A Harrowing Saga

The sacrifice and the underbelly of Shrike

Pacts, taint, and promises to devil gods.

The wardens met Sekolah, where they accepted her offer. Being branded as her champions, they agreed to find the ancient sea elf city beneath the crags by cutter’s neck in the south of the realm. They are tasked to convincing their queen to bring back their beliefs in Sekolah, to where she would assist them in a time of need. Bestowed as her champions, the devil goddess threw them from the sea to the shores of Tho-Siggot where they met Taryn and her companion Vlad, a pair of thieves who said they were there to escort the wardens to Tho-Siggot.

Upon reaching Tho-siggot, they noticed the city itself was mostly rubble. Many citizens were paralyzed in stone, their faces twisted in agonizing horror. They reached the great hall of the castle keep, and encountered the hell hound – Drak Al’Than, a liche, and traitor of Karn, who waited for them at the dusted throne, with his three death knights.

He explained to them he would let them get to the undercity, under the condition they fought one of his death knights as a group as a source of entertainment. Zed took it upon himself to fight the death knight one-on-one, where he was defeated mercilessly. Losing the bet with Drak, the wardens and their companions headed down a slide, that dumped them on a pile of rotted corpses.

Climbing down the pile, they reached a massive room, with a demonic butcher cutting up dead demons, and boiling them in a pair of pots. Meat hooks hung from the ceilings, with chunks of dried demon meat. He attacked the wardens, and Vlad the Vandal slew the creature in a pair of strikes.

After searching the butcher’s room, they came into a worker demon hauling a pushcart of corpses, who Zed followed into the room of corpses. As the others headed down a rope bridge, past a bubbling dead lake, to the squalor of the slums below. They heard a thunderous bang, and saw the demon worker heading back with Zed’s decapitated, nude corpse in the cart with his belongings. “He drew his sword,” the demon worker said, as he unloaded Zed’s corpse. “Dinner time!” Zed’s companions divided his gear amongst themselves and headed along to another rope bridge, where they waited in line to board a ferry to cross to the main part of Shrike.

An officious imp informed them they needed to sign waivers, and they entered a building for “Living” where three armored demons heckled them for their luck to survive Shrike. A demonic, hook nosed clerk behind a desk gave them waivers prior to boarding a freighter for mortals. Smiley Tom, the ferryman informed them they could find the spear Taint in the temple district.

After getting off the docks, and unloading their loot with a merchant who they almost drove to violence, they headed to the Horn, a tavern where they met a former golden hand, tainted, and turned into a devil priest. He led them to the temple of Vinard, where he explained that Malcanther, the Queen of Succubi, and keeper of the Taint would deal with them to get hold of the spear.

Bilgrum prayed to Salaren, who said to get the spear, they would need to make a sacrifice.

Malcanther asked if they would offer Vlad as a sacrifice, so he could be tortured and publicly executed. After examining Taryn, she said Taryn’s pact to her would suffice. Taryn abided, and became bound to the Succubi Queen.

She led the group down to the chambers below the temple, where she led them to the tomb of King Jarmun, the betrayer of Salun, where his mummified corpse gripped the taint, the spear giving off such a dark aura that faces of horror and pain swirled within his tomb. Orden approached, and gripped the spear, and Jarmun awoke for a brief moment, releasing a death rattle. They placed the spear in their bag of holding, and accepted Malcanther’s offering of them to rest within her temple before working on leaving the accursed city on the lower level of the abyss.

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