I met up with the party again after taking a short break to wallow in my deep depression. After being filled in with the details of the events that occurred during my departure, we traveled to Tallenvasser alongside the local ranger Braden Swibhne.
I know the group must have been devastated by my unannounced hiatus, but they all put on a good show to not seem bothered by my absence. It is nice that they would try to spare my feeling and not make me feel any worse than I already do.
Anyway, Tallenvasser appears decimated and uninhabited just like all the other towns we encountered on our way to Westerfall Keep. Based on Siofra’s god, Sarenrae’s hints, we decided to head west into the forest. While I had a simple time convincing Braden that heading west was the best course of action to keep the Yeth Hounds and any other monsters off our trail as well as help him in his quest to rescue any Tallenvasser survivors, it seems some of the other party members just didn’t have the intellect and tact to keep our cleric’s true occupation a secret…
Fortunately it would turn that Braden was truly one of the good guys, so no harm came of their fouls-ups this time.
While our camp site was able to seemingly stay off the radar of the Yeth Hounds and black tar demons, we were awoken to the sound and smells of a gnoll raid.
Outnumbered more than 6 to 1 (there must have been 60 at least!), and without time to even don my armor, we entered combat. We bravely and deftly defeated the onslaught, but not without some hiccups. Even without armor, I was able to kill at least 10 before I lost count. Pankas was actually a huge help as he granted me some magic armor after I cleared the gnolls around him.
During the second wave, both Ullfgard and Tetsuotoko took damage from what we later determined to be some sort of poison, causing them to act like rabid maniacs. After I dispatched the gnolls around Ullfgard, in his rabid frenzy he then attacked and wounded Pankas.
At the battle’s conclusion, Siofra, in her battle-haze, took off west, convinced she was close to her target. I sprinted after her and upon catching her, was able to calm her down. Soon the party caught up to us, with my armor and gear in tow much to my delight.
After more negotiating, we were able to convince Siofra to rest the night and continue in the morning.
The next morning was our great revelation. Upon entering a small clearing in the woods, we were greeted by what turned out to be the visage of Sarenrae. She then explained that 10 years ago, Asmodeus, Norgorber and Lamashtu conspired to sabotage the pantheon.
First, Desna, the god of dreams was destroyed by the three. When the pantheon met to discuss the events, Sarenrae left, disgusted with their inertia. The three conspirators then ambushed the pantheon. During the battle, Lamashtu pulled a double-cross and poisoned not only the pantheon, but also Norgorber and Asmodeus. This resulted in all of the god’s souls being trapped on our mortal plane.
Sarenrae believes that Lamashtu does not yet realize both her whereabouts and the state of the other gods, so we are now tasked with trying to track down their mortal forms and gathering them with Sarenrae.
Our first move is to go back to Lenton to find the brewer who we now believe to be Cayden Cailean. Convincing him to join us must be done very delicately, since, while our current knowledge of the destruction of Desna will prove our words, it may very well send him off the deep-end, as he was a suitor of hers.
It seems as though time has indeed fast-forwarded during our time in Backwashington, so while I hope it not to be so, I have a suspicion I will be going through the same feelings that Cayden is about to be forced to face.