The following is taken from the private library of Sir Chambreyll Forgefist the High Priest and Head Master of the “Bastion of Hallowed Warfare”, priory and school of combat arts for the conscript village of Bladeturn.
It is said that those who chose the path of the invoker do so out of a desire to not merely worship a deity, but to become part of one. The eyes, the ears, the fist, the sword. The truth is; no one chooses to invoke the direct, unfiltered power of their lord. Such a thing cannot be decided by a mere mortal. The priests, the paladins, and even the avengers strive to earn the respect and trust of their divine master in hopes of being given a chance to direct celestial power through the proxy of a symbol of their god. In effect that is what these paths truly demonstrate; the symbolic power of the divine.
One who invokes the power of a deity directly with no intermediary or golden trinket is chosen by that deity. When does this choice occur? Perhaps has the creature grows in the womb, perhaps even before then. I can tell you this choice was not mine. I can tell you that because my focus is singular. I know this choice was not mine because it is all that I am and ever want to be. What I am trying to say is; there was no choice, I just am.
The Lord of Battle decided that it would not do to have me “represent” his faith or preach his teachings. Others can do that. Tempus needs mortal avatars to be his might, his will, his passion, his fury in the world. There is no time for prayer or worship. Why would a deity pray to itself or hold a private ceremony in its own honor? Do you understand? There is no Rysiris. There is a creature born of a race of celestial touched beings that was given this name. Such cloth bound sensibilities are necessary to move about the world, but what I am and what my lord expects me to be is The Lord of War on Paladon. Tempus does not wish me to sit and kneel and beg his council. It is not required of me, for I am bound to my lord by streams of radiance that control my decisions and actions. Some say the invokers are the puppets of their lords. That is closer, but still misses the mark. There is no need to control an invoker or manipulate his will to serve his deity. I AM MY DEITY. I am the force of nature that is warfare. I am the law of combat. I am the mountain that will not bow to the crush of the wave. I am the pride of the last warrior standing and I am the respect of the honorably fallen.
I have the memories of a thousand lifetimes swirling through my mind, all of them serving the storm of war. My memories do not include family, lovers, or friends. They include war-bands, sexual conquests, brothers-at-arms, glorious victory, and painful defeat. These memories guide me, giving me strength when I most need it, and hope when the taste of blood fills my mouth. The others paths of divine power look upon the invoker with sympathy and pity. I’ve heard the whispers when they thought I could not hear. I turn and confront them “do not be afraid brother; you can speak your mind freely to an invoker. Your words cannot offend, and your pity is a shameful waste. How can the words of disconnection offend one who bears witness of this life with the shared vision and brilliant revelation of their god? Go and pray to your image, pray that your god will bless you with some meager token of appreciation, pray that you are worthy to receive your god’s attention for the briefest of moments”.
Most recently my lord has placed me with a small band of warriors. Little reason was given and I do not require one. Brother Thegel (a half-elf), the goblin Sogwaddle and the goblin’s apprentice, Brother George have been my partners in combat for many days now. At first I was a little skeptical, maybe I had been mistakenly delivered to the wrong place. Of course I knew this to be immediately untrue and have done my best to find a place amongst them. My efforts have been rewarded and the wisdom of the lord of blades is great. The three have done masterfully well in adapting to the more advanced combat tactics than I sense they were used to. A raw chunk of ore was placed before me and I am slowly forging a dangerous weapon.
The leader of the group is a well rounded formidable mercenary, who is open-minded and beginning to understand the art behind the brutal violence of combat. Like most mercenaries, Thegel’s main focus seems to be financial. However he has a deep sense of honoring his word, strangely through written contracts. Beneath the mercenary’s demeanor is the heart of a knight, and perhaps also a lawyer.
The goblin Sogwaddle has earned my trust on several occasions. He is predictable in his unpredictability. “Sog” is the variable that will keep our foes always guessing. Rare is the warrior-poet, but brother Sogwaddle is becoming skilled at both. Many nights I lay awake watching him tinker something together and then the next day witness the seemingly useless item explode raining a shower of fire and agony down on our enemy. I often wonder at the weapons he could build given enough material and time. I am beginning to believe that the future of warfare is moving in a direction that Brother Sog is already far down the path of. It is exciting to see the birth of a new form of combat.
His apprentice, Brother George is a strange one. I have no explanation for it, but I feel compelled to watch over the little beast. I’m constantly wondering what it is thinking and imagine an astute mind. Alas he is mostly silent, perhaps another mark of wisdom. Whatever the cause, George is willing to help in whatever we ask of him and I deeply respect his commitment to Brother Sogwaddle. Perhaps one day he’ll break free of his shell and show us the enormous intellect I suspect lies beneath.
After arriving in Darkhaven, Brother Thegel immediately set me about to sell the treasure we had previously collected, and using the proceeds, began crafting several new items of arcane power. Once we had re-supplied I sensed discomfort dwelling within Thegel. I myself was growing more disconcerted everyday that passed with the cursed stone in our possession. Although I had only briefly travelled with this band, I had heard their stories of the malformed enemies and had seen enough myself to understand the truth behind them. The Stone is corrupt, and seeks to corrupt everything around it.
The days spent creating the various items and reagents that I knew would be required for battle on the road ahead were not all without pleasure. I spent some amount of our treasure paying for some services of the flesh that I can truly say were worth every gold coin (1000 gp). I was to invite my comrades, even willing to insist on a maiden to service our goblin brother and his apprentice, but found that they had discretely taken the almost worthless scrap silver and went on their own search of the flesh. I’ve heard of this kind of thing before, I believe soldier’s refer to it has “hogging”.
I was caught by surprise when the Brother Thegel approached me and gave me a crude eagle shaped pin. It took me a moment to realize that he was asking me to join his war-band, the Iron Eagles. I have learned that men who feel they are part of something tend to fight harder and are more trustworthy. I graciously accepted the offer, but declined to sign a contract citing that I did not know when Tempus would direct me elsewhere.
Now that I was a legitimate member of the group I felt it was my duty to confront Thegel with regards to my concerns about the Stone. He wisely agreed that we could not keep it. He said he had a potential buyer, Amerith, counselor to Locnar. I know a little of the merchant Locnar, mainly that he specializes in transport of goods to and from the Primordial. Not an easy trade, but one that has made him rich and powerful, especially within the walls of Darkhaven. Few will cross this man, and I worried that the Iron Eagles were in some way bound to him. Nonetheless, I felt that if we had a patron interested in the Stone, we’d be best getting rid of it.
Brother Thegel suggested we set up a meet via a messenger and offer the Stone to Amerith. He asked that I act has the negotiator. Apparently he has had some romantic relations with the powerful Amerith and was concerned that his spurned love would cause trouble with the negotiations.
We used a local messenger service to advise her of the meet. I secretly hid the Stone so as not to allow her to delve into the weaker minds of by comrades, and then cast a “Drawmij’s Instant Summons” (500 gp) on it in order to keep it hidden until an arrangement had been made.
We arrived at the Inn, “Twilight”, at midnight, an irony that caused Brother Thegel no end of amusement. We spent a great deal of coin (1000 gp) to appease our potential business partner. Unfortunately, the meeting did not go well. Brother Thegel did not seem willing to accept Amerith’s price of 50,000 gp and being a rather rude bitch I had no qualms about denying her that which she wanted.
One item of extreme interest was her claims of having recently spoken with the former Iron Eagle, Tayreth. The mage claimed to have the Stone, and Amerith had intended on meeting him here, instead of us. Odd. So at the end, both parties left unsatisfied, but I was rather apprehensive about this Tayreth fellow running about claiming to have the Stone. Perhaps he was planning on taking it from us. I felt we needed a safe place to keep the item of chaos and suggested the Church of Death, and knew of a large temple to the Raven Queen in the area.
Brother Thegel was not quite ready to rid himself of the Stone and potential gain. He decided to try and gather some information regarding Amerith, the Stone, and Tayreth. Things started off fairly well, but soon the amount of drink the warrior imbibed began to take its toll. Before midnight, I’m sorry to say, Brother Thegel had to be carried to his chambers by Brother Sog and myself. I can still smell the faint tinge of urine and vomit coming from the often proud mercenary.
The next morning, as if on cue, High Priest Maxwell summoned Thegel to the Church of the Raven Queen. What proceeded was a very long and very interesting meeting that led me to believe that perhaps Brother Thegel wasn’t being entirely honest in some of his accounts of recent events.
High priest Maxwell, informed me of the original contract with the Iron Eagles to recover the Horn of Zenlothafalu from Sir Mandalar’s stolen corpse. The rest of the history contained a mixture of information that I had already heard, albeit without some of the more disparaging details that Brother Thegel no doubt purposefully left out.
The priest told us that their divinations showed them that three more primordial’s escaped through a gate recently, which matched our account of capturing the Stone and destroying the portal-machine. At this point, I felt it a good idea to hand over the Stone. In doing so, Maxwell commented that the stone was nearly out of power, and seemed to be continuously diminishing. I handed over the various diagrams of the portal-machine and the priest confirmed that this was what probably allowed the three allies of Zenlothafalu to come forth.
The priest seemed intent on holding the Iron Eagles to their original contract and gave Brother Thegel a new lead to pursue. He wanted us to travel to the southern shore of the “Fangs of the Spider”. There, upon a basalt cliff would be found a tower belong to the necromancer Artax. Apparently, Maxwell believes that a powerful artifact that could drain the power from demi-god like being could be found there. Such a weapon may be the means for destroying Zenlothafalu and his allies. He would teleport us to the Temple to Tempus, within the city of Wollin, the capital of Essengard.
Furthermore he doled out several items of value and usefulness against the undead. He gave me 5 very powerful (epic tier) “Brightleaf” reagents, each of us two “Deathspawn Potions”, each of us three very powerful (level 26) holy waters, and 10 life shrouds to split between us.
After saying our farewells we were immediately transported to Essengard and met by the imposing figure Alicease, a mammoth of a man. The area was mainly populated be well civilized humans and barbarians. Although the atmosphere and architecture reflected a place poised for warfare, the people seemed polite enough.
From there we were teleported deep into a mountain sanctuary to a band of dwarves lead by, Sturmheart. After three days of travel with the mountain folk we came to a well secured door. Sturmheart gave us instruction that he’d wait two weeks before heading back and to shine something radiant through the door so he’d know it was us.
We entered onto a bleak landscape that immediately began to drain us of spirit and hope. I used a ritual to call a “Wilderness Guide” (360 gp) and we travelled uneventfully for 16 hours. After this long period of travel we were in need of a rest so I used a “Solace Bole” ritual (500 gp) and call another wilderness guide (360 gp).
We then travel for another 8 hours, where in the distance Thegel spotted and intermittent blinking red light.
Sir George quietly snuck forward, and retuned swiftly. He whispered something to Brother Sog, and the goblin reported that a “clock-work” like insect device lay by a pool of brackish water, apparently quite damaged.
We approached the metal beast and Brother Sog deduced that it needed “life energy”. I cut my hand and let the blood spill from it onto the dusty metal surface. After a few moments that creature sprang into the air and began buzzing around quite excitedly.
A metallic voice issued from it and spoke saying that it need us to help it and follow. It then projected the image a conjoined huge beast, presumably the creature that caused the clock-work creature’s master to perish.
I called another wilderness guide (360), and we followed the two creatures, which travelled a very similar path for another 8 hours. In the distance we all saw the tower, but the clock-work beast prompted us to follow it over the basalt cliff.
Brother Thegel stepped over and looked down. Approximately 150 feet below lay a metallic humanoid creature, sprawled on the rocks.
Using “Tenser’s Lift” (125 gp), I transported us all down and collected the body. Once back at the top of the cliff I performed a Raise Dead ritual (500 gp). The creature rose slowly from the ground and took some time to examine himself. He appeared mostly clock-work and said his name was “N”. As he was telling us his story of searching for his brother and being attacked and killed nearly 5 years ago, the beast responsible for his death appeared in the distance and charged us with great speed.
The creature was not prepared for an organized fight, and Tempus’ battle skill flowed through me. Easily I drove the beast off the high cliff and Brother Sog used some wicked substance to adhere it to the surface. We easily took long range missile attacks at it has it slowly made its way back to the cliff surface. Once there it split into several different creatures all once composed of its former self. The metal-forged creature “N” quickly vanquished several of them, shouting Tempus’ glory all the while. The battle ended soon thereafter.
We were able to inspect the tower which rose approximately 200’ into the gray air and seemed to be about one half mile in the distance. The tower itself was constructed of ugly green stone and seemed to contain at least 5 blister-like edifices protruding from the walls of the tower like tumors on an infected dog. The function of these blisters is, has of yet, undetermined.
“N” was invited to join our small party, and he quickly accepted.
Expt – 3200
Gold Spent (Total): 49,380 gp
Rituals Cast: 2,580 gp
Feast at Twilight: 1,000 gp
Fine Flesh: 1000 gp
“Hogging”: 80 sp
Ritual’s Bought in Dark Haven:
Create Holy Water (Level 1): 50 gp
Safeguard (Level 16) 13,500 gp
Consult Oracle (Level 16) 9,000 gp
Stasis Shell (Level 16) 9,000 gp
Fantastic Recuperation (Level 16) 9,000 gp
Whispers of the Edifice (Level 14) 4,200 gp