heard also of some brave artificers who had tried to form systems and mechanisms in order to travel upon the chains. Exactly why someone would try to reach the surface of the pit I don’t really know, but I would be getting bored if I’d been here a couple of months too.

I looked at the rest of the party at this point and realised that they had been running on fumes, a couple of them were more than two pints of blood beyond their peak performance and a good night (although we know not night from day at this point) sleep was in order.

I went through my meditations and, having escaped the last battle with nary a scratch was free to chat shortly after with some other denizens. I noticed the lad Orin, a blacksmith we’d bumped into at various points along the journey to this place. I was struck at how he seemed to have arrived safely without so much as a hair out of place and started to quiz him about whether he was, either the hardest bloke alive, or some sort of malevolent beast.

It was the latter.

It’s always the latter.

So, we killed ourselves an incubus. I gave him quarter but he wouldn’t take it. Choosing instead his demise. The randy little git.

Where we head next seems to be into the depths of the catacombs. My mind is at current on the plight of those across the chasm, who at least live with some level of freedom. I’m also keen to test new majicks that have revealed themselves to me which might enable me to “banish” the weak and young back to the mortal realm.

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