Nirmathas Secrets

Martuph's Time in Caliphas

Sessions 20 - 30

From 3 Lamashan to 3 Neth

GMs Note So much happened in this period inside and outside the game that neither I nor other players had a good chance to keep records for these dates. Here’s an admittedly poor summary of all the things that happened.

Gremalkin and Teshlandrel

Grem began a long regiment of exercise, body conditioning, and poison, antidote, drug, and preservative consumption. After this long regimen, he consumed a concoction that should have killed a normal man, or gnome, and went to sleep. He woke the next day, surprising many paladins and clerics who knew of his odd behavior and quietly observed.

Tesh changed the focus of his magical studies of scrying and divination. Instead of focusing on ways to defend himself from the divinations of Arazni, he focused his and other wizards and priests in Vigil on defeating whatever blocked their spells from finding Martuph. Many long nights, headaches, hallucinations, and visions of dark places later, he confirmed that Martuph was indeed alive and in the city of Caliphas. He found Grem and the made ready to teleport to the outskirts of Caliphas to hopefully join Faydra and Faeron in a more mundane search of the city.

Faydra, Faeron, and Tristram
The trio made it to a small river village of Woford. Tristram suggested they find passage on a riverboat here to speed their travel to Caliphas, but hopefully under less prying eyes. The village itself had problem with odd thefts and minor disease. The local priest was scared because of its similarities to ghoul fever, including treatment. However, no one had died (or become a ghoul). However, people were lapsing repeatedly. In a few days of investigation, the trio discovered there was a rogue crossing the river occasionally and stealing from people. He himself had some mutated version of ghoul fever that was destroying his mind, but his body had adapted to it and he survived as a carrier. He was captured, treated and jailed. The village was thankful, and helped the trio gain passage with little question.

The trip was not simple however, undead attacks from the riverbanks, weather, and unnatural delays plagued the trip. Worse, once they got to Caliphas, the city was a red and orange glow of flames. They found themselves entering a city under siege by legions of undead.

Martuph and Tessara
Martuph realized rather quickly that the mind of his captor was broken, split between the paladin it once was, and the lich-like horror she was made into. He messed with her a bit, prying at the brokenness of her mind in an attempt to get information on how to get out of her prison. The more he dug, the more of both sides of her lashed at him. He nearly died to her anger, but her confusion saved him. He realized that his identity had been mistaken, and that all this strange business with bloodstones and ancient paladins was closer to his fate than he’d ever imagined. The first Graveknight, Ghuzmaar, was his great uncle.

In life, he was Tessara’s lover, and her broken mind thought had decided that he was Ghuzmaar, and that the party had revived him, not destroyed him. Her paladin mind and heart wanted salvation, the corrupted arcanist wanted vengeance. Worse, both were loyal to Arazni, one as the savior of the living, the other as the Harlot Queen. The broken mind could hardly keep up with itself, Martuph found the task impossible.

In the end, Tessara’s time was running out, she knew that the others would arrive soon, and that the Whispering Way’s plans in Caliphas were almost complete. Both her aspects were getting ready to face Martuph one more time, demanding the truth. Her conversation with Martuph revealed who he really was, and that he was willing to help her, but could not do what she thought he could. She released him from his bindings, intending to follow him and either exact revenge for his lies, or see her salvation completed. She allowed him to mend her original holy symbol, a gift from Ghuzmaar before his corruption.

Martuph returned the holy symbol to her, and its touch caused her the first pain she’d felt in over a millennia. The pain however, was not severe, and over quickly and she found her mind much more at ease. The mad wizard-like changes were there, but she could think clearly. She had Martuph moved from a room full of unholy alters and bare walls and chains to a room with an actual bed. He fell on the bed from exhaustion and slept. She left and locked the room, and made it only a few steps before passing out in exhaustion herself. The Graveknight slept, for the first time since her capture.

She woke, more willing to work with Martuph, and confused. It was at this time that they discovered that while wearing the holy symbol, she was neither harmed nor healed by divine magic from any source but herself. They decided her path to salvation had begun, but then the Whispering Way struck, and she discovered how unprepared she was.

The siege of Caliphas was over a week long when the rest of the party arrived, Martuph, Tessara, and her minions (both living and dead) had been fighting along side the citizens of Caliphas, but the cult had planned well and buried themselves deeper into the city than anyone knew. Had the party not arrived when they did, Caliphas would have fell.

The fight for the city
The party came to the city from different entrances, but their strength allowed them to fight off legions of undead, and eventually find eachother. The discovery of Martuph’s situation was bizarre, and Faydra’s rash reaction to Tessara almost brought her death, but fast talking and a faster hammer saved both women from mutual destruction. The party then regrouped, and took the fight to the undead. After a few battles, they realized there was a section of the city that was untouched. The party, now with Tessara, went to investigate.

It was here that they discovered that the Whispering Way had acquired one of the Bloodstones, and an ancient, but relatively quiet lich was working with them. There first battle with the Lich and his zombie dragon was quick, but not decisive. The Lich escaped with the Bloodstone, but failed to trick the party into giving up the other two.

Now the party knows its next target, but first they must find him. To do so, they must go to the beginning, and assault the assassins who set them on this path at their home. They head for the Anaphexia’s Monastery of the Veil.

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