The Opened World

What Lies Beneath, Part II

While Jerys begins to channel life cycle energies into the experiment tank, the surrounding creatures merely watch. As the experiment (nicknamed Rover) begins to visibly grow, Jabera decides that Jerys must be pried away. However, his attempts to pry away the Biomancer draw the ire of the floating jellyfish-like abominations. They fill his head with horrifying visions of his neighborhood being destroyed, his students killed, and the environment consumed. Tavi is more confident in his own spiritual defenses and leaps in to pull away Jerys. A brief vision of horror is cleared from his mind by the blowing eye of Shah. However, the larger chitinous abominations in the rear now charge him, but Mambi blasts one with a rain of fire, also killing a nearby floater. Lupa cripples the charging beast and more fighting ensues. In the midst of this, Jabera comes to and tries to find the weak spot on the creatures armor, while Jerys returns to channeling into the experiment tank.

to be continued

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Jerys' Journal: My Curse

Exert from the journal of Jerys:

“I can feel the heretical power growing within me like a Barbascan thorn weed. I feel it poisoning my blood, my mind, and my soul. Out of sheer spite I feel it reforming, perverting, and re-channeling my very essence. This curse will be the end of me if I cannot begin controlling it soon. I must visit the Alathan Temple. Perhaps those old fools will know what to do after all. I am sickened by the thought of going to the Priests like a derelict to beg for a cure; to beg for wisdom about how to cleanse my body and mind… but what choice do I have? The ”/campaign/the-opened-world/wikis/zoarch" class=“wiki-page-link”> Scourge must be cut out. I must be absolved. I must be sanitized."

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What Lies Beneath
Not on the best cellar lists

As the Sacred Few search the quarters of the recently-slain Tehren, they hear a large explosion outside and Mambi enters the room. A deposed empress from the Kinsthet Desert with a score to settle, she had intended to confront Tehren about a stolen statue. The group decides that it is in their best interest to continue into the cellars in search of a different way out and perhaps more valuables. Pressing beyond the first rooms and some spider-ridden grain thank to Jerys’ recently-heightened gut instincts, they discover a trio of mutated lobster-like dog creatures gnawing on a pulsating fusion of limbs and entrails. Quickly routing the beasts, Jerys decision to tap into his darker side summons a hideous mass of eyes and tentacles. Lupa attacks the monstrosity back into the depths, while Mambi ignites the greasy water and Tavi spreads the embers and holds back the choking smoke. Jaberra discovers a blue Larantha orb that turns out to be the soul orb of a water sprite. Finally Jerys’ gut feeling leads them to a large room containing a glass experiment tank, ritual circles, and a well with a zoarch motif. Inside the tank is a six foot chitinous abomination, while two larger similar looking creatures stand sentry near a rear door and multi-eyed floating jellyfish circle the room. Tucked near the well is a letter from Caldrous to Tehren. Attuning himself to his new-found powers, Jerys steps to the entrance as a thousand eyes wait on his next move.

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Everyone's Gonna Be There
Its not party crashing till you kill the host

Having made contact with Tehren‘s underworld majordomo, the Sacred Few crash Tehren’s gala for the rich and powerful. While Tavi and Jaberra get “hired” as “security”, Jerys and Lupa pose as a cantankerous wheelchair-bound noble and his mute nurse. Jerys’s antics earn the annoyance of nearly everyone, Lupa included. Tehren seems to see right through the disguise, but invites them into his inner quarters for a special offer (all while Lupa poisons the hulking bodyguard). Jaberra sneaks into Tehren’s private chambers, uncovering a hidden key and important account documents. Tavi takes Jerys’s wheelchair into the dining chambers, while Lupa is forced to wait outside with the guards. Guests are offered gifts to further their ambitions for power, with a chance to decline and leave. When a few depart, Lupa observes their slaughter and replacement minutes later with what seem to be body doubles. Inside, a suspicious incense seems to dull mystic connections, but Tavi is able to keep himself inside a safe bubble. While Jaberra clings to the underside of the table, Jarys rejects a suspicious toast, opting for only food. Startlingly something begins crawling around in his throat and Jerys is unable to expel the parasites. The group decides to attack, easily routing the poisoned bodyguard and surprised ex-inquisitor, but Jerys’s powers take a turn for the creepy when his usual attacks ravage with scything talons and tentacles. Tehren seems remarkable nonplussed as he dies with a knowing smile. The group makes plans to loot the room.

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Buried and Risen
Some things won't stay buried

Jerys brings Lupa back to Jabera‘s dojo and the necromancer is welcomed into the Sacred Few. Tavi returns soon after and the four attempt to decipher the mirror found in the sewer. Believing it to be some sort of portal, but lacking any further clues to its identity, they covertly move it to the dojo. Jabera’s students construct a rudimentary shed and mirror is buried face down inside, adjacent to his quarters.

The group trades further information and decides that the wealthy Sadinian noble Tehren is their best hope in continuing their campaign against the zoarchs. Jaberra digs up some old contacts and unearths his old life as an assassin to meet one of Tehren’s main middle men. This leads to an in at an upcoming gala at Tehren’s villa, where Jerys will take a VIP invitation in and the rest of the party posing as security.

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Jerys' Journal: Notable Characters
Jerys Journal Characters

An entry from the journal of Jerys:

Who is this man who would pull me from a burning building, find healers to bring
me back to life, and then fight along side me for no discernable reason? Truthfully, his
powers frighten me. His control of “death” spirit is disturbing. It’s odd, however… his spirit
is alarmingly black, yet there seems to nevertheless be a certain glimmer of hope, or desire, or
possibly love in him? I do not know him well enough to tell yet. Regardless, this Lupa seems
loyal, to be sure; I am beginning to trust him, but whether or not that is wise, time will only
tell.
We were able to “discern” a certain amount information out of a few “willing”
Alathans today regarding the Zoarch threat. This is becoming larger and more complicated
than I want to admit. It seems the Zoarchs and their filthy heresies have penetrated deeply
within the minds and spirits of a large amount of not only my people, but the Alathans as
well… and possibly the Melali as well. I must find a way to cleanse the land, sea, and air
of the Scourge… Possibly if I can find this “Caldrous.” Perhaps that will lead me to where I
need to be… I must commit the information we acquired today to memory…

Tehren – Extremely rich and well-connected “old money” citizen of Ir Sadina. Has
possible connections to Caldrous and the Zoarch community.

Caldrous – A powerfully connected Remnant ex-Templar with marked anarchist
sensibilities. He has a strong connection with the overthrow of Ravenstone
Prison (the infamous, high-security, Northern Empire Alathan prison), and a
slew of miscellaneous riots and uprisings. He is possibly the head Warlord of the
Octopodi, and also possibly a high-ranking Zoarch himself. He possesses a large
unknown inscription and scar over his left eye.

Known “mafia”-esque parishes (The Ja’adin, or, “the damned”)
o The Parish of The Black Ring (lead by Bishop Ozig) – for whom Lupa
and I did a favor. Bishop Ozig seems a shrewd man, without fear, and who
possesses a great love for loyalty.
o The Parish of The Shattered Eye (lead by Bishop Thet)
o The Parish of The Lady’s Children (leader as yet unknown)
o The Parish of The Camp Wraiths (leader as yet unknown)
o The Parish of The Voice of Sayya (lead by Bishop Jinson)
o The Parish of The Catfish (leader as yet unknown)

Captain Tolan – Head of the Tarabolis Protectorate for this district of Ir Sadina.
Captain Tolan is an acute observer of others, possesses and sharp mind, and a
considerable amount of self-control, even under the influence of Alathan ale. He is
a friend to Lupa and myself, for we solved the mystery of his missing soldiers; they
were killed at the hands of a few crazed Homonculi that we dealt with swiftly.

Tyr – Head field agent for the Remnant Inquisitors and The Delve. Found out he was seen by
Captain Tolan a few weeks ago, poking his head into issues where he doesn’t belong.

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When Lupa met Jerys

Jerys meets Lupa while investigating Zoarch pamphlets on the docks. A fight ensues and Lupa saves him. They meet with Ozig of the Black Ring Jaadin and head into the sewers to clear his parish’s name. They find corpses, a homonculi warren, an odd mirror, and something large that lives in the sewers. They also befriend a local captain of the guard and get a bit more information. Hijinks ensue tbc

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Return To The Homonculi Camp/What lies beneath

Place-holder. Jabera, Tavi, and Jerys return to the location of the homonculi slaver’s camp,to investigate the hollow tree and caverns beneath. tbc

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Into the Fray
From the Journal of Jerys

The Zoarch Scourge seems ever-present. They beset me on all sides. I can see their mark in the ashes and ruble of ruined cities, in the pools of blood left behind by raids and incursions, and in the latent fear hiding behind the eyes of all who hear tales of the Scourge’s expansion.

They are filth.

They are abominations.

They are blasphemy made flesh.

I thank Tehsh that I never tire of being an instrument of their destruction. And I pray that others see the need for their eradication as urgently as I.

A useless old Alathan priest handed me a parchment this morning. He said they were circulating around Imperial and Council lands. The immensity of its heresy was infuriating. It spoke of freedom, destiny, and openness; but to those who have eyes to see, it was obvious that all it actually championed was the open spread of more Zoarch foulness. Worst of all, that same Alathan priest – the highest of his order – barely looked sickened by the words on the parchment. He almost seemed persuaded by its arguments; enticed even. How dare such a man function in such a high calling? This struggle with the Zoarchs may prove more difficult than expected, especially if my order cannot even count on its “holy ones” to fight like the zealots we are commanded to be.

I am, however, encouraged by the members of my new adventuring charter. They, of all people, seem to see the Filth and the Scourge for what they truly are. They understand the Octopodi and the Homunculi to be idolatrous vermin. Thank Tehsh that they can see the truth of things. We hence will be known as the Holy Few, and it is an apt name at that. Together we will rid this world of all blasphemy.

At first light we will head into the ruins of the mountain to seek out our enemies; and there will our long battle for purity, righteousness, and orthodoxy begin. May the Zoarchs feel our holy wrath. Soon will be the hour of their judgment. But now it is time for meditation, reflection, the study of the scriptures, and holy rest. My strength is sapped from a tavern skirmish with two drunken elementalists from Ir Alatha.

Tehsh, be with me in my rest, in my waking, and in my combat. You are forever hallowed; thanks be to you, giver of life, grower of all, sustainer of everything.

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Return from the Fade/Kinsthet

The returned adventurers regale the clan with the missions to The Fade and the Kinsthet Desert. The eerie tales of the ghost-eyed hauntings, and curious were-ravens of Fade are coupled with joining the great hunt of the forest lord to down the terresque and the spectacular fight against the abomination summoning Zoarch to stop the ritual trying to destabilize The Eye of Life. The group from the Kinsthet explains the rough conditions, the odd sights of the mausoleum and finding of Vesa. Finally they share the betrayal of Tyr, the sanity-twisting abominations, and the gatherings of Zoarch in the underhavens pressing the delivery of the message to the world’s leaders.

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