The Fractured Empire

The Unceasing Hunger of Decay

The Cult of An’Desh’a rose to prominence relatively soon after the formation of the An’Desh Empire. Those who longed for a time before they had to flee their home and call another God their own, gathered in peaceful celebration of their fallen goddess. But the slow decline of Guardians Pass gave birth to both the despicable and the indifferent. By the time Lord Governor Talvas stepped in to aid his lost brethren it was too late, as hate had already taken hold in their hearts. Talvas would end up receiving the credit for squashing the Cults rebellion but whispers have always surrounded it’s fiery fall, one word …Skallar. Many would tend to agree when no steps were taken stop the resurgence of the Cult under Kattar and Rinya, that the man did not earn such regard. It would not be until the Outsiders took their lives that the Cult officially ended. While this action is still praised in the annals of Time, some historians believe their and the Clerics actions were too hasty, and therefore what came next could have been avoided. ~ The Coming of the Outsiders Chapter 3 – Written by Yolo Swaggins.

After a rest filled night the Party made their way from the Temple district accompanied by the Paladins of Liandra, Priestesses of Nepthira and Clerics Of Pike. They stood before the gates to the territory claimed by the Cult of An’Desh’A. There they witnessed the Dutchess, surrounded by her elite guards sitting upon her thrown, eating cucumber sandwiches as if waiting for the show to commence. With a disproving wag of her finger, she dismissed the group and awaited the results of their endeavor.Sammuel also arrived, surrounded by his Mercenaries, and blocked off any retreat into the Neutral Zone. He had no words for the party but the setting of barricades along his borderes told them all they needed. Sammuel was not pleased and would no longer be the ally he once was. But not all was so dour, both Zilah and Harlo offered discreet waves and encouragement.

The battle commenced as most battles do in this world, as the Paladins of Liandra made quick work of the gate with their divine magics. The Party and the Clerics stormed the gate under the splashes of boiling oil and arrow fire from above. The Paladins Burst through, taking on the majority of the cultist fighters, once through the Priestesses split off from the group to prevent any further reinforcements from flanking their position. From there the clerics of Pike escorted the Party deep within the Cult Territory, taking it upon themselves to deal with the infected legions and freeing as many slaves as possible.

Left alone and deep within enemy territory, the Party made their way through the city in search of the cults leaders, Kattar and Rinya. They witnessed the horrors of life that the slaves of the cult had to endure. These included, torture chambers, crammed buildings stuffed with tattered clothes and bedding, troughs filled with rotting vegetables and various types flesh and appendages used for feeding. Then the mobs came.

Mobs of human slaves driven to madness by their captors attacked the party with makeshift weapons and gardening equipment, one poor dud only had a clay pot. The party dispatched the mobs, making sure to not kill them, as they were innocent and Hal refused to shed their blood. their keeps on the other hand were fair game. The party engaged desiccated and hooded cultists whose very touch created festering wounds on the flash as well as injecting a worm like parasite into them. After the intiial wave was dispatched, Hal noticed that they were not worshiping An’Desh’A at all but the dread god of the Void, Lavavoth!

The Party also cam across a caged Halfling Barbarian named Genk and freed her from captivity. After finding and freeing her dog/mount, Drool, she agreed to help the Party Kill Her captors. She wanted revenge for her fallen Clan,… and she also mistook Balsatra as the Great Bear spirit.

Deeper in, they soon discovered Kattar standing before a fountain that’s brackish water was infested with the worms they had seen before. The ground underneath their feet was layer upon layers of moving refuse and decay. Once again Mobs of slaves attacked them, only they were already too far into the worms infection to be saved. With each infected slave killed the party battled their way to grinning Kattar, only to notice that the adversary had large an toothed living worm dwelling in his esophagus. To make matters worse the entire area continued to dim, making viability difficult. When the darkness was almost complete, Rinya struck from the shadows, almost killing Killing our hero’s.The battle was long an hard but eventually both cult leaders were slain. Rinya’s body was completely devoured by the worms in the decaying in the refuse under foot.

While investigating The fountain, the party found a chuck of the An’Desh living stone glowing red. Lyman pulled it out of the fountain, burning his hand and dropping it on the loamy ground. The stone cleansed the area it touched! Using one of Kattar’s boot they attempted to scoop up the stone but it burned through. When Lyman placed dirt at the bottom of the second boot, it did not burn through. While further investigating the body of Kattar they found that his body had undergone painful alterations. His armor grafted to his muscles and bone with Iron Bark, They also found a very small journal but it was written in Elvish, which no one read, and they needed to get Genk to a Cleric for healing.

On exiting the territory once owned by the Cult of An’Desh’a, the Dutchess called out to them, forgiving them for “stealing” territory that should have been hers, but has expressed an interest in having another conversation with the Party. Sammuel on the other hand left without a word as some of the Blades and Zilah clapped for the party’s success. Lyman then spotted a group of halflings on the roof of a building near the Dutchess’ territory. Since the Party has seen the wanted posters, they recognized the leader of these halflings as Nestor Zilan, leader of the thieves guild in the Pass. Nestor made eye contact with lyamn, spoke into a ring and made his exit.

Back in the temple of Nepthira, the party had Kattars journal Translated to them by an elderly elven cleric. The journal told the story of a young Kattar and Rinya growing up in the Cult of AN’Desh’a. The cult had started out as a peaceful group of people, confused with their place in the world and cosmic cycle. However, their pacifism led them to be attacked and exploited when the gangs of the Pass started to form. They plead for Lord Governor Talvas to come to their aid but it fell on deaf ears. When the Priestess that had adopted Kattar and Rinya was killed by a now long gone gang, a new spiritual leader stepped to the forefront. This leader pushed aside the pacifistic approach and called for war against all non-An’Desh. As the violent fervor grew, the cult lashed out against all residents of the Pass. this resulted in a battle that lasted weeks. During this time Kattar and Rinya hid from the violence in underground tunnels eating nothing but worms and insect eggs to survive. Eventually lord Talvas took action and tried to stem the tide with the military but it was too late, and the majority of the Western Side of the Pass was in flames and the death count was growing at a fast rate. It was during this time in the Journal that a young Kattar witnessed black scaled Wyverns flying over head. he claims that it was the coming of the Skallar. Soon after the Leader of their cult was taken into custody and executed in the capital. Lost and alone, Kattar and rinya simply tried to survive, as most of those they once called family in the cult were either dead or fled the Pass during the chaos. Kattar became sick with an undisclosed deisease that Rinya claimed to have a way to fix him. the journal then ended.

the party, thoroughly depressed were healed and went to bed, except Balsatra who helped Genk give drool a bath in water infused with oranges.

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